1.  You know what I did first thing on this post? I numbered it.

2.  Cue flashbacks to elementary school spelling. “Put your name at the top of your paper and number it 1-10.”

3.  Sure, some might say it’s easier this way. I’m more like it’s been three nights in a row with six(ish) hours of sleep and who knows what I’ll type without guidance.

4.  Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe.

5.  This is a big fat experiment, though, because there’s something intimidating about this line of numbers stretching allllllll the way down.

6.  Then again it’s a scroll screen so I really only see ten at a time.

7.  Okay, y’all, this is a mental game. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS.

8.  Or maybe I’ll snap halfway through and #21-40 will be nothing but emojis. That would be interesting.

9.  We had some excitement yesterday. Some capital W weather rolled through our area.

10.  I haven’t experienced a tornado firsthand and, frankly, have no desire to come any closer than hiding out when the experts say so.

11.  Am I annoyed when the kids are all geez, you’re overreacting, mom!

12.  Sure I am, but I’m no meteorologist so let’s take Buckley’s advice and get to the stinking basement.

13.  This is inevitably followed by quality time closed in the office with fur babies until weather passes and the all clear sounds.

14.  That seems simple, right? Except there’s Phoebe who lives on the daily with big anxiety so you can imagine how she is when nature’s wonky and we’re all running to the basement.

15.  And Mia? I totally get the expression ‘fraidy cat now. Talk about JUMPY. And not jerky jumpy, I’m talking actually levitating off surfaces as she bolts for the door.

16.  So we’ve got Phoebe on a hair trigger closed into a small office with goofy Gracie, plus a traumatized kitty we dragged out from under a bed just to trap her in a room.

17.  The only thing left was throwing Seven into the mix. Seven. Who likes to play with Mia. Who growled at him to stay away.

18.  That space got smaller by the minute.

19.  Anyway. This storm got a little close for comfort which meant I didn’t feel even a little twinge making everybody stay in that room until the warning lifted. They must have felt it, too, because nobody even really complained.

20.  Afterward we learned there was some damage pretty close to the house so we’re lucky we got out with just an hour of stressed fur babies.

21.  Nothing like a tornado watch/tornado warning/severe thunderstorm warning kind of evening to kick things off right, I always say.

22.  Sometimes life’s bumps derail the train, sometimes they bring unexpected rewards.

23.  One day this week I was planning to make a crock pot sweet and sour chicken. I knew I had a lot going on so getting dinner started in the afternoon seemed like a solid plan.

24.  Right up until the moment my day spiraled over a cliff.

25.  Suddenly it was 4pm and I came up for air with no dinner in sight. What’s a girl to do?

26.  Google. A girl can google.

27.  My search for skillet sweet and sour chicken stir fry brought up this. Enter the backup plan.

28.  First, let me say I love how this turned out. The chicken marinates in an egg white/cornstarch mixture so it has a light coating for pan frying.

29.  The other great thing is that it’s a very forgiving recipe. You see, I’d bought ingredients for the same basic dish but not this particular recipe, which meant I was missing a few things.

30.  Lucky for me I’ve learned to embrace a little something called – ahem – winging it.

31.  I had half a bell pepper left over from that disastrous Thai Crunch Salad that everyone hated except me, but that was it as far as peppers go. Time to mix and match with the crock pot recipe.

32.  Cue yellow onion, water chestnuts, and snow peas.

33.  In the end we had a sweet and tangy dish that I loved. Ironically it falls in the “one doesn’t care for it, one can eat it, one enjoys it” category so after all that I’m not sure I’ll make it much until the kids are out of the house.

34.  I should probably start a file. We’ll call it Empty Nest recipes.

35.  Yikes. That came off more depressed than I meant it to be.

36.  I’ve been a little flummoxed with how fast the week’s gone.

37.  Did you know I still have winter decorations out? No, of course you don’t, because I’m not posting photos of the snowmen on my bookcase.

38.  I’ve thought hey, I should really store those… half a dozen times now but where’s the snowman? Still staring at me from the shelf.

39.  Maybe this weekend. Maybe next week after I’ve thought it another six times.

40.  Then again, maybe I’ve got bigger things to worry about than a snowman decoration. Happy Friday!