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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