Tag Archives: writing

Today: Postcrossing | Mail from strangers

I’ve gotten so used to connecting (like, not in a creepy way) with people online that comments, pins“likes”, whatever those heart things on Periscope are called and emails to/from strangers seem normal.  


If, a month ago, you suggested I start sending and receiving actual mail from strangers, though… I would have assumed you were trying to have me murdered.  Or added to some sort of watch list.  We all know I have an active imagination.

I stumbled upon Postcrossing a few weeks ago, though, and my curiosity trumped my suspicion, so I signed up and headed promptly to the post office for some global forever stamps.  

Side note: Did you know global forever stamps were a thing?  I spent entire days of my working life in line at the post office (not an exaggeration… and, on second thought, I am probably already on various government lists because of those days) trying to get mail to various corners of the globe and I had no idea.  Also, I love the post office.  I just do.



Postcards from… people I don’t know.

Postcrossing is a free community that connects (hopefully normal non-muderous) people all over the globe with the goal of sending and receiving postcards.  When you join, you request your first recipient’s address and send a postcard to that person.  As soon as your postcard is received, your name and address are given to another member and the cycle continues.  

In just a few weeks, I’ve sent eight postcards and received four.  Each postcard has a unique registration code, and the site tracks how far your cards have traveled, how long each traveled for, and other interesting stats.  I’m not really a numbers person, but love checking my personal map.  


Who knows what (if anything) I’ll do with them, but for now I’m keeping the postcards on a little binder-ring-thing.

So far, I’ve sent postcards to 

  • Belarus
  • Canada
  • Germany (2)
  • Russia
  • China 
  • Taiwan
  • Estonia

And received postcards from

  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Great Britain
  • Netherlands

I like reading about people’s lives (what people choose to write about really varies) and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of coming up with something interesting to share about my own life.  Postcrossing is sort of like a low-commitment (you only request an address when you’re ready or want to send a postcard) grown-up pen pal thing.  You can learn more here.

Projects like this help make the world feel a bit friendlier than the news would lead us to believe.  Plus, it’s really nice to have something other than my next door neighbor’s Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon in the mailbox.

Also On Tap for Today:

Did you have a pen pal growing up?

Today: You might say this is ludacris.

Sorry, 'tweens! I had to decapitate your beloved Justin Bieber in order to make this magical photo possible.

…And you’d be justified.  Here are a few Ludacris ideas I’ve dreamed up as of late:

Getting a second dog

Not some day when we have a big yard, or when I move to Alaska to become a competitive musher and need something with a bit more power than a Frenchie to move my sleigh thing.  Like, immediately.  I tried to trick Nick into getting a girl French bulldog, just in case “Clark needed his own pet.”  Demented and crazy? Yes, I am aware.  And don’t get me started on the bunk beds I’ve imagined them sharing.

Giving up caffeine

I went over two weeks without sippin’ on a single Diet Coke.  Concurrently, I went over two weeks without being a normal human being.  I assumed the headaches and irritability would dissipate after a few days.  They did not.  I’ve scaled back to less than 1 can a day (most days I just have a few cups of green tea), so I suppose that’s worth celebrating.  (Cue my Price is Right announcer voice) …With an ice coooold Dieeeet Coke!

Climbing a tree that has no low-lying branches

I am barely 5’4″.  This was an idea destined for failure and disappointment.  Plus it smelled sort of weird over by the tree.  And it was nighttime.  Did I mention I had consumed a glass of sangria or two?

Writing a book

This is something I’ve daydreamed about since I learned how to read.  The only things stopping me from executing? Lack of subject, patience, ability, and time.  All very minor issues.  (I find sentence fragments to be very alluring to prospective agents and publishers.)

Sometimes, our most luda’ ideas become our most proud accomplishments.   I don’t think this is one of those times.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s the wildest idea you’ve dreamed up lately?

Today: Doughly crap! I made bread!

The only thing more satisfying than making something from scratch, is eating something from scratch.  Inspired by Heather, I set out to make a loaf of bread this weekend.  One mushroom cloud of flour later, I pulled this masterpiece from the oven:

The recipe Heather shared is surprisingly easy and comes from King Arthur Flour.  I added fresh rosemary (which was about to expire in our refrigerator) and a touch of sea salt for character.  I must say, I am quite pleased with myself.

Just hours before preheating our modern oven to 450 blazing degrees, I was touring the Dillaway Thomas House, with features a very non-modern oven, with my Promising Pal, a seventh grader at the Timilty Middle School in Roxbury.

Where's the on button?

From the DCR: The Dillaway-Thomas House at Roxbury Heritage State Park was built in 1750 and served as headquarters for General John Thomas and the Continental Army during the siege of Boston in 1775. The house has been restored to show how it changed over two centuries and now offers exhibits which interpret both the past and present history of Roxbury and its people and cultures. A new park adjacent to the Dillaway-Thomas House provides a scenic overlook of downtown Boston.

Pretty cool, eh?  The house is located right next to the Timilty School which, for the past 24 years, has matched every, single student with a pen pal from the community.  This was my third year participating; my current Promising Pal hope to attend either Boston College (my alma mater) or Harvard University (not my alma mater) and loves sports.  Each year, pals meet face-to-face for the first time at a breakfast hosted at the school.  Before touring the Dillaway-Thomas House, we had our photo taken outside my pal’s homeroom, enjoyed breakfast in her cafeteria and picked up a few books at the school’s book fair.  I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to open your mailbox to find a hand-written, thoughtful, inquisitive letter from a middle school student.  Okay, fine.  I can tell you.  It’s really, really rewarding.

If you’re interested in participating and want to learn more, let me know! In the meantime, I’m off to eat some more bread.  Muhahaha.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Condo cleaning extravaganza! 🙂
  • Whip up some white bean dip and baked pita chips for Christopher’s party
  • B.Y.O.D. with Clark.  Woof.

What is your favorite thing to make from scratch?  Do you/did you have a pen pal?