1. I'm exhausted. That big road trip kind of wore us all out, though I must say the kids were superb during all that driving across looooong stretches of the midwest. I've never been so grateful for the portable DVD player, though. Without it, the trip could have gone much differently. By that I mean the trip would have been a lot worse. I've overheard so many episodes of Clifford and Curious George (the PBS shows my kids currently love to watch) that I find myself humming the theme music (annoying) and responding to questions with monkey noises (really annoying). It still beats whining, though.
2. The recital was this past Sunday afternoon and it went very well. It was certainly well-recieved. I've been so very impressed by all the public support for music performances in that community. I was playing a recital of four-hand piano music with my college professor at my alma mater, a tiny liberal arts college in a small town in central Kansas, and the place was packed. She had 125 programs printed, and they ran out. That never happens here in Madison, not for local performers. There's just too much going on for people to attend everything, I guess. Or maybe people here take all this good culture for granted.
3. Oh, yeah. Halloween. I know it was SO last month, but here's a picture of the kids in their costumes handing out candy on my parents' front porch. They had a grand time with that.
(Daniel's ghost costume is quite possibly one of the lamest costumes I've ever made, but he was still pretty proud of it. And Anya still walks around in her witch hat.)
4. We also spent some time at an orchard local to my parents' place. The apples are tasty, of course, but the big draw for the kids was the outdoor play yard with a giant slide and straw castle, among other things. This picture of Daniel reminds me of that french knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail, the one who spouts verbal abuse to anyone trying to enter his castle:
Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries! Go away, or I shall taunt you a second time! (etc)
5. I didn't take any pictures in Kansas, alas. My week there went something like this: wake up, eat, drink coffee, practice, rehearse, drink more coffee, grab a sandwich, rehearse, teach, rehearse, eat dinner an hour after everyone else, fall into bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. I didn't even get the camera out of my bag.
6. The basement work has begun! Our contractor did some structural work and replaced the furnace while we were away. The night before we left to come home, he called to say that the water heater was totally kaput and needed to be replaced asap (good thing that was part of the original estimate!). So we came home to a new furnace and water heater, brand new and WAY more efficient than the old ones. Very nice.
7. Also, there are two giant holes in the backyard (for egress windows out of the basement) hand dug by three strong men (the backhoe didn't work out), with a little help/supervision/commentary from Daniel:
8. Pam just posted this link to a recording of the two of us performing a piece that was part of my dissertation. Go listen. We rock. It's also too bad that we live about 2000 miles apart, because I miss performing with her!