rayna gillman's blog         improv quilts & an improv life

I don't play poker but I have been very busy for the last couple of weeks making phone calls to get out the VOTE in FLORIDA, which is a key swing state in this (and every) election. I am not saying which party I am volunteering my time for, but after today's craziness I had two martinis! People are certainly interesting.

Lots of hang-ups, a 98 year old woman who couldn't hear me, a man who voted in Texas (he's a snowbird here), a woman who won't vote because she says she can't get a babysitter (really? Take you kid to the dropbox with you). And a man who is not voting because he is leaving the results up to God. (I guess he can't make a decision). Never a dull moment.

I am recovering with a strong cup of masala tea with ginger, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and black pepper. YUM. I expect to be up late tonight.

Been editing demo videos because my iPad refuses to screen share with Zoom - but we'll be fine. Because of the holidays, I expect to be ready to go in January. Will keep you posted.

Things are looking up. I'm excited that my daughters are each coming to visit me (not at the same time). Jessica (left) arrives on Saturday for a week (she is my birthday gift) and Hilary (right, obviously) is coming for a week at Thanksgiving. Oh, joy! I haven't seen them for a year. I hope they have good weather while they are here - it is cold in New Jersey.

And Phil is coming back to Florida on Sunday, so Jessica, Phil, and I will spend election night all biting our nails together.

So - what have you been doing to keep yourself sane for the last 7 or 8 months? Reading? Baking? Gourmet cooking? Therapy sewing? Binge-watching series on Amazon Prime (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) or Netflix ( I binge-watched Mad Men, which I had never seen because I don't watch tv.). Whatever you are doing, I hope you have voted and I hope you are staying safe.


First of all, it has been raining nonstop in West Palm Beach, so yesterday I chose not to leave the house (well, it's an apartment but I call it a house because I live here). The studio is also an apartment, so I can't call them both by the same name. BUT I DIGRESS.

I was home anyway and It has been too long since I have baked bread. I have had a jar of sourdough starter ripening for what seems like a week with not much action. Day before yesterday when I came into the kitchen, it had overflowed the jar and was all over the counter. Yeccch - what a mess. It was ready to use.

If you've baked sourdough you know it is a process. Add flour and water, leave for 4 hours and then into the fridge for overnight.

Next day, add more flour, knead, and leave for more hours, stretching and folding the dough every hour. Shape, let rise again, and finally - BAKE!

This loaf came out looking very pretty, so it was worth all the time. The other loaf is not as pretty so I sliced that one first. The sourdough flavor is wonderful - the best I've made. And there is a nice open crumb. This went into the freezer. I will take it out next week when my daughter Jessica arrives for a visit.

Now I am done procrastinating and will get back to work. The studio is calling.

xoxo R

During the past umpteen months I've been working on developing some online classes. After having spent a lot of time on one class, I put it aside to finish later and started again with another fun and popular one.

I'm still at it -- working alone and trying to film yourself is not easy; I had some help from my partner Phil-cum-reluctant videographer who did a great job, considering the learning curve. I am on my own now, so - uh - no guarantees. But I have the video I made telling about the class so you can sign up to get notified when I'm ready to release it.

I've also spent a lot of time on the phone volunteering to contact South Florida voters to make sure they have their mail-in ballots and check whether they need any help. Almost everybody I spoke to is afraid to mail their ballot and have already put them in the drop boxes at the Supervisor of Elections in their county (which I did) or will drop them at the early voting sites, which open Oct. 19. Only one said she planned to vote in person.

No two teachers are doing these classes the same way; Some are doing everything on Zoom, others on an online platform, and still others a combination of both (which is what I am thinking about). I'm leaning toward the hybrid so I can SEE you and we can talk to each other but you can also watch the videos (LOL) a few times online if you need to. We'll see.

In the comments below, I would love to hear about your experiences with e-classes and what worked for you (and what didn't).

Here's the video I made as an intro - (just ignore the "I'm going to post it to my blog" comments I made just in case I post it elsewhere).

Leave me a YES! along with your comment if you want me to notify you when the class is ready to launch so I can send you a registration form.

Back to work!!



 all text & images ©rayna gillman 2019