Good Sunday morning!
If you have been hanging around my blog for awhile, you might recall that we share our lives with a squirrel named Henri. This little girl came to us last fall as an orphan, and was hand raised. It’s not my first rodeo in squirrel rearing, but it is my first with a female squirrel. Because she is a wild animal, our intention was always to raise her and then return her to a somewhat protected environment where she can ‘be a squirrel’ as God meant her to be.
Her release was gradual when the time came…. first letting her spend time outdoors and getting her acquainted with the area (in her case, our wraparound porch). We went from supervised playtime outdoors to semi-unsupervised playtime outdoors, and from nights spent indoors to nights spent outdoors. We bought her an enormous parrot cage that has a top that can be left open, and she began sleeping outdoors in that protected environment. I left the top open, and she would play all day out of her cage, and then return to the cage on her own free will to sleep there at night. One night several months ago, she didn’t come ‘home’ for the night, and I tried my best to hold down the panic of her absence. She was a teenager after all…. and we all know what kind of trouble teens can get themselves into after dark, especially given the predators that come out once the sun goes down. Thankfully, she was ok, and showed up the next morning for breakfast. She did however find a new home…. kind of. She had started her own apartment in the sub-ceiling of part of our barn/stall area that is attached to our home (yes, I know it sounds weird, but we are very animal friendly around here!).
The months have gone by, and Henri has turned into an independent adult squirrel. She still lives 100% with us, but is free to do whatever it is that squirrels do during the day.
I’ve been biting my nails as spring has approached. We live on the tree lined edge of pastured land, so Henri would actually have to make a bit of a run to the trees to find a community of her own kind. Surprisingly, as communicatively extroverted as they are, squirrels do not tend to be ‘pack animals’ (a group of squirrels is actually called a ‘scurry’)…. preferring to live life on their own terms. They will come together a few times a year (usually spring and fall) to mate and have babies. THIS is what I’ve been biting my nails over! While we love Henri, and she’s found a good safe place in the auspices of our care to live out her life (under our roof), I’m more than a little concerned about what might happen if she finds a cute little male squirrel to make babies with. Doing the math, it appears that in just a few short years, we’d have 262,144 squirrels living with us (provided that they all survived of course). I hope you are now biting your nails too… because that prospect is a little daunting. So far, Henri, has shown zero destructive tendencies in her living arrangements, but squirrels can be fairly destructive to a home if left to their own devices, and we’d be a little outnumbered rather quickly.
Henri is an Eastern Fox Squirrel, and I just did a little more digging on their mating habits. I’ve been watching her like a hawk this spring… looking for evidence that she’s had a tryst with some little guy who caught her eye, but other than getting a little chunky, she’s shown no signs of impending motherhood. Technically, and according to literature, spring litters should have already sprung. I worried then, that something had happened to the babies (I know, I’m bipolar on my stance on this… but what’s a mama to do?). This morning I found the following: “Females become sexually mature at 10 to 11 months of age and usually produce their first litter when they are a year old.”
Gahhhhh! Given this information, I can relax for just a wee bit longer…. Henri’s only 7 months old. I can breathe a little more freely until late summer and early fall, and we can worry about this all over again :).
So this morning, I bring you a little sunshine from my little girl, Henri. Enjoy your day!
You may have seen by now that I have a passion for sharing and educating. I can’t help it… and at times I am unapologetic about my passion. I love sustainable wellness and sustainable living… the methods, the practice, the fact that it is available to everyone who is willing to work for it. I don’t think I would be this way if I hadn’t spent 25+ years in the trenches of the pharmaceutical industry, and seen the carnage that results from loosely prescribing ‘bandaid medication’ instead of getting to the root of what is actually malfunctioning and working to correct what has gone awry holistically. Don’t get me wrong (I feel like a broken record player saying this), there is a time and a place for medications, but why is the consumption of 80% of ALL medications worldwide occurring in the United States by Americans? We’ve been suckered into thinking that a little pill will solve everything.
I post occasionally about Young Living products because it is a company I believe in as a sustainable wellness tool……. they provide me, my family, and my farm-ily with what we need to support our various body systems (in addition to eating properly, exercising daily, nurturing our faith and deep friendships & maintaining emotional life-work-stress balance) so that we can function optimally, despite the abuse our bodies have taken over the years. YL is one of the most ethically sound companies I have ever come across…..far more so than any drug company I’ve found in my pharmacy career, or any traditional mega-corporate food company where profit is king.
As I dive deeper into supplements and all things Young Living on occasional posts, you might think I am speaking a little vaguely on some topics. In fact, you might wonder why I say something like “please Google Frankincense or one of its constituents, alpha-pinene using https://scholar.google.com/ for more specific information”. It’s not because I don’t know. Frankly, it’s the opposite…. it’s because I DO know but cannot legally relay ALL of the information to you.
There are two organizations that will prevent me from providing you with concise and precise information for the following reasons:
The FDA: You can read about the scope of the FDA here . Per FDA guidelines, “we” cannot make definitive health claims on products that are deemed supplements and that haven’t gone thru the vetting process that is dictated by the FDA (this is both good and bad)….despite the fact that there are literally thousands upon thousands of studies on essential oils and their role and place in healthcare. I invite you to begin your personal research on both pubmed.gov and on Google Scholar . Both of these resources are a wealth of information, so bookmark this page. You may want to come back to both links later after we’ve talked more.
A couple of years ago, the FDA & FTC really cracked down on supplement and nutritional companies, and so it became a bit more tricky to share valuable information. Please take some time to read this article from Health Impact News for details.
The FTC: You can read about the FTC here . The long and the short of it is this: While I work independently, I am representing products that I use from Young Living. Having done the research, from a pharmacists perspective, I believe you would not find a more superior health/wellness product line anywhere. However, I cannot make claims to diagnose, treat, or attempt to cure…. I can only lead you as much as possible down the information path so that you can reach your own educated conclusions.
So, sometimes, my words may seem a little vague or “fluffy”. You likely want hard cold facts. I understand that, and I want to help you navigate “what to do when, where, why, and how” with ease so that you too can have optimal wellness. Young Living has created a document called ” Sharing Young Living the Right Way” and in order to remain compliant and in the good graces of the FDA and FTC, I do my best to abide by that document. Please feel free to refer to that link when needed in our discussions. That way, we will speak the same language and you will better understand the path I am trying to guide you down.
Education is important, and so is learning to navigate information. Learning to be the CEO of your own health is a skill that requires honing and development, and too many people assume it’s somebody else’s job to do it for them. That’s a risky proposition if you ask me….. the business of letting someone else (who may have more interest in your ill health than they do in keeping you well) be the manager of you. Everyone has choices. Do not be afraid to take the plunge and do a little research yourself….. and if you have questions along the way….. GREAT! That’s what I’m here for. I’m happy to be your bloodhound, tour guide, and navigator here to help!
Good morning. Last week was a rough week…. lots of sunsets in my world. It began by my trip to east Texas to help my mom pack up and prepare to move back to our home state of Wyoming. Lots of emotions in that task alone…….
My dad died in December 2013, and so this was the final hurrah of going thru his remaining belongings, military honors (USNA graduate 1960), momentos, and decades of pictures that he had saved…. finding homes for items that others would value and appreciate more than just stored interminably in my closet at home. I am a minimalist, but even as one, it’s still hard to just discard items that clearly had value to a man who was a minimalist himself, and one whom I loved dearly. Lots of difficult decisions to make, and yet it had to be done with inner resolve I wasn’t always sure I possessed. Getting mom packed was a mixture of sunset and sundown for me.
Upon my return home to the farm, I found that Kelly, our oldest dog, had taken a significant turn for the worse. We don’t know Kelly’s age…. all of our dogs are rescues… and he is certainly no exception. He was at least 15…. quite old for a 60+ lb dog. Kelly had been suffering from what was most likely bone cancer for several months. Although we try to manage things as naturally as possible around here, there is a time and a place in my world when conventional medicine must step in. When his discomfort and organ failure exceeded that which oils and supplements cannot support, we managed his world with Tramadol and steroids for at least 4 months.
Even with ever increasing dosage, it was clear that holding on to him was not the humane thing to do. So, with a heavy heart, I called our vet to come out to our place to peacefully end his life. Our final gift to our animals is to always have the vet come here. I would rather pay for a house call so that our babies are stress free even at the very end. Kelly was a feral dog when he came to us…. completely feral. Untouchable. Ran with the coyotes out here…. THAT kind of feral. He became part of the family about 14 years ago, and was ultimately one of the most gentle souls in canine form that I’ve ever come across. His quiet presence is sorely missed around here, and his sweet self is now resting peacefully in our large animal graveyard, next to his first best friend…an old lab named Radar. Sunset.
My husband and I basically did a high five as we passed each other on the highway as I came home to manage the farm as he headed towards central Texas. He had received a call from his mom Wednesday morning. She was in the hospital, suspected of having had two small strokes. My MIL has since been transferred to a rehab facility, and hopefully will be returning home in the next few weeks…… buying enough time for the family to figure out living arrangements. The time has come that she shouldn’t be living alone anymore…. she is not able manage her medications, eating well, or her health. Losing independence is a rough thing. I watched my dad go thru it and adjust, and I’m hopeful that my MIL will be as graceful with this ‘new normal’ as he was. This part of life is hard emotionally and physically, both for the parent and their kids. Sunset.
My dad had all kinds of ‘sailor-isms’ he used to say. One of them that I know well regarded weather….. “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning”.
This was one of the roughest emotionally charged weeks we’ve had in a long while. It has required both of us to put ‘regular life’ on hold…work, gardening, farm, chores/errands….. and just dogpaddle…. keeping one emotional nostril above water.
The sunsets have been tough, I am seek comfort in knowing that every sunset is followed by a sunrise. Life goes on, and the uncomfortable, the ugly, and the just plain sad simply serve to remind me to embrace all that is good in life, and know that without the bad, we might simply take the good for granted. I thank God for that, and for giving me the ability to see the sunsets not as the precursor to darkness, but holding on to a piece of the sail….and remember the sailor’s delight that is to come at dawn.
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!