Monday, October 24, 2016


It is pouring rain began late last night and has continued all day long.  My cats aren't sure what to do, the dog isn't sure what to do, I'm not sure what to do.  It's like the whole world has stopped and everyone is waiting for the 'ok' to exhale.

But the weekend itself?

Perfectly Fallish.


Speaking of not exhaling...that's what our whole weekend felt like.  We way overbooked ourselves, though it didn't feel like we were overbooking at the time of booking.  We ended up with a typical Friday night dinner in the garden and there were not only our friends but lots of kids that wandered in and ended up staying, which is always fun.  

I, at 4:15pm, decided to roast a couple of big chickens and a huge tray of roasted sprouts, carrots, potatoes, onions, fennel, garlic and then made a big salad to go alongside and by miracle of miracles it was all put together and on the table in 2 hours.  

Opened a few bottles of wine and called it a party...not bad.  Not bad at all.

That guy that I like so much had to work on Saturday and I met up with an old friend for a super long coffee date.  I had enough time to run home, change and out the door we went for OktoberFest at the local German club.  It's an annual tradition and it's loud and loud and did I mention LOUD?  

But aside from loud it is SUPER fun.

I had invited pretty much everyone and we ended up with a small group of 27.  We got there early, set up our tablecloths and watched the night unfold.

There was beer.  Good German beer on favorite being the Spaten Oktoberfest.  I like it in the bottles when I can get it but on tap it's so good.  

There were pretzels.  And schnitzel.  And potato pancakes with applesauce.  And more beer.

There were friends.  So many fun friends...both old and new.  There was great music and the building of the cup tower (we won...or at least we think we did!) and then, after all that, there was dancing.

The chicken dance.  The polka.  The hits.  The nots.  

We must've danced for 3 hours straight and I've gotta say, I've had a hard time getting out of bed the last few mornings.  Oh, and I can't seem to lift my right arm over my head...probably from all the toasting.

Those Germans?  Well, they sure throw a great party.  And that's coming from an Italian girl.


And 3 hours away, Matteo was at his own OktoberFest with his friends, so we compared notes throughout.  We missed him!

We got home at a time when the moon was high in the sky and slept for a few hours...that guy that I like so much had a 6:00am call time with his choir the next morning.  Ouch.

But God created, strong coffee, for that very reason.

I ended up rolling out of bed and with a very raspy voice, got myself to church in time for early service.  His choir this year is huge and they were singing at a former church of ours and I'll admit, it's a hard place for me to go back to.  There's a history, as there often is...and a story that still hurts when I think about it...sometimes a bee sting is still felt even after the mark is long gone.

But it was all good and I felt so at peace worshipping there that morning which was definitely God at work in my heart.  And I'm thankful for that.

After, we went to a former students beautiful home and had such a lovely time with them.  They in we had the most amazing meal ever and felt so pampered by the time it was over.


We climbed into bed last night and I realized we had spent more time away all weekend than home and just as I was settling in with my book, the rain drops started.  That sound...what is it about that sound that is so calming, especially to us in the dry state that we are in?

And that brings me to today...Monday.  I'm moving slow and thinking slower.  Work is always a bit crazier when it rains and there's always stranger than normal problems to solve and today has been no different.  I'd love to be curled up on my couch watching a movie but that's just not going to happen...but tonight I'll be curled up while I watch our beloved Bronco's play.  

I hope it's still raining.


Friday, October 21, 2016

The Way Life Is Right Now

I'm sitting at my kitchen counter in the middle of a conference call with a bunch of yelling people while I sip my super hot coffee with yummy amaretto creamer in it.  I'm not yelling...I'm just listening and answering emails and cringing now and then at the way this whole meeting is playing out.

It's Friday and I'm waiting for others to get that memo.

So for your weekend enjoyment, here's a picture of my family.  We're fancy.


That guy that I like so much has been working more than he's been home.  Occasionally he needs a reminder to come home, eat a roast chicken dinner, turn the brain off, love on his puppy.

I think that's the biggest job I have of remind my people what  (and where) 'home' is.  

And to pick up their wet towels off the bathroom floor.

I love love love meatloaf and the perfect Ina Garten has the best recipe.  It makes an insane amount which is perfect for the crowd I usually feed but occasionally I make it and divide it in half and then freeze it.  Makes for an easy supper on a night where these people I live with still want to eat and I don't feel like cooking.  I use ground beef because ground turkey freaks me out and it's always super good.

And two of my five aren't meatloaf lovers....or even likers for that matter, but this one they tolerate so that says something.

This summer that guy that I like so much and I road tripped through wine country and now boxes keep arriving at our doorstep.  Good boxes.  Good boxes that are filled with wine.  Good boxes that are filled with wine and a credit charge that keeps getting billed for the boxes that are being delivered.


I'm thinking that we shouldn't ever go wine tasting again.  But the deliveries are kinda fun.


I was gifted the most perfect, most beautiful sign this week and I'm so excited to hang it in my hallway.  The saying is perfect and it's soooo beautiful.


There was a 2 1/4 hour visit to Disney for one last ride on Tower of Terror before it makes way for a new ride.  The whole park smelled of cinnamon and caramel and popcorn and it wasn't very crowded and it was the perfect little getaway.

I'm ready to go back for an evening but first I've got to stay awake past 8:00pm.


We did have lunch at our favorite little spot and it just made me want to run away to Italy and not come back.

Dreaming is SO affordable!


And my ugly conference call got even uglier and sigh.  This work week needs to come to an end and the weekend needs to start.  It's 5:00pm somewhere....right?


Monday, October 17, 2016

Saint Michael's Weekend

The University where that guy that I like so much teaches at has a long weekend every October and it's known amongst our group of friends as St, Michael's weekend...because forever and a day ago he was the one who recommended it.  

Officially it's just Fall Break...but whatever it's called is fine because it's much, much needed.

The weeks leading up to it became a comedy of errors of sorts.  We made and canceled more plans than I can even keep track of...originally we were all going 'home' to Boulder for Homecoming with our great friends and then boys bailed and our friends had a conflict.  Next up was San Francisco, which was a cheap flight but it just wasn't jiving with me.  There was Napa, because AND changing leaves sounded amazing but the hotels were all booked.  For a few days we tossed around Colonial Williamsburg, which seemed crazy for a 4 day weekend but my free airline tickets only got us part way there and we're drowning in college tuition bills.

So yeah.  It became complicated.  And, quite frankly, made me grumpy.  

And then we got a last minute email that Colbie Caillat was playing at Humphrey's in San Diego.  Cheap tickets, great hotel prices and the most perfect venue/location ever and we basically ran out the door after spending an hour inputting 12 Ticketmaster vouchers into the system...and each voucher had like 85 teeny tiny numbers and I've suddenly become blind as a bat.

But hey...the tickets wound up being free and right about now I'm all about anything and everything that's free.  

And when I talk about the perfect venue...this is the view from our hotel room balcony.



We worked all day and then hopped on the 5 freeway at 5:00pm for the drive south...which pretty much meant that we were starting out our little getaway in a happy harmonious sort of way.


But cocktails were was Colbie.

And soon...we were there and all was well in Buschland.

The concert was great...totally low key and almost like she's in the backyard with you.  The weather was perfectly chilly...enough to need a sweater but not enough to be cold.  Autumn took so long to arrive and we're savoring every minute of it before it becomes winter...but who am I kidding?  We live in SoCal so winter isn't that much different.


Before heading home we popped into Con Pane for a savory bread plate and huge mugs of hot coffee.  


The rest of the weekend was rather mellow and sprinkled with some work stuff and some fun stuff.  Dinner with friends one night.  Cocktails most nights...or, truth be told, every night.

And the pumpkin cranberry crackers from Trader Joe's are SO GOOD!

We did some house stuff and played with making our kitchen table smaller since our houseful is currently smaller...but then I realized that there are still always a lot of people gathered here for various meals during the week, so nevermind.  

We strolled through Rogers Gardens and hit up BevMo and Costco and caught up on laundry and went to sushi one day.  It just felt...relaxing.

I ended up making a real, honest to goodness eggplant parmesan one night.  A slow roasted marinara came first and then I did the unthinkable and fried, in olive oil, the eggplant the way my Grandma used to...and the smell of it brought back so many great memories of her cooking.

I normally bake mine but truly, it's just not the same.

Eggplant parm is probably one of my favorite things but I don't make it very often...and I should.  My boys have no clue that it's 'meat free' and I'm not telling them until they're like 40.


And then Sunday came and that guy that I like so much had to work, so real life creeped back in.  But that's ok...real life is good too.  

In the middle of the night I was woken up by a foreign sound....raindrops!  Lots of them!  I'm currently sitting at my kitchen counter and the sound of them, in between the sound of my keyboard, is so lulling.  And the smell...I love the smell of the air after the rain.  

This morning was crazy because of it...lots of people are suddenly 'sick' when the rain comes so there was a lot of scrambling and early morning phone calls to make everything work out.  But, like it always does, it did and now I'm facing a mountain of emails to wade through.  

Supper tonight, in honor of the rain....meatloaf, mac n cheese and a veggie of some sort.   Mmmm....I can't wait.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Changing Seasons

And just like that, the seasons change and the nights where we can sit at the table enjoying a bottle of wine and reading the fun catalogs start coming to an end.  I've always been extremely protective of that guy that I like so much's time...he's never been in a 9 to 5 job and so the crazy hours and nights and weekends and are a mystery to many.  But when he's in the midst of the 'crazy season'...known to most as the holiday season, I become the 'no' guy.  Or gal.  His time off is precious and when he gets a rare night off, he needs to be this little house on our little street.

And so, that season has begun again.  And this time it's different too because I'm not running a bunch of places chasing boys here and it'll be a new season for me as well.

But the other night, we had quiet.  And it was glorious.

I've been taking long walks around the neighborhood lately.  The hiking trails are still too hot and too snake infested but my neighborhood never ceases to amaze me.  It's just...pretty.


Trying to schedule a trip for work in the middle of hurricane season is complicated and watching a hurricane from afar had me so worried for my team there.   West Palm Beach fared better than expected and aside from lots of heavy wind and rain and power outages, everyone is doing well.

Scary stuff, those big storms.  Scary, scary stuff.

That guy that I like so much had a morning off and so we headed to the happiest place on earth for a little mouse therapy.  The weather was warm but not too warm and this is just such a pretty time to go to the park.  We're nerdy and love to just stroll and look at the flowers and eat lunch and ride a ride or two...and as of now, it's still worth it for us to have annual passes.


An accidental picture on my phone but it's not so accidental at all!  I love this look and am thinking it would look so pretty in the garden someday.  Maybe?

We ate lunch at the Mexican place (because Mexican food is ALWAYS a good idea) and then went on the haunted mansion.  It ended up being the perfect 2 hour long lunch break before we both headed back to work.


Friday night we opened the garden...I cooked (chicken, pasta with pesto, a BIG salad, lots of french bread) and did a whole bunch of last minute text message invites.  I think some get put off that I do it that way but sometimes I just don't know how work is going to go or if we'll even be home...but I love the whole last minute Friday night thing.  Everyone is tired from the week and looking forward to their weekend and it just seems a casual, fun way to end out the week.  

Anyway, Brian showed up with all his roommates and Alex brought his whole crowd, plus a few neighbors...all in all, I think there were 20 that came to eat.  It was all last minute and totally not fancy but it ended up being such a fun,  exactly what I had hoped for,  night.

I finally pulled out the Halloween decorations and made my way over to our little pumpkin patch so I could buy a cornstalk for the front porch.  I normally do a bale of hay as well but this year I have no man power home to move the big cypress tree (which is growing in a pot) to the backyard.

So one cornstalk and 5 pumpkins later and I was all set.

Today I worked but it was eerily in I kept checking tomake sure my phone was still working.  I'm glad, since I drove soooo much this LA on Saturday to visit a high school friend and then to LA again yesterday for the Ram's game.  Tomorrow I have a conference call and a meeting and I'll be out and about all day, so today I just worked from home and made a slight dent in the pile of paperwork that was sitting on my desk.  

It always feels good to be almost caught up.


I also made dinner...chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, but I didn't count so for all I know it's chicken with 73 cloves of garlic.  Close enough.  Unless you're a vampire...pretty sure we're safe tonight.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hey There

The days turn into weeks and life just keeps moving along.  Our little house on our little street is so quiet now and I'm trying to find my footing in this new stage of normal...the new normal where I'm cooking for just a few people and where the house is SO VERY VERY QUIET all day long.

But then again it's so fun...there are early morning breakfasts out and early evening drives in the convertible.  

But the quiet?  The quiet, after all these years, is a bit of a struggle for me.  It's glorious...I mean,  I've dreamed of quiet for 26 years and now it's here and I don't know quite what to do with it.  

The other night I wandered over to my neighbors with containers of leftovers that I knew wouldn't be eaten....she opened the wine and we just commiserated about life.  The quiet.  The worry.  Work issues.  Family stuff.  The good, the bad, the ugly.

I love that I have friends in my life who are so present and so real.  And whose flowers are a little crispy on the table.


The middle of our boys was out of town and I snagged his truck to run a few errands.  I had only driven a manual transmission until 12 years ago and I must say, that was a glorious day when we bought our first automatic SUV.  But to zip around town shifting gears is so fun!  It makes me feel younger than I am and kind of inept...I mean who likes to be stopped on a hill in a stick shift car???

After 4, slightly long, years...I think I've picked a paint color and it just might be the exact same color our house currently is.  But I've spackled the walls, hosted a ton of parties and realized that we will forever be one (or two) step away from being all put together and that's perfectly OK.  

I could drive myself insane trying, but it's just too much.  So I quit.  Come over...there'll be plenty of food and great music and a cocktail or two, but as for the house?  Well...we're a hot mess and we kinda like that.


Mornings though?

The sunlight in this little house on this little street is so incredibly glorious.  


Last weekend was the 40th anniversary of the university where that guy that I like so much teaches and where boy #1 graduated and boy # 3 currently attends.  There were really beautiful moments and a few awkward ones peppered's just how things are in the real world.   Friendships have changed over time and life has changed over time and that's all cool and groovy but still...sometimes it's just awkward.

But the music was fabulous.


We attended a fancy dinner after and had such a fun table...from people who knew that guy that I like so much's Grandmother to friends who come to the garden often.

And after, we popped into the youngest shrubs dorm room and it's just so fun to see him in his element.  He's having such a great time, is fully immersed in the pre-med program and has been blessed with the most perfect roommates.  

But things, as we all well know, can change quickly...but for this instant all is well.  And I'm going to soak in this instant.  

Ahhh...friends.  Friends are a very good thing.

Ahhh...the heat in October in SoCal is not.  

At all.

After months of time off I have taken to the trails again...long quiet hikes where the going down part is so glorious and the coming up part is pure hell.  But I talk a lot to God and He puts up with my ranting and raving about how hard it is to be 'back on the wagon'.

I pray a lot when I hike.  I cry alot.  I swear...occasionaly.  I sweat a lot.

But I always finish feeling so happy that I took the time to take care of me.  That I settle into a much better version of me when I take care of me.

Our boys have been flitting in and out of our little house on our little street and it's just so much fun.  I'm going to knock on wood right now but it seems that at this small moment, all is well in the lives of the Busch boys.  That hasn't always (if ever) been the case but for right now, until the morning comes, I'm going to settle into the fact that all is well.

Last week I was able to go worship with Beth Moore and I just love hearing her fact, I'm kinda a groupie now.  She just speaks such great words...words that speak directly to who I am and what I believe.  But then, towards the middle, I had my feelings hurt...or maybe it was just me being overly sensitive...but a friend said something that had me thinking 'wow...she doesn't know me at all'. 

But it was what it was and the overall message was so good and a nice little nudge back into a daily devotional for me.  And nudges like that are good, and necessary, for me to hear.


Our beloved Colorado Buffalo's are having such a good season and while that guy that I like so much has never been a fair weather fan, the last few years have been a bit painful to watch.  But this year?  Well, life has gotten to the point where things stop when both the Buff's play and the Bronco's play and I'm finding myself slipping out to do a little shopping.

Having a whole slew of boys has its benefits.


And last of all, this past weekend was a big concert on campus featuring our dear friend, Bobby.  He is so talented and has the best stories to tell...I mean, he commissioned a piece for the Pope!  Like, the real Pope!  Matteo was hired to play in the orchestra and after it was all said and done we found ourselves at Houston's for a late night celebratory dinner out.  

I've talked often about how blessed we are in the friend department and it's just so true.

And then the week began again like it always does.  My work life is nothing short of a nightmare though through all the ugliness, God is smiling.  One of my biggest headaches is leaving and it's just good.  Really, really good.  

And tonight is just a Tuesday and while we are settling in to our new normal it's beginning to feel right.  I'm writing, he's working a bit, the dog is ready to be walked and I am thinking back to when we were first married and I used to tell him that I wanted a life of chaos.  But I now know that I love chaos...especially when followed by quiet.  And I love quiet when followed by chaos.  And our little life seems to always be in one of those two stages...and that is good.

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