Archive | November 2012

free food is great but eh what to do with gargantuan beets :)

I really love the folks at my little corner store. They’ve been quite interested in my gardening endeavour and often save seriously dead veggies for me to put into the compost pile on fridays. Today I popped in to pick up some Fanta orange soda — they’ve got a sale on for buy one get one free so I got four of them. When I got to the register the guy picked up two bags and handed them over. There was a little bag of seriously dead veggies for the compost pile. In the other, he said, were things that wouldn’t be very nice to sell by Sunday when they re-open but were still perfectly nice today and they thought I might make good use of them. Well, yeah. It was a seriously big bag. When I got home, I found 3 eggplants, 4 potatoes, a whole pile of teeny tiny carrots, and three beets the size of softballs. At least, I think they are beets.

What to do with beets? All I can think of is making borscht. I’ve never made it from scratch before. I’ve actually never made anything with a beet before.


they tried to steal our TREE

A couple of days ago I went out to put some coffee grounds on the compost pile and I noticed that one of our trees had fallen over. Since my veggie garden is on the other side of the building, I only really go over to that side of the yard when putting something in the compost pits (which are on that side) or when I am doing my weekly fill several large garbage bags with trash people have thrown into our yard clean-up. It was raining and so I didn’t go over to check out the tree. I thought that since it has been raining a lot of late that maybe the more pliable soil couldn’t support the weight of the tree, which is bushy, but also several feet taller than me. Hmmm, like nearly 5 feet taller than me so pretty much double my height.

Since it was a beautiful morning today, I went out to do a bit of garden work. I’m slowly expanding the little corner plot and I had a 2×2 foot space in my scope. I’m digging down a foot deep with the trowel, removing all the rocks as I go with the idea that I might have enough of them to make a rock garden in a corner front area for herbs that like rocky spots. I dug out enough rocks to fill one of those small bathroom trashcans just in the 2×2 space so I think that yeah, a rock garden is in our future. I’m also taking out all the soil as I go, shifting the top soil from the second 1×1 space into the bottom (down a foot) of the first space I dig out, then layering in a quarter inch of used coffee grounds at the 6 inch depth mark and filling the rest back up with the bottom “soil” (aka sand) from that seccond square. The soil that I dug out of the first square goes into the final (4th) square in a similar fashion. It is as close as I can get to the bio-intensive method. Then I’ll be augmenting that top 6 inches of sand with nice compost that I’ve made. I was able to put half a bucket (aka the little bathroom trashcan) into the 2×2 space this morning. By Sunday, the rest of that pile should have çured enough, is probably already cured enough but I’m being cautious, to add into the mix there. It is going to take another 2 piles worth of compost though before that soil is worth much.

I was feeling very self-satisfied with my morning work and decided to go over and see about setting that tree to rights. The tree is not set to rights. The tree is laying on the ground again with half its roots sticking up. When I managed to get it upright it was immediately clear that it did not fall over because of wet dirt from the rain. There were clear shovel marks all around it. Worse, you could see that the shovel had cut through some of the strong extending roots. I tried tamping the dirt around the roots but the tree just kept falling over. I went and found some larger rocks and tried to prop the tree up with them, after again stepping all around the base to pack the soil down. TIMBER!!! If I had a shovel myself, I might could save the tree. I’d dig a nice deep hole away from the garden wall the thieves clearly jumped over and next to where the tree is growing, dig it up and replant it. I dearly want a shovel.

Only then did I realize that about a quarter of our other nice plants on that side of the yard were…missing.

I’m seriously pissed off. I also am really starting to wonder why OUR yard is being targeted and targeted again and again and again. Our yard is no easier to access than the yards of the two apartment buildings on either side of us. Our yard doesn’t have anything growing in it that is more special than what they’ve got growing — in fact, what we’ve got in our yard is pretty indistinguishable from what they’ve got in theirs with the same basic plants and nearly identical plant layouts. If anything, the yard of the building on our left is several degrees nicer than our yard and has more variety. Only our yard is getting ransacked, however.

Florida Imam murdered, assassinated people for Jihad

Orange County USA imam killed people (a lot of people), took hostages, and planned overseas attacks on US bases. Hats off to Vlad Tepes for bringing the local news report into wider attention– for some reason I’ve not seen anything about this in the larger mainstream media. Hmmm wonder why. Honestly, you have to wonder also why this guy was footloose and fancy free to continue his Jihadi activities in the U.S. for so long, as well.

terrorism runs in the family it seems

From Ynet: The Tayibe resident arrested on suspicion of placing a bomb on a bus in Tel Aviv last week is a member of the extended family of Palestinian female terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, Ynet has learned.

In 1978, Mughrabi led a terrorist cell that carried out the Coastal Road massacre which killed 35 Israelis. Mughrabi herself was killed in a fire exchange and emerged as a national Palestinian hero.

A small car accident

I’m fine, just extremely sore and getting more sore as the day goes on. I decided to allow myself the luxury of going to work this morning by cab rather than doing the leave the house before 6 a.m. thing. Leaving the house at 8 is seriously worth a 70 shek splurge on occasion. As fate would have it, however, I should have taken the bus.

It was the cab driver’s fault. He clipped a car when he swerved around a car that had decided to stop in the lane in front of us to attempt to parallel park. The slam-on-the-breaks response to clipping the car caused the car behind us to slam into us. I was wearing my seatbelt but the jolt forward into the arm I’d instinctively braced on the dash has caused a tendon/muscle injury in my right shoulder. My neck muscles don’t feel so hot either but it is really the arm that is making me not a very happy camper. It hurts to lift it. By this afternoon, it hurt to unscrew the cap on my orange juice bottle and I needed to ask a student to open my beverage. I’m expecting it will probably be even more sore tomorrow as that is how these things tend to go.

If you were stuck in traffic hell on Bialik this morning, yeah it my cabbie’s fault. I was nearly 40 minutes late to teaching my class. I left my umbrella in the cab I removed to and so got quite wet today. All in all, not the best day.

Tomorrow will be baking day

I discovered late this afternoon that my eggs are about to go off. Actually, the use-by date is today but I’m figuring they should be ok for another 24 hours if they are used in baking. So tomorrow morning I’ll do a major counter cleaning and whip up a batch of southern jalapeno cornbread (using peppers from my own garden!), a batch of sweet cornbread, zucchini muffins and… I need to find a recipe that doesn’t require flour (as I’ve only enough for those 3 recipes) but that needs 3 more eggs and the contents of whatever I’ve got in my cupboard.

If I’d realized the eggs were about to be toast, so to speak, Í’d have picked up some more today when I was at the store. I did pick up 3 cans of pickles, 3 cans of green olives, and 3 cans of black olives. Usually, a can of each costs between 7-9 sheks but they had a special of 3 cans for 12 sheks (essentially half price). I’d have grabbed more of the pickle cans (and they are ones with extra in them) if I could have carried them, but the huge cabbage head (on sale for 1 shek!) was quite heavy and I had the 4 big bottles of (on sale) water. Hmm, I probably wouldn’t have gotten more eggs, I couldn’t even manage to add in a loaf of bread to my load.

Ceasefire causes Bibi’s party to drop like a stone in backing

A new Israeli poll released this morning, and conducted following the cease-fire with Hamas, announced yesterday after 8 days of fighting, shows a significant drop in public support for Israeli Prime Minister Netanayhu.

The poll which was commissioned by Israel’s Knesset website and conducted by the Panels Institute shows Netanyahu’s joint list with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, named Likud-Beiteinu dropping significantly from a current 42 seats combined to 33 seats.

Strong gains on Israel’s right were marked by the Jewish Home party headed by former Netanyahu Chief of Staff Naftali Bennett which rose from 11 to 13 seats, and the Power to Israel party of Michael Ben-Ari and Aryeh Eldad, now projected to win 4 seats. The Orthodox Shas party remained static in the poll with 10 mandates.

Meretz and United Torah Judaism both came in with 6 seats. Israel’s Labor party gained two seats from a previous poll rising to 22 seats, and the Yesh Atid party of former Journalist Yair Lapid dropped from 13 seats to 11.

According to Israeli website Walla, a Likud mister who did not wish to be named said that the, “public response is very, very difficult. We do not remember such a magnitude of an enraged response. People call and say: this time we will not vote Likud.”

Another minister is quoted as saying that a reserve soldier said: “A week ago all of my battalion were Likudniks. Now, if you think anyone would vote Likud You’re kidding yourself.”