1.  Well, we’re almost there. One more week and I’ll have an entire year of Friday forties under my belt.

2.  That’s a lot of random ramblings out there.

3.  We’re in our seesaw season — 75° one day, 50° the next. Delightful.

4.  Yesterday’s cold snap had one upside, though. It bought me one more soup day.

5.  I love a soup day. Let’s dish.

6.  First off, let me say right up front I love Pioneer Woman. Love her. Her recipes are legendary.

7.  Now that that’s out of the way…let’s talk about her Perfect Potato Soup.

8.  The very first thing you need to know is the quoted recipe times are bunk. Complete BUNK.

9.  Ten minutes prep? Sure, if I had four assistants in the kitchen.

10.  Twenty minutes cook time? Only if you deduct the minutes between active cooking stages.

11.  Alright, let’s talk about real world, real people time then.

12.  Realistically I’d say prep on this soup runs forty-five minutes to an hour. It’s worth it but yeah, it’s an investment.

13.  Pro Tip: Dice the onion, carrots, and celery ahead of time. You can even do it the day before and store them in the fridge.

14.  Last night my cook time rang in around an hour, too, but I can probably cut it down as I get more comfortable with the recipe. I’d say allow thirty to forty-five minutes.

15.  I’m also gonna say these spice measurements are ridiculous. Triple them then consider it a jumping off point.

16.  Which brings me to my final note: this makes a boatload of soup. We had three very hungry people who all got second helpings and I still had three quarts leftover. Do what you will with that information.

17.  Anyway, I love this. It’s got a creamy chowder texture that comes from blending half the soup then mixing it back into the pot before serving.

18.  Happy souping, everyone.

19.  For the basketball folks out there, you may have felt a seismic shift in the hoops world yesterday. UNC’s Roy Williams announced his retirement after thirty-three years.

20.  I don’t feel strongly about this other than to say announcing on April Fools’ Day might not have been the best plan.

21.  If you’re not from the area you might not understand how college basketball is basically a religious experience for a large percentage of our population.

22.  Witnessing Roy’s departure will either manifest as excitement for what comes next or day drinking through the depression. Time will tell.

23.  It’s been a tough week with the Derek Chauvin trial.

24.  There’ve been parts that are so hard to watch. I’m stepping back when I need to but it’s important to bear witness.

25.  By the end of this thing there shouldn’t be anyone in the U.S. that doesn’t have a complete understanding of what happened that day.

26.  It’s hard to see, yes. But George Floyd deserves us to stand up for him.

27.  In other important news, a lawsuit’s been filed to remove the Confederate monument from in front of Graham’s Historic Courthouse. I’m hopeful.

28.  This article mainly addresses the moral arguments for removing the monument but there’s a fiscal argument as well. I can’t find my source for how much it cost to “protect” this thing in 2020 but I was shocked by the figure.

29.  Let’s just say I can think of a lot of other services that could use thousands of dollars pumped into them before paying police overtime to park their cars around a freaking statue.

30.  I have big feelings about the monument. Shocker, I know.

31.  Is anyone else having Rodney King trial flashbacks?

32.  I’m trying SO hard to hold onto hope. Hope that we’ve made progress, that cops don’t wield a default Get Off Scott Free card.

33.  I’m also terrified hope won’t hold up in the light of day.

34.  2020 and, if I’m honest, 2021 have been a case study in ohhhh, so THAT’S who you really are, how did I not know that?

35.  Part depressing, part well-at-least-I-know-now.

36.  After this trial I’d very much like to land somewhere in the neighborhood of so THAT’S what racial justice looks like in America.

37.  I’ve been watching the hawk behind our house this week.

38.  She’s been really active, launching from tree to tree and swooping across the yard.

39.  Seven’s a big fan. This is what he looks like watching her. If he’s really excited he’ll start chattering away like a chipmunk.

40.  Pretty soon green leaves will join the blooming flowers. I love spring. I love the fresh colors and how our backyard looks like a nature preserve, but I sure will miss watching this majestic hawk spread her wings and fly.