Tzofia (Sophia) is sick

Poor little Tzofia is nearly scratching herself to smithereens. She looks worse than a cat with the worst mange you’ve ever seen. She’s had an allergic reaction to …something…and that caused her to get the auto-immune pemphigus syndrome.

We don’t know what caused the allergic reaction so we’ve changed the kind of litter she uses, the kind of food (she’s now on an insanely expensive anti-allergin food). We’ve changed our dishwashing liquid, clothes washing liquid and stuff we clean the floors with. In fact, the floor in the room she is isolated in is getting a ‘water-only’ cleaning. It may be an allergy to sunlight…

She’s been to see a specialist (the two vets we took her to prior had never seen anything like it before). The poor little 3-legged wonder is now getting major doses of prednisolone twice a day, an antibiotic pill once a day and pain meds twice a day. She is running and hiding, hiding, hiding when she sees me. She is also supposed to have frequent baths (daily just can’t be done).

We are hoping to get the meds compounded with a marshmallow flavour (she can’t have the fish oil compound as she can’t eat anything she’s ever had in her diet before). That way, it will be less stressful than getting pilled constantly. It may take up to 8 weeks before we see any improvement. In the meantime, the poor little thing is just miserable.

The growing garden

I’m going to try to post up some pics later today of the spring garden. We are finally starting to ‘eat good’ from our garden greens. After the ‘killiful,’ as one of my Ema’s students used to say, freezes we had, the garden pickings were slim. Today is the first day I was able to pick an entire salad’s worth of young swiss chard (both Lucculus and Bright Lights). I’ve also harvested a heap o’ radishes and the very first (just 3!) sugar snap peas.

I’ve got 4 different kinds of lettuce growing and they are growing by leaps and bounds: two kinds of leaf lettuce that make big fluffy heads (and that I’ll do cut and come again on), romaine lettuce, and our beloved buttercrunch. The arugula got off to a slow start but is catching up. We’ve got 2 cilantro plants, a dill, green onions, a bunch of kohlrabi, mustard greens, turnip greens, spinach, 6 kinds of radishes, malabar spinach (including a whole host of them that re-seeded themselves and I’ll need to dig up and move to the trellis area), collard green seeds started, and two cherry tomato plants. I plan a lot more tomato plants, eggplants (of course), cucumbers, melons, and squash, and peppers.

Next week I’m going to be volunteering at a transplant sale and will get a bunch of free transplants for my labour 🙂 I plan to snag some grapes and a fig tree transplant as well as toms, peppers, and eggplants.

Two weeks ago, I volunteered at a local CSA and my 5 hours of pulling tops and roots off of carrots let me take home a huge box (worth $50!) of all manner of veggie goodness — we are still eating on them this week. I’m planning to volunteer with them next week, as well, as I was able to pick up a lot of great organic gardening tips (did you know that adding beer or soda to your compost will dramatically speed up the composting process?!).

I plan to do a blog post on our Tzofia, the 3-legged wonder. She saw a specialist yesterday and we are hoping that we’ve finally found the cause and treatment for the illness that has had her at death’s door for the past week. The second vet we saw at the weekend said she’d never seen anything like it.

planning this gorgeous day

It is an absolutely gorgeous day today and very warm, so I’m in heaven. I’m especially in heaven as today is a day off for me. This morning, I’m doing some garden work. I’m going to plant some more radishes and swiss chard directly into the garden, transplant some lettuce and arugula seedlings, and start some seeds: Hungarian Wax Peppers, summer savory, oregano, parsley, New Zealand spinach, coriander and sweet marjoram.

This afternoon, I’m going to my favourite cafe and going all techie. I’m planning to put in an hour on Java, an hour on Python, get the server-side framework in place for a new app I’m planning, and take a look at Redux and see if it is something I want to add to my toolkit sooner rather than later.

We’ve got a friendly raccoon — very cute, comes right up to you, and has taken over Shali’s cat-house for sleeping in at night –and so we’ve had to bring the unwilling cat into house (my house) the last two nights. We also have an entire Opossum family rummaging around the yard at night. The cats are doing well. Shyla is still going strong, even though, at this time last year, they told us she had pancreatic cancer and only 6 weeks to live. Eh, obviously she does not have pancreatic cancer!

I ALMOST met the $1500 veggie garden challenge

The big spoiler is that I came close, but no banana, to growing $1500 in one year and in only 70 square feet.The below freezes (21 degrees!) we had in December put paid to the harvest that would have put us over the top. Just about everything but the green onions and some radishes were killed dead as a doornail.

Then the freeze we had a couple of weeks ago killed almost everything I’d planted for a January-February harvest. We are going to get some radishes, green onions, parsley and dill over the next month but not much else.

Still, I’m not despairing and am renewing the garden challenge. I’m not upping it to $1700 as I’d planned, but I am sticking fast with a determination to at least get to $1500 worth of home-grown goodness during 2017. I’ve learned a lot and, one of the most important thing I’ve learned is that every year is different. You definitely can’t count on Mother Nature to be consistent.

I’ve got a new game plan on for the summer when it is hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk and we simultaneously need to conserve water for our monthly bills’ sake. I’m trying some new things for the early spring and scrapping some things we grew last spring. No cabbage this year (save the few cut and come agains from last spring that survived the brutal summer) but hopefully a lot of sugar snap peas. 36 swiss chard seedlings are going strong and I’m planning a lot more. I’m trying out Kohlrabi as an experiment and we’ll have to wait and see how that turns out. The last freeze killed all 24 of the Kohlrabi seedlings in their cradle but I’ve got more started.

You can check out just how close I came to meeting the 2016 goal at the DARA garden:

Hanukkah Sameach and Merry Christmas

I’ve got an Obama rant coming but tonight is not the time. Tonight, after the family lit our candles, my focus is on family, continuity and, in that vein, the miracle that is Israel and our forever undivided capitol of Jerusalem.

Wishing you all a Chag Sameach, and, to my Christian readers, a very Merry Christmas!

Quick update among the holiday craze

I’ve got five minutes to do an update and that is pushing it 🙂 My bro and his family will be arriving tomorrow and we are in full-scale cleaning mode that puts Pesach cleaning to shame, namely because my niece is highly allergic to kitties. The weather has so not cooperated with us. I’m also working two jobs: One is seasonal and the other is putting my coding skills to use. I’m not sleeping much 🙂

I hope to update the DARA Sanctuary garden challenge in the next few days — sad spoiler alert: I’m not sure, but I think, I am going to be just short of meeting the challenge, when all is said and done, by the end of this month. The serious freeze we’ve just had has decimated a ton of my plants. I was able to harvest green tomatoes and immature peppers and so forth but, really, we took a serious blow. The October and November tallies took us pretty close to the goal (hope to get them up in a couple of days) but I’m not sure the December tally will put us over the top.

My MVP – so close and yet so far

I’ve gotten a ton done on my Recipe Bee app. I’ve gotten the client written except for creation of the logos and other images to use with it (and their corresponding config.xml file) and the server-side is largely done. I’m having database issues, however. Right now, I can’t even spin up the server.

Last night, I was able to track down and fix four major problems, two of which were caused by very minor glitches (get the girl a spell-checker!). I’d forgotten to create my env file. Argh. I’ve got to use a different gui and am on the trail for a replacement. I’m going to be doing a deep dive into the Mysql documentation this week to try to sort things out.

Currently, the project is using Angular with (I know, kinda ‘cheating’ but it makes life a lot easier) the Ionic framework. Server is node with express and the database is MySQL.

Once I get it done and fully functional, I’m going to do a re-write, and create it using React rather than Angular.