Archives For Vacation

So I’ve taken some time off this summer to get out and live! I’ve discovered that there is indeed a whole wide world out there apart from social media, blogging, Facebook, etc.

Who would have thought? 😉

As those of you who’ve stopped in before know, my wife and I have been living out that “in sickness” clause this year. Indeed, the last year and a half has been tumultuous to say the least. Which is why, when she was feeling better, we vacated the valley where we live for cooler climes. It was glorious waking up to views like:


What’s not to love about that?

We spent a considerable amount of time just driving around admiring the different views. And eating ice cream. A lot of ice cream. 🙂 (Seriously, my pants are tighter).


This place was decent, but their ice cream wasn’t kept quite cold enough. More’s the pity.

Here are some more gratuitous landscape shots:





Are you jealous? 😉

As indicated above, I’ve taken some time away this summer to travel, spend time with family, and to live. This doesn’t mean I haven’t been working; on the contrary, I’ve got some irons in the fire that I’m really stoked about <--see what I did there? Fire/stoked. 😉One of these irons is a blogging eBook with Chris Morris and Tim Gallen. We have a structure, a theme, and some preliminary pieces written. When it’s done it should be a hoot! Can’t wait for you to read it!

Another project is a semi-irregular podcast with Ricky Anderson (because neither of us can commit to “regular”–maybe we need more fiber in our diets?), called Faith, Culture, and… You. This idea grew out of a conversion he and I had via Words With Friends chat (if you can believe it) about Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz movie. I liked it, but Ricky not so much.

Should be fun.

As for personal writing projects, I’ve an idea about a couple and and weekend trip gone horribly wrong. But like the late Orson Wells, I’ll sell no wine (in this case, story) before its time. I’m calling it Casita 106 At the Red Pines.

By the way, if you’ve been looking for something to read, I can’t recommend Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game highly enough. (I’ll leave it to you to make up your own mind about the sequels, although I’m tearing my way through them).


Peace out,


This n That

randomlychad  —  June 18, 2012 — 2 Comments

Recently, my family and I were on vacation. Because we chose to forego a second income in favor of having my wife be home with are children, our vacations consist of us going along with my parents-in-law.

20120618-130725.jpgNo punchline: we usually have a good time. And this last trip was no exception: we went to Sedona, which is beautiful all year round. It was a much-needed respite from the frenetic pace of modern life.

We are very thankful for both the kindness of Lisa’s folks, and the time away.

One of the coolest things that happened while we were there is that I discovered, via Twitter, that Susan Isaacs was going to be there, in Sedona, during the same time we were. I became acquainted with her via Twitter, heard her testimony at an event, and subsequently read her excellent memoir, Angry Conversations With God. (Which I highly recommend).

All of which is to say that, even though a full-on “tweetup” didn’t happen (we didn’t get to grab coffee), I did run into Susan, her husband, Larry, and their friends on the streets of Sedona, and got my copy of her book signed. How cool is that?

Speaking of books, I found out while we were away that authors Ted Dekker, and Tosca Lee, were going to be making an appearance at local bookstore the day we returned home from vacation. Because I love books, and their power to transport us to other times and places, inspire us, challenge us, and encourage us on life journeys, I felt it would be important to not only go, but take my kids as well.

And honestly, right now, I’m having a hard time connecting with my son as he’s transitioning into the teen years. But the books of Ted Dekker are a shared loved, something that we can talk about, discuss.

Something that we share. So it was important to me that we go, meet the authors, and have our books signed.


I believe it also shows support to the authors, who work long hours alone to write the stories that, thrill, challenge, and change us. (If you’ve not yet, I encourage you to check out Mr. Dekker and Ms. Lee’s Books of Mortals series; currently, Forbidden and Mortal are available, with the concluding volume, Sovereign, due out next year). Also, watch this space for a possible interview with Ms. Lee coming in the near future.

Speaking of support, after announcing my need yesterday, I’m thrilled to announce that, due to a generous benefactor, we’re closing in on the goal of $475 for my trip to the Ransomed Heart Wild at Heat boot camp. But I still need your support! If the goal is not met by this Thursday, I will be unable to go (this is all explained in yesterday’s Father’s Day post).

Thank-you very much for your support, whether by prayer, via a gift, or just reading here. I appreciate each and every one of you!

If you would like to support me, a gift can be PayPalled to me at gandalf239 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thanks very much,


Lemon Balm Tea?

randomlychad  —  June 14, 2012 — 11 Comments

Last week I was on vacation with my family. We went up to Sedona, in Arizona’s high country. Part of the time was indeed spent “vacating” all responsibility (well, most), other parts eating, and more than I care to admit spent searching.

For Lemon Balm tea.

I heard a coworker extolling its virtues as a calming concoction–one that promotes restful sleep. Now I know what you’re thinking–because I thought, too–lemon tea? Eww!

But that’s not strictly true. You see, Lemon Balm is not citrus at all, but an herb in the mint family. How it induces sleep I don’t know, but I’d much rather try it than Lunesta or Ambien–because it promised me 100% better sleep without the side effects*.

So my wife and I, we lit out into the day, minds at ease because her folks had our kids. We knew that night–finally, despite our hotel bed–we would get some good rest.

Our first stop? Breakfast!

And then on to the New Frontiers Natural Market. Where nary a leaf of pure, unadulterated Lemon Balm was to be found. Oh, they had a tea, to be sure–but Lemon Balm was far down the list; in fact, it was more St. John’s wort than anything else.

And if I’m paying $10 for a tea that’s supposed to help me sleep, I darn sure don’t want one that’s full of worts! And forget Longbottom Leaf, I want Lemon Balm, man!

Give it to me!

Alas, New Frontiers had none (or so I then thought). The friendly, helpful souls suggested that my wife and I visit the local florist.

“Florist” I asked, puzzled?

“Florist,” said she, “who also sells herbal tea.” So we loaded ourselves up in the car, thinking our quest was done.

That we could get out of the hot sun.

How wrong were we? You’ll see:

The “florist” was just that: a full-service flower shop, but also host to high teas. In amongst the flowers, one could sit–if one wished–sipping various and sundry teas, whilst noshing on absurdly small and over-priced desserts.

Surely, thought we, our just desserts were to be, and some Lemon Balm we would see?

It was not to be.

Oh, there were Chais, Red Rooboises, and others we’d never heard of, let alone seen.

But no soothing, calming leaf of Lemon Balm was to found. (We’d have better luck planting our own in the ground).

The proprietress, a friendly soul, suggested we visit the local health food store, for surely they would have what we sought.

So my wife and I–we left there, piled our tired bodies in the car, and drove a couple blocks up the street. Thinking “It’s a health good store. This is neat–surely they’ll have what we seek!”

But you know what? They didn’t–it couldn’t be bought, and this was strike three! No one had Lemon Balm tea!

Dejection apparent on our faces, the friendly tatted and pierced lady said she knew of a place–a Buddha’s Dream, LLC–that likely had this elixir of dreams.

That’s all it took–we were off to the races! You should’ve seen the smiles on our faces!

Relief was only ten miles away, in Oak Creek. Or so it seemed.

So? By now, you know where this story is going to go…

Was there lovely Lemon Balm at the end of our tea rainbow?

Alas, it was not be.

On the sunny side–exhausted, dejected, as we were–pinning our hopes on Lemon Balm–we avowed that our day shall not have been in vain, and bought $20 worth of fresh loose-leaf tea.

From a friendly Asian lady, who wished us well on our life’s journey.

Nearly seven hours after we’d begun, we had tea, but none of it Lemon Balm. Exhausted, frustrated, and simply spent, I don’t know whose idea it was, but again to New Frontiers we went.

Because we needed food for the following day’s breakfast. And adding insult to plain old mockery, what did I see?

Lemon Balm tea.

In the health food section. Which of course I hadn’t checked some six hours before.

Sure, we bought it–but wait, there’s more:

Confucius say: “Fleeting will your sleep be, should you at bedtime drink much tea. Unless my point you miss, there will alas be much piss.”

The point of this silly post–if it has one–is this: what have you pinned your hopes on that didn’t pan out at all the way you expected?

*somnambulism, sleep eating, & other “things.”


randomlychad  —  June 13, 2012 — 2 Comments



Hills hovering —


Above me:


Psychic shops

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Tea leaves





Spendy shops

Tourist trap:


Cultures shock




In you:


Home With My Family

randomlychad  —  March 19, 2012 — 8 Comments

This week, I have the extreme privilege of being home with three of the awesomest people I know. In fact, they are my favorite folks in the entire world.

As such, I may, or may not, be posting anything this week. And that’s ok. As I learned from a hiatus during the holidays, there’s more–so much, much more–to life than this blog.

As Stephen King said (in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft): “Life is not a support system for art; it’s the other way around.” It’s not for me to judge whether I’m actually creating art here in this space–I’ll leave that for you, my faithful readers, to decide.

As for now, this is Chad, signing off. I’m going to go do some living.

See you in a week.