Plymouth Rock and ROW – ROW80 Update #3

What’s it all about?

 I’m too tired to write anything to go with this update, but there are pictures…..I hope you enjoy!

Update – ROW80 ROWnd 3, 2012


Trueborn Series:

  • Trueborn:

  • Reread current rough draft from 1998-9ish and 2000.

  • I read and jotted notes up to Chapter Twenty-Three (page 101 of 240).

  • I found the missing pages, which had been misplaced further back in the loose leaf binder that houses this draft.

  • Several alternate storylines and deepenings have occurred to me as I am reading, and I am beginning to really feel this story coming to life in a richer, truer way. =)

    More of our Celebration of Annalise, July 8.
  • Triage existing research.

  • I sorted quickly through the stack of research I collected at the beginning of the ROWnd, and found some very old poetry and stories (yes, so old, if fact, that one still bears an A from senior year English class in 1987!).

  • Next, I plan to categorize the pile that actually pertains to Trueborn (and some will easily carry over to Chameleon’s Dish, as well, for an added efficiency bonus!).

    At Ravenswood, Lise’s choice for her birthday dinner….
  • Blood and Breath:

  • Complete story arc.

  • I added Chapter Twenty-Three.

  • I went back and flashed out the Prologue and Chapters One-Three. These were very sketchy, as written. Now they reflect some of what I have learned in subsequent chapters.

    Popcorn love…..

  • Consider creating a blog for this novel or perhaps for the series, with pages for each novel as it progresses.

  • I posted the Prologue and Chapters 1-3 portions of the story arc in shanjeniah’s Trueborn Jottings.

Homeschool Administration Ad Infinitum….

  • Fourth Quarter reports for both children (due Sept. 1).

  • I have written the base Reading sections for both children; I have written Annalise’s Writing/Spelling section, as well.

  • Standardized Test for Miah (due Sept.1).

  • Jeremiah and I have agreed that he will take the PASS test, and to order it shortly after our camping trip, with the goal of completing and returning it before we go to NEUC on August 23.

  • Before we order the test, though, we will be buying him two bags of #2 pencils and an electric pencil sharpener, as per our agreement.

  • Planning the shopping trip for a week from Tuesday, after he accompanies me to t’ai chi. Once the supplies are here, I have his go-ahead to order the test itself.

  • IHIPs for both children (due four weeks after receipt of packet from school district).

  • I opened Jeremiah’s IHIP from 2011-2012. Like Annalise’s, it looks like at least parts can be used with some very minor wording changes (it’s easier to write passion-based plans!).

  • I adapted his Reading section, and created a new file for his 2012-2013 IHIP.

  • I also created a new file for Annalise’s 2012 -2013 IHIP, and adapted her Reading section.

  • Begin setting up portfolios for both children invite them to be a part of this process! =)

  • I took some more pictures for the raw files…I love going through things created years ago, mixed in with this week’s creations…such a lovely way to see how they are evolving!

    Birthday cake!
  • Relax, enjoy, learn, grow, laugh, and … BREATHE!

  • Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!!!!!

  • We spent four days with people we love, people who are our chosen family. We swam, we walked a lot, we talked and ate and played and slept (and had a few conflicts and moments of friction that we weathered). We saw swans and fish and interesting insects and small rodent wildlife.

  • Miah and Lise went canoeing with the Woodman family, biked, ran, dug in the sand, gathered lakeweed, jumped off a floating dock, had Nerf gun wars and water gun fights, listened to music, ate cotton candy with glow sticks inside, budgeted their own money, roamed freely, helped as they were inclined, and so much more.

    Pole huggers and grate explorers
  • Annalise played extensively with friends she doesn’t see as often as she would like – Gabriella, Alana, and Gabrielle. She enjoyed time with Harry, Logan, Jeremiah, Maeve, Drue, Declan, Zella, and Makana. She met and played with random others at the beach and around camp.

  • She and Gabriella, while brainstorrming ideas to increase their financial resources (there were more temptations at the camp store than they had money to buy with), they decided to pick up rocks, and offer a selection of custom designs to be drawn on with markers. This venture swelled to include six employees over two days, with profits being evenly shared among them. They created a design list with pricing, gathered rocks, hawked their wares, and created art.

    Blossoms and Blooms…
  • Jeremiah has been asking for more one-on-one time with me of late – he’s hovering at the edge of puberty, and is eager for more adult challenges than a few months ago. We swam together, he helped me participate in the potluck, do laundry, set up and break down camp, and load the car (I would not have gotten the bike rack on nearly as securely as he did.

  • Jeremiah also built, tended and extinguished his own campfire! As a bonus, he was able to pop Jiffy-Pop on it, after much experimentation.

    Margot the Manx loves my newly cleared work space.
  • Miah and I went out to a (more expensive than I am comfortable with) lunch at The Olive Garden, and for iced chai lattes at Starbucks. He charmed pretty much everyone we met, and talked about topics such as Phineas and Ferb, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, aspects of schooling and unschooling, etiquette, standardized testing, and the nature of life. Once again, he amazed and captivated me with the depths he displays, in those quiet, unhurried moments of just he and I.

    Friends at the lake….


  • Continue reading books for Bookmark Break Challenge – aim for 7 in July, 8 in August, and 9 in September, but these targets will be flexible – summer is prime traveling time for the kids and I and we have things planned and others we’re considering.

  • Hamlet – page 292 of 342.

  • Shakespeare’s England – Life in Elizabethan and Jocobean Times page 23 of 292 (taking notes as I read; this is research reading).

  • Guerrilla Learning I’ve been reading it, but it’s still in the car, so no count until next time, as I am too tired to go fish it out of the bottom of the trunk – I was reading when our friend Emily told us about the impending storm, and then I leapt into action…

  • Many of the books I am currently reading are library books, which I was not comfortable taking camping. As a result, and because reading was in short bursts of alone time or just before sleeping or rising, I didn’t read much over the past several days.

    Happy at the lake!
  • Continue reading an average of three articles from my To Be Read files, weekly.

  • Tiny Buddha article….

  • I read two articles from here this week, largely due to the differing reality of packing and camping. The next few days will likely be restful and recuperative, so I am hoping to bring my average closer to 3 a week, if not a bit more.

  • I can’t list the first article – Why Arrogance is a Virtue for Writers, because all the links seem to be broken….

  • I also read A Letter from Your Calling.

    Tree Rock Art Studio

Other Writing:

  • Write 1 book review each week.

  • I finished one review, for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I was ambitious and included a lot of links for further reading.

  • I am still a review behind my goal. I plan to at least draft two more reviews this week.

  • Play with essay ideas as desired; aim for three submittable essays each month.

  • I wrote something on Elijah’s ninth birthday that might become a submittable essay. I haven’t been back to reread it, yet.

  • Write at 750 Words every day, with possible hiatuses for Unschoolers Rock the Campground (July 12-16); Learn Nothing Day (July 24); Northeast Unschooling Conference (August 23-27); and kids’ birthdays (July 8, September 2).On my birthday (July 29), I WRITE!!!

  • I am continuing to write my words.

  • I did not write on our travel days – Thursday and Sunday – and have not yet gotten my Monday words in (although I plan to take a break from this update, when Jim gets home, and write them).

    Lunch – just Miah and me, at the Olive Garden.
  • Use 750 Words for whatever – flash pieces, essays, venting, ranting, reports, book reviews, etc.

  • Thus far, just light stuff and detailing goals and scheduling for the rest of the ROWnd.

  • After I wrote the above, pre-trip, I also used it for writing about Elijah, playing with the fanfic prologue for Chameleon’s Dish, and detailing some of the events of the weekend.


  • Aim to post at least twice a month to The Unfettered Life. Make one of them an update, perhaps roughly categorized to make creating reports easier.

  • I have the makings of two great posts – one about Annalise’s birthday, and the other about Unschoolers Rock the Campground. I plan to write drafts of both this week.

  • Begin using this blog in a way that really supports documenting, so that it does double duty as a personal tool for me in the way it once did.

  • Both of the posts I am planning will accomplish this goal.

  • Aim to post, at least weekly, non-ROW80 update material on shanjeniah. This may take the form of adding to my pages; creating new ones; other challenges, blog hops, etc; writing samples of various types; musings on writing and life; guest posts; photo essays; or whatever else seems relevant at the time.

  • Thus far, I have only posted once, with my book review noted above.

  • I do have some ideas firming up, and will be exploring them soon!

  • Consider and perhaps experiment with creating a blog for the Trueborn series. This could contain excerpts, bits of what I am working on (character sketches, research, flash fiction, story arcs; inspirational images and quotes, etc. Its purpose would be specifically to share the process of creating the series, from the beginning on….in a way, a window into my world and my mind as none of my other spaces are….

  • I added my first post to this new blog – the prologue and first three chapters of the Blood and Breath story arc noted above.

    Jeremiah made his first campfire…..

Organizing/Tootling my Horn….

  • Draft a loose Mission Statement to guide me through the rest of the ROWnd, and carry me forward into the next.

  • I haven’t written anything, yet, but have been mulling this over, and feel the shape and scope becoming clearer. I will be writing soon, I think.

  • Set aside time each week to winnow email. Read items being saved for later reading, sort or dispose as indicated.

  • As of Monday afternoon, my email has been winnowed from 685 to 310 messages.

  • I plan on doing another round of settings and subscription changes this week, as I have pinpointed several sites to eliminate or decrease email receipt from. Even without having done that, though, the first round of changes has made a considerable positive difference in superfluous and unwanted messages.

  • Be bold and daring in commenting, sharing, and submitting. Declare myself, learn, grow, and sometimes do things that make me uncomfortable. Open and blossom!

  • I have shared a bit about Elijah’s life and death. It can be painful to be so open, but it is also healing, and maybe gives a more realistic picture of my grief, through time.

Celebrating Life!

  • Add some form of specific motion (t’ai chi, swimming, hiking, biking, skating, dancing, etc) to each week. Keep track of what, where, when, for how long, and how I felt during and after.

  • I spent a couple of hours swimming, mostly with the children, and enjoyed it tremendously.

  • I set up and broke camp. Breaking camp was a sprint, and exhausting. Setting camp was relaxing.

  • I maintained camp (camp hometending).

  • I walked around camp, and up and down steep hills. It was hot, and I was easily winded going uphill (but active Annalise said there ought to be a bench halfway up, so maybe it just wasn’t me). My knee was better this trip than it has been since I wrenched it in May. =)

  • Hours of driving. Jim figured out how to work the cruise control, which made my knee much more comfortable.

  • Fill us all up with joy, and continue cultivating family peace.

  • As much as I could. Better in some moments than others.

  • Spend time cleaning and beautifying my personal internal and external spaces each week.

  • I enjoyed maintaining our campsite, and filling up my soul with good people, nature, activity, and laughter. I got kissed by the sun, and caressed by the lake. =D

  • Embrace and be present in all my moments.

  • I’m getting better at this. It’s easy to be present while living in nature, and surrounded by others who are practicing presence.

  • Allow my emotions to be as they are. Practice expressing them calmly and reflectively.

  • Yes, I allowed them to be. No, I wasn’t always calm and reflective in expressing them. Camping with children can be frustrating, and more so when I am the solo parent. At one point, I flung Leo the Stick Lion, who was falling out the car despite my having asked several times to have it moved. I forgot to retrieve Leo, and Jeremiah noticed when we were half an hour away from the campground. We went back. I drove an hour more than I needed to….there’s something to be learned there…. and yet, there was a time when my reactions were far more violent and reactive, outbursts were far more frequent, usually directed at a person, and lasted far longer than 30 seconds. I am growing.


    • Robin –

      I never did get back to those posts I wanted to comment on…my plate turned out to be filled with a ton more than I needed on it…

      I learned some things from that madness, though, and, this round, I intend to go with the flow of my energy, and leave myself enough time to renew and refill.

      Thank you so much for stopping by, and I am so sorry that I did not get around to expressing my gratitude sooner.

  1. Cute pictures. Love unschooling. I’ve taught both public school and homeschool. They both have a place. Reading your goals made me tired, but I hope you have a great week!

    • Kathrese –

      So sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you – summer is a particularly busy and emotional time for us.

      I was publicly schooled and enjoyed much of it, although I felt that I was far too often held back from learning all that I was capable of.

      I am constantly amazed at the things my children pursue, and how very much they learn from everything. In their lives, there is no separation at all between learning and everything else. It’s all connected, and a part of growing and being…

      Those goals made me tired, too! So tired I began to burn out, and totally lost track of comments. So tired the round stopped being fun, and became work and trudging along….

      What’s odd is that that is in near total opposition to the nature of our unschooling life. I would never pin a list like that onto my children – I don’t even give my husband to-do lists!

      This round, I’ve taken a cue from my children’s lives, and am matching my activities to my energies, and I am having a lot more fun.

      Better yet, I am still accomplishing, and what I am writing is far deeper and truer than anything I managed in the last round.

      Thank you for stopping by!

    • Ahhh, Jennifer! –

      For us, there are always a few days of vegging after the physical intensity of a day like that (bracketed on either side by a four-hour drive).

      And I hadn’t been writing much over the weekend, so I was full of ideas i was hungry to pour forth…..

      And any post that lets me play with pictures of kids and nature is a winner in my book! =)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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