Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Monday Moments: It’s Not a Mistake that the Word “Attitude” is a Part of “Gratitude”

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“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

– William Arthur Ward

 

I am guilty of wrapping presents and not giving them.

My mind is a busy place. I often have thoughts of love, gratitude, appreciation, and joy towards others, but my mouth forgets to open to let those words out! My mind might feel it, but others need to hear it.

November’s theme seems to be thankfulness. Gratitude. Appreciation. So let’s do it, speak words (text, email) of thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation.

To you, I am so very thankful for you! I appreciate you as readers and followers of this blog, your comments on posts, our shared life adventures. Thank you!

I am grateful for a kind rejection letter I just received. The answer was still no, but a kind no is better than no answer or an ugly no.

I am grateful for my honey, best friend, co-conspirator in life. So thankful.

I am grateful for our practice in living in a tiny home. RV living is tiny living. We have just the perfect layout and features needed to keep us cozy, sheltered, and productive.

I am grateful for my health. Both of us are blessed. Thanks to God Almighty!

I am grateful for my family and friends. Life is richer, deeper, more better. 🙂 Life without you would be washed out and flat. I like the colorful 3D life with you.

It’s not a mistake that the word “attitude” is a part of “gratitude.” Adopt an attitude of gratitude and speak words of gratitude today.

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Throwback Thursday: Ready for Church in the 70’s

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What a masterpiece for mom-all 4 kids nicely dressed and AT the car doors, ready for church!

So many things run through my mind when I look at this photo.

The station wagon, the magical vehicle of weekend adventures with the family and the collie, Jody. Wish she was in this picture! A very cool fact about this wagon was the inclusion of fold down facing-each-other seats in the way back. We used to fight over who got to ride there, whether we were headed to church or not.

The outfits. Mom loved to dress my sister and me in the same outfits. Which worked most of the time. But according to mom, I loved the ruffles and frillies, despite the fact that I was chunky and the extra layers did not make me look slimmer. My sister loved the fitted and slim styles but with her slender build she could pull off all of my ruffles and more. The boys, well, suit and tie for the oldest boy, while poor baby boy sported a bib and belly button baring top. Mini Mr. Green jeans.

Notice my straight hair. I don’t know how that happened, but I have very fine curly hair. Does hair change texture as we age? Frizz is my usual style, so long flat locks were an anomaly. Some pictures, which will remain hidden, at least until they are rediscovered in storage, portray my head full of rollers. Lovely for curls, horrid for sleeping.

Desert. Barren. Dry. Unpopulated. As an adult, I’d love to travel back in time and see how undeveloped and sparse the locations we lived actually were. I don’t remember being far from neighbors when we lived here on Hamel Road. With friends just down the dirt road, this was a homey place to live. I know we rode the school bus every day, but I don’t have many memories of even standing in line for the bus. Later years, yes, there are all sorts of images from hours spent on buses, not all of them nice.

The jeep. Dad’s love. This vehicle was another magical transport, complete with a winch. Up hill, down hill, over gullies, 4-wheeling. Maybe that’s where my daughter gets it from, her love of wheeling. It certainly passed me, as I’d rather be on a horse. But during those early days, we went all over the state to find roads (or not roads) to use the winch to pull us up or help someone else up. Ah, the good old days.

How about you? What picture takes you back in time? Were the days simpler then? I’d love to hear!

 


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Monday Moments: Family Photo Chaos Company

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20 eyes

20 hands and feet

100 fingers and toes

10 mouths (equals 10 voices!)

10 different ideas

20 legs and arms

4 cameras

4 purses

2 pair improper shoes

4 pair glinting glasses

3 mommies, 2 daddies, 5 cousins

Plus: mud, crowds, drippy leaves, slick straw bales, tilting maze, sparse pumpkins, traffic, no hay rides (rain)

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Today’s Monday Moments are brought to you by the Family Photo Chaos Company.

The above stats equal 5 adults and 5 children from 2-55 years old. A list of emotions, attitudes, and energy levels: shy, humorous, pre-teen, grumpy, hungry, tired, excited, crazy, silly, bossy, happy, ready to be done with it all.

This was THE fastest photo shoot. Ever.

Still, I’m smiling. Memories made, images captured, perfection avoided. The Christmas photo shall be selected and enjoyed.

How do you manage your family photo shoots?

 


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via One Writer’s Journey: Organization Optimization

This post by Beth Anderson gives excellent organizational tips for researching and writing for children. I’ve found myself stuck and constantly searching for that ONE piece of paper hosting important story information, so I definitely could use organization tips. Spiral notebooks just might be the trick.

Thanks, Beth!

*Beth’s book is pictured above. Can’t wait to read it!

 


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Throwback Thursday: Colors of Desert Sun

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The opposite of sun-bleached, we were sun-drenched.

Long shadows, blinded eyes, rich dense colors.

Yes, this was us in the early 1970’s. I was most likely in 2nd grade, dressed for Arizona heat. My brother was in kindergarten, already pursuing his unique personality and sense of humor. Little sister must have been preschool-age, but back then going to preschool was not a thing families did.

Yes. That was how our yard was landscaped. Gravel, dust, scrappy weeds. The interesting parts were the critters and wildlife we discovered as we played and explored the desert environments. In this location alone, I remember collecting gallons of tadpoles after desert storms, and hunting horned toads, tarantulas, scorpions, snakes, spiders, jack rabbits, and those scary spider wasps. We also rescued a tortoise from the middle of the road and let him burrow around in the back yard. Thaddeus Humperdinck. That was his name. No idea why.

Yes. Windows open. The weather must not have been too drastically hot, and judging from the distant clouds, we might have recently enjoyed rain. We had a swamp cooler on top of the trailer and I remember lying on the floor beneath it during the hottest part of summer days with my coloring book and crayons, cooling off in the damp wind it created. But in this photo, the time of day was when the desert sun was kissing the horizon, ready to give us well-deserved shade and respite.

Yes. This was a very cool station wagon. Not only a wagon, but a magic vehicle capable of transporting us on weekend family treks to historical, dusty, engaging, scary, crowded, isolated, or deserted Arizona hot spots. Haha, “hot” spots. Soda pop bottles, white bread, bologna, and we were ready to roll. Up hill, down hill, across stretching southwest landscapes, stopping for rare shade trees and dusty gullies, drips of streams and gorges filled with flash floods. Life was an adventure. Include: dogs, kids, play pen, stroller, and avid interest.

Yes. A home on wheels. And we used those wheels to move the trailer several times over our life within the metal, possibly uninsulated, walls. We survived desert thunderstorms, lighting shows, freezing temperatures, snow storms, and heat hot enough to cook (insert your favorite food). Home it was. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, dining room-kitchen, and utility room. Kids lived on the right end, parents on the left. We six (plus critters) crammed a magnificent amount of life into that gorgeous tenement on wheels.

I loved living in the desert, back when heat didn’t bother me and I spent all my days outside, digging in the dirt, catching insects and reptiles, chasing kids in the ‘neighborhood,’ and making up daring adventure stories while riding horseback with my similarly minded friends. The nostalgia of childhood paints beautiful masterpieces in my mind, blotting the difficult times (were there any?) and adding exquisite details to enhance my thankfulness to God for a good, excellent, childhood.

What about you? Which photo takes you back to your childhood?


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: life blood

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my mother needed

six units to live, life blood,

passing it forward

 

life blood by Angie Quantrell

In honor of the Red Cross and the work they do to provide a safe blood supply and help in emergency and disaster situations,

Go. Give today.

p.s. Give, even if, for the second time in a row, one has to go back and lay down on the extra bed and drink oj and be waited on until the lightheadedness gies away.


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Eat Your Colors: Curry Zoodle Soup Recipe

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This collage of colorful fruits and vegetables just screamed, “TAKE my picture!”

So I did. And then I cooked them all. That’s what they get for drawing attention to their beauty. A healthy diet is a colorful diet. So to this food art, I added a few more things to make curry noodle soup. Yummy!

 

Curry Zoodle Soup

2 T. vegetable oil

2 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. ground turmeric

Saute’ over high heat, about 1 minute, stirring the whole time.

 

Gently add:

4 cups chicken broth

1-15 oz. can coconut milk

5-6 cups cubed butternut squash

1 sliced red pepper

1 sliced onion

Bring to boiling, reduce heat, and cook until squash is soft (about 15 minutes).

 

Add:

1 med. zucchini, zoodled

1 bag or half a plastic container of fresh spinach, stems removed

Juice of 1 lime

Heat 5 minutes. Stir well. Serve over cooked and shredded chicken breast.

 

This soup is so fragrant and tasty. You can also add any other favorite veggies (pea pods, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower). Good thing there’s plenty more for tomorrow!


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Throwback Thursday: Girls Can Do Anything

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This Throwback Thursday post is brought to you by Mission Friends, preschool education, and great activities for kids.

Hammer, safety glasses, wood, apron, nails. Real tools. Check.

Plus supervision.

Add Chelsie, age 5. Ready to go and do some world building. Figuratively (pretend play and exploration) and literally (girls can do anything they dream, including learning to hammer nails and build). I offered this activity to my group of preschoolers in Mission Friends. I never shied away from plans some considered slightly dangerous: hammering nails, melting crayons on a food warming tray, chopping softer fruits and veggies with butter knives. And the kids never let me down. They LOVED doing grown up jobs and took their activities seriously.

How do preschoolers and young children learn? By doing, exploring, experimenting, evaluating, planning, making mistakes, trying again.

My way of doing preschool.

“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein


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Talk to Me Tuesday: Little Voices

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“Sing the sitting song,” said 3-year-old Gage.

“What?”

“The sitting song!”

I was stumped. I had no idea, not even a glimmer of a clue.

This boy, along with his other 4 cousins/siblings, have been my captive (literally) audience over the years as they ride in the Nana Bus (my white 4-door Mazda 3) They all know the song about riding in the Nana Bus. And they have all been victim to my silly songs and antics during forced participation car trips around the city.

But the sitting song? When had I ever sang a song about sitting? We tried several, but no, not it.

“Sitting on my lap, sitting on me,” he finally said in frustration.

OHHH. “Willaby Wallaby Woo?”

“YES!”

So we sang:

Willaby wallaby woo, an elephant sat on you!

Willaby wallaby wee, an elephant sat on me!

Willaby wallaby wAGE, an elephant sat on GAGE,

Willaby wallaby wANA, an elephant sat on NANA.

 

Continually, we added cousins, siblings, parents. This song can go on forever. Like the song that never ends.

When I was finally able to quit singing the sitting song, he continued to talk. Nonstop. This chatter about a wide variety of topics, including many repeats, went on for at least an hour. I am not kidding. It started at home during play, kept going during our drive, and did not stop even when we finally met mommy for the hand-off.

I was dying and mommy was laughing because he does this up to bedtime and she has a hard time getting him to STOP talking. Just like his mommy. Wait. Just like his Papa, over filled with words and must get them out. ALL of them.

Here’s wishing you many good times singing sitting songs and chatting with the littles in your life.


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Throwback Thursday: The Suitcase

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I know we had this exact set of luggage.

Fingerhut, the mail order catalog, lured us into purchasing the complete set. Travel was at the top of my list, and we needed luggage. My family enjoyed many happy vacations and travel adventures using these beauties.

But this set was not my first foray into luggage acquisition. Years earlier, for graduation, I had requested luggage. You can tell something about a person by the choices she makes. Travel and adventure is high on my list, as evidenced by repeated attempts to procure baggage (of the traveling sort). Though I’ve got suitcases full of the other baggage, for free.

The original set of luggage, oh my. Ugly as dog poo. Make that baby poo, because it was the same awful orange-yellow-mustardy color. Naugahyde and built to last. Only it didn’t last as long as our many years of trips and is now lost in dump land. Or perhaps it is making the rounds through different thrift stores, living in the garages of other bright-eyed wanderlust humans.

What gifts or purchases have you made in the past that reflect who you are?