Skin Cancer, Sunscreen Controversy

February 19, 2014


My better half thought I had some spots a dermatologist should check out.  The Dr. found what he called a pre-cancerous spot on my cheek and froze it with liquid nitrogen.  I’m not sure it was necessary, but he’s the expert.  He also scooped out a spot on my scalp.  I feel like I’m going to pieces.

I did learn something important.  I used to wear SPF 8 suntan lotion, figuring that would be 8 times better than nothing.  However, the Dr. told me that low SPF suntan lotion only protects us from the UVA rays, letting the UVB rays through.  It’s the UVB rays which cause skin cancer, so by putting on lotion which kept me from burning, I actually may have spent more time in the sun letting the UVB rays do their damage.

Update:  I went online and am now thoroughly confused.  It appears my understanding of UVA and UVB is reversed.  It’s unlikely the Dr. gave me incorrect information.  What’s more likely is I had a difficult time listening while being scalped and froze.  I’ve always heard someone besides the patient needs to be there to listen.  It is very difficult for the patient to listen.

There seems to be some debate about all sunscreen.  Some of the ingredients may be carcinogenic and in this sunscreen photo it appears that more ultraviolet light is absorbed by the skin when sunscreen is used.  I don’t know what to think.  Readers, weigh in with your comments.

Looking at the photo above, I see my skin has aged.  I don’t feel terribly old, approaching 45 years, but I realize I’ve probably spent many more hours in the summer sun than almost anyone reading this.  I plan on continuing to wear long-sleeves and pants and a broad-brimmed hat which I’ve been doing for the past fifteen years.  I’ll probably put SPF 30 sunscreen on my face when I’m doing tractor-work, sitting in the summer sun.

Wood Cutting Season

December 3, 2011

It’s wood cutting season.  I’ve written before about windows on the farm.  The wood cutting window is after harvest is finished, and bedding bales are made, and calves are weaned, and cows are pregnancy checked, and all the livestock is secure in their wintering grounds, but before the snow.

Wood cut in this window is a pleasure.  I’m sure its just mental gymnastics, because cutting wood is hard work anytime, but wood cut at this time almost seems easy, because we know how difficult it will be when the snow is deep.

Farm Fitness: Tree Climbing

November 15, 2011

Shepherd has been diagnosed with Asperger’s since the age of two.  What this means is that he would rather be home alone than out with people.  I sympathize, because that’s where I would rather be.

He also has tactile issues, and is not very coordinated.  I remember one of his first visits to the farm with his brother and a couple of friends.  The other kids played in the mud of the creek, and Shepherd cried on the bank because he didn’t want the mud in the car.

The farm has been great for Shepherd.  We haven’t put a lot of pressure on him to change, but we wait for something he really wants to do, then help him make progress.  Now he can wash a pig, stick his hand inside a pumpkin, and climb a tree.


Farm Fitness: Sledding

March 1, 2011


We love sledding on the farm. 

These hills are only a short walk from the house. 

A few runs, and we’re done until tomorrow.

Farm Fitness: Rope Climbing, Swinging

October 30, 2010

Thanks Lisa, for snapping this photo.  There are others with the boys, but I’m having computer trouble.  Will post more later.

Farm Fitness: Round-Bale Relay Race

October 17, 2010

Farm Fitness: Apple Baseball

October 7, 2010

You like apples?

How you like them apples?