Monday, January 29, 2007


How lucky was I that the European Figure Skating Championship was held in Warsaw the same week I had to stay with hurty toes? I got to see almost all the events and it was just fantastical.
Now, I can get back to all the things I put on hold while traveling back and forth from Warsaw in my mind! That new TV really makes a difference. It's almost like being there.
I did spend a fair amount of time looking at my toes wondering if I'll be able to stuff them into my skates. I'll have to wait a few months before I try, but try I will. I'm willing to bet that not many people go skating from a wheely, but the day will come when I do just that.My next virtual TV trip is to Tokyo at the end of March for Worlds. That should be quite something but if Europeans is any indicator, the European skaters will have their work cut out from them against the Americans , Japanese, and Chinese. I love the way the Europeans skate, but the Yanks and Asians are on the whole better. It will be interesting to say the least. I missed my favorite skaters, Plushenko, Slutskaya and Galit and Sergei. It almost seemed like Sokolova needs Slutskaya to pull her along. She didn't have a great competition, but managed to get it together for the free skate. I do like her skating style.


There are moments when being a bitch can be fun. Yesterday I had a few of those moments. I was furious at Orna for her reaction to being told we had to go get my stitches taken out that I forgot that originally we were supposed to go get Jeanie from the airport, so we were going out of town anyway. What difference does it make where we go if we were going someplace to start with? She made a comment to the effect that she wanted to be home early. I asked her who was working for whom, and she figured it out all by herself. We left at around 1130 and got there in good time. The doc decided to take out only half of the stitches, so I'll have to go back again next week. Oh, how I hope Jeanie will be here for that. I asked Lavana if we needed any plants for the store because there's a good place for plants sort of on the way home. I really wanted to drive my point home to Orna and have an excuse to get home really late. Lavana called in the order and we picked it up. She asked to be be let off at the flower shop after we got all the plants out of the jeep, but I reminded her that I had no way to get from the jeep to the house, so she had to come home with me. I'm really sorry, but that's the job. It never fails to amaze me that a woman almost 20 years younger than I am, who is in relatively good health can't keep up with me for a whole day. I sort of drove the point home by going to the store after a quick pit stop in the house. Granted, I don't do all that much physically, but I can do put in 10-12 hour days between the stores. Maybe I'm just being bitchy?
I made the mistake of watching the news yesterday and had the worst case of de ja vu all over again I've ever had. There was Hanoi Jane spouting her anti American garbage again. And that Clinton woman too. I'm still trying to come to terms with my youthful flirtation with the radical left. I grew up pretty fast but I still get uncomfortable remembering those days and how little I really knew about things. I feel a proper rave coming on, so I think I'll take it over to the other blog. We're going down, boys.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


We've been having a mini heat wave in January. Temps have been up in the high 50s which is rediculous for this time of year. It was good for my foot, though. Back in '02 when I had 1 toe chopped, it didn't heal right because of the cold. Of course the fact that I hauled ass off to a demonstration in Jerusalem 3 days later might have had something to do with it as well. This time I was a good Gimp and didn't do anything stupid so it's healing up just fine. I'm trying to decide if I want to go get the stitches out today or tomorrow. I'm leaning towards today because that will give me an extra day for them getting better before Jeanie gets here and every day helps. The original plan was for her to arrive today, but as she was pretty sick last week,so, she postponed the trip. Now I'm waiting anxiously for a new date.
I'm a bit upset with Orna again.She has a job that just about anyone would kill for. She gets full salary for doing next to nothing. She doesn't have any set hours and all she has to do is keep the house neat and clean and go with me when I want to leave town. I try to give her a few days warning on out of town trips, but, she should be available whenever I want to go. It just desn't seem fair that she makes faces when I need her. She'll just have to sort things so she can go with me today. I did not like her reaction this morning when I told her we're going to get the stitches out, as if it's at her convenience. Excuse me, but it's at my convenience. I pay her for being available whenever.
I suppose I could tell Shmaryah that *he's* taking me, but I can't take another ride with him at the wheel. I'll drive myself, thank you very much.
I guess I could go alone, but wrestling with the wheely is not something I want to do today. Orna will just have to sort things. That's what I pay her for.
Right. It's time to et dressed and make a quick run to the door store, then, get Orna and the jeep and head out to get those stitches out. I hope he lets me take them out myself!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


It only took 10 months, but I finally got to go a bit off road with the jeep today. Nothing seriously off road, but still not paved roads. Years ago a good friend used to take me out there once a week or so. I thought it would be a cool place to start, and it was. There's a network of dirt and gravel roads on the eastern slope of the Naphtali "mountain" range.
We headed out of town and I hoped that I'd find the access road to the trails. HA! I did and we bounced and jounced along and around the trails. I even found a mud puddle to go through. After a while we got back to where we'd started and I took a different trail. We hadn't gone far before coming face to face with a bus. A BUS? Yup, a bus.After a long reverse I found a place to pull over to let the bus go by. I did mention that it wasn't tough off road terrain, didn't I? I was chuffed that I remembered the roads up there and it was even more fun that Orna, who ggrew up in town had no idea it was there. The views across the valley to the Golan Heights were phenomenal. Guess where I'm taking Jeanie?
It was fun to finally do a little trail driving and I'm looking forward to doing more.
I took my foot to the clinic to have the bandage changed and it's looking great. It a;so itches like hell, but that's good. Now, if Jeanie would just tell me when she's coming in, I'd be all set!


It's amazing that less than a week after the Great Toe Chop Operation, it already hurts less to walk than it did with those most annoying toes. I only wish it could have been done at a different hospital. The fact that absolutely every one says it's a great hospital cuts no ice with me. Any hospital that can't get the patient's name right is a good one to stay away from. On Sunday Shmaryah took me to the clinic in Acco for the doc to look at his handi work, or do I mean footiwork? It looks great and I'm well pleased. I just came back from it being rebandaged and it still looks great.
The wireless set up has been wonderful. The only problem with it is me. I simply can not find a comfortable to type, but reading is dead easy. That would explain why I've not posted much of anything since coming home. I'm at the big computer now and it's much easier to type sitting up in a chair.
The plan for today was to go off road a bit but, yet again Orna has thrown a wrench in the plan. Her husband doesn't feel good so she took him to the doctor. And I already know she won't want to leave him . Nope! Here she is, so, I'm out of here.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


One two was cut back by another knuckle, and two were cut back by two nuckles. That adds up to five knuckles gone. I now have one and two thirds toes left on that foot.HA! I won, and came home after the operation. I almost canceled it at the last minute,after we got all the check in proceedure. I didn't and still don't like that chop shop. I started not liking it on Sunday wehen I went to meet the anesthesiologist. He was ok, but I have serious issues with a hospital that can't get a patient's correct especially after getting them to change it to the corrct one already. It annoyed me even more that they didn't seem to to understand why getting my name wrong bothered me.
There was a lot of discusion as to whatanesthesia to use. In the end we went with a local and a drop of two of something else through the drip.So, now I'm home, happily esconced in bed until Sunday, when Shmaryah carts me off to see the doc.I can already walk on it a bit, like from bed to the loo. It hurts like hell but I have a way around that. I take one of my pain killers, wait 20 minutes, then, go. It works and of course the pain lessens with each step. I've been sleeping on and off since I got home, and most likely will continue doing that unto tomorrow, when we go to see the doc Then, I'll give myself a few more days at home. I want to be in good shape when Jeannie gets here..

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Ok, so can women, but when a man does something foolish it is more likely to be spectacular. Here, I've been waiting patiently for two years to get my toes trimmed, when I could have just done whar Shmaryah did yesterday and try to take a door off the hinges. I still don't know exactly how he did it, but he has 6 stitches in his hand. So there's a difference between hands and feet? But toes and fingers aren't all that different when you get right down to it are they? He is supposed to go to Haifa today to get some doors and I don't know if he can drive like that. In fact he should have just left. I'll call him after I post this.
The wireless router is beyond wonderful. I love it. After last weeks crash landing in the living room, I was a bit worried about having a long cable snaking it's way all across thew living room. Now all I'll have to worry about is my own two feet, and I've already proven that they are more than capable of landing me on my butt. They don't need any help from a wire!
I was a good gimp yesterday and stayed in bed all day. I'm not sure about today. It's 06freaking15 and I think I got maybe 3 hours sleep. Ok, that's decided. I'll go visit the stores later this morning and do the grocery shopping I've been meaning to do and get home by 1400. Yup! Got myself a plan.

Monday, January 15, 2007


We are now wireless here at Gimp House. There's a bit of a glitch with out going mail, but as they are coming back today to sort the TV thing, I'm not too concerned. The other computer sends just fine, so, when/if I get out of bed, I'll just send from there.
I just had to go to the clinic for an EKG didn't I? They kind of wanted it before the operation. There are sick people at the clinic. Grrrr. I picked something up there on Friday and I'm staying home in the hope of getting over it by Thursday. I went back to the clinic to get some cough syrup, and was the first one in, and flew out real fast, got the syrup and went to the door store. Shmaryah took one look and said home to bed. I said, "yeah yeah, soon" Then Lavana called to ask if I could flower shop sit while she made a delivery. So, I sat there for a few minutes, and dragged my sorry body home to wait for the computer guys to come and finish the wireless installation. It's really cool to be able to sit in bed with the lap top. It will be even cooler when I'll be able to save and burn the recorded the stuff from the TIVO. A project for after the operation! As the DVD is installed on the sofa, I'll be able to watch a few DVDs here too. Oh, I do like computers, I do.
You'd think that hospital employees would know how to talk with cripples, right? Well, they don't! Imagine what went on yesterday when I went for the meeting with the anesthesiologist. Me in wheely, Orna pushing. The clerk turned to Orna even though I had the papers and had told her that I had an appointment with the doc. She asked Orna what my ID number is. *I* shy retiring type that I am, piped up with, "My legs don't work so good, but my mind and mouth are just fine." Our genius clerk kept asking Orna the questions and I answered them. She didn't get it. The inquisition by the doc was similar and I pretty much blew him away with my knowlwge of what's wrong with me and why there could be a problem with the anesthesia. My response to his comment was along the lines of "It's my body and if I don't keep up with what's going on with it, who will?" In the end I explained exactly what he has to do and why. Then, off to the nurse who was a bit better but with a gazillion more questions among them, "Do you remember your phone number?" and "What did you during the war?" Well, yeaah, I know my own phone number and Shmaryah's too. She wanted a contact number in case they kill me during the operation! The second question was just curiosity and when I told her what I did (stayed at home) she was a bit impressed. Orna, of course added her bit to the story, and I came out sounding like some kind of hero or something. We were still with the nurse when I discovered that they got my name wrong. Family name -Franne. First name Ilana. That's just not on, so, back to the clerk for her to change it. Next stop; the admitting office to be sure the voucher covers everything. Of course it doesn't. Dr. Sawbones wants me there for 3 nights. I promised to consider staying 1 night. Consider, not neccessarily stay. The voucher didn't include even one night so she aid she'd fix it. I won't be at all upset if they don't approve even the one night. I'm for sure not staying there three nights. That just isn't going to happen.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Being a slow starter, I only recently discovered him. It all started about 2 years ago, when I kept hearing Vincent on late night radio and decided that I had to that song. I rolled along to my local music store and asked the guy if he had Starry Starry Night. He had no idea what I was talking about, so I called Teadrinker and asked her if she knew the song and she yelled at me, "Don McLean and it's called Vincent you ignorant Yank" Well, the music guy knew that one, so I bought the CD and went home to listen. That was the end of me. Of course I'd heard American Pie back in the day, but Castles in the Air was a new one to me. So were most of the others. When I finally got the Citroen and was looking for a 'Driving Record' That CD became the ONE. In fact, the disc was the only thing I took out of the wreck after it was totaled,(the Citruin) other than the wheely and wheely parking card! It moved into the Land Rover CD player the day I bought it, and went with me to America where it soothed me many times on the Drive from Maine to Florida and in Nevada, and Washington. There isn't a song on that CD that doesn't talk to me. I mentioned it one day to my brother and he told me that Don McLean lives in Maine now. Of course he does. And that explains Castles in the Air to me. I don't know what it meant to him when he wrote it, but when I hear it, it's about moving from a big city to the country (Maine for him) and from Nazareth to Kiryat Shmonah for me. I left Nazareth just before it doubled in size for Kiryat Shmonah which is still a small town and as close to Brunswick Maine as can be found in Israel. Orna even knows most of the words to the songs and the whole Don McLean story has become a legend in town. I even go places alone so that I can sing along with the CD and cause anyone distress. Of course I play it at full volume so even *I* won't be able to hear myself. Ely, my computer guy was over one day last week to sort something and I told him that I have song he must hear, and brought Jerusalem up. I only found that one last week. Ely asked who it was and when I told him he got all excited and told me that he has all his albums. The first time I heard Jerusalem I couldn't stop crying. Roberta Flack time? Oh yes. I got the wild idea that I'd be able to desensitize myself to that song by listening to it non stop. It's not working so that is one song of his that will not be heard in the jeep. Driving while crying is not something I want to do in this country. Driving while sober and wide awake in Israel is scary enough without adding tears to the mix. The CD I have in the player now is just fine. It's starting to sound a bit worn out and I'm concerned the old one has been in there for so long that it won't come out when I try to replace it with a new one. There are a lot of singers and music that I like, but, Don McLean just gets under my skin and into my soul. There's a plan forming in my mind to go to Cardiff for a concert he's giving there. I've been feeling Wales pulling me there for a few weeks now, so this could be good.
I don't usually watch Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, but left it on in the background and one of the questions was "Who was Roberta Flacks' song about"? a) Don McLean, b) Frank Sinatra, c)Neil Diamond, or d) I can't remember and don't care. Of course the guy got it wrong after using 3 of his help things. I just sat there and laughed! What I can't figure out is why it took me long to fall for his songs. Ah, but better late than never. At least now I have music that keeps me on an even keel.
Thank you, Don McClean.

Friday, January 12, 2007


How much anticipation can a gimp stand? I just love anticipation; waiting for things to happen, good things, mostly. I'm not wild about the bad things, but can, and will deal with them as and when. Right now, thankfully, it's just good things on the way. We start with the 'great toe chop' on Thursday. I've only been waiting for it for two years or so. Then we swing right into the invasion from Winnemucca, an almost week of roaming around the country which is one of my favorite things to do, showing all the cool places to two great people. After the whirlwind tour of Israel, and along about the time I stop missing them, it will be time for Kiri/Cab to arrive and we do another Grand Tour before she settles down to writing, and quite possibly changing the face of teaching the Englishes in Israel. She even sent me some new things to read while recovering from the toe chop! Now, I really can't wait and might just ask the quack if I can have the lap top in the OR so I can read, instead of supervise the operation.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I've only been waiting for a couple of years to get my toes fixed for once and for all and bugging my sawbones every week or so. I was amazed when he finally called yesterday and said he can do it on the 18th. That's just fine. I'll have 10 full days to get 'back on my feet' before Jeannie gets here and the wheelies are all sorted. Of course it would be better if it had already been done, but at this point I just want it done. They are part of what is making walking so painful and I can't wait for them (the bad toes) to be chopped! Yeah, the pain is pretty bad the first few days, but afterwards............ahhhhhhhhhh.
Tomorrow Orna and I are going to get BBC 2. After last Wednesday I'd hoped to go off road a bit, but I need the extra chair, so that's what we'll do and hope to get off road week, the day before the 'big toe chop' . The operation is on the Thursday, and he actually thinks I'm staying overnight afterwards. I somehow doubt that. I'll be much happier at home in my very own bed with my TV and a pile of books. I am the gimp who had one toe shortened in 2002 and went a demonstration in Jerusalem 3 days later, bandages and all. I'll be back at work on the following Monday. One major advantage is that it's my left foot and it doesn't have full feeling. I don't even want to think of the present pain would be like if it did. This is bad enough. Orna, bless her is already worried about it and was upset that it's going to be on a Thursday. She wants to go with me and thought I'd be driving myself. Even *I* am not that crazy. *S* will be driving me in the Suzuki. So he'll miss part of the day of at work. But *I* am the boss, and the Suzuki *is* mine, so, he'll do it. Then, Orna can pamper me to her hearts content when I get home.
Yup, we got a plan here.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I called my wheely guy to ask about a procedure concerning wheelies and he has a twin chair to BBC for me at a ridiculous price, so, Orna and I are going down on Wednesday to pick it up and get BBC1 fixed yet again. BBC 1's front wheel is acting up because one of the bolts came off, so he lives in the jeep and is rarely used these days. BBC2 will be kept in the house for now. I even have an idea how to sort the chair issues at both stores! Musical gimp chairs is the name of the game. As one of the wheelies will stay at home, I can take my computer char to the door store and the chair at the door store to the flower store and be a happily seated semi mobile gimp. I really am having trouble walking or whatever it is I do that passes for moving on my feet. I'm sitting here wasting time trying to decide what to wear today and really must get a move on. If it's above freezing at the door store I might continue this from there.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


I had just settled in for an early sleep when two cell phone text message beeps went off simultaneously. Ever see a gimp jump while prone in bed? That's what I did. One of them was mine. The other was on the TV. There's only one person who could possibly text me on a Friday night and I've been waiting to hear from her for ages. I was also in the throes of a very intense desire to go back to Wales as I had just watched one of my beloved BBC house shows that was set in Wales. It had me reliving that trip, and got me longing to go back. YES, it was a text from Kiri/Cab and she's coming here when her contract in Indonesia is up. Late spring/early summer and I can't hardly wait. I'm pretty sure there's a psychic connection between us. I sent her an email and a text not long ago. I tend to worry about her when I hear about plane or boat crashes over there. I had pretty much decided to call her today, when she texted! I can see Gimp House becoming VA Middle East next year with several of our VA pals making a pilgrimage to visit us. Can't you just see Gimp House as the VA Mecca? I can, and I love the image. Of course the whole point of her coming here is for her to have a place where the only thing she has to do is write. That woman can write like no one I've ever met. She simply hasn't yet had the opportunity to just write without having to make a living. It's so exciting that I can give her a place to do that.
I'm finally beginning to realize that my walking/lurching days are pretty much over. I can barely make it to the bathroom these days. And the computer is getting farther away every day. I'll have to look for a third wheely next week. I need one in the car, one in the flower store and one here. I guess a fourth would be a good idea too-for the door store. I guess I have to restart the battle for an electric one. That would pretty much solve the problem. I'll talk to my wheely guy tomorrow.
On Wednesday I decided to make myself a cup of coffee.
Set the kettle to boil.
Put a cup on the counter.
Opened the coffee jar.
Dumped the spoonful of coffee on the counter next to the cup.
Poured the water into the cup.
Tried to figure out why the "coffee" was clear.
Saw the grains on the counter.
Turned on the light and started over again and got it right.
Need help at home? Who me?

Thursday, January 04, 2007


*S* and I had a long chat with Ophir and he's sorted. So that's good. I picked up a few things at the store and came home raring to go off road, but Orna was off doing girly things (shopping for clothes for her daughter's wedding), whist I sat at home fuming that there was no one to indulge my petrol head desires with. I was not pleased, to say the least.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


My official day off! Other than have a word or two with *S* and Ophir, the only other plans I have so far are to get a couple of things from the store and cigarettes. I might take the jeep out for a ride later. I like the idea of a day off more than I like actually taking it off. Other than the "thing" with Ophir yesterday not much is happening. He's so young that he still thinks he knows it all, and has no trouble telling you quite emphatically why in a most annoying and condescending way. Then he made the almost fatal mistake of not getting up and going to get me a pack of cigarettes when I asked him. I had to have *S* tell him to do it. I'm not having it. If for no other reason than that I sign his paycheck he should have run right out, not told me to wait until he finished something else. He hasn't noticed yet how *S* treats me. He jumps to pick up anything I drop and just generally spoils me.And not just because I sign the checks. Some people learn by example, some don't. I guess Ophir is one who has to have it spelled out clearly before he catches on. *S* finally caught on to something else about him after I pointed it out. Ophir will argue about anything at all for no good reason and take his argument to ridiculous lengths to make a point. He did it to *S* several times yesterday and we exchanged a nasty grin over it. That lad needs a talking to. So, I'd best get dressed and over there.