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2004-01-05 - 9:53 a.m.

School Vacation is Over! Its quiet here at home today as the older two kids are back in school. Westley also is not home as he drove to VA yesterday will a car loaded with stuff in preparation for our move back home. In the next few weeks we'll be putting this NY house back on the market, and within the next few months we shall be moved back to VA!

The house is Va is almost livable. Westley reported that it does still smell very musty, and I imagine it will until we scrub out the currently moldy closets upstairs where water leaked in (Due to BOTH the pre-exisiting disrepair of the roof, and the rain which came down AFTER that rood was removed in trasition to the new structurally sound one!) On our visit there together this summer we did wash out all the clothing in those closets and started the clean up.

I am so thankful that we were able to have this great place in NY to live during that process!!

I am aware when we get back it will be a trying process of cleaning up the construcion mess, and what remains of the water damage. At least the weather in VA is such that we can have windows open for healthy fresh air virtually all the time in the Spring during that phase.

The kids are excited to go back! They are aware that I lost many books when Hurricane Isabel flooded the basement there. They are not fully aware that some of there toys in the upstairs closets are also inevitable mold ridden and ruined. There were told the upstairs closets were wet like the basement, but I think the reality of what that means won't sink in until our return and they see it. They are pretty mature though, and I think will handle it well. Especially since they have done without those particular toys the past year! Any that are salvagable will be a delight to them, and I think they won't even miss the others. In the end I think its a healthy part of weeding out what truly is EXCESS stuff in the long run!

I think there is something refreshing about cleaning out THINGS and scaling back to necessitys and those loved items when moving. Having moved here and preparing to move back were experiences that helped us get rid of lots of stuff. I can't say I ever have missed anything I've parted with. Ahh... with one exception being those purple snow pants I rarely wore, but held onto since high school when my parents gave them to me one christmas. I MIGHT still have them in storage in VA, but I think at some point I parted with them, as I have a pair of thick wool slacks which are great for me, and I'm not a snow sport enthusiast. I hope to still have them though as I 'd like to give them to Katerina.

The smaller children have been playing this morning, and watched "Little People"video which just ended. Remember those little people toys from Fisher Price? I distinctly recall my youngest brother, the baby of my family playing with his little man.The video is a grand marketing scheme- but fine by me as I don't have the kids either watch network TV or go to toy stores, so that aspect is lost on them!

On Katerinas Birthday I picked up her violin from a REASONABLE luthier I found who agreed to do the minimum work on it I wanted done at this time. He did however fail to listen to my instructions, but thats OK in the end. I hadn't TOLD him to clean it, but that I wasn't going to spend the $65 on that was Westley could have figured that out.... But for $250 all the loose joints are tightened, it has a new soundpost inside (or its been straightened out- I forget), It has new tailpiece and a fine tuner, the bow was re-haired, it was set up with shims on the strings to add height to compensate for the fact it is a bit lower than typical, and it is a beautiful old violin that sounds wonderful. The luthier also didn't listen as I asked him to first do a basic set up, and I wanted Katerina to come in and play it to see if the ruts in the fingerboard bothered her. Maybe he went ahead and did all the work as he assessed they really WEREN't a big problem! Despite the fact he said they MIGHT be a problem and he too tried to sell me a new fingerboard! He didn't straighten the old one, which I WAS going to get done. I just wanted to determine if we were going to pay $250 to cut a new one or not BEFORE taking the old one off. So he called to say it was ready, and I was surprised as I expected him to call to say it's ready to TEST out! Then I expected to bring Katerina to play it and decide on the fingerboard! But he already did ALL the other work, and expected me to pick it up. He said "I think its best to pick it up, have her play it a while, and see how you like it." So we did that. She was happy to be surprised with the violin ready when she got home on her birthday! It sounds wonderful, and so far, the crooked, and gutted old fingerboard is NO problem for her playing! YAH!!

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