Love, Laughter, and Life

The Writing Life of a Woman Who Might Be Missing a Few Brain Cells


Welcome Spring!


Spring Wildflower

S – shows of life, green carpeted paths

P – peek at bursts of color, winters’ grays fade away

R – renewed vigor, earth joyfully bursts forth

I – invitation to celebrate, cold passes as warmth returns

N – nature dons her new attire, fresh and vibrant

G – growing time arrives, rest is over for bounty begins


Columbia River Gorge


A Photo Becomes A Painting


A photo tells a story.

At the end of a recent vacation, I shot a selfie of the two of us, relaxed and replete after several days of downtime and fun. This picture is one of my favorites.

Factor in one of Kevin’s co-workers, Kathy Bensch. She wanted to do a painting of us for Kevin’s office. Just because. We gave her a copy of our favorite photo.

Et voila! There we are, in living water color. Thank you, Kathy! Perfect!

Not that the painting will ever make it to Kevin’s office…I do have some ideas on how to share.

But I think this painting looks great in the RV.




Throwback Thursday: Parking in Paris

I so love Paris! I thought it would be fun to read (and see) about our stay in the City of Light back in 2009. Bienvenue!

bumper to bumper cars

Bumper to bumper cars

That’s it. As far as the eye can see, cars sticking bumper to bumper. I am SO happy to not have a car while living in Paris. The Metro is just perfect, thank you. Or my own 2 feet.

I am fascinated with drivers in Paris…it’s amazing how little damage actually occurs as people get from A to Z in as little time, distance, and space as possible.

Some observations about parking in Paris, just in case you want to drive and park while here:

no limit except vertical walls

No limit except vertical walls

Motorcycles, scooters, bicycles…pretty much can park anywhere. They are supposed to follow normal driving rules, but motorcycles have a secret lane between the outside 2 driving lanes, and both motorcycles and bicycles will pass stopped vehicles and get in front of them to get away first when the light turns green. Or if there are no pedestrians…

Optional parking on top of cones

Optional parking on top of cones

Your choice – between or on top of cones.

Space between vehicles is negligible

Space between vehicles is negligible

Bonus points are awarded for vehicles with minimal space between bumpers.

Accidents WILL happen.

Accidents WILL happen.

Expect some slight scratches or bruises

Expect some slight scratches or bruises

Clever drivers will gently ease into tiny parking spots, avoiding major warping and scrapes on bumpers and fenders.

And my personal favorite trick for in city driving ~

Always carry duct tape.

Always carry duct tape.

It’s true. Duct tape can fix anything.

Despite these captivating photos, drivers in Paris really are amazing. There are few accidents, pedestrians remain unharmed, vehicles stay on the road, and traffic flows in seemingly flawless pathways. Hats off to the competent drivers!

How about you? Where is your favorite destination? How are the drivers? We’d love to hear!

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Come, Have Tea with Me!

The inside of one of the barracks at Fort Simcoe

by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Do weekends go faster and seem busier than the rest of the week, or is it just me?

Pull up a cup of your favorite tea and let’s chat. I am drinking PG Tips with a tiny swirl of honey in the bottom. If I really wanted to be reminded of my visits to England, I would add a dash of milk and use raw sugar instead. Delish!

Here’s what I’d share with you about my weekend:

On Friday, I went grocery shopping. This is only worth mentioning because of the crowds! It was insane. But I did have my pint-sized helper, Miss Khloe. She assisted me as we grazed our way through Costco.

Nana with her 5 grands, from 5 weeks to 7 years-old.

The Quantrells took Fort Simcoe by storm on Saturday for a birthday plus a birthday plus a graduation picnic day. It was very nice, but it turned into a HOT day as the temps kept rising. We were done by 1, back in the cars, and on the road seeking AC. We enjoyed hanging out together. Nana especially loved having the grands in one spot, though it only lasted for 5 minutes. And then they were off and running.

Saturday was a free National Park Day, so we wanted to take advantage of the special day by visiting Fort Simcoe. You can read more about Fort Simcoe here.

We saw:

– a passel of squirrels, rolling and tumbling all over each other

– no snakes (Amen)

– no bears (double-Amen)

– cows (yes, cows – and plenty of cow-pies, ick!)

– old buildings

– 2 springs

– canons

– a tiny museum

– a parade of Model T’s that also traveled out to Fort Simcoe for a picnic

– a park worker in a golf cart chasing away the poopy-cows who wanted to graze (and poop) on park grounds

– the location of my son and daugther-in-laws’ wedding

On Sunday, we continued our celebration of graduates at church with a relaxed gathering where we viewed photos, chatted, and shared cake.

Our beautiful graduates!

My honey and I went on a lunch date. This was followed by relaxing in a cool theater and watching a movie. We migrated home, dodging the heat, and stayed inside and under shade. Temps were in the triple digits, so there was no working outside or going for a walk. Nope.

Back-to-work Monday has arrived. Triple digit temps are in the works as I type. I think I hear the beach calling me, if only it weren’t 5 hours away.

Thanks for stopping by. I’ve so much enjoyed tea with you.

Lavender from my garden and a tea cup we received as a wedding gift (31 years ago)

What did you do during the weekend? I’ll make another cup and you can tell me about your weekend.

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Meeting in the Middle Really Works

meet in the middle

drive separate roads to where

catching up is fun

~ Haiku by Angie Quantrell


Meeting in the middle works.

Yes, the sort of meeting in the middle that signifies compromise and working together – that works.

But also the physical, drive and meet in the middle between two far flung locations – that works as well.

Making the most of a federal holiday, a friend and I recently met in the middle for a fun day of rubber stamping, visiting, and eating. We’ve been discussing the idea for quite a long time, but could never put wheels on our vision.

Until we stopped talking and started driving. She booked a hotel room for her daughter and a friend and herself. I met them. We took over the hotel’s business conference room table, where we were front and center for the excitement of the day.

It was great!

Due to the limited amount of time, we really focused. We only brought some of our mountains of supplies and ideas. We only shared one meal. We only began some projects, stacking them for completion later at home (one of the best unintended parts of the day). We only spent a short time visiting a local thrift shop.


Now we know where the middle is and plan to take advantage of this knowledge again.

You should try it. Who do you want to meet in the middle?