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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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Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday, Monday...


Well, I was a bad blogger and didn't post on Friday. I don't have much of an excuse because I was up early and at the gym, but then DH and I got sucked into TV before we had to head south for our Thanksgiving celebrations. We had a delicious (as always) dinner at my in-law's house and just sat around and visited for a couple of hours before heading back home for a low-key weekend.

I did break out some Christmas decorations...garland and the strings of snowflake-tipped lights that go around the front window. I busted out the winter/Christmas votive holders and tea light candles too. I put up the tree, too, which took all of twenty minutes because the tree is only 18" tall. There's still more stuff I want to put up, but it's start and I have to find the rest before I can do anything.

Oh! I'm happy to report a weight-loss break-through. I finally dipped below the 132.8 lb. mark I haven't gotten under that in forever. I know it won't hold, but I broke the plateau, so I've got incentive to keep pushing until I can get below the 130 lb. mark once and for all and stay there. The biggest obstacle is going to be the weather now that it's getting colder. My warm cozy bed is going to be hard to leave each morning once the temperatures get below the 50s overnight. But I can the light at the end of the tunnel, so hopefully, I'll keep reaching for the light.

On the writing/publishing front, things are going mostly well. Book one is ready to go, with cover art and everything. Book two is with the content/copy editor and on her schedule starting tomorrow. No cover art as of yet. That's scheduled for end of January. Book three is in progress and I need to get my act together and finish it. Book four is done and ready to go to the content/copy editor and ready for cover art (end of February). Book five needs to be read and revised. Book six is in the planning stages. I have characters and a premise and some scene ideas, so once book three is ready for it's 2-to-3 week deep freeze (when I don't look at it in order to re-read with fresh eyes), I can juggle books five and six. I'm mostly on track. I'm not stressing because I am self-publishing, so I can push back deadlines, but I really, really want to keep my original goal of publishing on my birthday in June.

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend! Tell me what you did.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving...



Here's wishing all my family and friends and their family and friends a love Thanksgiving.

Because the holidays just aren't' holidays without the Peanuts.




Friday, November 18, 2016

TGIF


Yep, I'm definitely looking forward to this weekend. Partly because it's been a hell of a week and partly because I get to spend AAAALLLL day tomorrow with some of my favorite people in the whole wide world--my critique group. Right, we rarely critique anymore, but it's more like our little writer sisterhood. We gather monthly to talk and talk and talk and talk. We support one another in all things; family and jobs and personal issues as well as writing. And they are all such wonderful, beautiful women. I don't know what my life would be without them.


Have a great weekend!!
 
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

American Fun Facts

Borrowed from the Readers Digest...their sources at the bottom...

Our Grand Old Flag
The current 50-star American flag was designed by a 17-year-old as a school project in 1958. He got a B-.

Talk about a Great Lake
There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover the entire landmass of North and South America in one foot of liquid.

A whole lotta pizza
Meanwhile, we sell enough pizza every day to cover 100 acres.

Our mighty military
The largest air force in the world is the U.S. Air Force. The world’s second-largest air force is the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps combined.

Cry me a (very old) river
Three of the world’s five oldest rivers flow here: The New, the Susquehanna, and the French Broad Rivers are each hundreds of millions of years old.

The power of youth
But our nation is young: The government is still paying one pension on behalf of a Civil War veteran (to his 85-year-old daughter).

America's deadliest job
Statistically, the deadliest job in America is … president. Of the 
44 men who’ve held the post, four have been assassinated in office—
a rate of roughly 9 percent (or about one in ten) killed on the job.

An entrepreneurial president

The only U.S. president to own a patent and a saloon: Abraham Lincoln. His patent was for a device to lift boats over sandbars. His saloon was a miserable failure. Here are famous presidential "quotes" that are completely fake.

The president you don't want to mess with
The only president who was an executioner: Grover Cleveland. As sheriff of Erie County, New York, he hanged a murderer.

In praise of the pilgrims
An estimated one in ten of us could be a blood relative to one of the original 102 pilgrims who arrived aboard the Mayflower in 1620. But we still believe these myths about Thanksgiving.

The FBI is watching us
And roughly one in three of us has his or her fingerprints on file with the FBI.

A nation of do-gooders
According to the World Giving Index, Americans are the most likely people in the world to help a stranger.

Thanks to our firemen
Case in point: Slightly more than 69 percent of firefighters in the United States are volunteers.

Our real Independence day
The day Congress voted us free from British rule is July 2, 1776. July 4 is just when John Hancock put the first signature on the Declaration of Independence to spread the word.

The highest court in the land
Finally, the real acme of the American justice system? That would be the basketball court on 
the fifth floor of the Supreme Court building. It’s known as the Highest Court in the Land.

Sources: todayifoundout.com, seagrant.umn.edu, fbi.gov, wsj.com, thewire.com, cafonline.org, nfpa.org, usnews.com, reddit.com, nationalinterest.org, navy.mil, smithsonian.com, knowledgenuts.com, washingtonpost.com, the Mayflower Society, and atlasobscura.com
Monday, November 14, 2016

Dr. Strange...


It's a week of Benedict Cumberbatch!

Yesterday, DH and I went to see BC's latest film, Dr. Strange...the story of a neurosurgeon who loses the use of his hands after a car accident. After traditional medicine fails him in his quest to regain the use of his hands, he searches the globe for something else. During his journey he comes across a sorcerer and becomes a student. Over the course of his training he transforms into a superhero.



The movie wasn't what I was expecting, so despite Cumberbatch, I'm only giving it seven stars. That is of course a subjective opinion. I haven't looked, but I'm sure it's gotten rave reviews. I wasn't keen on Rachel McAdams as the love interest. I just felt like someone wiht more acting chops--on par with Ben--should have been in that role. But that's just me perhaps? The character wasn't an integral part of the whole thing, so...whatever I guess.

The kaleidoscope graphics were awesome, but the other froo froo ones left a lot to be desired and contribute a lot to my lower star rating.

Benedict played Strange with an American accent, which was fine. I've heard him do it before. I would have much rather he'd been allowed to be British. I mean it's not unheard of for people to move to another country to live and work, so I think it could have been fine. I get that the original character of Dr. Strange was American, but, really, worse things have been done cinematically.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Friday, November 11, 2016

The dangers of the Internet...


So when I went to look for some sort of amusing hockey meme for today, I ended up on Pinterest somehow and got lost for about thirty minutes looking at easy Christmas crafts!

I found a handful of really cute and simple ornaments and gifts to make, but that hadn't been my intent.

So here I am with this. And as a watcher of both soccer and hockey, I can say with some certainty, this is very true!


Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Road Trip...


I'm recovering from a whirlwind trip to Houston this past weekend. A friend had a book signing at an indie book store and wanted some company. So I went. I was lucky enough to see my gorgeous Brown-Eyed Girl, but wouldn't you know...I took a picture of the view from the deck where we ate brunch, but I didn't get a picture of her and I. Duh!



While in Houston, my friend Gina Lee Nelson, writing cozy mysteries as Rebecca Adler, hit six Barnes & Nobles so that she could sign her books. As you might have noticed at any retail outlet you've visited, Christmas is upon us. So in the second store we hit, I saw a table full of blankets, scarves, covered hot water bottles, and slip-free socks. One pattern option was a lovely red plaid and the other was music staffs and a line from God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman. Had it been just the one store, I could have resisted, but seeing those delightful socks that reminded me of Sonshine over and over, I finally broke down. Cute, huh??


Of course being gone for the weekend meant none of my usual chores got done, but as of this morning's quick trip to Wally World, we're back on track.

I know I'm kinda late with this, but how was your weekend??




Friday, November 4, 2016

Gonna have to watch the replay...


From left to right: Jordie Benn, Jamie Benn, and Tyler Seguin...

Because I started watching the game and there was no score after the first period when I went to walk on the treadmill and the laptop died while I was doing dishes at the beginning of the second, and because it was late and the boys had lost the last several games I did watch, I thought, "whatever--I'll just listen to the end of the game on the radio." And DAMMIT! I missed all the excitement.

Congrats to the Dallas Stars who ended their losing streak. Also congrats to Tyler Segin who had a hand in at least four of those goals. :)

LET'S GO STARS!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Thanksgiving Myths


We've reached November! On, my goodness--where did the year go??? In celebration of Thanksgiving--the only holiday we regularly get two days off for. (I'm not talking retail, I'm talking banks, governments, and general businesses.)

Let's talk about some myths, courtesy of Readers Digest.

Myth: The settlers at the first Thanksgiving were called Pilgrims.
Fact: They didn’t even refer to themselves as Pilgrims—they called themselves “Saints.” Early Americans applied the term “pilgrim” to all of the early colonists; it wasn’t until the 20th century that it was used exclusively to describe the folks who landed on Plymouth Rock.

Myth: It was a solemn, religious occasion.
Fact: Hardly. It was a three-day harvest festival that included drinking, gambling, athletic games, and even target shooting with English muskets (which, by the way, was intended as a friendly warning to the Indians that the Pilgrims were prepared to defend themselves).

Myth: It took place in November
Fact: It was some time between late September and the middle of October—after the harvest had been brought in. By November, says historian Richard Ehrlich, “the villagers were working to prepare for winter, salting and drying meat and making their houses as wind resistant as possible.”

Myth: The Pilgrims wore large hats with buckles on them.
Fact: None of the participants were dressed anything like the way they’ve been portrayed in art: the Pilgrims didn’t dress in black, didn’t wear buckles on their hats or shoes, and didn’t wear tall hats. The 19th-century artists who painted them that way did so because they associated black clothing and buckles with being old-fashioned.

Myth: They ate turkey.
Fact: The Pilgrims ate deer, not turkey. As Pilgrim Edward Winslow later wrote, “For three days we entertained and feasted, and [the Indians] went out and killd five deer, which they brought to the plantation.” Winslow does mention that four Pilgrims went “fowling” or bird hunting, but neither he nor anyone else recorded which kinds of birds they actually hunted—so even if they did eat turkey, it was just a side dish. “The flashy part of the meal for the colonists was the venison, because it was new to them,” says Carolyn Travers, director of research at Plimoth Plantation, a Pilgrim museum in Massachusetts. “Back in England, deer were on estates and people would be arrested for poaching if they killed these deer … The colonists mentioned venison over and over again in their letters back home.” Other foods that may have been on the menu: cod, bass, clams, oysters, Indian corn, native berries and plums, all washed down with water, beer made from corn, and another drink the Pilgrims affectionately called “strong water.”

A few things definitely weren’t on the menu, including pumpkin pie—in those days, the Pilgrims boiled their pumpkin and ate it plain. And since the Pilgrims didn’t yet have flour mills or cattle, there was no bread other than corn bread, and no beef, milk, or cheese. And the Pilgrims didn’t eat any New England lobsters, either. Reason: They mistook them for large insects.

Myth: The Pilgrims held a similar feast every year.
Fact: There’s no evidence the Pilgrims celebrated again in 1622. They probably weren’t in the mood—the harvest had been disappointing, and they were burdened with a new boatload of Pilgrims who had to be fed and housed through the winter.

Interesting!

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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