RSS Feed

Without You

I found this pose on SL a few days back and couldn’t resist, since I’ll be able to use it for a lot of other purposes and change things up with different windlights. For now, though, during this season of life, it tells two parts to the same story, for me.

Luke is leaning against the door and represents the adoption process in general. The ones that walk away or don’t match, the ones who get chosen by their foster parents upon the declaration of interest; all those hard moments adoptive families face. While I’m touching the door, trying to keep some connection without fully losing this big piece of life. Until we get to the good part, now that we’re past that cheerful, exciting beginning stage, there’s time I just collapse, wrap an arm around myself to try to keep control, and feel like my future is right outside that door, but still lost to me right now. Not much different from a breakup, which is probably why this pose touched me so deeply.

Secondly, people don’t usually think about the toll it takes on a couple while walking through this journey. All too often we’re on different sides of the door. I can’t vouch for his feelings, but sometimes I feel so alone when that door is closed. He is more reserved and not as involved in the process. I can’t stop myself from loving some of these young ladies, their stories, at least a bit, and it’s devastating when it doesn’t work out. When we forget to work as hard on us as on everything else going on, we’re left on different sides of the door with very different feelings. We want to understand each other, but sometimes it just isn’t possible and so we just continue down the path, recommitting whenever we can. It’s so frighteningly easy to be holding the door or be the one walking away. Even a united front can end up on different sides sometimes, with different emotions and traumas caused by this whirlwind.

I thought the loss, the grief, and longing in the pose was the perfect representation right now. The middle of a beautiful story isn’t always pretty. But it’s still our story and we’re still reaching out, so that’s all that matters in the end.

Stormy Beach

Gaming Logo

 

When I’m restless I tend to lately get on in the wee hours and wander the places listed in the destination guide or where my favorite SL bloggers have taken pictures at.  One forever night I went to a recommended beach and it was so beautiful.  There are a lot of areas to the sim, Gale Storm Retreat, but after checking out the country fun areas, the beach called to me.  I haven’t been back to a beach since just before my 15th birthday, right before we moved from CA.  And I miss the call of that wild and beautiful ocean.  So this is just a “oh, pretty pictures” post.  At first I played with my windlights, since I generally leave it on CalWL, so that’s why it’s a little lighter at first.  Then I turned on local WL and my jaw dropped.  I turned up my graphics while hanging out and imagined myself into the storm.  If you’re in the mood for a very fascinating place, you must check out this sim.  Like I said, this is only the beach.  There’s a barn dance hall, some fun little buildings, and join the group (500L, but you get GG poses and more…); once you join you can rez vehicles to drive their roadway, which is the best scenic roadway I’ve found so far in SL since I became a mesh only snob.  If you’re into building your flickr feed as an SL blogger, I highly recommend you visit.  You’ll find so many themes to work with.  And on we go…

 

First, I found my first pose and started playing with WLs.  Although this is far from the best, there’s something magical about it, so I kept the picture.  Plus, check out that skirt!  I’m hardly out of it since Facepalm put it out.  Jean skirt top with a sheer skirt that is uber feminine.  As fun sized as I am, I’d need to be on Gene Simmons’ shoes to wear something this long and flowy in real life! *laugh*

Bre 5 11 18_007

 

After the Red Moments WL I hit the dusky and that’s when I realized that there was a storm experience built into the sim.  Turn to local WL, turn up graphics, and turn up your ambient noises.  *happy sigh*  This is the realization pic that there is something awesome going on…

Bre 5 11 18_018

 

I finally got everything set and was so mesmerized I forgot to change pose even.  *grin* Gives me a chance to show off the killer Letis Tattoo I found while cleaning inventory the other night.  I lost that for a few months.  Anyway, check out the lightning, the sun beams poking through, the birds flying around the little stilt house, and the crashing waves.

Bre 5 11 18_025

 

Back to the left is a cute little seating spot (which I also happen to have at home), where you can see the ramp leading to the ocean, the start of the beach, and really get a good view out into the storm clouds.

Bre 5 11 18_026

 

Down on the beach were several seating areas.  While listening and watching I felt a bit nostalgic for those annual trips to the ocean, plus, it kind of mirrored how my mind and heart have felt lately with all of the roller coaster emotions.  When I found this pose I sat back and did the same thing.  Closed my eyes, bowed my head, and listened.  I threw every fear, financial worry, and swirling emotions out into the raging storm, and I let them rage until the weight lifted.  Maybe that’s what I missed most from my youthful trips to the ocean.  I always sat and mentally threw my problems into the ocean, and let them be wild, and when I picked up the last of them at the end of the day my heart and mind would be calm again.  I forget to lay down my problems to The Maker and instead I pray for strength to keep managing or learn to control.  I forgot to turn over my emotions to Him and tried to get help to be a strong fighter, when we’re doing His work.  He is giving us the chance to find and love someone without a forever home, and is arranging for us to find her.  Thank you, Aunt Ina, for helping me remember.  I was blessed to learn about this sim at just the right time.

Bre 5 11 18_029

 

Curled up in the chair with the storm raging in front of Bre and I, I found some peace.

Bre 5 11 18_033

Asian Peanut Butter Pork Recipe by Leah

Leahs New Logo

 

 

Asian Peanut Butter Pork.  Anything with peanut butter in my house is certain to be a hit and this is no exception.  I’ve made this Asian Peanut Butter Pork in the slow cooker before, but wanted to try it in the pressure cooker.  Even better!  Serve over rice and you absolutely HAVE to serve it with Once Upon A Chef’s fabulous Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing.

 

 

Ag

 

 

Asian Peanut Butter Pork Pressure Cooker

yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 – 2 lbs pork tenderloin

1 onion, sliced in rings

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 Tbsp white wine vinegar

3 Tbsp water

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter

2 Tbsp chopped peanuts

1 lime, cut in wedges

prepared rice

PREPARATION

  1. Turn your pressure cooker to saute function and saute the pork on all sides, approximately 2-4 minutes per side.  Set aside.
  2. Add onion to the pot and saute until tender.
  3. Put remaining ingredients in the pot and add the pork.
  4. Cook 2 minutes then natural release for 15.
  5. Let the pork rest, then slice into medallions.  Serve over rice.  Top the pork with sauce, peanuts, and lime juice.

*Note: Recipe created using the Power Pressure Cooker.  Time and button functions may vary with other brands of pressure cookers.

Loving Adoption

 

Although it is such a hard process, and trauma is wrapped up in every edge, it’s absolutely beautiful. The dreams, the hopes, the ability to love another person so completely, and a new season to life.

The adoption process creates a unique bond for the prospective (and hopefully eventual) parents, and we can sometimes see that another is on this journey too. We’re part of a community that we never really expected.

In light of the intriguing traits and behaviors we can see, and totally understand, I wanted to share an incredible post by Kathy Lynn Harris,Dear Moms of Adopted Children“.

Fundraising in SL

Gaming Logo

 

Since I’ve had fundraising and donations on my mind lately, debating what may work in a small town and with my not being able to campaign in person, I’ve been a little more aware than usual about SL fundraisers.  I have attended a ton in the years I’ve been on.  Relay for Life is one of the main ones I go to on a regular basis and then one for a friend to raise money to get her trained medical assistance dog.  There are always fundraisers going on and what’s really cool is just how generous people can be.  The exchange rate for a Linden (SL currency) is 1 USD for 250L (lindens – currently; the exchange rate fluctuates).  With such a wide exchange rate, people don’t usually bat an eye at dropping 2500-5000L when it’s a touching need.    Although it’s a relatively small donation in USD, there is massive exposure, so a person can get some true help, and it’s awesome to read the stories about how the donations helped.

 

Anyway, I went to two this past week and one the week before.  One was a Sci-fi themed Relay for Life event and another was a group of designers that got a silent auction together to help a friend designer who is facing some very scary medical costs and issues.

 

This is a shop during Fantasy Faire with some donations for the American Cancer Society.  I’m absolutely fascinated by this designer’s artistic ways of bringing beauty into SL.  I bought the light systems, except for the rays of light coming down on the left side.  *scratches neck self consciously* I’m kind of obsessed with the designer right now and am slowly buying a lot of their artistic decorations to incorporate into our second lives.  Plus, this looks like the perfect place for fairies to jump from star to star or angels to hover in pure beauty while watching over their ward.  *sigh*  I absolutely love the artistic creativity in SL just as much as the generosity.

New landscaping_013

 

 

Then I hit the Sci-Fi Relay for Life.  I’ll confess and you can throw tomatoes at me (I’ll bring the spices and we’ll have a mild salsa), but I generally prefer Star Trek and The Orville-type versions and not the Star Wars kind.  I don’t know why, but just recently discovered this.  I still usually really enjoy this event and the “space” creativity is so much fun.  This year just didn’t have the same feel for me, but I’m hoping it was really successful.  I got a few fun space-based poses and props from a favorite designer that was donating part of her proceeds, but mostly I just appreciated the designs.  There were space ships flying all over, but I somehow never got a good shot.  I actually sat in the diner and used my cam to explore that area of the sim, honestly.  The designer did an amazing job on the detail.  Plus, there were wolves walking around in Next Gen uniforms and that was a community that I am not very knowledgeable and sound like a freak when I try to make small talk.  *facepalm*

5 13 18_009

 

5 13 18_010

 

 

 

I have several pictures of the event for the sick designer.  It really hit home that her body has turned against her and is killing her if she can’t get the money together to have a special procedure.  With all of my health issues, I cried a few times while reading the explanation and seeing the pics of her avi that an SL photographer took to sell for donations.  The photographer made sure that there was one very broken type, while all of the others were incredibly empowering and optimistic, and very phoenix rising from the flames.  Ugh, I’m going to have to stare at the ceiling if I write much more.  Anyway, it was a neat silent auction and the extra venue they had (which was empty because it wasn’t event time, thankfully, since I’ve been extra introverted even on SL lately) was so nostalgic, although I’m not THAT old to have caught it the first go around.  So Z, no smart mouth comments about my age and nostalgia.  I’m not over 40 yet, so don’t start. *laugh*   It did, however, remind me of all of the Soda Shop Oldies infomercials that still play now, with clips of the singers in the beautiful venues, which I watched with my parents throughout the years (and listened to).  All sexy Rat Pack-kind of beauty.  So I actually hung out at the venue for the beautiful scenery as I cleaned up some of my latest inventory.

 

First though, I couldn’t resist bidding for a live performance by a country singer on SL.  Have I mentioned that I love how I can hear singers, thespians, authors, and musicians perform around the world even when I’m in pillow city to ease the pain?  I took a moment to utilize their hay area pose to chill and cam around for some other things to bid on.

5 13 18_001

 

This is the auction area on the left, with the concert venue on the right, which is where I hung out for a few hours.

5 13 18_002

5 13 18_005

5 13 18_004

5 13 18_003

I bought a lot of 100% proceed items and straight up donated to the nearby tip jar, and kept Bre in the praying position, so we could both offer a prayer for this bright soul who is looking at a young death if this doesn’t work.  My practical part of the brain was screaming about needing to save and be humble enough to ask for help, too, but my soul needed that, especially with all of the turmoil for the last few months.

 

Gaming tends to have such a bad reputation, but I hope this helps someone change their mind and see that there are some incredibly generous people who are helping people they will never meet in person.  In what some would say is just a game.  I’m proud to be part of this other world that reflects all of us.  You can find more edgy pursuits if you want to, but there are so many incredible people to support, meet, and even appreciate their talents.  It was really beautiful to go to three fundraisers within mere days and see the amazing generosity.  Sometimes all you can see is the bad and what needs reform when you look at the world.  I’m thankful to be part of another world that is huge, but has a small village, “we look after our own”, atmosphere in some places.

Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges Recipe by Leah

Leahs New Logo

 

Potato Perfection!  The potatoes are crispy with gooey cheese, served with a creamy ranch dipping sauce.  Want to win over a crowd?  Serve these!

 

Ah

 

Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges

 

INGREDIENTS

12 slices bacon

4 lbs russet potatoes

2 Tbsp melted butter

2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

8oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

8 oz aged white cheddar cheese, shredded

1 bunch scallions, diced

your favorite ranch dip

 

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cook bacon crisp and rough chop.  Set aside. Reserve bacon fat.
  3. Cut potatoes into uniform-size wedges.  Place potatoes in a large bowl and add bacon fat, melted butter, salt, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.  Toss well to coat.
  4. Pour out potatoes onto a sheet pan in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes.  Flip and roast for another 10-15 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
  5. Cover the potatoes with white cheddar cheese, then bacon, then sharp cheddar cheese.  Place the pan back in the oven for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese.
  6. Sprinkle with scallions and serve with ranch dipping sauce.

My Brain is on Vacation

Thankfully my health held out enough to attend Miss Ash’s graduation party.  It was so beautiful to see her step into the adult world and made me want to tear up a second time when I realized we would be doing this with Kiddo pretty quickly, since they seem to be getting older.  A few years and then I better campaign local colleges well.  *grin*

 

I will be seeing a new ENT this next week to see if he can correct the previously botched septoplasty and maybe help me not get infections continually.  Maybe I’ll get lucky and he will prescribe something to get over this upper respiratory infection finally, too.  Since the day my ex back handed punched my nose I haven’t been able to take a full breath, so it’ll be amazing if they agree to fix what was done wrong years back.  I’m crossing my fingers.  I’d cross my eyes too, “…but my mama said they’d stay that way, so I can’t”.  *laugh*

 

Things went all sorts of wacky with the adoption stuff last week and I can’t go into much of it.  However, we have a few good steps in with a few girls, so we might have a chance of moving Kiddo in before school starts.  I’m trying to learn to stay a bit detached while at this stage, despite my excitement and hope, because this is just becoming killer for me emotionally.  I packed up some of the things I had out, just to help not surround me with thoughts and fears, since I do that to myself enough without help.  *laugh* We will, however, be working on her desk come holiday weekend and will hopefully have that done and moved into her room.  Then I can finish the transformation into a makeshift gym in my office.  I think it’s part of finishing my nesting, but psych was definitely not the field of medicine I was interested in, so who knows.  We get a few more things done and the house is completely ready for Kiddo (inside) and ready for her personalization of her room, even.  We’re just a bit unsure about this traveling possibility.

 

Thankfully adopting from foster care is cheap, if not free, but now that we are looking at matches as far away as Georgia, we have to figure in covering the cost to travel to meet and at least another for moving, if not another transitional visit.  That’s a lot of travel expenses!  Although we won’t be doing a few of the fundraisers that I was working on, we will soon be asking for donations for puzzle pieces!  I have three adoption sayings that are being printed and then cut into puzzles, and then we will ask (request, plead, beg…y’know, I have no pride left anymore anyway lol) for a $10 donation for a puzzle piece.  I’ll write the donor’s information on the back of a piece and I’ve raised a donation for the whole puzzle I will laminate it, and then do one of those wild frames where it’s glass on both sides and dangles down to look at, so the phrase is visible, but so are the names and tiny messages for the incredibly generous people who are helping cover these above-and-beyond costs for us.  I read up on a lot of these puzzle fundraisers and some are over $100 per piece, but I’m a small time gal and can’t imagine asking that kind of donation so I can write your name on a puzzle piece.  That one kind of boggles my mind, but massive kudos to the adopter that managed that!!  I don’t have nearly enough empowerment compared to you, madam!  Anyway, I’ll have shots of the puzzles once I get them in a few weeks and will start a little campaign for donations, although I won’t be spamming the blog for them after the first one, so don’t worry about that.  I just hope you’ll help spread the word for me and maybe if someone can afford that little bit extra, I’d be grateful to you both.  I’m trying to learn this whole funding donation site stuff, so I’ll have that all squared away in time for the puzzle piece project.  Goodness knows I pay via phone app constantly, so I plan to give a way to donate online for people like me.   *grin*

 

In the meantime, my mind is whirling on so many subjects and working through so many feelings, and I’m fighting this infection along with coming off of a medication that I discovered was the cause of a lot of the worsening of symptoms in the past 6 months.  Thankfully I love to research and advocate for my care, otherwise I might as pick out my hospital linens now.  There was no explanation for what was happening until I stumbled across this problem with the drug and the medications that are used due to my condition itself.  I’d rather have hypertension than catch hospital acquired pneumonia and die before I can unite our little family finally.  I have lots of projects, but I’m so restless I can’t stick to anything and don’t really have a lot of interest for watching shows.  It’s like the front half of my brain hamsters are on steroids and the back half are getting tossed back to the bottom of the wheel with each revolution because they’re laying there, panting and worn out, then a sudden thud that knocks the wind out of them as they slam back down.  *laugh* The words are useless unless I can paint a picture to get the idea across.  *wink*  So expect some random posts, most likely.  *grin*

 

By the way, have you ever thought that Stranger Things is kind of the new version of Goonies©?  Chunk is now a Rep and in his forties.  I guess we have to let the new generation have their own Goonies©.  I’m not giving up my original Newsies©.  It may be over a quarter of a decade, but my Kiddo is going to watch it and love the 18 year old Christian Bale, just mark my words.  LOL Yeah, one of the few things I listen to as I wander between projects.  “Never fear, Brooklyn’s here!”©