Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: echoes of me

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how many me’s, there?

first in line, glass reflections,

we’ll need more tickets.

 

echoes of me

by Angie Quantrell

 

Hello, Happy Hump Day! Already 2019 is speeding by. Pause and pen a Haiku or share a story about going to the movies. I’d love to read your comments!

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Book Report: The Disasters by M. K. England

The Disasters

The Disasters

By M. K. England

Harper Teen, 2018

 

I won a copy of an ARC of The Disasters by M. K. England through Literary Rambles, an ‘everything literature’ blog by Natalie Aguirre. SPOILER ALERT

Blurb From Goodreads:

Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.

But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.

On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.

They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.

Book Report

I truly enjoyed reading The Disasters. Nax is a mix of Captain Kirk and Han Solo-rebellious, risk-taking, and flying by the seat of his pants. Oh, and don’t forget skilled and able to creatively solve problems. The rest of the cast was just as interesting and unique. These failures who were kicked out of Ellis Station Academy formed a team capable of trying to figure out what to do to help, well, the Universe.

What I loved: I enjoyed the characters and the setting of post now. I found it intriguing that once humans left the area, they were unable to ever visit Earth again. I loved the mystery and thrill of bad things happening, evil plans, and plot twists. The living in outer space setting was fun and I might have learned a few new things.

I found the writing to be smooth, engaging, and page-turning. I think I finished the book over 2-3 evenings. Just couldn’t put it down.

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Thanks to M. K. England, Literary Rambles, and Natalie Aguirre. Great read!

You can read the interview over at Literary Rambles here.


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: blue

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it’s not what you think,

this winter shade; cold, blue light-

snowdrifts cast shadows

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blue

by Angie Quantrell

 

Happy New Year! Welcome to the first Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge of 2019. I hope you’ll join the fun by commenting or writing your own winter Haiku.


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Snow Play in a Writer’s Life

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After a writing day of sitting at the table, this person had to get some moves on! Writing is great for the mind, but deadly for the backside.

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After a bout of shoveling slush, I fixed the snowman’s melted face. He’d lost his ability to see, smell, and smile, poor fellow.

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I walked to the top of the hill to see what I could see. But all I could see was the other side of the hill

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I made my own rectangular snow walk, smartly going round and round, turning sharp corners and attempting straight paths. Apparently I can’t walk a straight line.

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But still, the designs in the snow are intriguing, and shadows cast by the melting sun throw footprints into blue relief.

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If only I were a raven, my bird’s eye view would snatch hidden gems from the mystery that is snow and sun, freezing and melting, white and blue.

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Did you play outside today?


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Happy 300 Party!

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Happy 300 blog followers party!

I might be slow, but I eventually catch on. Love, Laughter, and Life has reached 300 wonderful followers. How exciting!

Let’s celebrate!

Music: Upbeat and fast-paced (insert your favorite celebratory tune here; I am hopeless in remembering song titles, unless they are for the 5 and under crowd)

Decor: Balloons, sweet-smelling flowers, streamers, candles (in hurricane lamps for safety)

Dessert: Dark chocolate truffles with a few charcuterie and cheese platters artfully arranged for good measure

Drink: Sparkling water with twists of lemon, lime, and orange

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Thank you, dear ones. I appreciate each one of you!

Onward and upward to 2019!


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Three-Horse Alarm

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Happy New Year!

Like everyone else I’ve read or spoken with, I can’t believe how fast 2018 disappeared. I’m not sure which is correct: the older you get the faster time goes, or the older you get the slower time goes. Some days both are true. Or perhaps these sayings are talking about memory. Definitely true.

Welcome to 2019!

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For fun, I’d like to introduce you to our three-horse alarm, formerly posted about in this blog as The Three Chocolates.

The three chocolates (white, milk, and dark) live in the pasture next door. I only know 2 actual names, so the chocolates they remain. They are very good watch horses. Excellent in fact.

Not too long ago, I noticed all three stationed facing east (looking our way), heads up, tails up, ears forward, alert and ready to flee (or attack). That’s my alarm going off! Time to see what’s going on.

That time, an entire herd of goats was free from pasture and roaming just above the horses and our pasture. Not causing trouble, other than the possibility of traffic issues if they persisted in grazing west. I called to let authorities know. I knew exactly when help arrived due to the alarm horses. I could follow the drama by peeking out the window to see what the horses were doing.

Other days, with just one glance, I can tell from which direction trouble comes, be it dogs, people, noisy trucks, goats, other horses, yelling children . . .. It’s a pretty fascinating way to spend time, observing my alarm horses. They are used to us, and now we are in the category of boring. Unless we have snacks. But should a new person approach, beware the attention.

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Yesterday, two girls had dogs on leashes on the west side of the pasture fence. Oh, the alarm was a three-horse blare! Running, snorting, kicking up heels, and from the white chocolate, preparation to attack. We thought we might witness an injury accident as the girls were oblivious to the danger facing their dogs.

Fortunately, adults intervened and disaster was averted.

What an alarm system! I feel pretty secure knowing three sharp-eared, eagle-eyed equines stand guard in our little community. Combine the three-horse alarm with the five-dog contingent to the east and our hunting cat Monet who is ever alert, and there is not much that can sneak up on us.

Hope your New Year is as entertaining as life in the pasture.

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Despite my love for cats, I adore birds. I just can’t put feeders out. That’s like saying, “Here, kitty, kitty! All you can eat buffet!” My Monet is a great hunter on her own, without my baiting traps for her.

So, I enjoy the birds that fly beyond her reach or call from barns, trees, and migration routes. She can’t get to those. In my car I keep a falling apart copy of a bird identification book. It’s amazing how many birds I can spot, research, and identify while my honey is driving over rivers and through woods. I’ve learned much about birds on our road trips.

After reading this post via Writers Rumpus, I discovered more bird books I need to read. Just in time for winter birding! I’m sending a big thank you to the authors, illustrators, and Kirsti Call (Writers Rumpus). Thank you!

Go check it out. You will learn a thing or three.

via Flying High with Gifted Authors Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple


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Merry Christmas!

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I can’t believe that Christmas is tomorrow, and fast on the heels of this special day, a new year waits to be born!

Thanks so much for visiting and hanging out with me this year. I’ve had fun exploring Haiku and photos, books, recipes, family antics and adventures, travels, and writerly topics. I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts, learned something new, laughed, or maybe wondered into which deep end I’ve fallen.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends! Praying that your time together will be blessed.

Peace to you!

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The grands, (l-r) Donavyn, Hayden, Autumn, Khloe, and Gage


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Holiday Haiku – 25 Days of Christmas Haiku: sum total

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children dancing with

excitement for sugar, treats,

and presents galore

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choirs singing with

exuberant heralding

joy for the season

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bright stores bursting with

color, music, fanciful

hope for green year’s end

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trees painted bright with

pointed stars, handmade baubles,

tall signature guest

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churches fill with

the eager, the worshipful,

ones who seek the Babe

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my heart blooms with peace

nostalgia and holy praise

for the Holy Gift

 

sum total

by Angie Quantrell

 

Thank you for joining me on this Christmas Haiku journey! May this Season of Light speak to your heart and fill you with hopeful anticipation.

Read more Christmas Haiku here.


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Book Report: Porcupine’s Pie by Laura Renauld

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Porcupine’s Pie

Written by Laura Renauld

Illustrated by Jennie Poh

Beaming Books, 2018

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I’ve never used Capri Sun in a recipe before reading this book. Yes, that has something to do with the adorable Porcupine’s Pie!

Porcupine is getting ready for Fall Feast Day. She checks her cupboard for ingredients for her famous Cranberry Pie and heads to the river to wash cranberries. Along the way she meets her friends who have famous recipes as well, but these friend are missing ingredients. By the time Porcupine gets to the river, circumstances have changed and she is no longer able to make Cranberry Pie.

Instead, once her friends arrive at her home, Porcupine makes a new treat, Friendship Pie (recipe included).

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Porcupine’s Pie is full of sharing, kindness, and friendship. I’ve wanted to read it since it was born, but had to wait for it to arrive at my library. (Let me tell you a trick: Most libraries have a way to request new titles. I LOVE this feature. I requested Porcupine’s Pie a few months ago. Now I have a brand new copy in my hands to enjoy.)

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I read Porcupine’s Pie with my grands the other day. My granddaughter immediately jumped up, ready to bake a Friendship Pie. But alas, their larder did not have all necessary ingredients. So Nana went shopping and last night we made Friendship Pie.

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Where does Capri Sun fit in? The recipe calls for cranberry juice (or a favorite juice). On the first night when we first looked in the fridge, there was a big container of apple juice. So Nana did not purchase more juice. ONE DAY later, when we prepped the recipe, the juice was all gone! That happens in families with three kids. The only similar ingredient to be found was Capri Sun. Well then. I can now say I’ve cooked with Capri Sun!

Porcupine’s Pie gets two thumbs up! Add this one to your fall/friendship/sharing themes.

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