Friday, August 30, 2013


It's 8 o'clock on a Friday night and I'm just now getting around to today's post!!

I do have an excuse.  The carpets were cleaned today and I spent most of the day moving furniture around.  I am one whupped girl!

I admit, it's not a spectacular excuse...but it's the only one I've got.  So here is just a quick note for Frugal Friday.

I am taking Public Speaking this semester.  One of the speeches we have to give is on communications in our chosen field of study.  I'm studying to be a paralegal.  Obviously, paralegals are not expected to be doing much verbal communication or public speaking...because a book on the subject was almost impossible to find!!

I did finally find ONE book that dealt with interviewing skills for the paralegal.  This is going to be the required book I need for my speech.  But I'm a full-time college student.  Translation=I'm broke.

Luckily, I had some Amazon credits built up from using Swagbucks.  Score!!  It paid not only for the book but the shipping!  I've got my book for class!

That's it for tonight...Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend!


Thursday, August 29, 2013


What is it about the human race that so many think they not only have the right but the responsibility to judge others?  Whether it be a pop star's performance on television to what someone thinks is going on in your life; it seems to be irresistible to so many to pass judgment.

The truth of the matter is that no one has a clue about what is going on in anyone's life once their front door closes.  No one has any idea of what kind of problems one is dealing with on a daily basis.  The demons of addiction, abuse, poverty, and depression all hide behind those closed doors.  People seem to believe that the tiny flashes they get of someone's life are a complete picture.  It's not.

To exacerbate the problem, these same people also feel the irresistible urge to share their opinions with others. How can spreading misinformation help anyone?  Is it helpful to the person struggling?  Does it place an unnecessary burden on the person receiving such information?  The only thing is does accomplish is that the person judging feels self-important and superior.

When the temptation strikes to make a judgment of someone else's life, resist.  They are walking a path that is hidden from you.  You don't know what twists and turns their life has taken and it truly is not your place to know.

Above all kind.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wahoo Wednesday!

I've seen a few bloggers do this on a regular basis so I thought I'd give it a shot.  Here goes...

What is my Wahoo Wednesday?  I have a week off school starting now!!  All of my classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays.  With Monday being Labor Day, I don't have to be back at school until Wednesday morning!

That gives me an entire week to get all my homework done!  Wahoo!!!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

One Week Down!

One week down in the fall semester!!  So far I've managed to keep up with all my work and I've only cried once from exhaustion!  I'm counting this week as a win!

Now that I know graduation is within reach, I seem to be putting even more pressure on myself.  I've noticed that I'm actually getting obsessive about my note-taking, organization, etc.  I've also had a friend comment that I need to relax a bit and ease up.  After she told me that, I did stop and take a look at myself...and she's right.

My goal for today?  To relax just a bit more.

Of course...that comes after the dishes, and the laundry, and cleaning the bathroom, and straightening the patio, and.....


Monday, August 26, 2013

My Weak Spot

I received my Herrschner's catalog in the mail Saturday.  For those who haven't heard of it, it is a craft catalog with the most beautiful things inside.

Truthfully, that catalog is like porn for crafters.  It is page after page of kits, supplies, and patterns.  The unfortunate part?  I'm not rich.

Some of the most beautiful kits are upwards of the $50 mark.  Is it just me or does that seem like a lot of money for something you still have to make yourself when you receive it?  Granted, some of them are absolutely breathtaking...I'm just not made of money.

For now, I'll peruse lustfully through the pages.  If you happen to borrow my copy...please excuse the drool marks!!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Indulgent Comfort

Herb Linguine


8 oz. linguine, uncooked
1/3 cup butter
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. lemon

Cook linguine according to directions and drain.  In saucepan, melt butter, including the garlic.  Stir in linguine, herbs, and lemon juice.  Cook over medium heat until thoroughly warmed.  Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

My personal variation:  I add shrimp.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Frugal Workouts

Ugh...the bad word...workout!  As much as we don't want to do it, we all know we need to.  You can accomplish the goal though without expensive equipment or a gym membership.

  1. You don't need to buy a set of hand weights.  Head to your pantry and grab two cans (of the same kind) that your hand will comfortably fit around.  
  2. Take a walk.  If you don't live in the best neighborhood, visit a friend and explore her area.  Also, head downtown in your town or city and explore while you exercise.
  3. Swim.  If you don't have a local lake or ocean to take advantage of, contact your local high school or college to see if they offer free open swim times.
  4. Find a free gym.  If you live in an apartment, many complexes offer a workout room.  If you don't, see if you have a friend who does and wants to buddy up for workout sessions.
  5. Utilize YouTube for workout videos.  If you enter the word "workout" in the search bar, it will return over 12 million videos to choose from.
  6. Head to the playground.  There is built-in equipment.  Swing on the swings and work your way across the monkey bars!
  7. Find a charity walk/run.  Although a small entry fee is usually charged, the fees go to the charity and are tax deductible.  You not only do something good for yourself, but for someone else as well.
  8. Spring clean your house.  One good deep cleaning of the entire house will burn calories and work all kinds of muscle groups.
  9. Ride your bike.  If you don't have one, keep an eye out at garage sales, thrift shops, and pawn shops.  A bike can be extremely inexpensive and is a great way to enjoy your surroundings.
  10. Contact your local community center.  Many have pools, indoor walking tracks, and classes available at little to no cost.  Your own town or city can be one of your best resources.
These are just a few ideas to get fit on the cheap.  If you have others, please let me know!!


Thursday, August 22, 2013


Today I received a spam email that just absolutely floored me!  The subject line read "Magnificent Menopause!" which of course grabbed my attention.

The email was from a psychic offering relief from menopause by conducting a healing via a telephone call.  Now call me a skeptic...but I have a hard time believing I would get any more relief from this "healing" than I would from my usual practice of sticking my head in the freezer!

Don't get me wrong...I have had hot flashes that have pushed me to the point of desperation.  I'm just not sure I've been desperate enough to believe that a psychic can heal me over the telephone.  Call me crazy?

Tell me, my beautiful ladies...what is the most desperate thing you've tried for relief?


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First Day!

Today was the first day of the fall semester.  I'm officially a college sophomore!

And once again, I was reminded of the age difference between myself and the majority of my classmates.  In my public speaking class, the professor mentioned Radio Free Europe.  Glancing around, I realized I was the only person who knew what she was referring to.  In addition, I'm pretty sure I was the only one old enough to remember it!!  Sigh...

The up side?  Being around so many younger people keeps me up on my game.  It's not easy keeping up with those in their teens, twenties, and thirties!!  It works my brain!!  I also like to think I have at least a small bit to offer from my decades of experience.

I'm ready to dive back in and learn all I can.  Wish me luck!!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer, Sweet Summer

Today is the last day of my summer vacation.  School begins again tomorrow!!

I cannot believe how fast the last three weeks flew by.  I had such an ambitious list of things I wanted to accomplish and to be honest, it didn't happen.  Life just got in the way.

Luckily, one thing I did accomplish was taking care of everything that needed to be done for the fall semester.  Tuition is paid in full, I have my books, and I have my new rolling duffle that I needed to carry everything this semester.  That enabled me to skip the madness that is registration day!

As long as I don't keel over from exhaustion, I'll be able to complete my Associate's degree by May.  Wish me luck!!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Hate It!

What do I hate?  Feeling helpless.

I hate when a friend is in need and there is nothing I can do to help except listen.  I'm a mom...our natural tendency is to try to make it better.  Sometimes, though, life does not offer that option.

I hate when one of my children is having a bad day.  I hate the fact that they are now grown, and I have to let them fix it by themselves.  A hug and a kiss is no longer a fix for life's dilemmas.

I hate watching a pet age.  Though we know deep down in our hearts when we get a pet that they won't be with us forever; there is an overwhelming urge to find some miracle way to extend their lifespan to match our own.

I hate not being able to be everything I need to be for everyone.  Knowing that there are some things I just cannot fix or make better.

Hasn't this always been a woman's lot?  At least in my generation, we were raised to be caregivers.  The frustration of not being able to do it all is something many of us live with on a daily basis.  Personally, letting go has never been a particular talent of mine.  I always try harder, sometimes to the point of exhaustion.  The fact remains...I cannot do everything for everyone.  I cannot fix everything.  I cannot make everything better.

I will keep trying.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Getting Ready for Fall

As fall is right around the corner, here is a treat to dip your apples in!

Fall Apple Dip


1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla


Beat cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth.  Serve with apple slices.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Sweeps Routine

I enter a lot of sweepstakes.  A LOT.  After doing this for quite a while, I've learned that a routine helps make the process much easier.

  1. Have an email address that you don't mind if it gets filled up with junk mail.  Most sweeps require you to sign up for an email newsletter so it helps to have a separate address.  That way your personal email doesn't get overwhelmed.
  2. Get an alternate phone number through Google Voice.  This number will automatically go to your personal phone, but it allows you to keep your personal number private.  If you don't answer the call, the voice mail is sent to your Gmail account.
  3. Set aside a specific time of day to enter your sweeps.  Some contests require entries only every 24 hours and entering at the same time every day allows you to meet that requirement.
  4. Set up all the required accounts.  You will need Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest at the minimum.  Don't worry about active use, you can just use them for sweeps if you wish.
  5. Share the wealth.  Some sweeps allow you to share the contest for extra entries.  Do so!  In addition, if you win something you can't use...pass it on!  There is sure to be someone in your circle who would be thrilled with that prize.
These are a few tips to get you started!  Let me know if I can help you in any way!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Not a Napper

I am not the type of person who takes naps.  For some reason, I just cannot seem to lay down at a random time during the day and fall asleep.  I envy those who can, but I've never quite learned the knack.

Yesterday I actually took a nap.  I was so exhausted, I fell asleep while reading for about an hour.  When I woke up, however, I didn't have that refreshed feeling everyone talks about.

I woke up feeling very disoriented.  By the time I felt on an even keel again, I started running through my head all the things I still needed to accomplish.  I began to feel rushed and stressed.

I've talked to people who swear by a nap.  They will say they wake up with a second wind and lots of energy.  I woke up to panic.

Obviously, I'm doing something wrong.  Or...I'm truly just not a nap person.  Oh well, I tried!!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Utter Confidence

Every morning, I take Max and Emma for their morning walk between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m.  At that time of morning, I'm barely coherent as I haven't had my coffee yet!

Max is almost 16 years old.  He's all business in the morning.  He goes about his business immediately.  He spends the rest of the walk smelling whatever dog has walked the same way in the last day.  Granted, he's blind now and smell is what he does best!!

Emma, on the other hand, is a totally confident extrovert.  She greets each morning with boundless energy and enthusiasm.  The ducks at the pond?  Obviously they are out there just to be herded by her.  The lady who jogs past us every morning?  Emma has to start running behind her!  Never mind the fact we go the opposite direction.

The older couple that walks every morning?  Please...everyone knows they come outside just to pet her.  If they forget their purpose, Emma is quick to remind them by whining.  If whining doesn't appear effective, she'll then begin talking just to make sure they don't pass her by.

The kids on the way to the bus stop? is just what they say.  Emma knows they actually come outside each morning to pet her.  Seriously, what else could be that important?

They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.  Perhaps Emma has a few lessons she could teach me.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A New Pledge

After running around like a crazy person yesterday, I've come up with a new pledge.

Starting today, I will take at least thirty minutes three times a week to work on a craft project.

I have determined that I need something to feed my soul.  I have been so incredibly busy with life that I've forgotten to take those few minutes to create something beautiful.  It's necessary, and I've been neglecting it.

Granted, I did spend ten minutes of that time today searching for an embroidery hoop!!  Why is the supply you need never handy when you need it???  Okay, I won't count that time.  I did find one, though!

I did make up that ten minutes thanks to the project I'm beginning.  The embroidery thread came pre-sorted!  Personally, I think that should be mandatory with every kit!

I've got my start!  If you could make a pledge for something to feed your soul, what would it be?


Monday, August 12, 2013


What a day!!

I got an early start this morning and headed over to campus to pick up my books for the fall semester.

Let me back up a minute.  Saturday, I received a bill from the college saying I owed over $1400!!  I knew my grant money had already been applied to my fall tuition.  Yikes!!!  That caused a minor heart attack!

When I got to campus this morning, the first place I headed was the financial aid office.  Long line.  I signed in and waited my turn.  When I finally got up to the counter, I was assured that everything was fine with my grant money.  Okay, first step down.

I headed over to the business office to see if they could clear up the bill.  Luckily, no line and she was quick to tell me that they had a computer glitch which sent out erroneous bills.  I didn't owe over $1400!!  I did still owe about $136...but I have another grant coming so that's covered.  Whew!!

Alright...scary bill all taken care of.  I then headed over to the bookstore to pick up my books.  If you are lucky (and I am), your college allows you to rent books.  All I had to do was stand in line...again...then get my books and check out.  Uh oh.  Another problem.  According to the lady at the bookstore, Admissions had placed a hold on my account for a bad address.  Bad address?  I haven't moved!!  She still allowed me to get my books and I headed over to Admissions.

At Admissions, I signed in and waited.  What I was waiting for?  Not sure...there wasn't anyone else waiting!!!  But I waited.  Finally getting called up to the counter, I explained what I had been told.  I was informed that happens if mail is returned.  Okay...but I still hadn't changed my address.  She pulled me up on the computer and behold!  My address is correct!!  Hold lifted from my account.

Next, I headed over to the police department to get my new parking permit for the year.  Another line.  Yay.  Luckily, this line was moving fast and I left a few minutes later, permit in hand.

I then headed over to my advisor's office.  I have her for four classes this semester and I was hoping I could get class calendars to be prepared for class.  Oh happy day!!  She was in her office and printed me the calendars!!  Wahoo!!!!!!!

Looking back over all this, it looks like an all day ordeal.  In fact, I was only on campus for about an hour!!  It just seemed like a whole day!

The best part?  I'm ready to go for the fall semester!  Bring it on!!!


Monday, August 5, 2013


A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about the culture shock of moving from a huge city to a small town.  That difference was reinforced the other spades!!

One day while I was heading to school, I got stuck behind someone going a steady 5-10 miles BELOW the speed limit.  I was already running late, and my frustration was building with every foot we crept along.  At one point on my journey, we stopped at a red light.  When the light turned green, the car in front of me didn't move an inch.  I could see the driver's head tilted down and to his right like he was reading something on his phone.  After a few seconds, my impatience won out!  I hit my horn and startled him back to the awareness that the light was green.  We then headed on our way at the same snail's pace.

The next morning, I had to run to my local dollar store for a quart of milk.  As I entered the store, I heard the manager yell, "Girl, what were you thinking honking at me last night?"


Caught a bit unaware, I brilliantly replied, "Ummm, what?"

I was busted!!

After a bit more teasing from him, he did admit he had been looking at his phone.  Redemption!!  But I learned my lesson.

I live in a small town now.  The odds are that if I honk at someone, I either know them or someone who knows me sees me do it!  A valuable lesson in culture shock!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Frugal School Supplies

Sorry the blog is so late today but I spent today shopping for school supplies for next semester.

I've preached before about checking Family Dollar, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree for deals.  I saw it again today.

I needed four 1.5 inch binders for school.  At Kmart, they were $6.99 each.  At Family Dollar...only $3.00.
I bought four, saving $3.99 on each binder.  That is twelve bucks that is much better off in my pocket!!

If I had only needed one inch binders, I would have headed to Dollar Tree.  They have a huge selection for a dollar each.

School supplies are a huge chunk of the back-to-school budget, even for us ancient college students!  Get the most for your money by exploring your options before you buy!!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

School's Out for Summer!!

Finally!!!  The summer semester has finally ended.  That was a rough ten weeks!

Now I actually have a bit of time off before the madness begins again.  I don't have to pick up my books for fall until the 12th and fall classes don't begin until the 21st. that I look at those dates...that doesn't seem like that much time!!  Crap!!!  I have a huge (and I mean humongous) list of stuff to get done before school begins again.  Ugh!!

But for now...I'm back!!  I am so appreciative of each and every one of you!!



Jerri's Empty Nest