The Week That Was - June 15 - 21, 2015

This week wasn't as crazy and full of adventure as the past couple.  As a matter of fact, the work week itself was relatively slow. I had a couple of visits with donors, and am starting to slowly get geared up for football season.  I visited my friend Shannon, a former OSU football player who happens to be one of the vendors we work with for suite gifts and lanyards.  He had gotten in some OSU-branded merchandise so we started looking at possible suiteholder gifts.  I will really kick into full prep force starting the last week of July, but the more I can get done earlier in the summer the better.

I had 3 appointments on Thursday morning, and then was heading to Texas for the weekend.  My friends Joni and Toni live in Flower Mound, about 30 minutes North of Dallas.  They have club tickets so I see them regularly during football season.  But between January - August I only see them every couple months when I go down there to visit.  I went in March, and will go again in August for their daughter's wedding.  But obviously I won't get to spend much time with them during the wedding, so I took the opportunity to go down there over the weekend.

When I go to visit, Joni and I have a really packed schedule.  I get up sort of early and go running; we spend 20 minutes deciding lunch plans; go eat; come home and take a nap; spend 20 minutes deciding dinner plans with Tony; go eat; come home and hang out for a little bit on their patio; and call it a night.  Then do it all over again the next day.  So I've got several posts to do for the restaurants we hit this weekend, as well as my Saturday morning trip to the Dallas Farmer's Market

Friday morning I had a breakfast meeting with a new suiteholder.  We covered the necessities, and then moved on to getting to the fun stuff.  Turns out he's a runner, and has run almost 20 half marathons and several full.  And I was impressed with the fact I've done 4 half marathons!  He's done races all over the country, and then he mentioned the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.  It's the only day of the year that the strip is shut down for a private event. I got online as soon as I could, and this year's race is on an away game weekend.  So I can go freeze to death in Ames, Iowa (because it's always freezing when we play them in November) or run a race on the Vegas strip. At night. On a super flat course. I had sworn off half marathons during football season after I did The Colony Half in 2013, but I may have to make an exception on this one.  

Friday evening we had dinner in Roanoke, which is only about a 15-minute drive from their house.  Tony dropped us off and went to find a place to park.  I don't mind waiting and walking, but he's good like that.  When he finally joined us, he had a couple cigars that he had bought at a wine bar right where he parked.  So after dinner we stopped at 3 Vino.  It opened a couple months ago. 

The guy in the above picture is the cigar guy.  It's kind of odd though, that they don't sell any port or scotch, which is a great accompaniment for cigars. Just wine.  Maybe they'll expand their beverage selection over time.

I love their hours...

We sat out back, where they have 5 tables spread around the yard.  It was dark and they have almost no lighting so I wouldn't have gotten good pictures.  I know they're going for a "mood", but I think at least low lighting would be a good idea. 

This has been a really weird spring weather-wise.  Normally we get a decent amount of rain in April and May, but this year it was crazy.  It rained almost every single day in May. And I'm not talking light rain...I'm talking heavy, soaking downpours.  I only had to run my sprinklers twice all spring.  And by now I'm normally running them weekly. Wednesday night we had another round of storms.  All the rain has caused flooding, and even some falling rocks in the Arbuckle Mountains which are about midway between OKC and Dallas. I-35 runs right through the mountains, and the falling rocks shut down the northbound lanes early Wednesday morning.  I-35 south was no problem so the only time I hit a slowdown was construction traffic a little further south of the shutdown. They shut down 4 miles of I-35, which is a very highly trafficked route; it goes from Laredo Texas (well south of Austin) to almost the Wisconsin/Minnesota border.  As you can imagine, the backup was insane. When I drove by Thursday afternoon it was a 4-mile solid backup just to get to exit 47, where you had to turn off for the 4-mile detour. I checked this morning and the highway was still closed.  I had no desire to sit in that kind of traffic, so I took the back route home.  It's a scenic drive through lots of small towns. But it's also sad, because in so many of the little towns main street was dead. Not just because it was Sunday; because the shops were closed down.  At times it was like driving through a ghost town. And even when the towns were alive, the area just seems so depressed.  I can't even begin to imagine living in a place so small. I also learned something really important: don't take that route when you're hungry on a Sunday, unless you want fast food or a chain.  I really wanted to stop at a local/family owned/home cooking restaurant.  But on Sunday they are all closed. I was so bummed. And starving by the time I hit OKC.

Yes, the rain has kept me more than on my toes for keeping my yard looking respectable. But much more exciting is that my herbs and veggies are growing like crazy. I came home today to find that not only is everything just as green and lush as I left it on Thursday morning, I was able to harvest my first tomato, green pepper, and jalapenos!  

There's still a bunch of grown jalapenos on the plant but I'm leaving them until I need them.  As soon as my red peppers actually turn red I'll be harvesting some of those as well. The only vegetable I'm still patiently waiting on is the zucchini.  I've had tons of zucchini blossoms, but no vegetables yet. If I can get those to grow, I'll be in business.

My Favorite Posts
One of the funniest things I read all week was Things That Are Actually Okay for Boys to Do by Planning Playtime.  Honestly, I think this list applies to boys of all ages.

Best of the Bean is a celebration of the 4 1/2 year blogging anniversary of The Lean Green Bean. I really like how she posts her "best of" from each year of the blog. 

The Lean Green Bean gets 2 favorites this week! Lindsay's Bean Bytes is a link love series that she posts each Monday, comprising the best posts she read during the week. I would love to do something like that, and may try an abbreviated version.

I found this stunning London Photo Travel Journal on Wednesday.  The photos are gorgeous and Shinee did an amazing job of capturing the highlights of her trip. She also did travel journals for Paris, Rome, and her honeymoon in Hawaii.  You can read more on Sweet & Savory Life

April introduced me to Foodgawker (food & drinks): It's kind of like Pinterest in the sense that you can like and/or share recipes.  The difference is, you have to submit your pictures and posts for approval.  They pick the best ones to publish.  So I'm quite sure I have a way to go before I get featured, but I'm going to try until I do.

Cooking with Curls (food & drinks): I really like this blog because her recipes look delicious and she takes amazing food pictures!  Her photography inspires me to improve on mine

Shabby Grace Blog (everything): She does an amazing job on her before-and-after DIY projects. I also love her Shabby Picks, her favorite things from the week.  She keeps the list short and sweet.  

The strides continue to add up for my blog. I hit 300 Facebook likes!!  I had been stuck at 274 for a while, and then all of a sudden on June 15 I hit 300.  I was super excited, especially since I only started the Facebook page for 7 weeks. 

Readers are now just one click away from following me on Bloglovin. Yes, just one more social media site for me to keep up with!  To me it seems a lot like Pinterest, but oh well.

I also joined several sharing meetup sites. Not only is it another avenue to share your blog posts, it opens up a whole new group of bloggers to follow.  More followers = more readership = more reach.  I've officially posted on Social Media Tuesday and Wine'd Down Wednesday.  A couple of them I got to the party late and the shares were already closed. But I've created a weekly to-do chart so that doesn't happen again. If you're not careful you could spend all day on these share sites.  And I'm sure some people do, considering the link-up lists that some of my fellow bloggers actively participate in.

One thing I did find is that when I go out of town, it's hard to keep up with the blog. I learned the hard way that I have to take notes when we go out to eat, otherwise I'll forget everything.   Obviously I have to take pictures, and sometimes it takes a couple of shots to get the best ones. But it's also rude to be constantly on my phone when I'm out with friends.  So I go as shorthand as possible. I also don't get to write posts or keep up with Blog Meets Blog either.  But you know what? These are first world problems, so I just deal with it.

All the ways to follow me!

Coming Up This Week
Several of my friends are out of town this week, so I think this will be a relatively slow week again. But I'm very excited to attend the wedding of one of my former students this weekend, and check out the Uptown Farmer's Market in OKC on Sunday!