E is for Ewok

E is for Ewok.

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No, not that kind of Ewok…..this kind!

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This is my Persian cat, Ewok. She’ll be 5 years old tomorrow. Plenty of studies have shown that pets are good for your mental health. They reduce tension and can improve your mood (except when they pee on something). Research has shown that spending just 20 minutes with your pet can lower cortisol, the stress hormone, levels and elevate serotonin. Interaction with animals is even a form of therapy in some cases. I am thankful every day that I have Ewok. She does so much for me. When I am at my worst and am sure everyone in my life would better off if I were gone, I think of Ewok. She is the only one I know wouldn’t be better off. I am her person. She needs me.

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Ewok keeps me company. Spending time with her makes me feel better. Petting her, playing with her or listening to her purr gives me something besides my inner monologue to focus on. Also, she needs me. As much as she’d like to think she was a ferocious little beast that could take care of herself, she can’t. She needs me, her little world revolves around me. It’s nice to be needed. Ewok is going to want me around and love me regardless of my mood, whether or not I got that grant for my research and despite my eating the whole chocolate cake. Pet love is unconditional, that’s a reason to keep going.

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Rooaarrrr from the ferocious beast! …or maybe just a sleepy kitty yawn.

Ewok helps me sleep. I love listening to her purring. Cats purr at a frequency of 25Hz, the same frequency that is used to help heal wounds faster in humans (reference). The rhythmic sound Ewok makes often helps me sleep. When I’m tossing and turning or my mind is racing, I put her beside my pillow and focus on the sound she is making. This usually helps me drift off. I’m assuming her purring means she is content which means I am doing something right. This gives me a peaceful feeling, allowing me to sleep. How do I get her to stay? I’m lucky she just likes to sleep with me every night. Unfortunately her favourite spot to sleep is on my face. So if I want her to stay, I have to wait until she is sleepy and then I can position her like putty.

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Ewok keeps me active. No, I don’t take her for walks. Ewok is a bit of a princess. She doesn’t like it when the wind ruffles her fur. Ewok and I do yoga together. Yes, you read that last sentence right. Yoga. Every time I do a workout video, I get out my yoga mat and I have to get Ewok’s mat out for her too. If I don’t workout often enough, she starts to remind me to get to it. Let me explain….. I do workout videos at home for which I use a yoga mat. I would start my workout and Ewok would be there……batting my ponytail as I did sit-ups, climbing under me as I did push-ups and weaving in and out of my legs as I did squats. Not to mention scratching my mat to pieces! She was driving me nuts and making it impossible to workout at home. One day I got fed up with her antics and her scratching, so I got out another mat, only half hoping she’d stay on the old one and leave me alone. To my surprise, she did! She loves that ridiculous hot pink mat! Without me in the way she was free to scratch and roll and contort herself all over it. So now we workout together. Me on my mat, Ewok on hers. If I haven’t worked out in a while she’ll head over to where I keep the mats and start scratching her pink one. Hey Mum, workout time!

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Ewok gives me purpose. She injects some humor in among the darkness. I’m not in a smiling mood at the moment, but here I am writing a post about Ewok and her ridiculous yoga mat and its already making me feel a little lighter. She sometimes inspires creativity too. I’ve made treats or toys for her in the past. I even make cartoon versions of her sometimes. I know it seems insignificant, but anything to distract me from the over-thinking and getting into that negative snowballing effect helps.

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Ewok as a unikitty!

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Ewok and I as steampunk superheroes. She makes a great sidekick.

For one reason or another, not everyone can have a pet. That doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the interaction. I’m sure you have friends or relatives with pets that you can visit. If you are open to a little more commitment, you can also volunteer to walk neighbourhood dogs or work at the local animal shelter. For a less committed interaction try a bird feeder in the backyard or even going to the zoo could provide a nice distraction.

Do you have a pet, or wish you had one? What kind of animal do you wish you could interact with more often?

For more Ewok, visit “Meet Ewok” in my top menu.

J52: TV Time

Journal52 2015 – Week 5

Theme: Television

I don’t watch traditional television anymore. When I lived at home, there were a bunch of TV shows I used to follow with my mom and sister. When I moved out, I opted not to spend money on cable, so no more shows. Eventually DVDs started to come down in price, so Hubby and I started collecting TV shows we hadn’t seen. Now, we just watch Netflix.

I didn’t have any really creative ideas for this theme. I like lists though! I made a list of all my favourite TV shows over the years.

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I used metallic watercolour pencil crayons for the background. When I activated them with watercolour, they came out really bright. I tried to mute the colour a bit with a watered down layer of gesso. I wrote the name of a different TV show in each block. Some were written with stamps, some gel pens, some Sharpie paint markers. I tried to play with my lettering a bit. I went around the outside of the pages with “burlap” Distress Ink. It does give it an aged look….sort of.

Have you watched any of these shows? What are your favourites? Here is my list.

  • Stop the Smoggies – Does anyone know this one? It’s a 90s cartoon with an eco-friendly theme. I loved it, but couldn’t find it on a regular basis.
  • Battlestar Galactica – The more recent version. This is one of my all-time favourites I think. Hubby got the DVDs as a gift and we watched it together. I rewatched it by myself last fall when I was really depressed. Still awesome!
  • Student Bodies – This was a Canadian teenage show, so most of you will have never heard of it. I loved it because the main character would interpret his experiences into cartoons….kind of like I do.
  • Dinosaurs – “Not the Mama!!” haha!
  • Zoo Diaries – This was on TLC. I just like animal stories.
  • Art Attack – This was a creative show. I think the host was British. He did these huge works out of different materials. You could only tell what it was when you looked at it from a bird’s eye view. It was fun to try to guess what he was doing while they showed him working on it close up.
  • Grey’s Anatomy – This one is still on. I’ve watched it off and on. It gets a bit old sometimes, but when it is good, it’s really good!
  • Full House – I loved this show when I was younger. I watched a couple episodes when it came out on Netflix….ugh!! I cringed. I don’t think I’ll be rewatching that one.
  • Star Trek Voyager – Captain Janeway is awesome! The Borg are pretty bad ass too.
  • ER – The best medical drama of all time 🙂
  • Project Runway – I love to see the designs people come up with. I draw the ones I really like.
  • Party of Five – I watched this one with my mom when it was on TV.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – who wouldn’t love giant, pizza eating, karate chapping turtles trained by a giant rat?!
  • Lois and Clark: Superman – I stumbled across this one while I was flipping through channels. I didn’t know what it was at first, I just saw a guy stop a bus with his bare hands. That was enough for me to put down the flipper.
  • Jeopardy – It’s used to play along with my Gran. She watched everyday. I was so proud of myself whenever I got one that she didn’t!
  • The Care Bears – Love, love, love and still love!
  • Law and Order: SVU – This was my favourite of the three. There was less law and more mystery than the original law and order and I preferred Elliot to the guy from Criminal Intent, he annoyed me.
  • Veronica Mars – I binge-watched Veronica Mars on Netflix when I was really depressed. I just wish there had been more of it.
  • Hands Up, Hands On – This was a 90s arts and crafts show for kids hosted by Lois Walker. Each episode taught you how to do 5 different crafts.
  • Take Part – This was another 90s Lois walker arts and crafts show. Do they even make shows like this anymore? Lois Walker was awesome
  • Property Virgins – This was a house hunting TV show. Sometimes, they looked for houses in areas I knew! that was fun.
  • Shark Week – Not really a show, but I love sharks!
  • Stargate SG-1 – I enjoyed the original concept of this show. I grew to like it even more once the character development was something you followed from episode to episode. It was mostly stand alone episodes in the beginning.
  • Size Small Island – Another 90s (maybe even 80s) kids’ show. I think the hosts may have been related. They both had a high-pitched squeak when they pronounced the letter “S”.
  • X-Men – I loved the cartoon. I used to want to be one of them!
  • Mr. Dressup – He was a classic. I am most familiar with the Casey and Finnegan days.
  • The YTV Hit List – This was my only source of music videos as a kid since we didn’t get Much Music. I watched so many Spice Girl, BSB and Moffatt videos on this show.
  • Sesame Street – Another children’s classic.
  • Star Trek Enterprise – The only Star Trek I have seen every episode from. I liked Captain Archer, even though he barked at the crew a lot. I wish the ending hadn’t been so abrupt though.
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman – Great story, great characters. I was so annoyed when they changed the actress that played Colleen.
  • Bones – I haven’t watched the whole thing yet, but I really want her job!
  • Gossip Girl – This was another binge-watch while I was really depressed. It helped me escape my reality, maybe that’s why I enjoyed it so much.
  • Degrassi High – I loved how realistic the original show was. Caitlin and Joey were my favourites
  • America’s Next Top Model – Everyone has some ridiculous reality TV they like, this is mine. I wish the Canadian version had lasted longer. I knew someone who made it to the last episode in the Canadian one.
  • Sailor Moon – I loved Sailor Moon before anime was a real genre! I loved drawing all the sailor scouts too!
  • The Gilmore Girls – Rory was some I could relate to and I really liked the show. I’m glad it ended when it did though. Rory had become someone I couldn’t relate to anymore and I probably would have stopped watching.
  • The Price is Right – This was my comfort show. Whenever I was home sick from school, it was Bob Barker at 11am.
  • Scrubs – Medical AND funny. Just Awesome.
  • Cupcake Wars – I’m looking forward to when they put more episodes on Netflix.

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