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Snail mail versus email! featuring Sincerely Kate.

3 Feb

I looked into some blog posts regarding pen palling the other day, and commented when I stumbled upon The Grey Traveller’s where she asked if the hobby was a thing of the past. This led to her asking if she could ask me questions for another post. Long story short, this is that post!

Hail the Snail 2.4

29 Feb

February 16th: I got a fun postcard from Frida, and it’s been fun getting Puppy Love ATCs, too.

February 17th: I got a Valentine from the lovely Jenn.

February 19th: I was so grateful for Ashley’s letter after so many days without something to respond to.

February 20th: I got another letter; this time it was from Jody.

February 22nd: I was quite the happy camper to see THREE letters in my mailbox. Thank you, Justine, Erika, and S’Moore!

February 23rd: An unexpected card came from a LEPeep. The weirdest part? It was a Christmas card.

February 25th: From Manolo there was stuff from Kayla as well as my stamps, and from Pablo there were ATCs, scraps to make my own, a birthday card, and a letter from Whitney.

Februay 27th: I got my last letter from Jody until I’m 29 ūüėČ

Tomorrow is my birthday so I likely won’t be posting anything then, but hopefully in the days to¬†follow I can make up for all the lost time here. Dasvidania!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Hail the Snail 2.3

15 Feb

January 30th: I ended my last mail call with what I received from Manolo on the 30th, and I’m starting this one by telling you I got scraps, ATCs, and Laura’s letter from Pablo that day, too.

February 1st: This month started off with a letter from Jody.

February 2nd: I got my stationery subscription packet, and Logan got a package from my dad! Funny story: My flag stayed down while we were in Florida, and so when our mail carrier saw me, she asked if I had been sick!

February 3rd: All sorts of fun stuff came via Pablo like letters from Charmaine and Angie, and more ATCs.

February 4th: I’m always happy to hear from Allison and Justine, so to get letters from both of them made me happier yet!

February 6th: Ashley sent me a box full of all sorts of great stuff like a letter, the Whatever book, and presents for Logan that may get their own blog post.

February 7th: When I checked Pablo I was given a letter from Whitney and two batches of Puppy Love ATCs.

February 8th: The stationery service must not be enough as I had more La Papierre paper come, hehe.

February 9th: Kayla went to the UK and all she sent me were these postcards… ūüėČ

Kayla

February 10th: Another week so another letter from Jody. And then from Pablo I got 2 postcards and 3 more batches of Puppy Love ATCs.

February 11th: An amazon order came for me and the Loganator.

February 12th: From Manolo there was an envelope from my dad, and from Pablo another batch of little cards.

February 13th: The last letter I received was one from Kari.

Sorry that I’ve only posted mail calls over the past month. I had the best of intentions last week between having things to share like January’s Little Cards and¬†February’s La Papierre haul to, but between me having a cold and Logan having snow days, this blog just wasn’t much of a priority. Hopefully in the weeks to come I’m posting more regularly again, though rest assured I’m always posting mail!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

 

Freedom, Beauty, Truth, and Love: Results

17 Mar

Back¬†at the beginning of the month¬†I posted six things¬†about myself. Well five, since one thing was¬†a lie. I¬†asked for those who read it to guess which thing was the lie¬†and now I’m going to reveal which one it really was, though you’ll have to dig¬†a little ūüėõ

1. I once went on a roadtrip to Wichita because a friend I had needed to pick up her belongings, but I just wanted to pick up some burritos and Freezonis.

This one is true. Several years¬†ago,¬†a friend of mine went through¬†a nasty break up. It was so nasty that I bought her¬†a plane ticket so she could stay with me while the dust settled. Eventually it was time to go get her stuff from her ex, so we drove to Wichita with¬†another friend of ours. Chipotle wasn’t really in Michigan¬†as much¬†as it is now back then, so I made¬†a point to get some while we were in Kansas,¬†and I¬†also got¬†a glorious frozen beverage called¬†a Freezoni that the original friend introduced me to when I visited her once before.

2. When I was a junior in high school I was given a makeover by a couple cosmetology students. The girls waxed my eyebrows for the first time ever.

This one is true. One day my mom¬†and I were just sitting in¬†a restaurant, minding our own business, when our waitress¬†approached me¬†asking if I had¬†any interest in helping her with¬†a cosmetology¬†assignment. It wouldn’t cost me¬†anything but¬†a few hours of my time,¬†and with school pictures right¬†around the corner I certainly wasn’t¬†against the free beautifying. Looking back on it it was such¬†a random experience, but it was in fact¬†an experience of mine.

3. I was in my community college’s Honors Program since I did so well on the writing and reading portions on the entrance exam. My math scores, on the other hand, put me into an especially basic math class.

This one is true. I took¬†a couple years off between high school¬†and college, so when the time came for me to finally get to it, it was such¬†a confidence boost to hear that I did so well in the English department considering pen palling was the only writing I did for several years. The same, however, can not be said for math. I’m fine with basic math, but once you factor in fractions or formulas, I have my own F word I use towards math. I’d just like to say that the first class I took in college was¬†amazing,¬†and the guy who taught it wasn’t even¬†a math teacher (he was¬†an engineering prof or something). I think that was the first math class since the 2nd grade I ever got¬†an¬†A in. ūüėõ

4. I’ve been in three weddings, though I could have been in five had the other two couples’ plans not have been changed. 

This one is true. I was¬†a bridesmaid in three weddings:¬†a high school friend’s, the¬†Ashley to my Mary Kate’s,¬†and even my very first pen pal’s.

I was supposed to be in my brother Erik’s wedding when he got married for the first time, but they decided to downsize their bridal party,¬†and I was¬†asked to be in¬†another wedding because I introduced the bride (another girl from high school) to the groom, but they wound up eloping in Vegas.

5. The first international pen pal I acquired was from England, but since writing her I have also started writing women from Taiwan, Ireland, Finland, and Germany.

This one is false. Though I do write women from England, Taiwan, Ireland,¬†and Finland (and¬†am trying someone out from Germany), the first international pen pal of mine was¬†actually from Taiwan. My mom had¬†a few students who were looking to improve their English,¬†and though I wasn’t necessarily interested in¬†any pen pals outside of the United States, I decided to write¬†a few¬†anyway. I only still write one from the original batch, but I don’t regret writing the lot of them.

6.  I have had four broken bones. I broke my left arm twice, my right arm once, and I broke a bone in my right foot, too, thanks to a pesky laptop cord.

This one is true. Unfortunately, haha. I first broke my left¬†arm when I was 5; my brother Tom¬†and I were playing catch inside the house (whoops)¬†and when the ball wound up behind the rocking horse, I had¬†an incident while retrieving it. I was 11 when I broke it for the second time; I went roller skating with some family friends, though considering how little I was on the skates before falling it’s hard to say I really went roller skating that day. The right¬†arm finally got¬†a turn when I was 13 because I slipped on black ice between two cars.¬†As for my foot, one day, when I was 19, I was carrying my laptop from one room to¬†another, not thinking¬†anything of the power cord that was swinging below. I wound up kicking it and when it came swinging back, the power box on it nailed the top of my foot. I remember trying to go into work (Subway) that¬†afternoon only to be sent home soon¬†after. I didn’t think¬†anything was broken but the xrays I had done¬†a couple days later proved otherwise.

Only one of those who guessed was right so kudos to¬†Allison! It pays to have been my pen pal for 7+ years, eh? I couldn’t resist making the statement¬†about pen palling being the lie; part of me thought that might make it too obvious but clearly that wasn’t the case¬†as people mostly thought that #1¬†and #2 were unrealistic.¬†Thanks to everyone who played along whether you were right or not!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Tis the Season

25 Dec

Christmas

Number of Hot Cocoas consumed: 2.¬†We’re slacking!

Number of times the cat(s) knocked over our tree since putting it up on the 22nd: 2.¬†But “slacking” is not the word I’d use here…

Number of cards received: 20 (8 were from pen pals). Despite buying a box of 32 cards I sent less than 10.

Number of packages sent to pen pals: 7. 8 if you count Nicole’s.¬†These included penguin pens, Christmas character keychains, and mailmen rubber ducks, hehe.

Number of days until my next blog: 5. Hope to see you then!

¬†Originally this blog was going to end here and be called “Merry Christmas”¬†-it’s Christmas day after all and I know I’m not the only person with a little one to spoil. But! As you read on you’ll see why that changed…

How to Survive a 30 Hour Power Outage.
Kate and Gabe Style.

Step One: Act as normal as possible.¬†My father-in-law was already planning on getting Logan so when he offered to get us both I stayed home so I could still go about my day instead of hanging out at my in-laws’ just because they have a generator. I picked up toys, swept, wrapped presents, and wrote for a while until Gabe came home from work.

Step Two: Sleep away the afternoon. In the hopes of waking up to power being restored we took a nap.

Step Three: Get supplies. Since the dark time was approaching my husband and I decided to brave the weather and head to the nearby city of Caro, charging my phone along the way. We gathered around the good stuff at Pizza Hut to acquire some warmth for our bellies and then stopped at WalMart (sorry, mom) for snacks, a battery-powered lantern, and batteries. Normally a trip to Caro takes us 20 minutes but on Friday it took us around 40- blech!

Step Four: Hibernate. We took all of our supplies into the bedroom and set up camp. We watched as much Despicable Me as our portable DVD player would let us as we cuddled all bundled.

Step Five: Sleep the night away. See 2nd step.

Step Six: Junk food for breakfast. I had a leftover piece of pizza and Gabe indulged in two cheese danishes, a handful of honey mustard pringles, and some beef jerky.

Step Seven: Assess the situation.¬†Gabe discovered water in our basement (bah humbug!) so he spent the morning tending to that while I tried making the best of things upstairs, writing these steps down in a notebook since I thought they’d make a good addition to this blog. Yeah, things sucked at this point but they could have been a lot worse.¬†Special thanks to my brother Erik who sent a big box our way, distracting me from the cold and the chaos, if only for a few minutes.

Step Eight:¬†Get warm. My in-laws had to go to a funeral that afternoon so we went over to their house to hang out with Mr. Logan. Unfortunately their house wasn’t much warmer than ours, but Logan cuddled with me so most of me was pretty comfortable. It wasn’t long after they returned that the power also returned. Which brings us to:

Step Nine: Celebrate.¬†It wasn’t easy and I don’t recommend it, but we made it through over 30 hours without power (9am or so Dec. 21st- 3pm on the 22nd) and celebrated by putting up our tree, listening to Christmas music, and putting our hats and gloves away- I wore both to bed the night before.

We all have wishlists and I hope you get something wonderful, but never take for granted what you already have since the only guarantee we have in life is that nothing is ever guaranteed. Enjoy this time with your family, friends, and presents. Merry Christmas!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Letter to Santa

20 Dec

Dear Santa,

Hi! How are you? I hope you and the Mrs. are doing well. You’ll be happy to know I’ve been very good this year and I’d be very grateful if the elves could tackle some of these gifts for me:

  • Address Labels
  • A Word-of-the-Day Calendar (if Gabe hasn’t beaten you to it…)
  • A Necklace (with Logan’s birthstone, perhaps?)
  • An Ultrabook
  • A Black Lab Puppy

But what I’d really love though is the ultimate pen pal friendly trip, as crazy as that sounds. The majority of my pen pals live in Ohio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania so I’d love to go on a road trip with the boys (when the weather’s decent enough) where we meet them all, spending a few hours with each. We could go to the Toledo Zoo with¬†K√§ra, join Kayla & Jeremy at Max & Erma’s, and so on and so on. I know this is a long shot, but that’s why they call it a wishlist, right?

Well Santa, I know you have lists to make that you got to check twice so take care and stay safe. Say hi to the reindeer for me!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Bonus- Kate’s favorite Christmas Song this year:
(Look out for the line right after about the Letter to Santa ūüėČ )
WIN/ WIN!

Tomfoolery

15 Dec

Tomfoolery. noun. [tom-foo-luh-ree]
1. foolish or silly behavior; tomfoolishness
2. a silly act, matter, or thing

I gave up on the term “best friend” a while ago, and sure enough it was around that time I connected with one of the best friends I ever had. Nicole and I had known each other for a while thanks to a mutual friend of ours, but the more we began to talk online and via text messages the more we had in common. And when I say “the more we had in common” it’s not just because it turns out we’re both anxiety-ridden, rather accident prone, and generous to a fault, but because she introduced me to¬†Veronica Mars,¬†The Vampire Diaries, and a large repertoire of music, and I got her into¬†Glee, convinced her to try¬†The Big Bang Theory, and got her into writing (even if it’s just to me). Nicole has become one of the people who knows me best regardless of us never meeting simply because our personalities are so similar, and if I had to use the term “best friend” I’d use it for her. Reason #487 I love that girl: she writes me letters just because she knows I love it so much. I’m sure it helps knowing that I’ll always respond, hehe.

Side note: My mom has been teaching in Taiwan for a few years now, and it was near the end of her first year at Ming Chuan University that I discovered I was pregnant. When she came home that summer she brought me several¬†souvenirs including a couple thin notebooks, small enough to fit in my purse. Remember this, it’s kind of important.

At this point Nicole had become my confidant, and I the Kit Kat to her Nic Nac. After Gabe she was the first person I told when I found out I was pregnant and she was (and is!) the one person besides him I felt comfortable telling anything and everything to. I decided I would share one of my souvenirs with Nicole after using the notebook to share the events of my summer. I divulged my pregnancy experiences, vented about the matrimony madness when Gabe and I got married that July, and enclosed a bunch of other tomfoolery since I kept her notebook on me at all times.

A favorite quote of Nicole’s from that first notebook:

I sound like one of those people super-sizing my McDonalds meal and then ordering a diet coke!

Notebooks!Not that I expected her to hate it or anything, but Nicole loved that notebook as much as I enjoyed filling it out for her. With a little help from mother dearest I decided that I would start filling out a notebook for Nicole every summer, but I didn’t stop there; I sent Nicole another notebook for her 23RD birthday and included one in a care package I sent her after she banged up her leg last September. She has quite the collection right about now! (Note: one of the notebooks is not pictured)

More favorite quotes of mine of hers:

Lucky Charms for breakfast and leftover pizza for lunch. I am quite the gourmet chef.

Gabe and Logan are lounging on the floor with a bag of pretzels and Logan started feeding his daddy the pretzel sticks. At first it was just one at a time, but then he started feeding him by the handful.

3¬†souffles? Holy batter, batman.”

Apparently I write about food a lot, but she likes it and says we’re on the same napkin page. Reason #833 I love that girl: I just received a notebook¬†from¬†her. Reading it clearly makes me believe we have developed a language all our own, and proves to me that she’s just frickin’ awesome. She gave me permission to share some of her quotes as well:

  • “Crocodiles like candy canes so they seem all right to me!”
  • “I shall face the true death if I don’t leave in time to get coffee before work.”
  • “Happy Thanksgiving. I hope other than discussion of goat poop it’s been a good one.”
  • “Vampires shouldn’t sparkle, someone should tell the Cullens.”
  • “Silly 19-year-old, I’ve been playing games longer and better, elol.”
  • “Just as players gonna play, crazy bitches gonna be crazy!”

You may not understand what half of this stuff means, but at least now you know what tomfoolery is, right? Right!

I recently sent Nicole a postcard with this diabolical snowman below on it- he’s from the Pixar short “Knick Knack“…¬†Knick Knack

…and when she got it she found the video and now I have even more reason to forever call her “Nic Nac”.¬†

Yeah, I may not use the term “best friend” anymore, but I think it’s safe to say I definitely have one anyway. Never underestimate the power of writing! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have another notebook to start working on for Nicole. Ciao!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

The Catalog Blog

10 Dec

Tis the season for lots of catalogs,¬†fa la la la la… I started keeping track of the variety of catalogs I got after there were two days in October where I got at least four of them. Here’s that list in alphabetical order:

  • American Girl
  • Betty’s Attic
  • Bits and Pieces
  • Catalog Favorites
  • Collections Etc.
  • CP Toys
  • Current Catalogue
  • Figi’s
  • Hearth Song
  • L.L.Bean
  • Magic Cabin
  • Mindworks
  • Oriental Trading
  • PersonalCreations.com
  • Terry’s Village
  • The Lakeside Collection
  • The Lighter Side Co.
  • The Vermont Country Store
  • Victorian Trading Co.
  • Whatever Works
  • Wishcraft
  • Young Explorers

Rather remarkable, isn’t it? And 17 of them were in October alone! I’m sure it’s safe to say that the chaos started with Oriental Trading, and that one called¬†Victorian Trading is just ridiculous ūüėõ

If you omit the spaces and add “.com” to most of the titles above you can find their websites if you’d like to see what all they have to offer. Be warned though, should you order anything you may have quite the catalog collection yourself this time next year. (Allison, my September Sweeps winner, I hope me sending your prize directly from The Lakeside Collection’s website hasn’t resulted in any unwanted mail for you!)

You may be wondering if I’m annoyed by the abundance of glossy paper enticing me to buy stuff, but I’m not. On days where I don’t get any letters they’re a welcome distraction, and I often find¬†something that catches my attention whether it’s the eyeball notepads I got for my pen pals, a remote control firetruck “Santa” could get for the Loganator, or a gnome nativity set I wouldn’t mind ordering for myself. A couple weeks ago my good friend Krista requested some gift ideas for me and when I couldn’t think of anything off-hand other than Home Depot gift cards, it was nice to be able to resort to my catalog of catalogs.

Yes, I’d much rather window shop via catalogs in the comfort of my pajamas than go store to store; just look at this holiday friendly gnome we found via Terry’s Village last year, hehe.¬†Gnome Sweet Gnome

I hope this blog of mine finds you well, that your Christmas shopping has been going smoothly whether you go to stores or use catalogs and the internet like me, and that your holidays are happy ones.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Jekyll and Hyde

5 Dec

Guess who saw Jekyll & Hyde at the Fisher Theater in Detroit on December 1st?

Us, that's who!

Us, that’s who!

Gabe and I left our humble abode Saturday morning in time to go to Chipotle and a couple other shops¬†before the matinee performance- one store may have¬†sold Detroit postcards, hehe. The show was pretty good, and this former¬†American Idol fan was psyched to see season four’s Constantine Maroulis as the leading man,¬†however as he sang I had a hard time understanding what he was singing (though the last notes were always fantastic!) and I couldn’t help but think “this is why Carrie Underwood beat you!” The actresses who portrayed¬†Emma and Lucy did an amazing job, although I wish the arrangement of the song “Bring on the Men” wouldn’t have been rearranged- blech! Basically the show could have been better, but like I said before, it was still pretty good.¬†¬†But this show blog must go on!

The day before the show I got the idea to do a Jekyll & Hyde friendly blog that keeps with my ongoing pen pal theme. I’m going to have an assortment of categories (e.g. stationery, delivery service, this blog itself) and write something I love about it as well as something that I don’t. Since I can’t color-code this, the things I love will follow the bold letter J (for Jekyll) and the things I don’t love shall follow, well, you get the idea.

My delivery service

  • J I’m sure this is an obvious one, but I love that mail’s delivered 6 days a week, even in tiny towns like mine.
  • H¬†I don’t like that instead of bringing packages to our door our mail carrier just sits in her car and honks.

My post office

  • J¬†There’s never a line ūüėõ
  • H¬†Not only do they carry a small variety of stamps, they don’t have very many in general. They only had 4 $1.05 ones last time.

“Sincerely Kate” the blog

  • J 304¬†views so far- BOO YAH!
  • H¬†Someone promised to give a shout-out to this blog on their page and they have yet to do so, even after I gave them one without being asked.

My pen pal group (also called “Sincerely Kate”)

  • J¬†I just started three new games this month: 12 Days of Sincerely Kate, A Christmas Story, and The Four Letter Game.
  • H¬†Given how many pen pals of mine also enjoy photography, I thought The Picture Challenge would have been way more active.

Potential new pen pals

  • J¬†I have gotten a letter from 3 of these in November ūüôā
  • H¬†Four words: It Rhymes with Witch. PS: I lost touch¬†hope with those two girls.

Postcrossing

  • J¬†Since my first postcard from Alaska I have received postcards from Germany, Taiwan, Malaysia, Finland, and Oregon.
  • H¬†Three postcards in and someone gave me an incorrect ID number- it’s all remedied now but it was disheartening to have issues so early in.

Packages

  • J¬†As soon as the last few things I ordered arrive my Christmas shopping is DONE!
  • H¬†The second to last time I got anything from Oriental Trading they sent it to our previous address although I provided our new shipping information.

Christmas cards &/or mail

  • J¬†Logan and I have been making Christmas artwork to send to family along with cards and photos, hehe.
  • H¬† Gabe and some woman by the name of “Kathy” got an invitation to his fire department’s Christmas party. *Rolls eyes*

Mail Art

  • J¬†My pen pal Justine is constantly sending me homemade envelopes, inspiring me to try making my own soon ūüėČ
  • H¬†The¬†Glee calendar pages I have won’t work. Bah humbug.

Stationery

  • J¬†I have enough stationery to last me several years at least.
  • H¬†Less than 5% of my pen pal friendly paper is lined.

Pens

  • J Thanks to Nicole and a great Halloween package I have 3 Peanuts pens that I adore.
  • H Almost all the gel pens I have don’t work well after (and often during) one single letter.

Address Labels

  • J¬†Despite them calling me “Ms.” I recently got free labels from St. Jude’s.
  • H Prior to the whole moving to Fairgrove thing I ordered around 200 labels with super cute cartoon cats on them, only to use about 25 of them.

My binders

  • J Although I might have thrown letters away from most of my former pen pals, I love that at one point I had 6 binders full with another one well in progress.
  • H I hate the “not knowing” of what will become of these when I die; I don’t want anyone going through them but it’s not like I can do anything to stop them at that point. Morbid, I know.

I’m sure I could come up with more categories, but unfortunately the house hasn’t figured out how to clean itself so these 13 will have to do! While there may be things I don’t always love about this hobby of mine, I can’t help but love it anyway, much like how I can never stop loving the theater despite an imperfect performance this past weekend. And like the¬†Jekyll and Hyde song says, “This is who I am, take me as I am.”

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Noteworthy

30 Nov

Welcome to Noteworthy, the blog where I write about the things that are worth sharing but are too small to justify being posted separately.

My favorite quote about writing is the one I heard when visiting my mom and “sister” at Saginaw Valley’s writing center:

“Writing should be like a woman’s skirt- long enough to cover everything, but short enough to keep things interesting.”

My Advanced Writing teacher, Mrs. Krauss, had the following written on her chalkboard (along with a stick figure drawing- can’t forget about the drawing!) and therefore I’ll¬†always¬†remember the difference between “lie” and lay”. (Remember guys, to lie is to recline and to lay is to place!):

“Laid never means going horizontal.”

And here’s a quote from a chubby little cubby for kicks and giggles:

“For I am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me.”

Despite that last quote, I’m quite fond of big words-¬†succulent, concoction,¬†and¬†bravado¬†all come to mind… if only I could get ’em to come together in the kitchen *rim shot*.

My little sous chef and I recently discovered Sesame Street Classics on Netflix and saw this gem- Logan liked it for the Count and I liked it for all the mail, hehe. Enjoy!

I like to joke that single-handed I keep my post office in business, but unfortunately that’s not the case. I have liked a group on Facebook called “Save the U.S. Postal Services by Sending More Mail,”¬†¬†and the creator is always posting mail related articles (love it!). I recently saw a holiday friendly “petition” to help everyone keep getting mail and if you’d like to participate click me!¬†for details.

And if you want to send more personalized mail this holiday season, you should look into this: The 12 Days of Love Letters (thanks, mom!)

I hope you enjoyed these little notes as much as I’ve enjoyed discovering them. Kudos to Joycelyn for helping me with the video and to me for finally figuring out how to insert links. Dasvidania!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~