Archive | May 2013

Garden pics while the instillator does the plumbing fix

So let’s start out with a big over-view picture of the back garden for orientation purposes and then get up close and personal with some of the little plants. In the picture below you can see the kind of soil (aka cement masquerading as sand) I started out with in the garden last summer. Yeah that hard-packed stuff with scrubby weeds growing on it. To the right, in front of the big bush, are three tomato plants and the sweet pepper plant. Next to the big bush are the three nice pots my neighbours gifted me and that I plan to nest an aubergine (eggplant) plant into each, perhaps along with a flower. Hidden behind the big bush, are three more tomato plants. Off to the left in the garden are the yellow onions my Ema sent, lots of little newly started from seed plants, three more tomato plants and the others we’ll take a closer look at. Out of frame on the left, along the fence, I’ve got two tomato plants and plan to put a combination of okra and more cucumbers.

Here’s a closer pic of the main back garden area. I said above that there are three tomato plants behind the big bush but in truth there are four. If you look to the right, behind the front edging of flowers, you can see one of the sturdy volunteers. I’d planned to move it…somewhere… but then saw it was flowering this morning and so I promised it that it could stay. The flowers are going like gangbusters and I’ve still got one more marigold I need to find a home for. Between the flowers and the tomato volunteer, you can see two of the new eggplant seedlings. Compare them, in the ground for only a week, to the eggplant seedlings in the little pots at the front (left) — they were planted all at the same time. Being in the ground makes for happy aubergine plants. The thyme (just behind the flowers on the left) is seriously bushing out.

If you are bored, try to see how many peppers you can spot on this plant (hint there are 11 — I think, everytime I get down and squint at it in person, I discover more that I hadn’t seen before);

Another morning surprise — there is a big ole cucumber ready for harvesting! I plan to leave it another day, however, since I’ve still got the free cucumbers coming out of my ears. In another week, I’ll have a nice garden batch to share with the neighbours. Not shown in any of these pictures are another 9 tomato plants scattered about the yard, the herbs, roses, etc.

Ahh, the gardener’s easel. This is a patch that I dug up last weekend in the front yard. It is in shade in the morning (as seen here) but gets good afternoon sun from around 2 or so on. I plan to put some okra and a couple of eggplants here. 100_0055

This is also in the front (yeah, trash thrown over the wall, there). I plan to dig this up and also put okra and perhaps some susans here. It gets good afternoon sunlight and very early morning sunlight. 100_0057

AND the instillator just left and assures me that I can shower without fear of re-creating Noah’s flood. He was utterly charmed by Batya and Little Mouse. I guess it is a testament to my good, under the conditions, housekeeping that he was floored when I told him I had 18 in here. He saw Tzofia limping along on her three legs and wanted to know her story and when I told him about Batya being thrown out of a moving car in Beer Sheva as a tiny kitten and how I bought a backpack to carry her home on the train, he got really choked up and literally was wiping at tears. He has a dog and would like a cat but doesn’t think the dog would be on board with that. He is going to ask around to fellow animal loving friends and see if any would like to adopt from my brood. Cross fingers!

There are a few more new garden pictures over on the photostream for anyone interested. Of the three pics currently on my blog’s flickr photostream, the first one is of the kudzu-like plant with the pretty morning flowers. I love the flowers, I just wish the plant didn’t try to take over the entire yard…


nice cool morning

I really feel rested today and well I should. The instillator never came yesterday, finally calling just before six to say that the job he was on was taking longer than he expected and he wouldn’t be able to get to me. So I’m about to call another one. I got a lot of grading done yesterday though while waiting on him and a couple of loads of laundry done. Then I watered the garden, fixed a light repast, considting largely of cucumbers (heh), and crashed out. I got eleven hours of sleep! It is the first time since last Sunday morning that I don’t feel falling over tired.

It is nice and cool this morning too and so the walk over to the little post office was very pleasant and I collected a package from my bro and a big bottle of thousand island salad dressing (love that stuff, I could eat it with a spoon) at the little store next to the post office. I’m about to pop down and harvest all the lettuce –hence the need for a big bottle of dressing –and take a picture of the garden to put up.

British-born Muslim compares KKK rallies in US to anti-Israel protests

In the recent Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism held this week in Jerusalem, Palestinian Media Watch director, Itamar Marcus and Dr. Boaz Ganor organized a panel discussion with Muslim activists actively rejecting hate rhetoric. Two of the panel speakers included Kasim Hafeez, a British Muslim who runs The Israel Campaign and Rev. Majed El Shafie, a human rights advocate originally from Egypt.

From Ynet:

“When people say that anti-Semitism exists in the Muslim world because of Israel, that is simply an excuse,” says Kasim Hafeez, born in Britain to a Pakistani Muslim family.

“People here (in Israel) get Islamic anti-Semitism. In Europe, we deny it,” Hafeez expounded.

“As a university student, I would attend radical anti-Israel rallies in Trafalgar Square. Here I am standing in London in the middle of a European capital – chanting ‘death to Israel’ and nothing was ever done.”

He compares those rallies with the Ku Klux Klan. “An Al-Quds Day rally in London is equivalent to a KKK rally in the US,” he stressed.

Hafeez told Tazpit News Agency that he began to change his thinking when he read A Case for Israel, by Alan Dershowitz. Hafeez explains that he read the book in order to learn how to further deconstruct Zionist propaganda. “But I began to see that I could no longer support my convictions because I had no answers to the arguments that were made for Israel,” he explains.

“I found that the radical Islamic doctrine that I grew up with and my own belief in violent jihad could no longer support the truth I once believed in.”

That realization prompted Hafeez to visit Israel. “I kind of hoped that the visit to Israel would be a negative experience, that it would enable me to go back to my former beliefs,” he told Tazpit News Agency.

But the visit was eye-opening for Hafeez, who says he fell in love with Israel during his first trip. “It’s hard not to support Israel,” says the soft-spoken Hafeez, who recently participated in the Jerusalem Marathon. “I encountered Israelis who weren’t anti-Arab, or anti-Islam and saw that this wasn’t some apartheid state.”

However, coming out in support of Israel hasn’t been easy. Hafeez has become isolated from his friends. “It’s a lot of hassle – it really disrupts your life when you become vocal and open about your support for the Jewish state.”

“What people don’t understand, is that it doesn’t matter if you bend over backwards for radical Islamists. If you are Jewish, they will hate you no matter what,” Hafeez said.

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an exhausting week

I’m still waiting to find out when my last make-up class will be scheduled. Our gazillion spring holidays managed to almost all fall on the days my classes are scheduled and so, of course, we need to have those classes tacked on at the end of the semester in June. It is putting a spanner in the works of my trying to make travel plans as I really am hoping to fly to the U.S. to see my niece for the very first time (she’s a year and a half old!) when they are there on visit.

Today I’ve got to get an instillator (plumber/handyman) to come in and unclog the main bathroom drain. This is the scupper drain that you use to scupper the water (and massive amounts of cat hair) down when you clean the floors but also the drain for the bathtub (and massive amounts of my hair). Unfortunately, the cats also like to scupper their toys down it. I took a shower at the crack of dawn on Tuesday morning, a nice long and relaxing one, and got out to the most unrelaxing experience possible — half an inch of water all through the living room, into the bedroom, into the kitchen! I had to leave for work with a ton of water still standing on my floors and when I got home from work at 10 on Tuesday night, it was still standing there and it took me hours to get it dried out. I can see a variety of toys (and loads of cat hair) lodged down the drain but can’t reach them. Both the cover and the drain strainer are useless because one of the cats’ favourite games is to pry them off and out and then knock their toys in. Yeah they are minature golf fanatics. I keep the door shut but Puddin’ has figured out how to jump up and hit the handle to open it and so in they go. I don’t understand the fascination with the damn thing. I’ve got to get someone in with a snake to clean it out.

More updates later.

you know you live in a warzone when…

…the air raid sirens suddenly start blaring really, really loudly (one is located across the street from me in my neighbourhood), you are out digging a little bed to nest some okra seeds into and don’t pause but rather casually glance around. No one is going for cover. Still, because you are social psychology steeped, you know this is not a good sign to go by as they may also be looking around to see what other folks are doing and, in situations of uncertainty, people tend to take their cues for how to act from those around them. It is a problem when everyone is doing that because then no one acts when they need to be acting. Still, air raid siren or no air raid siren, you still really want to get this bed dug and so you keep on digging. You see the little family from the floor above come flying down the stairs with little ones in tow and into the deathtrap we call a shelter in our building. Finally, a soldier strolls by and you call out, “Test?” Yep. Back to digging, nothing to see here.

Memorial Day: Remembering Margaret Corbin, 1776

Here’s a female heroine to remember. I remember reading just a couple of sentences about her when I was in the third grade and wishing there was a book about her like the ones I checked out over and over again from the library about Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Jean Lafitte (the pirate), and even fiction books like Across Five Aprils.

Margaret (née Cochran) Corbin (November 12, 1751 – January 16, 1800) was a woman who fought in the American Revolutionary War. On November 16, 1776, she and her husband, John Corbin, both from Philadelphia, along with some 600 American soldiers, were defending Fort Washington in northern Manhattan from 4,000 attacking Hessian troops under British command. John and Margaret crewed one of two cannons the defenders possessed. When her husband fell, Margaret took his place at his cannon and continued firing until she, herself, was seriously wounded. She later became the first woman in U.S. history to receive a pension from Congress for military service.

fat fat the water rat (make that the minx)

Ok, so I decided I simply could not continue to garden in this heat in skirts down to my ankles (or skirts of any description). I pulled out my shorts from storage and discovered… I can only get into one pair of them. Yeah, the hormones fiasco causes you to put on weight around the middle (ya look like you might be in the early stages of pregnancy even though you are most defintely not) and even though you are eating far less to avoid going comatose several times a day. I am up to 117 pounds, people and I weighed my nice, normal for me 92 pounds when I moved here in 2005! I couldn’t even get them zipped laying down, not even the hand-me-down shorts that just a couple of years ago were too big to wear without a belt and that I used only for painting. The belts don’t even fit anymore. I’ve got one pair of shorts that still fits and they are on their last, eh legs. It is a little plaid number with an elastic waist band that my Ema bought me back in 1990 from Lands End or LL Bean. I used to belt them too. She actually got me two pairs of them but the more ‘goes with things’ blue-based one wore out (utterly disintegrated when two tiny kittens tried to climb up them) several years ago. I’ve got to find someplace that sells shorts. I’m assuming a trip to Tel Aviv is in order…