Sunday, February 28, 2021

Five Giant Copic - from Jean (Gray Panthers)

These 5 went out in the October exchange. I was pretty happy with some of my October envelopes because I did quite a few with the Ed Emberley drawings. I can't imagine that I will ever tire of Ed's drawings. The only downside is the amount of time they take, so, I probably had five left and decided to use the giant Copic marker that I love and that I can also refill. These envelopes were really nice paper and they slurped up the ink. They're fine. But, I will indulge in some uber-nit-picking. I need to remember that I have to have something really fun to add to this style of lettering. Somehow a big bold name just doesn't seem like enough.

I like the white space on Sue's, but am not thrilled with the last name.

The second C in Chuck is clunky but the centering turned out nicely with no practice.


Poor planning.
I do not like the stamp placement at all.

Too many things about this one bother me to even start listing them.

My curiosity won and I researched the Gray Panthers. It was so much fun to read (and remember) the history - including the feisty little lady who was forced to retire at 65 and launched the organization. Progress has been made - but there are still lots of issues - as well as new issues - facing elders. The Gray Panthers are still around and you can join one of the local organization. NYC, Detroit, Twin Cities, Boston, San Francisco, East Bay (Berkeley) and Long Beach are the only communities listed. Maybe I should start a Des Moines branch. Decisions, decisions.

If you would like to read more:
at the bottom is a link to a FB page.

And while we are on a roll - if you ever felt under appreciated (and/or under compensated) for the amount of work you put in at your domestic duties - here's someone with some ammunition for your next debate.

It is long and full of heartbreaking statistics and information about hardships faced by many people. And I really regret just giving you the *happy note* from the very end of the article. I am only doing it because some of my readers are slogging through hard times and the last thing they need is a long article about hardships. So here is an activist's response to a question from the author:

When I asked, on one dark day last year, what if anything was making her feel the magic of the world, she cried: “Oh! Oh! This.” She waved her hands around in the air, gesturing at the trees, the birds, the dirt in the nearby planter currently being examined by a pair of toddlers. 

Her eyes crinkled behind her mask. “The creativity of nature. And of people. I am very excited about people.” When I burst out laughing in disbelief, she protested. “There is really a lot of beauty, generosity, courage, my God. There is still joy, I see it — there is still a lot of beauty in this world. And I hope it prevails over those who only want to control and tear it apart.”


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Fr NancyL to Lady Michaela (up-down designation)

Obviously this is halloween envelope, but NancyL kindly sent me several images and I am going to post all of them at once because I have yet to figure out a system where I keep track of what is downloaded and what is blogged.

Very pretty lettering. Love the crows. Raising my eyebrow at the flag.

This style of lettering works at any time of year. There are a couple more halloween designs that are fabulous. Something to look forward to in September or October. It seemed silly that I did not have a system for keeping track of what people sent and whether or not it was blogged - so, I just came up with one. Cautiously optimistic. 


New idea for these add ons - where I either rant or ponder or celebrate as we continue our journey around the sun. I will indicate if it is uplifting or downtrodden - so that as I fill the slots, I can make it somewhat balanced. Do we all agree that it is better to be balanced? If I am mistaken, I would be delighted to hear of an example where being unbalanced is the better alternative.

A few days ago I mentioned ScaryMommy on IG as a favorite site. This is an example of why I enjoy it so much. Reminds me of my "good ol' days." 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Let's Read a Book (Repost from NancyL)


Link to a book about the USPS

I was reading a book, The 99% Invisible City and there was a blurb about the USPS. It was so full of information and mentioned this book, that I just had to check it out from the library.

The 99% Invisible City is chock full of interesting things, none of which I will remember, but they were perfect for distracting me from the thing from which I need to be distracted. That's a tortured sentence. Periodically, I think about studying, How to Write. 

To read or to write. By the time I get my blog posts written, I have exhausted my attention span for writing. 

There is another book on the USPS: Neither Snow Nor Rain -- which is an available audio book. I'll be listening to it and will give a book report when it is finished.


This is a repost. NancyL kindly sent me some images for the blog and included this one which I know has been posted, but, it's a good one to repeat because it's a perfect idea if you need to fill some hours and you don't want to plan very far ahead.

I should do a search and see if I can figure out if this is the one that came with apologies for using the flag stamps. 60-seconds later. Nope - you can do a search for *flag stamp* and the envelope with NancyL with the flag stamp will pop up. I was surprised how few hits there were in that search. I would have thought there would be more. Seems like it is a chronic complaint.

Another 60-seconds later. Oh.Wow. A search for just the word *flag* brought up lots more. Plus, it brought up this one -- and yes it does have a flag stamp. But, it is one with a lot of green, so it actually looks very nice. I think there was a set of the flag in 4 seasons.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

From Janet to Tracy (tile and plaster oops)

This one -also by Janet- is super stealworthy. I love the little envelopes. I need to dig through my envelopes and see what I can find in the non-white category. I think the little envelopes want to be on a colored envelope

Janet -- do you have a moment to tell us what brand or brands of markers you prefer?

I've been a ZIG person for over 20 years. But, when Jan gave me all her Faber Castell markers, I fell in love with them. Of course Copics are dreamy. Grrrrr. Too much temptation.

More ooops from the bathroom project.

First the tile. It's under the sink - so not very obvious and I did not take a before photo. I used Sugru to fill the divot which was smaller than a dime. I need to paint it and add a clear coat. I am only showing it to mention Sugru - which is an amazingly wonderful product. I think you have to order it online. But, it sticks to everything and hardens into a really hard rubber and stays put. Unless you want to remove it.
And then you can get it off with a sharp knife. I have a divot in a quarry tile step that I am going to fix next. The photos might give a better idea of how handy the Sugru is. 

Second oooops. It would have been a long time before I discovered that the bashing of the old tile wall in the bathroom caused a chunk of plaster to fall out on the other side. My 4-drawer stack of envelopes was in that corner and they were heavy - so I never moved them. I only moved them because we were getting new carpet.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Two from NancyL - May 2020 (Lego bricks)

A couple more from NancyL. These were not part of the exchange. They are a variation on the exchange envelopes we saw yesterday - using the love stamp. She had the tails on the z and the y to corral the hearts and inserted a swoopy line to corral them on the top. Clever way to organize the elements within the picture plain. I wonder if those stamps are still available. The colors are soooo nice.

Lucky me. I found some of those stamps in MrWilson's folder of stamps. So, I am helping myself to this idea as I complete my exchange envelopes for the month. 

We are still in the midst of house renovation projects - so - the blog is getting haphazard attention. I still manage to surf during the noon cup of coffee and found this heart warming story about someone who was motivated to recycle plastics. I'm trying to decide if I should send this to the president of Lego. I just read an article about him - and also started the video on Netflix -- and Oh.My.Gosh -- if ever there was someone who could dovetail the beloved activity of building with Legos with recycling and housing needs - it's that guy. Can you dovetail 3 things? Maybe that's called a braid.

I dunno -- but I reeeeally feel like Mr Lego needs to hear about this project:

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Five from NancyL - May 2020 - (enduring)

NancyL responded to my call for photos in May. It's so much fun to see a group of envelopes that went out together. She had a layout in mind and you can see how she adjusted it to fit the various amounts of lettering that needed to fit in. The floral details, coordinated with the stamps are the frosting on the cake.

It's Feb 11and we are adding the rants/ponders to previously scheduled posts. We were talking about enduring.

When this pops up this will be the week where I am needing to get my second appointment for my second vaccination. Fingers crossed we have not run out of vaccine. It will probably be chilly. Maybe snowy. I can't think of any brilliant way to do anything other than endure February. 

The standard joke is that February has the fewest days because it is such a miserable month. I hope everyone is finding ways to endure. At my house on the 11th-- we are listening to the final installation of the bathroom remodel and I will be taking a really funny photo here in a couple minutes. The cabinet builder/installer didn't realize that the wall had the final paint - and he wrote a couple numbers above the cabinet.

 I calmly explained that the wall had already been painted. Ooooops. At least it was pencil and I will be able to remove it. If it had been Sharpie - I'm not sure how I would have handled it. Probably beautifully. The only up-side of having things go wrong is it prepares us for things to go wrong.

Pray for the best, expect the worst. That's the Mel Brooks line that I might add to that other list.

The tile oooops will appear at a later date.

I meant to post the birthday envelopes to Viola tomorrow - but accidentally clicked -post-
so they popped up late yesterday.

Scroll down for a bonus post.


Monday, February 22, 2021

Viola - Happy 101st Birthday (word space)

Thank you to everyone who sent cards for Viola, my sister-in-law's mother.

This one is from Patty. I love the 101 candles on the cake.

Alyce went with balloons - a popular birthday theme.

Mine is boring.

RachaelT found a very nice font. That combination of letters works very well.

And here is the birthday girl.

Keep in mind Viola beat both covid and pneumonia since her 100th birthday.
And she's pretty determined to get her strength back so she can walk around.
That's not gonna happen, but you gotta admire someone who maintains their can-do spirit.

Unrelated - but I couldn't resist adding this. One of my broken record comments when people ask me to critique their work is --- too much space between words. I think this might have broken the record for the amount of space between words.

The words on the three sheets of paper are Just-be-Kind. I try to be kind when I suggest that words need to have only the width of the letter i between them. The photo is from a real estate listing. I've been spending way too much time looking at real estate listings. It's one of my favorite time-wasters.

I am curious about this room in general. The quilt is a keepsake quilt made out of t-shirts. All black and gold which usually means U of Iowa - but I do not see the Hawkeye logo. If I taught English, I would assign this photo to the class and have people write a story about it. If any of the readers like to write stories - feel free to submit one. I would definitely post them.


Chuck's How-to (Medieval art)

If you read the blog early yesterday, there was no mention of who sent the envelope. It was from Leslie. Sorry, Leslie, I did add your name later in the day.

I'm working through my stack of emails with images that people kindly sent when I asked for more images to help fill the blog. Chuck found the top image, something he had saved in 2015, but it did not have a source. He works out his version in pencil and then does the design on mylar so that he can do 5 envelopes. I assume that he works on a light table. I have a small light table and hardly ever use it. I'm saving it for my grandkids in case they develop an interest in art.


I apologize for all the posts that have been on centered lines. I've decided that I do not like reading centered lines and will try to switch to flush left. 

Chuck sent me some of the humorous things he sees on the internet. This one cracked me up. Someday I will find my own medieval-style painting of the Patron Saint of Pizza. It is in my stash of artwork. Or maybe I have already posted it. 


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Morphing Xmas into spring (phrases whilst enduring)

The springiness of this green -from Leslie- might inspire some springy ideas for March envelopes. Of course, dots do not fall into any particular season. Maybe the word ubiquitous applies here. That green shape does not have to be a tree. There are several ways to adapt this idea to something springy. It does look like it took a fair amount of time and as is true with so many envelopes, it's even prettier in person.

The Gray Panthers/unions/gangs topic is still swirling in my head. We have a few more weeks of winter to endure and I can't remember the other name for cabin fever that I heard. We need a new name for the combination of cabin fever and pandemic syndrome. 

Dang. I lost my train of thoughts. I might have mentioned The Daily Stoic. It is an email that will pop up daily with a suggestion for how to be more stoic (if you sign up). Most of the suggestions are pretty good. Today they had 3 paragraphs that could be summed up as "one day at a time." Maybe I can distill each daily post into a single phrase and end up with super easy reminders to pull out as needed. 

One of my favorite parts of teaching was when a student would toss out a phrase that put whatever I was saying into a tidy little nutshell.
I will always remember what's-er-name who said:
All things in moderation.

One day at a time.
This too shall pass.

Does that cover everything?
I bet all y'all have some good ones.
I can picture printing them on the front of my shirt - upsidedown
so that I can refer to them as needed.

I think we need to mention yin-yang.
Not sure it fits into a phrase.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Tidying up: Naomi + coffee + Heleen (good news-vaccination)

This is from Naomi Bulger. Her work is all over Pinterest.

Her style has changed a lot since 2017.
Her drawings used to be less detailed. Her current work has details and shading and texture. 
I do not prefer one over the other.

I was looking for a piece of mail art that included coffee because I had a couple coffee related items to post. Cookies and milk seemed to be close enough. 
Coffee continues to be one of the essentials to life as I know it and periodically, I need to give public thanks to coffee.

And -- a shout out to my friends who are big fans of the periodic table.

This just in:

I was poking around on Naomi's website --and saw this:


To help you celebrate a special occasion, or to warm the hearts of your friends and loved-ones, I am happy to create unique mail-art for you. These are original artworks, hand-painted onto envelopes and hand-addressed for you (here are some examples of my mail-art), and are available for a flat rate of $150 per illustrated envelope. To have just one original design hand-painted onto multiple envelopes, the rate is reduced to $80 per envelope.

Here is where the link in the above pp takes you:

Naomi's site is a true rabbit hole. I finally found a cup of coffee although it could be tea.

Or here is one from Heleen.

Sorry this is such a long post - but the Feb 18th post was a little down - and I wanted to report that my county public health office finally has a number for people over 65 to call and get information and help with getting vaccinations - both shots - so we no longer have to risk having our heads explode while trying to find vaccinations. Whew. I hope that other states and counties are making similar progress.

Friday, February 19, 2021

ChristiP's illumination and bookmark (Eric Carle)

As I recall, this envelope went back to Christi after she mailed it and eventually, it arrived at my house with that really ugly and unnecessary Sharpie zip code. I was horrified when I saw the image on my USPS email alert that sends images of the mail that will be arriving. 

Happily, the beautiful illuminated letters were inserted in to a translucent envelope and the Sharpie did not destroy that portion of the artwork..

Christi also included these cool bookmarks.
I've had a link to Christi's blog for quite a while and I do not recall how I even ran across her blog. Every time I look at her work, I remind myself that someday I am going to do my own version of her red letters. I've dabbled in illumination enough to be mesmerized by those little fine line doodles. 
Do those doodles have a name?

So -- s.o.m.e.d.a.y I will do some faux-Christi lettering.

The lettering on the bookmarks reminds me of Gwen Weaver's Waskally Womans.
I'm not sure that is spelled correctly.
It is supposed to sound like Bugs Bunny saying: Rascally Romans

Christi: Are your serifed romans your own design or did you pick them up at a workshop and make them your own?

Dreamy, eh?

The post about Maurice Sendak led to several really nice comments - including one from Christi. Most of us have very cozy feelings about the books we loved as children. And, Christi shared that Eric Carle is a neighbor. If I show up, and we go for coffee (or tea) in her neighborhood, we might see him. I have not given up on my idea to do a grand tour of the US and visit with my pen pals. Perhaps we could follow him, find his address and send him some mail art. I wonder if he is so well known that the USPS knows where he lives and would deliver something with just his name. (apologies for silliness - strong coffee this morning)

When I was teaching kids at the local art museum, the director of the program came up with the brilliant idea to have the older students make a ton of Eric Carle inspired papers and make their own Eric Carle inspired artwork. They kindly made stacks of extra paper, so that the younger students could also do Eric inspired collages. It was one of my all-time favorite projects. Maybe some day I can do the project with my grandkids. The splattery paint blending should appeal to anyone.

There is a ton of good stuff. Other holidays are included. The link goes to the page with ideas and downloads. There are many other tabs - if you are an Eric Carle fan.


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Bittersweet from CathyO (gangs)

Isn't this pretty? 
I'm feeling bittersweet. 
We observed the 11th birthday of the blog yesterday. 
It was also my younger son's birthday. 
Sadly, I am not sure which birthday it is because I cannot do this math in my head.
2021 - 1988 = ??

It's got to be an odd number and it isn't 31 so it must be 33.
With my family of 5 and the 3 kids have add-ons - there are so many numbers to remember and every year the number changes for each person. I spaced off Mr Wilson turning 70 this year. Not in real life - but on the blog. I wonder if he was disappointed that he did not get any fun mail.
And I will be spacing off my own birthday. (clearly, this changed)

It's bittersweet to watch the offspring head into their 30s and 40s.
As I recall, those are challenging decades.
Maybe I am just weary (as we all are) of trying to find the silver lining in all the *stuff* that has gone on,
(she wrote on Dec 22, 2020)


There is a post scheduled for April 15 announcing my new online group to join. I thought it would be fun to welcome people who did not do exchanges.

I'm aware that many of us are introverts so there may be little interest in joining a group. I've had a couple other ideas for groups that I have not pursued. Why would an introvert keep thinking of groups? I guess, I am not living on the very tip of the bell curve and I do enjoy my connections to others.

Side note: What ever happened to the Gray Panthers? I remember when they started and recall thinking that I would be good at being a Gray Panther when I achieved my full grayness. I'm resisting the temptation to research. They might have morphed into AARP.

Off-topic, daily extra jabber.

Once upon a time, I conjured up a gang for moms. When the boys were teenagers, they listened to popular music which included musicians who embraced (or inhabited?) the whole *gang* culture. I did not have to ask them to not play it in the house. Somehow they had discerned that MeanJean needed her peace and quiet. But, I saw enough to know about the gangs and their bandanas. 

So, one day, MeanJean was delivering the super nachos to the teenagers - and she tied a dish towel around her head and declared that she was going to start a gang for moms. They probably rolled their eyes. Skip was on homecoming court as a senior, and the parents were invited to participate in a halftime introduction on the field. I remember him suggesting that I flash a gang sign as we were introduced. And I did. Not my finest hour. Or maybe it was. The older I get - the less perspective I have. At the time, it was surreal to have an offspring on homecoming court. Mr Wilson and I were both quintessential nerds. To have a courtly offspring was surreality to the nth degree.

ScaryMommy is a group on IG -- and I love every single post. They are the equivalent of my MomGang. I am sure there are rebel/rogue-elder sites as well. I shall resist the temptation to look for them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Happy Birthday to the Blog -- 11 Years - Lauren's leaves

This card and envelope arrived in November, from Lauren. It was a tiny bit late and her message indicated that she had struggled with inspiration. I can sure identify with that situation. Luckily, she gazed out the window and -voila- there were some fall leaves and that's all she needed to get her mo-jo back. I have no idea if Lauren knows that I have a real *thing* for leaves. These two compositions are so pretty. 

They also illustrate two design principles that I like.
Filling up the whole page.
Leaving some white space.

While I frequently talk about my love of white space, I honestly do not prefer it over filling up all the space. The color-field painters are some of my favorites.

And -wow- what a perfect design to go with the Ruth Asawa stamp.
Thanks for the perfect artwork to celebrate 11 years on the blog.


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Birthday greetings from Leslie to Lyn (thank you to you-know-who)

Leslie's birthday greeting to Lynne is happy and yummy. The celebrate stamp is perfect.

I have a new way of labeling the photos and I'm coming up with 3and 4-letter nicknames for the people who exchange regularly.
Leslie = Les, Lynne = Lyn
As an avowed alphabet nerd, this has become a wildly entertaining game for me.
I always wanted to turn myself into JWil (like JLo) but I doubt that's going to happen.
Smash is going to stay Smash, even though it is 5 letters.
I could shorten it to Mash, but somehow, I feel like everyone needs to have their code-name start with the first letter of their first name.

This is drivel. Sorry. It's Dec 22 and I have some logistical concerns.
Hopefully, by the time this blog post pops up, I will be able to say, 
"Whew. All done and it turned out just fine."


I intended to send a Happy Valentine's greeting to the sweetest person I know - and post it on Valentine's Day. Then I accidentally filled the 14th with the articles about the USPS and didn't want to start shifting things. And then I remembered that observing holidays on the exact day actually annoys me. And Valentine's Day is one of the worst. Restaurants are inundated with people who simply HAVE TO have a valentine dinner on the 14th. It's so hard on the restaurants. Why can't we declare the entire week - Valentine's Week -- so that people do not have to stress about finding a restaurant for a special meal on that one specific day? What is so magical about specific days? Why isn't *close* good enough?

Obviously, I am talking about how this could work in the future. Although, restaurants that offer carry out probably had a miserable 14th.

But, I digress. My shout out is to the sweetest person I know. A person who offered me shelter from the storm of renovation at my house. I would name this person - but he or she might want to keep a low profile. Plumbers, electricians, wall-bashers, painters, the boss --- coming and going. Bashing. lugging, sawing, sawing tile - and probably the worst of all -- drilling the tile. Oh.My.Gosh. That is a sound that goes right through the floor and into your feet and up into your brain.

Thanks to this sweet person, I was spared the first 3 weeks. I just packed up and moved out. Once the tile guy started, I needed to be on site to make some design decisions. Happily, everything is working out just fine. I will post a before and after photo at some point. I will be eternally grateful to the sweetest person ever -- and they should put me on speed dial - to call me when I can do anything to even begin to repay the kindness. On top of that, I will pay it forward, too. I can already tell that I am just slightly less of a *mean-jean* these days.


Monday, February 15, 2021

Belated Valentines (PTEX exchanger?/egg card/Stam)

This exchange envelope arrived with no return address. Can you guess how long I have been studying the details? I like the thin lines running through the broad strokes. They are glitter gel pens. This is a really nice hybrid of Neuland and DuBosch Jubilee. I really like the restraint and contrast shown with the curls. 

But who sent it? There were 3 new people in the February exchange - two were in Indiana. So, with the Suburban IL cancel, I am guessing it is from one of them.

How do you like my new easel for shooting the envelopes? There seems to be no limit to how lazy I can get. Perhaps I can come up with a more neutral background.

It is 6:30 on Valentine's Day -- and I just noticed my card for MrWilson is here on the desk. It is an old one that I found whilst sifting through the hoard that I had completely forgotten about.

It is the size of an actual egg. I'm thinking of making a book of all my favorite greeting cards and just setting it out, open to the appropriate page on the appropriate days. Hopefully, I can corner him today and make a second video of him opening the cards from exchangers that arrived after his birthday. 

On Friday, a friend of mine called to ask me if he could drop off a box of Stam chocolates. He had taken them to a business where he had worked previously and learned that they could not accept candy that was not individually wrapped. So, he thought of my little postal worker and asked me if the USPS could accept unwrapped chocolate. I said, "Sure." Wasn't that nice of him to think of the USPS. I am sure that they will be well received.

No rant today. The entire post is almost realtime. I could complain that it is -9° at the moment, but the forecast is for 19-below on Tuesday. The coldest it has ever been in Des Moines was 26° on Feb 2, 1996. I do not recall that weather event - even though I would have have been living here at 420 and was only in my mid-40s. 

Just for fun, I checked what the coldest recorded temp in Los Angeles is: -28° in Jan of 1949. 
Coldest recorded temp in the US: -70° in Montana
Coldest in Iowa: -47°

Fun fact: if you need the symbol for degrees - on a Mac - hold down the shift+option and then hit the 8 key.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Valentine's Day - Leslie's music w heart stamp (dead letter office)

I have mixed feelings about Valentine's Day because I do not recall the story behind St. Valentine's Day. Usually, any story about a saint has something gruesome, so I am not going to do any research. Mostly, I object to being told that there is a specific day to declare love. That's silly. Love should be the focus of every day.

Once again, Leslie has provided us with a very fun design. I like how she tipped the heart. Do you know why she did that? It reflects the overall shape of the art/writing on the picture plane.

Picture plane is the area on which the artwork appears. In drawing it is the paper. In painting it is the canvas and in mail art, it is the envelope. It seems picky to have a formal name for the space in which the art resides. However, those who do not consider the picture plane as the foundation for everything else are missing out on an important block in the foundation - and we all know what happens when we do not have a proper foundation.

On Thursday, I was proofing posts and I had spelled the *plane/plain* in picture plane with the ai - because I live in the Great Plains - and, to me, plain seemed like the right word for a surface area. But, then I thought of a plane in geometry and realized that I better check - and - whoa - I was so glad I did. Picture plane is the plane-plane. Like an airplane. So why are the Great Plains called Plains? I guess it is because they are so plain (as in Plain Jane) compared to mountains, etc. It would be nice if someone wants to find a source for plain-plane and how the various meanings are assigned to the the two spellings. I would like to submit another spelling - plaine. I say -- combine them so that we do not have to think about it. 


 Here is a fun article from the NYTimes. It starts with a post card that appears to have taken almost 100 years to be delivered and eventually gets to the obvious observation: people buy old post cards at flea markets and drop them in the mail. The USPS does not discuss how many pieces of *re-mailed* mail the handle each year. 

Link to post card article

Near the end of the above article is a link to an article about a piece of mail that might have been stuck in the bottom of a mail bag for 37 years. It reminded me of the time that I got to tag along on a tour of the post office. It might have been when my brother was a Cub Scout. I recall that my mom pointed to one lonely envelope in the bottom of a big canvas cart and said, "I wonder if that one is going to get lost?" I can see how easy it is to lose mail. And the machines chew up a fair amount of mail. Have I already mentioned that the USPS has employees who spend their entire shift -every dang day- just vacuuming out the shredded paper that collects at the bottom of the machines. That's a lot of shredded mail.

Here is the link to the article about the mail that might have been hiding somewhere within the system for 37 years. There are more links to other articles, too.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Leslie's holiday 2020 - make an envelope (incident chart)

Here is another idea from Leslie for any holiday or season. Find a page from a magazine or catalog. Coordinate it with a stamp. Add the name and address. Voila.

The polka dot celebrate stamp is so versatile. I has many colors - but does not go overboard with any particular color. 


I think I've posted that Mr Wilson is reckless and falls down on the ice. Today I thought of one of those signs that they post in factories and warehouses where they keep track of how many days the employees go without injuries. Maybe I need to make a sign for him and a rewards system. As I write this, it is Feb 9, 5 days after his birthday and I have only made 5 of the 7 promised desserts. To be honest, I didn't think Wilsons could get tired of desserts, but I think we did. So, maybe I should put the last two on an incentive plan. He has to go two weeks without falling down before he gets his flourless chocolate cake.

None of the signs online are inspiring me. If anyone wants to submit a design, that would be great. I like the one that says  " ____ DAYS SINCE LAST INCIDENT."

The BigHelpfulBrother and I have a line from The Addams Family that we  toss out from time to time. I did a search and can't find it -- I'm sure BHB will be able to correct this scrambled memory:

Seems like there was a response to a question and someone replied: Well, there was the incident with the Jello, but I'm feeling much better now.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Leslie's 2020 holiday ideas (pandemic rant)

 Leslie's ideas could be used for any holiday. Pick a stamp, switch up the colors. Dots are universal.

Here is link to her InstaGram account. There are tons of ideas. If anyone wants to share their IG address, I'm happy to post them. It's fun to see what the prolific people are up to. I found Leslie's IG account serendipitously. I was looking for WeaverWriting on IG and one of the first images that popped up was one that looked like Leslie's. It is common to be able to recognize someone's penmanship. I think it is interesting that I can even recognize her folded pen penmanship which is more lettering than penmanship. It's interesting how there is a personality that sneaks in to nearly every form of writing.

Spoiler alert - you might see your Feb exchange envelope from Leslie - so if you have her on your list and you want to be surprised when her envelopes arrives - do not click on the link.

Link to Leslie's InstaGram


I've been trying to keep my ranting to a minimum - and keep the rant section to up-beat topics. Most of the time it's easy to find fun things to share. But to be honest, recent events have been very discouraging. Way back in the early days of the pandemic, I had some lovely direct emails from people in many different states who had heard how pitiful the governor of Iowa was (is) and I appreciated hearing from people who were concerned about how bad things were in Iowa. I wanted to print out the emails and send them to the governor and say, "Just so you know, people from all parts of the country are sending me sympathy notes that I have to live with someone like you making so many poor choices."

Recently, as Iowa is designated *hottest spot of the hot spots* and ranked 47 at vaccine distribution (with 50 being the most inept) -- the governor's response is to lift the mask order and open up all the bars and restaurants to 100%. My head would explode - but at least the mayor of Des Moines is asking people to maintain the masks and distancing and many restaurants are following his suggestions.

This is not a plea for additional concerned emails - I have plenty of wonderful distractions - I am simply offering this news so that those of you who are not living in Polk County, Iowa might feel better about where you are living - unless you live in Minot, ND -- I hear that it's worse there. Thank you for enduring this little rant. I will continue to look for things that are positive distractions that I can share with you. 

I did watch a Netflix movie that has been out for a while - but I do not recall hearing anything about it. It is French with subtitles - so you have been warned. It is based on a true story - and those are usually my favorite movies. True stories usually have a sweet simplicity. Although sweet simplicity does not cover the one where the guy had to cut his arm off because he was trapped under a boulder. Nothing sweet about that -- and I certainly did not watch it.

This one is inspirational in terms of how we find ways to get out from under our struggles - and then put our struggles into perspective. The movie is Intouchables.

Here is my current insignificant struggle. I've probably mentioned the plaster dust caused by the 6 week renovation project. We are nearing the end and it's time to deal with the dust. This is what I found in my drawer of black sweaters - the black part is where something else was on top of the black sweater - and the gray part is the layer of dust. There was another drawer with the dolls that my granddaughter plays with when she visits - and they looked like survivors running from the twin towers on 9/11. They were too sad to take a picture. At least plaster dust is truly - just dust -- and it is not oily, sticky, or sooty.

I should be grateful that I have days upon days of cleaning ahead - minimizing any thoughts about doing anything in the outside world.