A fairy coat handmade by my Ema –my niece is over the moon with it!

My little niece, who has just turned five, is currently all about Tinkerbell and fairies. This past summer, when she visited, she made a point, every single day, of reminding her ‘Mee Maw” that, for Halloween she would be needing ‘my fairy coat’ to go with her Tinkerbell costume. ‘Mee Maw, have you started sewing? It might take a long time. I’m a fairy and I need a coat. Have you started making it?’

Her grandmother/savta (aka Mee Maw), of course, went into action. My Ema is an amazing seamstress. She got a look at pictures of the fairy costume my niece will be wearing and went into action. She found complementary fabrics that matched for the outside and lining (the coat she made is actually reversible as it is as beautiful inside as ‘out’). She studied videos starring the cartoon Tinkerbell. She created her own pattern and design.

My niece got her coat in the mail this past week and is over the moon about it (she had to be prevented from sleeping in it!). Alisa is a taskmaster when it comes to detail (she wants everything to be ‘exact’!). Her Tinkerbell coat has clearly passed muster. Below are a couple of photos of the fairy coat creation:

This pic has the “in person” colors –yeah a bit ‘bright’ but perfectly matches the costume it will accompany:

THANK YOU to the Dara Sanctuary Donor!!!

I wish I knew who donated $100 to the Dara Sanctuary back in August of this year because I would like to thank you 100 times over and more! Without a doubt, this really helps in the caring for every single animal that we have in our care. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again!!!

In the weeds on my MVP

I’ve gotten a respectable start on my MVP project. I’ve gotten a lot of the basics done –as in, this is basic, now you need to add/change …

Easy stuff like creating a readme file, spinning up a node with express server on my localhost (e.g., running off my computer only) for testing and development, setting up bare-bones route files and client files are done –lots of changes will happen within those files though. I’ve written a few tests and need to write a whole lot more.

I’m re-thinking my database decision. Because my app will need real time inserts into the db (and being able to have dynamic table creation would increase functionality and allow for adding in later bells and whistles), I am thinking that I really should be utilizing a NOSQL database. I’ve got the mysql tables and their joins all mapped out but am seriously thinking of scrapping that plan. I’m going to take a day to mull it over.

Today, I am brushing up on ES6 and reading, reading, reading documentation on React.

A garden update: Where we are in reaching our goal

I’ve finally had time to put up both the August and September garden savings over at the DARA Sanctuary (http://garden.darasanctuary.com/).

With just 3 months to go, it is looking touch and go for meeting my $1500 in savings goal with growing our own food. In large part, it is because I’ve not had time to water/plant or even harvest much since the 6th of September. Some of the ripe goodness was left too long and was over-ripe, some of the ripening stuff thirsted to death and, importantly, I’ve not gotten even half as much fall plants started as I’d planned.

I’ve pulled up all but two eggplants (both Gretels) so we won’t see much of those and are already missing them. I do have 40 lettuce and 40 arugula plants going and will be getting more started, along with radishes and other fall greens.

My one hope for meeting the goal is that fact that our okra has kicked in like gang-busters, the green beans are producing heavily, ditto for the cucumbers, there are a bunch of cherry tomatoes ripening (I just picked our first 4) and the plants are flowering like crazy, the pepper plants are nearly falling over from the number of peppers on them and still setting, the basil plants are huge, green onions are up and ready, and the butternut squash is squashing out.

Working on my first MVP

I’m really excited to start putting together my first, and all my own, MVP (Minimal Viable Product). The first big hurdle was coming up with the idea for it (I’m keeping that under wraps for the moment, but will tell all once I’ve finished the project).

The next hurdle was (and is)..(great!) BUT, what tools do I want to choose to implement and deploy this puppy. That I’ll be using Node.js and Express.js was a no-brainer for me. What kind of database to use was a bit more difficult to decide: I really can use the practice with a non-relational database (e.g. MongoDB) but I have a good comfort zone with using relational databases, specifically with using MySQL.

I’ve decided to go for comfort zone on the database because the other big conundrum is what framework should I use. I feel very comfortable with Angular.js right now (I spent 3 months studying it over the summer) but I really, really want to master React.js. I’ve decided to go for React and deal with one ‘tenuous grasp’ territory at a time.

I’m between 90-95% through designing my database schema. I’m leaning toward deploying on Heroku but haven’t decided 100%. I’m not sure what Middleware I’m going to want and need to use.

I’ve got a pretty good idea of how the app should look and feel but I know I’ll want to do some tweaking and adding.

I’m feeling pretty good after deciding on the idea less than 8 hours ago. We’ll see how things progress.

I want to give huge kudos to CodeSchool. Seriously, $29 a month gives you way more valuable information and practice than you’ll get in university courses or a bootcamp.

I promise to update on the garden, cats, and life in general in the next few days. In the meantime, Shabbat Shalom!

Shana Tova v’metuka!!!

The High Holy Days feel so very strange in the U.S. –there is nothing to indicate that they are upon you and there are no outward signs of their approach or occurrence. I miss having people wish me Shana Tova in stores and on the streets and anywhere in passing. I miss my wishing others. Homesick, much? Absolutely!

I am so happy to have the opportunity to wish all my friends here SHANA TOVA!!! May you all have a very sweet New Year!! Ketivah v’chatima tovah — May you all be well-written and sealed in the Book of Life!!!

Glass half-full half-way through the Junior phase at MakerSquare

Every day it is so easy to focus on the glass that is half-empty: We get hit with a new challenge and I struggle. I really, really struggle. At the end of each sprint, I always feel deflated, focusing on the things that I just don’t get. I all too often compare myself to others, particularly to the folks who just rocked it with no sweat. I always feel that I am not learning fast enough, deep enough, that I’m not going to retain what I learned. I often feel like I’ve got a CODING LOSER ticker-tape running across my forehead: One big enough it can be seen from blocks away.

Yesterday, however, I took a bit of stock. I was talking with a good friend who will be starting the Junior phase when I, hopefully, will be starting the Senior phase. He noted that he was worried about learning the ins and outs of github and I was like, oh, no worries, it is really easy and you’ll get the hang of it quick– it will be the easiest thing you’ll learn. Then I remembered how terrified I had been, and how daunting github had seemed to me, before I started.

That started me thinking, without my really being aware of it. I was doing a React.js tutorial last night to try to bolster my tenuous grasp after our React sprint ended yesterday afternoon, and I noticed that I was using the ES6 arrow functions and ternary terminology without a second thought. Even a week ago, I was totally freaked out when solution code would get slacked out and it was using this terminology and I was like what the…I can’t make heads or tails of this! It was like looking at (another!) foreign language.

So, I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down the things that immediately came to mind of, not the things that I need to work on, the things I’m lacking in, the things I ‘suck’ at, but the things that once seemed so alien and hard and that I now apply with ease — without even noticing that I’m applying them with ease. That list was pretty long! (I’ll spare you from listing them here).

Today, I’m looking at the glass that is half-full, rather than the glass that is half-empty. I am football fields ahead of where I was three weeks ago. I’m not where I want to be. I’m not where I’m determined to get. I am, however, a lot further along in this race than I’ve been giving myself credit for and that is a very good feeling.

I am still loving every minute (ok, so maybe not literally every minute) of this bootcamp experience. I love the camaraderie with the other members of my cohort. It really does feel like family. I’ve had a lot of really great experiences in my life and, so far, this is among the best of those.