Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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#inktober52 February Drawings

Prompt: monster (my monster is actually the drained fly; I prefer spiders to flies)

#Inktober52 is a weekly ink drawing challenge, one ink drawing a week for the entire year, 52 weeks a year.

I know I could never do #inktober for October, it just gets too crazy when I try to do something EVERY single day. But I am excited and challenged by the #inktober52. I think I can manage 52 weekly drawings inspired by prompts from https://inktober.com/. The part about having a week to complete a drawing helps me out.

Jake Parker created Inktober in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.”

Here are my February drawings.

Prompt: dragonfly

Prompt: camping

Prompt: egg

Are you enticed to join me? It’s fun to play and use my imagination. And maybe I’ll learn a new trick along the way.


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Haiku Moment: the boyfriend

i strut, stomp, challenge

stay back! see? i am boyfriend

king of hen harem

the boyfriend by Angie Quantrell

photos by Angie Quantrell


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Book Review: One Little Child by Joye Smith

One Little Child

Written by Joye Smith

Illustrated by Gayle West

Woman’s Missionary Union, SBC; 2019

I was delighted to receive a copy of One Little Child. Thank you, Joye Smith and Woman’s Missionary Union!

Written by Joye Smith, preschool consultant and Preschool Resource Team Leader for Woman’s Missionary Union, this lovely picture book shares ways even the smallest child can help others around the world. Gayle West filled the pages with wonderful full-spread illustrations featuring preschoolers, families, and people in need of some of the most basic necessities. I love the combination of text and illustrations that share the stories and inspire readers to get involved in helping others.

Clothing, housing, food, access to medical care, clean drinking water, and protection from weather are just a few of the needs and situations preschoolers read about in One Little Child. While the subject matter is heavy and serious, the delicate handling of such tough issues provides hope and strategies for young readers to care, pray, and help in their own way. This book is well-written using words and emotions perfect for the preschool audience and their families.

Blurb from the Back Cover:

Through images of children from around the world, One Little Child encourages preschoolers’ care for others and teaches that they have a place in helping others as part of God’s plan.

Read more about One Little Child at https://www.wmustore.com/one-little-child.


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Gingerbread and Pillowcases

Not much was the same in 2020.

We became creative, inventive, technologically gifted, resourceful-all in the effort to live life and connect with fellow humans. Plans were ditched or tossed aside, trips canceled, 35th anniversary trips to magical locations did not occur. Birthday parties became drive-by’s. Travel screeched to a standstill as nature locations filled to overflowing with folks desperate to get outside. To get OUT. Childcare and transfer between shared-custody parents became fraught with contact points and who was sick and who was with whom when they got sick. Schooling reached new heights of teamwork between parents, teachers, and Nana’s. Vocabulary increased to include 2020-specific words like virtual learning, hybrid learning, Google Classroom, Zoom, Loom, Chrome Book, internet capabilities, mute yourself. DIY projects blossomed and not once was Lowe’s closed. I suspect they, and other home improvement stores, had a banner year of profits due to the frenzy of home projects. That, along with shortages of flour, yeast, sugar, and toilet paper gave insight to what most of us were doing. Staying home, fixing up, and baking.

The traditions were the hardest to “fix.” Outdoor gatherings, socially distant of course, and much fuss over wearing masks (cute, cotton, and washable) has become so normal, I fear for our social skills and facial expressions once the pandemic settles down.

And then Christmas. How to do gingerbread houses? Carefully. In a huge area. With only healthy grands.

And Christmas gifts? Christmas pillowcases became my idea of the year. Totally reusable gift bags, tied with jump ropes. Open your gifts, put your gift bag, er, pillowcase, on your pillow for a good, snowy night’s sleep. Why didn’t I think of this before? Sure, sewing them on Christmas Eve Day is not advisable, but it did allow me to work my way through several Hallmark Christmas Movies as I cut, pinned, sewed, and ironed. And I’ve already purchased my fabric for next year to avoid the same rush. (We might check back on that one, because having purchased fabric is not the same as having sewn the pillowcases. . ..)

Gingerbread cookies were baked yesterday. December 30. They taste just as good, no matter the date, especially plain, with coffee.

Are things looking up for 2021? I certainly hope so. But even if the recovery is slow, I know we can do it. We’ve had all of 2020 to figure out how to make things work. Like in the days of the Depression, our ancestors made do, made it work, or made do without it. We are ready.

May the Lord go before us, bless us, and keep us as we journey into the new year! See you next year!


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Haiku Moment: a la mode

arrange sweet apples

topped with winter’s cream; is it

nature’s a la mode?

a la mode by Angie Quantrell

photo by Angie Quantrell

December, West Valley


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Book Reviews: So You Want a Pet Dragon? by Tania Pourat, Be a Big Hero by Jennifer Bacon, Scromlette the Omelet Chef by Zach Christensen, Finding Feelings by Jennifer Gafford #BookBirthday

I am sharing four books in this post. Please scroll down to read more about the book that catches your eye!

So You Want to a Pet Dragon?

By Tania Pourat

Illustrated by Tristan Tait

Mascot Books, December 2020

Be a Big Hero

By Jennifer Bacon

Illustrated by Lara Calleja

Mascot Books, December 2020

Scromlette the Omelet Chef

By Zach Christensen

Illustrated by Chiara Civati

Mascot Books, December 2020

Finding Feelings

By Jennifer Gafford

Illustrated by Terri Kelleher

Mascot Books, December 2020

So, you want a pet dragon? Of course I do! I loved this adorable and funny picture about about how to care for your dragon (or else). Easy reading, wonderful illustrations, and plenty of enjoyment to go around. I’m pretty sure I now know enough to care for my own dragon. So You Want a Pet Dragon? is a great read!

Amazon Blurb:

Taking care of a pet is no easy task, and a dragon is no exception. Luckily, this book has all the tips and tricks you’ll need to take care of your very own feisty, fiery friend. Simply follow this advice, and see for yourself how rewarding owning a pet dragon can be!

I appreciate the message of this book, something I taught to my children and now my grands. Care for the world around us. Be a Big Hero focuses on how garbage negatively impacts our oceans and rivers. But it also goes on to suggest very concrete ways to help solve the problems of trash in our bodies of water. Told in rhyme, this story shows how wildlife struggles with trash and offers some solutions for readers to take action in caring for the natural world. Great environmental message!

Amazon Blurb:

With a message that is as educational as it is heartfelt, Be a Big Hero takes the readers on a journey that follows plastic and litter as they make their way into our oceans. Detailing the human actions that allow for trash to pollute the seas, this lyrical tale gently teaches children about the harmful effects of littering and the overuse of plastic on the environment. With uplifting words and encouragement, this book explores the ways in which we can all be heroes- and how we can help take steps to be better global citizens.

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What a great message! Scrom goes from a bullied child to an adult who shares his love of making omelets with those on the streets. I enjoyed reading how Scrom survived the bullies of his childhood by hanging on to what he loved: making omelettes. The closure of what the bullies did and seeing them later in life as adults in need helps Scrom understand why they did what they did, and offers him a chance to help even more. The colorful illustrations help tell the story. Scromlette the Omelet Chef makes me hungry for an omelet!

Amazon Blurb:

Scromlette the Omelet Chef is a story that encourages children to pursue things that are life-giving for themselves- while also providing services for others. In this lyrical tale, Scromlette learns how to succeed in a way that benefits himself and the world around him. Exploring themes of anti-bullying and forgiveness, Scromlette the Omelet Chef encourages readers to make peace with their enemies, and allow themselves to heal.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the richness of this book about feelings. Instead of just being told how someone feels, as a reader, I heard what was going on and then had to search and find the person experiencing those feelings. I loved the seek and find aspect of this picture book. An answer key is included at the end, complete with an illustration of each person experiencing the feelings. The detailed illustrations provided me with plenty of opportunities to look for specific emotions and actions. Oh, the conversations that could be had when reading this book! Finding Feelings is a great read and a very good resource for parents, teachers, therapists, and care givers.

Amazon Blurb:

Have you ever been nervous to walk into your classroom? Have you ever felt frustrated with the long lines at the grocery store? Do you feel brave when you make a new friend? What makes you feel peaceful? In Finding Feelings, you will look for kids experiencing the same feelings you have in your life. How many feelings can you find? In this unique search-and-find book, children read body language and use situational clues to locate both good and difficult feelings in the characters. Finding Feelings builds emotional vocabulary, gently exposes children to uncomfortable emotions, and encourages compassion towards others. It is a little book for big hearts!

Books can be found at www.mascotbooks.com and www.amazon.com.


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Happy Thanksgiving!

May the Lord bless you and keep you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


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Haiku Moment: satiated bins

satiated bins

soldier along the path as

harvest lures me in

satiated bins by Angie Quantrell

photo by Angie Quantrell


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Angie’s Spaghetti Salsa

Reblogged from my former blog, Quantrell Quips: https://angiequantrell.blogspot.com/2010/05/spaghetti-salsa.html

Note from the chef: I miss my big stove and giant pot! Alas, this pan is in storage as it’s too big for the RV stove top. LOL. The name for this spicy red sauce came from my mother-in-love, Carole. Craving spaghetti one day, she asked that I make my spaghetti salsa, giving a nod to the heat I pack into my cooking. It’s been called Spaghetti Salsa ever since. My daughter recently asked for the recipe, and the only place I could find it written down was on my blog.

Here’s the original post from 2010.

Last weekend, I made my “Spaghetti Salsa,” famous in Taylor’s mind. Maybe Chelsie’s (our children). Several were interested in the recipe. The trick is crushed peppers and lots of patience. Just remember, if there ain’t no heat, there ain’t no spaghetti salsa!

Angie’s Spaghetti Salsa

Ingredients:
finely chopped garlic (close to one head – lots!)
one large onion, finely diced (more if you like onions)
olive oil
Saute’ the garlic and onion in olive oil until onions are translucent and garlic is a little crispy.

Add:
6-15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
3-15 oz. cans of Italian stewed tomatoes
2-3 small cans of tomato paste
Add sauce first. Pour stewed tomatoes into your hand and crush them as you add them to the sauce. Add paste and use a whisk to break up lumps. Stir well.

Add:

3 T. Mrs. Dash (regular flavor)
1 tsp. onion salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper (preferably fresh ground)
4-5 bay leaves, whole
3 T. crushed basil
2 T. dried parsley
2 T. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed pepper (I like to add 1 T. when my parents are not eating with us)

Optional: sliced black olives; You can also add browned and crumbled ground turkey
Sides: hot garlic bread, green salad with vinagrette dressing

Stir all ingredients together. Cover and simmer on low to medium for a minimum of two hours, stirring often. When it is time for dinner, make whole wheat pasta noodles following package directions. Do not dump noodles into the pan of sauce. Instead, place a serving of pasta on a plate, and top with sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Cool and store leftover sauce and noodles (separate containers) in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, heat some sauce in a frying pan, add some noodles, toss, and reheat.

Freeze leftover sauce. This sauce is nice to have on hand for chicken Parmesan, last minute spaghetti, lasagna, or whatever else needs an extra spicy sauce.

Bon appetit!


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Haiku Moment

luring pollen feast-

creep, wobble, feed, gather, fly-

bumble! bumble bee

bumble by Angie Quantrell

photo by Angie Quantrell