Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Stitch in Time

Given that you can only donate blood every 3 months (in my case 4 months because it takes me longer to build iron back up again), it's probably been a year since my last blood donation.  I had been giving blood for a long time without incident, but then the staff changed and suddenly nobody seemed to be able to take my blood without a lot of digging and probing...and some pain.  I got splashed with my own blood once.  

But I finally decided that it was time to donate again and this morning I returned to Blood Source.

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Some things have changed in the past year -- new equipment for the pre-interview, and definitely a big change in the snacks afterwards.  They used to have  a box of donuts and then when they stopped having donuts, they had three baskets filled with about a dozen different kinds of snacks, a variety of drinks to have, etc.  Now there is one tiny basket, a few drinks, and some coffee. Also, we used to get to choose colors for our bandage, but now there is nothing but bland white.

But something else had changed.  The person who took my blood today was as competent as the old staff used to be and it all went without incident.   

 
My 47th donation
I did bleed slower than usual, though, so my plan to go to get my hair cut afterwards had to be scrapped because there wasn't time before I was going to pick up Peggy and the two of us were going to the University Retirement Community (URC), the third senior facility in Davis, to have lunch with Joan, the facilitator of our old writing group and my on-line scrabble playing partner for about 10 years now!

We had a fun lunch and "catch up" session.  Peg and I had funnel cake for dessert, which was something I'd never had and wanted to try and now have.  I won't say I didn't like it--how can you not like something deep fried with whipped cream on it--but my curiosity is satisfied, so I don't feel the need to have it again.

URCHall.jpg (47067 bytes)After lunch we went upstairs to look at a display of amazing quilts by a resident who has a long history of quilting, was part of a quilting group for many years and then developed PLS (a cousin of ALS, Lou Gherig's Disesase).   

Wikipedia describes PLS as Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) is a rare neuromuscular disease characterized by progressive muscle weakness in the voluntary muscles. PLS belongs to a group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases. Motor neuron diseases develop when the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement degenerate and die, causing weakness in the muscles they control.

PLS only affects upper motor neurons. There is no evidence of the degeneration of spinal motor neurons or muscle wasting (amyotrophy) that occurs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
.

Undaunted she continues to design quilts, using amazing pieces of fabric and with the help of her quilting group to actually assemble the quilts, under her guidance.  The results are truly astonishing.  This wall hanging was my favorite, because it reminded me of the warm colors I loved in the South of France.

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I loved the border around the outside with just a bit of the iris in the center rising above the window.

We all loved the whimsy in this one.

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It's called "Back Roads" and the comments on it say that she was pleased to find a bit of fabric that had a truck on it, which was going the right way.

This was Peg's favorite

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There are so many different pieces of fabric in this intricate wall hanging.  You can't see that the ruffle along the bottom is green with lighter green bits of ivy on it.  The grey blobs across the bottom are little hedgehogs, which are so cute.  It's just a marvel.  And then we discovered that there was a completely different picture on the back.  Naturally we couldn't take it off the wall and look (there is going to be a photo of it when the exhibit officially opens) and we probably weren't supposed to actually touch it, but one thing led to another and eventually Peg went for broke.

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The exibit was small, but exquisite...and the artist's story made it even more special.  Full size photos of the quilts can be found here.

Once again, this was a wonderful "reunion" of good friends.   Our next project is to get my mother and our friend Nancy over to Peg's new place so they can have lunch and see her apartment (which one of the staff said looks like a hotel...but doesn't really.)

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