We lost little Minette

On Friday, last, we made an emergency visit to the vet with Smokey Eyin Echad (Smokey One Eye). She is the old kitty that I rescued in Tel Aviv who had had a stroke and I re-taught her how to walk in a straight line because, after the stroke, she could only walk in circles. She had had a bout of really bad diarrhea and was crying when she got in the litter box. It turned out that she is fine, just experiencing elderly cat gastro problems. We got home with her and got her settled. I got my computer out and set up on the porch to try to work on coding and my Ema got ready to run to the store.

Minette was laying on the porch. In the past couple of months, she has been just loving to be out on the front porch with me and our feral porch kitty, Emily. Ema came to the door to let me know she was getting ready to leave and said, “Is Minette okay? I don’t like the way she is laying there.”

To be honest, I wasn’t really paying full attention and just sort of glanced up. “It is really hot out here, I think she is just sacked out.” Ema went back in but a few minutes later what she’d said started niggling at me and I took a good look at the kitty who was laying with her back to me. “Minette?” She started to sit up and then fell over onto her other side. Oh G-d. I scrambled over to her and she tried to sit up again but her back legs went out from under her. Really oh my G-d.

I ran around the side of the house hoping Ema had not yet left for the store. The car was still there. I ran in and screamed for Ema to come quick. It was closing time at our vet clinic but they said to rush her in and the vet would stay to see her.

Minette had gone through years of terrible neglect before being rescued by my Ema — many of you guys reading here were incredibly compassionate and generous and gave donations when I posted a plea for help for her back in 2012 (here’s the link to her story: https://israeliminx.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/help-little-minette/). We knew that she had damaged kidneys from so many years of not being able to get water regularly: When the vet checked her, one of her kidneys was extremely distended this time. It looks like she had a stroke on Friday afternoon, while we were at the vet with Smokey One-Eye, and her kidneys were starting to fail from it.

I’ve nursed two cats back from strokes before and we talked extensively with the vet about options and possibility that she could recover (giving her fluids, putting her into intensive care in an oxygen chamber for several days, and so forth) but his assessment was that he didn’t think she would make it.

I held her after he gave her pain killer and a mild sedative and she purred as I scritched her head and chin in the way she likes best. When he inserted the sedative that stops the heart into the IV, he’d only put in a fraction of the amount that is usually used to put them to sleep when she slipped away. We buried her next to a rose tree in the back yard.

After having had such a hard and miserable life, her last three years were full of creature comforts, love, and attention. The last three months were especially happy ones for her: We got her a lion cut in early May (shaving off all the hair except on her tail and head) and a therapeutic bath to help her skin condition (which had improved dramatically in the time we had her). She is, was, always like a different little cat after getting her summer lion cut –frisking and playing even at her advanced age and fragile health. Every morning she would race out onto the porch to spend the day with me — sunning herself in the early morning and late afternoon and sitting in my lap or laying nearby in the shade during the heat of the day.

I miss my little porch companion more than words can say.

a short –hrm make that rather long– update

Just a short update on how and what I’m doing. I’m spending about 10 hours a day learning to code. I’ve gotten the command line down and the ins and outs of CSS are in my pocket. Right now I’m filling in some of the holes in basic Javascript that were skipped in the class I took (things like how to work with the date object, how to add and remove things from arrays) and on the more advanced end trying to get my head around prototypes, object constructor methods and properties (and how they work with prototypes) and the DOM (document object model). I’m about to start learning Jquery — I think in about week I’ll be ready to dive into that. I’m about ready to git hubbing :)

One of the things that has been fun and helpful is going to a weekly meetup for women who code. The group brings in great speakers on different topics and is great for having a social support system. I’ve met some really nice gals there. Protektzia (its all about who you know…) is as important in the coding world as it is in Israel, so networking is important –a lot of jobs are never listed but rather filled by a coder recommended by someone who works there.

On the kitty front, Flora the Explorer has finally recovered and can blink on her own now. We had to take Gypsy into the vet the other day because he wasn’t eating and still losing weight (he was one of our outside, previously feral kitties, and he got beaten up by this totally vicious cat in the neighborhood that has Feline Aids and so contracted it. He’s now in an enclosure all his own so that we can keep an eye on his health). He was dehydrated and after getting fluids is back to eating. I refer to him as our transgender kitty because when he first came up a friend of my Ema’s was convinced he was a she — for two years he’s been called a she and it was a bit of a surprise when the vet was like, well HE…

The garden is doing great and really helping with our people food bills (the cost of the food and litter for the cats is something like 6 times our people food budget). I’ll put up some pictures of the Pandora striped rose aubergine (egglplants) that we haven’t tasted yet — they are much later producing than the Astrakoms but it seems get ginormous: 3 inches wide by 8 inches long. There are a bunch of them growing on the vine :). We’ve also got a tiny watermelon forming (it is not even half an inch long yet) and is going to be a surprise as to what kind it is. I planted both Sugar Baby (small icebox size) and a “it gets ginormous” kind but now can’t remember which watermelon plant is which…

I’ve not been blogging about politics because I am so disgusted that everytime I start to write something about the &*%%%$$# crazy, immoral, evil regime in power in the U.S., I want to throw something. The sooner that I get the hell out of the U.S. and back home, the better as far as I’m concerned. I’m hoping that by this time next summer I’ll be starting a cool job as a front-end developer at a cool Israeli company…

Muslim terrorist kills 4 marines in U.S. terror attack

Oh the authorities are “searching for a motive”. The name of the terrorist in today’s terror attack in Tennessee was Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez. Nuf said. No further looking for motive needed, hello.

Thank goodness for the Drudge Report –the only media outlet identifying this as an Islamic extremist terror attack.

Hilarious: Louie Louie misheard lyrics (story why song was banned from radio too)

So, last night in a random conversation, my Ema mentioned that, as a young teen, the song Louie Louie (version by the Kingsmen) was one of her favorites from the first time she heard it …but she only got to hear it a couple of times before it was banned from the radio in her small town. It didn’t just get banned in her town but from radio stations across the country. No one could really tell what the heck the lyrics were saying but a lot of people suspected that they were in some way obscene (by the standards of the day), lurid, or in other ways BAD. It was also the subject of an FBII investigation about the supposed but nonexistent obscenity of the lyrics.

Immediately I had to go to the internet to find out exactly what the lyrics really are. That video, with the actual lyrics, is at the bottom of this post. However, while watching it, we noticed that the Kingsmen had put up an animated “Misheard” lyrics of Louie Louie video. We checked it out and literally fell on the floor laughing. I seriously laughed so hard I thought I was going to be sick. So, I thought I’d share that hilarious video. Here it is and the one with the actual lyrics is below it.

The real lyrics (nothing prurient –well maybe one thing but it is still unclear– there):

Excitedly awaiting book order, deep into coding-learning, garden bitlets

Tomorrow A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript: The New Approach that Uses Technology to Cut Your Effort in Half should arrive on my doorstep but more importantly, on Friday, the big mama of Javascript books: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Activate Your Web Pages should be here and by Monday Murach’s JavaScript and jQuery. Yeah, a bit of light reading, lol. I’ve outgrown the book we used in the class I took this spring (the other half of the book gets covered in the final course in the web dev programme).

Now I’m getting into things like closures, recursion, and a bunch of other things that, when I try to explain to my Ema why I’m banging my head against a wall and gnashing my teeth, she’s like “STOP. I have no idea what you are talking about!” Since I’d have had that same reaction just a few months ago, I can’t blame her (and won’t go nattering on about specifics here either!). These new books though will hopefully help me stop feeling like a child lost in the wilderness and give me a few breadcrumbs to successfully follow out of the woods.

The garden is coming along about as well as can be expected. We’re starting to get a good number of tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, eggplants and mini-peppers daily and that seriously helps with the grocery bill. Our hot Tabasco peppers are just starting to bloom but the plants are big and healthy. The bell peppers (those started from seed and bought as starters) are proving to be a disappointment. We’re getting some here and there but they are not not exactly what you’d call bountiful.

As funny as it sounds, it is almost time to start fall veggies (like beets). I’ve still got a lot of succession planting to do: More okra, more green beans, more cucumbers, and then to plant the watermelons and HaOgen melons as well. It is so fun to come out every morning and see what will be on the menu that evening (provided no one did a runner with the nearly ready veg overnight!).

Happy American Independence Day!

I was kind of shocked by the recent poll that found that a majority of Americans don’t know what the 4th of July is all about — who the U.S. gained independence from, how many colonies (that became States) were involved, when it all went down and so forth.  Only kind of shocked because when my brother was in college he conducted a poll of the graduating seniors at his exclusive private university and nearly 70% of them thought that Germany was a U.S. ally in WWII and that Russia was the enemy.

So, here’s a quick recap:  July 4th commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 by the Second Continental Congress declaring the 13 Colonies independent of the British Empire and British rule and a new country.

A bit of trivia:  The Declaration of Independence (version 1) was signed on July 2nd and approved in a secret closed-door session but, because some members of the congress insisted on some changes in wording, it was not officially adopted until the 4th –and not all of its signers had signed on to the final version until nearly a month later, in August.  However, the public considered the 4th to be the day as that is when the newspapers of the day were given the info and carried the story.

More fun trivia:  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers to become U.S. Presidents, both died on the same day: July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.  James Monroe, not a signer but considered to be a Founding Father of the Declaration and a U.S. President ALSO died on July 4th, in 1831.

For those who are curious, the 13 colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia, Province of New York, Province of North Carolina, Providence Plantations, and the Colony of Rhode Island.

Happy Independence Day America!!!  We are celebrating by having (veggie) hamburgers and potato salad for dinner and watching another episode of Turn: Washington’s Spies (about the spies that were critical in the battle for independence).

The bean thief (no, it isn’t a joke!)

It happened for the first time early on. We had our first flush of the first-planted Jackson Lima beans. The Jacksons were also planted front and center in the front garden. “Tomorrow we’re going to have a main course of lima beans,” I crowed. Yet, when I went out to gather them the next day…there was not a single bean pod of any size or readiness on any of the plants. I really didn’t know what to think.

About a week later, when the Henderson Lima’s were just ready to pick –branches hanging heavy with bean pods just hours away from being ready for picking, abracadabra from evening to next morning and they almost all disappeared, save for a few that were hanging way deep in the branches.

All during the time when harvesting needed to happen in the pouring rain, I collected big bowl fulls of string beans, lima beans, and runner beans.

Yesterday we took a tour of the garden and debated collecting the copious numbers of runner, string, and lima beans that were ready for harvesting but could go another day and decided against taking them then, as dinner was already planned and things taste best when harvested within a few hours of munching down on them. There were so many that I was not only planning to harvest them for dinner but also to do a canning batch today.

I should have harvested and consigned them to the fridge. ALL of the runner beans were gone today. After much rooting about, I managed to find only 9 string beans. The lima beans… meh, only those that won’t be ready for another 3 days and the ones on the ‘seed’ plants that are already in nearly dried state were left.

It is a two-legged critter that we more than suspect.

She is renting out a space in our neighbour’s house and comes over almost daily to borrow everything from garlic to envelopes, lemon, string, ice (a lot of ice, as it seems she has a mini-fridge that doesn’t have a freezer), and about anything else you can imagine. She also has commented extensively on our garden, noting what seems to be ‘just about ready’ (namely the beans) and the progress of our eggplants, peppers and tomatoes –only she (frankly, thankfully) doesn’t realize that the majority of tomatoes we are growing never turn red when ripe, that the aubergines should be harvested at only 4 inches long and skinny, and that the peppers we are growing don’t conform to your standard green bell pepper.

From this time last night to now, we are missing about 300 bean pods containing 3-5 beans per pod…

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