Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


2 Comments

Haiku Moment: fledgling

Photo by Angie Quantrell

 

pasture grown fledgling

flightless, injured; parents guard;

frightened, precious. help!

 

fledgling by Angie Quantrell

 

This pretty red-tailed hawk is now rehabbing at Blue Mountain Wildlife in Pendleton, Oregon. Visit link to learn more about this wonderful organization. http://bluemountainwildlife.org/


Leave a comment

Haiku Moment: fire

A16350E1-FAA8-44EF-9317-BEAC82D14FEC

blaze of summer’s last

fling; scarlet burns in sunlight

leaves aflame with light

 

fire by Angie Quantrell

 

Photo credit: Angie Quantrell, November 2019, Columbia River State Park, Washington


Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Kindergarten in the 60s

33509542-1FEC-4EFF-A9CA-41EE23481AE6

I remember living in Cle Elum the same year I attended kindergarten, 1966-67.

Kindergarten. This monumental first year of school was so much different in the 60s than in the here and now. In fact, many students didn’t even attend kinder, but started school when they were old enough for first grade.

Kindergarten in Cle Elum? Mandatory dresses for girls, must be able to tie shoe laces, and had to be 5 before school started. I must have been fine for tying my laces, since I remember wearing saddle ox shoes. Which (I just googled) was the common name for saddle oxford shoes quite popular at the time. I always thought they were called saddle LOCKS. Haha. Celebrating my birthday in November placed me among the oldest in my class.

I loved kindergarten. We had art, easel painting, music, recess, lunch, NAP time, stories, play time, and so many other fun activities. I remember my mother telling me that my teacher put me at a table full of noisy boys, hoping that I would calm them down. What she probably meant was that I was bossy and would tell them to be quiet. I’m sure I did. Tell them to be quiet. My oldest kid personality came out shining.

If you are familiar with Cle Elum, you know that it is a small town near Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state. We had winter. The type of winter where snow fell, temps were frigid, and everyone knew winter had arrived. We used to live in a two story home. I distinctly remember the year when so much snow fell, we had snow mountains piled high around our house. It became a game to jump out a second story window, land in the snow, follow the tunnel back to the door, run up the steps, and jump out again. Never fear, adults were involved in this seasonal sport. Honestly. I am not making this stuff up.

Also. The “girls must wear dresses” rule. My mom finally got so tired of me standing at the bus stop shivering and freezing that she sent me to school wearing, hold on tight now, pants! She was really stepping out and being rebellious. But she also wasn’t about to let her little girl get frostbite while wearing a cute dress with tights.

I’m pretty sure the above picture was taken in our backyard in Cle Elum. That is me on the left and my brother on the right. We loved playing on that swing set. Our family did so many fun activities when we lived in the mountains. We camped, explored, visited family and friends, climbed mountains, and spent time beside rivers. The northwest became our big backyard.

I remember another funny story about our time in Cle Elum. Mom could hear my brother and I giggling and the toilet flushing repeatedly. She quickly ran into the bathroom and we were entertaining a guest raccoon. Apparently we had let it in, or it had invited itself in. I have no idea how we discovered its love of running water, but the flushing toilet was a perfect play area. My poor mother!

A9388811-AFCE-45F4-BE4F-4E2AF4CC5A4A

Learning to ride a bicycle without training wheels also happened during my Cle Elum and kindergarten years. I was so proud! Good thing there wasn’t a car parked in front of me when my dad was taking this picture!

What do you remember about kindergarten? Were you a paste taster? I still remember the smell and the urge to sample, though I don’t remember eating any. Share a favorite kinder memory. Let’s compare notes.


Leave a comment

Scenes from a Writing Residency: Holly House & Hypatia-in-the-Woods

A6553802-6412-471D-9937-C65CEDB315B3

Holly House

Last January I was elated to learn I had been granted a special writing residency and retreat at Holly House and Hypatia-in-the-Woods. What a great way to begin a new year!

C9257AB0-9DD3-4EAB-A27D-F4DE16285C0C

Beautiful tree-lined drive into Holly House. Loved this walk!

Located outside of Shelton, Washington, not far from Olympia, Holly House would be overlooking Hammersly Inlet if it weren’t totally surrounded by a mixed forest of deciduous and coniferous trees. The setting is absolutely gorgeous. Cool, green, shaded, quiet, peaceful. Did I say peaceful? And all mine for the week.

DSC_1195

Welcoming front patio. Spiders especially loved this area.

After shopping for enough food to last 3 months, as if grocery stores did not exist 5-7 miles away, I arrived before lunch on my appointed Sunday. Outside appearances did not prepare me for the spacious and beautiful inside environment. Incidentally, Holly House is very close to the small house size my honey and I want to build for ourselves.

DSC_0994

Cozy living room. This chair is perfect for reading!

I’ll let the pictures do the talking. I had everything I needed for a creative, imaginative, stress-free week. Loft bedroom, large bathroom, living room, dining area, kitchen, and even a deck with the most perfect table and chairs.

DSC_1005

Perfect tiny kitchen. Ignore my mess. It was everywhere!

DSC_1013

The side deck let in so much natural, green light. Ahhh. I enjoyed reading and working outside in the soft green sunlight.

DSC_1018

The loft bedroom had plenty of storage and space. Wide open windows brought in light and fresh air.

DSC_1029

Me and more of my mess. This was my main working area (can you tell????). The view in front of me was a HUGE and very pleasant distraction. I didn’t mind in the least.

DSC_1009

TV window. No electricity required.

I was so blessed to visit and stay at Holly House. The neighbors (a couple and their huge dog) were fantastically helpful and reassuring. After all, I was in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere. And I heard there had been evidence of a bear. My imagination supplied the rest of the excitement.

The Hypatia-in-the-Woods board was wonderful. I enjoyed a potluck one evening, getting to meet most of the members. I was met by Carolyn at Holly House. She brought me some snacks and gave me a working tour of the cabin. Every single thing I could have wanted or desired was provided. Or all I had to do was ask. Thank you to all who gave me the opportunity and welcomed me to Holly House.

I’m so thankful for my writing residency. Thank you, Holly House, Hypatia-in-the-Woods, neighbors, and the Hypatia board. Thank you!

If you ever have an opportunity to go on a writing retreat or residency, do it! Worth every second.

 


Leave a comment

Haiku Moment: self-portrait

DSC_1160

favorite weapon

shadow self, shooting pictures

me? it’s what I do

 

self-portrait by Angie Quantrell

 

Photo taken at Potlatch State Park, Hood Canal, Washington State.

Thanks to Hypatia-in-the-Woods for the opportunity to be me.


Leave a comment

Monday Mouthfuls: Thai Naan in Snohomish

F0AAEF49-74E6-4366-A25C-8587266EACD9

Today’s Monday Mouthful is brought to you by Thai Naan in Snohomish, Washington.

Last week I was house sitting for a college roomie. She was off gallivanting around Europe (and beyond) with her hubby while I was enjoying her kitty and having myself a writing retreat. Perfect location! Easy walk to reach downtown, gorgeous and historic neighborhood, lots of room and space to spread out my junk (I mean writing supplies). I recently read that creative people are messy. That explains it, honey. My creativity is definitely based on the area around me covered in chaotic bits and pieces.

Back to the story.

Immediately upon arrival, my stomach started thinking back to a previous trip where said roomie, plus one more roomie, headed out for Thai dinner in Snohomish. Food memory drove me to hoof it down the hill and check out lunch.

8F89707A-E713-4B36-A88B-5B4D3894F008

Lunch special favorite discovered and documented. I ordered green chicken curry, which came with sweet and sour soup, brown rice, and phad Thai. So much deliciousness and food for such a great price! This lunch special called me back one more time, plus a separate dinner trip with above mentioned roomie (not the Europe explorer).

If you are in Snohomish, give Thai Naan a try. Eat some food memories.

DC57E21A-FB70-49A5-9841-D778E6E71C77

Meet Cosmo. My writing partner and neck warmer.

 


Leave a comment

Monday Mouthfuls: Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad at Bennett’s Fish Shack in Ocean Shores

0609EB24-B166-4B3A-8661-BE5A118E2172

Talk about a super salad! The salmon Caesar salad at Bennett’s Fish Shack in Ocean Shores is over the top!

While on vacation in Ocean Shores, Washington, we followed the suggestion of our hotel desk help and walked to Bennett’s to eat dinner. What a tasty mouthful!

Blackened (Cajun) salmon (a generous serving), romaine lettuce, plenty of parmesan cheese, delicious dressing, croutons, AND tomatoes, pepperoncinis, avocado slices, and lemon! I loved the addition of a few extras to the salad. Just thinking about it is making me hungry.

This salad is one we will go back for on our next trip. Or maybe we will try some of the other tasty looking meals. Popular hang-out!

00AB0C8C-B94D-4A28-9D35-8B1470C8780C

 


Leave a comment

Glacier Lake Trail: Hiking Tips Discoveries

IMG_1789

Glacier Lake

Mosquitoes. There will be MOSQUITOES. And dirt. Sometimes horse and deer flies. Plan accordingly. Wear bug repellent (we are still out on this – both of us want something more organic and less toxic). We were hit hard when we got out of the car. After a quick rethink, we jumped back in the car, put on boots, covered up, and got back out to spray. Still managed to get 3 bites.

IMG_1808

Lovely shaded hiking trail

Long hair. If you have this, wear it down – hot or not! Mosquitoes loved the back of my neck, despite my hat and shirt. So I let my hair down and spread it through the sweat which glued it in place. Immediate relief!

Hats. Wear them. I wore my tightly woven sun protection hat with a wide brim. Shade and bug protection.

IMG_1785

Beautiful old guy

Long pants. Wish we had them. Still have a few scrapes from branches growing over the path. I’m sure this isn’t the only trail with opportunities for clambering over rocks and tree roots.

Water. Our hike wasn’t too long but was strenuous and the sweat flowed freely. We had 2 bottles each, which was enough for the short hike. Had we stayed longer at the lake, we would’ve needed more.

IMG_1741

The trail heading into the forest towards Glacier Lake

Snacks. Of course. Good stuff to chomp on is part of the fun of hiking! Nuts, whole grain crackers, jerky, trail mix, protein bars…I always underestimate how much my honey needs to eat. Me? I could outlast several weeks of restricted calories, but his high metabolism requires regular and high calorie fuel.

IMG_1774

Our first gaze of the lake – standing on the huge boulders

Maps. We had general directions from a flyer found at the Ranger station and we still managed to park in the wrong spot. It seems it was the correct location though, when I researched AFTER our hike, due to previous road washouts. Hint: The flyer suggested elevation gains, time estimations, distances, and trail popularity. Some of this was NOT true. For instance, family friendly. We did not find this trail to be safe for younger hikers. This was agreed upon by another family (with elementary children and an elderly chap). Maybe they should define family friendly. Take information like this with a grain of salt.

Snow. While we did not encounter snow, the lake was very full and there were no places to get close to the water unless one was IN the water or on floating logs. Take into account the previous winter. We had record snowfall. That means lakes will be full to overflowing. Snow may still be on the trails. Mud will be present.

IMG_1765

Wildflowers serenaded us with beauty

Do not give up! We passed few other hikers, so the Glacier Lake hike was perfect for solitude (I missed wearing a bear bell, though, and we constantly scanned for evidence and escape routes – many shredded snags convinced us that big claws had enjoyed plentiful grubs and bugs). Once we arrived at Glacier Lake, huge (bigger-than-my-car sized) boulders blocked the path. We made two different attempts to get over them to the water, but my legs were too short. In defeat, we headed back. Only a short while later we met a young family (baby in backpack, so backpacking with child in tow counts as family friendly). They discovered a trail to the lake edge and two rough camping spots. They filled us in and we headed back to the lake. Don’t be afraid to ask and share info with other hikers.

IMG_1747

Lovely stream we heard for a long time before the trail led us beside it; I wanted to take it home with me.

Glacier Lake Hint: When you get to the boulders, you will instinctively want to go straight through them to the water. Don’t. There are many false trails over the rocks. Instead, look LEFT and you will see the trail continuing around the edge of the boulders. LOL. It’s obvious once you know.

IMG_1804

Fairy lanterns

Hiking is our respite from crowds, technology, and stress. We learn something new on every hike. We can’t wait to get back out on the trails!

IMG_1743

Check out this granny hat!

Would you like your adventure now or should we have our tea first?

~ J.M. Barrie

 


Leave a comment

Expecting Spring

IMG_3554

tightly closed fists peek

pink wisps bulge with life – spring yearns,

bursts forth, nest and tree alike

IMG_3556

The most hopeful of seasons, spring, lies in wait, gathering herself in preparation to leap into the exploding fray of growth, buzzing with energy and promise.

 

What signs of spring do you see in your area?


2 Comments

Welcome Spring!

IMG_3509

Spring Wildflower

S – shows of life, green carpeted paths

P – peek at bursts of color, winters’ grays fade away

R – renewed vigor, earth joyfully bursts forth

I – invitation to celebrate, cold passes as warmth returns

N – nature dons her new attire, fresh and vibrant

G – growing time arrives, rest is over for bounty begins

IMG_3504

Columbia River Gorge