Sunday, November 7, 2021

Snailmail! As Gouda As It Gets!!

 




What do you have planned for November? 


Thanksgiving? Of course! πŸ₯³ πŸ¦ƒ 

Black Friday shopping? Probably, no. 😰 πŸ› 

Cyber Monday shopping? Possibly, yes. πŸ€“ πŸ’» 

Christmas preparations? You bet!! 😊 πŸŽ„ 


How about…


“Chillin by the fire while we eatin' fondue

I dunno about me but I know about you” 🎢 (J. Bieber) 







I just found out that November is …


National Fun with Fondue Month! πŸ§€ πŸ«• 


Not only has fondue been memorialized in a Justin Bieber song, but it has been claimed that the earliest record of fondue appears in the Iliad. Homer’s ancient, epic poem (first written down in approximately 750 BC) includes a recipe for a sauce made from wine, grated goat cheese and white flour. 




Greek Postage Stamp from 1975



Fondue also has a long and storied history within Murphy family lore. Mr. Murphy’s family traditions included cheese fondue on Christmas Eve every year. I was first invited to this celebration when I was 16. 🌲  I was hooked after that first melty, cheesy bite. πŸ˜‹ Mr. Murphy and I (and the Murphy Aunties) have carried on the Christmas Eve fondue tradition for lo, these many years. 😊







Mr. Murphy and I decided to break from Murphy tradition slightly however, and started having fondue πŸ§€ πŸ«• on other occasions, too!! I’m not sure exactly when we added chocolate fondue to the menu, but it was a great addition!! 🍫 πŸ“ 🀀 







Now we have a whole month to celebrate fondue!! πŸ₯³ 

It is, of course, perfectly wonderful to simply make fondue for your family to enjoy!! 

But…this is snailmail blog, after all, and one can always include some snailmail elements to anything!! (At least, that’s my motto!) πŸ’Œ 🐌 





So how can one “go postal” with fondue? I do not recommend sending melty cheese through the mail but how about an invitation to enjoy melty cheese together? A recipe via post is always fun mail to receive, too!! And there is nothing like a cheese pun!! πŸ§€ πŸ˜‚








“Boy! Am I sure fondue you! How about joining me for some melty cheese this Saturday? Nothing is feta than time spent together!” πŸ₯°



Go postal, people. It makes life cheddar. πŸ˜‰


XOXO,

Mrs. Murphy 

 




Thursday, November 4, 2021

Snailmail is the Best! Scout’s Honor!

 


I was at work the other day when a troop of Girl Scouts asked to drop off a gift basket for the first baby girl born on October 31st. πŸ€” Huh? Was this some sort of Halloween thing? In my 30 year labor and delivery career I’ve seen gift baskets given for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Christmas Day and, of course, the New Year’s Baby! But Halloween? Not once. 





The Girl Scouts explained that Juliette Low, the organizer of the Girl Scouts, was born on October 31, 1860. She was inspired by Sir Robert Baden Powell and his wife Agnes whom she met in 1911. The Baden-Powells founded the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides in England in 1908 and 1910, respectively. Juliette brought the idea to America and the first gathering took place on March 12, 1912. 






The first registered member of the American Girl Guides was Margaret Gordon, Juliette’s niece.  The next year, the name was changed to Girl Scouts. That first meeting had 18 members in attendance. By 1920 there were close to 70,000 members. By 1930 there were over 200,000 members. Today there are 2.5 million members! 


The Girl Scout motto is “Be prepared” and the slogan is “Do a good turn daily.” Our local Girl Scouts and their leaders certainly lived out their slogan!! They were so thoughtful and generous and the new baby and her family were very grateful for the lovely gift basket! 






The USPS has celebrated Girl Scouts through the years with some lovely postage stamps. Do you know any current or former Girl Scouts? I bet you do!! From Queen Elizabeth to Queen Latifah many people have been Girl Scouts (Guides). My fellow nurses and I recalled our own experiences with Girl Scouts. I was only a Girl Scout for the Brownie years, but I’ve never stopped eating those cookies. πŸ˜‰ 






Do you have any scouting memories? Why not share them with one of your penpals? 


Do they have any badges for letter writing? πŸ€” ✍🏻 πŸ“¬ 🐌 


Go postal, people, it’s amazing! Scout’s honor. 😊


XOXO, 

Mrs. Murphy 


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

When The Frost is on the Mailbox




Thanks to the wonderful world of postage stamps, I have been introduced to many interesting, and often times unknown to me, individuals. I particularly enjoy the poets. Poetry was a subject I had only a little exposure to in school. I read the works of just a few poets, knew of just a few poets. But as I got more involved with letter writing and stamp collecting, I would study the stamps and their subject matter. History, poetry, literature, art! It’s all there on a postage stamp. 🀩




James Whitcomb Riley is one such author and poet. He was born in October in 1849. Perfect! An October snailmail theme. Have you ever felt an affinity with people who share your birth month? As a labor and delivery nurse I especially enjoy working on my birthday. I love to meet all the new people with whom I have a special birthday connection! πŸ₯³ I have a penpal who has an October birthday. I decided to tell her about her birthday buddy, James Whitcomb Riley. He is probably most known for his poems, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphant Annie.” He was inspired by people and dialects from his own childhood and young adult life. 




One Riley poem in particular reminds me of October, “When the Frost is on the Punkin.”


When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover over-head!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’ ’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! ...
I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me
I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!



Ahhh…fall. Thank you, James Whitcomb Riley. 


Share something you love with someone you love in a letter. 





XOXO,

Mrs. Murphy 



Friday, October 1, 2021

An Apple a Day Keeps the Mailbox Happy

 


I took a snailmail break over the summer and just started writing again in September. If possible I like to have a theme for the month in which all my postal projects can find a home. As many of you letter writing enthusiasts know, writing a letter can sometimes be quite difficult…creativity-wise. πŸ₯± Sometimes I fear my letters are most dreadfully boring, thus the theme. And it is extra nice to coordinate the postage with the theme. πŸ₯° πŸ“¬. My latest theme? 🍎 🍏 Apples! It is apple season after all and the markets are filling up with lovely little apples with even lovelier names such as, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp and Autumn Glory. September is also the birth month of Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman. The USPS honored him on a postage stamp from 1966 as part of their folklore series. I only have a cancelled Johnny Appleseed stamp, however. 😞




My postage was a little lacking so I decided to base the letters on apple phrases. I wrote to one old friend I hadn’t seen in years but had recently met her grown son for the first time. He was delightful and regaled Mr. Murphy and myself with tales of his parents! πŸ˜‚ I wrote about the apple not falling far from the tree. 🌳 🍎 






Another letter was to a friend that is a prayer partner and fellow Bible student. She has been a great encouragement so I wrote to her about Proverbs 25:11 “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word fitly spoken.” πŸ₯° 🍎 I feel that a hand written letter, full of wonderful words, definitely cheers and uplifts…like apples of gold in settings of silver. 






One could also send a letter to the apple of one’s eye or describe a recent triumph in one’s life…you know…how do you like them apples? πŸ˜‰ I feel like the apple idioms are endless and excellent seeds for inspiration!! Go forth, my friends, like Johnny Appleseed and spread good cheer by planting…um…I mean…MAILING some letters!! 


Go postal, people!! 

XOXO,

Mrs. Murphy 


Thursday, September 23, 2021

Falling for Snailmail

 


Oh, Fall!! There are so many reasons I love this season; warm days, cool nights, apples, pumpkins, harvest, foliage, fires, cozy sweatshirts and cuddling. πŸ₯° It’s simply delightful. 






I know that I am not alone in this appreciation of autumn. It seems that fall is a common subject for some of my favorite poets, too. 





“It's the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves!" 

(Winnie the Pooh - Pooh’s Grand Adventure)






“Go, sit upon the lofty hill,

And turn your eyes around, 

Where waving woods and waters wild 

Do hymn an autumn sound. 

The summer sun is faint on them— 

The summer flowers depart— 

Sit still— as all transform’d to stone, 

Except your musing heart.”

(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)





Super Murphy Boy is getting married this fall so we have even more reasons to celebrate!! 




During the down time following the wedding I am hoping to continue the celebration of the season by getting back into my snailmail!!  (It’s always Snailmail season 🐌 πŸ“¬ 😊)




There are a few fun stamps that remind me of fall that I am anxious to use and I plan on reading a fall themed book. I think “September” by Rosamunde Pilcher sounds like the perfect read. 





What have you included on your fall fun list? Why not write someone a letter and tell them all about it!! 🍁 



Remember, it’s always snailmail season!! 

Go postal, people! 

XOXO

Mrs. Murphy 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Ask And You Shall Receive


I usually am a fancier of flowery prose and lovely, wordy sentiments. 




Sometimes the straightforward, direct approach is effective. Case in point, a recent letter in Mrs. Murphy’s Mailbox from a new penpal, Winter. πŸ₯°




Your wish is my command, dear friend. 


XOXO,

Mrs. Murphy 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

It’s Starts With a Stamp

 One of my favorite aspects of snailmail and postal projects is coordinating the postage stamp with either the theme of the letter or the recipient himself! 😁

A stamp about stamps! πŸ₯° 

I have a big collection of postage stamps. I like to sort and categorize them by subject and color and theme. Certain letters I write simply beg to be stamped with a corresponding postage stamp! I have been known to spend more time picking out the postage stamps for my letter than I did actually writing the letter! 



I was recently sorting through my stamps and came across a stamp that reminded me of the MurphyBros and of their grandfather. 



The USPS issued ten Hot Wheels stamps to mark the company’s 50th anniversary in 2018. Hot Wheels were a big part of the MurphyBros childhood. In fact when Murphy Boy Wonder was just a babe in arms, Grandpa wrote him a letter and sent him some Hot Wheels in the mail! I loved that letter. πŸ₯° πŸ’Œ I saved it along with Murphy Boy Wonder’s baby shoes and hospital bands. πŸ‘ΆπŸΌ 


By the time Super Murphy Boy joined his brother they had the makings of quite a large collection. They played together for hours driving their little cars around. 



A few years later Grandpa sent them another Hot Wheels gift. He and Grandma had been garage sale shopping and discovered yards and yards of Hot Wheels track. SO MUCH TRACK! 



The MurphyBros loved it!! They were forever designing race tracks and adventure courses. My favorite was the design that started on the top bunk, plummeted to the bedroom floor, curved out the door into the hallway and careened down the steps to the main floor!! It was a gruesome end that most of the tiny cars were fated for, but oh! how the crowd went wild when one of the tiny vehicles successfully navigated the track!



The joy of snailmail and postage stamps is a many faceted hobby for me. Not only do I love connecting with friends and family by letter, but the art and fun of the postage stamps are a wonderful bonus! 




The USPS has some wonderful new postage stamp releases including the coffee collection and the Star Wars Droid series!! Both of which I just picked up at my post office and happen to remind me of other delightful penpals! 





Won’t you take a walk down memory lane with me? I always end up at the post office!! πŸ˜‰ 


Go postal, people! 

XOXO, 

Mrs. Murphy