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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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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

No Witty Title


Just counting the hours until the weekend. My chapter is having its annual retreat this weekend even though I won't be attending. Unfortunately, money just didn't allow for it. But I'm still planning on retreating from the family and spending the weekend writing/revising/brainstorming. Cross your fingers that I'm as productive as I can possibly be.

I have a list of things I want to work on and accomplish, so I have somewhat of a plan.

I'm still waiting to hear from Entangled Publishing to whom I submitted my first manuscript. The website says it takes approximately six weeks to get a response. Well, six weeks came and went, and I still waited. After another three weeks, I decided to touch base with the editor. She said she'd passed my manuscript on to another editor who was juggling fewer books, so I'm still waiting for notification, one way or the other.

Well, it's time to get to work...

Have a great day and I'll be here Friday!

Monday, October 29, 2012

TGI...Monday??


I can't believe I'm actually saying that. But it was a long hectic weekend and I'm glad it's Monday so I can just be still. Sure I've got work to do, but I sit to work and that suits me just fine right about now.

My weekend line up included: football game on Friday night, errands on Saturday morning, band fundraiser on Saturday afternoon, a trip to the symphony on Saturday night, and a Cowboy stadium event on Sunday.

Not much else to say at this point. I'm sleepy and I've got to get working.

So I'll sign off until Wednesday.

Have a great week.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Birthday


DH celebrated his birthday yesterday. We had his favorite dinner, homemade tacos, and presents and then we went out to bowl. Unfortunately, all the regular bowling alleys were full with leagues, so we tried one of the large entertainment centers. We would have been okay, except a sorority from a local college had descended upon the place. Instead we played games in the arcade for a while and then returned home for root beer floats and a bit of TV to wind down. Everyone seemed to have fun. Here are a few pics.

 In lieu of cake--since we had ice cream floats instead, we set the candles in DD's Dunkaroo dip.

 The birthday card performed double duty as gift wrap.

A childhood holdover for DH is having "ee-yaw" fights with the empty wrapping paper rolls.
So our brown-eyed girl wrapped five of them as a gift and we had a little fun. :)

 Sonshine took the brunt of the hits.

And underneath the birthday card/wrapping paper was a barbecue grill thingy. You know, where you can secure fish or jalapeno poppers or what-have-you that otherwise wouldn't survive the grill on their own.

Happy birthday, DH!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The end is near...


Or is it?

Our golden retriever mix is 17 years old. We're amazed that she's still with us and, if you remember, about a month ago we'd taken her to the vet and considered putting her to sleep due to her advanced age and arthritis issues.

So now the bottom right flap of her jaw has sort of gown over her teeth & jaw. The vet said most likely it's mouth cancer, which is fairly common with dogs and can occur at any age. Of course, without proper diagnostics there's no way to know 100% and even then it's take a biopsy to truly know. So considering Honey's age and the fact that we're on quality of life maintenance as it is, we opted to not go with diagnostics or treatment.

It doesn't seem to be bothering her over much, and she's eating and drinking just fine still. She engages with the family, still wags her tail, and most of the time (except when the pain med dose is wearing off) still looks happy.

So we opted not to euthanize at this point either. We're going to watch and enjoy. However, as surprising as it is that's she's 17 and still going, however slowly, we joke that she's gonna be gimping around for quite some time. Sonshine will be 60 and still have this dog from his childhood.

How old is she again?

She's 63.

In dog years?

No. In people years.

Here she is (again):



Monday, October 22, 2012

A time for tardiness


It seems, for the past few weeks, I have been struggling to post at the normal time (somewhere between 7:30 and 8:30 am on MWF). Life has been restructured a bit and has definitely thrown my routine out of whack. Ugh. I really hate when that happens. I am very much a creature of habit and all this relative chaos does not make for a happy Jen.

Still no writing or revising although there should be. grrr... Lots of fanfic reading though. Some part of me needs a emotional/psychological vacation and that's how I do it. By reading fan fiction. Specifically, right now, Harry Potter fanfic featuring Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy.

Friday night was homecoming and we actually won for a change--even though we were visitors. I'm not sure who planned that.

Saturday was the big marching contest--the one thing the kids have been working towards since July. And they scored 3s. They are not 1 material because they don't work hard enough collectively for that, but they could have and according to the band director should have gotten at one or two 2s. Several other bands also received crazy scores--one band received two 1s (the best score) and a 4 (out of 5). What??? That's a pretty big discrepancy. *shakes head* We don't even know.

And here are a couple of pics from Saturday:




Friday, October 19, 2012

As the name of this blog says...


There is a time for everything. It just sucks when time for more than one thing happens at the same time.

Work things are going on and chewing up a lot of my day. On top of which, band stuff is going on. As I mentioned, three days of band stuff in a row. Sunday will definitely be a time for rest.

But it's Friday and that has to mean something right? Yes! It means the work week is over. *whew*

It also means a football game tonight (four more including tonight's). Thankfully, the game is at our home field so the trip to and from the stadium will take minutes, even though it's not on the same property as the school itself.

Quick Updates...

The weight loss is going well. The next big milestone is to get under the 140lb. mark. I've got 5 to reach it, 6 to actually get under it. It'll be a few weeks.

With all the work crazy, writing is at a halt for the moment. I need to get back at it as I have a self-set deadline of 10.31 to finish book two. I'm not sure I can make it after a few revelations I've had, but if I apply myself, I can get close. It's that apply thing that's going to be a problem.

And I leave you with...


A time for rainbows. Can you see the second one?
Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Apologies...


...for being AWOL on Monday. I had a post started, but Monday morning at work got busy fast.

Unfortunately, nothing really exciting has happened since then--well, except that I scored two 100%s on Rock Band 3 Monday night. Yeah, sure I played Easy mode on songs that had relatively simple drum parts to begin with, but I'll take what I can get. But I guess it's time to bump up to Medium mode. I almost always score in the upper 90th percentile now.

The rest of the week will be hectic, too. Band Booster meetings on Thursday, football game on Friday, and UIL on Saturday. After Saturday, contest season is officially over so it'll just be football games for three more weeks. *whew*

On a more positive/exciting note: A) I reached my lowest weight in who-knows-how-many years. Just gotta keep the momentum going. B) I eeeked out the last of the 6250 words I needed to earn this month's writing charm. I haven't missed a month so far. That in and of itself is an accomplishment. Now if I could just finish this dang manuscript.

Happy Hump Day, y'all--I hope your week is going well and is less crazy than mine.

And for something visual, let's see...


The picture doesn't do the day justice, but I'm certain you've experienced a day with a sky sooo blue and the breeze just right...

What else was going on that day? Tell me about it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fed up...


Sonshine is some kind of pissed.

So last night, we head to the football game, everything is relatively good. We're playing a huge school. And the game (not the football game, cuz we got our butts handed to us) was on. They played, we played, back and forth with the musical challenges....



Then comes half-time. The other band plays first because they're the away team. So they take the field and our band, except the pit percussion and color guard, are on the back side of the field awaiting our turn to perform.

You'd think a group of 15- to 18-year-olds (who think they're grown) could stand quietly for less than ten minutes. But do they? Apparently, a handful of them were chatting and then got argumentative when the drum majors told them to be quiet. So there was a bit of a kerfuffle within our group.

So fast forward to after we perform and have headed to the equipment truck to load the pit percussion and give the kids their snack. It seems everyone can tell when Sonshine is upset. His posture, his attitude, etc. Even the band director knows, either first- or second-hand, that he's upset. Eventually, she goes in search of him and drags the story out of him. It's verified by a few others. He wasn't one of the troublemakers, just in case you were wondering.

I finally start rounding up the kids to head back to the stands--to get them ready, 'cause we don't go any where without the band director's say-so--and then she calls then together a chews them out. Basically she tells them that they're a third division band and they'll always be a third division band because, while they have the skill to be a first division bad, they lack the self-control to behave and comport themselves properly when at games and contests. It's so definitely true.

The kicker in all of this is that the school we played was the school Sonshine wants to transfer to.

On an unrelated note, as I was revising yesterday, I discovered I'm lacking conflict in my current book. That's not good, people, not good. So it'll be time for some plotting/brainstorming this weekend to try and fix that problem.

Also...taxes this weekend. Ugh.

Have a great weekend. Hope it's better than mine. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Well, it's not cold anymore...


Another reason to love (hate?) Texas. We're back up mid 80s during the day and last night, the heater didn't even kick on, so the house didn't get colder than 70*.

There's nothing exciting going on right now. :(

I started reading though. It's not necessarily a good thing when I have 2K to write by the 20th and a story due by November 22. (It's just a fan fic thing.) Also my anthology needs to be sent in by November 1, but it's mostly done. It just needs a final polish.

How about a warm fuzzy picture or a picture of something warm and fuzzy today? I wouldn't mind spending the day with a good book, a hot cup of tea, and this sweet thing curled up next to me.

You remember Fat Patches, right?

What would you rather be doing today?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Brrr...it's cold!


I had a huge post mostly written for today, but I decided not to post it. Instead, I'll share my great find:

$5 at Target!!!

Friday, the weather turned chilly and Saturday Marching Band Boy and band had a contest. We would be out in the cold all afternoon and evening. I wanted to have hot tea with me. So the girls and I went to Target
 and I found a couple of travel mugs in the kitchen section, but there were $10 each. Ugh. So DD and wandered around over to the camping area to look for a backpack and came upon another aisle that had thermoses, and we saw these. I was so excited. And they worked great. My tea stayed hot hot hot all dang day.

As far as the contest went, we won 1st place, BUT But but we were the only school in our group, so it wasn't a real competition for us in that sense. But score-wise, we seemed to have scored on par many of the 1st and 2nd place schools in the other groups.Our color guard however was awesome and I think received one of the highest scores of the night (compared to other color guards).

And I felt so bad for all the color guard members--they were all wearing light-weight, sleeveless outfits. It was down to 48* degrees by 9/9:30 when the awards were handed out.

I ended up having to pull props--ugh--but I got a few pics:

Our music is called Mysteries of the Nile...our props are pyramids.


Here's Marching Band Boy performing his solo during the first song. You can see one of guard girls in Egyptian costume right behind him.

It was a long day and we have another contest tonight, for the school district.

How was your weekend??
Friday, October 5, 2012

Moments of childhood....


Sonshine was on a mission the other day: to fashion a sling shot. He'd found a Y-shaped branch and he was off to the races. First he had to make holes in the arms of the Y in order to attach the elastic. That slowed him down since we didn't have any drill bits at home, so Wednesday he asked if I would find some at the office and take them home. Which I did.

Only to discover we didn't have the right type of something in the drill he was using to hold the drill bit securely. I'm not sure how he solved that problem, but at some point, he discovered another. His branch was mostly dead/dry rotted and it crumbled.

So he had to find a new one. Up the oak tree he went. After he'd found one that met his approval, he needed to fire-bake it. Or so he said. To make it stronger I think was his purpose. So he gathered up some large rocks, made a fire pit, and started a fire.

 
(Yes, we like fire at our house. So?)
(My only concern was him getting soot all over his band t-shirt, so I made him strip.)

Anyway, he finally finished his sling-shot:



I grinned and chuckled through the whole series of events because I love to see him in "little boy" mode. Not really little little boy mode per se, but not just sitting on his butt playing xBox. It was fun to watch him and be involved in the process, too.

My baby is growing up, but occasionally he returns to childhood, and I love it.

I really miss my kids being little. Life was easier and mush less complicated.

Obviously, we can't go back, but if you could, how far back would you like to go?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Feeling better and yet...


After working Monday night's Cowboy game I was completely wiped out. I had a hard time functioning yesterday and mostly I didn't. I was in bed and asleep by 7pm last night and slept like a rock until about 3am (that's right around 8 hours exactly *rolls eyes*). I rolled over and slept until DH had to get up earlier than normal and then rolled over again and slept until I had no choice.

While my brain is feeling better, I've seriously slacked off on exercise lately and I'm feeling it in the general stiffness and achy-ness of my body. So it's back to calisthenics and evening exercise. I really need to get my butt in gear and start that walking I talked about TWO months ago.

Unfortunately, home life is still adjusting to two things: having my Brown Eyed Girl back in the fold and the changes at work. These changes have meant that both DH and BEG are up way earlier than they used to be and I have lost some of that peaceful quiet time I enjoyed all by myself.

Which means if I want it back, I have to start actually getting out of bed when the alarm goes off at 5. Ugh.

I'm thinking though--get up at 5 and write in the peaceful stillness and then walk when everyone else gets up. Now to just do it.

Here's picture just for the sake of having a picture: a beach in Rockport, Texas--I'd love to be there now.

(photo taken by moi when I went there last year with DH around this time)

So what have you been struggling with lately?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Something Special


It shouldn't be much of a secret as to how much I love my son...he's smart, funny, handsome, and mostly a good boy.


One thing about him that makes me laugh is his love of crackers. Yep. He can eat a sleeve of plain old salted crackers as a snack. But even more funny/cute is his love of oyster crackers. I don't know what it is about them, but he is always so excited to see them when I bring them home.

On a totally unrelated note, there's a thing going on in the writer world...it's sort of been going but I've noticed it again. And that's the trend/action/practice of friending/following/liking a whole bunch of other people's blogs/Facebook/etc. I understand why they do it. Supposedly it looks better to agents or editors who may check out your social media platforms if you have tons of friends and followers. But to me, going around friending/following/liking a bunch of sites/blogs/Facebook pages of people you don't know and who's stuff you care nothing about is cheating. But whatever. I guess I shouldn't be holier than thou about this. I suppose there are things I do that other people could hold up and say people in glass houses...But I'd rather have 17 faithful followers who really read my blog on a weekly basis than 1700 people who just want me to reciprocate and pad their numbers. </ rant>

Friday I mentioned Battle of the Bands that Sonshine was participating in...well, it rained here in FW all day Saturday. Yet the district in its infinite wisdom proceeded. So by the end of the event, children and marching uniforms and instruments were soaked. Directors and chaperones were soaked. Attendees were soaked. And why? So a band who didn't need the money could win $1K.

I'm not really angry about the money. The band that won it was probably the best. It was the best of the bands I actually got to see play, anyway, and the general consensus is that they are very good. On the other hand, our group came in dead last--eighth out of eight. I know we weren't the best, but we sure as hell weren't the worst. The band that played just prior to us performed their UIL show music for Pete's sake. This was supposed to feature drum lines!! They should have played cadences and things. And we came in last??? Ugh!

And when they announced the three finalists and we weren't among them, our group looked at each other and went HUH??

Well, enough ranting. It's Monday and the 1st and I have things to do, so I'll catch you on Wednesday!

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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