Bucket List: FAIL – Donate Blood

So as many of you know by this point, I’ve been actively working towards checking things off my Bucket List. This year alone has been pretty successful and I’ve been able to do so many things that I’ve been thinking of doing for a long time! 🙂 I’ve also been able to share some fun stories with you about Bucket List items that I completed in the past like: Why I Started My Blog, Skydiving, Ice Fishing, Getting a Pixie Cut, Dying My Hair Pink, Taking a Pottery Class, Bungee Jumping, and Going to the Seattle Gum Wall!

Sometimes, plans don’t always go the way you plan for them to go. Obviously, by the title you know that my attempt to Donate Blood did not go the way I expected it to go! I had convinced my Mom to donate blood with me because I had never done it before and neither had she. For those of you that don’t know, I am extremely needle-phobic. I go into a cold sweat. My eyes make a deer in headlights look calm. When I was little and in elementary school, the dreaded Needle Lady would come to our classroom and give the teacher a notice about when the next date of vaccinations would be. I’d ask what day it was, mark it in my agenda and promptly schedule a severe headache that day. I missed needle day for years. I was actually quite proud of myself. It wasn’t until the other summer when my sister and I went to Rio, that I had to get countless shots to catch me up from the many I missed growing up… Anyways, I was going to face one of my biggest fears and I was going to try something new and I had full intentions of dragging my mother along with me! 😉

I had booked our appointments online at the local clinic. My mom would go first, then if she survived, I would go afterwards. “WHAT? Really…? That’s mature of you…” she said to me when I told her. That Saturday morning came and we made our way to the clinic. My Mom and I went through the “First Time Donor” procedure and the nurses there gave us both stickers, “Be Nice To Me I’m New!” At first I thought the stickers were cute, but then it got me thinking that the staff must need reminders so that victims are suckered into returning and donating again. Afterwards, we waited for our individual examinations.

I was taken into one room and she was taken into another. The lady on the other side of the desk asked the basic health and medication questions and then told me would take a sample of my blood to test for iron and sugar levels. I know she only pricked my finger to draw a drop of blood, but I feel the urge to say that she stabbed me… Anyways, she took a sample, popped it into a small machine that displayed some numbers. After reading the results she looked back at me, eyes wide. “Sooooo your iron levels are incredibly low…” she paused, probably for a dramatic affect. “We can test again, but your iron levels are nearly thirty points lower than the average person your age should be, so I don’t think another try will change anything.” The lady stabbed my finger on the opposite hand and popped the second blood sample into the machine. The numbers increased by two points. “Sorry, I can’t let you donate your blood today. Instead, I would highly recommend you booking an appointment with your family doctor to explore your iron levels more closely.” I didn’t know what to say. I sat there quiet. Thinking. And then it hit me – I wouldn’t have to give my blood at all today! I was done! But then it also hit me….. what about Mom?

I exited the small office and saw my Mom seated in the holding pen gripping her bag of tubes. She was smiling – probably thankful that she wasn’t going to be donating alone… As I sat next to her, trying to suppress my laughter of relief, she looked at me anxiously, “Where’s your bag? Didn’t they give you a bag of tubes?” “Well….” I started to say, then burst into giggles. “They won’t let me donate today – They tested my blood and deemed my iron levels too low!” I was covering my mouth trying to hold back the laughter. “NO. No, no, no!” My Mom argued, “I AM ONLY HERE BECAUSE OF YOU!!!! I didn’t want to do this – I was supposed to be YOUR support!!” I was laughing. I had no words. As she looked at me in shock, her name was called. “Charlene, we’ll get you started over here”.
“I can not believe this is happening…” My Mom said in disbelief as she got up and made her way to the massive chair. As the nurse prepped her I tried to apologize, but there was no way it was coming out heartfelt. “I’m going to get you for this.” She said to me. As the tube turned red I held her hand and made sure that I was supportive of the good thing she was doing. “You are saving a life today Mom! Look at this good thing you are doing Mom – This is happy!”
   When the bag was full and the lady had unplugged my Mom we made our way to the resting area. They had loads of snacks for everyone to regain their energy. I was halfway through my juice box and pack of cookies when my Mom said, “HEY. You do not even deserve those! I can’t believe you’re actually eating these snacks right now…. You still have all of your blood! There’s a bag of me back there – Those cookies and juices boxes are for people like me.”

So in the end I did not get to check “Donate Blood” off my Bucket List – But I will most definitely be trying again. I’ve been able to observe my Mom for a couple weeks now and she seems pretty healthy 😉 “You know, I am thankful for that experience. Even though we were aiming to donate together, it was fun to try something new with you!” Mom and I talked about other things that were on my Bucket List, specifically about things that could only happen by chance like winning the lottery, having twins, and being summoned for jury duty. “Why on earth would you want jury duty?” she asked. “I just think it would be cool to serve as a Canadian citizen in that way”. Literally the following week Mom received a letter in the mail summoning her for jury duty. It seems her and I are on a road to accomplish Bucket List tasks together!!

Enjoy this life guys and embrace new and old, scary and fun 🙂

– Stay Satisfied

 

Bucket List: Seattle Gum Wall

Often when I travel somewhere I’ll Google what the top tourist attractions are in a city. Yeah, yeah, I know “Tourist Attractions” are the worst and ultra tacky and should be avoided at all costs – But really when you think about it, they’re popular places to check out for a reason. However, I did not have to Google the famous Seattle Gum Wall to know that I wanted to stick a piece of my own gum to the wall 🙂 For those of your who don’t know; the Gum Wall is a brick wall covered in used chewing gum in an alleyway in downtown Seattle. It’s located in Post Alley under Pike Place Market with a unique fragrance of fruit + mint.

I’ll confess that I did a little bit of research on the history of this place because I’m a nerd and I like knowing these things. The wall is by the box office for the Market Theater, and the tradition began around 1993 when people would stick their gum to the wall and push coins in the gum blobs. Theater workers scraped the gum away twice, but eventually gave up aftermarket officials deemed the gum wall a tourist attraction around 1999. It was named one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009, and it is a popular site with wedding photographers which I find ultra weird… Like, I understand wedding photos in back alleys and industrial areas but this one is covered in gum… why is this a romantic place for couple shots? My sister and I are a different story – We’re two girls checking events off our Bucket Lists 🙂 Our family made the pit-stop to all stick pieces of our gum to the wall! What was crazy, was that a couple years ago – My sister and Dad were in Seattle visiting our brother at school and they went to stick a piece of gum on the wall, but when they went, they happened to be there when the gum wall was receiving a total scrub down for maintenance and steam cleaned for the first time in 20 years!!! SO CRAZY FOR TIMING. When we looked into it, we learned that it was announced by the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority that to prevent further erosion of the bricks on the walls from the sugar in the gum, it would all be stripped on November 10, 2015. Apparently, it took 130 hours to complete, and they removed over 2,350 pounds of gum. My Dad and sister were there that day watching it being cleaned!! I can’t imagine Gum Wall before it was stripped – That was over a decade of chewed bubble gum built up! It was probably repulsive – Especially in the summer heat… At first people were wondering if they would allow the tradition to continue but sure enough after the cleaning was finished a couple days later, gum began to be re-added to the wall immediately.

Keep chasing those Bucket List tasks guys!

– Stay Satisfied

Bucket List: Bungee Jumping

A few years ago I had the opportunity to go bungee jumping! At the time I was living on Thetis Island in BC, Canada – There aren’t many places people can go bungee jumping in the flat prairies of Saskatchewan. Obviously, I was thrilled at the chance to jump off somewhere of high altitude! We had found out a couple months prior to the jump day; I was so excited I called my family back home to tell them. “ABSOLUTELY NOT.” My Mom stated. As I listened as to my parents explain why bungee jumping is not the brightest idea, I got more excited about the event.

The day finally came where my friends and I would all hop in a giant 15 passenger van and drive a few hours to the bridge we would all willingly jump off of. I had decided to not tell my parents until after I had jumped. A couple weeks previous to this glorious moment, I had spent the weekend at my Aunt and Uncle’s place. While I was there hangin out with the crew, I told them about my plan. The catch was that I was too young at the time to sign the waiver for myself…. so I asked my Aunt to sign the waiver for me. I had brought the forms with me and she agreed that as long as I wouldn’t die, she would sign.


In all honesty, when I look back at this adventure, I relate to Rapunzel from Disney’s: Tangled. “I CAN’T BELIEVE I DID THIS!!!” As we were driving we took a quick pit stop at Tim Horton’s – everyone was getting snacks and coffee but there was no way I was able to consume anything! I was way to excited!! Once we finally got to the bridge, we walked through the forest to the bridge and up what felt like a million stairs. With each step I felt my palms sweating and my heart racing. I kept looking up to the top of the bridge where the stairs finally ended and I couldn’t believe what I was about to do!

Walking across the bridge to the center where we would soon jump off, I looked over the side and saw the river below. My eyes were wide like coconuts and I was grinning ear to ear. I felt like life was happening in slow motion. The bungee jumping team came and gave us the safety low-down but I did not hear a word they said. I was getting so excited. I watched as my friends one by one had their ankles tied and jumped off the bridge. It was incredible to even just watch someone else jump! When my turn finally came they opened the gate, sat me down and began to tie my feet with the bungee cord. My heart was beating so fast I swear I could see it pounding in my chest. Before I waddled out to the ledge, I texted a photo of the ledge to my Mom with the message, “Guess what I’m doing today”. Then gave my phone to the jump team and made my way to the ledge.

It’s incredible, even though I had previously looked over the edge of the bridge just minutes ago, it looked so much higher with my ankles tied, toes over the edge and no banister in front of me. I stood on the ledge. For a really long time. The 2 minutes felt like a decade. It wasn’t until my friends watching starting counting down, “10   –   9   –   8   –   7” they yelled. I slowly raised my hands above my head, “6   –   5   –   4” I closed my eyes, “3   –   2” I slowly tilted forward, “1!” My body fell. I couldn’t breath the feeling of free fall engulfed me.

So many people say that they would not be able to bungee jump because their back wouldn’t be able to take the snap back once the whole bungee cord is stretched out. I’m happy to tell you that there was absolutely no snap back because when you jump, the cord slowly stretches out and slowly retracts while you are in the air. Even after my jump I had no light-headedness. As I fell and bounced up all I could do was scream and laugh – This was AMAZING.

As I hung upside-down, I could only giggle. I wanted to jump again and again! I was vibrating I was so happy. They slowly lowered me to a trampoline floating  on the river. As they untied me and we made our way to the river edge, I continued to watch the rest of my friends jump from the bridge screaming with joy. We all wanted to jump multiple times but unfortunately there was only enough time for one jump per person.

I hope to one day bungee jump the Grand Canyon – I think it would be an incredible experience now that I’ve tried [and loved] bungee jumping off this bridge!

– Stay Satisfied

Bucket List: Take a Pottery Class

I have been loving the pursuit of being intentional with my Bucket List. One of the things on my Bucket List was to take a pottery class. So my Mom and I decided to sign up for a local class from 4 Cats Art Studio here in the city! We weren’t too specific when it came to taking classes… I didn’t want to sign up for something that would be a couple months worth of classes, we wanted a one time, drop-in class to try pottery out! When I was in elementary school, I had the opportunity of taking a beginners pottery class for a semester which taught me all of the clay pottery basics. This class was very similar to that, we signed up for the Lazy Morning Sloth Clay Mug class.

Enjoy each morning with possibly the cutest animal in the history of universe—the sloth! In this workshop, you get to hand build, design and glaze your very own sloth mug from clay.

My Mom and I were both so impressed with the class hosted by 4 Cats Art Studio and had so much fun making our own clay mugs! When we showed up, we all sat around a giant table and watch our curator’s 15 minute step by step instructions. After the demo, we got over an hour to sculpt our clay, get creative and add the details. What we really liked was how the creating time was self-directed for us to enjoy the process of creating! Our group laughed because 4 Cats Art Studio had a Zero Tolerance for mug shaming policy.

The goal of the sloth mug was to make a nice, plump shape – perfect for your hands to cup and hold. There were 20 people in the class and it was quite funny to see how all of the sloths developed differently. There were tall and skinny sloths and fat sloths. My problem was that I simply loved playing with the clay, the texture was so soft and cool. Honestly I could’ve just squished the wet clay all day! Ultimately I decided to make a huge fat sloth because I’d be able to have a bigger cup of coffee that way 😉

Our curator showed us how to add a handle to the mug and mold the facial pieces for the front of the mug. After we created our beautiful, unique sloths we got to mix our glazing colours and add the life to them! My handle was ridiculously oversized… but there was no going back. I chose to mix grey and pink together while my Mom picked a vibrant blue. Afterwards the mugs stayed in the studio for a week to completely dry. Once our little sloths were dry they were put into the studio’s kiln for their two firings. Our curator called this the ‘bisque fire’. After our clay mugs were bisque fired, our mugs were given a glossy glaze and fired again, then they were ready for pick up!



Surprisingly enough, the mugs were a success and hold liquid with out leaking. I’m looking forward to trying more classes like this! It was so fun to make a memory with my Mom – Her’s definitely turned out more elegant than mine did… as elegant as a sloth can be anyways 😉 I’m thinking this would be something I’d love to do with my whole family in the near future because watching my Dad sculpt a mug out of clay would be pretty fantastic!

Psalm118:24, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

Bucket List: Dye My Hair Pink

I finally did it! I coloured all of my hair pink. I am ecstatic! This has been something that I’ve had in the works for a couple years now – Of course only a few people knew this was something that I was ever actually planning on doing – Which made it all the more fun to show up to work and church the next day and get to see people’s surprised looks all day! Originally I was planning on colouring my hair pink at the same time I had cut it off into my pixie. But in the moment I felt one extreme change was enough. Roughly a year ago I told my hairdresser; Kara, what I wanted to do and she was totally in! “YES. I think you definitely need to do this! But we’ll work you up to it.” She explained, “It’s not healthy for your hair to do all at once. What we’ll do is over the next couple of months, is slowly weave more highlights into your head and lighten it one level at a time. Then when your ready and your hair has gotten light enough we’ll throw the pink in!” The idea even a year ago made me beyond excited!

It’s been years since I wanted to colour my whole head pink and as the trends came and went from ombre-ing a non-natural colour in, to having a couple streaks or dip dyeing the ends – I knew the whole time that I wanted to cover my entire head with the glorious, happy colour. What slowly adding highlights did was allow my hair to take the toner without becoming weak, dry and brittle. It allowed me to take care of my hair between 3 month treatments to maintain the strength, shine and overall hair health. I’ll be honest, for the past while I’ve been doing natural Do-It-Yourself hair masks using just a couple kitchen ingredients. One of my favourites has been 1 or 2 raw eggs, a tablespoon of honey, another tablespoon of aloe vera and sometimes I’d add a scoop of my own extra strength conditioner. I’d whisk it together and smother the goop in my hair and leave it in a shower cap for 20 minutes. Afterwards, I’d rinse it out with cool water. Seriously, the Saskatchewan dryness is the worst….

Anyways, after months Kara had gotten my hair to a light tone to take on the pink! I booked my hair appointment immediately after work and once I showed up she worked her magic! Kara had done research herself for the best brands and colouring agents. She ended up mixing four different bottles of colours to achieve the perfect ash-pink. I had told her that it would be my worst nightmare come true to have flamingo/ bubble gum pink hair…. Kara completely agreed.

As she weaved my hair and worked it into foils my stomach was doing summer-salts. I couldn’t contain how thrilled I was that this was finally happening! Obviously my sister knew what was going down and all day my Mom had been grilling her with questions about how she thought I was up to something with Kara. As the time went by in the hair dressing chair the more anxious I was getting! I have to confess that I absolutely love getting my hair washed by other people – the head massage is simply incredible. Kara added the pink toners and conditioners and I knew I was SO close to seeing what I have hoped for, for years!

I took off my glasses right at the start because I’m as blind as a bat and wanted the finished reveal to be a surprise. As we walked from the chair to the sink I avoided looking in all of the mirrors – I refuse to let my curiosity get the better of myself!Sure enough, at the end Kara gave me he grand reveal and she just crushed it. The colouring was everything I had hoped it to be! The best part was that she had ordered extra product for me to maintain the colour myself at home. You’ll be seeing the pink locks for a little while now ❤ I want to encourage you guys to keep chasing those dreams and taking the risks! You will never regret it – even if things don’t always turn out the way we hope them to. I know I’d rather try and know instead of always wondering and wish I did 🙂

– Stay Satisfied

Bucket List: Get a Pixie Cut

I have had long blonde locks my whole life. Until I cut it all off not even three years ago and got the pixie cut I’ve wanted for years. Although I wanted a pixie for years, almost everyone told me that I would absolutely hate myself after I cut it all off. Even still, I couldn’t stop that nagging feeling of wanting to chop it all off! I was in my last couple months of Interior Design and one random night I decided I was going to do it. I was going to cut all my hair off. The next day at school I asked one of my girl friends if she could hook me up with her hairdresser in town – because I obviously didn’t have one. A couple hours later the appointment was booked and I was ecstatic! I didn’t tell anyone except for my friends who also demanded to come with me so that I wouldn’t back out. Later that afternoon I called my sister because I had to tell someone from home – it was too much to keep to myself! “YEEESSSSSSS DO IT!” I remember my sister encouraging me over the phone when I told her. “I won’t tell anyone – you should just come home for the Easter weekend and see what people’s reaction is!” Brilliant. So I decided not to tel anyone else.

Before Hair CutHowever, I did end up caving and telling my Dad over the phone just before I left to go get it cut because I was so excited. “Mmmmk, well I guess do what you want – it’s just hair.” My Dad told me, ” Have you told your Mom?” he asked.
I laughed, “No I haven’t told Mom – she’s the one that doesn’t want me to get it cut off the most!”
“No, no, no – you have to call her and tell her! Because, if you get it cut and just come home without saying anything; she’s going to see you and pretend to love it. Then, when we are going to bed that night she’ll ask me if I knew about this and I’ll have to say yes!”
Valid. So in order to keep my Dad out of the dog house, I called my Mom on the drive to the hair dresser, “Mom…..” “What…?” “I have a hair appointment booked.” “NO!!! No! No! Don’t do it!” she screamed. I laughed and told her that it was too late- I was excited and on my way there.

When I got to the hairdresser, she took one look at me and refused to cut my hair. “No way woman! I’m not cutting all your hair off! I am not dealing with you crying in my chair 10 minutes from now!”
“But this is what I want! Trust me!” I remember telling her.
“Nope – I’ve been caught in this situation before and last time it was horrible. I’m not doing it.” She argued.
“Well then give me the scissors and let me hack it off, then you’ll have to fix it.” Her eyes widened; she realized that I legitimately wanted a pixie cut and grabbed a cape. She sat me down in the chair.
“Are you sure?” she asked.
“Yes.”
She put the cape around me and pulled my hair back into a long thick braid.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes.”
She held the scissors open next to my braid.
“Are you sure you are sure???”
“Cut it.”
She started to clip. I could feel the hair being cut away.

Cutting the Braid
I reached back and felt nothing. I was SO HAPPY! The hair dresser was laughing, my friends were in shock that I actually followed through and I was beaming. After cutting off a 16 inch braid she buzzed and clipped the rest of my head into the pixie I always wanted. My head felt so light. I was so weird to shake my head and not feel my hair whip to the left or right. I had a bare neck….

Getting Up

What was awesome, is that after she finished cutting my hair she squirt the gel in my hand and showed me how to style my own hair right there in the salon! I had been watching YouTube videos all week about how to style a pixie but this was fantastic! I loved my new hair!

Finished

To be honest, it’s crazy to think that this was only a couple years ago – sometimes I see photos of myself with long hair and I don’t recognize myself. Classes were wonderful the next day. My friends that came with me didn’t say a word to anyone. When I showed up to classes the next morning one my profs introduced himself. I enjoyed seeing everyone’s faces drop and hearing everyone’s reaction. I had finally gotten my pixie cut and donated 16 inches of my hair to cancer patients. Guys, there are a lot of things in life that God has given us the freedom to do simply out of joy. I want to encourage you to live your life on a limb. Have fun with God and do things you’ve always wanted to do – God gave us this life to be lived in the fullest through Him. Don’t hold back and be free!

 

– Stay Satisfied

Bucket List: Ice Fishing

I wish I had more opportunities to go fishing, hunting and camping. I love those things, but I rarely get to do them! It has always been on my bucket list to go fishing and to eat our catch that same day – the freshest fish ever possible. Although I did catch fish while ice fishing – we didn’t exactly eat “my catch” because I caught Tullibee instead of some Wall-Eye… but that’s a minor detail 🙂  A couple people from my church offered to lead an ice fishing day trip to a lake roughly an hour out of the city for who ever wanted to come. Without giving it a second thought I counted myself apart of the fishing party! My Dad and my little brother also went on the day trip. One of my New Years Resolutions this year was to check one thing off of my Bucket List every month – This was the perfect opportunity because not only were my odds good but the more people that fished, the more fish there would be to eat later!

It was a gorgeous morning! All month it’s been around 30 below zero + wind chill. Why do people live here where the air hurts our face and the snot freezes inside our noses when we breath? But today it was so nice: just below zero, no wind and full of sunshine! Dad, Addison and I hopped in the van, met up with the others at the church and were on our way to the lake.


Since we rarely go fishing, hunting or camping (and when I say rarely I mean like… not at all…) we obviously don’t have any gear. So us three stuck with Rolph; who is an ice fishing expert and had all the fancy equipment. Rolph let Addison and I drill our own holes in the ice and showed us the best way to feel through the fishing rod when someone was taking a nibble. After he got us all set up and he had drilled extra holes for his ice riggers, he tossed some buckets our way and said,

You haven’t ice fished until you’ve done it sitting on a bucket!


Before we knew it Addison had pulled up a fish and another had stolen my bait!


I prayed as I sat on my bucket and looked at my fishing rod, “Jesus, please allow Dad, Addison and I to catch at least one fish today! Thank you for already providing a fish for Addison – please also give one to Dad and I.”



I was beyond ecstatic to catch a fish! It seems like such a small success to others – but I was over the moon!


As the the day continued, Dad still had not caught a fish! Lunch approached and we filleted right there on the ice, battered and fired them up – Absolutely delicious! I could’ve ate that fresh fish all the way until supper!

Even though the excitement of Addison and I catching a fish right off the hop lasted longer into the day than we expected, it did dye off sooner than we had hoped. I was feeling bad for my Dad whole had been standing next to a hole in the lake for hours with nothing!

“You thought sitting at your office job was boring – What do ya think about sitting on a bucket on a frozen lake for hours?!”

I prayed again that God would give Dad a fish – also knowing that as soon as Dad got one, we’d be able to get home to warm baths 😉 After the fish had stolen his bait a couple times, 3:00pm rolled around and Dad finally got his revenge on the fish!!!

We all got our fish and I was so thankful for the opportunity to go with family and friends from my church! It was so much fun – I can’t wait to go again (and hopefully catch more than one)!

– Stay Satisfied