Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover

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5 Minutes


What can I do in 5 minutes?

Undecorate the RV. Seriously!

Make lunch for my honey.

Make the bed (it DOES take that long…just try making a bed in an RV).

Wipe down condensation from the windows. In the RV, this is a thing.

Vaccuum the RV. Yep.

Brush my teeth. It does take a bit.

Write a thank you note.

Put on make-up.

Call my mom (though we often chat longer than 5).

Reserve books at the library.

Snuggle a kitty or a kid.


How about you? What can you do in 5 minutes?



Non-Traditional Thanksgiving


It’s been a rough year for my family, so we decided to switch things up. This year, we went off the charts for Thanksgiving.

We chose to:

-travel to the beach (off-season is awesome)

-cook our own little turkey breast

-decorate for Christmas

-begin our annual Christmas movie countdown


What really happened:

-beach plans were cancelled due to health issues

-went on a drive to the mountains to collect pine cones for art projects

-soaked by pounding rain

-did a little off-roading to travel up a steep, rocky, bumpy, muddy path

-met a wolf

-the wolf turned into a Husky, lost VERY far from civilization

-he loved us. And jumped eagerly into the pickup

-had to figure out what to do with a huge lost dog (wearing a collar, but no tags)

-Did you know everything is closed (pretty much) on Thanksgiving? Unless you are shopping.

-which was good, since we needed dog food

-by the time we got home, it was very late when our little turkey breast went in the oven

-spent all afternoon taking photos, hanging out, searching for lost dogs, and contacting friends and social media groups in efforts to find this handsome boy his family

-nowhere to keep a large, very large dog in the RV

-our daugther and family took Mr. Handsome home to sleep

-Mr. Sweetie (SO good with kids, pets, noises, crowds) hunkered down in exhaustion

-turkey dinner became our traditional leftovers meal: turkey, cranberry sauce, cream cheese, sliced red onion sandwich (I had a salad)

-actually had a six-course meal. That’s what I told Kevin as we ate and drank different courses while waiting for the turkey to get done

-nearly sugar-free crustless pumpkin pie is delicious!

-decorated the RV. Put up our tree in less than 5 minutes. Done.

-put up the outdoor tree. Less than 5 minutes. Done.

-finished the Harry Potter movie marathon. Next, Christmas.


Our day was totally nontraditional. But we liked it.

Who knows? Next year we might go back for pinecones.

Or another lost dog.


P.S. More about our Mr. Handsome later.


One More Hug


One more hug.

That’s what I wish for. Just 1, maybe 2 long hugs.

Before I say good-bye.

But it’s too late. I’ve missed the chance. You’re gone.


I’ll remember our last day together.

Talking, remembering, sharing, eating.

That one half hug when I arrived.

It wasn’t enough.


So I’ll grab all those memories,

Wrap them tight in my heart.

Keep them close to ease the pain.

An invisible hug for eternity.


Missing you.


For my Dad.

My Daddy passed away on Good Friday, April 14. I was blessed to spend the day with Daddy and Mama, talking and visiting and hanging out. He went on to Heaven later that evening. We had the gift of clear-minded conversation and enjoyment of recalling my growing-up years the entire day. I even learned a few things I hadn’t known. I miss him dreadfully and worry about Mama without her love of nearly 57 years of marriage. But I know he is fine and she’s not alone. She has her kids, a part of Daddy. We will share our heart hugs about Daddy and remember the good times.

But I would still love one more hug.

Don’t wait. Hug with abandon.

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Tea with Me


Special Mickey dessert we enjoyed after a delicious lunch.

Let’s catch up! It’s been that busy lately.

Blog? What blog? It’s more like suitcase? Where did I put my travel bag? Where are the luggage tags? Gotta do the laundry so I have clean undies. Need to remember to pack this and that necessity. Unpack, repack. Lists, lists, and more lists.

Pause. Bring out the teacups. Heat the water. Squeeze in a bit of honey. Choose a teabag. Pour. Steep. Relax.

How has life been treating you? Are you enjoying fall (or spring, depending on your hemisphere)? What plans do you have for the holidays?

We thought life in an RV would be simpler, less to care for, smaller requirements of energy, more free time.

That has not happened. Yet.

Indeed, it seems to take longer to live. Less stuff, but more thinking and decisions to be made regarding purchases, storage options, and mulitple use items. But enough about that for now. More later.

Life has been busy, so having a small space to place our heads at the end of the day has been wonderful. A few things we have been enjoying:


We found Chewbacca!

Disneyland. Happy anniversary to us! I’m sure I have everyone confused about the date of our actual anniversary, but we have gotten out of the habit of celebrating it on or even near the 22 of June. November? Sure, that’s a great time to head south with thousands of our best friends (and we thought we had an original idea – nope – crowd factor was quite high).

Rubber stamping. I know – hand crafts are fabulous! I decided to make our Christmas cards this year, since my stash of every day cards is quite high and I need to use some of them up before adding more. So off I went to meet the girls and co-conspirators. 94 Christmas cards ready to be used. Merry Christmas!


The leaves win!

Grandkids. One of my favorite hobbies. I love seeing them and spending time with all 5 of our precious jewels. Photos have been taken, treats given, hugs and kisses enjoyed. Every day is an adventure with grands!

Amplify. We are headed into the busy season, as most churches are right now. Harvest Party, Thanksgiving baskets, Caroling and nursing home visit, Candlelight Service, and so on. Despite the bustle of the season, I adore this time of year.


Writing. Deadlines are among us. If I disappear for a few days (or weeks) and forget to answer emails or phone calls, it’s the deadline factor. I am blessed to have quite a few on my master schedule, so off to work I go.

Walking. Not so much when I’m home. But if I’m in, let’s say Disneyland, I’ve enjoyed upwards of 8-10 miles a day. Or with friends, 2-3 miles is a nice happy medium. At home, we are still working out the kinks of safely reaching a good walking location (without having to drive somewhere to walk).

Family. Keeps us busy. Grands, siblings, children, parents. It’s lovely to have all of our family close. That doesn’t always translate to seeing them often, but if something pops up, we are near and can help or attend an event or gathering. I don’t know of many families that have so many members this close. For that, we are grateful.

And coming up soon – birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the new year – the seasons of the year. Each is a gift from God.

How about you? Refresh your cup and fill me in. What plans are on the calendar? What’s been going on?

Have a blessed day.



That Sort of Girl


My signature fragrance!

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

I dabbled a bit at the perfume counters and my grandmas’ display of pretty bottles for years. But once I found my lifetime signature fragrance, that was it. Committed. Loyal. Done searching.

Oh, I may have stopped to smell other roses along the way, but this was MY scent.

Tresor. In French, a treasure. For me, my favorite perfume.

This personality trait, for I have realized that’s what it is, does not only apply to Lancôme.

When my honey and I got engaged, I loved my ring. As we married, I gained another simple gold band. At ten years in, he bought me a 10-tiny-diamond band. At 20 years, we went hunting together. The sales lady wanted me to ‘trade-up’ for a larger diamond. How about NO? I am sentimental about my rings and each one is precious. I don’t care about the size. I care about the commitment and memories and love they symbolize. I have the same rings without traded-up stones. Because they are MY rings from MY love.

Speaking of love, sure I dabbled a bit here and there. Window shopping, as it were. Tried on a few different sorts, but once I found my man, that was it. Best friends, partners, lovers, co-adventurers. Life-ers. Thirty-one plus years. He’s worth it. Kevin and Angie. We go together.

Coffee? Same goes. You may call me a coffee snob, but I do enjoy Starbucks. We’ve had a rocky relationship, this company and this coffee drinker, and I do whine about their ridiculous prices and return bad drinks for correctly prepared ones. But that’s what partners in relationships do, right? We work on fixing things and put up with the negatives.

Friends. Ditto. I have the same friends from high school and college. I see some more than others, but it’s always the same. We are glad to visit, hang-out, share meals, giggle, and shop – whenever we meet face to face. I’m not going to trade them for a newer model just because we more mature friends have a few bumps, bruises, and sags. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to make new friends. I will add them to my collection.

Jesus. Once I decided He’s the One, I committed. It’s a long-term relationship, to eternity and beyond! Don’t need to window shop anymore. Just work on getting to know each other and enjoy the relationship and fellowship along the way. Hang out. Go on adventures. Chill and celebrate. Just like a marriage.

Family, cars, pets, clothes, hobbies, . . . Until we wear out and are reduced to rags or the engine burns up or the kitties get too old or my fingers get arthritis. Mine. Don’t worry. I’ll share.

I’m that kind of girl. Once I make a choice, I stick to it.


My honey and I surveying our new home. LOL. LOVE old wood. Photo by Angie Quantrell 2016

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When We First Met

The fridge, our friend

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

I remember the day I first saw you. I mean really saw you.

It was on Halloween, October 31, 2009.

That was the day we moved out of the spare bedroom of my in-laws’ home and into our own space. Such a beautiful day.

I opened you, ready to put cold items in for storage. Oh, look! They forgot a lovely crystal glass bowl.

So I carefully washed the bowl and put it away.

The next day, you surprised us with a shelf and trays full of water.

THAT was why the bowl was left behind. For the leak. From the ice maker. Which leaked pretty much non-stop.

The picture became even clearer the more we got to know each other. We discovered that you really loved to have a dish towel beneath the bowl, just in case you spilled over the edges. And those spaces under the veggie bins? That was your favorite spot for letting water pool and become a lovely icky tan.

The bowl and dish towel

This went on, the emtpying of the bowl of ice and water, replacing the dish towel, and starting the cycle again and again, for years. Until finally, we couldn’t keep up.

So we had to turn off the ice maker. It must have made you sad, but we couldn’t keep up with the water.

Ah. Now we wouldn’t need the bowl. We could use the entire inside of the fridge for our food.

Not true. From somewhere, deep within your beige walls, you had the capacity and urge to leak. Still. Even without a water connection.

Back went the towel and the bowl. It became a game of sorts. Some days there were no drips at all. We thought we might be able to dispose of both bowl and towel. But others days, a deluge of water filled the bowl and the bottom of the veggie drawers. Even with no water connection.

The end came, at last, when even the second shelf was often filled with standing water. One dish towel became two, then three. It was too much.

Good-bye, my leaky beige-y drippy friend. It has been good. Interesting. Confusing. Frustrating.

But you have been faithful. Our food stayed cold, even frozen.

Thank you for your service. I will always have fond memories of our time together, the good times and the bad.

The new fridge – without bowl and dish towel

Hello, beautiful. I remember the day I first saw you. It was April 15, 2016. Tax day.

Here’s to a long, drip-free relationship. Without the bowl and the dish towel.

Thanks for stopping by.

I would love to hear your tales of appliances gone bad.

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Home. What a big word.


Home is . . .

where I reside

the body I wear

the spouse I adore

my family of love

the animals I adopt

the nature that surrounds me

the future I hope for

my faith that centers me

friends who nuture me

fellow writers who encourage me

the city of my residence

the state and country of my belonging

the planet I inhabit


Home is a big word.


What does home mean to you?

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Never Use Scissors as a Tool

Mabel, expressing her disappointment. “I can’t believe you did that, mom.”

I’m embarassed to admit that I misused the scissors this morning.

The cat food container was stuck closed. It was very tightly sealed.

The food dishes were empty.

The (in their minds) gaunt kitties were starving.

The husband was already gone, so help was not available except for the above mentioned wasting-away gray girls.

What to do? What to do?

The not-intelligent thinker in my head suggested that I use scissors to pry up the lid.

Not the round-tipped kid scissors. No. Let’s try the pointy-tipped very sharp scissors. Yes. Those will help tremendously.

I didn’t need to be told twice, but grabbed the pointy-tipped scissors and began trying to pry up an edge on the food container.

Just as I was thinking This is not a good idea. These scissors could slip off of the metal and poke me. the unthinkable (apparently not unthinkable, as I had just thought it) happened. The scissors skidded off of the metal tin and slid right into my face!

Yes. Berating myself, I immediately felt blood running down my cheek.

Yes. I stabbed myself on the face.

As Hermoine Granger said in one of the Harry Potter movies, “What. An. Idiot.”

I am forever grateful that God saved me from my poor choice and protected my eyes, nose, and lips. He did not save me from crumbled pride. How humiliating to admit the error of my ways.

I am grateful that the small puncture and slice wound is tiny and the rest of me works quite well.

Warning from one who used scissors improperly: DO NOT use scissors as a tool. They are for cutting. Not prying, digging, scooping, or any other chore. Cutting. Period.

When was my last tetanus shot?