Goal #18: Celebrate All That is Good, Part 2 (LASL)

Lizzie glances back at Joseph

Cathy excused herself to go visit with other guests, and Karleen joined my sister, Julian, and Lauryn, my editor. Joseph wandered over, a beer in hand. The whole table laughed, and I glanced over my shoulder on my way to the restroom. What could possibly be so funny? Why did I feel so out of place? Why did Joseph avoid me like the plague? I was surprised to catch sight of Munter. I hadn’t seen him since the early spring. He had been overseas in Osimceana, as far as I knew, with his family. I didn’t realize Cathy or Amy invited him. Then again, he didn’t appear dressed for a wedding. I wondered what he would say once he saw the about-ready-to-burst ex-girlfriend of his.

Munter stops Karleen

“Karleen! Stop!” Munter called out, forcefully, more harshly than he meant.

He was so frustrated. He was frustrated with himself, for leaving Karleen when she probably needed him the most, for being suckered by his family. His mother claimed she had an emergency, hence his sudden departure. Upon arriving, he learned his father needed help with closing a business merger. The Bacons acquired restaurants the way some people collect coins. However, the real reason his mother wanted him home was because she disapproved of his younger, unfaithful girlfriend, and she wanted to set him up with a debutante from the right family, with the right education, the right background, the right social circles, and most importantly, the right amount of money. He hated himself for going along with it for all of three months before ending things abruptly when his mother offered to take his new girlfriend pre-ring shopping. He couldn’t keep up with the facade.

His mind had been occupied with Karleen, the girl who screamed ‘stay-away-from-me-I’m-trouble’ by all appearances, but in reality, had such a sweet, fragile demeanor underneath, and a smile that could make his heart melt. Even just being near her was enough to make his brain go all loopy. When he first approached her table, she abruptly stood and tried to walk away. It wasn’t like he had tried. He hadn’t called or written or emailed or texted. He probably deserved her anger. Still, he couldn’t leave things the way they were. She was in his head, in his thoughts, in his dreams, and he found himself making imaginary plans with her and the baby. The baby? He touched his lips absently. And she was in his heart.

“What!” she said, edge in her tone.

“I’m sorry,” he replied, shoving his hands in his pockets. “I’m sorry for being a jerk and for leaving you. I’m sorry for not calling or contacting you in any way. How’ve…you been?” he kicked a loose stone with his sneaker.

“How have I been?” she whirled, repeating, her eyes fiery. “Let’s see. I’ve been… um… just peachy. I mean, I’m past the morning sickness stage, but my feet and ankles are constantly swollen and I feel like I’m leaking a lot of the time, and my brain is all mushy, and I haven’t had a cocktail in seven months, but otherwise, I’m just great. Thanks for asking.”

Munter takes Karleen's hand “Please don’t be like that,” Munter almost whined as he stepped in front of her to cut off her escape route.

“You said you’d be around,” Karleen cried. “And then you vanished.”

“I’m stupid.”

“You promised to call, and you didn’t.”

“I’m an idiot.”

“You said you loved me.”

I do.”

Karleen’s eyes widened. “You do? You still do?”

“I didn’t stop,” Munter said, softly. “Now the question is… do you love me? For me? I know you never cared about the money, but I could take care of you, Karleen. I could take care of you… well…” he groaned and rolled his eyes back. “…that didn’t come out right. I want to take care of you…” he took her hand. “I can offer you everything you ever wanted, but most importantly, I want to offer you my heart. It’s yours, if you want it.”

“Munter… what are you saying?” she frowned, her lower lip wobbling, her eyes flooding with unknown emotions.

He couldn’t tell if it was good or bad.

Munter confesses to Karleen

“Karleen, I don’t care anymore. I don’t care that you slept with John and with Goober when you slept with me. I love you. I forgive you. I want to marry you…” he blurted out, surprising himself, and then his face relaxed into a smile. “I want to marry you.”

“What?” Karleen’s voice cracked. “Even if?” she shook her head. “I don’t deserve you.”

“Oh angel, I don’t deserve you,” Munter said. “Yeah, we’ve been wicked to each other, but I’m not holding it against you if you won’t.”

Tears spilled down her rosy cheeks. “Even if the baby…” she hiccuped.

“I don’t care…” he said in an urgent whisper. “…who the baby’s father is. I want you.”

He pressed his head against hers, inches from her mouth, feeling compelled to kiss the lips of the woman he loved, probably salty from her tears. He didn’t care.

Kiss me

“Kiss me,” she whispered, fiercely.

She didn’t have to ask twice. Munter wrapped his hand around the small of her back, and around her neck, and pulled her into his embrace. It felt good to have her in his arms after all this time. When they finally resurfaced for air, he felt slightly annoyed. He didn’t want it to end.

“So you crashed a wedding to propose?” she laughed, swiping happy tears from her face.

“Basically, love,” he smirked.

“Great!” she giggled. “How are we going to tell our friends?”

“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “All I know is I want you…” he placed his hand on her stomach. “And this baby to mine. I’ll marry you either way.”

Karleen tells Munter

Karleen stepped back, wrapping her hands around her belly, a big warm smile erupting.

“Munter?”

“Yes?”

“The baby is yours.”

He stood in stunned silence. Mine? It was almost incomprehensible. The possibility of the child being his was always there, but he always suspected the baby was John’s. Now Karleen stood before him, eyes shining, big smile, and an earnestness in his tone. His breath caught.

“You’re sure?”

She bobbed her head. “Yes, the doctor and I counted the days. And they have these pre-birth DNA tests these days that confirm parentage if you want…”

“Oh boy!” he ran a hand through his brown curly hair. “Oh wait… is it a boy? Or a girl?”

“Do you want to be surprised?” she asked, leaning in coyly.

He shook his head. She stood on tiptoe, placing a tender hand on his shoulder, and opened her mouth to speak.


Author Notes: Is your heart melting from cuteness over Karleen Corey and Munterbacon‘s Munter Bacon? Mine is. Lol. This chapter also featured LegacySims2017’s Joseph Simself, and a variety of background characters, Nora Green, Geeta Rasoya (who was the caterer for the event), Don Baxter, Zurka’s  Angela Smith, MadameLee‘s Anne Charming, Cathy Tea‘s Cathy Tea, Shadami’s Amy Cat, MINEZ‘ Julian DeBateau, Lauryn Marks, and Issador ‘Izzie’ Fernandez, and simscognito‘s Riley Cognito. Thanks for reading. 

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Goal #18: Celebrate All That is Good, Part 1 (LASL)

Cathy and Amy stargazing On hot nights, young lovers lay on the ground and identify stars. The excruciating temperatures of the day fade away. Coyotes sing their night hymns. White hydrangeas are in full bloom, an ode to summer. Nothing but calm and constellations and hearts full of dreams. The mighty hunter Orion. The vain queen Cassiopeia. The hearty bull Taurus. The wild archer Sagittarius.

“Luna looks beautiful tonight,” Amy cooed.

“You look radiant,” Cathy replied.

Amy flushed, her cheeks a pleased pink. “Thank you. Seriously, it’s almost as if…” she squinted. “I can see the Lakes colony.”

“Have you ever been?” Cathy inquired, crossing her ankles the other direction as she shifted, her back easing against the crevices of dirt between the paved stones.

“To Luna?” Amy said, rolling so she could see her girlfriend.

“Yes,” Cathy murmured, twisting her braid around her finger. “It is truly remarkable to visit the moon and see Simterra from space.”

“I’ve never left planetside,” Amy replied. “My great-great-great grandparents were explorers, and they hitched a ride with military pilots to the Delta base on Luna before it was off limits to civilians. I think they lived somewhere out here in the Daleth system. I always thought it would be spectacular to be a pioneer in space. There’s so much out there…” she swept her arm upward, placing her hands at different angles to frame clusters of stars. “…I would love to see it all someday. I can’t imagine living in a more lovely spot in the galaxy. Of course…” she smiled coyly. “…I have you to thank for that.”

Cathy propped her weight against her elbow, a bright smile spreading across her face. “Marry me, Amy.”

“What?” Amy blinked rapidly, shook her head, and sat up as if she didn’t hear her closest and dearest friend carefully.

“Marry me,” Cathy repeated, sitting up and draping her arms over her bent knees. “I’m not as young as you you, and I don’t have the energy you do, and I’m advancing in years. I don’t want to waste a moment. I want to be with the woman who makes me sun rise every morning, and who makes my stars shine at night, and who sends the spark of life through my veins.”

Amy’s eyes misted with tears. “Cathy…” she gasped, bringing her hands to her heart as she scooted close. “Thank you…” the women touched foreheads, bowing ever so slightly making silent vows never to leave one another.

“I will marry you.”

Cathy serenades AmyThey made plans to marry within a fortnight. The preparations were a whirlwind. Neither had family in the area, and so they invited as many friends as they could. “Friends are family,” Cathy said, and Amy agreed, “You make your own family.”

Amy called me while Cathy played a phenomenal piano concerto.

“You are going to be there?” she inquired.

I glanced over at Joseph, who was buried in a book on the couch. He hadn’t looked at me all evening. I sighed heavily, and then flushed, hoping Amy hadn’t heard my exasperation.

“We will totally be there,” I assured.

I contacted the same dressmaker who sold me my bridesmaids’ gown for Lee’s wedding, and found a matching dress in a cool shade of lime, perfect for the fiery summer days in Oasis Springs. I bought new shoes and new jewelry too, hoping to feel good about myself. Unfortunately, Joseph and I were still distant. I slept over at Karleen’s more than I slept in my own bed, or stayed out all night with Riley and Akira doing karaoke, even if they worried about me.

“Sleep when you’re dead!” Riley declared, wrapping his arm around my neck.

“That’s right!” Akira exclaimed, wrapping an arm around my waist. “Preach!”

“I love you guys,” I said, willing myself to be happy.

They really did try.

Lizzie sees Angela

Cathy and Amy decided to do the reception early in the day with a party first, and the wedding second, so they could officially tie the knot at midnight under the stars. I thought the idea was super romantic, but I wondered how long I could tolerate heels and polite chit-chat with acquaintances and strangers, and putting up a facade for Joseph and I. Riley offered to be my wingman, but despite his best efforts, he was a social butterfly. He relished the crowds, flitting from friend to friend, talking, laughing, joking around, making dramatic arm gestures. I knew I couldn’t rely on him entirely.

“Lizzie!” Angela Smith, dressed in a proper pencil red dress, waved to me as I wandered amidst the reception tables, wishing I was a flower.

I could be a rose, pretty and vibrant, and no one would want to talk to me, I sighed.

“Hey Angela,” I said, mustering a smile.

“Wow, you look fantastic,” she purred. “I love green on you.”

“Thank you,” I replied with the best small talk comment I could. “I love your red. You match the roses.”

“Hey I’m sorry about last month,” Angela said. “I know we weren’t the best of hosts to you.”

“It’s fine,” I shrugged, feeling a headache forming behind my eyes. “I wasn’t feeling great that day.”

“Still, it’s no excuse,” Angela insisted. “John and I want to have you over again. Actually…” she reached for my wrist the way an intimate friend would. “You and I really should hang out sometime. Maybe after work? Go grab cocktails?”

“Yeah sure,” I said, distracted by the fact that my husband was over at the bar, helping himself to a beer, and it wasn’t even eleven in the morning yet. I figured this was his way of coping with the day’s events, and me… copious amounts of alcohol.

“Dude! Drinking before noon!” I heard Riley say as he slammed in Joseph’s shoulder in a manly fashion. “I approve.”

I gritted my teeth. So not helping, Riley. 

Nora and Julian -- focal point --Lizzie uncomfortableMy sister and Julian had arrived, Nora, a vision in her chic pink dress, a perfectly placed bow of a slightly different shade wrapped around her bulging belly, Julian, looking dapper, as always, in his suit and tie. And attentive to his pregnant girlfriend.

“Can I get you anything, honey?” I heard him ask.

“A glass of ginger ale,” she replied, with a girly little sigh. “The stomach needs to hold out. I feel like it’s doing somersaults.”

“It’s fighting a little battle in there,” Julian remarked, talking directly to her abdomen, and then kissing her cheek. “…for who’s in control. Don’t forget little one who made you.”

I gulped, feeling a sudden and overwhelming sadness. I should’ve been there… with that… that baby in my stomach. Some days I hardly remembered the pregnancy and other days, the memories were so vivid and vibrant. I imagined how different my life would be if I hadn’t been hit by a car. If I hadn’t passed on to the in-between. If I hadn’t lost the precious cargo in me. Would Joseph love me more? Would he pay more attention to me? To us?

“You okay?”

I blinked, my vision focusing on a radiant Amy, wrapped in yards of lilac satin. Sadness struck my heart again as I realized I never did really have a wedding day. Well, I did, but I didn’t. I didn’t have a ceremony with my friends. I didn’t spend time hunting for the perfect gown. I didn’t select bridesmaids and flowers and all the kinds of things you do when you’re getting married. I swallowed hard, reminding myself today wasn’t about me, but about my friends. My happy adorable-in-love friends.

“I’m fine,” I replied, grabbing Amy’s hands. “I’m happy for you both.”

“Thank you, and thanks for coming,” Amy tilted her head to the side in the direction of her partner. “It means the world to Cathy and I.”

“Amy Cat, get over here!” Nora interrupted us. “Where are you two kids heading on your honeymoon? I want all the details.”

“It’s good to see you, Lizzie,” Amy smiled, squeezing my hands, before walking to my sister. “It’s a surprise,” she said. “But you tell me all the details about this…” she patted Nora’s stomach. “…little one. Have you thought of names yet?”

I wasn’t sure I could handle anymore. My mouth fell open, and I had to force tears back from the brink. Maybe I needed a drink too.

Karleen chatters away Cathy took my hands before I had the opportunity to escape to the bathroom, and insisted I join her at a table. She was dressed in a flowing white dress with silk white roses, her black hair waving around her shoulders for once. She looked so happy. A enlarged Karleen leaned back in her chair, crossing her ankles under the table, and stretching her legs as far as was still permitted to be ladylike. She wore a strapless purple dress, a bold choice given she was in her third trimester and looking about ready to pop and she still had six weeks left. A spiky purple collar graced her neck. My former babysitting kid Teresa also occupied the table, looking all grown-up in a paisley pink flowered baby doll dress and a purple bowler hat. She even wore eyeliner and mascara and some lavender shadow.

“What’s it like?” Teresa asked, excitedly. “To be in love.”

“Says the preteen who can’t keep her eyes off Steve over there at the banquet table and he can’t shut up about you,” Karleen said, in mock-seriousness as she moved her hand around like a talking mouth. “Oh Teresa is just so great. Teresa is so beautiful. Teresa hangs the moon.”

“Karleen,” Teresa laughed. “He’s not that bad.”

“Close your eyes and imagine perfection,” Cathy murmured. “Real deal perfection. It’s not really a feeling. It’s not really an abstract state of being. It is a truth. A real solid truth that simply cannot be defined by any words known to mankind, or stopped up by a dam of our own actions. It transcends this life…” her eyes fluttered open. “…and space and time itself.”

“Wow,” Teresa breathed. “That’s… whoa!”

I closed my eyes. I wished for perfection… for love like that. What happened to Joseph and I?

“Excuse me,” I said, covering my mouth to choke back a cry.


Author Notes: Adorableness abounds with Cathy Tea and Amy Cat! But Lizzie and Joseph are still frosty and distant with one another. Grr… Okay, moving along… CT and Amy got engaged, decided to throw a party, and then host a wedding. It glitched for me, so I went into their household, didn’t control anything, other than to set up the wedding again, hence the multiple upcoming chapters. It’s just a never ending party. 🙂 This chapter featured Cathy Tea‘s Cathy Tea and Sugar Maple Bough, Shadami’s Amy Cat, Zurka’s  Angela Smith, simscognito‘s Riley Cognito, LegacySims2017‘s Joseph Simself, MINEZ‘ Julian DeBateau, and skcaga6‘s Teresa Spinks and background characters, skcaga6’s Steve Wymer, CathyTea’s Sugar Maple Bough, Ace Reynolds, Don Baxter, MINEZ’ Lauryn Marks, Karleen Corey, Nora Green, and MadameLee‘s Anne Charming. Thanks for reading. 

Goal #17: Weather the Distance, Part 2 (LASL)

Joseph and Lizzie stand in the hallway  After our argument, I was seriously tempted to move in with Karleen and Ash temporarily… or John. Both offered. Both sympathized. That’s why I didn’t leave. I didn’t want their looks of pity, their endless questions, their contempt for Joseph. As much as I was mad at him, I didn’t want others to think badly of him, though I’m sure after our last loud argument in the hallway, Annie probably gossiped to our landlady and friends. We stood in the hallway on the shag green carpet, facing the brown and tan striped walls, ready to face our dinner as best as we could. The love loss between us was palpable.

Summer love seemed to blossom everywhere. Our anniversary came and went. We ate a quiet dinner while watching television. Nothing fancy. Nothing momentous. We managed to survive one year of marriage and all its ups and downs. We went through more in a year than most couples did in a lifetime. Still, we maintained the facade that everything was okay. Joseph apologized. I apologized. And that was that. Nothing else changed.

John and Ash Fun-loving John began dating the pragmatic, sarcastic Ash. It was a bit of a surprise for all of us, but apparently, they really hit it off while she was covering the beat at the Geek Con. Ash was writing a scathing piece on the outrageous scandal of Simstagram’s president and chief financial officer’s embezzlement with get-this! None other than Goober Nerdstrom’s assistance. Apparently, Mr. Nerdstrom was fetching black market art pieces for the Simstagram higher-ups. No wonder Joseph had so many problems there. And it was good he got out while he did.

John and Ash are dating Ash walked the Con, getting feedback from the gamers regarding the incident. John was, as always, his usual adorkable self, hitting Ash up with pun after pun and making her laugh. He invited her back to his place the first night and they stayed up all night, talking, laughing, gaming. This went on for the length of the con until finally John asked her if she’d be his girlfriend. He learned his lesson with Karleen, and decided to be blunt. She accepted and John snapped a picture to send it to me. It warmed my heart. He looked so happy. He deserved it.

They broke the news to Karleen, who was surprisingly in favor of the match. I was surprised given Ash’s knowledge of Karleen and John’s dating history, however, like Karleen, I was inclined to believe he wasn’t the dad. If Karleen was telling the truth, the timing was wrong, which left the missing-in-action criminal Goober or billionaire chef-bartender businessman Munter, also still overseas with his family. Karleen proclaimed she would survive with a dramatic flourish as she returned to work.

Karleen pregnant and working at Walrus Karleen had been doing well at Walrus Books. The customers loved her, and appreciated her crazy stories. She took the time to greet each patron, and made sure she knew what their preferences were so she could accommodate. She had even received a raise recently, though she was a little worried about what would happen once the baby was born. She wouldn’t be able to work for awhile. Her boss assured her that the job would be waiting for her when she got back much to Karleen’s relief. While Karleen managed to remain single for the longest time in her life, it seemed like the rest of our friends were pairing up.

Cathy Tea had traveled the world in the last year. She toured for another bestselling book. Unfortunately, the road can be a lonely place, as Cathy wrote me. The most interesting people she met were bartenders. Unfortunately, they were either too old…

sasparilla

How does a youngin’ like you know a sasparilla?” the bartender in Windenburg inquired.

He rocked the salt and pepper look with his twirling mustache. He regaled Cathy with tales of the “good old days,” plopping an extra cherry in her whipped cream. In the end, he went to his grave a few days after meeting Miss Tea, a case of bad fish and indigestion. Perhaps she wanted to be with someone who didn’t have to inhale Pepto Simsol on a daily basis.

…too young…

CT and young guy “Aww… Mz. Tea, you are always makin’ me smile,” the dark-skinned, chiseled jaw, and sparkling eyes caught her attention.

Say, we should grab a coffee sometime, or a tea. You like tea right?” she smirked. “Wait, you like tea, or else you wouldn’t be talkin’ to me,” she quipped.

That’s awful kind of ya, but shouldn’t you date someone your own age?”

Ouch! Who said anything about dating? I was just thinking delicious intellectual conversation with a handsome young man like yourself and an experienced woman as myself and we’ll go from there.”

No thanks, Mz. Tea. Maybe some other time.”

enchanting introduction from Cathy

While waiting for the metro city bus to arrive, Cathy surprised a bystander with a shower of red rose petals.

“These are called Dame de Coeur,” Cathy explained. “Aren’t they lovely?”

“Say do you usually go around and throw flowers at people?” the redhead made a face.

“Why not? Admit it. It made your day,” Cathy smiled. “It means ‘lady of heart.’ You should be flattered.”

“Uh thanks,” the woman replied, sarcastically. “Where are you headed?”

“Here. There. A little bit of everywhere,” Cathy remarked. “I’m Cathy.”

“Amy.”

“Enchanted.”

Amy meets Goober You see, Amy Cat walked to Thymes Square to meet a man she chatted with online. Turns out the man was goofy and charming and wanted in four states. Oh did I say states? I meant countries. Dejected, Amy boarded a bus and rode until the end of the line in Oasis Springs, and wandered around until she purchased a ticket to return.

Amy and Cathy Perhaps it wasn’t a completely wasted trip because she met the goofy and charming lady Cathy with her quirky ways and winning smile and messy braid that bounced when she walked. Amy found herself drawn to the older woman in a way she hadn’t ever felt before. Cathy promised to give Amy a full tour of the Springs and if she didn’t like it after the afternoon, Cathy would personally reimburse her for the ticket cost.

Amy stayed for four days, absolutely delighted by Cathy’s way of telling stories and intrigued by how well she seemed to know every nook and cranny of the Springs from the local watering holes to the best hidden picnic spots to the most comfortable night’s sleep in three counties. At the end of the week, Amy was sad she would need to return, but then Cathy surprised her once more at the bus stop with a single Dame de Coeur rose.

Cathy with rose “It’s a simple as bread and butter and the sun that rises in the western sky, Amy,” Cathy began. “I like you. I like you a lot. And I think we should go steady if you’re into that.”kiss

Oh Amy was most definitely into that!

They kissed.

embrace
They hugged.

Amy promised to return the following weekend, and Cathy replied “nonsense,” and said she had friends in the city who owed her favors. She would be coming with on the bus ride.
Don and Annie

Meanwhile, Don Baxter, Cathy’s roommate, had been dating the lovely ginger, Annie since around Simerce. He scheduled a dinner at Chez Llama to mark their five month anniversary. They met during karaoke one night, and Don whisked her away to Uptown to the Stargazer Lounge so she could hear him play. Needless to say, the romantic-at-heart was impressed by his doting and was dazzled by his musical prowess.

Don proposes Don also had an ulterior motive for taking Annie to the best restaurant in town (which I had yet to confirm since I had never gone back). He wanted to pop a certain question. Of course, Annie was thrilled and agreed wholeheartedly to marry the man in blue. He had transferred to the San Myshuno police department. They announced their engagement after Patriotic Day.

Caelen and Anne outside the closetEven my doctor seemed to be getting it on. I was pretty disturbed when I saw these two outside the exam room of the Celestial Clinic. I don’t think he was performing the standard exam.Needless to say, I didn’t go to my appointment that day. I couldn’t remember the last time Joseph and I were together.

Anne smacks Caelen Anne sent me a long email, gushing about how she met Caelen outside strolling the docks of San Myshuno. The smell of sea salt and fading pink sunset set the stage for their whirlwind romance. At first, she wasn’t too impressed by him, even going so far as to smack him when he made a risque joke.

Caelen and Anne -charmed However, that was short-lived. She soon fell for his allure, and even more his kindness. Caelen really did want to save the world, a fact that impressed Anne. She, of course, didn’t care about the fact that he was part pyre, part witch, part… whatever… he didn’t share the last part. It was confusing as is. Anne was just thrilled he paid attention to her.

Lizzie complaining about getting dinner over withJoseph and I, on the other hand, had fizzled some… again. I was getting tired of this back and forth dance. What was so wrong with us now? I was beginning to question whether I missed some early warning signs during our dating experience. Maybe we just got married too fast.

“Let’s just get this dinner over with,” I said, tiredly.

I wasn’t looking forward to spending the evening with the Smiths. Nothing against John or Angela. I just wasn’t sure I could keep up the charade of the ‘happy’ Green-Simself… Simself-Green couple. See. We couldn’t even agree on a name.

“We won’t stay late,” Joseph assured.

Joseph laughing with the Smiths The Smiths were a little too happy to see us. Joseph settled on the couch with Angela and they immediately started chatting about old times. Of course, Joseph, John, and Angela shared a common undergraduate experience, complete with Angela as a cheerleader, John as a football player, and Joseph on track. They met through athletics and then it was parties and state championships and campus pranks and moving furniture in the back of John’s dusty pick-up truck across half the nation.

Lizzie pulls out her phoneWhen Joseph left the city, he lost track of them for a short time, but the Smiths eagerly filled their friend in on everything in between. I was at a loss, feeling left out. I didn’t share their same experiences. My collegiate years were quieter and while I liked sports, I couldn’t seem to get a word in edgewise. Plucking my phone from my pocket, I resolved to text Karleen and ask her to call me to come up with some excuse, most likely baby related, for me to leave.

John side hugs Lizzie

“Oh, I’m afraid we are boring Lizzie,” John exclaimed, wrapping his arm around my mid-section.

“Sorry honey,” Joseph said with a smile. “It’s been a long time since we’ve… well…” he rubbed his jaw. “When was the last time we had a poker night?”

“Oh gawd!” Angela hooted. “I remember those. All that money… pouf! …because somebody couldn’t keep his eyes on his cards…” she nudged her husband.

“Right,” John smirked. “You were just too good looking,” he squeezed her shoulder.

“And that’s why you lost… both of you… to me…” Angela claimed, proudly, pointing both thumbs in her direction.

Everyone laughed. Everyone, except me. I felt a twinge of jealousy.

“Perhaps you’d like to help Angela get started with dinner,” John seemed to direct toward me.

Lizzie chops onions

“Right…” I grumbled, making my way to the kitchen.

We were supposed to be having chili. I was supposed to bring garlic bread. I forgot. Or a salad. Joseph didn’t remind me. I came straight from work, and I was almost tempted to claim I had a headache or something just to get out of this dinner. The Smiths were a nice couple, but their inside jokes and shared history with Joseph were lost on me. I grunted and groaned as I rummaged through the fridge and began slicing onions for the stew…or soup… or whatever. I tried to tell myself that the onions were making my eyes water, but the truth was, I felt invisible.

When Angela finally arrived in the kitchen, she was laughing so hard that tears fell down her face. She walked to the sink and filled a glass of water.

“Nice of you to finally join me,” I muttered.

“What did you say?” Angela replied, only half-hearing me as she called back down the hallway. “Now boys! No fair going through the photo albums without me. We can do that after dinner.”

“You know what?” I slammed the knife on the counter. “I’m not all that hungry.”

“What?” Angela wiped at her eyelids. “Are you feeling okay, Lizzie?”

“I’m feeling peachy,” I snipped, sarcastically. “Enjoy your dinner.”

“Wait? You’re leaving already?”

“You won’t miss me. You didn’t know I was here.”

Lizzie leaves

John wandered into the kitchen and I shoved past him.

“What’s her problem?” he asked a bewildered Angela.

“I’ll see you later,” I snapped at Joseph as I walked right out of the apartment.

Maybe I was being childish. Maybe I was acting petulant. But for the first time in weeks, it felt good to no longer pretend as I slammed the door.


Author Notes: First of all, hooray! I wandered around the city to catch up with some folks and found love is in the air. Congratulations to Cathy Tea‘s Cathy Tea and Shadami’s Amy Cat, to Don Baxter and rockannie‘s Annie Rock, John Schooner and TheYayToast‘s Ash Toast, and MadameLee‘s Anne Charming and Caelen Vatore. This chapter also featured  LegacySims2017‘s Goober Nerdstrom (who seriously gets around… lol) and Joseph Simself, Karleen Corey, and Zurka’s John and Angela Smith. Second, Lizzie and Joseph are still unhappy in my game. Drr… everything went downhill after that dinner at Chez Llama. Maybe they will bounce back soon? Thanks for reading everyone. 

Random LASL Fun

Hi everyone, I posted these in the forums, but several people said they couldn’t view them so I figured I might as well post here in WordPress. If you have difficulties here, try opening this post in a browser instead of reading in WordPress reader. Sorry for all the difficulties.

Here are some fun pictures and some crazy outtakes from my latest gaming adventures in the LASL world. They aren’t majorly spoilerish in terms of plot so if you aren’t caught up, you can still view them.

Karleen and Ash eat dinner
Karleen Corey and her roommate, @TheYayToasts Ash Toast. Karleen is eating peas and Ash is eating chips for dinner. And Ash is admiring their super colorful walls. I love their apartment btw. I did very little to tweak it.

Raj and Ameera Love
Ameera and Raj kissing neck
Back in Oasis Springs, these two lovebirds, Raj Rasoya and @MINEZ‘s Ameera are having fun, though is she kissing his neck or drinking his blood? :grimace:

Raccoon mascot strolling
The raccoon mascot always makes me smile when I see it around town.Munter walking with Dash at nightDash chasing tail barking at it
@Munterbacon‘s Munter and Dash out for an evening stroll with @MadameLee‘s Anne and @MsShadami‘s Amy in the background. And then silly Dash is barking at his tail.

Riley likes Ali's shoes
@simscognito‘s Riley still can’t take his eyes off @friendsfan367‘s “angelic” white shoes. :D

Party and cat
Cute stretching Dulcie (from @LegacySims2017) in the bottom right corner and @MINEZ‘s Julian pulls a whole disappearing lower half trick with the table.

Riley looking right at camera
I see you, Riley (@simscognito):p

Christmas party lots going on
I love parties in the Sims 4. It’s always fun to see the expressions and reactions of Sims. Here my Simself’s sister is excited about something, but I’m loving what’s happening on the edges. @CathyTea‘s Sugar Maple is seriously eyeing Dulcie (@LegacySims2017), and in her usual quiet way, they have an understanding of sorts. And then look at Karleen! She’s just beaming @Munterbacon‘s Munter. It’s adorable. Highlighted snowman, that’s why this pic didn’t make it in the story.

Sugar does push-ups at Christmas party
@CathyTeas Sugar did some push-ups at the party too.

Akira serenades Riley - You're the Top
Akira did a shiny karaoke jazz solo. He’s such a :star: He’s serenading @simscognito‘s Riley… with a solo that sounded very much like “You’re the top!”

🎵You’re the top! You’re the Colosseum,
You’re the top! You’re the Louvre Museum,
You’re a melody from a symphony by Strauss,
You’re a Bendel bonnet, a Shakespeare sonnet,
You’re Mickey Mouse.
You’re the Nile, You’re the Tow’r of Pisa,
You’re the smile on the Mona Lisa.
I’m a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, Baby, I’m the bottom,
You’re the top!🎵

Amy at the gallery
A picture of the gorgeous @Shadami‘s Amy.Caleb thriller dance

🎵’Cause this is thriller
Thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you
From the beast about to strike🎵

:D

Joseph upset about his fork
Joseph reading through the floor
A series of weird pictures with @LegacySims2017‘s Joseph and Don Baxter… and for my next trick…

No more Don and Joseph has a phone
…make Don disappear.

Bugsie and Lizzie admire paintingBugsie and Lizzie chatAnd finally an appearance by @Bugsie2016‘s Bugsie. I was beginning to wonder if she was still in my game. :)

Thanks everyone. In a few hours, the next LASL chapter will be posted since I always post around midnight Mountain Time.

Side Tracks: For Better or For Worse, Part 1 (Lizzie & Joseph)

We tried to stick to our routines while on vacation.  The doctor recommended I try and keep as much normalcy as possible.  I was still experiencing unexplained dizzy spells. The best we could figure was the growing pressure on my insides and possibly high blood pressure. For this reason,  I was determined to eat healthy, stay hydrated,  get good sleep,  and relax as often as I could.

Joseph would still go on his morning runs while I slept in and took bubble baths. Sometimes I’d order room service.  Sometimes I ate breakfast in the lobby so I could listen to the sweet tickle of the ivories. The hotel employed a pianist. It was nice to sit and eat from the breakfast buffet and listen to relaxing music. Usually Joseph would join me after his shower and he always had tales of someone or something he saw while out and about.

“Cathy says hi,” he’d say… or… “Sage sends her love.”

Sage was bummed to be out of the country when we threw a Christmastime party.  She promised to catch the next one,  and if no one had arranged yet,  she wanted to throw me an epic baby shower in the new year.

Typically,  Joseph would stop at the coffee bar in the hotel restaurant in the AM. It was a good place to get strong coffee and mingle with festival and/or hotel guests.  Everyday he happened to run into a friend or two. On the second day of our stay, he met Courtney Neon on the steps in front of the hotel.

“Holy wow!” she exclaimed,  checking out Joseph’s glistening upper half.  “I bet you hear this a lot,” she grinned.  “But you must workout.”

Joseph chuckled. “I run everyday.  Keeps me in shape.”

“And looking like that,” she remarked,  distracted by his figure. “Makes me want to start running again.”

“You’re welcome to join me… if you can keep up,” Joseph winked. “I have yet to meet someone who can keep up.”

“Sounds like a challenge,” she grinned. “I used to run marathons.”

“Ladies and gentlemen,  we have a contender,” Joseph exclaimed.

The hotel lobby left their Christmas tree up. The air felt festive. While waiting for Joseph, I chatted with the pianist. His name was Don Baxter. He was from Oasis Springs, my hometown, but his cousin worked in San Myshuno so they were thinking about moving to the city. He had been a police detective, but he was taking some time off after a work injury and pursuing his hobby – playing the piano.

“You’re quite talented,” I remarked. “I wish I hadn’t given up piano.”

“You play?” Don arched a brow.

“I did,” I chuckled weakly. “I was horrible. I can’t coordinate my right and left hand for the life of me.”

“It’s not that hard with practice,” Don shrugged.

“True. I do have a fine appreciation for music of all kinds. I actually really like singing,” I replied.

“Ah…  très bon,” Don kissed his fingers. “You should sing with me.”

“What!?” I giggled awkwardly. “No, I can’t. Not here.”

“Why not? I would be happy to accompany a très beau femme.”

“I…don’t know…” I flushed.

“Don’t be shy,” he said.

“I think the likelihood of me singing in public other than karaoke with friends is right up there with playing the piano again,” I laughed.

“I’d be happy to give you some private lessons,” Don said, lowering his voice.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were flirting with me,” I joked.

“What if I am?” Don smiled charmingly, leaning across the piano.

I didn’t have time to respond because Joseph appeared suddenly, a grimace on his face.

“I’d have to say… back off, buddy! She’s my wife,” he snipped.

“Oh you are married!” Don exclaimed. “My apologies.”

“That’s right, walk away and leave her alone,” Joseph grunted as sat down on the couch with his breakfast and put his hand on my leg.

Pardon,” Don said, a bit of pink in his cheeks. “Enjoy your breakfast.”

“I will. I will enjoy my breakfast with my wife,” Joseph glared at the man.

As soon as Don turned, I scooted away from Joseph.

“The man apologized,” I protested.

“I don’t like men flirting with you.”

“He didn’t know I was married. He was very polite about it.”

“I don’t care. You’re my wife and he has no business flirting with you.”

“Joseph,” I huffed. “You don’t have to be so possessive.”

“But you are my wife.”

“And you’re my husband, but sheesh! I don’t tell everyone every five seconds.”

“Now you’re exaggerating.”

“And you’re getting on my nerves.”

Joseph glared in the direction of the piano. “Do you think he’s good looking?”

“What does that have to do with anything?” I threw my hands up in the air.

“Do you think he’s good looking?” he repeated.

“Joseph, I’m with you. It doesn’t matter what I think or don’t think about Don. I’d say you’re jealous for no reason.  Are you sure you aren’t suffering from pregnancy hormones?” I teased, trying to lighten the mood.

“Liz, be serious!” Joseph raised his voice.  “How do I know more guys aren’t flirting with you?  How do I know you’re not enjoying it too?”

“Now wait a minute,” I huffed. “This is supposed to be a romantic vacation and instead we’re spending all this time apart.”

“And whose fault is that?” he grumbled.

“I can’t believe you don’t trust me,” I exclaimed. “What about you?” I pointed a finger accusingly. “Should I start asking you what you’re doing on your runs in the morning? Oogling any hot women?”

“You’re not being fair!” Joseph snipped.

“Really? Really?  I’m not being fair? You’re… You’re. ..gah!” I sputtered. “You’re impossible! I’m going up to the room,” I shook my head and left in a huff, drawing the attention of several nearby individuals.

Joseph tried to follow me upstairs but I told him not to bother.  He stomped back down the stairs,  passing an eccentric looking gentleman in a red print jacket.

“Domestic troubles?” the man inquired in a low and edgy voice,  revealing his pointy incisors as he grinned.

A vampire?  Joseph was startled. In San Myshuno?

“You know what the solution is,” the man continued.  “Broader horizons.”

“Whatever,” Joseph didn’t want to deal with strange vampire suggestions.

“Just trying to help,” the man held Joseph’s wrist. “Can I give you some advice? Never commit to just one person.”

Joseph grabbed his arm back and continued down the stairs. “Excuse me.”


Author Notes: Thanks for reading everyone. The titles are getting difficult with the content of these chapters since I’ve been goal-oriented thus far. I decided to, at least temporarily, get rid of the goal related chapter titles. Some trouble in paradise for young lovers, Lizzie and LegacySims2017’s Joseph Simself. This chapter also featured SoulGal7‘s Courtney Neon and game-generated/edited townie, Don Lothario Baxter.

Life inside the LASL World

Hey everyone, I thought I’d give you an update on what’s all going on with all the LASL Sims. I’ve been going around and checking in on all the houses (as some families have moved) to see what’s been happening before I officially start season/arc/part two.

For the record, regarding outfit changes, they were selected at random (and for the most part, I didn’t change what the game generated). Also, in terms of careers, either they joined a career autonomously, or I rolled the dice to select a career for them (and I have a few career mods). I also based some of the following info on their skills, traits, aspirations, and personalities.

Warning: Pic Spam. 😛

pammiechick‘s City Family still lives in Oasis Springs.

Holland Chambers is a busy mom between her painting, juggling family life, and serving as Lizzie’s agent. Dallas is a stay-at-home dad and he quite enjoys his “job,” but he also likes getting quality time with his wife.

Teenage Paris aged up and she is studying to get her PI’s license. In the meantime, she likes watching horror films and crime shows in the evenings.

Brooklyn aged up to a teenager and isn’t she’s gorgeous? She now has the traits “loves the outdoors,” “collector,” and “self-assured,” though I’d swear she is a bookworm. I love her bohemian look.

Young Houston was sleeping when I snapped a picture of him, but he was dreaming about making new friends. And Austin is off belting it out in the hallway. A budding singer, perhaps?

skcaga6‘s The Spinks family is living well. Larry Spinks is a justice of the peace/judge (I have a mod) for Oasis Springs, and Madeline is a legal secretary.

I think the parents just got back from a fancy event (I’m going to go with the ballet because Mrs. Spinks seems to love dancing. I seriously catch her dancing at all random hours of the day). Here’s the whole family watching news.

Teenage Danny isn’t doing great in school. He’s a C student, which is odd given he is supposedly a “nerd brain.” Maybe he just isn’t applying himself? Or he’s bored with school?

Young Teresa also aged up to a teenager. She’s got such a beautiful smile and a big heart. She wants to be a friend to the world. She’s also creative, cheerful, and gregarious, much like her child self. I love it!

And toddler John aged up also. He’s now a whiz kid, but a bit of a loner. He was feeling pretty comfortable with his whole family watching the evening news though.

@lilypadmeulin‘s Lizette Lopez is still not having any luck on the dating frontier, but she was recently promoted to press agent for a celebrity client. I’m guessing, she cleaned up her attitude for a public relations career?!?

And Tabatha aged up. The kiddo is now a rambunctious little scamp with the hot-headed trait. And still spoiled… she gets to nap on mommy’s bed, even after she threw a fit. But isn’t that outfit precious?

skcaga6‘s The Wymers… we’ve only seen Mr. Edwin Wymer and his daughter, Sharon show up in Part One. Now to see them all.

Edwin runs the local community center, volunteers at the library, and he got his minister’s license to boot (I needed a shepherd in the Springs, and I picked Edwin at random). Here he’s making sandwiches for the local homeless shelter. And son, Darryl is a chef and a bodybuilder, with his own catering company. Still trying to wrap my head around this one.

Bonnie, his wife, is a talented computer programmer and works as a developer from home, but she still enjoys catching a game of Blicblock or two when the kids are all in bed.

Dayle works as a curator at the museum, The Future’s Past, plays video games with his mom when he’s not working, and appreciates the arts.

Mary Jo works at the library, her favorite book is The Princess Bride, and she dreams of “twue luv.”

And teens, Sharon, Brenda, and Steve are the best of friends.

Sharon is pretty good at video gaming, like her mom, but she’s recently taken an interest in painting, chess club, and writing funny scripts for the school play.

Brenda is second violinist in the school orchestra, but also enjoys gourmet cooking shows, particularly ones with chocolate, and she’s taken up fishing on the weekends with her dad.

Steve is acting in the plays Sharon writes, and like his dad, he has taken a kind interest in friends and neighbors who are displaced, actively volunteering at the soup kitchen.

skcaga6‘s Brighton Biggs is now an orderly at Oasis Springs General Hospital, and he’s still looking for his soul mate, so he’s flirting with all those nurses. Plus he’s reading romances at home to try and beef up his game. He enjoys pranking his fellow colleagues at work, and recently has tried his hand at baking. Maybe he can win over the ladies with his sweets.

And Kendyl has aged up to a teenager, and she’s a beautiful young woman no less. She rolled computer whiz aspiration, and she’s quite smart and technical.

CathyTea‘s Sugar Maple Bough has the moulah! But she’s not advertising it since she’s super humble. She is a concert virtuoso, traveling the world. To be honest, she probably has a house in every town. I recently got to check out her penthouse, and I was particularly impressed by her swimming pool and her indoor basketball court.

“It’s just stuff,” she shrugged. “Some place to have fun with my friends.”

I hope CT and Sugar Maple will visit Lizzie more often.

Speaking of CT, it’s the talk of the town, or maybe it’s not… lol… but she’s taken in a new roommate. A townie generated from my library, my altered Don Lothario, because I can’t have two Don Lotharios running around in my SimVerse. 😉

So this is Don Baxter, who previously appeared in my Life of Whimsy tale with Jenara Yearling. Yay for Sim autonomy.

Cathy is a bestselling author, and she travels regularly for work, so she needs someone to take care of the house – Raffia Quinta – when she’s away. Don is perfect for that as he is detective with the local Springs PD.

Karilan‘s Sage Reed has moved in to Sugar Maple’s penthouse in the city, renting, of course, and living the life she’s always wanted… wait for it… party stylist for the stars! Woot! This girl’s got skills with a cosmetics brush and picking out the dream dress. And she stays fit by swimming laps in the balcony pool. *sigh* I wish.

MINEZ‘s Ameera Laghari still resides in Oasis Springs and works as a room attendant at the Burners and Builders Gym, mostly replenishing magazines and schmoozing with clients.

MINEZ‘ Aria Rhys is still singing to her heart’s content in the Springs, but she gets gigs all over and travels a bit. Lately, she’s been closer to home, working for the local symphony.

friendsfan367‘s Ali Morrison works as the team mascot for the Oasis Acres, women’s basketball team. She has a lot of fun with her job, and she’s still looking to adopt some cute critters.

MINEZ‘ Siri Beaumont is an artist en residence. She has leveled her painting abilities to 8. She’s hoping some of the local galleries might display her work.

My Simself’s kid sister, Nora Green is working as a line cook at the local Pizza Planet. Gotta start somewhere. Mmm… now I want the cheese. All the cheese pizza. 🙂 It helps that her boyfriend, MINEZ‘ Julian DeBateau is the senior manager of the business.

Over in San Myshuno… I’m getting the families settled in.

simcognito‘s Riley Cognito landed a job as a writing assistant. He’s chatting it up with some of the female tenants (one named Rebecca and the other named Aanya), pitching story ideas.

MadameLee‘s Anne Charming is sharing a pad with Shadami‘s Amy Cat. Anne started a blog, and gets paid as a freelancer to write articles. Amy isn’t quite sure what she wants to do yet, but to pay the rent, she’s working as an office assistant at Planet Honey Pop.

Zurka‘s Angela Smith works in the science department as a UFOlogist at The University of San Myshuno. Her husband Jon is working on the next big thing… trying to create a start-up with his entrepreneurial ideas.

I went to check in on LegacySims2017‘s Goober Nerdstrom and discovered one of the weirdest things to happen in my game. Somehow there was more than one Goober Nerdstrom and well, this happened when I loaded up. Jasmine Holiday was in the hallway, and here comes Grim. Goober killed his doppelganger perhaps? Though he looks a bit shocked here. And that’s pretty heavy for a petty thief.

The Reaper, in my Simworld, is actually many reapers, part of a race known as the Kr’v. Shameless plug for my Darkness May Dream story.

Checking in with the “Stuck in the 80s” Household… submitted by SoulGal7.

Courtney is now an intelligence researcher. She’s still looking for her soul mate, and has picked up the skill of video gaming. Maybe a date night at the arcade?

Lewis is a page two journalist. Lewis also enjoys video gaming, but he’s also beefing up on fitness for an article for the San Myshuno Daily Message.

Leon is a stylist consultant. Hmm… for the 80s hairdo? I’m loving it! Leon’s gained the most skills in charisma, DJ-ing, and logic.

Now introducing TheYayToast’s Carter family. I was forced to change the hair on the two ladies and an outfit piece or two because I don’t have the stuff packs the original stuff came in.

Here’s the bio YayToast provided: Cedric and Marie met in the lab. Sparks flew and it wasn’t just from a misaligned Tesla coil. The two have been inseparable ever since and strive to outdo each other as scientists. Will they be able to raise their family or will their competitive spirits keep them in the lab? 

Marie and Cedric are both junior tinkerers. Cedric wants to be a renaissance Sim. And his genius, perfectionist, quick learner traits might just help him get there. Plus he’s self-assured.

Also a genius and quick learner, Marie is ambitious and a bookworm, and she wants to be the ultimate nerd brain.

Eleanor is a genius whiz kid… and no doubt, she’s her parents’ daughter.

Only toddler Crispin is a bit on the wild side, spirited and full of energy, but that could change as he ages. We’ll see. This lovely family resides in the Hakim House Apartments.

TheYayToast also submitted her Simself, Ash Toast. This geeky girl is just looking for a place to write and find love in the city of San Myshuno. Her traits of geeky, creative, romantic might just help her out there. She’s also angling to be a bestselling author.

Unfortunately, I had to change a bit of her outfits around, but I’m already loving the hair, and can’t wait for Lizzie to interact with her. Ash is employed as an advice columnist (because I rolled at random).

On Friday evening, I hung out with one of my closest friends and we got talking about the Sims. She doesn’t play the game, but by the time I described all the fun I’m having writing this story, she insisted I create a character for her. Karleen Corey (name changed for privacy) is based on my real-life friend and with her permission, I’m adding her to this ISBI story. I moved her in with Ash because I love the look of the apartment, and it’s fitting for my friend.

Karleen is geeky, a goofball, and self-assured (because is she ever confident in real life! I’m actually super jealous!). I hope you grow to love her as I have, but we’ll see if Karleen is like her real-life counterpart. Of course, the first thing she did was sit down to research pick-up lines. Typical. Ha! Karleen’s aspiration in game is to be the chief of mischief, all in good fun.

John Schooner has come to the city to break into the tech field. He wants to create the next great video game. A geek at heart, John also enjoys dabbling in art, reading, and knowing lots of random facts. He’s great at trivia nights. Oh and he’s Lizzie’s cousin!

So John is based on another good friend of mine, with his permission, similar to Karleen. People often mistake us for siblings or cousins so we joked around on Friday night that we should be related in game, especially if Karleen is going to be a character. 😉

So John is now Lizzie’s cousin, and his dad, Jude, is Essie’s brother (based on a combination of two uncles of mine). You can download John over at my gallery page. John’s aspiration is nerd brain because he wants to know all the stuffs.

Here’s his dad. Jude Schooner. And he’s no slouch either. He lives in an adorable yellow house in Newcrest, about an hour and a half away from Lizzie’s parents. Jude is divorced, and now that his son’s moved to San Myshuno, he’s open to dating again. Jude was a dot-com pioneer and wants to be a computer whiz. His traits are genius, ambitious, active, and quick learner. You can download Jude over at my gallery page.

John’s got some roomies, submitted by MINEZ/writerboy08. I found it funny once I typed the names, Schooner, Marks, and Fernandez. It sounds like a law firm. Anyhoo, they live at 701 Zen View.

Here’s their backstory: Lauryn and Izzie (Issador) are a city couple through and through. Izzie is loves his morning jogs through the city and is the life of any party. He works in Public Relations with hopes of earning a promotion soon to prepare for his upcoming nuptials. His fiance, Lauryn is an aspiring writer who is currently working at firm as an editor to make ends meet. She loves helping writers complete their story even though she hasn’t finished hers.

I’ve added the new households to the character page. I’m still looking to fill up some more spots so if anyone has Sims they’d still like to submit, I’d appreciate it. And you have time. Thanks for reading. I’m looking forward to starting chapters for you soon.

1.12 Finding Friends (ALOW)

Jenara jogged across her lawn toward the street. There were always neighbors out and about. Someone would share her veggie burgers. She was certain.

Sure enough as she rounded the house, she spotted Don Lothario running along the sidewalk.

“Don!” she called out. “Hey Don!”

The man was in his own little world, listening to whatever melodies and harmonies streamed through his headphones. Jenara tried waving, but by that point, he was already past her view.

“Oh well,” she sighed.

Jenara started down the street, whistling a happy little tune, something she heard on the television program she watched yesterday. The sun hadn’t fully risen yet, a sort-of fuzzy unripe peach in the morning sky, but cast a lovely rosy-orange glow all around. She spotted Sandra Roth crossing the street, and started to call after her, but the girl kept her head slumped and ignored Jenara.

I wonder what her deal is. She seems pretty goth and depressed all the time, Jenara observed.

“Oh, Vito!” she exclaimed, seeing the green-skinned man continue down the sidewalk behind her. “How have you been, my friend?”

“We’re not friends,” he replied, gruffly.

“Oh but I thought we could be,” she said cheerily. “It’s such a beautiful morning. I made some veggie bur…”

“Butt out, pep squad,” he growled. “And stay away from my wife. She’s already happy enough without your influence.”

With that, Vito Terrano turned and stomped down the road, leaving a confused, and somewhat sad Jenara. Why don’t people like me? she wondered, with dismay. Was she too bubbly and bright and cheery? But wasn’t that the way to make friends?

Jenara remembered a word of advice from her aunt, Ana Nova. Once Jenara came home from school with skinned knees and a bruised ego. Her “friends” had made fun of her in front of the boy she liked, and Jenara had been so crushed she wasn’t paying attention and rode her bicycle into a bush. The girls from school laughed and didn’t help her. They called her stupid and said only a loser would crash into a bush on their bike. She had been so humiliated. She cried and said she never wanted to go to school again, and it was the end of the world. Her auntie had set her on the counter, and gave her a spoonful of her favorite dark cherry ice cream.

Did you know that if you cut a tulip, it will continue to grow up to an inch in a vase?” Ana Nova had said. 

Jenara recalled giving her aunt a puzzled look.

“Sometimes people will say things that are cruel and they cut you to your core,” Ana Nova continued. “But like the cut on a tulip stem, it doesn’t mean the end of life. You can grow stronger and taller from adversity. You know this word, right?”

Jenara bobbed her head, the spoon dangling from her mouth.

“There are people in the world who do cruel things, but don’t ever stop being the lovely red tulip, my sweet sun blossom,” Ana Nova kissed Jenara’s hair. “You will find growth in the healing.” 

With newfound purpose, Jenara decided to walk further down the road and visit the park. Perhaps she would find friends there, and someone to share her veggie burgers.

Sure enough she met Gar. He wasn’t in his PlantSim form, and she thought he looked handsome in his jean jacket, neatly pressed khakis, and baseball cap. He was even wearing her favorite color shirt.

“What do you say about professional cows?” he asked.

“Um?” she frowned, thinking hard.

“They are outstanding in their field!” he joked.

Jenara covered her stomach as she laughed. “Oh that’s cheesy. Wait… I have one… why do cows have hooves instead of feet?” She grinned broadly. “Because they lactose.”

Gar doubled over, laughing hysterically. “You’re funny, Jenara Yearling.”

“Do you like veggie burgers?” she blurted out, and then blushed, feeling uncomfortable about her over-enthusiasm. “I mean… I made some… back at my house… they’re just sitting there… all alone…and I could some help eating them. I know they’re not exactly a traditional breakfast…”

“Oh I like veggie burgers,” Gar bobbed his head.

“Good,” Jenara grinned. “You wanna come?” she nodded in the direction of her house, and Gar fell into step. “Say, Gar?”

“Yes?”

“Would you like to be my friend?”

Gar took off his cap and placed his arm over his chest. “It would be my honor, Jenara.”


It is my goal to start updating this story on Wednesdays around midnight MST.  

Previous Chapter: 1.11 Veggie Burgers

1.10 Company (ALOW)

Jenara found herself watching over the podlings for nearly an hour. Each one was different, reflective of its comrade in a way. One glowed purple, the shade of a plump dragonfruit, and she could sense the rare and generous spirit of this podling’s counterpart, Tara. Another glowed a bold red, reflective of the heated emotions of its counterpart,Vito. Garbanzo’s podling glowed a vibrant fuschia color, and Jenara blushed thinking of his kind and extravagant words.

Snapping out of her reverie, she headed inside, barely having time to put on a pot of coffee and set out her cakes before the arrival of her neighborhood guests. She didn’t even have time to change. Jasmine came shortly behind, bringing Tara with her. Jenara found herself feeling disappointed when Garbanzo didn’t make an appearance.

Tara cornered Jenara and thanked her once again for caring for the podlings, and relayed her happiness that the younger woman was so generous in allowing a stump on her lawn. Jenara told her it was nothing, and she was enjoying the education and the experience, plus she was happy to meet fellow PlantSims attending the conference, and help be apart of a worthy cause. Tara asked about the PlantSims Jenara had met, and apologized on behalf of her husband. She also made a quick comment about Gar, being quite the ladies man, despite his attachment to another certain PlantSim. Again, Jenara felt disappointed. Perhaps she had misread his intentions, and maybe he was just being nice, but from the way Tara portrayed the man, she had probably flirted with a married man. Talk about awkward.

Despite her completely embarrassing encounter with Don Baxter and the Waterside ladies, they still made an appearance at Jenara’s gathering. Don even brought a friend, J Huntington the III, a local technician, who had much to say about setting up the website of the PlantSim conference and managing a chat room for supernaturals and Sims alike to get to know one another and promote peaceful relations. He even offered to put in a good word at his workplace for her if she wanted a job. Jenara found him to be a bit self-absorbed, but she was happy to meet another fellow tech with an interest in geeky things. She even had the time to debate various Star Trek captains with him, though she wasn’t sure she could forgive him for liking Archer the best. Jenara decided to keep her “lame” comment to herself as that wouldn’t have been polite.

Don nodded to her in his casual “wassup” kind-of way as he passed by Jenara and Tara. He was carrying two plates, one with a slice of Jasmine’s banana chocolate chip bread and the other with a slice of cheescake from Jenara’s kitchen. He brought the desserts to his friend, J. As much as Jenara was enjoying learning about Tara’s PlantSimness, she found herself straining to listen to the two men on the couch.

“This house is cool,” Don was saying.

“Yeah, and it’s resident is pretty cool too,” J said, munching on the banana bread. “Do you think that Jenara chick is into me?”

“Dude, you think everyone is into you!” Don punched his friend in the arm.

“I can’t help it. I’m great,” J grinned much too smugly.

Jenara resisted the urge to roll her eyes.


Hope you enjoyed!

Previous Chapter: 1.9 Petit Chou

1.4 New Neighbors (ALOW)

The doorbell rang. Jenara eagerly ran to greet her male guest, and was surprised to see a woman standing on her front yard instead.

“Uh hi,” she said, as she tripped out her front door onto what she thought was grass.

The pretty lady with the blonde bob and a super cute sundress and feminine ballet flats eyed her up and down. Jenara felt self-conscious in her red sport coat, jeans, and kicks. She rubbed her toe against the astroturf, wondering why on Simterra it came all the way to the front door instead of having a walkway like all the other houses on the block. How did she miss this before when she came in the house? Was it always like this? She couldn’t remember, and it made her feel cheap and awkward.

“Um… hello…” she said again. “Can I help you?”

“Hi, I’m Virginia,” the blonde said melliflously. “I was friends with the girl that used to live here, and she said someone who owned this house a long time ago was moving back in. I just had to see for myself who you were.”

“Um… I’m Jenara.”

“What? No way! You’re Jenara… of the Yearling family? Aren’t you like super rich or something? What are you doing here?”

Jenara flushed, feeling uncomfortable.

“Uh… I used to live here… as a kid,” she began, side-stepping the comment about her net worth. “…and I just moved back.”

There. Simple enough answer. Virginia didn’t need to know all the details.

“I might have to stay in Oasis Springs more often then now that someone interesting lives here again,” Virginia said, offering a super bright smile. “I travel a lot to get away from this heat. Frequent flyer miles, baby!”

Jenara chuckled weakly.

“Oh em gee, you gotta meet my mom and sis, Jenara,” Virginia exclaimed, reaching for Jenara’s wrist as if they were old friends. “Hold up…” she whistled for two redhaired women standing on the sidewalk nearby. “Mom! This is the house!” she waved and pointed dramatically.

“Oh!” the older redhaired woman gasped and approached, dragging the younger one behind her. “So this is the Yearling house?”

Jenara received an unexpected hug from the older woman wearing much too youthful attire. The visitor appeared to have received injections, but she could still note the tiny wrinkles around the woman’s eyes, a giveaway to her age.

“I’m Katrina Waterside,” the woman said. “And these are my daughters, Virginia… you’ve already met…and Sarah.”

“We’re twins,” Sarah piped up, bouncing her perky red waves.

“Oh…cool…” was all Jenara could think to say.

Fraternal,” Virginia grunted.

“I’m older than you,” Sarah snipped.

“By like two minutes… who the hell cares!” Virginia shrieked.

“So you’re…uh… my neighbors?” Jenara tried to steer the subject away.

The girls stopped squabbling and looked to their mother, who looked young enough to be their older sister.  Jenara surmised the “fraternal” twins were around eighteen or nineteen, and their mother was in her early thirties.

“Yeah, my ex-husband settled us here in this desert paradise. Could’ve picked a worse spot, I suppose. You’ll like it here if you like the heat. There’s not too much to do, but I like to hit the casinos,” Katrina replied.

“Mom’s really good at the craps table,” Sarah added. “She’s won a whole lot…” she covered her mouth and giggled. “I was friends with the girl who lived here. We used to sneak into the casinos and pretend we were older just so we could get juice and…”

Virginia shot her sister an icy cold stare as if warning her to shut up, but if their mother noticed, she didn’t seem to care about the girl’s admission.

“I always wondered when the Yearlings would come back to Oasis Springs,” Katrina said. “I’m so glad you’re home, honey.”

“Thanks,” Jenara shifted awkwardly, uncomfortable with the Watersides’ strange familiarity with her. “Do you know what happened to the family that lived here? My aunt said they moved out so I could move back here, but I didn’t know the details…”

“Don might know,” Katrina supposed.

“Don?” Jenara looked at her, bewildered. “Who’s that?”

The Waterside sisters giggled. “Don,” they yelled in unison toward the plaza across the street.

The beautiful man with the fruit cake and ribbon stood up from a bench on the plaza, and wandered over into their yard. Jenara felt the heat rush into her cheeks.

“Don Baxter meet Jenara Yearling,” Virginia introduced. “Don used to date the girl who lived here, but he…” she linked her delicate arm with his muscular one and giving his shoulder an affectionate pat. “…moved onto greener pastures, if you know what I mean.”

Jenara was certain her cheeks were full of red.

“Hey, whassup?” Don said, casually.

“Good thanks,” Jenara replied hurriedly, and then flushed. “Oh, is that for me?” she turned her attention to the fruitcake in his hand.

“Yeah, a welcome wagon gift,” he smiled dreamily.

“Uh….what?” she tilted her head, feeling dazed.

“A welcome wagon,” Sarah said, perkily. “You know…a welcome to the neighborhood kind-of thing…” she giggled. “What? You’ve never had one before?”

“No,” Jenara looked down at her shoes.

She made a mental note to call a landscaper tomorrow to fix her front yard. She couldn’t have astroturf without a walkway if more neighbors were to stop by.

“I’m sorry. I’m being rude. I should invite you in or I suppose we could go have cake around by the pool,” Jenara added.

“You have a pool!?!” Virginia squealed, clapped her hands like a child, and ran around the side of the house, taking full advantage of the invitation.

Katrina laughed. “Virginia was born a water baby.”

As if that makes sense… I didn’t exactly invite them to swim. 

“Sarah, on the other hand, is afraid of water, but we live in Oasis Springs, so there aren’t any large bodies of water around for miles,” Katrina continued.

The pretty redhead pouted.

“I like swimming,” Don said cheekily.

“Oh… you do?” Jenara’s eyes lit up. “I bet you look ravishing without a shirt on.”

Instantly, heat flooded her cheeks. Sarah continued frowning, and Katrina laughed, amused. Don shrugged as if not sure what to say.

“Did you…uh… bring swim trunks?” she asked. “…and suits?” she cleared her throat. “Swim suits… did you bring your swim suits, ladies? you’re all welcome to swim. I think the pool is clean.”

You think the pool is clean? Jenara did a mental face-palm.

“I’ll go find Virginia,” Katrina said, wandering around the side of the house.

“Do you like… pools?” Jenara squeaked.

“I could swim,” Don remarked.

“I haven’t gotten a chance to swim in it yet, but I’m assured the caretaker took excellent care of it. Even so I built a cleaning bot to help me out and save me time in the future. I’m technical like that and all. I mean I really enjoy building things and tearing them apart, so let me know, neighbors, if you need any help building or tearing apart things because I’m great at that,” Jenara babbled. “I’m good with my hands if you ever need a hand or something.”

What in the Creator’s name is wrong with me? You wanted a bigger hole! Jenara couldn’t have been more humiliated. It was as if her mouth was talking and her brain was somewhere else. Don just stared at her, making Jenara feel worse. Sarah gave Don a weird look and then broke into a funny laugh.

“Oh Don, she’s yapping away like a little puppy,” Sarah said, bemused. “And she’s got a dog collar around her neck so that’s even better.” She touched Don’s arm playfully. “And she offered to give you a hand… if you ever need it. How cute is that?”

“Well, that’s what good neighbors do, right? Give each other hands. I’m happy to help you with all your needs in any way I can,” Jenara continued, much too cheerily.

Oh llamas! Can you dig a deeper hole? 

“What kind of needs?” Don smirked.

“She said all…” Sarah laughed daintily. “Any and all needs, just like a faithful ole pup… Jenara, isn’t it?”

Jenara frowned.

“I’m sure my sister and I can accommodate Don in the way you’re suggesting, but if we break anything around the house that he can’t fix, I’ll be sure to send him your way. In swim trunks if you prefer,” she winked for emphasis.

Jenara’s cheeks burst with color as she realized the double entendre for the first time. Llamas! That’s why Sarah was laughing at me so much. 

“Maybe we should go,” Don said.

“Fine by me. I hate swimming, and I despise fruitcake,” Sarah flipped her hair over her shoulder. “It was nice meeting you,” she said to Jenara in a saccharine sweet tone.

“Riiight… bye…” Jenara waved as the two left her fake-out front lawn.

She didn’t even bother to go find Katrina and Virginia as she walked straight inside. She would go bury herself beneath covers now.


Author Note: This chapter is part of my brand new series, A Life of Whimsy, following Jenara Yearling, my torch bearer, for an ISBI TS4 challenge. If you want to learn more about my plans, click HERE.

In case you’re wondering about the name switch, I did this for sanity sake. While ALOW takes place in the alternate TS4 world, there is crossover to my TS3 world – Simterra, and it takes place on the same planet. I debated changing the TS4 worlds to some random Simterran country, and then decided it would just be easier to rename certain crossover characters.

Don already makes an appearance in My Life with Criminals story, and is referenced in From Riverview, With Love and The Kassiopeia Fullbright Mystery Series. In the original Sims, Don Baxter was used in the promotional materials, and he eventually married a redhead named Sarah. Sarah has a sister named Virginia. Since Katrina isn’t mentioned in TS3, I kept her name, but gave the three ladies the last name Waterside, inspired by “Waterside Dina.” This saved me hassle for the TS3 Caliente family given they have been mentioned and will make appearances in my other stories. I will continue to do this for other characters in the TS4 world. Also for now, Oasis Springs is just outside Oasis Landing from TS3 in terms of geography on Simterra. Hope you enjoyed and didn’t cringe too much at the awkwardness of poor Jenara.

Previous Chapter: 1.3 Passing Time

Next Chapter: 1.5 Pod

1.3 Passing Time (ALOW)

After a late lunch, Jenara settled into her dad’s computer in the old office. After checking her emails and bank account balance, she sent a quick email of thanks to her great aunt’s attorney and the caretaker of her family estate.

Bloop! 

She smiled. Eva.

Jenara quickly typed a few words to her friend via chat.

TheDarlingYearling: Hey girl, I miss you. 

CapricciosaBossa: OMG! Jenara! It’s great that I caught you! I didn’t think I would with the time zone thing.

The DarlingYearling: Yes, you caught me. I’m settling into my old home. 

CapricciosaBossa: Wow… how’s that for you? 

TheDarlingYearling: Weird, but I’ll adjust. How are things in Windenburg? 

CapricciosaBossa: I headed back to Simtalia for the summer. I didn’t want to deal with the drama. 

Jenara frowned. She knew Eva meant the stuff with Jenara’s ex-boyfriend. The three of them, plus a few others, had shared a house together. After the break-up, things grew tense in the residence with the roommates picking sides. Jenara didn’t blame her friend for getting out. She had been grateful for an excuse to leave Deutchsimland also. The ladies chatted for a half-hour. Eva told her about the strange hours she was keeping at her new job as a night club assistant manager. The girl certainly had talent, and with her flair for the dramatic and design, Jenara suspected her friend would go far in the club life.

CapricciossaBossa: I’ve gotta snooze if I’m gonna be alert for my shift tonight. Keep in touch. XOXOX, girlie! 

TheDarlingYearling: Get some sleep. I will. XOXOX back attcha. 

Jenara poked around with her chat settings, killing time to see if any of her other uni mates would pop up online, but given the lateness of the hour overseas, she didn’t hear from anyone.

Closing out her chat, she loaded TheSims. Nothing like an alternate world and playing supreme commander for awhile to beat the blahs. After an hour in CAS customizing her Sim’s appearance, and another hour of wooing the boy next door, Jenara’s Sim had found love and settled into the heart-shaped hot tub for some heat and fun. Jenara clicked save in frustration. Even in an alternate reality, Sims were finding love with ease. 

Pff! she blew a tuft of brown hair out of her glasses. I’m pathetic.

She wasn’t going to make friends staying indoors and gaming all the time, despite her undying love for all things Sims. Cracking her knuckles, she leaned in her dad’s office chair and interlocked her fingers behind her head.

Think! Think! There had to be a community center around here where she could meet people, or maybe a local park. She should probably go grocery shopping. Jenara closed her eyes and began making a mental shopping list.

A throaty whistling sound interrupted her thoughts. Her eyes snapped open. Standing up, she followed the sound through the office and kitchen and into the living room. Feeling a bit like a creeper, she peered through her blinds and caught sight of one of the most beautiful men she had ever seen.

He was whistling and walking happily with a plate full of fruit cake wrapped in a crimson bow…

…and he was headed straight for her front door.


This is the fourth post in my brand new series, A Life of Whimsy, following Jenara Yearling, my torch bearer, for an ISBI TS4 challenge. If you want to learn more about my plans, click HERE. Eva Capricciosa is a TS4 Sim. And I just love that my Sims can play the Sims forever! Lol.

Hope you enjoyed!

Previous Chapter: 1.2 Welcome Home

Next Chapter: 1.4 New Neighbors