Tag Archives: Toys

The Weekend’s Treasures ✨🦕🚂

Good morning everyone! I’m still doing lots of things… even more laundry, still unpacking, very busy… I did say I would make an additional post to share my new treasures and souvenirs, so here we go! In no particular order…

These are the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway goodies we snagged. Three battery operated engines! Diesel, Percy and Thomas. Very happy with these finds!

Then, as you can see, we got a few “destinations”. A water tower, a search light, a quarry mine tunnel and a winter fuel station!

The store had a lovely friendly attendant who surprised me with a cute little doodle of Thomas when we went to the register to pay! 🥰

Here are some goodies from The Sound Exchange in Tampa Bay. We found a brand new record of the music from Tales From The Crypt (which we are currently binging!) a Laserdisc featuring How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Horton Hears a Who, and another of the Dead Poets Society.

Something else they had at the Sound Exchange was old books and magazines. I decided to take this one, from 1966, partly because it had some pages about dinosaurs.

It’s an interesting little magazine, with lovely illustrations. It was one hundred percent brand new, as it must have looked the day it was made.

Continuing the dinosaur topic, we visited Mojo Books & Records across the street from our hotel. This is actually a place we visited on our second anniversary trip. We loved it then and now! I decided to look for more dinosaur books, because why not. I found a few:

They are all beautiful, but my favorite is the first one (The New Dinosaurs). The biggest book, The Prehistoric World Of The Dinosaur, had a child’s drawing inside:

I almost discarded it, and perhaps eventually I will, but Christopher pointed out that some kid loved dinosaurs and this book so much, that he carefully drew them and placed the drawing inside. Thinking that, it felt wrong to remove it.

And now, let me share the best part, which is my haul(s) from Dinosaur World! One haul wasn’t enough… Christopher took me back on Saturday. He really indulged me all weekend long. 😁💕

First off there are these tiny, tiny books! About the size of my hand. Little stories about dinosaurs.

I got a visor and a tie-dye shirt! 🌈✨

I found a wonderful foam dino in the same general vein as Mojito and Fuit Gummy, but a completely different color and pose. I think he will make a great friend for them! I’m calling him Churrasco.

I also got this medal which I will hang from my cork memory board:

And a few more odds and ends; a patch (also for my cork board, at least for now) a pencil case and a rubber bracelet:

They had so many beautiful statues… it was really very hard to pick what to buy. I ended up getting this little guy:

And this beautiful… beautiful, massive gal… The jewel of everything I got this weekend. I adore her. I could go on, but I’ll leave you to look at the photos:

And that’s it! There are a few things that stayed in my mind as “wish I’d gotten that” but I had to stop somewhere. 😅 One was a foam triceratops that I didn’t buy at the store where we got the Thomas stuff. I looked for it online, and all I could find is that it’s by a brand called Best Choice and is out of stock everywhere. Another was a raptor lamp at the Dinosaur World, and a lenticular print, also from there… but I’m sure if I’d gotten these things, there would be something else I regretted leaving behind. So it’s alright. 😁

I do wish Christopher had found more things he liked, but he didn’t really. We both had a good time, though.

Anyway that’s all for my trip, I have to go grocery shopping now. Hope your week is off to a great start!

Anniversary Trip: Day 2 (And Home Again) 💕🚂

Here’s the second day summary of our wonderful anniversary getaway! We were up pretty early. I was excited to wear the outfit I had planned for today.

It was my cheeky Thomas sweatshirt, a brand new blue plaid skirt, my black boots with new black rainbow socks, and my Thomas backpack. Oh, and my Doctor Who scarf. I wished I could get a full OOTT photo but there was no full-body mirror in the room, so I got a regular selfie.

And a photo of the rest of the outfit, like this:

Then I got Coffee Cake out of his little sleeping bag and had breakfast while I waited for Christopher to be ready.

Soon we were on our way. We stopped to get breakfast first, but due to COVID (understandably… I guess? this really could have been done better while still keeping things safe) the “free, all inclusive” breakfast buffet was, err, interesting:

Leaving the “buffet”, we went to the train show. Coffee Cake continued to enjoy the views afforded to him:

The train show was a collection of extremely elderly people selling extremely old trains in a packed, very rickety church room. I didn’t get any video or photos here, but they had a cute little display with a train running and the guy controlling it would make chocolate eggs jump up into the air with a loud POP! that really startled me and made me yell “what the hell” inside a church, but I’m a heathen now so that’s okay. The train popped three eggs. 🐣

After that, we went what was supposed to be the highlight of this trip, HR Trains & Toys, Inc:

This was followed by Zitnik Trains. Both were a letdown, for a few reasons. We’d been to HR Trains’ original location on our second anniversary trip, and while we didn’t buy anything, it was a huge highlight of our trip, and the seed for my interest in wooden track trains was planted then and there. But it seemed too silly, I suppose; I thought Christopher’s main interest were the HO scale and such. I had no idea then how much the liked the wooden ones.

By the time we visited again, HR Trains had been sold and moved to a new, smaller location, that did not have the magic or size of the original. In particular, the wooden track area was sad and minuscule, most its space taken by an old guy in an office chair, making it difficult and embarrassing for me to peruse anything without being in extremely close quarters with him. I saw some items I liked, but was so annoyed and generally let down, that we didn’t buy anything here either.

Other than that though, we enjoyed looking around the store, in particular I had fun looking at the G scale trains. Zitnik trains was smaller and less interesting, so I don’t have much else to say about that. We found no wooden track stuff at all there.

💂 Jack’s London Grill 💂

Then it was lunch time. I’d picked a place called Jack’s London Grill for our itinerary, and here was another highlight. This was an AMAZING place, the chef was from Surrey in England and the food was genuine and superior in taste, texture and presentation.

I had a pear cider, bangers and mash (well, one banger and mash –I asked for the lunch-sized portion) and a puff pastry stuffed with hot melted brie. For dessert, we ordered bread pudding.

Everything I ate was incredible. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I guess I’d pick the bread pudding because it was so different. Christopher had Shepherd’s Pie:

I took this next photo after asking him to smile properly. In his defense, I think his mouth was full. 😅

The order of things escapes me slightly here –we went to record stores, to bookstores, and to game stores. We also went to a vintage toy store that really stood out! That’s what I’ll be talking about next.

🌈 Bear Haven Land Company Vintage Toys 🌈

This store was called Bear Haven Land Company Vintage Toys. It was much bigger than it looked on the outside and an absolute delight. They graciously let me take a bunch of photos. I’m sure you’ll recognize many toys you’d like to get your hands on, as I did! It was a real treat.

Here, I found a wonderful little Raikes bear! He was affordable, small and charming, so I brought him home with me. I decided to call him Raisin, because his color was just like that of the raisin-filled bread pudding we had earlier.

His face and paw pads are made of carved wood. Isn’t that cool? I’d seen bears like him before but none were cute enough for me to want to buy.

After that, we went back to the hotel and napped/watched TV. For dinner we went to a Phở place. The food was good, but the place was dingy, the lights flickered, and the service was so-so. 🤷‍♀️

After dinner we went back to the hotel for the final time, to toast our anniversary!

We cuddled and watched the last episode of Horimiya afterwards, which was very fitting to end the weekend… 🥰

We were tired, but happy. It was a wonderful way to wrap up our anniversary getaway.

💕🏡 Home Again 🏡💕

And that brings us to today! We left quite early in the morning, after grabbing one final McDonald’s breakfast. And, yeah, Friday-Saturday-Sunday I am not doing fitness logs. I ate like a beast, though we also walked a lot. It was a time to enjoy to the fullest, so I have no regrets. ✌

When we got home, I found that that my Brown and Cony keycaps had finally arrived, after a million years delay. They’re very cute!

I spent the day taking care of the cats and snails, blogging, unpacking, doing laundry, and resting. We ordered Bento for dinner and I had some coffee and a Vauquita from Argentina, another sweet treat I hadn’t had in years. Vauquitas ( a play on the word vaquita, which means “little cow”) are “dulce de leche” bars covered in powdered sugar. They have a harder shell with a soft and crumbly inside. It’s very sweet and delicious but you can’t eat more than one at a time. It’s too sweet like that.

Tomorrow I have to shop for groceries and finish my chores 100% because Tuesday begins my 100 Daily Warm-Ups project and I have to study for my citizenship test all the harder! So I will end this post here. Also, tomorrow I’ll share all the treasures I found with you. I hope you enjoyed the recap of our trip!

Odds ‘N Ends Before Bed 🌈🐶☕

You know, guys… I really want to cross post stuff to FurAffinity… I do… But, take this post for example. I’m finishing it on my phone. Tomorrow, if I want to post it to FA in the morning, I’d have to adjust its wording since it would not be posted when I am going to bed.

My posts generally seem so inconsequential anyway (other than my long, rambling ones) than to go through all that trouble, plus the photo links, etc… it all seems silly… I mean, it’s so much more work for me to cross post and make adjustments and links to the cross posted FA journal than for anyone to enter an email to comment here. It just makes little sense to me, I suppose. 🤔

But I have to get over it. As much as I wish my friends/FA watchers would comment here, I myself am terrible at commenting even on FA, like really awful, so I can’t point fingers. If people commented a lot here, I’d probably be bad about commenting back. So I get it, but it also kinda sucks.

Anyway. I started this post with a complaining ramble. Whoops. 🙇‍♀️💧 As I mentioned, I’m in bed. About to play a little Piofiore: Fated Memories (currently finishing all of Nicola’s routes but I already got his happiest ending), but first, I wanted to catch up here with a little post.

I’ve been using my new espresso machine lots and lots, and now I can make good espresso. It really was a wonderful Valentine’s Day present…

Kotoko keeps me company every day in the studio. She’ll bring me her toy mouse in the mornings and cuddle on my lap for a while, before settling on one of the beds I’ve set up for her near me (two, so she can pick… I guess I spoil her). But if I let her, she’d spend the whole day on my lap. 😅

It’s almost like the cats all have an agreement of who spends time with me and when. It’s all very specific. Kotoko is with me most of the day. Rosie is with me at night —she sleeps next to me, and at that time is very affectionate, and just with me.

She is playful during the day but doesn’t seek me out for cuddles, though she greets me often and wants to play if we “run into each other” so to speak. Meanwhile, Tomoyo seeks me out when I eat at the table: without fail, as soon as she sees that I’m preparing my midday meal, she sits on the chair next to me (and, if I get up, invariable takes my chair, and rolls on it belly-up, since this gets her attention.) Elliot seeks me out if I spend time on the porch, and when we have dinner, he sits between us.

Their routines rarely change, and almost never do other cats try to take a specific cat’s “special time”. Even as I write this, Rosie stood up just so she could fall down on me (which is how she lies down) even closer to my face, hard, to say without a doubt “I’m here, in case you haven’t noticed.” Purring furiously. Of course, I pet her.

Today I put together that KidKraft train set. It was absolute hell! I had to combine two sets (sending one back) to get the version with the least peeled-off paint… terrible quality. Putting it together was very difficult. A pity, the design is so cute. I wish it were better made.

Here are a couple of photos. I will take more when Christopher and I play trains again.

Kotoko LOVED the box it came in though. It’s now a new favorite place to sleep on —so much, that she brought her mouse to it. A rare occurrence:

Hmm… I think that’s all I have to share for now. I’m very excited about our anniversary trip. Just a week away! I’m also very tired. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Is It April 21st Yet? 😥

Hi all. It’s been a hot minute since I posted an outfit of the day! I felt very colorful, but walking over a mile in this got hot fast…

Anyway, today I went on a long (ish?) walk. I went to Walmart, mostly hoping to get out of a deep funk. I’m very stressed about the citizenship test. Everyone is being very encouraging, and I appreciate it. I’m having trouble with just 15 out of 100 questions (meaning, I don’t remember those 15 well enough yet.) So every day, I study them.

The problem is that even those I remember easily, I worry I’ll forget during the interview. I tend to crack under pressure. They might ask me something stupid like, “Who is the president of the United States right now?” and my brain might just decide to do this:

So, I’m doing everything in an uncomfortable fog, a daze, wanting April 21st to be here, and also to not be here. It’s stressful.

To relax, I continue playing otome games. I just finished Café Enchanté as I mentioned in an earlier post, I loved it… I’m already missing the characters. Hope a fandisc is released! And now I’m playing Piofiore: Fated Memories. I also watch old, early episodes of Thomas The Tank Engine while working, to relax. But mostly, I watch citizenship test videos on repeat while working on commissions. I don’t sleep well at night, and I’m snacking too much. Basically, I’m a hot mess. Can this be over already? 😅

Moving on… a new dinosaur train set arrived. Like usual, I’m saving it as a date night treat. The box art for this one is delightful, though!

Oh yeah. At Walmart, I got new shoos!

And! And! They light up!

In another bit of news… Our long-dreamed (and paid off) Alaskan cruise got canceled/postponed for the second time. Ah well.

It’s definitely for the best. I heard that AC got canceled too… I wonder what will happen to Megaplex.

It really seems like we are just losing another year. But we will have our little Tampa trip in ten days, at least, and if only Ragtime doesn’t get canceled again, I’ll be so happy. It’s now been moved to June, I think. Fingers crossed.

Right now we have our friend Bert staying with us. He’s staying for three nights, so for the first time, I am making regular dinners for three people. Even though I cook every night, I was really nervous about it. I want Christopher to be proud of me. I think Bert is kind of easy to impress with my low-level skills… ^_^; I can never reach my own standards, really. But if Christopher looks satisfied, then I feel very pleased.

Tonight I screwed up the sauce. Christopher had to run out to get more. I was doing well until the last minute, and felt ready to tear up as they walked through the door. But Christopher saved the day. I wish I could be a little more dependable, at least more consistently. I’m trying my best, though.

I’ve been moving the snails around again. With some of the babies a little bigger, I’m back to two tanks. The usual, big tank, and the medium tank (which had sat unused). The medium tank is in a brand new place in the house:

Tomorrow I’ll Zoom with my mom as usual. Lately it just feels like I’m getting through the days. I have a lot of head pressure, too… I’m drinking way too much coffee. I hope I’ll be feeling better in about a month’s time!

Now I’m off to get ready for bed. Tomorrow I also hope to finish a couple of commissions, finally!

A Good Wednesday 🌈 🚂

I got a lot done today! I exercised, worked on commissions, studied for the citizenship test, did housework, and zoomed with my mom. I also finally finished Ignis’ route in Café Enchanté . It was a nice balance of angstiness and sweetness. So it was a pretty good day.

My snack area looked cute today so I took a photo:

In the afternoon, a MASSIVE box was delivered. It was my new Thomas Wooden Railway Deluxe Roundhouse! I don’t know what I expected but I wasn’t expecting such an enormous box.

I put the batteries in and tested it. The noises that were made when you pushed the side button were cute enough, if a little low… but my biggest surprise was when I drove James inside! The engines make noise coming in and out:

This video is actually from “the future” but In added it to this post retroactively.

I was besides myself with delight!

I took a couple photos of Kotoko earlier. She was being so cute sleeping on Christopher’s pillow:

Her medicine came today. I think she’s already feeling better. 😊

Tomorrow is finally date night and I can’t wait to play trains with Christopher. I’ve been waiting all week!

Christopher’s Birthday! 🎂🥳 And Other Stuff

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.

Playing with trains with Christopher is the only time I feel fully comfortable being Little with someone. Like, not self-conscious at all, not forcing or faking anything. Only happiness.

It’s definitely that sort of activity (though I don’t think he likes to be reminded of this). I can’t help thinking of that aspect, though. And 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.

A Weekend Full Of Little Feels 🌈✨

Today, in things you probably shouldn’t put inside your body… a “sno ball”:

Well, it’s a snowball cake. It’s made by TastyKake. Even when I’m not dieting, I don’t really eat things like these… you know, ding-dongs, twinkies, they’re just horrible, horrible for you. But once in a rare while, like maybe one every two years sorta while… I’ll have one. This one was truly incredibly good:

After enjoying that little snack with some more Café Enchanté playtime, I made a new bead necklace with some stuff I had lying around:

This weekend has been full of Little feels. In between playing with Christopher with a ridiculous amount of wooden trains, and looking for worms in the yard with my little shovel, wearing my shortalls and mac ‘n cheese ODU onesie, I really was able to be in the moment and not feel awkward of self conscious in my Little self for the first time in a long time.

When it comes to like, legit playing with toys, my adult self is always too present. I’ve tried to play with other Littles but it’s hard to let myself go. I think when playing with the trains is the most comfortable I’ve ever felt.

Unfortunately it all presents a huge temptation to buy ALL THE TRAIN THINGS. So my Internet blocks are going into full effect again soon (I’ve been more than a bit lax with them.) I allowed myself to make an Amazon list, with train and block town stuff (since they work so well together) but by far my favorite stuff is BigJigs’ dino themed sets:

The list is here if you want to see the entire pile of nonsense. 😅

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.

So, EMG Tests Suck 😩

Turns out having your limbs shocked with electricity multiple times and having your muscles pricked with tiny needles while you are directed to move them is about as fun as it sounds, which is exactly NOT FUN AT ALL.

What I had was an EMG test. For some people, it hurts a lot, for others not at all. I didn’t know where I fell (it was somewhere in between… some stuff that doesn’t hurt others was really painful for me, and some supposedly painful stuff I hardly felt). For this reason, I avoided going into detail about the test in my blog posts and journals, because I didn’t want to know anyone’s experiences. All in all it was a little worse than I expected, but it’s over now, and Christopher got me a dinosaur. I’m calling him Rusty:

Doctors are continuing to do multiple tests to figure out why my limbs are going to sleep randomly in the middle of the night (random limbs, and always the full limb.) Exhaustive bloodwork is all good, MRIs are all good, and now the EMG is (on the surface) also okay. But I may have more news in a few days.

Right now I’m mostly just relieved, but it was a scary and painful test. I’m glad it’s over. To be honest, I’m really proud, I was so scared, but I didn’t ask for Christopher to come with, I didn’t bring any toy to comfort myself, which I normally would have done. I know there isn’t much pride in deciding to act like a grown-ass woman at 37, responsible for my own health, but I’m so scared of medical procedures and tests, so I am allowing myself a little self satisfaction.

Anyway, after taking AGES (two months maybe?) my new spacebar arrived so my keyboard looks even cuter!

Recap Of The Week 🌞🐝🌈✨🍟

Hello everyone! 👋 It’s been a really nice few productive days! ☺️ First of all the other day I heard back from an old friend after reaching out. It was just so wonderful to know that he was okay, and that he’s happy and doing well overall (aside from the occasional poor mental health that the current state of the country plus the pandemic has caused to so many of us.)

I ended up joining his server and it’s quite fun to be in a place that is adjacent to my interests while also not being my usual group. It feels kinda fresh. 😊

That day I also wore one of the newest ODU releases of my designs. 🌈 I’m quite fond of it:

I’ve gotten a ton of artwork done during the week. 🙌 Got some cooking done. Grocery shopping done. Several baby snails have been born and overall my little clan is doing fine right now. 🐌

Kotoko continually kept me company during the workweek. She napped near my feet and got petted a lot:

Today (well, technically yesterday —Saturday) I couldn’t take the stir-craziness anymore and went to Hobby Lobby. A couple of things caught my eye. There was a kit for LINE Friends bag charms. I LOVE Brown and Cony so much, but these are fairly obscure characters in the sense that you rarely see them in mainstream places outside of the internet. The kit itself was crappy but I was excited to have come across it.

I also saw a Spirit stepping stone. I took a photo for Nate to see whenever he looks at this post. ^_^

For dinner I wasn’t very healthy but it was worth it. I made a big batch of homemade fries and had it with a little coke:

After dinner I finished shading all the shinies sketches so I might just finish all four tomorrow. 🤔

I’m too sleepy to be able to write any more… guess I’ll proofread this tomorrow. Goodnight everyone. 😴