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2018 Goals

  • Regularly write to my Grandma in Denmark.
  • Call my moms monthly.
  • Walk the dog three times a week.
  • Cook and eat better.
  • Re-institute the cleaning plan.
  • Work on my writing career--such as it is.
  • Reduce body fat and maintain current weight.
  • Take dance lessons with DH.
  • Do more crafts!
  • Take ballet and/or ice skating lessons.
  • Attend more STARS games.


Blog Archive

Blog Archive

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Gone green... and other random stuff...

And, surprisingly, I'm not talking about the Stars. :0) Although there is a game tonight and I will be there and I will be wearing green.

But I'm talking about the environment... This past Sunday, I took tote bags with me to the grocery store and used those for toting home my food stuffs. It was a little bit of a challenge to utilize the bags in the sizes I had. I mean, you do your own scanning and bagging for long enough, you develop a system and preference on how to sort and bag the groceries in those store-provided bags. It'll probably take me a week or two to get a new order to things and I might need to dig around the closet to see what other sizes and shapes I have to trade out with and see what happens. :0)

Speaking of the closet, as promised on Wednesday, I did remember to find the next 100 Things Challenge item. Which turned out to be a couple of boxes of DVDs that no one has touched in a couple of years. I also found a box of VHS tapes, but those are going straight into the trash.

I culled carefully through the titles and pulled DH's favorites for him to take down to the fireworks store to keep there. Many of these are not available on Netflix.

Speaking of Netflix Amazon Prime, I finally got around to watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and it was wonderful. From Wiki: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is an American period comedy-drama web television series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, that premiered on March 17, 2017. The series stars Rachel Brosnahan as the titular Miriam "Midge" Maisel, a housewife in 1958 New York City who discovers she has a knack for stand-up comedy.

What they don't say in that succinct write-up is that she'd been supporting her husband for years in his attempt to be a standup comedian and one night he completely bombs and when they get home, he walks out. She gets stupidly drunk and ends up at the club in her peignoir (wearing a coat though) and gives a hilarious drunken monologue.

Once DD and I binged through the eight eps of the first season of that, we started on Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, another Amazon Prime original. From Wiki: Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, or simply Jack Ryan, is an American action political thriller web television series, based on characters from the fictional "Ryanverse" created by Tom Clancy.

I gotta say... John Krasinski, who plays Jack Ryan, is also very easy on the eyes.
 If you've seen The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, and/or A Clear and Present Danger, then you should be familiar with Jack Ryan. This series serves as a sort of per-cursor to Jack Ryan's roles in those films but set in the present day (cell phones were not a thing in 90, 92, or 94). I've not seen the more recent offerings of The Sum of All Fears (02) or Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (14).

Aside from the premises and plots of the new original series on both Netflix and Amazon Prime that I've watched, one of the things that intrigues (not the right word) me is the format of eight (Mrs. Maisel and Jack Ryan) or thirteen (Grace & Frankie and The Ranch on Netflix) episodes per season.

As a viewer in general, I'd like more of the shows I enjoy. But as a fan of actors, I think it's a great opportunity for them to be able to do other projects rather than being tied to one show for years on end--like Ellen Pompeo in Grey's Anatomy and Mark Harmon from the original NCIS series.

And that's about all I have to ramble on about today. Hope you have a great weekend--

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

We're going for POTPOURRI today!

Let's start with the fact I have a cold. It doesn't happen often and it's probably been years since I've had a full on cold last. And it's not even really that bad. The thing that hurts worst is my nose from blowing it and using toilet paper. I had a bit of swelling down in my throat at first, but that's gone. Now I'm just riding it out.

The thing that really has me peeved this week is my stupid Charter Spectrum business account. We have a business account at home because of the business and static IP reasons. Anyway, up until about a month ago, I was able to watch replays of Stars games. At live games, there's no commentary, so sometimes I like to re-watch--well, listen more than watch--the games so I can learn stuff.

After fighting with the app and trying a different app, I finally called Charter and asked what was up with this turn of events. I was politely told that business accounts don't get that feature, for lack of a better term.

Wait, what???

I've had this feature available to me for at least a year--I watched a Stars game from Denver in October of 2017. I even upgraded my TV package well over a year ago to get the Fox Sports Southwest channel on order to be able to watch Stars games on TV and now I can't watch games on the go or re-watch the following day anymore?? I mean--what the hell do they care??

BFF Jenn suggested there was an update that maybe finally fixed a bug that had allowed it? I don't know that I buy that though. Originally we had residential service, but then upgraded to the business grade and I'm thinking they just missed the tick box to turn it off when that originally transpired. But you know what?? I want my access back!!

And last but not least...

How 'bout this crappy weather??? It's been at or below the freezing mark overnight for the last two nights and the freezing temps last well into the day. I've had faucets at a trickle for two days. This morning it was TWENTY-FOUR DEGREES with frost on my windshield!!!!! It's not time for that here in North Texas. That's January and February weather, not November weather.

I know I need to did around my house and find something else to get rid of for the 100 Things Challenge, but I've been so busy collecting new things and being lazy that I haven't done so. I'll have something by Friday, I promise.

Have a great rest of your week.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Outlaw King

DD and I watched Outlaw King this weekend. From Wikipedia: Outlaw King is a 2018 historical action drama film about Robert the Bruce, the 14th-century Scottish king who launched a guerilla war against the larger English army.

I do like history and I like Scottish history, but I opted to watch it because Robert the Bruce is played by Chris Pine of the Star Trek reboot fame, which as you know, I love. The reboots, that is, more than Chris Pine, but here we are. Also I'm planning a series for Medieval Scotland at some point, so that was also motivation.

I enjoyed the movie, but I warn you it's not for the faint of heart, there's a lot of graphic violence. And for good reason. I mean--it's the Middle Ages and it's men fighting for what's theirs against huge odds.

 I give the film a movie rating of nine.

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

Friday, November 9, 2018

Let's talk about HOCKEY today!!

I was back in the American Airlines Center last night to watch the Stars take down the Sharks. Okay, so they didn't really take them down. But they won and it was a good game to watch. Mostly. There were a couple of  major "WTF?" moments, but they pulled out the win, so yeah.

The young man above is Devin Shore and he scored two of last night's four goals.

My boy Tyler Seguin ended a 12-game scoring drought, so that was very cool to see. Let's recap, shall we??

 First--he steals the puck. That guy behind him is one of the defensemen in the league.

Then he shoots and he scores...see that little black circle in the net?? Yeah baby. At this point in it's trajectory, it's bouncing back after hitting the twine of the back of the net.

Seguin lifts his hands in celebration. He finally got one after a lot of shots on goal these last 12 games that pinged off the goal posts, the cross bar, or off the goalies.

And here he yells "YEAH" as he accepts fist bumps from his teammates on the bench.

So congrats to Tyler Seguin for getting back on the scoreboard.

Joe Thornton, a player for the other team, played in his 1500 career game and Dallas fans gave him a standing ovation, so that was classy of us.

And that was a fun night with DD, my favorite person to go to games with.

Be loud. Wear green. GO STARS!!!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Let's talk about food!

I had this conversation the other day and it seemed like a good blog topic, so here we are. :0)

My employee went to a small privately owned fast food restaurant in the business park that our office is located in. He came back and of course I asked what he got. He showed me his burger.

That's one of my favorite meals, I said.

A good juicy burger. I leave off the bun these days, but still enjoy onions, lettuce, pickles, ketchup or A-1 Sauce. Sometimes I eat them smothered in baked beans.

That led to this thought.... If I could eat anything I wanted for the rest of my life (and not count calories or get fat, of course), I'd live off of burgers, cereal, pizza, and pumpkin cake.

Who doesn't love a good juicy burger?? My sister-in-law made the best burger I've ever had.

From Wikipedia; author: Hongreddotbrewhouse

In case you don't know me, I love cereal...all kinds, "healthy" and not-so-healthy. I don't buy anything but Cheerios these days and I buy them for DH and not for myself, although I confess I do eat them. More often than I should. But not with milk. This might sound "ewww" to some of you, but they taste really good with the caramel flavored protein shakes I buy.

And pizza...who doesn't love pizza?? Pepperoni, meat lovers, veggie, there are few traditional things I don't like on pizza. Not a big fan of anchovies or mushrooms, but I'm game for just about anything else.

From Wikipedia--no attribution needed.

Who doesn't love cake?? These are my favorite pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. There's been a dearth of these in my life because carbs of course, but also, my oven doesn't work, so...


 What about you?? What few foods could you happily live off of for the rest of your life??

Hope your week is going well. :0)

Monday, November 5, 2018

I want to write, I should be writing, but...

I'm just feeling out of sorts. DH has been gone supporting his family during a tough time. I haven't been to the gym in a while and I'm feeling the effects of the lack. We're trying to keep the mileage down on the car I have so I haven't gone. When I don't go, I have a hard time being diligent at home, but my body has finally put its metaphorical foot down and I am spending time on the treadmill morning and evening.

But I still keep having thoughts about wanting to write even though the act of sitting down and opening a file had eluded me until Friday. I read through a book I'd written and which is not 100% complete, but close. (story of my life) I wanted to see how close. I spent Friday and Saturday reading and tweaking. Then I exported it to MS Word and now I'm formatting.

I'm still not writing new stuff, but I'm in my work. Not in the manuscript I should be working on either, but at least I'm working on something.

The good news is, there's not much new read in my fandoms and I'm pretty caught up on my various shows. So there's no shiny things to entice me away from writing, even though, again, I do want to.

It's just that when I contemplate it, I suddenly feel wiped out from all the other stuff going on.

At least it's sunny today which will go a long way towards lifting my spirits and keeping them up.

Which is also contributing to the blah...I'm feeling down in the dumps.

Saturday with writer peeps was refreshing and uplifting as it always is when I hang out with these ladies. Sunday was productive in terms of those crafty projects I mentioned a few posts ago. I even finished one...

Hope you had a good weekend.

Friday, November 2, 2018

So I have this now...

It's the hockey tree. It was DD's idea and I liked it, so here we are. It has three ornaments at this point, so hoping for a few more come Christmas. I'm thinking of opening up my box of hockey stick candy canes and adding little loops of thread to hang them with.

I'm going to create a Stanley Cup tree topper out of a toilet paper tube and aluminum foil. :0) Maybe some sort of garland out of I-don't-know-what. (Here I come, Pinterest--again!)

I'm gathering with my favorite ladies and writer peeps tomorrow. I haven't seen these women since September and I've missed them terribly.

So hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

This years swag haul...

Since I was a supporting author and had my own events to attend, I didn't have as many opportunities to see other people's stuff. I did attend the Featured Authors Signing to scope out some of this year's swag. It was a lot of the same. Some people had So. Much. Stuff.

This is my haul...

I saw a lot of goodie bags... (not pictured) Just cellophane with candy and maybe a pen and notepad or something. Which is all well and good, but people have such different taste in candy. Or they don't like chocolate. Or are allergic to nuts. Or don't like caramel. I don't know. It seems like a waste to me.

Books are given away as prizes in almost every workshop and reading and q&a session. I came home with a handful this year. I definitely want to read two of them. I haven't read the back cover blurbs of the others yet. They'll all be donated to the library at some point because I keep very few physical books these days.

I did notice, though, that rainbow anything was very popular, so my brain is whirring... I'm thinking small little cross stitch something or others. Heigh ho, heigh ho, off to Pinterest I go. I'll let you know what I come with later.

On the 100 Things Challenge front, I cleaned out the glass and mug cabinet and am getting rid of this:

Making progress. A trip to the donation station is in order soon.

Have a great rest of your week.

Monday, October 29, 2018

What makes you happy?

Aside from rainbows and butterflies or whatever, what does it take for a person to be satisfied or content with their life?

Last summer (2017), while on our retreat to Lake Conroe, one of my dear writer peeps brought a worksheet that listed twenty-five of the most common vital needs. Most people have 5 to 7 seven needs requiring fulfillment on a regular basis, whether daily or weekly, monthly, etc.

personal time doing for others recognition for achievements movement sleep
approval and acceptance order and closure time alone territory financial security
one-on-one attention group relationships empathy humor spirituality
touch having a project variety of experiences structured time unstructured time
being with people anticipation competition learning something new listening to music

When my girlfriends and I first talked about these, a few jumped out at me right away.

Sleep--check. Minimum six hours a night with occasional naps to make up what I need.
Personal time--check. I am an early bird and get up super early to enjoy the peace and quiet of the house.
Movement--check. I always feel better when I get my exercise in. I definitely need to get back on track with regular exercise.
Time Alone--check. Early mornings and working from home Tuesdays and Thursdays give me that time.
Listening to music--check. Everyday. In the car if I'm alone. At the office via YouTube. My iPod is docked in my home office.
Humor--check. My Puck Soup Podcast is a staple. I get new content seven times a month, but I often re-listen to a favorite episode.

As I look at the list now, some other things that didn't strike me then, now do.

Having a project--as you probably know by the number of posts there are about cross stitching in this blog, I generally have a project. Usually the cross stitching, but I occasionally do other crafts or work on the house and yard. Also writing.

Doing for others--I've volunteered forever in various groups that I've been a part of. My writers group, the PTA, Band Boosters, my daily chat room.

Structured time/unstructured time--I don't like having my day so structured that everything is scheduled, but I do live by a fairly regular routine and I have a lengthy TO-DO list that keeps me productive each day.

What about you? Any of those needs strike a chord with you??

Friday, October 26, 2018

How is it almost November...

...and there's no rest for the wicked or the weary in sight.

Isn't this the time of year when life is supposed to slow down? The weather changes, the holidays approach, clients and customers don't call because they've used up their IT budget for the year. (oh, wait, most of our clients are on contracts)

I've got lunch with a friend or two. There's a possible writer peeps gathering. And then there's Thanksgiving. A couple of Stars games are in the mix too. That's just November.

December means prepping for Christmas and fireworks season. There's my writers group holiday party/meeting. There are more hockey games. There's even a chance I'll get a visit from... (drum roll lease) ...Sonshine!!! Please keep your fingers crossed. :0)

In the everyday, there's being with DH and going to the gym and reading and cross stitching and maybe even some writing. I really need to get on that. I need a new book or two out by next October.

On top of all of that--as if that isn't plenty--a dear family member is having some severe health issues, so that'll continually be on the radar.

Hope you're all doing well...

I'll see y'all on Monday. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Old Towne Portsmouth...

Last Friday morning, I took some time to get outside and enjoy some fresh and get the blood circulating. I love history and as you can guess, Portsmouth was full of it. I didn't do much reading of the history, just enjoyed the sights. Namely in the form of buildings...I love old buildings. I love imaging who lived in them, what they looked like on the inside once upon a time, as well as what they might look like now.

So just a few pics from my jaunt around Portsmouth.

 I find these interesting with the stairs going up the second floor, which presumably is the main level of the house. Meaning the bottom level was probably for servants at one time.

 I like these too, with the front porch.

 I like the bay windows on this one.

 This is obviously a two-apartment house, with the porch/balcony on the upper level.

 Here's another with the stairs going to the second floor, but it also has two chimneys.

I'm pretty sure this one also has a basement level floor that is hidden from view. I wonder if that top-most window goes into an attic room or if the middle bedroom and the second?/third? floor has super high ceilings and the window belongs to it...

I saw one house (no pics) that was, I think, four levels (basement, two regular floors, the attic). With all kinds of random stairs attached, it had obviously been divided up into apartments. It would be so interesting to see the original layout and then how and where they added bathrooms and kitchens when they divvied it up.

And then here are the few other pictures I took...

The sunrise view of my 9th floor room. That ship there in the middle of the frame is the USS Bataan--in for some repairs or upgrades.

The river is the Elizabeth River...

My roomie and I took the water taxi across the river for lunch on Friday.

Here is a random boat sailing the river one day.

On Sunday I took a partial scenic route back to Raleigh...through the countryside of southeastern Virginia and north central North Carolina. It was a truly lovely fall day with cool temps and a brisk wind. The trees were all sorts of lovely colors and the small towns were so charming.

I passed cotton fields and a gin along the way...

 I'm used to seeing hay in humongous rolls like this--not cotton!!

 And that concludes my pictures...

I had a busy but wonderful time and am definitely glad to be home and back into the regular routines of my life--that even includes eating and exercising. :0)

Have a great rest of your week. See you on Friday.

Monday, October 22, 2018

2nd Stop--Portsmouth, VA for the GRL Conference

Sorry I missed Friday, but Thursday was a whirlwind and Friday was busy and I just didn't have a chance to sit down at a computer and get something posted.

So Portsmouth is a charming little town and the conference was a success in as much as it could be for this being my first year attending as a writer.

As a supporting author, I had to pay a little higher registration fee, but I was able to participate in the supporting author book signing Thursday morning as well as schedule two author lounges; lounges are an opportunity for fans or prospective fans to chat with an author. No book selling.

Here is me at the signing:

My setup was minimal because I needed to make sure I had the funds to get/be there. I didn't spend a lot on swag--I bought pens and paperboard coasters. I gave away more coasters than pens which is fine. I sold one physical copy and convinced maybe a dozen or so people to download the free ebook.

I did learn a few things:

A) I do need some sort of  table drape. I tried to buy one a month or so ago, but the image I wanted to use wasn't high enough pixels per inch to allow it to look okay at a larger size. So I didn't end up getting anything. During the signings and other author lounges, I looked at what other authors did. Bottom line...even just my name will work, if that's what it comes down to. But I have an author slogan, so I can certainly incorporate that if I choose to.

B) My book full of QR codes was well received and I got several compliments on having it. So that's a standard going forward.

C) Even if I don't have physical books, I need to print 5x7 copies of the covers and use those standup acrylic frames to show off all the titles... I'm not sure why I didn't think of that this time. (and have the QR codes handy)

D) (and my least favorite but not unfamiliar lesson) Swag is king and draws the crowd. I only took one opportunity to check out swag this year and was amazed by what was on offer. Mostly all I could think of is "why"? I guess mine is not to wonder why, but to provide meaningful and interesting goodies. I have a few months to decide if I'm going to next year's (probably) and then I need to decide on swag and start gathering.

I did get to explore the area a bit too and I'll post some pics on Wednesday.

Hope you're all well and happy Monday.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

1st Stop--Raleigh NC to meet BFF Jenn

I made it safely to the first destination of my whirlwind week. I'm in Raleigh to meet BFF Jenn.

Here we are, Jen (me) and Jenn (the bff), aka the J Crew to the gang in the chat where we met.

Have a great week, I may or may not see you on Friday. :0)
Monday, October 15, 2018

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring...

...he went to bed, and he bumped his head, and he couldn't get up in the morning.

I remember singing that as a child. :0)

It's been raining for hours at the time of this post. I'm surprised there hasn't been a flash flood watch yet. My back yard is saturated and flooded. We sit at the lowest point of the block too, so everything flows to us and then out to the street.

Also, it's not supposed to rain in September and October. I want my Indian Summer.

Books arrived in Raleigh as scheduled. BFF Jenn opened the box for me and there are some kind of fingerprints on some of them...not sure how or why. She took pictures so I could file a complaint if I choose to. I'll see how many are affected when I get there. *sigh*

In other news, the Dallas Stars are 3 and 1 at home. Just so you know--they've won every game I've attended. Coincidence?( lol, of course it is) Saturday's game was awesome. I'm loving just having tickets and being able to go if I want.

Hockey season is wreaking havoc with writing because I have little interest at the moment in putting nose to the grindstone and finishing books. At the very least I should be studying my craft to help me finish these books or I should be working on fleshing out characters for current and/or future books.

Alas, hockey and the conference have filled my brain to the brim... Once I'm back though, it'll be time to do something writing-related every day.

Anyway, hope you have a great week. I may or may not get to post this week, but I'll try.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Very Good News...

Happy Friday, y'all!

KDP sent me an email the other day that my books have been shipped and are scheduled to arrive Saturday in Raleigh. Woo hoo!!

Thanks to everyone who sent good vibes into the universe. :0)

Also...FALL has arrived. Temperatures have reached the cool-over-night and warm-during-the-day balance that I love so much. I've had the windows open whenever I can to get rid of the stuffy AC recycled air.

In other news, I am handing off the reins of the contest I've been running for my writers group to a chaptermate. I'm very excited to place the contest into capable hands. Of course, I've taken on another, though smaller, program for the chapter because I just can't seem to help myself. But I don't have to do much of anything for that until January or February, so: Yay!

Preparations for my trip are winding down aside from the packing, which requires laundry, which will happen tomorrow. Just a few more minor things to get done as far as conference event prep goes and if I don't get to it, nothing bad will happen.

Anyway, have a great weekend and I'll catch you Monday!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


So the stage version of Frankenstein is coming back to theaters at the end of October...

Johnny Lee Miller and my fave Benedict Cumberbatch alternated playing the doctor and the creature during its live run.

I've seen BC's creature and it's amazing. Unfortunately, the encore of his performance as the creature is the day I'm returning from my conference and I don't arrive until the show's already started...

JLM's turn as the creature airs on the 29th. I'm debating on going. I know JLM is also amazing as the creature, but--the creature gets the bulk of the stage time and I do so love BC, so... I'm torn.

If you haven't seen this, you absolutely should.

Click on the graphic to get to the theater-near-you search page.

Hope your week is going well...

Monday, October 8, 2018

The countdown begins...and other random stuff.

One week and one day until I head east for my conference. I have a lot to get done this week...

Mostly packing. Hang on while I go grab my suitcase...Okay. Loaded into the car. The rest is making sure everything I need for the author signing and the author lounges is ready to go.

As I've mentioned before, at last year's conference I saw a lot of physical books, but no easy mechanism for e-book readers like me to get to the retailer of choice for any given book one might have wanted to purchase. My brilliant idea was to create QR codes for each book for each retailer. Which I have done.

Now I get to assemble book covers, back cover blurbs, and said QR codes into a document for each book and print everything out and put into a folder so that people can browse and hopefully buy.

I also have to prepare work for me being gone and do a bunch of stuff in advance of being gone.

In other news, I was given the go ahead by DH to buy my first Stars jersey.

I must say, it was a difficult decision...John Klingberg or Alexander Radulov. You can see who won. One down, three to go: Radulov, Mattias Janmark, and Tyler Seguin.

This week's 100 Things Giveaway includes board games, scarves, and some more Tupperware.

On the cross stitching front, I finished the gifts I was making for gal I said got me into hockey. I enjoyed the author Q&A at the bookstore and then delivered her gifts and wished her well. Then I thought I could turn my attention full time to the latest sampler I designed--remember the "Sunday Project" I talked about a while back? I was all excited about it becoming my primary project. But as I was happily stitching away yesterday, I remembered a sampler I want to stitch for my older daughter for Christmas. And so, the Sunday Project remains the Sunday Project. :0)

Hope you had a great weekend. Catch you Wednesday.

Friday, October 5, 2018


As I must've mentioned somewhere :0) the Stars home opener was last night with DD and I in attendance. And they won! Definitely a nice way to start the season.

But I realized a few things...

Being even a partial season ticket holder means I'll (obviously) be attending a lot more games, which means...

A) I have to come up with a game day dinner-to-go because eating arena food every time will be too expensive. Not only in terms of dollars, but also in terms of calories and carbohydrates.

B) Even though it'll usually be late by the time I get home, I still have to make a point to brush my teeth. Teeth care is a must for me these days as I have various mouth issues, so this is going to be a challenge I have to win.

C) I need to solve my shoe situation for games. Arenas are cold. The floors are concrete. My feet are my barometers. If my feet are warm, I am warm. My sneakers have never kept my feet warm. Next game I'll try my boots.

D) I need to solve my "Stars Gear" situation. I mean--you have to wear gear right?? You can't go in just any old thing.

I have two Dallas Stars shirts. One is just a generic Victory Green team shirt, the other is a player shirt. Both of which are made of regular tee shirt fabric. Neither of which will keep me warm enough once the weather turns cold. And who wants to wear a jacket over their gear??

The Hangar (the onsite team store) has all kinds of hoodies and jackets and jerseys. The stuff's not cheap, so I'll have to save up and look for coupons and discount offers and slowly build my collection of layers. Long sleeved tees, lightweight jackets, jerseys. I'm a firm believer in layers.

Perhaps for Christmas I should request gift certificates and such for The Hangar and :0)

On a side note, George Strait dropped the ceremonial first puck. I forget how much I love his music. Did you know he has more number one songs than any other artist in any genre of music? He is also third only to Elvis Presley and The Beatles with the most gold and platinum albums in the history of music. Pretty damn good, eh?

I'll leave you with this. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Stars at night...

...are big and bright!!

So, yes, I got to see a few faves and missed out on a couple of others. That's the way it goes. Maybe next year. :0)

Fair warning--I'm horrible at smiling for the camera, so in a couple of these pictures I look super dorky.

Here we go...

Not the first picture I took, but far and away the most coveted:

Little ol' me and TYLER SEGUIN!!!

As for the rest...(well, a few are still on DD's phone). But what I do have at the moment...

Me and:




It doesn't look like Alex was having a lot of fun, although I'd seen him smile a few minutes prior, so maybe he was tired...maybe the language barrier...

DD and I had a wonderful time hanging out and taking pics with our Dallas Stars.

Be loud!! Wear green!! Go Stars!!

PS--As far as my 100 Things Challenge item...I won a purse in an auction many moons ago but never used it, because it was more fancy than everyday use and it wasn't really my thing. Also I was after other parts of the package. So it's been sitting in the closet for the better part of ten years.

Have a great rest of your week.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Here we go...

I feel like I'm about to hit the crest of the first hill on a roller coaster ride. Life is about to get crazy.

This past weekend, we traded in the cars. The lease on the Rav 4 was almost over and the Scion was about on its last wheels. I joked that we now have his and hers Rav 4s, because we replaced the Scion with a Rav 4. Mine is a lovely plum color and DH's is the standard storm cloud gray.

Not only did I get the 2018 version, but DH upgraded me to the XLE as opposed to the base model LE, and between the two, I've been blessed with some lovely new bells and whistles.

Like a sun roof!! Like dual temp controls! Like push button start! Like GPS capability on the display screen (it needs a specific app to be loaded on my phone, but no more squinting at my Google Maps on my phone). Like a pull screen for the cargo area so no one can see what kind of stuff I might be hauling around. There are probably a few more handy dandy perks I haven't yet discovered, but this car is awesome and the best perk: it's costing us slightly less than the original.

In other equally exciting news and the cause of mi vida loca, hockey season officially starts this week. For the Stars, opening night is Thursday and yours truly will be there!! More than likely, I'll be at the AAC on Saturday as well for the second game.

Friday, I'm hoping to get to Dallas for the book signing of a brilliant young woman who is probably 90% responsible for me being a hockey fan.

But tonight--keep your fingers crossed for me. DD and I will be heading to Sig Flags over Texas this evening for the Dallas Stars Season Ticket Holder Event. There will be players available and interacting with fans!! Please send good vibes towards North Texas that DD and I will come across our favorite players and be able to get pictures with them.

If we're all lucky, I'll have pictures later in the week. >>insert big cheesy grin here<<

And then my con is now just around the corner. Two weeks from tomorrow, I'll be board a plane toward the east.

There will be as much down time and naps as I can muster so I have the energy for the rest.

Hope you had a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What the heck happened to my light strings...?

You know, my red/white/blue fairy lights in my office. That I love so much. :0)

These ones:

Are now down to this small section:

Everything else is completely dark.

Now I can't think that every single bulb blew. And this didn't start happening until I added that third stand--which was not the same brand as the first two.

So I'm thinking two things. My little fuses in each strand blew and I shouldn't mix and match strands because the voltage or wattage could be different.

And I have two choices. Either buy enough of the same lights to fit the space I want covered. Or remove the third strand and then go through the painstaking process of testing the bulbs in the remaining strands--after changing the fuses if possible.

Argh. Tough choice. Time is money, but those suckers aren't that cheap.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The 100 Things Challenge...

This week's purge includes a spool holder and vases.

 I don't sew enough anymore to keep this.

Who doesn't have a collection of vases in the closet?? There were three others I'd already hauled to the garage before remembering to get the photographic evidence. I will keep one just so's we have one. DD did bring home a bouquet from a student just the other day. But we don't have enough of those in our lives to warrant storing six vases. Bye bye!

On a quick side two was approved overnight for physical copies--woo hoo!!! I have a ordered a singer author copy of each to make sure they look okay still. If they do, I will order a batch of each for my conference. Keep your fingers crossed please.

Have a great week. Mine is looking up, now that the first hurdle of the book issue has been jumped.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Free Romance Novels...

Get some free romance novels...

I'm participating in the promo...they are not all male/male romances, so take a look if you're so inclined.

And now for an update...I heard back from KDP and I spent almost an hour on the phone with a lovely, patient gentleman named Christopher who helped me (hopefully) get the book accepted for print so that I can order copies for my conference.

The bleed issue--that my cover graphics (back and front cover images) weren't long enough for when the book gets trimmed was insane. The cover template I was sent--by KDP--was 2475 pixels high. After two print proofs with issues, I made those graphics 2510 pixels high (35 additional pixels) and there was still an issue on the back end. They could see it, but it never shows up on the screens and views that I have access to. That's a problem.

But, as I said, Christopher walked me through an alternative method and reviewed it on his end and said there is now 99.9% that it will be accepted this time. *cross your fingers please*

The other issue was with pagination. The main book is numbered and the excerpt of the second book is numbered although not continuously--why would it be?? According to the notes in my files, this could be an issue and cause a print delay.


My print proofs arrived within days of ordering with nary an issue as far as the page numbering was concerned. *sigh*

BUT-- I just need print books right now, so I deleted the page numbers of the excerpt and re-uploaded the manuscript.

Please, please, please...let that work. I will have an email within twenty-four hours.

Now to get book two sorted... Wish me luck and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What the heck, KDP???

As you know, I'm going to a conference in October. You also know I've been trying to get physical copies of my books to have available...

It took three tries to get everything sorted for book one...the third print proof copy looked great. I was happy with it. So I clicked the "go live" button within my Kindle Direct Publishing account and upon review by Amazon I have two issues to resolve...

But, but, but... my print proof looked great. There were no issues with the cover or the numbering within the book, so how is there now a problem??

I sent a query to Kindle/Amazon and they are going to research and get back to me by end-of-day Friday.

Time is of the essence now for getting the physical copies ordered.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Have a great rest of your week.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The 100 Things Challenge...

Into the giveaway box this week goes an assortment of tablecloths, table runners and curtains/sheers.

I'm counting this collectively as the third thing.

Hope you had a lovely weekend. I had a good time at writers group and even more lovely time at the meeting after the meeting even though we were missing a couple of peeps.

Have a great week--see you Wednesday.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Is it October yet?


I need more in person hockey friends because so much has happened in the hockey world that I'm really excited about and have no one to squee with or at or to.

First things first, my favorite STARS player, Tyler Seguin, signed an 8-year contract extension--much to every Stars fan's relief. He took a little less than he's definitely worth, but has still become the highest paid player on the team.

The team announced the extension with a Super Mario video spoof. Here's the link, if you're so inclined:

In trade news, the NHL's top rated defenseman, Erik Karlsson was traded from the Ottawa Senators to the San Jose Sharks. Karlsson's trade had been speculated about for months and months and months. Not continuously, but the rumors heated up on a rather cyclical basis. But it's done now and the teams in contention, the Sharks, the Stars and the Golden Knights, can now focus on training camp, pre-season play, and their respective opening nights.

One kind-of-funny thing though...several months ago, amid accusations of harassment toward Karlsson's wife, a teammate of his was traded to the Sharks before being subsequently traded on the same day to the Florida Panthers.

And the last but not least hockey news...the trade of Max Pacioretty from the Montreal Canadiens to the Vegas Golden Knights. I didn't know anything about Max but his name before this week, but after reading several articles about the guy, I really like him and look forward to seeing him take his place on my second favorite team.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The pumpkin cheesecake was a success...


Because my oven doesn't work properly, I couldn't use it to bake the walnut crust in a large enough pie pan, soooo...

I had to get a little creative.

Meaning I had to split the recipe in half and bake the thing in an Anchor Hocking glass bowl that fit in my countertop convection oven.

Here's the finished product.

I originally worked on this last Thursday as a bake test because of the oven situation as I wanted to make it for when my friends came over.

Here's my first piece...

...or what's left of it. :0)

What I discovered was that my walnut crust was a little bitter, not so much as to be rendered inedible, but if you eat walnuts, you know how they taste. So yeah. The pumpkin cheesecake part was delicious. The Stevia used as sweetener also leaves a bit of aftertaste, but what are you gonna do if you're trying to avoid sugars/calories/carbs and have a penchant for sweets?

Anyway, a friend suggested I serve it more like a parfait with the crust more of a crumble and with a berry on top for color and presentation.

So my guests were served this:

Everyone thought it was delicious, so I think I'll be making this on a fairly regular basis for my own benefit. The recipe is here, if you're interested.

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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