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2014 Reading Challenge

This year, I'm again pledging to read at least 52 fiction books, though shooting for 60.

I did exceed my 52 book goal from last year.

2014 Goals

  • lose weight--get down to 120ish pounds (that's 16 lbs.)
  • pay off the credit card with proofing money
  • create bulb bed/plant bulbs on the side of the house
  • work on back yard
  • bookshelves in living room
  • ramp up proofreading
  • publish three more Romance Writer's Guides books
  • get my son graduated
  • read up on how to make the body work like it's supposed to and help my hubby lose weight and get healthy
  • read 64 books, including 12 books on plotting


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Friday, October 31, 2014

A completely empty nest...

It's finally official--or will be--

Tomorrow our last birdie leaves the nest.

DD, our middle child, has been home for the past few days to 'legit pack' (her words, not mine) to move in with a friend. She'd actually started packing at the beginning of the year, anticipating moving out around the time Seaman Recruit Sonshine graduated high school last June. Obviously, things didn't go quite as planned.

For the most part, DD's been staying with another friend for the last few weeks and it's been quiet around the house. Now, we'll have the use of her room.

Since the birdies have been gone, I've definitely noticed a reduction in trash and the necessity of running the dishwasher every single night. The grocery bill has dropped a little and I've lost a load of laundry without Sonshine here too. Now I'm just waiting for the utility bills to reflect the reduced electricity and water usage as well...

Have a great weekend! And seeing as how it's October 31st, have a Happy Halloween as well.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I get to see my boy!!

I spent an anxious Monday evening booking hotel rooms and flights for two, yes, count them--TWO--trips in the span on eleven days to visit my Seaman Recruit.

Of course, the second trip is to see him graduate, but because there's a holiday--a big, important family holiday--coming up, the Navy has seen fit to let us 'adopt' our recruit (ADOPT?? A-hem, he's mine and always will be, no matter what the Navy says) for the Thanksgiving holiday. So the first visit is (obviously) for Thanksgiving.

(He's not a full-fledged hero just yet, but he's close!!)

We get to pick him up from the base and spend the whole day with him. Holy smokes. I have no idea how or what we're gonna feed him, but I'm okay with delivery pizza and I imagine he would be too. :)

I'm so excited.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October by Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow

 (Image courtesy of

Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!

(Image courtesy of
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Finally making good progress...

One of my goals for the year was to lose more weight, specifically down to around the 120 lb. mark. Well, I've finally jumped another hurdle--the 130 lb. point. I've see sawed back and forth over the last few days, which seems to be a normal occurrence for me, but morning weigh-ins for last few days have seen the readout drop by approximately a pound a day. I have to admit the whole mouth thing the weekend before last probably helped since I couldn't eat much but low calorie chicken noodle soup and drink lots of tea and water. I do need to get back to the exercising though. I want to work on shape as well as weight. On another quick note--it's Friday. So have a great one dear friends.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The state of Jen and other things

Well, it's two weeks since I said good bye to my boy. Early days were tough and I still get misty-eyed every now and again. Sonshine called this past Saturday and seems to be fine. I missed his call, but he talked to his dad...

DD has also been gone more often than not, so the house has been very, very quiet. It's not unpleasant.

I'm still working from home with a couple of trips to the office per week, so that's a good thing.

This past weekend, I spent time getting my back yard cleaned up. After the crazy storm we had a couple of weeks ago, the back yard was pretty rough around the edges. So I mowed and raked and cleaned up the patio and the whole thing looks rather tidy now.

All I have left is to get the chainsaw out and cut the fallen limbs into truck-bed lengths to haul to the dump. I have a lot of yard waste to haul to the dump. At least, two loads, if not three...

Oh, wait--I also need to trim the holly and the wild hedge out front. Which will no doubt add a trip to the dump.

But it's fall y'all and fall is my favorite season, so I'm enjoying all of this outdoor work. I love it when the trees look like this, although that means it's colder than I like.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

How are you enjoying fall so far??

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

Books Read in 2014

  • A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Two epic novels worth of Sherlock fan fiction (and counting) by various authors
  • Up All Night by Renee Ashley Williams
  • Oral Invitation by B.J. Hayes
  • Lights Out by Ann Campbell
  • Explicitly English by Rachel Leigh
  • M-theory: Mycroft, Moriarty, and Magnussen’s shared motifs, James Bond’s “M,” Mary and Janine, and the big gay long game by the loudest subtext in television (that's a screen name, if you hadn't guessed)
  • Noble Beginnings by L.T. Ryan
  • Christmas Justice by Robin Perini
  • Just A Fling by Olivia Noble
  • Running by Patrice Fitzgerald
  • Buster's Law by Laraine Lebron
  • Harry PotterPage to Screen by Bob McCabe
  • Professional Plot Outline mini-Course by Holly Lisle
  • The Plot Skeleton by Angela Hunt
  • Rock Your Plot by Cathy Yardley
  • Basher Five Two by Scott O'Grady
  • Mai Tai Marriage by Chris Keniston
  • Still Delicate by padfoot4ever (Harry Potter fanfiction)
  • Deliate by padfoot4ever (Harry Potter fanfiction)
  • Montana Sky by Nora Roberts (audio book)
  • Mad About Plaid by Kam McKellar
  • The Roles We Play by JoAnna Grace
  • Drowning by Racel Firacek
  • Whip Me Up, Tie Me Down by Lavender Daye
  • Game of Fear by Robin Perini
  • Lost in Temptation by Lauren Royal
  • What Wendy Wants by Nikki Sex
  • Improper Proposals by Juliana Ross
  • Kira's Keeper by Jan Schliesman
  • Improper Arrangements by Juliana Ross
  • Improper Relations by Juliana Ross
  • How to Kick Your Fat in the Nuts by T.C. Hale
  • Stop!!! Manifesting Money by D/C Russ
  • A Lady in Defiance by Heather Blanton
  • Secret Obsession by Robin Perini
  • Rebooting Your Life: A 12-Day Program for Ending Stress, Realizing Your Goals, and Being More Productive by Gibbons
  • 30 Daily Weight Loss Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle by Joshua Wylie
  • Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer
  • Coconut Oil Recipes: Nature's Remedy for Health, Beauty, Weight Loss, Allergies & Detoxing by Scarlett Aphra