Monday, April 25, 2016

The Loss of Wisdom

I've been feeling unsettled and disorganized and kinda sorta crazy the last few months and then it hit me:

there was no homemade chicken stock in the freezer. is the BEST therapy for beating the 'woe is me' syndrome that hits me every once in awhile.  And cooking something that makes the whole house smell good?



This past week I had a life changing moment....a moment where everything became clear.


A while back (as in a few months ago) I suddenly realized I couldn't read a gosh darn thing and that my vision had changed.  I handled it with grace and dignity for about 30 seconds and then I became a raging lunatic and told every single person I ran into that since I am now old, I can't see anymore.

Bu tthen on Saturday night, I took out my contacts (the hard kind, from the stone ages because they work for me) and noticed the little dot on my right contact was in the left contact case.  And then, being the bright bulb that I am, realized that I had somewhere along the way switched out the little buggars and was wearing them in the wrong eyes.

For reals.

But guess what?  I can see again!  


That guy that I like so much had his last big concerts of this school year this past weekend and his choir gave him the BEST GIFT EVER.  Seriously...summer is so much fun when you throw a bunch of gift cards in a box and pick them out randomly when looking for something to do.

I'm just the chick who does his laundry but I get to enjoy all the fun stuff.


So late on Saturday night following one of his big concerts, we went to our favorite late night dinner place and used that first lucky gift card.  We've been hit with a lot lately...a new fridge (thousands of $$) and a college deposit (thousands of $$) and wisdom teeth (thousands of $$) and the money tree in the backyard decided to not grow money and instead grow limes, as in tons and tons of limes.

But you know what?

Money is overrated.  Margaritas are not.  And we're going to be having lots and lots of margaritas come June.


Sunday morning I woke up and made a huge pot of gravy and an even huger amount of meatballs.  Some of those meatballs were thrown into a newly seasoned (by my oldest son who has a gift in that area) cast iron skillet and baked in some gravy until they were all hot and bubbly.

I'm thinking they were good since there was a hoard of males standing at the stove with forks, eating them right out of the pan.

Job security for me.


This morning we were out of the house early...the babe of the family had to have a rush job (sounds better than emergency) wisdom teeth removal.  Two of those puppies were causing a numb lip and the other two involved his sinuses (because nothing is routine when it comes to these boys) and he is, thankfully, sleeping off the anesthesia here at home now...because when he is awake he's miserable.

Poor guy.

He's been through a lot in the last few months and while I know this is routine and he'll heal quickly, could you say a little prayer for him?  This mama would appreciate it.


It's a blustery, chilly day in SoCal this morning and by chilly I mean it's in the mid 60's...that's like 10 below in the midwest.  We're hunkered in the house with lots of ice and netflix...Brian is so out of it that he hasn't realized that we're binge-watching the Gilmore Girls.

He'll catch on soon but until then it's all good.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Comings and Goings

The April heat wave has arrived and being the smart thinker that I am, I hit the hiking trail at 2:30pm and shortly after realized I am not a smart thinker at all.

Like, who hikes a 5 mile trail in full sun during a heat wave????

Me, that's who.  I prayed and sang the first mile.  Cried the second mile.  Swore like a truck driver the third mile.  Cried harder the fourth mile.  The fifth mile was a combination of all of the previous miles until I reached my beautifully airconditioned car.

That was a rough one...but it sure felt good later.


Boy #1 is playing a gig in these parts this week and so he arrived home and immediately got to work on some 100 year old cast iron pans.  I've now got buckets of lye and buckets of vinegar in the garden and it smells a bit like a distillary back there...but wow, those cast irons pots look like new.

Now to dispose of buckets of lye water.  Yikes.  No one thinks of those things at the beginning of a project.

I made a huge baked pasta with roasted eggplant and sausage last night and it was DEVOURED in one sitting because I've raised boys that like to eat.  I had hoped to save a small bowl for myself for lunch but that too was discovered...and eaten.


Black cat.  White bed.

Even kitties like freshly laundered bedding.  

This cat though?  Two baby bunnies have been brought to me in the last two days.  She's a hunter...and I'm a screamer.  We're a good pair.


That guy that I like so much posted a note on his work door that said 'I'll be a bit late.  The sun is shining, the water is warm and my bride and I are having breakfast.'

Now that's why I married him.


We love hanging at Alta Coffee in's got a cool vibe to it and the breakfasts are yummy.

I'm on the lookout for a cool door for our bar...think these people would notice if theirs went missing?

Driving home behind this car and thinking whoever printed the wrap for their car should've used spell check.

Can you spot it?

Brian had a wisdom teeth consult and in true Busch form, what is supposed to be ordinary and easy is anything but.  There's an issue and those buggars need to come out as quickly as in first thing Monday morning.  And yeah, this was a 2nd opinion and yeah, it's just no fun...but we're all stocked with stuff to make pudding and popsicles and homemade acai bowls.

This poor baby...he's had a lot of anesthesia in the last 6 months.


While the heat has been ruining my afternoon hikes, my garden has been so very, very happy...especially the artichokes.

Guess what we'll be eating this weekend?

Today was frustrating work wise.  So many big things going on and it ain't easy...pulled my car into the Sonic drive thru and had myself a ginormous sugar-free cherry limeade while listening to For King and Country on iRadio and suddenly everything just seemed a little bit brighter.

I need to remember to take those minutes to breathe and refocus when things get makes me feel like everything will be ok.  Coming home and making a big pot of beef stew helps too...there's something about a house full of something heavenly cooking long and slow in the oven that makes our little house feel like a little home.

And that's a good thing.


Monday, April 18, 2016

They're All Home

Our refrigerator died a quick (yet painful for us) death and once pulled out I saw snippets of our past life...our little house on our little street has been varying shades of yellow over the years.

And almost a shade of green at one point, too.


Friday night was a surprise party for our friend at a billiard hall with a super fun 80's cover band.  

My middle boy....oh, how I love this kid.  I had a mom talk to me this weekend - her son is giving them a run for their money and she dropped the phrase 'I know you won't understand this because your kids are all so good...'.  I've used that phrase when talking to people before too and it is such a stupid phrase because hello...are any of these kids perfect and why do we as moms put that pressure on ourselves????

But yeah...this kid was an exciting one to raise and yeah, he's grown up and has become a responsible young man who no longer keeps me awake all night long.

I like this side of things better.


The best advice I can give to moms who are raising boys?

Cling to other moms who are raising boys...especially moms who love your boys like they are one of their own.  

Trust me.  It's important.

 Saturday night we held a surprise party for that same friend and gathered his favorite people in the garden for a birthday dinner.

This picture below sums up what I have dreamed of...a long table with people gathered around it.  They're all fed and are spending the evening talking and laughing.  The music playing is in the background, yet just loud enough where you'll occasionally hear an 'oh...I love this song!'  Often times it's then turned up long enough for people to have a dance or two.  The food is never fancy but it's plentiful...and so is the wine.

Something magical happens in this space when people becomes a safe place for deep conversations and deep laughter.

We dreamed of this.  A long time ago we traveled and ate in a garden in a faraway country...a small garden with twinkly lights and prosecco that was served in little glass pitchers.  A garden where locals gathered....where all the friends and neighbors arrived as the sun was setting and we, the tourists, watched as that little garden came alive.

It truly was magical.  And so is ours.


The mornings after look like this but then I make a big pot of coffee and while it's brewing I fill the sink with warm sudsy water and in no time everything is all cleaned up.

Though occasionally I do think selling the house and starting over with something already clean is not such a bad idea.


Brian and I had a lunch date after church at a hole in the wall Korean place in Long Beach.  I'm a lover of kimchi...when we lived in international housing during grad school, the Korean woman would make the kimchi in the fall and bury big pots of it outside under our bedroom window.

Occasionally the pots would explode and the smell of it?

I swore I would never eat it.

But then I did because never say never, especially if you're at the home of a Korean friend.



Our very last ever sports banquet ever.


I'm on the fence as to whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.  I'll miss the sports playing but those banquests are a bit...well, long.  Especially if your boy is the one who sat on the bench all season with his hand in a cast, so we were pretty sure he wasn't up for best offensive player or anything like that.


But my baby boy did get 'most inspirational' which if you know him totally sums up who he is.

He might not have played but he was there the whole season cheering his teammates on.

Man, I love that kid.  =)

This week all three of our boys are home so we are back to being a true houseful of boys.

We're back to shoes everywhere, boys pounding on the bathroom doors, shoving each other as they walk down the hallway, and my favorite one where they open the fridge and stare in and yell 'MOM!!!!  Is there anything to eat?' like there is a true emergency because apparently the moment I gave birth to them I became  a magician who can make food out of air.

But's fun.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pity Party Of One

Today the sun was shining and instead of walking outside and turning my face up towards it, I decided to have a pity party all by myself.

The good thing about a party of one is that you don't have to dress up for the occasion.

I was trying to plan something fun in the coming weeks and everyone is busy.  

So I felt sorry for myself.

My baby is going to college in exactly 16 weeks from today and is moving out of our house.

So I felt sorry for myself.

Work has been so busy lately and it's been a bit overwhelming.

So I felt sorry for myself.

 I spent $400 at Costco, put it all in the refrigerator and when I opened it 8 hours later the fridge was warm and everything...EVERYTHING had to be thrown out.  And buying a new fridge (and the food to go in it) just isn't part of the plan with the cute kid who's going to college right now.

So I felt sorry for myself.

It's just been one of those weeks and for tonight I'm having a great time at my own little pity party.  This too shall pass and beginning tomorrow I'm going to leave this party behind...but for tonight I'm going to cry a little bit more before I pull it all together.

I'd eat ice cream if it hadn't melted.

I'd drink a beer if it was cold.

I'm pretty sure there are no calories at pity parties and I'm totally missing out.  
Add that to the list.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Things That Are Making Me Happy Right Now

Late nights in the garden and late night texting with good friends who live far away which result in planning late night vacations.


 I live with the king of Saturday morning breakfasts.  


My winter garden is growing so well this year and I have made either a whole family or one big rabbit very, very happy.  All the broccoli and all the cauliflower have been eaten but whoever it is was gracious enough to leave the beets.


Time for a new fence before summer.

My hiking trail is making the transition from lush and green to dry and brown but in the middle of all that?  Miles and miles of wild yellow flowers.  

Friday night at our very favorite restaurant (Houston's) always ends up feeling like we've been on a vacation after we've eaten there.  They have the most incredible hot fudge sundae EVER and my oh's soooo good.

Trust me.

Matching pjs.  Matching coffee cups. 

Different toes.


Spring in our little garden has me planning lots and lots of Friday night garden parties.  Summer is coming....right?

A cast iron skillet with a layer of caramelized onions, topped with potatoes and then heavy cream that was simmered with thyme and sage and was poured over the top.  Baked the whole thing until hot and bubbly and then watched as multiple boys with forks in their hands dove right in.

Grilled asparagus.  

I'm hungry...can you tell?

Sunday morning all five of us in a 'this happens hardly every anymore' morning found us all at our home church in the same pew.  No one was directing or singing or playing...all five of us just worshipping together.  

Even though they are grown, we still have to separate'll probably still be that way when they are in their 40's.  Sigh.  

After?  A splurgy kinda brunch at Nicks on 2nd in Long Beach where the chilaquiles were phenomenal.  Fun to spoil the crew once in awhile.


Card games for the win.  Unless you're me. 

Oh well.

This morning I am dreaming of warm sand on my toes and instead I'm working my way through endless work emails.  This coffee cup helps...or hurts?


I'm going to spend a little time in the big garden today trying to fence out that hungry rabbit and then the pup and I are going to hike the trail...I'm trying to squeeze in as many hikes as I can before the snakes wake up from their winter slumber.

We've been on the go so much lately and tonight we're all going to be home at a normal time...that calls for a sit down supper together.  I'm hungry for something Italian (shocker)...maybe chicken marsala?  I'll have to see what speaks to me when I'm at the market a little bit later.

But first?  Some more work, a little bit of laundry and a lot more coffee.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Brushing The Dust Off

Yes, I know it's been awhile and yes, I've read all your emails hoping all is ok.  All IS's just a busy season in our little house on our little street.

Life is all about seasons and this one is easily described as bittersweet.  Boys are growing up and the changes are not subtle.  Big birthdays are approaching and even bigger anniversaries.  

Tis the season of change.

In the midst of all the busyness...a simple text message that basically said 'you busy?' and answered with 'kinda sorta but I can make a little time' ended with an hour long drive in a convertible down PCH.

That's Pacific Coast Highway for my non Cali friends...or as I like to call it:

Pretty Cool Highway.

The sun was shining, the air was crisp, the ocean smelled amazing.

One hour.  Enough to totally get my head (and heart) back on track.


I've been talking a lot with one of my boys about life plans and changes.  He's feeling as if a door is closing and God is saying 'no' to him and I encouraged him to rethink that...that by God saying 'no' is really God saying 'yes' to something different.  That by closing a door to something we see as a blessing might not be His blessing because He has a much greater plan for us somewhere down the line.

I'm not sure my boy truly believes that (yet) but it's helped me just by saying it out loud.

Sometimes we need to listen to our own advice.


Holy Week was a it usually is in the life of a church worker.  Matthew was home for the week and so was Alex's girlfriend, Emily.

Another girlfriend I love was visiting from New York and we had many great dinners...and really incredible discussions.  So much is happening in our world and for a Muslim and a Jew and a Christian to sit and break bread and discuss what we believe and why...and to know that we can talk openly about our beliefs and our differences and our politics, to cry and laugh and love each other the way girlfriends protect and love one another is such an amazing blessing to me.  

I feel very blessed.  And thankful.

We have had some incredible meals lately and for close to a whole week, they were all at other peoples homes.

Fresh caught fish, fried in olive oil (HELLO?) and served on a roll with homemade crunchy cabbage salad??

A moment of silence.  Please.

Easter at our home involves a crazy busy morning of music for 2/5 of our household, 3/5 got to enjoy it from a pew where we celebrated our risen Savior followed by an insane amount of cooking for 1/5.  

Once again, we threw open the door to our little house on our little street and I think there were close to 30 people here.  I roasted trays and trays of chicken with lemon and oregano and olives, made a large batch of pesto pasta, roasted up lots of vegetables (green beans with peppers and onions)...that guy that I like so much made a humongous pitcher of sangria, my neighbor walked in with lamb (of course!) and baklava and my sister in law was on dessert duty.  

There was SO MUCH food.

Little house.  Big table.


The annual picture of my sweet niece with the bunny cake...cute cake but whoa, she's now 13.


After we ate everyone spilled out front for the annual football game in the street where the goal is to only dent the cars of the people who I've just fed because they won't sue me.


So many of my favorite people were here and later on I took all the leftover chicken and tossed it with the leftover pesto and vegetables and put it on a big bowl in the middle of the table.  We opened multiple bottles of wine and just sat in the garden as the sun went down every last morsel was eaten.

It was a beautiful day.

Tonight I've got a date with a really cool guy to one of our favorite restaurants in town.  I've got a (hopefully) quiet work day,  the pup and I are heading out for a hike in the green hills and then I'm going to actually shower, do my hair/makeup and put on real clothes...all three in the same day is like a mini miracle.

I can't wait.

What are y'all's weekend plans?  Quiet or busy...I'd love to hear!

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