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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, June 28, 2013

Here comes the bride...

For the fourth time.

Today's pretty much a bust for me friends. My sister in law is getting married.

The wedding is at six p.m. an hour away from where I live.

I will be leaving the office at 1 or 2. (YAY)

So have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you on Monday with pictures of who knows what.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Craft Project with Bamboo


Okay, it's not what you think...

Not last Christmas, but the Christmas before (so 2011), I received a lovely little bamboo plant. It was in one of those mottled gold vases and had a Christmas pick with a trumpet on it. This was my appreciation gift for picking up one of Tim's band mates for early practice most of the semester. I'll admit I was a little taken aback by the gift--not that I didn't appreciate the thought, but it was a bamboo plant in an Asian vase from a family that hails from El Salvador. Plus I had NO plants at the time because I kept killing them by forgetting to water them or not giving the right amount of light of something...

Here it is...
...only taller than it was when I got it.

Obviously, I managed to not kill it and here we are eighteen months later and I figured it was time to get the thing a new pot so it could maybe grow even bigger. I've mulled on what type of pot for a couple of months now, but for all the time I've spent in the garden center of The Home Depot, nothing has tickled my fancy.

Now this little guy has grown on nothing but water so I figured water was fine and that I'd just buy more fish-tank-type rocks for the pot. But I was in the closet the other day and glanced up at my shelf full of glass vases. (C'mon, we've all had that collection at some point, if not still...) And thought, yeah, that'd work, with some of those pretty decorative rocks from the craft store. And I just so happen to know someone who works at Michael's. So I texted DD yesterday and asked her pick me out some in green.

So from the above, with the help of:

 


I now have this:


And I love it. I just have to find someplace other than my kitchen counter for it to live now...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Movie Monday


My latest new movie watched was Silver Linings Playbook, a romantic comedy, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro.



The movie is about a man, Pat, recently released from a mental hospital and determined to win back his estranged wife. Except finding his wife in the shower with another man while their wedding song played on a CD was what triggered his breakdown and subsequent diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder in the first place.

He meets Tiffany at a friend's dinner party and they become friends, of sorts. Tiffany suffers from her own issues, being recently widowed and then fired from her job.

In exchange for delivering a letter to Pat's estranged wife, Tiffany coerces Pat to dance with her in a local competition. He has no choice but to agree--he's that determined to get his wife back--and over the course of learning and practicing the dance routine, Pat and Tiffany fall in love.

This was a slow moving film and I was not prepared to like it much, but it was a lot of fun and, believe it or not, there was no sex in, nor were we ever led to believe that Pat and Tiffany had sex off screen. It was just a sweet little slightly wacky love story.

I liked it so much, I give it nine movie reels and I think I need to get a copy of it for myself.

If you haven't seen this, it's well worth the time.



Friday, June 21, 2013

Fort Worth Friday


I struggled with today's options...but ultimately settled on Fort Worth's own Flat Iron building.

Though modeled after New York City's Flat Iron building in Manhattan,our replica stands only seven stories tall. It was supposedly going to be ten stories, but budgetary restraints caused a couple of floors to be removed from the plans.

Built in 1907 and located at the intersection of Houston and Ninth Street in the southern portion of downtown, but just north of the area of Hell's Half Acre, the building was one of the first steel-framed buildings as well as one of the tallest in North Texas in the early 1900s.

The building's been going through renovations for the last several years and if I had the money and inclination, I'd love to rent/buy one of the loft apartments it will eventually boast. During the restoration process, they've uncovered beautiful original wood and tile floors as well as ceiling friezes. For pictures of the restoration, click here.

Here are some more pictures that I took.




I hope I have the chance to go inside someday and see the completed project.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Light fuse and get away...


It's that time of year again... You know--the 4th of July. In our house, thoughts turn to fireworks in April when it's time to begin preparing for the season (June 24 to July 4). Inventory needs to get re-done, orders placed, plans made, general preparations for DH's time away.

And now it's time to decorate the house! My bedroom is perpetually decorated, since we went with a red/white/blue theme, and the kitchen's getting there...blue paint, white counter tops, and red dishes and curtains. :)

Last night, I put up the bunting and the window clings and the flag/star banner. Woo hoo! I need to see if I can find some more garland though. (I really love that stuff!)





And you remember my planter I got for my birthday right??


We used to shoot off huge shows...hours-long shows with huge finales, but now we're selling, so DH and Sonshine have the store open 8am to midnight every day for eleven days. The girls and I usually pitch in the last two days since those are the biggest selling days. I miss the days of the shows.


Do you have a 4th of July family tradition? Do you watch a fireworks show somewhere? Do you put on your own?? Do share!!


Monday, June 17, 2013

Remembering my Dad--


Today's his birthday, or would be if he were still alive. Sadly, he died Thanksgiving week of 2009.

This is my dad in the mid-to-late 70s.

But on my birthday, a scant five days ago, I was listening to music as I usually do all day at work. Except I've been listening to the music I don't listen to very often. My dad loved music and even played the guitar. He exposed me to music that I might not have otherwise listened to and loved.

One of those acts was Bud & Travis, specifically their act The Cellar Door. It's a combination stand-up comedy routine interspersed with them singing folk songs. They began recording together in 1958, obviously before I was born. :) Anyway, Dad had the real vinyl album, which I listened to and enjoyed greatly. Of course, vinyl has gone the way of the Instamatic and I searched for years to find their albums on CD. Eventually, I did and I bought two CDs of their concert at The Cellar door, one for me and one for Dad. I gave it to him for Christmas in 2008 and, probably needless to say, he was thrilled. Totally blown away.

And my Sonshine even enjoys listening to these guys, believe it or not.

So to share that love with you and remember my dad, I share some Bud and Travis with you.

Friday, June 14, 2013

TGIF!


I have nothing exciting to talk about today, so I'm gonna just post pictures I've taken of random things over the last few weeks/months. Oh--wait my birthday was exciting and I do have some pictures of a few of my birthday prezzies.

First this awesome planter--don't you love it?? It's sitting right next to my front door so everyone can see and enjoy it right along with me.


My kids, the ones at home, bought me birthday cards! Wasn't that sweet?? The middle one with the chihuahua is from my mother-in-law and it plays music. :)

 

Also, Sonshine and DD made me PUPCAKES!!!!!!!!! My favorite cake flavor ever.

(Those're pumpkin cupcakes...)



Let's see...random things...

First a nest of lady bugs in my yard a few months ago. Actually, I can across several beds throughout the lawn. They're probably gone now.


Last weekend I was cleaning up the front yard, raking all the dead leaves out from under the dead hedges, and generally cleaning that area up in preparation for some live plants later...I came across this:


Yes, that's a G.I. Joe doll. He's covered in dirt and leaves and has a leg missing. Sonshine had several of them when he was younger and as he grew up, the way he played with them changed.

Here's a closeup of my Chinese Wisteria...it's growing like a weed and I'm having to wind its vines around the trellis. Can you see the one growing up the brick?

Well, that seems like enough for today. Hope you have a grand weekend!!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Happy Birthday to ME!!!


Today is the day! Forty-five years ago at 4:26PM, I was born in Southern California. Since then, I've lived in various places, including California, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas, Denmark and in Great Britain.

I received some lovely gifts including new clothes for the new, slimmer me, a mouse pad and wireless mouse for at home, new ear buds for my iPod, an iTunes gift card and...*scratches head* I think that's it.

So not much to say except I'm going to enjoy the day and I look forward to my favorite pumpkin pupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Any other Geminis out there?
Monday, June 10, 2013

Movie Monday


So do documentaries count as movies?

Well, I think they should, so without further ado...


I recently watched The Captains, filmed and narrated by William Shatner. He interviewed all the actors, sort of including himself, who've played Star Trek captains--six in all:

William Shatner as the original James T. Kirk in the original series as well as most of the feature films
Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard, captain of ST: The Next Generation
Avery Brooks as Benjamin Sisko, captain of ST: Deep Space Nine
Kate Mulgrew as Katherine Janeway, captain of ST: Voyager
Scott Bakula as Jonathan Archer, captain of ST: Enterprise
and
Chris Pine as James T. Kirk in the rebooted Star Trek film

For more info, go to the Wiki page.

It seemed a bit cheesy at first, but it was also interesting to get to know these actors on a more personal level. Unfortunately, not as much time was spent with Chris Pine as I would have liked... I'd started out rather ambivalent toward Chris, but after the interview, I developed a new appreciation for him as an actor. I'm still not overly fond of Kirk, no matter the actor, however.

My favorite captain has always been Benjamin Sisko from DS9, but after the interview, while impressed with his accomplishments, I was less than impressed with Avery Brooks the man. He just seemed airy fairy to me.

Kate Mulgrew, bless her heart, worked 12, 16, 20 hour days while raising two children on her own. Yikes!

Overall, I found it to be a worthy investment of my time.

Are you a Trekkie?

Who's your favorite captain??

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fort Worth Friday


Today I'm going to talk about the Ann Brannon Award....I know you're wondering what the heck that is and what it has to do with Fort Worth, and of course I'm going to tell you! And any time I can brag about one of my kids, it's a bonus, so here goes:

The Ann Brannon Award, specific to our district, is presented in music, mathematics, art, reading, science and physical education. In order to qualify, one must score in the top 4% in their field on overall grades for which the award is given. It was established in 1976 when Mrs. Brannon, a former elementary school teacher and then Assistant Superintendent for Instruction for the FWISD, suggested that the district honor students who showed the most improvement in a subject or those who advanced beyond normal expectations in a class. An Ann Brannon Award is given to students in the Fort Worth Independent School District for exemplary academic achievement.

Guess whose kiddo got one?

Yes, my Sonshine received the Ann Brannon Award in JROTC for the year. YAY!!!! In case you're wondering, JROTC falls under the physical education umbrella for some reason.

And no bragging is complete without pictures...none of Sonshine receiving it as I didn't get to attend the program...but the award and his certificate:



Despite it being a FWISD honor only, I think any award (aside from participation) is a good thing. :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Busy, busy...


A few months ago, I decided to turn my time and talents to proofreading. I added a static page to this blog (the link is just to the left) outlining my services and rates, and though things were slow to take off, they finally did. I'm not overwhelmed or anything, so that's good.

I talked to my hubby about it and he was supportive. This past week, we had another conversation and he advised me to file for an Assumed Name Certificate, aka a doing business as name, as well as opening a checking account for the business.

...doing business as...

Today, I researched the process and cost of filing my Assumed Name Certificate: fill out a form, take it to a courthouse, and pay $20. Simple enough. Now to get it done.

The other thing I checked out was whether or not I have to collect sales tax. And unfortunately I think I do. It's not difficult. I do it for DH and my business, so I know what and where and how. But it's just something I'd hoped to avoid.

The final consideration is what my assumed name should be. As an unofficial freelancer, I called my little business Put Your Best Work Forward Proof Reading Services, but now that I'm going official and legal, not only is it too long, but it doesn't really encompass everything I do or what I may want to offer in the future. Tell me what you think of:

C.P. Proofreading & More

So far I proofread (the scope of which you can read on the static page), I'm creating a series bible for two different series for another author, as well as updating websites, and my critique partner requested I learn how to format manuscripts for self-pubbers. That was seconded by two other authors. Who knows what else I may add to my repertoire in the future. The C.P. stands for critique partner, as in I'll read like a C.P. and not just a basic proofreader--if you want me to.

So your opinions are requested and welcome. What do you think of the name I came up with? And if you have suggestions, I'd love to hear (read) them.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Some of my favorite things...


First let me say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my momma who may or may not see this. Today's her birthday, but she's on her annual birthday camping trip. I sent her a card and a gift in a timely fashion for a change too.

Speaking of birthdays, mine is in nine days--NINE!!! I love my birthday, I really do. I've already opened half my gifts though--which is amazing because we're usually so awful about waiting to the last minute to buy birthday presents. Except Sonshine's 'cause his birthday's in December and I usually buy his birthday presents in conjunction with Christmas presents.

But we're getting off topic...for lack of anything else exciting to post about, (and I'm sure you're all tired of the yard, my weight loss, my financial endeavors, and whatever else I've been yammering about of late) I thought I'd share some of my favorite things. Some you might know based on previous posts, some you might get a chuckle out of.

So let's start with the basics.

Color: green, red, and red, white & blue

Flower: narcissus, a type of daffodil, and tulips

Animal: domesticated: cat, zoo: elephant

Music: genre: country, though I listen to a great deal of marching band show music as well as classical

Season: fall

Holiday: Fourth of July

Actor: Lea Michele, Kyle Chandler, though, to be honest, I don't really follow actors per se

Singers: Lea Michele, Darren Criss, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts

Here's the Glee cover of Usher's Without You, sung by Lea Michele, aka Rachel Berry
(there's no video, just the song)



TV show: Glee, Stargate Atlantis, Friday Night Lights (best TV show, ever)


Candy: Almond Joy or Almond Joy Pieces (when I eat candy)

Food: home made burgers, cooked on a charcoal grill

Baked goods: pumpkin pupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Books: Harry Potter, The House on Pooh Corner, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables

Movies:  Star Trek 2009, Penelope, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince


Soda: A&W rootbeer

Hot beverage: Plantation Mint tea

My USS Lexington mug, out of which I drink my hot tea every single morning.

Cold beverage: water and unsweet tea

Favorite president: Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan

Favorite past time: reading

Favorite bird: cardinal

Any favorites I forgot about? Please ask!!

Do we share any favorites? I'd love to know.

About Me

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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