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. 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 Retrospring to 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. 😊
Another week down! This one went really fast. I’ve continued to write, read, and play video games, as well as make commission progress. Slowly, the small things that make my life worth living are taking more and more of my time.
Podcasts and music instead of YouTube. More gaming and reading instead of mindless doom-scrolling. Getting acquainted with my characters again. My stress levels decrease, and certain parts of my brain, like rusty machinery that’s been freshly oiled, shed more and more gunk and move more smoothly and fast with every passing day.
Every day I do fail in one of my resolutions in some small way. Most often, weight goals and hydration goals. But the failures don’t discourage me at all, because every day I still do what makes me really happy. I wish I hadn’t put simple pleasures off for so long… anyway, I’m trying to make up for it now.
🌈 Monday 🌈
On this day I received the curtain rod I’d ordered, and was able to hang the Grogu curtains I got for Christmas! I love how they complete my studio’s look:
My studio looks a bit like a “hidden picture” puzzle image. 😅 There is a lot going on. But I love it.
Today was a bit of a lazy day, but I did all my chores and worked on art. I took time to game and relax with Kalamata in the afternoon.
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
Tuesday means Project Night! But before that, I had to go to the gynecologist to get my pap. This time, it didn’t hurt at all. I really like this doctor, I was so relieved when it was over, though.
Normally, I would walk back, and get myself a nice treat (stickers, a small toy and maybe a snack) after an appointment I had been dreading so much. But I was determined to stay good to my resolution, so I called an Uber to go home.
My driver was friendly and funny, and gave lots of colorful conversation during the ride. He told me about his dog, and said he’d show her to me. I assumed he had a photo or something, and he’d pull it out when we got to my house –but instead, he picked up the doggy (named Chica) right from the front seat!
She was so quiet, curled up in her little bed, I never even knew she was there! It really surprised me. She was very cute, but seemed rather suspicious of me.
After I got home, I cleaned the snail tank. Here are two of my snabies, soaking happily…
For his project night, Christopher worked on his Asuka puzzle that my mom got him many Christmases ago. It’s a REALLY hard 1,000 piece puzzle!
My project night consisted of a continuation of last week’s coloring. This was my setup! I listened to 90’s Disney music while coloring.
It’s worth noting that this is not an activity I did as a child. Any creative endeavor, and even a lot of my play, had to involve some sort of way of gaining inspiration towards my “serious” projects like my book, which I was working on as early as age 12. Coloring cartoon characters with crayons is something kid me would have seen as a frivolous waste of valuable time. So, allowing myself to enjoy an activity such as this today, is important to me.
This time, I had Scout as a companion! And I had a chocolate soy milk for my snack.
I finished my Christmas coloring of Sister Bear! Here it is underway…
…and finished + laminated! Still needs the last stage of decorating with stickers. But that’s the first page of the year down –one out of twelve to complete my resolution!
…and I’m already working on the next one!
At bedtime, I took a picture of my sleeping pal, Grover, with the book I am currently reading. But for some reason, Grover seems to have a creepy, bedroom-eyes demeanor in the picture… 😅
On that note, this book (Corazón) is way more depressing and guilt-trippy than I remembered. Patriotic to a gagging degree (such as a father telling his son “if you wouldn’t die for our country I couldn’t love you) and, I don’t know, every time the child narrator slightly screws up he has his father/mother/sister leave letters in his diary in which, though they profess their love for him, they basically scold him to the ground. The book feels a big wagging, scolding finger at times.
If you know me, you know I am less liable to put today’s morals upon a long-ago creation. But even so, I was a bit put off by the descriptions of native people (some of my original country of birth in the “From The Apennines To The Andes” short story) and most of all by the high degree of ableism by today’s standards.
But I try to remember that, in fact, this book went a long way to try to bring attention to the suffering of disabled people, to the point that it takes many pages and scenes throughout the book, and points out many kinds of disabilities in detail –something unusual for a children’s book written in the 1800’s. Unfortunately, this is done by encouraging an extreme degree of pity towards differently-abled folk, and to value them based on how they can be still incorporated into society to “contribute in the same way as others” so to speak. 🙄
So yeah, that felt a bit icky to read, but context and time period is of great importance. It is very obvious the writer’s heart was in a good place and he felt a painful degree of sympathy and compassion for disabled people he saw all around him –above all, children. It’s interesting how something written with the best of intentions then, would surely get this man “canceled” now.
This is still a work of literature worth remaining in print and allowing children to read, with proper guidance. But I imagine as our society “progresses”, works like this will be further banned or modified to fit current societal standards. This is part of why I collect antique and vintage children’s books.
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
This was a pretty normal Wednesday! Though, I could already feel PMS doing its usual number on me. Hopefully it won’t be too bad this month.
I cleaned the snail tank early in the day. They got a special treat today:
One more photo –enjoying some cuttlebone:
Partner and I went to Tree Tops Park on this day, and I’ve got pics and video to share! But first, sleepy snail conga line:
The weather was cool and mild, a rare treat in Florida. We got to see a few critters on this outing. First there was this big raccoon VERY high up a large tree, digging fiercely in a clump of one of those parasitic air plants. Every once in a while, it would stare at us intently, but it was clearly very focused on whatever it was doing.
We also saw tortoises. People feed them (something you shouldn’t do) so they readily come when they hear someone.
Seeing the little heads pop out of the water and stare at us, I’m overcome with emotion. It reminded me of the bear staring into my eyes at the zoo, which had me actually crying. There is something about the connection when an animal notices you, stares deep into you –the reason (even as simple as “do you have food or are you food?”) doesn’t matter– that is so primordial, holy even, if I still believed in such things. I can’t explain it very well, but it gives me a rush of intense joy tinged with sadness, and it can easily bring me to tears. I love animals so very much.
Another little burst of joy was coming across a burrowing owl.
It gave me a squint.
I’d snuck Bangers into my backpack, and our partner, who usually doesn’t have patience for this sort of nonsense, waited while I took some pics. Bangers stood out really nicely among the greenery, and even found some berries!
🌈 Thursday 🌈
I was really excited for today, both to resume working on my current LEGO set, and to have ice cream and pizza for dinner. But date night was sort of canceled. Christopher had been unwell for days (his usual back pain) and working on his puzzle for a few days exacerbated it. So, today, he couldn’t play LEGO, but his puzzle looks amazing. I wish I’d taken a photo, because it’s over halfway done now.
I spent a lot of the day working on art and binging The Book Of Boba Fett, and after the promised pizza and ice cream, our partner went back to some important due work and I hung out with Christopher while leveling my Pokémon Violet team. I reached pretty close to end-game!
🌈 Friday 🌈
Christopher stayed home today. He still didn’t feel great. Our partner worked late, into the early hours of the morning. I spent all day doing housework and packing to leave for my mom-in-law’s in the evening.
Earlier in the day, I had Christopher download an anime from the 70s for me, by the same studio that did Heidi. It is called “3000 Leagues In Search Of Mother”, and is an extended adaptation of the short story “From The Apennines To The Andes” that appears in the old children’s novel I’m currently reading (Corazón: Diario de un Niño). In the original book, this story is one of the monthly stories that Enrique reads in school. It is, however, the longest short story in the book. I’m looking forward to watching the anime as soon as I finish The Book Of Boba Fett.
In the early evening we were off to Sebastian! When we got there, we had nachos for dinner. Then Grandma brought out some chocolate cupcakes she made.
They had Tom Kitten picks! Good ol’ Grandma. She knows what I like.
I slept in an inflatable mattress which is never very comfortable for me. I’d rather sleep with Christopher if he didn’t snore, especially because it was so cold, and it would have been nice to cuddle. The cool thing is that the mattress was put in the same room as our partner’s and it’s just so nice that it is such a non-issue for us to sleep together in the same room, since it was the most convenient. Even with Grandma there, no one bats an eye and is so accepting of the three of us and “our thing”.
Anyway! I still made it colorful and cozy:
I’d brought Beta with me, and “It” to read. Scary books aren’t scary when you’re sleeping with a raptor for comfort!
I even had my Jurassic World jammies so it was very much a mood.
🌈 Saturday 🌈
On Saturday we went on a long car ride, to Okeechobee. My mom-in-law showed me some old haunts where she used to live with my sis-in-law (but, I think, not Christopher). It was very interesting and reminded me of some areas in Belén de Escobar, the area of Argentina I last lived in before coming to the US.
For breakfast, we had really crispy bacon (my favorite) eggs, and spicy sausage gravy on biscuits.
At one point I couldn’t find my phone, then I realized our partner had hidden it from me. He took some funny pictures as I pounced on him to give it back…
Then we were off to Okeechobee!
🌳🐮 Okeechobee 🐮🌳
On the way to Okeechobee, we saw all kinds of animals. Cows, horses, wild hogs, even ostriches in an ostrich farm! We went to a flea market, but there wasn’t much to see. It was also freezing cold!
Finally, we made it to my mom-in-law’s old “homestead” house. They put so much effort into this house and raised dozens of animals. My mom-in-law showed us the very long fence she put up by hand, all by herself, still standing. They dug the pond themselves.
But the house now lays in ruin, abandoned after it was sold. It was honestly a heartbreaking sight.
It looked so spooky, and I really wanted to go into the house to explore. But you never know what you’ll find. I was scared that we even drove past the gate, because in this country, and in particular in this state, you just never know who’s gonna shoot you for trespassing into their property. 🙃
We later went to another house where they’d lived, and my sis-in-law’s name, which she’s written into the country when she was just a little girl, was still there, which was very poignant.
Then, after a Wawa and Dunkin’ Donuts stop, we went back to my mom-in-law’s house in Sebastian. I complained a lot because my legs really hurt and it was such a long ride. But eventually we were in Sebastian again. Overall, I had a lot of fun.
🧩😴 A Relaxing Evening 😴🧩
After we got back, we were exhausted. Christopher and I lay down (me to play Pokémon, him to nap with his bunny, Ribbon) while my mom-in-law cooked hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner.
The meal after Saturday’s activity (if it’s home cooked –usually something on the grill) is often the highlight of a visit for me. Not gonna lie, Christopher and I are pretty lazy, so we are often resting while family cooks dinner around us. It is such a comforting, happy feeling, hearing the kitchen noises and smells, our feet usually intermingled under a blanket, him gently snoring while I draw, read or game. It feels like a moment to treasure, of hard-to-come-by complete peace.
After dinner, we played a game called Spoons, which was really fun and a little hectic. Then, I played Pokémon some more while the rest of the family played Crowns and eventually moved to help Christopher finish his very hard 1,000 Asuka puzzle. And finish it they did, at like 1:00am!
I was in bed before that, with a happy achievement of my own:
I’m still going to do a bit of end-game content, but I was really happy to get the first finished game of 2023 under my belt!
🌈 Sunday 🌈
On Sunday, after breakfast, we went to a pottery studio, then to lunch at Casa Amigos, a Mexican restaurant that served MASSIVE portions. After that, we walked around the dead mall that the restaurant is attached to. But let me tell you about the pottery studio first, which was called “The Painted Frog”. This place is where my mom-in-law painted the cute little snail she gave me for Christmas.
🎨🐸 The Painted Frog 🐸🎨
The first step was to pick our pieces. Christopher picked a turtle, our partner, a shot glass, and I picked a gator, because I love them so much and because our partner and I have had a few gator-related (mis?)adventures.
All the colors you see become much more intense and sometimes much darker than you see here. Even though it looks pastel, the colors I picked should turn out very bright. I used different shades of green for the base, including mottling and spattering here and there, with a sponge and with a toothbrush. To make it more “me”, I dotted it all over with red, blue and yellow dots:
I was afraid to mess up when doing his eyes, but I think it looks okay!
Christopher’s turned out really cute, too:
Our partner seemed a real expert at this in spite of never doing it before:
Here are Christopher’s and mine together:
They had a section of unclaimed, already fired and glazed pieces. You could buy any of them for just one dollar, and I couldn’t resist this little guy:
Here you can see them together –a piece before being glazed and fired, with one that has been. I believe my gator’s color is the same as the one in the finished piece, if not very close. So, as you can see, the end result is very different.
Ours should be ready in about a week. I hope they survive the process… they don’t always. Overall, I really loved this experience, and there’s a few similar places in our area, so I’d like to go to others too.
🍃🏬 Visiting A Dying Mall 🏬🍃
This used to be a lively mall. My sis-in-law’s first job was at its movie theater. Now half of it is taken up by a “chain” church and its many related storefronts/offices, from a coffee shop, to a fitness center, including a Sunday school, a store of religious stuff such as books, clothing and knick-knacks, and even a TV station.
Most areas of the mall though, were eerily empty… very liminal.
The H.A.L.O. No-Kill Rescue is still there. There was a cat at the front desk!
And many, many cute kittens…
Here you can see some video of them playing:
I was fascinated by the many old abandoned rides. Most were in working condition, but you never really see kids riding these anymore. Here’s a little carousel…
And a shiny steam locomotive!
This carousel, though out of service, was the most interesting. It was Jungle Book themed, and featured Bagheera, Kaa, an elephant (Hathi? doubt it… lol).
…and, err… Simba?? Who knows.
It also had Mowgli, but I really didn’t like how he looked so I didn’t take a photo.
They had Jay Jay The Jetplane, too. Boy, this brings back memories!
A cute little bear was riding this truck:
We passed by an eclectic little game store, where Christopher treated me to this Ewoks VHS tape. This reminds me, I need to add a VHS-watching resolution goal to my 2023 list.
After we were home, and all unpacked, I was able to look at Natasha, who arrived over the weekend from Latvia, the country of my grandparents. Her box looked a lot like other Spanish doll boxes:
She is truly lovely! Not too big and not too small. Part of me wishes she was a little bigger, but this way she’s easier to take places with me.
Her face is as sweet as the pictures!
I also loved that her cloth body is skin-toned, rather than white cloth.
Later, in bed, I went through our Ring front door camera. We get many animal visitors so I like to look through all the recorded motion before I fall asleep. I caught a very funny moment when one of the local squirrel decided to engage in some wild acrobatics, much of the annoyance of the birds!
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to share for this week. I think my proudest accomplishment this week is getting almost 4,000 words down on my book. I hope you all had a wonderful one! I’ll see you here again next Sunday with another weekly summary. 🥰
Greetings everyone! Well, today has been a wonderful day so far! Let’s see…
I decided to open more commission slots because I am working through them so quickly, but I didn’t think they’d sell so easily. 😅
I’m literally telling people “you can pick how your character is dressed and that’s it.” Like, they literally get no say in anything else, no WIPs, changes, nothing, and I must be doing something right because everyone is loving it and snagging them up, and sending me super sweet DMs when they get them, and tipping me (which was a rare occurrence before and now is happening often, especially with these slots.)
I’m so grateful and humbled by this! I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. It means a much happier me, and happier commissioners too…
Anyway, with five slots sold, I paid my awful ZOHO bill which was such a stress over my head at $150, paid some other debt, including chipping away at my Amazon holiday bill (and discovered that I had over $25 in rewards which I could apply to my balance if I wanted!) aaaand I may have ordered more keycaps.
And a Code Realize bag.
AND! I also found a far more economical source for my snails’ sphagnum moss, so I placed an order for that. Hmm, what else…
So as you may remember my biggest grief right now was the terror I felt over my mom’s health. She’s over 65, has heart issues and works at a freaking GAS STATION of all the things. With COVID going around, that was very scary for me to know. I worried constantly, and still do. But today my mom was able to schedule her appointment for the vaccine! She’ll have it in a matter of days! 😭 Thank God.
Today I also finished reading the first omnibus volume of The Shinji Ikari Raising Project. It’s pretty dumb and fan-servicey, some of it is just WEIRD, but Shinji is adorable in it, and Gendo is an utter trip, so I’ll keep reading it for that alone.
In other news, I’ve realized I have a thing for yandere characters (when done RIGHT) so hooray for toxic tendencies I guess. 🔪 What’s funny is that I always found that concept super unappealing when described to me, but having experienced two yandere-ish characters in visual novels now (at least on the surface) I can’t help but finding them very appealing, as a fantasy, in a game or story.
That’s it for now… I guess? I can’t seem to stop drawing. Also I have cramps. Also I had too much coffee and now my eye is twitching. It’s been a while. Maybe I’m a little manic. I hope not. 🙃 Well, if in a month I have an utter CRASH and this blog becomes a torrent of depression, let the record show that I may have been a little manic in early January. But I really hope not.
Good morning, everyone! Our weekend ended on a lovely note. Our friend Kris invited us to dinner. I wasn’t super hungry but outings have become quite precious and I wasn’t gonna pass it up. It was him, his girlfriend (whose name I’m still trying to learn) and our friend Jessie whom we saw this weekend already.
We went to Scruby’s BBQ. I was delighted by their holiday window decorations:
These window paintings never seem to change. Now or in the 80s, even in my country, they look very similar. It’s such a nostalgic feeling.
I wanted to be myself last night. I dressed a little more like my usual self and brought Stitches for a picture. I just had fried mushrooms and stole some of Christopher’s fries. My food was actually really bland, so I didn’t eat them all. What with COVID, I didn’t want to touch any of the non-disposable sauce containers or salt and pepper shakers.
After we got home, I worked on a personal New Year’s drawing (I began it at the restaurant, since I brought my iPad with me, but I mostly finished it at home) and then opened the Evangelion Tamagotchi that Christopher got for me. It was a preorder since April, and something we definitely wanted more as a collectible/curiosity than for being a “good” Tamagotchi or anything –but it’s definitely a legit Tamagotchi with the Tamagotchi logo, and it’s official Evangelion merch.
Right now, I still have it at the embryo stage, and I’ve figured out how to do simulation training and give it energy, but I can’t seem to check its stats or do anything else… I’ll have to look into it.
Anyway, Kotoko just came to me meowing with her mouse in her mouth, like every morning. She doesn’t want food or pets. She just brings it for me every morning and then gets on with her day. I guess I should get on with mine.
Yesterday I rediscovered this gem. You really have to be a hardcore fan of both of these franchises to fully appreciate how unbelievably wonderful this is. I just wanted to have it on my blog because I don’t want to forget it exists ever again.