I just realized I haven’t posted anything since last Monday. I’ll bet you’re thinking that I’ve been so busy actually doing everything I wrote on my schedule that I didn’t have time to blog, right? Well, not exactly.
I did quite well on Monday and Tuesday but then I started coming down with a cold. I had taken a very long walk outdoors on Tuesday and began sneezing. At first I thought it was just allergies, and I do think that played a role, but within a few hours I realized it was a cold. Darn it. I immediately began taking what I refer to as “Voodoo Meds” (if you want the recipe, leave me a comment and I’ll share it). I didn’t run fever or have a sore throat, just an annoyingly stuffy nose and some fatigue. Since David and I had weekend plans I decided to focus solely on getting well. I took my “meds” every few hours, drank lots of fluids – especially hot tea, and just rested. And it worked. Just a couple of days of stuffiness and I was pretty well over it. Except…
Stupid asthma. On Friday morning I decided I should call my doctor and ask him to prescribe a round of steroids for me to take with us to the city “just in case”. Well, it was a good thing. By the time we were ready to leave Friday afternoon I was already experiencing asthma symptoms. We picked up the steroids on our way out of town and I took the first dose. Fortunately since I had gotten on it right away my breathing was better by the time we got to the city. Nipped it in the bud, so to speak. I’ve got three more day’s worth of steroids to take and I feel pretty sure that’s going to take care of it. I promised myself back in November when it took two rounds and several weeks to recover that I wouldn’t put off starting steroids the next time. I cannot remember the last time I had a cold which didn’t go into asthma and require steroids. Might as well face it and just start them immediately. See? You can teach an old dog…
We spent Friday and Saturday nights at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City. I don’t think we had been there since my birthday back in August so we were both really looking forward to it. These past few weeks have been rather hectic and David was in desperate need of a break. He even turned off his phone each night, something he NEVER does. He gave his assistant my phone number in case of a true work emergency but otherwise he was unavailable to employees who are notorious for calling for the least little thing at any hour of the day or night.
We arrived around 7 p.m. and found this in our room:
I think we’ve just about got this weekend thing figured out. You should be exhausted by Sunday night, right?
David had one heck of a week at work and was more than ready for Friday night. We went to the Statesman Lounge to hear Mandala perform and to reveal the gender of her baby due in January. They made a game out of it:
We stayed long enough to finish our drinks and be polite, tipped the band and then headed next door to Chileno’s for some relatively decent Mexican food. We walked back to the hotel, spent a little time in the bar but both of us were tired so we only made it to about midnight before deciding to call it a night.
Ordinarily two nights at the Skirvin would be a really nice birthday get-away but this year David took it up a notch. After we checked out at noon, we grabbed lunch at Sonic and drove to Dallas so we could see Our Mother’s Martyr (local metal band) perform at Texas Mosh Fest in Deep Ellum.
David was able to get several rooms at Candlewood Suites using points he accrues while traveling on business so we were able to provide rooms for the band and their wives/girlfriends. (This is the band that gave us the signed bass guitar last week.) Candlewood isn’t quite the Skirvin but it was clean and served the purpose. And it happened to be next to a cemetery which seemed appropriate for a metal band.
The music took place at The Prophet Bar and Our Mother’s Martyr had a great performance.
We stayed and listened to a few other bands and then went to Trees where we heard the last part of Nonpoint‘s show. The place was packed…for good reason. It wasn’t all that late but everyone was exhausted so we all headed back to the hotel and crashed for the night. We were awakened the next morning by the smell of bacon frying. It’s an extended stay sort of place and obviously someone was putting their kitchenette to good use. David started texting folks about breakfast and we all finally pulled ourselves together in time for the noon checkout. I was actually ready fairly early because, after showering and washing my hair, I discovered that while our room had a microwave and refrigerator it was missing a hair dryer. It was mostly dry by the time we left.
David and I long ago made a deliberate decision to have more fun. And for us, music is always a good way to do just that. Very little makes us happier than the opportunity to experience live music. That’s one of the reasons we love New Orleans so much.
We kicked off the weekend by enjoying the new web cam inside Tropical Isle on Bourbon Street. We can now watch our dear friends of Debi and the Deacons whenever they are performing. Even better, we can post requests on their Facebook page (or text Bryan directly). It was cool to be watching them on my computer, hear them give a shout out to us and then play “No Woman, No Cry”.
Here he is singing it for Roz and me back in October when we took our Thema and Louise road trip:
I hadn’t even requested it Friday night but Bryan knows it’s one of my favorite songs. Of course we’d rather be there sitting on “our stools” (yes, we have a particular spot claimed), listening to them in person and chatting during their breaks but this is certainly better than nothing.
Saturday we headed to Oklahoma City for the 17th Annual Reggae Festival in Bricktown. I had first heard of this about a month ago on our last trip to the city. I LOVE reggae so David made reservations for the Skirvin and I’d been looking forward to it. What we hadn’t originally taken into consideration was the possibility of temperatures approaching those of the surface of the sun. Yikes! It was hot enough to cook your brains and after a couple of hours I was pretty sure that was what was happening. We tried to keep cool under an umbrella on the balcony of Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant overlooking the stage:
And while the afternoon groups weren’t precisely what I’d call “reggae”, you’ve got to admit that a lead guitarist in floral shorts with suspenders and no shirt is pretty entertaining. (Too bad I didn’t capture a better shot of him.)
But when it reached the point that I could count my heart rate simply because I could feel it pounding throughout my body at a ridiculous rate, we decided some time cooling off at the Skirvin might be in order. We checked in and rested in our room for a half hour or so before going to the bar downstairs. We chatted with the bartender. She’s going to New Orleans soon and had messaged me on Facebook asking for suggestions. We watched some of the Olympics at the bar and ordered dinner. In honor of the Olympics being hosted in London, I chose fish and chips and David had a pizza in honor of the fact he likes their pizza.
Around 10 p.m. I checked the weather app on my phone and saw that it was down to a nice, cool 90 degrees. Hey, after a couple of hours in temps over 105, that sounded pretty good. We took the hotel limo to Bricktown and enjoyed the next couple of hours of music. As you can tell from the picture above, there weren’t many people for the afternoon groups. Probably because it was 105 freakin’ degrees! But the place was full that night. Everyone was smiling and dancing and jamming to the music. The final group, Local Culture, was quite good and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. And despite what we’d been led to believe, we only got one whiff of pot during the time we were there. There were actually a lot of families with kids there which I thought was pretty cool.
When the show was over we called Mike, the limo driver, to come pick us up. Yes, David has Mike’s number in his phone. We then went back to the Red Piano Lounge for a nightcap, Mad Men-style:
I was taking this next photo of the pianist but I thought it was cool the way our drinks showed up with one of the Instagram filters. For my
nosy curious friends, I was drinking a cosmo and David had a sidecar.
We enjoyed the music, got acquainted with two young women from Dallas who were in town for a horse show, and spent quite awhile talking with one of the servers we’ve known for a long time. She was excited to tell us all about her new job and happy that she got a chance to see us one more time before she quit the Red Piano Lounge. She’s a real sweetheart and we’ll miss her.
We were utterly exhausted when we returned to our room after 1 a.m. That heat really takes it out of you. And perhaps only averaging about 5 hours sleep recently doesn’t help. We slept well and then enjoyed room service the next morning.
We asked for a late check-out and it was granted. David’s a Hilton Gold Member and as they say, membership has its privileges. We were trying to decide where to eat lunch and David suggested POPS which sounded good to me. One of my cousins lives fairly close and has been begging us to come see them. David called to see if they wanted to meet us there or if we could drop by after we ate. It turned out that they had picked up a bunch of bbq and Sue’s (also my cousin, of course) family, as well as his mom (my Aunt Kay) and husband were coming over to eat with them. They invited us to join them for lunch.
We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying everyone’s company. We hadn’t seen their house yet (they just moved there in December) and Steve gave us the grand tour, including a ride in their two-seat go-cart to check out their chickens. I so wish I had thought to take pictures. The house and grounds are absolutely spectacular. The house is beautiful but still feels homey, not stiff and formal. And the pool area is to die for. There’s a covered area with a fireplace (which wasn’t needed this weekend!) and a pool house with a shower and kitchenette. All the kids swam most of the afternoon while the adults laughed and shared stories. We had the best time and I’m so glad David thought to call them.
We had boarded Shiloh because Chris was also out of town this weekend. Ordinarily we wouldn’t have been able to pick him up until Monday morning but we happen to be on pretty good terms with our vet and she offered to meet us at let us get him as soon as we got back to town Sunday evening. Stephanie (or should I call her “Dr. Rollins”?) was Chris’ best friend when they were growing up. We lived just a few blocks from one another and our families spent a lot of time together. We are still very good friends with her parents. She was the one who took care of Shiloh and offered him to us because she knew we had been looking for a Great Pyrenees. We will forever be grateful to her for that because, well, look at this face:
He watched an hour or so of the Olympics with us last night. I don’t think he was all that impressed with women’s gymnastics but I think he’ll enjoy basketball. Or maybe some of the track events.
And because I missed him this weekend…and because David had him bathed and groomed Friday…this is where he’s hanging out today:
The groom is part of a family which already had ties to our own. His aunt is married to one of my cousins and the families have long been close. In fact, David made the comment that the wedding felt more like a family reunion. It was wonderful to visit with family and close family friends at the reception. Such a sweet way for the young couple to begin their lives together.
You might think that my four hour nap would have made it hard for me to go to sleep but you would be wrong. I got in bed around 11:30, finished a chapter in the book I’m reading and promptly fell asleep. Obviously I was sleep-deprived. We got a phone call at around 4:30 a.m. and it took me about an hour to go back to sleep but then I slept soundly…until the alarm went off an hour later. Sigh…
Oh, well. We can sleep when we’re dead.
We spent nearly an hour and a half at the station. David did a great job explaining everything and I learned a lot, too. I told him he should host field trips for schools and homeschool kids. He’s really good with kids and they all love him.
We truly enjoyed the time with Noah and Kellyn. They were polite, charming, engaged and so eager to learn. What a pleasure to be with! After all that time in the 108 degree temperatures, I suggested sno-cones, which went over well with all of us.
We then returned the kids to their grandparents and went out for a late lunch. We had planned to have a quiet evening at home but around 8:45 David got called out to a fire. Ah, well…such is the life of a firefighter. I had been asked to make finger sandwiches for the Retired Teachers Luncheon that our church hosts each year. I decided that since David was going to be gone anyway I’d go make the sandwiches in the church kitchen so I could arrange them directly on the serving tray they would be using. While I was there I did some cleaning of the kitchen to help out the dear lady who takes care of all these activities at church. I got home around 10:45 and David returned from the fire at about 1 a.m. We decided to skip church Sunday morning and basically spent the entire day lounging around. David watched bits and pieces of various movies – for some reason he likes watching the last 20 minutes of things – and I watched numerous episodes of I Love Lucy which were being shown as a marathon. We never even got dressed. Which is something you just have to do once in awhile.
And what did you do this weekend?
David and I had the honor of attending one of the most delightful weddings. The son of one of my dear friends married his sweetheart Saturday night in Oklahoma City. We had a few things to do on the way up so we left around 11:30 Saturday morning. First stop was Jason’s Deli in Norman for lunch. I love this place. They eliminated trans fats from their breads and offer a number of organic ingredients. David and I each had the 1/2 sandwich and salad option. David had the Reuben and I had the turkey. Yum. 🙂
He then dropped me off at Hobby Lobby so I could get my new painting framed (more about that, and pictures at a later date). Unfortunately, the canvas isn’t a standard size so it will need to be custom framed. Their custom framing goes on sale half price Monday so I’ll just need to make another trip one day this week. Meanwhile, David was getting the car serviced so I had ample time to just browse around. That turned out to be a good thing, at least to my way of thinking. I’ve been wanting to do something with the downstairs bathroom. It needs a total remodeling but we have just a few more pressing jobs to finish first. So when I saw this:
I knew I had my inspiration. I already have nice, all-white rugs, towels and shower curtain so adding some French and New Orleans-themed items in black and white will be easy. I may paint the walls, if I get that ambitious but they are white now so it will still work if I don’t.
So now I’m actually happy to have an excuse to make another trip to Norman this week. I’ll share the before and after photos when I get done.
Errands completed, we then continued on to Oklahoma City and our hotel. Most of the time when we go to OKC we stay at the lovely Skirvin Hotel. And in fact, David has already booked two nights next month for my birthday. For this occasion, however, we just wanted something fairly close to the wedding location and not terribly expensive. We have stayed at a Crowne Plaza hotel before in another city and it was quite nice so when David got a good rate for the one in OKC, that’s where he booked us to stay.
Well, the first thing we noticed upon entering the room was that it was quite warm. It was close to 80 degrees despite the fact the air conditioner was on. But we just figured that perhaps the room hadn’t been booked the previous night so they had just turned on the A/C shortly before we arrived. The bed did look quite comfortable and I thought this was a nice touch:
I took a bit of a nap while David watched t.v. and then it was time to get ready for the wedding. Unfortunately the room still wasn’t much cooler and I discovered that the iron and ironing board were missing. David called the front desk and they rushed these up to us…about half an hour later, delivered by a young woman who apparently never learned to use her inside voice.
The wedding was held at the chapel on the campus of Oklahoma City University. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to churches and in general, am not fond of the more modern styles of church architecture. They just feel like auditoriums rather than sanctuaries to me. This one, however, while somewhat modern in design, was just beautiful and truly felt like a sacred place. This picture doesn’t do it justice but I just love this purple stained glass cross. It was approximately 30-40 feet high and simply glorious.
The tables were covered in black and white cloths and in the center of each was a very tall, thin black vase with white feathers (even though they look pink in this photo) and crystal droplets.
It was a whirlwind of activity but oh, so nice in many ways. I like to think of the weekend beginning on Friday evening when David gets home from work. I had planned to cook at home but he wanted to go out which was just fine with me. I’ve talked before about our home-away-from-home restaurant/bar where we like to hang out with friends. I think of it as our own version of Cheers, “where everybody knows your name”. We see a lot of the same people there every time we are there. And all it takes is a brief note on Facebook that we are headed to the North Lounge to virtually guarantee that at least a few friends will decide to join us.
This past Friday we ended up out on the newly refurbished patio of the North Lounge enjoying dinner and drinks with a total of eight friends over the course of the evening. I hadn’t known we’d be outdoors and was a little under-dressed for the cool temperatures. But one of the perks of being friends with the head bartender is the offer of his hoodie to wear for the evening. Thanks, Joe! Now, if we could just help you out with that music selection. The Partridge Family? Really? 😉
We didn’t stay out as late as usual because David had to go out to work for a little while at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and then we drove to Oklahoma City for a wedding. The groom was one of David’s former soccer players and his family attends church with us. It was truly one of the most delightful weddings and receptions I’ve ever been to. It was a very short and simple wedding ceremony in the smaller chapel of a big Presbyterian church in the city. The bride had chosen huge bouquets of wildflowers and the attendants were in an array of colors to coordinate with the flowers. Very charming.
The wedding was at 4 p.m. and was quite short. The reception wasn’t until 7 that evening so David, Chris and I went to Sushi Neko for dinner in between. I’ve been wanting to try sushi for ages now. In fact, it’s been on my 101 in 1001 days list. Chris and his friends go out for sushi all the time but David has been a bit hesitant so we hadn’t tried it before. I posted a picture of what I ordered on a previous post. It was delicious! Each of us ordered different things so I got to try a variety. Even David was brave and had to admit it was good. I think it’s important to be open to new experiences – helps keep you young!
The reception was held on the rooftop of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and they couldn’t have chosen a more perfect setting. Music was provided by a band from Colorado. I would describe the music as hippie/folk/bluegrass and they were excellent. The groom and his attendants had all played soccer for David for years. There were also a couple of other former soccer players there and I snapped a picture of them. What a pleasure to see what fine young men they have all become.
We would have liked to stay longer but we had a two hour drive home and needed to be up early Sunday morning. David had agreed to teach the junior and senior high Sunday School class and this was the first day of that. We picked up donuts for the kids on the way to church which as you might expect was a big hit.
After church, David and I joined Chris, Lisa and Justin, and my parents for lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant. We all had a most pleasant time together. We are so blessed. After picking up a couple of items at the store, and then two stops in order to get cat food, chicken feed and chicken scratch, we finally made it home by around 2:30. Boy, did we need a nap by then! We did get some rest although there were two phone calls during our nap. Ah, well…that’s generally the way it goes around here.
It feels like the weekend just zipped by but it was a nice one. This week is shaping up to be another busy one although I do hope I can make time to get my garden planted. If that happens, I’ll post pictures. Oh, and I should also post some pictures of our kittens. They are finally past that stage where they look like little aliens and are getting really cute. So, how many would you like?