Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday's Evening Post

A Stamp People album grows . . . Debbie's People . . . to include family. Perhaps a village will follow? One can only hope. *grinning*

Two treats in a day! Susan Branch. This is for all you Downton Abbey lovers who cannot wean yourself from the show's teats. Treats? Well, Susan offers such lovely treats throughout this lovely post. I'll never make it across the great pond, but I've yet to make it across the Grand Canyon either, so . . . No matter. Here's an interesting thing I noted:  Reading Susan's post took me away from the dark skies, stormy weather, and pain . . . until I came to myself! No lightning bolt dodging involved! That's what good writers do for their readers. I'm grateful for this love of reading that's never left me since it first shook my hand. Imaginary hand, but still a hand. 

Left handed pecking isn't so bad when great links do most of the work for your own post. There's another welcome storm showering us with lovely rain and cooled air. I love rainy days. The day's pomegranate ignited my appetite, so I managed a messy grilled cheese sandwich for my one meal of the day. The pickle chips were so good. Yum! No morning appetite here. My meal was so recent that I'm still full because I broke down and had a mug of "milked" tea too.  I'd give up reading for a week if I could have two of the Saltgrass Steakhouse's heavenly crab cakes, a loaf of their brown bread, the Caesar salad, and a glass of their homemade lemonade. I must be hungry again!

Being sidelined has its perks. Am blessed to have a copy of Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower to entertain and delight me through my "recovery." Does one ever recover from age? Hmm. . . So, see? Giving in to unexplained urges to buy books you never imagined reading does pay off in the long run. Crossing genres expands my minds--not that I'm new to SCI-FI, but Butler is one of the finest SCI-FI writers to ever live on the planet. I finally get Gloria Steinem's glowing introduction. (More on that later.) JC is out buying food and supplies and such. Minuet and I agreed to get along as long as she stops trying to balance on my right knee instead of my lap. She's the runt and her claws are like curved scimitars; they gouge harder when she kneads, and I need her to stop adding insult to injury. *grin*

Birds are singing so surely our storm is over.

Honorary Auntie Erin baked a cake for her sweet little friend, Sydney, who turned one. I might get in trouble for this but how could I resist? 

There's the sweetest picture of Sydney eating her slice, and as tempted as I am to show you, I asked for permission to share it here. Here's hoping approval arrives soon. The girl is a foodie of the first class. She eats Thai like I never will, seeing as how I've never had it, but there's a photo of that too. And there's a story behind the cake pans used to bake this cake. Short version:  JC found them in the pantry, packed and mailed them to Chicago just in time for the birthday girl's b'day. Imagine that! She's not even our grand . . . That's one lucky girl. Happy Birthday Sydney! 

So. I ordered a pair of the new--as my friends Alex, Fatima, and Genesis say--"arthree-tis"(short I) gloves; I ordered a fingerless and a fingered pair. I bought a pair for my mother a few years back; not the same ones though. These are a newer design and they're made with some new fabric. I refuse to do down without exploring every avenue that might or will lead to remission. Yep. That's how I think. That's how I believe. I cannot even imagine not being able to write or draw or lift my awesome pots and pans, drive, pick up my cameras, braid my own hair, pull weeds, type, cook, wag a finger . . . It takes longer to write a post, but to paraphrase Ceely, "I might hurt, and I might take too long writing, but I'm here."

"Write, write, and then write some more," is what I plan. Or, better yet, "I'll write when I can." *grin*

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Reminder to Remember

This red ribbon is my reminder to remember all the things I want to tell you. There's such good mail! How could I ever forget? 

It might remind me to remember how less is more in the telling. Perhaps this lovely ribbon is a reminder to do all things necessary to find the balance between pain and wellness. Not to use a hot water bottle anytime soon? Maybe it's time to give in and go in for a wellness check? Who knows? 

I just remembered this:  My two fingers in my left hand had bee stings last night. I could have gone on living quite nicely without being reminded of the significance of bee stings in fingers; but then I am also reminded that I must give thanks for both hands, and remembering how they've been so good to me. I must be good to them in return. And I will. Just as soon as I finish this.

Note to self:  Try using your left hand more? 
Self to Note:  Naw. We're too old to be trying for ambidexterity. 
Note to self:  Well excuse me. I was only trying to be helpful.
Self to Note: You were. You reminded me of the wisdom in keeping such thoughts to myself. A little rest and recovery and I'll be back to telling . . .
Note to self:  Perhaps you might manage a hint or two as offerings?
Self to Note:  Aha! Now I remember why I keep you around, you clever thing you!

All but two of the little yellow fellows have been released into the world of letters. Will there be more? Remind me to tell you later.

There's a new PBS catalog to tell you about! I like the series, but the book brings you closer to the characters. Masterpiece has been a marvel since I was a girl; it still is.

I must remember to let Dodson, D. tell you about his vacation. He was gracious enough to allow me to tag along via post. I believe Miss "Special K" enjoyed it too. *wink*

A bit of red ribbon will remind me to share the magic that isn't Disney. 

No reminder is necessary to tell you this silly little tip:  A too-thick disc of sealing wax can be thinned by simply pressing the still-warm wax with the back of your match box; it'll comply with postal standards, and you won't have to pay more. Remember to apply your seal near the lower part of the flap and it won't bother the Mangler.

I won't need a reminder to get me talking about the demise of Patty's Charley Pride, rooster extraordinaire. I'm still mourning his loss, but paused long enough to create a fitting tribute.  Poor Charley.

Oh, Anna! What have you given me? Hours of telling and touching and exploring and imagining and wishing . . . There's so much! I'll have to charge my batteries for this gem alone. Yet there's so much more, from so many people everywhere. Beat steadily my heart!

See? You might have thought I was making it up as I typed. Aha! Never underestimate the veracity of a limner. There's always a thing or three that needs limning. The spirit is willing even when the flesh rebels. Ouch.

Note to self:  Ask yourself, why foolish people think they're meant to carry on as usual simply because they've taken a pain pill?

Self to Note:  You can't fault a girl for trying, albeit an old one. Ouch.

Reminder to self:  Gotta run! I forgot! They're looking for me! 

Write as often as you remember to. Need a reminder? Go for it! Just write, and you will be written to.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Old Person Day

(Postmarked 1996. Seven year old Weronika is 21 years older than she was when she sent this. Thank you some more, dear Weronika. It's one of the sweetest memories from my Postcrossing days.)

I feel old today. No. I'm allowing myself to feel old. Old, and happy, and chomping at the bit. Not sad, depressed, or lonesome. Am seriously considering milking all to the last drop. *wink* Self-indulgence isn't always a bad thing you know, so I'm feeling all of 92-crowding-up-on-93 while my birthday isn't until next spring. Maybe getting a head start is a good thing; I'll know how it feels when I get there 'cause I'm practicing. 

I imagine that I know how this little kitty feels, only there's a good probability that I am addicted to the hot water bottle. How else could I have burned myself until I blistered--yet again--and couldn't tell the difference between the pain from the old surgery site and fresh burning? None of that changes the fact that I must rest the pained spine, shoulder, arm . . . Brain? No pain, no gain, my ass. Stupid people say such foolish things, and even foolisher people believe them. Besides, I am no martyr. Martyrs die young. I'm old. Older. Wiser. Alive. And in need of more great blog posts to read while I heal. The blisters have to be healing since they itch like crazy. So, this is me taking an Old Person Day. Days. One-handed typing is frustrating. Wow! JC brought home so much mail! Gotta go. TTYL.

"A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of." Nelson Mandela

I believe this is part of what the ladies at the LWA tried to act on and encourage us to do. I'm all in.

Happy Nelson Mandela Day! Thanks, Olivia.

Be well!


Write more letters! You never know when someone might really-really-really need a bunch. 

I'm off to wallow in mail.


P.S.  How bad did I feel? I missed the season opener of Game of Thrones! And I don't need a shoulder-arm to watch HBO! 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

If I'm Not Careful . . .

If I'm not careful, some mail art can make the hair on the back of my neck bone stand up like I combed it with static. I remember the first time an altered image did that to me:  It was from Patty. In it, a woman's open-mouthed-disembodied-head floated mid-air on the envelope; knife blades stick out like hedge hog quills instead of hair. It's right out of "The Twilight Zone" or "The Outer Limits," both shows I watched in secret even after my parents classified both shows as off limits. 

From now on I will call such mail images Rod Serling stuff. I might even begin a Rod Serling album. While I'm confessing let me say this:  There's not a horror movie out there that frightens me. I'm a veteran. I cut my teeth on the old horror stories and Tales From the Crypt comics; those clawed hands reaching out from the grave were mere studies in human anatomy to little girl me; and George A. Romero, bless his heart, gave me the first African American star in a horror movie. Duane Jones was my hero of the genre. He hammered the hell out of some zombies but he never convinced me that a Black man would die like that. 

Romero passed on to that other dimension, leaving in his wake a zombie nation that will never die. He deserves a postage stamp, because:

"Romero jump-started the zombie genre as the co-writer (with John A. Russo) and director of the 1968 movie “Night of the Living Dead,” which went to show future generations of filmmakers such as Tobe Hooper and John Carpenter that generating big scares didn’t require big budgets. “Living Dead” spawned an entire school of zombie knockoffs, and Romero’s sequels included 1978’s “Dawn of the Dead,” 1985’s “Day of the Dead,” 2005’s “Land of the Dead,” 2007’s “Diary of the Dead” and 2009’s “George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead.”

The original film, since colorized, has become a Halloween TV staple. Among other notable aspects of the cult classic was the casting of a black actor, Duane Jones, in the lead role, marking a milestone in the horror genre."

I like this Romero quote:  “I’ve been criticized the most for not writing good-guy/bad-guy characters,” he explained. “But my people aren’t clear-cut because real people aren’t clear-cut. They’re usually very gray, very ambiguous.  (by Tre'vell Anderson, the LA Times)

Is truth, right? RIP George A. May zombies forever creep, but please please please, don't let them catch me! And if zombies need flesh, why don't they starve to death? And how can they produce hemoglobin? 

This is more disconcerting than scary/spooky, and it tells such a story. It takes an imagination to new heights. The longer I look, the longer the story grows. You'd never guess where I found this so I'll go on and tell you now. 

See? I told you. Old wooden teeth George can keep a secret. Illustration by Johanna Goodman. Oh, wow. Check out Johanna. She got me. I imagine some of the images would do well in an acid trip.

This is . . .  I am speechless, so you'll have to supply the proper adjective. Just don't say "awesome." Such masterpieces require a discerning eye, so Ms. Goodman has big talent. You either have it or . . . Can it be taught? My newsprint hat's off to Johanna. And a tip goes to all of you who do this new genre so well. 

I may never master such scissors and glue art because . . . My conscience and my feeling get in the way. Here's what I mean:

I cannot insult this man. I cannot bring myself to destroy the photo either. Yes, I'd scan it but how do I justify reducing him to such mockery? Dang it! How can a ringing phone on tv sound so real? I reached for my phone. Does that ever happen to you?

Mark Twain? Really?

Hmm. I'd have to cut the neck of the dress though, wouldn't I? 

Much was sacrificed to create this too, right? Aren't the hands a little bit creepy? Who lost their head?  Ah, see the master manipulation that went on? 'Tis art! Pure and simple. I'd never make a surgeon. I'd probably feel sorry for the tumor I'd have to remove--wondering if it'd suffer and miss its host. Or worse. No I wouldn't. *grin* Oh, goodness! I see a face in the dress! To the left. It looks like the actor in Rebecca, the one who played Rebecca's lover. Ahem.

I saved this house for years. Is time to make a sacrifice in the name of art. I cannot bring myself to do this to Richard Pryor though. I'm enjoying the dress and sweater so much, but I'm taking my time too, searching for just the right images; there's a very good story about this house that needs telling. 

I baked a banana pudding today. JC likes a whipped cream topping while I prefer the meringue. I beat three egg whites until they hollered, "Enough!" and stood all peaked in stiff attention. I like it warm, and it's better with softer meringue, but when you get banana pudding once a year, you'll eat it as is--even when the fluff topping reminds me of the stuff some spiders leave in the tall stalks.

I managed to write another letter before I slept last night. Guess who needs more stamps. 

And guess who thought to use the backings instead of tossing them; they're the devil to glue down, but a strip of Scotch tape did the trick. Waste not, waste not. 

There are new stories to share about mail, upcoming photos of mail--from good people such as yourselves--and continued observations on this life. The blisters from my hot water bottle calmed down after JC applied aloe, gauze bandages, and taped everything down. A strip of tape somehow managed to find its way into my hair. Johnson swears it was an accident, then proceeded to pull away enough hair to make me want to elbow him with mucho gusto, but my shoulder hurt too much. Can you believe he asked if he could cut the still-taped hair away with a razor? I could wind up bald if I'm not careful. Have you ever looked at your back? Your buttocks? Do you ever wonder what they look like? I never thought about it before last night. I always have someone else have a look at it if I suspect there's something wrong back there, but JC took a photo for me, and I discovered I like my back more than I like my front. Hmm. Now I wonder what people walking behind me see when it's fully clothed. Not that it matters. *grin*

Peace for your heart, and grease for your squeaky wheels! 

Be well. Write much mail. 

Goodnight, Mr. Zombie. I miss you already.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Dear Jenny Nunn,

Dear Jenny Nunn,

Thank you. 

You never cease to amaze me. Teachers never do! 

You're my first Saturday Super Star. While the scanner is up and running again I'm not ready to give up the convenience of the simplicity of "shoot and post" just yet. Scanning requires a lot more work; there's all the resizing and . . . I do that now but it doesn't require . . . Never mind. I'll simply do what I sat here to do, which is showcase some of the marvelously creative, unique, should-be-shared talent that comes to me via mail. It's the "you won't believe it unless you see it" kind of mail myths spring from. It begins with you, dear Jenny.

Enjoy, y'all!

Well defined!

So much to touch and see.

She's looking at me!

If you'll pretend this is a silent short, I promise I won't make you listen to organ music or read dialogue with lots of quotation and exclamation marks, since this is really Show and Tell Saturday. All the orange and gold reminds me of . . . Dang! There I go! You'll need to provide your own commentary. And, simply enjoy. 

Part II

The End?

Twenty-three photos later, and I still couldn't manage to show you everything. It's just that awesome. I wish I'd thought of going spiral with my little folder book. I used binding thread instead. And wouldn't it be clever to write a lovely letter in such a clever way--each page holding a separate part . . . ?

"And the bird flew away . . . with the secret tucked beneath her heart!" 

The End.

Thank you Jenny Nunn, for all the stories that've only just begun, because of you. 

Sincerely sincere,