Feb 22

Third Week of Mail

Books/Writing, Life 1

Last week, I got a little behind with mailing things. I was still trying to recover from being sick, and working at the same time. So I ended up sending one letter, a batch of Postcrossing cards, and a thank-you. Sort of lame, but I did send at least one piece of mail for every day, just not on the specified days.

Also, there is no 75 Books in 2012 update for last week because I didn’t get to finish anything! 🙁

February 13: Mondays seem to be my day for mailing pink envelopes.

February 14-17: All the postcards.

February 19: Thank-you note to my mom, who I’ve been pestering the heck out of the last few weeks with all my gardening questions.

Not sure if I’ll get to finish any books this week or not, just had a 13+ hour day yesterday and am working Monday-Saturday this week. Yay for overtime! But then my body is screaming at me. I can’t complain though, after we arrived back at the Roanoke donor center at 10 pm last night, some of the girls had to be back at 6:30 am this morning. At least I got to sleep in before going to work today!

Also, we finally got some snow! It was so beautiful while it lasted. I have some pictures I’ll attempt to share soon.


Feb 21

Happy Things

Life, Random 0

* Mornings when I don’t have to leave before 8 am.
* Working with awesomely positive people.
* Leftover snow on the ground, but clear roads.
* Sunshine!
* Opening my mailbox and finding interesting (I.e., not bills or credit card applications) things.
* Books in an organized library.
* Seeing snow-covered mountains on the way to work.


Feb 18

The Start of a Garden

Uncategorized 2

I’m so very excited! I was able to get a garden plot in the Roanoke Community Garden. The garden is on an empty lot in southeast Roanoke, in an older neighborhood where most people would never think to put a community garden. Loaned to the community garden by Frank Roupas (as seen in the first picture), it’s a little dusty and dormant looking at the moment, but it’s coming to life.

My little space of 300 square feet – which sounds small after growing up with my mom’s HUGE gardens the last several years I lived at home, but which she assures me will be quite large enough for a first time garden – was a little neglected last year.

Slightly altered picture, with the edges of the plot marked by clipart daisies. 😉 To be honest, I felt a bit daunted looking at the mess of old cardboard, leftovers from last year and all the weeds, but I went to work on it today. I didn’t get far…I guess I sort of forgot that gardening is manual labor. 😛 The soil is fairly soft, but matted with all the roots of the weeds and with a fair sprinkling of rocks. An hour and a half of shoveling only removed the cardboard and got the soil around half of the perimeter turned, so it’ll take a full day to get it turned that way. A kind person has offered a tiller though, so hopefully that will happen within the next couple weeks so I can start planting.

Here are some more pictures, from the back of the lot and the view I have from my plot.

The storage shed built by a local boy scout, for his Eagle project.

Of course, a large part of the fun of gardening is the planning. I put in a small order of seeds today, even. 🙂



Feb 13

To Catalog a Library

Books/Writing, Life 0

I am very pleased to announce that as of this afternoon, I have finished cataloging our personal library. That is, they are all listed on LibraryThing, and with proper cover art or no cover art (nothing more annoying than having books reprinted with new dust jackets under the same ISBN, if you ask me).  They’re all listed, and searchable, and the page is bookmarked on my phone so I can avoid the “oops, I already had that book” mistake I’ve made more than once already.

I am…astonished. Delighted. Satisfied (for a little while, until my OCD comes up with proper categories for them all and then I will be reorganizing and tagging them). Why astonished? Because of the number.

286. Only 286. I was convinced we had at least some 300-odd, but nope. Granted, we cull on a fairly regular basis. I hauled about 2 dozen to the library as a donation this morning, but even with those gone I would have thought there were more. But that’s ok. It means we’re only keeping the ones we really love/find helpful/information/entertaining. It also means…



Yes, because we all know having less than 300 books means that one has been very self-controlled in book buying for the last several months, and so I can indulge myself for a little while now. This is the most exciting revelation I’ve had in some time.



Feb 12

Reading…Sort of

Books/Writing 0

Just a quick update on the 75 in 2012 reading challenge…I actually finished 2 books this week, I remember that much. Sadly, I can only remember the title of one of them! I’m blaming it on the fever and will come back and edit my post if I remember the second. 😛

13. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by Frank Baum

14. The Art of the Personal Letter, by Margaret Shepherd.

EDIT: I remembered!


Feb 11

Second Week of Mail

Life, Random 0

In spite of being sick with some dreadful combination of nasties (bronchitis, sinusitis, and laryngitis, according to the doctor) that had me wishing to die (almost), I managed to get something mailed for every postal day this week. Well, ok…the postcard that was supposed to be mailed on the 10th went out on the 11th because when I went to put it in the box, the postman had surprised me and ran early. But it still counts, at least to me. 😉

February 6: A letter to a long-time friend.

February 7: A thank you note to my grandmother.

February 8: A postcard to my little brother, because he likes football and I like Norman Rockwell. He’ll be surprised. 😀 This particular pictures is VERY bad because it’s a cell phone pic taken in a hurry, because I had almost forgotten. Hehe.

February 9: Birthday card for my mother-in-law. The inside says, “Huh. You don’t LOOK older!”

February 10: Postcrossing again! Postcard ID: US-1534653. Another lovely autumnal picture. I really ought to learn how to just scan these in, they would turn out much clearer.

February 11: And another. Postcard ID: US-1535921.


Feb 05

Books Again!

Books/Writing, Life 3

I finally got some books finished! After a bit of a stall with one I had started and simply could not get up the will to finish, I remembered Terry Pratchett had a new book out and promptly went to Barnes and Noble and bought it. Then devoured it in about 4 hours. A couple other books were finished this weekend too.

10.  Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds, by Amy Bryant Aiello and Kate Bryant and photographed by Kate Baldwin

11. Snuff, by Terry Pratchett

12.  Treehouses: View from the Top, by John Harris

Not doing too badly. I seem to be averaging about 2 books a week. I should easily reach 75, then…famous last words. We’ll see. 😉

The book I simply could. not. finish, was Alys Clare’s “Out of the Dawn Light.” The story, while moving along somewhat, was just very forced and the attempt at writing as a 13-year-old was really bugging me. I got slightly over halfway and still had no real idea of what, exactly, the whole point was…so the book was tossed on the floor to return. If I had more time to read at the moment I might have finished it, but as I don’t, if I’m not truly interested in or enjoying a book, it goes back.


Feb 04

First Week of Mail

Life 0

Well, I started out with good intentions but fell -splat- on the first day. I sent a note to someone I generally don’t write to (but would like to), but forgot to take a picture! It was a lovely Letter Writer’s Alliance card too. Ah well, here is the rundown.

February 1: LWA card mailed to a family member I’d like to write letters to, but not sure if she will write back.

February 2: A birthday card to my littlest sister-in-law. I’m horrible about remembering to send cards, so I’m glad this challenge is helping me with that. At least for this month. 😛

February 3: A letter to a pen-pal in the Netherlands.

February 4: Postcrossing! Postcard ID: US-1522981. A lovely picture of what it can sometimes look like around here in the autumn.

And a big thanks to Picnik for the lovely photo editing tools that allow me to share my mail without making the contents public (yay for “smudge”). I will be very sad when it is retired in April, and hope Google is smart and comes up with something decently similar to replace it.


Jan 30

February: a Month of Letters

Books/Writing, Life 0

I’m really just a little bit excited about this.  The idea belongs to Mary Robinette Kowal (whose books I must now go read), and described in this post. I write and send quite a few letters and postcards as it is, and I love the idea of trying to send something every day. I’m not sure if my postman will love me or hate me. On the one hand – job security! On the other, my mailbox is one of only two I’ve ever seen in my building that actually has outgoing mail, so I think it’s something of an oddity or rarity for him. Maybe both.

I think I shall try to take a picture of my outgoing mail every day, and post it here a couple of times a week. With the weekends and holidays figured in, there are 24 days that the mail runs in the US during the month of February. 24 things can’t be that hard, right? I know I have some thank-yous that need to be written, and usually a letter or two to reply to. Maybe I’ll send some notes or a teabag to some people I don’t hear from often, or who wouldn’t expect to get something in the mail from me. I love getting and sending special things in the mail! As much as I love technology (iPhone, Nook, and gamer laptop FTW!), something tangible is so much…well, more real. You can definitely get to know people online, and some of my best friends I’ve met that way, but letters are much more intentional. Permanent, even.

Anyone interested in receiving a postcard from me? Feel free to leave a comment with a way to reach you (e-mail if you’re not comfortable leaving your address) and I’ll do my best.  🙂

This means I absolutely must stop at the post office tomorrow, because I am *gasp* completely out of stamps. There are some really pretty new ones out, too! Now just so long as I can find enough to match all my stationery. No, not anal retentive at all.


Jan 22

More Books

Books/Writing 0

Well, I managed to get more reading done this week than I thought, again. This time I think it was due to limiting how much I browse on the web in the morning before work, and then the wrist injury I got at work on Friday that kept me from any knitting this weekend. 🙁 Typing is still slightly uncomfortable, but I wanted to get the books down because they’re going back to the library. So here we are. The bonsai book was a bit meh, but Remarkable Trees was awesome. Lots of photos, but lots of history and interesting facts, more than your usual coffee table book.

A Great Deliverance is the first book I’ve read by Elizabeth George, and I really wish I’d been a bit more prepared for the ending. I suppose that’s my own fault for not reading closely, but I was expecting more the typical cozy mystery whodunit ending, not the psychologically disturbing one there was. I finished it a few hours ago and still feel a bit ill. On the other hand, I loved her character and would really like to know what happens to them. They grew throughout this book and have so much more potential. After I recover from this one, I’ll probably read the next in the series.

7.   Remarkable Trees of Virginia, by Nancy R. Hugo and Robert Llewellyn
8.   Growing Bonsai Indoors, by Brooklyn Botanic Garden
9.   A Great Deliverance, by Elizabeth George