Friday, August 28, 2015

Lapse of Internet

As of last night at 12:01 AM, I am without internet.

Due to a change in our provider, internet will be unaccessible at the Quantrell household until sometime late next Wednesday.

Blog posts should resume sometime near the end of the week, assuming all goes well with installation and changeover of services.

See you then!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thankful Thursday Brought to You By the Letter Ww

Today's Thankful Thursday is brought to you by the letter Ww!

Things for which I am thankful that begin with Ww:

~ WATER - Please, Lord, we need water to put out fires and refill our water table!

~ world, what a wonderful place to live

~ watermelon

~ waves breaking on the beach

~ waterfalls

~ walking

~ waking up

~ wonderings

~ wilderness areas

~ Water, the Living

~ wascally wabbits

~ wiggles

~ worms

~ wagons

~ wild animals and wild children

~ wading

~ waltzing, if only the tall husband and the short wife could meet and not tangle when they attempted to waltz

~ wife, one of the hats I love to wear

~ wings (on birds and costumes for children, not on me)

~ wagging tails

~ walls to keep out too much heat and too much cold

~ wages for work

~ Washington, the state

~ weather (especially snow, rain, and wind)

~ whales

~ wheat

~ worship of the One True God

~ writing

Wow! What a list of Ww things for which to be thankful. Can you think of anything else?

Shameless Plug (This begins with Ww, so I thought that applied to this post. ;)

Now is the time to order World Hunger 101, World Hunger Event Promotion Pack (E113103, $9.99).

I wrote the information for this hunger experience. October is Global Hunger Relief Month. You can use World Hunger 101 in small or large groups of people to help them gain a deeper understanding about world hunger. Ideas are also suggested for younger participants. Available in Spanish and English.

Visit or call 1-800-968-7301 to order. This item can be immediately downloaded by ordering through the website. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Flowers Are Laughter

Earth laughs in flowers.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I adore flowers. Don't you?


laughter springing from the Earth as flowers burst into bloom,
honeybees gurgling with joy as they zip from nectar to nectar,
showers of color patterning the landscape,
fragrances of beauty perfuming the air.

Bumblebees, hummingbirds,
gardeners, lovers, friends,
family -


the Earth laughing in flowers.

~ Angie Quantrell

Monday, August 24, 2015

Ten Things to Do with a Moth

Boys have their own way of thinking, learning, and exploring.

Here are some ways to learn about moths, according to Hayden (6 years-old).

1. Catch a wounded moth. Catch it several times and chase it around the yard. Cup it gently (or not so gently) in your hands.

2. Carry the moth around. In your hand. Squished.

3. Catch a second moth. Hold it by the body part. Ask Nana if it will hurt you.

4. Carry moth around, looking often to see if moth has pooped in your hand (Nana said it won't hurt you, but it might poop on you).

5. Prepare to use a hand mixer to 'mix' the moth and see what happens. Stop when Nana catches you.

6. Do moths swim? Find out by dunking it in the water table. Consider giving it a ride in the toy boat.

7. Do moths fly - as in, from a water hose that you shove it into and crank on the water?

8. Ride on your scooter. Maybe while holding the moth. Oops.

9. Lose interest.

10. What moth?

P.S. We have no photos of any poor moth.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fun Friday

Hey, all. It's Friday!

Regardless of work schedules, deadlines, piles of laundry, dirty dishes, abundant garden produce that needs attending, I have decided to make it Fun Friday.

Even if I only have a small amount of space in my schedule, I choose to do something fun today.

Our paper birch trees in the front yard provide plenty of peeling paper. I've been experimenting (I shall have to change my middle name to Experimenting). The super thin - paper thin - bark is perfect for stamping! I am so excited to find a use for these sheets of beautiful white.

Sneaking in a little stamping today for my Fun Friday. How about you?

Here is a new way to dry cards if you are short on counter (and kitty-free) space. This works very well.

What to do with all those cards you make (talking to myself here, I have a stash going)?

bundle and give as gifts
send as actual greeting cards - people love real mail
give a set to your child's teacher as a welcome-back-to-school gift
donate a bunch for a charity auction
build a collection for your husband to use in his work
send to neighbors, friends, and family as notes of encouragement or invitation
trade a few with another stamping buddy to build variety
pin favorites to Pinterest (mine are all on a Rubber Stamping board under Angie Quantrell)
make new friends by swapping technique ideas and visiting stamping stores
mail cards to missionaries, family, and friends who are living overseas
display favorites as little works of art
if your coffers overflow (mine have not made it there yet - I enjoy giving them away too much I guess) rent a table at a bazaar and sell a few
sell cards at a charity event and give the proceeds towards a special project

Yes, I do love hobbies with a purpose. Happy Fun Friday!

You are welcome to share this blog post and ideas. Thanks for sharing!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thankful Thursday Brought to You by the Letter Vv

Today brings thankfulness for things beginning with the letter Vv. I don't think this will be a long list!

~ veterinarians to care for my kitties (and assorted other pets)

~ Valentines Day - it's so nice to know one is loved

~ vegetables. Now I sound like Kevin, the joke being that on his headstone we shall put "I ate my vegetables and took my vitamins." LOL

~ variety, the spice of life

~ vouchers for free stuff

~ views of the beauty found in God's creation

~ Valley (Yakima) and other valleys of safe harbor and lush agriculture

~ value given by God's gift of Jesus

~ Vermont. Have you been? It's beautiful.

~ Versailles. Again, gorgeous and slightly intimidating. Worth a visit though.

~ visitors

~ veterans. Thank you, veterans. Thank you!

~ Victory. In. Jesus.

~ voice with which to speak to my loved ones

~ vision with which to view my loved ones and the wonders of nature

Voila! Very varied list, despite my lack of vision and expectation.

What are you thankful for that begins with Vv?

Thanks for sharing this blog. Have a vabulous, vantastic day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wondering Why

It's a wondering sort of day. I fear I may be easily distractable and waylaid as my thoughts zip around looking at seemingly unrelated topics.

Potatoes in a bag are not doing well. Why? One bag had fingernail sized tubers. The other actually had a plum sized one.

Why are there aphids and slugs and pill bugs?

One kitty leans to fat, the other to slim. Same food, same diet, similar habits. Pourquoi?

My tall tall husband has always been on the thin side with a super-fast metabolism. Me? I am built totally opposite and could easily store enough excess food for a famine on half of what he eats. Not that I would ever want to test that theory, but it seems not so fun that I have to work hard to burn calories and he can sit in a chair and burn more than I can.

The rhodies have leaves with brown edges. I read once why that happens. I guess I should read it again and do something about it.

Why did the yellow squash go crazy, this year - one out of six in which both were planted - instead of the zucchini?

Why do bees lose their stinger and die when they sting but yellow jackets do just fine and keep on stabbing their victim?

And no, my wonderings are not always so innocent and surface level. In my deepest self, I wonder about the tragedies and struggles of the people I know or the stories I read.

Why cancer, car wrecks, heart disease, Parkinsons, diabetes, stroke?

Why do young mothers die and leave families behind? Or fathers run off and ditch their wives, sons, and daughters?

Why am I blessed to have my son back from Iraq in one piece and other mothers just have memories of their soldiers?

How can people throw away their children or abandon babies?

Why do some die as babies and others live over a century?

How can people, even children, be sold for slaves of the most horrible type?

Why do people text and drive and wreck their cars? Or drink and drive? Surely they know the danger.

Why is there famine, war, hunger, bad water, disease?

Sometimes it hurts. My heart is crushed and weeps. I long to fix it what is broken. But that is not my job nor do I have the ability or power to do so.

Life is fleeting and none of us knows what trials we will face and how our end will come.

I am thankful. I don't understand many things, so all I can do is trust in Him. And pray. And hope.

We all face why's.

The best I can do is to reach out and grab hold of others to help and support and encourage. It is enough to go side-by-side, hand-in-hand, through the valleys and mountains. I must help however I can.

It is enough to trust.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~ Psalm 34:18

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tea with Me - Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast

What is your tea of choice?

I'm currently sipping Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast with a little drizzle of honey. Perfectly yummy!

Pour a fresh cup and let's chat. Oh, dear, things are just popping along around here. Yes they are.

For instance, did you know we have really bad smoke in our valleys? Huge forest fires - I'm talking in the 10's of thousands of acres on fire or already destroyed - have been filling our air with hazy smoke. Some days are worse than others. Like Sunday. The gray was pretty thick. In fact, we took a motorcycle ride to Ellensburg, trying to retrace a nice ride from the ending point and working backwards. We never found our way. No, not at all. We were actually lost! With such thick smoke, we couldn't see the landmarks and foothills to keep us headed the correct direction. We narrowly missed going the absolute opposite way over a different mountain pass. Instead of finding northeast we rode blindly all the way around Ellensburg and ended up northwest headed north. We live south of Kittitas County, so you can imagine our surprise! Back roads sometimes do not work.

Yet another exciting event on our ride was the yellow jacket stuck under my shirt. Uh-huh. I felt a sharp poke, scratched it, and it stopped. About 15 minutes later, I had another stabbing pain, but it was much stronger. I scratched at it, and decided perhaps we should pull over for a check. Yes. Right beside the Yakima River, there we were, river float and canyon road traffic all watching, and Kevin was flapping my shirt up and down. I was almost ready to disrobe, too bad about the free show. We never did find the yellow jacket but two huge welts showed where it had gotten my attention. I am so pleased that I was only stung two times! Fifteen minutes of repeated stinging could mean a trip to the hospital if that thing had kept up it's crankiness. When we got home, we couldn't even see the holes. But Monday morning, the welts were back and full of red. A lesson learned - tuck your shirt in and keep it tight.

Six overgrown thick skinned yellow squash went directly from the garden to the compost bin. Too big, too seedy, too tough. One day I peek, and they are finger length and not ready. The next time I look, it's good-bye to you and how did you get that big that fast??? If ever you are over my way, you are welcome to a few.

Sunday morning I awoke to the sound of banging. Loud banging. Miss Mabel had her mouse and daddy was not letting her keep it for a toy. The bad news was the cats had not been outside yet, so the mouse had somehow made it in alone. Mouse mistake. The good news is we have cats. Inside and outside.

The office looks even worse than the photo of my previous post. If that is possible.

Twenty-eight old folding chairs have passed through my patio this month. Ten are staying for cool seating at the blue door table. Twelve headed north by way of my sister. Six are hanging out waiting for my daughter-in-law. Honestly, who needs that many chairs? I guess we think we do.

The kitties, now officially over a year old, have their annual check-up, vaccinations, and de-worming tomorrow. Let's just predict that Mabel is going to get 'the talk.' The fat kitty talk. She is fluffy I say. I can't figure out how to feed her on a schedule and her sister (who is quite thin) who needs to eat more. Maybe our vet will give suggestions. Whatever happens, it usually involves Mabel eating everyone's food. She loves her food.

Alas, sadness sets in at the ending of summer. Not the heat. Tomorrow is supposed to be triple digits again. The end of that no-school-vacation-time feelings of summer are evaporating like a puddle on a hot day.

But the waning of summer means - hurray - the waxing of fall. That means cooler temps, beautiful colors, cozier nights, and relief from forest fires and tinder dry conditions. Please, Lord, send us ample snow and rain this winter!

My hair seems to be getting grayer and my knees are creakier. How did that happen? Just last week I was 25. (wink, wink)

Ah, life is good.
The finches serenade me every morning, the kitties are glad to see me, and I am usually guaranteed to see at least one grandchild!

Hoping your life is filled with peaceful sips of tasty tea and lovely adventures worthy of sharing.

Waiting to hear...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Day in the Life of Chaos

Chaos is a regular visitor at this home.

The office shows sings of impending implosion. Where did I put that paper I needed? How did I lose a pitch-fest business card? Why do the cats keep dive bombing piles of 'to be filed' items? I guess it would help if I didn't file projects on the floor.

Garden chores are pretty much done for the year other than harvesting produce. Even then, raspberries are taking a last place position, waiting, wilting, and dropping from the vines in sun-baked agony as I pursue other 'do-what-comes-first' responsibilities.

Laundry. Two people. Really? Amazing. Can't even blame the cats for that one. Other than fur-covered blankets.

Windows? I've never done windows. Why? Cute little handprints, nose smudges, finger swipes, kitty kisses. They will just reappear.

Meals and dishes. Again. Two. People. How in the world can we generate so many things needing a wash?

Internet on. Internet off. Repeat. It goes like that throughout the day.

Phone calls. Texts. Visits. Go there. Do that. Buy. Recycle. Put away. Prepare. Clean.

Play. Haul out the toys. Kiss the babies. Make a mess.

Write. Plan. Brainstorm. Write. Edit. Blog. Take photos. Post posts. Answer email. Blog. Wait for important replies. Take Notes.

Deadlines. Research.

Read. Review. Like. Repost.

With so much of my day taking place in virtual-land, why does my house look like a tornado named "Chaos" has visited?

I have never understood when people have complained about being bored. What is bored and who has time to be bored? There are so many wonderful, exciting, challenging things to do and adventures to go on - no room for boredom.

Peace. Be still.

This is the life I chose, the life I love.

Every single bit of the evidence of chaos inhabitation is worth it. Chaos of the sort I see means life. Pursuit. Expression. Fun. Creativity. Joy. Love.

I'll take a day in the life of chaos anytime.

Friday, August 7, 2015

beach (noun)

beach (noun): a sandy or gravelly part of the shore of an ocean or lake
(Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus, 2006)

salty, fragrant, windy, sandy, wet, smelly, misty, sunny, crowded, relaxed, rocky, noisy, invigorating, desolate

beach. waves, tides, sand drifts, rock piles, seaweed, footprints, campfires, shells, driftwood, seagulls

beach. fun, kites, games, sandcastles, horse rides, wading, swimming, fishing, crabbing, walking, dogs, families

dream. play. rest. relax. gaze. melt.


beach (noun)

Photos by Angie Quantrell.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thankful Thursday Brought to You By the Letter Uu

Today's Thankful Thursday is brought to you by the letter Uu.

Ugh . . . I think this may be a short list!

Things for which I am thankful that begin with the letter Uu:

~ underwear (yes, I really am thankful for them)

~ Universe - it's a great place to live

~ umbrellas, because they are fun

~ unconditional love from Jesus

~ understanding family and friends

~ union - the marriage between my honey and me

~ unspoken criticism

~ United States

~ U (as in, you!)

And that's it folks! The Uu section in the dictionary, where I looked for ideas, is quite small.

What are you thankful for that begins with the letter Uu? Maybe you can come up with more things than I did!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wacky Wednesday ~ The Old Woman's Shoe

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.

She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.

Forget the broth and whippings and putting to bed. The old woman decided to redecorate.

Now that the old woman lives in a fancy high-heeled pump, there is no room for children. They've all moved out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Forest is Home

"Going to the woods is going home."

~ John Muir

I agree. There is peace found there, for being small and young compared to the great giants who have lasted long through many seasons, just that comparison and companionship, that brings calm and quiet. The forest feels and smells like home.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Monday AFTER Vacation

Looking at the Puget Sound from Bainbridge Island

We are back. Home sweet home. Back to the regular schedule. Responsibilities to be met, chores to be done, catching up required.

But first, shall we have tea?

Grab a cup and enjoy while I share a few things about the last week.

Let's pretend you are right with me, seated and facing me across the little patio table. It only has one chair, but that's ok. I'll pull one out of the house.

So, you ask, how was vacation?

~ We spent lots of time driving. Many miles. But we had AC and snacks. It was all good.

~ At the beach, we lazed our way from favorite spot to the next favorite spot. Ocean Shores beaches (two separate stops) equaled lunch, lounging in our chairs, putting up the kite, and wading in the water. Brown Point Beach by the marina provided plenty of wind, surf, and curiosity. What were those pelicans, seals, and seagulls feasting on anyway? Pacific Beach was our napping spot, though the wind was picking up and we were slightly sandblasted. It was all perfect. We just went from place to place, doing whatever sounded good.

~ I had ice cream. Good ice cream. Twice. (If you knew Kevin as I know Kevin, the hubby, you would see that indulging in ice cream two times in one week is amazing!)

~ I filled up my camera memory card. It wasn't empty to begin with, but I really added some photos. I didn't realize it was that close until I clicked the very last photo standing on a beach on Bainbridge Island. That left no spots for ferry shots.

~ We went to Bainbridge Island. It was our first trip. I researched it in advance. Could we find anything? NO. We were completely lost the entire time. Though we now know the tiny, single car backroads, we were unable to actually follow the roads to any place significant. We did manage to find the ferry dock at the end of the day. That was because we found our restaurant, which overlooked the harbor, after stopping for directions. We could see the ferry coming in from our table. I should add that we did stumble across a delicious ice cream spot, Mora.

I felt eyes upon me when we tried to take a beach nap. Someone was watching us. Very closely.

~ We did not find any public beach on Bainbridge Island. I'm sure there are some. But not easily discovered or located. No signs. Google maps did not assist in this area. At all.

~ Lunch on the Bainbridge Island day was not on the island, but just outside of Bremerton. Scenic View State Park is lovely with a very accessible beach. This little gem is right outside Seabeck, Washington. It's very rocky though, so water shoes are a necessity.

~ We purchased some snacks at Trader Joe's. We forgot the chocolate covered almonds. They no longer even remotely resemble almonds. The chocolate part is easy to see, but is now shaped like the bottom of the bag.

~ Road crews were blasting rocks on the top of Snoqualmie Pass. They do this on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. We hit two of those days when traffic was stopped both directions. One evening traffic was already moving by the time we got there, though it was crowded and we had to drive slowly for many miles until the vehicle crowd stretched out. The second evening we hit it perfectly and had to stop and wait. I got out my beach chair and watercolor paints and enjoyed myself. Many travelers were out playing around, tossing softballs, chatting with friends, and jumping the barrier to find a private tree or bush. Sneaky as they appeared, we still knew where they were headed.

~ We spent the days between our trips doing little projects at home. For me, that meant writing responsibilities.

If I had snorkel gear, I could figure out what they were catching.

~ Oh, the first day of vacation was salsa day. We helped my sister, brother-in-law, mom, and dad, can way too many jars of homemade salsa. Mmmm. Hot, spicy, sweaty work. The fruits of our labor should be ready to sample in six weeks.

~ We met my parents, sister, and brother-in-law at the theater to see Mr. Holmes. It was very good. Dumbledore, nope, Gandalf played Sherlock Holmes. Dad, you are still right about that. For a moment there, my sister and I both confused our favorite heroes and movies.

~ The last day of vacation we got up early, as the temps were supposed to be in the triple digits, and went for a motorcycle ride. It was actually cold on our way up Chinook Pass. We looped behind and came home on Highway 12. That was where we hit the heat. Nothing less refreshing than leaving the delightful cool forest fragrance to swelter in the sauna heat of high summer.

~ The cats did not like us much during vacation. We were not here often enough for them.

~ Having iced coffee with my honey was and is one of my favorite treats.

~ The garden survived just fine, though I am still behind in garden chores.

Scenic View State Park Beach

That's our vacation in a nutshell. I did not get good clam chowder at any time. That was one of my goals. Next time, clam chowder goes to the top of the list of vacation necessities.

How about you? Have you had any vacation time this summer? I'd love to hear.