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.
Good evening, friendly folk! Yesterday and today I visited with mom. Very pleasant as usual –we checked out apartment listings, played Generala, and had a few meals together. I also started reading Bamboo Kingdom:
We watched RRR, a really cool (if somewhat problematic) Tollywood movie, and had chicken milanesas with mashed potatoes for dinner.
Art-wise, today was really productive, enough that I’ll talk about it in separate posts.
When I got home, my copy of Guts by Raina Telgemeier was there. I can’t wait to read it! With that said, I got cranky rather quickly. Doing chores and going up and down the stairs with the downstairs AC broken isn’t the greatest… but I got everything done, and played some WoW before bed.
Hope everyone had a nice hump day! 🐪 🌈 And that this heat wave is over soon… 🥵
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! 🙋♀️
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!
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 🌈
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!
This was an eventful week! I had jury duty for the first time in my life, and finally got to visit mom again. I started playing a new video game with our partner, a new doll and book came in, got to have lunch with my old boss, finished a few more commissions, and was finally able to play LEGO for date night again. Let’s get to it!
🌈 Monday 🌈
On Monday I was up by 6:00am, because we had to leave by 7:00am so I could be at the courthouse on time for my first jury duty ever. Normally, I would be super excited. As a still kinda fresh citizen (just two years) I’ve long wanted to be called. But now that I have a new job, it really complicated everything.
For this week, I had to call out on Monday to be there, and even though I got enough days off to see my mom without even asking for them, if I was selected for a trial all that might not happen. Plus, if I couldn’t get rides for every day, Uber would add up a lot. So I was concerned.
Anyway, that didn’t completely remove my excitement. The waiting room was very large and comfortable, plus, there was a lounge for jurors. We were shown a video first explaining the process.
It was a “hurry up and wait” situation until you got called for a jury pool. Sometimes you also had to fill out a questionnaire if the judge requested it. I waited a couple of hours before I was called, and in the meantime had cookies, coffee and read a little more.
I was finally called, filled out a questionnaire, waited a little longer, and then we all walked a whoooole lot, took an elevator to the 16th floor, and lined up to wait outside of the courtroom.
I should mention that the building was huge and beautiful. The view from up there was honestly amazing.
It was a civil case, not a criminal case —a lawsuit between a couple of homeowners and Citizens Insurance. As soon as that name was said I knew I would be excused. We are insured by (and feel great antipathy towards) Citizens. So I definitely have heavy bias. It was a good thing too because the trial would have lasted until Thursday.
Everyone had to talk to the judge, and we passed a microphone down the line. That was a little nerve wracking; my heart was pounding out of my chest by the time it was my turn. But the judge was really nice and kept cracking jokes with everyone.
I told him how I’d been excited to be called. He pointed to the door and said there was mental health counseling available if I needed it, which made everyone laugh (people aren’t usually excited to be jurors). But later, privately, he thanked me for my enthusiasm.
Once I began to explain my feelings toward Citizens he had me stop because it would taint the rest of the jury pool. So when everyone went to lunch, the judge had a few people stay behind and called them one by one to the bench, where the lawyers also were.
A few people were excused due to biases; one woman due to poor English language skills. When I explained my own bias, the judge asked me if I would ignore the law because of my bias if it was clear that Citizens wasn’t in the wrong. I said that I wouldn’t, but that I couldn’t say the same if it came down to a grey area, which is very true. That was enough for him and both sets of lawyers and I was excused for that trial.
I thought I might get picked for another pool, but when I got back to the selection room, they sent me home. So now I am done for at least a year. Even though I wasn’t selected it was still an interesting experience.
After that I went for a walk. Christopher let me have some spending money so I went to Dollar Tree and had lunch at Panera. I saw this cool theater on the way:
Here’s another nice photo I took during the walk:
I got quite the haul at Dollar Tree: a Bluey sandwich box, a Grogu cup, a Crayola coloring page and stickers, a few packs of cards for scrapbooking, dinosaur stickers, a tiny parasaurolophus friend, and a blind bag toy. Oh, and a snail greeting card.
The blind bag has this wee white tiger cub:
After I got home and took a shower I played more Diablo II with our partner. I had a drink and some chips and brought Churrasco downstairs because his “gotcha” day would be Tuesday (2021) and I felt like he needed some attention.
For dinner, we had fajitas. I don’t normally like them because of the onions, but Christopher took them all out so it was pretty good.
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
Tuesday was a pretty good day, even though I began to get my monthly irritables (PMS) and felt quite irate at times for literally no reason. One good feeling I had throughout the day though, is excitement to go back to work on Friday. Maybe I do like the job after all.
Anyhow, Tuesday was a day of chores and of working on art, but I still made time to play Diablo II with our partner. Playing this together is our little “thing” and I really do enjoy it a lot. My character is called Squirrelman. I wanted to play a Druid and it’s been pretty fun having ravens and a wolf and this vine thing with us. And some sort of spirit.
Our partner plays a necromancer so we have a bunch of little skeleton men follow us, plus two hired hands. We’ve got quite the band.
It reminds me of similarly setting an hour aside to play visual novels with Christopher, something I miss very much. I’ll have to see if I can convince him to do that with me again.
I’ve been catastrophically failing at not buying any toys or books this year. Honestly, I’m not exactly upset about it. It’s still helped: I’ve skipped out on a lot of video games and scrapbooking supplies. But I do not regret any toys I’ve gotten this year at all.
I think I may adjust my goal for the year, and, when it comes to toys and books, setting up a rule of getting rid of something before I get something new. That may be more manageable, because honestly I love new toys far too much.
After our partner ordered the little alien doll for me, I began to look at baby dolls, something I’ve never really been into. Babies are just not really my thing, not even as dolls. But I did see two that I liked a LOT, enough to add them to my wishlist and perhaps get one next month. One is another little alien, but two are more conventional babies.
I really like Crabby Cakes and her pouty expression. It’s very funny and unique. She’s more of a toddler doll. The other one is Honey Bunny and more of a simple, sweet baby boy doll. Both look very huggable with their soft bodies. I’d like to get them this year, but I definitely need to make some room first. If I can decide on something to donate/sell, I’ll probably get Crabby Cakes in May.
I should mention that not a single penny of my new job earnings are going towards toys. Instead, I reserve my modest Patreon earnings for my frivolous spending, which otherwise would be zero. Thanks to Patreon I’ve been able to get things like an ice-cream at work, lunch when I went to jury duty, the dinosaur book I saw at Barnes & Noble, some canned coffee and snacks for the month, etc. It makes me really happy to know that the art I still draw is for stuff like this. So, I am really grateful to everyone who is supporting me there.
In the evening my guys took me to my mom’s. I brought her birthday presents with me:
As soon as I got to my mom’s I saw a big slug. I was immediately excited of course. It was a big little guy and rather speedy for a slug.
Here’s some video:
I brought this little carnotaurus friend on this visit. He doesn’t have a name yet.
We were set to play Jumanji this evening but in the end we had too much to catch up on.
My mom always has a lovely snack spread set out, usually by the time I get there, and it’s one of the things I look forward to the most when I visit her.
This time she also surprised me with empanadas!
Here’s a pic of grumpy old Sweeney:
I continued to read Raptor Red in bed. I had my little trike with me, he doesn’t have a name yet either. I really have to fix that.
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
I was up by 7:30am, working on art after my coffee. I took a shower and worked on the blog while waiting for my mom to wake up. It was a pleasant and quiet start to the morning.
Oh yeah, I was looking through the Ring camera on this morning and saw this funny black cat who was a bit suspicious of one of my decorations:
After my mom got up, we had mate and cheese bread!
While my mom did some housework, I had lunch (she had a big breakfast). I had a ham and cheese empanada and read Raptor Red some more.
Then I worked on art some more. I worked on a commission for Nero, on a YCH, and on a badge for Willy Joe.
We went to walk around Target and PetSmart and we had a little snack at Starbucks. On the way there, I saw this weird clock on a building:
Target had this super cool Super Mario basket!! 🍄🌈
At Starbucks I had a pink drink and a banana walnut loaf:
There was a super cute little gremlin of a dog at the Starbucks line:
During the car ride home, I found a ladybug on my clothes! It started flying around, so I caught it and held a finger out of the window until it flew away.
I came home with a nice haul. First, I got these super cute decorations for the snail tank:
Then I got these outfits, the two small ones are for my little alien doll, the snail one doesn’t have a designated stuffie or doll yet, but it was on sale AND it had snails! I was not going to pass it up.
Finally, I got a little Aggretsuko blind box because it came with a dangler and I wanted a new one for my work lanyard but… it is a little wonky, especially for the price…
We had pizza for dinner and watched YouTube, and I cuddled Sweeney, but he wasn’t very thrilled about it… 😅
With PMS and all I was extraordinarily irritable in the evening, but was able to get some chores done and ready for the next day.
🌈 Thursday 🌈
It’s date night again! It was also Rudyard’s birthday. Not his “gotcha” day, but the day he was made at the factory, back in 2020. So Rudy is now three years old. His “gotcha” day, when I first got to hold him, was September 27th of the same year.
Also, I got to have lunch with my old boss, Al, today. We had SO much to catch up on! We went to Cracker Barrel. I tend to only eat there with him, so it had been a very long time since I last was there.
In the afternoon I cleaned the snail tank and put in some new decorations…
Later I accompanied our partner on some errands and then we went shopping for groceries for dinner. At the supermarket he bought me my favorite flowers again –these are the biggest sunflowers I’ve ever had!
I still haven’t named my new little dino gang, but here is my stegosaurus with one of the flowers:
We played LEGO for the first time in many weeks. I finally started working on Emma’s Art School:
Dinner was incredible! Our partner made quesadillas. He put so much effort in them, no shortcuts taken.
🌈 Friday 🌈
Friday was a busy day. It went by quickly. Chores all morning, some commission work too, but I did set some time aside to check out my new dinosaur book:
I do not normally record video of books, but I did in this case because I wanted you guys to see just how beautiful it is. I’ve amassed a respectable collection of paleontology, natural history and dinosauria related books now, but this one blows them ALL out of the water. I got the book on sale, but had it been twice the price, I would have still felt it was a bargain for what you get:
Then I was driven to work, and worked until 8:00pm. Work was very busy and enjoyable. I found out that I and a few other workers have only one day next week due to budget cuts from above, but hopefully the week after that will be better for everyone. I intend to use the time well, and work on commissions all week long.
(On that note, you’ve probably noticed that ever since I got the job, a lot if not all of my goals have been temporarily paused. I decided that this was a better course of action than trying to juggle a million things at once. I need to, above all, to finish the final commissions. Once they are done, using my free time from work to work on hobbies and personal art won’t be stressful.)
Anyway, I got picked up around 8:00pm by our partner and got home to Christopher serving a wonderful meal.
We relaxed together for a while after dinner and then they went for a walk while I got ready for bed.
🌈 Saturday 🌈
Friday I only worked four hours in the morning and early afternoon. But, I got up at 6:30am and, after a shower, finished these three commissions!
Then I went to work. It was only four hours, but being a Saturday, it was quite busy! As always I was a little early, so I doodled a snail for one of my coworkers, who did most of my training. I left it on a post-it note on her mouse. When I went back upstairs to clock out, I noticed that she had stuck it in the place where she keeps all her post-its, haha.
The guys picked me up at two, and we had Mod Pizza for lunch!
When we got home, my new little alien was waiting for me at the door. I opened her right away. She turned out to be even more wonderful than I was expecting! I’ve named her Tritium:
Even though I bought a couple of outfits for her in newborn size, they are still too baggy… I’ll have to figure out something else.
After a shower, our partner and I played Diablo II some more while Christopher napped.
For dinner, I had a potato and a rice cracker with cream cheese:
In the evening we went for a walk together. I took my little triceratops just in case I got a good idea for a picture somewhere. Eventually I did take a photo of it with a baby mango.
Our partner convinced me to go out for the evening which I did though I had a lot of housework to do. Gotta live a little. We went to Salt and Straw in Coconut Grove and I had a black olive and goat cheese waffle cone (as in, ice cream) and even though it tasted just like it sounds, it was truly delicious.
Then we stopped by a little cafe/restaurant and had some drinks and fries before heading home.
We got home very late, around 12:30am. Still, I did as many chores as I could. I was in bed by 2:00am.
🌈 Sunday 🌈
Sunday I worked a little on commissions in the morning and then went out for a stroll. I needed someplace to go to encourage me to walk, because I’ve been feeling very unmotivated and tired. So I decided to see if I could find a better outfit for Tritium, but being Easter, everywhere was closed.
I walked into buybuy BABY, a place I never go into. A store full of baby stuff felt kind of bizarre to walk through. I saw some very cute toys, including this floppy puppy, and I finally ran into a Benny Phant in the wild! I came so close to caving and getting one!
Some cute dinosaur puzzle toys…
I liked these bandana bibs for my stuffed animals, but not at that price!
I came home with what I really wanted, which was a better outfit for Tritium. I’ll make her a bandana myself.
Once back home, it was time for lunch and more Diablo II with our partner. We had açaí bowls!
Diablo II has some effed up imagery… 😳 That aside, Squirrelman has acquired a crowd of critters. He now has five wolves, five ravens, a spirit, and one of those thorny plant viney things.
Have an Eastery picture since it’s Easter:
In the evening we ordered Chinese food and watched Legend!
I’d always wanted to watch this movie. Plot-wise, it is as flat as a board and incredibly dull. The acting is overly theatrical, but that aspect has some charm. What really sells this movie is its unbelievably detailed sets, costuming, and makeup. It was wonderfully trippy, and had I watched it as a child, I’m sure that it would have had a tremendous effect in my young psyche.
Anyway… that’s all I’ve got to share for this week. It was long, busy, eventful, for sure! I wonder what next week will bring…
Happy Sunday, friends! Here I am with another weekly summary. So far, I still haven’t been able to recover my determination for all my yearly resolutions. It’s very frustrating when life gets in the way of them, even if it’s fun things that get in the way, but I haven’t completely fallen of the wagon. Anyway, let me tell you about our Valentine’s week!
🌈 Monday & Tuesday 🌈
Not much to say about Monday –I spent it getting everything ready for Valentine’s Day, which was Tuesday. Tuesday morning I gave Christopher his present. I wish I’d taken a picture of how I set it all up –the canvas all wrapped up, his bunny next to it, the card and the chocolates. It was there for him to find when he came down to breakfast. But, I can at least show you the drawing I printed on canvas for him:
Our partner ate his Valentine brigadeiros throughout the day. Around noon he took me to Best Buy to pick up some pretty Razer RGB headphones he bought me as a surprise, but they ended up being the wrong ones, so we returned them and ordered different ones later. We got lunch while we were out and it was still a really nice outing, especially since I’d still been feeling pretty low from the week before.
In the evening I went to see my mom, but before leaving, I left his card on his nightstand, and Christopher gave me mine. 🥰 It was actually one of the nicest cards he ever gave me.
When I got there, my mom had a whole fondue spread prepared!
Then we played the new chutes and ladders game. It was really fun and reminded me of playing it with my grandma when I was little!
I gave my mom a card, some chocolates, and a little potted orchid. She had a card for me too!
This was actually a really fun evening. It cheered me up.
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
On Wednesday morning, we had mate as usual. E.T. had some, too!
And Sweeney enjoyed some cat grinder time:
We found out that E.T. can cross his fingers! Doesn’t this snack spread look nice…
Also, man, it’s so weird but E.T. has always reminded me of my dad. Even when I was a toddler, he was really old and wrinkled. My child brain always thought they looked similar, and I know I even said so… poor dad. 😅
Also isn’t this Daniel Tiger juice cap super cute?
With Shampoo gone, Sweeney has gotten more and more affectionate with my mom…
Don’t mind his swishy tail at times, Sweeney is a bit of an oddball. He was really happy, purring intensely.
This was a really enjoyable visit. I was home with enough time to do a bunch of chores which is always good.
🌈 Thursday 🌈
I was very busy most of this day, but here’s a photo of Christopher’s (slightly) late Valentine’s Day present!
Always thrilled to get Godiva, I’d be surprised if they last me a week, haha. The Santa chocolates were an extra sorta freebie. 🎅
🌈 Friday 🌈
On this weekend, Christopher’s Grandma and my mom-in-law came to visit. They brought the little ceramics we painted on our last visit. I think they turned out adorable!
Friday night was really special. For no particular reason other than family visiting, we all went to a nice, fancy restaurant, “Jaya at the Setai”. It was a very glamorous place! There was a huge pool in the middle. Not a swimming pool, I mean a decorative pool:
Here’s Christopher and Grandma…
I had a Fig Old Fashioned. It was my first time drinking whiskey. I LOVED this thing! The cinnamon stick had been burned just a little. It smelled so good.
It had an odd menu –some Thai stuff, some Indian, some Japanese. At first glance, I struggled to find something I thought I’d enjoy. But everything I ate was an amazing experience, it didn’t feel like simply “eating dinner”. I think it might be my favorite fancy restaurant that I’ve ever eaten at!
There was a colorful gallery attached to the hotel/restaurant. While a lot of the stuff was cute (and I love anything with Harvey characters) the idea of rich-ass people buying stuff with these moneyed characters and even Bitcoin symbols is SO cringy to me, haha. 😅 But it made for some fun photos:
When we got home, we saw this pretty beetle hanging on our door:
I’ve gotten to a point with my manuscript where I desperately need guidance of a sort that many, many Google searches have proven unhelpful with. I tried to use my old Nook e-reader to just get free e-book versions with my accumulated credits, but it was sticky and gross (the material that it is made of degraded horrible with age) so I bit the bullet and got some manuals. They are very useful and are being pivotal in preventing a block I can’t get past at a key moment in the book:
🌈 Saturday 🌈
To start this day, here is a cute photo of Kotoko napping outside in the late morning…
We had Mod Pizza for lunch!
After that, everyone went inside JOANN to find a frame for the Asuka puzzle that was recently put together. I stayed in the car to avoid temptations, and our partner surprised me with a Blue lollipop holder when they came back!
Later, I spent some time drawing for myself and reading about mapmaking. I spent time outside with our partner doing these things. The weather was mild and it was a highlight of my weekend for sure. Kotoko even kept me company after he left:
Later in the day we went out to buy coals for our partner’s hookah, and he treated me to a geode which you could hammer open. I didn’t actually know what it would be like inside, so it was a magical experience for me. And it looks like a perfect little dinosaur egg!
In the evening, after dinner, we watched the work-in-progress version of Beauty And The Beast on Laserdisc.
It was a really fun experience!
🌈 Sunday 🌈
Grandma and my mom-in-law went home on this day, but first we went to have breakfast together:
It was the first time I really didn’t like my food at The Village Tavern. The potatoes were undercooked, and the crab cakes were really fishy. But the little muffin was delicious.
Now I have to tell you about a definite conscious decision to make an exception to my no-new-toys rule –one I would and will do again if another release like this happens. Outside of the Colossal line, my most favorite Jurassic toy line is their Imaginext toys, and within them, the SUPER cheap, super sturdy, XL dinos.
These are released rarely. It’s been such a long time since the last one. Well, they decided to come out with a
rainbow chicken I mean pyroraptor. I was not going to pass it up, especially not under $10! I finally opened the box after family left:
I love the art on these boxes and had to save it for future scrapbooking!
You can see next to my hand what a sizable boy it is, and so colorful and cute. I was over the moon when it came in. A colorful highlight to my week! Absolutely no regrets about this one.
I’m gonna call them Salsa, or maybe Fiesta. 🤔 I still haven’t decided.
Anyway, that’s all for this week! Also I want to say, if you are reading this on your email, MANY times I edit mistakes immediately after posting, but you’ll always see just the first version in your email, I think… sorry about that. You’re generally better off reading posts directly on the site.
Have a great week, everyone!
This was, for sure, a much better week! It’s been a bit of a battle, but slowly I’ve been clawing my way back to more successful days, with more goals accomplished. This week we got to have dinner and hang out a little with our beloved friends Kitty (whom you might know as Blankit) and her husband Dan. That was a huge treat, as we hadn’t seen them in forever. Let me tell you about that, and about the rest of my week, below!
🌈 Monday 🌈
The week started off a little rough. Work has been deeply stressful for poor Christopher and it was having the worst effect on his mental health at the end of the weekend and start of this week (you might recall me mentioning last week that he wasn’t doing so well). So that was on my mind a lot on Monday.
I did a lot of laundry and worked a lot on my fantasy novel on this day, to catch up on what I couldn’t do the previous day. I wrote a total of 1,540 words which was really satisfying. Other than that, I don’t have much else to share about this day beyond this photo I took at bedtime:
I was feeling so cozy in my little corner playing Pokémon that I decided to take a photo to remember that pleasant feeling. 🥰
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
Another day on which I missed writing, but since I caught up so much on Tuesday, I was still good for my weekly goal. I also exercised and gamed a decent amount.
Tuesday I made the decision to set up a cohost account, finally. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, and I was very pleased with the result:
I think it looks pretty nice! I also got cohost Plus! to help support the site. Staff activated me for posting the same day, and I have been enjoying interacting with people over there since.
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
This was a special day –and a very busy one! As usual, it started with breakfast on the couch, reading a book, having mate and enjoying Elliot’s company:
Afterwards, I spent a few hours doing chores and straightening up the house. This included cleaning the snail tank:
At noon, I had the usual Zoom call with my mom. I worked on commissions and did more chores before hopping in the shower. Soon after I got out, Kitty and Dan arrived! We showed off the house to them and then left to go to Nine Five Phở together for a nice little dinner.
Kitty and I talked a lot about all sorts of things, including many recent fandom debacles. It was really nice to discuss these things in person with someone. We also caught up on each other’s lives, and got a couple of photos together…
Afterwards we went back to our house, where we had snacks and played the Fronks game on the Wii U. Then we switched to the latest Mario Party. I performed horribly as per usual, but Dan really gave Christopher a run for his money the entire game. It was close at times, but eventually Dan won!
After the game, it was time to say goodbye. We hadn’t seen one another since Megaplex 2019… I didn’t realize it had been so long. Truly, COVID warped my sense of time. I haven’t been to any conventions since. I was starting to think I never would again, honestly, but seeing Kitty and Dan put an ache back in my heart for memories of those days. Then again, can those days be recaptured? I’m not sure… but I feel maybe I should return to the con scene, and to old friends.
🌈 Thursday 🌈
I worked hard all day to have all my chores done and still have time to watch TV. I wanted to finish binging through The Book of Boba Fett, and finish an overdue commission for Kiba. But first, here’s a photo of Elliot and Tomoyo doing their usual morning window watching, while touching butts:
I feel regret about sleeping on Boba Fett all this time. I hadn’t realized it was pretty much a continuation of The Mandalorian. I enjoyed it immensely, the ending was so awesome and adorable, honestly to a fanservicey degree, lol. I just loved it.
I finished Kiba’s commission and then left to do the grocery shopping so that the timing would be just right for Christopher to pick me up on his way home from work. Once home, I put the groceries away and he started cooking. He made this really weird chicken chili soupy thing with tortillas that was extremely comforting to eat and I can’t wait to have again.
Then it was LEGO time! It was date night, after all. I got some nice progress in on my Sesame Street set:
The guys worked some more on their lighthouse. Then we cuddled and watched anime together.
🌈 Friday 🌈
This day I felt very accomplished. Not only did I get over 700 words written on my novel, but also exercised for over an hour and burned over 600 calories. It felt like a very successful day! I also got more gaming done, and reading too:
I really thought I’d have to read a few other books alongside Stephen King’s “It”, because it is over a thousand pages long and seemed so overwhelming, but it’s been so utterly engrossing, I just can’t put it down to read anything else! I’m making good progress on it, too.
On another topic, you know those fuzzy caterpillars everyone here calls woolly bears? In Argentina, people called those “gatas peludas” meaning “furry cats” (specifically, female cats, for some reason). When I was looking at the misshapen lump that was Rosie on the cat tree, it made me remember that… she might as well be a giant fuzzy caterpillar for all you’d know:
After getting all my chores done, I made dinner (salmon croquettes) for me and the guys. We watched Chucky again (the TV show –we’re on season 2). It was a very wacky episode. Just like with the movies, I both love and hate the show. It truly is exactly like the movies in feel. If you dare take it seriously/get attached to anything or anyone, or expect it to make sense, it’ll slap you on the face, give you the finger, and laugh.
I was unable to have Project Day on Tuesday as is normally scheduled. Didn’t plan my day out properly and also just wasn’t feeling it. So, I did it on this night instead, right after dinner. Since all of my scrapbooking stuff was now organized, I figured I’d give it a go and finish a new page for my Squelf-Book:
And, to add another tick to my “enjoy my toys” resolution, I brought Clicky down for company. I really love my little clicking dino, but I’ve not played with or enjoyed him at all, so it was about time. Clicky helped me pick scraps and cut-outs to decorate the page with!
He even helped stick some of them in place:
When it was all done, we were both pleased with the results!
By this time next week, I’ll be on to my next video game. I truly loved Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, it’s a game that will remain in my heart forever, so I wanted to do this page to commemorate my playthrough.
After this, it was time for anime and cuddling. We are watching the orig