Hearing about the terror attack in Jerusalem every fiber of my being is wishing I was home. I’m so pissed off about the way the story has been covered by CNN and CBS that I could seriously spit — one of the CNN anchors actually said that maybe the “Palestinians are right and Israeli civilians should be considered legitimate targets.” Oh and the corrupt U.S. State Department is going to bat for CAIR and condemning the United Arab Emirates declaring CAIR a terrorist organization — hello, CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror funding trail ever held in the U.S. and numerous CAIR officials are serving jail time for terror activities. Ok, I’m going to stop writing about this for a bit because it just makes me want to scream.

Yesterday I went to get registered to do the Web developer certificate program. Tomorrow I’ll be registering for the classes that start in the spring. I’m hoping this will all be good additions to my skills set.

Batya went to the vet today for her steroid shot. Removing her teeth is not an issue as she has the kind of stomatitis that attacks the back of the throat, the inside of her cheeks and her soft palette. It makes the poor little Great White Whale a very uncomfortable and unhappy camper. By tomorrow she should be feeling better, I hope.

It is frigid here. We’ve had to do a lot to keep the kitties that are in the garage, the outside enclosure, and the 3 yard ferals warm enough. Brrrrrr.

Electrical intifada

I’ve got a new, new computer. The motherboard on my new computer just up and died a terrible death with zero warning. It is still under warranty but I’ve got to send it back to Israel to get it fixed. The tablet, also under warranty, has serious hardware issues and also must be sent across the big blue sea to get fixed and then sent back. The new printer came with a defective ink cartridge and had software issues that took days to finally fix.

The electrical appliance malfunctions did not end there. The new washing machine in my Ema’s house, just 4 months out of its one year warranty, bit the dust –the computer in it died and was going to cost more to fix than to get a new machine (we bought one of those old-fashioned deals with no computer bells and whistles in it), and the repair man said the dryer (ok, so the dryer was 10 years old) was also going to cost more to fix than to replace –it was causing burn marks on clothing even when run on the lowest temp setting. New dryer (also minus computer bells and whistles). The garbage disposal also went nuts and had to be fixed (thankfully not replaced). Now the dishwasher is acting crazy. It is like there is a poltergeist with a grudge against electrical appliances in the house.

Now, with the newest computer I’ll be blogging again. It is not a great computer and I’m already not pleased with it but at least it is functioning.


Baby girl murdered in terrorist attack in Jerusalem following Abbas’ call for Jews to be harmed

A few days ago, Mahmoud Abbas called for Jews to be harmed in Jerusalem. Tonight a Hamas terrorist with a long criminal and terrorist record obliged. He drove his car into a large crowd of people waiting for the light rail train in Jerusalem. Eight people were injured and a three-month old baby girl named Chaya, which means “life,” lost hers. My heart is just breaking for her parents who had tried for years to have a child and finally this precious little girl was born to them. Now, to have her murdered before their very eyes, I cannot even begin to imagine what they are going through.

The terrorist was killed by police as he attempted to flee the scene. Abbas should be held up on accomplice to murder charges, incitement to murder charges. He is a terrorist and should be treated as one.

foot long earthworms, yay, but ginormous underground spiders scattered my brain cells

Tomorrow I’m going to be getting some pictures up of the garden projects underway. I built a compost tumbler from a kit (and the city will give us a $75 rebate on it, so it only cost $25). I’m working on getting the raised garden bed into shape with the intention of combining the bio-intensive method with square foot gardening. This means that you dig down a foot and remove all horrible, nasty weed roots (ours is riddled with them) and then loosen the soil a further foot down. After I do that, I’ll cover the ground with newspapers to kill off any missed weed rootlets and put 6 inches of “Mel’s mix” soil on top and then finally be able to plant and transplant. But the spiders…

Ok, the spiders that are living in abundance about a foot or so deep in the garden are, at nearly the size of my palm, not quite as horrible as the tarantula that ran up my Ema’s dress a couple of years ago and then leaped onto her chest. That sucker was nearly the size of a dinner plate and heavy –she felt a big thud against her. She was wearing black, the tarantula was black. Too afraid to look down (she knew something HUGE had just jumped on her) she asked the neighbour she was talking to if she had a spider on her by chance….the neighbour looked and then screamed bloody murder. Yeah, if that had happened to me, that would be the end of my gardening experience, like, ever. The palm sized spiders I’ve uncovered have significantly dimmed my enthusiasm for digging out every rootlet and making sure the soil is super ‘friable’ with my bare hands.

I’ve started a course on the development of apps for android phones and tablets and am very excited about it. Let me repeat the very excited but also very nervous. I am seriously not a techie person. So many of the people taking the class have been programming for years, work as software developers and so forth that I am like eeeeek. I’ve managed to get through the first video and a half, with getting the android sdk program and the Oracle JDK 6 development kit downloaded, unpacked and installed. Go me. Now the hard part is about to begin…

Leaving you with the song that is currently playing and it seems relevant given the darn spiders and even scarier tech stuff! Credence Clearwater playing Bad Moon Rising:

A long overdue update

Next year in Jerusalem…

Sorry for the long blog silence. Since arriving in Texas (aka Ebola Central — 2nd Ebola case in Dallas now) I’ve been going like the enegizer bunny trying to get things organized for my Ema, amid caring for 3 very sick little cats with respiratory infections that so far have not been diagnosed and are not responding to any of the treatments the vets (multiple) have tried, and grading.

We’ve got the kitchen re-organized, everything out of the garage and sorted, then re-organized and put back into
some new tool cabinets we needed to buy. I’m slowly getting my grandfather’s tools in shape and put away. My brother inherited a ton of tools of all sorts from my grandparents — they’d gotten into bad shape after my grandfather’s death and, since my brother’s house was under construction when they were brought back, they simply got stored in that bad shape and so, of course, got in worse shape. So I’ve been spending about an hour an evening armed with DW-40 and copious steel wool pads and painstakingly removing years of rust off them and organizing them so that they can actually be used.

We’ve gotten my mother’s office room mostly organized (still more work to do there) and the only closet in the house organized.

Taking care of all the cats takes about 3 hours a day just in terms of feeding and cleaning the litterboxes and that doesn’t count medicating, cleaning the (various) enclosure kitties’ habitats and our habitat with all the inside kitties — five are in the room I’m sleeping in (Mischa, Batya, Nesicha –in her tiny cage– Tinoket, and Smokey One Eye) — Fluffy, Leeza, Tzeekada, Tzofia, Missy, Yafah, Muffin, Smokey, Nipper, Shyla, and Mia have the run of the main part of the house, and Minette has the office as her habitat. Shyla, Smokey and Nipper all have this horrible respiratory virus and so are getting medicines, special food, and needing to be nebulized (you put them into a cat carrier, cover it securely, and use a machine to pump oxygen with a medication that turns into a vapour into it to help clear their lungs) multiple times a day. So far, we are not seeing any improvements and if Nipper, who is in the worst shape from it, is not markedly improved by Tuesday, we are going to need to take him to a respiratory specialist because the vets are pretty much at a loss. Shyla has had it as an underlying condition for two years now with periods of appearing in relatively good health and then having relapses. Nipper is just dog sick with it currently.

Last night we had the first meal from the garden — well, part of the meal — with the micro-greens I planted making the first garden salad. I’ve got bok choy growing in a container, two grocery-store lettuces doing the re-grow thing in containers along with some celery and green onions, and a ton of lettuce, arugula, kale, and mustard green seedlings nearly ready for transplant into the square foot garden — as soon as I get time and cooperative weather to double-dig the base soil and mix up the soil to put in as the main growing environment.

We had a hell of a storm a few weeks ago and a huge limb off the pecan tree snapped halfway off and thudded onto the roof. We needed to get the tree people out to cut it and a lot of other limbs that needed to come off of it and the other trees over-hanging the house. They did a crappy job and so I scarified my Ema by climbing up on a ladder armed with a saw and removing a bunch more.

The diet is so not working. I can’t understand how eating under 1200 calories a day and almost no carbs in the mix has resulted in losing only 3 pounds in five weeks.

Other things I’m doing right now: I’ve signed up for a bunch of online web design and computer programming and database courses, working on getting non-profit status for the sanctuary (miles of paperwork), grading seminar papers, and knitting a sweater for my niece. I got the laptop computer finally freed from the trojan but the 6 month old tablet still has no sound because it still will not recognize the sound driver and I’m at my wits’ end with it.

Obama administration condemns Israel for building apartments for…Arabs

The Obama administration clearly has its priorities straight. After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu about the major threats facing the world from ISIS terrorists and a recalcitrant nuclear-bomb hungry Iran, the Obama administration held a press conference strongly condemning Israel for building apartments in Jerusalem –not in East Jerusalem, mind you — and that the bulk of which will be owned and lived in by Arab-Israelis. Not that Israel has any sort of rules about who can live or buy where –Jewish and Arab citizens alike can buy property in Israel whether it be in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem or anywhere else: Arab-Israelis can move into predominantly Jewish neighbourhoods, Jews can move into predominantly Arab neighbourthoods. As in America, we don’t have any sort of religious litmus test, nor any skin colour test about who can buy and live where.

So with the incredible threats of Isis in Syria right on Israel’s border, threatening Jordan, threatening Turkey, and taking over vast swaths of Syria and Iraq, with Iran pulling all sort of shenanigans and funding and training terrorists with abandon, the U.S. decides the most important thing on the agenda is to hold a press conference decrying the building of apartments that, oh my G-d, a Jew might purchase.

Netanyahu responded “if you said to me that in some city in the United States or in Mexico, or anywhere else, Jews cannot buy apartments, there would be an uproar.”

“You know, there’s not only the freedom of property, but the right of every individual to live where they want, as long as they purchase the apartment legally and don’t expropriate, don’t take over, which isn’t the case here,” added Netanyahu. “So I just want to understand this policy. It flies in the face of American values, and it flies in the face of common sense.”

Speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday night, Netanyahu added that the criticism on the construction plans was particularly off the mark given that a “substantial part were for Arabs.” He also termed the criticism of the Shiloah purchase “baffling.”

Baffling, no. The Obama administration has been all about turning a blind eye to terrorists and focusing on anti-Israel –specifically on anti-Jewish segments of Israel — policies since day One back in 2008 of this so-far 6 year nightmare of regime. Yes, the Obama administration knows exactly what it is doing and have their own priorities straight — unfortunately, their priorities are to the detriment of not only their supposed ally, Israel, but to the rest of the world, and to America itself.

Shana tova v’metuka

Sorry the New Year’s greeting is coming a bit late but it is no less heartfelt. I’ll do a longer update later about diving into major cooking for the holiday for the first time in years (I’ve been lucky enough to have spent the last 10 or so years with friends who did all the very delicious cooking and this year was lucky enough to do the cooking for me and my Ema!) and about Mischa the cat. I’m about to go pick Mischa up from the vet. His teeth surgery turned out to be more extensive than expected, food had actually gotten up into his sinuses through some of the teeth and caused and infection there and there was a large growth under his tongue that has now been removed and is going to be biopsied — the vet thinks it is benign but we won’t know until the biopsy results come back in about a week. I’ll hear more when I pick him up. I’m quite nervous about the cost. The estimate pre-surgery was that it would likely run about a cool $1000 and so goodness only knows what the tally will be now. It all had to be done, however, and, while he is going to be seriously miserable and in pain from the surgery for about 6 weeks, after that he will feel like a new cat. Given the state his teeth, mouth and sinuses have been in, I can’t even begin to imagine how much pain he was in just daily. I mean seriously that would just about kill a human.

Before I head out I’ll leave ya’ll, as they say here in Texas, with a link to a heartwarming story about a true hero in Syria that Paul brought to my attention in the comments: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2770503/The-real-hero-Syrian-civil-war-The-ambulance-driver-spends-savings-feeding-orphaned-cats-Aleppo.html Awesome pictures and a man with an amazing heart.


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