In the October newsletter, we announced a Home Postcard Swap and partners have just been sent out. Participants will send a postcard detailing all the great things about where they live. Favorite restaurants, attractions to visit, great people, memories. What makes this place special and feel like home?

As people signed up for this swap, I asked them to finish the sentence "Home is..." and I wanted to share the mix of funny and meaningful responses.

Home is...

…becoming an increasingly complicated question. Is it where I grew up, where I am living now, or where I enjoyed living the most?

…where you can fart all you'd like.

…wherever my husband and pets are!

…peaceful inside but kinda messy outside

…where my heart is.

…where you can walk around with no pants on!

…where your heart is.

...where being with people is as good as being alone.

…where my son is.

…a house filled with love, fun and a mountain of stationery!

…where love explodes.

…where my water colour paint, painting brush, pens and paper (and wifi, agenda and family & friends) are. And a cup of coffee, with milk, no sugar.

…where my dog is

…where ever my sweetheart and I are at the time!

…where my farm is.

…where the neighbours say hello when I get home from my travels, and where their cat is waiting by my door for attention!

…where you most feel loved

…where I can put my feet up and have a cup of tea.

…where the cat is.

…where I feel most at peace.

…where all my stationary is.

…my happy place where my family is.

…where ever my love is.

…a place where you will always belong.

…definitely where the heart is!

...where my cat lives.

…where the heart is :)

…right now mine's in two places.

…one of those Dakotas!

…where my cat is.

...where the heart is. ...where I lay my head at night. ...where the good food is. ...where there's always a bottle of wine to share. ...where I feel at peace. ...me.

…where ever I'm with you! A good song :)

…ever changing.

…where I can wear pajamas all day!

…where it's ok to wear cowboy boots!!

…a mess made by the cutest little boys!

...where I feel comfortable.

…where pants aren't required!

…where I feel grounded and safe.

…where the cooking tastes best!

…in the best place on earth (Southern California), surrounded by the books and words I love. Along with a Tall Scottsman and his cats!

…my favorite place to be.

…where I can look and feel ugly and enjoy it.

…anywhere my husband Jay is!

…a warm puppy.

…where you are!

…where the heart is... and in my case that's Chicago.

…a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.

…the place where you feel contented and complete, and can wander around in your underpants with impunity!

...where you feel safe & loved.

…where you feel at home and are treated well. (Dalai Lama)

…messy but happy for my cat Primrose and I.

…where I can make tea in my favourite mug & snuggle up with Dinky, Winston & Mike.

…where the books are.

…where no one judges, but accepts you.

…the water.

…where I LOVE to be!

...where life resides.

…where one can find happiness in the eyes of your child.

…where my cats (and husband) are.

…where my family is.

…where you are always loved.

…in your heart? #sappy

…my favourite place on earth.

…where the tastiest cakes are baked.

…where I live.

…contentment. happiness. beautiful.

…my old Kentucky home!

…where you are comfortable, yourself, lighthearted.

…where the neighbors dogs crap.

…snuggling with my husband. Also, St Louis.

…the place (not necessarily a building) where you have everything you need mixed with love, encouragement, and strength.

…where I feel most at peace and safe and comfortable. Home is where I make it.

…where I'm most comfortable.

...everywhere I'm with the people I love.

...cozy and comfy.

...where I have immigrated to!

...a small-knit community.

When I think about what home means to me, I am reminded of one of my favorite songs by Chantal Kreviazuk. I'll close by sharing some of the lyrics to "Feels Like Home."

Somethin' in your eyes makes me wanna lose myself
Makes me wanna lose myself in your arms
There's somethin' in your voice makes my heart beat fast
Hope this feelin' lasts the rest of my life
If you knew how lonely my life has been
And how long I've been so alone
And if you knew how I wanted someone to come along
And change my life the way you've done
It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me.


Denise AKA Washipocalypse 

Happy Birthday Slayer of Popcorn!

Michael AKA The Slayer of Popcorn is LEP's resident newsletter columnist and observer of things correspondish. Today is his birthday and the members of the LEP wanted to express their love and gratitude for Michael's support and witty contributions.

Ah, Michael, I still remember the first letter you wrote to me. You asked great questions and urged me to dig deeper for things to share. I enjoy your letters so much. You are a true friend and I shudder to think I might have missed you on this great journey of life. I hope your birthday is exactly what you want it to be. Enjoy every moment celebrating YOU. And many happy returns of the day.   
-Sherri M.

Hey Michael, just wanted to wish you an a very happy birthday! I hope the year brings you an abundance of wonderful things and blessings. I'm pretty new to the LEP, but I always eagerly await the monthly newsletter and pounce on anything Slayer of Popcorn has to say LOL. Seriously, I'm sure you know you're awesome, but if you don't - here you go: You are awesome, and entertaining as all get out. Thanks for bringing joy to my inbox each month. I raise my glass to you, sir! Happy Birthday and many happy returns! 
-Lala (aka Gaseous Maximus) 

Michael, you have always been there for people in the LEP, providing a listening ear, reaching out, making us feel loved and worthy and welcome. As someone that struggles with depression and anxiety and bounces back and forth feeling welcome or a shut-in, you have reached out to me when needed, and it is very much appreciated.
I love that you are always there for people, you SEE them.
Have a wonderful birthday, and keep on letting your true gorgeous self shine!
With great love,

West Coast Princess

Where would we be without the Slayer of Popcorn?! Lost for sure! Happy birthday!!!! 
-Reg E.

Hope you have a wonderful birthday!! I love your contributions to the newsletter and your positivity in the FB group! Have a fun day, you deserve it! Xxx 
-Debbie M.

Happy Birthday! Sending you wishes of joy, health, wonder and fun! 

Wishing you a happy birthday! Have a great day Slayer of Popcorn! 
-Joe P.

Michael! Wishing you a spectacular birthday, and a wonderful year ahead. It’s always a delight to open the newsletter, and your articles contribute significantly to that. Thank you for your words. 
-Beth S.

Happy Birthday! Herzlichen Gl├╝ckwunsch zum Geburtstag! I love your quirky contributions in the newsletter that are so much fun to read and I am so glad you introduced me to the awesome world of travelling notebooks. Lots of hugs and love on your birthday!!!! 

Happy Birthday, Michael. I hope you have a great day and enjoy whatever it is you choose to do to celebrate. Of course, letters should be involved somewhere!
All the best to you and yours.


Slayer of Popcorn, happy birthday! I hope your day is awesome.
When I read the newsletter I always look forward to your contribution. I always make sure I'm not drinking anything as it might come out my nose.
I love your pieces on the newsletter!
Many happy returns! 
-Le Sauvage Grognon aka Andronic

Wishing you a super LEPtastic birthday! May your mail box and your day be a happy one :-) 
-Emma Pea P. 

Have a wonderful birthday and many more! 
-Chaya C.

Have a wonderful birthday!
Thanks for all you do to make the LEP Newsletter so great. <3 
-Shelia C.

Happy Birthday Slayer of Popcorn! Thank you for all your interesting columns in the LEP newsletter. They keep me sane for at least one day a month at work.
Eat, drink and be merry! And watch out because I think I could slay more popcorn than you.
-Melanie D. x 

Hi Michael! Penblwydd hapus, as we say in Wales! (It literally means "happy head day"!). I love the things you write for the newsletter. Thank you so much! (And I can't wait to see what you'll write for the next one!)
Lots of love on your special day,

The Postmistress (a.k.a. Eunice)

Hi Michael, Happy Birthday! Thanks for the great articles in the LEP newsletter - I always enjoy reading them and love your sense of humour! I hope you enjoy this LEP surprise and wish you an awesome day! 
-Rachel M-J x

For the person who has the most awesome and amazing superhero name - you rock. I love your posts in the newsletter and on the FB page. Why are we not writing each other?! hehe Have a wonderful day! 

Happy Birthday Michael! Have an extraordinary day!!!  
-Megan F.

I was struggling a few months back, and got a random post card from Michael just saying he hoped I was doing well. We've not spoken much in the LEP, so the gesture was so appreciated. 

Hi Michael, I haven't had the pleasure of meeting you but I'm sure you are one cool dude. I mean you must be since you're a member of LEP. I'm dropping in to say I hope you have a very special birthday full of fun, laughter and good times. All the best to you now and always. 

I am new to the LEP but it didn't take long for me to discover your awesome handiwork for the League. I am looking forward to getting to know you better from this and wish you a most fabulous birthday! 
-Diana aka secondhandrose 

Dearest Darling Michael,
Thanks for being born. Not like you had a choice. Thanks for sticking around. I appreciate the universe throwing us together into its zany blender.
You are one of the few penpals I don't care about writing out of turn to. At first your list of questions format confused me, but now I love the everloving fuck out of it. You are a loyal penpal, a talented writer, a gracious flirt, and an amazing person. Happiest of birthdays to you, sir.


For reading my short story and ALWAYS offering a really cool perspective on every topic that challenges the way I think (despite my super-huge ego)... Have a very Happy Birthday!
-Lisa "Kha-Lisa" P.

Happiest birthday, Micheal - Wittiest LEP columnist and exemplary pen pal. Watch out popcorn!

-Laurel G.

Hi Slayer! Happy Birthday Mate. We don't know each other but the first piece of your writing that I've read is the article in LEP October Monthly. Put simply, it made me think (and I mean really think) about compassion and that, in the end, the need to give & receive compassion is what drew me to this group. So, for all the love & effort you put into this group - thanks! I trust your birthday will be a special day & I'd like to wish you the very best for the year ahead too. Best Regards,
-Ravi K. a.k.a. MechDude

Hi Michael!
All the best wishes to you on your birthday! I always love reading your contributions to the LEP newsletter. It would not be the same without them.
I hope you will have a super day filled with lots of fun and happiness!
Love and hugs, 

Roses are red, Violets are blue, How to come up with something clever to write for your birthday, I sure wish I knew! Happy Birthday, Michael!
Hope you have a wonderful day!!!!!


Dear Michael, 
I hope you have a spectacularly fantastic birthday! Thank you for making me laugh and ponder thoughtful thoughts every month with your LEP newsletter contributions!

I hope you have a wonderful birthday! Your letters always inspire, make me giggle, think, turn my frowns upside down, and I end up wishing we were neighbors, or at least lived on the same coast :) I'm truly grateful to call you my friend and wish you all the best! *hugs* 

Happy birthday Michael! I hope that you have an awesome day :D Thanks for all your fun and interesting letters. Not to forget the nicknames too :D You're an awesome penpal! 

Your wise and witty messages on the monthly newsletter are always full of such positivity that I find myself going back and re-reading your words - thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I also really appreciate how kind your comments are to those who are suffering, and we have many among us who are dealing with really difficult situations - you find a positive comment to make to help lift their spirits. Your sense of humor appeals to many, Slayer of Popcorn, because it never is at the expense of others. All these things are just part of what makes you awesome. Enjoy your special day knowing that your fellow LEPeeps love you lots. 
-Cheryl D.

Happy Birthday to you, wishing you happiness and love every day! 
-Lisa S.

Happy Natal Anniversary, Michael! I hope you have a wonderful day and get spoilt rotten. Thank you for all you do for the group and for your always-entertaining contributions to the thread. I'm really glad I found this group and that is in no small part because of you!
-Paula xo 

There's not enough words in the world to describe how amazing you really are. You've pulled me out of the pits of despair more than one person ever should have to and you continue to do it all the time. There's no doubt that I wouldn't be here today if you weren't my friend. You always give the best advice on boys and life AND you're always very funny on top of all that. Um, so yeah. Happy Birthday! 

We are truly grateful, Michael! May you be reminded of how loved you are! Happy Birthday! 
-Denise & Julie xox

A Michigan Meet Up - by Othella AKA The Thellie Kitty

Imagine that you have over a week of leave time saved up from work, and not only do you get to take a mostly free roadtrip across country with your best friend to visit your close college friends for a weekend, but you also get to detour on the way back to spend most of a week back in your hometown, seeing the family and friends and locations you've not seen in at least three years. Sounds pretty great, huh? Well, do you know how to make it even better? You add in an LEP Meet Up!

That's exactly what happened on the first of September to me and fellow LEPer Amethyst. The spectacular Kate put us up for the night in her home, and the three of us drove out to Frankenmuth, MI, on Labor Day. We met up with the Easter Michigan area LEPeeps, Brittney, Andronic, Kyleigh, and Amelia, who also brought her boyfriend Kevin along.

Lunch at a Chinese buffet was our first order of business. We started off a bit quiet as we all glanced around a bit nervously at each other and tucked into our food, but soon we were all chit chatting and laughing like the friends we are and hadn't quite experienced yet. After we finished our food, we wrote letters to our fearless leaders, Julie and Denise, which Kate sent off to Canada for us.

Next stop was The River Place where we wandered around in the fun shops of the outdoor mall. While it took everything within me to stay out of Bead Haven (much to the thrill of my wallet), I did splurge on a Claddagh car magnet at an Irish themed shop called the Funky Skunk, and a whole bunch of postcards in The Michigan Shoppe. Some of our number went to check out the Sugar High Bakery, while others went to Grand Traverse Distillery. One shop I'd love to visit again was Charlin's Book Nook which had quite the lovely variety of used books to browse through.

After we were all shopped out, we headed to Tim Hortons for treats and some penpal activities. I quite enjoyed the frozen hot chocolate that Kate had talked up to me back in March, when we'd begun writing in my March of Postcards experiment. While we sugared up, we passed around some postcards to “wreck” together and sign to send out to other LEPers. When we'd finished, we passed around yearbook sheets that Kate, Amethyst and I had made out for everyone that morning. Each of us wrote a short note to each of the others on their sheets. (Unfortunately mine never got unpacked, so it's still in Amethyst's care... oops!) We'd been together from around 11am and now it was 5pm and time to go on our various ways. Of course that would be the time for a torrential rain shower. While everyone else had left, Amethyst, Kate, her hubby Gabe and I were stuck in the Tim Hortons for most of another hour, enjoying each other's company a wee bit longer until the rain passed and it was our turns to go.

I do believe we all had a grand time and really enjoyed each other's company. I know for sure that I did. It was a delight to meet everyone, and I have added a few people to my penpal list. I hope that the others continue to meet up from time to time, even if Amethyst and I won't get to be there for them. Meeting my penpals and my fellow LEPeeps is always an honor and a joy. I can't wait to meet more in the future!