A very long over-due update

Sorry guys for the radio silence for so many months. I’ve been putting in 60-80 hour weeks and haven’t had time to spit after taking care of the animals and the garden. I’m going to do a quick round-up of where I am, plans, the cats, and the garden.

The cats:
We’ve been dealing with a real mystery illness or illnesses. I posted about some of the issues here and it is still unclear if they are related (Flora and Gingi with the mystery paralysis), 7 cats (two of whom we lost to it, Maddy and Emily) suffering from this strange upper respiratory illness that goes away and then comes back with a vengeance. I haven’t written about our Batya who came very close to being put to sleep after getting a diagnosis of having an extremely aggressive form of cancer — she’d developed a slight limp that not only didn’t get better but very rapidly over a week’s time became crippling and had her in terrible pain. Luckily, when the vet said to take the weekend to do a bucket list for her and bring her in on the next Monday to be put to sleep, I went online and found that there are some fungal and bacterial infections that can mimic the particular kind of cancer they thought she had and we went back the next day and said, hey, let’s try treating for both of these just in case….well, 3 months (and about a thousand dollars) later she is running about like nothing was ever wrong. It definitely wasn’t cancer, but what it was we still don’t know — either fungal or bacterial but which? You can read more about the current kitty travails with the mystery illness Click Here: or go to http://darasanctuary.com/blog/index.php?/archives/2-A-DARA-cat-update-Tracking-a-mystery-illness.html

Someone has also been dumping cats on us. We know it has to be another rescuer because the critters (showing up on our front porch in multiples) have all been spayed or neutered. One of them, arriving healthy, has already gotten this mystery illness. Thankfully, his brother (whom I rather aptly named Lucky as it turns out) is showing no signs of it, but Liberty has been quite sick with it.

The garden:
This morning we had a rather unsettling and upsetting discovery. When I woke up this morning my Ema asked if I had moved stuff around on the front porch. I was like…nooooooo. The welcome mat was moved out of place, several pot plants had been taken out of the pretty little iron plant-holder and were sitting on the small marble table, and the top of the plant holder itself had been removed and was sitting on the porch floor. It looked like someone had been looking to see if a house key had been hidden under the plants or mat. Then I looked out at our front garden box and was like….what the….!!! Someone had ripped out and taken one of the Tomatillo plants (too bad for them, you need at least 2 plants to get fruit), and 4 of our pepper plants, that had all been laden with fruit. Despite the theft, the garden is doing so much better this year. I’ve got a garden page showing just how much we’ve managed to save so far this year by growing our own food and the challenge I’ve taken on of trying to produce $1500 worth of organic food from our small 70 square foot garden space: You can check it out Click Here: http://garden.darasanctuary.com/

Where I am:
Obviously, still in Austin 🙂 But what I really mean by this, is where I am in my coding journey. I’m going full stack rather than just front-end as far as development (more challenging and thus more fun, as well as more employable 🙂 I’ve got my first responsive app built — I will be adding more veggies to it once I’ve gotten the research on them fully nailed down, along with more information and bells and whistles but it is up and functional. I’d love any critiques/comments/complaints/suggestions about it from folks here. You can check it out out Click Here (or go to: http://www.darasanctuary.com/bountiful_harvest_calculator.html). It was coded up using just Bootstrap and Javascript. I’m nearly done with a second app using Angular.js, Javascript and jQuery. I’ve still got more work to do on the DARA site — several pages unfinished, a couple needing to be changed/updated in light of new arrivals and some kitties we have lost.

I’ve got the web specialist certificate for front end development under my belt. This summer I am taking 8 courses covering Java, Angular, MongoDB, Node and Bower, Sass and Less, Scala and Big Data, React, and brushing up on my PHP and MySql. The courses just started yesterday, hence my bit of breathing space to update the blog 🙂 I may not be able to breathe after today 🙂

Succinctly, to come back home. I’m scouring the job market in Israel. I’ve got some applications in but the reality is that I need to have a better grasp on Angular, Node, and MongoDB at the least, not only to secure a job but one that will be exciting and fulfilling for me (and I am really falling in love with Java!)


9 responses to “A very long over-due update”

  1. Omer Zak says :

    Took me several days to notice that your blog did not die, after all, and to disprove any hunches I had about your being in a secret mission requiring assumption of a different identity.

    Given that you feel good about Java, I would recommend that you learn something about Android development. To use your newly-acquired HTML/CSS/JavaScript skills, practice using Cordova/PhoneGap.

    For actual work, master also git, if you didn’t already do so.

    At least in Israel, there is quite healthy demand for Android developers. At any case, my Android skills are what made all those goodlooking HR headhunter (head temptress?) women court me in LinkedIn during the last several months.

    • israeliminx says :


      Lol, sadly I’ve not been recruited by the Mossad to undertake any secret missions 🙂

      Wonderful and much appreciated advice! I’m checking out Cordova in another tab as we speak (or rather as I type this).

      Any suggestions on good resources for Angular — I’m really breaking my head (and my code!) on several portions of the jQuery/Javascript/Angular app I’m working on and feel like I’m drowning trying to go through the official angular documentation. Also, any resources on MongoDB that you’ve found useful would be so appreciated 🙂

      Well now, give an update on how you are and what you are doing!

  2. dumbledoresarmy says :

    Just looked in on spec and wow! so nice to know you’re well and that it’s just that you’ve been busy. Wishing you all the best.

    • israeliminx says :

      Dumbledoresarmy so good to hear from you!! How are things going with you?

      • dumbledoresarmy says :

        My family and I are okay. Though my dad is not; 80 years old and he has metastasized prostate cancer, with a fairly bleak prognosis. (Speaking of parents with illness – how is your mum doing?). Speaking much more generally: we aussies had our federal election on 2 July and the votes are *still* being counted, with no clear winner yet visible.

        • israeliminx says :

          Dumbledoresarmy — Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear your Dad is not doing well 😦 How are they treating the cancer? There was some news that came out just this month on several new treatments, outside of chemo, that seem to do an even better job at treating it and I will try to find those links for you. My Ema is hanging in there 🙂

          • dumbledoresarmy says :

            Good to hear your news about your Ema. Yes, by all means pass on the info about new prostate cancer treatments; there may well be other readers like myself with fathers – or husbands – or grandfathers in similar predicament, who would like to know. The medics originally picked up the tumour late in 2013 and he had radiotherapy and hormone treatment – I think they ruled out chemo because of his age and/ or the type of tumour. He didn’t let on to most of his grown children that he *had* cancer; certainly I didn’t find out till early this year when he was hospitalised after a bone fracture. He had a type of tumour that the PSA levels don’t accurately track so the thing was spreading ‘under the radar’ – his PSAs were lower than they should have been for the amount of spread – and had got away on him – into the bones, which substantially affects mobility – before the doctors realized. It’s all very distressing for the family but most are rallying round and the religious members of the family are praying hard. At my request a dear friend in Israel has placed a petition at the Kotel on his behalf. (by the way, the petitions that were placed some time ago – I think last year – on behalf of ‘Hugh Fitzgerald’, Mr Spencer’s friend and colleague, who was going through a bad patch, seem to have been heard, btw, blessed be G-d).

            • israeliminx says :

              Dumbledoresarmy: Here is a link that may be useful: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-new-research

              Definitely have your abba start drinking pomegranate juice. Studies by Israeli scientists as far back as 2008 have found that it has a strong effect on retarding the growth of cancer cells (I told my Ema to add it to her diet several years ago) and most particularly has an effect on prostate cancer. You can get it concentrated (I think Poms is the most common brand outside of Israel) and just add a couple of teaspoon fulls of the concentrate to a glass of water/apple, grape etc juice several times a day.

              I’ll see what else I can turn up!

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