Sunday, April 30, 2017

Crisis Team (Photo Story)

You've already met Brandy's best friend, Angelica Cruz. As a reminder, Brandy works as a psychotherapist at the VA hospital. She and Angelica have been friends since college, where they shared some of the same classes. Angelica has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master's degree in counseling. She works as a middle school guidance counselor. 

Nathan and Hilary Clarke were introduced a while back. You can see their family photo on the Characters page. Here’s a bit of background. Aided by IVF, Hilary gave birth to twins twice. The couple had twin sons, Justin and Jason and twin daughters, Mary Kate and Margaret. About a year ago, tragedy struck the Clarke family when Margaret died in a house fire. Every family member dealt with their grief differently. While Nathan poured himself into work, Hilary became emotionally withdrawn. The boys were inspired to write songs about the heart break of losing a loved one, and Mary Kate who is now a twinless twin, fell into grief-related depression.

The receptionist informs Angelica that the Clarkes are waiting in her office.

Mr. and Mrs. Clarke? (Angelica)

That’s right. I’m Hilary, and this is my husband, Nathan. (Hilary)
Thank you for coming in on such short notice. Please come have a seat at my desk. (Angelica)

Would you mind telling us what this is about? (Nathan)
Sure. I’m Angelica Cruz, a guidance counselor here and a member of the school's  crisis team. (Angelica)
Crisis team?! (Hilary)

You can relax, Mr. and Mrs. Clarke. Mary Kate is okay for now, but there was an incident earlier today.  I’ve asked you here to talk about some things she wrote in her writing journal. Her language arts teacher read some entries today in which she wrote about wanting to die and even contemplated the best way to end her own life. We take these things very seriously. Our crisis response protocol is not to send students home on the bus if we think they may be in danger. (Angelica)
Oh my… (Hilary, beginning to cry)

Obviously, I’m aware of your loss, since Margaret was a student here. (Angelica)
Nathan winces at the mention of Margaret’s name.
Were you conscious of the fact that Mary Kate was struggling so much with her sister’s death? (Angelica)
Nathan swallows hard, but doesn’t answer.
So what now? (Nathan)

She can go home with you. We do request that you sign some paperwork acknowledging that we’ve made you aware of the situation. I suggest keeping a very close watch over her and also scheduling an appointment with a child psychiatrist as soon as possible. If you don’t have a family mental health practitioner, then we can give you a list of local doctors. (Angelica)


May I be excused from the table? (Mary Kate)
You haven't even touched your dinner, sweetheart. I thought roast beef was your favorite. (Nathan)
I'm not hungry. (Mary Kate)
Go ahead then. (Nathan)

Moments later, Hilary walks into the dining room.

Where's Mary Kate? I thought I saw her come down for dinner. (Hilary)
She did. She wasn't hungry. (Nathan)
This makes the third night this week she hasn't eaten her dinner. (Hilary sighs)
I got a text from the boys. Their rehearsal is over at 6:30. Can you pick them up? (Hilary)
Sure. (Nathan)

And I just got off the phone with the therapist’s office. They can see us next Thursday afternoon at 1:00. (Hilary)
Us? What do you mean us? (Nathan)

They’ve asked us both to be there with Mary Kate since this is her first appointment. (Hilary)
So you expect me to miss an entire afternoon of work for this? (Nathan)

I asked for the first available appointment, and that’s what they gave me. (Hilary)
Then you’ll have to reschedule. I’ve got to work. (Nathan)

Nate, this can’t wait. (Hilary)
Well, it’s going to have to. I can’t afford to get behind at work. (Nathan)

You’re unbelievable. Are you even listening to yourself? Work will be there, but the only daughter you have left might not be if we don't do something to help her. Mary Kate can’t wait any longer. She needs help now. She needed help a year ago, but you wouldn’t listen to me… (Hilary)
Enough! (Nathan)

Nathan, please... please do this one thing for our daughter.  (Hilary)

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Family Planning (Photo Story)

Brandy and Angelica stop at a bar for drinks after a day of shopping.

You can ask me about anything but the wedding. I’m all talked out on that topic. (Brandy)
Well, it won’t be long now, so I’ll let you off the hook. (Angelica)

It’s been a helluva week at work. I think I’ll have a glass of red wine. How about you? (Angelica, waving the waitress over)
Hmmm, I think I’ll try one of those fruity cocktails, but without the alcohol. (Brandy)

No alcohol? Don’t tell me your diet won’t allow for the occasional cocktail with a splash of happy juice. (Angelica)
No, I’m not counting calories. I’m abstaining for other reasons. (Brandy)

Oh my gosh, are you pregnant?! (Angelica)
Angie, please! (Brandy)

Don’t “Angie, please” me. I can tell when you’re hiding something. You get that look. (Angelica)
I am NOT pregnant. But when I am, you will know. (Brandy)


Brandy returns home from shopping. Tony is on the sofa reading the paper.

Did I tell you that I saw my doctor yesterday? (Brandy)
No, is everything okay, Babe? (Tony)

Mm hmm, I needed to do my biometric screening and I was due for a physical, so I scheduled an appointment with my doctor. I, um, told her not to renew my prescription for birth control pills. (Brandy)

What?! (Tony)
Don’t worry. She says it can take a few months to get out of my system, and we’ll be married by then. (Brandy)

But Babe don’t you want to enjoy life as newlyweds before adding kids to the equation? (Tony)
It’s a little late for that, or have you forgotten? (Brandy)

You know what I mean, and having Kayla in our lives is different. We get her a couple of weekends a month. That’s not the same as caring for a newborn 24-7. (Tony)
I don’t see any point in waiting to start our family. (Brandy)

I just think we should talk about it first. (Tony)
That’s what we’re doing right now. (Brandy)

Yeah, but… (Tony)
I thought you’d be excited about this. We’ve both talked about wanting lots of kids. I’m ready to get started. (Brandy)

Tony stops to really hear what his fiancée is saying. Then he moves to sit next to her.

Alright, just look me in the eyes and tell me this is what you really want and that it has nothing to do with your mother wanting grandbabies or me already having a child with Lea or anything like that. (Tony)

Brandy looks Tony in the eyes and smiles and then kisses him passionately.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Easy Way or the Hard Way? (Photo Story)

Deirdre hears a noise and thinks it’s Suze (the woman she’s renting the house from) coming to check on her and the baby.

Suze, is that you? (Deirdre)

There’s no response. She picks up the phone on the table nearby, but there’s no dial tone, which causes her heart to race.

She remembers that her cell phone is charging in the living room. She considers grabbing her sleeping baby and running, but knows that waking her suddenly will cause her to cry, giving away their location in the house.

She decides to try to retrieve her phone, hoping that the noise she heard was nothing to worry about.

She peeks into the hall and then tiptoes toward the living room. When she turns the corner, she sees a sight that nearly makes her heart stop.

What the he!! are you doing here? How did you find me? Why have you come? (Deirdre, becoming hysterical)
Walter’s eyes travel to Deirdre’s mostly flat belly.

It’s alright. Calm down. I’m not going to hurt you. I know about our baby. (Walter, speaking slowly)
Whatever you think you know is wrong. (Deirdre)

Don’t lie to me. We promised never to lie to each other, remember? I admit that at first I was upset that you would keep this from me, but I’m not mad anymore. The entire time we were apart, I could feel something powerful drawing me back to you. Don’t you see? It was our baby willing us to be together. I’m here now, and we can be a… (Walter)
I got rid of it, so just leave me alone. (Deirdre)

Walter speaks to someone else in the room, startling Deirdre because she thought he was alone.
Go check it out. (Walter)

No! (Deirdre)
Walter grabs her as she struggles to go after Sean.

Sean returns holding Alyssa.
Get your filthy hands off her!! Give her to me! (Deirdre)

Sean hands the baby to Walter.
Walter, give her to me now. (Deirdre)

Walter, who seems overcome with emotion, ignores her request. Instead he turns away and whispers quietly to the baby.

Walter, listen to me. You should go ahead and leave while you can, before I call the cops. (Deirdre)
How are you going to call the police without a phone? By the time they get here, we’ll be long gone. There’s no proof of forced entry. It’ll be your word against mine. (Walter)

I’m begging you to please just leave us alone. (Deirdre)
I’m not leaving until I get what I want. (Walter)

What is it that you want? (Deirdre)
I want you and our baby to come with me. (Walter)

Never. (Deirdre)
You can’t keep her from me. You have to know that. My blood runs through her veins. (Walter)

What are you saying? (Deirdre)

I’m saying we can do this the easy way…or the hard way. (Walter)

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 10, 2017

I'm Baaack!

Well, to be honest, I never left. I haven't been posting here much, but I've been reading and posting elsewhere as many of you know. I have so much to share that I really don't know where to begin...

I'll start with a brief explanation for my absence. This school year has been one of my busiest ever. I'm involved in way too many things- two of which I've already decided not to continue next school year. Plus my oldest daughter's Girl Scout activities have kept my weekends pretty full. While I've managed to find time here and there to shop and play, it's been really hard to find time to write and photograph photo stories.

Remember the story I wanted to write about the modeling agency? Well here are four of the main players. Nicolette Knight (middle) is CEO of Muse Model Management. Victor James is head of the male models division. Ginger Vanwyk (NEW resident) is over the runway division and Paulette is a runway coach. Paulette is thrilled to finally have an articulated body. I chose a Color Infusion body for her and I love it. The extra height and those ginormous feet actually make a lot of sense in this case. I have several of the models lined up already, and this story will be introduced in the coming months.

Also, I've rearranged the doll room make room for more dolls and this big a$$ dollhouse. Seriously, it's huge. It's six feet tall and five feet wide. It's actually made for 18 inch dolls, but I realized that it's perfect for housing multiple dioramas. The rooms are about 29 inches wide and 19 inches deep. I bought it so I could set up all my restaurant dios permanently. There's quite a bit still to be done, but these pics should give you an idea. I bought mine shortly after Christmas so it was on sale for over a hundred dollars less than what it costs now.

Tsushinami and My Cup of Tea are on the top level. All of the chairs in the sushi bar still need to be spray painted. The furniture is from the recently released Barbie furniture sets.


I need to spray paint the rest of the tables and chairs for the tea room. NEW resident below. Jeanine is having tea with her daughter, Carmen (Quinceanera Barbie).

Primo Tuscan Grille and Made Fresh are on the second level. NEW resident below. Zac Posen Ken has finally been crossed off of my wish list. He's keeping his first name, but no last name yet. Lavinia, who doesn't mind dating younger men, has captured his attention.


The pizzeria and Tastries will be on the bottom level.

Here are a few more shots of the doll room arrangement. My black work table with the IKEA storage unit underneath is against the wall that isn't pictured. Basically, it's more of a dumping ground than a work table at the moment, so I decided not to photograph it.

My big girl (8) gifted this doll house to her little sister (4). Never mind the mess. Her Barbies are terrible housekeepers. This house will be mine one day. And when that day comes, I will restore it to its previous glory. 

There are a few missing walls in the townhouse units, specifically the ones separating the bathrooms from the bedrooms. I'll get around to fixing that at some point.

The closet storage is still much the same. My married/engaged couples occupy the space on top of the chest of drawers. NEW resident below. See the guy in the boxer shorts? That's Yolanda's new husband, Chris. I think he looks like Chris Tucker. My husband thinks he looks like Chris Rock. One thing's for sure, he looks like a Chris. 

NEW resident below. Glamazon Adele is my first (and possibly my last) Fashion Royalty female doll. She is on the far right and will feature in the story about the modeling agency.

As far as goals for 2017, I really want to focus on enjoying my collection. I have a lot of great dolls, and I want to slow down on purchasing new ones so I can enjoy the ones I have. I went over the limit I set for last year, so I will keep that same number as my limit for this year. If at first you don't succeed, try try again. I will report on how many dolls over my limit I ended up with when I write my first purchasing post.

Until next time,