Monday, May 22, 2017

An Early Berd Mail Werm

If werms write, who delivers their mail? Early bird mail is their norm. Ever see one when the sun is high in the sky? No, 'cause they usually die if they lie exposed beneath the rays without mud sunscreen. 

Guess who. What? I'll explain later.

One postcard went out to wing its way across the Great Mail Way. Thank you, JC.

Beached mail. Beach themed mail? Just mail. Two pages.

Brown Girl Beams

First Mail Opened today. Good and lovely words galore. Thank you, Anna. 

The moral of this post is:  Early werm mail goes out in the first post, but only if the early berd don't eat it first, 'cause it woke up hungry. 

Write more mail. Well, write more mail, and mail it.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Catching Up to Myself

Is catching up with myself the same as being beside myself? If it is, and once I do, what do I do with myself? How much time do you have? There's more to do than there is time to do it in. There has to be time for doing nothing more than sitting, observing, thinking about what I see--what I want to do--and ought to do. I tend to do the opposite of ought. Ought carries very little weight these days. 

I ought to put away the folded laundry. I ought to put away my tools, but if I do I'll just have to take them out again tomorrow; I ought to listen to more music since I feel like singing along with Otis Redding, and I would but I forget where I put my iPod. Can you believe I forgot how to turn it on? Seems it needed charging first. I did forget how to turn the thing off though. Yep, it's been that long since I used it. I prefer it to the larger/newer version JC gave me. 

A gift from JC. It's hard to believe this is older than Alex. Okay. I'm listening now. It's old music. Good, and worth ear drum use. How many thumps in old ear drums? I don't mind using them for this joy though. I cannot get it back--used eardrum cells; it's like washing away used skin cells, right? They regrow without our notice. We enjoy wearing away our joints, our hair, taste buds, and other renewable self stuff. It's not like we can save any of it t by not using it. Right? Heck, I made myself laugh with that one. So, I shall write while I listen.

Well. I've forgotten what I set out to say. Perhaps listening awhile longer will help. 

Nope. So onward and forever hopeful . . . There's this:

Yellow Mail

Black Mail? 

Last Night's Mail

I lost misplaced last night's mail. Searched without success. Had to ask JC if he'd seen it. *shamefaced grin* Embarrassed, I set out on a personal search party of one. Found it too. Three more down with maybe seven more to go before I'll be back on track--er, caught up. This does not count the "thinking of you," or "Annie are you okay?" and "I simply had to show you this!" kind of mail. Packages don't count. Or do they? 

P.S.  I bought The Saffron Kitchen several years back. I bought it on Audible too, thinking I'd ease into listening to recorded books and not fall asleep. I'd read along as practice. Guess what. It did not work. There are several really great books on both iPods that I've never heard. There's The Bookshop, Christine Falls, The Rest of Her Life, Toast, The White Tiger," and one I am too embarrassed to tell you about, but The White Tiger is so hilarious I had to buy a hard copy. So. How do I teach myself not to fall asleep? My mind wanders too, so any advice on how to stay focused? I'd like to hear The Saffron Kitchen from beginning to end. *sigh*

Another Raggedy Assed Day

Published 1/31/2013

A Raggedy Assed Day

I went to the post office the last two days in a row. That means 6.1 miles each way. That is roughly 15 minutes one way. It sure feels longer. Today, I went to both post offices. The second trip took12 minutes and 6.8 miles get me to the closest post office, according to Map Quest. Something feels wrong here. No matter. I've had a raggedy assed day, so what's a messed up map gonna do to wreck it? The sunshine felt good.

Yesterday a stranger merged with me on the sidewalk that led to the post office front door. He asked me, "Ya like red much?" One, two, three. Before I could answer, he quipped, "I guess you like red 'cause you're driving a red car, and you're wearing a red windbreaker. I just figured you must like red. There's nothing wrong with it. People have different favorite colors."

All I did was turn, took a quick look at the Honda and kept walking. It's a deep dark red that borders on maroon. I looked down at my windbreaker. I said, "The Honda is my daughter's, and the windbreaker is mine." I am 99% patient and tolerant, most of the time. I'm not the old me, the one who kept her eyes on the sidewalk to avoid making eye contact with folks. I learned early on that eye contact means you are open for conversation. Okay. I'm shy, too. Some people have shy-dar. I get singled out for conversations every where I go. I was not in a receptive mood today though. It took a while for the stranger's words to sink in. When I'm in Funkville, I live with a barrier between me and thee. I know several people who would have asked him why he was dressed all in white. With red trim on his shirt. He wore a white Polo shirt, white shorts, he had white in his hair and beard, I think he wore white socks and white tennis shoes. And, he was white. He outdid me, right? Like the pot calling the kettle copper, huh?

I repeated myself. I kept walking. The inquisitive gentleman opened the heavy post office door on the right, allowed me to enter, and told me to "Have a nice day, ma'am." He was a little off balance by then. You see, I also told him this, "Yes. I like red. It's the color of life. It's the color of our life's blood. It's a sign of vim and vigor." Then I kept on walking. In silence. He kept up with me until we reached the door. Thinking on it now, I couldn't have made a snappy comeback because it's not my nature, but maybe I should have said . . . Heck if I know what. Why the heck did he notice me and my car out of all the other people going into that building? Aha! He didn't get my goat. See? I'm . . . I'm . . .

That happened at the second post office. The first post office had the stamps I need for my Valentine postcards. Yea! So I suffered through having to be there. And, yes, that same postal clerk who reminds me of Apu, pulled out his drawer and left a long line of customers waiting. He does that every single time I visit and he is there. He is the stereotypical federal employee.

Two replacement employees took to the counter. I was hoping to get the woman, but I got the sarcastic male, who reminds me of a mechanic. He was something else. He told anyone who would listen, "I don't do business with the United States Post Office." That's not all. The customer in line to the left of me got all loud and indignant. He told the clerk, "No way. No way am I going to pay ten bucks to mail that to Japan." He told them about themselves. They didn't get upset when he told them to remove the postage and give him his *&^%$ back. Wanted to ROFL here. He told us it was ridiculous to pay ten dollars to mail what he always pays five dollars to mail to the same destination. There's more:

Clerk: Have you mailed anything since the new rates went into effect.

Man: No. And I won't be doing business with you again. You guys are just putting yourselves out of business.

My Clerk: Yeah, man, they are.

Man: But, why?

My Clerk: They're trying to be competitive. They want to compete with UPS and FEDEX.

Smug me? I was smiling and commiserating at the same time. Then I snapped to. I said, "Oh, Lord, wonder what mine's gonna come to?"

My Clerk: Laughing. Oh, just you wait.

I saw the numbers in the little swiper, and prayed for dignity and grace. Let me tell you this: IT COST ME OVER $10 TO MAIL TWO CHOCOLATE BARS TO THE UK!

Excuse me. I have to walk away so I can swear inside my closet.

Another one for Estados Unidos Da America

My second postcard came just minutes ago. I have a sore throat so I've been just the teeniest bit aggrieved since waking. Did not feel like walking to the mail box. Felt worse when I finally reached it, opened it and saw nothing but the usual junk. The postman ticks me off when he folds my lovely magazines down the center. I hate that. Have I mentioned it before? I seem to live on Redundant Drive lately. . .

Oh! As I was saying, a postcard and a Christmas card were tucked inside the circulars. I smiled when I saw the postmarks! This one is from Portugal. His lovely card boasts a view of the Serra Da Estrela (Parque Natural, or Natural Park). It is the highest peak in Portugal. My first geography lesson about Portugal from a stranger. Very nice. 

There's also a language lesson involved. It's easy, but I like it. I live in Estados Unidos Da America. Ain't that a lovely mouthful?

*****This was just discovered on one of my other blogs, obviously in the wrong place! It was published there on 12/21/2010. This is what I get for having too many blogs. 

Here's another:  Please Mr. Postman, published 1/27/2011

Serendipity strikes again! Serendipity does not wear a cape. It is not masked. And no, it doesn't come when it's asked. Serendipity just is. So, always be prepared. Have plenty of stamps on hand. Be prepared, people. Be prepared.

serendipity |ˌserənˈdipitē|nounthe occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way fortunate stroke of serendipity a series of small serendipities.
This letter-writing thing is buzzing through my life like a bee in a bonnet. A letter I wrote last week to a friend in Colorado was returned today--stamped Return to Sender. I immediately thought of the returned Christmas card. The intended recipient had passed on a year and a half ago. I don't want to believe lightning strikes the same pen twice. Trying not to think about the possibility that Bill might have passed on as well, only depresses me. 

I am nervous about calling to see if he's okay, because the phone number is at the same address I mailed the letter to. It stands to reason that if no mail is accepted there, then the phone has to be disconnected, too. Right? Calling and learning I'm right will only depress me more. Right?  So, what else can a sister do, except sing, "Please Mr. Postman?" 
Well, I did, and that's when I just read that Gladys Horton, a co-founder of the Marvelettes, and singer of "Please Mr. Postman" has passed on. She was 66. And in a nursing home! How sad is that?
The song was the first hit for Motown. Who knew? Dang! They sang "Beachwood 4-5789," too! I lip-synced that one at a school talent show at G. W. Carver Elementary School. Three of my classmates lip-synced the background vocals. I used to love that song! Was always wiggling my skinny hips when I sang it.
Singing . . . ". . . So, my number is Beachwood 4-5789. You can call me up and have a date any old time . . ." Alas! There goes another part of my girlhood.

Sorrow and sadness aside, Mr. Postman has been kind to me this week. Despite the letters that bear black arm bands, the post has brought me another lovely postcard from Poland. It also brought me a lovely, unique thank-you note from Quebec. You are so welcome, Gillian. Both the card and note card came on a day when I needed a bit of cheer. Unexpected is always the best kind. Right?
I like getting and sending mail. So, in honor of Ms Gladys Horton, sing along with me, "Please Mr. Postman, look and see if there's a letter or a card in your bag for me. The sooner the better . . ." 

Now go and write to someone! And I bet they'll write you back. If they don't, just tell me and I will write to you myself.
This LimnerP.S. R.I.P. Gladys Horton.
Another:  Illumination for Beauty's Sake, 7/27/2011

This is one of the most beautiful postcards I've had the pleasure of receiving. It came via Postcrossing. I wish I could read all that's written here. Everything about it touches the artist parts of me. It speaks to the calligrapher in me. It speaks to the parts of me that appreciate the thoughtfulness of the sender. And if I could pass on this piece of beauty, I would. I would pass it on to Amy Winehouse. I have missed her for a long time now. I guess I will go on missing her for even longer. 

I wish the words on my postcard were about beauty, and life, and one-of-a-kindness, and one-of-a-kind-molds breaking after a single cast. If I could make it so, I would write it all down on this little card, address it to Amy Winehouse--address unknown, stick on a stamp, and mail it. Maybe then I could end my mourning for an artist whose songs embraced, and enticed me into embracing in return after the first notes she flung my way. She illuminated the world of music. Within her lay a part of the mystery of illumination.

Dang! There's more . . . 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Line Upon Line

Line upon line a letter makes. 

Less is more.

State your case.

Simplify, simplify, simplify.

"He who speaks from the lips chatters.
He who speaks from an empty mind adds confusion to discord.
He who speaks from a full mind feeds the minds of men.
He who speaks from his heart wins the confidence of mankind.
But he who speaks from his soul . . . " 
                                                                            Annalee Skarin

I'm expressing from a different bag today. Rotation meets each separate need. I hope and pray there's never a plastic garbage trash bag day. 

"Oh, girl, what bigger eyes you have."

"The better to see life with, my dear."

I need to see my way clear of a major pile up. The extra t-shirt serves its own purpose.  Not that short sleeves help, but some days you do the best you feel like doing. I smell like barbecued goat. The neighbor sets the backyard air on fire like there's a fire sale and he was first in line. At first it smelled like he'd singed the hair off a possum. *gagging* Please, don't even wonder or ask. Singed possum stinks. 

Ooo-wee, girl! What a big book you read. The better to understand my self, my dear. I need all the help I can get.  *grin* But seriously. 

Jasmine won Master Chef Junior last night. Justise cooked goat. Both sweet, talented girls who can cook circles around me, and they're just eleven. Jasmine is so generous and caring--and confident. Justise is so sweet, charming and attentive. I'd lip kiss Wolfgang Puck if I could. I'd whisper a special message in Martha Stewart's ear if I had the chance, and I'd tell Gordon Ramsay, "You're not such a don-key after all." But I'm stalling. Moving on . . .

I like this postcard. I'd like to show you the other side but then you'd see who it's from and I'm in enough hot water as it is. I will tell you that The Mangler destroyed two of the loveliest vintage-to-me stamps. It chewed strips from the card itself. Shame on you, Mangler. You can do better. Your unkindness does not minimize the cool factor here. I am crazy for continuous line drawing. Thank you, Cynthia. 

I'd intended to use the yellow used for lines down the center of a Texas country road. I'm out. Had to use Copic's YR12 Quamquat instead.

I created one of my own. Yellow is still mellow--like the Texas sun this season. Then made do with Faber Castell's Pitt artist pen, Dark Chrome Yellow. 

Lovely yellow eggs on my Christmas cactus. I may never eat saffron rice again.

Written last night. Will ask JC to mail. 'Tis time to write that apology. I believe truth is always spoken/written from the soul.

Be well. Be honest. Be true friends.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Limner Post Redux

I bought this stationery so long ago I've forgotten where I bought it. Hallmark perhaps? Even the name of the city and state I lived in at the time eludes me. South Carolina? The last time I remember using it was back when I had two pen friends. One in Rhode Island. One in Japan. The portfolio has a velcro closure. That's how cool it is. I almost used used the last sheets of stationery and envelopes last month but my hoarder brain overruled me, and stayed my hand. Okay, my shaky hand stayed itself. Not writing with a Pilot Fine Marker on a regular basis means I wobble due to the felt tip's drag, and I wanted to use purple ink. So much for that. There's always tomorrow. Chances are I'll forget this post and create another one down the post-ladened road. That's been happening a lot lately. Post redux. *sigh* *grin* Me thinks it's time to hang up my pen, put away my stationery, and turn out the lights here. Give it a rest.

Then I see all the stamps waiting in the wings, and . . . You know how Erika Badu sings . . . 

"Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you 
All you must hold onto is you.

One day all them bags gone get in your way
So pack light

Bag lady you gone miss your bus
You can't hurry up
Cause you got too much stuff

Girl I know sometimes it's hard
And we can't let go

If you start breathing . . .

Let it go
Let it go
Let it go . . . "

It takes practice. Learning takes practice. So that's what I'm doing. I'm practicing letting my bags go. A lady can go on her own, or she can be asked to leave. She can make it easier on the asker by doing a thing that creates the "you gotta leave moment," leaving everyone with clean hands. Yep. I've done my Erika Badu bag post before too but who's counting?

Perhaps emptying it makes letting go easier? Let's see.

Current bag. By the way? I'm canceling my subscription. Who has the time to read all the magazines, even on handheld devices? Not this bag lady. And all those daily e-mails. Too, too many. All they do is guilt me into feeling guilty 'cause I can't keep up. I have other things to do! Like handling what's in my bag. My daily bag. Not my handbag. My necessary bag. One of the bags that makes me a bag lady.

From top to bottom. Here's the top. Anna gave me this lovely booklet about the Hereford Cathedral several years ago. You'd think I'd know it by heart, I've read it often enough--sometimes I simply pore over the photos. It's kept me good company this past week. I'm not done learning from it just yet. I still check their web site. That library and the map never get old.

Today's headband. It's still windy here and that means a headband is necessary. Creepy crawlers fall down on my head from the willow, and I can't always tell if it's stray hair from braids or a creepy crawler that strokes my face. Besides, I hate it when I inhale and a strand or a bug goes up a nostril. It's usually hair hence the headband. Hair whipped against an eyeball is no laughing matter either. A headband is as good as a hair Band-aid. FYI.

And there's this. Do you have a copy? Isn't it lovely? No. Isn't it beautiful? It's my latest wish book. I try to imagine how long it took the artist to do the cover, and I just go "Oh, wow." Then I wonder, "What if the artist messed up?" I know the answer but I still wonder. The lettering, the drawings, the coloring . . . just everything! 

A better view. I took the photo on the patio last week. I'm always thinking of y'all, wanting to share, and hear what you think. Here's proof for the doubting Thomas and Thomasine among you.

The back. "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive and to do so with passion, compassion, and some style." Learning to live up to such a mission statement is as desirable as "The Three Sieves" and "The Three Gates of Gold." Style and grace and a smiling face are all good things.

I can explain. I told Cathy I would. I did. And did it while standing in a bed of fire ants.

It's worth the dragging around time. Think hand carved stamps + envelopes + stationery.

It cost $6.95 in 1997. Today? Priceless. Cannot be found.

Does this make me a double bag bag lady? *grin*

What would I do without it? How many do you have?

I came across these while searching my stash for tomato seeds. They expired in 2015. One has to try, right? Does Mother Nature stamp canceled on any seeds? You hear me, huh?

A single sock. I'd have put it on my right foot because it's persnickety when there isn't a pair on hand. Today it would have been the wrong foot however, seeing as how the fire ants bit my left foot. Clogs bite sometimes. Had I worn tennis, I'd have been shod with two socks, and perhaps that would have confused those pismires. The little piss ants!

Correction. I'd already planted the tomatoes when they struck. I was covering the beans then. How can green beans be brown seeds? Oh. Never mind. I get it. It's like pinto beans are brown-speckled. 

Be patient. We're almost there. I saved the last chapter to read today. The end didn't come soon enough but I think I learned something about another culture from this book. Live and learn and thrive. I try. I won't be redundant by showing a different photo of the pen and pencil. Besides, the photograph isn't that good anyway.

Showing the front cover is not redundancy. I'm showing the front because I like the jacket so much. It's designed by Martha Kennedy. Such sweet seeds. Goodness! I just got the connection. The story is about human "seeds." Children if you will. Very clever.

Ever wore the name off a thing? In our throw away society discovering something that's wearing out or worn out from actual use is too often a novelty. These nibs hold up well. The writers are ideal for fine line letter writing. Sometimes you just need a little ink to say what wants writing. Cocoiro has you covered.

Not knowing when I'll feel a letter coming on means having good paper on hand is a must, even if fancy isn't. This is lovely for writing outdoors. You have a stable backing, a forgiving surface, and it feels good and solid under the side of your palm and wrist. The "moon" part. Envelopes and stamps can wait for later.

Just like Forever Amber. Forever Moleskin. They're _________.

They allow you to be a smart ass in private.

They're handy for proofing your personal stamps.

*sigh* I remember when I was a poor student and could afford just one Moleskin. They were as good as gold back then. Then, when I could afford them they went the way of most dreams. South. The quality went south.

And there's mail. 

It's like the man said, a "genuine letter." Handwritten. 

And there's always room for the unexpected. 

And we're done. Bottoms up! 

Humming . . . "

"Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you 
All you must hold onto is" your thought, a pencil, a piece of paper, and some postage for the envelope.