What’s in Bethie’s Postbox #34

I’ve cut back a lot on my participation in Postcrossing. Trying to concentrate on sending letters to penpals. Letters to and from penpals are harder to photograph. I know there are a lot of blogs out there that do it but sometimes the outside of an envelope is not as interesting as a postcard. Without further ado….

My first postcard from Turkey!

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The picture is of Izmir’s Harbor which is the third largest port in Turkey.

The stamps are lovely, there is shiny gold on some of the words.

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Jararrium Update #1

One Week After Planting

IMG_20150321_133342IMG_20150321_133424One Month After Planting

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Between week one and one month I trimmed some roots because I didn’t like wow they were sticking out of the substrate. I didn’t think this was the best thing to do but since this is an experiment I went for it. The result was some leaves on the Crypt melting (I believe that is the term). I also discovered several snails of various sizes. This is the biggest one. I don’t see him/her too often though. The Red Cherry Shrimp will be added soon. The jar is currently on my desk at work due to cats wanting to eat the plants.

Should Jarrarium be spelled with one “R” or two?

What’s in Bethie’s Postbox #33 – Special Delivery

About a month and a half ago I was randomly going through Reddit i.e. using the Random Subreddit Button and came across r/plantedtank. I was mesmerized by the planted aquariums that Redditors were posting. I clicked on every link in that subreddit that day and learned so many things about having a planted aquarium. Next I learned about r/shrimptank – people keep shrimp instead of fish. Then there was r/bettafish and r/aquariums. This adventure through Reddit re-kindled my interested in aquariums. I had a few aquariums in my teenage years. When I moved to Washington they were given to my neighbor.

Through all the research I did I found out that you could make a low-tech (No CO2) planted aquarium. Even better I found out it was possible to do a low light, low tech planted aquarium. The idea of the jar-rarium was born. I am constantly doing research on this because I want to get everything right i.e. no dying flora and fauna. I also wanted to do this economically, hence the low light, low tech idea. So far a 1 gallon jar has been purchased and some substrate…but I waited a few weeks before purchasing the fauna. Today it arrived in the mail.

Out of the box with a warning!
Out of the box with a warning!
Wrapped in Fiberglass
Wrapped in Fiberglass
more newspaper and a plastic bag
more newspaper and a plastic bag
Fauna
Fauna
Anubias Nana Petite
Anubias Nana Petite
Golden Lloydiella, Gold Creeping Jenny
Golden Lloydiella, Gold Creeping Jenny
Crinum Natans
Crinum Natans
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Cryptocoryne undulata
You need something to help trim and plant your fauna
You need something to help trim and plant your fauna

The plan is to get the plants planted in the jar when I get home. Will update with pictures soonish.

What’s in Bethie’s Postbox #32

I have a giant stack of mail sitting on my desk that I want to add to the blog. This is mail that was received back in 2014. I am a slacker.

However, here is some fun mail I received this week. Two letters from pen pals and some fun postcards. One card from Australia sent by amLeague of Extraordinary Penpals Member and a postcard from Brazil via Postcrossing.com. Both are two things you should sign up for if you want fun mail.

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Such great stamps from the UK!

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Letters do not need to be fancy. It’s the content that counts.

KATIELETTER

Another redditgifts Exhange – Pens and Stationery

The Pen and Stationery exchange is one of my favorite on redditgifts due to my obsession with pens and stationery. This exchange allows me to get pens/stationery I would not normally find locally. My gifts arrived yesterday via Royal Mail but due to being productive I was not able to check out my gifts until today. My secret santa did a great job! Thank you so so much. The first thing I pulled from the packaging envelope was a postcard from Edinburgh (one of my favorite cities). There was a nice message written on the back from my Santa (there will be a letter sent out to you soon, I’m sure your letter writing skills are great).

Honestly I did do the whole squeeze and hand weigh the envelope trick to try and figure out what was inside before opening it. I did not guess correctly. I had felt what I thought was a spiral on a notebook, but it turned out to be a bamboo pen! I have never seen a bamboo pen before (I also secretly like novelty pens). Next I found a two pack of Zebra gel pens, black. They are great, they write so smoothly and the ink drys super fast. Under the pens were some purple envelopes. The envelopes were hiding a letter set with embossed green elephants. I love letter sets, they are hard to come by in the US. On further examination of the letter set I saw that there were 10 pieces of blank paper. I love this because I don’t have to use more of the embossed paper on one letter I can send once sheet of fancy paper with each letter. Finally under the letter set was another set of multi-colored envelopes. Somehow I always run out of envelopes before my letter writing paper.

I am so happy with my gifts. I can’t wait to get to writing more letters to my pen pals.

Edinburgh, my favorite city, next to Seattle
Edinburgh, my favorite city, next to Seattle
back of the postcard, green pen with a bit of a sheen
back of the postcard, green pen with a bit of a sheen
Zebra Pens!  They work great.
Zebra Pens! They work great.
Purple Envelopes!
Purple Envelopes!
Elephants on parade!
Elephants on parade!
Large envelopes. I am pretty sure I have this same origami paper.
Large envelopes. I am pretty sure I have this same origami paper.
love this Elephant stationery,
love this Elephant stationery,
Never seen one of these before.
Never seen one of these before.

If you want to see what I sent a random redditor go here.

What’s in Bethie’s Postbox #31

A friend of my visited Panama before the holidays last year. Like any good postcard addict I asked him to send me a postcard. He returned before I received a postcard. He told me that he left it with someone in Panama and asked them to send it since he didn’t know where to mail the card. Anyways the person he left the postcard with followed through because the postcard was in my mail box yesterday (it was probably there sooner as I have been lax in checking my mail…a locked mailbox will do that to you).

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It came with a twist! The message was written in code. Apparently the way to decode the message is on the front of the postcard. Here is the message and a kitty paw:

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What does it say? No Clue. Code cracking is not my specialty. If anyone wants to solve it for me that would be greatly appreciated.

Reddit Secret Santa Comes Through!

I had been anticipating it for weeks. What could a stranger across the globe give me for Christmas? Especially since I am more of a Reddit lurker. My mind had been racing with all the possibilities. Today my mind was put at ease when my boyfriend told me I had received a package in the mail. There were a thousand questions I wanted to ask, but since I had waited this long a few more hours wouldn’t hurt.

Racing home from dinner I found a small white envelope on our old wooden desk. I felt the weight of it in my hand as I looked for clues from it’s origin. Nadia in the Netherlands. Opening the package I pulled out a stack of what I assumed was stationery tied up in a shiny green ribbon. A note written on floral notebook paper was the first thing I noticed. Followed by something that said A letter…I better read the note first. Nadia had written a brief note explaining it had taken her longer than expected to put the gift together.Then she stated that most of it was handwritten. I was intrigued; removing the green ribbon I found before me a stack of envelopes. Each letter has a reason for when they are to be opened. Each letter also has a picture either drawn, or painted or both.

The first envelope said “A letter for when it’s actually Christmas.” I opened the envelope and pulled out a Christmas postcard with a family of pigs decorating for Christmas. The note on the back explained the lenghts of her snooping. She looked at my Instagram, Twitter, Flickr (haven’t used in a year), Blog (obviously not current) and even my boyfriend’s Instagram (he only has pictures of the cats).That is a thorough amount of snooping!

The rest of the envelopes are:
A letter for when you want to spend time with just your boyfriend
A letter for when you feel like baking
A letter for when you want to play a game with friends.
A letter for your next birthday
A letter for when you have some free time and want to do something awesome by yourself 🙂
A letter for when you feel lonely or unhappy
A letter for when you are fourty
A letter for when you feel like being active outside
A letter for when you feel like trying something new

10 envelopes total.

This means so much to my, my hurt is bursting with happiness right now. Nadia did such a great job, mainly because I absolutely love mail and getting letters. Also the themes of the envelopes hit a lot of my hobbies and life in general. I am tempted to open all the envelopes now, but I will wait and open them according to their purpose.

Thank you Nadia! You are a wonderful human being.

P.S. Contents of the envelopes will be posted on the blog in the future.

The letter from my secret santa
The letter from my secret santa
The stack of envelopes
The stack of envelopes
Contents of the Christmas envelope - pig postcard
Contents of the Christmas envelope – pig postcard
All the Envelopes!
All the Envelopes!
the try something new envelope
the try something new envelope
the feeling outdoorsy envelope
the feeling outdoorsy envelope
open when you are fourty envelope
open when you are fourty envelope
unhappy and lonely envelope
unhappy and lonely envelope
the hanging out by yourself envelope
the hanging out by yourself envelope
The next birthday envelope (only 11 months to go)
The next birthday envelope (only 11 months to go)
play a game with friends envelope
play a game with friends envelope
the baking envelope
the baking envelope
alone time with the boyfriend envelope
alone time with the boyfriend envelope
the christmas envelope
the christmas envelope