The September Slide

18 Sep

I knew I didn’t post for kicks and giggles on the 5th, and then I knew my post on the 15th would be delayed because #lifehappens. What I didn’t realize, however, is that not only did I not post Hail the Snail #17 on Saturday, I never posted Hail the Snail #16 at the beginning of September either. My apologies for letting Sincerely Kate slide so much this month!

I won’t lie, though, it’s probably for the best. Though I wouldn’t say I have been stressing over finding time to write “Dear September” in time to post it this Thursday, it would certainly be one less thing to have to deal with on top of everything else that’s happening right now.

This all said, I’m going to take the rest of September off from blogging, and start fresh on October 1st, catching you up on what’s been going on (and what’s been in the mail, of course) my first few days back. I appreciate your patience!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

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Card Catalog #2

29 Aug

The Card Catalog is a place here on Sincerely Kate where I take a once-a-month break from talking about pen pal related things and instead talk about another hobby of mine, making and sharing Artist Trading Cards– ATCs for short. If you’ve been following SK for a while, you know that the two breeds I specifically like talking about are Little Cards and Change Cards. To steal what I said last time, “Little Cards are the ATCs I swap based on monthly themes via a FB group I run; Change Cards are the ones I leave as random acts of kindness on behalf of ATC the Change.”

Speaking of last time, when I talked about these aforementioned kinds of ATCs, I did not have June or July’s Little Cards to share with you yet, so allow me to do so now!

JUNE

What was said about June’s theme, School Spirit, when it was first announced:

In a few weeks, my Little Viking will be all done with the first grade, and he’s hardly the only one either moving on to the next grade, if not graduating. It’s because it’s graduation season that I thought School Spirit would be a fun theme for this month. You could use the mascots from your school, do something with your school colors, etc., etc. It can be grade school or college; we’re not too concerned with those specifics!

Just three of us participated in this theme, and here are the three ATCs I personally acquired from this swap:


JULY

The following theme was Under the Sea, and this is what I had to say about it:

The theme the last couple Julys has been “Summer Blockbusters,” but with a nudge from Allegrae, I decided to borrow from another movie entirely, lol. For the record, if you choose to participate in this theme, you are not obligated to go The Little Mermaid route, but instead can create ATCs featuring whatever you may find under the sea like fish, coral, and even shipwrecks. The world is your oyster 😉

Six of us participated in July’s theme, and these six Little Cards joined my collection of ATCs:


AUGUST

I do not have my collection of Little Cards from this month’s Autumn theme yet, but something I can share with you is what I’ve done per ATC the Change this month!

I left a total of 14 ATCs since the last card catalog; over half of them were when Mother Dearest and I last went to Troy, MI. It was because of that trip of ours that I made a baker’s dozen of the things, including these Alice in Wonderland-friendly ATCs left when mom and I went to Mad Hatter Bistro:

Bonus: I had nothing to do with abandoning the ATC on the left someone found and then shared, but it was me who made it, hehe.

I’m not sure how many more Change Cards I’ll make between now and this time next month, but hopefully I’ll have plenty of opportunities to leave plenty more.

Again, if you have any suggestions for the Card Catalog between now and then, don’t hesitate to share them with me since I’m still trying to figure out the best way to combine these two endeavors of mine into one monthly post. Hope you enjoyed this one, by the way!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Dear August

20 Aug

As I think about all of the things I have to share since the last time “we had coffee,” I’m reminded of a certain moment from Alice in Wonderland where the March Hare and Mad Hatter say the following to Alice:

So let’s pick up where we left off— my dad’s visit. Like many visits that came before this one, festivities included meals at Tony’s and Big Boy, some clothes shopping at JCPenney, and grabbing some Faygo beverages at the gas station with the best selection. On our last day together, dad and I also had a bit of a Mad Tea Party, putting to use the Egglettes we found and wearing these Wonderland-friendly hats:

The next day dad started his trek for Alberta, Canada, and soon after the boys and I started ours for the U.P.! We mainly went up north because Logan had his heart set on seeing waterfalls, and the Tahquamenon Falls wound up being everything he hoped they would be. Going to the Falls, though, was hardly the only thing we did that he/we loved! Other things that made our trip worthwhile include, in order, the Soo Locks Boat Tour, The Antlers restaurant, Lake Superior (or rather the tide pool beside it), pizza delivery, the hotel pool, mini golf, and Fort Mackinac. We had a great time up in the U.P., so much so it may become something we do annually with a few modifications such as fewer museums. Here are a few pictures in case they got too buried among all of our Facebook updates:

We weren’t home for long before Logan left on another trip– his grandparents wanted to take him camping one more time before he went back to school. It’s because of this camping trip he missed seeing a handful of people on my side of the family, but the silver lining is Gabe and I still got to! Gabe and my brother Doug kept each other incredibly entertained while I got a lot of one-on-one time with my brother Tom’s son, Jack, since I didn’t have to share him with Logan, hehe.

Oh! Something else happened while Logan was gone that was rather exciting. The lease for the Equinox we had was going to be up come November, so we went to the dealership in the hopes of there being something in our price range we could eventually buy. It turns out there was, and we actually wound up leaving with our new-to-us Silverado that very day. We couldn’t wait to pick Logan up because we knew he was going to be one ecstatic kid. We wound up going on not one, but two joy rides the afternoon we got him 😀

Naturally since life was going pretty damn well, we then had a few wrenches thrown at us. Gabe went to the ER on the 5th, and then I went on the 12th. The good news is Gabe was and is fine; he had heat exhaustion/ dehydration after being on a fire scene which, thankfully, is an easy fix. My worse-than-labor abdominal pain, on the other hand, was much more complicated. It took multiple tests and a consultation with an OB/GYN before they were able to determine I had a cyst on my ovary that had ruptured, causing fluid to go where it shouldn’t have been. Between the antibiotics I was given at the hospital and the prescription for pain pills I have, each day gets better than the last. I have a follow-up appointment this Wednesday (along with my annual exam) so we’ll see if any further treatment is needed then.

Anyway, it was this past Wednesday that the Loganator started second grade. So far Logan seems to really like it, and he has told me on more than one occasion that his teacher is the nicest one he has ever met. Hopefully they’ll continue to have a great year together! Since this is his first full week of school, my plans are to go back to transcribing files regularly again once we part ways here, and reading at least one chapter each day, too. For the record, my dent in The Gallery of Unfinished Girls remains  rather small, but in my defense I took a break from it to devour Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson.

This brings us to this past weekend, but it wasn’t just any weekend because it was spent in Troy, MI with Mother Dearest! In the past we have just done our overnights there closer to my March 1st birthday, but since it’s something we enjoy doing so much, we decided not to limit ourselves to a once-a-year trip. At this point it goes without saying stops at Mad Hatter Bistro (times two) and Build-a-Bear Workshop are musts for me, and they’ll continue to be. I enjoyed all of my food at Mad Hatter’s as much as Bridget enjoys her new stuffy and bunny slippers, as shown below, hehe:

Other stops we made included Barnes and Noble, the fabric store mom loved last time, and our first-ever visit to a Books-a-Million. I found some Alice in Wonderland merchandise at the latter, so that was like a chocolate-covered cherry on a sundae of a trip, hehe.

Just like with Alice after her adventures, it’s now time for me to return to reality. Hope the rest of August treats you well, and that you’ll meet with me here again next month. Cheers!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

 

 

Hail the Snail #15

15 Aug

August 2nd: This mail call will mention several postcards, and the first two were from Krista’s recent trip to New Orleans.

August 3rd: The first letter I received this month (not including the one from Logan’s school) was from Kayla.

August 4th: Each mailbox had another letter for me– Manolo had Ashley’s and Pablo Rose’s.

August 6th: The next letter to arrive was from Jody, and the next postcard was one my dad sent Gabe.

August 7th: Manolo added Sarah’s letter to my reply pile while Pablo hooked me up with a postcard from a postcrosser in Switzerland.

August 9th: Othella hooked me up with the next postcard that arrived.

August 10th: Thanks to his Grandma Kraklow, Logan received the last few “back-to-school” things he needed.

August 11th: This was the postcard my dad sent the Loganator, lol:

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August 13th: Dad sent Logan a little bubble mailer next while I got a letter from Jody and a postcard from Kira.

August 14th: More packages arrived for Logan thanks to his Grandma Kraklow, but these ones are for his freshly cleaned and organized room 😀

It’s been a pretty full month for me and the boys (for reasons I’ll write about in a few days), but somehow I’ve managed to stay on top of all of the incoming mail I just listed. Looking forward to seeing what else the mailboxes have in store for us during the second half of August, and hoping I can continue to respond to everything with little to no delay.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Card Catalog

5 Aug

Though more than anything this is a pen pal-friendly blog, in addition to posting about happy mail, I have also posted about many an ATC (Artist Trading Card). There have been two kinds of ATCs I have shared the most over the past couple years, and I affectionately call them Little Cards and Change Cards. Little Cards are the ATCs I swap based on monthly themes via a FB group I run; Change Cards are the ones I leave as random acts of kindness on behalf of ATC the Change.

A month ago I wrote about my decision to start posting these ATCs together in lieu of them continuing to have separate entries, and today is the (belated) first installment! Please bear with me as I figure out the best way to format this new series– not only do I have two months worth of catching up to do regarding Change Cards, I only have May’s Little Cards in full.

MAY

Little Cards:

May’s theme was The 60s/70s, and this is what I said about it when I first announced it:

My train of thought for this theme was like this: April showers brings May flowers. Well, we just did Agriculture and we’ve done Spring before, too. Hmm… Oh, I know, the hippie era! Not that you have to do anything with flowers or even with hippies. If there is something from either the 60s and/or 70s that calls to you, by all means use that as your inspiration!

Four of us were called to make ATCs per this theme– those shoes were just a bit on back order 😉


JUNE

Change Cards:

I didn’t make any Change Cards in June, but I did leave the four below as well as another five:

Little Cards:

As I mentioned above, I do not have June’s Little Cards in full as I’m still waiting to receive Vikki’s contribution. What I will tell you, though, is that the theme was “School Spirit” and there were three of us that participated/are participating.


JULY

Change Cards:

I made at least 20 Change Cards last month– a dozen of them were these snail mail-friendly ones:

I left 14 ATCs when I was with my mom on the 11th and 12th, and 9 when I’ve been out and about with the boys, mainly on our vacation up north.

Little Cards:

Like with June, I am one contribution away from being able to share July’s haul because they have yet to arrive from The Netherlands. In the meantime I will tell you that July’s theme was “Under the Sea” and there are six of us participating.


AUGUST

If it wasn’t for our recent vacation to the U.P., this post would have happened on the last Wednesday of July, so this is not the time or place for any August ATCs just yet. Hopefully come August 29th, however, I will have all of the missing Little Cards and maybe all of August’s, too. Just so you know, the current theme is Autumn and there are five of us participating.


If you have any suggestions for the Card Catalog between now and then, don’t hesitate to share them with me. In return, I will be sure to share whatever ATCs August has in store for me between these two endeavors of mine.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Hail the Snail #14

1 Aug

July 16th: I’m pleased to report the last of the Little Cards from May finally arrived.

July 18th: Sarah’s Little Cards (and blank postcards) arrived next along with some happy mail for the Loganator like this SeatPet:

July 19th: Thanks to Manolo I got a letter from Jody.

July 20th: And thanks to Pablo I got a Postcard from Wonderland.

*From the 23rd to 26th our mail was held while we were on vacation. Here, though, are the postcards I found when we went to Tahquamenon Falls and Whitefish Point:

July 26th: Between the two mailboxes I came home to letters from Sarah and Kriston, two postcards via postcrossing, and my latest stamp order.

July 27th: Logan’s latest book per Kids Read Now arrived as well as a Boy’s Life magazine for him.

July 28th: Another two batches of Little Cards came for moi.

July 30th: This week started with a letter from Jody.

July 31st: And this mail call is ending with one more batch of Little Cards– just one more to go until I have all of July’s ATCs!

The second half of July was a pretty good month for mail, and it was just a good time in general. The boys and I enjoyed my dad’s visit, and we had a great vacation up in the UP. We’re looking forward to seeing what all August has up its sleeves for us, and of course I’m looking forward to seeing what Manolo and Pablo will have for me, too!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Postcards from Wonderland #17

31 Jul

Since I didn’t share Change Cards and Little Cards with you this past Wednesday since the boys and I were on vacation, I thought I’d make it up to you today and show off a different kind of card I love– Postcards from Wonderland!

Not only did receiving the following five postcards– all inspired by Alice in Wonderland– make me grin like the Cheshire Cat, so did the fact they arrived in a pattern. 1, 3, and 5 were went to me from Krista per a favor, while 2 and 4 are from postcrossers in Germany and Russia, respectively.

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I once said that “sometimes I think it would be worth joining Postcrossing again just to acquire more postcards from Wonderland.” Though only a couple postcards out of the 30 or so I’ve received since rejoining Postcrossing have been Alice in Wonderland-friendly, I’m glad to have an active account again. Only receiving Alice and company once in a while makes me that much more excited when I get them. And besides, it’s not like the other postcards I’ve received have sucked, lol.

No matter where the next Postcards from Wonderland come from or when they get here, I know I’ll be grinning like a Cheshire Cat again once I get those, too. Thanks for tumbling down these rabbit holes with me!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~