Blogging the Infinite Static

sun 9 sept 2018... walking

Yesterday, I didn't feel like driving to any of my usual hiking places. And I wanted to get pics of Goldfinches! So I walked out to our Community Garden.

The Comm Garden is about a mile away, and it is right on the bike path. This path runs next to a creek and has a decent area of green space along parts of it. It's a beautiful walk and I have encountered all kinds of wildlife over the years.

But this year, I'm more likely to drive someplace else to walk. Walking along the path yesterday, I thought about this.

I have walked that path about 1000 times. Yes, literally. A thousand times. I did the math.

I know what kinds of birds or beasts or bugs I might come across, at any time of the year. I know the cracks in the pavement. I know the graffeti with the misspelled word which has been there since last year. I know when and where I might pick some blackberries to munch on. I know the places where the homeless people might hang out. I recognize many of the dog walkers, and know a couple dogs and humans by name.

Knowing these things has been comforting for most of my time here! But lately, I just want to look at something different. :)

Goldfinch eating a sunflower seed on a sunflower head

The Goldfinches are molting this time of year, so their feathers look a bit messed up. :)


mon 3 sept 2018... Song Sparrows

I have a love for Song Sparrows.

Yep, they are sparrows. Also known as "little brown birds"! :)

But Song Sparrows are seriously cute, with their stripey face and chest. They stay here, year round. (and can be found, all across the US and up into Canada for at least some of the year!) And their voices are so cheerful and happy. I just love their song!

But more importantly... Song Sparrows seem to be fascinated by me and my camera!

When I happen to find a Song Sparrow close by, I start taking pics and they start showing off for me! They hop around, study me from several angles, flick their tail and stand up straight, and stay and watch me for a while!

At first I just assumed it's because I'm awesome! *laughs*

But maybe they like the beeps my camera makes. I tested this today. There was a Song Sparrow close to the trail who dove into the underbrush when I saw her. She didn't go far, tho. So I turned on my camera, and held down the shutter button to do the auto-focus. *beep*

And the Song Sparrow came out of hiding immediately! ha! I could hear her talking with her friend. Song birds have this *chirp* contact call, which they say constantly to each other. The *chirp* is nothing like the camera focus *beep*... but maybe I'm making the *beep* as a natural response to their contact calls.

Song Sparrow with cob webs

anyway, we like each other.


sun 2 sept 2018... hike

Instead of my walks to and from the community garden, this year I've been going for hikes on the weekends. My favorite place is a city park that has a Rhododendron Garden and a Native Plants Garden.

And across the way, there's a forest trail and part of the Ridgeline. The trails are short, but pretty steep. And if you want to walk all of them, you can go for several miles.

I walked these trails yesterday, and I wasn't having much luck with the wildlife. I'd see a chipmunk! and then I'd see her tail as she scampered away into the underbrush. Several times over... Chipmunk! Tail! Song Sparrow! Flicked his tail! then gone. foo.

Some days are like that. I just kept walking up and down the hills. And then a deer.

Or to be precise, a deer's butt.

He was pretty far off the trail, and I watched his butt for a while, walking back and forth on the path, trying to get a better view. He finally moved and laid down where I could almost see him!

Mule deer buck, laying in the forest

I've seen does at the park and a momma with a child, so it was exciting to see a male for the first time. He had a girlfriend with him, too, that was sweet.


sat 1 sept 2018... An Experiment

I have a little extra brain power, and I think I'm going to dedicate it to blogging.

At the day job, they fired all my friends in the warehouse. And I'm bored, so bored, without fun and interesting people walking by who want to chat with me about random things. So, instead of my brain complaining to me about how bored it is... I'd like to think up topics and writings for this place!

Don't know if it will work, that's why it's an experiment. But I aim to post here, not every day, but 4 or 5 days a week, for the month of September.

Note: Yeah, none of the internal links work here at the website. I've not fixed everything since my devestating computer crash at the beginning of the year.


sat 5 may 2018 2018... Spring Cleaning

Well so much for my March goals of posting more often. And so much for my April goals of catching up with my GoodRead book reviews. And so much for sending mail every day. Multiple Failures.

I can't stick with anything, and I'm having trouble doing anything at all.... Depression is acting up, big time.

But, it's a new month, and I'm going to give it another go!

My partner is visiting his mom, and he'll be gone for two weekends, so I've decided to do some Spring Cleaning. The floor of my bedroom is my craft area, and there are several years worth of piles taking over.

It's embarassing, but, as I mentioned, with depression it's just difficult or impossible to deal with things.

I took all the piles out and vacuumed.

There is no walking space in my partner's room... but my room looks open and inviting. I celebrated by getting my paints out!

star art

This idea has been rattling around in my brain for a couple weeks: Black Paper + Metallic Watercolours! I'm going to cut up the page and send it as postcards!

Yay Art!

Now the hard part, of course, is going thru all those piles and finding a place for everything. About ½ the piles are just books... but I ran out of book shelf space a long time ago. However, once I find and clear a space, the books will be the easiest thing to deal with.

All the other stuff, I don't know. These two weekends might be interesting.


sat 31 mar 2018 2018... April Goals

Well, sheesh. I did mean to post more often during the month of March! Unfortunately, I've been dealing with a (very) lingering cold and I've mostly slept thru the last half of March.

Despite this, I have sent mail almost every day during March. I only skipped two days. Problem is, I didn't write ANY LetterMo replies, like I meant to!

For April, I'd like to continue my goal of sending mail most every day. It would be nice to figure out a way to motivate myself to write replies, as well. Not to mention, I need to keep up with my mail log, as well.

But my major goal for April is a different project that I have procrastinated for a very long time.

My book reviews GoodReads. I am currently a year behind.

It's important to me because, with my postcard group there, I am very active on GR. I am a fairly serious reader, and it's a bit embarrassing that I'm not adding the books I've read.

I use my book reviews to remember what I've read, and to find new books when I find an author I like. The book reviews are also a conversation starter with the members of the group I host. And I just feel organized, when I am all caught up with a project! :)

So here's my plan. Slow Drip! Ten minutes, every day!

When I pull out the computer every evening, I will set a timer. There will be ten minutes of focused activity:

Figure out the next book, find my handwritten review. Read it and make corrections.

Add the book at GR and type the review.

I hope to add reviews about every other day? I tend to hem-and-haw about my reviews, so I'm not sure if I can finish typing one in 10 minutes.

That's the plan. We'll see how it goes!


fri 9 mar 2018 2018... Story of the Printer

Well. I think I have a working printer. We shall see how long it lasts.

I've bought 3 printheads here recently. The first one only lasted about three weeks. The second one never even installed correctly (And then I was not refunded for the peice of junk they gave me). And here we are on the third one.


Yeah, at this point, I'm a little short on hope.

But I've started printing things here and there. Trying not to get too excitable. Just a few basic postcards.


fri 2 mar 2018 2018... Arriving from USPS

Yesterday my order from arrived...

USPS order

This is a fair representation of the stamps I buy every month... About 5 or 6 sheets of Global stamps, usually two rolls of Postcard stamps, a few sheets of Forever stamps (especially new ones, or ones I love), and, if they have new Postal Notecards, I'll get some of those.

I am especially excited about the amazing Bioluminescent Life Stamps. Wow! They are shiny! I love them!

LetterMo March On

LetterMo March On... my goal is to continue to send mail every day, and to send some replies.

I actually did really well about replies in Feb... I sent out four replies to and LetterMo friends. Since my normal is zero replies, actually sending a few is a great improvement! *laughs*


wed 28 feb 2018 2018... Keeping Sane: Snail Mail

Month of Letters 2018 Participant

This year's LetterMo -- Sending mail every day during the month of February -- was not as fun as usual.

A lot of that, of course, was my personal apocalypse... no files and no printer and I couldn't make my own postcards and send tons like I usually do.

But some of it was the LetterMo website. The personal messaging system was turned off, and that was a major bummer. The badges were down, which in years past were always a fun incentive. The forums were pretty slow, and there were only a couple of blog posts... probably because there was a private facebook page (which I'm not interested in, due to myriad reasons).

Anyway, just kind of a disappointing experience.

So I've decided to make March special by typing about my mailing fun here! Here's what I'm working with...


Those are some of the postcards I've been sending out. Yeah, store bought. sighs... but I did buy them to use them!

I am happy to use some of my store-bought notecards as well. I've been signing up for more written notecard exchanges at swap-bot, and I host my own weekly swap as well. It's fun and I have learned how to fill a page with chatting... I couldn't tell you if it's interesting or not. ;)


sun 25 feb 2018... Looking Up!

Yay and Huge Relief! Files are back!

I haven't downloaded all of the years yet, but it looks like almost all of my files have been returned to me. So far, there's just a few weeks of January 2018 that are missing. But getting Hundreds of Thousands of photos returned more than makes up for it!

Next up: Figure out what to do about the printer and the crashed computer.

When I didn't have my files, I felt like my life was on pause and I couldn't do anything. But now, I feel like a real person again!


sun 11 feb 2018... Keeping Sane

My regular and ordinary, if obsessive, hobbies are keeping me sane during this time of Extreme Troubles.

On an ordinary weekend day, I go for a walk. I take photos. I turn photos into postcards. and I mail like crazy!

Okay. So right now, I can't print. And I don't have any addresses to send postcards to. All due to the Extreme Troubles I mentioned.

But I keep walking. And I keep taking photos.

And I'm surprised at all the wildlife that's showing up!

There is this one tree, it's about 1/2 way out on the path to the Community Garden. Birds like to sit there, it's kind of a look-out tree because it's right on the edge of the green area, and it's tall and alone, and it's base is mostly surrounded by a Wet Prairie pond.

Sometimes Starlings. Lately, Crows. I noticed a big dark bird in the tree as I came around the corner. But, when I got within camera range... um, that's not a Crow!

In fact, she or he was being mobbed by a Crow!

Raptor! Awesome!

Hawk being mobbed by a crow

Unfortunately, there is no hope for the photos I took. The day was too cloudy and I was too far away.

Hawk in a tree

But that's okay. It's always fun to see someone new!

This is a Red-Shouldered Hawk, a little bit outside her usual range along the coast in California.


fri 9 feb 2018... My Apocalypse

At the end of January a bunch of crises happened and I am having the worst year ever.

∞ Print head died. AGAIN.
I had just bought a print head, and it only lasted 3 weeks. I've now spent 500$ because I have to be able to print! (This is a large, high-end printer, and yes, it's worth it.)

∞ SO's mom is in the hospital.
Fell and broke her left humerus. Kidney failure. and a diabetes diagnosis. SO took a flight out to Miami to be with her and help organize care.

And in the meantime, our phones went down and communicating with each other on opposite sides of the country, became difficult.

∞ And then my computer crashed.
in a rather permanent way.

∞ And then my backup files disappeared

All my photos, gone. My postcard files. The address files. The files and software I use to coordinate the mail exchanges I host. Emails. My encrypted password file.

All gone. And I honestly don't know how to live my life without all this stuff.

And I'm so overwhelmed, it's difficult to even look at data recovery options. And I've been stymed again and again, as I try to find a decent and real Data Recovery company. I'm beginning to wonder if they are not all just scams, out to get money from desperate people.

A Good Thing: I recently bought myself a tablet, and I splurged on the extra memory. I'm fleshing it out with hardware and software and it is now a decent replacement for my crashed computer.

Just no files.

I go back and forth between hope and hopelessness. not to mention helplessness.

Another Good Thing: My friends have been awesome, caring and understanding. I don't know how I would have reacted without them. Saying "Thank You" is such a ridiculous under-statement of my gratitude that it makes me cringe. But...

Thank You!


sun 12 nov 2017... Daily Drawing

Guinea Pig drawing on saturday

Art Every Day Month

I've not been posting... but I have been drawing every day this month!

I sit down every evening to write some postcards, and then I pull out an index card to do my drawing.

I'm using pencils and Copic Sketch greys. Many of my drawings are coloured.

I am drawing from my own photos. I've got several pics of Guinea Pigs Piper and Dawn. I've also drawn some of my postcard photos of birds.

My drawings are not that great. Mostly, I am okay with this. I only draw once a year, after all, and I'm definitely losing my talent with so little practice! Arg.


sun 22 oct 2017... Creative Every Day

For the month of October, I've challenged myself to send at least one bit of mail, every day.

This used to be standard operating procedure. But this summer, I took a break. ha: no good came of it, that I could tell! ;) So, I need to get back to my mailing normals. Every Day.

So far, so good.

Art Every Day Month

And for November, I will be drawing every day.

Last November, I sketched on 4x6 index cards and my focus was drawing myself in the mirror. It was definitely something different, since I don't really like drawing humans. But I think it turned out rather well.

I'm not sure if I completed the challenge of drawing every day of the month... I did run out of time to upload all my drawings, and I don't remember how much further into the month I got. I will look into this!

So anyway. This annual drawing challenge is important to me because it's mostly the only time I bother to sketch. I do other artsy things: I take a couple hundred photos every week, and I design a postcard or notecard every week. I create several journal pages every week.

But physically drawing something takes different creative "muscles". It's a bummer that those muscles only get stretched once a year... but maybe one November, I will keep going into December, and then into the new year.

This is what I hope for. And this is why I keep challenging myself with a daily drawing during November.


Sat, 07 Oct 2017 18:19:26 PDT

Uploaded a couple old entries. Got some back end stuff cleaned up.

And wishing I could spare some more time for my poor, abandoned web site.

sun 24 sept 2017... Banned Books Week!

Yeah, if I only write one blog post a year, this is the one I'm going to type! :)

It's been a few years since I have added to the Classics List. But this year, I've read The Catcher in the Rye... Which brings my Classics total to 12 of 46:

2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
9. 1984, by George Orwell
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
24. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
45. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
57. Sophie's Choice, by William Styron

And, I am excited to report, I've read at least one book from each year's Top Ten list...

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
  • The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  • Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
  • Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
  • And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  • Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  • The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
  • The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  • His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
  • To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • (Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer)
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
  • Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  • (The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins)
  • Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
  • I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

Yay, Reading!

The thing I love about Banned Books Week is that it introduces me to books I wouldn't ordinarily read. Beyond Magenta about transgender teens??! How random! And yet, it made me laugh, it made me cry, and I hope it made me a better person.


wed 12 apr 2017... J is for Journal

I am pretty serious about keeping my journal. In the past, this has manifested as Daily Stories, Morning Pages, Art Journals, and just Filling Up Note Pads.

Currently I am journaling digitally on the weekends, adding photos, blog posts and emails... And then printing and adding paper notes, written journal pages and random ephemera... And then binding it all up into a wire-bound book!

This has worked really well for me for several years.

Well, except I perpetually don't have time for this project. So, I'll print and bind a couple months here and there, and then much later I'll do a couple more. Not sure how long it's been since I've completed a full year!

And, you know? I am completely okay with that! I do journal on a consistent basis... it's just the form that's somewhat inconsistent!


tues 11 apr 2017... Introvert

I'm an extreme introvert. Toss in some shyness and some social anxiety. Yep, that's me!

I love open space. I do not want humans in my bubble. My bubble is pretty big. I'd rather not talk to you... but if you want to type or write, I'm all for it!


mon 10 apr 2017... H is for Horses

Yep, I'm crazy for horses!

I graduated college with a BS in Equine Science... nope, I didn't go into the business: the summer jobs I had taught me that working with horses is extremely hard work for little pay. :) But I would not have done it any other way, my misdirected schooling got me where I am, and I'm quite happy here.

I do sometimes miss riding horses. I rode dressage, and enjoyed it. But now that I'm vegan, I know it's wrong to enslave a fellow earthling.

So these days, I occasionally draw horses but that's the extent of it.


sat 8 apr 2017... Gardening and Guinea Pigs

The baby guinea pigs are now 2 weeks old. They are definitely the picture of cuteness! Still no names, yet, but I am pretty sure the Big One is female and the Little One is male. We've got a vet appt next week to be sure.

Taking care of guinea pigs is part of my activism for animals. Guinea pigs, as a species, have been so abused by humans that their name is synonymous with experimentation. It is part of my mission in life to love and care for them.

And the gardening...

We have had a Community Garden plot since 2009. I still don't consider myself a "real" gardener... I just pretend: I'm mostly there for the photo opportunities, but I'm happy to get a few zucchini and sun gold cherry tomatoes out of the deal as well! :)

The Community Garden is about a mile away, and right on the bike path that follows the creek which runs near my home. It's a lovely walk, and I go out to the garden most every weekend all through the winter. During the spring and summer, I usually have to drive there because I've got baby plants or tools or compost.

Our "go to" veges that we plant every year are: Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, Zucchini, Lemon Cucumbers, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash. We do have some Strawberry plants, but only get a handful of strawberries every year. After that, we experiment with new veges every year.

I practice Veganic gardening, for the most part. That means Organic (no pesticides, organic starts and seeds) and Vegan (no animal-based compost, no attempts to kill slugs or other critters).

The only non-vegan thing I do is the very occasional vermicompost: We've got a worm bin at home... keeping and using worms as pets is not vegan, but it helps the earth so much I think the "end justifies the means"... but I am quite ambivilent about it.

We started this year's garden Today! I don't have very good luck planting seeds, so we usually buy most of our veges as seedlings from Saturday Market. Today we got Snap Peas, Cauliflower and a new experiment Cherokee Lettuce.

I'm looking forward to warmer weather so we can fill up our space with plants and flowers!


fri 7 apr 2017... F is for Freedom

Life is a hard battle anyway. If we laugh and sing a little as we fight the good fight of freedom, it makes it all go easier. I will not allow my life's light to be determined by the darkness around me.
~ Sojourner Truth

I am a human rights activist. I do my best to Fight the Good Fight of Freedom for everybody on the planet. My activism through letter writing and postcard sending is an important part of my life.

I am a letter writer for Amnesty International's Urgent Action Network. It's been a while since I've been super active: I used to take on an Urgent Action every weekend. These days, I am not quite so dedicated: I'm writing one case a month.

And I take on other mailing campaigns, as I see them: I've sent postcards for the blitz to Betsy DeVos to #DefendPublicEducation and I sent a bunch of postcards for the The Ides of Trump.


thurs 6 apr 2017... E is for Ebooks

I discovered Project Gutenberg in 1997 or 98. I think the first book I read on my computer was Alice in Wonderland... or maybe it was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I read both, early on and it was the combination of two of my loves: books and computers!

I bought a Palm handheld device, at some point. I loved that thing! I could read old Gutenberg books, or buy new books from Fictionwise (now defunct). Plus I could play Sudoku and an awesome pinball game.

Eventually the battery went out. Instead of fixing it, I bought an Amazon Kindle. Which I'm still reading today, even though it has a couple of micro cracks in the screen and is slow as dirt. :)

When I bought the kindle, the deal I made with myself was that I would only have one (bought and paid for) book at a time. If anything else came up while I was reading my one, I would get the free sample.

This worked brilliantly for years!

I have still bought more than I can read of the dead-tree books. But my digital collection has remained manageable. I had tons of free samples, but just the one book I'm currently reading.

Until recently.

I signed up for this stupid Daily Deal thing at GoodReads. And, as I mentioned before: "A curse on those Daily Deals. The book is 2$! Today Only! and I meant to read it some day, anyway."

Lordy. And, the bought-but-unread books are piling up on my Kindle as well as in real life. But at least I'm not paying 10+$ for these books I might not ever read! *giggles*


The kindle, with some dead-tree books I've read recently.


wed 5 apri 2017... D is for Drawing

Drawing is one of those random things I like to do, except, like blogging, it seems to only happen in concentrated daily challenges like this one. I usually do my daily drawing challenge in November.

(ha, I just remembered I ran out of time to upload all my drawings from last november! Need to do some scanning and pre-date a few more blog entries, I guess.)

Anyway. I usually do a half-decent job when I draw... as in you can mostly tell what it is I'm drawing! And drawing is a skill and I can easily improve, just by practicing every day. Thing is, I've got a million other projects that I work on every day as well. Just have to let some stuff go.


tue 4 apr 2017... C is for computers

I have had a very happy relationship with computers since my Dad got a TRS-80 when I was a kid! I eventually minored in Computer Science at university. I got As and Bs, but the programming classes were more difficult... school stuff came pretty easily for me, so it was a surprise when I actually had to think.

I never wanted a computer job, because I knew if I worked on or with computers all day I would not want to play with the computer on my own time.

But every once in a while, I do think I want to try with the programming again. I'll buy a new book about some random language, and then I will realize I don't have time to read the hefty book, let alone learn anything!

ha, but some day I will get bored with my regular books, and I'll dig out one of those old programming books...


mon 3 apr 2017... B is for Books (and Birds)

I love reading!

And Birds are cool too. Sometimes I read books about birds. The biggest reason why I like birds, is because they are almost always available to be photographed! Even when you don't have a bird feeder. :)

But this post is actually about books. I have a terrible habit of buying more books than I can read. I'm not sure of the exact count, but I'm positive that I have 60 or 70 books here, that I've bought but haven't yet read. Yeah, there are piles of books all over the place!

Including on my kindle! A curse on those Daily Deals. (The book is 2$! Today Only! and I meant to read it some day, anyway!) (Arg!)


This years book pile

One of my piles. These are some of the books I got for xmas. A couple of the books, I have read. Most I have not! There are three bird books in this pile. :)


*PRE-DATED* sat 25 mar 2017... Piper, part TWO!

Before Piper was brought to the local humane society, she was kept with a male guinea pig. uh huh.

Greenhill Humane Society fostered Piper for a month, and there were multiple vet appointments before she was up for adoption. Her last ultrasound was on 14 feb, "Rechecked abdominal ultrasound... Unlikely to be pregnant, ok for adoption."

Well, yeah. Humane Society people were very confident and I totally assumed they knew what they were talking about!

But last thursday, I came home from the day job, spent some time with Piper and realized she was very pregnant. I could see a very active fetus on her left side, and a more relaxed fetus on the right side of her tummy. and more fetuses hanging out underneath? eek!

I looked up Guinea Pig gestation -- 70 days -- and did the math. If Piper got pregnant on the very morning that she was brought in to the humane society, the babies would be born on sunday 26 march. That gave me a time-line to work with.

Basically, SOON!!!!

ha. I worried as Piper got more round every day. And more round!

Finally: Friday 24th of March, around noon. Two babies born!!!

I am so surprised and amazed that there are just the two. It means that I have meet and become acquainted with both before they were born!

It took a couple of minutes, but soon I could tell who was the active baby, who I had called a "tap dancer" as a fetus, from the smaller, relaxed baby, who just stretched every once in a while inside Piper. Tap Dancer is much bigger, and the stretcher is practically a runt.

They are quite adorable. In all my years of taking care of guinea pigs, I've never had to care for babies, so this is new and wonderful and terrifying and anxiety producing for me!

Piper the momma guinea pig with babies


sat 1 apr 2017... A is for Art

Blogging A to Z

Thanks to one of my friends over at GoodReads, I am going to attempt another month of daily blogging. The Blogging from A to Z Challenge sounds do-able and fun... Every day's topic is to begin with each letter of the alphabet. So rather than an infinite number of topics I could be typing about, I'll be more limited and hopefully not as overwhelmed! :)

So. Art. Yeah, capital "A" art!

Yep, I love Art. But this post is actually about me. I am an Artist. I don't throw that word around lightly, but I definitely own it.

I am a photographer and I share my photos with the world: here on my web site and on the postcards that I send out.

I am not a professional and I have never made money on my art. I don't have to worry about such things because I have a decent day job which pays me a living wage. That's not to say I'm opposed to making money on photos, I'm just not interested in it right now. And I don't consider money to be an indicator of my success.

Success, to me right now, is simply knowing that I've brought a smile to someone's face when they are standing at their mailbox. :)

P.S. I do not have comments enabled here on the blog. I just don't have the time to maintain them. If you wish to say something to me, my email and my PO box are listed in the sidebar on the right. Happy Day, rift

P.P.S. Another good "A" word, that I felt bad about passing by: Abecedarian

And Another Thing: I have Announcements to make, which I will be typing soon and post-dating. They'll be at the top of this page in the next day or so!


sat 4 mar 2017... The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

My partner and I have adopted Piper the guinea pig!

Humane Society Website photo

"The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" is my favorite chapter in The Wind in the Willows and I love the name Piper. I think she is named appropriately: her webpage at the humane society mentioned that she's talkative, and loves to sing!

Piper is about 6 months old. Her intake papers make me sad. This is the paperwork filed out by the previous "caretaker" who surrendered her to the humane society. They list her name as Brown. Sighs, that's not a name. That's not even a description, since she's yellow and white.

And "How often is your pet handled?" Not Multiple times per day, and Not Daily... but weekly. Which probably means less. Sad, because she is very friendly. Definitely not "shy" or "timid", which is almost a joke.

And her "Problem Behaviors" are "Chewing" and "Escape Artist"... *giggles* I wonder if they kept her in a cardboard box!!!

(In case you don't know, guinea pigs and all rodents are SUPPOSED to chew! Their teeth grow continually and they have to chew hard things like wood to wear them down. Trimming their teeth is a routine procedure at your veterinary appointments.)

piper the guinea pig

Here's Piper at home, accessing the escape possibilities. ;)


Mon, 27 Feb 2017 20:30:48 PDT

Outgoing Mail

Today's outgoing mail included a postcard protest directed at the Department of Education.

I'm looking forward to the big postcard protest of the 15th of March...
The Ides Of...

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 20:04:38 PDT

the weekend outgoing mail

sun 26 feb 2017... #TheIdesOfTrump Free Printable

Ides of March

There is a mailing campaign aimed at the US White House for the Ides of March...

And I intend to participate and inundate!!!

I made a postcard which I am offering as a free download. The PDF has two single-sided postcards on letter sized paper. Print it up on card stock at Actual Size and cut it on the crop marks to create two 4x6inch postcards.

Write your comments on the back. Put a Postcard or Forever Stamp on the front... 34¢ is all that is required. Then mail on 15 March 2017.


Free Printable: #TheIdesOfTrump postcard

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sat 25 feb 2017... mail

I guess I forgot to post anything here, last weekend... Yeah, that uploading a photo every day is going Great, isn't it??! haha!


So this week, I've been working on the february postcards for the postcard group I host. I like to send a postcard to everyone who participates. It was a fun and joyful thing to do when the group was small. Last year, the monthly exchanges hit 50 and 60 participants, which was more difficult: I would spend hours every evening for most of two weeks writing postcards. I enjoyed it, but it was taking over my life!

This year, the group is up over 70 players every month. I've simplified my process by typing my message on the postcards instead of writing. It has helped immensely. It's not as personal, but I can type a lot more since I can reduce the font size. And of course, things go much more quickly now. We are back to having fun and joy again!

Here's a pic of my work space as I'm cutting up the 2nd half of the postcards...

cutting up gr postcards

As I cut out each postcard, I arrange them by country. I send out International postcards first since it takes them a bit longer to get to where they're going.

When I cut up the USA postcards, I arrange them by zip code so I can send to the east coast first, which is the furthest away. Closest locations -- California, Oregon and Washington state -- are sent last and only take a day or two of travel time.

Before I printed all the postcards, I did stress a bit about the wordage I was typing. When I was hand-writing my postcards, I would practice what I wanted to say and my words would change as I edited myself. And that doesn't happen when I'm typing my words. I guess in the future, I need to actually write my stuff a few times over before I go to the computer to type it!

It's a big project, and I love it. The people are wonderful and kind and I always enjoy conversing with them... both online and in the post!

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sun 12 feb 2017... mail

Haha! So much for taking pics of my mail every day! (I've not posted anything here for a week.) Truth be told, I got bored of the pics because I was only sending one or two postcards every day last week. And I ran out of time to get creative with the backgrounds.

So, here is what I worked on this weekend, with the standard boring background... tho I do like the Copic markers as props! :)

This weekends mail

Sending on Monday: 4 letters
One to a friend, one swap-bot notecard
and two swap-bot "Interest Me in a Book" notes

Oh, and I love to use digital paper as belly bands when I send standard letter-size paper in the US#10 envelope... You can't see it in the pic, but the brownish dot paper is very beautiful and is included in this set, made by my friend Linda at Happy Print Club: Tea Time Stationery Printables. And yes, there's tons of free printables on the Internets... but I prefer to support artists, financially!

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Mon, 06 Feb 2017 18:32:30 PDT

Weekend projects

I cut up a couple world maps to make a bunch of postcards this past weekend. They came out amazingly well! I put 11 of them in the this morning's mail.

Also Sent: 2 welcome postcards
+ 2 letters
= 15 total bits of mail today!

Sat, 04 Feb 2017 18:26:33 PDT


Sent: 3 welcome postcards

fri 3 feb 2017... condolences


Sent: 1 condolence card

sighs. Last year I lost track of how many condolence cards I sent. And this year is starting out the same. This is the second sympathy card I've sent this year, already.

It's a hard thing to do. It's sad and there is nothing you can say on a card that will help. But, believe me, it is very very important that you write and send something!

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Thu, 02 Feb 2017 19:02:55 PDT

postcard work space

Sent: 1 GR Welcome PC
+ 1 Swap-Bot PC

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 18:50:25 PDT

postcard work space

Sent: 1 GR Welcome PC

sun 22 jan 2017... LetterMo Plans

Yay Mail! and Yay Month of Letters!

Okay, so you know the State of the Blog is "way behind"... so what is the State of the Postcards?? Well, there's good. and bad. and normal.

Good: I got a slow start at the beginning of the month because I was not feeling well... but I am catching up big time and am on track to have a regular month. During a regular month, I send out about 130 postcards and notecards! Yay Mail!

Bad: I am very behind on my mail log. What's involved here? I scan my incoming mail and type it into my mail log and then postcards need to be registered with certain websites. I'm still dealing with december mail, here! ack!

And Normal: xmas Thank You notes, not written yet. Probably won't be sent until March or so! haha! yep. this is normal.

letter writing work space

My letter writing work space in Dec when I was writing Amnesty International protest letters for Write for Rights. I thought the Star Trek stamps were appropriate! and I'm still decorating my envelopes with my Wide markers.

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friday 20 jan 2017... Behind the times, but catching up

Well. um. Happy New Year!

I have had some creative down time... I never completed the posts for my daily drawing month in November, I didn't post again after that, and, most importantly, I did not post my annual First of January "year in review".

I've been doing a Jan 1st post for about a million years, and this is the first time I've ever missed it!

My Excuses: I got busy. Then I got busy with the holidays. And then I got sick with a bad and lingering flu.

I'm feeling better now, so, here's the plan... I will fill in older posts as I get the time. I will back date them, but I will post them here on this page in the order that I type them.

I have deleted the rest of this page in order to encourage my participation in this plan: it looks kind of empty around here, doesn't it??! Look! You can see the bottom of the page! hello, rift?! Type something, rift!!!


for Inauguration Day:
I stand on the side of LOVE.


Looking down at an Egret in the Rain.


rifts avatar
I am rift vegan!
I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, with my Significant Other (SO) and Piper the Guinea Pig. 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 :)

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Yep, you can email me. and you can write to me.

rift vegan
PO Box 23724
Eugene OR 97402



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