Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rumors goes off with out a hitch.... spite of all the things that went wrong. I only wish they could have put on a few more performances, such a lot of work-on the part of the actors, as well as us-for only 3 nights! Oh well, they all did a tremendous job and had a great time doing it. Here's what the set looked like when it was all done:
Other pics from the performance itself are at if you're interested.

So now it's back to my regularly scheduled life, which first and foremost involves catching up on all the sewing I didn't do last week. In spite of my best efforts, I did fall behind....I refuse to stay up past 3 am working. I am not kidding. I did finally get to meet Carol Mars from the Pequot Museum, and she had great things to say about my work! She did place a large order for shirts and other stuff, pending the completion of my vendor paperwork, so I need to get going on that. And this week I have an appointment with Deb Burns; I have been promising to paint a tree in her hallway for at least a year now, and she's been so patient with me! Also I have a myspace page, finally, but I don't have a clue how to make it work so I need to book some time with my son (yes, it's come to that...between work and musical and theatrical projects, he's hardly ever here for more than 5 minutes) to walk me through it.

One last note; check out Georgia's new project at (CAUTION: May contain strong language and hilarity). And if you want to see some real talent go to

Thursday, July 26, 2007

1 Day Till Rumors

We can breathe just a little, the construction is DONE. This is what it looked like when we left last night. All the flats with the painting on them were borrowed from the Chariho Players, left over from their past shows. The whole thing needs to be painted, which the U/M crew is supposed to do in the morning (nothing like last minute!) and we are going down in the early afternoon to put carpet on the stairs, hang curtains, hang some art and stuff on the walls, and just generally put the finishing touches on. Oh and clean up the big mess we left behind it...scrap wood, tools, sawdust, all that. I can't believe we pulled it off, I really am amazed. What scares me is that PJ never doubted it for a second. He had said, "I'm not worried at all." and I said, "Are you insane? I'm worried! I'm worried a LOT!" He had enough to worry about though. Today something else went wrong, something very major which I won't go was solved by an executive decision to put me on the U/M Board. THAT'S RIGHT, Mom, I'm now an official Director of Ungar/Madison Productions, Inc. Have a good laugh. As for me, I'm too tired to laugh.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

2 DaysTill Rumors

At the end of two days of construction at the school, we have made a lot of progress...but not nearly enough. Still need to put up walls, hang the other door, etc. etc. UBS has come to our rescue, just because I asked them (and thanks to Preston for suggesting THAT), they gave us $200 of building materials so we should have enough to finish. We were clueless as to how we were EVER going to make it with no materials and no money. The thing probably won't be pretty, because there will be no time left to paint anything. BUT it will be functional, and I have some curtains to hang and some pictures for the walls and hopefully the acting will be so stellar as to distract the audience from the set.

And the drama continues....the sound and light guy dropped out, so they have had to find someone else to do that job. I am refraining from any comments as to the problems this show is having, in fear of tempting the fates to screw something else up. Our son is learning the lesson that I at my advanced age continue to learn, which is that you cannot completely rely on other people to do what they are supposed to do. This is why I'm the way I am, I am convinced that things won't get done the way they need to be done unless I do them myself. So I take on way too much myself and can't delegate. Total control freak, but there is a good reason for it. Unfortunately in a situation like this, he physically can't do all the jobs himself so he has to just hope for the best. Pardon my ramblings, I am running on much stress and little sleep this week.

3 Days Till Rumors

So this is what the set looked like at the end of the day, the first day of construction at Westerly Middle School....We got quite a bit done, although the amount of work still to come is too daunting to think about. The poor director got some bad news, one of the cast members dropped out today. Her mother made her quit. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? What kind of person does that, effectively screwing the whole production 4 days before the show? Great lesson to teach your kid, just because you're in a snit. But fortunately, the show does go on. They found a replacement and so far it looks like she is having no problem filling those heels. So rehearsals continue, as does the

Monday, July 23, 2007

4 Days till Rumors

Preston continued the set construction today, although he's pretty much out of materials and had to scrounge some junk lumber from somewhere. I managed to find some doors for us to use, but they're in bad condition. I know we need to make due with what we can get, but some of them are probably so bad as to be unusable!
On the positive side, the Ungar/Madison crew held a car wash today to try and raise some money and I guess they did a pretty good business. Also I managed to sell a few more ads for the program so that we will be able to afford to pay to be in the school for a few more hours to construct the set. It's very hard to pull stuff off at the last minute with no money, but I have to say we are getting pretty good at it after having done it so many times over the years. I just hope there is a good turnout or it will all be for naught. PJ says he is not worried and he thinks everything will come together fine, although the other day I heard him tell one of the other guys that he had a huge knot in his stomach. Being the director, if things are bad it reflects not only on the company but on him too.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

5 Days till Rumors...

...and set construction begins.... With lots of help from Myah....How we're ever going to pull this off under the circumstances, I don't know but we're giving it our best shot. And the circumstances are these; Ungar/Madison Productions has no money to buy wood, etc.; there is wood and some set pieces left over from some of the Chariho Players shows that we can use, but it's locked up at one school and needs to be brought to another school to use. Trying to get into schools in the summer is chancy; on the weekend in the summer it's quite impossible. Also we need several doors, and UBS is not open from Saturday 1:00 until Monday morning even if we had money to buy them. So we need to borrow doors from people, which sounds nuts but I've done it before. We'll see what I can come up with. A lot of the people I know are used to strange requests from me, and I have no problem making them! The other problem we have is actually BEING in Westerly Middle School to build the set; U/M has no money to pay the janitors/fees which is what you need to do to even set foot in a school in the summer.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Upholstery for fun and no profit

In preparation for the play that PJ is directing, I am attempting to secure set furniture and costumes. As things so often happen to me for some unknown serendipitous reason, the day PJ told me he needed two chairs, our neighbor down the street put two large wing chairs on his front lawn free for the taking. So I took them. The chairs themselves were in structurally great condition, just the fabric was faded and that on the arms was completely destroyed. I thought, how hard can it be to do a hack job of covering them? They only have to look good from a distance. It is to laugh. I asked Nancy the Upholstery Queen (no sarcasm here, she really is!), if she could just do a quick job on them and she said there is no such thing. So I did it myself. Here's what they looked like before:
I got some really elegant fabric from Nancy the Upholstery Queen ($4 a yard!!) and went to work with my staple gun and my hammer. It took me two afternoons to do both chairs. "There's good money in that upholstery stuff, you should go into that. Professionally". I hear my father's voice in my head; surprisingly enough, I didn't hear it in my ears this time. I'm very sure there is good money in it, and now I know there's a very good reason for that. Two afternoons and one very large blister (from the staple gun), many wasted staples, many safety pins and many naughty words later, I have two chairs that will not hold up to close inspection.
Nancy, my hat is off to you. But they look good from a distance, and if they survive the play I will be happy. Happy, nothing...I'll be astonished! No, I kid. They will be fine, you just can't look in the back or under the cushions!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Today the title portion of this blog is not working; for some reason it won't let me type in there. So I'm calling this entry...

Ok, those of you who are revolted by vermin in the house (other than the ones you gave birth to) need not read on, you're not going to like this.

We have a mouse. That's what I tell myself, although deep down I know there's no such thing as one mouse. She is very bold and not afraid of us, or the dog. We've had mice before, along with moles, chipmunks, and flying squirrels (that's a whole other story) but this mouse is different. I have always been able to catch the mice but not this one, she's too smart for me. I refuse to use snap traps or D-con, I have what's called Mice Cubes. It's just a little plastic box with a one-way door, and you put in it whatever you think will attract mice (oddly enough, cheese doesn't work. Crackers, peanut butter, and potato chips seem to be the preferred menu items) and then you take the trap into the neighbor's yard and let the mouse go. I'm kidding about that, I usually take them about a mile away and turn them loose not close to anyone's house. But as I said, this mouse is different. She is very interested in anything that's not in a mouse cube. Nothing has persuaded her to go in there.

Having mice in the house does not bother me. I know it should, but I just can't work up any sense of panic or revulsion over mice. She's not getting into my food or going in the cupboards where my food or my dishes are, she's not chewing my belongings to shreds and making nests in my sock drawer, so it's not a real big issue for me. She comes up from behind my stove, sometimes while I'm standing at the counter, and watches me. I shooed her away, but she came right back and now is not affected by my shoo-ing unless I walk toward her, because she may be just a mouse but she's not stupid. What I saw this morning made me glad I have not been able to catch her, because she has of them was on the counter next to the stove this morning. It would have been very sad to have caught the mother and left the babies to die. Also when mice die in your house and you can't find them the smell is unbelieveable, which is another reason not to use D-con. I know what you're thinking; mice carry diseases, it's unsanitary to have mice. That's why I have lots of antibacterial 409. Besides, people carry diseases too, and I let them in my house. But they get so upset when I follow them around with the 409 bottle. The mice don't seem to mind so much.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th!

Last night we got treated to a fireworks show, right in our own backyard! Well actually it was our neighbor's backyard, but close enough....close enough to hear the pieces falling all around me! That makes me a little nervous, but I guess they have all burned out by the time they hit the ground. It reminded me of when we went to the Richmond 250th Anniversary at the Chariho school baseball field. They had those great big fireworks, set off right above the field which was really cool UNTIL shells the size of half a coconut started falling on people and cars and the big cloud of sulfur and whatever else results from fireworks drifted over the field. Guess that wasn't such a good idea after all. Anyway, the ones last night were not that big. Our poor dog was less than impressed though, she spent the duration underneath the computer desk!

In honor of the 4th I am recommending that everyone who has HBO watch "Assume the Position with Robert Wuhl". I guess you could call it a comedy routine, but it's more like a history lesson. He does it in a lecture hall in front of a bunch of college kids. I don't know how much of what he says is actually true, although it's presented that way, but even if it's not true it makes you look twice at all the history you were force-fed when you were in school.

Speaking of history, I also recommend that anyone who lives in RI and SE Connecticut visit the Tomaquag Museum ( It is very small, only two rooms, but has a lot of Native American history packed into a small space. If you're lucky you'll get to talk to my friend Paulla Dove Jennings, who is just fascinating to listen to and knows just about everything there is to know about the museum and its contents.

In other local news, my beets are still alive! I really can't believe the fragile little things survived being transplanted. As did everything else in the garden! We do need some rain though, Preston watered last night when he got home from baseball but it's not the same. I guess it's supposed to rain tonight, unfortunately for anyone who is planning to go see fireworks. My sister, my neice and my grandnephew are flying in tonight from California for a 2-week visit so I hope the weather is not TOO bad!

Well it's time for the Bristol 4th of July Parade which I attend every year from the comfort of my living room, so I'll say again Happy 4th to everyone!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

A plug for Schartner's

Yesterday we went to Schartner's Farms in Exeter. I hadn't been there for years, and I have to say I didn't want to leave! What a great place that must be to work. It's just HUGE! And full of beautiful flowers and gifts. And when you first walk in, the strawberry smell hits you like a pie in the face. So of course we had to have some. Oh, you can use the ones they have in early June at Stop and Shop, hard and tasteless and pale , but nothing even comes close to fresh-picked local strawberries. I have a recipe for Strawberry Shortcake that I will post on my website this week...I know you can buy those sponge cake things but...ick. This biscuit recipe is from scratch, it doesn't even use bisquick. ( If you've come upon this blog from the other direction, my site is ) The problem, though, is usually that by the time the local strawberries are ripe, it's too hot to light the oven. You've gotta understand, I live and work in at 500-square-foot house. It's easy to heat in the winter, also easy to heat in the summer which is why I have this thing about using my oven when it's hot out. But the weather during the past few days has been absolutely beautiful, so I took advantage!

We actually went to Schartner's to see if they had any summer squash luck. So I got seeds, and planted them last night. Now I know nobody in their right mind plants seeds at the end of June in Rhode Island, but what have I got to lose? I was pretty happy to see that all the stuff I planted the other day lived (I don't have much of a green thumb.), especially the beets which didn't have much in the way of roots, and what they had was all tangled up. There wasn't much to plant, and I expected to come out the next day and find them all lying on the ground but NO, almost all of them were still standing. I remember the first time I planted beets, I didn't realize you weren't supposed to peel them (ok, go ahead and laugh) before cooking, so when I cooked them they bled out and I was left with sickly white turnip-looking things. So now I know better. Mom has already laid claim to the greens, and she can have them!

Farmer's Almanac, I believe, and old folk wisdom will tell you to plant on a new moon, not on a full moon. So probably my squash will not flourish. We'll see.