Tag Archives: Toys

Shark Valley Misadventure! ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿข๐ŸŒˆ

Hi hi, everyone! This was a pretty good week –and with this post my blog will be finally caught all up! It was certainly eventful, and I’ll go into the mishap that occurred on Saturday which I mentioned on Twitter –so, let’s get right to it!

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Monday we had tickets for Studio Ghibli Fest 2022, which begins with Ponyo. I really like that movie, but if I’m honest I was most excited to get to to take a photo with the Jurassic World Dominion display!!

Literally my entire outfit (shirt, backpack, the blanket I brought to keep warm) and my coordinating colors were Jurassicโ€ฆ can you tell Iโ€™m hyped? Haha…

๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Just odds and ends from Wednesday, starting with a lounging Rosie…

Sometimes I find that our partner has been screwing around with my dinosaurs. I found Bumpy on my Brachiosaurus’ head:

My big Ankylosaurus was trying to rescue his friend…

On my recent Target outing I came across a little Jurassic World lamp in their cheapy toys section! ๐Ÿ˜

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

And now… oh boy. Now to Saturday’s events. We’d been talking about heading to Shark Valley for a while, especially since I’ve never been in the Everglades proper, and I wanted to see gators so badly. So I was pretty excited to go, as it was put to me “for a couple of hours”, even if it was at the hottest time of the day, in an area with NO TREES. At least not for most of the way. I can handle this, I thought. And in truth, that much I could handle.

Let me start by saying that our partner insisted I leave Jello behind and instead bring water. I wasn’t worried –I had my hat, it was only for a couple of hours, I wanted to carry Jello for pictures. Anyway, he brought water, I brought Jello. That was my first stupid decision –though again, I’d been a bit bamboozled. Stay with me here.

We could rent bikes, he says. I’m picky with bikes, so I demur. This is my second stupid decision, one on which I changed my mind less than a mile into our walk, after I was informed that we are, in fact, going to walk FOURTEEN miles, at noon, with a stop in the middle that has shade and water. What?!

But at this point, he doesn’t want to go back to get bikes, and this would be one of his stupid decisions. Another of mine was not being more insistent. But he promises me a National Park passport as a treat from the gift shop, which closes at six, and I’m a sucker for a treat in exchange for being a good girl, so common sense is promptly thrown out the window.

We press on, as I am not yet in too much pain, and way too distracted by turtles, birds, SO many gators of varying sizes…

…and flowers…

…and insects:

We get to see a gator hunt something (a turtle, a fish?) doing the typical gator roll, mere feet from us. A huge thrill! I also get close enough to a softshell turtle to touch it (of course, I don’t). It was massive, the size of a small dog. We were very entertained.

As we continue walking on an asphalt path with no shade and under blazing sun, I bitch and moan that I know my limits: I cannot walk more than, max, six miles at noon with no water, in Florida, in the Everglades, in the summer. But he insists, and hey! I’m a people pleaser. I bitch and moan and cry, but ultimately I’m a people pleaser, just a very whiny one.

By mile marker six, with the observatory shimmering in the distance like a mirage, my moaning and whining has turned to tears and mild occasional hyperventilating. The gators are no longer of interest. After some coaxing, I’ve drank all of our partner’s water, told that at our rest stop we can both have more. Jello has become a bit of a drag to carry.

We make it to the observatory only to be met with large “BOIL WATER NOTICE” signs. We are in disbelief, but no matter: there is a tour tram, we can see one in the distance. Surely if we explain the situation they will take us back. Walking back seven miles with no water at high afternoon in Florida, in summer, in the Everglades, is very literally dangerous, especially since we are already dehydrated.

We wait for the tram and I take a few photos of the observatory view, which was indeed breathtaking:

Even from this height you can spot multiple large gators in the water.

We come down as the tram approaches, and upon explaining the situation, we are told that it is a paid tour. They do not care about our problems. Our partner asks if they have water, we cannot continue without drinking water, which we were explicitly told was available here. The tour lady tells us they do, for a dollar each. We have no cash.

It is baffling that to us park employees would behave in this manner with people in a bind, especially since we paid a whopping $30 just to enter and walk. But anyway –very reluctantly she gives us two small bottles, and when a tram passenger offers to pay for us, she definitely takes the money. ๐Ÿ™„

So it is time to walk back. And now I really start to cry and I cry for a while, quietly, because I seriously don’t think I can do this. My feet and legs are killing me, my eyes sting with sweat, did I mention we had no sunscreen? I know, real winners. I have one tiny bottle of water that I have to make last for seven more miles, which is one more than our partner had, because I drank his on the way there.

For a while I cry, on and off, having random fits when a wasp or fly gets too close to my head. It is misery. Eventually I am doing too poorly to bitch, moan or cry, a signal our partner smartly takes to feel concerned for my welfare (if I go quiet, you know shit’s serious, because I never shut up) but there is nothing he can do. He was dumb to suggest our situation and I was equally dumb to go for it. We are two dumbasses, and all we can do is walk. And so we do.

The tram passes us, with at least a couple of empty seats. It is the last tram of the day. When it disappears from view, my crying, which had subsided, starts again. Further dehydration, and my water is gone. I no longer care about the promised National Parks passport. I no longer care about the gators, or our partner’s jokes, or even not having water. Everything has stopped mattering.

He decides to play Shrek on his phone, and so we walk for two hours listening to the entirety of Shrek in a strange sort of fever dream.

I text Christopher a few times, updating him on our ordeal. Please don’t die, he says. I tell him I’ll try not to.

At one point I send him this photo, when I couldn’t walk anymore, and our partner massaged my feet for a while:

So many times both of us stared at our smartwatches, counting miles, checking heart rates. Mine, never above 135 even when jogging for three miles straight, eventually reaches 150 and more or less stays there.

Strangely, near the end of the fourteen miles, I began to recover, while our partner was crashing. Nauseous at times, not really able to say much by the end. We made it to the car with just fifteen minutes to spare before being actually locked IN the park for the night (!!) The gift shop had closed –there went my reward! Ultimately I was promised I could have any toy as a treat, which really made up for it.

But to tell you the truth, something else happened as soon as we began to recover, and I mean even as we were driving home. We began to bask in the glory of our accomplishment. It was sort of exhilarating. We did something stupid, surely, that should not be repeated. Water is a requirement, so are hats (he didn’t have one) clothes that don’t chafe, and sunscreen.

But we also walked fourteen miles in five hours, a record for both of us. It sucked, but we didn’t feel as bad physically as we thought we would. And we ACTUALLY did it.

We also knew it was our max: another mile, perhaps another half mile, and I think we would have called emergency services. It really was that bad, you have to understand, it’s the heat. 90 degree weather, perhaps higher, with very high humidity. But that didn’t happen, thankfully.

By the next morning, I’d basically recovered (it took him about another day). But I was ready to walk again, and felt (and still feel) a strange, inexplicable urge to further punish my body in this manner. I’m not sure what to call this. I was miserable. Why do I crave this? Maybe I felt more alive than usual. I don’t know.

I do know we will not do something stupid like that again. But push ourselves like that, and further, in a smart and safe way? For sure. I said I couldn’t walk fourteen miles in the hot Florida sun, at noon and afternoon, in the Everglades, with little water, with no sunscreen. And I did it –we did it.

Who knows what else we can do? I really want to find that out.

April Rolls Swiftly On! ๐ŸŒโ˜”

Happy Sunday, everyone! I’m back with another weekly recap. I should first say that while this post is post-dated for the week of Monday 4th-Sunday 10th of April, it’s about two weeks late… my apologies. It’s been very hectic, if in an on-and-off way. The subsequent week is also being posted momentarily.

As you will see in both posts (and a few additional side posts) my days have been packed with activities –though nothing much happened during this particular week that wasn’t me working on art, taking walks, playing video games (which I’m sharing on separate posts), shopping for dinner ingredients, or cooking (at least until the weekend).

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

First off, now that the house is fully painted, let me show you better photos of what it looks like. I feel like it’s the prettiest colored house anywhere near us. But maybe I’m just biased.

The entrance looks so bright and colorful. I love it so much!

On the topic of colorful things, here is a friend I picked up at the craft store’s spring section. This time of the year is always great to find new snail-themed decor, and of course I added it to the collection on display around the snail tank.

On Monday night we made mojo chicken bowls. We all worked together on different parts of the meal, and marinated the chicken for about a day. It was pretty great!

๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Tuesday I went for a walk, just for fun and to pick up dinner ingredients. At Dollar General I found the Harold Mega Bloks set, I was really happy to add him to my collection that already has Thomas and Percy:

I also found this super cool Crayola dinosaur kit. I love the box so much that for now it’s on display on a shelf. Someday I’m sure I’ll open it though.

I made my guys quiche for dinner:

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

During my Tuesday walk I passed one of the buildings that they are tearing down. They were an eyesore for a very long time; years. It is weird to see them disappear so quickly.

Here’s a little GIF I made of Kotoko greeting me with a silent meow:

Of course today we had date night again. My husband and our partner played the new Kirby game while I enjoyed watching. I got some screenshots to share this time:

It’s an adorable game, we’ve already had a few enjoyable evenings with it.

๐ŸŒˆ Friday ๐ŸŒˆ

I’ve started having bagels with smoked salmon for lunch sometimes; I like them a lot.

Some cute photos of Kotoko, including a tiny blep and an old-lady yawn:

Today we made a sort of (fake) grass carpet on the porch. Our partner was using this stuff to decorate his old apartment, and now that he’s living with us, he didn’t know what to do with it. He suggested this as opposed to trashing it and I think it looks interesting.

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

Here’s a photo I took on Saturday of Rosie enjoying the new “grass”:

This day I got up early and prepped the slow cooker to cook beef for tacos all day. After cooking for like eight hours, it was amazing for dinner:

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

Sunday was our adventure day. Our partner and I went to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (being outdoors, we could not convince our favorite vampire to come along). This is a very beautiful place that our partner had never been to, so I was really excited for him to enjoy it since he loves flowers and nature.

I took lots of photos that I will caption here and there, and had a little risky adventure.

First, a pretty brook…

Just general photos of the garden’s beauty:

A friend!

Speedy getaway ๐Ÿ˜

Ok now for a little story. You wouldn’t think so by the manicured look of this place, but there are multiple gators living here (in spite of the sign saying crocs, this is an alligator area):

Now I’ve been living in Florida for twenty years, and whenever I see these signs I get so excited to see a real, live alligator. Not to get close. Just to see one. They are basically dinosaurs. But I never had seen one in the wild. Today though, would be the day!

Prior to this encounter, we were walking down a nature trail –here’s some pictures of it:

Anyway there we were, when I pointed down to our partner a strange gathering of bluish flies at our feet. They were flying in a curious pattern. Cue him going “oh shit” and grabbing me and quickly pulling me back. What I had assumed to be flies, perhaps close to an animal carcass or waste, was a nest of blue-winged wasps!

We didn’t know at the time that these wasps are not super aggressive, and it is possible to gently walk through a swarm unmolested (we would come across a second nest later after the gator encounter, and again felt lucky to not be stung, since we didn’t see it until we almost stepped on it, just like this time).

A bit rattled by the wasp nest sighting, we doubled back and took another trail. Barely five steps into the trail I wanted to take a photo of the lake before going right.

…well, I didn’t when taking the photo above. But then I looked again, and my gasp of “Is that real?” was greeted by another “oh shit” from our partner (we were about twenty feet away from this quite massive guy –you can best gauge the distance in the photo above, as the one below is significantly zoomed in):

The scary thing is that he blended in so well. I could have gotten a lot closer before noticing him.

Now I want to point out a few things. The weird tag-like thing on his tail. His almost comical grin. His way-too-white teeth. His goofily beady eye. And of course he (she?) was perfectly still. All of these things together would have me bet money that this was not a live animal. I wasn’t stupid enough to approach him, just trust me that we were far away enough, but I did feel very sure that this must have been some decoy thing placed there by the garden keepers to keep people from approaching the water and actually risking a real encounter.

Since we were at a distance to make an easy getaway if needed, our partner began throwing very tiny pebbles at the water, and kinda near the gator’s head. I’m talking the size of my thumbnail, nothing that would have hurt the guy, but perhaps I dunno, made him blink? I will say again I was quite sure this gator could not possibly be real. So many years of never seeing one… My companion, wisely, told me one must always assume they are, but we both found the gator’s complete lack of reaction surprising.

We tossed maybe three very tiny pebbles. The last, rather than hitting the water, fell upon the gator’s butt with “toc!”. And here I can tell you this was a very real creature that immediately and quickly looked at his ass in a totally unamused way before resuming his sunbath, and then we left very fast and very respectfully and I felt very very bad for having done anything close to harassing him while he enjoyed his siesta.

But, boy. Was I over the moon! Going forward I will assume all are real (and so should you)! It’s uncanny how fake they can look. I just did not expect a gator to have such a goofy smile. It was rather cute. Definitely made my day. But I will say, please don’t do what we did. I know our partner humored me because we were at a safe distance. But had I been more sure that he was a real animal I would just have looked and walked away.

On our way back around we took another photo from the other side, and warned people we saw heading in that direction, so that he would be unbothered.

We continued to go around the garden, smelling flowers and studying leaves:

I made a GIF of our walk through the path above, because it was so pretty:

This tree had a face:

Here’s a photoset of many pretty flowers that we saw:

For a light lunch, we had crepes!

We had a wonderful (and adventurous!) time. Once home, I made korean beef bowls for dinner for the three of us. It came out pretty good:

Next week we are visiting family for Easter. And the week after that, Mwako is visiting us! I’m so excited. Are you excited for Easter too?

Welcome, April! ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒˆโ˜”

Happy April, everyone! Boy, this was one stressful week, but it did have good moments regardless. Not only was our house painted this week, but we cleaned the back porch (a grueling task every time as you might recall) I was on my period for half the week, had to do our taxes, go to an appointment at the Social Security Administration office, I visited my mom to celebrate her birthday, and went on a couple of outings with my husband and our partner.

This is my sorry face

So if you are among the multiple people I’ve left on read these past few days… I am so sorry, and you are still on my mind, and not forgotten… it’s been a heck of a week… I’ll be catching up with messages as the week rolls on.

I also played a lot of Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ (I’m on Cantarella’s story right now) and we are watching Tenchi Muyo so I felt the above GIF was appropiate. ^_^

๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆ

Monday was fairly quiet. I worked on commissions and did housework, but was a bit subdued due to my period. Our house began to be prepped for painting on this day.

For lunch, I made toasted rice balls for our partner and I. He’d never had them before.

Got to use my new Bluey plate, cutlery and bowl, so that made me happy.

And speaking of Bluey –here is a coloring book I got recently:

The pages are kinda thin, so I’ll just scan and reprint on thicker paper when I want to color it. This is actually how I preserve most of my coloring books, including many vintage ones!

๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Tuesday was the Social Security appointment (for my name change). It went smoothly, other than the security guard at the entrance being so intimidating towards everyone, especially older people who could not understand English nor understand what was going on. Even though inside plenty of signage indicates accommodating if you need an interpreter, the officer was aggressive and angry towards these poor mostly Latin people who barely spoke English and were so confused and even frightened by his demeanor. ๐Ÿ˜ 

Once that was done, I walked to Target. I saw these traffic cones on the way that grass had grown right through. Seems the grass around them was mowed without the cones being moved a few times. I thought it looked interesting enough for a picture:

By the time I got home, a lot of progress had been done on the house painting. Here is a before and after at that point in time (I’ll have a final update next week):

I didn’t have much time to admire the house. I had to finish all my chores, and pack, and then our partner drove me to my mom’s. She and I went to dinner pretty soon after I got there to celebrate her birthday:

I had primavera pizza! It’s my favorite because it has egg:

Once we got home, my mom opened her birthday present. Christopher bought her a laptop (her computer was ANCIENT). She was really happy –Sweeney tested it immediately! Meanwhile, Shampoo enjoyed laying on a crinkly paper bag. To each their own.

๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Wednesday was my mom and I’s usual peaceful morning of TV, mate, and conversation. I also drew and played a bit of Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ here and there.

Gumdrop had his first taste of mate!

My mom had a really big surprise for me! She was able to find my favorite childhood cookies, which I have not had for over twenty years!

They have zodiac signs on them:

A close similar cookie was Pepperidge Farm’s chessmen chocolate cookies, but I think they were discontinued in my area a long time ago. I can’t find them anywhere anymore. Anyway, my mom got me like three bags of these, so that was a wonderful surprise!

For Wednesday night dinner, my mom made fries (my favorite)!

As if that weren’t enough, she made a legit Argentinean bizcochuelo for dessert, another big treat. The mix was yet another childhood favorite that she was able to acquire recently through a shopping service.

After dinner, my guys picked me up. At home I had yet another wonderful surprise waiting for me! At first I couldn’t find Yoshi anywhere and I was sure our partner had hidden him or placed him in some sort of unfortunate situation, as he tends to do to my toys. But Yoshi turned out to be waiting for me on my desk, and he was holding the Limited Run visual novel I’ve been begging Christopher for!

It’s The House In Fata Morgana. I’ve heard many good things about it.

That, and watching TV and cuddling all together, made for a wonderful end to my day.

๐ŸŒˆ Thursday ๐ŸŒˆ

I forgot to share this other surprise my mom gave me during my visit! Last time she got me the Mafalda figure and magazine. This time it was Manolito:

On Thursday I walked to Target to pick up an online order. I wanted to get one of these dino clickers, mostly as a desk fidget toy. His head and legs click when you move them. He’s really cute.

For date night, I made another massive snack spread, while the guys continued playing Kirby and I watched. Didn’t get quite so drunk on this day, but it was still a nice time.

Also, on this day, more engines arrived!

They are so, SO well made, utterly perfect in every way! I received Thomas, Percy, Gordon, and my favorite boy, James!

The facial expressions are great; Percy’s in particular is hilarious:

I wish they’d given James his angry face, but I love them all.

Can’t wait to get my hands on Henry, and Cranky when they remake him too.

๐ŸŒˆ Friday ๐ŸŒˆ

Since we had our date night in on Thursday, Friday was our day out. First we went out to ramen!

The atmosphere outside was spooky. Not only was it rainy, but the Everglades were on fire, and you could clearly see the smoke amidst the clouds. Our car was covered in ash!

After lunch we went to Monster MiniGolf. It was really fun! We took this photo of one of the animatronics:

I don’t even know who won. I just know it wasn’t me and I had lots of fun. Before going home, we passed by Dollar Tree, where I got a couple of Arthur puzzles, a giant dinosaur coloring book, and a velvet dino coloring stand:

I also got a little bandana for my Grogu:

Then we went home to bed and watched TV for ages, it was very cozy. ๐Ÿฅฐ

๐ŸŒˆ Saturday ๐ŸŒˆ

Saturday was exhausting. I did lots of chores, and helped a bit with the porch cleaning (I did a bigger amount of that yesterday, but on Friday our partner did most of the remaining cleaning). Then I put all the furniture back. It looks wonderful, even if it was a lot of work:

I also redecorated the litter box area a bit. ๐Ÿ˜ธ Some things still need to be hung back up (a lot was taken down due to the painting) but there’s only so much time in a single week…

The porch and chores such as laundry basically took my entire day, but I was able to relax a little in the evening.

๐ŸŒˆ Sunday ๐ŸŒˆ

On Sunday our partner and I went on a little solo date, it’s not a common occurrence since we generally prefer to do everything the three of us together, but Christopher had been desperately craving some alone time to just veg at home without us being our usual obnoxious selves around him. ๐Ÿ˜…

We went to the Perez Art Museum Miami, and to Wynwood for lunch and a little ice cream. We saw some cool stuff but I didn’t get any photos other than these:

After that we were on a quest to find fancy soaps, which we didn’t find, but I got these cool crayons:

Then I made dinner and we just relaxed. That was the end to a week that was at times fun, at times stressful, but good overall, as most weeks have been lately. There’s a lot of love in our home and I feel very lucky, even if things are hectic sometimes and it seems like we never stop doing things. ๐Ÿ˜Š

BBQ Sunday!

This was a super productive Sunday! I got art done, lots of housework, progress on a book chapter, and even got some gaming in. All the while, since noon, the house was imbued with the smell of BBQ pork being cooked in the smoker on the porch. It was heavenly! The pork cooked for, I think, about nine hours? It was a lot of work. I myself don’t have the patience to baby meat for that long, but I admit I really enjoyed the results of my partners’ hard work. ๐Ÿ˜

I’m still trying to get through Sholmรจs’ route. I’m so done with this fandisc, lol. But I want to finish it.

There was also homemade mac ‘n cheese, with which I helped a little. It was pretty decadent.

The meat was literally falling apart, it was incredible.

Had a little wine with it too! After waiting and smelling it for so many hours we were dying to eat. Tomorrow night we are having it again, but on tacos!

It was another lovely evening. Most of all, I was glad that I got some book progress in.

Visiting Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park

Today was our sorta-weekly Adventure Day! We went to Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. I liked this park a lot more than I expected from the photos I saw online. And it was really empty, which was lovely and peaceful.

Parks generally make me feel very small, so I tend to wear my kiddy outfits when I go. I took my froggy backpack and wore one of my favorite shortalls, and an ODU print that I like a lot.

I brought one of my stuffies today too, Gumdrop. I managed to make him a bandana before we left the house. Sometime next week I’ll get him some pins for it so it’s not so plain.

We got Starbucks on the way, since it was quite a long ride to the sandwich place where we would have lunch in Downtown Miami. And I had one of my cute snack holders with strawberry and cream gummies that I bought at The Fresh Market.

I had a breakfast sandwich for lunch. It had chorizo and cilantro and lots of cheese. I couldn’t finish it, but it was great!

I was actually a bit upset when I realized where we’d be having lunch. The last time I ate at this place was some three years ago, during one of the worst times of my life, and the experience of that entire day, and the meal itself, was a really bad memory. I felt like I just did not want to be again at a place where I had been so deeply unhappy and trying not to cry through my meal back on that awful day.

But in the end, I’m glad we did eat here, because now the bad memory is pushed away by a much happier one, and I’m looking forward to eating there again. It’s a nice place other than the music being super loud all the time.

๐ŸŒณ At The Park ๐ŸŒณ

Cars couldn’t go into this part at all. You just parked in the little available area at the entrance. There was a place to pay for entrance, you just left the money there, as there was no one to monitor who came or went.

There were a couple of bodies of water which were very pretty and calm.

Gumdrop had fun exploring some rock formations. He even did some cave exploring!

Just some random pretty pictures…

CW: SPIDER

We didn’t see much wildlife, other than lots of tiny lizards, a random snake, some orb weavers, a beautiful big butterfly, and a tree snail. Oh, and a wild chicken. I guess we did see some stuff. Here’s one of the spiders:

I was out of my mind excited to finally see a Florida tree snail in the wild!

Oh and wasps. WASPS EVERYWHERE. I’d never seen so many in one single park. It was a little scary. I spotted three nests I believe.

I tended to walk a bit ahead or behind, just taking pictures of things. Christopher had my umbrella to shield himself from the sun, and it made things extra colorful.

All the other random photos of Gumdrop enjoying nature:

This is a trail that we really wanted to explore. But it was closed due to debris, so we just stared from a distance… ๐Ÿ˜ž

I will now take a brief intermission to show you Tomoyo’s attempt to contribute while I work on this post:

Moving on…

On the other side of the park there was a stone wall that looked like something out of a fairy tale. Like it would lead you to some secret garden. In the end I only took this couple of pictures.

It was very cool looking! After a couple of hours we headed home, passing first by Wawa for snacks and drinks. Then it was a lovely evening at home, just relaxing after our fun day out. I can’t wait for next time. I’ll never get tired of park outings!

Visiting Mom Again ๐Ÿ’•

I came to visit my mom this week! Our visiting schedule has mostly resumed, with COVID thankfully winding down. She ordered coxinhas again and we had them for dinner.

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

In the evening I played Wintertide Miracles a little more.

Recently I finished Finis’ route/scenario, it was very sweet, with some beautiful art…

And some pretty funny moments, adding to prior ones.

Currently I’m on Shรณlmes route. I’m kinda ready to be done with this fandisc if I’m honest, I have so many other games I’m super excited to play, which unlike this fandisc have choices/things to actually do, lol. Plus, I find Shรณlmes kind of boring, generally… I do like it when he’s jealous though.

Also, this was hilarious. Good old Impey.

For a late lunch today, my mom made the rest of the Giacomo Capelettini that she bought for my last visit. Again, a huge treat to enjoy this taste from my childhood!

For dessert we had flan made by the same person who made the coxinhas. It was incredible!

We watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which my mom has been watching for a while but I am new to –I loved it, I’m sure Christopher will be hooked too if he starts watching it.

Anyway, now that I’m back home, I have to unpack!

Summary Of The Last Few Days! ๐Ÿคง๐Ÿ„๐ŸŒˆ

Hello everyone, it’s time for the weekly update. As I’ve stated on Twitter, these past days I wake up and after my coffee and news reading it feels so frivolous to do my chores, work on art, or on my blog, or play with the cats. I feel so utterly guilty to have my privileged peaceful existence, for no reason other than luck.

I hope itโ€™s not inappropriate to continue sharing happy mundane things or cutesy art. Iโ€™m not trying to be callous, but I also want to continue recording my daily life, making art, and hopefully making people smile if I can.

Before I move on with my nonsense, I want to share this link with you. It is a C|NET article with information on how to help Ukrainian refugees and others affected by Russia’s unprovoked, cruel attack, it also lists the Charity Navigator ranking of each of these charities. I encourage you to take a look and help in any way that you are able.

A lot of things happened this week. Firstly, I spent most of the week sick. Well, sort of. I hadn’t been sick all of this time, since COVID began, and finally caught Christopher’s latest head cold. So I had a bit of a sore throat and sinus pain and LOTS of sniffling and sneezing but otherwise felt 100% okay, which may sound weird, but generally my colds/coughs/etc are awful, usually bad enough (if attacking my chest) that I need to see a doctor due to infection that will linger up to two months. It has been quite bad on occasion. My last illness was strep throat which was an absolute nightmare… so this was a walk in the park really.

Still, I was in bed a bit more than usual. Tomoyo kept me company.

Recently I’ve been taking more and more walks with one of my partners, definitely a highlight of the days on which we do. My walks are generally very utilitarian… burn this many calories, move on with my day. These walks are now more leisurely, engaged in conversation and looking at little things. Burning less calories I suppose, but it’s pretty good for my mental well-being.

Here is a moth we spotted on one recent such walk. It was very big:

๐Ÿ’˜ Tomoyo ๐Ÿ’˜

Tomoyo has been sweet, staying near me lots. Her asthma continues to be an issue. I try to give her as much affection and attention as I can. Here are some photos I took of her spending time near me while I work…

And a photo/some video from the studio floor…

Turn sound up for cute sounds. She scared herself somehow.

At one point I tried taking a couple of selfies with her. She did not cooperate, this was the best I was able to get.

๐ŸŒณ Park Walk ๐ŸŒณ

Later in the week we went to walk around C. B. Smith Park. I hadn’t been there in a while. We saw some cute Muscovy duckies…

They were very friendly. Next time I’ll bring some healthy seeds or frozen peas to feed them.

They had a bit of an argument at one point…

Here’s a little flower we spotted while chasing iguanas, and just a nice view of the side of a bridge we crossed:

Big mushrooms!

And little ones…

I found my first geocache at C. B. Smith. Though we search together he always finds them first. So I was excited to finally find one, I’m really not very good at finding them yet.

Afterwards I got treated to an acai bowl, it’s one of my new favorite things, especially after a long, hot walk such as this one!

๐ŸŽฎ Variable Barricade ๐ŸŽฎ

Variable Barricade released this week! To the backlog it goes… but slowly I am resuming “normal life”, and expect to enter a proper gaming schedule soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is something I really want to do in a serious manner… I love gaming and just cannot find the time. I need to create an actual structure within which to do so, or else I’ll have invested hundreds of dollars in games I do not allow myself to play because work seems too important by comparison.

๐Ÿ• Date Night Pizza Dinner ๐Ÿ•

For date night this week, we finally went to Mister O1. We tried last date night but the wait was too long. It was pretty good. Simple as it was, the appetizer was my favorite.

We ate outside. It’s really nice to do that for a change.

๐Ÿ‘ฝ Smoke Shop Trip ๐Ÿ‘ฝ

Another day this week I got to visit a smoke shop. I don’t smoke but they have so many cool and hilarious things, such as this E.T. offering free condoms:

And these adorable Grogu pipes, which I just had to photograph to show my sis-in-law:

๐Ÿ„ More Park Walks ๐Ÿ„

Friday was my favorite day this week. Our normal walk ended up feeling more like a long date. ๐Ÿฅฐ We went to two parks, one which I’d been one (Secret Woods Nature Center) and one to which I had not (Topeekeegee Yugnee Park).

Secret Woods Nature Center is always lovely, shaded, with lots of little things to see, including many tiny crabs and spiders.

It’s a very magical-feeling place. When you’re there, all the noise from the city and traffic mere steps away seems to just fade into nothing.

(CW: SPIDER ahead.)

One of the many leggy friends we came across…

On the way to the second park, a huge plane flew right over us. I was able to get some cool pics:

Next came what really was the best part of all! Topeekeegee Yugnee Park was FULL of squirrels. Never seen so many in one place.

This time I’d brought a baggie with healthy treats for them: raw unsalted peanuts, seeds, etc. Not too much, just enough to have the pleasure of feeding them for a bit. They were shy, but soon I was surrounded, it was wonderful.

There were birds too, trying to steal all the seeds, and they were fast. So I had to be quick, too, to help the squirrels get some, because they feared the aggressive birds.

Here’s some video of that. Pesky things… I do like the birds too, but I wish they shared better!

And one more video of squirrel feeding. Forgive my dumbass voice, I was so excited.

Here’s a couple more photos of this lovely place:

Anyway, yeah, this was an utterly wonderful experience. I want to come again as soon as possible.

One last super cool thing. A geocache we found. It was a hole in a tree and the stopper was stuck of a piece of bark! Incredibly well done.

Iโ€™ve made sure not to identify the specific park or location, so hopefully itโ€™s okay to share this photo, I just thought it was fascinating. I would have never found this by myself!

๐Ÿฅž๐Ÿ“ Saturday Morning Pancakes ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿฅž

This has become a bit of a thing, by which I mean that I beg for pancakes every Saturday morning and for the last three weeks, it has happened.

This time we added chocolate chips, and whipped cream, and the best strawberries I’ve had in months/years. It was delicious!

๐ŸŽธ Saturday Night Outing ๐ŸŽธ

Saturday night we all went out together. We went to Ra Sushi first, a restaurant I’ve always wanted to eat at. It was a good time as it always is when I am in such wonderful company, but man, service was S L O W, and my ramen was literally the worst I have ever, ever had.

BUT! The drinks were very good. I had three mojitos and some sake. I spilled one of my mojitos but it was almost empty. I was not very steady for the rest of the evening. ๐Ÿ™ˆ

After dinner we went to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, where we had some alcoholic ice cream…

…and I gambled and lost $5 on a slot machine.

Here’s a couple of really cool Wall-E and Eve cakes we saw:

We got home late and tired but it was a very enjoyable evening. I’m glad to be making so many happy and fun memories together. ๐Ÿฅฐ

๐ŸŽจ Weekly Art Summary ๐ŸŽจ

Here is all the art that got done this week. I also worked a bunch on my book, so it was a pretty productive one, overall!

I think this was a very good week, at least as far as my own life is concerned. Certainly not for the world. I keep reading the news, hoping for some sort of peaceful resolution. Here’s hoping next week brings better news on that front.

Silver Lakes Garage Sale & More! ๐Ÿš‚

Yesterday Christopher’s mom and grandma arrived to visit with us during the weekend. We had truffle burgers and fries for dinner, that we made at home, and drank and played video games. It was a lovely evening.

While our friend and I were out getting grocery stuff and alcohol, I came across this really cute whiskey bottle so I had to take a photo:

Today we were up early in spite of drinking late at night, because the day’s main event was the Silver Lakes Community Garage Sale. Our first and only huge score was right at the beginning and I’ll let the next photo speak for itself:

All of that was $65, almost all of it new in package –basically all items were $10, or $5, or such, it was absolutely ridiculous and keeping my cool was a challenge. I can’t wait to have a nice romantic evening with Christopher, playing like dumbasses with our trains again. ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿ’•

Afterwards we had I โค Mac & Cheese for lunch (great as always) and Menchie’s for dessert:

Tonight we are dining in again, but no less fancy for that fact. We will be having teriyaki salmon and rice, and I expect another evening of games and snacking, soon as I can finish updating my blog and get back downstairs. I’m almost all done updating it now, sans for one post and a bunch of fitness ones. I’m really sorry I neglected my blog for so long… really trying to get life back to normal. ๐Ÿ˜…

๐ŸŒˆ Weekly Summary ๐ŸŒˆ January Draws To A Close! ๐Ÿ“ฆ

This week was beyond busy with our friend finally moving in, and prep before that, all the craziness during, and the mess in the house afterwards, which is sure to take weeks to put in order. I am very happy, but we are all exhausted. So, there won’t be a lot of writing in this post. Just pictures and a bit of captions to accompany them.

๐ŸฅŸ Monday & Tuesday ๐ŸฅŸ

Here’s two very cute photos of Rosie I took early in the week:

In the evening I moved my beloved bike out to the porch now that the cover came. It’s necessary, we need the room. But the cover is pretty good, I think my bike will be okay.

Tuesday night I made ham and cheese empanadas for dinner. Still not happy with the results, so I’ll use a different recipe next time.

๐ŸŒˆ Wednesday ๐ŸŒˆ

Wednesday was very pleasant. I went on a walk and found that our local Starbucks is finally allowing indoor seating. So for the first time since the pandemic began I was able to sit, eat, read my book, enjoy the company of other human beings in this setting. I actually legit teared up for a moment, as this is one of the things I have missed most deeply from the Before times.

Even got a cake pop!

I also went to Target and came across a lovely Bumpy figure; it looked a bit worse for the wear (just the packaging) which made me think it had been forgotten in the back and then put for sale. I was delighted and didn’t pass her up.

Out of the package she is very cute indeed with different points of articulation, even on her tail!

On the way back I spotted these little ferns growing out of a tree trunk, I thought it was pretty:

I also passed by Kimchi Mart and later in the day got to enjoy a wonderful snack:

Finally, this was tank cleaning day, so I got some photos of my guys, as it’s been a while:

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿฆฝ Sunday ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿฆฝ

Our friend’s move was on Friday. During it, he rolled his ankle, quite badly. It got enormously swollen. ๐Ÿ˜ž Still with help we managed to get his room set up and all of his things in the house, and on Sunday we went to IKEA to get a table and look at some desks (in the end we just got the coffee table).

He couldn’t really walk for long, so Christopher and I took turns pushing him around, which was fun. And we got to have meatballs!

It was a good but stressful week. It’s also been very chilly overall.

๐ŸŽจ Weekly Art Summary ๐ŸŽจ

In spite of the upheaval at home, art still got done. Personal art, commissions, and a gift!

That’s all for now!

Summary Of Another Happy Week ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ

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

โœจ๐ŸŒˆ Monday ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

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

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

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

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

โœจ๐ŸŒˆ Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

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

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

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