Hail the Snail #16

10 Oct

Before I tell you what the mailboxes have had for me in October on the 15th, I have a bit of catching up to do as I haven’t “hailed the snail” since the middle of August. Without further ado…

August 15th: When Logan came home from his first day of second grade, he found a little box from his Papa Halvorson, the last part of our Target order, and a book via Kids Read Now. I, on the other hand, found a letter and a batch of Little Cards in my P.O. box.

August 18th: When I came home from an overnight trip with my mom, letters from Ashley and Kayla were waiting for me.

August 20th: Joining my reply pile was a letter from Allison.

August 22nd: Sarah sent a little note along with her Autumn batch of Little Cards.

August 23rd: While I got a letter from Jody, Logan got two more books via Kids Read Now and a postcard from my dad.

August 24th: A few more books arrived for the Loganator, this time from my mom.

August 25th: Today was the day I finally got the last of the Little Cards from JUNE.

August 30th: Speaking of finally, thanks to Jody I got my first letter in a week, and I also got something highly anticipated from my dad.

September 6th: Manolo hooked me and Logan up with some happy mail from Sarah, while Pablo hooked me up with four postcards and a batch of Little Cards.

September 9th: Another letter from Jody arrived.

September 10th: Logan got a postcard from his great Aunt Ruth, while, thanks to Ashley, I got an unbirthday card that Alice (not pictured) and the Mad Hatter signed at Disney World!

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September 11th: Much like the last time I saw Pablo, I got a couple postcards and a batch of Little Cards.

September 15th: I got yet another letter from Jody, and Logan got the postcard Ashley sent him from Disney.

September 17th: I also got a Disney postcard from Ashley along with A) a postcard from India and B) the last of the Little Cards per August’s Autumn theme.

September 20th: Kayla’s letter arrived today.

September 21st: Othella’s letter arrived next along with my latest stamp order.

September 23rd: This was my first postcard (and happy mail in general) I received this fall:

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September 25th: Logan got his first postcard of the season thanks to my dad.

September 27th: The month ended with Sarah’s letter for me and a Halloween costume for Bridget.

And that’s all, folks! Tune in on Monday to see what the month of October has started out with.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

 

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Dear September

5 Oct

Thanks for meeting me as if we were having coffee– my apologies for needing a raincheck until now. Not only did Logan have minor (and successful!) dental surgery done the day we were supposed to meet, I had not one but two consultation appointments regarding my own upcoming surgery that week, too.

Allow me to elaborate. For over a year now there has been many a night where I’d get this horrible pain in my right side that would wake me up and then keep me up for several hours until it began to subside. When I went to the ER in August for what turned out to be a ruptured ovarian cyst, there were multiple tests done, and at my follow-up appointment I found out thanks to one of those tests I had gallstones. I have since been referred to a surgeon (consultation #1) who will in fact be removing my gallbladder, but she then referred me to a gynecologist (consultation #2). Why a gynecologist? Because of the recent ruptured cyst I mentioned, the surgeon thought it’d be in my best interest to get my ovaries and tubes checked out while they were exposed. But wait; there’s more! Between the gynecologist already being there and him being able to use the same incisions, I’ll be getting my tubes tied at the same time as it’s something I have wanted done for years now. This will all happen on October 25th.

But back to September! We had quite a few fun weekends starting with the Labor Day one. Certain traditions were continued like getting an elephant ear and winning a stuffed animal at the Michigan Bean Festival, and eating at Marilyn and Jennifer’s daily, hehe. The following weekend Logan and I went to my mom’s for the night before we saw his cousin Jack (who just turned 3!) but after we saw my grandpa (who also was a birthday boy). Then the weekend after that the boys and I went to the Firemen’s Memorial Festival in Roscommon. Logan said his favorite part was the swing ride, Gabe said the parade, and I liked all the vendors the best. Our weekends since then have not been as exciting, but they’ve still been good. Between Logan being in school and Gabe being busy with fall harvest, I’m grateful for whatever time with them I can get.

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Pre-Parade Selfie

On the flip side of that, though, I’m also grateful to get a bunch of time home alone. I have been doing transcription work fairly regularly again and have time leftover to watch my shows that have been returning now that fall is here. Also, I have finished reading The Gallery of Unfinished Girls and the To All the Boys I Loved Before series since we last met for coffee.

I think that catches you up on last month– I’ll save talking about this month until we meet on the 20th. Cheers, bleaders!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

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 ~!~

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 ~!~