Monday, June 19, 2017

the cats want a dog

Remember I wrote about an unexpected phone call and a possible offer of something I hadn't thought of at this moment in time, back in the Easter post

Well, it was a little dog that needed a new home urgently due to her dog family bullying her. And it was a Pomeranian, which is a breed I've had a keen eye on for some time. Irresistably adorable, smaller than a loaf dog, quite a different sort and without herding or hunting instinct. Perfect fit for the cats. And not too difficult to carry in a bag when we take the bus or train.

I had a think overnight and in the morning I realised it would be a chance to do good and take a step forward, make a change for myself and someone in need. I called the owner/breeder - not the acquiantance that alerted me about the situation - but she didn't pick up the phone and never returned the phone call. I texted her a couple of days later. Never heard from her. I thought, despite the slightly odd facts about the case, she had suddenly simply found another new home for the dog. 

However later I learnt she decided to keep the dog despite her being so bullied by the other dogs and the situation so urgent. Since she for various reasons didn't think it would be in the dog's best interest to try another home. People are weird.

The situation however made me realise I am now very open to a new little dog in the family. I was alerted to another pom at a nearby shelter a couple of weeks ago. He was absolutely irresistable and I immediately let them know I was interested, with credentials. Two days later their website said all the little dog (it was him and four girls) already had new homes. I have absolutely no idea how they could screen the new owners properly that quickly. And yesterday, two weeks later, I got an email saying he already had a new home... Their communication and administrative routines clearly need as serious overhaul.

I'm sure they make an excellent job with all the poor dogs they take care of - the shelter in question has recently been subject of a reality show and I'm really impressed by the job they do - but my heart can't deal with getting my hopes up and then ending up being one anonymous privy in a long line of privies. So I've let people know I'm looking for a little doggie that needs a new home, a dog that can get along splendidly with cats, I think that's a better way to go. Fingers, toes and paws crossed.

And the excited Norfolk terrier in the top pic isn't Malte, it's just an adorable little girl named Berta that I met when grocery shopping the other week. Her personality was so much like little loaf's. It reminded me how sweet it was to have a dog, much more work than the cats obviously, but also rewarding in other ways.

One day the right one will cross my path. We look forward to that, the cats and I.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

looking for my kind of people

Dear Blog, it has been exactly one month since I last blogged. Which is the longest (voluntary) blog hiatus I've had. Not for the lack of thoughts and things to write about, but it is after all better to live and experience those thoughts and things than writing about them.

I can't even begin writing about everything that has happened during this past month, so much meetings, seminars, inspiration and people - but at the same time, here and now despite all this nothing has drastically changed for me personally, as far as I know. And when all the activity slowed down last week and I welcomed a breather I was struck by a horrible cold, that has been a most unwelcome companion for over a week now. I haven't had this nasty kind of cold for years so I suppose it was the body's way to say slow down. And hopefully I've now boosted the immune system for years.

The climate change has certainly been very obvious this year, the last (?) snow we had on May 9. Craziness. And then a few days later early summer arrived. We've had some lovely summer days with temperatures around 20+C and over, but the evenings are still unseasonably chilly. Summer colds are definitely worse than winter ones and even if I'm not allergic to anything the pollen season has been adding to the nastiness of it. Ah well, I'm feeling better now, if not all well.

Talking about climate change, I attended the Climate March in April. I do not do marches or group things, but still I did this one, because just as the sign I made says "you know it's serious when even the introverts turn up". Had a nice march with friends but it was really dispiriting to see how poorly organized it was plus how appallingly few people that turned up for the march. Was I the only introvert in Stockholm who realised how serious our situation is?

I'm still no closer, as far as I know, to that part-time job goal of 2017.

A few times I've thought I've been but they've turned out to be far from the great opportunities they looked to be - two misleading ads, one job was a case of "wanting someone passionate about working in an office with no need of flexibility" and the other interview was a case of blatant mansplaining. Sigh. I thought we had come so much further in 2017.

But I'm working on it! And of course continuing to run my own Prosit business. Which I hope to do for oh so many years still.

A few highlights of these past few weeks have been -

:: A lovely breakfast seminar about diversity at Junibacken experience centre/museum of Astrid Lindgren's magical storybook world. It was before the museum opened - no visitors, only the utter delight of experience the quirky building, the stories, the ambiance and not least the Storybook Train (which made me tear up). The museum is also a conference centre and open for private functions. I didn't know and I think that is such an awesome place for it!

:: A great TED Talk with global speaker and writer Navi Radjou about Frugal Innovation, which was pretty mindblowing, to say the least. You can listen to his talks here. And you really really should, you will become a better human being for it or at least strive to be.

:: Another lovely breakfast seminar at sustainability agency Futerra where co-founder Solitaire Townsend talked about how they work with Theory of Change. Brilliant. (Incidently it seems like a pretty perfect place to work at...)

:: Geek Girl Meetup 2017 - Geek Evolution. A day of geeky unconference talks by inspiring women only. In a mad world there are so many great projects out there!

Since it has been another busy month I haven't had time to really think a lot about my need for grief counselling. But I have got some nice tips of people I'm going to look up. When you're busy with practical things, with inspiring stuff, there's no time for those difficult thoughts. It's when you have to reflect they come. So yes, when the time is right I will do something about it.

This past month I've also thought a lot about how difficult it seems to be to find my kind of people work-wise. I may be a bit of an oddball, but I never thought my reasonable needs for regular solitude, flexibility and general decent behaviour could be so at odds with many workplaces still. It may be naïve but I really thought a lot had happened since I was employed years ago. Seems alas it hasn't.

Or perhaps it's just the usual case of there's a time and place for everything and when we find eachother, that illusive workplace with my kind of people and I, everything will finally feel awesome, right and we'll create magic together.

My quest continues.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

do you want spagetti or macaroni?

cherry blossom, kungsträdgården stockholm, april 2017

After a really busy month, as well as naturally emotionally month, I've realised that despite coming a long long way this last year I now need professional grief counselling. It has been a year of getting myself through a day, week, month at a time. And some days have been great, they really have. But there have also been many days when I've been playing the role of normal, brave and strong. Despite feeling far from.

I have accomplished a lot, grown so much, over this year. But with all the practical things I've been forced to deal with I haven't really had the time to process the grief as such. At least it doesn't feel like that now, I feel emotionally stuck. I have lost my foothold. Feeling more melancholic than ever. Even if some days still are really great.

But I feel that if I don't get professional help - sometimes there's only so much writing, talking with friends and cat cuddles can do to help - I will continue to feel blocked and unable to move emotionally forward. No matter how smart and analyzing cookie you are, sometimes you need a helping, listening, questioning hand that's able to give you the right tools and point you in a healthy direction.

So parallel to working and continuing to sort out practicalities - neverending story - this is my current project. Yes, looking at it as a project makes it easier somehow.

As far as the work is concerned I'm alas no closer to that illusive part time employment (as far as I know) but I have ticked off 3,5 of my 5 professional goals of the year, huzzah. More of that in another post I think. I've actually applied for a few full time jobs too, because they've sounded great as well as flexible. Turned out at least one wasn't flexible at all, despite what they claimed at the interviews, they wanted someone who was "passionate about working in an office and didn't need flexibility". Yes actual quote, really, in 2017. I'm glad I got away, we wouldn't have made eachother happy in the long run.

Oh, I feel I have lots of things to write about, but I also feel that this post should be mainly about being stuck in emotional cross roads of sorts. Simple daily sentences like "Do you want spagetti or macaroni for dinner?", who knew you one day would miss such mundane comments so much? Life is short, potentially much shorter than we could ever imagine, and I desperately want and need to get emotionally unstuck. There is no going back, there is only moving on.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

easter 2017 ~

Easter used to be my favourite holiday. But since M's death last year on Wednesday before Easter it is with very mixed emotions I enter this weekend. 

Since Easter this year is much later than last year I had hoped it would be easier, but unfortunately next week is his shoul-have-been birthday as well as date of funeral so well, it's not a very joyous time...

Some day it'll get easier, a year down the line not so much.

I got a very unexpected phone call yesterday with a possible offer of something - not work-related - that I hadn't thought of at this moment in time, but the more I think of the possibility the more it feels very right. I hope it will happen and that it will be as sweet as I imagine - perhaps I'll have some cute news to blog about next week.

Also, the cherry blossom trees are very early this year (due to some warm days in March, even if snow fell today...). It was a lovely, albeit cold, sight yesterday.

Hope your Easter is a joyful, kind and loving holiday, happy weekend!

Friday, April 07, 2017

the stockholm attack

I'm safe, everyone near and dear are safe.

It's a senseless attack, but not completely unexpected. I, the worrying kind, has indeed been worried about this for years now. I've shyed away from crowds and the underground ever since the Paris attack. I don't feel unsafe in the city in general of course, but self-preservation is a basic thing for me. Wherever I am. Even if you can never ever prepare for everything. Or other people's deplorable deeds. 

As far as confirmed news are concerned:
(writing this at 5.40 pm April 7, 2017)
A deliver truck was hijacked from outside a restaurant.
5 humans and 1 dog have lost their lives, several more are injured.
The first reports on gunmen and shootings are false.
Noone has been arrested.

Stay safe. 💙💛

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

happy carrot day

Since April 4th is International Carrot Day I dedicate this post to the humble, delicious and jampacked with awesomeness vegetable.

I eat carrots practically every day and I mostly enjoy them raw and grated, but grilled, roasted, soup, stew, pasta, wok, carrots in any shape is bliss as far as I'm concerned. And I don't think you have to suffer from the carrot defect to be like I...

What's your favourite carrot recipe?

Happy Carrot Day!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

one year later

A year that in a strange way has been the shortest as well as the longest in my life so far. A year not only filled with deep sorrow but also resilience and an incredible amount of growth. Acceptance, gratitude and glimpses of happiness.

After the devastating fact so much and yet so little has happened since. Be as that may, I'm so darn proud of myself. Wherever I am today it's okay, we all manage sorrow and life differently and looking back I've achieved lots even if it doesn't feel like it some days. I'm not quite there yet, financial stability and serenity is not, as far as I know, within my reach just yet.

However these past few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions, filled with very personal meetings as well as professional. I'm still quite dumbstruck as to what I've achieved and experienced in March alone. This March.

One of my features is pride, accepting defeat and asking for help does not come easy. I want to cope with things, solve my problems on my own. With the end of my company's financial year coming up very soon I realised things did not look well. Thought a lot about different plausible solutions. One of them being to contact M's parents asking for help. Given everything that happened between us during this year I'm sure you can understand how utterly deeply uncomfortable that was, I thought I'd close the door to that part of my life since writing that letter in September.

But realising I needed to solve a pressing issue and coming to terms with the fact that noone will thank me for my pride in this case and the only one with something to lose would be me. Also - what would the future me thank respectively reproach me for? So I bit the bullet. The very uncomfortable bullet. And to my surprise it turned out to be an easier bullet to swallow than I would have ever thought.

Without going into any details - but actually those details would be fit for a long blogpost about human behaviour, the far from uncommon notion 'if we don't talk about it it hasn't really happened' and communication gone awry - I got the help I very much needed. Without any discussions. A rather substantial weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Not every weight is gone, but still a big one. 

And even though I obviously remember how rubbish their behaviour over the year have made me feel, I understand now that a large part of that has been due to a strange lack of clear communication. And I do believe I've come to the forgive stage, even if it can't be forgotten or changed, forgiving is moving on. 

The next step, a new year. One year later.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

saffron semolina pudding

This is a simply brilliant little dish of irresistable yummy goodness - recipe adapted from a lovely vegan cookbook published by Djurens Rätt (Animals' Rights), Swedens's oldest and largest animal rights organization (of which I've been a proud member since I was about 7 years old) - and so simple to make!

food at home, january 2017 -

Saffron semolina pudding
2 servings

2 dl oats milk
2 dl oats cream (Oatly iMat)
4 tbsp semolina
1 dash of salt
0,5 dl caster sugar
0,5 g saffron

Serve with raspberry jam (or other jam of choice)

Stir all the ingredients together in a pot. Let to boil and let it slowly boil for about 4 minutes while constantly stirring. Pour it into little bowls, let the pudding cool and set. Serve with jam of choice. I definitely recommend raspberry.

Enjoy the smooth deliciousness!

food at home, january 2017 -

Monday, February 20, 2017

hello mid-february update

Dear Blog, it's been almost 4 weeks since I last wrote

Writing a summary of these past few weeks I can ascertain that at the same time as my life hasn't changed radically, a lot of baby steps have been taken in the right direction. Although, as very very grateful I am about those steps and kindness shown I, literally, can't afford to be patient as such... 

But at the same time I as I most certainly hasn't been lazy on my part I also have to trust the process started I suppose. It's a tricky thing, for a worrying kind like me that wants to have a resonable plan, to be independent with a financially secure platform so I can be open for all the wonderful things that can happen, to be mindful and just trust life.

But since it's my year of learning like never before I guess I just have to embrace this journey of trust.

So what has happened since last? Highlights and lowlights? Here goes the very short version (I actually wrote a longer one yesterday but decided it isn't very interesting for anyone other than myself, so short version it is) -

:: Rememember I attended a seance in November? (Which did help me with the trust thing above.) Did so again in late January. It was even more intriguing, heartwarming and comforting this time. As usual it's a completely anonymous and very unpretentious gathering. The only thing you bring is an open mind.

:: The very unusual, but seemingly right and important assignment I was about to start in February? Well, to be honest it may be a good thing still but at the same time it's much more time-consuming than I was led to believe. And since I don't get paid for the actual time I put in but by a fixed rate it's definitely not something I'll be able nor inclined to do for more than a very limited time. In fact, no surprise, I feel used, the serf thing showing its ugly head again. And really, I'm angry at myself too for not thinking more about the numbers before I accepted...

That said, I believe we're suppose to be where we are at a particular time in life and time, so in order to not dwell on these obvious negative facts I'm adamant at doing a good job, help the participants and look at is as something pro bono for a greater good - which I wish I could afford doing but can't at this time in life. I too need to pay my bills and put food on the table and in the cat bowls - for a very limited time before I move on to reasonable hourly rates again. And of course it's a great learning experience and opportunity to meet new people, with very different experiences from mine.

:: I've tried out quite a few new recipes, food and baking. So I'm all on track with that goal for 2017Will share the best few in blog soon.

:: I've gotten myself a pretty lovely new cat shirt. It falls in the ambigous category not a must have yet a must have. If I had the money I'd bought other fabulous kitty garments too. Perhaps it's a very good thing I couldn't. No need to flaunt the (not so) crazy cat lady persona that much.

:: 2012 - the year I started my own business - it was time to get a new identity card (for us that don't have driver's licences). And oh how I fretted over the picture. Which turned out to be much easier and hassle free than I had expected, photo booths these days are pretty great. 5 years later it was time to get that identity card updated. And this time it turned out to be one of the least customer friendly experiences I've ever had so far (touch wood). But now it's finally sorted and done, despite the time consuming customer unfriendly stupidity. What a difference 5 years make.

:: I won another little competition on Instagram. This time a Sonnyangel of choice. They're of course nothing like bobbaloos, but still adorable little beings (and rather addictive if you have the money to collect them I think). I chose one from the Valentine 2017 series, you can't chose the exact one since they're suppose to chose you (at least when you order online). But I'm happy to say I got just the one I had a particular keen eye for. The pink bunny.

Her/his first food outing was the top one. A Swedish fika-shake, have you ever seen such a glorius thing?! I made a special order so the mylkshake is vegan. And it's sparkly!

:: I've also managed to sneak in a cold of some sorts. It was almost 2 years since last. I'm so grateful I don't have to deal with the regular nastiness of colds and flus that lasted some weeks anymore, touch wood. They are fewer, far apart and much milder than they used to be. Thank you, linseed oil and ginger. (And no dairy of course.)

Hope your February has been a lovely one!

Friday, January 27, 2017

when the going gets tough...

prosit in schwarzwald, october 2016 - sunflowers in heidelberg

... the strong get growing.

Ever since that devastating Wednesday 10 months ago my rollercoaster mind has pondered over how to turn devastation into a positive change. Things happen for a reason, and when they are meant to happen there is nothing we can do about it but accept. And grow through the pain and sorrow. Thank you resilience, my friend.

These past few months I've been thinking more and more about how I can share this journey of mourning - that we all will go through sooner or later - and connect it with my professional dreams and goals for the future. Without turning it into a pity party, sob story or unsavourly utilize the death of a loved one. (Because believe you me, those thoughts have also crossed my mind.)

But we all have deeply personal stories, and generally it's the struggles and heartaches that turn us into better and more compassionate human beings. Sharing is caring and perhaps me sharing my story, my hopes and dreams can help someone out there. And myself too.

And finally two weeks ago the words came to me. I wrote an article for LinkedIn - which I find to be the best channel for reaching a wider audience with a story, message and asking for help - When The Going Gets Tough, The Strong Get Growing.

I believe that we should all be more open, honest, personal (without being limitlessly private) and unafraid to ask for help. And I'm definitely not a person that ask for help easily or usually. At least not before the year that was. Be more fearless asking for help. Be more fearless in general. Without losing your self-preservation of course. Be strong by being vulnerable and open.

So I shared my story and asked for help, from friends and contacts, and the response during these two weeks has been overwhelmingly loving and kind. I've had lunches, meetings, suggestions and offers. I've put in a lot of thought and work, and learnt a lot. It's been exciting, exhausting and energizing.

I'm not quite there when it comes to my part-time employment goal/dream for 2017, but on my definite way, and I had a lovely meeting today about a really great, unusual but also very right and important new assignment (thank you again, LinkedIn) that will start in February (yes, January has just flown by!).

So if I don't blog as much as I used to, it's just because I'm busy building my new future.

I promise to write the post about my wonderful Schwarzwald experience as soon as I have the inspiration and time. And I have tried a few new, vegan recipes - yes, the 'one new recipe per week' goal is well on track - that you really need to try.

Feel free to read my article, comment (if you're on LinkedIn) and share. If we're not already LinkedIn-connections I'd be happy to connect (if you write a personal note so I know where we've 'met' of course).

Have a lovely oxytocin-filled weekend, one and all ~

luddkolt's british shorthair, january 2017 -
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