Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


Leave a comment

Connect with Neighbors over Hot Cocoa or Apple Cider: Sip and Share Booth Article from Missions Mosaic

C539DB15-6F87-482E-9A3F-EDAA3D9634D2

It’s was like Christmas morning when I opened the December issue of Missions Mosaic to discover an article I wrote last year.

In the publishing world, deadlines are much earlier than the publication dates. Sometimes, deadlines are one year or longer before the written project is available in print. After I hit send, I move on to the next deadline, forgetting what I’ve completed in order to focus on what needs to be written.

Like I said, an early December surprise awaited for me in the pages of Missions Mosaic. Merry Christmas!

I love hot cocoa, hot coffee, hot tea, hot apple cider. While it’s good on its own, sipping a favorite hot drink is much nicer while chatting to friends or neighbors. So what’s holding you back from this pleasure, which can be enjoyed long after Christmas decorations are packed away and the tree is chipped up for the garden?

IMG_8995

Sharing tea with my cousin, Melissa.

Let’s take some time this holiday season to connect – REALLY connect – with others. Actual people, face-to-face, heart-to-heart. Share kindness and conversation.

~ Invite a friend over for coffee.

~ Organize a street-wide or neighborhood hot cocoa and cookie get-together.

~ Meet with work buddies at a coffee shop one afternoon after work.

~ Surprise your Sunday school class or other faith group by taking along along coffee and pastries.

~ Go Christmas caroling in your neighborhood or a local nursing home. Gather together afterwards to enjoy hot cocoa.

~ Read the “Sip and Share Booth” Missions Mosaic article and arrange to host one in your community.

‘Tis the season to be merry. And nothing shouts MERRY more than loving human interactions. Be the beginning of Christmas cheer as you share your life and God’s love with those around you.

***Missions Mosaic may be ordered by calling 1-800-968-7301 or by visiting wmustore.com or wmu.com/adults.

5515671F-1E3C-4F3D-9CF4-DFD40556540A

Happy Thanksgiving!

Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving angiequantrell.wordpress.com


Leave a comment

Need Stress Relief? Take a Weekend Trip

69BCC30B-48BE-4C41-ADAF-AD927C07E24D

What a week!

Our daughter ended up in the hospital due to cellulitis from a bug bite. As a result, we juggled child care, transportation, hospital runs, and assorted other duties while she received aggressive IV treatment to stop the infection (previous antibiotics did nothing to stop the infection from spreading).

AF2036FB-C1EA-4DAB-BEFF-112DC7601914

Every week is busy and we tend to go full speed. Writing, working, cooking, cleaning. But add one off-kilter event, such as a parent (our adult child) being hospitalized, and chaos rules the day.

12D27999-0C58-44AC-A848-D5EAFF09F25E

Good thing for me, I had a weekend away tucked in my hip pocket. Of course, I would have cancelled had my daughter not been released from her expensive spa treatment (that’s what we called her stay). Hooray, her bite improved, the high powered antibiotics did their job, and she went home in plenty of time for my retreat.

After handing off care of 3 grands to my daughter-in-love, I loaded the car with the important things (rubber stamps, food, clothes) and headed to Seattle to stay and play with my crafting partner. And boy did we pack in the fun.

D4BE2AD5-BF3D-4997-BFA4-CBB23BAD40F8

I was amazed at all we managed to fit into our weekend. We

~rubber stamped cards (36 total for me)

~took a ferry ride to Hood Canal

~relaxed at a cabin where we sipped hot tea, read a magazine, read the newspaper, and attempted a crossword puzzle

~completed a four-mile walk through the state park where we saw one spawning salmon and several done spawning and deceased fish, bald eagles, a seal, seagulls, gorgeous fall colors, and sparkling streams leading to Hood Canal

DF5B42EA-B406-401B-82A9-45F1EE7F4DDF

~stopped at a craft market AND a thrift shop

~enjoyed a new apple crisp (with cheese!) recipe

~tasted creative and delicious meals

~talked much and solved world problems

~watched the Seattle Sounders win the national championship game

~walked to the University Village

~listened to a mystery on cassette

~kicked off the Christmas season with traditional music selections

~planned Christmas gifts and adventures

~traveled to Southcenter (a shopping area in Renton) where we perused Impress for more rubber stamping ideas and supplies, braved crowds and long lines at IKEA (plus I had coupons for a free birthday meal and stuff), and used coupons at JoAnn’s

63328524-4EC0-4E04-80CB-52C1F833F60F

~slept in and snuggled kitties

I’m sure that’s not all we did, but the change of scenery and responsibilities refreshed my body and energy. I was sad when my weekend away came to an end and I had to reload the car and drive home.

What a wonderful way to recharge! Should you find yourself needing stress relief and relaxation, consider a weekend getaway. Choose a new or favorite destination, pack your bags, and hit the road. It will be worth all of your time and efforts.
0DF62F7A-2363-429B-9A18-34C8855DC290

How do you relax? Where do you go to get away? What was your favorite weekend away?


Leave a comment

Welcome, November!

8305879F-D4FF-4D78-A4C0-156102CC4A5F

I love November.

The scary stuff is gone. Pumpkins still hang out. Leaves whirl down and crunch underfoot. Nights and early mornings crisp any remaining plant life to bed. Birds flock and insects tuck in for the winter. November is perfect.

Also, let’s not forget Thanksgiving. When we lived in a house (bigger than the RV), I loved hosting Thanksgiving dinners. The good smells, tastes, and fun made the work all worthwhile. And after dinner, our traditional putting up and decorating a tree and watching a Christmas movie.

Notice I said “a” tree. Since I am a lover of Christmas trees, we usually had at least one in each room. Thanksgiving evening was just the harbinger of festivities in decor and traditional pastimes to follow.

AND November is my birthday. I’ve always had a fondness for my birthday month. So much fun anticipating not just my birthday, but also Thanksgiving with Christmas gaily tromping on its heels.

Apple crisp, pumpkin pie, juicy turkey, stuffed squash, toasty hot drinks. I guess I think and remember with my stomach. The nip in the air gives way to red noses and tingling fingertips. And if it’s to be perfect, the first snow falls. Just enough to whet my whistle.

November is also a time for me to focus on gratitude. Not only Thanksgiving Day, but each day of the month, I like to consider and remember the things for which I am thankful. God has been so good to me and my family. Giving thanks and naming the many blessings is the least I can do to honor Him.

Today, I am thankful for:

God and His provisions, my honey, my family, my veteran (our son), my RV (no matter how tiny), fall in all its glory, pumpkins, food, my health, friends, chocolate, our hunter kitty who keeps the fields free of tasty kitty morsels (mice and voles), warm clothes, music, and trees.

Which is your favorite month? How will you celebrate in November?

Blessings to you and your family.

5D9429D8-5AB7-4D9D-BBBA-911939AB9DA1


6 Comments

Spidey Snack, A Teeny Story

SPIDEY SNACK

by Angie Quantrell

 

Written in honor of Susanna Leonard Hill’s 9th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest. As Susanna says, “aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!!!” It’s time for some fun!

Read more tiny stories at Susanna’s blog here.

 

SPIDEY SNACK

“Help! I’m stuck in this cobweb!” shouted Bumblebee.

Hedgie looked up. “I’ll help” she called. But how? She was too low, Bumble too high.

In her workroom, Hedgie searched recipes. Grow tall spell? Invisible wings oil? Jumping legs gel?

Hedgie heard a chanting voice. “Hungry, yes, starving! Who’s in my web?”

“Legs is coming!” squeaked Bumble.

A floating spell? That’s the trick.

Hedgie mixed ingredients and chugged the potion. She glided up, grabbed Bumble, and popped open her spines.

“Ouch!” yelled Legs. “Wahhh! I’m still hungry.”

“You may not eat my friend. But do join us for Halloween pumpkin soup.”

 


2 Comments

Throwback Thursday: Mama’s Cooking

PhotoScan (58)

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my mom lately, especially in the car, which usually leads to driving through the tears. I truly miss all those phone calls, hugs, and visits since she passed away in May. She is happy. I will be fine. But I do miss her.

Which is not the main focus of my thoughts. For some reason, perhaps the upcoming season of feasts and gatherings, my inner foodie is on high alert. Mama was an excellent cook. Sure my dad usually had smart comments about biscuits being hard like hockey pucks or gravy being thick enough to plaster walls, but that was just dad. He loved to tease. That was how he showed love.

I know mama worked hard to keep us fed. She also worked as cheaply as possible, cutting costs, stretching meals, and making most meals from scratch. Even without much in the pantry, Mama was so creative, we still had filling meals. She might have been short on stature, but she was a giant in love and resourcefulness.

Not every meal did I LOVE. I avoided fried grit pancakes with syrup if possible and cornbread milk toast. Eggplant, no matter how much she battered and fried it, did not agree with my taste buds. But she was famous for so many of my favorite foods. I’m going to do a quick brainstorm list and see how many I can remember. Just consider that each dish was made from scratch…

Grits and eggs

Sausage gravy and homemade biscuits

Hash browns and gravy

Tortillas and refried beans

Burritos

Homemade bread, butter, and jam

Spaghetti (my go-to birthday request favorite meal)

The Gasser (her noteworthy casserole, aptly named, which included beans, onions, green chilies, corn, hash browns, corn tortillas, and enchilada sauce)

Chicken and dumplings

Pancakes

Homemade syrup

Jam

Fried bologna and cheese sandwiches

Sliced hotdogs baked with ketchup

Fresh corn (either frozen or on the ear)

Macaroni and milk, the first meal after stomach flu

Homemade noodles

 

Mama was always purchasing, harvesting, preserving, and storing food. I still remember the 50-pound bags of dried pinto beans, onions, and corn on the cob. We had goats, cows, chickens, and ducks. Eggs were plentiful and the milk was sold for extra cash. Nobody can drink that much milk! I was not a fan of the bits of cream lingering in the whole milk, regardless of how much we carefully skimmed it off the top. Unpasteurized to boot! It’s amazing that we survived.

How about you? Did you have favorite home-cooked meals? If you know my family, do you remember any other special foods my mama made?

 

 


Leave a comment

Haiku Moment: fall passion

F605A002-72AF-44A0-A972-56FBFAEE2F2B

colors scream intense

vibrant, exploding passion

swan song before cold

 

brilliant gemstone hues

garden offspring demand gaze,

dried promise for spring

 

hastily comes foe

winter breathes down our neck, quick!

capture fall passion

 

fall passion by Angie Quantrell

EE563B23-1EF4-44D8-8028-D19A742ED876

Souvenirs of the long summer growing season. Just like that-blink-and cold winds usher in the end of heat and beginning of cold. Get out today and store fall beauty in your mind’s eye to save for the dark cold snowy white and gray days of winter.

6D6E907F-AED5-414B-B908-F6F19EA7DCB8


2 Comments

Cooking Day: Fall Flavors Give RV Oven a Workout

27AB3F8A-DA18-4C94-BD37-AF833769BB7B

Yesterday, while I was watching the Seahawks shoot themselves in the feet, I mean LOSE but with style, I gave in to my urge to bake. The day went like this.

Home from church. Make tuna salad for lunch. Clean up.

Tuna Salad: two cans tuna, drained; 1 celery stick, chopped; 1/2 red onion, diced; about 1/4 c. dill relish; 1/4 c. chopped walnuts; fresh ground black pepper; cayenne; cumin; and enough mayo to make it mix well. I ate mine over cherry tomatoes. My honey ate his on his favorite whole grain bread. No pictures of this, but it was tasty!

Bake Gingerbread Muffins. Clean up.

7B5088F0-D614-460C-A70E-EE21398A374D

I found this recipe at the What’s for Dinner Moms? blog.   I’ve found quite a few tasty treats on this blog. As usual, I adjusted the recipe to our tastes, using whole wheat and almond flour, and added allspice and cloves, and swapped out white sugar and added brown. I also doubled the icing. These are so yummy!

6D71A35E-1232-40B8-ABE3-D75A9FA5A100

Bake Oatmeal Cups. Clean up.

Okay. So the recipe calls them Granola Cups with Yogurt and Berries. I was taste testing them for a Jello Molders weekend. They came out pretty good. I found this recipe in an old 2017 issue of Cooking Light.

B66B08B3-871E-449E-AB4D-80E34F8115B6

Bake Mexican Chocolate Cookies. Clean up.

A98950D4-BF00-481C-B7CC-DE7685A64CD7

These spicy little treats are awesome. The cayenne livens things up a bit. And chocolate? Of course they are delicious. This recipe is from a May issue of Martha Stewart, but I’ve accidentally torn off the year…

F396616B-7288-4A2D-AC1F-AD9D99832738

Put a pot of chicken soup on to simmer. Clean up.

There are no pictures of this first soup of the season. But know I used up the rest of our Costco rotisserie chicken, celery, onions, a potato, kale from the garden, a bag of mixed frozen veggies, stewed tomatoes, chicken broth, Mrs. Dash, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and poultry seasoning. It was excellent served with a dollop of sour cream. My honey added corn chips to the top.

Eat dinner. Clean up.

I’d say for a Sunday, I spent a lot of time cleaning up! A friend and I consider washing dishes a workout. Including breakfast dishes, I worked out 6 times! You should see my buff arm and shoulder muscles. 🙂 In the RV, one must clean up EVERY time a new dish is prepared. Space and tiny sink and all.

The successes were ALL of the above. It was a tasty day. Other than the Seahawks losing.

How about you? What do you like to bake or simmer in the fall? Happy first day of autumn!

1FF7F8FE-B825-440D-9156-9DE63C0A165E


Leave a comment

A Little Encouragement Goes a LONG Way

DSC_1134

I might be one of the worst encouragers. Seriously. I think all these wonderful thoughts and admirations, but often forget to pass along many (or any) of the encouraging statements floating through my brain.

Case in point. Last week I texted my honey while he was at work. Almost daily he sends me lovey dovey, encouraging texts. I tell him I love him, but I don’t usually reply with much lovey dovey stuff. I feel it, think it, know it. But forget to tell him. This time I texted him first and told him how much I love him and what a blessing he is to me and how much I love our life together. He was so touched! I felt horrible for not doing it more often. I mean REALLY, not just thinking good things, but sharing. It’s not that hard. You can guess what one of my simmering on the back burner goals is now, can’t you?

Here’s yet another example of encouragement that goes a long way. While enjoying my writing residency at Holly House (Hypatia-in-the-Woods) I opened the writing desk drawer to find many different encouraging notes from previous residents. What a wonderful surprise! I loved reading each note and added a few of my own. Permission to take a nap! Yay!

The short of it: saying or writing an encouragement to someone doesn’t take that long. As long as it’s heartfelt, encouragement is the gift that keeps on giving.

Who can you encourage today?

DSC_1132