Friday, November 30, 2012

Direct Swap - Nona from USA

Montana is in the house! Nona responded to a post I had made in the forum and I am that much closer to completing my state map collection - yippee!  She tells me the eastern side of the state is very desert like and the western is green with many mountains. She also says in the Sapphire Range is the only place to find Yogo sapphires. Sapphire was my name when I was a Sparks leader. Many of my sons classmates still call me this 4 years later!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

OFFICIAL Card - China

Zhoufan has been a Postcrosser for over 4 years and is 11th on the most cards sent from China. This card they sent me came in a fast-for-China 17 days and arrived yesterday. The caption says "Lotus in Breeze at Qu Garden". After much Googling I cannot find much about Qu Garden exactly. While there is a Yu Garden in Shanghai I am unable to tell if it is the same place or not.  Either way a very nice view.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

OFFICIAL Card - Germany

Stephanie from Germany sent me this beautiful card which I received yesterday. She wrote saying she did not have a card of her hometown and hoped I would like this one. It shows one of her favourite beaches on the Island Spiekeroog on the German North Coast. She took the photo herself while on vacation this summer. Simply sunning - I love it. I was curious as to what the numbers on the back of the shelter meant and this is what she wrote back to me saying "In German they are called "Strandkorb" (you may google to have a closer look at them, I love them). As you said it's a shelter, where you can sit or ly in while you are on the beach. You can rent them on a daily, weakly or seasonly basis and the numbers identify "your" Strandkorb. When you are leaving the beach at the end of the day and have rented for a longer period you can put your belongings in it and lock it up. They are very popular in Germany and every region has its own design.
I think they are a typical German sort of thing". They sound so fun!

Monday, November 26, 2012


This is my fifth official card from Texas - maybe Postcrossing is trying to tell me I need to visit this state! Kirsi, was born in Finland and now lives in Texas. The views are great and include The Alamo in the upper right.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Expired Card - Poland

You know my mailbox is slow if I can find the time lately to feature my cards that have expired! This one has been travelling for over 210 days to Poland. I love this card and while sad that it never made it there (yet?) at least I have somewhat easy access to get more. I've only been to Niagara Falls once in the winter. My Mom and I went to Buffalo for the day once shopping, easily 20 years ago. I can't remember if she said she had never seen them at night or in the winter, but either way, we drove back across the Rainbow Bridge and I took her at something crazy like 10:00PM on a freezing weekday night after a full day at the outlets with both of us having to work the next day. Just to surprise her and so she could say that she had seen them. Maybe not a bucket list item, but spontaneous and fun nonetheless. Not quite a frozen over as in this picture but the card brings back a whole bunch of wonderful memories.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Direct Swap - Aaron from USA

I first contacted Aaron in August about swapping for a map card. He agreed and after a few follow-ups his card arrived this week. Very happy that it did. Patience is a virtue that I don't often have, but having faith that others will do the right thing is something that while not always easy is something I strongly believe. Thanks for the great map for my collection.

Friday, November 23, 2012

OFFICIAL Card - Ukraine

Svetlana lives in Cherkasy, Ukraine. She describes it as a beautiful, green, small town situated on the banks of the Dnieper River - sounds just lovely! On the map it looks like it might be an hour or so outside of Kiev. This map of the Kiev subway is fantastic. In San Francisco many years ago I took the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and I must say going on a train underwater really freaked me out. And this is coming from someone who took the subway daily for the better part of 25 years. I don't have many subway (or Metro) maps and I really do enjoy them, maybe once I finish my US State collection I will focus more on these.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Random Act of Smiliness - J.J. from USA

What did I ever do to deserve such a thoughtful person like J.J. in my life? Another wonderful card was in my mailbox this past Monday from her - thank you!!! She had travelled the week before to Richmond, Virginia to see an exhibit by glass artist Dale Chihuy, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She writes that she can't even find words to describe how amazing it was. I'll be honest, I've never heard of this artist but seeing his work on the card and the links I really hope J.J. send me the Flickr link when she posts her photos - hint hint!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

OFFICIAL Card - Belarus

Sergey is a thirty-something German living in Brest, Belarus. He sent me this card which took 18 days to travel just over 7,100 km to me. I had such a good laugh when I read his profile - "I can't travel a lot because my natural laziness and lack of time." You have got to love honesty like that! The view shows the railway station in Brest in 1886. While there are a few lines on the back of the card, the font used is really stumping me on virtual keyboard, so I am not really too sure what it says.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Direct Swap - Zach & Carolyn from USA

Getting to closer and closer to a complete collection of US State maps. This time South Dakota thanks to Zach and his mom Carolyn. The deal with this swap was Carolyn sent me the card and asked that I send one to her son Zach in return, not her. Easy peasy. The kids helped me pick out a card of Niagara Falls and I told him all about our most recent trip in August. Hopefully he gets it soon.

Monday, November 19, 2012

OFFICIAL Card - Germany

Steph is a 20 year old Postcrosser who lives in Gera, Germany. She sent me this great card of Munich's Oktoberfest. She wrote saying she went this summer for the first time. She really enjoyed it and asked if I knew about it. I did, or at least thought I did. Honestly a bad stereotype but I thought it was all beer, schnitzel and singing, never knew they had rides,etc  - makes it look even more fun at night too!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Expired Card - USA

Sometimes when you draw a name in Postcrossing you just know the card will expire. There are clues and hints that tell you and sadly this is one of those cards. 230 odd days later and still no sign of it. It only went to Arizona - I could have walked there and back by now. Once again, this was my last card of this style with no way of purchasing more. Oh well, on the flipside, I still have my "squealing" moments when I get my mail.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Direct Swap - Stanley from China

A few weeks back, Stanley had posted his selection of Chinese Lunar New Year cards for 2013 - The Year of the Snake. I was lucky to have had a Year of the Dragon card sent to me last year and really enjoyed it. I had cards that matched Stanley's wish list and he agreed to swap. His card arrived last week and is just as amazing in person as in his trade album. I had a slight delay in getting his card out. He asked if I was able to use Titanic stamps and it took me quite some time but I was able to find some. Hope it was worth the wait when he receives it. He would also like to swap Lunar New Year swap in January so we may hear more from Stanley.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

OFFICIAL Card - Netherlands

Mieke lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands and sent this card to me two weeks ago. It arrived yesterday. She said that she saw that I liked birds and sent me this card of a Starling. She has many of these in her garden and she likes to feed them bread, seeds and apples - lucky birds! And lucky me! A great addition to my bird collection.

Direct Swap - Mandy from USA

Another map swap and a duplicate on my part - oops! I had a swap arranged, the person said they were unable to find the card I wanted, I started connecting with others and they both kind of then happened at the same time. I never feel right then going back to one of the parties and saying " thanks for agreeing but no thanks", especially if they've picked a card they would like in return for one of their collections. Either way, another fun map this time from Mandy who lives Muncie, Indiana.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Remembrance Day

I haven't received a card in a few days so most of my posts have been scheduled ones. I just realized this morning that I did not do a special post for Remembrance Day last Sunday. This is the card I sent out last week to honour Remembrance Day. It shows the National War Memorial in Ottawa. When we stayed there a few years ago this view was directly across from our hotel. I spoke about the ceremony I attend at the kids school and their part in it. I really like the card and don't mind one bit that it is an ad/free card, hopefully the recipients feel the same way! As of yet, none have been received.

Direct Swap - Willa from Phillippines

At the beginning of October I saw a post in the forum offering cards from the Quezon City, Philippines meet-up. I had never received a card from that country and thought this might be my only chance. Willa agreed to send me a signed card from the meet-up and in exchange requested that I send a card to her son. She and her boys lived in Windsor, Ontario (about 4 hours from me) for a few years while she worked here. They loved the TV Show Franklin and she saw that Canada Post has issued postcards featuring Franklin, Bear and all the characters. Her card arrived last week and I am hoping my card gets there for her son soon. Also love the fish stamps she used, I don't see fish featured on stamps often.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Direct Swap - Laura from USA

Once again another US State map I have swapped for my collection. This time I was in touch with Laura. She was just in the process of moving from Rhode Island to Minnesota and still had map cards - lucky me! She agreed to swap and the map arrived this week.

Only seven more states to go!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Random Act of Smiliness - J.J. from USA

This super sweet Hallowe'en card came a few days after my birthday but the thought was all there! J.J. sent me this card which is based on a vintage postcard to wish me a Happy Birthday and Hallowe'en. So sweet of her to remember! I just love the stamps too. They look like they are weather vanes. Definitely going to have to do some research on that issue.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I had such a good laugh to myself when this card arrived last week. I was reading it while walking up the driveway, juggling my keys to get in and a parcel or two from my errands. For the life of me I could not figure out which way the card went. I kept turning it around and around to see if it made more sense but it didn't. Chalking it up to "old age" I made a mental note to wear my glasses more. Once inside with everything out of my hands but the card it was so obvious - I read the back! This neat map shows Central Virginia during the Civil War. It comes to me from Mary a retired teacher from Dallas, Texas who knits for charity to help pass the time - love it!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Direct Swap - Audrey from USA

Two weeks or so ago I contacted Audrey after I saw a map in the gallery that she recently sent. She was willing to send me a map of her home state of Alaska, and in exchange wanted a card of Niagara Falls. She told me her parents were married there over 45 years ago. I had the greatest card of The Maid of the Mist right in front of the American Falls to send her. She liked it just as much as I was hoping she would. I too love the card she sent me. Maybe divulging too much of my cheesy TV watching but it was kind of fun to see all the places you hear on the show "Deadliest Catch".

Friday, November 9, 2012

Random Act of Smiliness - Eileen from England

I received this card on Wednesday and was surprised to see it was from Eileen. You may remember her as being one of the most generous people I have had the pleasure to cross paths with as seen here and here and many more wonderful times! She recently travelled to Cape Verde on holidays and sent me this card. That beach is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. On the card and in our subsequent email exchange she tells me there was a violent storm while she was there. All services, including postal were literally washed out. They were confined to their hotel for a week which she said wasn't too bad especially given what the locals had to face. Eileen deserves props for collecting and organizing basics - toiletries, clothing, etc from the various hotel guests to give to the residents who literally lost everything. Such a sweetheart! Once again, Eileen thank you for thinking of me and brightening my day!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Direct Swap - Heather from USA

Heather lives in Dallas, Georgia and agreed to swap with me two weeks ago. The map card she sent me arrived last week. Georgia is only a state I've driven through on my way to and from Florida. One of my funniest memories was stopping at a Taco Bell and asking for items that weren't on the menu. At the time I was a vegetarian and basically was asking for them to substitute beans for beef. They were more than willing to and then the manager came out to meet us and first thing they asked in a big southern drawl was "Y'all Seventh Day Adventists or something". Maybe it was the fact we had been on the road for hours but it was one of the funniest things I had ever been asked. To this day it is still cracks me up. I love the bathing suits and clothes in the drawing, they look so retro! Also, loving that Heather used one of the Hawaiian shirt stamps - they are so fun! Hoping she gets my card soon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

OFFICIAL Card - Russia

I {heart} Google Translate, and I {double heart} virtual keyboard. Last week I received this card from Yulia who lives in Nizhiny Tagil, Russia. On her postcrossing profile she states her only language as Russian and all she wrote on the back was "Hi". That is fine, my Russian is as good as her English but I still wanted to know what the card was about. After a few minutes of hunt and peck on virtual keyboard, I was able to translate the phrase along the bottom to be "Nizhny Tagil Ice Sports Palace named VC Sotnikova". By the looks of the arena now I might even say this is a vintage card too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

OFFICIAL Card - Finland

Keke from Tampere, Finland sent me this card, featuring a lady in tradtional dress. It arrived on Thursday after travellling six days. He wrote saying fall is becoming winter and their municipal elections were happening soon.

OFFICIAL Card - Hong Kong

I know I have said this before, but I find it neat how I have received so many cards from Hong Kong. As a country they are ranked 29th in Postcrossing for total cards sent, and at less than 100,000 cards I can't figure out how my name keeps going to users there. I'll just consider myself lucky!

This card from Jasmine arrived last week and shows the Chinese symbol for the word "Double Happiness". She decorated the card in such a fun way - writing my name and address in fun colourful block letter, stars, stickers and wonderful birthday wishes! It is as much fun to look at the back as it is the front. And the stamps - fabulous, beautiful birds!

How would you fill in the blank "Happiness is..."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Queen Mary 2 from Kathryn

Hmmmmmm, how do you tag a postcard that was mailed from a ship? Country you departed from? Arrived in? Who knows?!?!

My sister in law Kathryn recently returned home from a trip to France and England on the Queen Mary 2. She wrote telling me she braved seasickness to purchase this card for me as the bookstore was in a part of the ship where you could really feel the motion. I am certainly glad she was willing to risk it for me. This is a great view of the ship arriving in New York City.

Sadly, Kathryn's six month leave from work ends today. I am sure she will have more adventures in the future I just hope she adjusts back to work smoothly, I don't think I would have an easy time of it.