Dec 31, 2010

Bliadhna mhath ur! Beannachd Dia dhuit.

Happy New Year!  Blessings of God be with you!

Dec 29, 2010

The Honour of Your Presence is Requested at the Fifth Annual Snowflake Ball

It is with great pleasure that I am once again inviting you to The Snowflake Ball, which has become a Steamlands winter tradition.  This is now the fifth such lovely event. The Snowflake Ball has deep sentimental meaning for me as one of the first formal Victorian dances in our collective history and a time and place to be with - and make - very good friends.

The first Duchess Loch Avie, Shenlei Flasheart, started this tradition in January 2007, and I am honored to have been able to continue to hold this beautiful ball each year, first in my role as Duchess Loch Avie and now also as the Lady of Skye.

I am pleased to announce that my cousin, Gabrielle Riel, will once again be providing the music for our dancing pleasure.  

My wish is that you will enjoy yourselves entirely on this very special night in the snow.  We do not wish that the formal nature of the ball would intimidate you as we utilize the dance cards for our 11 dance sets, but rather provide you with an option to enhance your pleasure of the event.  If you have not already received a notecard, which includes your dance card for the night, as part of the group announcements to Winterfell, Steelhead, and Caledon, there will be a table with cards available for your use on the night of the ball.  (I am working to have announcements made in New Babbage, New Toulouse, and Seraph City as well.)  We will observe the etiquette of the Steamlands rather than that of strict Victorian tradition.  Therefore, anyone may request a dance of anyone else (i.e. women may initiate an invitation to dance; women may dance with women and men with men;   all avatars are welcome including tinies, furries, mechanical beings of all types, time lords, and more).

We will  begin to gather on the grounds of my home, Caisteal Teanacadh, at 7pm SLT where we may visit with our friends and neighbors and perhaps begin filling the dance card - if all your dances are not spoken for prior to the ball..  The first dance set will begin at 7:15pm.

I look forward to seeing you all there.

Snowflake by William Baer

Timing’s everything. The vapor rises
high in the sky, tossing to and fro,
then freezes, suddenly, and crystallizes
into a perfect flake of miraculous snow.
For countless miles, drifting east above
the world, whirling about in a swirling free-
for-all, appearing aimless, just like love,
but sensing, seeking out, its destiny.
Falling to where the two young skaters stand,
hand in hand, then flips and dips and whips
itself about to ever-so-gently land,
a miracle, across her unkissed lips:
as he blocks the wind raging from the south,
leaning forward to kiss her lovely mouth.

The First Snowflake Ball
Caledon Loch Avie
January 2007

Second Annual Snowflake Ball
Caledon Loch Avie
January 2008

Third Annual Snowflake Ball
Port Caledon
January 2009

The Fourth Annual Snowflake Ball
Isle of Skye, Winterfell Anodyne
January 2010

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Dec 24, 2010

Christmas Blessings Upon You, My Friends

The light of the Christmas star to you,
The warmth of home and hearth to you,
The cheer and good will of friends to you,
The hope of a childlike heart to you,
The joy of a thousand angels to you,
The love of the Son and God’s peace to you.

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Dec 22, 2010

A Story of St. Brigid for the Holiday Season

Saint Brigid of Kildare or Brigid of Ireland (Brigit, Bridget, Bridgit, Bríd or Bride) or Mary of the Gael (Irish: Naomh Bríd) (c. 451–525) is one of Ireland's patron saints along with Saints Patrick and Columba. Irish hagiography makes her an early Irish Christian nun, abbess, and founder of several monasteries.
Her feast day is 1 February, celebrated as St. Brigid's Day or Imbolc in Gaelic Ireland  (from Wikipedia)

Bridget (given name)Image via Wikipedia

There are many stories of Brigid's life and there are just as many debates among scholars about which, if any, are true.  But the story I read to you today comes from the book, This Way To Christmas by Ruth Sawyer.  You may find the full text of that book at the UPENN digital library:

A blessed Christmas to you and yours.

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Dec 14, 2010

Degrees of Connection

Six Degrees of Separation has become so common place a concept that it is now quite influential in popular culture and daily life, but for the sake of completeness in this post, I shall include a small portion of the history.  This theoretical concept that any of us is, on average, only six steps away from any other human on Earth in our "human web" of life was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy and popularized by a play written by John Guare.

Are we really so connected by friends and friends of friends?

I have found it to be quite true over the course of my adult life.  As an example, in playing the popular game to determine my "Kevin Bacon number", I discovered that I have a Bacon number of 4.  How?

I sang with Jennifer Miller in The Blessing
who sang with Julie Andrews in a Radio City Music Hall production
who acted with Karen Vaccaro in Unconditional Love
who acted with Kevin Bacon in Stir of Echos

I've also learned that I have a connection to Bob Hope via my husband, who in his youth happened to have a small chat with Mr. Hope in the rest room during a Washington DC fund-raising dinner.

These are silly examples to be sure, but illustrate the point, that as unlikely as it seems, there are connections to be made out there with the famous, the infamous, and the not-so-famous. 

My most treasured connections are those that are discovered to have some meaning in my life.  Something like this just happened to me this weekend, and it has been so much on my mind that I would like to share it with you.

I have made no secret of the fact that I live in the Hershey, PA area.  As you might imagine, The Hershey Company and Trust dominate the region.  Milton S. Hershey was born here in the farmlands of central Pennsylvania and returned to his roots here as a young entrepreneur making milk chocolate.  He built this town; built it for the workers for his factory.

In 1898, he married Catherine "Kitty" Sweeney.  The two of them were unable to have children, but being desirous of helping as many children as possible, they established the Hershey Industrial School for orphan boys.  Kitty died in 1915 and in 1918, Hershey transferred the majority of his assets, including control of the company, to the Milton Hershey School Trust fund, to benefit the Industrial School. The Trust, as it has come to be known,  has a majority of voting shares in The Hershey Company, allowing it to keep control of the company.  In 1951, the school was renamed the Milton Hershey School, and now admits both boys and girls.  They no longer need be orphans, but all must meet the need requirements set forth by The Trust and school.
 Milton and Kitty 

Mr. Hershey took great pride in the growth of the school, the town, and his business. He placed the quality of his product and the well-being of his workers ahead of profits.

 With this ideal in mind, in 1963 Mr. Sam Hinkle, the President of Hershey Chocolate Company, made a phone call to the Penn State University President, Mr. Eric Walker.  This phone call has been dubbed the $50 Million Phone Call.  Mr. Hinkle proposed that Penn State establish a School of Medicine and Medical Center with a starting donation of $50M from The Trust.

Mr. Hinkle and Mr. Walker recreate the $50 Million Phone Call

And with this phone call the wheels were set in motion for a world class Medical Center, School of Medicine and Research Center. With this phone call the steps were built for the care and growth of a community.  With this phone call the first building blocks were laid for my, and my family's, future.

So by now you are wondering, what the connection I have been referencing actually is.  I was approached by our local church to sing at a funeral this past weekend.  I do this sometimes - and weddings, too.  I was pleased to be able to assist even though I was unaware of the family who was coming in from out of state to celebrate a service of memorial in the chapel where their family had so long ago worshiped (from the 1950s through the 1980s).

The setting was lovely.  Our chapel built in the mid-1800s lit by candlelight, which reflected off the well polished dark red wood felt comforting. Christmas wreaths and advent candles and a cross made from hundreds of dusky pink roses representing the woman whose life we celebrated added to the warmth in the cold of the winter evening.

During the remembrances of family and long-time friends, I came to discover that this woman, who died after 102 years on this earth of ours, was the widow of Mr. Sam Hinkle.  The celebrated President of the Hershey Chocolate Company, and who felt so strongly about central Pennsylvania having an academic medical center and school of medicine, that he convinced The Trust and the Pennsylvania State University, that they should build it - together - with $50 million donated by the company that essentially brought the town to life.


I was asked to sing The Lords PrayerI was asked to comfort, and perhaps uplift, this grieving family (3 generations of them) of the woman, who stood by her husband through his life, his business dealings, and his own long illness.  The woman who helped her husband bring the dream of Penn State Hershey Medical Center to life before I was even born.  The woman whose work alongside her husband indirectly provided professional work opportunities, income, and satisfaction for my husband and me.

I am deeply affected by this connection.  And I am honored to have played a small role in the life of this family.  It seems the least that I could have done.

Dec 1, 2010

Pinup Girl

Nov 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

The Bellambi Clan wishes a Happy Thanksgiving Day to those who celebrate it, and Peace, Prosperity and many Blessings to all.

Yours &c, 
Eva Bellambi
Lady of Skye

Nov 18, 2010

For The Vicereine

Most of the regular readers of this blog know me for what I am.  Among the words one might use to describe me would come "sentimental", "devoted", "friend", "silly".  So you won't be surprised by my expression of feelings having Kamilah Hauptmann as a friend in SL and RL.

Interestingly enough Kami and I had only a few interactions in world - and they were pleasant enough - prior to CaleCon in 2008.  We met there in person with a few of our other Caledonian friends.  It was a small con, but a grand time.  We had opportunity to talk and talk during that long weekend and discovered that we, in fact, made great friends.  Happily, we have kept that friendship up in world and have had occasion to visit with one another in the real world once again. 

 Eva, Kami, Otenth, Gabi at my CaleCon opening night Cocktail Party

 Lionsgate (Kamilah) and Loch Avie (Eva) at CaleCon dinner/dance/simulcast
Jaelle, Eva, and Kamilah in NYC (summer 2010)

I remain a bit sad not to be able to join her, Jaelle,  and several of our other friends at SteamCon again this year.  The west coast is oh-so-far-away at this time of year with my children in school and holiday choral events in full swing.  I'll get there some day (I hope. I hope.) and if I'm lucky, Kamilah and other friends will also be in attendance. 

For now, I would like to share with you the slide show from Kamilah's 5th Rez Day party on November 7th, and a poem I found, which seems to suit her very well (simply substitute the word "Vicereine" for "Queen" in this poem as she would be the first to remind you that Victoria is Queen).

A Queen

A Queen is proud of herself. She respects herself and others.
She is aware of who she is. She neither seeks definition from
the person she is with, or does she expect them to
read her mind. She is quite capable of
articulating her needs.

A Queen is hopeful. She is strong enough to make all her
dreams come true. She knows love, therefore she
gives love. She recognizes that her love has
great value and must be reciprocated.
 If her love is taken for granted,
it soon disappears.

A Queen has a dash of inspiration, a dabble of endurance.
She knows that she will, at times, have to inspire others
to reach the potential God gave them. A Queen knows
her past, understands her present and
moves toward the future.

A Queen knows the Creative Energy. She knows that with
this the world is her playground, but without she will just
be played. A Queen does not live in fear of the future
because of her past. Instead, she understands that
her life experiences are merely lessons, meant
to bring her closer to self knowledge
and unconditional self love.

~Author Unknown~

Nov 11, 2010

Let Us Never Forget....

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

My father-in-law in the Pacific Theatre, World War II
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Oct 30, 2010

A Rez Day Celebration of Viceregal Proportions

Year one, you are like you are ten.
Year two, you are like you are twenty-five.
Year three, you are like you are fifty.
Year four, you are like you are one hundred.
Year five, you were born in the dark ages of land extortionists,
malltards, bling was new, but the air was fresh and you could fly sim
to sim without falling apart at the seams, and there was no such thing
as a facelight, much less ten of them on one avatar.
Kamilah Hauptmann

Oct 29, 2010

Poetry with Lady Eva : October's Opal

Candelabra and FireplaceImage by Daniel Greene via Flickr
October's Opal
by:Robert Savino

October is here, once again,
barely transcending the threshold of autumn.
The maple is turning yellow to orange, to red,
soon to be bared by winter.

Ah winter, when blankets of bliss
cover spoon-fit bodies,
flickering sparks to flames. . .
until love of spring gardens
becomes the rapture of summer bloom.

And looking from outside-in,
beyond recognizable beauty,
the ruby of jewels glows bright,
pumping currents of rivers red,
deep into the wells of every extremity.
Our chest fills with laughter.

When apart, even so brief,
this season stays with you,
whether I am or not
and your voice with me,
through wind’s immutable breath.

At the reading of this poem, I sighed softly, laid the book on my table, sank back into my large leather chair and stared dreamily into the dancing fire in my bedroom fireplace.

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Oct 25, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Continues...

and the generosity of friends in Second Life also continues.

Our dear Mr. Onyx Plutonian recently sold some land in Caledon and notified me that he would like to donate the proceeds to our BoobieThon efforts. First, let me just say that I was floored.  But second, I had to let him know that since BoobieThon only runs for the first seven days of October each year, I could not add this to our 2010 donations.  

However, I believe we came up with a very good solution.  We decided to donate these dollars to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in honor of BoobieThon in SL. 

Thank you so very much, Onyx!  Your thoughtful gift has raised our total donations for breast cancer research to over $1700 USD!!

Oct 16, 2010

The BoobieThon 2010 Educational Salons and the Burlesque for Breasts

Life being what it is, I've not been able to get these last few pictures and event notes posted for your enjoyment.  But finally - and without further ado - I give you the evidence of 3 wonderful events during the BoobieThon in SL 2010 campaign:

  • Educational Salons by Rowan Derryth and Serra Anansi
  • Burlesque for Breasts (final event of the week) featuring the Ladies of the New Champagne Rooms and music provided by DJ Frequency Picnic.


Oct 8, 2010


$1628.00 USD


Oct 7, 2010

The Last Push for BoobieThon 2010!!!

I am so far behind on blogging the events of BoobieThon 2010!! There have been so many, so varied, and so wonderful events that it has been quite difficult to keep up.

I owe you a post on the most excellent BoobieThon Educational Salons - and I will do my best to get those up online sometime during the day tomorrow.

But for now - I want to let you know that we have closed the Art Auction just a little while ago - and our phenomenal artists and many generous donors have added another $L47345 to the BoobieThon coffers!!

Also a HUGE thanks to Rowan Derryth and the folks at the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum for donating time, space, and money for our cause.  The money is actually still coming in from that event, but thus far we raised over $L33000 at that one event!

I am elated to say the very least.  Your generostiy and the stories you have to tell continue to amaze me in so many ways.


We'll see you tomorrow at Burlesque for Breasts and the final donation and party!!

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Oct 5, 2010

BoobieBalls 2010 - A Phenomenal Fund-Raising Sucess

(NSFW due to avatar nudity)

It is safe to say that I am constantly amazed by the generosity of my friends and neighbors in Second Life.  During our BoobieBalls this year, you help raise our total donations by 250,000 Lindens!

As is always our tradition, we raise these funds as we celebrate breast health and beauty, and the lives and men and women everywhere.  We do this with fun and irreverence to be sure.  Many double entendres, much nudity, lots of laughter and joy.  But we also share stories of our friends and family who are survivors of breast cancer, or are actively fighting the disease.  Sometimes, sadly, we also share stories of those who were diagnosed too late in the progression of the disease. 

This year we had the opportunity to give hugs and good thoughts to our dear friend, Myfi Davies, who is newly diagnosed with breast cancer and having her surgery in only a couple of days.  It was a pleasure to be able to spend some time with her at the BoobieBalls, to remind her of our love, and remind those in attendance that we do all of this for our sisters and brothers, our friends, our family.

Thank you.

Eva and Serra strike a pose just before the start of the SL time zone BoobieBall

 Serra and JJ

 The BoobieBall Pavilion
Serra and Gabi lead the line dance at the UK Ball

Gabrielle, Eva, Serra, Seerose

 Stormy Mefusula, the Chief Boobie Officer of RL Boobiethon

Oct 4, 2010

Artists for BoobieThon

I am working hard to catch up on my blogging from this weekend's FABULOUS BoobieThon events. There were so many wonderful events this weekend (starting on Friday, October 1st) that I had zero time to get the news out to you save for the occasional Tweet or Plurk. 

Our launching event was at my home in Isle of Skye, Winterfell Anodyne, and it kicked off not only the whole of BoobieThon in SL, but the art auction.  I cannot thank our wonderful artists enough for their generosity - not only of their work, but their hearts as well.  Many of them have stories to share about their own brushes with breast cancer, whether family or friend.

The auction continues through the FINAL BID on October 6th at 9:15pm.  At that time I will capture all the high bids, remove the kiosks, and notecard our winners. 

I have created a very short video of the event utilizing one of the songs that really was a hit with the crowd, Laisse Tomber Les Filles.  DJ Frequency really outdid herself!

For a better look at many of the pictures, please feel free to visit my flickr page.

Much love!  And more to come!!

Sep 29, 2010

BoobieThon in the News

I'm happy to report that our SL BoobieThon 2010 Events are getting nice press thus far.  Here are a couple of links from the arts community regarding our opening event:  The BoobieThon Art Auction.

Blog post on Second Tricia.

Treet TV's Metaverse Arts also ran an announcement on the Art Auction here in the most recent episode.  The whole episode is quite good, but you may find the announcement at around 7 minutes into the show.

The Saving Second Base Arts Show Committee met a few weeks ago in my ballroom to plan the event.

Serra Anansi, Autopilotpatty Poppy, me, & PJ Trenton

The lovely Seneschelf, Miss Serra Anansi

PJ Trenton, artist & Artist Coordinator
Miss Autopilotpatty Poppy, artist & Artist Coordinator

After arranging most of the displays last night, I stood admiring the phenomenal work of the generous artists.  The piece above is by GM Nikolaidis.

Admiring Tricia Aferdita's "Golden"