Wednesday, September 30, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 25

Day 25:  Discuss someone who fascinates you and why:

Hmmm, a bit tougher today.  If you have been a long-time reader of this blog, you already know I am fascinated by humanity in general and social media interaction in particular.  Now let us see if I can choose just one person.

I believe I would choose Neil deGrasse Tyson.  I am fascinated by his persective on our world and our place in the universe.  His intelligence astounds me and his ability to convey ideas in an understandable manner, without being condescending, is an amazing feat.

While hosting Cosmos, he was engaging, entertaining, and educational all at once.  I watched each episode with rapt attention and learned so much.

There you have fascinating person is Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Who is yours?


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 24

Day 24:  What is your favorite movie and why?

I am not a huge movie person...I find it extremely difficult to sit still for two whole hours!  But if I have to pick a movie, I would say The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Why?  I adore the books.  The movie was well made with breathtaking scenery and spot on acting. While I may not have the time to completely re-read the books on any type of a regular basis, it is nice to be able to grab the dvds and visit Middle Earth whenever I want.  

Is that not the point of watching a movie?  The ability to escape to another time, another place, another universe; and leave reality behind for just a little while.  The Lord of the Rings meets all of the needs.

What is your favorite movie?


Monday, September 28, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 23

Day 23:  Post five pictures of celebrities you find attractive.


There are five of my favorites!!


Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Delicious Side!

With the cooler weather, meat will be cooking in crockpots all day.  Here is a fabulous side to go with it!


1 8 oz package wide egg noodles
1 envelope dry Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup butter (cut in small pieces)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Cook noodles and drain.  While the noodles are still hot, add Italian dressing mix, cream, butter, and cheese.  Toss lightly to blend.


Friday, September 25, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 22

Day 22:  How have you changed over the past few years?  Share pictures.

Yuck!!  I hate having my picture taken...but here goes!

Here are just a few from the last few years!  I don't think much has changed...except for aging!!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 21

Day 21:  What is one of your favorite TV shows and why?

My favorite current television shows is Criminal Minds.  Why?  It challenges me.  Trying to determine why a killer is murdering people, the psychology behind their actions, and the act of profiling such a criminal are fascinating to me.

And I'll be honest...Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, and Matthew Gray Gubler are not exactly hard on the eyes!!  Penelope Garcia, played by Kirsten Vangness, is beyond adorable and JJ, played by AJ Cook, is a down-to-earth every woman.  This show is both brilliantly cast and written.

What is your favorite show and why?  Let me know!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 20

Day 20:  How important do you think education is?

I believe, in my heart of hearts, that education is of the utmost importance.  If you have any doubt, look at social media.  In particular, look at pages of those 30 years of age and younger.  The inability to spell the simplest of words, to form complete sentences, or even to write in proper English is not only astounding, but actually heartbreaking.

Listen to interviews on television with "the man on the street."  They are often unintelligible.  What does it say about our nation and our educational system when someone born and raised in Chicago, deep in the heartland, needs subtitles to be understood?

School systems are now ceasing to teach cursive writing skills.  We are raising a generation of children who will not even be able to read the Constitution.  How is that acceptable to anyone?

To quote the late Whitney Houston, "I believe that children are our future.  Teach them well and let them lead the way..."  


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 19

Day 19:  What is your biggest regret in life?

This could be a very long list.  I am trying, however, to look at my regrets more as lessons.  Trust me, at the age of 53, I have had a LOT of lessons!

If I had to pick just one thing, without getting too extremely personal, I would say it was not going to college until I was 50.  While I did not have that opportunity upon leaving high school, I do wish I had not waited so long to start.

On the other hand, beginning college at 50 meant I was mature and grateful enough to recognize the opportunity and take full advantage of same.  I was too old to party but not too old to enjoy campus activities.  I worked hard and finished a two-year program in sixteen months with a 3.9 average!

Look at your regrets as lessons.  When you know better, you do better.


Monday, September 21, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 18

Day 18:  What book could you read over and over again?

Finally an easy one!!  Without any doubt, I can read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" over and over again.  But then...I can also read "Jane Eyre" again.  Oh!  I can't forget "The Hobbit" or "The Lord of the Rings!"  And then there is "Rebecca."  And "Sherlock Holmes."  Of course, there is anything written by Edgar Allen Poe.

Okay, maybe this was not such an easy one!  The truth is...the classics are classics for a reason.  They stand up to re-reading no matter how many times you revisit their worlds.  I am not one of those readers that believe everything you read must be enlightening or educational.  I read to enter another world.  All of the books I listed do just that.

Pick up a book today, escape to another world.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Cheating Fried Chicken

Easy, quick, and oh so good!


4 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts.


Combine flour, cornmeal, and spices in a large, zippable bag.  Add oil to 13x9 pan, tilt to coat the bottom, and set aside.  One piece at a time, add chicken to the bag and shake to coat.  Place chicken in pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, uncovered, and turning several times.

p.s.  Combining the dry ingredients into a small mason jar also makes a great gift!!  Don't forget to include the directions on the gift tag!


Friday, September 18, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 17

Day 17:  List your highs and lows of this past year.

One of the highs of this past year have definitely been the visits from friends.  The love of a friend is never something to be taken for granted.  To know these friends love me enough to visit means the world to me.

Another of the highs of this past year is spending time with my youngest son.  Though we frequently butt heads, I am always amazed at what a kind, caring, and good person he has grown to be.  I am so proud to be his mom.

The lows?  I would have to say the betrayal of a friend.  There are few things in the world that cut deeper.  Actually, I think this is all I have to say on the subject as it is too painful to revisit.  

Leaving it at that....


Thursday, September 17, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 16

Day 16:  What are your views on mainstream music?

I actually like most mainstream music.  I adore Taylor Swift, but still appreciate Judas Priest and Metallica.  I love the Temptations, but Lady Antebellum works for me, too.

About the only think I would say I have a problem with in mainstream music is the language used to describe women in rap and hip-hop.  Women are not hoes, skanks, or bitches.  You can get your point across without demeaning women.  Unless, of course, that is your point.  If so, it is far past time for women to stand up and put a stop to it.  I don't mean by protests, etc.  Money talks.  If you are tired of women being demeaned, don't buy it.  If it doesn't sell, it won't get made.  Easy enough.

What type of music do you enjoy?  Which type can you just not stand?  Let me know!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 15

Day 15:  Write 15 interesting facts about yourself.

1.  I am a United States Air Force veteran.

2.  I have a high I.Q.

3.  I crochet backwards.

4.  I don't dye my hair.

5.  I speed-read.

6.  I have lived in four states.

7.  I have lived in three countries.

8.  I can cuss in four languages.

9.  I beat Tetris on the original Nintendo.

10. I walk 5k's for charity.

11. I'm a sweepstakes addict and win prizes almost every week.

12. I've been through an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, and blizzard.

13. I have amazing children.

14. I'm allergic to cats.

15. I didn't learn to drive until I was 30.

This was sooo incredibly hard to do!  I'm just a normal person!

Give it a try!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 14

Day 14:  What is your earliest memory?

One of my earliest memories is from my early childhood.  I was living with my grandparents at the time and I was my grandpa's shadow.

On a Saturday, we would travel to downtown Milwaukee to get fresh lunchmeat from the Usinger's factory.  At least, I think it was Usinger' could have been Oscar Mayer.  Whichever it was, it was located in an old bank building because I do remember walking up to what my memory says was a n old teller type window to place our order.

On each trip, my Grandpa would get me a hot dog.  I would eat it uncooked and Grandpa would tell me every time that it wasn't a hot was a cold puppy as it hadn't been cooked yet!  Nowadays, parents would faint if they saw their child eating an uncooked hot dog!  I believe my Grandma never knew about the little snack either!

Years later, when I was overseas in the Air Force, Grandpa would still gather up candy and other treats to send me.  He even went as far as picking out all the black jelly beans (which I hate!) before sending an Easter box.  

I miss Grandpa terribly.  To this day, he is the man against whom all others are measured.


Monday, September 14, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 13

Day 13:  Where would you like to visit/live one day?

Hmmm...a two-parter!

I would love to visit Ireland.  I have some Irish heritage and every picture I have seen of Ireland shows a lush, green Nirvana.  Of course, that would have to begin with my actually getting off of my butt and getting a passport.  Then to save up the money needed...

I would love to have a small shotgun house in the French Quarter someday.  I have seen a couple when I have visited New Orleans that I would have bought on the spot if I had been able.  Again, that pesky money thing raises its head!  Real estate in the Quarter is not cheap!

Where would you like to go?  Share!!


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bake or Freeze

A quick sandwich recipe that can be baked immediately or stored in the freezer for emergency dinners!


1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
15 oz can chili (no beans)
8 hamburger buns
8 slices American cheese


Brown the ground beef, adding the onion, salt, and pepper.  Drain well.  Add chili, mix well, and remove from heat.  Divide the beef mixture between the eight buns and top with a slice of cheese.  Replace the bun tops and wrap each completed bun in aluminum foil.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  If saving for later, freeze unbaked.  Frozen sandwiches can go straight to the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 12

Day 12:  Bullet point your whole day.

  • 5:15 a.m. -- alarm goes off.
  • 5:30 a.m. -- drag my butt out of bed.
  • 5:33 a.m. -- take dogs outside.
  • 5:45 a.m. -- turn off back-up alarm.
  • 5:46 a.m. -- give dogs morning treat.
  • 5:47 a.m. -- get first cup of coffee.
  • 5:48 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. -- morning money-maker sites, check email, check Facebook, blog distribution
  • 6:30 a.m. - 6:50 a.m. -- shower, dress, put on face.
  • 6:51 a.m. -- give dogs second morning treat.
  • 6:52 a.m. -- pack lunch.
  • 6:53 a.m. - 7:20 a.m. -- continue working money-maker sites.
  • 7:20 a.m. - 7:40 a.m. -- drive to work.
  • 7:40 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. -- do morning sweepstakes entries.
  • 8:01 a.m. -- make office coffee.
  • 8:02 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. -- take medicine, check emails.
  • 8:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m. -- work.
  • 5:15 p.m. - 5:40 p.m. -- drive home from work.
  • 5:40 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. -- feed dogs and take outside.
  • 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. -- money-maker sites, try to eat something, give dogs another treat.
  • 9:00 p.m. - ??? -- collapse into bed and try to fall asleep.
  • ??? - 5:15 a.m. -- sleep!
There ya go!  My entire day in bullet points!  If you see any spare time in there....please let me know!


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 11

Day 11:  Put your iPod on shuffle.  Write down the first 10 songs.

(Confession:  I've been using Amazon Prime music so I had to charge my iPod before I could complete this one!)

1.  Drowning-- Hootie and The Blowfish

2.  Somebody's Gonna Love You -- Lee Greenwood

3.  Scrutinizer Postlude -- Frank Zappa

4.  I'm Not Supposed To Love You -- Bryan White

5.  The Idiot Bastard Son -- The Mothers of Invention

6.  Things I'll Never Say -- Avril Lavigne

7.  De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da -- The Police

8.  Man Woman -- Joe Nichols

9.  These Dreams -- Heart

10. Fooling Yourself -- Styx

As you can see, my iPod runs the gamut!!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 10

Day 10:  What is your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure?  Me time.

Why guilty?  Because there is a never-ending to-do list that needs to be completed.  Because when a friend calls to ask how I'm doing, I listen for 45 minutes to what is going on in her life.  Because I suck at saying no, demanding time for myself, and putting my needs anywhere on any list at any time.  Because when there is a bit of extra money for shopping, it gets spent on the house or other people.  Because I buy my groceries at Dollar Tree to make more money available for the household.

Get the picture?  There is a difference between being a nurturer and a woman who does not have the sense to make time to take care of herself.  I fall smack dab in the middle of the second!  Yes, me time is my guilty pleasure.  If I take even a few minutes for myself, the guilt is overwhelming and the thoughts of what I "should" be doing race through my head.

Obviously, this is an area I need to work on improving.  One day, the me time will be a pleasure...without the guilt.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Best Sub!

I love sub sandwiches and this is a perfect at-home version!

Meatball Subs



1 lb ground sirloin
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
3/4 cup water
1 egg, beaten
1 cup flour
Oil for frying
Sub buns

Sub Sauce:

15 oz can tomato sauce
1 green pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced


In a large bowl, combine the ground meat and onion soup mix.  Add bread crumbs and egg, mixing well.  Form into 12 meatballs.  Coat meatballs in flour and add to hot oil.  Brown 7-10 minutes on both sides, allowing a crust to form on the meatballs.

For the sub sauce, combine all ingredients in a large skillet.  Simmer until vegetables are tender, stirring often.

Add browned meatballs to the sub sauce and heat thoroughly.  Spoon meatballs into buns, making sure to also grab some pepper and onion.  Top with remaining sauce and Parmesan cheese if desired.


Friday, September 4, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 9

Day 9:  If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

I believe I have discussed this before.  My dream job, my dream in general, is to write.  Not just write, but to write full-time as my living.  

Alas, I am at a point in my life, where if it is not generating income, it falls to the end of the list.  It seems every spare moment I have is spent in either earning extra income above my paycheck, or doing chores to keep everything else on track.  A few hours of uninterrupted writing time seems like an unattainable luxury right now.

But things won't always be this way.  Life is ever-changing and I hope to get to the point where those hours are available.  This blog is part of that goal and part of that dream job.  The rest will come.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 8

Day 8:  Discuss a moment when you felt most satisfied with your life.

I would say that such a moment in recent memory was the day I graduated with my Associate of Science degree.  Starting college at the age of 50 was a fearful endeavor on my part, with no clear image of the end result.  I had never been to college, as that was not an option that was available to me when I finished high school.  I did not know what to expect, what it entailed, or if I could even accomplish the task.

I not only graduated, I completed the two-year program in only sixteen months with a GPA of 3.9.  I was and am proud of what I accomplished.  

From one who knows, it is NEVER too late to start over, try something new, and succeed!!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 7

Day 7:  What were your favorite childhood toys?

My favorite childhood toys remain my favorite today.  Books were the dear friend of a lonely child and provide a refuge for this stressed adult.  With books, I am able to enter someone else's world, if only for a short time.  They provide an escape from reality for just a moment and allow the stress to subside just a bit before I have to re-enter the real world.

Here was one of my favorite series as a child...before I graduated to Perry Mason!

Image result for erle stanley gardner perry mason

One of my other favorites from my childhood was my little am radio.  I would hide it under my pillow at night and listen to the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.  Of course, I usually managed to scare the hell out of myself at the same time!  It was masterful storytelling but what really made the story scary were the sound effects.  When heard in the dark, late at night, they were truly terrifying!

What were some of your favorites?

Love, Jerri

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

30-day Blogging Challenge: Day 6

Day 6:  What is your zodiac sign and does it fit your personality?

I am a Pisces.  I did a basic web search and here are the personality traits I found:

Imaginative and Intuitive: They are highly creative and imaginative people. That is why we see so many of them opting for creative professions such as acting, dancing, writing, etc. Instead of logic and rationality, Pisces rely on their intuition and imagination to understand things.
Kind and Sensitive: Pisceans are considered to be the most sensitive among all zodiac signs. They are generous, understanding, loyal, and homely people who tend to care a lot for those close to them. In fact, this sign is associated with sacrifices and charities. That is why, we find lots of Pisceans (more than any other sun sign), overlooking their self-interest for the good of others.
Open to New Ideas: They are very open to new ideas, circumstances, or any other change that they may encounter in their life. While traveling, they like to go to offbeat, remote, and unexplored places.
Impractical: Pisces are considered to be too ephemeral and sensitive to lead a normal day-to-day life. They are also prone to daydreaming and can sometimes be too idealistic to survive in this material world. On the other side, if they find themselves in the right place at the right time, and in the right profession, they are bound to achieve enormous success.
Easygoing and Likable: They can be easily influenced by the people and environment around them. Pisces are very gentle by nature, friendly, and compassionate people. This makes them really popular among their friends and family.

While I read it, I do see some characteristics that I think I possess, I think this question would be better answered by someone who knows me.  I believe I will let the comments speak for themselves on this one!



Jerri's Empty Nest