KEEP STRONG UKRAINE!

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Bug Pray Love

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John with a little love bug (Philantha, giant dead leaf praying mantis)

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Aliens and Rainbows

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Editing some photos and accidentally having fun. I blame the 1980s’ music. 😉

I’m sending love + happiness your way! 🙂

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Music: 1980s’ OMD and Musical Youth

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oscar_story_leaves_100

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Copyright Faith McCord 2022

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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I will be back soon! :) xo

I will be back soon. Got swotting for an essay deadline! Wish me luck xo

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Copyright Faith McCord 2022

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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Oscar Dandelion… Doing the Cuteness!

“You taught him that.” They said when he first ever did it.

“No,” I shook my head in amusement. “he’s doing it by himself.”

That first ever day when Oscar decided to do the ‘cuteness’, to stand up on two legs and look especially sweet cute.

Oscar doing the ‘cuteness’

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Copyright Faith McCord 2022

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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Clock, Wild & Adams Longton 1901-10

‘Swiss made’

Roy hand-painted this Wild & Adams Longton clock 1901-10

I won another antique porcelain clock off an online auction. It wasn’t expensive I suppose due to it not working and the design of it is too floral and intricate (fussy!) for modern taste. But when I saw it I fell for this beast. (Yes, it’s big, about 40cm wide).

hand-painted roses on the Wild & Adams Longton clock

I adore its curves and colours and flowers. Its workings are Swiss made.

Wild & Adams Longton clock 1901-10

Just think how old this clock is… It was produced between 1901 and 1910, that is before the First World War (1914-18). Meaning it’s seen through two world wars and through to the current Internet Age, being at least 112 years old! The old girl was lucky not to be bombed and shattered to tiny pieces during WW2 or deemed too old and ugly and thrown away in a skip from the 1970s when antiques weren’t as appreciated. And now that minimalism is the thing, she is simply too ornate. But not for me.

Wild & Adams Longton clock bathed in warm golden lamp-light, similar to the glow of the candle-light it must have known.

I cannot find much about the makers, however I found this: Thomas Clarke Wild and Thomas Adams founded the Wild and Adams partnership in (?) in the town of Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, England. They were known as earthenware manufacturers. On 14th July 1911 as noted in The London Gazette, Adams left the business which Wild took sole charge of, the pottery later becoming a Limited Company in 1923 – Wild & Adams Ltd. I cannot find when their partnership was founded. Credit to http://www.thepotteries.org/allpotters/1079c.htm

Art Nouveau curves, flowers and fronds

I’ve written this blog post to showcase my new clock to my WordPress friend Ron. Ron collects and restores clocks, you can find his horological WP blog AntiqueVintageClock.com *here*.

And the back of the clock

Thank you for dropping by, I hope you enjoyed viewing my lucky find 🙂

Faith xo

‘Swiss Made’ workings

http://www.thepotteries.org/potters/adams_index.htm Information about the famous potters of England, including the Adams family

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Copyright Faith McCord 2022

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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Update (my crazy family + beautiful photos)

purple orchid

Summer/Autumn 2021

I was looking forward to the summer.

big pink parasol
patio flowers in summer bloom

My mum suffered several strokes, beginning with ‘mini’ ones from the spring not long after the CoviD19 vaccines. After the second shot the mini strokes became major ones. She had to stay in the hospital until November. John and I visited 2-4 times a week. It was a long drive and as John doesn’t drive in England and because of my chronic pain problems we couldn’t always visit. It was exhausting both mentally and physically, but strangely, it was a kind of respite too as the mind-games between family members were put to a thankful halt. Yes, I do care for and love my mother – I have saved her life a few times this year! – but she isn’t the easiest person. A dysfunctional family is incredibly hard to fathom and navigate. I know that if I was able-bodied and well again I wouldn’t be here, in this house, not another day.

My periods became incredibly painful due to the vaccine. They were already very painful and heavy, I couldn’t believe they could worsen. I’ve been taking extra (gentle-on-the-stomach) iron supplements.

rainbow through the window and hanging crystal, on blanket and small dog, Oscar

It was a strange time, having to make these decisions on my mother’s behalf, multiple phone calls daily with this specialist and that. I explained I am chronically ill and crippled but I still got the odd judgemental look.

John, despite his usual tendency to let everything fall into my lap, was brilliant.

purple pansies

I started phoning my mother’s friend. We spoke a few times a week with me updating her about Mum’s condition – there were times I thought she wouldn’t last another day. She could barely speak one word let alone a sentence and she kept getting ill from chest infections. This friend is a kind of aunt, knowing me since I was a baby. My mother’s oldest friend when she was 12 and B 11. I offered to drive B to the hospital but her son forbade it: he was afraid she’d catch the deadly Chinese virus.

dark purple clematis

Golden (younger sister) couldn’t contain herself and played games where she tried taking over the care of our mother and leave me completely out in the cold so I had no idea what was going on / and the prior arrangements I’d made (since I live with my mum again) would be messed up causing me more trouble and time. There’d be surprising equipment deliveries, and equipment surplus to our requirements – since I already have some due to my own physical disability. And, Golden, would suddenly stop visiting her and our mother would complain she hadn’t heard from her.

Mum cried and told me she loved me. I asked her why was she so mean to me then? Being narcissistic and far removed from reality she then answered, don’t mind me, I was in a bad mood. I told her I loved her too, but I wouldn’t be able to continue caring for her – as I was with almost all my energy and ability – if she continued to keep me out of the loop (not letting me know what’s going on; and later, if she ever got home again, disappearing from the house and not telling me). Because, how can you, just in a practical sense, properly care for a senior parent who’s ill, if they suddenly disappear from the home? Also, I told her, I’m fed up of the mind games. Maybe I shouldn’t have said these things and bit my tongue, but it has worn me down over the years.

I take the stance of doing the decent thing, of caring for my elderly parent whom I do still love despite all the crappy things she and my father have done to me.

Chester (left) & Twiglet

While we were hospital visiting, my dear dog, Chester successfully had another – long – troublesome cyst removed by the vet.

Winter 2021

I thought life might be easier when she did come home again but both my siblings caused me and my mother problems.

Golden poked about in my food cupboards but disappeared without a hello when I came into view. She arranged home visits from various health professionals when I was already taking care of it. She left a strange answer-phone message – accidentally – verbally running me down to a friend, that I wasn’t doing enough. (Not true, two consecutive days I spent literally wiping clean the walls, doors and door-handles of my mother’s excrement, and then cleaning her bed. With my fractured spine and hip nerve damage that killed me and I spent the 3rd day in bed. I could not expect John to do that, it isn’t his mother). Golden doesn’t clean it but she certainly loves creating it and throwing it about.

daffodils

My brother’s wife continued to harass us for drug-money although I’d told her on two occasions not to come to the house anymore. My daft mother was in the habit of always handing the money out to them when R (brother’s wife) asked. I told them in a letter that I don’t have the word BANK written across my forehead and when I was an able-bodied well person I used to work – and maybe they could try that?! Also, in that letter, I admonished R for shining torches (flashlights) through our bedroom and living room windows at all hours of the night. But R didn’t intend to stop. Being the Family Scapegoat, R began scapegoating me too, saying I was the cause of all these problems! One day she actually got to my mother and John had to gently take my confused parent by the arm to guide her back into the house. I was enraged when I heard about that. If I’d been there I’d have attacked R with my walking stick! So, I called the police – and I don’t like calling them.

lilac violas

Amazingly, we had a fine officer this time, a real old school type who actually cared. He told them not to come to the house. This was after leaping over the chain-locked gate and unfortunately landing in some prickly brambles before repeatedly shining his torch through their windows. (Not fun having a torch shine through your windows, is it R?). Afterwards, R slashed my car tyre – slashed so it wasn’t inflatable – and we were lucky not to have had a nasty accident. Thereafter, I ordered cameras to put up outside. And audible sensor things to put in the bushes. The receivers, plastic owls with eyes that light up and flash orange as a doorbell sounds – and whilst the nurses/therapists were startled the little dogs love them! The slow pruning of the enormous hedge at the front of the house, which John and I both tackled in the late summer had retained ‘useful’ brambles poking out the one side of it. I deemed it a handy and natural trap to ensnare R who has the habit of wandering about the place late at night, peering in the windows, up to no good. Reading this back has John and me in laughter, it so reads like fiction, but I can honestly tell you I was at breaking point by then.

small pond reflections

I was afraid of further repercussions, vandalism to the house or either car. For three weeks we had no working car or dependable camera that recorded. I was taking anti-anxiety supplements to try calm my frazzled nerves. My chronic migraines became debilitating and further incapacitated me. My mother’s health was rapidly declining, she’d no appetite for food and couldn’t keep any down/in from the vomiting/diarrhoea. I said the symptoms had to be a side effect from one of the medicines – and I was proved right, but it took about a month to sort it out. This was in part due to her inability to make herself understood, as the strokes had affected her speech/thinking and also due to her being prescribed a great number of meds.

Our usually inept doctors were being – guess what? – inept, and had re-prescribed her something she shouldn’t have been on since the hospital had taken her off it. Then there was the problem of the inept doctors not answering their phone calls – because they were afraid of catching the Chinese lurgy down the line – and not prescribing her vital Lantus. Having no car, John had to walk several miles there and back to the doctors and pharmacy and after my mother argued she couldn’t possibly ask Golden’s friend from church to simply collect her meds and deliver them to her – which is something done within ten minutes – she finally agreed to it. I had to write the doctors’ practice a very stern letter saying the medicine was indeed urgent and that I wasn’t happy being hung-up on and then left phoning them for an hour (they repeatedly put the phone down). Thankfully, this hand-delivered letter worked wonders and my mum had her meds by the end of the day. John remembered the healing elixir of Ensure that his grandmother took when poorly and soon my mother’s health improved. So much so that she is again quite difficult to deal with. What have we done?!

I have to add here… I noticed time and time again so many senior stroke sufferers at the stroke unit. They seemed so lonely and bored. Some were far worse off than my parent. The thing is, if a stroke isn’t caught in time, the brain suffers more damage. Urgent, immediate attention is vital at the time of a stroke/suspected stroke. It can make all the difference regarding the outcome for the individual.

pink Thai dragon millipede

I must admit that the most exciting update concerned the arrival of several tiny but leggy beasts. They are pink with bobbing heads and antennae, and have the word ‘dragon’ in their name. These millipedes – the Pink Thai Dragon – are a recent discovery in the bug world, harking from caves in the Thailand region. Indeed, I have a thing for exotic beetles and could self-identify as a six-year-old-boy. Four months and some fish-flakes on, the six mini-beasts have multiplied to at least sixty. I blame it on the red plant lights, it must have made them randy.

Christmas gifts 2021

The most serious undertaking this winter has been the decision to begin studying again. This time I’m tackling it from another angle, psychology with counselling. This part-time home study university degree will enable me to become a psychologist. However, to become a psychologist who is a licensed therapist will take further learning. I aim to set up on my own as an art therapist. I want to help others. I don’t want to study psychopaths or criminology, I’ve dealt with more than enough toxic people within my own family. I will give it my best and if I don’t succeed, I don’t. But at my age, this is my last chance of trying this.

The most crazy thing to happen was when my mother got it into her head she was going to drive her car again. Golden had put it into her head that she was thoroughly capable of getting behind the wheel! Golden obviously missed her free taxi rides. This happened on a Saturday. Two days after a specialist explained to her that no, she couldn’t think about driving yet; there had to be a test with another specialist first, to determine whether she could, but it wasn’t likely… What began as a fairly relaxing morning for me went quickly haywire: she was telling me she was driving and going out with Golden to meet her grandson (Golden doesn’t have children, this is the adult child who was taken off my brother; he rebelled and leads a normal life). She was very difficult to deal with, she was verbally angry and rude with me and John had to hide the car keys. On the phone, Golden was quite stoned and quite chilled, and quite surprised that our mother wasn’t permitted to drive due to the brain damage. I phoned the stroke team and the helpful receptionist said I needed to hide the keys because she could have obviously endangered not only her own life, but other people’s too.

B’s matchbox gift I decoupaged

Christmas Eve arrived and my mother instructed me to keep out of the way as Golden and her Weasel were visiting Christmas morning. Weasel who threatened to punch me, all those years ago, before his friend finally did attack me summer 2020. Of course I was angry and objected about this. This is my home too, and I’m the only one of her three children who has really taken care of her. I don’t deserve to be segregated and treated this way. John wasn’t too happy either. So the two of us with our six dogs celebrated the earlier part of the day upstairs while my mother waited alone for her visit. Golden finally arrived, by herself, several hours later and late, about two in the afternoon. I would say that’s the most absurd part of my update. I really cannot go on much longer like this. It’s utter madness.

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The following posts will include about an antique clock and a vintage beauty book written by Anita Colby, an Old Hollywood model and actress, fashion and beauty consultant, and inventor.

young chilli plant I grew from seed

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Copyright Faith McCord 2022

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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At Death’s Door but the Games Go On…

You may wish to skip this post which talks of

abuse/scapegoating and a life update.

Nothing violent or fatal tho’!

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John said he’ll get her to take me to your house.

I most probably saved my mother’s life two nights ago.

Between six in the evevning till one the next morning I called the emergency services three times. Explaining at length exactly what happened to six people at varying times, saying the same thing over and over many times. No, she never behaved this way when her insulin levels fell because she’s either not injecting or not bothered to eat. I believe she’s having a stroke.

Her face went slack. She talked in a bizarre way. Slow, dead-slow, so low it sounded inhuman. The words non-sensical. Steadied herself on my side-table. Awkwardly moved about the room while saying nothing is wrong, I just have to eat. I followed her out of the room, down the hall and into the kitchen. She was in the kitchen, confused, not sure what to do.

Meanwhile the ambulance is on the way because the minute she took this turn I called to John to phone them. It frightened me, I wasn’t taking any chances.

I knew that a stroke affects one side of the face but her whole face went slack. She drooled from one corner of her mouth. I just thought, forget the one-side-of-the-face droop, she looks like she’s having a stroke.

The first responder – living just a few streets away – was here in just five minutes. I wanted to believe he’ll take care of things, make her feel right again. His manner was friendly and reassuring. He measured her diabetes. It was ten. By this time she’d been fed by John and myself a sliced-cheese sandwich and two marshmallows; but had only managed to digest half a marshmallow and half the sandwich. She appeared in a better state, talking more normally and less confused.

The First Responder was confused: I don’t know if it’s the diabetes (2) or a stroke. Before they left he decided it was the diabetes. Hypoglycaemia = is when the blood glucose level (or sugar) is too low, below 4 nmol/l. (Hers was a 10). It was decided she’d stay home – that’s what she answered she wanted! – instead of being taken to the hospital. Them saying she isn’t alone (as John and I live with her). I wasn’t aware of these numbers until the 1 a.m. Paramedic informed me! He was not happy they got it wrong and wasted seven hours.

The first three responders left about 7 p.m. About an hour after they arrived. The First Responder went home, the other two remained for a while in the ambulance parked outside. John heated up Mum’s shepherd’s pie which she didn’t relish eating. It was like she forgot how to chew, the food just went round and round, then she’d sort of half-swallow. Bits landed on the floor. I’d have to frequently wipe the drool from that same side of her face. Her voice had also reverted to that strange slurring as earlier. Worried, believing she was indeed stroking, I ventured outside on the dark road to see if the ambulance was still there. It was.

They came back in. Did another diabetes check. Called it a hypo. And left fifteen minutes later.

But I’d never seen her like this before when she’d had a hypo. I’d told the responders this over and over.

John and I eventually ate our dinner, watched some of the 1980’s Sherlock Holmes (with Jeremy Brett) and my mother fell asleep in her reclining chair at 10 p.m.

A little after midnight we wanted to go to bed ourselves but I felt extremely uneasy about leaving her. At 1 a.m. She awoke and her confused/slurred speech had worsened. Not only that but ONE side of her face – the same side as the one in which she was drooling had drooped. We phoned for the ambulance again.

I was exhausted from the stress and my fractured spine felt like it was on fire. I could barely move. I could barely talk. I’d kept it together, nice and cool six hours ago but now I was unable to. I was so relieved to have John’s help because I couldn’t have managed otherwise – with NO help from either sibling.

For goodness sake she was telling me to go to bed at 1 a.m.! I said are you aware of your strange speech? Yes, she answered. Are you aware of how confused you are? Yes, I can feel it in my head. STROKE.

I believe she’d had at least TWO STROKES that night. At least two, maybe three because of her face drastically drooping one side. Finally, that last responder KNEW what he was doing. I was staggered. The other, earlier responders were (two) middle-aged men who’d been in the job some while. How can they carelessly forget the significance of the hypo-numbers? 4 is dangerous. Not 10.

Both glyco and stroke symptons are similar. And this they knew. But a hypo is not 10.

The 1 a.m. Responder gave her aspirin which thins the blood as it was clotting and to prevent further clots. Then they took her off in the ambulance. Due to the Covid we weren’t permitted to visit her the next morning. I cried, it was awful. I didn’t know if I was going to see her again. And, I selfishly complained to John – Where are MY happy memories of the times with my mother? (A parent who doesn’t wish to know their adult child any more and spends time with only the Golden One). At the opened door of the ambulance, where I saw her lying on the gurney, I told her I love her and I told her that all her children love her.

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The next morning the ambulance people brought her back. There was only aspirin as medicene. The day after she had an appointment at the hospital and John and I had to cram into my small car. Golden doesn’t drive and my brother is lost to the world. John came along because I can’t manage without him, physically. I’m unable to wheel her round the hospital when I need wheels myself!

I waited in the car two hours and tried to sleep. My spine has been highly inflammed since the incident. They scanned her brain again and gave her some other medicine (I might add its name here later). Finally she’s getting the care she needs.

She thanked the both of us for all the help but I said we only did what we had to.

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The games go on.

John said he’ll get her to take me to your house.

Today, the day after the hospital appointment, on the phone with the Golden Daughter I am only referred to as she and her. I don’t warrant my own name, some kind of twisted rules don’t permit my mother to utter my name. A lab animal comes to mind because they’re designated numbers instead of names. This is simply a process deployed to emotionally distance the scientist from the creature, whose role is solely as an object to be used in tests. Giving that lab animal a name would be detrimental to getting the job done.

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LINKS

Excellent blog on Scapegoating

https://terezashealthblog.com/2019/08/22/the-shadow-archetype-and-the-scapegoat-being-a-child-of-narcissist/

Emotional Abuse, the basics

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/emotional-abuse

My favourite YouTube psychologist

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz3XHup2bfOHvOznx3TLwqg

Diabetes guide

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/complications/hypos

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Take good care of You. xo

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Copyright Faith McCord 2021

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

Posted in Abuse, health, life | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on At Death’s Door but the Games Go On…

Have a Beautiful Weekend

Spring is on the way… 🙂

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Take good care of You. xo

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Copyright Faith McCord 2021

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

Posted in Art, life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Birthday Tulips + free e-cards for Mother’s Day / Birthday

Please scroll to the bottom of this post for the free e-cards if you don’t wish to read my update 🙂

I had another birthday – that tends to happen each and every year if you’re still about 😉 – and we once again went to my favourite garden centre which is a family run farm with shops and a cafe that is still closed due to the covid.

John and I – masked and ready – face the sharp cold Norfolk winds. However, like last year on this same day there is glorious sunshine. Holding onto the handle of a trolley already filling with goods, I gratefully angle my face upwards towards the golden warm rays. A little warmer and the day would be perfect. There are far fewer people about compared to last year. I think about what those people might be doing instead.

This cooping-up is indeed unnatural and harmful, both to mental and physical health. (Cooped-up: The abysmal conditions those poor chickens in mainstream farming face comes to mind. I could elaborate on that, and I did begin to, and I read it back and it sounds oh so depressing, but it’s reality – undistorted and happening now. How we generally, collectively turn a blind eye to the various suffering around us. The mass denial. This gets to my core and I have to turn it off to go on).

A bee caught collecting its pollen on a Camilla flower

I cannot recall the last time I left the house for myself – there’s been a couple of trips to the hospital for my mum’s appointments. (The two able-bodied adult-children living next door and a couple of miles away cannot seem to get their own house in order, never mind see to the needs of their elderly mother).

Only now – a couple of days before writing this – am I getting a glimpse out of the shutdown of my protective mind. People have always had to cope with being vulnerable and anxious, this covid one isn’t the only kind of lockdown. This little bit of ‘natural gregariousness’ ebbs and flows, and it’s been a long time since it last happened.

I know that if I didn’t have this debilitating pain and lack of walking mobility it’d be a little easier facing the ongoing onslaught of my family. Though, I simply wouldn’t be living here again. I would be working and living elsewhere where I wouldn’t have to face the constant – unnecessary and soul-destructive – stress of their making. But then saying that, I couldn’t just leave my mid-80s mother solely in the care of my feckless, selfish siblings. I know she wouldn’t fare well and I do love and care for her. Like I still love my (RIP) father who no doubt, looking back had narcissistic traits, making him a difficult man to live with. I was the designated Scapegoat for all the problems of the family.

My dad once told me, in the vein of giving advice – the man was always right! – that nobody treats you better than your own family (of origin). Thank goodness this isn’t always true!

I do not like the person I am now. I cannot seem to maintain the warmth, the personal connections for and to my fellow humans and I worry too much; about myself, about the state of the earth, about others’ suffering. I read it’s typical of an adult-child of a borderline mother, to keep one’s distance from others – unless becoming borderline yourself to enmesh with someone. It is a coping strategy learnt in childhood in order to survive. Along with disconnecting from, ‘forgetting’ your painful memories. My independence before the accident was an essential part of my being, I never relied on anyone. When I lived abroad and had to fend for myself with another language and mentality to contend with, I survived beginning with low-paying jobs and eventually made friends and did work I genuinely enjoyed (teaching/translating/graphics). A few of those friendships were precious and am missed today.

There is an exhaustion, anyway, borne of long term illness. Plainly put: When one is unable to see to their most basic everyday needs, where is the energy for anyone or anything else?

By the way, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is treatable but those with it have to want to get better themselves. Those with it have it from childhood because of what they suffered. These people are deeply unhappy, having trouble regulating their emotions, finding it difficult to self-soothe. It can be mild to severe.

They appear vulnerable and childlike, needing your protection since those needs weren’t met in childhood. A main indicator of the condition is splitting, whereby one moment you are God’s gift from heaven and you can do no wrong to the next crazy moment you are treated as the hated enemy. Another indicator are the sudden rages – over nothing. They are very frightening to be on the receiving end of when a small child. Sometimes there are also the spiteful games, the coldness, the unfaithfulness or disloyalty, sometimes choosing one child over the others, dividing up the family. Self-harming, suicide attempts, various addictions, love affairs can be other indicators. At core they’re desperate not to be alone but at the same time push away their loved ones. It makes no sense.

Back to the flowers, beauty and lightheartedness… John had already treated me with some so called ‘rare’ bulbs – PICASSO Calla Lily – I left them on the radiator to keep them warm since that’s how you’re supposed to get them going. But out of sight and out of mind… just hope the dogs haven’t been playing with the new organic ‘balls’.

The PICASSO Calla lilly. I don’t know who the copyright holder is

I’ve lost absurd items to my various dogs before: an entire packet of cigarettes (Sugar the chihuahua), a mouse pincushion (Oscar, that must have hurt you!), thread (Oscar, again in my sewing basket, winding the entire spool of thread around and around the room, encompassing furniture like a giant spider’s web), the brie cheese filling of my sandwich (yes, Oscar again), and a small resin Pegasus statue (Chester loves her toys). Those are just a few of the casualties.

Sugar and me, a graphic I did long ago, about 2007

What else did I get for my birthday? A beautiful pink-red Camilla (my 2nd) which I’ll pot up in a big pot with the new mini daffodils. A spiky gooseberry plant barren of berries. I bought this as my mum is fond of them. A small white-green Hellebore. And some packets of seeds.

I’ve recently discovered Bob Ross, who was around in my childhood – but I don’t remember him if indeed he was on UK tv back then. Such a gentle, talented person. I saw him recently on late night tv, something I rarely watch, while John was tidying the kitchen. The programme is called THE JOY OF PAINTING – what an apt title! – with each episode lasting under 30 minutes. I couldn’t believe he was actually painting a beautiful forested landscape with enormous brushes, the kind used for painting a house! He had such a friendly easy manner, encouraging others that they can paint too. I feel calmness in his televised-painting-presence. And wasn’t surprised when I discovered others are too soothed by him – in fact he seems to be more famous now than he ever was while alive. Especially since the covid people need to find ways of coping within their own four walls – while either isolated from others, or overwhelmed by new demands from family, or with added stresses of domestic abuse or debt due to job losses stemming from the enforced lockdown. Bob Ross says we can create our own worlds on canvas, and there are only ‘happy little accidents’. How sad that he lost his beloved wife to cancer and succumbed to it himself a couple of years later. Unsurprisingly, his legacy lives on, and will no doubt continue to, inspiring many future generations of painters with his joy of life and painting. John and I are currently watching THE JOY OF PAINTING on Amazon Video.

So, as birthday gifts I also have a Bob Ross calendar – I particularly like the log cabin paintings – and a book about him, with more paintings and his unique sayings.

We ate fish and chips for the birthday dinner – haddock was great but the chips were awful, refried and brown, not their usual quality. I didn’t get a birthday cake since the oven is broken and I’m allergic (my immune system is worsening due to the ongoing high inflammation) to the wheat in store-bought cakes. In any case after eating, I fell asleep at 7 as the pain is exhausting. But it was worth it going out. It was an enjoyable day.

Below are *free* flower e-cards for you. I believe in sharing free stuff. There’s a Mother’s Day card and Birthday cards etc. If you know some basic photo editing you can add the recipients name and a personal message. It’s either right-click and view image in another tab or a simple left-click to access the larger version. The cards still belong to me in the sense that another person cannot sell them on – they’re completely free to use!

Mother’s Day in Britain is Sunday 14th March and I found a web page link with the mother’s day dates of different countries, herehttp://projectbritain.com/mothers/index.html

Enjoy my friends! 😀

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.Take good care of You. xo

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oscar_story_leaves_100

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Copyright Faith McCord 2021

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

Posted in Abuse, health, life, plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

2021

Hello dear reader 🙂

I wish you a positive and healthy 2021.

Below, is an update. I tried keeping it brief.

I hadn’t meant to be away for so long. When living with chronic poor health you have to prioritise with far fewer things as energy and ability allow.

I had the assault to sort out, a book to write, dogs to take to-and-fro the vet and I slept a lot. I wasn’t in the right state of mind to blog either.


Talk of the assault follows/you may wish to skip…

I found it incredibly difficult talking about – and dealing with the aftermath of – the assault that happened end of July last year, which resulted in a poor, disappointing outcome. I feel let down by the police and the powers that be since my attacker wasn’t prosecuted nor punished – despite the mental and physical trauma (the thumb of my dominant hand still broken, six months on), the lengthy statement I gave and visits to the doctor and hospital for x-ray scans. The attack was taken too lightly; I was called paranoid when I mentioned the connection between an abusive family member and the attacker who are friends. Next time I will know that I won’t be protected by the law.

It is insane when one has to watch their back from close-blood-family. I continue to keep my physical distance and whenever the aforementioned abusive family member attempts to connect in any manner, she receives the Stone Treatment. Well, I found out it’s officially called that, but all I have in mind is to keep silent watch over her – a kind of emotionally distanced wariness that entails keeping her in check – whenever our paths must cross. There are no normal affectionate words from me. There is no space for relationship-building discussions when one is being continually abused by that person. That person does not have your best interests at heart. They want power over you. They want to use and exploit you for their own sick twisted end. I’m aware of her now and again complaining to our mother that I don’t want a relationship with her. How insane!

End of talk about assault…


And so, in my heightened anxiety and anger, I withdrew inside my writing world. I had a crazy deadline to meet – self-imposed, just to see if it was possible to complete a book of short stories relating to my favourite animal and genre before Halloween.

Outside the cocoon, the yap of the China virus, the reminder to be utmost careful, yet people are still approaching you TOO NEAR, and people are holidaying here like it’s the end of the world.

John and I took my little dog, Twiglet, to the vet. I realised to my horror that both testicles hadn’t descended – just the one – which carries a high risk of cancer. I love my dogs too much and I couldn’t put Twiglet through that. Thank goodness the operation went well. The only drawback is, he’s putting on weight too easily. Poor little dog got immensely hungry after the op and turned into a wider twiglet shape – that was straining the very definition of the word twiglet. The weight is, fortunately, back down now.

Here, a recent photo of Twiglet:

It was at the vet’s, on two occasions that people – other animal parents – got too uncomfortably close. Whenever I have to go out I respectfully try to keep a distance. I haven’t a great immune system, so it’s for myself and them. An elderly lady, seemingly in good health, noticed my hesitation at passing her by at close quarters whilst we admired the flowers at a gardening centre. She said it was alright for me to pass by if I didn’t mind. We’re aware of the infection, and by that I mean we’re all aware: just that some aren’t taking it seriously. It seems it’s fatal for some certain people (80s+, chronically ill, people with obesity, people of colour?) and mild for others. I much prefer to physically distance myself from others than to wear a cotton facemask. I have asthma and it makes it even harder to breathe – thus, in my country, people with asthma are exempt from having to wear one. The facemasks aren’t 100% at keeping the virus at bay. But I do ‘suffer’ wearing one when seeing the doctor, out of respect for him/her.

I think the best anyone can do is to strengthen their immune system (vitamin C – ascorbate acid, 1 level teaspoon; vitamin D in countries where there isn’t much sunlight; zinc; adequate protein – women need to watch out due to losing blood with menstruation; daily walks outside; reducing stress; keeping body weight to normal levels). And minimise physical contact with others. When the vaccines are working we will not have to worry too much.

I took some photos with my new Canon PowerShot:

Usually I did photo-taking with my Kindle Fire but the camera quality worsened since the last time resulting in blurry photographs. I yearn for a DSLR to take macro-photography of insects and flowers, but could only stretch to a Canon PowerShot SX 730 HS. It has a stupendous erection(!) zoom resulting in brilliant photos of the moon (scroll down to see).

We bought some robin food when online shopping for the dogs’ meds for the year. I then realised we hadn’t a place safe enough to offer it up to the small birds (they need Safe Spaces too). So we then got an inexpensive but well-built, wood-built bird table, sent all the way from Poland. I lightly sanded, acrylic painted and varnished it. It hangs in the same tree as the bird house.

The very same morning I hung up the table we had two visiting robins! You cannot imagine how happy that made me.

Below are some more photos from my garden:

Hibernating hydrangea:

Rosehips:

And with an ‘effect’:

The plants are sleeping in the garden, though some are awakening. They look messy. While *others ‘didn’t get the memo’. It’s too cold to garden yet.

*Morning Glory:

A close up:

Here’s a photo of the succulents on the bathroom window sill. Complete with spider-web (I don’t have the heart to evict the spider):

And my bedroom cyclamen. The poor thing has grown into a straggly mess, in search of more daylight:

And a close up:

For those who are wanting to lose weight, I recommend 24-hour fasting. It really works! I’ve been fasting ever since reading Doctor Jason Fung‘s book The Obesity Code: the bestselling guide to unlocking the secrets of weight loss for five months now.

I fasted in my early twenties but was afraid it wasn’t healthy. If fasting is done correctly, it is indeed healthy. I find it much better than severely cutting back calories. I now aim for 1500 calories a day with more protein than carbs.

Here is that beautiful photo of the moon I took:

Christmas was quiet, nice enough. I was grateful for the festive food (I cooked salmon in our airfryer since the conventional gas oven is broken), the gifts, the company of each other, the animals, and a warm house.

I handmade Christmas cards for John’s and my mothers:

and:

Did I finish my book deadline for Halloween? If I had kept a certain story short, I believe I would have finished all the short stories on time. Instead, this particular short story, DOG BUSH, grew and grew into a novella. So, it’s a compilation of nine short stories and one novella. About 40,000 words so far. DOGGED should be out by this October.

Here are some January 2021 primroses for you:

.Take good care of You. xo

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oscar_story_leaves_100

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Copyright Faith McCord 2021

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

Posted in Cactus and succulent plants, dogs, health, life, nature, plants, short story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments