The Code Streak Lives

This is the third installment of the blogging assignments (out of seven), that I am required to complete for the Fullstack Web Development online program, LearnVerified, at the Flatiron School. Not only do they ‘make us’ learn lots of code…they want us to blog about it as well.


Just a day or so after managing to break my 109-day-code-streak at the LearnVerified program of Flatiron School, I have been spending a lot of time pondering the value of the code streak.

What Is A Code Streak?

For those of you who may have never heard of the term ‘codestreak’, a general definition of a codestreak is the number of consecutive days on which you’ve spent time coding or learning to code. In my case, it was the consecutive number of days that I spent time learning to code in the LearnVerified platform.

So Many Coding Platforms, So Little Time

I have spent all of 2016 (and much of 2015) devoting my freetime to learning to code. Actively learning to code was a 2016 New Year’s resolution I made to myself this year. And for all practical purposes, I can essentially guarantee that I have spent some time each and every day in the pursuit of learning to code.

Whether it has been reading actual books on various coding languages; spending time going through lessons on different online platforms such as Treehouse, Codecademy or FreeCodeCamp; enrolling in several Blueprints at Skillcrush.com; completing courses and tutorials on Udemy, Skillshare and Udacity; using the SoloLearn apps on my phone while waiting for a table at a restaurant or in between pet sits each day when I am away from my computer and just NEED some coding time; and eventually enrolling in the online program at Flatiron School. I can honestly say I am addicted to learning to code!!

Code Challenges

About a month into being enrolled at LearnVerified, I came across the #codestreak hashtag on Twitter, at which time I was already 35 days into working on lessons on the Learn platform. And then shortly there after, I ran across the #100daysofcode hashtag (41 days into my #codestreak) and coding challenge. How could I not start participating?!?! I was almost halfway there!!

a quote about it takes 31 days to make a habit

At first I wasn’t sure I could keep it up because I am not very good at keeping track of things…thankfully, Flatiron actually made that pretty darn easy with their built in current learning streak feature of the student dashboard! All I had to do was just keep on, keeping on!

Keep on learning to code, which I was doing anyway…except now I was striving to make sure I did it for 100 days. Which actually should not have been such a big deal since from January 1st til the first day I tweeted the hashtag of #100daysofcode on June 27th, according to an online date calculator:

The total number of days between Friday, January 1st, 2016 and Monday, June 27th, 2016 is 178 days.

This is equal to 5 months and 26 days.

A hundred days should be a piece of cake!! Yet the closer I got to the hundred day mark, the more worried I got. Would I blow it days or even a day before the 100 days??

100 Day Accomplishments

I feel like these last 109 days (not to mention the 178 days before that) I have learned so much!! Not only have I managed to get through roughly 100 lessons of the LearnVerified program (82 lessons in the Fullstack Web Development track and 25 lessons in the new Intro to Javascript track).

I have also managed to:

  • build a number of Ruby on Rails app (the first of which was a Pinterest-clone which I am kinda fond of!) from various Udemy classes and Youtube tutorials
  • worked my way through and earned my certificates for the HTML Fundamentals, CSS Fundamentals and SQL Fundementals of the SoloLearn apps
  • finished the Tribute Page challenge at FreeCodeCamp
  • have found so many more (more than one can possibly get through in a life time!!) tutorials, lessons and coding resources that I just need to find enough time in the day to work my way through!!

And yes, I have learned a lot about coding…but I have also made learning to code a habit. A part of my everyday life now. I look forward to getting time to code each day…it is actually a bit of a problem. It is a total addiction!

Now, after a long day of work or errands or just everyday chores, I find myself jonesing for just a little coding time!!  Just one little lesson on Learn or a quick fix of Treehouse if time is short or even having to wait for a table at a restaurant so I can work through a few questions on a SoloLearn app! I need it!!

Although I ‘technically’ broke my codestreak, as in it is back to 2-days at the moment, I spent that particular day making my Sinatra Fwitter project look pretty (working on the CSS) as a break from my frustration at trying to get all the specs to pass.

So although my codestreak has reset itself at LearnVerified…my Year of Learning to Code is still safe…and continues….  🙂

 

 

 

Fav Foto Friday #53

Fav Foto FridayFav Foto Friday is an opportunity to share each Friday, on your own blog, one photo…or maybe even a gallery of some of your favorite photos that you have taken during the week, that make you smile or that was a great photo capturing opportunity…anything really!  And as photographers are often known to say, “The best camera is, the one that you have with you!”

Whether you are a pro-photographer or just venturing into photography…or maybe you are like me and just whip out your cell phone when you are going about your day…take those photos and share them! Feel free to add any camera info and shooting info that you may have on your photos as well.

Don’t forget to link back (pingback) here and add a #FavFotoFriday tag so that I can enjoy all your Favorite Fotos too!

This week’s edition of Fav Foto Friday may not be the most exciting photograph as far as photographs go but I have been waiting and watch for blooms to appear on my hydrangea plants that I planted last year and was beginning to think that they were not going to bloom.

Finally, after waiting and waiting this is the first blossom to appear on the 3 plants that survived last winter. This blossom has gotten just big enough to show off hints of it’s pretty pink color to come. I suppose we still have time for the others to bloom yet…it’s just almost as painful as watching grass grow 🙂

New hydrangea blossom with just hints of pink

 

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Fav Foto Friday selections! Join me and share some of your favorite images! Don’t forget to tag your post #favfotofriday.

A Whole Year of Fav Foto Fridays

Fav Foto Friday

Fav Foto Friday is an opportunity to share each Friday, on your own blog, one photo…or maybe even a gallery of some of your favorite photos that you have taken during the week, that make you smile or that was a great photo capturing opportunity…anything really!  And as photographers are often known to say, “The best camera is, the one that you have with you!”

Whether you are a pro-photographer or just venturing into photography…or maybe you are like me and just whip out your cell phone when you are going about your day…take those photos and share them! Feel free to add any camera info and shooting info that you may have on your photos as well.

Don’t forget to link back (pingback) here and add a #FavFotoFriday tag so that I can enjoy all your Favorite Fotos too!

This week’s edition of Fav Foto Friday is the fifty-second edition of Fav Foto Friday!?!? A whole year has gone by?!?! Where does the time go!?!? I am so grateful to all of my fellow blogger who have participated and helped to keep this weekly feature going!!

It has been a long year in some ways for me dealing with the death of my mom and yet in other ways it has flown by! I guess the ‘flying by’ of a year has a little something to do with getting older. I remember as a child it felt like forever til it would be Christmas again. As I get older it feels like I just put away all the holiday decorations and I am turning around and getting them out again.

In celebration of the 52nd Fav Foto Friday, I have decided to just choose some of my favorite photos from the past year. Celebrate with me and share some of your favorite photos from the past year…or new ones you haven’t yet shared.

Thank you for being a part of this journey!!

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Fav Foto Friday selections! Join me and share some of your favorite images! Don’t forget to tag your post #favfotofriday.

Fav Foto Friday #51

Fav Foto FridayFav Foto Friday is an opportunity to share each Friday, on your own blog, one photo…or maybe even a gallery of some of your favorite photos that you have taken during the week, that make you smile or that was a great photo capturing opportunity…anything really!  And as photographers are often known to say, “The best camera is, the one that you have with you!”

Whether you are a pro-photographer or just venturing into photography…or maybe you are like me and just whip out your cell phone when you are going about your day…take those photos and share them! Feel free to add any camera info and shooting info that you may have on your photos as well.

Don’t forget to link back (pingback) here and add a #FavFotoFriday tag so that I can enjoy all your Favorite Fotos too!

This week’s edition of Fav Foto Friday are from my travels while pet sitting. The first one is a picture of a barn (or more likely a garage but since I can’t entirely see it, I will pretend it is a barn 🙂 ) that I pass on my way to one of my customer’s homes.  It always catches my eye cause it just looks like a great building…but I especially like it now with an American flag on it! I take comfort in the fact that despite all the craziness going on in the world today, there are people who are still proud to be Americans and proud of our flag.

US Flag on a barn garage

This second photo is from another customer’s home where I had to walk by this bunny, who made a point of keeping track of where I was, but allowed me to come so close to her. I image it maybe a ‘she’ and guarding her home and possibly young babies. I love that I was able to get so close and she was still pretty comfortable. I took a few pics and just watched her for a few minutes and then left her in peace. Little sights of wildlife like this makes my day.

Bunny sitting by her bunny hole

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Fav Foto Friday selections! Join me and share some of your favorite images! Don’t forget to tag your post #favfotofriday.

Explain HTML and CSS to your Mom

This is the second blog assignment (out of seven), that I am required to complete for the Fullstack Web Development program, Learn Verified, at the Flatiron School. Not only do they ‘make us’ learn lots of code…they want us to blog about it as well.

For those of you that have been following my blog (thank you!!)…you might remember that my mom passed away right before the holidays in 2015. So naturally this blog assignment, with it’s prompt of “Explain HTML and CSS to your mom”,  caught me a little by surprise, since I would give anything to be able to really tell my mom all about my ‘learning to code’ journey.

htmlvscss

I’m not sure she would even know or really care about HTML or CSS normally, as she wasn’t necessarily all that interested in computers, other than to do basic things like send an email, type up a letter or check Facebook…but she would happily listen to me explain how HTML and CSS work together to make websites.  She would enjoy hearing me tell her about something that obviously excited me enough to want to share it with her…cause that is just how my mom was.

Mom was actually aware of my interest in computers and had tried to encourage me to study computers back in college…mostly cause she thought it would be more profitable than me studying to work with animals (unless of course I was going to be a veterinarian), but I of course had to do things my way. So I would like to think she would be happy that I have decided to follow through with my desire to learn to code.

I am not sure this description would work well for all parents…but I think for my mom, who was a creative person, as well as being quite good at organization, I would be able start with the broad strokes of telling her that ‘HTML is mainly for creating the structure, organization and content for a website’, while CSS is for ‘making the site look pretty’.

Both HTML and CSS (along with Javascript) are the parts or coding languages that are considered to be Front-end Web Development. Front-end development is also known as the client-side of programming in that it creates what the users sees when they visit a website on the internet and allows them to interact with the site.

HTML, which stands for (Hyper-Text Mark-Up Language) is the language that is used to structure a website and display all of the content on the World Wide Web. It is called a markup language because it uses ‘tags’ that wrap around different types of content to structure the layout of the page…for example, there are heading tags, <h1> through <h6>, that give you various sized headings that you can use on your page or <p> tags to identify the beginning and the end of a paragraph. There are also tags to create various kinds of lists, such as ordered <ol> or unordered <ul> lists. Most tags require an opening and a closing tag…so for a paragraph you would surround the text of your paragraph with an opening <p> tag and a closing </p> tag.

HTML also allows you to do things such as create hyperlinks, which are key in navigating the World Wide Web. As well as tags that allow us to add images, videos and audio clips to what would otherwise just be webpages full of lots and lots of text!

Screenshot (59)

Basic HTML for the beginning of a simple project

CSS, which stands for Cascading Style Sheets, is also a type of markup language, but instead of displaying content, CSS styles the content. Things like text color and background images and positioning various elements.

CSS is sort of like interior decorating, with painting the walls and adding furniture and deciding where to put it all, where as HTML is like building the house.

CSS works with HTML by identifying the various tags and using the tags as a way of selecting which element should be styled which way. So if I wanted to center my ‘Welcome to My Pinteresed App!’ heading (h1), the CSS code would look something like this:

h1 {
    text-align: center;
}

Where the h1 is the selector that points to the HTML element you want to style. The part within the curly brackets is called the declaration block  and it contains one or more declarations separated by semicolons. Each declaration includes a CSS property name and a value, separated by a colon. And CSS declaration always ends with a semicolon.

With enough CSS you can go from the site in the above image with very basic content on it…to something that looks more like a ‘real’ website.

Screenshot of my site with some CSS

I would like to think that at this point, Mom might actually be pretty impressed with my skills, as she would appreciate the difference from going from basically a sketch or rough draft of what I want on my site, to something that looks like more of a complete site…despite it actually being a work in progress 🙂

For me, I actually still get excited going from a blank page to having the HTML render the most basic of sites. CSS is just the ‘icing on the cake’ as I love being able to pick colors and choose layouts and decide on fonts to transform the site into something beautiful. And this dorky enthusiasm for witnessing a site being created is why I learn to code!

 

Fav Foto Friday #50

Fav Foto FridayFav Foto Friday is an opportunity to share each Friday, on your own blog, one photo…or maybe even a gallery of some of your favorite photos that you have taken during the week, that make you smile or that was a great photo capturing opportunity…anything really!  And as photographers are often known to say, “The best camera is, the one that you have with you!”

Whether you are a pro-photographer or just venturing into photography…or maybe you are like me and just whip out your cell phone when you are going about your day…take those photos and share them! Feel free to add any camera info and shooting info that you may have on your photos as well.

Don’t forget to link back (pingback) here and add a #FavFotoFriday tag so that I can enjoy all your Favorite Fotos too!

This week’s edition of Fav Foto Friday are from our town’s 4th of July fireworks. The fireworks were down at a local park with a little beach front of Long Island Sound. As someone who grew up in Massachusetts with the ‘real ocean’ I do not normally consider Long Island Sound as the ‘real beach’ but sometimes it is better than nothing! And I always appreciate when we go for fireworks on the 4th of July.

This year it was such a beautiful evening. Was a warm day but had a nice breeze all day and cooled off in the evening…actually ended up wrapped up in a towel by the end of the evening and was glad I took the time to put on long pants. It was nice to be in the midst of a fun crowd with lots of little ones around dancing to the music as we waited for it to get dark.

We were treated to a beautiful sunset before the fireworks, which these photos don’t really do justice to the beautiful colors in the sky that night…but I like them anyway. I enjoyed the firework display as well as being surrounded by others who, if only for the moment, seem to be proud of being an American and proud of our great country.

Pretty Sunset for Fireworks

As we were looking around we noticed that there were guards patrolling the area, as well as on top of the roof of the concession stand building nearby…which was a bit sad to admit that in today’s world they might be a needed presence during gathering such as these. Thankfully, it was a peaceful and enjoyable evening.

Guards standing on top of building at fourth of July fireworks

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Fav Foto Friday selections! Join me and share some of your favorite images! Don’t forget to tag your post #favfotofriday.

Fav Foto Friday #49

Fav Foto FridayFav Foto Friday is an opportunity to share each Friday, on your own blog, one photo…or maybe even a gallery of some of your favorite photos that you have taken during the week, that make you smile or that was a great photo capturing opportunity…anything really!  And as photographers are often known to say, “The best camera is, the one that you have with you!”

Whether you are a pro-photographer or just venturing into photography…or maybe you are like me and just whip out your cell phone when you are going about your day…take those photos and share them! Feel free to add any camera info and shooting info that you may have on your photos as well.

Don’t forget to link back (pingback) here and add a #FavFotoFriday tag so that I can enjoy all your Favorite Fotos too!

This week’s edition of Fav Foto Friday features a few flowers that caught my attention during my travels this week. Both of these photos are from one of my pet sitting client’s backyard. This little red Gerber Daisy was hiding under from the rain drops under a big leaf. And I always think that black-eyed (or brown-eyed) Susans just look so happy and sunny and just beg for some attention.

Gerber Daisy with a leaf roof

Happy Black-eyed Susan

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Fav Foto Friday selections! Join me and share some of your favorite images! Don’t forget to tag your post #favfotofriday.

Happy Birthday Scribbles & Musings!!!

Birthday Cupcakes to Celebrate Scribble & Musings One Year Birthday

Happy Birthday to Scribbles & Musings!!

(My OCD-ness needs to point out that I realize it isn’t quite in ROGIBIV order but was trying to match the cupcakes)

Happy Birthday to you…happy birthday to you…

Happy Birthday Dear Scribbles & Musings…

Happy Birthday to

Yoooouuuu!!!!

One year ago today, I had this crazy idea that I needed to learn about WordPress and therefore should start a new blog. Thus, Scribbles & Musings was born. One year later, I am happy to say that I am still learning about all kinds of different things about WordPress (and other computer-y things) and still love my blog space!

Life threw me a bit of a curve ball when my Mom passed away back in October 2015, which sent me into serious hibernation mode to lick my wounds for much of the winter and well into the spring. I am attempting to inch my way back out into the world (at least as much as any introvert goes out into the world) as the days finally get warmer and my body craves the warmth of the sun on my skin. My enthusiasm for most things, including blogging, seemed to disappear after my Mom died, but despite that I have managed to keep my weekly series of Fav Foto Friday (which will celebrate it’s one year anniversary at the end of July!) going even if I have been a ‘bit’ (ok…I know…a lot!) quiet otherwise on my blog.

One of the only things, other than my menagerie of animals (which have a way of getting your attention even if you want to hide your head in the sand) that I have been able to stay focused on since my Mom died, is my long time desire to learn to code…as in computer programming. I remember back in the 80s wanting to learn how to ‘do things’ with the Commodore 64 computer my parents brought home one day. I was fascinated with that thing! Through the years I have always stayed interested in ‘all things computer’…which was how the need to learn about WordPress came from…and what has brought me to this place.

This time I have spent hiding away from the world to lick my wounds, has been productive at least, in that it has given me lots of time to spend behind my computer learning to code and trying out all different kinds of platforms that teach you all these things. Online places like Treehouse, Codecademy, Udemy, Skillcrush and more. After months of trying out all these different platforms and learning about learning to code, I have even enrolled in an online bootcamp, Learn Verified, in a Fullstack Web Development program at Flatiron School to continue my venture into learning to code. Two months into it and I am still loving it and enjoying the journey! So despite hiding away from the world, I have kept myself busy and I think I am learning stuff…it might even be sinking in…finally.

All this to say, Happy Birthday Scribbles & Musings!! I still love ya! And just maybe you might hear more about my learning to code journey here at Scribbles & Musings…

Grab a cupcake and celebrate with us!!

Birthday Cupcakes to celebrate with

Fav Foto Friday #48

Fav Foto FridayFav Foto Friday is an opportunity to share each Friday, on your own blog, one photo…or maybe even a gallery of some of your favorite photos that you have taken during the week, that make you smile or that was a great photo capturing opportunity…anything really!  And as photographers are often known to say, “The best camera is, the one that you have with you!”

Whether you are a pro-photographer or just venturing into photography…or maybe you are like me and just whip out your cell phone when you are going about your day…take those photos and share them! Feel free to add any camera info and shooting info that you may have on your photos as well.

Don’t forget to link back (pingback) here and add a #FavFotoFriday tag so that I can enjoy all your Favorite Fotos too!

This week’s edition of Fav Foto Friday is a photo of some beautiful blue hydrangea blooms. I don’t know what it is about hydrangeas, but they are so beautiful and just make me happy to see them. I especially love the blue ones….but they all are beautiful.

This is a new plant that will replace one of my other ones that did not not survive the winter. I am happy that only one didn’t make it as I was worried that they were still rather little when I finally got around to  planting them in the fall. The other 4 plants are getting big and look like they will have blooms soon. I can’t wait!!

Blue hydrangeas

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Fav Foto Friday selections! Join me and share some of your favorite images! Don’t forget to tag your post #favfotofriday.

Fav Foto Friday #47

Fav Foto FridayFav Foto Friday is an opportunity to share each Friday, on your own blog, one photo…or maybe even a gallery of some of your favorite photos that you have taken during the week, that make you smile or that was a great photo capturing opportunity…anything really!  And as photographers are often known to say, “The best camera is, the one that you have with you!”

Whether you are a pro-photographer or just venturing into photography…or maybe you are like me and just whip out your cell phone when you are going about your day…take those photos and share them! Feel free to add any camera info and shooting info that you may have on your photos as well.

Don’t forget to link back (pingback) here and add a #FavFotoFriday tag so that I can enjoy all your Favorite Fotos too!

This week’s edition of Fav Foto Friday features some ducks that are regular visitors to our yard most of the year. They tend to hang out either in our neighbor’s front yard that has a big section of wetland that is underwater most of the year (right now it is pretty dry) or in our backyard near the river.

I love knowing that they consider this home. Even in the winter, early in the morning after a snow fall and all the world seems hushed and quiet, you can hear the ducks quacking out on the river. They don’t even care all that much when the dogs are in the river swimming. They just swim up river a bit out of their way.

I grew up on a small farm in Massachusetts and we used to have ducks and I loved them. These guys remind me of our ducks of long ago.

female mallard duck

male mallard duck

 

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Fav Foto Friday selections! Join me and share some of your favorite images! Don’t forget to tag your post #favfotofriday.