Monday, December 31, 2012

In Memoriam

Goodbye, 2012.  I can't say that I'm really sorry to see you go.  It's been one hell of a year.

I lost my marriage this year.  I lost my home.  Friends disappeared, making me realize just how many were there because they needed me...not the other way around.

I lost my trust.  From now on, I will have to see actions that prove words.  I lost my sense of stability and safety this year.  Fear is now a constant state.

I lost a parent.  I realize this is an event that comes to all eventually but I was unprepared and still don't think it's sunk all the way in.

I saw a friend go through the worst this world can offer...the loss of a child.  I still stand helpless, not knowing what to do to help.

There has also been pockets of joy this year.  Friends who stood by me when I couldn't stand on my own.  One who busted her butt ten hours a day to help me get packed.  Another who came after working all day and put in more time helping pack and load.  A friend so true, she came halfway across the country to help me leave.  A friend who flew to see me and surround me with love.

I fulfilled a lifelong dream this year.  I published, and for one short weekend...actually made it on to  an Amazon bestseller list.  My picture made it in a national magazine.  In January, I'll have a recipe in a nationally distributed cookbook.  This blog made a little bit of money and so did my articles on Examiner.  I'm getting there...slowly but surely.

They say that God doesn't give you more than you can handle.  Dear God...I'm at my limit!  I would love some recovery time before the next test!

May 2013 bring you joy and peace.  I know I'm praying for the same.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Homemade to Go

One of my favorite snacking treats is sweet and salty trail mix.  Unfortunately, most stores are incredibly proud of their variety!!  Out of desperation, I've re-created my own version and did it in bulk.  First thing you will need is a large jar with a tight cap.  You can find one here:  Large Jar


Two jars dry roasted peanuts
One jar sunflower seed kernels
One bag M&M's (regular)
One large canister raisins


Place all ingredients in jar and shake to mix.  Trail mix can be enjoyed straight out of the jar or split in to baggies to have on the go.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Something to Ponder

With the advent of everything digital, children no longer spend as much time learning to tell time by a traditional clock.  What was considered a basic lesson taught at a very early age for us is now barely mentioned if at all.

Ask a child between the ages of 6 and 12 what "a quarter after" means.  You'll more than likely get a blank stare.  The same will occur with "a quarter till" or "half past".  What were common terms of speech for us are rapidly becoming obsolete.

What crossed my mind yesterday were the directions "clockwise" and "counter-clockwise".  Are these terms also going the way of the dinosaurs?  How will someone know what direction that means if they've never learned to tell time on a traditional clock?

But then...I still call the remote "the clicker".

And those are my random thoughts this morning...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Just Because

We've all heard the saying that just because it's online doesn't mean it's true.  But I saw a post on a friend's wall the other day and realized that just because it's on Facebook doesn't mean it's NOT true.

What did I see?  Something that really struck home for me.  It's posted below:

Sounds really simple, doesn't it?  After having gone through my divorce this year...I can personally tell you it's not as easy as it looks.

I can see a lot of women nodding in agreement with this one.  Too often, the work stops after a woman has been "gotten".

So very true.  But are they there to protect you?

This is what every woman deserves and should settle for no less.  This is what I wish for every woman I know.

Just because it's on Facebook doesn't mean it isn't true.  And the posts above prove that very point.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Morning After

It's the morning after Christmas.  Stop.  Breathe.  You've made it through another holiday.  Like most women, you've probably done too much for too many in too little time.  Take a few minutes today just to sit and breathe.

I know gift wrap and bows are on sale.  They'll still be on sale in a couple of day...for even less!  You've earned a few minutes of rest.  Take them.

I know you got that sweater that doesn't fit.  You don't want to be standing in those long lines today.  The customer service desk will still be open when you get there.  It doesn't have to be today.

Today is for you.  Enjoy a few moments' respite and breathe.  If anyone gives you grief about it...tell them I said so!!


Monday, December 24, 2012

This Christmas Eve

On this Christmas Eve, I wish a Merry Christmas to our troops around the world.  Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Soldiers Christmas
'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see just who in this little house lived.
As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No Stockings by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
A sobering thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
 The home of a soldier, I could now see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
Not how I picture a United States Soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wondering how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to one knee and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don't cry, for this life is my choice".
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
My life is my God, my country, my corps."
The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still,
as we both shivered from the cold night's chill.
I didn't want to leave, on that cold, dark night,
this guardian of honor, so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, "Carry on Santa...., It's Christmas Day...., All is secure.
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend.... and to all a Good Night.
                        ~ Author Unknown *~

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Rivers of Love

Today's post is a guest post from Patty G.  Other than editing and spelling corrections, all words are her own.  I hope you enjoy it!  Love, Jerri

Rules of deployment when your loved one leaves.  There are no written rules.  

No one tells you what you will feel.  The emotions you will go through.  The emotions your Soldier will shut down while he is away.

It hurts like hell.

How long did I wait to let the tears flow?

A smell, a sound, a song can trigger an emotion.  For me, it was Christmas shopping when I thought I smelled my man's cologne.  It triggered happy memories of being with him.  For a moment, my world was right.  

All of a sudden, the tears came and they would not stop.  I had to stop my Christmas shopping and go home.  I finally let the tears flow.  They came in wave after wave.  

Despite my best attempts of disciplining my emotions, my heart won!  We do not choose who we fall in love with, our heart does!

Deployment can make or break a relationship.  A good man is worth waiting for!  If you still love him without the luxury of being by his side, your love is REAL.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

You Deserve It!

It's the Saturday before Christmas.  You've been working yourself to the, cleaning, shopping, wrapping...

Today's recipe:

Call for delivery!!!

Let someone else bring the food to your door.  Use paper plates and throw it all in the trash when you're done!!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice

To my Wiccan and Pagan readers and friends:  I wish you a Blessed Yule.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

UPS My Choice

I've mentioned this service before but I wanted to revisit it.  UPS offers a free service for you to get notifications of package deliveries.  It is called UPS My Choice.  This service will send you an email letting you know that you have a package on the way, the estimated delivery date, and a 4-hour window of when it should be delivered.

As I enter a lot of sweepstakes and giveaways, I don't always know that I have things coming.  This service gives me a heads up and lets me know to be on the lookout.  If you live in an apartment complex, the service will also let you know if they left your package at the office in case you weren't home.

Head on over to UPS My Choice and sign up for this convenient service.  It's free!!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Don't Forget!

An easy task for you to accomplish today...but a very necessary one!

Today, go to your local store, whether Walmart, Dollar General, Family Dollar, or Walgreens...and BUY BATTERIES!!

With most toys today having an electronic component, stocking up on batteries is a necessity in advance of Christmas morning!  Let's not forget the big kid toys that require them, also.

Most importantly, remember to get batteries for your camera or make sure the ones you have are fully charged.  You don't want to miss a single, precious moment!

That's it!  That's your assignment for today...You can do it!!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why I'm Silent

Since the tragedy in Newtown, I've largely remained silent.  Why?  Because I refuse to be drawn in to minutiae.  I will only grieve for those lost.

I will not speculate on motive.  The gunman is dead.  Let the detectives conduct their investigation.

I will not blame Asperger's Syndrome.  Every child I have ever known who suffers with it has been a gentle soul.  The authorities have not determined the exact mental illness involved.  Let them do their job.

I will not speculate on the mother.  She is dead, a murder victim also.  Let her rest in peace.

I will not enter the gun control debate.  At the end of the day, you cannot legislate evil.  The same day of this tragedy, a similarly mentally ill man entered a Chinese school and stabbed twenty-two children.  No guns were involved but evil was surely present.

This is a time when our country should and for the most part has drawn together to support the victims' families and community.  Political arguments, debates, and angry speech have no place when murdered children haven't even been laid to rest.

I will still be silent...I am still grieving.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Free Shipping!!!

Have you finished your shopping yet?  If not, head online and shop away!

Today is National Free Shipping Day.  Thousands (and I do mean THOUSANDS) of websites are offering free shipping for Christmas delivery.

As shipping charges can routinely run from free to $20 or more...this can mean huge savings for your wallet.  Let's face this economy, any opportunity to save is a good one!

Just a few of the stores participating:

Best Buy

Now get online and shop!!!


Saturday, December 15, 2012


Twenty new angels in heaven.

Twenty parents with empty arms.

Twenty teddy bears with no one to hug them.

Twenty empty beds with no story to be read.

Twenty good night kisses with nowhere to be bestowed.

Twenty caskets to be chosen.

Twenty empty desks with no lessons to be learned.

Twenty empty stockings this Christmas morn.

Twenty futures stolen never to be lived.

With a broken heart, we send love and prayers to the victims and their families.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Girl Time

This week, I have a friend visiting from Austin.  It feels so good to have her here!!  We've known each other for years and literally look like sisters.

For the next few days, we'll have shopping, talking, sightseeing, talking, eating, talking, drinking, talking, playing...and did I mention talking?

Got to go now...I have girl time to enjoy!  Have a great day!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Candy Cane Martini


1 1/4 ounces vanilla vodka
1 1/4 ounces white crème de cacao
3/4 ounce peppermint schnapps
crushed candy canes
whole candy canes


Combine vanilla vodka, white creme de cacao, and peppermint schnapps over ice in a shaker.  Moisten the rims of martini glasses and dip in crushed candy canes.  Shake and strain in to martini glass.  Garnish with a candy cane.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Shopping

Hopefully by now, you've completed most of your Christmas shopping.  If not, you're in luck!!  Amazon is still running daily deals!

In addition to Amazon, don't forget to check ebay for your holiday gift needs.  Frequently, you can find new, still in the package items and for less than you would pay at the store.  With ebay, however, you're running out of time.  Make sure with any purchase on ebay that you allow more than ample time for shipping.  Some are overseas and even those stateside use the postal service to ship.

As far as handmade gifts go, you still have plenty of time to bake cookies, assemble gifts in a jar, or make personalized coupon books for those you love.

Now take a deep breath!  You can do this!  Now go get 'em!!


Thursday, December 6, 2012


Reflecting on my life since I was forced to leave the home I loved, I realize that pain is something you actually can live with every day.  It eventually settles deep down in your gut and being alone only compounds it.

I am lucky.  I'm not currently out on the street, I have my dogs with me, and friends who love me. There is much to be thankful for.  At the same time, the loneliness is devastating.  A divorce takes not only your spouse but your best friend.  All at once, you're forced to think through and do everything yourself that you always did together.  That is where the pain originates.

I don't believe you work through the pain...I believe you work around it and it diminishes with time.  If you are truly fortunate, you have someone to take the edge off the pain, who has patience with your loneliness and fear, and who is willing to stand by your side.

As I said, I'm lucky.  I have a lot, the pain will diminish, and I will go on.  As the holiday season approaches, this is what I chose to reflect on.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012


One of the hardest things to move past in a divorce situation is the shattered trust.  This is especially true if the person you loved treats you poorly in the division of property and minutiae which makes up a final decree.

How do you get past that and learn to trust again?  I don't have that answer.  I can tell you that if you are in another relationship, absolute honesty and transparency are not optional.  If there are any indications that someone is not being truthful or faithful, it is impossible to give the benefit of the doubt.

I have seen divorces recently (including my own) where exes thought nothing of lying in court, in the divorce papers, and to the lawyers.  This makes you doubt your own ability to judge people and to identify those who mean you harm.  After all, these were the men you had total love and faith in, that you were planning on spending the rest of your life with, and whom you trusted implicitly.  If you could make such a bad decision before, will you do it again?

I don't have the answers.  I'm going to have to muddle through along with my friends, hoping I don't make another heartbreaking mistake.  Keep your fingers crossed for all of us!!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Are You Happy?

As I was on Facebook yesterday, my youngest son popped open a chat box.  "Momma, are you happy?" was the first thing he typed.  He said he was just thinking of me and worried whether I was happy or not.

Am I happy?  I raised a son who takes the time out of his day to check on me.  How could I not be happy knowing that?  He has grown in to a wonderful man who is empathetic, loving, and kind.  There is nothing more a mother could ask for.

Yes, I'm happy.  To have such a son makes me so.  If I have accomplished nothing else in my life, I have raised a boy who became an incredible man.

And that makes me happy.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Roof Over Your Head

Today is National Roof Over Your Head Day.  No one is quite sure of the origin for this day and it's not an official day in any jurisdiction.  It is a reminder to be grateful for that roof currently over your head and be aware of those who don't have that luxury.

For myself and countless other women, a divorce can bring the realization of just what a luxury a home really is.  To suddenly lose your home of years, to not know where you are going to go, steals your sense of security.  You feel lost and off-balance, scared and alone.

For women especially, losing your home can also shred part of your very identity.  We pour so much of ourselves in to the decorating of our home, spend countless hours and unending energy to make it a haven for our families.  When it's taken from you in a divorce, it takes a large chunk of who you are.

Even though it's been almost a year since I lost my home, I still don't feel safe.  I don't think I will until I have somewhere that is my own...that I can't be evicted from, kicked out of, or have it ripped out from under me.  It's a horrible feeling to live with every day but it's also a powerful motivator.  I will feel safe again...with a roof over my head.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Wreaths

Corn Flake Wreaths


1/2 cup butter
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Green food coloring
4 cups corn flakes cereal
Small red candies, like red hots


Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave the butter just until melted. Add the marshmallows to the bowl, and microwave until the marshmallows are melted, stirring after every minute. Once the marshmallows and butter are melted and smooth, stir in the extracts and food coloring. Adding the cornflakes will dilute the green color, so make the color a little darker than your intended outcome. Pour the cornflakes over the mixture and stir gently to coat the flakes, trying not to crush them. Place a heaping spoonful of candy onto the prepared baking sheet. Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray, and gently form a hole in the middle of the candy, working it into a wreath shape. This recipe yields about eight 3” wreaths or one large wreath that can be cut before serving. While the candy is still sticky press three red hot candies on each wreath for decoration. Allow the wreaths to set at room temperature, then carefully remove them from the baking sheet. Separate each wreath with waxed paper so that they do not stick together.



Jerri's Empty Nest