Friday, March 22, 2013

Breaking News With Maggie: A New Room

This is Maggie Wilson of "Breaking News with Maggie", bringing you the latest news from Beast'sbelle's Gals. thought I forgot all about these posts, right?  WRONG!!  There just hasn't been anything worth reporting for a while. ;)  Okay, and maybe I've been a little lazy recently...and a little overly ambitious in earlier posts. I mean, come on.  Some of the "breaking news" I've reported in the past has not been all that interesting.  But you know what they say: if there's nothing interesting to report, fabricate it!!  Or try to make something uninteresting seem more interesting than it is!  And no, I have no clue who the "they" are.  In fact, it's quite possible that I just made that all up. ;}

And can I just take a minute here and say that we REALLY need to be better at coordinating our posting schedule?  I mean, almost an entire month with nothing and then three posts in one day?  Really, guys?  Has anyone heard of the word communication?  Sheesh.  

Anyway, moving on to the subject at hand:  Rachel and I have a new room!  Well, to be strictly accurate, Tess and Hailey also have a new room:  our old one.  Some of you might have picked that up in Tess's last post.  I'm kind of surprised she didn't say anything about it...although the tone of her post didn't really match with a cheery "by the way, we have a new room" message. :{

So Mama decided that she needed a little more room and she wanted to have all of her doll rooms in one spot.  She decided that Rachel and I would do best on the very top.  And I do mean very top.  See our ceiling?  That's actually the ceiling of Mama's room!

We thought you might like a little tour. ;)  Here's Rachel on our bed (you can see her Muppet posters and our Jack Sparrow and Will Turner posters behind her on the wall).

Our dresser is now next to our bed.  We still have our radio on top.  By the way, isn't our floor cool?  It's a quilted wall hanging that Mama found at Goodwill.  It the perfect style for Rachel and me. :)

And in the back corner we have our nifty corner shelf with all our doo-dads on it.  Now you can see our awesome Avengers Squinkies a lot better. ;)

Here I am chillin' in our chair.  It's nice to have a place to sit besides the bed again.  We put our tub of books next to the chair so we could reach them easily.

I thought I'd also show you a picture of the same area without me in it so you can see the rest of our nifty posters.  We had a lot of fun hanging them up. :)

Ooh, and you can also see my new Hiccup from "How to Train Your Dragon" and Peter Pevensie from "The Chronicles of Narnia" (thank you, Goodwill). ;)

At first, I wasn't too sure about the move.  I mean, we were used to being at floor level, and now we're at the very top of the doll rooms.  I really liked having the easy access to the rest of the house.  And...well...easy access isn't really a feature of this room... you can see from my bird's eye view here.  Not sure why Blogger randomly decided to put this picture sideways, but at least you still get the idea.  

I haven't quite perfected the art of getting down gracefully (without stepping in someone's lap or on their bed), but I'll get it eventually.  Staying in our room forever is NOT an option. 

I guess that's about it for this post.  Nothing else to report...except that our new digs give us the unhappy advantage of overhearing EVERYTHING from the Book Ladies Meeting with the four nuts.  Seriously, I was about ready to start chucking pillows down there if I heard one more word about Jane Austen or whoever's curly hair or awesome facial expression in that one ballroom scene.  Ick.  Get a plastic life, girls.  And please stop torturing the rest of us with your period drama drivel. >:(  

Hmm, maybe next month we should hold a rather loud "Avengers" discussion at the same time!  Hee hee.  I keep telling Tess that Thor is basically like Mr. Darcy as a super hero.  Only way cooler.  Like, WAY way cooler.

So, talk to you guys again later.  Maybe next time we can be better at spacing these posts out so you have something to tide you over throughout the week.  Until then, this is Maggie Wilson, signing off. :)

Tess's Tidbits: The Missing Piece

It was late when I got back to our room from the Literary Ladies Society meeting, and Hailey had already fallen asleep.  I tiptoed into the room so I wouldn't wake her.  

I sighed as I removed my feathered headband.  I wasn't sure what to think about the meeting.  Emma and I had enjoyed a simply thrilling discussion about different Jane Austen film adaptations, but I was worried that we'd overdone it a bit.  Several times I'd caught glimpses of rather blank expressions on Jenna and Hayden's faces.  I had to remember that this was a Literary Ladies Society, not a Jane Austen Society, and that not all of our members were as in love with Austen's work as Emma and I.

I was amazed that I'd been able to speak at all.  When Jenna had asked me to come up, I'd literally felt sick to my stomach.  My mouth was so dry I might as well have been made of sawdust instead of vinyl.  I couldn't look at anyone without feeling like I might faint, so I chose a spot on the floor and stared at it while I struggled to find words of introduction.

Before long, however, the words had come.  As I spoke about the characters as dear to me as my own friends, it was as if the whole world melted away.  I was Lizzy Bennet, sharing about my life...and why I preferred Colin Firth to Matthew Macfadyen (no offense, Mr. Macfadyen...I adored you on "Little Dorrit").  When Emma joined the conversation, I was elated.  We always love discussing Jane Austen together.  

As we spoke, the haze suddenly seemed to clear, and I was merely Tess the doll once more...and Hayden and Jenna were on the verge of either sheer boredom or a long nap.  I've never been more embarrassed in my entire life.  The last thing I wanted was to drone on and on and bore my audience.  This is why I wanted to be a writer, not a public speaker.  As I said my goodbyes and headed down to my room, my plastic heart sank.  What if my writing was just as bad?  Would I bore my readers to tears as well?  Perhaps my blogging is not all that interesting.  You would tell me if it was horrid, wouldn't you, my dearest readers?  If I have no future in writing, it would be much better to know it now than after years of toiling over stories that no one will care about. :(

With these thoughts weighing heavily on my mind, I opened the top drawer of my curio cabinet to put away my headband.  Then I stopped in my tracks.  How had the picture gotten there?  Hailey must have thought this was where it belonged.  

I put my headband away, picked up the framed picture almost reverently, and slowly took a seat on the bed, being careful not to wake Hailey.  Pemberley purred behind me, but I didn't respond to my kitty.  I simply stared at the portrait.

It seemed so long ago.  In some ways, it had been a lifetime.  A little over two years, to be exact.  Two years since my baby sister left us.  I fingered the picture gently.  There were times when I missed Ella so much that I physically ached.  I knew that she had chosen to leave and that we were fortunate to hear from her sporadically via email, but it didn't take away the pain of losing her.  I always felt as if a piece of me was missing.  And every day, I vowed that someday, somehow, I would try to bring the three of us together again.  I wasn't exactly sure what I could do, but I had to try. 

Until that day, I'd have to keep going and bury my loss.  I knew Mama had said that I could talk to God about how I felt.  Sometimes He just felt so far away.

"Dear Father," I whispered slowly, "Mama says we can talk to you about anything."  I hesitated.  "I really miss my sister, Lord.  I miss her more than I can say..."  I had to stop to get my tears under control.  "If there's any way you could help me get her back, I would be forever grateful."  I stroked the picture frame lovingly.  "Mama says that sometimes You don't have the same plan that we do and I have to trust that You know what's best."  I wiped my eyes and glanced over at Hailey to make sure I hadn't woken her.  "It won't be easy, but I'll try my best to be content no matter what happens.  Thank you, Lord...Amen."

A tear slipped down my cheek and landed on the glass of the picture frame.  I carefully wiped it away with the hem of my gown and then put the picture back in the drawer.  I didn't know what would happen in the future, but it helped knowing that God did.  

Meanwhile, I'd have to try to be content, making the most of each day, and pray that one day the missing piece of our lives would be restored.

Hayden's Histories: Literary Ladies Society March Meeting

Hi everyone!  Hayden here with from our 3rd Literary Ladies Society meeting. :}

Last Saturday was the 3rd Saturday of the month, so the four of us all got dressed up in our fancy dresses.  Jenna and I did a quick declutter job on our room before Tess and Emma got there.  Not that we're overly messy, but we both collect a lot of stuff, and our collections have a way of overflowing from the shelves. ;)

The topic for this meeting was a comparison of the two most recent movie adaptations of "Pride and Prejudice", presented by Tess (or I suppose I should say "Miss Bennet"). ;)

I was really surprised when I found out that Tess was going to speak.  She's so painfully shy that I wasn't sure she could handle getting up in front of us, even though it was only an audience of three.  She did a great job, though.  I could tell she was nervous when she started...she spoke really quietly and didn't make eye contact with any of us.  After a while, though, her love for "Pride and Prejudice" gave her an unnatural boldness.

In fact, she started talking so fast that it was all I could do to keep up in our meeting minutes!

As she continued speaking, she seemed to come alive.  Her eyes sparkled and her cheeks were flushed as she pointed out the many flaws she saw in the 2005 version with someone named Kira or's in my notes somewhere (Tess spelled out the names for me). ;)

My sister Emma was thrilled with the topic and often interjected a few points of her own.  Tess always welcomed them graciously.

Before long, the two of them were in a deep, fan-girly discussion which had grown from just "Pride and Prejudice" to adaptations of all of the different Jane Austen films.  You know how Emma gets when she gets excited. ;)  The two of them were completely lost in a world of Austen, discussing pros and cons, costumes, lighting, screenplays, and even whether Mr. Knightley or Mr. Tilney was a better hero.

I have to admit, I kind of glazed over during the course of the conversation.  I'm a fan of Jane Austen's work myself (it's great "scope for the imagination", to borrow a phrase from "Anne of Green Gables"), but this conversation was a bit beyond me.  I mean, I didn't know enough about JJ Feild's smile or Colin Firth's hair to have anything to contribute.  And while I didn't mind a discussion of film adaptations, I wasn't expecting something that delved this deep.  I do have a bad habit of drifting off anyway, letting my imagination run away with me.  I'm glad I don't have to go to school, because I'd probably always be getting in trouble for daydreaming. :}  Basically, what I came away with was the the 1995 version of "Pride and Prejudice" was "spectacular" and the 2005 version was "horrid", at least according to Tess and Emma.  Um, I mean Miss Bennet and Miss Woodhouse. :}

Several hours later, Jenna and I were alone in our room again.  

"Well, I think I know more now about Jane Austen film adaptations than I ever needed to know," Jenna declared wryly as she pulled off one shoe.

I blushed at her direct comment.  I didn't want Tess or Emma's feelings to be hurt.  "It was informative," I began weakly.

Jenna chuckled at the uncomfortable expression that must have been on my face.  "Don't worry, Hayden, I'm not going to say anything more."  She wiggled her foot back and forth.  "I do appreciate all the preparation Tess put into her presentation, and I know how excited your sister gets about Jane Austen."  

She reached down to take off her other shoe.  "I'm wondering if we should rethink our meetings a bit."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

My friend dropped her shoes on the floor.  "To be honest, I'm getting a little bit overwhelmed trying to coordinate a meeting every month.  I'm wondering if we should switch to every two months, or maybe even every three months."

"We'd have to put it to a vote," I reminded her.

"Of course," she agreed.  "I just think it might be a little more relaxing for everyone."

I wasn't sure if the others would feel the same way, but I was fine with whatever Jenna was fine with.  Especially if it meant I didn't have to make any decisions or take charge. ;)  I could dress up anytime I wanted, and fewer meetings would mean more time for making up stories or acting out plays with Jenna (our favorite pastime together).

"Maybe I'll talk to Emma and Tess tomorrow," Jenna mused as she rummaged through her dresser for her pajamas.

"Let me know what they say," I responded, heading to my own dresser.  "We can always have a quick meeting if we need to be formal about it."

As I climbed into my bed that night, I thought over Jenna's suggestion.  I wondered how much of it was because she was overwhelmed, and how much of it was because she didn't want to have to sit through another long discussion next month.  Jenna is creative and has a lot of great ideas and leadership qualities, but she's not always very patient. ;)  Either way, I was okay with fewer meetings.  I was definitely feeling overwhelmed with my blogging.  I don't mind writing, but I'd much rather tell a story verbally than type it out.  And if I'm being completely honest, I prefer making things up to documenting actual events.  Maybe that's why I stress about these Literary Ladies Society meeting posts so much. :}  I suppose I should tell someone eventually, but I don't want to rock the boat.  I am still kind of the newbie around here.

So, you might hear from me next month, but you might not.  I'll try to keep you informed on what we decide. :)


Friday, March 1, 2013

Tess's Tidbits: Back on Track

Do you ever go through a time where you feel like you just can't seem to pull things together and accomplish what you need to, even though you know others are counting on you?  Even when you go to bed at night kicking yourself for not following through with your commitment?  Even when you are plagued with guilt for letting others down?  That's how I've felt these past couple of months.

And on that note, I must apologize for the sorry lack of posts on this blog.  I'm ashamed to admit that I don't really have any valid excuses, either.  It was all just busyness, distraction, and procrastination.  Maggie has every right to be as frustrated with all of us as she has been.  Of course, I wish she could have addressed the issue in a kinder manner...but tact never was my friend's strong point. ;)

Hayden, Emma, and I discussed it, and we decided the best thing to do was to give you a brief summary of all that's happened to us these past months and then start over with a clean slate.  Otherwise, we'll always have the past posts we were going to do hanging over us like a dark thundercloud.

For starters, we've recently rearranged our rooms, and we thought you might like to see the outcome.  Mama helped us with them before her girls all got sick this past week.  Unfortunately, she didn't get to Maggie and Rachel's room or the ABC girls' room.

Forgive me, I really shouldn't refer to them that way until I've asked them first.  Maggie got tired of calling Mama's BFC Ink and Hearts For Hearts Girls dolls by their full names, so she's taken to calling them the "ABC Girls", since their names all involve numerous letters.  You know Maggie and her habit of nicknaming others. ;)  We've all rather gotten into the habit of calling them that as well (it is easier), but we've never had a chance to see whether they mind or not.

Anyway, Hailey and I are certainly enjoying our new set up.  It's wonderful having more room to play with my Calico Critters and my lovely Victorian dollhouses that Grandmama found for me at Goodwill (they were originally Christmas ornaments).

Hayden and Jenna switched shelves with Emma and Charlie, and all four of them seem to be happy with their new rooms:

Those of you who are more observant may have noticed that we missed documenting about 2 important days:  Hayden's birthday on January 29th and Charlie's birthday on February 16th.  You might be especially surprised that Charlie never mentioned her birthday, especially since she had a post about her birthday weekend.  That's just the sort of gracious doll she is.  Mama was so busy with her daughters' birthday trip that she completely forgot about Charlie's birthday, and Charlie didn't want to bring it up in the post and make Mama feel bad.

Birthdays are a bit silly for us.  We don't actually age, so we just celebrate the same birthday over and over again.  Our birthdays aren't actually the day we were born, or even the day we joined Mama's doll family.  They're just dates she picked out and assigned to us.  As you can imagine, this makes it a bit less devastating when our birthdays are overlooked than you humans might find it if someone forgot your birthday.  Of course, we love the excuse to have a special day set aside for each of us.  But to be honest, Mama often has a hard time remembering our birthdays, so we usually end up celebrating them at least a day late. ;)  We all make sure to offer each other birthday greetings on our special day and try not to expect anything more than that.

All that to say that so far this year, the birthday "celebrations" have been very low key.  Mama forgot both Hayden and Charlie's birthdays for about a week, and then offered them each a gift, complete with a lengthy apology.  Poor Mama takes it really hard when she forgets about us.

Hayden got a "Man From Snowy River" poster for her birthday (you can see it hanging on the wall just behind her head in the following picture).

Charlie got some more Toy Story Squinkies:

She got Jessie, Bullseye, and Woody. :)

Let's see, what else was I supposed to share?  Oh yes, the Literary Ladies Society meetings.  There's not much to share there.  Hayden decided I could just give you a brief overview, and she'll pick up telling you about the meeting this month.  

The entirety of our January meeting was spent assigning a schedule to each of our meetings for the year.  Sadly, we're already behind on said schedule because our February meeting was cancelled.  The third Saturday fell on the weekend that Mama was gone, and while Papa knows that we're alive, it still makes him rather uncomfortable to see us moving on our own and everything, especially when Mama's not there.  Since he was working on projects around the house, we decided it would just be best to stay in our places and keep things as normal as possible. :}  We should be back on track for the third Saturday of March, though. :)

I did have a great idea for another "Tea with Tess" post, but it never came together like I hoped it would.  Those posts are much more involved than my regular posts, so they take much more time and organization.  I'm going to take Mama's advice and not promise posts ahead of time, but I do hope to have another "Tea with Tess" post at some point in the near future.  

Well, I believe that we're now completely up to date.  I can't tell you what a relief it is to be all caught up. :)  My hope is that we won't let things get that behind again, but we're only vinyl, after all.  We can't be perfect all the time. ;)  

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, dear readers.  We'll talk again soon! :)