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Happy Birthday, Drew!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable week! Hopefully, things weren't too crazy. There were some intense occurrences that happened around me that seemed to come out of nowhere. These are certainly interesting times we live in. Not everything has been crazy, though; there's been plenty of fun. For starters, Dragon Goes House Hunting's opening song "Role Playing" has basically been my theme song lately; I've been listening to it a lot, and it leaves my heart feeling happy and light. Also, happy birthday to my youngest brother, Drew! I hope your birthday was fun and relaxing! Most of all, though, special shout out to Jared! Thank you so much for your kindness and donation! You didn't have to, and I sincerely appreciate your support!

I didn't remember much from my dream when I woke up on Monday morning. I knew it involved travel. Sesshomaru was in it at one point. I might have visited relatives. For sure it involved Corliss and her family. I think Corliss and I went to her sisters house and were picking up her nieces and nephews to go have some fun. We might have been going out to get ice cream and pie and the like (I'm not 100% certain). As we were leaving, this truck pulled up. It was kind of like an ice cream truck, but it had pie crusts instead. I think it delivered the crusts rather than merely selling them as an ice cream truck would. Apparently, her sister had ordered some, so we picked them up, and when we went back to the house, Corliss's nephew ran inside to drop them off. That's all I could remember from the dream, but I knew more happened.

I remembered two different parts of my dream when I woke up on Tuesday morning (but more probably happened in my dream). The first thing I recalled was Corliss was over. We were hanging out in the kitchen. Corliss was beginning to cook something, and it was late at night (I think almost 11pm). I was getting tired and planning to head to bed, but I noticed that my sister had left a bunch of dirty dishes out in the kitchen. I got super frustrated because she had "cleaned up" all of her dishes already supposedly. I started cleaning them, and Corliss noticed that I was a bit grumpy about it. She asked if I wanted a cookie, thinking that would make me feel better. I told her no, since I was trying to go to bed. Corliss mentioned that she was going to be watching some show on Hulu--apparently, it was some older show about cowboys. It might have taken place in space. She made some commented about how they used to make such great shows and how they don't make them like they used to. The dream transitioned. We were outside somewhere. It sort of seemed like we were by a school. Nuns were running the school. They came over and started hating on ninjas. I merely asked if they knew any ninjas personally. The younger of the two said yes. When I questioned to get more information, I kept getting the answer yes rather than any full sentences or detailed answers. Eventually, she said something about having met 4 ninjas before. When I inquired if she had actually known the ninjas rather than meeting them/seeing them, she admitted that she didn't know them. I tried to point out the bias she was exhibiting--not in a mean way, just in a way that let her know that it was there. I don't remember what exactly I said, but it involved some kind of stereotype or bias that people might have about nuns that wasn't true about her. She conceded. A homeless man showed up, looking for food at one point. He was trying to get food from Corliss and me, but I warned him to be careful. At this point, Corliss was being guarded by a massive T-rex that didn't care for strangers--it was very loyal and acted like a dog in personality. I recalled that the t-rex was missing part of its middle toe on one of its feet. I did offer him the little food I had, and he started talking to us and the nuns. I think more happened, but that's all I could remember.

A lot of my dream was hazy when I woke up Wednesday morning. The first thing I could remember was a part that involved Sesshomaru, How to Train Your Dragon, and Digimon. It seemed to take place around current day rather than feudal Japan or the Viking era. I know that it started off focused on Hiccup. I think he was getting ready to move out and venture out on his own. A bunch of baby dragons were surrounding him, gazing up at him with large, sad eyes, as if pleading for him not to leave. It kind of felt like he was supposed to leave, though, despite their wishes. Apparently, Digimon were disguised as humans or something (maybe they were both, like in the human realm they were humans but if they were to go to the digital world, they'd turn into a Digimon?). I think the Digimon group wanted Hiccup for some reason; they had disguised themselves as his friends. The disguises were more like holograms, though, and they weren't foolproof--they would flicker and reveal who was really there every now and then. Hiccup used various inventions to get away, although the group chased after him. Sesshomaru showed up at one point in a limo, as a super important/famous individual. He owned a lot of things. I think he was someone's husband or father or something, but the details were fuzzy. He seemed to own some sort of stadium. A "red carpet" of sorts, which seemed to be made of bricks, appeared before him (almost as if it were being constructed real time, but by bit) to designate his path by/to the massive building. The dream transitioned, and I was with three preschoolers from my former Toucan class (Everett, Ellie, and Krishna). Apparently, I was taking them to some kind of school. We had originally started in a car, but then they wanted to ride their bikes, which were also in the car. It sort of seemed like a camp as whatever "school" it was happened to be outdoors (kind of giving off a "let's all gather around the campfire" vibe). The teacher was asking something about the kids raising their hands if they rode their bikes to school, took the bus, etc. That's all I could remember.

My dream was shrouded in a lot of haze when I woke up on Thursday morning. I remembered that at one point there was a girl that was getting her picture to look like it was an anime. It was changing into various themes. At one point there was like this blue dog creature with many heads, like a hydra/Cerberus (although it probably had like 20 heads). My sister did something to upset the girl, and she ended up crying (and possibly running away--not sure what exactly my sister did, though). The dream transitioned to making breakfast or something. Tenya Ida was one of the individuals with me. We were making pancakes for sure (maybe other foods). There was some kind of discussion about what makes pancakes different from waffles and the science behind pancakes (something was said about there being like a pocket of air when using the pan because of the pan lip/edge--it got pretty deep but I don't know what exactly was said). Tenya got kind of loopy (or maybe sleepy), and a couple of people basically dragged him out of the room to go sleep. More definitely happened, but I couldn't remember anything else upon waking.

When I woke up on Friday morning, I didn't remember much from my dream. I could recall being duo enrolled in two different schools. It seemed to be that one was high school and one was college. I had started in the one that was high school for a couple of weeks, and then those classes were supposed to switch to online versions as my college courses started. All the teachers seemed to think it was a great idea. Thing was I was enrolled full time in both (and both were not lenient when assigning homework). I ended up forgetting all about the online classes as I got swept up in the college ones. Apparently, weeks had gone by and none of the online class teachers even bothered to contact me. When I finally remembered about them, I saw all these zeros, missing assignments, and F's. The teachers hadn't bothered to try working with me at all, despite what they knew I was going through. I wanted to reach out to a counselor to get all of this settled because it was ridiculous what they thought I'd be able to do: two sets off full class schedules on top of all the mountains of homework they were assigning. Plus, it was now backed up since they hadn't bothered to reach out and let me know that I had been missing assignments. It was ridiculous. I think one of the boys I babysit wound up outside my house, wanting candy, and I asked him if he was supposed to be at school. He told me he was and that he needed a ride from me. That's all I could remember from the dream.

I couldn't recall too much from my dream when I woke up on Saturday morning thanks to construction workers deciding to work on our street at ungodly hours (even though they said they would only work on the street on workdays--and this was after they said they were going to work on the street in June. Yeah, the whole thing is kind of frustrating/irritating; they were tearing up the street in the early morning hours on Saturday. Thanks :/ ). What I could remember started off with me hanging out with Laurali. We were supposed to go up to this like vending machine/parking pass machine. This guy had a key that would make it so we didn't have to pay. We were only supposed to pick one option, but Laurali pressed two buttons simultaneously, giving us two (I think the buttons she picked had Simpsons characters on it). Two keychain like things came out. I think we ended up walking in this forest type of place next to some kind of stream, but the details are hazy. The next thing I remembered was hanging out with April and Corliss. We were talking about/looking at crystals I think. They referred to them as baubles if I remember correctly (although it looked more like a bowl). We were going to go to some store or restaurant next. We passed up some ice cream shop, which excited Corliss until she saw that you had to bring your own bowl and supplies to make it. More happened in my dream, but that's everything I could remember upon being rudely and loudly yanked out of the dream realm. I couldn’t remember much when I woke up this morning, either. It’s all in a haze.

In before care this week the kiddos decided to create Among Us people. They enlisted my help, too, in creating the various characters and designs. They wanted to create stories using them. There's a notorious bad guy known as "Scribble Guy," who is, apparently, the worst person ever--super mischievous, naughty, tricky, evil, and everything else villainous. The kids had put my coworker in charge of ensuring Scribble Guy didn't break out of jail, but my coworker didn't do the best job (Scribble Guy and his criminal cohorts broke free). The kids then surrounded the jail a bunch of cop Among Us people to ensure the bad guys wouldn't escape. It was pretty amusing. They wanted to keep making the characters all week. One little girl started gluing them to popsicle sticks so she could create like a puppet show story. She wanted to create a whole cast. She created a bad guy that she dubbed "E.T." (for Evil Tiger). Apparently, E.T. likes to trick everyone into thinking he's a good guy and disguises himself as a pink person. It's quite interesting to hear what stories they concoct. They were so excited by their new characters that they requested I help them make folders to store them and keep them safe. It's been a lot of fun. One morning one of the girls had me help her start the fairy puzzle; she was super excited with how far we got in the short amount of time before the bell rang to start school. There was even a rainbow this week, which the kids loved.

It was a fun week of babysitting; we got into deep conversations about InuYasha. It started off with the boys informing me that they saw the most epic thing ever--Shippo in an innertube for a bath. They thought it was the greatest thing ever. We got into the story of InuYasha, what transpired in the Final Act and what happened in YashaHime. They wanted to know if Moroha was around at the end of InuYasha since Miroku and Sango had both the twins and their infant son at the end of the Final Act. I informed them that Moroha, Towa, and Setsuna only show up in YashaHime since Kagome had just returned at the end of the Final Act and since Rin was still fairly young. We discussed various characters, and they were really excited by the idea of my friends and me dressing up as InuYasha characters for Halloween. We discussed the various InuYasha movies: the themes/plot, favorite moments, etc. They wanted to look at various InuYasha memes and asked if the InuYasha group has posted any lately; I shared a recent bee post, and they thought it was hilarious. We also got to discussing Sailor Moon; we were talking about the difference between the original English dub and the later English dub/Japanese version (specifically changes in names). I explained that Sailor Moon’s name in the first English dub was Serena but that the later dub and Japanese version had her name as Usagi Tsukino, referencing the rabbit on the moon (“usagi” meaning rabbit/bunny and “tsuki” being moon). They were shocked for a moment, and then one exclaimed, “Tsuki—that’s just like your cat!” I pointed out that I had named her that/Tsukihime after the moon/moon princess. They thought it was super cool. One afternoon the younger of the two walked by, and I asked, "What's up?" His response: "The roof." I felt like giving him a bit of trouble and inquired, "Are you sure?" He considered it for a moment before replying, "At a certain angle, yeah." These kids crack me up. They're such characters, and there's never a dull moment.

I watched the boys over the weekend while their parents went to different wineries. Their mom said they could go get ice cream to celebrate their good report cards. It started off fine enough with both of them excited for their favorite ice cream. They were a bit bummed when we arrived since there was a line. It soon escalated, though. The whole incident boiled down to frustration caused between the two (the one has very little patience with lines, and his Autism makes it hard for impulse control when he's emotional, which leads to him saying inappropriate things, especially for being out in public). The line wasn't terrible, per se. There were 4 people in front of us, but they have it so the workers have to do everything (people used to be able to get stuff out of the fridges on their own). It caused for the wait time to extend. His brother was ignoring him when he started being rude towards him but then snapped when he started being rude to other people. There was a kid in line a few people behind us and recognized that it was extra inappropriate to say certain things his brother was grumbling. They both got fed up with each other, as the one was telling the other to go cool down outside and that he wasn't being appropriate. This ticked the other off since his brother wasn't an adult--he didn't want him telling him what to do. I was able to intervene and get him to take a break. I talked with him outside while we waited for our order. He was miffed because his brother didn't understand how hard it was to have Autism. I explained that his brother wasn't trying to be mean; he was trying to look out for him since there are certain behaviors that aren't okay to do outside of your home. The cool down was a process. I managed to help him calm down, and then they ended up frustrating and working each other up again. It took them quite some time to get our order. Finally, they gave us the ice cream so we could leave and let them cool down at home. It reached it's breaking point as we were leaving. The one freaked out, thinking that his brother was stealing his ice cream. He tried to snatch it and punch his brother, which set the brother off, and he threatened to throw it away. I took the ice cream before it could escalate further. The car ride to their home was short but turbulent. Heated words were exchanged. The car ride to their home was short but turbulent. The one flipped the other off before hitting him with his book. The other grabbed him by the ear and growled that he was not allowed to do that, to stop being a jerk. They both said quite a few things they didn't mean (i.e. like hating each other). Both needed space away from each other. The one went to the basement while the other went off to cry in his room, wailing that no one understood him or loved him so he would run away. He truly calmed down after a shower, dinner, and talking with me more. We discussed emotions, how it was okay to be frustrated, upset, or angry but that didn't mean that it was okay to act out on those emotions in certain ways; you're allowed to feel however you feel, but we need to ensure everyone is safe and that we don't do harm to others. I was able to explain that people say things they don't mean when upset/frustrated. He shouted that his brother needed to learn about Autism since he didn't understand him. I explained that as humans, we all do the best we can, but there will be times where we make mistakes--we're not perfect, and there are always opportunities to learn. I added that we couldn't fully understand him since we've never experienced Autism for ourselves; as much as we can try to understand, we will never truly know. He grumbled that I knew more than his brother. I emphasized how his brother was still young--he's only 12; it makes sense that I would understand better as an adult. We discussed how he could handle things better next time, safe alternative solutions to acting out; he lamented that he was sorry and said he would try reading a book or staying in the car if he gets frustrated. It was quite the experience. I was grateful to keep my cool during the whole thing. Their emotions were intense. Their mom apologized profusely upon hearing about the incident, but I told her that I understood--they're young, full of emotion/hormones, got frustrated with each other, and misunderstood one another. While this incident wasn't preferred, I emphasized how it comes with the territory of babysitting. She was super grateful I was so gracious about it. There were some nice numbers on the receipt, though: 5's for change as well as ascending numbers. Out of curiosity, has anyone else experienced incidents like this recently?

Corliss, April, and I hung out Friday night. We tried Chicken Out. It was pretty good. We always see the giant rooster outside whenever we go to the Loop, so we figured to check it out after getting some free cookies from Insomnia Cookies. It was nice to get some warm food and stay out of the rain (it rained a lot this week). We also ended up going to Andy's later for their pie concretes. It was so much fun to connect with them and be goofy like we used to all the time. April had lots of fun on her vacation, and I'm so glad! She deserves it; she's been working so hard for years without a break. The cold front that moved in made her want to go back to the beach, though (lol). On the drive back home I noticed a peculiar phenomenon in the sky. The best way I can describe it is if a shooting star were liquid. A bright light suddenly appeared in the sky, resembling a normal, albeit incredibly bright star. It started to almost streak across the sky, but it was more like it was a liquid light, cascading and dripping down the night sky. It lasted a few seconds before disappearing, almost as if it evaporated. It was incredibly luminous until it disappeared. I've never seen anything like it before. It was super interesting to witness.

Poor, little Squeaks had surgery this week. Family members kept saying she "needed to be fixed." The connotation behind it bothers me--that's saying that she was broken or there was something wrong with her. Sure, family members don't want her running off and getting pregnant. I understand that. She's not broken because she could have gotten pregnant prior to the surgery, though. There's nothing inherently wrong with having kittens. If cats couldn't have kittens, then there'd be no more, and that would sadden me. I adore cats. I'm not saying there aren't reasons for cats to get spayed or neutered; I just don't like it when people say they need to be "fixed." It feels so wrong based on the previously mentioned connotation. Since there was surgery, she was supposed to leave her incision alone. Tsuki hated the inflatable collar we had to put on her so she wouldn't mess with the stiches. She kept trying to force her way out of it, flipping around on the floor and kicking like crazy. The vet said she would be lethargic and lose her appetite--not the case. Oh, she was slightly calmer, but she still was racing around on the porch, trying to catch the leaves that the windy breeze kicked up. She wanted to inhale her food like usual, too. The vet was glad that we have no other animals, so that she wouldn't be jumping or "rough playing," but they didn't understand when we tried to explain how she hypes herself up all on her own. She's such an escape artist. She got out of her inflatable collar overnight and hid it somewhere. We still haven't found it. We tried using the plastic cone that the vet gave us, but she forces her way out of that, too. She'll flip and kick her way to freedom every time. One morning when I got back from before care and was just starting to open the door, she raced out the front door. I barely had time to realize what was going on before she was racing down the steps. She was super achy Wednesday night and Thursday morning, so we ended up taking her back to the vet to see if we could get her some medicine. They said her incision site seemed fine, so that wasn't something to worry about, and then gave us some medicine for her. She was feeling much better Thursday afternoon/evening. She was no longer crying every time she moved. She found some new spots to sleep and hangout, as a result. She hung out with me on the couch while we waited for the power to come back on on Friday. She's so cute! Plus, my sister got her a cowboy hat, and it's adorable. She got cold with the cold front that moved in and decided to cuddle inside my jacket with me; it was super cute. This weekend her foster mom sent us a baby picture for when she was absolutely tiny--and ahhh!!!! Such a fluffy, tiny kitten!

I wrote a new story for the Critter Costume challenge called Super Tsuki. This challenge was supposed to feature a pet in a costume, and I included some old ones of fluffy cat; the focus of the story is Tsuki, though, and how she's our super hero. It was pretty humorous that she started sprawling out on the carpet when I was trying to take photos for the challenge since it made her look like she was trying to fly. That being the case, I decided to photoshop her into the sky, and I think it turned out pretty cute! Let me know if you have any suggestions for future stories or if there's anything in particular you'd like to read! I'm open to your recommendations and story prompts!

New goodies from Spiritual Supermall's Divine $9 arrived! The goodies from last week (that were running late) arrived on Wednesday, and this week's arrived over the weekend. So many goodies! Crystal eggs, spheres, bowls, pyramids, pendants--so many fun items! I look forward to the new line that will be announced tomorrow! I also got some new crystal bracelets and a labradorite pendant off of Etsy. Gotta love the crystal goodies~

Here are the paintings for this week:

Aside from hanging out with the kids and Tsuki, I mainly read this week, but I also watched a bit of anime. Fanfic for this week included: A Very Sesshomaru Pregnancy, Nefarious, Just Imagine, Tenseiga's Truth, Sterile, Kiss My A, The Last Requirement, What Is It?, He Who Waits, About A Sword, Bird Watching, Beyond All Scents, Say You Will, Destination, Makeshift Life, Because That's How I Roll, Waiting For Dawn, Wreckage, How Deep is Your Love?, Words of a Father, She Doesn't Know, Someday, Somehow, Help Wanted, Gift of Perfection, Song from a Secret Garden, Amidst the Thunder, and Tangerine Dreams. I watched the last episode of My Hero Academia's season 5 this week. Things are about to go down, and it makes me wonder if the new movie that is coming out at the end of the month is related to the next chapter of the story or not (like the Demon Slayer Mugen Train was the next part of the story after season 1). Regardless, I know it's going to be big and going to be good! I look forward to the new movie and season 6! I also watched episode 2 and 3 of YashaHime season 2, and I'm so excited! Episode 3 confirmed what I already knew in my heart and soul; there have been people who have bashed Sesshomaru for being a lousy dad, but I knew that he wouldn't stay away unless for a very good reason (i.e. to protect his family). While there might not be many things that are important to Sesshomaru, if he sees value in something, he's going to protect it at all costs. He has way too much honor for anything less. I think that a part of him, like Rin, wanted to be with their girls as they were growing up, but their wellbeing and protection came first. Rin was willing to kill herself in order to protect the babies she never even had the chance to hold in her arms. I'm sure it wasn't easy for them, but they were willing to do what was necessary. They love their kids too much for anything less. Sesshomaru has been doing everything in his power to keep his family safe. He's way too loyal (although that's not to say that he gives away his loyalty freely) to just abandon them. I love his character so much, despite how others started doubting him with YashaHime. I'm a fangirl, through and through. Despite the appearances, I had faith in him. I trust him (fictional character he may be lol). My faith and trust were rewarded with the newest episode!

Things have been crazy the last year and a half, but we have to trust the process. By appearances it might look bad now. Things may be shaky. Our patience, trust, and faith will be rewarded, though. The universe loves us. It has our back. In the end everything will work out for us. Everything is a blessing or lesson, so at the end of the day everything is in our favor. Granted, it doesn't always feel like it in the moment. Some moments can prove to be rather difficult and painful. It's all a matter of perception, though. Perception creates reality. If we change the lens we view the world and our experiences through, it changes our reality. We're all humans doing the best we can on our journeys, learning and growing along the way. The path ahead may be bumpy at times, but it won't always be. It's important to remember to breathe, relax, and remind ourselves that this too shall pass. No matter how challenging, painful, or earthshattering, it will pass. It will not remain forever. The only constant is change. Ebb and flow. The universe has many wonderful surprises in store for us, and I look forward to witnessing them! Take care, everyone, and be blessed with love and light~

Here's some food for thought from Ralph Smart:

Here's food for thought to consider for the week:

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