Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So, a funny thing happened yesterday. I've been getting these rashes on my forearms for the past few weeks and I had no idea why. It happened again last night and I was showing it to Matt when I realized this was the same reaction that my upper arm used to get when I would go down waterparks in tire tubes... and then I realized I'm allergic to my pants. Awesome eh? I have one pair of jeans that fits me well and isn't ripped in the crotch and I'm allergic to them. I have a severe allergy to rubber and apparently the spandex that is woven into my jeans to give them their stretch is enough to make me react. Now, the funny thing is that it's not doing anything to my legs - just my arms from rubbing against the jeans. So I'm going to continue to wear them until my reaction gets worse.
I have something else to confess (other than my ridiculous allergy that makes me react to clothing): I'm really excited about the royal wedding. I've always been a bit pro-monarchy and I think Kate Middleton is a peach. I'm actually reading articles about the wedding date being set and dress concepts that designers have drawn for her (my money is on something with a modest dip, a dropped waist and more form fitting than not). I think the fact that she's a commoner (granted, a commoner from a rich family), and that William apparently gave her lots of time to see what she was getting herself into so that she could back out before he proposed, is great. I also think it's great the idea they had of inviting 100 commoners to their wedding. I wish I were british just so I'd have a shot at being one of the 100. Granted, I wouldn't have thing to wear... But on April 29th, 2011, don't bother making plans with me. I'll be watching the ceremony on TV.
My day yesterday got a bit better and was much more productive than I thought it would be. I actually got Gabe down for an early nap (he was sooooo grumpy) and while he was down I cleaned my living room completely, tidied the kitchen and rewarded myself by bringing up all my Christmas decorations and going through them. I'm providing my sister with decorations this year as well and since she has a day-home she's getting my silver and blue decorations (most of which are plastic or styrofoam) and I'm using my green, red and gold decorations (most of which are glass). Gabe woke up and was patient long enough to let me change out the rest of my normal seasonal decor (book case displays, table tops, etc). I made a happy little village display on our friend's old record player that we're keeping in our living room for him and a treescape with gold balls in a bookcase cubby. This weekend, if the weather is nice enough, we might steal some time to hang up our lights and hopefully the week after we can get our tree! I've got some beautiful things to hang on our tree this year.
I spent some time this afternoon finalizing my gift list for everyone. By doing so I've also finalized what crafts I'm making. The teacup candles and bath salts I've already done (well, I need a couple more batches of bath salts but seeing as those take all of two minutes to make...) and I've decided to make some cute styrofoam snowball decorations for some people (Roll the glued-covered styrofoam balls in fake snow with a bit of clear and silver glitter in it - cute!) I'm only knitting things for my niece and I've only got one done so I need to knit at least 3 more things for her and maybe sew a few. Then comes the food... I've settled on Candy Cane Marshmallows, truffles or chocolate bark (still not sure on that one), biscotti (most of which I already have made and frozen) and tea! I had almost abandoned my hope of making tea this year because I thought my mint plant had died and while yes, I would need to dry my mint leaves, there's a difference between drying and dying. Anyway, turns out my mint has come back with a vengeance. So this Friday I'm going to hop over to our local dutch store and buy some fresh licorice root and I'll chop up some of that with the dried mint leaves and make a nice licorice mint tea! The best part? My mint variety is Chocolate Mint. mmmmmm...
Now that the fun stuff is over it's time to get down to business. Have you ever heard of Well, now you have. OneMatch is a donor matching program for people who need stem cell transplants. And lots of people need stem cell transplants. Lots of conditions such as leukemia and aplastic anemia, as well as immune disorders may require people to have stem cell transplants. And these transplants are usually their last option. My church recently hosted a Stem Cell donor recruiting session which was spearheaded by a local lady who lost her 27 year old son last April because he couldn't get the right stem cell transplant. While her son was undergoing treatment she met a lady from Calgary whose 7 year old son was suffering the same condition and had already been told that he needed a stem cell transplant since he was no longer responding to other treatments. 60 people turned out which is awesome, but chances that any of those 60 people are matches for her son are extremely low. Apparently, whereas siblings are usually preferred donors for many things, with stem cells family members usually only make up 30% of eligible matches. So what does it mean to be a donor? Well, for lots of people it won't mean anything more than that your name is on a list. Some people will get called to be actual donors. 80% of those people will simply go through a process similar to giving blood. 20% will be asked to donate bone marrow. If you are asked to donate marrow, the amount they take from you will have replenished with 3 - 6 weeks. And for the person who gets the transplant? Well, you would have just saved their life. Now, I'm very pro donating. I've signed my organ donor card, I give blood, I give money and time to things I care about. Lots of people don't take the time to think about giving some things like blood. I mean, it takes a whole hour sometimes to donate and recover. My goodness! I've known people who have had blood transfusions and would have died without them - my brother-in-law included. So while I'm pushing one thing I'm going to push another. I believe that people should give blood. I really do. Lots of people have religious reasons for not donating blood. Fine. But my religion says that Jesus shed his blood for my life. And not just a pint - all of it. My religion is pro blood-donation. Many people may think that since so many people already give that they don't need to. Well, when it comes to stem cells, you don't have that excuse. According to the OneMatch website, even international databases with millions of names on them, sometimes they can't find a perfect match for some people. So if you register and are asked to donate, you may very well be the only person in your whole country, if not the world, who can save that person's life.
Now, I'm done ranting almost, but please, please, at least go to and read up on it for yourself. If you do want to donate they'll send you a swab in the mail so you don't even have to go anywhere to register. I'm going to.
Right now.

Mrs. Vander Leek ;)

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