Friday, August 31, 2012

JuJu II (Two)

June and I went to fill out our volunteer forms to sing at Transitions last week. The lady asked if we had a name for our group. This set us on a week long search for the perfect name. We ended up with JuJu II, for our first names. It turns out juju is luck, good or bad, and also refers to black magic as well as Nigerian pop dance music. We decided to overlook all the possible connotations, and just enjoy the name. It is fun to say.

Here's the folder I made for our books. This afternoon we have our first gig at Transitions in Sykesville. Here is our song list. Wish us luck!

It’s a Lovely Day Today
Blue Skies
Bye Bye Blackbird
Bill Baily
Pennies From Heaven
Tea For Two
Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy
The Band Played On
When You Wore a Tulip
Stompin’ at the Savoy (Guitar Solo)
Sentimental Journey
It’s Been a Long, Long Time
All of Me

Thursday, August 30, 2012

To the Movies with Miss Carol and Miss Alice

Miss Carol wanted to go see the new documentary about Obama to see what the US would look like in 2016 if his vision is carried out. I went along, as did her sister Alice. It was an interesting movie. I learned a lot about Obama's early years and the effect his father, or rather his imaginary father figure (built up as a wonderful, visionary man by his mother), had on him. I came away wondering why people get upset about polygamy 120 years ago in Romney's family, when Obama's own father was a polygamist. He had a wife in Kenya when he married Obama's mother. He also remarried after his divorce, and took his new wife back to Kenya with him where he had more children by both wives!

The gist of the movie is that Obama is anti-colonial, influenced by his father's thinking. This anti-colonialism spills into anti-Americanism, because we're too large and powerful in the colonial manner. According to the filmmaker, Obama would like to do his best to change that.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coda Bush, Turtle Hunter!

Coda and I ran into a turtle while we were out walking this morning. She was so intrigued by it. The turtle was less curious and had the good sense to tuck into her shell. I had to drag the dog away from the turtle. We passed the same spot on the way home, and the turtle was gone. I let Coda have her lead, and she sniffed her way into the tall grass, following the scent of the turtle. Sure, enough, I pulled the grass back, and there was our turtle friend! I was so impressed. Now, I'm thinking Coda might be part bloodhound!

Catch and Release

Lenny caught the Mama of all groundhogs yesterday. They have a bit of a problem at the farm with the the pesky varmits. This is the 7th one he's caught in the past 4 years. He is too soft-hearted to kill them, so he traps them and releases them far enough away that they can't find their way home. They're kind of cute, but have sharp claws and make a chittering sound when they're afraid. He brought it by our house to let us see it before it was sent into exile. It's so cute!

Monday, August 27, 2012


We were happy to hear Amanda report her mission in Sacrament meeting yesterday. We wish you all could have been there. After lunch Amanda and Dallas played some music to entertain us while we prepared for the open house later that afternoon.

Our home teachers dropped by, with their aprons, ready to make themselves useful. Many hands make light work, and we were grateful for their help.

We were grateful for the support of the ward. We had a full house at the open house. it was so nice that Amanda was home for 3 months last year to get to know some of the ward members. Mary and Alisa are some of her special friends. She also had a large group of singles from the stake come support her. It was a happy celebration! We're glad she's home!Now, if anyone can help her find a job, that would also be great!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Just Like Old Times

Amanda and Dallas made cake pops while they talked to Chandra on Skype yesterday. Chandra is a good friend of both Amanda and Dallas, and it reminded me of the three of them hanging out in Broomfield. It was only 8 years ago! It seemed like yesterday, but so much has happened in their lives since then! I guess some friendships withstand the test of time!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Getting Crabby

In an attempt to give Dallas the real Baltimore experience, we took him out to Captain Dan's last night. This was our first foray into crab eating without any natives there to help us along the way. Amanda refreshed us on how to eat them, and away we went! It was surprisingly entertaining. I washed my hands just in time to take a picture of Ed and Dallas finishing up their last crabs!

Dallas says if we go to Rochester we might want to try out their specialty: the   Garbage Plate. As yummy as that sounds, he still has yet to try it out himself!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Don't Go into the Woods if You're Afraid of Spiders!

Coda and I love walking in the woods. Yesterday might be our last walk till we get a frost! SPIDERS have overtaken the forest! It looks so pastoral and peaceful. I took a picture of a web here. It's right at eye level and you can't even see it in the picture. Neither could I before I almost walked into it!

Webs are a little easier to see if they are on a branch like the one on the right. Yesterday on our walk we must have brought down at least 30 spider webs. I walked with my sticks in front of my head, crossing and waving them like a lunatic! Nevertheless, at the least expected moment I might feel a web catch right under my nose! Then I did the crazy person's dance. The poor dog didn't know what was going on!
I know the majority of the webs were spider free, and that most of the spiders are as harmless as this daddy-long-legs. But the thought of one (or two or three) of them crawling up my back while I'm hiking is too much to bear!

I tried to read up on why we've suddenly been invaded by spiders. There are two theories floating around. One is that it's mating season, and the males are trying to bulk up. The other is that all the babies from the spring are branching out and making bigger webs. If there are any arachnologists out there, I'd love to know what's really going on!

Dallas Visits

Amanda's friend Dallas, from Broomfield, is going to school in Rochester, NY now. That makes us practically neighbors again. He came down to visit for a few days during his school break. Amanda took him kayaking yesterday. They went to Baltimore today.I asked him to bring his violin with him. If we're lucky we'll get to hear some duets while he's here!

Bushes at the Temple

The temple looks so pretty in the summer, with all the pretty flowers and the fountain. Speaking of Bushes, Amanda and Ed and I did sealings Tuesday night, and there was young couple in the room also with the surname Bush. It was a little confusing, as you can imagine! The sealer wisely avoided calling the "Old Sister Bush, " but rather called me Sister Bush Number 1. I was happy with that!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Scarface Revisited

Last May I had some basil cell cancers removed from my face. The one on my chin left a big cleft. It wasn't so bad, but it was off center, and I really wasn't thrilled with it. So, yesterday I had plastic surgery to help make it look more natural.

It was scar abatement surgery. It left me all scarred, just like last year! It will take out the divot, and make the scar more irregular, rather than straight. That should make it look more natural. We'll see as soon as it heals up!

Barn and Burn

Ed had the day off yesterday, so he went over to the barn with me in the morning. Amanda was lucky she got out of that one, as we cleaned up Bamburry's stall. She has a bit of an incontinence problem!

Afterwards I went over to the middle school to help Mary set up her classroom. She has not one, but TWO classrooms! She teaches FAX. Actually, it is spelled FACS: Family and Consumer Science. So, she has one room with computers and desks, and another room with stoves and ovens and desks. It looked fun, but also overwhelming!

I could give Mary a few hints on cooking. I've occasionally thought about selling and marketing my own concoctions. I'd call the line "Burned on the Bottom--just like Mom used to make it!"

Back to the Barn

It was just like old times. Amanda is back and we went over Thursday morning to feed the horses. It's a great way to start the day. Coda likes it every bit as much as going for a walk. She's really good to stick around while we're working. Afterwards she had a great run with the pugs. 

In the afternoon Mary and Joanie came and helped me feed the horses. Joanie and I got a little hay in our hair. It was fun to have some help, and they enjoy the horses just as much as I do.

I drove the Mini over so they could see my new car. It looked really cute parked in front of the barn!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cleaning the Garage

It was a good thing we bought a new car. The garage really needed cleaning! I was determined to find a way to get our little mini in the garage, and after spending 6 hours cleaning, I was successful! Notice Ed can still park his lawn mower in the garage, too! I'm especially proud of the clean counter tops! Now if none of the bike or the kayaks fall out of the rafters, we'll be okay!

After I made room for the cars, I took some shelves to the basement. They had been destined for Goodwill, but I realized I could use them in the breaker storage closet. I emptied out three large boxes from our old linen closet that were just stacked in there from our move. I believe they might be the last unsorted boxes from the move. I placed all the blankets, sheets and towels neatly on the new shelves, and now I'm feeling like I killed two birds with one stone. The new car caused us to clean the garage AND the basement! I'm tired just thinking about it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Mini

Ed and I went car shopping yesterday. We have been thinking about buying a Mini Cooper ever since we borrowed David and Rachael's Mini when we visited them in North Carolina. It was just so much fun to drive!

With Amanda home, we decided to buy me a new Mini and let Amanda drive the Mazda for a while. So, last night at 9:30 we finally finished sealing the deal at Mini of Baltimore. I got a "British racing green" car with white top and white stripes. It even has white mirrors. It is complete with navigation unit and keyless entry. It's going to take me a while to figure it all out. My favorite surprise features are the hidden glovebox and the ambient lighting in 9 choices of colors!

Ed is taking the car through its paces today by driving it to work. And wouldn't you know it's raining! Maybe tomorrow I'll take it back to the dealer for a car wash!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Moving Day

Today was moving day for Brittany and John. Their old house (emphasis on old) is destined for the wrecking ball, and all the tenants were evicted. Happily, for them, this coincided with our visit for Crystal's graduation. Happily for Crystal, she had a prior engagement with her ex-roommates this morning! So, the rest of us filled up the U-haul with Brittany and John's worldly possessions.

Their new house is about 100 years newer than the old one, and hopefully will be a nice change. Look at the nice view of the mountains they have from their driveway! I like their new place because it is slightly larger and is on the main floor. Next time we move them there will be fewer stairs involved!

We were rewarded for our labors by returning to a home-cooked meal at Grandma's house afterwards. Grandma is the one with the apron! She made roast beef and potatoes. It was like Sunday dinner on a Saturday night!

My sister Annette, and her husband, Kent came over to visit. She filled me in on her retirement. She hasn't had time to think about how much she misses teaching. We enjoyed visiting with them every bit as much as we enjoyed eating the sweet corn freshly picked from their garden!

Diploma Day

Crystal received her diploma yesterday at the Life Sciences College Convocation ceremony. There she is shaking hands with the dean! She didn't actually receive her diploma, but a nice case to keep it in. Her diploma arrived in the mail in Maryland about a month ago. That was a bit anticlimactic for me. I just want to say hooray for ceremonies that celebrate life events! It gives us a moment to recognize the effort gone into achieving the goal and also to give gratitude for the opportunities provided to us along the way. I now feel that Crystal is a college graduate, much more so than when she got her diploma in the mail!

We were so happy for Crystal that we all cheered hooray for her after the ceremony. Grandma was also very happy, but she has a more subtle way of showing it than the rest of us!

We celebrated by going out to dinner, followed up by a celebratory cheesecake at Grandma's house. My favorite part of was sitting around the table and listening to the family reprise Whistling Prairie songs. They did great on Riu, Riu, Chiu, which has not yet been released (or mixed, for that matter). John impressed us remembering all the words to his solo. I'm still trying to remember how my verse started!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Graduate

We flew to Salt Lake yesterday without Ed, but because of Ed's frequent flyer status, we all got to fly first class! That certainly takes the sting out of a four hour flight!

 Today we went to Crystal's commencement ceremony for her graduation from Brigham Young University. The speakers were great, encouraging us to make where you live an exciting place, and to make your lives meaningful as you go out into the world.We are very proud of Crystal for her accomplishment!

After graduation we stopped by to see Brittany and John's garden. Their favorite food this year has been the chard. Sadly, they won't be able to enjoy all the fruits of their harvest, as their apartment building (which wasn't much to look at) is being torn down to make way for something nicer. They have to be out by Wednesday. Apparently, there are no gardeners in their management company!

Crab Cakes With Kay and Lennie

Lenny took us out to dinner Tuesday night to say hello to Amanda and goodbye to Crystal. We had the crab cakes at Becks. They were not only delicious, but they were gigantic, to boot! We felt like we should be taking them out to dinner as they do so much for us. We left Coda with them again yesterday as we're in Utah today for Crystal's graduation from BYU!

Friday, August 3, 2012


We went down to help the blacksmith yesterday. He needs someone to hold the horses while he trims their hooves. I learned how to put the halter on the horses. That was easier than putting the gentle leader collar on Coda! They were almost helpful. Crystal held them so they wouldn't get any ideas. The only one that was bad was Mr. Genes. He seemed to really want to nip Andy in the rear end. The first time I cleaned his hooves he did that to me!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Home Again!

We're home again! Before we left for Germany Ed and Crystal had made a welcome home sign for Amanda, which our neighbor, Janet put up for us on Tuesday! Janet even did one better by putting a fresh bouquet of flowers and some garden vegetables on our porch! That was a nice welcome.

We didn't get home till 11 p.m., which meant we had been up for 26 hours straight! We had some problems with our flights, which meant a three hour delay in arriving home! We spent yesterday trying to work off the tiredness.

We waited till morning to pick up Coda--as it was past Lenny's bedtime when we got home. Lenny had bought Coda the cutest little Raven's Jersey for her birthday! She even seems to like it! Amanda was happy to see Coda again, as we all were. At noon we went to see the stake president and Amanda was released from her mission. It was a bit nostalgic for me, as since the day they were born one of my greatest wishes for my three daughters would be that they could serve missions. It is like a dream fulfilled for me. Now we can start working on the next step of my dream for them...