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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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Monday, June 30, 2014

Short break...


This is going to be a crazy week, what with Fourth of July on Friday, so I'm going take a vacation from blogging this week and I'll be back next Monday.

Have a great week and a wonderful holiday. Be safe!



Friday, June 27, 2014

A bit of inspiration, if you will


Found this gem the other day and as I haven't been particularly inspired of late, I thought I'd share. A good bit of wisdom to hold on to.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cramps vs. Calcium


It's time for an update on the cramps versus calcium fight. This is month four now...

So I'd been taking about 1700mg of calcium everyday--it's the higher end of the threshold, just FYI, but I'm still taking the calcium carbonate tablets (because I have them) and it's harder for the body to absorb that variety so...

Anyway, leading into the onset of my last period, I didn't notice any cramps. Only maybe a slight feeling of being uncomfortable in my mid-section, but only if I really focused and felt for them.

First day was a light day and still no pain to speak of. Second day was a normal flow day and I could definitely feel the cramps. I held off on taking ibuprofen until mid-day as I wanted to see how bad they might get. They were tolerable, but just barely. I really hate pain, so my tolerance is rather low. I finally decided the heck with it and took some pain reliever. It seemed to kick in faster than I remember, so I'm not sure if that's due to the calcium or my activity levels or what, but it was a bonus.

I stayed active once I got home and even though my dose of ibuprofen wore off, the pain didn't return. Even better.

Day three was another normal flow day, but the cramps remained minimal all day. No pain reliever needed.

In the interest of full disclosure, it had been a week (six or seven days) since I had any ice cream, but I did have bowl of cereal or two within one or two days of starting. It seems direct dairy intake is always involved so not sure how that skews the results. But I guess the point is calcium ingestion one way or the other, so...

So far, things are leaning toward calcium helping to reduce cramping overall, but not eradicating them altogether.

On another note, I discovered that the body cannot absorb that much calcium all at once, so it I had to alter the experiment. It was recommended that the dosages be taken with a meal so that was my intent. It didn't work out so well. I had a really hard time remembering to take my tablet with lunch and then dinner, so this month seemed pretty much a bust. At the first sign of cramps I caved and popped some ibuprofen.

Getting back on track and determined to remember to take that darn calcium when I'm supposed to.


Monday, June 23, 2014

John Williams and Beyond...


This past Friday, due to a random sequence of events, I attended a Concert in the Garden--the annual series of outdoor concerts put on by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.

I've never been to the Botanic Garden, though the visit is now on my list of things to do in Fort Worth.

But back to Friday and the concert...we had table seating and everyone was enjoying dinners of various types al fresco. It was really quite delightful.

The concert began as it was getting dark--and were treated to the most famous and well known compositions of John Williams: E.T. the Extraterrestrial, Pirates of the Caribbean, Hook, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, Harry Potter and Star Wars (not necessarily in that order). We also heard music from Star Trek and Mars (a movie or documentary) even though Mr. Williams did not compose either one.

We were also treated to a laser show...

 Can you see the Star ship Enterprise there??

 And the STAR WARS words there??



And a fireworks show.



It was the first fireworks show I got to watch and enjoy without having to either help light stuff or foot the bill--or both. YAY!!
What a wonderful evening!

If in the local area--have you ever attended a Concert in the Garden?

Friday, June 20, 2014

T.G.I.F. and some updates of minor things...


I'm pretty tuckered out and stressed and very glad it's Friday.

On the other hand, I'm the fill-in speaker for my writers group tomorrow...yikes. I'm going to talk about the most common issues I correct while proof reading/copy editing. A subject I know and that other writers should find informative. I hope.

In other news, the de-weeding of the back yard is coming along. Slowly, very slowly. The dandelions seems to mostly be gone, so that's good. And I've deduced there are at least two kinds. Well, I'm sure there multiple varieties, actually, but I think my yard contains two. Along with some other dandelion-like weeds.

But since those don't seem to be growing much anymore--I'm now concentrating on the weed that grows stickers. It looks very much like crab grass, but it, of course, sprouts those blasted stickers. Mostly I try to pull out the whole base of the plant, including the roots. But sometimes I just have to resort to plucking the sticker pods so they don't dry out, fall off and go to seed and infest my poor yard with even more of themselves...

And last for today is my new fan love----the BBC's SHERLOCK. The show is smart and funny and filled with subtext to the nth degree and features the delightful and delicious Benedict Cumberbatch!

(Sherlock promo image)

(Benedict Cumberbatch--isn't that a great name?)

Anyone else watching Sherlock? What do you think??

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I've been a bit distracted...


I thought I'd posted Monday, but apparently I didn't, and a post I had prepared for today's announcement showed up last week. Sheesh.

Things have been a bit fluid since we've been waiting on the date for Sonshine's swearing in and preparing for a new employee, as well as it being the lead-up to fireworks season. And then, the air conditioner went out at the office sometime over the weekend and as part of our lease agreement, we're responsible for it. I'm sure you know how costly A/C repairs are and I just don't have the cash. At least not until fireworks season is almost over or over, but a new unit is not what we had planned to do with our earnings. Not only that, but we just replaced the outside unit last year. Ugh. Apparently either our setup or the inside unit is wreaking havok on the outside unit.

But, all that aside... *drumroll please*

Our son is now an official member of the United States Navy. Yesterday, we witnessed him taking his oath. Even the Brown Eyed Girl drove up for the occasion.

 Listening to opening remarks.

 I, Sonshine, do solemnly swear...



Ship out date is October at this point...

Anyways, we're all proud and excited.



Friday, June 13, 2014

My kids think I'm strange, weird, crazy...


For many reasons!

As I grow older and pay more attention to myself, I'm becoming quirkier and more eccentric. Is there anything wrong with that? I think not. Some of my children (*cough*DD*cough*) care more than others.

First, I went mostly shoe-less. Unless of course the situation requires them for whatever reason. Several years ago I really became aware of the fact that I walk on the outsides of my feet and that my feet frequently ached. Then I noticed that on the weekends when I didn't wear shoes I had less pain. I contemplated getting inserts but really couldn't stomach the costs. So I gimped along for awhile, choosing flat shoes over anything with any kind of sole. That helped a lot.

Then I saw these things in a magazine a few months ago--neoprene Mary Janes! They're really slippers and they have no soles at all! I bought two pair, polka dots and plain black.


They have been the best things for my feet. I've worn them almost everywhere and frequently go for days without putting on a real pair of shoes. Since I work for DH and we don't really have clients in the office I can wear them to work without issue. My feet no longer ache unless I wear certain shoes for any length of time and I avoid that as often as possible.

So do you have a certain quirk you'd care to share?

Oh, and happy birthday to me. Yesterday was my birthday!!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Senior Discount List


This was posted on FB by my momma and so I thought I'd share it here as I know a specific couple of my friends are not on that particular social media platform...

The anecdote is not mine, I'm just sharing the post in it's entirety...

As I was waiting in line behind an older gentleman at Wendy's recently, I heard him ask for his senior discount. The girl at the register apologized and
charged him less. When I asked the man what the discount was, he told me that
seniors over age 55 ...get 10% off everything on the menu, every day. (But you need to ASK for your discount.)

Being of 'that' age myself, I figured I might as well ask for the discount too.
this incident prompted me to do some research, and I came across a list of restaurants, supermarkets, department stores, travel deals and other types of offers giving various discounts with different age requirements. I was actually surprised to see how many there are and howsome of them start at the young age of 50 .
This list may not only be useful for you, but for your friends and family too.

Dunkin Donuts gives free coffee to people over 55 .
If you're paying for a cup every day, you might want to start getting it for FREE.

YOU must ASK for your discount !

RESTAURANTS:
Applebee's: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
Arby's: 10% off ( 55 +)
Ben & Jerry's: 10% off (60+)
Bennigan's: discount varies by location (60+)
Bob's Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
Burger King: 10% off (60+)
Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee ( 55+)
Chili's: 10% off ( 55+)
CiCi's Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Denny's: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members ( 55 +)
Dunkin' Donuts: 10% off or free coffee ( 55+)
Einstein's Bagels: 10% off baker's dozen of bagels (60+)
Fuddrucker's: 10% off any senior platter ( 55+)
Gatti's Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
Hardee's: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
IHOP: 10% off ( 55+)
Jack in the Box: up to 20% off ( 55+)
KFC: free small drink with any meal ( 55+)
Krispy Kreme: 10% off ( 50+)
Long John Silver's: various discounts at locations ( 55+)
McDonald's: discounts on coffee everyday ( 55+)
Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
Shoney's: 10% off
Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
Steak 'n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday ( 50+)
Subway: 10% off (60+)
Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)
Taco Bell : 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
TCBY: 10% off ( 55+)
Tea Room Cafe: 10% off ( 50+)
Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
Wendy's: 10% off ( 55 +)
Whataburger: 10% off (62+)
White Castle: 10% off (62+) This is for me ... if I ever see one again.

RETAIL & APPAREL :
Banana Republic: 30% off ( 50 +)
Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month ( 50 +)
Belk's: 15% off first Tuesday of every month ( 55 +)
Big Lots: 30% off
Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days ( 55 +)
C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (50+)
Clarks : 10% off (62+)
Dress Barn: 20% off ( 55+)
Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kmart: 40% off (Wednesdays only) ( 50+)
Kohl's: 15% off (60+)Modell's Sporting Goods: 30% off
Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday ( 55+)
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: up to 50% off ( 55+)
Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month ( 55 +)

GROCERY :
Albertson's: 10% off first Wednesday of each month ( 55 +)
American Discount Stores: 10% off every Monday ( 50 +)
Compare Foods Supermarket: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
DeCicco Family Markets: 5% off every Wednesday (60+)
Food Lion: 60% off every Monday (60+)
Fry's Supermarket: free Fry's VIP Club Membership & 10% off every Monday ( 55 +)
Great Valu Food Store: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Gristedes Supermarket: 10% off every Tuesday (60+)
Harris Teeter: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Hy-Vee: 5% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kroger: 10% off (date varies by location)
Morton Williams Supermarket: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
The Plant Shed: 10% off every Tuesday ( 50 +)
Publix: 15% off every Wednesday ( 55 +)
Rogers Marketplace: 5% off every Thursday (60+)
Uncle Guiseppe's Marketplace: 15% off (62+)

TRAVEL :
Airlines:
Alaska Airlines: 50% off (65+)
American Airlines: various discounts for 50% off non-peak periods (Tuesdays - Thursdays) (62+)and up (call before booking for discount)
Continental Airlines: no initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations
Southwest Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
United Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
U.S. Airways: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
Rail:
Amtrak: 15% off (62+)
Bus:
Greyhound: 15% off (62+)
Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50+

Car Rental:
Alamo Car Rental: up to 25% off for AARP members
Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members
Budget Rental Cars: 40% off; up to 50% off for AARP members ( 50+)
Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off ( 50+) Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members Hertz: up to 25% off for AARP members
National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members

Overnight Accommodations:
Holiday Inn: 20-40% off depending on location (62+)
Best Western: 40% off (55+)
Cambria Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Waldorf Astoria - NYC $5,000 off nightly rate for Presidential Suite (55 +)
Clarion Motels: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Econo Lodge: 40% off (60+)
Hampton Inns & Suites: 40% off when booked 72 hours in advance
Hyatt Hotels: 25%-50% off (62+)
InterContinental Hotels Group: various discounts at all hotels (65+)
Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler's Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+)
Marriott Hotels: 25% off (62+)
Motel 6: Stay Free Sunday nights (60+)
Myrtle Beach Resort: 30% off ( 55 +)
Quality Inn: 40%-50% off (60+)
Rodeway Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Sleep Inn: 40% off (60+)

ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT ;:
AMC Theaters: up to 30% off ( 55 +)
Bally Total Fitness: $100 off memberships (62+)
Busch Gardens Tampa, FL: $13 off one-day tickets ( 50 +)
Carmike Cinemas: 35% off (65+)
Cinemark/Century Theaters: up to 35% off
Massage Envy - NYC 20% off all "Happy Endings" (62 +)
U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+)
Regal Cinemas: 50% off Ripley's Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket ( 55 +)
SeaWorld, Orlando , FL : $3 off one-day tickets ( 50 +)

CELL PHONE DISCOUNTS :
AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $19.99/month (65+)
Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service ( 50 +)
Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+).

MISCELLANEOUS:
Great Clips: $8 off hair cuts (60+)
Supercuts: $8 off haircuts (60+)

NOW, go out there and claim your discounts - - and remember -- YOU must ASK for discount ---- no ask, no discount.

I know everyone knows someone over 50 please pass the one on!!!!!



Today's the day...


Sonshine's waiver has been granted and so he will choose his career path, sign on the dotted line, and take the oath.

I'll be traveling to Dallas at some point today to witness this momentous occasion.

(Image is a free wallpaper download from RhinoDen.)

I'm thankful for the waiver delaying this part of the adventure because it's important, it's a big step, and I really wanted to be there.

Pictures or video coming soon...
Monday, June 9, 2014

Photo Evidence


Here is proof that Sonshine graduated...

 
 Shaking hands with Principal Chad McCarty and receiving the diploma.

 One last moment with the band during the playing of the alma mater.

The proud FitzGerald family.
From left to right: DD, ME!, Sonshine, DH, and the Brown Eyed Girl


Friday, June 6, 2014

The Best Day of My Life


Today, Sonshine graduates from high school. We've had some rocky times over the last four years. But we've had some fun times as well. Each fall was busy with band and football games. Sadly Senior Year wasn't all it should have been for Sonshine, especially in terms of band, but we made it!

From this...

 (five months gestation)

(eleven and half month old)


To this...

(Spring 2007)

(Christmas 2009)

And now this...


 
(Early spring 2014)
 OOOPS...I meant this...
(Late Spring 2014)


You've come a long way, kiddo. I love you bunches...



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Cowboy Rides Away


On Saturday, June 7, country music legend George Strait will play his final concert tour concert.

Ever.

Yep, it's the end of an era and one I'm very sad to see.

The man makes fantastic music and has earned every one of the accolades and awards he's received over the years and he sure as heck deserves to enjoy whatever he's planning on doing from here on out, but the world of country music will be the poorer.

In 2006, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame...

(Taken by me!)


I wish we still worked the concession stands at Cowboys Stadium because HELL YES I'd work this concert.

And I leave you with this...


Best of luck, Mr Strait...


Monday, June 2, 2014

Potpourri


I have a few things to share today...

A) It was another good weekend for yard work. It was warm, but there was a lot of passing cloud cover on Saturday morning. So I raked up at least 12 cubic feet of crap out of a small section of the back yard. As I've mentioned previously, I'm trying to get my back yard grass area turned back into a healthy green lawn. So that means getting rid of all the crap matted down between whatever grass and weeds I have and of course removing the weeds.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and I decided to skip the yard work.

Before...

After...



The first 12 cubic feet came from this section of the yard only--from the two trees in the foreground, to the shed with the stepping stones providing the stopping point on the left...



I've been mowing in sections since I don't have the stamina to mow the whole thing at once. When I mow, I cut the grass low low low. And I've been raking that section. Meanwhile, I've taken to digging up the dandelions when I can and just snapping the plant off at the root if I can't actually dig it out. I put down weed and feed around the first week of May, but they only recommend doing that every eight weeks, so it's manual weed removal in the meantime.

And I'm enjoying the great outdoors as long as I can. Once summer officially hits, my outdoor hours will be limited to early morning and late evening. Good thing I'm an early riser!

B) On Friday evening, Sonshine and I found a baby blue jay on our back porch. It was sheer dumb luck that the dog raced out the door and right over the little thing. Otherwise we could have had a tragedy on our hands.

At first we thought it was wounded, but finally determined that the little thing had either fallen from the nest or was learning to fly. The worried callings of the parent blue jays as well as their constant transfer from branch to branch rather than just flying off led me to figure the latter two situations were most likely. Sonshine picked up and carried the dog inside and we left the birds to their baby.


A short time later, Sonshine looked out the kitchen window to see baby blue jay doing a hopping roll in the direction of his parents' encouraging calls. Eventually he made it through the chain link fence and under the neighbor's privacy fence. I hope he made it made safely back to his nest.


C) And last but not least, I stumbled upon another great resource for free books: Books Should Be Free. E- or audio versions seem to be available for books in the public domain, including many of the classics for many different platforms (Apple vs Google vs others). Believe it or not, I've never read Jane Austen, so I'm going to try listening to one of her books. First on the list: Pride and Prejudice. Though I must confess to seeing the 2005 film version starring Kiera Knightly, and then on Saturday evening, DD and I watched Sense and Sensibility starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslett.

Hope you had a fun and/or productive weekend as well...


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