a peek inside the fishbowl

14 Feb, 2009

Valentine’s Day

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

Vintage Valentine's Day card

I think I got a a few weird looks on the night I gave blood. I walked in, talked to the nurse, talked to another nurse, and about five minutes later walked right out again. I turned some heads in the waiting room.

After all my talk about donating blood for Valentine’s Day there I was, walking out. Rejected! I was pretty disappointed. Apparently my iron is too low. The nurse told me I was healthy but below their minimum. And then she proceeded to hand me a brochure about healthy eating.  I felt like telling her I’d just had a dinner of lean chicken, leaf lettuce, and a chickpea salad … but I didn’t. Hey body, what gives?

Yesterday was a busy PD day. Mark took the day off (yay!) so we started our day with a big breakfast at Baker Street in Westboro. It was delish, as usual.

Later that morning the girls and I went to check out the scene at Dovercourt. They were hosting some (free!) heart-healthy activities for families as part of a fundraiser for the Heart & Stroke foundation. We ended up staying for almost two hours because it was so much fun.

Emma wears a tunnel

Sarah on the Bosu ball

They had hula hoops to try (I must get myself an adult-size hoop) as well as skipping ropes (double love!) as well as this crazy plastic “skating” mat. You put on some slippery booties and do this side-to-side gliding action as if you’re speed skating. I loved it! (Just realized it’s called a Slide Board Balance Trainer. I would have LEGS OF STEEL if I used that thing everyday.)

A Citizen photographer showed up at one point, so check the paper today or tomorrow. :)

Last night we had friends over for dinner. I made pizza for the kids. Their part of the party was a “pre-sleepover,” basically, a sleepover without the sleeping. They ate first, and then, clad in their pj’s, watched Toy Story 2 on the foldout with bowls of popcorn. 

The grownups drank wine and ordered dinner from Mekong. During intermission I served cake (Boston Cream with fruit on top) which, for reasons I could not understand, was actually a little frozen in the middle. Oh well. The kids had fun and so did the grownups. The evening wrapped up around 8:45 p.m. I love doing the casual dinner thing! We need to do it more often. It’s so easy. 

Today is going to be low key. I am thinking about going to the library. Tonight we’re having our special dinner from Thyme & Again. (Note to self: check out Red Apron. Thanks for your comments!)

And that’s it!

Hope you’re having a great weekend where you are!

11 Responses to "Valentine’s Day"

1 | raino

February 14th, 2009 at 11:28 am


wonder what’s up with the low iron business? –

i gotta check out baker street – never heard of it. i loooove westboro – what a nice place that you live in.

i love doing the friday night friends over cause then the rest of the weekend seems much longer…

enjoy the rest of the w/e.


2 | The Veg Next Door

February 14th, 2009 at 3:47 pm


I get that they have a minimum requirement for iron levels, however, I’m sure you’re more healthy than some of the people giving blood.

That’s one of the reasons that I don’t give blood. I know I would be turned away. My iron has always been low, but I’m what the doctors would call a functioning anemic. Iron is low but my body is used to it so I don’t feel any ill effects from it.

In your case, your iron may be low according to their standards but it’s probably right for you. I would, however, be insulted if someone handed me a pamphlet on healthy eating.

3 | BeachMama

February 14th, 2009 at 4:26 pm


I can’t donate blood. I am Rh- if it weren’t for that they are begging for my blood type, but unfortunately my blood isn’t good around here :(

4 | Javamom

February 14th, 2009 at 4:39 pm


I gave blood only once. Back in highschool, in grade 13 (when that grade still existed). I ended up with such a migraine it lasted two days. So I asked my doctor the next time I visited him and he suggested that it might be due to low iron and/or low blood sugar (I have since been diagnosed with hypoglycemia). So….intensions are good!! But it wasn’t for me. And I’ve been worried about going back to donate blood ever since.

Happy V-day to you and yours!

5 | Ginger

February 14th, 2009 at 8:13 pm


I was turned away this afternoon because my hemoglobin was too low. :( I was so disappointed. But…my husband was able to give! And I am going back in two weeks to try again.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

6 | Ryan

February 15th, 2009 at 5:55 am


I used to give every 56 days when I was in Canada. Their iron requirements are REALLY high, I would make sure to do as much as possible and was still occasionally rejected for being a hair under. I used to have liver sometime the week before and eat a spinach salad or two as well to help pump up levels.

Also, they have to hand out the pamphlet unless the person specifically asks not to take it. I asked once, as I got it every time I was rejected.

7 | andrea

February 15th, 2009 at 9:01 am


Ew, liver!
I know they are required to give out the brochure. And I am not offended… not really. ;) I should have given it back!

8 | Miss Vicky

February 15th, 2009 at 9:07 am


How anticipointing. I found out at my last OB appointment that my iron is low, too. The told me to eat more red meat – so it was bison roast for Valentine’s dinner in our house

Guinness is a good source of iron, too (not for me right now… but after Squirt arrives I’m all over it)

9 | Loukia

February 16th, 2009 at 12:02 pm


Mmmm…. MeKong…. ;)

10 | porter

February 16th, 2009 at 5:30 pm


Aw shucks! At least your intentions were good and if a few extra people donated blood (who normally wouldn’t) then you did a great thing by blogging about it right?

Cute valentine by the way…is it one from your collection?

11 | andrea

February 16th, 2009 at 6:13 pm


Porter: it is indeed! I have a bunch of really old ones. I’m sad they don’t make them like that anymore…

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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