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January Draws to a Close

I hope everyone is doing well. It's hard to believe January is almost over; it doesn't feel like 2021 concluded, and yet we're almost in the 2nd month of 2022. Time is flying by, and it feels so surreal. I hope everyone is staying warm; it's been bitterly cold here, and Tsuki's been snuggling a lot to try and stay warm. She is not a fan of the cold, and she sleeps a lot more when it's cold out.

From what I could remember upon waking up Monday morning my dream started off with my older cousin watching a movie about how the group Big Time Rushed formed. I'm not sure how accurate it was or if it was based off of how the TV show started or what. Plus, I find it hard to believe that my cousin would actually watch that (doesn't strike me as his cup of tea), but he was definitely watching it. More might have happened with that part, but that's all I could remember. The only other thing I could recall from my dream was that there was a group of at least 10 other kittens in our house. The leader of the kittens was obsessed with fish and seemed to be a glutton for it, wanting to eat all of it. Not sure how this group of kittens wound up in our house, but it seemed like they were trying to lure Tsuki away and cause her to run away with them. They wanted Tsuki to venture off into the woods with them, and we got the feeling that if she left we'd never see her again. Sure, she came when we called her and tried to play with her, but it seemed the group was tempting her to be wild and free in the wilderness. That's all I could recall before waking up.

I didn't recall much from my dream from Monday night/Tuesday morning. What I could remember involved InuYasha characters. Kikyo and Kagura were Kagome's older sisters (and seemed to be nice to her). At one point Kagome was making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (not sure why). InuYasha got McDonald's at one point, but instead of verbally ordering, he just pointed generally at the sign; whoever was at the register seemed to know his favorites and rang him up for his usual (which seemed to be one of everything). There seemed to be some drama between Kagome's parents in the dream, but her parents didn't seem to be the ones from the anime/manga (granted, I can't recall seeing her actual dad in the anime before, but it didn't seem like it'd be him). I know more happened, but that's all I could remember upon waking up.

I was extra cozy Wednesday morning and almost fell back asleep without realizing it; it really didn't help how bitterly cold it was, and it left me feeling rather sleepy. I could only remember one part from my dream. I happened to be at some kind of pool/water park. The big attraction seemed to be this massive water slide. It was at least 5 levels high and spiraled down to the water below. There was a massive line, as if everyone wanted to ride it. I didn't particularly want to ride it. I think I was just hanging out in a lazy river for a while when I heard someone call my name. I exited to see who it was. It was two kids I used to babysit. They ended up having me go in this pool with them. The entrance to the pool was this decline in the floor/ground, but it was pretty slick. It had me concerned because it seemed like a safety hazard, especially since the pool seemed geared more towards older kids/shorter people. The kids were talking to me for a while, but my recall got fuzzy. That's all I could remember upon waking up, although I wouldn't have particularly minded going back to sleep.

I was startled awake Thursday morning for my alarm for before care. It wasn't all that easy to get out of bed because I was extra cozy. From what I could remember from my dream I happened to be in school, which seemed to be the high school I attended previously. It seemed at first that I was there for support and to show people around the school. I made my way to the cafeteria/commons area and happened to see my sister. Lunch seemed to have ended with a bell ringing, so I ended up going further down the hall towards the art building. An English teacher was out there, and she was giving some other students and me grief about being late to class, chastising us by saying that we shouldn't have dallied. I informed her that I had come straight there from the commons area and that the bell system must have been off. She didn't believe anyone, and I emphasized that she could check the security footage to see what I did on my way to class, that I had nothing to hide. She didn't seem to believe me, so I looked her dead in the eyes and repeated myself. It almost seemed as if the school system was trying to manipulate us into thinking we were bad people/students. My dream transitioned, and I was with kids from the preschool I worked at previously. They were on some kind of playground and had me climbing around with them. One of them was upset, and I was trying to comfort them, but they crawled into a path that was too small for me, so I had to find a different way to get out and get to them. Somehow I ended up losing my shoes in the process, and another boy ended up thinking one was his and putting it on. I got out and found that I had one of my shoes and one of his black tennis shoes. I thought it was a bit funny and went up to the boy asking if he liked my new shoe. Once he saw that he had accidentally taken the wrong shoe, he went to correct it as he wanted his shoes over my shoe. More probably happened, but that's all I could remember.

I woke up extra cozy on Friday morning, making it slightly difficult to get out of bed. From what I could remember my dream started off with me needing to do make-up work for some class. One of my middle school social studies teachers was the teacher for the class. I didn't remember why I was supposed to complete make-up work, but one of my classmates needed to do so, as well. It got a bit hazy, but the dream transitioned a bit. Three of the sisters from Quintessential Quintuplets were there. Ichika was there for sure, and I think the other two were Nino and Itsuki. I think it might have been Futaro that was talking with them (or it was some guy that was acting in his place--it's hard to say). For some reason the girls weren't supposed to talk to Futaro/the guy, and he ended up dressing up like them in hopes to throw whoever was coming off guard. Most people seemed to buy the disguise, but the one that the girls didn't want to find out wasn't deceived by it. He pulled Futaro's/the guy's face up close to inspect it and laughed at him, saying it was a nice try but that it wouldn't work. This new person grabbed Ichika and left. This left the Futaro person and the other two sisters freaking out, trying to find a way to save Ichika. The new person was livid, asking Ichika if she really believed such foolishness would work. She started begging for him to listen, claiming that it was only a joke. I'm not sure if this person had a quirk or what, but this black root/vine time things started coming out of him. Ichika was horrified and whispered, "No." This new person/being decided to punish Ichika, having the black root/vine things travel into Ichika's body through her skin. She started crying, and he told her it was her fault and that he would be leaving "little surprises" throughout her body (that being poison). The others decided they had to do something to save her, so they ended up going to a museum. Their world seemed merged with the My Hero Academia world with the museum housing former hero's tools and gadgets--plus, the heroes seemed to have Miraculous that were the essence of their powers (like in Miraculous Ladybug). The Futaro guy met up with what seemed to be Deku/Midoriya, and they decided they had to take two the the Miraculous-like objects from the museum to save Ichika and stop the villain. They happened to stumble across two powerful ones out in the open and tried to take it, but security started chasing after them. They split up to try and make it not too easy for security to thwart their plans. Right before I woke up it seemed like security caught them, but I didn't know what would happen for sure as I woke before the dream could conclude.

My dream from Friday night/Saturday morning was kind of hazy. From what I could remember I was in some kind of school. I was in the gym, and some kind of game was being played, although I've never seen/heard of it before. Three people seemed to be on the offensive, technically, but only one was actually able to try and catch the others on the defensive. The other two had to assemble images, and if the one person guessed correctly, then they could use various "powers" to help them catch the other players. One of the two was a boy I went to middle school with, and the "attacker" guessed smile for his; he said that they were kind of right, that he had been going for a Jack-o-lantern face (that happened to be smiling). I ended up making a shark for the attacker to guess. I guess the class period ended because I exited into the halls and ended a classroom. There seemed to be a read aloud, but that was all I could recall upon waking.

I woke up this morning recalling that my dream took place in a school setting. There was this sweet, little boy that was my friend, but the long-term sub was out to get him; she hated him. If he would leave the room, she'd make sure two police officers would escort him down the hall, essentially dragging him down the hallway with tight grips on each arm. Her main issue with him seemed to be his high energy levels. I ended up taking him out of the cafeteria, but to do so I had to pretend and follow the sub's cruel precedent. As soon as we were out of sight, I stopped, allowing him a bit of freedom, and he lit up like a Christmas tree, overjoyed. Apparently, we were taking too long, and the sub sent her police officers after him. It broke my heart. Some of the other teachers caught a glimpse of the police officers dragging him down the hall and started asking me questions as they couldn't fathom why it was necessary. I sadly explained that it was a common experience and how cruel the sub was to him, lamenting how our real teacher (Edna?) would have loved him. The other teachers were shocked, and I think they began brainstorming ways to stop the sub. I walked the boy to his car for dismissal, and he was super grateful to have a genuine friend. Because of the sub's demeanor, all the other kids treated him with hate, and he would have believed their cruel, spiteful words if I hadn't been their to counteract their hatred with love and kindness. I got the feeling I was the only thing standing between him falling into a immense depression and suicide. He cheerfully waved goodbye as his dad picked him up, and I waited with some other kids to get picked up. Queen V appeared and told me that this girl I had never met was like my soul twin and that we had this deep connection. Something happened to upset me, and I ended up running off into the surrounding neighborhood that was strongly wooded. I got kind of lost in my haste, but the little boy seemed to sense I needed help, making his dad come find me. He noticed I was upset, so he tried to cheer me up and had his dad take us to somewhere sort of like Chuck E. Cheese. I found this huge wad of cash and gave it to his dad to find the owner since the little boy was determined to cheer me up with games. I kept finding tickets everywhere. The free tickets I found got up into the thousands. More happened, but that's all I could remember upon waking up.

The kids were excited to be back in before care. They created more leprechaun traps. It's always interesting to see where their creativity will take them. Weenie and Cosmo twins came back to say hi, and the pair of sisters told us all about their imaginary friends, a massive crocodile and a unicorn. The older sister confirmed that the younger had a particular... passion for fire and that she had set her favorite shirt and a tree on fire. She told me that her sister attempted to set a deer of fire but that it kept running away and went into their pool. My art buddy had me read her one of The Princess in Black books this week; we managed to read the whole thing in one morning because it was a slow morning with a number of the kids not showing up. The kiddos had more dance parties in the gym this week, too. There was some snow this week, and the kiddos brought some of it in so they could do their experiments, mixing various things in with the snow. They had a blast. My art buddy came up to me and told me that her name was Olivia and that I knew that (Olivia is not her name). She was very adamant about how her name was Olivia, so I started calling her Olivia. A few minutes later she told me her name was Sofia (also not her name) and that it's always been her name. I think she was just trying to mess with me a bit. Later she came up to me, giving me a hug, and declared that she loved me, that I'm like her family. It was really sweet and melted my heart.

The pair of sisters brought in more friends throughout the week. Wednesday morning the older sister brought the Cosmo twins and Purpleta, lamenting that she couldn't find Weenie. The younger sister had a mischievous look on her face, leading me to believe that she had something to do with Weenie's disappearance. She admitted that she and their younger brother had hidden Weenie from her. The younger sister wanted me to guess which buddy she brought. I looked at her shirt, noticing a massive Saturn hanging over some mountains amidst the stars. The shirt's picture was all in shiny silver, along with the saying, "We are made of the stars." Based off her shirt, I got the intuition that she brought an alien. toy. I informed her of such, but she told me that it wasn't before pulling out a Stitch plush, which caused me to laugh out loud. She looked confused, and I explained that Stitch is from another planet, thus making him an alien. She had my coworker make a copy of the plush using the copier, which made it look an awful lot like a wanted poster. She decided to make it be Stitch's evil twin, named Jack. She gave the evil twin angry looking eyebrows, a goatee, a mustache, devil horns, and a belt. She informed me that the evil twin, Jack, stole Stitch's crown, pretending he was the king. Jack, apparently, also robbed a bank and then proceeded to cut off his ears so no one would recognize him as the bank robber. The sisters proceeded to put on this show, dubbed "The Wonderful Stitch Show," in the cafeteria with balloons, a chalk board, and microphones. In the show they talked all about Stitch and Purpleta. They informed us that Purpleta had been sleeping in a meteor that crash-landed on Stitch's home planet. That's how the two met and then became friends. Purpleta is adored because she is purple, fluffy, and has sparkly eyes. She also loves fish and art. The sisters started asking the audience why they loved Stitch and Purpleta. One kid said they loved Stitch because he's blue. Another said that they love Purpleta because she is purple and soft and because she loves fish. They got extremely invested in their show and didn't want to end it so they could go to school.

On Thursday Purpleta came back, but this time she had a new friend. The sisters told me the friend's name was Tweetalina. The older sister told me that Tweetalina was a "copy bird" that enjoys mimicking people. The pair informed me that Tweetalina is a purple and white bird from Bird Planet. All birds from Bird Planet have real eye lashes they asserted, and the older sister told me that Tweetalina left her planet on a special mission. My coworker asked if the special mission was to steal his Lucky Charms; the older sister said no, but the younger sister attested that it was her mission (rather than Tweetalina's). They also told me that Tweetalina was searching for her magical, power-up beads; these beads had special powers and helped her fly. They put on a show for Tweetalina and Purpleta, and, apparently, Purpleta has a twin named Pinkalita. Pinkalita, as you can probably surmise, is pink as opposed to Purpleta's purple color scheme. The sisters created tickets for all the kids and lined up chairs, escorting each individual to their seat. It was pretty cute. Kids are truly something else.

The boys wanted their weekly update on YashaHime's story, on the edge of their seats with suspense. We got into some really deep conversations about InuYasha and YashaHime, and it was so much fun! They want to know how Kirinmaru will ultimately be stopped and defeated, and I'm curious about that, too. They're hoping that the original gang will be reunited to stop Kirinmaru, but I suspect that Setsuna, Towa, and Moroha will be key players in his defeat. They got really involved and invested in discussing the stories of InuYasha and YashaHime, hypothesizing some theories on what might happen next. They had searched up the previews for the next episode and were excited that Sesshomaru's mom would be returning, hoping that she would roast people again (they thought it was hilarious how she roasted Zero previously).

I got together with Iris and April's mom for brunch on Saturday; they were really craving pancakes, so we went to Denny's. It was a nice, chill meal. Iris was so excited to see me; she had wished April would have joined us, but April happened to busy all day. After brunch we ended up meeting up with Corliss and her niece, Harper, so Iris and Harper could have a play date. The two had a blast, and we caught up with Corliss while the kiddos played. Iris adored Rosco, Corliss's sister's dog. He kept giving her kisses, and Iris loved it. Iris didn't want to leave, but it was getting rather late, so April's mom told her that it was time to go. She was disappointed, but we plan on having a get together again soon.

Tsuki acted like her usual nutty self, but with how bitterly cold it's been, she's wanted to snuggle up and snooze (not that I blame her). She loves to get cozy in her bed by the fire, cuddle with me, and nap on the chair next to me. She loves to crawl onto my lap while I'm writing or reading after dinner, especially when it's extra cold. I often find her snoozing or lounging on the arm of the couch when I get back from before care, too. Tsuki, the bell addict, has lost an additional 80 or so bells in the house; they're her favorite thing to play with. She loves the noise they make and how she can get them to skid across the floor; Tsuki races up and down stairs and hallways with her bells, working herself into a frenzy. She gets adamant about getting new bells when she loses one and refuses to be ignored (this usually happens when I'm in the middle of something, like creating art, and she'll make me stop everything by getting into trouble and knocking things over if I don't get her a new bell on my own). Tsuki thinks she runs the world, the nut.

I got new goodies this week. My latest batch of goodies from Spiritual Supermall's Divine $9 arrived this week. I always loves seeing what crystals they release for their weekly Divine $9. Plus, Pokémon Legends Arceus arrived! The boys asked if I had played any of it when I picked them up Friday afternoon, but it had been delivered right before I had to leave for dismissal, which they were disappointed about. They wanted to know what the game was like and if it was similar to InuYasha at all. After playing it I will say that it has some InuYasha vibes since it sort of seems like feudal era Japan (the main time setting for InuYasha). Your character also gets transported back in time, like Kagome, and everyone finds your character peculiar. There's also the shared name of the region with Sango and Miroku's son, Hisui, which the boys thought was hilarious. I do enjoy being able to wander around the wilderness in the game and that we can craft our own supplies rather than needing to buy everything. It doesn't hurt that collecting materials for crafting gives your Pokémon some exp, too. I haven't gotten too far in the game yet, but I do wonder if the Hisui region was renamed Sinnoh after the god the people revere; they keep referring to their god as "Sinnoh," so it makes me wonder where the name Arceus came from if they are referring to Arceus. I look forward to seeing how the game's story progresses, and I wouldn't be upset if they put in InuYasha references (although I won't hold my breath).

I worked on some more Perler bead star constellations this week:

I did more reading, writing, and anime watching this week, but my weekend had more time spent playing the new Pokémon Legends Arceus game--nothing crazy, but I spent more time playing that than reading or watching any shows. I wrote a new story this week for the Return of the Night Owl challenge! This story continues to build the story universe with the character Serena. It seemed rather fitting to have her interact with a barn owl for the challenge. It’s loosely based off the time my great aunt’s neighbor’s goats got out, and I helped her and her grandkids herd goats. There was a massive flock of wild turkeys that frequented the area, too, which I always found interesting. 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. I'm open to suggestions and recommendations for future stories! I have other pieces in the works, so stay tuned for more stories! Fanfic for this week included: What Your Eyes Did to Me, and The Snow Angel. I watched the newest episode of YashaHime this week! Things are definitely heating up. It almost sounded like Towa and Setsuna won't be able to come back to Feudal era based on what Rin was saying, and if that's the case, I'll be seriously peeved. Rin, Sesshomaru, Towa, and Setsuna deserve a happy family reunion, and they still haven't gotten it. Rin was trapped and cursed for the longest, Towa was trapped on the other side of time, Sesshomaru was dying, and the Towa died briefly. Then after Akuru saves Towa, the girls are off to destroy the Grim Comet. They've never be reunited as a family, and it seriously bugs me. Heck, even Kagome, InuYasha, and Moroha had their reunion and battled Kirinmaru together. Towa and Setsuna will be meeting their grandmother, though, which is something. I wonder what they'll think of her. Everything is getting intense; it makes me wonder how much the original gang know about the comet/Kirinmaru because Sango crafted the black Hiraikotsu while Miroku underwent his 1000 days of training for this time. Kagome tells Kaede to evacuate the villagers somewhere safe. They have to know something. Plus, demons started appearing in modern day Tokyo that were supposed to have gone extinct 500 years ago; it makes me wonder why they went extinct in the first place and if two different timelines/realities are connected or something. The story is getting so interesting and keeps leaving me with more and more questions. I can't wait to see next week's episode!

I watched Quintessential Quintuplets this week. It's an interesting premise, and I enjoyed learning about each of the sisters. The story seemed to heavily revolve around the theme of being true to yourself; when the individuals wouldn't speak their truth, they often ended up unhappy with conflicts arising and things becoming more complicated than necessary. Heck, there were times where they would pretend to be a different sister, which created even more issues for them. There were times where they would sacrifice their own happiness for the sake of their sisters. It reminded me of a sign outside a school that I would pass every now and then, emphasizing that the greatest happiness is the happiness of others. While that can be quite fulfilling and rewarding, I disagree. Granted, I don't think people should blatantly disregard others or purposefully cause harm, but we shouldn't ignore our own happiness, either. Everyone deserves to be happy. Yes, sometimes that makes things complicated and messy, but we have just as much right to be happy as others. We shouldn't make ourselves small and sell ourselves short just so others feel more comfortable. We're worthy of love and happiness; we deserve to be genuine. We have every right to speak our truth. Sure, others might not be particularly happy about it all the time, but it's better than lying. As Futaro found out, lies, even well intentioned or unintentional ones, can hurt so much more than the truth, especially if you continue them. They can keep growing and building until they're out of control and implode. Sure, one of the twins mistook him for a stranger, but that didn't mean that he had to create this new persona. Things kept escalating with him refusing to come clean and adding to the lie. People can grow attached, and one of the sisters fell in love with the persona. It never ends well to become entangled in a web of lies, even if you were hoping to spare them from pain by doing so. The truth always finds a way out, and then there's the hurt and betrayal that comes from the lies. If he had just been honest and spoke the truth from the beginning, the whole mess could have been avoided. Sure, she would have been disappointed that it was her tutor rather than some mysterious stranger that was his relative, but that would have been minor in comparison to what transpired. Granted, we can give people increments of the truth, considering what they can handle, so they don't get overwhelmed, but lying just leads to more problems. The world has enough issues to sort out as it is without adding to them.

More and more truths are coming to light in the world, and there's only so long that people/groups/entities can hide them with lies. More and more people are waking up and questioning things, and it's great. There's nothing wrong with trust, but it shouldn't be a blind trust. Discernment is key. If we don't use discernment and keep our wits about us, then we can easily be taken advantage of, and nobody wants to be taken advantage of. Don't be afraid to ask questions; knowledge is power, so don't let others hold all the power by hiding information from you. You have a right to know. Be gentle with yourself, prioritize self care, and allow time for joy and fun. You're worthy. You are loved. The universe has your back, so release your worries and fears. Stay blessed with love and light, everyone~

Food for thought from Ralph Smart:

Food for thought to consider for the week:

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