Tired of being tired?

Our Cancer Scare

 A few years ago Skylar had a lump suddenly appear on his chest, like right in the middle between his rib bones. It was such an odd lump that we initially thought he might have been hit in the chest somehow and it was a scar. He has played baseball and been hit in the chest, as well as karate and there's been many times where he was hit in the chest by random pop flies, or Bahng Mahng Ee during combat with Taekwondo. Skip ahead several years to now. He started complaining of the spot around Christmas last year, saying how it was hurting him sometimes when he was in the shower, or barely bumping it putting his clothes on. I told him to let us know immediately if it started hurting worse and last week it did. It was hurting him so much so that he would tear up at the pain. Jeff made at appointment at a dermatologist right away and this week they were able to get him in for an evaluation. 

During his evaluation we learned that the lump was actually a cyst that needed to be removed. Of course that was the easy part to understand, the hard part was that the tissue needed to be tested to make sure it wasn't cancerous. His evaluation took place the day before Valentine's Day, so the office iguana was all dressed for the holiday and it was a nice thing to see during our stressful time there.

His next appointment to remove the cyst took place 15 days later and Skylar was nervous and so were we. I hate to see my baby in any sort of pain and the anxiety we all had was pretty high. We knew this was a routine biopsy, but this was our first time going through something like this. Skylar brought the stuffed "Swells" dog that we all take to serious operations or procedures for comfort. It does help when something familiar is near you, or in your arms. I used the same thing during my breast surgery in 2020.

The dermatologist numbed the area and cut open the area and removed the mass in a matter of 10 minutes. He cauterized the area and sewed it up and quickly as he removed it. The mass was a lot larger than we all expected and I couldn't help but cry watching Skylar go through all of that. It still is a bit emotional for us. Next we wait on the results to see if there's any cancer cells. Our hearts are still heavy.

We are just glad the first part is done and we can focus on positive thoughts until the results come in. We decided that we are not going to react until we get the results. We have high hopes that it will be negative, so we are focusing on good things right now. The iguana in the office was all dressed for Saint Patrick's Day coming up, too. So again, that was a nice distraction for us again.

When we got home I had made Skylar's favorite apple pie and it was waiting on him to enjoy. Jeff and I also got him all his favorite foods and drinks and he will be taken care of 100%. He said his chest is sore and burns a little, but overall he is tired. He has been sleeping a lot and we make sure he is comfortable while he heals.

Five Simple Things (February 24)


Here are five things this week.

1. These Snails.

Skylar's snails got a new home this week. We found a smaller enclosure for them, because they one these had was too big now that we are down to only two snails. One of the things we enjoy the most about snails is how active they are at night. Nothing is cuter than watching a snail munch on some lettuce leaves, or drink a drop of water. We just love them.

2. This Weather.


Earlier in the days this week we had a few bouts of sleet, but we got a nice surprise on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning and woke up to snow fall. It didn't last long coming down, but it was beautiful falling against the night sky and the lights.

3. These Muffins.

This month we took a trip to IKEA and I picked up these two canvas recipe prints. This week we decided to give the blueberry muffin recipe a try. They turned out great and our next task is to try the pumpkin soup recipe. When we do give it a try I will check back in and give feedback. Definitely keeping an eye out for anymore recipe canvas prints at our local IKEA every time we go now.

4. These Ducks.

We are looking to move our duck house soon and not quite sure where to place it, or even if it's worth repairing and moving. We have noticed it failing in some areas, especially around the bottom parts of the coop. This coop is several years old and has been moved a few times to different locations. Over those years and moves, it has slowly starting showing its age. Stay tuned for an update on this. Hopefully we can save it, but if not, we will come up with something just as nice for the little duckies to live in.

5. This Rosemary.

We gave our rosemary bush a trim this week and it was much needed. A lot of it was overgrown so much that we had to pull the bush together with twine and trim it that way to prevent large gouges out of the bush. We were able to trim enough to where the bush will have a chance to grow out this coming summer season. Can't wait to use the rosemary clippings in other ways, though. I love rosemary and the fact that it's such a versatile herb. 

One last thing:

We love our local food coop (First Alternative Co-Op). These pictures above are the north and south store locations in Corvallis, Oregon. The best thing about these co-ops are the fact that they are part of the Food Cooperatives that are located nationwide. They offer organic and local products that are better for you and the environment. Check here to see if there's one close to you.

Positive affirmations this week:
Trust the process when it comes to healing trauma, anxiety, and/or depression. Someone else's healing time will not be your healing time. Give yourself plenty of time and trust the process needed to heal your brain and your struggles. Once you let go of your expectations and your comparison to others, it really does get better. You can do this!

Have a nice weekend.

Rosemary Hair Rinse

Recently we trimmed our rosemary bush in our side yard and after making a few firepit bundles to ward off bugs, mainly mosquitos, we still had a lot left over. Brainstorming on how to use them so they didn't go to waste, I decided to create some homemade rosemary hair rinse. It was easier than I thought and I have definitely been enjoying rinsing my hair in the rosemary tea after my shower is over. I've also added a few sprigs bundled together with twine to hang in our shower for a nice scent when we shower.

Rosemary is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and vasodilator, meaning it dilates the blood cells. It also helps stimulate hair growth, improves circulation, and soothes the scalp to some degree. Rosemary hair oil has become more popular lately and creating your own rosemary tea will give the same benefits from the rosemary just in a different form. Rosemary tea is great for hair breakage and what I found out while using mine was fuller hair and less oiliness. Of course, these are only my personal experiences with the rosemary tea I created, and everyone's hair is different, but there are no harmful side effects known of rosemary tea. Another added benefit I noticed with daily use was a shiny, more manageable hair to style.

Here is how it's made:

Working in batches, I added the clipped rosemary sprigs from the previous rosemary trimming of our bush to a large stock pot (mine is from IKEA and hold five quarts) and poured 10 to 12 cups of water over the rosemary. I added about 20 sprigs per pot and allowed them to come to a boil.

Once they started boiling I allowed them to remain boiling for about 10 minutes.

The water will slowly start to turn light brown in color. This is where the heat should be turned off. I let the rosemary sit in the water for about 10 more minutes to get the most out of the herb.

Remove the rosemary sprig from the rosemary water and set aside. I used tongs for the large pieces and a slotted spoon for the smaller ones. Allow the rosemary water to cool to room temperature before bottling. Be sure to compost your rosemary scraps, or throw into a brown paper sack and toss on a firepit or campfire. Rosemary helps keeps mosquitos and other bugs at bay.

Once cooled place a funnel and a fine mesh strainer over the top of your jars and fill jars as much as you want per jar. I like to leave a bit of space, about two inches at the top of the jar, to help with pouring it into the applicator bottles later. I use an applicator bottle that has a small resealable top on the bottle in the shower to apply it, similar to the one pictured below, but you could pour straight from the jars onto your hair, as well. Store the jars in the refrigerator in the meantime. They will last about a month when refrigerated. The applicator bottle that I keep in my shower, I make sure to use that rosemary hair rinse in about three days and then refill it. I've been doing this rinse for about three months now and I do see a difference. Less hair in the shower drain, less itching, less breakage, etc. Everyone's hair is different, so if you are concerned about truing this on your own hair, speak to your hair stylist, or physician beforehand. Overall rosemary is a safe herb and I just love the benefits of it all the way around, from eating, to topical, to even medicinal, it's a great addition to your routine from head to toe.

Amber applicator bottles                        Ball Wide Mouth Jars (32 oz.)