Posted in #atozchallenge, Blog Hops and Fests, Blogfest Entries, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging from A-Z April 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, Parenting, poetry, slices of life, Uncategorized, Writing Sample

K is for Kids and Kitchen: #atoozchallenge Day 11

Life from Sustenance

There is nothing more non-negotiable than death

There are other things non-negotiable in life

Life comes with needs that death absolves

Life requires food, water, air, and shelter

Shelter in the embrace of mother’s arms

Shelter in the embrace of the kitchen

Kitchen the place where I tend to needs

Kitchen the place where I nourish our souls

Souls grieving and hungry for sustenance

Souls healing as bodies are fed

Fed food that is created with love

Fed by my efforts to learn something new

New skills practiced as I prepare each dish

New repertoire growing as I learn

Learn to accept the challenges

Learn to consider everyone’s tastes

Tastes and nutrition blending together

Tastes changing as teens grow

Grow into acceptance of what we’ve lost

Grow into new ways of doing and being

Being more helpful than they once were

Being patient with my mistakes

Mistakes are part of the trial and error

Mistakes can be a path to wisdom

Wisdom gained with each meal served

Wisdom seasoned with reality

Reality that I’m their only parent

Reality that it’s now all up to me

Me the mother who married a chef

Me the one who hadn’t cooked

Cooked only begrudgingly

Cooked things no one wanted to try

Try now to overcome the aversion

Try to create culinary excitement

Excitement at every success

Excitement at my new competence

Competence breeds confidence

Competence becomes independence

Independence is a kind of balm

Independence is another kind of food

Food for bodies and food for souls

Food that sustains me as I become

Become the mistress of the kitchen

Become comfortable in this new life

Life goes on even after his death

Life goes on and needs sustenance

Sustenance for our bodies and souls

Sustenance and delight nourished

Nourished

Souls

It’s been three months today since Jim died, and I became the sole provider for my children Cooking wasn’t something I did; Jim was a talented professional chef even when we met, and, though I had enjoyed cooking when I was single, I knew when I was outclassed.
From early ages, the kids knew it too. As an eight-year-old, Jeremiah once joked, “Mom, if I want you to make me scrambled eggs, I’ll ask you for an omelette.”

So, while Jim was alive, he did the bulk of the shopping and cooking.

Obviously, that’s changed.

I bought an Instant Pot shortly after his diagnosis, it’s been my salvation. I don’t enjoy “babysitting” food while it cooks, and I’m not especially good at it. I tend to get busy with writing or cleaning or reading or being with the kids or breathing….and things go wrong. With the Instant Pot, things take far less time, and, because it’s programmable, I can do other things while it cooks, like raking the yard, taking a shower, or writing blog posts.

I’ve used it for things I might not have made otherwise: steel cut oatmeal, sweet potato and butternut squash soup, whole roast chickens – and even bone broth!

It’s given me a new sense of competence, and, because it is so versatile, I’m buying ingredients rather than the prepackaged meal options I might otherwise have resorted to. That’s better for the budget, and our health…and every new dish (even the disappointingly oversteamed asparagus) builds my knowledge base and my certainty that I can indeed feed us.

That’s it for me…later on, I’ll be making soup from my own stock, and roasting yet another chicken.  Yum!

Come on back tomorrow, where we’ll be laughing our way to death…and beyond.

Get the whole kit and caboodle of K posts!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2018, April CampNaNoWriMo 2018, CampNaNoWriMo, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round Two, slices of life, The 12 Week Year, The 12 Week Year 2018, The 12 Week Year Three, Writers' Resources, writing

Settling Into the Now:  #ROW80 Round 2 /#12WeekYear 3 MidWeek 2

Hi there, ROWers and friends! 

It’s Wednesday – time to list out my Week 2 Action Plan, and current progress (Here’s my Week 1 progress). 

These goals are more specific than my Week 1 goals. I’ve refined things; made them more measurable and specific. Some of these may take a few weeks to complete, so they’ll be here a while.

And that’s okay.

I’m reminding myself of something I’d lost sight of for a while. NOW is the only time I have, no matter how much I might wish it was otherwise.

What are you doing with your now?

Notes:

  • I post my Weekly Action Plan on Wednesdays, and Weekly Wrap-Ups on Sundays.
  • I review/adjust my Round 2/12 Week Year 3 after weeks 3, 6, 9, and a final one after Week 12.

Goal Status:

  • Blue with Overstrike: Completed.
  • Green: In Progress.
  • Black: Still Waiting.
  • Black with Overstrike: 86’ed.
  • Red: Goal Change.

Relationships, Family, and Home:

Family Stuff:

I facilitate Miah’s driving at a pace that’s comfortable for him.

I facilitate kids’ social travel and time with friends as desired, and check up on Unschoolers Rock the Campground.

  • Nothing posted for URTC yet.

I spend 11:11 gathering materials for each child’s third quarter homeschool reports.

I facilitate both kids’ learning as needed.

  • Lise checked the weather around the world, with some suggestions from me. We discussed climate and geographic features which influence weather.

Home Stuff:

I facilitate home and yardtending, asking for assistance as needed.

  • Made a deal with Lise – a sinkful of dishes traded for an order of fries.
  • Bedrooomtending; laundry; dishes; yardtending (raking leaves; decluttering).

I post three items (already selected) on a local yard sale site.

  • I’ve taken photos for these posts.

I rough draft a schedule for hometending as a baseline for action.

I touch base with Lise about next steps in baking/selecting a mop she wants to use.

  • She’s comfortable with prepackaged cookie dough for now, but may want to experiment with mixes soon.
  • We agreed that I will find a few potential mopping solutions for her to choose from.

Relationship Stuff:

I schedule lunch/coffee dates with two friends.

  • Tentative plans to meet Eden Mabee (best friend since almost forever; we were little, little girls!) on Wednesday.

I send thank you notes to Jim’s sisters, and contact them via text to touch base.

Professional/Financial:

Writing/Revising Stuff:

I complete the first revision pass of “Storm at Song Glass Cabin” (short story), and return to publishers.

I collect materials, organize, get beta feedback, apply, finalize layout, and submit my Secret Project.

  • I have my base materials, and have secured 3 beta readers (3 more to ask).

I use April CampNaNoWriMo to complete the rough draft of Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8).

  • 18,277 new words; 5,668 this week.

Blogging From A-Z April Challenge: The Alphabet of Grief complete 26 posts.

I check in at Story A Day, catch up on recent podcasts, and begin collecting story sparks for this year’s stories. If there is a way to get advance notice of the prompts, I utilize it.

  • Made a quick survey; selected some follow-up items.

Learning Stuff:

I complete Pixels to Platform, and complete Module 1.

  • Began intro video rewatch: 30%.

I complete organization for How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck, evaluate my current progress, and complete one 11:11 learning session this week.

  • Organization 95% complete; evaluation 50%

I complete organization for How to Revise Your Novel.

Networking Stuff:

I serve as an DIY-MFA Pixels to Platform Master Class Ambassador.

  • Checked in regularly with private Facebook group; class is now live.

I answer blog comments and visit other blogs on my current informal schedule.

  • Several #atozchallenge visits. #babysteps.

I complete current chapter of Stained Blood, return to author, and highlight next section for revision.

I touch base with author next in my queue, and another possible beta author regarding manuscript schedule.

I post current goals and Dark and Bitter reading video/transcript to Patreon, and update Facebook Writer page and blog sidebar.

Family Financial Stuff:

I go through current receipts.

I set budget for groceries, eating out, and monthly expenses, using receipts and bank statement as guides.

I contact insurance agent (re: business insurance).

I read at least one article or blogpost on a financial matter.

I talk with both kids about what prosperity means to them.

  • Opened a discussion with Lise. It was enlightening, and showed how she’s matured in the last several months.

Body, Mind, and Soul:

I return to tai chi on Thursday, and swim afterwards.

I reset my 5K training; prepare to restart next week.

I make chicken and rice soup; steel cut oats; a pasta bake; and steam sweet potatoes in Instant Pot.

  • Bone broth for soup and steel cut oats.

I meditate and journal daily, and twice daily at least three times this week.

  • Meditation (Insight Timer at 2:22) and journaling each morning; extra journaling Sunday night (1/3).

I read at least one spiritual growth article this week.

  • Read Strip Away Stress and How to be Kind in a Rude World from the Real Simple Find Your Balance special issue.

I allow myself sufficient time for rest, recreation, and reflection, without guilt.

  • Rest was rocky until Tuesday, but others are solid. Coloring, meditation, journaling, and pondering in abundance.

I share my experiences with others as I am inspired.

  • Through blogging, and in person.

I create art that allows me to explore and express my emotional state.

  • Singing, writing, and coloring

I memorialize Jim’s place in my life, and makes changes as I am moved to, without guilt.

  • Through writing, and in life.

ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!

We’re On Facebook, Too!

Just a bit of now-themed silliness! =D

Posted in #atozchallenge, Blog Hops and Fests, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging from A-Z April 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Parenting, poetry, slices of life, writing, Writing Sample

G is for Grief Gives Ground: #atozchallenge Day 7

 

Ground With Presence

 

Grief gains ground

Grief gives ground

Ground taken with floods of tears

Ground surrendered when laughter drifts

Drifts of sorrow and

Drifts of joy

Joy is the grief-easer

Joy brings the return of the light

Light to shine into shadowed places

Light to lift us up from the dark

Dark sorrow like a shroud envelopes

Dark despair gives the lie to his life

Life given to happiness and kindness

Life lived for laughter for love for wonder

Wonder that brought spontaneity

Wonder shared with wife and children

Children nearly grown and still grieving

Children who embody his light and his love

Love given freely and without hesitation

Love we still feel can’t be erased or undone

Undone moments when the loss overwhelms

Undone business now my task alone

Alone I might be in the physical plane

Alone never truly for he is within me still

Still moments when I feel him watching

Still heard when the children laugh and sing

Sing “Eat dessert first” for that was his motto

Sing nonsense words that don’t mean anything

Anything can be a reminder

Anything can serve to lift us up

Up into the clear air of memory

Up where remembering helps us to soar

Soar as he would have wanted

Soar in spirit so we can give more

More love more laughter

More wonder more joy more sharing

Sharing his memory with one another

Sharing ourselves with the world beyond

Beyond our family and ourselves

Beyond grief and the loss of this one soul

Soul carried forward through our lives

Soul embodied anew in our choices

Choices are the stuff that life is made of

Choices to sink or choices to fly

Fly into tomorrow not burdened by grief

Fly on in our lives buoyed by his presence

Presence we had for a time

Presence we spread as we honor his life

Life

Time

It can be easy to be drowned and overwhelmed by grief. Grief encompasses everything, when the loss is as intimate as the loss of a husband or a father. Jim was a close, connected, fun-loving father, and, before he was my lover or my husband, he was my friend.

His physical absence is acute and ever-present. We can’t ignore or forget it.

But we don’t have to let it destroy us.

The kids and I are fans of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. We went to a live reading/Q&A quote session with the series creators, Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink, just after Jim was diagnosed with terminal metastasized pancreatic cancer. During the event, a quote was shared:

“Death is only the end if you assume the story is about you.”

Jim’s part of the story ended with his death on the night of January 12. But the children and I are still alive, and our story goes on from there. It’s a new book, maybe, and certainly a new chapter,  and will take a different direction than it might have, had he lived.

That can be a reason to lock ourselves into grief and a sense of unfairness – or it can be a chance to be grateful for the parts of our story that were interwoven with his, and to carry what was best in him forward and out into the world.

I choose to do the second. Happily, so do the kids. In loving Jim, we were nourished with wonder and laughter and love.

Now it’s time to share them.

Please visit us again Monday – out of the hospital, and in hospice.

And, don’t forget to go visit more groovy G posts!

I’ll leave you with one of Jim’s favorite songs about life and death….

Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Blogging from A-Z April 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Parenting, photography, poetry, slices of life, writing, Writing Sample

B is for Banding Together: #atozchallenge Day 2

 

Apart to Soar

Banding together

Banding with one apart

Apart from all that we are

Apart as we go forth as three

Three alone without our fourth

Three drawn into one fractured whole

Whole in the bonds of friendship

Whole in the reality of our family

Family splintered at its heart

Family rent and broken in its soul

Soul taken from us against our will

Soul departed too soon and too far

Far from the days when we all lived

Far from that day when we all laughed

Laughed until our faces ached

Laughed until joyful tears flowed

Flowed with our lovely chaotic joy

Flowed from us into little girl and boy

Boy grown now into something not-boy

Boy who carries himself like a man

Man grown from all that we lost

Man who is the proof of all that remains

Remains of the father continue in his son

Remains sweet gentle silly wise and kind

Kind to his mother the grieving wife

Kind to a sister who lost father and friend

Friend who was the gifter of Hess trucks

Fishing buddy and giver of daring genes

Genes she wears boldly even now

Genes that bring her a fiery strength

Strength we all need now in our sorrow

Strength like that which connects

Connects them to each other and to me

Connects us all to the one we mourn

Mourn for the spirit that’s faded away

Mourn for many an emptier tomorrow

Tomorrow will dawn still and we’ll be here

Tomorrow we’ll still have one another

Another chance to be here with our grief

Another day to treasure the memories

Memories of moments tiny and huge

Memories that tear and those that heal

Heal the gaping void he left behind

Heal with the love he lavished and shared

Shared pain is better than that borne alone

Shared joys swell and grow and soar

Soar to a place perhaps where he remains

Soar and lift us all to a place of peace

Peace

Remains

I’m running a day late with my B post…I’m very much winging it as I find my way back to a regular blogging routine after the traumatic season of Jim’s illness and death, which followed a season of intense activity as we worked together to build his hot sauce business…

I’m also diving back into other things, like building my writing career, and, to that end, I spent a chunk of yesterday afternoon in an online master class for author platform building. It kind of threw me off my planned schedule, but I’m not sorry, because I learned a tremendous amount, and renewed my commitment to myself and my craft. Those are worth a bit of a kink in my posting…

But that’s not really what I wanted to talk about today.

As I explore the Alphabet of Grief, I am profoundly grateful for the deep connection our family shared. Jim’s death tore a gaping hole in the fabric of our lives – as individuals, and as a unit. But the close bonds we share have allowed us to band together. The kids and I together, each of them and me, and the two of them as siblings facing the loss of their dad.

Without these bonds, I don’t think we’d be nearly as okay as we are. Without the bonds we all shared with Jim – who was my best friend and Accomplice in life; who was Miah’s male role model and TV buddy; and who was wrapped around the finger of a daughter who inherited his love of the adrenaline rush of risk-taking – I know we would be poorer.

I’ve tried to capture the nature of our loss, and what we have left to build upon, in this blitz poem.

I’ll leave you with an image of us all, together, laughing in lovely chaos. This was our life, and is the foundation of what we are.

Come back tomorrow, when we’ll explore what Cancer Consumes – and what it can’t devour.

You can find other beautiful B posts here!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round One, slices of life, The 12 Week Year 2018, The 12 Week Year Two, Writers' Resources, writing

Scrambling to the End: #ROW80 /#12WeekYear Midweek 12

Hi there, ROWers and friends! 

 On Sunday, I wrote about our weekend with friends, and how it renewed me.

Since then:

  • We’ve made it safely home, settled in, and had a small uptick in our financial situation, as survivor’s benefits kicked in.
  • I’ve committed to getting taxes and life insurance claims done by the end of the month.
  • I had a lovely and inexpensive Olive Garden lunch with Miah, after we ran errands together.
  • Some exciting new possibilities have opened up. I’m not ready to talk about them yet, but I am exploring them.
  • I have a solid idea regarding my Saturday presentation, and am working out the broad strokes.

How about you?

Are you where you want to be with your goals, or are you scrambling, too?

Blue with Overstrike: Goal Completed.

Green:  In Progress.

Black: Still Waiting.

Black with Overstrike: 86ed.

Red: Goal Change.

 Relationships, Family, and Home:

Doing:

Complete homeschool reports and submit.  Week 11.

Facilitate Miah’s driving practice; four times weekly. Week 12.

  • 3/4 already; including most of our return trip from New Jersey and local driving in urban areas and in traffic.
  • Progress: 75%.

Move bedroom furniture to better accommodate nurse visits; deep clean as I go; ask for help from kids as needed.  Week 1.

Use one-on-one time to touch base with both kids. Week 12.

  • This continues to be a strength.
  • Progress: 100%

Set aside a few minutes five days weekly to arrange facilitation of needs. Week 12.

  • Each day this session, for more than 5 minutes. A bit of hometending; travel; connection with friends; facilitating interests/goals; and financial administration.
  • 3/3 for this session.
  • Progress: 100%.

Being:

Focus on at least ten minutes with some combination of family members in common spaces daily. Week 12.

  • Every day this week; between travel, home, and erranding/lunch.
  • Progress: 100%.

Gather and consider how to make our home a sweeter place. Week 12.

  • Some talk over the last days; mostly hometending.
  • Progress: 100%

 Professional/Financial:

Doing:

Inventory sauces; get count on what/how many labels needed: Due Week 3.

  • Progress: 93%

Go through checking account and insurance policy info; make list of monthly/quarterly bills and due dates: Due Week 4.

  • More progress, incrementally, on life insurance and listing. This is taking far longer than expected, but I am getting there.
  • Progress: 92%

Pay Jim’s back sales taxes; find out how to dissolve business. Due Week 6.

  • No concrete progress; sorted and skimmed some tax paperwork.
  • Progress: 45%.

Do (or delegate) our taxes: Due Week 10.

  • Upon consideration, our 2017 taxes aren’t  as complicated as the 2018 ones will be, so I decided to do them online this week and chose a program.
  • Progress: 45%.

Create a base family budget for the kids and I: Due Week 12.

  • Discussed grocery budget with both kids; they’re a bit skeptical, but willing to give it a try.
  • Also discussed online subscriptions with Miah, and decided to cancel one of mine. I want to be sure we’re using those we have.
  • Progress: 75%

Focus on learning via the courses I already have in progress: Week 12.

  • Progress: 65%.

Work on beta projects I’ve agreed to as opportunity arises. Week 12.

  • Progress: 50%.

Keep in touch with other writers –  reading blogs; commenting; participating in sprints and blog hops as I am able: Week 12.

  • Monday sprint; one blog post-travel.
  • Progress: 100%.

Being:

Make lists of things we could use help with, as we think of them. Week 12.

  • I finally started a brainstormed list…on a piece of PAPER. With WRITING!
  • Progress: 80%

Ask both kids for ideas at least weekly. Week 12.

  • Talked with both regarding various new ideas.
  • Progress: 100%

Pair lists with those willing to help at least weekly. Week 12.

  • Many new ideas happening…. but I’m not ready to share details just yet.
  • Progress: 100%

Seek out someone(s) with good organizational skills who can coordinate as/when needed. Week 12.

  • Progress: 10%

When someone offers general assistance, be ready with ideas. Week 12.

  • Jumped on an unexpected opportunity.
  • Progress: 100%

Body, Mind, and Soul:

Doing:

Watch Star Trek: Enterprise whenever possible; join in Twitter live chat at #AllStarTrek. Week 12.

  • Missed a bit of Sunday. Added Voyager to my lineup, since it’s restarted.
  • Progress: 100%

Resume taking pictures, beautifying our home, drawing, coloring, singing, and other activities that I enjoy, as opportunities arise. Week 12.

  • Fixer Upper; Cake Mania; lunch with Miah; singing.
  • Progress: 100%

Experiment with Instant Pot weekly. Week 12.

  • Progress: 50%.

Keep eyes open for likely recipes. Week 12.

  • Invented a meal as I went along.
  • Progress: 100%

Use Ninja for food prep once weekly. Weeks 7-12.

Alternate days of restful focus with more active days. Week 12.

  • Driving/visiting Sunday; mellow Monday; erranding Tuesday.
  • Progress: 100%.

Listen to my body, mind, and soul, and follow their leads to adjust accordingly.  Week 12.

  • I continued to do well here.
  • Progress: 100%

Being:

Follow a morning routine when possible. Weeks 812.

Use quiet moments as they present themselves. Week 12.

  • Yes – lots of them, post-travel.
  • Progress: 100%.

Make a practice of being present- right here, right now. Week 12.

  • Oh, yes!
  • Progress: 100%.

Prioritize time and connection with my beloveds over busy-ness. Week 12.

  • Yup!
  • Progress: 100%.

ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!

We’re On Facebook, Too!

Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging from A-Z April 2018, Life Writing, Parenting, slices of life

Theme Reveal: Blogging from A-Z April 2018

I’m running a bit late to the Theme Reveal Party this year…but then, it’s been quite a year, so far.

And therein lies my theme for the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge, 2018 edition.

My husband died on January 12, after a brief but intense illness with metastatic pancreatic cancer. We’d been married 20 years and 1 day when he was first seen in an emergency room for what we suspected might be appendicitis, but was diagnosed as a “sludgy” gall bladder – not so uncommon for a man in his 50s who had struggled with his weight and a fondness for rich foods for most of his life. As almost an afterthought, we were told there was a “small spot” on his liver, most likely fatty liver disease – again, not at all uncommon for a man of his age and eating habits. It was suggested that he get it checked out by his primary care physician – “to rule out cancer.”

He was feeling better by the time we left, and we were relieved that it wasn’t anything serious. He went on with his life, and didn’t follow up with his doctor –

Even if he had, it would already have been too late. The tumor had leapt from his pancreas to his liver, and set up shop there, with fatal aggressiveness. Jim would feel “off” more and more over the next few months, with abdominal pain he assumed was either his gall bladder acting up, or a persistent constipation, or maybe an ulcer.

But we were also very busy with a brand-new cottage industry selling his artisanal hot sauces, so he simply kept going…until his doctor suggested a colonoscopy to rule out problems there. We were relieved that there were none, but he’d been having leg pain that intensified in the following days. The next week, he went to the doctor for that, was referred to the emergency room, and was admitted with a deep vein thrombosis – a blood clot stretching from his groin to his shin.

During the course of his treatment, proteins caused by cancerous cells were found in his blood, and that led to the diagnosis, which he received on November 13 – a day less than two months before his death. At the time, he was given six to twelve months to live, and we were hoping to beat that diagnosis.

However, things didn’t go as planned. The day of his first (and, as it turned out, only) chemotherapy session, he reacted poorly to two of the drug infusions, and then had what was later diagnosed as a minor heart attack. That resulted in a ten-day stay, and a release on hospice care.

He was released from the hospital on December 13 – a month after his diagnosis, and less than that until he would die in our bed, in the same spot I’m sitting as I type this.

And that wraps up this history, and leads to the theme reveal.

This year, I will be writing the Alphabet of Grief, as I and our children, ages 16 and 13, learn to live in a new way, and process the loss of the man who was my husband and best friend, as well as an involved and loving father to them.

I haven’t had a lot of time to plot, draft, revise, prep, and schedule my posts as I usually like to do. This year’s posts will be more in the manner of stream of consciousness, as this post is. I can’t promise what you’re going to see here; only that it will be genuine.

I’m not sure I can say that I look forward to sharing what I will share in this space. I hope it will be therapeutic for me, and maybe for others, as well. I hope there will be some value in it for everyone who reads it.

I will see you again on Sunday, April 1, with my A post.

Until then, it’s back to my regular life-in-progress.

Are you participating in the A-Z Challenge?
What’s your theme, if you have one?
If not, what’s your plan for the month?

A candid couple moment at the playground, September 2013.
Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2018, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Parenting, Round One, slices of life, The 12 Week Year, The 12 Week Year 2018, The 12 Week Year Two, Unschooling, Writers' Resources, writing

Stepping….Sideways?  #ROW80 /#12WeekYear MidWeek 11

Hi there, ROWers and friends!

 On Sunday, I wrote about stepping through time – changes and challenges that rolled in with Daylight Savings time.

Since then:

  • Monday marked 2 months since Jim died. I slept a lot, and was very emotional – there’s still so much to process, and I was exhausted.
  • I’ve been in touch with several people I haven’t talked to in too long, and made a date to visit with a dear friend in a couple of weeks.
  • We had another snowstorm, this one on Tuesday, but with more snow expected today – 3 weeks in a row. We haven’t yet replaced our snow shovel, so we’ll be making do.
  • Jeremiah learned how to jump-start a car when his battery failed in a parking lot, and some helpful strangers came to our aid. A new battery for his Forester is on our to-do list.
  • Speaking of Jeremiah, both kids’ homeschool reports are now in the final stages, so I should have no trouble making the deadline (midnight tomorrow). Unfortunately, Lise’s had some major formatting glitches that took over an hour and four Microsoft Support techs – to get nowhere. Then my #allstartrek friend Mark McDermott (check out his beer blog here!) volunteered to look at it. He had a workable .pdf file for me in about 5 minutes – at no charge. Makes me wonder what my $99/year Office subscription is really buying me, other than a headache.
  • On a happier note, Lise discovered she likes chicken avocado burgers. This might not be news, except that she isn’t particularly adventurous where her palate is concerned, generally preferring bland and familiar tastes. Finding something new she enjoys is a big win!

Has your week brought forward progress, or are you also stepping sideways?


Blue with Overstrike: Goal Completed.

Green:  In Progress.

Black: Still Waiting.

Black with Overstrike: 86ed.

Red: Goal Change.

Relationships, Family, and Home:

Doing:

Complete homeschool reports and submit. Due Week 11.

  • Miah’s report: 16/16 sections completed (through Attendance).
  • Lise’s report has been proofed and reformatted.
  • Progress: 95%.

Facilitate Miah’s driving practice; four times weekly. Weeks 11-12.

  • Progress: 30%.

Move bedroom furniture to better accommodate nurse visits; deep clean as I go; ask for help from kids as needed.  Week 1.

Use one-on-one time to touch base with both kids. Weeks 11-12.

  • This continues to be a strength, as we find our way forward together.
  • Progress: 100%

Set aside a few minutes five days weekly to arrange facilitation of needs. Weeks 11 -12.

  • Each day this session. Hometending; cooking; travel plans; connection with friends; facilitating interests/goals; updating waste pickup service; and homeschool reports. 3/3 for session.
  • Progress: 100%.

Being:

Focus on at least ten minutes with some combination of family members in common spaces daily. Weeks 1112.

  • 3/3 days this session; while cleaning/food prep/conversing/shopping.
  • Progress: 100%.

Gather and consider how to make our home a sweeter place. Weeks 11-12.

  • More conversation about sharing hometending; ideas for redecorating/organization and upcoming home repairs.
  • Progress: 100%

Professional/Financial:

Doing:

Inventory sauces; get count on what/how many labels needed: Due Week 3.

  • Progress: 93%

Go through checking account and insurance policy info; make list of monthly/quarterly bills and due dates: Due Week 4.

  • Progress: 90%

Pay Jim’s back sales taxes; find out how to dissolve business. Due Week 6.

  • Progress: 40%.

Do (or delegate) our taxes: Due Week 10.

  • Progress: 35%.

Create a base family budget for the kids and I: Due Week 12.

  • Called waste company; changed service and got billing totals.
  • Progress: 65%

Focus on learning via the courses I already have in progress: Weeks 11-12.

  • Progress: 65%.

Work on beta projects I’ve agreed to as opportunity arises. Weeks 1112.

  • Progress: 50%.

Keep in touch with other writers   reading blogs; commenting; participating in sprints and blog hops as I am able: Weeks 11-12.

  • Sprinting each weekday.
  • Answered several blog comments.
  • Progress: 100%.

Being:

Make lists of things we could use help with, as we think of them. Weeks 11-12.

  • Progress: 70%

Ask both kids for ideas at least weekly. Weeks 1112.

  • Talked with both regarding various new ideas – lots of puppy/cleaning talk with Lise.
  • Progress: 100%

Pair lists with those willing to help at least weekly. Weeks 11-12.

  • Arranged to pick the brain of a dear friend who purchased a fixer-upper and made a lovely, cozy little home out of it.
  • Progress: 100%

Seek out someone(s) with good organizational skills who can coordinate as/when needed. Weeks 11-12.

  • Progress: 10%

When someone offers general assistance, be ready with ideas. Weeks 1112.

  • Progress: 100%

Body, Mind, and Soul:

Doing:

 Watch Star Trek: Enterprise whenever possible; join in Twitter live chat at #AllStarTrek. Weeks 11-12.

  • Every day.
  • Progress: 100%

Resume taking pictures, beautifying our home, drawing, coloring, singing, and other activities that I enjoy, as opportunities arise. Weeks 11-12.

  • Home and Garden TV; decluttering/organizing/hometending/beautifying; cooking; prettied my workstation surface.
  • Progress: 100%

Experiment with Instant Pot weekly. Weeks 1112.

  • Bought a new metal mixing bowl that can fit inside my Instant Pot.
  • Progress: 50%.

Keep eyes open for likely recipes. Weeks 11-12.

  • Progress: 50%

Use Ninja for food prep once weekly. Weeks 7-12.

Alternate days of restful focus with more active days. Weeks 1112.

  • Sunday and Tuesday were busy; Monday, I slept a lot.
  • Progress: 100%.

Listen to my body, mind, and soul, and follow their leads to adjust accordingly.  Weeks 1112.

  • I continued to do well here.
  • Progress: 100%

Being:

Follow a morning routine when possible. Weeks 812.

Use quiet moments as they present themselves. Weeks 11-12.

  • Progress: 100%.

Make a practice of being present- right here, right now. Weeks 1112.

  • Yep!
  • Progress: 100%.

Prioritize time and connection with my beloveds over busy-ness. Weeks 1112.

  • This, too.
  • Progress: 100%

ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!

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