Saturday, June 12, 2021

From Edvard to Lauren --- (sifting + pre-obit)

This is the third one in a row where I asked for images of mail.
I've know Edvard for several years and this was his first time doing the exchange. I didn't participate in the exchange that month so I asked Lauren to send me an image. I was curious to see what Edvard created. Lauren and I are wondering if there is a message behind the collage. That's part of the fun of collages - they might mean something or they might not.

During my endless project of sifting through things, I have sifted through my blogs. I use blogs as a filing system and I have 21 blogs. A few of them are public. Several are still in *draft* form, which means I can review the posts and when they are ready to go public, I can put them out there with one simple click. I need to delete and combine some of the blogs. In the end, I'll have Pushing the Envelopes, one blog for each of my three kids, the recipe blog, and then my *archive of thoughts.* 

The archive will have my *goodbye* message. It's like an obituary written by me. I actually wrote one in 2015 and during the sifting, I reviewed what I had to say 6 years ago and I was surprised that I still felt the same way. The only editing that I will do is a reference to my kids. I implied that they should not have an actual funeral because they have a tendency to *disagree.* I feel like now that they are in their 30s and 40s, they've matured, so they can probably get along fine. Although, I'm guessing they will organize a Zoom since they tend to be many miles apart, literally. 

The rest of my farewell post was/is really sweet. I explain that I want an online service of some sort because my blog friends are as important to me as my in-person family and friends. I hope you are feeling the warm fuzzies. I could get all mushy - and mention the really lovely snail mail and email that people send - but, I'm not a mushy type. I'll just say thank you.

It was so nice of all y'all to stick with me through the doldrums.

Brace yourself -- tomorrow we will have one of the lamest posts - E.V.E.R.

The PartyTime/Anything Goes exemplars are going to be posted on the 17th.
I just found about 6 legitimate comments (and 4 spams) waiting for moderation.
<sigh> seems like regular checking of my spam for comments is beyond my capabilities.


Friday, June 11, 2021

From MicB to CathyO and Lauren - (doldrums)

MicB is a new exchanger - and her dragon flies are quite lovely.

I liked this one too. I even bought some of those stamps - hoping they will get me revved up again.

Just so you know -- my doldrums disappeared in May - but there are still some posts that will refer to them.

O.T.D. (off-topic drivel)

My new hobby is looking up words that I use - but then I wonder if I'm actually using them correctly. Yesterday I mentioned having doldrums and I wondered if I knew exactly what a doldrum was/is. The first definition was:

a state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or depression.

I don't think I am depressed but I'd say inactivity and stagnation hits the nail on the head.
There is another definition that I had never heard of:

The Intertropical Convergence Zone, known by sailors as the doldrums or the calms because of its monotonous windless weather, is the area where the northeast and the southeast trade winds converge. It encircles Earth near the thermal equator though its specific position varies seasonally.

That was interesting - so I clicked a few more times and found out all kinds of interesting stuff, including this:

The Doldrums holds a distinct place in maritime history, having developed a reputation as a potentially deadly zone which could strand ships for weeks on end, causing them to run out of food and drinking water. In those days, with supplies running low, and scurvy setting in, delirium,  starvation and cabin fever could all set in – and getting through this mysterious patch of Atlantic Ocean quickly wasn’t just a matter of first or last place, but life and death.

Apparently, there are seven things we all need to know about the doldrums. I only need to know one. Stay away from sailing around the equator. That will be very easy for me.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

From Ming to Patty. ---- (Taco John's)

 Back in April, I was not on any of the lists - so I had some exchangers send me some photos of their mail. This is one that Ming did for Patty.

Off-topic drivel for the day.

Now it is May. The 19th. I wrote 5 blurbs early this morning. Then I addressed some envelopes (a job). Then I went to Taco John's. I haven't had TJ in at least 6 weeks. I just did a search and see that I have 7 or 8 posts mentioning Taco Johns. My kids ate tacos and I was capable of making them - but for some reason we all preferred Taco John's to mine. 

So, there was an offer on the receipt to do a survey. And the young lady at the drive-thru was really very nice, so I figured I'd fill out the survey while I was drinking my noon coffee. I thought it was really unusual -- at the end - after the multiple choices - where they ask you to describe your experience - and it said " at least 3 sentences." That struck me funny.... at least 3 sentences. What if I only had two sentences of comments? So I went ahead and wrote 5 or 6 sentences. I told them that of all the different locations that I frequent, it is always the best. I complimented them on being so consistent. And I mentioned that the young lady at the drive through was really nice. They asked for my email, so I put that in, too.

Around 5 pm, I got an email from the manager of the store asking for my address so she could send me some TJ Bucks as a thank you for such a nice review. And she said she would tell Bianca that she'd done a good job today.

Well, now that I have a name - you can be sure I am going to drop a pretty envelope in the mail for Bianca. I wish I had some of those Mexican food stamps. Or Cinco de Mayo.

I like the idea of taking the name of someone who made your shopping experience enjoyable and sending them a fancy envelope with a thank you. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Lily pads from Rebecca. ----- (ninny)

Scroll down to the post below this one if you want a link to a petition to fire Lovejoy.
I added it around noon yesterday.

 This is another card and envelope that is so much better in person. And the frosting on the cake is her very pretty penmanship. Hopefully I will get my stuff organized and post a sample of the penmanship.

In the meantime, I will resume the conversation in my head about whether or not I am a ninny. I had to look up the definition. It was succinct. It said: a foolish person. Am I foolish. Maybe not all the time, but I assure you, I do some very foolish things from time to time or maybe every day.

This pops up on the 9th. As I typed the word *ninny* on the 7th, I had two more ideas - to get my 5 posts written for the day. Then, on the 8th, I saw that I already had enough words, so I didn't add anything. 

By the time I opened this post to add to it, I had forgotten the two additional things I had to say about celebrities and ninnies. Obviously, it was the blurb on the 8th about pages falling out of your *book-brain*

I'm not going to get too worked up about it. There is at least one new article per week explaining why none of us are fully functioning any more. Too much information.

Maybe something rant-worthy will happen today.

Reminder: I am not the one who feels like ranting. I am simply looking out for the people who have mentioned that they actually enjoy the rants. I guess we could do a post on that -- why would someone enjoy my ranting?

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Fire Lovejoy petition

 Here is your next opportunity to participate in pro-USPS activities:

It is a petition to sign.

Here is a bonus envelope because I like to have an envelope on every single post.

It was an experimental one that went out on Saturday. I love those stamps -- but needed something with more oomph. There is a whole series that will be posted in August or Sept. I'm happy to report that I have gotten caught up.

To Leslie from ?? (Partytime font)

 I generally have only two guesses on who the DSM postmarked envelopes to Leslie are. It's possible she mails envelopes to herself. This one could be from either Patty or Janet - or maybe someone else. The style of lettering on the *iowa* reminds me of the exemplar I have that is called Partytime. It's one of my favorites for beginners because you have a few very basic shapes and then you get to find lots of variations for each letter. 


The BigHelpfulBrother painted a word picture for me. He described his 70s as being a book and the binding has worn out so that some of the pages are loose - and once in a while a page falls out and gets lost. That's how I feel, too. 

Monday, June 7, 2021

HB to G3 - (Celebrities)

I love this little booklet that CathyO enclosed for Mr Wilson's 70th birthday. The envelope is also perfect for an aging DeadHead.

I set a goal of filling up 5 posts every morning before I get on with my day. It is currently 9 am and I think this is only number 3. I know some of you prefer ranting to pondering - so here is something that I feel like ranting about.

Why do people pay so much attention to celebrities? I'm aware that they bring a lot of it on themselves just  to promote their careers, They hire people to make sure they get a lot of publicity. But, why are we interested?

Something about my two previous posts about Halston and Jason Momoa made me uncomfortable. I think it is so weird to pay attention to people based on where they came from. Obviously, I need to fill my daily posts and I really do love the mail and the messages that I get from people. I just don't want to look like a ninny who's spending time on celebrity drivel.

Technically, I think I am somewhat of a ninny. I'm not proud of that. But, I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a serious underachiever. And to be honest --I think underachieving is under rated. A week or so after I wrote this I had to come back and edit my remark. It seems that Naomi dropping out of the French Open has stirred up a lot of conversation. Some people are pointing out that the insanity of competing at the highest levels (in sports - but it might as well be anywhere) might be detrimental to one's well being.

So - maybe underachieving (in moderation) is fine. 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Shamrocks from Janet. - (Halston, the Iowan)

I loved this design and stole it -- my version will pop up one of these days. I also love the card. 

And speaking of famous Iowans, this is way off topic, but, at least it is not any more of my whining.

Yesterday I jabbered about Jason Momoa and said that I only found one post about him even though I thought I had written about him several times. The mention I found was from 2014 when I was posting an envelope that had a photo of Halston. I wrote that the three most famous men from Iowa were: Grant Wood, Halston, and Jason. Three most famous women: Sister Corita Kent, designer of the very first Love stamp. Mildred Day, inventor of Rice Krispie Treats, and twins (so they count as one) Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren, the advice columnists. I need to delete the twins and find a more contemporary person.

Anyhow, if you watched that dreadful (IMHO) series about Halston on Netflix, they referred to his upbringing in Indiana - which was only partly right. He moved to Indiana when he was 14 and then to Chicago after high school. But *everyone* in Des Moines knows that he grew up here and that his grandma took him to lunch at the Younkers Tea Room. It was a classic 1930-40s tea room on an upper floor of the nicest department store. Ladies would have lunch and models would walk through showing the latest styles to entice the ladies into shopping after lunch. That contact with fashion probably had some influence. The film shows him picking up chicken feathers and making a hat to cheer his mom up. I'm thinking he would have needed some inspiration - to be interested in designing hats as a youngster.

When I arrived in Des Moines (1969) the inspirational tea room was still there - and remained for quite a while in all its original splendor. It was like a time warp. Then it was closed for a while, then there was a fire - but it has been beautifully restored and is available for events. And, I'm not sure how long this link will work. But the house Halston lived in sold recently. 

This is the envelope from the Nov 15, 2014 post.
It is from a series of envelopes done by Smash, Finnbadger, CathyO and me - with birds on heads.
If you do a search for *bird on head* it is a very fun series.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

St. Patrick mail from Chuck and Lynne -- (famous Iowan)

Chuck's adorable troll. It makes me want to do a troll calendar.
And below, Lynne's envelope has some nice stamping that didn't photograph very well.

So, yesterday I said there would be a fun topic today: breaking news about Jason Momoa. I thought I had mentioned him numerous times on the blog and did a search, but only one post popped up. So, now you get to hear my Jason Momoa story and apologies if this is a repeat.

You may recognize him from Game of Thrones or Aquaman. His father is Hawaiian and his mother is Iowan. He grew up in Des Moines and he played roller hockey at the same place my boys played. My boys were a bit younger, but the older one was good enough to play on teams that included a range of ages. My little Hunter (7 years younger than Jason) was even recruited to play goalie once in a while when a team needed a goalie. He would have been 10 or 11 - playing against 13-18 yr olds. It's hard to find goalies and Hunter was a very good goalie, because if he wanted to play with older brother and his friends, he had to be goalie. I recently saw an article that said that kids who have older siblings often end up being better athletes - by virtue of *playing up.*

I remember seeing Jason out on the rink - and he was a bit of a wild man -- but also, the most attractive teenager of the lot. He had *the look.* I remember one of the coaches asking me if Hunter could play goalie for an older team and assuring me that Hunter would be fine. I remember being skeptical, but little boys think they are invincible. So, I let him play which is the only reason I would have seen Jason playing. Normally, mom's are more than happy to drop teenagers off and leave. 

Anyhow, it's been fun to watch a local guy do so well. Somebody had to follow in the footsteps of Stallone and Arnold - so it might as well be Jason. There are a lot of stories online that make him look like he has maintained a sense of normalcy and appreciates down to earth stuff. So, his new venture is a program on the Discovery channel. It sounds like a feel good series - about people who make stuff. 

Interviews with people who make things by hand are almost always interesting and inspirational.

Here's part of the blurb about the new show:

The series will document the Aquaman star as he travels across the United States to meet extraordinary people who are blazing their respective paths — including motorcycle fabricators, craftsmen, musicians and athletes — and making a difference in their industry.

Through “engaging with those who share his love and passion for the craft,” Momoa will explore “not just their unique trade or skill, but a deeper way of seeing the world through their eyes,” according to a release from Discovery. “It is a journey of intention — an endless quest with purpose and celebrating those who make a difference in the world around them.”


Friday, June 4, 2021

A favorite from Leslie --- (pondering)

 I really love this one. It is a handmade envelope and it looks like wallpaper - vinyl wallpaper. It has a lot of texture and it might have been painted black. If there was a description of how she made it - I have managed to let the note inside go into hiding. Leslie spends a lot of time in her studio -- so - if you are inspired to try things that look like her stuff - plan on putting in the hours.

In addition to people who were enjoying the ISU story, several people have mentioned that they look forward to the rants. It occurred to me that when I read a daily suggestion for how to be more stoic, it tempers my ranting. And I keep seeing more and more references to the huge *fad* that stoicism is becoming. It seems to be following the fad-ish-ness of the Konmari method of tidying up. Most of us artist types don't like to look like we are fad-followers. But, the stoics would probably tell me to not get caught up with those kinds of thoughts. Everything goes in waves - and this one will pass - and then come around again later.

Maybe snail mail will become a fad. I'm certainly seeing a lot more workshops on mail art and decorating envelopes. Part of me wishes that I had jumped on the virtual teaching bandwagon. Heaven knows - I have  a couple thousand ideas I could offer. But, it's probably better for the youngsters to launch their teaching careers. I think I am too distracted to be a proper teacher. 

Once people are paying for a class, there is an obligation to provide some value. Fur shur -- I'm not on that wavelength any more. (pause to make grimace faces at myself) Right now, I am feeling like this is a really lame blurb - and my readers deserve more. Although this is free. So - I remind myself that I should stop obsessing and just do my daily pondering. 

Oh, gosh. 
I stopped obsessing for a moment
just like that - something fun popped into my head...
...for tomorrow.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

From Smash to Viola. --- (ISU Chapter 6)

 My favorite part of this one is the detail on the left stroke of the V.

Chapter 6

Another movie that I thought was very clever, although I have not seen it recently, so I have no idea if it has withstood the test of Innerspace. It's the one where Dennis Quaid volunteers to be miniaturized and then he is accidentally injected into Martin Short and the two of them have to work things out. 

One idea for the ending of my movie is that we figure out how to communicate with the aliens that are already here, in our electronics, our toasters, our brains, and everywhere. Obviously, I am not a screen writer or an actual author. I feel like someone who has those skills could come up with a better ending. Stephen King probably could. If we are going to communicate on a phlogiston level with the aliens we will have to cultivate our Carrie-style communication. And I don't want to scare you or anything, but, I have inadvertently caused things to happen just by thinking about them. I guess Matilda would be a better example. 

If anyone has any suggestions for a really good ending, please share. I think that this topic has run its course. Although, I did get enough favorable response to the topic that it made me wonder if readers like a serial rather than my daily random silliness. I did think of a serial topic that will start on July 2nd and it took me all the way to July 15 or 16.

Once again -- it would be nifty if there was an actual author out there who liked this story and could make it into something. I'd like to get a wee bit of credit - and maybe just enough compensation to take my grand tour where I pop in and visit with each and every reader who invites me for a cup of coffee. Amanda Palmer does that. If you don't know who she is -- look her up. I had never heard of her and stumbled across her book and really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Leslie - (ISU story - Chapter 5)

I forgot to show the back of the envelope from Leslie.
And then, George got a bonus mailing from Leslie because she saw this writing on IG and wanted to give it a try.

It took me quite a while to figure out that the insert says Happy Easter.
once you know it says Easter -- it is so obvious.

Dang. I think I forgot what Chapter 5 is about. I was going to delay Chapter 5 for several days. I started writing this blurb a few times with silly excuses for why I had to delay Chapter 5 and then I realized that I was just being a jerk. I take full responsibility for having a certain amount of jerkiness in my personality. But, not enough to intentionally keep you hanging in suspense. 

I implied that I was going to reveal what the original substance of all other substances is. Technically, I think I can do that. But first we have to agree that all the stuff that is not literally *stuff* is just as *real* as the literal stuff. Maybe we are talking about tangible and intangible. I'm sure you get the point. 

An example would be *feelings.* Are feelings *real*? Yup. Is your imagination *real*? Yup. And there is a ton of other stuff besides feelings and imagination that is real - but not exactly tangible. So, since we have absolute proof and agreement that all the stuff that we have (whether tangible or intangible) exists - we should be able to discern from whence it all came.

At this point, prepare yourself for being annoyed with me. 
Everything is made up of phlogiston. 

Now, hang on a minute. I know all y'all are thinking that phlogiston is some silly thing they thought up in the 1660s and it was a guess and it was wrong. People keep making educated guesses, but nobody is ever going to figure e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g out. *They* all agree that the more they know, the more they DON"T know.

So that's the point. Aliens have been letting us think we are making discoveries. Balderdash. People think they have created Artificial Intelligence. Balderdash. Aliens just let us think that to keep us distracted.

I promise you -- if you just say "Phlogiston!" every time to need an answer to an unanswerable question, you'll be fine. Maybe that isn't the correct spelling for that stuff that is the source of all stuff. But, it doesn't matter. The name for that *stuff* would be in some alien language that is not on our radar so to speak.

This is a lousy ending to the fantastic movie that I have had in my head. I have another idea that I rather like and will share it tomorrow.

Tune in tomorrow for Chapter 6.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

June Exchange - Sign-up

June and July sign ups will have the last of the quilt stamps.
These stamps were uber fun to use. Although, I can't say that the results ever made my A-list.
On this one, I do like the way the second stamp fit into the name. That was unplanned.


To participate in the June exchange email me by the 4th and the lists will be sent on June 5th (or 6th at the latest)

Please send your info - in the following format. 
It is so helpful when I can copy and paste, rather than reformat your information, or find your email.

Add (CARDS) after your name if you wish to exchange handmade cards.
Add (Birthday) at the bottom, if June is your birthday month.
Add (2 Lists) at the bottom, if you are willing to be on 2 lists - if I need to add people to make the lists come out even.

Jane Smith (CARDS)
123 Oak Street
Ames, Iowa 50010
(Birthday) (2 Lists)

Send the above info to me at:

Additional information about how the exchange works is on the tab that says *envelope EXCHANGE rules*
Or if you have questions - just email.

Monday, May 31, 2021

HB to G3 (ISU Story - delay)

This birthday greeting to Mr Wilson -from Leslie- was one that elicited a perky response from Mr Wilson. I'm drawn to the idea of stealing the idea and as luck would have it -- someone sent me some of those stamps.


Part of me wants to string you along - as you wait for Chapter 5 of the ISU story.
That part of me is the part that has to fill in about 45 posts.
That's a lot of writing.
I'm rather enjoying my story.
For years and years and years and years, I have wanted to make the story into a movie.
And I want to go on record right here, right now, May 16, 2021 -- that this is my own original idea.
I think it would make a wonderful movie. 
I picture it being similar to Men in Black -- a dovetailing of aliens and humor.
Maybe the aliens are reading this blog and maybe they like the idea
and maybe they are going to figure out a way to deliver the idea to someone who can actually get it made.
If that happens, I will use this blog post to prove that it really was my idea.
I hardly ever care about ownership of my ideas - but I am rather fond of this one --
so, I'd like to hang onto it.

So, it looks like this is the last day in May.
Tomorrow we have sign up for the exchange.
The earliest we have Chapter 5 will be June 2.
Hang in there.
Sorry for the delay.
At least you don't have to read my whining.

Real time report.
My frame of mind is back in its groove.
Blog posts are filled up all the way to July 15th --
and I have a long list of other fun stuff to post.
So - let's all enjoy the journey while things are on an upswing.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

From CarolynC -- (Danny Gregory)

CarolynC says this is inspired by tangle
I have not been to that blog yet - maybe I'll get there when this pops up.
Turquoise, black and red is a nice combo and the partial border adds the right amount of *something else.*

Chapter 5 will be delayed because I already had this post lined up and I am not going to bump it.


This is a really long post by Danny Gregory. I signed up for his weekly letters and at the end, he says that I should share his letters with my friends and give them a link to his website. While this is long, it covers my thoughts on creativity. If you do not feel creative, it's only because you didn't cross paths with someone who could teach you the basics of how to discover tap into it.

Danny Gregory

I spent a lot of time in school learning to conjugate latin verbs.  I ground my way through trigonometry. The dates of medieval wars. I memorized the key exports of African countries, the table of elements, and the names of all the US vice presidents.

But I never, ever studied the very thing I’ve made a living from my entire adult life. 

In no country on earth, as far as I can tell, do they teach the creative process in school. 

Not in elementary, high school, business school, not even in art school. 

Rather than teach it like any other useful discipline, we treat creativity like some weird alchemy, a God-given gift, a luck of the draw.

But it’s not. It’s a process which has basic elements, that can be written on a blackboard, just like the pythagorean theorem.

And these basic steps, once understood, can be used to unlock creativity in any field. Art, music, finance, medicine, sports, tech or politics. 

It’s a mystery why they aren’t a formal part of the basic curriculum.

Like most essential skills, they make theoretical sense when written down but they take a lot of work and practice to put into useful practice. Just as a teacher can write Every Good Boy Does Fine on the board, it takes years for her students to master the violin. Studying Organic Chemistry doesn’t make one a gifted surgeon. And football coaches run drills and drills and drills in preparation for the coming season. 

Creativity works the same way. Practice makes it habit.

School is the ideal place and time to study the basics of creativity from a young age and then inculcate that process so that every student learns to be a successful problem solver.  As it doesn’t happen in school, pay attention and I’ll take you through the basics here instead.

Creativity has three main steps. I call them Ready, fire, and aim. 

First, you must get ready. Gather your materials. Reap, harvest, hunt the elements that will go into your creative stew.  Embrace the riches of the universe. Watch movies. Read books. Study the masters. Listen to all sorts of music. Have conversations with strangers on the bus.Wander, roam, explore. Fill your brain until it groans at the seams. You have to develop a marrow-deep habit of open curiosity, delving into all disciplines and cultures for the way they approach problems, innovate and improvise. Cultivating an energetic, open, absorbent mind is the first part of the creative process.

As you get ready, your subconscious mind will be diving deep into this reservoir of inspiration and making connections. It’ll put disparate pieces of information together in random, infinite ways. Linking a musical theme with an historical fact with a snippet of conversation with a data chart and a recipe for Greek meatballs. The cauldron is going on simmer and the ingredients will melt into a rich broth. 

That takes time. Private time. Just the reservoir of your brain perking and bubbling with no adult supervision. You can’t open the oven door in the middle, you gotta just distract your conscious mind, and let the juices flow. 

No amount of straining or worrying will help. Quite the contrary. You gotta trust in the process. Take a nap. Play a game. Stare out the window. Take a shower. Floss. 

And suddenly, poof, stuff will appear. Ideas will pop like kernels .

At this stage, you will spew out ideas. Good ideas, bad ideas, weird ones, and useless ones. You will be a well-fed meadow, your rich soil a magnet for seeds from across the world, sprouting up flowers and fruits and weeds and trees in abundance. An unmanicured, cacophony of abundance.

But that’s not the end. Because what appears is still raw, full of potential, but not ready for prime time. 

Next, the hardest part. You gotta polish. You gotta prune. You gotta evaluate. You gotta execute.

This requires a gear change.You have to switch from the wide eyed stage of readiness and the wild energy of firing to a methodical, critical period in which you cull the herd down to a few solid ideas to be tested, refined, critiqued and polished into gems that can change the game.

Creativity is at its heart a teachable, learnable process. Learn and apply it and you will be prepared for any career path, any eventuality. You will write creative legal briefs, make creative contributions to your manufacturing process, launch creative tech startups, create new recipes, symphonies, traffic ordinances, and budget proposals. 

Creativity is an essential skill and it’s never too late to learn and practice it to make the world a better place. 

Your pal,



Jean's shorter version:


Surf around and gather ideas


Combine the various ideas into a stack of experimental work


Edit and refine 



Saturday, May 29, 2021

AmyG to Mr W. - (ISU Story - Chapter 4)

AmyG's card for Mr Wilson's 70th birthday arrived a little late. I think it got caught in the USPS chaos.
It's looking a little bit like an alien spaceship.

As mentioned yesterday - Chapter 4 will explain the dovetailing of technology with those clever little *bugs* that travel through our bodies. 

What's there to explain? That's just the way it is. The aliens want us to think that there is something different between little manmade do-dads -- and the little bug-things that are in our bodies. It's tempting to fall for that theory. But, it's gotta be the other way around. Everything is the same thing. And how do we know that? Because before there was anything, when there was nothing, there couldn't have been a bunch of different stuff. So, the original source material has to be all one thing. 

Chapter 5 - what was that original stuff?


Friday, May 28, 2021

Lauren's valentine. ------ (ISU story - Chapter 3)

Lauren's cards and envelopes are always lovely.
This one cracked me up. 

I need to recap for myself. 
Or, I should have made an outline to follow.
I've never had a series of posts.
Chapter 1 was about the aliens coming to ISU at Ames.
Chapter 2 was about Ames.
Chapter 3 must be about how the aliens actually showed up much earlier because they were obviously responsible for the suitcases which guided more aliens to Ames. They were there when computers were being invented. I know there were some simultaneous activities (in other parts of the world) regarding the creation of computers. So clearly, there were aliens in multiple places all working on a way to invade and take over. But, the stuff going on at ISU was pretty significant.

I could delve into actual facts and share them with you. Or you can just believe me. Or you can Google. The aliens want you to be sidetracked by looking for accurate information. That's part of their master plan. Well, congratulations, aliens, you've won. People are wildly distracted by information. The accuracy of information is getting to be less and less of an issue.

Chapter 4 - coming up tomorrow - will explain the dovetailing of technology with those clever little *bugs* that travel through our bodies.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Lynne's Happy New Year (ISU story - Chapter 2)

Yesterday afternoon, I posted an urgent call for help from the USPS union.
So, if you did not see it yesterday, you may scroll down and review the request.

Lynne took a folded pen class online and this was her first attempt. I'm always glad when I encourage people to take classes and they send me an example. This is a great start.

Also, I love the card - it was blank on the inside.
The printing on the back is clever, too.
Home-cooked greeting cards made with love and a pinch of sass.


IG @_spaghettimeatballs_

I have not gone to either of those, so, you are on your own.

Real time comment -- just to be perfectly clear -- this ISU story is just a series of silliness that I lapsed into when I was looking for alternatives to my endless whining. Yesterday's post sounded looney and this story will get loonier. Sorry. I don't have time to replace the posts with sensible and/or scholarly material. Feel free to skip them.


Chapter 2 explains why the aliens ended up in Ames, Iowa. They liked the symmetry of the two 4-letter words. They also liked the zip codes. 50010 and 50011. Those are really good numbers. They were looking for a sleepy little community where really smart people had gone to avoid the big fancy places that were doing all kinds of important research. The aliens were counting on the really smart people to be lulled into complacency by the deeply routine daily life in the rural midwest. And they wanted all four seasons in equal amounts. You get that in Ames, Iowa. It's quintessentially rural and predictable, but it has some kind of weird cosmic attraction. I can't explain it - but I know it has always been really long on scientists and really short on artists. Or maybe there are a ton of artists, but they were not consulted when it came to designing a lovely campus.

This is going to be controversial -- but, I'm going to stick my neck out and state my opinion. I have been to quite a few campuses in my day. I won't list them, but there are some gorgeous campuses. I've even been to state schools where you would not expect anything special but they are gorgeous. And then there are the ones that are famous for being gorgeous from day one. ISU is the worst hodgepodge I have ever seen. I'm pretty sure there are no two buildings that relate in any way other than that they have walls, doors, and windows.  

They did build a group of dorms one time that literally looked like suitcases. But they were so poorly constructed that they had to be torn down. So, it's not that they do not have any pretty buildings. Some of them are lovely. But, it is like a collection where there is no rhyme or reason. It's like a crazy quilt. Some people like them and some are better than others. Some people probably love crazy quilts above all others. I'm fine with that. I just don't think it's the best design choice for a college or university campus. Just my opinion. Let's not get sidetracked by an aesthetic debate.

As luck would have it, when I Googled  *ISU suitcase dorm* there was one lonely photo and a pretty nice blog entry. Maybe two of the suitcases are still there. Maybe some day I will drive up there and see if I can get a photo of the two remaining suitcases. I like the view when you are approaching and they poke up through the landscape.

Anyhow -- if aliens were looking for a place to park....ISU had a lot to offer. The suitcases were giant markers constructed by the aliens that had already infiltrated the institution.

Here is a link to the blog where I found the photo and the blogger has some interesting things to say about the dorms.

In case it is not obvious, there are two suitcases on the right at the moment of implosion.

2 minutes later - there are some more photos - but none showing them as they rise out of the prairie from a distance. Back to our story tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Urgent USPS matter

 OK -- this is urgent -- that we make our voices heard. 

It is the postal worker's union -- asking for people to speak up. While it is addressed to members of the union, I checked - and it is perfectly fine for non-union members to contribute.

There is a box to check - if you are a union member -- I plan on saying something along these lines:

As a non-union member, these are my top three reasons for -----  and then list my top three compelling reasons for maintaining the current standards.

I should have sent my letter first. The letter is already written for you, if you like the top reasons already spelled out for you. So, it is even easier to *be heard.*

Here is the post from the union:

Management is planning to make permanent delays to our mail delivery and it's up to us to stop it.

As postal workers, we know better than anyone how postal customers depend on fast and reliable service. Will you send a message to the USPS and Postal Regulatory Commission and tell them to stop the mail slowdown?

As part of the USPS 10-Year Plan, postal managers are attempting to change our public Post Office's first class delivery goals. They want to shift on-time mail delivery from 1-3 days to up-to five days for first class mail and end-to-end periodicals.

This would mean more delays for every single one of us who relies on prompt service from the people's Postal Service. It would risk driving more customers away. 

We have just a short time to stop this from happening.

The Postal Regulatory Commission will soon issue an advisory opinion on the delays. We want to make sure that the commissioners know the public is against delaying our mail. 

Together, we can stop these delays. Will you make your voice heard? Submit your comments to the USPS rule making and the PRC here.

In union solidarity,

The American Postal Workers Union

They need people to send emails by Friday the 28th of May.

And --yes-- sending the email will put you on a list to get more emails --

and you may opt out of getting more emails. I'm going to go ahead and let them send me emails -and respond to them and get more involved. Obviously, I have my son in mind. But, I also feel that we take the USPS for granted - and they need our support. 

Lauren -- (ISU story - Chapter 1)

Lauren's January mailing can take us on a trip down memory lane. How is 2021 shaping up? I just heard that our local water supply is in bad shape and wonder if the person who was relating the information was quoting a reliable source. The alarming thing (for me) is that when USA Today bought our local paper, they stopped including local news so I don't read it any more. Then we decided to give up cable TV because I find endless entertainment directly through the internet... so now, I don't have any source for local news. It's going to be a huge problem if we run out of water ... without warning.

I've been saying for years that aliens are already here, they came to Iowa and they were hiding out in the lab at Iowa State University (ISU) and they have infiltrated everything/everywhere/everybody and they have some grand plan. Yes - they are behind all the viruses, too, because I know two people who were working in the lab at ISU when the whole anthrax thing was going on and that lab was one of the main places to work on it. So, the aliens were there at the time gathering info.

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story.


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Gloria (30 posts - 3)

So pretty -- and it evaded (or is it eluded?) the postal cancelling machines.

Yesterday I specifically said that I was going to go eat breakfast. But then I was curious about what the next envelope would be. I actually had more to say. And then the minute this popped up, I forgot what I was going to say. Dang.

(There was some additional drivel here that I deleted)

The past couple days have made me cringe when I checked the morning blog post. I have been vigilant about trying to make this blog about ideas for envelopes and lettering and the way it has de-volved has been stressing me. 

But, there is GOOD NEWS. I can't insert it here - because - to update the posts that are already written eats into the time that it takes to write the new posts. So -- hang in there. I have some alternatives to whining that will be popping up. And then on June 17th (approx) I will announce the antidote to the *the state I've been in* that Chuck sent.

And shout out to the other people who have sent encouraging messages. There will be heartfelt thank yous. I truly appreciate it. I'd like my thank yous to be more prompt, but I am going to be vigilant about how to have a plan and stick with it.

Monday, May 24, 2021

HB to G3 (30 posts -2)

Birthday greetings for Mr Wilson from Leslie (above)
and Faye (below)

In yesterday's post, Mr Wilson was clanking around in the kitchen. The up-side to me taking my long trips is that he's become very comfortable feeding himself. My interest in meals has really deteriorated. And I apologize if I have already babbled about this. When I reflect on the things that contributed to Mr Wilson deciding that he was going to sign me up to be his lifetime partner, I know that the meals were a huge part of it. He was already out of law school and living by himself and the only things he could cook were grilled cheese sandwiches and pancakes. It was pretty easy to dazzle him with my cooking and at the time, my artsy friends were obsessed with gourmet cooking - so I did have a sincere interest in cooking. 

And then we had kids and he always worked late - so food turned into a chore. I feel really sorry for him. But, whenever I feel sorry enough that I actually go through the steps of buying stuff and making it - it ends up killing the whole day. <sigh> 

The clanking has stopped. I'm going to go eat something.
Thank you for bearing with me through these difficult times.
Feel free to send me lengthy emails, whining about the things that are wearing you down.
It might give me fodder for something more interesting than my own *stuff.*


Sunday, May 23, 2021

JeanR's valentine. --- (30 blurbs)

It's fun to show JeanR's work

 I just counted and I have 30 photos posted that need blurbs. It is causing me a little anxiety because I don't think I have 30 things to say. And my calendar has filled up with another mercy mission to help my daughter with her kids. Thankfully, the Chicago schools run all the way through June 22. Nanna is going to fly in to Chicago and then fly the kids to Iowa for a week and then fly them back to Chicago and then stay for a couple weeks (during which time the parents have been invited for a long weekend in Nantucket) They were there pre-pandemic and said it was delightful. So, I'm happy for them to have a short getaway. I think the R&R that Nanna provides when she *can't remember* all the house rules is pretty nice for the kids.

None of that was important information - it just explains why I have to get all the daily posts scheduled from now until late July. The year goes sooooo fast. I actually can't even believe it is May. I've only got 4 weeks to get that art studio in the garage all set up. 

As I drift further and further away from making envelopes, I'm losing my ability to talk about the envelopes. Although, I do not know which ones are coming up next. Mr Wilson is clanking around n the kitchen, so I'll write a few more posts.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

From JeanR (jazz)

 JeanR said she found this envelope in her stack. Mr Wilson was perplexed by it. It's always funny to watch him respond to mail. I'm sure he is amused at they way I respond to the things that are at the center of his universe. Like music. I leave the room.

It wasn't always like that. When we met, we listened to similar music. But, my taste never changed. I still like Bob Dylan. He morphed into a jazz-guy. Oh.My.Gosh. I literally hear sounds where I think he must have hurt himself and needs help. Or that he has turned on something and it is broken and he doesn't have sense enough to turn it off. I have to stop talking about it. That's how traumatic the sounds are to my poor ears.

Lucky for us -- we have three doors between his music room and the bedroom wing of the house. But, I have to figure out what we are going to do if we ever have to live in closer quarters. I'm guessing noise cancelling headphones will do the trick. 

In case it was not obvious, this has been one of my ranty-est rants ever. I tried to be diplomatic about it because I realize that there might be readers who love jazz - and that is fine with me. It's like canned spinach. I like it, but, I can totally respect anyone who thinks that it tastes like something that's gone very bad and should not be eaten.

Friday, May 21, 2021

From AmyG (---Lance Letscher)

AmyG's collage envelope. I love collage but have trouble coming up with anything to say about it.

As luck would have it, I stumbled across a video about a collage artist. I will list the range of emotions that I went through as I watched it and will try to give you clues about whether or not you want to watch it. I doubt it would have broad appeal and I was thinking it was pretty ho-hum - until about halfway through.

It is a very slow start because the artist is one of the most low-key people you can imagine. The word boring isn't quite right, but, in the beginning, I can totally see how someone would think that he was way too boring and the film was bound to be boring.

His tone of voice never changes and his story unfolds in a very calm and matter of fact way -- but it is quite a story. At least half of it is talking about his process of making his collages. So that part I think will appeal to any of you who make art - especially collage artists. And then there is the story of his life and how it is intertwined with his art. Obviously -- there are ups and downs. 

While there is imagery in his art, a lot of it is very abstract. So, if you are not interested in abstract, you might not want to watch it. If you are a quilter, I think you might enjoy it as there is influence from quilts. I did an image search for *Lance Letscher art* and the screen full of a gazillion of images of his work was horrible. The film only looks at one at a time and the details are what really drew me in. 

If you think you want to watch the film - just watch it - before you read anything about him or go surfing to look at his work. I think it is way more interesting to experience the story through the film and then you can delve into more. Or maybe you want to read and look before making the decision -- either way is fine with me. I did, however, really enjoy watching the story unfold and see his process.

Here's the kicker. I was browsing on Amazon Prime Video and it came up as a free movie. Two days later when I went back to get the link to the movie, it came up as only rentable - for $3.99. So, I am not going to put in a link. I'll just post the name of the movie and hopefully you can do a search and find it for free.

The Secret Life of Lance Letscher