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Happy September and Happy Labor Day Weekend!

For everyone that celebrates Labor Day I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! My family doesn't particularly do anything for Labor Day, but this year we celebrated my cousin Addie's 2nd birthday. Turns out she adores Halloween and pumpkins. It was a really cute party. While her birthday wasn't this weekend, it was nice to see my extended family again. However you spent your weekend, I hope you were able to enjoy it and have fun!

I didn't remember everything from my dream when I woke up on Monday morning, but the first thing I could remember is meeting up with someone. I can’t say that I recognized this person in a physical sense, but it felt like a soul connection (like I knew them on a soul level rather than someone I have met in the physical realm in this incarnation). We were just hanging out. I got the vibe he was my life partner. We talked about pretty much anything—it had a rather chill, open atmosphere. I think we were playing/messing with slime type stuff at one point while we talked. At one point he brought up that his dog had somewhat recently died; I got the impression that our lives had mirrored one another a lot and informed him that I understood how he felt since fluffy cat recently passed. I felt like more happened, but that’s all I can remember from this part.

The dream transitioned, and I was driving somewhere. I don’t think it was anywhere I’ve been to before. Wherever I went, it was sort of like a park but not. There was an outdoor path. There was some kind of like small pavilion-type thing that gave me the impression of Long John Silver’s (but it wasn’t actually a restaurant—it was just a place to eat); someone had left a box of pizza there. There seemed to be little things along the path for sale (kind of like a marketplace or garage sale). There was some kind of photo hanging up; there was a girl wearing some kind of anime shirt in it, but whoever else was in the image was not being kind (I don’t remember specifically what was going on in the image). I ended up meeting with April and her mom at one point. Two of her brothers were there, and, apparently, they had taken two little sculpture things I had made of little chicks and completely changed them. They morphed them into bunnies, and I was rather bummed that they had decided to change it completely without even asking me if it was okay. I told April about it, lamenting that the chicks were ruined, but she thought it was funny. I ended up leaving because I didn’t want it to get too late; I had wanted to go to Prospectors (a crystal shop) before it closed since it tends to close early. I think it was like 5:51 pm in the dream at that point. I think I realized that I wouldn’t make it to Prospectors in time. Corliss showed up and wanted to go with me. I think we decided to get food since we wouldn’t be able to go to Prospectors. I got ready to start my car, and it started acting weird. It confused the heck out of me; it was like the car was started, but it wasn’t right—it couldn’t actually move. A weird light appeared on the dashboard. I had never seen that kind of light/alert before. It didn’t make any sense to me. I tried turning off the car and taking the key out of the ignition, but even after doing so it was still in that strange “running but not running” stage. It was on without being on and the light/notification was still there. I was at a loss for what to do; the car should have turned off, but it was like it couldn’t turn off or actually turn on to the point where it could drive. It left me a bit frazzled. Corliss and I started opening and closing doors to see if somehow that would help (I think because the weird light looked like it maybe had something to do with doors/trunks being open). At some point throughout this ordeal (I think it was around when she first showed up), Corliss pointed out that it was now after 11 pm. This shocked me because it made no sense at all—it was like I lost time. I was so confused.

Suddenly, I was transported to a different space; it might have had like a pond or lake in the background. I no longer resembled myself. I now looked like Princess Serenity from Sailor Moon from when she lived on the moon (she had silver hair). The hair wasn’t up in the traditional fashion; it was hanging down, draped over me. I’m guessing its because I lacked clothing for whatever reason. Go figure. It was strange. I was in contact with some other being/entity. I’m not sure if it was a guide, galactic being, angel, or what, but they were explaining things to me and were benevolent. They said that they had to temporarily turn off my powers/abilities in order to accomplish something but that they were now back to normal (I’m guessing that’s why all the weird stuff happened with the car because it was now back to like 5/6 pm at this point, too). I don’t really remember much of what they explained, but it seemed rather significant. The next thing I remember was being Usagi and Chibiusa and the rest of the gang were around. Some kind of baddie appeared and messed with their powers. At first I couldn’t transform, either, but then I had a strong intent to protect them. I ended up sending the others away to safety and somehow was able to use all of their powers as my own. I remember calling out not only the power of the moon but all of the planets, one by one. I managed to send the baddie away and like locking them out of the realm/dimension. Some kind of like gate appeared, featuring a giant cat with some kind of bars. The cat was originally happy, but as soon as the baddie was locked out, it changed its demeanor to exude a “you’re not allowed” air. That’s all I can remember.

I didn't remember much from my dream when I woke up Tuesday morning. What I did remember was that I was at a grocery store with family members. I remember wanting to make bread with apples in it but that my mom didn't think it was possible. I also remember wanting to make fresh, soft pretzels. My brothers were apparently in town. My one brother, Adam (who's birthday was Tuesday), kept finding money around the store. My other brother, Drew, was also involved, but I don't remember what he did. I do remember finding this cool, blue lunchbox that featured cats and dragons (I remember that it had Puss in Boots from Shrek and both Toothless and Stormfly from How to Train Your Dragon). I didn't remember what else happened in the dream, but I felt like a lot happened.

When I woke up on Wednesday morning, I felt like a lot happened in my dream. I think the first thing that happened (at least that I remembered) was that there was some kind of lady (or maybe being) in front of a telescope. She looked pretty fancy. People were supposed to come up to her; it seemed sort of like Dance Dance Revolution but not. There were like these foot platforms that would lift into the air; depending on the difficulty chosen, the height of the platforms would vary. Using the telescope, she’d stare into your eyes. It was rather intense but not necessarily uncomfortable. When I approached, she said that I had a strong gaze. The person after me went and chose a really hard difficulty and her head nearly reached the ceiling.

The next thing I remember involved characters from the show Life With Derek (I haven’t seen it in ages—I want to say the last time I saw it was like in middle school). Derek and Casey got on each other’s nerves, as per usual. Casey wanted to know where her bag was; apparently, she got it so she could draw on it. Derek had apparently put it in the washing machine. It was strange; apparently, this meant that they were having a kid (I remember him making a comment about pregnancy for whatever reason). Casey wanted her bag, so she went to go get it. She came back with a kitten (the kitten kind of looked like Tsuki). Turns out, that was the “baby,” but it didn’t stay a kitten. It turned out to be the character Marty. They were making some comment about what she was, saying stuff about being part dragon and part Dalmatian (apparently, Derek was a Dalmatian even though he looked human. Go figure). He called her “Smarty” like in the show. I feel like more happened in this part, but that’s all I can remember from that part of the dream.

The last thing I remember involved Sesshomaru. He was visiting Rin in the village. Kaede was worried about the growing number of children. There weren’t enough resources for them. For whatever reason, there were no other adults aside from Kaede in the village. Kaede requested assistance gathering resources from Sesshomaru. He stood there silently in contemplation. He recognized that Rin would need more resources, but while he didn’t hate the other kids, he didn’t exactly feel compelled to help them. He internally debated for a moment before realizing that Rin’s wellbeing was more important. He decided to go get more resources for the children (mainly just so Rin would have what she needed, but Kaede wasn’t going to turn down the help regardless of his reasoning—I’m pretty sure she knew that it was just for Rin’s sake, but I’m also pretty sure that’s exactly why she asked. Kaede knew he would help just for Rin’s sake). That’s all I remember.

When I woke up on Thursday morning, my dream was cloaked in a hazy fog. I couldn't remember what happened at all. It felt like it was significant, but I had no recollection of what happened in the dream/astral realm. When I woke up Friday morning, I remembered a little bit from my dream. The main thing I remembered was being at some kind of lake. Other people were with me, but I'm not really sure who they were (I don't think they were my biological family, but the identities are hazy). It sort of seemed like the lake was connected to the ocean (but I don't remember seeing the actual ocean). There was some kind of like house boat at a dock by a forest type area. Somehow me and two other people ended up in the body of water/lake. I don't know if it was by choice or not. Massive waves started coming. We kind of scrambled out of the water, climbing on the dock. Sharks started appearing. They didn't seem like they wanted to attack us, per se, but they definitely seemed hungry. They tried to bite us, but I think it was more they thought we could be their regular food. More and more sharks started showing up (I think most of them were great whites). The sharks didn't get any of us, but the waves were growing higher and higher. We climbed up to the forest area (it sort of seemed like it was on a cliff). The waves ended up reaching such heights that they started submerging the houseboat. It even reached the tops of the cliffs (the houseboat was below the top of the cliff type area). More might have happened, but I couldn't remember anything else. I woke up feeling rather tired, too.

I'm not sure why, but I was exhausted on Friday. I had been more tired than usual Thursday afternoon/evening, but Friday had me feeling extra drained--I ended up going to bed extra early, and probably slept somewhere around 10.5-11 hours (which is not usual for me; I usually sleep around 8 hours). Even though I slept so much, I didn't really remember much from the dream/astral realm. I had sort of recalled a little bit when I first woke up, but it was pretty fuzzy. I think something sort of like a test happened, but it wasn't a test. I'm not really sure; it's all so hazy.

It kind of felt like my dream was all over the place when I woke up this morning. I don't remember much. Towards the beginning of the dream I was in like a gym class at ToysRus. There was like a massive jump rope and people were roller skating. I don't remember much from that part. At one point I think I was at a school's gym. There seemed to be some kind of testing or competition going on. Whatever group or class I was in was waiting on the stage and apparently having lunch. Two people ended up mixing up their lunches and accidentally grabbing the wrong one. Apparently we were supposed to be quiet for the testing and a teacher was writing names of people who were in trouble for talking up on a board. I minded my own business, but some girl in the class jumped off the stage. She was mad at me for some reason and threatened to write my name on the board for talking even though I was minding my business. She put my name up on the board anyway in what seemed like spite. I know more happened, like two souls reconnecting and reincarnating to reunite after being forced apart unnaturally, but the rest of the dream is shrouded in haze.

It was another fun week of babysitting, although it was light due to the boys being at school during most of the day. Wednesday morning the younger of the two boys came down the stairs, proclaiming he was the Sock Man. He reached the bottom of the stairs, putting himself in this peculiar pose (kind of like a crouching attack position but not quite). His mom asked for a hug before she took his older brother to school. His response: "Only if you can catch me first!" He darted out of the room before declaring no one could catch the Sock Man. He conceded after a moment, giving his mom a hug (she wasn't going to chase him). He then proceeded to explain the story behind Sock Man. One day at swim practice they were doing part of their "land routine" on the track. It had just rained, and his shoes were apparently bothering him. He decided to take them off and run only in his socks. He thought it was hilarious that he was faster than everyone while running in his socks. He'd pass them all, laughing and stating, "No one can beat Sock Man!" He said they all looked confused by his declaration but that no one could keep up. These kids are a hoot! I'm so lucky to be able to spend time with them and build solid relationships with them; I always end up with so many funny stories. Working with children is the best!

On Wednesday Corliss surprised me by messaging me that she was in the area. We decided to have dinner together and catch up. It was so nice to see her again. We ended up going to Corner 17, and we were so excited to learn that the dining area was open again! It hasn't been open for dine in since March of 2020--we hadn't dined in since February of 2020. As we were walking in the area, I stopped in my tracks, remarking, "Corliss, someone just walked out of Corner 17." We then noticed a number of people sitting inside the restaurant. We were shocked speechless for a moment before the excitement set in. It was awesome being able to dine it! We missed watching them create the noodles. Corner 17's food is always amazing, but it's a whole different experience being able to dine it. We've missed it so!

I created a new short story for the pear tree challenge: The Lone Wolf Discovers a Friend. Building the universe of Serena and Karissa, this story focuses on the very beginning of their friendship. I love Serena and Karissa's characters--they're always so much fun to work with. I have additional stories in the works, so stayed tuned for future short stories; let me know if there's anything you'd like to see Karissa and Serena do in a future story or if you have any story prompts you'd like for me to use. Corliss created a new short story for the pear tree challenge, as well; her story is Responsibility. They released some new challenges on Vocal, so we'll see what we write for those!

Tsuki is adorable, as per usual, but she's such a nut. She gets into everything and is such a Sour Patch Kid. She'll be sour then sweet (or sweet then sour). She always want to chomp on my feet for whatever reason. She'll launch herself at my hands in attempt to chomp on them, too. She'll jump up at me, latching onto my clothes with her claws, so she can climb up my legs and back to perch up on my shoulder. She waited for me to get back from babysitting at the window (much like fluffy cat used to). She played and napped in a box (it had my new InuYasha shirt in it originally) this week. She put herself in timeout by knocking her playpen over when she was all hyped up and bouncing off the walls. She's such a goof.

My new InuYasha shirt arrived! The InuYasha group shared that there was a new shirt at Target featuring the duo of Kagome and InuYasha, so I jumped on the opportunity to get one. While I would have preferred Sesshomaru, as he is my favorite of all time from InuYasha, it's still an awesome shirt! My new goodies from Spiritual Supermall's Divine $9 are running a bit behind and will likely be here on Tuesday. It's a bit disappointing, but I'm still excited to receive them!

I played with some liquid dish soap and paint this week. Artwork for this week includes:

I did some reading this week and also watched a variety of anime. Fanfic for this weeks included: Queen of the Kennel, Treasure, Ebb and Flow, Hunting Mikos, Family Ties, Playing Games: Moonlight Meetings, Forgiving the Past, Skin and Bones, The Perfect Present, Secrets Beneath the Surface, Until Death, Veni, Vidi, Vici, and Home for Christmas. I watched The Daily Life of the Immortal King on a whim this week. It was intriguing. It had a "with great power comes great responsibility" vibe. I am curious to see what happens next in the story; they ended up turning back time, so who knows how the story will play out now. His amulet had broken (it had, unknowingly to him, sealed off his emotions), so there was some interesting character development and relationship building that now never happens since time was turned back. I hope they can get their happy ending. It sort of seemed like he ended up sacrificing his happiness for others, which is what seems to be happening in My Hero Academia; I did a little bit of catching up with the series, and Endeavor is going to build a new home for his children and wife to live in. This new home won't include Endeavor. I understand that they need time to process and heal; they're only human after all. I just hope it's not a forever thing. As misguided as he was in his past, Endeavor is working so hard to change and better himself; that doesn't erase the past or any trauma that happened before, but it does count for something. I don't blame Natsuo for the conflicting emotions; their family's past is so complicated--there's so much pain. I just hope that someday they can all come back together again. I feel like the karma won't be resolved if they try to pretend it never happened and cut off Endeavor for the rest of their lives. Sure, if he was still super toxic, they'd need healthy boundaries to take care of themselves. That's understandable. He's no longer where he used to be, though. He's no longer the same person. He's beginning to grasp the importance of family and genuine relationships rather than obsessing over power. He's learning, and I hope they give credit where credit is due. I also did some catching up on Black Clover. Facing off against the devils is tough. At times it seems impossible. They're only human, but even so, they have the courage and determination to stand up for their values and hold firm. It's not an easy feat to pull off. It's not always easy to speak your truth when there can be such dire consequences. It can be terrifying, especially when those that oppose you seem like they have all the power, the power to crush you. I have to give credit to the Black Bulls and Heart Kingdom; they're standing up for what they believe in and refuse to let others dictate their course. People could learn a lot from them (myself included).

I watched My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, as well. Based off the title, I wasn't sure if the anime would be up my alley (not usually one for villains), but I was pleasantly surprised with the anime. The main character is reincarnated as a villainess in an otome game, but she ends up doing everything in her power to avoid disastrous endings (all the endings in the game when she played in her previous life had the character she was reincarnated as either being exiled or killed). I feel like all of the lives of the people involved improved drastically with her taking over, and she was even able to reunite with her best friend from her former life (not that either was super conscious about it). I can't wait to see what happens next; there seems to be a season 2. The main character is pretty oblivious when it comes to the developing romance between the other characters because she's been so fixated on avoiding her "doom." It says a lot about perspective; she was so focused elsewhere that she couldn't see what was right in front of her. It's a really cute anime, though. I definitely will watch season 2.

I watched Season 5 of The 7 Deadly Sins this week; it was quite enjoyable. Season 5 cleared some things up (I was wondering about the whole next demon king thing since the current demon king didn't particularly strike me as the type to willingly give up power). I imagine there will be another season since not everything is resolved in the story. The main takeaway I have from this season is to persevere and never give up--even if things seem hopeless that doesn't mean they actually are (Ban was literally stuck in purgatory for decades or even a century while looking for Meliodas' emotions and had no clue where to find them; he almost lost it at one point, almost caving into the madness, but he was able to overcome it all). Love is stronger than all of the attempts of fear and control. Don't lose faith. Don't lose hope. We will overcome the darkness; we will find success. We won't need to merely survive any longer; we'll be able to thrive.

I decided to watch Edens Zero next, and holy cow the first episode hit deep. Something felt off about the residents of Granbell Kingdom suddenly turning on Shiki. Granted, things can change rather swiftly given the right circumstances, but still. Episode 1 emphasized the importance of perspective, though. The residents "turned" on Shiki for his greater wellbeing. They were worried about him and what his future would hold. They realized that they would perish long before he would but knew that he would stay there due to his friendships with them. They didn't wish to chain him down and ultimately leave him all alone, so they put on a performance, acting as if they hated humans. This act gave him the necessary push to go out and see all life had to offer, to leave the small pond and see the vastness of the ocean. Even though Shiki never learned that they pulled off this charade for his benefit, he forgave them because he treasured their friendship, the memories they created together. You always have a choice on how you are going to view life and all the events that happen in your story. You get to decide whether to hold hate, anger, and sorrow in your heart or love, forgiveness, and joy. It's up to you. I'm curious to see how the rest of season one plays out; the first twelve episodes are all that's released right now on Netflix. Based off this first part, the story is going to be quite the intriguing tale. There's ether, traveling the universe, multiple realities/timelines created due to the chronophage--it's all so interesting. Xiaomei claims to be acting as the narrator for the tale, but I feel like there's more to her character; she stated, "Time has very little bearing at all in this tale." It makes me wonder what more will occur and how little time will impact the story. There's also an all-powerful being known as "Mother" that is said to be able to grant wishes. Shiki gets the feeling that he's met Mother before, but all the other guild members scoff at this idea, laughing and belittling him for such a claim because no one has ever seen her. They write it off as impossible. While trying to get a new ship, Shiki and his friends encounter Elsie; she declares, "Everyone has delusional dreams of meeting that legendary goddess! No one has ever found her, and no one ever will!" Shiki doesn't let others decide his fate and insists, "No one's found her 'cause I haven't tried!" While things may seem "impossible," you never know until you try and give it your all. After all, "impossible" says I'm possible. Nothing should be written off as impossible. It may be challenging. It may require multiple attempts and trial and error. It may take time. Even so, that does not make it impossible. Others may have previously failed, but is that failure due to giving up? Perhaps they could have succeeded if they persisted. Perhaps if they had attempted in a different manner they had not considered yet, they would find success. The story isn't over yet, so they can't decide for you how your story concludes. That's for you to decide. Take care, be gentle with yourself, and stay blessed with love and light as you continue your journey.

Food for thought from Ralph Smart:

Here's some food for thought:

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