Monday, May 31, 2010
The California Ground Cone (Boschniakia strobilacea) is popping up all over the forest:We are happy to report that we did not get eaten by a bear. There was fresh bear poop in several locations but we made it out without any canine/bear encounters. Happy Memorial Day!
Friday, May 28, 2010
At this point my enthusiasm is trumping any actual expertise I have about the process but I'll do my best to explain: you go to this website (or this one) for clues. You arm yourself with a nifty trail name, a hand carved stamp and a journal and then you go forth and seek out a letterbox. Actually finding one is exciting. Some stranger, somewhere unknown, went through the effort to put together and hide this box for you to find. Inside the box is a journal and a stamp. You stamp your journal with the box stamp and you stamp the box journal with your stamp. Capiche? Many of the boxes contain handcarved stamps so you're finding a little piece of artwork in an unexpected place. And you get to take it home. Isn't that enticing? Here's an example of a stamp:
If you have kids, they will love this. Each family member can have their own stamp and their own journal. For more concrete information check out About Letterboxing.
Here I am in close proximity to a letterbox. Shhhhh. Don't tell anyone.Hope you all had a happy week. Tell us about it in a post and link it to The Next Chapter: Happy Book Mail Around. Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Years ago I worked with a woman who found the ultimate treasure (to me) at a yard sale - a personal journal written by someone from a different generation. The journal she found was written by a woman who wanted a career but in 1920s society was being pressured to marry. Much of the journal was about this woman's struggle with her desires and her role in society.
I've spent years looking for old journal of my own. I love personal journals. I can't say what ignites me so much but I've been keeping my own for years and I love blog posts abut journals and journaling - sketchbooks, color studies, art journals, diaries- I find them all fascinating.
Saturday we stopped at an estate sale. It was in a trailer park so I figured there probably wasn't too much of an estate. There was a box of notebooks in a corner looking forlorn and untouched. Kelly found it first and then I went through the whole box looking for paper ephemera for my journals. As a was looking through the box it took a while for it to sink in - I was looking at years of someone's personal travel journals. Long entries of handwriting with maps and brochures and pictures taped in. The one on top is a log of a travel trailer journey undertaken in a Dolphin in the late 80s. The orange one is from 1982 and the black one (the only one written in German) is from 1954 - the year the author came to America. There were quite a few more binders and notebooks but I ended up taking just three - the ones that really spoke to me. At the bottom of the box were these:About 40 pre-war German postcards. It looks like they were glued into some kind of family album and then pulled out. You can see in the upper left corner where she labeled some of them. The cards are in excellent condition except for where you can see the glued paper in the back. I think I might be able to remove it without destroying the postcards. Here are few I especially liked:The last thing that I had to have from this estate was this picture:It's about 13" x 20", mounted on thick cardstock and says Gossip 303, Hans Comotio on the back.
The estate seller explained that the woman died and all her heirs are in Germany so no one was interested in taking any of this stuff. From a wartime teenager in Germany to a senior in Brookings, OR with bountiful road trips in between. No one interested? Hard to believe.
All of the above (plus a book) is in great condition, no musty smell, no damage and I paid $1.25 for all of it.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
This past Monday there were three pieces of mail in mailbox that were all for me and they weren't bills or junk mail. This is what is meant by a Good Mail Day. I didn't want to be distracted so, instead of ripping them all open on the spot, I waited until I finished my dinner. OK, I rushed through my dinner while the pile of envelopes beckoned.
The first letter was from Apron Thrift Girl(ATG), who sponsored a pen pal swap awhile back. The ground rules were simple - use a recycled envelope & vintage or recycled paper. ATG paired up with me. She used a junk mail envelope and added collage elements to it. Inside that little wrapped package (above photo) was this: A vintage card, sequins and a hand written letter on a recycled catalog page. When was the last time you received a hand written letter?
The second package contained journal pages from another swap. In this swap each participant made 11 signatures modeled after Mary Ann Moss's Remains of the Day journal class. I received this beautiful little bundle:And here's what was inside:Ten 8.5 by 11" sewn, scrappy pages from various participants unknown. I can't wait to make a journal out of these pages. The host of the swap, Gathering Up Bits of the World, also sent a package of delicious paper goodies. What a treat!
The third letter I received was from Carmen at Writing from Life. She sent me a pack of my favoritest tea in the whole world- Green Jasmine. Thank you so much for thinking of me Carmen! For those of you who haven't indulged, the smell of jasmine tea is heavenly.
This getting mail thing is so much fun that I guess I'll have to start sending letters and joining more swaps. There's nothing like personal mail in one's box.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
The other thing I'm a sucker for is little plastic toys. I pull them out of free bins and buy them by the bag at garage sales. I like hiding them around the house and tucking them in drawers and on the bookshelves.
I really don't like clutter but I just can't resist certain things. Somehow these small items make my life feel less hectic and more full - the opposite of how true clutter feels. What odd collections do you have? What can you not resist hoarding because it reflects some part of you?
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Rural would be the word that a real estate agent would use to describe the community surrounding my place of employment. There is a general store a block from where I work and a little cluster of stores and a school on the other end of town. Not much else. No ethnic restaurants. No cute little shops or thrift stores. Nothing to part me from my money. So walking I go. This little lane provides the perfect 10 minute stroll:All the fenceposts along the lane have been excavated by Acorn Woodpeckers. The weather is so amazing right now- ranging from the 50s to the low 70s. I love these cool spring days. I dread the coming of summer. It gets very hot during the day. But for now, I'll enjoy the perfect weather.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
C'mon Donna Baby, I know you dig the Mexi Pilsners, but you gotta remember this patriotic brew. For old time's sake?
That's right, we took a tour of the brewery that distributes to 11 western states. Inside the belly of the beast, we stumped our brewery tour guides with so many nerdy brew questions, they just started pretending not to hear us or see our raised hands. "When did Budweiser introduce screw top caps?" "What is the weighted average alpha acid of the hop blend you use?" "When did rice become an ingredient in your beers?" Don't know? I didn't think so!Yuck! Too many samples, I need a Brandistani beer to calm my nerves!College kids across America, this one is for you. Yes it might taste delicious now, but start home brewing, and then you'll know the magnitude of your fermented sins! When you die, leave it to the yeasts, coyotes, and ravens to determine your fate!That's right, cuz if it ain't brewed at home in the US of A....it ain't worth imbibing!
Unfortunately all those horses from the commercials are kept in a horse prison.
For all you wonderful folks back home:Now crack a Bud, and praise the lord for fermentation!