Monday, July 27, 2020

It's still true: Desperate times call for desperate measures ... like iced tea

And the times lately have certainly been desperate as far as heat and humidity are concerned, not to mention the ever-present stress and strain from our current world situation.  So I'm updating and adding to this post from two years ago, in hopes that others may find it useful.

As a rule at our house, we no longer drink sweetened beverages.  Mr. T does use a little stevia in his coffee.  But for cold beverages, our first choice is always nice cold water.  Sometimes we will have kombucha.  I enjoy unsweetened iced tea with lemon, but my hubby does not, so I don't usually bother making it just for me.  Usually, water is the most refreshing and most usual cold drink for us.

However.  There are times when a lightly sweetened iced tea is just the ticket.  We've had an unusually long spell of heat and humidity and I have found myself making a jug of iced tea nearly every day during it.

I think maybe it all harks back to when my mother and grandmother made iced tea every summer, and it also brings back memories of my first job, washing dishes in a very busy local restaurant.  No AC in the kitchen, of course -- not sure window air conditioners were even a thing in the mid=1960s.  I think there were a few strategically placed fans.  The dishwasher ran on propane, so there was a pilot light and it got very, very hot in that kitchen!  When the bus people brought in their overflowing bins of dishes, there would almost always be partially finished glasses of iced tea, complete with ice and lemon.  Oh, the clinking sounds of the ice and the zesty lemon scent tempted me!   But don't worry -- I never succumbed to drinking from a stranger's discarded glass.

I did, however, drink my share of iced tea at home and I still find it one of the most refreshing beverages I can think of.

I have often used my daughter's recipe,  which is a good bit healthier than my mother usually made iced tea.  (She used a can of lemonade concentrate, replete with high fructose corn syrup I am sure.  Though, in her defense, I do remember many, many years ago when she used lemons and sugar instead.)

I have copied and pasted Carrie's recipe just as I wrote it in a 2007 blog post.  When I've made this during those desperate times in past summers, I've  usually made half a batch.  And I've used brown sugar, which feels just a tiny bit healthier and adds a bit more depth to the flavor.


12 cups boiling water
12 green tea bags
1 cup sugar
4 Tblsp. orange juice
4 Tblsp. lemon juice

Pour the boiling water over the tea bags in a large bowl. Let steep 5 to 7 minutes only. Stir in sugar and juices. Stir well; let cool. Transfer to a pitcher and let chill in refrigerator. Serve over ice.

This recipe may easily be halved and is very adaptable. I often add in some lime juice along with the other citrus juices, and usually when I halve the recipe I still use the full amount of fruit juice. Sometimes I use regular tea in place of the green tea -- just as tasty! Sometimes I use 11 regular tea bags and 1 flavored one such as mint, raspberry, or peach. Gives a nice, different flavor.

Since our 40-day sugar fast this spring, however,  I decided to try and make a healthier iced tea that didn't use sugar.  So this is what I am doing, just about every day:


8 cups boiling water
7 black tea bags
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Pour the boiling water over the tea bags in a large bowl. Let steep at least 15 minutes or according to your taste.  I often let it steep for an hour or more. Stir in agave nectar and lemon juice. Stir well; let cool. Transfer to a pitcher or jug and let chill in refrigerator.  Serve over ice.  Makes about a half gallon.

We had one of these!  How about you?
If heat and humidity (not to mention hype and hysteria) have you desperate, too,  you might like to give one of these recipes a try.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

A blessing from Psalm 107

Gorgeous graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
This month I've been working through the Rest for the Weary Bible reading challenge from Rachel Wojo.  Yesterday's Scripture passage was Psalm 107:28-32.  I've studied Psalm 107 before (not to say there isn't much, much more to learn from it!), and even wrote a post about it here: Blessed encouragement from the Psalms,  but these verses seemed to speak to me in a whole new way given our current circumstances.

"Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distresses.

He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Then are they glad because they are quiet; so He bringeth them into their desired haven.

Oh, that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!

Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders."

(Psalm 107:28-32)

I love these verses!  They are so meaningful right now,  as a storm of illness, death,  fear, misinformation and divisiveness swirls around us.  I am certainly crying out to God as He is the only one who can still this (or any) storm.  I especially love the thought that God is going to eventually bring us into our "desired haven"!  In fact, if we know Jesus as Savior, we are in that "haven of rest" even now.

Verse 29-30 speak to me especially right now, and I found some wonderful cross-references:

"Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, Thou stillest them."
(Psalm 89:9)

"The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.  The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea."
(Psalm 93:3-4)

These verses led me naturally to thinking about the account in Matthew 8 of Jesus stilling the storm:

"And He saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?  Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm.  But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!"
(Matthew 8:26-27)

Truly, Jesus is with us in the storm and He is able to still any storm that we face!  Even the winds and waves of adversity obey Him!

 Another of the cross-references was:

"[God] stilleth the noise of the seas, the voice of their waves, and the tumult of the people."
(Psalm 65:7)

Wow!  Did you catch that?  God is able to still the noise of the seas, the voice of the waves, and even "the tumult of the people"!  There is so much tumult out there.  We know that God  is allowing this difficulty for some good purpose of His own and will bring all of this to an end in His perfect timing.  I'm praying for Him to still the storm today.  May He calm each of our hearts as well.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Hot dog! Time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

Wednesday again! Time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge, in which Joyce asks the questions and bloggers provide the answers.  It's always a lot of fun, so if you'd like to join in, head over to From This Side of the Pond and get the questions from Joyce, then answer them on your own blog.  Here are this week's questions:

1.  Do you think the pandemic has had any kind of positive impact on your mental health? Explain.

No, I do not think it has had any kind of positive impact at all upon my mental health.  I can say in a sense that it has helped my spiritual health, in that it has driven me to a greater dependence upon and trust in God and to spending more time in His Word and in prayer.  It has also allowed me time to avail myself of many online Bible messages and resources from other churches, which has added a richness to my spiritual experience.  (In another sense, I feel that it is detrimental to all believers when they cannot meet together in person.) 

All of the flower photos here are of the trumpet vine at the homestead.
But as far as my mental health is concerned, no.  This pandemic has been discouraging, depressing, frustrating, and occasionally infuriating. 

2. A hot mess, hot under the collar, in hot water, hot button, hot diggity dog!, hot shot, hot seat....choose one and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

I try to avoid "hot button" issues here on my blog.  But there is one currently that is affecting our town in that our selectmen are far overstepping their bounds and trying to mandate masks for everyone.  I will just say that wearing a mask or not needs to be a personal decision.  There's plenty of science out there on both sides of the issue as to how protective they actually are of ourselves or others.  There's also plenty of evidence that for a healthy person, wearing a mask (outside of a health care environment ) is actually detrimental.  And of course there are many with medical issues that mean they shouldn't wear one.  No one should force mask wearing on anyone else, whether through mandate or shaming.  If you feel a mask is necessary, that's your right.  Wear it.  However, if you feel strongly about the impact on your own health personally, then you have every right to skip it.  This is (still) America.
3. Speaking of the hot seat, do you work well under pressure or do you actively avoid high pressure situations?

I do work well under pressure.  By God's grace and with His help, I can often accomplish quite a lot in a short period of time.  

High pressure situations, though, are different.  I try to avoid those as much as possible.  (See #2 above -- I seek to avoid divisive issues here on my blog.  This time I did feel led to share a little bit.  I am trying to keep an open mind and I hope that my readers will, too.  Please be courteous in any comments.  Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜)
4. Hotdogs-yay or nay? If you said yay how do you like yours? Did you know July is National hotdog month?

Yay to all-natural hot dogs.  I like them either with or without a bun (though if there is one, a grilled or toasted bun is the best!), with any type of mustard.  Sometimes relish.
Think I got this photo from Pixabay.  I don't like ketchup on my hot dogs.
5. I read here a list of America's coolest Southern towns. They are Marfa Texas, Greenville South Carolina, Abingdon Virginia, Athens Georgia, Bentonville Arkansas, Florence Alabama, Oxford Mississippi, Abita Springs Louisiana, Wilmington North Carolina, Monroeville Alabama, McMinnville Tennessee, Natchez Mississippi.  How many on the list have you seen in person? Which town on the list would you most like to see?

I think the only one I have spent any time in is Greenville, SC.  We visited there several times when our daughter and son-in-law lived there.  I have heard good things about some of the others.  I think I would particularly enjoy visiting Oxford, Mississippi.    Arlene at Nanaland visited there and wrote an account of their visit.  You can read it here: Oxford.  In addition, I would love to be able to visit my friend Mrs. Smith while in the area.
Photo by Arlene from Nanaland
 6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Happy to have disposed of boxes of small antique and vintage items from the old homestead  yesterday via an antique dealer.   Nothing particularly valuable, just lots of small things, some of which most people would have thrown away.  Just thankful to have that much more out of the house.  The little cardboard doll's suitcase below (of which I will write more later, Lord willing) is one item I had planned to toss in the trash just as soon as I got photos of it.  That went!

That's it for this Hodgepodge!  Happy Wednesday, all!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Friday five for July 17

All of the flower photos (some cultivated flowers and some wild) are from our summer 2017 trip to Nevada.  Here are a few blessings from the past week:

1.  Supper on Saturday night with our daughter, son-in-law and four of the local grandkids.  Good to get together with them again after being away for so long!

2.  Old friends over for lunch with us after church.   These are friends from long ago that we just reconnected with at the TWNE couples' retreat last fall.

3.  Strength and endurance during busy days with lots of heat and humidity.  Wisdom too for meal planning and preparation on such hot days.

4.  Lots of work accomplished on clearing out the homeplace.  It's getting close!

5.  Time to work on my Christmas in July blog posts and Etsy listings.  I only have five more posts to write and schedule.  If you haven't visited my Christmas blog this month, do head on over!  It's been good to add a few new listings to my Etsy shop as well.  I have literally thousands more things to list!

And there's my Friday five for today.  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Sweet summer Hodgepodge for July 15

It's Wednesday again! Time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge, in which Joyce asks the questions and bloggers provide the answers.  It's a lot of fun, so if you'd like to join in, head over to From This Side of the Pond and get the questions from Joyce, then answer them on your own blog.  Here are this week's questions:

1. The sweetness of summer...where have you found it recently? If you're in the Southern hemisphere, feel free to tell us about the sweetness you're finding in winter.

I guess I would say maybe our local ice cream place, and some wonderful watermelon we enjoyed on our camping trip.  It's been so hot and humid that summer hasn't felt too sweet.

2. Take your sweet time, sweet tooth, home sweet home, short but sweet, the sweet smell of success, sweet talk...choose a sweet idiom and tell us how it fits your life currently?

Home sweet home.  It is good to be back in New Hampshire.  Travel is great fun, and it was wonderful spending time with family, and enjoying tent camping again, but it is very good to be home.

3. Sweet as honey, sweet as sugar, or sweet as pie, which phrase do you use when a sweet phrase is called for? What's the last sweet treat you indulged in?

I guess I would probably say "sweet as pie".  The last sweet treat I indulged in was a piece of ice cream sandwich dessert left from Sunday.
Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Would you like the recipe?  I've shared it here in years gone by, but it's been a long time.  I had originally planned to make a berry shortcake trifle to serve to friends at Sunday lunch, but the weather was so exceedingly hot and humid that I went the easy route.  I left off the toffee bits and chocolate topping this time, because I wanted to top the squares with a berry medley when serving.  As you will see, it's a very easy and adaptable recipe!


12 ice cream sandwiches
12 ounces of frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 pkg. toffee bits (made by Hershey’s, found near the chocolate chips in the baking aisle)
Chocolate ice cream topping to drizzle on when serving

Line a 13x9-inch pan with ice cream sandwiches, cutting to fit if necessary. Spread the whipped topping over the ice cream sandwiches, then sprinkle the toffee bits over the topping. Freeze for 6-8 hours or overnight (or longer).
When ready to serve, cut the dessert in squares. Drizzle chocolate topping on decoratively when serving. Yield: 10-12 servings.

4. First thing that comes to mind when you hear the word fidget?

Ha ha!  my hubby!  Especially when he is talking, he is nearly always fidgeting with something: straightening a placemat, kicking a throw rug into place -- I can't even think of all the ways now.  But it's just a part of who he is.  He says: "Keeps me thin!" and he's probably right.  Maybe I should take up fidgeting.

5. Share with us one of your favorite childhood travel memories.

This was wintertime travel -- a day trip -- but it is a favorite memory.  My aunt and uncle took my brother and me to Boston to see the Ice Capades.  I'm thinking it was 1961 or 1962.  We traveled from New Hampshire to Boston on the train.  The Ice Capades show was amazing, but every bit as much fun was the truly nice restaurant they took us to for dinner.  The nicest restaurant I had ever been in at that point in life.  

I don't have a lot of other childhood travel memories.  My brother was in a wheelchair and there was no ADA back then.  We could only go to places that didn't have stairs, and the bathroom was also an issue.  Except for one memorable trip to Plimoth Plantation and some other historical sites, we only took day trips.

Memory from a much more recent day trip
6. Insert your own random thought here.

 Let's see.  You've all seen this one before, but it seems especially relevant this summer.

And there you have it!  Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

A prayer on Sunday ~ July 12

Here is another very simple prayer written some years ago during a Bible study.  This one focuses on praising God for what He has done for us in salvation.  I made the graphic recently using Canva.  I had written out the verse 1 Peter 2:9 at the end of my prayer, so I wanted to use it here.  God has given us so much -- but oh, what a responsibility we have to glorify Him!


I can never thank and praise You enough for Your powerful working in my life!  You and You alone qualified me for heaven!  I could never be fit for heaven in and of myself.  This redemption is a work that only You could do.

I praise You for Your grace in extending salvation to me and drawing me to You with lovingkindness.  What an incredible, unfathomable blessing to have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into Your kingdom!

Thank You, Lord!

In Jesus' name,

I hope that this simple prayer is a blessing to someone today!

Saturday, July 11, 2020

A bit of book talk this July

Just a little more book talk.  The last time I posted about books was May, I think.  Even though I have only completed a couple books since then, the time seems right to share what I've been reading lately.

In my last post, one book I failed to mention was the devotional book that went along with the 40-Day Sugar Fast.  My daughter had told me that she enjoyed it very much, so I knew it would be good, but I had expected something more basic.  But no -- each day's devotional reading included not only Scripture and a spiritual challenge, but some real "meat" to chew on throughout the day. 

I would definitely read and study this devotional book again the next time we do the 40-day sugar fast and I'm sure I will learn something new from it.  My point in including it here is to remind myself that indeed, I did read and study and complete one book out of my goal of six.  I'd been sort of beating myself up for not completing any.

In the same category -- books to read and study and learn through -- I've been working my way through The Fringe Hours, by Jessica Turner. 

Trying to ponder and answer the questions as I go along.  I got some good solid reading and work done in this book while we were on vacation.  An hour or so while in Nevada and then a couple more hours on the plane coming home.  I know that I desperately need to make time for myself, and yet there are so many other important tasks to do and only so many hours in a day.  I've just reached the point in the book where one keeps a time log of one's activities for a week.  I downloaded the free time log and am a couple days in.  I won't proceed with the book, probably, until I've completed the log.  More to come on that.

Meanwhile, in pleasure reading, I've completed just two books, one in June and one in July.  The first is Improving Your Serve, by Charles Swindoll. 

I've previously read a few of Swindoll's books and enjoyed and learned from them.  This one has to do with unselfish living and I'd always wanted to read it, so purchased a copy from Thriftbooks.  It was good, and edifying, but I didn't find it as riveting as other books I'd read by Swindoll.  (Possibly this had to do with the fact that I was reading it just before falling asleep.)  I did keep it, however, as it will be a good reference for Sunday School lessons and Bible studies.

Then just the other night I completed A Boy's War, by David Michell.

 I guess I really ought to do a review of this one some time (and hopefully I will find time to do that), because it is an excellent read that many people may not have heard of.  I found my copy at my parents' home, but have just done a search on Thriftbooks and they do have one copy: A Boy's War.  This is the fascinating true story of children living in a Japanese concentration camp in northern China during World War ll.  David Michell was one of these children.  This is the same camp where Olympic gold medalist Eric Liddell was interned, and so the story contains fascinating glimpses of his life as well.

  From the back of the book, I'll just share this quote because I couldn't say it better:  "What might have been simply a tale of an agonizing separation of a schoolboy from his parents -- a separation that spanned six years and included war, danger, malnutrition, and tragedy -- is a story that lights up with adventure, ingenuity, heroism and hope.  The unquenchability of the human spirit under extreme pressure and the influence of godly faith and sacrificial example in hard circumstances shine through."

This was a good book to be reading right now.  It was an encouragement and a blessing even though I was reading about a very difficult time in history and in people's lives.  I'll be passing it on to my daughter to read to her kids, most likely.

And that's my simple book talk for early July!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Friday five for the 10th of July

This morning my friend Cyndy posted a photo on Instagram of dew-edged strawberry leaves.  It reminded me that I had a similar photo in my files, taken years ago.  It seemed perfect for today.  And now, here are a few blessings from the week:

1.  A safe trip flying back from the West last Friday.  It took an entire day, but we're thankful for safety traveling thousands of miles.

2.  A wonderful vacation!  We did a week of tent camping and enjoyed Coral Pink Sand Dunes (a state park in Utah); Zion National Park; Grand Canyon; Cathedral Gorge (a state park in Nevada); and much more.  We also stayed at Willow Beach in the Lake Mead Recreation Area in Arizona, but I can't honestly say it was enjoyable.  It was a beautiful area but just too hot.  117ยบ is just too much!

Following the camping trip, we spent another eight or nine days with family in Elko, Nevada.  The museum below was one place that we visited:

It all turned out to be a very refreshing time.  I do feel energized and more ready to tackle life again.  I hope that soon I can begin writing some posts about our trip.

3.  Being able to attend a traditional Fourth of July picnic at the home of friends.  We had originally been scheduled to travel on the 4th, so were especially thankful to get back on the 3rd and to have the energy to be part of this get-together.

4.  Lunch with our dear young friends Sam and Jennifer on Monday.  Always a joy to spend time with them.  Sam also kindly took us to and from Logan Airport for our vacation travels.  We would ordinarily have taken Concord Coach to the airport, but they've been closed since March.  Sure hope they reopen soon,  as they provide an irreplaceable service to travelers and commuters.  The sunrise photo below was taken from the bus station some years ago.

5. A fantastic surprise for Mr. T on Monday as we went to check on the cottage we're renovating.  Lots of work had been done by our daughter, son-in-law and their kids while we were away.  Old flooring removed and new flooring installed was a big part of the work they did, and will save us hours of labor.  Our son-in-law is a builder and his skills are so helpful!  (You can glimpse his work van outside the window in the photo below.)  Our daughter also painted the kitchen cabinets, walls and ceiling and the kids also did a lot of work on the various projects.

This little nook will be a bedroom area
This progress photo shows the paint job and the new floor and countertop in the kitchen.
And there's my Friday five!  A little more eventful than usual!  Have a great weekend, everyone.   And, if you haven't visited my Christmas blog, do head on over there for Christmas in July!

Thursday, July 09, 2020

A few goals for July

 So we're nine days into July and it's time that I set a few goals.  We arrived home the night of July 3, so that's why I'm a bit behind with setting goals for this month.  I will say, however, that since getting back I feel more energetic and ready to tackle some things that had seemed overwhelming previously.  So here goes:

* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones
* Do the July Scripture writing plan, Rest for the Weary, with Rachel Wojo
* Post in my blogs as often as possible, hopefully posting daily for Christmas in July at my Christmas blog
* Continue our discipleship study with new believers
* Continue to help our widowed friend Terry with the challenges of life in general

* Get to bed by 9 pm each night  
* Pay much more attention to drinking enough water each day
* Read several books 
* Complete some estate responsibilities 
* Work on the cottage we are fixing up
 * Walk and/or exercise at least 4 times each week
* Get back into Flylady's homemaking zones of the week
* Do something creative each day
* Continue planning for family birthday gifts and crafting any handmade ones
* Spend a little time on some UFO craft projects
* Redouble my efforts in stocking my Etsy shop and continuing to sell vintage items
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family
* Plan a getaway with my hubby
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able 
* Continue to encourage and support my hubby as he works through a pastoral search for our church
* Continue to sort out and declutter my dad's house, hopefully finding a buyer for the older, bulkier vintage things and a few odds and ends of furniture
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating
HEALTHY HABITS FOR JULY:  Drink more water/get more sleep/walk regularly
MY WORD FOR 2020: Diligence 

We will see how I do!

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge for July 8

It's Wednesday again, and I'm excited to be able to join back in with the Wednesday Hodgepodge, in which Joyce asks the questions and bloggers provide the answers.  It's a lot of fun, so if you'd like to join in, head over to From This Side of the Pond and get the questions from Joyce, then answer them on your own blog.  Here are this week's questions:

1. The Hodgepodge lands this year on National Secret Keeping Day...on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being I'm a blabbermouth and 10 being I'm a vault) how good are you at keeping secrets?

I'm going to say a 10.  Read on to question #3 to see why.

I read here nine jobs for people who can keep a secret-cybersecurity worker, executive assistant, housekeeper, lawyer, nuclear plant technician, physician, private investigator, psychologist, security guard  Of the jobs listed, which one most interests you and why?

Housekeeper, because I already have some skills, and I've done some house cleaning gigs in the past.  I'm too old to train for any of the others at this point, and they don't much interest me anyway.

2. What's the secret of life (or one of them anyway)?

 Jesus said, "He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."  (John 5:24)

Graphic from Baptist Bible Hour
3. Off the record, best-kept secret, a fly on the wall, top secret, my lips are sealed, secret shopper, as quiet as a mouse, poker face, spill the beans, open secret, bite your tongue...which secret idiom can you best relate to right now? Explain.

I'm going to say "my lips are sealed" -- or maybe I should say they were sealed, until the appropriate time arrived to unseal them, which was Monday.  Most regular readers know we've been working at renovating the family cottage next door to my daughter's home.  Before leaving for the West, we'd almost finished painting two of the three rooms (the third will be pine paneled), after thoroughly washing the walls, ceilings, etc.  

Before we left, my daughter asked me to okay a plan she and her hubby had come up with as a special Father's Day surprise: while we were gone, they would not only finish the painting, but also remove the old flooring, put down new, and paint the kitchen cabinets.  The grand reveal was yesterday -- and even though the surprise was technically for my hubby, there was a part for me as well.  Jim had made a new countertop to replace the ugly, worn linoleum top that had been in the kitchen.  

I want to write an entire post about this in time, so will just share a few photos for now.
Kitchen before -- we were just beginning to clean at this point.
 Kitchen during: above, Sam and Jim work on the flooring.  Below, Jim installing the countertop.  Carrie painted the cabinets that pretty soft gray.
Kitchen after, with a welcoming bouquet of wildflowers!

4. Spill here the secret ingredient in one of your favorite recipes?

A teaspoon of vanilla in our waffle recipe.
The waffle recipe, a specialty of my hubby's, was published in Christmas at Grandma's and I blogged about it here: He Was Published!
5. My mama celebrates a big birthday tomorrow. Share a favorite quote, song lyric, saying, or verse of scripture that will add some sunshine to her day (ours too!)

 "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."  (Psalm 23:6)
Gorgeous summer graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Although we had a wonderful vacation -- which included a tent camping/road trip segment to visit several national and state parks -- it's good, good, good to be home! 
Yes, the Grand Canyon was one place we visited.  The Kindle photo doesn't do it justice, but we've been home only a few days and the pictures aren't on the computer yet.
And so ends another Hodgepodge.  Thank you, Joyce!  And Happy Wednesday, everyone!