Swap-bot Time: September 25, 2017 3:14 pm


Date Joined: October 15, 2010
Last Online: September 22, 2017
Birthday: May 5, 1956
Country: United States

About Me

PLEASE NOTE (from October 2016): My dad, very ill for some time, went into hospice last month and passed away on Halloween morning. My whole family has been a little stunned, of course, and if you did not receive a swap from me on time or a timely rating, please know that you will. I will do all in my power to get everything caught up, but my head is a little off right now. Thanks for "listening."

I'm a widow, a recipient of a master's degree in 19th century American history and also work for a university. My favorite things are my grandchildren, cats and dogs, history (of course), genealogy (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, France and of course, America), writing, mid-century modern anything, and art. I also love anything from the mid-century before, and I love trying my hand at stitching up some of the lovely things they used every day back then. Right now, I have three cats - a white and tabby male named The Artful Dodger (Dodger for short), a grey cat who walked in one day and is named Shadow, and an orange tiger named Shelby Foote (just Shelby most of the time). I also had a sweet little parakeet named Bailey, who has now crossed over the Rainbow Bridge to be with Ralph and all the others there. My dog Ralph crossed the Rainbow Bridge just after Thanksgiving 2009, and I sure do miss him! I recently got another dog. Her name is Ivy - she's much younger and a little larger than what I was intending, but the cats have adopted her, so I think she's staying! I was born in Indiana (Hoosier girl!), and have lived in Maryland, Massachusetts, California and Ohio as well. And I was fortunate to go to Europe with my young parents when I was eight. I have such fond and varied memories of all the places we visited, including being awakened in the mornings by the talking mynah bird who lived next door to my mom's life-long pen pal (where we stayed while in England).

Favorite Books

I absolutely love the Harry Potter books. I also like the Percy Jackson series, Inspector Morse and Inspector Lynley series, Twilight series, and anything narrative about the Civil War. Although I feel there are many other books that are written better than the Twilight series, I do love this twist on the vampire tale. I'm just incredibly fond of quite imaginative young adult and middle grade fantasy. Another favorite is mysteries - Agatha Christie tops the list. Right now, I'm reading (concurrently) Christie's "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" (again), Christopher Paolini's "Brisingr" (again), Elizabeth George's "Missing Joseph," Ted Widmer's "Martin Van Buren," John Seigenthaler's "James K. Polk," Stephen Ambrose's "Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West," J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" (for the 842nd or so time), and James M. McPherson's "For Cause & Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War." It's no wonder I never get anything done!

I read - over one weekend (and it's been a long, long time since I read an entire book over one weekend!) - the most well-written, incredible book! Seth Grahame-Smith's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." I had been meaning to read it for some time, but it was just "on my list." I thought I'd better try to read it before I see the movie, so I started it Friday - and almost never put it down! For the most part, this is the period of history that I study, and I've always had a special fondness for Lincoln. But Grahame-Smith took every piece of history surrounding Lincoln and turned it completely upside down - and made it believable! Not to mention, it was well-written both within the text of the story and the journal entries - the writing style of the "possibly fake" journal entries blended perfectly with the real ones! I love this book! I guess at some point, I'll have to read his "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," especially since they've now made that one into a movie. I just never loved Jane Austen as much as some others.

An absolute favorite of mine over the last couple of years or so is the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness - "A Discovery of Witches," "Shadow of Night," and "The Book of Life." They have to be 3 of the top 10! There is talk about making movies of these books, and I'm hoping they get on with it!

I've recently read a rather fun book - and totally different from what I usually read. It's called "The Martian" by Andy Weir. Have to warn you, the main character swears a lot! But wouldn't you, if you were stuck on Mars, the rest of your crew leaving after thinking you're dead, and no hope of any rescue ships coming along for about 4 years? It's really good (and, at least for me, the movie is one of the best book-to-movie conversions I've ever seen)!

Of course, I'm also reading the Outlander series - incredible story! And I just read the "new" Harper Lee book, "Go Set a Watchman." It's good, but some real shocking moments - and it's not nearly as good as its predecessor. I think you can read it alone and separate, but I think you'd benefit by having read "To Kill a Mockingbird" first.

Favorite Television

I love Castle and Hawaii Five-O, NCIS, Criminal Minds, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. I also love old shows like Ironside, the old Hawaii Five-O, I Spy, Columbo and McMillan & Wife. I absolutely love both British comedy, especially As Time Goes By, and some of the series that show up on Masterpiece Mystery, such as Inspector Lewis, Inspector Lynley, Miss Marple, and Hercule Poirot. And for some reason, I have a fondness for The Vampire Diaries (television show, not the books). And I just found a series of really cool TV movies with Noah Wyle called "The Librarian" - well, I just found them, even though everyone I know seems to have known about them already!
I recently discovered a lovely British series called "Rosemary and Thyme." Unfortunately, it only lasted about three seasons, so I think I've seen all of them, but it's wonderful! It's about two women - one is a botanist and one loves gardening - who meet and discover that they have a talent for solving mysteries. I also have recently started re-watching another British series called "Hetty Wainthropp Investigates" - a series about a woman reaching pension age who decides she can solve crimes - with the help of her young assistant Geoffrey, and her husband helps, too (usually more in the background). I love the show "Once Upon a Time!" Who would have thought there could be so many creative ways to intertwine fairy tales and give them different endings? I really have so many favorite characters on this show, but if I had to narrow it down to three (yes, three - because I find it impossible to narrow it down to one!), they would be Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold on the evil end, Jiminy Cricket/Archie Hopper on the good end, and The Mad Hatter/Jefferson just because. And now, since Jefferson has not been on the show for some time, I've waivered over to Hook/Killian as a favorite. I like his bad side, but he's so surprisingly good, too! But I truly don't think they could do without any single character - I love them all!

I just watched "Endeavor" last night (1 July 2012) on PBS Masterpiece Mystery. It's the back-story of Inspector Morse when he just started out as a constable. It was great! I still am watching it a couple years later, eagerly awaiting season 3!

My new favorite is "The Librarians!" I've seen the three precursor movies with Noah Wyle and loved them, so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to this show. And it is great! What a cast, and what a premise! I love it!

A note or two on Doctor Who – I love the Doctor! I’ve been lucky enough to take an on-going online course through Syracuse University on the Doctor. So far, we have studied the first three doctors (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and Jon Pertwee), and will continue on soon. We’ve explored some of the early episodes that I didn’t see the first time around, so it’s been fun getting to know these three doctors. I haven’t seen a lot of the next six doctors. I love the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) and am loving the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi). But my favorite doctor is the 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith. He was Amy’s Raggedy Doctor, and I totally agree (although I’m not sure about the fish fingers and custard – not to worry, I don’t eat fish, but just can’t wrap my head around what it must taste like – anyone had them?). I already knew that “bowties are cool,” but number 11 makes it real. So, “all of time and space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?”

Favorite Crafts

I like to knit, although I do it in spurts because too much makes my hands hurt. I also like art journaling and "recycled" crafts and crafts from old things, such as old typewriter keys and bingo cards and other old game pieces, and I love to write. Writing is my favorite "craft," whether fiction or non. I love the history I write about for school, and I have a couple of fiction projects in the works.

I have also recently ventured into junk/smash journals. I realized they were sort of what I was already doing in my art journals, and I love the look of layers and layers of cool stuff to look at and ponder! I love ephemera - any kind - old receipts, tickets, letters, magazine and book pages, vintage photos, anything that would have accumulated in households 50-150 years ago!

I also love the art of collage. Perhaps that is why I love junk journals, too. The idea of putting together some awesome images and colors and making them look even more awesome is food for my brain!

Oh, and by the way, my favorite color ever is yellow, and has been since I knew what yellow was. Close behind would be pale/mint green, orange, and turquoise.

Favorite Teas

Well, I want to preface by saying I haven't yet had a tea that I did not like. But my favorites are black and red teas. I love breakfast teas (favorite is Scottish), Earl Grey and Lady Grey, and Constant Comment by Bigelow. And I have a fondness for Welsh tea. I also like fruit teas, especially black teas with fruit. My favorite fruits are the berries, but I also like peach and mango. Surprise me!


I love postcards - blank and used - I think it's fun to see the old stamps and shorter addresses, as well as what someone was thinking about when they wrote on the card. My favorites are old ones depicting buildings, city and town scenes, advertising, children and animals. I have a fondness for old hotel/motel postcards from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s - particularly the kind that was in your room for you to use in corresponding with "those back home." I also like postcards that have a work of art on them, anything to do with books and clocks. Postcards that are from your area are nice, especially if they have the name of your town, state or country on them.

A Note to My Swap Partners

I will always, always send something out, and I will always rate what comes to me (and I usually add a heart if it's all there). Please, if you do not receive something expected from me, let me know. I will always try to make it right!

Also, you will see one lonely 3 rating among my ratings. This was a bit beyond my control as I sent it out on time, but the campus mail services I sent it through left it in the bins until about 10-12 days later (not the first time this happened - in fact, they also recently completely lost a rather large swap - but it will be the last time)! I put quite a lot of time and effort into the collage that was sent, so it really hurt to get my one and only 3. And though I've explained it to the rater, she will choose to let it stand. I think possibly she's a hard rater, anyway, because the other swap she received at the same time had a quite nice extra in it, but she chose not to leave a heart - not a big deal, but it helps me deal with the 3.


naturenerd3 rated for Kitty Cat PC Swap #15 - US Only on Sep 21, 2017
Comment: I love their matching beds. Thank you!
Mousestrike rated for Kitty Cat PC Swap #15 - US Only on Sep 20, 2017
Comment: So sorry for the late rating! Shelby is super cute. My cat kids do the same thing but they love to pull open my dresser drawers in the middle of the night when they think I'm asleep to try to find their "cookies" that I hide from them.
MamaMangrove rated for EJ: Map postcard quickie swap on Sep 20, 2017
Comment: Thanks, Jan. Glad it finally came to light! Love that handmade paper with the fern.
SparkJoy rated for Kitty Cat PC Swap #15 - US Only on Sep 18, 2017
Comment: Aw what a cutie! Thanks for sending me a pic of your real cat. I don't have a dresser but sometimes when my kitty is missing I find her on my pajama shelf.
Sagebrushs rated for Kitty Cat PC Swap #15 - US Only on Sep 18, 2017
Comment: Darling face, pretty eyes. Give him a hug from me.
PostcardAl rated for Kitty Cat PC Swap #15 - US Only on Sep 18, 2017
Comment: cats love drawers! :) thanks for the card. Best, al
pahasiga rated for SS: Sunny Side of Summer on Sep 18, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the ATCs! Are you sure it's morning sun on one of them, not a ball lightning??
Helena8664 rated for Autumn Bucket List Minizine on Sep 15, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the zine. I've got to be honest though, I was a bit unsure how to rate. I mean, I did receive a zine, but it's not Autumn specific, which the coordinator clearly stated it was supposed to be...only 1 of your list really had anything to do with that. So, I'm a bit disappointed as the Autumn theme is why I signed up for this swap, but still, nice zine.
aligurl75 rated for 12 Days of Christmas day 3 on Sep 14, 2017
Comment: Thank you so much! I put the letter in my Christmas Basket :) ( My stocking is overfilled so I had to move to a basket..lol)
Response: That's so funny! It's not even the end of September, and your stocking is full? Thanks for the heart!
Evelynswap rated for Autumn Bucket List Minizine on Sep 14, 2017
Comment: Hi! I just got your Autumn Bucket List. I love it! And also the other zine and lovely old photo you added. Thank you very much!
Response: So glad you liked it all - thanks for the heart!
crystalite rated for WIYM: PocketLetter - books on Sep 13, 2017
Comment: This was an absolutely beautiful Pocketletter. I love what you did with the quotes in each square. Thank you so much for a fabulous swap!
Response: I'm so glad you liked it! I love books, so I had to do this one. Thanks for the heart!
TangledInMegs rated for Random PC International #8 on Sep 12, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the postcard, Jan! I like the quote, too! :)
Response: And thanks for the heart!
Comment: OMG, a SHERLOCK zine?!?! I *squee*d!! The mammoth zine is cool too; I've never seen that format before, I liked the fold of it. :)
Response: That mammoth zine was a special swap. The coordinator put a video on you-tube so we'd know how it was supposed to fold, etc., and I must have watched it 20 times! It wasn't hard, but it was hard to remember which way each page would be facing. And I love Sherlock! Thought you would, too - thanks for the heart!
Fieke rated for Random PC International #8 on Sep 11, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the SF PC !
Response: And thanks for the heart!
Comment: These are amazing!! Thank you for not one, not two, but THREE fantastic zines! The extras are great, too!!
Response: I'm so glad you like everything - I think zines are my favorite! Thanks for the heart!
Comment: Thanks for the resend and the extras! I love the sheep card too! Hugs from Alaska, Sherry
Response: Many years ago, my grandfather and his brother went all the way to Scotland (from Indiana) to get a herd of Cheviot sheep. I never saw any of them except in photos (and these aren't his sheep), but I've loved them ever since - so I had to have a card with them on it. And I love how these are just congregating at the wall, like they're having a meeting! I'm so glad the resend got there. I feel really bad that the other was lost, since it was someone else's card. Hopefully, it will show up one day. Thanks for the heart!
Comment: So....I just realized I need to put mammoths and elephants on my profile as they are some of my favorite animals EVER!! That is so cool you sent three zines and even extra goodies! <3<3<3 many hearts for you! I hope you had fun with this swap! Thank you for participating in it!
Response: I loved this swap - even if it's several months past (or until) my birthday! I love zine swaps anyway. I'm so glad you liked everything (and elephants and mammoths are on my favorite animals list, too) - thanks for the heart!
rebeldaisy rated for MISHAP pc AUGUST on Sep 6, 2017
Comment: Thanks for the beautiful (minor mishap) postcard. It is not a work on Ansel Adams that I am familiar with. I really appreciate it.
Response: I know, when I first saw that it was Adams, I realized it looked just like his work, but hadn't seen it either. I was hoping for more of a "mishap," but for some reason, my postcards seem to be in great shape, even the old ones (I don't know how that happens - nothing else I have seems to be in great shape!). Thanks for the heart!
roosje rated for WIYM: tea envelope SUMMER 2 ~ INTL on Sep 6, 2017
Comment: Hi Jan, thank you for a great swap! I already enjoyed some of the teas, Lady Grey is my all time favorite. I'm dying to try the caramel tea, fall is coming', good!
Response: I hope you like the caramel one. I love Lady Grey as well - I'd say it's one of my top 5. Thanks for the heart!

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
4.9926 1682 10 13
Completed Fives Threes Ones
1494 2151 6 1
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
189 412 893 0
View all

Currently Hosting

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judee0624 on Aug 29, 2017:

Thanks for returning the Return to Me card. It is nice to see what my card looks like with postal markings.

lou on May 10, 2017:

Happy Birthday Month from WIYM group!

KateKintail on May 1, 2017:

Star Wars

Star Wars in a Bag profile check. May the force be with you!

btbeth on Apr 3, 2017:

Pinterest Pen-Pal Ideas swap
Here is the link to my Pinterest board, in case the Swap-Bot messaging system is still on the fritz. Enjoy!

KateKintail on Apr 1, 2017:

Doctor Who

Doctor Who in a bag profile check. Vworp, vworp!

KateKintail on Apr 1, 2017:

Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter's world in a mini bag profile check! Watch out for farmers!

KateKintail on Mar 5, 2017:


Winnie-the-Pooh in a Bag profile check. Time for a small smackerel of something!

grethe418 on Jan 28, 2017:

Hello! Thank you so much for the postcard you sent me in the postcard roulette #2! Sorry to hear about your loss. Take care!

luckycharms on Dec 22, 2016:

Merry Christmas

OrigamiGrace on Nov 22, 2016:

I pmd you on 11/17: Has your sender contacted you about her late swap - CPG Thanksgiving Mini PL? I gave her chance on the Halloween one, which she sent weeks late. She has been removed from CPG.

Please rate her accordingly a 3 if she sends and a 1 if she does not. If she doesn't send to you, I will angel this swap, although I might make it a xmas one since it will be past Tgiving.

Please let me know, thank you.

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