365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time

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Day 68/365: Hike (Resting the Arm and Shoulder, but Not the Legs)


This morning I met my friend Roberta to go for a hike up the side of a large hill or small mountain, whichever way you want to look at it.  If I didn’t have plans with Roberta to go for this hike today, I would have just sat on the couch all day with the TV on, eating potato chips and chocolate, and either knitting or crocheting and not leaving the house.  I think I would be great at doing solitary confinement in prison.

Anyway, so Roberta and I hiked up this large hill/small mountain in Los Osos, and it was not easy, but it was a good workout.  When we got to the top, we both pulled out our cell phones to take photos of the view of the Bay and of the fog rolling in over the water, but the sunlight was so bright that neither one of us really knew if we were capturing any good photos.


Luckily, I did take a good photo. It’s just showing up small here. Click to get a better view!

The funny thing about the hike was that when we reached the lookout point, we discovered that somebody had carried an old bench all the way up there.  Having just barely clawed my way up to the top of that mountain, I couldn’t imagine how anyone could be that agile and fit as to carry an unwieldy 50+ lbs bench while navigating that steep hiking trail.  That takes some commitment and dedication.


How’d that bench get all the way up there?

But I guess in the end, the view from the top makes it all worth it.


That’s the Morro Bay Rock in the center of the photo, underneath all that fog. And somewhere in the distance, across the Rock and also underneath that fog, is our house on a way smaller hill than this one.






Day 18/365: What Happiness Tastes Like


Last year, I quit drinking soda.  Even though I love me some cold Coca-Cola, I made a conscious decision to stop drinking all carbonated beverages.  People have said to me, “Just drink diet Coke!”  But it’s not the same.  First of all, diet Coke doesn’t taste half as good as the real stuff.  It is a poor substitute.  And second, we all know that soda is bad for you.  So if I am going to consume something that will rot my teeth, make me fat, and leach out the calcium in my bones, then I might as well go all the way.  If I’m gonna have a soda, it’s gonna be Coca-Cola, and if I’m gonna eat bacon, it ain’t gonna be soy or turkey.  None of that low-fat, non-fat, lite, sugar-free, calorie-free nonsense for me.

So anyway, yes, I made a conscious decision to quit drinking soda.  It was a smart decision, because I can’t drink a Coca-Cola without wanting some Cheetos or kettle cooked potato chips or a hamburger and fries to go with it.  Coca-Cola is my gateway drug.

I switched to iced tea, which wasn’t so hard because Sean grew up in the South and he makes the best pitchers of fresh-brewed tea.  We drank gallons of the stuff, cold and unsweetened, and so much of it that I started buying different brands and flavors of tea bags for variety.  Then I discovered Lupicia.  If you have never tried fresh-brewed Lupicia loose leaf tea on ice, you are missing out.  Come over to my house, and I will pour you a glass.  Seriously.  This stuff is so good that it is worth the significant portion of my grocery budget that I pay for it.

Since I am such a regular customer, Lupicia sends me their newsletter every month with a Fresh Tea Sample.  Our pantry shelf of assorted teas includes several of these tea samples.  Sean was washing dishes this morning as I surveyed the shelf, trying to decide what flavor tea to drink next.  There were a lot of choices.  Then the tea sample packets caught my eye.  Among them were Muscat Decaf, Matcha Kirara Rice Tea, and January’s Tea of the Month, Happiness.

I picked up the packet and looked at the label.  “Sean, what do you think Happiness tastes like?” I asked.

He didn’t bother to look up from the bowl he was rinsing.  In his typical dry, deadpan manner, he replied, “I think there’s your answer right there.”


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Day 12/365: Toe-Up Hand-Dyed Merino Wool Sock


I gained a lot of weight when I went back to grad school in 2003.  I went to classes and worked six days a week.  I ate poorly (there were days when all of my meals came out of the vending machines), and I never, ever exercised.  I sat on my ass a lot.  Then, a couple of years ago, I got to the point where I could barely button the waist on my largest pair of fat pants.  I knew that I would either have to go shopping for new clothes, or lose the weight.  It seemed a lot easier to go shopping.

I went to the department stores and outlet malls.  I went to Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx.  It was all very depressing.  It seemed like everything that actually fit me was just too ugly to wear.  I knew that I could go to the thrift stores and consignment shops, and that might at least be a little more fun, but I was so tired of shopping.  I was sick of trying on clothes and looking at myself in the mirror.  I knew it was time for the alternative.  I called the gym and made an appointment to talk to someone about signing up for a membership.

Today, I’m a lot healthier and a few pounds lighter.  It’s still hard for me to go out and exercise, though.  I would much rather sit on the couch in front of the TV with a bag of potato chips.  But since today was my regular day off and I didn’t have any good excuses, I went out and exercised for an hour.  Then I came home and sat on the couch in front of the TV with a bag of potato chips.  Er, I mean, with a bag of my knitting.