Log 4t: Home Is Where the Plum Is

It was pretty late at night when Elder returned home from Plum Day celebrations. Everyone had already gone to bed, except for his dad Dia and sister Easter Lily.

“Heya son,” said Dia, “I’m just making your sister a snack. Stay and visit with us for a while – tell us about your trip!”

Elder was happy-exhausted and talking a hundred miles a minute. It was a bit hard to make out some of the details, but the overall takeaway was that Plum Day was “totally awesome.”

It's really
“And you can just, like, do anything you want!”

Easter had some news of her own to share (which Elder was not at all surprised by – they’d been staying in an adjoining room and you might say the house has ‘thin walls’) – she and Jarrett were expecting their first baby!

Aww
Hello, little niece or nephew!

Finally pooped out, Elder told his family good night and went to sleep.

The next morning Elder woke up in his own bed, just like he’d done a thousand times before. Normally he wasn’t one for angst, but this morning something just felt off. Something important was missing, and it hurt his heart.

Serious face is serious.
Have I made a huge mistake?

Like the tides he found himself drawn towards Edelweiss. He could always count on his sister to maintain clarity. Of anyone he knew, she was the most in tune with herself and her surroundings. You know those times when you’re in a room and the air just feels wrong all of a sudden – you can’t put your finger on it, but you feel like something’s about to happen? Growing up, whenever he felt that way he could just look over at her and the answer would be there in her face. So he really leaned on her now.

What a gal.
It takes more than a little existential crisis to rattle this gal.

Ede had him sit and eat and tell her all about it.

v
Ede: “So, let’s have it. What’s going on?”

“I can’t stay here,” Elder declared hopelessly.

Ede smiled. “I know.”

Elder: "It's like I was just on the verge of a great discovery and it was ripped from my grasp!"
Elder: “It’s like I was just served a perfect dish and the plate was ripped away before I could taste it!”

You see, Elder wasn’t ready to come back; he wasn’t done “living” yet. Ede suspected as much.

c
Ede: “Then you should go and find that chef.”
x
Wait, seriously? I can do that?

“So,” Ede posed, “how do we get you where you need to go?”

Elder told Ede about an experimental Leadership program he’d heard about that was looking for more male participants. Another person who was at Plum Day had left for the program just about the time he arrived. It had sounded like the perfect interim self-exploration kind of opportunity for him. There was still one day left to apply to the program. Ede sat with Elder as he completed his application. He had to rush, so he basically poured his innards out for the application committee without much filtering at all.

m
Elder to Ede: “If you were on this committee you’d say, ‘Overshare much, Wolff?‘”

Being so open about his living situation had left him feeling a bit embarrassed, but also, somehow, it gave him a sense of closure ~ whatever happened next, it wouldn’t be because he held anything back! And that was a welcome change.

To take his mind off the anticipation of waiting for an answer, Elder called his neighbor and good friend Landon over – he knew he’d want to catch up on all the juicy happenings at Plum Day. Plus, he kind of missed the guy.

Landon: "So what was it like, all those people gathered - there musta been woohoo, right??"
Landon: “So what was it like, all those people – there musta been woohoo, right??”
Elder: "No, there wasn't any woohoo, but we sure did talk about it a lot!"
Elder: “No, there wasn’t any woohoo, but we sure did talk about it a lot!”

Landon was kind of obsessed with woohoo – it’s just the age, I think. Elder told him about some of the conversations he’d had with folks at the Houseful of Hippies. His argument with Forrest that turned into a friendship, and his heart-to-heart with CathyTea about waiting for love.  Landon thought he heard an exploitable spark there, which he shamelessly used to turn the chess game to his favor.

“Oh, she the one with the brown hair, who’s standing right over there?” fibbed Landon.

Elder: "Right over wh--"
Elder: “Right over wh–“

A few hours and several chess games later, Elder got the email he’d been waiting for.

“You are receiving this because your application for the social experiment–The Desert Leaders–has been selected. Congratulations. You are going to be a part of something much larger than yourself.”

He read and reread that first part; his heart was beating so fast! And then he read on, and it felt as though it were being squeezed by a big fist.

Elder: "What the plum?!!"
Elder: “What the plum!!”

If he wanted to keep his spot in the program, he would have to leave tomorrow.. and arrive in his Young Adult form.

Trouble is, he’d miscalculated the time left before his birthday and he wasn’t actually going to be old enough in time. Elder was crestfallen.  But his sister wasn’t giving up just yet.

Ede: "Come on -- have you already forgotten our last birthday?"
Ede: “Dude, come on — have you already forgotten our last birthday?”

Elder had forgotten. I mean, of course he hadn’t forgotten, forgotten — he and Ede had skipped out on an unwanted birthday party by making their own cake early. They even got to miss that day of school. It was awesome!

Wait, can I?
“Wait, could I?”

He could do that again – of course he could!

Elder hopped up from the desk and got to work while Ede and Landon stood guard.

I'm taking my fate into my own hands.
I’m taking my fate into my own hands.

Ede and Landon had a rocky past between them, but things had mostly worked themselves out. The two were able to joke and get along again, at least. Poor sweet Landon still carries a torch for her, but (so far) Ede has managed to restrain her romantic impulses.. at least, I *usually* manage to cancel the worst of them in time. ;D

Keep it in your pants Ede, geez.
Heads up, love magnets! Cake time!

Most people would extend their youth to cling to life, but this would be the 2nd time that Elder Wolff accelerated his own aging process to “catch” his. With his two closest friends beside him, he leaned in and blew his past a kiss goodbye, and said hello to his future.

One creative, foodie, geek - to go!
One Creative, Foodie, Geek – to go!

There was no packing that needed doing, since he hadn’t actually unpacked, but Elder did have one last item he needed to resolve before he left.

Elder didn’t know how to tell his mom that he was leaving. He didn’t want to hurt her. It seemed so selfish, with one pregnant relative and another nearing the end of his life, that he would even consider going away again already. But somehow, everything happening at the house right now made it feel even more important that he go. He could only hope that she would come to understand.

.
Elder: “Hey Mom, got a minute?”

Elder meant to somehow articulate all of this when he sat down to talk with Cooper, but what came out instead reflected the other thing he had on his mind right now.

“Did you ever regret being with dad, instead of someone closer to your own age?” Elder asked his mom.

“Not for a minute,” answered Cooper without hesitation.

“Not even now, that he’s so old and you’re still so young?” He continued, troubled, “I mean, was it worth it, knowing it has to end and you’ll be alone?”

My little boy isn't so little any more.
My little boy isn’t so little any more.

Cooped regarded her son closely before answering. “Your father is one of a kind, Elder; there will never be another like him. He is everything I ever wanted or needed in a friend, or in a husband. He gave me you! And your sisters, and soon, a beautiful grandbaby. I won’t be *alone* and neither will any of you, ever, because of that.”

Elder seemed to be hearing her, so Coop went on, “You might not know this, but your grandmother was much older than your grandfather, too. Yet they loved more in the short time they were together than most people who spend their whole lives together do. It’s hard when that time ends, but that doesn’t erase the good parts.”

something is clearing bothering him, but what?
Someone inherited his grandpa’s sexy resting face! 😮

“Besides,” she continued with a smirk, “I don’t know if you noticed, but I can be a bit of a bear sometimes. Dia never made me feel like less of a person for it. If anything, he celebrated my faults in a way that let me work past them instead of having them define me — I wouldn’t be the same person without that! Elder, you come from a long line of incredible men and there is nothing I would do to go back and change any of it.

But to answer your original question: love, real love, follows its own schedule. And it’s always worth it.”

Cooper sensed that there was more to her son’s soul-searching than random curiosity, but she wasn’t one to press matters of the heart. If there was anything she’d learned during her life with his father, it was patience.

Her words had resonated with Elder, she didn’t need to know the details to know that. She knew she could never replace his sister Edelweiss as a general confidant, but Elder’s own heart aligned more with his mother’s in this arena.

But, oh crap, Elder still hadn’t actually told Cooper what he needed to tell her.

“Mom, I have to tell you something.”

Coop smirked. “Oh? Go ahead, then”

Elder felt like a steaming pile of poop at this point. Cooper let him squirm for a minute before giving him a break.

“I know you’re going away again, son,” Cooper confessed. “It’s okay. I already talked with your sister about it while you were away at the festival.”

“Really? Why didn’t you say anything??”

“I figured you’d tell me when you were ready,” shrugged Coop.

“Oh god,” laughed Elder, “I’m still not sure I’m ready to tell you, even now that you already know. I can’t believe you let me squirm like that!”

There's that smile I know and love
“Who do you think taught your father all those terrible jokes?”

Coop laughed too. “Come, hurry and give your mother a hug. Your dad made you some sandwiches for the road.”

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Log 4s: What Happens Next

If ever one puzzled over what happens after the Happy Ending™, one need only read a legacy blog. The answer is both wondrous and mundane.

It’s remaining stalwart, even after your third pan of burnt French toast.

Garrett: "Are you sure? I think everyone would be OK with it if we just ate cereal."
Garrett: “I think everyone would be OK with it if we just ate cereal or something.”

It’s treating each new day like a gift, and learning to find the good in the bad.

Dia: "You know, I thought it was weird at first, but salad makes a pretty good breakfast!"
Dia: “You know, I thought it was weird at first, but salad makes a pretty good breakfast!”

And, of course, it’s plenty of nookie.

Newlyweds. *sigh*
Newlyweds. *sigh*

That question of “what happens next” has been on Dia’s mind a lot. Approaching the end of his days has made him even more introspective. On the issue of facing his own mortality, Dia has been drawing comfort from poetry.

.

“Unable they that love — to die
For Love reforms Vitality
Into Divinity” – Emily Plum

What’s troubling Dia isn’t fear of dying, though; he worries for the burdens of those who yet remain behind. He’s been really trying to make arrangements, but Cooper’s just not having any of it.

Dia: "So I've been writing a list for you, for when the time comes, and.."
“So I’ve been writing a list for you, and..”

“I think we should talk about what happens next,” Dia said.

“What do you mean?” asked Coop.

“Well, I won’t be around forever,” he answered, “and I need to know you won’t have to take care of everything by yourself.”

“Dia, I’ll be fine, and you have plenty of time left. We don’t need to talk about this.”

You act like your age bar is twinkling or something!
“You act like your age bar is twinkling or something!”

“We do need to,” he argued. “Easter is married now, and Jarrett will take good care of her. But –“

“I know what you’re going to say,” Coop interrupted. “Ede doesn’t want a family. She’ll probably never even settle down!”

Oh well. Nice try, Dia.

Lately Coop has really been ragging on Ede – maybe because she’s a Family sim and Ede just wants to experience things without strings right now. Dia is clearly in Ede’s corner, but Cooper is going to need convincing.

I'm not gonna talk to her. Are you gonna talk to her?
(I’m not gonna talk to her, though. She has 9 Fitness!)

Normally, Ede’s brother Elder would have been here to help smooth things out, but he was actually away from the house at a festival he’d heard about online called “Plum Day.”  Nobody was quite sure what it meant, but he knew that a lot of kids his age from all over were going to be there. Elder wanted to go so badly, but felt guilty about leaving his sister behind. It was only by Ede’s incessant “encouragement” that he finally decided to go for it.

Ede: "Ok. If I beat you this time, you're going to Plum Day."
Ede: “Ok. If I beat you this time, you’re going to Plum Day.”
Ede: "Ha! Back your bags, Wolff -- Plum Day awaits!"
Ede: “Ha! Pack your bags, Wolff — Plum Day awaits!”

The two had promised to keep in touch via email. Ede sat down at her computer and checked to see if he’d responded to her message yet.

<< “Yo, E! How’s Plum Day treating you?  xoxo – other E” >>

“Hey sis! It’s been so awesome getting out of the house and meeting new people! The hostess, Cathy, is really neat, I think you would like her. We had a party last night and everyone wore black and white except me, oops. But I still had a blast – I think I could really get used to this whole “hippie” thing. Wish you were here. But I know you’d probably just be “uncomfortable.” 😉  How’s Dad? Love you, Elder.”

Ede typed up a reply.

“Hey bro,
Dad is doing good. Him and mom have been arguing about the usual stuff.  Oh, he finally got a promotion! Of course all he wants to do now is paint, lol – he’s such a dabbler. Remind you of anyone?? 😉 Glad you’re having fun out there in the big world! Gonna be hard to come back to our little madhouse, huh? -Ede.”

Elder must’ve been sitting at the computer then too, because he wrote right back.

“Lol @ dad the dabbler. And no fair teasing – I make a mean BLT now! Sorry mom is still being stubborn. She’ll come around. Oops, I’d better go – there’s going to be another party tonight and this time I’m gonna dress the part! -Elder
P.S. Just in case you didn’t hear me last time, I LOVE YOU! :P”

Ede chuckled and quickly fired off a reply. Huge font.

“I LOVE YOU TOO, ELDER WOLFF!
-Your Loving Sister Edelweiss”

Ede got up to go wash for dinner. As she caught her reflection in the bathroom mirror, she smiled. She really was truly, deeply happy that her brother was out there somewhere, living life. He was such a bright star and it didn’t seem right that he couldn’t shine – isn’t that one of those fundamental freedoms that all beings should have access to, after all?

You shine wherever you are, Ede. <3
You shine wherever you are, Ede. ❤

Note: You can find both Edelweiss and Plum Day Elder on the Gallery – search for Origin ID “Ehhwot”

Log 4r: Mister Easter

It’s bleeding-eye o’clock on the day of Jarrett and Easter’s wedding and there’s a strange ruckus coming from the back of the garden.

I don’t even want to look.

But I have to.

That’s what I’m here for, right?

*hack, sputter*
*hack, wheeze*

Hmm, perhaps “Jojo” isn’t feeling well. Do cowplants get hairballs?

*gurgle, drool*
*gurgle, drool*

Come on, Jojo, stop being so dramatic. I’m sure Easter will still pay you plenty of attention after the wedding.

Good morning, groom.
*HURRRK!*

So that’s where the groom went. *headdesk*   This is gonna be a long day, I can already tell.

Rather than wait for his obituary, I should probably properly introduce Jarrett Palacios to you now: He’s Cheerful (when he’s not just been spit up by a cowplant), a Loner, and a Bro. His aspiration is Angling Ace – that’s an easy one! He has black hair, medium/light skintone. He suffers from squint-eye squarejaw something fierce. Most of the time he doesn’t even look like he has eyes, but he does and they’re a nice shade of brown. He’s got a sweet bod under that frumpy sweater, except he seems to be missing his butt. But that’s okay, ’cause Easter has a booty to span the ages!

Chin up, man - this is the first day of the rest of your life!
Chin up, bro – this is the first day of the rest of your life!

Sorry for treating you like a piece of meat, there, Jarrett. I usually only do it once, unless I develop an unhealthy fixation on your pixels. Which won’t happen here, I don’t think. Pretty sure. Ahem.

Anyway, sent the poor fellow fishing so I could begin wedding preparations.

That's right, you just stay waayyy over there for a while.
Honestly, Jarrett is great. Very forgiving and easy to take care of.

Despite an awkward and slimy morning, Easter and Jarrett’s wedding went remarkably well!

We decorated a bit. Bought the quickie wedding “room” since I’d already demolished ours. A throw-away tiki bar. A piano so we could have proper entertainment.

The wedding party began and the bride and groom actually changed clothes like they’re supposed to – a family first! Easter almost left for work right then (we’d just started her in the painter career, since she Loves Art and could stand a few danger-free hours away from the house) – we canceled that in time, but she had already changed out of her wedding dress. Oof! So we had to rush and find something in the dresser. But, she looked so radiant afterward that I can hardly muster a complaint, now! *wipes away a tear*

Easter wanted to see the new holiday tree thinger, too. ;)
Easter wanted to see the new holiday tree thinger, too – they’re both glowing!

The groom didn’t look too shabby, either. 😉

You said you were only going to do that once.
Jarrett: “You said you were only going to do that once.”

Oops. Don’t worry, that was probably just a fluke. I think. Hey, look – it’s your almost-wife!

See what I mean? He has a certain confidence, or something. Oops, there I go again..
He has a certain confidence, or something. Compelling..  

Sometimes I worry that I’ve pushed these two together, but when I see how they look at one another it puts my mind at ease. Easter puffs Jarrett up – he feels strong and has purpose around her. And she simply adores him.

No cold feet here! :)
No cold feet here! 🙂

While the lovebirds spent some time socializing, Dia started making the wedding cake himself. He’d been working on his culinary skills recently (Renaissance Sims are such dabblers!) so he was happy for a chance to show off his progress.

Dia wore a smile filled with pride and satisfaction for this. Very cute.
Dia wore a smile filled with pride and satisfaction the whole time. Very cute.

It took some work, but the cake came out quite nice!

Pretty - tiered cake with wedding topper!
Pretty – tiered cake with wedding topper!

I know, I did things a bit backwards here with the recept-ing before the wed-ing. But I wanted to make sure all the necessary parts were there before I clicked the great combiner arch. I’m getting better, really! At this rate we’ll have a perfect wedding by about generation 14. I *might* still be alive by then.

The guests were having a grand time! Elder played bartender for a host of uncles, neighbors, and townies.

Coop still yells at Dandelion whenever she sees him, lol.
Coop still yells at Dandelion whenever she sees him, lol.

The “entertainer” was actually entertaining. Ede, whose whims were filled with hugs and kisses, seemed particularly impressed.

Alas, it was not meant to be for this culled townie.
Alas, it was not meant to be for this culled townie.

When all the talking and eating and drinking were done, we took the final steps up to the wedding arch. For a long, aching moment Easter was the only one to take notice.

. . .
. . .

But it was alright! People were just taking their sweet time moseying on over. The guests eventually, finally, seated themselves and the ceremony began.

By this point, Dia the loner had had quite enough. So many people!
By this point, Loner Dia had seen quite enough people. And that one stole his seat! ;D

Promises were uttered,

.. and I will treasure you all of my days.
.. and I will treasure you all of my days.

Rings were exchanged,

. . .
. . .

And the covenant was sealed with a kiss.

<3

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Easter Lily Wolff! 😉

Now go out and live, you crazy kids you!
Now go out and live, you crazy kids you!

I suppose all of this makes it seem like Easter is the next heir. I don’t think that’s going to be the case, though. For whatever reason, Dia is her go-to person when she’s in the mood to yell at someone, so their relationship is just barely in the green. I guess with the cowplant gulping folks left and right, anything is possible, but for now I’m just loving her while she’s here. 🙂


Note: You can download Easter Lily Wolff on the Gallery – search for Origin ID “Ehhwot.”

Log 4q: Sharing Cake and Kisses

With Jarrett moving in soon, we have all been able to breathe a sigh of relief that Easter will have someone to keep a focused eye on her. Mom and pop wouldn’t have to worry so much now, so the two of them began to refocus on their careers.

Cooper made Spy Captain, honed her body into a fine-tuned machine and is just waiting for her job performance to increase enough for that next promotion.

Foxy lady runs to work in heels.
Foxy lady runs to work in heels.

I’m confident that she will reach the top of her career and be able to retire comfortably, and spend her twilight years getting to know her (hopefully, maybe, someday) grandchildren. Being a Family Oriented sim, she would really love that.

Dia has become a “Fan Favorite,” and is still writing Smoky Steel novels in his spare time. For now he’s happy to work and work, but retirement isn’t out of the question — we’ll just keep seeing how he feels. 🙂

Dia's not in a hurry to master Author. If it happens, it happens!
Dia’s not in a hurry to master Author. If it happens, it happens!

Having been left to their own devices for a while now, Elder and Edelweiss have become fast friends. Mornings before school are just for them. They play, swim, talk and eat together.

Elder's slightly bummed that sis took the last BLT.
Elder’s bummed that sis took the last BLT, though. Cake is for noobs! ;D

Today was kind of a big deal for the two of them, as they’d both be moving on to the next life stage: Elder was about to enter his tumultuous teens, just as Ede would be leaving hers behind to become a young adult.

Not keen on parties, they’d worked it out between the two of them that if they were to share a birthday cake this morning, they’d be able to bypass the necessity of a birthday party and get out of going to school today, gaining a long weekend out of the deal.  That sounded just perfect, so that’s what they did. 🙂

Edelweiss went first.

I wish to be surrounded by nature, with easy access to romance - but only on my terms!
I wish to be surrounded by nature, with easy access to romance – but only on my terms!
Happy birthday, Ede!
Happy birthday, Ede! Loves Outdoors, Loner, and.. 

Edelweiss gained the “Self Assured” trait, which is something she’s been since she was a small child. I couldn’t think of anything more fitting for her, really.

Almost time for school, eek! Ede quickly placed the second set of candles atop the cake, and Elder took his turn.

No time for wishing, the bell's about to ring!
No time for wishing, the bell’s about to ring!
Arooooo!
Arooooo!

Elder, already a Geek, gained a fabulous hairdo and the Foodie trait, which had me laughing since he’d been really eyeballing his sister’s sandwich hard just moments prior. Funny how that happens. He rolled the opposite aspiration to his Serial Romantic sister: Elder wants to find his Soulmate. Being so close, I wonder whether and how they’ll influence one another. Their long philosophical conversations will likely develop a new tangent, at least. 🙂

I think they’re both lovely, naturally.

Three day weekend, baby! 
Three day weekend, baby!

With Friday secured, I let the fam relax and work on whatever inconsequential fun things they wanted to for the day. Once afternoon rolled around, we called up Jarrett and invited him over. He was happy to move right in, which should make the whole wedding undertaking a bit less stressful. 🙂

Easter was really excited to see her betrothed. She had something she’d been wanting to share with him for a while now!

Jarrett: "Hi Easter. You said you had something to share?"
Jarrett: “Hi Easter. You said you wanted to share something with me?”
adsf
Easter: “I do. This.. is Jojo!”

Not exactly what he had in mind.

adf
Jarrett: “Whoa! Is ‘Jojo’ dangerous?”         Easter: “No, Jojo’s nice – go ahead, pet her!” 

Jarrett reluctantly put out his hands and made to gently pat Jojo’s “face.”

I don't know about this..
Jarrett: “I don’t know about this..”

See, it’s okay! Jojo likes you! What do you think?

Heh..
Jarrett: “Hehe, I like Jojo too.”
*kiss*
*kiss*
Jarrett: "Maybe we shouldn't. She's right there."
Jarrett: “Maybe we shouldn’t. She’s right there..”

Jarrett was feeling uneasy about kissing in front of the cowplant, but he couldn’t exactly deny his girl, even with a big carnivorous Jojo drooling in his ear.

I can't say no to those big green eyes..
I can’t say no to those big green eyes.. of course I want to kiss her.
Pretend you're someplace else, just the two of you.
Pretend you’re someplace else, just the two of you.
Jojo is not impressed.
Jojo is not amused.

So, things have (mostly) looked up! And I think it’s going to be a bit easier from here on out. We can get back on track and stuff. Do the things again. Yay!

Log 4p: The Squeaky Wheel

Easter Lily has become a bit of a handful.

The heart wants what it wants.. and it wants it NOW!
The heart wants what it wants.. and it wants it NOW!

It’s starting to affect everyone in the house. Because of her cowplant obsession, we’ve been afraid to leave the lot. The result is a cooped up mess of uncomfortable, tense sims.

Dianthus, though he remains a staunch supporter of his daughter’s right to self-determination, has borne the brunt of many of her outbursts. Hoping to prevent their relationship from degrading any further, he turned to books for help. Such as this one, “Learning To Love Her Just the Way She Is.”

Dia: "It doesn't say anything in here about learning to love getting yelled at!"
Dia: “It doesn’t say anything in here about learning to love getting yelled at!”

Having already read all the other books in the house, Elder and Edelweiss have been attempting to distract themselves with bad television.. but the bad television is really bad.

asdklja
(TV): “Will Sargeant Slate pepper spray another hungry homeless child? Find out next on ‘Dirty Cop BBQ Bunker!'” 
Elder: "I'm just gonna turn this off."
Attaboy, Elder, turn that infernal thing off.
What kind of crap is this?
Still seething! ;D 

I must admit, I do love me some Ede scowls. I should print ’em up and make a flip book as a gift to myself.

Anyhow, back to the problem at hand. Easter is currently monopolizing all the things with her flip-floppy madness. It’s time to entrust her care to someone else, methinks. Someone better suited to soothe those misfiring synapses; to lubricate her machine to keep the parts from scraping and fill her tortured dreams with sweet & fluffy things; to love her in all her uniqueness as his one guiding purpose. And we happen to know just the person.

Coop: "Can you come over, please? Easter.. needs you."
Coop: “Can you come over, please? Easter.. needs you.”
The writhing spirit of Flarn is strong with Easter.
The writhing pull of Flarn is strong.
What a difference love makes. <3
What a difference love makes. ❤

Ah yes, there we go. With that confirmation, Easter’s truest and most consistent desire has been given the greenlight: we’ll go ahead and permit her to marry her childhood sweetheart. We just need to let Jarrett decide whether he’s ready to take the leap or not, real quick-like.

Easter showered and prettied up first. She put on her lucky party dress. And then, quite confidently, she took a knee.

Easter: "I seem to be changing a lot, but my feelings for you never change."
Easter: “I seem to be changing a lot. But my feelings for you never change, Jarrett.”
Easter: "Please say you'll be my husband."
Easter: “Please say you’ll be my husband.”
informed consent
A strange ring from a strange girl. ❤

He consented, and he looks truly happy, so my guilt is assuaged. ;D

With the engagement a success, we’ll ask him to move in and plan a wedding for “soon.” Got some birthdays to handle first, but, welcome to the madhouse, Jarrett Palacios!

Log 4o: Crazy For Cowplant

Despite her diagnosis, we haven’t really seen anything terribly different in Easter Lily yet. When Digitalis was given “the gift” he actually seemed to notice. He had almost immediate panic attacks. It was sad and disturbing. But for the most part, Easter’s been happy as a clam.

Why worry? Life is grand!
Why worry? Life is grand!

In fact, a lot of who she has always been makes so much more sense, now. She’s always been a little intense and outside of convention. She’s so personable though, she remains a delight. Her fearlessness and exuberance for living are gifts. She does what she wants, no apologies necessary!

I mean yeah, it's kind of weird that she keeps painting the same thing over and over..
I mean yeah, it’s kind of weird that she keeps painting the same pony-thing over and over, but that’s not hurting anyone.

That said, we did need to consider the implications for the future. Did we need to change our habits, or adjust our living space? Would she be able to handle the stress of possibly running the family someday?

Dianthus, naturally, took the thoughtful approach.

Dia: "I don't think we should use the term 'insane.' It just has so many negative connotations. People who don't even know her are likely to treat her differently if we refer to her with such a label."
Dia: “I don’t think we should use the term ‘insane.’ It just has so many negative connotations. People who don’t even know her are likely to treat her differently if we refer to her with such a label.”

Cooper, perhaps the more realistic Wolff given her intimate knowledge of the dark side of Sim nature, prepared for combat, just in case.

Let them come. I was born for this.
Let them come. I was born for this.

And the sibs didn’t pay the whole thing much mind at all.

Elder: "I don't see what the big deal is. She's still our sister!"
Elder to Edelweiss: “I don’t see what the big deal is. I mean, she’s still our sister!”

The one truly disturbing characteristic that Easter has developed (and it may be totally unrelated to her traits) is a dangerous fascination with the cowplant.

No no no no!
No no no no!

She just won’t stay away from the thing. It’s not like we’re grossly neglecting the cowplant and she’s taking up our slack; Ede feeds it and tends it, but as soon as she’s left the area, Easter will swoop in and start fiddling with it.

Why, Easter? Why!
Why, Easter? Why!

She’s been swallowed several times now.  Once she gets that “drained” moodlet, another gulp will likely be fatal — and it lasts for two whole days!

"Drained: Feeling like an emotionless shell."
Despite being Drained much of the time, she’s had that “marry beau” want every darn day.

I’ve thought of fencing the cowplant off to protect her, but that feels like cheating so I’m just having to pay very close attention to where Easter is and what she’s doing at all times. Have to take her with us whenever we leave the house, etc. No more of this “leave the game running to advance time a bit while I tidy the kitchen” business for me! Hmph.

My actual kitchen looks worse than this right now..
My actual kitchen looks worse than this right now..

I’m not sure how long I can sustain this level of attention. It’s worrisome.

Not that I want to add another person to the house, or that I’m confident her boyfriend will even accept the upgrade from “promised” to “engaged,” but Easter really wants to marry that darn Bro, so I’m going to have to try to help make that happen. Somehow..

Somewhere on the other side of town, Jarrett Palacios, one of the last vestiges of squint-eye square-jaw, quietly awaits his fate.

I find it difficult to tell what this Bro is feeling.
I promise he has eyes in there somewhere.

Did I say fate? I meant date. He hadn’t seen his girlfriend Easter Lily in a couple says, so they were going to meet at the museum to catch up. She was running a bit late, but being a Cheerful sort he didn’t mind.

Easter: "Man! Did you see that? Somebody stuffed a whole Blarffy into that trash can over there!"
Easter: “Man! Did you see that? Somebody stuffed a whole Blarffy into that trash can over there!”

Easter was kind of distracted tonight. Normally she’s all over her beau like syrup on pancakes, but she just wasn’t feeling it for some reason. Maybe it was the conversation? Jarrett is kind of in his own little world. His talk bubbles always seem entirely irrelevant to the situation, and he makes very few expressions. They’re either perfect for each other, or this is a train wreck – I can’t tell! Give us something to work with here, bro!

Jarrett: "I like ducks."
Jarrett: “I like ducks.”

Uh.. yeah. I went ahead and pulled the plug on that date.  And not a moment too soon, as Easter had decided it was time for random scolding.

And not a moment too soon, as Easter decided it was time for random scolding.
Easter: “I thought we should flirt but I didn’t want to flirt so I didn’t!”

Followed immediately by random serenading.

P.S. Call me later.
~~ And you should caalllll me later. ~~

It’s a rollercoaster romance, this thing with Easter. Poor dude. There didn’t appear to be any lasting damage, though, so we rewarded Easter by pointing her towards her other persistent want: the bottom of the trash can.

You're mine now, Barffly!
You’re mine now, Blarffy!

We’ll have to try approaching this from another angle. Perhaps at home, with people around to help smooth out the rough bits. 🙂

Log 4n: Smoky Steel

Having had his toppled ego propped back up by his ever-loving, ever-patient champion, Dianthus Wolff was feeling perfectly content with his new self.

Finally seeing oneself can be liberating!
Good morning, self!

Actually, Dia was more than content. This new hair of his was proving to be a boon. He now thought of it as a medal, or a badge — proof of all he’d been and done, a physical symbol of his achievements. Coop seemed to like it, anyway, and that had our boy feeling mighty virile.

. . .
Blood pumping, juices flowing – he’s definitely still got it!

Dia’s creative juices were flowing as well. In his mind, “Smoky Steel” (Cooper’s affectionate term for his  hair color) had already morphed into a hard-boiled detective character. After bouncing some ideas off of Coop, Dia felt like he was ready to write this character into being.

Dia would bounce ideas off Coop, who just loves Smoky!
Coop adores Smoky. Both of them.

An older man, but still painfully handsome, Smoky Steel’s skill at solving mysteries was unmatched. Women would fall for him hard, but he’d never give in, because his heart had been stolen long ago by a sultry Secret Agent who may still be out there, somewhere, in deep cover. He longed to see her more than anything, but he knew that trying to contact her would endanger her life, so he retained that angsty sort of edge that makes those grumpy detective types of old so compelling.  As a reader, you want Smoky to love you, but you can’t help but respect his incorruptible devotion to the absent woman, too – in fact, it makes him all the more appealing!

dkfjha
Oh, Smoky Steel — how you fill our hearts with hopeless yearning!

Dia absolutely loved to write Smoky Steel novels, and they were selling like hotcakes.

Wow, already #3 on the New Sim Times Bestseller list!
And the sequel is off to the presses!

With the royalties from the first two novels, the family was able to easily afford the installation of a modest swimming pool in a corner of the lot.

Not a lot of space left to put things at the ol' homestead.
Not much space left to put things at the ol’ homestead.

The girls had a lot of fun trying on swimsuits. For Easter Lily, who aspired to be Friend to the World, any opportunity to get out there and draw attention to herself was grabbed with gusto. She chose a fun yellow & white bikini with an eye-catching floppy hat.

Easter loves to be in the spotlight, living life to the fullest!
Easter loves to be in the spotlight, living life to the fullest!

Edelweiss went for a more sultry look with a one-piece in classic black & a pair of matching sunglasses. (I wish she’d strut her stuff too because she’s an absolute knockout, but the shower did need repairing so I suppose I shouldn’t complain.) ;D

sdf
Ede likes to lurk in the peripheral, tickling my mind with her potential.

The actual experience of “omg swimming pools” has proved a bit anticlimactic. For all the indignation over the game shipping without them, I kind of expected a life-changing cataclysm of fireworks and unicorns, with maxed everythings and simoleons falling from the sky like shooting stars. But it’s just.. you know.. a swimming pool.

Plug your nose and hop in, the water's fine!
Plug your nose and hop in, the water’s fine!

Can’t really do much once you’re in there. Just swim around. Idk, man.

Coop's having fun, but I've been bored since the 2nd lap. ;D 
Coop’s having fun, but I’ve been bored since the 2nd lap. ;D

The gang does find swimming relaxing and at least we don’t need to worry about spontaneous drownings too much, I suppose (they haven’t hopped in there autonomously yet). But I’m thinking we might be better off just adding a pool to the Gym community lot and letting the Wolffs have some of their yard back. 🙂

Log 4m: The Greying of Dianthus Wolff

Aging is a curious thing. For those who spend a great deal of their lives observing, weighing and pondering, well, everything, you’d think it impossible that a thing so obvious as an entire head of grey hair could sneak past unnoticed.

But for Dianthus Wolff, that’s exactly what happened. He simply woke up one morning and, “Poof!” — he looked.. different.

dia grey 1
Just need to smooth out the hair before work..
GAH!!
GAH!

As he often did when faced with unfathomable surprises, Dianthus probed his wife Cooper for answers.

Cooper! I'm "old" now? When did that happen!
Dia: “Cooper! I’m ‘old’ now? When did that happen!?”
It's been happening for a while, dear heart.
Coop: “That’s been happening for a while, my love.”
No, really, look -- my hair, it's GREY!
Dia: “No, really look, Cooper! My hair.. it’s GREY.”
...
. . .
Coop: Your hair isn't grey.
Coop: “Your hair isn’t grey, Dia.”

It’s not? Whew, that’s a relief!

Coop: It's more like, "smoky steel."
Coop: “It’s more of a, ‘smoky steel.'”
. . .
. . .
"Smoky steel.." huh.
“Smoky steel?” Huh.

We’ll leave Dia to his thoughts for now. His daughter’s birthday party is about to start, and we have a lot to do yet!

Easter Lily Wolff, Dia and Cooper’s eldest child, was about to say goodbye to her teen years. She may not have made it to the top of her class, but she’d been a very industrious child and pretty much had her life all planned out already. Promised to her first and only boyfriend, she meant to marry ASAP, and then.. Well, then she’d be able to do all the things adults do, and she was sure she’d be able to come up with something else to do after that!

The guests were all off doing things in the four corners of the house, but Easter had no need for witnesses. This one was between her and the cake.

Nothing can stop me now!
Fearlessly marching forward is kind of Easter’s “thing.”

Whatever might happen next was just a technicality, because Easter already knew who she was & she was not concerned in the least over what may come. She was ready for all of it!

Easter YA bday
The shackles are coming off at last!

Nobody was right there to notice the subtle change in Easter Lily, and they probably wouldn’t have anyway. Everyone lets loose a little at a party. This was her day and she meant to make the most of it!

kjh
It’s so.. tropical!

Tasting her first real drink was awesome. The bartender whipped up a special concoction — “just for the birthday girl,” he said. And it was A-MA-ZING!  Easter downed a couple of those sweet fruity things and then she danced the night away!

Music soothes the savage beast, right?
Music soothes the savage beast, right?

Aunt Daisy could worry all she wanted. It wasn’t like Easter was suddenly going to become her uncle just because they had a common trait now. Besides, everyone loves Digitalis anyway — he’s even sort of famous!


Hours later, after the party died down and the guests headed out, Cooper and Dia took to the task of picking up all the dishes, wordlessly washing and rinsing in the natural rhythm of two people who’ve shared the bulk of their years together. There’d be time to discuss the implications of Easter Lily’s new trait soon enough, but for now it seemed important to focus on the simple task at hand. The family was safe and complete, here and now. They were all still the same people they were this morning, just.. clarified. It’d been a long day and they could afford a break from the heavy stuff. It’d still be there tomorrow.

Maybe just a little bit of sweetness before sleep, though?

Dia: So, about my grey hair..
Dia: “I’m concerned that my grey hair will change your perception of me. I was reading an article about age gap couples, and –“
Coop: Your smoky steel?
Coop: “Worried your smoky steel will come between us, are you?”
Dia: Yes, that. Heh. Am I.. Do you.. still find me..
Dia: “Yes, that. Heh. Am I.. That is, do you still find me..”
"You remain the most beautiful man I've ever known."
Coop: “You remain, without a doubt, the most beautiful man I’ve ever known.”
Dia: Does this mean you still want to, um..
Dia: “Oh. That’s.. good! Does this mean that you still want to, um..”
Coop, whispering: I definitely still want to um.
Coop, whispering: “I definitely still want to um.”
. . .
. . .

And so the not-quite-so-young-anymore lovers retired to their bedroom at last, to enjoy, um —

Dia: So the hair really doesn't bother you, then? Because if it does,  I could --
Dia: “So the hair really doesn’t bother you, then? Because if it does,  I could –“
Coop: Dia? Love of my life?
Coop: “Dia? Love of my life?”
Dia: What?
Dia: “What?”
Coop: Stop talking.
Coop: “Please stop talking.”
Finally. Damn.

— to enjoy one another, fully, and without words for a bit.