Thursday, June 27, 2013

Leave Of Absence

My Dear Readers,

I want to thank you for hanging in there with me for so long.  I have to make this short and sweet; I have to forego posting on this blog for a while.  I just don't have the time, in between everything going on in my life, among other reasons.  I feel like I owe you more explanation than that, but I regret that I cannot give you one just now.

This is, hopefully, very temporary and perhaps the change of seasons will allow me back.  I don't know.  I am so grateful for all of you whom I have gotten the chance to meet in the blogosphere, if only virtually.  I treasure each and every one of you.  Thank you for taking an interest in my posts, in letting me brighten your day with song and humor, and also for letting me into your lives.  I will continue to read my blogroll as often as I can.

If you want to stay in touch, we can write letters.

For now, Farewell.  Have a gloriously happy summer, filled with cool breezes, fireflies, and the people you love.  I'll be thinking of you.

Ever Yours,


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oh, Hai!

I know it's been over a week since I posted last, but everything is a little nuts around here!  Lots of GOOD changes :) that I wish I could talk about, but unfortunately can't just yet. :(
I'm meeting personal goals that have been a very long time coming.  LIFE IS GOOD, my dahlings!

I'm making new friends left and right; I'm in better shape physically than I have been in years, thanks to going Swing Dancing every week for over a month now.

I'm extremely blessed by my family.  Gran said she never knows what to get me for my birthday (coming up in June), so she got me new dance shoes!  After 12 years of faithful service, my Bleyers officially bit the dust at last Friday's GA Tech dance...

Poor babies. :( the Aris Allens have been ordered and should arrive any day!*  They are very similar to the Bleyers, but the strap is a little wider, which I love!
Soon, my pretties, you will be all mine! :)

I'm wearing canvas sneakers in the interim.  They are ok.  Not great, but I can Lindy in them and not break something, so just for tonight it's not that bad.

*5/22/13 EDIT: They came this afternoon!  The left one is a little snug in the toe, but I figured out (from experience) that the next half size up would be too big and rub blisters, and as the right foot fits perfectly, I conclude that the injury I sustained in college to my left foot (which resulted in two broken digits) is likely responsible for the difference.  I'm going to take them to a shoe shop and have them stretched just a tiny bit.  I'm like a size 5 ¾ instead of either a 5½ or a 6. :P
Should I have to go with the 6s, the company has an amazing return policy, so that won't be a problem to just swap out one for the other.  I think these will fit the bill, though.  I'm more than thrilled with them and Tuesday can't get here fast enough!!! :)

In the next couple of weeks, be sure to check out the Mailbox page, as there will be updates and links for photos.  I'll be showing off a lot of the awesomeness that has been arriving via USPS.
Until later, my dear readers.  Love to you all!

Monday, May 13, 2013

I Should Ask Alan To Play This Tomorrow Night


I've had a fantastic day so far, and I still have a lot to accomplish before bedtime.  But I didn't want to miss Music Monday, and I thought you'd like this Sammy Davis Jr. song, "Love Me or Leave Me" and its swingin' beat to keep you going!

I know technically this should be cast as a "Video Wednesday", since it IS video as well as audio, but I couldn't keep this amazing clip from you.  This is what happens when two world class, insanely talented dancers start showing off!  The fact that a GUY is doing the follow is completely awesome!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Let the 20s Roar! (Part 2)

I'm not going to the other Great Gatsby movie party tonight.  I'm just too worn out!
But here's the stuff from last night.

So basically, my thought process was "Have been invited to cool 1920s party and asked to wear costume.  ... I don't do 20th C.  What on earth am I going to wear?!?"

Finally in a desperate fit of win or die trying, I rummaged through my closet and came up with a black tank top and a swishy old favorite swing skirt that no longer fits because I lost 20 lbs last summer and it falls off.  (But being the sappy thing that I am, I couldn't bear to part with it, hence it being there waiting for me to pick it up again.)

The flash makes the top look faded, but they are actually pretty
close to being the same shade of black.
Convinced that I had at long last gone completely round the twist, I stood in front of the full length mirror and hiked the skirt up to my armpits to see whether my bust would hold it up and whether it became the right length and GIGGLING GUARDS AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE, IT WORKED PERFECTLY! I set about pinning it in place, using the tank top as a base:

I top stitched a half a yard of fringe on along the edge to make it look "flapper"- esque.  A length of stretchy sequin trim and a feather pouf made a headband.  I had a pink feather boa from a photo shoot I did a few years ago.  Done and done.

Gratuitous, if grainy, iPhone photo that went on my Facebook.

Unfortunately, the only {full length} photo I got of me is a little out of focus.  But who cares.  I clean up cute!  If a little awkward... I'm not used to wearing heels all that much.  I didn't even keep them on once I got to the venue.  I changed into my Bleyer dance shoes so I wouldn't break an ankle.

I only got a few pics at the actual event, of course, because I was too busy dancing and having fun to be snapping photos and blinding everyone with the flash!
Here's me with one my new friends from the venue.  We only met officially on Tuesday, but I've seen him there before, and he's planning on learning Lindy soon.  And all of the follows smirk with glee and go "Muahahahaha!" because we LOVE converting guys to swing dancing, because ultimately it means more dances for US!

Most of the other pics I got were of more friends dancing with each other, and I'm not sure if they would be comfortable with me posting pics of them on the internet without asking, so I won't.

All in all, it was a spectacular night, and I wish I had the energy to go out again.  But I'll spend a quiet night at home, rest up, and (as always) look forward to Tuesday when I get to dance again.  :)

Keep Swinging, readers.  You are fabulous!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Let The 20s Roar (Part 1)

Who is excited about the Electro Swing Soiree happening tonight??  THIS GIRL!  To celebrate the release of the new "The Great Gatsby" movie (see the trailer at the bottom of this post), the venue where I swing dance every week is hosting parties tonight and tomorrow in grand style!  There will be photos of course, and I've done a tutorial/process of how I did my costume.  YES, I'm going in costume.  You knew it was only a matter of time before I got something 1920s together! :D :D :D
But you can't see that yet!  Not until I have danced until I drop, recovered, and uploaded photos of everything.

But here's a clip of some Electro Swing to keep you happy until then.  It's a half hour long, so you can pick however much you want to hear, but I promise it's catchy!  Just let it play in the background as you clean the house or whatever and it makes whatever you're doing more fun x 100! :)
So much Lindy Hopping will be happening in the next 5 or 6 hours... :)

The Great Gatsby Movie:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

So True...

Disclaimer: I found this whilst doing costume and character development research for Dragon Con, that eventually derailed into link-chasing on YouTube. (I'm honest.)  I do NOT listen to, nor do I advocate, the music of the band LMFAO.  Note that some of the lyrics in this clip are PG13.  You know that I strive to keep this blog 99.9% family friendly.  Just please understand that with the Marvel/Iron Man kick I've been on recently, and how well this fits the superheroes (and their egos), it was just way too good to not share! :)  (Especially the ending!)

Monday, May 6, 2013

"Storm": Appropriate Background Music

I heard this on the "Man of Steel" trailer recently.  While I love Marvel more than DC, I'm looking forward to seeing it (if only because it is Hans Zimmer's newest score- even if he didn't write this piece I'm featuring today).

This Music Monday brings you "Storm", a GORGEOUS track from the OST of "Elizabeth: The Golden Age", starring the amazing and ethereally beautiful Kate Blanchett.  I didn't get to see the film in its entirety, but I got to see enough clips to know that she more than deserved the awards she garnered for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I.

This is some of what is playing in the background for me today as I tackle laundry, paperwork, sewing, housework, errands, and life in general.  I hope it inspires you as it does me.

Enjoy. :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I Take It Back, I Do NOT Want Goats!

My Gran has a large garden every year.  And just down from that garden, she used to keep chickens.  We live across the street from a horse pasture/stables, so I see horses every day.  Just down the road not even 2 miles, our neighbors have a herd of dairy cows.  So I see cows every day too.  I used to think "It would be so nice to own a couple of goats."  Right?  I could sell the milk, or use it to make soap and lotions and sell those.  You know, going back to the land and homesteading and all that.  It seemed like a good idea.  I mean, look at this face and how cute they are!


Until I found this.... 

...I think we will just go pet the goats at Zoo Atlanta's Children's Petting Zoo and call it done.  :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Post A-Z Challenge...erm...Post.

It's Wednesday, May 1st.  (ALREADY?!?! Wasn't it just the end of January like, last week?!)
I got about halfway through the A-Z Challenge on time and then all sorts of things got in the way.  I love you all, but I have a life outside of the laptop.  I'm only missing N, O, P, Q, S, T, V, W, X, and Y.  Most of these are drafts that are waiting on photos.  It's not as easy to keep within a theme as it first appears!  However, when I start a thing, I like to finish it.  So thanks to Blogger's schedule feature, I'll be retro-posting what I missed as I have time.

Keeping with a Snail Mail theme has been fun, though, and I hope it has made you smile!  Don't forget to check the archives for the missing letters very soon!  I'll be snapping photos this weekend and finishing up the drafts as soon as possible.

I'm off to get some replies written and mailed before I go to work.
Thanks for reading, my lovelies, thanks to all who visited me from the Challenge, and everyone write more letters!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zip Codes

Finally!  An A-Z Challenge where "Z" was an easy one! :)
According to the USPS, Zip codes were developed in the early 1960s as a way to more accurately and specifically sort mail for delivery.  ("Zip" stands for "Zoning Improvement Plan") July 1 will be the 50th anniversary of the Zip Code system!
My first digit (3) represents the Southeast region.  The second two numbers (01), represent the main population area within that region- in my case, Georgia, followed by the beautiful city of Atlanta.  The final two numbers (87) zero in on my local post office.

Maybe I was drilled very well in how to address an envelope when I was in school, but it has always astounded me that people forget to include the zip code sometimes.  To me that's like not addressing it at all! LOL

Here are some interesting Zip Codes I found:

  • General Electric in Schenectady, NY has a unique zip code in sequential order: 12345
  • Detroit, MI has a mail boat called the JW Westcott that delivers to ships in the Detroit River.  It has its own zip code of 48222.
  • The public knows the White House zip code to be 20500, but there is actually a secret zip + 4 for the President and First Family to get private mail.
  • New York's World Trade Center complex had its own zip code of 10048 before it was destroyed on 9/11/2001
  • My own beloved city of Savannah, GA's zip code is the first few numbers of Pi: 31415

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Well, obviously. :)

I thought you'd like to see my local P.O.

Isn't it cute!  I never use that blue box.  I usually have a package that needs postage, or I check my box (yes, I did finally get one!), or I just like to drop off letters at the counter and wish the ladies working there (who have come to expect me a minimum of 3x a week) a good day.

I tried to find when this branch opened, but Google isn't cooperating.  I know it has been in existence at least since the 80s, because I can remember it being a community fixture when I was a little girl and we moved back here from Virginia.  I'll have to ask next time I'm in (probably tomorrow) if the workers know the date it was built.

I did find this section of USPS Facts on the USPS website (go here for the whole thing):

A Day in the Life of the U.S. Postal Service
Each day, the Postal Service picks up, processes and delivers millions of letters and packages. No single operation in the world comes close to this level of connectivity to so many households and businesses. Here’s just ONE day in the life of the United States Postal Service (figures are averages):

215 million — revenue received, in dollars
157 million — dollars paid to postal employees in salaries and benefits
528 million — number of mailpieces processed and delivered
22 million — average number of mailpieces processed each hour
366,000 —average number of mailpieces processed each minute
6,100 — average number of mailpieces processed each second
226.7 million — pieces of First-Class Mail processed and delivered
262.4 million — pieces of Advertising Mail processed and delivered
727,167 —number of packages picked up through Package Pickup
4.3 million — number of miles driven by letter carriers and truck drivers
7,753 — number of letter carriers who deliver mail entirely on foot — The USPS Fleet of Feet
130,592 — number of address changes processed
2,160 — number of addresses added to our delivery network
1 million - number of peple who visit
809,210 — dollar amount of online stamp and retail sales at
1.6 million — amount of money spent on postage for Click-N-Ship labels
44.1 million — number of Click-N-Ship labels printed
18,750 — number of passport applications accepted
358,553 — number of money orders issued
1.6 million — dollars spent at Self-Service Kiosks in Post Office lobbies
3.2 million — customers served at more the 31,000 retail locations
0 — tax dollars received for operating the Postal Service

A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation: 152 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With more than 31,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government,, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 42nd in the 2012 Fortune 500.

And yet we snail mailers are constantly told that the 238 year old institution is broke, being run into the ground and may soon be extinct.  Hmm.

And speaking of USPS history, I'd really like to go to D.C. and visit the National Postal Museum at the Smithsonian.  Anyone been?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Return To Sender

Nothing makes me sadder in mail adventures than seeing something I sent out weeks ago back in my mailbox with a sticker on it telling me it couldn't get to where I wanted it to go. :(

One time, I sent a letter to a pen pal in Germany, whom I had connected with through social media.  I used the address from her awesome custom stamp and made SURE it was right.  It came back some 2 weeks later, saying it couldn't reach her.  So I sent her a message to double check the address, which was EXACTLY what I had used!  I put it in another envelope, RTS stickers and all, and tried again with the SAME address and she got it 3 days later.  One of those postal mysteries that leaves you scratching your head and going "???!".

And then there is the hassle of convincing people (mostly businesses) who send mail to individuals who no longer live at your address that they should stop sending things addressed to that person.  (I'm looking at you, insurance company!)  I had to physically walk into an office, hand them the stack of mail that had kept arriving weeks after I had made calls to remove my address from their list, and very slowly spell it out for them to STOP. SENDING. THESE.  I think they FINALLY got the message!

I sent out to a pen pal from France a few weeks ago and it came back RTS.  I had her parents address that she had given me as a backup though, and so far I haven't heard anything so maybe she got it and will write back soon.

Do you ever get things returned back to you, readers?  I hope it doesn't happen very often!

Monday, April 15, 2013


Our poor mailbox.  It has sweetly and patiently stood vigil at the road in front of Gran's house for many years.  It has withstood hail, tornados, scorching summers, several floods, and the baseball bats of stupid punk teenagers who don't have anything worthwhile to do on a Saturday night than destroy other people's property.

It's so pitiful, I don't even have the heart to show you a photo of it.  The door is missing, the flag rusted into place ages ago, and the numbers are broken and falling off of the post.

Of course, now that the weather has a few nice days thrown in, we are looking to fix it up replace it with a pretty new one.*  This got me thinking on some designs and I thought I would share some fantastic mailbox photos I found around the interwebs.  :)

For those who just can't let go of technology...

For the Hobby Enthusiast:

For the Geek following their Fandom...

For the Northerner who is sick of the snow and a bit stir crazy...

*Have you seen how much some of the prettier ones go for at places like Home Depot and Lowes??  $400+!  God Save The Queen, I could send each of my pen pals a letter a week for that! (Maybe.)
And I am still making up my mind on the "to get a P.O. Box or to not get a P.O. Box" question.
How's the state of your mailbox, my dear reader?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

LWA, Long Letters and the Library

I've already mentioned the Letter Writer's Alliance a few times here on TMP, but I couldn't pass up the chance to include them in my postal themed A-Z!!!

I've been a member since 13 September, 2011!

I got a letter from Donovan just last week and I LOVE her sense of humor!  I have to write back ASAP.  My time is pretty spliced at the moment, and if I'm to succeed at some of my major long term goals, I have to acknowledge that MOST of my time in an average day isn't my own, at least for a while.

But I am still making time for the things that matter to me.  I'm still working hard, knowing that while I will never be a perfect person, I can perfect some of the facets of my life to be better versions of themselves.  Things like... writing back in a timely manner, for example!

Are you an LWA member?  I've met a few pen pals via LetterMo who are!  If you are not, you should definitely consider it.  A lifetime membership costs less than a movie ticket.  Check out the blog HERE.

Now on to the second part: long letters.  Am I the only one who can't bring myself to send a postcard sometimes because there just isn't room to do the correspondence I want to convey enough justice?  Please tell me I'm not the only person who habitually, after filling up both sides of a blank card's inside, carries over to a second 7th or 8th page??  Granted, a lot of times my additional "pages" are cut down to the size of the card, so they aren't full sheets.  But still.

Of course, a logical train of thought would be that if I didn't let so much time elapse between letters, I wouldn't have so much to try and write about all in one sitting, and therefore the letter would be shorter than the paperback novels unauthorized autobiographies pleasantly lengthy epistles I end up penning and trying to process through the mail system within the 3 oz limit.  It may be that I'm just frugal with my stamp money.  After all, it's limited and strictly budgeted, so I try to get as much news and pieces of life to the recipient as the $0.46 allows!  Maybe that's the real reason about the "doesn't send postcards".  I'm more apt to send a blank postcard enclosed with a 3 page letter to a pen pal than to send the postcard by itself.

Here is a fantastic children's book that we love called "The Long, Long Letter."

It's very cute.  Go grab it at a library near you.  Don't know where your closest one is?  Use this handy Locator!  :)
The Dog River Library is one of my favorite places to write letters.  It's quiet (well, duh!), and a lot of times I use their copier to keep a copy of my outgoing (see my explanation of this in yesterday's post.) because it ends up being cheaper than having to continually buy new cartridges for my ink guzzling printer at home.  It's also a great place to write letters, because I'm an avid reader and a lot of my pen pals are too, so they are always asking what I've read recently or ask me to recommend favorite books.  Rather convenient to simply look in my bag at what I've just checked out or am returning! ;)


Did you honestly think that I could go more than 5 blog posts without working in a reference to Jane Austen?  Silly goose!  Have a lovely combination of the "Keep Calm" motto and Mr. Darcy.  Yes, I know it, I spoil you rotten.  You're welcome. :)
Do you write short or long letters?  Do you love getting long letters?  Or not?  Why?
Comment away, dear readers!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Keeping It All Organized

Some of you have asked how I keep my past correspondence.  Well, I'll be honest with you, there is a LOT of it!!! Which is awesome!  But ... challenging... sometimes! :)
I keep a photocopy of my outgoing letters, because then it creates a complete conversation and I don't have to try to remember whether I told so-and-so such-and-such and repeat old stories or bore them to death.  I just skim the last 2 or 3 letters and continue the thread. :)  Who says people with poor memories can't find a system that works! It took a few trials and errors, but eventually I found one that I like.

I took advantage of a fantastic back-to-school sale at Office Depot last fall and got a mess of these:
Wilson Jones 3 ring binder in Bright Pink
And some of these:
And now I have this:
The tabs are removable, so when I have to change the letters,
it's really easy.  If things keep up like they have been, I'll end
up with a binder for each letter by the end of the summer!!!

I put the pen pal's name, and a general description
of their location.  Obviously for the USA, city and
then state.  For international it's a bit different,
but you get the idea.  The tabs change easily if I
have to update them due to people moving. :)
Of course, "organized" is a relative term, since I have this
pile and another one (not pictured) of replied letters to
file.  At least I can say I do have everything more or less
in one general location amongst my belongings! :)
How do you keep your letters, my readers?  Boxes?  Binders like mine?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Just For Fun

There are a lot of postal related things out there that fall firmly into my "Just Plain Silly" tag/category.  Here are a few for your entertainment! :)


Seriously cute!!!  You can get more info and order your own HERE.


I'm not typically a fan of practical jokes, but I thought this was great!
You can get your own lizard HERE and then have some laughs.
Just be sure the person whose mailbox you leave it in has a good
sense of humor too! :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Some of my absolute favorite inks (and ink pens) to write letters with.....

Excellent for historic character letters.

I don't own this inkwell yet, but I want one.

Good for writing and drawing.

The "Blue" is the one I use the most.  Hobby Lobby has
them for sale individually.  I like the "Teal" too. 

As with the one above, I don't actually own this
peacock glass inkwell.  But I want it. :)
Perhaps not "accurate" for historic character correspondence.
But sooo pretty. :)

Again, less practical- but so fun!!
Swirl click ball-point pens by The Write Dudes

Gelly Roll Stardust pens by Sakura

For dark papers.  I like to use this on a dark blue shimmer finished
cardstock that has been cut to the size of my card, when I need a
couple more "pages" for my letter.  I'm long winded. :)
Pretty and smooth gel ink in very bright colors.
Same as above, but slightly different feel.
I usually keep the pink one and give the
purple one to a friend.
What inks and pens are your favorites to write letters with, my Loves?