Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: bridge

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Let’s take a little vacation to visit summer and Monet’s Giverny. (I think we can all use some sunshine and green.) Here’s #ThrowbackThursday meets Hump Day Haiku.

 

in white winter mope,

memories feed sanity

bridge to restful green

 

bridge by Angie Quantrell

 

Welcome to Hump Day Haiku Challenge. Join the fun and share a Haiku about bridges or winter despair. We’ll make it to spring!

 

 

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#TBT The Anniversary Cruise

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For our 25th anniversary, we treated us to an Alaskan cruise. Princess Cruise Lines really outdid themselves. So many options, so much great food and entertainment. It was a delight to travel with my best friend. Relaxation, sight-seeing, swimming, activities-the offerings were more than any one person could attend. Looking back, our appearance seems much younger than now. LOL.

The first picture was a selfie taken while we were watching an outdoor movie on the top deck. Remember, it was Alaska! Blankets provided, snuggling necessary to stay warm. We were thankful that it wasn’t raining!

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This picture was taken during the fancy dress-up evening on board our ship. After arriving home, my honey treated me to a no-cal floral cake. Beautiful!

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We found this totem pole in Juneau. I love the faded paint and weather-worn wood.

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Panning for gold did not improve our financial prospects. Not one bit.

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If you ever get the chance, do enjoy a cruise! We were fortunate to get a balcony, which really helped when we felt motion sickness. Between the cool air from the slightly open balcony door and the rocking of the ship, we had the best sleep ever.

Next year will be our 35th anniversary. I wonder where we will end up for that anniversary? What adventures have you had when celebrating special occasions? All suggestions will be considered. 😉

 

 

 

 


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First Organize, Then Write

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As long as I can remember, I’ve always had to tidy the nest before beginning and completing projects.

In college, I had to clean my room, organize my desk, do the laundry, and make lists of things I needed to get done before I could tackle homework and class assignments.

In high school, I had to make my bed and I’m assuming put away belongings in the room I shared with my sister. I don’t remember those years as far as organizing, except I was on the college track and academic and social paths were solidly beneath my feet in order to ensure that I was able to attend the college of my choice. Go, Western Washington University!

Before that, I remember enjoying nesting when I played. Literally, I loved surrounding myself with a circle of toys (the nest) and playing contentedly within nest borders. I suppose that was a form of nesting.

Now, at the age of 56, something in my personality requires the same urgency to organize my surroundings and then write and/or work on deadline projects.

You can imagine the trouble this causes when living in a tiny RV. There is only so much room for organizing and tidying! I work at the RV table-aka-desk. Each time I need to work, the table HAS to be cleared in order to make space for the laptop and assorted files, books, and resources I need for references. I pull out the TV tray for my desk extension and prop work items around me. When it’s time to stop writing, reversing the nesting process gives me plenty of opportunities to think creatively about where to store (and be able to find again) my work items. Poor honey, he really puts up well with my hogging of space.

Just last weekend, I tackled the messy paper stack on the RV bench. Also known as my filing cabinet and book shelf. It was pretty bad.

Surprise! When I pulled out the stacks of things to be sorted and properly filed, I discovered that condensation was making the back of the cushion damp and a tiny bit of mold was happily growing in the corner. Lovely, that. This type of cleaning need requires immediate removal of all cushions, the wiping down of cushions and mold areas, and thorough drying of said items.

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We tend to forget, my honey and I, that this task is often necessary at least once a winter season. So I cleaned, organized, and reassembled.

While I still have a pile of little writerly notes (IDEAS, friends, those precious papers are filled with inspiration!), the rest of the RV dining area/office/guest bedroom/and family room is tidy and ready for work projects.

That is, until the pitter-patter of little grands enters the RV. Things quickly get scooted out of the way and piled in the corner of the bench. This habit is also called JOB SECURITY for the need to organize THEN write.

How about you? Do you have any quirky habits or needs that have to be fulfilled before you tackle a big project or activity? Please tell me someone else out there has to nest!


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Flowers in France #TBT

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Ten years ago this spring, my honey and I spent 3 weeks in France. Most of our time we stayed in Paris, where flower shops and coiffured gardens displayed dazzling blooms. I loved gazing at the gorgeous blooms. And, according to my external hard drive, spent much time clicking photos to remind myself of their beauty.

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The first two photos are favorites because of the price tags. Without those French words and Euro price tags, one would assume the flowers could be found on any continent during the proper season. Well, maybe not Antarctica or the Arctic.

at monet's water lilly pond

One of my most favorite memories was taking a day trip to Giverny, the home of Claude Monet. I have been a long time admirer of his impressionistic work. With settings such as these, how could he NOT paint? Breathtaking! If you squint, you can see his featured bridge back beyond the willow trees.

 

bedroom up, studio down

This is a part of Monet’s home. We took a walking tour inside. I don’t have any photos of the inside, I think because we were not allowed to take pictures. It was inspiring to see the places he worked, slept, ate, and enjoyed family life. I would move in in a second!

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The flower gardens are all that-and more! One could spend days exploring and not see it all. Actually, I want to return one day and spend the entire day soaking in the beauty.

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Oh, the flowers that grow! Below you can see the green bridge covered in tourists. Alas, I attempted photos without the crowds, but you can see I created a false impression. 😉 Plenty of others had the same ideas we did about a day in the country.

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Have you been inspired to travel some place special? What captured your imagination and led you to visit and explore?


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: echoes of me

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how many me’s, there?

first in line, glass reflections,

we’ll need more tickets.

 

echoes of me

by Angie Quantrell

 

Hello, Happy Hump Day! Already 2019 is speeding by. Pause and pen a Haiku or share a story about going to the movies. I’d love to read your comments!


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Despite my love for cats, I adore birds. I just can’t put feeders out. That’s like saying, “Here, kitty, kitty! All you can eat buffet!” My Monet is a great hunter on her own, without my baiting traps for her.

So, I enjoy the birds that fly beyond her reach or call from barns, trees, and migration routes. She can’t get to those. In my car I keep a falling apart copy of a bird identification book. It’s amazing how many birds I can spot, research, and identify while my honey is driving over rivers and through woods. I’ve learned much about birds on our road trips.

After reading this post via Writers Rumpus, I discovered more bird books I need to read. Just in time for winter birding! I’m sending a big thank you to the authors, illustrators, and Kirsti Call (Writers Rumpus). Thank you!

Go check it out. You will learn a thing or three.

via Flying High with Gifted Authors Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple


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Merry Christmas!

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I can’t believe that Christmas is tomorrow, and fast on the heels of this special day, a new year waits to be born!

Thanks so much for visiting and hanging out with me this year. I’ve had fun exploring Haiku and photos, books, recipes, family antics and adventures, travels, and writerly topics. I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts, learned something new, laughed, or maybe wondered into which deep end I’ve fallen.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends! Praying that your time together will be blessed.

Peace to you!

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The grands, (l-r) Donavyn, Hayden, Autumn, Khloe, and Gage


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Holiday Haiku – 25 Days of Christmas Haiku: love

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Christmas season, love

comes in many forms, marriage

but one; friendship too

 

love

by Angie Quantrell

 

 

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Join me on a Christmas Haiku journey as I celebrate with words, thoughts, and photos that take me deep into my family’s Christmas traditions. Read more Christmas Haiku posts here.

May this Season of Light brighten your life and fill your heart with love.


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National Take a Hike Day

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November 17 was National Take a Hike Day. In our neck of the woods (quick quiz: who is famous for using that phrase?), the weather was clear, blue skies sparkled, and the temps were brisk but not frigid. It was a perfect day for a near-winter hike.

Er, walk. I did something to my back and have been experiencing excruciating pain for most of the day. I suspect an odd twist, weird picking up of a grand, or hauling heavy laundry through tight RV doors. So we walked, not hiked.

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Any-who, my honey and I went to the Cowiche Canyon near Yakima, Washington. It’s been on our list and ‘something else’ has consistently popped up and blocked us from this destination. There are so many more options for hiking the canyon now than when we first starting hiking at this location. One can scramble up rock cliffs, stroll along cliff edges, amble above canyon level through sage brush hillsides, or take the path through the base of the canyon. Fantastic!

Who knew, but wildlife is abundant in this practically in town outdoor area. Warning signs hint at cougars and bears. It goes without saying that rattlesnakes will be present (just keep walking). This is central Washington after all. Due to the cold temperature, I wasn’t too concerned about snakes. For our walk, we heard quail and various bird calls. Rustling in the bushes made us wonder, but they were tiny rustles. And with the other humans and their dogs, wildlife was probably running for dear life.

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Due to my back woes, we took the slow path from the east canyon entrance. No trails up and down the cliffs, highlands, or even to the end of the canyon. There was even a sign pointing towards wineries, which we did not take, but still! In the middle of a nature hike, an adult venture. LOL We took the easy jaunt on a nice path through the canyon, skirting the Cowiche Creek, checking out beaver dams, listening to the burbling water. It was a lovely day to take a hike.

There are so many outdoor options around Cowiche Canyon. This destination hike is definitely on our list for future outings. Read more about Cowiche Canyon here.

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How about you? Did you “take a hike”?


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Disneyland: 10 Tips for Surviving Your Vacation While Experiencing Menopause

Reblogged from my old blog at AngieQuantrell.blogspot.com on October 8, 2014.

Yes. It’s true. Menopause does change your outlook on life, at least temporarily. I didn’t know how much until we took a recent trip to Disneyland. It was my only trip to the Big D while enjoying the side effects of the Big M – menopause.

Mostly, the heat made it miserable for me (and thereby, my hubby). Shade and AC were my favorite attractions this go-round. Here are some tips that helped me stay sane while experiencing the magic of Disney while hormonally unbalanced.

1. SHADE. I’ve already mentioned this. Shade is your friend. Your very best friend, next to AC. Find it and stand there. Seek seats in shady areas to recoup or wait for parades. Take an umbrella if necessary to make your own shade. Shade is found in all sorts of lovely shops, restaurants, attractions, and natural settings. Seek and find.

2. AC. Air conditioning should be first, as I LOVE AC. Some of the best places to find AC? Again – shops, restaurants (indoor), and attractions. Pirates quickly became a favorite ride due to the blasts of cool air propelling from the doors, as well as the approximately 15 minutes worth of sit-down-in-AC-time while on the actual ride. Find those indoor rides and patronize them. We were also rejuvenated by lolling about in our hotel room, complete with beautiful AC.

3. Go NAKED. NOT really! But do wear thin, cotton clothing. I wanted to wear sleeveless tops, but my little backpack then chaffed my upper arms. Plus, short sleeves protect your shoulders from sunburn. Thin clothes do the trick. Cotton absorbs sweat and dries from sweat relatively fast. I lived in shorts and thin shirts.

4. Eat SMALL. Huge meals made me have more hot flashes, in addition to the multiple (and I mean MULTIPLE) hot flashes I had due to change in temperatures from the northwest and the heat spell found in Orange County. Small meals and snacks made it easier to deal with the constant dripping sweat resulting from hot flashes (hereafter to be called HF). Relief, if there is such a thing, comes in lack of heavy clothing.

5. NUTS. This is perhaps one of my favorite discoveries. Buy nut pack cases from Costco. Carry around a few packages. Eat them as a snack or a meal. The protein and extra salt helped replace what I was licking off of my upper lip and wiping off of my sweaty brow.

6. Alternate. Enjoy an indoor attraction or event. Then head out for a sunny ride. Go back inside to shop. Stand in line for an outdoor show. Etc. Etc. Give your body a chance to reset.

7. Embrace the COFFEE BREAK. This is another favorite that we just discovered this trip. Take a coffee break. Every day. You don’t have to drink coffee. Now that Starbucks is on both Main Street (inside the park) and Downtown Disney (outside the park), the opportunities are plentiful. We hit the Main Street store each morning, staked out an in-the-shade table, and drank iced green or passion tea. Plus we added a snack – a nut pack or pastry. I needed the shade break and cool drink. My honey needed the food. Perfect win-win situation.

(HINT: You cannot reload your Starbucks card while inside Disneyland. If you are planning on collecting stars, load at home, load at Downtown Disney, or set your card to automatic reload).


8. FLOAT a BOAT. Drink enough water to literally float a boat. I drenched my clothing continually all day with sweat. Really, it was disgusting. So I had to drink, drink, and drink some more. Not just plain water. What was really refreshing was sparkling water. We stocked up at home, brought a few cases with us, and kept it cool in the hotel fridge. Ahhhh. The pause that refreshes.

9. Get a FAN. I could not have survived at all without my hand fan. It’s just a cheap little paper fan with wood slats. But it folds up so I could put it in my backpack or pocket and take it out as needed. It was in use most of the time, providing a breeze where none was to be found. Disneyland does have those cool battery driven fans that spritz water out as they spin. They cost $18. I was too cheap to buy one. Instead, stand beside some kids who are holding one. They don’t pay attention and will accidentally spray you. I spent some time next to a few youngsters while waiting for a show. They kept my legs cool (not that they knew it, but I felt it). Or buy a water fan in advance of your trip. Take it along.

10. Be REALISTIC. I thought I was still 25 and not experiencing hormonal surges and an excess of HF’s. We quickly learned. Slow down. Have fun. Get a 5 Day Pass. You will have plenty of time to see everything. EVERYTHING.

I can’t wait to make a return trip. Go Disney!