Spicy Mail: Received from Texas, USA

Just in via Postcard United:

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Greetings from Beaumont, Texas! I’m a cat lover, and I do love spicy food. The hotter the better. I put red chili flakes on almost everything I eat. I also enjoy hiking and camping.

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Of Local Connections, Banana Stickers, & “Lifestyle Bloggers:” Received from China, Japan, Russia, Serbia, Spain, & the U.S.

This beautiful flower postcard was sent to me from Japan, and it wasn’t originally meant as a postcard! The sender explains:

This card is famous souvenir cookie’s box from Hokkaido–the northernmost prefecture in Japan.

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The onions are an actual postcard, rather than from a box of souvenir onions or something. The card was sent to me from Kaluga, Russia, by a sender who writes that her town is not far from Moscow, and:

We are proud of Cosmonautics State Museum. I love art, puzzles, psychology.

The child-on-cattle card came from China, and the sender explains:

This kind of painting is called shuimo, an old traditional kind. There’s a kid riding on the back of a cattle, farm cattle. Guess you know the importance of cattles to ancient Chinese people. Also, there’s a poem written in ancient Chinese characters. The poem dated from 2500 years ago.

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The Indian Court card came to me from Wisconsin via Postcard United–Postcard United does that thing, pairing a person with someone from their own country. It also does stuff like this:

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That is correct: as of the moment I am writing this, I have received 36 more postcards than I have mailed out. This embarrassment of riches points out the fact that other people out there are getting screwed over.

One more thing of note about that card: the man who sent it decorated it with a couple of banana stickers. Scroll down, you’ll see.

This sketchy little village is also from the U.S., but via a swap-bot trade. The sender, who lives somewhere near San Diego, is just the first person in this post who spent some time living not far from me:

Hello! I grew up in Hayward, lived there until I was 20. Not too far from you. ūüôā

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The Japan card came from somewhere in–guess what country–via Postcard United. The sender tells me she, too, lived quite close to me for a time:

I spent a year in Oakland, CA as an exchange students & almost every weekend I visited S.F by myself. It was about 30 years ago (!!) But still I ‚̧ Bay Area and I’m so happy to write to you. My host mother used to work your place as a teacher.

Speaking of true callings, and professions of high purpose & service to humanity, this next card came to me from a self-professed “full-time lifestyle blogger.”

She lives in Belgrade, Serbia, and took time out from her busy schedule to tell me about the card:

You can see “the face” of the Statue of Victory, one of the most known sights in Belgrade. It’s the symbol of our city. You can Google it and see what it looks like in nature. Hope this will help you find out more about our country.

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The card next to the last one looks like death, and it was sent to me from Spain, in a Postcrossing Forum “last movie I’ve seen” thread. She tells me about “My Life as a Zucchini:”

…a French animation film for adults that is just one hour long but the impression it makes lasts for a lifetime. I was deeply moved by it and cried buckets. So if you have not seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

I want to see “Coco,” but I’m not sure if they’ve removed the 21 offensive opening minutes I keep hearing so much about. I would have to adjust my arrival time.

This headphone-wearing letter C is from a Postcrosser in Xinyu, Jiangxi, China. He had a standard message translated into English and printed on a rubber stamp, as you’ll see toward the bottom of this post.

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I end with the “NORMAL” postcard, which I may or may not have shared many moons ago–but it’s not marked as having been logged, so there we have it. This was received from Bonnie Jeanne

This was from Bonnie Jeanne of Postally Yours, who had an “orphaned postcard project” in which she logged the postcards in her personal collection, and people like me would “claim” a card to which they had a personal connection (a place they were from, a favorite place to visit, etc.). She would send us the card in an envelope, and we would write on it, about the card/place, and send it back to her. Her website would share those stories. I participated twice, and really had fun with it. It seems she has moved on to other things. I wish her all the best.

Stamps & stamps & stickers follow. I especially loved this one stamp from Japan, so I made sure to show an enlargement (for my own enjoyment, if for no one else’s).

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The Comic Section! Received from Belarus, Japan, Malaysia, Switzerland, & the U.S.

One of the upsides of being so horribly behind in cataloging my received postcards is that I am at least able to go through the accumulated cards (well, the ones that I can currently find) and do some grouping by theme. This time, it’s some toon-tastic cards, received through all of my current avenues: Postcrossing, Postcrossing Forum, Postcard United, swap-bot, and postcard pals!

First up: B. Kliban! I’m always thrilled to find Kliban Cats in my mail. They surrounded me when I grew up: they were marketed on t-shirts, bed sheets, soap dispensers, calendars, and on & on. The world today could use more Kliban cats. This came to me from a Postcrosser in Cedar Hill, Texas, who saw cards like this one in my favorites.

 

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Every time I look at this image, I notice a new detail.

This Snoopy postcard looks like a piece of original art! The Postcrosser who sent it to me tells me she bought it during a visit to the Snoopy Museum in Tokyo, Japan.

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I love, love, love, the style of very-early-era Peanuts art. I was thrilled to get this Lucy (my spirit animal) card from my post pal Cindi in Hawaii. Be sure to scroll down for the stickers, washi tape–and a great Disney Queen of Hearts stamp! And while you’re down there, do be sure to spend time with all of the other stamps, stickers, & washi tape. This is a good post for both sides of the cards I’ve received!

Time to move from Peanuts to Totoro. This wonderful scene came to me from a Postcrosser in Astoria, Oregon, who writes:

I am also a huge fan of Asian cuisine. We lived in Singapore for two years–yum! Ate in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Australia So much good food–love the crosss-cultural stuff. And lucky now to live on the West Coast–foodie heaven. Food carts are boss. Last weekend ate at a place called DJ’s Vinyl Vegan–it was fabulous. It was part of our weekend eat-fest in Astoria. Also had Scandinavian food at the Midsummer Festival. This weekend too hot to go out. Hope you are getting some good eats!

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The other Totoro card came to me from Malaysia via Postcard United, from a sender who tells me that ol’ Totes is their favorite cartoon character.

Next up: a pair of Finding Nemo cards. Let me interrupt myself to say that I was at Disney California Adventure last week, and after many visits having ignored the attraction, I finally went to “Turtle Talk with Crush,” and let me tell you–I am never going to skip over it again! Hilarious! Reminded me of a Paula Poundstone performance (and I’ve been to many).

Okay, the cards. The first of them came to me via regular Postcrossing, from Minsk, Belarus, with the following message:

I am a senior student at Linguistic University where I study the English and French languages and American and British Country Studies. I like traveling, reading books, and birds. I have a monk parakeet (Rudy). He can talk.

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The other Nemo card came to me from St. Paul, Minnesota, via a swap-bot “Currently Reading” trade. The sender had a few books going at once, and she listed them for me:

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, by Theodora Goss

Enigma: the Battle for the Code, by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore

Blind Ambition: The White House Years, by John Dean

Okay, the last 3 are Sanrio: Hello Kitty Country! I sometimes enter Postcrossing Forum tags where every other person is to receive a Hello Kitty card. Since I do not have any to send, I enter on the receiving rounds…and then promptly say that I’d really love to receive Badtz-Maru (or any one of several other ancillary characters). This first card, sent from somewhere in Japan, stars Badtz!

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The big Hello Kitty card came from¬†Lausanne, Switzerland, and the smaller one made its way from¬†Nakatsu, ŇĆita, Japan.

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Hey, we made it through! now enjoy the stamps, stickers, washi tape, and a few of the messages. Let me know what you liked! I feel really accomplished right now, to have logged 10 more of my back postcards.

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Mega TOON Edition! Received from England, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, & the U.S.

13 postcards this time, all toon-related. Still playing catch-up, so while some of these are newly-received, some came in months & months ago. We have a combination of Postcard Forum tags, and incomings from postal pals of mine. Let’s get started, so we can get finished!

I love this Disney duck art, with Christmas greetings in Swedish. It came to me from Finland via Postcrossing Forum. I remember it was a very confusing parcel to receive: an envelope filled with many postcards, each with a tiny message denoting a different Postcrossing tag. This user had tagged me many times in different threads, all at once, did not message me to let me know, and surprised me with all of this. I keep track of whom I’ve tagged (since my memory is not so good), so that I do not overdo tagging the same person. In any case, though, I do love this postcard.

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Hey, Doraemon! The card came to me from Indonesia, and the stamps & stickers tie right in, so you’ll have to scroll down & check them out. The sender writes:

Doraemon is my favorite cartoon too because they are funny and taught us about friendship. My fave character is Nobita & Shisuka.

Peanuts time! Cindi in Hawaii knows that I love the oldest versions of the characters, & she has sent me two of my favorite cards, featuring Pigpen, Lucy, & Schroeder. The scans of the backs down below show a beautiful patchwork of related stamps & stickers.

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An extra serving of Peanuts, from a post-pal in Tokyo, Japan:

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I love Spirited Away. Just saw it on the big screen again a few months ago for one of those two-night return engagements that happen sometimes, and I was blown away all over again. This card came to me from the same postcard pal as the one right above it.

Mickey and his band also came to me from Japan, in a tag in which we were to list the characters we’d like to receive. Horace Horsecollar was on my list, and as you’ll see at the bottom of the post, the card’s sender was surprised by my obscure choices.

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Totoro here came to me from Russia, but the sender isn’t talking about Ghibli:

When I was a child, on TV on Saturday morning showed Disney cartoons. One of my favorites was Chip ‘n Dale.

The postcard teeming with Misters Men & Little Misses came to me from yet another postcard pal, this one in Brighton, England. Don’t miss the matching stamps down below!

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The kitty packing heat was sent to me from Seattle, Washington, and the sender writes:

I don’t know the cat on the front of this card, but Strawberry Shortcake was a favorite of mine, back in the day.

She mentions Ms. Shortcake because she affixed a sticker of that character on the back of the card. You’ll not see her in this post, because by this time I had scanning fatigue, and that kind of thing just doesn’t make the cut. I’ll just share that it was an older version of the character, in shorts, flip-flops, and a floppy beach hat.

This Hello Kitty card did make the cut. It’s yet another card from Japan, and the back has great stickers, stamps & washi tape which, along with the card’s message, you can see below.

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These funny little sea creatures came from Russia. The sender tells me that she loves Kinder toys, and that she used to play with them with her older sister when she was a child.

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That little mouse came to me from Berlin, Germany, and the sender tells me:

I’m a 28 year old Russian girl, moved to Germany recently. Before that I spent 2.5 years in Moscow working as an IT engineer. Now I live in the center of Berlin, Mitte district. My office is in crazy and fancy¬†Kreuzberg! There is a cool graffiti on our office wall: Putin, Obama, and Merkel closing mouth, eyes, and ears!

Hey, I found that piece of street art!

I feel like this came from a more innocent time.

Let’s finally get to the previously mentioned stamps, stickers, washi tape, and messages. So much good stuff!

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I love, love, love that little squirrel sticker. The pair of cats on blue are awesome, too.

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Mail Boxes, Accordioned: Sent to Germany, Finland, Japan, Malaysia, & the U.S.

This is a very cool postcard that somehow ended up in my hands. If it looks as if it might be printed on a grocery bag, well, that’s not far off: in fact, the stock is so lightweight, the card got accordioned more than just a bit, just standing along with other postcards. It’s good, then, that some brilliant swap-botter thought of creating a “mishap” trade, in which we could all mail each other banged-up, stained, and mutilated cards. This one, in fact, goes to the trade’s creator, who is in Denver, Colorado.

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Isn’t the card otherwise very cool, though? It’s a giveaway from a stationary store in Canada that hosts a monthly letter-writing club.

The rest of the cards this time are heading off in Postcrossing Forum tags. Snoopy & his typewriter are on their way to Diamond Bar, California.

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Elephant & Piggie are going to Helsinki, Finland.

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California Natural Wonders heads off to Marl, Germany.

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Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado) goes to a national park lover in Osaka, Japan, and “California: A Photographer’s Paradise” is destined for a map card lover in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

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Time for stamps, stamps, stickers, & washi tape! I hope you’ll agree that there’s some good stuff down here.

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Animal Edition: Received from Canada, Germany, Japan, Philippines, Russia, & the U.S.

Still lots of catching up to do around here! I have enough previously-unlogged cards with animals on them to make that the theme of this post. Here we go.

I’ve got a life-long love of maneki-neko! I actually have a small collection of them, though not all in my collection are small.¬† This came to me from Japan in a Postcrossing Forum tag, and you can read the message on the back (about maneki-neko) in the scan at the bottom of the post.

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This wonderful humpback whale card is from the Philippines, another Postcrossing Forum tag, and its scanned message is also shared down below.

This next card was NOT received via Postcrossing, Postcard United, swap-bot, or any of that; it’s a thank-you card for donating to Muttville senior dog rescue in San Francisco. Senior dogs are very special, and I donate to more than one organization that specializes in helping them. In fact, right now I am expecting a 2018 calendar I ordered from Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Tennessee.

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This beautiful seal came to me via Postcard United, from Kaluga, Russia. The sender tells me that it’s not far from Moscow, and:

We proud of Cosmonautics State Museum. I love art, music, puzzle, psychology, and to make photos.

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The Elasmosaurus, like the humpback whale we saw earlier,  came my way thanks to a Postcrossing Forum marine life & sea creature tag, this time from a sender in Texas, and she tells me:

Living in delightfully dry North Texas means I don’t get to see the ocean a lot. But I love reading about life millions and millions of years ago, when Texas was nothing but swamps and seas. Did you know they found plesiosaur bones when they started tearing up land to make DFW airport? Awesome!

Then we have this meerkat! As I type this, I think of the meerkats at the Santa Barbara Zoo, which I am POSITIVE get handouts from scofflaw zoo-goers. Every time I visit this beautiful zoo, and come around the corner toward the meerkat enclosure, these little guys become very attentive, especially if I have a bag from the gift shop. People who like to feed wild animals & zoo animals don’t give a damn about health concerns & dietary needs.

Anyhoo, this very tall card is from Biberach, Germany, via Postcard United.

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He seems to be keeping his eye on that hawk, and for good reason. The card is from Canada, received in a swap-bot “currently reading” trade, and the sender tells me:

I am reading H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. Please remember to rate me.

I would have rather heard about the book than had that prompt. I kinda hate swap-bot.

Time for stamps, etc.! I really like that pair of raptors from Canada, so well-paired with the card to which they are attached!
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I think I like this rooster from the Philippines even more! I’m also a big fan of the whale & fish stickers. And what a great shore bird sticker from Japan!

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Thanks for the List, Buddy: Received from Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, and Ukraine

WOW, look at this Totoro card! I love it. It came to me from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, via Postcard United, & here is just a little of what the sender tells me:postcard 305a

I will be 29 on Friday. When I was 26 I had this weird phase where I thought I was 30 and now that I am actually just about there I’m feeling like I wasted my 20s worrying about getting old. Oy vey.

Oy vey, indeed. I know there have been people in my life who were so age-obsessed they surely hit that “30” wall quite hard–and “40,” even harder.

I’ve been on a couple of food tours while traveling, so I really am happy with this card, another one via Postcard United–but this time from Japan.postcard 305

The sender writes:

I have a girl who was born in January 2015. She likes Disney characters! In this summer, we traveled at Tokyo Disneyland! That was fun! Have you ever been to Disney World? I like okonomiyaki and sukiyaki in Japanese foods. If you have chance, try to eat them!

Still another card from P.U., still another great one! This is a gibbon, I think, and it’s from a sender in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. She says:

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I would absolutely love to visit California one day even if it is a wee bit too warm there for me. I really want to visit Disneyland and even Disney World! I live right in the town center and I can see the sea from my bedroom window. There is a subway next door to me but I only really like their cookies haha. We only have one aquarium here in Portaferry. It was closed for a long time and only opened not too long ago. I enjoy visiting zoos, Dublin is great!

That “there is a subway…but I only really like their cookies” bit really confused me. I thought she was talking about the underground! I know from experience that many underground systems do have food sellers, but still. Then I did a little Asking Jeeves & confirmed that there are Subway sandwich stores in Northern Ireland. And let me say, the cookies they sell there must be better than the ones available at my local Subway outlets.

The next card, bearing a painting by the Malaysian artist¬†Mohammed Hoessein Enas, came to me from, yes, Malaysia–yet another P.U. card received in the last 2 days, as all in this post were! The sender writes:

Have you tried nasi lemak, satay, and our rendang? I love Malay food.

As do I.

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How about that magical dolphin? That’s from Hong Kong, this time in a Postcrossing Forum trade, and the sender gave me a tip:

Try to put the card under the light for a while and put it in a dark area. You will see something interesting happen.

And so I did!

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Here’s something I got from Malaysia in a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag. The sender writes:

This is a card from ‘Brown Rice Noodles.’ Let me share a quote with you: “Beautiful Things Happen When You Do Something You LOVE.”

Is a quote really a quote when it is unattributed? I think what we have here is a saying; quotations can be attributed to someone specific. I am picturing someone trapped in a plaque factory, writing this multiple times in 9 different fonts for sale at Joann’s, or–far worse–Hobby Lobby. On the other hand, I like the idea behind the words.

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Hopping off the soapbox, and into the sailboat: the last card came to me via a Postcrossing draw from Bucha, Kiev, Ukraine. The sender included his address and this message:

I collect and swap postcards: art, nature, flora, fauna, national costume, transport. Also: coins, banknotes, stamps, badges, pocket calendars.

Uhm, thanks for the shopping list, buddy.

Time for stamps, stickers, & washi tape! Malaysian stamps are so beautiful, and I love the first two here.

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Postal Mishaps & Mystery Liquids: Received from Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Taiwan, & the U.S.

Foghorn Leghorn here is at Magic Mountain in Southern California, but the sender is from Queen Creek, Arizona. She sent the card to me in a swap-bot “cartoon animal postcard” trade, and she writes:

I have never been to Magic Mountain, but this ride looks like a lot of fun!

I have never been there, either. I’ve driven past many times, but when you are in that neighborhood, well, for me the correct amusement park destination is always Disneyland.

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More toons: the caption on the back of this card tells me it is Mr. Muddle:

Poor Mr. Muddle just couldn’t get anything right. Everything he did, everything he tried, everything he said was muddled.

I know the feeling, I do. This is another swap-bot trade–“children’s book illustration postcard,” this time–and it’s from a swapper in Glencoe, Oklahoma. He writes:

My mom is a retired kindergarten teacher. I grew up on Mr. Men & Little Miss books. I enjoyed your movie review blog. I’m glad someone else enjoyed Ra.One!

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Someone from Slavkov, Czech Republic was assigned to me by Postcrossing, and she sent me the Pooh card. Unfortunately, some postal mishap claimed a large section of the message portion–peeled it right off. It’s a shame, because from what I could tell, she was actually writing a very substantive, friendly message. The mostly-blank cards always make it intact.

Another regular Postcrossing draw, this one from a sender in Taipei City, Taiwan who says he likes traveling and photography. Isn’t the idea of a “wind-power park” interesting? I was intrigued–and I really like that piece of crab art–so I looked it up. It’s right by the sea, it’s got recreation & performance spaces, and those 7 windmills generate enough electricity to power the park for four hours after dark. Better still, there are more sea creature mosaic statues! Isn’t it cool to learn new things through Postcrossing?

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That dolphin image is…interesting. I certainly prefer it to a photo of a dolphin in a swimming pool. I received it from Hong Kong, via a Postcrossing Forum trade of sea creatures cards. As we transition into the stamps, stickers, & washi tape portion of this post, let me express my appreciation for the BACK of the last card, which has a lot going on. I was about to express how much I am enjoying that Green Spot soda sticker, but when I initially looked it up, it turned out Green Spot is a booze. That didn’t seem right, so I tried again, & found the soda. So much learning!

I also really like the avocado stamp from Taiwan. Do you have any favorites this time?

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Peanuts & Thai Food: Sent to Germany & the U.S.

Okay, I’m down to one saved post waiting to be published, and this is it. This does not mean I don’t have more catching up to do; I’ve got a whole lot of sent & received postcards that never even made it this far! Well, I’ve added the bits that were missing from this post, and now here it is.

To Kranzberg, Germany, via Postcrossing Forum:postcard toon Peanuts strip

Sent to Oceanside, California, for a swap-bot trade of restaurant ad cards, this free card from a great Thai restaurant in San Francisco:

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Time for stamps, stickers, & washi tape!

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Blast Off to the Eclipse! Sent to Canada, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Poland, South Korea, & the U.S.

Here comes another post that I started, but shelved for some reason. I had pretty much finished this one, but did have to go back & fill in a little detail here & there. You can tell it’s been sitting in the fridge here for a couple of months or so, seeing as it relates in part to that well-hyped eclipse, now pretty far in the rear-view mirror. Read on, & enjoy!

This great work of art is from 10 Little Rubber Duckies by Eric Carle, and I picked it up at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. ¬†The card went off in a Postcrossing Forum tag to Saitama, Japan, to a recipient who enjoys picture book art. ¬†If you scroll down to the bottom of the post, you’ll see there is more picture book art on the back of the postcard: Green Eggs and Ham washi tape, purchased at the Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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To a cat lover in Echizen, Japan, I sent this Jetoy postcard. ¬†It also goes out in a Postcrossing Forum tag, and since the recipient says she likes reading, watching movies, & traveling–and I do, too–I told her about my last read, last movie attended, and last trip taken.

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Next up, the card on the left (a scene from the Hearst Castle gardens) went to Chantilly, Virginia; and the Rocky Mountain National Park scene went to Chicago, Illinois.

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Another Postcard United draw: this reading kitty went to Räyrinki, Finland.

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And ANOTHER Postcard United draw–this one went to Seoul, South Korea–and I like that this user offers writing prompts:

*If you don’t know what you should write me, here are some hints ūüôā May 2017 question :> Pick one and answer it please! 1. “Why some people are fascinated with vampires?” 2. “If you can get a superpower, would you like to be a superhero or a villain? and why?” Backside ideas :> -your favorite book / writer -your favorite movie / series -favorite animal, have you got a pet? -favorite food -favorite quote -your hobbies -your love story ūüôā –

One of the types of postcards she wanted was movie-related, so I sent her this l’il movie poster picked up at a local cinema.

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The next trio of cards are hewn from food packaging, all sent off in the current round of a swap-bot “Chunk O Cardboard” trade. ¬†Babu’s Kati–Masala Pizza flavor–was okay, but too sweet, I think. ¬†Needless to say, it was munch better than any Hot Pocket. ¬†It’s on its way to a swapper in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Instant update on Babu’s Kati! ¬†The card has been received:

Hi there! Thank you so much for the Masala Kathi chunk o cardboard. I especially like the orange price tag on the front, and particularly the postage you used. The postmark situated itself just between the spaceman and the solar eclipse! Was very fun to receive, and brightened my day!

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The gardening tips went off to Topeka, Kansas.  They are from a box of off-brand Chex cereal.  Actual quality cereals do not have room for gardening tips; they use all of that space telling you what cool toys are inside the package.

The DeliChoc panel landed in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada. ¬†I don’t remember where or when I got this stuff, but doesn’t it look delicious? ¬†I love these dark chocolate/biscuit combos, like the LU Little Schoolboy. ¬†Mmm.

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BraveStarr here went to Budapest, Hungary, to–well, I just don’t know whom. I was assigned this user when I clicked “send a card” on Postcard United, and the user had absolutely no profile at all. I wrote a friendly note:

Greetings from California, U.S.A.! I was sad that you have no profile. Most of the fun here is getting to know a little bit about other people. Maybe soon?

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Another Postcard United, this one to Rybnik, Poland:

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Stamps, stickers, & washi tape time. Do you have any favorites?

 

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Here comes the scan that gives this post its title. ¬†I’m glad I finally found a use for these spacey stickers I bought quite a long time ago. ¬†If you compare this scan to my previous post, (or if you’re lazy, even just the moon stamp that appears right above this text block), you will see that in the day between those scans and this one, the temperature in my house (and of course, out) has risen considerably. ¬†These heat-sensitive stamps are showing their full moons. At the very bottom of the post, you will see a colder version of the stamp.

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