Monday, September 29, 2014

I Love Weekends

The weather in SoCal at this time of year?  Perfect.  Warm and sunny during the day and cool enough to sleep with a blanket on at night.

Short sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, long sleeves...all of it can be worn.

Love, love, love.


Weekend cocktails.  Nothing better than sitting at the kitchen counter, reading the latest magazines and complaining about everything that went wrong this week while sipping a cocktail.

Last week was a doozy....glad it's in the past.

Trader Joe's was selling this...a pumpkin Kringle.

Go buy it.  Seriously.

If you do, please be prepared to eat the whole thing all at once.  It is so amazingly good that I want to go back and get another...but I can't.  So Trader Joe's?  You're losing my business until this thing sells out because I have absolutely no self control.  

It's pathetic really.

So go buy it, ok?  I miss shopping there.


How many sporting teams can one kid play on?

Fall league basketball has to see my boy back on the court.  There's the little issue of him grabbing the ball, running down the court knocking everyone out of his way (oops...forgot he wasn't on a football field) but I'm sure it will come back to him.


Seriously though...I love this sport.  A lot.

And then there's football.  He's playing on both JV and Varsity...since he's new to this sport he plays 1st string JV and 2nd string Varsity and I can't tell you what any of that means other than the fact that we spend a lot of time sitting in bleachers cheering on our boy in red.


It is SO fun and I am loving this stage of our lives but my derrier is a little bit sore.

Five hours of sitting through games plus one pumpkin kringle that I devoured plus cooler temperatures meant I was on the trail early Saturday morning.

Oh, how I've missed it.

So much time to sort out everything that is going on in my head...time to pray.  Time to complain.  Time to cry.  Time to be a bit mad.  Time to be a lot mad.  Time to laugh.  Time to sweat.

This time is so healing for gives me time to just let it all go.  

Saturday night we were supposed to have a bunch of boys over for carnitas and so I made a ton.  Turns out they all (including my boy) were at an afternoon birthday celebration that went long and suddenly I had no one here to eat.  

15 lbs of carnitas, 2 lbs of cilantro lime rice, 2 lbs of homemade pinto beans.

Just a little food.

I've always had a plan B and a plan C...I have a lot of boys, you know.  But one has moved away, one was out of town and all the neighbors were gone.

So that guy that I like so much and I made LARGE margaritas and had our own little party...and then Brian called and asked if he could bring the basketball team to eat?

Yes, my son.  Bring them all and so he did and they ate.  And ate.  And ate.  Just enough was left for a lunch or two this week.

Love that.

Sunday night turned into one of those nights...a night where I had roasted a couple of chickens, not knowing who would be here.  My neighbor came down to say hi and ended up staying and then another neighbor came over and then all the kids came and soon our little house was full of my very favorite people.

And then it happened.


Oh, how I love karaoke.

For the record...I can't sing to save my life but I absolutely love to belt out 80's songs.  Just ask me and I'll show you.  



Back to real life.  I'm a little hoarse...but it was worth it.


Friday, September 26, 2014

This Weeks Pictures And A Really Easy Recipe


I love, love, love Cafe Rio.  Sweet pork barbacoa, cilantro lime rice, black beans, medium salsa baked enchilada style.  I was starving, extremely grumpy and lo and behold, a cafe rio appeared right in front of me.

That guy that I like so much?  He doesn't like it as much as I do and rather than whine and complain, I go for lunch.  Win win...but seriously, how can you not love Cafe Rio?????


Ugh.  It's happening.  I'm becoming THAT mother.


Who am I kidding...I've always been THAT mother.  You know the one...the one that stands up and yells (quite a bit) from the stands and forgets (for just a moment) that this is high school sports where everyone (supposedly) should see some playing time.  

Yep.  I've fallen, once again, to the dark side and that guy that I like so much very gently puts his hand on my leg or gently on my back...the universal sign for 'chill out, mama'.

I usually listen.

(the boy is healthy...just sore muscles and a really cute trainer.  I'll deny ever writing that.)


Thankful this week for bleach.



These two peeps.  In fact, I am going to text them right now.



A comfy flannel night gown.  I texted this picture to that guy that I like so much (as a joke) and his response was not all that favorable.  I can't stop laughing...and for $12.99, I went ahead and bought it.  And then God sent the biggest heat wave to SoCal in 100 years (that's an exaggeration but it sure felt like it) and I'm wondering if maybe it's the result of my purchase.

Haha.  Like I have that power...but it's fun to think that I might.


But for reals...I like it.  


Doesn't take much to make me happy.  I've always made room in my grocery budget for fresh flowers.  Just because.


We're not big on processed foods here, but this recipe is fabulous and fall tasting and easy...found in one of my mom's old church cookbooks.  Make it and weep for joy.


Fry Pan Apple Pie

1 stick butter (set aside 1 T for the end)
1 cup brown sugar
1 pkg refrigerated pie crusts
1 can apple (or peach) pie filling
2 T sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (mix with sugar)

Preheat oven to 400.  Melt butter in a cast iron skillet, setting aside 1 T.  Add brown sugar and stir together until combined; let bubble for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and while hot, lay on one of the pie crusts.  Spread pie filling on top, sprinkle with 1/2 the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Top with the other pie crust; no need to seal it.  Brush remaining butter on top and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.  Cut a slit in the top to vent.  Bake for 30 minutes and serve hot right from the pan, though it's still great warm or at room temperature.  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you have some.



I'm ready for the weekend.  I've worked more hours than I can count, so I am catching up on computer work this morning while I listen to the non stop hum of my washer and dryer.  I'm drinking coffee out of my new favorite mug and I think the dog and I might hit the trail in a little bit before it warms up too much.  I worked in the big garden for 2 hours yesterday, pulling the last of the summer plants and I have broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, and sweet onion ready to be planted for winter.  I have bible study homework to do and I'm loving our new study of Thessalonians.  Lots of good stuff in those two books!

And tonight?  Grilled tuscan chickens, roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus and a bottle of wine.

Hello, weekend.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

On Growing Up

When my boys were very, very little, I began to pray about the kind of men I wanted them to be.  

My prayers were simple:

Give up your seat on a bus for a woman.  Be unselfish.
Open doors for others.  Put others first.
Say please and thank you.  Be polite.
Love God personally.  He's YOUR God.
Be adventurous, try new things, travel.  Have fun.
Don't compare your life to others lives.  Be content.

And the most important rule?

Date girls that I approve of.


So far, so good.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The First Day Of Fall

My little house on my little street has a certain, ummm, stench to it and for the life of me, I cannot figure out where it is coming from.

It's driving me crazy which in turn means I am driving everyone around me crazy because it smells like a cross between mildewy wet towels and the worst smelly shoe smell you can ever imagine.

Seriously.  Even the bazillion candles I'm burning haven't helped.

Come on over...but bring your nose plugs.


 So we ditched dodge and headed to Disneyland...or more specifically, to California Adventure.  The weather is still warm but has the promise of cooler temps and it's the perfect Disney weather.

First up, a cocktail at the Cove Bar.  A rye manhattan for him (ick) and a bahama mama (yum) for me.

Helloooo, relaxation.

Next up...lobster nachos.

Lobster. Nachos.



Our next door neighbors came and met us and between the 4 of us, well...we are a bit creaky and achy and it's just making me laugh to even type all of this.  There was quite a bit 'oh, my hips' and 'oh, my knees' and 'oh, my back'....and that was only from me.


The 4 people in the front?

That's us.

The woman in the back, with the ears and red bow?

Photo bomber.  A rather good one, too.


Let's see...Cove Bar, Tower of Terror, Cars Land, Soarin' Over California and World of Color.  It was a really fun evening...a much needed fun evening.

And then we came home to the smell.  Ugh.  Time to bake bread and maybe a big chocolate cake.  That'll help...right?


Monday, September 22, 2014

Happy Weekend

 On Friday morning I found myself stuck at the mall for quite a few hours and if you know me in real life, well...I hate to shop.  I mean, I like it sometimes but overall...ick.  

But here I was at the mall while waiting for that guy that I like so much's car.  My car had been dropped off first at the dealer for a recall, Alex's truck was at a different dealer having a problem fixed that only the dealer could fix and then I found myself at the mall waiting for tires.

By then I had already been working for close to 4 hours so I was hungry and grumpy...huevos rancheros, thankfully, came to the rescue.


The mall was PACKED and it didn't take long to figure out that iPhone mania was going on.  Not for me since my money was all being dropped into the rather deep pockets of the auto repair professionals...but look at all those excited people.

I'm probably the only person in the world that dreads things like new phones because it means I have to learn how to use it...I mean, come on.  Can't things just all stay the same???


And while day dreaming, the calls started coming.  Here's the low down:

Car #1: 729.00.  Tires.  Alignment.  Got a free car wash.
Car #2: $968.00.  Recalls on the ignition and the seatbelt and the airbags.  All covered under warranty. Needed a new idle something or other and brakes and something else.  Got a free car wash.
Car (or truck) #3: $175.00 to reprogram the computer which only the dealer can do. Got a free car wash.

So all together?

I could've gone to Hawaii, but I did score 3 free car washes.

And then, in the back of the wine closet, that guy that I like so much found an old bottle of wine.  And because we are stupid or smart (I'm not sure which) we decided to celebrate the fact that all our cars are now clean (for FREE!) and we headed to Maggiano's.

Dinner was lovely and in true Michael Busch form, our server was like a member of our family by the end of the evening and we were happy and relaxed and ready for a weekend.  Those car bills?  Well, I had saved just enough for some pretty new furniture but it's just not meant to be right now.

And that's ok.

This grown up real life stuff?

Not always fun but not always bad, either.  

Saturday morning I was cleaning out the outside freezer and planned out a completely wacky smorgasbord of a dinner, texted the neighbors to come over and we had an impromptu garden party.

The menfolk talked cars and bourbon, the women talked love and wine and a houseful of boys (and a girl or two) took over the family room and watched movies.

It was one of those really great evenings that was thrown together last minute but turned out to be so fun and relaxing and full of laughter.


And the next morning, when downloading photos, I came across these:

I love my people.


Monday morning is a back to work day.  The weather has changed and so a hike will definitely be on the agenda, as well as laundry, catching up on my bible study homework and a good scrubbing of the floors.  I have an old dresser that is begging to be that, too.

A few more mystery meals will be created from whatever is in the outside freezer...I'm craving soups and stews and comfort food, basically anything that is cooked long and slow on the stove.  I'm almost there.  Almost.


Friday, September 19, 2014

A Recap Of the Week


Baking.  Pumpkin bars, texas sheet cake, m&m cookies, oatmeal/cranberry/white chocolate chip cookies.

All for that guy that I like so much and his adult choir.  The outside temp?  95.  The inside temp? 77.

Can't wait to get that bill.



This dog.  Oh my.  How much can one mama love one dog?  We had a visit from the rescue and when she told us that if he had gone to the pound, he would have been considered unadoptable (due to his timidness) and would've been put to sleep...well, I just started to cry.

He is just the best dog ever...even if he does drool all over my computer when he wants attention.



A text from my boy, the photo bomber.  Also, a text from the oldest boy that he got the job he was hoping for.

Thankful for texting.


A pre football game greek lunch with that guy that I like so much.  Moussaka for me (I like my girlfriends MUCH better....I sure hope she makes it again soon.) and gyros for him.  It was a heavy lunch...not just food wise.

My girlfriend had a massive brain aneurysm and while her recovery is going to be long and complicated, she is alive.  Young, healthy and she almost died this morning.

Add it to the list of people whom I love who are hurting.  It's too much right now...too much.

Thursday more:

We went to Brian's away football game and during the 3rd quarter, Brian tackled a boy.  Hard.  The boy went down with a major compound fracture, had a seizure and couldn't be moved until they stabilized him.  For 45 minutes the game was delayed and Brian was pretty shook up.  Yes, it's part of the game but it was a rather gory accident and very, very traumatic.

On the way home I just cried...cried for that boy and for my boy and my friends and my family.

My heart...heavy.  Very heavy.

And FYI...not many injuries in marching band.  


More football.  Varsity this time.

Three cars being fixed at three different places.  


A clean house.

This weekend?

Cooler temps.

Not a whole lot of plans.

A garden.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Tired Of Hot Weather

I just uploaded pictures from my phone to my computer and they are all food pictures...I guess I've been hungry lately.

Who am I kidding...I'm always hungry.


That guy that I like so much was out of town for the weekend so it was just me and a houseful of boys.  Well...sort of.  Brian had a football game (which I went fun!) and after I was starving, so I made a HUGE pan of bbq chicken nachos.  

I pulled them out of the oven, went to go put my pj's on while they cooled and came out to a small little corner left...turns out a bunch of hungry people plowed their way through them.  

So...I made a 2nd smaller batch and curled up on the couch to watch a movie (Limitless...really good!) with the boys.  It was a really nice, and late, Friday night.  They all ditched me then and went out...I went to bed and slept soundly (shocker) until morning.


Brian is needing lots of driving practice and I am needing more practice in the self control area....specifically the area of not yelling while he is driving.  I am, quite seriously, the WORST driving teacher ever.  I can't help it...I blurt.  Things like 'WATCH OUT FOR THAT CAR!' and 'RED LIGHT!' and 'BRAKE!'...and I usually start before the poor kid even puts the car in gear.

Ugh.  I'm the worst.

I try to make it a little better with bribery.  We drive until we see something fun and then we swing in and get a treat.  Brian doesn't mind because if I'm occupied with something on the way home I don't say quite as much.

Thing is?  He's a good driver...I'm just not a good passenger.

I drove on Sunday morning to meet up with that guy that I like so much for church where our friend is pastor and then we all went for lunch after.  So Cal is in a heat wave and we are all melting.

Autumn...where are you?

Yesterday was also football...which is a super big deal in our little house on our little street.  Emily was here, too and made us all dessert in celebration of their anniversary.  (so sweet.)

We grilled some steak and roasted some potatoes and ate in the garden...and, I'll be honest with you, sweated like crazy.  It's just plain 'ole hot here.


Monday morning...back to work.  It is supposed to be even hotter today...ugh.  If you see a crossing guard...give them a cold bottle of water and thank them.  They work hard out there.

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