Category Archives: My Dinos

Week 22 Summary: Everybody Loves A Bargain (But Not A Toothache) 🦷💢

Happy Sunday, everyone. Well… it is not as happy for me. I’ve been pretty depressed on and off, my period is underway, and this week I experienced a serious dental emergency. I am tired and in pain, and as a result, this post may be less coherent than normal, or some captions may be very brief. There are still cute things below –toy photos, doggies, World Of Warcraft stuff. So it’s not all whining. Let’s get to it.

🌈 Monday 🌈

To begin with, as I said in the last weekly summary, my mood would improve. With that said, on Monday I went in to work in a terrible state of mind, just as negative as Sunday had been.

My boss was there when I went in: he hadn’t been there when I was unwell over the weekend. He was friendly and immediately asked what happened to me, showing concern for me, not the missed hours. I explained what happened, and, having an opportunity to talk privately, I mentioned the unpleasant experience with the other manager, and that I felt this was unfair, as I’ve generally been a solid, reliable employee.

He reminded me that only he is my boss, no one else. He even told me that he would help me recover some of the lost hours, and later updated the schedule to reflect this.

Also, my original instinct of texting him when these things happened would have been correct. I didn’t do it because it was his day off, I was afraid to bother him and indeed was told not to. But he texted the manager chat the moment I left early on Sunday, wondering whatever happened to me. He said next time, I shouldn’t be afraid to text him even if he is off.

All of these things were very reassuring. Knowing that, depending on where he ends up, I might have a job where he goes next (since he’s generally a district and/or store manager at other chains) feels good too.

I don’t know if he spoke to the manager that scolded me when I left, but that manager was SUPER nice to me the rest of that day. So that improved my mood. The other thing that improved it was a bit sad, but it helped anyway.

Another manager, a very nice lady who tends to be a bit spicy (just, you know, strong moods) and has a really good heart, was looking very down on this day and not like herself at all. It was honestly worrisome, so when I saw her alone, I asked what was wrong, and suddenly I was seeing myself in her. She kept saying stuff like “I don’t want to be here, I hate this, I want to leave, I don’t even want to greet the customers anymore.”

This is a manager that worked hard to make this store a wonderful and welcoming place. Like other managers that have been here since the start, she is rightly indignant and heartbroken by the situation. We’ve all been affected by the way the customers are taking to treating our beloved store like absolute trash, their entitlement, and the constant undoing of anything that we worked to make pretty. It’s so discouraging.

This, and the longer hours, are surely why I have been so unhappy. But hearing it from someone else helped me to realize how much the process of the store shutting down is affecting me. I hated to see my manager sad, especially because she often cheers others up with her joking and singing, and high-energy ways. But in a weird way, it helped me so much to understand my recent depression. The rest of that day I did all I could to help her out and keep her cheerful. Others were doing that, too.

The day was very, very busy. Other than the last couple of hours, it really flew by. Two cute dogs visited:

The owner of the wookie-like dog (who was a really funny character) ended up not buying the chair cushion that his dog lay and sat on. Sigh…

When I got back home, Christopher was making manicotti. It was a delicious dinner, he worked very hard. After dinner, I went upstairs and was surprised to find ALL of our elves sitting on my desk!

I guess they were worried about me. I’ll try to be better at holding it together.

Have some random photos of Elliot being deeply uncomfortable:

I was excited to finally open my Amazon package with the Humongous Entertainment Classic Collection for the Switch. Looking forward to playing it.

When I went to bed I forgot my glasses. Christopher later sent me a picture of Ribbon wearing them:

🌈 Tuesday 🌈

Because I’m still depressed, I decided to go a route that proved helpful before. I went back to Azeroth. I decided to try Horde again. This time it feels better. Maybe it’s because I feel so out of place everywhere now, like an outcast, and because so many things I used to believe in, along with my childhood definitions of “good and evil” and “right and wrong” have changed so much, Horde actually feels like a better emotional fit for me at this point in my life.

I made a goblin hunter with the name Sepia, a name I used to have in this server, then lost, and now managed to snag again.

Much like communities and places I used to love when I was a young adult, I will always miss my Alliance haunts and the feeling that life, and morals, are simple, black-and-white deals, easily judged and categorized. But as I move forward from simplistic thinking (and judgmental, holier-than-thou spaces) in real life, I’m looking forward to exploring the side of the so-called “monstrous races” in-game.

And hey, Dragonflight has SNAILS. I might be able to coax our partner or my husband into getting me the expansion.

🌈 Wednesday 🌈

Because I’ve been feeling so down, I am making an extra effort to make my lunches cute and happy experiences, even if the food is plain.

In the evening, we went to a restaurant, Unit B Eatery + Spirits in Pembroke Gardens. I hadn’t taken a selfie in a while:

This was Paisley’s first outing!

Unit B had a really nice atmosphere/decor, but being a weekday, it was very empty:

My guys…

I had bao buns and empanadas. Both were great!

Before bed, I completed another commission:

Just six to go!

🌈 Thursday 🌈

Work was pleasant enough. I decided to buy a little Ty dragon since it was 30% off.

Then I began to get ideas. Firstly, I named him Bargain, since our company’s motto is “everybody loves a bargain”. I asked my manager to make me a little nameplate for him:

More on that later. Here’s today’s pup:

🌈 Friday 🌈

Before leaving for work, I used one of our reusable patterned bags to make Bargain a little apron that matches ours. Then I gave him the nameplate that my manager printed out for him. He looked pretty spiffy:

Then we had a quick breakfast together and it was off to work.

I wasn’t sure if I ever took a photo of the store from above, so while I was clocking in, I got one:

Time for our existential crisis, Bargain! My coworkers were pretty tickled by him.

Bargain held the marker in between sales. The marker was for highlighting the “all sales final” in the receipts.

Bargain surrounded by everyone’s favorite, go-backs. We have a lot of those these days.

Then it was lunchtime. I was in a really good mood.

I was still in a great mood when I got home. I hugged my guys, had dinner, and afterward poured some wine and got right to playing Diablo II with our partner. It was a very, very enjoyable evening. We even beat Diablo! The boss, not the game, of course. We still have a way to go to beat the game.

But when I went to bed, a dull ache in my upper right teeth began to bother me. It quickly became intense, and as a result, I slept very poorly.

🌈 Saturday 🌈

After such a bad night, Saturday morning I woke up exhausted and in pain, but feeling like I could still make it to work, so I went. In the morning, before work, I completed another commission:

Just five to go!

It was not a good workday. My pain grew gradually more intense throughout the day. When I got there, I found that three people had called out, so I was glad I went. The first truck came to get all of the merchandise that is being sent to other stores. One of my managers cried when the truck left.

I saw a dog that captured my mood for this day very well:

In the evening, I was absolutely falling apart. Christopher went to the drugstore to get me things that might help, but nothing really did. I didn’t sleep very much this night. In spite of being well-familiarized with astronomical levels of dental torture, this was on a different scale. I repeatedly used Gus Fring’s death as a suitable comparison for how the entire right side of my head felt:

I did not have a fever, but the pain was all over my jaw, my eye, my ear. It was all-encompassing and totally absorbing.

🌈 Sunday 🌈

When I woke up on Sunday morning, it was immediately evident that work was not going to happen that day. I immediately called out for the next two days, and left a voicemail with my dentist, begging them to move my Tuesday appointment to Monday. I had to call twice because, during my first voicemail, the pain was bad enough that I literally forgot my own phone number, and couldn’t finish my message.

After the food poisoning incident, I really felt awful about calling out… but there was nothing I could do.

Christopher went to the store again, and got me fresh Orajel and cooling patches for my face:

I spent the entire day distracting myself with Warcraft. Playing Warcraft alone ( I am not a big fan of questing with others) saved my sanity, as it did in other bad periods of my life. I don’t know how I would have gotten through the day otherwise. Sometimes I had to just stop and stare at nothing because the pain didn’t even let me play, but most of the time it helped a lot.

I fiddled a bit more with my goblin hunter:

And was absolutely tickled by this Logo reference:

I also thoroughly enjoyed the dinosaurs in this area, which, being an Alliance player for most of my life, is new to me. Major Dinotopia vibes.

I had a Starbucks treat (and dinner) while gaming, courtesy of Christopher. It cheered me up a lot.

As the evening progressed, something odd happened. My pain began to subside. While I was still sore, the throbbing went from “worst of my life” to “nonexistent” in the space of about an hour. From what I could gather, this meant a worsening of the emergency, as the infection has now likely killed my nerve. I likely need treatment ASAP to prevent further damage to my jaw and other teeth.

I will be posting updates regarding this dental misadventure on my Telegram channel throughout the week. You’re welcome to drop by! There’s an attached chat as well. Beyond that, the next update will be next Sunday as usual. See you then!

Week 17 Summary: A New Job And A Cruise! 🤯🚢

Still working on LOADS of art!

What. A. Week! The cruise with my mom got finalized –for the most part. We sail in August! Hopefully. I applied to a new job because of the few hours at the other one –and got it! I (sort of) finished Pokémon Legends Arceus, and started a new game, Grow: Song Of The Evertree.

I visited my mom and got lots of art done throughout the week. I also prepped some new outfits for my dolls. I actually don’t talk about that last bit in this post; I created a separate post for it which you can read here.

🍃🦝 WARNING! 🦝🍃
This post will contain some spoilers for Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Grow: Song Of The Evertree.

🌈 Monday 🌈

Monday was an uneventful, but busy day. In the afternoon I made time to play more Diablo II with our partner:

🌈 Tuesday 🌈

Tuesday was a weird day. On the positive end, I accomplished a TON of commission progress. I exercised, and finally got to see the credits roll in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. It is VERY frustrating that Game Freak decided not to allow the player to screenshot the end screen.

The basic “ending” feels very abrupt, which makes sense since it isn’t the “true” ending. But this is the point at which I allow myself to put down a game that, at times, I have not enjoyed very much at all. At least temporarily.

Maybe I should have known better than to pick it up, considering it was a game focused on my least favorite aspect of Pokémon (this being, catching them —I’m someone who far prefers to battle). But that I could have gotten past, perhaps… if only it was enough to catch a Pokémon once and you’re done, and if you didn’t have to deal with the ridiculousness that is the subduing of frenzied Pokémon… though I admit I found it easier as it went along.

Avalugg was particularly easy. For me, Arcanine was the hardest. But I didn’t enjoy any of them.

The story was okay. I found the casting out of the protagonist to be interesting and unexpected. Really enjoyed these scenes…

…particularly those of the protagonist contemplating her situation all alone, and being visited by Pokémon.

Looking back as I work on this post, I realize that as much as I grumbled about many aspects of this game, I had enough fun to want to return to really finish it and see its “true” ending. So maybe I will in a couple of weeks.

I also really enjoyed some of the scenes featuring Cyllene, particularly this one:

Very true words. This battle was also very cool as far as visuals!

I needed something completely different as a follow-up, so I started Grow: Song Of The Evertree.

Oh my goodness do I LOVE this game! ✨😭✨ Let me start by saying that I am fed up with so-called “cozy” games. I can only play the same variation of Animal Crossing so many times. There are SO many farming sims and other games of this genre –from Story Of Seasons to Stardew Valley to everything in between. I fully expected Grow: Song Of The Evertree to be a drag, and yet, for some reason, I still bought it.

I find this game’s chores to be different enough, and delightful enough (even the fishing mechanic!) to be completely sold. In addition to the lovely character customization, what really makes this game for me are Book and Copperpot. Here’s Book:

These two have cared for you, the protagonist, since you were a baby.

The atmosphere is so wonderful, everywhere…

There are great side characters to meet and areas to explore:

I’ve only progressed a little so far, but the game is bringing me a lot of joy.

On a less positive note, after all the intense rains and flooding, we found a sunken area in our driveway:

We live in Florida —sinkhole land. So you can imagine seeing anything like that is always scary. I’ve been calling around to have someone come take a look.

In the evening, I went to my mom’s. She’s sick (not COVID, we tested) and she was feeling poorly enough to ask me to cancel our celebratory fancy dinner, which is a big bummer.

But we had our little “picada” as always, though it turned out to be a fondue for dinner.

I played my new video game a little more before calling it a night fairly early. I was very tired.

🌈 Wednesday 🌈

Wednesday my mom and I just relaxed. Natasha had a bad case of bed head in the morning —a reminder of why I don’t sleep with dolls! I combed her hair and she was alright. But I enjoyed cuddling her during the night.

My mom surprised me with a little box full of things she had accumulated for me. Some I don’t really know what to do with, but they all made me smile.

This li’l guy was my favorite (the tiny typewriter is a jewel box I had from before):

Here’s Sweeney being sweet…

And being sweet some more…

My mom made fried potatoes and eggs for dinner. Hers are the BEST!! My favorite childhood meal.

🌈 Thursday 🌈

While out on my morning walk, I passed by a local market, which is about 10 walking minutes from our house, and saw a “Help Wanted” sign for a full-time cashier position. Because my job has been giving me such few hours that it barely counts as employment (I’m talking about 5-9 hours a week) I decided to apply.

The first interview went very well. I was told I’d probably be coming in again to see the owner in the afternoon, but I never received a callback. I kept my fingers crossed, but I was cranky about it.

For lunch, I had a potato and an egg sandwich and kept reading this weird book about wizards:

🌈 Friday 🌈

Still no callback from the market at all on Thursday… I was pretty bummed out about it. It was a stressful day, as the process of finalizing our cruise booking began in earnest, and I was in charge of it. It was finalized by Friday night, sans payment. So, finalized, but kinda-sorta. I can’t emphasize enough how stressful this was! Everything happened so quickly. The cruise is happening in just about one hundred and twenty days.

I was checking the Ring camera, as I do sometimes, and saw the old tomcat that tends to visit our front door area. As I was watching the video in the quiet of the morning, suddenly there was a massive CRASH!!! that seems to come from inside the house. I couldn’t figure out what it was! Take a look (with sound). You’ll notice the tomcat is startled as FRICK and takes off like a bat out of hell:

Later Christopher figured out that this was probably Elliot crashing furiously against the window blinds as the tomcat walked underneath them. What a racket –and what a fright for the marauder! Lol.

On this day I noticed that Buddy had shown up!! In April!

I like to think he’s just trying to watch over me because I’ve been so stressed, and it makes me smile. I wonder how long he will stay.

On this day I also finished this commission for Adri:

🌈 Saturday 🌈

I got up early to cook braised beef on the Crock-Pot for Saturday night’s dinner. In relation to the cruise, this was the most stressful day. The morning involved some very tense discussions about money at home. I found myself crying fifteen minutes before I was slated to go in to work, and pulling myself together was not easy.

Yet, a few minutes after I went in, the atmosphere at work and my coworkers had already perked me up.

I really do enjoy my current job. I love my coworkers, the customers, and the store. If the market calls back eventually, I guess I will be leaving it. But I desperately need more hours, to the point that I’m seeking full-time employment now, after all. So I found myself with a lot of mixed feelings as I worked on Saturday.

Around 5 pm, I took a fifteen-minute break to see if there were any news about the cruise planning… and found a voicemail from the market’s manager!

I figured this meant I had the job… which made the remaining two hours very odd. I still did my best with everything. Getting customers’ emails, helping my coworkers finish some projects… This had actually been the day I felt the most like “one of the team”, no longer a newbie, just, accepted. Fooling around as we worked, everyone doing their best. I felt a lot of sadness thinking that maybe, probably, that would be my last day.

Why couldn’t that place have given me more hours… 😔 But as it stands I’m not even sure the store will survive. [EDITOR’S NOTE: These words will become tragically and hilariously prophetic as will be elaborated on next week’s post.]

I texted the manager at the market during my break as well as called them back when I left work but did not get a response on this day.

I came home around 7 pm. Even though I was tired and a bit down for a bunch of reasons, the evening went well enough. I got some chores done and dinner turned out pretty great.

Here’s some small things I got from work. Candy, primary-colored pacifiers for my stuffed animals, a rainbow plate, and pink “Solo-like” cups (they’re super thick and strong) one for me and one toy-size, for toy photos:

I haven’t made a clip-on stuffie pacifier in like forever. But primary-colored ones were impossible to resist! I gave one to Beanie and one to Tritium. In the end, I didn’t make them into brooch “pin-style” pacifiers. I left them as they were, around their necks.

Here’s a bonus Tomoyo watching us from the couch during dinner:

In the evening I figured I should reinstall the NCL app. The new cruise is already showing up!

🌈 Sunday 🌈

There was no communication from the new job, but it was Sunday after all. Anticipating a potentially busy workweek ahead, I got up early so I could get as much done as possible. I worked a little on the blog, got dressed, showered, did my chores, and then worked on art. Finally, I finished some pieces:

Polenta accompanied me during lunch –leftover pasta with some added radish coins.

On this day I cleaned the snail tank. I have some photos and a video to share, as is often the case on tank cleaning days.

I caught two of the Roman snails going at it. ‘Tis the season!

Afterward, they were spent:

A couple more random cute pics:

We got Jersey Mike’s for dinner, and I got to use my new plate!

And that is it for this week. My goals continue to be on pause. But that’s okay: it is for good reasons. I firmly believe everything will fall into place by the time I am doing an end-of-year wrap-up. 😊 Have a great week, everyone!

Week 16 Summary: Drawing And More Drawing 👩‍🎨

Another week down. Rain is still plentiful! Most of my goals continue to be on pause. I’ve reduced my queue workload to just 15 items, having completed 21 since the new job began. I estimate about a month’s worth of work left. It’s tiring: I want to be done, so I can draw my own things. But the progress is encouraging.

Other than LOTS of due artwork being completed, some interesting things that happened this week were: another doll arrived (yes… yes, really) Christopher bought a robotic arm (???) I received a surprise of 🌻 flowers 🌻 and a box of Japanese candy. Let’s get on with the summary!

CW: There will be a spider photo in this post! It will appear shortly below the Thursday header.

🌈 Monday 🌈

Worked on some more necklaces on Monday. Rosie has been so affectionate… she kept me company:

I’ve been reading this biography of the lives of Stan & Jan Berenstain, creators of The Berenstain Bears. It’s very charming and interesting, particularly their lives prior to creating the bears.

(I’ve also been eating a lot of potatoes).

Here’s a Patreon reward I finished on Monday:

After I was done drawing for the day, our partner and I played Diablo II some more!

Then, when Christopher got home, we all played LEGO together. All I have left now are my Castle/Medieval sets, so I started with this one:

I cleaned the tank on this day. Here’s some happy and energetic snails:

And a little video, because why not:

🌈 Tuesday 🌈

Tuesday morning I took this very adorable photo of Christopher and Kotoko snuggling. I know Christopher probably won’t be super thrilled to see this photo on my blog but I can’t resist. He’s even smiling in his sleep! And Kotoko looks so happy to be snuggled.

Necklace-making continued throughout this day. This is just a fraction of what I’ve made! When all is said and done, from beginning to end, I made about 30.

More Diablo II in the afternoon! We started a new act.

Recently, our partner surprised me with the news that he’d gotten a big box of Japanese candy for me. It finally arrived. It’s really pretty!

Laffy Taffy, my little Dilophosaurus, investigated…

All the candy is very cute and interesting to look at…

Finished a couple of Patreon icons on this day:

🌈 Wednesday 🌈

By Wednesday, I was done reading the Berenstain’s autobiography, so I started with some of their actual bear books:

For whatever reason, Rosie continues to be all over me, or near me. She’s full of affection and purrs and seems very happy lately.

We played a little more LEGO in the evening. Progress on my castle continues!

I had my little trike, Bubblegum, for company.

🌈 Thursday 🌈

On Thursday, the first thing I did after my morning chores was putting dinner in the Crock-Pot. It made the house smell wonderful all day.

I went out to lunch with our partner and ran some errands. It was really hard to get gasoline, we had to visit four gas stations before we got some… it’s due to the flooding that took place last week, and is affecting a lot of areas.

Once back home, I worked more on the Patreon rewards that are due while he had to go to work outside of the house for a while. Later, out of the blue, there was a flower delivery to our house, a surprise from our partner for no reason. I was so happy, they are really beautiful! 🥰💞

Dinner turned out wonderful and worth all the hard work in the morning. In the evening, after dinner, we three went for a walk together, and saw this big spider. Our partner thought it was a brown recluse:

🌈 Friday 🌈

A doll that Christopher bought for me arrived today! When I bought Nellie, I was very torn between her and this doll. So, I am really happy to have them both after all. She has a very dopey but adorable smile:

I’ve named her Sunny! Interestingly, she is hand-signed by the artist, Johannes Zook. It’s a legit hand signature with a personalized message, on the doll’s neck.

I wish dolls weren’t so creepy to most people (sometimes, even to me). Dolls like these fill me with joy. Holding them, I feel the same as when I hold my bears.

When I try to rationalize my intense desire for these things, I always go back to my friendless childhood. While it’s true that I never could have had toys like these then, what I lacked most were friends. As I mentioned before, my toys were my friends. So even to this day, I heavily anthropomorphize toys, and humanize them. I could try to get therapy so I don’t want/need dolls or bears, or just… hold them, brush them, comb their hair, and enjoy them.

It’s pretty cringe I guess, but it doesn’t hurt anyone. I’m really glad sometimes that no one can see me quietly hugging a doll or combing its hair while having a play-pretend conversation with it in my head when I’m pushing 40. And god is it weird to write that. I don’t feel very different from when I was in my 20s, and when it comes to toys, my feelings towards them are exactly the same as when I was 11 or 12. When I think about this image of myself, doing these things even in private, it’s kind of pathetic. Maybe very pathetic. But, well… it’s one of my joys.

I think I went on this weird tangent because I’ve been browsing r/reborndollcringe, which I found at first hilarious, but more and more makes me really sad.

I wish it wasn’t cringe for adults to play with toys in the same manner as children would. I wish it wasn’t seen as unhealthy or strange. We live in such a crappy world sometimes, whatever refuge we can find for our hearts, we should treasure.

On Friday I completed four Patreon rewards. I’m pretty proud of them:

That means there’s just one to go for the month.

The snailios were happy and active in the evening, having been cleaned and freshly fed:

🌈 Saturday 🌈

Finally a workday. I’m getting very few hours… but as long as I’m working on the commission queue still, I don’t mind too much. I’m just too busy. Overall, for the last three weeks I’ve been working from early morning until night, with some breaks here and there to spend time with the guys.

Christopher and our partner went to Sebastian to pick up Christopher’s new toy (the robotic arm) and see his mom. Sadly I missed out on this visit.

I walked to work, and before going in, cooled off in Best Buy. They happened to have this on display. Seeing it made me smile.

Work was okay. I got praised by the big boss, but I also made more mistakes than usual, and felt very tired as the day wore on. After Christopher picked me up, I got to see the robotic arm in action at home. Though I didn’t say it, I thought it was way cooler than I originally expected it would turn out to be.

Our partner was sleeping and Christopher didn’t want dinner, but he let me order my favorites from Wahbi-Sabi and took me to pick them up (and went inside to get it too).

I found an adorable sponge at work. It’s a Cleanosaurus! It stands up perfectly by itself so I’ll put it somewhere around the studio.

Even after eating, though, I felt very worn out, even a little sad for no reason, I think it was just the desire to do things combined with the complete lack of energy. So I decided to call it an early night.

🌈 Sunday 🌈

This started as a bit of a bad brain day. I’d written a lot on this post that I later removed; it was a lot of whining so I decided that I would make it a good day even if the day didn’t want to be one.

Thankfully my husband and our partner humored me with a lot of whims today, and I got a lot of chores done in the morning, which also helped my mood. Once I was done, we went to brunch:

After that, we walked together around T.Y. park, then dropped Christopher off and our partner and I went grocery shopping. It was very pleasant, and while I got stuff for the week, he bought stuff to make chili for dinner. His chili is amazing so I was immediately excited!

Then we got home. I put everything away, and made them both coffee and grabbed a snack for myself. We played LEGO for about an hour. My little castle is well underway:

After LEGO, we showered while the chili cooked in the Crock-Pot. Then we had dinner and watched The Good Doctor. Dinner was AMAZING. The Good Doctor is starting to get a little silly, but it still made me cry at the end.

Christopher was wonderful and did the dishes while our partner and I played our Diablo II session for the day.

Then it was bedtime. I quickly fed the cats and we watched anime and YouTube. We’ve reached the middle of Hikaru No Go which I think the guys are somewhat relieved about. They don’t find this anime as enthralling as I did. 😅

It’s unfortunate that this anime isn’t gripping them like I hoped (though they do love making fun of it). It’s one of my top five of all time as far as personal favorites. I’ve always been baffled by how many cliffhangers between episodes left me desperate to continue binging it.

Sure… it has cringy moments. It has a LOT of cringy moments –I can’t even call that a product of its time. It just does. I do believe some of those cringy moments are NOT cringy in the manga –it’s like it just didn’t translate well to animation when it comes to some shots and scenes. But overall I think it holds up so well.

As a side note, I am feeling more and more isolated. This isn’t something individual friends can help with: it is the grief of coming to terms with having lost a community. I tell myself that this was by choice, but whenever I poke my head into my old haunts, it is very obvious that what they used to be, is no longer. So, it’s not like my old community is still there for me to go back to.

I guess these days I feel a lot like I did circa 2011: aimless and adrift. Not as lonely, though. I do have friends, and most importantly, I have my husband and our partner. But having known a tightly-knit community, its loss is palpable. I’ve been coping by buying new dolls and playing with my toys.

I’m never been someone to want to see the future. Never have and never will be. But I wonder, in maybe ten years, or even less, what will it all look like? My finding of a community, seeing it grow, seeing it eat itself and collapse along with most of the sites that were once our havens, and losing it and being where I am now, took maybe six years. Things could still change dramatically, maybe for the better.

I’ve been on FA just a little under twelve years, and began to feel things change starting around 2019, maybe a little before, 2018? 2016? Maybe at the start I just had rose-tinted glasses on.

But anyway, even before I had “community”, I was happy. I concentrated a lot on my personal work. Soon I will be doing that again.

With those closing thoughts, that is it for this week. I’m visiting my mom next week and we will go to a fancy restaurant to celebrate her green card. I’ll see you all throughout the week with new art, and on Sunday with the next weekly summary! Have a great week, guys.

Week 15 Summary: Dreary, Rainy Season Is Here ☔

It rained a LOT this week. It rained so much, in fact, that Broward County closed its schools for two days, and Ft. Lauderdale closed down its airport. Some areas experienced unprecedented levels of flooding: a historic volume of rain exceeding 2 feet. I read it described as “an event so intense the chance of it happening in any given year is just 0.1%”.

It felt like the rain would never stop, and while it did stop by the weekend, it’s the rainy season now. We may or may not get flooded areas again, and thankfully I saw no significant flooding where I live, but rain on an almost daily basis will become the norm for quite a while. Then it will be hurricane season. That’s Florida for ya!

The rain, which I normally enjoy, really brought me down this time around. My period wreaked havoc on my mood this month: I would call it, too, a rare event. My crankiness does not usually last this long nor is it this intense, and overall, it made the week unbearable for me and those around me.

There were good, bad, and boring sides to this week. Let’s get on with it!

🌈 Monday 🌈

It began to rain in earnest, but still we had sunny moments throughout the day and the humidity wasn’t too bad yet. It rained more and more as the day got long in the tooth. Anyhow, Monday was a busy day. I did loads of chores, went grocery shopping, played Diablo II with our partner, and completed this commission:

Our partner made a ham quiche for dinner. It was delicious!

🌈 Tuesday 🌈

Rain, rain and more rain. It seemed to drag everything down with it. I felt useless, sleepy and sluggish, with no energy whatsoever. Eventually, I forced myself to move, and slowly started doing things around the house, such as organizing the studio, and setting some stuff aside to put into storage or give away. I wanted to make more room for new toys, mostly dolls.

Something really odd happened on this day. Sarah mysteriously appeared among the bears!

She didn’t have her hat. I am not sure why she is here. Frankly it’s a little unsettling. I hope all is well between her and Buddy.

Something important happened on Tuesday:

At the time, I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but this was an important step in my mom’s paperwork being finalized once and for all. More developments would come later in the week.

Rosie was being a cutie and trying to get my attention while I had lunch:

So I played with her a bit:

🌈 Wednesday 🌈

On Wednesday I completed a commission and a new banner, which you already saw at the top of this entry, and a commission for Pilou that I’m really proud of:

I also had the usual Zoom call with my mom. You’ll notice I make no mention of work so far. That is because this week, I would only work on Saturday. Last week, I only had three days. Next week, I only have five hours again. I’m not the only person dealing with that, but I am not happy about it. From what I read online, it’s a common issue with this company: most people leave due to very limited hours. I hope I won’t have to do the same.

🌈 Thursday 🌈

To say that Thursday was momentous would be an understatement. As mentioned, on Tuesday, I’d received confirmation that my Form I-130, Petition For Alien Relative (for my mom) had been approved by USCIS. We have been waiting for years, just for this specific step. But, my mom still hadn’t been told that her Form I-485, Application To Register Permanent Residency, was approved. Though unlikely, it could still have been denied.

On Thursday, my mom’s application was also approved:

It’s hard to overstate the significance of this moment. I know my mom spent the day crying on and off. I still haven’t been able to process it, myself –though I did tear up a bit when the paralegal CC’d me on an email congratulating her. It felt more real then.

Some of you know how long and arduous the road to legalization has been, both for me and for my mom. I still lived with fear that the response would be a denial and my mom would be deported. Even though I myself have been sorted out for many years (and a citizen for two) nothing really felt done until I could truly stop fearing for my mom’s welfare.

I wasn’t even ten years old when I decided that someday, somehow, I would live in the USA. My mom worked for my dream and made it hers. We would eventually abandon all we had for a huge gamble and an unsure future in the United States, knowing the gamble could cost us everything.

We have been in the USA since 2001: this is the first time I truly breathe in complete relief for both of us. So many years later, it feels complete. I’m numb and not really having an emotional reaction yet because there were so many times I thought this would happen and it didn’t. It’s hard to believe it’s finally over. I am a citizen and my mom is a legal resident, forever. Hopefully someday she’ll be a citizen, too.

And for those who have heard many times my little story regarding An American Tail (which I’ll retell at some point soon) yeah, my mom and I are getting together to watch it. Finally after 15 years I will allow myself to watch it again.

Christopher had the Apple IIe out and functioning on Thursday night. It looked so cool.

Here’s a little lady I have coming to me. She’s a Pat Secrist doll. I’ve been learning about these dolls recently, their high quality and (if you’re patient on eBay) incredible affordability. She’s a big one, too. I don’t have many blonde dolls, I’m looking forward to playing with her. Her dress is so lovely, too! I’m going to call her Nellie. She reminds me of a schoolmate I had in elementary school, who had that name.

For date night we played LEGO. I finished Emma’s Art School!

🌈 Friday 🌈

The sun came out again!! Finally! ✨🌞✨ But, now it’s very, very, VERY hot. That aside –Friday was extremely productive! I finished three Patreon rewards:

Then I did a few chores, before setting everything up for some fun!

🌈 Fun With Pony Beads 🌈

I’ve been putting off making new toy necklaces. This is pretty bad because I don’t really enjoy a new toy until, at a minimum, it has been christened and given its necklace, but ideally until they have an outfit that I’ve put together myself rather than the original one (this mostly applies to dolls), or a bandana, or just something to make it look like it’s my own, and loved.

Between Friday and Sunday I decided to dedicate time to the toy name backlog. I started by setting everything out, surrounding myself with toy friends, and putting one of my kiddy playlists on!

Sometime in between making necklaces, I played some more Diablo II with our partner.

🌈 Saturday 🌈

In the morning, I played with Reddit’s avatar maker thingy today, that was fun and also dumb. This day was finally a workday! I worked from 4:00pm to 9:00pm after getting all my chores done.

Things were tense at work. Because of the rain, sales were very low the entire week so everyone’s hours were cut. As a result, there were less people available to finish a project that has been stressing all the managers out for weeks now. I was put to work on the floor, pricing and placing merch, and even though it was only five hours, it left me completely exhausted.

An upside (or downside??) of the day is that I kinda got called out in front of everyone else for doing better than anyone else in my first week (second only to my training manager) in getting new emails from customers. They really, REALLY care about employees doing this. I’m pretty shy, so it takes a lot out of me, but I do ask and engage with everyone, and most people do sign up.

Apparently, other employees don’t really try, so when they released the numbers of my first week, the manager wrote a note underneath calling me out by name as an example and saying how I’m not doing anything unusual, only what I am supposed to do, and how others are failing to do so. 😬💧

There was an undertone of “It’s unacceptable that this brand new employee is doing better than everyone else, so, get it together” to the other employees, and another manager said to the first that I did that “because I’m an overachiever” which kinda sounded like “you can’t expect everyone else to do that”. Haha… I don’t know. It was nice but also very awkward for me.

Back when I used to hold jobs like this one, I struggled a lot, and was definitely the sort of person to get reprimanded for mistakes, shyness or sluggishness. I’ve changed a bit, I can do things better and push through better. So I won’t lie, all the praise I’ve received since I started feels really good, but at the same time, isn’t a call-out like that the sort of thing that makes coworkers resent you? 😅

Anyway, I only got to help two people at the register on this day, which bummed me out because I don’t want to forget everything I learned, but working on the floor I learned many new things, so there’s that.

At some point today I noted that Sarah’s hat had somehow materialized upon Toklo’s head, while Sarah herself had disappeared. 😳❓❓❓