Ebay and PayPal: Consumer Friend or Foe?

eBay and PayPal have become household names since they began in 1995 and 1998, respectfully. eBay is an online Auction website that allows just about anything to be sold to buyers all over the world. eBay began using PayPal as an ecommerce provider and as PayPal rose in sales and transactions, eBay bought them out solely in 2002. With billions of dollars flowing through both high profile companies, it seemed a perfect fit.

eBay has been touted as an American company catering to the American way of life, where you can list items to sell for the price that you deem fit, and you can buy quality items for a bargain. If you are a new seller, eBay gives the feeling of empowerment to sell what you want, when you want, and for how much you want. It says that your collectibles or housewares, etc. have value and someone wants your “stuff”. If you have an item that is popular, you might even have a “bidding war” on your hands, which is, oh so exciting!

Although it is not considered a bank, PayPal is licensed as a money transmitter on a state-by-state basis. With PayPal’s connection to eBay, it is the suggested and sometimes only way to pay for items bought on eBay. PayPal is recognized as a safe and secure way to pay for items across the world. As far as ecommerce goes, PayPal has the monopoly with eBay, for online Auctions and selling. On a positive note, you can use PayPal to pay for items or send a donation, request money, etc. for most things outside of eBay, making PayPal most appealing for all ecommerce needs.

All in all, the knowledge that eBay owns PayPal, may or may not have been news to you, and on any ordinary day, it might not lend itself to any significant importance. However, some interesting policies and practices have come to light recently.

Did You Know?

PayPal can put a HOLD on your account for all eBay related monies? They will allow you to take funds out for shipping, but your money can be held for 21 days, and longer if they choose. If you do not comply with all the regulations, you will not be able to access the money you’ve earned on eBay.

PayPal has a sales/feedback quota. According to eBay’s policies, they require you to sell enough items in a particular time period and procure positive feedback from those sales. Upon speaking to a customer service representative at PayPal, any eBay seller must maintain a Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) or positive Feedback rating of 25 within a 12 month period.

A seller must avoid having a high rate of customer refunds, disputes, claims, or charge backs. eBay also expects a seller to be consistent in their selling activity. There are more restrictions to these policies and you can find them at PayPal’s website under their Payment Holds Policy.

Why Are These Policies Problematic?

Since “feedback” from customers is not mandatory, it should not be factored in as a reliable measure of being a good seller. People cannot be made to leave Feedback. So, even if you sell 25 items, if your customers choose not to leave feedback, it is not a qualified sale toward your quota.

Sometimes, a buyer will purchase your item, and then fail to pay.  Typically, a seller will open a dispute to try somehow to receive their payment. Even if this is not the seller’s fault, it can be held against you if you have too many of these. A seller can have 100% positive feedback, but still be penalized for not having enough ratings numbers!

eBay also wants to make sure that if you utilize their services, that you are consistent in listing items to sell, which is saying they expect you to sell something all the time.

The results of not meeting eBay’s quota can be devastating!

As an eBay and PayPal user and seller, this has recently happened to me and irked me to my core! I had thought that this had finally been resolved, but it has not, and even though they released some of the hold after buyers had received their items, they are still holding any new monies for items sold until I reach the DSR ratings. I feel very disillusioned by this knowledge, and am not happy with either of these companies. To me, it has taken the joy out of wanting to sell on eBay! I bought into the thinking that “as an American, I can buy and sell when I want, what I want, and how much I want”! So not true! I felt that I needed to share so that other users and potential users can be cautious.

The bottom line is this: Be sure to read the “fine print” before buying or selling on eBay!

Have you had a negative experience like this with eBay or PayPal? Were you able to resolve the issue and how? What advice would you give to others in this situation?

Please share your story, we would love to hear!

Resurrection Eggs: teaching your kids about Easter

The store shelves are loaded with brightly colored Easter candy; it’s not surprising that children start to think that the whole point of Easter is chocolate! If you’re a parent who wants to teach your youngsters about the real meaning of Easter, there are some great tools out there for you. One of my favorite activities to prepare kids for Easter is using a box of Resurrection Eggs.

A box of Resurrection eggs contains 12 eggs, each containing an item that will help the parent or adult tell the Easter story. Kids love to discover what each egg holds and how that fits into the story of Easter. This activity requires some assembly ahead of time but it’s easy and fast.

Resurrection Eggs

Resurrection Eggs

What you’ll need:

  • 1 empty egg carton
  • 12 plastic eggs
  • 1 palm frond or a green leaf
  • a perfume sample or a cotton ball or bit of cloth sprayed with perfume
  • dimes or nickels
  • A little cracker or an individual plastic communion cup
  • a feather or a picture of a rooster
  • a piece of purple cloth or a small stick from a thorn bush
  • a cross made from two small sticks
  • a little piece of sponge soaked with vinegar
  • a scrap of white cloth
  • a few whole cloves, cinnamon or other spices
  • a small stone

If you don’t have the item on the list, you can substitute something that also reminds you of the verse associated with that particular egg. You can also switch out verses from the other Gospels. This particular set of verses does a great job of telling the story of the crucifixion and resurrection. (I got most of the ideas from the handout from AWANA clubs.)

Here are the Bible verses that correspond with the items in each egg:

1. Palm frond or other green leaf:

John 12:12-13 Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,


“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[e]

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”


2. Perfume sample or cotton ball sprayed with perfume:

Matthew 26:6-7 Jesus Anointed at Bethany

6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.


3. Dimes, nickels, or other silver coins:

Matt. 26:14-16 Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.


4. Cracker or individual communion cup:

Matthew 26:26-28 Communion

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.


5. Feather:

Matthew 26:3-34 Peter’s Betrayal

33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

6. Piece of purple cloth or small piece of thorny branch:

John 19:1-5 Jesus Sentenced to Be Crucified

1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”


7. Cross (necklace or one made of small sticks):

John 19:16-18 The Crucifixion of Jesus

16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.


8. Piece of sponge soaked in vinegar:

John 19:28-30 The Death of Jesus

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.


9. Scrap of white cloth:

John 19:40-42 Jesus’ body wrapped for burial

40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.


10. Cloves, cinnamon, or other spices:

Mark 16:1-2 Jesus Has Risen

1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb


11. Small stone:

Mark 16:3-4 Stone is rolled away

3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.


12. This egg will be empty to symbolize the empty tomb!

Mark 16:5-6 The tomb is empty!

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.


Hint: If you number the eggs with a sharpie, you won’t have to open every egg to find the particular egg you want to talk about.


You can buy sets of Resurrection eggs, all ready-made, online if you don’t have time to hunt down all the individual items. I imagine you can also pick up a carton of them from your local Christian bookstore.  If you google “Resurrection Eggs” you’ll come up with a LOT of results. This year, my favorite version of Resurrection Eggs comes from AWANA clubs.

Happy Easter!

Barb, writing for My Sister’s Kitchen


PS: I’m coming back to add a link to another cool idea: Resurrection Cookies. Go read about them! It’s a great idea for teaching kids.

For a fun activity to decorate Easter Eggs with your kids, check out how I use old silk ties and scarves to make gorgeous eggs on My Sister’s Kitchen.



How to Bring Your Lawn Mower Back to Life

Lawn Mower

Life is like a…

Don’t you hate it when you hear sentimental people say “Life is like a garden” or “Life is like a river” or “Life is like a lawnmower.” Now that I’ve probably irritated you with one more “Life is like a…” here is why I’m saying that.

Like many others in the Watauga area this weekend, you may have some high hopes (to match your high lawn) of firing up the old lawnmower and cutting the grass. If you did what you were supposed to last fall, then it will start on the first or second pull.

What??? You mean you have to do something in the fall to make this easy? As in life, even in the autumn of our lives, if we take care of ourselves, it’s easier to get going the next day (or season).

What you should have done last fall

Congratulations to those that pressure washed the outside and underside of the mower, or at least scraped all the grass off with a wire brush to minimize rusting. Two attaboys if you changed the oil (while it was still warm), and changed the spark plug. And you win the golden ring if you filled it with fresh gas mixed with fuel stabilizer and ran it for ten minutes to let the fresh fuel get where it needed to for the next six months.

What if your mower won’t start?

And now for the other 99% and I’m not talking financial status. If you go out to your mower, and it won’t start but it was running in the fall when you exercised a dereliction of your mower duties, it is more than likely bad gas, stale gas or I hate to say it, the gas is turning into varnish in the innermost recesses of the carburetor. Think cholesterol.

There is one sure fire way to determine if fuel is not getting to the carburetor. Take your handy dandy spark plug socket and a ratchet wrench; remove the spark plug and poor about a thimble or half ounce of fresh gas in the spark plug hole. Put the plug back in, attach the wire, and PULL. If it starts, runs for several seconds and dies, you have successfully trouble shot your mower.

The only way to resolve this minor issue is clean out the carb with carburetor cleaner. All you need is a socket set, carb cleaner and know how. There are videos on YouTube that show you how. I know…isn’t this just what you wanted to hear. Or you can pay someone to do it.

When you’re ready for a new mower

If you are fed up with the mower, DON’T THROW IT AWAY. It may have a second life in the hands of the right person (or student.) This is “Donate an organ” for mechanics. I know a local teacher (ME) that teaches his students about this stuff and loves donated mowers.

If you buy a new one, buy from someone that has on site service. Avoid big box stores with no maintenance shop but claim they can service the warranty by shipping it off for a few months. Buy quality.

My advice if you buy new?

  • Read the manual.
  • The most important maintenance step is to add oil and gas.
  • If you get a chance and want to save yourself hours of frustration when buying a simple replacement part, write down the model number of the mower. If you can, record the engine number too. I’ve seen guys in Farmer’s Hardware with a part in their hand, crying and begging for the clerk to try to find a look alike replacement. With their best bedside manner, they say “Sorry, we need the model number.” I on the other hand not only have the model number. I walk in with the manual and parts list that I’ve downloaded from the manufacturer’s website, thus saving them the time and trouble of looking it up. That’s why they love me there.

Just like in real life, if you treat your mower kindly, with regular maintenance, you can expect a long satisfying grass cutting career, not from cradle to grave but more like from the garage to the dump. I could go on forever on this topic but space is limited so I’ll stop. Besides, you might need the time to clean a carburetor or go shopping.

I’m curious, whose job is it in your family to mow the grass?

Ashe Kid’s Market Children’s Consignment Sale ~ Thursday through Sunday, March 29th-31st

Yes, it’s that time again! The Consignment Sales are upon us and Ashe Kid’s Market is having the next great one. Coming up on Thursday, March 29th through Saturday, March 31st, hop on by the Fleetwood School Community Center from 10am-6pm on Thursday & Friday,  and Saturday from 8am-3pm where you are sure to find some awesome bargains. Saturday, as usual, is the 1/2 Price Sale and typically the busiest day!

Ashe Kid’s Market Children’s Consignment Sale is truly a Community Event and helps to further support for Ashe County. Partnering with and benefiting from this sale with Ashe Kid’s Market are Ashe County Elementary Schools, A Safe Home for Everyone, and Ashe Pregnancy Center where “caring” for the little ones are of utmost importance.

These Children’s Consignment Sales are held twice a year, with this being the Spring and Summer Sale. Ashe Kid’s Market help families have the opportunity to buy and sell quality and name brand items at a fraction of the original cost.

Consignors and Volunteers are still being accepted for this sale, and drop-offs for consignors are Tuesday – Wednesday, March 27th & 28th. As an added bonus, Consignors and Volunteers are invited to participate in a Pre-Sale before the general public. What an incentive!

Items that you will find at the Ashe Kid’s Market Children’s Consignment Sale include Clothing from Infant – 14/16 sizes, Furniture and Bedding, Easter items, Books and Videos, Home School Helps and Resources, Maternity items, various Equipment, and what would a sale be without TOYS! All items, even though most are used, but some new, are maintained in excellent condition. The Sale itself, is ultra organized, neat and clean, making for an enjoyable shopping experience! Restock on items is daily and Cash and Credit Cards are accepted.

Look for the Fleetwood School Community Center across from the Fleetwood Volunteer Fire Department on Hwy. 221. For more information on this sale or to become a Consignor or Volunteer, visit the website at www.ashekidsmarket.com or call them at 336-877-8894.

It’s a Win ~ Win for everyone, so clean out your closets and cash in!

Top 5 Tips to Photographing your Kids like a Pro

By Tara Jackson of TaraMichelle Photography

I get asked all the time, “How in the world do you get such natural beautiful shots of people?” While I have always felt that there is something to a natural “eye” for framing a photograph, there are quite a few techniques out there that have nothing to do with natural talent, and more to do with learning to see the world as a photographer does (I can tell you that the world looks very different to me than it does to my mathematically minded and logical husband.) In the age of digital cameras with all of their settings and editing software option, photography can seem more complicated than it truly is. So without going through a whole lecture on F-Stops, light temperatures and the rule of thirds, here are a few tips on how to capture those quirky, silly and adorable years of your childs’ life more like a pro.


1. Turn Off Your Flash

I can’t stress this one enough. As a photographer, I was trained to use both natural light and in studio flash. How many times was I asked to photograph my subject with my on camera flash? Zero. The flash built in to your camera, no matter how high end it might be, always creates funky harsh shadows and tends to blow out the features on that beautiful little face while leaving everything else dark or underexposed. If the weather is nice, kids love to be outside playing, so utilize this excitement. If you want to photograph inside, find the biggest window in your house, and take notice as to what time of day you have the most sunlight streaming in (be sure to get between your child and the window, other wise you’ll just get a silhouette!)

 2. Get On their Level

When photographing children, the only time I am ever not on my knees, or rolling around on the ground with them is if the little adventurer is climbing on a playground, showing me his crime fighting superman skills or she’s laying in the grass holding out a flower she’s just found. One great thing about kids is that they love to run, play and get dirty; when was the last time you got down there with them, capturing the world (and their adorable expressions) from their level.  (hint: be sure to wear clothes you don’t mind getting grass stains and mud on.)



 3. Don’t be afraid to get up close.

You’re not photographing your backyard or the local landscape; you’re photographing your kids. Those sparkly eyes, that cute toothless grin, and that pouty face they always make when their ornery side comes out. Forget the background and fill the frame with that goofy little face. Photography is no longer limited to the posed, subject right in the middle of the frame, hold the camera perfectly straight, look at the camera and “Say Cheese!” rules that it once was.

 4. Pay attention to what’s in the background.

But didn’t you just say, “forget the background?” I’m glad you’re paying attention; yes I did. But sometimes you want to capture them in their surroundings, twirling in her new princess dress with your family dog playing her loyal subject. Make sure that there isn’t anything in the background that looks like its sticking up out of her head, like a light pole or a tree. If there is, don’t ask her to move, (she’s in character!) Instead, change your angle, get closer to the ground, or take two or three steps to the side.

 5. Practice, Practice, practice.

The beauty of the digital age is that once you’ve paid for the camera and memory card (and if you’re a serious picture taker, external memory), it doesn’t really cost you much more to take 100 photos as it does 1 photo. So snap away! The truth is, with kids and pets, who are constantly in motion, whether you are a pro or not, there will only be a handful of photos you want to print after an afternoon in the park. So take as many as you can, review them, see what worked and what didn’t, and then repeat.



Happy photographing!


Tara Jackson is a Photographer and writer located right here in Boone. Originally from Texas, she moved to NC with her family in 1997, later deciding to complete her photography education at Appalachian State University and opening a photography business after graduation. TaraMichelle Photography specializes in lifestyle photojournalistic portraits, capturing the beauty that is each individual. She also manages the social media and blog for Charleston Forge, a local furniture manufacturer, and with her and her husband expecting their first little one, aims to make Boone and the High Country more pregnancy friendly.  You can find more of Taras’ photographic work at www.taramphotography.com

December Weekend Events: Merry CHRISTmas! 12/23-25

Merry CHRISTmas to everyone! With Christmas being only a few days away, even during the hustle and bustle, let’s not forget to celebrate the “Real Reason For The Season”, that being that Jesus was born, sent down from his Father above to save our world. I always want to be thankful and grateful for my salvation and that I have a hope and a future of what is planned for me!

Christmas is not all about Santa, Elves, Gifts, Trees, etc. It is about the Birth of a Savior sent to save us all. It’s about a Savior who is called the Christ, and without Christ, there would be no Christmas! And to think, we all can know Him personally! All you have to do is Believe asking Him into your heart.

Again, as you finish out your shopping and wrap gifts, have fun with weekend Christmas events, entertain family and friends, it is the CHRIST in Christmas that makes this season bright!

Have a wonderfully Blessed Christmas and Holiday Season!


This Weekend at Regal Cinema…

Now Showing:

Visit www.regmovies.com for more info or call 828-262-3330.



Need something for the kids to do while school is out for Christmas Break? Look no further, here is the Winter Workshop for Kids going on now, and all the way through January 3rd on weekdays from 7:30am – 5:30pm held at the Boone Optimist Club on State Farm Road. This 9-day Workshop, sponsored by Watauga County Parks and Rec, will have the kids ages 5-13 or grades 1-7 making Crafts, baking Cookies, playing Games, going on Field Trips such as to a Christmas Tree Farm, and an Ice Skating Rink and much more! There is only room for 20 children, so get registered quick, and the cost is $170. For more info call 828-264-9511 or visit www.wataugacounty.org.

Add some Ooh’s and Awe’s to your Christmas season at Chetola Resort’s Festival of Lights happening now through Jan. 29th. Over 50 thousand lights adorn Chetola Lake, Lodge, and some homes through January turning the resort into a virtual winter wonderland. For more info visit www.chetola.com or call 828-295-5500.

On Friday…

The kids will have a blast having a free Breakfast with Mrs. Claus this Friday, Dec. 23rd starting at 9am. Sponsored by the Buckeye Recreation Center in Beech Mountain, kids will enjoy Pancakes, Eggs, Pastries, Juice, and Coffee while Mrs. Claus reads exciting stories by the fireplace. And, don’t forget, it’s not too late to “write a letter to Santa”! For more info call 828-38-3003.

On Saturday and Sunday…

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Church Services and Celebrations are happening all around the county. They would love for you to join them. Please contact your choice of church and attend. You will be blessed! For more info check out the local newspaper for Churches, locations, phone numbers, etc.

Have a Fun and Safe Weekend and a blessed Christmas!


***Make sure to visit our Online Stores at www.timespasttoys.etsy.com , our NEWEST website www.timespastwoodentoys.com, and www.dailycrossdesigns.etsy.com for our Wooden Toys and Home, Business, and Garden Decor.

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter under http://www.facebook.com/TimesPastToys; and as a follower @TimesPastToys; and at http://www.facebook.com/dailycrossdesigns and as a follower @dlycrossdesigns.

Hope to see you soon!

*****Do you need help with Decorating for Guests? Throwing a Party and don’t know where to begin?

~ Decorate  for the upcoming Christmas Holiday Season!!! If you need help with Decorating for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or Party Planning, please call us at 828-719-6615 or email terrykerihamrick@bellsouth.net.

We offer Room Decorating for Parties, the Winter and Christmas Season, TableScapes, Christmas Tree Decor, Christmas Tree Themes and more.

Here is a current item being offered: From our Daily Cross Designs Online Store, here is one of our new Christmas Angels. Christmas Angel Home Decor in Gold Poinsettias and White – Christmas Angel Home Decor will bring a glow to any room. This beautiful and serene Angel can be placed on a Fireplace Mantle or a Table top, or wherever you would like.

Available in different colors and styles, the Christmas Angel comes with a Halo, and White Tulle Fabric over a basic white color or other color with coordinating Bow Wings and adornments. The Christmas Angel will make a wonderful addition to your home decor for the Holiday Season. Can also be Custom Made to your colors or theme!

Lovingly hand-crafted with exquisite detail. Stands approximately 11″ High and base is 6″ Wide. $16.99

We are now offering our Toys and products packaged for your convenience. .

National Influenza Vaccination Week and AppUrgent Care Center Opening

This is National Influenza Vaccination Week, December 4th – 11th, and with the Colds, Sinus, and plain old yucky nasty Infections and Flu going around already, even in my house, it is great to gather some info to get a head start and know what to do!

Dr. Chris McCracken of Appalachian Regional Adult & Family Medicine, shares some insights on how to prepare for the upcoming Flu season.

If you are considering getting the Flu shot, Dr. McCracken states that the Flu usually doesn’t make it’s official entrance until January or February. However, it takes your body at least 2-3 weeks for a Flu Shot to get in your system and let those Flu germs know whose “Boss”! So, it is recommended to get the shot as soon as possible when it becomes available.

If you or your kids begin to feel out of sorts, check these symptoms for the Flu. Flu symptoms are: Fever, Chills, Sweats, Aches, and Cough.

You can call the doctor right away to see if there is anything to help like Tamiflu, but also make sure to stay home so that whatever germs or bacteria you might be carrying doesn’t spread to friends, family, classmates, and co-workers, etc. If you do have to go out for any reason, because the Flu can be very contagious, wear a Face Mask, wash your hands OFTEN, and make sure to stay away from Babies, the Elderly, and anyone else that is already sick or with a weakened condition.

Now, this week just happens to coincide with the opening of Boone’s newest Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s AppUrgent Care Center on December 14th, 2011. Temporarily set up at the former Appalachian Regional Rheumatology building, they will be moving to their new home in 2012 at the old Black Bear Books next to Walgreens.

Great things that AppUrgent Care has to offer are that they are convenient and easy for Walk-In-Care. If you live here but can’t get an appointment with your regular physician, or if it’s in the evening or weekend hours, they are an alternative ready for you. For the visitors to the area, the Walk-In center is an available resource to be treated and still get back to all of the fun activities that brought you here to begin with.

The AppUrgent Care Center is also a going to keep down your costs of going to the Emergency Room, one that can be counted on to be there, and they have the Tests and Vaccinations available for you if needed.

Dr’s. Amor and Zimmerman, will be your friendly doctors for any and all illnesses and injuries that aren’t life or death situations such as Sore Throats, Strains on Muscles, Sprains, Fever, Flu, and much more. Make sure to stop by and have a chat with the Dr’s and the staff, they are eager to get to know you too!.

The Crafting Corner with Keri: Last Minute Thanksgiving Table Decor!

Welcome to The Crafting Corner with Keri.Come on in and learn something new, or share an idea or craft that you’ve had on your mind. This week we are talking about last minute decor for the Holidays.

Have you been searching for something easy, yet elegant to spruce up your Thanksgiving Dinner Table? Well, here is an easy fix that won’t put a dent in your wallet. This is so easy, and the great part about it is that much of the needed supplies can be gotten at any number of Dollar Stores. I remember seeing this craft a long time ago, and was recently reminded of these beautiful Thanksgiving Votive or Pillar Candles that add warmth and beauty to any table or setting.


Supplies needed are:

White or Cream colored Votive or Pillar Candle

(Use another color candle for more drama if you like!)

Twine, Raffia, or Ribbon of your Choice

Silk or Faux Fall Leaves and/or Flowers

Cinnamon Sticks  and Dried Orange Slices (Optional)


Dab of Glue, or Hot Glue Gun with Glue Sticks


To make your Thanksgiving Votive Candles:

1) Pick out some nice and colorful Leaves and/or Flowers to go around your votive candle. Since it is near the end of the Autumn and Fall Season, you can find lots of Fall decorations 50% or more off. Look for Floral Stems, Floral Picks, Fall Leaf Garland, etc. for some great choices. You can also use Cinnamon Sticks and Dried Orange Slices to decorate your candle.

2) Place around the candle the way you would like them, but make sure to leave some of the candle showing in between the Leaves or Flowers. Use small, medium, or large Leaves and Flowers, depending upon your preference and candle size. If you are using a smaller Votive Candle, you can place the candle in a small glass and glue your Flowers and Leaves onto the glass.

3) Place a dab of Glue or use your Hot Glue Gun and put a little bit of hot glue on the back of your Leaf or Flower.

4) Arrange the Leaves, Cinnamon Sticks, Dried Orange Slices, and Flowers on the sides of your candle. Make sure that they are not hanging over the top of the candle to where they would catch on fire. It is your design, make it with as little or as much as you like!

5) Finally, tie a string of Twine, Raffia, or Ribbon around the candle. If you are using Flowers, you may need to glue them on after the Ribbon, or wind around the Flowers. Finish it with a Bow if you choose and place on a candle holder or plate.

Voila! You have a colorful, soothing and warm decoration for your Thanksgiving Dinner Table.


Do you want a Wreath, Centerpiece, or other Holiday Decor and don’t have the time or know-how? Let me help you’”Decorate for the Holidays”! Contact me at terrykerihamrick@bellsouth.net for more information and let’s get together!.

Tips to Have a Green Halloween

I can’t believe it.  The end of October is approaching very quickly and Halloween is almost here.    How did that happen?  I just found out today that my son needs to wear his costume to           preschool on Thursday.  They are going to have all the preschoolers line up and parade down    the hall.  How cute is that going to be?

I would kind of like to see statistics on how many children are at home sick after the Halloween holiday.  Processed sugars can suppress the immune system for up to seven hours so who knows how many hours of immune system suppression many kids are going to face after they Halloween treat gathering.  Not to mention all the high fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives that will wreak havoc on the body as well.  Plus, little plastic toys, candy wrappers, and plastic decorations that are just going to get thrown out after the day of festivities ends.

Fortunately, it is not impossible to green your Halloween in the coming week.  Here are some tips on encouraging a safe, green, and healthy Halloween this season.

Green Your Treats

Consider giving out organic apples or miniature pumpkins from a local far or farmer’s market.  Or, if it is acceptable in your neighborhood (like you know most of the children that are coming to your door) try giving out homemade treats that are made only from natural minimally processed ingredients.   You could also consider giving out  quarters, nickles, or even pennies to the little guys.  That’s right empty your change jar.  If you want to give out chocolate look into to purchasing fair trade chocolate.

Green Your Costume

Consider renting, purchasing a costume used, or being creative by making up your own.  It would be super easy to create a cowboy costume with a bandanna, a hat, and some boots.  Keep in mind that many store bought costumes include cheap materials, and non- earth friendly plastics.  Not to mention that many of them come in from possible sweat shops over seas.   Also, keep your eye out for Halloween make-up that contains many toxins that can easily be absorbed in to the skin when applied to the sweet faces of your children.   Instead choose organic products that are non-toxic.

Green Your Decorations

Instead of buying cheap decorations that are just going to sit in a land fill consider decorating with nature that is easily found in your yard or at a farmer’s market.  The best decorations are pumpkins, gourds, and fall leaves to spice up your decor.  There is no need for all that spooky stuff found at local party stores.  By using nature you will be saving your wallet, the earth, and not scaring the pee out of those sweet little toddlers that are going to visit you at your door.

Choose to Be Green With Your Pumpkin

If you are going to eat your pumpkin you may want to choose an organic pumpkin or purchasing it from a local farmer.  Just like other produce pumpkins can carry lots of pesticides and toxins.  After carving you can then toast the seeds for a healthy and festive treat.

After the holiday is over consider composting your pumpkin instead of throwing it in the trash to rot.

Here’s to a green, safe, happy, healthy Halloween!


The Crafting Corner with Keri: How to make an Autumn/Fall Wreath

Welcome to

The Crafting Corner

with Keri,

Come on in and join me for a while. To those of you who have always wanted to explore your “crafty” side, or have never thought that you could have a “crafty” side...here is some help!

You don’t have to be afraid any longer, it really is not that hard, and I will show you step-by-step how to put ideas together and come out with a finished product. One, you can be proud of and want to display.


For the Autumn and Fall Season, let’s learn:

How to Make a Wreath with Fall Decor.

Supplies Needed:

Wreath form (Grapevine, Straw, Metal form, Styrofoam, Wood, etc.)

Bow, or Wire-Edged Ribbon, Raffia, etc. (Optional)

Fall Flowers

Filler Flowers

Paper Mache or Plastic Fruit (Pumpkins, Gourds, Apples, etc. – Optional)

Pine Cones (Optional)

Fall Potpourri (Optional)

Cinnamon Sticks (Optional)

Needle Nose Pliers

Wire Cutters

Floral Wire

Hot Glue Gun

Hot Glue Sticks

Twine (Optional)



Our 1st step is to find a wreath to decorate. Now, most often you will find Grapevine Wreaths are used, however, wreaths can be made of Straw, a Metal Frame, Styrofoam, dried Vines, etc.

As long as you have a form in which to decorate, that is what matters. Here shown is a Grapevine Wreath that I am using.

The 2nd step is to make your Bow, if you desire a Bow. Many Wreaths do not have Bows and are beautiful without them. If you want one, there are several ways to make a Bow, (and I will create a post to show how to make a Bow in another article) or you can buy one already made.

You will usually need to have ribbon with a wire edge, or a stiff material so as to “shape” or bend your Bow. Place one end between your right fingers, create a loop to the left and wrap ribbon back to the middle, then if you have the same color ribbon on each side, do the same on the right side always coming back in the middle. You may have to twist the ribbon in the middle each time as you make loops if there is a difference in the front and back sides.You will want 2 to 4 loops on each side.

Then cut a piece of ribbon the length you desire for your streamers, around 12″-15″, and partner the middle of the ribbon with your loops. Hold onto your loops and ribbon, and take thin Floral Wire and wrap it around the middle of your loops and ribbon piece, tightening with Needle Nose Pliers. Clip any long excess wire with Wire Cutters and bend down the center into the back of the bow.

Next, attach the Bow with another piece of Floral Wire, Hot Glue, or Twine, for a secure hold. Your Bow can be placed in the Bottom Center, the Top Center, or either Side. It is your choice as to where you think looks best. Here is shown my Bow with an accent from my Potpourri in the middle.

The 3rd step is to pick out your main Fall Flowers. These will be your bigger stemmed flowers in whatever colors you choose. You will want a variety in different colors, sizes and varieties such as Mums, Daisies, Sunflowers, Roses, etc.

4th, you will want to have some Filler Flowers. These are your smaller Flowers, Buds, Berries, Leaves, etc. Pick a few that will go well with your bigger flowers.

5th, you may want to use some natural elements here to bring in some of the outdoors. Fun things to use are Pine Cones, Acorns, Twigs, little River Rocks, dried Berries and so on.

The 6th step is to add some unique accents through ideas such as Potpourri and Cinnamon Sticks. These always add some depth to your floral project.

The number 7 means completion…so it is fitting that this is the step where you will put things together for your Wreath. What you will want to do is to place your items around your Wreath to see what fits best and where. It is called “Staging” and this way you can see multiple ways to decorate. You might even want to take some pictures to see what the Wreath will look like.

Once you have made your decision and gotten all of the kinks worked out, plug in your Hot Glue Gun and begin to place your Bow where you want it if you are having one. Then place a big flower around the Bow, either on Top, to the Side, or Bottom. Then place some smaller flowers of contrasting colors around those. Using the stem, insert into the Wreath, and then glue for more support.

If you are not using a Bow, find your biggest flowers or flower and make them the focal point. They will act just like a Bow, and you will build other flowers around them. Continue until you are satisfied with the positioning of your bigger flowers and focal points. Use your Filler flowers to enhance the bigger ones and this is a good place to add some green leaves and Fall leaves as well, especially to cover areas where you might see glue from the Hot Glue Gun.

Place Pine Cones or Paper Mache Fruits around to add character, and use some Potpourri and Cinnamon Sticks too! Fill it as much or as little as you like ~ It’s your creation!

Add some Twine or Ribbon to make a hanger for your door, over a mirror, china cabinet or wherever you wish to place your Fall Wreath and Enjoy!


Do you want a Wreath, Centerpiece, or other Holiday Decor and don’t have the time or know-how? Let me help you'”Decorate for the Holidays”! Contact me at terrykerihamrick@bellsouth.net for more information and let’s get together!