Saturday, July 30, 2005

Peak experience

Peak experience
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Climbed Mt Seymour to 2nd peak with the M's today. M1 and M2 are just floating to have made it up so far!

Probably could have made it all the way to 3rd peak if we hadn't had a very long down and then back up - detour following the wrong trail in the beginning.

A sign post!
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

VERY proud of M's - M1 and M2 made the climb up and down on their own. Maddy was under her own steam and only needed help being lifted up and down big rock "steps".

Quote of the day: Maddy, after rounding a corner to see Peaks 1 and 2 looming ahead, "We NOT going dere!?"

M1 and M2, "YES - we are going to climb all the way up there!!!!"

Maddy, "No. I not. Please. No, NO NO - not dere - not up dere!"

BUT she did it and back down too! We got SO many positive comments from other hikers who saw our crew going up and down.

At a view point
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

The twins for their part were HAPPY to be on the walk - they put up with going from bed to van to backpacks with practically no fussing and complaining.

The kids enjoyed post-trip popsicles at the end of the day. Favourite part of the day for the M's?

Melissa - Being up on the "viewpoint" and getting to see EVERYTHING and the really great view.

Michael - Climbing ALL the way up a big mountain!

Maddy - Eating my popsicle.

We made it to Second Peak!

"I admire your ambition," said the man coming down the trail. We were in our first 5 minutes of hiking on the Mount Seymour trail with all 5 of our M's, and his comment, while not totally unexpected, still left us feeling a little bemused. I didn't know what to say, so I just smiled and said, "Have a good day." That comment set the tone for almost all the interactions we had with the people we met along the trail today.

Tarn - A photo stitch of the tarn that we passed. You'll want to click on the thumbnail and then select the 'all sizes' option to get the full effect.
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl

According to Mary and David Macaree in "103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia" (which is pretty much the hiker's bible in the local outdoor rec scene), the full hike to the peak of Mount Seymour is:

Round trip 9 km (5.5 mi)
Allow 4 hours
High point (Third Peak) 1453 m (4766 ft)
Elevantion gain 450 m (1475 ft)
Best July to October

What those statistics don't quite describe is that the stated elevation gain is net 450 m. To get from First Peak to Second Peak, you actually give up a hundred or so metres of elevation and then gain it back and more.

Second Peak Panorama -This is a photo-stitch of 8 pictures I took - moving from NE, E, SE, S. The bump towards the right is Mount Seymour's Second Peak. Click on the picture, and then select 'all sizes' to get the full effect.
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl

While we didn't go all the way to Third Peak, Cheryl and I are very proud of Melissa, Michael, and Madeleine because they walked pretty much the whole way to Second Peak and back. The kids handled some pretty steep terrain and got their share of compliments (as I noted at the start) from passing grown-up hikers.

We're especially proud of Madeleine because while she did run out of steam about half-way through the adventure, she got all the way back to the van with her humour intact.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Megan's 1st ponytail!

Megan's 1st ponytail!
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Megan woke up from nap with a bad case of bed head. So on a whim - I decided to try and see if her hair would go up into a ponytail. Melissa offered up her pretty hair things from Auntie Bethy.

Her hair was long enough and sticky enough to stay in the ponytail quite well. Megan was quite proud of her new hairdo and would not let Maribeth remove it! I don't think she LIKED all that hair in her face!

Melissa insistied we try Maribeth's hair - but that lasted all of about 5 seconds due to a combo of M5's very fine, non-sticky hair and her curious nature!

Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

What book of the Bible are you?

You are Ephesians
You are Ephesians.

Which book of the Bible are you?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Allan's Certified!

red sky at night / sailor's delight
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

No, NOT certifiable!! I can't believe you were thinking that. That's not the same thing at all.

Tonight was the last class for White Sail I and II and Allan came home with the White Sail I and II sailing certifications!

I'm very proud of him because he got "Demonstrated Consistently" on EVERY skill on both checklists. No "not demonstrated" and no "demonstrated." Demonstrated means the instructors saw you do it right at least once.

This marks the 1/2 way point in the summer and the sailing lessons. Then next 5 weeks - he will be taking his White Sail III certification.

We found our fish!!

Baby Seal
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Maddy's going to be our swimmer! While we have been despairing that she can't yet even pedal a tricycle at almost 4 years - she outshines both her older sibs in the water!

She's not afraid of getting her face wet like Melissa and not afraid of going in over her knees. Both Melissa and Michael would get in the ocean up to their knees and then flip and and demand in panicky voices that they had to go BACK WHERE IT IS NOT DEEP.

Melissa spent barely any time in the water - flying the kite for a LONG time before being coerced into helping Michael with his sand engineering project.

Turtle Island
Turtle Island
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Maddy spent almost the whole beach time IN the water playing and that gave me good excuse to stay in the water as well. She'll be able to float once she gets the hang of it. I could tell that playing with her.

Otter and Child
Otter and Child
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Michael and Melissa sink (Allan can't float - apparently some body types can't - they have too much bone density).

So I think we've found our family "fish"!

Tired twins

A Brief moment of quiet from the twins
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Rocking together in the rocking chair watching "Baby Einstein" before supper yesterday. They are quite miserable with teething as well as the heat.

It's interesting to note that they don't MIND being squished together in the chair - where their older sibs would have been poking and kicking at each other. They really get along very well for a couple of almost 18 month olds!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Michael's new haircut

Michael's new haircut
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

The kids and I spent most of the day downtown C--- today. So when we passed the "$5 cutting den" with a stroller full of sleepy twins - I figured, "Why not get Michael's hair cut?"

Grandpa usually does it - but we haven't seen Grandpa in a while - plus he never wants to take much off which means either frequent haircuts or a boy with a shaggy head.

The Cutting Den is a real "old fashioned" barber shop with a real old barber. Michael was fascinated and happily hopped up on the real barber's chair for his haircut while the girls and I ran across the street to an ATM for cash as it is a cash only establishment. $5 for a basic boy's buzz cut! Ladies and girls haircuts START at $10.

Melissa said, "You look cool with your hair like that Michael - I hope it stays that way".

Messiest Megan

A little girl with a BIG spoon
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl

Megan won the dinner time "messy baby" contest by taking on the serving dish of black beans and the butter container (aided and abetted by her two closest sisters).

Melissa ran screaming out to the kitchen, "Mommy - they are messy - really messy - they've never been this messsy before - Mommy I am NOT kidding - you have to come NOW and clean them UP!"

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The woods are so big

On the trail
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

.. and we are so small!

We skipped camp meeting this Sabbath to head out into nature. My choice of adventure as it was my birthday.

I picked the Lynn loop at Lynn Headwaters Park. I hadn't been there since I was pregnant with Michael. But Allan and I had hiked this loop many times with our late friend Richard.

We did the short loop - to my disappointment - having never actually done the longer loop or the hike up to the peak. Allan said the kids weren't ready and he was right! Another season.

On the trail

The longer loop can also be used as a jumping off point for long treks into the backcountry. We were reminded that this is not an urban trail by park entry signs - 1 asking people to sign in their route and how many in the party and another notifying hikers that there ARE bears in the area.

Information board

This was a good opportunity to educate the children about staying safe while hiking and what to do if we actually saw a bear. Of course we didn't see any bears - any wildlife within miles was probably scared away by general noise level of our crew!

They did great though! It took almost less than hours with the kids (babies in backpacks). With Richard and me pregnant the last time we hiked this it took us close to 6 hours!

We ate our sandwiches on the trail while walking. The babies had bottles in the backpacks. They were fascinated with the sights and sounds.

There were some incredible views across the valley to the mountains beyond and while we didn't do the peak - we definately had quite a bit of elevation on this hike!

Helping Maddy over a root

There were several skinned knees/elbows though - but oddly on flat sections not climbing up or switchbacks down.

On the way back we stopped to wade in a mountain stream. Megan kept going into the water - but not far - just to her ankles.

One step for twin-kind

Maribeth let one TOE touch the water - felt how cold it was and jerked her foot out and wouldn't go within 3 FEET of the water after that.

Playing in the creek

Maddy got completely soaked through falling in and had to be changed into her spare clothes.

Playing in the creek

The rest of us just waded in a bit. Melissa and Michael managed to wade and play in the water without getting wet!

Playing in the creek

It was a good hike - we need to get out and do this stuff more often. I'm not wiped out completely and could have gone farther. So that means I'm definately started to get back into shape physically after the twins even though I still have not lost any weight at all.

Over the bridge

Maybe I"ll feel it tomorrow though! I'm surprised I'm not sore already because last night after Allan got home from work I bicycled to Curves - worked out and THEN cycled into Langley and back just for the heck of it. That's just over 10 miles total. Way more than I usually do - but I'm very encouraged that I was able to do all this!

30 years old!

Birthday Girl + Gateau Creme Glacee - Before
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Probably at least a 3rd of the way through my life - maybe more!

This is a DQ Extreme Chocolate Blizzard Ice-cream cake. Allan SAID to pick whatever I wanted - but he was a bit overwhelmed with the intensity of the chocolate! It's very rich - we didn't even eat 1/4 of the cake for dessert!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Changing of the printer

The Lexmark that I've had since before getting pregnant with Melissa finally packed it in. Or rather - it went so completely beserk and even the resident IT Guru couldn't get it working properly.

Allan surprised me last night with an early birthday present of an HP PSC 2355!!! PSC stands for "Printer, Scanner, Copier". It's the copier part I'm the most excited about - I've been wanting that function for a LONG time! Allan spent an unexpected bonus cheque on it so I had NO idea and I wouldn't kill him for spending outside of budget.

In other news - I attended my first housing co-op finance committee meeting last night and came away from it the chair of the co-op finance committee. I will be getting lots of instruction from the former chair - who is now the Treasurer for the Board of Directors and can't hold both positions due to conflict of interest.

Though it may prove to be quite a bit of work - I"m long overdue. Members of the co-op are required volunteer 6 hours per month. Since we moved in last February - I have not done ANYTHING and Allan has helped with spring clean-up for 6 hours one Sunday. It'll be a good chance for me to put some of my business/accounting classes to use and might also serve as a good resume item whenever I need to re-enter the workforce. I've realized that I have been out of the workforce for 5 years come August.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The twins tattle!

The other morning - I came out from the kitchen to discover a "Big Mess". I said, as parents are wont to do, "WHO MADE THIS MESS!" The twins (the usual suspects these days) were safely ensconced in their high chairs.

Maddy said "NOT ME." Michael and Melissa looked at each other conspiratorily and then simulaneously shrugged their shoulders and put on their best innocent faces.

Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl

Megan and Maribeth looked at each other across their high chair trays. Maribeth shook her head.

Megan sat up straight then stretched out her whole arm with an accusing finger pointed at the guilty party and proclaimed loudly, "MEWISSA!"

"Uhhh yeah!" agreed Maribeth.

I wish I had a camera at that moment to capture the look on Melissa's face. Her mouth literally dropped open and her eyes got bigger than I thought was possible. When she could speak, she gasped, "MEGAN TALKS!"

Then looked down and said quietly "and she's.....right".

No Surgery for Maribeth!

Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

That's the postive side! The general surgeon we saw today said that the risks of surgery to remove her "tail" (he had a medical term which I forget!) outweigh the benefits!

About the pediatricians' worry that she would fall and fracture it - he said in his 25+ years of experience he has seen that only happen once. It was an older child and basically the tailbone fractured but didn't heal up - so they went in and removed that bit. No spinal issues.

He said while to many family doctors and pediatricians it looks scary and seems like it should be operated on, the research shows that it's very unlikely to cause any problems (now that we know there is no spinal invovlement).

I'm a tad annoyed because with summer construction I spent almost 4 hours on the road in the heat today, plus over an hour in the waiting room and we really shouldn't have been there at all!

It was a medical miscommunication between the neurosurgeon and the pediatrician. The neaurosurgeon said that, "Since there was no spinal cord involvement, she has no need of a neurosurgeon." He did not specifically state that she didn't need ANY surgeon so the pediatrician took this to mean that she needed a GENERAL surgeon, not a neurosurgeon. Ugh. But at least I know it's unlikely to cause problems.

Oh and the "cyst" they were worried about was only her strawberry hemangioma - yet ANOTHER miscommunication between Dr's and hospitals!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Summer pool fun

Summer pool fun
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Summer is finally here! We spent much of today in the backyard - lounging about in the shade and cooling off in the "sprinkle pool".

The M's kept hydrated with juice in sippy cups and water in new straw cups from Grandmommy.

I managed to hang 4 loads of laundry out to dry today. It all dried by the end of the day in the heat.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Our Virtual Refridgerator

One of the really fun things I like about being online is that we get to share with you all the art that the kids churn out and stick to our fridge - or rather, would if they could find an unoccupied magnet.

In the very beginning our intent was to scan or photograph for future posterity whatever drawings, paintings, photos, or sculpture the kids created. Of course, we could try to keep the original creations, but in all practicality they weren't likely to survive for any length of time without a lot of extra work.

Steve and Blue - Crayon on photocopy stock, by Melissa, age 5
Orginally uploaded by SyntaxError

Steve and Blue - Pencil crayon on tractor-feed printer stock, by Melissa, age 6
Orginally uploaded by SyntaxError

The next logical step of course was to set up a flickr account just for the kids to post their art to. It started out as a bit of a joke, which grew with some semi-serious art commentary and analysis. However, as time has passed the site has taken on a new dimension because as you view the photos in chronological order, it is pretty obvious how well Melissa and Michael are progressing.

Down the slide - Crayon on photocopy stock, by Michael, age 4
Orginally uploaded by SyntaxError

Boy with crown - Marker on tractor-feed printer stock, by Michael, age 4
Orginally uploaded by SyntaxError

Stated another way, what started out initially as another kind of 'brag' page has turned into something more - another window into how our M's are growing and learning. Wow!

Summer has finally arrived - maybe

The thermometer hit 32c (89F) today, the first day we've had in quite a while that did not feature clouds in any way shape or form at any time of the day.

Megan pre-empted her older siblings by walking up to her mother at noon today with a beach toy and said, "'ading pool?" Of course you can't refuse a request as sweet as that, so after lunch the kids got to go outside and splash around in their little blue wading pool.

Wading pool
Orginally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl

Orginally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl

Friday, July 15, 2005

The twins got the MMR vaccine today

I was nervous about it. But so far no reaction at all (well except for the ear-drum shattering screeching that accompanied the actual immunization). We were advised to delay for a while but with the number of actual diseases we keep getting exposed to - we figured we might as well go for it.

Michael, who had his Kindergarten booster shoot today, is actually faring worse. Already running a low grade fever. He was a trooper though and didn't cry or whine one BIT with his actual shot. He tried to console his twins sisters by showing them his bandaid and telling them if they are good - we will go get a treat afterwards. That worked for him and he didn't seee why it failed to console the twins. He even held Maribeth after her shots - while I held onto Megan while she got hers. The nurse said he was a" very good big brother".

We were able to get all three children weighed while we were at the health unit. Michael is 45 lbs (also 45 in tall!). Megan is 23 lbs 15 oz!!!! Maribeth is 19 lbs 3 oz. opps - that's down from her previous weight of 19 lbs 7 oz last month. She's eating well - so I guess all her climbing around is burning quite a few calories.

I can't believe what Maribeth did!

Boy are we in for trouble! I was cooking in the kitchen this afternoon and heard what SOUNDED like china in the dining room. My china is in a locked cabinet - the key hidden in one of the drawers IN my silverware wooden box. I figured I had better investigate!

In the dining room - there were no older M's. Just Maribeth - holding the sugar bowl and sprinkling sugar on the floor. The key was IN the lock still and a chair was pushed over to where she had climbed up to open the drawer, open the silverware box, retrieve the key, climbed back DOWN to open the cabinet and then had taken the lid OFF the sugar bowl and put it onto a dinner plate (the sound I had heard).

Maribeth waving her ice-cream around
Orginally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl

When she saw me she said - "uh oh!" . An appropriate reaction for a small child just caught with their hand in the sugar bowl! I told her we needed to put it BACK and she said "yah' and handed me back the sugar bowl. After I put the bowl back IN the cabeinet - she reached over - turned the key - pointed to the part the key makes go out to lock the cabenit and said "do dis". They tell me this child is "delayed" a bit - I don't THINK SO!! I think it's more likely she just doesn't like to "perform" for doctors!

Wading pool
Orginally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl

I"m floored. Though I shouldn't be after yesterday.

Yesterday I was talking to my mom on the phone while doing laundry upstairs and mentioned that since the twins can climb up on chairs now - I really need to get to childproofing the windows "because I don't want the twins to push a chair over to the window, climb up and push on the screen and and maybe fall out".

Behind me there was whispering, giggling, and twin-chattering. Then I saw them toddle together into OUR room and shut the door behind them. When I got to them - they had pushed a chair over to the window (which was open), climbed on the chair and were pushing on the screen. They are still short though - so they could barely REACH the screen - which was a GOOD thing.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Don't they look like sisters?

Auntie Ally and Melissa - matching - Melissa in the Ralph Lauren sundress from Auntie Ally in the summer of 2000
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Megan in the same dress today. - She looks a LOT like her oldest sister!
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Unfortunately - I think this is the end of the line for that dress. While I was uploading the photos - Megan pushed the step-stool up to the counter to get at my freshly baked chocolate cake! I don't know if I can get all the stains out of the dress!

Monday, July 11, 2005

A "Hugh" impersonator!

There is a Hugh impersonator in our neighbourhood! The kids called me to the window today to see a black and white cat with an uncanny resemblance to Hugh stalking something in our back yard.

The one and only Jungle Cat - Fear him.
A photo-set by AviatorDave.

M2 - "Look! That's HUGH!"

M3 - "Who is Hugh?"

M1 - "Uncle David's JUNGLE CAT!"

M3 - "Dat isss Uncle David's cat?"

M1 - "No - Uncle David and Hugh live far away."

M2 - "But it COULD be Hugh - he could be visiting."

M1 - "I told you they live far away."

M2 - "But Hugh could have flown Uncle David's plane over here."

M1 - "Michael - cats don't fly planes."

M2 - "But Uncle David could have flown the plane."

M3 - "Let's CATCH HUGH!"

M1 - "That is NOT Hugh - it just LOOKS like Hugh-the-jungle-cat."

M2 - "The cat is running away from us."

M1 - "You scared him!" (to me) Can we see Hugh's pictures on the computer .. PLEEEASSSSEE?"

M3 - "I want to see too!"

M2 - "But DOES Hugh get to fly in the airplane?"

House Bathroom Rules

1. Clean up after yourself!! If you pee or poo in the bathroom, but NOT in the toilet - clean it up! Do not just leave it there hoping it will go away. Even if YOU THINK you have cleaned it up - get a GROWN-UP to check. Trust me - people over 4 ft tall have a very different definition of "clean."

2. FLUSH!!! Yellow or brown - flush it down!

3. Wipe - wipe - wipe. BEFORE you get down fom the toilet! Do NOT slide your poopy bum around on the toilet seat.

4. Wiping is NOT optional! If you can't wipe yourself - call a grown-up and wait ON THE TOILET - until they can wipe your butt.

La salle de bain en haute
Originally uploaded by Mama2Miracles.

5. ALWAYS leave the bathroom doors SHUT unless you are going in or out of them. This is so the twins don't go in and play in the toilet. This is especially important for those who forget rule #2.

6. If you do NOT want company in the bathroom - lock the door. Shut bathrooms doors are not always knocked on as the doors are always to be left shut (see rule # 4).

7. When you leave the bathroom - turn off the light! Lights run on electricity and electricity costs $! (Beaucoup d'argent, muchos de dinero, etc.)

La salle de bain en bas
Originally uploaded by Mama2Miracles.

8. Downstairs bathroom fan stays on 24/7. - electrical bill be d*&med! Do NOT turn it off. There is NO window and the door stays shut! Without air circulation - all odors produced in the bathroom stay there and multiply. This renders the bathroom unusable by most of the household inhabitants.

9. When shutting the bathroom door (see rule #4) first ensure the that there are NO stray toddlers in the bathroom.

10. Toilet paper is not a toy. It is NOT funny to unroll it all. Do not give the twins rolls of TP to play with.

11. DO use TP - but DON'T use such copious amounts of it that it clogs the toilet.

12. If you able - you may read in the bathroom - but don't under any circumstances leaving a book or magazine IN the bathroom. Please note You MUST be able to actually read to bring a book or magazine into a bathroom. Bringing a book in for the purpose of performing sea-worthiness tests in any water containing bathroom fixture - a an illicit activity and violators WILL be prosecuted.

Petite Madeleine avec un appareil-photo sur la toilette
Originally uploaded by Mama2Miracles.

13. Razors should NEVER be left on the side of the tub (due to violations of rules # 4 and 8).

13-a. A collory to rule #13 - Be forewarned that any shampoo, conditioner or expensive facial cleanser left on the side of the tub will will be mistaken for a bubble bath offering by the younger residents of the house. This would even including strawberry scented tear free shampoo that 6 year old may have conned a parent into buying the day before. Be advised that our policy is not to replace any such item unless the house is devoid of any related item - no matter how much you may whine or complain to us about the choice of Pantene or baby shampoo.

Welcome to the Blog-o-sphere!

Roadside poppies
Originally uploaded by Jo Bloggers.

You'll notice a new link added to the "All in the Family" list - Eastern Sierra Sunshine.

She's already photo-blogging and tattling on her young 'uns - which is pretty much what we do, so click on over and enjoy!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

First impressions of the Evah's

I know at least one of you has probably been waiting for my review of the new Evah Pirazzi cello strings that Piastro sent to review. I'll be holding off on filling out the review form until I've played on them longer than an hour! I'm thinking a good week should do it.

The Evah Pirazzi set was replacing Jargar forte A and D and Helicore G and C. I was thinking the strings I was taking off were "new" but in reality I've been playing regularly on them for 4 months or so now! They have been duly labeled, dated and back in my cello case.

So on to my "first impressions":

The first thing I noticed on closer inspection was that it wasn't a straight "set" of cello strings. It was Med A and D and Soloist G and C. (As opposed to the regular Med G and C.)

My next impression was that ALL the strings were thinner and much more pliable than any other cello strings I've seen to date. In fact, I checked the package and the C and G strings at least twice each to make sure I had the RIGHT string - they were so thin! This made getting the strings ON the cello a much less frustrating experience. Add to that I also have purchased peg dope since my last frustrating string changing experience. So the change-over went smoothly and took less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

The con is that they are a touch longer than my previous strings - so I do have have to wind the strings on the pegs past the windings a bit on the C and A strings. That may shorten the life span a bit.

Then of course the sound. I tried the cello out briefly after switching the G and C strings and one thing was obvious - these strings were a lot LOUDER! The soloist Evah G and C strings made the Jargar forte's on the A and D sound more like dolces!

With all the strings on - it sounded like a different cello - but not necessarily "better" or "worse" than the previous set up - just different. The Evah strings - have more power and are louder. Plus they have more overtones - the cello vibrates more with them on it. However - the cello sounds "brighter" and not as "warm" as it did with the previous set up.

The Jargar/Helicore combo was a very beautiful, warm sound on my cello. While lacking the depth of overtones and sheer volume of the Evah Pirazzi's - it was next to impossible to create a "squeak" sound with the Jargar/Helicores! Not so with the Evahs - I had several squeaks over the course of an hour. It reminded me a touch of playing one of my teacher's cellos - lot of power available - but you had to BE a good player to sound good.

Another observation is that the Evahs play well together as a set on my cello. The pro is that a set by one maker is easy to purchase - just find someone that carries that brand. Plus there is a continuity of sound across the set that I just haven't seen yet on my instrument with any of the brands we've tried.

The con - if I break ONE string right now - I'm going to have to change the whole set back. It's not a mix and match set - the tone, volume differences and even the differences in string feel and response are too great to have it mixed up with anything else. (A good thing is I have the set that just came OFF my cello which still has tons of play time left - plus I have an identical new Jargar/Helicore set.)

My end of practice session assessment: I like them. If I was playing a lot with a piano or soloing - I would make these my first choice simply for the extra volume. However - the string set up that I had is just as good for practicing at home and playing in orchestra.

I'm going to leave the Evahs on for now and see how they do as they "play in" - also how they hold up over the long term. When it's time to change the strings - I'll go back to the set I just took off - then the other set I have - but after all that (probably in a couple of years) - I'll likely go back to the Evah Pirazzis and give them another go.

Allan's opinion from downstairs was just that he was surprised not to hear complaining and muttering while I was changing strings and he thought perhaps I hadn't bothered since I was playing so quickly after going up. Previous string set changes have taken me upwards of an hour and sometimes longer. He also said I sound comfortable and confident on them. He couldn't really tell a lot of difference in sound from downstairs.