Tag Archives: Pokémon

Week 10 Summary: Christopher’s Birthday! 🎂

This was a week with some painful lows but still some happy moments. I went to see my mom, we had family visit, we celebrated Christopher’s birthday, my mom’s immigration process finally had movement, and I completed my first race (well, it was a walk) since restarting my daily strolls. I also took Kotoko to the vet, some tests were done, and the results were not good.

Because of those test results, I want to warn you that this post will discuss pet illness and impending (though not immediate) loss. Because it’ll come right away, under the Monday summary, there is no cut: if you keep reading, it’ll be after the “soot” photo. So please be aware of that. Anyway, let’s get on with the summary.

🌈 Monday 🌈

Let’s start Monday with something utterly delightful. Remember the soots from last week? The blue soot at this employee’s desk has been graced with a tiny hat!

I love the idea of someone possibly purposely bringing this hat to work for this soot. It’s so cute.

💞 Pet Illness/Loss CW Starts Here 💞

Now, with much regret, I must move on to a more somber topic. You might recall I mentioned on my last post that I planned to take Kotoko to the vet on Monday. Her projectile vomiting is somewhat controlled by occasional Cerenia, but with no specific cause, I wanted to try the vet near our house and see if anything else had developed that our usual, beloved and trusted vet, Dr. Pisano, had not seen at the time. It was also time for a new blood test.

Kotoko was quite noisy as everything was done to her –check-up, x-rays, blood work. She was in discomfort, her tummy tense, and the x-rays would show other motives too. Here she is attentively listening to the vet talk about her:

After the x-rays were done, the vet took me to the back to show them to me. In this first one, if you know what you are looking at, you will catch a few things: the first being the spacing between her last few vertebrae, where an irreversible degeneration is occurring. This is painful for Kotoko, and probably made the x-rays more uncomfortable too.

The more important one is the thickening, or potential mass, in her stomach:

Because of her long-standing other symptoms, there isn’t exactly a multitude of possibilities here. It is almost certainly IBS or lymphoma, or IBS that became lymphoma. Kotoko’s blood tests also came back, and they showed the first stage of kidney failure. So as you can see, she is dealing with a lot.

The prognosis is not good. Kidney situation aside, this is a fast-acting disease, and Kotoko is 15 years old. We could do an ultrasound, and possibly need a biopsy to boot ($1,300 at a minimum if both are needed) but all this would tell us is how little time we have left. The course of action would not change.

We have decided to not subject her to any more diagnostics. Instead, we will use our funds for the best prescription foods, for daily medications that will substantially improve her comfort, and in paying for the service that will allow us to say a comfortable goodbye at home when the time does come (this is very expensive, hundreds of dollars).

And really, it could be fast. It could be two months. We could get unlucky, and it could be less, or we could get lucky, and it could be longer. We are going to do all we can to enjoy whatever time is left with her. We might just get lucky in how much time that is. Why not think positive? But even if we don’t, I know I’ll take a lot of comfort in the fact that, at 15, Kotoko has had such a long and happy life. She could have hardly had more loving or dedicated pet parents, if I do say so myself. She also had kitty friends, and many human friends to boot.

You might have seen me mention something very vague on Mastodon. It was about this. I didn’t want to go into detail, because even someone who understands pet loss may not realize why this loss will be so major to us. We’ve experienced severe heartbreak over pet loss before –this will be of a different magnitude. We will be okay. But because this isn’t a normal pet loss situation (I don’t think I could properly explain why) it will be a while until we are.

But I also want to concentrate in the here and now: with daily Cerenia, Kotoko already is showing a big improvement. No more vomiting, much bigger appetite. She just looks more lively. She’s a sturdy cat, and as long as she is here, we will love her and be grateful for her. Later we will have time to grieve. Before that time comes, I am also doing some things like a cute little cast of her paw, and a stamped imprint of it as well. I might do more things if I can think of them.

Something interesting that you can see in this other x-ray is that Kotoko has an extra rib, like some people or animals have an extra toe:

Let me close this part with a little more positivity. I really liked this vet, which is walking distance from us. They also have some chill office cats, three of them. Here’s a photo of one of them:

💞 Pet Illness/Loss CW Ends Here 💞

Monday evening I completed the Snoopy Run, 13.1 miles! I walked it, though.

My medal should be here by the weekend.

🌈 Tuesday 🌈

The most significant event that happened on this day is that my mom’s immigration case entered the last stage on USCIS. She should have her residence soon… I hope!

A funny thing happened too. Tomoyo has a tendency to fling her toys high in the air when she plays. Well, while I was having lunch, this landed on my plate:

It actually landed ON my food (gross) but I moved it off right away. Meanwhile, she was just innocently waiting for me to return it to her:

Here’s a random photo of our sweet old lady:

In the evening I got dropped off at my mom’s. She gave Christopher his birthday present before he and our partner left. Then we had snacks, and wine, played Generala, and talked about a million things.

For dinner we had a baked potato:

🌈 Wednesday 🌈

Wednesday was a calm day. Here’s Sweeney being very cute:

In the afternoon my mom made really delicious egg bites, and we watched TV together.

Later I lay down a while and played more Legends: Arceus.

Not long after, our partner picked me up. Once we got back home, I made the guys dinner, then tea, and just did my best to keep Christopher cheerful. Between the bad news this week and his back hurting so much without a break, it’s been really rough for him.

🌈 Thursday 🌈

Thursday was Christopher’s birthday. I prepared his presents on his desk before he woke up:

I also hid one in his book bag so he’d have something to open at work. He liked most of them. 😊 In the evening, we had dinner at Blue Ginger to celebrate. It was really good!

On this day I finished reading another book. Though it was comics, it was really long, as it was an omnibus of all the Muppet Babies comics, plus the comic in which they first appear (The Muppets Take Manhattan). That marks the seventh book I’ve read this year. With it being March already, this may not sound like much, but “It” was well over 1,100 pages… so that took a while.

The Muppet Babies Omnibus was delightful. Some frames made me do a double take! 😳

Baby Rowlf was adorable…

There were a lot of funny fourth wall breaking moments. This one was particularly amusing!

Next, I’m going to finish The Last Days of the Dinosaurs by Riley Black.

I decided to move one of the cat stairs to the porch to make it easier for Kotoko to access the chairs, particularly in light of her spine degeneration. She uses it, but right now, mostly sleeps on the bigger step rather than the chair, I guess because it became “new” again. Elliot sleeps on the chair.

It’s been so much fun to feed the birds and squirrels at the front of the house. Here’s a photo I took on this day:

Down the road, I would like to buy a bench and a birdbath, so I can enjoy seeing them up close while I’m outside reading a book.

🌈 Friday 🌈

Let’s start Friday off with this photo of Tomoyo lounging on my chest. Really, she’s just waiting to be fed.

It was cage cleaning day, so here’s a couple of photos of a cutie:

🌈 Saturday 🌈

Saturday morning we went to look at garage sales, a favorite activity when family visits. You never know what you’ll find!

For lunch we went to Chili’s. I had Palmito in my backpack so I took photos of him on this day:

You very likely have never seen Palmito, Robito or Rosemary (the skunk, not the cat). These little plushies were the first I ever took places with me back in the heyday of Toyvoyagers.

Though the website is still accessible on the date of me making this post, and the odd Travelog still updates, Toyvoyagers are sadly very much defunct. The idea was that you bought a little metal tag with a unique number for your toy, and left it places, and hoped someone would update its Travelog. It did happen! Alternatively, you could send your toy to one person elsewhere in the world, and then they would come back. Or you could have it join a “round robin” of locations.

All of my Toyvoyagers went places and brought me back souvenirs. It’s nice to be taking them out again.

When we got back from lunch, I found my latest medal in the mailbox. It’s really pretty!

I also have the t-shirt (though I won’t make a habit of ordering those) and the race bib with my number, which I’ll probably use for a scrapbooking page.

Christopher gave me $5 and I got some goodies while out garage saling:

This book is for dungeon masters but really cool and inspiring nonetheless!

And I couldn’t leave this little guy behind:

I’ve washed and disinfected him, so he’s ready for cuddling!

For Christopher’s birthday dinner, we went to Buca Di Beppo. We had chicken parmigiana, stuffed shells, meatballs, and garlic bread. We had a coupon for a free dessert for Christopher that was big enough for the five of us!

It’s really nice to be taking Palmito out for photos again. It’s been many years.

After we got home, we hung out at the house watching Christopher play GTA 5 (always fun) and then our friend Jessie came over, so we watched the two of them and our partner play the Stick Fight game on Steam. It was a really nice and chill evening.

🌈 Sunday 🌈

I went on my usual five mile walk, and stopped by Target. I hadn’t been to Target all year. They had a new version of their Sesame Street figures that was really cute:

Christopher made a really good pasta with zucchini for dinner. It looked far too healthy to be so delicious, I was pleasantly surprised. Can’t wait to have it again.

I usually only sleep with Grover, but on this night I wanted to cuddle my new triceratops friend too. Grover didn’t mind sharing!

Before we know it, March will be over… the rainy season will come, with it the humid and oppressive heat, and then hurricane season. Time is flying, but I’m trying to make the best of it, and I hope you all are too. Let’s make this coming week a wonderful one!

Week 6 Summary: Kind Of A “Blah” One 🤷‍♀️

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 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. 😊

Week 4 Summary: Old Friends 🥰

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 original Trigun. We were going to watch the recent remake, but not only were Christopher and I slightly put off by it –we also found out that our partner has never seen the original Trigun, and this situation must clearly be remedied.

🌈 Saturday 🌈

This was a very busy day! I did lots of chores, and exercised + gamed a ton. I finished Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX! It was such a lovely game that I’ll always remember fondly. Tomorrow, I’d pick up Legends: Arceus where I left off.

I also did lots of outlining for my novel, and worked lots of commissions, catching up on the changing table badges:

I got a little video to show you that I took on Saturday. This is how snails groom their shells so the edge doesn’t hurt them:

Not unlike a cat grooming, snails do this daily. Usually, they do it after they wake up and before starting their daily roam for food, water and, er, companionship. 😏

At bedtime, Rosie was waiting for me:

I took my Switch to bed and after about an hour, I’d beat the game:

I took one last picture of Rosie cuddling next to me and purring up a storm before we both fell asleep…

🌈 Sunday 🌈

Sunday was utterly exhausting. It was time to make a proper dent on commissions, so I practically did nothing else and finished eight by the end of the day. No exercise, no writing, no chores… just art until my eyes bled. In spite of the progress, I ended the day a bit unhappy because being able to exercise and write are the two things that make me feel the most accomplished.

And yet –in spite of this, I beat the writing goal this week, with 3,611 words. When you consider all the outlining done as well, it’s a huge success. And I beat a video game and finished a scrapbook page!

A nice thing that happened on this day is that our partner finished adding a different band to the Bluey watch he got me for Christmas. The band that came with this watch is total garbage, the watch would come right off a kid or adult’s wrist. It was unusable. But the watch is very cute. It took a lot of work to make the 20mm rainbow band I bought for it fit, but he did it, and it looks great!

Sometimes, if they are sleepy enough, these two get along…

Lately Rosie has been super cuddly, every night… she’s always purring, stretching her little paws to touch me, getting up and then letting herself fall heavily against me. She is so sweet, I adore this little cat.

I played a little of Arceus at bedtime. Still can’t quite get into this game, and I find it a bit difficult, but we’ll see how the coming week goes with it.

Week 3 Summary: Not Always Easy ⛈️

Ups-and-downs are normal to have, but it’s rare to have such a good week be followed by such a bad one. No major catastrophes took place, and a lot of what made it so hard to handle the smaller difficulties was my period, which for some reason was very unusually long and harsh on my body. It, combined with other stuff, managed to sink me into a days-long depression. Most of my goals fell by the wayside.

This journal is pretty dismal overall, though it picks up in tone near the end of the week. I apologize that it’s not as cheerful as usual. It was just a really hard week for me. 😥

💔 CW: pet loss discussion in this blog post. 💔

🌈 Monday 🌈

Right from the start, Monday was not an easy day. Physically, I was still feeling down from the day before. I had been unable to stay on top of my goals for days for a variety of reasons. In addition, it was very cold, and the guys wanted to sleep with the windows open. This made for some truly miserable nights and mornings for me. And bad mornings tend to throw my entire day off track. I just felt unhappy, unmotivated, and like everything was a struggle.

I pushed myself and cleaned the snail tank this day, so my little guys didn’t suffer from my lack of motivation:

The cats stayed in cozy corners all day. Even Elliot spent time indoors. Here’s Kotoko hiding in one of the cat condo nooks:

Speaking of Kotoko, in the evening I decided to give her a bath in spite of the cold because she was just so dirty. She’s old and can’t groom herself very well anymore. As I was drying her, she peed, on my Jurassic Park rug no less. So that was great. I was upset about the rug, but above all because it felt like I put Kotoko through hell for nothing. 😟

🌈 Tuesday 🌈

This was another cold morning. At least Kotoko had forgiven me… I think the cold might have helped with that.

This day I went to visit my mom. From early on, I felt very depressed. I’d been down since the day before and just continued feeling increasingly worse. I wanted to take her to the movies this week, to cheer her up (she’s still not doing okay after Shampoo’s passing) and there is rarely enough money in the family finances for that sort of thing.

I was really down about that, but ultimately managed to sell a commission to take my mom to dinner and a movie the following Saturday. Thank you, Snow, for that.

Throughout the day, before I went to her place, I did my best to do my chores, work on art, finish another book chapter, take care of the pets. I did whatever I could to get through the motions, but it was hard. I hadn’t had to push through feeling so bad in a long time.

Once at my mom’s, whatever good cheer I’d managed to bring up hit the hard wall of Shampoo’s absence.

Seeing all of her special spots without her in them was terrible. Seeing her pretty little urn, while not hearing her usual loud meows… it was all very hard.

I managed to keep that pain to myself for my mom’s sake. But truly, more than my heartache over Shampoo’s passing, the fear and grief that an event like this brings is always mostly about Kotoko. I’m not afraid that I won’t be able to handle her loss when it happens. It’ll hurt, but eventually I’ll be okay. But I am very afraid for my husband’s sake. And I fear that the man he is now will sort of die when Kotoko dies, and whoever he will be after that, I don’t know, but I am very afraid that he will never be the same again, and I will never have this version of him again.

I don’t know what to do with that fear, and every passing year it becomes worse. Sometimes I feel like our beloved old cat is a ticking bomb of grief. This event has redoubled that, especially because I think he is in some deep denial about her advanced age and the limited time she may have left. This literally keeps me up at night.

Anyway… as usual, my mom had a little snack spread ready when I got there:

Then we had baked potatoes for dinner:

And seeing Sweeney was nice, but I couldn’t help thinking that he is the age Stimpy was when he passed, and Stimpy seemed pretty okay until near the end too. I guess I am full of grim thoughts right now.

For some reason, during this visit a lot of old fears and worries hit me very hard. Though I appeared cheerful to my mom, and I know she thought I was okay, I ended Tuesday feeling the most depressed I have been in a very, very long time. It was an overall feeling of hopelessness for the future, that I’m sure (I hope) I can shake off.

But it’s a hard feeling to carry for any length of time. I know what it’s trying to say. It’s whispering in my ear, cruelly, insidiously, “things aren’t going to be okay, but no one really cares”. It is a lonely feeling to carry.

When I feel this way, holding strong to my “do not buy toys” resolution is incredibly hard. I would love a small toy from my wishlist right now to distract me even for a moment from feeling the way I do, no matter how fleeting that relief is.

On the upside, earlier in the week a kindly commissioner sent me a set of colorful drawers where I will be able to sort all of my scrapbooking supplies for Project Night, which is set to arrive on Thursday. I’m thinking about that, to feel happier and excited about something to do.

🌈 Wednesday 🌈

After a Tuesday night full of nightmares and unusually strong cramps that lasted into the morning, Wednesday began.

It was a beautiful sunny morning, and I felt a bit less depressed, but now I was in a lot of pain instead (continued from the night). Maybe rather than feeling less depressed, I just felt like I was settling into my depression, I guess? Getting used to it? Maybe I’ll feel this way for some time.

We had mate for breakfast, but because I was in pain the whole time, I didn’t want any. Anyway, have some Sweeney toebeans:

I was slow, achy and tired for a lot of this day. Whenever I’m at my mom’s feeling really low, it’s hard, because I want attention from my husband and our partner, but I feel too low to even tell them I’m not okay or try to reach out for that affection. And if I do attempt to convey that, and don’t get a response, my frame of mind makes me read that as neglect and it can be very painful when I’m feeling deeply vulnerable already.

So it was really nice that at one point our partner did send me a random sweet little message, I don’t usually hear from him when I’m at my mom’s. Almost like he knew. That helped a lot, though I didn’t tell him I wasn’t okay, only that I was in a bit of pain. But it meant so much to get that message from him just out of the blue.

Still, mostly I just lay on the couch miserably for hours, though I did play more Pokémon Violet here and there and work on a couple of commissions. I did also read a little (still working on “It”) and since my mom was interested, we began to watch the original movies.

For dinner, we had these little mac ‘n cheese balls and fries:

And for dessert we had strawberries and cream! 🍓

Sweeney was very affectionate towards my mom all the time that I was at her place. I think for years, he’s been relegated to the background in all kinds of ways. Shampoo took most of my mom’s time, affection, and even vet-related finances. It could hardly be helped when it felt for years as though every day might be her last. Now Sweeney has my mom all to himself and will hardly leave her lap.

It is sweet, but also a little sad. He must have felt neglected all this time. My mom took him for a check-up today because he hasn’t had one in a very long time for the reasons I just stated. Hopefully all the labs come back with normal, reassuring results.

My mom and I got almost halfway to the second part of “It” (the 1990 version) when the guys came to pick me up. I would find later find out that Christopher, like me, had a pretty terrible day. But once we were all home together, things started to feel better, and I think he felt more cheerful too, though we both continued to feel physically miserable.

Something to note that has happened this week every time I slept (weather at night or a nap) is lots and lots of nightmares, or, at best, really bizarre dreams, usually connected to people or events present very recently in my life rather than those important or consequential to me. I’ve even had people I’ve never spoken to from one group chat I’m in appear in these bad dreams, multiple times. The topics are as varied as they are ridiculous.

Usually, but not always, the dreams are distressing, upsetting, or at best very annoying, so I’d categorize them as nightmares, but they aren’t the sort you wake up upset from. Just the sort that makes you go “huh” when you wake up. It’s as though my brain were going through some clean-up or organizing of thoughts at this time. It’s just bizarre.

🌈 Thursday 🌈

Although on Thursday morning I woke up still in a lot of pain and sort of weakened by my way-too-long period, my mood was a little lifted.

I’m not sure why. I had a lot to do, and didn’t feel great yet. I suppose partly was just being with the guys. Just hearing their voices and seeing their faces, sometimes, lifts me up and is all I need.

All throughout this week, I struggled with, and mostly did not meet, my goals. I decided to call this week a wash. My body really, really conspired against me in the worst way.

We did play LEGO for date night, though Christopher was unwell and our partner had to work, so he couldn’t join us… but we did have LEGO and that was still fun.

Later, Christopher and I cuddled and watched TV. Rosie joined us too; here she is, blepping beautifully:

Unfortunately our partner continued working. He was concentrating hard on his coding and didn’t want to stop. He worked until past 5:00am.

🌈 Friday 🌈

Even on Friday morning my body still had the odd cramp. Frankly, I was really impressed. It never lasts this long. But this was the last day. In the morning, I built the new set of drawers. Mercifully, in spite of the terrible quality (which I was aware of) nothing was broken in transit, and it came out pretty good:

I’d spend the next few days completely reorganizing my scrapbooking supplies into this new colorful piece of furniture.

🌈 Saturday 🌈

On this day we took my mom to the movies, the three of us (Christopher, our partner and I). I spent the earlier part of the day doing chores and then we were off! I had my Totodile with me, and Pokémon graham crackers. I’ve been in a big Pokémon mood recently.

After picking up my mom, we walked around Brickell City Centre, a really cool and upscale outdoor covered mall in Downtown Miami. Our partner bought me the fancy French candies he’d long promised, and was kind enough to get some for my mom too. We walked around and took this picture at one point:

Then we headed to the movie early, because it was CMX Cinébistro and we had to order our food. Right before the movie, I had a drink called Strawberry Fields. It was pretty good. I actually hadn’t had a drink in a while. I do not drink much by anyone’s standards, but by my own, I felt I was drinking a little too much, so I decided to cut back.

The movie, a “horror” comedy titled M3GHAN, was pretty silly, but hilarious. I’m not sure it was always trying to be funny, but it pretty much was the entire time.

After the movie, we got ice cream and walked around some more. Our partner bought a tiny but really fancy candle, and then we dropped my mom off before heading back to the house.

When we got home, I had two nice surprises. The loveliest was this drawing from YuriFairy, featuring both of our characters, and it’s one of my favorite depictions of my little squirrel avatar in a few years. It’s so beautiful:

A package from ODU with a sample of a new design by me also showed up:

It’s so exciting to see a product featuring my art again after a couple of years! Here’s another photo:

We went to bed shortly after. Our partner just went straight back to work though, and had another late night. Christopher and I cuddled for a while and then fell asleep.

🌈 Sunday 🌈

Between yesterday and today, I sat for several hours sorting all of my scrapbooking materials and labeling them, like so:

There are many, many of these rugged plastic envelopes. Every single drawer is full!

Unlike before, everything is sorted by topic, not material. This makes it infinitely easier to pick out the materials I need for the theme of the page I’m working on, and everything is sorted out alphabetically.

Outside of the drawers, I sorted all my playing cards (which I collect specifically for scrapbooking purposes) like this:

Then I labeled the front of the drawers, too. Now, everything is really easy to find.

An added bonus of borrowing the labeler and of sorting all my scrapbooking supplies was that I finally sorted a bit of a mess I had in the studio closet, which now looks nice and neat:

This guy has been with me for so many years…

I re-sorted all of my beads and kandi-making supplies, too. This is also where the Furbys live. It looks a lot better now.

During this process, I ran into some traditional art I hadn’t filed away…

Not just this, but so many sketches, and so many unfinished things. It made me tear up with this intense nostalgia for something I lost without even realizing it. I decided to move things around and create a new permanent area for traditional art, because somehow, I didn’t have one anymore. This is what it looks like:

And here is a close-up:

I hope I can make traditional art a part of my life again.

I had one shelf that was cleared of scrapbooking supplies that got sorted into the new drawers, so I moved the decorations that were on this desk to it:

Speaking of, I haven’t shared my little collections in a while, particularly since I displayed them after opening my Christmas presents. Here’s the shelves with some of the newer Jurassic World additions…

A close-up of my lovely little Parasaurolophus, I love him so much:

There are a lot of dinosaurs in my studio…

(But not too many. There is no such thing.)

I feel like every day I love dinosaurs and the Jurassic Park / World franchise more and more, like it’s almost becoming a part of my personality. That phrasing seems wrong… I guess I mean it feels less like something I’ll emotionally outgrow and more like a deep-seated, truly lifelong interest, that I don’t think can ever go away because at the core, it’s about dinosaurs and nature, and I’ll never not love those things.

Finally, here’s Kalinka and Natasha. I decided to display them side by side because they look a little like sisters:

Because I spent so much time doing this, I was up until 3:00am doing housework, including cleaning the snail tank. Here’s some happy snails:

I’m trying to keep in mind the fact that, outside of my resolutions, I would normally consider this a wildly successful week. In spite of unusual physical pain, I did a lot of writing, took my mom to the movies, reorganized all of my scrapbooking supplies, revamped the studio closet, and reworked my traditional art work area. I went grocery shopping and worked on my blog. It wasn’t all so bad.

But I also can’t deny the obvious: this may have been a terrible week for me, but bad week or not, I failed at ALL of my resolutions outside of reading. So, I’m allowing myself a fresh start with my fitness chart. I also set a more reasonable goal, which would have me at my goal weight by April. I won’t beat myself up over the missteps. Instead I’ll celebrate what I did manage, dust myself off, and tomorrow start again with new renewed vigor.

More Pokémon Violet Thoughts 💜🌈

WARNING: SPOILERS!

As I might have mentioned here or elsewhere, I decided to continue playing Pokémon Violet partly because my friend Shelly got Scarlet upon my urging, partly because there are some aspects of the game I do enjoy, and partly because I want to be able to say “yes, I played the whole game” to people that are discarding the negative opinion of the game overall from players like myself that are so put off by the performance issues and poorly rendered graphics (which, I should note, is me comparing with prior Pokémon games: this franchise was never great in terms of visuals, but I felt prior entries were better, particularly Sword and Shield).

Another reason is that I’ve heard great things about the story, even from players who, like me, had a lot of issues with the game overall. I want to experience that story, and whatever else is good here, in spite of the bad. 😊 At my core I am a hardcore Pokémon fan since I was 15 years old (now almost 40). I’ll almost always enjoy a Pokémon game that is at least playable, even if plagued with issues like Scarlet/Violet are. It’s just that I don’t want to let my fan rosy-colored glasses make me unable to give the series criticism, especially when it is deserved.

My criticisms don’t mean “if the bugs didn’t bother you as much as they did me, you’re too easily satisfied”. They don’t mean “my experience is more valid than yours”. It is simply my experience, and I’ve never had such a buggy one playing Pokémon, ever, so I cannot simply ignore that, even if I am having fun otherwise.

🌈 Mystery Gift Pikachu 🌈

I downloaded my flying tera Pikachu so as not to miss out on it, but it was promptly boxed. I don’t care for this tera stuff. I really liked Gigantamaxing my Pokémon though… it was so silly. I’ll miss that.

🌈 Psyduck Pal 🌈

One of my favorite things in this game so far have been the Psyduck waddling all over the place. I am very fond of Psyduck, they were my first best friend’s favorite Pokémon. I couldn’t resist adding one to my permanent team for this gen. Just look how cute!

HIM SILLY

I name all my Pokémon. I named him “Ouchie”.

Following me around…

🌈 Exploring The World 🌈

The open world has a lot of shortcomings, all of which are better documented elsewhere. I was able to, at times, to completely lose myself in the moment, however. I don’t feel that the areas are too sparsely populated. There do seem to be too many items lying around though.

Here are some screenshots from when I was just enjoying getting lost, or enjoying the scenery.

🌈 School Life 🌈

I don’t have much to say about the whole school thing, except HOLY FRAME RATE, BATMAN. Ouch. Otherwise, I mean, it’s ok. I took a class or two. I have some screenshots.

I didn’t mention it until now but I should add I finally got my trainer looking “right”. I don’t have freckles IRL but I liked how they looked here, I like her colors. I wish for a skirt, but it is what it is, I’m much happier with this outfit than I was at the beginning of the game.

I admit, when Nemona took my to my room I had a moment of “oh man, I can’t wait to see how I can customize this room!” before I remembered what game I am playing. 😞 Lol.

🌈 Miraidon 🌈

Miraidon continues to be adorable. I was so put off by the “robotic” aspect of him at the start, but he’s so cute.

I do wonder how he processes organic food, however.

Finally got to ride him!

A little video…

🌈 First Gym Battle 🌈

My eyes are up here, pal.

The olive roll thing was silly, but easy enough. I do think battling some trainers before getting to the gym leader should be something you are forced to do. In general, though it’s annoying, the whole “we locked eyes –we must battle!” aspect of Pokémon is something that always felt important to me.

Not much to say about Katy. Her hat design was cute.

My trainer’s eyebrows make all selfies look like she’s being forced to take the photo under duress, I find it hilarious.

🌈 Picnics 🌈

I’m trying to concentrate on the good here… I’m trying… but I find picnics one of the worst aspects of this game, so inferior compared to camping, WHAT HAPPENED?? And the graphical issues jump out even more than at other times. Anyway have a cropped screenshot of me interacting with my new Goomy, Booger. I struggled a lot to catch one.

Miraidon napped during picnics. Again, being adorable.

🌈 Pokémon In The Open World 🌈

Along with getting hopelessly lost, a wonderful bonus of this game are the Pokémon roaming the open world, interacting with it, and with you, the trainer, in different and interesting ways.

Some are curious, some are shy, and some are aggressive. I enjoyed that.

🌈 Fuecoco 🌈

My Fuecoco, Scorchy, continues to grow strong and cute. Here he is taking a nap after running around.

I also got to terastallize him for the first time.

🌈 Bugs 🌈

Though usually minor, the bugs I’ve encountered definitely have taken me out of the moment. For me personally, the low frame rates are the worst. It is very, very annoying every time I notice it.

I’ve also had Pokémon clip through the floor pretty regularly: