The Vein-ity of Giving Blood

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I donate blood regularly. I’d like to say I do it strictly for the do-gooder character in me, but, like so many things, multiple characters influence my blood-donating habits.

Mom volunteered for Red Cross Blood Drives when I was growing up, so when the blood drive came to our high school, she encouraged me to donate, reassuring me over my needle-queasiness and worries about having blood taken. The character who wants to please mom is definitely in play

I’ve varied between being an occasional—sometimes lapsed—donor, to being consistent, donating regularly at our local firehouse, which hosts a blood drive every 8-weeks. My lapses were often due to inconvenience—no local blood drive—or too busy.  With our local firehouse setup, it’s easy to give. My do-gooder character believes in the value of donating, so making it easy helps me stay aligned in this corner of my mind.

My every-8-week donation plan sometimes gets thrown off schedule when my iron count fails.

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100 Forever Stamps: $49.75 @ Costco

Pixabay: AngelaT Free for commercial use; no attribution required

U.S. first class stamp prices increased in January from $.50 to $.55. If you’re a Costco member, they’re currently selling books of 100 at the old price, until March 3rd, while supplies last.

Since I didn’t make it to the Post Office before the price increase, make this Item #6 on my Costco Greatest Hits list.

Available at warehouse locations only, not online.

And remember: postage stamps really are wonderful little marvels.

Photo source: AngelaT on Pixabay.


 

 

 

 

 

Road Lesson #3: Don’t Take it Personally

106_RoadRageLesson3_2-26-19I’ve written two blog posts inspired by a place I dubbed mindfulness intersection. It was a stretch of road I drove regularly, giving me plenty of opportunities to practice mindfulness.

My first lesson was about my rage at another car cutting in front of me.

My second lesson had me being the cutter, at a different, but similar, intersection.

My third lesson—I’ve stopped saying final because life keeps surprising me—I tell here.

This lesson captures the essence of Don Miguel Ruiz’s second agreement—don’t take anything personally—in his book, The Four Agreements.

“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”[1]

This third lesson, surprisingly, happened while I was walking. Having had a disagreement with Bubba, I was outside, stomping up the street, trying to clear my head and make sense of what had just happened.

Continue reading “Road Lesson #3: Don’t Take it Personally”

Wintry Mindfulness Moments

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My blogging efforts remind me of learning to drive a stick-shift: fits-and-starts. In January, I met my goal of posting three-times a week. So far this month? Sketchy.

My excuse? I went east to spend time with dad, to celebrate his 95th birthday. Generally I avoid flying cross-country during winter; too unpredictable. I haven’t been home for Christmas in decades. I tried to get east for dad’s 90th birthday, but snow-storms cancelled that year’s trip.  With mom’s death last September, the urge to go east for Christmas or for dad’s February birthday was strong.

I opted for dad’s birthday, both to miss the holiday madness, and so I could get information together for his tax return. Dad might discourage my traveling for his birthday; but to get the taxes done would be a compelling enticement.

Whether I was going to get east seemed dicey.

Continue reading “Wintry Mindfulness Moments”

Bits of Nature

These are bird photos my dad took last fall, when I was on the east coast helping navigate my mom’s last few weeks of life. I went back again this month, to celebrate dad’s 95th birthday and help with taxes. He was happy I was there for the taxes. I was happy I was there for his birthday. We both found our way to happy.

This trip was a lot colder. Snow. Ice. Few people. I forgot how beautiful winter can be, and how powerful nature is, with the cold and wind, especially when you’re in a rural place. My fingers only lasted a few minutes outside of my gloves, trying to take pictures.  I’m a wuss; I kept wondering how quickly frostbite can happen. My fingers got that painful numb feeling, but no frostbite. I was breathing into my gloves to warm them up.

I walked on the frozen lake; I stayed close to shore but felt brave, until I heard the ice crack. I know my face revealed my sudden panic. The ice cracks a lot; it sings and moans and sounds alive.  But it was solid.

First time I’ve made a snowman in decades. I felt like a kid; lost track of time; felt giddy. When I walked back to the house after being gone for 45 minutes, I found dad outside, peering down the road, wondering where I was, given I’d told him I was going out for a short walk.  Some things don’t change just because we grow up.

 

Photos: Dad and Walk the Goats