365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time

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Day 360/365: Boxing Day

I wanted to ride my new bike today and test it out on the Black Hill trail, but I started having a sore throat late last night.  When I got up this morning, I knew I’d caught a bug.  I tried to ward off further symptoms by downing Wellness Formula pills and Zicam tablets and Halls cough drops all day, but at this point now I’m pretty sure it’s a virus and I can’t stop it.

Sean and I did leave the house this afternoon to run a couple of errands and grab some lunch, and when we got back home, I noticed how much our little front yard has been thriving.  The rain from the past week did a lot to bring some life back into my plants.


I’m not much of a gardener– I prefer the overgrown wilderness look.  I think it makes a better habitat for my gnomes.

Wouldn’t you agree?





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Day 219/365: Pumpkin Plants For the Soul

Every day at noon, I usually take a break from my desk by walking out to the parking lot and sitting in my car, where I check my text messages and scroll through Facebook and browse the internet.  Just physically leaving the prison and connecting with the outside world through my phone helps me decompress from a morning filled with absorbing the very intense problems of the incarcerated men who make up my caseload.

Today I walked out to my car to discover that a notice had been slipped under my windshield wiper, undoubtedly placed there by a correctional officer patrolling the parking lot.  The folded piece of paper turned out to be a copy of a memo from the warden, reminding employees to lock their doors, not leave valuables in their cars, and to roll up their windows all the way.  This last part was highlighted in yellow for my attention, because this morning before I went in to work, I’d rolled down my windows an inch to let cool air circulate through the car during the day.

Anyway, I felt a little annoyed by this, even though I understood it all had to do with maintaining the safety and security of the institution.  I got into my car and checked my cell phone.  Sean had sent a couple of photos to show me something he noticed in the front yard this morning.

My pumpkin plants were blooming.


Even though they were only photos, it felt good to be receiving flowers.


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Day 201/365: Borders and Fronts

Over an early dinner of couscous and shrimp salad with sugar snap peas, basil, and cherry tomatoes, I was telling Sean that I still needed to write tonight’s blog post.  I wasn’t sure what to write about.

“You have a lot of borders and fronts sewed,” he said, motioning to the fabric strips draped over the back of one of the dining room chairs.

It took me a few seconds to realize what he meant by “borders and fronts.”  I’d spent the weekend cutting and sewing binding strips, as well as piecing together the nine-patch blocks that I’d shared in yesterday’s blog entry.

“Oh,” I told him, “you mean binding and quilt tops.”

He tapped his finger on the top of the quilted placemat underneath his salad bowl.  “Like I said, borders and fronts.”

* * *

Anyway, I decided not to take photos of the borders and fronts for today’s blog, mostly because I wanted to share a bright outdoor photo rather than an indoor poorly lit one.  So I went outside this evening and took pictures of my birthday angel trumpet plant and the pumpkin seedlings that are no longer seedlings but turning into full-on plants with vines.  They really loved this weekend’s rain and were very happy to soak it up.


See, don’t the plants and gnomes make for very cheery photos?


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Day 189/365: The Pumpkin Socks, Formerly Known as The Orange Socks

Remember the orange socks that I’d been knitting for my cousin?


These are the same socks that posed with the pumpkin plants in a couple of earlier blog posts, so now I think of these socks as The Pumpkin Socks.


I finished them a few days ago and kept meaning to take better photos so that they could have their own blog entry.


I finally got around to taking those photos today.


They’ve been down to L.A. for a Los Angeles Galaxy game…


…and back to Ventura and then Morro Bay.


For a pair of socks that have yet to be worn, they’ve certainly covered a lot of mileage.


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Day 176/365: Something Else That’s Going to Be Orange

The other night I was in the kitchen and Sean was in the living room, browsing the internet on his laptop.  He made a comment about checking out the day’s blog post.  And then I heard him say, “Aw, not this same sock again!”

He used his “I’m just teasing you” voice, but I think there was some truth behind his “just kidding” dismay of seeing the orange sock again.  Because I was getting kind of sick of seeing the same sock every day, too.  So even though last night I started knitting the second sock to the pair, I decided not to take a photo of that for today’s blog entry.  Instead, this evening I took a photo of what my pumpkin seedlings look like now.  They’re the ones I wrote about in this post.  Halloween is still a few months away, but I think we’re on track for some nice fat orange pumpkins by then.



Day 166/365: The Day We Planted Pumpkin Seedlings

My mom’s stay in Morro Bay is over.  She’s now in Houston, visiting my brother and having all kinds of adventures there.

After Sean and I said goodbye to her at the airport, I was feeling a little sad.  We went out for lunch in San Luis Obispo and then drove back to Morro Bay.  On our way home, we stopped at Grandma’s Frozen Yogurt for a bit of a treat.  They have a nice outdoor patio where you can enjoy your frozen yogurt and do some people watching.  That’s where I spotted the small pots of pumpkin seedlings in the corner.  The sign indicated that they were free to anybody who wanted some.  According to the sign, if you planted the seedlings now, the pumpkins would be fully grown by Halloween.  Naturally I helped myself to one of the free pots.

“Take as many as you want,” the woman who rang up our yogurt urged.

So I took three more.

Sean had to stop at Miner’s Ace Hardware to purchase a few items, so I tagged along and browsed through the gardening section.  That’s where I saw The Gnomes.  I wanted to buy all of them, but they were kind of pricey, so I only allowed myself to pick two.  I figured I could always go back and get the others after payday.  When Sean and I got up to the cash register, I set them down on the conveyor belt and the cashier looked at them fondly as if they were old friends.  She even patted one on the shoulder.

“Hey, guys,” she said.  “Looks like you’re off to a new home.”

She rang up our purchases and didn’t say a word to me about the gnomes, although she was completely friendly and nice.  Just an average, every day, unremarkable hardware store buying and selling experience.

At the end of the transaction, she handed me the receipt and smiled and turned back to the gnomes.  “Okay, guys,” she said, giving a final affectionate pat. “You be good, now.  Bye.”

I couldn’t help feeling immensely cheered after that.


Two little pumpkin seedlings and the garden gnomes in the late afternoon sunlight.


Close-up of Gnome #2. No woman could resist his charm.