Tag Archives: My Hug

Finally Visited Mom Again! ✨💖

Last night I came to visit my mom for the first time since last February! It’s been a whole year… I’m so happy. I’ve seen her since then in person, a few times, and we’ve zoomed weekly, but our overnight visits were on pause until she got the vaccine and the necessary time had passed.

She made me a long-promised dinner of eggs and fries, one of my favorite things from childhood. It was all perfect. My mom’s fries are always the absolute best —I say this objectively. Mealy and soft inside, crispy outside… just perfect.

We talked TONS, and watched part of Mary and Max (which I saw the other day and loved, and now I’m having her watch too.) We are watching the rest later today.

I got quite a reception from Sweeney, one of my mom’s cats. Sweeney was mine originally… I picked him, named him. But when I moved to be with Christopher he stayed with my mom. Sweeney is a bit neurotic. He bites, sometimes goes from purring to hissing while being pet. Can be incredibly sweet or sometimes mean and a little scary.

After I moved away and only came to visit once or twice a month, Sweeney would get a bit grumpy with me, especially if it had been a long time. I assumed he forgot me, especially because I came smelling like other cats. Still, my mom said both he and Shampoo (her other cat who was also mine/ours for many years) would get very excited when, with me maybe 2-3 minutes away, she would tell them “Here comes Marina!” and they’d perk up and go wait for me by the front door.

Last night my mom did this just as she used to a year ago. Well, the cats certainly remembered. Sweeney in particular got very excited. He was running through the house, being super playful. I could chase him or poke him in the butt or ribs and he’d run off joyfully with playful poses, he stuck his head in my shoes and played with them, and more.

Still, I could not pet him. He would bite me, hiss, be very scary. Eventually he let me pet him by the end of the night. This morning, it was different, he let me pet him lots and even hold him. I was so happy. I really love this grumpy old guy.

As you can see from the photos, I brought Barley along. Barley is one of my favorite bears. He’s a limited edition Boyds, more luxurious and bigger than the average bears of the brand. But he has a very special feel. Somehow he’s firm and incredibly soft and squishy at the same time. I’m not sure how to explain that, I guess you’d have to hold him.

Barley doesn’t like to be without his hat but I had him take it off for bed:

My fitness posts will happen, I just can’t do them properly on my phone while I’m here. I’m still very tired because the apartment is noisy especially with the dog next door so I didn’t sleep very well. I’m going to try to sleep some more.

Continuing this post after my nap and breakfast. We had mate and it was the first time since Christmas, but it was even more delicious than it was back then. I gave Barley some too:

Not long after this, Sweeney decided to come and lay with me! 😱

Alas, I couldn’t resist touching him. He didn’t like that. But he settled down and didn’t leave.

We finished watching Mary and Max. I cried even more the second time despite knowing the ending.

Also, I realized this was the part of the movie that touched me most deeply, even more than the very end:

It is so poignant, sad and glad, and full of earnest feeling, it just guts me, but in a good way.

This morning I did some more worm research. I think I’ll be ordering me some worm friends as soon as I get home!

It’s a bit unorthodox, but I guess I’m just going to continue updating this post as the day goes on. 😁


… we put together a gas station model! It’s a present for my mom’s boss. We had a lot of fun, even if it was mostly putting stickers on.

Later, we played cards. I taught my mom to play Mille Bornes. She caught on very quickly and beat me twice in a row!

It’s one of the family’s favorite games, so I’m looking forward to her playing it with us.

While playing, I arranged two new commission requests (yay for more money to pay off debt!) and got a call from my neurologist. They moved my appointment up to tomorrow to discuss the recent tests.

Now my mom is making dinner.

We had asado and salad! I had a delicious Jello cheesecake dessert. Now I’m waiting for Christopher to take me home!

And now, I’m home. This was an odd post, being updated through the day like this. I have to unpack, take care of the animals, and prepare my fitness posts.

I ordered red worm food, and red wrigglers (eisinia fetida) just 20 or so of them. Tomorrow I’ll prepare their tank, and as they grow and multiply, I’ll add some to the snail tanks. I want to keep them on their own too though, because worms are cool.

I also ordered some toys… 👉👈 But I think it’s for a good reason. More on that probably next week.

I think I’ll end the post here for real. I hope you all have a good night. I had a really fun day with my mom.

A Super Fun Weekend! 🌈🚂✨🚲

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.

Christopher building the track.

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.

A Heck Of A Ride 🚲💨

Today I pushed myself to do something I never ever did before. I rode my bike for over twenty miles! I’m still not even beginning to recover from it, but I’m really proud that I managed to do it.

This time, I took Heidi with me. The first photos I took where at the same little lake from before. Last time, I didn’t notice that there were “condominium style” little birdhouses for Purple Martins:

I took a better shot on the way back when I realized that the first photo turned out blurry:

Here’s a variety of pics I took during the ride. I really did have a lot of fun.

I took this photo when I was six miles from home, on the way back –so, roughly 14 miles into my ride. I was really tired by this point:

Once I was home and had recovered a little bit, I had lunch and played more Code Realize:

In another happy event today, I finally made a decent shot of espresso. I enjoyed it for my dessert, along with a box of chocolate raisins:

I’ve already shared recent photos of my blooming bougainvillea which I’ve had for over a year now. But it’s looking even prettier, so have some more photos:

Recently, Kotoko has been climbing onto the cat tree in spite of her arthritis. That made me so happy! I got a few pics of that also:

Now I am trying to get on with my day. I actually took a nap in the middle of writing this post, but I’m still terribly sleepy. The ride exhausted me. But I’m glad I did it. 😊

Happy Valentine’s Day! 💘

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear friends! I hope you had a fun one. My morning and early afternoon were full of chores but I was in good spirits, if exhausted from the bike ride still. Christopher picked me up after I did all the grocery shopping for the week. I walked to Publix as my daily exercise… I couldn’t handle another bike ride today, but I’m starting again tomorrow.

We exchanged cards in the late afternoon. Christopher got me a box of Godiva truffles:

Brioche wanted to be in the picture.

I ate three of them while we played Super Mario World. I was in heaven!

In unrelated news, my bougainvillea has made a comeback:

Also, I have several baby snail eggs hatching, so that’s exciting.

We are going to spend the next of our evening relaxing and watching a movie together. Tomorrow I have to catch up on a few more chores and start on art again… make a doctor appointment… and make sure to exercise properly again. Life is surprisingly overwhelming considering the pandemic, but I’m taking it little by little and getting everything done.

Pre-Valentine’s Day High Tea 🎀☕💘

It’s been a tradition for a few years now to have high tea for Valentine’s Day. We always skip Valentine’s Day itself, since it means limited menus in most places. For high tea though, at least where we go, it just means you have to pick the most expensive tea service. That’s alright by me! 😁

I decided to bring Vanilla Bean along. It’s her first outing, I believe.

I picked a tea called Vanilla Dream (or Vanilla Cream? I forget, but it reminded me of Vanilla Bean so it seemed fitting.)

Finally it was time for the glorious tray:

Looking at the photos now, I’m hungry all over again…

Lia, the proprietor, puts a lot of effort in the decorations, even now when there isn’t as much traffic. They are a delight to look at every time.

Here’s Lia and me. I never thought of getting a photo of us together before (she’s always taking photos of me though, haha) but today I wanted to:

It’s always a very lovely, romantic time and today was no exception. I hope it won’t be too long before we go again. Next though, I expect we will be going to Chuy’s for our next date night. It’s opening in just a couple of days! 🌮 ✨

Summary Of A Happy Day 🌈🌻

Today was a wonderful day. We had our early Valentine’s Day tea (coming in a different post) I went on a fun long bike ride, and got a long-awaited package in the mail.

As if that weren’t enough, Christopher surprised me by purchasing the espresso machine that I wanted. I only really got into having hot espresso in like, the last week… so him buying it completely threw me for a loop. He showed me the order on his phone while we were having tea and it made me cry, I was so surprised. It’ll be here Monday.

It’s a beautiful red so it will match my kitchen redecor:

There was a time when I did this at a restaurant I worked at. I wasn’t bad at it, so we’ll see if I can learn again. I’m so excited!

✨ New Rainbow Keycaps✨

It took over a month, but my rainbow keycaps from AliExpress are here! Like my keyboard’s original keycaps, these are also clear (the letters, symbols and numbers, I mean) so the RGB effect still shows through beautifully:

I’m over the moon with it, as you can imagine! It fits my overall aesthetic very well.

🥕 A Ride With Slinky 🥕

I was anxious to burn as many calories as possible after our high tea. I took a different route today, because it gets a little boring otherwise. I rode toward Tree Tops Park.

I decided to bring Slinky in my basket. Though she seems conspicuous in the photos, she was well hidden most of the time other than the lid of her hat. But I could see her, and it made me really happy. I’ve always wanted to take a stuffed animal in my basket.

I came across a little park on the way, with a huge lake in the middle and one path going all around:

There were several ducks and other birds present:

I even got a little video of the guy above:

I found a cow in a field. If it had wanted to come up to me, I would have been able to touch it.

It looked back at me with interest three or four times; I could see the white of its eyes. But it was too preoccupied with eating to engage with me.

I also came across this… thing, painted with a golf and tennis theme. It’s some electrical thing, or something of the sort, but it was so cool, I had to take a picture:

Finally, I was at Tree Tops Park. I didn’t go in, I just went straight on because it was such a nice path.

Maybe a half mile after this sign, a little more perhaps, I turned around because sunset was fast approaching. I had over an hour ride home against strong wind, and sunset was in 15 more minutes. The roads weren’t super well lit, so I panicked a little bit. I was quite far from home to be on my bike.

Night had just fallen properly when I made it back to familiar territory.

When I went through the door my legs were shaking from the effort, but I rode a total of over 12 and a half miles. I’m proud of myself. 😊

🥟 Ham & Cheese Empanadas 🥟

Pretty much as soon as I walked in I began to work on dinner. I made ham and cheese empanadas for the first time.

They turned out alright –I need to use a different cheese next time.

That’s all, I suppose, but there will be a separate post for fun tea photos!

End of Christmas Weekend 🎄✨

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kotoko quietly sunned herself…

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

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

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

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

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

(I only took my mask off for the photo.)

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!

Nine Days Until Christmas! 🎁 🎄

Hi all! Did you have a good day? I wrapped more Christmas presents, finished two illustrations, and got a bunch of things done around the house. It was a pretty good day, all in all.

In the morning, I found Buddy and Sarah hanging from the fan together:

In reality, Christmas for us will start this weekend. As far as actual Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I’ll spend that with my mom and no one else, so she isn’t exposed to others. Christopher will go to his mom’s for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And this weekend, my mom and sis in law are coming to celebrate an early Christmas with us.

I’m so excited for them to open their presents, even though one of the presents for my sis and one of the ones for Christopher almost certainly won’t arrive in time. 🙊 But I have a bunch of others for them to open. And I have presents for them to take home to Grandma and my mom in law’s super sweet roommate too.

Today I took pictures of my new Charlie Bears hedgehog, Holly, all dressed up. I think she looks very festive!

Holly is definitely among my top five Charlie Bears and not just because she’s the latest. She’s just so gorgeous and unique. I’m really glad I didn’t buy the Bearhouse collection hedgehog and held out for her instead.

Anyway not much else to say, I’m very tired, tomorrow I plan to clean the house a little and go shopping for empanada ingredients to make a nice meal for my family. 🥰 Goodnight everyone!

Holly Is Here 🎄🦔

My little Holly (original name Tootles) arrived today. Of all my Charlie Bears, she is the one with the biggest gap between when I wanted and ordered her, versus when I actually got to hold her.

I saw her early this year –February I think? and placed the order as soon as I could. I planned to cancel it if non-stock photos dissuaded me. Her stock photo just looked too good to be true. Then one video was released and that looked too good to be true, too. After months of waiting I just thought I had to be let down somewhat, somehow… but, no.

She’s stunning! The photos speak for themselves. Everything about her –her posing, facial expression, different types of fur, and generous size –everything about her is 110% perfect.

In the end, I settled for Holly as a name because it’s prickly and Christmasy. It seemed appropriate for my little Yule hedgie. 😊

At this point… Believe it or not, I’m considering putting my Charlie Bear purchasing sites in my “permanently blocked” website list. 😅 This was my second most wanted bear of the year. Now she’s mine. Eventually I do have to stop buying bears and I think if I remove the temptation it will be easy enough. Plus, HOPEFULLY next year I can enjoy my bears rather than just buy new ones. The pandemic has been a huge factor in my bear splurges.

Anyway! It’s time to finish my daily chores. I’ll post a photo of her outfit tomorrow!

It’s Cold, Man

I woke up miserably cold today and I have cramps but literally NOTHING matters because my Charlie Bears preorder that had been sitting for MONTHS and I had completely given up on… shipped!! 😭✨💕

Everything Charlie Bears got delayed this year –still, I’d been able to get my hands on nearly everything, other than Dreamer (which I could live without) and Tootles, which was a much, much bigger bummer. Tootles was my dream bear of 2020, second only to the incredible beauty I got from Christopher as my birthday present (Wilfy).

A hedgehog, and decently sized, I’d been dreaming of Tootles since January or February or whenever he was announced. Placed my preorder right away. But already because of COVID other bears didn’t make it to the USA this year (just Australia and UK) so I figured it was a lost cause until maybe sometime next year IF at all. I’m aware enough of CB trends now to know that this bear would become scarce very quickly, and get scalped all to heck. 😥 But I got lucky. That makes Tootles my Christmas present to myself, I suppose.

And, while it’s always possible my mind will change… with long-desired Tootles, I think maybe I’m done buying bears? I have so many now… They make me so happy. But I don’t think there can be any more bears that are uniquely different enough from my current ones. 🤔 Already this year there were bears that made me go “Wow, that is gorgeous” but I just didn’t feel a big urge to get them.

Right now if I close my eyes I can rattle off all my bears and their names. And trust me it’s a lot of them. I don’t want to get to a point where I can’t remember their names, or else they stop being special…

I could see myself going for one if Charlie Bears came out with a really beautiful dinosaur or dragon, that was decently sized, not mohair, and with a beautiful facial expression. But right now, it would take a very high standard of uniqueness for any new bears to join my hug. Like don’t get me wrong, I’m not “over” Charlie Bears. I can’t wait until I can take my current bears places for photos again. But, I’m more excited about that, than I am about the 2021 catalog.

Anyway I have no name or outfit planned for this bear because I was just not expecting to get him at this point. I might call him a Christmasy name… Tinsel? Since he’s a Christmas hedgehog. And having plenty of Christmas outfits he can wear if he should arrive in time for that. I hope so. I’d love to have him in all of the Christmas photos I take. 🎄🦔