Lots of Progress

I have a room that is beginning to look a lot like a kitchen! It’s been a very productive week. On Monday they came and measured for the counters. A friend had suggested that maybe we’d want the bay window seat in the breakfast room to have the same top as the counters. IMG_9044I suspect it will (1) cost too much and (2) make the window seat too heavy to move to get to the radiator underneath, but we did have it measured and we’ll wait for a quote. We don’t have to move that window seat all that often, so if there is sufficient material left from the slab being used for everything else, and if the quote isn’t exorbitant, it may be our next change order. *grin* I’ve had a lot of them. We did get word later in the week that it will be longer than a week to get the counters made. Apparently they are back-ordered, and they ship from Minnesota. There will be a delay of 2-3 weeks for the counters.

My husband feels very strongly about the seam in the counter, as in he does not want any seam. πŸ™‚ We all agreed that we would shift the sink over if it meant getting rid of a seam. IMG_9041We already broke with the concepts of symmetry and centering with the sink anyway. It “should” be centered with the bay window above it but that didn’t leave me sufficient space to the left of the sink for a dish drainer. πŸ™‚ Although we ARE very concerned with the appearance of this kitchen, ultimately it has to be about functionality as the foundation. We are supposed to be contacted by the counter people once they have the slab so we can come up and see it before it is cut, and decide where to place the templates for the cuts. That way we have some say in both the seams AND the pattern that will be on the largest counter area. Our quartz selection is Cambria Brittanicca Gold, which has a marble appearance, which means there are waves of color, not one single constant appearance.

The soft area in the floor has been pulled up and repaired. IMG_9028I can still feel the difference in floor level underneath but it is a firm change, not a soft one. I think it will be okay. The trim has been put on the doorways and the pocket door is installed.

There was an issue with the door trim. I am learning a lot of new terminology with this project. I joked with Don (the foreman) that I will have to do a lot of studying before the final exam in September. Every bit of wood around the door (or window) has its own special term. I now know that the little bit of wood trim sitting on the BIG door trim is called “back band”. πŸ™‚

IMG_9032The wood in our house is American chestnut, something I believe I mentioned during the demolition stage of this project. It is very very difficult to get chestnut wood anymore. There was a blight that struck the American chestnut trees back around 1905. It wiped out billions of chestnut trees. As I type this, I realize this is actually a bit odd, as my house was built around 1923 – where did they get all the gorgeous chestnut in my house? Ah – the tree was still around until 1950. The good news for the chestnut tree is that it is being brought back with a resistance to the blight. It has been cross-bred with the Japanese chestnut. We were quite insistent that the chestnut trim on the doorways to the dining room and the front hall be saved and reused.

One can insist but often life has its own plans. The chestnut trim was removed and stored in our garage. IMG_9030A lot of other things were in the garage also, and there has been a lot of activity in there. It was time to put the trim back this week. Unfortunately, some of the pieces had broken, and pieces were missing. They would have to build new trim out of new wood. Ideally of course we’d want chestnut. Unfortunately for us, chestnut is not yet plentiful and so it is expensive, and not as easy to obtain as other woods. And this is where I began my education in wood grain.

My husband was more upset than I at this news. My perspective is that the kitchen is changed so radically that as long as the wood gets stained the same color as the chestnut that was still usable, we’d be okay. He felt that the grain made a difference. Don and I discussed this and I asked if there was a readily available wood that had better grain than the default pine that gets used everywhere else (the pocket door, the trim on the floor – skirting!!). IMG_9031Oak has a more detailed grain than pine, closer to chestnut in appearance, and is available and not as expensive as chestnut. I made one of my executive decisions and said – use oak. I’m quite pleased with the oak, which is good, because I hadn’t realized that we’d lost all the dining room door chestnut. The onus is now on Matt, our painter, to get the proper stain for all the wood trim. He’s excellent at that and we’re used to mixing stains to match chestnut all over the house. You really can see the difference in the grain between the oak and the pine when you see them next to each other, as with the pocket door. I’m glad my husband put up resistance when I described the situation. I think my only issue with this might be that I wish the workmen had mentioned to me that there were other woods that would look better with the chestnut, as opposed to saying that the stain would take care of it. Even I with my untrained eye can now tell that wood grains are not equal and pine against chestnut is NOT the best approach.

IMG_9037We have a wood threshold between the dining room and the kitchen, and the threshold from the kitchen to the basement stairs is complete. We are only missing a threshold from the breakfast room to the bathroom, and I said that could be metal. Ultimately we need to redo the bathroom also (thanks to a diabetic cat and a dog trained to use pads indoor instead of having to be walked). I LOVE the pocket door – I am soooooo HAPPY to look there and not have the window blocked and to have the clean lines of that simple door. I can see that I need hardware for it. Which reminds me….

I did mention my expensive taste in cabinet knobs and pulls. I’ve ordered several samples and they’ve begun to arrive. Good thing I ordered samples. One of the ones that looked most promising came and it’s totally wrong. One is okay, not loving it, but it’s okay. The ceiling fan has come as well but that won’t be installed for awhile, so no link to show you it in advance. πŸ™‚ And we DID order the funky bistro table. *grin* Sorry, Debbie, but while you sit there drinking coffee with me you won’t have to actually look at it. Now we are hunting for chairs that might work with the table and the room.

We are probably looking at a completion somewhere at the end of August, at least for the contractors. Matt is on vacation then so he won’t be able to do his painting and staining until September. I KNEW it would never happen in 10-12 weeks. πŸ™‚

When Chestnut Plurks

Slowly but surely my health is returning. About time, too, I say. Last night I was taking a break from my book, catching up on Plurks, emails and the like. Then THE plurk posted: Chestnut listening to Kyle Beltran at Tribeca…. Come dance with me.

When Chestnut invites me to dance with her, I can’t refuse. Apparently, neither can Sean. Within minutes, there we were. (Okay, to be fair – Sean was there, but not dancing. *grin*) Dancing with Ches, listening to Kyle, laughing with friends. A lovely evening. πŸ™‚ Thanks for inviting us to the party, Ches!!! ❀

Darcey’s Back!

YAY!! Darcey has returned to SL!!! I”m so happy. I LUUUURRVVE Darcey. *grin* Darcey is back and she is DJ’ing. Yep – she is spinning the tunes. LOL. Of course, Darcey and I have somewhat different tastes in music. Or rather – her current gig requires different artists than my usual iPod tunes. But I showed up for her first gig, and so did Oura, Jonah and LOLpande.

Chestnut has been doing her 365 post – a picture a day for 365 days (notice the slacker waited til it was NOT a leap year – /me nods knowingly). She dropped by the other day to chat and Darcey dropped in too. We all took photos of ourselves and each pic was different even though we had the same subject matter. We differed in angle, distance, lighting. πŸ™‚ People are so interesting. And I LOVE chilling with my friends. It was great, ladies – thank you!

Chestnut’s Magic Build

Chestnut transformed Thornbridge into a magical wonderland.
Chestnut transformed Thornbridge into a magical wonderland.

flowers everywhereChestnut made the most incredible build for my rez day party. Gorgeous. Magical. FULL of flowers (because I really like flowers). Beautiful trees too (Chestnut, unlike SOME of us (me) KNOWS how to make a tree). Colors and flowers and lights and flowers and a moon and more flowers. Did I mention casey and augustthat there were lots of FLOWERS??? She turned Thornbridge into the sort of fantasy that makes SL so special. It was breathtakingly wonderful and happy and light-hearted and magical. I guess, really, the only word that truly describes it is “neat”. LOL. Okay – there is someone now reading this and blushing like crazy. The rest of us are laughing. Ches unveiled the build to a friend and asked for feedback. *grin* The verdict? “Neat.” /me rolls eyes and starts laughing again. Ah Chestnut – it was so far beyond neat – it was everything I could have hoped or wanted. I loved it. Every single prim. I don’t know how long you can leave Thornbridge like that, but we need to go back and picnic and meditate and chase butterflies and stretch out on a blanket and simply revel in the beauty.

Kyle and CalliMy rez day party was fantastic. The build, as I said, was neat. πŸ™‚ No – you will NEVER live that down. But Chestnut had the best possible music as well: Kyle Beltran. I LOVE Kyle. I have posted about him before here. He puts on a fantastic show. He sings, plays the piano, covers other people’s songs as well as his own compositions. Chadd and ShaleKyle is so witty and articulate and funny. We were laughing the entire time. I love Kyle’s shows; I was delighted at how many of my friends were IM’ing me to tell me that they, too thought he was great. That even though they really needed to log, they couldn’t because they didn’t want to stop listening to Kyle. If you’ve never heard Kyle – remedy that. He has CDs for sale, performs regularly in SL and is a wonderful talent. Thank you SO much, Kyle, for agreeing to perfom. I had a wonderful, wonderful time listening and laughing with you. *hugs*

Thank you to all my friends who were there to help make the party special. I was so touched and honored that you came. I love the work I do in virtual worlds. I love the mental stimulation, the challenges, throwing myself under the bus again and again. But mostly – I love you. I love laughing and Nat and Helltalking and sharing our lives. I know that for so many of you it was an effort to be there. Natalya and Hell – you are amazing. Staying up til 2am your time to come party with me. You are wonderful. I know at least 2 of you were SUPPOSED to be working. *grin* So I won’t mention your names, but you know who you are and so do I. To all of you – thank you and thank you again. Seeing you and partying with you was the best rez day present I could have. *hugs* to you all.

BaileyI took a million pictures. Okay, about 60, I suppose I DO tend to exaggerate on occasion. *grin* They are up on Flickr, of course. I am including several of them here as well. This way you can see the gorgeous build, and my wonderful friends. Hell also took pictures. He has a wonderful one – imaginative angle, framing. Check it out. That is how SL photography SHOULD be done. Thank you, Hell!

Chestnut, my amazing incredible friendChestnut – you are simply amazing. Thank you my dear dear friend. You went so far above and beyond anything that I expected. You created a magical SL wonderland. You found the best entertainment. You even put out food!!!! *grin* yummy! I think this may have been one of the most special, incredible things anyone has ever done for me. Thank you. It was perfect. I love it. I love you. I am so glad that we are friends.

Shades of Beyond Blogging Conference
Shades of Beyond Blogging Conference

Zha, the landlordAa, dressed for dancing
sweet zazekFricker and Cherie

Oura did me the great compliment of wearing my dancing in my chains ribbons I gave Oura a copy of my “dancing in my chains” ribbons and she did me the great compliment and honor of wearing them. And Calli, beautiful Calli. It was SUPPOSED to be all about ME. ME = Ahuva!!!!! LOL. Your dress was stupendous. Breathtaking. We all inspected the information and did a search on the creator. *grin* We will all be Calli-wannabees.
Gorgeous Calli
After party relaxationOf course, after the party, I had to relax and go over the whole thing again. πŸ™‚ So I stretched out on my carpet, pose courtesy of the talented Bailey Longcloth, wearing my new teddy bear slippers from zazek, and discussed the party, art, life and SL with Oura and Calli. All in all – a perfect perfect night.

Post party party

Happy 2nd Rez Day, Chestnut!!

Happy, happy rez day, Chestnut!!!! I hope you have a wonderful, fun, perfect day and a great year to come! I know that this is an “old” look for you, but it happens to be one of the best shots that I have. I suppose I could have gone to your blog and lifted some pictures (gee, I wonder where I got THAT idea from ????) but since I had so much fun at the Rave of Aquarius – I decided to use my pic from there.
Chestnut at The Rave of Aquarius

Chestnut was one of the first “names” I learned in SL. I read her blog, learned so much about what was what in SL. I remember the first time that she commented back on MY comment on her blog!!! I was so excited. We began talking through our blogs and then became friends inworld. Chestnut always was helpful and upbeat. She helped save me when I threw myself under the bus at work, volunteering to make trees for the upcoming major conference. Over time we became closer, giggling together as girlfriends do, sharing confidences, catty remarks (okay, that would be me *grin* , I would never claim that Chestnut would make snarky remarks), life observances, RL occasions. We have been fairies together, danced together, Rave’d together, listened to music together, and provided tissues and comfort to each other.

I love you, Chestnut! Thank you for turning me on to live music in SL. Thank you for all your posts about sailing – I never would have known/tried it/loved it without your posts. Thank you for introducing me to the world of blogging. Thank you for all the friends you shared (one of the biggest blessings you ever gave me was introducing me to Honour). Thank you most of all for being you, in all your wonderful warm, talented, giving, imperfect, understanding, embracing-life self. Thank you for being my friend.

I wrote this for you before, and it is still true for me:
Warm, thoughtful Chestnut
Always a hand to help friends
Giant, noble heart.

But also:
Giggles and laughter
FUN to be silly with you
Your friendship warms me

Friends at the benches and beyond

First a shout-out to Chestnut!! What a FANTABULOUS link!!!! Ches blogged about Hocus Pocus’ Halloween hunt. You MUST get there! I went with 3 other friends last night and we had a total hoot!!! The streets were packed with people knocking on doors, getting unexpected results – some yummy, some very NOT yummy! LOL And that’s all I’m going to tell you – go experience it yourself! Good friends find you fun links!!! πŸ™‚ You’re the best, Chestnut!

My friends do like to change shape and size. πŸ™‚ Makes life much more interesting that everyone isn’t as boring as I am! Darcey showed up as a Totoro.

I don’t think these benches are going to hold up…… πŸ™‚

Speaking of which – did I ever show you the new benches? No more “bring your own chair”! Yay!

This last is not a friend. This friendly cow was floating in the air at a site I visited during a business field trip in SL. If I ever do decide to rent a place and call it home, I want a cow floating above MY house!!! Landlords, beware!!! (I’ll need to check the zoning laws…. πŸ™‚ )

Thank You

Behind every successful woman there stands…… a group of wonderful, supportive friends. It appears that the Great Tree Saga has drawn to a close. πŸ™‚ The conference will have trees, flowers, bushes and fountains. How? Because I have wonderful friends who have wonderful friends. Chestnut introduced me to Honour, who came up with a plan. I arranged a meeting with Honour, J and myself. Nothing could have happened without Ches and Honour. Had Chestnut not concerned herself with my problems, I would not have met Honour. Nothing could have happened without Honour’s talent, kindness and generosity.

I want to thank Bailey as well, who was IM’ing me often, offering support, advice and encouragement. Here is where SL falls short for me. In RL I could figure out some way, albeit insufficient, to thank them all. Some favor or gift, some action I could perform in thanks. But in SL – I know of nothing that I can do. They have all been inworld far longer than I. They know much more than I. I wouldn’t even know how to begin to find gifts for them inworld (LOL – I’d have to IM them and ask for more help! πŸ™‚ ) No way to move my pottery or food inworld. Nor flowers. So the best I can do is to thank each of them personally, here, in my favorite form of expression.

Warm, thoughtful Chestnut
Always a hand to help friends
Giant, noble heart.

Generous artist
Bringing beauty to the world
Sharing it with all.

True SL mentor
Full of ideas, connections
Failure not allowed!

Important Announcements

While many people who read my blog will already know these important things, there are a few who may not.Β  So here you go:

From Shenlei Flasheart:Β Β  “… my company, the Fashion Research Institute, Inc., has developed the Shengri La Vintage Marketplace on Shengri La .Β  We willΒ provide vendor space for 20 emerging avatar apparel designers on our Second Life Shengri La sim for six months free of charge.Β  The designers are encouraged to build their brands, to sell their products through both their vendor prims and through the use of our catwalk system, and to grow their business. We are pleased to announce Michele Hyacinth as Curator of the Shengri La Vintage Marketplace for emerging avatar apparel designers in Second Life. Michele is responsible for managing the design selection process and overseeing the marketplace. For more information and details about the program, please contact Michele.

And check out Chestnut’s blog for more fun happenings at ShengriLa this week:

  • Wednesday, September 17th, the butterfly hunt for butterflies containing Ode jewelry
  • Friday, September 19th, the Pirate Rave (the universe rave was a blast! don’t miss this one!)

Sitting Pretty

YES! FINALLY!!! All the pieces have come together and last night was what I thought hanging out in SL would be!! Although first I had to be scared silly before it all worked out.

My new router came 2 days ago. I left work and headed straight home to get it installed. Installing things like this are so NOT my forte! But I’d consulted with my co-workers, had all sorts of hints and tips and moral support. So I gave it a try.

It seemed to be very simple. Plug one computer directly into the cable modem, start the CD that came w/ the router. NBD. But then this software install popped up as well. I didn’t know exactly what it was. I let it unzip and install, but then attempted to back out. I could do that, but then my network wasn’t up and running. So back in I went and stumbled about, trying to get the machines in the house back online. Long story short, I got 2 machines up and on the internet. Seem to have knocked my printers off the network. Could NOT get my new laptop onto the wireless network. Still don’t know why. But I didn’t care because I had and have it hardwired directly to the router. So I was good to go for the Grace McDunnough concert!! I had new equipment, I had a body, I had inventory. Home stretch!

So I went to login to SL. I could NOT get logged in. It was 7:10 pm and the concert was at 9 and SL was not letting me login. I WANTED to scream and freak and hit the computer. But there was no one there to hear and I thought that perhaps breaking the pc was counter-productive. So I checked one of the new things I’ve finally learned: SL Grid Statistics. And look at that: SL was having login issues. It wasn’t me – it was THEM! So I puttered about for another hour.

Around 8:30 I logged in successfully. I saw other friends starting to come online too! Such fun – everyone IM’ing and chatting. I was hanging out with my usual beach crowd, catching up on the news and listening to the banter. It was nearly concert time. I met up with a friend and we tp’d over to the landing spot.

Ches had confided earlier that there would be a boat to take everyone across from the landing spot to the island. And there was! The island was gorgeous. For all the details about how it was created and by whom, check out What a Day! There were lots of people there. Very exciting for me – I got to meet so many people whom I’ve only met through blogs. I needed an AO that would let me jump up and down for joy! Grace gave a wonderful concert. She has a warm, rich, semi-throaty voice. It was a pleasure to hear her. All my hardware was working great too so I could hear perfectly. (So it WAS the router!!!) I pushed my rez back up to high and the water was stupendous. Shengri La may very well have the best water inworld.

It was a fantastic evening! Kudos to Chestnut & Zha for hosting it, to Shenlei Flasheart for building it, and to Grace McDunnough for the entertainment! You can see Michele, Dale and I sitting back and enjoying the evening!


YES!!!!! I’m me again!!!! I’m not a cloud!!!! I LOVE YOU KATE LINDEN!!!!!!! WHEEEEEEE!!!!!!! Look out world – here I come!!!!! (good thing I wasn’t venturing out of my hideout however – Kate confirmed my suspicion that I was indeed unclothed. oops.)

with apologies to Simon and Garfunkle:

Oh SL, you’re breaking my heart
You’re shaking my happiness daily
Oh, dear SL, I’m down on my knees
I’m begging you please, no more clouds!

Changing clothes back on Monday night
When SL did crash, I’m in such a plight
I logged back but cried out loud
When I got inworld
I found I was a cloud!

Jubilation, I’m human again!
I jump in the air and I’m laughing!
Jubilation, I’ll party tonight!
Dear Chestnut please send the TP!

Okay, so what really happened? Beats me. SL had major problems back on Monday night. Tuesday night I tried tech support. I did get my inventory back, but I still couldn’t rez, couldn’t edit my appearance, couldn’t change clothes.

Foolish me – I waited patiently, hoping someone from tech support would contact ME about my open ticket. Hah! I do 3rd level support in FL. (by the way, I’ve decided I prefer First Life to Real Life – deal with it – πŸ™‚ ) I know how these things really work. If it matters to you, follow up.

So today, on my lunch hour, I logged in and opened a chat. This time I knew that my issues were inworld and clicked the correct link. Almost immediately Kate came on the line (so to speak). I explained my issue. We went through the now familiar steps – change your preferences, check mesh details. yeah, been there, done that. Then Kate told me to tp to a region where there wasn’t much going on so there wasn’t much lag effect. She met me there. She agreed that I was a cloud. We stood there a bit as I ran through my inventory. And then Kate said: now I see your avatar. YES!! Except I still saw only a cloud. And I was definitely naked.

I told Kate that I was glad I actually still had a body, but that the naked part was a little uncomfortable. πŸ™‚ So she built a box around us! Now THAT is what I call Very Considerate! We tried re-baking me. Nothing. Then Kate had me go to the Test Female Avatar on the Help menu. And THAT worked!!!! I had a body, I had clothes!!!!! I looked nothing like myself, but I was THERE!!! Hallelujah!!!!

Kate stood by patiently while I pieced myself back together from my inventory. She had me go into Edit Appearance and do a Save As so should I lose myself again, I can recover. My hair is not exactly right (I think I had let it grow out a little from my original cut, LOL) but otherwise I seem to be me!!! Which means with any luck I can get to Shengri La Love and hear Grace McDonnough play tonight