365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time

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Day 112/365: Just a Number


Today in IDTT (our Interdisciplinary Treatment Team meeting), I gave my case presentation on a new inmate, Mr. D, who recently transferred to our prison and had been assigned to my caseload.  He was a 68-year-old African-American man with a release date of 2027, when he would be 80.

After I presented the diagnosis, psychosocial history, and other relevant information to the rest of the team, Mr. D was brought in so that we could review with him the treatment plan and discuss any questions or concerns.  He didn’t have a lot that he wanted to say, so his portion of the meeting didn’t take very long.  After he left, my colleague Dr. Y turned to me and said, “He’s 68?!”  Dr. Y himself was 60 years old.  He said, “I wouldn’t have guessed he was 68.  He looks so much younger.”

He added, half jokingly, “It’s just not fair!  A lot of these guys look really good for their age.”  What he didn’t say and what we guessed was that he didn’t think he had aged as well in appearance as those guys.

“Aw, don’t feel bad,” Dr. E, who is Korean-American and around my age, said.  “It’s genetics.  And people of color just age better.  Especially Asians.  Look at Dr. V here.  She’s fifty-five.”

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Day 111/365: New Crocheted Afghan


The thing about working a ten-hour day is that if I leave the office after 6 PM, I seem to have just enough time to drive home, check the mail, change out of my work clothes, wash dishes from the morning’s breakfast and the day’s lunch, get dinner started, go through my email while dinner is cooking, eat dinner, talk to Sean on the phone, prepare tomorrow’s lunch, and compose the day’s blog post before it is already my 9 PM bedtime.

In other news, I started this afghan.  It is the same shell stitch as this previous pink and yellow afghan.  I’m working with a pound of yarn.  Literally.  This is Lion Brand Pound of Love yarn in Bubblegum.  I’m very curious to see exactly how big an afghan I will be able to produce out of 16 ounces or 454 grams of this stuff, which according to the label is 1020 yards or 932 meters of yarn.  I’ll keep you posted.

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Day 110/365: Beautiful Day for a Hike

4.20.2015Today was my regular day off from work.  I met my friend Roberta for a hike to another one of San Luis Obispo’s peaks.  The last location we hiked was Madonna Peak, and I shared this photo that gave you a view of the prison in the distance.  Roberta didn’t know the name of this peak that we hiked today, but across the valley, there to the left of the photo, you can see Madonna Peak that we hiked the last time.  To the far right of the photo, you can see Highway 1 snaking its way out to Morro Bay.  Follow that road and you’ll reach the ocean in about twenty minutes.  Or our house with a view of the water.  Either way, this is a really nice area to have access to both mountain peaks and the ocean.

It is also a good area to eat a huge fisherman’s platter at a dockside restaurant one day and then take a hike to burn off all those calories the next day.

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Day 109/365: Pink and Yellow Striped Socks, Completed


A couple of socks, just hanging out.  Enjoying the sea otters off in the distance.

Today I got it in my head that I wanted to eat a large fisherman’s platter for lunch– you know, the meal consisting of deep fried battered fish and shrimp and scallops and calamari and clam strips, with a hefty side of deep fried French fries thrown in for good measure.  So this afternoon Sean and I walked down to Tognazzini’s Dockside Restaurant near the Embarcadero, and I was fully prepared to feast on a meal of a thousand calories… until we sat down and looked at the menu and my better sense kicked in.  I still ordered the fisherman’s platter, but asked for the seafood to be grilled and substituted rice pilaf for French fries.  I know, boooo.  But I also want to live to at least eighty, with relatively unblocked arteries.

After lunch, we walked down the Promenade and admired the sea otters that were gliding and twirling in the bay just several feet away from us.  I brought my completed pair of socks and took some photos.  I made this pair of socks for a friend, and I purposely started the second sock without matching the color sequence to the first sock.  I thought it would add a little more charm if the socks had mismatched stripes.  I’m hoping my friend will think so, too.

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Day 108/365: Catching Up on Down Time


With the exception of going out to lunch this afternoon with Sean in San Luis Obispo, I didn’t do much of anything today.  It was nice to just sit around and decompress.  While Sean graded papers, I made some progress on my sock.  I turned the heel and started the ribbing for the cuff.  I should be done with it tomorrow.

I’m already trying to decide on my next project and whether I will start another pair of socks or start another crocheted afghan.

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Day 107/365: Winding it Down


It’s hard to believe that a week ago today, we were in Minneapolis, it was my 100th post, and I met my longtime online friend Alisha for the very first time. 

It has been a busy week, jam-packed with all kinds of activities.  We traveled a lot and had a bunch of adventures.  We returned to California and went back to work.  Now it’s the start of my three-day weekend, and I am looking forward to doing absolutely nothing except sitting around the house here in Morro Bay and just knitting or crocheting.

Happy Friday!

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Day 106/365: Lifers Support Group Day


I don’t remember if I mentioned this before:  Every Thursday afternoon, I facilitate a support group for inmates who are serving life sentences.  The participants range in age.  The youngest is in his mid-30s, and the oldest is in his late 60s.  If I recall correctly, the minimum amount of time served by an inmate in the group has been fifteen years; the longest has been thirty-two years.

I’ve been running this group for well over a year, and the members have been through a lot with each other.  They conducted mock board hearings in which every week one of the participants was the subject of intense and challenging questions posed by the others who role-played commissioners of the Board of Parole Hearings.  They expected each other to be honest and accountable for their past actions and choices, and they didn’t hesitate to call out somebody if they thought he wasn’t being entirely truthful.

Last week I added a new member to the group, and today was his first day of attendance.  Given the cohesiveness that had developed over the past year among the group members, I wasn’t one bit surprised when, upon my introducing the new member to the rest, one of the other inmates immediately demanded, “Who did you kill?”