Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Short One

This summer cold is still kicking my butt so today's post will be short and sweet!

Just a quick reminder that if you read my posts on Facebook, please give them a "like" so I know you've seen them!  The number of likes is used to calculate not only the success of the fan page but also ensures that my posts show up in your timeline.

Thank you so much for reading!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Yesterday, I spoke about the curves life maps out throughout our journey.  Some curves are gentle, mere inconveniences of daily life.  Others are steep, white-knuckle curves that leave us exhausted and gasping for breath.

While my disruption of weekend plans was a gentle curve, an inconvenience; so many others are facing the sharpest, fear-inducing of curves.  I have such people in my life.  I am amazed every day at their courage, their stamina, and their absolute love and zest for life.

These are the people that remind me that my curves are truly minor ones, and to quit my damn whining.  In truth, none of them have actually said is more my reminder to myself!  I can only hope to make their curves a little less sharp, a little more comfortable to bear.

What about your curves?  Are they currently gentle or sharp?  Remember, no matter how wicked the curve...there are people who love you, who will hold your hand throughout, and make your journey that much better.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015


What a weekend.  All the huge plans I made last week went right out the window!  I took Friday off work to get a head start on my plans.  Of course, I then promptly woke up Friday morning with a full blown cold!  

Life throws us curves on a constant basis.  As a dear friend described it, life is a roulette wheel and you never know where, or on what experience, it is going to land.  How we ride the curves is what makes the difference.

I did my best to force my cold out of my mind, and do what chores I could get done.  By Monday night, I could barely speak, could not breathe through my nose at all, and was so exhausted, I was almost giddy.

Did I get quite a bit accomplished?  Yes, especially considering the circumstances.  Did I succeed in accomplishing everything I wished?  No, but that is okay.  There is always next weekend!!

Onward through the fog...


Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Perfect Side!

These potatoes make a perfect side to whatever meat you are grilling this weekend!


1 bag (2lb) frozen hash browns
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package (8 oz) cheddar cheese
2 cups sour cream
2 Tbsp butter
1 bunch green onions, chopped (all, including tops)
1 red pepper, chopped


Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray or use a liner.  Mix all ingredients together in the slow cooker.  Cover, cooking on high, 3 to 4 hours.


Friday, May 22, 2015


I love samples.  I love to try new products, and I love having quick, single use sizes available.  These come in handy, especially when traveling.

Two of my favorite sample sites are Sample Source and Pinch Me.  

Sample Source is a quarterly sample box.  Samples are available in Spring, Summer, and Fall.  They do not ship samples in Winter as there is a risk of certain products freezing.  Each offering contains an abundance of samples, including food, household, and health and beauty products.  All that is asked in return is that you rate your experience with the samples after you receive them.

Pinch Me offers samples on a monthly basis.  Before you get samples, you will be asked to fill out surveys so that Pinch Me can tailor your samples to your specific uses and needs.  Pinch Me is an incredibly popular service so when samples become available, they do go fast!  Make sure you sign up right away so you can be notified when samples will become available.  The best way is to follow them on Facebook.

Both of these services offer a way to get multiple samples at once.  You will be able to try a wide range of products.

Enjoy your samples!


Thursday, May 21, 2015


This week we discussed fears, both good and bad.  To wrap up the subject, let's talk about the exact opposite -- courage.

What is courage?  Courage, by my definition, is being afraid and doing it anyways.  Just like my determination to walk the bridge, I am afraid but doing it anyways.  

What are you afraid of?  Are you willing to take the risk and do it anyways?  Will you join me in "walking the bridge?"  Be courageous!!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Little Bit is a Good Thing

While some fears are meant to be faced, others serve a purpose.  A bit of fear at night in a dark parking lot serves to keep us aware of our surroundings.  Fear of wrinkles and melanoma makes sure we apply sunscreen.  Fear of osteoporosis ensures we get enough calcium.

While debilitating fear harms, a small amount of fear can serve a healthy purpose.  Of course, there are also those fears that are automatic and are never alleviated.  Foremost, of course, is the fear every mother carries for her child.  While the fear varies in scope and focus over the years, there is not a mother on the planet that does not fear something happening to affect the health and well-being of her child.  Such a fear is never shed, until the mother leaves this earth.

Healthy fears keep us from doing stupid things.  We gain most of these fears after adolescence...after we have lived long enough that we realize we are not indestructible.  These fears teach us habits such as making sure the doors are locked at night, that we have the proper pressure in our tires, and food that has spoiled lands in the trash.  These types of fears are not irrational, but actually necessary ones.

Look at your personal fears.  Which ones keep you safe?  Which ones need to be conquered?


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pushing Back

Fear is a powerful force in nature.  It is all too easy to give in, to let it take control, and let it run your life.  I know that I, personally, have let fear rule more times than I should have in my life.  I finally had to make a conscious decision that I would push back.

Next weekend, I plan on confronting two big ones head-on.  There is a very high bridge running over water between two towns here on the Coast.  I HATE high bridges.  I also have a very healthy fear of heights.  Next weekend, I want to walk the bridge.  There is a special walkway built onto the bridge for walkers and I am planning on walking across and back.  

Now for full disclosure...I do plan on dragging my big, strong, 6 foot 5 inch son along with me. While I am confronting my fears, I am not brave enough to do so without backup!!  My thought is that if I freeze, he can drag me!!

What fear are you ready to face?  Go for it!!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Fear and Aging

Read the title again.  It says "and" not "of".  Aging itself is inevitable and not to be feared.  Aging does, however, bring risks that can lead to fear.

I recently had a bone density exam, revealing osteopenia.  All my life, I have been someone who has been a bit reckless, never paying attention if I had to jump off or over something on one of my adventures.  Now, I must be mindful.  

My bones are beginning to soften.  A fall now could do immensely more damage than when I was young.  Fear of falling has now entered my life.

There are inherent fears that come with aging.  Our bodies are not what they once were and we have to be mindful.  That does not mean we stop living.  While I am a bit more careful, I am still my slightly reckless self.  But now when I walk through the house, I watch for the dog running across my path.

I am aging.  I am a tad fearful.  I will not stop living.  Enjoy your adventures; I will enjoy mine!


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Armed Forces Day

Today we honor those currently serving our great country.  From one who wore the uniform then to those who wear it now; a heartfelt thank you.

Friday, May 15, 2015


There is a new warehouse club!  This club does not have the steep annual membership dues, and everything is delivered directly to your door!

Boxed is an online club.  Obviously, perishables are not on their site.  However, for paper goods, canned goods, and household items...they are the site to visit!  Their prices are competitive and while the selection may be limited, there are some great deals to be had.

When you order from Boxed, your first order ships free.  In addition, if you are a member of Ebates, you will earn 2% cash back on all your purchases.  So let's recap:  warehouse club deals, delivered directly to you, first order ships free, and 2% cash back on all your purchases!!

What are you waiting for????


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Just a Smile

Thursday always seems like the longest day of the week.  You are exhausted from working all week, but it still is not Friday!

On this Thursday, I just wanted to share a couple of darlings who bring a smile to my face every day with their antics.  Enjoy!!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Yesterday, I spoke a bit about compartments.  Women, particularly mothers, are experts in this skill set.  We split into completely different personalities depending on the given situation.  A woman can be a mother, lover, employee, wife, housekeeper, etc. at the drop of a hat.  The tone of our voices change, how we dress, even our actual posture will change depending on the current role.  Is that not an amazing talent?

Unfortunately, our ability to transform and to separate our feelings into convenient little boxes can also have the side effect of fragmenting us.  In that process of fragmentation, we can lose ourselves. We forget who we really are.  Even while filling multiple rolls, we as women need to retain that innate sense of self.  Who we are needs to remain at the core of every role, duty, and job we perform.

Our uniqueness is our greatest asset.  It makes us who we are, defines what we have to offer, and colors every action.  Take pride in what makes you special.  Celebrate it.  You are amazing because of it.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Back to Business

Enough wallowing!  I'll admit, I am still having a rough week but life continues.  I have to vote tonight after work in my city's mayoral election.  The dogs still want to chase the tennis ball, and dishes still need to be washed.

Is that not a vital part of adulthood?  The skill of being able to compartmentalize feelings, duties, and responsibilities in order to carry on?  The feelings do not disappear; but we set them aside in order to meet our obligations.  Daily life does not disappear.

Enough wallowing for me...for now.  My plate is incredibly full every day.  Shutting down for any extended period of time is not a luxury I can afford.  I have more than one job.  I have a home, pets, and family to care for daily.  I can acknowledge my feelings, realize they have a place in my heart, but not allow them to be in the forefront.

Back to business for me!  Life is short, too short, and I cannot afford to waste a second!


Monday, May 11, 2015

A First I Never Wanted

Yesterday was a first for me.  But it was a first I dreaded and, naively, never wanted.  Yesterday was my first Mother's Day without my mom.

I did not anticipate how hard this would hit me.  Thinking about Mother's Day, the predominant thought running through my mind was that I didn't have a mom.  While this is a common status for women of my age group, this was my first Mother's Day without her.  

Admittedly, I probably did not handle the day in the best way possible.  I withdrew and put up an emotional wall to protect myself.  A number of my friends have already lost their mothers, but I was not inclined to listen to how they handled it.  It was just as difficult to look at social media and see the plethora of posts between daughters and mothers.  I went silent there, also.

My saving grace was my youngest son.  He went above and beyond trying to give me the best Mother's Day possible, but he still realized that I was struggling and took that condition into account. It was a true example of the wheel of life continuing to turn, whether we want to get off the ride or not.

I am sure that each year will ease this feeling.  Until then, the thought that I no longer have a mom is a pain that I must face, learn to embrace, and carry with love.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

For Breakfast in Bed

Perfect for that Mother's Day breakfast in bed!


1 beaten egg
1/2 cup orange juice
5 slices raisin bread
1 cup crushed graham crackers
2 Tbsp butter


Combine beaten egg and orange juice.  Dip each slice of bread in egg mixture.  Coat with graham cracker crumbs.  Fry in butter until toasted.  Serve with favorite syrup.


Friday, May 8, 2015

The Best Things in Life are Free

Mother's Day is this Sunday and everywhere you see people (especially men!) scrambling for the perfect gift.  The perfect gift, however, is not in the store.

For most moms, especially those of my age-the empty nesters, the most precious gift we could receive is time.  Time is not found at the store or online.  You already have it; Mom just wants to share a bit of it with you.

This Mother's Day, pick up the phone if you are unable to be there in person.  Head over to Mom's and just spend an afternoon chatting.  The precious gift of time spent with your mother is one of limited duration.  While you have the opportunity, seize it.

With love to all the Moms,

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Value of Knowledge

All of us have an area of knowledge in which we excel.  You may be an expert baker, crocheter, or be an online guru.  What is that knowledge worth?

My particular area of expertise is finding things for free, whether through sweepstakes or online sites. I share that knowledge here on Frugal Fridays.  That does not mean I am giving my knowledge away for free as I do earn a small pittance from my blog. ( on the ads!)  I have worked extremely hard to gain that knowledge and that work gives it value.

Have you ever had a friend want you to use your knowledge for free?  You may have felt a bit of resentment.  That should tell you that what you know is valuable.  Use that to your advantage.  Get online and see how those with similar talents make their living by utilizing those talents.  

I am not advocating being selfish or not helping those who need your assistance.  I am proposing that you take a little time, think of your value, and proceed accordingly.  You have worked hard to learn what you know and to be able to do the things that you do.  Place the appropriate value on that knowledge, talent, and wisdom.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Value of Time

I personally believe that time is much more valuable than money.  Life is so incredibly short!

I am one of those who needs a 48-hour day.  My to-do list is now over two pages long and it literally brought me to tears this weekend.  I am not sure when exactly time got away from me but I have the constant feeling and pressure of playing catch-up.

My lesson to be learned is that MY time is valuable.  Time spent on my crafts or reading a book is not time wasted; it is an investment in me.  While giving to others is also important, when the time involved becomes burdensome, it does a disservice to all involved.  

Your time is your most valuable resource.  Its value far exceeds that of your material possessions. Treat it with the respect it deserves, and it will serve you well.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Do you value yourself?  What I mean by that is do you value your time, your knowledge, and your presence?  

Or are you the type of person who gives unceasingly?  Do you share your time and know-how with others without any thought that it is valuable?  Why do so many take that time and wisdom for granted?

Your time has value.  I am not referring to the time spent at work; your employer actually compensates you for that time.  I am speaking to the time spent assisting others, volunteering above and beyond, or time spent caring for others.  Is that time not valuable enough to block off a portion just for yourself?  

What about your knowledge?  Is there a particular area of interest that you are well-informed?  Do you share that freely?  There are thousands who get paid for their knowledge through books, seminars, and other venues.  Have you ever considered that your knowledge is worth getting paid for?  Are you giving it all away for free?

Just a couple of points to ponder on this Tuesday....


Saturday, May 2, 2015

On The Side

An easy side dish to compliment what comes off the grill!


1 bag hash browns, thawed
1 block Velveeta
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Butter a 9x13 pan and add mixture to pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for one hour, stirring a couple of times to prevent excessive browning.



Jerri's Empty Nest