Friday, October 31, 2008

Look at This New Moomin!

This is the newest Moomin card that was sent
to me by Markku. This time the little Moomins are
dancing. Markku translated the text. It says,
"Accordions and fifes are being played, let's have
a wild party!"
Thank you, Markku, and I hope you nave a nice trip
up the Nile!

Poor little Moomin guy! Such a small rock
for the little fellow with his
typewriter and notes. I think he could
find a better place to do his work!
I like the stamp too, Markku!

Cape Nosappu, The First Sunrise

This very interesting postcard came to me from Satomi, who lives in
Toyota, Japan. This scene shows the Cape Nosappu. located at the tip
of Nemuro-hento Peninsula, a part of Hokkaido which is known for
its production of crabs called Hanasaki-gani. It is at the eastern extremity
of Hokkaido. Many people come to visit here so that they can be the first
in the world to see the sunrise. There is also a lighthouse
here. It is the oldest lighthouse in Hokkaido and was built in 1872.
Satomi, did you know that we have a Toyota factory here in San Antonio too?
However, it only builds the pick-up trucks called Tundra.
Thank you very much, Satomi, for this pretty and informative card.

Here is the nice stamp that Satomi put on her card.
It looks like they are camping in the forest near
a lake. Children are playing in a field near
the shore.
Very nice!

A Japanese Blossom

Sanae sent this simple but beautiful flower card to me.
Sanae lives in Japan. I do like the simplicity of
the card and the colorful background.
Thank you, Sanae!

Sanae put these two beautiful
flower stamps on her card. I am not
sure what kind of blossoms they are,but the second one has a bee on it!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tsou, Taiwan Aboriginal Tribe

I received an extremely interesting card
from Taiwan today.

This card was sent to me by Kudre. He says that 'Tsou' is one group
of Taiwan aborigines. He said they have beautiful dress
and a nice dance. Kudre found the special postcard
in Taiwan, Gu-Guan, which translates into 'Hot Spring'.
This is such a nice card, Kudre! Thank you very much for
sending it to me!

Kudre put these very nice stamps on the card hesent to me. He even put a little dialog balloon saying "Hi, I am lovely Nemo". The other two stamps show a dog that looks like a husky or malemute, and a little animal that I am guessing to be a chinchilla or hamster.

Thank you very much, Kudre, for the interesting card and the great stamps!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two from the USA

I received two new postcards in the mail today.
Both were from the USA, but one was from the west coast
and the other from the east coast.

This peaceful scene was sent to me by Jo (user Grizzly1951).
I had sent her a picture of our famous Alamo. She said that now she is
sending me a picture of Spokane's most famous building.
This, says Jo, is what is left of a railroad station in downtown Spokane.
The whole area is now a park, site of Expo '74, their World's Fair.
Thank you, Jo. It is a lovely building and park.
I would love to stroll through it!
And this card comes to me from Boston, Massachusetts. It was
sent to me by my penpal, Latisha Barker.
This, of course, is Boston Light. It is the oldest lighthouse
in America. When I lived on Cape Cod, I could have visited this lighthouse
many times, but I never did. We lived there before I became
so enchanted with lighthouses!
Thank you, Latisha, and I will write to you soon!

On the Brittany Coast

This is a beautiful lighthouse photograph postcard that was sent to me
by Pia, who lives in Finland. The photograph was taken by well-known
lighthouse photographer Jean Guichard. (Perhaps you've seen many of his
other photographs of lighthouses, the most famous of which have huge waves
wrapping around the tower.)
I really like the stormy, almost brooding quality of this card, and I especially
like the huge wave crashing onto it.
Pia said she chose this postcard because I had mentioned visiting lighthouses.
That is an understatement! I dearly love lighthouses!
This lighthouse is located on the Brittany coast , on the Mer l'Iroise.
The name of the lightouse is Pierres Noires. Since I do not read nor speak French,
I could be wrong, but I think it may also be called Arc-en-Ciel sur. I hope someone
will correct me if I'm wrong!
The Mer l'Iroise is one of the most dangerous seas in Europe. In winter, there are
often violent storms and huge waves. But it is also one of the riches seas
in marine life.

Here are two other views of th

An look at this! Isn't this a beautiful stamp?
Pia put it on the postcard.
We have all heard of 'snail mail', but who
would have thought it was real?!

Thank you, Pia, for the beautiful card, the cute stamp, and the opportunity
to learn more about the geography of this area of the world.

A Lighthouse in England

This lighthouse and beach picture makes me want to be there
right on the beach with the other beach-goers and beachcombers!
Jane sent me this painting postcard of the lighthouse at Whitley Bay
in Great Britain. She says it is about 50 miles down the coast
from Bamburgh castle (which was the subject of a postcard I
received earlier--scroll down and you can see the castle).
Jane says this lighthouse is a couple of miles from the home
where she grew up and it is still a place she loves to visit.
The light house has 137 steps to the top and you can climb up
there for views of along the coast.
Jane also says that her Mum volunteers at the lighthouse some
weekends, serving tea and home-baked cakes to visitors.
MM-m-m-m! I'd like some too!
Thank you, Jane, for such an interesting card!
(P.S. Note the British Railways logo at the bottom of the card.)

This is a very interesting stamp that brought me Jane's card. The woman in the picture is Eleanor Rathbone. She was a tireless social
worker for bettering conditions of laborers, women's rights and suffrage, and family allowances. She was also a Member of Parliament. This stamp recognizes her work for family allowances.
This is an allowance paid to families with children. As of April 2008,
the allowance for the first child is 18.80 British lb per week. For every child after the first, it is 12.50 British lb per week. It is also noted that
more than 80% of children are in families eligible for a child tax credit
as well.

Karagoz & Hacivat

I received this really neat card from Canan, who lives
in Turkey. These two characters are puppets in a 'shadow play'.
Their names are Karagoz and Hacivat. A shadow play requires a muslin
curtain, the puppets, and a candle. The puppets are
manipulated behind the curtain and the candle is behind the
puppets. This casts shadows on the curtain for the audience
to see. Canan says that the shows are unscripted, the operator
making up the plot and dialog as he goes along. Sometimes he sings,
sometimes he plays a musical instrument, or sometimes he
'just gives information'.
Thank you, Canan, for such an interesting and original card!

Here are Karagoz and Hacivat again. Most authorities say that the Turkish
shadow-plays began in the 1300's. They were known to be performed in the Ottoman palaces in the late 14th century around Java.
Legend says that Karagoz and Hacivat were real men who were construction workers and were helping to build a mosque in Bursa. Their jokes entertained the other workers so much that it held up the work on
the mosque. This angered the sultan and he was also concerned that these
two 'jokers' might encourage rebellion, so he had them executed. The
construction of the mosque was completed without them, but their comrades did not forget them and kept their jokes alive by telling them over and over. In time,
the adventures of Karagoz and Hacivat became a new form of entertainment and the traditional shadow puppet theater was born.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Anne's Sea Gull

Anne, who is a very fine photographer and lives in Finland,
took this picture of a young sea gull last year (2007).
She said the gull is chasing some insects.
She also said that on the day she sent the card, 21 Oct. 2008,
it was grey and rainy in central Finland. She said she was hoping it would get
colder soon so that there would be snow instead of rain. They had
already had snow up north, but in Anne's area, the first snowflakes
begin at the end on October.

This pretty stamp brought Anne's card to me. I like the fish--are they salmon?

Thank you, Anne, for the beautiful card and the nice stamp too!

Look! A New Moomin!

My friend, Markku, from Kuovola, Finland, sent me another
Moomin card. I really love these cards!
This little guy is sitting up in a tree, and Markku said the
caption reads: 'Sit down and realize how happy you are!'
Thank you, Markku, for another great card!

Markku put this Moomin stamp on the Moomin card he sent. I hadnot seen this stamp before. It looks like the little guy is making pancakes on a campfire.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A full mailbox!

Yes, I did have a full mailbox!
Three great postcards--from
France, U.S.A., and Finland!
The beautiful stamps above were on the first card in the mail.

The first card, from France, was sent to me by Laetitia (Satine83)
who sent me the card above as a 'Thank You' for the
card I had sent to her. This really nice card shows the sunlight
shining through a hole into a cavern.
Laetitia put some great
stamps on this card!The first shows La Cote de granit rose, or
the Pink Granite Coast. This is on the coast of Brittany. It has
some huge granite boulders which are stacked on one another
in such a way that people look for different
shapes among them--a bell, a tricorn hat, etc.

The second stamp shows Le Chateau d'Usse. This is a castle in the Loire valley. Charles Perault used this castle for his inspiration for

Sleeping Beauty, or 'Chateau de la Belle au bois dormant'.

It was also used as a model for
Cinderella's castle at Disney World.
To the left. you see 1) the Disney
castle, and 2) Le Chateau d'Usse.

Above the card, you see the stamps
that brought this card from France.
Thank you, Laetitia, for the beautiful card and stamps! I love them!
This card comes from Lindsay, who lives in the Amish country for Lancaster
County, Pennsylvania. The picture looks almost like a painting by
an American artist--Grant Wood? or Andrew or V.C.Wyeth, maybe?
In our travels, we have been in several different areas of the country
where Amish people have settled--Iowa, Wisconsin, etc.
I always enjoy seeing their simple way of life.

Thank you, Lindsay, for the wonderful card!

Last Christmas, I was painting several miniature pictures. We had just gotten back from U.P. north and driven through Amish country where we saw an Amish horse and buggy tied to a hitching post. I tooka picture of it and I put it in one of the miniature paintings.

The third card in the mailbox came from Anne, who lives in a small town
near Helsinki. She said she lives with her little cat. She also tells me
that, in Finland, they have thousands of lakes and, in the summertime,
the midnight sun--as you see here in the picture. I like the picture of the midnight
sun--it makes me think of the time we lived in Alaska. And, being the
beach-lover that I am, I also loved the picture of the beach!

Thank you, Anne, for such a nice card!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, Two Cities in One

Christian sent me Postcrossing greetings from East Westphalia.
The name of the city is (now) Rheda-Wiedenbrueck. At one time,
in the not too distant past, Rheda and Wiedenbrueck were two
different cities, two different populations, two different purposes.
When the districts were redrawn, these two cities were forced
to merge. The people were not too happy with this arrangement.
Each city's inhabitants wanted the new city called by the name of their
old city. Rheda thought it should be called Rheda because it was the
larger, more populous city. Wiedenbrueck thought it should be called
by that name because of its importance as a districk capital. However,
it was not the people who decided the name. The officials dubbed it
Still, there was much unhappiness about the new name, but it is
the official name.
(And the capital is no longer in either city--it was moved to Soyz!)
Thank you, Christian for the great card!

Tatiana's Private Swap from Belarus

Tatiana (who lives in Gomel, Belarus) and I agreed to swap postcards privately. When I received her lovely card, I immediately went to the internet to learn a little more about her city. To my surprise, I found that it is one of the nearest cities to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant which, on April 26, 1986, was involved in a major nuclear disaster.

I also found out quite a bit more about her city.

This is the postcard Tatiana sent. After doing my research, I think I can
tell you a little about each of the views.

Gomel is a very old city and many artifacts have been found. Many of the
oldest records report the city in existence in 1142. Therefore, in 1997, Gomel
celebrated its 855th anniversary. The picture above shows the
railway station and in the upper right corner you see the name of the city
and the anniversary date.

This view, which is at the bottom of Tatiana's card, I believe to be Kozhara Street.
This is the building in the center of the card and is called the Circus.
I was surprised to see a 'cutout' picture of a cowboy on the
corner of the building. I'm not sure what the building is, but it looks like
it has some small businesses, shops, and/or restaurants advertised.
The two pictures below are at the top of Tatiana's card. This is what was formerly known as Lenin Square when Belarus was a part of the USSR. At the far end of the street in the picture

on the card, you see this building with the tall columns. This is the Regional Drama Theater.
Tatiana, I have really enjoyed this card and the
history lesson I have learned.

The four stamps above carried the card from Gomel, Belarus
to San Antonio, Texas. As I do not read Cyrillic, I cannot tell
what the stamps say, but I can see two of them have little birds,
one has a raccoon, and the last has a Gothic building, possibly a
Thank you very much, Tatiana, for the lovely card and the enjoyment
it has brought to me!

Gruesse Aus Hamburg

Greetings from Hamburg!
Eva, who is studying French and Italian at the University
here in Hamburg, sent me these eight great views
of her city. She says these are some of Hamburg's
most famous and beautiful places.
I agree, Eva. I would really love to see them 'in person'.
Unfortunately, when I lived in Germany, I did not have the opportunity
to visit your beautiful city.
Thank you, Eva, for showing me what a wonderful place it is!

These are the stamps on Eva's postcard. The first stamp shows the beautiful
Brandenburg Gate, and the second shows the old city of Fuerth.

On the Baltic Sea

This beautiful blue stamp brought me a card
from Algirts who lives in Latvia.
The lighthouse on the stamp is Mersraga Raka.
You can see a full picture of the lighthouse below.

Mersraga Raka lighthouse on the Baltic Sea.

This is the wonderful beach scene that Algirts sent. He said
that most of their beaches are covered with sand as in this
picture, but there are also some with gravel and rocks.
Brenda said she thought I ought to paint this scene.
Maybe I'll just do that!
Thank you, Algirts, for the lovely beach scene!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Koln am Rhein

Today's mail brought me a card from Cologne (Koln)
in Germany, with a view of the famous Cathedral
and a bridge over the Rhein.
This card comes from Jenny who is studying at the university there.
She is studying librarianship and has just started her last year.
Her home is in Thuringia.
Thank you, Jenny, for this great postcard!

Here is another view of the cathedral that I found on the internet. Although
I have heard of the Cathedral, I wnted to know a little more about it.
I found that there is a shrine inside called Dreikonigsschrein. This
translates to 'Shrine of the Three Kings' and refers to
the Biblical Magi, who visited the Christ-child after his birth.
There is a reliquary that is said to contain the bones of the three
kings. A triple sarcophagus stands above and behind the
high altar of the Cathedral.
Jenny put the two stamps (above) on the card, saying that she, too, likes
lighthouses, and she thought this stamp would be perfect for me. (It is!)
The stamp on the left is the Kloisterrinsel Reichnau and, I believe,
is a UNESCO world heritage site. The stamp on the right is
the lighthouse (leuchtturm) Hoernum, which is on the North Sea
island of Sylt. It was built in 1907 and is a popular tourist
attraction and is also chosen as the site for many weddings.
An unusual bit of information: it was used as a school from 1918 to 1935,
with classes being held on some upper floors.

Another Surprise in the Mail!

Look! Another Inge Look card!
Terhi Rantala sent me another one.
Oh, how I love these cards!
Terhi says,
" the ladies are, dancing like teenagers!"
Aren't they wonderful?
Thank you so much, Terhi, for the card
and for your thoughtfulness in sending me another one!