Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Thwarting the Invaders (Garden Tails)

Just look at all of that corn, beans, and radishes!

Oh. Wait. You can’t see anything but a few stems and missing row of radishes. That’s because we have invaders. Of the rabbit-y sort. The ones who LOVE almost everything in my garden: corn, radishes, green beans, parsley, kale (they really adore kale), and another leafy green similar to chard. All gone.

Plus. Holes. They love excavating as well. I think they can smell the new corn kernel seeds I planted, because several holes line up exactly where I replanted (and replanted).

Ignore the weeds. I gave up in frustration.

We have bunnies (formerly known as pets). People have dumped them. So now between the neighbors and us, we have a colony. A fluffle. We are happy that most of them live beneath the neighbor’s outbuildings (while 4 live at Taylor and Jamie’s as actual pets). But the green pasture is alluring. And the used-to-be growing garden a delight.

Two black bunnies edge nearer to the the pot of gold at the end of the garden rainbow. Grrrrr.

So today. Take that. And that. And THAT!

We installed a bunny barrier. It’s not tall, but we only need to deter Peter Rabbit, Cottontail, Flopsy, Mopsy, Benjamin, and their buds from free ranging the garden beds. We hope.

The question is, besides onions, garlic, basil, several chocolate cherry sunflowers, a few green beans, and a marigold or two, what is there time to replant (time number 4 for some items) that will mature before the frost?

Sigh. It was looking so good! Grumble grumble. Back to the drawing board.


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Haiku Moment: distraction

mom feathers afluff

dad’s piercing cry, distracting

leads astray, away

distraction by Angie Quantrell

photos by Angie Quantrell, a pasture somewhere in the Yakima Valley

This scene took place yesterday after 2 killdeer parents escorted their 3 remaining offspring (they usually lay 4 eggs at a time) right to the RV. I heard loud piercing cries, looked out the side window and there they were, tiny stick-legged babies. Perfectly placed for capture by our magnificent hunter cat, Monet. EEK. Good thing for them, Monet was inside napping. Also, good thing for them, I went racing out to try and shoo them away.

Which was not as easy as one would expect! What with the babies racing in opposite directions (from me and each other) and the parents doing the same, attempting to distract me from the babies. 30 minutes. It took that long to figure out how to get them all close to the horse pasture next to us and hopefully far enough from monster cat to survive.

But along the way, such cuteness and fierce protection from the parents! One parent actually took a dive at me, though my best intentions were to save them. The giant person was threatening.

#lifeinthepasture

It’s a bit blurry (they move fast), but can you spot 3 babies?


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Will You Be My Girlfriend?

circa 1981

I said yes.

On this date, April 23, 1979, at my dad’s birthday party, this guy popped the girlfriend question. And the rest, they say, is his (and her) story. Our story. What an adventure it’s been! 43 years ago.

The attempted photo recreation…

circa now

The journey continues, my honey and me, best friends.


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50 Precious Words: My Story for Vivian Kirkfield’s #50preciouswords Writing Challenge

JUMP IN!

by Angie Quantrell (46 words)

Jump in, jump in!

The water is warm.

Carrot

Tomato

Green Bean

Potato

More friends, more friends!

Dive in the pool.

Celery

Peas

Onions

Beans

Swim, swim!

Make a whirlpool.

Salt

Pepper

Corn

Butter

Soup’s on, soup’s on!

Time for a bowl.

Stir

Blow

Sip

Glow


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Blackout Poem: horse king

horse king by Angie Quantrell

Blackout poems are challenging and fun. I love playing with words and this take-everything-away-except-the-words-you-want is an exercise in deleting the fluff. I thought I was done with this poem, but something did not flow. It originally had 17 words. Actually, the entire page had hundreds of words, but I didn’t count those. I kept reading and rereading. Aha! I figured out which 2 words needed to be blacked out. Ta-dah! Here is horse king, a 15-word blackout poem by yours truly.

From the 15-word poem, can anyone guess which book this page comes from? Don’t worry, the book is old, missing pages, and falling apart. Besides recycling, wrapping gifts, art projects, and decorating walls, there is not much else I can do with this book. Let me know your guess in the comments below.


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Sunday Inspiration

Photo by Angie Quantrell

Yakima Valley


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Required Number of Fleece Blankets for RV in Winter? (Also Haiku Moment: fleeced)

People.

RV life in the winter, particularly in a four-season location (like the Pacific Northwest, east of the Cascades), is not a piece of cake. Nor is it for the faint of heart.

I should have opened with a question mark and let you guess first. How many fleece blankets do you think a person would need to adequately block window drafts against winter chills? In January. While living in an RV? And all-season RV. At least that’s what it says on the side.

Nine. We require an assortment of 9 lap throw-sized fleece blankets to tuck along the cracks of all window openings to block drafts. Is this a pain? Yes. Do I despair? Yes. Murmur? Unfortunately. Yes.

But we are warm! The draft-blockers do their job. So well, in fact, that on super chilly mornings, they block the heat to portions of the curtains and the curtains freeze to the windows. Don’t worry! It eventually melts and we wipe away the beaded rivers streaming down into the window tracks.

Extra tasks are required for RV life in the winter. There is a longer daily chore list. But we keep warm. Our tricks of the trade keep us nice and toasty, despite ice, fog, snow, sleet, wind, rain, and sub-freezing temps. How about you? Any winter RV tricks you’d like to share with a couple of RV popsicles?

A Haiku Moment for you:

fleeced

winter’s chills gobble

heat, invite mr. frost in

9-fleece kicks him out

fleeced by Angie Quantrell

Yakima Valley


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Revision Fails: When the “Replace” Feature on Word Works in an Unexpected Way

In my editorial job, I sometimes get clever in how I make sweeping changes. Case in point. I recently wanted to change “PA” in a large document to “Pennsylvania.” So, Miss Smarty Pants decided to use the Replace feature in Word. Took 5 seconds. Done. BAMM.

And then I continued with my revising. By the time I realized what had happened, there was no easy way to go back and undo it. Nope. None at all. (Unless you know of a way, for the next time…Please let me know!)

Every word in the 34-ish page document beginning with “p” became a brand new word. A new word with “Pennsylvania” inserted in the middle. With a capital P.

Par example:

All songs are from Sing to the Tune.** See Pennsylvaniage 2, Important Resources Information.

ART—Pennsylvaniack a Box Show Picture 11. Give each child a brown Pennsylvaniaper square.

Crumple some Pennsylvaniaper and throw it on the ground.

Pink, orange, yellow Pennsylvaniaint

Black strips of Pennsylvaniaper

In advance, prePennsylvaniare Kit Item 00.

Correcting my mistake has taken hours. Days. A very long time. I should have counted the number of corrected words. But after awhile, you just have to laugh at yourself.

They say you learn something new every day. I learned to think more carefully about what might happen when I make sweeping changes with the Replace feature.

Walks away from the computer, slowly shaking her head . . .