Monday, November 29, 2021

Zoo Related Fun

 As I mentioned last week, DD and I were headed to the zoo, and to the zoo we went.

It was a brisk day with chilly temps and some wind, but the sun was out.

There's a section of zoo under construction, so DD and I are already planning our return visit for 2023 when the new exhibits open rather than waiting another decade.

The two highlights of our visit were the giraffes--to which we were able to get pretty up close and personal with on the back side of the exhibit. A couple of them were rooting around for fallen leaves.

Our other exciting interaction with animals was in one of the bird cages: Parrot Paradise. No parrots, per se, but lots of parakeets and cockatiels! We bought little sticks of bird seed to feed them with and had so much fun, we went back again before leaving the zoo...

And here are few more pictures...

Baby elephant!!

Can you see the hippo in there?

Take care. Have a super week.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

History This Week / Thanksgiving Reconsidered

 Happy Thanksgiving!

There are so many things I'm grateful for, including this wonderful four-day weekend, but did you know that the history of Thanksgiving is rather ugly?


The pilgrims didn't land at Plymouth Rock!! There was no such thing / place until later when the locals area dragged a huge rock into place and just declared it the "arrival" location of our original forefathers in order to drum up tourism to help their local economy...

By this time, I hope we all know the native peoples of America were savagely mistreated and exterminated, much like the Jews were in Europe.


It wasn't an official holiday until 1870 when Ulysses S. Grant made it one, so, whaaat?

For a look at the sordid tale, visit History This Week.

* * * * *

On to nicer topics...

One of the things I'm thankful for is my kids. All three of them of course, but I only have one living close enough to spend time with. You know her as DD and my Hockey Partner in Crime.

She's my second child and my younger daughter...and today, we're going to spend some more time together...not just at home enjoying a delicious meal, but at the zoo. It's been a while since our last trip and we've been wanting to go and meaning to go and finally we found a good time to go.

So--lol--we're going today!

Hope you have / had / are having a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Making Progress ...

My chore chart is doing what it's supposed to--get me to do things and make new habits.

It's amazing that a hand-drawn chart and a random sticker can motivate me to get stuff done. See those stickers above--those are from my planner. You know, they give you stickers for birthdays and vacations and appointments. Yeah, I never used them for that. And then I thought why waste them? They're perfectly good stickers and will serve my purpose. So, yeah... 

As you can see I had five tasks that I completed all seven days. The green hand-drawn stars mean I was excused from those tasks because of hockey. Meaning, I slept in because I attended a hockey game the night before. I do not cheat myself of sleep.

I've been trying to do better with my I have three things listed in each of the Sat & Sun square for "chores." And I don't get that sticker unless I accomplish all three items.

One of those things is dusting. Along with just running my feather duster around picture frames and along the tops of door casings and the like, each week I'm adding a bit extra. Like... I have this multi-compartment decorative shelf, with a handful of knickknacks filling the compartments. This week I dusted that whole thing. Took each item out and cleaned it. Going forward, I can just feather it clean. I have also been taking down a few of my collectible plates and washing them as well.

Yesterday, I almost pushed off cleaning the bathroom to today. But I wanted that stupid sticker for Sunday, so I sucked it up and got my toilets scrubbed.

I still have a bit of work to do, and I'm not striving for 100% every week forever. That's unrealistic due to life events and the random circumstance that presents itself. But I do need to get back into certain habits, and this is doing the trick.

Remember back in the summer I was rewarding myself with $1 puzzles from Dollar Tree for accomplishing so much? I have no reward system in place at the moment, but surprisingly, the doing of the thing and getting the sticker has been its own reward. :0)

Hope you had a great weekend, and here's to a wonderful short week.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Hello There! *waves*

I've been meaning to post. I've been wanting to post.

But then I sit down to do so and my mind draws a blank. At least for a blog topic, because the reality is...I have a lot swirling around in my brain.

Christmas. Writing. Thanksgiving. 2022 in general. Planning for 2022. Writing. Hockey. Family.

And many combinations there-of. As well as things as mundane as what I'm making for dinner tonight and what our food plans are for the Thanksgiving weekend. Not to mention other personal things that you don't share on the Internet. :0)

Hope you're all well. Hope you're all prepped for Thanksgiving.

We're having lasagna, garlic bread and salad. I'm thinking I need to make pupcakes... we haven't had them for a while.

Sadly, I haven't see my Sonshine in a while, and it's going to be a while longer before I do.

The Brown-Eyed Girl and her Soulmate are staying in CO for the holidays, so it'll be a while before I see them too.


DD of course is my hockey partner in crime, and we spend plenty of time together. One of my favorite memories of time shared with her--that still happens and will probably continue to happen--is when we're in the car together (usually driving to or from a hockey game, but also road trips) and listening to music, and a song comes on that we both know and love or is just fun and we both start signing. Last week, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas cycled through my shuffled playlist, of off we went.

I treasure those times with this daughter. 

I'm thankful that I continue to have those times with this daughter who is very tender-hearted, but keeps that side of herself under wraps.

Have a great weekend. Catch you on Monday. I'll brainstorm some ideas and come up with a topic.


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Thank You, Veterans...

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Charles M. Province

* * * * *

A personal shout out to the Veterans I know:

Dan FitzGerald, Timothy FitzGerald, Charles Spicer, Sharon Spicer

Al Cilley, Lynn Reinke, Charlene Simser

I am grateful.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Keeping Busy...Being Productive


Along with my chore chart, which is for personal accomplishments (mostly), I have a to-do list that sits on my desk at work... The same tasks are on it from day to day and then there's another list of things that appear at certain times of the month...

Anyway, the point of this is to say...I broke down a few tasks to very specific details...

For example, I'm creating a series guide for a writer friend of mine. And rather than just saying I'm going to work on it everyday, I've specified that I'll read through fifteen pages each day. It's a measurable thing and I know when I'm done and can move on to another task.

It's been soooo helpful. I'm planning to break as many things down to a doable/measurable amount. The challenge will be figuring out all the things I need to do this for and then finding the time to break them down. But maybe one thing at a time eh?? Measurable! That means I need a list. Another list. Or to find the one I probably started somewhere...

Hope you all had a lovely weekend... I'm almost done with the Christmas shopping. I just need some ideas for my father-in-law, and I'll be done. Then I can sit back and enjoy the season.

The weather has been lovely as it usually is this time of year...and it's good to be alive.

Take care. Catch you later.

Monday, November 1, 2021

It's Beginning to Look A Little Like Christmas...


I got my Christmas funding and I started ordering they are trickling in. :0)

No, the tree isn't up yet, but it may end up getting put up sooner rather than later just because...well... The wrapped presents will need somewhere to be, won't they?

* * * * *

The fam went to see Dune yesterday. DH has been a fan of the franchise since way back. DD just wanted to see it. I played the Dune 2000 PC game for many, many years and wish they'd upgrade the programming to be compatible with current technology. Maybe the success of the film will spur someone into action on the project. (Not that I need the distraction of a video game!).

* * * * *

One of my goals / plans for the next year or two is to learn more about advertising and promotion. And I got invited to a free webinar about using Goodreads...which was quite informative. I've spent several days over the last week getting all my Goodreads ducks in order.

In doing so, I found that seven (!) of my books had been associated with the profile of another Jen Fitzgerald (no capital G!)-- But I was able to reach out to the Goodreads "librarian" group and someone there got everything corrected.

Now to get my upcoming release added. For some reason, Goodreads won't accept the AISN as correct... Might need to reach out to those librarians again. Once the new book is in their system, I'm toying with the idea of a giveaway. It'll cost a bit of money, but the book will get a lot of exposure and hopefully a lot of sales up front as a result...

* * * * *

My chart's working well enough. I'm not completely on track, but I'm getting there. I completed an office chore every day last week, but that's about the only thing I did 100% on. I missed one day of writing, which is fine, really. I needed a little extra sleep, which I don't skimp on anymore. Everything else had two or more misses for various reasons, but each week will show improvement.

Anyway...hope you had a lovely weekend. Weather was gorgeous here in North Texas.

Catch you later in the week.