Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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From Snow to Pansies

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It has ever been such a long, cold, snow-bound winter for us. The first season of surprises in our RV.

Not sticker or culture, but rather seasonal challenges and lack-of-space shock.

Today dawned with swirling and dancing fog. Thick mists block sun rays, and though the weather “suggestions” report zero chance of rain, my eyes tell me the overhead clouds and heaviness may disagree.

Yet spring is here. We have moved from this:

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to this:

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Cheerful pansies rest and smile in rain dampened glory.

Content.


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Snow Cream

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Today is it, folks. At least for the Yakima Valley. Maybe.

Time to get out there and grab a bowl full of clean fresh snow before the rains hit tomorrow. Let’s make snow cream!

Snow Cream

  1. Fill a cereal bowl with clean snow. If you are doing this with kids, give them each a bowl to fill.
  2. To each bowl add about: 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. sugar, and enough 1/2 & 1/2 or milk to desired consistency. Mix with a spoon. This is very light sugar, as I don’t care for syrupy sweet stuff, but you can add more sugar if you want. This would also be great with fresh fruit.
  3. Eat, enjoy, repeat.

My mom used to make snow cream for us when I was a kid. I think she used to add eggs. But I’m not a big fan of raw eggs, and I was a kid. I could be way off base. Either way, no eggs.

Brain freeze!

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Blanket Wars

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No. This is not THAT kind of post. Sorry to disappoint.

This story does take place behind closed doors. Bedroom doors. And it involves blankets.

Backstory: We live in an RV. While this is fairly new, having moved in last August after selling our home and getting rid of most of our belongings, we are pretty settled – as much as a couple plus two cats can be living in an RV – and have dealt with enough RV issues to allow us to feel somewhat competent and resourceful.

Some things we’ve experienced: sub-zero temps, above 100 temps, blown fuses, broken microwave (rough, I know), broken entertainment system (again, tough to handle, right?), frozen water hose, condensation like there’s no tomorrow, broken toilet (equals running, not stopping, water), frozen closed door (with us inside), and broken window shades (thanks, kitties).

Usually Mr. Q gets right on the problem and we finagle a way to make it work or fix it. Often this involves a call to Skyler, the fabulous service manager at Broadmoor RV where we purchased our home on wheels. Skyler is on speed dial. Skyler knows Mr. Q well, and after the recent broken toilet fiasco, my respect for him has quadrupled. Mr. Q was well and ready to pull the RV plug and throw in the towel. Skyler talked him off the ledge and assured him of solutions and assistance. Thanks to Skyler, we still live in the RV.

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But there is one mystery we have not been able to fix. The blankets. The moving, twisting, weird blankets.

Setting: Queen bed. Sheets, both fitted and top. Kind of fuzzy dual-controlled electric blanket. Quilt. Second quilt. Small fleece throw for kitties.

Bedtime finds us tucked in cozily, snug as bugs in an RV rug. Staggered morning wakings ensue in a twist of layers and colors. He goes to work, I make the bed before digging out my computer.

Make. The. Bed. Every. Day. While this is challenging in itself – half cupboards at head height, sharp corners, floor cupboards, more sharp corners, narrow alley around most of the bed, electric blanket cord, and doorknobs – what happens to the tucked in bedding is most confusing.

I end up with the sheet. And sometimes one of the quilts. His side of the bed has the majority of the electric blanket, no sheet, and maybe a quilt. This happens every day. I don’t know how we do it, but it’s as if Mr. Q performs some magic trick to pull out the middle layer of heat and shuffles the rest my way.

The blankets are still tucked in at the foot of the bed. The plug is still attached. Even the kitty throw is in place. But that middle layer? Totally separated as if plucked and sorted by a giant’s hand while we sleep.

The blanket wars are on! I tuck with a vengeance, both when making the bed and when I get in at night, just to make sure I still have some covers left in the morning. He settles in while firmly grasping blankets over his head. Despite our efforts, the sheets still come my way, the electronic warmth goes his.

A mystery of epic RV proportions. Who will win? Will she freeze? Why do the sheets go east, the blankets west? Does he figure a way to make them stay layered? And what about the kitties? Whose side do they stay on?

Tune in this spring to discover if the warming trends of the season solve the blanket wars, once and for all.

Until next winter.

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The Original New Year – Every Day – Fresh Start

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A childhood song came dancing through my mind this morning, singing to the new year and new beginnings. After several days of reading blog posts and emails about New Year resolutions and words for the year, my thoughts were certainly considering all things new.

Isn’t it wonderful to have a fresh start? Why can’t we do that every day, all year long? Every January, I find myself more energized and committed to my goals and dreams, yet from past experiences (years upon years), I’m pretty sure I will experience fatigue and begin to prune my high expectations. Or at least forget my word of the year (which I have yet to discover). Life will interfere, changes will happen, and by the end of the year, those beginning plans will have fallen by the wayside or will have been altered so much they barely resemble original thoughts.

That’s ok, though, really. We cannot foresee the twists and turns of life, so wisdom would dictate that we make adjustments and refine our goals, dreams, plans.

Fresh resolutions every morning would be much more manageable.

Write. Read. Learn. Love. Do.

A basic plan, a few words, doable. Perhaps too broad, but easy to adjust each day. And the perfect-for-me way to enjoy new mornings every day as the sun rises.

The original fresh start and new beginnings?

“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)

and

“Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’” Revelation 21:5 (NKJV)

 

Care to join me in a fresh new beginning each morning?

 

Karen Witemeyer penned similar well-crafted thoughts about new beginnings. You can find her at Inspired by Life and Fiction.


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The Welcome Mat is Out – RV Life

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The snow that has fallen would easily reach the second step, but diligent shoveling makes finding the welcome mat possible!

The welcome mat is out. Snow covered. But out.

Bundle up, jump in the one-horse open sleigh, and drive over the river and through the woods to Nana’s house. I mean Nana and Papa’s RV.

First, we’ll visit and catch-up. Of course, in our tiny space, this may require sitting in shifts or booting a cat off the chair. Speaking of cats, the floating fur is free.

For the exercise portion of our gathering, shall we shovel some snow? As it seems to fall continuously, there are a couple of acres ready for your attention. We’ll add in a bit of slip-sliding our way up the hill to the irrigation ditch, view the wildlife, and sled back down into the pasture.

To conclude our fun times together, toasty hot tea or coffee and perhaps a snack or two shall be served.

As we wave you out of sight, know our hearts and RV are warmer and happier. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again soon.

Just aim for the welcome mat.

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The Christmas tree that shall stand in place until probably March – or until the snow melts enough to get to the base. It’s still beautiful, so I shall enjoy it until then!

Snow, glorious, snow.

Falling, drifting, growing

Into mountains

And triathlon driving adventures.

 

Snow, fabulous, snow.

Beautiful, peaceful, blanketing

Covering all

And putting to bed those who live under.

 

– By Angie Quantrell


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Foot Warmers: A Letter to My Cats

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Dear Kitties,

I know it’s cold in the RV. In fact, sometimes it’s Jack Frost icy. I realize that furry coats don’t always do the job in the warm-me-up department. I even acknowledge that though there are only 2 of you (and you are sisters from the SAME litter), touching each other often causes undo excitement, hissy fits, and flying bits of gray fluff.

We have a queen bed. In the RV. Crammed into a tiny alcove. Six-foot two-inch hubby requires most of the square footage available on said bed. That leaves me a tiny sliver, I’d even say the edge is my only slumber real estate.

I know we have an electric blanket. I admit to enjoying the toasty slide into pre-warmed sheets. The heater ducts blow comfortably hot air into our bedroom. This makes our room the most desirable location during long winter nights.

It also makes me be squished.

Sliver of bed. Closet alcove for darkness naps. Tall husband. Two cats.

Kitties. I have short legs. But even then, when you are both snuggled and sleeping like furry gray rocks along the bottom of the bed, I am left with nowhere to put my feet.

Out of the covers? Brrrr. Between you? This is one event where you allow yourselves to touch, even become glued together with your sibling. Beneath you? Your elephanty weight belies your small stature. Against the hubby? Uhm, his long legs leave no room. Up against your warm bodies it is then.

A ball. You will find me rolled on my side up near the outer wall of the RV. Sushi roll style, head wedged against the “dresser,” shoulders along the “headboard,” hands and knees tucked into the middle like bits of julienned carrots and radishes. The seaweed wrap of electric blanket coccooning me. And there the sushi mama roll will stay all night, on her less than 1/4 of the bed area.

You, my kitties, will have plenty of sleeping room. Purring contentedly, stretching at ease, lengthening and contracting with the rise and fall of space and temperatures.

Thanks for keeping us company and for blanketing our bed with your heat and snuggles. I don’t mind sharing with you. Not a bit.

Sleep well, feline foot warmers.

The Sushi Kitty Mama


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Expectation – A Poem

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Expectation

of falling leaves

laced windows

crinkled edges on mud puddles

 

Nesting

for darkened skies

steaming breaths

everlasting winter nights

 

Embrace

need for warmth

bundled outings

dampness pervading excursions

 

Breathing

knife edged air

smoke heated rooms

Savor the moment

 

Peace

over bounteous tables

quilted beds

in heart and home

 

Tranquility

The seasons change

all is well

Nested


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I Support Trees, But I Can’t Plant them in December

I adore trees. I love trees. I want to have my own personal Hundred Acre Wood.

Our first summer in our new home, we planted 6 new trees. We’ve since added 2 more very large trees.

Our tree selection and planting usually occurs in early spring or late fall.

It has NEVER taken place in December. When there is several feet of snow on the ground. And said ground is frozen. Shoveled drifts stand all along the perimeter of our yard.

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There. Is. No. Access. To. Dirt.

So tell me Tree Experts, aka Arbor Day Foundation, why would you ship my new baby trees to me (in Washington state, in winter, in December, in a very snowy year) right now?

Sure, I would love to plant them. I would have fun heeling them in to grow for a few years before transplanting them to their new location in the yard.

But that is not going to happen right now. In fact, it won’t happen for several months. I’m pretty sure the snow will not melt within the 2-3 days of approved wait time to plant. I’m actually confident that even if the snow melts in January, the ground will still stay cold enough to be undiggable. That is also true about February as well.

So here we go. What to do with my lovely little sad baby trees. And such nice varieties, too.

I am fortunate that I never got around to putting away a large clay pot. Dirt is a different matter. Come on honey, bring me those dead poinsettias so I can steal the dirt.

We are all going to be cozy baby trees and snuggle up in the same pot until the ground is actually ready for planting. What, maybe 3-4-5 months?

I hope they like each other.