Happy Sunday, everyone! I have a lot to do, so I may be briefer than normal in this post. We shall see. It’s been a couple of really wild weeks, momentous ones with lots of ups and downs, and I’m just trying not to overstress myself, adapt, and keep it together. Let me tell you about this week.
🌈 Monday 🌈
On Monday morning I heard back from the market where I applied last week to work as a cashier. So, in the afternoon, I had a second interview, this time with the store owner. Everything went well and I filled out the paperwork. From there, it was off to my current job to give notice. But things took an interesting turn!
I had a really nice conversation with my current boss. He really made me feel valued and appreciated. He wanted to keep me part-time, so I could go back to more hours in the holiday season (and maybe switch back to this job after I raise the money I need so urgently). Because I’d rather work there, as I said before. I love this place and its team. Even though he understood I need money now, he wanted to work with me in whatever way possible that left me in the system as an employee.
So I was very happy, having secured a full-time job with the ability to sneak in some extra hours twice a month at my old one. Alas, this would turn out not to be. We’ll come back to that.
After talking to my boss, I happily went around the store looking for things to buy for my mom, for Mother’s Day as some surprises to give her Wednesday night after her residency celebration dinner. I don’t have photos of any of those things (she loved them all) but I did come across these hilarious and questionable stickers:
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
On Tuesday I went for a walk. I passed by Target and didn’t buy anything but took a photo of this cute little guy:
I also went to the craft store to look at potential replacements for my current traditional art area –still the old writing desk at this time. I may be looking into switching back to a drawing board later this year, something pretty simple, like this:
In the afternoon Christopher was playing with his robotic arm some more. Here are his two pets:
I was being sneaky.
I spent hours of the afternoon and evening on the phone, texting, and emailing with our travel agent and with NCL. Other than the excursions, we were able to get everything sorted out and paid for. It was so stressful.
On this day I completed a Patreon reward for Delph:
I was very tired and busy, having finished this at 2:00 am. It was while I was trying to work on this that I realized I probably need a proper drawing board again.
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
This was by far the most special day this week. It was also one of the happiest nights of my life. I made a very long, separate post detailing the events of this day. YOU CAN READ IT HERE.
On Wednesday I was able to knock out one of the last very detailed pieces in my queue, for Song. It also features me, along with our mutual friend Kitty, AKA Blankit:
🌈 Thursday 🌈
Natasha’s outfit is now complete. I can’t get over how adorable she looks!
I can’t decide if I love her more with or without the hat. This outfit is so much better for her. I am SO glad I didn’t pass this little sweetheart up.
Chucky ain’t looking half bad either. I combed his wild hair and adjusted some of his accessories. I also found a great way to protect his fingers from Tomoyo’s fangs that has him looking very casual and relaxed.
I love him so much. I begged so much until I finally got him… can’t wait for season 3 of the show!
Now for the wild stuff. On Thursday night, the company I loved working for, which was giving me very few hours (Christmas Tree Shops) filed for bankruptcy protection. They plan to close ten underperforming stores. Due to a terrible location, the store I was working at is exactly that.
It’s sad. I loved CTS and wanted that location and team to succeed. But I’m so relieved that I can land on my feet since I have another job lined up.
🌈 Friday 🌈
On Friday morning I had a call from my new job. I’d told them I could start on the 15th, since I gave CTS two weeks notice, but there was definitely a feeling that they needed me to start and want me to start, and given the events from the day before, I REALLY wanted to start.
After a conversation with my CTS store manager, he agreed that it was best for me to fully move on to my new job without working the last week’s notice. Even though he’s gonna have a whole bunch of hours to give as an indirect result of the Chapter 11 filing, the job no longer feels like it’ll be a place to land if I miss out on my new job opportunity.
So I called the new job back, and I’ll be starting on Monday.
In the afternoon I went grocery shopping with our partner –groceries for the week and for the birthday party we are hosting Saturday night for a very beloved friend. I wrapped his birthday presents and did a small bit of the birthday decorating.
In the evening, I did a bit more adjusting of my traditional drawing area. I would have a couple of yoga wedges arriving on Saturday to test as a solution to a slanted working surface. I’m trying not to give up on this desk just yet…
🌈 Saturday 🌈
Saturday was extraordinarily busy and fun. I had to quickly go into the new job to discuss some stuff. Then Christopher and I went to Target, got some bins, to put away some of the built LEGO sets. Then we went back home, our partner started smoking the meat for dinner, Christopher mowed the lawn, I put the LEGO away and did a mountain of housework.
I didn’t take any photos of the party sadly, but it was so much fun. I also found out some… stuff that made me feel closer to some of our friends. It was a wonderful note to end the night.
Buddy, still enjoying his out-of-season visit, was hanging out with Chucky on Saturday:
🌈 Sunday 🌈
By Sunday morning, he had stolen Chucky’s knife. Maybe I should be concerned…
The two foam wedges I got arrived, and now I can test out my drawing area again:
And I think that’s it –it’s still early on Sunday as I write this (only 2:15 pm) but I’m gonna go ahead and post this. I can always edit if needed. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!
This was a pretty pleasant week! It started off slow, but got pretty fun. My Good Guy doll arrived (a gift from our partner), Mwako’s visit began, and Christopher and I got to have some alone time since our partner had to travel for work. It’s been a week of little progress in regards to my goals, but I expected that for this week and the next too.
I’ve also been really lax in some things that I shouldn’t have gone astray on (mainly regarding books and toys) but even though it may not seem like it, it is still less than before. After Mwako’s visit is done I intend to buckle down again on it all. Anyway, on with the summary!
🌈 Monday 🌈
I don’t have much to share for this day, but I took a couple of fun photos in the studio. Here is Sweet Potato looking cozy in my bed:
I really love how my setup is looking at night right now…
Here’s some video of the wallpaper:
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
On Tuesday I took this photo of Elliot lounging inside the cooler:
This snailboi was looking around rather strangely…
Here’s some video:
In the evening, the Ring door camera detected a “person”…
Well, he certainly is a fine little guy.
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
For Wednesday, have some of my yard friends.
In the afternoon I took a walk; here’s a pretty flower I saw:
The cooler-turned-hut continues to be a popular spot, but Kotoko has basically claimed it completely at this point.
Christopher and I had Wednesday evening to ourselves since our partner was on his business trip. We really missed him, even though it was just the one night. Our partner is VERY loud and always laughing and cracking jokes, so when he is gone, there is a massive emptiness in the air.
However, I’d also been forever since Christopher and I had an “us” date night, and even if all we did was sit and play LEGO as usual, it made me really happy.
Christopher had fun too, while building his “white whale”, LEGO 10194 Creator Emerald Night:
I built some of my Christmas presents, the LEGO City Wildlife Rescue ATV 60300 and LEGO City Chicken Henhouse 60344:
We ordered pizza and watched a totally bizarre 1986 movie about haunted dolls. It was called, simply and appropriately, Dolls.
It was, in my opinion, terrible, but in that cheesy and charming way an 80’s movie about haunted dolls would be. I freaking LOVED it.
🌈 Thursday 🌈
On Thursday I did a little shopping, alas! I broke my resolution, but I came home SO HAPPY. For starters, as it gets close to spring, the local craft store had new snails:
How could I resist them at 40% off, really? And this, well, this looked like too much fun:
But my favorite find of the day was quite random. I’ll start by telling you that I am expecting an Aliexpress order of like, six toy dinos. I decided to give it a shot because even though there were no reviews, the page showed video of the toys and everything, and they looked fantastic. I didn’t buy them all, though I wanted to. Well, imagine my surprise when I ran into one of them at T.J. Maxx! I recognized it instantly, even though mine have yet to arrive.
I was happy to see that the size and quality were fantastic, just like the photo showed, though the ones in the packaging are of more realistic colors, while the ones I will be receiving are very bright.
I can’t begin to tell you the love I have for dinosaur toys of this sort. And to have just happened to run into one of the two I didn’t order! It made my day.
🌈 Friday 🌈
Our partner came home Thursday night. Chucky arrived early on Thursday but I waited til the next day so I could open the box with him there, since he was the one who got me this lovely toy. You can’t imagine my delight. He is so big and perfect and creepy. I legitimately and unironically adore him!
Now he sits right next to me just looking like a creep.
If I sleep on my bed, he’ll be in the exact position to stare at me, I just realized… hah.
🌈 Saturday 🌈
Saturday was SO busy! I did chores all day long, but also something else. At some point this week I made the decision to stop taking commissions permanently and make a push to find a job again. So I’ve spent hours revamping all of my online presence. The taking of commissions was firmly intertwined with every bit of my online life. Removing that in a manner that was permanent and I couldn’t easily undo was a massive undertaking that is still underway.
That aside –have you heard of Hot Ones on YouTube by First We Feast? Here’s a playlist:
Basically, Hot Ones involves celebrities being interviewed over a platter of increasingly spicy chicken wings, and by spicy I do mean spicy. People cry. People throw the towel. The infamous “Last Dab XXX”, the last sauce in every set, has a Scoville rating of over 2,000,000 SHU. So of course our partner decided to order the box that covers a full season of sauces.
This means all the sauces being used in the episodes of the current season. And he and Christopher invited some friends of ours to suffer through this. Since Mwako arrived in the afternoon of this day, he joined in the “fun”. But I feel like I was the one having the most fun just staring at them all getting really red in the face and almost crying while I calmly ate my non-spicy popcorn chicken:
That photo was taken at Publix as triumphant proof that the coveted crispy treasure had been acquired, since it ended up being quite a feat and I was a pain in the ass to everyone until my popcorn chicken was secured.
Anyway, everyone suffered, except me, and only my two valiant gents managed to eat every wing with every sauce. I know it’s not a proof of manliness, but I was fuckin’ proud. 😁
Went to bed completely exhausted this night. Grover and Rosie were waiting…
🌈 Sunday 🌈
On Sunday Mwako and I went out for a little while. We got some new LEGO for the week, and Christopher indulged me by allowing me the treat of another Dino Scribble Scrubbie by Crayola. I can’t wait to play with it!
So this week was very blah. Even though all the dates will be correct, I am, in fact, writing this entry almost three weeks late. I’ve been low, keeping my resolutions has been a struggle and I’ve failed often. But hey, it’s only February, every week brings little triumphs and stumbles. All I can do is keep going, right?
🌈 Monday 🌈
This was an unproductive day. I was tired, in a low mood (as was Christopher) and I wasn’t able to get any writing done. But I got a new board game to play with my mom (a remake of the 70’s version of Chutes & Ladders) which arrived on this day.
I also added three new goals to my 2023 resolutions. I firmly believe all are achievable, in spite of less than ideal weeks like this one. A lot of this may be put on pause or adjusted if and when I find a full or part time job, but for now, I want to add them. They are as follows:
🌈 Watch One VHS Tape Per Month
🌈 Catalog All My Books Into LibraryThing
🌈 Play Every Unplayed Board Game In Our Shelves At Least Twice
After dinner, I baked some cookies to cheer us all up:
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
On this day I went to Publix. I got Valentine’s cards and chocolates for everyone, as well as wrapping for Christopher’s Valentine’s Day present, and ingredients for the present I’m making for our partner (brigadeiros). I scanned the scrapbook pages I’ve made so far and added them to the Resolutions page, but you can see them here as well:
I’m going to make a cover page for my scrapbook next.
On this day I also received this lovely Halloween themed surprise from TheWanderingShepherd on FA! Thank you, Shep!
I watched more of 3000 Leagues In Search Of Mother while drawing the February Patreon rewards…
For lunch I had a turkey wrap and some veggie chips…
Later in the day, this guy came. He’s one of my favorite dinosaur plushies ever! Paralophosaurus are one of my favorite dinosaurs.
I’ve yet to think of a name… I got him with a gift card so I am not counting him against my goal for the year.
For dinner, we had handmade salmon burgers, they were great:
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
It being Wednesday, I zoomed with my mom as usual. Christopher didn’t feel well, so he stayed home. I did chores all day, and for dinner, made a chicken salad:
🌈 Thursday 🌈
On this day I decided to finally make a Mastodon account. So, if you want, you can follow me here. Following a friend’s advice I’ve decided not to limit myself so much on social media, for the sake of my livelihood. So, my art account is back on Instagram too, and I made a Retrospringto connect with my commissioners as well.
I had an egg, radish and cheese sandwich for lunch, on french bread. It was really good!
During date night, I built this little pirate ride:
For dinner, we had pizza!
After I made the bed, I took this photo of Grover because he’d ended up doing a floppy fall on top of the blanket that made him look really playful:
Grover has become my permanent sleep buddy so he always wears his PJs. He’s slept with me for well over a year now, longer than any other plushie.
🌈 Friday 🌈
This was another very blah day. I can’t remember what happened on this day, I’m sorry. But I did discover that popcorn is a really nice low-calorie snack. 🍿🤷♀️
🌈 Saturday & Sunday 🌈
We didn’t do anything special this weekend but it was a busy one. Saturday morning, while our partner still slept, Christopher and I hung out together and watched Kotoko walk all over his desk, very rare for this old lady to do. He thought it was hilarious when we showed him the pictures.
Throughout the weekend, we worked hard to clean the porch, mow the lawn, and just tidy things up. As a little reward for working hard, our partner took me out to dinner to Five Guys, and then to have frozen yogurt at Menchie’s. Both were such wonderful treats!
I badly wished Christopher had joined us but he was neither hungry nor did he feel up to going out. But I sent him this picture of Asuka that I saw on the doodle board at the restaurant:
And that’s it for this week. Definitely not as exciting as others and I apologize for my mood not being so great throughout. But at least I blogged it still. That’s gotta count for something. 😊
CONTENT WARNING: There will be some minor references to struggles with food and eating in this post. It will be from Friday onward and will have a reminder content warning so it won't surprise you. This stuff will diminish with time, right now it is a big thing in my life, so I apologize if it is annoying.
Happy Sunday, everyone! Firstly, let me address something you may have noticed (perhaps with relief) if you’re a daily subscriber: the 2023 Goal Tracker post notifications are no longer being sent out.
This is because I was apprehensive about flooding people’s inboxes with something that interested only me (I mean, more than the rest of a lot of this blog’s content, even). Sharing the posts imbued me with a definite sense of accountability, but it wasn’t worth causing people to unsubscribe. So I still publish them, but now they are all private, for my eyes only, and so, no one gets notifications for them. You can still keep track of my progress on my 2023 resolutions page if you are so inclined. 😊
Overall, this was a positive week. Let’s get on with the summary!
🌈 Monday 🌈
Christopher has been a little low, so I baked cookies to cheer him up! And well, I also wanted cookies. They were great! We still have a package left, I’ll probably make it next week.
It was tank cleaning day, so have some photos. Excuse the poop. They’re literally always pooping.
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
I worked on art lots on this day, getting this piece almost to completion –here’s a WIP:
And here’s a random photo I took of Kotoko on this day. She was being extra adorable.
Being Tuesday, Project Night was next! Grogu kept me company as I worked on a Mandalorian Valentine page.
It was especially fun, and I’m glad I grabbed the card while grocery shopping to do this. 😊 Even if its message seems oddly threatening…
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
Christopher stayed home on this day, as he wasn’t doing so well. I did my best to look after him. I also finished the art I shared a WIP of for the day before. Other than that, it was a normal day of doing my best to stick to all my resolutions.
One of those has been riding my stationary bike almost every day, and playing Legends: Arceus at the same time. I found that it was easier to go from Violet to Arceus, than it was on my first attempt when I went from Sword to Arceus for a bit. Violet got me a little more used to the whole open world business.
I’m also glad I finished Violet before going back to Arceus because otherwise the graphics in Violet would have bothered me so much more. Arceus does have glitches and frame rate issues as well, but I still find it utterly beautiful.
The utter disappointment in Mai’s Munchlax face after losing the battle was SO cute. He looked so crestfallen! I felt kinda bad…
WAIT –Bambi’s dad!?
Nevermind it’s just Wyrdeer.
I can’t be the only one who thought “Old Prince” when I saw him in that pose, though!
CONTENT WARNING: Going forward for the rest of the post, there will be occasional discussion of disordered eating, fitness, and weight loss. It will be in a mostly positive note, but please don't continue reading the post if this topic is triggering for you. 🙏
🌈 Thursday 🌈
On this day, you may recall that I made this post. It was a self-reflection that was very long overdue. I’d mostly ignored a lot of the issues presented there, because I am neither worryingly skinny nor morbidly obese, nor does my weight fluctuate wildly, nor am I engaged in seriously physically harmful practices in relation to food.
But I could tell that my relationship with food was becoming problematic, obsessive, and distressing on an everyday basis. I started to feel that if I continued to ignore it, it could verge into actually dangerous territory. So, I made changes to my everyday life that began on this day.
The primary change, really, is simply a drastic reduction in my snacking. I have lunch, a snack, and dinner. Because I’d been so obsessive with eating a small snack whenever I felt like I could, I’d forgotten how to read hunger cues (indeed, I had not had them for a very long time). You could say I am really bad at hearing my body’s signals. So, for me, limiting my snacking to very set times is very important, as is planning everything I will eat that day on the day before.
I am flexible: generally, I simply have mate for breakfast (it’s like tea, no calories, so it doesn’t break my intermittent fast) but on this week there were been two mornings where I had a handful of Raisin Bran because I am trying very hard to increase fiber in my diet and every extra bit helps. One night, after a full dinner, I was still so hungry that I had a banana, and that was okay. I listened to my body and gave it something good.
On that note, the primary reason for my intermittent fast is to have a set time for dinner and not go to bed too soon after (a healthy practice) and to actually be hungry for lunch. So, it is not a diet practice as much as a lifestyle change that I want to keep for every day.
Anyway, on to more fun things, this was date night! We went to Tijuana Flats for a treat, and I snuck Toro inside my backpack. 😊
He enjoyed some tortilla chips!
Once we got back home, we played with LEGO, and I completed my first set of the year!
123 Sesame Street is full of adorable details and it has to be my favorite set I’ve put together yet, along with the LEGO Friends Friendship Tree House.
Later that night, I happened to spot our littlest possum visitor through the dining room window. He was so cute! I went to the door (without opening it) so I could get some photos and video from the narrow window on the side.
I’ve been making an effort to clean this area before night to discourage the guys from visiting, much as I love them. They get really close to the house and I wouldn’t want them to get aggressive. They come after the bird seed that the birds dropped during the day, but admittedly there is never much that is edible. They mostly sniff around for a few minutes and leave.
After our nightly anime watching, I went to write for a while. It wasn’t until the clock showed well past 2:00am and Christopher came into the room to make me go to bed and turned on the lights that I saw that the Boba Fett plushie I longed for had been hidden among other green friends! It was there all the time, for hours, and I hadn’t seen it!
This was such a lovely surprise from Christopher, and I can’t wait to make him a bandana and kandi necklace like the rest of my toys. I’ll show close-ups of him in and out of the box a little later in this post. Needless to say, I went to bed very happy!
🌈 Friday 🌈
To start this day, here is Tomoyo laying on my chest while we hung out on the couch in the morning:
On this day I started to watch 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (母をたずねて三千里, Haha o Tazunete Sanzenri) a Japanese animated television series directed by Isao Takahata that aired in 1976. You may recall me mentioning this anime when I was reading Corazón: Diario De Un Niño by Edmondo De Amicis earlier this year. The GIF that started this day’s summary is from that anime.
Corazón is the daily diary of an Italian schoolboy growing up in the late 1800’s. Included in the novel are twelve stories that Enrique has to copy for school, which the teacher provides to the students. The stories all have morals about family or patriotism, or the like. The anime is loosely based on one of these stories, “De Los Apeninos A Los Andes” (From the Apennines to the Andes).
While this short story is the longest in the novel, it’s still but a few pages long. The anime greatly expands upon it, turning it into a 52-episode epic that had me crying with just the first one! It is full of heart, and definitely a drama. Not something you’d see being made for kids nowadays, I’m sure. It would be considered traumatizing.
Very sad, given that stories like these recognize the real pain, loss and fear children experience daily all over the world throughout history and across all generations, regardless of whether adults today like to think about it. Anyway, I’m looking forward to binging it over the next few weeks.
I didn’t have time to free poor Boba from his bindings this day, but I took a close-up photo of him:
I went grocery shopping on this day. Before doing so, I’d trashed a lot of my unhealthy snacks. I did keep some, and I put them out of my easy reach. But sometimes I pick one to have the next day and leave it where I can get it. Believe it or not, I have the rest under lock and key, and I give the key to Christopher during the day. I guess perhaps a detail such as this might make it more clear why I feel my lack of self control is such a problem (the key was my idea, mind you).
It took me longer to shop for groceries because I was much more careful with my choices. I came home with a lot of healthy foods, non-processed stuff, fruits, veggies. I very much enjoyed my meals the rest of this week and surprised myself with how delicious I could still make meals without smothering everything in cheese, or frying stuff.
I made tilapia with potatoes for this night. Normally I’d have made a second side. But we were all full without one. That was a good choice too.
Afterwards, I enjoyed playing more Legends: Arceus and riding my stationary bike. Once I finish, I always lay on the couch with Tomoyo for a bit, who by now is eager to get fed, but tolerates some love anyway…
What a face!
On this day, I finally began using my food diary. I decided to use a Google Sheets document rather than a written book after all. I find this more useful, I am more likely to enter the data, and I can add up calories and subtract exercise.
🌈 Saturday 🌈
As the week went by, my feelings towards food and eating improved more and more. I began to eat much more mindfully, not snacking became easier, and food was tastier as a result. I felt more satisfied and happy, and a lot of my feelings of guilt began to go away. This week I had salad for every lunch. I’ll switch once the salad mix is out, but I know I’ll make it again soon because it was so delicious!
It has krab (which I seasoned with salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning) boiled egg, some crunchy topping, a cracked black pepper ranch dressing, and a base of iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, carrots, red cabbage and radishes.
I’ve been trying to use meditation techniques to control some of the obsessive snacking thoughts. I acknowledge the thought, and let it pass, or try to. I do not guilt myself over the thought. It’s just something that crosses my mind, and I remind myself it doesn’t actually have the power over me that I think it does. It was hard at first but it’s been helping a lot, too.
On the afternoon, I finally found time to free Boba Fett. He is so flippin’ cute! I love his little fists. I’m not sure he should trust the rocket launcher, though. It’s not the most reliable. I also cut up the box for more scrapbooking materials!
For dinner, I made turkey burgers with avocado. 🍔🥑🍟
Random snail photo of the day:
During the night we received a rarer visitor: one of the local raccoons! He was just passing by.
🌈 Sunday 🌈
It was a rainy weekend, and a lazy, relaxing Sunday. I had my usual breakfast early in the morning as the sun was coming up, and read a little more, too.
Afterwards I took a little nap and Tomoyo napped on me too:
I had an unexpected gift card later in the day. I was really happy that I could buy a simple board game to play with my mom the next time I visit her!
Since I had enough left, I got something off of my wish list… I’m gonna say this doesn’t count against my resolution since it was a gift card. I’ve been wanting this little guy sooo much!
Afternoon snack was rich in fiber. Did more reading, and Blue kept me company this time!
Having worked on Patreon rewards all throughout the weekend, I decided it was ok to take some “me” time to scrapbook. I really wanted to make a couple of Child’s Play / Chucky themed pages.
Here’s the “Good Guys” page before everything is pasted in!
And here it is all finished:
This was the more “gory” page. Here it is underway…
…and all done!
I had a lot of fun! Dinner was grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, some avocado slices and kale salad. Pretty small portions, so on this night, after exercising, I had a banana, too.
I finished the week with much more positive feelings than it started with. I hope I can carry them on into the next, and have fun things to share with you all! Have a great week, guys!