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Long Time No See!

*Gently dusts off blog like it’s an ancient relic from an archeological site.* Hello, there! It’s certainly been a while. I hope everyone is doing well. ❀ I’ve been away working on my mental health and trying to adjust to slowly reentering the world again after the past couple years of mostly living the pandemic hermit life.

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I am seeing a new primary care physician who is wonderful and has been so helpful in starting my journey in actually treating my depression and anxiety. I’ve “lived” with these issues for far too long and I finally have had enough. Something had to give. I’m already seeing a world of difference. We’re still in the process of nailing down the right course of action for me, but I really do think we’re on the right track. I’m hoping it will help me become a lot more productive with all of my goals/ongoing projects as well. πŸ™‚

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Mr. Moth and I are out of town right now visiting with our besties Mr. and Mrs.Β Cupcakes & Machetes for the weekend to celebrate C&M’s birthday! ❀ We gave her her prezzies, went bowling (which was surprisingly a total blast!), tried a delicious restaurant none of us had tried before, played video games, and made plans for lots of exciting upcoming adventures! It feels so good to be making actual plans again. πŸ˜€

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Also, speaking of exciting plans, keep your peepers open for an upcoming update over on the Sugar and Scream blog as we finally plan to resurrect it from its long slumber.

Looking forward to catching up on your guys’ blogs soon, but if you have any special news I’ve missed while I’ve been away, let me know! πŸ™‚

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Bread! Booze! Buddy Reads!

What time is it? RECIPE TIME! πŸ˜€ I I was so excited to get to spend New Year’s Day baking and boozing with the amazing Cupcakes & Machetes during our very first Virtual Baking Party. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off 2021. ❀ One of the things I’ve always loved so much about our friendship is that it never matters how far apart we are or even how long it’s been since we’ve last been able to actually see eachother, it’s always an amazing time when we get together. Here’s my favorite pic from our Zoom session, of C&M, being the reigning Queen of Silly Faces that she is. πŸ˜›

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C&M made a delicious-looking Eggnog Bread with an Eggnog Icing and I made a very yummy Honey Beer Bread and (because I happened to have an abundance of cranberries) I made Cranberry Cosmos and Cranberry-Cinnamon jam. We both loved what we ended up making and had a blast along the way. πŸ˜€ If you’ve been video-chatting with any of your friends during the pandemic, I wholeheartedly suggest throwing some fun activities into the mix sometime. It was a little tricky at first, but we quickly found our groove and it was fun to drink, bake, and plan our next Buddy Read together. Thank goodness for modern technology. I couldn’t imagine having gone through the pandemic without it, or without C&M for that matter. We may be miles and miles apart and forced to Quarantine away from each other for months on end, but being able to video chat and keep in touch via text and online has been a lifesaver! ❀

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What’s been keeping you sane during the pandemic?

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Happy Holidays: The 2020 Version

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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. πŸ™‚

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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! πŸ˜€ “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.

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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. ❀

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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. πŸ˜€

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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. πŸ˜›

Happy Holidays, guys! ❀ ❀ ❀

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Happy Halloween!

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I’m baaaack! ❀ And just in time for Halloween, no less. I know things are a hot mess this year, but I hope everyone is finding some way to have a fun (and safe) time this Halloween. Mr. Moth and I are celebrating the 5th Anniversary since we became a couple in a low-key “Quarantine & Chill” sort of way. πŸ˜› We got curbside pickup from one of the local breweries for lunch and we’re going to continue our month-long horror movie binge. I’m especially excited to check out the movie The Mortuary Collection on Shudder.

I think it looks like a lot of fun and a perfect viewing treat for Halloween! πŸ˜€

Mr. Moth also surprised me with these lovely and delightfully spooky flowers and bats for our anniversary. The boy knows my dark little heart so well. ❀

5th Anniversary Halloween Flowers

The past 2 months have been a real whirlwind, with the highlight of it all being that Mr. Moth and I officially tied the knot! We kept it small due to the pandemic but everything was absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. ❀ The lovelyΒ Cupcakes & Machetes was my Maid of Honor and her hubby and my Brother-from-another-Mother was our Officiant. (I’ll do a post with more info and some photos soon!) ❀

We had planned a honeymoon, bought our plane tickets, got our hotel, and got a city pass for a trip to Boston and Salem, a trip we had always talked about going on together since we first began dating, but ended up postponing the trip due to the pandemic. It was a hard decision to make, especially since (like most other people we know) we’ve had to cancel so many big and exciting plans during the ongoing dumpster fire that is 2020. Still, we know it was the right thing to do and we’ll make the trip one day when it is safer to do so. So, instead of exploring new cities together we just did what we’ve done for most of 2020 and stayed in for a little Stay-cation.

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In other news: I returned to work in September after 6 months of us being closed due to the pandemic. It’s been really different due to all of the new safety measures we must take. Cold and Flu Season is always a rough time of year at my work, but now with the Coronavirus cases increasing in our state and it being a constant threat in the back of everyone’s mind, it’s been especially stressful and exhausting. We’ve been trying to make the most of things though, and keep everyone safe and happy. My room also hosts weekly Zoom skill-building lessons with some of our participants who prefer to join in virtually rather than in-person, so that has been an interesting learning experience as we try to find our groove presenting fun activities online.

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Honestly, I’ve been too busy and exhausted to do much of anything related to my usual hobbies, unless you want to count power naps as a hobby. I’m hoping to ease my way back into the things I enjoy now, though. πŸ™‚ It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do any writing and, for a while there, I really had my doubts that I would have the energy or sanity to participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo, but I’m going to give it a go. πŸ˜€

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What are your Halloween plans this year? How have you been the past 2 months? I’m gonna try my best to catch up on some blog posts around here but if you have anything specific you wanna share PLEASE tell me or even hit me up with a link. I’ve missed my Blogging Buds so I’d love to know how you’ve all been doing. Have a frightfully fun Halloween, everyone!! ❀ ❀ ❀ Looking forward to catching up with all I’ve missed and getting back to a more normal posting schedule. πŸ˜›

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Art Update: August 2020

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Happy Friday!! ❀ I hope you guys are all doing well and staying safe. I know 2020 has been a total hot mess, but I hope you’re finding ways to keep yourself sane during all of this. I’ve been finding a lot of solace in drawing and it’s been really nice. Like spending time with an old friend from before the stressful days of adulthood. (Maybe it just feels like that because I haven’t actually been able to see any of my friends in-person since February due to the pandemic!)

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For most of my life, drawing was such a huge part of my daily existence. The past 10 years, though, I found myself doing it less and less. Sure, sometimes I’d make time for it, but it just wasn’t how it used to be. Well, the past year I have definitely been at it more again and now I’m pushing myself to not just settle into my drawing comfort zone, but to work on new poses and techniques, and really work at strengthening my skill again. I’ve got a long way to go, and a lot of learning to do, but I’m enjoying being back on the journey. πŸ™‚

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One of the ways I need to push myself further with my art is getting back into digital art again. It’s been a long ass time. I’m strangely intimidated, to be honest. I got this great new art tablet but to quote the Joker from The Dark Knight:

“I’m like a dog chasing cars, I wouldn’t know what to do if I caught one”

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Well, one thing that will eventually force my hand to branch back out into digital art is the fact that most of my markers/brush pens are on their last leg. Filling up that sketchbook I got a while back has been slowly murdering all of them. πŸ˜₯

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Plus, I don’t think I’ll forgive myself if by the time I eventually return to work, I STILL have not gotten the hang of the new art tablet. I mean, it’s literally been 5 months since my work had to temporarily close its doors due to the coronavirus. Usually I have the excuse of not having enough free time, but that excuse has kind of gone right out the window this year, hasn’t it?? πŸ˜‰

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I hope you enjoy the new art. I’ll be posting some shark illustrations soon that I’ve been working on during Shark Week for an Instagram art challenge I’m participating in. It’s been a lot of fun so I figured I’d feature them in their own little post at the end of Shark Week. πŸ˜›

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What skills have you guys been building on during this year? What hobbies have you found comfort in?? What have you been doing to keep from going completely stir-crazy???

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Thanks, as always, for checking out my humble little drawings and reading my ramblings! ❀ Have a great weekend!

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July 2020 Wrap-Up: A Month in Photos

Whoops! Meant to do this post at the end of July but better late than never, right? πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ™‚ 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.

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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. πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ˜€

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. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ˜›

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DRAWING: Aside from my Weird and Wild Animal Drawings, I did find time to do some other drawings. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ˜€ 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! ❀ ❀ ❀

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Black Lives Matter. Period.

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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.

blm1The 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. πŸ™‚

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Just Checking In

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 . . . 😦

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Part of the Quarantine Art Challenge I’ve been participating in

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. πŸ™‚

TV SHOWS:Β  ShamelessΒ  /Β  The Masked SingerΒ  /Β  Lego MastersΒ  /Β  The Daily Show

MOVIES: The Pit /Β  Spencer Confidential / Us / Get Out / A Quiet PlaceΒ  /Β  Spider-Man: Far From Home

BOOKS: The Exorcist /Β  The Lost City of Z / Tank Girl Armadillo!: A Novel / Nevernight / The Indifferent Stars Above (I’m hopping a lot between books right now.) πŸ˜›

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)

GAMES: Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice / Unruly Heroes

BAKING: Banana Bread / Rainbow Chip Cake Cookies

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?