Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


Leave a comment

Haiku Moment: self-portrait

DSC_1160

favorite weapon

shadow self, shooting pictures

me? it’s what I do

 

self-portrait by Angie Quantrell

 

Photo taken at Potlatch State Park, Hood Canal, Washington State.

Thanks to Hypatia-in-the-Woods for the opportunity to be me.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Book Report: Her Fearless Run, Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon by Kim Chaffee

02A84BFA-D6A7-44A1-A455-D50209E54375

Her Fearless Run, Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon

Written by Kim Chaffee

Illustrated by Ellen Rooney

Page Street Kids, 2019

 

Blurb from the book:

“Girls weren’t supposed to sweat. Girls weren’t supposed to compete. They were too weak, too fragile, to run distances like the Boston Marathon. That’s what most people thought.

Kathrine Switzer changed their minds.”

8BE14E6C-C3A1-4DBC-9BB1-01075D667E1C

Thanks to Writers’ Rumpus, I received a gift copy of Kim Chaffee’s Her Fearless Run, just born this year! Thank you so much, Kim, Ellen, Carol, and Writers’ Rumpus!

 

I’ve always envied women who have the desire, drive, and determination to run long distances. I do not have those qualities, and would rather hike or walk long distances.

“I didn’t set out to make history; I was just a girl who wanted to run.” – Kathrine Switzer

Her Fearless Run is the fascinating story of Kathrine Switzer, a woman committed to opening the doors for women to run long distances during a time when it was frowned upon and not allowed. At all.

0684B916-272E-4108-8D38-AE4BBD742A5E

What I love about Her Fearless Run:

~ I love how skillfully Kim Chaffee wove together real life information with the story of Kathrine standing up to the expectations of a male-dominated sport. I love that Kathrine kept plodding along, facing each obstacle with grit, just as she would in marathons and long distance running.

~ I love the vibrant and informative illustrations and how they lend the air of the past to the story.

~ I love the messages of Her Fearless Run. Girls can do anything! Hard work and perseverance pays off. Individuals can make a difference and impact others. You can do things you enjoy.

~ I love the ease of reading and interesting story that kept me glued to the pages of Her Fearless Run.

~ I love that I can share this book with other young readers and inspire them to go after their dreams and passions.

A2D2387C-1604-4C73-9710-3090E1053DF2

Amazon Blurb:

Kathrine Switzer changed the world of running. This narrative biography follows Kathrine from running laps as a girl in her backyard to becoming the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with official race numbers in 1967. Her inspirational true story is for anyone willing to challenge the rules.

The compelling collage art adds to the kinetic action of the story. With tension and heart, this biography has the influential power to get readers into running. An excellent choice for sports fans, New Englanders, young dreamers, and competitive girls and boys alike.

 

KID KANDY:

Go for a Run!

Materials: chalk, running journal, drawing supplies (crayons, pencils, markers), snack

1. Read Her Fearless Run. How did Kathrine start out as a runner? Can you follow the steps she took?

2. Invite someone to run with you. Use chalk marks to count your laps.

3. Relax after your run by searching online for information about Kathrine Switzer and the Boston Marathon. Are there any marathons hosted near your home? Perhaps you could go and watch one. Our city has a race with adults and younger age groups.

4. Eat a healthy snack, drink cool water, and record your laps in a running journal. Draw a picture of yourself running.

5. Repeat!

A7F2F5E0-3BA1-4F7B-BD0A-4BABD032F20F

 


2 Comments

Rubber Stamping Alert: Success Despite Losing Battle with Concrete Curb

9484158D-844B-49F0-A33A-2B5BB6C795B6

Last weekend was my first foray into Stamping Land over the Cascade Mountains since fall. I was long overdue for hours of creativity, messes, visiting, snacking, and generally solving world problems.

C65ADB96-A444-4E10-8C88-5DBEA271BA87

Initial bruising and future scar (at end of eyebrow). That tiny hole caused so  much bleeding!

But first! After tripping mid-street and saving myself 3 times before reaching the cement curb, I landed right-face-side smack on my eye bone and glasses up against the edge of the curb. Curbs do not give way. Glasses and faces do!

Alas, the nearby young lady was probably scared for life after witnessing my bumble and being unable to prevent the collision, but she was extremely helpful in procuring napkins, tissues, and aids of phone calls or rides someplace. Any place!

DEC1D10D-3AE4-4BDA-A528-039EF7654D7A

Gold duct tape for my poor glasses.

Lots of Good Samaritan help came my way, despite the blood pouring from my eye lid bone (the part at the end of your eyebrow, whatever that bone is called). A passerby offered a package of tissues and advice to get it checked. The restaurant owner repeatedly came in and out, bringing napkins, concern, and reassurances that I was not the only one to find this edge in the middle of the road. The young lady stayed with me until my ride arrived. And my ride came post haste after I remembered I had her number stored in my phone. Whew! Thanks, Connie! Otherwise, a long walk up steep hills with broken glasses and napkins held to my swollen eye/head…

Back to Stamping Land. Ahhh. The glorious experiments and messes we made. Interspersed with walks for meals, snacks, chatting, even a book on tape! Not that we could solve the mystery…Alyson’s B & B fit the bill for a weekend of crafting. Thanks, hostess!

After my initial concern of decreased productivity (due to head injury), you can imagine my relief when 66 cards were completed. Good progress!

9796DEFD-25A8-4863-AF94-C3888C4137BF

Wow, when I compare then and now, I might just look worse now!

Rubber stamps, ink pads, markers, colored pencils, chalks, booger dots, patterned papers, cardstock, glue sticks, tape, scissors, paper cutters, bits of ribbon and scrap paper-just a little bit of anything and everything. PLAYING is what we call it. Playing with our stuff. And what do we get? Fun cards!

Have you ever given yourself a black eye? Or a wound with ample amounts of blood? What do you do when you get creative? Here’s to grace and play time!

FB4EEF95-E8C2-45A1-80F7-DCD8E7954A55

New glasses! Worse color. I promise, I am getting better!

 


Leave a comment

Swift Arrival of Spring Startles, Shocks, and Confuses

53881DD9-F168-432D-80B0-8104E24BFEE9

Her highness was quite pleased with her hunting prowess. Full of herself too.

And just like that, click. The flip is switched and spring is here.

The snow is mostly gone, where last week we were path-bound to specific routes by mountains of snow and ice. Mud reigns supreme and small streams become floods. Smashed grass gasps in surprise to be free and under the sun. Spring came roaring in with the flip of the switch.

And we sit at night, bundled in our flannels, suddenly realizing we are sweating and why in the world is it so hot? Oh. It’s warm outside. The 40-50’s do not allow flannels and heaters and electric blankets. Those winter settings set our skin to blazing and must be forced down to a dull roar. Winter jammies are tossed aside for cooler, thinner fabrics. Spring thundered in, showering us with unexpected warmth. Our minds are too slow to acclimatize.

The winds blows. Wind? Why is it windy? It was just snowing last week, and gray skies permeated our days. OH. March is here. The true March, with roaring winds and warm days, leaping lambs and shamrocks. The blustery breeze helps clear the snow-winter fog from our bodies.

BB4C8B43-37EF-4375-AB2D-C4982FF98596

The cat. She was long confined to one narrow, winter ice-packed lane of travel. That went, well, nowhere except to other narrow, ice-packed lanes. It was better to sleep away the cold, day and night. When explosively, spring is here! The pasture appeared as if by magic. Birds called, frogs croaked, bugs hatched. The cat’s life is renewed. The hunter is re-energized with wide open spaces and plenty of sun-deprived prey.

Record setting opening day of feline hunting season set by one Monet. 2 voles, 1 field mouse, 2 birds. We sat, strolled, walked outside. Oh, there is another one. OH, watch your step, there’s something else. In the plant pot, hiding on the gravel, on the flat grass. Be careful where you step.

1DFFCE83-6FED-433B-8D15-F44BAD3AF674

Getting ready to tackle another hunt.

RV windows need screens to let in fresh air, keep bugs out. Condensation woes drop to an irritation instead of mildew concern. Overnight heating sources are neglected, one by one.

In the blink of an eye, winter clothes must be swapped for spring, leggings, short sleeves, light jackets, sun-blocking hats. Sun block! Roadways are clear enough for walking, and though the body protests movement, efforts are made. And the realization comes that, well, spring is really here. Sweating, thirsty, hot. Add hat and water to next trip. Remove sweater and coat.

The sun! Seemingly overnight, with the gray clouds of winter gone, the sun seems to be coming up much earlier and going to bed later than our expectations. Let’s not even talk about daylight savings time and the big jump forward.

Change is hard. Even seasonal changes. Gentle is normal, but this year the leap from winter to spring happened overnight. This body reacts in slow motion. Oh, get out my spring/summer clothes, put away my snow/mud boots. Where are my slip-ons? The heavy coat remains hanging on the hook. Even socks change from thick warm to short athletic.

Each day, less snow, more spring-thinking. Spring exploded right in our laps, and I, for one, am racing to catch up.

78D6DF13-1D6B-477D-B554-56AAA72F18A2

How about you? Have you made the leap into spring?

 


Leave a comment

Spring Cleaning

10E39A99-CDFF-4F15-BF75-A5185B714497

This past (YAY) winter has left this bod in serious cabin fever shape.

It’s true. Being cooped up inside with record snowfalls does nothing for a hiking physique. I did spend quite a bit of time shoveling, but that exercise was offset by hiding inside away from frigid temps.

Take my walk today, for instance. Huffing and puffing, sweating and trudging at a snail’s pace, the summer hiking season seemed far from my grasp. After all, actual hiking is done up and down, over hill and dale.

That’s when I realized my self needed spring cleaning. Some sprucing up, working out, and trimming off the fat.

Spring cleaning is coming to this future outdoors woman.

Walking around the yard, I noticed several casualties of the heavy snow and resulting compact ice. Funny smiling face? Busted. Sage in clay pot? Needs repotting to an undamaged pot. Siberian irises in a similarly disintegrating pot? Same treatment. Gravel strewn every which way due to shoveling of snow.

C59FA3D6-C8EF-4AF0-AC04-36A0D81E9C3F

Spring cleaning extends to the garden and surrounding yard.

It also includes the cat, Monet, who is sporting more of a tummy due to forced lack of exercise, and her favorite pastime-hunting. It’s hard to hunt or pursue any fun activities when snow accumulations are higher than your head! The one time she tried, well, it was hysterical and a very fast trip. Monet is in much need of a tune up.

Spring cleaning has arrived for the cat.

A29FC1D2-B99F-4F27-A782-81C564DDC170

Monet on her way up the pasture to the irrigation ditch (and future snacks)

The good news is she caught her ‘second’ first mouse of the season today. We thought spring was on the way in late January and early February. That was when she ate her first mouse of the year. And then Snowmageddon. There was much lying around, racing through the RV, climbing the walls, and sleeping on fuzzy blankets.

Inside the RV, blankets and rugs have been washed. Carpets love their new vacuumed look and floors appear a shade lighter after being mopped. Excess items are disappearing from cluttered sight. Spring cleaning is happening all over the place.

Let’s chat just a bit about the honey. In his jammies. And plastic shoes. Right now. Out smashing down mole hills all over the pasture. This mole has been a busy beaver, leaving a winding lane of black dirt mountains across the field. Soooo, honey does his spring cleaning by paying attention to signs of the season.

Spring cleaning comes to the Yakima Valley.

How about you? Have you enjoyed spring cleaning? What’s your favorite spring cleaning task?


2 Comments

I’m in Love with My New Portable Standing Desk!

76DD0B37-7966-4501-801C-5CD532B111A9

Everyone who is anyone has read about the dangers of sitting long hours. Not that a numb backside, crinkled shoulders, and achy knees will kill you, but sitting and being sedentary just might steal your health and shorten the days you expect to be around to do anything.

As a writer, well, sitting at a computer desk, coffee table, work table, research desk, or any other writerly space is sort of a job requirement.

The challenge is how to stand and write but also be able to access (ergonomically) the keyboard or laptop, mouse, and assorted resources and supplies.

Living in an RV adds additional space challenges. Where would I store a standing desk? How could I use the tiny dining table if a portable standing desk were in place? What about the bump between the slide and the RV floor? Do I need to stand on the hump to work at a standing desk?

After literally spending years contemplating, researching, and giving up the idea of a table top desk, I finally threw up my hands after a particularly long (sitting) writing day. I did a quick Amazon search, found the perfect portable standing desk, checked for size for my 17″ laptop, and ordered it. All within 5 minutes.

I should have done that ages ago!

0E4673DD-29C6-4DDB-B99E-163592FD1B04

This wonderful office accessory arrived a few days after placing my order. It took me a few minutes to figure out the legs, but after that, I realized what a treat it will be to use my new standing desk.

My 17″ laptop fits securely on top of the adjustable angle table, held in place by a shelf. My mouse and pad rest to the right of my laptop and are also held in place by a softened shelf. If you are looking for one for yourself, this is definitely for a right-handed person. Look to see if a left-handed version is available. Coloring is pretty nondescript, but I’m not in it for looks. Purpose is my main goal. It is neutral in color and is sturdy enough that I don’t worry for the safety of my laptop. It does wiggle as I type, but not the kind of wiggle that tells me it’s going to crash down. I love being able to angle the top of the tray, and my wrists appreciate the easy angle when working.

Storage is not an issue either. This tray folds flat. The two shelves that hold up the computer and mouse are a bit raised on one side, while the folded legs are raised on the back. But I found a perfect spot to rest my new work buddy.

392AC0F4-6476-4709-93D1-D2EBE326CC6F

I now have the option to stand and work or sit and work. Hurray!

What took me so long???

A1821C6C-E65D-4A04-88CA-BFA6D043F695

Details of my portable standing desk: [Large Size] Neetto TB101L Adjustable Laptop Bed Table, Portable Standing Desk, Foldable Sofa Breakfast Tray, Notebook Stand Reading Holder for Couch [Personal Computers]

You’re welcome.


Leave a comment

Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: again

F52CB4B7-69D3-45DA-9489-8C2456F72545

commence shoveling!

again, or still; nearly spring-

snow falls quietly

 

again by Angie Quantrell

Like Groundhog’s Day (the movie), this winter clutches our neck of the woods with the setting of repeat. Some movies have that choice, did you know? Especially for the younger crowd. I didn’t know winter had the same option.

But I LOVE snow! Even as green-starved as I am, gasping for fresh air and spring flowers, I feel giddy with joy when snowflakes dump steadily the whole day and into the  night. Despite the need for shoveling, I gleefully glance out the window to make sure it’s still coming down in white blankets.

It is! Sheets, comforters, pillowcases, and blankets of the white stuff. Doomed I fear, according to weather reports.

But today. I shovel. Again.

B3EB8172-2060-47EA-9E5B-60C86DBEB00E


Leave a comment

Snow Day Part 57

E161ED9C-B178-4643-A81F-44A148629712

The title MAY be a bit of an exaggeration. But welcome to the winter that keeps on giving.

Congratulations! You are enjoying the longest February on record. Technically February is the shortest month of the year, in days, but not in the long drawn-out days of snow-ice-locked cold.

97CC0198-55D2-4994-BAC9-28EAC2F30B1C

It’s snowing as I type. Skies are heavy gray with a peep of pink along the eastern edge. The landscape is white with bits of black edging from homes, red from the stop sign, and gray-brown from fence posts. White is the dominant theme this winter. Our water resources are sure to be full and overflowing this summer. For that, I am thankful.

I love snow! Really, I do. But. As March edges closer, my thoughts turn to green and bits of yellow and floaty blossoms on trees. Where are you spri-ng? Why can’t I find you? (In my head that sounds like Cindy Lou Who singing “Where Are You Christmas?”)

ECECEB9F-32B5-4343-966F-3A13B17BA408

But today. We have snow. How about one more snow day’s worth of pictures? Come July and the season of sweat, I will bemoan the lack of lacy white.

6BB9D306-F69E-48F4-A19D-FB7551D2BE3E

Celebrate the snow with children everywhere who pray for snow days, late starts, snow play, and hot cocoa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: mystery

BABC7C7C-10D3-4976-9054-9F300A6A681F

layers, patterns mix;

tightly furled, mystery

blankets secret core

 

mystery by Angie Quantrell

 

I spied this gorgeous tree and cones during a winter walk. With such fascinating texture, design, and beauty, I just had to climb a snow bank to get close enough and snap a few photos. So glad I did!

What mystery have you seen lately?


2 Comments

Snow Cream Strikes Again!

D5E8D83F-7DAE-4DA8-95AB-77897D9BC77E

Yesterday, 2-hour late start.

Today, NO SCHOOL. At all. As a kid, I would love it. As a Nana, I can’t keep up! (But I still love it.)

F6EE349E-328F-40C4-911D-917139DF3312

Sledding, shoveling, driving RCs (rock crawlers to you folks not in the RC club know), and clambering in very deep snow and cold temps leads us to the refreshment portion of the day.

845E2233-3E2B-438D-8B24-E671BF1F782F

It’s time to make Snow Cream!

  1. Fill one large bowl with clean snow. CLEAN snow.
  2. Mix between 1/4-1/2 cup sugar into 1 cup of milk. Dissolve sugar. Add 1 tsp. vanilla to milk. Stir well.
  3. Pour small amounts of sweetened milk over ice cream and stir. If you don’t have enough liquid, add more milk. I like to reduce the sugar as much as possible, so start with the smallest amount.

Once the snow is creamy, scoop into bowls and enjoy! Snow cream is a hit in this house.

P.S. IF you are a mommy, daddy, auntie, or Nana, and a fan of Irish cream, uhm, the coffee creamer version could help you survive snow days. Maybe after the kiddies are tucked in bed at night. A little Irish cream snow treat.

B32DEB82-E986-43CE-B869-87F83DE79A16