Hail the Snail #9

1 Sep

I may have only gotten 3 letters last week– 1 from Sarah S. and 2 from Jody, but a few other things of note have recently arrived.

The first thing was this pretty awesome postcard from France.


But that was quickly overshadowed by this batch of postcards my Aunt Ruth sent me that once belonged to my paternal grandmother.


It was around the same time that Julie, the founder of the League of Extraordinary Pen Pals, featured me as Pen Pal of the Week on her blog! Click the pic to see the post!


My newest set of address labels came a couple days later. I ran out of “the ones with the colorful letters” from here a week or two back so that gave me an excuse to order these.


My latest arrival here was Othella and her friend Amethyst! Sadly I have no pictures to share just yet. They arrived last night and we were up until 3 or so talking and drinking some Faygo. I’ll post more about their visit and the LEP meet-up we’re going to today next time :-D

Have an extraordinary week!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Birthday Triplets

30 Aug

When I became a member of the League of Extraordinary Pen Pals earlier this year I didn’t go in hoping for a bunch of new pen pals. I wanted three people: someone who responds about as quickly as I do, someone interested in exchanging postcards, and someone who shares my March 1st birthday. The first two came easily, but it wasn’t until recently that I found my birthday twin. Actually, I found my fellow birthday triplets, Sarah from Arkansas and Hannah from England. With our half birthday a few days away I thought now would be a great opportunity to introduce you to them a bit :-D

10647661_10203738598838298_526694486_nMeet Sarah, AKA S’moore! 

How old were you when you decided to get into pen palling?


What’s something you want to accomplish by March 1st?

Losing some weight, as boring and predictable as it sounds. I’ve been really good about going to the gym for about six months now, and I’m still not seeing much in the way of results. (I think that just happens when you turn 40.) Anyway, I’m hoping to see some progress by the time I turn 41.

Were you excited to hear a fellow LEP member (two actually) shared your birthday?

Yes indeed! And I’ve already exchanged letters with both of them.

Have you ever celebrated a half birthday?


What birthday stands out for you and why?

I’ve had a lot of good ones, but there’s not one that stands out in particular. I usually try to take the day off work and spend the day doing exactly what I want. It usually involves getting a massage.

What was the best birthday gift you ever received as a kid?

The Mongoose dirt bike my dad got for me at a pawn shop in Texas.

What was the best birthday gift you ever received as an adult?

A DNA ancestry kit from The Genographic Project.

What’s something you already know you want for your next birthday?

A massage!

Meet Hannah (and Pepper and Chilli)!10515168_10201437680144031_4575029922136081387_o

How old were you when you decided to get into pen palling?

I have been writing to people since I was about 8. I wrote a letter to a penpal section of a magazine and my parents had no idea that I had done so until I started to get letters from all over the UK! by the time I was 12 or 13 my dad used to joke that he had to go to work just to pay my postage bill as I got more and more global penpals.

What’s something you want to accomplish by March 1st?

I want to study several courses related to dog training in October, November and January. These will involve written work that will probably run on until March time. I would also like to plan out my trick classes for next year and also work on a few new ideas for classes.

Were you excited to hear a fellow LEP member (two actually) shared your birthday?

I was aware of bday twins but years ago I never spotted someone with the same bday. I think having bday triplets is pretty cool – to see if there are similarities and to see the differences too.

Have you ever celebrated a half birthday?

Never celebrated a half birthday.

What birthday stands out for you and why?

I can remember a great bday spent with my now hubby when we first got together and we had a old fashioned photo Victorian photo done where you dress up in Victorian clothes. We had another done by the same photographer on our wedding day as I loved the first so much.

What was the best birthday gift you ever received as a kid?

I think the best present I ever had as a kid was my first bike. It was a present from my grandparents. It was most likely secondhand and my grandfather had probably done it up a bit, but I loved it. I can remember trying to teach myself to ride it because I could wait for anyone to teach me. I rode up and down the drive falling off then getting backing on again – repeated many times – until my knees were sore but I knew how to ride it!

What was the best birthday gift you ever received as an adult?

I don’t remember a specific present as an adult – I’m not really into presents in a big way – more little things and sharing experiences with other people.

What’s something you already know you want for your next birthday?

Next bday is the big 4-0! Still trying to think up something creative and fun for that! Planned to get another pup for that bday but am getting one in 2 weeks now so kind of preempted that one! ( may be the pup counts as a half bday present? !)

imageedit_3_7043639957Bonus! This Birthday Triplets answers:

How old were you when you decided to get into pen palling?

I was 18 when I officially got into pen palling, though prior to that send letters to my paternal grandmother as well as my Aunt Karin.

What’s something you want to accomplish by March 1st?

It’s in the fall of 2015 that we plan to put Logan in preschool and I’m planning to go back to school myself. I’d like to have everything I need to change my name (the school knows me by my maiden one) and apply for financial aid by March 1st, if possible, so I/we have several months to tackle that mountain.

Were you excited to hear a fellow LEP member (two actually) shared your birthday?

I think this blog is proof that I’m a happy camper.

Have you ever celebrated a half birthday?

Although I’ll be spending September 1st with Othella, Kyleigh, and some other League members, I never actually celebrated it before. Well, unless trying to score the occasional present out of my mom counts. I remember Titanic was released via VHS on 9/1 and I convinced her to get it for me :-P

What birthday stands out for you and why?

Gabe planned to propose on my 23rd birthday, but just like I couldn’t wait until the weekend after Alice in Wonderland was released to see it in theaters, he asked me to marry him several days before. Regardless of the timing, I still consider my 23rd birthday an incredibly happy one.

What was the best birthday gift you ever received as a kid?

My memory’s not the greatest as I keep thinking of Christmas presents instead of ones I was given when I was a little birthday girl. Perhaps my mom will recall something…

What was the best birthday gift you ever received as an adult?

Although my engagement ring is high up there, I’d actually rather do something than get anything. Gabe and I have gone pottery painting every year we’ve been together.

What’s something you already know you want for your next birthday?

In addition to going pottery painting, I’d also love a bunch of stamps– domestic, international, postcard-friendly… I promise they won’t be bought in vain!

Well, I hope you enjoyed hearing about me and my fellow birthday triplets, and that you have a very merry un-birthday, unless, of course, today is your actual birthday :-P

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Vari-Kate-ions: August

25 Aug

Each month I take a handful of themes from this list and use it for inspiration for a bit of novelty mail. Below are the ones I set out to do this month, but the ones in bold are the only ones that have been completed. The others will be tackled next month and hopefully come October my batteries will be recharged.

  • Fortitude
  • Vacation
  • Mother Nature
  • Cat
  • No Time
  • Trouble Lurking
  • Tears
  • Foreign

Yeah, I suck. Between dealing with stuff and preparing for company, these just haven’t been a priority this month. To be honest, I’m happy I got at least three accomplished.


Othella originally gave me an idea for Fortitude, but it didn’t quite work out so I scrapped it and made a magnet instead. I can’t think of having the mental/ emotional strength to persevere without also thinking of Carpe Diem. The quote on the bottom is from a Phineas & Ferb song by the name.

049The cool thing about Annie, my International Geek Girl Pen Pal, is that she uses the projects I send as inspiration for her own, especially if ATCs are involved.  In the spirit of Vacation I utilized both the bracelet from the trip to the Children’s Zoo and illustration from this year’s Bean Festival flyer, and I also threw in a scrap of popcorn paper I had leftover from making postcards– see? I haven’t been a complete sloth ;-) I’m looking forward to seeing what Annie is going to do with such a theme, and hearing what she thinks of this silly little card.


The upside to writing Allison for 9 years already is I know she’s not going to scare off now, haha. “No Time” seemed like one of those themes where something would likely be pulled out of my butt, so who better to use as my guinea pig? After our tarot reading she informed me she was sending me a letter that day, and that’s when it hit me: I could write her for exactly 60 seconds every day until her letter arrived. Once the timer went off each day I had to stop where I was. Because of how little I could write, this wasn’t all that exciting, but I filled in the gaps when I responded to her actual letter :-)

There may only be three projects, but I’m pretty happy with them considering two of the themes were a bit tricky to work with. Speaking of, “Trouble Lurking” is on deck for September, so should you have an idea for me definitely let me know below. Take care, and best of luck with your own projects, crafts and otherwise!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

To Whom it May Concern

20 Aug

Hey guys! Between my blah mood last week and my brief paragraph regarding Logan’s potential health problem back on Monday I know I had some of you a bit worried. This pen paller decided to use the ever so popular salutation as my post title, and then tell you all what has been going on.

We recently decided to switch from the pediatrician we didn’t really care for to the family doctor I (mostly) grew up with. In addition to seeing Logan, my doctor was all for taking Gabe on as well– he has an appointment with her tomorrow, but she has already seen Logan twice. At Logan’s initial check up he was acting a bit uptight so “The Bach” tickled him, and while he did laugh, the tickling potentially caused certain things down below to retract when she checked his boy parts, so much so she couldn’t detect the right you-know-what.

“The Bach” had us come back last week in the hopes that he’d be more relaxed. The good news was that she felt the ball, the bad news was it was higher than it should have been and maybe even stuck up in the tubing. We were then referred to a pediatric surgeon as the worst case scenario, and reason for my blah mood, was that they might have to go in and manually drop the ball.

Yesterday was that consultation, and while it was confirmed that the ball is a bit high up, the surgeon didn’t see any reason to go in there to move it. THANK GOODNESS! I can’t tell you how relieved Gabe and I are. Not only do we not have the resources to cover what our insurance wouldn’t have, our 3.5-year-old son has already been through so much.

005In spite of the doctors up in his koolaid, the Loganator has been doing really well. He has been enjoying playing outside when the weather’s decent and watching Tangled and Jake & the Neverland Pirates when it’s not. He recently got to ride along in a semi-truck while his daddy hauled wheat and he’s already talking about going again when it’s the sugar beets’ turn. In the meantime, he plays with many a truck and tractor here and will likely show them all to Othella and “Papa Havasan” when they each visit next month.

Thanks to those of you who have been keeping Logan (and his parents!) in your thoughts and prayers, and as always thanks for reading!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~


My Not-so-Mad Tea Party

18 Aug

I actually don’t care much for tea. Or coffee. What I do like? The “If we were having coffee” posts that have been popping up like coffee shops in the 90s. Nerd in the Brain does them as does my mother at Container Chronicles, and they got the idea from Part Time Monster. It’s my turn to tell you what I’d share if we were having coffee, or if you’re like me, something caramel flavored like a frappe.

The first thing I’d tell you is how excited I am for my pen pal Othella’s upcoming visit. Not only is she a caramel lover like me, she is from Michigan. Come Labor Day weekend she’s coming up from Oklahoma, with her best friend in tow, to visit friends and family up here and I am one of those friends! Othella and Amethyst, both fellow members of the League of Extraordinary Pen Pals, will be here sometime Sunday evening so we can do crafts and talk of many things. The following day we’re going to go to Frankenmuth where we’ll be meeting other Michigan members in the LEP, like my pen pal Kyleigh. More on this later, of course!

Speaking of pen pals, now seems like a good time to tell you that the majority of mine are interested in having their names as tags on this blog of mine. Sincerely Kate is going to be 2 in September so next month will be when I start tagging my pen pals, starting with Othella and Kyleigh for reasons I already mentioned.

With all the excitement going on, Vari-Kate-ions seem to have gone on the back burner; it’s August 18th and I have only done 3 out of the 8 I was hoping to accomplish this month. Originally I was going to put the project on hiatus until I got my groove back, but instead the game plan is to allow the few projects I don’t finish to roll into September without adding new ones to it and seeing if that helps.

I may not have done as many Vari-Kate-ions as I’d like, but I still have done some other mail art. Last week I was crazy enough to zentangle this envelope, but only the front. I’m no masochist.


And it is because I’m no masochist, or anything of the sort, that I was in such a blah mood when we spoke last. I still don’t want to go into too many details, but what I will tell you is that Logan and doctors are involved. He has yet another appointment tomorrow where we’ll get a definitive answer so keep your fingers crossed, please!

I’m still getting used to Robin Williams being gone. Normally I don’t get too bummed out over celebrity deaths, but his has been an exception. I guess it’s because someone who has made me smile and laugh for as long as I can remember could no longer find a reason to do either himself anymore. I put everything of his available via Netflix streaming in our queue so Gabe and I could have a marathon of sorts. So far we have watched Jumanji, Hook, Popeye, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

001Well, I think that’s all I have for you for now, but we’ll have to do this again sometime. Cheers!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

PS: This is my favorite mug (with hot chocolate and salted caramel syrup inside). My mom’s friend saw me admiring it at Barnes & Noble so she bought it for me. Sue, your purchase has not been in vain!

The Diary of a Worm

15 Aug

For reasons I have no intention of sharing on Sincerely Kate, at least for now, I am in a very blah mood. So much so I don’t feel like writing much of a blog post today. I know, I’m as shocked as you are. For the record, I’m still looking forward to getting the mail and responding to someone should I hear from them.

The pictures you are about to see are of the books I recently found when organizing all of the books on Logan’s bookshelf, courtesy of some family members of mine.

I may not have been in the mood to write much of anything on here this time around, but regardless it sure does seem like that hobby was meant to be in my DNA, and maybe Logan will grow to love it, too.

More on Flat Stanley at a later date, but for now I shall leave you with this tidbit: my brother Doug has called me “Worm” since I was a teenager. Well, not so much since I had Logan, though it wouldn’t surprise me to hear I’m still programmed under that name in his phone. My apologies to him and my mother if they came to this post expecting to see something entirely different.

I’ll be much chattier next time, I promise!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Book Review: Gone Girl

11 Aug

One thing that I talk to quite a few of my pen pals about is books, and the book that came up in several pen pals’ letters recently is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I decided to look into it online after it came up for the third time, and not only did I like the plot I read, but I liked the fact that Ben Affleck was going to be playing the sociopathic husband in the movie due out this fall. Originally I put the book into my wishlist, but I soon decided that instead of letting the dust settle on yet another book on a proverbial shelf, I’d just ask Justine, one of my pen pals, if I could borrow her copy since she has loaned me a book of hers before.

I was immediately drawn to the writing style– Nick told the story as it unfolded, his wife not only went missing but all of the signs were pointed at him despite his efforts, and the diary Amy wrote filled in the gaps of the events that led up to her disappearance. Normally I like when a book sticks with one narrator, but the two sides is really what set this book apart. Neither of them is the victim they’d like to paint themselves as. If there’s one thing their animosity towards each other proves is that they’ve been perfect for each other. While neither of their actions is justified, you still find yourself feeling sympathy towards both of them and if you’re like me, you even found a spouse to root for (Team Amy). A woman has to really love you if instead of just divorcing you and leaving you with nothing, she devises a way– for over a year in advance– to get back at you for the hurt you did her. Especially in a way that will ruin you of anyone else but her. I mean, we’re talking faking a pregnancy by using someone else’s urine here in addition to the whole disappearing act. And if I’m rooting for her, Nick’s behavior must have been rather revolting as well.

I’m worried that my expectations for the upcoming movie are not going to live up to my expectations, but this trailer excites me.

I’d like to thank Justine for loaning me her book and the other pen pals who mentioned it so I’d ask her if I could borrow it. If we’re pen pals and you haven’t read this book, I definitely recommend getting your hands on a copy because not only do I think it’d be an intriguing read for each and every one of you, I’d love to have yet another thing to talk to you ladies about.

All right, this girl is gone. But just for a couple days ;-)
Sincerely, Kate ~!~


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