Tis the Season for Tornados
Spectacular sunset at Lake Waco
Howdy! Did you know it is the longest day of the year? So, here in Texas, the sun is setting at 5::30pm and rising at 7:30am. Short days and long nights… Sounds like the perfect weather for drinking eggnog and hot chocolate while sitting around a fire waiting for the snow to start falling. The other fun fact about December here in Texas- I have seen frosty mornings twice (not because I sleep in so late it’s thawed out before I get out of bed). This past week while my family was visiting, it was Mr. Bauer weather- sunny and seventy degrees! Hard to believe this is what they call “Winter” here in the south.
Ok, so what happened these past few months… It feels like I need someone else to tell me! My nose was against the grindstone pretty hard those last several weeks. Finals mostly consisted of projects and papers with only one really big test. Oh, and to pass Baylor classes, grades must be over 70%. Fortunately, as one of my upper classman told me, they didn’t admit us to graduate school to flunk us out! And what hiring agency will care that I only got a 90.03% in class. I say, 90.03 is just as much of an A and without half the stress that might come with a 99.03!
Just another day at work. Sic ‘em Bears!
I’m not planning to find out what else it takes, I had enough to think about when I had to find someone to interview for a paper while worrying about what to make for Thanksgiving! (For anyone who might be wondering: Madeline’s Refrigerator Rolls, Pom-Feta-Spinach Salad with Walnuts and Zesty Balsamic, and I ended up making gravy since no one knew what to do when the giblets didn’t come with directions on the package)
I hope no one was worried about what I might do for Thanksgiving! My class celebrated the week before. Everyone brought something and Texans love pie, so there were half again as many desserts as main dishes. That’s what I like to see! Chocolate pie, Chocolate Molten Bundt Cake thing that was AMAZING, Derby pie (Pecan pie+ Chocolate), Ice Cream sandwich cake, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin pie. Mmmmm! It felt like a Lackner potluck! Of course, this was after a table overflowing with the usual candidates. I have a pretty great class!
The next weekend was Thanksgiving proper. You know, because the first one was just a warm up… Thanksgiving proper started with a Church potluck to put the Lackners to shame on Wednesday, Thursday I spent at the home of an amazing couple who are hospitable beyond words. Amazing food, cupcake decorating contest, great conversation, and Christmas music after dinner. Love them! Friday was “Friends-giving” with another turkey baked. Saturday was a second church Thanksgiving with the leftovers lasting through the rest of the week. Then I sat down to start writing papers and didn’t get up again until my last final December 10!
Cuz grad school is all about living a low-stress lifestyle, eating healthy meals and exercising regularly, right?
Most of you know Leonard and my parents came to visit. Leonard arrived on the 12th and the adventures began immediately! We visited every nursery within driving distance, went to a Christmas concert, the caBEARet show, and he helped me shift my brain out of overdrive into “relax” mode. I probably drove him crazy with not being able to sit still (except in a moving car) and talking his ear off about my search for the perfect internship for this summer (I never did get to see his photos from Madagascar, so maybe I should just go collect some of my own, eh?) and next year and how I haven’t found Carl, but there are lots of really nice guys on a university campus! How’s a girl supposed to find time to hang out with them between work and internship and study?!?! First world problems.
Mom and dad flew I a few days later and we all piled into my little two door Carolla and started a whirlwind trip across Central Texas. The trail of debris can probably still be seen by satellite. We stayed in some really nice places- Fredericksberg has such fun, cute little homes. San Antonio has the gorgeous Missions established in the 1700s by Franciscan missionaries. You know about them. Remember the Alamo? I love how history is the stuff our lives are growing in. We do what we do without a second thought to everything before. But there was SO MUCH! So cool. But never fun in History class. Sorry, teacher friends :)
Anywho, Hurricane Carolla set out on a culinary expedition. Tex-Mex. What makes it more or less than Mex? Seems it is a mystery that does not involve lard. Learned that Texas follows the national requirements for minimum wage. ($7.25 and $2.13 for servers. Living wages, y’all.) Yes, Sweet Potato ice cream is a thing and Yes, it is delicious. Almost as delicious as the Goat/honey/thyme. Or the Beet-lime. But butter and pecan pairs so much better with Salty Chocolate Olive Oil! Sorry Blue Bell, no one is impressed. If there is more to do than simply observe the finest of America at Buc-ee’s, we missed it. But since it seems no one told Texans that the Republic of Texas joined the rest of the United States, they can be proud of their HFCS desserts and gas stations.
The trip ended too soon and with too few hugs and not enough laughter. Most of the damage has been sustained in my wardrobe considering my pants no longer fit. My favorite part was when we just sat around playing cards. It was a standard Tornado Time Warp. Where so much happened in such a short amount of time that it’s hard to believe everything we did in that week but also hard to believe it was only a week! Such good times. I love those kids! Makes me hope they will come visit me next Christmas at destination Internship!! So I’m off to research that ideal program somewhere they’d be willing to come play cards again!
First day of winter in wacky Waco, 74 degrees with the low for the week dropping to a frigid 50!
I miss them already. And each one of you! I’m going to miss getting to see y’all over the holidays, but I trust you will survive without me. I trust you’re wiser than I and will wear your elastic pants to make your way through the pie trough and into the New Year. I’m off to enjoy these next few hours of sunlight and pray I will find a paid summer internship somewhere exotically delicious with Carlos!
Oh course that’s not how I’m going to start searching Google… It will be something more realistic like paid summer internship with delicious exotic Carlos ;)
Now I’m going to try to endure the weather this week and plant a hedgerow of Texas lilac and Crepe Mertle for the bees. Don’t worry about me over Christmas, I’ll be spending Christmas with a big group of lovely folks and have plenty of cooking to do. Hopefully they don’t need me to make the gravy again, but I will be more than happy to help with any pumpkin pie leftovers :) I’m real excited!
Love y’all and big ole’ Texas sized hugs were sent home for each of you in the arms of those who visited! Wishing you a joy-filled season!