Train Time ๐Ÿš‚

Here, have a train photo dump! After a month of playing, this is our setup before being dismantled. I’m sure we will make another in the future, but for now we need the space. This takes a LOT of room. ๐Ÿ˜…

Nothing else to add, really… just wanted to share the photos. Oh yeah, and it turns out our three new battery powered engines (Percy, Diesel and Thomas) are actually not compatible with other brands of track. So I’m trying to decide whether to modify or sell them. ๐Ÿค”

Twilight Respite ๐Ÿƒ

An artistic freedom commission for MightyMaxx. I truly love drawing scenes like these!

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2022 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.

Almost An American! ๐Ÿฅณ

I did it!! I did it! I passed my naturalization interview and civics test! Well… we did it. I couldn’t have done it without my husband’s support and the guidance of our excellent lawyer and his team.

This is the last post before I’m officially caught up on my blog, sans gaming posts. I have quite a backlog of playthroughs that I want to share, including some incoming Piofiore swag. This specific post is about my test though, and everything else that I didn’t catch up on other posts already.

The day of the interview/test, I woke up at 4:30am. The interview was at 7:00am, and I have a hard time concentrating early in the morning. So I got up early, showered, ordered myself a sausage egg McMuffin (thank goodness there were drivers delivering that early) and studied in the little bit of time I had left. I still struggled with some questions, such as how many voting members in the House vs the Senate, and I kept getting one of our Senators confused with the Governor. So in particular, I kept going over the questions that gave me the most trouble until it was time to leave the house.

Our lawyer sent another person from his office. She was really nice, but way too close to the appointment time (like, less than two minutes before we were supposed to go in, and didn’t really apologize considering we were supposed to meet 10 minutes early. It didn’t feel great, especially since she was 15 minutes late to our last Zoom meeting.)

Overall, though nervous, I felt fine going in. The agent was really nice, humming a little tune all the time and cracking jokes to help me relax. Eventually he began to ask me for paperwork, and when I opened the folder to sort through the stuff Christopher had carefully gathered for me so I could concentrate in studying, I saw this…

The great irony is that I was okay until then, holding my emotions fairly well, but at this moment I almost completely lost my s**t, haha… it was so sweet… any tense feeling I had did melt away, however. ๐Ÿฅฐ Truly, I only had one “problem” question. I got a single vocabulary question, I was asked to definite what is the oath of allegiance. I wasn’t prepared for that and it took me off guard, but I took a deep breath –of course, I know what it means. I just had to find the right words. I did find them, and passed with flying colors.

Overall, the interview felt rather short. I thought I would be more emotional and I was surprised that I wasn’t, until the very end, and then, when the agent congratulated me, my voice did begin to crack, and my eyes were swimming, but it wasn’t until I got in the car with Christopher that I had my little cry, and then I was okay. I called my mom, and began to send messages to let everyone know.

I was under such an unbelievable amount of stress for more or less a month, that it’s hard to describe the level of relief I felt as the day wore on.

Later in the afternoon, I napped on the couch with Christopher, and slept so heavily, that when I woke up I had a bit of a scary moment were my consciousness and body hadn’t caught up. I felt fully awake and tried to form sentences to Christopher 4 times, and each time I could hear my mouth say complete nonsense, but I really was awake, and hearing my voice fail to form worms was terrifying. I thought, no joke here, that I was having a stroke. But I did fully wake up, thank goodness.

Today we checked on my case on the USCIS website and its status had changed to this:

So, very exciting times, for sure! I’m so excited to be able to vote, join a political party, and maybe even serve on a jury sometime. I’m not an American yet, but almost. Soon I will be able to say “my country” and it will mean the USA, not Argentina. I will be able to say “I’m an American”. I’ve wanted to be an American since I was 7 or 8 years old. It was always my dream, and now, 30 years later, it hardly seems real! ๐Ÿฅณ๐ŸŽŠ

(On that note, the movie that GIF is from is so firmly embedded in my memory for sentimental reasons, that it was a big help for me in the test. There’s a lot of stuff I remembered about the answers because of the songs from that movie. ๐Ÿ˜… So, if the person who introduced me to it ever reads this (though we don’t talk anymore) thank you for that.)

Continuing to catch up on old stuff I didn’t get to post, while my fitness posts were put on pause, I still got the occasional walk in. Mostly, I didn’t track them, except for this one, but since I didn’t track anything else that day, there wasn’t much point in making the fitness post. This one is from April 9th.

It was late when I went on that walk, and I got to enjoy a beautiful sunset…

Not really following any proper sort of chronological order here –a couple of days prior to that, I received a lovely present from Kenny, a Build-A-Bear squirrel!

He also sent me a super cute Moomin lanyard:

At some point in time the pin I bought from Colby arrived as well. It’s so darn cute!

Also, I finally ate the Argentinean candy my mom bought for me. I hadn’t eaten these in forever, they are really good:

Last date night we went to Nami. I hope we can go again this date night but we’ve been spending a lot so it’s probably not super likely… I had this cashew shrimp plate, I’m dying to have it again:

Finally, I made milanesas last Monday. It was my second attempt in recent time and they turned out fantastic, unlike the last time. I was really proud of my hard work with them and we ate them for a couple of days:

And that’s it! I am fully caught up, other than the stuff I mentioned earlier. I’ll get to that as soon as I can. For the rest of today I have chores and art to work on, before it’s time to be together for date night. Maybe we will play with our trains tonight. ^_^

I hope you are all having a great week!

State Of The Snells: April ’21 Edition ๐ŸŒ

So, right now, I’m not sure how many snails I have. Certainly, the number has diminished, as they are all in the 20 gallon tank. Mortality among the young poms has been quite low, but a couple of my adult poms (age unknown) have died, one of them this morning, my biggest, after two days of lethargy. I definitely will keep his shell, as I treasured him a lot. At the same time, after weeks of “rest”, two poms started breeding again, so another clutch might be incoming. I adore poms with my whole heart and keep them all, so I do hope for this to be the case.

Meanwhile, mortality has been high in the only milk snail clutch I had. I knew this would be the case, it was a poor quality clutch that I would not normally have hatched. However, it was the only clutch my first three milk snails lay, after their weeks of suffering with mites prior to passing. I could not bring myself to destroy it. Some snails from this clutch, however, are thriving.

This is my last Helix Aspersa. He was from a poor quality clutch, but so far he’s survived over a year, and seems to be enjoying himself.

This video was taken after the last tank-cleaning. I found the way this milk snail was eating while being suspended from the leaf to be quite funny. With each bite he bounced a little bit:

I leave you with a little video of a grooming pom. I’m only 80% sure, but I believe this is the little guy that passed away today. I will miss him.

Kitty Photo Roundup Time ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿ“ธ

I didn’t take photos of many things during my break, but still can’t resist a few cat photos here and there. Kotoko was unwell again, for some time. This photo was taken once she was all better:

During the day, Rosie sticks near me, usually no farther away than the library. She’ll come visit me a few times, and other times I go visit her. I took these photos a couple of those times. She’s such a happy and affectionate cat…

This last pic was actually taken at the same time as the first. The tension in the air was palpable… ๐Ÿ˜…

๐ŸŒˆ 100 Days Of Warm-Ups [015 – Drake] ๐ŸŒˆ

โœจ Here’s warm-up 15 of 100! โœจ This one is for Babydrake.

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2022 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.