Thursday, February 28, 2013

Missing Him

I've reached that point tonight where I just need that guy that I like so much to come home from his trip...we're all hungry for some 'real' food and I am ready for some adult conversation, though we've talked on the phone for at least an hour every night.  Still, it's not the same and tonight (or this morning, as it's 3:15am and the cats woke me up and I can't for the life of me get back to sleep) I've reached the 'I need you back now' stage.

Plus, I'm hungry.  We''ve covered Chipotle, The Habit and various breakfast for dinner well as a night (or two, sigh) of a handful of crackers and a hunk 'o cheese.  It's been pathetic in the food department this time around.  

Oh well...the kitchen has remained clean.


Yesterday there was not only sunshine, but warmth.  The kind of warmth where every time I stepped outside, I couldn't help but turn my face towards the sun with closed eyes and let the rays soak on in.  It was absolutely, positively glorious and it made me happy all day long.

A visit to the post office, the pharmacy and the test only smog station were all accompanied by a little spring (no pun intended) in my, the smog place was clean and had a TV playing Dragnet on it.  I love that show.  They just don't make them like that anymore.

I came home and opened every window and door wide and let the fresh air pour on in.  All I could think about was purging...the kind of deep cleaning that only happens at this time of year.  I climbed in to the attic with the idea of conquering all the chaos and clutter that was up there and promptly came back downstairs as fast as I had gone up.

So. Much. Junk.

So. Overwhelming.

Out. Of. Sight. Really. Is Out. Of. Mind.

With the sunshine and warmth come days that are getting longer and yesterday I met my girlfriend for an afternoon hike.  It felt sooooo good to be with someone...I've been hiking alone and have covered just about every annoying conversation with myself that I can.  Talking with someone else is just way more...better.


The highlight of the week was my cousin Tim who sent loads of fun emails.  He did a search of my Dad's family and I just keep pouring over the pages of information that he found.  This whole world wide web is a rather amazing thing and I can't help but want more and more and more.  Not just the knowledge of more relatives, but of who they were.  And how they lived.  Was life good for them?  Were they happy?  Did they have a guy they like so much and a little house (he even included pictures of one of their cool is that???) and a houseful of chaos?   

I wish they had had a blog.  It would've made things easier for me.


Also this week...Brian, the bull dog's, basketball banquet.  It's almost worth listening to the video because the coach described Brian as...quiet.


If you know my boy in real life, well...there is one word I would NEVER use to describe him.  Quiet.  The boy goes to sleep talking and wakes up talking and talks all. day. long.  


            Brian's Basketball Award from Michele Busch on Vimeo.

And now, I'm going to try and get a few more winks of sleep before my day begins bright and early at 6:00am.  I'm kind of thinking of sneaking away to Disneyland for a little walk around the park...if I get most of my work done in the morning and can fit it in.  I do know that I am going to make supper...something real and homemade and warm and somewhat nutritious.  Not sure what yet...but at this very early hour I am leaning towards a big pot of gravy that I'll let bubble away on the stove for most of the afternoon.  

It'll cover the smelly shoe smell that seems to be lingering here.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Oldest Of The Bunch

The day I found out that we were going to have a baby, I kinda had a moment (or ten) of panic.  I was one of those women...the women who didn't know immediately that they were pregnant.  In fact, I thought I had the flu.  For months.  


When we finally did find out that we were expecting a bundle, we were less than a month away from moving to a far and away state.  We had quit our jobs (and lost our health insurance along with them) and had a plan.  A good plan.  It involved a doctorate degree, living on a shoestring and lots of fun playtime in the mountains.

The thing about plans is that they can always be changed.  And changed they did.  On a very cold and very snowy night, two became three and at the moment, I learned what true love was all about.  The degree still happened, as did the shoestring budget and the playtime in the mountains. was WAY more fun than it ever would've been had the two remained two and not become three.

The night he was born I held him all night long.  Who am I kidding...I held him until he was, like, 12.  But that first night, when it was just me and him, was perfect. one will ever love you like your mama.  


Happy Birthday, time you're home, I'll bake you a cake.


Joshua 1:9

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day Dreamin'

Where I want to be:

Where I am:

That guy that I like so much is traveling to faraway places (ok, so it's just Seattle this time around, but it's still far and away from our little house on our little street) and the house is rather quiet.  I am working like a crazy fact, I am ditching my bible study this morning in order to catch up.  Not the best thing, but I am sorting through 400 pages that were faxed to me last week and then scanning and emailing them to various people.  In between, I am drinking coffee with amaretto creamer and doing laundry and researching recipes for dorito casserole (oh, the things we eat while the daddy is out of town!)...basically, I am multi tasking up a storm.


I do like quiet, though.  Last night I soaked in a hot bath with loads of lavender scented bubbles and then climbed into bed with my iPad (I'm having fun playing Diner Dash...I'm pretty good!) and the remote.  The Bachelor is once again entertaining background TV and both my boys were actually tucked in to their rooms and in for the night.  One is always tucked in for the night and one is usually out and about at all hours...ahhh, to be young and not need very much sleep!

My plan for tonight is much the same, though I might go out on a limb and put jasmine bubbles in the tub.  Then there's that Dorito Casserole that I'll be making, per the request of one of my boys who loves all things doritos and cheesy.  The other boy, who happens to hate (and yes, the word hate is ok to use in this instance), all things doritos and he'll be feasting on cereal.  With milk.  

What can I say.  Dad's outta town.


Monday, February 25, 2013

A Quiet Weekend

My house is abnormally quiet this Aunt and Cousin left for home (a day later than they were supposed to, thanks to a cancelled flight) and that guy that I like so much left on tour with his choir, so it's been just me and my two teens.

I did have to counsel one boy with an insurance issue and deal with a broken down car, so the first quiet day was really just a super grumpy day for me.  But oh well, that's life.  The happy part to the day was the fact that my Aunt made her incredible meatballs before she left and so supper was a no brainer...grab a fork, spear a meatball and munch away.

No one complained.


It was an extremely full week.  We did the whole tourist thing and saw lots of things in this crazy state that I call home.  I'm always amazed at how much there is to do and how many different 'worlds' there are here...I happen to live in the regular normal world.  You know, the whole 'if I don't go to the store right now there will be some very unhappy (and hungry) people in this house' world.  

But that whole Hollywood world?

Well, they probably don't even eat.


Driving Brian to practice.
And a little game of basketball involving Alex, who is playing in an adult league with a bunch of his friends.

So very, very fun to see him on the court again.

The cheering section, cheering on all our boys.  They've been besties since they were knee high and this is the first time they've played on the same team.  It's casual and fun...though I'm not sure we will be allowed back.


This Monday morning will find me catching up on all the work I neglected last week, getting a much needed pedicure and taking my youngest on a breakfast date to Denny's (his choice) since he has late start.

Back to real life.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Cramming It All In

I've got a houseful of company this Aunt and Cousin are visiting from the land of cold and snow and I am showing them around the land of sunny and fair.  They are loving my weather...I've been wearing gloves.


Here's the highlights, so far:

1.  The cousins, all together.  Tall...all of them tall.  And all of them male.  Big, tall, hungry, funny boys.

2. A day trip to Los Angeles.  The reason I go to LA?  A Pink's chili dog...with sauerkraut, please.  And the most incredible (not pictured) battered onion rings you'll ever find.  If you're a SoCal'er...the Buena Park Pink's isn't nearly as good.  Take the plunge and drive the extra 20 or so miles and keep in mind that all that traffic and waiting in line will be worth it.


3. Hollywood.  It was worth the drive by, though there's a small awards ceremony happening this weekend which means many a closed off street.  It was a pain, but kinda exciting at the same time.  

4. Paramount Studio's.  The tour was interesting, though slightly boring.  First off, the place was a ghost town.  Second,  while visiting the sets was kinda neat, I don't follow any of the shows...including Glee. Third, it was COLD.  And lastly, our tour guide spoke in a mono-toned voice and the only time her voice showed any inflection was when she took us into the room with the lightbulbs and duct tape and tried to sell us on the fact that we were in a top secret place.

Yawn.  A $50.00 yawn.

5. Randy's donuts.  It's an institution.  Plus, it smells good.  

6. Bonus...the guy in the parking lot fixed my dent for a cool $10.00.  It involved fire and a crow bar and a sledge hammer...but then again, what do you expect for $10?  

7. The Beachcomber for breakfast.  It was cold and drizzly and still so beautiful and cozy.  I just might need to take that guy that I like so much back there on a date morning.  Sooner, rather than later.

8. Because we hadn't eaten enough, Ruby's.  The one in my neighborhood.  Nothing beats a Ruby's black cherry vanilla shake.  The 3 1/2 mile walk later that night meant we were even calorie wise.  Maybe?


9. Balboa Island.  Twice, actually.  Might be three times because I am kicking myself for not buying the super cute maxi skirt in the store across from the frozen banana place.  Why do I always do that?  Maybe so I have an excuse to go back?


Let's see...what else?  Crabs from the Crab Cooker, a jewelry making session, a meatball making session,  Old Town Orange, a visit to the Pechanga casino and lots of shopping.  And lots of eating.  Today we're heading north for lunch with my nephew before heading south to the airport for drop off.  I can't even think about it yet because I don't want this week to end.

So I'm going to live in denial for now.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Playing Tour Guide's Monday.  And my peeps are in town.  We're living it large this week...recovering from a crazy and fun filled family packed weekend by diving head first into a crazy and fun filled family packed week.  They're the tourists; I'm the tour guide...and there's nowhere else I'd rather be.

Sleep will happen next week.

(my cousin Cindy captured our weekend perfectly with this collage!)

On Saturday night the weather was warm.  Tropical, almost.  We sat in the garden under the glow of twinkly lights and candles, ate Italian food (complete with homemade meatballs, frozen and carried on the plane from Chicago...because nobody makes a meatball as good as my Aunt does!!) and told fun stories of our childhood while the cousins (all boys...and all teens and older) rolled their eyes at us.

It was heavenly.  It's so easy to think of the parts that are broken...and then when you're with the parts that are not broken, you question why you've focused so long on the broken part.  Does that make sense?  


Friday, February 15, 2013

A Valentine's Date

Let's see what random photos I have for you today.


On Valentine's morning, that guy that I like so much and I went for a coffee.  I think that's the one thing I miss the most about his Sabbatical being over is our little coffee dates we took over the course of the semester.  The kind where we'd actually go in, order a fun coffee and then drink it there.  In mugs. 

I like the mugs.

But yesterday, Valentine's Day, we got it to go.  Plain for him, fancied up (as in sugar free vanilla) for me.

I took this for Brian.  That boy loves him some Chipotle.  Big time.  I like it, too....but he could seriously eat it every day.  And I think he's right across from his school and is on his lunch time rotation, along with philly cheesesteaks and pizza.  The kid eats well!

Spring is, well, springing around here.  It's still too cold for my taste, but I did wear flip flops (instead of clogs) to the grocery store the other day.  My toes were numb, but I was feeling rebellious.  I can feel in my bones that sunny and fair is coming to my neck of the woods soon...and I am VERY excited.


Anyway, with coffees in hand, that guy that I like so much and I took to the trail and did my favorite loop.  It's so pretty...lots of birds singing this morning but not a snake (yet) in sight.  Maybe they'll stay away.

Fingers crossed.


We then went our own separate ways for the day but met up for dinner at one of our favorite places.  I had ordered pizza for the boys and put on a cute little was kinda fun to be on a real, live date.   Oh, and I got my box of candy from See' all is well in my little world.  And now it's 3:00am and I am wide awake...pretty sure that cappuccino wasn't decaf.

I'm thinking of Rome and googling airline prices.  Not happening anytime soon, but one can dream...especially in the middle of the night.  Let's see, I've also researched Rum Cake and how to make cats like each other...not that those things go together, but two things I'm longing for.  Oh, and how to repair a wall that has a full body sized hole in it.  

Welcome to my world.

(Bri's girlfriend made him this for Valentine's! CUTE!)

And now, eyes are getting sleepy, so I'm going to climb into my warm bed.  Lot's to do tomorrow...the men folk who live here have emptied the pantry of food and won't rest until it's restocked, so off to Costco I'll go.  I'm also going to make a pot of gravy (aka - spaghetti sauce) for the freezer and maybe, just maybe, some homemade pasta as well.  Oh, and a rum cake.  And banana bread.  And homemade bread.  

I'm pretty ambitious in the middle of the night.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ash Wednesday

I'm going to be honest here...I've been a bit of a mess lately.  I just can't seem to get it all together...there's just so much going on.  I need to take my own advice...the advice that I am always so willing to give to everyone else.  The whole 'slow down.  take time to breathe.  feel the sun, and the Son, on your face' advice.


I had an interesting work experience this week.  I was screamed at (and yes, I do mean screamed.  Anything above yelling that includes multiple expletives is immediately bumped into the screaming category) so many times on the same day that I was ready to curl up in a ball and rock back and forth, back and forth.  Normally I can shake it off because it doesn't involve me, but a few of these did involve me and ugh,  it was just an icky day. 

And in BIG news...the rather, ummmm, snobby city I live in now has a WalMart.  And yep, I went to go check out the falling prices.  I have to say, it wasn't bad...but I do love me my Target.

Yesterday I had to take my mandatory online sexual harassment course.  Two hours of playing Words with Friends while pushing the 'next' button every few minutes.  I now feel harassed for having had to take it.  Seriously.  Don't sneeze in public in my could be setting yourself up for a lawsuit.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and this is one girl who LOVES Lent.  After my particularly ugly work day the day before and after dropping Brian at school I found myself at Balboa Island...I was thinking a little walk along the water with a hot tea in hand might be the perfect beginning to my day.  I had forgotten what day it was and thought I'd duck into my favorite little Catholic church on the island for a little prayer time...and found myself sitting amongst the nuns for a little Lenten mass.  

And then that night, I sat in church with my youngest two when IT happened.  Brian was slouched over, being 14.  I was just about to reach over and give him the 'please have respect and sit up straight in church' pat on the leg, when I saw Alex's arm reach over...he put his hand on Brian's back and ever so gently asked him to sit up.

I didn't acknowledge that I had seen that.  I just closed my eyes and smiled.  I love when God whispers...and that moment was a whisper.  An 'it's all good' kind of whisper.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Catching Up

It continues to be anything but 'sunny and fair' in southern California.  I've got gloves in my purse, gloves in my car, gloves in my jacket pockets.  We had a teaser of warmth last week and it's once again disappeared...but I can see that it's coming again.  

I made carrot cake pancakes on Saturday morning.  Oh my.  So amazingly good.  The recipe made 14 pancakes which I would normally double for my houseful of boys, but I wasn't sure who would like them.  Turns out they did and there wasn't a crumb left...and the one boy who slept late woke to a sweet smelling house and had nothing to show for it.  Oops.

I spent a few mornings last week out and about for work in the early mornings.  I like the quietness of that time of day...especially if I have a coffee along for the ride.  The cold and rain has made for some interesting issues in the world of crossing guards...oh, the drama.  But that drama keeps me employed and I only deal with it for 4 hours a day.  

Saturday night was a glorious at home night.  I was in my PJ's by 4:00pm with supper in the oven...a simple baked pasta with sausage and eggplant.  A little vino rosso and some Downton Abbey and it was a rather perfect evening.  We needed an evening home more than I can even tell you and just that one night made me feel like I had had a vacation.

Early morning hikes (with my gloves on!) are soooo beautiful, though my girlfriend and I ended up slipping and sliding in the muck for the last 1/2 mile or so.  It was worth it...and to the rattlesnakes?  Stay away, please.  I like this trail too.

 Sunday lunch after church was at a new to us place called The Habit.  And it's about to become just that...a habit.  It's just burgers and fries...simple and really, really good.  We might just be back sooner rather than later.  Our bill was cheaper, thanks to the fact that one boy didn't get up in time for church.  I chose my battle today and didn't fight to wake him but told him after that he seems to make time for school and work and friends with no problem, but how about God?  

Guilt.  A mother's gift.  


And to my OLDER cousin Laura...Happy, Happy Birthday.  Thank you for breaking in those BIG numbers ahead of me. 


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I'm a Sandwich Maker

 I kept thinking that maybe, just maybe, I would walk into my house today and all the laundry would be  done and the dishwasher would be unloaded (and reloaded with last nights dinner dishes) and that my very favorite amaretto creamer would be in the fridge...but it just didn't happen. 

What's up with that?

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I need a wife.  Badly.


Instead, I chose the 'grin and bear it' method.  Denial is working for me lately and I say do whatever works for you...though denial doesn't do laundry even though I kept hoping it would.

Oh well.  Tomorrow is another day.  


Brian had his last home game tonight and it was the longest. game. ever thanks to a ref who called every. single. foul.  We eeked out a win but it was a rather ugly win...but we'll take it.   One more snack bar to run and then I am retiring.  For reals this time.  I'll work it in future years but I won't be in's time for this mama to take a little break.

There.  I put it in writing.  Hold me to it, ok?

My middle son is a cook, which absolutely makes me smile.  I like reaping the benefits when I go visit him at work (hello extra avocado!!) but how come he still asks me to make him a sandwich when he's at home?  He's got this way of asking that makes me say yes every time, even though I tell him that this will be the absolute last time.  

And then I make him another sandwich.  And another.  Seriously, I'm like a robot when it comes to him...he walks in the front door, flashes a smile at me and I immediately take my position in the kitchen and start spreading mayo on bread.  I'm weak.  And his wife is going to hate me because I make him great sandwiches any time he wants.  It's's not like I totally cave.  I don't cut the sandwich or put chips on the plate or pour him drink.  

I have some self control after all.

Every night after dinner I break out my secret hidden stash of See's candy.  I'm pretty selfish in that I usually don't share...every month or so I go in to the actual store and put together a hand picked box.  If you haven't tried their chocolate covered cherries (or rum nougats for that matter) then, well, you haven't tried their chocolate covered cherries.

And you should.  For me.


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