I got the first three volumes of The Guardian Herd in the mail today! I bought them for peanuts (used library books) and painstakingly removed stickers and sticker residue. They aren’t without blemish, but good enough for me! I’m just missing the last volume now. Can’t wait to read these!
As I mentioned in the 2023 Alaska cruise summary, I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently. I’ve done a lot of reading this year, but this is especially true of the month of August.
And so we come to Bravelands. I’d had Broken Pride sitting unread on my shelf for about two years. This was partly fueled by a concern that I would hate it. A lion character called “Fearless Gallantpride” was just a bit too corny, even for me. Still, after enjoying Bamboo Kingdom and while waiting for its next installment, I figured it was time to pick up Bravelands. The main series, set in the African savannah and told from three different animals’ points of view, is comprised of the following six books:
The characters of Bravelands are Fearless Gallantpride (a lion cub), Thorn (a baboon, and my favorite character from the very first book until the end) and Sky Strider, a young elephant. Many other compelling characters comprise the rich cast, including my favorite villian in any Erin Hunter book I’ve read to date.
📚 My book posts aren’t reviews as much as they are a gathering of my thoughts and feelings on the experience of having read them. Therefore, there will be spoilers under the cut. 👇
If you intend to read Bravelands (and I highly recommend that you do), I recommend that you skip the rest of this post and come back to it after you’ve enjoyed books 1 through 6 of this wonderful series. More than other Erin Hunter series, Bravelands has some pretty great twists that would be ruined by spoilers.
So, my blog has been a bit abandoned… 👉👈💧 I’m so sorry about that. I also seem to be becoming more and more of a hermit. I am sorry about that, too.
There’s been a bunch of reasons. I’ve been reading a lot (and I do mean a LOT), been kind of busy deep inside my own head, perhaps having not exactly a mid-life crisis as much as a mid-life reassessment, plus preparing for upcoming trips, and then going on them.
Let’s start with the Alaska cruise: it was amazing. When it comes to the trip’s details, this time, unlike last time, I’m making an effort to blog more about it.
To make it easier, I opted not to decorate my photos with purikura this time around, because I think that wanting to do that and not having time to do it was the main reason I didn’t properly blog about the Alaska trip last year. So, I apologize if things are a little less colorful on this post.
With that said, this will be a very long and extremely image-intensive post. So I’m posting it under a cut.
I don’t have a big preamble this time around. The rainy and stormy season goes on and on… and on. All of this week I worked on commissions. I also visited my mom, and later in the week, we went to see my mom-in-law! It was a VERY busy one, but I also found time to game and spend time with my toys. Let’s get on with the summary!
Thank you in advance to anyone who comments on this post! Though it may take me a little while to reply, your comments mean so much to me! 💘✨💕
🌈 Monday 🌈
You might recall that last weekend, Kotoko wasn’t doing so well, though she got better later on Sunday. By Monday morning, she was all better, with a strong appetite and bright eyes!
Here’s a little snack I had in the afternoon. I didn’t eat the whole bunny, just a piece.
I saw Bluey yogurt at Publix! I didn’t want it but I took a picture:
In the late afternoon, I made time for WoW and some wine! 🍷🎮
I took a few snaps of Stromboli because I love him so much.
Slimy man. Best man.
At some point, I noticed that one of the soots decided to perch upon Ribbon’s head. It was so cute.
After Monday night dinner, Kotoko lounged on our partner’s leg. That was unusual; she usually picks Christopher. But it was adorable.
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
My pair of Raikes beavers that Christopher so sweetly bought for me arrived on Tuesday! Christopher can usually tell when I am legitimately losing my mind over a certain toy, even if I just came across it. This was one of those cases, and when they arrived, I loved them even more than I thought I would! I’ve named the girl Russet and the boy Yukon because they are just two huge potatoes (and these are actual names; Russet is unisex, while Yukon is a boy’s name):
Their outfits are a little stained from storage and old age, but that’s okay. While I love the look of their outfits, I have to re-dress them anyway as that is a big part of my putting my own touch as I create their personalities.
Here’s Rosie already getting cozy with them:
Speaking of Rosie, here is a perfectly cut scream.
By Tuesday afternoon I’d finished two more commissions:
With this, there was just ONE left! Then I left to visit with mom.
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
As always, mom had surprises for me. The nicest one was this Mafalda mate gourd! I love it so much. I placed it with my other Mafalda collectibles. I really do want to use it, but I’m so afraid of breaking it.
She also gave me this cute little Ivysaur which I placed in the game room:
🌈 Thursday 🌈
On Thursday I got around to brushing and dressing Romaine. He looks a lot happier!
I felt pretty exhausted all day since my period was about to hit (and would, the next day). So I napped in the afternoon. Rosie came to lay with me. She was purring and looking into my eyes and seemed so happy.
After I got up, I did more chores and made dinner, and after that, tried to play LEGO with the guys, but couldn’t get very far with my set… I was just so tired. I got ready for bed and after anime, played WoW for a little while, mindlessly hunting for more dragon glyphs.
At one point, as I flew through some dark areas, I turned around and was surprised by a very beautiful spot, glowing and snowing, with a massive dragon flying about. Many of my favorite WoW memories are moments of sudden beauty such as these, at night, with no one else around in-game.
My server is a highly populated one, but few people can be found in some areas at such an hour. So I experience eerie, special moments like this one.
A good while into playing, the message I’d seen a couple of weeks ago popped up again!
It was a very random hour, like 1:15 am? I am not sure why it pops up. I must have turned on some setting at some point on my account, perhaps many years ago, but I can’t find anything about this. In particular, the all-caps and exclamation mark makes me think that it’s something that I myself wrote. Well, in any case, both times it popped up I went “Hmm, it IS late” and decided to stop for the night.
I found a cozy spot to land my dragon and fell asleep with Stromboli, Pippi and Snailio Iglesias keeping watch. Pippi is off camera though.
Right before bed, I took some photos of the freshly-cleaned snail tank. I hung some clover/shamrock lights on top, and it looked very pretty in the dark:
My little guys were just having a nice time, eating, drinking, and going for evening strolls:
🌈 Friday 🌈
Friday evening we left for Sebastian. I was so excited! I’d seen my mom-in-law when she visited us, but I hadn’t been able to visit her place for a good three months. I brought Raisin for company:
The sun began to set just as we arrived. It was very pretty.
Once we got there, we had chicken nachos while watching my mom-in-law and her friends play cards. I also cuddled and said hi to the cats, whom I hadn’t seen in ages:
We enjoyed each other’s company for the evening and played Blokus.
As usual, Pan got some cuddles from our partner.
We had many plans for Saturday, so we didn’t stay up too late.
🌈 Saturday 🌈
On Saturday we went to a bunch of really fun antique shops. Actually, the first one was really just a thrift store. I found a few cool books. One, in particular, was a super bizarre addition to my “material to indoctrinate children” collection:
I’ll just give you a few sample pages. It’s… interesting, to say the least. On the surface, it seems pretty harmless, and certainly is compared to other material I have on my shelves, but it’s pretty out there regardless.
With that said: I mean no disrespect if this sort of thing forms part of your spiritual comfort. I’ve generally made it known, however, that having been a Christian most of my life (now somewhere between Agnostic and Atheist) and indoctrinated into Catholicism from a very early age, I have strong feelings regarding indoctrinating children into any sort of religious belief. I think it’s confusing at best, and with some subsets of religion, actual child abuse at worst (Sky Daddy loves you very much, but if you don’t love him more than your own mom and dad, he’ll burn you in a fire forever! Wait, WHAT?)
This isn’t one of those cases, it’s just a little weird, but then again I haven’t read the whole book yet. Some things seem harmless on the surface (the placebo effect of believing you can heal yourself isn’t necessarily bad and can even help) but its wording appears to be setting the ground for believing in actual spiritual healers, which regularly scam people and sometimes keep them from seeking actual medical help. So… .🤷♀️
Anyway! I also got these two:
I’m super excited to read this one!
The second store had lots of interesting things, but it was the sort of place where the owner was very attached to his collection. So, his prices were somewhat unreasonable, in some cases he didn’t know the value of the items offhand, or I, being fairly knowledgeable about some toys, knew that they were massively overpriced. But it was still delightful to browse!
I happened to run into a porcelain doll I liked for the first time ever. Porcelain usually really turns me off as a material. Had she been more reasonably priced, I would have probably bought her. She looked so sweet and it would have been nice to make her pretty again.
The next store was mostly furniture, but the building used to be a bank! You could look inside the old vaults, which was really interesting. I also saw a couple of interesting animal figures. The little mouse perched upon a piece of Roquefort was my favorite.
The final stop was actually a bunch of vendors under one massive roof. It was the Wildwood Antique Mall. After we all went in, our partner was nowhere to be seen. It was because he’d found this massive moth outside and stayed back to take a picture:
Moths are so pretty. I really love them.
It was really interesting to come across a little pride booth. This isn’t really an area where I would feel safe setting up such a booth. This person, I felt, was brave.
Anyway, this place had so many cute things, I had to restrain myself all the while. I knew I could probably get one treat so I had to choose carefully. I took photos of many lovely or interesting things:
It was so cool to see a Maple Town lunch box! The dinosaur was a Universal Parks item, and very well made. I am eager to see what I may find when we go in September. The Thomas pillow was the one thing I truly hated to leave behind… but as I said, I felt it was best to choose just one item.
Eventually, I would find it in the form of the most scratched-up, dirtiest Raikes bear I ever came across. His clothes were filthy, and his face was in bad shape. Who knows how long he’d been there! So of course, my “need to rescue” gland immediately went into overdrive.
He was in a booth with the most haunted-looking dolls ever. You know I love dolls, even creepy dolls, but boy, these were something else!
As we were heading to pay my new Raikes bear’s “adoption fee”, we came across this cute doggy:
I named my new bear Mothball. He’ll need lots of TLC, but I am looking forward to freshening him up! 😊
We went to Heavenly Wings for lunch.
I’ve now made peace with the fact that I don’t like so-called “good” boneless wings. I like Buffalo Wild Wings, as terrible as everyone says they are. I guess I’ve also made peace with the fact that no one ever wants to eat there with me, ever. Sigh. 😞
Then we went to paint ceramics. I’d looked forward to this so much! I picked a penguin this time.
Our partner painted a zombie squirrel for me. Once he was finished, he was bored, so he also colored me a frog. I asked him to sign it and he pretended to, but in the end, he just wrote “frog”. 😒
In the photos above and below, my penguin is finished. He looks pale, but I used the closest colors I could find to the pan flag colors. We will see how bright he turns out after firing! Below you can see the back:
Here are all the figures together: zombie squirrel (our partner) toucan (mom-in-law) mouse with mushroom (Christopher) and my penguin:
In this photo, the figures are less visible but Christopher looks so cute:
Christopher has turned out to be really good at this, particularly at simple but expressive, well-painted eyes. It’s really easy to screw up the eyes.
Here’s a final photo of us holding our figures:
After this, we went home, had burgers, and watched the new Mario movie, which I very much feel was extremely stupid. It’s a bummer. I am exactly the audience for it, being a huge Mario franchise fan. But it was so bad. Oh well. At least it was visually beautiful, and I have the RPG to look forward to!
🌈 Sunday 🌈
On the long drive back after Sunday lunch, I took off all of Mothball’s dirty old clothes. He enjoyed the hot sun on his fur as he watched the cars go by:
We got home in the early afternoon. I unpacked and did all the chores before relaxing with some WoW.
Before bed, I undressed Russet and Yukon, cut off their tags and loose strings, brushed them, cleaned their faces, and dressed them in their brand-new outfits. I am immensely pleased with how they look!
Name necklaces are next, and possibly a tail ribbon for Russet. 🥰
And that was it for this week. Next week, my last commission should be finished, and I will try to do a “reset” of my goals. I hope you all have a lovely week, and I’ll see you next time! 🙋♀️
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.
Thank you in advance to anyone who comments on this post! Though it may take me a little while to reply, your comments mean so much to me! 💘✨💕
🌈 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:
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!
This week I went back to my job at Christmas Tree Shops, which, as I’ve mentioned, is closing down (my location is, anyway) meaning that in a few weeks, we will all be out of a job. But I came back here because the job at the market/bakery was awful.
CTS was/is the first true corporate job that I actually stayed at. I don’t count Citel since they didn’t need me after all, and it was an office job that lasted barely a week or two. In addition to that, CTS is my first experience working at a big box store that is being liquidated and closing. As the title of this post mentions, this experience can at times wear you down and demoralize you. Other times, it’s really funny. And it is very bittersweet.
I am glad that I am in such a privileged position to get to do it without panicking about what my next job will be. I can just take it all in, and have fun with it, which gives me a lot of material to blog about. 😏
This post also has more doll stuff and more art. Let’s get to it!
Thank you in advance to anyone who comments on this post! Though it may take me a little while to reply, your comments mean so much to me! 💘✨💕
🌈 Monday 🌈
On this day I went back to CTS. The vibe was certainly… weird. At times, people joke and laugh. At times, it feels very sad. Overall, everyone is stressed out of their minds. The sales are bad right now (for customers): mostly 10% off, with our 20% off coupons gone. This means that the prices are technically more expensive than before we were closing. But perception is everything, and people come in droves, spending hundreds at a time, and in one case, over a thousand dollars. It’s very tiring right now.
Seeing all the signs from my spot at the register really gave me a sinking feeling.
Literally every transaction involves the customer saying a form of these things:
“I’m so upset that you’re closing! I’m so disappointed! How long have you known? How long will the sale last? Why can’t I use coupons? When will the discounts get better? Which day are you closing? You guys didn’t do enough advertising/your name is confusing/I didn’t know you were here. How many stores are closing? Why are they closing? If you’re closing, why am I still getting coupons/emails?”
So with every customer, I repeat the same song and dance:
“I am disappointed too. I also love the store. I am sad about losing my job and my coworker companions. We found out the same day as everyone else, including customers. You can’t use coupons or return items because everything in here no longer belongs to CTS but to the liquidator. We don’t know exactly how many more weeks we will be open, just an approximate. You’re right, corporate didn’t advertise enough. We, the employees, did everything we could. Yes, the name is confusing. It’s not like we could change it. The fact that you didn’t know you were here is part of the reason why we are closing. Only ten stores are closing. We are the only Florida store that is closing. We are the only Florida employees not close enough to get reassigned elsewhere. They are closing stores because they filed for bankruptcy protection and we are a low-performing store.”
Repeat ad nauseaum.
If all the above, in a paragraph with no breaks, reads as tiresome, exhausting, drone-like… imagine saying this to every customer for hours and hours. There isn’t a SINGLE transaction or phone call to the store that doesn’t involve some form of the above. No one stops to think that we have heard it all a million times that day.
One lady who called to inquire about the closing decided to have a 15-minute chat with me, an aimless conversation about all of the above. I couldn’t get rid of her. I heard about five iterations of “When God closes a door, He opens a window” on Monday, and by the last, I wanted to tear my hair out. Two people decided to let me know that they were not, as they put it, “happy campers”.
It is not cute. It is not helpful.
Still, one thought was in my mind all day long: “This is so much better than that other job.” One’s team is everything, and our team is fantastic. My coworkers are already talking of following our manager elsewhere if possible… while that probably won’t happen, it’s a testament to how good of a vibe we had.
I often heard some of the assistant managers complain about this or that decision taken by our store manager. People would often gripe; sometimes I heard about little tiffs with raised voices between the assistant managers and him, but I think he is well-loved by most. In spite of saying these things, many of the assistant managers would happily follow him to the next store and so would I. He’s a great boss, and the assistant managers are SO good, positive, the kind of people that just make you want to do your best. So I’m going to do my best until the bitter end.
Christopher let me grab a $20 rug from the store to cover my very stained carpet that simply cannot be cleaned properly anymore. It looks pretty good!
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
Tuesday was a very exhausting day. My coworkers and managers had warned me: it is going to get SO much worse. On Monday, I was unsure of what they meant. By late Tuesday I had a better idea.
As the same questions and comments from customers repeat in a never-ending cycle, our partner had some ideas of how I should respond to the “You’re closing the store? Why??” questions:
“We’re closing because Christmas is canceled.”
“We’re closing because an atheist family bought the company and they hate Christmas.”
“What do you mean we’re closing?! No one told me this! Oh my God, am I losing my job?”
“How did you find out that we’re closing? *looks around in a conspiratory manner* It’s supposed to be a secret. Who told you?”
Unfortunately, I don’t have the balls to give any of these responses. 😅
I saw a cute doggy on this day:
I wasn’t sure I would ever get the chance to see Christmas trees for sale at Christmas Tree Shops, but lo and behold!
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
Since Tuesday, our partner has been very, very sick. It’s just a head cold (he has no fever and did two COVID tests) but, it’s quite bad. So I’m trying my best to take care of him, even though there really isn’t much I can do.
On this day I completed a gift for Seven, in gratitude for a great kindness recently shown to me by her when I closed commissions. Of course, it also includes Snow and Ember. I finished it in an old-fashioned style:
For dinner, I made salmon and rice:
🌈 Thursday 🌈
Another day of the same. On Thursday, I had a customer turn around as she was leaving and ask me, “Do you have another job lined up?” When I responded that I didn’t, she laughed in my face and left. I didn’t even know how to react! Wow. 🙃
Then later in the day, we found these bowls filled to the brim with water. These were in a “cage”, also called a “dump bin” in retail. It’s a massive container that can fit four or five of me, and a LOT of merchandise. Anyway, apparently there was a leak in the roof and these filled with rainwater, which a customer noticed. It was pretty funny.
🌈 Friday 🌈
Day off! I took care of the snails and the house, worked on art, relaxed, made the guys a nice dinner, and played with my dolls a bit. Yesterday I listed a bunch of old items hoping to make money to buy the other My Twinn doll that I’d missed out on. But then I realized that eBay holds the money for a while now, after a sale. There was no way I would have it in time. So Christopher let me borrow some funds to get her. She is very beautiful. I’m going to call her Emily.
Much like with my upcoming Zanini Zambelli Italian doll, this is a case in which I have no desire to change the doll’s outfit. It is truly gorgeous as-is.
On this day I finally took Samantha out of her box and dressed her up. She looks so beautiful in her new clothes!
In the afternoon I noticed that Buddy moved again, this time to a high shelf. I wonder how long his unseasonal visit will last?
In the evening, we played LEGO. I had wine and a little snack and felt very happy.
I also finished building this Creator 3-In-1 Medieval Castle. It was a pretty neat build!
For dinner, I made fajitas over rice with cilantro and avocado. It was delicious!
🌈 Saturday 🌈
Saturday morning was dark and stormy. Elliot didn’t want to be outside because of the thunder, so he stayed near me.
Our partner indulged me in getting another toy, a bizarre and adorable Monchhichi clone –a bear. I think I’ll call him Calisson. These are the Etsy photos, he’ll take a while to arrive yet:
I’ve been getting a lot of toys this year, which, if you’ve known me for any length of time, you’ll know to coincide with me being Not Okay ™. And I have NOT been okay. The job stuff is stressful, sure. But it’s the community stuff that has me on a downward spiral and has for months.
Just as I did in my childhood, when I feel isolated and lonely, I seek refuge in toys –their cuddliness, their cute faces. They’re friends that will never go away, or suddenly have terrible hidden pasts, or decide to replace me or not like me anymore. Toys are safe and always have been. They never mock me, I can’t accidentally hurt their feelings and lose their friendship.
So, as self-indulgent and unwise as I know my purchases appear (and they are, make no mistake) I can tell you they’re my current coping mechanism because I don’t really know what else to do with my feelings. Please try not to judge me too harshly. 😅
I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but my snails got mites again. 😞 You might remember how expensive, difficult, and upsetting an experience that was the first time around. I’ve been very aggressive in treating it, so hopefully they’ll be okay. Here’s a photo of some snails kissing.
🌈 Sunday 🌈
Though this was a workday, in the morning I found some time to de-stuff Fiorella and throw her body and clothes in the wash.
I also washed her hair twice and conditioned it…
Then set it all out to dry. Her thigh has a little tear, but it’s easily fixed.
I will stuff her with brand-new stuffing, fix the tear, and comb her hair. I made her a necklace, and I got her a brand new big ribbon to match the one on her clothes. She’ll look so cute when I’m done with her!
While Fiorella dried in the warm sun, I moved some stuff around in my studio. I missed seeing my Monchhichis, so I put them where I can see them better. These three are Melon-Pan, Minoru, and Ponzu:
This was my first time getting a really nice photo of Ponzu:
Before work, I had leftover roasted cauliflower and black olive pizza for lunch, topped with cilantro:
Work went fast. It was busy. People continue to be a bit obnoxious about the store closing. But, I saw another pupper!
What a happy guy. Speaking of happy guys, here are some littler ones I saw in the parking lot while waiting for Christopher to pick me up after work:
Mama wasn’t happy about me getting too close and herded them all away. Sorry, Mama Duck.
The evening was wonderful! We met our friends for dinner at Shooters Waterfront. I got some nice photos…
I had a couple of coffee drinks that unexpectedly knocked me on my ass, and a wonderful plate of risotto, shrimp, and scallops. We shared a couple of cheese plates. It was SO good.
Here’s a photo of two of our best friends. They are getting married really soon! 🥰
After dinner, my drunk, stumbling ass bullied everyone into a short walk at the beach at 11:00 pm. So off we went, and I asked to go back and be carried after taking like, ten steps. No one carried me.
Anyway, I got some beautiful photos!
We also came across this. Just stuck there in the sand, facing the sea. There was some dribbling around it as if a dog peed on it. Maybe someone had dribbled something over it on purpose as part of a ritual. This was in pitch-black darkness, I wonder what it meant?
On the drive back, I saw the Hard Rock guitar showing off an unusually pretty light display, so I got some video:
Anyway, that’s it for this week! Next week I’ll be visiting my mom, and getting more doll clothes in the mail. It’ll be quite busy at work… Hopefully, I’ll continue to find time to blog and keep you all posted. Have a great week, everyone!
First week at the new job! 😀 Also, last week at the new job. 🙃 We celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary, and Mother’s Day. Our family came to visit and we ate out a LOT. Our partner’s computer suddenly died which meant not much Diablo this week.
I finally opened my anniversary doll, but it turned out to: a) be FUGLY and b) have a manufacturing defect, so we contacted the seller and after some back and forth got a full refund and got to keep the doll regardless. But, I’ll sell her, I don’t see myself enjoying her ever. I got a different doll as a replacement already on the way.
I also did lots of art this week. I’ll tell you about that, and about other things too. Let’s go!
🌈 Monday 🌈
Monday was the first day at my new job. I was up at 7:00 am to take care of the day’s housework. Then I worked until 3:30 pm.
Now that I’m not there anymore (as you will learn more about later into this summary) I feel more comfortable sharing more about this place. It was (well, is) a local Italian Bakery and Market.
They have some interesting products, and, generally, is what I would consider a higher-end store as far as prices, which you wouldn’t know judging by the unbelievable crassness of some of the clientele. It was the sort of rudeness I encountered in my gas station days.
Granted, most people were okay, but some definitely consider you (the cashier) of a lower class because you are there to serve them. I encountered some of the worst of this on my first day. But the day went by quickly enough, even though, unlike my experiences at CTS, I found myself unhappy very fast.
On the way home, our partner treated me to lunch. Then I took a short nap, showered, and made dinner, which would cook for a few hours in the slow cooker. I was pretty proud of how the meal turned out.
I spent the rest of the evening alternating between chores and drawing. I got another commission and a Patreon reward nearly done.
Dinner was enjoyable, and after that, I did a few more chores and played Diablo with our partner. We beat Mephisto!
Before bed, I ran Kalamata’s brand-new dress through the wash and put it on her. It looks perfect! A brand new hair bow would arrive for her on Wednesday, and at some point in the next week, some “shoes” I got her on AliExpress should show up too. They’re technically mittens, but she has stuffed feet, so I think they will work best. I’ll post a photo once everything is here.
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
Another workday. I was up early again and finished all the chores before heading to work.
I would begin to grow frustrated at work very quickly. By this day, I knew that if you were even cents short on the register, it would come out of your own pocket. This is illegal here without prior written arrangement and notice. In addition, counting the cash drawer had to be done off the clock, on your own time.
At CTS, my register was always okay (except for one day when I think I was a dollar or so over?) I didn’t have to count off the clock, and I didn’t have such stress over my head about being slightly short or over, which meant I wasn’t anywhere near as likely to make mistakes because I was relaxed.
Moreover, the unhappiness of all the other employees was becoming more and more evident to me. Everyone looked tired and upset, the cashiers were always complaining about their lives and their job to each other. There was zero positivity. This, coupled with the managers’ conflicting rules and their “when I’m here we do things my way, when he’s here you do things his way” ethos, made for an anxiety-ridden workplace.
By this day, I told myself “I’ll stay here just until the cruise”, though ultimately I wouldn’t even be able to last the week.
In spite of being so tired, I completed a commission and a Patreon reward on this day:
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
Wednesday I got to stay home. My period hit pretty hard so it was a relief that I was given the day off because it had been made repeatedly clear to me that being sick is NOT okay at my new job. Even upon hiring I was asked, “You don’t have no medical issues, do ya?” I said no, of course… 🙄
But I do have endometriosis, and while my uterus has been kinder to me in my 30s than in my terrible, terrible 20s, it’s still scary to live with a condition that can completely incapacitate me more or less at random, while working at a place that will have zero tolerance for this.
I wasn’t able to get much done on this day, but I worked all day long on Christopher’s anniversary present and did the most pressing chores. Then we went to Mezes Greek Taverna for dinner:
🌈 Thursday 🌈
Thursday was our seventh wedding anniversary! I left Christopher’s gift and card on his desk for him to find in the morning when he sat down to breakfast. As usual, I drew our little Subrosians, this time being visited by friendly little alien soots:
Unfortunately, I was in a bit of a foul mood most of the day, between the remnants of my period and the fact that I absolutely HATED being at work and dreaded going back the next day. Even though today I was allowed to open my anniversary doll, I didn’t. I felt that low.
Also, our partner’s computer died on Thursday (or rather, Wednesday night) so no more Diablo this week.
One highlight of today is that my mom sent us a $75 gift card to a really fancy local restaurant that I’m dying to try!
🌈 Friday 🌈
On Friday I quit my job. My husband and our partner both told me that the job sounded crappy and toxic and I should leave. Then my mom also said that. Up until then, I’d still been trying to work it out. I really enjoyed working at a grocery store in the past, and I enjoy working at a register and exchanging pleasantries with customers.
There was no major event on this day that “did it”. I knew it was my chance to leave while being able to get full-time hours at CTS for 6-8 more weeks until they close (they really need people right now). If I waited any longer, I’d be removed from CTS’s system. But if anything did throw me over the edge at the new job, it was the combination of these things:
1. Having my scheduled hours changed 3 times for this day alone. On Monday I was told I’d work until 3:30 pm on Friday, so I made plans with my family. On Thursday I was told it might be 4:00 pm, or 5:30 pm. On Friday I was told it could be 5:30 pm, or 6:30 pm, or maybe until closing? Who the heck knows, it’s not like I have a life, right?
2. I got there early to count my register. It was slightly off (about $0.23 over). So I counted it again. When I told the manager that it was off, and by how much, the manager stood over me watching me count for the second time, which almost made me want to scream. I actually turned around to ask if I could help him. Bitch, if you want to double-check, count it yourself. Don’t breathe down my neck. Anyway I counted correctly, it was still off.
3. The realization by a comment from the manager that he wanted me to be totally alone at the register within two weeks –with no other cashiers in the store. 😳 At a place where I have to memorize a ton of breads and produce by sight, that is NOT happening! I am also expected to answer the phone, redirect calls, and now, I found out, make cappuccinos and shit. And don’t forget, my register better not be off by a penny while I try to handle all of this at once! Going to the bathroom is also supposed to happen only during my 15-minute break so I better make sure my body adjusts.
4. Oh but it’s okay: “You can page me any time, and I’ll come help,” said the manager. This is the nice manager everyone (sort of) likes, by the way. Well, there were a lot of fires to be put out on this day, things that needed a manager. The other cashier and I both paged him multiple times –he wouldn’t come out or reply, and would lock himself in his office, which resulted in very frustrated customers. Meanwhile, the manager everyone considers to be a hard-ass, actually comes out when needed, but I digress.
These were just the highlights, really. When I went out on my break, I spoke to my old boss at CTS. He still needed me until the store’s closing. So, after asking Christopher for advice, I came back from the break early so I wouldn’t be discussing this with the manager on the clock, and told him it wasn’t working out for me, but that I would be glad to work the rest of that day until 5:00 pm.
The manager asked me what could be done to keep me, what made me unhappy, etc. I didn’t get much into it. In the end, he said I could just go, and come back on Thursday for my check. I’ll have to see the hard-ass manager for that, so I hope Christopher or our partner come with me. It was the atmosphere of the place that was the worst for me, so I am very stressed about returning for my check.
Still, I walked home practically floating on air from sheer relief. 😌 After a few texts back and forth with my CTS boss, I saw a lot of hours pop up on my schedule for next week. Hooray! 🥳 I got busy with housework until our family got there, and also finished this Patreon reward:
At some point in the late afternoon, I opened my anniversary doll and had a real “thanksIhateit.jpg” moment. I chose this doll after seeing it in many non-stock photos and videos. She has a very peculiar face mold, and I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t like her IRL, but was crossing my fingers for her. Either way, it would be a “love it or hate it” sort of thing. Unfortunately, it was the latter. I was very relieved to find she had a defect: a poorly-glued eyelash. So, I contacted the manufacturer and would hear back the next day. More on that later…
By the time my mom-in-law and Christopher’s grandma got there, I had a little surprise ready for them on the table:
Gifts for each of them and cards too! Speaking of cards, here are the anniversary cards that I (we) got –from mom-in-law to us, from Christopher to me, and from Grandma to us:
Grandma also got this custom Christmas ornament for us:
And socks for me!
For dinner, we went to Blue Ginger as the Mother’s Day meal. It was Grandma’s first time, I’m really glad she enjoyed it. This is what I had, it was very filling:
After we got home, we all got comfy, some of us in our jammies, and we played Uno and had good wine! Kotoko joined us. Christopher often sets out a chair for her because she likes to observe:
She’s helping with his next play:
Even Rosie came to hang out!
So did Tomoyo, photogenic as, er, per usual…
🌈 Saturday 🌈
While I still hadn’t heard back from the doll manufacturer, Christopher graciously allowed me to choose a replacement for my anniversary gift. I decided to peruse eBay this time, looking for a doll from a specific line that I wanted to add to my collection: a “My Twinn”.
My Twinn dolls are… well… they’re something. You’re either going to love or hate this concept. Basically, back when they were a thing, this Denver, CO company could make a 23″ tall doll to look just like your child, or perhaps the child’s parent or grandparent as a child. I think it’s both creepy and adorable, uncanny yet charming. In addition to the photos below, you can find more information at Logan’s Ladies, an excellent My Twinn resource.
I have found a lot of the My Twinn dolls to give me “haunted doll” vibes, in that “Good Guy” doll sort of way. To add to their creepy feel, some of the dolls’ eyes do this after years in storage:
They turn red!! Haha… And if you frequent haunted doll YouTube and TikTok, you’ll find My Twinn dolls just tend to give people that feeling. So, I thought I never wanted one. But the more I looked at some, the more they grew on me. Eventually, I came across a My Twinn doll that, to me, looked just like AG’s Samantha Parkington should:
You see, I love Samantha as a character, both in her books and movies. I always felt that the American Girl doll, pretty as it is, doesn’t do Samantha justice. To me, this doll looks more like I imagine a Samantha doll to look, so I’m going to call her that!
She comes with the box and everything! And since she was cheaper than my original anniversary doll, I also got an outfit on the way for her:
My heart was really set on this My Twinn, but the seller declined my offer. It was a pity, she is so beautiful and I completely fell in love. But the lowest the seller would go was $109 and I couldn’t afford her. 💔💔💔😢 I’m still a bit salty about that. I really adore her, even if I love my second choice. Wish it was closer to my birthday! 😭 Oh well. I am glad to have held on strongly to not trading more art for toys, though. I am proud of that.
Something else that is on the way is dresses and shoes for Penny and Molly (of course Molly has to have a patriotic dress):
Finally (this is definitely my “doll phase” year… geez… what happened to my resolution?! 😩) a dear friend gifted me this little girl from eBay. I’m learning a lot more about doll brands, materials, and eras this year. This is a Zanini Zambelli Italian doll, a brand I was unfamiliar with. She looks to be in pretty good shape, though her hair needs some TLC:
Her face is very sweet and thoughtful…
All I bought for this little lady is this ribbon (I love her outfit so much, that I don’t plan to change it):
On Saturday morning we went to the Swap Shop. I did most of my walking with Christopher, while our partner walked with Grandma and my mom-in-law. It was nice to spend time alone with my hubby. It’s a wonderful thing to spend most of our time the three of us together, but I also always treasure one-on-one time with either of them. It’s special. 🥰
I found a few wonderful vintage books at the Swap Shop, and also some Franklin ones! All hardcover, even an annual of British girl’s magazine, Judy!
My favorite find is the 3 Minute Bedtime Stories book, because in addition to being beautifully illustrated, I don’t actually know any of the stories.
After the Swap Shop, we went to have dim sum for lunch at a very popular, local Chinese restaurant. The place is huge, and was absolutely packed due to Mother’s Day. Grandma took this photo while the three of them waited outside (Christopher and I waited inside for our number to be called):
Photos at the table…
It was my first time having dim sum. I liked it; it was alright. But the atmosphere of the restaurant was too busy and overwhelming for me.
Back at the house, naps were had and we all relaxed for a while before dinner time.
In the evening, we had our anniversary dinner courtesy of my mom-in-law. We went to The Pub. Christopher and I both really like this place, and we got a very nice table. Here’s a photo that the very kind waiter took of our group:
Christopher and I! We were happy. 🥰
I had my favorite, bangers and mash, and an alcoholic coffee drink. We also ordered a great spinach dip:
I had bread pudding for dessert but it wasn’t what I hoped. Nothing beats the one I had in Tampa!
🌈 Sunday 🌈
On Sunday I worked all day long, both on housework and art. I finished two Patreon rewards and a little gift for Bogie. Now there are just eight pieces left to go –and the Patreon rewards are all completed!
I have a busy week ahead, with many hours at CTS. I wonder what I will find when I go in tomorrow. Will it be a mess? Busy? Quiet? I guess I’ll find out.
I’m estimating finishing four more pieces this week, so please look forward to that. I hope everyone has a lovely week!
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!
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).