shana tova v’metuka

Wishing everyone a sweet and joyous New Year.

Labour day update

I’ve been so busy of late that I haven’t had time to spit. It is all good, however. Classes started a couple of weeks ago and the advanced web programming class is very intensive. I’m also doing courses on databases (MYSQL), PHP, and photoshop. After the first assignment for the web prog. class last week, all of the students that were in the beginning programming class I took in the spring dropped this course. For the second assignment due last night, I literally worked on it from sun-up to sundown and beyond starting last Thursday.

The garden is doing great and a few weeks ago we broke even with it. We’d invested nearly $500 in it, the cost mostly going toward having those two big garden boxes (and trellis) built and buying the dirt to put in them — it took an insane amount of dirt to fill them. Now we are into the black and, from here on out, everything we harvest is profit — literally like money in the bank.

We’ve got about 30 eggplants (aubergines, chatzilim) ripening currently, the cherry tomatoes are really starting to set fruit (right now we’re just getting less than a handful of ripe ones a week), one vine of cucumbers is pretty much giving us a cucumber a day and there are six more vines, planted much later, that are nearly ready to start bearing fruit.

We’re getting almost (but not yet quite) too many of the gypsy peppers to eat in a day –the three plants are now totally laden with baby fruit — and so next week I am going to try my hand at pickling peppers. I’m going to do a medley of the gypsy peppers, cherry peppers, and hot Tabasco peppers. We are still getting tons of okra but, because of the intense heat and drought, about half of those I pick turn out to be too tough to eat. The interesting thing about it is that some of the really small “new” okra are seriously tough and some of the ones that got ginormous overnight are but then some of the ginormous ones are nice and tender and….In about two weeks, we should be starting to get the first fall harvest of green beans, provided the neighbour doesn’t do another sneak attack on them!

Supporting the Kurds, fighting ISIS: Israel imports 77% of its oil from Iraqi-Kurdistan

While the U.S. has refused to send weapon or dollar one to the Kurds who are not only fighting for their lives but also are the ONLY force in the Middle East that is effectively fighting ISIS, Israel has stepped up to the plate.

Israel has reportedly purchased as much as 77 percent of its oil supplies from Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish population, providing them with an essential source of funding in their campaign against the Islamic State.

Read more:,7340,L-4693799,00.html

me vs the okra :) (pic)

If that okra grows any taller….

We finally got some blessed rain yesterday. It is a very good thing that I totally love okra because we are eating it every day. If it gets any taller though, I’m going to need a ladder to harvest all that yummy goodness.

homemade cat food recipe –stretch your dollars with healthy, inexpensive wet food supplements

“You can pay now or you can pay later.” That is a good adage for anyone who is feeding their kitty a diet of only dry kibble.

Don’t get me wrong, dry kibble has its place. Unless your kitty is unable to eat dry food, every cat should have a bit of dry kibble on hand daily in order to keep their teeth and gums in good shape (it scrapes the tartar off the teeth and keeps the bones that the teeth are embedded in strong). That said, a diet of only dry kibble will cause a host of problems when your kitty gets older in years –Translation: Sick kitty and high vet bills.

Cat food is expensive. With 31 cats to feed twice daily (and dry food munchies in between), I’m an expert on how expensive it is to feed cats a really healthy diet. So, I did a lot of research. I didn’t just go online (there is a lot of really bad advice out there, even from some veterinarians) before coming up with this recipe.

Recipe for 16 substantial servings:

1 cup of cooked rice
1/2 cup of cooked broccoli AND/OR cooked peas AND/OR cooked carrots –using just one will give you the 16 servings
1/2 can of tuna (cheapest brand you can find is okay)
1/2 can of wet cat food (we use Friskies Tasty Treasures)
Water as needed (we use the water from the cooked veggies)

In a food processor, blend the veggies and veggie broth (you can also blend the rice to make the mixture more like a pate)
Mix the tuna, cat food, and veggies into the rice

We top each serving with a tiny sliver of canned cat food (we use a Friskies pate version for the topping). A lot of our cats are not fans of the cooked carrots, many of them really like the peas and all of them are nuts over the broccoli. Try out the different veggie or veggie combos to see which one your cat will prefer. We were initially blending up the rice, thinking it would be easier to eat for our many kitties with teeth (and lack of teeth) issues but, quite by accident, we discovered that they have an easier time and like it better when we don’t blend up the cooked grains.

You can store the prepared mixture in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Because we have so many cats to feed, we double the recipe and use all of it per mealtime (and we cook it twice a day!). If you have only one cat, half the recipe above to get 3 days of human-grade tasty food for your kitty, loaded with vitamins and nutrients, and importantly, an aid to keeping your kitty hydrated.

a quick update

Garden news:
We’ve got okra coming out of our ears and that is such a good thing. We are harvesting the maximum number that two people can possibly eat in a day and, quite soon, the plants should be producing enough that we can eat the max AND have some to freeze for the winter. I absolutely love pickled okra but the kind we are growing is not the right kind for pickling, so freezing it will be. It will be nice to have okra from the garden in the dead of winter :) With the heat, we are not getting many tomatoes (only those that are now ripening but no new ones setting). In a couple of months, however, we should be getting a good fall harvest of them. I’ve just planted three more tomato transplants. Yesterday, we bought two more gypsy pepper transplants and two banana peppers and I plan to get those into pots on Sunday. I say we bought, but they turned out to be free as we’d racked up enough ‘points’ at the garden center to just take ’em away :)

Gingi news: Gingi is slowly getting better and yesterday was able to eat from a plate on the floor for the first time.

Yaeli news: I’ve lost 10 pounds! Go me. I’m still 30 pounds fatter than I was 3 years ago before hormonal hell kicked in from the fertility drugs but it is now slowly coming off. I’ve not changed my diet or exercise level (in fact, the exercise level has leveled off because of the intense heat).

I am really enjoying my learning to code experience. I’m not learning fast enough to suit me, though. The three courses I’m taking in the fall start in about two weeks and I’m hoping that they will be a bit more useful than two of the three courses I took in the spring. I’m supplementing my efforts with attending the Women Who Code weekly meetups, a paired coding meetup, and, next week, I start a meetup that focuses on Node.js.

Something in the dirt? The air? Mystery kitty paralysis…

Flora is over, or at least her symptoms have resolved, the paralysis that affected half of her face. With Flora and her sister, Flossie, in the house following Flora’s mystery illness, only Gingi and Puddin’ were out in the garage indoor/outdoor enclosure. Last Monday, when I went out to feed those two in the morning, I thought oh my, I really have got to spend more time out here with these two little guys because Gingi was crying, a lot, and refused to eat his food unless I held the plate up for him while I was petting him. I thought he was so unhappy with the amount of attention I am usually able to give him, that he’d rather eschew eating for pets. On Monday night, it was the same story and again on Tuesday morning and Tuesday evening, and this despite the fact that I’d spent a concerted three hours on each of those days with them.

On Wednesday morning I had an early appointment and so didn’t have time to ‘indulge’ him by petting him and holding the plate. He’ll eat it after I’ve gone, I thought. No, no he didn’t. When I came in around mid-day, his wet food was untouched. This is a cat that will climb over anyone and anything to get to his wet food usually. There was a much larger amount of the dry kibble in the bowl than usual. He was hungry and crying but not eating. I got him some fresh wet food, he put his head down, attempted to eat it but seemed to be unable to do so. He kept crying. I lifted the plate up a little bit and he tried again and again could not seem to be able to eat. He’d lick at it and then lift his head up really high. I raised the plate higher and only when it was up at standing head level was he able to eat — and boy did he wolf it down.

I got the bowl of water and held it up and he then drank like he’d never had water before. This was not some sort of play for attention, clearly. After a thorough exam, he seems to have paralysis in his neck and throat when his head is down, stemming from his spinal column. He and Puddin’ are now in the house. He’s in the master bathroom and Puddin’, despite being a tiny cat, is terrorizing the rest of the household. We’ve got a feeding station set up so that his food and water sit at a level where he can eat it. We have no idea what the heck has caused this. The vets don’t know. We do know that it has to be something in the environment out there — an airborne virus? Some sort of fungal infection from the dirt or mulch in the outside enclosure? Having two, young, healthy cats come down with mystery paralysis within a few weeks of each other is more than a coincidence, though…


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