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Arcadia / Re: The Cranks Of Arcadia
« Last post by LadyAjaBird on September 28, 2020, 02:08:00 PM »
Edna and Arcadian Business Signs

“Aja.” she heard the voice and just sighed. Yep it was Monday.

“Edna. What trivial complaint has ya here today?” She grabbed a couple files and stacked them on the corner of her desk.

“I want you to have a town ordinance regarding the look of the store fronts.” Edna proclaimed and sat down.

“And why in the world would I do that?”Aja glanced at Edna who was in her lavender victorian dress with the high lace collar and that ever present pinched look on her face.

“Some of them are in neon lights and look tacky . Others are beautiful wood signs. It should all be uniform in look.”

“Make them all neon, check.” Aja did her best not to smile too much.

“NO! Heavens forbid! Make them all be beautiful wood signs.” Edna’s indignant reply was funny.

“I can’t do that.” Aja said and started to sign a stack of papers Rico had been generous enough to put smack in the middle of her desk.

Why not?

“I have contracts with the owners of those storefronts that provide them with the freedom to choose whatever manner of signage they like, providing I don’t find them offensive.” Aja flipped the stack of five papers she had signed over and looked at Edna. “And as it happens, I do not. I think the differences in each business is good.”

“But it looks so tacky.”

“I disagree. I think it gives our town a unique look. Adds a little character.” Aja went back to signing. “I have the boardwalks all looking the same, and lit up the same, so the individual business, having whatever sign they see fit to draw in customers, is just fine by me.”

“Why do you never agree with me?”

“Why are you so intent on nosing in on other people’s business?” Aja stopped signing again and looked at Edna. “I will look after this town and the residents in it. But I will not meddle and try to fix what is not broken. You on the other hand, seem intent that everything fit your own little prudish model of proper. Not once considering that this town is a safe haven for people of all kinds. We don’t push agendas, Edna.”

“You push yours.”

“Which one is that?”

“Chaos!”

“Are there riots going on I’m unaware of? Rampant crime?” Aja asked seriously.

“Well no. But…”

“Has anyone threatened you without being provoked by you?” This one was asked with one her smiles and Edna looked sour.

“No.”

“Is your home safe?” she tried not to sound too annoyed.

“Yes.”

“Then I think you have very little to complain about to me about the way I run this town.”  Aja started to stand. “Ya know, I keep telling you to get a hobby. How’s that going?” Aja grabbed the stack of now signed papers and came out from behind the desk. “If anyone needs a hobby, it’s you.”

“I am fine.”

“I’ll need a note from a psychologist about that, but ok. Now, you run right along and have a good day, Edna.”

Edna left in a huff, swishing fabric was all that was heard as she exited the office. Aja followed along behind, mostly just to make sure she left. Ahh.. Mondays. So much fun.



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The Shanachie Theater / Re: Crazy for You (Theater Co.)
« Last post by Raul Stoneson on September 27, 2020, 09:51:42 PM »
Raul's duties as the Shanachie's resident makeup wizard--figuratively, not literally, as he specialized in practical makeup over illusion--were normally far from difficult, and at times he found himself wishing for a challenge. For the production of Crazy For You, however, he found himself presented with the task of making 19-year-old Doran, as Everett Baker, appear believable as the father of Pearl, who was a few years his senior and playing the role of Polly Baker. Similarly, he had to convince the audience that the lovely--and youthful in appearance--Carina could be the mother of Asher as Bobby Child.

"Middle-aged makeup is trickier than old age." he explained to an entertainment reporter for the Rhydin Post, "because you can't go too heavy or you wind up making a father into a grandfather. Carina was easier, because women of a certain age would rely on beauty makeup to appear younger, so I just needed to add enough for a matronly appearance. Now making Doran into Everett was tougher, because he's a fairly fresh-faced lad and the character is hitting a bit of hard times... hence part of the reason behind the whole plot. So I used shading to make his cheeks a little bit sunken, and highlight along the cheekbones so they stood out more. Again, you don't want to go overboard here, or you wind up with a skull onstage and nobody wants that! Then add a touch of shadow under the eyes, a few small wrinkles, and streaks of grey in his hair, and *voila*, you've got yourself a fatherly figure!!"
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The Shanachie Theater / Re: Crazy for You (Theater Co.)
« Last post by Anthony De Luca on September 27, 2020, 01:01:54 PM »
Synopsis

Act 1

Backstage at the Zangler Theater in New York in the 1930s, the last performance of the Zangler Follies is wrapping up for the season, and Tess, the Dance Director, is dodging the advances of the married Bela Zangler. Bobby Child, the rich son of a banking family, is backstage hoping for an audition with Mr. Zangler. Bobby performs "K-ra-zy for You," but fails to impress Zangler, having landed on Zangler's foot during the final flourish of his dance routine. Dejected, Bobby heads outside.

Bobby is met by Irene, the wealthy woman to whom he has been engaged for five years, and then by his mother, who demands that Bobby take over her piece of the banking business. Bobby is told to go to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a rundown theater. As the women argue over him, Bobby imagines himself dancing with the Follies Girls and joins them in a rousing rendition of "I Can't Be Bothered Now." Brought back to reality, Bobby decides to escape to Nevada.

When Bobby arrives in Deadrock, it's clear that the gold mining town has seen better days. The men, who are cowboys, sing "Bidin' My Time" in a long, slow drawl. Everett Baker receives a letter from New York warning of the bank foreclosing on the Gaiety Theater. The only woman left in this forlorn town is Everett's daughter, the spunky Polly Baker, who vows to get even with Bobby Child if she ever meets him.

Lank Hawkins, proprietor of the town's saloon, argues with Everett, trying to convince Everett to let him buy the theater before the bank takes it. The stubborn old man refuses to give up the theater due to his memories of Polly's mother being the star of all the theater's old shows.

Bobby enters the town almost dying of thirst, and falls in love with Polly at first sight, not realizing who she is, and expresses his excitement in "Things Are Looking Up." Lank isn't pleased to see a rival for Polly's affections.

Bobby finds himself in quite a bind. If he forecloses on the theater he will lose the girl of his dreams. Inspired, he comes up with the idea of putting on a show to pay off the mortgage. Polly agrees to this plan until she finds out who he is and suspects a trick. Bobby and Polly are both heartbroken, but Bobby decides to put on the show anyway... disguised as Mr. Zangler. Polly, deeply hurt, expresses her loneliness in "Someone to Watch Over Me."

A few days later, ten Follies Girls on vacation from The Zangler Follies appear like a mirage in the desert. Bobby has asked them to help stage a spectacular show in Deadrock. When the men of Deadrock see the girls, the sleepy town becomes very lively. Lank Hawkins continues to express extreme dislike for the show, threatening to shoot Bobby. Rehearsals for the show aren't going well and the cowboys in particular are terrible dancers. Bobby changes all that in the course of one rehearsal with the song "Slap That Bass." Spirits are now at a high point. Meanwhile, to Bobby's dismay, Irene arrives, threatening to expose Bobby's charade, and Polly has fallen in love with Bobby's impersonation of Zangler. She expresses her love for Zangler with the song "Embraceable You."

Opening night arrives, with everyone's hopes high ("Tonight's the Night!"). Sadly, everyone is disappointed to find that the only people to arrive at the show are Eugene and Patricia Fodor, British tourists writing a guidebook on the American West. What starts out as a disappointment changes into the realization that the show has galvanized the once sleepy town. They celebrate with a spirited rendition of "I Got Rhythm" while the real Zangler stumbles unnoticed into the town, almost dehydrated, and collapses just as the scene ends.
 
Act 2

In Lank's saloon Bobby is professing his love to Polly. Unfortunately, she is still in love with the man who she thinks is Zangler. Bobby is about to convince Polly that he has been impersonating "Zangler" when the real Zangler stumbles into the saloon looking for Tess.

Zangler finds Tess, but refuses her request to produce the show. Tess storms off, and Zangler, now drunk after being disgusted by the town, bemoans his fate. Bobby, dressed like Zangler, reels in to drown his sorrow over losing Polly. Drunk and depressed, the two men act as mirror images of each other, and lament their lost loves in "What Causes That."

The next morning, Polly sees the two Zanglers and realizes what has happened. She slaps Bobby and leaves in a huff, while the townsfolk prepare for a meeting at the theater to discuss what to do with the show. Irene comes to Bobby in one final attempt to make him go back to New York with her, but Bobby rejects her, and states his love for Polly. Immensely frustrated with Bobby, Irene seduces Lank in "Naughty Baby."

The townsfolk are all now gathered at the theater. Bobby is all for trying the show again, while Polly thinks they should abandon the venture. The Fodors counsel the dejected townspeople to keep a "Stiff Upper Lip," which includes a parody of the barricade scene from Les Misérables, but by the end of the song only Polly, Everett, Bobby, and Tess still think the show should continue.

Everyone but Bobby and Polly leave the theater. Bobby prepares to leave for New York, professing that his memories of Polly will never fade in "They Can't Take That Away from Me." Polly realizes, too late, that she does love Bobby, and after he leaves, laments her loss in "But Not For Me."

Meanwhile, Bela Zangler decides to put on the show as a favor to Tess; the two seem to be in love once more. Although he had been planning to cast Bobby as the lead, he makes Polly the star of the show after learning that Bobby has left for New York.

Six weeks later, Bobby is still thinking of Deadrock as he works in his mother's bank. For his birthday, Mrs. Child gives him the Zangler theater (Zangler has used all his money on the show in Deadrock). While initially ecstatic, Bobby realizes that his love for Polly is worth more in "Nice Work if You Can Get It," and leaves with Mrs. Child for Deadrock to pursue Polly.

Meanwhile, Polly has decided to leave for New York to look for Bobby, who arrives in Deadrock just after she leaves. After learning that Polly has left to find him, he leaves the stage to "wash up" before driving back to New York to catch her. Bobby's mother and Irene (who is now married to Lank) notice each other, and start an argument. Everett notices Mrs. Child, and falls head-over-heels in love with her, as shown in a reprise of "Things Are Looking Up." His affections are reciprocated, and immediately afterwards, Polly reenters with Custus, one of the cowboys. Custus was trying to give Polly a ride to the station, but his car ran out of gas, and Polly has missed the train to New York. Together the townspeople concoct a plan, and Polly and Bobby are finally reunited in the "Finale."

((The above is the first show of the 2020-2021 theater season using the new cast members. Please feel free to post for your characters below. Enjoy!))
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The Shanachie Theater / Crazy for You (Theater Co.)
« Last post by Anthony De Luca on September 27, 2020, 01:00:41 PM »

Crazy for You
Shanachie Theater Company
Sept 28th - Oct 10th 


Cast


Bobby Child - Asher Price 
Polly Baker - Pearl Fand Ilnaren 
Bela Zangler - Leslie Moody
Irene Roth - Tippletoe Timbers 
Lank Hawkins - Arandir of Ilyethlin 
Everett Baker - Doran Ilnaren 
Mother (Lottie Child) - Carina Cox 
Eugene Fodor - Garry Poole 
Patricia Fodor - Anya Chavez 
Tess - Debbie Adkins 
Perkins/Custus - Rolando Tucker
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The Shanachie Theater / Re: The Shanachie Theater Calendar
« Last post by Anthony De Luca on September 27, 2020, 12:55:37 PM »

Crazy for You
Shanachie Theater Company
Sept 28th - Oct 10th 


Crazy for You is a romantic comedy musical with a book by Ken Ludwig, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin. Billed as "The New Gershwin Musical Comedy", it is largely based on the songwriting team’s 1930 musical Girl Crazy, but incorporates songs from several other productions as well. Crazy for You won the 1992 Tony Award (Broadway) 1993 Olivier Award (London) and 1994 Dora Award (Toronto) for Best Musical.
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Motley Menagerie of Myriad Marvels / Re: Family Time
« Last post by Evan Lassiter on September 20, 2020, 01:32:00 PM »
"What do you think she told him this time?" she whispered to her little boy, trying not to smile too widely and give the game away. Evan was learning, but Maggie knew far too many tricks to tease him with.

"Dunno," Caleb murmured back, with a shrug of his small shoulders. He wasn't really sure what his father might be worried about, but he hoped it wasn't about him.

She kissed his hair, hugging him a little closer as she turned back to the book. "So where were we? Oh, yes ... Owl's house just blew down!"

"Poor Owl!" Caleb said, turning his attention back to the book and snuggling into his mother, feeling just a little bit sleepy.

"I made some lemonade," Evan said, as he set the glasses down on the table nearby.

"Thank you, darling." Marin offered Evan a warm smile, though she was quick to get back to the story at hand, describing Piglet's very brave escape from the fallen tree house and the ensuing rescue with quiet enthusiasm. Maggie sipped her lemonade, enjoying listening to the story herself.

Once the lemonade was distributed, Evan claimed a chair for himself and took a tentative sip, hoping the lemonade didn't taste too sweet or too sour.

It seemed to be just right, given the way none of his little family made any faces about what they were tasting. It was just a normal evening for them, quiet and relaxing, a perfect way to wind down after working on the farm, going to school, keeping their home in order. A far cry from the almost dilapidated orchard Evan had first collapsed onto years before.

They'd come a long way in a few years. Not only had they rebuilt their home and the farm, but they'd built a family. Both were accomplishments to be proud of, and Evan couldn't be more happy or proud of the little family he and Marin had made together.

Who needed perfect, when you could have home?
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Motley Menagerie of Myriad Marvels / Re: Family Time
« Last post by Evan Lassiter on September 20, 2020, 01:31:44 PM »
"Yeah, well, you don't get an opinion, you are the Pop," was his daughter's logical answer as she drew back, turning to pull out cups for the lemonade once it was done.

He chuckled as he grabbed a wooden spoon to stir the lemonade mixture while she grabbed the cups. "I can't very well argue with that," he said. "You know I just want the best for you, Mags. I want you to be happy."

"I know, Pa," she assured him. "Like you know that's what I want for you, right? I love you, 'course I want you happy. It's like, I might not like everything you do, but I know you got reasons for it. Right?"

"Right," he murmured. He furrowed his brows again, unsure if he understood what she was saying. Had he done something she didn't like lately? Was this her way of telling him that?

Seeing his frown, Maggie rolled her eyes. "I'm not making hints, Pa," she told him. "You're doing good, okay? Stop freakin' out over every little thing."

"Freakin' out, right. I'll try to stop freakin' out," he said with a nod of his head. It was a strange way out putting things, but he understood her meaning.

She giggled, rising onto her toes to kiss her father's cheek. "You're never gonna manage that," she predicted. "But it's okay. You're my Pa."

"So, it's okay if I freak out then?" Evan teased, smiling at the display of affection from his daughter. He had missed too much time with her; it was something he'd never stop regretting.

"A little bit," she allowed, flashing him a grin. "No moping, though. Ma gets worried when you mope, and she looks weird with a frown."

"I don't mope," Evan remarked, just a little defensively. At least, he didn't think he did. He just had a tendency to be serious, more often than not.

Maggie's grin didn't fade. "You totally do," she informed him cheerfully. "Practice broodin' more - the girls say that's a whole lot sexier than mopin'."

Evan furrowed his brows at her, a skeptical expression on his face. "I didn't know there was a difference."

His teenaged daughter didn't look at him as she tried to explain. "Mopin' is all depressing and boring, but broodin' means you're thinking masterful thoughts and your lover will totally want in on that."

"Okay, so next time someone accuses me of mopin', should I tell 'em I'm broodin'?" he asked, uncertainly. He wasn't sure who was likely to accuse him of such a thing, other than Maggie though. Not even Marin seemed to mind when he turned quiet and thoughtful.

She snickered. "Nah, just Ma," she said. "Cal won't understand, and you're not supposed to brood at women you're not married to."

"You're just pullin' my leg now," Evan said, moving past her to pick up the pitcher of lemonade and fill the glasses. "Your Ma has never accused me of mopin'. Or broodin' either."

"Would I do that?" his daughter asked innocently, batting her lashes just a little too sweetly to be entirely trustworthy.

"Uh huh. That's what I thought," he said, a smirk on his face. "You wanna help me carry these glasses into the other room?" he asked, hoping to give her something to do.

"Sure!" Grinning now he was more relaxed with the conversation, Maggie picked up a couple of the glasses, stepping back to let Evan go first. After all, he was the one who had made it.

Hopefully, he'd made it right. He hadn't thought to taste it first, distracted as he'd been with the conversation. "Did Jack settle down okay?" he asked, changing the subject as he led the way back into the living room.

"Out like a light as soon as his diaper was clean on," Maggie assured him, nodding toward the baby monitor she had left on the table beside the couch. "Don't tell Ma, but those new jammies are really cute, too."

"Why shouldn't I tell your Ma?" he asked curiously, keeping his voice down to a whisper so Marin wouldn't over hear their conversation.

"Because she'll go and buy more!" Maggie answered, somehow managing to choke down on her laughter. It was fun to tease her father, especially when she could dress it up in teasing her mother via him.

"And why's that a bad thing?" he asked further, unsure where his daughter was going with this. Was she worried Marin would spend too much money on Jack or that she'd buy him too many pajamas he wouldn't have time to wear before he grew out of them? But before she was able to reply, they had reached the living room.

Marin and Caleb were totally engrossed in Winnie the Pooh, curled up together in a corner of the couch as they worked their way through an adventure from the Hundred Acre Wood. Maggie's smile softened, ever so slightly envious of those interactions that she was too big for these days.

Evan glanced toward his wife and son and paused momentarily to whisper at Maggie. "You didn't answer the question," he reminded her.

The teenager's grin resumed its cheeky edge. "No, I didn't," she agreed, giggling impishly to herself as she moved further into the room to set one of the glasses down on the coffee table for her little brother.

He frowned over at her, not moping or brooding, just a little perplexed. He exhaled a sigh, resigned in knowing he'd probably never understand women, no matter their age.

Marin glanced up as he came closer, smiling at the look on his face. "I think your sister has been teasing your papa again," she murmured to Caleb in amusement. "That little dent is back in between his eyebrows."

Thankfully, Evan didn't quite catch that, but Caleb glanced over at his father and smiled, knowing how much his sister enjoyed teasing their father. "That's his worried look," he murmured back to his mother.
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Motley Menagerie of Myriad Marvels / Re: Family Time
« Last post by Evan Lassiter on September 20, 2020, 01:31:26 PM »
"Lots?" she countered, more gently than she would have done had she been talking to, say, Rob. "There's steering, and gears, and road safety, and how to look after the vehicle, and all that stuff."

"Rob been teachin' you to drive?" he asked, with further curiosity. As it happened, he'd been thinking about asking Marin to teach him. He was slowly becoming more comfortable with modern contraptions, but he was still a bit leery of motor vehicles.

She shook her head. "No, but he's learning," she said. "I was just wondering ... if you wanted to learn, maybe we could do it together?"

"You think your Ma could teach us?" he asked, as he went about squeezing lemons to extract the juice. It really wasn't so much a question of "could she" so much as "would she".

"I don't see why she wouldn't," Maggie mused. "If she doesn't want to, then there's always Bill or Carla. They can both drive, too."

"I reckon so," Evan replied, without looking up from what he was doing. "I s'pect it might be helpful for me to learn," he said, with a shrug of his shoulders. It would be faster and easier to get to town and fetch supplies, not to mention take Maggie and Caleb back and forth to school.

"You're not gonna stop me learnin' how?" she asked curiously. She knew she was a little young to be making that decision, but it wouldn't be too much longer before it would be legal for her to be in charge of a vehicle.

"Why should I stop you?" he asked, looking over at his daughter with a puzzled expression on his face. "If Master Mallory can learn to drive, why can't you?" he pointed out.

"Pa, why are you calling him that these days?" she asked with a sudden laugh. "He's still Rob. I mean, just because he's my boyfriend doesn't mean you have to go all formal."

Evan shrugged, a smirk on his face. "It has a certain ring to it though, don't it? Master Mallory." He gestured to the cupboard. "Fetch me the sugar?"

"Does that mean I'm Mistress Lassiter?" his daughter asked, pushing from her lean to open up the cupboard and lift out the sugar jar. "'Cause that just sounds like I'm really old."

"No, you would be Miss Lassiter, until you're married," he explained. "Although perhaps Robert is getting a bit old to be addressed that way," he reasoned, mostly to himself.

"I prefer to be called Maggie," she pointed out, setting the sugar jar down beside him on the counter. She considered her father for a long moment. "Pa ... don't you like Rob?"

Evan furrowed his brows at his daughter as he scooped a large cupful of sugar into a pitcher. "Course I like Rob. Why wouldn't I?" he asked, unsure where that question came from.

"It's just ... you've been a bit weird about him and me spending time together the last few months," she said awkwardly. "I know all about the birds and the bees, we're not doin' that."

He turned to his daughter again with that same look on his face, mostly at the mention of the birds and the bees. "I should hope not," he said, leaving no room for argument there. If Rob wanted to poke his daughter, he'd have to marry her first. He reached for the faucet to turn the water on and fill the pitcher, a thoughtful expression on his face as he considered her question. "It ain't that I don't like the boy. You're just growin' up too fast for my liking. That's all."

To her credit, she didn't mention that it had been his decision to miss out on so much of her childhood, holding her tongue on that point now and forevermore. "I'm always gonna be your girl, Pa," she pointed out.

She didn't have to mention it; it was something that had laid heavy on his heart for a long time. He'd tried to talk to her about it before, but it had always seemed the less said the better. The past was the past and couldn't be changed. There was no doubt he loved her, after all, and had always had her best interests at heart. "Someday you are goin' to get married and be someone else's girl, Mags," he pointed out.

"Mama says that ain't how it works," she countered stubbornly. "She says I'll always be your girl, just that I'll be someone else's girl, too. She says my heart's big enough for everyone I love."

Evan couldn't help but smile at that. "Your mama says that, does she?" he asked. Of course, Marin wasn't Maggie's mother by birth, but Maggie had never seemed to mind that fact, having lost her real mother at an early age.

"Sure she does." Maggie nodded firmly. They might not be related by blood, but she adored Marin all the more for that fact. "She says that if she can love everyone she loves, being so little, then I can definitely love even more people, because I'm bigger than her."

Evan turned off the water and reached for a towel to dry his hands. "And does she say you're too big to hug your old Pa?" he asked, the hint of a smirk on his face again.

Maggie grinned. "Nah, she says no one's too big for hugs," she said, taking the hint and wrapping her arms around her father's waist to hug him tight for a long moment.

Relieved she got the hint, he closed his strong arms around her to return her embrace. It wasn't every day that he got a hug from her anymore, now that she was a teenager and no longer a little girl. "You know, I ain't never stopped lovin' you, and I never will, darlin'," he told her quietly, resting his cheek against the top of her head.

"I know, Papa," she whispered. "I ain't goin' anywhere, not for a long time. Always gonna be your girl, even if I marry, like, a hundred boys in a row."

Evan chuckled. "A hundred boys is a lot. Maybe you should just marry one," he suggested, though he didn't mention names. Maybe it would be the Mallory boy; maybe it wouldn't. Time would tell.

She giggled. "Not gonna tell me which one I'm allowed to settle on?" she asked teasingly. "Like he's gotta be tall, and he's gotta be strong, and he's gotta be ready for a fight?"

"You want me to?" he asked with a chuckle, the song lyrics completely lost on him. He rarely listened to any music, other than what Marin played on the piano.

She snorted. "Like I'd listen," was her disparaging response. "You got more sense'n that. S'why you're an awesome Pop."

He snorted in return. "I dunno about awesome," he said, kissing the top of her head and pulling away so that he could finish making the lemonade before Marin and Caleb were done reading.

9
Motley Menagerie of Myriad Marvels / Re: Family Time
« Last post by Evan Lassiter on September 20, 2020, 01:31:07 PM »
"That's probably a good idea," she agreed. "The kids around here all tend to work on the farms with their parents, so they don't hang out much during the vacation."

"No reason he can't have some friends over sometimes," Evan reasoned. "He likes helpin' with the farm, but he should spend more time havin' fun with his friends."

She nodded in agreement. "We can work it," she assured her husband. "We're allowed to make mistakes, you know. Perfection is overrated."

"Good thing 'cause I'm far from it," Evan said, smiling and leaning close to brush a kiss against her lips. "Have I told you lately how much I love you?" he asked her quietly.

"Not since I fell out of the attic yesterday, I think," she teased fondly, answering his kiss with her own smiling lips. "And I think that was more along the lines of bribery to stop me from going back up there."

"Bribery?" he echoed. "I would never," he added, though he couldn't hide the grin from his face that told her otherwise. "You never told me what you were after in there."

"And I'm not going to," she laughed, kissing the tip of his nose. "It's a see-krit." Her eyes sparkled with impish delight at keeping a secret from a husband who was ridiculously good at reading her no matter what she did.

He arched a brow at her, even as she kissed his nose. "A secret or a surprise?" he asked, knowing there was a slight difference between the two, though they could be one and the same thing.

"Could be one, could be both," she answered impishly. "Who knows?" Laughing, she cuddled into him with warm affection. "Nothing bad, anyway."

From above, they heard the quiet sound of Maggie and Caleb laughing over something as they came out of Jack's nursery.

Evan furrowed his brows at his wife, suspiciously. It wasn't often she had both a secret and a surprise to share. "You ain't ... you know?" he asked with a pointed look at her mid-section.

She snorted with laughter, shaking her head. "No," she assured him. "I wouldn't do that to you, not after what happened last time."

"I just worry," he said, still frowning, despite her laughter. As much as he adored their children, he had almost lost her when Caleb had been born. It was why they'd chosen to adopt Jack instead.

"Trust me, love," she said gently. "I'm not pregnant, and I'm not going to get pregnant again. I'm happy with our family as it is."

"So am I," he said, touching another soft kiss to her lips. He seemed to relax a little at her reassurance. It wasn't that he didn't want more children, if that's what she wanted, but he didn't want to take a chance on losing her either.

She smiled into his kiss, relaxing as he relaxed. "I love you, you do know that," she reminded him affectionately. "So trust me when I say that this secret surprise is a good one."

"I know, and course I trust you," he assured her, brushing her hair back from her face just because. Why wouldn't he trust her? She'd saved his life once upon a time and she hadn't even known him from Adam then.

"Good." She grinned, brushing the tip of her nose to his once again. "I solemnly swear I will try very hard not to fall out of the attic again."

"Good, 'cause I can't follow you around all day long to make sure you're okay," Evan said, smiling as she brushed her nose against his. As much as he might like to, he had too much work to do. A farmer's work was never done - not even on the weekend.

"No one on this farm will let me anywhere near even a hammer, so I think you can lay your mind to rest on that point," Marin said with a low giggle.

"That's only 'cause you hit everything except the nails with hammers, Ma," Maggie interjected from the stairs, where she and Caleb were on their way back down.

Caleb was a few steps behind Maggie - literally - and jumping down them, one step at a time with a thump. Evan smirked at both his son's antics and his wife's remark. "She's right. You're all thumbs with a hammer."

"I hit myself in the forehead once," Marin protested, but there was a smile on her face. Not everyone was suited to tool work, after all.

Evan winced at his wife's remark, unsure how she had managed that. "Remind me to keep you away from farm tools," he told her.

"Keep me away from farm tools," she said with a cheerful grin, straightening up to open one arm toward Caleb. "So what are we reading tonight, sweetheart?"

"Pooh!" Caleb announced enthusiastically, as he settled into his mother's embrace, thankfully easier on her than he was on the stairs. The book was a little above his reading level, but he knew his mother would help him along the way.

"Oh, wonderful!" Marin's enthusiasm was not feigned - she held a deep love for the books of her childhood, and Winnie the Pooh had been one of those. Hugging Caleb into her side, she let him wriggle to get comfortable, happy to wait until he was ready before they started to read together.

In the meantime, Evan rose to his feet,  nodding his head at Maggie to follow him in to the kitchen. He didn't want to interrupt Caleb's reading time, but thought he'd fetch them some lemonade.

The teenager grinned as she followed her father. Caleb's reading time was practically sacred. Maggie leaned back against the counter, looking at her father thoughtfully. "Say, Pa? Are you gonna learn to drive?"

"Learn to drive?" Evan echoed as he gathered the items he'd need to make lemonade. "You mean, like a truck?" he asked curiously. "What's to learn?" He knew how to ride a horse; driving a truck couldn't be much harder than that, could it?

10
Motley Menagerie of Myriad Marvels / Re: Family Time
« Last post by Evan Lassiter on September 20, 2020, 01:30:51 PM »
"I kinda really want to," Maggie admitted. She didn't often volunteer to fully engage with caring for the baby, but every now and then, she'd do it just to have private snuggles with her baby brother.

Marin chuckled, bending her head to kiss Jack's soft curls. "We should say goodnight to him, then."

"All right then," Evan agreed, waiting for his turn to say goodnight to their youngest. He wasn't about to discourage Maggie from spending some quiet time with her baby brother.

Lifting the rather floppy baby boy across the couch, Marin gestured for Caleb to come and say goodnight to his little brother as Jack groaned in complaint. No one really liked to be jostled while they were sleeping, after all.

Caleb wrinkled his nose again as saying goodnight to his baby brother was interrupting his drawing time, but he did as his mother said. "Night, Jack!" he told his little brother, a little too enthusiastically.

Jack jumped, eyes blinking open to give his brother a wounded look for the unexpected yelling, grumbling nonsense as he cuddled into Evan's arms to say goodnight for himself. Maggie giggled, rolling her eyes as she scooted to the edge of her seat, waiting for her chance to steal her baby brother away.

"Easy, Cal. He's tryin' to sleep. You wouldn't want someone yellin' at you when you're sleepin', would you?" Evan told his son, as he cuddled the younger one and tried to soothe him back into sleep.

Marin smiled, reaching over to stroke Cal's hair affectionately. "Did you decide which book you want to start tonight, darling?" she asked the middle child. His reading was coming on faster than either of them had expected, resulting in a bookshelf rather more stuffed than his sister's had been a few years ago.

Caleb frowned a little at his father's scolding, though Evan hadn't raised his voice. In fact, Evan rarely got angry at his children and rarely had to scold them.

"What do you say, little man?" he asked the little boy in his arms. "Are you ready for bed?"

Meanwhile, Caleb turned to his mother, almost forgetting his father's scolding. He shrugged. "Can I go look?" he asked. He'd been too busy drawing to think much about reading.

"Of course you can," Marin assured him, glad what could have been an exercise in tired temper had been averted. "Story time is my favorite part of the day."

Jack was easily mollified with cuddles and a soft voice, sighing as he let him head drop against Evan's shoulder.

Maggie grinned. "Looks about ready to me, Pa."

Evan glanced Caleb's way, a small frown on his face. Thankfully, Cal had a short memory, but he told himself he'd make it up to the boy later. "He does, don't he?" he asked, as he carefully handed their youngest to Maggie.

Tucking Jack gently onto her shoulder, Maggie's smile softened as she hugged her baby brother. "Guess Cal must have tuckered him out today," she said, turning that smile onto her other little brother. "Hey, you wanna come and pick his jammies while you're getting a book, Cal?"

Caleb shrugged again, as if it hardly mattered. "Mmkay," he replied. "How 'bout the ones with the ponies?" he suggested. It was no secret how fond the boy was of horses.

"He's got jammies with ponies on?" Maggie asked, leading the way up the stairs with Jack clinging to her shoulder. "Did you and Mom go shopping again?"

Marin chuckled as the voice faded, rolling her eyes as she leaned back. "Why is it always me who gets accused of going shopping?"

"Reckon it's 'cause you're always the one goin' shopping," Evan pointed out with a smirk. He was glad tempers hadn't gotten out of hand. Caleb had a way of getting cranky when he got tired sometimes, just like his father.

She snorted with laughter, letting her body slide until she was leaning against him comfortably. "This time it wasn't me, believe it or not," she insisted. "Josephine and Will maintain they accidentally bought a set of pajamas that are too small for their boys."

"Mmhmm," Evan murmured. "Why don't they just admit that they bought it for Jack?" he asked,  not really understanding the logic behind the fib.

Marin shook her head with a smile. "I think it's something about gift giving and etiquette from their eras," she hazarded a guess. "I don't know. The pajamas are cute, though."

"Mmm," Evan murmured again, a small frown on his face. "You reckon I'm too hard on Cal?" he asked, of his most recent scolding, though it had not been too harsh.

"No, I don't think so," she murmured. "You just need to work on how you say things a little, maybe. Instead of just saying what's wrong, maybe suggest a way he can make it better as well?"

"He's a good boy," Evan said. "Just a little ... excitable, I guess." He was a normal, active boy, after all.

"He has a lot of energy, and he's nervous about going back to school," Marin said in a thoughtful tone. "And like his father, he gets grumpy when he's tired."

"Is he?" Evan said, arching his brows. This was the first he was hearing about that. "What's he nervous about?" he asked curiously, only smirking a little at the grumpy comment.

"He had a lot of trouble settling in last year," she reminded him quietly. "I think he's a little scared he's going to have to go through all the trouble of making friends again, and no amount of reassurance is getting through to him."

"Maybe we should have one of his friends over before that," Evan suggested, though he wasn't sure if they'd be in the same classroom.

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