Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Visiting Teaching Brunch

I got back from Baltimore Sunday night, just in time to host our annual visiting teaching brunch Monday morning at my house. We're been doing it for about 6 years. Linda Bealer and I invite the people we visit teach, as does Jannet Downs. We extend that to another few people to make a nice group of about 10, which fits perfectly at my table. We missed Coreen Engstrom, who is in Germany this year with her family. It was nice to have a few new people with us, as well. It was very nostalgic for me. I'll miss the good friends and wonderful people of the Broomfield Third Ward. I'm grateful that I'll still have visiting teaching in Baltimore, and that it will provide me with the opportunity to make new friends.

Home again, Still Homeless

We had some excitiment being a part of the largest snowfall ever in Baltimore in the month of December. It broke the previous record set 80 years ago by 7 inches, for a grand total of 21 inches. The airport re-opened on Sunday, and we felt fortunate to have flights out at 5 p.m. We had a connection in Charlotte, NC, and arrived in Denver at 11:30 p.m.

We played a little backgammon Saturday night. We had to play till I finally won a game. Then I let Ed quit.
Sunday morning the sun came out and we were able to go to church in what we're hoping will be our new branch (Fort Smallwood branch). We met some really friendly and interesting people. They were very nice to call us and tell us the time had been changed to 1 p.m. so people could dig their cars out and get to church. They were combined with the Glen Burnie ward, and there were still only about 50 people there.

Before church we stopped by one more time at the house on Colonial Beach Road. It wasn't easy getting in. The owners were out of town, so the house was empty, but the driveway unplowed. We put in an offer on the house, but it looks like it's going to be expensive. We're waiting for a few days to see what our buy-out appraisals will be on our current house. After we get that information we might counter offer. It is still our prefered house, partly because of the great kitchen.

It also has a great lot, with some separation from the neighbors. This will be a memorable house hunting trip, especially if we end up buying this house. If not, we might be going back to square one!

Here we are standing in front of our (maybe) new home. We'll try to take a break now and concentrate on Christmas for a change.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Buying in a Blizzard

We're making an offer on a house today. Our realtor, Ron, risked life and limb to meet us at the hotel this morning. This is him, with Ed, trying to clean off his car after meeting with us. It must be snowing about 3 inches an hour. This is a big storm! The homeowners of the house we would like to buy are in Australia. Their plane was supposed to land today. The airport is completely closed. I wonder where they'll be able to land. The whole eastern seaboard is covered by this storm.

We went out to lunch at Bob Evans, but it was tough getting out and back. The roads are just piles of snow with ruts. The restaurant closed after we left. We were lucky to get a hamburger (they only had a skeleton staff, and 5 items on the menu). We did buy a coconut cream pie and brought it home to save for dinner. That, along with the bagels we stole from breakfast, ought to get us through the evening.
We wanted to go see Avatar at the theater, which is next to our hotel, but we couldn't walk in the deep snow (2 feet), the car would have a hard time getting out of the parking lot after the movie, and most important of all, they're closing the theater, anyway! So, we're watching Andrea Boccelli sing Christmas songs on TV, and watching it snow.

We called our new (hopefully) branch president. He went to the same high school Ed did (Rahway). He's just a few years younger than Ed. They had to cancel their branch Christmas party tonight. They're going to delay church and meet with the other ward at 1 p.m. on Sunday. We plan on going to church tomorrow. Our new flight home is for 5 p.m. Sunday (to Charlotte, NC, then to Denver). This is a memorable house hunting trip!

Friday, December 18, 2009

House Hunting 2

Ed and I are on our second (and, hopefully, last) house hunting trip to Baltimore.We're putting an offer in on this house today. The owners are out of the country, so we might not hear back till Saturday or even later on their response to our offer. We're offering them quite a bit less than the listing price. We're hoping to find a compromise somewhere in the middle. If not, we have a second favorite house, and we'll put an offer in on that one next week if this one falls through.

It's interesting that we have only this small window in which to choose a home. It's somewhat limiting. We'll have to pick from what happens to be for sale at this time. I'm sure we'll be happy with whatever we choose, but it feels somewhat confining to have so little time to make a decision. It reminds me of our house hunting trip from California to Colorado. We had two days to find a home. In the end we were very happy with our new 2500 square feet mansion, having just moved from an 800 square foot home in California. It seems that buying new homes is like taking drugs. Each time you buy a new one, it takes a little bit more to give you that same high. This home is 5500 square feet. You'd think that would be enough!

This is a picture of Ed and me on the fishing pier of this private, gated community where our (maybe) future house is located. We'll keep our fingers crossed!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mr. Vice President

Ed had his picture and promotion come out in a press release yesterday. He looks very handsome, don't you think? Now if you google him you get lots of hits on the real Ed Bush (the one I know and love). Here's a connection with the press release. It was picked up by lots of news services, including our favorite, CNN!
Photo Release -- Northrop Grumman Appoints Edward Bush to Lead C4ISR Networked Systems Business for the Electronic Systems Sector (NYSE:NOC)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Promotion Dinner

Last night we went to dinner at the Flagstaff Inn to celebrate Ed's promotion to Vice President. It is a beautiful restaurant, and the food was great. I was happy because I had an excuse to buy a new blazer and blouse and a few accessories to go with it. I liked my red flower! I think I'll wear it on Sunday for the choir Christmas program.
We didn't leave till almost 10:30. Ed and his good friends from work just wanted to sit around and reminisce about the good times they've had together. They each told a story about working with Ed. Most of them were humorous, and there was even a little adventure (Ed and Dave sneaking around the large plants in an atrium to avoid being accosted by the boss in California). Most of the stories I had never heard, so it was fun. There was a real sense of comraderie. It's been a great 7 years for Ed. They gave him a really nice leather briefcase as a going away gift--a briefcase fitting for a Vice President.

House Hunting

Our house hunting trip last week was less fruitful than we had hoped. Here is a picture of a house we liked for many reasons. The outside is beautiful, as is the lot. The inside has some good and some bad things. Some remodeling would be in its future if we bought it. There were many houses we liked, but each one had a tragic flaw. One had a basement with low ceilings. Another had a small master bedroom with tiny closets. This house is on a nice lot with grass in the front and woods behind it. A golf course is behind the woods. It sports a different color of carpet in every room, a bath tub that juts out in the middle of the master bath in a wierd fashion. The kitchen has silestone counters and an electric stovetop. We'd prefer granite and gas. It also has black instead of stainless appliances. It has a small study and a doorway to death out the kithchen.That is, there is a door to the back deck, but the deck hasn't been built yet. Since it is a walk-out, it's a long drop to the ground.

On the upside, each bedroom had its own bathroom, the family room has pretty windows and a raised hearth fireplace. There is an atrium room, a large pantry and laundry room, and a brick patio outside the walkout basement. The basement had a rec room, but no bathroom or bedroom for grandma and grandpa. I guess they could stay in Crystal's room in the meantime!

Here I am with the realtor. It looks like I'm thinking, "Could I live here?"

Ed is going to look at another house this week. Maybe it will be perfect!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

From Snow to Rain

I arrived safely in Baltimore this afternoon, and even caught the airport shuttle to the Residence Inn all by myself. Of course, the best part of the trip was flying first class. They FEED you up in the front of the plane! I even got a hot towel to wipe my hands. I curled my bangs three extra times today. The first time it was the snow in Denver that ruined them. (I was snowblowing into a cross breeze before I went to the airport.) The next two were both Baltimore's fault. It's been raining since I got here. I'm going to have to find some way of styling my hair in a damp climate. Ed and I had a quick, free dinner here at the hotel, then went to see Blind Side at the Egyptian Theater at the Rundel Mills Mall. It was a very fancy theater, with lots of pillars! The mall was huge. The movie was great, too. It was about a Baltimore Raven's football player that was taken in by a white family in high school. It was a true and very inspiring story. Tomorrow we get to go house hunting! I hope we find something nice.

Relief Society Progressive Dinner

Last night I was one of the hosts for the Relief Society Progressive dinner. Jana Roylance spent most of her day in the kitchen, but it was worth it! We had cordon bleu, and it was delicious. I didn't know my house could host 75 people for a dinner, but we made it. It was so fun and festive.

To make things even better, D'Arla Mezzacapo brought her school bus, and we drove from house to house singing Christmas Carols. We started at Tracy Warner's house and ended at Leslie Lewis's house. Being on a school bus put us all into a festive mood. It was a nice touch. Lilly Enfante gave a little talk at each house to tie the experience together for us. At the end they gave us all ward cookbooks. What a nice momento! Especially for me. I'll be cooking and weeping next year in Baltimore as I remember all my good friends in Broomfield, and how much I miss them.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

So Much to be Thankful For

We enjoyed Thansgiving with Verlene and Paul this year, in their new house. We missed Crystal (in the MTC) the Stevens family (in Utah and Chile), especially since this will be our last Thanksgiving in Denver. It makes us especially nostalgic. But, it couldn't have been a finer day to put in our memory book. The temperatures were in the low 70s, and after we ate we sat on the back deck and digested. From the deck we could enjoy a spectacular view of the front range mountains. Brandy enjoyed chasing a ball and coming back to get scratched behind the ear. She has a great life. Ed spent a good portion of his time in the study getting Verlene and Paul's new computer networked.
My carrot pudding turned out great.  The flan pan was the perfect pan to cook it in.
After dinner we went over to the church where the Twisted Sisters played a short family gig consisting of Angelina Baker, The Old Home Fill 'Er Up and Keep on Truckin' Cafe, and Over the River and Through the Woods. Matt and Brent Reichman dressed as fat old men and did the speak-singing on the Cafe song. Matt said it was every bit as much fun as he had imagined it would be!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Ed and I celebrated our 28th Wedding Anniversary by going out to dinner with Brittany, who had just arrived from Utah to celebrate Thanksgiving. We went to Pappadeaux's Restaurant in Westminster. Brittany had her first lobster, her first alligator, AND her first oysters on the half shell. It was a real adventure in dining! It took all evening (lobsters are a lot of work), but we still had time and  room for dessert--pecan pie, crème brûlée and pumpkin cheesecake. It's a good thing we only do this once a year!

We have so much to be grateful for as we celebrate our anniversary. We've enjoyed the journey together. We're grateful for our three wonderful daughters, for our friends and family, for the Gospel in our lives, and for the support we get from one another in all our endeavors. We've spent a lot of time lately thinking about all the wonderful things that have happened to us in Colorado. Next year our journey will take a new path as we move to Baltimore. We'll be looking forward together to this new leg of our journey!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Who Loves Crystal?

We're home from Utah, and have given up our youngest daughter to the Mission Training Center. We hope they're nice to her! It was pretty tough, but not as hard as sending Brittany to Afica alone from Denver International Airport. At least we were able to pass Crystal off to people who would take care of her. Although Brittany arrived safely in Africa, it was a long time before we were able to get that confirmation.

We stayed with Mom and Ed for a few days. We really appreciated their love and support. They even re-opened short order grill for Ed when he arrived late Tuesday evening.

Annette and Nikki fed us some turkey soup on Monday (after our long drive through the mountains). I've got to get myself a pasta maker. The home-made noodles were to die for!

We bought a few sweaters for Crystal Tuesday after we realized that the next two months she would not be having the hot, humid climate of El Salvador. Ed suggested the MTC should have simulated climates for the countries the missionaries will be living in.

Here is Brittany giving Crystal one of her last hugs (one with no tears involved, yet). We'll have to send cyber-hugs from now on. It's so tough to have Crystal gone, but we're so looking forward to our weekly email. We missed those after Brittany returned from South Africa.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Amanda is Xerxes

Friday night was Amanda's first starring role in an opera (or any stage production, for that manner). She was Xerxes, the King of Persia, singing the lead role in the opera by Handel. It was really a great evening. She did a terrific job. It was great because the opera had lots of humor in it, so it made the 3 hours just fly by. Even Ed was able to stay awake throughout the entire production despite having taken an early flight home from Baltimore that same morning.

Grandma and Ed (Melzer) were there from Utah. Nora drove up from Centennial, and Justin and his parents came up from Broomfield. Amanda didn't realize that she had the lead role till they staged their bows. When she realized she was the last person to come out for bows it suddenly dawned on her that she finally was the lead singer. It has been a long journey for her, which made it extra special.

The opera was sung in Italian with English and Spanish subtitles. Greeley has a significant migrant population, some of whom might enjoy opera...who knows?

They staged the opera in Iran (Persia in 1979), so Amanda's Xerxes was really the Shah of Iran. It actually added a lot to the fun of the show. They even had a machine gun on stage, which added to the drama. In the fuzzy picture Amanda is the one on the left. I liked her white suit!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


We've spent the last week cleaning house getting ready to put our house on the market. It looks so good now that we hate to move. The trick now will be to keep all the rooms clean at the same time. The realtor took pictures of it yesterday, and it should go online on Tuesday. Check it out! 13984 Quail Ridge Drive. If we could just transplant it to Baltimore, everything would be perfect! Crystal made two beatiful flower arrangements for the piano and dining room table. They were the finishing touches on a lovely new decorating scheme!

Mom and Ed (Melzer) have been out all week helping us get the house ready. They've been doing windows and blinds. They were pretty excited to go home today, but it's been snowing and they'll have to wait till Monday. They're sad, but I promised them I wouldn't make them work anymore if they'd just stay over the weekend.  See, here they are, resting on the couch in their own private family room in the basement. It's not too bad down there now that Ed has figured out how to work the basement TV.

Monday Night Football

On Monday we went to Invesco Field at Mile Hi to watch the Broncos embarrass themselves on national TV. It was the first time Crystal and Brittany had ever been to a professional football game. There were some highs and lows. The highs were mostly in the first half of the game when the Broncos led briefly. Other highs were the great hamburgers we enjoyed, and the mild weather (it didn't snow on us).

Brittany and Crystal had fun with the "free" pompoms, and we were happy that Dad's friend, Jack, was a Steelers fan. At least someone was happy about the outcome of the game.

Here is a picture of Brittany with her sad face at the end of the game.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crystal's Special Day

Crystal goes to the Mission Training Center in a week and a half. We had such a fun day yesterday in her honor. She spoke in church in the morning. Grandma and Ed had driven all the way out from Utah to be with us. Barbara, Kent and Isaac came from Lakewood, and Verlene came from Aurora. Crystal's talk was on Service. We enjoyed hearing her observations and stories about how service had affected her life. We were very proud of her. Amanda sang a solo, "The Good Shepherd," accompanied by Brittany. It sounded so beautiful and really added to the spirit of the meeting. We enjoyed visiting over lunch after church. I enjoyed going to choir afterwards while the family (with extra thanks to Grandma) cleaned up.

After choir we had an open house for Crystal where we served pupusas, a great Salvadoran tortilla-like treat. If you want to see pictures of the pupusa's or ward members who came to the open house, visit Crystal's new blog (where I'll be posting her missionary emails) at elamordelsalvador.blogspot.com. It was a good day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beautiful Day in Baltimore

Crystal and I visited the National Acquarium in Baltimore. It was fun going back to the Inner Harbor and walking around before the Acquarium opened. There were lots of joggers enjoying the weather. It was strange thinking we'd be living by the ocean again. Ed has lived slightly less than half his life on a coast (west or east). This move will tip the scales for him. Soon it will be more than half on the coast.

We didn't get a house we couldn't live without, but we've been surfing the internet since we've been home. It's nice for me to be able to imagine the cities now that we've been there. Crystal has found a few houses we might be interested in. Our realtor will go preview them for us.

The Acquarium was really nice. We liked the manta rays. They must have a hundred of them. I also loved the jelly fish. They have a whole exhibit of just jelleyfish. We didn't have time for the dolphin show. We'll have to save that for our next trip.

We're looking forward to a fun time with family this weekend. The guest suite is ready and waiting!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Temple Day

The temple is Washington DC is so beautiful, but, boy is it hard to get to! What should have been a 35 minute ride from our hotel turned into a 1 hour and 45 minute ordeal this morning. We left at 6:30, and made it in time for the 9 a.m. session. They have serious traffic problems here. It makes Denver look like a walk in the park! Once we got inside, however it was beautiful and peaceful. There were two sisters in the Washington DC South mission. That's the mission Crystal's roommate, Heather, is going to. She finishes the MTC in 2 weeks, so it was fun meeting one of her possible  future companions.

We got back to the hotel about noon, and then we went out with our realtor, Ron. We saw a lot of houses. Some have possibilities (if we gutted the kitchen or re-designed the master bedroom). It's nice we didn't fall in love with something. That way I won't feel like I'm at risk of loosing it if we don't make an offer today. We'll try to make another house hunting trip in the beginning of December. Now we'll go home and get ready to sell our house! The dry-wallers are there now fixing our unsightly ceiling crack.

Ed took us out to a fish dinner in the Inner Harbor tonight. We were also able to scout out our route tomorrow morning to the National Acquarium!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Crystal and I went to Gettysburg today. It was my first experience driving in Baltimore, but Brenda (our GPS unit) got us there with no problem. We have a big white Mercury car, which we call "The Boat." It's unattractive on the outside, but very comfortable inside, very much like riding around in an easy chair. I found Gettysburg to be a very emotional experience. We watched a movie and saw a giant diorama. I can't listen to the Gettysburg address without crying. It's like a very beloved passage of scripture. I'm so grateful for the sacrifices of those who fought to preserve the Union. We did the short driving tour of the battlefield, as we needed to hurry back to meet our realtor. It reminded me of Custer's last stand with trees and greenery.

We saw lots of really great trees. Some of them were red and yellow. This was one of our favorite trees. We found it in the cemetery at Gettysburg. We hope to have a dozen such trees in our back yard when we move to Baltimore.

In the afternoon Crystal and I went out with the realtor. At first I felt sorry for Ed that he was missing out on all the fun, but after we saw some pretty depressing houses I felt like Ed was lucky that we were sparing him the pain. Later we saw a few houses that were little nicer. None of them were as nice as our house in Broomfield (inside), but they alll had better yards. The acre-sized lots were just beautiful.

Ed had fun at work today, mostly because he got a new badge that says "Vice President" on it, and because he got his own little refrigerator in his very large office. He gets pleasure out of small things!

Tomorrow we'll go to the temple in the morning, and out with Ron (our realtor) in the afternoon. Going out with Crystal is great. She is just as good at remembering house details as her dad. She's been trained at the feet of the master!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cousins in Maryland

Crystal, Ed and I are in Baltimore today, and Eli Stevens showed up and spent the afternoon with us. It was fun seeing him. He's turned to a real East Coast kind of guy now. He's truly gone to the dark side. He looked healthy and happy, and as always, was very entertaining to talk to. He was nice to just spend time in the car with us, while we drove around and looked at different neighborhoods and houses for sale. We didn't go inside any houses, but we loved the wooded neighborhoods with all the leaves on the streets. It is very beautiful. We grilled Eli about his girlfirend. That wasa also fun.

After it got dark we went out to dinner for some crab cakes, which were a real treat. I want to go to bed now, but Ed and Crystal pointed out that it's only 8 p.m. We might go for a little ride. So little time and so much to see and do! We

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Crystal was The Denominator for Halloween. I helped her make the costume so she could wear it at Barbara's math party at her school. Unfortunately, no costumes were allowed, so we'll save the costume for another day. It was a fun joint project for us, anyway. Now that we're finished sewing we can get back to purging the house in preparation for our big move.

For our Halloween dinner tonight we had tombstone potato bar, just like we learned to make at Relief Society Work and Chat this month! I just want to say, "Where have all the Trick-or-Treaters gone? It's 7 p.m. and we've only had about 30. We're going to have lots of leftover candy this year. Oh well!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snow in Broomfield

We got a lot of snow yesterday!

Snow Day

Ed was kind enough to teach me how to use the snow blower before he left for work yesterday morning. We've had a great snowblower for a couple of years now, and I was surprised to find out I had no idea how to start it. That is either a reflection of how little snow we've had since we bought it, or how nice Ed has been to always clear the driveway and sidewalks. I think the latter. Either way, Ed starts his new job in Baltimore today, and was fortunate that his flight leaving Denver yesterday was not delayed despite the snow.

This morning we have about 20 inches of snow in the yard. We got pretty wet shaking the snow off our trees yesterday afternoon.

Last night we were treated to a power outage. We hunkered down to a game of Spanish scrabble. Sadly, the power outage only lasted an hour, and the magic was over. Happily we were able to enjoy America's Next Top Model later in the evening.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Concert with Men's Choir

Last night we drove to Greeley in a rainstorm to see Amanda's choir concert. It was especially good because she had a solo with the men's choir. They did a song by Schubert called Ständchen (Serenede). It was very beautiful and Amanda did a great job. We were very proud of her.

After the concert we had the pleasure of driving home in a blinding snowstorm. It was frightening, but, happily, we are safely ensconsed at home this morning.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Moving Move

The big news in the Bush household is that we're moving to Baltimore, Maryland! Ed starts his new (bigger and better) job this week, and we'll move in January, if everything goes as planned. Ed will now be a Vice President with his company. We're excited about the challenge and the opportunities this provides him. It will be fun to live in the east for a while. There is certainly plenty to see and do there. It should keep us busy for the next 13 years till Ed will be ready to retire.

The sad news is we're leaving Colorado, where we have lived for 24 years. We've loved it here. We've loved the people, the weather, the church, the schools, the opportunities for us and our children. We hope all our friends come visit us in Baltimore. We had a good cry at church yesterday when we told people we were leaving. I had my cry with the Bookies a few weeks ago. I imagine we'll have several more good cries as time goes by. We have loved Broomfield and the wonderful friends we've made here. It's been the very best of times!

Cousins confab

I like that title! Confab is short for confabulation, which is "casual talk." That's not only what we had with Sandi and Bob Hayden Friday night, but it's also an alliterative title to my posting! It's so nice having a cousin in Colorado. Sandi and Bob came up Friday to go to a meeting (Bob) and to the temple in the morning. So, we were lucky they were able to come over for dinner and stay overnight. They had planned to stay in a hotel, but when I showed her the guest suite at Chez Bush I was able to convince her that it was no inconvenience for them to stay here. Kent called it Norma and Ed's room. Since Norma and Ed aren't here much, it was nice to have someone else use it.

Barbara and Kent were able to come over on short notice to visit with us. Kent had never met the Haydens and Barbara hadn't seen Sandi for 30 years. They'd been living in Hawaii, and we never made it over to see them. We were interested in what life is like in Southern Colorado compared to Denver. We also heard how Sandi and her siblings banded together to help their aging father out of a bad situation. It's a story that could be better told in a novel than a blog posting.

Barbara, myself and Sandi cuddled up with blankets on the couch. Ed, Bob and Kent, all in blue shirts are in chairs. Crystal, who really looked like a good daughter by doing all the dishes and cleanup, later relaxed on the love seat.