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2016 Goals

  • write to my grandmother every six weeks or so
  • call my moms every month or so
  • cook/eat better
  • clean out and organize my writng/craft room
  • re-institute the cleaning plan
  • publish six books by September 2017
  • reach 120 to 125 pounds
  • walk the dog three times a week

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Too busy...

I'm sure we're all too busy. And the more I try to cut back, or at least not take on more, it never seems to work.

There's never time to be bored. There's always something that needs doing.

The kitchen needs finishing, the books needs writing, the kids need taxi-ing, the student driver needs lessons, the husband, kids, dogs need attention, the business needs tending, the Lord needs serving.

That's something I haven't done in awhile. Until today, but only for an hour. And just for today. It's been weeks since I've read my daily Scriptures, it's been a couple of weeks since I actually went into the church service, it's been awhile since I prayed. Not because I don't think all those things are important, but because I'm a willful disobedient child.

And I just haven't wanted to.

But there comes a time when you stop ignoring the Spirit's call on your heart, His tug on your soul to turn back.

We've been studying repentance in Sunday school. True repentance, the turning away from those things that don't bring glory to God, and embracing those thoughts, actions, words, deeds that do. Am I ready for that?

I don't know, yet.
Friday, April 25, 2008

Stacked up and backed up and other miscellaneous tidbits...

Not plumbing or intestinal problems, just work. I've been incredibly blah about my day job. Luckily, I'm my own boss and know what absolutely *has* to get done, and what I can push off till the next day or the next week.

Except, of course, when blah turns into the desire to write rather than catch up on work.

So I decided to clean my desk as a pre-cursor to getting caught up, so I have a stacks of unopened mail, client payments to deposit, work orders to turn into invoices, bills to pay, and other miscellaneous things that I'll decide what to do with later. I think I'm going to have to work late a couple of evenings next week - I can get way more done without ringing phones and chatting employees.

Lists always help me, so I've created a list of things to do this weekend, including getting back to my kitchen.

My husband and I went out to dinner with some very dear friends of ours, and enjoyed several hours of good conversation and laughter (all without alcohol, although I think the other patrons questioned the contents of our glasses). I don't get to visit often with my friend, so this was a much needed get together.

I've started watching the Harry Potter movies. I promised my children that when all the movies were out we'd have a Harry Potter fest. Well, all the movies are *not* out, but I finally decided to get started, and have gotten through the third movie so far. I'll probably watch number four this weekend while working on upper cabinet doors. (I'm all about multi-tasking whenever possible.)

All right, now that I've delayed my desk-cleaning for another ten minutes, I guess I'd better get back to it...
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Being Honored

It's a hectic morning around here, making sure we are all up and ready for the day. But only because everyone has to be where they're going on time, early even. Why...?

Drum roll please....

My younger daughter, a junior in high school, is being inducted into the National Honor Society this morning!

I'm really excited, and proud.

On the other hand, she's also apparently a juvenile delinquent ~ I received a notice from the county clerk saying my child had at least three unexcused absences and that I was supposed to attend a meeting (last night) to help me better understand the importance of school attendance. She just has three absences, I swear. And I know about them all. Two were actually from last semester. And I know I forgot to send a note the last time she was sick.

So tell me, how do you not attend school, but make the National Honor Society? You'd think the school would have better cross-checks. But gone are the days when there were enough teachers and administrators to go around and KNOW all the kids in school by name, and could actually make manual adjustments to these things.

Anyhow, here's to celebrating the smart kids!
Thursday, April 17, 2008

Checking In ~

Nothing much going on around here right now. We are at a stand still with the kitchen. I still have things to do, but we have to get the cabinets leveled before the counter top can be installed, so I'm taking a break from busting my butt.

Instead, I'm back to working on my current manuscript, The Boyfriend Plan, a Young Adult romance. Or at least trying, between all my extra-curricular activities I've got going on. I'm ready for a breather, though.

But right now, I've got work to do...
Thursday, April 10, 2008

Murphy Strikes Again...

First, let me officially record somewhere that I finished listening to 'Captain Alatriste' by Arturo Perez-Reverte and 'H.R.H' by Danielle Steele, two more titles to add to the list in the reading challenge. 'Captain Alatriste' was another odd story. Interesting, but not was I was expecting. But I'm branching out, so I'm proud of myself. 'H.R.H.' was pretty much what I expected from DS.

Some pretty bad storms and several tornadoes ripped through North Texas last night, but here in our little corner, we were/are fine. Although, one complete school district north of us was completely closed for the day. And we have a gorgeous if slightly too-windy day to enjoy. I wish my office were outside, or, at least, that I had windows.

Well, onto Murphy...

The counter-top people came today. I peeked out the front window to see my beautiful new counter top & sink in the back of the installer's truck. So Jose and his partner come in and start doing their thing. But, oh no...

The guy who installed our cabinets did make them level! Okay. The cabinets have got to be level for some reason related to the warranty on the counter tops. Now, The Home Depot told us their people could not install the do-it-yourself cabinets. The counter top installer says they can.

So we found a handy-man company to come install the cabinets for us. They sent us their best guy - who had to come back twice to fix his screw ups. And even then, he did a crappy job cutting the openings in the back of the cabinet to allow the hot and cold water and drain pipes through. He also forgot to cut the opening for the outlet for the garbage disposal.

So now we have to pay the Home Depot to come fix the cabinets so we can get our counters installed.

Some days, life just sucks.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008

We're getting closer...

Okay... counter top installation was postponed until tomorrow. Hubby went out and bought our new stove (he went gas on me) and new dishwasher. The counter top people needed the appliances during the install. We can't use them yet, but we have them. We're going to have a plumber come out Thursday or Friday to hook up water/dishwasher/ice maker, etc. Possibly the gas to the stove, too. Apparently, some plumbers do gas. So, by this weekend I should be able to use my kitchen somewhat. YAY! I still have two coats of sealer to put on the lower cabinets. I'll do one tonight, and the other on Thursday. (Yes, I still have upper cabinets to do, but I figure having the bottom done and new appliances will be good incentive to push on and get the rest of the kitchen completely done.) The kids are looking forward to not having to hand-wash dishes anymore. I'm looking forward to not inspecting dishes after it's my son's turn to do the washing... ;)

Just FYI to anyone in the North Texas area, whether you know me or not--My hubby loves fireworks (and for us fireworks season has already started, that's why I'm thinking about it) and will be doing two or three shows, if you are interested. These dates are tentative at the moment, except the 4th... Friday, June 27th in Leroy, Texas, Saturday, June 28th in Venus, Texas, and July 4th in Justin, Texas. For more info, send an email to info@joyfulnoisefireworks.com.
Thursday, April 3, 2008

The need for speed...

Or lamentations of a ruined vehicle.

I miss my Durango. My lovely bright red 2003 Dodge Durango.

As shared in a previous post, the oil light on my beloved vehicle came on and it took us awhile to be able to afford getting it fixed. When we finally gave the mechanic the go-ahead, he totally botched the job. We had all sorts of problems even after he supposedly fixed it. *Then* he was evicted from his shop before we got satisfaction. So we took it to the dealership for a quote, willing to consider paying them thousands more if it meant a working car. But because the mechanic screwed us over so bad, the dealership couldn't re-use any of the engine components. So basically another $7K to $10K for the dealership to fix it. But we weren't willing to pour that much *more* money into it.

Sigh.

When I stepped on the gas pedal of my lovely Durango, I went. Fast. Basically, zero to whatever speed in very few seconds. Nice smooth, quick up-shifting by the engine. Didn't hear it. Didn't have to wait for it.

The cars I have now...

Sigh.

...take forever to spool up to speed to even merge into traffic on the freeway.

I like to go fast. Maybe it's because I watch NASCAR. Maybe it's because I just like to get where I'm going. I don't know. But these cars are making me crazy. Next time I get a new car, you can bet I'll be testing the zero-to-sixty factor.

May my Dodge Durango rest in peace...
Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Discouaraged

Okay, so I've started writing in the morning. Remember I mentioned my hubby was going to run kids to school so that I could have a 2-hour chunk of writing time Tuesday through Friday? This week is more of a warmup since he had to go out of town and I still have to run the kids to school. But I have been writing before, between, and after trips.

A friend of mine critiqued the original version of my current WIP, and she gave me wonderful comments, and even suggested I enter an upcoming writing contest with a particular editor judging the final round of the young adult category. Aside from that, she really likes the concept of my story.

So I've been trying to get that first chapter fleshed out and polished up so that I can enter the contest. But some days I feel so inadequate. And thinking it's too hard.

Should I make it to the final round, and this editor wants to see more of this story ~ say the full manuscript ~ what do I do? The problem is this was originally intended to be a fairly short story. I'm really struggling to come up with additional plot & turning points to make this thing long enough.

But I want to do this. God has allowed me this desire to write and the dream to be published. He's given me the skills, ever-improving though they may be, to accomplish it. It just means pushing aside the doubts, focusing on the story, and relying on the Good Lord to provide whatever else I need to accomplish it.

On another matter, my lower cabinet doors are completely done. I got all the drawer fronts sanded last night, so they are ready for sealing. Except I noticed that I missed staining one edge of one drawer front. Oops. Maybe tonight after church, I'll put the first coat of sealer on the backsides of the drawer fronts. My goal is to get something done on this project everyday. Don't forget the counter top is supposed to come Monday!

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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