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