Waiting for Diego

jeep

This time three months ago I was sitting around waiting for Hurricane Florence to pay me a visit. Yesterday I waited for Winter Storm Diego to quietly sweep in. I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to snow predictions around here. Several friends call it Snowmaggedon. Sister-in-Law sent this photo via Facebook-

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No idea who is responsible for this work of art, but anyone who lives in North Carolina gets it. I have enough of all three. Thank goodness, right?

The Ex-Ex and Sister-in-Law are in Washington, NC with their mom while she spends a few days in the hospital taking care of a couple of health problems. My thoughts are with them. I had a rather busy day yesterday wondering if Diego was really headed for me. First, a pre-funeral visitation at the beautiful White Rock Baptist Church here in Durham to pay my respects to the grandmother of one of my former advisees. It was good to see her, her mom and her sister surrounded by friends and loved ones at this tough time. Next was lunch with two very good friends and fellow French teachers. Mme M is my long time mentor and she works hard at getting the three of us together every once in a blue moon. Her favorite spot is Kitchen in Chapel Hill. Luckily for me, French onion soup was on the menu. I have been craving it for about a month now.

onion soup

This was perfect. Lots of onions. Lots of cheese. Rich broth. Mme M convinced us that dessert was in order as well. She chose apple crostada-

apple pie

and I couldn’t resist crème brûlée.

creme brulee

Lovely and yummy.

After lunch, I decided it was time to get a Christmas tree. Especially if Diego was heading my way. Son #1 called to say Miss Adorable was awake from her nap and that they would join me at the TROSA lot in the nearby Target parking lot. Somehow picking out trees is more fun with an almost 22 month old who loves everything! She then came over to spend a few hours playing at Gramma’s house.

kennedy

This book that Son #1 saw at Target a couple of weeks ago could be us!

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After taking her home, I stopped by Kohl’s to do some Share Your Christmas shopping. The Ex-Ex and I “adopted” a man who asked for clothes and food cards. And Kohl’s had it all. Take that, Diego.

Then finally home to keep an eye on the weather. The cat and I curled up on the sofa to read Nell Goddin’s latest Molly Sutton novel, No Honor Among Thieves. Callie was more interested in sleeping than reading, though. This is seriously the first time she has ever slept on my lap. Go figure. She was probably just missing the Ex-Ex because she is usually right next to him.

callie

By the time I went to bed around midnight, nothing.

But when I awoke at 5:30 am, we were covered in a white blanket.

So, a rather dull evening and even duller Sunday. That is if you consider staying in a warm house, looking out at a beautiful white world, smelling an as yet bare Fraser fir (I will not decorate with out the Ex-Ex to help struggle with the lights!) and the banana bread that I just put in the oven, wearing comfy sweats dull. I call it a pretty good Sunday.

Sister-in-Law sent a photo of her backyard taken by her hubby. Lovely.

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I wish everyone in our would could spend the day hugging their children, reading a good book, eating warm, delicious food, and decorating for the holidays. Unfortunately, there are way too many humans who are not as fortunate as I am. My thoughts and prayers are with them. My wish is that we all help our neighbors to meet their basic needs.

Warm from my oven–

banana bread

Easy Sunday Morning Banana Bread
adapted from Simply Recipes
makes 1 loaf, 4 x 8
  • 2 to 3 very ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I also used rum flavoring)
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (I added about 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the flour)
  • Sometimes I sprinkle Turbinado sugar on top before baking. This time, I added some Great Grains Date and Pecan cereal for a bit of a crunch.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and butter a 4×8-inch loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F (175°C), or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. (Mine was completely done at 50 minutes.  Be sure to test and not over bake.)
Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the banana bread from the pan. Slice and serve.

 

Bon appétit! Happy Sunday wherever you are. Take care of yourself and those around you. It’s easy to be stressed around this time of year. Aim for simplicity and love. 

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