Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cranial Sacral Therapy

Some people will think I am a total nut, but I have a friend who is a healer.  Had she been born in the 1600's and lived in Salem, she probably would have been hung.  She is by trade a massage therapist but has branched out into Cranial Sacral Therapy.  She is trained and certified.

A couple of years ago I went to her because I was having headaches.  CS Therapy involves a light touch on the body- very non-invasive.  As her hands drifted by my ankle she asked if it hurt. I told her it was a little sore since I had twisted it the previous week.  She "released" it and said it would find a way to exit my body.  It came out my ear.  Weirdest thing ever.  It hurt like heck for about 10 seconds and then my ear and my ankle were fine.

The Therapist agreed to come to my house to work on The Boy. He is 17 and had a massive knee surgery. She sat on the couch and held his bad leg while carrying on a conversation with us.  She said it was pulsing, but The Boy didn't notice anything.  He was relaxing, though.  Then she went to his good leg, explaining that the good leg was now doing a lot more work.  As soon as her second hand touched his leg, he startled and almost yelled, "Can you feel that?"  She smiled and asked him what he was feeling.  He said that it felt like his muscles were untwisting.  She responded that she was feeling the same thing.  After just a couple of minutes he looked over at me and told me that his pain was at a 1.  For the first time since the surgery.  And that he wanted to sleep.  For the first time since the surgery.  (Narcotics make The Boy crazy. . . not sleepy.)  He drifted off to sleep and she sat and touched his legs until they were calm- whatever that means.

After that first experience The Boy was a believer and asked me to call her when things got rough.  I think it has made all the difference in his healing because it relieved his pain and helped him sleep.  He also said that he felt stronger afterwards- which was evident in his movements.

All I can say is that this therapy is wonderful- as long as you have a healer!  Give it a try.


Essential Oils for Knee Surgery Relief

My son had knee surgery three weeks ago and it was an extensive surgery- complete with scraped cartilage, a new tendon made out of his hamstring, and his tibia broken and screwed together.  This boy of mine HATES taking medicine. . .especially anything that blurs his mind.  Since this is not our first rodeo on the knee surgery front (he had one last November for a totally different problem) I decided to look for some alternate therapies.

I have not been a proponent of Essential Oils, but I figured that it couldn’t hurt.  I bought the following oils from Spark Naturals and made up the recipe after a bit of research.

5 drops Cypress (regulates blood flow, calms)
5 drops Birch (relieves pain in muscles, bones, and joints, promotes bone repair)
5 drops White Fir (relaxes muscles, aids natural defenses, anti-inflammatory)
3 drops Lemongrass (relieves tension, promotes ligament health)
10 drops Wintergreen (relieves pain and spasms)
1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (skin healing properties, carrier oil)

I mixed these oils together and stored them in a small container.  It is pretty easy to make a batch because the Spark Natural bottles all have a dropper top, so I wasn’t worried about quantity.  At first I could only get to the boy’s foot, so I put it on both feet (the arch and under the toes) at least three times a day.  As the bandages shrunk, I got closer and closer to his knee until I was going right around the steri strips.  He said that it really helped with his pain and would sometimes ask me to put it on.  He was off the narcotics on day 5 which really surprised his doctor (who had prescribed 90 Percocets and 10 Oxicodones) and off Advil on day 10.

Now we are at day 21 and he still has some swelling, but not much pain.  He has three large scars and two smaller ones that I would like to minimize, so now I am trying something new- an EO balm that he can apply anytime.  Here’s the new recipe:

10 drops Tea Tree (skin healing properties)
15 drops Birch(bone growth)
15 drops Lavender (skin healing properties)
15 drops White Fir (anti-inflammatory)
30 drops Wintergreen (pain)
1 teaspoon (scant) Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (skin healing oils)
½ teaspoon beeswax (product hardener)
½ teaspoon cocoa butter (skin softening, product hardener)

This made enough to fill two chapstick-type containers.  The boy can apply it directly to the scars to promote healing and alleviate itching.  It is easy for him to keep with him and he even likes the smell!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Cupcakes. . . In a hurry!

Yesterday at 3:00pm I got a paniced phone call from my best friend.  Our local Costco had a fire and was closed.  As far as Di and I are concerned, Costco is the center of the universe, so this was quite a blow.  Her daughter's 18th birthday was yesterday and she was planning to just go to Costco to buy the cake, but her plans were dashed.  Her plan was that she would go home and make the cupcakes if I would come frost them because she is convinced that she can't do that type of thing.  I looked at the clock and knew it was hopeless.  Not because of her plan, but because her job is like a black hole with its own gravitational force.  (She is the receptionist at my husband's business!)  I told her not to worry- we would handle it.

My oldest son was lurking, so I set him loose making the cupcakes.  We used regular cake mixes, but my secret is to add an extra egg.  I think it makes the cupcakes a little richer AND helps me use the eggs that my chickens so graciously produce!  Our chocolate batter was really runny, so we added a 1/4 cup of flour and they came out perfect!

I love the pretty cupcake papers that you can find everywhere, but I have become somewhat disillusioned with them over the past year.  Some of them turn downright ugly after having a cupcake cooked in them and some just don't hold up very well.  I noticed that my local cupcake shop used souffle cups, so I had to have some.  I bought mine at Orson Gygi in Salt Lake City.

If you need 5000 (Are you nuts or do you have friends that want to share?) you can buy them here for about $.02 a piece.

Or you can buy 250 for $7.50 which is only $.03 a piece.  Even with shipping and handling these are WAY cheaper than the pretty ones in the grocery store.

Only fill the cups about 1/3 full- you want some head space when they are cooked.  We cooked the little critters for 15 minutes and they were great.

I made buttercream frosting.  I am one of those dump and pour cooks, so I can't give you my recipe, but I use butter, cream, vanilla, and confectioner's sugar. I tinted it purple with Wilson's gel.  I ALWAYS use a frosting bag and tip to frost cupcakes.

 I think it is easy and it sure looks more professional than slopping on some frosting with a knife.  I used a Wilton 1 M tip and a large 16" pastry bag. 

This bag is too big to drape over a glass, so I use a pitcher.  It is like having an assistant.  A good squeeze and a circular motion will give you great looking cupcakes.


At 4:20 I left my house to deliver the cupcakes.  Disaster averted!  Now . . . I hope Costco re-opens today.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Little at a Time

Do you ever feel like just throwing in the towel because there is just so much to do?  I know that I get overwhelmed sometimes (often) and don't make time to keep things orderly.  Then I get stressed because the house is a mess and I can't find anything!

One day my friend Joan taught me her trick for staying sane and keeping the house "a house of order."  It's so easy and yet, so hard!!!  But here is the rule:

One drawer a day.
I bet you thought it was going to be something glamourous, huh?  Nope.  Just take a few minutes every day to organize one drawer.  Or one cabinet.  Or one shelf in the cabinet.  The real point here is to just do a little.  If it takes you longer than 15 minutes, then it's probably too big a job because it will make you want to skip the next day.
The FlyLady wants us to declutter for 15 minutes a day.  Once you get truly decluttered then keeping the house clean is supposedly a snap.  I struggle with getting rid of things that I might need. . . someday.  I live by the mantra "When in doubt, throw it out," but we still have clutter.
The clutter I hate the most is my boys' schoolwork.  Right now my kitchen table is covered in piles of papers, notebooks, and sundry school supplies.  The end of the term is drawing near and the search is on for those assignments the knuckleheads didn't bother to pass in.  As soon as the term ends, the important papers (like reading logs, practice cards, etc.) will find a permanent home in our "school drawers" which is a plastic container with three drawers that hold 8.5 x 11 papers.  The rest of it will be put in folders in the closet in case we need them to study at the end of the year.
Anyway, one drawer a day.  While you are watching Rachel Ray. Or before you call it a day. 
Wow, I think I got carried away, but I really can't say. . . so. . .
Clean one drawer, OK?