The Gift of Life

By Cathy Deyo

Perhaps some info on why donating blood and what happens before and during the procedure will encourage first timers to donate. I have been donating for 50 years and feel it is a duty and a blessing.  — Cathy

From World Health Organization – Blood Products – Blood Donation:

Why should people donate blood?

Safe blood saves lives. Blood is needed by women with complications during pregnancy and childbirth, children with severe anaemia, often resulting from malaria or malnutrition, accident victims and surgical and cancer patients.

There is a constant need for a regular supply of blood because it can be stored only for a limited period of time before use. Regular blood donation by a sufficient number of healthy people is needed to ensure that blood will always be available whenever and wherever it is needed.

Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person – the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components – red cells, platelets and plasma – which can be used individually for patients with specific conditions.

What happens when I give blood?

Whether you are a first-time or regular donor, the blood service must make sure that you will come to no harm by donating blood. This includes checking your blood to be sure it will be safe for the person who receives it.

Before you give blood, you will be asked questions about your medical history, including any medication you are taking, and about your current health and lifestyle. You may also be asked about recent travel; for example, if you live in a country where there is no malaria, you may be asked whether you have recently visited a tropical country. These questions will be asked only to safeguard your own health and the health of the person receiving your blood. You will be told whether you are eligible to give blood and, if not, whether you may be able to donate blood in the future. Any personal information that you give will be kept confidential and will not be used for any other purpose.

It is very important to be truthful about any reasons why your blood might not be suitable. Although blood is always tested for infections that can be transmitted by transfusion, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis, a test may not be able to detect a very recent infection. This means that even though the blood may test negative for a particular infection, it might still infect a patient receiving a blood transfusion.

After answering the questions you will also be given a brief medical examination that may include checking your pulse and blood pressure and ensuring that your weight meets a certain minimum. A drop of blood will then be taken from your fingertip to check that giving blood will not make you anaemic. Your health is very important to the blood transfusion service and blood will not be taken unless you can safely give a donation that day.

Donating blood is very simple. You will be made as comfortable as possible, usually in a special chair or on a bed. The area inside one of your elbows will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution before a trained health worker inserts a sterile needle, connected to a blood collection bag, into your vein. It usually takes about 10 minutes to donate blood.

After resting for 10 or 15 minutes and taking some refreshment, you will be able to return to your normal activities, although you should avoid strenuous activity for the rest of the day. You should drink plenty of fluids over the next 24 hours.

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A Relative of the Common Cold

By Jackie Deal

Ahh-chew! “Doggone cold.  It’s my third one this year”.  We can send a man to the moon, why can’t we find a cure for the common cold?  Did you know that your common cold is related to Covid 19? Covid is caused by the “the family of viruses that cause the common cold.” The virus causing Covid first appeared in 2003 as SARS CoV-2.  SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.  (A syndrome is just a collection of symptoms.)  SARS confined itself mainly to foreign countries so we weren’t too affected. And peace reigned until 2019.

Since then we’ve heard about Covid strains, variants, RNA, mutations and other garbage and does any of it make sense?  Let’s see if we can make a wee bit of sense out of it.  (Most of the info’ that follows was taken from articles by CDC and reputable hospital sites, e.g. Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Hospital, and John Hopkins etc.)

Let’s put SARS to bed first.  The genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 is RNA.  RNA stands for ribonucleic acid. CoV-2 is a nasty little bum; it “hijacks a host cell”. Host that’s you and duplicates itself.  Sometimes errors occur in this duplication process and this causes a mutation.  Viruses with mutations are called variants.  A variant is called a strain when it shows “distinct physical properties”.  That is, it is “built differently and behaves differently from the original.”

We get all upset because Covid has gone through so many variants, over “50 mutations” so far.  Thank goodness, we haven’t heard about all of them.  Scientists classify variants this way:

Variants of Interest:  these have “greater transmissibility, evasion of immunity or cause more serious disease” .  In other words they spread easier, they don’t respond to vaccinations as well and they do cause serious disease.

Next up:  Variants of Concern: they are more infectious, more likely to break through vaccinations, and more likely to cause severe disease.  These include: alpha, beta, gamma, delta and omicron. Now add omicron’s variants: B.1.1. 529, B.A.1, BA.1.1., BA.2, BA3, BA4, BA5!  (There will be a test on all this at the end!)

And one more: Variants of High Consequence:  variants for which vaccines do NOT provide protection.  Fortunately, as of this time, there are none of these!

“Breakthrough infections in people who are vaccinated are expected.”  So why bother?? A March 2022 study from CDC showed that people “who had received 2 or 3 of the vaccinations had a 90% reduction in risk of hospital ventilation or death”.  In short, unless you really want to try being on a ventilator: get vaccinated.

John Hopkins Medicine says, “it is the nature of RNA viruses such as Corona to evolve and change.  For example the flu virus changes often, which is why doctors recommend you get a new flu vaccine every year.”  Will we have to put up with Covid variants and new vaccines?  Yes, of course, it’s its “nature”.   So hang in there, colds, flu, Covid: fight ‘em and don’t give up!

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Amber Does Know What a Mouse Is

By Jackie Deal

Amber (my cat) is playing with one of her stuffed mousies in the corner. Isn’t that cute? She’s acting like it’s a real mouse. That’s so cu-uUUUT !! A 2 ½ inch dark brown mouse streaked across the floor and jumped onto my foot. For one second I debated: did I want squashed mouse guts all over my rug? YES! I stomped but too late. Mouse scampered into the corner and Amber hurtled after it. It squirreled away behind some immovable furniture and Amber lost that round.

She hasn’t given up. Every day she goes on mouse patrol. Around the perimeter of the room, sniffing into the furnace vent, trying to pry open the kitchen cupboards. Once a mouse, always a mouse, right?

What could I do to help? Poison might catch Amber instead of the mouse. And those old fashioned snap traps could snap on her pretty little ballerina paws. Then my neighbor gave me the neatest mouse trap. It’s a blue plastic cylinder. In one end you put cheese and the other end is a little trap door which snaps shut behind the mouse when it enters.

So far no mouse. The trap is ready and so is Amber. I really think she’s scared it away for good and I can just imagine it saying to its family and friends, “Stay away from there. There’s a big black panther living there!”

Posted in Creative Work, General Interest, Humor | 4 Comments

Volunteers Needed to Install Rubber Mats on Pathways – Wednesday May 25 @ 9am

Please join in a group activity to install the rubber mats on the remaining pathways.

Everyone is invited…you don’t have to be a member of a particular Committee.  Many hands make light work. We need a good turnout for this.

Our pathways will finally be improved, safer, and look sharp!

TOMORROW, Wed. May 25, at 9am.  Meet at the North lot of the Clubhouse.

Posted in Announcements, General Interest, Life at Timber Valley | 2 Comments

FDA Jif Peanut Butter Recall (Salmonella)

The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Senftenberg infections linked to certain Jif peanut butter products. View the FDA’s Jif product recall list.

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TV Log May 22, 2022

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Community Garden Group Guided Tour of Douglas County Master Gardeners’ Discovery Garden Tuesday May 24 11am

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Lunch Is Served and More

By Jackie Deal

Thursdays Home from an exhausting physical therapy: tired, depleted and hungry. And what did I find waiting for me? A wonderful “Meals on Wheels” dinner: beef tacos, corn salsa, refried beans and to top it off a delicious sugar cookie. Douglas County provides Meals on Wheels on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday with lunches (dinners) at the Senior Center. Continue reading

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Rabinowitz’s Pork Roll

By Fred Prout

I like beer. Actually, I love beer. I especially love the taste of beer. Bock, Porter, Stout. The thick, dark, stand up a spoon in it, beer. Or, a really hoppy ale. Taste is everything. I know you will call me a beer snob when I tell you that I don’t like the Buds, Millers or Coors of the world. Just my taste, mind you. No reflection on you if that’s your thing. I won’t even mention Light ( Lite ) beer. They are an abomination and an insult to the brewer’s craft. Continue reading

Posted in Creative Work, General Interest, Humor | Tagged | 10 Comments

Thar’s Gold (Music) In Them Thar Hills

By Jackie Deal

“That’s Gold in Them Thar Hills” (thank you Bugs Bunny, actually “Yosemite Sam”). Friday afternoon the gold was music! For the first time in a l-o-n-g time the Timber Valley clubhouse rang with music. With music and about 30 enthusiastic, happy listeners.

Continue reading

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Music Fest Photos and Video

Thanks to all who made yesterday’s Friday Social Hour Music Fest a great success!

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Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum

By Cathy Deyo

A great day trip is a visit to the Siskiyou Smokejumper Base museum. It is four miles south of Cave Junction at the Illinois Valley Airport. It is an important part of southern Oregon history.

Our tour guide was a smokejumper at the base and shared a lot of information about the people, parachutes, sewing their own jumpsuits, gear, and many stories about the jumpers and how they got to the fires, fought the fires and walking out when the fire was out. The museum is in three buildings, and there are several planes on the runway. There are artifacts, pictures, and graphs to see.

We were the only two people there that morning and had an hour and a half tour. Visit for more information and a contact number, 541-441-4804, for a guided tour.

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Friday May 13 3pm Music Fest Social Hour


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by Jackie Deal

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary”…. Well, it was more like 7 a.m. but it felt like midnight. And yes, I felt weak and weary as I peered bleary eyed into my smoothie container. I dumped a handful of beautiful red strawberries in and suddenly I wondered. Continue reading

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Kentucky Derby Photo Gallery

Thanks to everyone who made the Kentucky Derby event a great success!

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Community Garden Group Events

At our first official educational event, Herbalist Amber Merrifield enlightened us with information about the growing and use of herbs. In a former life, Amber worked in veterinary medicine giving anesthesia, animal critical care, pharmacology and biomedical treatment. Continue reading

Posted in Announcements, Events, General Interest, Life at Timber Valley, News | 2 Comments

A Slippery Slope?

By Fred Prout

Well, it finally happened this morning. Despite fighting tooth and nail to prevent it for many years, and with every fiber of my being, it happened. Now bear in mind that every terrible event in our lives starts out small. Then, gradually, it gains momentum and mass as it comes to get you. Like a single snowflake gathers its friends and relatives, and, tries to roll over and crush you. Continue reading

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Another Boring Saturday Morning?  We’ve Got the Cure.

Come on out to the Clubhouse for Saturday morning coffee and donuts.  $1:50.  Yep, $1:50 for all the coffee you want and fresh wonderful donuts from Henry’s Donut shop.  Why, a cup of coffee costs $2.  Or $2:50.  And donuts?  Some of ‘em are filled and gooey and some are sugary,  Um, Um.  The laughter (got any good jokes?) and camaraderie can’t be beat.  Come on out, you’ll get your money’s worth.

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Coasting Along

By Jackie Deal

Two L.O.L.s (Little Old Ladies) camping on the Oregon coast for two weeks. Safely parked and now exploring.  The R.V. park was south of town; driving into town they passed a sign, “Darlingtonia ¼ mile”.   LOL #1:  “Sounds interesting.

LOL #2: “Do you suppose it’s a town?  A park?  A Lake. We’ll check it out later.”

Over the bridge and into …… #2:  “Turn!  Turn right here.  NOW!” Continue reading

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Open Workshop on Display of Political Signage – May 04, 2022 at 1:00pm

There will be an Open Board Workshop on May 04, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. to receive the membership’s input on whether the park should consider rules limiting the display of political signage on a member’s lot. This workshop is for information gathering only. No vote or ruling on this matter will take place at this workshop.

The Board

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