Making Lemonade

So when life tosses you an unexpected ax through your skull, you can either choose to whine about it, or you can toss a heat pad on it and get on with your life (as much as possible).   In other words, quit bitching and make some lemonade out of your lemons.  (hey, I’m from Iowa, I’m pragmatic.)

Today I woke up with…well…with what my mother would describe as a “crick in my neck.”  In other words, I woke up with a pulled muscle in my neck which rendered me almost completely incapacitated.  Ok, that might be stretching it.  But regardless, my neck is stuck at a 25 degree angle and I can only look to my right without screaming in pain.

So I asked my husband to rub some pain-a-trate on my neck and traps, took a hot shower, guzzled 4 ibuprofen + a muscle relaxer and my husband drove me to work.  Thankfully, there was no heavy lifting today.

I had him pick my up some biofreeze and a heating pad/cooling pack – you know, the ones in the soft white sock filled with some kind of something that you can drape across your neck/back/lap/arm whatever, to use as a heating pad.  After several hours in the car (I felt OK to go to Dubuque to pick up a few things) we came home and I was more than ready for the pack.  I opened it up, and all I could smell was mold.  Yuck.  I could heat it up, but I’d be smelling that AWFUL rancid smell.  You can imagine my disappointment.  Especially since the pharmacy is 45 minutes away.


So here’s what I did.

I went to my dresser and got out an old sock.  I opened the cupboard and grabbed my gigantic bag of rice, found my lavender flowers and my lavender essential oil, I mixed them together and put them in a sock. I tied the sock at the end, threw it in the microwave for about a 1:40 (one minute forty seconds) and I had myself a lovely heating pad complete with great smelling lavender.

Mix rice, dried lavender, and a few drops of essential oil (this can be done with anything.  Heck, throw in some chives if you like the smell…).  Ideally, I would have another cover to go over this pack, but I don’t right now, because this was made in the heat of the moment.  But maybe I’ll make one eventually.  Or not.


Get a big funnel from your beer making husband…or a canning funnel will do.  The smaller necked funnels don’t work too well, but they will work.  Use a skewer to open up the hole once in a while.  And also, ask for help holding the sock and the funnel or pouring the rice into the sock.  Because rice is a bitch to clean up.


Finally, tie a knot (or if you’re handy, sew the ends) in the end of your sock, and toss it in the microwave on a clean microwave safe plate or dish for 1 minute 15 seconds.  If it’s not hot enough, toss it back in at 15 – 30 second intervals. Then, sit down with a glass of wine and relax.  Because most likely, stress was part of the issue in the first place.




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