Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Frost Me Sweet Bakery and Bistro

Once in a long while, we get hooked on watching Guy Fieri as he travels around the U.S. showcasing fabulous meals on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Sometimes I’m hoping to be inspired for dinner, other times I want recipes. I LOVE watching the chefs prepare the meals and I’m always astounded at how MUCH they make! The quantity is mind-boggling. And when the featured location is nearby . . . I want a road trip!

We recently caught an episode filmed in Richland, Washington, a mere 90 minutes or so away. Road trip, here we come! I have no idea about the original air date of the episode, but Frost Me Sweet Bakery and Bistro is still in business, so it’s all good.

Sweet potato lasagna. Oh, boy. That’s what I wanted. And the Duck Banh Mi sandwich. Those were the two items featured on the show, and wow, they looked wonderful! Unfortunately, the Duck Banh Mi was sold out. So Kevin went with the Prime Time, a Prime Rib panini.

The only bad thing about our trip was the heat. We arrived early, about 11, since we eat lunch early. But it was still heading up over 90. Despite that, we chose to sit outside in their adorable covered seating area. There was a line waiting to get in even at that early hour! And nearly the entire time, people were waiting to be seated for the bistro side of the business. Note: The bakery is right next door. Both are connected and you can enter either door or walk between both in the waiting area.

Sweet Potato Lasagna

This dish was so yummy! I loved the sweet potato “noodles”. A few edges were a tiny bit underdone, but not enough to stop me. And I think it could have been hotter (temperature). Well, I ALWAYS want heat in my food, so I would add crushed peppers to my sauce. Mmmm. This dish was so tasty and hugely filling! I think it was a bit much with the heat, but come fall and cooler temps . . . give me ALL the sweet potato lasagna! Served with grilled pesto toast. I LOVED the sauce and meat and the way all the gooeyness came together. Mmm. I would definitely order this again.

Prime Time

Kevin’s Prime Time panini featured thinly sliced prime rib, carmelized onions, horseradish aioli, Swiss cheese, and au jus. The panini was made with their own garlic focaccia bread, and was served with a salad. I had a taste, and it was pretty delish! The au jus was very salty, so dip wisely. And (we both love spice) I think Kev would have loved MORE horseradish to heat things up. The sandwich was very filling and yummy.

The bakery had tempting treats, but we were stuffed, and with the temps, we didn’t want to haul around something that would melt.

Two thumbs up for Frost Me Sweet Bakery and Bistro. The menu is chock full of other dishes we want to try. So once fall hits, I’m counting on another road trip to sample the menu.

Have you hit the road to find a featured location from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives? Let us know how it went. And if you have any suggestions for fun dining, do share! We’d all love a taste.


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Road Trip: Purple Robe Lavender Farm

I had the best time last week visiting college friends, eating good meals, catching up, making rubber stamped cards, and exploring a bit of the Pacific Northwest. July is a a great month, because it’s lavender time, friends. Lavender Time.

Three of us (waves at Alyson and Renee) traveled to Arlington, Washington, to visit the Purple Robe Lavender Farm. It was such a delight! The bees were humming and buzzing over the lavender-covered hillside, making me want to grab a book and a nice cup of tea and find a spot to plop down. Or a notebook and my purple pen, so I could dream and write. Or spread a blanket on the ground beneath the lavender plants so I could enjoy the activity.

Alas, we were too busy chatting, smelling, and clicking photos. The fragrance was fantastic! We nearly had the place to ourselves. We did swap photo taking tasks with two other women, and I saw a family or two wandering the grounds. But mostly. Us.

White lavender (which I read later was a pink and white lavender named Melissa) and purple lavender created a white-edged purple carpet. I crept carefully between the rows several times, or scooted close to heavy heads, only to be calmly buzzed by bees and bumblebees. They paused, acted like they wondered what great flowers I had to offer, and then toddled back off to their work after they realized I was of the boring flowerless sort.

People in the area: Go now! Take a picnic and camera. The grounds are open for wandering, there is a small shop (of course, with lavender-smelling things-including lavender plants), and I noticed several picnic tables spread about. The lavender is peaking right now. This is the time. You-cut is available if you want to take home a bouquet, and comes complete with a photo-ready basket. A small selection of drinks and snacks are on hand.

Ahhh, lavender. It’s always been one of my favorite flowers. Enjoy.

Angie, Renee (seated on rock), Alyson (seated on ground)

Plus. Take some friends. It’s the best.


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Sunday Inspiration

Photo by Angie Quantrell

Purple Robe Lavender Farm, Arlington, WA


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Haiku Moment: feast

unplanned garden guest

wood and wet quench appetite

feast, tiny world king.

feast by Angie Quantrell

photos by Angie Quantrell, Yakima Valley


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Haiku Moment: earth treasure

is it time? harvest?

soil erupts with sharp fragrance,

come, my garlic treat

earth treasure by Angie Quantrell

Photos by Angie Quantrell

Yakima Valley

This is our third successful (meaning: no earwig damage) allium crop! Maybe next year should be a season of rest for the garden beds when I grow just alliums and let the exploding earwig population die off a bit. The idea does bear tasty consideration…


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Haiku Moment: leek princess

Photo by Angie Quantrell

seeking light, water

face to the sun, wearing your

tiny fairy hat

buds tight with promise

urgency to bloom and seed

hello leek princess

by Angie Quantrell

Yakima Valley

Tales from My Garden


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Book Review: Whole Whale by Karen Yin and Nelleke Verhoeff

Whole Whale

Words by Karen Yin

Art by Nelleke Verhoeff

Barefoot Books, 2021

Thank you, Kidlit411 and Karen Yin for sending me a copy of Whole Whale! What a wonderfully huge and engaging picture book!

I follow several picture book and book blogs to keep up with what is going on in the book business. I love reading about new picture books and encouraging authors and illustrators. Several blogs share updates about agents, editors, and publishing houses, which is always interesting. And sometimes, to my joy, I comment on blog posts and my name is pulled from the hat and I win a copy! I have met many wonderful books (and authors and illustrators) this way. Plus, I’m keeping up with what’s happening in the kid book world. Win-win-win.

A recent post at Kidlit411 shared about Whole Whale and Karen Yin. Whole Whale is her debut picture book. What a splash! Be sure to hop over to Kidlit411 and read her interview.

Why I LOVE this book:

~ The book size is huge – just like a whole whale! 12 x 12 inches!

~ How do you fit a whole blue whale in a book? Can you? What a fun mystery for young readers.

~ Fun, rhyming language builds suspense

~ A catchy repeating chorus, “But can we fit a whole blue whale?”

~ A fun fold-out surprise at the end

~ The final page which lists all the animals in the book

~ Can you count 100? Fun, fun, fun!

~ A wide variety of animals, land, sea, and sky

~ Encouragement to make room for just one more

~ Fantastic colorful illustrations

Congratulations, Karen and Nelleke! What a fun book!

You can find Karen:

KarenYin.com (sign up for the Purposeful Prose Newsletter)

Twitter: @karenyin, https://twitter.com/karenyin

Instagram: @karensoffice, https://www.instagram.com/karensoffice/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/karenyin

Karen sent me this book via Once Upon a Time, a bookstore in Montrose, CA. Thank you!

Monet was trying to help me post this review. Can we fit the big fat cat?


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Haiku Moment: peek-a-boo

what’s next door, beyond?

sentinel blocks me, but fails

peek-a-boo neighbor

peek-a-boo by Angie Quantrell

photo by Jamie Quantrell

Fort Simcoe Historical State Park, Washington


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Sunday Inspiration

Photo by Angie Quantrell

Yakima Valley


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The Egg Mystery

It started out innocently enough.

The day after Taylor, my son, mowed the pasture, I was playing my one-millioneth game of chuck-it with Ginger and she stopped to nose around up by the ditch. Usually NOTHING will keep her from her ball, but something smelled goooood. I went up to see, since she was ignoring me.

And rats. It was a broken egg, most likely crushed by the lawn tractor. This had happened once before, with a killdeer nest. The babies were so silent with fear, they flattened out and survived the blade. This egg was unhatched and didn’t survive. But when I looked closer, the shell appeared white, and the yolk huge. Not a killdeer egg. But what type of egg was it?

This past weekend, my honey was changing the sprinklers and found an egg. Right in the middle of the grass, tucked down low. I went hunting, and sure enough. A big-enough to be chicken, but not quite pointy on either end, with a tinge of green.

Same day, later, Taylor was weed eating the pasture edges and ditch bank. With his fans in tow (Donavyn and Autumn), they discovered 2 more broken eggs and 2 whole eggs, but none in a nest beside each other. Some on this side of the ditch, at least one on the far side. One of the broken ones could have been the broken one I found. Or not. Same type of egg.

Later, after dinner, I went walking the pasture. I found yet another egg, randomly laid in the middle of the pasture. That makes 6 or 7 eggs, not in a nest or placed close to each other. Chicken-egg sized but oblong rather than pointy, all with the slight greenish hue.

What a mystery! As often as the next door chickens come and eat our bugs (thank you, chickens!), one would think we should have an egg or two found in odd places. But though I often urged them to nest up and share, they all know where they live, and at the slightest hint of one of us, they go running home.

Which is good. Because. You know. Bird dog.

Pasture. Roaming neighbor chickens. Turkeys. Wildlife by the buckets. Hawks, magpies, the occasional heron, crows, ducks. I’ve been trying to think of the larger birds that could be possible wandering egg layers. There’s just no sense of why here, and there, and way over there??? The egg on the opposite side of the ditch sort of rules out chickens, as they would have to cross the water and they are not too motivated unless food is involved.

Here is one of the eggs, with my thumb to give an idea of size. Does anyone have any ideas? All day yesterday I was on high alert, watching for birds in that area. Zip.

The mystery continues.