Friday, August 04, 2017

Sometimes It Pays to Say Nothing!


Sightseeing for two days led to a craving to do nothing and everything at the same time, yesterday.

Sleeping in.
Staying in jammies.
Reading.
Watching movies.
Cuddling.
And all that's great about spending a quiet day together.

When evening came, Larry said he wanted to try a spot that was featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. It's a place called Sherman's with locations in Palm Springs and Palm Desert.

Something hilarious happened soon after we arrived. The server overheard Larry and I having a conversation about the selections on the menu. We were just talking in the same manner that we always do, but she took something more from the conversation. Something we never said!  Larry overheard her tell her co-workers, "These people are food critics!" She thought we were there to scope it out and write a story about the place. We decided to say nothing and let them think what they wanted to. You know what they say about assuming. Staying quiet was a great decision because after the server told this to her co-workers, they were practically falling over themselves to make us happy! Little samples came to our table. Was this so terrible that we didn't correct their assumption?  I decided to let it go and ask for forgiveness in my bedtime prayers.

Although the service was over-the-top because they assumed we were professional food critics, the food really did speak for itself. 



Take this pie for instance. See those little crunchy things on the outside? Those are crushed up cookie crumbs. It's "Marion Berry Pie." The bottom and sides are a cookie crumb crust, then cheesecake, then mixed berries on top. Divine! Sherman's makes all their own desserts. I was impressed. 


The most difficult thing was knowing what to select...


I could clearly understand why Guy Fieri decided to feature this place. Larry chose the Coconut Cake for dessert. He wasn't disappointed.


During my time here I've been working out with Revelation Wellness but dear sweet Lord, it can only do so much when it's up against this!

Would I recommend Shermans or dine there again? Absolutely. Although I'm not a professional food critic I'll gladly spread the word and leave a review on Yelp.

I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner but by far my favorite part of the day was our time together with nothing to focus on but rest and each other. And, I know if I'm ever out of a job, I can probably train to be a food critic fairly quickly.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

3 Things I Learned in the Desert

"You learn something new every day!" I wish I would have coined that phrase but of course I didn't -- it's an old one. Each day I look for opportunities to learn and usually learn more than three things. Yesterday was no exception as Larry and I spent the day at Joshua Tree National Park, taking in the sights.



I had no idea what I was in for. I mean, I knew it was a desert, but oh my lands, it's the mother of all deserts! It's a desert on steroids. The first thing anyone needs to do is get yourself a Big Gulp before you go, because it will take you a minimum of two hours to drive through it. Don't let the word PARK fool you. This thing is the size of the state of Rhode Island. No, I'm not kidding. And it will take you two hours only if you don't stop at any of the exhibits along the way, which of course, we did. Speaking of a big gulp, the first thing I learned is this:

1) If you want to know where you should eat or drink, just watch where the old people are headed.

I talked a bit about this in my last blog post but it bears repeating. You won't find anything to eat or drink inside Joshua Tree Park. But, outside one of the entrances to the park there's a gas station that has everything from slushies to hamburgers.  I went in to use the restroom one more time before our journey and wanted an unsweet tea as well. This place had everything BUT the tea. And honestly, it didn't look very clean.  I couldn't believe the chaos down to the backed up line at the register and little kids running around begging their parents for candy. I sound ancient now, I know.

In the midst of this commotion what do I spy? There were a bunch of elder folk across the street. Why, pray tell? There is a lovely little coffee shop with freshly brewed tea as well as crafts for sale. And, it was clean as a whistle!. Why does anyone say clean as a whistle? Somebody's mouth was on it. And for all we know, it was not clean. So regarding the old folk, watch this and see if I'm not right! Older folk, they like good quality food made from scratch in an extremely clean environment. You could do a white glove test where the seniors eat. Despite the fact that nobody wears white gloves anymore. And it's quiet. Old people like peace. You will not be disappointed when it comes to food and drink, as well as the environment. Old folk were the first ones to say, for heaven's sake, SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT!

I acquired a mammoth iced tea and we headed for our jaunt through the wonderland that is Joshua Tree Park.


This is a Joshua tree. It got it's name because the first people who discovered the tree -- the Mormons bless their hearts said it reminded them of the biblical account of Joshua lifting his hands to the sky in prayer. It's interesting that all through our time of driving through the park, applications to the Bible were coming to my mind. Everything from the fact that the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, to God being our rock. I also thought of Proverbs which says that it's better to live in a desert than with a nagging woman. (Proverbs 21:19) Honestly, the desert is beautiful. OF COURSE it's better than a nagging woman. It doesn't take a king to tell us that. Which brings me to #2...

2)  The desert gets a bad rap at times.

It's awesome. Stop and get a drink before you go into it, and everything will be fabulous. Don't bring a nagging woman with you.


The gigantic rocks were my favorite part. It's off season here so there is hardly anyone around. Plenty of times Larry and I came to an exhibit and there was no one around. We could have gotten away with a lot. I was awestruck about how loud the silence was. I mean it was deafening. But in those moments, God spoke many things to my heart. I understand over and over how people hear Him so clearly in nature.


Larry and I are in the photo above but you can barely see us. Look at the size of that rock. The first person in history to see this had to shriek, "Oh my lands!" 


We took our time going through the park, stopping at most of the exhibits and getting out to take pictures. On the first day we arrived in California Larry and I made a California playlist on Spotify. We listen to it in the car every time we go to another place here. It's all songs about California. Everything from "California Girls" to "Hotel California." For yesterday we made a desert playlist. It had everything from "Desert Song" to U2's "The Joshua Tree" album. Which brings me to #3

3) If you want a great marriage, you have to plan for it.

And if you don't have a marriage and want one, put this on your #relationshipgoals list. I knew the importance of this before I went on this trip, but yesterday was a refresher course in why it's important.

As we were driving through the park listening to our desert songs, sipping our gargantuan drinks, I thought to myself, "I never imagined it would still be this good 30 years later..." I was reminded that a huge part of it is that we plan for it to be. None of this just happened on it's own. When it comes to memories Larry is as big a planner as I am, and many times even more. He always says, "making memories" is our family theme. I'm so glad I married someone who keeps this a priority.

Maybe things aren't the same in  your life and family, and you want them to be. George Eliot once said, "It's never too late to be what you might have been." I believe this applies to marriages and families too. It's not even about vacations or spending money - it's about getting a thought and following through with action to do something as simple as making a free playlist of songs for the one you love...listening to music together, or going on an evening walk together.

I learned all this and more in my experience at Joshua Tree. I hope all my friends get to see it at least once in their lifetime.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

3 Things I Learned Today on my Birthday



For sentiment sake, I'm writing a post about my birthday because I'll read it in a few months or years and look back on it fondly. Bloggers love reading our own stuff whether other people do or not. We're actually obsessed with our own words. We love seeing ourselves write as much as some people love hearing themselves talk.  It's the thrill of the post.

I woke up and got a cup of coffee and read some of Isaiah as well as I Samuel, and some teaching on leadership by John Maxwell. (In my house I have a painting of Jesus on one wall and John Maxwell on the other.)  While I was reading my husband brought me breakfast in bed. He's awesome like that. I try to reciprocate in ways that make him happy.

After savoring the breakfast I didn't have to cook, I began checking out the information from the first day of Revelation Wellness. It's a new program I'm trying at the invitation of my friend, Jodi Garvin. I started doing this partly because I believed if Jodi is doing it, it had to be legit. Jodi doesn't do anything "weird". She's a really stable person. The other reason is, if it had to do with physical wellness, weeeelllllll, I've tried everything else so why not this? (Don't believe me? Ask my niece Lexi. It's a running joke with her about how many diets and programs I've been on. If there was a Teen Challenge for eating, I would have already signed up for the program. For some people it's heroin, others are on crack, yet others of us are on Dunkin Donuts Chocolate Frosted.)

As soon as I signed up for this Revelation Wellness, I realized the first day was August 1, my birthday and it starts with a 7-day detox. I was like, NOPE...not having that revelation! No, no, no. August 1 is NOT the day of revelation or detox for me. But then I realized that it's not a 7-day detox that is food oriented. At least today it wasn't. Who knows what's down the pike on this thing but at least on my birthday, I was safe...

So, I woke up, and did everything we were instructed to do including the workout video. I don't mind working out on my birthday. Cutting out coffee with cream, now that's another story. Back up, jack! You might as well ask me to quit breathing.  I was once talking to someone who said something about giving up coffee and living more years. And I was like, "If I give up coffee, I really don't want to live anyway." To which my husband says, "You have a problem." Well yeah, who doesn't have at least one problem?

So, after the Revelation Wellnes workout video it was time to shower and get ready to  go to the Palm Springs Tramway. The tramway is the world's largest rotating tram car. It travels over two and a half miles along the breathtaking cliffs of Chino Canyon to the wilderness of Mount San Jacinto State Park. While we were riding in the tram car, it rotated slowly, offering picturesque and spectacular views of the valley below. Yes, it really was like that...it almost sounds like a professional brochure. Well it is, I stole that from the Tramway website.



While the weather where we are staying in Palm Desert has been about 110 degrees everyday, up on top of the mountain it was about 65. Are you a man? Do you want to know what the change of life feels like for a woman? Just go to Palm Desert and stay outside for a few minutes. Yep, that's it You have now been baptized into menopause.


It was absolutely breathtaking! We did have to watch out for a few things along the way...


I was definitely watching with every step I took. Snakes are not my thing. Even though I'm Pentecostal.


My husband enjoyed being King of the mountain!


We enjoyed walking along together...


We let it be known we had been there...


 Some nice passersby took our picture for us...and we returned the favor.


Stopping along the way for a photo here and there was a welcome thing, as we had a few mile journey. (All my fitbit steps for the day!)


After a few hours our journey came to an end and it was time to take the tram back down the mountain.


It was time to go back to Palm Desert, take a shower and get ready for dinner.

I forgot to take a photo of my dinner. (I was more interested in eating it. It was a fabulous piece of prime rib! I didn't feel a bit guilty having just hiked for several hours plus that little Revelation Wellness workout.)





I did take a photo of my iced tea, however. No sugar at all, real or fake. I know that's a sacrilege being that I live in the south. But bear with me, it's one of the only sacrilegious things I do in life. That and preaching from the Message Bible occasionally. So, the reason I loved this and took a photo was the server brought me a carafe of tea to refill my glass as well as another lime, when she brought the first glass of tea. Yep, little details like this amuse me. I'm all about details. This has driven a lot of people who have worked with me to the nuthouse, or the altar or both.   

Throughout the day went through about 500 posts on Facebook of friends and family wishing me a great birthday. I read every single one of them and thanked God for all the people who posted who make my life so filled with love.  


After dinner it was time to come back to our home-away-from-home in Palm Desert, to get in our jammies and snuggle and watch a movie.

And oh yeah -- I forgot that along with all this, we fit a stop to Jack in the Box in for lunch. Don't judge. Now Jack in the Box would be another addiction if I lived out west. Apparently God knew he could not put me out west possibly for that reason. That and the fact that Larry and I don't drink. Alcohol that is.

Each and every day I try to learn something new or have a takeaway. So here are mine for today...

1) It does a person a world of good to be outdoors! I am seriously considering doing something outdoors for every one of my birthdays from now on. A walk outdoors cures a lot of what ails you.

2) Older people give some fabulous advice.  They aren't always right (who is?)  but many times they are. After church on Sunday here in Palm Desert, Larry and I met a retired couple who live here. Larry asked their advice on where to go while we're here this week. They recommended the Palm Springs Tramway and the restaurant we went to tonight. They said, "Their prime rib is out of this world!"  They were right. Listen to old people. They know about great things like the best places to eat, and other things that will save you a lot of time and trouble.

3) Revelation Wellness doesn't make you give up coffee. So far so good. Maybe you'll wanna try this?  It's a program that doesn't make you drink your coffee black or cut it out. So far I'm liking it.  (Lexi, stop laughing!!!)

On to another year of savoring as much coffee and life as possible.