Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Do

The cake "thrown together" by a friend
November of 2011, I met the most wonderful man through eHarmony.  We met for lunch and the two hours I had allotted flew by.  It was the most enjoyable and relaxing lunch I had ever had with a man I had just met.  We have been with each other almost every day since then.  When we haven't been together, we have talked on the phone or texted each other.  He lived less than 500 feet (as the crow flies) from where I lived!
Last summer we went to Minnesota, I stayed for three weeks, he was with me for the first week.  Shortly after I returned home, he took me to dinner, got down on his knees and asked me to marry him (June 29, 2012).
I have witnessed first hand how fast the wedding becomes about everyone else and not the bride and groom.  I am not a party-planning girl and had no desire for a big event.  I just wanted to marry my man!  After many different ideas of how we would marry we decided to invite my family over (his family lives out of state, and travel to Alaska is not cheap) for our wedding claiming it was our "First Annual Summer Solstice BBQ."
In Alaska a person can "commission" one marriage, so we asked my husband's best friend to do this, his wife would be one witness and we would ask my mom to be the other.  My family arrived, and I informed them that they weren't here for just a BBQ, but were here to witness our wedding.
My mom's first reaction was to cry and tell me how mad she was (she got over it).
On a very sunny June day in Alaska (one week shy of his asking me to marry him), I married my best friend, on the deck of the house we purchased together.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Post Hike Blisters and doTERRA

Last week I got to take a wonderful, yet very long, hike.  It was great, yet horrible.  I am not in the shape I used to be and hiking 10.6 miles round trip on one of the hottest days in Alaska (it was 91 at my house when I got home -- it is NEVER that hot) was, at times, unbearable!

I am a very careful hiker.  I carry a backpack that is packed with food, water, first aid, bear spray, anything that I would need if a hike were to go wrong.  It can easily weigh over 10 pounds.  Hiking in Alaska is not easy, and if you sustain an injury and can't get out, you might need to spend the night.

Despite the best laid plans, I hiked with someone who was so focused on the destination, she refused to hear that I was reaching my limit and really should turn back.

The hike out was awful--I was exhausted and my feet hurt!  At about 3 miles from our car, I sat down, took off my shoes thinking I had blisters between my toes, none were to be found between the toes, but I discovered that the pain on my heels were blisters.  I applied first aid ointment between toes and on the blisters to provide lubrication, replaced socks and shoes, and continued my painful, slow walk to my car.

Both feet immediately after we got to the car

As soon as we got to the car, the shoes and socks came off and I almost cried to see how big those two blisters had gotten from when I last saw them.

That night I soaked my tired, sore body in the tub with Epsom Salts, and crawled into bed dead tired.

In the morning the blisters were full of serum and very painful.  My husband (who at the time was my fiancĂ© -- we got married June 22) drained the blisters for me.  I toyed with treating one blister with doTERRA Essential Oils and the other not.  In the end I decided to treat them both the same.

I researched the best way to treat the blisters using Essential Oils and found that if the blisters were painful and prevented wearing shoes to drain them with a sterilized pin, soak in Epsom Salts and then apply Lavender and/or Melaleuca.  I had Lavender, but no Melaleuca.

Deciding to treat them both the same was a good idea because the blister on my right foot was far deeper.  I have probably drained the blister on my right foot 3 times as often as the one on the left foot.

Friday (4 days post-hike), I received my first order from doTERRA and started using Melaleuca in addition to the Lavender.

Right foot, deeper blister, June 22.  Five days post-hike
Blister was drained Friday, hadn't filled up yet.
Left foot, blister, June 22.  Five days post-hike
Hard to see where blister was.

The above pictures speak for themselves (taken the morning of my wedding).  Over the weekend, the right blister filled back up and was drained, followed by a soak in Epsom Salts followed by Lavender and Melaleuca .

Left foot, blister, June 25, seven days post-hike
Hard to see where blister was, looks like skin may have reattached.

Right foot, blister, June 25, eight days post-hike
Drained Monday, still not sure if the skin will reattach.
I have never had this severe of blisters reattach the skin.  I will keep you posted but, once again I am SOLD on Essential Oils.  WOW!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I am Sold on Essential Oils

Summer has found me to be very busy.  One of my long-time goal was to get my home yoga practice going.  I set up my office/craft/spare bedroom so that I could easily pull out my mat and do yoga every morning.

But that never happened.

This spring I purchased my first Groupon - one unlimited month at a local yoga studio for a 56% discount. 

I joined the "30 Day Wellness Challenge" at the yoga studio and have set a goal to attend 5 sessions at the yoga studio per week, do yoga 2 days at home, and earn 100% on my Weight Watchers (WW) Active Link (AL) per week, earning at least 3 Activity Points (AP) per day.

Last week, I attended 5 classes at the studio, earned 103% of my AL goal, with 28 AP's!

So, in my quest to get more active, when my friend called to see if I wanted to go hiking, I was game (see post dated June 18 for pictures of a wonderful hike).

Sorry, I have digressed, I started to tell you about essential oils and I still haven't gotten there.  The studio sells doTERRA Essential Oils and I was willing to try them.  I purchased an Introductory Kit for $26.67 which came with Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint (three top sellers).  I also attended an oils class at the studio.
Introductory Kit

So, what sold me on doTERRA Essential Oils?

First:  I was told that peppermint can stop a migraine.  Okay, sounds far fetched, but I'd try it.  I was almost happy a couple days after the class that I had the signs that a major migraine was on it's way with auras.  I knew I had about 1/2 hour before I HAD to take my prescription drugs, so I applied peppermint to my temples, across my forehead and on the back of my neck. I also popped a Peppermint Beadlet.  The migraine never materialized!  Now let me tell you, once I have the vision signs the only way to prevent a migraine that will put me in bed, dark room, no sound, is to take some powerful prescription drugs!  AMAZING!

Second:  If that wasn't wonderful enough, remember the hike I took Monday?  I am out of shape, Tuesday and I was feeling every muscle I had used.  I had blisters on my feet, my arthritis flared up, I just wanted to crawl in a corner and die.  My 49 year old body was not happy with my inner 18 year old who wrongly believed a little 10+ mile hike on the hottest day of the summer in Alaska was a good thing.

I researched what to do for my aches and pains and I had what I needed - Lavender and Peppermint.

After a soak in the tub, I messaged lavender oil on my blisters, as well as gave myself a good food message.  I rubbed lavender oil and peppermint on my aching joints.  I had taken Aleeve, but when the arthritis flares up in my hips, Aleeve just takes the edge off the pain.  In less than 30 minutes, I was almost back to normal.  Periodically during the day I would rub down areas that ached with lavender and/or peppermint.

Third:  Prior to our walk, I read that Peppermint was great as a mosquito repellent (I also learned that BEARS love peppermint, so I chose to not be a peppermint-flavored-human for bears and used normal mosquito repellent).  Last night I rubbed peppermint on my dog and we went outside, she was left alone; normally she is covered in mosquitos.

I am so sold on doTERRA that I decided to sign up.  Please contact me, visit my store, give Essential Oils a try! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Little Hike in Alaska to Symphony Lake


On the hottest day of the year (91 at my house), a friend and I decide to go on a little hike.  She is in far better shape than I and kept pushing me on, beyond where I should have gone.  The hike, one way was 5.3 miles so, I walked over 10 miles.  It took us 10 hours, I was walking very, very, very slow towards the end (blisters on my feet, so it was very slow going).  I will let the pictures do most of the talking!

Looking back towards where the we had come.

The valley - towards where we were going.  The little river is the South Fork of Eagle River.
Our destination

A bull moose - we had to wait for him to get off the trail.

Part of the rock moraine - and one of the many little puddles on the way to Symphony Lake

More of the boulder field of the rock moraine.

At Symphony Lake - still had snow on the shores in pocket.  Was very hot, we took off our shoes and put our feet in the icy water - it felt so great!

Looking back to Symphony Lake and part of the boulder field we had to scramble over.

Rock Moraine

Eagle Lake - the prettier of the two lakes.  Glacier fed, so has a beautiful blue/green color.

Eagle Lake and the boulder field we needed to traverse to get home.

Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake -- and 5 miles left to get to the car.....

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Project not doing it for you?

Last year, I knit three different projects from a skein of hand spun yarn before settling on the Helix Scarf.  One of the projects I liked knitting, but it just didn't match the yarn, was the Birch Leaf Shawl.  I would show up at my weekly knitting group unraveling one project, while knitting another before settling on the Helix Scarf.  We joked about how much knitting I got out of that one skein of yarn!  It bothered my mom to see one beautiful project unraveled and knit into something else!

July of 2012 I cast on another Birch Leaf Shawl with lace weight yarn; it was such a quick knit with the hand spun, and I really loved the look of the shawl!  It was one of the three UFO projects I started 2013 with.

So?  What's the hold up?  I am just not enjoying the knit.  At one point I was ready to frog it. 

I was knitting them on KnitPicks Sunstruck interchangeables, I tried KnitPicks Harmony, and wasn't happy with them either.  I wanted to finish the shawl, but it was a huge black cloud over my head.  TI struggled with getting the stitches off the cable and onto the needles, and then the stitches would fall off the needles.  Dropping stitches while knitting a lace pattern, well, in a word?  It SUCKS!

I have started and finished several other projects, while growling at the Birch Leaf Shawl.  I was really beginning to HATE that shawl.  It would migrate to the bottom of my knitting bag, then I'd see it and feel guilty for not working on it.  I'd knit on it, fight with the needles, the yarn, the cable, hate the project and contemplate frogging it.

When casting on Lucy with my Knitter's Pride Trendz Acrylic tips, it got me thinking.  I liked the grip of the acrylic tips and wondered how they would be for the dreaded Birch Leaf Shawl.  Only problem was I didn't have the size I needed.  I went to our LYS and they didn't sell acrylic tips.  So, an order from KnitPicks was in order. 

The tips arrived this week and I think I have a match.  There is just enough "stick" that the stitches don't slip off the needles!  I only wish that Knitter's Pride sold the acrylic tips individually. 

So, when a project isn't doing it for you, try different needles!