Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Throwback Thursday: The ’74 #TBT

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Check out this cute guy. Turns out he was giving me a ride in a shiny green ’74 Chevy.

The curls, the swagger, the adorable guy hauling around his honey. The guy would be my honey, Kevin. The girl would be me.

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Back in the early days of our relationship, we traveled far and wide. Most of that was back and forth to college, Seattle, Tacoma, the mountains, the beach. This trip was over Chinook Pass where we stopped near an overlook featuring Mt. Rainier. Beautiful mountain and cute guy. My mom used to roll her eyes. Yes! She did. Because all I would say was, “He’s so cute!” I think she got tired of hearing those words.

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The green truck has been in and around our family since it was brand new. My then future father–in-law bought it when it was about 6 months old, a dealer model. Love that avocado green! It’s been a favorite color for me since, well, forever. Kevin’s family took it to Ocean Shores each summer, hauling along the Prowler camper. I was so excited when they invited me to go along. Believe it or not, all 4 of us (Kevin, both of his parents, and me) road around Ocean Shores sitting on the long bench seat. Clam digging, crabbing, eating out, beach runs, yard sales, hot fudge sundaes. I have such wonderful memories of the old green ’74.

Let’s not forget one of our first dates. Kevin had just barely received his drivers’ license and asked dear old dad to borrow the lovely green pickup. So we were dragging the ave. Yakima Avenue. We stopped at a stop light, my honey. He was driving so careful. But the drunk lady behind us was not. On our first outing, we got rear-ended! Her car was pretty smashed up. But good old greeny had a tiny dent and bent bumper. The fear of telling dad what had happened was worse than the actual accident. But we all lived to tell the tale.

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After we were married, Kevin and I had it for several years. We also toted along the Prowler when we took our family to the beach. This truck went wood cutting, Christmas tree hunting, and moving people to and fro.

Later, my dad had the ’74 for quite a few years. He loved to tinker with it and keep it running. He managed to fix it up quite nice. After a certain number of years, one had to always carry a quart or two of oil behind the front seat and commit to regularly checking the dip stick during long trips.

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Eventually, my dad gave the ’74 to Bub, as he liked to call our son. Because old green ’74 was showing her age. Bub, a talented and gifted mechanic, a man after dad’s own heart, was nearly the only one besides dad who could keep the old gal running and on the road. And he didn’t mind constantly repairing this and that. Dad and Bub spent many happy hours puttering and repairing not just the ’74, but an entire fleet of old Chevy trucks and vehicles.

Today? The ’74 is still going strong. My honey recently remade the original wood racks that had graced the back for decades. (Literally.) Rust has worn holes in several sections of the fender. Green spray paint has been added to protect and keep additional rust from making holes. There is nearly a hole beneath the drivers’ side feet-rust, water, salt water, sand, dirt, many years of use.

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Ok, maybe she needs a bit more spray paint. But I do love my rust.

It’s alive and kicking. And we are all the more fonder because of the special memories each of us have surrounding this approaching classic truck. Chevy. Like a rock. The heartbeat of America.

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Kevin made this picture frame from the old wood rack rails. A very talented friend painted this picture for Taylor from a phone snapshot. This is the Chevy line-up, folks. Chevy.

What stories can you tell about your favorite Chevy? (I’m not allowed to name any other brands.)

 


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Haiku Moment: umber

umber does not mean

somber, though pandemic frowns

steal sunflower smiles

 

umber by Angie Quantrell

photo by Angie Quantrell


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Haiku Moment: remember summer

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winter winds blow brisk

dark skies strip warmth, steal hope, joy;

remember summer

 

hold tight, my dear ones

bundle and cocoon yourself,

summer will return

 

Haiku and photo by Angie Quantrell

 


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Summer Camp

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Alas, with the 4th of July and other extra activities, my guest bloggers were unable to contribute to the blog last week. Nana to the rescue!

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Summer Camp Theme of the Week: Gardening

Gardening is near and dear to my heart. Add outdoor and nature connections, and the setting and theme is just perfect.

Some activities we did during Gardening Week:

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~ We made dandelion play dough! Look on Pinterest for several different recipes. Tips from Nana: Use a LARGE blender or food processor for the boiling water and dandelions. Both of my prospects were too small and leaked. All over. Use MORE dandelions than you think you will need. We didn’t get as much yellow as we wanted, so added a bit of yellow gel food coloring. I doubled the recipe, since 5 gardeners wanted to explore.

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~ We watered. Of course. They are all quite adept at handling a variety of gardening watering implements. We also refilled the fountain numerous times. Like the grands, I’ve been enjoying the quick dip of a smaller watering can into the fountain to tend to tiny water needs. As a result, fountain water disappears much quicker than one would expect.

~ We dissected a sunflower from the Sunflower Forest. We have plenty! It was pretty neat to see baby seeds, petals, the pithy center, and other plant parts in their glory.

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~ After coloring cardboard egg carton sections, we went on a nature collecting hunt, looking for bits of nature that matched the colored sections. Rocks, flowers, petals, leaves, pine cones, bark, pottery shards, glass marbles . . . The grands did enjoy this activity even if all colors did not exactly match.

~ I’ve been wanting to have a nature loom for a long time. With freshly cut wood chunks from a recent trip to wood hunt, the oldest grand Hayden hammered in nails around the edges of one log. I looped jute around and back and forth to create a loom. I think Nana enjoyed this most, but I hope over time they will wander back and add to the nature weaving. I think next week I will have to allow them to hammer all the  nails they want into a sacrificial log. That seemed to be the biggest draw.

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~ The two girl grands, Khloe and Autumn, loved helping Papa transplant root-bound mint out in the pasture. Just for fun. Since it will be mowed with the pasture grass.

~ The youngest, Gage and Autumn, enjoyed giving hair cuts (mowing the hair) to paper plate faces.

~ Swimming! This involved puppy power and hogging of the big pool, but still, cooling fun was had by all.

~ Gardening books were read. Always books.

I had more plans, but the mid-week holiday took out a huge chunk of our Summer Camp time. Until the next week of Summer Camp (camping!), enjoy your July and the rest of this quickly evaporating summer vacation!


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Surprise Dinner Plans: Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge

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surprise dinner plans

 

salmon encrusted

with spicy cajun tartar;

cat had other plans

 

aluminum foil

cooler than summer and fur;

unsupervised cat

 

kitty barbeque?

dare not, methinks, feline love.

new foil, fish dinner

 

 

by Angie Quantrell

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BEWARE leaving the cat alone to her own devices in the RV while I’m out trotting around the pasture.

How has your cat (dog, child, husband, wife) surprised you? Share by penning a haiku!

 

 


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Favorite Summer Recipe ~ Stuffed Squash

Crispy stuffed squash, a summer favorite!

by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Ahh. The bounty of summer awaits my growling tummy!

Though I am posting this recipe today, I made this dish several weeks ago. Due to the odd weather this year and very early and hot spring temperatures, the produce schedule is very early or entirely off schedule!

I know. But we take what we get and have a fancy meal. I also acknowledge that I post this recipe in some form almost every year. It is that good.

This year, on July 1st (so early), I harvested a zucchini and a yellow squash plus wax and green beans. So delish!

 

Stuffing for the squash

Stuffed Squash

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey

washed and chopped green and wax beans

2 squash, washed, cut in half lengthwise, and scooped out

1 can of black beans, rinsed

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 carrot, diced

1 onion, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1-2 cups chicken broth

parsley

black pepper

crushed peppers

salt

Mrs. Dash

onion powder

olive oil

grated cheddar cheese

Prepped squash. I sometimes like to add olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper before I stuff them.

1. Saute onion, garlic, and carrot in olive oil. Add turkey meat to brown it.

2. After turkey is browned, add black beans, beans, tomatoes, and spices (to your taste). Add enough chicken broth to make a thick mixture. Let cook until bubbling and fragrant.

3. Stuff peppers with stuffing. I love them full and overflowing. You will probably have leftovers, which makes a tasty soup or casserole base. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

4. Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Check often as you near the end of your cooking time to make sure squash ingredients are not overcooking. We like a crispy cheese topping, so we let them cook the full time.

5. Remove and enjoy!

Ready for the oven.

You can add almost anything to this dish. If I have quinoa, it goes in the mix. At times I’ve added broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms – you name it, I’ve probably had it in my stuffed squash.

I just love summer gardens and their tasty treats, don’t you? What’s your favorite summer dish?


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The Inaugural Run

The inaugrual clothesline run. Success!

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

It was a successful inaugural run…for my brand new recycled clothesline.

Until now, several factors have discouraged this celebratory occasion.

 

We have a tiny backyard.

The project resisted efforts towards completion.

Time kept on slipping, slipping, slipping.

Do you know how hard it is to find poles for clotheslines?

 

Today, may I introduce you to my tiny yard, brand new, recycled clothesline?

Pleased to meet you.

Our son had an old clothesline pole hanging out on their property. This treasure came complete with a cross bar (which my husband dropped on his head; his next gift is going to be a safety helmet – and I am not kidding) and rings for the lines.

We had to anchor the opposite side of the clothesline to the garage which required us to angle the entire clothesline. Do you now how hard it was to make it NOT square and straight? Using the garage as the second pole was due to lack of a second clothesline pole and a lack of space.

Our one available section of yard is only about 6 feet wide. It hides behind the garden shed and is almost beneath, gasp, the powerlines. Where the birds sit.

In spite of the challenges and possible necessity of rewashing bird-soiled items, I am so pleased and excited to use the clothesline.

Hurray for fresh air, crunchy clothes, and a lower gas bill.

Our angled clothesline connected between a pole and the garage.

Do you have a clothesline? What are your tricks for getting the cleanest and softest clothes?