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Things that Make me Happy: Part Three

Earlier this month we ran Part One and Part Two of this three part series Here is Part Three!

Truth Be Told’s Exploring Creativity Workshop introduces expressive arts as ways to relieve stress, channel emotions, and awaken creativity. “Things That Make Me Happy” was the topic for the last TBT session at Hilltop in Gatesville. The women made a list of their happy things. Then, they picked one and wrote a story about it.

Hearing From Someone I Haven’t Heard From in a While

By T.A.

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I have a best friend not in lock-up. She lives in Pennsylvania. I met her first on the computer in 1999 then I moved to Missouri in 2003. One day I had a knock on my door and this little kid asked me if I was Tammy. He handed me a slip of paper and ran off. Well, I opened the paper and my friend had written and told me where she was. She lived about 6 houses down from me, so I got my shoes on and grabbed my keys and walked to her house. She lived in that house for about 4 more months and the lady she was living with ran off and left her footing the bills so she moved to Arizona with another friend, then they moved back to Pennsylvania. She and I keep in touch, but I don’t hear from her as often as I did when I first got locked up in 2006. She has been sick, but she had surgery and that we are hoping will make her better. I heard from her this month before she had her surgery, so hopefully soon I will be hearing from her as before.

Making Homemade Double-Fudge Chocolate Brownies

By Norma P.

2132430684_ed18a76a22This makes me happy because it reminds me of my daughter Jacqueline who loves to bake all kinds of sweets. Jacqueline loved to help me in the kitchen all the time wanting and loving to taste test whatever we cooked or baked. Brownies were her favorite because she loved chocolate and enjoyed putting the ingredients together. That was very important to her because it made her feel independent and that she was a big girl at 4 years old. She would clean the mixer spoons by licking all the chocolate batter off of them before putting them in the soapy water, with chocolate covered on her cheeks and outside her lips. She really enjoyed putting the icing on the top of the brownies after they were baked and sprinkling colorful sprinkles all over the brownies for decoration. After all that wonderful work, we would watch her favorite cartoon movie eating double fudge chocolate brownies with hot chocolate with melted marshmallows. Enjoying one of my favorite pastimes with my daughter, that used to make me happy, and I sure miss having a chocolaty latte day.

Shopping All Day with My Daughter

By Cheryl Crowe

There is nothing I love more than a day spent shopping with Chelsea. We always start at Abercrombie or Hollister, her favorite stores. I tell her to look for bargains, but that seldom happens! She loves trying on clothes and making a mess of the dressing room as I’m hanging clothes back up. Then it’s my turn, so we head to Victoria’s Secret where we both shop for everything from perfume to sweats. We then head to Starbucks for a break and grab a Frappuccino with extra caramel. Then it’s off to find shoes for everything. We then end the day getting our nails done. That is my bonding time with my daughter and I look forward to doing this real soon.

Lady Elisabeth Roses

By Letha Howell

3586487445_0e307132afWhen I look at the Lady Elisabeth roses, I see such beauty in each interactive petal. When the Lady first starts to bud, the bud is so closed so tight that you think it will not ever open. Then after watering the Lady and loosening the earth from around her roots, the Lady starts to unfold her tiny frail petals. I can smell the fragrance of her innermost soul, so sweet and light. Then the Lady starts to grow, beauty that was within is in full blossom. The Lady struggles through the storms of life. Yet in her frailty she becomes strong. Her beauty fades; still she is so beautiful within her soul. The Lady shines in memory and in heart. Her fragrance is still so sweet and light to the senses of smell in the memory of heart.

Spending Time Crafting

By Opal Graham

One day our church decided to have a craft sale to earn money for a “Youth to Go to Camp Day.” After church we went home and my two daughters Sandra, 6, and Diana, 5, told me how they wanted to help and participate, so I went into my room and came out with my arts and craft box full of fun things to do. The girls jumped up and down and yelled with glee cause they were so surprised I brought my box out cause it was a No-No. They said, “Really, Mom?” and I said, “Yes, really.” So me and my girls sat down for the rest of the day and did all kinds of fun crafts for the craft day at church. We also ate cookies and chips, and sweet tea, our favorite. Two days later we had our craft day and the girls were so excited and I was so proud. They made enough for three kids to go to church camp.

Riding My Horse 

By C.O.

1065261253_27570c2fb2_zOn my 16th b-day I got my horse. She was the best b-day gift that I got that year. I’ve had her for a very long time and I still have her. I have ridden her in the rodeo and in parades. I was in barrel racing with her and jumping with her. She makes me very happy whenever I am with her because she is a very good horse to ride when you are in a bad mood. Her eyes are what make me also very happy because they are a baby blue which reminds me of the sky on a beautiful day. She likes to be at the beach where she can walk along the water to cool down and she also likes to go for a swim at the beach with me on her. She is so full of so much fun that makes me very happy whenever I am riding her. Here is a poem also:

Riding A Horse

Horseback riding

is so much fun to do

when you are in a bad mood.

So I think you should give it

a try sometime.

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About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."

5 responses »

  1. Thanks for giving a taste of their responses. One of my happiest joys is when people really want to know what it’s like to be in prison with the women in our classes. I just went back after a semester sabbatical last fall. When I stood in the circle, holding hands with the women in white, I loved that they each met my eyes with curiosity, acceptance, readiness to respond and respectful waiting to see what this “substitute teacher” would bring them. As a workshop leader told us one time after doing an exploring creativity workshop for us: “most audiences outside sit back and wait to see if you’re worth paying attention to, or not. The women in your classes greeted me like the free world folks treat me when they are leaving.” They are hungry for whatever we are bringing in. I feel VALUED, Happy, eager to know them curious what they are dealing with and so grateful when they show us they are using the tools we offer them. It’s true happiness being in prison as a TBT facilitator and a joy to talk (or write) about it.

    Reply
  2. The simple things in life are the best, thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  3. Reading this blog has evoked me to really think about what makes me happy. The most important message I am “finally” receiving is to look for it each day, not just a one time thing. So, this morning I heard my 11 month old grandson jabbering away through his mom’s cell phone. I could hear the innocence in his sweet chatter, yet the importance of every new syllable that he voiced – this is how I want to live. I want to be awake to each loving syllable, as it forms a word and thought, and take it to each new moment at hand.

    Reply

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