Wheee, she’s got rhythm!!

Here is my little niece dancing away in her winter concert. Check it out, she’s the little one with the light brown pony tail –and the one with a lot of rhythm. That little thing can dance!!! The Japanese love their rock ‘n roll :)

this and that

There’s a lot going on but nothing spectacular to blog about. My days are so filled that I can’t imagine how I managed everything when I was working. Of course now I’ve got like 5 million projects going on and am frustrated that I haven’t really finished any of them –silly, in many respects as many of these are not short term things that you can knock out in a day. In fact, it is all the stuff that has to get knocked out in a day that is making these longer term projects eh a lot longer term. So some of the stuff:

I’ve registered for three courses for the spring, one of which is not useful but that they require (beginning computing) to take the others: Web design tools and Web programming. I’m also trying to do 3 courses currently that are free online — the app course, a computer networking course, and an intermediate level of java programming — trying because things just get in the way of actually sitting down and being able to concentrate on this stuff. In the meantime I’m trying to get better at CSS especially because I’m working on creating the DARA website and really need it.

As far as DARA, we’ve gotten folks to be on the board of directors but now just need (my serious nemesis) to do the paper work to file for non-profit status. That went on the back burner to deal with the tax crisis caused by the accounting firm I hired to do my taxes not filing on time (remember all the running around I did last year –as in ALL last year, starting in Oct. of 2013) despite my getting everything to them, sometimes several times over, as soon as they asked for it and then when they said they couldn’t find what I had faxed them sent it again and so forth. Now I’m dealing with the IRS saying I’ve got to pay a late fee and running about to get the info so that I don’t have to pay the late fee and argh.

The front garden should be finished and ready to plant in by the end of today. I’m trying to get a sweater knitted for my niece by the time they visit here in about 4 weeks.

Well that is a bit of what is up. I’m missing home so much that it is just a constant ache.

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.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

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.

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