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We are very very close to formally opening the new sim Giverny.  Kaye Robianni and I have been obsessively and compulsively working on making Giverny a destination spot.  Not just a Furniture / Home store village or Garden Centre but a whole destination where you can wander and look and be. 

One day last week we both looked up from our places and said.. 'WOW' this is great!!!  And I think it is.. and has the potential for more and more beauty as we go along. Giverny will grow as we both do in skill and imagination. 

So here are some pictures to share with you of our Giverny:


































Well I am not one for making resolutions.. but I am trying to catch up on my blog here.  So much does happen sometimes.  On the Second Life front our new full sim was dropped on Christmas Eve and true to LL's never getting anything quite right.. it was a week early.  Thankfully we had copies of all our major builds so not much was lost that couldn't be easily recreated. 

The New Sim is a joint venture between Kaye Robbianni and myself.  We merged our Open sims and have created Giverny.  Modeled after Monet's Village and estate and of course Gardens.  It has been a dream of mine to recreate the landscapes flora and fauna of the impressionists.. and the big change in policy just made it sooner rather than later.  One of those Lemons into Lemonade things.

Kaye has done a marvelous and impressive job of re creating the village of Giverny, whilst I tag behind landscaping the gardens to approximate scale and layout as the original.  My excuse is that we still have snow on the ground.  But I have developed a whole line of colorful and intreging Winter time plants. Elrik Merlin, collegue in Radio Riel has commissioned me to landscape his new 1/4 sim on Rothesay which is a nice challenge.

Also with all of the changes have come a re build at Lily's World and a new shop for me there as well as a new shop in the Portland Sim called the Portland Rose and most Shocking of all... I sold the rest of Stormhold and moved the Garden Centre in Caledon to Morgaine.  So busy busy busy.  And the more things  change the more it stays the same. 

Omicron is busily making us a new home.. a Chateau this time based on a Chateau in the Le Reine Blanche area of France.  It is quite an impressive built as once again he has designed made everything from scratch including the textures and amazing sculpted window frames, doors and sculptures.
So are we up to speed yet.....????

Well no, because in Real Life.. the black dog became vicious and horrible in November with me reaching new low depths of despair that left me contemplating suicide these visits would come and depart in a rapid cycling fashion that was not 'normal' and would last for maybe 20 - 30 min or an hour.  They left me weak, tear stained and worried for my sanity, and above all else terrified.  I tried to speak to people about it but it seemed as though I wasn't being heard.  Once again my competant and confident outer shell did not help I guess.  Well, one Saturday night late on the ISC Chat I was watching as someone talked about their Flare up with Rheumatoid Arthritis and mentioned that they had been taken Methotrexate but had a very rare neurological side effect.  So I privately Im'd her and asked.. it seems she got terribly depressed... Well I had been on Methotrexate since August and when they doubled the dose in October this was when things seemed to get very bad.  I was fortunate to have an appointment at the GP for the Monday morning.. and actually when I went in I was in the middle of the grip of one of these terrible 'things'.  Long story short.. no more Methotrexate no more of these Bizarre overwhelming attacks.  The Black Dog did come to visit over Christmas but, stayed quietly under the artifical tree, looking baleful and whining quietly.... Just a normal black dog. 

The other side effect.. an extreme sensitivity to the cold has lessened but not gone.

On the world front.. I remain  a skeptic.. but hopeful for the regime change in the USA... I watch in despair at the total disregard for human life in Gaza and Israel, in Zimbawe and the Congo, and all of the other places where a child's life is but flotsam on the storm of greed and self styled importance.  And once again the victims are the innocent.. Children and Women. 

Now I am up to date.. and will try again for a modicum of consistant blogging.

My Song today.. is from Pink.. Glitter in the Air.. and is dedicated to.. OL.





VOTE.. Be Heard..



Vote For CHANGE

Vote and Be heard.. Let the world know, that the USA that people once respected ... is still there and still thinking.


Linden Labs, Life, and Plus ca change

Well, I do think it is necessary for me to talk about Linden Labs unilateral decision on Open or Void sims.  The history and full explanation of this can be read here: gigaom.com/2008/10/30/protest-threatens-linden-labs-profitability/ and you can read the numerous posts and responses on the Second Life (tm) forums here: forums.secondlife.com/forumdisplay.php  WARNING: The forum posts are painful, heart wrenching, thought provoking.. and in some cases.. well head scratching. 

Never the less.. here is what this change means to me personally and I am writing it because I know that I am not alone in this sentiment and situation.  The truth is: I love my two OS sims.  I moved Snook's Garden Centre for business reasons but, I love what I have and am able to create there.  I love being there.  Now this is sad.. because it is a virtual world.  But to me, it is my haven, my refuge and my only social net work.. My real life sucks and is at this moment  not changable for a variety of reasons.

Because I am genetically pre disposed to the joy of making and selling having come from a long line of Shopkeepers and Horse traders, part of the fun for me has always been the making and selling of flowers and plants.  I chose this medium and area because it was something I love to do in RL.. I have a passion for it.. for growing things and seeing a niche in the market a year ago.. Gardening seemed the best choice.   Besides, plants were the easiest to make.  I can not tell you how many hours and days and weekends and holidays I spend and spent learing to do what I now do.  

The results of these increases and changes.. will just about price me out of the market and out of Second Life.  I am like many others, my garden centre paid for itself and allowed me to have some fun too.  Once I even cashed in about £40 of lindens. 

Now my whole effort, my creativity, my sweat and heart could be ruined, wiped away with on stroke of the delete button.  I am really trying hard not to whine, but for fucks sake..

What really reallly gets up my nose is that Linden Labs marketed Second Life (tm) on the concept of user created content.  You could create your own virtual world.  It was first, viewing the amazing creativity of individuals, then learning how to create that kept me coming back and has me investing money.  Now the very thing that is Second Life's USP (unique selling point) is something that they are going to kill.. squash, trample.. destroy.  This makes no sense to me.. it is like 'What were you thinking?' . 

With the rest of my friends on Orcadia, Caledon and Winterfell I will be burning fires on Giggleford and Oran na Mara in protest.   I hold out a bit of hope that the light might over come the darkness here.. and that LL will step back and re-think.  But, as my dearest friend, now second life partner, Omicron Llewellyn said to me this week 'Lube up Sol, we are about to get screwed'.

and my song for today  4Blondes What's up

Twenty - five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination
And I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man
For whatever that means
And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream at the top of my lungs
What's going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what's going on?
Ooh, ooh ooh
And I try, oh my god do I try
I try all the time, in this institution
And I pray, oh my god do I pray
I pray every single day
For a revolution
And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream at the top of my lungs
What's going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what's going on?
Twenty - five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination


CHANGE..

Ok I am going to rant here.  I am going to rant about change.. because as my blog title implies I am a tad cynical nothing ever really changes.  But you know It must change for America.. I am a US citizen who lives in Europe and I have watched the rapid degeneration of my country happen over the last 8 years..Watched in horror at 9-11, watched in abject fear at the Patriot Act and the subsequent stripping of civil liberties, AND watched in shock when my fellow americans.. agreed with it. 

The subtext on my blog title is 'You can't get there from here'  means exactly that.. We can not continue the same path and get where we should be, could be, or want to be.  Now that is a collective we.. but it is true for me personally too.... 
So Vote and Vote smart
I have..
shake off your fear.. and change




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ALIVE..

Avoidance behaviour is a speciality of mine.  But I have been noticing that all of my friends except one have been avoiding talking about politics and the economy.  Is this because we think if we ignore it it will go away?  I don't think so, I think it is a process of shock and awe
as the economic world as we know it prepares to crash around our ears, maybe, we think.  But Maybe not.  Its sort of like the millenium bug.  Remember?  Doom and Gloom the end of the world as we know it .. and then.. it didn't happen. Have too many incidents like this happened in the past that we are numb.. and don't pay attention?  These are rhetorical questions.  But I have to say I saw it coming, heard it predicted for years.  But sort of watched with a corner of my vision and got on with the how and now. 

I think there is much to be hopeful for.. I hope that this is a close call.. I do not want us to fall into utter chaos.. I do hope that we have and Awakening of values to things like compassion, poverty, and what is really enough.  It seems as though my bain of existance, my constant  whine of never having any money might just become a blessing.  I have nothing to loose.  Nothing really changes for me in these turbulent times except my Cassandra flopping in frustration saying 'I told you so, you no listen'.

What troubles me is that I have watched the stock markets these past 10 years or so and found it to be completely based on emotion and not on fact, assets and bottom line.  Is this the new trend.. the 21st century economy of ideas? Or are we viewing the lack of critical thinking skills that seem apparent in many these days.  BIG SIGH here.. you see.. pondering these things makes no difference.. and I think that HOW and NOW still is the watch words.. What is Now and How do we do cope..

The song for today:  Jackson Browne..'Alive in the World'
I want to live in the world, not inside my head
I want to live in the world, I want to stand and be counted
With the hopeful and the willing
With the open and the strong
With the voices in the darkness
Fashioning daylight out of song
And the millions of lovers
Alive in the world

I want to live in the world, not behind some wall
I want to live in the world, where I will hear if another voice should call
To the prisoner inside me
To the captive of my doubt
Who among his fantasies harbors the dream of breaking out
And taking his chances
Alive in the world

To open my eyes and wake up alive in the world
To open my eyes and fully arrive in the world

With its beauty and its cruelty
With its heartbreak and its joy
With it constantly giving birth to life and to forces that destroy
And the infinite power of change
Alive in the world

To open my eyes and wake up alive in the world
To open my eyes and fully arrive in the world
To open my eyes and wake up alive in the world
To open my eyes and fully arrive in the world

Something touched me.....

This poem was suggested on a thread of conversation in Second Life on the Independent State of Caledon Chat I went to the link and read.. and became utterly charmed and touched by the writings of Ravindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941) a Bengali poet who was the first Asian Nobel Prize laureate in 1913.Ravindranath Tagore.

So by a chance glance at a chat screen I became acquainted with a lovely, haunting poem that surrounds me and grips me and here it is below:

And the song for today  "Come Away with me" by Norah Jones



(Excerpts from The Gardener by Ravindranath Tagore)
I try to wreath all the morning, but the flowers slip and they drop out.
You sit there watching me in secret through the corner of your prying eyes.
Ask those eyes, darkly planning mischief, whose fault it was.

I try to sing a song, but in vain.
A hidden smile trembles on your lips; ask of it the reason of my failure.
Let your smiling lips say on oath
how my voice lost itself in silence like a drunken bee in the lotus

It is evening, and the time for the flowers to close their petals.
Give me leave to sit by your side,
and bid my lips to do the work that can be done in silence
and in the dim light of stars.

 


Do not keep to yourself the secret of your heart, my friend!
Say it to me, only to me in secret.
You who smile so gently, softly whisper, my heart will hear it, not my ears.

The night is deep, the house is silent, the birds' nests are shrouded with sleep.
Speak to me through hesitating tears, through faltering smiles,
through sweet shame and pain, the secret of your heart!

 


Speak to me, my love! Tell me in words what you sang.
The night is dark. The stars are lost in clouds. The
wind is sighing through the leaves.
I will let loose my hair. My blue cloak will cling round me like night. I
will clasp your head to my bosom; and there in the sweet loneliness murmur
on your heart. I will shut my eyes and listen. I will not look in your face.
When your words are ended, we will sit still and silent. Only the trees will whisper
in the dark.
The night will pale. The day will dawn. We shall look at each other's eyes and go
on our different paths.
Speak to me, my love! Tell me in words what you sang

 


Love, my heart longs day and night for the meeting with you
-for the meeting that is all-devouring death.
Sweep me away like a storm; take everything I have;
break open my sleep and plunder my dreams. Rob me of my world.
In that devastation, in the utter nakedness of spirit, let us become one in beauty.
Alas for my vain desire! Where is this hope for union except in thee, my God?

 


Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.

 


Then finish the last song and let us leave.
Forget this night when the night is no more.
Whom do I try to clasp in my arms? Dreams can never be made captive.
My eager hands press emptiness to my heart and it bruises my heart.

 


Hands cling to hands and eyes linger on eyes: thus
begins the record of our hearts.
It is the moonlight night of March; the sweet smell of henna
is in the air; my flute lies on the earth neglected and your garland of flowers
is unfinished.
This love between you and me is simple as a song.

Your veil of the saffron colour makes my eyes drunk.
The jasmine wreath that you wove me thrills to my heart like praise.
It is a game of giving and withholding, revealing and screening again; some
smiles and some little shyness, and some sweet useless struggles.
This love between you and me is simple as a song.

No mystery beyond the present; no striving for the impossible;
no shadow behind the charm; no groping in the depth of the dark.
This love between you and me is simple as a song.

We do not stray out of all words into the ever silent; we do not raise our
hands to the void for things beyond hope.
It is enough what we give and we get.
We have not crushed the joy to the utmost to wring from it the wine of pain.
This love between you and me is simple as a song.

 


Your questioning eyes are sad. They seek to know my meaning
as the moon would fathom the sea.
I have bared my life before your eyes from end to end, with
nothing hidden or held back. That is why you know me not.
If it were only a gem, I could break it into a hundred pieces
and string them into a chain to put on your neck.
If it were only a flower, round and small and sweet, I could pluck it
from its stem and set it in your hair.
But it is a heart, my beloved. Where are its shores and its bottom?
You know not the limits of this kingdom, still you are its queen.
If it were only a moment of pleasure it would flower in an easy smile,
and you could see it and read it in a moment.
If it were merely a pain it would melt in limpid tears, reflecting its
inmost secret without a word.
But it is love, my beloved.
Its pleasure and pain are boundless, and endless its wants and wealth.
It is as near to you as your life, but you can never wholly know it.




Well I haven't even mentioned the Garden Centre... But I bought two void sims (open sims) in August with my cousin Otenth's region of Orcadia.  And my companion Omicron Llewellyn and I set out to open a Larger garden centre in Second Life (tm). 

We are opening this weekend.  The soft 'Preview' was last night and went very well.  I can not thank Omicron enough for all of his help and builds and support.  It looks fabulous. 

Autopilotpatty Poppy has a photo exhibition in our beautiful Perbeatium Conservatory. 
You really should stop by and see everything.  My goal is to have a graceful beautiful place full of lovely and unique plants, builds and accessories. 

Additionally, We have the beautiful and really best roses in Second Life (tm).  Omi and I have expanded into the Wedding flower area.. I think we make the most beautiful bouquets of roses.  Come by this weekend.. enjoy the music, the scenery and the the beauty!! OH the song for today?  Lakme of course 'the Flower Duet'.







Sorrow

The Song for today:
Never been much of an Electric music fan.. but this pretty much says, sounds like it all.
Well this is not about the world.. this is about me.. (though in hindsight it could be the world at the moment).  I have Sjogren's syndrome.  It's and unusual auto-immune disease like Lupus that affects your eyes, mouth, mucous membranes, kidneys and sometimes lungs, causes joint pain and severe fatigue.

I have been living with this in RL for quite awhile now.. and have learned.. that in my energy account.. with my body I have no overdraft..
I go directly to.. bankrupt..with long term recovery.  So I use the button method.. each day in my mind I have 10 buttons... to spend on energy somedays it takes 10 buttons just to get out of bed.  Many days it only takes a half of a button.  But, all through the day, I am assesssing .. how many buttons do I have left.. how long is the day.. what else must I do?  I am in an energy crisis, the buttons are gone and the overdraft is close to bankruptcy..

I just feel so overwhelmed at the moment.. by juggling all of this.. buttons, energy.. fatigue, pain, black dog.. sometimes it just seems more feasible to go back to the .0003 before the big bang.. or perhaps.. be the big bang.. in my case though it would probably more of a small squish.

How did I ever get to the place where, the only refuge afforded me is in this electronic world of binary meaning?

Today's song : hmm no song today.. not even a low hum.