Tuesday, August 31, 2010


We are blessed to have an extra freezer, which is what I kept telling myself today while I was emptying it out.

It had been awhile since I had done that (hello...boca burgers that had a 'good until 2007' stamped on the box?) and while there were a few surprises (a jumbo box of fudgesicles...score!) it was a pretty simple job.

The main reason for the clean out was to find as many roast chicken carcasses (mmmm....doesn't that sound yummy? there's gotta be a better word than 'carcass'...) as I could so I could spend the afternoon making homemade chicken stock.

There were nine of them and they all got divided up among three ginormous pots. The first time around they were stuffed with lemon and thyme and garlic, drizzled with olive oil and lots of kosher salt, then roasted at a really high temp (425) for 1 1/2 hours...after supper, I froze the leftovers still stuffed until a day like today. Throw them still frozen in the pot with a few carrots and some onion and simmer away for 4 or 5 hours.

The best part is the way the house smells while it's cooking.



After it's cooled just a bit, I grab whoever is closest to lift the heavy pots and strain out all the stuff and then offer them my unending love if they ladle it into jars.

I am sure it is the 'unending love' part that makes them want to help.
You could use tupperware, but I have tons of jars and they fit perfectly in the door of my freezer...so that is what I use.
Now to bake banana bread with the dozen or so frozen bananas.


A Weekend Away

This weekend I hopped a plane.

Actually, I hopped a few planes but that's beside the point.

I flew and flew and flew.

(this is the part where I say, 'and boy, were MY arms tired!')


A whole weekend in Chicago.

My mom had her 50th high school reunion and an extra bed in her hotel room, so I took her up on the offer to sleep in it.

Thanks, Mom!

While she partied like it was 1969 (or in this case, 1960) I played tourist and hung with my aunts and uncles and cousins and their kids and saw their houses and ate way too much and laughed lots.

I have tons of pictures and tons of stories, like the one were my cousin Cheryl (who is my age) was hit on by one of my Mom's classmates, but for now I am swamped in back to school prep for the boys so it will have to wait.

But let me just tell you...that Chicago BEAN is really, really cool.
And my childhood coffee cake, only available there....strangely called FLOP.


One of the interesting things about moving constantly as a kid is that you are never really 'from' anywhere.

(And now I tell people, just to keep it simple, that I am 'from' Boulder because it truly is 'home' to me. Two of my babes were born there and I developed such an incredible sense of family and friendship and love and peace and happiness there. Corny, but true...)

Sure, I was born in Chicago so technically I am 'from' there, but by the time I was 2 I had already moved away...nonetheless, Chicago is where my extended family is and where I spent chunks of my life.

Anyway, it was lovely spending time with all my family there. Thank you for welcoming me 'home'. It meant a lot to me.


That being said, there is no place like home. Home, sweet little home. I flew in and was picked up by my beloved girlfriends, came home to boy central and cooked up a ginourmous pot of Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon.

There's just something about cooking in your own kitchen to make you feel like you are home. That and reaching your toes out at night and touching the toes of the one that you like so much.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lemons From the Tree

In our backyard we have a lemon tree.

It came with our little house and for the first 7 or 8 years that we lived here it would give us one lemon a season. That guy that I like so much would faithfully water and feed and talk to it and it would reward him with a single lemon at a time.

One morning I was getting out of the shower and I heard him talking to the lemon tree...he came right out and told it that he was going to chop it down on his next vacation.

That was all it took. The lemon tree decided it was going to earn it's keep and produce more fruit.

Now, instead of giving us one lemon a season, we get like five.

But those five lemons are the juiciest, best tasting lemons you could possibly imagine.

Perfect for lemonade.


It's the last week of summer vacation and we are crazy around here.

I'm ready for the quiet, empty house and yet I'm not.

I've loved not having a schedule or homework, but yet we're all ready for some sort of routine.

But most of all, I miss cooking. Not the hit and miss kind of summer cooking...but real meals with everyone sitting down at the same time.

Yes, I am ready.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The End of Summer

This weekend we had the fam over for supper and the big brother (my husband) decided his baby brother needed a massive slab o beef for supper.

Everyone should have a big brother.

And this picture is going to get me in BIG trouble and may actually disappear shortly...maybe.

You have to know, I am blessed with a beautiful, hand picked (by me, thankyouverymuch) sister in law...who ALWAYS looks fabulous.

And I didn't even take this picture...her very own daughter did, which is why I am posting it.

There's just somethin' about really beautiful people looking real. Makes me smile.

We sat outside and ate supper and drank wine and laughed and tried really, really hard not to talk about the fact that school is starting back up.

But it kept creeping in.

So the weekend was lovely but then I became a crazy woman trying to do it all this week.

School registration. Physical therapy. Orthodontist appointment for the boy whose father had 11 wisdom teeth. Start up meeting for work. Laundry. Cooking. Cleaning. Bill paying.

And yet another trip to Ruby's for the boy who does not want to have a bionic mouth, but doesn't have a choice.
And then tonight....happy hour with some of my very favorite people.

It's always nice to hang with friends who have your back...the ones you can pour your heart out to about life and love and rock n roll.

And the crazy neighbors who are making me miserable, but that's a whole 'nuther story.

But then again, everyone should have a crazy set of neighbors...right?

Friday, August 20, 2010

So Long Camp

Brian has been going to skateboarding camp all week...which basically means I pay money to drop him off at the free skateboard park so he can skateboard with a bunch of guys who are old enough to be his brothers for 5 hours every day.

Rock on.


The coolest thing about Brian is that he is 11 turning 12 and he still likes me.

I mean, really likes me.

He made sure this morning that I was going to come an hour early to watch him show off all the new tricks he's learned.

Let's rephrase that.

He. Asked. Me. To. Show. Up. And. Watch.

And while watching, I noticed that he's getting bigger.


He's also pretty smart. After camp he offered to take me to lunch to celebrate the end of summer...and who am I to turn down a free lunch?

We made our way back towards home and found ourselves at Ruby's on our lake.

I love Ruby's and I love our lake.

We splurged...a cherry (REAL) coke for me and a triple chocolate malt for the cute kid.

So cute, in fact, that I picked up the bill at the end.

Perk of wanting to hang with your mama.


(disclaimer....if you are one of my older children, you could learn a little somethin' somethin' from the 11 yr old. Just sayin'.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Still Summering

For my brother-in-law...the millenium falcon cloud.

Just for you.


Skateboard camp until 1:00pm...hanging at the beach by 1:30pm.

Can't get much better for the youngest boy in our family.

I set up my chair and umbrella and spend most of time reading (currently...the 4th Harry Potter. So fun to re-read those books!) and dolling out snacks.

Being a mom is rough.
I thought today was payday (but it's not) so I payed all the bills yesterday.

Gotta love that.

So until payday (which is tomorrow) we are poor.

And thankful for overdraft.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Busy as a Bee

Last week I hosted nine Bella Michele Jewelry E-Parties in 1 week.


I am truly insane.

Add on two displays for private parties, which makes me doubly insane.

(and thankful, too!)


In between, we've been escaping to the beach as much as possible because child #3 starts to hyperventilate if his feet go more than 3 days without touching the ocean.

He's funny like that.

This week while I hammer away at jewelry and skip cleaning my house, Brian is not at the ocean but at skateboard camp with his friend.

It's not the ocean, but it's fun...though I did promise a quick trip tomorrow after camp.

School starts two weeks from Thursday for the younger boys...the college boy is moving back on campus this week. I can honestly say I am sad to see summer come and go but I am thrilled that Fall is right around the corner!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Proper Parenting

All last week our friends (who are more like family than friends) were visiting from Colorado.

And now they are gone and I am in a funk.

I miss them. Lots.

Tammy and I learned to parent at the same time and I was sharing my new technique of public humiliation (in the form of public singing using my thumb as a microphone) that I threaten my boys with and she pulled the 'I can one up you' card.

River dancing.

In public.

As in...Michael Flattley.

Oh. My. Word.

So all day today I kept cracking up, which helped me forget how blue I was feeling.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

All Home Safe and Sound

My oldest son returned home after a summer away (marching with a drum and bugle corps, in case you were wondering) and was, quite literally, tackled by his younger brothers in the airport.


He is tan and happy and TIRED and thrilled with his mama for always looking out for him.... I even tried to fix him up with the girl at the drive-thru.

And seriously, I had no idea she actually went to your school.

Welcome home, Matteo.

(and sorry both your laptop and your car don't work. ouch. we'll get those taken care of pronto.)

Stay home forever (or at least for a few days), ok?


Friday, August 13, 2010


...is all about this:

Even if SoCal has yet to top 82 degrees this whole summer and the water is freezing.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mid August

This has nothing to do with anything, but isn't this picture kinda freaky? I took it last weekend of that guy that I like so much (who was driving in front of me and was, just so you know, stopped at a stoplight at the time) and upon closer inspection, it looks like he is going to hit that car.

Just thought I'd share.

The youngest shrub (yet another side note...our last name is Busch, so we call our kids shrubs. Get it?) asked for plain 'ole spaghetti and gravy the other night and because I like him, I made it.

I was happy until I pulled it out of my oven and it had exploded not just inside the oven but on top of the stove, too.

The biggest greatest part of this week...my BFF's (best friends forever) are now BFF's.

What more could a girl ask for?

Tammy and her daughter and Sheila and her daughter....sigh.
We've spent night after night drinking wine and dancing in the backyard and laughing and reminiscing.
Chris and Tammy were our upstairs neighbors in CU Boulder's family housing while we were in school and poor and having babies...girls for them, boys for us.
It's been a great week...and it's not even over yet.


Oh, and I won a giveaway and got lots of Starbucks coffee delivered to my door. Thanks, Anna!
And on this Wednesday morning while I was trying to package up a bunch of jewelry orders AND do some laundry AND make some work phone calls AND pick up the house, it happened.

The inevitable happened.

The 'oh my word, are these children ever going to go back to school because they are driving me up the wall' happened.

I cannot be absolutely sure but I kinda think my head may have spun around a few times as I went just a teeny weeny bit ballistic.

OK, so I totally went ballistic.

The thing is, when I go ballistic my children just stare at me with bored looks on their faces which makes me go even more ballistic.

Yep. It does.

But this too shall pass and it has and all is calm with the mama once again.


And for your viewing pleasure...my youngest while school clothes shopping:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Weeks End

This week has been full of lots of things that make me happy.

There were the figs with goat cheese and prosciutto.

There was the very meaningful and deep book club meeting.
There were pans and pans of roasted tomatoes.

There was Tammy, fresh off a plane from Colorado sipping a margarita in my little house on my little street.
There was a rather fabulous bento box for lunch today (the sashimi was for my son because I still believe uncooked fish belongs in the water) with some of my very favorite people.
And tonight, while I don't have pictures to prove it, there was a new video of my oldest boy posted which made me smile and a lovely backyard supper (even though it was chilly) which may or may not have included a little dancing and now there's the warm winter jammies I am wearing while all cozy on my couch.

As for the tomatoes....these are my favorite way to roast them:

roma tomatoes - sliced in half, seeds removed
1 T sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 T dried oregano
1 cup olive oil (yep...1 cup)

Preheat oven to 250. Place tomatoes, cut side up in a single layer in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Sprinkle with sugar, salt, oregano and drizzle on all the oil. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn tomatoes over and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool.

Serve at room temperature with sliced french bread...the extra oil is great tossed with pasta, some of the tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Refrigerate tomatoes for up to 2 weeks.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Passing Time

In a moment of pedicure weakness, I chose blue polish.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but every time I look down I flinch.

And excuse the blur...my camera is going, going, going but I am having a hard time deciding what to get next (seriously thinking of making the jump to a bigger one but the choices make my head hurt), so in the meantime there will be lots of blurry pictures posted.

Introducing...my toes.


I'm actually feeling kinda anxious because the arrival of my BFF and her family (from Colorado) is imminent and I am so excited I can't sit still.

You'd think I'd mop the floor or something, but that's not happening.

I did finish the laundry though, so I am not a complete slacker...just in case you were wondering.


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