This morning I woke up to this cuteness next to me… Kotoko purring her heart out with her paw protectively (or is that possessively?) on Christopher’s sleeping head:
So yeah, that was adorable. Later, as she has the last few days, Kotoko came to spend time with me on the desk. She played with fishies for a while:
I had lunch with my friend Al today (it’s weird to just say “my friend” after years of saying “my boss” because even though I haven’t worked for him for years and years everyone still calls him “your boss”). 😫
Later Christopher and I went to Target for a pickup. We also got some date-night snacks and a birthday present for Nikki, his (our) sister:
Once home we watched TV and had snacks before heading out for date-night pizza…
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. 🤔
Tonight was date night! I awaited it very eagerly. We played with our trains and went out to dinner, too. We went to Nami, and it was really nice. I had the Buddha Tofu and a Thai iced tea as per usual:
We also stopped by Five Below where I saw some LINE Friends blind boxes. I love LINE Friends, most of all Cony and Brown, so I grabbed one.
I got a plushie of Choco taking a selfie! It’s really cute, too:
After we got home we played with our trains. Often we let the cats in, and they will rampage over our tracks with much pleasure:
Christopher had a wonderful surprise for me. When I went to play with my brand new roundhouse, Gordon was mysteriously sleeping inside! I really, really wanted him, so it was wonderful when I pushed the button and he came out. It made me so happy.
The roundhouse is really beautiful, if a little fragile.
Here is James proudly emerging:
And a few more random pics:
The gang’s all here! Well sort of. I’m still missing a few of the really important trains.
We watched a few old episodes of Thomas, and then at one point the sounds in the roundhouse began to malfunction, so Christopher started what we hoped would be a quick fix…
…it turned out to be anything but, so the roundhouse is in pieces for a little bit while we try to find ways to fix the problems.
I’m very tired writing this, so I leave you with another rampaging black kitty. This time, it’s Tomoyo:
Tonight was date night. I feel too tired for almost anything, and I think so does Christopher, but we gave it our best. We played Dragomino for the first time and it was fun, even though I lost. 😅 We played Mille Bornes too.
Afterward we made dinner. I made salmon croquettes and he made Cheddar Bay biscuits. We had a salad, too. It was a very good meal.
Today was my neurologist appointment. There’s a lot of stuff about that I’ll be going into detail in an upcoming post, because I’m so tired.
After the appointment I experienced the worst headache of my life. Like “I think I am dying” bad. Somehow, I was okay an hour later. Which I can only compare to pain like, breaking your leg in three places and being okay an hour later. It was an odd feeling. The pain still had me somewhat nauseous, so I wasn’t very hungry, but I hated to cancel our date night plans, so off we went to Nami. I brought MoonPie along:
Nami in Miramar is still taking COVID pretty seriously and is one of the few places I feel comfortable dining out at. So I didn’t want to give up the chance as I treasure these outings with my husband.
The food was good, I just didn’t feel so great so I didn’t eat as much as other times. Plus the headache episode was so unbelievably frightening that I was just, rattled overall, and wondering in the back of my head, still, if I should be in the restaurant or the ER. Haha…
I had Buddha Tofu as usual. Later we played Tetris. It was a lovely night as they always are. I enjoy our date nights immensely.
My little Mignon (AKA Cabbage Rose by Charlie Bears) arrived today! It’s odd, when I first took him out I didn’t like his face AT ALL. It was an instant, oh, back you go, buddy. I really did box him back up and start looking at the return process. He just looks… grumpy? Haha.
But I don’t know, I dressed, brushed him, and then suddenly I loved him. Basically I’m fickle as balls, okay. So he stays. I love how poseable his ears are.
He’s already joined me for date night snack, and is gonna be with me for dinner and Tetris and puzzle-making. 😁
Doesn’t he look cute in his sweater, too! It’s by HalandMacy on Etsy.
Greetings! Well, I’ve certainly not been terribly active… Art has been slow, and I’ve barely popped up on chats or comments. I figured it was time for an update.
So here’s what’s kept me occupied and/or the state of things:
🌈 My Sites/Books:
The most important factor in my lack of activity. Wix is not always great, and very expensive, and I really like this WP blog. So I tried to move to WordPress.org, then simply upgrading my WordPress.com (where this blog was started) when the transfer of this blog to WP.org became much more bug ridden than I hoped (and I know… I know… one shouldn’t pay for WP.com, it’s a ripoff. Don’t give me a hard time, I had my reasons, I also had true expert assistance during the process, and the best they could do could not accomplish things as neatly as I wanted.)
Even when I upgraded my WP.com, the things I wanted to do would still have involved probably a full month of difficult manual work transferring my Wix galleries. I just kept running into issues and things didn’t really look like I wanted.
In the end, I downgraded WP.com to just “no ads” (mainly an issue on mobile) and stayed on Wix but that, too, necessitated work.
You see, unless you’re using dynamic pages, databases, etc, Wix has a 100 page limit. I had a lot of pages. Each of my book sections had its own splash page, a page per chapter, a page per character, an About page, a FAQ, a Chapter Index. For both of these, I significantly consolidated pages using anchors, so now, each book has a single page for characters, a single page for all chapters + index, and the about page is the splash page. Additionally, I had to change the font across many pages, as this, too, was giving errors, though only on mobile. All of this took hours and hours of work.
Why was I concerned about the page limit now? I hear you, I do, I haven’t posted a new chapter in a long while. But we knew, from the start, that I would reach a point in my book where there was a large space between chapters that I would need to fill, and try as I might I could not rush it. A lot of writing has been happening in the sidelines, I’m getting very close to when I’ll need to publish again, and doing it on a site that was constantly warning me of how close I am to the 100 page limit was distressing, so anyway, I fixed that.
I’ve also done adjustments to my Trello: the amount of columns has been significantly reduced. Now there is the Welcome column, the Label Guide, Waiting List, one column for ALL commissions in progress, one column for ANY free art, gifts included, one for Trades and Collaborations, and finally, one for personal art.
In addition, I added a “Book List” to this blog (similar to my anime list, only of books I’m reading) and greatly expanded my blog’s FAQ, as well as added anchor navigation to it. A countdown to the next significant event has also been added to the right sidebar (currently, for commission openings.)
I’ve also created a few new banners for my blog. Most of the year, you will see three variations of my older banner, which will show randomly (and, I will probably add more) with Ricky Parky making different faces. However, for fall/autumn there will be a specific banner (currently displayed) and a Halloween one for all of October. There will also be a Christmas banner from Black Friday to New Year’s. I plan to make Easter/Spring and July 4th banners eventually too.
This is mostly for my own amusement since… no one visits my blog as much as I do. Lol.
With some delays still, they are being fervently worked on. I currently have a complex YCH for Kiba, a 4 page, 3 character comic for Snow, and the commission for Island, in different degrees of progress (all between 60%-80% completion.)
🌈 Other Life Stuff:
Hmm, okay, what else… I’m awaiting two bunnies, a Charlie Bears one, and a Steiff one.
The Charlie Bear bunny I’m waiting for, is Cabbage Rose. I LOVE her name, but as usual I’ll pick one of my own. She will be my first jointed Charlie Bear bunny. Her ears are poseable!
I’m not sure if I will keep the Steiff bunny. I wanted a special plushie for sleeping with, that was soft. So it needs to be cute but not so cute that I worry about ruining it.
Being Steiff, it is overpriced, on par with some of my cheaper Charlie Bears, but being soft, non-jointed, and rather average looking. What I really wanted was the 45cm version of him, but it was a too costly for just a few extra inches, so I went with the 35cm one.
It sounds like it will fit the bill of what I am after, but if it is too cheap-looking, back it will go. It’s coming today, so we will see what we see. If it’s exceedingly adorable but too small, then I’ll send him back and consider the bigger one down the road.
(And if you saw me mentioning purchasing a Steiff bear on Discord, I actually canceled that order in favor of Hoppi here.)
I don’t have names for either bunny yet, which is a bit unusual for me. Hoppi is the bunny’s stock name.
I’m also waiting for more bear sweaters, and a new book, “Firstborn” by Tor Seidler. I’m really looking forward it. I’ve been reading lots, recently having finished “Toby Tyler; Or, Ten Weeks With A Circus” by James Otis, a very touching little book, if obviously dated.
Last night was date night, and as a rare treat we went out to eat. It had been a few months since Christopher and I last went out to eat as a date. It was really nice.
We went to Nami Sushi, and I had the Buddah Tofu and a Thai iced tea. We played LOTS of Tetris on the Switch, before and after dinner. It was a lovely evening.
Tomorrow morning we’re off for Sebastian to visit Christopher’s mom. I’m really looking forward to it. Provided my new Steiff bunny is satisfactory, I expect I’ll bring him along. 🐰
I don’t currently have any more news to share. Snail updates will be in their own post. I wish you all the loveliest of weekends!
Today was a really good day. I did all my chores, worked on my books, worked on commissions and personal art, sorted a lot of email. One of my new Charlie Bears came (photos tomorrow) as well as my new Beany Boo camel, whom I’ve named Falafel.
I’ll have better photos of Falafel tomorrow as well to explain why he is special enough to add to my hug. For now, have the photos from our date night!
We had ramen, played a couple rounds of KingDomino, and watched a little TV. It was a really happy, cozy time.
Christopher won every round, but it was still a lot of fun. Maybe I’ll do better next time! 😬💧
The last two days have been interesting. 👀 💦 Where to begin…
I broke the washing machine by trying to wash a coir mat in it. 🤦♀️ The washing machine is now (likely? hopefully?!) fixed but still disassembled. We’ll put it back together this weekend.
We are also getting a new microwave delivered because ours broke… that is also happening this weekend.
I worked a bunch more on the porch (hellish under the Florida heat) 😫 and I’ve spent the whole week adjusting the descriptions on my remaining FA submissions (over 1,000). Since I used the FA feature of adding a footer to everything automatically I still have to remove my extra footer that was originally written manually on every submission. I’m also using the chance to remove any outdated information. That has been a grueling, boring, repetitive, mind-numbing job. But it’s almost done, I expect to be done in about two more hours.
Yesterday I got to go to the local Asian market again, and also to Publix, where Christopher let me get this new buddy for my library:
After that we had our date night dinner, which was wonderful! 💕💕💕💕 Hamburger steak with mashed potatoes and I’m excited to have leftovers tonight. We played Animal Crossing and I had a little wine. It was a lovely evening though I fell asleep quite fast. I couldn’t even stay awake to watch anime.
I haven’t posted any OOTD’s here yet because I’ve kinda lost my oomph with them, temporarily I’m sure, but it’s a direct result of 1) being too busy reorganizing and deleting my social media 2) not going anywhere 3) not being on Instagram anymore. My selfie thing was a bit excessive and a bit unhealthy (for me). So, I don’t see this as a negative. But I’d like to upload at least a 2-3 OOTD’s a week once I am done with this online “reset”.
Oh, one last thing. My friend Nero mentioned an old anime called Bannertail: The Story of Gray Squirrel, which is itself based upon a book by Ernest Thompson Seton. Now, this writer is celebrated but quite problematic (some serious issues of appropriation of Native American culture, but he was born in 1860, so you know, a quite different time. He seemed to be fascinated with it in a positive manner, but in a manner that is regardless as cringy as it gets.)
Anyway, this man seems to have written some very interesting animal books, so I ordered three of them. Bannertail, Monarch, The Big Bear of Tallac, and The Biography of a Grizzly.
I’m hoping the less-than-ideal content in these books, if any, is not too prevalent or bad, though this hardly keeps me from reading anything (I have some seriously messed-up stuff by today’s standards in my library… since I collect antique children’s books and you would be shocked at the amount of casual racism books had a hundred years ago or so. You think well, it’s to be expected, but some of it is really terrible, and in those cases I keep the books for the sake of them being a gross curiosity, but they don’t become something I enjoy re-reading.)
I’ll post an update about those books once they arrive!
Marina's furry art, fantasy writing and daily life!