Yesterday Roz got me the best Christmas gift I could get. The taiji group was having a Thanksgiving celebration at Jim’s (one of the leaders of the group) and Roz arranged for me to call while everyone was there. I had accidentally called right as people had started to arrive for the taiji Halloween party but this time it was planned. I got to talk to 5 different people: Marty, Jim (the host), Huong, Gary and Bruce. Gary visits and emails me and Marty emails me lengthy emails so I get to communicate with them from time to time but I hadn’t heard from the others since the going away party the night before I was sentenced. *smile* Well, I got to speak with Bruce briefly at the Halloween party as well as Sanae and Paul. Maybe with the new phone tables, where we get 4×15 min. calls a day, I can arrange from some more, and longer, group chats like that. It really made my day. I emailed Roz thanking her for my early Christmas gift. *smile*

I shared with Gary that I had finally hit the fabled 40 minute mark on the long form. The first time I surpassed 40 min. I hit 41:45. *cheer* Now I hit 40 min. regularly. The focus necessary to move that slowly is quite intense and it is an extreme challenge to step and kick slowly, especially since I’m doing it mirror image… with my eyes closed. *grin* Between my taiji practice and the 1.5 hrs a day of yin yoga I’m doing a lot of meditation. It helps a lot with my outlook and sense of contentment. I think it also helps with my patience and focus. I really need to work on keeping my mind clear while doing the yin yoga. Like a puppy, it tends to wander. *chuckle*

I found out some amazing news as far as radio goes. I have a digital TV and if you turn it to 12.3, the third HD NET TV station, and switch the language settings to Spanish you can get NET radio. Not only do I no longer need a radio, as all I listen to is NPR, but it also is crystal clear with no static, though being digital occasionally the signal cuts out. The other amazing thing is that if you switch the language to French you get NET radios HD 2 channel. Woohoo! I could listen to NPR all day now if I wanted. LOL!

I have decided that I will include some Christmas origami in a Christmas letter to everyone I have an address for. One of the other guys in here, Danny, had an oragami book that someone had sent him. He never did any origami so he gave me the book and it turned out to have some projects that are Christmas themed. I’ve been perfecting 3 projects: Santa, Christmas Tree, and Star. I’m doing them with 2.25″ square papers which is quite small. It was necessary to take my 9″ sheets and (carefully) tear them up into 2.25″ sheets so I would have enough colored origami paper to do 41 of each project. They are also small enough to fit in an envelope that way. Plus, smaller is just a sign or more expertise in origami. *smile* I’m also working on perfecting a wreath project. It is pretty easy to fold but the 8 sheets it takes have to be exactly the same dimensions or else the whole thing doesn’t fit together very well and looks off-balance. I’ve managed to make it with 4.5′ sheets and once with 2.25″ sheets. *cheer* I have a santa, a Christmas tree, a wreath, and a star in my cell door window. Not the typical porn or family photos that others have in their cells but I’m not a typical inmate. *chuckle*

Several guys in the gallery have asked me to make them something to send out to their family. The wreath is particularly popular. Once I’m done making all the santas, stars, and Christmas trees I need for my letters, I am going to post a sign in the dayroom offering to show anyone how to make whatever Christmas origami they would like. They will have to provide the paper and they will have to make 2. They keep one and the other I will collect and ask my mother to deliver to the Lincoln City Mission as decorations for their residents. It’s a way to put some of the wasted manual labor in here to some good use. *smile*