Archive | January 2014

collards on the menu: garden update

Today I was able to get a bit of badly needed weeding done in the various garden plots (there are still 3 areas completely over-run that I’ve got to get to). The mint and oregano are doing great, the two parsley plants are HUGE. I was like, holy guacamole, I’ve grown some prehistoric parsley! I’ve lost the lettuce and spinach after that huge rainstorm we had a while back (they drowned) but the green onions are thick and lush. The collards have gotten really big and so tomorrow I’m going to harvest the bottom leaves off all the plants and have a nice serving of boiled collard greens for dinner tomorrow night.

I’m going to replant lettuce and the australian Malabar spinach (it is like a vine and not like a regular spinach plant and is very heat resistant) tomorrow if it doesn’t rain. I need to go through the seeds and see what I should be starting now for a March-April-May harvest.

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my luxury street cats are making yerida on a private jet

Wow how they have come up in the world!

In the next two weeks you will probably hear more than you ever wanted to about the Great Cat Transport from Bnei Brak to Austin, Texas. Provided, with everything I have to do, that I’ve got time to spit much less write. Here, in a nutshell is the deal:

In two weeks me, Ronen and 16 of my cats, along with the incredibly generous and wonderful woman (and her sweet little dog) who has offered us transport on the 15 person private jet she had chartered originally just for herself and her pooch, will be hitting the friendly skies. The cats will not be flying in cargo but actually on the plane, taking up the passenger seats we three are not in, the extra stewardess jump seats and a quiet one will even go in the pilot’s cabin.

We will fly first to Greenland to refuel and change pilots and then on to Scottsdale, Arizona. That is where the luxury part of the trip will end and a most likely hellish 17 hour road trip in a U Haul truck will begin.

I spent 5 hours today with Ronen ironing out the details and we still have the “getting from Arizona to Austin” part of the details to work out and a ton of stuff to do still.

Here is the sweetest part of it. When Ronen called me on Sunday to tell me a mystery elderly benefactress had offered to transport him to a conference, as she was also returning then, and she was willing to bring along my horde of cats. At first, he thought we might could bring 8 or 10 but after he talked to her again she was like, no, no bring them all!! Almost all will go — only 4 will still be here with me because of medical needs. Ronen and I have had about 40 rushed phone calls trying to work out details since then and I just got a vague “I talked to her about your cats and she said to bring them along.” BUT until just two hours ago I had no idea who this mystery benefactress was.

I was like, so Ronen, who is this wonderful woman and how did all this unfold? Well, she knows you, he said. She WHAT? I know her? Who is she?!

This is how it all went down. She is a client of his and when he mentioned in passing that he was going to a conference in Las Vegas soon she said her return date was close to when he would be traveling and offered to take him most of the way on the private jet she had hired. He asked, in passing, how much it costs to rent a private jet and said he was asking for a rescuer he has known for a decade who is trying to figure out how to transport her horde of kitties to the States and that maybe renting a private plane would be a less expensive option than what we’ve currently come up with. (For the record, no renting a private jet is not cheaper. Think $200,000 one way). She wanted to know more about the rescuer. So he told her how I had basically fed the cats of north Tel Aviv for years until I moved to Bnei Brak and had personally paid for several hundred to be spayed and neutered and others to be vetted when in need.

Where in North Tel Aviv?, she wanted to know. Well Dizengoff, Yermiyahu….Does she have long blond hair? Ahh yes, she does. You don’t mean Yaeli do you? You know her? Yep we used to talk a lot of evenings when she was out with her dog and I was out feeding the critters. Then on the bus ride home I realized that hey, I was the one who suggested she take her dog to Ronen because he is the best vet ever. What comes around, goes around and in this case was came around is an incredibly generous and wonderful gift for these 16 little cats!!

4 kitties scheduled to be spayed!

On Saturday night I’ve got to get all four of the little girls needing to be spayed into carriers so that Sharon can pick them up at 7 am on Sunday for transport to Ronen. After they have been spayed, vaccinated, and chipped, she will bring them back to me. I’m going to pay her 200 sheks for the transport and that is a major deal because she is taking them all at once. If I took them one by one with a cab it would be close to 100 sheks round trip per kitty and I’d have hours of waiting time on that end. Ronen used to do pick up and delivery for free but he doesn’t have a car any longer (I seriously disapprove of his new motorcycle but with the cost of paying for parking in Tel Aviv I definitely understand his going car-less).

Enter the Iron Beam Laser defense in Israel. Yalla

All those annoying, not to mention deadly, qassams and other short range rockets (like shoulder held rocket launchers) that Hamas (and Hezbollah) are so fond of firing but that are in the air for too short a time to be taken out by the Iron Dome missile defense system are about to meet their airborne eradication. The Iron Beam has been developed to stop just those pesky kabooms. We’ve got excellent long-range missile defenses with three different systems in place. The Iron Dome was developed to take out the mid-range missiles and works at just above 80% in taking them out. Now, there is an answer to the sprinters of the missile world. Unlike the previous short-range rocket defense system that was in development and then abandoned, the Iron Beam can function in cloudy and rainy weather and it can take out multiple targets at once. That is important because the terrorists often fire not just one but a whole barrage of short-range rockets simultaneously and a single laser beam unit can detect and target multiple simultaneous incoming. This fifth layer of missile defense will premiere in February at an air show in Singapore and is expected to be on the ground and in use not long after.

Arkansas win hints things may be bad for Dems in 2014 mid-terms

There was a special election for the Arkansas state senate this week and the winner was a Republican. Why does this look bad for Dems in the mid-term elections? A Republican has not been elected in that county since the 1870s. Yes eighteen-seventies. Obamacare played a big role in the election but here’s a heads up for Dems running on an anti-Obamacare campaign line: Both the Dem and the Rep candidates came out strongly against Obamacare. The Dem candidate outspent the Republican candidate by 3 to 1 on advertising. The election wasn’t even close, with the Republican walking away with nearly 60% of the votes. I imagine some cold chills are running up and down the spine of a lot of Dem candidates and the Dem party as a whole as a result.

unwelcome blast from the past: the crazy realtor from 7 years ago is suing me

I have got to get in touch with the lawyer I retained so far back that I can’t remember his damn name when the real estate agency went criminal and nuts on me. I just received notification that I have to appear before a judge in March because they are suing me.