Category Archives: ๐Ÿ“š Books And Reading ๐Ÿ“š

Summary Of Another Happy Week ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ

Hello everyone, how are you? ๐Ÿ˜Š Iโ€™ve had a really happy week so far. Christopher has worked late every night this week, which has been theโ€ฆ whatโ€™s the opposite of a highlight? Anyway, it was the one bummer about the week. I got used to having him home in the afternoons. ๐Ÿ˜” However, we still managed to have lots of quality time together somehow. That did make up for it, and was really nice.

โœจ๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

Monday I got lots of commission work done, and that night I made a nice salmon dinner:

Also, I deleted the Twitter app again, at least for now. Really, the only difference it makes is that I canโ€™t look at my lists or follows (my Internet blocks still allow me to post and reply on my browser). I did it because the negativity was getting to me a bit again, and I was spending too much time on it. Iโ€™ll check in again at some point, maybe during the weekend (writing this part of the post on Wednesday, even though I’ll be wrapping it up Saturday or Sunday). But truly the benefit is always immediate. Suddenly I have lots of extra time and feel less stressed. ๐Ÿ˜…

Since I always have to be reading something, not using my phone/Twitter means that Iโ€™ve gone back to playing Wintertide Miracles as well as reading the Tarzan trilogy. Iโ€™m almost done with the last volume (The Beasts of Tarzan).

As Iโ€™ve read these books, I really marvel that they made a kidsโ€™ movie with this as the source material. Itโ€™s really kind of hilarious. These are not child-friendly books, but that is the least of the issues with them, really. ๐Ÿ˜… Let’s just say that I think today, Disney would not touch these books for a possible adaptation with a ten foot pole. I’ll go into more detail in a future post.

โœจ๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

I finally secured my new t-rex to the wall (and also to the shelf, just in case it tips over). Doesnโ€™t she look amazing! The Imaginext baby raptors and t-rexes are large, around 9โ€ tall, so that gives you an idea of how massive my new lady is:

On this day I also went to Target and to the craft store for ingredients to make handmade chocolates for my Valentines. ๐Ÿฅฐ I saw this little book while at Target and took a photo because it was so cute:

When I got back home, I once again sat down to get lots more commission work done, while Kotoko and Rosie kept me company:

I love having cats… I’ve enjoyed having dogs too, and of course rats, and hamsters, and birds. But the lowest-stress pets I’ve ever had have been cats and snails. Both have such a knack for reducing my stress levels. Even the snails do. I’ll set out to deep clean the tank, with some dread because it’s such a job that requires such a careful hand and full-on attention. Yet when I’m done, it has melted my stress away.

And, being as I am someone who enjoys almost constant quiet company, thanks to the kitties I do not feel lonely during my workday. It’s really nice. I’m grateful to have them.

โœจ๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

This was the best day of the week! The contractor was supposed to come work on our friendโ€™s future bedroom which needs to be finished ASAP. But there was a miscommunication and he didnโ€™t show. Still, I did all my chores in the morning, once again got a LOT of commission progress done, and watched almost the entire first season of Camp Cretaceous. I liked it a lot!

I spent the evening in very good company, got to go to Starbucks, and in the afternoon my polyam necklace came. Itโ€™s really beautiful and Iโ€™m going to be wearing it as much as possible. ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ’•

Christopher came home a little later and I had a dinner of beef tacos waiting for him. After dinner, we watched Ghostbusters: Afterlife which was great. I drew until my iPad was dying, and then we cuddled for the remainder (about half) of the movie. And after that we watched more of The Secret of Blue Water in bed. It was a very nice evening. With him working so late I didnโ€™t expect to have so much time together, I know it helps when I have all my chores done and dinner ready, thoughโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฌ Gotta work on that so we can have more times like these.

Anyway, I definitely got my fill of affection/attention on this day, so I went to bed blissfully happy.

โœจ๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

Christopher let me have a huge treat on this day (literally and figuratively)! The apatosaurus I wanted so badly!

Iโ€™ve been worried about just missing out on it since things just keep going out of stock and not coming backโ€ฆ so in exchange for cancelling my Pokรฉmon Legends: Arceus preorder, he let me have my apatosaurus. It was a no brainer, I can always get the game in the future.

I walked all the way back from Target with this big heavy box, which thankfully is still the smallest of the legacy boxes, because it has to be put together.

I couldn’t resist taking some outside photos…

I especially love the detail on the face, and being able to have it hold leaves in its mouth! ๐Ÿ˜„

โœจ๐ŸŒˆ Friday ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

On Friday I finally found a good place for my new dino friend, right above my computer area. I think it looks very majestic!

The afternoon and evening was very pleasant. Someone came to look at the room that needs work again, and our friend/future roommate came over in the evening. I made dinner for the three of us (salmon croquettes) and then we played Smash and Mario Golf: Super Rush for a while.

I did decently well in both games (for me). I’m terrible, terrible at Smash, which my old wrist injury doesn’t help with at all. The two times I managed to win (one being Friday night) was early matches before it started bothering me too much.

I love Ludwig, by the way. I donโ€™t have much chance to express that because there just isnโ€™t much merch or anything of him, but I adore him. I always play as him in Smash now (didn’t find Daisy as fun as I expected –still play as her in Mario Golf though).

After that, our friend played Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (for, I think, a couple of hours?) while we just enjoyed each other’s company and watched.

I think I might have to play this game myself, I never did before, and it looks so adorable. I think that was my favorite part of the evening, just sitting mostly quietly together, watching. Times like those are truly the happiest for the three of us, I think. I feel totally at peace, safe, loved.

When I’m feeling like that, nodding off, I just wish I could just fall asleep like that and wake up in bed the next morning not knowing how I got there.

โœจ๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

This morning I somehow coaxed Christopher outside, and we went to have breakfast together. ๐Ÿฅฐ Also picked up a small treat for our friend, since he’s showing up at some point this weekend.

I brought Picaรฑa along:

Christopher’s smile was looking unusually adorable this morning so I took a picture. I just love him so much, I’ll never get tired of looking at him smile like this. ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

The lights at this place were super cool!

Last two days I also got a ton of commission work done (all nine warm-ups that I had left) which have already been posted almost everywhere. I’ll be posting them here too in a bit (I’ll post-date them though so they don’t bury this post). After that, I’ll begin my weekend housework, and then, more commissions, of course.

Hope you all enjoy your weekend!

It’s Tuesday! ๐ŸฆŒ๐ŸŽ„

Hi everyone! Today was pretty good. I got a lot of YCH progress done, so if all goes well, tomorrow I should be posting six finished commissions. And you know, today we’re officially 25 days away from Christmas day!

Even though I was alone today too, I didn’t feel lonely and really enjoyed my entire day. I went on my long walk, went to Target, got to have UberEats, had a looong Zoom call with Christopher before bed and got to watch our friend work while I worked on commissions too which was wonderful and made it so I wasn’t one bit lonely at all.

Anyhow –here’s today’s snack!

I wasn’t expecting to find licensed Hercules fanfiction at Target, so I couldn’t pass it up…

It has surprisingly good reviews on Amazon. I’m looking forward to reading it.

This was my outfit for today. I really, REALLY liked how this looked on me. I’ve worked so hard on my body, for months now, and I continue to do so. To be truly happy in my own skin again is a wonderful feeling. I haven’t feel comfortable wearing something like this since I was in my early 20s.

My studio felt so cozy and Christmasy while I worked, so I took a picture…

Getting UberEats for myself is a rare treat that only tends to happen when Christopher travels. I ordered from Pincho Factory and it was delicious, though I can feel my skin suffering for it already… ๐Ÿ˜ซ

At bedtime, I played more Wintertide Miracles. And, I completed Impey’s First Christmas scenario.

Below are some spoilers for Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ soโ€ฆ donโ€™t read any more if you plan to play it!!

This was, by FAR, my favorite scenario yet. Everything I loved about Impey in previous routes was intensified here. I’ve said it before, but I love how flustered he gets when the MC decides to be forward with him, considering how overly affectionate and over-the-top he always is. After declaring his love for her hundreds of times, when she actually asks to hear him say it, he loses his shit so much that he quite literally runs away from her in an incredibly awkward, very un-Impey-like fashion.

I also LOVE the MC’s ocassional loss of temper towards him, even the one odd tsunderey moment. She doesn’t act this way toward any of the other LI’s in any scenario. Her personality definitely changes the most when she is with Impey, including her interests towards machinery.

As far as her demeanor, I believe in the previous fandisc (or maybe it was the main story?) she violently hits him over the head with a book for falling asleep at the wrong time or something, which is SO unlike the very gentle MC. She’s much more entertaining when she’s with him.

That aside, can we take a moment to admire the backgrounds in this fandisc? They are beautiful.

Anyway, it was a lovely scenario… over much too soon.

Now I just have Victor left (sigh. SIGH. Not a Victor fan.) Then I guess I’ll do the triangle scenario, I’m curious about that.

A Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

Hello everyone! I hope you had a Thanksgiving weekend as wonderful as mine was. I wore my new white boots for the first time on Thanksgiving Day. I was so happy with my entire outfit:

Grover was my travel companion. It turns out if I bring down the cup holder, it makes a perfect little seat for Grover to be strapped in, seatbelt and all.

Thanksgiving was a bit less hectic, more peaceful than other years. A baby was born in the family on Thanksgiving Day so several family members were missing. Plus, some were not there due to just, family drama… ๐Ÿ˜ž it was a really nice meal together though. This was our spread, behind the table where we actually ate:

The weather was absolutely lovely, cool and overcast. After the dishes were done, we left Grandma’s house in Port St Lucie for my mom in law’s house. We did a quick stop at Big Lots first since it was the only open store. Christopher let me take a little Yoshi but in the end my mom in law was the one who bought it for me:

Once at the house, we got comfortable and our friend started mixing drinks. It was really cute to see his reaction to my mom in law’s roommate’s pomeranian; I’d completely forgotten that it would be there, and Christopher didn’t say anything on purpose, since our friend has a little pom of his own that he adores. The resident pom, Panda, was very happy with all the extra attention:

My mom in law made all the cats say hello to him too so they would stop being scared of his voice (because he doesn’t usually visit so they weren’t used to him). It didn’t really work, but Momo sat on him for a polite 30 seconds:

This evening was the most fun I had. We played Mario Party and Pictionary (it was my first time playing that) and I had two Mojitos which kind of destroyed me. This picture was taken earlier in the night. I was so happy to see Christopher smiling and having fun.

Naturally, he won at Mario Party, he usually does.

Christopher took this photo of me a bit later; I think I was well into my second drink by then and every time it was my turn to draw I basically dragged myself across the floor to the board. I half-slept between turns (pictured) and by the time I had to get up the next morning (at 4am!) for Black Friday, I was still kinda drunk.

It was the first time I went to sleep drunk and woke up drunk, but I didn’t have a bad hangover and I didn’t throw up. So… all in all, not too bad. ๐Ÿ˜…

Black Friday

As mentioned above, we were all up at around 4:00am. Black Friday in Sebastian is very chill… no lines, no stress, pretty relaxed employees too. Sometimes they even give out free hot chocolate and things like that. We went to Walmart, to Best Buy, to Petsmart, where I got a few presents for the cats…

…then to breakfast (McDonald’s) and to Home Depot. We then went to a few furniture stores, and by this point, while I’d fully sobered up from the night prior, everyone was starting to feel sleepy, myself included. Christopher passed out in one of the stores:

Ultimately a couch was purchased, and we went back to the house for a pizza lunch and nap. Later that day, a TV was purchased too, and a new Switch. Then we went to Makoto’s for dinner, a long-awaited highlight of this trip.

Once everything was set up, we played Pictionary and Mario Kart (well… I played Pictionary… by the time Mario Kart was underway I was passed out on the floor. I didn’t even make it fully through my second Mojito this time), but it’s okay, Grover can finish it for me…

Saturday

Saturday was a little more relaxed. Christopher and I cuddled for a while before I got up, and then I went to get bread so my mom in law could make French toast. We had a nice relaxing breakfast. At some point we went out one more time, and my mom in law got me the new walking shoes I so desperately needed. Also, Grandma and I went to Michaels, and I got Mandalorian advent calendars for me and my sis in law. Here’s mine on the wall:

We left around four in the afternoon, and got home a little past six. After that, the three of us still hung out a few hours, had dinner, and watched Cowboy Bebop. Then we dropped our friend off and Thanksgiving weekend was truly over, since I’ll be spending all of tomorrow unpacking and catching up on chores.

On the drive back, I completed Saint Germain’s story in Wintertide Miracles.

Below are some spoilers for Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ soโ€ฆ donโ€™t read any more if you plan to play it!!

I don’t know why, but I didn’t like it so much. He was all whiny and full of feelings the entire route. I don’t mind that with other LIs, and he’s certainly that way at times in the original game too, but I always enjoyed how he could be a little scary, even playfully during Future Blessings, and you never really knew what he was thinking. I don’t know, I found him a bit “much”. Regardless, here’s a couple of screenshots of parts I liked:

Finis is always fun, though. I think he will end up being the best part of the fandisc for me.

Something I forgot to share in my “before leaving” post is this Sesame Street Christmas Treasury I got. I meant to read it during the trip, just as I meant to play more of Wintertide Miracles, but in the end I was just too entertained enjoying my time with family.

This book is lovely, with illustrations from multiple eras. The vintage ones are my favorites.

I guess I’ll wrap it up here, tomorrow and Monday are going to be really busy for me. Plus, I’ll be releasing a new YCH, so please look forward to that. Talk to you all later!

In Pain But Okay! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Hi everyone! Today was a blah day. I had cramps a lot so I had to take my chores slowly but I still did pretty much all of themโ€ฆ I just couldnโ€™t get to the Christmas decorating. But I did go through my wardrobe finally, and trimmed it a bit. I also went to get groceries for dinner (where I got my walk in) and made myself a new Christmas icon for the season.

For dinner, I made turkey meatballs and pasta. It wasnโ€™t a bad day, but I hope to have more energy tomorrow.

A Wonky Weekend But It Was Okay After All ๐Ÿ˜Š

You canโ€™t force a good day out of sheer will, but I think I helped it along a lot today.

My headache came and went, sometimes it was bad, and a few times today I did feel pretty low mood-wise. But I powered through all my chores, I worked on my blog, on commissions, I took care of the animals, did the grocery shopping, made Christopher a good meal (wellโ€ฆ there was an honest attempt), and made time to spend with him. That was important.

I also updated my character on Guild Wars 2, I want to make yet another attempt to get into this game since itโ€™s something that Christopher enjoys. I will say that, after this revamp, this is the most Iโ€™ve ever liked my character:

Right now Iโ€™m reading a bedtime story with Rosie, who as of writing this has cuddled up next to me after inspecting my book:

Anyway. Itโ€™s supposed to rain on and off all day tomorrow, but Iโ€™ll try to go on my walks, all the same. Iโ€™m hoping for a week of posting lots of commissions and Iโ€™ll be looking forward to a visit from my mom in law this weekend. She asked for empanadas so Iโ€™ll be making that.

Iโ€™m rambling (and possibly blowing my bedtime further? probably notโ€ฆ ๐Ÿค” to write this) so Iโ€™ll sign off hereโ€ฆ goodnight, everyone!

A Fun Day Out Together ๐Ÿฅฐ

Ok, today was a LOT of fun, I actually wasn’t expecting to feel so happy today with my PMS going on and all… But anyway. I really have to clean my mirror… it looks clean enough but when I take photos there’s problematic streaks. ๐Ÿ˜…

I hadn’t taken a Furby along in forever. I brought Play-Doh with me today!

We found a few interesting garage sales. One in particular, of an older couple, was like a time capsule. Mack The Knife playing in the background, and all of these ancient things in like-new condition. Some of it was very cool. We enjoyed that stop a lot. In the end I only spent $3 on some things I’ll share down below –at a different stop.

We went out for lunch. Usually we go to the same old places, but Christopher surprised me by picking a completely brand new one! It was called PhแปŸ Bar:

We often to go PhแปŸ restaurants but I never have PhแปŸ. I look for other things in the menu. This time I did have it though, I had a meatball one:

I liked it well enough! But next time I’ll try something else. Christopher had his usual:

For dessert I had a chocolate mousse:

This ended up being on the house, possibly because right as we were done eating, they had a huge party come in and we were forgotten waiting for our bill for like 20 minutes lol. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ But service was fantastic otherwise and I did feel this made up for it.

Christopher and I very rarely go to places like this by ourselves. It’s a big treat and a nice thing to do together at the end of his much needed vacation. It really made my day!

My find for today was incredibly cheap and very cool. Some activity books in excellent, untouched condition! When it comes to the Baby Looney Toons and Pooh ones, I grabbed them thinking I’d use them for scrapbooking, but after looking at them at home, I decided to add these to my permanent collection to leave in pristine condition:

These three are by FAR the coolest though. I’m not sure what year they were printed in but they are amazing.

The pages speak for themselves. These activity books are so full of charm. They are clearly very old, I’m surprised they are so well preserved.

All of those awesome little books/magazines together cost just $1. At the same place, I also got this dinosaur facemask for $2:

So, it was a neat little haul for only $3!

The rest of our day was very enjoyable. Christopher played City Skylines, while I did my chores and later streamed for a while. I’m playing Dungeon Keeper with some cheats now, in order to get through levels I’ve not been able to get past in 20 years (granted, I don’t play this game often). It’s kinda fun to have the cheats. Basically, I’ve made my imps cost 0, and every gold block give me the max amount of gold, plus, I made all of the rooms cost nothing to build.

I definitely have a lot more fun this way. But I am aware that in the next level, you start getting slammed just a few minutes in, so it’ll still be strategy. I could easily die even with the cheats. We will see.

I was excited to sacrifice to summon Horny again, I hadn’t seen him in so long…

I’ll make a separate post with my recorded stream.

For dinner we had skirt steak with cilantro rice and beans. It was amazing!

Even by this point it had been a very lovely day, but we spent the rest of the evening watching TV and cuddling in bed in the nicest way. Today I could have been cranky and just dealing with my cramps all day but it ended up being such a nice relaxing day and Christopher gave me so much attention… I’m really happy. ๐Ÿฅฐ

Two Steps Back –And Forward Again! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Yesterday was a hard day. It kinda started Tuesday night when we went to bed and noticed Kotoko hadn’t joined us as is her usual routine. She was hiding in an unusual little nook under my studio bed and looked quite unhappy.

This was coupled with her vomiting even on an empty stomach (white foam) over the last few days, something that intensified in the previous 24 hours, with her appetite quite reduced. Since she had some loose stool as well during this period, and because she is old, it all became very concerning. Her hiding like that from us was the most unusual part.

We hoped so much to avoid a vet appointment, because it was at a minimum a $300 expense that we could ill afford. But yesterday morning, it became clear that we had to go, as she continued to hide from us and throw up. I took this picture right as we were leaving for the vet. She behaved very well.

On the one hand, thanks to the appointment I confirmed her ears are okay, her spotty eye is fine, the lump on her back leg is fatty tissue, and her teeth are also okay. She was given medication to control the vomiting, which has helped (she didn’t vomit anymore since yesterday morning) and a bunch of blood work, the results of which we should have today.

But on the other hand, I was SO discouraged. It was so hard to raise this month’s $500 for this month’s debt to take some stress off Christopher’s plate. I was so proud –even though I still have to raise more before November. But after the vet bill, we were set back around $300 (there was an additional $25 for other items for her):

To have such an amount removed from all of my efforts this month nearly made me cry with frustration. I’m drawing all the time, trying my best to make things okay, but I can’t catch up like this. We received a significant amount of help yesterday but it had us over $200 in the hole still. So even this morning, I was really sad about that.

It was when I came back from my walk that I had Christopher check and realized just how much we received in donations (since I had them sent directly to his PayPal) and my mind was blown!!

The entire vet bill and additional meds were covered thanks to your generous donations! ๐Ÿ˜ญ The $500 I made to put towards our house debt are once again, untouched. And, most importantly, Kotoko is feeling better. This photo is from the way back from the vet (I know, the photos are very similar) but even then, because of the fluids and anti-nausea meds, she was feeling better:

It took a while for the fluids to go into her (something for which they took her to the back) so I fooled around with the Jurassic World Alive app on my phone while we waited…

Anyway, I just want to reiterate how grateful I am, all I wanted was to not have this be such a painful hit for our finances, discouraging as it was, and in the end we received so much help that we didn’t have to lose the money saved for the debt. I am so grateful to everyone who donated!

To continue in regards to yesterday. When we got back home, though I was trying to stay cheerful for Christopher (who I could tell was doing the same) I felt really low. Christopher did his best to cheer me up, he treated me to Chipotle and Starbucks on the same day. But it took a while until I felt okay again.

At least though, I managed to push through my hated task of cleaning the porch. And boy, did I hate it. But it is done, and by the time night fell, I finally let the cats outside again, to their utter delight. They’re still there now, enjoying themselves:

I also planted more grass for them to eat while they are on the porch, something I know they miss a lot.

The place looks a good bit emptier with all that I’ve thrown away, but that’s fine. It looks clean. And since this was something that was angering and depressing me so much, I expect my mood to continue to improve today and over the weekend, every time I see it. ๐Ÿ˜Š I’m also gonna clean up the house a little bit, since I am considering having a party the weekend after this one. ๐Ÿค”

During one of my cleaning breaks yesterday, while having my coffee, I read some of this book I got at the Swap Shop…

It’s very simple, but quite adorable. I like it because the stories are not about bears in general but about teddy bears specifically (as in, toys).

And that brings me to now! I’m having breakfast with Picaรฑa as I work on this post.

Anyway, today I really need to catch up on artwork, as much as I can. Things are not delayed per the queue, but they are per my monetary personal goals. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ This week just kinda went to heck, though thanks to everyone’s support it is turning around again! ๐ŸŽ‰

Did A Lot Today! ๐Ÿ˜„

Good evening, everyone! ๐Ÿ˜Š Today I woke up full of determination. I got lots done! But to begin with, let me share something from last night. I ultimately picked Anise to wear the lovely dress made by Kitty. Here she is modeling it!

Because today I knew I’d burn plenty of calories on the porch, I skipped my morning walk. I didn’t mean to skip the evening one as well, but it got late and Christopher isn’t happy when I get home after sundown, so I’ll probably just get on my exercise bike after I finish writing this post. Anyway, the porch was the first thing on my day, while it was still kinda dark outside, and still somewhat cool. My first job involved moving all the bricks to a corner of the yard. This was a BIG job:

All in all it was 32 or so bricks, 22 lbs each. Perhaps a little more? ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I could barely lift a single one, so I had to take them one at a time, and kinda f***ed up my wrists in doing so, but I did move them all. I also cleaned one part of the porch (no pressure cleaning) and moved everything from the other side, so I can pressure clean that area tomorrow. It’s so filthy:

Another thing I did was move my neglected little hanging plant to a spot where it will get more sun, and, being right next to the hose, be easier to water. I added more soil to the pot and just made it a little neater, it was a mess.

I fixed this little area, too, so now it is pleasant to look at again… ๐Ÿ’–๐ŸŒท

And I trashed many… many things that were in unsalvageable condition. ๐Ÿ˜ž

Those photos are from my stopping point for the day, but earlier, around noon, I took a break to make lunch for Christopher and I. He’d been playing video games and relaxing, so I wanted to treat him to something special. I made him rice balls. ๐Ÿ™โœจ๐ŸŒˆ

His were plain (that’s how he likes them) but afterwards I made some for me too, and these had tuna salad and spreadable cheese as choices of fillings. They were great!

During lunch and throughout my day I continued to read “Sprout”. It’s a curious little story (spoilers ahead, if you care) about a little boy who is obsessed with elephants. He’s a very peculiar child, who by a wide variety of displayed traits would definitely be diagnosed autistic by our standards today.

The book is overall funny, charming, and without very high stakes, until our protagonist decides to climb up a tree and have a 22 foot fall that nearly kills him. It’s not something I expected to happen in such a short story. While the tone doesn’t change very much, things feel so serious so quickly. In any case, it has a happy end, and it’s a charming little read.

Not only did I do all of this today, but I streamed Dungeon Keeper for one hour (to be shared in a separate post) and finally got through the town of Tickle (I failed, I think, about five times, two or three times in-stream!) and got some work done on a birthday present for a couple of my friends. I might finish that tonight.

In another note, I now have some snail shells on my shelf. These were buried and cleaned out by nature (except for the baby shell… sadly, this is the baby I shared a month or so ago. He did not make it, but I saved his shell). One of the other shells is an old Cornu Aspersum. And the second shell from the left is my sweet old guy who died a few weeks ago. I’m happy that his shell survived in the best condition of the three that I buried.

Now, being done with this post, I’m going to continue on to the rest of my housework, then exercise a bit, then get some writing in before bed. I’ve finally broken through a serious chapter hurdle and I’ve got to strike while the iron is hot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

๐Ÿ“š The Hagwood Trilogy ๐Ÿ“š

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

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

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

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

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

HEAVY SPOILERS BELOW!