Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017 – Blowing & No Bulb Planting, Christmas Bows, New Grove, Pumpkins for Boo-tiful Nauvoo

Friday always starts by blowing the sidewalks at the Visitor’s Center and Women’s Garden. Following all of the sidewalk blowing we didn’t plant Tulip bulbs for the first time in a week. That’s because they are all planted. In fact we started planting Tulips in Nauvoo last Thursday the 12th and we finished yesterday, Thursday the 19th. It’s hard to believe but the only Tulips left to plant will be in Carthage and those Bulbs haven’t arrived from the grower yet. 

The rest of the day Sis. Johnson got to work with the other ladies making bows  that will be used for the Christmas decoration all over Old Nauvoo next month. Sis. Johnson has already made a lot of bow at home in her spare time. Now with the help of the other Sisters on the grounds crew, they will be able to prepare the 500 plus bows needed. 

After blowing the sidewalks, Elder Kyle Johnson, Elder Cantwell and I killed “Rogue Trees” by the Pendleton School Log Cabin parking lot and also at the “New Grove.” We’ve made great progress at the “New Grove.” Almost all of the “Rogue Trees” have been cut down and the trunks poisoned so they won’t grow back next spring. The “New Grove is looking very nice with only the trees left that are supposed to be there. In 22 years the “New Grove” will be full of big majestic mature trees in time for the Bi-Centennial Celebration of the founding of Old Nauvoo in 1839.

Another large load of pumpkins has arrived at FM. Next week the Jack-O-Lantern carving will begin in earnest. Downtown Nauvoo is all decorated for the big community event called “Boo-tiful Nauvoo.”

The residents and merchants are doing something new this year; they have decorated and set out over 35 Scarecrows for the festivities. They are very unique and creative. The festival includes a Halloween parade down Mulholland Street right through the middle of downtown. FM as well as the Senior Missionaries will all be involved in one way or another.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017 – Weeding at Hawkins Home & Browning Gun, Planting Bulbs in Diagonal Sidewalk- Visitor’s Ctr- Lyon Drug, Kettle Corn

We had a very full and busy day on the grounds of Old Nauvoo. We started at the home where Elder & Sis. Hawkins live. We weeded, cleaned, trimmed the hedges and took out a huge “Rogue Tree” from their front deck. It was evident that this volunteer “Rogue Tree” has been cut back many times in the past. The stump was a mass of old pruned limbs. Had we only pruned it back again it would have survived and returned to sprout up next season. But, this time we used “Tordon,” a tree stump poison that not only kills the stump but goes all the way down and kills the roots too. I’ve literally killed thousands of volunteer trees with “Tordon” in the past year.

After the Hawkins’ home we weeded in the gardens behind Jonathan Browning Home until Richard finished placing bulbs at the Diagonal Sidewalk. The Diagonal Sidewalk is an area is done differently than other flowerbeds like those in the Women’s Garden. Any time an area to be planting has perennials already growing, all of the new bulbs are planted in clusters of 6 to a dozen all along the sidewalk. These clusters of bulbs are planted all over, at random spots anywhere there is room. The end result will be a kaleidoscope of color all along the sidewalk. It will be breathtaking.

We finished our bulb planting in the two large perennial flowerbeds north of the Visitor’s Center and at the Lyon Drug. Both of these locations get the “Cluster of bulbs” technique as there are so many other perennial flowers already there. Using bulbs in perennial flowerbeds have two benefits. First the Tulips, Jonquils, Hyacinth, Crocus and Alliums all bloom earlier in the spring than most of the perennials so the beauty of the garden starts earlier and last longer through the summer. Very nice.

The second benefit of planting clusters of bulbs in the perennial gardens is their longevity. All of these bulbs like Tulips, Jonquils, Hyacinth, Crocus and Alliums don’t have to be removed from the perennial flowerbeds at the end of their blooming season. They will all be left in the ground year after year to multiply and continue to grace these perennial flowerbeds with early spring flowers.

At the end of the day we parked our van and trailer and noticed a wonderful aroma coming from the warehouse upwind a few hundred feet away. It was the unmistakable, mouthwatering smell of fresh kettle corn being popped. We discovered the Elders and Sisters in charge of supplying “Boo-tiful Nauvoo” with bags of kettle corn, had fired up the cookers to do a practice run to make sure they had the kettle corn recipe correct.

Well yes, they got the recipe right and they shared some of its goodness with all of us on the grounds crew. Next Saturday the “Kettle Corn Committee” will start the cookers in earnest and produce hundreds of bags of kettle corn to be handed out at the “Boo-tiful Nauvoo” community parade and festival. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 – District Training Meeting, Elder Duvall’s Trailer & Fence Repair, Planting in the Women’s Garden, Tonight’s Rendezvous Show

Every Wednesday morning we have a training meeting. This morning it was a District Training meeting on a much smaller scale than the usual Mission-wide meeting. Elder & Sis. Gibson are our District Leaders and their meeting and training was excellent. When you add in the comments by the Elders and Sisters in our district with their wealth of experience, the meeting and the training was full of the Spirit. One of the best training meetings I’ve been to.

This morning we had to take our trailer in for a repair to the tail gate. Elder Duvall is a Cracker Jack repairman. In only 15 minutes with his torch, he had the tailgate working better than it did when it was new. Good Job Elder Duvall.

Next I happened upon Elder Duvall repairing one of the gates to FM’s storage yard. It was accidently hit and bent over. Elder Duvall worked his magic and he had the fence and post back in place and closeable in a short time. The corner post will still need to be reset in concrete but for the moment it is temporarily fixed enough so it can be closed and locked overnight., Good Job Elder Duvall, you really are a miracle worker.

Today was another full day of planting bulbs in the Women’s Garden. And what made today special was the results. By this afternoon we finished the very last flowerbed in the Women’s Garden. Yes, the whole Women’s Garden is finished; we finished planting each and every flowerbed there. We even had enough time to completely plant the William Weeks flowerbed too. Richard commented how well this fall’s bulb planting is going. We are on schedule or even ahead of schedule if you consider the extra flowerbeds we’ve gotten done. 

Tonight’s Rendezvous show was a great success. Sis.Johnson and I got to play “George and Agatha” again. The whole cast was spot on and we had a wonderful audience. They applauded, cheered and laughed a lot. At the end of the show they even gave us a standing ovation. It really was a good show tonight.

Sis. Johnson and I go home in only a week and a half. Next week will be the last time we get to perform as “George and Agatha” before we go home. We would have never guessed before our mission that we would enjoy performing on stage this much.

We also had special guest in the audience, Sis. Kerri Trost and two of her daughters came to see Sis. Johnson perform as Agatha. After the show they surprised us with gifts. They presented Sis. Johnson with an arm bouquet of fresh flowers. Wow, that was an amazing, thoughtful gift. Sis. Johnson said she has never been given flowers for a performance on stage before. She was very touched. And that wasn’t all, they presented me with a large box of Belgian Hazelnut chocolates, Mmmm-Goood! Thank you Sis. Trost, you made our evening very special.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 – Cleaning & Weeding, Prepping Flowerbeds, Planting in Women’s Gdn., Haircut with Robert Saint

We started this morning cleaning, weeding and working in several historic sites. What made this day special was who we got to work with. Elder & Sis. Nielsen have spent the last six months in Carthage as the grounds keepers there. But today for the first time they joined our grounds team here in Nauvoo. They’ve done a marvelous job out in Carthage and now they get to work their magic here as they take our place when Sis. Johnson and I go home in two weeks.


While we were out in the sites, Richard and Louie were in the Women’s Garden preparing the flowerbeds for another round of planting bulbs. Richard had to take out his beautiful “Elephant Ear” and “Banana” plants. He wrote on his facebook page: “Sad day! I had to take out my Alocasia Borneo Giant (Giant Taro) and Ensete maurelii (Red Abyssinian Banana). Everything Richard grows is beautiful but these two plants were magnificent!

We are really “going to town” planting bulbs in the Women’s Garden.  Richard says we are on schedule! These flowerbeds are going to be dazzling next spring with all of these Tulips, Jonquils, and Hyacinths exploding with color.

This afternoon Sis. Johnson and I had our hair appointment in the Nauvoo Salon with Robert Saint. We’ve been going him to have our haircut for the past year and a half. But since we leave for home in two weeks we had to say goodbye to our good friend. Robert Saint really is a “Saint,” he is the floral designer that arranges the beautiful floral bouquets for our Sunday services each week. He’s a great hairstylist, barber, floral designer and friend.