Friday, July 31, 2015

Free Learning

There is a fabulous website that offers online classes you can take in your spare time.  Okay, stop laughing about the spare time know what I mean!  Welcome to  Udemy.  

Udemy is an online marketplace for experts to teach courses.  Not all of the courses are free, some range up to $500 per course.  I found many, however, that are completely free!

Examples of the free course include Stress Management, Effective Resume Writing, English Grammar, and more.  The courses offer everything from coding to personal development and you could spend days just looking at all the options!

I am a firm believer in the premise that if you stop learning, you start dying.  You are never too old to learn something new!!  And what better way to learn it than for free!!

Head over to Udemy, sign up for your account, and find something new to learn today for free!


Thursday, July 30, 2015


What is the ultimate purpose of all this nesting, rearranging, and prioritizing?  The ultimate purpose is the enjoyment of your life, environment, and time.

Your environment, when rearranged and prioritized, will create a more peaceful, calm place for you to live and work.  Imagine being able to go to your closet in the morning, knowing you have outfits ready to go for that day or even that week's work schedule.  The amount of stress that will remove will lighten your mood every morning!

A rearranged and prioritized calendar leaves room for family, friends, and activities you enjoy.  All of those things add quality and joy to your life.  Taking an hour or two to curl up with a good book or listen to music are both activities that recharge the soul.  That is something we all need!

The purpose of this life is not to work and schedule ourselves into the ground.  You have heard the saying, "No one puts 'I wish I had worked more' on their tombstone."  Enjoy life.  It is already way too short.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015


We have nested and rearranged.  Now it is time to prioritize.

Let's go back to your calendar.  You've already rearranged it, combining some items and eliminating others.  It is time, now, to prioritize what is left.

Believe it or not, not everything has to be done right now.  There are items on everyone's calendar and to-do list that can either wait or not be done at all.  In addition, delegation can be a powerful tool. 

That is not to say that there are not items that must be done.  Grocery shopping, work, and medical appointments are must-dos.  However, combining a mundane errand with a must-do is not only efficient but also knocks out two birds with one stone.

Delegate, delegate, delegate!  If an item or task is not something that can only be done by you, delegate it to another member of your household!  By prioritizing what you absolutely must do, you let go of what you SHOULD do.  This frees up time, energy, and attention that can be spent on the people you love and the activities in which you love to participate.

I, personally, have the habit of making every item on my to-do list into a must-do.  The truth is that every item is not a must-do.  I am, however, learning to ask with help knocking the list out with those items I can delegate.

It is time to prioritize.  Never forget that YOU are on the top of that list!!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015


As part of your summer nesting, choose something to rearrange.  It could be your closet, your dresser, or even your calendar!  Rearranging even the smallest thing or portion of your life and/or environment brings the blessing of a fresh perspective.

Let us use your closet as an example.  By rearranging your closet, you find hidden gems you forgot you had.  You will also, if you are anything like me, find those bargain buys that weren't such a bargain!  The items either do not fit right, shrunk in the wash, or just should never have been bought in the first place.  Here is your opportunity to donate them to a worthy cause, make room in your closet, and keep those pieces you love to wear.  

While rearranging your closet, blend in some organization.  If you work in an office environment, analyze what you have and how many combinations you can make with them.  You may be amazed to find that you actually need far fewer clothes than you currently have!  Doing so will also allow you to determine what key, basic pieces you need to add to fill out your wardrobe.

Now apply those same principles to your calendar.  By rearranging, discarding, and combining to-do items, you free up time, discard activities that no longer fit what you consider to be a valuable use of your time, and make room for things you love.

A little rearranging never hurt anybody. may end up with a sore back or arms!  But it will all  be worth it in the end!


Monday, July 27, 2015


I am an odd creature.  While most women nest during the winter, I actually prefer to do those types of activities during the summer.  It is unbearably hot outside and I find indoor activities to keep me busy!

I recently started a crochet project, I have cookies and fudge on the schedule to be made, and curling up with a book under a ceiling fan is a must!  

Now nesting in summer is a bit different from the winter!  An ice cold drink has replaced the hot peppermint tea.  Reading takes place in a t-shirt rather than sweats and a cozy blanket.  It is nesting, nonetheless, and still enjoyable.

If you live somewhere summer forces you inside, adjust some of your nesting habits to the summer. You will still have the same sense of satisfaction...just in a lot less clothes!


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Listening: Day 6

To finish out the week, the first song I was ever taught by my beloved Grandpa.  This song came out when he was only two years old in 1902.

Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home

This one's for you in heaven, Grandpa!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Listening: Day 4

One of the purest, most beautiful voices on the planet:  Sarah Brightman.

Time to Say Goodbye

A voice that pierces the soul.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Listening: Day 3

A new find, my circle of girls (including myself) find this empowering.

Fight Song

For my girls!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Listening: Day 2

This is my all-time favorite country artist and my favorite song he has written.  Listen carefully to the words!

Holding My Own

This is my anthem!


Monday, July 20, 2015

For Your Listening Pleasure

This week, I am going to share links to some of my favorite songs.  They vary greatly in genre and time period.  I hope you enjoy!

Steven Tyler has gone country!

Love is Your Name


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Memes -- Day 6

All week, I have posted memes that make me crazy.  Today is for one I love.

And a bonus...

Friday, July 17, 2015

Memes -- Day 5

Today's meme is the worst of the worst.  I have seen this meme in numerous forms but this one may be the lowest of the low.

Welcome to the malicious chain letter, 21st century style.  More than anything, this reminds me of the chain letters of the 1970's.  I vividly remember my stepmother receiving some that contained that same kind of ominous warning.  "If you don't forward this letter within 7 days, something horrible will befall your family."  In today's digital age, we have memes that warn if you don't share withing 15 seconds, something horrible will befall you.  

I have even seen memes warning that you must share an angel or God will not answer your prayers. Let's think about that for a second.  First, I'm pretty sure God is too busy in the Middle East and elsewhere than to be trolling Facebook to see who shared a meme. Just sayin'.  Second, why would you post that and wish that on anybody?  That kind of statement is one that you really do not want to put out into the universe.  Those things have a tendency to come right back to the point of origin! And lastly, if you truly want God to hear your prayers...get your butt off Facebook and hit your knees!  I'm pretty sure if you want a prayer answered, you have to pray...not share a meme!

Be mindful of your words and memes.  Think before you post.  Spread what you love, not what you hate.

As always...


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Memes -- Day 4

Today's memes are along the same line as yesterday's.  They imply that if you don't share them, you are actually in support of something awful.

Seriously?  If you think someone who doesn't share it are actually for these things, why are they your friends?  Actually, I had to work at finding memes of this type that did not show horrific pictures. The inference that someone is "for" these activities if they do not "Like" or "Share" is not only insulting, but actually demeaning to your friends and family.  Remember, everything you post on your personal wall shows up on every single friend's timeline. 

How about this?  If you are truly against child abuse, pack up some books and games and take them to your local shelter for the children.  Post a picture of that and challenge your friends to match your donation.  Do the same with dog and cat food at your local humane society.  Make a donation, volunteer to walk a dog, volunteer to read to a child.  Get off the couch and actually do something about the causes you care about.  THAT is something to be proud to post.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Memes -- Day 3

Today's meme actually makes me a bit sad.  Hear me out...

So...if I don't share this meme, it means I don't love my kids?  While not stated as such, that is the inference.  

Here's a thought.  If you have a son or daughter you love with all your heart, tell them that.  Tell them in person, pick up the phone, write an actual letter!  Life is short...don't make your kids check your Facebook page to know whether you love them or not!!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Memes -- Day 2

Here we go on Day 2!  Now my thoughts on this meme may offend some (or a bunch) people, but I do believe if people stop and THINK before they post, it might make a difference!

This meme shows up in a variety of forms, whether God or prayer.  There is actually a simple, effective response to this meme.  READ THE CONSTITUTION!!!  The very first phrase of the 1st Amendment clearly states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." That means in public know...public schools!  The 1st amendment also protects the free practice of religion.  Our Founding Fathers fled to this country to avoid religious persecution and to freely practice their religion.  Forcing your personal religion into a public school goes against the very principles that established this great country.  

Before you post...think!


Monday, July 13, 2015

Memes -- Day 1

This week I'm going to address a few of the memes I see online that make my head spin!  Join me while we have some fun!

Let's get started!

Okay.  Who ever said the anthem was not going to be sung?  Anyone?  Ever?  The National Anthem is sung before every major sporting event in this nation.  Sometimes it barely qualifies as singing, but it is still being sung.  This meme goes right along with those memes that start "A Facebook User has challenged..."  What Facebook user?  Who?  When?  Why?  And why would you post something on your wall, cluttering your friends' timeline, when you have no idea of the origin or original intent of the poster?


Stay tuned for more!


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Stovetop Barbeque Chicken

Is it too hot to step outside and grill?  Here's your solution!


Large, deep frying pan
3 lbs. cut up chicken
1 can Coke
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp mustard
Salt and pepper to taste


Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken.  Place in frying pan.  Mix together Coke, ketchup, and mustard. Pour over chicken.  Cover pan and simmer for 45 minutes.  Uncover and simmer an additional 15 minutes, allowing sauce to thicken.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Free Preparation

When preparing, whether for aging or natural disasters, there are a number of free resources available.

Check your state website.  The site may have links to disaster preparedness specific to the events which occur in your area.  In addition, check out this emergency preparedness checklist from FEMA: .  Print it out and check items off as you obtain them.

Google is your friend. Google aging preparedness checklist and you will be amazed at the returns! In addition, here is the link to a senior checklist that actually everyone should fill out: .

Another great resource is your local utility companies.  Check their website for emergency information.  Many offer checklists for local emergencies.

Last but not least, create a to-do list.  Again, the Internet is full of free, pre-made to-do lists for just about any occasion.  Use them.  Make your job easier by taking advantage of those free items that have been shared online.  To get you started, here is a link to 65 (yes, 65!) to-do lists you can print for free:

Happy hunting!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Stay Present

I have written all week about preparation.  Like drinking or eating, preparation should also be done in moderation.

All of our focus cannot be on preparing for the future or anticipated events.  If we do so, we lose the joy and wonder of the present.  Each day is a gift and, while some time may be spent in preparation, the majority of our time should be spent living in the present.

That is not to discount the value of preparation.  Preparation, in moderation, will ease some of the stress of the future when it becomes our present.  But our need to prepare cannot override our need to live in the here and now.

Enjoy today.  Tomorrow will come whether we are prepared or not.  There is only one today, one now.  Hug a loved one, read a good book, play with your pet.  Actually, do all three!!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Preparing Others

Part of the preparation of aging is preparing others in your life for that inevitable occurrence.  In truth, preparing others is even more difficult than those steps you take for yourself.

A few weeks ago, I gave my son my living will.  His initial response was fear.  Fear that I wasn't telling him something or that a health crisis was imminent.  While neither was true, it took some convincing on my part!  It was just a small step that needed to be taken in preparation for the future...hopefully, the distant future!

Not all the steps taken in preparation of aging are pretty or fun.  Some will bring up difficult conversations but they are necessary.  With love and humor, the conversations will be held, the steps will be taken, and everyone will be prepared.

It's time to have those conversations with your loved ones.  Get talking!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

More and More

I spoke yesterday about preparing for hurricanes.  As I age, I have noticed that there is more and more that I must prepare for and take specific steps to either complete or anticipate.

I am learning to take things a bit slower.  While my usual speed is at warp, I am slowing down to mere breakneck.  I have learned to pack things in smaller containers, and at lighter weights.  There are a million little things I am learning to make adjustments for as I age.

Preparing for aging is not giving up.  It is realizing those limitations are coming.  Preparing for them is not fatalistic or morbid.  It is taking a smart approach to the inevitable.  In the process, it makes my life just a tad bit easier.

To be honest, making these adjustments is not always easy.  It is a reminder that I am not as young, strong, or agile as I once was.  But aging still beats the alternative!

Here's to aging gracefully, with preparation and a happy heart!


Monday, July 6, 2015


I live on the Gulf Coast.  The home in which I now live is only two blocks off the beach.  With that circumstance, I realized I need to prepare a hurricane kit.

Using some of the Amazon gift cards I earned last month (see Moneymaker tab above on the blog), I ordered two hurricane lamps.  When I receive the rest of my gift cards, a large cooler will be on its way!

Luckily, I had earned the extra money to buy those items.  My budget surely doesn't allow that kind of expenditure!  Part of being prepared, however, is taking advantage of times like these and taking the necessary steps.

We can never be completely prepared for what life throws at us.  I took two tiny steps to be prepared for storms.  Every tiny little step counts!


Friday, July 3, 2015

The 14th

As our great nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day, and with the events of the past few weeks, I find it an appropriate time to remind my dear readers of the 14th Amendment and the protections of rights offered therein.  Perhaps by this reminder, I can hope to replace some of the rhetoric with actual fact.

Amendment XIV

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2.

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.

Section 3.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4.

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5.

The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

I wish everyone a safe and happy Independence day!  


Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Racial Divide

A few days ago on Facebook, a friend re-posted an article calling white Americans "White Terrorists."  We have been friends for over a decade, and while I understand and appreciate her anger, that post actually shocked me.

While my friend did not write the post, she made those words her own when she re-posted and shared on her personal wall.  Do I think she personally thinks I am a terrorist?  No.  But words have power, and a post shared in anger and despair does not have less of an effect because of the emotions in play at the time.

Charlotte was a horrific event.  There is absolutely no doubt that this despicable act was carried out by a racist, hate-filled individual.  The action was carried out to incite a race war.  In part, it succeeded.  The divide grows larger with each such action.

But I have hope.  These actions also incite conversations.  These actions can and do frequently bring the races together.  At multiple prayer vigils in the South held after the church massacre, black and white held hands and prayed together.  Therein lies my hope and the hope of this great nation.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hate in the Name of God

Since the Supreme Court ruling, I have seen multiple posts using Christianity as justification for spewing hate and bigotry.  This verse (Leviticus 20:13) is being used as that justification:

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

But in Deuteronomy 21:18-21, you will find this mandate:

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother ... Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city ... And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die. 

The same people who are adamant about enforcing the first verse seem to be ignoring this second command.  Wait...what???  Are people actually picking and choosing which particular sins offend them?  Or which portion of the Bible applies?  They must be, as I do not see parents rushing out and picking up rocks to stone a disobedient child.

Where are the memes, the outrage, and the hate-filled postings in support of the second verse?  I personally have not seen any.  I must have missed the news reports of teenagers being stoned for being rebellious.  Oh?  You say this verse no longer applies to today?  Again, how do we pick and choose which do and which don't?

How about this verse?  Is it possible to obey this one?  Jesus called this "the second greatest commandment" after honoring the Lord.  Matthew 22:39 reads:

And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

The same commandment is also found in Leviticus 19:18:

Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

I hope for the day when loving your neighbor actually becomes the norm, not the exception.



Jerri's Empty Nest