Potty-Rebel Ash

A gift for my friend Ashleyfoxkit who always sends me cheerful little messages, photos of things that reminded them of me, who has put up with vents and nonsense and always been so sweet and supportive of me throughout many years in the fandom. Love ya, Ash, you potty rebel, you!

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.

Ruby And Felix In The Meadow ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ๐Ÿฆ‹

An artistic freedom commission for Crazy_Nero! I enjoyed this so much.

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.

Wee Acorn Hunter ๐Ÿญ๐ŸŒฐ

It’s a wee Fieval (AKA Soggymouse), gathering acorns for the winter in this artistic freedom commission!

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.

Little Tree Climber ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿƒ

Artistic freedom commission for Maxicoon!

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 #6 | Escuela Hogar Maria Jauregui De Pradere

I’m breaking a big rule of mine with the next two Memory Monday posts, by basically grabbing photos from โœจ Le Googlรฉ โœจ. There are two reasons for doing this. One, is that I can not ever go back to take these photos myself, to show you. Ordinarily, I would link back to the sources. But the sources are either Google images on the school’s location or rather shady online places that may have stolen them from elsewhere and I do not feel comfortable linking back to.

If any of the photos on this post belong to you, please let me know if I may use them with credit, or if you want me to take them down, and I will oblige with my deepest apologies.

En espaรฑol por las dudas: si las fotos que usรฉ en este post te pertenecen, por favor decime si las puedo continuar usando dรกndote crรฉdito, o si preferรญs que las quite por completo. Me podรฉs contactar a marina@marinaneira.com y con mucho placer lo harรฉ .

I only went to this school for a few years, and only one year as a full-time boarder, going home only on the weekends, but sometimes it feels like it was half my childhood.

I’ll get straight to the point: I was exquisitely unhappy here, unimaginably so. I experienced my first intense bout of depression here, I suffered intense bullying here, mainly from the other girls (it was an all-girls Catholic school) but sometimes even from the occasional teacher. I was called the Spanish equivalent of the R word in class by a teacher once (to the mirth of everyone else) as well as had my stuttering mocked constantly, sometimes by the teachers too.

Being a religious school, the bulk of my Catholic indoctrination happened here, and I was attending it when I began to question and dutifully squash down my doubts (such as when a fellow student was failed on an assignment for mentioning evolution, or when we heard from a teacher that some of the nuns had “redirected” a donation of meat by the Rotary Club meant for us, to themselves. The teachers got in trouble for letting this info leak, too).

The photo below shows the capilla (a small church to which we were forced to go every Wednesday):

When it was very cold, I would sometimes sit in a little alcove of sorts next to the church entrance since it was protected from the wind, and away from other people. There I would poorly play my recorder, cold, hungry and out-of-tune, in a display so pathetic and full of self-pity, that in retrospective it is rather comical. In my own ten-year-old mind, however, I felt like I was living in a Charles Dickens novel, probably some side character in David Copperfield.

These days, novels that in any way “romanticize” poverty or childhood suffering are a no-no, particularly when they have the hidden objective of proselytizing, but back then, I devoured those books, books about orphans, books about the virtue of being unable to have nice things and being happy anyway, and –in spite of my nagging doubts– heavily religious books that professed seeking your comfort in Christianity. All were a refuge. They also heavily influenced the victim mentality I held at the time. ๐Ÿ™ƒ But I digress.

The two photos below were taken with my camera/by me. Obviously the leftmost one was taken by a schoolmate.

The windows on the second photo are one of the two dormitories. You got an old little wooden wardrobe for your things. The beds were not very comfy. The room was quite cold in the winter. The showers were the worst part, often broken (very little water which sometimes was not heated if something broke). Of course, prayers morning and night were mandatory. And no bedtime stories here. Going to the bathroom at night terrified me.

I should mention that this school used to be an orphanage when it was first built. A lot of what was there was from those days, including the dormitories. There was such a dread in the air of those long rooms for me.

I had almost no friends at this place, and missed my mother the entire week with all the painful longing I could express, despite home life being hellish in its own way at the time (this was after my parents separated.) But as mentioned, I found refuge in books and my few toys, and, of course, in drawing.

If you scroll back up to those photos, next to the drinking fountains you can see a big bush. I often hid there. It was a big, red hibiscus shrub. The many turtles the school kept as pets (and which we kids would give our pencils to bite marks into) also sometimes took refuge there.

This is a photo I took while hiding in that bush, literally the first selfie I took in my life:

There were a few steps like the ones you see below. During recess, little girls would often sit on these steps and chat or play payana (or jacks, as you might know it) with pebbles found on the schoolyard.

Some of these kids did have parents with money but, by and large, most did not, and if you had anything and showed it off, you definitely got the evil eye. You were pretty safe playing with pebbles, though.

It’s hard to write any post about my schooldays that isn’t super unhappy. They were bad times. While I never was happy in school, the years I was at this particular school were the worst, because it was also the worst years of my childhood as far as my home life. Leaving that school basically coincided with life getting better in other regards too.

I remember visiting the school the year after I left for good to go to another school in our new area (which was after 6th grade –middle school in Argentina at the time was done in 7th grade). Meaning, the next immediate year.

I saw my teacher from the year before, whom everyone loved. She was very sweet, though I know I was difficult for anyone to deal with. Still… I’ll never forget running up to her to say hi, and she completely pretending not to know me, staring me down with the most unsmiling face, saying “I don’t remember you” months after spending an entire year with me.

I went back to my mom who was waiting a distance away feeling like I’d had a whole bucket of ice water dumped on me, trying so hard not to cry. I was so confused, I remember wondering if I’d imagined having her as my teacher because I couldn’t believe a teacher would do that –but that didn’t explain how cold she had been.

So yeah, school sucked, I hated this place.

Part of the reason I am so indulgent of my Little side is precisely that. The little girl you see in these photos would have lost her absolute mind at the life I lead now.

Anyway! In the next Memory Monday post I’ll talk about the school’s candy kiosk –and after that I will try my damndest to make a really happy Memory Monday post that is related to actually happy memories. ๐Ÿ˜…

Meet Grape Jelly! ๐Ÿ‡

I had to go back for her, okay? I had to. Ricky Parky saw her picture and insisted she had the same eyes as him, or something, and that I had to bring her home. Look, I don’t know, but she’s mine now. She’s sitting next to Ricky and Femur now.

Also, I would have ordinarily trashed her carry pouch but I just know someday in the far future rats will come into our lives again… so I put the pouch away in the rat stuff bin.

Thankfully my heart was VERY set on the little trike, because these were hard to leave behind too, especially the giraffe!

That’s it for this post! My hug has grown… again. ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ

A Little Bird’s Story ๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ [CW: Animal Death]

Soโ€ฆ I havenโ€™t wanted to talk about this until I knew how it would turn out. When it didn’t turn out good, I asked myself, should I blog about it at all? But, it was still a little story, an experience, so I want to blog about it. This little bird did not make it, so please keep that in mind if you want to continue reading.

On Thursday morning, as I was going down the stairs, I had an ungodly noise of something hitting the window glass. Like, a soccer ball or something. Scared the heck out of the cats. Of course being hurricane grade, the glass did not break. I went out to see what happened.

I was surprised to see a bird under the window, looking stone-dead. It was such a small bird for such a terrible noise. I should mention, birds flying into our windows is very unusual. In many years I never noticed it happen before.

Anyway, I stared, waiting to see some movement and praying I would not see any: with such a terribly hit, if the bird wasn’t dead it would be dying. As a child I accidentally dropped a baby hamster on a concrete floor, and I can tell you the effect that an impact of that sort has on a small animal is one such that you can never remove from your mind’s eye. In so many words, I did not want to trigger one of my worst childhood memories.

The bird did not move. I decided to leave the job to Christopher (very “nice” of me considering the bird’s body would endure the Florida heat for maybe six hours until he was able to clean it, but, you know, GROSS).

Two and a half hours later, I went to get my mattress when I noticed it delivered.

And then…

No bird.

I wondered, did the body get taken away by a predator? But, no: I heard some crazy flapping behind my head, and the bird flew to the fence. It took me a few seconds to process my shock: the bird, on which I had checked just in case a few times during the aforementioned couple of hours, and it had NOT moved, was not only alive, not only walking, but was able to fly onto the fence. Even so, after being concussed and lying out cold for 2 hours, I knew, there is NO way this bird is okay. I tried to gently grab it and it dropped unceremoniously onto the other side.

So I went inside, grabbed a cloth, and then out to the yard. Gently, I coaxed the little bird to a corner, where I easily caught it as carefully as I could. I took it upstairs, where I prepared a cat crate with towels, water, seed, dried mealworms, and suet. Then I placed the bird in it, and set a camera on it so I could bother it as little as possible.

For the most part it hid from me, like this, at the very end:

Based on what I read online, my plan was to keep the bird for maybe 48 hours, and then see if it could fly, since it appeared to have no serious injuries (later it would become obvious that in my zeal not to bother the bird, I did not look anywhere near carefully enough).

By the next day, to my great joy, I saw the little guy drinking:

As well as eating:

I was completely elated. Surely if you are eating and drinking you will recover.

A couple of days later I decided it was time to see if the bird could fly. I did not want to get too attached and worried that, without access to insects, it could not heal as well. So we let it out inside the library and in a split second it flew onto a bookcase. Hooray!

But when we took it out, it could not fly. Also, an injury to the surface of one wing became more visible at this point, with some exposed flesh. You can see that area in the photo below:

By this point I knew I was out of my element, so we went to the only rescue near us who would take anything, even invasive species, they take anything that needs help. It was a good drive, a half hour away.

During this time, on which the photo above was taken, even in spite of the car ride the bird was eating. I felt so hopeful for it.

Well…

When I gave it to them, the first thing they mentioned was a terrible injury I somehow missed completely. Check out its legs in the photo below:

One leg is broken at the ankle. The bird dragged it. It looked so bad that one of the people at the rescue thought it might be a birth defect.

Still, the point was: can it perch? That, they said, was the key factor. It needed to perch in the wild. And I saw it perch, twice it managed to get on high places. Once on top of an IKEA shelf when I decided it was ok to release it, and before I caught it, it perched on the fence. But still they seemed to think this was a likely dealbreaker for the poor thing and it would have to be put down (it was for the vet to decide).

The vet took it to the back. Quickly, I was informed of serious internal bleeding in additional to the leg issue, and potentially having been attacked by a cat prior to hitting my window (a possible reason why it became disoriented and had that accident).

I was distraught. This little guy had been eating, drinking, seemed energetic. Surely, perhaps it could be rehabilitated for life in an aviary or sanctuary? It certainly seemed to want to live. I would have liked to give it my best shot in my own home of getting better. But that is legally not allowed.

Donโ€™t get me wrong, I understand such laws exist for a reason and I was repeatedly told I did right by the bird in taking him there, but the bird doesnโ€™t know about laws. It just has a desperate will to live, and I think it could have… It felt so unfair.

Still, it was an experience so I wanted to record it here. I’m sorry that it doesn’t have a happy ending. ๐Ÿ˜”

Bunk Bed Is All Done! ๐ŸŒˆโœจ๐Ÿ›๏ธ

My studio bunk bed is all done! Some choice stuffie friends have been placed on the top now that there is a mattress there. It’s basically a stuffie corral. ๐Ÿ˜

Of course it’s also been thoroughly decorated, and I chose Bizcocho and Maplenut to hang on the edge. Everyone seems happy and comfy on the new sheet:

It looks especially lovely in the dark with all the pretty fairy lights on:

So, yeah… it took months to get this from IKEA but I am quite pleased!

Craft Store Outing ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ‚

Today I went out! Thanks to kind commissioners/friends I was able to pay some more debt this morning and during my outing got some goodies at the craft store. I went grocery shopping, too.

On the way, I had some fun with the JE Alive App did some wild dinosaur spotting:

I saw this at Public and it really cracked me up. Iโ€™m not sure if you guys have seen these dog toys. Multiple lines seem to make dog toys that closely and hilariously resemble existing IPs –I’ve seen them at both Publix and Target. They are REALLY bold sometimes. Iโ€™ve seen a suspect Totoro before, and now this โ€œCookieโ€ with ears! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿช

Now for a couple of cutie things I saw today at the craft store. ๐Ÿฅฐ First this SUPER cute trike, I hated leaving her behind:

Grogu was more interesting than cute (his eyes look just plain wrong to me) but it was a really big plastic bank. I hadnโ€™t seen those in a long time.

Iโ€™m so ready for the season, can you tell?? ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŽƒโœจ

Some fun leaf foam stickers too!

These are four packs of scrapbooking shapes. I took a second picture so you can see the ones underneath. Very cute and versatile! Also they were 50% off. Can’t beat that!

Cute wooden shapes to decorate my new bed! ๐ŸŒˆโœจ๐Ÿ๐ŸŒž๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿงธ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿผ๐ŸŒป

A neat sticker book I found today! ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿฆ’๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŠ๐Ÿข๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ

I canโ€™t wait to play with thisโ€ฆ but Iโ€™m also excited about Halloween before then lol ๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿฆ• I’d like to share them with my friend Mandie.

A wee dinosaur box to store some junk I currently have on the floor:

Last thing. A fat quarter. Not very exciting-looking, but Iโ€™m gonna use it to make tiny bandanas for plastic dinosaurs and thatโ€™s definitely exciting.

Then again my definition of exciting is subjective. I’m easily excited.