Thursday, May 9, 2019

When you think about it, it's disgusting...


The above picture/post came up in the facebook feed several days ago. I shared it and commented and a couple of my friends who are girls, commented as well. Since then, the more I've thought about it, the more it's really hit home how common place this really is and that's not okay. These moments start small and can escalate into something much large before we even know it. Most of us are told to ignore it or that 'he's just teasing', or 'that means he likes you'. None of that is acceptable or right. In effort to illuminate some of small to larger things, I'm sharing some of my own experiences.  

The earliest memory I have is from when I was 3 or 4 years old. My male cousin liked to shove and lock me in the closet with him to show me his penis. I didn't like that. Not only was I afraid of the dark, but being in there with him made me feel gross. 

The second earliest memory is of me playing with the boy next door. We were both Kindergarten age and he liked to come over and trap me under a blanket and hump me. It happened three times before I told my Mom. She said if it happened again, punch him in the nose. It did happen and I did punch him, hard enough he got a bloody nose and went home crying. At first I was in trouble, but I told my Mom I only did what she said and he never came over to play again. 

Next up was first grade. I made friends with a boy who liked Ninja Turtles at school. We'd play Ninja Turtles at recess and it was a lot of fun until he'd start pinching my behind. He seemed almost obsessed with doing so and would pinch so hard he'd leave bruises. Eventually, after telling teachers and my Mom, he stopped. However, in High school I was having lunch with some friends and he showed up. Everything was fine at first, we were getting along and then he decided to kick me out of no where. A couple of years ago he found me on facebook and I learned that he was 1. bitter and angry and 2. Gay. Apparently I was his anger outlet over the years? 

Back to being a kid. My Mom's step father made me uncomfortable from as early as I can remember. When I was around seven, I asked my Mom why I couldn't stay the night at her mother's house like I did at my Dad's parents house. My Mom explained that her step father had abused her physically, mentally, emotionally, and sexually while she was growing up and there was no way in hell she'd ever leave me alone with that man, even with her mother being there. horrified, I remember asking why we went over there at all. She said, she had forgiven her mother for what happened but not him, and she was trying to let her have a relationship with me. And until that man died, neither of my parents ever left me alone in a room with him. There was one time, I went to put something in Grandma J's kitchen and he managed to break off from my Mom and Grandma J but he didn't get one word in before both my Mom and Grandma J were right there. It wasn't until after he died that I got to spend the night at Grandma J's house. 

When I was in Grade school my Aunt Laura had some unsavory people living with her. There was someone living in every room of her house, all friends of her of course. There were 3 men in particular that bothered me at her house. Allen, I just never liked and liked even less when he thought my Aunt should spank me before getting the glass from a broken beer bottle out of my foot. Barry used to walk around in his underwear around us kids and really just gave me the creeps in general. That wasn't unfounded, I was right to be afraid and creeped out by him. He told my youngest cousin- at the time- she could go outside and play. Shortly after, he changed his mind and stormed after her. She was going out the driveway gate and he yanked back and somehow got her stuck before dragging her back inside. She was screaming and crying. Her brother told him he had to be careful because she had a blood problem. Barry got pissed, shoved him down on his bed and dug his knee into his groin. I saw all of it and screaming to which Barry began cussing me out and telling me to shut the fuck up. My screaming brought my Mom and Aunt from my Aunt's room. My Mom packed me up and we went home. Somehow my Aunt married Barry and she put up with physical abuse from him for several years before finally kicking him to the curb. 

But my Aunt's worst roommate was a man named Mike. He and his girlfriend used to live in my Aunt's attic. At some point when I was still in grade school, they got their baby taken away from them because of  shaken baby syndrome and someone it was all his girlfriend's fault. Only I don't really think it was. Mike remained a roommate clear up until us kids were all in middle school. My cousin Shi-chan thought he was so handsome. I didn't get it. He gave me the creeps and made some lewd comments that I didn't fully understand at the time. He liked playing truth or dare or spin the bottle with us and wanted to watch us kiss people on the TV. Later, after he'd been kicked out and arrested for stealing computers, we learned that he'd molested my male cousin.

In middle school my best friend's boyfriend shoved a table into my breasts because I called him an idiot.

In freshman year of high school a guy on my bus grabbed my breasts for fun. I kicked him in the balls and told him if he ever did it again I'd kick him until he squeaked. I got reported to the school office. I did not, however, get into trouble because one of the vice principal's husbands had worked with my Dad and called him up to tell him about the incident.

Sophomore year of high school a guy in my English Lit class told me I should wear shorts and dresses. And another guy, someone I thought was a friend, in the same class asked me for a hug and decided to grab my breasts. This time I didn't have a snappy come back because this guy was in a local gang. I was scared to do anything and had to call my Dad at lunch to ask what to do. While I was on the phone, in tears, my boyfriend at the time, was standing behind me praying. Dad said to report the kid who copped a feel that the school administration would take care of it. So, I did.  After school, in the study group I was in, my boyfriend told me I was "a lost soul and he was sent from God to save me". Really? Because another guy grabbed my breasts? I broke up with him then and there. The next day, the guy who grabbed my breasts gave me a formal apology and he never anything but polite to me there after. Apparently his mother ripped him a new one. I think I came out of that lucky. It could have gotten ugly. 

When I was 18, I spent the night a friend's house for a video game/ D&D party. Several of us from high school liked to get together when we could to game. One of my friends had a friend who I didn't particularly like but put up with. I fought sleep until that guy left. However, when I woke up the next morning, not only was that guy back, not only had he somehow climbed up to the balcony and let himself in during the middle of the night, but he'd drawn penises all over my face with sharpie before anyone else was awake to stop him much less kick him out.

When I was 19, I went with a friend to one of her friend's houses. We got high and although her friend was married, he wanted to sleep with me. I told her I wanted to go home and stupidly drove back to her house stoned (weed). I also got high with my cousin when he got his first apartment, again weed. He asked me if getting high made me horny. Apparently it made his girlfriend horny. Since he had recently told me 1st cousins could get married in Arkansas, I was unnerved. He's reminded me of that fact repeatedly since then. He also told me he's waiting for me to wake up from being a lesbian and come back to the world of screwing guys, again following it up with 1st cousins can get married in Arkansas.  

Also at 19, I was really stupid and got black out drunk at a tiny New Years party with the two guys I played D&D with at the time. At some point I passed out and woke up with the guy I liked pushing his penis in my face. I don't remember much after that because I passed out again. I had to get tested to STD's just to be safe afterward. 

Since then I've been cat-called, whistled at, old men have made kissy faces at me while sitting in traffic. Doctors have dismissed me and a neighbor called me a 'fucking cunt" once for putting out the cigarette he tossed over his balcony into the dry grass while we were under a fire watch.   

Over time I've tried to forget these things, move on and passed them, and for the most part, I have. I still remember them, they still bother me- of course some more than others- but in my head I've just chalked them up to 'things that just happened'. I don't think that's right. I shouldn't have to "chalk them up". None of them should have happened in the first place. Not to me, not to any of the people around me. No one, not male nor female or non-bianrily gendered persons should ever have to put up with any of this at any age whatsoever!     

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Small elephants, books, and fatigue

My little Plague Doctor

We've been a bit busy and had a constant stream of company on the weekends so I either haven't remembered to, felt up to, or had time to blog. In fact, it seems I spend the better part of the first half of the week recooping from the weekend and only partially seem to get a little energy back in time to do it all again. The fibro is really kicking my butt lately too. I am sure I am overdoing and triggering flareups on my own. Fatigue has been a constant asshole and despite asking my doctor about it- yes, I finally went- I was flat out ignored, but I will get into that in a little bit. 

Company. Our friends, the twins, are trying to relocate up to our city. They are trying to find job, have been approved for the first time home buyers program we went through, and are in the process of finding a house. I am happy to help them and want to see them in a place that meets their needs. There is definitely a selfish aspect in this for me, I want them closer so they can come for a visit and then go home. The same can be said for Fiona. Between them and Amanda's parents living with us, with all the stuff we try to do with other friends, Amanda and I don't really get a lot of time completely alone together. All of it, the fatigue, the go go go for friends, company, not getting enough alone time with Amanda, has really started to wear on me. 

But, Amanda and I have started reading together before bed. It gives us time to cuddle and share in books together. Our first night time reading adventure was The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic, by Leigh Bardugo. Its a collection of fairy tales that the characters of the Grishaverse would have grown up with. I've wanted to read some of Bardugo's books and have had them on my amazon list for awhile. So, this was a nice little introduction to her universe and what a dark and mysterious place it is! We both really enjoyed it.  At the moment we are reading Neil Gaimen's Trigger Warning. It's interesting so far, a collection of poems and short stories, but I think I like his Sandman series a lot better. 

On the matter of the doctor. I went, met the new guy I had been shuffled to since my doctor is no longer at the office, and I'm not sure what to make of him yet. I do not appreciate the "you are fat so that is the basis of all your problems" mentality he has. I think on our next visit he and I are going to have a chat about my medical history. I do not appreciate the dismissive attitude to how much fatigue I am dealing with. I'm taking a whole slew of vitamins while include d3 and B12 and eating protein and I feel just about as exhausted as I did pre-hysterctomy. Something is wrong and I refuse to be ignored about it. Clearly this doctor is up for trying different things since he put me on Ketamine to try for my depression. It is working for me, its not a cure, but its helping. So now that that's a positive, let's tackle the fatigue issue.

All of that said, I haven't been idle, at least, I have been trying very hard not to be. I've been doing little bits of house work where and when I can. Amanda and I have been making plans for what we would like to do in the back yard. This weekend I plan on getting my seeds started so they can be planted in May. Amanda decided she wanted to repaint the bedroom. So we went back and forth over what we could both agree on and have settled on something. I'll show it when it all gets finished, same with the garden/backyard. Well maybe I will do some 'in progress' photos. And I have been painting a little bit again, the above picture of the plague doctor is one I worked on recently. I really like it and want to do some more. But the thing I am most proud of is this,


This is the cover to my writer's reference guide for the novel I am currently writing. The artwork (the couple) is by Jenny Dolfen. She does some amazing work and I love her Tolkein works the best- this is where this is taken from. Now, I would like to point out that I printed this pic and darkened the hair on both people to fit the needs of my characters and I chose this one because it reminded me so much of my two main characters and evoked the right feeling for me personally. The rest is just my own decoration to make the front of the binder cover pretty and a little bit spooky. The real work for me is inside the binder, where I have made detailed character bios, lore for the world, the map (which needs to be redone on further inspection), cultural notes, note for the various races, and a pantheon of Gods (which also needs some work). There are plot notes and story ideas to consider, but mostly this is just for me, to help myself along during the ride of writing the novel. 

I have only managed to write one page of said novel and it took me three tries before I found something felt right. You'd think for characters who have long waited to have their story told, they would help me out a little, but then again I'm also terrified I'm going to fuck it up. There's some ugly truth. 

Lastly, on the matter of small elephants, I have two. Amanda put carpet remnants down in our bedroom. We have a patchwork strips and while they don't all match, they look and feel so much better than painted over hardwood floor. It was biting-cold in winter and the paint had been chipping something awful. She's also moved some things around  and our room is really starting to look more finished and livable. But back to the elephants. With the addition of carpet, Narcisa and Thorin love being up in the bedroom. A good deal of their toys have found their way under our bed and its fun to listen to them chase each other and play. They aren't small cats so as they tear back and forth, pounce, and thud about upstairs, they sometimes sounds like stampeding baby elephants. I don't complain about the noise because they are much happier and when they settle down for a few hours at night, we get warm, kitty cuddles.   

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

I am late!



Last week I plumb forgot about this and this week I am late in the writing and posting. Sorry about that. 


My meager offerings for this week, is this practice run with Fire Alpaca and 'new to me' tablet from a good friend. I really like the airbrush tool as it turns out and I should probably not be so in love with it. It's hard, dusting off my novice drawing skills. There's a frustration in wanting to be better, to know how to draw hair and faces, trying to figure out what my style is, hoping I can pull off Moe and Bishi manga art eventually (both are so pretty). But I will get there and it takes time and practice.

I have been working on the world building of my novel and I thought I had finished my character bios. But I was watching a Brandon Sanderson fiction writing lecture on character this week and I have a few more questions to ask myself and make notes for a couple of characters. Shouldn't take me too long and should help me in the long run of writing process. 

Still doing Taiko, although I missed last week due to a nasty fibro flare. I've been studying some of the videos the leader of the group sent me so I could practice at home. I don't know if it is helping. But I can't get too annoyed with myself, I've only been twice. 

Lastly I thought I would share a vegetarian recipe I made up for Amanda, Enchilada casserole. It;s super simple and pretty quick to make.
What you need is one large can of red or green enchilada sauce (prefer red but Amanda likes green better), six yellow or white corn tortillas, 1 small bag of mozzarella cheese, and 1 small bag of a frozen southwest medley veggies (ours has mix of corn, onions, red bell peppers, and black beans). Oh and a small baking dish. I used a glass bread loaf dish but in hind sight probably should have used something a little larger.

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees f. 
Tear the corn tortillas however big or small you prefer.
Ladle a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish. Next put down the majority of the torn tortillas to make in a good layer. After that add the frozen southwest medley veggies and a light layer of mozzerella cheese. Nexxt layer the rest of the tortillas and ladle sauce over it. You might need to gently shift the dish on your counter to get the sauce to seep all the way through. Lastly, layer a thicker layer of cheese on the top and when the oven is preheated, put the dish in for 30-40 minutes. And that's it. Take it out when the cheese has melted and its warm all the way through. 
That's it. 
And that's it for me this week.   
  

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

I did a thing last night!


In middle school, I  was lucky enough to sit right in front of the percussion section being a trumpet player. That was just how we were arranged in my advanced band class. I say lucky, because I like percussion instruments, of curse back then it was mostly the listening that I liked since banging on anything generally pissed my Mom off (although how I got to be a trumpet player instead of a clarinet like I wanted is a story for a different day). Anyway, I loved it and I love listening to drums. I can't even pick between bass, timpani, and snare, which is my favorite. 

So when we went to the Perry Street Fair a couple years ago and stumbled on the Spokane Taiko drummers I was even more excited! I love Taiko drums! That's where we first saw the group. The second place we saw them was at KuroNekoCon last year. They were doing a demo and letting people try. I got really shy and didn't go up but Amanda and Marilyn did. And they had contact info if you wanted to go practice with them. We did of course! However, we didn't get to it until last night.

The group is small and full of really nice people who are very welcoming. There's a sort of hesitancy I picked up from them and I think it is they are waiting to see if this was a one time thing for us or are we hooked and going to stay? I'm hooked, if they will let me play, I'm there! They want and need more people so they can play other songs. And they aren't bitchy about when I messed up. And I do mess up. I may be a little ambidextrous but I am left hand dominant, so I lead with my left hand. Most parts in Taiko lead with the right hand, so switching is something I will have to get used to. What I found interesting is for the parts that you're supposed to lead with the left hand, I switch to my right. *facepalm*  Also, I have got to get used to extending my arms. I've spent so much time trying to make myself as small as possible so I am not in anyone's way, that having my arms out and doing certain motions, is kind of scary. I'll get there. I told Amanda that we need to make a practice drum. the group had some made of big round buckets and clear packing tape. That's a really good idea!  Of course when I got online to look up prices on Bachi Sticks (the drum sticks) I found a kid's toy taiko drum for super cheap. So, I don't know which I will use, the cost to make might be slightly cheaper. And the Bachi sticks are reasonable. There are, of course, some that are super expensive, but I don't need something like that. 

Also, you wouldn't think drumming would be as motion involved, but it is. Standing a certain way and different motions, especially ones you aren't used to- my back was trying to seize up during the practice last night. And strangely, the arches in my feet were giving me grief. Amanda and I came home already hurting. I ended up falling asleep watching a movie and it was hell trying to get myself up and then upstairs to bed. Today sucks but still worth it. 

Here's a video of a Spokane Taiko performance. 

 


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Not Killing it in 2019

Ganked from Facebook.

I did not make resolutions, but I made semi-goals before the New Year holiday, of things I would like to work on. This might seem a little blase but I know and am used to things not turning out like I want or going as planned, so if not all of these things happen, or happen in the way in which I would like, I've decided to be okay with it. However, there are a few that simply must happen, and I'll start with my list. (Because I like lists, they are orderly) 

1. Learn more about and find extra and other ways of managing my mental illness. Yes, yes, I have depression and anxiety, but what I don't think I have mentioned is that my particular brand is borderline personality disorder (or I guess now people are calling it syndrome) couple with some PTSD, and severe Anxiety. I have started some research- thanks to Amanda going down a rabbit hole. Since going to therapy is now a point of stress for me (my therapist keeps pushing health insurance so she can charge me the full amount- which I get but we STILL can't afford health insurance at this time) I'm going to pay off my bill and not return. At this point the therapy isn't doing me any good, not if going makes me want to vomit in fear that she'll lecture me about getting health insurance. Instead, I want to try other things. My Dad said the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy workbook they used at the Corrections Facility for his clients is one of the better ones out there and he still has a copy and will send it to me. I mean it can't hurt. And I'm going to do some more research into it because the better I understand it, the easier it is for me to pick out what's going on and try to put the breaks on. I'm still going to cycle. I'm still going to have to take medicine. I'm still going to have really bad episodes, but if I can lessen them, even a little, I'll take it. I don't want to drown in this crap anymore. 

2. My physical health has been an issue for, well ever! I was a sick a lot as a kid. While I don't get sick as much anymore, I had PCOS (although I read that even if you have a full hysterectomy, you still have it- okay), a herniated disk in my lower back, and fibromyalgia. The fibro has been really bad lately. The fatigue part especially is kicking my ass. The minute I get comfortable, I am asleep and its getting beyond ridiculous and no, I don't have narcolepsy, yes, I get enough sleep. Worse, it's like I spend most of the day fighting sleep, trying to wake up. Also, I really don't feel like me anymore. I truly hate my body and have a disconnect with it. I know half of the weight issue is mine, I ate food, but the other half is genetics, medications that cause weight gain, and the pain from my back and fibro making me more sedentary than I want to be. I've already cut my food portions down, am drinking even more water, and have been trying to eat tiny, healthy snacks between small meals. We've also gotten a membership to Planet Fitness and are starting Taiko Drumming.  I have to get away from being so angry with my body for betraying me and not working right. I have to get away from wanting to punish it with my fists when things get really bad. I have to get away from wanting to take matters into my own hands and deal with it all myself. None of that is healthy. Not of this is my fault, but it is up to me to fix it.

3. I NEED to write at least the first draft of a novel this year. I can't let people make me feel bad about it either, tell me I am obsessed, that I need to find balance between writing and everything else, or whatever! Hearing offhanded or on handed comments like that has done nothing but make me question if I should even keep writing, made me feel like a shitty friend and wife, and I'm done. Sorry, can't cater other people as much I used to. Last year was depression and grief year, this year is take care of me year and everyone else can suck it. Sure, I'll still come out and play, there's a lot I want to do, but I'm not going to take anyone's shit for having my joy. If they don't want to hear about it, fine, but I'm not going to let them continue to drag me down for one of the few things that bring me real happiness and then bitch at me for not utilizing my talents. 

4. 20 books read in a year. That's going to happen again. Last year I barely got through one book and it was almost painful. I didn't even really finish it and I'm not entirely sure where it is. The story was good, I just couldn't seem to get through it. So, I started with a book my friend Chris gave me. It was a rocky start and I've put it down in favor of doing other things for a couple of days, but I'm hoping to finish it soon and move on to others. 

5. The Great Purge! I've heard of Marie Kondo's KonMari method and have even watched a couple of episodes of her show on Netflix. She is an adorable Japanese woman and I like her ideas, but not all of that is going to work. Still, being or showing gratitude to the things you've used or that have served you is really beautiful, in my opinion, and I am so ready to downsize. We have already gone through our clothing and are thinking of going through it again. We have stuff out in the garage and stuff in the house to go through and I'm ready to be done with a good portion of it. Let it go make someone else happy. And no, books are not on this list. There might be a few I will part with, but I am keeping most of them.   

6. Do stuff I want to do. I tend to wait around to see what Amanda wants to do, or I change or discard what I want to fit the wants and needs of Amanda and friends. That's okay, just not all the time. So, I'm going to do more stuff I like and want to do, within reason of course. Good thing my wants are simple and few, and I don't mind waiting if I need to.  

7. Working on my spiritual path and growth. Not gonna get into that much here. There are some things that are still bothering me and while I working on figuring out what to do with them and or come to terms with them, I'm going to press forward and spend time learning and exploring, and maybe along the way, the stuff that's bothering me will resolve. 

So far we're fifteen days into January and I'm getting a very slow start. I spent the beginning of the month recovering from the holidays. But I did manage to get some things not mentioned started and organized. We are slowly getting the house back in order and will be continuing our purge. I've started reading, as I said, and Amanda and I are reading a nightly gratitude's book. The writing is slow going. I am still doing a written RP with cousin Kat and recently I found all my flash drives. I've already gone through my computer and one of the flash drives to find what I need for the novel I want to work on and finish. I would like to finish up the world preliminary word building and character bios, and have some ideas of where I would like to head with the story and get at least one page written by the end of the week. That's not a lot, but it is a start. 
We have started going to Planet fitness and Taiko drumming as well. I have to take a time out to recover from the activities after, but whatever. And I have managed to a thing or two that I have wanted.     

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

October/fall shenanigans


Amanda didn't want October, our Anniversary, or even Halloween to be uneventful this year and I think she was also trying to erase some of the negativity I still have left over from last year and our wedding disaster. I mean let's call it what it was, a disaster. Nothing worked out right and I was hurt pretty badly and still haven't managed to really get over it. Even with all the good stuff that did manage to happen around our wedding, all of which I am incredibly thankful for, I still have a hard time with the bad. Moving on. 
So, we both planned some stuff to do. Amanda's was more successful and exciting than my idea. I don't think she really liked mine too much. I wanted to drive up Mt. Spokane for an afternoon and see what we could see, explore a bit. I thought it would be fun to find places to have picnics and sit in nature, forest bathe, and so on. She was in a mood that day and when we found out that to go up was going to be ten dollars for a whole day, she was less than thrilled. Mostly because a discover pass is thirty dollars and gets you into all the Washington State Parks for a whole year. So, we turned around and came back down. 

But at least on the way I got to see a few things I didn't know were out and along the way. And I got some cool art reference photos.

On another day during October, Amanda got a groupon or something for tickets to go on a Haunted lake cruise on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Our friend Fiona was coming for a visit, so we went to pick her up and went to the lake early. I put my foot in the water to see how cold it was and decided swimming in the lake in October would be great for thirty seconds and only if I had a nice warm car to run to with hot cocoa waiting for me. 

I love how clear the lakes are here compared to the ones back home in Kansas. 

Rock!

I thought this view was really pretty and managed to catch the sun beam.

A picture of the Coeur d'Alene resort from the boat.

One of the lovely sunset photos I got.

I thought this one was very gloomy and pretty.

And my camera still didn't do the blazing pink in the sky justice.

A zoom in shot.

Some fall trees 

A pretty leaf.

The Twins took us to Silverwood for our anniversary and because they really like going with us. It was a lot of fun and I did get some pictures and even some video, but I think they are all over on my Instagram. Meaning, I was dumb and deleted them from my phone. 

Also during the month we went to see the Hobbit house in town. The owners of this big house and the little Hobbit house put on a free Halloween "come and see" and partnered with some trick or treat group that, if I remember correctly, does a safe neighborhood kind of thing. Anyway it was free to go to and you could see the Hobbit house for free with a donation of a children's book for needy kids.  We took a couple and it seemed that a lot of the people who came did the same.

This is a poster for the group they were collecting the books for.

A ring wraith, this guy managed to sneak up and scare the crap out of me twice! 

Just some of the cute decorations. In fact, each decoration had a little story to go with it. We didn't realize that until after we had seen the Hobbit house and I was cold and worn out. There were a lot of people and we stood in line for quite a while, both of which are hard on me. 


And here is the little Hobbit house. It is so cute and yes, that is a dragon above it.

a barrel!

I loved this metal door decoration they had.

I wanted to get more pictures of the interior and take more time to look around but there was still quite a long line behind us and I wanted to let the kids have time to get in and see the place. It was getting late and a lot of the kids were little, and we all know how cold, tired kids can get cranky. 

Some of the outside. I loved all the little decorations. 

Moving on to Halloween...
Here is some of the Halloween decor we had in our house

Amanda found what she calls her 'opera singer' at walmart this year. It's a tree topper and we kept it out to put on our Xmas tree.

We had candles aplenty and I decorated two jars I found at the dollar tree, not that you can seem them that well.

I found this pretty Witch tree topper at Ross. I've always wanted a 'pretty' witch. People seem to think that witches needs to be green or old or look like creepy old ladies, but that's not the case. So when I saw her for a reasonable price, I snatched her right up and brought her home. She too, was kept out and is hanging out in the office. 

Narcisa was hanging out on the kitchen table with me on Halloween night. This was before dinner and after our trip to the Campbell house here in town. They were a rich family and their house is a historical point of interest and museum. I didn't take my phone with me so I will just have to go back and get pictures another time. It is a beautiful Victorian era house and I pretty much want live there. But back to my house...

My friend Felicia gave me this cute cat and we set him on one of our pumpkins!

Amanda's luminary made from card stock, tissue paper, and a big pickle jar. We made them with our friend Rachel two years ago.

Here is mine. 

I had made little cauldrons for friends for something that got cancelled. So we enjoyed them over a couple of days.

I really liked this project and want to do it again, especially since I know how 



I did have more candy in them, it was just under the cotton candy. 

And here is me, I was a demon. I had black wings, my horns, and had done my make up.

This was just a beautiful display at Fuego in the mall. I loved the masks and would like to use them as inspiration for making some of my own. I've made a mask before and really loved it.

One day I went to work to see Amanda and took a picture of one of the halls in the old chronicle building. I love the decor.

This is a poster Amanda got me of Shiro from Voltron. It was done by Missy Pena and you can find her on twitter.

This was the very last bit of the Halloween Season activities. We went down to Moscow, Id to visit the twins and also go try out a spooky escape room at Puzzle IQ. What we learned was that I will look in a bucket of icky water and know there is something in but not put my hand in and make someone else do it. That Amanda moves stuff she's not supposed to, and that when they say look at everything, Amanda and I take them very seriously and go as far as taking apart furniture to look for clues. LOL! They told us we didn't have to take apart the furniture. Also, that the Twin, Amanda, and I actually make a pretty good team when doing this. We each find things the other miss. So we managed to do the escape room without a single hint with 16 minutes to spare. The total time we were allowed was 45 minutes. It was a lot of fun and needless to say, we are hooked. We've been looking at other escape rooms around, checking prices and themes and such.


Lastly, on a more recent trip down to visit the twins, we stopped in Potlatch, Id. Along I 90 there is a little dinner called Dad's Diner. It didn't used to be called that. Back in the 1940's my Grandmother's Dad's cousin worked out in the area and his wife worked in the diner. At some point the cousin died and eventually his wife bought the diner and ran it for many years. That was the cup "Ireland's Inn" that was in another blog post. Anyway, her son, my Grandma's cousin, apparently still lives in Deary. Which is kind of cool. The family doesn't own the place anymore, but it's really neat to see where my family has been and walk where they walked. 








KuroNekoCon 2018

For the last ten years Spokane has put on KuroNekoCon. I haven't lived in the area as long as that, but since I learned about it, I've wanted to go. It is one of the less expensive anime conventions I've been too as well as one of the smaller ones. I've been to bigger and while those cons are a blast, they are packed with people and have long lines. I tend to prefer the smaller cons so I can get to and from places, see the panels I want easier, and well, there are less people. 
Side note: you may or may not recognize this park- which is across the river from the convention center, as the one that hosted a World's fair in the 70s and it was also where they shot some scenes for Benny and June. And no, I still haven't seen that movie. 

I  also haven't been to explore the park proper. I've been to sections on the south side of the river and enjoyed those, but never managed to cross over the bridge or park on the north side to explore there. I am hoping that this spring, I will be in better shape physically, won't have had any surgeries, and can go play there. But for now, on to the con...

First I'm going to say that we had a full house. Our friend, the Twins and their two brothers came up from Moscow, Id for the con and Amanda's  friend from her MFA program in Boston, Marilyn came for the con and to see us as well. 

Here is the KuroNekoCon program. I really liked the cover art for this year it was really cute.  I think one of the reasons I like anime so much is because the art styles appeal to me. 

A picture of the some of the programming available for the first day. Amanda and I both noticed they had a bit of a problem, there were errors all over it. Which meant they either rushed to get the programs printed or whoever put it together, didn't proof it and edit well enough. It bothered Amanda so much she decided we HAVE to join the committee for the con to fix this for next year. I would love to help with that too. 2019 spoiler alert, we are going to see about joining the KuroNekoCon planing committee or board to and see if we can't bring some of our ideas in to help the con run smoother, because its something we enjoy and want to see flourish.  

One of the things I like is Moe Maid Culture (its half fashion, half cute stuff), so I went to a panel about just that. This adorable lady came all the way from New York to talk about a Maid Cafe there. She was super cute and she said the anime Maid Sama was probably the best, most accurate representation of a real Maid Cafe, although not totally like it. Still, that is helpful in knowing what to expect when going. The Maids want their customers to feel like they have come home and to relax and have fun.

One band was present at the con this year and it was Kazha. I didn't know much about them, so I thought I would check them out since I like hearing new music. My friend Tomi was at the Con too and she said she really liked them. Since Tomi and I have a lot of the same tastes in music, I definitely wanted to see them. 


It didn't seem to matter where I stood, I could not get a good picture of Kazha herself. But you can take a listen to her and the band here.

BB-8 was there, rolling around and paused for a photo op!

One of the panels Amanda, her friend Marilyn, and I went to was on Taiko Drumming. We've seen this group preform at the Perry Street Fair a couple of years ago and really liked them. As it turns out, not only were they letting people try it out, but they let people come and learn how to drum and join their group. I got way too shy to go up on stage, so Amanda (in the pink dress) went up. Even Marilyn went up. We'd like to go try it out in 2019.

The must see panel for me was the one on Kendo. I've always been fascinated by it since I learned of it through anime, but didn't figure I would ever get the chance to learn something like that. Guess again, there is a club right here in town and they have classes. I won't be able to go to them for awhile, we don't have the money for it, but I am hoping that I can soon, even if it is just a beginners class. 

One of our Twin friends and her younger brother. We were waiting outside the gaming hall, trying to decide what we were all going to do next.

Someone cosplayed as the Goddess in Moana, her cosplay was beautiful!

An Aggretusko cosplayer. 

This girl dressed as prisoner Shiro from Voltron and since it was just after the Voltron people had confirmed that Shiro is gay, she wore a gay flag too. I loved it, so I asked if I could take her picture. Apparently, I was the first person to do so and seemed to know who she was playing.

Had some girls cosplaying Voltron cheerleaders.

My other must see panel was a Voltron Monsters and Mana (Voltron's version of D&D) game. It was so much fun and this group did an amazing job. The cosplayer playing Lotor was hilarious!

there were three of the T-rexes running about  the con. They were pretty fun too.

A better look at the Voltron cosplayer panel I enjoyed so much.

We took the bus one of the days we went to the con. In sunlight, I really do look pale. 

The beautiful Marilyn

Amanda being silly and going to the con Goth style.

I didn't have a costume for the con but I did decide to make myself a stencil of the Fairy Tail guild's tattoo (from the anime Fairy Tail) and used eye liner, eye shadow, and a setting spray. It came out pretty good and lasted all day! 

One afternoon we went to Sushi Sakai for lunch. Because I can't have any shell fish and don't like fish in general, I was pleased to find vegetarian sushi on the menu.

We also shared a bottle of sake.

This artist, Charamath, has some beautiful work. The blue, yellow, and orange elf picture in the bottom left corner came home with me. When I saw it, I knew it was mine. Here's a link to her shop on etsy if you want to see more Charamath's Art Corner.

I can't recall the artist who did this print, but I made Amanda get it. It was the best Keith print at the whole con.


Two key chains Amanda and I bought. Mine is Shiro and her's is Keith. 

When I walked into the Vendor hall I saw this Dakimakura and had to know what the character was from. I love his design and as it turns out, he's from the web comic Phantom Paradise. Its in the fantasy genre. As soon as we came home from the con, I looked it up and so far, I am really enjoying the comic, which you can find here if interested.

We bought more art and a few trinkets from the vendor hall and went to the gaming hall a few times to either sit and relax or play games. We also sat out in the convention center's 'cafe' area and watched people come and go. It was a lot of fun and reminded me how much I miss doing things like that.