Tag Archives: Reading

Home Alone ๐ŸŽ„โœจ

Happy Monday, everyone! I didn’t mention this anywhere because I didn’t want to broadcast to the world that I would be alone in this massive house for three nights and days, but that is what happened. My husband and our partner went to visit Christopher’s sister (my sis-in-law) along with Christopher’s mom way up in the Florida panhandle.

I decided to stay behind for a number of reasons. One of them was that I had a massive mountain of presents to wrap, a lot of accumulated chores, and I didn’t want to stress out the animals by leaving them alone for so long right before the Thanksgiving holidays.

I was also looking forward to it. I can be a little bit naughty and eat tons of junk food, order takeout, watch cartoons, play video games, blast any music I like throughout the house… it’s a dream!

On the other hand, at night it is very lonely and scary. This house is very big, so I sleep with one eye open. But I had a good time. Now my guys are back! And I can tell you all about my weekend home alone.

๐ŸŽ„ Friday Night ๐ŸŽ„

As soon as everyone was gone I sat down to relax with a little reading:

Kotoko kept me company nearbyโ€ฆ

I really adore stories about toys, from the toys’ POV, so I am loving this book. I even have my own Raggedy Ann and Andy:

After some stories and a Christmas cake, I began to work on a vast backlog of housework, some of it delayed by weeks. I wasnโ€™t done until 8:00pm. I made the house all merry to enjoy the evening…

Then I placed my order with Wahbi Sabi and jumped in the shower. I saved my brand new Pikachu Christmas pajamas to wear this weekend!

I finally got to get cozy in them while I waited for my food to get there…

…then had my coveted Spam sushi and corn cheese on a Christmas bowl and cup. Of course, I had my Coke on my Bluey Christmas cup, while watching some Bluey Christmas shorts, as well as Verandah Santa and Christmas Swim on the CRT!

You can’t tell in these photos, but my cutlery was Bluey themed too. Also, the placemat!

The food was delicious, a cheap but huge treat from my favorite Korean restaurant:

For dessert I had a Christmas cake and some almond milk!

Then with the dishwasher going, it was gift-wrapping time! I watched the original How The Grinch Stole Christmas cartoon since I’d never seen it before, and then watched the movie, which I’ve seen a thousand times and utterly love.

I wrapped presents until I felt just tired enough to go to bed with the cats and with Pokemon Violet on my Switch. My bed looked so cozy all lit up!

And Rosie was already waiting for me…

I didn’t play too long, I was so tired. I set up my character and then cuddled up with Rosie and was out like a log.

๐ŸŽ„ Saturday ๐ŸŽ„

This was a very long day, and one on which an incredibly rare occurrence happened: I stayed in my pajamas all day. I normally hate this, even if I’m sick. But they are cute and comfy and I was so busy. To give you an idea of the job I had in my hands, even after hours and hours of gift wrapping last night, I wrapped pretty much non-stop from 9:30am to 8:00pm tonight. I stopped only to eat lunch. That is a lot of presents. I didn’t count them but there must have been over 50, maybe 60. Here’s some of the mess…

I’ve been buying presents for my family since August. They are all presents from me and also from Christopher, to all our family and friends, and then there are our partner’s presents to Christopher, and Christopher’s family, and I wrapped that, as well. It was a lot of work but I can’t wait to see happy faces when the surprises are revealed.

Here’s the results. The stockings are full too. There are a lot of small presents hidden everywhere so it’s really a lot more than you’d think at first glance.

Alas, a ribbon has already dropped. I reattached it.

For the entirety of the weekend (but most of all on this day), I had vintage and not-so-vintage Christmas and/or Thanksgiving cartoons playing, and it was lovely. Here is a collage of GIFs from some cartoons I watched throughout the weekend.

In the middle of my gift wrapping, Christopher surprised me with these photos…

I SCREAMED!! How to choose just one? But I had to. It was hard because I always wanted a Furby Buddy and this one is an obvious match to this Furby, surely they have always been together. But I wasn’t about to leave this little voiceless guy abandoned in a thrift shop! Christopher got him for me. I can’t wait to have his voicebox fixed.

After that, I had yummy snacks and drank wine while playing Pokรฉmon Violet. I made a separate post about my early experiences with the game, which you can read HERE.

๐ŸŽ„ Sunday๐ŸŽ„

With all the gift-wrapping fully out of the way, today was a more normal day. I did my chores, including taking care of the snailies, sent some Trellos, worked on holiday cards, and wrote my letters to Santa as well as to thank and welcome Buddy and Sarah:

I ordered takeout again, and had it while playing more Pokรฉmon Violet. It was really good!

The cats haven’t spent much time with me, but Tomoyo eventually did come to see me… here she is sitting on my lap:

With all commission information retrieved, and especially with multiple unsavory permabanned people having their Twitter accounts reinstated, I decided to officially delete my art accounts as well. I’m all gone from Twitter, again. It’s an amazing feeling!

And, I’ll be really active elsewhere! I’ll be active here, on Telegram, on Discord and on FA. So please don’t be a stranger! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Anyway, it was actually at the end of the day that I began all my chores. But before bed I managed to get the snail tank and litter boxes cleaned, the animals all fed and watered, dishes done and put away, and the laundry too. Trash taken out, showered. Before bed, I had one final little feast. Wine, a sandwich, and Elf sugar cookies:

It was a fruitful day. And fun too. I even had a Zoom call with my mom and made some art progress! Plus posted old art too.

And then it was bedtime again, my last night alone.

๐ŸŽ„ Monday ๐ŸŽ„

My guys FINALLY came home today! I feel like I’ve been all alone for forever. Anyway, today was a calm day of chores and prep. I prepared for my passport and doctor appointments that I have tomorrow. I also plan to drop by Target Optical and finally get my eyes checked. I’m really worried about some drop in my eyesight, and about intense pain in my breasts. I hope some of those worries can be set aside after tomorrow.

Another thing I did was prepare a seasonal outfit for Igloo, since she will be joining me in some upcoming travels:

I also shipped out a couple of badges, chose, scanned and printed some coloring pages from my collection to have fun with during the season, worked on art, and was able to make some more decisions regarding online stuff. As it turns out, every Discord server I checked out is pretty dead. Telegram is okay… I lurk on one busy community chat. I disabled automatic media downloads for groups, which helped with some issues I was having.

I also realized that Reddit is AMAZING at solving my FOMO issues: I can do a quick daily browse of the subreddits I follow, maybe post a little here and there, and all is good. And it feels FAR less toxic than Twitter. So I may delete Discord again, with intention to actually put effort in being active on the Telegram chat I’m in, and from time to time, I will check Reddit.

That aside, after a weekend of utter indulgence, I’m back on my fitness wagon, so you’ll see those posts begin to pop up again.

I dressed up nice to greet my guys…

I also made the house very merry and festive…

…and served a comforting, good meal –chicken curry on rice. So when they got home, everything looked beautiful, the house smelled amazing, there was Christmas music softly playing and everything was in tip top shape.

I really, really missed them so much. I felt bad for missing out on the family trip, but when I think of all that I got done, I simply have no idea how that would have been doable without this long weekend all to myself.

I hope you found this post entertaining! I’ll update after tomorrow’s errands.

Some Paleo Books I’m Reading ๐Ÿฆด

Right now I’m reading The Last Days of the Dinosaurs by Riley Black (AKA @Laelaps) and enjoying it immensely! So is my T. rex, in her own wayโ€ฆ

After Iโ€™m done with that wonderful treat, I have Locked In Time in the wings, by Dean R. Lomax (@Dean_R_Lomax) and illustrated by the wonderful Bob Nicholls (AKA @Paleocreations). I canโ€™t wait!

I’ll be sure to share my thoughts when I’m done! ๐Ÿ˜Š

An On-And-Off Rainy Week โ˜”

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s time for a recap. I was sick for a bunch of this cold, rainy week, but in moderately high spirits regardless. So I’ll begin with some musings before the actual recap. You may already have heard me go on about the following a bit on Twitter, but I wanted to expand here.

I drew a LOT this week, felt very creative, getting back in touch with a part of my artist self that I’ve kinda abandoned over the last ten years. I’d say the last couple of years have brought me the most joy art-wise. I feel more fulfilled when I draw than ever before. And yet… I’ve felt these past six months as though clients in the art community I’m in may be kinda moving on from me and some other artists.

I see a lot of established artists like myself struggle to fill slots, including artists that were once in high demand. Maybe it’s the economy, maybe it’s algorithms, all I know is I am not the only one (which is some comfort).

Basically, I’m trying to branch out, at least before I give up on commission art altogether. I’m trying to go back to my cute little characters from 10+ years ago, the non-commission art that predates my days in the fandom, which has more mass appeal.

I’m also going to be doing the odd fan art. I just feel like there is less demand for some parts of my work these days. So, rediscovering myself as an artist this week has been refreshing, even though the uncertainty regarding funds does have me very worried.

๐Ÿคง Monday ๐Ÿคง

Nothing much to say for Monday. Had a quiet but busy day at home. All I have to share from this day is a picture of Rosie.

โ˜” Tuesday โ˜”

I’d been getting pretty stir crazy, so, on this day, I got permission from Christopher for a Starbucks treat, and went out. It was rainy. I spent some time at Starbucks, and once I was done with my food, I walked to the bookstore.

At Barnes & Noble I got a plushie and a book. I also read this picture book which promptly made me tear up in the store. I would have bought it, but it was like twenty bucks. I ended up buying it on Amazon as soon as I got home.

Usually I share a little bit of the inside of a book. But I feel like a lot of the punch of this book is lost if you show any pages. It’s a bit like a little comforting, hopeful song, and a book I intend to keep near my desk to read when I need to remind myself that all bad times are temporary. I really, really recommend it, even if you are an adult, it’s a nice thing to have.

The other book I got was Growing Grouchy. A very cute little story of Oscar’s birth and early years. And a little chick that I named Gumdrop.

Here’s a couple of close-ups from that book. I love the cameo of little grumpy Bert:

And a photo of Gumdrop with the hat I picked. I’ll make him a bandana and name necklace soon:

๐Ÿค Wednesday ๐Ÿค

Wednesday was another day of arting. In the morning I had a Zoom call with my mom. Then I went on a walk (it was rainy again, but nice and cool out):

…and had an acai bowl for lunch:

Not much else to say about this day. I’ve just been working so much every day this week, I didn’t leave much time for leisure. ๐Ÿ˜…

๐Ÿฎ Thursday ๐Ÿฎ

Ok as far as Thursday, first let me get my lunch out of the way. I made my own Mexican-style corn thing and it was very yummy, I had queso for a dip:

The best part of Thursday was date night. I’d long been excited about it because we planned to watch Turning Red. I was very turned off by this movie when I saw the first trailers and images, but as I heard more about it after its release, I got a little more interested.

Well, I’ve got to say, it is my favorite Pixar movie in years! The expressions and body language of the characters absolutely make the movie. As some have stated, it is cringy, but in a delightful, purposeful, “that’s the joke” sort of way: your early teens ARE probably the cringiest part of your life, after all.

It is also a love letter to the late 90s/early 2000s, a pivotal point in my own life. I was a bit of a late bloomer, since I was Mei’s age in 1997, but it was around the time the movie takes place (a few years after that, meaning I was older) was when I was emotionally in the same place Mei is in the film. I still found it deeply relatable, even more so because it was just my mother and me during a large part of my late childhood and all of my teens/early adulthood.

Conflict was inevitable, especially as I got older, but I was much less “my own person” than Mei is (too afraid to do so) and had no friends to fall back on, other than one girl for a couple of years. So, it would take me until I left the house at 30 (!!) to slowly begin to feel like voicing serious disagreement, let alone anger, to my mom was allowed.

These days, it is much less of an issue for me. Like with Mei, having other people giving you perspective really helps you to be your own person, standing on your own two feet –and eventually you don’t need that either.

Anyway, between watching an animated movie (something I haven’t done in forever) and getting a Happy Meal, WITH a toy I actually cared for, this was a very “Little” night! I was over the moon when I saw that Mario Kart was the theme!

To make things even better, I got Bowser, and my burgers where some of the best I had in a while, with very juicy pickles. I even used my Bluey placemat for the first time!

After the movie we just hung out and had quality time together. It was a lovely evening and the highlight of my week all around.

Friday

This was a very busy day. I worked on art all day, and we went shopping to like four different stores for groceries. That was actually very pleasant, and I got treated to my favorite sandwiches from the Argentinean bakery. But it is always so hard to step away from my work.

We had a lovely dinner at home in the evening. Here is a photo of Kotoko and Elliot that I took in the early afternoon to wrap up the post:

Tomorrow we have an outing, and Sunday a dinner with friends, so I’ll do the weekend on a separate post in case I end up with a lot of photos.

Ultimate Dinopedia By National Geographic Kids + The Hagwood Trilogy ๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿ“š

Recently, I’ve been reading much more. And I did mean to blog more about my renewed reading habits, but there just hasn’t been any time. I’ll try to remedy that a little with this post. While I’ve been reading all sorts of things (including a LOT of manga) on this post I’m going to concentrate on two things: the book I am reading right now, and the series I just finished.

๐Ÿฆ– Ultimate Dinopedia By National Geographic Kids ๐Ÿฆ–

I’ve started reading this beautiful National Geographic Kids “Ultimate Dinopedia” and it is AMAZING:

When I picked it up some months ago, I was impressed at a quick glance –especially by the illustrations. But I did not expect it would be so informative or so respectful of its audience. If you are a dinosaur fan who actually knows little about dinosaurs, you will love this book, even if its intended audience is children.

Scientific books for kids do not usually (in my experience) give so much “we suppose”, or “it is believed” or “we imagine, but can’t actually know”. At least growing up, I saw much more “this is how it was” and now why or how we “knew” it was so. This book, however, tells you of specific paleontologist’s theories, and whether most other paleontologists agree with them or not. Even on the slightest illustrated detail, like a bit of flesh on a dinosaur’s face, it will tell you: “we think it might have had this thing –we have no way to know”. It is a book of suppositions and generally agreed upon ideas about these wonderful creatures.

For all my love of dinosaurs, I do not know much about them. I hope as I read this book I can at least learn to identify basic species as well as the time periods they lived in.

๐Ÿ“š The Hagwood Trilogy ๐Ÿ“š

Over the past few months (starting at the time of the ill-fated New England trip that didn’t happen as planned) I’ve been reading The Hagwood Trilogy. It is comprised of Thorn Ogres of Hagwood, Dark Waters Of Hagwood, and War In Hagwood. It is written by Robin Jarvis. Without a doubt, it has been an unforgettable journey, the sort of dark fantasy series that will stick with me for a while, and I do not come across often.

The protagonist is a little werling boy called Gamaliel Tumpin. Werlings are a species that can shapeshift (AKA “wergle”) into animals of approximate size of their own or smaller –think hedgehogs, birds, squirrels, mice. They can also wergle into insects or other things, with potentially grave consequences, which definitely plays into the story.

I was familiar with Robin Jarvis’ writing from The Deptford Mice Trilogy. Much like in the Deptford Mice books, the Hagwood series is a pretty gruesome affair involving tiny cuddly critters, none of whom (and I do mean NONE) can you afford to get too emotionally attached to, because Jarvis has zero hesitation about giving major protagonists (including very likable ones) quite grisly ends, often completely out of nowhere. Once you are familiar with his work, you basically hold your breath through any book of his, praying that your favorite character doesn’t die.

Jarvis also has an uncanny knack for generating villains that not only do you love to hate, but you can actually be afraid of. Every time Rhiannon, The Queen Of Faerie, appears in the Hagwood books, you are very glad that you are safely on the other side of the page, and you half wonder if she can still reach you with some of that horrendous dark magic.

WARNING: I’m gonna get extremely spoilery below, so do not proceed unless you’ve read this whole series or don’t care if it’s spoiled for you.

HEAVY SPOILERS BELOW!