Thursday, October 27, 2016

I'm Moving!

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A person who has 3 blogs said, "Really? Three blogs? Why? How do you manage all of those blogs? How do you keep up?"

That person is me. I have 3 blogs and things are crazy. I can't write witty or brilliant or informational posts for all 3 and do a good job at it. I can however, run out of time, ignore certain blogs due to other deadlines, post lackluster tidbits, or spend time fretting about not having time to keep all 3 flowing well.

To remedy this situation, I am moving and narrowing my blogs down to just one. Join me here.

I so enjoy getting to know you and sharing my life with you. Please head on over to my new (old) landing spot so we can keep in touch. My new (old) blog is a work in progress just as my other 2 blogs have been, but I am steadily making improvements and sprucing up the old pad.

Thanks so much for your support over the years. See you at my new (old) home. I'll put on the tea and we'll have a chat.

See you at my new blog home.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rock or Fish? Haiku

Photo by Angie Quantrell
 
 
See the face?

Swimming amidst the wet sand.

Rocky bed for fish.

- Haiku and Photo by Angie Quantrell


First Steps in Missions ~ Chapter 1 Activity Extension Ideas for Preschoolers

First Steps in Missions, Ideas and Activities for Preschoolers and Teachers, Volume 22
by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell 
 
I'm so excited about First Steps in Missions! This resource has 12 months of ideas for activities teachers can do with preschoolers to teach them about missions around the world.
 
One of my favorite activities in Chapter 1 is Washing Clothes (page 9). Chapter 1 focuses on the Philippines. Some families in remote areas of the Philippines wash clothes in rivers. While I wouldn't want to wash our laundry in the river because it sounds like a lot of hard work, I am fascinated and admire the many families who must use local resources to wear clean clothes. I also know preschoolers enjoy water play.
 
The Washing Clothes activity suggests preschoolers wash clothes in two plastic tubs. One tub should have smooth stones for washing and the other have clean water for rinsing. Set up a drying rack for clothes to hang while they dry. My favorite tool for preschoolers from this activity? BAR SOAP!
 
Do you know how many fun activities you can do with BAR SOAP? Maybe some of the children you come into contact with have never used BAR SOAP. Think about it. We are a culture committed to cleanliness. This often comes in the form of hand sanitizer, liquid soap dispensers, and all sorts of gels, sprays, and goop. BAR SOAP is a great resource for preschool (and other age level) rooms.
 
Fun with BAR SOAP
 
1. Car Wash. I just did this with my grandson. Fill a plastic tub with warm water and put it on a thick towel. Use toothbrushes dipped in the water and raked across BAR SOAP to clean the cars. Rinse in water and drive on the towel to help cars dry.
 
2. Rock Scrub. This is one of my favorite summer activities, but you can do it anytime. Kids will rewash the same rocks for hours at a time. All you need is a tub of water, a variety of rocks (I like to use rocks big enough so little hands can grip them),  BAR SOAP, and toothbrushes. You have a rock washing station. This can later transform into a rock painting station.
 
3. BAR SOAP Boats. Any old BAR SOAP will float, but experiment to find your favorite brand. Open up BAR SOAP, use a screw driver or butter knife (no sharp tips) to scoop out a center (you can skip this step), and add toothpick flags. Have boat races in the bath tub or sink. Get clean and have fun!
 
These activities show that one can use just about anything to have fun. Let's get creative!
  
If you would like to order your own copy of First Steps in Missions, call 1-800-968-7301 or visit www.wmustore.com. Thanks!


Thanks for visiting. Feel free to share these ideas with your friends.
I hope to see you again soon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Meet My New Book ~ First Steps in Missions

First Steps in Missions, Ideas and Activities for Preschoolers and Teachers
 by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

I'm honored to announce the release of First Steps in Missions, Ideas and Activities for Preschoolers and Teachers, Volume 22.

What? You already have a copy?

True. It was available in late summer. I was barely available. Thank you for going on without me and getting your copy!

My honey and I were eyebrow deep in cleaning, packing, sorting, storing, and donating our belongings. Why? We sold our home. I should say, God sold our home. In 3 days.

That was a quick sale and left us with no free time to do anything. Except move.

Never fear, we are not homeless. Many of you have already seen the pictures. We are full-time RV'ers living in a solid (though you can feel it move when walking inside), warm (we hope), and quite spacious RV with our 2 crazy kitties. The excitement and adventure is fantastic! Let's just not mention the period of adjustment, shall we?

In the midst of this transition, First Steps in Missions was released. I'm very excited to see this work in print.

In honor of this project, I am going to take a monthly walk through each chapter and area of the world, choose my favorite activity, and flesh out additional ways to use the activity with preschoolers. So much fun!

Coming soon: September fun in the Philippines.

If you would like your own copy, I'm thrilled to direct you on the right paths. First Steps in Missions, Volume 22

Thanks for stopping by!

Hello, Friends!


by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Welcome!

I should say (to myself) welcome back!

Here is a photo of what's kept me from my KID KANDY and picture book posts. It has been THAT crazy.

So, forward and onward. Come on over and join me at my Book Blab Blog. Try saying that 3x fast in a row.

Let's read some books!

Happy Autumn!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Day 29 of RV Living: Plastic Sinks

Plastic sinks and all - it's the RV life!
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

RV sinks are plastic. Did you know that?

Why, you ask, is this even important?

The last several days, 5 to be exact, we've had to boil water to do dishes in the plastic sink. Dirty dishes require hot water. Plastic sinks do not. The whole process was a delicate balance between boiling water and cold tap water.

We had to boil water (in the electric teapot) because the gas was off.
The gas was off because the carpet got flooded.
The carpet was soaked from the leaky hot water tank.
The hot water tank leaked because it had a tiny hole.

It's a wonderful thing that we have an extended warranty. First, for the microwave that decided to retire early after only 3 days of us living in the RV. Second, for the leaking and flooding hot water tank.

Kevin's trip number 2 (not including the shopping trip and picking up of said RV) back to Broadmoor RV Superstore in Pasco where the customer service was phenomenal resulted in a brand new hot water tank and assorted necessitites required for repair.

The Kevster strikes again! After a few phone conferences with the service center manager, we are back in the hot water business. Thank you, Kevin and warranty and Skylar of the Superstore, for excellent customer service and my hot showers and soapy dishwater.

The plastic sink thanks you as well.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

It's the RV Life for Me


by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

We live in an RV.

That's recreational vehicle for you wondering about the abbreviation. Our tenement on wheels is like the Big Green Rolling Turd in the Robin Williams movie RV. Without the backed up sewer, ripped off awning, and Class A drive-and-walk-around feature.

Our RV is the type you drive in, unhook, set up, and drive away.

The Quantrells are on an adventure.

Phase 1: Complete - The house is sold. Closed. Done.

Here's a chance to say "Thanks" to our 2 fantastic realtors, Stephanie Blehm and her son Kenny Blehm! They did a fantastic job. And they survived Kevin. I mean our process. Wink, wink.

Sorry, Kenny. Mabel thinks your card is tasty!
Phase 2: In Process - Live full-time in RV. Settle cats and selves in for the winter. Learn to grocery shop often for not much at all (no space). Wear the same clothes all the time (no space). Store rubber stamping supplies (no space). Eat outside with guests (no space).

Search for property and research choices.

Phase 3: In the Future - Build small home (tiny is too minute) on out-of-town property.

Our lives in a nutshell.

It's been great so far. Things did get a little tense every now and then (sorry, honey). We relieved ourselves of many possessions. That felt good. Now we can see what we really need to survive.

An outdoor catio is a definite NEED. Poor kitties have adjusted well, but opportunites for exercise in the RV are limited. And, well, I just need them-who-love-outside-time to be out in the fresh air. Soon, babies, daddy will have it all done. It's going to be great! I'll post pictures when it's complete.

Pumpkin season is here, and despite the lack of space indoors, the big beautiful world beyond the RV walls has plenty of space to display my favorite seasonal produce.

Anyone else out there living in an RV? Who else loves kitties, pumpkins, and fall? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tornado Choices

 
by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

SO many events and changes going on in our lives right now, I'm having a difficult time choosing what to share. Let me just be honest and tell you that I've been avoiding posting just because of the vast plethora of options.

There. Got that off my chest.

It may take me months to fill you in. Or just a day. Let's see, shall we?

Life in Quantrell Land has been tornado-like in the sense that every day has been consumed with a whirlwind of activities, decisions, stressors, excitement, responsibilities, and cat fur. Truly. At times, we just had to grab something - anything - and hang on!

But it's ALL good.

Because now, we are living in the RV full-time with 2 insane cats. Which if you want some more truth, makes us the insane ones. 2 shedding, clawing, racing, sneaking, messy, loving, snuggly kitties. In. A. Small. RV.

This classifies as an adventure for sure. I kid you not.

When folks used to show up late for church spouting, "The cows (dog, birds, chickens, pigs, horse) got out and we had to chase them down," I would nod in agreement. But now I REALLY understand the stress and anxiety produced by such an event!

MONET, the sneak, wants out. Not just a little want, but an all-consuming desire of wanting out. Of the RV. The problem is Tiger, who is resident cat on the property. Tiger is very territorial and has been seen chasing off and beating up other cats. She's a sweetheart to adult people, but not other cats. So we don't want the girls out unless we can protect them from each other.

MONET, who cares she thinks. I want out. So she watches the door and our feet and if the door is open, ZIP, there she goes. Oh, the anxiety and interesting language on our part! She is having a great time, but we are watching for the arrival of Tiger and trying to lure the naughty girl back in...

Last Sunday, to connect you to what I was sharing, she did it again. Kevin was being nice to the moth and trying to get it out (before MONET, the best moth-catcher west of the Mississippi, ate it). MONET saw the open door - a mere 3-4 inches - and zip, she was out.

Church day. Big luncheon to prepare. Stuff to take (we still forgot the meat and cheese). A wonderful guest speaker to hear. Responbililty to get there first to unlock the building. And we had a loose cat.

I understand, all of you chasing-of-escapees people! Arrrggghhhh!

We won. This time. Even made it on time (except the meat and cheese, which had to arrive with our son).

So goes our tornado lifestyle. Adventures around every corner and open RV door.

By the way, RV doors are difficult even when not dodging the cat. Narrow, steep, metal shaking steps. I cringe just waiting for one of us to biff the landing and go sprawling face down in the gravel.

But for now, we are good. It's ALL good.

Because He is good.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Happy to See This!


Happy to see this new article, Into the World, in Missions Mosaic.
It has been a whirlwind summer!

Selling our home, moving into an RV, fixing the RV set-up, sorting belongings, giving away stuff, acclimatizing the kitties to living in said RV, learning how to cook in an RV, . . .

The list is much longer, but just that much lets you know why I have been lost in cyberspace.

On to fall. The dust is settling, and in just a few more days, we will have only 1 home to care for.

Writing is back on the menu, boys! (Can you name that movie reference? Comment below!)

Into the World
Here is something I'm happy to see, rewards from past labors. I love this magazine, Missions Mosaic, and am honored to write for Woman's Missionary Union in several different areas.

You might want to check them out here.

Missions Mosaic
Happy reading!

Back to the chaos.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Most Excellent Painting Tool

Freshly painted, with assistance from my kitchen drawer.
by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

I just finished repainting our shoe shelf with a fresh coat of clean paint. Now it's ready for storing shoes at the RV. Welcome to our shoe-free zone. Come on in, but plant the shoes right here!

We've used the shoe rack for years and it's been very handy to keep most of the shoes off the ground. But it was ugly. Add paint.

The problem was the paint. Color (secluded garden) was lovely, but as it hadn't been used in years since the Blue Door Table was painted, the ingredients had separated.

So there I stood, mixing with one of those silly wooden sticks they give you at the hardware store. I think it would have taken hours. It would've been faster to drive to Lowe's and ask them to remix it for me - at least a 45 minute round trip.

Hmmm, how could I assist and speed-up this remixing process?

Aha! I needed to sacrifice a kitchen whisk. That should work.

Oh boy! Work it did! I LOVE my new discovery of the most excellent painting tool. I whisked that paint right back into shape. Perfect!

My new favorite painting tool - a whisk!
Maybe you've already had this idea, but for me, it was original. Guess I should check out the rest of the kitchen section before I take on any more painting projects.

What's your favorite painting tool?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Do You Remember Free Towels?


by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

I don't usually dwell on where my towels originated, other than to contemplate how old the ratty ones are and consider if it's time for a towel shopping bonanza.

As all but the last few ancient, ragged towels are happily ensconced in the RV, awaiting our arrival, we are making due with some threadbare specimens.

No remaining borders, faded designs, frayed edges, thin fabric - this is the state of the towels piled in the cupboard. If my sister saw them, she would zoom straight as the crow flies to a nearby department store and stock us up with new fluffy towels.

But sister, never fear. We have plenty of good towels. They are just living in our other home.

Tonight, as I dried off with one of the antique versions, tiny in size but amazingly colorful, I had a flashback to when towels came free.

In detergent boxes! Do you remember those little plastic encased free towels? I'm not entirely sure that this blue floral number is not one of those freebies. It's still in use, at least 25 years later.

After an online search, I found several old detergent brands that offered free face cloths, knives, glasses, and towels. Breeze sounded familiar, but the images I saw only offered face cloths. Bonus advertised a full sized towel, but that name doesn't ring a bell. How fun to look at the old packaging, all the way back in the late 1950's and 1960's.

Wait! I found it. Breeze is one of the detergents that included free towels. Check out my Pinterest board (For the Home) and scroll to see the Breeze box. Angie's Pinterest Boards

Ahh, memories. I truly am not old enough to buy detergent in the 50-60's, but let's try the 70's. Back in the good old days. . . free stuff when one went shopping!

I still love free!

I'd love to hear your memories. Were you ever the recipient of free towels? Glasses? Dinnerware? Green stamps (you could buy all sorts of wonderful items with green stamps)?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

My New Favorite Packing Tool


By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

This girl has some hard-to-wrap-and-secure items.

Enter plastic wrap. It's my new favorite packing tool.

Not only can I easily see what is packed inside the wrapping, the items are secure (should a moving earthquake occur and miniature items move around), the glass is held firmly in place, cords are stuck together instead of trailing around, and I always have plastic wrap on hand.

It's a win-win strategy!

You're welcome.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Moving


 by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

The box that was filled with flyers listing our home as FOR SALE is empty. That doesn't mean we are done with this whole moving process. Not at all.

For instance, as I tidied and prepped, boxed and bagged, I discovered that I had 3 of those old fashioned hair dryers.

You know the ones. The type that comes in a hat-type carrying case, with a long hose leading from the base to the plastic hat, and the lovely plastic hat that one puts on over curlers. Or, in my case, over my plastic bag wrapped deep conditioned hair. It really works.

But 3? Who needs 3 hair dryers of that sort? Last time I checked, I only had (and still have) 1 head.

What can I say? This scenario has been repeated several times with different items as I've cleared out closets, drawers, and cupboards. Hoarder? Yard sale hound? Bargain monster?

I prefer to call myself a collector.

The good news is, we can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. Piles of this and that for various people have mostly been sent to their new homes. The debris is disappearing a little more every day.

The adventure continues! How to fit everything we need - or think we need - into an RV. It's a never-ending puzzle.

Hair dryer anyone?

Friday, August 5, 2016

54 Years Later - Nana Finally Gets Someone Who Resembles Her

Little baby Angie
by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Actually, it is 53 years - until my birthday in November. Why am I making myself older than I am???

A tiny baby girl was born 53 years ago. When that girl was married, she had 2 children, a boy and a girl. Neither resembled her. YES. She was there for the birth, so she knows they are hers.

Much later, the boy and girl both married their lifemates and produced wonderful grandchilden. None of which looked even the slightest bit like the Nana. Rather, they looked like mommy or daddy or this cousin or that one, or even aunties and uncles. No one resembled short little Nana.

Until now. Nana giggles and rubs her hands together with glee.

Little Autumn, the youngest princess, coming in at barely 3 months old, finally shows signs of having something in common with the Nana!

Autumn's eyes look like Nana's eyes. A family resemblance - how nice for me!

Little Autumn and her Nana eyes!

This Nana is happy with even the slightest hint of "she has my eyes." I would be fine if she had Papa's height and not my lack. Actually, I am very happy that she is healthy. A slight resemblance is just eye-cing on the cake. Wink, wink.

Yippee for grands.

Do your children resemble you? How about those grands?

Just chatting with my Nana.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Early Pumpkin Harvest

Safe and gorgeous
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

I harvested 8 pumpkins this morning.

It's August.

Harvesting pumpkins in August just does not sound right. Especially when it will be around 90 later this afternoon.

Not right at all.

Extenuating circumstances encouraged me to wade deep in the bristly pumpkin patch and knee high grass to grasp my favorite orange fall buddies. Er, I mean, signs of the season. Sure, I talk to my pumpkins. And those dratted slugs and squash bugs. I do admit to speaking kindly to my pumpkin pals. Not so much with the vermin.

Doesn't everyone talk to their plants and garden inhabitants? No? Hmmm.

Slugs. They were eating HOLES in my pumpkins! I rolled one large pumpkin over and a huge spotted slug, probably 3-4 inches long when stretched out, was coiled comfortably in the blossom end hollow. UGH. Tiny little slime booger slugs were creeping all over as well.

Odd. Spring. Weather. We had the weirdest spring. That is all I can blame on the extremely early crops. It was very warm, very hot, and then very cold. Plants in my area don't know what to do. Except grow.

Squash bugs. I've been so busy packing up the house, I missed recognizing the sign of yellowed leaves that indicated I had extra special garden pest visitors. Why, those hungry little insects have moved right in!

Orange. These pumpkin babies were colorful and ready to visit my porch.

Snip, snip, tug, and off we went away from hungry mouths to the safety of shade and protection.

Fall (in August) here we come!

How is your garden growing this year?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Favorite Summer Recipe ~ Stuffed Squash

Crispy stuffed squash, a summer favorite!
by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Ahh. The bounty of summer awaits my growling tummy!

Though I am posting this recipe today, I made this dish several weeks ago. Due to the odd weather this year and very early and hot spring temperatures, the produce schedule is very early or entirely off schedule!

I know. But we take what we get and have a fancy meal. I also acknowledge that I post this recipe in some form almost every year. It is that good.

This year, on July 1st (so early), I harvested a zucchini and a yellow squash plus wax and green beans. So delish!


Stuffing for the squash
Stuffed Squash

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey
washed and chopped green and wax beans
2 squash, washed, cut in half lengthwise, and scooped out
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 cups chicken broth
parsley
black pepper
crushed peppers
salt
Mrs. Dash
onion powder
olive oil
grated cheddar cheese

Prepped squash. I sometimes like to add olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper before I stuff them.

1. Saute onion, garlic, and carrot in olive oil. Add turkey meat to brown it.

2. After turkey is browned, add black beans, beans, tomatoes, and spices (to your taste). Add enough chicken broth to make a thick mixture. Let cook until bubbling and fragrant.

3. Stuff peppers with stuffing. I love them full and overflowing. You will probably have leftovers, which makes a tasty soup or casserole base. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

4. Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Check often as you near the end of your cooking time to make sure squash ingredients are not overcooking. We like a crispy cheese topping, so we let them cook the full time.

5. Remove and enjoy!

Ready for the oven.
You can add almost anything to this dish. If I have quinoa, it goes in the mix. At times I've added broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms - you name it, I've probably had it in my stuffed squash.

I just love summer gardens and their tasty treats, don't you? What's your favorite summer dish?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Thinking in 12's ~ RV Living

12's become significant...
by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Lately, I've been thinking in 12's.

12 towels (the hubby uses many each week, plus there are the grands . . .)

12 dish clothes

12 sets of silverware (in case we have company)

12 wash clothes (we are messy)


I don't know why 12 seems like such a good number. Except 12 towels will hold us if I can't get to the laundry for a bit. Dishes shouldn't be a problem, though we do go through them each day.

I am a 12th Fan (Go, Seahawks!). Maybe that's the influence of 12.

A dozen. That usually means good things. A dozen eggs, donuts, months in a year . . .

Hmmm. 12's were always the hardest for me to remember when it came to multiplication facts. I still have to think hard (or cheat) to figure out 12's.

Moving into an RV trailer is a huge commitment. The storage space. Oh, boy. I mean the lack of storage space. That is the challenge. But we are up for adventure.

To end on a positive note, let's have a list of 12 great and wonderful reasons to live in an RV!

1. Life will be one big adventure.

2. It will feel like camping. all. the. time.

3. We can move our house any time we want a change of scenery.

4. Less square footage means less area to clean!

5. Change. Change is good. Change makes you think outside of the box in which you currently reside.

6. Weeding. This is necessary to reduce personal effects to a sufficiently tiny amount that they fit inside the RV.

7. Cooking requirements will force creativity!

8. Potential for blog posts (the good, the bad, the ugly) will increase exponentially the longer we abide in each other's hip pockets.

9. The porch. Sitting under the awning enjoying the evening quiet (and chatter of young grands) will be exquisite.

10. Free time! No sense in shopping - there's no place to put it.

11. Clothing choices will be easy each day. With a limited wardrobe, it's recycle outfits over and over again.

12. Fairy tale living. It's true! I will be snuggled up to my honey in our home sweet home.

13. And for the baker's dozen - Living in an RV will get us ready to live in our small home.

Now. That being said . . . I'd love to hear your RV living suggestions, tips, and strategies! Pretty please!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Rubber Stamping Amidst Chaos

50 card total. I think it's a record low, but they are so pretty!
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Distracted? Yes. But still productive.

These are the cards I stamped while visiting my college friend and co-stamping nut. I mean hobbyist.

Despite the multiple phone calls, texts, and emails that transpired due to the pending sale of our home, I was able to squeak out a tiny bit of concentration which allowed me to create greeting cards.

It's what we do. This process works best when we are together, as our ideas bloom and feed off of each other. Our stash of rubber stamps, tools, papers, and supplies is doubled when we pool our resources. Life events are discussed, food is enjoyed, and cards are produced.

A win-win situation, even when one is selling a house.

I suppose I should apply this special superhero focusing power (giggle, giggle) to my picture book writing.

Yes. I really must.

Regardless of exterior distractions and influences, I need to be seated in the computer chair and producing manuscripts (or editing or submitting or querying). This shall become increasingly interesting when my office, chair, desk, and computer space becomes that of the RV dinette.

Whatever will the two gray girls do? Cause havoc and sleep on my papers. Without a doubt.

Onward and upward.

"Meow, meow, Mommy! Get writing!" says Monet.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Silverware Drawer


By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

I loosely say silverware, though there is probably only 1 or 2 pieces that actually contain silver. Utensil ware is so much less exciting and refined.

This is what happens when one steals the silverware basket to check and see if it fits in the RV drawer. Which it does, but only in one of them. So that drawer is now the official holder of utensils.

Not to get too deep here, but this drawer neatly - I mean chaotically - represents my life at present. Transistion. What that really means is that there are plenty of opportunities for untidiness, cleaning out the cobwebs, decluttering, and paring down life to what is really important.

- Things appear to be a jumbled mess.
- We have to dig around to find what we need. But that leads to . . .
- Glimpses of treasured items and favorite memories.
- Everything feels topsy turvy.
- So many pieces, but they can't all go with me. Sorting becomes necessary.
- I want to get cracking and put it all back in order.
- But I don't have time. Yet.
- The search and rescue approach to gathering dining necessities is in force.

My life looks like my silverware drawer. But that's just outside appearances. All is well, and in time, all will be sorted.

In the meantime, why not enjoy the adventure?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

He Sold the House While I Was Gone!

Colors from our garden

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Go on vacation, buy an RV trailer.

Go to see my friends, the hubby sells the house.

What next?

The rest of the story . . .

When we sold our first home, I was at a conference in New Mexico with some wonderful ladies. Kevin repeatedly called me, updating the news and asking questions. Finally, his calls took on a list-like look.

"Honey, I sold the fridge."

"Honey, I sold the boat."

"Honey, I sold the . . ."

In desperation, I turned to my ladies, who were totally tuned in to the situation. "I've got to get home before he sells the kids!"

Many, many years later, the story is similar.

Last week was vacation. We enjoyed a few days with my cousin. We shopped for RVs but didn't find one we could live in for any length of time. We discussed in great detail EVERY single option of selling our home and finally beginning our bucket list plan to build a small home. And I mean EVERY detail.

After returning home, we made an appointment with our realtor to ask questions and prepare to sell. That was Thursday.

The following Monday we met again and listed the house. The signs went up and photos were taken.

Tuesday was the realtor walk through day, so I loaded up the cats and headed to the other Quantrell's for most of the day. Not only did several realtors visit our home, we had a showing with a different realtor. Just as I was putting quiche in the oven, we received a text for another showing. We quickly ate, grabbed the cats, and vacated the premises.

On Wednesday, I headed to visit college friends, leaving Kevin in charge of the home selling adventure. Kevin was texted for yet another showing. This one lasted almost 2 hours.

On Thursday morning, we received an offer! After another already scheduled showing later that day, paperwork was completed, and we accepted the offer for our home.

Guess where I was? Not at home. I was with friends on the other side of the mountains. Texts flew back and forth.

"We got an offer."

"We are meeting to discuss the deal."

"You need to sign these papers."

I really need to not leave my husband at home alone! There's no telling what he is planning on selling next . . .

Providing all goes well with the various sale-of-home proceedings, we will soon be living the RV life.

I guess that means we really are old Nana and Papa grandparents. (And we love it!)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Love locks at Chambers Bay Park
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

It's true. Time flies. But not only when you are having fun - though those particular minutes, hours, and days seem to sleep more easily through our fingers.

I've found that time. Just. Flies.

For instance, my honey was on vacation last week. There were just not enough hours in the day! We . . .

We had a wonderful time. I think maybe they were embarassed by us!

- traveled to see my cousin in the Tacoma area where we ate, hiked, visited, walked, sipped coffee, ate some more, and watched exploding fireworks

- shopped for an RV trailer as a part of our long term plan to build our own small home

- returned home and cleaned house with much attention given to fine detail

On the first hike we got lost. This was our trick for choosing the correct path on the next hike.
- decluttered, packed boxes, moved furniture, and prepared our home for sale

- shopped again for an RV trailer - and purchased a lovely used model that we pick up on Saturday where we will attend a class on how to make everything work

- washed windows and removed cobwebs

- spackled and touched up painted walls

- filled the garage with boxes, bags, and large items for storage and donation

Titlow Beach at low tide
- spent hours talking on the phone with various service providers and business people, asking questions and learning the ropes about selling and building homes

- and finally, put our home on the market

We are exhausted!

The above schedule did not allow time for reading email, blogging, writing, or any other creative endeavor. I barely had time for grocery shopping, but we were getting hungry and I had to cave and make the trip.

The fun continues tomorrow. The gray girls and I are banished for 4 hours while realtors visit and walk through our home. I think Monet, Mabel, and I will visit some grands. Won't that just make their day fantastic? The grands will love it. The cats, not so much.

Oh, friends, I could have used you. At the least we could have stopped for a bit and sipped a cup of tea. Rest and relaxation. Do consider a visit soon so we can catch up. I may not have furniture, but I always have hot water and tea.

Fireworks on the 4th

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Fourth of July Craft Project

Khloe with her Fourth of July flag ~ it was kind of heavy!
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Pinterest wins! This Fourth of July craft project turned out adorable.

The grands loved it as well, though they really wanted to just paint all over the old barn wood plaque. That would be a project for a different time. This time, Nana wanted some resemblance to a flag. It was on OLD barn wood after all, and that stuff is hard to come by.

That being said, use any wood you like. Or cardboard or a piece of canvas. With just a little help, you will be ready to celebrate the birth of our nation in style!

Audrey adding white stripes to her Fourth of July flag.
Fourth of July Flag Craft

Materials: wood, acrylic paints (red, white, blue), plastic containers to hold paint, paintbrushes, apron or old clothes, wire

Tools: saw, drill, wire cutter, broom

Donavyn is done with his flag and enjoying a freeze-pop on this nearly 100 degree day! UGH
1. Cut a rectangle from the wood. Drill two holes in the top for wire.

2. Use a broom to dust off the sawdust and dirt.

3. Squirt each color into a container.

4. Help do the handprint. I held each child's hand and thickly painted it with blue paint. I also helped place the hand and held it down until I had rubbed it all over. Wash!

Hayden working on his white stripes.
5. We did red stripes first, making sure to leave big spaces for the white. For older kids they can pretty much be told where to start the stripe and they will be fine. My younger guys needed a little more assistance. Normally, I would just let them paint however they wanted, but these were on barn wood...

6. Add the white stripes between the red.

7. Dry. Loop wire through the holes and twist together to form a hanging loop.


Happy 4th of July, America!

Monday, June 27, 2016

I Work at Home ~ Encouragement from a 7 Year-Old

 
Comments from the peanut gallery...

by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

I work at home.

I'm sure some people think I just goof off, sip coffee, play in the backyard, eat bon bons, and read great books.

It's true. I do those things. Occasionally. Or maybe even almost daily.

But I also work. At home.

Last week, my grands and great-niece and their adult caregivers (mom and Nama) hit the road to visit Owen Beach at Pt. Defiance Park near Tacoma, Washington. As the road trip one-way was about 3 hours, there was plenty of time to talk. This conversation came from the way-back seat of our van.

Nama: Audrey, are you talking to grandma (via Face-Time)?
Audrey: Yes.
Nama: Is she at work?
Audrey: No, she doesn't work. She just goes in her office.
Hayden: (Looking incredulously at Audrey) Nana does that! She works in her office. (Now looking at me) Nana, you write books in your office!

Long-distance-front-seat-to-backseat high five!

Yes! He gets it. I am working in my office. I do have a job. I don't make much money right now, giving credence to the term "poor starving author," but I am working.

This writer felt very pleased and encouraged by the voice and total belief in the voice of a 7 year-old boy. He believes in me.

Who encourages and believes in you and your life's work?