Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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!

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: shutter

cimg1388

protective, shading,

standing behind shutter mask-

what are you hiding?

 

shutter by Angie Quantrell

 

Happy Hump Day! Share a Haiku (or comment) about something that is hiding. We’d love to read!

***These pretty green shutters adorn the home of Claude Monet, the impressionist genius who lived and painted in Giverny, France.

 


Leave a comment

Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: worm salad

8ECB83B4-D596-4A2B-8F12-3DC41A35ADAE

spring rain brings party,

water-logged crawlers become

salad of dead worms

 

worm salad by Angie Quantrell

 

I hate walking outside after a rain, afraid of stepping on and squishing the lovely gardeners who struggle to escape overwhelming water in their aerating holes. I never have time to rescue the big ones, tossing them into garden boxes and grassy resorts. Instead, when I return home, after the rain has headed east, I find piles of worm salad.

35FFFE22-2FBA-47FC-91E6-B19CC978FA44


Leave a comment

Mud: The Perfect Nature Sensory Activity

E6358CF8-6DD1-4DCC-9A1E-D973686C88BF

First we had February. Snowmageddon and all of that. The season of snow.

Next we had the melt. Flooding, slush, and slippery ice. The season of melt.

Now we have rainy April days and plentiful water. The season of mud.

Does mud bother my grands? Not in the slightest. Nearly all the kids I know love getting dirty, playing in the mud. From what I’ve observed, most of the problem with mud comes from the adults. The ones who have to do laundry, wipe mud trails off of floors, wash boots, and repair muddy landscapes.

Forget all of that worry. It’s time for the season of play!

Enter mud play. A fine mist was falling, water stood in the wagon and various items strewn about from building fairy houses, and mud was plentiful.

They dug, scooped, buried, and transported mud, rocks, and sticks. They gathered water, poured it around, and put a dead worm in the mud in case he wanted to wake up.

They painted small pieces of logs by using a stick as a paintbrush, using the stick to smear mud across the flat surfaces. And then they decorated the wagon and fairy gardens with mud-encrusted artwork.

I love it when I see preschoolers and children (and even adults) use their creativity and imagination. I love it even more when nature and messes are involved!

I’m not sure if the parents agree, but playing in mud is excellent for sensory engagement and exploration of nature.

So…put on some old clothes, just in case, plop on the wellies, and head out for some messy fun.

 


Leave a comment

NO! The End is Near (For This Sweater)

8A05081C-1FE4-4325-A954-EE9893DA4529

2019 Word of the Year: Treasure

A treasure can be nearly anything you want it to be. This year I am spending time considering and giving thanks for the treasures in my life.

This may seem odd, but I think favorite items of clothing can be treasures. Laugh if you will, but for 2019, I am thinking of eternal treasures, earthly treasures, intrinsic treasures, and treasures of gifts and talents. With the right glasses on, anything can be a treasure!

D5BA0A1E-2F33-401F-BCEE-EBCEDB60FB37

Meet my sweater. The sweater of a thousand photos. Read this post about my favorite sweater.

This treasure was a BARGAIN I found at Goodwill. Years ago, I paid maybe $1.99 for this classic. Barely used but definitely broken in, I wore this soon-to-become-favorite with nearly all of my outfits, matching or not. I LOVE bargains and I’m not above wearing yard sale or thrift store clothes. After washing of course.

I wore my treasured sweater when menopause forced me to constantly put on and remove clothing to keep up with body temperature fluctuations.

I wore this beauty (in this case, maybe beauty is in the eyes of the beholder) on trips for ease of packing and smashing into a tote or suitcase.

I wore this lovely on too-many-too-count walks and hikes. Easy to put on, simple to remove and tie around my waist.

This sweater seen in many photos is a treasured wardrobe item. I’ll bet not too many of my family and friends have not NOT seen me wearing this.

And now? It has a significant OWIE! The elbow hole! Worn clean through.

DC9BEFB2-7D2A-416D-8379-5C59F2E5F5C2

First signs of failure included missing buttons, which I dutifully sewed back on, finally realizing I didn’t mind if the match was perfect. Sleeve and bottom edges became frayed. Armpit and elbow areas thinned. Lint was no longer an issue.

This is so sad! Can one grieve a sweater? I’m working up to it. Not yet ready to toss my soft fashion necessity, but the time is getting closer.

I’ve been hunting for a new sweater treasure. At stores (full price), bargain stores (on sale), yard sales, thrift stores, even closets of friends. Nothing has come even close to my favorite sweater.

The end is near. Should you hear the sound of taps being played outside and the metal clanks of a shovel on stone and dirt, it might be me, burying my poor, worn out sweater.

Here’s to fond memories of favorite clothes. We all have them. What’s your favorite clothing treasure?

081683DB-1261-48F8-98AF-E1F3E7A12E44


Leave a comment

Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: ode to pesto (plus recipe)

D763EC90-362A-42E9-9219-CA2C997121D2

rip, shred, pulverize-

greens, cheese, garlic, oil becomes

feast! dine, friend, pesto.

 

ode to pesto by Angie Quantrell

 

Spring is here and with it comes potted basil plants from Trader Joe’s. Basil is the scent and flavor of all things yummy. I cheat, buying multiples of potted plants each trip to Seattle, instead of planting. Though this year I am tempted to throw some seeds in a planter box and see what happens. Last year I picked up a basil plug from the grocery section at a store, and it performed beyond expectations! Of course, I repot the potted plants and plugs in good potting soil and harvest leaves as I need them.

Every summer, we gorge on pesto-on pizza, salmon, chicken; in sauce and soup. So pungent, cheezy, and filled with garlic, we can taste the beauty and intense flavors the next morning. (Yes, we brush our teeth…but my pesto is the gift that keeps giving…lol).

I use my little RV-sized food processor, so one batch is perfect for one meal.

WALNUT BASIL PESTO

Ingredients:

basil (lots of leaves, fill the food processor)

walnuts (coarsely chopped)

shredded Parmesan cheese

3-5 chopped garlic cloves

olive oil

sea salt

Optional: I’ve added spinach to up the nutritional value and use up left over amounts

 

Directions:

Add basil, walnuts, Parmesan, and garlic. Pour on olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Blend, adding additional olive oil to get the consistency your prefer. I always have to stop the machine and stir down the pesto to get it all to mix.

I don’t measure anything with this recipe, other than how much garlic I add. It’s never been too thin, but rather I need more oil. Serve right away with chicken, pizza, salmon, steak, or on toasted bread. Store leftovers (if there are any) in tightly sealed container or freeze immediately.

Now, where’s my tiny food processor?

 


Leave a comment

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

9F5F8DB0-CBB3-4316-9DB5-AD806F18AFF0

This morning.

3 grands arrived at 7:30. 1 grand forgot her shoes for P.E., so we had to make a quick return trip to apartment to get shoes and socks. But before that…

Grand 4 (surprise mama!) was not ready to leave home yet, due to unexpected need for early departure. But quick she was. Footie jammies, breakfast bar in a baggie, jacket, plastic princess jelly shoes, baby and kitty, and curly golden locks adorned the youngest.

After car seat number 2 was buckled in, the 2 youngest clambered in and were secured in place. The 2 oldest took their places, smushed with backpacks and jackets.

To the apartment. Retrieve socks, shoes, and reheat cup of tea.

To school. After all of this, 15 minutes early! So the Nana bus went on a road trip. Cook Road is very scenic.

To school, still 5 minutes to spare. Nana and the 4 visited then dashed through the drop off line, sending the eldest off to school.

Then the 2 youngest plus Nana made a quick trip at the store to purchase yogurt for grands, yogurt for Nana, nuts for Papa, cans for kitty, and spinach because it has sounded good.

Never mind slippery plastic princess shoes, colorful footie jammies, and two helpers chattering away nonstop. Food on faces? Please ignore. Hair undone? Curly locks is too cute to bother, all those ringlets. Harried adult guiding two littles? You never know what HAS been going on (hence jammies and slippy shoes) before shopping trip.

Despite the crazies, a grand time was had by all, the list was checked off, and the Nana bus made it home with time to spare before loading up to go back to school to pick up the 2 oldest grands and race home to meet number 5 who waited in driveway with auntie. Alas, Nana bus only seats 4 grands.

Early release week=adventures! Nice weather and all afternoon outside playing and using imaginations? Wonderful.

So whenever you visit a store and see an elderly woman (OK, not that elderly yet, but older than a teen) with messy bun, mismatched clothing, jammie-clad kiddos, and a crazed look in her eyes, don’t judge the book by the cover. One never knows the events leading up to a shopping trip.

And the grands? Perfectly adorable and helpful the entire way.

182CA06A-FFF2-4324-B9A0-D622BD39EDF1


Leave a comment

The Downside of Feline Hunting aka The High Cost of Rodent Extermination

827EEB89-2542-424A-93E6-EF43BF56C999

Feline host of ‘straw’

***Gross alert.

No. I’m not talking about the trail of mangled body parts, a bit of liver, a tiny furless skull, a cluster of feathers. Though walking through a feline hunting graveyard is not for the weak of heart. Quick steps and eagle-eyes are necessities.

I’m also not talking about the catch and release program of yesterdays when we had a kitty door. Catch a rat? Bring it inside and let it go. Find a rat in a trap? Bring in the decapitated corpse and play toss and catch in our bedroom in the middle of the night. Live bird? Shall we see the damage we can cause by releasing it in the living room. Not those downsides, though they are quite entertaining. One particular birthday will always be quite memorable because we all screamed, stood on the couch, and simultaneously hunted a terrified rat. With kitty help.

No, this downside I’m shuddering about today is what happens after a feline hunter is successful. I’m not sure about the total timeline, but a week or three after eating wild mice, mysteriously little bits of straw appear. No big, UNLESS they happen to be beneath the tail of said hunters. Or along back haunches. Then we have a problem.

Let’s all take a moment to scream EWWWW!

Can tapeworms be any more gross? I mean, sure, dead stuff is gross. But for the most part, they are not in my bed, on my couch, on the cat tree, littering blankets. Ick.

Miss Monet, resident exterminator and feline hunter extraordinaire, is a repeat offender. Last summer was our first encounter with ‘straw.’ I think I’ll call tapeworms ‘straw’ from now on. It’s less offensive. Straw sounds nice and cozy, like in chicken coups or horse stalls.

Last summer, I noticed straw on Monet’s backside. We scheduled a vet visit, particularly after some straw was moving. Once confirmed by the vet, Monet was duly treated for a straw infestation. And a nice little vet bill we received from that visit. Cha-ching.

The silver lining of this mouse and cat game, the coup de grace of being a hunter of mice, is the benefit of repeat offenders getting a free pass from visiting the vet. Little did I realize how this law would line the pockets of my wallet with a lower bill for removing a straw infestation.

December. Again with the straw. AGAIN.

We called in and they advised us to come on over and get a dose of straw medicine.

End of January, beginning of February, we saw warm spring-like weather. And mice. Oh, mighty huntress Monet was witnessed gobbling some poor hapless rodent. We thought nothing of it. She had just been treated for straw.

And then. Snowmageddon. Everything was snow and ice locked. No hunting, no fun runs through the pasture, no live prey of any type. Until this week.

I kid you not. This week. We still have piles of snow! But plenty of open range greening up areas RIPE with straw infested rodents. Opening day for Monet included 2 voles, 1 mouse, and 2 birds.

You can guess, can’t you? Today I welcomed Monet into the house and noticed straw on her backside. Noooooooooo…

Yes……. Back to the vet I went for straw medicine. Which, apparently, only lasts 30 days. Is there not something that lasts LONGER than 30 days? This is going to get expensive, this live rodent extermination.

The answer was no.

So, if you need some rodent control, let’s make a bargain. $25 bucks a pop for the good stuff. Maybe needed once a month. Rent-a-cat for one month will cost you. And me.

Back to vacuuming and washing blankets. Which I just did last week before we discovered straw.

And you? Do you have a problem with straw infestations?


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?