Thursday, August 28, 2008

Icy Hot Patch BEWARE!!!

Several weeks ago I received a sample of Icy Hot Medicated Patch from Walmart. Not thinking much about it I put in my sample basket for later use. I frequently have lower back pain, and usually use a heating pad or just take a couple ibuprofen to alleviate the pain. Last Thursday night my back was hurting pretty bad and I remembered I had the Icy Hot Patch. I read the instructions which are very easy and applied the patch to my lower back for 8 hours. It felt great! My back immediately began to feel better. I took the patch off after 8 hours and really didn't think about it very much after that. Tuesday my back started itching, and I couldn't figure out why. It bothered me the entire day, but I didn't say anything about it to anyone. After arriving home I asked my son & daughter to look at my back. They both gasped! My daughter who had helped me apply the patch immediately said "Mom there are little red bumps in a rectangle the size of that patch you used!" Well the last two days have been horrible. My back itches, burns, and is driving me literally crazy! I've used benadryl cream, and I even took benadryl pills. I just want everyone to know to stay away from this product. Hopefully this will eventually go away, but enduring it is definitely irritating.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook - August 25, 2008

Outside my window... beautiful swaying green trees.

I am thinking... what have I done for the Lord to be so good to me.

I am thankful for... my family & blog friends who've prayed for me.

From the kitchen... nothing right now. Breakfast this morning was eggs & toast. I'm not sure about supper for tonight. I still have to make my menu plan for this week.

I am wearing... a white t-shirt, blue basketball shorts, and flip flops.

I am reading... 204 Rosewood Lane by Debbie Macomber. I've read it before, but this weekend I needed some downtime so I picked it up.

I am hoping... that I can get all my sewing projects finished this week.

I am creating... baby blankets...

I am hearing... the soft pitter patter of rain.

Around the house... washing clothes, cleaning my bedroom & bathroom today.

One of my favorite things... buffalo chicken wings! I'm craving them right now...

A few plans for the rest of the week... sewing, sewing & more sewing...

Here is a picture thought that I'm sharing with you...

Good News!!

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write this much needed post. I'm sure all of you were waiting with much anticipation...hahaha. Really, I have been extremely busy since I received that letter in the mail, or should I say contract....

A little history first...Back in May when I started thinking about starting Krista's Kitchen I made a list, yes a list, of possibilities for this business venture. You may remember I even wrote a post about it. I dreamed of doing lunch deliveries (like Paula Dean). I imagined catering lavish weddings. I aspired to have a concession booth at the local antique fair or country fair. I even had a fantasy of a restaurant down on Gay St in Knoxville. You know right in the middle of downtown where all the office workers would come by for a quick home cooked meal for lunch.

Okay reality...I have delivered lunches. That went okay, but in today's economy most people are eating ham sandwiches for lunch. Extra money is not being spent on lunches.... I have catered weddings. Lavish...not so much! Catering is a lot of fun and I always enjoy it, but it is a one time gig. Once it's's over. There isn't really much repeat business with weddings unless you advertise. Without the money to advertise I have depended on word of mouth. The restaurant on Gay St will probably be in another lifetime. In the real world I don't have the money or financial backing to open a restaurant. But....the concession stand... I started sending in applications to the local fairs, and on Friday, a week ago, I received a contract in the mail!!!! Not for just any fair either, but for the Tennessee Valley Fair! If you know anything about Knoxville the Tennessee Valley Fair is not small potatoes. It is the largest fair in East Tennessee. I am extremely excited. I'll be serving BBQ Sandwiches, Potato Chips, Whole Dill Pickles, Apple & Blueberry Cobbler, Vanilla Ice Cream, and Homemade Tea & Lemonade! If you are in the area come by and see me.

Now, you wonder why did it take you so long to write this post....this good news was meant to be shared! I agree it was. However I realized that the fair is only 3 week away, and my sister's baby shower falls right in the middle of it, and being the procrastinator that I am, I have not finished all of her presents! Now not only do I have to get ready for the fair, I have to finish all this baby stuff. For the past week I've been sewing up a storm...when I wasn't tearing out seams and starting over.

These are the things that I've made so far. You are probably asking "What is all this stuff?" From left to right, Pink blanket, bib, and burp cloth, (no the pink stuff is not for my sister. It is for a friend who is having a baby girl), a toile night light, a sage & brown quilt, a baby blue quilt, toile memo board, and a matching nursery baby wipe container. What's left?...a diaper bag, a valance, a changing pad cover, and a baby bed mobile. I also have to make my husband's boss a blanket, bib, and burp cloth gift set. wwwoooossshhhhh

I hope to get everything else done by Saturday....Pray hard! I hope everyone is having a great day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Just a quick Wednesday note. Today I am working at the family flooring store so I don't have a lot of time to post. I am still working on my "good news" that I received in the mail on Friday. I hope to have some time to write a longer post tomorrow and share it all. I've been trying to make sure that I have something planned for dinner on Tuesdays & Wednesdays that is easy. Yesterday we had homemade vegetable soup & cornbread. When I first got married, over 17 years ago, the first thing my mother-in-law taught me to make was homemade vegetable soup. That may sound like something anybody could make, but not me. I can remember standing in her kitchen as she taught me how to peel tomatoes for the soup. I didn't even realize you could peel tomatoes. I was a very "green" 17 year old! As I made that vegetable soup yesterday I thought of my wonderful in-laws. Someday I will dedicate an entire post to them. They taught me a lot about life. One of the first things my father-in-law said to me was "Sis, Can you be a country girl?"


I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...August 18th

Outside my window... My beautiful husky, Beamer, stretched out for a nap in the sun.

I am thinking... Will it I get everything done today that I want to do?

I am thankful for ... God's never ending blessings. When we think that he has forgotten about us that is just when he moves! It's all in his time...

From the kitchen ... Toast, I love the smell of fresh toast. For dinner we are having Shrimp & Broccoli Pasta in a White Wine Sauce with bread sticks.

I am wearing... Denim Capris, Blue Polo Shirt, & flip flops.

I am reading... Actually I just finished a book and haven't started anything new. I need to try to fit in a trip to the library this week.

I am hoping... that my brother's new baby is doing well. He was born yesterday 4 weeks early. They took him to Children's Hospital last night, but they've already taken him off the oxygen. The doctor's say he will be fine, but they are going to keep him a week.

I am hearing... WIVK, a country station in Knoxville, Reba is singing "Whatever's in New England"

Around the house... pick-up around the house, straighten up the kitchen and dining room so I can spend the afternoon sewing. I don't have a lot of time left to finish the projects for my sister's new baby. It is due in October!

One of my favorite things... walking on a cool fall day. Won't be long now before I can do that.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Get my hair cut. It has been 7 months since I've had a haircut and my hair has literally grown a foot! Finish a couple of sewing projects. Work on Tuesday & Wednesday. Take Beth shopping on Thursday or Friday afternoon. Pick up Angel Food on Saturday!!!!

A picture to share with you...

Sunrise at Myrtle Beach last summer...

Check out Peggy at the Simple Woman for more Daybooks!

Menu Plan Monday - August 18, 2008

Check out this week's menu over at my food blog!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Being more organized

I have had a terrible time staying organized since I went back to work part-time a few weeks ago. I am only working on Tuesdays & Wednesday at the family flooring store, but the break up in my week seems to mess up my planning completely. I wasn't able to plan meals, all the clothes were piled up, and my house needed a thorough cleaning. I had gotten into the habit of cleaning a room a day, washing a couple loads of clothes everyday, and planning the meals kind of as I went through each day. That doesn't work anymore.

This week I decided enough is enough. I can't let this go on. So, last Saturday I got up early and worked on the house, washed some clothes, and made my weekly menu. Isn't it funny how something so little, like a menu plan, can make your entire week go smoothly? I wrote out the menu and made my grocery list at the same time. I posted the week's menu on the fridge for everyone to see and hold me accountable. Well, it worked! This week has been great! If you don't have a menu plan head on over to the Org Junkie on Mondays. You'll find several (I think this week there were over 300).

Tomorrow is a very busy day, so today I went through all my cabinets, cut out any remaining coupons, made my grocery list and decided what we were going to eat for next week. I already have my menu plan posted on the fridge for next week. I know this sounds silly, but I am so excited. I love making lists, and they make me happy. :)

I received some good news in the mail today. I'll tell you all about it in another post. Believe me it is important enough that it deserves it's own post!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Children

When Charlie and I first got married almost 18 years ago, I said I didn't want to have children, or at least not right away. I come from a large family and all but one of my siblings is younger than me. I wanted some time in my life without little children around or so I thought. Well, needless to say God didn't have that in the arrangements 13 months after getting married my son, Trevlyn arrived. Then 16 months later my daughter, Beth arrived. I guess I am one of the people in that 1% chance where birth control pills just don't work. I was taking birth control when I got pregnant with both of them. In 1995 when I had to have a hysterectomy the doctor said that it was a miracle that I had carried children at all. I've always believed my children are miracles.

I have often treated them as little angels. Probably, Okay definitely not disciplining them enough. My siblings say that I talk them to death! Yes, I have conversations with my children. We talk about their problems, their concerns, even their anger or what they think is an injustice done by me or their Dad. They've both called me their best friend at different times in their life. It has been hard in these last few years watching them grow up, and inevitably away from me.

This year I watched my son enter the 11th grade, and I watched my daughter enter the 10th grade. Did you know I was in the 10th grade when I started dating Charlie? I was 15 and Charlie was 17. That is basically the age of my children today. Trevlyn will be 17 in November, and Beth turned 15 this past March. I want to caution them about rushing through life, but will they listen? I didn't. You know how teenagers think they know everything. Well I did know everything!! hahaha If I only knew then 1/2 as much as I know today.

I've prayed and asked the Lord to help me guide them. I want them to have the life that God intended for them. I don't want them to become sidetracked by, well what other word can I use to sum it all up but, SIN. My children are growing up, and making decisions that will shape the rest of their lives. Do you ever feel inadequate for this huge responsibility that God has given you as a parent? I sure do.

The Pioneer Woman had a question this past week about what your plans were for your life 20 years ago, and are you where you thought you'd be. Well, 20 years ago I was entering East Burke High School in Icard NC as a sophmore. I intended to go to college at Mars Hill, and become a high school choral teacher. I thought after college, and an established career that I would find a wonderful husband and we'd start a wonderful family. I wanted 4 children, 2 boys & 2 girls. Doesn't that sound like wonderful life!! hmmm, what happened? Don't get me wrong, I have had a wonderful life, but it wasn't at all what I had in mind. We'll save all that for another post...

well, I am just sitting here today with my cup of coffee, pondering life. I'm just a little sappy because I know my children are growing up. I only have 1 more first day of school with Trevlyn, and only 2 more with Beth. Why can't we roll back time, and keep them our babies forever? My baby sister is having her first child, and probably within 5 years I'll be having grandchildren. Hopefully not sooner!!! Her children and my grandchildren will grow up together. Isn't that odd?
Oh well, it's time for me to go to work. Housework I mean... I have clothes that need washed, floors that need swept, and bathrooms to clean. I've got to keep the doldrums at bay today. It may be hard, but I am going to do what Sandra said she did, I am going to turn on some music and dance as I clean!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bad Spirit or Good Spirit

When I was growing up if I was in a bad mood my Mother would say "You've got a bad spirit today." or if I was in a good mood she might say "You're in good spirits today." What she was really saying was I either had a good or bad attitude. As I sit here drinking my cup of coffee I am rehearsing in my mind the lesson that we learned yesterday in Sunday School. Our church has Sunday School from 9:45 - 10:15. Even though I am nearing 35 I still am in the Young Adult class. Don't laugh, I don't want to move up to the Senior Adult class. My hair isn't gray yet! (but it is getting there) I'd like to try to rehearse what I remember from the lesson.

We were taught about what the bible calls spirits. In today's language we call it attitudes, but in most cases it is the same thing. Our teacher made a statement that I use here on my blog. He said we should turn obstacles or problems in opportunities.

First he made reference to Proverbs 22:9. He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. You probably all have that one person in your life that has "The Midas Touch"; everything they touch turns to gold. The person that you put them on a rock, all alone, with nothing, and they'd figure out how to sell the rocks or dirt around it to make a living. That's the person that always is chipper, always has a positive attitude, and even when something goes wrong they look at the problem as an opportunity to do something better. I want to have a bountiful, positive spirit.

Then he went to Proverbs 11:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. Do you have a faithful spirit? Are you the person that all your friends come and tell their secrets to because they know you won't tell anyone? or are you the person that all your friends knows can't keep a secret? I want to be someone that will keep my friends confidence. I want to have a faithful spirit.

Next he went to II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. How many times here on my blog have you heard me say "I'm afraid of ..."? Especially in these last few months as I've journeyed into what feels like foreign territory. Well, he taught us that God did not give us a spirit of fear, that we shouldn't be afraid. If we are doing what God wants us to do, then go boldly with God's help. It reminds me of another verse Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. I want to have a spirit of power, love and of a sound mind.

The last verse that he referenced was Psalms 143:10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. In this passage he taught us about a good spirit or a positive attitude. I am asking the Lord to guide me with his spirit, and keep me in his will.

I wish that everyone could have heard the message that he taught yesterday. It was very uplifting, encouraging, and a wonderful life lesson. I wish that I could remember every word that he spoke so that I could reiterate here to you. I am neither as knowledgeable in God's word or as well spoken as my Sunday School teacher, but I hope that I have conveyed his message to you and that it brightens your day.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Reynolds Handi-Vac

A couple of weeks ago I posted asking you for product reviews on the Reynolds Handi Vac. My first response was from Melanie asking me if I'd be interested in doing an official product review. I immediately said YES!!! I was so excited and couldn't hardly wait to receive it in the mail.

It just came in this week and I immediately tore into the box just like a kid at Christmas! I have to say I love it!! The first thing I shrink wrapped...hehehe...was 2 gallons of fresh blueberries that my family had handpicked at a PYO Blueberry farm. Then I froze a quart of fresh corn. In my excitement I forgot to take pictures of the blueberries, but I did get pictures of the corn.

This is the bag of corn before being vacuum sealed. You can tell I didn't fill it all the way up. There is a handy fill line mark in the top right corner of the bag. Just to be safe I only filled it half full.

In order to get the proper seal you need to seal the zipper at the top of the bag. Just for safety I went ahead and pressed as much air out as I could. Then lay the bag flat on the counter, and not let anything get above the fill line. This is a little tricky. I had to work with it a little to make it work. The instructions just say to center the gadget around the seal, but I found that sometimes you have to be a little off center to make it work. I just slid it around until I could hear it make the connection, once it is in the right position it works quickly. You really can hear it! The air starts to literally be "sucked" out right before your eyes!

Before you know it you bag will look like this!

There are a couple of little quirks but nothing that I couldn't overcome. First, the bags only come in two sizes, quart & gallon. Second, they can be quite expensive compared to regular freezer bags, but I think that the vacuum seal is worth the expense. However, being the frugal coupon/sale shopper that I am, I found the bags on sale at Kroger for $2.00 a box then I also used a coupon. I stocked up and bought 10 boxes for about $15.00. I saved $21.90 off the regular price! Third, getting the seal is tricky! You have to maneuver the gadget around quite a bit for it to get the appropriate seal. I have very little patience and almost lost hope, but eventually it did work. It only took a couple of minutes per bag.

I appreciate the opportunity to try this new product! I would definitely recommend this product for those of you who are using the traditional freezer bags or don't have the funds necessary to purchase a traditional vacuum sealer. You can tell that it is truly getting all the air out which we all know lessens the ability for freezer burn. Some people have said you can't use it for liquids, like soups, etc, but I found a solution for that too. I just filled the bag half full, and went ahead and put it into the freezer without sealing. I left it overnight. The next morning I closed the top of the bag and proceeded to vacuum seal! Wahlah, vacuum sealed soup! No problem!

Another nice thing about the Handi-Vac compared to traditional vacuum sealers is that you can take out a portion of what's in the bag, suck the air out, and throw the remainder back into the freezer again.

For those of you wondering the cost of the gadget itself I found it at Walmart for $9.49, and my local Kroger had it for $9.99. That is a lot less expensive then a traditional vacuum sealer!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Where does the time go?

Has it really been 2 weeks since I've posted? About 3 weeks ago I went back to work for my Dad 2 days a week, and since then I just can't seem to get my time planned very well. The laundry is stacking up, my sewing projects are half finished, and my house definitely needs a good cleaning!

Just to bring you up to date in my life...

Things are still breaking!
The air conditioner in our truck went out, then the air conditioner in our house went out yesterday! I wasn't that worried about the truck because we can just roll down the windows when necessary but, I just knew that the house air conditioner was going to cost thousands of dollars to be repaired, and with this heat it couldn't be out for long. All I can say is... thank the Lord for a good husband! Charlie actually took apart the unit and found that the fan motor was out. To make a long story have the fan motor rebuilt was only $45!! Praise the Lord!

My brother went back to Florida this past weekend.
He loved it in Knoxville, but he was really missing our Dad. I don't think he realized just how much of a daddy's boy that he is. I miss him, but I think it is for the best that he went home. Sometimes it takes being away from something to realize just how much it means to you.

Product Reviews
I received a Reynolds Handi-Vac and both quart & gallon size bags from Melanie. I tried it last night on some corn, and it works well. I'm planning on posting my review and pictures this evening.

I hope you all have a great day!