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2017 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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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Old habits are hard to break...

New habits are hard to develop. I think the general consensus these days is that it takes approximately twenty-one days to develop a new habit, be it good or bad. (How long does it take to break a habit, I wonder?) I've decided I want to develop a couple of new good habits.

One is exercise and healthier eating, which leads to my goal of losing weight and generally feeling better.

We bought Wii Fit on February 8th, so I'm three days away from supposedly establishing the exercise habit. It's fun and it's easy and it's convenient. I can do it in the comfort of my own home, day or night, at any time. What could be better?

The second is to write every day, or five days out of seven. This leads to completing manuscripts, improving my writing skills, which, in turn, increases my chances of being published.

A week or so ago, I cleaned up a little corner of the garage. Our business used to live in there, and our plan after we finish the kitchen and the living room is to turn it into the family room. Right now we have an assortment of furniture in there, including a computer armoire. So I cleaned up all the sawdust and molding chunks littering my space and set my laptop up. I used to have it setup in our room but it's difficult to write at 5:30 am while my husband sleeps and no light.

It's been a great change. My laptop lived on the coffee table for about a week prior to this, but it wasn't the ideal way to work. Now I find myself eager to start the day--even at 5:30 am--and get some writing done. I'm making decent progress on my young adult manuscript and am planning to enter a couple of contests with agents or YA editors as the final round judge. I'm probably a week away from the twenty-one days I need for this habit, but I don't think it'll be a problem.
Monday, February 23, 2009

Soapbox Humor


I don't really buy into the whole global warming trend, and here's an image that will somewhat demonstrate why...
Thursday, February 19, 2009

The thing about TEXAS--

Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about folks from Texas...
- If someone in a Lowe's store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you may live in Texas;
- If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Texas;
- If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Texas;
- If 'Vacation' means going anywhere south of Dallas for the weekend, you may live in Texas;
- If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Texas;
- If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Texas;
- If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked, you may live in Texas;
- If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Texas;
- If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph -- you're going 80 and everybody's passing you, you may live in Texas;
- If you find 60 degrees 'a little chilly,' you may live in Texas;
- If you actually understand these jokes, and share them with all your Texas friends, you definitely live in Texas.

Need to be cheered up?
- Happy, Texas 79042
- Pep, Texas 79353
- Smiley, Texas 78159
- Paradise, Texas 76073
- Rainbow, Texas 76077
- Sweet Home, Texas 77987
- Comfort, Texas 78013
- Friendship, Texas 76530

Love the Sun?
- Sun City, Texas 78628
- Sunrise, Texas 76661
- Sunset, Texas 76270
- Sundown, Texas 79372
- Sunray, Texas 79086
- Sunny Side, Texas 77423

Want something to eat?
- Bacon, Texas 76301
- Noodle, Texas 79536
- Oatmeal, Texas 78605
- Turkey, Texas 79261
- Trout, Texas 75789
- Sugar Land, Texas 77479
- Salty, Texas 76567
- Rice, Texas 75155

And top it off with:
- Sweetwater, Texas 79556
- Orange, Texas 77632

Why travel to other cities? Texas has them all!
- Detroit, Texas 75436
- Colorado City, Texas 79512
- Denver City, Texas 79323
- Klondike, Texas 75448
- Nevada, Texas 75173
- Memphis, Texas 79245
- Miami, Texas 79059
- Boston, Texas 75570
- Santa Fe, Texas 77517
- Tennessee Colony, Texas 75861
- Reno, Texas 75462

Feel like traveling outside the country? Don't bother buying a plane ticket!
- Athens, Texas 75751
- Canadian, Texas 79014
- China, Texas 77613
- Egypt, Texas 77436
- Ireland, Texas 76538
- Turkey, Texas 79261
- London, Texas 76854
- New London, Texas 75682
- Paris, Texas 75460

No need to travel to Washington D.C. - Whitehouse, Texas 75791

We even have a city named after our planet! - Earth, Texas 79031

And a city named after our State! - Texas City, Texas 77590

Exhausted? - Energy, Texas 76452

Cold? - Blanket, Texas 76432; Winters, Texas

Like to read about History?
- Santa Anna, Texas
- Goliad, Texas
- Alamo, Texas
- Gun Barrel City, Texas
- Robert Lee, Texas

Need Office Supplies? - Staples, Texas 78670

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, Texas 76084

You guessed it..it's on the state line...Texline, Texas 79087

For the kids...
- Kermit, Texas 79745
- Elmo, Texas 75118
- Nemo, Texas 76070
- Tarzan, Texas 79783
- Winnie, Texas 77665
- Sylvester, Texas 79560

Other city names in Texas, to make you smile...
- Frognot, Texas 75424
- Bigfoot, Texas 78005
- Hogeye, Texas 75423
- Cactus, Texas 79013
- Notrees, Texas 79759
- Best, Texas 76932
- Veribest, Texas 76886
- Kickapoo, Texas 75763
- Dime Box, Texas 77853
- Old Dime Box, Texas 77853
- Telephone, Texas 75488
- Telegraph, Texas 76883
- Whiteface, Texas 79379
- Twitty, Texas 79079

And last but not least, the Anti-Al Gore City - Kilgore, Texas 75662

And our favorites...
- Cut n Shoot, Texas
- Gun Barrell City, Texas
- Hoop And Holler, Texas
- Ding Dong, Texas and, of course,
- Muleshoe, Texas

Here are some little known, very interesting facts about Texas.
1. Beaumont to El Paso : 742 miles
2. Beaumont to Chicago : 770 miles
3. El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas.
4. World's first rodeo was in Pecos, July 4, 1883.
5. The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built over water.
6. The Heisman Trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first full-time coach at Rice University in Houston.
7. Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other area in North America.
8. Aransas Will - Ife Refuged is the winter home of North America 's only remaining flock of whooping cranes.
9. Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson in 1978.
10. The worst natural disaster in U.S . history was in 1900, caused by a hurricane, in which over 8,000 lives were lost on Galveston Island.
11. The first word spoken from the moon, July 20, 1969, was ' Houston.'
12. King Ranch in South Texas is larger than Rhode Island.
13. Tropical Storm Claudette brought a U.S. rainfall record of 43' in 24 hours in and around Alvin in July of 1979.
14. Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, (known as the Constitution of 1845 by the Republic of Texas to enter the Union ) instead of by annexation... This allows the Texas Flag to fly at the same height as the U.S. Flag, and may divide into 5 states.
15. A Live Oak (known as Big Tree) near Fulton is estimated to be over 1000 years old.
16. Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.
17. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period in Dr Pepper.
18. Texas has had six capital cities: Washington -on- the Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco, West Columbia and Austin.
19. The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the U.S. which is taller than the Capitol Building in Washington DC (by 7 feet).
20. The name ' Texas ' comes from the Hasini Indian word 'tejas' meaning friends. Tejas is not Spanish for Texas.
21. The state mascot is the Armadillo (an interesting bit of trivia about the armadillo is they always have four babies. They have one egg, which splits into four, and they either have four males or four females.).
22. The first domed stadium in the U.S. was the Astrodome in Houston.

Cowboy's Ten Commandments posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Fairlie, Texas:
(1) Just one God.
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa.
(3) No telling tales or gossipin'.
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meeting.
(5) Put nothin' before God.
(6) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal.
(7) No killin'.
(8) Watch yer mouth.
(9) Don't take what ain't yers.
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff

Now that's kinda plain and simple don'tcha think?
Friday, February 13, 2009

Yay!

It appears I've reached my goal of losing three pounds. Last night, according to Wii, I've dropped another 1.3 pounds.

And all I've done is give up all cold beverages except for water, and started walking around the block with my daughter and our dogs. (We're only making one lap so far.) I gave up my M-W-F trip to McDonald's. And I've been a little active in my yard raking leaves for ten minutes or so and bagging them.

My body is a little sore and achy, but in a good way. Tomorrow, we're taking a rest from the walk around the block.

And I've realized that I slouch a lot--when I sit at my desk and when I walk. So I'm trying to be conscious about keeping my back straight. I guess if I can get through twenty-one days of remembering, I might have learned myself a new good habit.

Speaking of habits, I'm now trying to make healthier eating choices. I don't usually eat large portions, but I tend to get hungry a lot, so I snack. I'm buying more yogurt and my daughter introduced me to some Fruit Chillers--somewhere where you might find the applesauce and the jello-with-fruit cups. The peach flavor is to die for, and come summer, a great alternative to ice cream. I'm also choosing fruit, even the canned stuff in light syrup, over pretzels and goldfish.

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Progress...

Last post, I mentioned the new Wii Fit and the three pounds I committed to lose by 2-22.

Well, last night, the kids and I got on the Wii. I was pleased to find that I've already lost 1.7 pounds. All I did was switch to water and get one trip around the block. I walked again this morning, this time fighting my excited dog who wanted to check out every sound and smell. That oughtta burn some calories!

I'm feeling a bit better, not so much physically as mentally. My outlook seems just a bit more up.

On another note, I received back my entry times three from the contest I entered. I say times three because you enter one story and it is judged by three judges--so I get three sets of feedback.

But contests are so subjective--all three judges gave me great feedback. I got helpful comments from all, but I had to laugh because one really liked my heroine, but felt she didn't know much about my hero. Another liked my hero, but felt she didn't know much about the heroine. The other loved it and and would have requested it had she been an editor.

I had been feeling a bit unsure about continuing my quest for publication, thinking my true talent lie elsewhere. But even the worst of my three sets of feedback showed me that I can do this thing. So I will continue on as best I can. I think I'm going to research contests, looking for ones that have editors from my targeted publisher, Harlequin. Meanwhile, I'll continue to work on my MS, editing, revising, and polishing the prose till it shines.
Monday, February 9, 2009

I guess it's time to post...

It's been nine days. But I hate to post unless I have something worthwhile to say or share...and at this point in time, I really have neither.

On the other hand, this is my little piece of the Internet, as much as it can be. So...


I bought Wii Fit yesterday and the whole family took turns trying it out. For @ $100 we got five memberships to the Wii Fit Home Gym.

I discovered I weigh more that I thought, although I did realize I needed to lose some weight. I know I'm woefully out of shape. I have no stamina and can barely make a trip to the grocery store without being exhausted for the rest of the day. I know that's really bad. I know.

I sit all day at work, I sit at home. I know.

Last week, my oldest daughter and I decided to start walking the dogs in the mornings. Today was supposed to be our first day, but it was raining so we postponed till tomorrow.

The Wii Fit disc has Yoga, Strength Training, Aerobics, and Balance Games (I really like the Ski Jump!). I'm going to get in shape, slowly but surely. I've committed to losing three pounds over the course of the next two weeks. To that end, I'm going to give up my orange drinks from McDonald's and rootbeer from Jack in the Box--my two primary indulgences during the work week. Not to mention the bagel breakfast sandwiches that come with those orange drinks three mornings a week.


So now you know. I've put it out there for accountability purposes.

Wish me luck...
Sunday, February 1, 2009

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Got the following article from my mom--she knows how I love all things military. Thanks, Mom. Anyhow, it was right on and I wanted to pass it along.

Noise Complaint at Luke AFB, AZ

Luke AFB is west of Phoenix and is rapidly being surrounded by civilization that complains about the noise from the base and its planes, forgetting that it was there long before they were. (Bloggers note: My dad was stationed at Luke AFB many moons ago and I can attest to this first hand.)

A certain lieutenant colonel at Luke AFB deserves a big pat on the back. Apparently, an individual who lives somewhere near Luke AFB wrote the local paper complaining about a group of F-16s that disturbed his/her day at the mall. When that individual read the response from a Luke AFB officer, it must have stung quite a bit.

The complaint:
Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 A.M, a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at K-Marts early bird special? Any response would be appreciated.

The response:
Regarding 'A wake-up call from Luke's jets' On June 15, at precisely 9:12a.m, a perfectly timed four- ship fly by of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Navy Capt. Jeremy Fresques. Capt. Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day.

At 9 a. m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend. Based on the letter writer's recount of the fly by, and because of the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son's flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured.

A four-ship fly by is a display of respect the Air Force gives to those who give their lives in defense of freedom.. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects. The letter writer asks, 'Whom do we thank for the morning air show? The 56th Fighter Wing will make the call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you.....Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Lt. Col. Grant L. Rosensteel, Jr.
USAF

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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