ROW80 Goals Update #7 – “New Vistas and Small Acts of Courage”

Here we are, at another checkpoint on this envelope-abolishing journey…..

It’s been a different type of few days for us.  We seem to be coming out of hibernation, the children and I.  We spend a good deal of the summer and fall traveling and doing and going….and then, when the weather turns colder, we go into a rest phase at home….

Now, after several weeks of drawing inward, of gathering  and centering ourselves, once again, around the pulse of home, renewing, recharging and processing all that outward-oriented experience, we are rousing ourselves from our “long winter’s nap”, and rejoining the world……

I used to worry, during this rest phase, that we weren’t doing enough.  Now, though, I have lived through it enough times to see the depth of living and learning that runs beneath the surface of these times lived close to home and hearth.

Certain things are harder to do when life is about getting out and going…..time to create leisurely art, or daydream or read a day away, cooking, organizing, noticing the tiny changes in a yard and landscape one knows intimately well…

Days spent in free flowing play, or conversation, or watching the man who has come to repair the well.    Other times of cooking and bathing the dog,  or sewing button eyes onto a stuffed gorilla….

Deepening our connection to and affection for one another.  The easy flow of life at home, with nowhere to go, is filled, for us, with many, many moments, small and large, to understand each other more fully.  These times are filled with small tokens of love and restorative cuddles.

It also turns out to be a very conducive environment for writing, too….

But, as I said, we are yawning, and stretching, and rousing for a shift toward an outward life again….and now, I will learn what it is to write through increasing activity levels…..

On Thursday, we went to our homeschool co-op for the first time since November.  We’ve got some new families, so there were new friends to meet, and, for Annalise, a bit of emotional upheaval when she found that her best friend had made another friend, and wasn’t quite as available as she had hoped.
Jeremiah renewed his friendship with one friend, and made another.

After co-op, we went to to Ethan’s house, because he and Miah, who generally needs less social interaction than Lise does, wanted more time together.   There was DS play, Stratego, Cartoon Network, Beyblades, and pizza before we headed home through gathering snow at 7:30pm.

We got home 5 minutes ahead of Jim’s call for a ride home, because it was too snowy, and his motorcycle wouldn’t start.  So out we went, on unplowed country roads this time, with just enough slushy snow to make traction unpredictable (and through a national park where deer take refuge from hunters).

After we got home, it took me about an hour and a half to wind down enough to settle to write.  I just missed my 750 words for the night. but, although shorter than I had planned, it was a productive session.

Friday’s excitement was having no water-  our aged outlet and circuit breaker gave out just after Jim left.  I am excellent at reading and writing and being with my children, fair at organizing and hometending and yard care, and not at all inclined towards mechanical or electrical pursuits.  We live about 5 miles from the nearest small towns, and Jim had taken our car, so the kids and I spent a day without water.

My favorite moment of the day was  Annalise coming to me while I was washing dishes in the little bit of water I had gotten into my dishpan before the lines were emptied, and saying, “You know, Mommy, I’m kind of glad we don’t have any water.  It means we have to be resourceful.”

She can be very wise –  often wiser than seven-and-a-half years of living would seem to account for, and her observation smoothed the rougher parts of “roughing it”.

Once Jim got home, he went out –  in the dark, at 11pm, because he is our blue-bearded hero, and cobbled a makeshift connection until he can buy a breaker and replace it in the system.  We are missing a couple of lights we like to use, but don’t really need, but we have plenty of water again, so we will manage until all is back to normal again….

Saturday, we drove Jim to work, then, because Lise has had a cold and bit the inside of her mouth, resulting in a painful sore, we went to the grocery store, for medicines and fruit and veggies  and Valentine’s goodies and a new Beanie Baby and two DVDs–  a Pokemon collection for Miah, and a sampler of kids’ movies for Lise – things like The Black Stallion, Little Rascals, and Shirley Temple‘s “A Little Princess“, although we don’t know yet if it’s been colorized or is original black and white.  At any rate, we saw a Shirley Temple collection commercial on TV at Ethan’s house on Thursday, and had been talking about it, so this was a cool find.

After we got out of the store (Lise had asked to take some quarters from the car, and I said OK), they took turns with the claw machine, unsuccessfully this time, although physics-minded Jeremiah often wins something or several somethings.  Then Lise chose another pair of fake teeth for her collection, and we headed off to the McDonald’s drive thru, because none of us had eaten, and Jim is usually the one who takes them there, so I could make it a treat for them.

Things were pretty mellow after that, filled with movies, veggie and fruit plates, 3DS play, more duct tape creations  – in two days, there have been purses, handbags, games bags, cell phone holders, pencil cups, boats, and clothing tailored for Beanie Babies.  Jeremiah is considering selling his wares at co-op.  He’s an entrepreneur who has yet to find his niche….but he is patient, and has hired his sassy sister to advertise for him….this may be a go…….we will see.  My job is to find better prices on and greater quantities of duct tape.  I have a connection for that! =)

Which brings us to now, early Sunday morning……I am going to  go take a hot shower to try to erase my chill and my tense muscles, and then I will tell you about my goals progress…..

Round of Words 80 Goals – Round 1, 2012:

I will write at least 10 essays and/ or photo essays, and post them publicly.

I will complete all necessary homeschool reporting (2010-2011 end-of-year assessments; fourth request for approval of 2011-2012 IHIPs , and Second Quarter Reports-  all items for both children).  These will be completed and submitted as follows:

  • 2010-2011 EOY Assessments  –  January 31, 2012
  • On Thursday, I printed and presented the EOY assessments to the impromptu, 3-person Peer Review Panel.  They were duly filled out and signed.
  • Jim mailed them on Friday, on his way to work, so this goal has been accomplished!
  • 2011-2012 IHIP Approval Request – February 15, 2012
  • I have a rough draft of this letter.  It’s very terse-  the school superintendent in charge of our required paperwork has exhibited a pattern of neglecting his responsibilities under the law while demanding things he has no right, under the same law, to require.  I am frustrated and frankly tired of repeating myself in dealings with him.  Therefore, I think it’s best to let this sit a day or three, and then review the wording.
  • 2011-2012 Second Quarter Reports – March 1, 2012
  • I did fairly well at keeping track of our doings until mid-December, when the holiday season more or less took over, and, after, I began ROW80, and have scarcely remembered that the reports were started!
  • I have pulled up the draft of Annalise’s report, and added bulleted lists of things to include for each subject area, as well as some note to remind myself of tasks still unfinished.
  • Within the next several days, I will be doing the same with Jeremiah’s report.
  • After that, I will only need to flesh out, revise, and polish before submitting.
 I will submit at least one essay or photo essay apiece to
Tiny Buddha and Sunday Surf.
  • I spent considerable time with the Tiny Buddha post this week.
  • I had thought the piece nearly completed –  until I put it into my handy-dandy Word Count Tool – and found it now has 1900+ words.  As the upper limit is 1300 w0rds, I will need to do some revising.
  • In preparation for this I read two recent articles and skimmed several more on the blog.
  • This pointed me toward a more structured form of essay, and so I will be revising again at some point during the next few days.  I believe that the new format will, by its nature, eliminate a few hundred words as no longer relevant, which should make cutting a less intensive project.
  • My piece will need a title; as yet it has none.  I am planning to wait until after the next draft, and see what presents itself in the process of writing.
  • I wrote a bio for the piece and posted it on the ROW80 Facebook Page.  
  • It was suggested that the bio was too long, and that I could look at other bios on the blog.  It was too long by a fair margin so it, too, will be getting a rewrite or two to lean it out. More focus on where I write and basic tone of how I live and who with, and where, and nothing else, really.
  • I have finished , revised, and added many links to the Sunday Surf  piece.
  • Over the next several days, I will begin the photo editing and importing (I am thinking mostly collages, although there will be single photos and at least one linked slide show…..).
  • It is conceivable that I could have either or both of these posts submitted by next Sunday.
I will complete the rough draft of my unfinished NaNoWriMo novel, Chameleon’s Dish.
  • I have, at this moment, 6810 words of Chapter 16, “Blood and Breath”.  The story seemed to wander aimlessly for a few days, then, tonight, all those disparate scenes and thoughts merged together in a startling and perfect-seeming way…..I am happy.  And the chapter is nearly written.
I will submit at least four pieces, queries, or proposals to for-pay markets.
  • This goal got pushed absentmindedly to the back burner over the last few days, so nothing new to report here.
  • A priority, over the next several days, will be to draft an ad for my independent service, and play around with photographs.
I will update, keep current on a weekly basis, and add writing samples to my Facebook Writer Page, and I will  update, edit, and post to both of my regular blogs on at least a weekly basis.
  • I have posted to both blogs in the last week, and have other posts in progress in the drafts folders of both, too.
  • I have been using my Facebook Writer Page as a repository for research, and a place to share things, mostly, as I have been busy this last few days.
  • No real prettying up has happened, although I did add a few elements to this blog…….perhaps more details on that, Wednesday…..

It’s been a rather off-balance few days –  but, mostly, in a good way.  We won’t always be in hibernation mode –  there will be times overflowing with busyness, too……

For instance,  tomorrow, Jim and I have a surprise to spring.  A fair amount of effort has gone into it, and more will, before we’ve finished…..

And so, I will find a new type pf balance, one that will easily shift with the flow of our living…..nothing else will work, for me.

And so, I welcome our return to the  outer world, our unfolding  into the life of going and doing……

More on Wednesday, from me, after Jim’s weekend, with details of the going and doing about to commence…..I wanted to say more, tonight, but am out of words!

ROWing along………. ROW80 Blog Hop!


  1. Don’t know how I missed this before… Probably the icky sick and just trying to “do” what I could. So glad to see how awesome things are coming out though. And yeah… “non-winter” describes it pretty well. 😦 Not that I really want a bunch of snow to add to the daily driving adventures, but I do miss how pretty it is.

    • Sys –

      Yes, a blanket or two of white would really make that hawk that’s been hanging out in the neighbor’s big tree, and the cardinals, really stand out….

      Sorry you guys were sick, and happy you’re better. I am sneezing and stuffy and achy and tired, but otherwise just fine. Miah has a cough and is tired.

      The goals are coming along. It seems sometimes that I do a LOT of writing to get there, and I’ll be working on each goal forever, and then – whoosh – one is done.

      I find that cool. =)

      Now, if i could work in the time for reading and researching all the goodies I am finding on other people’a blogs….. =)

  2. You really knocked out a few goals, and you’re making great progress on the others. Looks like a great week overall! Enjoy the snowy hibernation while you can. (Living in Texas myself, I have no idea what that’s like.) Have a fabulous ROW80 week! Best wishes on your writing.

    • Julie –

      I only set goals for myself that I am passionate about achieving. That makes it a lot easier to move forward joyously and productively.

      It’s not a very snowy hibernation this year (kind of like a non-winter, really). It’s more the lack of sunlight, I think, and the long dark hours….but we are emerging, now.

      Two days at the local indoor waterpark were exactly what we needed! =)

  3. Congratulations on meeting some of your goals, that is awesome!

    My daughter is thinking about home-schooling the girls in a couple of years when it is time for them to go to school. I am sure I will be asking you questions about it.

    Enjoying sharing this writing adventure with you.


    • Morgan –

      I’m very open to respectful questions. It can be (as is probably evident from my posts!) a very consuming way of life – but I really don’t see any negatives to it.

      Our lives are rich and full and peaceful and filled with joy and learning. Our connections to each other are strong and sure.

      The whole house never seems to be clean at once, but I’m learning to make my own peace with that, and, as they are getting older, I can see the overall status of things improving…..

      I am loving sharing it with you, too! =)


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