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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fresh Seasons Market

Fresh Seasons Market joins the Scent from Nature wholesale family. They've got stores in Victoria, MN and Minnetonka, MN. We deliver their first beeswax candle orders on Monday!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It has arrived!

It's here! Our Land Use Permit that begins the dream we have been envisioning is here!  We're one step closer to creating our Irish Creek Homestead.

2013 Women's Winter Adventure!

A participant drives her own dog team after extensive training,  lead by White Feather and Tuloon.

We're excited to announce our 2013 Points Unknown Women's Winter Adventure. Please click here to learn more!

Inspiration for the Day

My sunrise over Oake Lake

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Points Unknown Web Updates

Topa, recent mom to our beautiful litter of Hedlund Husky puppies.

We've updated our Points Unknown website. You will find some new photos on the "Meet the Dogs" page and some new entries and photos on our "Puppies" page. Take a peek!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Apple Trees in Bloom and Orchard Project

Zestar apple blossoms
It's an early bloom for our orchard; at least two weeks early! We did have minor frost damage to some petals but the interiors of the flowers, where the fruit lies, appear to have been left mostly intact. The honey bees have not been frequenting the orchard yet due to the cold and blustery weather. The wind may be helping to pollinate the flowers but ultimately, we need the honey bees!

Our Oake Lake Orchard Project for MN Food Shelves was a huge success last year! If you recall, as I was in the midst of pruning nearly 100 of our 127 apples trees last year, it hit me that we would be just too busy to run the orchard ourselves and needed to find a solution. A solution soon came and we teamed up with a friend. Bill Hughes would take over the project manager title of the orchard and enlist volunteers to help pick the apples then transport them to out state food shelves. With their help, we were able to donate over $8,000 in Honey Crisp, Sweet 16, Victory, Witos, and Zestar apples! Thank you, Bill and thank you to all of those who volunteered their time to make this happen.

So far, there are more blossoms on the trees this year so I think we may be in for an even bigger year for our project. Let the 2012 apple season begin!

I will miss our beautiful spot here on Oake Lake with our little apple orchard when we move to Minnesota's northwoods and hope that whomever buys our hobby farm enjoys it as much as we have. Yes! It IS for sale. Please watch this blog and facebook for updates as it will soon have a facebook page of its own.

Mother Earth News Fair

Mother Earth News Fair

Scent from Nature has been invited to participate in the Mother Earth News Fair! We've chosen to attend the Fair at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania from September 21-23, 2012. You can find us in booth number 1100.

Neil has graciously volunteered to stay home with the sled dogs, meanwhile, mom will be flying up to Pennsylvania to help with the event and we'll both be visiting with family along the way who plan on spending some time with us and also attending the fair. Can you believe we've found a guest house to rent at a place called Husky Ranch?! Very fitting. Just wish we could bring some of our own fuzzies along for the long drive from central Minnesota to eastern Pennsylvania but beeswax and dog hair don't mix well.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Change on the Horizon!

Summer Sunrise over Oake Lake

I think that I’ve reached a certain point in my life, where there is just no tolerance for certain things that I used to very easily just muddle through and accept. Accept for the right payback at the moment; the dollar, the prestige, the acceptance and the conformance. I, in the past, have done what I "should" do versus what my soul longs to do.

After awhile, when my feelings of the payback changed and I become more connected with my core values, an amazing evolution took place. I became less tolerant of things and people that don’t support my direction, my journey, and this lack of tolerance manifested itself in action!

I’ve obviously had a blog post provoking incident today. There is something from the past that still lingers, not wanting to “conform” to my path. I can see change on the horizon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

About Us and Scent from Nature

Linda holding candle
Linda Newman; Owner and Chief Chandler

Life is too short; why not do what you're passionate about? We feel so lucky to be doing just that!

I started handcrafting beeswax candles in 2005. I met Neil in 2008 and he is now a big part of our family business.

Our love of nature and the outdoors has always been a driving force in the direction of our lives. Our current lifestyle is moving us towards our ultimate goal of abandoning the hustle and bustle of a semi suburban yet, by all appearances, rural lifestyle, just 30 miles west of the Twin Cities metro area in beautiful central Minnesota and replacing it with the peacefulness of living in Minnesota's northwoods. Here, we plan to live a more simple life that includes crafting our beeswax candles off grid and by using solar power.

The current home of our beeswax candle workshop is on the shores of Oake Lake, a 500 acre wildlife lake, in Watertown, Minnesota. In addition to being the "corporate head" of our candles business, we have a small hobby farm with a medium-size orchard. Not to forget, we've got fifteen sled dogs that are our fuzzy family members. They help us teach women and girls how to dog mush in the various programs we offer through our educational dog mushing adventure trip business. Last but not least, we have two little house dog mascots, Copper and Blueberry. To learn more about our sled dogs please click here: Points Unknown: Dog-Based Adventures.

We value our lifestyle and our vision for the future, and we value helping the people around us and our planet.  One of the ways we're helping right here at home is by purchasing all of our beeswax from local beekeepers to support our local economy.

Beeswax candles are non toxic, non allergenic and virtually soot-free. They emit negative ions when they burn to actually help purify the air! We don't believe in tampering with perfection and therefore our beeswax candles have no additives. To that end, our candles are 100% natural, renewable, and sustainable, with no added color or scent. Our packaging is made of Neenah Environment PC100 which is a 100% Post Consumer recycled paper that is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified(#BV-COC-080721 and BV-COC-061203). The printer we chose is also FSC certified, and the ink uses vegetable dyes. The Forest Stewardship Council is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world's forests. For the love of our planet, how could there have been any other choice for packaging?

We also believe in the simple and practical function of our candles. This is why we don't make candle figurines in various shapes. They may be nice to look at but we don't believe they function well as candles.

Aster Bee
Making our beeswax candles brings us great joy and peace. We hope these feelings flow through you as you burn our pure beeswax candles. The scent of molten beeswax does indeed calm your senses! Please spend some time in our website to learn more about our candles and don't hesitate to send us an email if you like what we're doing, or have a comment.

Calm. Clean. Green.  

What more could you ask for in a candle when it comes to the advocacy of a clean, healthy and sustainable environment? And you can expect that we, at Scent from Nature, are seated strongly in our values of eco consciousness and are striving as a company to meet the green expectations of our customers.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

5 (or so) Minutes of Fame

A friend called this morning at 8AM to tell us that Scent from Nature was on the Channel 5 News! By the time I got to the television it was over. We're vendors at the Living Green Expo that will be taking place on May 5th and 6th at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds and Channel 5 was doing a short piece on the event. Five product lines were chosen to appear on the interview table and ours was the first one. How neat is that?!

Just received the link to the interview. Click here to view it and then come and visit us at the event!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

More on Vaccine Related Head Tremors

Irish at 4 1/2 mos

Misquah at 4 1/2 mos

I sure hope that this is the last time I post about one of our puppies having head tremors within a week after a vaccination. With the new information I've uncovered, it very well could be!

We've posted previously of our very first introduction to this phenomena when White Feather was nine weeks old and began having head tremors a week after her first puppy shot. Of course, we were shocked, bewildered and frustrated when our vet, at the time, told us that there was nothing that could be done and we should just hope that they go away. Really? Is that all you can give me after years and years of study in the veterinary field? Not good enough.

There is very little information out there about this topic and with the internet, if it was out there, we should certainly find something. We ended up speaking with someone in our Hedlund Husky Preservation Project whose partner had some information for us on the topic! We were delighted to receive anything at all and the information and direction was reasonable and made complete sense. We were to administer 500mg (starting much lower and working our way up) of Ester C to boost the immune system and a dose of Melatonin to calm the brain as stress appeared to make the tremors worse. Within a month, the tremors were gone. Thank goodness!

We had thoughts that White Feather may have still had maternal immunity at the time of her first shot, causing an autoimmune reaction to it that expressed itself in the form of head tremors. Our solution was to give the first puppy shot later than 8 weeks next time around.

Illy was our second pup that experienced the head tremors. She was given her first shot later than White Feather with no issues. It was the second shot that created the problem. Within a week of that shot, she was having the tremors to the point of almost knocking her off balance. This time around we were provided with new information to administer 5HTP in place of the Melatonin and continue with the 500mg of Ester C. Her tremors went away within a month. Now having had two pups with this issue, we were at a loss as to what to do when the next group of puppies required shots.

Both White Feather and Illy had siblings here at Points Unknown and elsewhere that did not have tremors. The mystery continued.

Now on to the third and fourth, and hopefully last, cases of head tremors in our kennel. The Topa/Oken breeding produced seven beautiful pups. Three stayed at Points Unknown, two went to a nearby kennel and two went to a kennel in Alaska. One week after their first shot at 9 weeks, Irish began having head tremors. She also experienced agitation and two situational bouts of aggression during this time. She was immediately put on the Ester C and 5HTP. After a month she was still having tremors. She did not receive a second shot when they were due but her sister, Misquah did. One week after the second shot, Misquah began having head tremors. I can't tell you how defeated and helpless I felt at the moment I saw Misquah's first tremor. She was immediately put on the supplements as well. Her tremors intensified and were more frequent and Irish's weren't going away or lessening.

After the passing of a couple of weeks, both girls did appear to have fewer tremors.

While speaking with a friend on the phone about the issue during a road trip, she went online and up popped some new information that was linked to low calcium levels and low protein absorption in females. All of those pups affected were females. Our friend received two pups from the litter that White Feather was in and I received two pups from the litter that Illy was in. She had no issues with tremors and gave the same shots that were given at Points Unknown. We began to brainstorm to find the differences with this new information she had found.

Bingo! She gives all of her puppies cottage cheese as a supplement until they are 4 months old - there's the extra calcium and protein that mine weren't getting.

I had scheduled 19 dogs to have heartworm testing done at the vet the following day. I decided to bring the three puppies along to get an extensive blood analysis. Arrow, the male who was not experiencing the tremors would be our "normal". After the tests, I began feeding cottage cheese to the girls and within 2 days, the tremors stopped completely and have not returned.

The blood work from the three current puppies provided some interesting information about this litter as all three puppies were high in some things and low in others, together as a group. The only item that differed between the three was ionized calcium. The girls were low and Arrow was not. Ionized calcium is a free flowing calcium that is not attached to proteins.  More interesting connections to add to the analysis! 

More investigating found that the two females that went to a nearby kennel were being fed the same food and had been given the same shots supplied by us. The difference was that they were receiving about 4 dog treats daily that contained dehydrated milk. Could that have made the difference? Interesting to ponder.

The two females sent to Alaska were given the same first shot and a different second shot that contained only parvo and distemper. Ours is a 5 way shot that also contained Adenovirus and Hepatitis. It is reported that they have had no head tremor issues.

Although the head tremors still remain somewhat a mystery. We do have more information to combat the issue than we did previously.

Our new protocol will be as follows:

First shot at 9 weeks containing only Parvo/Distemper.
Second shot at 13 weeks containing only Parvo/Distemper.
No Third puppy shot.
Cottage Cheese Supplementation from the time of weening until 4 months old.

This is not in anyway a scientific study but just a dog lover's attempts at piecing together a complicated puzzle that affects the health of her beloved canine family. Let's hope we've seen the last of this horrifying issue. If you have experienced anything remotely similar, please don't hesitate to contact me via email to share your story at