Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Women on Stamps

In honor of National Women's History Month, the National Postal Museum has launched the third and fourth installments of its online exhibit, Women on Stamps

Women on Stamps: Part Three focuses on women who have made significant contributions to the arts and literature. The first part of the online exhibit highlights the accomplishments of female artists, while the second part discusses women in literature.  From journalists such as Ida Tarbell to novelists such as Edith Wharton, these women not only made great contributions to American literature, they also expanded opportunities for future women authors.

Women on Stamps: Part Four highlights contributions to the performing arts and is also divided into two sections. The first section discusses prominent female singers. From gospel music to popular hits, these women have helped shape the musical traditions of America. The second section highlights women that have contributed to the fields of theatre and dance. Whether they are Broadway dancers or iconic movie actresses, these women have had a tremendous influence on the stage and screen.

Visit the Web site today and see the exhibit. 


Letter #90

Letter writing topic for March 31, 2010:

Today is the last day of Women's History Month, so write a letter to your favorite woman. Tell her how much she means to you. Tell her why.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Letter #89

Letter writing topic for March 30, 2010:

Write a letter volunteering to do something for someone. The letter can be to a person or an organization. Volunteer to do a big thing or a small thing, whatever you're able to do at this time. Then, follow through with your offer.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stamps to the Rescue!

A couple of weeks ago, Postmaster General John E. Potter unveiled the Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet commemorative postage stamps and announced the Stamps to the Rescue promotional campaign. The stamps will go on sale April 30, but they can be pre-ordered online now.

“These stamps continue a Postal Service tradition of bringing attention to serious social issues of the day … one letter at a time,” said Potter. “This campaign will increase public awareness about sheltered pets and our hope is that it will encourage pet adoption and promote humane and responsible pet care.”

The stamps were introduced to the public on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The Postal Service is working with DeGeneres and Halo: Purely for Pets, a holistic pet care company she co-owns, to promote the campaign and to bring greater attention to the cause.

In celebration of the new stamps, DeGeneres and Halo: Purely for Pets are giving away one million pet meals to animal shelters around the U.S.

The Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet commemorative stamps feature photographs of five cats and five dogs taken by veteran stamp photographer Sally Andersen-Bruce. All ten animals were adopted from a shelter in New Milford, CT. To find out more about the cats and dogs featured on the stamps, click here and then move your mouse over each stamp until the story of that pet pops up on your screen.

Letter #88

Letter writing topic for March 29, 2010:

March is Youth Art Month. Today, write a letter to a youngster and encourage him or her to pursue an art as a hobby or a career. If you can, send a sketch pad and some colored pencils or a coloring book and crayons. Share your own artistic inclinations. Then, write a letter to your local school district and let them know how important you think art education is to kids. According to the Arts & Creative Materials Institute, art education develops self-esteem, appreciation of the work of others, self-expression, cooperation with others, and critical thinking skills, skills vital to the success of our future leaders -- our children. Share art!

Letter #87

Letter writing topic for March 28, 2010:

What's the silliest thing you've done lately? Do you sing out loud with the radio in your car or talk baby-talk to the dog? Share your silliness with a friend in a letter!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Letter #86

Letter writing topic for March 27, 2010:

Today, the winds are howling around our little house like something from an old western movie. The air has an orange tint to it, and everything, including me, feels gritty. Are there parts of your life that are like a movie? Can you describe something around you in terms of a movie, so that someone far away can better understand your circumstances and/or surroundings? Put it in a letter today!

Letter #85

Letter writing topic for March 26, 2010:

April Fool's Day is just a few days away. Write a letter and send your favorite joke to a friend. Don't know any jokes? Reader's Digest magazine is a great place to find jokes and a smile or two. Here's one of my favorites:
Two men walk into a bar. The third one ducks.
One of my favorite in-person jokes is one the kids do:
Jokster: Knock-knock.
Other Person: Who's there?
Jokster: Interrupting cow.
Other Person: Interrup--
Jokster: Mooooo!
Send your favorite joke to a friend. Send a smile across the miles!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Letter #84

Letter writing topic for March 25, 2010:

Write a congratulatory note today. Surely you know someone who has accomplished something recently. Maybe he or she got married or had a baby or found a new job or found the courage to quit a terrible job. It doesn't have to be a "friend," could be a co-worker or a distant relative or a neighbor that you don't really know too well. Let him or her know someone is paying attention to the good news.

Letter #83

Letter writing topic for March 24, 2010:

Look up an old friend and write him or her a letter. Reminisce about the past, catch up on the present, dream about the future. Remember why you've been friends for all this time.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Letter #82

Letter writing topic for March 23, 2010:

I'm worried that a lot of people are depending too much on "springtime" to bring sunshine and good cheer and that it might take a little more work than just passing a date on the calendar. Today, write a letter to someone who is disappointed about something. Let them know that you understand but that it's not the end of the world and that you will be there to offer whatever help you can. Even if you're having a little bit of disappointment yourself, sometimes working to cheer up someone else can improve your outlook on life and help you get back on track yourself. Try might just work!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Letter #81

Letter writing topic for March 22, 2010:

Write a letter about your favorite grade in school. One of my favorite years was 4th grade. I had a couple of great teachers. My favorite class that year was social studies. We studied people all over the world that year. I especially remember studying Hawaii and Ecuador. What was your favorite?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Letter #80

Letter writing topic for March 21, 2010:

Today's letter writing topic was inspired by a post at Ria Cabral's The Little Red Robin Happy Mailbox blog. She's started collecting stamps, which is something I've done off and on through the years but never very seriously, I guess. Nowadays, I just save the stamps I like. So, today, write a letter and choose the perfect stamp to mail it with. If you don't have a wide selection of stamps at home, visit the post office tomorrow and ask to see the different kinds of stamps they have. Or, if you're mailing from the United States, go to the U.S. Postal Service's Web site,, and buy some stamps there. They should be delivered in a couple of days. Make your stamp a part of the entire letter package.

And, while you're online, click on over to The Little Red Robin Happy Mailbox and see Ria's blog. It's a delightful one!

Letter #79

Letter writing topic for March 20, 2010:

It's spring! Write a letter of hope and renewal! (Even if it's snowing outside.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Letter #78

Letter writing topic for March 19, 2010:

Are you on Spring Break this week? Do you know someone who is? Do you wish that you were? Write a letter today about your dream vacation. Maybe it's a trip you took in the past or maybe it's a trip you hope to take in the future. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Dream a little!

Letter #77

Letter writing topic for March 18, 2010:

Write a cheery letter to someone who isn't feeling well. Acknowledge their illness and wish them well or at let them know you're thinking about them. Don't make them feel worse with descriptions of your own ills, though. After a brief wishing them well, go on to brighter topics...spring is on the way, etc. It might even make you feel better, too.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Letter #76

Letter writing topic for March 17, 2010:

If you lived around here, you could go to Dublin today...Dublin, Texas, that is. There will be a bit of a celebration there, but nothing like what they're having in Dublin, Ireland.

Texas, is the home of the soft drink Dr Pepper. Today, Dublin will have tours of the Dr Pepper plant today and some other activities. The events will continue throughout the week.

We have Irish ancestors on several sides of the family, and we enjoy celebrating that family history.

Today, write a letter about your family history and how it affected your life growing up. Just a fun story will do. Did your family have Irish stew all the time, or maybe it was sauerkraut and sausages? Did you have jambalaya because someone had lived in Louisiana? Did you read the same stories on specific holidays or wear special clothing? Tell someone about it...especially a younger family member who may not know the reasons for the traditions.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Letter #75

Letter writing topic for March 16, 2010:

A few days ago I heard the song "Navajo Rug," written by Ian Tyson (and maybe co-written by Tom Russell -- I see both references online, and I'm not finding anything official this morning) and recorded separately by Tyson, Russell and Jerry Jeff Walker. Here are some of the lyrics:
...Just a CaƱon, Colorado, diner
And a waitress I did love.
I sat in the back 'neath an old stuffed bear
And a worn out Navajo rug.
Old Jack, the boss, he left at six
And it’s Katy, bar the door.
She pulled down that Navajo rug
And she spread it ‘cross the floor.
Aye, aye, aye, Katy, shades of red and blue.
Aye, aye, aye, Katy, whatever became of the Navajo rug and you,
Katy, shades of red and blue.
I saw Ol’ Jack about a year ago.
He said “The place burned to the ground
And all I saved was this ol’ bear tooth
And Katy, she’s left town.
But Katy, she got her souvenir too.”
Jack spat a tobacco plug.
“You shoulda seen her comin’ through the smoke
Draggin’ that Navajo rug.”

I was wondering, what would you save from a fire? A few years ago when a grassfire threatened our home when my husband was there by himself, he spent his time helping the firefighters and neighbors who came and rescued our house. At one time, when it looked like the fire might not be beat back, he left the house. I was at work (a newspaper office), listening to the drama on the police scanner. What I heard was mostly the dispatcher relaying information to the firefighters. With Tony decided to leave the house, I heard the dispatcher say something like, "The home owner is abandoning the house and seeking safety." Of course, I assumed our house was about to burn down. Fortunately, a neighbor showed up with a bulldozer and cut a firebreak that stopped the fire in its tracks. Later, Tony said he had looked around the house and couldn't figure out what to try and save, so he just shut the door and left. I would much rather he save himself than die trying to rescue "stuff." If all we'd had of sentimental value had been one Navajo rug, his decision might have been easier.

Today, write a letter about what's important in your house. What would you save, if you could? What has great sentimental value to you?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Letter #74

Letter writing topic for March 15, 2010:

Earlier this month was Dr. Seuss' (aka Theodor Geisel) birthday. Many schools and library's had Read Across America events. Today, write a letter to a child, telling them about your favorite book when you were a kid. Tell your letter's recipient why you liked the book and if you still like that kind of book today. If you can, send a copy of the book with the letter.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Letter #73

Letter writing topic for March 14, 2010:

Today, in the United States, most of us changed the time. At 2 a.m. this morning, time changed to 3 a.m. Today, write a letter about change. How have you changed? What do you wish you could change? What do you plan to change in the future? Then, go take a nap and try to recover that hour you lost.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Letter #72

Letter writing topic for Saturday, March 13, 2010:

According to some sources, the third week of March is American Chocolate Week. Of course, I'm sure it's not an "official" week with state holidays, etc., but who needs an official reason to celebrate chocolate? Write a letter today and include a piece of your favorite chocolate candy. (You might want to make sure you're not sending it to someone with a chocolate allergy.)

Letter #71

Letter writing topic for March 12, 2010:

Write a letter including your favorite joke. Brighten someone's day with a funny. Make them smile, maybe even laugh.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Letter #70

Letter writing topic for Thursday, March 11, 2010:

Write a letter to someone who needs your help and offer your assistance. Ask what you can do to help. Be specific, if you can. Explain that you'll be in their area on a certain day and you'd like to come by for a quick visit and to offer you services. Maybe you can run some errands, cook a meal, walk the dog. Or, maybe your friend needs work-type help. Maybe you can write a letter for him or her, type up a report they haven't had a chance to do, organize some files. Often, people will let you help, if you just offer.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Letter #69

Letter writing topic for March 10, 2010:

Despite a rainstorm that blew through here this morning, today has been dry and windy. Wildfires have been popping up in the area. That started me thinking about the emergency personnel who do so much for all of our safety all of the time. They work hard, often without much thanks. Today, write a letter to a firefighter, a police officer, a 9-1-1 operator, an ambulance driver, a emergency medical technician, a sheriff's deputy, a highway patrol officer or anyone else who regularly puts his or her life on the line to make sure the rest of us are safe. Tell him or her or the whole team how much you appreciate the hard work.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Letter #68

Letter writing topic for March 9, 2010:

There's just a week until St. Patrick's Day, March 17. Today, write a letter to send with a St. Patrick's Day greeting. What if you're not Irish? That's not really a problem. You can still write a letter and wish someone a happy St. Patrick's Day! Write your letter on green paper or with green ink. Enclose a copy of your favorite Irish Soda Bread recipe.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Letter #67

Letter writing topic for March 8, 2010:

Letter writing is a rather old-fashioned activity. We all know that with e-mail, texting, instant messaging, etc., not very many people take the time to sit down and write anymore.

Do you have any other old-fashioned habits or hobbies? Do you sew or make candles or carve wooden toys? We're always working on some project at our house, from sewing to canning tomatoes. Sometimes, we combine old-fashioned with new-fangled. For example, we make homemade bread at least twice a week, but we use the bread machine.

Today, write a letter about any of your old-fashioned ways and why you like them. Share your ideas and your talents with someone else today.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Letter #66

Letter writing topic for March 7, 2010:

Today is my parents' wedding anniversary. They've been married 46 years. Happy Anniversary!

Today, write a letter to the love of your life. Express your love, your plans for the future, your dreams, your happiness.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Letter #65

Letter writing topic for March 6, 2010:

Today, make some time to sit down and write that letter you've been meaning to write. You know, the one you've been putting off for one reason or another. Maybe you know it's going to be a long letter, or maybe you don't quite know what to say. But, today's the day to get it done!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Letter #64

Letter writing topic for March 5, 2010:

March is National Women's History Month, and the theme this year is Writing Women Back into History. In honor of the the theme, write a letter today about your favorite woman. Tell someone who is important in your life and why. Encourage them to do the same.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Letter #63

Letter writing topic for March 4, 2010:

Today, write a letter about letter writing. Tell your recipient why you like to write letters. Tell him or her why mailing a letter is a good idea and a great bargain. In most places in the United States, for 44 cents, you can put a letter in a box in front of  your house; someone will come to your house, pick up the letter, put it into a system that then gets your letter delivered to anywhere else in the U.S. No matter whether your sending a letter from Alaska to Florida or from Hawaii to Maine, a one-ounce letter costs only 44 cents to mail. That amount may well go up in the coming months and years, as the U.S. Postal Service struggles to remain viable, but with an increase, it will still be a good deal.

When you're writing about letter writing, don't forget to mention the staying power of letters. If you have a tale to tell about the impact of, share it. Maybe you have a stack of your grandparents' old letters or the first letter your mom ever wrote to you.

If you can, send along some stationery, envelopes and a book of stamps. Maybe you'll even get a letter in return!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Letter #62

Letter writing topic for March 3, 2010:

Today, write a letter to someone you know rarely gets a letter. If you're a typical letter writer, you probably have friends who like to write letters, too. But, today, write to someone who may or may not write you back. Write a gentle, calming letter that will serve to slow down his or her day.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

U.S. Postal Service News

The news reports are saying that, in his speech today, the U.S. Postmaster will suggest ending Saturday mail delivery and raising postage rates.

The official USPS news release is here. The Postmaster General John Potter says, “The crisis we’re facing gives us an historic opportunity to make changes that will lay the foundation for a leaner, more market responsive Postal Service that can thrive far into the future."

Letter #61

Letter writing topic for March 2, 2010:

Today there is a primary election here in Texas. Later this year, there will be a General Election in the U.S. Today, write a letter to someone telling them about the first time you voted. Or, maybe about how important it is to vote.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Letter #60

Letter writing topic for March 1, 2010:

Today, write a letter to your favorite charity and let the people working there know why their work is so important. Thank them for what they do and tell them what they and their charity mean to you. If you can, enclose a donation.
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