ROW80 Goals Update #13 – “Pondering Balance”

Carousel Peace....

It’s been an eventful few days, here.  On Friday, we again had the pleasure of Cameron’s company.  Cam is my 11 year old nephew, and brings a different energy to our lives whenever he’s here.

Cameron time is a busy time, for us.  There are places we go regularly, that he doesn’t usually go,  except with us.  And he is funny and physical, and just enough older than Miah to have that “big brother” feeling, and, since he has an almost-six-year-old sister at home, he is patient and gentle and fun with Annalise, too.

So, on Friday, before we came home, we stopped at a McDonald’s that had a PlayPlace, and the kids enjoyed some play while I used my laptop.  Eventually, though, another child started punching people, and they mutually decided that they no longer wanted to be there.  So, off we headed to the YMCA, for about two hours of swimming (OK, I only made it for about an hour and a quarter!) , and then a few laps on the track.

We were all up very late – actually, Jeremiah never slept, and then out early on Saturday, to give Jim a ride to work, since there was a chance of slushy snow that would make riding his motorcycle unsafe.  He works in a neighboring small town, and the New York State Museum, which we headed to afterwe dropped him off is another 40 minutes away, which made for quite a bit of driving for me.

From Drop Box

The museum, as always, delighted us all.  In a two hour whirlwind, we visited favorite spots and explored some new ones:

  • New York State logging exhibit
  • the antique, working carouse
  •  skulls and recreated faces found at a locally excavated historic  gravesite
  •  native rocks and minerals
  • animal bones, pelts, and specimens
  • mastodont exhibit
  • Adirondack wildlife exhibit
  •  NY Harbor and Metropolis exhibits;
  • the A train
  • the 9/11 Family Trailer (memorabilia of those lost in the attacks)
  •  the gift shop

    Bubbly travertine makes me Yellowstone homesick

On our way out, Cam and Annalise scaled a rock wall, and there was time to explore some shale that had broken off the wall.

By the time I reached home, all three kids had fallen asleep.

Lise and an old friend of mine I met at her age....

Their Saturday night was comprised of napping, eating, and Netflix.  Mine was tidying and writing, and going out to the store after Jim got home, to purchase a gift for my older nephew and his fiancee’s baby shower, today.Their Saturday night was comprised of napping, eating, and Netflix.  Mine was tidying and writing, and going out to the store after Jim got home, to purchase a gift for my older nephew and his fiancee’s baby shower, today.

Cam examines some minerals.....

Then some time with Jim, watching How It’s Made and Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Datalore” .

After he fell asleep, I wrote some more…..and now, it’s Sunday again, and I am getting these few paragraphs started before we leave to take Cam home and attend the baby  shower.

So, in short, busyness has abounded, and with an extra person in the

house.  I am very attuned to the energyaround me; an extra person always shifts the dynamic, often in unexpected and unforeseeable ways.   Even though I do what I can to prepare myself for this, it can still be a chaotic and trying experience.

With that in mind, I address the matter of my progress toward my writing goals:

Round of Words 80 Goals Progress – Round 1, 2012:

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

  • This goal has been attained, and then some, as I just seem to keep on writing essays.
  • I’m not sure I realized before just how much I adore personal essays, and how much I love adding photos to them.
  • Now that I do, I see no reason whatever to stop just because I’ve met the current goal!
Annalise loves exploring wildlife - and habitats and specimens, too.......

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
  •  This goal has also been attained!
  • 2011-2012 IHIP Approval Request – February 15, 2012
  • This goal has been attained.
  • 2011-2012 Second Quarter Reports – March 1, 2012
  • Jeremiah’s report is approximately two-thirds of the way through link adding and editing (complete through sciences).
  • I remain ahead of schedule for completing this goal, and will likely have it completed and sent before the winter break ends in just over a week.
Starfish, Lovely...

I will submit at least one essay or photo essay apiece to Tiny Buddha and Sunday Surf.

  • The Sunday Surf post has been completed and posted at my unschooling blog, The Unfettered Life.
  • The Tiny Buddha piece, “Your Way or Mine –  Or Another, Altogether?” has one remaining rough spot to be polished.
  • Next, I will be editing, formatting properly, adding photos, and submitting it (although I will perhaps need to wait until March, if February submissions have already closed when I finish it).
"Mommy! I lost a tooth! A MASTODON tooth!"

I will complete the rough draft of my unfinished NaNoWriMo novel, Chameleon’s Dish.

  • I have completed Chapter 18, “Never Doubt I Love” , with a double cliffhanger of an ending that totally surprised me –  never saw it coming!
  • I have 1035 words in Chapter 19, “To Be or Not To Be?”.  This will be a tense, life-or-death chapter, and we may not know how it turns out for another few, after this…..perhaps, nor until very near the climax….
  • I feel that, if I’m not at the beginning of the end, I will be by the end of this chapter… feels, right now, like there might be about 25 chapters, with a prologue and epilogue.
Deer skull girl.....
I will submit at least four pieces, queries, or proposals to for-pay markets.
  •  I have rewritten my flash fiction erotica piece, “The Coupling”.
  • I want to revise it again – the current vision is much more sensual, but I feel there is more to go.
  • I plan to submit this piece to Clean Sheets.
  • I have rechecked guidelines for Clean Sheets and For the Girls.
  • I am contemplating more stories in this vein.
  • I have an idea for a top-five list for, to be titled, “Top Five Ridiculous Things People Say to Unschoolers.”  I could easily come up with a dozen or two, just from our own personal experiences, and it may help to build a bit of mainstream tolerance so that strangers don’t feel so justified coming up to us in a store and accosting us for our life choices…and so that perhaps certain family-of-origin members would allow us to simply live our lives in learning and peace, without emotional attacks or unfounded calls to CPS.
  • I remain a little behind on this goal, but expect to remedy that in the next week or two.
  • Her favorite since age 2!
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’ve posted some links, samples, and updates to my Writer Page, and it has garnered several new followers over the last several days.  That is really exciting!
  • I am in the midst of an involved and personally important achievement-oriented post at The Unfettered Life.
  • This post is taking longer than anticipated, because there is a lot I want to include, and a lot I am absorbing while composing it.
  • I have at least one more post mind-scheduled there, for after I complete the current one.
  • I have several other less-than-ready to write ideas still simmering.
  • I have posted once on this blog, with this  Trifextra entry, Hamlet: Hawk From a Handsaw.  It is a re-visioning of Hamlet told in exactly 33 words.
  • I have bought the domain name  Now begins the process of figuring out what I can do with it!
  • I have plans to add more pages to this blog in the coming weeks.
She was particularly interested in the whale's baleen (food strainers in the mouth), on this trip.

I will write at least one book review,  and a rough draft of a letter to my father-in-law.

  • The book review for A Quiet Place is written and waiting in my word-processing program.
  • I will move it here, format, perhaps add pictures, and post within the next day or three.
  • I have given more thought to the bulleted list for my father-in-law, but am not quite ready to write anything out as yet.    Soon, though.
Tradition! Cam always demands a refund from the wax oystereman; the way oysterman always ignores Cam.....a four year trend continues! =)

I will input one of my writing notebooks into Penzu, and clip all materials I would like to pursue further.

  • I am on page 32 of 141 for this goal.
  • I have found more useful nuggets to delve more deeply, later.
A pretty just for me.

Well, since I did get in some larger chunks of time here or there (and more tonight, as I was writing this goals post), some things did get accomplished

Jeremiah, after being up all night, and busy all day, chillaxes on the A train..

I’ve also, as I mentioned,  been branching out into projects I haven’t “officially” set goals for.  At this point in the process, I plan to save new goals for the next round.  I also don’t plan to put off what I am inspired to write, so some of my work is a bit invisible here.

As the non-winter fades away, though, and the air here is softening for an early spring, I can see that balance is going to be integral to the next phase in our very seasonally-oriented lives.   We’re already planning some activities and trips, and there will be more walks, more outdoor play, more swimming, gardening, and just being out-of-doors after the dormant season.
Balance will apparently be out the window over the next days….
The cathredral next door to the museum....
Jim had a motorcycle accident as I was typing the above paragraphs a couple of hours ago.   He was medflighted here to the large medical center almost an hour from our house.
 He is hurt – broken hand and ribs, collapsed lung, and lacerated spleen that is bleeding and may need cauterization….
Unsettled skies; unsettled life......
A goofy moment after working through her wall-climbing fears....

The next 48 hours of bedrest will be critical.  The trauma surgeon said, “Minimal risk of mortality” and “not out of the woods yet.”


Three friends, from behind.


We’re waiting anxiously to see him…..everything else has pretty much become inconsequential.

…….for now, here’s the update……..

I love the architecture of this cathedral.
 Please think good thoughts for us, and go do something sweet for someone you love. 


    • Janet –

      Thank you – he was in good spirits for a guy in his shape. It’s also both his birthday and the anniversary of the day we met, so a hard day to know he’s not here with us……

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