Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

Remember, my little ghosts and goblins...you are never too old to have a little fun!!  Happy Halloween, everybody!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Halloween Bufffet

Disclaimer:  This is NOT for eating!!  This is strictly for creeping people out!!

What you'll need:

Blindfolds for your guests
Creepy Halloween music or sound effects
Various dishes
Table
Paper towels

The Buffet:

Cold, cooked spaghetti noodles for intestines
Peeled grapes for eyeballs
Dried apricots for tongues
Un-popped popcorn for teeth
Large peeled tomato for heart
Corn silk for hair
Slab of jello for liver
Peeled melon half for brain
Breadsticks for bones

Set the body parts out in bowls on the table, out of view of your guests.  After blindfolding your guests, lead them around the table, letting them feel the body parts.  Prepare for squeals...even from the adults!!

Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Tables Have Turned

I've been accused by my children on multiple (thousands) occasions of being a helicopter mom.  It's true, I am. Proud of it!!  But I have experienced that unique empty-nester phenomena of having the tables turned.

My sons are incredibly (over)protective.  And this morning, something occurred that illustrates it perfectly.

My oldest son (R.) is in the hospital.  He has a stomach bug and needed a potassium drip.  But he didn't call me to let me know.  Instead, he called his little brother (T.).  That way, T. could call me.  T.'s number would show up on the caller ID instead of the hospital's.  The exact quote from both of them? "We didn't want you to freak out, Mama."

R. is 24, T. is 21.  I have been getting phone calls from hospitals in regards to both of them for a really long time...not to mention trips to the ER, meeting ambulances or daycare providers at the ER, etc.  Would the hospital's number on my caller ID have caused a heart pounding moment?  Yes, absolutely it would have.  Would it have precipitated a full-blown Mama freak-out?  Probably not.  As any mother of sons will tell you, you're always ready for that number to show up.

But their hearts are so in the right place.  They have grown up to be men who consciously think about protecting the women in their lives, Mama included.  And you have to love that.  So let this particular table turn...I'll let them protect me whenever they want.  Is there such a term as helicopter kids?

Enjoy your weekend, everybody!!

Love, Jerri

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Be Done

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense" -Ralph Waldo Emerson


How hard is that for you to do?  I know for myself it's almost impossible.  I frequently beat myself up ad nauseam for things I've done, said, or missed.  Letting go has never been high on my list of personal skills.


But aren't I just robbing myself?  I'm stealing precious moments from the present by lingering over mistakes from the past.  And I'm talking about things as trivial as forgetting the load in the dryer before I went to bed.  What joys am I missing today because I'm still living in the land of "I should have"?


I don't expect perfection from my friends or my children.  Why do I then criticize myself for failing to achieve it?  Is it a gender issue?  Or is it generational, that I was raised with the expectation that I should be the perfect wife, mother, career woman, friend?  Could it be that I placed my own unattainable standards on myself?


My nest is empty now.  My children are grown and gone.  I can't go back and fix what I think I did wrong.  You know what?  They turned out to be fantastic kids in spite of whatever mistakes I made!  


Is my home always Martha Stewart perfect?  Oh hell, no!!!  But I've made the decision that time spent with friends is infinitely more valuable to me than polishing and primping.  That is something I won't change.


So a new resolution for a new phase of life.  I'm not perfect.  No one, except for me, expects me to be.  I resolve to get a grip, let the past go, and enjoy this moment.  Time is getting short.  I can't afford to do otherwise.


Love,
Jerri

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sony and Kobo

While the Sony and Kobo e-readers are not among the most popular, I have found a site where owners of these two can download free e-books!

The site is Inkmesh.  In addition to Sony and Kobo, they also list free books from Smashwords, Kindle, B&N, and Baen.  Searches can be made by title, author, genre, or e-reader.  They also list books that are not free but that can be helpful when searching for a particular author/title.

Inkmesh can also be found on Twitter at @inkmesh.  I frequently use Twitter for finding free e-books as the tweets automatically appear on my Twitter homepage and I don't actually have to go looking for them.  Yes, I know, incredibly lazy but it works!!

So head over to Inkmesh and download, download, download!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Electronic Tone

What do I consider electronic tone?  The tone that you assign in your head to what other people have written, whether on social media or in an email.

Am I guilty?  You bet!!  I have no doubt that I frequently read something in a tone that it was not intended.  We all view the world through our own filter and electronic media is no exception.  In fact, it is probably more prevalent in cyberspace as we don't have facial expressions and body language to supplement our perception.

The ramifications of your electronic tone can be devastating.  What is typed as humor can be perceived as a personal insult, resulting in destroyed friendships.  Admittedly, you have to wonder about the validity of a friendship that can be dissolved by a few typed words but it happens and happens frequently.  And what if you happen to be in a bad mood?  That moment of lashing out in a post or an email is out there forever.  You can delete it, you can apologize...but like words you speak...it can't be taken back.

The lesson to be learned?  That we all need to watch our electronic tone, even more than our actual tone.  There are people reading who will color what we say with their own perception.  While it's impossible to please everyone, we can take care with our words...both written and spoken.

And those are my random thoughts this morning...


Monday, October 24, 2011

You Can't Be Too Pink

There is pink everywhere this month.  You can get pink labeled water, yogurt, pens, garden tools, etc.  Actually, if it's even remotely marketable to women, it comes in pink during October.  And I love each and every item I see.

Why?  Because if even one penny from my purchase goes to research to stop this insidious disease, it's worth it to me.  I've already lost my best friend to breast cancer, had three other friends survive it, and made it through a lumpectomy myself.  This disease targets women in 99% of all cases.  And the one percent of men diagnosed have an even harder time as there seems to be a stigma attached for them.

As you go shopping this month, you have a choice.  You can buy a case of your regular bottled water or grab the case with the pink label.  You can get your usual yogurt or choose the one with the pink ribbon.  Please, for the sake of your mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends...choose pink!

On a completely personal note, I will be again participating in Austin's Race for the Cure on November 13.  If you are looking for someone to support in a race, I would greatly appreciate it!!  You can sponsor me at this link:  Jerri's Donation Page .

Love,
Jerri

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Slushy!!!

Banana Berry Slushy

Ingredients:

3 cups ice
2 cups water
1 cup raspberries
1 banana
1/2 cup sugar
1 envelope black cherry drink mix

Combine all ingredients in blender.  Blend on high 30 to 45 seconds.  Pour and serve!!

(Calories can be cut by two thirds if you substitute Splenda and sugar-free drink mix!)

Enjoy!!!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Things To Ponder

I'm sitting here this morning and there are a few things on my mind:

1.  KFC has a current ad stating there is no such thing as chicken nuggets so they won't sell them.  But they sell "boneless" chicken wings?

2.  The big fad nowadays is organic this, organic that.  People in the 1800's ate everything organic and their average lifespan was 35 years old.  Just sayin'.

3.  Today's generation of mothers are the most protective ever.  But they happily slap a sticker on the back of their SUV with their child's name, school, and favorite activity.  Hello, Predator?  Over here!!!

4.  If the call button for the elevator is lit, pushing it again won't make the elevator arrive faster.  Really, it won't.  I swear.

5.  The person who would be horribly offended if told they should pass on dessert has no problem telling a thin person to eat a sandwich.  Pot, meet kettle.

6.  Why do tampons now come in designer packaging?  For the sake of that nosy guest that looks under your sink?

7.  The shortest line at the grocery store is guaranteed to take the longest.  Why is it the shortest?  Because everybody else has already bailed!

8.  The person who has the ability to talk you into a coma is the same person who has NEVER lost your number.

9.  Infomercials.  Seriously...did Ronco teach us nothing?

10.  Viva Viagra!!  For the love of God...just why????

Enjoy your weekend, everybody!!

Love, Jerri



Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Best Thing About Fall

Ask a group of people what is the best part of fall and you'll receive a wide variety of answers.  You'll hear about the start of school, the turning of the leaves, and the cooler temperatures.

If you ask any of the men in my life, it's football.  Well, football and the snacks you eat with football.  Football and the beer you drink with football.  Football, and well, football!

For me personally, it's none of the above.  My best part of fall is my sweats.  Yes, my sweats!  Those glorious, comfortable, snuggly sweats!  The bane of every fashionista's life, the outfit that garners a look of dismay from the hubby, the clothes even I wouldn't wear out in public.

But around the house?  There is absolutely nothing better.  A comfy set of sweats, a steaming mug of tea with honey, a good book, and I am set for an entire day.

Now living in Texas means the sweats window of opportunity is small.  I vow to take full advantage of every possible moment to snuggle up in my sweats before the heat returns!

And those are my random thoughts this morning...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Incredibly Blessed

Yesterday, I began the process of gathering our team for the Austin Komen Race for the Cure.  The first person to commit?  My 21 year old son.  His unflagging support of his mother is done without hesitation and with a pure heart.

Last year, he ran the course while I walked it.  When he finished...he turned around and came back to where I was and finished the course with me.  Granted, he made me finish at a run...but he was holding my hand and encouraging me the whole time.  Actually, by the end...he was damn near carrying me!!

When you attend a Race for the Cure, you'll notice it's about 80% women.  Mothers, daughters, sisters, friends.  But that last 20% are the husbands, sons, and brothers supporting the women they love.  A few years ago, there was even a fraternity group standing along the course giving free hugs.  It takes a special kind of man to willingly subject himself to a gathering of thousands of women wearing pink!!!  But they do so with generosity and love.

I am incredibly blessed and lucky to have such a man as my son.  I don't think there is any greater pride a mother can have than to witness one of her children doing good for others.  It fills my heart and soul to watch my son's huge heart in action.

So I'm looking forward to sharing this year's event with him.  But this year...I'm not running!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What If?

Sunday, I attended the Ulta Cut-A-Thon.  Ulta offered a free shampoo, cut, and style in exchange for a donation for breast cancer research.  The line was incredible and we all had plenty of time to wander around the store while we were waiting our turn.

While waiting, I had struck up a conversation with a woman wearing her Komen survivor shirt.  She is nearing her 5-year mark and had an incredible attitude!  But it was her back story that grabbed my attention.

She had a lumpectomy about 9 years ago.  The tissue they removed was not yet cancer but the cells were in pre-cancerous formation.  Four years later, she was diagnosed with full blown breast cancer.  Thankfully, it was caught in time and she is enjoying her life, her children, and her friends.

Why did that story grab my heart?  Four years ago, I had a lumpectomy.  The tissue they removed was not yet cancer, but the cells were in pre-cancerous formation.  As I listened to her story, I experienced an all-encompassing moment of absolute terror.  As I stated in a previous post, I'm currently without insurance and my mammo is out of the question this year.  So while I celebrated her victory with her, my mind was racing with what if's.

But I can't live in the land of what if.  I have to live in the life I have and what happens, will happen.  But I wonder how many other women are living in that land.  How many live in fear of what if, knowing they have no options.  Hopefully, the research will pay off...and what if will be gone forever.

Monday, October 17, 2011

In Defense of Women

I am a survivor of domestic violence.  I am reminded of the pain and fear every time I look in a mirror and see the scar that still exists on my face.  It's faded now as has the fear, but it's still there.  It always will be.

And now Topeka, Kansas has decriminalized domestic battery.  The city manager has stated that he can't afford to prosecute these cases and needs to use his budget for "serious" crimes.  Obviously, he has never been on the receiving end of a loved one's fist.

It is estimated by experts that 75% of murdered women in the United States are killed by their significant other.  That is 3 out of 4 women murdered by the person they love.  3 out of 4.  The danger doesn't exist in some stranger lurking in the dark, some faceless unknown.  The danger exists in the living rooms and bedrooms of the women in the United States.  The danger is at home.

Part of the problem is the insignificance placed on crimes of domestic violence.  More than half of all law-making offices are held by men and protection of women does not appear to be high on the list of priorities.  Domestic violence is a complex issue, requiring not just legal, but social intervention.  It won't be solved overnight but refusing to prosecute is a dangerous precedent.

The United States as a country prides itself on defending the little guy.  It sends troops to support said little guy all over the world, spending billions in the process.  But what does it say of a country that fails to protect it's women?


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall Favorite!!

Pecan Pralines

Ingredients:

3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups pecan halves

Directions:

Combine sugar, cream of tartar, salt and milk in a heavy saucepan.  Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Wipe crystals occasionally from the sides of the pan.  Cook to 238 degrees or until the mixture forms a soft ball in a cup of tap water.  Cool to 220 degrees.  Add butter, vanilla extract, and pecans.  Beat until creamy.  Drop from a large spoon onto a buttered surface or wax paper.  Store individually wrapped in an air-tight container.

Enjoy!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

It's The Weekend!!!

"You only have one today"  That's going to be my philosophy for this weekend.

This weekend, I'm going to dig out that needlepoint I've been wanting to finish.  I have some jewelry making I've been meaning to do.  I have over 1300 books on my Kindle, another 1000 on my Nook.  And last, but not least, I have chocolate calling my name.  You know, that chocolate you buy and tell yourself you're going to hand it out on Halloween???

I know, these things seem like small, every day, little things.  But pay attention to my larger point.  You only have one today.  Do things that feed your soul, your mind, and your heart.  Tell the ones you love that you love and treasure them.  Ignore those who delight in misery and criticism.  Be thankful for the day you've been given.

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!!

Love, Jerri

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Too Lazy For Pants

Have you seen the commercial where the woman admits she wears her yoga pants because she's too lazy for real pants?  I so could have starred in that!!

I love, love, love my yoga pants!!  One, they're black so I can wear them with anything.  Two, they stretch so I can make a pig out of myself and don't have to worry about them getting tight.  Three, they are made of the most comfortable fabric on earth.

I especially treasure them when traveling.  There is nothing more comfortable you can wear when stuck in a car or airplane for hours.  I've worn them on trips to New Orleans and to South Padre.  Pure comfort all the way!

And yes, a lot of the times I wear them is simply because I'm too lazy for real pants.  And yes, today is one of them.  And I'm rocking them with a cute turquoise top and some great jewelry.

So it's almost time for lunch with a girlfriend...and I can totally pig out.  Thanks to my yoga pants!!

And those are my random thoughts this morning!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Extra Empty

For some reason, my nest is feeling extra empty today.  I've been wandering around the house, unsure as to how to start my day.  These kind of days are when I miss my kids the most.  If they were here, there would be places I needed to be, schedules to be kept, and bottomless pits to keep fed.

It's extra quiet today.  Even my whole neighborhood is quiet!  The dogs are asleep and it sounds like there's no one else in the world.  If the kids were here, there would be televisions on all over the house, video games on at least one of them, and frequent shouts and laughter.  And don't forget the "I'm hungry!".

But I won't linger today on what's not here.  I'll sit and enjoy my coffee in the quiet.  I'll use the peace to read a book.  I'll cuddle with my dogs (when they wake up!).  After all, it won't be long before Hubby walks through the door with an "I'm hungry!".

Enjoy your day!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Most Hated Word...The Fallout

Yesterday's post addressed my own, personal most hated word.  It dealt with the changes I felt that I needed to make to fully live this new phase of my life.  Or at least that was my intention when I wrote it.

Somehow, certain individuals made it all about them.  Was it that they recognized themselves?  Or was it just an assumption on their part that it was aimed at them?  It escalated, got nasty, and third parties with virtually no personal knowledge about me or my life thought it appropriate to opine on the subject.

So, here's a clue.  IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!!!  These were my thoughts, my opinions, and the changes I felt I need to make to better MY life.

If you do believe you recognized yourself, maybe it might be a good idea to take a look in the mirror.  Are there actions you've taken that would invoke such a reaction on my part?  Or is it obviously easier to just use it as a platform to attack?

"Should" remains my most hated word.  But after the last 24 hours, I'm seriously considering that my tree of life SHOULD be pruned.

And those are my random thoughts this morning.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Most Hated Word

I am 49 years old.  And without being excessively morbid, the reality is that I am running out of time.  Time to do the things that make me happy, time to spend with the people I love, time to surround myself with the people who love me.

So my most hated word?  Should.  All the things we were raised to think we had to do.  All the things we do on a daily basis because it's expected of us.  All the things we do because we are ingrained that they are the "proper" or "right" thing to do.  All the things society says are the things to wear, to look like, to be.

Stop for a moment.  Think about all the crap (and I mean crap) you do on a daily basis because you should.  How much of your life does it eat up?  How much time and joy would you regain by eliminating them?

I am no longer young.  I am running out of time.  So a lot of things I "should" do have to go.  I will no longer spend my time accommodating family members who's greatest pleasure in life is to criticize me.  I will no longer spend my precious time making plans with friends who cancel, show up late, or put all the planning on me.  I will no longer spend my days pleasing others and making myself miserable in the process.

From now on, I will do what feeds my intellect.  I will do what soothes my soul.  I will do what brings joy to my heart.  I will surround myself with people who love me and who's love does not come with expectations and demands.  I will love the same way.  Time is short.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sweets!!!

Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients:

1 (6oz) package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Combine morsels, peanut butter, and butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir constantly, but only until mixture melts and is smooth.

Remove from heat.  Add powdered sugar and stir until smooth.

Spoon into buttered 8 inch square pan and chill until firm.

Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Cut into squares and store in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

And The Nominees Are...

Wow!!  What a way to wake up this morning...to find that I'd been nominated for a Liebster award!  A huge THANK YOU to Darian Wilk for nominating me!  Darian is an incredible writer who, besides her blog Crazy Lady With A Pen, just received the first copy of her book Love Unfinished.  I am so proud of her accomplishment!!

So what exactly is a Liebster award?  In German, the word "Liebster" means beloved, favorite, preferred above others.  It's given by a blogger to 5 blogs with under 200 followers.  The goal is to bring attention to these blogs, which is well-deserved.

Now on to the rules.

1.  Show your appreciation to the blogger who nominated you with a linkback.

2.  Post your own top 5 picks.  Post a comment on their blog so they know about their award!

3.  Post the award on your blog, tweet it, post on your fan page if you have one.  Get the word out about these great bloggers!

4.  Celebrate your award!! Remember the definition above of "Liebster"?  The fact that you've received one means someone thinks those exact things about YOU!

So without further ado...The envelope, please...

And the winners are:

1.  Red Mojo Mama  A blogger and writer who recently held a sale of her books with proceeds benefitting the Wounded Warriors.  A blogger with a huge heart!!

2.  Lisa Dickie  An entrepreneur with a fantastic clothing line, Coy Clothes, her personal blog makes me smile!

3.  Pumped on Caffeine  A blogger in my same age range...a heart of gold, a sense of humor..;.You'll love her!

4.  Confessions of a Fat Woman  One of my favorite authors on the planet!  Her book,  Veiled Eyes, had me fascinated from beginning to end!

5.  Crazy Lady With A Pen  Yes, I know she nominated me...but I adore her blog and there isn't anything in the rules that say I can't nominate her!!

6.  Starting Over, Over 50  Ok...I know the rules said 5...but I've never been known for following the rules! This blog is written by a dear friend and he's a newbie.  Actually, in the blogger world, he's a newborn!!  Seriously...he's only two days old!!

So check out these deserving blogs!  Remember...even if you're a blogger with thousands of followers...we all had that first day when our only thought upon posting was "Please, Lord!  Let at least one person read this!"

With tons of love,

Jerri

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

e-Overload!!

Last night, I settled in with my laptop.  I had a couple Twitter parties I was attending and I figured I could catch some TV in between my tweets.  Wrong!!

Before I knew it, I was in full e-overload!  Attending two Twitter parties simultaneously is enough to make your head spin.  Throw in two chat boxes popping up on Facebook, texts coming in on my phone, and my email dinging with new emails every two seconds and I didn't know if I was coming or going!  Luckily, I had remembered to set Skype to "Do Not Disturb" or I would have gotten a call there too!

When did I become so connected that I can't even keep up?  Is it my own inability to say no to my friends when they want me?  But what if they don't just want me, they actually need me?

Or is it not just me?  Have we as a culture become so wired that we've eliminated downtime?   I didn't even make it through this blog post without pausing to answer a response on Facebook, check my email, and answer my phone.

So is it multi-tasking or overload?  Maybe I need to shut down for a bit.  But what if someone needs me?

And those are my random thoughts this morning...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Not too bad!

So far this morning, I'm having a pretty lucky day.  I've managed to score free Green Giant vegetables (full-size), free hair color from John Frieda (full-size), and free headlight restorer (sample) from Murphy Racing.  And I haven't been awake that long!

How did I do it?  By following bloggers on Facebook that regularly post freebies that they find!  Now when they're posted, you have to be quick!  A lot of the giveaways have a limit so you have to jump on them when they pop up.  For example, yesterday Wendy's gave away 50,000 free retro t-shirts.  That seems like a lot until you consider the number of people who use Facebook!!  (Yep...I scored one of those, too!)

How to find these bloggers' pages?  Go to Facebook and put "Freebies" in the search box at the top.  Another good search keyword is "Frugal".  In these economic times, the more you can get for free, the better!!

So what have you gotten for free lately?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Sigh...

It's Monday.  Yep, definitely Monday.

I woke up this morning with tons of things to do, actually planning on accomplishing at least a few of them.  Then Hubby calls in sick to work.  And completely throws off my whole routine.  Now I have to try to be quiet while he rests, avoid whatever room he's decided to rest in, try to keep the dogs quiet, etc.

Now I'm completely off-kilter.  I don't know where to start or how to rearrange my day.  So what will I accomplish?  Probably not a whole lot.  After all, I can't run the dishwasher or the washing machine.  I can't run the vacuum. Will I blame it on him being home?  You bet!!  After all, what is better than a built-in excuse for goofing off?  So now it looks like a day of playing online, downloading some free e-books, and general do nothingness.

That's my story...and I'm sticking to it!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Summer's Last Salad

Sunflower Salad

Ingredients:

2 apples, cored, chopped
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1/2 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup mayonnaise

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and chill until serving.

Enjoy!!

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