Archive | June 2013

getting there to getting there

Progress report. Got the health certificate signed. I’m very glad I tutored all those hours because the cab ride there and back cost a solid four hours worth. It wasn’t in Rechovot it was in Kanut in this huge industrial park and my cab driver drove us around in there for forever trying to find it, even though I’d gotten base directions. The vet was a real James Herriot though and his secretaries were so incredibly nice — they were the ones who called and begged in to come in especially for me in my dire situation and when I got there I had to wait because he was in the shower: He’d just come in from working with a bunch of cows and goats out in the fields and had been out there since 3 this morning. He was also really kind as when he heard his secretaries saying that since I didn’t have a car (the only way to reach the place as no trains or buses go remotely near it) I’d had to take a cab he was like, yo I’m not charging you the 39 shek fee! Fly that little cat to its new good home with all blessings. He was also impressed that I have 18 rescues — he’s got 5 cats and 3 dogs, all rescues.

Once back I picked up some ozniots so I can listen to my ipod on the plane. Ipod is now charged and ready to go. I didn’t get to the bank and hope at the airport I can take out about 2k shekels to convert to dollars in case they demand payment for the cat in cash — some airlines do.

Still to go: start packing, clean all litterboxes and carry the used bags to the trash, wash the dishes and clean the kitchen counter, do two loads of clothes (some of which I think I need for taking with me but all of which need to be cleaned or they will be mildewed by the time I get back), finish the exam I have to send tonight and that I proctor on the day after I get back, feed the outside cats and water the garden, clean the bathroom and shower, feed the inside cats, corral the fly-girl into her carrier and pack food, extra diaper squares and a blankie for her (after checking out if the cloth sherpa bag is still functional — g-d I hope so as the small hard carrier means I have to pack her stuff in with my onboard stuff and will have no leg room even remotely for the duration). I think that is it, I might be forgetting a thing or two. Nu, I’ll probably forget a thing or two.

Looking forward to eating something (anything) tex mex that is slathered in cheddar cheese. Actually, I might request an entire block of hard cheese just to eat like an apple. Think about it though: hard yellow cheese –it has been nearly 10 years!!!!

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thank g-d and going on the warpath when I return

I’ve been on the phone since 8 am trying to get the cat sorted. I finally found someone who told me I need my vet to print out a special form for the U.S. and Russia to fill out — essentially it says the cat is in good health and gives the date and rabies vaccine number, the age, colour, breed, he or she signs it. BUT then you still have to get one of the state vets to simply sign the paper saying yeah we see the vet has signed the paper. They don’t need to see the cat. It is like getting the damn thing notarized even though it is not signed in their presence. In other words, it has no use other than their getting money. They only work 2 hours out of the day and only a few days in the week. Thank g-d, after I dissolved into hysterical tears a few minutes ago, one of the vets is willing to come into the office in Rehovot today at 3:30. I will be there with form in hand. I am going to leave in a few minutes to take Little Mouse into Ronen’s clinic for his shot and to board him and will take a taxi from there to the place in Rehovot to get the vet’s signature.

When I get back, I am going to write letters to every single Knesset member screaming about this and see if I can get the other rescue services and vets onboard so that all you need is your private vet’s affirmation and information. There is NO NEED for the damn “Official” Vet. Who died and made them G-d?

down to the trip wire (pun) and maybe no admission

So my flight leaves on Thursday morning at the crack of dawn and Yafah and I will need to transfer to two further flights (with layover times at each) for a total of 23 hours traveling. If we get on the plane(s). I spent hours yesterday and today trying to get the cat good to go and still have not resolved things. I’ve got her booked on the flight from NY to Austin but, since my phone doesn’t do international calls — not even international 800 number calls, I can’t reach the European carrier to book the two flights it takes to get to NY for her.

Then getting her health certificate is proving to be a nightmare. I went to the Beit Dagan this morning and was told that the official vet is on vacation and they otherwise only do the blood-work there needed for cats heading to European destinations. I got the number of another state vet (I didn’t know there was more than one and it turns out there are four, each in a different city). When they gave me the number, I thought it was the only other alternative. I schlepped Yafah back home and called — no answer. Left a message. Kept trying that number every 15 minutes for several hours. I finally called the Beit Dagan back and they gave me another number – aha, there is another one! No answer on his phone either. Left a message. Waited a bit and called the first number, then the second and then the B.D. again. Finally state vet #4. No answer. I have to try them all again in the morning.

I may not need the health certificate though. The U.S. only requires I bring along her proof of having her rabies vaccine. The problem may be the airline. Some airlines require an international health certificate even if the country they are flying to does not.

So, if I can’t get one tomorrow she and I will arrive at the airport for the flight and hope they will let us depart. Otherwise, we’ll be coming on back home.

At ten tonight the pet sitter will come to get the keys and see the various food and water set-ups and regulations (the big ole troughs for the majority of the kitties, how to unlatch Tovi’s room to feed her in her mini troughs, and the spot to feed the little black cat and various friends out in the garden).

I harvested 9 tomatoes, some lettuce, a cucumber, 2 green bell peppers, and 17 red hot chili peppers today! The neighbour who is watering the garden for me on Friday selected one of the bell peppers and a couple of the hot peppers for their dinner tonight. I’m going to be chowing down on a very big salad. Not sure if that will happen before or after the pet sitter comes as I’ve still so much to do it makes me crazy just thinking about it.

Daylight!!!!!!!!

Finally the government passes a law that helps us rather than hurts the average person. Daylight savings time will extend this year (and it seems every year!) until the end of October! We’ve got so much sun in this country that I don’t see the point of having daylight savings time ever but I’ll take having that extra hour of sunlight through the end of October any day of the week over shutting down the sun as early as early September. My garden will be happy.

My garden is not happy right now. Well, parts of it are but, because I’ve been so busy, I didn’t get out to water it on Friday when I got home from tutoring or yesterday (and I tutored again last night until midnight). Today two of the four cucumber plants were totally dead and the other two on the doorstep. They suffer if you water them only once a day in this heat and to go two days without was a killer diller. The rest of the garden managed and was seriously appreciative when I arrived with the watering can. Since I’m going to try to book a flight to Texas for Thursday, I’m planning on arriving back and needing to start from scratch on somewhere between 70-90% of the plants. They obviously won’t survive the watering hiatus. My neighbours next door have said they will water the tomatoes in the back on Friday morning for me but I can’t ask them to traipse around the yard looking for all the hidden gems I’ve tucked here, there and everywhere –and I’m not going to hold my breath that they’ll even remember to water that main tomato patch.

I got Yafah to the vet today for her rabies shot and will take her to the Beit Dagan tomorrow morning to get papers allowing her to leave the country. I tutored for an hour and met with non-paying students for six hours today and have another 8 hours of meetings scheduled tomorrow in the afernoon and evening. My apartment looks like a bomb has gone off in it and after I eat something I’ve got to at least tackle a bit of needed cleaning and then start grading on the 162 5-page papers for one of my classes. If I can keep awake that long.

twas a working birthday but maybe the best birthday ever

I got home a little after midnight last night after sitting for 9 hours straight with various students (one of whom is not one of ‘mine’ but one from another department that I’m tutoring and so got paid for my time so that was all good). I’ve been going nearly out of my mind trying to get everything done that must be done in order for me to fly stateside for two days at the end of this coming week and still have a list of stuff to do that is a mile and a half long. I won’t even know until Sunday night if I’ll be able to make the trip. BUT the email from my Ema I opened yesterday made it possibly the best birthday ever.

You know, my Ema was diagnosed a couple of years ago with two different forms of lymphoma, one of which could be treated and eradicated with chemo and radiation but the other has no cure or effective treatment and is a killer but more slow-growing than the one that can be treated, but only giving a max of like 5 years survival time. She went through a round of hell with chemo and radiation that damn near killed her (no exaggeration). Then a few months ago, she was told the chemo wasn’t effective, that the treatable cancer was even more advanced (stage IV and not stage III) than they initially thought and they set her up with a battery of tests at a cancer specialist hospital in Houston.

Well. The test results Andersen did are saying now that she doesn’t have cancer. Of any kind. They’ve done a biopsy but may need to remove a full lymph node for further testing. They know she has something that does major attacks on her immune system but don’t know what it is other than the results show it isn’t cancer — or anything else commonly known. There are several system-attacking viruses that can get deep in your system and recur (become activated) again and again while going dormant in-between and, it seems, some other possible things that she may have that are pretty rare and don’t show up on standard tests.

I’m pulling out bells and whistles and doing backflips but not lighting up the whole fireworks store just yet. She has been misdiagnosed and misdiagnosed so many times. Whatever their final test results show we are going to take her to either the Mayo clinic or another clinic that specializes in lymphoma in Colorado for additional testing for a new set of ‘second opinions’ and I want to bring her here for an intensive battery of tests with every specialist in just about everything we’ve got here. I trust our doctors (after getting a second opinion) but the U.S. medical system — not so much. Not at all anymore.

Today, though, I’m celebrating. If these latest test results are accurate then this will be the best birthday I’ve ever had in my life.

IRS gives special scrutiny to pro-Israel groups because Israel is such a hotbed of terrorism

Groups with actual and proven ties to terrorism, like unindicted co-conspirators CAIR and the ISN, have no problem getting 501C status and even getting invited to help the Pentagon define what language is acceptable to use for identifying terrorist threats but being pro-Israel — you know, a country that is supposed to be the U.S.’s closest ally and that has had exactly one group remotely associated with terrorism in the last 60 years (Meir Kahane’s tiny group way back when and it was considered a terrorist organization here as well)– well wow that is a serious danger.

Eliana Johnson of National Review Online reports that Cincinnati-based IRS agent Gary Muthert told the House Oversight Committee that the IRS does, in fact, subject Jewish and pro-Israel tax-exempt groups to higher scrutiny–by sending their applications to a special IRS unit that investigates them for ties to terrorism. Read more