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Harry Update

5 Jun

Back on Feb 1, I did a post about our family pet, Harry.  Wow, have we had our ups and downs since then.

©2017 Cathy Craig

As mentioned before, Harry seems to have an acquired brain injury – most likely a tumour, the only sure way to tell is a CT scan and while we live a full life, we really don’t have the spare cash to spend on a scan that might give a diagnosis, especially as a cure is unlikely.

On top of his brain issues, as the weather has gotten cooler it seems that our poor baby has been beaten rather savagely with the arthritis stick.  Of course the symptoms didn’t present as normal at the start, it looked like he had a gut issue.  After a full set of blood work and an ultrasound we found that all his organs are functioning well, but he has arthritis around his hindquarters.

So we move forward and treat the symptoms.  This involved trialling drugs to find what would help him, some are not all that good to be on long term, but it was a case of make our pet comfortable, then worry about the long term.   I asked about using essential oils as part of this process, while the vet didn’t say no, he said he had no expertise in that area (give him credit, he didn’t actually roll his eyes at me).

As I believe that there is more to using essential oils for health support than just how nice they smell I did some research and found Dr Roark and asked for some help.

Unfortunately between Feb and May 1 Harry’s symptoms progressed rapidly.  So rapidly that on May 1 the vet told us our beloved 14yo dog was palliative.  That they would be there for us, we just had to call.  We would know when the time was right to euthanise.

The week starting 8 May I called the vet, twice, for some advice on his arthritis.  Unfortunately the vet did not return my calls.  I was beside myself.  We had finally hit on a drug regime that was supporting his brain issues/anxiety/dementia but he was whimpering from arthritis pain.  Was that time here?

On the way home from work an ad came on the radio for a holistic vet.  I called and made an appointment, I wasn’t convinced that we had to ‘make the call’ on Harry just yet, but was also feeling disappointed that the promised support did not include a return phone call (even if it was to say we have to see you again).

Dr Boersma and his team have been amazing.  We have utilised pharmaceutical drug therapy, traditional herbal therapy, PEMF and massage with essential oils.

While we accept that our baby is 14yo and is in his twilight years,  however, we are not sitting here wondering if we need to euthanise our baby.  He still has his bad days, I can tell when snow is on the way by how uncomfortable Harry is, but I can also help him and I’m not frowned upon by his healthcare provider for wanting to explore alternative therapies.

©2017 Cathy Craig

Exploring home after a visit to the groomers today

So, if you have a pet dog who is also in need of joint pain support, don’t dismiss the ‘hippy’ treatments.  Ok, so massaging essential oils does mean that my cute fluffy white dog, becomes a cute oily white dog but the difference to his levels of comfort are noticeable and encouraging.

Dr Roark suggested I try massaging with a 3-4% dilution of doTERRA’s massage blend (Aroma Touch) and for pain relief to use diluted Lemongrass.  Both Dr Roark and Dr Boersma also suggested Frankincense for supporting his brain issues.

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What I have noticed with the massage is –  it works!  I’ve tried a straight massage and while that makes Harry happy at the time, when I stop he returns to his pacing and inability to settle.  When I massage with the oils the relief is noticeable.  Within 5 minutes he can settle, he lies down and has a nap.

©2017 Cathy Craig

Just had a massage and I’m ready for a nap. Take away that camera and leave me to sleep please.

I have also noticed that a fatty growth he has on his neck has reduced.  Yes, it is just a fatty growth, a needle biopsy was done by the first vet.  I suspect that the Frankincense may be a contributor to it’s reduction, as it’s nearest to where I rub that oil.

 

Art Filters

5 Jun

One of the settings that the Olympus camera has is a Dramatic Tone.  Sometimes though it is a little too dramatic.

©2017 Cathy Craig

Athletic Blend

16 May

I think I need to share something I discovered today.  It’s no use owning a product if you don’t use it for your own benefit.

Today I woke with a ‘crick’ in my neck.  An annoying muscle pain that just hits when I try to look over my right shoulder when driving.  Now that I’m home I dug out my DoTerra Iced Blue Rub – Oh My, instant relief.  I had a small sample bottle of this in my hand bag all day, even gave a sample to a friend.

Why didn’t I use it myself earlier?  Sometimes I think we forget to take care of ourselves. Sometimes we just need to put ourselves first.  We need to follow our own advice, because when we do our bodies thank us.

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Garden Hands

7 May

I like to potter in my garden and I am finally seeing some results with fruits for my labour.   I also have a lovely pair of gloves to protect my hands, however I’m all fingers and thumbs when wearing them, so apart from when touching yucky stuff, I usually ditch the gloves.

Ditching the gloves causes dirty, rough hands which is a problem of a night when I like to indulge in my other hobbies of knitting, crochet and embroidery.  There  is nothing more annoying than thread catching on rough skin.

My solution is a home made hand scrub.  I made a batch today to share with some friends this Thursday.  If you would like a copy of my recipe leave me a message in the comments.

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Freeze it! They said.

6 May

IMG_4049It turns out that I like cooking.  I like cooking dishes from scratch, not just opening a jar, frying off some meat and heating a sauce – which is what I used to do.

I use a lot of herbs and spices to add flavour to my food.  My favourite blog for inspiration is Thermofun and is run by a husband and wife team who are now my online friends.  Leonie is the one responsible for my herb pantry having well over 50 jars of necessary spices and blends.

A lot of the recipes I like use fresh ginger.  I have discovered that it does need to be fresh, powdered ginger does not have the same taste.  So I head to the shops, buy my fresh ginger, use what I need for the recipe and then put the rest in my cute little ginger jar for next time.  I’m sure you know where I’m heading here, the next time I need ginger I have a dry, shrivelled root that is no longer edible.

One day I put my search hat on and checked what the great big book of google had to say about freezing ginger.  Yes, was the answer.  No, you don’t have to peel it.  No, you don’t have to slice or grate it.  Just freeze it whole and use it as you need.

So I did that.  Froze it whole.  Now, I did need to use some and I broke off the little bit I needed and all was well with the world – until yesterday.  Yesterday the recipe needed about half of what I have frozen.  This is where panic started to set in.

Long story short, I invited a friend up for a late lunch and while the chicken was marinating I needed ginger for the sauce.  Except all I had was a hard lump of frozen ginger that no knife could cut.  The day had already been one of ‘those’ days and my brain just shut down.  Did I think of shaving off slivers? No.  Did I think of grabbing the microplane? No.  And to be honest both those options would probably have ended in blood.

Usually, I just leave out something if I don’t have it.  But seriously, Masala Curry needs ginger.  Then a light bulb went off.  I have a collection of essential oils that I use a lot in cooking but usually the fun ones, like Wild Orange or Peppermint in Fudge.  Or Lemon in icing.  Or Basil (because I can’t grow that no matter how hard I try).  I had a bottle of ginger (for travel sickness), why not use that?   So with much care and calculation I decided to add two drops.  I wizzed up the onions, garlic and ginger oil, did a sniff test – this is the official scientific approved method of does it smell good and can I smell a bit of everything – continued with my cooking, and voila one yummy chicken masala.

 

The Lemon Happy Dance

3 May

I have just harvested my first lemon.  If this seems like an odd thing to ‘happy dance’ about then you are blessed.  It means you have never suffered form Black-Thumb-itis.

My sister has the gardening genes in our family.  She can and does grow some strange and varied crops.  In fact, she was growing Kale before it became trendy (makes good chook food apparently).

The last couple of years my darling children have encouraged my poor attempts at growing food to put on the table by buying living plants for me as presents.  Oh, the pressure.  My lemon tree has survived a couple of years now.  We have had a love hate relationship.  I love the tree, it hates me.  It has flowered, only to succumb to wind.  It has set fruit, only to succumb to wind and heat.

Finally, this year, through much trauma and angst the tree and I have managed to sync, and I have lemons.  I have yellow lemons sitting on the tree.  They feel like little rocks and I don’t know when they will be fully ripe and ready to pick.  So today I took the plunge.

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Maple Butter

1 May

In Australia breakfast tradition for me growing up was Weetbix with milk.  In winter to warm our tummies Mum would pre soak the Weetbix with hot water, looking back now, I guess it was because that was easier than heating the milk as it was before the days of microwaves (gosh am I -that- old?)

As I got older and breakfast became more of a grab it an run, the go to was Vegemite and butter.  The catch being the toast has to be buttered hot, so the butter melts, and just a scraping of Vegemite, too much and ugh, too little and it’s just butter.  🙂

A treat, on special occasions would be hot crumpets with butter and honey.  I can still remember Mum asking me one day what was on the front of my shirt and me saying  ‘the crumpet juice’ leaked on my clean shirt.  I must have been about 3 or 4 at the time.

As an adult, I can have hot crumpets with honey and butter whenever I feel like it, which does mean that crumpets have somewhat lost their specialness.   Well I’m pleased to say that I have that specialness back thanks to Maple Butter.

I’m a member of a cooking group called Thermofun, a group I discovered not long after buying a Thermomix.  Leonie, the creator, is responsible for me rediscovering my love of cooking.   Now she is responsible for me falling in love with hot crumpets for breakfast again.  Checkout the recipe here http://thermofun.com/maple-butter/

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