Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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#TBT The Anniversary Cruise

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For our 25th anniversary, we treated us to an Alaskan cruise. Princess Cruise Lines really outdid themselves. So many options, so much great food and entertainment. It was a delight to travel with my best friend. Relaxation, sight-seeing, swimming, activities-the offerings were more than any one person could attend. Looking back, our appearance seems much younger than now. LOL.

The first picture was a selfie taken while we were watching an outdoor movie on the top deck. Remember, it was Alaska! Blankets provided, snuggling necessary to stay warm. We were thankful that it wasn’t raining!

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This picture was taken during the fancy dress-up evening on board our ship. After arriving home, my honey treated me to a no-cal floral cake. Beautiful!

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We found this totem pole in Juneau. I love the faded paint and weather-worn wood.

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Panning for gold did not improve our financial prospects. Not one bit.

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If you ever get the chance, do enjoy a cruise! We were fortunate to get a balcony, which really helped when we felt motion sickness. Between the cool air from the slightly open balcony door and the rocking of the ship, we had the best sleep ever.

Next year will be our 35th anniversary. I wonder where we will end up for that anniversary? What adventures have you had when celebrating special occasions? All suggestions will be considered. 😉

 

 

 

 


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: layers

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not just tree, but host

verdant layers, companions;

growing harmony

 

layers by Angie Quantrell

I took this photo while visiting Claude Monet’s Giverny outside Paris. I’m happy to see layers of life and co-existence in the plant world.

Welcome to the Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge! Please join the fun by adding your Haiku to the comments. Maybe one of the following will spark an idea for you.

Things with layers: cakes, clothes, buildings, rock formations, sandwiches, paintings, the sky, the Earth, casseroles, make-up, gardens, winter beds . . .

 

 


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Snow Day Tea Party

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In our area of the northwest, we often have winter snow days or late start days when the roads are slick early in the morning. Just recently, an overnight heavy wet cold snow fell, causing slippery roads and perfect conditions for a late start (for school to start). It’s only 2 hours late, but one can have plenty of fun in those 120 minutes.

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First up was sledding down the pasture hill. The 5 grands did a wonderful job sharing one sled, pairing up with each other and racing to see who could travel the longest distance down the slope.

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Once the proper bright red noses and cheeks were acquired, we trooped inside for a snow day tea party, all ages included. This was not the traditional apres snow play hot cocoa and cookies, as both Nana and mommy (Auntie) were fresh out of hot chocolate mix. This was find what’s in the pantry and enjoy it to the fullest. So tea it was.

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Tiny tea cups, spoons, saucers, and tea pots were filled with tepid herbal tea. Honey dripped stickily into cups and was stirred in. Spills were mopped up with place mats and towels, and peanuts stood in for tea cakes. For one young girl, those tea cake peanuts tasted marvelous when they were soaked in tea and scooped out with a spoon.

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A fun time was had by all. Pinkies up for the next snow day late start!

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Once the 3 older grands went to late school, the 2 younger ones had another type of snow day.

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First Organize, Then Write

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As long as I can remember, I’ve always had to tidy the nest before beginning and completing projects.

In college, I had to clean my room, organize my desk, do the laundry, and make lists of things I needed to get done before I could tackle homework and class assignments.

In high school, I had to make my bed and I’m assuming put away belongings in the room I shared with my sister. I don’t remember those years as far as organizing, except I was on the college track and academic and social paths were solidly beneath my feet in order to ensure that I was able to attend the college of my choice. Go, Western Washington University!

Before that, I remember enjoying nesting when I played. Literally, I loved surrounding myself with a circle of toys (the nest) and playing contentedly within nest borders. I suppose that was a form of nesting.

Now, at the age of 56, something in my personality requires the same urgency to organize my surroundings and then write and/or work on deadline projects.

You can imagine the trouble this causes when living in a tiny RV. There is only so much room for organizing and tidying! I work at the RV table-aka-desk. Each time I need to work, the table HAS to be cleared in order to make space for the laptop and assorted files, books, and resources I need for references. I pull out the TV tray for my desk extension and prop work items around me. When it’s time to stop writing, reversing the nesting process gives me plenty of opportunities to think creatively about where to store (and be able to find again) my work items. Poor honey, he really puts up well with my hogging of space.

Just last weekend, I tackled the messy paper stack on the RV bench. Also known as my filing cabinet and book shelf. It was pretty bad.

Surprise! When I pulled out the stacks of things to be sorted and properly filed, I discovered that condensation was making the back of the cushion damp and a tiny bit of mold was happily growing in the corner. Lovely, that. This type of cleaning need requires immediate removal of all cushions, the wiping down of cushions and mold areas, and thorough drying of said items.

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We tend to forget, my honey and I, that this task is often necessary at least once a winter season. So I cleaned, organized, and reassembled.

While I still have a pile of little writerly notes (IDEAS, friends, those precious papers are filled with inspiration!), the rest of the RV dining area/office/guest bedroom/and family room is tidy and ready for work projects.

That is, until the pitter-patter of little grands enters the RV. Things quickly get scooted out of the way and piled in the corner of the bench. This habit is also called JOB SECURITY for the need to organize THEN write.

How about you? Do you have any quirky habits or needs that have to be fulfilled before you tackle a big project or activity? Please tell me someone else out there has to nest!


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I love this writing analogy found on Writers Rumpus! Thanks for the tasty tips! Maybe now my cakes (stories) will not fall flat!

via The 7 Layer Cake Writing Method


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Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Book Review: Just Like You by Keosha Sath #ReadYourWorld

Today is a special day! Help me celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day by reading about a fun new book! I was gifted this book by @MascotBooks so I could participate in MCBD2019! Thank you, @MascotBooks and @KeoshaSath.

I’m pleased to introduce you to Just Like You, Keosha Sath, and Mascot Books!

Just Like You

Written by Keosha Sath

Illustrated by Yasushi Matsuoka

Published by Mascot Books (2018)

Ages: 5-6 years old

Themes: Self-confidence, Imagination, Equality, Career

Synopsis: From Amazon:

In this book, a small child is inquisitively asking her mother questions about life. The book begins with the mother and daughter in the car on the way to school. They then visit different job occupations throughout the day. The mom is so busy thinking about giving the best answers, that she forgets the most important job is being a mom.

The importance of this book is to show all little girls that they can work in male dominated jobs. The book also plants the seed to strive to be the person in charge. This book encourages more girls to think about obtaining science, technology, engineering, and mathematics jobs, as there is a shortage of women in these fields.

Why I love this book:

I love the opening pages when the little girl asks, “Mommy, why do I have to go to school today?” and the mother answers, “So that you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up.”

What a perfect statement and preface for giving permission to dream big and grow up to be whatever you want! I want all little girls (and all children) to have the self-confidence and permission to pursue any career that interests them, regardless of who is traditionally found working in specific occupations.

I love the bold, colorful, beautiful illustrations that accompany the story. Just Like You is told through conversation only. Mommy and the little girl have different colors of print to distinguish who is speaking. This style of writing keeps the story moving and captivating. During the conversation, a variety of careers and multicultural characters illustrate the story. I love the beautiful family featured on the pages of Just Like You. Young readers will enjoy the suggestions and open discussion of career options found in Just Like You.

Connect with Keosha Sath:

Instagram: Keosha Sath

Facebook: Keosha Sath

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Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, TheConsciousKid.org.

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTVLerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift,  T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,

 

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Lori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC

 

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it,  Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground

And guess what? They are having a super Twitter party with visiting authors answering questions and LOTS of prizes!

twitter party announcement

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual @McChildsBookDay Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.

We will be giving away Book Bundles every 5 minutes!

Twitter Party Details:

When: Friday, January 25th

Time: 9 pm to 10 pm EST

Where: On Twitter! Follow McChildsBookDay to participate

Hashtag: #ReadYourWorld

Sponsored By: Make A Way Media

And wait…that’s not all! There are free resources available for teachers and parents!

FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

 


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Flowers in France #TBT

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Ten years ago this spring, my honey and I spent 3 weeks in France. Most of our time we stayed in Paris, where flower shops and coiffured gardens displayed dazzling blooms. I loved gazing at the gorgeous blooms. And, according to my external hard drive, spent much time clicking photos to remind myself of their beauty.

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The first two photos are favorites because of the price tags. Without those French words and Euro price tags, one would assume the flowers could be found on any continent during the proper season. Well, maybe not Antarctica or the Arctic.

at monet's water lilly pond

One of my most favorite memories was taking a day trip to Giverny, the home of Claude Monet. I have been a long time admirer of his impressionistic work. With settings such as these, how could he NOT paint? Breathtaking! If you squint, you can see his featured bridge back beyond the willow trees.

 

bedroom up, studio down

This is a part of Monet’s home. We took a walking tour inside. I don’t have any photos of the inside, I think because we were not allowed to take pictures. It was inspiring to see the places he worked, slept, ate, and enjoyed family life. I would move in in a second!

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The flower gardens are all that-and more! One could spend days exploring and not see it all. Actually, I want to return one day and spend the entire day soaking in the beauty.

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Oh, the flowers that grow! Below you can see the green bridge covered in tourists. Alas, I attempted photos without the crowds, but you can see I created a false impression. 😉 Plenty of others had the same ideas we did about a day in the country.

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Have you been inspired to travel some place special? What captured your imagination and led you to visit and explore?


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: fruit soldiers

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resting tired trees

tucked in slumber, root anchors

rows of fruit soldiers

 

fruit soldiers by Angie Quantrell

Photo: Taken in January, West Valley of the Yakima Valley

 

Happy Hump Day! What nature scene is unfolding in your neighborhood? Try a Haiku and share it so we can enjoy nature in your area.

In case you don’t know or remember, Haiku is a syllabic-count poem written in 3 lines:

5 syllables

7 syllables

5 syllables


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2019 Word of the Year: Treasure

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Treasure.

This is my word of the year for 2019. I’m excited to see what new thoughts come to mind as I ponder the meaning and the depths of TREASURE. I know my life is filled with treasures, and I want to take time to be thankful for my treasures.

TREASURE is a unique word of the year in that I already have three different facets to explore:

1. My treasure, my hope, is in Jesus. He is the best treasure in my life! I want to explore my Treasure this year.

2. My treasures, plural, are my family. I have a loving, supporting, wonderful spouse. I have fabulous children and perfectly grand grands. I have extended family and friends, more treasures. I want to take time to recognize and be thankful for my treasures.

3. My treasures, gifts with which I’ve been blessed, are many. Home (be it an RV), cat, vehicles for getting around, writing, hobbies, talents, skills, opportunities, health, food…this list is huge. I can’t wait to find out more about my treasures, acknowledge them, and be thankful.

So, “Come further up, come further in!,” as C.S. Lewis says in The Last Battle. I’m going to dig deep and discover the hidden gems found in my word of the year, TREASURE.

Onward!

P.S. If you have a word, phrase, verse, or quote of the year, please let us know in the comments!

 


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Coming Friday: Multicultural Children’s Book Day #ReadYourWorld

This Friday!!! Drop by and read my review of Just Like You by Keosha Sath.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!

*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN

Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book CouncilThe Junior Library GuildTheConsciousKid.org.

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat BabiesCandlewick PressChickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcitoKidLitTV,  Lerner Publishing GroupPlum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone PublishingCarole P. RomanAuthor Charlotte RiggleHuda EssaThe Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge PublishingJudy Dodge CummingsAuthor Gwen JacksonKitaab WorldLanguage Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ LanguagesLee & Low BooksMiranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, RedfinAuthor Gayle H. Swift,  T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s DaughterTimTimTom BooksLin ThomasSleeping Bear Press/Dow PhumirukVivian Kirkfield,

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie FlettMehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet BallettaAuthor Kathleen BurkinshawAuthor Josh FunkChitra SoundarOne Globe Kids – Friendship StoriesSociosights Press and Almost a MinyanKaren LeggettAuthor Eugenia ChuCultureGroove BooksPhelicia Lang and Me On The PageL.L. WaltersAuthor Sarah StevensonAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleHayley BarrettSonia PanigrahAuthor Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing DreidelsAuthor Susan BernardoMilind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu KidTara WilliamsVeronica AppletonAuthor Crystal BoweDr. Claudia MayAuthor/Illustrator Aram KimAuthor Sandra L. RichardsErin DealeyAuthor Sanya Whittaker GraggAuthor Elsa TakaokaEvelyn Sanchez-ToledoAnita BadhwarAuthor Sylvia LiuFeyi Fay AdventuresAuthor Ann MorrisAuthor Jacqueline JulesCeCe & Roxy BooksSandra Neil Wallace and Rich WallaceLEUYEN PHAMPadma VenkatramanPatricia Newman and Lightswitch LearningShoumi SenValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci SorellShereen RahmingBlythe StanfelChristina MatulaJulie RubiniPaula ChaseErin TwamleyAfsaneh MoradianLori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls RevolutionSoulful SydneyQueen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty ArabAgatha Rodi BooksAll Done MonkeyBarefoot MommyBiracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms ShareColours of UsDiscovering the World Through My Son’s EyesDescendant of Poseidon ReadsEducators Spin on it Growing Book by BookHere Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin LeeJump Into a BookImagination Soup,Jenny Ward’s ClassKid World CitizenKristi’s Book NookThe LogonautsMama SmilesMiss Panda ChineseMulticultural Kid BlogsRaising Race Conscious ChildrenShoumi SenSpanish Playground

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual @McChildsBookDay Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party ( a prize every 5 minutes!). GO HERE for more details.

FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.