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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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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Final Roundup of 2015 Goals


Well, the year is just about over. It's time for a final recap of my goals, which can be found just to the left.

1) Do more crafts--lots of cross stitching done and then some other random things for Christmas.

DONE!




2) Self-publish a book--I wrote one, but lost confidence and interest in getting it revised.

NOT DONE :(

3) Research degree programs--never got past the "yeah, I should do that" phase

NOT DONE :(

4) Work on the yards--um...we hired a guy. Does that count? They always look nice now.

DONE!

5) Ramp up the proof-reading business--I did great through May. Then I lost interest in it. But the goal was technically accomplished.

DONE!

6) Clean up/clean out the house--did some random things, but not enough that I count this as accomplished.

NOT DONE :(

7) Get healthy and well--considering where I was last year at this time and well into the new year, I count this goal met.

DONE!

8) Writer 2500 words a week--despite the book I wrote and the fan fic I wrote in November & December, I fell way short of the mark.

NOT DONE :(

9) Read 3 million words--yes, yes, and OMG, YES! Final tally came in at 13, 497,481. I reached the 3-mill mark some time in February. Yeah I did A LOT of reading last winter and throughout the year.

DONE!

10) Reach the 120lb. mark--alas, I waited too long to get serious about this. This past Monday morning I weighed in at 135lbs. I have a ways to go, but the progress I've been making for the last couple of months will carry me forward into the new year.

NOT DONE :(

So I had a 50% success rate. But I feel pretty good about everything and that's the point. The things I didn't accomplish, well... the blog title is "A Time for Everything," so...just not time yet??

What about you?? Did you have goals for the year? If so, how'd you do??

Have a fun and safe New Year's Eve!!


Monday, December 28, 2015

Movie (& TV) Monday


Over the weekend I finished watching the AMC show Mad Men...


It has been hailed as one of the greatest tv shows of all time. I'm not qualified to gauge that. It took place in the decade of my birth, the 60s, and it was quite interesting to see the America of that time portrayed. Granted it was a niche view--from Madison Ave, New York and seen through the eyes of the two main protagonists: Don Draper, a successful advertising executive, and Peggy Olson, secretary cum copy chief.


The over-arching theme of the show throughout its seven seasons was identity. Just about every character struggled with who they were versus who they wanted to be.

The 60s appeared to be part of America's "teenage" years. There were a lot of growing pains.

It's not a show for everyone. There was a lot of drinking and drugs (I know--the 60s) and extra-marital sex. Doctor/patient confidentiality wasn't a thing for wives.

Most of the main characters were unlikable, but they were complex and interesting and compelling. So I kept watching.

I'm not sure what sort of rating to give it...I guess an 8. It was hard to watch, sometimes maddening, sometimes frustrating, but always compelling.

If you've seen it what did you think??


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas







Just because I could... Have a super day.



Monday, December 21, 2015

I've been busy and I'm done shopping...


...or so I thought. I ran out Saturday afternoon and bought what I believed to be the very last gift. And what a gift--12-year-old Glen Moray Scotch in a gift box with a couple of glasses.


But then as I wrapping presents and admiring a piece of wall art I bought for my daughter, I realized the saying was off. All the phrases were there, they'd just been attached in the wrong order. Ugh. Yesterday morning I went back to the store from whence I'd purchased said wall art to see if they had any more of the same sentiment. But no--they had two others, neither of which I liked as much. I returned the thing since Customer Service had opened up while I'd been grocery shopping and then returned home. I searched Amazon, but didn't find anything I liked. I'll keep looking since I won't be giving that gift until after the New Year. I have a little time.

As for the busy...well, between wrapping presents (about halfway done) and writing, I've been making home-made bath products for my sisters-in-law. Chocolate, orange, and pumpkin spice. Don't those sound lovely? I tried out the orange bath salts last night myself and the bath was worth it for the smell alone! That whole endeavor would be even better if I liked taking baths more often, but I can barely stand to shower, much less soak. So I have to find a way to use up or give away whatever's left over.



I also found a simple method for getting labels off my cinnamon jars (or any jar)--soak them in boiling hot water until the water has cooled enough to work in, scrape the labels off with a sharp paring knife, and then use nail polish remover to remove the remaining adhesive. I'd been saving up those little jars for at least a year and thought they'd be perfect for a "serving size" of the bath stuff. I'm going to print decorative labels for them and voila!


Giving any homemade gifts this year? Do tell!

Friday, December 18, 2015

So not prepared...


...for today's blog. But I am, surprisingly, just about ready for Christmas. I mean shopping wise, anyway. Just two last gifts to purchase and a couple to make at home (bought the last ingredient on the way to work this morning). Wrapping is in progress. Dinner is bought. Just waiting for one of the key ingredients--Sailor Sonshine. He'll be home in a couple of weeks and we'll have a delayed celebration.

Ornaments, however, are still in progress. I added a couple of people to the list, so I bought two of these stars.


This red/black one is for DD's BFF. The back side will be identical except that the corresponding slopes will be the other color. The other star is going to similar, but red and blue (for the Houston Texans) for the Brown Eyed Girl's significant other. On that star, however, I'm going match the colors from side to side. It's gotta be as unique as it can be right?
 

One of the bells, which was the original ornament for my Brown Eyed Girl's boyfriend is being reassigned to DD's roommate, who also happens to be her BFF's sister. Confused yet? :) I guess as long as I know whose is whose, right?

I'm still waiting for some sort of epiphany on the red and green bells. They still look like this. I wanted to have more glitter sort of down the top with a jagged-y edge, but my attempt turned out awful, and I had to clean off the glue and glitter, which also removed the color. So I had to re-color it and we're back to square one. I may just have to go with a more curvy edge.



On a final note, yesterday was Sonshine's 20th birthday. Sadly he's half a country away and no dinner or hugs or presents could be had (yet), but I got to talk to him at least.

And even though he doesn't read my blog,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SONSHINE--LOVE YOU BUNCHES

 Early September when we visited him.

 Last year, with DD on the right, the Brown Eyed Girl on the right, when he came home for Christmas just after graduating from Navy boot camp.


Nineteen years ago, just shy of one year old.

Where on earth as the time gone??

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I've gotten terrible about posting on time...


...or planning ahead. It's like the good old days when I just sat down each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning and some random topic would come to mind and I'd spew my thoughts onto the blog.

These days, there's a lot more going on in the brain, mostly right now, there are stories. The epic BBC Sherlock Highlander AU is still a work in progress, but it's slow going because my brain is working out some stuff. The goal is 250 each day even if it's crap that will be deleted later. Sometimes that's part of the process. Get the extraneous stuff out of the brain and onto the page so the brain has more space for the better stuff.

But I also spent a couple of days refilling the well and catching up on the dozen or so episodes I'd missed of the three shows I watch. I gave up TV in favor of writing part one of the above-mentioned epic. Whew--there was some good stuff going on there. I'm really loving Code Black.

And Agent Carter come back in January. I loved last year's mini-season and didn't realize they'd be returning with another. So looking forward to that.


I saw a trailer for the next Star Trek reboot movie--LOVE! Despite my celebrity crush, Benedict Cumberbatch, being in the second one (Into Darkness) I really liked the first one better. Definitely looking forward to seeing how the third one plays out.

(Any excuse to get a picture of Benedict Cumberbatch on the blog, right?)
(Image from TrekMovie.com)

All right, so happy hump day. See y'all on Friday. I'll try to come prepared. :)



Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday, Monday....


Here we are again! I don't have much to say, honestly. Saturday was my writing group's holiday party. We did a speed dating sort of game so that we could get to know a little bit about chapter mates that we may not normally talk to much. The white Elephant ornament exchange is always fun and I came home with a squirrel ornament because...well, y'all know why! But no picture, sorry.

I do have pictures of the ornaments I made for my beloved CPs as well as my dear friend Nancy--so that's what you get and we're gonna call it a day.

Nancy writes western historical, hence the cowboy theme...


But also, Nancy and her husband were blessed with their 1st grandchild in November, so I made her this as well... She was tickled, well, pink, but no word yet on her husband's reaction.



And the beautiful woman I have spent so much wonderful time with over the last several years received these:

For Chrissy who has such a beautiful smile and is so full of life.


For Clover who is always so calm, but who has a mischievous streak that I love.



For Gina who has endured so many trials and still perseveres with a positive outlook.


And for Michelle who loves all things purple and who encourages and supports me in all my writing endeavors.


Have a great week!


Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas arrives a little more each day!


Not this past Monday, but the previous Monday, I did my Christmas shopping. Sat down in my desk chair and keyed my ideas into Amazon.com's search bar. And now I'm reaping the benefits. Every day when I've gotten home there's usually been a package waiting for me, and even though none of the gifts are for me, it's still exciting to see what's arrived and for whom. It's added a festive feeling to coming home. Not only is the dog excited to see me--but there are packages!

An another somewhat exciting note, I've finished another letter in the birth sampler of love...so YAY. It's getting done, albeit slowly at the moment, but her birthday's not until March, so I'll have plenty of time after the holidays to finish it up and get it framed.


And ornaments are coming along slowly. Here's how they look at the moment...





That's glitter around the first two and metallic silver Sharpie on the third. I want to add more glitter from the top down on the red and green, but I'm not quite sure how to make the lines of the glue smooth and in jagged points. The blue one will have hand drawn trees and falling snow added in the same metallic silver. I might add a bit of glitter for snow effect.

Those are for the girls and a significant other. This is what Sonshine's looks like at the moment:



Are you ready for Christmas yet?


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's beginning to look a little bit like Christmas...


But just a little. Here's our tree!


Bought some new garland--I love garland and my old garland was getting pretty threadbare. Green and red for the living room and blue in the kitchen.


And the Christmas cards we've received so far.


How are your decorative efforts going??


Monday, December 7, 2015

Livin' La Vida Loca


Okay so maybe not living the crazy life, but trying to live a fun one...

For several months I'd been hearing David Bowie's song "Let's Dance" on my radio station. That song came out the year I graduated junior high and started high school. (Boy that's a long time ago!)

Anyway, it reminded me of a pair of red shoes I had back then. They were leather with some stitching on the top and a small heel. When I wore them I felt sassy and grown up and just generally good about myself and I decided I wanted red shoes again. So I bought two pair of shiny patent leather flats--one black, one red.

And I decided I wanted to do something fun with those red shoes, so I decorated them.



What do you think???



Friday, December 4, 2015

It is done!!



I participated in my first ever NANOWRIMO attempt. I know I mentioned it last month or something. Anyway, Monday was the last day and I'm here to report.

The NANO goal is 50K words. I don't normally have that kind of word count in me in that time frame, so I tweaked the program to suit me.

I'd signed up to participate in a fan works exchange which was due Nov. 23. My goal was to hopefully bang out 8K to 10K words based on information from my assigned recipient. The stars aligned and characters met plot met premise and I was off to the races.

Man, I poured words onto the virtual page and it was an exhilarating feeling. I did little else, not much TV, barely any visits to social media, just wrote. When all was said and done, I'd written 37,295 words and the story isn't even finished.

I got the story to a logical ending place for the exchange and submitted it on the 25th, but I kept writing and I'm still writing and I'm hope for 80K when all is said and done.

Who participated in NANO? How'd you do??

Have a great weekend.



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Adventures in Crafting


No, Christmas hasn't been decorated for. I'm terribly lazy about it. Well, it's not the putting up, it's the taking down that kills it. But that's not what we're here to talk about...

I've been crafting!

My sister-in-law and my niece made some snow globes which I saw while visiting for Thanksgiving and which I thought were cute. So I hunted them down during my trip to Michael's and found the little globe. I also a found a cute little figurine to go in it.

But did I open the globe and read the instructions while at the store? No, of course not.

So fast forward an hour-ish and I'm sorting through my purchases. I open the globe and read the instructions. I also needed glycerin and a box of some sort of water-proofing solution. Okay. No problem. I'll go back another time. In the meantime, I open the figurine package only to find one of the birdies' little wings has broken off. It was disappointing, but then I remembered I have some Sculpey clay and I created a new little wing for the thing.

Now, the bird was originally while, but it's fixin' to go in a snow globe, so I'm thinking white's a bit redundant. I know, how about blue? A little bluebird of happiness! I made the water blue as it was also white. I get that if it's frozen over then, yeah, it's gonna be white. But again--white glitter/snow--redundant.  And it's my snow globe, so I'll fix it up the way that makes me happy.

So here's the repaired figurine. I'm sure you can tell which wing is the replacement!


Next step will be re-add the eyes and re-color the beak. Then I'll waterproof the whole thing. So more pics later.

One of our long-time Christmas traditions is buy or make ornaments for the kids. All three of them have an ornament for every Christmas they've celebrated, even if I was broke and could only afford to make them with whatever I had at hand. There were a few Christmases like that. Last year, they got these, remember?


This year, I bought ceramic ornaments at Michael's and will decorate them. I've found a couple of ideas on the Internet to play off of, so wish me luck. Luckily my Sharpies clean off with rubbing alcohol. The acrylic paint should wash off with water before it dries. We'll see how it goes. Pics later.

And of course, I realized I forgot a couple of people, so there will be yet another trip to Michael's. (It's a hardship.)

And after a month of not working on DD's birth sampler, I have picked up needle and floss once again.

Doing any Christmas or other holiday crafts?


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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