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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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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Purpose of My List

I have a to do list everyday. Today's list is practically identical to yesterday's list and to tomorrow's list. As the month cycles through, different things will appear for a day or two or even a week and then drop off again. But certain things I do everyday.

So why put them on the list?

Obviously I know I need to do them everyday, but the main purpose of my list is not to remember to do things...

Its main purpose is permission.

Once I've done all those things on my list, I have permission to play.

It's not time to play yet, since my day has just begun. But my list has been created and already a couple things have been crossed off.

Let me go finish my tasks now.

What's your favorite way to play?
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A trip down memory lane...

Lovingly painted by Grandma Y for my sonshine back in 1996--a gift for his first b-day or Christmas; I can't remember which since they were (and still are) a week apart.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's that time again...

Three things, actually.

1) spring. Which I adore. Mostly. Not as much as fall, but I usually receive the lowest electric bills in the spring, so yeah. Things are turning green again. Green is my favorite color.

On the flip side, wind. We get the winds in spring which means more dust and dirt in he house as I like the windows open as often as possible.

Dogs, blowing coat, shedding the thick undercoats that kept them warm all winter all over my house.

Rain, usually, which means dogs track in mud, too.

2) the chorus of "It's hot in here." begins. I am the most warm person in the house, so as we transition from early spring to late spring and the humidity levels rise, the whole family begins whining. My response remains, "It's not hot, it's humid, take off some clothes." For many years I resisted turning on the A/C before May 1st. I mean really, A/C in April? No, just, no. As I am getting older I don't resist quite so hard.

3) my body's griping at me again to get up off my duff and use it. I lead a very sedentary life...well, you all have heard the story. So I will be walking or something soon since I am tired of aching all over, all the time.

On a side note, I spent just over 2 hours at Care Now last night. DD has been sick since Monday and hubby was paranoid she had strep, to which he is highly susceptible, and asked that she go to the doctor. Arg. Well, not strep, but severe tonsillitis and the beginnings of pneumonia. Lovely. So she got two shots while there, one anti-biotic and one steroid. And then four prescriptions. Whoa! Yep, $123 dollars later. I know, I know, we don't want to mess with pneumonia, so it's a good thing we went. But still. My own throat has been giving indications... Lots of hot tea for me. I'll scald those germs right out of there.

All right, that's it for me for now.

Enjoy the weekend.
Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pics as promised...

Here's sonshine at home just before we left to pick up his date...



And here's the happy couple when we dropped them off at the hotel...
Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend Roundup

It was quite a lovely weekend, actually. Even with having a disagreement with a person who drives my completely barmy every time our paths cross.

So Friday evening was quiet with just DD and I, as the boys plus sonshine's friend went into the office for a while. DD and I watched some more Grey's Anatomy.

Saturday was a fairly long day . . . I had my regular writers meeting, plus we had a board meeting prior to that, so my good friend and critique partner picked me up and we headed for the board meeting. It went as expected. The president probably hates me by now and probably dreads dealing with me. I've become that person. That person who likes to make waves. And for someone who doesn't like waves, it's irritating and scary and distressing. I know, 'cause I don't like the waves either. BUT I was on the board for five years, except for last year when I had to step down for the year, and I *know* what things prior to last year that were decided. I was even president for two of those five years, so I *know* the bylaws, I know the policy manual. I read them both over and over and over and over even before I was actually elected. I studied Roberts Rules of Order often during my tenure on how to conduct meetings. (Not that I always did such a great job there.) So I'm not just that person because I'm not usually that person, but I'm the only one on the board who was involved in the recent history of the board. I provide the continuity.

Well, enough of that--that wasn't the good part. :) The good part is that I submitted a scene to be critiqued for pacing and action tags during the meeting. And my scene was chosen. First, too. And I got some really lovely feedback on it which really meant a lot. For someone to read the scene--a random scene from the middle of the story--and get a major component of the plot just based on what they read was really amazing to me. And as I said, the kind and constructive comments really pleased me and made me feel all warm an fuzzy inside. :)

On to the next phase of my day . . . more peace and quiet with a bit of laundry. Until the boys came home and then . . . my son had to get ready for the military ball! Yep, his first formal, bow tie and all. And his date was the only one with any kind of corsage. He thinks it didn't matter, but I'm pretty sure it was noticed by a lot of other girls. I do have pictures, I just don't know the easy way to get them off my camera. I need cords. When I get cords, you will have pics.

On Sunday afternoon, DD, sonshine and I went to the Kimball Art Museum. DD had to go for a project for her art appreciation class and boyo and I tagged along. The museum was much smaller that I expected, which was good, as my knees were aching even form the little walking we had to do. We passed the Imax theater on the way and discovered "Tornado Alley" will be playing there through the fall. So we've made a date for three weeks hence to see the film and visit another museum.
Thursday, April 14, 2011

My muse has returned...

Been forced actually. I haven't written much in the last three weeks. Which is okay. I haven't really been fretting over it. I know there are times when the well of ideas and creativity and energy need to be refilled. I don't think it's completely full yet, but I've been wanting to write. So with the help of a bit of outside inspiration, I began writing yesterday afternoon. And it feels good. A bit slow, but that's okay. There *really* isn't a rush.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 is officially out on DVD now, so we should be getting our pre-ordered copy in the mail any time. Although amazon.com predicts closer to the 22nd or some-such. I still have to finish reading book six and seven again before watching. DD won't wait for me. So either I watch it with her when it arrives or she watches it alone and I dutifully finish the books and watch movie six before I finally, finally see movie 7. I'm torn, 'cause I really feel like I need to read the book again before I watch the film. On the other hand, it may be a moot point if the package doesn't arrive for another week. I am a fast reader!

It officially spring here in Texas and time for waves of severe weather to pass through. Thunderstorms are expected between 5 and 8 PM tonight. Woo hoo...

Happy Thursday!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

blah

I'm feeling blah today. No reason why I should really. It's a beautiful day. The little heat wave we had broke and now it's true Texas spring weather. Maybe I'm blah because I'd rather be at home with my windows open and being productive there.

I've got some deadlines looming, things that really need doing, but I just can't seem to get my back side in gear. I won't have much of a choice, so it'll get done in the next few days.

I watched three episodes of Grey's Anatomy last night. It's an okay show, I'm not crazy enamored of it like I am Harry Potter, but it's something to watch. In the last ep, one of the character's (George, a surgical intern) dad died. The dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. And it was so wide-spread, there was nothing the surgeons could do. The dad never woke up from surgery and was being kept alive by the machines. T.R. Knight who portrays George was fantastic. He's probably my favorite character. But the whole storyline was well played by all.

When you go through things in your own life, then similar circumstances on TV and in movies & books become so much more emotional.

Case in point, my own dad died in November of 2009--he didn't have cancer or a surgery, but he became "unresponsive" at some point--it wasn't a coma or being unconscious, just unresponsive.... Anyway, after an MRI we were told he was gone and it was just the machines keeping him alive. We (my step-mother and brothers and sisters and I) had to decide if and when to pull life support. We did and quickly. He died about six hours later with his wife and five kids gathered around his bedside.

All that to say, while watching, I was sucked in. I knew how that felt. I cried with George and his family. Probably harder than when my dad actually died because I couldn't cry in front of my family. I was the strong one--the oldest sister (by twelve years) that kept the rest of the family going during that week we waited, hoping. I don't share my emotions much. I should, but I don't. And it's much easier, it's safer, for me to cry over a TV show than to truly break down in public (or in private really) over a private grief. It helps me to purge those emotions, let them out.

I did break down once during that time with my dad, but it was short-lived. Everyone wanted to comfort me and there really was just no comfort to be had then. So I had to shake it off and be strong again.

Well, this has become a bit maudlin...but it's cathartic. And I'm feeling better than when I started this post, surprisingly.
Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting back up to speed...

Well, I have my computer back. I'm still missing some key programs, like Outlook and Office, but they aren't essential as I can access them on other PCs.

But getting everything re-installed and situated just the way I like, finding all my shortcuts and bookmarks is tedious and done on an as-needed basis.

Getting back into a routine is harder. I have--well *had*--a set list of daily tasks, but because my schedule/routine got out of whack from not having my computer for a week, I am floundering a bit, trying to remember everything and get back into the swing of things again....

And, of course, the phone keeps ringing.

The weekend was good, though. Productive. I like productive. Laundry was done for the week. I got my kitchen floor and half the living room floor (the half that didn't get mopped last time round) swept and mopped. Half the kitchen counter tops were cleaned. All the dishes were done. The spare room ceiling received its second coat of paint and the walls were cut in in preparation for their second coat. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the book was read, the film watched. (Yes, again.)

And, most importantly, time was spent with the kids. We played a couple of games on Saturday afternoon. That was nice. I mean the kids are 21 and 15...so the fact that they still want to play board games is good.

Happy Monday!
Friday, April 8, 2011

I'm feeling chatty...

Apparently--seeing as how I've blogged three days in a row and have said nothing important. :)

LiveJournal, my social network drug of choice, was hit in the last seven/eight days with two concentrated DDoS attacks that were possibly politically motivated. LiveJournal is very popular in Russia and is a place where people can exercise their freedom of speech. Well, the Russian government of course doesn't like that, so some have hypothesized that...well, you can guess the rest.

Thank goodness it's Friday. It's been a rather long week, what with my PC being taken out by a virus and hubby running nine ways to Sunday while one of our techs was in training. But it's almost over now and I have two days away from work. I was going to say doing nothing, but that's not true. I will be painting and doing laundry and maybe some spring cleaning. Depends on how long my energy lasts. :) I hope it doesn't rain again--well, at least not until after the back yard gets mowed. After last week's downpour, it's calf-high again.

And "That's All Folks!"

See you next week.
Thursday, April 7, 2011

The continuing saga of Jen's PC Down...

Apparently there's something still on the hard drive. The official "C: format" has been tried thrice. To save us all the hassle of jargon and explanations no one will understand, it's not working. So hubby thinks there's still something on there preventing the operating system from installing properly. Grrr, grrr, and triple GRRRR!

I hate not having my own computer with all my things right where I know to find them.

Well, on to more interesting stuff...

DD and I watched the last four episodes of season two of Grey's Anatomy last night. Pretty powerful episodes all, bringing us both to tears several times. It's quite a feat for DD to tear up. She's usually pretty stoic.

I'm working on the 4th Harry Potter book again, HP and the Goblet of Fire. It's one of the longest books in the series.

In lieu of visiting my jail bird, who's not allowed visitors (along with the rest of her block) for 20 days, I went to Lowe's and bought another gallon of the paint I needed for my spare room. I didn't actually paint, mind you, but I'm ready for the weekend. Baby steps, baby steps. I am so ready to have this room finished. You'd think that would spur me on to work faster, but I have a limited amount of energy. Last week when I painted the lower half of the walls, my poor legs ached for two days. A good kind of ache, but still. :)

And so, back to work I go...
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Frustrated

On Monday afternoon, I got a bad something on my PC. So bad we are having to format my PC today. *sobs* Oh, I hate the drama that ensues when trying to do this because our organizational skills are always brought into focus. We cast about trying to locate all software needed to rebuild my computer only to find this time, that my stuff is nowhere to be found. I used to have all my stuff in a bag and I knew where it was. I guarded it with my life. Now--pfftt!--I have no freaking clue what happened to it all. I have my operating system and I know where QuickBooks is. I have no clue where anything else, including my MS Word.

So I have been working using another PC in the office which doesn't have all the tools I need to do a certain part of my job...so I have to skip from PC to PC to do it. *grrr* And there will be more hand-wringing and more belly-aching as we go.

On top of that, I have to try to get downtown today to pay court fees and fines for my DD who's currently incarcerated. Yippee...

So since I've been down and can't do my normal stuff, I decided to do something productive and create a spreadsheet for hubby for our last season's fireworks sales. A day-by-day log of sales and inventory, etc. Tedious but important to have figures to watch sales trends and track popular items depending on the season (July vs. December). We've been in the store for 2 Decembers and 1 July and this is the first time we've gotten around to this. Decembers are not tooooo bad, but July's spreadsheet is going to be a nightmare. This coming July will be done on a daily basis.

Speaking of fireworks--the reason Dan decided to start selling them was because he bought so much of them and wanted to get better pricing. So now as we sell, people come in, plunk down $30, $50, $100, occasionally $300 for fireworks and are all set to have a rip-roaring good time. And you can, don't get me wrong. But hubby spent upwards of $5000 on fireworks for several years running, so I always have to chuckle when people make comments about how much they've spent. If they only knew!
Monday, April 4, 2011

And a good time was had by all...

Girls Writers Weekend (really, just an evening/following day) was a success. Marty and I successfully navigated our way to Dallas and found our friend's apartment without any trouble. We chatted, ate, and wrote on Friday. Saturday, we ate, chatted, wrote, and took a walk around the complex walking trail, around a small lake/pond thing with a fountain and turtles and coi. The trip home was a little dicey out of Dallas (sorry, Marty!) as traffic backed up on the way we needed to go and cars were flying across lanes in both directions to get were they wanted to be, so we had a bit of close shave. Once we got past that, though, the rest of the trip was relatively quick and easy.

Sunday was very productive. I got the second coat of paint on the paneling in my spare bedroom. YAY. My upper legs are very sore today from the crouching--the real, solid-wood paneling is on the lower half of the wall rather than sheet rock. Next step will be . . . hmmm . . . I should probably put a second coat on the ceiling and upper walls. Which means I have to go buy more of that color. I'm also waffling on whether or not to actually paint the one solid wall the lighter green color or leave it/paint it white. It also has paneling on it, though it's not the same as the other walls. We put up this wall to create this room from the dining room so rather than sheet rock, we used thin sheets of paneling. It's already white, but a bit dingy. I really wanted an open, airy, light room, but forgot how dark paint will dry. So I think I'm going to paint the wall white so as to help keep the room as light as possible. I'm also debating on leaving the chair rail molding/window and door trim white as well, rather than the lovely turquoise-y blue I bought. (I am taking pictures, so we'll see before and after.)

Then yesterday afternoon, as part of Sonshine's punishment for fibbing last week, he had to work on cleaning out the garage. So we got about half of that accomplished. It'll look much better once the local charity advertises its next visit to our neighborhood as we'll be able to get rid of the large pile of stuff we have for them. That'll help tremendously, too.

The kids and I played a couple of games, which was nice. And DD and I watched a bit of Grey's Anatomy while Sonshine tried to build something from all the scraps he cleared out of the garage. First it was going to be a dog house, but then he decided to build me a little step stool. That ultimately failed as he really didn't have the right kind of wood for the job. But he he was outside and using his brains and his brawn for a change. :)

So overall, a most excellent weekend.
Friday, April 1, 2011

TGIF (another random post)

So I went shopping last night. I don't do it often.

First up, Office Depot. I was in desperate need of a new printer cartridge for the office. I had milked the old one for all it was worth and was consistently getting a faded strip down the center of all documents. Today, being the first day of the month, requires me to send out about a dozen invoices (times 2), not to mention pay checks. There was no way I could scrimp by any longer. So ink, paper, and various other misc items, and it was off to Target.

I have been carrying around a gift card from Verizon--a $50 rebate from buying a phone for my son for Christmas. I ended up with two long-sleeve button down shirts for work, identical in style, one blue, one dark red, and a new bra. And a bit of candy to spend the last few dollars. Total purchase: $49.71.

Tonight starts Girls Writers Weekend. I am out the door at 2PM to pick up my girlfriend and then we're off to the wilds of Dallas to the other girlfriend's house. Food, writing, girl talk, writing talk--fun, fun, fun!

All right, well, best get the work done that needs doing before I leave.

Have a great weekend.

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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