Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winter Cardinal

Around this time Jessica was visiting last year and we were able to meet for a day in Traverse City.  We had plans to do a lot, but ended up eating good food and doing a lot of talking.  It was great.  She showed me some cut outs that she planned to turn into cards- this was one!
She writes that she mailed it before heading back to Ghana.  She had a great time in DC for New Year's feeling nourished by time with friends and by the time with family in TC.  Isn't that what the holidays are supposed to be for? Hope yours was!

Monday, December 26, 2011


This card might technically be a savanna but what Jessica wrote about was living in a desert! She was getting ready to leave for a long break in the US and wrote "when I was plotting this card I was about as stressed as possible and in fire fighting/crisis mode" Sounds like a place devoid of life to me! Don't worry about our heroine though, she went on to reflect about having made a lot of progress in one year living in Ghana.  She added that December often makes her nostalgic. I agree, being with family makes memories surface and winter makes us stay inside and slow down.  Both add to the recipe for warm feelings of nostalgia. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Almost cool

Bows are in and ruffles out claimed Lynn a year ago (I could not verify whether this was true from Ghana, but I am taking her word for it). She had just wrapped her 'head around wearing a whole feminine ruffly mess' and then, suddenly, it was so last season and she had to start all over.

Her students, however, were perfectly in sync. Apparently, sophomores wore jeans, while seniors (too cool for school or, in this instance, to get dressed) wore sweats, specifically PINK by Victoria's Secret only. I think we are both glad we missed this trend, although it may be that we were never great at keeping in step in the first place.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Surfin' USA

I couldn't resist the tile because I love the Beach Boys- but, that doesn't have much if anything to do with this post.  Jessica drew this card while thinking about her soon to be brother in law and his surfing company in the Solomon Islands.  Jessica has never been surfing (although recently she did go paragliding!)  She also wrote about staying connected with family that is far away as well as dreams of starting a business.  At the end of her note she asked me what kind of business I might start.  I have often thought about a car wash or a bakery so that I could employ some of my students/or clients who are out of work, without a steady job where can people go in life? I have heard of these types of business being good models for this type of thing. I guess not as exciting as a surfing company, is it? What about you, what type of business would you start if money and risk were not factors? What is your dream?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Slowing the snail

Snail mail just got slower. The New York Times reports that the U.S. Postal Service is closing 252 processing centers and laying off 28,000 employees. Its one day service is all but finished. It seems that our steadfast postal peoples' version of speedy was not quick enough to compete.

Sad news for those of us who love the taste of envelope glue.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Joint account

Lynn is one of a few people (alive?) without a Facebook account. Having been a late joiner myself, I have tried to convince Lynn that it is nice to stay in touch with acquaintances, especially when I am far away. I also pointed out that I wanted her to see pictures I posted. But Lynn is private and was hard to budge so I gave up the nagging and instead found an alternative solution: I gave her my password. This means that every now and then Lynn checks in with the world and with me by logging onto my account (watch out!). And after doing so, she usually reports back on what she discovered. On the back of this card and she exclaims about babies and engagement announcements that friends had posted online that she had not known about. This never fails to make me laugh.

You see, the problem with our love affair with snail mail is that everyone else has moved on. They are blasting things to the world, while we are still sending targeted updates to each other. For us, this joint FB account/pen pal arrangement is the best of both worlds. Lynn gets my news and can spy on the world, while I am updated by Lynn (albeit more slowly). Unfortunately, the one hitch is that if Lynn has news the larger world may miss it. Yes, privacy prevails.

The card, by the way, is cut from a watercolor painting. It did not scan well, but I can vouch for the fact that it is way more beautiful in real life. Come to Ghana and you can see for yourself. :-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Locked doors and blooming tea

Although Lynn told me to not read into her lock and key theme, she did mention that sometimes she wishes she could lock her door and close her blinds at work to block distractions. I couldn't agree more, especially now that I am trying to catch up from my time in the States.

Her card also mentions a visit to a tea house serving 'flowering tea' - a dried flower that blooms as it steeps in boiling water. I have a feeling this is not an extreme rarity, but I have not seen it before so I immediately googled it and came up with this.

Seems like a perfect drink to have when you are locked your office catching up from a holiday - or preparing for one!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Home Sweet Home

This card is fun, last year Jessica drew it right before coming home for Christmas.  This year, she came home for Thanksgiving and spent time in NYC, DC, and TC (her many homes...).  She drew last year's card after being in New York visiting friends.  I laughed went I read she missed being cold! I love that this drawing captures her joy at being back in the States, I can see her favorite things tucked into this imagined scene.  Where are you traveling this year?