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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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Friday, September 28, 2012

I don't even know...


It's Friday again, which should be a good thing, right? Mostly it is, but this time of year with a high schooler in football, cheer, drill team, or marching band means crazy busy.

You all know which kid is mine--the marching band boy. Not only does the band have to practice and perform at football games, but they have to practice and participate in contests. October is contest month. But it starts early since the school district added its own.

So tomorrow, Marching Band Boy and I, along with the band director and approximately 20 other students (not the whole band) will be going to The Battle of the Bands. It was supposed to have been an all day thing, but we've been given a reprieve. We don't have to stay ALL day.

We played Saginaw HS last night. As hectic as it is dealing with 50 or so band kids, I can't imagine having a band 230 kids strong.... And that's just the band--that empty section just to the left later sat probably 100 drill team members!

October 6 is pre-UIL, the 8th is another district contest, and the 20th is actual UIL. Throw in weekly football games and Cowboy Stadium events and, well, you can see it's a busy month. If you have more than one child in extra-curricular activities, bless your heart. I'm lucky I only have the one.

On top of all that, there's just REAL LIFE: work, housekeeping, family, sleeping.

I'm pretty tuckered right now, but I'm going to keep on keeping on. This is a special time in my son's life and I'm lucky and happy to be a part of it, despite the crazy.

I had something else to posit about, but tired as I am I've forgotten what it was...something about blogging or writing or I don't even know...

 On another note, this past Wednesday was official weigh-in day. I achieved my goal of 2lbs. in 2wks., exceeded it even. In addition to that, I reached another milestone--getting under the 150lb. mark. The official number was 149.7. So the next two-week cycle begins!


Big weekend plans??? What are YOU going to be up to?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A time to mourn...


It may be coming for us sooner rather than later. Our dog, Honey, is 17 years old. She's been suffering with arthritis as well as just plain old age for some time and seemed to have taken a turn for the worse the last couple of days. I took her to the vet this morning (which is why this post is later than usual) to get some guidance.

After Dr. Duncan looked at her and reviewed her records, we discussed options: medication to see how it would help or putting her down. Both the Brown Eyed Girl and DD were with me. Before he left for school, Sonshine thought she should be put out of her misery. He also said some other rather dispassionate things, which I'm not sure don't cover up his emotions. Anyway, BEG thought we should put her down, but DD said she didn't know, which DH and I interpreted as not being ready to let go just yet. I'm not really either, despite my big words. So we opted to go for some NSAIDs and pain meds to see how she fares.

This is her last week:


She looks fine, but her legs are so stiff and she can hardly get up without help anymore.

On a more pleasant note, DH was able to fix the dishwasher last night.

Hope your week is going better than mine. :)
Monday, September 24, 2012

Thank goodness it's Monday


It's a crazy thing to say, but the weekend was crazy busy and I'm glad my life can fall back into a routine for a few days.

Saturday we attended a going away party for my nephew who leaves Thursday for Del Rio, Texas/Laughlin Air Force Base to begin his Air Force career. Flight training doesn't begin until next June, though.

(This is my nephew along with DD.)

My mother-in-law made a to-die-for banana pudding and, after dinner and dessert, we enjoyed some fireworks. (It's 25 seconds...)


Yesterday, we worked the Cowboy/Buccaneers game. I'm thankful it was a noon kickoff and that I was able to take a bath and fall in bed early, though I'm still feeling totally wiped out.

So...how was your weekend?
Friday, September 21, 2012

Keep on truckin'...


I've been wanting to share this for a while.


I see this old man almost everyday out walking his dog. This man has been out walking with his walker and his dog for at least six years as I used to see him when DD was in high school. It warms my heart to see him everyday. Never give up and never surrender, even to getting older.

Info on another novella contest has crossed my path. I'm going to enter A Snowball's Chance in Texas for sure, since it's finished (one of the stipulations of the contest). And I'd like to enter a second manuscript, but nothing else is finished so I have to determine if I can finish something else by November 1st.

If I can buckle down and finish Children With a Chance of Marriage by then, that would be awesome. Then I'd have the duet finished, too. But I'm afraid the story still needs some tweaking and I'm not sure what to tweak or how. *sigh* But tomorrow will have a couple of hours--after grocery shopping--devoted to writing.

Last night, I worked on the synopsis for Snowball. It still needs some work, but at least now I have something to work on/with.

I did go work in the garage last night and it despite it being the garage, I was blessedly alone and it was wonderful. Until everyone thought they needed to let me know they were leaving and when they got back. Can you just leave me a not eon the door please??? We're gonna talk about that.

And since it's Friday, I bid you a good weekend!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Running a little behind...


New things are going on here at the day job. People are here and working when I arrive so I tend to get sucked into doing work earlier.

As you know, I gave up my writing room for my Brown Eyed Girl. I was mostly happy to do so, though I do admit to feeling a little out of sorts about it. But I've been feeling the displacement keenly. I don't have a place to go to write that's quiet, or at the very least, where I can be alone. DH isn't staying up late watching TV anymore--he's going to bed early (due to the aforementioned changes at the office) and watching TV in our room. Which means I can't write in our bedroom. Grrr...

So this morning, I claimed myself some space:



Yes, that's right--the newly cleaned up garage!!

I've got my camping chair, a TV tray for a desk, and my bookshelf. There's an outlet just next to that armoire in the upper right corner to plug in my laptop. I don't care what it looks like (right now), as long as I can write in peace and quiet. And I need to write!!

I've also been narrowing down publishers to submit to. I've submitted to Entangled already, but if they decline, I need backup. So I've been looking at websites--how do they look? Do they look professional and not amateurish. In terms of the books they sell, does the site scream trashy novel or respectable romance? I don't care if they sell erotic romance, I just don't want the site to look like it sells porn that needs to be carried home in a brown paper bag. And I'm not dissing erotic romance either--I've written my fair share of graphic sex. The next thing to look at is do they want what I write, not only genre, but length.

Anyway, I've narrowed it down six e-publishers. There's more winnowing to be done based on other factors, but that's for another day.

The weather is awesome. The heat is gone and the crisp is here. Now if only I could drag myself out of bed at 5am to walk and/or write.

What's new with you??

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sue Grimshaw is da Bomb!


Sue Grimshaw, Editor-at-Large at Random House was the speaker at my writer's group this past Saturday. On Friday night, there was an open invite to the whole chapter for dinner with Sue. Ten of us made it. It was awesome to get a chance to welcome Sue to the great state of Texas and to get to talk to her on a more intimate level.


Saturday, Sue talked about Random House and the return of the Loveswept romance line. I really wish I wrote longer books because working with Sue and Random House would be fantastic. She didn't mention royalty rates, but the second most important thing on every author's mind is promotion and Sue and RH have it going on. Maybe someday.

Unfortunately, Sonshine's school had a game Saturday night which meant I had to cut my writer's day short. The football team won and the band sounded great to me although Sonshine said they had an off night.

Sonshine has taken up the bass drum for the Battle of the Bands, a district competition. He's having a lot of fun with it.

Today, I was hoping to have a relaxing day, but no such luck. DH wanted to clean out the garage, so I dutifully began going through the stacks and piles. And by the end of the day, my garage looked like this. I wish I'd thought to take a before picture.

 
The washer and dryer you see in the upper left corner used to be in the middle of that empty floor, along with a dis-assembled work-out machine, a TV, and a couple of boxes of Christmas stuff. There was a lot of other stuff in there too, but I won't bore you with details. At some point, that garage will be a family/entertainment room OR it'll be my office/craft/exercise room. :)


Despite all the work, I did get my word count for the day done, so YAY me.

And the last thing I want to share is the double rainbow that appeared last evening after a day of dreary drizzle. Amazing!!



The second rainbow is hard to see, but it is there, just a bit above the main one.

My weekend was crazy busy, but productive and fun. How was your weekend??

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's Writers Weekend...


...YAY...

And it starts early. Our guest speaker is from out of town and is a big name in the publishing world. So tonight, we're wining and dining her at a local restaurant. As prez of the group, I need to go. So my good friend/CP/prez-elect is meeting me at my house at 5and we're off.

The road work on my block is done! So starting Monday morning, I'll be a walking again.

Even after a disappointing weigh-in on Wednesday night--where I didn't achieve my last 2lbs. in 2wks. goal--I was down .4lbs. last night even after a really expensive (calorie-wise) dinner at Jack in the Box. I needed dinner for me and the kids fast, so...but I'm thinking that because it was a hectic afternoon and my adrenaline was running, that offset all the calories. Or my body just needed a reset or a treat. However you want to look at it. Plus I didn't weigh in right after I ate. :)

And just to share a random image...


Pretty cool huh?
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Update...


It looks as if I'll have my streets finished in the next day or two. They'd lined up the big equipment and trucks filled with asphalt yesterday, and this morning when I left the house, the road construction crew was already hard at work at the end of the street. Oh, yay! I can't tell you how happy this makes me for several reasons.

First, I've missed walking in the mornings. I was coming to the office early and walking around the building, but now that school's back in session and I'm the one driving Sonshine, I can't leave the house that early. Once the end of my street, the end of the street just south of mine and the cross street that runs along the west end of the blocks are done, I can start walking again. The green is what's torn up and extends farther south. (South being the bottom of the picture.)



Second, being outside generally helps keep me emotionally healthier and, of course, the exercise in and of itself makes me feel better physically which then helps with the emotional. I'd never have considered myself a depressed person, but my emotional state is easily affected by certain things which unfortunately are very prevalent in my life at the moment. So I have to be watchful and aware.

Third, my weight loss efforts have been going relatively well. Until this week. Because I slacked off in the exercise aspect, even though according to my app I didn't consume more calories that I should have, I gained back the few pounds this week that I'd lost last week. However, overall, I'm doing great.

In the very beginning, when I first started the whole thing, I weighed 168lbs. That was according to the floor scale I bought. The Wii however registers my weight 1.9lbs. less. So adjust that starting weight to 166.1lbs. since I now use the Wii exclusively to weigh in. Last night I weighed in 153.7lbs. for a total loss of 12.2lbs since February. I'd gotten under 152 last week, but gained it back this week. :( Once I can start walking again, then I should be able to shed those pounds and continue losing.

In other news, yesterday, as I'm sure you know, was the 11th anniversary of the 9-11 Attacks on our nation. The JROTC at Sonshine's school held a short memorial ceremony. Sonshine was honored by being asked to play Taps during the raising/lowering of the flags to half staff. Subsequently, he was asked by the principal to play TAPSs to the whole school over the PA system. Cool, huh? And it was apparently so good (to the students who probably wouldn't know any better) they thought it was a recording. :)


Did you participate or watch any 9-11 memorials?

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's official...


I've been officially ousted from my writing room and my Brown Eyed Girl is home. We're waiting on the new furniture we ordered. The big screen is now in my bedroom on top of the armoire. See here:


I'm debating on using the new camper as my new writing room. :) I can run an extention cord and run some A/C. Of course, the weather's turning so I may not need it, but I might need light. The only fly in my ointment is that the tires are dried out and cracked and could pop at any moment. What do you think??



We did end up going to the lake on Sunday. I even got a bit of work done while there, though it was hard to see the screen.


And here's my Brown Eyed Girl enjoying the water and the sunshine.


In addition to that, the kids and I mowed, weed whacked and bagged some dead leaves and lawn debris. DH hauled an eyesore of a pile of branches out of sight, so that was nice.

How was your weekend?? (Regina, did you get those closets cleaned out??)
Friday, September 7, 2012

I've said it before, I'll say it again...


Thank goodness it's Friday!!!!

Yesterday was a crazy hectic loooong day and I can hardly wait for four o'clock.

Oh, man--I didn't take pictures of the mound of pasta I cooked. A whole turkey roaster full of spaghetti. But everyone, except my own Sonshine, loved it. Here's the food before it was cooked, though:

(Six large cans of spaghetti sauce and two 3lb. bags of noodles.)


Once the masses were fed and the kids were all dressed, we headed to Dallas.

(I should be working...really I should, but I have no oomph whatsoever to do so.)

Thankfully, the band director grew up on that side of town and was able to direct us to the stadium without us hitting traffic--unlike the football team who walked on the field a mere 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. The officials gave them some extra time to warm up and ... we lost.

So far, 2 out of 2 games, we are the only band that has been dressed in marching uniforms and has actually marched. The other bands stand on the field and play. What have they been doing all summer??

And just as a side note, every HS football stadium in north Texas seems to be built the same way: home side facing due east, away side facing due west. What this means is that if you're the away team, you're in the sun until the sun falls below the stadium. And when it's 100+ degrees outside...UGH!! Luckily we were able to hide out under our bleachers for a while and the kids were only in the sun for about 45 minutes to an hour.

On another note, I want to know why FWISD, in its infinite wisdom makes us play a school in another district where we were warned not to respond should we hear impolite things said to us or on the off chance things are *thrown* at us. WHAT???

And not only that, there is road construction on every major highway in the DFW metroplex. I swear I'm not exaggerating. So that meant we were re-routed home (the long way) because our main thoroughfare was closed. We hit another closure and had to take a bit of a detour. We had FIVE buses and huge Enterprise rental truck (hauling instruments) in our caravan with the band director's bus leading the way. Then we hit more traffic backed up on another stretch of highway closer to home, so we got off the freeway, detoured around the traffic and got back on the freeway on the other side.

After all that, I had to follow the Enterprise truck to the rental place to bring the dad back to the school and his car. By the time I got home, it was almost one am. I am not a night person.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Children ARE on school buses late at night. Please don't cut them off because you're in a hurry.

Also, if you see a caravan of buses (and possibly a large rental truck) try not to get in between them. (or for a very long time) Sometimes only the first bus driver knows where he/she is going and the others are following. When you get in between them it makes it difficult for all vehicles to make it through traffic lights and such.

Thank you.

Now for some pics of our night. The kids had fun last night!

 (Sonshine trying to eek out a bit of shade.)

 (A couple of the Color Guard girls getting down while the drum line played.)

 (Sonshine and some of his fellow brass players. The young lady in the middle is his new girlfriend.)

 (A view from the top.)

My Brown-Eyed Girl is home and this weekend we will probably head to the lake.

What are your plans for the weekend??? Whatever they are, stay safe.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

All's quiet on the work front..


No employees. No boss.

It's very peaceful right now, though I do have day job work to do. I better enjoy the lull while it lasts.

Tonight I cook spaghetti for fifty kids. Yes, I'm providing the meal for the band tomorrow. And it's an away game in Dallas. It's going to be a long, busy couple of days. Friday should be a down day and I might have to work a car wash on Saturday. But that's relatively easy. Sit, supervise the kids, and collect the donations.

Speaking of collecting...I collect things. I read once that three of something or similar somethings constitutes a collection, but I've never been able to verify that. Does that mean because I have three kids, I could call them a collection? :)

Today, I'm going to share two of my collections:

These are (obviously) thimbles. Technically, my grandmother collected them, but then she gave them to me. These are porcelain thimbles from the great porcelain houses all over Europe.

Now for something completely opposite...

These are Beanie Babies. I love birds and so I have the three song birds available in Beanie Baby form.

I have more collections to share, but what about you? What do you collect?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Roll Tide!


We worked the Alabama/Michigan game on Saturday...the Tide won 41 to 14...

After a huge issue with one of our grills, which took almost an hour to repair, we were able to get started, which was less than an hour until they opened the gates. Then the chef we'd gotten kept disappearing and finally claimed to have an upset stomach. We sent him on his way and our stand captain (the stadium employee/our liaison) and Sonshine ended up doing all the cooking.

The Alabama fans were on our side of the stadium and were very enthusiastic and hungry/thirsty. We were busy for pretty much the entire time except for about the 30 minutes after kickoff and then finally towards the end of the third quarter and through the fourth quarter. Surprisingly, it didn't take as long to get our money counted as I expected considering I was #48 to turn my money in. The stadium then counts it and we compare figures. But it takes time. Last week, I was in the mid-40s as well, but it took me well over an hour to get my slips back. This week, maybe 30 minutes. So the bank as we call it must have hired more people (I doubt it.) or came up with a better system. Part of that they put on us...when we turn in drops, our money has to be divvied up by denomination and rubber banded. I guess that speeds the money counters if they don't have to sort through all the bills from over 200 stands.

Anyway, by the time I got into bed it was 1am...yesterday I pretty much lounged around and read most of the day, then I watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and after that I listened to music and watched a few music videos on YouTube. It was nice and relaxing and I'm so thankful it was three-day weekend so that I could use today like I would a normal Sunday to do chores and get ready for the work week. :)

And now, I'm going to talk to DH for a bit and get back to work on revisions.

How did you spend your Labor Day 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