Saturday, March 4, 2017

Fortnight Ending 5 March 2017

Some random happenings from the past fortnight.

* My tablet refused to charge anymore so it is away being repaired. Hence no blog post last week, since I'm having to use the old desktop (when Miss 16 isn't using it that is) and it and my vestibular system do not agree, so I try to use it as little as possible. It is alarming how much I used my tablet - paying bills, reading newspapers, accessing the answer keys to Miss 16's statistics, checking emails, reading blogs, listening to music, practising yoga, studying via MOOCs, reading books via Kindle or the Overdrive app, looking up all sorts of random questions, ordering library books, keeping up with the birding world etc etc. I hope it is repairable and in a speedy fashion!

* Dh has taken on a new short term job, teaching a semester long course at the out-of-town university Miss 16 took an ecology course at last year. This is good because we can surely use the extra income but of course it comes at a cost. Since Dh has a health condition which prevents him driving I'll be driving him there, waiting while he teaches and then driving him back. It'll be 2 1/2- 3 1/2 hours out of my day 3 time per week. Luckily the university is in a nice area in which to walk, I'm happy reading in the car and Miss 16 can do most of her work without me. Still the new normal will take a little getting used to.

* We arranged a day-long visit from our favourite dog. New readers may not know that we took him in while his owner's house was being rebuilt following the earthquakes and they couldn't find a temporary rental which would allow pets. He was meant to be with us for six months but the rebuild ended up dragging on for nearly two years. Basil the Boxer became a much loved family member and Miss 22 hadn't seen him since her return. He was diagnosed with bone cancer shortly after he returned to his family and has now exceeded the vet's estimated life expectancy. Whenever we have him over we make the most of it since we're very aware we may not get a chance to see him again. Consequently most of the day's homeschooling was replaced with "canine studies"!

* Speaking of homeschooling Miss 16 has been making steady progress in all her courses. She's reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for literature. Last week we watched a couple of short videos summarising and analysing the novel - one from Crash Course and one from Thug Notes (this one definitely won't be to everyone's taste but I like shaking things up a bit and exposing her to different ways of doing things). We watched Emma for her movies course and she has begun an essay looking at the ways Emma could be considered clueless - Clueless is a modern retelling of Emma. In statistics we've reached new material so have slowed down to one lesson per week. Last week she was looking at normal curves and the real-world context they used to introduce the topic was bird migration data - definitely a way to grab Miss 16's attention. In history the Europeans have just arrived in New Zealand, while in animal behaviour she has been learning about proximate causes.

A sure sign of late summer - plenty of Monarch butterflies are emerging from their chrysalises.

* At the end of February I took a moment to check in on my reading goals for the year. So far I've read a total of thirty six books and I'm well on my way to completing the three reading challenges I'm participating in - 4/12 for the Back to the Classics Challenge (although I'm shamefully behind blogging about these books ...again), 26/52 for Pop Sugar's Ultimate Reading Challenge and 13/24 for Modern Mrs Darcy's twin challenges. I allow myself to use a single book for more than one challenge, for instance The Two Gentlemen of Verona counted for Modern Mrs Darcy's "a book of poetry, a play or an essay collection",  Pop Sugar's audiobook category, and  as a classic with a number in the title. I suspect the number of completed titles will slow down soon - I've got some lengthy classics to tackle and several of the remaining categories are ones I'm not really looking forward to  - a book with career advice springs to mind, although that could be useful as with Miss 16's homeschooling days racing to their conclusion it will soon be time for me to reenter the paid workforce.

* We were supposed to have moved out of our house for earthquake re-repairs this week except the agency that will have to pay for our alternative accommodation (since they were the agency that authorised the initial, faulty repairs) has not yet approved that funding. No idea when things will happen which is frustrating - should I begin running our pantry down (food can't be stored and we won't have much pantry space in our temporary unit) or should I not bother since the repairs might not even happen this year? We've been waiting for over 5 years already so I figure things could easily drag on for a few more years yet.

* Miss 16 and I went on a relaxed birding trip yesterday. We had no real goals, just thought we would check out a few local sites. We ended up spotting two new birds for the year (a White Heron and a Little Black Shag) which was a pleasant surprise. Earlier in the week we attended an evening meeting for our local birding group. We also watched a video about birding in Texas - so many more birds than we can hope to see here. Oh for an unlimited travel budget!

A Pukeko and  a hybridized duck were two of the many birds we saw .

Linking to the Weekly Wrap-Up and Homeschool Highlights.


  1. Oh how frustrating about the tablet! I understand this quite well, as i cannot use a desktop or laptop myself, since the brain tumor. It's just doesn't work with my disabilities .... And I am sorry to hear that the house repairs are yet delayed. I hope and pray that is settled soon!!

  2. Ugh. My tablet broke last year and I realized how dependent I was on it, too. I hope yours can be repaired! Mine couldn't and I ended up having to buy an older model of the ipad mini at Costco because the price was right. And nice job on the reading goals!