The "Writer's Bloc" Edition
I was just about to write a two-line note. I was gonna tell you how busy I am. I was going to tell you some of the things I was so busy with. All this travel; unpacking from the endless paintjob-that-turned-into-a-renovation; a major decision-making process for our (very old!) Mom’s care; getting the booster for the booster and being a little knocked out; and a million other things.
Then, a package arrived in the mail. From Ukraine. Yes that Ukraine. From Kyiv, Ukraine. For me.
I asked the iFamily text group if anyone had ordered something. Um, from like Amazon, Ukraine? No. Or maybe a charitable donation to a Ukrainian relief agency triggered a thank you gift? Like a huge carton full of free return mailing labels like the ASPCA gives us? No.
Then I got thinking about scams! What kind of scam could this be? Financial? Physical? Am I going to open this box and be covered in Novichok? I moved on, but left the box unopened. Don’t forget— I am so busy!
And then, a letter arrives, regular mail. From Kyiv, Ukraine. For me. Not looking as threatening as the box to me, for some reason. Which is as dumb as thinking about me being the target of a chemical nerve agent.
So I opened it:
Bogdan, from Kviv, Ukraine, had written me several times (?!) to let me know that he. was apologizing for the wrong color leather? (!!!!) Well, this really rocked me back. I looked at the big box and thought about it.
It dawns on me…uh this here Lady Bougie went on Etsy a few/many weeks ago. I don’t use Etsy much, maybe twice in the past five years or so. It’s never in stock, never right when it arrives, expensive to ship, too homespun. But, back to the thread of getting the house back in order, I had been in search of just the right felt or leather storage box. We needed to put all the crap that sits under the TV like Madame Bougie’s children’s remotes and Rokus and game controllers and things so they would look just right, ie. out of sight. So I ordered my grey felt bin with a dark grey leather handle.
Then, I got an email that said “Hey sorry this Etsy store can’t fulfill your order right now, would you like to change the color of the leather to chocolate brown, instead? And I was like “this is why I don’t order from Etsy” and canceled the order.
Well, as we know, the Ukrainians don’t really take no for an answer. So then I open the big box and, low and behold, is the most beautiful felt storage basket with a leather handle I could ever want. AND another completely leather bin in a stunning steely blue, made of super buttery leather. AND another all-felt low basket in adorable colors. AND this incredible little package, so beautifully wrapped, which contained two amazing little laser-cut felt “cloud” coasters.
Okay well now I’m not even sure which is the thing I actually ordered, let alone which color of which thing was the thing they said they didn’t have. And how about them sending me a gift, for my trouble?
But also, I am a person who answers letters and emails even from people who are not reaching out to me from a war-torn city under siege, so I raced to my computer and wrote a letter of apology and support to both Bogdan (who wrote all the emails and the note) and Andrew (who runs the shop) and told them how sorry I am that I didn’t see the in-app messages, how beautiful the craftsmanship is, and how sorry I am for the situation they are in, and I asked what I could do for them.
I hit send and, while I was pondering the whole thing, Andrew responded by email in about five seconds:
Hello Lauren, thank you very much for messaging me and for all your words of support. I really value each message I get from our customers and am deeply touched by sincere support that people share. Thank you very much.
We started working after some while because work is really important for us and our team. Our biggest hope is for peace in our country as soon as possible.
Sending our warm regards to you and your family,
So yeah, when it came time to do the newsletter and I had the “I’m so busy! how can I possibly write more than a few words?” impulse, I uh, kind of, uh, decided that if Andrew and Bogdan can send me leather goods and thank you gifts from Kyiv, I believe I can freakin’ move my ass and put this thing together.
And I also believe you can find the time and energy to read at least a few of these amazing articles by, for, and about women, delivered straight to your inbox from a lot closer than Kyiv. Politics, Health, Pop Culture, The Arts, Sports, and more. Enjoy.
But even before you do that, let’s fulfill Andrew’s request and wish and advocate for peace and, if you like felt baskets, leather, coasters, placemats and helping Ukrainians— and I’m telling you this all-leather piece they sent is exquisite — please look here, find something you like, and support Andrew and Bogdan’s work at the WOOLLY CLOUDS shop on Etsy.
As far as the LZSP goes, if you aren’t already a subscriber, it’s time:
If you have a story you think I may have missed, email me at: LZSundayPaper@gmail.com.
And if you’d like to tell a friend about the Paper, please do:
And no, I did not have the heart to ask the basic question of, like, how are they mailing felt baskets to me? Is the post office open? Do they just run over there and still have to wait in line for an hour like we do? I mean seriously — I can’t get over that they are worrying about food, about staying alive, and still feel driven to make their art and deliver me my order.
This just in: humans are amazing.
See you next week,