It took Charlie over an hour to turn off the pipes. Meanwhile, I read tales about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington from the Collier's Book of Holidays for President's Day and wrote in my journal. Thankfully, by the time Charlie and the other plumber did get their rears upstairs, I was dressed, had eaten breakfast, and was just finishing taking the Valentine's Day decorations down.
Charlie had a box under his arm for me when he came in to shut off the water. For some reason, the mail man had deposited it on the back porch steps. I have no idea how or why the mailman got all the way over there. At any rate, my Amazon.com post-tax-return order had arrived. Along with finally picking up the Sailor Moon R (Season 2) Vol 1 set (since no one around here seems to have it on DVD), I picked up the signature (basic) version of Ginger Breadhouse, one of two remaining Ever After High signature dolls I didn't have, and the Han/Leia based Star Wars novel Tatoonie Ghost.
(Incidentally, the only other Ever After High signature doll I currently don't have is Melody Piper. I'll wait on her until she shows up in the stores or her price comes down on Amazon. There's more coming in the spring and early summer too, including three new Signatures and a "Snow Queen"-based character that's heading the line based around their next special.)
I pulled out Ginger after I finished breakfast. Ginger Breadhouse is supposed to be the daughter of the Candy Witch from "Hansel and Gretel." While she does love baking (and adding benevolent spells to her sweets), like Raven, she has no desire to be evil. She just wants to share her skills with the world. Ginger is a (literal) sweetie, one of three dolls in the line who wear glasses. (The others are Dexter Charming and Rosabella Beauty.) Thankfully, her bright-pink hair came perfectly soft and shiny. It did shed when I brushed it, but it also didn't need to be washed. She has a tight dress made to look like gingerbread with sprinkles. Unlike Ashlynn's dress, it didn't seem to impede her ability to sit down. I put her on the end of the front row with her fellow Rebels Darling, Cedar, and Cerise.
Drowned out the guys and watched Sailor Moon while baking my favorite Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies. Unlike the first season, most of the second season episodes seem to be intact so far. Most of what I've noticed to be different were things cut for time or some scatological jokes removed from a babysitting episode.
The first half of the second season reintroduces the characters after Usagi/Sailor Moon changed their memories so they could lead peaceful lives. The Guardians are called back when two aliens named Ann and Ali land on Earth, with their energy-sucking tree. The tree sustains them, but it seems to be dying. It feeds on pure energy. The pair disguise themselves as humans to find energy for their tree...and fall for Mamoru and Usagi in the process. It doesn't help that Mamoru hasn't regained his memories and doesn't recall either being Tuxedo Mask or his feelings for Usagi. And there's that mysterious Moonlight Knight who keeps showing up when the girls need help...
It started snowing even as the guys were beginning to work on the pipe. (Which, as it turns out, was under my porch. Who knew? Meant I had the guys' cursing and their tools blasting in my ears all day, though.) It wasn't heavy, but I decided I just didn't want to brave the weather and opted to put off doing my laundry, my only real outside plan for today.
I'd put off dressing the American Girl dolls for a while as I focused on writing. I finally had time to do it today. Even though Valentine's Day was yesterday, I still put them in pink and red outfits. Samantha wears her lovely, very historically accurate Talent Show Dress with black stockings and the black and white boots from last year's limited-edition spring outfit. Josefina's in a pretty pink and mauve floral empire-waist dress and lace shawl I got for her off eBay a few years ago. Went with the modern beige, pink, and gold Sweet Spring Dress from a few years ago, paired with the pink tights from the Ballet Outfit and the yellow t-strap shoes from Kit's Scooter Outfit for Jessa. Molly's in her plaid School Outfit, white tights, and Sam's "meet" outfit Mary Janes. Whitney's heading out to the lake for ice frolics in Molly's red and blue Skating Outfit with the tight fleece sweater and swirly red skirt, white tights, and Springfield Collection skates. Felicity's wearing her Laced Jacket and Petticoat.
Charlie came in and out a few times as I was finishing the girls. It took him and the other plumber literally all afternoon, but yes, they apparently fixed the pipes. I did offer them some cookies as they cooled. They seemed really happy with them. Charlie said he could smell the cookies baking as they worked on the porch.
Spent the rest of the afternoon and evening finishing my story. Kathleen despairs of being able to help Darren, until she discovers that her words literally have power. When she speaks, they become part of the story she was writing earlier...and they give her the power to defeat the evil Lady Sylvia and revive Darren and restore his human form. She suggests that they turn the Villa into a place where people can admire the gardens and create stories of their own. They marry and do just that and live happily ever after.
Thankfully, this one came out MUCH shorter than my previous stories. I really did intend to keep this simple. It's on my blog if anyone's interested:
Since that one came out pretty well, I'm going to do the Star Wars fairy tale next and put off the 80's spoof until I've worked on it a bit more. I've come up with some pretty good ideas for this one. Princess Leia of the Kingdom of Aldran is supposed to be at her last ball before she joins the Court of the Seven Kingdoms. She'd rather be anywhere else...especially when her evil guardian appears, burns the kingdom, and kidnaps her. The two handsome gentlemen whom she met at the ball, who claimed to be a prince and a knight (when they were really a roguish thief and a stable boy training to be a knight) rescue her, leaving behind a strange sword and a dilapidated gypsy carriage called the Falcon. She seeks them out, but her guardian, a knight and a strong black magic sorcerer, isn't far behind. He has no intention of letting his daughter marry a penniless thief with no political alliance, but the innocent knight-in-training may be useful...
I'm going to hopefully start it tomorrow. I more-or-less intend for it to be a blend of several familiar fairy and folk tales, including "Cinderella," "King Arthur," "Rapunzel," "Snow White," "Sleeping Beauty," and "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." I'm once again going to try to keep it relatively short, though it'll probably be longer than the story I just finished. We'll see how it goes.
Finished out the night with lobster cakes and escarole with mushrooms sauteed in lime sauce for dinner. Ran the end of the first Sailor Moon disc and the beginning of the second one as I ate. While the majority of the episodes in the "Doom Tree" arc are fluff and filler, there's some surprisingly scary or action-packed tales to be found here. The episode about the Cherry Blossom Festival and how Sailor Moon gets a new weapon and a power upgrade is actually rather chilling. There's at least two episodes where the monsters attack groups of little kids and babies for their energy. (Come to think of it, the emphasis on children in many of these episodes almost seem like foreshadowing for the prominence of Chibi-Usa in the next arc.) Another episode introduces Makoto's close guy friend Kenji, who is drained so badly by a monster, Makoto donates blood to him. And there's Usagi's continuing attempts to get Mamoru to remember who she is and their relationship. Not to mention, Ann and Ali are experiencing love for the first time...and they're both very jealous of Usagi and Mamoru and will do anything to get them out of the way.
The snow stopped while I was writing. It started raining shortly after I got online and has been raining on and off ever since. It's supposed to continue tomorrow - once again, we'll see.