Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm #79 !

My letter to the 2011 project arrived, and it is featured in this entry.

Day #13

I wrote my two letters to people in the Letter Writers Alliance and a postcard to Jasmine from SendSomething. I also found a woman (I think) from Bunbury, Western Australia. I've been to Bunbury, so I had to write to her. And I answered the two letters from the two Compassion kids. I also answered the e-mail from my new friend on the Isle of Mann, wanting to be sure to have her message answered before we left home.

Then we headed off to Santa Barbara for our granddaughter's birthday, leaving our friend Jessica to be here and take care of the mail (i.e., bring it in from the mailbox!) and the dogs. But, my big deal today was that I made my first envelope. Now, mind you, it's not terrific, but at least I made one, out of some wrapping paper I've been trying to get rid of for years.

Just before we left for Santa Barbara, I found a teenager on Sendsomething who suggests you go through a drawer and just send her a bunch of things you find there. Sounded like an interesting idea, so I did.

The photo is of author Michael Connelly, at a book signing. There are some teeny stickers I made a long time ago, 2 Dora the Explorer bandaids, and a tissue that says "It's All About Me."

That was fun. I'd like to do it again!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day #12

Today I was staying home and I determined I was going to make it a Compassion letter day. But first I had four postcrossing postcards to send: Germany, Spain, Netherlands, and Finland. Two of them were from So. California--Burbank and Grauman's Chinese theatre; a girl who love architecture got a picture of the red roofs of Santa Barbara. A bike rider got my favorite picture, of a bike parked in the red leaves of Ashland that was my picture that I had made into a postcard...everyone always favorites it). And finally, hidden behind them all, was a b/w picture of some Boston Bull Terriers that I sent to someone who likes dogs.

I started writing letters to Compassion kids, but discovered that I actually had written to most of them a week ago, so I just wrote to my new correspondence child Leniel. I decorated his letter with happy faces and sent him a sheet of happy face stickers. And then I wrote to Pablo in Brasil, telling him about the Giant Sequoias, which you can drive a car through, and including a post card of the famous old tree (now fallen). I remember driving through that tree when I was in college.

Finally the mail arrived and look! I'm now a card-carrying letter writer! Not sure what the advantage is, actually, but's nice to know I'm a member of the club.

There were two post cards from people at, which were nice to receive.

I also had the happy discovery of not one but two cream-colored envelopes from Compassion, Intl. One was larger than the other and I thought it was the new photo of my child in Haiti, but they were two letters, just in different sized envelopes. One from Esther in Indonesia and one from my favorite kid, Fred, in the Philippines.

So now I have letters to answer, postcards to answer, and a web site (Letter Writers' Alliance) to learn about. But I also have some new stationery that came with the LWA packet, so maybe I'll actually hand write a letter or two in the next few days. LWA also sent me the name of two people to write to. I know nothing about them except their names (and addresses, of course), so this should be interesting.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day #11

The day started better. A long e-mail from my pen pal on the Isle of Mann with lovely graphics. I also had notice that 2 of my Postcrossing postcards had arrived, so I was able to send two more (one to Germany and one to the Netherlands)--you only get a new address after one of your postcards has been received and registered. I'm thinking of taking a break from Postcrossing when I hit 100 postcards sent.

When I got home from San Francisco, there was a postcard waiting for me from a Postcrossing person in Puxatawney.

I also received a link to the video that our son made for our granddaughter's 3rd birthday and e-mailed that around to a lot of people.

I made a new logo for this site, after taking this photo in Sausalito this afternoon, and received notice that two ore postcards had been delivered, so I now have two more postcards to send, to Spain and to Finland

So now I have 3 or 4 postcrossing postcards to write, but I'll do that tomorrow. Today's mailings were all of the e-mail variety.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day #10

Well, some days you just can't win. I had to go down to the Bay Area this morning, so I dropped all the letters mentioned yesterday in the mailbox, in addition to a few postcards I'd written, to people on SendSomething. I also wrote an e-mail to a new woman who sounded interesting.

Then I went off for the day, wondering what mail I would get when I returned home. I was thrilled at how much mail was in the box when I checked it. We haven't had this much mail in a single day in a long time.

NOT. ONE. LETTER. was addressed to me. Not a single one.

Not only that, I had about 200 e-mails and not one single e-mail was a personal note to me either. I didn't even get notice of any Postcrossing postcards!

I get more mail than that if I lie down to take a nap, for Pete's sake!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day #9

It's Sunday, so I can't sit around waiting for the mailman, but that doesn't mean I can't be busy about this project. Well, it's not really a project. I haven't enjoyed anything so much in a long time!

So, I wrote a note to Misty Davis, whose blog "Confessions of a Pen Thief," I have enjoyed very much. I thought she really needed a picture of Davis' own Toad Town.

I made these cards on Snapfish...I made a bunch of different designs to use with Postcrossing people, but I think this was my favorite because it looks like a real postcard.

I also sent a dog postcard, anonymously, to a woman from I just liked that she was the first person over 50 that I saw on that site (and that she specifically likes dogs), but I didn't include my name or address.

I responded to a note from Danette in Arkansas, who wrote a delightful letter earlier this week, and I even wrote a note to my daughter, who was the one who gave me the idea for doing more snail mail in the first place. She writes wonderfully personal letters.

Realizing that I am embarking on something that could potentially be very space-consuming, I decided, for now, to store the letters I get in plastic sheet protectors (mainly because I have a bazillion of them sitting around here). I see that I really need to organize this office.

Hey, look! I made an envelope. It shows your address in a Google map. You can find the instructions here.

There are only two things wrong with it. First, my printer is crap and it doesn't even come CLOSE to printing with good color. But it is plugged in behind so much junk that getting a new one would not just be a simple project, but a major undertaking which would involve redoing the entire office. So I'll keep the one I have and print in b/w most of the time.

But second, cute though this envelope is, it is much too teeny to send through the mail, so it's only good to put something in and then include it inside another envelope to send. I think overall, it's not worth the effort that went into making it!

The last thing I did before shutting down for the night to watch Amazing Race was to get together an introductory packet to send to my soldier, Amanda.

(The envelope addressed to me contains a form that she's supposed to fill out to make it easier for me to know her history and her likes and dislikes)

G'nite, all!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day #8

Starting week #2 it was a very busy day. Things to do on a rainy day!

Last night I got a bunch of stuff set to mail. I sent a postcard to the "Send Me a Million Postcards" project and another postcard to a woman in La Jolla, CA through Postcrossing. I mailed some bookplates to a librarian who posted her information on Send Something, I sent some postcards and information about California to the 2011 Letters project, a homeschooling family in Virginia that is trying to get 2,011 letters by the end of the year. And I also sent an introductory pen pal letter to Denise, a 50-something woman in Wales.

In the morning I received an e-mail from Irina. She asks today if I have Skype, but admits "I can only say hello and write at the bottom of the message."

I sent an e-mail to a man named Patrick, who writes from Rising Up Hope for Uganda. Though I do not wish to correspond with men, I went to his web site and would like to learn more, if only to know more about the country where my Compassion sponsored child, Shallon, lives. I heard back from him within the hour, but he just sent essentially a brochure about his project, so I don't think this is going to blossom into anything regular.

I am not really interested in writing to men that I don't know, but I found Rodrigo on the PenPals for Life Facebook page. I also find all the people there much, much too young.

Rodrigo is one of the "older" people in the directory--and he is only 33! But he's Brasilian and I've always been a sucker for a young Brasilian, since so many of them have lived with us over the years (and 2 of our kids went to Brasil, one for a year and one for a summer).

So I decided to write a letter to Rodrigo today, and we'll see if he answers the letter of a 68 year old woman.

As I get into this project, this blog continues to grow in its scope. Today I signed up for the "52 Weeks, 52 Letters--a 2011 Project" challenge. I think it's fairly safe to say I will be able to handle that!

I found a picture of Sophia on "Make a Child Smile." She has rapid onset obesity with hypothalamic dysfunction and a bunch of other things. My heart went out to her. I know about obesity...even without the other medical conditions. I had this nice poster of a kitten which says "you're just purrfect the way you are" and I thought it might make her feel good, so I sent it to her anonymously. I recommend checking out the site if only to give a sick child a smile.

The mail arrived with no letters (I was hoping for something from one of the Compassion kids, but...owell.)

However, I did get a Postcrossing postcard from Elise in the Netherlands. She is the youngest person from whom I have received a postcard--she is 15 and says she likes to play with her rabbits and watch Animal kinda girl!

The last thing I did today is to sign up to be a Soldier's Angel, sending at least one piece of mail a week to a soldier named Amanda, stationed in Afghanistan and one package a month.

I think I've done enough for one day!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day #7

My first two pen pal letters arrived today.

1. Danette, a 51 year old woman from Arkansas, who seems to have lived just about everywhere in her 51 years--and who was born just a few miles from here in Stockton (where my mother was born)
2. Sandra, a 66 year old woman from Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, who included a post card of a tulip field

I spent a lot of time looking at web sites and discovered Send Something and ended up sending a postcard and a letter to Andrea somewhere in the United States and Sandra, in England, I think.

I also sent letters to Compassion Kids Anjali in India and Briana in Haiti. I included tiny little books of Native American paper dolls for each.

I had to go to the Post Office today to get more international stamps. At $1 each, the letters (and especially the international post cards) become a bit precious...but it's worth it.

I'm realizing that if I'm going to start getting more letters, I have to decide what I'm going to do with them. I am the sort of person who can't really throw away something like this, especially not at the beginning. I am also drowning in detritus, but I must give some thought to this! Perhaps a binder is the way to go...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day #6

No incoming mail today, but I wrote an introductory e-mail to Pat, who lives in LeRoy, NY, the home of Jello. I leaped on her post on some pen pal board because I've BEEN to LeRoy and literally have the shirt to prove it. She sounds like a lot of fun.

While I intended to make this a snail mail project, the nice thing about e-mail is that it's so easy to send photos.

I also sent a snail mail letter to Victor, my new Compassion sponsored child in Bolivia and 1 postcard through Postcrossing to the Ukraine.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day #5

Followup e-mail from Irina. She wants to know what kind of food I eat. Now THAT's an embarrassing question!

I wrote a short introductory letter to Phyllis in Virginia. I don't really know anything about her except she wants to be a "faithful pen pal," and she has written me 3 very short e-mails to ask when I am writing to her.

I also sent 3 postcrossing postcards

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day #4

I wasn't home yesterday to e-mail anything, but I sent a reply to Irina in St. Petersburg today

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day #3

Introductory e-mail from Irina, a 65 year old woman in St. Petersburg. She is teaching herself English by writing letters in Russian and running them through a translator on line and then correcting as much of the translation as she can, but you sometimes can't figure out what she's saying, like today's "The beaches are clean. But you can submit a tsunami. If plaque is a wave, will not find nothing." I try not to respond to her letters immediately because I'm sure it's work for her to have to write, so I write to her the day after she writes.

Day #2

Received an introductory e-mail from Cath, who lives on the Isle of Man, between England and Ireland, in the UK She has dogs and a kindle. We are kindred spirits!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day #1

Following the example of 100 Days of Snail Mail, I'm going to start recording mail for 100 days, but it will include both e-mail and snail mail, since I'm looking for pen pals and some prefer one and some prefer the other. I will try to record both mail received and mail sent and things I did as part of this project. Today I will mark as Day #1

I received introductory e-mail from Gundrun, a 61 year old retired nurse in a small town (400 inhabitants) in Germany

Sent a reply e-mail to Gundrun