Tag Archives: Ricky Parky

Mwako’s Here! 🦁🌈

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

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

🌈 Monday 🌈

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

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

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

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

🌈 Tuesday 🌈

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

🌈 Wednesday 🌈

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

The couch looked cozy…

Stuff for outdoor play!

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

Tomoyo was really interested in all the toys…

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

I used my travel pillow as a chair for Cookie:

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

Out of the Jurassic World Dominion release, there were a couple of cheaper dinos that I bought for myself so I wouldn’t have to wait to play with them, such as this cute Imaginext gal. She’s really expressive! You can move her up and down and side to side by the tail, open and close her mouth, and change her facial expression! Her arms move too!

Coloring books and games…

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

My new T. rex friend was looking for trouble…

Here’s Ricky all ready to “pretend” camp indoors!

Bluey was ready to welcome Mwako, too!

Crayons!! 🌈✨

More friends and fun things to do! 🌈🌟🚂 Socks was a little surprise gift for Mwako.

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

🌈 Thursday 🌈

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

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

Cookie tried her first cake pop!

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

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

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

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

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

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

And some Jurassic Wold stickers:

🌈 Friday 🌈

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

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

A cute caterpillar friend!

The birds here are very tame and friendly:

This one was taking a little bath:

This one was… feeling territorial?

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

This little guy was tucking in for a nap. 😊

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

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

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

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

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

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

🌈 Saturday 🌈

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ricky Parky had a blast too!

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

Rosie was arguably the most interested of all:

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

I also drew one of our house “soots”:

Mwako did a pretty spiffy job of drawing Stitch!

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

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

Time to play some more! First some Jenga…

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

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

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

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

🌈 Sunday 🌈

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

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

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

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

I picked Dusty to accompany me today:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In you go:

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

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

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

HE COMIN’

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

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

A Happy Little Sleepover 🍟🌈🖍️

Hi everyone! 👋 How was your weekend? The LAN is over now, everyone is going home. My friend Shelly just left and so our sleepover is over as well. We had soooo much fun together! We colored, built a puzzle, played board games, watched cartoons and a Disney movie and ordered Happy Meals! It was the best night ever. I want to tell you all about it on this post.

🍟🖍️🌈 Saturday Evening🍟🖍️🌈

Last night, before Shelly got here, I got everything ready with Ricky Parky standing guard over our many snacks, coloring books, board games and puzzles! It was a magnificent spread.

I hadn’t brought down my crayons and coloring things in quite some time. It was nostalgic seeing them again. 🥺💕

(Um… I’d rather you keep watch over the snacks from a distance, Ricky…)

I had our first movie all ready to watch. The Great Mouse Detective. I hadn’t seen it in ages! It’s Shelly’s favorite, and I like it a lot too.

After this movie I introduced Shelly to Bluey. She loved it! Always good to indoctrinate new people into the Bluey cult, lol.

As soon as Shelly arrived, we ordered the perfect Disney movie night/sleepover meal… Happy Meals for dinner!

I ordered a cheeseburger and Shelly had nuggets. For our toy, we both got Lola!

After eating we began coloring while continuing to watch our movie. I colored one of my vintage printed coloring pages:

It was so nice to touch and smell my crayons again and to just, make positive memories to replace bad ones. The whole evening was a healing experience for me. 😌

When we were ready to take a break from coloring, we played the Lucky Ducks game which was really silly and fun!

The pond board even quacked! The mechanism is so loud though, lol.

This photo of Shelly it’s my favorite of the night because it’s so cute:

The game was a bit dumb (in that, there was no real challenge but it was cute and fun regardless and we enjoyed putting the stickers on the ducks. 🦆 Basically each of you gets a shape. The shapes are in the duck’s bottoms. On your turn, you pick a duck. If it’s your shape, you keep it. If it’s not, you have to show it to the other players before returning it to the pond. The first player to find 3 ducks with their shape wins.

After Lucky Ducks we played the Mystery Garden game:

I like this game a lot! One player plays the Gardener. That player grabs a card, looks at it and hides it. The card shows something in the board. It could be the pumpkins, the dragon, the sun, etc. The other players have to guess what it is by asking “yes” or “no” questions.

Each time the players get a question wrong, the Gardener can move a step on the board. If you guess the card, you get to keep it. The first player to get three cards wins. You take turns being the gardener.

Then we put together a puzzle! I’ve had this puzzle, a gift from
my friend Kitty (AKA Blankit) for the longest time, but there was never a good occasion to put it together until now.

We had fun building it and had some pretty deep discussions while doing just that. It turns out we had a lot more in common than we realized (including some sad things –but realizing that doesn’t make me sad, it makes me feel so much less alone. Ironically those conversations were the most important part of our time together.)

Here is the puzzle, all done!

I liked that the pieces were big. 😁 I’m not very good at puzzles.

🌞🥣🌈 Sunday Morning 🌞🥣🌈

This morning we colored a little more and watched Bluey and Courage The Cowardly Dog! Just some relaxing kiddy time before Shelly was picked up. It was really pleasant.

I didn’t get to finish my coloring because I do so many layers. Maybe next time!

Here’s a photo of Shelly coloring. 😊💕

It was such a lovely time and I can’t wait for Shelly to visit again. It was everything I hoped it would be. I’m so happy today!

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 “adult” 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!

A Happy Time, Yet Down For Some Reason… 😞💔

As I write this, I’m alone for the first time in a while. I stayed behind while everyone else went to Walmart. We left on Thursday morning to come to Sebastian for Thanksgiving. It’s been a really nice time for the most part! Always is.

Once I was all settled in, I started playing more Code: Realize, and Spaz (my mom in law’s huge, fluffy Maine coon mix) came to cuddle with me. That was a first, and made me super happy. ☺️💕💕💕 Long ago, he didn’t trust me enough to do that.

My mom in law’s roommate’s Pomeranian, Pan (full name Pandemonium) was there too, of course. Even she came to cuddle with me. She’s a pretty aloof dog, so that made me happy, too.

Thanksgiving dinner was delicious! That night, I played some more on my Switch before going to bed with Ricky Parky, whom I brought along on this trip. 🐯🎄

The next day we went to Incredible Pets, were I bought some stuff for the snails: some dishes and logs. I also said hi to the lemur:

He has a fairly large enclosure but I always wonder why he is there and what his history is… This is a large, but not chain pet store, that cares deeply about the animals they sell. Twice I have seen people there bringing animals they found somewhere to see if the store can help. So I don’t feel the lemur is there for a bad reason, possibly not even most of the time, but I also don’t know why it isn’t in a sanctuary. Maybe next time I will ask. 🤔

They had very friendly bunnies. I was able to feed one of them and pet a couple, too:

All the animals are very well socialized, and for a pet store with so many critters, you can hardly smell a thing. Everything is so clean and all the animals look so healthy.

That night we went to Makoto’s for dinner. That was a huge treat as it always is. I also did a little more shopping, but photos of that will be on separate post, since I’m about to get all whiny and self-pitying on the rest of this post.

Overall, it was lots of fun, got to do some shopping and have great food. And Christopher was really sweet to me during the visit, which really helps, and isn’t always the case (but recently he’s been making a big effort to be.)

To be honest, during family visits there seems to be this undercurrent thing of… jokingly bullying me. It’s not at all new, and I pretend to be okay with it most of the time, even though that is rarely the case.

I think, maybe it’s me —it has to be. Maybe I don’t fight it more, because I think I deserve it? Even though I think it’s good natured, a part of me always feels that it’s at least partly prompted by some deep-seated dislike of me.

Because I am obnoxious and always have been, for most of my life people around me have generally either been inclined to, at best, openly mock me, or be a little mean —more than a little, at worst.

Sometimes, that voice in my head that maybe I don’t fit in too well with my family and maybe I’m tolerated rather than wanted, is hard not to listen to. I know I am loved, so I’m not sure how to balance those things out…

I know my husband loves me deeply, and my sister in law understands me better than anyone. But I always feel like I’m not on the same level as them —I’m seen as immature and nowhere near as intelligent by comparison, and not ever taken seriously as a result. It’s been said multiple times that I am “tuned out” by others, because I talk too much, and that I write too much, I’m too loud, I’m “special” (and not the good kind of special).

Sometimes I am a little jealous of my husband and my sis in law… I wish I too would be taken seriously, like them, and not be the permanent butt of jokes, a source of amusement at best, or a tolerated nuisance at worst. I know my mom in law is really proud of them and she’s got so much reason to be, completely aside from the fact that they are her children. I wonder if she’s proud at all of me too, but what is there to be proud of me about? If she talks about me with anyone, what redeeming qualities do I possibly have? I think that has to be rough for her. I’m going to be with her son forever after all.

I don’t know. It’s happening more and more often that these visits end up with me feeling like this. I feel like I can’t win. For example, if I try being quiet in order to be less annoying, I’ll be told I’m being grumpy because it’s not normal for me to be quiet. But if I talk too much or if I am my loud normal happy self, then everyone ignores me for the most part. So I feel like I’m bothering everyone just by existing. I used to feel like I could really be myself with my family, but lately, more and more, I try to be myself as little as possible. How do you even do that? It’s very hard, you know…

I haven’t always felt this way during the visits, so I think maybe as time goes by everyone is getting a little more tired of me and it gets harder for everyone to hide it. Or maybe at this point I worry so much about it that I see signs of this where there aren’t any.

I will say I’m not the only one who is judged or treated differently… last night there was a joke at the expense of someone else present, who didn’t even know they were being the butt of a joke and not part of it. That wasn’t the only thing, but it made me realize that maybe I have both a level and an expectation of empathy from others that doesn’t match the rest of the group so in that way I am an outsider and always will be.

I know it’s a thing to just tell people to grow a thicker skin. I think there’s validity to that advice. But I had to grow much thicker skin over the last few years. At some point, it doesn’t get any thicker.

CW: Talk of s*icide ideation past the cut. Just random thoughts, I AM OKAY, for the love of God don’t worry or think the worst ok? I just didn’t want to spring these thoughts on whoever is reading the post and might be triggered by them.

Continue reading A Happy Time, Yet Down For Some Reason… 😞💔

Clown Socks 🤡

‪Wore happy socks to cheer myself up, I think Ricky approves 🌈💕💖🐯‬

We are having some very hard days… If Queso doesn’t pass today we may just have to take him in tomorrow to help him along. Considered doing it today, but my vet isn’t there. So it’s a really difficult time.

‪I’m smiling here, but honestly super stressed 🐿️💦

With the storm coming I had to rush and get some supplies before everything goes really nuts 😱‬ But I still dressed cute.