I hope everyone is having a healthy and happy Holiday season as we get ready to move forward from this chaotic year into what will hopefully be a better 2021. We’ve got a long way to go, of course, but I’m hopeful the new year will begin to take us into the right direction at least. ❤ Mr. Moth’s family got us the hilarious and VERY accurate Christmas ornament pictured above. While much of 2020 was/is indeed a raging Dumpster Fire, not all of it was bad. I hope you guys all managed to find your own moments of pure unadulterated joy peppered in among the rest of this year’s going-ons. 🙂
I made it my personal mission to be extra festive this year and I don’t regret it one bit. We may not be able to celebrate how we normally would, and while that is somewhat of a bummer, I was happy to celebrate in whatever ways we could. My team at work had a lot of fun decorating for the holiday season and we won the room decorating contest! 😀 “The Grinch-Free Zone” door pictured above and the PPE-sporting snowmen of our bulletin board and tree are just a sample of the work we put into it. There was a lot more I didn’t end up remembering to take photos of.
Since we have a white tree in our classroom it’s usually a snowman so this year it was fun to do something a little different and year-appropriate with the PPE which is a part of our daily work life now. I really enjoy the white tree but I love that I get to enjoy both ends of the spectrum since Mr. Moth and I have a black tree at home. Instead of hanging the usual candy canes on our tree, Mr. Moth and I opted to hang the silver antique keys (they’re actually bottle openers) that we had ordered off etsy as our wedding favors. It worked out really well because we had so many extra key favors left over since we had chosen to downscale big time on our guest list to make sure our wedding in October was pandemic-friendly. I loved the keys on the tree though and we’ll definitely continue to use them this way in the years to come. ❤
Seasonal baking this year included making and decorating Christmas sugar cookies (only some of which were completely inappropriate) as well as a triple chocolate coconut cream cake. I also recently made the Cranberry Christmas Cake recipe that Cupcakes & Machetes posted on her blog. 😀
Bailey, of course, got in on the holiday fun with her new bow ties, one being green (pictured above) and the other being red, so she can be a little feline fashionista and mix it up during the holiday season. I’m so happy she doesn’t mind wearing bow ties, bandanas, and some costumes. I’m also very happy to report that the Christmas tree remained standing all through December, even if this little Grinch did bat around and knock an ornament down here and there. 😛
Hey, there, all you majestic beasties! ❤ Can you believe November is nearly over? I hope you’re all well and finding ways to keep entertained and happy. 🙂 I’m back at home, my work being one of the places that has closed during our state’s three week partial closure. I’ve tried starting multiple posts while I’ve been off and nothing sticks. I’m in this foggy headspace where focusing on one thing is even harder than normal, which brings us to my first November update…
UPDATE #1: CREATIVE STUFF
With the exception of drawing, I haven’t been able to concentrate on a whole lot. So, that’s pretty much what I’ve been focusing on. Drawing. Especially mythical creatures/beings. It’s actually been a lot of fun. 🙂 (The weird tree lady pictured above is a Dryad I drew, from Greek mythology.) NaNoWriMo, on the other hand, obviously got shot in the foot on take off. I don’t know what I was thinking with that one. Haha Between the pandemic and a very tense election I was pretty much glued to the news during the beginning of the month, so not much writing going on, I’m afraid.
UPDATE #2: HOLIDAYS
I think we all know by now that the holidays are going to be very different this year. Under normal circumstances I’m usually a bit on the Grinchy side, not really one for Christmas music and all the fluff that goes with it. (I’m not as bad as I used to be, but it’s never the part of year I’m really looking forward to.) Well, it’s 2020 and everything is all messed up and crazy, so of course this would be the year that I am PUMPED for Christmas. 😛 Bring on the holiday baking, Christmas movies and music, cozy winter bullshit, and decorations. I would already have the tree up and decorated if it wasn’t for Mr. Moth demanding Thanksgiving be allowed to have its moment. Haha I didn’t make the comic featured below, but when I found it, it immediately reminded me of Mr. Moth and his bizarre love for Thanksgiving. 😀
UPDATE #3: BAKING
I don’t know what it is about being stuck at home, but it really makes me want to bake ALL the things. Recent baking adventures include Snickerdoodle Cupcakes for Mr. Moth’s birthday, peanut butter cookies, pumpkin cookies, and rainbow chip cookies. I also busted out our new waffle maker and made homemade Belgian Waffles. One batch was regular and the other I jazzed up and made Pumpkin-Chai Belgian Waffles. 😀 It’s actually been really nice finding a joy in baking again. I used to bake all the time and then eventually I got sick of it. My favorite things to make this year definitely seem to be cookies. I’m really picky about cookies, so making them at home has been nice because they are super soft and chewy, just like I like ’em! ❤
UPDATE #4: READING
Like I said previously, my level of focus has been practically ZERO lately, so needless to say, not a lot of reading was getting done. Well, thankfully I’m starting to come back around and get some light reading in again. 🙂
I’m not going to lie, I was sooo sad when it hit me that I was reading the FINAL volume of Giant Days. This comic about three college friends and their lives has been such a treat to read. I can’t say I’ve read many other things that made me feel like I, too, along with the characters was saying farewell to my friends at the end. Mr. Moth and I both read this series, and we agree that John Allison does a fantastic job writing female characters. (Really, just characters in general, but if you’ve ever read anything from a male author where the male gaze gets a bit heavy, you know what we’re talking about.)
Written by Clive Barker, The Forbidden tells the story of what would eventually become the 1992 horror film, Candyman. I really enjoyed this short story, though if you’ve seen the film before you’ve read the story, this one feels like the blueprint to the movie which expands upon it in a really great way.
It’s always a treat reading more of Joe Hill’s work. With the recent news of the premature cancellation of AMC’s television adaptation of this title, I decided to go ahead and dive on in. Initially I was going to wait closer to Christmas due to some of the holiday horror vibes of this story, but as I mentioned already, I am feeling festive as fuck and could no longer wait. It’s off to a great start and I’m looking forward to reading more of it and seeing what the characters I came to love in the show get up to in the pages of this novel.
This title and I go way back. I’d gotten to read a smidge of Hack/Slash long ago, enough to have given me a taste of what it was bringing to the table but not enough to sink my teeth into. Well, at 300 pages, this omnibus lays out the whole feast and dessert too. Hack/Slash follows our resident goth drifter Cassie Hack and her pal Vlad, a big, deformed man of few words who has the soul of a kitten (as long as you’re not on his to-kill list) as they hunt Slashers across the country and put them down for good. I like the way they handle their slasher mythology in this series, describing Slashers (your standard Michael, Jason, Freddy sort of fare) as “a type of undead, sort of like a vampire or zombie. They’re so full of anger that they don’t wanna die. They hate love, youth, sex . . . things they miss from life.” I mean, how often do we see the big murderous slashers who go after teenagers spring back up for more mayhem and murder after they’ve been killed? All the time, right? Makes sense to me to throw the supernatural spin on that. The series definitely isn’t for everyone, and I, myself, sometimes roll my eyes due to that “male gaze” thing I mentioned previously, but it has a lot of appeal for horror fans, and thus I do enjoy it. Genre favorites from the big screen and behind-the-scenes even make appearances such as Robert Kirkman and Mr. Good Guy Doll himself, Chucky.
Anywhooo, that’s it for my November updates. Now it’s time to play catch-up and see what you fine and fancy folk have been up to. Happy (early) Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate it. And Happy Monday (ugh) to the rest of you! 😛
Okay, so I’m a little late to the party on this Tag, but in all fairness what even IS time in 2020?? I sure as hell don’t know! 😛 I saw this wonderful post from Lair of Books and decided that I, too, wished to join in on the fun. Better stylishly late than never, right? 😉
1.) Best book you’ve read so far this year?
Probably the same book I’m about to give as the answer for the following question, too. 😛
2.) Best sequel you’ve read so far this year?
Crooked Kingdom, by Leigh Bardugo. Loved this book. Great characters, great twists and turns, and great worldbuilding.
3.) New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?
Even though I’m still not finished reading Dread Nation (not the book’s fault, but mine) I went ahead and bought the book’s sequel Deathless Divide, by Justina Ireland that was released earlier this year. Definitely looking forward to reading more of Dread Nation and then diving into this one.
4.) Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
I didn’t have anything that instantly sprang to mind (mostly due to my own lack of research of new releases) but upon a little digging I discovered that we can, in fact, have SOME nice things in 2020. As it turns out, the fifth (and apparently final) volume of Monstress is coming out in October! 😀
5.) Biggest disappointment?
Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest, and I will explain why in the next question because it really does apply to both.
6.) Biggest surprise?
Probably how much I was disappointed by Boneshaker (pictured above). Zombie Steampunk shenanigans should have been my jam, but I just could not get into the characters, especially the main 2 characters. I was so sick of reading how “smart” the son was when he pretty much gave me zero evidence of that himself. And the mom just felt so flat. Like, we knew who she was married to, we know she wants to find her son, but other than that, there isn’t much I can say about her, unfortunately. And as much as I adore worldbuilding, I think they went a bit too heavy with setting the atmosphere compared to the actual plot and character development. I really had high hopes for this one but it just was not my cup of tea, sadly. 😥
7.) Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)?
Ilona Andrews. New to me, and such a treat. 🙂 Looking forward to checking out more of her books, especially in the Innkeeper Chronicles series.
8.) Newest fictional crush?
Ya know, I hate to be boring on this answer, but I don’t have one from the books I read. Unless you want to count Henry Cavill’s portayal of Geralt in The Witcher. I mean, it started as a book series (that I have yet to read) but who can deny how pretty this dude is wielding a sword, kicking all sorts of monster ass and brooding all over the place??
Though, by that logic, I could make a similar argument for Charlize Theron in The Old Guard, based off a graphic novel series I *also* have yet to read. Fierce. Badass. Warrior. QUEEN. ❤
9.) Newest favorite character?
Zoya Nazyalensky. She may not be a new character to me since I read the original Grisha Trilogy back in the day, but it was new to me just how much I enjoyed her character in Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars. Really good character development.
10.) Book that made you cry?
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. SO. MANY. FEELINGS. This book is so dark and beautifully done. Grief is such an ugly and complicated emotion and this book captures it perfectly.
11.) Book that made you happy?
Giant Days is always such a feel-good and fun slice-of-life style comic. Sometimes there are sad parts, but overall it’s a comfort read for sure. ❤
12.) Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?
I don’t know . . . I really couldn’t pick one right now, sorry! D:
13.) What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Definitely sooner than before the end of the year, but I need to finish my buddy read with Cupcakes & Machetes for Gideon the Ninth! Enjoying it so far, just have a lot going on right now and an attention span in tatters.
How has your year in reading been so far? 🙂 Let’s talk books! ❤
Whoops! Meant to do this post at the end of July but better late than never, right? 😉 After doing one of these photo-based monthly wrap-up posts for June, I thought it would be fun to carry on and make this a regular sort of installment here on my blog. 🙂 I hope everyone had a fun and safe July. Obviously with the coronavirus still running rampant this year’s 4th of July festivities were MUCH more low key, but Mr. Moth and I still had a great time.
BAKING: I made these S’mores cookies on the 4th of July. They were quite good, and I’m not even a S’mores person normally. 🙂 Another fun part of the 4th of July is that my very own little corner of the blogosphere celebrated it’s 4th Blog Birthday. Woo! 😀
OUTDOORS: It’s been far too hot for me to want to do much of anything outside this month, so I mostly just admired and watered our plants and then scuttled back inside.
We also recently had the pleasant surprise of discovering baby pumpkins! Can’t wait to have homegrown pumpkins this Halloween! That will certainly be a first. 🙂
BOOKS: In reading news, I’ve mostly been on a DC Comics binge this month. I recently joined the DC Universe streaming service and now that I have quite the catalog of DC titles at my fingertips I’m taking full advantage of it. 🙂 As for actual novels, I finished the third novel of the Innkeeper Chronicles and also fed my Leigh Bardugo addiction by finally reading King of Scars. Now that I’ve read all of the books in the “Grishaverse” that are currently out my wait begins for the follow-up to KoS. Luckily I still have her Wonder Woman novel and Ninth House to keep me going until then. 😛
DRAWING: Aside from my Weird and Wild Animal Drawings, I did find time to do some other drawings. 🙂 Near the end of the month I decided it was time to push myself out of my comfort zone and start drawing more dynamic poses. Then I kind of lurched to a halt on the drawing front. I’ll be back at it soon, though! I’ve had a lot of house and research projects keeping me busy.
ANCESTRY SEARCH: One of the research projects I started in July was that of my very own lineage. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and what better time than while my place of work is still shut down? I’ve been able to trace 3 of my grandparents’ family histories back pretty damn far and there have been some really fascinating results that I want to do a lot more research on.
How was your July? Any exciting plans for August?? What with the pandemic and all I can’t say I have a lot planned for August, but one thing I look forward to are the Friday night video chats with my BFF Cupcakes & Machetes as well as our current buddy read as we take on Gideon the Ninth together. 😀 Not super far yet, but really enjoying the book already. Well, that’s it for now. Hope you guys are all staying safe and well. Have an amazing August! ❤ ❤ ❤
Can you guys believe it’s already almost July?? It feels like June came and went in the blink of an eye somehow. I decided to do something a little different with this month’s wrap-up post, and showcase what I’ve been up to through mostly photos. 🙂
LAZY DAYS: As has been the case for much of the past few months, there’s been a lot of time at home. Here’s a pic of Bailey curled up for a little catnap in a pile of blankets. ❤ Rest assured, if there is a comfy spot she WILL find it and she WILL nap on it.
GARDENING: Hostas, Rhododendron, Columbine, Peonies, Poppies, Oh My! It was a good month for gardening and learning. We planted more lilies, new bushes, moved some stuff around, and did a lot of other outdoor projects.
BAKING: I finally slowed down my baking spree I had been on. 😛 I did, however, make a really yummy peanut butter ice cream pie (graham cracker crust, thin layer of hot fudge, Reese’s peanut butter ice cream with thin sheets of chocolate, whipped cream, Reese’s peanut butter sauce drizzle, and chopped up Reese’s cups as pictured above). I also baked another loaf of Garlic Cheddar Beer Bread (soooo good!) ❤
DRAWING: I’ve been on a drawing binge lately that you can check out on my Instagram if you’re interested, but here’s a little sample of what I’ve been up to this month. 🙂
WORK: I got to go to work a couple times (staff only) to start setting up for all of the social distancing/PPE changes we will have to put into effect upon our return. Also got to redecorate a little. Pictured above is the head start I got on one of my room’s bulletin boards. We’re supposed to return to work July 6th, but with COVID cases back on the rise, we’ll see what happens. We can’t open back up until our state enters Phase 5 of our reopening plan, and thankfully our Governor has been taking this very seriously since day 1 so I don’t think she’ll rush us into that until it is actually safe to do so.
LOSS OF A LOVED ONE: The pic above isn’t from this June, it’s actually from last year when we celebrated my parents’ pug BeeBee’s birthday party for her Sweet 16. ❤ She was such a sweet and adorable little dog and was so loved by our entire family, but unfortunately we were forced to say goodbye to her this June. It is sad not having her around anymore, but she lived such a good life while she was with us. She was adopted by my family a decade ago, and by that point she had already lived through a lot. BeeBee was a puppy mill survivor who didn’t even get to feel the grass beneath her paws for the first 3 years of her life. She was rescued from that awful situation and found a home for some time with a woman who loved her, but eventually her owner became too sick to be able to take care of her any longer. My mom was in contact with a woman from a pug rescue league and she told my mom about BeeBee and that was that. She came to us blind, but this was nothing daunting for our family. We’ve taken in several animals with special needs over the years and her inability to see was no big deal. She was sassy and fun, and my dad especially spoiled her with so much love and affection. She had a new brother and constant companion in my parent’s other pug, Brutis. They were attached at the hip and formed an instant bond with one another. ❤
She had the cutest little “bubble bark” that sounded more like “Borp Borp Borp” than the normal kind of bark you hear, loved being held, liked to adventure forward without a care in the world like she could see where she was going even if she was always bumping into things or barking in the wrong direction while trying to be “tough” like her brother. She preferred to be inside the house and wasn’t shy about making sure you knew it by finding her way back to the door and doing her little bubble bark to announce when she was “over this outdoors bullshit”. Haha
Her vet sent a very sweet card and a package of Forget-Me-Not seeds for my parents to plant and grow in BeeBee’s memory. ❤ I thought that was such a touching and thoughtful thing for the vet’s office to do.
That’s it for my own personal June Wrap-Up. How was your June?? Can you believe the year is already halfway over? With how 2020 has been going I’m sure we’re all hoping for a better second half of the year. As always, take care and be safe, guys! ❤
It turns out creating a piece when you are actively alternating between sadness and rage is a lot harder than I would have thought, but the above image is the result of those feelings. So many people had already been showing their ignorance and disregard for others during the Coronavirus pandemic, but all of this police brutality and blatant racism that so many people seem to think is okay makes me sick to my stomach.
Life is tragically short. We should strive to use what time we have to lift other people up instead of breaking them down. Use that time to grow as people and become more compassionate, understanding, and empathetic. Listen to other people and learn about their experiences. Don’t turn a blind eye to something because it makes you uncomfortable. If you’re one of those people who think you’re sick of hearing about inequality, imagine how sick people are of living through it each and every day.
The world can be an ugly place but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s be better. ❤ Lend your voice. Listen. Protest. Advocate. Sign Petitions. Donate. Anything and everything helps to make a difference. You don’t have to do ALL the things but please do SOMETHING. Also, in case it wasn’t already clearly implied: FUCK, RACISM. 🙂
Hey, guys! ❤ I just wanted to pop in to check and see how my blogging buddies are doing during these strange and scary times. It’s been a while. February I was sick with the flu, then with a wicked sinus infection, and then had a work injury to my hand, so I failed at doing my once-a-month-minimum blog post, but I wasn’t beating myself up about it. I figured March HAD to be a better month, right? Right?? Oh, boy, what a sweet, sweet summer child I was . . . 😦
I hope you guys are all doing well, staying healthy, and staying sane while in Quarantine. For those of you who are still working during all of this, I genuinely hope your patients, customers, etc. are treating you kindly and that your place of employment is doing their best to keep you safe and well. ❤
My last day of work was March 13th. I work at a day program for adults with special needs so we tend to follow the guidelines of the schools. Our return-to-work date has been pushed back three times and I would honestly be surprised if it doesn’t get pushed back again. My work is doing the best they can to take care of us though which I am beyond thankful for. ❤ I’ve only left the house once in the past 2 weeks. My fiance Mr. Moth is here with me, and we’ve got our kitty Bailey here with us. They’re both amazing Quarantine Buddies. 🙂
TV SHOWS: Shameless / The Masked Singer / Lego Masters / The Daily Show
MOVIES: The Pit / Spencer Confidential / Us / Get Out / A Quiet Place / Spider-Man: Far From Home
BOOKS: The Exorcist / The Lost City of Z / Tank Girl Armadillo!: A Novel / Nevernight / The Indifferent Stars Above (I’m hopping a lot between books right now.) 😛
ART: I’ve worked a bit on a Quarantine Art Challenge, done some really interesting research for my writing, and some mapping (also for my writing project)
We’re doing okay in the Moth Household, and I hope you guys are all doing okay, too. How are things in your neck of the woods? Who are your Quarantine Buddies? What have you been up to during all of this? What’s keeping you sane?