Thursday, August 18, 2011

One Special Card Per Week

I've been making cards for Operation Write Home for about 1 1/2 years now. When I started, I didn't know what the heck I was doing. I had never made cards before, and I had only agreed because I was asked to do it by a friend who had greatly benefited from what they do, both while she was deployed to Iraq, and when she got back and was involved in a horrific 20 car pileup while driving across country. The learning curve was pretty high. I had to learn about various tools, using special papers, layout, etc. I'm not an artist, but I kept telling myself that I could improve on my skill set, and I have.

I follow a blog where the writer started a challenge for herself called "52 letters per year". Every week she writes a letter to somebody. The fun in it is the recipient is not expecting the letter. With email so readily available, people don't "snail mail" much anymore, so it is a very pleasant surprise to receive something other than bills and advertisements in the mail box. I like that idea. I've decided to give it a try myself, with a slight change. I have to make the card before I write the letter.

I actually made and wrote up two cards for my first week, but I only took a picture of one of them. The first one was for my husband's cousin Camie, who has just undergone some major surgery. I figured she could use a bit of cheer as she starts her long recuperation. I also sent a card to my friend Marianne. Marianne was my secretary when I worked at a law firm back in the early 80's. Despite our age differences, we quickly developed a strong friendship which did not end when the firm lost its major client, and I was laid off. Her elderly husband has been going down hill for quite awhile, and is not expected to live much longer. They've always been such a nice couple, and I feel very sad for both of them. Her card arrived just on time, as she was in a terrible car accident Monday, and definitely needed cheer.

Not all the people I send cards to will be in such a state of health or mind. You never know who could be next. All I know is that sending these handmade bits of cheer has made me feel good, and it's nice to share my newly acquired talent of card making with people I actually know. Who is next? I haven't decided yet...but I have lots of ideas.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Book Nerd

I've had several people suggest that I start a blog. I've always resisted. However, as of today I'm playing with a full deck with two marvelous jokers on the side, so it's as good a time as ever to give it a shot.

Because we are having a family gathering today to celebrate some out of town & mostly out of the country family members visiting the area, Steve and Ian took me out for a wonderful birthday celebration last week. I had been upset about missing my beloved Tom Hank's latest movie, "Larry Crowne", in favor of the most boring summer movie, "Cars 2". "Cars 2" is the type of movie where you keep asking yourself "how could a movie that looks so good, be so bad!!!!" Anyway, "Larry Crowne" moved on quickly, but Steve managed to find it playing at a cheap theater in Pasadena. Neither of the guys told me where we were going, so when we headed out toward the area I was completely left in the dark. Pasadena is not a hangout for me. I was thrilled when I found out what they were up to. First we saw the movie, which was wonderful. Afterward, they set me loose in a local bookstore and told me to get anything I wanted. Being a library fanatic, I ended up with a "Book Nerd" t-shirt and a couple of buttons suitable for wearing to work. We ended our trip at a Mexican restaurant for a full round of cheese enchiladas. Mmmmm!

Today also marks another occasion, aside from my birthday. It is the last day of summer break. I was expecting to go back to school August 15th, but to my surprise I was called in early to attend faculty and department meetings, and no doubt I will be running around like a crazy person afterward, helping various friends get their rooms set up. A couple of rooms went through asbestos abatement over the summer, and some teachers were told at the last minute that they have to change rooms. I'm not looking forward to starting the school year a day early, but I am looking forward to seeing some old friends I haven't seen all summer.

Anyway, this blog is being started on a lark. I'm sure it will contain funny stories about things that happen at school, family stories and outings, and lots of Operation Write Home cards. I'll rant and rave on stupid things in the news. I'll post great recipes. It will be eclectic. Be brave, and follow along...if you dare.