Let Me Bleed!

Amy and I have been blood sisters for several years now, encouraging each other to donate blood when we can. I have been out of the habit due to first my pregnancy, then nursing a baby. I am not sure if nursing precludes donation, but I had enough going on!

Anyway it’s my job to drag her to the gym, and her job to drag me to be poked by needles. We went after the gym today and poor Amy failed the iron test.

But I bled just fine. I really detest the needle stick, but it’s worth it to save lives. Thanks for the motivation, Amy!

Do you donate? If not, give it a shot. It’s easy and the cookies afterward are tasty.

Charity of the Month: Light the Night

OK people, here we go.  I’m walking in an event to spread awareness in the fight against blood cancers.  I would love for my friends- blog-buddies and MIRL friends too- to join me to walk downtown.  From talking to previous walkers, the event is inspiring, sometimes tearful, always uplifting.

Those of us who are supporters hold red balloons; survivors hold white balloons.  It’s symbolic of the white and red blood cells that are vital to life.

Please visit my donation page.  If you don’t have cash on hand (I know the economy is tough), that’s OK.  I’m happy to have you walk with me – no donation required.  Just sign up to walk- or comment on this post and I’ll sign your name for you.

Thank you!

World Diabetes Day 2007

If you drove to work (before sunrise) today, you may have thought that the monuments around the city were lighted in blue to support the Colts. But they aren’t. Today marks WDD in a very special way. Buildings across the world are being lighted to show awareness in the face of this pandemic.

Click here to see an interactive map of those monuments that will be lighted.

Diabetes isn’t a sensational disease like avian flu or mad cow disease. But these diseases have affected far fewer people; today, over 246 million people have diabetes. This year’s WDD focuses on the effects on children:

Diabetes has a unique impact on children and their families. The daily life of children is disrupted by the need to monitor blood glucose levels, take medication, and balance the effect of activity and food. Diabetes can interfere with the normal developmental tasks of childhood and adolescence, which include succeeding in school and transitioning to adulthood. To help the child and family cope, and to ensure the best possible physical and emotional health of the child, care should be delivered by a multidisciplinary team with good knowledge of paediatric issues. Support must also be given to caregivers and to school personnel. In this way, children with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can reach adulthood with as little adverse impact as possible on their well-being. For children with diabetes in developing countries the situation at present is bleak.

There are lifesaving medicines to control the disease, but there is no cure. For type 2 diabetes, the type with the largest growth rate, people can make changes to help decrease the risk. If you consume too many calories, eat less. Walk more. Dedicate the first 246 steps of every day to the millions who are affected.

Do something!

Saving Money and Gas and Time and the Planet: Carpooling

As usual, there’s a nerdy spreadsheet to visually aid! I was very conservative on my estimates for fuel economy (I usually am at 29-31mpg). The first column also includes the miles of the commute- first, the daily miles if I don’t carpool, then the daily miles if I do. My carpool means I actually backtrack about 7 miles, so I wanted to be sure to include that increased distance in the calculations.

I have a relatively short commute, but look at the savings for carpooling and Working From Home (WFH)! That’s $181 in my pocket, and a reduction of fossil fuel consumption by 58 gallons. This spreadsheet only accounts for my savings; my carpool partner, who does not WFH, saves $85 and 28 gallons of fossil fuel. On top of these savings is another benefit: I’ve met a new person and we have some great conversations during the commute.

Imagine if everyone tried this…fewer cars, less congestion; less stress for the driver due to decreased congestion, less stress for rider- no driving! I am using my extra cash as my annual contribution to the South Side Animal Shelter.

My company has a carpool message board, but there’s one for Indianapolis as well. Give it a try!

Charity of the Month: Indiana House Rabbit Society

Pet me! Love me! FEED ME CILANTRO!I had intended to start doing this last year, but I (as usual) procrastinated. In addition to Carlton’s and my regular charitable donations, I thought I would highlight a worthy cause each month and give an extra donation. Here’s January’s winner.

The Indiana House Rabbit Society (IHRS) has a personal connection for me. My best friend has been an active member of the group for several years. One year on holiday break, she asked me to care for three of her foster rabbits. I was familiar with bunny care from helping her before so it was not totally new. But having them at my own home was new.

Two of the rabbits, a bonded pair named Honey and Felix, were loveable but not extra friendly. However, Silas was very sociable. Carlton and I enjoyed his company, letting him hop around the house (supervised) and eating greens from our hands. I found myself buying special veggies for him at the grocery. He would jump on our laps or at our feet to be petted, and would circle around us madly at pellet feeding time.

After the holiday, he moved out…and we missed him. We decided to go through the adoption process and he moved back to our home for good. He was neutered prior to adoption and, as with all bunnies, spay/neuter contributes to longer life and more even temper.

Several years later, he’s an integrated member of our animal family. His name became Silo as it’s easier to call him that way, though he has several nicknames (such as Nibbler).

House rabbits are not for everyone. They require bunnyproofing the house (they will chew cords and be electrocuted), some are very shy, and they aren’t as sturdy as dogs and cats. To anticipate his needs, we’ve put bamboo mats under the furniture where he likes to dig, we allow him to come to us for interaction, and we use careful methods when he has to be handled.

Silo and Baja having a fireside chat.  They like to sit near each other, sometimes on the same chair.Silo is totally litter trained and is out of his cage most of the day. He likes to hang out with our cat and they will play hide-and-seek for hours. Silo jumps on the bed and puts his front paws on my shoulder (or my face!) to ask for pets. His favorite snack is cilantro, and he likes to sit on the dining room chairs, especially if Mr. Kitty sits on the opposite chair. If Sunny makes Silo mad (usually by stealing his treats), Silo will ambush her, hop on top of her and then run away, leaving the dog completely bewildered.

Silo was found abandoned in a neighborhood. Too many people think it’s OK to release a domestic bun because they see wild bunnies. Domesticated rabbits are not adapted to survive in the harsh weather and are ill-equipped to escape predation and find food.

House rabbits live 7-10 years; outdoor rabbits live 1-4 years. A rabbit in a hutch in someone’s cold back yard will never be as friendly or happy as an indoor bun. Having Silo taught me what great personalities bunnies can have. The longer he lives with us, the more and more loving and trusting he becomes.

Three different species keeping me company while I have the flu.The IHRS has volunteers who work to help find homes for abandoned bunnies, bringing foster rabbits into their homes and paying medical bills out of their own pockets. Some bunnies have been abandoned shortly after Easter, some are found abandoned in neighborhoods; the unluckiest have been neglected and abused.

That’s why I’m giving my January Charity of the Month award to the kind people at IHRS. Please consider donating too!