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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 29, 2015

Music Monday -- The British Invasion


No, I'm not talking about The Beatles or the Rolling Stones. As you well know by now, I was a teen in the 80s. I think music is an important part of most teenagers' lives no matter what genre they favor. Mom listened mostly to country music, which I still enjoy as previous Music Mondays can attest. But my listening pleasures were also influenced by me peers. In addition to that, I actually lived in the U.K. for about seven months in 1983.


So let's take another little trip down memory lane, British Invasion Style. Today's offering from artists across The Pond are...

Paul Young - Every Time You Go Away



Tracey Ullman - You Broke My Heart in Seventeen Places



UB40 - Red Red Wine



Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come On, Eileen


Hope you have a super week.



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Sunflower


My sunflower is close to seven feet now and there's one blooming, and several others getting ready to bloom.

Ten days ago...

 Yesterday...


I love summer flowers and I definitely want more.

What about you?


Monday, June 22, 2015

Music Monday


Sorry I'm running late today... usually I think about this post on Sunday, but I just didn't get around to it.

Today, let's talk ABBA! This was a group I was familiar with from elementary age because my mother came from Denmark, and while I was visiting Denmark and grandparents around aged eight or nine, we happened to see ABBA on the TV.

So some fun facts about ABBA--

1) They are the second best selling music group of all time after the Beatles.
2) ABBA was the first group to come from a non-English-speaking country to enjoy consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries.
3)  They won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 at the Dome in Brighton, UK, giving Sweden its first triumph in the contest and were the most successful group ever to take part in the competition.
4) ABBA is an acronym of the first letters of the band members' first names.
5) The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 15 March 2010.

I have loved their music since that trip to Denmark, even when it wasn't so cool to be an ABBA fan--you know those junior high and high school years. And I love them to this day, although I haven't listened to them in a while.

Probably the most known/popular ABBA song is Dancing Queen.


Two of my faves include...

Lay All Your Love on Me



and Does Your Mother Know



Are you an ABBA fan? What you're favorite song??


Friday, June 19, 2015

Squirrel Post...


Along with not talking about the yard much, I haven't mentioned my backyard babies much either. I was pleased to discover that I in fact have a squirrel nest in one of my trees!


The grass up close to the patio and around the tree is also littered with small divots where they've been digging up their stash of acorns...




A couple of weeks ago, I was treated to this little guy right outside my home office window.


Anyway--have a great weekend!!!


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

You know what I haven't posted a lot about so far this year...?


My back yard! So what's going on with it these days?? Not much really. We had so much rain through April and May that it was all we could do to keep it mowed. There was no time or effort left over for much else. But June brought heat and things are drying out. I did trim up the azalea bush and weed one of the flower beds, so it's looking rather nice. Now if only the wisteria would bloom. I'll have to do a little research on that. The lemon slice super bells are blooming, though...


Now, my other flower bed was flooded by all the rain and gets regularly trampled on by the dog, so it's a lost cause. There's a flower bed kit at The Home Depot I'm saving up for though. And it'll go in this spot. It'll be raised up a bit and I'll probably invest in some decorative fencing to keep the dog out too.


I found this vinca growing up out of the spaces in the patio.


And I have a sunflower growing in the bird feeder bed...it's taller than me now. I can't wait till it blooms.


Have a great rest of the week!



Monday, June 15, 2015

What a great week!!!


As I announced on Friday, it was my birthday, and I'd been having a good week until then. Well, the week just got better!

The JAG gals and I went out to eat on Friday as per ususal, and I was given birthday cards and presents! They even sang me happy birthday and paid for my dinner. I had such a wonderful time catching up, talking, laughing, and generally bonding with these women.

Friday I shared a group photo from five years ago when we visited the USS Lexington. Here's this year's group photo.

Saturday was another day of fun, just laughing and talking.

Then I found out my super celebrity crush Benedict Cumberbatch's baby was born--so do I share a birthday with the Cumberbaby??? How cool would that be?? (My wedding anniversary is the same day as BC's birthday!)

Sunday, I had lunch with my dear friend Nancy. Our visit was fantastic as usual. Our topics of conversation range far and wide and I love that so much. I also had birthday dinner with DH and DD along with DD's BFF. They ate, but I'd had enough food over the course of the weekend that I was too full to eat. So I just had dessert.

And that was my super fantastic birthday week. I'll be making pupcakes (pumpkin cupcakes) for next week's writers group. :)

Hope you had a great weekend too!



Friday, June 12, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!!!




It's my birthday today, though that's not my cake... If I made a cake, it'd be pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting.

As mentioned, Wednesday, I received my birthday present and my cool new purse. I ordered some stuff for my Sherlock sampler and at least one of those packages will arrive today, so it'll be like more presents!

And then I get to leave work early today and go enjoy annual JAG get together weekend with the JAG contingent of my friends.

Sunday will be lunch with some other lovely ladies and then dinner with the family.

So it's been a wonderful birthday week!!

I'd also like to send congratulations to my friend Lara, who occasionally stops by the blog--she and her hubster have welcomed their new baby into the world. CONGRATS!!!



Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Happy Early Birthday to Me!!!


 So Friday's my birthday, but through a quirk of circumstance, I ended up with my birthday gift a couple of days early!

 I have a brand spanking new Lenovo tablet. I love my iPad, but the sweet thing is so old it won't upgrade to the latest operating system and therefore I can't download any new apps or update some of the others I have.

On this new tablet, I have access to all my various email accounts, all kinds of TV show watching apps, as well as my social media sites. Plus there's a camera and an FM radio! Too cool.


In addition to my new tablet, my new I-survived-running-my-chapter's-writing-contest reward also arrived. Last year, I bought myself this...which I still have and still use. But it's a little large. Though great for traveling as I discovered last fall while visiting Sonshine at boot camp.


My reward this year, in honor of a new fandom love, I got this...



Yep--a purse made out of a book. :) I'm so terribly excited. Sometimes a gal just needs to let her fan girl tendencies run amok.

That pattern there, on the second picture, it's the pattern of the wallpaper in the BBC's Sherlock 221B set!! How cool is that?? Can't wait to show it off.

Are you a fan person? There are all levels you know, from lurker to fan writer or fan artist to cos player or podcast producer.

Do you participate in any fandoms at any level of fannishness?? Do tell!


Friday, June 5, 2015

Movie Monday...er...Film Friday??


Yeah, I watched the movie Pride the other day. It was really good. It takes place in the mid-80s during the coal miner's strike in Great Britain. So basically a group of gays and lesbians decide to support the coal miners by collecting money.


So basically I came across this as one of the actors of Sherlock has a role in it, so...I watched it, and you know, it was really good and it was funny. There are some poignant moments as well.

From Wikipedia: Based on a true story, the film depicts a group of lesbian and gay activists who raised money to help families affected by the British miners' strike in 1984, at the outset of what would become the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign.The National Union of Mineworkers was reluctant to accept the group's support due to the union's public relations' worries about being openly associated with a gay group, so the activists instead decided to take their donations directly to Onllwyn, a small mining village in Wales, resulting in an alliance between the two communities. The alliance was unlike any seen before but was successful.

I'd only seen Imelda Staunton as Umbridge in the Harry Potter films and she was an evil character. In this movie she's a good guy, so that was nice to see a different side to her acting.

I give it a movie rating of 8.

Have you seen it? What did you think?
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Getting crafty...


First of all -- before we get to the crafts -- I need to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my MOM.




Hope you have a super day!!

My love of crafts came from my mom, so what better way to pay tribute than by talking about my crafts. I still haven't quite finished the last Christmas ornament I need to make. I'm so close to being done it really is ridiculous. I need to just get it finished and sent on its way....

I've been working on a secret fan craft project for the last couple of weeks as well. I can't share it yet since I'm making one for a friend as well as one for myself, and I don't want her surprise to be spoiled. I'm putting it in the mail here in the next few days, so once she receives it, we'll have the big reveal.

And the next big thing, which I'm super excited about is a cross stitch sampler...fan girl style! Remember last year I made this for my friend Michelle...

Well, I'm making myself a SHERLOCK sampler for myself to hang in my office with my autographed pictures of Sherlock and Mycroft...




I've seen a couple on Pinterest and I'm using those as a guide to design my own. It'll be awhile to get everything designed and laid out the way I want it and still more time to stitch it, but I'm looking forward to it.

Anyone else crafting??



Monday, June 1, 2015

Music Monday


We're gonna do one more week of country music, then move on...

Now last week, I talked about some country music greats, but I missed a few big names--all women--so this week I'm gonna mention some of the hottest country women artists of the 80s...

My favorite was K.T. Oslin... She probably isn't that well known, but her song "80's Ladies" won a Grammy as well as being named the Country Music Association's Song of the Year in 1988.




My favorite K.T. Oslin song, however, was "Hey Bobby." Don't ask me why--I was 20.


A few other big names (and my other faves) of the decade were...

Reba McIntyre...


Wynonna...

Trisha Yearwood...


Lorrie Morgan...


Enjoy and have a great week!



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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