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Coldest Week of the Winter So Far

I hope everyone is doing well, enjoying the start of 2022, and staying warm. It's been brutally cold here this week, the coldest it's been all winter. We even had the first snowfall of the season, which Tsuki was curious about since she'd never seen snow before. It was an ideal week to stay snuggled up indoors, so aside from work, that's what I did.

I woke up Monday morning with a somewhat hazy dream recall. The first thing I remembered was being at the beach with my parents and siblings, but we were all younger. We started moving away from the water because we noticed a shark fin. The tide seemed to be growing, and the waves reached farther and farther up the beach. We noticed at least one great white and decided to our vacation residence. We were struggling to get away from the incoming waves as they grew faster and faster, and the crowd began to panic as the waves brought the shark with it. It got to the point where the waves and shark were able to reach the entrance of the hotel/condo. More happened, but details were murky. The dream transitioned, and it seemed to be another world that resembled an RPG. People would battle monsters and whatnot. My character/being had some sort of instructor/mentor that preferred to have me learn things the hard way, only telling me how to do things at the last possible moment if my life was in danger. While it was frustrating, it seemed to be because he believed in my capabilities and knew that I had untapped potential, wanting to push me to unlock it. A bunch of people started flocking to the area because they noticed that pests like rats were nowhere to be found; a group noticed this after they passed through and got surrounded by a normal swarm of rats. Apparently, I had the ability to put up some kind of barrier/ward against them, but I was doing it completely unconsciously. I had absolutely no awareness of doing so and had no idea I could even do so. Visitors didn't know why stuff like rats couldn't get in, but they didn't care about the why. I'm pretty sure my instructor/mentor knew, though. More happened, but that's all I could remember upon waking.

My dream recollection was rather murky again, but it could stem from the fact that I struggled with sleeping again--for whatever reason the past few days I struggled staying asleep, but Tuesday morning seemed to be the worst (I kept waking up and struggled with falling back to sleep). The little I could recall involved Tsuki for one part, but I couldn't remember anything specific. The last thing I could remember was hanging out with the boys I babysit. A lot happened with them and their parents, and it seemed important. Specifics were foggy, though. At one point I remembered the boys talking about hanging out with the cousins or something and that they were sort of hiding out in the car I was using to get away from their mom (and cleaning?). Their mom enjoyed talking with me, which we did for awhile, and then their dad got back from work. He started doing work on his car and suddenly started adding oil to the car I was using (I remembered saying it was my mom's car, but it didn't look like my mom's car, not really sure about that). At one point the boys were looking for a wooden cooking spoon; I thought I saw it in the car I was using and went to look, but it turned out to be some kind of guitar that my siblings had apparently broken. It was peculiar. I couldn't remember anything else about the dream.

It felt like a lot happened in my dream Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. From what I could remember I was at some kind of school. There was some kind of big event happening, like a parent/family visit, and the teachers were scrambling (more or less) to put up a bunch of work; the teachers wanted everything to be "perfect." Some kind of head teacher addressed the students and admitted that they might have gotten carried away, assuring the students the teachers would reel themselves back in. The students rejoiced. Several teachers then came out, asking a few students about work they didn't know where it was (it wasn't miss, per se, as one of the students didn't put their name on their work). There were a few lists teachers had, and they were consulting the group of students. One of the other students (I'm pretty sure it was Kate that I went to school with growing up) noticed my name was on the list, but the teacher couldn't find me even though I was right there in front of him. She was all, "What about Jessica? Hello?" while pointing fervently at me. He still didn't know, and she proceeded to get louder and called me "Saint Jessica" for some reason. He then noticed me and began talking to me about French I think (why, I don't know as I have never taken French). More happened, but the last thing I could recall was being in a gym. We had to play some kind of gym game like dodgeball. I caught the ball from a throw from the other side, but the boy insisted that it touched me prior to me catching it, even though I clearly caught it. Then some girl threw this massive, heavy ball (not sure what it was doing in a dodgeball-like game because it would seriously hurt someone), which landed directly on my head. It hurt like crazy, and I was pretty close to crying. The teacher then allowed me to sit to the side and not play the game. I knew more happened, but everything else was veiled in a fog.

I remembered one main part of my dream when I woke up on Thursday morning. I had been with April and Iris, although Iris seemed to be younger (maybe around the age of 1 or 2 instead of her current 4). I think I had a sleepover with them or they had a sleepover with me. Iris had woken up early and wanted to hang out with me; we were at some kind of store for some reason, and Blues Clues was playing, so we watched it for a bit. She then wanted us to go for a walk, so we meandered around the store. A few other people were at the store, and this lady pushed this massive cart-like thing full of stuff out of the way (it seemed like the employees had been stocking things). It freaked Iris out because it was so huge and came near her, so she clung to me and insisted that I hold her. The lady felt bad about scary Iris and tried to say hi to her, but Iris got shy and extra clingy. I'm not sure exactly what happened next, as it got kind of fuzzy, but April and her mom were involved. April's mom was freaking out and saying that they had to move/put away Iris's crystal and rock collection because people would be coming over and since Iris would lose them. We gave her an incredulous look and pointed out that Iris had been really good with her collection, taking some out to look at it before putting it in the bin; we emphasized how she wasn't making a mess or losing them, so why was she freaking out like Iris would make a huge mess or something. She realized we were right and that she was making a huge deal out of a nonissue. More might have happened, but that's all I could remember upon waking.

I didn't want to wake up Friday morning. My dream recall was a bit foggy, but at one point I was at some kind of family gathering. I couldn't remember the purpose of it upon waking, but something was up with the family. I remembered a lot of my mom's side was there. At one point some of my dad's side was there, and I remembered my uncle trying to help plow a bunch of snow, adding the salt to the large piles of snow the snow plows had left. My aunt Heather came up to me at one point, emphasizing how we were outcasts/misfits of the family. She said something like we were sort of like the Impostors in Among Us because it was us two compared to the vast numbers of the others (she didn't mean it that we were out to get them or anything, though--more like we didn't fit in with the rest and in that sense were kind of "impostors"). At one point in the dream I was with children InuYasha and Sesshomaru, and there were like these duplicate blankets that depicted them, so I was planning to give one to them and one to their dad, who resembled a cross between InuTaisho/Toga and an adult Sesshomaru. I'm not sure exactly what happened here; details got fuzzy. More happened in the dream, something about facing off against hordes of obstacles when someone/something was trying to basically eliminate a small group I was a part of; I remembered the group traveling by bus and there being like vicious beasts, dinosaurs, maybe zombies, etc. trying to stop the group. A lot more seemed to happen in the dream (I think at one point Tsuki was involved), but that was all I could remember upon waking up.

I had trouble waking up on Saturday morning, falling back asleep. Once I woke back up, my dream recall was incredibly fuzzy. I wasn't able to remember what happened at all, but I knew a lot happened in the dream realm. I woke up this morning remembering one main part of my dream. I think there might have been a part where I was at a school/studio, creating ceramics, too, but that part was hazy. What I could remember involved travel and some kind of big secret an organization or government didn't want to get out. I never found out what said secret was since the small group I was in found it but didn't go digging through the thick envelope/package, but whatever/whoever it was about did not want it to come to light. They seemed rather desperate to keep it hidden. My small group ended up traveling via plane while going about finding a way to reveal the information. The group the information concerned tried to prevent us from leaving, but we made it on the plane with no issues. The next part was a bit fuzzy, but when the plane landed the organization/government forced us somewhere, and we had to travel down a lot of stairs. They took our belongings and tried to prove we had the information. I think they wanted to eliminate us, viewing us as a grave threat, but were unable to for whatever reason. They couldn't prove anything. More happened I think, but that's all I could remember upon waking up.

The kids were split on coming back to school in before care; a number of them were happy to see their friends again while others didn't want to have to wake up for school, complaining that it was too early. They had lots of fun this week, though. The first day back, one of the girls was excited to tell us that she earned her yellow belt in Karate. One of the girls also showed off her new snowman gloves/mittens. She informed us that one was named Emily and the other Abby. She then took the boxes the kids had combined before break to create a mystery/guessing box (they duct taped a tissue box to another box). She decided that the mystery/guessing box would be the snowmen toilet; she created a flap on the bottom so she could stick her arm through because, for whatever reason, she had to be wearing the gloves/mittens in order for them to "use the toilet." The kids had a blast with this and used this fluff/stuffing as the "snowman poop." They thought it was hilarious. They were feeling extra creative this week, becoming obsessed with balloons, straws, and beans; they started making balloon maracas, and one girl decided to make tools with the straws and balloons. It was pretty cute. One of the girls kept trying to spin me around in circles so she could "cast a dizzy spell" on me. Honestly, though, she just made herself dizzy (lol). A few of the kids were talking about handstands and were trying to get me to do one; I put my hand on the table, having it "stand" on the table with its finger legs and asked if that counted. Quite of few of them thought it was hilarious, and there was some debate whether it counted as a "hand stand" or not. The 5th grader decided that I did a true hand stand while the hand stand that the others wanted was a "human standing on their hands." At one point my art buddy came up to me, claiming she was part human and part Jessica while pointing at me; I'm not really sure what that was supposed to mean, but she made it sound like I was an entirely different species. A group of kids also got together deciding that they would be king Dedede, Princess Dedede, and Queen Dedede. They decided I was "Dede Duchess" and informed me that they only spoke in "dedede" or with all of their words starting with 'd.' Kids definitely keep things interesting.

I had a fun week of babysitting. The boys were happy to see me after they had been visiting family last week. They were eager to catch me up with what they've been up to and what they received for the holidays. They loved hearing about the developments of YashaHime and about fanfic I've read, specifically the one where Kagome was a spirit and haunting Sesshomaru and playing pranks. They want to hear about any and all funny occurrences in fanfic, so if anyone knows of any humorous (InuYasha) fanfic, please share! The older of the two was showing me his massive Lego set he was working on; there are so many bags and pieces to the set.

I did some last minute babysitting this weekend for a family I hadn't seen since early December last year. The kids were so excited to see me. It didn't hurt that I brought gifts; they were ecstatic, exclaiming that I was the best and always give the best gifts. They were excited to tell me all about their holiday experiences and show me the new cookies they had just gotten. There was a potential for freezing rain, so the kids made all these plans for me to stay the night (lol). The girl tore into her art kits I got her, immediately wanting to work on them with me. In her enthusiasm and vigor, she didn't pay attention to where she was scratching with her scratch art; once she noticed, she lamented it was ruined (she hadn't been paying attention to the guidelines at all). I assured her it wasn't ruined, and we worked together to remedy the situation. I explained that things are never ruined, that we just needed to be flexible and adapt how the piece would look. It might not match the first expectations or intentions, but that didn't mean it was ruined. She was so excited to see that we had salvaged the piece by making the sunglasses larger. It was really sweet seeing them again, and they hope to see me again soon.

Tsuki's been a nut, like usual, this week. She's tried to climb the wall numerous times and even tried to climb into the fireplace while it was on multiple occasions. Since it's been so bitterly cold, she's been extra snuggly, wanting to cuddle with me or snuggle up in her new bed.

I received new goodies this week. There were a lot of energetically chosen crystal pyramids from Spiritual Supermall's Divine $9, pyrite eggs, an amethyst necklace, and a combo orgonite pyramid (clear quartz, amethyst, and rose quartz). I received a new deck, Daily Crystal Inspiration. I also ordered a citrine pyramid from Spiritual Supermall's Etsy shop, Spiritual Palace, as they were having a 50% off sale; I was excited since their main site doesn't offer citrine as a pyramid option. I look forward to seeing what new goodies they will offer!

Most of the projects this week were inspired by the intense cold and first snow of the winter season we experienced this week; artwork for the week included:

With the intense, bitter cold this week, I spent lots of time writing, reading, and watching anime/movies. It was way too cold to want to go outside; staying snuggled and warm inside was much more preferable. I wrote a new story this week inspired by a walk I had with Iris: Unexpected Surprise in the Grass. We found a massive mushroom, but it heavily resembled a dinosaur egg, so Iris was convinced it was a dinosaur egg lost from the zoo (they happen to have a dinosaur exhibit there now, too). It was an unexpected find on our walk, but it livened up our day; we had lots of fun speculating about what might be inside if it was in fact an egg (dinosaur or not). Feel free to read it and share your thoughts! I'm also open to suggestions and recommendations for future stories! I have other pieces in the works, so stay tuned for more stories! Fanfic for the week included: I Choose to Asphyxiate on You, The Truth and the Lies, Until You Remember to Relax, Open Mouth Insert Foot, What Your Eyes Can Do, Show and Tell, Love Bites, Tradition, Like a Dog to a Bone, He Was, A Heart By Any Other Name, Ununlucky, Any Day, Poor Sport, Unembellished, Endless Cycle, This Miko Belongs To... If Found Please Return, and Insert Foot Strap on Stiletto. The first episode of YashaHime of 2022 was incredible! It had me fangirling so hard; I'm so freaking hyped for YashaHime right now! There was lots of squealing, I'll admit. The boys are going to be super excited when they hear about it; the intro confirmed that Shippo is coming back (the preview revealed that he'll make an appearance next episode); plus, Moroha finally met InuYasha and Kagome after all the waiting! This episode is the episode so many people have been waiting for!! Moreover, it proved that Sesshomaru is a good dad, despite all the nonbelievers; he took on this crazy attack from Kirinmaru to protect the girls, despite what it would cost him. Lord Fluffy was not tolerating any of Kirinmaru's bs and underhanded tactics, even calling him out on it. Sesshomaru has overcome so much, so I wonder how he's going to overcome the precarious situation Kirinmaru has put him in; maybe he'll need the help of the girls and the rest of the family, even InuYasha and Kagome. I'm so eager to see next week's episode!

So, I had been wondering for a while whatever happened to Miraculous. I remembered hearing that there were going to be specials and what not but hadn't seen or heard anything about it in forever. Turns out, the new stuff moved to Disney+, and I had no idea. It kind of felt like betrayal; it felt like it should have been advertised or something (although, I guess maybe it was and I just had no idea--who knows?). Anyhow, I finally caught up on the new stuff: two movies and a 4th season. The fact that kwamis live in a parallel dimension/universe/reality when they're not being held by a miraculous user doesn't surprise me; they definitely have an otherworldly presence to them. The season 4 felt very prevalent, dealing with following your heart for your career versus getting a job and overcoming fear. I'm eager to see what next season holds, and from what I read online, season 5 should be coming this summer, which is exciting.

I also watched The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent this week and truly enjoyed it. It was cute watching the character development and interactions. The story emphasized the importance of not judging a book by its cover and to not underestimate what you can do or your abilities--you're capable of incredible feats if you give yourself the chance. Plus, I like how they decided to handle the source of the saint's power. I'm curious to see how they continue the story.

I watched Encanto this week, and it had me in tears. The story is so moving and relevant to the times. All too often we feel like we have to be strong, never falter, and always be perfect; we put on facades, pretending nothing is wrong when we feel so much more. The story illustrates all too well that people's intentions, while they may think are for the good, can hurt others. Poor Bruno. I felt there was way more to his story when the family mentioned him, and I didn't believe for a second when they started bad mouthing him. It didn't sit right with me, and I was right. Poor thing became an outcast with his own family, but even so, he never stopped loving them and tried to do his best to help them, patching up cracks in the shadows. Even though everyone was convinced he brought nothing but bad luck and disaster, he did everything he could to help them, even distancing himself and disappearing from their lives when he desperately craved to be close. I, personally, suspect that Mirabel didn't receive her door at her coming of age ceremony in order for the end to play out, but feel free to let me know your thoughts. Encanto is a strong story and illuminates the importance of love, lifting each other up, and banding together. Their family was known for its gifts, always helping the town, but in their time of need the town united and lent a helping hand. No one is worthless even if they don't have a "gift." Everyone is important. People and love are the true miracles; they are the blessings.

That being said, no matter who you are you have a gift; you're a blessing to the world, although sometimes it takes some time to unravel what exactly said blessing entails. There are things only you can do. It's okay if you need some time to sort things out, learn, and grow. There's no rush. Be authentic. Be real. Be genuine. The world needs you just as you are. It wouldn't be the same without you. Together we can achieve anything; all our gifts can help us build a better world. We're on our way to that bright future, but it may take a bit of time for us to work all the kinks out. We may take a detour or two along the way, but the journey and destination will be worthwhile. Be gentle with yourself, find time to follow your passion and joy, and prioritize your wellbeing. The world is better with you in it, so it's important to take care of yourself, just as much as it is to care for others. Stay blessed with love and light, everyone~

Food for thought from Ralph Smart on Infinite Waters:

Food for thought to consider for the week:

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