I’m back home and done with travelling for a few months. While I have loved meeting new friends and teaching in other states, it has taken several days to feel like balance has been restored around here. As my sweetest of husbands said (more than once)… “we fall apart when you are not around”. My being gone is a relatively rare occurrence…. I am the homebody after all. Neither one of us is ever gone for long, but in our 25 year marriage, he has had to travel much more than I have.
Charlie and I are a team in the truest sense. There are so many things he is skilled in that I simply fumble thru with mediocrity. Likewise, just as God intended for us, I am adept in areas that Charlie manages (with determination, if not skill) in my my absence. One of these is animal husbandry. My first college degree was in Animal Science from Texas A&M (’89). Aside from the enormous amount of science preparing me for pharmacy school, that degree has served our lifestyle well. Soil health, animal husbandry, genetics, nutrition…. all of that. While I did pack in the practical knowledge during those college years, it did not give me the gift I use the most….. intuition. I say this humbly, but I have the gift of being able to (usually) intuitively manage our ‘farmily’…. and in doing so, we have a remarkably smoothly run farm…. despite the diversity of animals. We co-exist… all of us… fur, feathers, two, and four legged alike.
Back in April, we had one of the roughest months emotionally that we’ve ever had. I still can’t even think about it without getting tears in my eyes. Among other things, we lost two dogs in two weeks to cancer…. one expected (at the ripe old age of ~15), and the other, completely unexpected, at the still fairly young age of ~9. Because I’m just not ready to put that story to text yet, I’ll leave it at that. The younger dog was one of the best dogs we’ve ever had the privilege of sharing our lives with.His name was Foster, and he was a rescue…. part Border collie and part Australian shepherd. Because he was so incredibly intuitive himself, he quickly became an asset to our farm, and became my right hand dog when it came to working with the cows. He learned (on his own, I might add) what I needed from him, and did an amazing job of keeping the cows from crowding me ever much. In losing Foster, I lost a pet, a friend, and literally, a ranchhand. The loss was tremendous.
Although we were no where near ready to open our hearts to a new dog, I knew we needed to put feelers out quickly to fill the position that Foster left behind. Let me tell you, his pawprints were big to fill. We first looked for a rescue, and then expanded our search to include “working cow dogs for sale” when all we heard was the sound of crickets in our preliminary search.
“seeking adult dog, preferably of Border Collie or Australian Shepherd breeding. Must get along with other dogs, cats, chickens, horses, and cows…… and squirrels (surely you see my problem here). Dog must be savvy and show instinct to work cattle. While we prefer to adopt/rescue, we will pay for a trained dog if necessary (the first time we have EVER considered doing this, but our need was huge).
A week into our search, I got the following email: “we have a dog that may interest you. She is a return to our rescue group and is seeking a home in the country. She is half Australian Shepherd, and half Great Pyr. She shows strong herding instinct with sheep and goats, but not sure about cows. Gets along well with other dogs and cats… not so sure about chickens or squirrels.”
We agreed to give her a try. Her name is Daisy, and her two week trial period became a lifetime commitment for us. She is not perfect, but she’s growing by leaps and bounds in terms of workability with the cows. (Again… another story for another day!)
I bet you’re wondering where all of these tidbits of stories tie in together? Daisy is an incredibly smart dog. She is one of those dogs who has the ability to do whatever is asked of her….but she is like a kid who is so smart that she thinks she needs to be the “boss of all of that”…. ie: she wants to be the Alpha Dog.
Memo to Daisy: Ain’t nobody gonna be the Alpha Dog, but Mama Dog.
Memo to Mama Dog: If you aren’t around, Daisy Dog volunteers & assumes immediate responsibility for said position vacated by Mama Dog.
The interesting thing about all of this is that if I go run errands, or leave for the day, all is well and my leadership is not questioned. Daisy behaves and defers to Charlie (most of the time). But apparently (as evidenced by my leaving…. really leaving…. and coming back 3 times in 21 days), once she thinks I’m out of the picture, she assumes the crown, the cape, the scepter…. and becomes a ruling army of one.
Animal psychology is so very interesting to me, and I wish I could speak to them. I’m hoping that animals speak when I get to heaven so that I can have some of these conversations and figure all of this out! Daisy adores me. She worships the ground I walk on, and she is already my #1 protector….but she challenges leadership of both man and dog when I am not around.
Today, I’ve been home for a week, and things are back to normal. She is obedient and doting on my presence. I can feel the other animals relaxing their posture when she is around.
It’s good to be loved, but this power struggle in my absence is concerning. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
I really never gave too much thought about carrier oils until recently. My standby has always been fractionated coconut oil. Coconut oil can be great for certain skin types, and I’ve just never felt the need to venture beyond FCO….. until recently. Oh sure, I’ve dabbled here and there…. stepping out on my old friend, but always coming back home to my tried and true love. I was well aware of carrier oils for skin types (see above), but did you know that…. just like essential oils…. carrier oils have attributes that support and affect body systems beyond the integumentary system/skin?
Y'all know the difference, right? A carrier oil is a fatty oil base. They can go rancid over time and although they may have some health benefits, carrier oils generally don’t hold a candle to those benefits seen with Essential Oils. Essential oils, on the other hand, are not fat based…. nor do they feel oily. With the exception of the cold pressed citrus oils, they have an incredibly long shelf life (provided they are cared for properly). Essential oils can be diluted with carrier oils without affecting their effects on our body.
Young Living Essential Oils help support virtually every single body system. We typically choose which oils we are going to diffuse, apply, or ingest according to the body system we wish to support. We may or may not use a carrier oil along with our oils depending on personal choice. Regardless of which carrier oil you choose to use, begin with these tenants:
However, there are some distinct benefits to using carrier oils with your essential oils:
Yep. Here are a few examples:
Remember, Google is your friend here. If you are curious about a specific carrier oil, do a little research. You may get more than you bargained for (and I mean that in a really good way!).
Young Living has a complete line of carrier oils too, available in 8 oz bottles. Each one is a synergistic blend of carrier oils and essential oils designed for a specific purpose. (You will want to read the ingredients closely if you happen to have a sensitivity to a particular oil.)
Do any of these carrier oils tickle your fancy? Give one of them a try and let me know what you think.
If you are an oil carrying aficionado, I would encourage you to also keep a small bottle of carrier oil on hand to dilute in the unfortunate circumstance that you get an oil in your eye. Should that ever happen, don’t flush with water (it will only make it worse). Instead use a little carrier oil in the corner of your eye to immediately dilute the offending essential oil. If you failed to heed my advice and have no carrier oil on hand, simply use any fatty substance (butter, milk, or even a piece of bacon fat!) in place of the carrier oil. I hope you never need this piece of info, but if this has never happened to you, you’ve simply not used oils long enough!
Take care, and have a blessed September day!
These past two weeks have been very different for our household. I am the poster child homebody. I get homesick after about 4 days away from my refuge. I am grounded and in harmony with my ‘feeps’ (farm peeps), and start to feel off when I’m gone for too long. Back in January, Charlie and I made the decision to cut back my hours at the pharmacy to 20hrs/week. I was killing myself trying to get everything done on the farm, educate others on holistic wellness, and work at the pharmacy. Something had to give…. either that or I was going to run out of steam. I was scared to death. It was the first time in my 25+ year career that I carried no benefits of my own. Our new routine took about 5 months to settle into but I finally got my groove, and I am loving every minute of it! My income from Young Living has enabled me to step out from behind the pharmacy counter and actually DO life the way it was meant to be done.
At the end of August, I took a whirlwind four day trip up to Iowa to teach a few wellness classes in person. Women’s health (as you know…. a particular passion of mine). General wellness. Non Toxic Skincare. It was a fabulous trip and I met so many neat ladies (and guys) in the midwest. I spent a few of my youngest years in Des Moines, and we managed a quick peek at the house I spent those years in. I have only fragments of memories of those years, but Iowa felt familiar to me.
While I was gone, tragedy struck our fair state. A monster by the name of Harvey came ashore and changed lives and landscapes forever. We live in very North Texas where tornadoes and hail storms are our nemesis, but this storm down south affected us all. We are a state that sticks together, and the pain is real. My heart goes out to everyone touched by the disaster, but especially those who are grieving the loss of life, including those of their pets and livestock. I know how it feels to love animals fiercely, and many people are grieving for losses beyond mere possessions. Heartbreaking.
Those 4 days I was gone, were just enough to make me homesick, and it made the storm in our home state nearly surreal. Charlie was a trooper… my sweet husband assumed the mantle of being ‘both of us’ for those 4 days and that is no small feat. We are both busy people, and time is already managed efficiently within each of our schedules.
The animals noticed my absence….. and a small seismic shift began occurring. I came home, but 3 days later I left again for another 4 days for a scheduled visit to Philly to see family. The seismic shift grew larger. Animals are creatures of habit….. but then again, aren’t we all (two legged and four legged alike)? I’ll speak more of this shift later this week…. it deserves a post of its own.
I miss home when I’m not here. The peace of it all. The solitude that isn’t really. I am surrounded by unconditional love. Even the sunlight showers me with affection. I am grounded in the Spirit. I feel God…. REALLY feel His presence when I am here in my place of peace. Dogs. Horses. Cows. The chicken’s excitement at my presence. The unseasonably cool morning breeze kissing my skin. Spiderwebs… as much as I hate running into them nearly every morning….. I appreciate their presence. Nature is nurturing my spirit.
I am a people watcher, and see people who have not yet found their place of peace. They are constantly searching for the next best thing to purchase or booking their next travel destination because they are restless in spirit and seeking something they’ve not yet found. Contentment of place, time, and circumstance. Groundedness. Peace.
I love that I get homesick. Crazy isn’t it? Crazy but true. In the grand scheme of 365 days, I am gone only a fraction of that. How blessed am I that home is my favorite place in all of the earth.
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!