Birds, Catch Up

Catch Up

Hello People, yes, ’tis me. Not much happening on here lately. But I’ll be back writing most days now. For some insane reason, I signed up for the rerun of Zero to Hero – now call Blogging 101 – which got me thinking about this 101 business. Off to Wikipedia

The term 101 (pronounced “One-oh-one”) often indicates an introductory level of learning.

The term originates from use in American university course numbering systems, designed to make transfer between colleges easier. …

There you go, if you were wondering, too. I suppose it was obvious, really. I always  wanted to finish Zero to Hero sometime. Of course I didn’t finish it last time, did I! Nothing new about that. But I’m trying hard with the new me. It is working, as [quick look over my left shoulder] I’ve made the bed everyday, ever since I told you I was. Just a minute … … … well, some days the sheets get a bit longer to air, than others.

The well known subspecies T. h. moluccanus has a blue belly and lacks the barring on the breast found on the nominate subspecies

Left: LOOK WHAT I HAVE IN MY FRONT YARD – A pair of rainbow lorikeets are nesting in the elm tree out front.  Photo from Wikipedia. I hope to produce stunning photos of my own sometime: I’m putting seed out again.  I made the mistake of doing a video instead of photos when they visited. Next time.

Back to Blogging 101, that was where I first noticed some of you. Anyway, what I’m going to do, if I did the daily prompt last time, I’ll include the original along with new thoughts on the blogging process, almost a year on, now. Is it a year? No, according to the dashboard my first post  was 2nd January this year – ahh, a New Years fling then. I actually signed up for this new blog last year  and fiddled with themes and practice posts, as you do. I made all sorts of rash promises in those first posts  – family history, a photo a day – made all sorts of rash statements like getting my garden under control this year! Ha! I suppose the year isn’t over yet.

Zero to Hero  turned out more like Hero to Zero for me.

As you know, I’ve signed up for a ridiculous number of MOOCs, the latest being the Science Of Happiness at edX.  I then cast my eye over the upcoming classes I’d already booked, to take something out, but just couldn’t let any of them go, not without attempting to keep up. I’m going okay so far.

So, now, at FutureLearn (where, thank goodness, there are no onerous academic style peer assessments) I’m doing: Towards Scottish Independence? Understanding the Referendum;  Psychology and Mental Health-Beyond Nature and Nurture; and Heart Health: A Beginner’s Guide to Cardiovascular Disease. What a mouthful for just three classes.

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Galahs – looking through dirty glass and a net curtain.

You might ask why I’m interested in the Scottish thing. It’s because I still feel 25% Scottish, even though I found out I’m not – because my lying hound of a grandfather was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England and not under the Firth of the Forth Bridge, like he told mum.

Coming up next week at FutureLearn is Hadrian’s Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier,  excellent!  Over at Coursera, I’m halfway through Climate Change – even submitted the first big assignment this week, after I decided I wouldn’t do so, but it preyed on my mind, and I found myself composing the words anyway. I enjoy putting my thoughts into words. [oh, really?]

This was my first assignment: Post Haste. I had an accident placing the last polygon point, but liked the resulting shape. Some parcels and wheels - bingo!

This was my first assignment: Post Haste. An accident placing the last polygon point, produced this main shape – add some parcels and wheels – bingo!

And, as if that isn’t enough, I’m doing other stuff at Coursera, too: Introduction to Computational Arts, where I’m learning code to draw stuff, and later will add images and sound. I don’t know how to save jpg files from Processing, yet, so here’s some phone photos from the screen!

This one: Go Port Power! and is my current assignment undergoing evaluation. My footy team colours are teal, black and white – the red represents raised blood pressure.

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling, is very interesting.  I’ve submitted the outline for the digital story presentation for peer assessment and, this week, I must write the script, collect images, and build a storyboard. I’m doing a little story about one of my mum’s family lines – going back to my only convict ancestor, a bit in the style of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

Learning How to Learn finished two weeks ago, and I got 99.5%, with distinction. Howzat! That link will take you to the final assignment. I haven’t written up much on my online learning blog lately. But I will try to speak about each weeks learning in each course, eventually.

eppalock

Lake Eppalock, years ago. My climate change assignment is about predictions for our local water supply.

In five days, Comic Books and Graphic Novels, begins. I’ve already unenrolled myself twice, as my list lengthened, but what the heck. It’s intriguing. I can just watch, and not do the tasks.

And what of my novel, you are probably asking. Well, I’m getting into it, slowly. I’m trying to push myself to have the ending done by the 5th October, not necessarily the whole book written, but at least the ending. What? the widget boldly declares it’s only 19 days? [sigh] Anyway, what’s the rush! It’s not like it’s going to change my life or anything. I’m not sitting on the next best thing to Harry Potter, despite what I’d like to think… well … no, I’m not .. but geez, wouldn’t it be nice …

It was Mr R’s 61st birthday, yesterday. I’m getting closer to 60.  Oh, that reminds me, I’m supposed to be feeding menu and wine lists into a blog for my daughter, for her restaurant. I’ve started. Better do that now, I’ve met all my class deadlines until next Monday.  Catch you later!

grassy raindrops

grassy raindrops

 

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Catch Up, Writing

Catch Up

hawthorn blossom
Another week gone by. It’s been very productive for me as I swing into my new non-procrastinational ways. I have made the bed every day for a whole week now. I came back from walking the dog this morning and saw it – the blankets laid back to air – and I almost walked away to stoke up the computer. I actually ‘heard’ the thought in my head “leave it until after” but I squashed it flat! (As I remarked in a comment in the last ‘catch up’: one of the library books about breaking habits said that a person who makes the bed each morning is more likely to do their other daily tasks. I need all the prompts I can get.)

I’ve walked the dog each day but my treadmilling has been brief. Bit of discomfort in the hip joints and various other places. I think it’s from my increased activity.  So, I decided to give it a few more days, while I wonder if it’s procrastination.

My ‘school-work’ is all on target. I have four courses at the moment, with a quiz  and an assignment due before I go to bed on Wednesday. I’m really learning a lot on the Climate Change course, and it is great to have unbiased lectures, instead of turning my nose up at hysterical newspaper reports and the blogs that accuse people of being grandchild killers. While climate change is real, the outcome and timeframe isn’t certain.

Began today: Towards Scottish Independence?… (The University of Edinburgh);
and this one begins overnight: Introduction to Computational Arts (State University of New York).

The Learning How to Learn course is repeating on Coursera, and I highly recommend it to everyone. I have to do a project about it, and I’m taking the blogging format option, of course.  I’m doing the Effective Writing class again in a few weeks – the MOOC I flunked. It’ll be a breeze now, armed with all my new learning techniques.

Speaking of writing – I have outlined my novel. Only to the extent that I know what I need to do to finish it, structure wise and word count. I’m aiming for the 120,000 word target again. With what I have, it will take that to finish. I’ll write a fair few of the 89,000 words again, since I’m changing the story. I haven’t actually gone over the scenes yet with the changes, but I did mind-mapping yesterday and that was productive: the story a bit clearer in my head now. I’m giving myself to the 1st September to write-up the  changes on the printed scenes – then it’s head down and writing.

The deadline to finish the draft is 5th October, my sister’s birthday. My novel is dedicated to Carol, and comes from her advice to me a week or so before she died: follow your dream. Having that date as my deadline is really empowering. I have to write romance in it for her, too. She devoured Mills & Boon, I couldn’t stand them. I was more a Western girl, then, and even the bit of romance in those was too much.

Now, I’ll grab the phone and hope I have taken a decent photo of the hawthorn flowering, this morning. Yesterday, white blossom was everywhere. Astonished, I hadn’t noticed the day before. Must have happened overnight. (Did you notice the bee? One in the featured photo and the one below.)

Bee on Hawthorn Blossom

Bee on Hawthorn Blossom

Take care. Thanks for visiting my blog and being part of my community. You’re appreciated. ❤

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Catch Up, Trees

Gumnuts & Catch Up

Just outside the side fence, we have two gum trees flowering: one bearing yellow blossom and the other red. The bees love them. Since the red blossom is far too high above ground these days to photograph, I fished through my albums to find a past photo for you. Here ’tis.

gum red blossom

gumnuts

I went to the doctor today to get my … oh-oh … just had to rush off and down a blood pressure tablet … umm … to get my routine blood test results. My blood pressure is fine. The blood work came back fine – kidneys, blood cells, liver, etc. The only thing outside the range is my thyroid which usually runs about 4.7.  This has always been okay until the upper limit came down from 5.50, so I’m now always above the minimum. (I’m not taking medication for this.)  I’m still awaiting the results of the 24 hour urine I presented to pathology on Tuesday – I’m going back in two weeks for that result.

The latest word from the doctor, re antimony levels, is that the local residents are now showing normal urine results. Apparently the expert opinion is that the antimony was hanging about in the air and has now settled after all the rain we’ve had.  The doctor feels my some of my arsenic levels might be from too much seafood. We will keep an eye on it, of course.

While there, I decided to show Mary Jane my fingernails. Earlier in the year, while checking my nails in the waiting room – as you do – I noticed they were an orangey colour, like I’d been peeling oranges. One of my liver markers was elevated, so I thought it related to that. I forgot about it, until this week, when I noticed that the nail colour has returned to normal from the cuticle up the bottom third of the nail.  Mary Jane expressed surprise, asked if I was taking any herbs (I’m not, apart from the odd chamomile tea.) and got out her mobile phone and took photographs. She emailed the photos to someone who would know about such things.

I’m still taking the Coloxyl twice a day. When I asked her about the onions, she looked dubious and said coriander is good for detox and it is best added to juice. So, that’s almost sorted then. I still haven’t had my PAP smear, and my BreastScreen came back clear. All in all, I’m feeling great. I’ll just keep exercising a few times a week, watch what I eat, and generally avoid working too hard. I’m good at the latter. 🙂

Now, what else … I have been a bad, bad girl. I haven’t touched my novel for ages. I can say that will change, but who knows!

Reading: I just read a Clive Cussler novel, which makes me feel confident about my writing ability but not my story-telling. I like good old plain writing. Last night I finished re-reading Margaret Rose Stringer‘s memoir And Then Like My Dreams. Reading it for the second time was even better than the first. It is a very revealing look into M-R’s headspace.

Online learning: I’m loving the Times of Richard 111 course, learning so much. I haven’t been paying as much attention as I should to the Writing class, winging my way through the assignments but printing out stuff for later study.  Getting closer to having to produce that marvellous piece of paragraph writing. I quit the How To Change The World course. It was all a bit too far over my head and I didn’t like the assignments as they expected a hands-on approach. There was too much reading, and I got too far behind. Addressing poverty was about Extreme Poverty and looking to third world countries, ignoring poverty in the backyard, more or less saying it wasn’t extreme enough. I also got annoyed when success in these countries was judged on the ability to create a middle class. Well, hello, what about the ones still on the bottom, their poverty was probably worse. One of the lecturers said that there is now more food grown in India than ever, but it still does not get to all the people who need it.

That’s about it. Everything else is pretty much the same here. Still working just the basic three days a week, for a few hours or so, cleaning.  I suppose I’ll have to do my tax return soon. The only taxes I pay are the GST, though I believe there is talk of doing away with the mature worker offset and the low income offset.

I still want to finish the tasks in the Blogging University, and I’m going to start Lisa’s Bite Size Memoir challenge, too.

I also have to declare this an Awards Free Blog, since I have now been awarded two awards – one by raroto over at Duniya Ku and someone else did too, but for the life of me I cannot remember who! Was it you? Own up!  I stumbled across it. I even clicked on it to make sure it was me.  You’re all very welcome to nominate me for Awards. I’ll carry out the associated task and link to your blog. But I wont make myself pick favourites, sorry.  Anyway, I thought I would be getting ahead of myself if I declared myself award-free beforehand. Enough said.

I haven’t been doing any family history.

And that seems all I have to say for now. Thanks for calling in and reading.

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Catch Up

Todays Walk & Catch up

Just thought I would tell you what I have been up to, though more like not up to. I’m not writing my novel, that’s for sure.  Fresh start with a new week tomorrow. I am thinking about my story, when I can drag my thoughts away from potential blog posts.

The photos are from todays walk, taken with my Fujifilm Finepix A607. The mushrooms are still coming up and I’m still not eating them. I’d love to, but the insects would already be in them. Notice the fly on the dead leaf to the right. It’s probably just laid maggots in there. I wonder how many bugs and maggots I’ve eaten in the past.

2014 june 005

Lately, I begin the week with my 2 km walk on the treadmill, all fired up to be good. Normally I’ll treadmill two or three times for the week, but this week no. I could hop on and do it now, but no. My doctor is happy with my blood pressure and I’m good to go for another five repeats on my pills.  My aim now is a healthy weight before my 60th birthday party. Eight months away, plenty of time to whittle the extra bits away. I’m around 75 kilograms and about 5′ 5 1/2″. LOL. A mix of metric and imperial there.

I began my first Coursera course yesterday. I discovered that I’m required to keep a journal for some of the writing tasks and I thought – hey, why not have another blog? – so I have.  Brain Brush Up, My Online Learning Journey. I’ve put a posts widget here, in the sidebar stuff, which previews the later posts. I thought it best to have another blog and, okay, I’ll admit I was keen to try that Greyzed theme.

Yesterday I began: Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade (Fundamental English Writing)

Today I began: How to Change the World.

I worried the latter would be way over my head, but I thought some knowledge about ‘social good’ is better than none. The first video lecturer gave me hope. He spoke in a way I can understand and seemed warm and friendly. There is an incredible amount of reading to do, so I will need to replace my bedtime reading with class work.

Two days in and I am loving it. I like opening up Coursera, seeing my classes and clicking on ‘go to class’.

The winter solstice has passed. It has been cold by our standards this past week, though the sun had shone. Grey the past two days, drizzle all day yesterday. I’m giving you another photo of the autumn hues on the young elms growing where they shouldn’t. Mr R has a little chainsaw now, so we’ll cut them before they leaf again. There is an amazing contrast between the green and yellow, sometimes on the same leaf. Just green and yellow, no orange. It’s a bit weird.

Well, I better go off and work on another of the Writing 101 tasks – I’ll try to keep it simple this time. 🙂

2014 june 008

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