Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Reading

Have you made it through your summer reading list?  At the beginning of the year, I set a goal on Goodreads of 121 books to read for the year.  No special reason for the number, just pulled one out of thin air.  So far, I've read 101.  That only leaves 20 for the rest of the year so this is actually one goal that I know I will be able to accomplish!

For those who still need beach reading to do...Amazon has made it incredibly easy.  Click on this link:  Beach Reads 2012.  They've already gathered the best beach reads in to one place making it quick and easy to load up your Kindle for that getaway weekend.

If you have a Nook (I have both)...don't despair!  Barnes and Noble has done the same for your Nook.  Click on this link:  Beach Reading Summer Books.  You'll find the best of summer reading to get your Nook ready for that vacation.

Get your e-readers charged and loaded!!  Get reading and have a fabulous time at the beach!


Monday, July 30, 2012


A rough night last night.  I was up and in tears until past 3:30 a.m.  Why?  I'm not entirely sure there's only one reason.

Part of it was still fear.  The fear of the unknown, of what's going to happen, if I'm going to be okay.  The fear that I might always be unloved, that I may be alone forever.

Part of it was crying for what was lost.  I miss my home, my friends, and my family.  I miss the actual belonging to someone.  I miss the human touch.

I have noticed though, that these nights are getting fewer and farther apart.  I'm hopeful that I'm coming out the other side.  I choose to view these nights as flukes and not the norm.

Or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

An Adult Treat!

Caramel and Amaretto Delight


1 bag Heath baking bits (at least 9 oz)
30 caramels
1/3 cup amaretto liqueur
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup whipping cream


Reserve about 1/3 cup Heath baking bits.  In a buttered 7 x 11 baking pan, spread remaining bits.  In a saucepan, melt caramels along with the amaretto and allow to cool to room temperature.  Stir in sour cream and whipping cream.  Whip until thick and pour in to baking pan.  Cover and freeze. When serving, top with reserved bits.


Friday, July 27, 2012

The Whole Thing

On the way home from New Orleans Sunday morning, we stopped for breakfast in an old-fashioned diner named Scafidi's Wheel-Inn.  It's located in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and is a hidden treasure along the Gulf Coast.

By the time we got to the restaurant, I was starving.  On the menu was a breakfast called the "Hungry Jack".  It included sausage gravy and biscuits so that was the deciding factor for me...I love that stuff!  

Reading the menu, I read it wrong.  I could have sworn that the menue said bacon, ham, or sausage.  It turned out there was no "or".  When my breakfast was served, it was 3 eggs over easy, hash browns, sausage gravy and biscuits, ham, bacon, AND sausage.  You would think the name "Hungry Jack" would have given me a clue.

I have to confess...I ate every bite.  I don't think there was even a crumb left on my plate when I was through.  If I could eat like that for every meal, I might actually have a chance of gaining some weight!  In reality, that meal filled me up until 6 p.m. that night.  

If you are visiting along the Mississippi Gulf Coast...stop in at Scafidi's.  I dare you to get the
"Hungry Jack"!!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Your Opinion, Please!

A friend recently posted the following paragraph on Facebook.  She prefaced it with the statement that this was the kind of man she was looking for so stop rushing her to date.  I agree with her position wholeheartedly!

A Real Man

A real man is a woman's best friend.  He will never stand her up and never let her down.  He will reassure her when she feels insecure and comfort her after a bad day.

He will inspire her to do things she never thought she could do; to live without fear and forget regret.  He will enable her to express her deepest emotions and give in to her most intimate desires. He will make sure she always feels as though she's the most beautiful woman in the room and will enable her to be the most confident, sexy, seductive, and invincible woman she can be.

To this I would add that a real man will never lay a hand on her in anger.  His words will build her up instead of cutting her down.

Do you agree with this description?  What would you add or delete?  Let me know!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Through a Filter

Looking over the pictures from this past weekend, I realized I need Hollywood's help at this stage in my life.

Remember Moonlighting?  Remember how Cybil Shepherd was always shot through a hazy filter so she looked perfect?  For you youngsters...look it up on YouTube!

I need one of those filters.  The pictures of me from this weekend make me look like the walking dead.  When did I get so tired?  I swear I look like I haven't slept in a week!  Don't worry...I won't submit you to the actual evidence...I want to keep my readers!

Surely the special effect masters can come up with some kind of pendant that projects said filter up over my face making me look young and dewy all the time.  Whoever could make it work would be a gazillionaire!!

Physically, I don't feel like a grandma.  I don't want to look like one either!  But until I have that magic pendant, I guess I'll just take a nap!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An Added Bonus

As I wrote yesterday, I was in New Orleans for the weekend.  The occasion was a friend's 50th birthday celebration.

It was so good to be able to spend time with one of my friends from back home.  I had missed her terribly.  When I first saw her and hugged her, I also realized how much I missed the hugs and touch of a friend.

It may be a woman thing, but I really don't think so.  I believe every human being needs the touch of someone that cares for them.  I believe it's a basic need just the same as food, water, or air.

Lucky for me, that need was met for me this weekend.  Walking down Bourbon Street arm in arm with one of my best friends did more for my mood than any hurricane could.  Although the weekend was to celebrate her, I also received a gift.

Reach out to those you love today.  Give them a hug, hold their hand, or just rest a hand on their shoulder.  It lets them know that they are loved and what better gift can you give someone?


Monday, July 23, 2012


I spent this past weekend in the beautiful city of New Orleans.  While there, I took a Haunted Spirit tour which included a visit to the grave of Marie Laveau.

If you are unfamiliar with her, she was a Voodoo priestess in New Orleans.  To this day, people visit her tomb, leaving offerings.

What struck me the most was people's need to believe that someone somewhere could affect their lives.  Whether Marie Laveau, God, or Buddha...there is a common belief system that says if you ask, if you give an offering...you may receive a favor or what you wish for.  These offerings at Marie Laveau's grave are no different from the candles lit in a Catholic church or the prayers offered up in a Protestant one.

As I left the gravesite, I offered up a prayer of my own to whomever was listening.  I prayed that the ones who left offerings find what they are looking for and that they find peace.  I don't know if Marie was listening, but I hope someone was.

And those are my random thoughts this morning...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Absolutely Scrumptious!!

Glazed Bacon


1 pound bacon
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp flour
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans


Arrange bacon slices close together on wire rack over a drip pan (cookie sheet).  In a bowl, combine the other ingredients.  Sprinkle evenly over the bacon.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.


Friday, July 20, 2012

My Wishes

My wishes for your weekend:

1.  May the one you love hold you close and tell you how precious you are to them.

2.  May the book you read transport you to another world.

3.  May you find the perfect outfit on the clearance rack for 75% off.

4.  May the food you eat taste incredible.

5.  May you get the rest you need to replenish your body and soul.

Have a great weekend!!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Little Things

Having moved alone to a brand new place after my divorce was and continues to be hard.  Loneliness is a constant companion and lack of interaction with people can drag you down even further.  You can only stay alone in your home for so long before it actually hurts.

Thank God for my friends!  Though not here with me in person, unexpected surprises show up in the mail and brighten my day.  I received a card this week that made my day.  Just a short note inside and I wore a smile for the rest of the day.

The fact that she took time out of her day to sit and write and actually mail a card meant the world to me.  It let me know I'm not completely alone.  And I'm hanging on to these moments as they shore up my foundation.

I've learned through this divorce that I cannot do this alone.  Each and every one of the friends who have supported me have kept me from sinking.  There is no greater gift than this.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hump Day

Halfway through the week, I feel like it's getting away from me.  Writing seems to be tough this week...I think my muse is on vacation!  She seriously needs to get her butt back to work, my brain hurts!

As I said yesterday, I took a day unplugged.  I'm still trying to catch up on that, also.  I've managed to break three nails and I have no idea how.  I have a lump on the back of my head that I have no clue where or what I did.  I'm missing about 10 hours sleep and I'm a tad bit fuzzy today.

So the week is on the downhill slide.  I want to enjoy my weekend so it's time to shake off these doldrums and get myself back on track.  I think I'll start with an ice pack on the back of my head!

What do you do to shake off the blahs?  I need ideas!!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Break???

Yesterday I took a break from being online.  I just decided I needed some unconnected time.  Boy, am I paying for it today!!

I woke up this morning to over 200 emails, over 100 Facebook notifications, Facebook messages, and who only knows what I haven't gotten to yet!!

I spent yesterday reading and relaxing.  I enjoyed it.  And I won't let the absolute mess I have on my hands today detract from the pleasure of yesterday.  That being said...I will be plugging away all day today to catch up!

Every once in a while, unplug.  Pick up a book and lose yourself in another world.  Trust me, this one will still be here waiting when you get back!


Monday, July 16, 2012


One of my best friends told me something on the phone the other day that made me stop and think.  I don't remember exactly what we were discussing but she told me that I was "scathingly" hard on myself.

She's probably right.  (I would say she's absolutely right...but if I do, she'll never let me forget it!)  I think part of my problem is that is the way I was raised.  Failure was never an option and perfection was expected at all times.  A "B" grade was completely unacceptable.  Regular classes?  Oh no, it had to be honors classes in high school.

Now I'm 50 and still continuously worry if I'm doing things right.  There's some food for thought on the pressure you put on your kids.  It never goes away.  Let them know that not only does EVERYONE make mistakes...but it's also okay.

Forgiveness, like charity, has to begin at home.  Add this to the list of things I'm working on on my new journey.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cool and Creamy

Frozen Cherry Delight


1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 8 oz carton whipped topping
1 20 oz can cherry pie filling
2 11 oz cans mandarin oranges, drained
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Lettuce leaves


With mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Fold in entire carton of whipped topping.  Stir in pie filling, oranges, and walnuts.

Transfer to loaf pan, cover and freeze overnight.  Remove from freezer 15-20 minutes before serving.  Slice and serve on lettuce leaves.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Fabulous Friday

You made it!!  Another week down and a weekend of open possibilities lies ahead.

Think for a moment of everything you accomplished this week.  It doesn't have to be something major, the small stuff counts too!

Did you get the dishwasher unloaded?  Yep, that counts!  Good job!

Did you get a good night's sleep?  Yay!!!

Did you talk with a friend?  Great!!

Now think about your weekend.  Fill it with at least two fun activities.  Laundry and cleaning the bathroom DO NOT count!!

Read a book, call a friend, go window shopping.

Give yourself a pedicure.  Watch some trashy television.  Make funny faces at your kids/grandkids.

Enjoy your weekend!!!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Christmas in July

How are your holiday projects coming?  Yep...Christmas is rapidly approaching and if you hand craft gifts...time is rapidly running out!

Have you started yet?  If not, here are a couple tips to get you started.

1.  Make your gift list.  Sounds really simple, but it is necessary to write everyone down so you know you don't miss anybody.

2.  Decide which on the list you are going to make gifts for and which are receiving purchased gifts.

3.  Make your shopping list.  Include both gifts you need to purchase and supplies you need for handmade gifts.

4.  Set your budget.  This can be done by gift type, recipient, or overall.  Stick to it!!

5.  Designate a crafting area.  Try to make this a place where you won't have to pack it up after every session.

There you have your jumping off point.  Jump!!  Time is getting short!!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stress Busters

What do you do to ease the stress in your life?  Here are a few suggestions from me:

1.  Stretch and shake.  Look at your dog when they get up from a nap.  They'll take a long stretch and then shake their whole body.  Do the same and you'll instantly feel better.

2.  Eat blueberries.  This is one of nature's super foods.  Eat them on a regular basis and you'll feel better all around.

3.  Call a friend.  Just venting for five minutes will feel like fifty pounds off your shoulders.

4.  Pet your dog or cat.  Petting an animal is clinically proven to reduce stress and lower blood pressure.  Nothing feels better than the unconditional love of a pet.

5.  Re-phrase.  Say out loud what is bothering you.  Then re-phrase it, putting a positive spin on the situation.  You'll find you can do this with just about anything.

There you have a few of my ideas.  Do you have a favorite way to de-stress?  Let me know...I can always use more ideas!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Recently a few of my friends have mentioned that they thought I was brave.  Me?  Brave?  I feel so incredibly far from brave!!  Most days I feel filled with fear and trepidation.  I'm still crying on a regular basis and I would describe my average day's feelings as anything but brave.

Dictionary.com defines brave as "possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance".  Someone dear to my heart defined it as "being afraid and doing it anyways".  I think I'm definitely more of the second definition than the first!

When I moved states after the divorce...was I scared?  You bet!!  But I did it anyways because I knew it was the right thing for me and this is where I was supposed to be.  Does my new life scare me?  Sometimes, yes...uncertainty is my constant companion it seems like.  I keep going, though, with faith in my choices.

I guess I do fit that second definition of brave.  I'm still working on the first.


Monday, July 9, 2012


Such a little word, but such far-reaching effects.  When you go through a divorce, the first thing destroyed is trust.  Everything that you had been told, everything on which you built your hopes and dreams, everything you knew to be true is all gone.

How do you get it back?  It's what I'm struggling with on a daily basis.  Do I completely open my heart again?  There's no guarantee it won't get shattered all over again.  Do I believe what I'm told and take it at face value?  What if I've been lied to again?  Will I survive another heartbreak?

These are questions that I can't answer.  I don't even know where to start.  But in order to live my life, I have to go on faith.  That's the first rung in the trust ladder and I can take that first step.  I have to take it.  If not, I would be curled up in a ball ready to die.  It's only the first rung but I'm working on the rest of the ladder.

It's going to be a hard journey.  My first instinct is to protect myself.  But the walls that I build to protect my heart are also the same walls that would keep love and life out.  It's time that I at least built a door in those walls.  I need to keep my doubts in the dungeon and have faith that I will be okay.

My journey continues...


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mexican Chili

Another slow-cooker meal to avoid turning on that oven!!


1 15 oz can chili
1 16 oz can refried beans
1 12 oz can whole kernel corn
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5 flour tortillas


Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, mix together the chili, beans, corn and salsa until well mixed.  Lay one tortilla flat on the bottom of the slow cooker.  Pour 1/5 of the mixture on top of the tortilla.  Repeat the process until all ingredients are used.  Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.  Using a sharp knife, cut through all the layers making a checkerboard pattern.    Stir with a large spoon to mix the tortilla pieces in to the chili.  Serve topped with cheddar cheese.


Friday, July 6, 2012

A Frugal Trend

Have you seen the stars lately with the different colored streaks and tips in their hair?  Here's a frugal way to get the same effect for your kids and grandkids.  Or maybe even yourself...it's fun!!

Chalk!!  Yes...artist chalk...and it doesn't have to be the expensive stuff.  You can use the chalk from the dollar store!

Steps to chalking hair.

1.  Wet the section of hair you wish to color.

2.  Rub the chalk on the wet hair.  You may wish to wear gloves while doing this if you don't want multi-colored fingers!

3.  Wait for your hair to dry.

4.  Go over the colored section with a flat iron to set the color.

That's it!!  A frugal, temporary way to enjoy the latest fad.  Have fun!!!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

If Only...

If only...two of the saddest words a person can utter.

If only someone loved me.

If only I had the perfect job.

If only I was beautiful.

Those two words make the presumption that everything would be all right if just these one or two things were different.  The truth is, even if something was different there would still be something we wish we could change.  It's part of the human condition to wish for better but we need to learn how to live in our own skins and circumstances.

Is it easy?  Hell, no!!!  It's one of the hardest things to do for a human, and especially for a woman.  It's something I struggle with daily.  That's not to say we shouldn't try to change the things we can. But there is no benefit or time to be gained by wishing for things or outcomes over which we have no control.

This is when the Serenity Prayer comes in.  Whatever God or Goddess is your higher power, it is a plea for wisdom we all need at one time or another.

God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Just a few tips today from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

Use fireworks outdoors only.
Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
Always have water handy. (A hose or bucket).
Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.
Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."
Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.

Be safe, everybody!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Human Touch

I think one of the worst parts of surviving a divorce is the absence of the human touch.  To go for months without a single soul touching you slowly eats away at your heart and soul.

I believe the human touch is absolutely vital to life.  It acknowledges that you exist, that someone actually cares for you, and that you matter.  To live without that touch on a daily basis makes you feel invisible, unworthy, and desolate.

To be in the same house with someone who never touches you is heartbreaking.  To feel invisible, that you aren't even important enough to be recognized destroys your self esteem and sinks you to a level so low you didn't even know it existed.

I think of all the different aspects of my divorce, this is the hardest one to fight back from.  I refuse to give up hope, though, and I'm trying my best to believe there is a brighter future out there somewhere.  Or at least, that's what I keep telling myself.  You know what they say...say it often enough and you may convince yourself.

And those are my random thoughts this morning...


Jerri's Empty Nest