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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, January 30, 2013

So far, so good...


Last Wednesday, I talked about my short-comings as a mother. Well, hinted at them, anyway. On Thursday night, DH and I sat down with the kids and reiterated the law. They all know it by now. But it was said in no uncertain terms in front of all of them together so each of them knows the others heard exactly what was said. We also discussed consequences and expectations now that two of them are adults and one is rapidly approaching the magic age (did you hear the sarcasm there?). Of course, Sonshine will still have six months of high school and living under our roof from that point.

Anyway, the point of the rambling being that the Brown Eyed Girl, while not pleased with a few of the rules and our edicts, has decided to tow the line for the moment. Which definitely makes my life so much less stressful.

Kitty, on the other hand, is good for a laugh just about every day. She scampers around, from one end of the house to the other, climbing furniture, as well as door jambs. She is especially fascinated by the ceiling fan pull chains. If carried into a room, she immediately scopes out the dangling offender and if you get close enough, she climbs her way to your shoulder. Of course, we get close enough, because it's so funny to see her trying to stand on her hind legs on your shoulder and not lose her balance while trying to swat at the light pull (yes, that's the official term for the what ever's at the end of your chain, if anything). You have to be careful of course because she will dig her claws into your shoulder and your head to do so. I'm too short to let her play, so I get to watch the others get clawed. :)

Crazy weather is crazy--yesterday, I walked to the P.O. Box at 2PM. It was sunshine and very windy, probably 75* or so. An hour later, no joke, the temperature had dropped a good twenty degrees, dark clouds had rolled in and there was rain, thunder and lightning. Some places were even under tornado watch. A friend of mine even had hail. Go figure.

What's the craziest weather you've ever experienced? (Not to say this is the craziest for me...)
Monday, January 28, 2013

Is it really January?


It's unseasonably warm for this time of year here in North Texas. I personally don't mind the warmer temperatures, but warmer temps mean that whatever moisture we've accumulated is going to evaporate and we need it. Our lakes and ponds and rivers are still down by anywhere from 9" to 18". Not good folks. But I realize none or few of us are experiencing the weather we grew up with.

The weekend was almost perfect. I wrote and spent time outside doing yard work--if you consider burning off your fire pit yard work--and enjoyed breakfast with a dear friend. The third member of our intended trio had to bow out at the last minute with a sick hubby. While I understood completely, she was sorely missed and her absence was what made the weekend only almost perfect.

But CP and I hit a few major Fort Worth sights and landmarks as well as a couple of minor ones. Sandwiched in between, no pun intended, was breakfast at a local bagel place. I had a pretzel bagel and, oh my, was it delicious.

Starting this Friday, Fort Worth Friday will be resurrected and you'll have the first pictures of our breakfast adventure. My original intent with Fort Worth Friday had more of a historical leaning, but I've decided to just go with anything and everything that tickles my fancy about my home town.

As if that weren't enough, I watched a lot of TV this weekend, including Grey's Anatomy and Downton Abbey, and except the one episode of one show I really wanted to watch. Ah, well. Lunchtime viewing for today.

How was your weekend?

(And can you believe today's post is already up??)

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's a Misty Moisty Morning...


...when foggy is the weather. So foggy, in fact, the fog advisory lifted only a short time ago.


(Usually there are red tail lights on the right side of this highway heading toward Dallas.)


The fog, clouds, and mist suit my mood just fine. Too bad I can't crawl back in bed for a few hours. It's great sleeping weather.

In other news, DH and I sat the kids down last night and had a discussion about house rules. It was made perfectly clear to them all, in front of each other, what the rules are, what the consequences could be, and what's expected of them. It was a late night since the Brown Eyed Girl had work. She has additional rules to follow. Not from us, but due to her stint through prison. Parole and probation. As a condition of coming back home she has to abide by those rules as well. She was not very pleased, but we made it perfectly clear (to all of them) that if they don't like our rules, they are free to move out. DD and Sonshine are perfectly fine with the rules. But that Brown Eyed Girl just seems to chafe under them. And it's not like our house rules are really that difficult and harsh. Sheesh.

In other other encouraging news, I have dropped a few more pounds. I haven't talked about it since the beginning of the month. I'm still ingesting more carbs and sugar than I should, but miraculously, in the last week, the weight has trickled off. Now I've got to switch from carb-laden dinners to protein & veggie rich meals. That should help me get past the line I'm straddling. One scale says 141.8, one says 139.9. I'd rather be firmly planted in the 130s so on to the next step. My goal is somewhere between 116 and 120.

Sunday breakfast plans in Fort Worth with friends are finally finalized. I'm excited about hanging out with ladies and seeing more of my city. Fort Worth Fridays will be every other Friday, probably starting February 8th.

I'm glad it's the weekend. Big plans??

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

True Confessions


I'm not a good mother. I'm not a completely bad mom, but I have issues. I hate conflict, so I have a tendency to not address the issues I should. More so with the girls than with the boy.

Now my oldest who, as many of you know is a recovering drug addict and did a stint in prison, is trying to relive her teenage years. But as most of know, you can't go back. DH has tried to deal with her, but that has only gone so far. And it was brought to my attention that my Brown Eyed Girl thinks I don't love her because I don't deal with her.

The real reason is because I don't know HOW to deal with her. She's 25 years old. You can't really ground her, so short of piling on the chores or booting her out, how do you dispense consequences for breaking the rules? My dilemma.

But I'm going to feel my way and deal with her and assure her that I love her but that certain behaviors are unacceptable and the ultimate consequence is, yes, being kicked out.

So wish me luck as I feel my way.

On a couple of side notes, I'm gearing up to finally get Fort Worth Fridays off the ground. I'll be having breakfast with a couple of friends this Sunday and after we eat, we'll be doing a bit of sight seeing. And revisions have begun and been going well on the new/old project. No re-writing of missing scenes as of yet, but there is plenty of text that I was unable to recover. I'll have my work cut out for me.

Speaking of work, my day is running behind, so I'd better get after it.

See you Friday.
Monday, January 21, 2013

You are my Sonshine...


Sonshine has no school today and is here in the office with me. One of his Christmas gifts was a WOW game pack add-on and can only played here at the office. We don't have a family PC at home large enough or powerful enough for the game. (My laptop doesn't even have a disc drive of any sort.)

Saturday's writers group meeting was fantastic with the romance reader savvy Sara Reyes from FreshFiction.com.

Sunday's dip back into writing went reasonably well. I was able to add just over 350 words (goal was 300). Of course quite a few of the old words got tweaked or deleted altogether, but that was inevitable and a part of revisions.

Also, the house is tidy...I've been working on it over the last week or so, and having a clean house makes the writing easier because I don't keep thinking I should be cleaning rather than writing. :)

And now it's Monday again and I'm back at work.

How was your weekend?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Like sands through the hourglass...


...these are the days of our lives.

Well, I was going to title this post something with Friday, but that happens a lot, so I thought I'd hopefully make you laugh or, at least, elicit a lift of your lips.

I mentioned Wednesday that I'd been able to recover quite a bit of text from a manuscript that had been corrupted. I've been working to fix some of the formatting and deleting a lot of the gunk that made it's way into it as well. Did I mention I'm thrilled about this turn of events??

When I went over my goals, I left a gaping hole in the writing slot because I just had no motivation in that regard. But now I do and I have a goal--which I've mostly already shared, but to make it official:

To recover, re-finish, and revise Fighting for Love. (And maybe brainstorm a new title.)
To submit it to The Wild Rose Press, an e-book publisher.
And whether accepted or rejected by TWRP, apply for RWA's PRO status.

So there you have it. And so do I.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's a bright (bright) (bright) Sunshiny Day


Yes, I'm feeling better today than I was Monday. Still not much to expound upon today, although I'm thrilled to have found a way to recover a major portion of a manuscript I thought was lost to corrupted documents after our server crash last August. I'm not sure how much I saved percentage wise, and it's going to need work to translate some of the gibberish that remains. But it's way more than I had and I'm so happy about it.

My writing has come to a stand-still, but come Sunday I need to get back to work. I really love that manuscript so that is what I'm going to work on for next month's charm cycle. I wrote that thing many years ago and my writing has improved since then so it's going to need some work, but I know that and I'm ready to play in that world again.

Today, though, I just want to share some pictures with you.

First up, last week I saw just a section of rainbow peeking out of the clouds. So here's that!


Most of you who visit my humble blog live local to me so you experienced the snow yesterday for yourself--whether you enjoyed more or less of it than I did depends on where you live. This is what we had when I left the house shortly after 7ish.

 (the edge of my driveway and lawn)

 (I was trying to get the snow on the roof, instead you get snowflakes!)

And last but not least is Princess Kitty Doodle Bug sitting in the flower wreath. My coffee table has a bottom to it, so last year I bought a magnolia/grapevine wreath to set underneath for decoration. It's the perfect size for the kitty, whose name seems to now be Kitty most often and Princess sometimes. Doodle Bug is no longer. (thank goodness)


So happy Wednesday, y'all. We're on the downhill slide to the weekend now!

Monday, January 14, 2013

....morning....


It's Monday.

That is all.

I don't have much to say today, but didn't want you to think I just plum forgot.

Weekend was mostly relaxing, though I didn't accomplish everything I'd hoped.

Hope your Monday is going better mine so far...
Friday, January 11, 2013

T-G-I-F!!!!


I can say it this week without reservations. Nothing looming except housekeeping. and I'm looking forward to it. Mostly. My house hasn't had a good cleaning in a while. My endurance for a pseudo-clean house is pretty long, but even I'm reaching my limit. I'm surprised DH hasn't said anything, but of course he was gone for three weeks and has been run ragged since he's been back because our remaining employee is on vacation. (He returns Monday or Tuesday.)

The rest of my weekend includes completing my judging duties, as well as finishing Regina's book, which has picked up speed and has me racing towards the end. I'll be done this evening, no doubt. I'm eager to see how it wraps up.

And for some pretties, here's the eastern sky this morning on my way to work. Gorgeous!! (The pics don't do it justice.)



Happy Friday, friends! Have you got big plans??

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's raining, it's pouring...


And has been for almost 24 hours. We definitely need the rain and it isn't coming down so hard and fast that it's leaking into our office space as it is wont to do. I only I wish I could be enjoying it from home rather than my office. I'd curl up with a good book--next book to read is Blood Marriage by my lovely friend Regina Richards. (Can't wait, Regina!!!)--some music playing softly in the background and a never-ending supply of hot mint tea. (And possibly a sweet kitty curled up with me.)

This week, I am wearing my judge/beta reader hat. My writing group holds a contest each year as our primary fundraiser. I have five entries, one is completely done, one is almost done, and three to go. These contestants are going to get their money's worth in terms of feedback even if they don't like what I have to say.

I haven't quite finished outlining my goals, but I'm not sure what the plan is for the next item on the list: writing. I've had no desire to open my any of my manuscripts for several weeks and have given myself permission to continue ignoring them until the 19th. (The new charm/writing cycle begins the 20th.) That'll be two cycles in a row I haven't earned my charm. The coordinator tried to convince me I'd earned it last cycle, but I didn't feel like I had, so I wouldn't take it. I suppose I ought to figure out my problem in the next week or so, huh?

There's nothing else major on my goals for the upcoming year, just things I want to accomplish around the house and yard.

On that note, I'll sign off for the day!

What's your favorite way to spend a rainy day?
Monday, January 7, 2013

What? More Goals?


Yep, just a few more to address.

Today, were talking crafts. I used to do crafts. Not many (in terms of different types), but I did them. I sewed, cross-stitched, rubber stamped, and occasionally did very simple toll painting. I miss doing those things and sharing the fruits of my labor with others.

So I'm going to start crafting again. First thing on my agenda, sewing. My girls want to learn and I need some summer outfits. I have patterns and I have fabric.

I have some cross stitch kits floating around as well as booklets and pamphlets with patterns in them. I can finish started projects or design new ones like ornaments and samplers. Like I used to do. Way back in the day.

Crocheting is not my favorite, but I can make simple scarves and blankets. Back in August I was going to try my hand at following a pattern and making a ruffled scarf. I started, but never finished. I'm not sure what's going to happen with it. Maybe I'll finish it and donate it to my writing group as a door prize. I guess I'd better finish it sooner rather than later however, so the recipient can wear it before winter's over. :)

With the rubber stamping, I can create birthday cards and get better at sending those out. Two birds with one stone, so-to-speak. I like it.

I also really enjoy the painting. Of course, I'm going to have to figure out things to paint.

On a side note, there's a new member of our household...


Her mother calls her Doodle Bug, I call her Princess, Sonshine calls her Kitty, and DD calls her Bug.

Are you a crafty person? If so, what are your crafts of choice??

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 Goals Continued


Happy Friday friends!

I'm glad it's Friday, but it's going to be a long weekend. I'm working the Cotton Bowl this afternoon but without the band director. Meaning I'm in charge. EEK. Tomorrow's all day writers group transition meeting will be more fun, but still tiring--especially after not getting to bed until after midnight. Sunday will involve grocery shopping and taking down the Christmas tree. Not much me time. I imagine I'll be in bed and dead to the world on Sunday by 9. :)

But today we're talking about goals. Another item on my list is to read more. I realized sometime in the past three/four months that my writing has suffered as a result. So I've taken up the Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge and have pledged to read a book a week. I'm sure you saw my little widget to the left. My books read list is on the right. First week in and I'm on the second book already, but not much writing going on. I'm going to have to learn to do both. Previously it's been either/or.

More about my goals next week. Right now, I've gotta get some work done before I have to leave for home and then head to Cowboys Stadium.

Have a great weekend!!
Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Return to Normal


The men will be home some time today and life will return to some semblance of normalcy, but things will be different too.

On Monday, I shared some of my goals. In nothing more than a few sentences I mentioned those last 20 to 30 pounds I need to lose. To that end, I get back on the eating and exercise wagon, starting today. Yes, you've heard it before, and not so very long ago, but I wasn't in the right frame of mind at the time. I need to be now. And so I have begun. My general feeling of well being has degraded and I have come to feel blah and achy and suffer continuous lethargy. And I'm tired of feeling that way.

In addition to that, I've been suffering with an almost continuous headache for the last month or so--ever since I began to over-indulge my love of of sugar. As of yesterday, my sugar intake has been reduced to the minimum requirements--just from the honey in my morning oatmeal and fiber bar and whatever occurs naturally in the other healthy food choices I make. So far this morning, the pain is barely a blip. Thank goodness, though I imagine it may ramp up as the day progresses.

I went back to my regularly scheduled breakfast this morning and have returned to my little habit of short rounds of calisthenics throughout the day. Later, daily trips to the post office will resume as well. Lunch will be healthy salads and dinner will be protein and vegetables (mostly green ones).

I hope your new year is going well so far. On Friday, I'm going to address another of my goals--more for my own benefit than yours--but the accountability will be helpful as well just putting my plans in black and white so that I can refresh my memory and keep myself on track.

Have a great day!

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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