Happy Birthday, Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony's Grave

Today, February 15th, is the birthday of a great American woman who fought most of her life to get American women the right to vote. Born in 1820, the oldest of seven children, she could read and write at the age of three. Fifty-two years later, in 1872, she became the first American woman to cast a vote. Although she later stood trial for this vote and was ultimately fined $10,000, the trial only brought the subject of women’s voting to the forefront.

Ms. Anthony toured Europe and the U.S. for 45 years giving 75 to 100 speeches a year on women’s suffrage, but died on March 13, 1906, 14 years, 5 months and 5 days before the passage of the 19th Amendment giving American women the right to vote.

Happy Birthday, Susan. You did a great job!


Well, Empty Nesters, are you a Paraskevidekatriaphobic? If you are, today was probably not a great day for you. Paraskevidekatriaphobics is a morbid or irrational fear of Friday the 13th. Who’da thunk it?

Well if you have this, you’re apparently not alone, since it is estimated that between $800 and $900 million in business is lost every time there’s a Friday the 13th. And, don’t look now, but there’s another one coming up in March. Yes, just a month away.

There can be as many as three in a year, sometimes only one. There happen to be three in 2009. February and March and I’m going to make you worry about when the third one is.

So if you’re one of the 8 percent of Americans that suffer from Paraskevidekatriaphobics, in less than an hour you can come out from under the bed for a month. That is if you’re on Eastern Standard Time. For those in California it’s going to be a bit longer.

Survivor Returns!

Hi, Empty Nesters. I just discovered last night that Survivor has its first episode of the new season TONIGHT!! I could have missed it! So if you’re a Survivor fan, maybe you already knew this but if you didn’t know, get ready.

There’s a great Survivor site here where you can see who the new Survivors are and learn a bit about each one. You can even watch the interview videos of some of them. And guess what, the youngest Survivor ever at 19 is from right here where I live, Lakeland, Florida. So be sure to check it out and be one step ahead of some of the other viewers.

Losing Weight as a Family or How to Make Your Family Hate You in Five Easy Steps

Somebody is MAD,

I just came across this article on how to “make weight loss a family affair.” They give these helpful tips (which include some comments by yours truly):

1. TIP: Discuss your goals.

Although they do suggest doing some fun stuff like going roller skating and canoeing, I have a hard time thinking a family with young children is going to sit down and have a family meeting at which they discuss their weight goals. They also suggest creating a notebook that you fill with everyone’s starting weight, goals, and progress. Yeah, right.

2. TIP: Clean out the refrigerator and cabinets.

My husband and I just did this but it hasn’t caused us to eat any less. I guess they must mean get rid of temptation and don’t bring it back into the house. Yeah, right.

3. TIP: Limit television time.

OK, so you’ve told your kids they’re not going to get to eat what they want, they’re going to have to be weighed each week and probably chastised when they haven’t reached their goals because they’re sneaking food at school or they’re not roller skating enough, and fruit is now their main food. On top of all this heartache, you want them to limit their television time? This is, of course, so you can go roller skating and canoeing but I can’t see anyone being willing to roller skate or canoe every evening after a long day at work and an hour of peeling fruit for dinner.

4. TIP: Prepare healthy family meals.

See Tip 3 above concerning spending an hour peeling fruit for dinner.

5: TIP: Have regular family meetings.

This of course is when you all weigh in and feel bad that you haven’t met your goals and promise to do better next time. I can actually see this working if you end the meeting with ice cream and cake!! (Low fat and sugar free of course.)

High Numbers or Low Numbers?

blood pressure

We play golf quite a bit, my husband more than me, but what golfers aim for is a LOW score. Now we also play Euchre and what you’re going for is a HIGH score. Now I’m going to give you some more numbers and we’ll determine if we want HIGH or LOW scores. Here we go:

Blood Pressure: Actually in this game you have two scores, an upper and a lower, one for when your heart is beating and one for when it’s resting between beats. Around 120/80 is the best score you can get. At any rate, within reason of course, both of these scores need to be: LOW!!

Total Cholesterol: Once again, we have a two-number game here. Bad cholesterol, also known as LDL, and good cholesterol, also known as HDL. Now here’s where it gets fun. Your LDL should be LOW while the HDL should be HIGH.

Blood Sugar: This little gem has only one number at least but it can cause problems either by being too high or by being too low. Generally, we worry more about it being too high so for the purpose of this post, we’ll say you want this number to be LOW.

Weight: I suppose there are a few people out there who have trouble getting this number high enough, but I’m certainly not one of them. So overall, again we probably want to answer this one as LOW.

So you can see, high and low are really not the total picture here. There’s usually bad juju associated with too low as well as too high even when we’re in the process of struggling to raise or lower any specific number on this list.

As usual, moderation seems to be the key! And also as usual, most of my numbers tend to creep in the opposite direction from the lows and highs that they’re supposed to be. Even my golf game!

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service–Stick ‘Em Up

Funny Pictures

Now just tell me the truth. Can you imagine actually walking around or dancing or anything in these shoes? With the “heel” almost under the arch of the foot, they’ve got to be most uncomfortable, probably even painful.

They are unusual but I can’t say they’re pretty. Not even cute! Just unusual, weird, probably expensive, uncomfortable, kookie perhaps, different, crazy.

Not for an empty nester like me, that’s for sure. My favorite shoes at the moment are like walking tennis shoes but they have no back so you can just slip in and out of them. So while you’re sitting there playing bingo or having a chat with someone, just slip your foot right out of that sucker and your toes can breathe and uncramp. They’re wonderful.

Even though the pair I have is fairly new, I’m thinking of buying another pair just so I’ll be ready when this first pair wears out. I really like them that much! And they don’t have guns for heels. Call me crazy.

A Groundhog’s Empty Nest


Well, it seems Punxsutawney Phil left his little nest this morning and saw his shadow thus establishing the fact that there will indeed be (at least) six more weeks of winter. The picture above is “a groundhog” but I’m not sure that it is “the groundhog”. I suppose, however, that “any groundhog” who came out of his nest today and was scared by his shadow could predict the continuing winter thing.

I think it’s possible that if PP (as I affectionately call him since those are my initials as well) had NOT seen his shadow, then the forecast would have been “only six more weeks till spring!” You may say to yourself, “Isn’t that all the same thing?” Well, yes, it is actually, but it sounds so much better to say there are only six more weeks till spring. So much more optimistic!

So for those of you who love sledding and ice skating and skiing in the snow and high heat bills, you’re in luck, you still have six more long weeks to enjoy these things.

And for those of you who love flowers blooming, picnics, warm soft breezes and lower heat bills, you too are in luck, since in six short weeks it should be spring.


A Crowded Nest

What was I thinking?

Why would a young woman with six healthy children under the age of 8 have fertility treatments, including the implantation of eight embryos into her womb? Why would any clinic be willing to do this for such a woman?

My impression of fertility clinics was that they were a last resort, and a very expensive one at that, for couples who had tried every other way possible to conceive and hadn’t been successful. Now we hear that a mother of six, already proven to be quite fertile as there is no indication that these six aren’t her biological children, has given birth to eight babies with the help of a fertility clinic. Her last two children (twins) are only two years old so it hasn’t been very long ago that she was still fertile. At 33, she probably is still fertile so why go the clinic route?

Is there no husband, man, father, baby-daddy in the picture? Even so, wouldn’t artificial insemination be a much better way to go? More cost effective, less risky and not likely to produce eight babies at once.

It will be interesting to hear the rest of this woman’s story: why she did this, how she plans to raise all these children, where the money is coming from to support this crowd, why any fertility clinic would be a party to such a thing, and more. It’s odd the grandmother is talking to the press and giving out her name while the babies’ mother wants to remain anonymous. It shouldn’t be that hard for the press to figure out who the new mother is since they have the grandmother’s identity.

One thing, she won’t have to worry about an empty nest for awhile! And talk about a baby BOOMER.

Bluetooth Finds the Empty Nest

My bluetooth headset so I can look important.

My husband has finally gotten something he’s been wanting for awhile but I didn’t want to spend the money on, thinking that it was sort of frivolous and would probably not be used that much. But there was a sale and you can imagine the rest.

So what’s new in our empty nest and dear to my husband’s heart is a Bluetooth ear cell phone thingey that goes in his ear and when his cell phone rings the Bluetooth buzzes in his ear (on top of his hearing aid yet) and he pushes the little button and talks away. He charged it all up so he’s ready to go but, bummer, no one has called him. He’s not wearing it anyway, so if someone did call I suppose he’d stuff it in his ear real quick so he could answer.

We were also wondering why they’re called Bluetooth but we never figured that one out. I suppose I could research it on the Internet and see what I can find. Probably some geek/techy type thought it was an unusual name and used it.

Anyway, should anyone call, my husband is READY! He mainly thinks we’ll use it in the car or when he and I go to W-Mart so we can find each other. Sometimes I call him and he doesn’t hear his phone ringing so this way he’s more assured that it will buzz in his ear and he’ll hear it.

Our daughter just got one so I think that pushed him over the edge too, making him think he just HAD to have one because her’s is so neat. She can do things and talk on the phone at the same time. The whole multi-tasking thing. I can see it now. “Man talking on Bluetooth and chopping onions whacks off his thumb.” Geesh!

Things That Make Me Go GRRRR!!

Ye old gas pump (so you could see the gas going down - into your tank).

There are some things that really bug me so I thought I would share them with my empty nest readers so maybe you will be bugged too!

1. People who go through the door into a store and then STOP! What are they doing? Looking at their list? Deciding which way to go? Talking to their buddy? Just trying to make the folks behind mad? Well, it’s working…
2. Cashiers who don’t say “thank you”. If I’m lucky I get “Have a nice day”, or if I’m not so lucky it’s “Ugh” when I thank THEM. Why don’t their bosses train them better? Are they just dumb, or rude or have no manners or what?
3. Stores who give priority to customers who are calling in over a customer with money in hand ready to buy something. Haven’t they ever heard, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?”
4. Gas stations who make you prepay before you can pump your gas. How am I supposed to know how much the tank is going to hold? Don’t they know I’ll probably buy more if I can fill the tank than if I have to guess, because, guess what, I’m going to guess low rather than go over and have to hassle with them to get a partial prepayment back.
5. Most banks in general. Banks used to do things to earn your business. Now they can’t do much of anything and they won’t do anything without charging a fee. One bank we go to the teller can’t even hand out cash. You have to go to another kiosk, put in a number and get the cash that way. Don’t they trust their own tellers to handle real money?

Oh, I think my blood pressure is rising. Enough for today but I’ll be back to this some other day.