Pre-Trip Announcements ๐Ÿ›ซ

Greetings, everyone! I am giving the last touches to my packing today. As you may already know, I am leaving on a family vacation. I will be gone from tomorrow 6/25 until Sunday 7/4. We will have a friend staying over to look after our house and our pets.

During this time, you will not be able to reach me. Or rather, you will be able to, but I would ask that you avoid doing so. I will try not to look at my phone/Telegram/emails. Mostly, I will monitor for emergencies.

โ›” Please do not insistently reach out to me after June 26th (which when our plane actually departs) if you don’t have an emergency. An emergency is something that absolutely cannot wait until I return (hint: anything commission related CAN wait until I return). Please wait until my return on July 4th to contact me.

On a lighter note, not only is this the longest vacation of my life, but also my first big family vacation (with my husband, mom in law and sis in law, Christopher’s Grandma, and a good family friend). These are all people I obviously love tons and the idea of going on this trip with all of them, of seeing New York City for the first time, of seeing the cabin in which Grandma lived with Grandpa, who will have been gone a year next month, of visiting the American Museum of Natural History, seeing the Statue of Liberty, and so many more things, of doing lots and lots of driving in beautiful places, it’s all a dream come true to say the least. ๐Ÿฅบโœจ

With that out of the way, I wanted to make clear what this means in terms of commissions.

๐ŸŒˆ There Are No Warm-Ups During My Vacation Week ๐ŸŒˆ

As this was established when the 100 Days Of Warm-Ups journal was posted, it will not affect anyone’s delivery dates. ๐Ÿ˜Š I took this week of vacation into account when I made the Warm-Up schedule. So, when you don’t see Warm-Ups posted for the next eight days, please know that everything is running as it should. This week was always a Warm-Up-less week from the start.

๐ŸŒˆ 4 Overdue Commissions ๐ŸŒˆ

Due to a lot of stuff going on in my life, including vet trips and special care for Tomoyo, my mom’s lengthy immigration procedures/paperwork, as well as the completion of my citizenship process last May, I had a few commissions go past my self-imposed “overdue” deadline, and one which I know will be overdue while I am gone. While it’s not like, terrible, and they are all for commissioners who are friends of mine and have always given me a long leash time wise, I want to write below which commissions are overdue, for full accountability and transparency.

I fully expect to complete these commissions before any others reach their due date.

  • Mwako (2 characters, fully rendered, already colored and currently shading, but won’t be finished until I return)
  • Island (3 characters, fully rendered, not yet started)
  • Snowthebear (5 characters, flat colored, not yet started)
  • Tugscarebear (2 characters, fully rendered, not yet started, will pass due date while I am gone)

I am bringing my iPad, so it is possible that all four of these commissions will see moderate to significant progress while I am gone. But my goal during the vacation will be to enjoy the vacation –if I draw it’ll be because I got tired of gaming and reading during my downtime. I really want to relax. I need it, badly.

๐Ÿ’– Thank you ๐Ÿ’–

I want to end this post by extending my gratitude for all the support I have received so far this year. Thanks to you all, I am slowly accomplishing important life goals. I appreciate all of my commissioners.

I hope to have lots of photos and fun anecdotes to share with you upon my return. ๐Ÿ‘‹

(I do expect to make one last post tomorrow, as it’s just a day of prep, we leave in the evening. So you’ll hear from me once more, but already, tomorrow it may be difficult to contact me, and you won’t get a response after Saturday. Ideally though, I prefer you just wait until my return to contact me. I never know if a friend or family member may contact me for an emergency, so getting messages means I can’t ignore them and it will be stressful to get them. Thank you so much.)

๐ŸŒˆ 100 Days Of Warm-Ups [077 – Kiba] ๐ŸŒˆ

โœจ Here’s warm-up 77 of 100! โœจ This one is for Onikiba.

Please note: sometimes, I may add very simple backgrounds to these warm-ups. This is completely on a whim, not guaranteed, and not likely. Please do not expect anything beyond what is agreed to in the original commission. If it happens, it happens. ๐Ÿ˜Š

๐ŸŒˆ If you would like to participate in my 100 Days Of Warm-Ups, please see this journal: https://www.furaffinity.net/journal/9829856/

๐Ÿ“Œ Please make sure to read it carefully and fully, and follow all the rules to get your slot/s!

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2021 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.

๐ŸŒˆ 100 Days Of Warm-Ups [076 – Blue Moon] ๐ŸŒˆ

โœจ Here’s warm-up 76 of 100! โœจ This one is for Swimmingintheinkwell.

Please note: sometimes, I may add very simple backgrounds to these warm-ups. This is completely on a whim, not guaranteed, and not likely. Please do not expect anything beyond what is agreed to in the original commission. If it happens, it happens. ๐Ÿ˜Š

๐ŸŒˆ If you would like to participate in my 100 Days Of Warm-Ups, please see this journal: https://www.furaffinity.net/journal/9829856/

๐Ÿ“Œ Please make sure to read it carefully and fully, and follow all the rules to get your slot/s!

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2021 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.

My Little Panther

I’m continuing to try to give Tomoyo as much daily attention as possible. I’ve bought her a cat tree and a giant cardboard scratcher, and several new toys. I’ve also been steaming her in the bathroom when I take my morning shower, and giving her her asthma inhaler daily.

Incredibly, she’s finally grown used to it. When I first did this, it took me and Christopher, I got kicked on the face inside my lip and bled, and she had a terrible time, hiding for hours afterwards. Now, she complains, but has actually PURRED throughout and no longer hides from me after it is done. I think she’s learned that it brings her relief and is over with fast.

There have been many times when we regretted adopting Tomoyo. She is wild, feral, will not really cuddle (though in her own wild way, she is very affectionate), her high fever bout as a kitten (a near-death experience) seems to have melted her brain, she’s destructive, she’s a bully, and she has health issues, asthma being the most serious.

But she’s ours. Rehoming her is not an option; who else would be okay dealing with this? I think this is why she became ours. We do complain, and bitch and moan about her, but we love her, and I in particular love her very deeply, probably in a large part because of the sleepless night I spent on the couch with her laying limply on my chest, when she almost died. It’s so hard now to imagine this hyper-high-strung, neurotic cat being limp or calm at all, and really does make me realize just how close to death she came at the time…

And really, not to pat myself on the back too hard, but I think she would not have survived that night without my constant care, keeping her hydrated, bringing her temp up when needed and down when needed, trying to get watered food down her throat with a syringe. It was quite bad and scary a week, but definitely a terrible night.

As I give her more attention and allow her to be upstairs with me, she seems to be behaving very well. Here she is playing at my desk:

She enjoys lounging near me or just staring out the window:

I will miss her and worry about her while I am gone. I can’t wait to pamper the heck out of her when we return.

All Done Packing! ๐Ÿงณ๐Ÿงธ๐ŸŒˆ

Good morning everyone! Packing to spend an entire WEEK away from home is not easy… especially because I want to bring eight outfits (and I mean “Little” outfits, so, a lot of bulky overalls, accessories, etc including THREE pairs of shoes and three face masks to be able to match properly), eight nightshirts (I really don’t want to deal with laundry), basic toiletries (including necessities in case I should get my period), Franklin and Beanie (I will carry Beanie most of the trip), a blanket and neck pillow (there is not just the flights but so… so much driving… hours and hours… I want to be comfortable), my Nintendo Switch, my iPad, a book to read, and some snacks.

I think that’s it…It took effort and very careful sorting of everything into little packing bags, but everything fit quite comfortably. Considering how I normally pack for even a weekend trip, the fact that I went all out just to see how close I could get to actually bringing everything I wanted, and the fact that I am bringing TWO bears (since Franklin absolutely HAS to come to Vermont Teddy Bear factory) I really did kind of, well, amazing. This is all I’m bringing:

Franklin is snug inside, waiting for his special day:

Franklin has a lot of bittersweet memories attached to him. But ultimately I cling to all the good ones. Franklin was a very special birthday present special-ordered for me on July 16, 2011. That means on Franklin’s next birthday he will be ten years old. That’s kinda nuts.

I always wanted to bring Franklin back to his birthplace, Vermont Teddy Bear Factory, where he was made. I wonder if anyone will remember him. Franklin was well known by VTB staff at one point, and once, when his head came off (yes, really!) he even went to the hospital, and they sent me a photo of him in a gourney attached to a honey IV drip:

Post-op:

Realistically though… I doubt anyone at VTB will remember Franklin. Laura is no longer there, and in general, things do not seem to be the same at that factory and I believe they haven’t been since their “Crazy For You” bear gaffe that caused people at the company to even resign. But I still am excited to check this off my bucket list.

Speaking of excitement, I’m starting to allow that to happen. Our vacations have been repeatedly canceled due to COVID, so, it’s hard to get excited anymore, but slowly it’s happening in spite of myself. ๐Ÿ˜…

I’m insanely busy every day, working on commissions, doing last-minute adjustments to my packing, making sure the animals are ready… it goes on and on. Yesterday I went quickly on an outing to get snacks, the tiniest umbrella I could find, and a luggage tag. I ended up snagging a few other goodies I ran into:

This one was especially neat, for sure:

Also, those bandanas are incredible. I gave one to Bizcocho and the other one to Franklin. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Ok, I have to do some chores, get something to eat, get art done. Off I go!

๐ŸŒˆ 100 Days Of Warm-Ups [075 – Tishie] ๐ŸŒˆ

โœจ Here’s warm-up 75 of 100! โœจ This one is for Babytishie.

๐ŸŒˆ If you would like to participate in my 100 Days Of Warm-Ups, please see this journal: https://www.furaffinity.net/journal/9829856/

๐Ÿ“Œ Please make sure to read it carefully and fully, and follow all the rules to get your slot/s!

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2021 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.

๐ŸŒˆ 100 Days Of Warm-Ups [074 – Kaito] ๐ŸŒˆ

โœจ Here’s warm-up 74 of 100! โœจ This one is forย Foxdraft.

๐ŸŒˆ If you would like to participate in my 100 Days Of Warm-Ups, please see this journal: https://www.furaffinity.net/journal/9829856/

๐Ÿ“Œ Please make sure to read it carefully and fully, and follow all the rules to get your slot/s!

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2021 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.

Memory Mondays #3 | The Day I Met Pandy

Hi hi, everyone! It’s time for another Memory Monday! I hope your week is off to a great start. I’m extremely busy this week, so I’m going to keep this one short and sweet.

The doggy in the photo above is my little Poodle (or “Caniche” as they are called in Argentina) mix, Pandy, as a very little puppy, just taken from his mom. Pandy was always described as “medio Caniche, medio raza perro” which literally translates to “half Poodle, half dog-breed” which was a funnier way of saying mutt.

Pandy’s dad was well known in our little neighborhood. He was, in appearance and behavior, a scruffy, stocky little gray mutt who was exactly like Tramp from Lady and The Tramp, just a little darker. He technically belonged to someone in the local seltzer water plant, but he was basically a street dog, going all over the place, getting treats, getting into fights, and… siring puppies (lol). He had quite a large territory.

Pandy’s mom was a purebred Poodle as I recall, who belonged to the owners of our local general goods store (almacรฉn, in Spanish –something between a NY bodega and a legit general goods store from the olden days) and her getting knocked up by the neighborhood tramp was a great joke to everyone who knew. The puppies were given away, all finding eager homes.

Ours was one of them. It was a complete surprise. I remember my mom calling me to our patio, asking me to sit down, and placing this whimpering little hippo on my lap. I could not believe it. I was five years old. I could not have been more pleased if a newborn unicorn had been given to me. And I was told he was all my own.

I have a lot of sad childhood memories, partly because I was a bit of a difficult kid (not badly behaved, just… not neurotypical I guess) and because of bad stuff that kept happening to us. As a result I have more vivid bad memories than good ones. But this happy memory at such a young age is one I remember very strongly. I remember my shock, followed by indescribable delight.

It’s a moment that stayed in my heart forever –in particular thanks to this photo, taken at that exact moment, by my mother.

I hope you enjoyed today’s memory. I had fun revisiting it for my blog.

Marina's furry art, fantasy writing and daily life!