Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hunger in Africa

For the last few weeks, we have seen numerous stories on the news about the latest famine in Africa.  The photos are heartbreaking and the problems seem too huge for one person to make a difference.  But one person can.  And you can help on a daily basis for free.

Go to:

Here you will find a button to click to donate food for Africa.  Each click donates 1.1 cups of food and you can click once a day.  Share with your friends and let them know how to help also.

While you're at the site, go ahead and click the buttons for the other charities.  They're listed across the top of the page.  In total, it will take you less than a full minute to donate to all eight charities.

Thanks for taking the time to donate!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

National Friendship Month

August is National Friendship Month.  Now I know everyone is busy coming back from vacation, getting the kids and grandkids ready for school, etc.  But too often life gets in the way when it comes to caring for our friendships.  And like any other relationship, they need to be nurtured and tended.

So here is your mission if you choose to accept it!  (Peter Graves flashback!)  Complete at least one thing and try to do more this month.  You have two weeks left so it should be easy!

1.  Pick up the phone and call a friend you haven't spoken with in over 30 days.  You know you have more than one!!

2.  Shoot off a quick text to let a friend know you're thinking of them.

3.  Write an actual snail mail letter.  Can you imagine the joy when they open their mailbox?

4.  If it's within your budget...send a friend a small bouquet.  Let them know you love them.

5.  Tell a friend thank you for being your friend.  Remember, unlike family, friendships are chosen.

Now that's just a few ideas to get you started.  How will you appreciate your friends this month?  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Another Cool Recipe for Another HOT Day!

Cherry Crush


1 (6 oz) box cherry gelatin
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (20 oz) can cherry pie filling  (I use the sweet instead of dark)
1 (15 oz) can crushed pineapple with juice


Dissolve gelatin with 3/4 cup boiling water.  With electric mixer, beat in cream cheese.  Beat very slowly at first.  Fold in pie filling and crushed pineapple.  Pour into a 9x13 casserole dish and chill.  Keep chilled until serving.


Friday, August 12, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

In the coming week or so, I'm planning some changes to my blog.  I will be adding additional pages with more content.

I'll be adding, over time, more book reviews and hopefully more product reviews.  I already have one great product review on tap for next week.  I am also planning on adding more photos to the postings.

So, my darling followers...please bear with me!!  HTML still has the capacity to kick my butt and I will do my best to make the transition as painless as possible for all of us!

All prayers are welcome!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Cool Freebie!!

If you're anything like me...your camera is never to far from your hand.  And I worry about my computer crashing and losing all my photos.  Especially those from my wedding and pictures of the kids and grandkids.  But I've found a solution and it's 100% free!

MiMedia is an online storage site that offers up to 7GB of free storage!  You can store photos, videos, music and more.  And access your multimedia from anywhere, whether on your own system or not!  Perfect for those who travel.

If you need more storage, plans are available for purchase up to 1TB.  The set-up process is extremely easy, only a few clicks!  And I love the peace of mind knowing my photos are safe.

Now...where did I put that camera???

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Hidden Treasures

The garage sale prep continues...

Sunday, we focused on cleaning out the shed.  One of the biggest (and I mean huge!) items in the shed was an arc welder.  Funny, when we were cleaning out the attic, I know I saw two welders in the garage.  And my education then began.

It seems a man needs more than just one welder.  Who knew??  The huge one in the shed is an arc welder that can weld up to 1 inch steel plate.  You case you have to prepare for 2012 and the apocalypse!!  The two in the garage are actually MIG welders.  One can do up to 1/2 inch and one can do up to 1/4 inch.  Umm...if the big one can do up to an inch, can't it do the smaller sizes too?  Well, it turns out it can't.  It's too powerful.  So you have to have one of each.

Now, I'm not sure exactly when I've ever asked for household stuff to be welded...but the Hubby assures me that they're all necessary equipment.  Okay....

So I've learned that when it comes to a man and his tools, the best response is the infamous "Yes, Dear".  I'm sure Hubby has some idea of what he is going to use all this stuff for, and who am I to argue?  After all, he's never said a word about the two sewing machines!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hidden Treasures

Hubby and I are preparing for a garage sale this coming weekend.  And I mean a MAJOR sale.  So we spent all day Saturday unloading the attic and going through every single box.  Let me tell attic is NOT the place to be in Austin in August!!  Not sure what the temperature was up there, but the garage itself was 105 degrees.

As we're taking stuff down the ladder, I notice a look on my husband's face.  You know the look a child gets when they're caught with their hand in the cookie jar?  Yeah...that look.  And I realize he's taking tackle boxes down out of the attic.  Now he already has five tackle boxes in the garage.  And I understand that...we're talking fresh, bay, deep sea, etc.  But why are all these boxes in the attic?

And down comes another tackle box...

And another one...

And another one...

And another one...

See a pattern?  All told, we pulled nine tackle boxes out of the attic.  NINE!!!  And as each one came down the ladder, there was that little boy look.  I couldn't help but laugh!!  This was also the same man who tried to convince me that most of the stuff in the attic was mine...NOT!!

So the garage sale will include a lot of tackle boxes.  Actually, it will include a lot of guy stuff!!  And seeing that look on my husband's face made that hot, sweaty day worth it!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Proud Moment

Sunday, a friend and I went to the art museum to see the latest exhibit.  When she arrived, my husband commented on how much weight she had lost and told her she looked fantastic.  Wow!!  I was beyond impressed!  Like a lot of men...unless you walk in the room with a lime green mohawk, he just doesn't notice.  So when he not only noticed but complimented her, I was so proud!!

And then he went a step too far.  He offered up MY closet when she reached her goal!  And when she does meet her goal, she will be my size!  It's not that I'm not generous and I would be happy to share with her.  But I know my friend's taste...and I can easily picture my favorite pieces walking out the door!

Oh well...she deserves it.  She's worked really hard and she does look amazing!  So my closet is open.  But don't blame me if I hide a piece or two!

And thank God her feet are smaller than mine.  My stilettos are safe!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Wishes for Your Weekend

May your weather be perfect!  (May it rain in Texas!)

May there be no line at the grocery store!

May your children and grandchildren have perfect behavior!

May your drinks be icy and the barbeque hot!

May you get all the rest you really need!

May you enjoy the people you love!

May friends share your joy!

May this be the best weekend ever!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Giving Back to Those Who Served

I recently found a wonderful organization that gives back to veterans and active duty military.  The organization is called Veteran Tickets Foundation.  Here is the description of the organization from their website:

It’s in the nature of Veterans to step up. So we did.
The kind of people who volunteer to serve their country, the ones who put their nation first and their own lives second, are the kind of people we need to honor everyday. Not just on Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day and the Fourth of July, but everyday.
Through The Veteran Tickets Foundation, now those who care about Veterans have a way to give back. Everyday, in every city, there are events with empty seats that could be filled by those who served. More than that, many event tickets are simply unaffordable for average people. We believe the events that bring Americans together in the spirit of celebration, competition and camaraderie—those all-American moments are the times we need welcome and acknowledge our Veterans.
Who we are.
We are a national non-profit, non-governmental 501c(3) tax-exempt organization. All contributions made to the organization are deductible under section 170 of the IRS Code. But most importantly, we’re a dedicated group of business people who are also Veterans.
We served our country. And now it’s our privilege to serve Veterans and to provide an opportunity for the rest of America to express its thanks and gratitude.
When Veterans or Active Duty Miltary go to an event or their favorite sports team for free, we want them to feel a collective “thank you” from all of us to all of them.
That’s what we are committed to creating, everyday. Join us.

What a great concept!!  There are almost always empty seats at events and what better way to say thank you to those who at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "'The United States of America", for aamount "up toand including my life".

Tickets are available for both veterans and active duty.  If you are one of these, please visit them at:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It's Hot!!

99% of the time I love living in Austin.  This summer is that one percent that is just miserable.  The average number of days over 100 degrees in Austin is 13.  This summer?  We are already over 40 days and triple digits are predicted for the next 14 days.

I've heard a lot of people say "You live in Texas, what do you expect?"  Let's be clear.  This is abnormally hot...even for Texas.  We are breaking heat and power usage records on a daily basis.  And the drought?  We haven't had any measurable rain in Austin since May and that was only 1/3 of an inch.

Well established trees...we're talking over 20 feet tall and 30 years old, are dying.  I'm in a daily battle trying to save my fruit trees and grapevines.  Flowers?  Long dead and gone.  Vegetable garden?  Deader than dead.  Grass?  Crunchy.  After this long without rain, you have to make the decision on what is important enough to save...and what you can let go.

This morning's news wasn't any better.  We are under an extreme heat advisory until next week.  Yes, I said next week.  Most weather warnings expire by the end of the day...not the end of the week!!  And our regional power authority has asked for conservation between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m. each day.  Which is really an advance warning of possible brownouts.  Can you imagine a heat index of 110 degrees and they decide to turn off the power in your neighborhood?

So I'm here at home, window coverings closed to keep out the heat.  Lights off in every room I'm not in.  Dogs dogs don't do well outside.  Just trying to survive the summer.

And those are my random thoughts this morning...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Deals at the Dollar Store

Ahhh...the dollar store!  A shopping playground that doesn't break the bank!

Now some deals:

1.  Plastic bins, baskets, buckets, etc.  Perfect for organizing craft supplies, grandkids' toys, and anything else you can possible think of.  I even use one to corral all the chip clips I have floating around!

2.  Food containers.  Most dollar stores carry a variety of sizes.  I purchase these from the dollar store to send food home with the kids.  That way I don't have to worry about my good ones disappearing forever!

3.  Reading glasses.  As we empty nesters know...reading glasses become necessary after a certain age!!  But they are small and easily misplaced.  So better to lose a pair that cost a dollar than a $50 pair from the eye doctor!

4.  Childhood candy.  I'm talking Necco wafers, Mary Janes, and wax soda bottles!!  Yes, the candy of our childhood that I swear I can only find at my local dollar store.  Thank you for the memories!

5.  Wine glasses.  Yes, I said wineglasses.  Whether you're having a bash and are afraid of your good glasses being broken, or etching glasses for gifts...your local dollar store has wine glasses!

Now these are just a few of the deals available.  Everybody has their favorites but I thought I would share a few of mine!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Division of Labor

A poll was recently released stating that men are now doing more of the household chores.  Where?  Who is he?  I have to wonder!!

This new trend has not hit my house.  Even in this "enlightened" age, my household is still divided along mostly traditional lines.  I take care of everything inside, and the Hubby handles the big stuff outside along with the vehicles.  True, he's a mechanic, so that last part only makes sense!

But honestly, Hubby hasn't done a load of laundry in 16 years!  And the dishwasher?  I don't think he even knows how to put the soap in it or start it!  Giving him full credit, if we have a big event coming up he does take over doing the floors for me.  I've never actually seen him dust anything...hmmm.

And this begs the question...Is the division of labor a generational issue?  Because we're older, were we raised to be this way?  Or is it genetically embedded?  Does it go all the way back to the caveman who hunted (outside) while the cavewoman raised the children in the cave (inside)? 

The traditional division of labor works for us.  It may not work for everyone and it is obviously changing.  How does it work in your home?


Jerri's Empty Nest