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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, March 30, 2016

A respite...


Things are finally calming down! Despite my upcoming trip.

The birthday girl loved her birth sampler of love, so that is all history now. Phew.



I've finished both series bibles, so for now, I'm done. One of the series has at least two more books coming, but they're not quite ready for me. A breather a few weeks.

Someone stepped up to be membership chair for my chapter, so keeping up with/setting up new members is no longer my responsibility (aside from processing dues payments and send confirmations). Yay!

The contest has slowed way down which is a good thing. There's still another month, maybe two of tasks, but the frantic pace is behind me. Thanks goodness for small favors.

Of course, there were two classes having to do with Scotland happening in April. Since I'm writing the epic highlander fic and hope to a) convert it to a publishable book and b) write more highland based tales, I wanted to take them both. Just not in April right after my con. I contacted one instructor and asked if she was giving it later in the year. She said she wasn't, but she'd give it to me one-on-one. How about that? And for cheaper than the original class. We're scheduled for August. I couldn't find contact info for the other instructor but, the class is gonna be more about the basics of life during the middle ages, so I've signed up and will more than likely just file away the information. I may or may not participate depending on how I feel and the clarity of the information.

So how's your spring going so far??



Monday, March 28, 2016

Movie Monday


So I finally saw Spectre, the most recent James Bond movie. I had originally thought to see it in the theater and never did and so I had to wait for it to come out on DVD.


The short plot write-up is this: The story sees Bond pitted against the global criminal organization Spectre as he attempts to thwart their plan to hijack a global surveillance network.

I watched this film more for Daniel Craig as Bond than for the actual story line. I'd heard it garnered mixed reviews and I'll admit that I didn't enjoy it as much I enjoyed (Craig's) Casino Royale or Skyfall. It was too long and too slow in places.

I also wanted to see Andrew Scott. His BBC Sherlock Moriarty has brought him some larger, juicier roles--and this was one of them. Andrew plays creepy really well, and I have a hard time evaluating his work because I hate creepy. So I guess he's good. Anyway, he plays a bad guy in Spectre and does a good job, although I was a bit put off by his age in regards to the job he held in the movie. I just felt that someone holding that position should have been a bit older.

Are you a Bond fan? Who's your favorite Bond?



Friday, March 25, 2016

Happy Birthday to my Darling Daughter!


Today, more years ago than I like to think, I gave birth to the other most beautiful girl in the whole wide world...

Hospital photo!! Maybe hours old...

Two years old or so and affectionately called Curly Sue on occasion.

First grade school picture.

Coloring with her much younger cousins, Christmas 2009.

Very recent...


She'll be coming over Sunday for b-day lunch, cake, and presents! I'll let you know how the epic birth sampler of love and the mushy card was received.


(forgive the photo quality--I had to take picture of the pictures except for the last one because my scanner isn't working)


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I seem to have a bit of theme going...



But, Friday will have a real post, 'cause I'm going to write it right now. :)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Yep, it's Monday...



Friday, March 18, 2016

It's been a helluva week, so a little eye candy is in order...


...since real candy is not the best idea right now, lest I eat ALL OF IT.


Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring is springing...


The grass is growing, trees are budding and much to my delighted surprise, my Chinese wisteria is blooming like mad. I say that, but looking at it, it's rather pathetic. Compared to previous years, however--yes; yes, it is blooming like mad! Look! And it smells wonderful. If only I could bottle the scent.


Are things blooming in your neck of the woods?


Monday, March 14, 2016

What's next...?


So I finished the epic birth sampler of love--whew--and got it to Micheal's this past weekend for framing. It's scheduled to ready the day before her birthday, but I doubt I'd see her until the weekend following anyhow, so all's well.


It's funny that as soon as I'd finished it, I missed having a project waiting on the table for me to sit and work at, whether for a few minutes or for as long as the notion took me, so I took some time this weekend to see which of my other projects I wanted to tackle.

I've had this thing floating around for years--since the Brown-Eyed Girl was a baby...


It had been unfinished for many many of the intervening years, but sometime in the last couple I must have taken the time. I just need to finish the wooden house frame that came with it and then frame it and then hang it somewhere.

After looking at my various projects, I decided to work on my Harry Potter Spells sampler... Remember, a couple of years ago, I made this for my CP for her birthday:


Well, I want one for myself although I don't want to turn it into a scrolled parchment looking project. I want it to match my Sherlock sampler in looks so I can hang it close by and have them appear similar. I spent the weekend modifying the pattern for my needs/wants. I'm not quite done yet, but another evening or two of tweaking and I should be ready to prep my cloth and start stitching.

Along with my pattern making, I spent Sunday watching hockey and NASCAR (another photo finish!) So a pleasant weekend of relaxing for me... Hope you had a lovely weekend as well.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Atlanta here I come...


(Midtown Atlanta--image source: Wikipedia)

Three weeks form today, I'll be winging my way to Atlanta for a fan-run Sherlock con. It's my first trip to Atlanta and to a con. I'm both excited and a bit anxious. I've flown enough in the last couple years (thanks, Sonshine) for that part of the trip not to be a worry. But the hotel is across town from the airport, so I still need to research and plan for traversing the city somehow.

Attending such a popular con by myself is a bit daunting, but I've wanted to experience fandom on a larger scale than just reading and writing fan fiction and from my side of keyboard and monitor. So I'm doing it.

There are going to be tons of people wearing costumes (basically dressing up as characters from various universes of Sherlock Holmes), and I thought about it, but the one unique costume I came up with would have been a bear to travel with. I decided to just stock up on Sherlock t-shirts and just be what I am, a fan girl.

Along with all the cosplay going on, there will be panels just like at any con. I need to look up the topics and decide what I want to attend and if I want to do any sightseeing while I'm there.

Anyone been to Atlanta? Did you like it? Any must sees?


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Happy Wednesday...


Yeah, I got nothin'...





Monday, March 7, 2016

Have I told you lately....


How much I love my iPhone???

Yeah. It's my little pocket pal. It hit home again last Friday when I was waiting in line at the drive through ATM. Oh, three people in front of me??? Let me just pull out my smart phone and pull up the fic I'm reading. Walking to the post office and need some tunes??? No, problem. Hit play. Think of something, anything that I know I'm not gonna remember by the time I get to a pencil and paper??  All I have to do open my Notes app and poke it in!!

 How much I'm enjoying watching NASCAR again???

Yesterday DH and I watched race three taking place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was somewhat of a nail-biter as the weather out there was a bit crazy. We're making race day a bit of an event with special snacks.

How close I am to being done with the epic birth sampler of love???

Yes, indeed. I finished the last E and went on to the N. Gotta stitch like crazy this week to not only finish the N, but to get her birth details added. Then it's off to Michael's for framing.


Hope you had a great weekend!


Friday, March 4, 2016

American Fun Facts!


Let's have some more fun facts. So, in honor of the state of my birth...

List of California Facts and Trivia

1.    California's Mount Whitney measures as the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Its most famous climb is Mount Whitney Trail to the 14,495 feet summit. Wilderness permits are required.
2.    In 1925 a giant sequoia located in California's Kings Canyon National Park was named the nation's national Christmas tree. The tree is over 300 feet in height.
3.    More turkeys are raised in California than in any other state in the United States.
4.    Pacific Park, on the venerable Santa Monica Pier, re-creates the amusement parks once dotting the ocean areas along the Pacific Coast. Featured are 11 amusement rides including the 1910-vintage hand-carved merry-go-round appearing in the movie "The Sting."
5.    Alpine County is the eighth smallest of California's 58 counties. It has no high school, ATMs, dentists, banks, or traffic lights.
6.    Fallbrook is known as the Avocado Capital of the World and hosts an annual Avocado Festival. More avocados are grown in the region than any other county in the nation.
7.    In the late 1850s, Kennedy Mine, located in Jackson, served as one of the richest gold mines in the world and the deepest mine in North America.
8.    An animal called the riparian brush rabbit calls Caswell Memorial State Park (near Manteca) its home. Endemic only to the state's park system, the critter lives in approximately 255 acres stretching along the area's once-vast hardwood forest.
9.    In city of Pacific Grove, there is a law on the books declaring the molestation of monarch butterflies to be illegal.
10.    The largest three-day rodeo in the United States is held on the Tehama County Fairgrounds in Red Bluff.
11.    Demonstrations on making toothpaste from orange by-products were popular attractions at the Los Angeles County fair in 1922. The fair is held in Pomona.
12.    Located in Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum is the largest museum of its kind in North America.
13.    Several celebrities are buried at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City. Included gravesites are those of Al Jolson, George Jessel, Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny, and Percy Faith.
14.    California Caverns claims the distinction of being the most extensive system of caverns and passageways in the Mother Lode region of the state.
15.    Totaling nearly three million acres, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the country.
16.    On Catalina Island in 1926, American author Zane Grey built a pueblo-style home on the hillside overlooking Avalon Bay. He spent much of his later life in Avalon. The home is now a hotel.
17.    Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge contains the largest winter population of bald eagles in the continental United States.
18.    Author Richard Dana (1851-1882) wrote the novel "Two Years Before the Mast." He inspired the name for the beach community of Dana Point.
19.    In Atwater the Castle Air Museum has the largest display of military aircraft in the state.
20.    The Country Store in Baker has sold more winning California State Lottery tickets than any outlet in the state.
21.    Reputed to be the most corrupt politician in Fresno County history, Vice-leader Joseph Spinney was mayor for only ten minutes.
22.    The Hollywood Bowl is the world's largest outdoor amphitheater.
23.    The first person to personally receive a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood was actress Joanne Woodward. She received it in 1960.
24.    Death Valley is recognized as the hottest, driest place in the United States. It isn't uncommon for the summer temperatures to reach more than 115 degrees.
25.    The first motion picture theater opened in Los Angeles on April 2, 1902.
26.    Inyo National Forest is home to the bristle cone pine, the oldest living species. Some of the gnarled trees are thought to be over 4,600 years old.
27.    San Francisco Bay is considered the world's largest landlocked harbor.
28.    Sequoia National Park contains the largest living tree. Its trunk is 102 feet in circumference.
29.    Yorba Linda is home to the Richard Nixon Library.
30.    The Coachella Valley is nicknamed The Date Capital of the world and The Playground of Presidents.
31.    One out of every eight United States residents lives in California.
32.    California is the first state to ever reach a trillion dollar economy in gross state product.
33.    California has the largest economy in the states of the union.
34.    If California's economic size were measured by itself to other countries, it would rank the 7th largest economy in the world.
35.    Los Angeles is ranked the fourth largest economy in the United States compared to other states.
36.    Simi Valley is the home of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.
37.    It is estimated there are approximately 500,000 detectable seismic tremors in California annually.
38.    During his engagement at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, Otis Redding stayed on a houseboat in Sausalito. While there he wrote his last song and greatest hit: "The Dock of the Bay."
39.    The state motto is Eureka!, a Greek word translated "I have found it!" The motto was adopted in 1849 and alludes to the discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada.
40.    California is known variously as The Land of Milk and Honey, The El Dorado State, The Golden State, and The Grape State.
41.    There are more than 300,000 tons of grapes grown in California annually.
42.    California produces more than 17 million gallons of wine each year.
43.    The redwood is the official state tree. Some of the giant redwoods in Sequoia National Park are more than 2,000 years old.
44.    The California poppy is the official state flower. The California grizzly bear (Ursus californicus) is the official state animal.
45.    California holds two of the top ten most populous cities: Los Angeles and San Diego.
46.    Fresno proclaims itself the Raisin Capital of the World.
47.    The highest and lowest points in the continental United States are within 100 miles of one another. Mount Whitney measures 14,495 feet and Bad Water in Death Valley is 282 feet below sea level.
48.    Castroville is known as the Artichoke Capital of the World. In 1947 a young woman named Norma Jean was crowned Castroville's first Artichoke Queen. She went on to become actress Marilyn Monroe.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Happy Birthday to my Brown-Eyed Girl


Twenty-eight years ago, one of the most beautiful babies ever was born.

Happy birthday to my wonderful daughter.

 At two weeks, I think.

First grade school picture.


With her baby brother at the beginning of this year.

Love you bunches baby girl.


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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