Tuesday, September 30, 2008

9/30/08 - Spokane Day 2

This morning we went over to Kenn Nesbitt's house. Kenn is a very popular funny poetry author and I have used several of his poems for songs of mine, or collaborated together with him for the words for several songs. We had already worked together on a few things before I moved out to the Tri-Cities, but it was particularly nice when we moved out West to be able to get together in person. We've always had a good time and a lot of laughs together. The thing is, even though we only live two hours apart now, we rarely see each other anymore since we're both traveling a lot... he was out of town the whole week last time we were in Spokane... so it was good to hook up again for the first time in well over a year. Roseann and I talked with Kenn while the girls played with his kids, Max and Madison, and met their pets. Then Kenn and I did some recording... I recorded some guitar for a song he's doing for a CD of recorded poems he's including with his next book, and he recorded some spoken parts for my next album.

I had two more shows this afternoon, at the Fairfield Library and Moran Prairie Library, and both shows went very well with very enthusiastic audiences. The girls were napping during the first show but came in to the second, but there was an incident at the end of the show that upset Evee. She had gone out in the hallway with Roseann right before the last song, and when I announced that I was going to sing "This Little Light of Mine" and Becca was going to come up to help me (realizing that Evee wasn't there), another little girl ran up and sat on my other knee where Evee would normally have sat. There was a big "awww" from the audience, she was probably about 20 months old, and I was at a loss for what to do... it's not like I was going to push her off or something, even though as a general rule, I wouldn't encourage random kids coming across the line to sit up there with me during a show... so I just let her stay there. But then Evee came back into the room upon hearing the music for that song starting and saw the other girl in her place and got very upset. I felt terrible, as I knew it would seem to her like I had betrayed her or replaced her. Sure enough, afterwards she said that it was not okay and that there couldn't be "another Evee". I talked with her for a while and apologized for the mistake and assured her that she is definitely my one and only Evee. The four of us also worked out a plan for what to do if that kind of situation ever comes up again.

Saying "hello" to Kenn's dog, Jesse...

Evee getting ready to play some baseball...

The girls meeting Madison's rabbit, Lola...

Kenn recording some "P-U"s for "Stink Bug"...

Monday, September 29, 2008

9/29/08 - Spokane Day 1

We're in Spokane for the week and I had a very busy day to start things out. First thing in the morning I had two assembly programs at Mullan Rd. Elementary. There are two main assembly programs that I offer; Say "Yes!!!" to Life, about positive character motivation, and Thinking Outside the Box, about creative thinking and problem solving. By and large, schools choose Say "Yes!!!" to Life, so much so that before today I hadn't done Thinking Outside the Box in over a year and a half. I did go over it, though, on my drive home from Salem the other night, and added a few new talking points and elements to the program. I always liked that program a lot, but felt like it needed some editing, so it seemed like a good time to do that. I'll admit to being a little nervous beforehand, but everything went really well. The second assembly went very well, too... but I'm pretty sure the first one edged it out, in terms of the energy level.

We stopped at a park where the girls played for a while and I was trying to get a nap when a car pulled up next to the bus with full bass hip-hop blaring. So much for the nap! We drove out to Deer Park, where I had the first of my Spokane County library shows of the week. We had come here in late January to perform at all of the Spokane County libraries, but Spokane was hit with a record snowfall that kind of hampered things a bit. I was impressed with the number of people who did come out to the shows, weather notwithstanding, but the attendance was probably lower than it would have been otherwise and they did have to cancel two of the ten shows due to bad road conditions. So I was very grateful when they asked me to come back again in the fall. For this trip, they wanted me to do my "Musical Zoo" show, where I combine a number of different animal songs with a simple message about taking care of our pets and being safe around animals. Deer Park is kind of out of the way, so there were only about twenty people there altogether, but they said that was a big crowd for out there, and it was quite a few more than the 5 or 6 who were there in January.

The next show was at the North Spokane library, and there was a good crowd there which included our friend, Gwendolyn, and her daughters, Becca and Elizabeth, who we had met last time we were in town. Gwendolyn had invited us over to her house and we had a great time talking with her and her husband while the kids played. Elizabeth is a few years older than our Becca, but their Becca is 5 and is right in between our Becca and Evee in every respect, so the three of them really hit it off in a big way. And when they saw each other again tonight, they picked right up where they left off, running around the room and laughing like crazy. Hopefully, we'll all get together again sometime this week.

We drove back to the RV park and I ate a little something, checked the internet quick and then went right to bed. I don't think it's the four shows in a day that tires me out... I could probably do ten shows a day and be just fine... it's the setting up and tearing down and hauling the equipment around and driving from place to place that makes a day like today particularly exhausting. I did use my new "sound system Jr." for the first time today, so that helped!

I probably shouldn't sleep in the middle of a school assembly...

Friday, September 26, 2008

9/26/08 - A bicycle built for dogs...

Business as usual this past week... I've been working on recording for the new album and booking some shows, the girls have been playing and going to preschool and homeschool, Roseann's been working on various different projects, and Tiggy's been very busy napping and eating and occasionally going outside in our back yard for a few minutes.

Earlier today, the girls had their friend, Ellie, over and played and had a lot of fun. Roseann went to the temple tonight with her father while Jean watched the girls.

I drove today to Gresham, Oregon, on the way to Salem where I have an audition tomorrow. Every two years, librarians (and other children's event coordinators from all over Oregon gather at the Salem Library to see five-minute presentations from all available performers throughout the region. I remember thinking what a strange thing it was last time; driving five hours to get there, doing a five minute set for a bunch of librarians, then driving five hours home. But I got quite a lot of gigs from doing that, so it was definitely worth the trip and hopefully worth doing again.

On my way to the hotel, I stopped to eat somewhere, and as I was leaving I did one of the biggest double-takes of my life when I saw a guy riding by on a bicycle with several cocker spaniels. I had to drive around to catch up with him so I could 1) make sure I wasn't crazy and seeing things 2) take some pictures. He was actually really nice and not the kook I might have expected. He pulled up and said, "Do you want to see the cat, too?" Turns out there was also a cat curled up in the front basket among the cocker spaniels. Then he said, "Do you want to see the rabbit?" and pulled out some rabbit ears to put on one of the dogs. Okay, maybe he's a little bit of a kook...

Anyway, here's a few pictures from throughout the week, including some of the pictures Becca or Evee had previously taken with Becca's new camera. I'm sorry I couldn't keep up with a daily blog this week, but this will probably be how it is from this point on... more sporadic with posts and pictures every so often instead of every day.

Becca riding her new bicycle (with no cocker spaniels or cats)...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

9/21/08 - Rooster in Vegas

I woke up at 4 am to get to the airport and was surprised to hear a rooster crowing when I stepped outside. A rooster would be perfectly normal to hear if I were staying out in the country, but this was downtown Las Vegas. It kind of surprised me to hear a rooster in downtown Vegas...

Anyway, the flights home were fine, but lugging bags through airports is always a pain. The rule is that the more you feel encumbered by the bags you're carrying, the further away the gate for your flight will be. That definitely held true this morning.

Roseann and the girls went to church this morning and Roseann had her final (for now) day subbing for Evee's class. They picked me up at the airport and we went home and had naps and later had dinner with Jean and Larry.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

9/20/08 - More BaloonaPalooza

I checked out of the hotel and headed over to the BaloonaPalooza festival again. There were more people there today, but it still wasn't really crowded. I had about 30-40 people in the audience at peak, which was better than yesterday and seemed to be the average for everyone's shows. I was able to meet some other great kids' performers, including Wendee (a fun children's singer from L.A.), Debi Derryberry (best known as the voice of Jimmy Neutron, but also a great all-around children's entertainer) and Brady Rymer (whose last album is one of my favorites in the genre). I only caught the last two songs of Wendee's set and wished I'd have seen the rest, but I had a great time watching Debi and Brady's shows and hanging out and talking with them. Debi and her assistant Becky put on a really fun show with a lot of props and interaction, and she was able to get the biggest crowd of the day with about 50-60 people. Brady has, without a doubt, one of the best bands in the kids' music business, and though he only brought two of the band members (Seth on organ and vocals and Liz on mandolin and vocals), they had a very full sound that was really terrific, and Brady's energy and enthusiasm is totally unbridled. I wish there were more people there to enjoy their show and get up dancing... most of their audience was huddled under the shade trees... I know if Becca and Evee were there they'd have been right up in front dancing like crazy and would have gotten more kids to dance along. Maybe I should hire them out for that purpose...

I was also able to meet some notable cartoon celebrities at the event, which was really cool, including Spongebob, Scooby Doo, the Funshine Care Bear and the Cat in the Hat. Becca and Evee are gonna be soooo jealous when they see those pictures...

After Brady's show I headed over to Lanyard's and we ate some pizza and sang some songs and did some script readings, which was a lot of fun. His granddaughter, Ashley, is a big fan and she requested that I play some songs for her, so I was glad to oblige her (especially since she was giving up her room for that night for me to stay over). She's really sweet and gave me four of her stuffed animals to take home for me, Roseann, Becca and Evee.

With Debi Derryberry and Brady Rymer...

Friday, September 19, 2008

9/19/08 - Happy Birthday, Becca!

Happy Real Birthday, Becca the big 6 year-old!!

I met my friend Lanyard for lunch at the Fiesta buffet and we talked for quite a while about a variety of things, as we are known to do. I headed over to the BaloonaPalooza event at the Craig Ranch Golf Course and had just missed the shuttle from the parking area to my stage, so I decided to walk, which wasn't a good choice as it was a much longer walk than I thought and I was carrying my guitar and a nearly 50 lb. box of equipment. After all of the walking and bag hauling yesterday, this was not a very welcome or leisurely stroll. I had requested to do my shows on Friday and Saturday instead of Saturday and Sunday and that didn't turn out so well in terms of audience, as everything was still being set up and people were just starting to come in to the event during my set. There were about a dozen people in my audience altogether by the end, but nobody at all for the first few songs, which is really tough for a show that is meant to be very interactive. I had a couple of the women who were doing driving demos at the nearby Hyundai booth playing and dancing along, but that was about it. I guess there are expected to be several thousand people there tomorrow, and my show is in the middle of the day, so hopefully I'll have a decent crowd for that.

After the show I went over to the West Las Vegas Library, where Lanyard was doing a final rehearsal for his Reader's Theatre series. I was hoping to catch the actual performance tomorrow, but it'll be during my set. He and another guy, Adam, were doing a reading of Edward Albee's first play "A Zoo Story". It's a very heavy piece, quite sharply written, and Lanyard was really incredible as the main character, Jerry. I knew he'd been an actor for many years doing theater and some television, but I'd never seen him perform and I was totally blown away. Adam did a great job, too, as the straight man of sorts, but it is really Lanyard's character that drives the show.

I went back at the hotel and watched some TV for a while, then went to bed. Back home, the girls and Roseann made some sand castles in the back yard sandbox, went to Taco Bell where Becca had another scary bee experience (Roseann talked that out for a while with her, as that's twice now recently that she's panicked with bees around), and then went out to the annual Sausage Fest in Richland. I'm not sure if they ate any sausage, but Becca and Evee apparently were quite the spectacle dancing to some of the live music they had there. Roseann was going to take some pictures of them with Becca's camera, but Becca had already used up all of the batteries by taking pictures the past two days. Thankfully, it automatically shuts off when it's not being used so the batteries don't drain as fast, but still, considering how often she'll likely be using that camera, we'll have to keep a supply of batteries on hand at all times.

Adam and Lanyard performing A Zoo Story...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

9/18/08 - Flying to Vegas

I flew out to Vegas today, and as I wasn't in a particular hurry to get there, I opted to be bumped from the second flight in order to get a voucher which I'll be able to use for a flight later this year. But by the time I walked through a few airports carrying two bags and a guitar, and shuttled over to the car rental place, and drove half an hour to the hotel, and then had to carry the bags and guitar quite a ways into the hotel registration and then all the way to the far end of a hall to my room (see the picture below... my room is the second to last one on the far right), I was totally exhausted and went right to sleep. Back at home, the girls and Roseann hung out together and did some projects and some shopping. I know Becca took several more pictures with her new camera, but the internet is only working sporadically here at the hotel, so I wasn't able to get them sent over from Roseann. I'll post a "Becca picture gallery" at some point to catch up on some of those photos...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

9/17/08 - Happy (early) Birthday, Becca!

We celebrated Becca's sixth birthday today. Her real birthday isn't until Friday, but I'm leaving tomorrow for a few days so I wanted to be here for that. We got some pizza and went out to the Playground of Dreams, which is a giant playground complex at a park in Kennewick.

We had a little trouble with some bees while we were trying to eat and that was stressing Becca out a bit, so we abandoned that and headed into the playground for a while. Becca opened her presents and was very happy to have received her own camera. The girls also got Care Bears for each other (we always have whichever girl's birthday it is give one present to the other girl). Becca excitedly said that it was her "best birthday EVER!", apparently forgetting about the bees from just a short while before.

Anyway, other than the bees, it was a fun time, and Roseann and I and Gramma Jean enjoyed hanging out and talking together while the girls played. You can see the first pictures Becca took with her camera below (the really small ones... I've since changed the resolution to a higher setting).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

9/16/08 - "Blackbeard, Bluebeard and Redbeard" video

Here it is, at last... Please comment, rate, favorite and especially... share.

Monday, September 15, 2008

9/15/08 - Lip synching

The picture below is not depicting ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics... They are lip sync images, and I've been staring at them almost all day while working on the "Blackbeard, Bluebeard and Redbeard" video. We knew going in that this was a long song with a lot of narrative spoken directly by the characters in the song, so we tried to include as many cut away shots as possible, but there's still quite a lot of dialogue to animate. I'm sure there's an easier way to do this than how I'm doing it... I'm still a hack on this animation program (Toon Boom)... but regardless, this is a pretty tedious process. It can take a long time just to do one little phrase in order to get the timing right, and even then it's hard to be exact, so we watch it over and over and move things back and forth and try to get it the best we can... For our next animated video, I think we're going to stick with something that doesn't involve any character dialogue!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

9/14/08 - Chili

Roseann and I subbed for Evee's Sunbeams class again, and as there wasn't a specific lesson given to us, I brought in my guitar and talked a little about music and did a few simple sing-a-long songs. After learning about tithing last week, the girls were excited to give their $1 of tithing to the bishop today. Still thinking back to Roseann's "1 out of 10 pieces of popcorn" lesson, Evee said that the bishop didn't need to eat her dollar.

After church, we had a nice chili dinner at Jean and Larry's, then worked a little more on the "Blackbeard..." video. Normally, we try not to work on business stuff on Sundays, but we're feeling a bit of a crunch with the amount of work that still needs to be done and our deadline looming...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

9/13/08 - Sandbox

The girls really enjoyed digging in Grandma Jean's garden recently. Grandma Jean didn't really enjoy that, though, so she suggested we get them a sandbox. Roseann found one on freecycle and picked it up and the girls got to work digging in it this afternoon. The sandbox was free but the pink and purple sand was not. Too bad we don't have a pink and purple beach near here...

I played two more softball games today and our fortunes were reversed from yesterday. We lost both games, though they were both quite close; the first one 8-7, and we almost tied it, and the second one 19-16 where we had rallied back to tie it at 16. If we had won that second game, we'd have played in the championship game, but would have had to beat that team twice. Considering how tired and sore I am right now after the four games we played this weekend, I can't say that I'm too incredibly disappointed that we didn't go on further. My box score for the weekend was 13-5-5-1, which wasn't bad, considering I haven't played softball or gone to batting cages or anything for a few years.

We went to game night tonight for a while and worked more on the "Blackbeard..." video. It's just about done now and we're hoping to post it to YouTube sometime on Monday.

Friday, September 12, 2008

9/12/08 - Softball

The church softball tournament started today, and I was glad to be able to participate again this year, as we were out of town at this time the past two years. I played third base and catcher and we won both games. In the first game, we were leading 6-3 going into the bottom of the last inning and a guy on the other team hit a two run triple with one out, but we managed to get the last two outs without letting the guy on third score. Whew! The second game wasn't quite so close... we won 20-3. It's a double elimination tournament, so that means we'll be playing at least two games tomorrow, which means that I will collapse from exhaustion sometime tomorrow afternoon.

It was really a great catch that nearly split my shorts, but as you can see, the runner still made it home in plenty of time, so the near pants-splitting was all for naught...

Watching my line drive get caught by the shortstop...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11/08 - "The Top of the World"

Just about every songwriter I know wrote some kind of "9/11" song... Here's the one that Roseann and I wrote a few days after it happened. Seeing as we had just been to the World Trade Center a year before (picture below), we wrote it from the perspective of "what if it happened to us", and exploring the importance (or not) of priorities in life. I'm sure everyone did a lot of priority analysis at that time, but I realize it's worth remembering and revisiting our priorities as often as possible. Sometimes, we're our own worst critics... we shouldn't feel too bad about doing the things we have to day in and day out to take care of our families... But realizing that time with our loved ones is more valuable than money is what this is about. It's a tough balancing act, though.

Anyway, it's a rough demo, but you can hear and download "The Top of the World" for free at this page: http://www.erichermanmusic.com/top.html

"The Top of the World"
from Dancing on a Cloud
(c) 2001 Eric and Roseann Endres

Now I'm on my way
Things are looking up today
Finally where I want to be
A feeling of security

I'm here in the cradle of the sky
And the world below rushing by

Then I feel the earth shaking,
The boughs breaking
Everything I am is taken down
And I never had time to call

From the top of the world,
It's a long way to fall

I don't regret the life I had
Grateful for the good and bad
But there was more I could have done
To give my love to everyone

And now, there's nothing I can do
But wish that I'd had more time with you

Instead of all the deadlines,
Needless worries on my mind
What did I gain from it all?

From the top of the world,
It's a long way to fall
From the top of the world,
It's a long way to fall

Gain the world, lose your soul
Give your love, gain it all
Gain the world, lose your soul
Give your love, gain it all

And now, it's clear to me
Where your treasure is, your heart will be

You can live in wealth and stardom,
Build a kingdom
Seek for riches over wisdom
But where will your heart be if you lose it all?

From the top of the world,
It's a long way to fall
From the top of the world,
It's a long way to fall
From the top of the world,
It's a long way to fall

Give your love. Live for love.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9/10/08 - Fashion Show

The girls sure like to dress up in strange ways... (Becca is wiggling another loose tooth...)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

9/9/08 - BB&R trailer...

We've been working hard on the "Blackbeard..." video, and we made a little trailer for it today. Click here to see it on YouTube or watch it below... The actual video should be posted next Monday or Tuesday.

Monday, September 8, 2008

9/8/08 - Moped

Evee had her first full day of preschool today. By "full day", I mean 2.5 hours... the orientation last week was only an hour. Afterward, she excitedly said that she did everything she ever wanted to do there, and the only bad thing was having to leave.

Roseann picked up the moped we had looked at last week. She'll be puttering around town in that, and working on fixing it up over the winter. We might see if we can attach it to the RV somehow to have for when we travel.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

9/7/08 - Monkeying Around

We got up and pretty much went right to church. Every September, the start time for our ward changes between the three wards that share the building, so we went from church being from 1-4 to being from 9-noon. I actually prefer the 9-noon much better than 1-4 or 11-2... I'm up by 6:30 or 7 every morning, anyway.

Roseann and I helped out teaching Evee's Sunbeams class, which we'll be doing for the next three weeks. Evee was very happy to have us there, and Roseann did a great job of conveying the idea of tithing by distributing their snacks in groups of ten, and then having each of the kids give back one of the ten into a cup, which they later gave to the Bishop. They all excitedly asked him to eat it... and we then explained that tithing actually goes from the Bishop to the General Authorities... and it was Fast Sunday anyway, so he couldn't eat it until later... Rosean then advised the Bishop that the popcorn and raisins had been handled by multiple 3 and 4 year olds. He nodded and said goodbye. I'm guessing he never quite got around to eating them...

We came home and I played some games with the girls, and then we had dinner and watched some tube and went to bed.

Playing a rousing game of Monkeying Around with the girls...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

9/6/08 - The Finger People and the Giant Duck

Becca's finger person...

My finger person, complete with guitar...

Ernie would be thrilled, or terrified...

Tiggy enjoying some r&r (what he enjoys the most)...

Friday, September 5, 2008

9/5/08 - Sound System Jr.

So my "Sound System Jr." arrived today. It's even smaller than I thought... I've been using a Fender Passport 250 watt system for the past four years, and while that has been great for all of the shows I've needed it for, the necessity for another sound system became apparent during my trip to Montana in July. The airlines have instituted a new policy whereby you get only one free checked piece of luggage, and any other piece is $25, and any piece of luggage over 50 lbs. is a $75 charge (each way). When I put my Passport 250 on the scale and it came up at 52.5 lbs., I realized that I might need something else to travel with. Thankfully, I had bought those tickets before that policy changed, so I was only charged $25 each way for that. But going forward, the same exact luggage configuration would cost $100 each way. Considering I have at least a few air trips coming up, it made sense to get a system under 50 lbs.

I shopped around and ended up going with the Passport's younger sibling, a 150 watt version that weighs only 28 lbs. It's almost, but probably not quite small enough to be a carry-on. 150 watts might not be enough for some of the larger auditorium and park shows that I do (sound systems are usually provided for those, anyway), but it should be plenty for schools and libraries and most other venues. I'll probably end up using this one for most things now, whether I'm flying or not, just because it's easier to haul around. It looks cooler, too, with the black color, though the round control knobs are still kind of dorky...

We've been working a lot on the "Blackbeard..." video, and that's coming along well. You can see a still of Yellowbird, the parrot, below...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

9/4/08 - Life is a great balancing act...

I was a little anxious when I saw Evee up on there until I realized that part of the Sit & Spin doesn't spin...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

9/3/08 - Just Playing

Evee had her first day of preschool today (well, her first day for this school year... she went to preschool for the first time last year). It was also orientation day, so Roseann and I went along to fill out the paperwork and such. Becca stayed with Gramma Jean and did some homeschooling. She learned about homonyms, sundials and the geometry of shadows, and she read a couple of poems. They went through a surprising number of other things considering we were only gone for an hour and a half, but Gramma Jean used to be an elementary school teacher, so she knows how to cram it all in there.

Evee was very happy to meet her new teacher, Mrs. Rosbach, who was also Becca's preschool teacher for two years. Ellie, who is one of Evee's good friends from church, is also in her preschool class. Ellie gave Evee a stuffed animal, Pony, for her birthday last year, and that's been Evee's favorite toy ever since.

On the preschool orientation pages, they had included a poem called "Just Playing" by Anita Wadley about how when children are playing, they're really learning all kinds of things... It's written from the child's perspective, saying, for example... When you see me up to my elbows in paint, Or standing at an easel, or molding and shaping clay, Please don't let me hear you say, "He's just playing" For you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm expressing myself and being creative. I may be an artist or an inventor someday. The last verse goes: When you ask me what I've done at school today, And I say "I played," Please don't misunderstand me. For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm learning to be successful in work. I'm preparing for tomorrow. Today, I'm a child and my work is play. I thought it was a very poignant poem and so afterwards when I asked Evee what she did during preschool and she said, "I played", I had to smile and laugh. Evee's not driven as much towards academics as Becca, but she's always been a very playful girl who is very smart and observant of her surroundings. If she gets that from playing a lot, then I'm happy to see her studying that kind of curriculum.

Otherwise, the girls played outside for quite a while and we did some various errands and continued work on our video project. We also went to look at a moped. It doesn't look the greatest, but it runs well and we might pick it up and fix it up for making odd trips around town.

Evee with Mrs. Rosbach...

Don't worry, we'll buy some helmets if we get this moped...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

9/2/08 - Evee's library card

Evee's been able to write her name for a while now, so we thought she should go and get her own library card today. She was very happy about that, but I think Becca was actually more excited for her. She did great writing her first name, but we didn't realize she'd have to do her last name, too, so we had to coach her a bit on that. But it worked out, and Evee is now the proud owner of a library card, and put it to good use by taking out several books and a movie.

Monday, September 1, 2008

9/1/08 - Back to work!

So it's back to work today... on Labor Day, no less. I spent a few hours inputting all of the receipts from our last two months of traveling. Fun fun fun! Roseann and I are working on a new animated video for YouTube of my "Blackbeard, Bluebeard and Redbeard" song, and it's somewhat of an ambitious project considering it's one of my longest songs and we're trying to get it finished in time for International Talk Like a Pirate Day. (You can see a little piece below for the "a pirate without treasure is like a monkey without a spatula" part...)

We went out with Gramma Jean this afternoon and did some shopping, though we weren't able to get to some of the places we had planned to, since many places were closed for the holiday. We came back and had dinner with Jean and Larry, and then the girls went to bed and we did some more work.

A few people have asked if I'm going to keep up this journal... I think I will, because I've enjoyed keeping a record of what our family has been up to from day to day and we like to look back every so often at the pictures. But I think that with our summer tour and travels over at this point, I'm not going to promise to write a post about every single day if there's not really anything particularly noteworthy to mention (I mean, every day is a gift and noteworthy for whatever you experience with it... but some days just aren't all that distinctive to write about...). Or I might just post a picture or two on some days and not really write anything... but I'll definitely keep up best I can and still chronicle any shows and travels I have over the fall and winter. And maybe I'll post some notes on the work we're doing for recording my next album and making new videos and stuff like that. We'll see...