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Red Cross Blood Donation

September 10, 2013

California – Sunday, September 1

Since more than 8 weeks have passed since my last blood donation, The Red Cross has been calling to get another donation time scheduled. But it’s tricky when I’m on the road because I’m never quite sure where I’m going to be, and then I have to be somewhere where there’s a blood drive happening! They had just called me again – for the 4th or 5th time – and this time I knew I’d be in the San Diego area for a few days, and they actually found a blood drive happening at a church in Del Mar today – close to my brother’s house. So Christy and I headed over there first thing in the morning – she was going to try to donate blood too, but she was on the tail end of a cold, and they wouldn’t let her. While I was going through the screening process with the nurse (which takes a little longer than usual for me because we have to review my travel and they have to re-verify that each US territory is in a safe zone – no potential malaria problems and stuff like that), Christy went out and got some bagels to take back. It didn’t take long to do the actual blood donation – I’ve got good veins for it, and have never had any problems after all. I had my 2 little cans of OJ afterward (the only time I like canned OJ!) and some cookies, and then they let me go, and today’s donation was done. They also gave me a free Red Cross t-shirt. It was a really cool church – the Red Cross was set up in a separate fellowship building, so it didn’t get in the way of Sunday services.

We had plans to drive up to a nice horse farm about an hour and a half away, where Erik and Pavla keep their one stallion, and some mares and foals. They’re building their breeding program, and it’ll be fun to see how things work out in the years to come. We eventually headed out, and drove up into the dry sagebrushy mountains to the horse farm, where everything was green and pretty – they do a lot of irrigating. We met one of the staff, who knows all the horses, and we drove around on golf carts to all the various pastures and paddocks so that we could see all their horses. Other people have racehorses there too – some are enjoying down time as they recover from illness or injury, and sometimes racehorses simply need to take some time off (a vacation of sorts) so they don’t get sour with the daily workouts and racing. They’re in the process of weaning the foals, and only a few are still with their mamas. Altogether there were about 90 horses there, but that can swell to 250 or so during breeding season. It was a beautiful farm to visit. It was pretty hot out, and it’s probably just as well we were getting around on golf carts in the heat of the day – I was being extra aware of getting enough water and liquids after donating blood.

Then we drove to the quaint old town of Julien – known for it’s pies. Chris, Erik, Tula and I set off for 3 miles of walking in the hills around town since it had cooled down a bit, while Pavla and Keira visited the library and some of the shops. I totally forgot to take any pictures of the cute little town! Keira has taken off with her reading, and can hardly keep her nose out a book – what a world that opens up! Then we went to a fun little western restaurant for dinner, and started the drive back to their house. But Christy and I still had 5 miles to walk for today, and since we’d gotten a later start to the farm than planned, it was dark by the time we got back down the mountain. But that wasn’t going to stop us stubborn Norwegians! Erik pointed out a bike path near a golf course in Rancho Santa Fe, so I grabbed the pedometer and Chris took the flashlight, and we did our walking in the dark! We walked all 5 miles – about 3 miles on the bike path, and the other 2 miles around the village of Rancho Santa Fe (which does not have street lamps in order to keep a country feel.) Mission accomplished! And then my GPS voice went wacko and tried to tell me to drive through a country club building to get back, and that set off an interesting return drive to Erik’s house. Once we got back, we all enjoyed peach pie ala mode – I couldn’t leave Julien without getting a pie! We all tried to get to bed at a reasonable time because we were going to head over to the racetrack first thing in the morning to watch some of the early morning workouts.

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