Week Seventeen

A week closer to the end!

Another week is over.  We are still feeling the aftermath of the visitation issue from last week that I wrote about.  Visitations for this weekend were completely cancelled.  So, because of one person’s selfish act, everyone who had a visit planned for this weekend, lost it.  I really feel bad for the girl in the bunk across the hall from me.  It is her birthday weekend, and her mom had scheduled a flight to come visit, and had to cancel the flight.  We had a big birthday party for her on Friday night to try to make her feel a little better.  It is amazing the food that people can make with the limited ingredients we have.  We had pizza (two types), chicken and dumplings, Spanish rice, bean dip, veggie dip, flan, 2 different chocolate cakes and a chocolate cheesecake.  The pizza was not like Papa Johns, and the chicken and dumplings were nothing like Cracker Barrel, but they were still really good.  I made my first chocolate lava cake, with Bunkie supervising, and helped the birthday girl’s Bunkie make the chocolate cheesecake and the veggie dip.  It was a lot of fun.  I can’t wait to recreate these recipes at home during one of our family dinners.

One of my friends makes homemade cards.  I told her I needed some note cards, so she made me a few.  They are adorable. They have a little turtle, upside down, but smiling.  The caption is… I’m Okay, really I am… It describes me right now, not back on my feet yet, but I am working on it, and trying to keep smiling.  I am still working on plans for the future, I have a plan A, but was told I should have at least a plan B & C (and even a D).  So I am working on plan B right now.  I really just want to get back home and start taking care of my children and start my life over.  I am praying a lot right now, and hoping that everything works out in the end.

I have been doing a lot of thinking this week about my two ex-husbands, and how I have let them continue to hold a grip over my life.  It is time to let it all go, and move on.  I can’t go back and change the past, or the way I was treated, and I can’t keep letting it control my life.  I have decided to pray daily for the new women in their lives.  These men will not change, but sadly, it takes a little bit of time before the real issues start to come out, so the new women in their lives need prayers.  I wrote about this before, but it deserves to be mentioned again.  Before I came in, there was a big thing about a hashtag on Twitter #HeDoesn’tHitMeBut… If you have the time, go to Twitter and type it into the search box.  When I did, the first 10 things that women had written, could have been written by me.   If you ever say that line to yourself, He Doesn’t Hit Me But…. take a good look at your relationship.  Verbal & emotional abuse is not okay.  I know the old line about sticks and stones, but words really can hurt you, especially when they come from someone who supposedly loves you.  So I am letting go of the anger, and praying for the new women involved, and I feel lighter already.

The song this week, that I have been hearing over and over, is called Priceless by For King & Country.  I really like this song, and the meaning behind it.

Goal Update:  I have walked 163 laps total which equals 50 miles.  I only have 12 days left to walk 162 more laps, which will average out to 13-14 laps a day.  I am going to keep trying, but I am not feeling as confident about it.  I did start my Intro to Fitness & Intro to Step classes this week, on top of the walking.  Right now my calves are killing me from the step, but I am still moving along.

15 more chicken days!
7 more visit weekends!
4 more blanket exchanges!

Have a great week!  Keep praying my date changes (Bunkie’s date changed, and now she is leaving 4 weeks before me. I am very happy for her!)

Julie

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Week Sixteen

Halfway there!

I realized as I was getting ready to type, that this was the end of week 16 and there are 16 more chicken days, so I am at the halfway point!  I can look at every day now as one day closer to the end…I am coming down the hill and in the final stretch.  I am still holding out a little bit of hope on something happening to get me out of here sooner, but if not, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is still far away, and kind of dim, but it is there.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to help people who are coming here, and their families know what to expect.  This weekend, we had something happen at visitation, that should not have happened.  First, if you come to visit someone, make sure you are totally approved before you get here.  Second, DO NOT BRING ANYTHING in with you.  DO NOT try to sneak in something to the person you are visiting, and if they ask you to, say NO!  On Sunday, while I was enjoying the last little bit of my time visiting with my girls, visitation was ended abruptly, an hour early, and all visitors had to leave immediately.  Add to losing part of our time, a pat down on our way out (I should be happy it wasn’t a strip search).  Why?  Because someone tried to sneak in something to an inmate.  There are several stories as to what it was, so I am not going to repeat the rumors, but the inmate was taken to the County jail and will probably lose her camp status and good time.  What that means, is she will probably spend the rest of her sentence “behind the fence”, at a real prison.  To top it off, the person who tried to sneak in the items will have charges pressed against him too.  It is not worth it.  So I repeat, if you come to visit anyone here, DO NOT BRING ANYTHING in with you.

I was listening to the radio again this week and one song kept playing.  I kept listening for another song, because the message of this song is hard, but it kept playing, over and over.  I still kept thinking I would use another song, one of my favorites had just played, when my Bunkie came back from her church service.  I asked her how it was, like I always do, and she said it was great.  The message was about how to trust in God, even if there are mountains in your way.  I told God, okay, I get it, this is the song this week.  I can be a little hard headed sometimes.  Bunkie does not know about my blog, and the songs, and had no clue that the chorus to the song I have been debating with God about the last few days, starts off with “When you don’t move the mountains, I’m needing you to move”.  The name of the song is “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle. Apparently I have been told very clearly that this is the song I need to think about this week.  I wish some other things that I am waiting on signs about were so clear.

I heard about something that a friend has been doing to help out my girls, and wanted to cry.  The kindness and caring she has shown is wonderful.  It did give me a chance to think about all of the good things people have done for my family while I have been here, and I appreciate every one of them.  I also spent some time mourning the friendships I have lost over the last couple of years, during all of this.  I lost some friendships that meant a lot to me, some that I worked with and talked to daily, sometimes for hours during the day.  I understand, but it still makes me sad to lose those that I was so close with.  I am so ready to come home, mend fences and get my life together and restarted.  I have been making changes here, but until I can put them to work in the real world, they are not doing me a lot of good.

All of the new classes start this coming week, so I have lots to look forward to, also lots of homework, especially in my Threshold class.  The homework in there is hard, not because of the amount, but the inner searching that we have to do.  I have had to do a lot of thinking about every aspect of my life in here, and it is not always pretty and it is not easy.

Goal update:  As of Sunday, 10/16/16 I have walked 97 laps which equal 30 miles (actually need half a lap to hit 30, but rounded up for this).  That leaves 228 laps & 70 miles to go in 19 days.  I better get walking!

Have a great week!
Julie

16 more chicken days!
7 more visit weekends!
4 more blanket exchanges!

 

Week Fifteen

Another Week…

Another week down, and thanks to Hurricane Matthew, we had a very long weekend.  It would have been better if we  had not been stuck inside for Thursday evening and all day Friday, but I was able to get a very nice long nap.  We were fed well during that time, since the one officer that really seems to care about what gets served, was the one in charge of feeding us.

On Wednesday, in my Threshold class, we worked on goal setting.  We learned that all goals should be SMART. On top of thinking about short term and long term goals, we each had to come up with something attainable in the next 30 days.

Goal – walk 100 miles over the course of the next 30 days.

Specific – I will walk 100 miles on the track over the next 30 days
Measurable – 100 miles/30 days
Achievable – I have been averaging 3 miles a day right now, which would make 90 for 30 days, so I just need to walk a little more to make the goal
Rewarding – This will prove that I can make a goal and stick with it to make it happen
Trackable – It will be easier to track the number of laps.  One mile = 3.25 laps, 100 miles = 325 laps

Status – We did not start this until Wednesday, so I do not  have a full week in yet, plus lost a day and a half due to Hurricane Matthew.  As of last night I am at 36 laps, 11+ miles.  Which leaves 289 laps to go during the next 25 days.  I can do it!

Some other goals I have set:
Shorter term:
* Finish my degree (I have always regretted not finishing)
* Create a garden paradise in my side yard (I have a big empty sunny space to play with)
* Pay off all debt (I should really put that under long term, since it will take me until I am about 80 years old to accomplish it)

Long term:
* Take kids to all 4 Disney’s.  I took them all to the one in Florida earlier this year, so the next goal will be California.  France and Japan will be much further down the road.
* Find a vacation spot similar to the one that I love looking at in Bora Bora, closer to home and cheaper than going to Bora Bora, and take a romantic trip there (sorry kids, you are not invited on this one).  I saw an episode on the travel channel about a resort in Bora Bora with cabins over the water, with glass bottom floors.  The water was absolutely beautiful, and you could just jump in and swim right outside your room.  I am sure there must be something similar in the Caribbean.  I know I saw something at the Polynesian resort at Disney, but staying over the murky lake is not what I consider romantic.

I have been working on more goals, but these are some just to get me started.  Again, it may take me until I am 80 to save up for these trips, and I may be taking my great grandchildren too, but at least it is something to look forward to.

I think it is amazing how each week, one song plays over and over while I am walking.  I walk at different times during the day, and once I tell everyone about the song, a different one takes its place.  I am taking it as a sign to share them.  I hope someone is listening to them.  I know that my girls are, I think I challenged them last week with the song.  This week’s song is called “You Are Loved” by Stars Go Dim. It is a really great song, I have enjoyed it this week and am looking forward to whatever song God sends me next week.

Keep praying for changes in dates.  They have not happened yet, but I am staying positive.  If nothing else, my other date is set, so I will keep counting down to that one.  Also, I still owe several people letters and am working on them.  Hopefully they will be going out this week.

17 more chicken days!
8 more visit weekends!
4 more blanket exchanges!

Have a great week!
Julie

 

Storm Prepping

Storm Prepping…..

It is weird to be from Florida, know there is a storm out there and not be able to do anything to prep for it.  No last minute runs to the grocery store for water, no making sure everything is out of the yard, no worrying about sandbags.  All I can do is sit back and let someone else worry about everything for me.  Right now, it looks like we are just going to get tropical storm winds and a lot of rain.  Most people here are not concerned about our safety during this, we are in a concrete building, thick windows, and no trees by the building.  What they are concerned about is their families.  A good percentage of the ladies here are from the Florida, Georgia, S. Carolina area and are worried about their families and homes.  There has been a constant line at the phones with people trying to call home and check to make sure their family is prepared.  Fortunately my family is on the other coast and should only see a little wind and some rain.  My biggest concern right now, is that the day care will close and my mom will have a bored 3 year old all day.

I had my Threshold class yesterday and picked up some very good information.  Some of these I need to just keep saying to myself over and over, and I really hope my girls read them and get something out of them.

One of the most expensive things you could ever do is pay attention to the wrong people

The truth is, unless you let go,
unless you forgive yourself,
unless you forgive the situation,
unless you realize that the situation
is over, you cannot move forward

Remember, you can’t reach for what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.

I might not be someone’s first choice, but I am a great choice.
I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not, because I am good at being me.
I might not be proud of some of the things I’ve done in the past, but I’m proud of who I am today.
I may not be perfect, but I don’t need to be.  I am the way God made me.
Take me as I am or watch me as I walk away.
I’m only responsible for what I say, not what you understand…
Thank you to every person who has ever told me I can’t.  You are just another reason I will.

Have a great rest of the week!  If you are in the path of the storm, please be careful!

Julie

Week Fourteen

 

More of the Same

Another week is over.  I thought I would explain some things that go on around here, since someone asked me what the blanket exchange is.  Once a month (my unit is the first Wednesday of the month), we exchange our two, hospital type blankets for two clean ones.  The exchange happens first thing in the morning.  Blankets have to be turned in by 6:30am, and they are very loud reminding everyone to get their blankets in.  You can’t go anywhere, because when the girl in charge of the laundry turns in the cart of dirty blankets, she is given back a cart of clean blankets, which then get distributed.  If you are not around when the distribution is happening, you have to go to laundry to ask for blankets.  This is why it is one of our count down items, because it is a major event (pain) once a month.

The new class sign ups happened this morning.  There are several different types of classes.  Some are offered under the regular education section.  There are also classes offered through the re-entry program and classes offered through the chapel.  So far, my new schedule is:

Monday – French 1 (might as well), Native American Studies & Building Wealth
Tuesday – nothing right now
Wednesday – Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, Threshold (through the chapel) & Beginning Fitness
Thursday – Science of the Brain (supposed to teach you to meditate) & Women Who Love Too Much (ends this week)
Friday – Personal Finance, Competent Communications (ends next week) & Puppy/Dog Care (hopefully there is a class on how to handle a very spoiled dachshund)
Saturday – Intro to Step

Quite an interesting mix of classes.  Since my time is limited, I have left the electric shop, for an easy job on the compound. This will allow me to spend more time on classes, crochet, reading and exercising.  I already walked 3 miles this morning, and am ready to do several more this evening.

I did have to laugh this week.  Since the death of my little doxie Libby, my other doxie, Hero is the lone dog.  When I am home, Hero would either sleep with me or on the floor of my bedroom.  My parents, who have always insisted that dogs belong in their crates at night (and never in the bed), have started letting him sleep in their bedroom.  I think they felt sorry for him, since he is by himself now.  It only took one night, and Hero was in their bed, snuggled up, sleeping.  He is a burrowing dog, and insists he has to sleep under the covers.  It is funny how parents change the rules when it comes to their grandkids…and apparently grandpups.

I have another song that has been playing all week, every time I go out to walk.  Hopefully Bethy can attach a link to it.  It is called Breathe by Jonny Diaz.  I love the words to this song, it makes you remember to slow down and just relax.

By the way, after 4 weeks, I finally got the visit approved that I have been working on, and then they were not able to come :-(.  I did get to see some of my family this weekend, which I love getting to see them, it really breaks up the weekend.  Each visit was some very nice one on one time, I loved every second of it!

Have a great week!

18 more chicken days!
8 more visit weekends!
5 more blanket exchanges!