Tag Archives: Kotoko

Little Impromptu Get Together 💕🙂

Good morning, everyone! Our weekend ended on a lovely note. Our friend Kris invited us to dinner. I wasn’t super hungry but outings have become quite precious and I wasn’t gonna pass it up. It was him, his girlfriend (whose name I’m still trying to learn) and our friend Jessie whom we saw this weekend already.

We went to Scruby’s BBQ. I was delighted by their holiday window decorations:

These window paintings never seem to change. Now or in the 80s, even in my country, they look very similar. It’s such a nostalgic feeling.

I wanted to be myself last night. I dressed a little more like my usual self and brought Stitches for a picture. I just had fried mushrooms and stole some of Christopher’s fries. My food was actually really bland, so I didn’t eat them all. What with COVID, I didn’t want to touch any of the non-disposable sauce containers or salt and pepper shakers.

After we got home, I worked on a personal New Year’s drawing (I began it at the restaurant, since I brought my iPad with me, but I mostly finished it at home) and then opened the Evangelion Tamagotchi that Christopher got for me. It was a preorder since April, and something we definitely wanted more as a collectible/curiosity than for being a “good” Tamagotchi or anything –but it’s definitely a legit Tamagotchi with the Tamagotchi logo, and it’s official Evangelion merch.

Right now, I still have it at the embryo stage, and I’ve figured out how to do simulation training and give it energy, but I can’t seem to check its stats or do anything else… I’ll have to look into it.

Anyway, Kotoko just came to me meowing with her mouse in her mouth, like every morning. She doesn’t want food or pets. She just brings it for me every morning and then gets on with her day. I guess I should get on with mine.

See you on the next post!

Merry Christmas!! 🎄✨🎁🎅

It’s here! And what a wonderful one it was… I am so happy.

By the time my mom came downstairs this morning, I had the table set, every Christmas light on, and gentle Christmas music in the background. We arranged our presents on the table:

We exchanged presents as we had breakfast. It was so lovely and peaceful. We had Grandpa’s photo right by us and it felt almost like he was there. I’m glad I made the little display for him.

From my mom I got a snail shirt, a squirrel shirt, an Amazon gift card, and a Switch otome that I really wanted, CollarxMalice. From Mwako I got some Posca markers, another otome (Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~) a board game called “Lion In My Way” and two manga volumes, both Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid related.

And then… I finally let myself open the present from Buddy, Sarah and Santa.

It was the wonderful keyboard that I’d fallen in love with. It was a frivolous, unnecessary want, that I think must have put Santa in a tough spot. I didn’t expect or deserve it, and I definitely didn’t cry when I tore open the package. Okay, maybe just a little.

Truth be told, when I took it out from behind the clock I strongly suspected what it was and my anticipation and emotion was so great that I just sat on my chair hugging it and almost not daring to rip open the paper. It was heavy, too. I’m waiting a while to actually open the box just to extend that joy, but for now here it is with the rest of my spread:

When I went upstairs to bring the presents to my studio I snapped this cute photo of Rosie and Kotoko together in the sun:

I also did a quick little check on my snails and wished them a Merry Christmas. They were just doing their snail thing:

After opening presents and finishing our breakfast, we went out for a long walk. It was really cold (for Florida) so we bundled up:

I don’t think I ever went out for a long walk with my mom in my neighborhood. When it comes to such things, she is like me, in that we will point out little bugs or leaves as we walk, that are interesting. I can’t do that with anyone else in the same way, so it was really fun.

After we got home my mom began making the shrimp salad. It’s a salad I haven’t gotten to have in AGES so I was really excited. While I waited for her to be done so I could prepare the roast chicken, I had a little snack:

All the while we had country Christmas music (and ONLY country, haha) going on all over the house. God, it was glorious.

After my mom was done with the salad and it was set to chill in the fridge, I prepared my second roast chicken ever. My mom really liked the humita empanadas I made, but this was my big test. So far, I’d had the house perfect, the porch beautiful, nothing out of place. I knew my mom was proud and impressed, and above all so happy. She kept saying so. I really wanted this to be the finishing touch, and for her to feel that I can take care of her and keep her happy. It’s really important to me.

We watched Scrooged while the chicken cooked. I made SO much smoke, the smoke alarm went off. But the chicken itself didn’t burn, just some of the grease. All was good, but there was so much smoke that our eyes were burning.

The dinner spread was simple, but lovely:

As for the chicken, while it was very slightly drier than my first, it was still great:

My mom’s salad was too… everything was delicious. I gave my mom most of the chicken to take home, since I can roast Christopher another anytime.

My mom left shortly after dinner, and Christopher arrived home less than ten minutes after she left, bringing with him several presents from Grandma!

She sent me a photo of me and Grandpa dancing together on Christopher and I’s wedding day, a beautiful silver bracelet, a Precious Moments watch that once belonged to her, two lovely Christmas lanterns to decorate (as well as an addition to the Christmas village, but that’s for both of us, along with a photo of Grandpa and Christopher to put on the fridge.) She also sent me two gift cards, and with one of them I got Café Enchanté, the last otome on my wish list. 😁

My Christmas joy was (and still is) so unparalleled, so overwhelming, that I feel a little guilty. I’m this happy because I spent Christmas alone with my mom, and the way Christmas was disjointed this year should be sad, and nothing else. But you have to understand… we all treasure the memory we have from childhood if it’s a good one –sometimes, nostalgia makes us look back fondly upon it even if a big part of it was sad, because we hold on to the small happy bits.

From the time I was nine years old and my parents separated, my mom and I endured many years of either bad company that resulted in more than one Christmas with fights and crying while I sat somewhere plugging my ears with my fingers to avoid hearing it, to being just us, alone, struggling for money in an unfinished house. But at that point of being alone, we finally had peace, so while we were bordering on poor at times, and our presents would literally be things from the dollar store, our Christmases were very happy.

After we immigrated, we spent over fifteen years of Christmases alone. All very happy Christmases except for the utterly devastating one that came four days after our beloved cat Stimpy died. But when I met Christopher and we married, those Christmases were gone forever. I could not bear to spend a Christmas apart from him. And my mom and I’s rituals are extremely different from the family’s. We never expected to experience them alone again.

For this reason, this Christmas is one we will treasure for the rest of our lives, even though we wore masks throughout, even though I could not kiss her, it still was a precious time, and if I said I would have preferred to have it any other way, I would be lying.

There’s also the fact that this year I’ve become far more aware of my mom’s age, and her fragility, her tiredness and how unhappy she is, and how precious the time I have left with her is. So this coming year, I’m going to start working towards some changes to prepare the house to have her here, because I think when her oldest cat dies and only Sweeney is left, it will be time.

My mom is starting to approach 70, slowly but surely. Were it not for her sacrifice, I would not have made it here, nor met my husband… I want to give my mom some happiness on her golden years.

This topic aside, as I sent a bunch of Christmas greetings, I reached out to a friend of Christopher and I’s, whom we have barely seen this year and had a minor disagreement with, but enough to result in hurt feelings and some distancing. To my surprise we ended up talking and somewhat patching things up. Seems he’s been quite lonesome, and I felt so glad to have sent that message, glad as he was to receive it, that the whole thing left me a little bit choked up. Really added to the magic of the day for me. I hope we can see him soon.

But anyway… I ramble on… here’s one last photo, one that my mom took of Rosie:

I hope your Christmas was happy… I hope you feel lucky, in spite of the grief this year brought. Six days from now we will leave this year behind, and it is disingenous to tell ourselves that all will be well on January 1st. I think if we are lucky, things will *start* to get noticeable better around July-August. It’s okay. We can do it, we made it this far after all.

I want to send my love and my most sincere wishes for good fortune, good health, strength, and an ability to see and appreciate whatever blessings are present at this time, to everyone reading this. Whoever you are, whether you like me, love me or hate me, or don’t know me, whether you enjoy my blog, or hate-read or cringe at it, even if you just randomly found it today on WordPress’s Reader… truly, truly whoever you are… I hope you find happiness.

End of Christmas Weekend 🎄✨

Good morning everyone! Though Christmas is this week, our weekend Christmas with family is officially over (although my mom is coming on Christmas Eve.) Yesterday my sis and mom in law went home, but we enjoyed a very nice day together before they did.

I found Buddy and Sarah in the living room yesterday, on top of the projector screen:

In the morning the weather outside was so wonderful that I went out by myself to the porch to have my coffee with the cats.

It was chilly, but the sun felt so nice. I wish everyone had come with me, but they were inside in the dark living room (no windows) playing Animal Crossing, so 🤷‍♀️ but I had a nice little time to myself before I joined them.

Rosie sat on my lap, and was just so sleepy and a melted ball of hair and purrs.

Tomoyo would alternate between relaxing and running around with her little bursts of energy:

Kotoko quietly sunned herself…

Whilst I spent time there, I enjoyed watching the squirrels eat the food I put out for them.

Last week, our wonderful vet, Dr. Pisano, sent me a photo of Maddie in her Christmas tree:

You might remember Madeline and Croissant, our last two rats which joined our vet’s mischief when we decided to stop having rats for a while. Croissant sadly passed away this year from a tumor that Dr. Pisano found too advanced to remove, but Maddie is still enjoying life as you can see.

This past week, between his work and my Christmas preparations, Christopher and I didn’t have much quality time to ourselves. Even though I know he was really tired, after our family left he took me to a nice little local church event in the evening that had loads of Christmas lights and such. It was really romantic walking around together in that atmosphere even though the decorations were so old and corny.

Christopher took a photo of me next to one of the trees. I brought Ricky Parky with me; after a whole weekend of acting as non-Little as possible, being able to carry him around did wonders for my state of mind.

Later at home we decided to give one more go to chestnut roasting. It’s our fourth try… we always got bad batches before.

It’s more work than you might think. You have to make a cut in every chestnut so they don’t explode in the oven. But first you boil them in order to moisten them:

Most of the floating ones tend to be bad, so we discarded those. It was only a few that floated, and indeed most of those weren’t good (mold inside.)

Then they go in the oven for 15 minutes:

After they come out, you wrap them tight in a towel for, I believe, ten minutes or so. Here they are fresh out of the oven:

The results were… okay? Chestnuts are weird. They’re very fleshy; meat-like, really. They taste good but it really feels like they should be eaten with something else, I just don’t know what. In the end Christopher didn’t like them but I had a few. Mostly I enjoyed the experience of roasting chestnuts together.

While they roasted I got the living room looking all festive for movie watching:

We watched another old movie, The Holly And The Ivy. It was nice. It just gives me so much unmitigated joy to watch these old movies with Christopher. It’s one of my more niche interests and to have him show a genuine interest in it makes me deeply happy.

Overall the evening together was delightful. All my stress melts away when I am with him.

The older we get and the longer we are married, the more I understand that “finding your home in a person” feeling. I know I complain a lot on my blog, sometimes I mention feeling very lonely in some aspects. That’s bound to happen sometimes… no relationship is perfect. But taking it as a whole I do think ours is one of the closest to perfect I have ever seen. I would be hard pressed to find a kinder man, who understands so much about me and accepts me so completely —even the parts he doesn’t understand.

But I am rambling, and today is going to be a busy day. I have to shower, take care of the snails and the rest of my chores, and then draw like there’s no tomorrow.

Oh —a final note because I noticed this literally as I am wrapping up the post. I just found Buddy and Sarah for the day! They were in the Furby area of my studio bookshelf:

I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful day, and please stay safe this week!

State Of The Squelf: Almost Thanksgiving Edition 🦃

Hello! I’m back with a “normal” post. It’s been a while and all I have been doing is posting insufferable rants about the election and about online stuff, while accumulating less annoying, more pleasant topics on the side. Now there’s a lot of that, so I might as well make a couple big posts of it to chase away the less fun ones. Or maybe more like four. Anyway here’s the first.

🌈 Health Stuff 🌈

Disclaimer: Please do not comment with any sort of medical advice. I’m going to ask my doctor about this is if it continues. Please bear in mind I’ve had an incredibly exhaustive amount of blood work and a spine MRI last month, so anything very serious would have popped up. I have been suffering from paresthesia in other ways, and my doctor is aware.

Today I woke up to my left leg being completely numb down to my foot.

It was the second or third time of this happening in a week, and just as frightening as the other times. I jumped out of bed this time, desperate to feel my limb again, quite literally punching my foot because not feeling it is so scary. I don’t even feel pins and needles for a while. Any feeling takes 20-30 seconds to come back, and when it does the pins and needles aren’t as intense as they would normally be upon losing feeling on an entire body part. It’s really disconcerting.

What makes it particularly odd is that I wake up just as I fell asleep: on my back, without any apparent constriction to any area of my body.

It’s just puzzling and scary, and today I woke up feeling garbage-y in general due to my period and everything I did yesterday, so I have cramps and my legs hurt.

As far as COVID-19 goes, Christopher appears to be over it. When we stopped isolating from each other, we celebrated by ordering sushi:

The CDC (along with the contact tracer who called us both) says he and I are free to resume our normal lives as of last Monday, and we have done so.

Now, the CDC doesn’t recommend that you judge whether or not you can go back to work by a test result. You can have remnants of the virus for 14+ weeks after you first get symptoms, which will cause tests to still say positive though you aren’t contagious (and in fact one of my husband’s coworkers tested positive for THREE. MONTHS.) Christopher continues to test positive (twice now) so while he no longer has to isolate, he can’t go back to work because his job won’t follow CDC advice and instead requires two negative tests to allow employees to return.

In addition to this, it would seem Christopher didn’t develop antibodies. As for me, I never had symptoms.

At the end of the day I very much hope that this whole mess somehow keeps us from attending Thanksgiving. Of course I love and want to see my family, especially given Grandpa’s passing in July. But I am deeply concerned about the holidays and about Grandma, and I think everyone is being completely careless. Someone in the newspaper described this year as being at war, and how their grandmother during WW2 couldn’t be with her husband due to deployment. It was war, everyone understood and had happier holidays in later years.

This is war too, only after a different enemy, which requires us to make a conscious decision not to gather. I really hope a big family gathering won’t happen, for everyone’s safety… a vaccine is in the horizon… I want us all to be able to enjoy the holidays next year and many years more.

🌈 Studio 🌈

Earlier, I mentioned the stuff I did yesterday, which left me tired and sore. So, you all have heard much from me at this point regarding my workspace being uncomfortable, and all the commissions I took to raise money to fix it, buying things such as a foot rest, an arm for my Cintiq, a new chair, and several other things I had to return because they didn’t work. I’ve spent hours arranging things in different ways to find a new, more comfortable position.

Really, it’s not only that, though. Normally I also get to draw at my mom’s twice a month (if in a very ergonomically unfriendly situation) or I go to the park, or to Starbucks, to draw and write. But this year I haven’t done that. It’s getting to me. It’s really getting to me. I miss people watching really badly. My environment never changes. I’m not bored, but I’m restless and lonesome for people, rather than any one individual person.

So yesterday I did something more drastic, and moved my entire setup by a couple of feet, freeing the window area which improves my mood. I can see the street, and more light comes in. I also put a little plant there:

It took a ton of work to make this fairly small shift, as well as unplugging everything and plugging it back in, but now it’s done, and as I use it this afternoon, it seems… okay, I guess. After trying so many things, I’m hesitant to get too excited about anything, but I’m trying to be optimistic.

For an added change of pace, I began working on traditional art in the library:

I’ve been taking sketch commissions for the first time in years, and while I am rusty, it’s fun so far:

I eventually bought a slanted drawing board by Falling In Art, which made work more comfortable there, and I can easily move to other places:

Here it is in use:

Sometimes, Kotoko keeps me company. I try to keep a little bed for her wherever I work:

I’ve also had a new bear for company, Jelly Donut. I’ll talk more about him in his own post, but here’s a photo of him, taken before his outfit was put together:

🌈 Snails 🌈

I stopped writing about this every time it happened, but the truth is, snails from my first clutch are dying. These seem to be sudden deaths of otherwise quite healthy snails and my other snails are doing well enough. I can only guess that the parents really had bad genes, and were probably siblings, which would not be surprising.

Most of the milk snail clutch consists of runts, as it is now apparent. I’m giving it a little more time, but though I am loath to do it, a cull to prevent suffering will probably have to happen soon.

Only four of the roman snail eggs have hatched.

🌈 Cats 🌈

You might remember that Tomoyo had a serious bladder infection of some sort. It was a bad time. She’s all better now. Kotoko is also responding well to the Gabapentin for her joint pain.

🌈 New Game 🌈

Christopher got me a new game, Code: Realize / Guardian of Rebirth (visual novel game names are so freaking cryptic, I swear.) I haven’t started playing it yet (maybe later today) but I am really excited about it because it’ll be the first visual novel I play all on my own, and it’s an otome, so that’s doubly exciting.

That would be all for this post. I still have to share a little about books I have been reading, and about Jelly Donut, and Ever17, which we just finished playing. but I’ll save that for separate posts. Thank you for reading this one!

A Blur Of Samey Days

Pandemic life was already really weird. For many people stuck at home, sometimes it’s hard to know what day of the week it is –our little routines are what gives us a sense of time and place, rather than the calendar alone.

I’m always home, so I rely on those time “markers” all the more. With Christopher relegated to the guest room as he recovers from COVID and our daily routine completely out the window, it’s even more disconcerting. It’s Sunday? I think? It feels like I’m living the same day over and over.

My mind is on the holidays a lot. I realized that the idea of spending them with just my mom is flawed. My mom is the one person I truly can’t be with, at least not without constantly disinfecting surfaces and wearing masks. I really don’t know what I’m going to do… no matter what, someone will likely be mad at me or hurt by my decision.

Anyway. Today I completed another commission. Even as I do so, a thought that goes around my head a lot is… I wish to just stop taking commissions. I really do. I know I won’t. Maybe I could at least scale it back dramatically? I need to go back to traditional work, to drawing for me, to my books, which see sporadic bursts of intense work before commissions swallow me yet again. I want to return to sitting in front of my drawing board thinking hmm, what should I draw? And having a chance to ponder because I don’t have a list of 20 things to get through. To daring to try new things because there isn’t a set expectation that I need to deliver upon.

Don’t get me wrong… I don’t hate drawing for other people, I’m just trying to find whatever it is I lost years ago, in regards to focusing on things other than furry and commissions, and I don’t know if I can do that without a serious scaling back of taking new work. But I’ve tried that before, and it didn’t quite work. I could try again, though.

I did draw something for myself today though. Made some new banners for the headers of individual blog posts. I have to admit, this blog really makes me so happy. Ever since I have it, it became less about showing off items I bought (I don’t count my teddies… I feel I’m just introducing new friends with those) and more about my life, my art, my books. You know. Meaningful things.

I have just a handful of followers and the only frequent commenter has been my good friend Nate, yet, this lack of interaction from the “masses” hasn’t been bad at all, rather, the complete opposite, I feel more free to write what I want and speak my mind.

It’s funny, when I was young, I wanted to be famous. I wanted lots of eyes on me. Now I want the complete opposite. Fame is not just overrated, it’s terrifying. At least in our Internet age.

Anyway that’s it for today’s ramble. Christopher isn’t better or worse, he’s always been pretty okay except for the first day. We’re being super careful though. As you can expect, Kotoko is missing him terribly. She’s been spending time with the other cats, but surprisingly hasn’t been looking for love from me much (which she normally does a lot.)

Health Update And Other Things

Hey everyone. I know that lately I’ve been pretty quiet here other than art posts. I’ve really been suffering of a lack of motivation and inability to concentrate on basically anything.

I don’t often mention my ADHD, because it seems everyone and their mother has either self-diagnosed with it or been diagnosed with it. Even though I was diagnosed many years ago, before it was so seemingly commonplace, I tend to hide this fact as much as possible. I’m not personally into shouting my disorders or disabilities from the rooftops, or listing them on my profiles, I get no comfort or feeling of solidarity with other people from doing so (if you do, though, more power to you, I’m not judging that.) I personally consider it a condition that makes my life a lot harder, only unlike, say, my epilepsy, I’m unable to take medication for it (meds that help with ADHD/ADD are known to cause seizures.)

To get to the point: sometimes, like now, it seems to get even harder to manage. Like my (mild) manic episodes, this comes in waves, every few months or couple of years. It seemed that in childhood I used to at least be able to hyper focus on what interested me, but lately, I cannot even do that, and my life feels often empty as a result. It’s always been obvious to me that it really got a lot worse after the internet came into my life, even though I block so much of it out, and keep tweaking those blocks.

I think I’ve spent a good amount of this year deeply sunk into one of those periods where concentrating is almost painfully exhausting, as well as switching gears. Showering, brushing my teeth, getting dressed, all of these things become especially difficult for me to do during these periods (though of course I still do them every single day.)

Lately it’s been especially bad. Hence why no blog/journal posts. Writing this is taking me a lot of mental effort. Maybe I’m just under too much stress. Drawing and writing isn’t bringing me anywhere near as much enjoyment either, which undoubtedly is behind my delays —and to those of you who are waiting so patiently, I appreciate it more than you could ever know. I don’t stop, I do still work daily, but it is more difficult, and slower as a result.

Truly, I think there’s also a relation with the fact that all of my art is done digitally now. I used to be able to turn my brain off to other things more easily when I worked traditionally.

To unwind, I’ve been playing a little WoW here and there, after being away for a couple of years, though I can’t seem to concentrate even on that for longer than an hour. However, it’s a respite of sorts. I’ve race-changed back to a dwarf. I really missed playing Sidra.

Anyway. A lot has been going on so let’s move on with the news.

The Current State Of Things, Health-Wise

The most important thing right now: Christopher is sick, and it may be COVID. He has a fever, cough, headache, body aches. He is getting tested as we speak.

Of course for a couple of weeks this changes everything at home. He is spending all the time in the guest room, away from me and the cats. So I’m all alone. We don’t get to cuddle or watch TV or eat, or game together. Silly things to be bummed out about, but you have to realize, this is all we have. And now we don’t.

Still, as long as he recovers easily, we can handle it. I’m taking all the precautions I can and looking after him as best as I can. Making sure to take his temperature, cook him nutritious foods, keep him hydrated. Disinfecting everything, wearing masks. And waiting.

Another thing is that I saw the neurologist again. The current state of things is:

🌈 I don’t have anything seriously wrong with my brain (MRI, with and without contrast, came out okay. You may remember the cyst, but the cyst is not a problem.)

🌈 Per the latest MRI, I don’t have anything wrong with my spine that can be causing my headaches (a couple of bulging vertebrae that isn’t pressing on anything.)

🌈 Most of my blood tests came out okay, but my vitamin D is like, really low, seriously low, like “I need prescription strength supplements” low. I don’t know why. But I’ve been given vitamins to take. I didn’t know vitamins were sold by prescription but it seems that is the case when you need a very strong dose.

🌈 I am also taking magnesium oxide for the headaches and the doctor may put me on propranolol.

Pet Health News

Our oldest cat, Kotoko, has been limping considerably as of late, so she had to get an x-ray. Between the appointment, medicines and the x-rays we were put nearly $500 in the hole.

It’s been determined that she has bad bones and lots of arthritis, including in her legs and spine. Kotoko is a very unique cat, and there is going to be a marked difference in life with and without her. So seeing the evidence of her years, and with that any reminder that she will one day be gone, is difficult for us. She is now taking a joint supplement and Gabapentin for the pain, and we hope she can have a few more years of comfort.

Also, Tomoyo’s cough came back after months, so she, too, is on medication. Steroids.

In better pet-related news, I AM FINALLY FREE OF RICCARDOELLA! These are the mites that were killing my snails. So that’s been good news. Also, of my first roman snail clutch, exactly ONE baby snail hatched. Out of maybe 40 eggs. I am so baffled, and wondering if they will hatch any day or if all the others are non-viable.

Here he is, with finger for scale:

Other than that, the baby milk snails are growing well. I’m relieved to not be stressed out about the snails because so many other things are stressing me out right now.

Commission Status

Over the next two weeks I will be finishing overdue commissions for Crazy_Nero (two) Wishskunk and Sonar. Maybe more, but this is what I know for sure I can finish over the next two weeks. I really appreciate your patience with me so, so much.

CW: Talk Of Politics & Mention of Upsetting Topics

If you cannot handle it, if it will stress you out, if you don’t want to know my opinions, if you cannot follow my request not to engage me in discussion of the topic if you support the current administration, STOP HERE.

I count down the days to the election, full of trepidation. There isn’t a result that doesn’t fill me with dread:

💩 Option 1: Trump wins decisively, and I have to face the fact that the country of my dreams, in which I just filed for citizenship, is okay being represented to the world by this man and all he stands for. It’s so hard for me to type that without my eyes filling with tears.

(I will add that if you are a Trump supporter please don’t comment, don’t tell me… please respect this wish. I don’t hate you, I just don’t want to know which of my friends or watchers support him. I could never look at you the same way if I know. So please, I beg you to respect this request, and just don’t tell me.)

🔥 Option 2: Biden wins, but not decisively, and chaos breaks out, Trump stages a coup/refuses to give up the White House, violence happens, etc. Won’t be pretty.

🤷‍♀️ Option 3: Biden wins decisively, takes office more or less peacefully, and we all try to just… move forward… but I can never forget things I’ve seen or heard. I can never forget the Trump supporters who, with a straight face, say stuff like Hillary drank the blood of babies (literally.) Or the ones that said slavery should return, gay people should be executed, reporters should be silenced/executed. I’ve seen a lot… a LOT of Trump supporters be okay saying or cheering at these statements. And you know what? This isn’t a small or insignificant segment of the country. I really think it’s almost half. That breaks my heart. In reality, this country has always been this way, I suppose… But now I see it more clearly.

But I love this country. I love it so much, you have no idea. This is my home. It is a part of my soul. I still think it’s the best country in the world but right now, it is so hurt, and divided, and its values have been spat on, and crapped on, all while what seems like half of its inhabitants cheer on, waving little American flags and wearing red hats, all as the rest of the world looks at us in complete BAFFLEMENT and I just have so much anger.

This is my country you are defiling. How is it that I, not having been born here, feel more anguish over this defilement, than some of you who are citizens yet would contribute to this horror? This is a political party that not many years ago, would have decried this behavior. Would have called it immoral, un-Christian, un-American. IT STILL IS!

So basically if Biden wins I’ll breathe a little easier because we have a chance to begin healing, and of not being embarrassed daily on a public world stage. But it doesn’t change what happened these last four years, and Trump didn’t do that to us, he just gave an opening, we did the rest by ourselves. And we have to go forward knowing that. We can never undo those years, or having seen each other for what we really are.

The rest of the year is so full of uncertainty, too. I am not looking forward to the holidays, because I anticipate a back and forth about the family getting together, which I think shouldn’t happen. I’m going to have to choose to make a difficult decision… Possibly it will mean I spend Christmas Day with just my mom. I don’t know. Thanksgiving I think will be even harder to get out of. But I feel it’s my responsibility. I just don’t know.

So anyway that’s the gist of things right now. I’ll keep everyone posted regarding Christopher’s results and convalescence, and I thank you for your good wishes in advance.

I will leave you with one request:

Regardless of whether you are a Republican or Democrat, or Libertarian, liberal or conservative, or whatever you are, because I don’t think this election is about any of those things. I’m not against any political party. I’m not against your religion. I’m not dismissing your fears of your world changing, of being jobless, of feeling no one listens to you. But please don’t choose hate this time. Please don’t be fooled. He doesn’t care about you. Please go out and vote for someone who can get us out of this dangerous place, even if he isn’t great or that charismatic. This is no longer about party lines, it’s about decency, responsibility, loving your neighbor, it’s about being a basic good human being.

PLEASE VOTE.

State Of The Squelf: Almost September Edition

Hello hello, welcome to your grumpy Monday morning post. 🌞 💀

It’s almost time for our End of Summer LAN, and I am so sad that it won’t happen this year. 😞But I did get to have my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year yesterday, so not all seasonal pleasures are lost… 🍁 🍂 🎃

I went to bed with a headache and I woke up with one as well, but overall, it was a good weekend.

On Saturday I went to Hobby Lobby crossing my fingers I’d find everything on my list, which doesn’t usually happen, but I did! I got a garland to decorate the library, some boxes to organize things there, pebbles to use with my snails’ water dishes so I can have more water in their tanks without risk of drowning and so improve the humidity, two necklace chains (one for a key my husband gave me on our wedding day, and another for a bunny key I got last year with my Charlie Bear Best Friends Club necklace from last year) and a cork board for the library also.

Here are some photos of the library remodel:

That afternoon our friends Kris and Fern came over to help us make a hole in the wall for our new cat door. 🐈 🚪

We “jokingly” call it my “r*pe prevention kitty door” 🤦‍♀️ which isn’t something to joke about but the truth is my fear of that happening (or someone entering the house during the day and hurting me) is very real. I’ve been keeping the back door to the porch open for months during the day so the cats can come in and out at their leisure, and this is just not the kind of neighborhood to do this.

It’s not a bad neighborhood but crime does happen, as well as breaking and entering, and an open door while I am upstairs, sometimes showering or napping, is an invitation to a tragedy. I’ve been very worried for a long time, but a lot of the stressed and destructive behavior of the cats improved so much when I began to keep the porch door open, that it seemed worth the risk.

Installing the cat door was no joke; it took both of my friends and my husband hours, with all kinds of power tools, and between buying tools and renting them, and the cost of the door and the tunnel segments to go through the thick wall, it ended up being a painful close to $300. 💸💸💸

The guys worked really, really hard. They had to go through solid block. But they did an awesome job. Now I’m trying to get the cats used to it. The tunnel is a bit long, so I worry about our older cat, Kotoko. But so far all other cats have at least come out on the porch.

The next day Kris and I went out on a long drive to Ft. Myers. We never really went out just the two of us to talk and have fun before, and it was really enjoyable. 🌈 💕

The drive was wonderful, we had lunch at a great little Tex-Mex place in Downtown Ft. Myers, I checked out a small toy store that had some Jelly Cats and evening a single Steiff bear, and then we went to Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. That park is supposed to have plenty of wild life, even bobcats, deer and black bears! But we didn’t see any. We could hear the otters in the distance but didn’t see any at the otter pond. We saw some turtles, and some colorful locusts and butterflies, and some apple snails. Oh, and a woodpecker, too.

Mostly, it was too hot for any animals to come out. The water was perfectly still. Even though we didn’t see many animals it was a wonderful time and I hope to go again. Kris told me many stories about fateful animal encounters in his youth as we walked.

Here are some photos I took during our walk:

Once we walked through the trail, we began to drive home. Kris tried to show off his truck’s four wheel drive but the truck got immediately stuck in sugar sand which was hilarious. We were incredibly lucky because we had not even been stuck five minutes when a Good Samaritan stopped by to help with a chain, and we were soon on our again.

We stopped on our way home to look for gators, and we found one!

You can barely see it in this photo:

That whole area was pretty in a way. Florida can be very pretty at times.

I also got to chase some vultures, but secretly I was afraid they would chase me back. 🙃

We stopped by Tijuana Flats on the way back and brought back dinner for us and Christopher. Kris left soon after we ate.

It was a really good day but by the time I got home I had a headache and was too exhausted to think. I went to bed early, and I am still tired. So with this post written, I’m going to try to rest a little more before I start my day. This cat has me trapped anyway (and she’s made typing this post really hard):

A “Little” Date Night 🐣💕

Christopher asked me to dress Little for tonight (our weekly date night) which isn’t the norm as I generally try to look a bit more on the elegant side. Turns out he had a really wonderful night planned!

This was the outfit I picked:

The first surprise of date night was building a blanket fort together! I was so happy, it was a lot of fun! Although the cats almost wrecked it a couple of times. 🐱

Dinner was nuggets and wine (in a sippy cup which got tipped over like 3 times as a result of the cats and the cramped conditions, yay for no spills!) and then milk and cookies, the milk in my vintage E.T. glass since that was the movie of choice for the night! We even had a lantern inside the fort.

I cried so much watching this… 😭

It really was wonderful, so special. I’m gonna treasure the memory of tonight.

Cat Bath Day 🛁🙀💦

It is cat bath time day!! 🐈 🛁 We bathe ours every couple of months since they spend the day on the porch.

Today’s bath was overdue but precipitated by our long haired tortie Rosemary having a… poop accident. It was awful cleaning her, I don’t think she appreciates our efforts, or the trimming of her butt hair afterwards. 💀

Elliot is the loudest. He is big and VERY strong, so we are lucky that he is so good natured. He hates baths and could obviously kill us, if he wanted. Haha. Well, he could cause some severe damage. Instead he cries, so Christopher sometimes massages his throat and it sounds like he’s singing. 😂

Sometimes, as her turn nears, Tomoyo jumps on my back and starts biting me 😰 scary. She forgives quickly though. As soon as she’s dry she’s happy as a clam again.

Kotoko also hates baths, but these days she also gets over them within minutes. Christopher tells me that when she was young, she would hold a grudge and not accept pets or sleep with him for up to two days!