March is here! It came so fast. March brings Christopher’s 39th birthday, Mwako’s visit, and the usual visit to the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition with my mom. Anyway, let’s get on with the summary!
🌈 Monday 🌈
Let’s begin Monday with a photo of Rosie chilling by my work area:
You might remember the little “soots” that took over our house quite some time ago. The following isn’t something that happened specifically on this day, I’m just picking this part of the summary to share it.
They now appear to be multiplying at Christopher’s workplace, with some help from him (though almost no one knows this for a fact, since he is very sneaky about it).
The colorful little soots have made their way all over the factory –even the CFO’s office! Christopher sends me photos sometimes, so here’s a few:
For the most part no one has removed them, though some HAVE moved a little. They seem to be amusing a lot of people, it’s pretty great! 😁
You might also remember me mentioning that on Valentine’s Day, our partner got me a pair of headphones, but they turned out to be the wrong ones. So we returned them and I got to pick out a new pair. I picked the Razer Kraken x Doraemon 50th Anniversary Limited Edition gaming headset, which was only ever released in China as an exclusive promotion. They’ve finally arrived!
They are lovely. I adore this color scheme SO MUCH! Very kidcore-y vibes.
I would like to get some of the matching add-ons too, if only the mouse, because it’s actually my favorite mouse model, and it’s been discontinued.
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
On this day I was able to snap a pretty cute photo of Rosie and Tomoyo chilling out together:
Before grocery shopping, our partner and I went to get some wines. It was a nice little outing together, and he bought me a raptor wine stopper! It’s so cool.
I’m surprised to still come across brand new Jurassic World versions of these Good 2 Grow bottle caps/toppers/whatever they are. I found a pyroraptor one to add to my collection!
I forgot to post this on the day it happened, but a few days ago, the guys went to the grocery store and brought me flowers (the sunflowers, not the black roses, lol).
Sunflowers are my most favorite flower ever. They fill me with happiness. I wish I could always have some on my table, I’d never get tired of seeing them. It was such a nice surprise.
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
Elliot has been enjoying the outdoor “hammock” a lot since I moved it to the sun, but in an unexpected way:
Oh well… at least it’s getting some use!
In a moment of weakness, after being informed that Dollar General can be a surprise treasure trove for dinosaur toys, I went and took a look. To my delight, I found a large stegosaurus of the same fashion as my large foam dinos (Mojito, Churrasco and Fuit Gummi) so I brought him home:
I also found some totally bizarre and hilarious tiny dinos that are very clearly meant to be Gon ripoffs:
You probably don’t know Gon, unless you’re a big comic and/or dinosaur fan, but it is a true underlooked gem in manga. I only own this one volume, it’s very short, and one of my treasures:
Drawn by Masashi Tanaka, Gon has no dialogue and no onomatopeias. Every frame looks like it would have taken a full day to painstakingly render–I say this as someone who has similarly spent pleasant hours absorbed in crosshatching a scene with pen and ink. This is to say nothing of the absolutely BONKERS full-page spreads:
Gon is some sort of vague Carnosaurs, with a more t. Rex-like head, although I’ve also seen him described as a Giganotosaurus. This is possible, since Gon was first published one year after the discovery of Giganotosaurus.
Somehow, Gon lives in a more modern world. He’s escaped extinction in some way. The manga follows his interactions with these modern species, which are never quite prepared for the force to be reckoned with that is Gon.
While often humorous, scenes of death (very sad scenes, really) can be crushing and sudden, only adding to the emotional intensity that this wordless manga provides.
Below are two examples from this particular volume –in one, a wolf-pup is completely crushed by a tiger’s gigantic paw. This comes immediately after the same tiger killed the pups’ mother:
In this other example, a bird steals a baby penguin and very cheerfully flies away to eat it. The contrast between the bird’s happy face, the terror of the chick, and the shared grief so eloquently depicted by Tanaka in the frame that follows, are impressively drawn and brimming with emotion:
There is an animated, CGI version of Gon. It is, in my opinion, a terrible adaptation in which all of the nuance and charm is lost. I mean… here’s a couple of GIFs from it…
You know what, maybe farts are in the manga too, I haven’t read all of it, it seems out of character for the manga though. I watched some of the anime and it was SO lame. Worst of ALL, the animals talk! Ugh.
I should point out that Gon also made an appearance as a playable character in the game Tekken 3:
He does have a fart attack in Tekken, so who knows, maybe it’s a thing. 🙄 In any case, it was very amusing to find this little toy set that basically shows Gon as a bunch of different species –including a parasaurolophus!
As a funny side note, when looking for Gon gifs I came an account on Tenor that clearly has a “special interest“:
So yeah, that was odd. Aaaanyway… on to Thursday!
🌈 Thursday 🌈
Thursday evening the three of us went for a walk together. When we passed the local pond/lake/whatever you call it, the bullfrogs were LOUD. Our partner walked closer to the reeds and grasses by the water to find one of them for me. It was enormous.
🌈 Friday 🌈
Friday was tank cleaning day, so I have a lot of photos to share. I also have some really cute lettuce-rasping action caught in video:
I ended up ordering a tree hide like the one the rats used to have. It looks really nice in the tank, and the snails seem to like hanging out inside it.
🌈 Saturday 🌈
I continued to walk as much as I could, 4-5 miles every day. The weather is still mild compared to what will soon come. I snapped this pretty photo of a flower.
In the afternoon, I relaxed with more Legends: Arceus and a little snack. Then I had a nap.
🌈 Sunday 🌈
Sunday evening I went on a walk with our partner and we hadn’t gotten far from the house when we saw this little (fake) LEGO table set out for bulk trash:
I don’t really have space for it indoors, so I put it on the porch with a pillow for the cats. It’s colorful and cute, I didn’t really want to just leave it out to be trashed.
Anyway, that’s it for this week. Next week is Christopher’s birthday, and tomorrow I’ll be taking Kotoko to the vet right by our house to do some more looking-into her vomiting that won’t go away and see if she’s actually lost weight or it’s all in my head. I’ll update you all next Sunday. Until then, I hope you have a happy week!
This week, like the last, was eventful and busy, but there was time to breathe too. Overall, it was pretty good! The nice thing about writing these posts and looking back on them is realizing how full of fun things my weeks usually are and how different the days can be. Life is always full of surprises and fun experiences!
🌈 Monday 🌈
On Monday we had our belated Valentine’s Day cooking class! I got a beautiful sunset shot on the way there…
And some funny photos during the class itself:
Even though it wasn’t my favorite type of cuisine, the meal was pretty yummy, and the custard we had for dessert, in particular, was delicious! I also got to have a little drink.
I’m sure we will do this again, it was a lot of fun!
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
On Tuesday we went on our (again, belated) Valentine’s Day dinner. We ended up doing everything on different days. This was a promising French restaurant, and the drinks were wonderful:
The guys liked their food a lot, but I found it all very bland, though the presentation was very nice:
In fact I would say this was my least favorite fancy restaurant experience so far. The only place I wouldn’t care to go back other than the drinks. But it’s still fun to try new places!
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
I made a new type of salad for Wednesday’s lunch, a variation of the previous salad. This one had a baby spinach base. I think I liked it even better!
Later, after struggling a lot to decide how to handle this drawing, I printed it out into two different 8.5″ x 11″ pages and now I am tracing it onto a large piece of watercolor paper:
I really wish I had a bigger printed to print out my sketches onto directly in non-photo blue or other light color. Maybe later this year. I’ve been doing research on it, and I have one picked out.
This was tank cleaning day. Here’s some happy snails enjoying fresh foods and a clean cage!
🌈 Thursday 🌈
I feel like I post too many photos of Tomoyo laying on my bed, but she is so cute…
Recently, during grocery shopping, I came upon a wonderful find. I’d first spotted this guy well over year ago in the same section of our Publix:
I’ll get him later, I told myself. I think I went the day after, or two days later. No dice. I waited for weeks, then months, for a restock. I found out it was scalped all to heck online. Such a bummer! This is a cheap little dino from the cheap toy section at the grocery store. But official JP babies are uncommon (I’ve yet to see that nasutoceratops IRL… 😞).
Anyway, this week, lo and behold there he was again, and somehow he had not suffered from inflation. The price was the same as the first time I saw him. So this little guy came home with me, and now sits between the sturdy legs of mama brachio!
I don’t want to keep finding excuses to fail on my resolution, but it sucks when this was something I missed out on before and it happened to show up, finally. Sigh… 😩
🌈 Friday 🌈
I’ve been drawing a little almost every day. On Friday, I worked on another badge!
Here’s Tomoyo laying on the laundry I’m trying to put away. She can be terribly cute sometimes.
Before bedtime, I got a good amount of writing done. Well over a thousand words. So that was good.
🌈 Saturday & Sunday 🌈
The weekend was really nice! Our partner bought these red ceramic knobs for our kitchen cabinets that he knew I’d been wanting, and we installed them together. Objectively, I can say (I know) they look bad. 😅 But also, red is the accent color all over our kitchen. So, subjectively, I love it. Christopher was about as horrified as we expected he would be.
We had pizza for dinner on Saturday, and I also did our taxes on this day. It was nice to get that off my back.
After a few missed Project Nights, I did a little bit of scrapbooking on Sunday afternoon, and completed two new pages, a Jurassic World one (themed after my new Pyroraptor friend) and a Sesame Street one. Here they are in progress…
And all finished!
On Sunday morning I finally finished reading Stephen King’s “It”. This was a big deal to me, because “It” is the longest book I have ever read (that wasn’t a compilation of multiple books). It never, ever bored me for a minute. I’m going to read a comic collection next, before tackling another “real” book.
I’ll end this post with this GIF of Rosie hiding in the Kallax:
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.
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.
Hello, everyone, and Happy 2023! As of writing this post, the first week of the year has come to an end. I hope your first week was great! Mine was very satisfying as far as accomplishments go, but also tinged with sadness.
💔 CW: pet loss discussion ahead. 💔
You might remember Shampoo. Most recently “my mom’s cat”, Shampoo was in fact our shared cat for many years, along with Sweeney. We got her when we’d only been in the US a couple of years, and she was around 10 when I got married and moved in with Christopher. Here’s an old GIF I’d made of Shampoo and I many years ago:
As you can see, while in recent posts outside of this blog I put the focus on my mom’s grief, I loved Shampoo very, very much. I’d picked her out of the litter myself, and until I bonded with Rosie years later after I moved out, I had never had a cat I felt as close to as I did with Shampoo. She was on a different level, and so cheeky and playful.
This changed a lot in her last five or so years. She’d started to have painful blockages because of her long fur, which necessitated shaving it monthly. This seemed, to me, as though it changed her personality too. But perhaps it was that around this time she was already quite old.
Shampoo had MANY (very expensive) close calls in the last few years, and made it to an impressive almost 19 years old. But on Monday, it was all too much. She was severely anemic and in serious kidney failure. She was made comfortable for the next 24 hours, which allowed her to rest, eat normally, and just feel alright, until the next afternoon, when it was time to say goodbye.
Shampoo’s passing at home was as ideal as possible. Her body had not yet resumed failing and giving her pain. She’d eaten multiple times, napped peacefully, and enjoyed many pets from my mom. When the vet came (it was done at home) she did not even move from my mom’s lap, on the favorite chair they shared. She fell asleep there, happy and peaceful. We could not have asked for a better send-off.
I process grief a little different from most people. I think, I grieve my pets when they are alive. I remember when Shampoo was around nine years old. I was holding her and thinking how much I loved her, how unique a cat she was, and how I’d never have another cat like her. Shampoo was not sick: she was at her prime, and just being extra cute that day. I remember I started crying, then sobbing, as I held her. She was not amused.
It would not be the only time this happened, nor the only pet it happened with. Certainly I’ve cried with every pet that passed. But, I think I am recovering a little faster, in spite of my sadness, because of this –and because I wasn’t living with Shampoo for the last few years so she wasn’t as much of a constant in my life.
For my mom, it is very different. She tells me she is okay, but she’s also in deep, racking grief, wondering if she did enough (something I think no one would dispute). She told me how how she feels a constant anxiety right at her throat, and how she keeps looking for Shampoo in her usual sleeping-spots. I can’t really help my mom other than to listen, and knowing that she is in pain and will be for a long time is hard for me to accept.
That’s all I have to say about that, but as it was a major element in the week, I wanted to give it its own space. Now I’ll move on to the rest.
I’ve decided to go back to weekly summaries for posts (other than my daily resolution summary) because, now that I’m giving more priority to other things in my life, my blogging time has been reduced. And that is fine! I am very happy. I just want to make sure I can maintain a consistent posting schedule, and I believe this will be the best way to accomplish that.
✨🌈🧉 New Year’s Eve 🧉🌈✨
I’m allowing the New Year weekend to slip into this post, though in reality the post is about the first week of the year. On New Year’s Eve morning, I had mate and did some reading. My mom came in the early evening.
We had a pretty quiet New Year’s Eve. Our partner went to a party for a while, and we played board games –both by ourselves and with Christopher. Partner was back in time to ring in the New Year with us, and we did the customary eating of grapes at the stroke of midnight. You have to make a wish on each grape. I have one thing I want most of all in this life, so I made the same wish on every grape, with all my heart. It was my wish the last two New Year’s, too. Then we went to bed.
✨🌈🧸 Sunday 🧸🌈✨
On Sunday, I finalized prepping everything to start the first week with a bang. Part of this involved sorting all paperwork and for the first time in our lives, clearing out the filing cabinet of too-old, unnecessary stuff, a lot of which was kept while my immigration paperwork was in process (we waited until my citizenship was done, and even then, another full year.) This took a few hours.
One of the things included in this process was sorting through the prior day’s mail, which included a couple of late holiday cards. One was from an old friend of my teddy bear Franklin, a kindly gentleman named Stephen.
Franklin has been receiving letters from Mr. Stephen for all of his life. Many people used to write to Franklin back when he was a small celebearty, but most eventually stopped. Not Mr. Stephen. Even though Franklin never replied, he’s been writing consistently over the last 10+ years, on all of Franklin’s birthdays and at Christmas.
The last card was very long and had an odd feeling to it. It made Franklin feel that Mr. Stephen may not write anymore. Franklin had wanted to reply in recent years, but the envelopes with the return address kept getting discarded. So we are trying to see if it’s possible to get in touch with Mr. Stephen via Facebook, so Franklin can show him how many friends he has now, and how he’s enjoyed all the cards over the years and in fact, kept them all.
I also went around the house, just doing accumulated chores, to make sure nothing went over to the next day. I was tired by the time the day was over, but it was a really successful day.
✨🌈🧉 Monday 🧉🌈✨
I drank mate for breakfast every day this week and enjoyed many of the leftover holiday snacks. I went back to written to-do lists, as well, and continued to enjoy reading multiple times a day. My coffee intake is decreasing thanks to the mate, and because I’m putting priority in things that matter to me, I am becoming happier and happier.
✨🌈🖍️ Tuesday 🖍️🌈✨
Tuesday was Project Night! It’s an idea I had recently, a companion to our Date Nights. Every Tuesday evening, for at least two hours, we all work on personal projects. This past Tuesday, Christopher and our partner worked on turning a V-Tech Talking Whiz-Kid Notebook into a “real” computer by using a Raspberry Pi. Now it has a mouse, a battery pack, it’s really cool:
You can even view my blog! Although, it’s too big for the screen… 😅
I did something less cool, but it was important to me. Since one of my 2023 goals is to finish more coloring pages, I spent time with my coloring pages and crayons. I had a little snack, listened to music and had one of my dolls, Kalamata, for company (I’ll tell you a little more about her later).
I’m still working on a Christmas coloring page. I haven’t finished it yet, but I had a lot of fun. I’ll finish it on the next Project Night. I’ll use these nights for my coloring page goals, puzzles, scrapbooking pages, and more –such as pyrography.
Kalamata is a Zapf Creation doll, made in Germany. I was very excited when I bought her. But when she came to me, she smelled like cigarettes and her skin was sticky (some vinyl degradation). One of her sleepy eyes was (still is) slightly sunken. Worst of all, her legs were fabric! Even her feet are fabric. I wanted a doll with vinyl arms and legs. I was so upset that I immediately decided to donate her. She even made it into the donation box. But something about her expression just kept tugging at me. It is impish and very unique. Her skin color is also quite unusual.
I decided to give her some TLC. Since she had the old fashioned, tied-on style of head, I removed it, and washed her body. I bought some extra filling, and made her floppy arms a bit firmer. I washed, conditioned and combed her hair (her wig is beautiful; it feels almost like human hair, and after some research on these dolls, I think it may be the case, which is kinda nuts!) The wash and dry removed her vinyl stickiness, which thankfully has yet to return. The bad smells were also gone. She looks happy and mischievous!
I’m looking into a solution for her wonky eye, but even if I can’t fix it, I’ve grown very fond of her. I think she’s a very special doll full of personality, so, I will be keeping her.
✨🌈👧 Wednesday 👧🌈✨
Speaking of dolls –on Wednesday I finally opened some dolls that had arrived. One is the JC Toys/Berenguer Boutique “Chloe”, whom I’ve named Polenta. Her box was really beautiful:
She looks just like in the photos. Her vinyl is very soft. I generally prefer hard vinyl, but she’s a gorgeous little doll. She can turn at the waist, which is unusual. I’m sure I’ll enjoy taking her places.
Then there is Paola Reina’s Lidia, whom I’ve named Camila. She is the most luxurious doll I’ve ever owned, with a myriad points of articulation. Her ankles, wrists, elbows and knees are all articulated, as is her head.
She can be put into lovely poses, such as kneeling! And she is very big.
She also smells strongly of vanilla pudding –in particular, a vanilla pudding I had as a little girl. I am filled with nostalgia when I walk into the studio now, and smell it!
Our partner and I have been walking every day. On the way back during our walk on this day, we passed by the burned house. I’d been there when it was still burning, months ago. Back then, the damage didn’t seem so bad. We thought it was just the garage. But I guess the house was damaged very badly. The family appear to have left, and the house sits quiet and eerie.
The burned area reminds me of how, in The Neverending Story, things and even creatures would have chunks taken out by “The Nothing” (or, “La Nada” in Spanish). This house used to always have really nice vintage cars outside. I hope the family is doing okay.
Also on this day, I managed to ship a bunch of packages. A Little People train my friend Snow had me purchase for him, some books I’d been holding onto, a badge, and an exchange for one of my mom’s Christmas presents. Normally I really procrastinate on this sort of thing. It requires printing, packing, measuring, taping, filling out forms (for international packages) dropping things off… mailing packages is always a hassle but mailing international ones even more so for my ADD-addled brain. So I was really, really proud that I pushed through and did it all! 😊
✨🌈🧃🥟 Thursday 🥟🧃🌈✨
Tomoyo has been struggling a lot with her asthma during these colder, drier days. We’ve bought her a humidifier, and I plan to invest in an air purifier soon. Anyway, here’s a photo of her relaxing:
I need to weigh her again soon, to see if her very expensive weight-loss diet is doing anything (which would also help her asthma).
On Thursday I continued to read Kaya’s Story Collection, and also enjoyed a little lunch.