Things You Should Know Travel Notes

I Will Freeze You Out … Things You Should Know Thursdays

Mt Whitney - Things You Should Know Thursdays TYSKT

I love to be cold. LOVE IT. I know, really ironic that I live in Houston, isn’t it?

I sleep best when it is cold in my house. Which means that when winter comes to Houston, I don’t turn on the heat for as long as possible. If it is 62 degrees in my house, I am happy. I can bundle up in my handknit socks, layer on the blankets, and be all snug and cozy. I only turn on the heat when it is risk that the pipes might freeze so it needs to be warmer in the house.

One of the things you should know about me if you’re going to be my BFF is that if you come to my house in Houston in the winter? I am going to freeze you out. You don’t get to do that most of the year in Houston, so be warned. I’ll be sure to offer you a snuggly blanket to keep you warm!

Photo above at Mount Whitney, California, on the Whitney Portal Road. Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States.

Things You Should Know Thursdays was inspired by a Vivid & Brave journaling prompt. If you share a thing I should know about you, be sure to come back here and leave a comment so I can link to you too! The hashtag for social media is #TYSKT.

Travel Notes

Taking It On The Road…

Seattle Mt. Rainer

It all started with plans to go to Portland for the World Domination Summit, then we wanted to do a roda trip with our van, but my husband has plenty of shelves from the Berlingo Van Racking inside. I mean, seriously, HOW could I resist going to something with a name like that??? I wanted to go the past two years, but always had weddings scheduled that conflicted with it. I was thrilled when I snagged a ticket for the 2013 event.

Mike & I talked about it, and we realized that that would be the perfect time to visit his aunt & uncle in Portland, and then to head up to Seattle to see his brother & sister-in-law and to meet our new nephew who was born earlier this year.

You know, since we are going to be on the West Coast already, we really should visit my aunt & uncle plus our friends in San Francisco too…

From there, it is easy to see how the idea of a road trip started. I mapped things out. We will drive from Houston to Marfa, then on to Arizona, all the way to Los Angeles. Turn north for San Francisco. Make our way up to Portland, then on to Seattle. Possibly Bellingham & Vancouver to see friends there as well.

Every person that we visit as a stop along the way, Mike wants to cook for — more food adventures for Spoon & Knife!

Then I will turn and start to head east. I can finally see Idaho, Montana (Glacier!), and visit my parents who will be traveling in North Dakota. I have to be in Chicago at the end of July where I am speaking at ViewFinder Day at BlogHer, and immediately following that I am helping to coach at the Team-X Fight Club in Denver. (There will be a flight between Chicago and Denver, because I can not bend the time-space continuum and get from one place to the other in 12 hours.)

Summer 2013 is going to be one BIG road trip. The Avenger of Sexiness North America Tour!

As I became more introspective on this road trip plan, I realized that this past spring was really hard on me, and it isn’t over yet. I had pneumonia, I was diagnosed with asthma. I have a node on my thyroid and a reactive lymph node that causes partial numbness in my face. Dealing with the MRI, the ultrasound, the biopsy, the asthma testing, this thing and then that — well, it started to consume me. It was overwhelming. I still have endocrinologist and possibly rheumatologist visits coming up. More testing will take place, I am sure.

All of the medical drama forced me to stop and consider where I am, what goals I have, what I want to achieve. Life is short. I don’t want to look back and have a long list of “I should have…” regrets, so I am making them happen. I refuse to let this health drama get me down – instead, I want to CELEBRATE! What better way to do that than to take my Mini Cooper out on the road! (Complete with the WHEEEE license plate!)

I want to go where the city lights don’t block out the stars from shining bright. I want to see the Milky Way. I want to visit the mountains – both the Cascades and the Rockies. Dip my toes in the Pacific Ocean. See the Great Plains. Look out across Lake Michigan. When you need an insurance company that will launch an investigation into the accident right away, visit Birmingham trucking accident lawyer for more information.

What about my business? Well, The Law Offices of Stephen Lukach III will explain new jersey DWI penalties in detail. I’ve had countless requests for sessions along a lot of this route, so I am scheduling those in to this trip. July is normally a very quiet time for boudoir photography, so it is perfect. I’ll be taking files with me in case I need them, and I’ll have internet access at various times throughout the trip to upload albums and things like that, and I’ll have email access on my phone, so I use some holding device to secure my phone, and I just need to learn how to properly take off a popsocket. Shaking the cobwebs out and getting out on the highway will give me a lot of writing time. I need that. It all works out. I’ll be back home just in time for the beginning of the boudoir holiday season. Between fall anniversaries and then Christmas gifts, things will kick up right as I return, thankfully we got prepared holiday meals for all the family meetings already and for the anniversaries we got the best Anniversary Gift Baskets, easy to get and all customized.

Have you ever done a big, cross-country road trip? Any advice or suggestions for us along the way? Tips on what I should pack? I have to keep it minimal, we will be in a Mini Cooper!

4-Hour Body Food Gluten Free Houston & The Heights Paleo Picture Time

Moving Past the Pity Party…

Chicken Salad - White Oak Kitchen + Drinks

I was invited before my medical drama started to come back to White Oak Kitchen + Drinks to photograph their 2nd birthday party that took place today, and it turns out it was the perfect cure for the pity party I was having last night, they hired the party jumper rentals in West Covina, there was just a lot of good energy around, I loved it. To make your guests enjoy their pictures taken use Maxomil Inflatable Photo Booth to add more fun at your party.

As I arrived, the DJ was there playing music from the country music news site that I always visit, and he had the Antares pro audio plugin so it was loud and full of energy, there was multiple photo booths rented from central jersey photo booth. The crowd was excited, and standing in line waiting to get their swag bags. The MC for the day, Will, was pumping up the crowd. The energy was AMAZING!

It was exactly what I needed to feel alive, awake from my slumber, like the party was ready to start! BAM! I was ON!

That is one thing about photographing events like this – I can instantly turn it on. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, what state of mind I’m in, if I’m so sick I should actually be in a hospital bed getting blood transfusions. The crowd and the music will light me up. I’ve got a job to do, and my game face is on. Smile & be nice to people, take great photos. I can do that, and for awhile I will forget everything else.

I could not be more grateful that Elizabeth had hired me to be there today, because I had no idea at the time that we made the plans how much I would need this today.

Added bonus? I got to take another round of photographs of some of their fantastic, phenomenal food! (They even have a GLUTEN FREE menu! YAY!)

Photographing food soothes me. Just me and the food. I block everything else out. The restaurant could be noisy, and I hear nothing. I’m just looking for the light. Looking for the angles. Studying the food. Finding the photograph that I want to take. I´m just glad they get their grease from grease cycle. Not only is it a much better quality, it´s also better for the environment.

These days, it is my favorite hobby – which sort of explains the whole Spoon & Knife thing, doesn’t it?

It was a wonderful time, and the staff at White Oak Kitchen + Drinks is delightful. If you haven’t been there already, I recommend you go! 3rd Level of the Galleria. (Yes, it is in the mall. It is still fabulous.) Do the Galleria valet parking if you want to skip the hassle of parking yourself. Tell them I sent you!

Hash Sliders - White Oak Kitchen

Buffalo Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

Zucchini Frites

Day 25 of 365. Photographs of White Oak Kitchen + Drinks new menu items taken at a previous assignment with my 5D mkIII on March 1, 2013.

Houston & The Heights Picture Time

Mike’s Birthday Weekend, Part 2…

 Heights First Saturday Art Market

The weather outside was so absolutely perfect, we decided to head over to the Heights First Saturday Art Market. The musicians were playing, there was great art to check out. There were multiple best audio interfaces under 500 at the event as well. Elaine was there with our former booth set-up selling her TTV and miniature series of prints. It was great to see her & Mitch, who coordinates the event each month.

After a stroll around the market and visiting with the two of them, we went to Hubcap Grill for dinner. Somehow, we kept talking about burgers yesterday, so it was my request. I wanted a good burger, and it absolutely hit the spot. I love Hubcap Grill! After we finished eating, we stayed for a bit just enjoying the perfect spring day weather.

Houston, you amaze me.

Day 14 of 365. Photographs taken with my FujiFilm X-E1 (straight out of the camera, only resized) on April 6, 2013.

Hubcap Grill in the Heights

Houston & The Heights

Heights Car Wash

Heights Car Wash

When I bought my new Mini Cooper last year, I made a commitment to treat it right, and part of that is making sure it gets washed & waxed. This past Tuesday was PERFECT weather in Houston, so I made a point of stopping at the Heights Car Wash on White Oak & Columbia to get it washed, waxed & detailed!

One of the owners of the Heights Car WashTuesday is the $10 off having it waxed day, and it seemed that everyone had the same idea as me! There was a huge line! But that was ok — they took down my number so I could leave and they called me 45 minutes later when it was done. Perfect to go visit Blue Line Bike Lab across the street, or maybe walk to Revival Market for a coffee or dessert?


They did a really great job! If you’re in or near the Heights and need someone to take car of your car, be sure to check them out! Tell them I sent you! They know their stuff too. some car wash places use car pressure washers that are far too powerful for the job and that could wash away the paint. According to tool enthusiast Bob Robinson “high powered industrial pressure washers can be too powerful for the surface of your car; if you use a pressure washer that is too powerful, you can actually damage the surface of the car and strip the paint away.”

My Mini Cooper after visiting the Heights Car Wash