Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas!!

May your day be merry and bright and filled with all things Buc-ee's!!

Okay, maybe that's just my wish. My new neighbor seems to be a fan of Buc-ee's as well.

Take care and have a super day whatever your plans are.


Monday, December 18, 2023

Merry Christmas!



Christmas is a mere week away. Hope you're well and ready for your holiday celebrations, whatever they may (or may not) entail. :0)

* * * * *

Check this out! I mean click the image and look closely--really study it. It's an amazing thing.

While it may look like a piece of child's art done with scissors, glue, and staples--it's actually a painting!

Here's the artist's website: Bill Braun Art. DD showed me a clip of his work via Tik Tok, and I knew I wanted to share it with you.

* * * * *

Along with the monthly letters I've finally gotten diligent about sending to my Grandma in Denmark, I send a floral arrangement to her for her birthday in August and for Christmas. It's gotten to be more and more of a challenge to find Christmas themed arrangements that can be made / sent in foreign counties--namely Denmark. In fact, 1-800-Flowers didn't even have any. They had regular flowers, but nothing for Christmas.

However, after much Googling I finally found an online flower retailer who had Christmas floral arrangements available to send to Denmark. Unfortunately, it was a little more expensive than it used to be, which is probably due to several factors. The most important thing is that Grandma gets flowers. If I'm not mistaken, Grandma turned 98 this past August, so she's not gonna be around too much longer for me to send flowers to.

* * * * *

Shopping is almost done! Two identical gifts to buy--I know what it is, just a matter of swinging by the specialty store--and one last gift for DD. She's somewhat of an Anglophile and she discovered the British Emporium in a nearby city, so we're going to check it out on Thursday.

All that's really left is the wrapping part. Which I'll probably work on a little each day when I need to take a sitting break.

* * * * *

DD and I went to see Wonka yesterday (12/17/23) and we both enjoyed it. Despite Timothée Chalamet's amazing performance--he did all the dancing and singing himself and he was charming as a young Willie Wonka--we probably won't be re-watching any time soon.

We also spent too many hours watching the Netflix Series "All the Light We Cannot See" which was aaaaaamazing. I highly recommend it. But do it when you have four hours to watch because even though it's broken up into four episodes, it's that compelling.

* * * * *

And, in case you're wondering, DD and I have not yet worked on our gingerbread row house kit...probably this weekend.

Since I won't post until the new year...

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you and yours.

Take care!!


Monday, December 4, 2023

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


On a recent trip to Target, DD and I came across a plethora of gingerbread building kits and I'd been reminiscing about the faux gingerbread houses of previous Christmases and how it's been a while since I'd done one. You remember my redneck gingerbread house from years past and GI Snow, right? I can't remember the last time I did this but it's been a while...

I verbalized the thought that maybe I could recreate the row houses and DD was like "Or we could just buy this." So we did. :0) We'd planned to work on it over Thanksgiving weekend, but that didn't happen. So new target will be a couple of weekends hence.

* * * * * *

Came across this on X/Twitter last week and thought it pretty damned amazing--enough that I wanted to share it with you all...

This is Jim Thorpe, first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States...He represented the U.S. in Track and Field in the 1912 Olympics. Look closely at the photo, you can see that he's wearing different socks and shoes. This wasn't a fashion statement.

According to @fasc1nate on X, on the morning of his competition, his shoes were stolen. Luckily, Jim ended up finding two shoes in a garbage can. (Luckily??!!??) That's the pair that he's wearing in the photo. But one of the shoes was too big, so he had to wear an extra sock. Wearing these shoes, Jim won two gold medals that day.

Sadly, the rest of his life was tragic for many reasons, but this just goes to show that where there's a will, there's a way.

* * * * * *

I've been working on cleaning my home office in preparation for rearranging. I had too many things crowded in my 10' x 10' space and it was getting to me. Having an L-shaped desk sticking out into the middle of the room hasn't helped, and I may end up with an arm of it still sticking out, but maybe in a less obtrusive way...

I also wanted new fairy lights-- The ones in the living room have worked great. They've been up for three years now and are still burning brightly morning and evening when the timer turns them on. I attempted to buy similar lights for my office, but basically didn't get the correct ones so back to the drawing board. I have to go hunt down that Amazon order and go from there. :0)

* * * * * *

This past weekend, I also put up my tree... I bought an additional string of lights and spare bulbs so we have a tree with lights (not on when I took the picture) but no ornaments...I'll be working on that this week.

And the HOCKEY TREE is back!! Or will be once the hockey-related ornaments are added. :0)

Have a super week. We'll catch up in a couple of weeks.

Take care.


Monday, November 20, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving


Image courtesy IMGBIN.


Hope your holiday plans are all that you want them to be. It'll just be three of us as Casa FitzGerald. The menu's been decided and we're all looking forward to an extended period of time off. As a teacher, DD gets to enjoy a full nine days of R&R. I'm grateful for my four...

As we celebrate Thanksgiving later this week, let me share a few things I'm thankful for...

  1. My family and friends, of course, including you faithful readers.
  2. YouTube and the Internet in general where there is soooo much information that you can learn anything you want.
  3. The people who share their hard-won knowledge by writing books.
  4. Living in the land of the free and the home of the brave...
  5. Dallas Stars hockey. :0)

* * * * *

As the final weeks of 2023 chug along, it's time to look ahead to 2024 and ponder my fresh start goals...

I'm pretty sure my primary areas of focus are finances, health and wellness, writing, housekeeping, and then there'll be a few things I'll file under miscellaneous. Not sure how I'm going lay things out--all in a jumble as in years past or as a mini list for each sector.

I'm combining this with my vision board items because many of them overlap. I'm also going to break down anything I can into quarterly goals so I can see them in bite-sized chunks.

Last year I had sixteen (!) items on my list. Granted--certain things I would do anyway like read, but the financial stuff is all new. Some things I'm just trying to improve on or, honestly, keep myself accountable for--like sending letters to my grandma!!

* * * * *

Remember when I said the next book I was going to read was "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey? Well, I lied. I'm now reading another book about options trading. It had me from "hello."

The very first chapter talked about positive financial mindsets and vision boards, just to name two. And those are two things I'm totally on board with and have learned about in previous books and from YouTube videos. They're things I've already worked to incorporate in my life, so for this latest book to include those things right at a moment when I'm looking down the barrel at a new year and had needed to align my various "course of action" tracks into a single streamlined version--I mentioned this two posts ago--seemed providential. :0)

Full disclosure--I didn't get a new vision board created for Q4 as I'd planned. I've been in learning mode and I've got a lot to ponder and decide, so I'm just gonna look ahead to 2024 and let the remainder of 2023 cruise on by vision-board-less.

* * * * *

You know what I've been doing lately...?

Cross stitching. Yup, I'm back to a tactile expression of creativity. I'm creating patterns for my store and sometimes I like to actually stitch them myself.

* * * * *

Last but not least, let's talk hockey.

My boys in Victory Green are having themselves a great start to the season despite some deficiencies. And right now, MoneyPuck has them with a 10.9% chance of winning the Stanley Cup through November 15th. Highest for all teams at this point. :0)

Image courtesy of MoneyPuck--
if you click through, scroll down to see the larger interactive version.


* * * * *

Have a super week and enjoy your holiday and long weekend.


Monday, November 6, 2023

Texas Rangers ~ World Series Champs


Image courtesy of X.

How 'bout those Texas Rangers??

I only follow baseball tangentially because the Brown-Eyed Girl and her Soulmate are fans of the Houston Astros who played the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series, the winner of which (the aforementioned Rangers), went on to the MLB WORLD SERIES, and because the Rangers are a baseball team a) located in the DFW Metroplex where I also live and b) it was an interstate series between my local team and my older daughter's favorite team. And then my younger daughter decided she needed to follow the World Series this year...and the Rangers won, ending a decades-long drought of championships in a metroplex with teams in all five major sports.

That's the extent of my caring about baseball at all. :0)

* * * * *

Aside from the Rangers making it to and WINNING the World Series, it's been a quiet few weeks. We reached the calmer, quieter time of the month at work and the taxes got done, so there's a weight off my shoulders.

Then we hit the busy time of month (the transition of one month to the next) and are now sliding into the quieter time again. Time to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I've been reading non-fiction (with quite a bit of fiction mixed in), as I mentioned in my last post. The latest book was called "Start Your Own Corporation" and discussed the best corporation types based on your objectives both on a personal level as well as a business level. Yes, individuals can operate as corporate entities. So we'll see what I learn. The next book will be "Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey.

The point of all of this reading is to be financially literate and to get into the best position possible for retirement, despite starting so late in the game. I've got a ways to go, but the journey is interesting and educational. At the very least, I can contribute to our financial future. :0)

* * * * *
Image courtesy of X.

Dallas Stars Super Fan Mike Antoines Honored

That guy in the picture above--that's Mike...known to any Stars fan worth their salt as Mullet Mike. This past Halloween, our beloved top line forward Joe Pavelski attended the team's Halloween party as...

You know where that's going. :0) Yup--

Pavs attended the party as Mullet Mike. I though he pulled it off handsomely.

Image also courtesy of X.

Joe Pavelski as Mullet Mike with a cameo by Gerry Seguin, Tyler Seguin's youngest "son."

* * * * *

In other news, my dear sweet chill gentleman cat Waldo developed a tumor on his neck a month or so ago, and we ended up having to put him to sleep last week. It absolutely broke my heart to do it. He'd really grown on me and in my heart in the short time he was in my life.

My wonderful DH catered to my strong compulsion that Waldo shouldn't have to "go" at the vet's office, and for a little bit more money (a relative term, I know), we paid for a traveling vet to come to the house.

It was as peaceful and relaxed as this event could be, and Waldo was able to pass from this world to the next in the comfort of his own home. I was able to say goodbye (blubber like a baby) to this fine ol' fella in the privacy of my own home too.

Rest in peace, sweet Waldo... May you enjoy the forever sunshine over the Rainbow Bridge.


Monday, October 23, 2023

Miscellaneous Monday


Image courtesy of on X.


After about six years of Dallas Stars fandom, my team is finally good enough to garner the attention of the greater hockey media from across the country. That is to say, my boys in Victory Green get mentioned more often in the articles I read and the podcasts I hear these days.

DD and I attended the Dallas Stars' home opener and it was great to be back in the American Airlines Center. It's a really lovely building on the outside and I'm rather partial to the inside when it's set up for hockey games. :0)

And although we won (in overtime), the game itself was mostly "meh" to me. We were missing our top-line center and it was noticeable. But, as I said, we they pulled out the win, and at the end of the day, no one remembers how it happened.

* * * * *

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

The last non-fiction book I completed was Rich Dad, Poor Dad and it was super interesting. The gist is that the educational system doesn't teach our children how to be entrepreneurs, it teaches them how to be employees. And while we need employees...we also need folks who can HIRE those employees. And as I've learned over the last twenty years of small-business ownership--it's not for everyone. But there are also other ways to be financially free.

Two big take-aways for me from this book are:

1) Your house is not an asset. If it costs you any kind of money, it's not an asset. Now, a house is a better use of your money than living in an apartment, but it's still not an asset unless you're renting it out and it's making money for you.

2) Being wealthy and being rich are two different things (according to Robert). Wealthy means being able to pay your monthly expenses with passive income from your assets & investments. Rich people are the Warren Buffets and Donald Trumps of the world. I like that distinction because one of those is way more attainable for me.

As I mentioned in my last post about my progress in reading non-fiction, reading this book suggested the next non-fiction book, and I finally started reading it. (Had to take a break from the educational reading and do some reading for pleasure.) There's also another book I bought earlier this year and never read, so I should probably read that one of these days. :0) Where that fits into the grand scheme of books to read, I have no idea.

* * * * *

Re-imagining the Vision Board for 2023

I need to re-do the vision board for Q4 of 2023... I've made strides toward the goals that were pictured, but it became clear to me as September rolled along that I had a disconnect between the various action tracks I was on. I had to take some time to re-assess the three tracks and align them so that all my efforts were working toward the same goal.

It's not that I don't want to reach all the goals, but I realized that some were stepping stones to others so instead trying to do "all" of them, I need to focus on the nearest stepping stone so as to make the most progress in the most direct and efficient fashion.

I'm talking about finances and debt here. I won't go into too much detail, but trying to save a nest egg is great, but paying off debt and eliminating finance charges and interest fees is a more lucrative short-term goal. So, yeah, alignment and streamlining.

* * * * *

Image courtesy of NBC.

DD and I have been working our way through this medical drama. It had been an enjoyable breath of fresh air with the main character, the medical director of a large public hospital, making changes to policies and procedures for the good of the patients. Things we have all probably all questioned at some point or other.

It was going great until we reached season two. AKA the COVID season. I don't watch a wide swath of television, so I don't know this to be true, but I imagine most shows addressed it some way, some how.

Medical shows probably had to address the pandemic seeing as how they're medical shows. I've watched Grey's Anatomy for years (in real time) and they definitely did.

Watching the pandemic play out in delayed real time was understandable although I wasn't a fan. I wanted to escape the reality of COVID, but, again, I understand why medical dramas included that reality.

It's definitely different / interesting to watch a show that addresses a real time world event like the pandemic after the event has passed. Especially something like a pandemic where the virus itself morphed and changed at a fast pace and the medical and scientific communities were learning on the go.

We know so much more now, of course, good and bad / true and untrue, with the benefit of hindsight and the continued analysis of the chain of events and the data. Almost everyone (from news, to governments, to entertainment) jumped on the various band wagons and people were "labeled" if they disagreed with anything. (What happened to free speech and respectful discourse??) And now we're learning that maybe some of the people who had qualms about various policies maybe weren't so heretical after all...

The show also jumped on other various band wagons which while topical at the time, don't always have great results as time passes. I get that it's a tough challenge & balance for show runners, but it's all a bit uncomfortable to watch, to be honest.

* * * * *

Image courtesy Julie Murphy's website.

In addition to plugging through "New Amsterdam," (week nights are hit or miss depending on how either of us feels by the time DD gets home), I've re-watched a couple of favorite films in the last couple of weeks.

I was scrolling through Netflix one day and saw "The Imitation Game" starring Benedict Cumberbatch. You all know of my love for Mr. Cumberbatch and so I spent a couple of hours once again enjoying his performance as the pioneer of computer science, Alan Turing--aka the man primarily responsible for breaking the Enigma code.

I never ceased to be moved by this film, especially the tragedy of Turing's death.


On the complete opposite spectrum of tones of movies, I also re-watched "Dumplin'," a coming-of-age movie (based on a book) about an overweight young woman who finds peace with and acceptance from her (former) beauty queen mother as well making some new friends along her journey--including the hot new boy at school with whom she also works.

The film's soundtrack is all Dolly Parton, whose humor and wisdom underpins the plot. It's a fun, sweet, uplifting movie, and you just can't help but smile through the last twenty or so minutes.

Before writing this up, I didn't realize the movie was based on a book, but it is. So what did I do? Looked to see if it was available in the online library--which it was--so I promptly borrowed it. And while doing that, discovered that there are two sequels which I will also borrow in due course. :0)

It turns out that the book doesn't have nearly so much Dolly in it and less of a few other things I found very fun and enjoyable about the movie. Usually I'm more disappointed in the movie than the book, but in this case, I like the movie more.

* * * * *

And that's all I've got for you, dear followers. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

Take care. See you in a couple of weeks.


Monday, October 9, 2023

Third Quarter Review


Image courtesy IMGBIN.

Hey there! Hope you're well. As you can probably tell--blog post title anyone? lol--it's time for my quarterly check-in.

The third quarter was a bit rough for several weeks as the anniversary of Mom's death in August hit me a little harder than I expected--which is to say I didn't expect it to hit me hard at all. Add to that the triple digit temperatures we'd been dealing with for weeks and weeks (and weeks) on end as well as "the turn" I mentioned in my last post.

So all that to say that I probably didn't do very well with my goals since the whole year hasn't really gone the way I anticipated. So, without further ado, let's dive in.

1) Send a postcard to my Grandma in Denmark monthly: I've been keeping up with this. August was Grandma's birthday and she got her usual flower delivery along with a letter.

2) Finish & publish Finders Keepers: not done; not gonna get done although I do want to finish it some day. Whether that actually comes to pass is hard to say. Just want to be realistic...

3) Exercise minimum 3X per week: I fell of that wagon. Grief and heat took its toll. I need to get back to doing my Hinge Health exercises if nothing else.

4) Read 52 books, including 6 non-fiction: I've read 49 books this year so far, ten ahead of schedule according to Goodreads. Six non-fiction books done and dusted. I've read seven so far, with one more waiting in my Kindle. One book tends to lead to the next, so I imagine another one or two will appear before the year is over.

5) Keep up my writers group duties on a weekly basis: I'm caught up as of this post but I wasn't very diligent about keeping up weekly. Mostly monthly, but summer is slow... And maybe I need to take a lesson from my history and reassess my plans going forward.

6) Add one non-hockey pattern per quarter to Etsy shop: Didn't happen. My plan became to have my own store and leave minimal patterns on Etsy, but due to a factor beyond my control, that project is currently stalled.

7) Self care: working on it. Sorta. I think. I think I need to do better.

8) Complete a home improvement project or two: Didn't happen; isn't gonna happen.

9) Read / listen to / watch my writers education items: Didn't happen; isn't gonna happen.

10) Continue to cook /eat healthy / adhere to a food plan: let's just say...I could be doing much better.

11) Stay on track with / up my game with the housekeeping: fell off the wagon here, but trying--albeit not very hard--to hop back on.

12) Keep blogging: I addressed that a couple of weeks ago. :0)

13) Write articles for my writers group newsletter: fell off the wagon here too and with everything else going on in my brain, I just haven't had a whole lot of inspiration. I have an article in progress, but it definitely needs some adjustments.

14) Finally study the Personality Strengths in depth: you know it's been three years and I'm pretty sure this isn't going to happen this year...

15) Get through the Bible in one year: totally on track here. And I've already decided that next year I want to go through the Bible in chronological order.

16) Keep up with / solidify my Goodreads habit: did pretty good until a month or two ago and other than tracking my book reading challenge, I couldn't care less about it any longer. So...we're done with that.

I've given myself grades in the past, but that's not where I'm at right now. Life has reached a crossroads and some of these goals no longer serve me. And that's fine. That's life, right? As the fourth quarter progresses and I assess where I am and where I want to go, I imagine that many of next year's goals are going to have a different look and feel to them.

I hope you're all well dear followers.

See you in a couple of weeks.


Monday, September 25, 2023

Miscellaneous Monday

First of all--apologies for missing both posting days last week. I ran out of days and energy and, quite frankly, give-a-damn to worry about it.

Life has taken a turn. Not a bad one, maybe a good one, although time will tell, but a turn none-the-less.

The point of this blog from the beginning was that, as an aspiring author, I should establish myself on various social media platforms for when I became published... So I picked blogging as my primary platform of choice. After sixteen years (WOW!) I have (only) two dozen followers. I'm grateful to all of you over the years for showing some level of interest in the journey of my life and my mind.

But as my knowledge and experience grew over time, I made decisions about how I'd steer my author "career." Forcing people to follow me on any of the social media platforms out there wasn't part of the equation. Hence the low number of followers.

I didn't bribe people to follow me or charge people a fee for taking part in drawing and giveaways. For most authors that fee was usually an email address which then was supposed to be used for sending newsletters. Which I never did because I blogged instead. If readers want to know me they could visit here and/or sign up for receiving my blog posts electronically.

I've mostly enjoyed blogging over the years and have kept on with it for personal reasons, but I'm reaching a point where the time it takes to think up topics, research as needed, and then write them up isn't worth the hassle or the ROI--which is, in all honesty, nothing.

I need things off my plate as my journey through life morphs changes, blogging seems like a likely target for plate-clearing.

That said, it's not happening yet, but I'm cutting back to every other Monday, and I'll be consistent with that until the end of the year. I'll revisit my feelings and my plate come the new year and I'll go from there.

* * * * *

 So Triggernometry is a podcast I've been listening to for almost a year now. 

I came across a YouTube video of Konstantin Kisin (the guy on the left) giving a speech at Oxford Union in the UK entitled "Woke Culture Has Gone Too Far."

What he said really spoke to me and so I was led to investigate his podcast...which I did and I've been impressed and enlightened.

Not every guest comes from a place that I agree with. Their guests are from many industries, from comedians to authors to scientists and more. Many guests are on the opposite side of the political aisle from me, but the thing I love most is that these guys value and present respectful dialogue with people who may have differing opinions than they do. That's something I really respect and admire, and that's something that's being lost in this country. 

While listening to the conversation, it's always interesting to me that while I may not agree with everything a guest says, there is usually a point or two that I do agree with. At the very least, the topics and points of view are definitely educational, and they are broadening my knowledge of what's going on in the world. I've even changed my mind about an issue or two.

So if you just want some intellectual stimulation, do check them out on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform.

* * * * *

And that's all I've got for this week. I'd been hoping for a few more topics, but that obviously didn't happen.

So...I'll see you in a couple of weeks.

Take care.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Why Am I So Busy?


Image courtesy of IMGBIN.

It seems like I've been busier than ever over the past several years and I don't understand why...

The kids are grown and/or gone, so I don't need to "mom" everyday anymore.

I do need to "wife," which is fine. DH and I rub along well.

I need to be a better housekeeper, which I've mentioned ad nauseam over the years, and I have a system that works when I'm firing on all cylinders. I'm not fond of the system, but it does work. One of these days, though, I'm gonna pay someone to keep my house like we pay the guy who mows our lawn.

But that's neither here nor there.

The question really is why do I feel busier now than I did five or ten years ago or when Sonshine was still in high school and I was juggling all of the above plus Band Boosters and writers group?

I have sooo many things I want to do right now but not enough hours in the day to accomplish them all.

I haven't even been writing for last year and a half!

It's a mystery for sure and a conundrum I'm going to need to ponder.

If you have any thoughts, let me know!!

Have a great weekend!


Monday, September 11, 2023

Remember September 11th...


Image courtesy IMGBIN.

Do you remember where you were? What you were doing?

I was on my home from dropping off Sonshine at school. He was in Kindergarten!! I had the radio on, as I did in those days, and heard the news pretty much immediately. I spent all day in front the of the television until it was time to pick Sonshine up from school. By that time, I was over-saturated by information and images, so no more TV when we got home.

* * * * *


It looks as though triple digits in North Texas is a thing of the past! I gotta tell you, I'm so thankful and I'm looking forward to getting out in the yard with a rake. After a crazy storm this past Saturday night--which I slept through--the yard needs some tidying.

Fall is just around the corner and I can't wait.

* * * * *

And in other news, DD and I spent most of this past Saturday re-arranging the living room. While we were doing that, I got froggy and swept and mopped the floor. Let me tell you--my hips are not happy with me!

Here's the new layout:

Previously, the couch and end tables were in front of the window and the TV was centered on the baby-poop colored wall...

* * * * *

Have a great week. Catch you Thursday.


Thursday, September 7, 2023

Road Trip / Seeing the Fam...


My annual trek to Omaha to see my family was good...

I took a different approach to the actual driving portion of the weekend which was to just not hurry. I really love the scenery of the mid-west corridor or this section of the fly-over states.

Farmers' fields in the plush bloom of being just about ready for harvest feeds my soul. The sky, usually a crisp blue, was blocked by hazy air most of the way this year due to heat and wildfires. But I hit a stretch of road and sky between Holton, Kansas and Nebraska City, NE with the clear blue that brings me so much joy. I rolled down all the windows and enjoyed the view along with the "cool"--only mid-80's that day!!

The actual visits are uncontrolled chaos. There are toddlers and elementary-aged kids along with young adults and, really, just A LOT of bodies in a very small space. My step-mom says next year we're dividing up the visits. Half the fam on Saturday, the half on Sunday. I am very okay with that. :0)

Mostly we sat around chit-chatting and getting caught up on one another's lives. And then there's always some delicious food. This year, spaghetti, pulled pork, and fajitas.

Also--my brother James arrived home from boot camp/tech school on Thursday evening. So the whole crew was there.

One of the highlights of my trip was visiting my dad's grave during daylight hours. I've always gone at 5am on my way out of town. This time I went Sunday morning around sunrise. And it was lovely and I'm doing that again next year.

Another bonus of going to the cemetery while it was light out was seeing deer, but more importantly, actually seeing the pinwheels I leave behind. As an extra special hello, there was a bit of a breeze, and I managed to catch the whirling pinwheels on video.

Hope your three-day weekend was relaxing.

And now that Labor Day is behind us, it's time to for me to get back to work and back on track with exercising and eating right and all the other things that have taken a back seat to surviving the heat.

Catch you Thursday!


Monday, September 4, 2023

Miscellaneous Monday


Image courtesy IMGBIN.


Hope you're enjoying your three-day break from your usual labors.

As I have done for at least five years now, I went home to Omaha, NE to visit family. Actually, today, the Monday of Labor Day, is the day I'm making the ten hour trek home.

I look forward to getting home, but I have to admit that the drive back home is tougher than the drive to Nebraska. Mostly because I'm driving south the whole way and since it's usually bright and sunny, as this time of year is wont to be, the sun is shining directly into the car through the front windshield. I have to take care to consume enough non-caffeinated liquids. Especially once I hit Oklahoma.

More about the trip and the fam later.

* * * * *

The March 2024 Buc-ee's road trip itinerary has been altered and mostly finalized. We're re-routing from our original Buc-ee's destinations in Tennessee and Kentucky to the two in Georgia and the two in Alabama we didn't realize existed the last time we...went to Alabama.

We'll also be hitting the Memphis Zoo (and a staying at a hotel in Memphis as a way point) and the Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta as well meeting a couple of friends of mine, one in Huntsville, AL and one in Atlanta, GA respectively for a meal.

It's going to be a four-day whirlwind of driving...

* * *

Speaking of Buc-ee's...Finance Buzz is offering positions to taste-test Buc-ee's snacks. So DD and I signed up. Chosen Buc-ee's Bud-ees receive money to offset their expenses.

*fingers crossed* that one or both of us get selected.

Still speaking of Buc-ee's, there's a new one being built juuust south of the I-35 split/rejoin which is juuust north of Hillsboro. It should open sometime in 2024. I pass that location at least four times a year on my way to and from the fireworks store which is probably another thirty minutes south of Hillsboro.

* * * * *

Our new air fryer...

Why oh why did it take me sooo long to break down and buy one? And we've already decided we need another so we can cook two things at once. :0) It won't take me as long to buy the second one though.

The best things so far cooked: tater tots (!!!) and breaded ravioli.

I've even cooked pork chops and burgers in it and both were good. My technique and the timing both need adjusting for even better results although the burgers were pretty good. Pork chops were a little tough, so less cooking time me-thinks.

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And thats it for today. Enjoy the rest of your day/weekend! See you Thursday


Thursday, August 31, 2023

Throwback Thursday


For lack of planning and something better to post about...let's remember some things, shall we?

Just gonna scroll through the collection of images I've amassed over the years and pick some experiences to remember...

During Sonshine's first year in band, they played on the steps of the Texas Capital. DD and I ended up making a run down there to see / listen to them. On the way back home we took a quick detour to visit the football field in Pflugerville where scenes from the hit show Friday Night Lights were filmed...

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As band mom for many years, I coordinated the provision of dinner for the band on game nights.

My turn...

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A rare sighting (in pictures, anyway) of the beautiful Darling Daughter (aka DD). This was taken many moons at the Fort Worth Zoo one lovely fall day.

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During my trip to Nashville with Dan back in 2019 (??) so that I could meet Mike Rowe--which I did, btw--I went on a walking tour of the city which included a trip to the original Grand Ol' Opry building.



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Back when I was participating on the BBC Sherlock fandom online, I attended the 221B Con in Atlanta.

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Me in Red Rock Amphitheater in Boulder at the conclusion of my first time at GRL which was in Denver that year.

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My first Dallas Stars Season Ticket Holder event...meeting players at Six Flags. This is Tyler Sequin.

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And a final ode to the Lake House...hope your new owners are appreciating you...

As for you, dear friends, hope you have a great weekend. Get some rest.


Monday, August 28, 2023

Dog Park Days


I've been taking Rascal to the dog park for a couple of months now and he really looks forward to it. Or so it seems. As soon as I get out the special red string bag that holds dog-park essentials, he starts trilling and prancing around. One I get the harness out, which he'd rather not wear, but doesn't fight me about, he knows we're going. And he whines all the way there.

There aren't always other dogs there since it's been so hot, but sometimes there are. The whole point of the endeavor is to keep him socialized with other dogs. And he seems to enjoy the interactions...

Whole lotta butt-sniffin' going on, of course...

Just a few weeks ago when we went, there were no other dogs, but he got adventurous without me--I stayed in the shade...

On the other side of that fence, is the big-dog yard, where there are almost always dogs despite the heat.

I'm hoping--expecting--that once the weather breaks, there will be more dogs and Rascal can really have some fun.

After 15- 20- 30- minutes of running around, heat and other-dog-attendance depending, we head home. And he's quiet in the car. The first time I took him, he slept most of the rest of the day. These days he's a bit more acclimated and not prone to napping all day in recovery, but he's definitely ready for bed when the time comes.

Sadly for Rascal, no dog park visit next weekend as I'll be out of town for the holiday. Hope you enjoy your three-day break from laboring. :0) See you next week.


Thursday, August 24, 2023

Out of the Office


Image courtesy of IMGBIN.

The office office, that is....

Today, the day this posts, I'm in my home office, having taken a day off my day job to work on personal stuff. Namely my online pattern store, You can visit if you want, but it's a hot mess right now.

I had a day off two weeks ago as well and while I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped--things tend to take longer than we anticipate--I still got enough done that I was happy with my progress. Let's hope today is as productive.

I'm still learning how to navigate Word Press and its block editor as well the ins and outs of the site theme and how it combines different types of data and widgets to create dynamic site pages. I've shied away from learning WordPress for long enough for various reasons, but no more.

I can and I will figure the systems out.

Along with learning the mechanics of the website, I need to gather my pattern ideas, figure out the best way to organize them, and then put together project plans and timelines.

My other order of business is writers group stuff. I have a few things I've been putting off, but I cannae any longer.

Hope you have as productive a day today as I plan to. And here's to a relaxing weekend.