Journal · young living

Find your inner joy

Life is too short to not live it how we want. We need to find the things that make us the happiest and do more of them. This weekend I was lucky enough to attend a ladies night. We laughed so much that the next day my cheeks hurt and it felt like I had done the best abs workout ever. It is amazing how a night out with people you love is so good for the soul. It reminded me that I need to find more time to do the things that truly make me happy. It’s part of my plan for the year to focus on what makes me happy in life. It’s been way harder than I thought it would be. Why is that? Why do we allow ourselves to get wrapped up in the day to day stress? And why do we allow the negative people in our lives to drag us down with them? Or is that just me that allows that to happen?

I have found an oil blend that helps uplift me and makes me smile more. I use it in my diffuser regularly. It is:

A wonderful smelling blend that makes me smile

So here’s to all of us living the life we want to live, and enjoying things more!

Journal

Appreciate your time with loved ones

It’s been a while since I have sat down to write anything. Initially I was sick and didn’t feel up to it, I felt like I had the never ending cold that sucked all the life out of me for over 2 months, and then the unthinkable happened and I didn’t know what I should say about it, if anything. Many of you heard about the awful tragedy that struck the Humboldt Broncos. And if you haven’t I’m not sure where you have been hiding, but a simple google search will catch you up on what happened, written by people much more qualified than I am to write about it. It was something that affected everyone. You couldn’t find a person who didn’t know someone, or knew someone who knew someone, or at a bare minimum was a hockey fan who understands how integral hockey is to small town Saskatchewan…really most communities in Canada understand how small the hockey community is. Now I can’t say I’m currently involved in anything to do with hockey personally (other than having a lot of friends and family with kids playing hockey), but that wasn’t always the case. When my husband and I were first dating that was how we spent most of our weekends, we were like most small town teenagers, we were at the hockey rink cheering on our home team. We travelled all over to watch them play. And many of our friends and family played higher level hockey. So the tragedy really hit home, as it did for everyone. It was a devastating event, but it also brought the world together. It was amazing to hear how much money was raised from so many countries for the Humboldt Broncos. The outpouring of support made me feel so proud to be part of our country. I can’t honestly say that most of the time, when we are bombarded by negativity. This was a horrible accident that brought the best out of everyone. It was great to see that we can all put our differences aside and pull together to support each other when we need to. It is something that no one will ever forget ๐Ÿ’” #Humboldtstrong

It also made me reflect on myself and my life. It’s so easy to focus on the negative and what is “wrong” with things around you. I am trying very hard to appreciate everything and focus on what makes me happy. I’m not saying the negative in my life has magically disappeared, but I’m trying not to let it consume my day. There are so many things in life that we take for granted. I’m trying not to do that anymore, I want to know that the last thing I said to someone was kind, and that if something happens to someone I love I will know that they knew I loved them and appreciated them in my life. I hope everyone takes the good out of this tragedy and makes the world a kinder happier place to be in.

dogs · Journal

Brogan’s heart update – part 2

I’ll give a brief recap for those of you who haven’t read the original post, or first update. Brogan is in heart failure, has been for a while, but in the last couple of months he started having more collapses and other strange episodes that kinda pointed towards his heart deteriorating. We ended up repeating his echocardiogram and that showed that his heart wasn’t deteriorating, but didn’t explain what was causing him to have more symptoms. So the cardiologist recommended a few things. You can read the full post here and the follow up here

We finally got all of Brogan’s test results back. One of the tests that they wanted done was for Lyme disease. Lyme disease hasn’t been studied a lot in dogs yet, but the cardiologist figured it was worth ruling out. That is a very simple blood test, and we got those results fairly quick…negative…which is fantastic news, but left more questions as to what might be causing his issues.

The next thing they recommended was discontinuing 2 of his medications, so we discontinued one immediately. The other one has mixed information as to how to discontinue it, do you do it cold turkey, or do you wean them of. I decided to play it safe and slowly wean him off over a 2 week period. While we were in the process of weaning him off that drug we got him fitted with a holter monitor to monitor his hearts electrical activity for an extended period of time. This is the same tool that they use with people. Instead of giving a brief snippet of your hearts rhythm and electrical impulses it gives an extended reading so that the cardiologist can see what happens with your heart in your normal daily routine.

Brogan getting shaved and fitted for his holter monitor

We had his monitor set for 48 hours in the hopes that we could capture an “episode” during that time. He got it put on on a Friday and wore it until Sunday, while doing everything we would normally do on a weekend. I took it off Sunday afternoon and then dropped it back off at the Vet clinic on Monday. Of course he didn’t have any episodes, but I was hoping we would get something useful from it anyway.

While we were waiting for those results we had gotten him off the 2 medications that the cardiologist recommended and both my hubby and I noticed that Brogan seemed younger, more goofy and definitely more energetic. He never wants to come back from a walk now, and will bug Rosco to play with him again. It’s fantastic to see him seem so young again.

Yesterday we got word that his holter monitor didn’t show anything significant. That is great news, but does leave the question of his symptoms getting worse unanswered, however, that being said I kinda think it was his one medication. In all my reading about that medication it shows that some of the side effects of it in people are exactly what he was displaying, dizziness, fainting and headaches are listed in people, we definitely saw the first 2 in him. So perhaps we have our answer…and I’m sure hoping that we do. Because if it was as simple as discontinuing 2 drugs to get our goofy Brogan back I will take it.

I’m undecided if that means we will brave off leash excursions again, or just stick to on leash walks and increasing those for now. But whatever we do, I’m celebrating the fact that he feels great, and seems much younger than his soon to be 7 years. So here’s hoping that we have the answer and we get to enjoy him for many many more years to come.

Journal

Wonder…a movie review

I didn’t plan on ever doing a movie review on here. But the message in “Wonder” was so powerful and so pertinent with what is going on in the world today that I thought I had to talk about it. I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone, so I will keep as much about the actual move as I can out of this post and instead try to focus on the message.

The movie is about a boy who has was born with major facial deformities and his journey when he starts school in the fifth grade (he was home schooled up until then). The judgement he got from kids and adults and how he deals with it, as well as how his family deals with it is the focus on the show.

I loved this quote that one of the teachers wrote on the board right at the begining of the movie:

โ€œWhen given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind. – Dr Wayne W. Dyerโ€

The message is so true. And I wish that more of us made this our goal/mantra for our daily life. I’m sure our world would be a much better place if we did. I know I am going to try to think about this quote before I speak. Our words & subtle looks can hurt others. Saying things without thought can be so hurtful without actually meaning to be. Sometimes we say things we don’t mean, or assume that it will be taken as a joke, but often it isn’t and it just hurts someone else. The one I’m going to try to be more aware of and try not to do is point out why someone is wrong about things that are insignificant. Really all it accomplishes is making someone else feel badly. There are kind ways to educate people, and often we are pointing out things that are a matter of opinion. The other thing I want to be more aware of is comments about things that others have no control over. I feel I have already started doing this, but I also want to stick up for people who may not defend themselves.

I don’t have kids, but if I did it would definitely be a movie that I would watch with them. It has a very powerful message about empathy and shows different moments from different peoples perspectives. I hope that it brings more awareness to our societies faults, and I hope that more people choose to be kind!

Oh and bring tissue, this movie brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion.

dogs · Journal

Brogan and Rosco

I am amazed that these 2 have been part of our lives for almost 7 years already. It seems like just yesterday that we got them and were dealing with 2 crazy puppies. Now we are dealing with 2 very spoiled (but well behaved…or mostly well behaved) adult dogs. They travel with me for work almost every day, and for some strange reason love it. I love having travelling companions, they are great company for me when I’m travelling all alone. Hotels and strange towns are less lonely when you have 2 travelling partners. They are the best hotel guests, probably because they have been “working” with me on the road since they were 8 weeks old, and hotels have been a huge part of that.

Brogan and Rosco lounging in a hotel room (I bring blankets to cover all the bedding)

They also love exploring new places with me and we have found a lot of cool places in our off leash excursions in different communities.

A few of our off leash excursions

Sometimes we go to off leash dog parks and sometimes we just explore and see what we can discover. That has changed for us in the last few months because I’m not brave enough to risk Brogan’s heart in off leash excursions and have limited his excitement with other dogs to just hanging out with his brother. Instead we are doing on leash exploration. Not as much fun for any of us. But definitely worth the sacrifice if we can keep Brogan happy and healthy.

Rosco is the usual navigator, but sometimes Brogan takes on the important task instead of sleeping in the back seat.

They are both social butterflies and love meeting new people. That wasn’t always the case with Rosco. He needed a lot of work to gain confidence and understand that most people are friendly and not out to hurt him. He still isn’t as “brave” in new situations as what Brogan is, but the pair of them make a great team. Brogan thinks that everyone is his best friend and his confidence helps Rosco have enough courage to brave the new situation.

These 2 have brought us so much love and happiness that I truly hope that we have them for many many more years.

Journal · young living

What does it mean to be a young living distributor & why should you become one…

I have talked about using oils and why I think you want to do that (or why I think they have helped me and how I think they can help you) and I have talked about the starter kit, but I haven’t really taken the time to explain what it means to be a distributor. You may be thinking “I don’t want to sell oils, I just want to buy some for myself”. I know that’s exactly how I felt when I first started using essential oils. I didn’t want to sell them, I just wanted to use them for myself and my family. That is the perfect reason to sign up as a distributor. I still definitely recommend starting with the premium starter kit just because it gives you a lot of common oils at a fraction of the normal price so that you can try them out, but after that you just need to order 50pv (approximately $50) a year to keep your membership active.

I know, I still haven’t answered the question “why do I want to sign up as a distributor”, the main reason is that all the oils that you buy are 24% cheaper. So think of it as getting a membership to a discount group. You don’t need to sign people up under you, or do anything more than create an account so that you get your oils at a discounted price, and then you only have to order ~$50 a year to keep that membership active.

The other reason to become a distributor is that there is an opportunity to make money. Some people make enough money with young living to be able to quit their ” real” job and just focus on the young living business. The 24% that would have been made if you had bought the product at retail price instead of wholesale price is divided up as a commission to the people who signed you up and who signed them up and so on and so on. So once you are comfortable using the products and decide you would like to share your knowledge and the benefits of using oils you can get people to sign up as a distributor under you and then start generating some extra income. If you have more questions about this please email me and I will answer as many questions about how the commissions work. You can email me at karlav1@sasktel.net

click here to sign up as a distributor

dogs · Journal

Brogan’s heart update

We got the echocardiogram done and got the cardiology report back. It is the best news we could have hoped for, his heart looks better. So much better that she is recommending decreasing and discontinuing some of his medication. She has also recommended 2 additional tests, because although his heart looks better that leaves a mystery as to why he is collapsing more frequently. If his heart is looking better, his symptoms should be going away, not increasing in frequency.

Now we wait for our normal Vet to get back from holidays so that we can plan our next steps. I have done a lot of reading in the meantime trying to understand everything better and decide what I think our next step should be.

But in the meantime we are going to celebrate the great news that his heart hasn’t deteriorated, and we will just have to figure out what is causing the other issues.

I’m ecstatic that the news we have so far is so good. And hopefully the next 2 tests will point us in the right direction on what we can and should do to keep the goofy guy around for many more years to come.

The goof spends more time upside down than right side up.
dogs · Journal

Brogan, the heart healer, if only we could heal his heart like he healed ours…

You might remember that Brogan came into our house after we lost Sloan. We were all very sad. We had lost 3 dogs in 3 years and weren’t sure we should get him. He ended up being exactly what we needed. He was a bundle of joy, and provided comic relief at every turn. The guy is a big clown. Well I think he may have taken our broken hearts on as his own because the big guy is in heart failure now.

Brogan started collapsing and losing consciousness in the summer of 2016, he would come back quickly, but it was still very scary. So off to the vet we went. They recommended an echocardiogram to get a better idea what was going on with him. At that visit they determined that he had a leaky tricuspid valve, but has probably always had it, and that wouldn’t explain his symptoms. So they chalked it up to vasovagal syncope. A condition that is very common in people, but not very common in dogs. Basically in stressful or high excitement moments his body tells his heart rate to slow down and his blood pressure to decrease instead of the opposite. Well we could live with that…not ideal, but much better than some of the other things that could be going on. So we carried on with our normal summer and my heart skipped a beat each time he turfed it, but I had narrowed it down to only really happening in the mornings, so we kept our exciting off leash walks for in the afternoon.

That fall I was working on the road and I stopped at the end of the day to let the dogs run around off leash and both dogs charged out of the truck excitedly, then Brogan collapsed, but this time it was different, he didn’t just collapse, he had a seizure and lost control of his bladder, he took a bit longer to recover and wasn’t quite himself for that walk. That was strange, but I was out of town for work, so I figured we would just keep him on a leash and see how the rest of the week went. Unfortunately it didn’t go well, it was like he had aged 100 years overnight, walked like an old man and could barely keep up on the shortest walks, no energy, and most concerning was his lack of appetite, but apparent growing belly. The Vet Tech in me knew this wasn’t good. So as soon as we got home we got him in to our regular Vet clinic. His usual Vet wasn’t working that evening, but the vet that was was very thorough and was in communication with our regular Vet. She confirmed that he did have fluid in his belly (which probably pointed to heart failure) and he had a crazy arrhythmia and tachycardia (his heart was racing at 3-4 times what it should be). She sent him home with some medications and warned me that any excitement may kill him. So we had to make sure we kept him very calm. She also booked him in for a repeat echocardiogram. So much for our weekend enjoying lake life. Our life for the next 3 weeks would be focused on keeping Brogan’s life as calm and boring as possible.

We went in for his echocardiogram on September 27th (the same day Sloan had died 5 years prior). So needless to say I was a wreck. However I was doing my best to keep it together for Brogan. We had to keep him calm at all costs. They promised to get us the results back as soon as possible, but from what the vet who did the echocardiogram said they were sure it was heart failure and started him on more medication to help him out. They also drained 4 litres of fluid off his abdomen. He still wasn’t eating well, so we kicked into dog cooking mode. Made him his own batch of stew, which he decided was worth eating. And made him raw meatballs to serve his pills in. And we waited.

Meatballs for me? Yes please!!

The following week we got the results. He was in right sided heart failure (what is called congestive heart failure in people). Its not the typical heart issue for a dog his size or breed, but that didn’t surprise me. None of my dogs have followed the normal “rules” with diseases. I asked what his prognosis was, and the vet told me what I already knew, it wasn’t good. But she then proceeded to tell me that I had beat the odds with my other 3 that had health issues and she was sure I would with him as well. The researcher in me wanted to know a time line…what were we up against. Everything I read said the mean survival rate was 19 weeks (so that means the average of dogs that have his diagnosis live for 19 weeks). Well that wouldn’t be near enough time…so we definitely had to beat that.

logolicious_20180131_2022191937444317.png
Brogan and Rosco on their first off leash excursion after Brogan’s diagnosis (notice Brogan’s shaved belly)

I’m happy to say that overall he stayed stable and was doing fantastic until this summer (well past the 19 weeks) when he started collapsing again when we allowed him off leash. So we did another echocardiogram to see if his heart condition was deteriorating. Surprisingly it wasn’t. It actually looked better. The medication was helping. That still didn’t explain the collapses. A lot more research from both my Vet and myself and we both concluded that he has 2 issues, 1 causing his heart failure and the other one from whatever was initially causing his fainting. But there was no guarantee that that wouldn’t result in him dying after one of his collapses. His heart might not figure out it needed to pick up the pace and start beating again before it was too late. So the hard decision was made to restrict his off leash time. No more chasing squirrels, no more off leash dog parks, and hardest for me, no dog friends (other than his brother). I felt so guilty and selfish about that decision. Would that be what he would want if he could make the decision on his own, or would he rather go out in a blaze of glory chasing a squirrel or playing with a dog friend. I decided that no matter what he would rather, I needed him. He had healed my heart when I needed him most and now I was going to do my best to protect his from further damage.

That decision stopped the collapses and we enjoyed our summer fairly stress free. Then this fall/early winter he started collapsing again. Without being allowed off leash, without anything overly exciting happening. Now what. Is this the beginning of the end? I can’t bubble wrap the guy. He still needs to to be a dog. And enjoy himself himself and whatever time he has left with us. I would do anything to heal his heart the way he healed ours. But I am realistic enough to know that this probably means he is getting worse. He is booked in on Monday to have a repeat echocardiogram so that we can see what might be going on. And fingers and toes crossed be able to treat or manage it for many more years to come.

We all know that when we get dogs (or any pets really) that they are going to break our hearts. We just always hope that it won’t be for many many years. So we are hoping for many more years with him.

Journal · young living

Bergamont Essential Oil

I have been drawn to begamont essential oil for the last couple of months. I had bought it to make up a diffuser blend, and loved it as part of that, but hadn’t really researched what it’s uses were. Then I took part in a conference call earlier this month and they were talking about how we are often drawn to the oils that we need. Well I have definitely been drawn to bergamont and now I was curious why. I mean I knew I loved bergamont before I ever started with essential oils because earl grey tea has it and it’s one of my favourite teas. But that didn’t explain why I was so drawn to bergamont EO now.

The young living website lists begamont’s uses below:

Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot has a light, sweet citrusy scent. Uplifting and relaxing, it is good for building confidence and enhancing your mood. It has a long history of use for oily skin.

In Aromatherapy can be used topically:

  • to help reduce the symptoms of acne or boils.
  • to relieve minor skin irritation, cuts, bruises & burns.
  • to experience relief from eczema and dermatitis.
  • to help relieve headache.
  • or inhaled when experiencing digestive discomfort can act as a carminative and antispasmodic.
  • or inhaled to reduce the symptoms of cold & cough.

Well after reading this I’m pretty sure I have been so drawn to it because I needed help staying calm, and perhaps I subconsciously knew I needed the extra confidence boost to start a blog. I can’t say what the reason was for sure, but I know I was definitely self conscious about starting a blog, and felt a bit like puking after I hit publish on my first post. I’m feeling a bit better about it all now, don’t get me wrong, it’s still way out of my comfort zone, but I’m starting to feel a bit better about it all. So maybe I have bergamont to thank for the boost in confidence to actually do it. Or maybe some higher power was looking down on me and gave me a shove. Regardless I still love bergamont and I’m very happy that I took the leap out of my comfort zone and started this blog. Because although it scares me, it is also becoming something that I really enjoy.

The diffuser blend I mentioned in the beginning is also great as a rollerball blend that you can wear. I mixed it as I would for my diffuser but topped with a carrier oil in a 10ml rollerball.

I found the recipe on pinterest. It’s 3 drops Clary sage, 2 drops bergamont and 1 drop lavender. I think it smells amazing.

Journal

Everyday we choose to focus on the positive or the negative

I’ve been struggling with how to write this for a few weeks. It’s something I really want to focus on this year, but something I’m really struggling to do, which makes me think that I should let someone who does it well already write about it…but I’m going to give it a go.

It’s so much easier to focus on what is frustrating and “bad” in my day than to focus on what is “good”. I guess it takes time to change the way we think. But that’s not going to stop me from trying. One of my goals for this year is to focus on what is good everyday and try to ignore what isn’t. Or at least not let that consume my day. I know that it will take a lot of practise and hard work to change the way I look at things. The sad thing about it all is that my logical brain knows that there is probably only 10% of things in my day that are bad and the other 90% are things that I shouldn’t take for granted and should be thankful for. Unfortunately my emotional brain seems to want to focus all my attention on that 10%. I have read so many books that talk about tips and tricks on how to get out of the cycle of focusing on what is making me unhappy and instead focus on all the things that are fantastic and that I should focus my attention on. I know it will be a work in progress, but hopefully soon it will be a habit to focus on what is good and let the negative pass by without more than a few seconds of thought about it.

The other thing I want to focus on is “me”. Now I know that sounds selfish. But what I really mean is that I want to focus on me and my goals and achievements and stop comparing myself to others. It just ends up discouraging me from even trying to achieve the goals that I set for myself because I feel like I’m failing before I even get started. I had written a post about making goals and resolutions but not announcing them, just clapping for yourself when you achieve them. And I thought that was brilliant, but am still having a hard time sticking with my own goals.

I read this fellow bloggers post just over a week ago, and have shared it on social media and reread it numerous times. This year I am going to ” water my own plants”.

Please take the time to read it

https://thesunshinethagain.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/water-your-own-plants/