Category Archives: Trains

A Magical Saturday 🥩✨

Today is finally over. It was an incredible, wonderful day! Christopher and I are both so exhausted we can hardly move or think straight. We had a lovely time with our friend doing all sorts of fun things, but I don’t think what we were doing mattered that much, just that we were together.

We really missed the sorts of days we’ve been having. I think we both thought at times maybe days like these were gone permanently. And, the exact way these days used to be, is in fact gone. Things change, those are memories. But I think these are even happier days and happier memories. I want to make so many more.

My day was off to a good start right from the get-go. I took my walk and came across a squirrel friend who had a big nut:

After my walk I did all my chores and changed into the outfit I prepared for today. I felt pretty cute in it.

Then I played Legend of Mana and worked on today’s warm-up while we waited for our friend to arrive to spend the day with us. Christopher also showed me a bunch of fun YouTube videos and we enjoyed that little time together.

Finally our friend was there and we headed out to a train store I’d long wanted to take Christopher to, but it was shut down for COVID until recently. I brought Heidi along today!

The train place certainly was fun, I took a lot of pictures:

They had a bunch of Thomas items but no Thomas Wood or Thomas Wooden Railway. However, these O-Gauge of James made my heart leap. I wish I could have bought either of them, I just love James so much.

But, I’ll always have my little wooden James, the first train Christopher ever bought me, on our outing to the train museum, and he will always be very special to me.

After the train store, our friend took us to a French place he knew well. It had a lovely atmosphere and the food was amazing (in particular, the cheese plate we started with) but service was rather poor. They were having a party, and it slowed things down to the point that we didn’t get our cheese plate until the 35 minute mark, maybe longer? And our main meal 15 minutes after that or so. We were so desperately hungry by then.

I forget what I ate… some sort of crépe. It was good and that’s all that matters.

After this, we went to the house to hang out a little. Christopher napped while we checked the needed ingredients for dinner. Then we woke him up and dragged him out with us to shop for what we were missing.

I helped my best with dinner, while Christopher and our friend took care of the meat –the hard part– and some other stuff. I prepared rice (poorly, Christopher had to save it) and made pretty good chimichurri.

The picaña was amazing:

Here it is served with the rice and beans:

And a final photo of it by itself (no Heidi) for good measure. It was so good, I can’t post just one!

I am WAY too full. But, my heart is also full. I feel so loved and looked after, and so happy. In a little bit I’m gonna be watching anime with Christopher while we cuddle, and then I’ll be falling asleep with these warm happy feelings. Tomorrow I’ll wake up full of energy and start the day with my walk… then the lawn… then some art. It’s a good life lately.

Happy Thursday! 🐦🌞

Today I was up by 6:00am. It felt great and I think I’ll do it again tomorrow! I mowed the lawn, showered, and changed into the outfit I prepared for today:

Then I went to Target, where I got new sheets for the guest bed since Christopher has been complaining about them. I also got a couple of pairs of tights and a skirt.

Once I got home I worked on chores, gift art, and commissions. I also exercised even more and watched my food intake pretty well today so there’s that. I’m trying to finish my allotted amount of water, too.

These I got yesterday at the dollar store, but forgot to post them:

Tonight is date night so we’re going to play with our “big kid” trains. Well, “big kid” compared to the above. 😁

Mwako’s ’21 Visit 🦁 Day One

My dear friend Mwako arrived today! He’s visiting for a few days. The last time was a couple of years ago. Normally, unless something happens, I see Mwako once a year, either at a convention or when he visits here or sometimes both at once. But with Covid, it’s been a while.

It’s always a lot of fun when Mwako comes but for this visit in particular, I’ve got a lot of Little activities planned for us to do together. I’m really looking forward to that.

I was very busy all morning –chores and commissions– but here is the outfit I picked for today:

After I finished my chores, Mwako and I went grocery shopping. I hadn’t been to Walmart in a while. I saw a really cool dinosaur in the toy area which I may have to get my hands on later… 👉👈

When Christopher got home, the three of us played with our trains and watched Thomas The Tank Engine. That was a lot of fun.

At some point I left them and went to make dinner. I made teriyaki chicken rice bowls with avocado on the side. I tried to make Mwako’s area as Little-feeling as possible.

Tomorrow we will start off on our adventures. I’m sure I’ll have tons of photos to post, so look forward to that!

Train Time 🚂

Here, have a train photo dump! After a month of playing, this is our setup before being dismantled. I’m sure we will make another in the future, but for now we need the space. This takes a LOT of room. 😅

Nothing else to add, really… just wanted to share the photos. Oh yeah, and it turns out our three new battery powered engines (Percy, Diesel and Thomas) are actually not compatible with other brands of track. So I’m trying to decide whether to modify or sell them. 🤔

The Weekend’s Treasures ✨🦕🚂

Good morning everyone! I’m still doing lots of things… even more laundry, still unpacking, very busy… I did say I would make an additional post to share my new treasures and souvenirs, so here we go! In no particular order…

These are the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway goodies we snagged. Three battery operated engines! Diesel, Percy and Thomas. Very happy with these finds!

Then, as you can see, we got a few “destinations”. A water tower, a search light, a quarry mine tunnel and a winter fuel station!

The store had a lovely friendly attendant who surprised me with a cute little doodle of Thomas when we went to the register to pay! 🥰

Here are some goodies from The Sound Exchange in Tampa Bay. We found a brand new record of the music from Tales From The Crypt (which we are currently binging!) a Laserdisc featuring How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Horton Hears a Who, and another of the Dead Poets Society.

Something else they had at the Sound Exchange was old books and magazines. I decided to take this one, from 1966, partly because it had some pages about dinosaurs.

It’s an interesting little magazine, with lovely illustrations. It was one hundred percent brand new, as it must have looked the day it was made.

Continuing the dinosaur topic, we visited Mojo Books & Records across the street from our hotel. This is actually a place we visited on our second anniversary trip. We loved it then and now! I decided to look for more dinosaur books, because why not. I found a few:

They are all beautiful, but my favorite is the first one (The New Dinosaurs). The biggest book, The Prehistoric World Of The Dinosaur, had a child’s drawing inside:

I almost discarded it, and perhaps eventually I will, but Christopher pointed out that some kid loved dinosaurs and this book so much, that he carefully drew them and placed the drawing inside. Thinking that, it felt wrong to remove it.

And now, let me share the best part, which is my haul(s) from Dinosaur World! One haul wasn’t enough… Christopher took me back on Saturday. He really indulged me all weekend long. 😁💕

First off there are these tiny, tiny books! About the size of my hand. Little stories about dinosaurs.

I got a visor and a tie-dye shirt! 🌈✨

I found a wonderful foam dino in the same general vein as Mojito and Fuit Gummy, but a completely different color and pose. I think he will make a great friend for them! I’m calling him Churrasco.

I also got this medal which I will hang from my cork memory board:

And a few more odds and ends; a patch (also for my cork board, at least for now) a pencil case and a rubber bracelet:

They had so many beautiful statues… it was really very hard to pick what to buy. I ended up getting this little guy:

And this beautiful… beautiful, massive gal… The jewel of everything I got this weekend. I adore her. I could go on, but I’ll leave you to look at the photos:

And that’s it! There are a few things that stayed in my mind as “wish I’d gotten that” but I had to stop somewhere. 😅 One was a foam triceratops that I didn’t buy at the store where we got the Thomas stuff. I looked for it online, and all I could find is that it’s by a brand called Best Choice and is out of stock everywhere. Another was a raptor lamp at the Dinosaur World, and a lenticular print, also from there… but I’m sure if I’d gotten these things, there would be something else I regretted leaving behind. So it’s alright. 😁

I do wish Christopher had found more things he liked, but he didn’t really. We both had a good time, though.

Anyway that’s all for my trip, I have to go grocery shopping now. Hope your week is off to a great start!

Anniversary Trip: Day 2 (And Home Again) 💕🚂

Here’s the second day summary of our wonderful anniversary getaway! We were up pretty early. I was excited to wear the outfit I had planned for today.

It was my cheeky Thomas sweatshirt, a brand new blue plaid skirt, my black boots with new black rainbow socks, and my Thomas backpack. Oh, and my Doctor Who scarf. I wished I could get a full OOTT photo but there was no full-body mirror in the room, so I got a regular selfie.

And a photo of the rest of the outfit, like this:

Then I got Coffee Cake out of his little sleeping bag and had breakfast while I waited for Christopher to be ready.

Soon we were on our way. We stopped to get breakfast first, but due to COVID (understandably… I guess? this really could have been done better while still keeping things safe) the “free, all inclusive” breakfast buffet was, err, interesting:

Leaving the “buffet”, we went to the train show. Coffee Cake continued to enjoy the views afforded to him:

The train show was a collection of extremely elderly people selling extremely old trains in a packed, very rickety church room. I didn’t get any video or photos here, but they had a cute little display with a train running and the guy controlling it would make chocolate eggs jump up into the air with a loud POP! that really startled me and made me yell “what the hell” inside a church, but I’m a heathen now so that’s okay. The train popped three eggs. 🐣

After that, we went what was supposed to be the highlight of this trip, HR Trains & Toys, Inc:

This was followed by Zitnik Trains. Both were a letdown, for a few reasons. We’d been to HR Trains’ original location on our second anniversary trip, and while we didn’t buy anything, it was a huge highlight of our trip, and the seed for my interest in wooden track trains was planted then and there. But it seemed too silly, I suppose; I thought Christopher’s main interest were the HO scale and such. I had no idea then how much the liked the wooden ones.

By the time we visited again, HR Trains had been sold and moved to a new, smaller location, that did not have the magic or size of the original. In particular, the wooden track area was sad and minuscule, most its space taken by an old guy in an office chair, making it difficult and embarrassing for me to peruse anything without being in extremely close quarters with him. I saw some items I liked, but was so annoyed and generally let down, that we didn’t buy anything here either.

Other than that though, we enjoyed looking around the store, in particular I had fun looking at the G scale trains. Zitnik trains was smaller and less interesting, so I don’t have much else to say about that. We found no wooden track stuff at all there.

💂 Jack’s London Grill 💂

Then it was lunch time. I’d picked a place called Jack’s London Grill for our itinerary, and here was another highlight. This was an AMAZING place, the chef was from Surrey in England and the food was genuine and superior in taste, texture and presentation.

I had a pear cider, bangers and mash (well, one banger and mash –I asked for the lunch-sized portion) and a puff pastry stuffed with hot melted brie. For dessert, we ordered bread pudding.

Everything I ate was incredible. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I guess I’d pick the bread pudding because it was so different. Christopher had Shepherd’s Pie:

I took this next photo after asking him to smile properly. In his defense, I think his mouth was full. 😅

The order of things escapes me slightly here –we went to record stores, to bookstores, and to game stores. We also went to a vintage toy store that really stood out! That’s what I’ll be talking about next.

🌈 Bear Haven Land Company Vintage Toys 🌈

This store was called Bear Haven Land Company Vintage Toys. It was much bigger than it looked on the outside and an absolute delight. They graciously let me take a bunch of photos. I’m sure you’ll recognize many toys you’d like to get your hands on, as I did! It was a real treat.

Here, I found a wonderful little Raikes bear! He was affordable, small and charming, so I brought him home with me. I decided to call him Raisin, because his color was just like that of the raisin-filled bread pudding we had earlier.

His face and paw pads are made of carved wood. Isn’t that cool? I’d seen bears like him before but none were cute enough for me to want to buy.

After that, we went back to the hotel and napped/watched TV. For dinner we went to a Phở place. The food was good, but the place was dingy, the lights flickered, and the service was so-so. 🤷‍♀️

After dinner we went back to the hotel for the final time, to toast our anniversary!

We cuddled and watched the last episode of Horimiya afterwards, which was very fitting to end the weekend… 🥰

We were tired, but happy. It was a wonderful way to wrap up our anniversary getaway.

💕🏡 Home Again 🏡💕

And that brings us to today! We left quite early in the morning, after grabbing one final McDonald’s breakfast. And, yeah, Friday-Saturday-Sunday I am not doing fitness logs. I ate like a beast, though we also walked a lot. It was a time to enjoy to the fullest, so I have no regrets. ✌

When we got home, I found that that my Brown and Cony keycaps had finally arrived, after a million years delay. They’re very cute!

I spent the day taking care of the cats and snails, blogging, unpacking, doing laundry, and resting. We ordered Bento for dinner and I had some coffee and a Vauquita from Argentina, another sweet treat I hadn’t had in years. Vauquitas ( a play on the word vaquita, which means “little cow”) are “dulce de leche” bars covered in powdered sugar. They have a harder shell with a soft and crumbly inside. It’s very sweet and delicious but you can’t eat more than one at a time. It’s too sweet like that.

Tomorrow I have to shop for groceries and finish my chores 100% because Tuesday begins my 100 Daily Warm-Ups project and I have to study for my citizenship test all the harder! So I will end this post here. Also, tomorrow I’ll share all the treasures I found with you. I hope you enjoyed the recap of our trip!

Anniversary Trip: Day 1 💕 🦖🦕

I’m so happy, I’m so happy, I’m so happy…! 😭✨ I don’t even know how many times I’ve said this over and over during the last 48 or so hours.

Not everything in our getaway anniversary weekend went as expected. Some things were way more amazing than planned, others were kind of disappointing, and others were unexpected surprises that we enjoyed a lot. I took lots of pictures and I can’t wait to tell you about it all. I’ll be dividing my weekend summary in two posts, plus a third one for all the goodies I got. This is day one —the best day, really!

(I should add, our anniversary is actually on May 11th. But the timing worked best for this weekend, so we celebrated it early.)

We left a little after 7:00am and had McDonald’s for breakfast. It was unusually good, we enjoyed it a lot. As a side note, I was really excited for my outfit for this day! I’d never worn my Lazy Oaf overalls until this day. They are my only “designer” overalls:

They also marked the beginning of the pandemic for me: the last thing I did before serious lockdown began, was go to the tailor’s to pick them up after adding some extra buttonholes. It was my last day out without a mask. The world changed a lot right after that.

My companion for this weekend was Coffee Cake:

Coffee Cake was pretty excited for his first-ever road trip:

Our first stop after driving a few hours was lunch at the Whistle Stop cafe (the name appears differently on the menu for some reason). This is one of the places that was a bit of a mixed bag. 🤔 The restaurant felt like much of this little town: run down and with caked-on dirt in places. But it was also so old, established in the late 1800s as a drugstore! A lot of its original appearance was still in place, which I found fascinating.

The food was okay, but because the place was fairly dirty, I didn’t have much of an appetite. I had tuna salad, potato salad and a root beer float:

The root beer float didn’t look pretty or appetizing so I didn’t photograph it. I did enjoy the train theme of the place. It was perfect for our train-focused trip! And the staff was very nice, and there was an old man playing an old, slightly out of tune piano. Honestly if the place had been cleaner I would have liked it a lot more. 🤷‍♀️

Almost across the street was our next stop, the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum:

Compared to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, there wasn’t much to see here (again, comparatively). But they had a lovely model train display:

I got some video of it as well:

Here’s a couple more pics I took from this area:

Then, it was on to a stop that I was very excited about, but I didn’t really understand how awesome it would actually be. That was…

🌴 🦖 Dinosaur World 🦖🌴

I’m making a separate section in this post to further emphasize how utterly incomparable, amazing, highlight-of-the-weekend this place was. I spent hours since then, thinking how to best describe its magic to accompany the 150-odd photos as well as videos that I took to share with you. I hope I can do my experience justice with words.

Imagine a literal Jurassic Park frozen still. Just as larger than life, just as mouth-gaping incredible. Craning up your neck to look at these massive dinosaurs that look like they could begin moving again any moment. I was LOSING MY FREAKING MIND (and wishing Nate was there to enjoy it with me because he would have lost it just as much). I was grateful for my mask that hid my face because for the first twenty minutes I was so overcome with happiness, surprise and excitement that I was trying not to cry.

For a bit of context… dinosaurs are my oddest special interest because it hasn’t been a special interest that ever had a period of intense obsession, yet it’s always been there, probably since I saw The Land Before Time as a very little girl (to this day, this is still my favorite movie of all time.)

The original Jurassic Park movie would later intensify this tremendously, but when I was younger, dinosaurs were a very boy-centered thing as far as toys, and I never ran into any very interesting scientific books about them growing up.

Later, as an adult, I discovered very charming dinosaur things such as the Gon manga, and the Umasou movies, and realistic toys such as Schleich dinosaurs replicas, which furthered my interest in an intense but quiet way.

So, it’s always been this thing in the back of my mind, I’ve collected a lot of dinosaur things, toys, clothes and books over many, many years, but without it ever being an all-absorbing focused obsession. Even recently, when I got into trains, I looked for dinosaur themed train sets. So it’s always just there, but it’s never been set afire like this weekend.

This is the first entrance you see when you approach Dinosaur World:

It’s followed by a long, tree lined road. The trees are super tall, with hanging vines and moss. Already, things feel larger than life –you really feel like you’re driving into Jurassic Park! Then there is the main entrance:

From the moment you park, there are cute dinosaur friends to see!

This one stands right by the entrance to the gift shop, which then leads into the park:

It was all I could do not to buy everything I saw before going to the park. The gift shop was incredible, absolutely MASSIVE. I wish I’d taken more photos of it. We even came back a second time, on Saturday, so I could go through it one final time.

This is what you first see as you walk into the actual park itself:

I can’t emphasize enough how small you feel next to these things. They’re so big!

A few more dinos from this area:

Right behind them, there was a museum. I liked the museum areas a lot, but my favorite part were the life-size models.

In the museum there were animatronics, though. I loved those! Here’s a still photo of one of them:

And here is video of them all!

Now I’m just going to add a whole bunch of photos. I took too many to add commentary to everything, but I do feel all are worth sharing here.

The dinosaur you see in the last photo above was to the right of this arch. It went into a different area of the park:

See the “river” down there, near number 5? Those arches are what you see above.

The boardwalk it goes into was beautiful, kinda rickety in a good, fun way. All around you found yourself surrounded in this scenery:

To the right of the boardwalk bridge, there was this:

Some more dinos to see as you continued to walk…

Then it was time to visit the mammoths!

The covered picnic areas were cute:

Nearby, I saw a squirrel friend in their tree-stump home:

Here’s all that was to be enjoyed as you made your way to the Skeleton Garden:

Here are some photos of the Skeleton Garden:

The moss hanging everywhere really added to the atmosphere for me…

After saying goodbye to one more friendly dino, we enter the Carnivore Boardwalk…

This area was interesting. It had a sign warning that it could be too graphic for younger children. In fairness, it WAS kinda graphic, but also dynamic, detailed and extremely interesting. Some dinos were well-camouflaged, and it was fun finding them.

As you will see in the photos below, the dinosaurs were depicted hunting, fighting, and defending their nests. I’d “content warn” this, but… there were several toddlers looking at this without batting an eye, so I assume my followers can handle some dino-on-dino “gore”.

Every once in a while Christopher would take a photo of me with the models. 😊

Another photo batch…

To give you an idea of how tall some of these guys were, here I am next to one of them:

Another big batch of pics…

I even saw an Argentinean dinosaur! Given the name, I guess remains were originally found in Salta? But this wasn’t specifically clarified.

Last batch of random pictures…

And a couple more “just for fun” ones:

That was it! After this, I went absolutely bonkers in the gift shop, and I can’t wait to share what I got with you, but I’ll leave all my treasures for a separate post. This post is so, SO long already, definitely the longest ever on my blog, and it’s not even done! So… let’s move on to the next topic!

After Dinosaur World we went to a few hobby stores. One of them, Toys+, was in University Mall, and next door to the hobby store area (by the same owners) was a normal toy store. This toy store had a lot of wonderful toys, including a respectable Thomas Wooden Railway section! Unbeknownst to us this would be the best selection we would find in the entire trip. We bought two battery-operated engines here —Percy and Diesel. We didn’t buy anything else (yet) because we expected to find so much more at the train stores.

We also went to a record store, where we got a few Laserdiscs, a vinyl record of the Tales From the Crypt soundtrack, and I got a vintage kid’s magazine.

Shortly afterwards we arrived at the hotel. The town wasn’t too promising. The hotel, called The West Wing and described as a “boutique” hotel, wasn’t like, dirt cheap, but it wasn’t expensive… it seemed like a good middle-of-the-road hotel though. Despite the area it was in, from the outside it didn’t look too bad…

Later, after seeing ants all over the place, a roach, and noticing the general layout of the hotel, we noticed the old sign, which they’ve yet not managed (or bothered to) take down. 😐

So I guess this used to be a cheaper motel, with a poorly slapped-on coat of paint. 😫 I cannot recognize the shape of the logo. The top makes me think Super 8, but it’s wider? I don’t know. Anyway this kinda sucked. Because it showed, too. It doesn’t feel great to stay in a hotel where you saw a roach, and piss ants all over the tables. Plus our bed smelled like the sheets had been left sitting while damp a long time. Overall it wasn’t great, but we were happy together, and we made do.

The hallway was… creepily long.

After some rest, we changed and went to Terra Gaucha, a Brazilian steakhouse. This would be another highlight of our trip! ✨

In spite of what I read in reviews, and in spite of mask wearing, this place didn’t exactly take COVID seriously. 😅 To my horror AND delight, the buffet/salad bar was open normally! The tables were all very close together and the place was PACKED. So basically if I’m destined to get COVID I got it here, for sure. I guess time will tell.

We were already there, so I decided to just enjoy what (other than masks) really felt like a normal, pre-COVID experience. I knew that wasn’t great to encounter at this time of our country’s struggle with this disease, but I decided to let myself enjoy it and had my most enjoyable meal in probably a year or more. Definitely made up for that awful experience at Gulfstream’s Texas De Brazil.

Everything was amazing. Everything. I ate until I couldn’t eat anymore. I drank too much. I was in a stuffed, half-drunk haze of the most utter, intense bliss.

Even writing it I go back to it and I’m so glad it happened. It was an expensive meal, but it’s a memory I’ll hold very dear.

As you can see in the photo above, for dessert we had a Crème Brûlée, the most perfect one I’ve ever tasted. They knew it was our anniversary and decorated it very beautifully. It was a very nice touch:

Then we went back to the hotel and, after such a long day, finally rested, relaxed, and watched TV together on Christopher’s laptop. It was a lovely end to our tiring day. I’ll share the next one in an upcoming post!

Odds ‘N Ends Before Bed 🌈🐶☕

You know, guys… I really want to cross post stuff to FurAffinity… I do… But, take this post for example. I’m finishing it on my phone. Tomorrow, if I want to post it to FA in the morning, I’d have to adjust its wording since it would not be posted when I am going to bed.

My posts generally seem so inconsequential anyway (other than my long, rambling ones) than to go through all that trouble, plus the photo links, etc… it all seems silly… I mean, it’s so much more work for me to cross post and make adjustments and links to the cross posted FA journal than for anyone to enter an email to comment here. It just makes little sense to me, I suppose. 🤔

But I have to get over it. As much as I wish my friends/FA watchers would comment here, I myself am terrible at commenting even on FA, like really awful, so I can’t point fingers. If people commented a lot here, I’d probably be bad about commenting back. So I get it, but it also kinda sucks.

Anyway. I started this post with a complaining ramble. Whoops. 🙇‍♀️💧 As I mentioned, I’m in bed. About to play a little Piofiore: Fated Memories (currently finishing all of Nicola’s routes but I already got his happiest ending), but first, I wanted to catch up here with a little post.

I’ve been using my new espresso machine lots and lots, and now I can make good espresso. It really was a wonderful Valentine’s Day present…

Kotoko keeps me company every day in the studio. She’ll bring me her toy mouse in the mornings and cuddle on my lap for a while, before settling on one of the beds I’ve set up for her near me (two, so she can pick… I guess I spoil her). But if I let her, she’d spend the whole day on my lap. 😅

It’s almost like the cats all have an agreement of who spends time with me and when. It’s all very specific. Kotoko is with me most of the day. Rosie is with me at night —she sleeps next to me, and at that time is very affectionate, and just with me.

She is playful during the day but doesn’t seek me out for cuddles, though she greets me often and wants to play if we “run into each other” so to speak. Meanwhile, Tomoyo seeks me out when I eat at the table: without fail, as soon as she sees that I’m preparing my midday meal, she sits on the chair next to me (and, if I get up, invariable takes my chair, and rolls on it belly-up, since this gets her attention.) Elliot seeks me out if I spend time on the porch, and when we have dinner, he sits between us.

Their routines rarely change, and almost never do other cats try to take a specific cat’s “special time”. Even as I write this, Rosie stood up just so she could fall down on me (which is how she lies down) even closer to my face, hard, to say without a doubt “I’m here, in case you haven’t noticed.” Purring furiously. Of course, I pet her.

Today I put together that KidKraft train set. It was absolute hell! I had to combine two sets (sending one back) to get the version with the least peeled-off paint… terrible quality. Putting it together was very difficult. A pity, the design is so cute. I wish it were better made.

Here are a couple of photos. I will take more when Christopher and I play trains again.

Kotoko LOVED the box it came in though. It’s now a new favorite place to sleep on —so much, that she brought her mouse to it. A rare occurrence:

Hmm… I think that’s all I have to share for now. I’m very excited about our anniversary trip. Just a week away! I’m also very tired. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Is It April 21st Yet? 😥

Hi all. It’s been a hot minute since I posted an outfit of the day! I felt very colorful, but walking over a mile in this got hot fast…

Anyway, today I went on a long (ish?) walk. I went to Walmart, mostly hoping to get out of a deep funk. I’m very stressed about the citizenship test. Everyone is being very encouraging, and I appreciate it. I’m having trouble with just 15 out of 100 questions (meaning, I don’t remember those 15 well enough yet.) So every day, I study them.

The problem is that even those I remember easily, I worry I’ll forget during the interview. I tend to crack under pressure. They might ask me something stupid like, “Who is the president of the United States right now?” and my brain might just decide to do this:

So, I’m doing everything in an uncomfortable fog, a daze, wanting April 21st to be here, and also to not be here. It’s stressful.

To relax, I continue playing otome games. I just finished Café Enchanté as I mentioned in an earlier post, I loved it… I’m already missing the characters. Hope a fandisc is released! And now I’m playing Piofiore: Fated Memories. I also watch old, early episodes of Thomas The Tank Engine while working, to relax. But mostly, I watch citizenship test videos on repeat while working on commissions. I don’t sleep well at night, and I’m snacking too much. Basically, I’m a hot mess. Can this be over already? 😅

Moving on… a new dinosaur train set arrived. Like usual, I’m saving it as a date night treat. The box art for this one is delightful, though!

Oh yeah. At Walmart, I got new shoos!

And! And! They light up!

In another bit of news… Our long-dreamed (and paid off) Alaskan cruise got canceled/postponed for the second time. Ah well.

It’s definitely for the best. I heard that AC got canceled too… I wonder what will happen to Megaplex.

It really seems like we are just losing another year. But we will have our little Tampa trip in ten days, at least, and if only Ragtime doesn’t get canceled again, I’ll be so happy. It’s now been moved to June, I think. Fingers crossed.

Right now we have our friend Bert staying with us. He’s staying for three nights, so for the first time, I am making regular dinners for three people. Even though I cook every night, I was really nervous about it. I want Christopher to be proud of me. I think Bert is kind of easy to impress with my low-level skills… ^_^; I can never reach my own standards, really. But if Christopher looks satisfied, then I feel very pleased.

Tonight I screwed up the sauce. Christopher had to run out to get more. I was doing well until the last minute, and felt ready to tear up as they walked through the door. But Christopher saved the day. I wish I could be a little more dependable, at least more consistently. I’m trying my best, though.

I’ve been moving the snails around again. With some of the babies a little bigger, I’m back to two tanks. The usual, big tank, and the medium tank (which had sat unused). The medium tank is in a brand new place in the house:

Tomorrow I’ll Zoom with my mom as usual. Lately it just feels like I’m getting through the days. I have a lot of head pressure, too… I’m drinking way too much coffee. I hope I’ll be feeling better in about a month’s time!

Now I’m off to get ready for bed. Tomorrow I also hope to finish a couple of commissions, finally!

Hi, Everyone!! 🌈✨

Hi guys~! I know this blog has been all postdated entries recently, and art output just kinda… suddenly dropped. 👉👈💧

I’m just really, really busy with all sorts of random things. Right now, all commissions in this year’s earlier batch are in the “highlights/last details” part of the process, so I am really busy with that, and you can expect a barrage of around 10 detailed pieces being completed and posted very, very soon. 👍✨

I’ve also been gaming a little more than usual as I’m trying to finish Café Enchanté, and of course studying lots for the upcoming citizenship test.

While I expect to do well, the advent of a day I have dreamed of for twenty years is deeply anxiety inducing, so you should expect to see me be quieter overall, and commission progress slowed a tad. I’m just trying to study, work, and keep it together. 😅 I really appreciate your patience with me.

The test is on April 21st. After that, I’ll probably go back to normal…

…unless I fail. Lol.

ANYWAY, my BigJigs Dinosaur Railway Set is here!! I’ll save it for next date night.

I’m getting as many dinosaur items for our train set as possible to create a “Jurassic Park” of sorts in our train world!

I’ve been having a sorta lonely feeling in my chest lately. I paused moving stuff from IG for a little while because (as much as the word annoys me sometimes) certain old photos started to trigger memories from previous, deeply anxiety-inducing relationships, and that puts me in a weird mental place.

And yet, I am determined to move everything here. Everything. I feel it’s important for me to have a record of it all in one place for the sake of remembering how certain things were. Sort of?

You see, sometimes certain memories make me miss things or people, and then I remember how it actually was –the curated photos can be confusing. I know I sometimes twisted how I described my own mood in certain situations to fool myself I suppose… actually, it’s the memory of that behavior of mine that is sorta triggering. Just, remembering how many times I was sad or uncomfortable and made posts saying the exact opposite. 😅 Just to convince myself that my feelings weren’t as they felt. Weird huh.

Anyway, I’ll see those posts, be inundated by memories, and then think yeah, I’m ok not looking for more friends for now. I just do not feel ready to deal with the stress. But. It would be nice to have a friend around my own age… I think. Another girl. It would be really nice. Just, someone over 30… or someone emotionally mature I guess? I do have friends like that whom I love dearly, but they live too far away…

Well, that was a spontaneous ramble. Whoops. That is all I have time to share for now, I think? If anyone is reading this, I hope you have a lovely week.

And if you are feeling lonely out there, even if you have people who love you, if you have a little hole in your chest for whatever reason, I hope something happy comes along to fill it, soon. Keep an open heart! That’s what I’m trying to do, too. 💕