The Subtle Science and Exact Art of Potion-Making

“I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death,” said Professor Snape at the first session of Harry Potter’s potion-making class, and then added, “If you aren’t as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.” I hope I was not a dunderhead last night, as I attendedContinue reading “The Subtle Science and Exact Art of Potion-Making”

Still Going Postal

A few days ago I posted about the Month of Letters, also known as LetterMo. This is a challenge I undertake every year; it encourages participants to write and mail at least one letter or postcard per day (every day that the mail runs) during the month of February. It’s time for an update. SinceContinue reading “Still Going Postal”

Happy Birthday, Elmo!

He may be perpetually three-and-a-half, but loveable fuzzy red guy Elmo does have a birthday, and it’s today! The Sesame Street icon and his “assistant” Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who created the character and voiced him for years, spoke at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., in 2006. My son and I got toContinue reading “Happy Birthday, Elmo!”

Yodel For Your Neighbors

Today, January 30, is Yodel For Your Neighbors Day. We are not making this up. We are not sure why it is Yodel For Your Neighbors Day. We also don’t know why it is, at the same time, both National Croissant Day and National Inane Answering Machine Message Day. The traditional way of celebrating YodelContinue reading “Yodel For Your Neighbors”

Bernie’s Mittens

We all saw him at the Presidential Inauguration last week. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont – eschewing the stylish cloth dress coat look of most of the politicians attending the event – sported a relentlessly unstylish puffy brown coat and enormous patterned sweater mittens. Since then, unless you’ve been living in a cave, you haveContinue reading “Bernie’s Mittens”

60 Million and Counting

Yesterday morning at 5:17 EST, a Czech man named Tommy registered the 60 millionth Postcrossing postcard. The card came from Veronika in Belarus, and showed two cartoon characters. That’s it on the right. This milestone means that since the project began in 2005, Postcrossing members like me have received 60 million postcards from each other,Continue reading “60 Million and Counting”

Postcards From the World: Daenerys

My favorite of the Postcrossing postcards I’ve received this week comes from Russian Postcrosser Anna, who lives in a suburb of Moscow. (Don’t know what Postcrossing is? Check out this entry.) I love learning about the people who send me cards. Anna sings in a women’s choir and competes at international music festivals. She lovesContinue reading “Postcards From the World: Daenerys”

Magic Bullets

I’ve kept a journal for decades. I’m not as diligent about it in recent years, not since I started a blog, but I still find it useful to commit my thoughts, memories, and plans to paper, especially those that don’t need to be shared with the world. My journal has generally been a pretty standardContinue reading “Magic Bullets”

A Visit From Pepino

It was 4 a.m. New Year’s morning. I’d gotten to bed about 3, and was just about to drift off to sleep. My husband, who’d sacked out shortly after midnight, was fast asleep beside me. Suddenly I heard a voice outside our door. “Is anyone awake in there?” It was our 18-year-old. He’s not proneContinue reading “A Visit From Pepino”