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Happy August!

It's hard to believe July is already over--we're already more than halfway through 2021, and we're already beginning the month of August. It feels so surreal. It feels like time is flying yet like it shouldn't be this far into the year yet, as if we've barely even been in the year 2021. Has anyone else felt like this? It such unusual times we find ourselves in now.

My dream from Monday night/Tuesday morning had me back at high school. I was wandering around the halls. I meandered around for quite some time. Teachers were handing out doughnuts (I think in celebration of the first day of school). I saw some of my middle school teachers there. I think at one point a little baby started following me, but it wasn’t “normal.” It wanted to be held, but it must have realized that my arms were full/I was busy because it suddenly transformed/grew older. It was still considerably young, but it was probably like 4 years old at that point. I was looking at my schedule and couldn't figure out where one of my classes was. It was in the "S&A" building (whatever it was). April showed up and we both needed at health class. Somehow, someway when April showed up the kid disappeared (I don’t remember in the dream why; I just noticed when recalling in the dream the kid just up and vanished). We noticed that I had 8 classes (not sure if that was normal or not in the dream). She ended up searching for the new building with me. We found it near the world language building and were rather confused. Neither of us recognized it and commented that it hadn't been there before. Someone else started following us. By the time we got in the building, we were apparently late. We hadn't been able to find the class; the building kind of resembled a mall. The teacher suddenly appeared, suggesting that we go around back next time (apparently that way was easier to find the door). She emphasized that we wouldn't be considered late and ushered us inside. It was super crowded inside. It didn’t have the feel/appearance of a normal classroom. We were the last ones to arrive it seemed.

The teacher had us do some kind of like assignment scavenger hunt/bingo sheet (needing to complete certain tasks, with some of them being optional). They all seemed really random. The one I can recall was wearing flip flops backwards (i.e. on the wrong feet) and walking across the classroom. One of them involved asking a kid something, and apparently the vast majority of the class had brought their kids with them. It was mainly comprised of female students, and they called out to their kids across the room (there was maybe 15-20 kids of varying ages). I think it was during this assignment that the person who followed us came up to me, stating, “I’ll blame you for making us late someday.” Confused (partially because I hadn’t made her follow me and because it was referred to as this “mysterious someday” rather than that day), I asked, “Someday??” They merely agreed before walking off. April apparently had a son (maybe like a year, year and a half old) that was walking on the edge of some stage in the room. April was a bit anxious about him walking there, and I heard her repeat, “Please, don’t fall. Please, don’t fall.” I noticed that he had some kinda intense green eyes. Somehow, he eventually made his way down onto the floor and appeared by one of our classmates. The classmate turned out to be Sandra. Their eyes looked the same; they stared deeply into one another’s eyes. April came to get him, seeming not to notice what had just transpired, but I had noticed the deep, soul connection. Sandra had made a comment about how they had connected on a soul level, and I remarked how I had noticed.

I’m not really sure what all the other tasks involved, but somehow it involved my recent short stories (or maybe I had written a book in the dream? I’m not entirely sure; it’s kind of fuzzy). I think the teacher called me over to discuss my writing. At one point Philip Norman came over to explain something or show me something. Not entirely sure what. He kind of seemed nervous and awkward about the process, but I decided I wouldn’t stress over it or make a big deal about it (it kind of seemed like he was nervous about showing me whatever it was, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why). That’s all I remember from my dream. I think more happened, though.

When I woke up on Wednesday morning, I didn't remember much from my dream. It felt like significant things happened, but it felt wrapped in a haze. I did remember there being cake, though. It was white cake with snow white frosting. It had a lot of layers (it sort of made me think of a wafer cookie with all the different layers--the layers weren't as thin as a wafer cookie, but it was the same premise). The only sort of color with the cake came in the form the rainbow-colored sprinkles that dusted the top of the cake. To my knowledge, there was only one rectangular piece of cake. I didn't recall the purpose of the cake, but it felt like it was important. I know a lot more happened in the dream, but I can't put a finger on what exactly what happened. (Corliss also mentioned that Tuesday night/Wednesday morning from 3:31 to 3:35 am there was a considerable energy blast; I don't recall this blast, but it could have been when I "woke" up in the middle of the night--it was more of a half-awake state where I quickly fell back asleep.)

When I woke up on Thursday morning, my dream was a bit fuzzy, but I knew that I was with the boys I babysit/their family for a good portion of it. If I recall correctly, their mom was going to have a girls’ night, and the younger of the two boys invited his friends over for a sleepover. He was excited. They were going to play video games I think. His older brother started pestering him at one point, and he wanted to punch him. At one point the younger of the two was driving a car (why, I couldn’t say) with me in the back seat. He wanted to go looking for Pokestops around a park I think. He started backing up the car rather quickly, and it was making me anxious, as he almost hit things. I remember repeatedly informing him he needed to stop the car. We just barely would avoid hitting things. I think I was taking the older brother to a friend’s house. We were going to pull into their driveway to drop him off, but when we arrived the driveway was full of construction vehicles/trucks. We ended up having to circle around and park on a side street so we could walk over. He was fine with doing so in the dream (but if it had been “real,” he probably would have grumbled about it). The next thing I remembered was that I was at some kind of small diner (it kind of resembled Denny’s, at least in terms of food). Apparently, some mayor was there. My dad and sister were at the table next to him. Apparently, I was supposed to sit with him. My dad and sister ordered a normal amount of food, but the mayor went all out on his order, covering the table with food items. Apparently, my dad was supposed to pay for the mayor’s food, too. He was trying to figure out a tip and asked me how much the food cost at the mayor’s table. I mouthed “six-zero” to indicate $60, feeling kind of weird about it since my parents have always tended to be on the cheap-side and knowing that he wouldn’t be too thrilled about it. The mayor paused mid-bite and announced that it was $61.40 before resuming his feast. More happened I think (the server was stressed out about serving the mayor—I recalled him stuffing plastic wrappers from the meal into his mouth because he didn’t want the mayor to have to see trash), but that’s all I recalled from the dream.

I woke up Friday morning knowing a lot happened in my dream but only recalling some of the end. The tail end of my dream involved my family. My aunt Heather had brought over this gorgeous cat. It had stunning green eyes, but that wasn't the most noticeable thing about it. The cat resembled mint chip ice cream. It had mint green fur with brown spots (literally it looked like it was the cat form of mint chocolate chip ice cream). It was a super sweet cat, allowing me to hold and pet it as it cuddled with me. Apparently my aunt had rescued it along with a handful of other cats from off the street or being euthanized at shelters. I think she was trying to make a safe haven for them.

The next thing I recalled I was at home. There were these twin, little girls, maybe around age 6 (they reminded me of Lindsay Lohan in the Parent Trap). They had made a huge mess in the living room. The one (the main culprit) was going downstairs in the basement to admit what they did to my parents. I told the other to go with her sister to make sure the truth was told (I kind of got the feeling that she would throw the sister that had intended to stay upstairs under the bus to keep herself out of trouble). My parents came up, telling me that the girls had claimed I was the one who wrecked everything. I was none too happy about this for a variety of reasons. For starters, they had blatantly lied (I hadn't even been in that room). My parents knew that the girls lied but didn't bother to say anything or call them out on their dishonesty. The biggest thing that upset me, though, was despite knowing it was a complete lie, my parents were now going to take the girls out for ice cream; they were essentially rewarding the girls for destruction and dishonesty. I knew that the girls might not have meant for the living room to be destroyed (MIGHT being the key word), but they knew exactly what they were doing when they lied. My parents were basically giving the green light to future destruction and lies, and I found that super troublesome. That's the last thing I remembered before I woke up.

When I woke up Saturday morning, I didn't remember everything from my dream, but the first thing I remembered is that I was with two of my coworkers from the preschool for a summer camp. It was a camp for elementary aged kids (and I recognized some of the kids from my other job at before/after care, specifically Max). My coworker that I had co-taught the class with was leading the camp, and the other that had helped us in the classroom had approached me, enthusing about she couldn’t wait to continue working with me. She seemed to be under the impression that I would still be working at the preschool. I broke it to her that the preschool didn’t want me there, and she was severely disappointed. The kids in the camp were working on a variety of art projects, which looked pretty neat.

The next thing I remember I was driving the boys home (I think we drove past where they went to elementary school). I was wondering what was being built off in the distance. It was some kind of tower. There were some kind of machines (they reminded me of the really tall, walking ones from Star Wars). Those tall machines were continuing to build the tower higher and higher. The boys thought it was kind of cool, but I was a bit unsure. It had a weird vibe about it. It kind of gave me the impression of the 5G towers, but it was incredibly tall—way taller than any of those 5G towers I’ve ever seen. It was really strange.

We got to their home, and their parents were telling us that they were going to head out (possibly to a concert). They made a comment about how it was supposed to rain the whole time. Their house didn’t quite resemble their current house (or their previous one). The boys began hooking some device up to their TV to play music. I ended up over at a small table with a little girl (I don’t recognize her now that I’m awake, but it seemed natural for her to be there in the dream). I began creating some art with her. It ended up being a massive fox watercolor painting (it took up the entire table). We were getting close to finished when the boys’ dad (and I guess her dad, too) came over. He made some kind of grumbling remark that he wasn’t paying me to create art but then noticed the girl, commenting, “Oh, Ashley’s here. That’s fine then” (I presume Ashley was the little girl). I informed him that I was going to finish painting the fox with her and then I would go check on the boys (although I’m not sure why he was still home since he had made it seem like they had to leave for the concert earlier—go figure). Some other kids showed up, including Max from earlier. I’m not really sure what happened next, but it involved all the kids, and I’m pretty sure Max held a prominent part. The details were fuzzy, though.

I didn't remember all that much from my dream when I woke up this morning. I know that Tsuki was playing in it at one point. I know that the part I remember the most involved the family I've been babysitting for a lot this summer and the different schools I've worked for. The younger of the two boys was acting kind of mischievous, but that was because he was bored and not feeling challenged enough. His mom was going on about how she'd let him test out of things because he was smart but that she didn't know what to do to challenge him further. Apparently, his teachers were fed up with him and didn't want to differentiate to give him assignments that were at his level (they seemed to think it was too much work). I ended up at a meeting between the different schools I've been at. Teachers were complaining about it being too difficult to keep up with all of the different demands of the students. One of the schools seemed to write off that I was there. One of my coworkers from another school had included me since I had worked with them, which surprised the other school. I couldn't understand what the big deal was; the teachers were so fed up with having so many intelligent kids. I ended up raising my hand so that the head of the meeting would notice and listen to what I had to say (the other teachers tended to talk over one another). Seeing that the students needed more challenging materials, I pointed out, "Why don't teachers reach out to other teachers at higher grade levels? Why don't they work smarter and collaborate? They could have teachers at higher grade levels share assignments with them and tweak them for their own class. If more challenging assignments already exist, I don't see why they're complaining. They don't have to reinvent the wheel. They're not alone. They have a whole network and community they can reach out to. I don't get it." The other people there were stunned. I could tell that they knew I had a point. The head of the meeting/discussion really liked my idea. Apparently, it had occurred to absolutely none of them to do this.

It was another fun week of babysitting. The younger of the two boys was back from his animal camp, and he had so many stories to share! He adored all of the animals (his mom told me that he had showed them around on a tour when they went to pick him up from camp--his family didn't care for the smell, but his reaction was "Oh, you get used to it."). There were sugar gliders and porcupines. There was Izzy the pot-bellied pig that loved belly rubs. Orwell and Wilbur were the other pigs, which monopolized the enrichment toys (which were made by the campers with hay and food). He told me that he adopted Izzy as well as Willow. Willow, the wallaby, was his favorite. She and the other baby wallaby, Bungy, would hang in bags. Willow was allowed out because she didn't make a mess like Bungy--he told me that pooping all over the floor and that he peed, dragging his tail in it and leaving a trail of pee following behind him as a result. Willow just chilled and ate food, on the other hand.

They decided to bake a lemon cake. The younger of the two decided to hang out in a blanket again (sometimes with Pearl). We played more of Pokemon Unite and discussed games in general. When I was taking the boys to come meet Tsuki (the younger one has been begging to meet her, exclaiming at how cute she is), we got to discussing recent Pokemon games. They decided that the games are "kind of dead" since they are so easy to beat nowadays versus the older ones. I consented that there did seem to be a great deal of handholding in the newer games, remarking that if they had a difficulty setting that players could choose at the beginning, it would lead to a happier fanbase. They leapt in agreement with my comment, proclaiming that there needed to be an easy, normal/classic, hard, challenge, master, and "death" mode; that way players could be adequately challenged according to their skill level/age. Granted, that might be a bit much to program (although I don't know for certain since I don't have any background knowledge when it comes to programing--I mean, I took webpage design back as a freshman in high school, but I really don't remember much about it. Plus, that was years ago). The boys were super excited about the prospect of different difficulty modes and enthusiastically discussed the ramifications for the franchise. They soon began playing happily with Tsuki (they adore her, and she is not like fluffy cat--she happily played with them and climbed on them, whereas fluffy cat wanted no part in strangers. Granted, she did spend time with April and Corliss, but, otherwise, she wanted no part being with people outside of the household, opting to hiss, run, and hide whenever she saw them). They played with her for at least a good 45 minutes, wearing themselves and Tsuki out. It was great (and adorable).

Like usual, he had some interesting things to say. On Monday afternoon he spontaneously announced, "Meow. Meow. I am not a cow. I am a human. Or am I? Maybe I actually am a cow. Maybe I don't actually know anything. Maybe we don't know anything at all. Maybe we're nothing. Maybe blind people are tegu only ones that see. Who knows." It always comes out of the blue, but normally it isn't that long. He usually only makes some kind of animal sound before stating he's not some completely different animal. Later he was going on about how maybe he was a human made out of robots or maybe he was a robot made of humans. The next day he started singing, "I have a thing. It's called a hand. I can eat. I can eat my hand. You can't stop me. Well, I guess you can, but why would you stop me. It's my choice. I'd get mad. Don't try to stop me. You can't stop me, even though I just said you could. I want to eat my hand. Let me eat my hand." He went on to sing about how he was a cow, that no one could defeat him, as a cow he will fight everything with a "Baked potato cow explosion." Then proceeded to say he was a cow potato, potato cow, finishing with "I have a mastery degree. A mastery degree in being a cow potato. I am an exploding cow potato. Eeeee eeeeee eeeeeeeeeeee!" His black lab, Pearl, came down to see him, and he went over to her, declaring, "Hello, doggo, I'm going to rub your ears until you fall out of existence." He definitely keeps things interesting (lol).

Tsuki enjoyed the first part of the week. She's rather comfortable and content in our home now. She often races around, playing with anything and everything. She often climbs up my leg and will hangout perched on people's shoulders. She had no problem when my cousin and his friend came into town (fluffy cat was anxious and scared of strangers, often hissing, growling, and running away from people not of our household, excluding April and Corliss). She came up to them often, hanging out on their laps. She didn't have a problem with my brother visiting either. She did have a problem with him bringing his puppy, though--while only about 4 months old, his puppy is huge (he's getting close to Chevy's size). She was constantly puffing up and hissing at Yogi--she did not enjoy him invading her home. It didn't help that Yogi kept racing up to her and stealing her food and water. She was pissed that Yogi was here (even though the lady we got her from insisted that she was good with dogs, go figure). We did our best to keep the two separated, but Yogi follows my brother wherever he goes, and my brother didn't particularly stay away from Tsuki. Tsuki hates being confined to a room. Yogi hated being confined to a room. As we don't have any dogs, we couldn't keep him outside because our yard isn't fenced in. This was likely her least favorite weekend. My brother thinks that she'll get used to Yogi, but the jury's still out on that (it's not that I think it's impossible, but at this time it doesn't seem likely). Excluding Yogi's presence this weekend, Tsuki was happy. She enjoyed meeting my aunts that came over to visit. She's definitely a people cat (but not a dog cat). She's super adorable and energetic.

I helped out at the cat café again, learning how to open. The sky was super interesting on the drive there; there were rippling waves of clouds in the sky--it looked like the sky was the sea. I've never seen anything quite like it. They were super excited for my help and loved that I was there early (apparently, other workers tend to come a few minutes after their shift technically starts); I explained that since I had worked in education they had a saying about arrival for work: "If you're early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late. If you're late, it's unacceptable." They were intrigued by the saying. It was a really busy day at the café, but I felt like I learned a lot. They'd like for me to shadow someone in the café next time to learn how to act as a barista. The people that work there are awesome. We discussed art, cats, crystals, and spirituality. It was great. Addie brought a new book with her: The Power Wish. It seems really interesting. I'd love to check it out. We also discussed different crystal shops we've been to in the area; they didn't realize that there's a crystal shop 4 minutes down the street from the café. They were excited about it and wanted to check it out. I found a cat that looks like a grown-up version of Tsuki; her name is Pinto. I wonder if she's related to Tsuki at all--the resemblance is uncanny. Time flies in the cat café; I arrived before 9 am, and it almost felt like I blinked and then it was almost 2 pm. Time is such a strange thing.

I was happy to receive my Goddess Provisions August box this weekend! It's always exciting to see what new goodies they give out. The deck that came with this month's box is pretty neat, and it's a handy resource to have in one's toolbox, especially considering how many people struggle with stress and anxiety in today's modern society. My package from Spiritual Supermall seems a bit delayed as it hasn't arrived yet, but that's fine. It'll get here when it gets here, and that should be soon.

Here are the paintings I created this week (I'll admit, I spent more time writing and editing stories that I spent creating paintings/other art, but it was fun, regardless):

I spent a lot of this week reading and writing. This week's fanfic includes: A Petal in Murky Waters, Try As You Might, Father's Blood, Revelations, Sesshomaru and Shippo's Conversation, Days Have Passed, Jaken's Goodbye, Sit Boy!, Under the Goshinboku, A Lonely Day, The Lady of the West, and My Mate? I also read the book, 41 Signs of Hope (my mom told me that I would really enjoy it). She wasn't wrong, but I didn't fall under the normal reading audience; the author had made disclaimers about how readers may have a hard time believing the experiences shared, wanting to write them off as "coincidence" and find a "logical" explanation. Thing is, I had no trouble believing. I already strongly believe in synchronicity, the ever-lasting love of the universe, and ever-lasting nature of the soul/consciousness. It really wasn't a far stretch for me at all. I do recommend reading it, though, especially if you're looking for confirmation that your deceased loved ones aren't actually gone. Really powerful stories and experiences are contained in this book. It's a pretty fast read, too (pretty sure there's a total of 123 pages--look at those ascending numbers). Corliss and I created more stories this week! We summitted stories to the Brown Paper Box challenge and Shark Week challenge. Corliss wasn't originally going to write stories for them, but she felt immense inspiration after reading my stories. My short story for the Brown Paper Box challenge, Special Delivery: A Mystery Package Appeared, is posted and available for reading! My short story for the Shark Week challenge is now posted, too: Sea Gazer and Deep Diver. We've had a lot of fun proofreading each other's stories lately. Corliss's short story for the Death By Chocolate prompt is posted; it's titled Dessert is Breakfast Today. Her short story for the Brown Paper Box challenge is also up: Box of Mixed Emotions, and she has her Shark Week piece posted: Human Instincts Tested. If you have any prompts or themes you'd like to see us do, feel free to share! We'd love to hear them! I have several stories still in the works. It's a lot of fun writing and bouncing ideas around together. I didn't anticipate spending the later part of my summer this way, but I enjoy it! Life is full of surprises.

Please, take care of yourselves. Allow yourselves to rest as needed, and be gentle with yourselves. We do the best we can. We still have room to learn and grow, so there's no need to put so much pressure on ourselves to be "perfect." We should strive to thrive and be authentic more than aspire to be "perfect." Perfection varies from person to person, so it's kind of wasted effort. Be true to yourselves. Listen to your heart, and let it guide you. It will never steer you wrong. Breathe. Relax. Have fun. Smile and laugh. Things will work out some way or another. Allow yourself to feel and be. It's okay; you're human. Make mistakes. Make your life an adventure. Savor the journey. At the end of the day, ensure your story is one that you adore and can be proud of. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to reach your destination. Detours can be fun and yield unexpected (but incredible) results. You have people that love you. The universe has your back. Stay blessed with love and light, everyone~

Some food for thought from Ralph Smart on Infinite Waters:

Food for thought for this week:

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