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We're connected by blood but divided by an emotional wall meant to keep my new life as shielded as possible.

They're my family and they're right here in the city. I will, from time to time, get information about them that will tempt me to be drawn in to madness. The information will trickle in when I've taken steps to create a strong emotional boundary. The information will come in when I'm physically weak, emotionally needy. It'll come on it's own schedule whether I'm prepared for it or not. Still, they do not get free reign over my life. ...continue reading "Inheriting Insanity"

Funerals have a way of making you think about life in deeper terms and with focused eyes.

Charlie goes homeAt the funeral I ran into 6 of kids that come here. They're going to be at the Hall for my first talk. I'm so happy they're going to be there. The oldest girl is going to record it for me.

I don't think I've been hugged so much in one day. Yes, it hurt and yes I required pain meds after, but I wouldn't have traded those hugs for anything or passed them up. They moved but they are still able to come here and to come to my Hall. That makes me happy. ...continue reading "Adjusting positive focus"

Jane is an easy cat to treat, she really is. She'll eat just about anything you put in front of her....just about.

One item on the nutritional menu that I need to get in her to build her blood isn't that tasty to her. She's not a fan of sweet potatoes unless of course they come with a dab of junk cat food called 9 lives. Yup, I just whip a little yam with a dab of canned mess and she acts like it's not even there.

Fortunately, she will not need the nutrients in sweet taters for too long.

The vitamins she's taking in through food and Pedialyte are to boost her immune system and sustain her during this time. ...continue reading "Mary Jane is improving"

I went to a funeral today. One of the things about JW funerals is that half of Indianapolis shows up, including people I knew as a child in foster care. It was incredible to see them after all these years, yet it brings back memories best kept at a distance.

Those families don't know half of what went on at my mother's house and all of why I was in their care. What they do know is my birth name. For an hour and a half I was called by my birth name which didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. That tells me there's a greater distance between me and that name, than years prior.

When people I used to know came up to me and talked to me, using that old name, it was surreal. I didn't offer much information, just that I changed my  name legally. One old friend looked me in the eye, smiled and said with such acceptance "Faith!" It was nice to have her call me that and not challenge it. ...continue reading "Funeral services. Seeing foster parents."

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I have a commission that I'm doing for a friend. It sounded fun when she brought it up but I was also apprehensive because I don't do commission work well. It's difficult for me to translate onto canvas, a vision that isn't mine. It's even difficult for me to duplicate art that I created. If the emotion has already been put on canvas, the chances of me being able to do that work again with life and texture is all but zero. Soooo, I asked my friend if I could have free artistic reign and she said yes. I was like, oh, she has no idea what those magic words mean.

She let me loose in a candy store. She gave me a brush, took me to Hobby Lobby and said, do as you will. (eyes rolling in the back of my head)

Giving me free creative reign could be considered reckless. There was one incident when I was last given the magic words, an incident that we shall not speak of because it's still in litigation. But just like I told the judge, I didn't know that stuff was flammable. lol..... I'm kidding. ...continue reading "Hold on! She said the magic words."

Gloria ( Éponine ) - SOLD
Gloria ( Éponine ) - SOLD

When I painted little Gloria I was thinking about the production Les Miserable, about Éponine specifically. That character touches me. She loves intensely but quietly. She needs to be recognized yet she is always in the shadows. She has mastered her environment but her heart has been shielded from decay. She's rough and fragile, equally.

Good news. The painting Gloria is being packaged to travel half way across the United States to a wall waiting just for her.

Although the original has been placed, you can purchase prints from my Redbubble shop in the section for children. Please see the sidebar for the Redbubble link.

I love moments like this, I really do. ...continue reading "Gloria and Éponine"

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I feel a turning I can't stop
and the reemergence of pain I can't bear.

She looks through me, laying on the floor on a make shift pouch of blue,
her eyes are in my direction, but she looks through me.
I watch her belly rise and fall as if my own life depends on it,
because it does.
I stroke her head, travel across her frailty to absorb every ounce of pain through my fingertips
like any mother would,
just to see her baby get up again,
to see her pounce, sleep on my shoes, curl up in my favorite chair
or loudly sound the dinner bell.

I hold her close and share my warmth
as if to will her gums pink with life,
make her paws stretch open then close around my finger as before.
but she just looks through me,
spent, she looks through me.

Jane did something today she hasn't done in nearly two months. She climbed on me and licked my face until I woke. She wanted breakfast. I'm also happy to report that her gums are pink! They're pink!!!!! There's a turning in her health, one I had given up on at the writing of the above piece yesterday. I need so badly for her to recover. I said it means my life. Of course I will not die a physical death, but I don't want my connection with Jane to be severed by death. I don't want this to end. ...continue reading "When Pink is Beautiful. Long Term Health Care."

Where There's Tea There's Hope Copyright SundripAs you read through these DIY tips to relieve ailments and conditions with basic back tea, you will see a common thread.

**The following are ideas found on the internet. They are not medical recommendations**

Research suggests black tea bags should be wet and used warm for 10 to 15 min , 4 to 5 times daily.

Gums
I knew black tea helps improve gum health. It acts to reduce inflammation and to slow, if not stop bleeding gums. In the case of inflamed gums, use black tea as a mouth wash. ...continue reading "Home Remedies with Black Tea. Heal DIY"

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Teeth
It's been a very long day. The day started off at the dentist. I went to bed early and got a decent night's sleep. I even slept through half of the dental appointment. I wasn't nearly as afraid this time, especially since I remembered to take 2 mg of Klonopin before I went.

My fav employee sat with me through the appointment. We talked about tea and the Bible. They put the laughing gas on and I acted like it was weed. I took a deep, deep breath and held it. lol. I did it several times until my head felt kind of floating then I breathed normally. The needles were difficult but manageable.

I was determined I was going to finish these appointment and I did. What I didn't realize was the office personnel realized how difficult it was for me to do. I appreciated the validation and even the praise for finishing this huge treatment. To my surprise I was given an Oral-B Vitality Floss Action Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush. How awesome is that?

There was difficulty with numbing me. I wondered if it had anything to do with the CRSD. I don't know, but she numbed between teeth she wasn't even working on so that the main nerve she as trying to numb would actually numb.

Yes!!! Now that's a doctor worth seeing again!
At one point we decided not to try to numb the left side again. There was medium level pain as she worked over there but I just dug in and managed it. Honestly, I felt like an adult survivor, not a child. What I pulled on from inside was separate from what I pulled on to endure abuse by my mother.

At one point I thought the dentist was going to numb my tongue. She leaned over me and said, what we're doing here is separate from what happened to you. She said something about how this was different and that she wouldn't do anything other than dental work which did not include putting a needle in my tongue. I can't tell you how helpful that was. She leaned over and said the right thing. I was able to get grounded and finish the last appointment. It feels like a huge accomplishment.

The dentist told me to get Act mouth wash which I can purchase at Dollar Tree. She suggested I get prescription tooth paste but I didn't because it's $13 at the pharmacy. As a good faith measure, I'll fill that script as soon as possible. She went as far as to surprise me with that toothbrush. I'll take the next step for the script toothpaste sitting at my pharmacy.

In a separate issue, she wants me to come in for a cleaning every six months. We'll see. Even though I didn't have teeth removed in those sessions, she said I would qualify for a partial. I'd love to. The first thing I'm going to eat when I have a partial on the bottom is a bag of cashews, warm, buttery cashews....oh, and then some pecans. (insert happy clap)

Food
Of course no outing ever takes place without something interesting happening. lol. My well meaning fav employee said she loves black people's hair. I let her touch the dreadlocks. I should have charged a petting fee. Then there was a conversation about how she and the dentist have American Indian in them. Before I passed out in the chair, (I literally passed out) I mumbled about my grandfather's excessive use of peanuts or peanut butter in his Congolese cooking. I passed out and slept until they woke me.

I came home and did something, but who knows what. There's a blank space which might mean I was asleep. I know I added moss to the Chubby Frog tank. Man I love those things.

Faith

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You are still beautiful Mary Jane
Janie has better moments. She doesn't spend every single solitary moment in the corner any longer, still, her prognosis is guarded.  I didn't want to show photos of her lying down looking really bad, but this here shows her clean yet frail and very thin. She just finished sun bathing.

I have some food coming in the mail that will help her put on some weight, especially since I'll mix it with other things. Her meals will be super packed with vitamins and all the enzymes she needs for a chance to pull through.

When I talked to Dr. D about end of life care for Mary Jane, he was surprised to find out that MJ will not have any invasive surgeries or treatments. If she was 10 years old that would be different, but she's 16 and I don't believe it is within her best interest to put her through that at this age. Our focus is to keep her from dropping any more weight and keep her food high quality. I will continue to do everything that is reasonable and with the best interest of my baby, who is 84 in human years. She has not been dx with cancer. I just used that as an example of having laid out a care plan for a cat that is up in years.  ...continue reading "Mary Jane is my heart"

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