Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Overwhelmed

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Curlers and all, love my mom! 

It’s been a while.

Life is sometimes overwhelming. After Mama died in May, days became chaotic, stressful, and anxiety-filled. Nights were often sleepless, filled with memories of 56 years with Mama or constantly making to-do lists. Grieving took a back seat to facing and surviving each day.

How was I to know that cooking beets would remind me of canning beets with my mom? I was always the beet peeler. Or that walking on the stepping stones she and dad made years ago with our names on top would take me right back to our Wapato home?  Or how my wedding anniversary would bring me to tears because my mama always remembered our big day? She painstakingly made my wedding dress and several bridesmaid dresses. I didn’t realize that, now, every time I drive to the apartment of my grands, I would have to pass the Cottage where she passed away. The memories keep her close to my heart, but that heart is full of aches and pains.

Each day is new to the process. All four of our parents have passed on to Heaven. They are having a great time. But that doesn’t stop me from missing them. We are now the oldest and the NEXT to go (in the natural order of things, not counting for surprises). And we both have the hope and faith that we will see them again when it’s our time to go.

“Any-who.” As my mother-in-law always said. “That’s life.”

But life takes it out of you sometimes.

I’m back. Slowly and steadily, taking one day at a time. Still missing Mama.

Life altering circumstances or situations do, well, alter your life. Have you had any life events that deeply impacted your life? How did you survive and continue on living your life?

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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: mama reversal

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a child, needing mom

for guidance, encouragement,

model to follow.

 

a mother, aging

ill, failing, needing her child,

someone to grasp hands.

 

from birth, you held me,

fed, tended, loved, taught, mothered.

reversing the care.

 

mama reversal by Angie Quantrell

 

For my mama. Missing you! Honored to reverse the care.


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Celebrating Moms

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There are moms, and there are MOMS.

And I’m not just talking about women who give birth to babies and become mothers. Well, yes, those sorts of moms.

But also, moms who have adopted, claimed, or otherwise taken in extra babies, children, and adults and made them a part of the family. Moms who have mothered others through tough times or through career choices. Moms who have taught more than just their own offspring, baked cookies for the neighborhood kids, shared/traded hand-me-downs and kid-paraphernalia, or tucked in all the littles who happened to be around at nap or bedtime. Moms who embrace the friendless, welcome in the newcomers, stand up for the picked-on. No nonsense moms who tell it like it is, teach how it should be, and show by example how to do it.

Moms not limited to birth or adoption or choice, but also by caring. Moms of fur babies, next-door-neighbors, or troops, clubs, or teams. And those dads. Dads who mother their children in so many ways, again by choice or circumstances.

Moms. All of them.

Thank you, moms (mothers, mamas, mommys), for all you have done, are doing, and will do to mother us! We love you!

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This Mother’s Day, heaven has two new mothers. My mommy, Bonnie, passed away on May 7, and is up there rejoicing in Heaven with Jesus, daddy, and all of her loved ones. My other mommy, Carole (Kevin’s mama), passed away last June 7. I’m sure she was ready to welcome mom with a cup of coffee and lots of catching up. This was our first Mother’s Day without our moms. We be sad. But up there? The celebrating just jumped up a notch!

While our Mother’s Day took a turn towards the side of mourning, and we have mom-sized holes in our hearts, we KNOW we will see them again when it’s our turn to go. No more tears, pain, broken and failing bodies. Just love, joy, and reunion.

Peace to all who miss their mothers.


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: cotton candy

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cotton candy clouds

effervescence, bees’ delight

pink blossom carpet

 

cotton candy by Angie Quantrell

 

I love spring blossoms and the buzz of happy bees. Welcome, pink!


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Big Brother Sympathy

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Chocolate cake and her Minnie balloon.

Miss Autumn has been birthday princess for the last week. Minnie Mouse visited her birthday through cake, wrappings, and gifts. Cool balloon Minnie greetings floated in helium bliss and adorned Autumn’s wrist and bedroom.

Birthday girl has been hauling around a beloved Minnie balloon. Inside and outside. Can you see where this is going?

Yesterday, held free-hand instead of tied, the favorite balloon escaped and slipped from Autumn’s clasped fist. Helium filled Minnie quickly ascended to travel blue skies. The lesson of what happens to all free floating helium-filled balloons became reality.

Sobbing tears, this heart-broken nearly 3-year-old announced to the nearby world how upset she was with this loss.

Despite mama loves, the sobbing continued. And was quickly added to when big brother Donavyn began sobbing and came to mommy. With puppy Ginger tangled around her feet and two sobbing children, mommy Jamie staggered in the house to try and restore order and figure out why Big Brother was crying.

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A Minnie cake by Gramma Schlenker, a sweater hand-me-down from Auntie Chelsie (who is 28!)

And what a caring boy to cry and sob.

Big Brother Donavyn was crushed for his sister and her balloon loss. We thought something had happened to him (bee, fall, scrape) but he was sympathizing with sissy. Such a sweetheart to take on and share the feelings of his little sister!

Are you a sympathetic cryer? I have my moments when I just can’t help myself and cry right along in sympathy (or empathy, if the occasion for tears is truly a shared experience). Shared tears offers comfort.

Good job, Donavyn, for helping Sister feel better.

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Autumn is happy, just not sure how to smile at the camera AND show her card.


40 Years Ago Today

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Senior Prom, 1981; Dress made by my mama, hair by Aunt Helen, hunk complements of his parents!

My honey keeps track of the ‘little’ big important days.

I know birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, that sort of thing. But for remembering the dates for first date, first kiss, first trip, and so on, he wins the prize.

First, he tells me that Tuesday (today) is a special day.

“What is Tuesday?” I ask, wracking my brain.

“I’m not telling you, you have to figure it out.”

Great. I am not good at this game. We’ve known each other a very long time. More than 40 years.

After several comically wrong guesses, I vaguely recall this time of year being when we finally got together as a couple.

“40 years ago, you agreed to be my girlfriend!”

Aww. He is absolutely right. I think. 40 years ago today, we started dating. As his mother used to say, “No, you keep him, you’ve had him longer.”

I agree. I’ll keep him. I have had him longer. I still want him. 🙂


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Happy Easter!

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Happy Easter! He is Risen!

Matthew 28:5-10 (NIV)

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Happy Resurrection Day! Hope your day was filled with love and joy!

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International Women’s Day #IWD2019

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Happy International Women’s Day!

If you are a woman, be blessed and do not take for granted the gifts, skills, and life you have been given.

If you are a woman, be thankful for your ability to give to and care for others.

If you are a woman, look for opportunities to uphold and support other women who need you.

If you are a woman, be generous with your affections and assistance, energy and engagement.

If you are a woman, acknowledge your capabilities, opportunities, and strengths. Own your faults and take responsibility for your failures. Realize you cannot do it all.

If you are a woman, exude kindness. Treat others as you would have them treat you. Remember you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Be nice even to those who are not.

If you are a woman, embrace relationships, both near and far, with family, friends, and strangers.

If you are a woman, be at peace. Love, accept, strive to improve yourself. Delve deep to learn your faith. Stretch to exercise and grow strong.

If you are a woman, rely on God, do not be afraid to trust. Seek and find.

If you are a woman, live to the fullest. Be present in the day. Give focus and attention to those around you.

If you are a woman, rejoice! To be a woman is a gift.

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Today, I gave blood at the Red Cross. For women, men, children-whoever needs red blood. Regardless of race, education, income, culture, residence. Because we bleed the same. Red.

Loving with red.

How about you? Did you celebrate International Women’s Day?

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2019 Word of the Year: Treasure (The New Journal Look)

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2019 is looking different than 2018!

Well, February has been looking the same-all WHITE. It has felt like the longest month on record. Which is funny, since it’s the shortest. All of this snow has my brain frozen on repeat, like Groundhog Day (the movie).

I have yet to begin my Word of the Year art project (look here to see last year’s page), but I am adding to my Blessings & Thankfulness Journal. The daily blessings and thankfulness items I add are about my days, but some of the verses and journal decor are about treasure. I think I will add more treasure-themed gleanings and thoughts as I go along.

On the front sides of the pages I’ve been listing the days of the month and then adding things for each day that I feel are blessings or things for which I am thankful.

On the back sides of the pages, I’ve added washi tape and Bible verses. I like the idea of working out my word of the year on the back pages of my blessings and thankful lists. I still want to work on a Word of the Year (Treasure) creative art project, but it is simmering on a back burner, waiting for more time and inspiration.

In the meantime, this is what I’ve done to the cover of my journal. I love the colors! I need to do the back.

Do you have a word of the year? Do you journal? I’d love to see your projects.

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The inside cover 


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It’s that time of year, writers. If you are a SCBWI member, this is a great opportunity! The application window is March.

Let’s turn those ideas into the best stories possible!

Thanks to Kathy Temean over at Writing and Illustrating!

via BOOK WINNERS and SCBWI WORK IN PROGRESS AWARDS Opportunity