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January 31, 2010

Be The Match Bone Marrow Registry

Join the Be The Match Registry of bone marrow donors using online registration. Thousands of patients hope for a bone marrow donor who can make their life-saving transplant possible. They depend on people like you and I. You have the power to save a life. Become a bone marrow donor: Join the Be the Match Registry and you could be the one to save a life.

When you join the Be The Match Registry, you make a commitment to:
  • Be listed on the registry until your 61st birthday, unless you ask to be removed
  • Consider donating to any searching patient who matches you
  • Keep them updated if your address changes, you have significant health changes or you change your mind about being a donor
  • Respond quickly if you are contacted as a potential match for a patient
You have the right to change your mind about being a donor at any time. Donating is always voluntary.

There is a wealth of information on the website about the procedure for both registering and the donor process. It took me only about ten minutes to follow through the online registration process, and I'm far from computer savy. If you were in need of help, wouldn't you hope that your donor had come forward?

Are you already registered with the National Marrow Donor Program, or do you know someone who's benefitted from this procedure? Please relate your story in a comment on the blog.

January 30, 2010

Climbing Roses

Here are the climbing roses that I planted last week along the fenceline. I laminate the seed packs or plant labels that come with seedlings, then attach a popsicle stick to plant them in the ground so that I'll remember what I've got.

I became entranced with the whole class of climbing roses after coming across an article profiling the different varieties--might've been in Martha Stewart magazine. My fence is chain link, so I was looking for a way to beautify it around the backyard, and add privacy for the apartment complex to the side. I just put in five roses, and could probably use another three to lengthen the line. I'm going to see how these first five take and go from there, as the newer plants would probably be shaded by a big tree. The variety is "Climbing Joseph's Coat," with "lovely flowers in shades of red change to orange and yellow, and bloom on leathery green foliage." Hope they last! Gift Certificates is a website that sells restaurant gift certificates at a fraction of the cost of their face value. Right now they're running a promotion to save 80%! This deal ends Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 11:59PM PST, so act fast.

I've used this website and redeemed the coupons, so I can vouch for this offer personally. They do require a small outlay of cash to the site, so if you forget that you have the coupons, it can be a losing proposition--but if you keep the coupons in your glove box, they may come in handy! And they're so cheap, you can hardly lose. I've given certificates as gifts. I even had great customer service when I realized I'd bought coupons for the wrong location and had to exchange them for ones I could use near my home. The phone center agent was happy to help me correct my mistake.

Do you have any experience with Please leave a comment on the blog so we can start a conversation!

January 29, 2010

Really, Really Free Market Tomorrow!

I've heard on my compact-y websites about free markets, but never been to one. From what I've read, it's a place to bring whatever you no longer use, and take away whatever you find useable, all for free. I found a listing about this event happening *tomorrow* in Pasadena, and thought the poster was so cute it deserved to be shared! The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein was my favorite book as a kid. It makes a great motif for an event like this.

Here's the description from the website where I found out about the event:
Do you have junk that’s been collecting dust in your closet or food or food in the pantry that has remained untouched for months? The Arroyo Time Bank, a really cool community-based center where people barter their time and skills, is presenting its first Really Free Market Bazaar & Potluck. My friend Janine, who has had a big hand in the Eagle Rock Bowling and Drinking Club and works at the The Urban Craft Center, is organizing this fun and games free-for-all. If you like, bring stuff to barter with others. You don’t have to bring anything, just come out and have fun! All items and food will be up for grabs! In addition to bartering, there will be live musical performances from Earthworm Ensemble, and presentations from community orgs such as The Arroyo Food Co-Op, The Funky Freegan Journal, and The Pasadena Post-Carbon Meetup. This is a kid-friendly event with children’s crafts, so bring the tots!

The event is Saturday, January 30th, 4-7pm at
The Armory Center for the Arts
145 N. Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91104

The Armory is easily accessible via the Memorial Park Gold Line Station. Free parking for 90 minutes is available at the Marriot Parking Lot at 171 N. Raymond Ave. Free and metered street parking is also available. Visit the sponsor's website here (click on the events page) for more info.

Please let me know if you go, what you donate, and what you take home by leaving a comment on the blog!

January 20, 2010

Fruit Tree Give-Away at Franklin High

Free Fruit Trees!!!

When: Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 @ 1:30pm Rain or Shine

Where: Franklin High School, 820 N Avenue 54, Los Angeles, 90042. Enter through the Ave 56 gate to the Faculty Parking Lot.

What: 300 Fruit Trees! Apples, Apricots, Peaches, Nectarines, Plums and limited numbers of Citrus. All varieties right for SoCal climate. Trees will be given out on a first come first serve basis.

Who: All people who will plant and take care of their trees are invited to come get one. Trees will be limited to one per household. Schools, Community Gardens and other groups are not limited to one tree though arrangements should be made beforehand. Get there early as trees will be given away on a first come first serve basis.

Why: To promote self-sustainability and combat hunger in Los Angeles.

Sponsored by: Franklin High School and Tree People

For more info: e-mail Reies Flores at

If you participate in this giveaway let me know by posting a comment on the blog!

January 17, 2010

French Toast and Hugs Downtown LA

My friend Shyam has spearheaded French Toast and Hugs, an event at which both are freely handed out! They'll be downtown at 6th & Towne Ave on Sunday, Jan. 24th, starting at 8am. Go here for more info on Shyam's friend Daisy, the event, and how it all began.

January 15, 2010

Affordable Food Networks

Groceries form a major portion of any person or families' monthly budget. Everyone needs to eat, but since that category is not a regularly scheduled bill, often the food budget is the area to be pinched in tough times. One affordable community resource can be a local food ministry.

Treasure Box

The mission of Treasure Box is to partner with faith-based and community-action organizations to provide families with affordable food and bring communities together, one box at a time.

The Treasure Box provides families and individuals with a substantial box of grocery store quality food retailing between $65-100 for just $30 each. The Treasure Box cultivates relationships with more than 500 major food manufacturers across the country to purchase and provide top quality, nutritious food at sizeable volume discounts to the general public.

Each Treasure Box contains between 21-25 pounds of high quality, frozen foods, including chicken, pork, beef, or seafood, as well as vegetables, fruit, a side dish and a dessert. One Treasure Box is enough food to nutritiously feed a family of four lunch and dinner for almost a week or a senior citizen for nearly a month.

The Treasure Boxes are offered through surrounding host locations – community action or outreach programs and faith-based organizations. Representing a savings of nearly 60% off of grocery store prices, The Treasure Box provides a positive and healthy impact to families and individuals during this economically challenging time.

The Treasure Box is a division of Good Source Solutions, a food distribution company with more than 20 years of service to non-profits, higher education institutions, government feeding programs and specialty markets.

In addition to their regular monthly menu, The Treasure Box also offers a Hearty Meat Protein Box and a Quick & Healthy Meal Box.

Angel Food Ministries

Angel Food is available in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $30 per unit. Each month's menu is different than the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $60. Comparison shopping has been done across the country in various communities using a wide range of retail grocery stores and has resulted in the same food items costing from between $42 and $78.

Generally, one unit of food assists in feeding a family of four for about one week or a single senior citizen for almost a month. The food is all the same high quality one could purchase at a grocery store. There are no second-hand items, no damaged or out-dated goods, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is almost too ripe.

Also offered are specialty boxes such as steaks, chicken and pork. Many participants in this bonus program appreciate the expanded choices. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of units or bonus foods an individual can receive, and there are no applications to complete or qualifications to which participants must adhere. Angel Food Ministries also participates in the U.S. Food Stamp program, using the Off-Line Food Stamp Voucher system.

I've never availed myself of these programs because of my specialized vegetarian diet. For a meat-eating typical family, though, these offers can mean the difference between going hungry and eating a balanced diet. Neither of these programs have an income limit or requirement. For a location finder for Treasure Box, click here, and for a local site finder for Angel Food, click here.

Do you use either of these resources, or any other food network? Do you volunteer with their distribution? Please leave a comment on the blog if you have any first-hand experience.

January 13, 2010

Free Coffee Bean Jan 14th 4-7pm

Tomorrow, Thursday January 14th, from 4-7pm, take advantage of a great FREEBIE offer! Click on the image above for the official offer terms or a store finder.

Join Coffee Bean for a complimentary 12oz Heritage drink!

When: Thursday Jan 14, 4pm-7pm
Where: Participating The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® store locations*

*Only valid at participating The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® store locations in CA, AZ, TX. Excludes San Francisco, NV, HI, all Ralphs stores, military base, campus or airport locations. Valid only on January 14, 2010, from 4pm to 7pm. Offer applies to 12oz. Cafe Mocha, Sunrise Ice Blended® or Berry'd Treasure Ice Blended® drink only. No substitutions. Limit one complimentary drink per customer.

January 9, 2010

Laminated Card Ornament

Impressively, mom handmade cards for her and dad's entire holiday card list this year. She's been learning a ton of stamping and papercraft techniques, and certainly put them to use with this card. I thought they were so pretty! (My favorite color is brown) I wanted to save it as an ornament on our tree, so to preserve it I laminated the card at Kinkos, first punching holes for ribbon. I used the inside of the card as the back of the ornament, and added the year it was made.

This is a great way to recycle your favorite greetings that you receive, and a great project for kids. If you do a photo card or enclose a snapshot in your greetings, wouldn't it be fun to see the progressive years on a tree or in a chain as a banner?

Personal, homemade ornaments are my favorites on any tree. I didn't get to put up a tree at my own home this year, but I know I'll be looking for this ornament when I do!

January 5, 2010

The Three Kings--Los Tres Reyes Magos

Tomorrow, Jan 6th, is an annual celebration of The Three Kings on Olvera Street from 630-830P. Los Tres Reyes Magos, the celebration of the Feast of Epiphany, free to the public, will be complete with music, costumes, and a colorful procession of The Three Wise Men along Olvera Street.

From the website:
According to the story, Melchior, Casper and Balthasar, who have been known throughout history as the wise men, the three kings, and the magicians, although they were actually astronomers, saw a star in the east over the town of Bethlehem. They traveled to Bethlehem, and along the way in Judea they saw King Herod and informed him they were journeying to greet the Messiah. Herod told them to let him know where the Messiah had been born.

The men found the baby in a manger, and they offered him three gifts: gold, representing spiritual wealth; frankincense, signifying the earth and the sky; and myrrh, a balm used for medicinal and spiritual purposes. After their visit, an angel warned them that they should not tell Herod about Jesus because his plan was to kill the baby. So the three men wisely took a different path. Meanwhile, Jesus, Mary and Joseph escaped to Egypt.

The Feast of Epiphany is celebrated on January 6, the twelfth day after December 25, symbolizing the end of the 12 days of Christmas. Eastern Orthodox Christians have historically celebrated Christmas on January 6.

The website where I found out about this event listed a calendar for 2008--however, it did state this was a yearly event held on the 6th. If the event's been discontinued, Olvera street is still a cool place to hang out, with great restaurants and boutique shops.

If you go, let me know how busy the event turns out to be by leaving a comment on the blog. I'll do my best to check it out too.

January 4, 2010

Mom's Rose Chenille Knitted Scarf

One resolution I had at the beginning of 2009 was to learn to knit. It took me all year, but here's my first completed project. I made a long scarf for my mom from some thick chenille yarn, which helped to keep the rows even and hide any flaws. I embellished it with tassels at each end, and a ribbon rose pinned on for easy washing. It's hard to tell from the photos, but this was a really long scarf--I wish I'd taken the time to measure it. I loved the variegated red/cream yard paired with the solid cream yarn. The variegation gave the coloring a bit of depth. My mom lives in cold winter temperatures, so the thickness should be great for her. Next year I'll have to learn to purl!

One tip that I was given when learning to knit was to save the paper wrappers from your skeins, and pin them to the project if you're giving it as a gift, so that the recipient will know the content of the thread to launder it properly.

Do you knit or crochet? How did you learn, and what do you like to make? Leave a comment for me on the blog with your suggestions.
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