Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Three-Horse Alarm

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Happy New Year!

Like everyone else I’ve read or spoken with, I can’t believe how fast 2018 disappeared. I’m not sure which is correct: the older you get the faster time goes, or the older you get the slower time goes. Some days both are true. Or perhaps these sayings are talking about memory. Definitely true.

Welcome to 2019!

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For fun, I’d like to introduce you to our three-horse alarm, formerly posted about in this blog as The Three Chocolates.

The three chocolates (white, milk, and dark) live in the pasture next door. I only know 2 actual names, so the chocolates they remain. They are very good watch horses. Excellent in fact.

Not too long ago, I noticed all three stationed facing east (looking our way), heads up, tails up, ears forward, alert and ready to flee (or attack). That’s my alarm going off! Time to see what’s going on.

That time, an entire herd of goats was free from pasture and roaming just above the horses and our pasture. Not causing trouble, other than the possibility of traffic issues if they persisted in grazing west. I called to let authorities know. I knew exactly when help arrived due to the alarm horses. I could follow the drama by peeking out the window to see what the horses were doing.

Other days, with just one glance, I can tell from which direction trouble comes, be it dogs, people, noisy trucks, goats, other horses, yelling children . . .. It’s a pretty fascinating way to spend time, observing my alarm horses. They are used to us, and now we are in the category of boring. Unless we have snacks. But should a new person approach, beware the attention.

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Yesterday, two girls had dogs on leashes on the west side of the pasture fence. Oh, the alarm was a three-horse blare! Running, snorting, kicking up heels, and from the white chocolate, preparation to attack. We thought we might witness an injury accident as the girls were oblivious to the danger facing their dogs.

Fortunately, adults intervened and disaster was averted.

What an alarm system! I feel pretty secure knowing three sharp-eared, eagle-eyed equines stand guard in our little community. Combine the three-horse alarm with the five-dog contingent to the east and our hunting cat Monet who is ever alert, and there is not much that can sneak up on us.

Hope your New Year is as entertaining as life in the pasture.

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Refugees, Our Part

By Angie Quantrell

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Refugees.

I realize this is a hot, politically heavy topic. But I want to skip the controversy and go straight to a response.

Humans. Babies, toddlers, children, teens, adults. Moms, dads, children, grandpas, grammas, aunts, uncles, friends. In other words, people.

An article I wrote about making space for relationships (with refugees and other community members) is in the March issue of Missions Mosaic. You can also read the article online here.

(Search for the article title, “Make It Personal: Build Relationships with Refugees.”)

I’ve been researching the refugee crisis for various writing contracts. And while I am in no way an expert, even I can see that refugees need our help. We can’t all travel to refugee camps and help on site. But we can keep our eyes open and alert to seeing refugees (internationals) in our communities.

What to do then? Gently, kindly extend a hand of friendship. No bulls in a China shop approach. But with a humble heart, coming from a sincere desire to help – reach out. Offer assistance. Open the door. Smile. Let your children play together. Help at the grocery store or post office. Take time to explain something confusing. At the least, make eye contact and say hello. Every little effort is worth the awkwardness and uncertainty we might experience. Think of it as making new friends. There. That helps, doesn’t it?

We can do it. I can do it. Join me?

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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 25: Vivian Kirkfield Kicks Back and Kicks Butt

This post is full of wonderful tips for staying the course in writing picture books for kids. AND Vivian shares suggestions on where to collect new ideas for future projects!

Thanks, Vivian and Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 25: Vivian Kirkfield Kicks Back and Kicks Butt

 


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It’s Time! STORYSTORM 2018 is Here!

What is STORYSTORM?

31 days of inspiring posts to help writers brainstorm story ideas. Picture book ideas will be my main focus, but I bet many others end up with ideas for poems, chapter books, articles, stories, blog posts, and all sorts of other writing projects. STORYSTORM is worth every second!

Let the STORYSTORM rage on!

A great big thanks to Tara Lazar for all of the hard work, planning, and organizing for us! You can find her at here..

via STORYSTORM 2018 Registration is OPEN!


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Encroaching

Beautiful yet encroaching and taking over a flower bed

By Angie Quantrell Angie Quantrell

Encroaching.

honeysuckle

crab grass

pink flowers

vines

raspberries

strawberries

parsley

pumpkins

sunflowers

evergreen tree

birch branches

moss

 

slugs

sow bugs

daddy long legs

yellow jackets

aphids

white grass bugs

ants

 

gossip

television

news

media

politics

pollution

violence

wars

famine

drought

 

Encroaching.

In my yard. In my community. In my world.

 

Aggressively encroaching vines grasping for toe holds

It starts small, but once you start looking, it’s everywhere at every level.

Encroaching.

What is encroaching in your life?

Yet. There is always hope. Big or small encroachments, He is here.

Raspberries escaping and encroaching throughout yard

But you are a shield around me, O LORD;

you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.

To the LORD I cry aloud,

and he answers me from his holy hill.

I lie down and sleep;

I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.

Psalm 3:3-5 NIV