Tag Archives: San Diego County

Fifteen Reasons to Donate Blood

I went in for my bi-monthly blood donation appointment today.  No matter how many times I donate, I still get a little nervous and queasy if I think about it too much.

All that said, there is never a doubt in my mind before, during or after the donation that it is the right thing to do.  I saw firsthand the importance of blood donation when my stepfather went through a grueling treatment for leukemia a year ago.  His blood transfusions were vital to his recovery.

If you’re on the fence about donating, here are some reasons (some selfish and some selfless) to do it:

  1. Whether you know it or not, you likely know someone who is alive today because of a blood transfusion they received.
  2. It is free to donate.
  3. There are a number of reasons that someone may need a blood transfusion, such as surgery (hip replacement), cancer treatment (chemo), burn victim, or a bad car accident.
  4. People of all ages can accept blood transfusions, including babies and children.
  5. You get to eat as many treats as you want after you are done donating.
  6. If you are a blood-type match with a loved one, your donation can be designated for a specific person in need.
  7. Most of the time there are major deficits in blood banks.
  8. You’ve got plenty of blood to spare.  The average adult has 10-12 pints of blood in his or her body.  Your body replenishes the blood deficit within 24 hours.
  9. It doesn’t hurt.
  10. Geography doesn’t matter.  There are blood banks and mobile donation centers every where.  If you can’t find one, most hospitals take donations directly on site.
  11. At any time you may need blood to help you survive.  You better bet at the time you need blood you’ll be grateful to those people who donated to you.
  12. While donating, you’re surrounded by nurses and health care professionals. If you faint or something goes wrong, you’re in good hands.
  13. You get a free health screening.  After donating you get information on your cholesterol, blood pressure, pulse and more.
  14. Some organizations, like the San Diego Blood Bank, offer incentive points for each donation made that can be redeemed for cool prizes like jackets, beach chairs and gift certificates.
  15. The people at the blood banks are so kind, cheerful and very grateful that you came.  From the time I arrive until the time I leave, I am told “thank you for donating” at least 10 times.

If you are in San Diego County, here are a few places you can go to donate:

If you’re on the fence, I’d be happy to answer questions for you or even schedule my next appointment with you so we can donate together.

Give blood.  Give life.


Filed under Community, General, Health, Resources

Fiesta de los Penasquitos

We moved to the burbs about five months ago.  I was leery about this change, to say the least.  However, since being here I have felt an overwhelming sense of community and have quickly settled in.  Yesterday was the 15th annual Fiesta de los Penasquitos – a family oriented annual street faire for residents of the Rancho Penasquitos community.

This community festival exceeded my expectations.  It was jam-packed and it seemed like every single resident came out to enjoy the fun.  There were carnival rides, ponies, booths with community information, crafts for sale, food and entertainment.  It reminded me a lot of the annual community festival in my hometown – the Conejo Valley Days.

It is nice to have a sense of community in my adopted home town.  I’ve lived in San Diego for 12 years now and this is the first time I have really felt that sense of community involvement – aside from the overall San Diego County pride.

Here is a little more about the event from the website:

Approximately 15,000 people will set foot in Rancho Peñasquitos to attend the annual “Fiesta de los Penasquitos” community festival. The Fiesta de los Penasquitos is a family oriented annual street faire for residents of the Rancho Penasquitos community.

The festival has been an annual event since 1995 and is the largest event of the year for the Rancho Penasquitos Town Council. In keeping with the tradition of past events, all proceeds from the event are returned to the community in the form of individual and organizational grant awards. The 15th Annual Fiesta de los Penasquitos is being held on Sunday, May 2, from 11am to 5pm. The event is FREE to the public and is sponsored by the Rancho Penasquitos Town Council.

This year’s entertainment will feature four unique zones: the “family fun zone”, the “adventure zone”, the “community zone” and the “carnival zone”. With over 150 vendors providing arts & crafts, food, home improvement tips, a rock climbing wall and Fiesta Fun Tent for children of all ages as – there’s truly something for everyone!


Filed under Activities, Entertainment, Family, General, Home, Shopping, Sights, Tradition

BuyWithMe – Just $15 for 2 movie tickets AND $14 in concessions at UltraStar Cinemas (a $36 value)

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Filed under Drinks, Eats, Entertainment, Resources, Sights

Addicted to Golden Share

If you are a carry-over reader from The Trail Mix Trials or a friend of mine, you’ve likely seen/heard me talk about Golden Share Foods before.  If not, Golden Share is the largest food sharing co-op in Southern California. 

Each month, they put out a menu of grocery packages to order, and then at the end of the month you go to your pick-up location and get it.  The savings is knock-your-socks-off good.  We’re talking about enough meat to last an entire month or enough food to stock your pantry for less than $30, respectively.   The prices are so good, we can’t stop going back for more.

And yes, it’s legit stuff. They even offer organic produce.  We still haven’t finished our order from last month and this Friday it is already time to pick up the February order.  

If you’re looking to save a buck, Golden Share is the way to go.  It is open to any one that makes a difference in their community.


Filed under Cooking, Family, General, Home, Shopping

The View from the Nest

It is no secret that I fantasize about some day living life on a farm filled with animals and crops.  If you tune into Martha Stewart from time-to-time she features people who have  done just that – gone from a high-paced corporate life to a seemingly simpler farming lifestyle. (Though we all know that farming is not simple work.)

A few years back I had the opportunity to visit my friend Lawrence Hornbake’s parent’s alpaca farm in Gettysburg and experience firsthand what these people are all about.  The Hornbake’s have one of the most interesting life stories around – he started out to be a monk and she a nun, both changed paths, met one another, worked in corporate America, started a few businesses on the side and now are full-time alpaca farmers.  Check out their great set-up here

I admire their ability to morph their passions into their careers and think of them often.  Yesterday, I got a taste of that same phenomenon again – right here in San Diego County. 

Dennis Grimes

We recently made some new friends, Dennis and Julie Grimes, who started Eagle’s Nest Winery in Ramona.  Julie is a college professor and Dennis is an engineer – both are military veterans.  They both grew tired of living on top of their neighbors in metropolitan San Diego, and decided to embrace a longer commute to work in exchange for space and living out their passion. 

They invited us up to their beautiful home and winery, which is where the wine is grown, processed and bottled.  Yesterday we decide to go visit.  When we arrived,we were greeted by Julie and their rescue Doberman pincer, Duke.  They welcomed us as if we were royalty and graciously showed us around the property, explaining each step of the wine-making process. 

I’ve tasted a lot of wine in my day, but never have I received such a thorough education and knowledge of each step – particularly by the people who own the winery and actually make the wine.  Each sample they gave us came straight from the barrel, had a story behind it and was made with lots of TLC. It goes without saying that they were all delicious and very drinkable, with premium taste at very average prices. All of the love and work put into each wine has paid off as Eagle’s Nest wines are starting to rack up awards for their excellence.

 My favorite part of the winery were the four-legged creatures that live there.  Aside from Duke, there are three darling mini-Shelties and three Babydoll sheep.  Each animal plays an integral part in the winery.  Duke is the main greeter, the Shelties add the colorful commentary and the sheep keep the weeds trimmed and the ground naturally fertilized.  The winery is a big place and the Grimes’ do not use pesticides or chemicals, so the sheep are employed as full-time groundskeepers. 

In return for their hard work, each animal has its picture on a label of one of Eagle’s Nest’s wines.  Our favorites were the one with Duke, one with the sheep and one with the Shelties. 

I left a piece of my heart with the Grimes family yesterday.  They invited us back again a we very well may take them up on it. Eagle’s Nest is a working winery without a formal tasting room for the  public.  They are always happy to make new friends so if you want to check it out, give them a call to set something up.  If you can’t make the trek any time soon, then you can always  buy the wine online here

If you are on Twitter and want to chat directly with Julie and Dennis, follow them @eaglesnestwine.

Buy local. Help your neighbors. Support small business.


Filed under Activities, Animals, Sights