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 Describing LaCasa by Okaasan

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Number of posts : 72
Registration date : 2008-05-09

PostSubject: Describing LaCasa by Okaasan   Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:42 pm

This is based on an email I sent to Atheni, but I think all who visit here should have an idea of how our story is meant to appear in its physical parameters.

Quote :

If you have been by the webpage lately you will see that I have made a number of additions. I find that I can manage some of the artwork by using digital photos and screen captures, then playing with them in Paint Shop Pro. What I can NOT do is create an entire scene. I can not make the house, the rooms, the gardens nor can I create a room with furniture in it. And that is what I need most . . . This is a "wish list" and I fully realize that my imagination may well outstrip our abilities and technology. If this is too much or too complex, just say so. Also, this story is being built . . . a little at a time. . . . The story unfolds and our readers will have to keep checking back to see what changes we have made.

In the interview with Okaasan now posted to the website (lest there be confusion, the website is the story itself and the forum is where we talk about the story) she describes La Casa, both its original configuration and how it has evolved over the last 200 years. It is really quite liberating to be able to create a property and have all the "money" required to do whatever we like with it.

Here is what I have envisioned: . . .

One approaches the house along a path through the front garden where we grow a variety of decorative plants, including some from URU -- the blue flowers from the Cleft, the wildflowers from Eder Kemo, the Star and Philodendron from Eder Gira (see the newly released botany book), and of course we can have groves of Relto pine trees. The vines that grow on Relto can be seen creeping up the walls of La Casa. Plants that grow in arid ages can be transplanted to La Casa, so we can have Ercana plants looming at one end of the garden. There is a small stream flowing through one greenhouse and the garden before draining out of the property through a culvert under the road.

Visible from the front gate are the two greenhouses, one on each side of the main house. One greenhouse is complete, while the other is undergoing construction (this will be finished later in the story to house our collection of spore-spreading plants, such as Teledahn fungi and Kemo puffers.) Leaving this aspect unfinished allows our visitors to see progress . . . More on the greenhouses below.

The house itself is two stories made of adobe and stucco, painted white. The roof is slate. The former chapel is in the center, dividing the house into two wings, east and west. The chapel has steeple, but in proportion to the house, so not so very tall as in a cathedral. (There was once a bell, but it was melted down during WW1)

The first floor:
There is a long covered porch running all the way around the house. This was once where the monks walked for exercise while saying the rosary and staying out of the sun. The porch roof is also of slate, and is supported by arches, one arch for every two windows on the second floor.

One enters the front door into the foyer. Directly ahead is the entrance to the chapel, now a solarium with leaded glass windows and full of light. We use the chapel as a family room, which means a large screen television, personal computers and art desks, big comfy furniture. In the foyer, there are stairs going up on either side of the solarium doors, one to the west wing bedrooms, and the other to the east wing bedrooms.

The door to the left in the foyer leads to the former refectory, now a large dining room. Because La Casa is a B&B there are several dining tables each with 4-6 chairs and a long side-board. The door at the back of the dining room leads to the kitchen, also large, with fully modern appliances. Dream up the ideal kitchen -- we can afford it. A door from the kitchen leads to a pantry, which should have shelves of canned food, a side-by-side fridge, and at one end a worktable with mortar and pestle, drying herbs tied up in front of the window, beakers, Bunsen burner, etc. In other words, the pantry is also a laboratory.

The door to the right in the foyer leads to a short corridor. A door leading off to the left goes to the office, with modern desk, filing cabinets, computer, etc. The end of the corridor opens into the library, which has bookshelves, more comfy furniture, and various documents and artwork hanging on the walls. . . .

The second floor:
Upstairs each wing is a mirror of the other. As described by Okaasan in the interview, there were originally 38 rooms, 9 on each side of a central corridor and a larger room on the end. Each of these "cells" had a small window overlooking the porch roof. When the house was converted to a hotel in the early 20th century the rooms were combined, so that three rooms became one bedroom with a private bath. The two windows of two cells were also combined to become one window per bedroom and a small window in each bath.

Thus when looking at La Casa as it is now we see the long porch with various chairs and tables facing the garden, a double door in the front made of oak, the central steeple rising above the front door and foyer. The windows along each wing show 3 bedrooms and between each a small window for the bathroom. If we move the view to the end of the building we see the porch on the short side with a bedroom with double windows and a small window for its bath.

The staff residing in the west wing are KoHama (in the end room) and Imzadi. Okaasan has the end room in the east wing, with Elpis and Sophrosyne in the adjacent rooms. Guests are housed in the remaining rooms.

The interior of the finished greenhouse holds all the plants that required moisture. The stream flowing through it feeds a small artificial pond where we have fish, including the glowrays from Eder Gira, quab, waterlilys from Eder Kemo, and the grass from Eder Tsogal. Delin trees grow here. All the water that is used in the house passes through the greenhouse, where marsh grasses and biological agents break down the waste, passing the processed water to the plants. All sewage from the house is processed in this manner and none of it enters the stream.

This means, of course, that the greenhouse is huge and if necessary for proportion and practicality it can be made into two smaller greenhouses occupying the same space.

In back of the house:
There is a vegetable garden in the back, laid out in neat rows with beans and tomatoes, lettuce and onions, all kept watered by an artificial irrigation system. There is a large water cistern that catches rainfall. At the back of the house we have a traditional tribal sweatlodge. We may need sengel's help in designing this, and we do not need to worry about this for now.

In the middle distance can be seen several small hogans. These are for FoF members who wish to live privately and are not part of La Casa's staff. I am postulating that we have many members, some of them families. The rooms in La Casa itself are reserved for staff and guests.

Solar panels on the roof and windmills in the yard provide power.
Water is collected from the house and is processed through the artificial marsh in the greenhouse.
All personal care products are made at La Casa and their use is required because they work with the sewage processing system.


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