Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!!

Image result for independence day 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Armed Forces Day

From one who wore the uniform then, a salute to those who where it now.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Time Off

Taking this week off to celebrate (mourn) turning 55!

Friday, March 3, 2017

In The Works

I enter a lot of sweepstakes.  And I win...quite a bit.  I have had numerous friends ask how I do it. Usually the answer is no more than the fact that I enter.

I have decided to find a way to share the sweeps I enter without cluttering up my personal Facebook and driving all my friends crazy.  Not sure exactly how...but I am hoping to create somewhere that I can share sweeps on a daily basis and they will all be in one place.  

Hang in there with me...I'll let you know as soon as I have a site!


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Carrying Too Much

This past week, a friend asked me a question that made me stop and think.

"Do you ever feel like you're carrying the whole world on your shoulders?"

I don't think there is a woman on the planet who hasn't felt like this at some point in her life, if not for most of her life.  In particular, women who are in the middle span of their lives feel the burden most heavily.  For those who are single, we carry the weight of self-sustenance, meeting the expectations of family, of society, and of our own.

For those of us who have gone through a divorce, many have been devastated both emotionally and financially.  We may have lost our homes, our jobs, and most importantly, our sense of self-worth.  It is a heavy burden to carry to rebuild from the ground up.

How do we do it?  I'll give you the same answer I gave her.  I put one foot in front of the other and keep moving.  Is it easy?  Hell, no!!  i have a firm belief, however, that it will be worth it in the end. Slowly but surely, my life is being rebuilt.  The sacrifices are many, but the rewards are also.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Reach out to a friend when you need someone to lean on. We will make it...together.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Small Step

Also last week, I shared that I have an issue with the way I eat during the workweek.  On Sunday, I took a small bit of time and mixed up some ham salad and tuna salad for sandwiches during the week.  

I know...a really small step.  But I'm hoping to get away from tv dinners!  If a homemade sandwich is the first baby step, I'm okay with that.  

At some point, I hope to be able to create meal plans and shopping lists to keep me on track and to reduce my grocery budget.  It is not out of the realm of possibility to cut that budget by at least 30%. I could probably cut it by 10% just by not listening to my sweet tooth!

How do you plan for workday meals?  Give me some tips!


Monday, February 27, 2017

I did it!

Last week, I spoke about taming the paper monster.  This past Saturday, I began to put my plan into action. A good portion of my Saturday afternoon was spent shredding.  Months and months of shredding.

The good news?  The shredding is up-to-date.  Now it is up to me to be consistent and make sure to shred each weekend.  A side benefit of doing all that shredding is that I used the time while the shredder was cooling down to clean out my email inboxes!  

A few hints about what to shred:

Boarding passes -- Don't ever leave your boarding passes in the trash.  They are encoded with your personal information...always shred!

Catalog and magazine address labels -- These also have personal account information encoded within the label...always shred!

Credit Card and Loan Offers -- This one is pretty self-explanatory...always shred!

Receipts Paid with Debit/Credit Cards -- Anything that has even a single digit of a debit or credit card must be shredded!

Don't be like me and let it pile up.  Get a home office shredder and keep up with the shredding on a weekly basis.  Probably the most important tip of all!


Friday, February 24, 2017

Setting Limits

This Frugal Friday, setting limits is the focus.  This will also be extremely helpful if you are participating in No-Spend April.

When shopping, stick to your list.  We all know the temptation of that end-cap sale!  Even in the grocery or dollar store, it is too easy to walk out of the store with items you had no intention of purchasing when you walked into the store.

If you have outstanding debt, there is no excuse for not setting limits on your spending.  That debt will not disappear on its own.  A $30 trip to the nail salon could be sent to the credit card company instead, particularly if you are more than capable of painting your own nails.  If you have debt, a $80 trip to the salon for a cut and color cannot be justified.  There are less expensive alternatives available and should be utilized until debt is gone.

Review your priorities and set your personal spending limits in accordance with those priorities. You set those priorities to benefit yourself and your situation.  Set your limits to do the same.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Reducing Demands

Every weekday, I wake up and do my daily moneymakers.  Around two in the afternoon, I begin my day job, working until almost 11:30 p.m. most nights.  In addition, this blog is published five days a week and I have other writing projects in the works.  In essence, I not only work a full-time job, but have numerous part-time endeavors being juggled at the same time.

These are not what I consider demands.  Those activities are the ones that actually bring income into my home.  They are necessities, period.  What do I consider demands?  I consider outside demands on my time and attention.  How do these demands keep occurring?  Because I lack the gene that lets me say "No."

Over time, I have become a resource to many of my friends.  I am turned to for my knowledge and my research abilities.  Unfortunately, this also means that requests for help come to me without any regard to the fact that I am probably working, trying to meet a deadline, or just plain running my butt off!  

My goal?  To learn to say "No" or "I'm not available today."  In short, to reduce demands by setting boundaries.

How about you?


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Simplifying Food

As I work from home, I get quite lazy about food.  I look for whatever is quick and easy, leading to probably not the best choices.

I have no excuse for not doing better in this area.  One of the easiest ways to simplify food preparation is to use a slow cooker.  I have three...yes, three...of various sizes.  If I used my resources effectively, I would have great homemade food on a daily basis.

There are a large number of websites that show you how to prepare weeks of food in one day.  I have explored many of them, but have yet to utilize the recipes and tips.  Again...entirely my fault.  Take a few moments and do a web search for "month's worth of meals."  The possibilities are endless!

My goal for simplifying food?  To actually utilize the resources at my disposal to not only prepare meals but save money at the same time.

How about you?


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Taming the Paper Monster

The hardest part of simplification for me is the paper monster.  It is so bad for me that I actually have "Shredding" on my weekly to-do list.  Do I get to it?  Rarely.  If there is one thing that gets left to last, shredding is usually it!

I have been doing a lot better with the daily mail.  It's sorted daily with what needs to be shredded going into the shred bucket and recycling into the recycling bin.  I actually recycle so much that the bin goes out to the curb every week, but I only have to take the trash bin out once every two weeks!

Once the mail is sorted, I'm only left with the items I actually have to deal with and resolve.  On a weekly basis, that is probably only 2% of the mail I actually receive.  Another 20% is magazines. Ah, my magazines.  I receive probably ten different subscriptions every month, most of which I receive for free.  I have the best intentions of reading them all, but then...life happens.  

My goal for the paper monster?  Shredding really done on a weekly basis and a reduction in my magazines to an actual readable stack!

How about you?


Friday, February 17, 2017

Frugal Self Care

Taking care of yourself does not have to mean a costly trip to a spa, getting your nails done, or an expensive vacation.  To do any of those things, particularly if you already have debt, will only add to your stress, not reduce it.

A few suggestions for frugal self care:

1.  Buy a bottle of nail polish in a fun color.  Don't get the most expensive brand, a two-dollar bottle will lift your spirits for the day just as well.

2.  Head to your local library.  Browse the stacks, taking your time.  Choose a book on something you've always been interested in learning.  Find a seat and peruse your selection.  Take your time.

3.  Head to the dollar store.  Get a candle, lotion, bath crystals, shampoo and/or conditioner, all in the same scent.  Find a pretty container and make your own spa basket for under ten dollars.  Now go home and actually use it!

4.  Be a tourist in your hometown.  Wander around your city and enjoy the many free sites every city has to offer.

5.  Sleep!!!  Take a nap, go to bed early.  Too often the easiest self care is the one most ignored.  Rest!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Self Care and Self Doubt

It is easy to doubt yourself when it comes to self care.  Do I deserve to take some time for myself? What if things don't get done?  Who's going to take care of a, b, c, and z if I take a day off?

The truth?  You can't take care of anything if you don't take care of yourself first.  A, b, c, and z will still be there.  If you are well-rested and content, tackling any task will be that much easier.  

What about the things that don't get done?  Let your family or significant other step up.  Perhaps it is past time for them to learn that you can't do everything.  Self-reliance is one of the most important lessons that can be imparted to a child and will serve them well.

Do you deserve the time for yourself?  Most definitely!!  You wear yourself out on a daily basis taking care of others, fighting for the rights of those you love and of Mother Earth.  The time for yourself is necessary to recharge your batteries.  Especially in this political climate, you need strength and endurance for the long haul.  Take the time you need.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Self Care and Toxicity

Too often, we let the world around us influence our peace.  It is hard to avoid the news, toxic people, and just everyday things drain us.  Here is a short list to eliminate some of the toxicity and energy drains we deal with every day.

1.  Unsubscribe from emails.  We all have emails we never read.  Unsubscribe!  The less you have to deal with, the better you will feel.

2.  Take a hard look at your friends' list.  Are there people on there who stress you with postings of misery, fake news, or that you haven't heard from in years?  Time to weed the friend garden and let the true flowers bloom.

3.  Reduce the clutter around you.  In particular, reduce the paper monster!  Just looking at it raises your stress level.

These are just a few ideas to get you started.  Peace is not a destination, it is an ongoing journey.  Self care is a major step on your path.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Self Care

With all going on in the world today, it's easy to forget to take care of ourselves.  The fear, outrage, and need to resist take a toll on our spirit, our emotional well-being, and even our bodies.  How to begin?

For me, I am beginning my self care by learning to say no.  Too often, I have put my needs last to help another.  I have taken time out of my day to help a friend, to promote someone else's endeavors, or to listen.  

I've realized that such actions do not guarantee reciprocity.  As far as that goes, it is not why I help another.  However, when it reaches the point that I have lost valuable time needed to take care of my own business, such as this blog, or other goals such as my book, I need to realize that I need, and deserve, to protect my time more vociferously.

Step one on my journey of self care:  Take care of my time.  I juggle multiple projects at all times and my time is deserving of my defense and attention.  In order to take care of my time, I must learn to say no.

What would your first step be?


Friday, February 10, 2017

Advance Warning

I have done this in the past, but I am going to repeat it this April.  What is it?  A no-spending month!

What is a no-spending month?  It is a full calendar month with no spending other than for gas and groceries.  Absolutely none.

That means no eating out, no fancy coffee, no evenings out.  It also means time spent reading, enjoying quiet time, and pursuing your passions.

Is it easy?  Not really, but it's not terribly difficult either.  It does require some planning and research. Find activities in your city that are free.  Become a tourist in your own town.  That TBR you've been planning on getting through?  This is the month to do it!  Those DIY projects that have been waiting? See how far through the list you can get.

For DIY projects and crafting, you must already have the supplies on hand.  Go through your list and make sure any supplies you need are purchased by March 31st.  You can then utilize the entire month of April to achieve completion of those pesky to-do lists!

Over the next two months, I'll be posting tips and tricks on Frugal Friday leading up to No-Spend April.  Trust me, your bank account will thank you for it!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

My Hope

My hope is that these posts about women, veterans in particular, serve as an eye-opener.  It is estimated that 47% of active duty women experience some degree of military sexual trauma.  

47% are sexually harassed, groped or raped while on active duty.

Of that 47%, a large number are subjected to humiliating questioning as to their own attire at the time of the attack.

Of that 47%, 12% are discharged shortly after reporting.

Of that 47%, most of the accused are discharged honorably or even promoted.

47% of the women defending this great nation are victims of military sexual trauma.

You're proud to support our veterans?  Speak up and speak out.  Let these women know that they have your support.  Let them know that, military or not, they have the right to control who touches them.  Give these active duty women the respect they deserve and the safety to which they are entitled.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Women Veterans at Risk

I was made aware of a statistic this past week that, while it didn't shock me, I had never seen quantified.  The following graphic was posted by my regional VA hospital:

One in three.  Read it again.  One in three women veterans will experience intimate partner violence. How does that differ from domestic violence?  Domestic violence also includes violence carried out by a family member such as a father, brother, or uncle.  Intimate Partner Violence is limited solely to the veteran's intimate partner.  This could be a husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend.  

One in three.  Here's an original thought.  Instead of posting all the memes about veterans vs. refugees, why not post this one?  Let's make #StopIPV a trending topic instead.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Real Women

There is a meme making the rounds on social media.  It is being spread under the heading "This is how REAL women march."

The inference is that any woman other than those on active duty have no right to march in defense of women's rights.  I, personally, did not give up my right to free speech when I took off the uniform. Nor have I seen any statement by any of the women in this photo giving permission to use it in such a derogatory manner towards other women.  In fact, active duty members of the United States Armed Forces marched in the Women's March by the thousands.

When women speak and march, it is for the rights of our daughters and our granddaughters.  As recently as 1993, it was still legal in this country for a husband to rape his wife.  We aren't talking ancient history.  1993.  

Look at your own wives, daughters, and granddaughters.  We march for them.


As a side note, I must also say that not a single person with whom I served posted this photo or the accompanying heading.  Actually, not a single person I know who did post it ever wore the uniform. Telling, isn't it.

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Fascinating Feature

There is a feature of Facebook of which many are not aware.

When you like something or comment on something, it appears on all of your friends' timelines. During this tumultuous period in our country, that feature is extremely enlightening.

Why enlightening?  I have seen numerous people beg for unity and a stop to the political posts on their own wall.  At the same time, these same individuals are "liking" and commenting on some of the most hate-filled, racist, sexist, and bigoted posts that exist.

Perhaps they are unaware that everyone can see those actions.  Perhaps the hypocrisy truly runs that deep.  Regardless, seeing the true actions of these individuals has been quite the lesson.  I have learned that most who so loudly proclaim their Christianity hate entire groups of minorities.  Those who adamantly demand freedom to practice their religion mean only they have the right and only their religion.  

Take some time today and just observe your timeline.  It is fascinating and educational.  


Friday, February 3, 2017


This week, we talked about setting goals, prioritizing, and respecting those goals and priorities.  Here is a list of some free resources to help you on your journey:

1.  Printable To-Do List:  https://www.printabletodolist.com/

4.  Be More With Less:  http://bemorewithless.com/25/

You know what you want.  You know to plan the steps to get there.  You now have resources.  Time to do it!


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Respect Your Priorities

What are your priorities for this year?  Are you striving to live within your means?  Are you working towards a new career goal such as self-employment or working from home?  Are you trying to reduce credit card debt?

Whatever they may be, these are the priorities you set.  Respect them.  Taking actions and/or living a lifestyle in direct conflict with your priorities and goals only sabotages yourself.  Why would you do that?

Make a plan.  Don't say that you know what you want to achieve.  Write it down.  Now, break it down in to all the steps you have to take and all the changes you must make to achieve that goal.  Buy an attractive journal, one that is a pleasure to the eyes every time you look at it.  Write it down.

For me, it is getting my home to how I want it.  Each room has a couple of pages.  They include projects to be completed, what each room still needs, and wants that would make it better.  I have a definite plan, steps to be taken, and lists of what I need.  As I cross off each item, my goal nears.  This is my priority.  To achieve it, I don't go out.  I spend my small discretionary fund on books and crafts. These are things that feed my soul.  Everything else can wait until my goal is achieved.  

Think about your priorities and goals.  Are you taking steps to achieve them or are you disrespecting your own priorities by your actions?  It's time to take a hard look in the mirror.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Simplify Your Calendar

Take a good, hard look at your calendar.  Not the work part, those obligations are not optional.  Let's talk about the social calendar.

Are you going out to eat/drink three or four nights a week?  How does that align with your goals?  If you are striving to reduce credit card debt, live within your means, or spend more time with your hobbies, it is hard to justify the time and expense spent outside of those goals.

Don't be afraid to say "no."  It is perfectly fine to tell someone that you can't make it because you have a project that you set aside time to work on.  Learning to say "no" is not easy, particularly for women.  We were raised to be people pleasers and it takes courage to say no and take back your personal time.

Remember to protect and treasure your time.  It is more valuable than any of your assets!


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Reducing The Noise

Reduce the noise in your life.  What do I mean?

Turn off the television for at least an hour when you would normally have it on.  Eliminate the voices in your head that repeatedly tell you that you're not good, pretty, or smart enough.  Do the same for the people in your life who NEVER have anything nice to say.  Whether noise comes from a device or a person, reduce it.

Do not believe that, if you reduce the toxic noise in your life, that you are not a good person.  You ALWAYS have the right to preserve the peace and joy in your life.  Let me emphasize that...ALWAYS.

Protect your space and your tranquility by reducing the noise. 


Monday, January 30, 2017

Back to Basics

What are your goals for this year?  Notice I didn't say resolutions...I said goals.

For me, I am taking it back to basics.  Simplify, reduce, and enjoy.  At the ripe old age of 54, I now own a home of my own; one that no man has control over, that no man can take away from me.  It is my sanctuary and a sanctuary for those I love.  Creating that environment is my goal for the year.

In creating my sanctuary, I am learning to get back to basics.  I love reading and crafting.  I am shifting my focus inward.  That comes with the accusation of being anti-social.  I'm good with that. If spending time doing activities I enjoy, that feed my soul, means I am frequently alone, I'm good with that.   

I no longer feel the need to fill my time and life with activities that keep me on the go.  There is a special joy in solitude.  It is a learned joy, a learned skill.  True peace is achieved when you are content to be alone.  I can be alone without being lonely.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Frugal Priorities

What are your goals and your motivation for adopting a more frugal lifestyle?

Are you trying to live within your means?  To do so, priorities need to be adjusted.  Living within your means is impossible as long as you are still using credit cards to cover purchases.  At the same time, if you are paying off credit cards but going out to dinner or bars multiple nights a week is fruitless.  All of that money could be used to reduce your debt.  What is your priority?

Are you trying to save for a big purchase?  The same rules apply.

Living frugally in order to obtain a financial goal does require some sacrifice.  Does it mean you stop living completely?  Not at all!  There are frugal or free alternatives for almost everything.  Whether it's catching a dinner out with a coupon to lower the cost or attending a free concert, there are a million ways to enjoy life while keeping your focus on your goals.

Stay focused, my friends!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Selective Memory

Since before the inauguration, I have heard and seen repeated protestations that Republicans never disrespected President Obama the way that Democrats are disrespecting President Trump.  My, my, my...how selective memories have become.

Does any of this ring a bell?

Image result for obama burning effigy

Image result for obama burning effigy

Image result for obama as ape

These are the images that have permeated this country for the last eight years.  The people now demanding respect for President Trump are the same who were silent for the last eight years.  

How is your memory?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Disturbing Trend

This past weekend, a friend told me that she was afraid to say how she felt, because when she did, she was attacked on social media.  I, myself, have felt and seen such attacks.  Without fail, these attacks are from white United States citizens.  In many cases, these are the same people who loudly and proudly proclaim their Christianity.

Where in the Bible, exactly, is it written that those who speak up in defense of their fellow man should be subject to hate, vitriol, and disdain?  I've read the entire Bible...I must have missed those verses.

To defend your fellow citizens, whether Latino, black, female, or LGBT, is a sign of love, caring, empathy, and honor.  To believe that only you, based on white and/or Christian, have a right to speak is not a reflection of your politics.  To attack those defending those in need of such defense is a revelation instead of your character.

What do you see when you look in that mirror?

Monday, January 23, 2017

How Dare You Shame Me

Yesterday, I saw a post on social media that was so incredibly disturbing.  This is the text of that post:

I am not a "disgrace to women" because I don't support the women's march. I do not feel I am a "second class citizen" because I am a woman. I do not feel my voice is "not heard" because I am a woman. I do not feel I am not provided opportunities in this life or in America because I am a woman. I do not feel that I "don't have control of my body or choices" because I am a woman. I do not feel like I am "not respected or undermined" because I am a woman. 
I AM a woman
I can m
ake my own choices.
I can speak and be heard.
I can VOTE.
I can work if I want.
I control my body.
I can defend myself.
I can defend my family.
There is nothing stopping me to do anything in this world but MYSELF.
I do not blame my circumstances or problems on anything other than my own choices or even that sometimes in life, we don't always get what we want. I take responsibility for myself.
I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. I am not held back in life but only by the walls I choose to not go over which is a personal choice.
Quit blaming.
Take responsibility.
If you want to speak, do so. But do not expect for me, a woman, to take you seriously wearing a pink va-jay-jay hat on your head and screaming profanities and bashing men.
If you have beliefs, and speak to me in a kind matter, I will listen. But do not expect for me to change my beliefs to suit yours. Respect goes both ways.
If you want to impress me, especially in regards to women, then speak on the injustices of woman in foreign countries in which most can't drive, can't vote, can't work, can't wear clothing of their choice, can't marry who the choose, can't speak unless spoken to! You don't speak for me! This is not my march! Copy and share!

HOW DARE YOU?  Do you actually believe that, because it hasn't happened to you, you are some kind of superwoman?  Do you believe that gives you the right to demean and judge others?

You say in this post to take responsibility.  How is a woman who has been raped in any way responsible?  Until you have been held against a shower wall by your throat, raped, and left unconscious on the floor, you have NO right to judge another woman who has been violated.  It is NEVER the victim's responsibility.  The victim is NEVER to blame.

You boast of being able to defend yourself.  There is always a man who is bigger and stronger, who is capable of overpowering you and hurting you.  That is a simple fact of nature.  There is the woman who did everything she was supposed to do.  She ran, she hid, she got the restraining order.  He found her anyways and three children lost their mother.  How dare you shame her.

I am lucky.  I survived.  You will NOT shame me.  I will continue to speak.  I will continue to defend those who need help defending themselves.  I will speak and I will fight to protect not only my daughter and granddaughters, but yours as well.  Attacking another woman for her defense of her fellow human beings is not a statement of politics, it is a revelation of your character.

I am strong.  I stand with my sisters in defense of ALL women.  You will not shame me.

Friday, January 20, 2017

I Stand With Women

On this Inauguration Day, I stand with my fellow citizens in defense of women.  Why?  Because the President-Elect of our great nation has repeatedly demeaned, insulted, and denigrated women.

On January 11th, Christopher Von Keyserling, a Republican member of the Representative Town Meeting in Greenwich, Connecticut, was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault.  In December, he had assaulted a female town employee during a conversation about politics.  During the discussion, he had stated that, "I love this new world, I no longer have to be politically correct,"  As the female employee left the office, asking a co-worker to accompany her as she did not feel safe, it is alleged that Von Keyserling reached between her legs and pinched.  After being told to keep his hands off, he replied that it was her word against his, and no one would believe her.

This is the environment that the President-Elect has bred.  There are men who now believe that it is perfectly okay to sexually assault a woman, because the President-Elect brushed it off as "locker room talk."  As a mother and grandmother, this terrifies me for all women.  We have fought for decades, against impossible odds, to be treated fairly and equitably.  To now know that we are to be treated as pieces of meat because men are not required to be "politically correct" makes me fear for all of my sisters.

I Stand with Women.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I Stand For Affordable Health Care

One of the first acts of the Senate this year was to gut funding for the Affordable Care Act. While there is no question that the ACA has serious flaws, it is currently providing healthcare and affordable prescriptions to millions of Americans.

However, one of the first portions attacked by the Senate was to re-impose the pre-existing condition exclusion used by insurance companies to refuse coverage.  This act affects not only those United States citizens covered under the ACA, but also every other citizen covered by private health insurance, whether purchased privately or through an employer.

What does that mean?  If you have ever been sick with a previously diagnosed condition, whether high blood pressure or cancer, you can be denied healthcare for the rest of your life.  The rest of your life.  The reckless act of those in power may now have fatal consequences for thousands of United States citizens.  They are aware, or should be, that denying healthcare can result in death.  But, in a cavalier fashion, the Senate took just such an action.  

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The first right listed is that of Life.  The Senate has just taken the first step to remove that right.

I stand for Affordable Health Care.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I Stand with Planned Parenthood

The legislative branch of the federal government is rushing to de-fund Planned Parenthood.  As abortions are not funded by any government funding, this means that healthcare for women will be gutted by such action.

Without funding for Planned Parenthood, women will lose access to low-cost medical care such as:

Cancer Screenings such as pap smears and mammograms.

Well-woman screenings and check-ups.

Pre-natal and post-natal care, causing an increase in pregnancy crises and post-natal infections.

Nutritional services for mothers and babies.

STD testing and education.

Please take note that the action of de-funding Planned Parenthood is aimed at, and meant to, affect only women and children, particularly those in a lower income bracket.  By large majority, the push to de-fund Planned Parenthood is being propounded by wealthy white men.  There can be no doubt that, in truth, this is a deliberate attack on women.  

I stand with Planned Parenthood.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I Stand with Representative John Lewis

This week, as we honor the legacy of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., our President-Elect believed it appropriate to attack a civil rights pioneer as being "all talk, no action."

Representative John Lewis was at Dr. King's side throughout the civil rights movement.  He was beaten by police, causing skull fractures, of which he bears the scars to this day.  This, Mr. President-Elect, is what a man of action and a man of honor looks like.

I stand with Representative John Lewis.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Frugal Friday - The Used Bookstore

I have posted frequently about how to obtain free e-books.  What if you haven't given up paper books?  What if, like me, you have an obsession with both?

The best, and most frugal, way to feed a physical book obsession is to find your local used bookstore. Not only will you be able to purchase books at a fantastic price, you will be supporting a small businessperson in your own community.

If you are as lucky as I am, your local bookshop will also offer classes on every topic under the sun. There is always a cup of coffee and great conversation to be had as well!

In a used bookstore, the shelves are actually stocked by your fellow avid readers.  They come in on a regular basis to trade in the books they have read and get more to feed their passion.  This makes for an ever-changing inventory and one that truly has something for everyone.

Right now, do an internet search to find your local bookshop.  Bypass the big box stores.  Support your local community.  Find out what your town is reading.  I guarantee you will not regret it.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Letting Go

Yesterday, we talked about reaching out.  Today, I would like to spend a few minutes on the other side of that coin, letting go.

You are under no obligation to reach out to someone who has hurt you past the point of no return.  If someone makes a habit of demeaning, denigrating, and gossiping about you, that person and that toxicity has no place in your life.

I have been told by friends to give a person a second chance.  That recommendation came with justifications of their mental or physical status, doing so for the greater good, and a multitude of other reasons.  However, I have every right to determine that my life, my peace, and my serenity are more important.  I have the right to make the determination that someone is simply too toxic, too disloyal, or even too evil to have a place in my life.

Only you can decide who belongs in your circle.  You have every right to protect the sanctity of your circle.  Never feel that you must succumb to outside pressure to include someone who has harmed you on any level, whether emotional or otherwise.  

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for you is to simply let go.  Letting go doesn't mean you don't forgive them.  It means that you value yourself enough to protect yourself.  There is nothing wrong with that.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Reaching Out

Another thing I decided to do this year was reach out to someone I had a falling out with, and whom I missed dearly.  

It was a scary thing for me to do.  I was leaving myself vulnerable to rejection, to even more hurt, and risking a permanent disconnection.

I reached out.  A simple message, wishing her well.  It is amazing how much fear can be tied up in pressing the enter button!  Happily, she was receptive and a dialog, though a guarded one, has been reopened.

I am too old to let anything come between me and those I love.  Time is altogether too short to let slights and misunderstandings fester in any kind of relationship.  If there is someone you love, and whom you miss, reach out.  You have nothing to lose.  You are already estranged and the worst that can happen is that status continues.  Do it now. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2017


To fill with energy.  A simple explanation of a word, but how does one achieve that state?  For myself, I usually find it when following my passions.  

How do you get invigorated when you don't have time for your passions?  That is the spot I find myself in this year.  I am still organizing/rearranging my new home, I work full-time, I complete the sites on the Money Makers tab on a daily basis, and publish this blog five days a week.  In my dream life, I believe I will someday magically achieve that state where my house is in order and my weekends are free to use as I please.

In the meantime, I am actually using my Amazon Echo for daily reminders to relax and for a short workout each day.  I grabbed a dance dvd to help with the weight, as I know I won't stick with push-ups, but I will always dance.

As I drink my sports drink, missing my soda, I realize that each tiny baby step I do take is moving me forward.  That dream weekend may not be in sight just yet, but I know it will get here.

Wishing you energy and joy,


Monday, January 9, 2017


I had the best intentions starting off this new year.  Unfortunately, life, and overtime, got in the way of a lot of those "meaning to" lists.

I am tired.  My spirit is tired.  I seem to wake up every morning exhausted and I am not sure how I am making it through until I get off work at 11:15.  I do know that part of the problem is the extra weight that menopause has been so kind to grace upon me.  I have also quit drinking soda on a daily basis.  While I know it's good for me, a huge dose of Mountain Dew would definitely come in handy! 

My spirit is tired.  With all the overtime, my passions have taken a back seat.  Hell, they're not even in the car anymore!  I haven't had a moment to read, make jewelry, or even cook.  Meals have consisted of anything I can throw in the microwave or eat right out of the jar.

One thing I know for sure.  Only I can make the changes needed to refresh myself.  Mandatory overtime is now over.  I am going to take a week or two to get back on my feet, get some things done, and rest.  Only I can make the time for the things I love.

Are you overwhelmed?  What are your tricks for curing it?  Share!


Friday, January 6, 2017

Frugal Friday

Frugal Fridays will look a bit different this year.  In addition to the money-saving tips, sites, and moneymakers, Frugal Fridays will also occasionally highlight life hacks that make life easier while saving you some money too.

For this first Frugal Friday of the new year, here is one of my favorite little hacks.  It will only cost you a dollar to begin, but save you many more!

Do you have a sweeper in your home?  For example, Swiffer or a comparable brand?  Here is a little hack that will save you money all year long.  Replace those disposable sweeping cloths with a fuzzy sock!

Image result for sweeper fuzzy sock

You can pick up a pair of fuzzy socks at your local dollar store.  That's where your one dollar start up cost comes into play.  When the socks become dirty, just throw them in the wash and re-use.  No more buying $3-4 boxes of disposable cloths you throw away.  This hack isn't just good for your wallet...it's good for the environment too!


Thursday, January 5, 2017


We've discussed reduction and planning.  Now, let's discuss addition.  Simplifying does not equate to deprivation.  By simplifying your surroundings, you open up time and energy to enjoy those things you love instead of spending that time and energy on things you HAVE to do.

This new year, add:

More love.

More hugs, more touching, more physical contact.

More experiences.

More adventures.

More friend time.

More family time.

More serenity.

More peace, and again;

More love.

These are all things we can never have too much of and rarely get enough.  Add more to your lives starting today.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Planning is, for me personally, my downfall.  I am a prisoner of to-do lists.  I actually have a second monitor attached to my laptop that contains nothing but stickies of everything I need to do, plan to accomplish, and projects to complete.

The truth is, unless I win the lottery, the majority of my life is spent working.  As some of my to-do lists include chores and bills, those have priority.  The lists on the left of my screen are the things I want to do.  That side of the screen is rarely glanced at, much less accomplished.

In this new year, I want to incorporate more of that left side of the lists!  One benefit of the reduction we talked about yesterday is that less things means less time required to take care of them.  That opens up more time to accomplish those things I want to do.

How efficient are you with planning?  Do you carry out everything you plan for?  What are your pitfalls?  Share!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Yes, I know it's the new year but I'm not talking about weight!  (well, I need to reduce that as well!) I got busy over the New Year weekend and almost filled the bed of my pickup with stuff going to Goodwill.

Yes...a pickup full.  Truthfully, you can look around my home and not be able to tell that things have left.  In my 54 years, I have accumulated a ton of crap!!  And even then, with a pickup full, I still cannot make myself let go of sentimental things.  That will always be a goal.  Whether I fulfill that goal remains to be seen!

Another area I'm working on is my magazines.  I have probably six or seven subscriptions that I receive, having gotten them all for free, of course.  The stack waiting to be read has exceeded a foot and is growing every day.  I keep believing I will reach this magical place where I will have time to relax with a cup of tea and read magazines!

What are you reducing this year?  Is it clutter?  Your friends list?  Share!


Monday, January 2, 2017

Starting Out Right

Happy New Year!  It is time to begin a fresh new year.  

This year, no resolutions for me.  I am not going to put any kind of pressure on myself that I don't need!  Let's face it, society itself places enough pressure on us with expectations on how we should look, act, and accomplish.

I do, however, have goals for this year.  I am continuing my quest for simplicity.  I want more experiences, less stress.  I want time with those I love.  In so many words, I want to feed my soul.

Do you have goals for the new year?  Are you continuing what you began in 2016?  How are you staying focused?  Share!



Jerri's Empty Nest