I haven't posted anything in ages because, well, because we were with most of you in person. So there.
It was a nice trip.
The van's suspension wasn't shot, like Wal-Mart said. It was the tires. So Taysom Tires got $257 to fix it, instead of them getting $100. So blah to Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, right after we got home, the plastic/rubber wheel well guard behind one of the rear tires completely fell off and got shredded on the road. So much for that.
Now we're done touring. Tim said so. Next time we come to Utah will probably be for Ben's farewell party. Probably. That's probably good because our van wouldn't last too long on that heavy travel schedule--we put 16,000 miles on the van since we bought it in May. That's a lot. Especially for a car that started with 139,000 miles in the first place.
Job search continues. Tim is looking at applying for a job in New York City as the production manager for a choir there. Also picking up as much contract work as he can in the mean time. We just have to get these last few shows with moosebutter out of the way so he has time for things like eating, sleeping, breathing, and signing applications.
The kids are happy to be home, but having a hard time adjusting to having a big house. Especially Daniel. Any time anyone walks out of the room, he panics--he can't figure out where in the house to look for us. He also hates the mess--he can't walk over it. I am trying to work on that part, but my back is hurting so I can't bend or sit on anything hard. If I do, I can't stand up straight or walk--literally. I stand there and can't move my feet forward or lift them over the junk if I manage to shuffle sideways. So reaching the floor is even harder than it already was. Still, I did the same thing this time as I did last time we were away from home for a while. I came in and immediately could see some things I could do to make the house run smoother--things that involve major moving of furniture. Tim will be able to help me with this next week, but I am impatient. I want to move the guest bed upstairs to give it to Daniel, and move his dresser/shelves thingy downstairs to become the linen closet. Then I want to rearrange the bedrooms so every kid has their own bed that they'll actually sleep in. Then I want to move all the adult books (not that kind of adult books....) and Tim's choral music collection into the library, which will entail moving lots of the shelves from other places in the house into the library to hold those things, which are scattered around house and garage right now, mostly not on shelves and getting ruined. Then I want to get rid of the hide-a-bed (it's so old it's uncomfortable to sit on), except the mattress, of course, and replace it with a couple of rocking chairs in the family room, and maybe one in the library along with the desk that's there so people can use the room comfortably. Lots of work, but it should make the house easier to keep tidy. I might also take the couch out of Tim's office (it usually just holds junk) and put it in the living room, and put the living room couch in the family room (since it's the prettiest couch we own).
By the time I get all of this figured out completely, we'll probably be moving and I'll have to start over.
Anyway, cute kid things:
Daniel found a cassette tape today. He's fairly mechanically inclined usually (he figured out how to use the CD player all by himself yesterday--now he can insert his cd of choice and play it, even setting the volume where he wants it), but he couldn't figure out what the cassette was for, even after I showed him how to put it into the tape player. He finally took it out and turned it round and round and apparently concluded it was a harmonica of some kind--he tried to play it by blowing into it for several minutes.
I got another rejection yesterday, so I sent another query. At some point, I hope someone looks at my stuff and says, "I know JUST who wants this." Someone who read a big chunk rejected it for fear it couldn't stand up to Jasper Fforde's stuff. Unfortunately, only the first book in the series compares to his. The rest take the same concept but apply it to other source material--but an agent couldn't know this from reading 50 pages of Poison Spindle. Oh well. Now that we have food in the house and I've figured out where to put the Christmas tree, I'm ready to start writing again--on both the Western and the first Maggie Book, which is 10,000 words long so far--1/10th done.
So Merry Christmas!, and I'll write more later.
Oh, and thanks to everyone who gave us gifts, especially for the kids. Thanks for the shoes for Anda, too. She LOVES them and the socks. And thanks to the mystery person who gave us Christmas for the kids, whoever it was. A relative, we're sure, but WHO? Everyone denies any involvement.....