Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve

Friday, December 30, 2016

Thank you

This is my last written post of 2016.  I want to thank all of you for reading this blog, for commenting, and for your loyalty.

2016 was a roller coaster ride for me.  I want to thank those who stood by me, supported me when I was at my lows, and celebrated with me at my highs.  Your love and friendship have made all the difference in my life this year.

I also want to thank those who left.  Those who believed being a friend only counted when it was convenient for them.  Those who revealed their true selves.  Why thank them?   Because by leaving, they took their toxicity and drama with them, leaving peace and serenity behind.

2017 marks the sixth year of Jerri's Empty Nest.  Join me in a new, fresh year.

With heartfelt gratitude and love,

Thursday, December 29, 2016


As the year draws to a close, it is time to release.  Release what?


     The toxic people in your life.

     The shoulds, the musts, and the have-tos.

     The items in your home that cost you time and energy to maintain, yet bring no joy.

     The expectations that you or others place upon you.

     The mountain of papers that has become a monster.

     The loss, the grief, the sadness, the hurt of the year past.

Do not carry these into your new year.  Start afresh, with hope, joy, peace, serenity, and love.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Feed your soul.  This was another topic discussed this year.

When was the last time you made time, and actually used that time, to create.  When was the last time you unplugged and curled up with a book?  

Taking the time to feed your soul is anything but selfish.  We cannot care for others if we do not take care of ourselves.  Especially for women, this simple act can be daunting.  We have been raised to care for others, to put ourselves last, and to put aside our needs so that others' needs are met.  

In the new year, resolve to revisit the hobbies and books you love.  Make a goal of completing just one of those Pinterest boards you keep meaning to do.  Your soul, and those you love, will be the better for it.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016


This year, we discussed simplifying your home.  We removed ten things each week from one room at a time in order to reduce the chaos.

As the end of the year nears, take a quick run through the house again.  Carry a box with you and pick up things you haven't touched all year.  When the box is full, immediately put it in your car for the trip to Goodwill.  Be honest, if you haven't done anything with something in a year, you'll never miss it!

Honestly, I could do this every week all year.  After moving into my new home, I realize that I have too much, particularly sentimental items.  I have failed when it comes to that category as I cannot imagine giving up my grandmothers' quilts or a single card from my ex-husband who is now deceased.  But rather than viewing it as a failure and stopping with that, I am choosing to view it as my project for the new year.

Have you grabbed a box and gotten started?  What are you waiting for?


Friday, December 23, 2016


I know it's Friday, but the true frugal opportunities arrive on Monday!  The after-Christmas sales are the best time to stock up on emergency gifts.

What are emergency gifts?  Emergency gifts are those you keep on hand (I use a small plastic tote) for those occasions when you have either forgotten a date, or need something when you don't have time to go shopping.

Some ideas for after-Christmas deals on emergency gifts are bath sets, tool kits, and toys.  It isn't wise to stock up on food sets and you don't want them going bad before they get used.  It's also the perfect time to stock up on Christmas pajamas, movies, and stocking stuffers that can be put away until next Christmas.  Just don't forget where you put them!

While Monday is the beginning of the after-Christmas sales, sometimes it pays to wait a few days. By then, the stores really want this stock gone and prices are slashed 75 to 90 percent.  Your selection will be more limited, but great deals still abound.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend,


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Almost The End

2016 is almost gone.  We've have covered miles of territory this year on Jerri's Empty Nest.  Next week, we'll revisit some of the topics we have covered and see if we've learned anything, reverted to bad habits, or moved forward.

Are there any specific topics you would like to see addressed in the year-end recap?  If so, head over to the Jerri's Empty Nest fan page on Facebook.  You can find it at this link: 

Think on it and let me know!!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Yesterday's post was extremely difficult to write, and even more difficult to survive the day.

It seems I hit a nerve.  Let me be clear.  This is my blog.  These are my thoughts and feelings.  I have paid close attention throughout this election cycle and have seen numerous behaviors that terrified me.

I think the best response I have to those who so vehemently opposed what I had to say are the words of George Santayana:

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Here's My Vote

I have waited quite a bit of time after the election to do this post.  I needed time to gather my thoughts and attempt to tamp my fear.  Today is the day the Electoral College gathers to vote and holds the future of our nation in their hands.

I have seen numerous posts by people attesting that their vote doesn't make them racist, a bigot, or sexist.  Please allow the opportunity to share what a large number of Americans see when they see your pride in your vote for President-Elect Trump.

The Republicans have voted down the last eight bills to increase funding for the Veterans Administration.

You said:  Here is my vote.  This is how I want veterans treated in my country.

The Republicans have voted down the last seven attempts to pass the Equal Pay Act.

You said:  Here is my vote.  I want my daughters and granddaughters to know their worth is only three-quarters that of a man in my country.

Vice-President Elect Pence believes in conversion therapy, including repeated electrocution, to "turn" gay citizens straight.

You said:  Here is my vote.  I believe gay citizens should be subjected to torture in my country.

President-Elect Trump mocked a disabled reporter.

You said:  Here is my vote.  This is the way I want disabled citizens treated in my country.

President-Elect Trump demeaned, disparaged, and insulted women on multiple occasions.

You said:  Here is my vote.  I want my daughters and granddaughters to be treated this way in my country.

President-Elect Trump proposed registration of Muslims and referenced "rounding them up."

You said:  Here is my vote.  I want my country to follow the same path as Nazi Germany.

President-Elect Trump called Mexicans "criminals and rapists."

You said:  Here is my vote.  This is the way I want my country to treat those of color.

Every United States intelligence agency has affirmed that Russian hackers interfered in the 2016 Presidential Election.

You said:  Absolutely nothing.  I am completely comfortable with a foreign power determining the future of my country.

You are not being judged by your vote.  You are being judged by your willingness to accept these behaviors.  To believe any less is disingenuous at best.  To state that you don't believe these things is belied by the fact that you took your vote, the most precious of our rights as United States citizens, and used that vote to say these exact things.

I have friends and family in the LGBT community.  I now live in fear.  

I have granddaughters.  I now live in fear.

I have friends and family in the Latino community, the Black community, and the Asian-American community.  I now live in fear.

I, and so many I love, are veterans.  I now live in fear.

With your vote, you endorsed the actions causing this fear.  

In truth, your vote has become your mirror.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Holiday Savings

If you check under the Shopping tab, you'll see a couple of additions.

One is Ebates.  I have heard a lot of people say that they believe Ebates is a scam.  I can tell you, from personal experience, that Ebates is for real and I regularly receive checks from them.  Now they have added in-store shopping to their site!  Just look for your store before you go, select your deal, link the card you're going to use, and you can earn cash back in a physical store also!

Here is the link to sign up for Ebates: 

Another addition is Wikibuy.  Along the same lines as Honey, which we discussed last week, it automatically applies coupon codes to your order.  Here is the link for Wikibuy:

While some of these sites/extensions may only give you a few percentage points back...remember that every penny counts!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Too Blessed to be Stressed

"Too blessed to be stressed" is a phrase you hear often this time of year.  Personally, I don't get it. While this year has been an intense year of rebuilding for me, leaving stress behind is nearly impossible.  

Even decorating the Christmas tree has the capability of stressing me immensely.  Getting the same color ornaments too close together, having the decorations look unbalanced, or the star looking crooked actually gives me physical pain!

What are your tips and tricks for reducing the stress of the season?  Okay, I know wine is the obvious one, but what about besides wine?

Share your ideas!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

In Defense of Trolls

I recently became aware that I have a troll.  As someone who works a full-time job, publishes this blog five days a week, am still unpacking and organizing my new home, and complete my moneymaker sites seven days a week, I am quite confused as to when I am supposedly living this troll-worthy life.  I do not even get off work until 11:15 and then go immediately to bed!!

However, trolls do deserve our pity.  Imagine a life so empty that you spend your time stalking others in a virtual environment.  Imagine being so devoid of any redeeming qualities yourself that you live to belittle and demean others.  They truly deserve our pity, don't they?  If you were not so busy living an actual life, would you not feel some sympathy?

Yes, trolls have my pity.  Unfortunately, I am too busy from the moment I awaken to the moment I collapse back into my bed to afford them anything more than that.

And to my troll?  Please, please, please let me know where you found that extra 15 minutes where I am supposedly living this fascinating, interesting life...BECAUSE I COULD REALLY USE THAT TIME TO TAKE A NAP!!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016


This is the time of year when those who consider themselves "good" Christians begin to fight the entirely imaginary battle against Christmas.   Take a long, hard look at the photo below.  Don't let your self-righteousness overrule your humanity.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Countdown

Two weeks to go until Christmas!

Here's a quick checklist for these last two weeks:

1.  Breathe.  Everything will get done, it always does.

2.  Count your blessings.  All of them, even the little ones.

3.  Let go.  Let go of the toxic, the sadness, everything holding you down or holding you back.

4.  Take care.  Of yourself, of your heart, of your soul.

5.  Smile brightly, hug tightly, and love without end.


Friday, December 9, 2016

Honey, It's Frugal Friday!

Have you met Honey?  Honey is a shopping extension you add to your browser.

Honey automatically applies digital coupons at checkout.  In addition to applying coupons, Honey also gives Honey "gold" based on a percentage of your purchase.  That gold can then be redeemed for Amazon gift cards giving you even more money with which to shop!

Here's the referral link for Honey:

Check out the updated Shopping tab at the top of the blog and save even more!

Stay tuned for next week when we'll talk about Wikibuy!


Thursday, December 8, 2016


After a couple of years of really hard work, I had repaired my credit and was blessed to purchase the first home on my own.  Thankfully, I had the advantage of a VA loan to enable me to be able to do so without having the additional burden of saving for a substantial down payment.

I have named my new home "Sanctuary."  I want my home to be a place where you are loved, regardless of race, religion, or sexual preference.  There is no judgment here. The same extends to this blog.

This blog is also a safe place.  In the past, I have featured guest posters on widowhood, addressed the aftermath of rape, and supported survivors of domestic abuse.  This is a safe place.  Those posts reached people, including one who drew the strength to leave her abuser.  Racism, bigotry, and hate have no place here any more than they do in my home.

My wish for you this holiday season is that all find their sanctuary, their safe place, their peace.  Only a few words, but those few words mean everything.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Christmas Spirit

The other day my son and I went to Walmart to find an odd-size battery.  As we exited our truck in the parking lot, I saw my son begin walking rapidly and heard him call out, "Ma'am, can I help you with that?"  Looking in the direction he headed, I observed an elderly woman trying to load a television into her trunk.  My son loaded the television for her and wished her a good day before rejoining me.

For my son, this was not necessarily the Christmas spirit as he behaves in that manner on a daily basis.  However, it is the perfect time of year for such a spirit to be shared, to be emulated, and to spread.  There are a million different good deeds that can take no more than a minute of your time. Hold the door for someone.  Smile at the toddler in front of you in line.  Tell your delivery driver thank you when you receive your package.  

It costs you nothing to spread the love.


Monday, December 5, 2016

Twitter and the PEOTUS

Let me preface this post by saying this is not a discussion of President-Elect Trump's use of Twitter and the revealing thin-skinned embarrassment of same.  That is a discussion for another day.

What I consider even more disturbing is the President-Elect's propensity for blocking people on Twitter if they criticize, disagree, or disparage his actions.  It has become such a frequent occurrence that #TrumpBlocked is actually trending on Twitter.  The blocks include everyday citizens of the United States to state government officials to members of the press.

Why is this disturbing?  The President-Elect has decided that his personal feelings outweigh the First Amendment.  He has decided that certain citizens of this country do not have the right to see what he is saying.  He believes that he can determine that only those citizens who agree with him and his policies can be privy to his daily Twitter proclamations.

The President is obligated, by virtue of the office, to be a diplomat and a statesman.  What does this behavior say about the President-Elect?  What do the continued, daily attacks on the freedom of speech portend for this administration?

I value the First Amendment.  It is that amendment which guarantees me the right to produce this blog every day, saying what I will.  And yes, I am aware that today's post will probably also get me #TrumpBlocked.  However, as long as I have the right, I will continue to exercise my right to free speech.  Current behaviors, however, have me concerned as to how long that right will continue to exist.

In fear,

Friday, December 2, 2016

Frugal Christmas - The Rule of Four

It is quite easy to overdo things at Christmas.  Unfortunately, this, all too often, results in spoiled, entitled children or a massive credit card debt.

For the last few years, I have managed to rein in the Christmas madness by following the Rule of Four.  It simplifies the shopping process, ensures that everyone gets something they want, and eliminates the January shock when the bills come in.

The Rule of Four:

Something you want,
Something you need,
Something to wear and
Something to read.

Notice the last item?  I believe, in the digital age of immediate satisfaction, it is imperative to include the gift of reading.  We all, no matter the age, need to slow down and absorb the written word.  

This year, try leaving the "keeping up with the Jones'" mentality behind and focusing on what matters...being with those you love.


Thursday, December 1, 2016


How is this possible?  It is still reaching the 70's here on the Gulf Coast and I swear I have no idea how this year just flew by.

It is time to get out the crockpots for hearty meals.  Time for movies, reading, and snuggling under a soft blanket.  Time for twinkling lights, carols to which we know all the words, and the excitement of small children.

The time also approaches for the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year.  In Wiccan and other religions, the winter solstice also heralds the rebirth of the sun, as from that day, the days begin to lengthen.  

It is the time of Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukkah, Yule, and more.  It is a time for all religions to celebrate; one no less important than another.

It is the time to send holiday greetings, to let those you love know that they are in your heart no matter how near or far.

December ends the year with a flurry of activity but, at the core, December is a month of celebration and a month of love.



Jerri's Empty Nest