sat 4 may 2013... summer|
There's a good breeze going today...
The oak tree catkins are floating down
and then the wind sweeps them into drifts like snow.
I love the sound of the leaves in the breeze.
There's a word for it:
Well, it's obsolete, and I don't know how to pronouce it.
But still. :)
It's a little bit too sunshiny to go outside today, even
with the lovely breeze. So I'm looking out the window,
at the trees with their new leaves and their falling
flowers. And I'm reading my book...
My book is a page-turner:
The Color Purple.
I pulled it off the banned books list, and discovered
that it's an epistolary book (written as letters).
It's sad and intense and much more subtle than the movie.
I will finish it quickly.
Sat, 04 May 2013 08:06:39 PDT|
Weekly Mail Check-in
This Week: 25 mailings
Reply Mail: 0 postcards
Notecard Projects: 1 notecard
sat 27 apr 2013... postcard organization|
Today has been a day of organization for some of my
Organization is not my strong point, but when you are
sending out 70 or 100 bits of mail every month, and getting
who-knows how much back... well, a little bit of orderliness
I have a couple of ways of keeping track of my mail...
I scan all mail.
Everyone gets their own
directory on the computer. In theory, I also scan the
text side of my out-going postcards, which goes into
everyone's directory as well...
I am no longer able to send mail to everyone
in my address book every month; So,
scanning my out-going mail helps to know who got what.
Every bit of daily mail gets listed in a table...
I look at and add to this file almost every day.
Sometimes, seeing this file, I realize I am crazy.
Fortunately, I am crazy in the good/happy way that
makes people smile.
For the postcard exchange that I run, I keep a simple database.
Each participant gets an entry which includes their
address and when they joined.
And then each monthly postcard exchange has an entry with
the different participants listed.
I spend quite a lot of time hosting this postcard
project... it's something near and dear to my heart.
But I worry about what I'm going to do if I ever
get a membership explosion!
Today, I set up a separate table listing for my
Yes, LetterMo was in February. And Yes, I am still working
on my replies! As I mentioned: organization is not my
strong point. :)
I'm hoping that having a smaller file, that is focused
on replies, will call my attention to what needs to be
I really like the little "April Daily Mail" reports
I've been making here!
So! I'm going to continue with my saturday morning
"Weekly Mail Check-in". My hope is that I continue with
the mail replies.
Sat, 27 Apr 2013 08:50:39 PDT|
April Daily Mail: Week 4
(Total Mail: 81 mailings)
This Week: 18 mailings
Reply Mail: 3 postcards
Notecard Projects: 2 notecards
sat 20 apr 2013... garden|
Our first 2013 trip to Saturday Market. We bought some
basic starts for the garden: Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato,
Diva Cucumber, Lemon Cucumber, Basil and Cilantro.
An excellent beginning... but I want some serious flowers
this year. We were walking back, through the back edge
of the Market, when this caught my eyes...
Wow, look at that BLUE!
This is a teeny tiny plant, native to the Alps.
Gentian. It will probably die of root rot before
the summer gets here. But I'm going to enjoy it
immensely while it lives!
Sat, 20 Apr 2013 08:18:33 PDT|
April Daily Mail: Week 3
(Total Mail: 63 mailings)
This Week: 21 mailings
Reply Mail: 0 postcards (ACK)
Notecard Projects: 1 of 5 sent
Sun, 14 Apr 2013 17:39:35 PDT|
April Daily Mail: Week 2
(Total Mail: 42 mailings)
This Week: 29 mailings
Reply Mail: 5 postcards
sun 7 apr 2013... garden|
In between rain showers, I walked out to the
Well. It wasn't actually "between". I did get rained
At the garden,
I was annoyed to discover a third patch of the evil
invasive weed that I've been battling since last year.
It was right in the middle of the garden plot and I
killed it with zeal. Also worked a bit on patches 1 and
2, which are at the edges of the plot.
The rest of the weeds are still at the manageable stage...
Except maybe the grass, which is getting a pretty good
establishment, since I've ignored it due to the Evil Weed.
But we have much less of the grass
this year, due to our forking efforts last autumn.
The state of the Garlic Patch...
The tall, spikey ones are the garlic. By planting it
last fall, we gave the garlic a good head start and we'll
have huge and wonderful garlic in the late summer!
In between the garlic are happy cover crops. We seeded
some clover at the end of last year. And the purplish
ones are a cover crop from the previous owners of our
plot. I haven't looked up what they are yet, but I always
let them grow because they are easy to pull up.
To the right of the garlic is our strawberry patch.
It's mostly grass now, and I suppose I should do something
But in the meantime. I'm sure I will be amply rewarded
for my weeding efforts with sore muscles tomorrow.
sat 6 april 2013... crow happy|
I am an animal lover, I love ALL animals.
As a photographer, I especially love birds. I can go
outside, any day of the year, and take a picture of a
bird. I can't do that with any other wild animals.
And as an individual, I have a special place in my heart
for Corvidae: Crows and Jays. They are smart and they
have a sense of humor.
Crows are common in my city. We also have a good population
of scrub jays. The Steller jays are more shy. Ravens live
outside the city; I've never seen one.
Since Crows are common, I often photograph them. And since
I like them so much, I often turn my photographs into a
postcard. This is one of my favorites from last year.
(um, yeah, all my postcards are "one of my favorites".
that's why I turn them into postcards!)
This photo also included a wonderful story. Here's
what I wrote on the back of the postcard...
This crow is one of four
crows who have hung out near
our home all year. They are
a family: Mom and Dad raising a
baby with help from last year's
child. The baby yelled a lot
thru the summer. He or she
finally learned some manners
tho, and it's much quieter
around here now! (But maybe
I miss their noise:))
At the end of the summer, I was delighted to see Baby
learning to fly. And being shown the nearest and easiest
food source (my neighbor who feeds the squirrels nuts!)
and this is how you open a peanut shell. It was wonderful.
And I wondered if the crows would come back next year.
Well, I think they may have returned!
I was sitting on my bed, reading my book, when motion in
the bare oak tree outside caught my attention.
There was a crow... and another one further away...
strange behavior. I had to watch them both for several
minutes to figure out what they were doing.
Gathering sticks!! They would hop out to the end of the
branch and test the twigs.
*yank, yank* move on, *yank* "Oh Hey! I got one!" Re-arrange
for easy carrying (in the beak). "Oh wait, is this twig
And then they would carry the twig to the top of
a big, nearby spruce tree.
I definitely saw three crows gathering sticks... most
likely last year's baby is helping this year. This is
a normal crow family practice. (I'm assuming this is
still the original Mom and Dad!)
But I do wonder about the sibling
that helped out in 2012... Is s/he starting their own
family this year? I hope so. How far away are they?
Still close by? I hope so!
sat 6 april 2013... a postcard month|
I've decided to do another month of daily mail.
In February, for the official
I put over 100 postcards, notecards and letters in the mail.
This time, I want to focus on making ONE reply postcard
or notecard every day.
Yeah, I'll still be doing my "batch" postcards on the
weekends because I'm still behind on my monthly sendings.
But I have got a ton of reply mail to send, and it's a
bit overwhelming! I'm hoping that one a day won't be so
April Daily Mail: Week 1
Total Mail: 13 postcards
Reply Mail: 3 postcards
sun 31 mar 2013... productive weekend|
A few more things done this weekend!
Another batch of postcards out the door.
Taxes done. All the regular weekend chores are completed.
And I got great exercise...
My beautiful Hooded Merganser girl
has found someone special!
I am so happy for her.
I carried my hand gardening tool with me,
intending to get a head start on the weeds in the
community garden plot...
whoops: the weeds are way ahead of me!
Plus, I discovered several
clumps of "The Bane Of My Existance"... an evil weed we
tried to irradicate last year. (I still don't know it's
I used my hand tool mercilessly.
And now I'm a bit sore.
But The Bane has been somewhat decimated.
sun 24 mar 2013... procrastination central|
Procrastination has been ruling my life again.
My inbox is overflowing. I've not exercised in the past
two weeks. The lunches that I take to work
have been the simplest, easiest, quickest I can make,
and not always healthy.
I've still got LetterMo replies (from
february) to write. Plus I've a stack of over 50 postcards
that are sitting in my printer bay, needing to be cut up
and written on. 50!
I'm signed up for an online class, it started this week
but I can't even get through the first lesson.
The piles of "I'll deal with it later" are growing.
And the wonderful projects that I've planned out in my
head, are stuck there in my head. Giving me nightmares.
My car is falling apart. My taxes aren't done. And I
need a hair cut.
Not to mention: It's Spring! I need to start thinking
about garden stuff. Some lime needs to be thrown down
and the clover needs to be cut and mixed with the soil.
(Pretend to be a real gardener!)
So! This is my call to action! Sunday will be a Day
of Doing! I think that getting just a few things done
will help get the ball rolling.
All the printer pages and postcards are cut up and
Two loads of laundry. Bills paid and junk mail sorted.
BH Postcards written and stamped. (16 pcs out of the 50+)
A bit of tidy happened in my computer area.
Short letter to my vegan pen pal.
A short walk is better than no walk...
worked on paper journal.
Printed up my class lessons.
sun 17 mar 2013... Spring!|
I was forced to do chores today, since I avoided such things
yesterday. So, my many projects will have to wait for
But nothing could keep me from a walk through
the neighborhood... blue skies, fluffy white clouds, and
the cherry trees are blooming...
Oh how I adore the cherry blossoms. I love them so much
I might change my favorite season from autumn to spring!
Seriously, I love them that much.
I walked out to my PO box and discovered my first real
mail there. Some junk mail to the previous occupant. sighs.
But at least it was artsy junk mail: from a pottery biz
I walked along the creek and saw a female Hooded Merganser!
I didn't even have to look her up in my bird book, she
had the exact same shape as the male I saw a few months ago!
She was trying to hang out with the teals, but the males
were having none of it. They were chasing her away, and
she was swimming away pretty fast.
I walked out to our Community Garden plot to check on the
garlic we planted last fall. It's doing great, plus there
are some good patches of the cover crop growing as well!
Not sure when we will get around to plowing that under.
There have been other happy surprises in the garden plot...
This was a major surprise, because I don't remember planting
crocuses! But then I vaguely remembered buying some bulbs
from one of my co-workers. That was 2010, but only the
wind flowers came up in the following spring.
I suppose I also bought some
And today, I was reacquainted with the
hyacinth I planted last year.
I am thinking about turning that photo into a postcard.
So, if you'd like to see it, be sure to sign up for a
sat 16 mar2013... day of reading|
Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society,
has been on my mind for several weeks...
Of course it came up during february's LetterMo... Guernsey
Literary is a story told in letters. Plus, it's just so
charming, it's a favorite with many.
Including me. I first read it in 2011. and then I read
it again, immediately after!
The re-read was actually the first book I read
on my new Kindle. ha.
So, it was raining this morning and I decided to read
instead of going for my hour-long walk. It kept raining,
and I kept reading.
And I read until I finished the book.
And it felt wonderful! I had a million projects swirling
around in my head this morning (well, at least five!), but
I changed things up and read a book instead.
Undoubtedly, I will get to my projects. But today was
such a lovely rainy reading day.
sun 10 mar 2013... painting crockery|
Significant Other took me on a mystery date yesterday.
I was more anxious than excited, but it turned out okay
in the end. :)
He drove me to
Peace Love and Pottery, a place where you can paint
your own pottery. They had many items to choose from:
plates, bowls, mugs & cups, plus random bric-a-brac.
SO got a large plate, for which he had a plan: He had a
whole sheet of paper covered with ideas! I got a pasta
bowl. And we sat together in the small party room,
thoughtfully reserved by SO to keep me away from the
children and other humans!
The nice lady working there gave us a few tips, and then
the painting began. Three coats later, about an hour and a
My bowl has blue-yellow-purple stripes on the outside,
and trees on the inside. Yep, it says "Yay Vegan" in
the bottom! :)
SO's plate says he's the 2013 Northwest Oh-Pin
We left the bowl and plate there... the paint will dry
for a bit, then they will glaze them and put them in the
oven. We can pick them up on Wednesday.
I might like to do that again...
sat 2 mar 2013... random|
A couple warmer days, and it seems like
Spring might be coming. When I went out walking today,
I wanted to bring home Proof! And here it is:
Daffodils and Crocuses are blooming!
I also FINALLY found our
Little Free Library...
installed in June 2012, and I loved it but didn't see
it on my regular walks. ha... It is exactly one house
down from where I thought it was!
Inside, the only book that interested me was the big one,
which is by Anais Nin. I do have several books to trade
for it. Maybe I will head back there tomorrow! (Like
I don't have enough to read already!)
And like I don't have enough mailing hobbies...
this morning I discovered this:
Etegami ... is a Japanese folk art consisting
of simple hand-painted drawings accompanied by a few
apt words, and they are almost always done on postcards
for quick and easy mailing.
What?! how did I not know about this??
friday 1 mar 2013... end of LetterMo|
Yay Mail! During february I joined the LetterMo challenge
to send mail out every day and I sent out a total of
108 bits of snail mail.
Mostly postcards, a few cards, and letters for three
Amnesty International cases.
The one new thing that I really loved about this year's
LetterMo website: the "What have you mailed today?" widget,
which shows up on your LetterMo profile.
I just loved filling it out every day! It had a text block
for writing about what you sent and you could upload a pic.
Here's an example that I uploaded to Google Plus:
A secondary LetterMo goal was to write replies.
I wanted to write
two or three a week. haha. I wrote a total of five replies!
But, in my defense: I had actually kept up with the replies
until the very last week...
which brought a plethora of LetterMo mail!
I put one postcard reply in the mail this morning.
And I intend to continue with my replies.
At the beginning of LetterMo, I had sent a postcard to
Save the Rupert VT Post Office. The owner of that
cute little PO is an artist, and she offered to reply with
art postcard! Here's the art postcard she sent me:
I love her art. And I intend to send her
a thank you card soon!
fri 22 feb 2013... happy stamps|
I usually buy stamps about once a month.
I am sending out mail every day during february.
Many, many postcards... but
I did not think I would run out of postcard stamps.
After all, postcard stamps come in rolls of 100.
I am sending out plenty of mail, but not all of it is
Plus, I had started out the month with the old herb stamps...
I loved the herb stamps! I am very sad that they don't
sell them anymore. :( I have one, un-opened roll left
of the herb stamps. I'm keeping it. For what? I don't
In other words, it's getting towards the end of february,
and I still have some postcard stamps left.
So, here's the real problem...
I've been sending international postcards and letters almost
I jammed through an entire sheet of the new Global stamps
in just a week!
Ha! I bought more. And decided to take it easy with
my Amnesty International mailings.
But, really... sending out mail is my hobby.
I should be proud to be buying more stamps!
Yes. Yay Stamps!
February LetterMo Daily Mail
Total Mail: 78 (for 18 mailing days)
Reply: several (I need to keep better track!)
fri 15 feb 2013... begin again|
So: last week I was sick. And then some stuff happened.
And then some other stuff happened. And now I am making
an effort to put the stuff behind me.
And to celebrate my forward motion... I went out
and got a Post Office Box!
Yes! Now I can display my address for all the world to see!
Please write me! I promise to send you a postcard if you
include your return addy!
PO Box 23724
Eugene, OR 97402
I am surprisingly happy about my new po box.
It's partly about supporting the US mail. I will continue
to use my home address for my postcards... Yeah, I really
want my home mailbox to continue to be happy! :)
I'll use the PO Box as my return address for my ongoing
political mail. Probably, it doesn't matter that the
governments know where I live... but
maybe they are sending the zombies directly to my house to
make me one of them!
You never know.
February LetterMo Daily Mail
Total Mail: 52 (for 13 mailing days)
Reply: um, still at 0
except maybe a "Thank You" note counts as a reply?
sat 2 feb 2013... happy snail mail|
Yes, I Send Mail!
A single postcard went out on the first of february.
Today's mail includes 2 PostCrossing postcards, protest
letters for Amnesty International, and 1 "Save the Post
My PostCrossing account has been inactive for years(? maybe).
Here's what my most recent newsletter from them said:
Postcards sent: 0 (251)
Postcards received: 0 (254)
Days your mailbox was happy: 0 :-(
Country ranking by sent: 1408th
Country ranking by distance: 1409th
It'll be interesting to see what my next newsletter says!
The "Save the Post Office" postcard was for
the cute little
post office in
Rupert, Vermont, USA. The post mistress there is going to send
out 200 handmade art postcards in reply to the art postcards
And speaking of replying to mail...
The other half of the LetterMo challenge is to
"Write back to everyone who writes to you."
For various reasons, I have trouble writing back.
I don't really know why, but I get major procrastination
and writer's block when it comes to replying to mail.
So for LetterMo, I would really like to work on this issue.
My goal is to reply to two or three mailings every week!
Happily, this weekend's mail brought some treats which
will be very easy to reply to! :)
February LetterMo Daily Mail
Total Mail: 8 (for 2 mailing days)
Reply: 0 (but planning lots!)
sat 26 jan 2013... how to re-start|
I am trying to convince myself to quit moping
and get back to my hobbies.
The enthusiasm is lacking... but maybe if I pretend, my
zest will come back.
I am very happy to see
come back for a second
year... The challenge is to put something in the mail
every single day during the month of february. Last year,
I was sick for most of the month, but I did enjoy it...
and managed to get 60 bits of mail out.
I am all signed up, and ready to do way more than 60
This morning, I spent about 100$ at my
The price of US stamps goes up on 27 jan, and there are a
bunch of new stamps to be had!
I've still got most of a sheet
of the old $1.05 international stamps, but I can't wait to
use one of the new ROUND international forever stamps...
This afternoon I walked to Staples and spent 50$
on the special photo paper that I use to make my
I am way behind on my postcards.
I moderate a monthly
postcard exchange, and I've not sent postcards to them.
I've not sent anything to my overseas pen pals in months.
My january postcard for the postcard group I've been a
member of for years is not even designed, let alone printed
or written. Plus I have a few xmas Thank You notes left
The one thing that I have worked on is my Amnesty International
writing. In 2012, I wrote letters for 40 cases, and this
year I want to do more. My goal for 2013 is 60 cases!
So. I am bound and determined to get some mail out in the
next month and beyond.
If you're interested, I've set up an account at Postable...
Sign up for
(phone and email not required)
I am rift vegan!|
(Also known as cheri.)
I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA,
with my Significant Other (SO).
I am vegan for ethical and environmental reasons,
my love for animals and nature is
a very important part of my life.
This blog is occasionally about...
∞ Vegan Life
∞ Handmade Postcards
∞ Books, Reading & eBooks
∞ the Paper Journal
∞ Drawing & Art Projects
∞ Randomness :)