Tornado Watches, Christmas Decor, and a Time to Mourn

Well, trying to enjoy a little Saturday morning here but the weather is playing havoc all around. Hopefully the power will not go off and hopefully no trips to the basement. What was supposed to be the worst weather to our south, has us with Tornado Warnings north of us, now meaning that we are in the wild weather path. And at 66 degrees and gusts to 40 – not a good scene. All the elements coming together. So we are under a Tornado Watch now. And the reddest part of the storm headed straight for middle TN.

I’ve brought in cushions from the front porch furniture which I never do, however it’s about the windiest I’ve seen. I was worried I wasn’t signed up on any alert system as I deleted the local news teams alert apps. However, our county through Nixle sends a text, I have the weather radio going and we have the news on. So the alerts are dinging my iPhone watch, coming through on the iMac and going off on the weather radio and TV. No shortage of alerts here. lol.

This week I have focused in on the To Do’s and have been able to get a lot done at work. Still much to do but on track for success hopefully and all timely. I have finished with all the Dec Withholding payments and have moved now toward doing the Withholding returns for the quarter, some with a Year End return. Many I have to wait until the w-2’s come out to do a final report. So I will finish up the withholding returns this next week and begin working on the reconciliation report I have to do and towards the unemployment part of closing the quarter. The there are LOTS of Year End reports to be done for each. So I’m trying to get in early and have been staying to 5:30 most days – except yesterday – I went in earlier instead of staying later. I left – I think around 4:15 or 4:30 or so since I was cooking. It was a treat to leave a little bit early.

The Makings of a Spaghetti Sauce

I fixed Spaghetti last night and this time used the green pepper. It really adds a special taste to the sauce that I like. I made enough that I had 3 lunches left to take and put that in the freezer. The picture above is before I added a jar of Spaghetti Sauce – not homemade of course – but when you work FT – short cuts are allowed. There is still plenty of homemade love and attention to the rest of it. I added some Chianti wine to the sauce from the bottle we were having. And added some Cherry Balsamic Vinegar. I totally forgot to add anything sweet, but it must have already had some sweet in with the Cherry Balsamic Vinegar as we really didn’t need it. Or perhaps the green pepper added an element making the sweet not be so important. I didn’t miss it. I usually add a bit of honey to the sauce. Weird I know but the elements of sweet, heat (red pepper flakes), sour (the balsamic vinegar), and salt (already added) need to come together to add layers of flavor. I also added Italian herbs and had sautéed onion and canned tomatoes along with the pepper and eventually the meat. I love building up a sauce and/or a soup! These things are easy for me. And fun.

I didn’t get a pic of the final version as we devoured it when it was done. I also try not to use enriched flour anymore for the noodles. It has to be spinach, gluten free, or pasta made with a variety of things like veggies, beans, brown rice, quinoa and so forth. It helps with the digestion and of course nice to get something that is actually healthier for you and provides nutritional value.

This week, my orders came in to give the kitchen an uplift. I’m not sure how much of an uplift it will be. It’s not much to show for the $ spent, but I’m giving it my best shot. The cactus curtain topper came in. I ordered two so I can ruffle them up with waves instead of going straight across. It should give it a clean and cute uplift. I’ll try to do before and afters.

I am most excited about the chalkboard. I paid $29.99 for a pretty big one that is made well and easier to write on and easier removal of the chalk without so much smudge. It’s the perfect size and white washed distressed trim around the edges. George will hang it for me and we can do our meal planning there. The other chalk board we had is just too small.

I’ll do pics soon. I hope we get the chalkboard hung this weekend, but…I imagine the Christmas putting up will come first. George, to my surprise is already taking down the tree ornaments. lol. I told him I was going to blog first. I did, however, gather most of the Christmas items earlier in the week and they are ready to be packed.

So, I’m looking forward to getting some things done today. And these warnings are going off. Planes are flying low and sound like bombs going over as they descend and the sounds scatter through the atmosphere. I guess they are all in a rush to get on the ground before this line moves in.

It’s all about to go down. Hopefully will be here tomorrow to give an update. In the mean time I’m going for more coffee.

I do have sad news about our neighbor that has been in a coma, having stopped breathing during her sleep and revived. They did an MRI but there was no brain activity. I’m hearing this from other neighbors. I did speak to the son last night who was outside while taking their dogs out and let him know we were praying for them. And they are letting her go from the machines on Sunday. I told him we wanted to bring dinner to them at some point but didn’t know their schedule. He said church had a line up nights and he could go get the schedule. So I said it’s ok, we will get with you in a few days and bring dinner. (I have decided that it is ok to wait to do things for people after the event has happened because when everyone else is back to life and it’s time to go back to routine – it’s nice having those pockets of people that are stragglers to come around and be there for you.) But this has all been such a shock and so I can’t imagine how much of a shock it is to the family. This one has been hard to swallow. She is/was such a bright spot in everyone’s world. My heart hurts for what they are going through and this situation has been with me in my heart and spirit and thoughts and prayers all week.

In the verses of scripture – “there is a time to mourn” and most definitely it is for our neighbors and for us too as we think, pray for, and try to figure out how to be there for our neighbors. I’ve told them we will be happy to do anything as we are right here – can help with dogs or whatever needed. Just what can you do but try to support. Nothing can bring their Mom/Wife back and it just breaks my heart. The two teenage sons (high school and college) – and although almost grown, will be difficult and I will be praying for them continually as time goes forward.

For the good news, my niece gets her license. We miss her and do not get to see her often but I have her birthday card going out in the mail today. She turns 16 and gets her license on the 13th.

I think my Dad passed on the 12th of Jan – back in 2006. So tomorrow will be 14 years. Wow. If I’m thinking of it right. We moved here in 2008 to MJTown.

Anyway, I’m truly off now to get more coffee and wait for these storms to blow through. And dive into the Christmas “putting up”. And we’ll see what happens from there.

What are you doing this weekend? And what’s the weather like where YOU are?