Posts Tagged ‘gerry’

Man in the kitchen/man on the porch

One of Gerry’s contributions to the family that I appreciate most is his role as social coordinator. Sure, I like people, but I’m not the type to actually plan a get-together, and I often forget to check in with my friends and ask those simple little questions like, “How are you doing?” Gerry never has these problems.

Every few weeks, he’s been gathering half a dozen people at the house for dinner, and it’s a great thing to come home to! It’s always a great guest list … he’s got a knack for picking people who may not know each other yet, but are going to get along just fine.

Last night, we had over three of his coworkers (two are new to the team), two former youth group students, and our roommate. Gerry had cooked up some fantastic spinach/cheese ravioli, and he made sure that there was a serving left over for me. Odd fact: This was my first time to ever have ravioli for a meal. And it was deeeeeeeelicious! Why didn’t I know this stuff existed before?!

Later, after Gerry had gone to work for a late shift and I’d been in bed for a short while, the doorbell rang twice. After finally recognizing the sound, I rolled myself out of bed, threw on a bathrobe, and went to look out the peephole. Whoever had rung the bell was gone, but had left our screen door swinging open. And then, I heard some sounds on the porch, and then there was a guy opening up the screen door and putting his hands on the glass door! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

…good thing that I recognized our roommate’s fiance quickly. That boy nearly got himself shot!

Since it was him, I went and let him in from the porch. He had just come to check on her since she was feeling ill and had gone to bed early. I didn’t say much to him last night, but apparently our roommate gave him an earful this morning about not sneaking around on people’s porches at night. (Good for her!)


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What I am thankful for today = new tires for my Matrix! (And it was about time … those bald spots on my old tires were seriously THIS CLOSE to blowing out on the freeway.) Gerry took care of everything for me this afternoon and got a spectacular deal saving us $180 over the expected price. Praise God!

It’s the first time that I’ve been able to hand off an auto maintenance responsibility to someone else, and boy, it feels good. I could get used to my husband taking care of me this way.

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Potluck at el Rancho

The church we’re part of has a dozen campuses scattered throughout the county, and a few months ago, Gerry and I decided to start attending the campus closest to home. Church is held at a lovely, sprawling Spanish-style retreat center on a large spread of property. There’s a lake, picturesque hills, mission-style chapel, hacienda and courtyard, organic farm and more… It’s a very popular venue for weddings!

The somewhat smaller size of the congregation is much more what I’m used to, and being able to gaze on nature through the chapel’s wall of windows while worshipping really helps me to focus. And although it’s the same demographic as up at the main campus, being a smaller group at least allows greater opportunities for getting to know others.

Personally, I think that you get to know people best when you serve on a team with them regularly. So joining one of the volunteer teams at Rancho Capistrano would be just the perfect thing to do … except for the fact that we’re planning to move away in a few months. It doesn’t seem right to show up and say, “Train me. Put me on your schedule. Depend on me. Okay now, I’m leaving.” And it’s not exactly motivating to make new friends when you know you’re going to have to leave them soon.

So I jumped at the chance to volunteer for a special event at church today! We were going to have a potluck (first ever for this campus!) and then light up three giant crosses on the hill for the Easter season … I signed up for the setup team. The plans were grand, for an open-air picnic down on the lawn by the lake. But then it decided to rain all day. Sideways rain. All day. So we put up some pop-up canopies along the side wall of the chapel and did our best to fit tables under the canopies in places where they wouldn’t get drenched every time the water collecting on top decided to empty itself down the cracks between tents. Nope, we made sure that food stayed dry. Just the people got sporadically dumped on … self included. (Free showers! Yay!)

Oh, it was a comedy of errors! The two people in charge got sick and didn’t show up, so we the motley crew pretty much winged it. Some bossypants ladies showed up and tried to stir up drama, but I just kept walking away from them and finding a new job to do until they followed me there.

But all’s well that ends well, and as I reassured one of the guys who was fretting about all of stuff going wrong, “No matter what happens, nobody is going to go home tonight saying, ‘That potluck sucked!’ What they are going to remember is, ‘That free food was awesome! I had fun talking to people! Wasn’t it neat when those crosses went up?!'”

We didn’t actually watch the crosses go up. Instead we hung out in the nearly empty chapel with a few friends and played with their kids.

Today is the first time I’ve felt like I “belonged” there. Pretty cool!

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Try a little kindness

Question: What is the most desirable trait another person can possess?

I think it would be kindness, because that trait flavors every action that a person does, and every interaction that person has. It’s sort of the golden rule, doing to others as I wish they’d do to me? Yeah. Also … it’s W.W.J.D. … err, W.J.W.D. What Jesus Would Do. “Be kind to one another, tender hearted and forgiving one another, even as God through Christ Jesus has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). That was one of the first Bible verses I ever learned.

One of the things I appreciate so much about my husband is that he always generously rounds up when tipping at restaurants. It’s not about service, it’s not even about tipping … it’s that he is showing true kindness by placing himself in the server’s shoes and knowing what that extra bit of tip will mean to him or her. As a habit, Gerry thinks of others before himself.

We sort of learned about this at church tonight. The teaching pastor took us through a passage of Scripture from Philippians 2 where Paul commends two guys, Timothy and Epaphroditus (sp?), using the passage to demonstrate how to study the Bible. (Observe what it actually says, interpret what it meant to the original audience, check out correlating passages, and find the application for us today.) Anyway, we discovered that Paul wanted the readers of this letter to honor and consider these two guys, Timothy and Epaphroditus, as examples and role models. Which begs the question, then what were these guys like? Well, they were:

  • Caring
  • Consistent
  • Cooperative
  • Considerate
  • Courageous

All of these traits go hand-in-hand with kindness… (Pastor Rick loves making lists of words with matching first letters, or that create crazy acronyms. This week in his small group curriculum, we learned the S.P.A.C.E.P.E.T.S. method of study … I am not joking. Space pets. That man’s sense of humor is … is … is … so innocent and ridiculous all at the same time.)

After church, Gerry and I attempted to go on a fun, cheap date that failed at “cheapness” in every way. The original plan was to go see the Muppets movie at our local dollar theater, but when we arrived there, it was all sold out. So then we thought about going to Costco (a new favorite cheap date) for samples and slices of pizza, but Costco was closed. Then we drove to the mall, where we were going to walk around, play table games at the Microsoft store, sample Godiva chocolate, and again try for cheap slices of pizza … but the mall had closed at 7:00 p.m. We were on the right side of town for Lamppost Pizza, the best pizza I’ve ever had, so although not cheap, we headed there. We accidentally parked at the wrong block of shops and walked around for a bit before realizing it, and then after googling the restaurant and retracing our route a few blocks, we found out that Lamppost Pizza had gone out of business … but there was another pizza shop in its place. So finally we just went in and ordered a medium Hawaiian pie for $20. It was tasty, but not the best like we had been expecting. And then when we tried to pay with a Mastercard gift card I’d received for participating in a focus group, it wouldn’t work and we had to pay with real money.

It was still a fun date, however, as all of these adventures unfolded. I always enjoy talking with my Gerry, and over dinner we played Scrabble against each other on his phone. Time well spent.


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Solo at Disneyland

Our Disney passes are just about to expire, and in this entire year of having them, I have never visited the parks just by myself. (Gerry has, in his unemployment and expansive free time.) So tonight, we managed to shuffle work and sharing the car so that I could head up to Anaheim for one last experience at Disneyland … alone.

It was great! As I suspected, one person can move through crowds so much quicker than two or four can. And one person can make split second decisions without affecting the plans of others. On this super-busy Christmas season evening, I managed six attractions within two hours, because I only had myself to consider. They were kiddie rides and “old” attractions, but you know, I had fun:

  • Storybook Canal Boats (cool little boat ride through an amazing bonsai and miniatures garden)
  • King Arthur’s Carousal (zero line, I walked right on)
  • The reindeer zoo (forgot the actual name of this)
  • Jungle Cruise (totally different experience at night!)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (my favorite, got a row all to myself)
  • Train around the park

In addition to those I ended up near It’s A Small World just in time for the nightly “snow” event, and I splurged on a dish of pineapple Dole Whip, which has Brings back good childhood memories for me. See? A really nice solo night out.

The challenging part was finding a parking space at the beginning, and then walking to and from the car. Each direction, it took over 20 minutes to get from park to car. That’s 40 minutes of the 3-hour parking grace period used up in transit.

So there ya have it. Probably my last trip to Disneyland for another five years or so, and I’m okay with that. It’s a small and not terribly impressive little place … pleasant, but certainly not one of life’s necessities. Many thanks to Gerry for rearranging his schedule so that I could enjoy this nice evening alone.

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Vegas, baby!

Our Christmas plans this year excite me! At first it started as a compromise … if we were going out to Arizona see my parents, then my husband declared that we also had to go to Las Vegas. I’ve never been there before, and really haven’t cared to go.

Vegas, schmegas… But then I booked our reservations and started googling to see what we could do in town for free, and have been finding so much! There are monorails and double-decker busses and art galleries and water shows and indoor thunderstorms and skyscrapers and aquariums and lions and pirates and Christmas decorations enough to keep us busy for days. Our one big-ticket item is Cirque du Soleil’s KA show at the MGM Grand. Martial arts, fire, acrobatics, a moving stage … what more do you need for a phenomenal show that will appeal to both Gerry and me?

We’re staying at the Monte Carlo resort, which seems to be just perfectly located. The only issue is getting there from the airport, and for whatever reason, the shuttle reservation website won’t take my credit card and doesn’t offer a customer service phone number. It might just have to be a taxi ride. Do you know that I’ve only been in a U.S. taxi once in the past 25 years? All my other experiences have been international.

The other amazing part of the trip is that my brother and sister-in-law will be joining us at my parents’ house for the Christmas holiday. The whole family together! Looking forward to being on my parents’ turf, and just relaxing for several days.

Titus and I are chatting right now about bringing our guns to Arizona and going shooting one afternoon. I would love that! It’s been a few years since I’ve been outdoors on the range, and would enjoy nothing more than to get behind my Glock and de-stress by pulling the trigger again and again. I’m checking laws right now, and we’ll see if it’s a “go.”

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It’s been almost a month since Gerry and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary, and I can’t believe that I still haven’t written about it!We had work and school in the morning, but took the afternoon off to go play at Disney’s California Adventure. Although this didn’t exactly work as a strategy for skipping the crowds, it was still pretty neat to be there in the middle of the day when normal adults are supposed to be in office buildings being responsible.

  • Little Mermaid ride: A preview two days before it opened (there was still a long line)
  • Toy Story Arcade: The line is always insane here, but the ride lasts about 8 minutes and is well worth it
  • People-watching: Gerry purposefully left his phone at home (he really loves me!) and we had a wonderful time whispering about our surroundings

Studio Restaurant at Montage ResortThen home for a short bit to clean up and put on our fancy duds, and on to the Studio restaurant in Laguna Beach. Go ahead, take a look at the website! Browse the menus and. Drool over the culinary photos. Yes, we went there! For three delicious and luxurious hours, we went there.

We arrived and were seated at the corner table pictured to the right, just as the sun was setting. A server brought us champagne, and we were then treated to a fantastic view of the channel islands silhouetted against the oranges and purples and grays of the diminishing sun.

And then the food started coming.

  • Hot breads and three different types of butters
  • Five delicious cheeses with fruit pastesnutshoneycomb, and flatbreads
  • Greens – This was delicious at the time, but I barely remember it compared with everything else
  • Bonni’s first course – Beef tenderloin carpaccio provencale (with capersarugulamarinated tomatoeseggplant marmalade, and a parmesan crisp)
  • Gerry’s first course – Spanish salad (with mizuna lettuceserrano hammanchegogarlic prawnspickled squash, and sherry vinaigrette)
  • Bonni’s second course – Sauteed Monterey calamari (with tarbais white beanschorizosweet pepper confit, and basil sauce)
  • Gerry’s second course – Seared Hudson Valley Farms foie gras (with caramelized onion asian pear salad and banyuls gastrique)
  • Bonni’s main course – Sauteed Alaskan halibut (with olive-oil poached potatoeshearts of palmkumquats, and smoked herb sauce)
  • Gerry’s main course – Oven-roasted veal rib-eye (with liquid polentacipolliniroyal trumpet mushrooms, and whole grain mustard)
  • Bonni’s dessert – Milk chocolate/cardamom mousse (with orange creamsicle ice cream)
  • Gerry’s dessert – Blandy’s Terrantez (spiced aged dessert wine), Madiera, Portugal 1969
  • Anniversary dessert – This was beautiful and tasty, but I barely remember it compared with everything else
  • Petits fours – Mostly intensely flavored fruit reduction jellies

That’s what a $300 meal looks like, friends. Oh, we ate and ate and ate… Of course we shared. We met the chef, we chatted with the restaurant manager, we delighted in the detailed service of the staff. And at the end of the meal, our server brought us a small gift bag containing a loaf of coffee bread and rhubarb marmalade to take home.

Our first year together was good, the second year was even better, and year three is off to a stupendous start. The longer we’re together, we experience…

less fighting
more sweetness
less time together
more unity

more forgiveness
less hurts
more mess
less stress

Being married to my Gerry is a good, good thing. ♥

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