Pammy.

This is how I want to remember her. Smiling and happy and with a scarf on her head.

Last Monday, September 9, Pammy has left me. It happened suddenly, with very little suffering which was a blessing, but I still have to recover from the shock. She was such a happy, lively funny dog. Noisy, chatty, demanding. It was like having five big dogs in one for how much she was a presence in this house. Wherever you turned, there she was. you couldn’t be alone for a moment with her around. Not a day – actually not even four of five hours – passed without having her doing something so fun that would get us cracking up laughing. She was a real blessing through this very hard past few years.

Last year she underwent mastectomy for a small tumor, and the recovery was incredibly fast, A few hours after surgery it was like nothing happened to her, she wanted to eat, she jumped on the stairs even if she had stitches running through her belly from top to end, and she even played. She was an elderly dog – we don’t know exactly how old she was, but 15 or 16 – who didn’t look one day older than three and still acted like a puppy. She was so strong and looked so good, we felt she was immortal.

But no one is. And an elderly dog, even with younger looks, is still an elderly dog. With elderly organs.

We noticed she had lost a bit of weight, but her energy was always the same, as was her appetite. We thought it was the first sign of her getting old combined with hot temperatures and the fact that she just never stood still.

Sunday evening she went out in the garden before bed, and as she came back in she asked for cookies, as always. She ate two big cookies and then we headed upstairs, to go to bed. Immediately she began to be restless. She wouldn’t sit down, going back and forth in the room. Then she began vomiting and we thought that what it was, she needed to empty her stomach. Maybe she ate something bad in the garden. But the vomit didn’t stop and she started to have a fever.

In the morning I rushed her to the vets where she was put under fluids and antibiotics. And then she had a seizure. The vet gave her something to sleep, to stop the seizures, then she ran a blood test and gave her an ultrasound. Her kidneys were shutting down, her liver was enlarged. There was nothing we could do. Nothing.

So, while she was still asleep, I held her and I did the only possible thing: I accompanied her on the other side. kissing her, telling her how much I loved her, asking her to come back if she wants because I’ll be here waiting for her.

And she went. Painlessly, surrounded by love.

My Pammy.

A little video preview…and why Instagram sucks.

My love-hate relationship with social media goes on.

I am setting up stores on different print on demand sites, but naturally, they all need to be promoted. The web is saturated and you have very little chances to be seen if you don’t get into action. So, I gave a second try to Instagram…even if I find it utterly boring and totally unstable. Is it me, my phone, or does it really crash continuously?

I am preparing a video to add on my brand new Youtube channel, and I made a little preview of it to share on social media for promotion. I’m still learning Adobe Premiere as I never used it before but I could get together a short clip, with background music that was said to be copyright free and free to use that I downloaded from Soundcloud. I uploaded the whole thing to Instagram and…

The video was blocked.

Apparently, some brand requested to have every video uploaded with that specific piece of music to be blocked, as they want to have the exclusivity. Which would be totally fine with me if it wasn’t that the music is still free from copyright and therefore free to use. For everyone. Only it’s not. And Instagram allows brands to make these kinds of requests. Social media would be great if they were really democratic, with the same kind of opportunity for everyone, but it’s not. The power is in the hands of who has more money, once again.

That is why I’ll keep on blogging like it’s 2002. This is my space…if something happens to WordPress, my entire content is saved on a hard disk and I can republish it somewhere else. Facebook has degenerated, and so has Instagram, in my opinion. The quality is getting lower and lower. Pinterest, since it has allowed ads, has totally lost meaning. Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe they are pointing a gun at their temples.

Anyway, enjoy the small video!! Hopefully the final version will be ready soon.

Have a great week end!!

Goals for this week.

Hello and welcome to another week at Cat Cottage. The mess is everywhere as are cats and dogs. The stuff to do is piling up and it looks as ominous as an avalanche and feels like a tsunami. To say that I feel overwhelmed, hahaha! It’s a lot worse than that. I feel like there is no way out, as the mess and the pile of things to do are swallowing me up and I am drowning in my own s**t.

Do you ever feel like this?

Now, I hate the concept of being productive, but it seems like I am struggling to find a balance here. I would like to flow effortlessly with life, being on top of things at least most of the time, having a relaxed approach to everything. Instead, I’m struggling. The thing is, when you share your life – or mostly, your house – with someone who doesn’t take life the way you do, who doesn’t share the same points of view, goals, and lifestyle, finding a balance is hard. Being the person in question my mother – she came to live here with me five years ago – it’s even harder.

Instead of beating myself up as always though, I’ll try to do something different.

Usually, when I have a lot of things to do and to figure out, I always write down a to-do list in order of priorities. It works until a certain point, then I get lost. I have never got through an entire list, and not only because there is always so much to do around here, but because I end up being exhausted and overwhelmed way, in complete burn out. It takes me a few days to regain strength and focus and usually the mess has piled up again in the meantime. It’s like a dog chasing its tail to no end.

So, this is the different, rebellious thing I will do to cope with my infinite to-do list this time:

I’LL IGNORE IT.

The most important thing, the only way to go through things – whatever that is – is self-care. As I said a million times before, I was brought up in a family where I was taught a lot of things but not exactly how to love myself – I was actually taught the opposite – and it’s hard for me to let go of this habit of thinking that I count zero. That I come after everyone and everything else. I’m learning how to be selfish in a healthy way and it’s a lot of fun. I’m getting there.

Me, first.

So, whenever there is a lot to do, the first thing I do is asking myself: what do I need? What do I want? I discovered that if I start form myself all comes quite naturally and even the most boring tasks don’t feel as horrible anymore. Yeah, I know. I just invented the wheel.

This is what I need.

Swimming in the open air.

Reading in the garden.

Gardening (it’s my therapy, folks!)

Yoga. Slow, long and relaxed sessions.

Some decluttering.

And this is what I want to accomplish this week. ( what I want, not what I have to )

Finish the book I’m reading.

Film and upload my first real painting video on Youtube.

Paint at least two new drawings.

Me first. Me. Nothing gets done if I don’t feel well. Ahhh, breathe.