Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Good Mail Day & Passing It On

Being out of state translates into being without mail and I had a sense of getting back to normal when I returned to my mail box where happiness awaited me. Not only did I have letters, I had a Christmas in July package. What fun! Thank you, Limner; you will be getting a letter from me soon!

I love the idea of Christmas in July...not that I ever would have thought of it myself, but Limner's just a tad bit more creative than I am. Okay, she's streaks ahead of me in that area.

Look what I got! It's a book of postcards. My next stamp purchase will be postcard stamps. It's too bad the USPS doesn't offer a wider variety of the 34 cent model.

I receive the occasional postcard but I rarely send one out myself. That's going to change now because I have to send out these postcards. I have a feeling I'm going to be using spare mental time thinking up short postcards sized messages to send to people. My aim will be affirming, encouraging messages. I like that goal. It will be like passing Limner's kindness along. What fun!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Road Trip

I've written a few of you with news of my road trip. This travel plan came about after telling a few more of you that I had no summer plans; none whatsoever save for reading a few books. After talking to my aunt a couple weeks ago I made plans for a long overdue trip to to see her. Then last Tuesday I got in the car and headed north. I don't know why I don't get up there more often. It's a ten hour drive and much of it is scenic. (Maybe the 10 hour part has something to do with that.)

The trip was smooth sailing until I crossed the Oregon border. Shortly thereafter I met with a sort of traffic jam.

They were side by side at forty miles per hour for some minutes (I'm sure it wasn't as long as it felt) before the truck on the left finally got around to passing. Really, why do they do these things?

On my last day we had lunch in a little town called Gold Hill at a place called "The Teapot on Wheels." This place is adorable and I have to visit it again. They have a special high tea room where ladies can borrow hats if they did not bring one. 

We decided that on my next visit we would have high tea.

Even the signs are cute.

This is our view from the window. They have events in their back yard. You can see the Rogue River running past.

If you plan on being in Southern Oregon or will even be just passing through, The Teapot on Wheels is just off Interstate 5. You can check out their menu here.

Now to get back to those summer books I had planned!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Handwriting Videos

I came across a couple handwriting videos I'd like to share. The first one was introduced to me by Jan at Of Bibles, Books, and Letters. The calligraphy is by master penman, Connie Chen. This video is mesmerizing and I'm afraid few of us will ever write this beautifully though she makes it look so easy. 

The second video simply shares some thoughts on handwriting, or rather on the decline of cursive. I was recently at an Altar Guild conference of women throughout our diocese and the breakfast conversation turned to education. The women sitting on either side of me had learned shorthand, something that is no longer used. I remarked that they could use it as a code, something like cursive. One of the women then launched into a rant about children (even her own grand kids) no longer knowing how to read cursive.  It seems to be a widespread problem, at least in the U.S. The gentleman in the next video shares my friend's concern.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Latest

I've developed the habit of answering all my mail before returning to the post office for more and as I visit my mail box weekly I must write regularly to keep up. I had whittled down the week's stack and the final piece of mail I responded to was a letter written inside this beautiful card. The picture is called "Grant Park" by Norm Plummer (2013). I had to look up Grant Park and found that it is 319 acres and proudly called Chicago's front yard. And what a yard it is; it's quite the happening place. 

According to the park website: 
The park has been the site of many large civic events. In 1911, it hosted the major Chicago International Aviation Meet.  It was the scene of clashes between Chicago Police and demonstrators during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Pope John Paul II celebrated an outdoor mass to a large crowd here in 1979. Championship celebrations for the Chicago Bulls were staged here during the 1990s. The park was the location for President Barack Obama's Election Day victory speech on the night of November 4, 2008.
Here's an aerial view:

On a different note my girlfriend, Susan recently visited England where she not only had a chance to listen to talks by N.T. Wright four times, but she also visited The Jane Austen Centre in Bath. 

She kindly brought me a bookmark. It is made of hand-woven silk and decorated with freehand machine embroidery. The heart applique is early 19th century fabric. I love it!

Since I will not be visiting Bath anytime soon I took a virtual tour of The Jane Austen Centre. Until I get a chance to see it for myself I will be enjoying the bookmark and a good book. Books are the best way to travel, you know!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tea With Anna

A very happy surprise awaited me at the Post Office today. I received a package from Anna with an invitation to tea in celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday.  And to think I could have had this a week ago if I had only gotten to the post office a few minutes earlier. There was a yellow notice in my box with nothing written on it. The window was closed so I could do nothing with it at the moment. Then I forgot about it until my weekly mail trip when there was another notice in my box. This time it was orange with a return date if the package were not claimed in time. Naturally I took it to the window and was given a red decorated package in return. The label told me there were tea goodies inside. I was delighted! Anna had written me that she was hostessing another tea party but I didn't suspect that I was being invited as I had participated in the Queen's Jubilee tea party. 

I set up a tea table in the library with two chairs; one for me and one for Anna. Not only did she gift me with a china tea cup but she included two tea towels and pennant flags as well as goodies. This gave me a chance to use the tea pot Mr. Duffy gave me for our second Christmas. I also used the tea set from the last party and drank tea from both cups. It all felt lavish and indulgent and I feel grateful to Anna for honoring me in this way. Everything was delicious! I've saved a couple of the sweets for dessert and I'll even share with Mr. Duffy.

During tea I read the letters I received today and will spend the evening writing responses. What a good day; I feel warm inside. Thank you, Anna!! Yours is the first letter I'll write this evening!