Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Feeling better

Picture obtained from Google image search
Day before yesterday I was stung by monema flavescens caterpillar, (according to weblio a species of slugmoth) which was living on my plum tree. Named Iraga in Japanese, it is apparently the most painful of the hairy caterpillars in Japan, says the pamphlet my doctor gave me: my arm swelled up from hand through to upper arm above the elbow, pain aching through to the lymph
nodes under the armpit, I went to the doctor yesterday and got steroids (yikes) which I am nevertheless taking, and rested all day, so the dogs just had to potter in the garden for exercise after a morning walk courtesy of the other parent. One friend suggested I should use insecticide to kill the caterpillars in my plum tree. No way, now I know to avoid clipping the plum tree for these few weeks in summer. Check out my free One green leaf counting song for kids! Every bit of poison we spray goes back into the environment!This morning the birds woke me at 04:10, and I felt well enough to go off to the park for a stroll, oops, no, Luna was on the go and it was a run for the first 500m or so. It was glorious, nice and cool, initially early enough for nobody to be around, cats and pigeons to stalk, ponds and streams to splosh in, a plethora of sights and smells and morning sounds, and I negotiated to take the shorter walk home because I now had three dirty babies to shower before brekkie. Met many friends on the way home and chatted about our local trimming, Inuya , which offers excellent service at reasonable prices ( and a doggie jacuzzi for an extra 10$/¥1000!) The arm's beginning to feel itchy now, still a little swollen, but today's steroids should settle it, off to ballet tomorrow evening so I want to feel fine. Shampooing three dogs in turn, feeding them, and now at last my own brekkie is on the cards.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Doing the Coursera Animal Behaviour and Welfare as my summer project. Copying a posting I made to the Japanese Study Forum here: " I just took the week two quiz this morning.. full score!  My study tips: 1 take it when my brain is fresh in the morning 2. after watching the videos 3 times, once on Friday to be in time for the Hangout and to get the general idea, once yesterday 3. taking notes to make sure I understood, and then watching videos in the evening again in tandem with my notes to double check I had noted main points. 4. When I got tired I was reading forums, clicking on outside links (like the pain things) blogging, walking the dogs, or doing the housework, and 5. I'd run some videos like a radio for input while cooking and so on. 6. I read some passages of Patricia McConnell"For the Love of a dog" to remind me why I chose the course and put me in good happy space. 7. Consolidate by exploring the pain study sites recommended. Also I noticed vocabulary and ideas that I am learning here were in McConnell's book p.16 "Misplaced anthropomorphic concerns" "All students of animal behavior...are rigorously trained in the accurate observation of behavior" p.29 "the signal runs through the amygdala....the amygdala signals "Emergency!"" p115 so I reconfirmed I was noticing and learning. 8. Add some lavender, rosemary and lemon balm drops to my aroma stone. Then I felt confident to give the test a go! Now I can go and enjoy the day, and I know I'll be hooked by Week 3 tomorrow!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Coursera Animal Behavior and Welfare

Done teaching my own courses, after following an excruciating Udemy course on Environmental Economics which I don't recommend, I remembered the Economist had talked about other free options to study online, and checked out Coursera. I hit on the Animal Behavior and Welfare course which I signed up for, and am now fascinated and excited to be studying the issues. Meanwhile outside it's 34degrees, the doggies had their morning walk at 0430to 0600, and I made them some salmon soup with sweet potatoes, pumpkin, konbu, cabbage, daikon radish and a huge dose of love, before we've all settled down in the air-conditioned room...To cope with the doggie boredom of being stuck in the cool room while Mummy studies, I gave them a huge horse tendon....Luna takes it back to her cage, and after a while makes fantastic use of the cage to leverage the long stick...
 Nobu likes me to hold it for him, but since I'm otherwise engaged, he's busy in the sitting room, 

 ....meanwhile Claire is most secretive about it, hiding it from me in her cage so I don't take it away...she'll chomp away relentlessly, and then go steal Nobu's if it's lying abandoned somewhere...back to studying here, my conscience eased that I am providing a high level of animal welfare for my sweeties as I abandon them for the realms of science...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Siamese Twins

 Of course there were pigeons involved...nothing like a long walkies in the late afternoon...