Hello everyone! I’m sorry that I’ve been quiet for a few days. I’m overwhelmed, tired, and today just kind of sad too, though I don’t want to talk about that here.
I meant to make this post on the 9th, Christopher’s actual birthday, but didn’t manage it. We had a lot of fun! Even though it was just us, I had a bit of a party atmosphere ready when he got home, including the presents you all sent:
I’m really grateful to Mikey, Kinder and Wish who were sweet enough to send train track switches for him. I got him one as well, which made for five packs, or a total of ten switches. He was really surprised and happy, and we played with them all evening!
For “cake”, I made him brownies and decorated them:
We tired ourselves out playing and even had vintage episodes of Thomas running on the projector. It was wonderful. Afterwards we had pizza. I meant to even decorate the pizza but I forgot.
I love playing with trains with Christopher. It’s very much a “kiddy” sort of activity (though I don’t think he likes to be reminded of this) and the only one in which both of us lose ourselves completely. I am really one hundred percent in heaven, it’s this thing that is “just for us”, and there was a moment when we were there sitting surrounded by trains, cross-legged, watching an episode of Thomas in that enormous projector screen, I felt so small and happy, and reminded yet again, that I really married my best friend. I can’t believe I married someone who would do this with me and enjoy it unironically. To this day I am baffled by my good fortune.
This is unrelated, but Kotoko has been climbing higher and higher on the condo, which considering her arthritis, is quite an unusual sight. Here I got some photos of her and Tomoyo, whose ear happens to be flipped wrong. That’s always funny.
Remember the whistle Christopher got me at the train museum? I removed the wrinkled sticker, sanded all the glue down, designed my own on sticker paper, trimmed it with washi tape, then added multiple coats of spray-on gloss Mod-Podge over the space of two days (of course I covered the tip with painter’s tape). Afterwards I used a hard coat, brush-on waterproof Mod-Podge which gave it a nice wood-like texture and excellent protection.
Even the end tip of the whistle is red. It looks so much better than how it was. It’s all my own now! But I’m glad we got it at the museum. For one, because of the memory of getting it there and supporting the museum. But also because it just sounds so damn good.
That aside… I’ve been doing tons of housework. Also playing a little bit of Café Enchanté. And today, my little Percy came in the mail:
Percy is one of my favorite trains, but I don’t think this train figure captures his innocent face at all, or even his proper shape. Maybe later I’ll find a better Percy.
This weekend, Christopher’s mom is visiting us. We’ve already had a lot of fun —the three of us together, but also I’ve had fun with Christopher and by myself too.
Last night we went to Nami Sushi for dinner. I had the Buddha Tofu as usual and a Thai iced tea. It was very good:
The only bad thing is that, while they’ve had an excellent track record of caution during COVID, they rather overfilled their tiny restaurant with a massive party that sat right behind us. They were loud and obnoxious and I truly felt unsafe; I think the most unsafe I’ve felt in any situation since COVID started.
The next day, having made preparations the day prior, I woke up very early, at 6:30am. By 8:00am I was out and going on quite a long ride, almost another 20 miles. But this time I had a book, a picnic of onigiri and chocolate covered raisins, water, a thick picnic blanket, and a stuffed friend. I brought Turrón with me:
Here are some photos of our little picnic. I really was in heaven, and hardly anyone was around, I didn’t feel embarrassed to have Turrón with me. My onigiri was really good, too.
I took this particular photo at the same time as the photo above. But this one is a selfie, of course:
On the way home, I had a treat! The cow (actually, bull/steer?) that I always see on this field was right by the fence this time. He was really friendly! Someone gave him an apple, but he had already eaten it.
After I got home and showered, we all went to a Pho place for lunch. I had some tofu and a mango bubble tea. I liked the restaurant a lot, so I expect we will be back. I brought Circo along this time, for a cute picture:
Once home we relaxed on the couch, watched some TV… Christopher had a coffee. Tomoyo was being very cuddly and I was able to snap a couple of shots while she kneaded my stomach:
The most fun of the evening came after this. Christopher finally opened all the wooden train and train set parts he received. I had some trains of my own. I was really looking forward to this experience and it didn’t disappoint.
Coffee Cake was with me. He really enjoyed having his own little train.
The cats were just all over everything, as cats do. Kotoko was particularly affectionate this evening:
Tomoyo ran around harassing everyone, including Kotoko who just wanted to “fit and sit”.
Here’s Kotoko looking at the trains:
And Tomoyo’s reaction:
After we were done playing for the night, I went to do chores and Tabby and Christopher cooked amazingly delicious manicotti. I burned my mouth because it was so good I couldn’t wait for it to cool down:
Then we played Mille Bornes. Kotoko wouldn’t stop lovingly headbutting Christopher, she was being so adorable that I kept missing my turn with the cards:
I guess that’s all for this post. I tried to be brief, I am very tired… oh I did order my first Atelier game for the Switch today… I am super excited about that. I hope you all are enjoying your weekend so far. Goodnight, everyone.
It’s been a while! I’ve had a few drafts sitting for some time… Last week I really just worked too much, and then had to pack for our Sebastian visit. A lot of stuff accumulated, so my updates will be a little disjointed and spread out among a bunch of posts of varying substance (this one doesn’t have much.) 😅
Here’s a colorful little snack I had the other day (I’m also officially out of extra coffee, so I’m sleeping properly again, haha):
As I mentioned offhandedly in a previous post, Tomoyo has asthma. We’ve purchased the device to give her the medicine (via inhalers, which have also been ordered and are in the way). In the meantime, I am trying my hardest to get her used to it by giving her treats with it, so she gets used to having it near her face:
Kotoko has been slowing down lately… we think she is feeling her age. She seems to grow more affectionate with every passing year,
This photo is from before I went shopping for groceries and for a present for Grandma’s birthday last week. It was my first time wearing that onesie by ODU. I like it a lot, it’s one of my new faves!
That’s it for this post, I’m moving on to my other drafts… hopefully fully catching up today!
Starting from about three days after she arrived into our lives, Tomoyo has had health problems.
The first week, she almost died of suspected feline panleukopenia and had a very high fever for too long. After getting better, she developed some behavioral issues, mainly being incredibly destructive in spite of lots of attention, toys, access to a huge porch, and three other cats to play with. She’s a happy cat, and is always playing, but she’s incredibly neurotic. Sometimes she attacks her food dish, or other random things, as though she is really scared of them. And she never seems to relax the way normal cats do.
To add to this, she is always hungry in a way I’ve never seen another cat be. All tests done to her come normal, though.
About a year ago, Tomoyo developed another issue: an occasional cough. It wouldn’t go away, and worried our vet, who’d give Tomoyo some injectable steroids to ease the problem. Then she wouldn’t cough for a while.
One time in particular, Tomoyo was given steroids in pill-form. Within 48 hours of taking these, she developed a possible UTI that may or may not have been related… it was either that, or crystals in her urine (we treated for both) but it was a very bad time for her, and consequently for me, since I had to see her suffer. It was also all-around a very bad time for our wallet, in the hundreds of dollars, but eventually, she got better.
That brings us to last weekend. Her cough had made a comeback over the holidays, and over two weeks, it went from “mild concern” to “this is bad”. Tomoyo’s fur would stand on end, she would panic, and her head, neck stretched, would point in a different direction with each cough –very different than a cat trying to get out a hairball. She’d never vomit anything, but her breathing, normally noiseless and clear, immediately would become wet and crackly sounding, only to go back to normal until the next episode.
These episodes would generally be triggered by any sort of playing, jumping or running around, but sometimes would wake her up of a dead sleep.
So yesterday we went to the vet, again:
Dr. Pisano determined that it is extremely likely that Tomoyo has asthma. She was given a long-acting steroids shot, which immediately stopped the coughing, while the VERY EXPENSIVE asthma medication we ordered arrives. We also had to buy a device to administer these meds, which are literally the same inhalers people with asthma use… for the same cost.
With some luck, I was about to get an eight month supply for $110, and the device was $60. This doesn’t count the vet visit, shot, and a rabies vaccine she was due for… almost $300. Or the previous shots or visits this year… or her special food when she had the infection ($100 for like, 25 days worth) or the two rounds of antibiotics (about a hundred again).
I must point out I got very lucky with her asthma medicine, which I will have to find a way to administer every day. Normally, a 120 day supply would cost anywhere between $150 to $400 (with the higher price being the average.) This is forever.
Tomoyo is an expensive cat, and it would be so much easier to bear if she was cuddly, or if she didn’t destroy our possessions, or drive the other cats nuts. But with all that said, I do love her dearly. She isn’t a very cuddly cat because she’s constantly on the alert. She suffers from literal anxiety, and cannot relax. We tried multiple sedatives, which had the opposite effect. Her anxiety increased.
We’ve often mentioned to each other that our lives would really be easier and more relaxed without her, and this is true. But Tomoyo really enjoys being alive. I see this every day. She may not be what a human would prefer in a cat, but she’s a very happy animal, loving and clingy in spite of not being able to cuddle, and what to others is obnoxious and destructive behavior, to her is playful and curious.
Sometimes I think, Tomoyo ended up with us, because many other people may have given her up or have her put down because of all of her issues, health and behavioral. Maybe with age she will mellow out. We keep hoping for that.
Even if she doesn’t, I do love her very much, and she can be cute, sometimes…
Anyway that is the situation with her right now. Cost of medicine aside (and it’s definitely a serious concern) I really don’t know how I’m going to administer this medicine to such a violently skittish cat (emphasis on the violent part.) Forever. For her entire life (she’s young) EVERY DAY.
Christmas Eve was wonderful… just wonderful; I haven’t had a Christmas Eve that was just my mom and me in many years. And we haven’t had time to ourselves at all in so long. In spite of wearing masks and being careful it was still a happy time. It was a precious time.
We had lots of snacks. We drank a lot (didn’t get like, drunk, but we still drank two bottles so now I’m drinking a lot of water.) SO many good things to eat, oh my god. Then I baked her my frozen humita empanadas and they were perfect, she ate a lot. I was really proud.
While we snacked, we watched A Christmas Story. My mom had never seen this movie before, one of my favorites. No one ever wants to watch it with me willingly, and it was really nice to have her enjoy it. We also watched A Muppet Christmas Carol.
In between movies we each opened a present. I gave my mom a little perfume she wanted and she was so happy she looked like she might cry. It was only like a $30 perfume from her wishlist but I guess she never felt like she could justify it… I think I need to stalk her list a little during the year and surprise her from time to time.
I chose to open Buddy and Sarah (and Santa’s) letter rather than a gift. It was a really funny card, I loved it!
As you can see, the card said I would find a present behind the grandfather clock (it’s actually a grandmother clock but I guess they didn’t know that), however, I couldn’t open anything else, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow. I wonder what it could be! 🙊
Anyway, I have a headache and I’m so exhausted and sleepy that I can hardly think straight enough to type, but I wanted to share a few kitty photos I took today before I end this post. The first couple were taken when I was waiting for my mom to get here, and the cats were chilling on the porch:
Afterwards when we were relaxing in the living room Tomoyo was super affectionate. In this photo she is laying on my stomach, she was kneading and purring so much:
I guess that’s it, I’ll have to proofread this tomorrow… I wish once again a happy Christmas Eve to all my friends and followers!
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!
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!
Well, it was supposed to be burgers and board games with friends but that didn’t pan out. However we had a perfectly wonderful day. Christopher took me to the mall for a walk. It was at his suggestion, and with that being a rare occurrence, I jumped on it despite my cramps.
I even brought Turrón along but I didn’t get any photos of her. I was a bit too under the weather (just physically though.) But we stopped at Build-a-Bear and got some panties for her. 🙊
Later we had coffee and a snack and watched a documentary on Action Park. I worked on a commercial commission while watching.
The documentary was great, very fascinating stuff. I think it is the third documentary on the subject that we have watched, and my favorite so far. Here’s a trailer if you haven’t heard of it. There’s also other documentaries on the topic available on YouTube:
Then we had burgers, and watched The Muppets (not the newest show but the one before that) and then we watched Face-Off (which made me realize I really don’t like action movies, but Christopher enjoyed it so much that I still had a great time.) Worked some more on commissions and then just cuddled.
That’s kind of it. Nice quality time with husband, good food, just a nice time. My cramps are pretty bad but I expect tomorrow I’ll be feeling much better.
Hello everyone! I started my day with coffee and Animal Crossing as usual… did my chores first, now it’s blogging and drawing time. What are your plans for the weekend?
I’m wearing new overalls today and one of my favorite onesies from Onesies Downunder. These overalls have a really weird color and I wasn’t sure what to pair them with, but I LOVE how they look with this dino pattern!
Finally my rainbow phone case arrived from AliExpress, and I was able to stick my new phone grip on it! It looks as lovely as I hoped!
Cerise kept me company while I spent some time drawing on the porch today! It was a nice change of pace, but very hot…
I leave you with this delightful photo of Tomoyo’s ear doing “the thing”:
If you don’t fix it for her, it will stay like that, sometimes for a full hour or longer. I usually fix it. 😅
Marina's furry art, fantasy writing and daily life!