Category Archives: My Dinos

Shark Valley Misadventure! ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿข๐ŸŒˆ

Hi hi, everyone! This was a pretty good week –and with this post my blog will be finally caught all up! It was certainly eventful, and I’ll go into the mishap that occurred on Saturday which I mentioned on Twitter –so, let’s get right to it!

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Monday we had tickets for Studio Ghibli Fest 2022, which begins with Ponyo. I really like that movie, but if I’m honest I was most excited to get to to take a photo with the Jurassic World Dominion display!!

Literally my entire outfit (shirt, backpack, the blanket I brought to keep warm) and my coordinating colors were Jurassicโ€ฆ can you tell Iโ€™m hyped? Haha…

๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Just odds and ends from Wednesday, starting with a lounging Rosie…

Sometimes I find that our partner has been screwing around with my dinosaurs. I found Bumpy on my Brachiosaurus’ head:

My big Ankylosaurus was trying to rescue his friend…

On my recent Target outing I came across a little Jurassic World lamp in their cheapy toys section! ๐Ÿ˜

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

And now… oh boy. Now to Saturday’s events. We’d been talking about heading to Shark Valley for a while, especially since I’ve never been in the Everglades proper, and I wanted to see gators so badly. So I was pretty excited to go, as it was put to me “for a couple of hours”, even if it was at the hottest time of the day, in an area with NO TREES. At least not for most of the way. I can handle this, I thought. And in truth, that much I could handle.

Let me start by saying that our partner insisted I leave Jello behind and instead bring water. I wasn’t worried –I had my hat, it was only for a couple of hours, I wanted to carry Jello for pictures. Anyway, he brought water, I brought Jello. That was my first stupid decision –though again, I’d been a bit bamboozled. Stay with me here.

We could rent bikes, he says. I’m picky with bikes, so I demur. This is my second stupid decision, one on which I changed my mind less than a mile into our walk, after I was informed that we are, in fact, going to walk FOURTEEN miles, at noon, with a stop in the middle that has shade and water. What?!

But at this point, he doesn’t want to go back to get bikes, and this would be one of his stupid decisions. Another of mine was not being more insistent. But he promises me a National Park passport as a treat from the gift shop, which closes at six, and I’m a sucker for a treat in exchange for being a good girl, so common sense is promptly thrown out the window.

We press on, as I am not yet in too much pain, and way too distracted by turtles, birds, SO many gators of varying sizes…

…and flowers…

…and insects:

We get to see a gator hunt something (a turtle, a fish?) doing the typical gator roll, mere feet from us. A huge thrill! I also get close enough to a softshell turtle to touch it (of course, I don’t). It was massive, the size of a small dog. We were very entertained.

As we continue walking on an asphalt path with no shade and under blazing sun, I bitch and moan that I know my limits: I cannot walk more than, max, six miles at noon with no water, in Florida, in the Everglades, in the summer. But he insists, and hey! I’m a people pleaser. I bitch and moan and cry, but ultimately I’m a people pleaser, just a very whiny one.

By mile marker six, with the observatory shimmering in the distance like a mirage, my moaning and whining has turned to tears and mild occasional hyperventilating. The gators are no longer of interest. After some coaxing, I’ve drank all of our partner’s water, told that at our rest stop we can both have more. Jello has become a bit of a drag to carry.

We make it to the observatory only to be met with large “BOIL WATER NOTICE” signs. We are in disbelief, but no matter: there is a tour tram, we can see one in the distance. Surely if we explain the situation they will take us back. Walking back seven miles with no water at high afternoon in Florida, in summer, in the Everglades, is very literally dangerous, especially since we are already dehydrated.

We wait for the tram and I take a few photos of the observatory view, which was indeed breathtaking:

Even from this height you can spot multiple large gators in the water.

We come down as the tram approaches, and upon explaining the situation, we are told that it is a paid tour. They do not care about our problems. Our partner asks if they have water, we cannot continue without drinking water, which we were explicitly told was available here. The tour lady tells us they do, for a dollar each. We have no cash.

It is baffling that to us park employees would behave in this manner with people in a bind, especially since we paid a whopping $30 just to enter and walk. But anyway –very reluctantly she gives us two small bottles, and when a tram passenger offers to pay for us, she definitely takes the money. ๐Ÿ™„

So it is time to walk back. And now I really start to cry and I cry for a while, quietly, because I seriously don’t think I can do this. My feet and legs are killing me, my eyes sting with sweat, did I mention we had no sunscreen? I know, real winners. I have one tiny bottle of water that I have to make last for seven more miles, which is one more than our partner had, because I drank his on the way there.

For a while I cry, on and off, having random fits when a wasp or fly gets too close to my head. It is misery. Eventually I am doing too poorly to bitch, moan or cry, a signal our partner smartly takes to feel concerned for my welfare (if I go quiet, you know shit’s serious, because I never shut up) but there is nothing he can do. He was dumb to suggest our situation and I was equally dumb to go for it. We are two dumbasses, and all we can do is walk. And so we do.

The tram passes us, with at least a couple of empty seats. It is the last tram of the day. When it disappears from view, my crying, which had subsided, starts again. Further dehydration, and my water is gone. I no longer care about the promised National Parks passport. I no longer care about the gators, or our partner’s jokes, or even not having water. Everything has stopped mattering.

He decides to play Shrek on his phone, and so we walk for two hours listening to the entirety of Shrek in a strange sort of fever dream.

I text Christopher a few times, updating him on our ordeal. Please don’t die, he says. I tell him I’ll try not to.

At one point I send him this photo, when I couldn’t walk anymore, and our partner massaged my feet for a while:

So many times both of us stared at our smartwatches, counting miles, checking heart rates. Mine, never above 135 even when jogging for three miles straight, eventually reaches 150 and more or less stays there.

Strangely, near the end of the fourteen miles, I began to recover, while our partner was crashing. Nauseous at times, not really able to say much by the end. We made it to the car with just fifteen minutes to spare before being actually locked IN the park for the night (!!) The gift shop had closed –there went my reward! Ultimately I was promised I could have any toy as a treat, which really made up for it.

But to tell you the truth, something else happened as soon as we began to recover, and I mean even as we were driving home. We began to bask in the glory of our accomplishment. It was sort of exhilarating. We did something stupid, surely, that should not be repeated. Water is a requirement, so are hats (he didn’t have one) clothes that don’t chafe, and sunscreen.

But we also walked fourteen miles in five hours, a record for both of us. It sucked, but we didn’t feel as bad physically as we thought we would. And we ACTUALLY did it.

We also knew it was our max: another mile, perhaps another half mile, and I think we would have called emergency services. It really was that bad, you have to understand, it’s the heat. 90 degree weather, perhaps higher, with very high humidity. But that didn’t happen, thankfully.

By the next morning, I’d basically recovered (it took him about another day). But I was ready to walk again, and felt (and still feel) a strange, inexplicable urge to further punish my body in this manner. I’m not sure what to call this. I was miserable. Why do I crave this? Maybe I felt more alive than usual. I don’t know.

I do know we will not do something stupid like that again. But push ourselves like that, and further, in a smart and safe way? For sure. I said I couldn’t walk fourteen miles in the hot Florida sun, at noon and afternoon, in the Everglades, with little water, with no sunscreen. And I did it –we did it.

Who knows what else we can do? I really want to find that out.

May Keeps Rolling Along ๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿ’ฆ

Hi all! Happy Sunday! So… this happened last Sunday (actually it started before the weekend… it’s a long story) but it didn’t make it into last week’s post. However, it was pretty significant:

The already faulty motherboard in my iPad ended up taking a total dump. Actually, what this means is that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth no longer work, and fixing this is not an easy or economically sound thing to attempt. I can deal with no Wi-fi, but no Bluetooth means no Apple Pencil. So my very beloved iPad was kaput, now to be sold for parts.

Now I have a new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil 2. I am very grateful to have received a donation from a very generous and kind commissioner which I have turned into a commission credit for them. And my husband lent me the money for the balance. But it definitely caused a ton of stress and was kind of the…whatever the opposite of “highlight of this week” means, though I guess getting a new iPad is nice, in some ways I still preferred the old one. Especially the pencil.

That aside –let’s get on with the summary!

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Ian is here!! He’s smaller than I anticipated…

He perches perfectly next to my minis, though. I am pleased.

More scrapbooking supplies came in. I love, LOVE using playing cards to scrapbook.

Rosie will get comfy anywhere… she was purring tons.

๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Tuesday morning I went out for a walk and to get scrapbooking supplies. On the way back I had a little brunch at Colada:

With my new scrapbooking supplies I created a brand new scrapbook. Here are some WIP and final photos!

It’s โœจ shiny โœจ

This was a lot of fun, I can’t wait to fill it up!

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

Thursday was my ID appointment. I got my name change, and I finally became a registered voter! I can’t wait for my first chance to vote.

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

Saturday morning I went on a quick Walmart run. I finally found my Barbasol can!! And some Jurassic World surprise eggs! AND a mini pack! It had a T. rex inside.

I can’t believe I didn’t take photos of this, but Saturday was my playdate with my friend Shelly! I set up the playroom again, and we had dino nuggets for lunch (Jurassic World, of course!):

We colored with crayons, watched Bambi and Disney’s Dinosaur, played board games, and then Shelly’s partner came over. We had burgers, drank, and played Mario Party. It was tons of fun and I can’t wait for them to visit again!

Oh yeah –in the morning my way, WAY delayed Giga order arrived… he’s very cute (and BIG):

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

Today I gave an attempt at making my own aรงaรญ bowl! It didn’t turn out perfect, but it was good.

I also installed my new iPad skin and added the wallpaper to match. I love it! Now my new iPad Pro is all my own.

And that’s it for this week! I’m slowly beginning to catch up.

Back To Normal ๐ŸŒž

Happy Sunday, everyone! Time for yet another week’s recap. All of this week I felt very overwhelmed. There is so much to do… I don’t know how I can ever catch up… but I guess eventually I’ll manage it. Anyway, let’s get to what happened this week!

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Monday was Mwako’s last day with us. We went out to breakfast and shopping one final time, and then he was off to the airport.

At Publix he sneakily got this Jurassic World Dominion shopping bag that he surprised me with before leaving… I love it!

We did one final Target stop, where I finally caved and got the Ankylosaurus that I’d picked up and put back on the shelf three times prior. At home, he quickly made friends with Bumpy!

Also at Target, I found this awesome coloring book of Turning Red. It has wonderful illustrations and activities –stickers, too!

I also got another Highlights Hidden Pictures book. I love these so much. The old-timey pen and ink illustrations give me life!

The last lovely find was this little gliding Bowser Jr.! Isn’t he adorable?

For dinner we had salmon. And that was that for Monday. I don’t have anything to share until Thursday because I was just so busy.

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

For Thursday I have a few odds-and-ends. Firstly, I installed the bird feeder that my mom in law gave to me, and added a cob of corn for good measure:

Also –this is older, but I only photographed it today. It’s a very gently used The Lost World: Jurassic Park baby triceratops figure by Kenner:

Brand new, this can go well over a hundred dollars. She came out of the box and with no egg, but she was only $25… so I am happy.

Also, I hung my little Bowser Jr. from the studio ceiling so he looks like he’s gliding!

Today our partner and I released some ladybugs to fight the aphids in our brand new almond bush. The ladybugs were exposed to the heat for too long on the way to us, but most of them revived and immediately went to work:

Later in the afternoon, at the insistence of friends, I took a break to play some Pokรฉmon Sword and have a snack:

I drank another of my Good2Grow Podz, this one is a baby T. rex, so cute!

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

Saturday was stressful. Kotoko has been vomiting, sometimes a little pink (meaning there was blood, at least once). We’ve been in constant contact with our vet, and finally at her advice we brought her in. Kotoko was a very good girl, as always.

Multiple tests were done and we will see what the results say, for now we have special foods and nausea meds. Hopefully it is nothing serious.

In the evening, the three of us went out to dinner. We ate at El Balcรณn De Las Americas. It was a good place, we will go there again. Since we were a bilingual table, our very nice waiter gave us a bilingual dessert:

Later that night I decided to dress Grover up in pajamas, since all he ever does is sleep with me anyway:

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Sunday I went on a little date with our partner while Christopher rested and enjoyed some solitude. He couldn’t get us out the door fast enough, but I think he would have enjoyed this place were it not for the heat. We went to the Yellow Green Farmers Market. The best thing was the smells –like fair food stalls on steroids! We had carne a la vara, with arepas. It was awesome.

The people at this stall could use some help spelling, but it was pretty hilarious:

A lot of people bring their dogs here. This pupper was at a stall that sold… either carved wood items of some sort, or candles, or both. I forget.

He or she was in fact a good guard dog, but only as far as other puppers were concerned. I could get this close without any sort of reaction! If any dogs got anywhere in sight though (even far off!) this pupper would perk up and bark fiercely… without ever leaving his or her little perch. ๐Ÿ˜

Anyway, that was a lovely time. I’m really treasuring the memories made. ๐Ÿ’•

Mwako’s Here! ๐Ÿฆ๐ŸŒˆ

Hello, everyone! First of all, I want to apologize for my absence/commission delay which I hinted at but did not fully explain. Being sick three times (never COVID but always sucky) having a weekend-long Easter visit with family, an almost week-long visit of my dear friend Mwako during which time I did not work at all, dealing with important travel paperwork AND having my period on top of it all, meant that no commission work got done whatsoever.

I am now back at the tablet and getting things done, so you all will be getting your WIPS and/or finished pieces over the next few days. But before that –here’s this week’s summary!

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Monday was a special day. It was the Jurassic World Dominion street date for the new toys! Christopher and I made a deal: I could spend up to $200, and anything I purchased would be set aside for my birthday and Christmas. This suited me fine! I went to Target and Walmart and came back with a cart full of things. ๐Ÿ˜ Although, the new displays were not out at Target, a very nice employee got me everything I wanted from the back.

I also passed by Five Below on the way back and scored a few nice Super Mario finds!

A Super Mario Easter egg and Mario Kart UNO cards! The UNO cards I plan to use for scrapbooking. I loved that the puzzle below had Bowser Jr. in it!

It was otherwise a quiet, busy day, prepping the house, doing chores, and drawing.

๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Tuesday, it was more and more prepping. I had a lot to do. But I did take some time to myself in the morning, walked to the mall, had a snack there, and bought some pins to decorate my new Galactic Pal bags:

๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Wednesday I was up at 5:00am to finish prepping the playroom. It took more work than you imagine, simple though it looks (lots of lugging stuff downstairs, plus putting the mat together, moving furniture, building the tent –tricky on my own) but I think the end result turned out really nice!

The couch looked cozy…

Stuff for outdoor play!

Ricky Parky had not been down to play in quite some time!

Tomoyo was really interested in all the toys…

At least she couldn’t bite this. She definitely tried to bite other things.

I used my travel pillow as a chair for Cookie:

Everywhere you looked it was colorful and full of toys and things to do, games to play, books to color…

Out of the Jurassic World Dominion release, there were a couple of cheaper dinos that I bought for myself so I wouldnโ€™t have to wait to play with them, such as this cute Imaginext gal. Sheโ€™s really expressive! You can move her up and down and side to side by the tail, open and close her mouth, and change her facial expression! Her arms move too!

Coloring books and games…

I love this Jurassic World version of TOMY’s classic Pirate Pop-Up game!

My new T. rex friend was looking for trouble…

Here’s Ricky all ready to โ€œpretendโ€ camp indoors!

Bluey was ready to welcome Mwako, too!

Crayons!! ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

More friends and fun things to do! ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿš‚ Socks was a little surprise gift for Mwako.

On Mwako’s first night with us, we went to Blue Ginger, a fancy sushi restaurant where the food is served in little floating boats. It was wonderful, I was so happy we got to go because it’s one of Christopher’s favorite places that we can so rarely afford, and Mwako treated us all.

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Thursday we took Mwako to my (currently) favorite park, Marhham Park. I picked a very colorful outfit, and brought Cookie along on her first outing:

First we did a quick Starbucks run for breakfast at the house.

Cookie tried her first cake pop!

Once at the park it was time to explore. I love this place, with its pine-needle covered floors. It looks kind of otherwordly in places. The more I explore Florida the more I find beauty I didn’t know it had.

Here’s a couple of pics I got of me and Mwako:

It was overall a super nice time. I did at one point get chased by a few bees and really panicked and ran for a long, long stretch, leaving Mwako and my partner well, WELL behind. Later they told me that as I did that, they heard what had to have been a gator jumping into the water, mere feet from us. They said it definitely sounded like something bigger than a grown man.

What makes that a bit scary is that on recent Googling I found out a woman was attacked by a gator during a jog at this same park. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was that same area. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I guess it’s a good thing that I was running!

Anyway, I’ve been doing stops at Walmart/Target/Dollar Tree/etc, and here are some finds. First, a couple of Uncaged Wild Pop-Ups:

A couple of super cute cups from the dollar store, Berenstain Bears and Arthur-themed:

And some Jurassic Wold stickers:

๐ŸŒˆ Friday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Friday, we went to Butterfly World. This is truly the perfect time of the year to go! The amount of butterflies was off the chart, like stepping into a fairy tale world.

First, here’s an all-butterfly set of photos. They were just so pretty.

A cute caterpillar friend!

The birds here are very tame and friendly:

This one was taking a little bath:

This one was… feeling territorial?

I didn’t know canaries ate lettuce, did you?

This little guy was tucking in for a nap. ๐Ÿ˜Š

In the museum and insect area, the moths were my favorite, but everything was beautiful and interesting:

Here’s a wriggly mealworm. These guys are small, but they can bite! If they didn’t I might want to have them as pets.

We bought a couple of plants before leaving. An almond bush which was part of the reason behind the trip, and a mimosa plant as a gift for our dear Christopher. ๐Ÿฅฐ After Butterfly World, we went back to the house to play some games in the playroom I’d set up.

We played the T. rex pop-up game first. It was lots of fun! I jumped every time. ๐Ÿ˜…

Then we played Yeti In My Spaghetti for a while, before it was time to set the table for our burger dinner.

I had special fancy dino paper plates for the occasion! I had to get another one though because someone spilled his drink all over me and my T. rex… ๐Ÿ˜‘

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

Let’s start this day with a photo of Tomoyo, laying elegantly as she does:

Mwako continued to humor me by driving me to Targets so I could look for more Jurassic World Dominion stuff. So in the morning we were off, first breakfast at Starbucks and then to Target.

I was very excited at this particular Target because it was my first time finally seeing a Dominion display!

Some neat things I saw (but didn’t buy) were this Pokรฉmonย themed Labyrinth game by Ravensburger and this Jeep Wrangler R/C car, Jurassic World themed. I was really tempted by the car… ๐Ÿ˜…

Ultimately, I came home with this super cute Elmo backpack and Jurassic World Dominion set of minis, both of which Mwako was kind enough to treat me to:

Once home, it was time to move on to some backyard fun! Well… back porch fun. We blew some bubbles, for starters, but I don’t have photos of that. It was fun, though. Ricky sat and watched, it had been a while since he came out to play, as I mentioned:

New T. rex was excited to get into the chalk so we quickly moved on to that.

Playing with chalk was so much fun. I never got to do this as a kid, believe it or not. Chalk was something we only had at school, and colored chalk? What is that, anyway? So, silly though it may seem, this made me really happy.

Ricky Parky had a blast too!

The cats were very curious about the chalk, smelling it, rolling in it, and just being generally very interested and wanting to be involved in our playtime.

Rosie was arguably the most interested of all:

I tried drawing Mwako, a snail and a subrosian for Christopher (that one ended up being my favorite):

I also drew one of our house “soots”:

Mwako did a pretty spiffy job of drawing Stitch!

After that it started to sprinkle, so we went back inside to continue our fun.

A pause for more Tomoyo, this time giving me a half-hearted but playful air-swat:

Time to play some more! First some Jenga…

We each had a cute snack. Since today was special, I picked one of my Good2Grow Podz. Grogu is so cute!

I had my veggie chips in my Bluey bowl, not that you can tell…

The movie for the evening was Brother Bear, an old favorite. It’d been a while since I last saw it. We colored with crayons while watching and just had a nice time.

After the movie, Mwako, my partners and I all went to mini golf. That was a lot of fun to do late in the evening! They closed just as we left.

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

Today, Sunday, was the last day with activities, since Mwako is leaving tomorrow.

I opened my minis in the morning while having some quiet time to myself. They are so cute!

Look at that adorable tiny carnie, a perfect little chonk:

Being time for another outing, I got dressed up, new backpack and all:

I picked Dusty to accompany me today:

We took Mwako to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park today. This was a lovely setting to take photos of Dusty in, just like Marham Park with Cookie:

Here are some random pics without Dusty in them. Of course I still have to add stickers.

Here’s Mwako looking super cute in the outfit I picked for him to wear. Pink looks great on him, I think!

Our time at the park was fun but exhausting because it was so hot. Once we got back home and freshened up, we sat down to have some “kiddy time” again. First we laid down the Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It! board game:

It’s a high quality game, with a massive board and very cute pieces:

It’s a collaborative game, either all players win, or the “pigs” win. We enjoyed it, and it certainly has lots of replayability.

At some point, I don’t remember when, I ate this cute chocolate Easter sheep:

After the board game, we played with blocks. It may seem silly, but don’t knock it til you try it. With LEGO, you still have to “think”. There’s something incredibly relaxing about playing with big-ass blocks. Once you let go, all your adult worries melt away, if only for a little bit.

I “play” in a bit more of a conventional manner, making “houses” for my Thomas The Tank Engine Mega Blok figures:

In you go:

Incidentally, I was wearing my bear kigu. It really helps put me in a certain kind of mood when I play with toys such as these. ๐Ÿป

Mwako, for his part, is far more chaotic, creating some impressive (and sometimes slightly frightening) creatures:

This here has to be one of my favorite photos of this visit…

HE COMIN’

We drank as we played and ended our evening in the little tent, just laughing and kinda pouring our hearts out to each other in a tipsy haze. This ended up being the most memorable portion of the week for me. It was such a lovely end to the visit, and left me feeling much closer to my beloved friend of now quite a few years, and looking forward to another visit later this year.

I know this was a very long post. If you read it all, I’m so grateful! Hope it was enjoyable. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Li’l Lion Visit Prep ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿผ

I’m really, really excited! My friend Mwako is going to be visiting really soon, in under two days, and we’re going to have all sorts of kiddy fun together. I want him to have a super good time and feel really small, so, to that end, I’ve been buying lots of games and toys and fun things. I want to share some of what I’m planning on this post, both because I’m bad at surprises and because I’m so hyped.

(Plus, most of these things can and will also be used on other play dates. I’m really excited to share them with other friends too.)

One of the things I’m most excited about is this game, because the board is really big!

Also, since (weather permitting) we are all but guaranteed to go to the park, I got these scavenger hunt cards to send my little lion pal on an age-appropriate quest to find things. ๐Ÿ˜

I also got a Search & Find book for us to have quiet fun together –Bluey themed, of course!

Since I have my big dinosaur coloring book, for him I got a Bluey one. Maybe I’m getting too many Bluey things… ๐Ÿ˜ฅ I hope not, lol. I hope he likes them. In any case, it’s hard not to feel small when you’re coloring pages this big with giant crayons!

Here’s a couple more games I got. a TOMY Pop-Up T-Rex (official Jurassic World version!) which is a new take on the old Pop-Up Pirate that many of you will be familiar with:

I also got giant UNO cards for us to play with, two decks because it tends to work better for our family when we use two. Guaranteed to make you feel small!

We will also have the sidewalk chalk we didn’t get to use on his last visit. And, of course, bubble wands!

And this isn’t even the half of it, but there’s stuff that I want to photograph when it is all put together creating a super kiddy atmosphere so I won’t spoil any more. I am just so excited to host my friend and play together, and go to Butterfly World and the beach and maybe mini golf and more!

Welcome, April! ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒˆโ˜”

Happy April, everyone! Boy, this was one stressful week, but it did have good moments regardless. Not only was our house painted this week, but we cleaned the back porch (a grueling task every time as you might recall) I was on my period for half the week, had to do our taxes, go to an appointment at the Social Security Administration office, I visited my mom to celebrate her birthday, and went on a couple of outings with my husband and our partner.

This is my sorry face

So if you are among the multiple people I’ve left on read these past few days… I am so sorry, and you are still on my mind, and not forgotten… it’s been a heck of a week… I’ll be catching up with messages as the week rolls on.

I also played a lot of Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ (I’m on Cantarella’s story right now) and we are watching Tenchi Muyo so I felt the above GIF was appropiate. ^_^

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Monday was fairly quiet. I worked on commissions and did housework, but was a bit subdued due to my period. Our house began to be prepped for painting on this day.

For lunch, I made toasted rice balls for our partner and I. He’d never had them before.

Got to use my new Bluey plate, cutlery and bowl, so that made me happy.

And speaking of Bluey –here is a coloring book I got recently:

The pages are kinda thin, so I’ll just scan and reprint on thicker paper when I want to color it. This is actually how I preserve most of my coloring books, including many vintage ones!

๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Tuesday was the Social Security appointment (for my name change). It went smoothly, other than the security guard at the entrance being so intimidating towards everyone, especially older people who could not understand English nor understand what was going on. Even though inside plenty of signage indicates accommodating if you need an interpreter, the officer was aggressive and angry towards these poor mostly Latin people who barely spoke English and were so confused and even frightened by his demeanor. ๐Ÿ˜ 

Once that was done, I walked to Target. I saw these traffic cones on the way that grass had grown right through. Seems the grass around them was mowed without the cones being moved a few times. I thought it looked interesting enough for a picture:

By the time I got home, a lot of progress had been done on the house painting. Here is a before and after at that point in time (I’ll have a final update next week):

I didn’t have much time to admire the house. I had to finish all my chores, and pack, and then our partner drove me to my mom’s. She and I went to dinner pretty soon after I got there to celebrate her birthday:

I had primavera pizza! It’s my favorite because it has egg:

Once we got home, my mom opened her birthday present. Christopher bought her a laptop (her computer was ANCIENT). She was really happy –Sweeney tested it immediately! Meanwhile, Shampoo enjoyed laying on a crinkly paper bag. To each their own.

๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Wednesday was my mom and I’s usual peaceful morning of TV, mate, and conversation. I also drew and played a bit of Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ here and there.

Gumdrop had his first taste of mate!

My mom had a really big surprise for me! She was able to find my favorite childhood cookies, which I have not had for over twenty years!

They have zodiac signs on them:

A close similar cookie was Pepperidge Farm’s chessmen chocolate cookies, but I think they were discontinued in my area a long time ago. I can’t find them anywhere anymore. Anyway, my mom got me like three bags of these, so that was a wonderful surprise!

For Wednesday night dinner, my mom made fries (my favorite)!

As if that weren’t enough, she made a legit Argentinean bizcochuelo for dessert, another big treat. The mix was yet another childhood favorite that she was able to acquire recently through a shopping service.

After dinner, my guys picked me up. At home I had yet another wonderful surprise waiting for me! At first I couldn’t find Yoshi anywhere and I was sure our partner had hidden him or placed him in some sort of unfortunate situation, as he tends to do to my toys. But Yoshi turned out to be waiting for me on my desk, and he was holding the Limited Run visual novel I’ve been begging Christopher for!

It’s The House In Fata Morgana. I’ve heard many good things about it.

That, and watching TV and cuddling all together, made for a wonderful end to my day.

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

I forgot to share this other surprise my mom gave me during my visit! Last time she got me the Mafalda figure and magazine. This time it was Manolito:

On Thursday I walked to Target to pick up an online order. I wanted to get one of these dino clickers, mostly as a desk fidget toy. His head and legs click when you move them. He’s really cute.

For date night, I made another massive snack spread, while the guys continued playing Kirby and I watched. Didn’t get quite so drunk on this day, but it was still a nice time.

Also, on this day, more engines arrived!

They are so, SO well made, utterly perfect in every way! I received Thomas, Percy, Gordon, and my favorite boy, James!

The facial expressions are great; Percy’s in particular is hilarious:

I wish they’d given James his angry face, but I love them all.

Can’t wait to get my hands on Henry, and Cranky when they remake him too.

๐ŸŒˆ Friday ๐ŸŒˆ

Since we had our date night in on Thursday, Friday was our day out. First we went out to ramen!

The atmosphere outside was spooky. Not only was it rainy, but the Everglades were on fire, and you could clearly see the smoke amidst the clouds. Our car was covered in ash!

After lunch we went to Monster MiniGolf. It was really fun! We took this photo of one of the animatronics:

I don’t even know who won. I just know it wasn’t me and I had lots of fun. Before going home, we passed by Dollar Tree, where I got a couple of Arthur puzzles, a giant dinosaur coloring book, and a velvet dino coloring stand:

I also got a little bandana for my Grogu:

Then we went home to bed and watched TV for ages, it was very cozy. ๐Ÿฅฐ

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

Saturday was exhausting. I did lots of chores, and helped a bit with the porch cleaning (I did a bigger amount of that yesterday, but on Friday our partner did most of the remaining cleaning). Then I put all the furniture back. It looks wonderful, even if it was a lot of work:

I also redecorated the litter box area a bit. ๐Ÿ˜ธ Some things still need to be hung back up (a lot was taken down due to the painting) but there’s only so much time in a single week…

The porch and chores such as laundry basically took my entire day, but I was able to relax a little in the evening.

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Sunday our partner and I went on a little solo date, it’s not a common occurrence since we generally prefer to do everything the three of us together, but Christopher had been desperately craving some alone time to just veg at home without us being our usual obnoxious selves around him. ๐Ÿ˜…

We went to the Perez Art Museum Miami, and to Wynwood for lunch and a little ice cream. We saw some cool stuff but I didn’t get any photos other than these:

After that we were on a quest to find fancy soaps, which we didn’t find, but I got these cool crayons:

Then I made dinner and we just relaxed. That was the end to a week that was at times fun, at times stressful, but good overall, as most weeks have been lately. There’s a lot of love in our home and I feel very lucky, even if things are hectic sometimes and it seems like we never stop doing things. ๐Ÿ˜Š

BBQ Sunday!

This was a super productive Sunday! I got art done, lots of housework, progress on a book chapter, and even got some gaming in. All the while, since noon, the house was imbued with the smell of BBQ pork being cooked in the smoker on the porch. It was heavenly! The pork cooked for, I think, about nine hours? It was a lot of work. I myself don’t have the patience to baby meat for that long, but I admit I really enjoyed the results of my partners’ hard work. ๐Ÿ˜

I’m still trying to get through Sholmรจs’ route. I’m so done with this fandisc, lol. But I want to finish it.

There was also homemade mac ‘n cheese, with which I helped a little. It was pretty decadent.

The meat was literally falling apart, it was incredible.

Had a little wine with it too! After waiting and smelling it for so many hours we were dying to eat. Tomorrow night we are having it again, but on tacos!

It was another lovely evening. Most of all, I was glad that I got some book progress in.

Summary Of The Last Few Days! ๐Ÿคง๐Ÿ„๐ŸŒˆ

Hello everyone, it’s time for the weekly update. As I’ve stated on Twitter, these past days I wake up and after my coffee and news reading it feels so frivolous to do my chores, work on art, or on my blog, or play with the cats. I feel so utterly guilty to have my privileged peaceful existence, for no reason other than luck.

I hope itโ€™s not inappropriate to continue sharing happy mundane things or cutesy art. Iโ€™m not trying to be callous, but I also want to continue recording my daily life, making art, and hopefully making people smile if I can.

Before I move on with my nonsense, I want to share this link with you. It is a C|NET article with information on how to help Ukrainian refugees and others affected by Russia’s unprovoked, cruel attack, it also lists the Charity Navigator ranking of each of these charities. I encourage you to take a look and help in any way that you are able.

A lot of things happened this week. Firstly, I spent most of the week sick. Well, sort of. I hadn’t been sick all of this time, since COVID began, and finally caught Christopher’s latest head cold. So I had a bit of a sore throat and sinus pain and LOTS of sniffling and sneezing but otherwise felt 100% okay, which may sound weird, but generally my colds/coughs/etc are awful, usually bad enough (if attacking my chest) that I need to see a doctor due to infection that will linger up to two months. It has been quite bad on occasion. My last illness was strep throat which was an absolute nightmare… so this was a walk in the park really.

Still, I was in bed a bit more than usual. Tomoyo kept me company.

Recently I’ve been taking more and more walks with one of my partners, definitely a highlight of the days on which we do. My walks are generally very utilitarian… burn this many calories, move on with my day. These walks are now more leisurely, engaged in conversation and looking at little things. Burning less calories I suppose, but it’s pretty good for my mental well-being.

Here is a moth we spotted on one recent such walk. It was very big:

๐Ÿ’˜ Tomoyo ๐Ÿ’˜

Tomoyo has been sweet, staying near me lots. Her asthma continues to be an issue. I try to give her as much affection and attention as I can. Here are some photos I took of her spending time near me while I work…

And a photo/some video from the studio floor…

Turn sound up for cute sounds. She scared herself somehow.

At one point I tried taking a couple of selfies with her. She did not cooperate, this was the best I was able to get.

๐ŸŒณ Park Walk ๐ŸŒณ

Later in the week we went to walk around C. B. Smith Park. I hadn’t been there in a while. We saw some cute Muscovy duckies…

They were very friendly. Next time I’ll bring some healthy seeds or frozen peas to feed them.

They had a bit of an argument at one point…

Here’s a little flower we spotted while chasing iguanas, and just a nice view of the side of a bridge we crossed:

Big mushrooms!

And little ones…

I found my first geocache at C. B. Smith. Though we search together he always finds them first. So I was excited to finally find one, I’m really not very good at finding them yet.

Afterwards I got treated to an acai bowl, it’s one of my new favorite things, especially after a long, hot walk such as this one!

๐ŸŽฎ Variable Barricade ๐ŸŽฎ

Variable Barricade released this week! To the backlog it goes… but slowly I am resuming “normal life”, and expect to enter a proper gaming schedule soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is something I really want to do in a serious manner… I love gaming and just cannot find the time. I need to create an actual structure within which to do so, or else I’ll have invested hundreds of dollars in games I do not allow myself to play because work seems too important by comparison.

๐Ÿ• Date Night Pizza Dinner ๐Ÿ•

For date night this week, we finally went to Mister O1. We tried last date night but the wait was too long. It was pretty good. Simple as it was, the appetizer was my favorite.

We ate outside. It’s really nice to do that for a change.

๐Ÿ‘ฝ Smoke Shop Trip ๐Ÿ‘ฝ

Another day this week I got to visit a smoke shop. I don’t smoke but they have so many cool and hilarious things, such as this E.T. offering free condoms:

And these adorable Grogu pipes, which I just had to photograph to show my sis-in-law:

๐Ÿ„ More Park Walks ๐Ÿ„

Friday was my favorite day this week. Our normal walk ended up feeling more like a long date. ๐Ÿฅฐ We went to two parks, one which I’d been one (Secret Woods Nature Center) and one to which I had not (Topeekeegee Yugnee Park).

Secret Woods Nature Center is always lovely, shaded, with lots of little things to see, including many tiny crabs and spiders.

It’s a very magical-feeling place. When you’re there, all the noise from the city and traffic mere steps away seems to just fade into nothing.

(CW: SPIDER ahead.)

One of the many leggy friends we came across…

On the way to the second park, a huge plane flew right over us. I was able to get some cool pics:

Next came what really was the best part of all! Topeekeegee Yugnee Park was FULL of squirrels. Never seen so many in one place.

This time I’d brought a baggie with healthy treats for them: raw unsalted peanuts, seeds, etc. Not too much, just enough to have the pleasure of feeding them for a bit. They were shy, but soon I was surrounded, it was wonderful.

There were birds too, trying to steal all the seeds, and they were fast. So I had to be quick, too, to help the squirrels get some, because they feared the aggressive birds.

Here’s some video of that. Pesky things… I do like the birds too, but I wish they shared better!

And one more video of squirrel feeding. Forgive my dumbass voice, I was so excited.

Here’s a couple more photos of this lovely place:

Anyway, yeah, this was an utterly wonderful experience. I want to come again as soon as possible.

One last super cool thing. A geocache we found. It was a hole in a tree and the stopper was stuck of a piece of bark! Incredibly well done.

Iโ€™ve made sure not to identify the specific park or location, so hopefully itโ€™s okay to share this photo, I just thought it was fascinating. I would have never found this by myself!

๐Ÿฅž๐Ÿ“ Saturday Morning Pancakes ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿฅž

This has become a bit of a thing, by which I mean that I beg for pancakes every Saturday morning and for the last three weeks, it has happened.

This time we added chocolate chips, and whipped cream, and the best strawberries I’ve had in months/years. It was delicious!

๐ŸŽธ Saturday Night Outing ๐ŸŽธ

Saturday night we all went out together. We went to Ra Sushi first, a restaurant I’ve always wanted to eat at. It was a good time as it always is when I am in such wonderful company, but man, service was S L O W, and my ramen was literally the worst I have ever, ever had.

BUT! The drinks were very good. I had three mojitos and some sake. I spilled one of my mojitos but it was almost empty. I was not very steady for the rest of the evening. ๐Ÿ™ˆ

After dinner we went to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, where we had some alcoholic ice cream…