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2015 Reading Challenge

I've pledged to read 26 books via the official Goodreads challenge. The rest of my 3 million words will more than likely come via proofreading jobs and fan fiction. Everything will be listed on the other side of the blog and you can view the details and numbers here.

2015 Goals

  • do more crafts
  • self-publish a book
  • research degree programs
  • work on the yards
  • ramp up my proofreading business
  • clean up/clean out the house
  • get healthy and well
  • write 2500 words a week
  • read 3 million words
  • reach the 120lb. mark


Blog Archive

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Hang on to my hat--here comes February.

My February is going to be rather crazy and so I'll have to balance my busyness with enough down time to keep me sane.

(Renwick, Professer W. L.: “The Works of Edmund Spenser, Volume I” (1930))

I have work of course. The first week of February is always a bit hectic due to a certain client of ours. Their membership year ends on the 31st of January and so there are tasks and phone calls that come in a flurry because of it.

In addition, my writing group puts on a contest, one of two, and I'm a co-coordinator. I was sole coordinator last year, so at least I have some help, but the next three weeks will see contest activity ramp up significantly.

My proofing business is in full swing, so gotta make time for that....

 I have a couple of personal projects on the books.

Gotta make time for enough sleep, eating right, and exercise to keep me on an even keel throughout...

Oh, and Sonshine will be home for ten days or so!

So how's that for a jam-packed month??

I'm tired already.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Monday, January 26, 2015

A really productive weekend...

Even the weather cooperated and I was able to spend some time in the back yard. I filled two lawn bags with grass clippings/leaves. That didn't even get half the lawn mowed... But it's a start. I was going to dead-head the dandelions but instead pulled up these huge plugs. A couple of these things were the diameter of a half dollar with the carrot-like root up to six/seven inches long. Yikes!

Looks like no rest for the wicked and I'll have to get back to dandelion patrol despite any cold spells we get. I've neglected my duties since October and now I'm paying for it.

In other news, I found this super recipe for cleaning soap scum. It doesn't take as much as elbow grease as one would expect even for a nice thick coating... 1 cup Borax, 2 tablespoons liquid dish soap, and 1 to 2 cups water. The instructions said add enough water to make thick pancake batter. It only took 3/4 cup water for me, though perhaps I should have just added the full cup for a thinner mixture that lasted a bit longer.

As it was, it took me three batches to completely clean DH's three by three foot shower stall and only the bottom 2/3 at that. I think it still needs a second going over, but I've rubbed the tile down with baby oil to prevent any further buildup in the meantime. I duly cleaned the rest of the master bathroom and promise to keep up with it now that it's had its big cleaning. (Part of the goals, remember?)

Laundry and groceries also done for the week.

There were a handful of other miscellaneous tasks on my list and all conquered. I'm feeling quite accomplished. Pleasure reading, writing, TV watching and napping even got some time too.

Hope you had a lovely weekend as well.

Friday, January 23, 2015

My teeth have never been so clean...

Back in October, I was forced to the dentist due to awful mouth pain. I'd suffered abscesses off and on for years and then I lost my bridge at some point in September so the two decimated teeth had finally had enough.

The teeth ended up being pulled and I experienced immediate relief, as you can imagine. After a thorough exam including x-rays, the state of my mouth was every bit as bad as I expected. Not much of the damage can be reversed, so the rest of my life will be spent keeping the inevitable progression to as slow a crawl as possible.

Borrowed from

The dental tech laid out a daily care regime I have adhered to morning and evening with few exceptions: flossing, brushing, rinsing with mouthwash, gum massage. Okay, the gum massaging fell by the way side for a bit--aside from just what they got from the actual brushing.--but I'm getting back to it, though just with my toothbrush. I do however, need to go back to the dentist for a thorough cleaning. I have bad plaque and badly stained plaque from all the tea I drink.

One thing I've added to my daily routine is oil pulling. Basically, I spoon a tablespoon or so, maybe a bit less, of coconut oil into my mouth each evening, let it melt, and swish it around my mouth for twenty to twenty-five minutes. The solid is a bit off-putting, but once it melts it's fine. According to Wellness Mama: Oil pulling is an age-old remedy that uses natural substances to clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally and evidence even shows that it is beneficial in improving gums and removing harmful bacteria!

This is what I'm using now--a more nutty flavor than the Louana--and more pure.
It's also helpful in dislodging any food particles that may have gotten stuck in my gums or between my teeth during the day. Once time is up, I spit into the trash can (it's oil and will harden in the pipes...) and then floss, brush, and rinse.

In addition to that, I've switched from store brand toothpaste to Wellness Mama recipe involving coconut oil and baking soda. Baking soda helps eliminate bad breath and helps break down plaque--the coconut oil makes the soda more palatable and has its own variety of benefits, which I may cover at some point.

All that to say, certain things have started tasting different and my conclusion is that now that my mouth is so clean, now that I've removed whatever coating or bacteria or whatever, I am experiencing true flavors.

 I still have more research and learning to do about homeopathic mouth care, but I think it's going to really make a difference in the long run.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The back yard is in bad shape...

This past weekend was lovely and on Sunday, I finally spent some time outside enjoying the warm temps and the sunshine. I took stock of the mess, but wasn't quite ready to tackle anything.

Besides just having a generally healthy lawn by the end of the year, I have two--no, wait--three, four... projects that need tackling. They are not listed in the order in which they'll necessarily be accomplished...

First project: trimming the holly in the planter built into the front of the house. I had delusions of digging up the holly at some point ages ago, but it really was going to be a whole lot more effort and probably money than I was willing to expend. And it grows quite nicely there. No guarantees anything else would, so I left it. It does eventually grow past its boundaries every now and again since we have never been diligent about trimming. And now it's time to square it up and dig out all the leaves that have taken up residence as well.

Second project: several trips to the dump to finally, finally clear out the dead tree limbs that have been lying in the yard since before Sonshine went to boot camp in October. We had a hellacious summer storm that knocked the dead branches out of the tree. But with one thing or another, we've just never gotten around to taking care of them. There's also another pile on the side of the house that needs to go. You've seen those in previous years...

Third project: clean out the bird feeder and flower beds...

Fourth project: the lawn. That's going to take ongoing weed pulling along with treatments of some sort or another, as well as regular mowing and weed whacking.

Well, now I finally have the goals in place. Now to come up with the plan of attack--fail to plan, plan to fail. I'll get back with you on the plan.

What about you--do you have a yard you enjoy working in?

About Me

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Jen FitzGerald
Thanks for stopping by one of my little corners of the world wide web. So, a little about me...My husband and I have been married for twenty years and we have three adult children although our youngest is still in high school. We've lived in Texas for fifteen years and for the rest of the story, click here.
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Jen's Glossary of Terms

  • DH = my husband
  • my Brown Eyed Girl = my oldest daughter
  • DD = my Darling Daughter (the younger one)
  • Sonshine or Marching Band Boy = my son
  • NT = the North Texas chapter of RWA
  • RWA = Romance Writers of America

Read in Jan 2015

  • The Thing Is by Tsylvestris
  • Dear John, ch. 50 by wendymarlowe
  • Dear John, ch. 49 by wendymarlowe
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 12 by serpentynka
  • Dear John, ch. 48 by wendymarlowe
  • Dear John, ch. 47 by wendymarlowe
  • Dear John, ch. 46 by wendymarlowe
  • Dear John, ch. 45 by wendymarlowe
  • 5 Platonic Touches + 1 That Wasn't by wendymarlowe
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 11 by serpentynka
  • Dear John, ch. 44 by wendymarlowe
  • Dear John, ch. 43 by wendymarlowe
  • Dear John, ch. 42 by wendymarlowe
  • The Only One in the World by apliddell
  • The Adventure of the Consulting Corpse by apliddell
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 10 by serpentynka
  • Dear John, ch. 41 by wendymarlowe
  • Dear John, ch. 40 by wendymarlowe
  • On the Other Side by Mildredandbobbin
  • Dear John, ch. 39 by wendymarlowe
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 9 by serpentynka
  • Right Hand Man, ch.4 by SilentAuror
  • Bird's Bone by thesardine
  • Subtext, ch. 16 by notesfromaclassroom
  • Subtext, ch. 15 by notesfromaclassroom
  • Dear John, ch. 38 by wendymarlowe
  • Dear John, ch. 37 by wendymarlowe
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 8 by serpentynka
  • There's So Much Labor Just in Breathing Lately by Susan
  • Dear John, ch. 36 by wendymarlowe
  • Right Hand Man by SilentAuror
  • Flaunting It by DancingGrimm
  • Dear John, ch. 35 by wendymarlowe
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 7 by serpentynka
  • Dear John, ch. 34 by wendymarlowe
  • Myrddin's Memoir by Carol Pack
  • What If They Both Had Amnesia by EinahSirro
  • Negotiations by Canon_Is_Relative & Impish Tubist
  • Saving Sherlock Holmes by earlgraytea68
  • Dear John, ch. 33 by wendymarlowe
  • Pride, But Very Little Prejudice by sheffiessharpe
  • Pieces of Eight by sheffiessharpe
  • Vessel by Rhuia
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 6 by serpentynka
  • Dear John, ch. 32 by wendymarlowe
  • Dear John, ch. 31 by wendymarlowe
  • Manifest by causidicus
  • So Full of Light by mydwynter
  • The Weight of Knowledge by sherlocksdressinggown
  • Dear John, ch. 30 by wendymarlowe
  • Fan Mail by scullyseviltwin
  • A Christmas Soldier by Evenlodes_Friend
  • GE Entry by unknown
  • GE Entry by unknown
  • The British Government Only Asks Twice by azriona
  • Under the Coat by loopy456
  • At Least There's Football by sheffiessharpe
  • To the Gold of Frankincense Through Myrrh by sideris
  • Busy by MildredandBobbin
  • Between Midnight and Dawn by aderyn
  • A Catalogue of Wounds by UrbanHymnal
  • Best Seat in the House by wendymarlowe
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 5 by serpentynka
  • Four Chemicals Lestrade Was Glad Sherlock Gave Up by Lady_Ganesh
  • Four Times They Did and One Time They Didn't by peg22
  • The Tip Over to the Inevitable by ivyblossom
  • Lighting Up by Persiflager
  • Kicking Off by Persiflager
  • Home and Dry by BeautifulFiction
  • Normal for Bridgewater by marysutherland
  • No Mistletoe Required by BeautifulFiction
  • The Other Road by Writernon
  • Wrong Order by Dayja
  • GE Entry by unknown
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 4 by serpentynka
  • To Light Another's Path by BeautifulFiction
  • Dear John, Ch. 29 by wendymarlowe
  • Law Like Love by PlaidAdder
  • More Earth Than Fire by SwissMiss
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, Ch. 3 by serpentynka
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, Ch. 2 by serpentynka
  • Brand New Day by msgenevieve
  • The Cornish Cottage by flawedamythyst
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, Ch. 1 by serpentynka
  • Terms of Service by kres
  • Sussex by SilentAuror
  • State of Flux by Atiki
  • Break Her Fall by JoAnna Grace