Monday, June 18, 2018

A Bunch Of Random Stuff and WE BOUGHT A PIZZA OVEN

I'm sitting at my desk (in my pretty home office) and staring at piles and piles of papers.  The school year is over for all but a handful of programs and this is the week I am going to get all caught up...and maybe a little bit of planning ahead for once, before I take a 3-4 weeks off for summer.

The bummer is that no work means no pay, so that is just hard.  But...well, it is what it is and the best part is, after all these years I finally have a much healthier perspective on my work life.  So there's that.  

The best part is the word 'summer'.  The garden had a soft opening and then a real opening and it is going to be a beautiful season.


Group chats keep us all up to date on the important stuff.  Haha.

The Seniors from Concordia arrived for their turn at dinner in the garden and I made piles of pizzelles for dessert.  Buying a 2nd iron has made things so much quicker...I'm actually, gulp, thinking of ordering a 3rd one.  

That moment when grown-up students (who are like family to us) come back with their not so littles for visits.  What?  Weren't they just the littles themselves?

And that guy that I like so much...what a year he's had.  God keeps throwing things his way and he answers yes and jumps in with both feet.  

I love that about him.


Mother's Day 2018.  The sun was warm, I saw two boys in person and was able to talk to our one who lives so very faraway.  

And the best gift ever....flours from my boys. oven.  


One last Florida work trip with a super quick, I'm finished for the day and have a crazy early flight home, visit with my peeps.  

They make me me. 


May brought my birthday, Michael's birthday, Mother's Day, the Senior dinner, graduation, a ton of recitals, a retirement party, and an official opening party for the garden. 

Lots of lists, lots of cooking, lots food, lots of laughter and big talks and little talks and a few tears.  

It's all good.  

Throw in the 'hi, I cooked too much, come over' invitations that have me running full speed (which is quite the sight) across the street for supper.

Lucky, lucky us.

The youngest of our houseful finished his sophomore year of college - WHAT???  His choir went on tour to Hawaii and he had a miserable time.  Not.  He came home tan and tired and more choir for him.  Next year he's jumping the pond for study abroad and we will have three boys on three different continents.  Not just three different cities or three different states or three different countries...but in true Busch form, we've gotta stress the mama out as much as possible and spread out as much as possible.

But I do love them.


And then there's this:

So, a while back we had a conversation about pizza ovens.  We've pretty much had that same conversation over and over...ever since summering with our littles on the Italian island of Elba, where Napolean was exiled (lucky him!).  While wandering a village we found a restaurant that had gone out of business decades before and in the middle of the ruins was a beautiful pizza oven. 

I wanted it, but with three little boys, it just didn't fit in our luggage. We walked by every day for a week and I drooled and plotted and cried and it was, along with the leg of prosciutto that I wanted to hide in my suitcase, a no go.

But it started a conversation that went on for years.

That guy that I like so much researched.  And measured.  And researched some more.  And measured some more.  He envisioned a built-in and we just couldn't figure out how that would work with all the different types of parties we host and more importantly, how we want our little garden to feel when we are out there.

One night, a special wine was poured.  One simple click and it was ordered.  

A few weeks later, a fork lift delivered it to our little house on our little street.  But with all that measuring and planning, no one (and there were a few involved in this process) thought to measure the back gate.  



Enter our Turkish neighbor who knows absolutely everything about everything...and if he doesn't know it, he knows a guy who does.  Who needs a tool box (or a blow torch or a ladder or a recipe for homemade olives) if you have Bulent for a neighbor?

The oven was disassembled and then reassembled...all by the light of the moon and away from the prying eyes of our crazy association board members, because even though there is no rule about pizza ovens, they will find a way to add one if need be.  

A pizza oven is a event even.  You need wood...real wood that is untreated.  A fire needs to be built, dough needs to be made, wine needs to be poured.  Our first time using it, I never left the kitchen which goes against everything I believe when it comes to hosting a party.  I couldn't make the pizzas fast enough and because the oven gets to just under 1,000 degrees, the pizzas cook in one minute.

And they're so good, that they got eaten in that amount of time too.

But now we've learned.  We slow it all down.  We not only do pizzas, but we throw whatever we can think of in cast iron pans - from vegetables, baked cheese, berry cobbler, fish, steaks and throw them all out in courses.  It encourages people to slow down, to talk, to not very European.  

100% worth it.

This is going to be a fun, and delicious, summer.

And hey...did you know my SoCal town has not one, but TWO lumberyards???

Very, very convenient.


Back to paperwork for me...I'm SO ready for summer.


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