Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover

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photos and poem by angie quantrell


orange plus pink

sweet hues of sunset

and dessert

taste yummy to my eyes

and gift me

a smile




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Expecting Spring


tightly closed fists peek

pink wisps bulge with life – spring yearns,

bursts forth, nest and tree alike


The most hopeful of seasons, spring, lies in wait, gathering herself in preparation to leap into the exploding fray of growth, buzzing with energy and promise.


What signs of spring do you see in your area?


From Snow to Pansies


It has ever been such a long, cold, snow-bound winter for us. The first season of surprises in our RV.

Not sticker or culture, but rather seasonal challenges and lack-of-space shock.

Today dawned with swirling and dancing fog. Thick mists block sun rays, and though the weather “suggestions” report zero chance of rain, my eyes tell me the overhead clouds and heaviness may disagree.

Yet spring is here. We have moved from this:


to this:


Cheerful pansies rest and smile in rain dampened glory.



Welcome Spring!


Spring Wildflower

S – shows of life, green carpeted paths

P – peek at bursts of color, winters’ grays fade away

R – renewed vigor, earth joyfully bursts forth

I – invitation to celebrate, cold passes as warmth returns

N – nature dons her new attire, fresh and vibrant

G – growing time arrives, rest is over for bounty begins


Columbia River Gorge

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Throwback Thursday: John Smith

This talking-to-myself post originally aired on April 21, 2012.

It was warm outside and Captain John Smith was looking a bit washed out…

I crack me up.

Hello, Captain John Smith, toy of my daughter from years past. He was just hanging around, catching some rays. Now we know how many years plastic figures last.

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Throwback Thursday: Sunday Markets, I Miss You!

Summer farmer markets, oh how I look forward to you! Enjoy this throwback post from August 2009.

The fountain at Place Monge on Sunday Market day

Place Monge (Paris) fountain on Sunday Market day

In France, one of the things we truly enjoyed was the Sunday market held in the Place Monge town square. One could buy ANYTHING needed for eating, drinking, or giving. One Sunday we encountered a simultaneous flea market, but I could never figure out when another was going to be staged. I so wanted another chance at finding treasures!

On any given Sunday, there was no lack of choices for purchase at the market. Fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers were squashed in among stalls of stinky cheese and fish, raw meat and poultry. Lucious homemade breads competed for the winning fragrance award with occasional ‘meals made for you right now.’ The entire experience was a delight for the senses. Taking home the goods – mouth-watering sustenance.

flowers on Sunday Market

Flowers at Sunday Market

Meat vendor at Place Monge

Meat vendor at Place Monge

vegetable vendor at Place Monge

Produce vendor at Place Monge

Market fare from Place Monge

A meal comprised of market fare from Place Monge

Many years ago, in the Yakima Valley, a Sunday farmer’s market was hatched. Of course, being at church  most of each Sunday, we did not frequent the market. In fact, we boycotted it simply because it should be held on Saturdays (our opinion) so market workers and go-ers could attend church on Sunday. Granted, I don’t believe our boycott gained any new members of a church anywhere…

With our recent life change of full Sunday church responsibilities to experiencing ‘house church’ at a local park on Sunday mornings, we decided we would check it out – to see what the rest of the valley does on Sunday mornings. It seems that many residents take pride and joy at what is locally available, fresh from the fields, and the hands of gardeners, farmers, and crafters.

Sunday Market in Yakima

Sunday Market in Yakima

Pleasantly surprised, we found a plethora of aromatic and tasty produce, fruit, home-produced crafts, and food items. Mixed in was a variety of ethnic food stalls (I love the panset and lumpia) and shoppers galore.

Checking out the goods

Checking out the goods

An added bonus was musical entertainment. Steel drum music was such a wonderful accompaniment to the outing.

My grandbaby hits the Sunday Market

My oldest grandbaby (now he is 7) hits the Sunday Market

We encountered people we knew, interacted with community members, and socialized under the hot sun. Purchasing fresh produce and showing off our grandson were top prizes for the day.

Hayden with Papa at the Yakima Sunday Market

Hayden with Papa at the Yakima Sunday Market

I guess the boycott was a misguided waste of time. The Master Gardener did not stick Himself in church and stay there all day on Sundays. He was out among the people, out in the community. Perhaps more productive to relationship building, making new friends, and reaching out is to be where the people are…not where we think they should be, but where they actually are.

A challenge to myself – where are the families in my community on any given Sunday morning? Maybe it’s time I found out…and made some new friends.

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Expectation – A Poem



of falling leaves

laced windows

crinkled edges on mud puddles



for darkened skies

steaming breaths

everlasting winter nights



need for warmth

bundled outings

dampness pervading excursions



knife edged air

smoke heated rooms

Savor the moment



over bounteous tables

quilted beds

in heart and home



The seasons change

all is well



O, Christmas Tree – In & Out of the RV


Welcome, baby plastic tree!

I can’t stand it!

Two fresh pine trees outside, one planted and one cut, both decorated with white lights and silver stars and well watered. One potted artificial tree with blue lights next to the door. That doesn’t cut it for me, the lover of all things Christmas tree. The inside of the RV was too bare.

But with 2 kitties, lack of floor space, and no extra counter space, what is one to do?

Get a tree anyway.

Welcome little plastic tree, pre-wired and covered with plastic ornaments. Thank you for lighting up our indoor Christmas space. I know the kitties can’t hurt you, though they try, and you can’t (shouldn’t?) break.

So again, welcome. How lovely are your tiny little fake branches and your cheerful glow!


3 trees – tiny in front, tall in the middle, and blue next to the door.

Outdoor Tree Update: The Christmas tree down count is 3 wind events, which equals 3 pick-up-the-tree-and-replace-the-stars outings.

How about you? How many trees do you have? Do you have to pet-proof your Christmas decor? I’d love to hear I am not alone!

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Digging Out the Tree (Christmas Tree, That Is)


There I was. Putzing around while my honey worked up a sweat digging out a fresh little Christmas tree. I couldn’t really help him, one shovel and all.

In our area, we can purchase a tree permit from the forest service and dig or cut a tree up to 15 feet tall. As long as we follow the rules of where and where not, we get to choose whichever tree we love!

The first tree ‘we’ loved was a beauty! Between 5-6 feet tall, symmetrical, gorgeous. Plans were changed and we decided to dig up this pretty baby (by we, I mean he) and immediately plant it in the pasture before the ground froze.

Uhm. 5-6 foot evergreen trees do not come with short and easy-to-remove-from-the-dirt roots. After probably 25 minutes of heavy duty grunt work, we told the tree we love you and grow well and strong and shoveled all the dirt back and tamped it down. The tree would not budge. It loved where it lived.

The results from this attempt made us decide to dig up a smaller tree. MUCH smaller.

We found a lovely, adorable little tree stuck on the side of a hill. It called out to us – “Take me home!”

So my honey started digging. We had expectations for a shorter dig time. This prediction did not account for the rock. We also planned on potting this cutie and enjoying it inside the RV and planting it later in the spring.

Except for the rock. And the huge curvy taproot wrapped around the rock that would have forced us to use a pot the size of a small car in order to cover it with soil. That sort of container does not fit in the RV.

Plan C. Bag up the cute tree which still required 15 or so minutes for extraction, and immediately introduce it to the new home in the pasture.

Our second tree, originally planned as a larger cut tree, then switched to “Let’s dig out 2 trees,” was then maneuvered back into the original plan after the digging marathons. A stately and fragrant tree became our cut tree.

One can never tell what is lurking below the surface. Rocks, roots, acres of soil – depth of stability, secure anchorage, ablility to withstand hurricane force winds or mountains of heavy snow. Baby trees face all sorts of dangerous conditions out in the wild. And each one causes the tree to grow stronger and more resilient, develop even deeper roots, and hang on tight.

I should have taken a picture of that root wrapped rock. As a reminder. But the mushrooms were calling and I didn’t realize the significance of the rock. It’s like that sometimes. Upon later reflection, insights swivel my viewfinder to see what’s truly important.

Sometimes I feel like a baby tree, stuff coming at me from all directions. I bend, shudder, and quake, tossed like a dandelion puff on the wind. But as long as my heart roots are wrapped around the Rock, I am safe and can rest in His care and protection. I can continue to grow and become stronger as I sink my roots deep and wrap them ever tighter around my source of strength.

The Rock.

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

– Colossians 2:7