Thursday, September 30, 2021

welcome october, please be kind and joyful


If I was to sum September 2021 up for my little world it would be sadness, disappointment and worry. I can not even begin to describe how utterly tired, drained of energy and dispirited I am about it all, at this stage in my life. 

A few weeks back I published (another, more specific) job search post on LinkedIn - - yes I’m being pretty specific now, as I don’t feel the years I’ve spent being more general in looking for my kind of people, my kind of company have panned out well.

So here it is - I’m looking for a head of communications position in a vegan company (preferably food of course). Working with people with shared values (animals-planet-human health) That shouldn’t be too difficult, right? With bags upon bags upon bags with valuable knowledge and experiences plus a passionate curious growth mindset on top of that. I should be a highly sought after valuable asset, right?

Instead I just continue to feel all dried up, shrunken, insignificant, undervalued and non-appreciated. Seems like no matter what I do, no matter what steps I take, I do not get anywhere. Just stuck in this nothingness. 

It is crazy. C R A Z Y.

I had planned some more *aggressive* approach to follow up with. But then came two devastating news that in themselves are somewhat paralyzing. 

Zigne got her thyroid test back - all about her sudden ordeal in the previous blog post - and it was all good. Still she didn’t get better, rather worse. Stopped eating again. And her nose continued to be runny and the sneazing continues. And her breathing got more laboursome. Had to book a new vet appointment. Same clinic but a new vet, who wanted to get an x-ray. That turned out to show something disturbing in a lung. So she referred me to a vet climic that could do an ultrasound, which happened to be the one within walking distance to me. Which I have avoided after the long, very costly story trying to figure out the cause of Ztina’s weird symptoms a few years back, when it turned out to be her teeth that caused it all.

So off there I went. And he said it was probably slow growing lung cancer. The runny nose was a sign of that (although I have not found any other sources for that claim). Or possibly a fungal infection (but that is so rare). To be completely sure a biopsy was needed but that could collapse the lung. Her stomach was also abnormally gassy. Nothing could be done but to keep her comfortable and painfree, and getting her back to eating. 

Needless to say, it was and is absolutely devastating, unexpected news. From a perfectly happy, healthy, chubby kitty and a couple of weeks later a shadow of her physical self. She got antibiotics and slowly got back to eating herself in a few days (it’s been a small hell to force feed, both food and antibiotics, through all my years with cats and sometimes sick cats I’ve never experienced so much trouble doing it as I did now. She really put up a fight, calm as a cucumber through the vet’s procedures, a little red devil at home). 

But so very lovable, and one of those very special apple of my heart kitties ove the years, she has begun following be around everywhere. And we spend hours together on the sofa with her cuddling up sleeping on my chest, because apparently that has become the best place to sleep for her too. To Ztina’s dismay, since it has always been HER special spot of course. There have been daily battles of the grumpy sisters over these new circumstances… And I’m stuck beneath.

My experience with really poorly cats is that they tend to draw themselves back from attention, to some quiet nook. Zigne is quite the opposite, despite her very skinny appearance she’s practically glued to me when I’m awake, always eager for attention and cuddles, and food sampling and even some playtime. It’s very weird. And endearing. Always with eager, clear and inquisitive eyes, through all of this. 

So as if life in the pandemic wasn’t slowed down enough, this is an extra step in slow life living. Taking care of very poorly, needy and much loved kitties. 

As if the Zigne situation wasn’t enough to be worried and heartbroken over. Then it turned out my teeth situation was much worse/costly that first anticipated. The first step of the root canal went well, had a scheduled appointment in a month to finish it. However a week later I felt a large chunk of the tooth chipped of when I ate a soft sandwich. As I was having the big cavity fixed in a few days I felt I could wait until then to get this sorted too. 

Turned out the tooth was in worse shape that she had realised and that it had karies on the inside making it very brittle. Had to be completely removed not fixed with a root canal. As it is a visible tooth in another position than the one I had pulled out many years ago, when it crumbled with an old filling, it needs replacing in a not too far future. Which is VERY costly (remember the Swedish healthcare system does not cover dental work) and something I in no way, as things are currently, would be able to cover.

All in all, life honestly feels pretty shitty right now. Curveball after curveball after curveball. Now entering my birthday month, my power month, the month that should bring only happy, prosperous, magical and kind news, I’m feeling very low indeed. 

Of course I have oodles of things to be grateful about, and glimmers of happiness. But here and now and currently, life is not nearly as I want it to be, and not nearly as I had envisioned it at this stage in life. It’s honestly quite a mess. Everything is figureoutable. Well, just how remains to be seen.

Here are two glimpses of rare silver linings recently though. A very beautiful sunny day with autumnal colours galore and perfect Indian summer weather.

And an unexpected meet cute in the garden. Hedgehog 2021 has/have been almost invisible, doing his/her/their thing in the shrubs only. But just the other evening she did her thing right on the lawn. To everyone’s delight. 

Zigne shared the food bowl. Ågot wanted to cuddle and play - hedgehog not very interested. 

More magical much treasured moments like these, please please please, October. And the perfect, new job or work project with decent payment, that’s what I want as well as need for my birthday. 

So September, what can I say, why on earth did you have to be such a heartbreaking disappointment? We could’ve had so much fun, but you really didn’t want to, did you…

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

farewell summer, hello autumn 2021


I’m so relieved August is done with. It was another rough month for me. And as it’s been a rough 1,5 years for the world to get through, including me, it would have been immensely appreciated had it been a kind month. But alas, not so.

I finished the month with a costly health check-up on Zigne. A runny nose that I’ve looked after and she’s been her chubby, happy, healthy self all the time. With the fully vaxxed status I felt it was time to do a proper vet visit (did chose another clinic than the one within walking distance, as I’m not exactly happy with how they dealt with Ztina’s issues a couple of years back, scroll to find the story, inserting links writing on the iPhone is such a hassle…) as I also felt she significantly lost weight only last week. 

Her blood tests were fine, still waiting for the thyroid one, and her temperature normal. She did have a little heart murmur and possibly some bad teeth (I’m getting the long Ztina-story vibe here…). She got a subcutaneous injection of water and I’m rinsing her little nose with sterile saline solution (which has been easier that expected). As she hasn’t been too happy eating the usual dry food these past few days I’ve given them all more wet food, which unfortunately isn’t doing well with the two oldest cats tummies, but there you are… She has happily eaten a lot of wet food and was definitely perkier this morning. 

This afternoon she was looking unhappy again and I noticed her right leg was still swollen from yesterday’s water top-up and it seems to cause her discomfort and pain. I just hope it’ll have settled until tomorrow. And if not that the vet can give advice by phone only for this.

Just like Ztina through her long-winding ordeal, Zigne was such a trooper all through the hours soent at the vet. But I’m well aware of how to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you…

Last week I decided to get myself that annual dentist appointment I should have had just in the beginning of the pandemic. As my Marathon Man (my pet name for the dentist I went to for +20 years, scroll back in old posts for story) retired out of the blue, and his clinic was on the other side of the city = 2 hours commute one way, but worth it for a yearly outing to a dentist I knew and trusted, I decided I needed to find a much closer one.

And then came the pandemic.

It has been difficult to find recommendations for dentists nearby (I’ve been to one local clinic for an emergency filling some years ago, and they were just awful), but then someone said she was happy with an all-female dental clinic a couple of train stations away. On the website they all wear different bright and happy dentist clothes too, so of course it felt right to try them out.

Had crossed every finger and toe, and instructed the felines to cross their paws firmly, that the teeth were alright and nothing major needed doing, as I haven’t felt any issues with them.

No such luck sadly. I quickly said that I will definitely not have the money to do everything the dentist suggested, and to me it felt like more cosmetic dentistry than necessary stuff, if I’m honest. But apparently I need at least one root filling (oh the joy!), possibly two and two cavities that need fillings. The one root filling is in a teeth my old dentist warned me could possibly act up in the future because the cavity he filled was so deep but we decided to do it that easier way back then. So I suppose that was somewhat expected. 

The hefty hefty price from the cost estimation is just utterly depressing. For some crazy reason teeth and dentistry is not included in the general Swedish health insurance, so bad, costly luck if you have teeth issues as a grown-up… I now have two dreaded dentist appointments in September. And there will be at least one more to finish the root filling (my only consolation is that there has apparently been an infection under the filling - of which I haven’t felt a thing - so the tooth is already dead, just as with the root filling in 2011. Which *should* make it a smoother operation.

To top up really bad things in August 2021 to a threesome, Viola passed away unexpectedly too. Found her passed peacefully in my corner bookshelf one morning. She would have turned 14 in September. 

After this past year I feel like I’m hosting a cat death camp, loving and well-meaning, but nevertheless a doomed place. Four unexpected deaths during the oandemic alone, and then my mum’s two cats. No young cats, but still, too young for me. Even if I’ve lost the cats between the age of 10-13 in average over the years, to illness and a few sudden unexpected deaths, I’ve also had some reaching the age of 19 and peacefully passing away in their sleep. I hope they all felt they lived happy, content kitty lives in this residence. That’s all one can hope and wish for really.

As I’ve written about before (I hope, because to be honest my mind and memory has not faired well during the pandemic isolation…), one lesson of this 1,5 pandemic year and a restricted, small life is that every setback (big and small) get gargantuan proportions. And also that every happy little thing is much much appreciated.

So you can imagine how excited I/we felt when the commuter trains were back on track August 16. Just a simple Stockholm outing between rush hours (even if people still seem to work from home as much as possible), take the bus ride with a classic, beloved Stockholm view, go for a nice vegan brunch at a favourite place and pick up some vegan cinnamon buns before heading home again. Nothing spectacular just a simple rekindle with pre-pandemic life and a sense of normal.

The rain poured down. No cityscape views visible. The food was awful. And there were only two buns left at the bakery (I had forgotten to pre-order). Huzzah.

I’ve basically loved and raved about everything at vegan cafe/diner Mahalo ever since they opened up in 2016. I can only remember one less than top notch food experience there. Until now. Maybe it was a really bad Monday in the kitchen, or maybe the quality has declined rapidly during the pandemic. But nothing was good (except the excellent social distancing seating), the stack of fluffy American pancakes with some delicious fruit syrup turned out to be thin banana pancakes with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh fruit. Two of the pancakes were burnt and shouldn’t have been served at all. And my own banana pancakes are way better. The oat latte was way too dark roasted and tasted burnt and nasty. The so called banana bread was a dry piece of salty (!) bread, nothing sweet and moist banana bready at all about it. And the replacement peanut butter (in lack of cream cheese) made all that salty, dryness grow in the mouth by chewing. Oh, and the watermelon juice was completely flavourless.

Not as one had would have liked the first little day in the city pan out.


On the small bright side was a fabulous second hand hat I won at a Tradera auction. Red. Marimekko. Unikko. It travelled from Lithuania, and the seller sent a complimentary chocolate bar. Alas not vegan, but the gesture was so nice and little mum enjoyed the chocolate. 

As I’m still finding myself in limbo workwise - that finding my purpose and my kind of people would continue to be this depressingly hard, is just ridiculous and well, depressing. To be continued. And the happy red hat hasn’t helped on my quest alas.

After the recent IPCC report, and after this obvious climate emergency summer (the horrific summer of 2018 was only a mere foretaste) I honestly don’t have any hopes left for a healthy sustainable future for humankind or the living conditions on this planet. 

That doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue making positive change and kind choices, the time that’s left. But it’s bloody hard work trying to battle for good when the majority chose ignorance. There is peace in acceptance. And I enjoyed Roy Scranton’s book ’Learning to Die in the Anthropocene - reflections on the end of a civilization’ very much. Or enjoyed is not the right word, it was refreshing, reaffirming, very relatable and somehow comforting. It’s so difficult not to be overwhelmed with Weltschmerz and climate angst every. single. day. To accept is to be released in a way. Highly recommend the read! The mix of critical thinking, science, history and philosophy is a good thing.

The Maria Lang collection is finally finished. It’s been fun to find the various titles second hand. Only had to buy one new book (the second hand ones costed at least 3 times as much… There are better ways to spend money). And I have even set aside a whole little shelf for it (as an inspiration to do the same sorting of all my other books that have basically ended up in various heaps these last few years). I’m now reading the 20th book, of 43, printed in 1967. I should of course ideally have begun reading it on December 13th as it revolves around murders in Lucia times. But there you are.

I’ve changed my bedding to fresh, crisp Autumn sheets - remember the second hand Marimekko set I won at Tradera, early summer, that smelled so strongly of nasty perfume? Three washes and the smell was gone. In bed it was accompanied by another re-print of an old Marimekko leopard print in a pillow cover, isn’t it cute?

A new month, a new season also calls for a new book. And I’m very much in need of a trustworthy, comforting one. Enter Isabel Dalhousie and the 13th book in the beloved Sunday Philosophy Club-series. I’ve also finally given up on a deeply overrated and utterly tiresome bestseller. It took 130 pages, but ’Circe’ is very much not my cup of tea. Too bad on a very good story idea. I ended up giving it a poor 1 star on Goodreads. And I’m certainly not the only one.  Life is too short to read crap books, even if I had very high hopes on this one they were not at all met.

I also made some amazing vegan cheesecake from leftover silken tofu last week. Only realised afterwards that I had actually forgotten to add the Oatly cream cheese to it, but only tofu, whipped oat cream, lemon juice, sugar and white chocolate made for a delicious *cheese* cake on their very own.

Now please please PLEASE, September, make Zigne a healthy happy carefree much loved bestie kitty again. ❤️

And dream job, please please PLEASE show yourself. Or second best, until that finally happens, some decent paid communication gigs/projects or other good freelance things. I’m exhausted, bored, restless, stressed and worried, all those feelings are such a waste of time and resources when fabulous me myself and eager I are just waiting for THE magic to happen! 💚
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