Week Two

Laundry Bags, Commissary & Church

Week 2 has finished and again, it wasn’t that bad.  Trying to think of it as an extended vacation, I don’t have to do my own laundry, cook or even clean the bathroom.  If it wasn’t for missing my kids so much and feeling guilty about my parents having to do so much, I might actually enjoy it to a point.

The week continued with more medical appointments (they do a full workup to make sure you are fully taken care of).  Since I have been here, I have had a full exam & blood work, chest x-ray, TB test, EKG & turned down the pap and mammo since it has not been that long since I have had one.  To me, the government is spending a lot of money on someone that will be here less than a year, but that is for another post.

The hardest thing so far was figuring out how to get the laundry bag tied so it will not come open in the wash.  If it does, then you have to hope no one else’s does, or you have to get everything sorted out.  My first one opened partially.  I lost a sock in the the whole ordeal.  Since then, I have mastered tying the bag and there have been no issues.

Commissary is once a week.  The first couple of weeks cost a bit, by the time you purchase all of your personal items (soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc), plus things like shorts & t-shirts.  There is a $90 spending limit each week, so you have to budget out your spending.  There is also a lot of food, snacks, etc available for purchase.  Some people just live on the commissary food, which to me is not only expensive, especially when you have free food waiting for you in food service, but you can’t live on Ramen and prepackaged foods.  Some of these women have told me they have gained  30-40 pounds here.  No wonder, when you see what they eat all day.  I have stuck to having a few snacks for in between meals, crackers, peanut butter & peanuts and refuse to buy all of the other crap.  The prices are about what they would be in the “real world”.

I went to my second (actually second and a half) church service on Sunday.  I have been to the Nondenominational service twice, and watched part of the Spanish Nondenominational service the other day since they held it outside.  I am not finding my spot here so far.  The regular service is a gospel type service, and is too loud for me.  I now know how my dad felt when they added a contemporary service at our church and he said it wasn’t like real church to him.  The Spanish service, is actually in Spanish and English, but the going back and forth was confusing, and the preacher was also very loud.  I am going to try Mass this week and see how I like it.  I might be getting back to my original roots.

I have found it interesting how many families are here together.  There are a couple of sets of mothers and daughters and at least one set of sisters.  I spoke with one girl, about the same age as my daughters the other day.  She had just arrived a few days earlier and was telling me her brother was behind the fence in the Coleman Men’s prison.  As much as I miss my family, I wouldn’t want any of them here with me.

This week I should be starting my job, which will be nice.  I will be happy to have something to do.  I have read 14 books in the last two weeks, it is time to work!  I will let you know how it goes.

Julie

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