Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover

Leave a comment

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?

Leave a comment

Project BMG -The Boy Who Cried Tears of the Heart

Posted on July 1, 2016 by jlfatgcs Chapter reading is one of our treasured moments of the day at school.  I know this, and so does Jackson.  Books bring to life the imagination, the world, and the …

Source: Project BMG -The Boy Who Cried Tears of the Heart

This blog post perfectly illustrates the importance of reading aloud to children – even chapter books! Thank you for sharing with us!

Leave a comment

School’s First Day of School ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

This is the perfect book for back-to-school!

by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

School’s First Day of School

By Adam Rex

Pictures by Christian Robinson

(Roaring Brook Press, 2016)

School was new.

He was so new that he didn’t realize children would soon come pouring through his doors. Gasp! Janitor was his confidant and friend and tried to tell him things would be great.

But School was anxious.

And the children came to school. Some were bored (that hurt School’s feelings), some cried and were afraid to stay at school (School was that bad?), and School even had an accidental fire drill the first day!

Would School enjoy being School?

I LOVED this story! Who would have thought about first-day-of-school-new-building story from the viewpoint of the school!

Funny, imaginative, and realistic. School’s First Day of School will lighten the hearts of all readers.


Draw a Picture of Your School

Materials: paper, pencils, markers, crayons

1. Use the pencil to outline your school. Maybe you go to a huge elementary school, a small private school, or homeschool. Whichever type of school you attend, draw a picture of it.

2. Decorate your school. Maybe you could name your school, or print the name it already has on the top of the building.

3. Share your picture.

How do you think School felt before the first day? How did the boys and girls feel about going back to school? How do YOU feel about going to school?

I love school! Now that I am a writer and I work from home, I don’t get to enjoy the first day of school as a teacher. I miss school! But I hope to visit again soon and read books with my favorite people – the students.

Leave a comment

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)?

Leave a comment

A Tiger Tail (Or What Happened to Anya on Her First Day of School) ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

A Tiger Tail (Or What Happened to Anya on Her First Day of School)

By Mike Boldt

(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016)

When Anya woke up one morning, her first day of school, she discovered that she had grown a tiger tail overnight!

One can imagine how embarassing it would be to trot into school with a tiger tail trailing along behind! Anya was devastated. Would she even be allowed to go to school with a tiger tail?

Anya, being a very creative and problem solver type of girl, tried several different avenues to take care of the situation. NONE of which worked.

Which meant, Anya had to go to school, tiger tail and all.

Once Anya made it to school, she discovered that having a tiger tail was not so bad after all.

A Tiger Tail (Or What Happened to Anya on Her First Day of School) is a hilarious cleverly illustrated and written picture book. Problem solving, anxiety over the first day of school, and seeing how others are different are some of the issues found in this delightful book.

Readers both young and old will love Anya’s tale. Er, tail.


For Fun: Make a Tail to Wear Around the House

Materials: a long sock, newspaper, safety pins

1. Crinkle newspapers into small balls and stuff the sock. Leave an inch or so at the top.

2. Ask for help! Pin the sock to the waistband of your pants. Now you have a tail. Try and wear it all day. How did you do? Any problems? Would you like to go to school with a tail?

For Real: Plan for the First Day of School

What makes you really nervous about the first day of school? Some things that made me anxious were new classmates, a new teacher, not knowing where my class was, wearing new clothes, and getting on the right bus to go home.

Choose 1 thing that makes you nervous. Plan how to take care of it before school begins.

1. New classmates? Look for one person you know from last year. Or your neighborhood. Walk up and say hi. Plan to play together at recess. Now you have at least one friend!

2. New teacher? Some schools host a meet-the-teacher day. Ask your parents to take you to meet your teacher. Whew! Now you know what he/she looks like. You might even find your desk.

3. Find your class. If you visited the teacher, you will already know. Otherwise, a parent can walk you in the first day, you can ask an adult at the school for help, or you can ask an older student to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. I’ve noticed that most people love to help!

4. Choose your first-day-of-school clothes and hang them out, ready for the big day. Now you don’t need to worry about what to wear.

5. Riding the bus? Your teacher will help you. Or any of the other adults who work at your school. You can even ask the bus drivers. If you are going to kindergarten, you will probably wear an address tag with a bus number. Learn that number! But remember, there are many people just waiting to help you find the right bus!

Now – go out there and enjoy your first day of school.

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment


 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?

Leave a comment

Non-Fiction of Olympic Proportions (plus a prize!)

by Karlin Gray What do I know about writing nonfiction picture books? After my book NADIA: THE GIRL WHO COULDN’T SIT STILL was published, someone said to me, “Great timing with the 40th…

Source: Non-Fiction of Olympic Proportions (plus a prize!)

I can’t wait to read this book! I was one of those girls who loved Nadia and watched her on TV during the Olympics. Thanks for the great NF strategies for writing.

Leave a comment

54 Years Later – Nana Finally Gets Someone Who Resembles Her

Little 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.