Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hopping From Coast to Coast


The school year is winding down and so am I...the days are not only longer but it's almost as if they are taunting me to play hooky with all that sun shiney, warm air business.  My to-do list keeps getting longer and even though I'm slowly plugging away at it, I'm finding myself daydreaming about warm sand and coconutty sun screen and closed eyes.

My boys used to get spring fever and I'm realizing that I do too.  Is summer here yet?

On Monday morning in the early morning, I left on a jet plane for Florida.  This was the quickest of trips and I was only in south Florida this time around and I felt like by the time I got my sea legs under me it was time to turn around and come home.

But there were some really cool moments too...there always are.

Every one of my flights this time around was packed full.  I'm usually lucky enough to score an empty seat on at least one of my legs but not this time around.  I travel quite a bit and I like it but even I get antsy by the time we're an hour or so out.  I always choose a window because I don't like to be bothered and I like to be able to lean against the wall but this time around I was stuck in the middle for one leg.  

But work travel is cool in that it's free...and I like free.


I woke up one morning at 5:30am and went to sit on the beach.  It was so quiet and still and the waves were so beautiful.  My Dad was buried at sea and whenever I'm at the ocean I find myself talking to him through teary eyes about my life and his beautiful Grandsons and I really think he'd be happy with how things were turning out.  At least I hope so.

And then, as a reminder of just how small I am, the sun rose up and the light was blinding and warm and I felt the gentleness of my God.  These moments that he hands me on a silver platter...or on a sandy beach, are so precious to me.  I need these reminders.

 The days on work trips are long and this time around I had one of the bosses meet up with me for a day.  There are more work changes and I'm just raising my hands like I'm on a roller coaster flying down a big hill.  

And right now it's a very, very, very big hill.



 And then, just as soon as it started, I was on a plane headed back for the west coast.  For home.  For my little house on my little street.  For that guy that I like so much.  

I love that when I question my value....question my worth here on earth that all I have to do is go home.  

=0)

I do have job security here at home.  Three males on their own for a few days and our little house on our little street develops a rather distinct odor and I'm pretty sure a broom hasn't touched the floor.  But like I said...job security for me.  

It's nice to be needed.

It's even better to be home.

=0)

Monday, May 9, 2016

I Don't Even Know Where To Begin

I've been MIA for so long and there's so much that has happened - so I'm going to just walk you through it with a lot of pictures.  I've been so busy but I'm currently in a Texas airport on my way to Florida and have a whopping 48 minutes until my next flight to Florida.

First up - that guy that I like so much.  Another school year is in the books for him and now the real work of planning the concert season for the upcoming year begins.  But the next few weeks are a lot less stressful and I like that.

Frankly, I like him.

=0)


My youngest took me out to lunch and we tried a new place that was so yummy.  Cheeseburger poutines...a big, gloppy, totally yummy mess.  I'm loving his senior year - he's done with school a little after noon and he's become my lunch buddy just as his brothers were during their senior years.  

I love that time with them once a week or so to just feed them and if I'm lucky, I get a teeny tiny bit of information about their lives too.

Mom's are smart.

Speaking of the youngest shrub...he's now a working shrub.

There are worse places to work, that's for sure.

That guy that I like so much and I had lunch at Disneyland last week and broke down on Space Mountain.  Totally cool to see a little peek at behind the scenes and by the way, the new star wars theme is totally awesome.

We, gulp, renewed our passes so there will be more trips to come.

I have a new hiking trail that involves going up a very, very, very, very, very big hill.

And then you hike toward the ocean.

It's all so perfect until you have to turn around and go back up again.

Ouch.

Polenta with roasted brussels sprouts and a beef ragu.

YUM.

A coffee date with my boy in the middle and he makes me laugh so hard.

He's a keeper.

I walked through this tunnel on my birthday and it just seemed fitting for the day - I was leaving behind the old and going towards the light because (yikes) I am now closer to the light side of things than I was before.

I'm trying to smile.  Really, I am.

On the other side?

Pretty ocean.

Yummy beignets.

And a weepy, miserable me.

I cried all through breakfast and I have no clue why.  I'm not normally like that but oh well.  Everyone is allowed to wallow now and then, right?

That guy that I like so much brought me a cake and then had to go on to work.  A bit later my girlfriend arrived with the same (though a bit more fancy) cake and forced me to turn off Gilmore Girls, get off the couch and basically told me to grow up.

It was so funny...or it would have been if it had been reversed.

=0)

Because folks...I'm now 50.

Fifty.

Fifty.

Fifty.


But you know what?

Now it's all good.  I just needed a day to settle in.  I just LOVED my 40's so much and I don't want that to change...and so far, they haven't.

Whew.

=0)

See...it's all good.

God is good...and apparently He still needs me so here I am.

I am so very, very blessed.

=0)

So now it's time to take this 50 for a ride...and I'm ready.

Really, really ready.

=0)



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.

Seriously...cooking 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?

Bonus.

=0)

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

Literally.

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!  

=0)

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.

=0)

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.

=0)

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.

=0)

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.

=0)

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.

=0)

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.

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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.

Yummy.

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.

=0)

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.

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We love hanging at Alta Coffee in Newport...it'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 possible...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 stressful...it 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.

=0)

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.

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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.

=0)

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 gather...it 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.

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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.

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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.

Yum.

=0)

Our very last ever sports banquet ever.

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.

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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 yeah...it's fun.

=0)
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