Monday, March 29, 2010


Tonight is the start of my all time favorite holiday, Pesach, (Passover) and I'm looking forward with happy anticipation to tonight's Seder. I will be with Savta and his family for this most wonderful tradition and I can barely contain myself in anticipation. I have always loved Pesach for numerous reasons and have so many wonderful memories if Seders past that I'm not quite sure where to start. The first one I have an actual real memory of (not from family lore) is the one at my maternal grandparent's home in Portland when I was 9 and my brother was 6. A major part of the Seder is drinking four glasses of wine. Children are often given grape juice, but not at my grandparents. To them, if a child was old enough to be part of the Seder, they were old enough to have real wine. Of course the kids were not expected to drink the full glass as adults are, but at my grandparent's Seders we got the real thing. The memory I will always of that Seder is of Jeff's( my (brother) head splashing into his bowl of chicken soup with matzo balls, and I do mean splash! He had been sneaking sips of the second traditionally required glass of wine from the end of the blessing over it ,until the first course of the meal (the soup) was served, and he was tipsy to say the least, and I distinctly remember the splash because some of the hot soup splashed on to me. My father was allowed to carry him to my Uncle Ralph's childhood bedroom to sleep it off, and Mom rushed around cleaning up the mess. That's about all I remember from that particular Seder. It wasn't long after that, that we started having Seder's at our house with just about everyone in the extended family there. My grandparents, including Dad's father, Dad's brother, his wife, and 2 kids, Mom's brother, his wife, and their 2 kids, her brother, his wife and 2 kids, and of course the 4 of us. We were also sometimes joined by our Catholic next door neighbor who was fascinated by Jewish holiday traditions. Those Seders often bordered on the slightly rowdy side of decorem. We had a great time, even if there were years when things pretty much ended after the post meal blessing, which often lead to skipping the end of the required reading of the Haggadah and finished with the raukus singing of the requisit tradtional end of Seder songs. From the minute the Seder was over, I starting looking forwards to the next one.
After my mother became sick with cancer, we started having the Seders at my house. I loved getting ready and cooking for it, and all of the above mentioned cast of characters came to mine, as well. My mother's last Seder was particularly memorable for several reasons, among them, the full cast of characters, and my son's acrivities during what should have been his nap and the fight my cousin's son got into with him. During his nap time, Aron woke up early and went to the bathroom quietly so as not to call attention to his activity. I had forgotten to take the huge turkey out to thaw in time, so, gave it a lukewarm warm bath to help it on it's way to thawdom. For some odd reason, Aron thought it would be a good idea to help it along by wrapping it up in toilet paper, and somehow managed to do just that even though he and the turkey were close to the same weight! He then decided that it was time to shave, just like Daddy, and climbed onto the counter under the long mirror and squirted the area of his face in the mirror with a whole can of his daddy's shaving soap. (Think about that for a minute and it makes perfect sense as he was used to standing on that counter while 'helping' Daddy shave, and he'd watch in the mirror). He took the razor and cut his thumb. By the time he got to the top of the stairs with his bloody (literally) thumb I was at the bottom of the stairs, and there stood the little tyke holding his bloody thumb with his other hand, surrounded by the toilet paper with which he had carpeted the whole landing, while wrapping the turkey in it. The sight that greated my eyes as I went up and took him to the bathroom to clean and bandaid his thumb was more than enough to cause a grown woman to cry, wall to wall toilet paper and a carefully wrapped turkey in the bath tub, and a child's face sized mass of shaving cream already sliding down the mirror were the outstanding and obvious to the eyes sight that were met by close to hysterical laughter. It was funny, but the very last thing I needed not such a short time before a huge meal had to be prepared for the Seder that night. I got him cleaned up, unwrapped the turkey, then, gave it a nice long shower to finish thawing it, took it down to the kitchen, stuffed it, and got it in the oven just on time. All of the other dishes were coming along nicely and it was all done on time. The family arrived on time as well, and while everyone was visiting and catching up before we started the Seder, my cousin Nancy made a comment to the effect that her son was the first to be named after our grandfather on our father's side. Nope, sorry, but that would be my son, who her own father had circumcised and named after his own father with great emotion. While my mother was explaining that to her (she was even there, at the Brit) her son went over to mine and pushed him over. Aron, of course got up and returned the favor, while my mother ripped into his mother, in a completely uncharacterist way. My mom was always the peace maker, but she was not going to let this go unchallenged. The boys made up and things were explained to little Abe in terms he could understand.
To the Seder. The first part went smoothly and the meal was good, if I do say myself. There is always a full glass of wine on the Seder table for Elija The Prophet, and there is a point when the door is opened for him to come in. That year (the one of my mother's last Seder with us)just before the door was reached to be opened, we all felt a very gentle, barely perceptable cool wind, and saw the edges of the table cloth move, and every single one of us saw the level in the wine glass go down, and a few tiny drops spill onto the plate under the glass. No one will ever convince any one of us that Elijah was not there. The hairs still stand up on my arms when I remember that very special Seder. Since being in Israel, when the kids were younger we were usually invited to close friends and I even had several with those same friends. After I gimped out, I went to one at my daughter's, it was her first child's first one, then, was gimpnapped to one by a good friend who lives in Carmiel, about 45 minutes away. The Seder was at his sister in law's near Haifa. I have had one at Gimp House with that family from the last flat in my building, and had one with them at their house, then 2 on my own with just Peg, and last year with Ayala and Moshe and some of their relatives. This year Savta told me that I going to their place and got no argument from me. I'm just about ready to go there, and am excited about sharing it with them. Oh, my, yes, I do love Pesach and the Seder.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

And here we have a picture of the 'new'(for me) porch roof that was put up while I was out on Thursday by my son's wife's father and brother. I am having trouble (Who? Me?) finding the words to express what a wonderful surprise it was to come hom and find it all installed. Granted, as you can easily see, it is not exactly a wrork of art, but, it's not supposed to be. It's only function is to keep Harley dry during the winter rains as well as the wheely that I leave locked to the ramp rail when I go out on Harley. Some time before next winter Golan has sworn a solemn oath that he will Put up a sheet of plastic along the edge for better protection of the wheely. When I got home I was lost in a fog of sorts because my bank came through for me once again, and solved what could have been a nightmare of a situation with one of the several debts Shmaryah so kindly left me with. To say the least I wasn't paying much attention to what was going on around me and just rode Harley up the ramp and stopped him in his usual spot. When I put my hand out to grab the ramp rail for the thransfer from Harley to the wheely my had hit a post that wasn't there before, which caused me to look around and finally see the wonderful surprise Motty and Matan had made for me. I did feel more than a little sheepish that I hadn't noticed it as I rode up the ramp. (it's not exactly small and inconspicuous). But, my reaction when I did finally see it more than made up for that. After I take care of the Shmaryah problen in the morning, I'm going over to thank them a little belatedly.
The particular mess that Shmaryah left me to deal with (it was one he was supposed to take care of himself) turned into a huge problem for me. I got a notice from the court that if the debt wasn't paid by tomorrow,-Monday, I would no longer be able to use my credit card, write checks, renew my drivers lisence (valid until 2015) or my Israeli passport(expired, not that I have any plans to use it in the near future). After getting over the initial shock and calming down a bit, I decided to go the bank in the morning and ask 'The Boss of Me 'there if she had any ideas on how to save the situation. As hoped, she did, and will give the money to pay that one off in full, and to buy new batteries for Harley when these die which will be in the next few weeks. As I was out of oxy, and have known for at least a month that I need to up the dose, I got the prescription, the pills and fags, then home. I hate to think of what my mood would have been if not for my most wonderful banker......For the first time, the new dose of oxy hit me pretty hard. I was high as a kite and felt all foggy and floaty and sleepy. I ended up spending the rest of Friday and most of Sarurday resting in bed while Gimp House spun around me. I simply can not understand how addicts can possibly like that feeling. I emphatically did not, and today, has been much better as far as that goes except for the sleepiness. Human bodies do not take well to stress, nor to the sudden relief from it. I'll go to bed early tonight and hope it'll be even better tomorrow when I have so much to do.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


What a fun day yesterday wasn't! Computer genius that I am (obviously not) I could not the e mail on this (my) computer configured to receive AND send. Somehow quite by accident, I got it right on the lap top which meant that I had to go it to answer mails. I ended up on the phone for at least 2 hours getting mine sorted, the Golan's account on the lap top. All are working just fine for now. The question is how long will it last?
Golan decided that he wants a Face book account and I told him to knock himself out and open one! His English is not great, but he did try and in the process made a total hash of things by confusing the passwords for that and his e mail account. Luckily I told my FB account to stay logged in, and just don't log out. I went a little ballistic when I got a mail from them telling me my new password. Somehow he had my FB page up and was trying to sign into my account with his password. Ok. Gimp to the rescue! I went to the lap top and started his account all over again and gave him a password guaranteed to annoy him, and checked 'stay logged in' for him! This morning when he wandered in, I explained it all to him and informed that he would have to start paying closer attention to what he's doing because I will not be his computer babysitter! I will help him with his profile and upload a decent picture of him, then, he's on his own.
I rather enjoy doing computer stuff and don't really mind spending almost a whole day doing stuff like routine maintainence if I had planned it for that day. It drives me wild to end up doing unplanned things. Luckily I had planned on getting the mails sorted and knew it would take a long time. At least it got done without a major melt down.
I'm not quite sure how I did it, but I got BOTH pressure stockings on yesterday and this morning as well. I have a problem with my right leg. Some of the muscles, tendons and such have atrophied to the point where I can no longer cross that leg over the left, like I can with the left. That makes putting on the right stocking really hard, but with many contortions I got it on. Today I am going to talk with the P.T. (physical torturer) at the clinic about how to get that leg working again. Part of the problem is in the hip area. No cartilage there at all. I'd better get moving on that so I can get onto WoW and maybe make some progress.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Both computers are hinky again. I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Mine will not bring up blogger and this one was weird with it yesterday. I'm just about ready to go back to snail mail and throw them both out.
I got to the chosen hospital on Tuesday with Golan in tow,(the plan was that after we got me there he'd go visit his ex girlfriend who is till lingering, and get himself home by bus) having left just as the noise was starting across the path and in ER some bright bulb decided to stick me in an internal service rather than vascular. In the morning they started telling what I have, and I decided to to call Dr. Luberman after telling the only idjit quack that I went to THAT hospital because of Dr. Luberman. He was not overly pleased with my answer, so I went downstairs and outside and called Dr Luberman. I told him where I was and why. He said that they would send me home that day and that I was to be at the clinic in Haifa to see on Friday at 0900. When I got back upstairs, a resident caught me and with a very strange look on his face told me that my release papers were almost ready and that I could leave when I wanted. By then it was almost lunch time and a nurse suggested that I stay for lunch, in a very solicitous manner. I did and it didn't take long for me to realize that they were trying to figure out how I got to Dr. L. and why he intervened on my behalf. I was unsure when I called him if he'd remember me. He has thousands of patients, so, why should he remember me? He did, very clearly! After a fairly crap lunch I hung all my stuff on the wheely and headed out. We had found a parking space inside the lot closest to the emergency entrance and I parked rear first. A place opened up even closer so Golan went to move it and the guards told him he couldn't park there, so he parked face in. Pissed off? Who? Me? damn right! One of the guards came over to help with the wheely and was very sweet about helping me to get in. Another car had parked so close that I couldn't open the door all the way. Thank g-d I lost so much weight or I never would have gotten in. I got home and collopsed into bed. I called Savta and he told me that he had to get to Safad for an op on an abccess he got on his butt. Gimp Ambulance Service to the rescue. His son and I got him up there and they cut it out on Friday morning while I was on my way to see Dr. L. I left at 0615 because I was not sure I knew how to find that building. I found it just fine and was there and parked at 0800. The car park was deserted, so I hauled Wheelie's parts out and put them together all by myself and settled in to wait until closer to 0900. 2 elevators and wrong floors later, I rolled into the clinic at 0855, ans sat patiently waiting while everyone else complained about little time they each got with him. He came out to see if I had arrived and told me that I was next in. When I got in, he was very complimentary about my weight loss and looked at my poor feet. He said that I have post phlebitic something or other, and that it's common after a series of DVTs. Seems the veins lose their elasticity and turn into pipes that don't do much and that I need the pressure stockings on both feet and something called lymphatic massage. He was very sweet but could feel the natives outside waiting getting restless, so we finished up quickly. I don't know how I did it, but I got the wheely apart and in the back seat all by myself. On the way home I got stopped by a cop for a routine license check, and after I stopped almost on his foot, gave him my biggest grin and said, "I didn't do it YET" in English. He gave me a sharp look, then told me it was just a license check and looked at my license, then, sent me on my way with a grin. I spent most of Friday (after a quick fag run) and Sat in bed from sheer exhaustion. I have to go to the clinic and see my doc, then come home and muck around with my computer. I still almost get the giggles when I think of that phone call. Israelis treat docs like gods, but, as you know, I don't! Those docs and nurses must still be wondering about that. Having the head of another service call and tell you to release a patient can not be nice. But I love it!

Sunday, March 07, 2010


This morning I got to enjoy one of those seemingly insignificant things that really does make a differnce in how the day starts. I used up the last of the coffee in the jar in the late afternoon and started looking forward to opening a new jar. There are few things that smell as good as newly opened jar of coffee. Among them is newly mown grass, citrus blossoms in spring, and, of course lilacs blooming. I even have a sort of ceremony for openening the new jar. I open the cover very carefully, take of the inner seal with a very sharp knife, then smell it while the water comes almost to a boil. Then I bend a bit over the jar so as to sniff it while putting that first spoonful into the mug. I keep the spoon in the jar because there is a bit of a scarcity of spoons at Gimp House, so into the jar goes the spooon which stirs up the coffee again realeasing that most wonderful of scents You do know that boiling water scalds the coffee, don't you? Well, it does. Then, it's off to computer to do e mail until the coffee is cool enough to drink. I do take a sip or two while it's still way too hot just to savor that fresh brand new flavor, usually scalding my mouth. But, never badly. I'm just in a hurry to taste that wonderful flavor again.It's not something I want to over analyse, it's just such a nice thing that I am thankful to still be here to enjoy. The sad thing is that it's only this great for the first cup from new jar. Then, the delicious anticipation of opening the next new jar starts.
If you are a coffee lover, as I am, try using water that has only almost boiled and you will see for yourself the difference in the flavor of the coffee. If you use a coffee maker, take note that the water does not come to a full boil. It really does make a difference.
So, there we have a wonderful start to a new day that starts a new week. I can but hope that the rest of the day and week will be as good as the start this morning.
I have hope now that Savta's computer genius son will be able to sort the e mail on *my* computer. My geek is a hardware genius, but I'm actually better at software than he is, which is a bit of a cosmic joke as I always trouble getting my e mail programs to work right. At least I got it right on this one, though I have no idea how that happened.
We are going to have a scorching hot week, or so say the weather folks. In fact they told everyone to get the a/c ready. Yeah, right. It takes a long time to heat up the buildings here enough to need the a/c on cooling, even when it's over 80 outside. In fact, it was hot outside yesterday, but still very cool inside. It will be quite enough if I don't have use the a/c for heat this week.
My online stroke survivors group has some very very knowlegeble people who give the best advice on so many matters that affect us in a wide variety of things. When we five got back from the protest ride on scooters to Jerusalem, we promised ourselves a nice cold beer to celebrate. As I came home and pretty much went straight off for the first of seven hospitalisations, and came out on antibiotics, which do not like any kind of alcohol, all I could do was joing the guys while they had their celebratory beers and watch them. After every hospitalization, I asked if I could please have that beer now? And was told in no uncertain terms that I could not. They never explained why, just let me have another resounding no. So, here I am, a year and a half later still dreaming of that beer and heading right into a hot hot week, when a cold one is almost mandatory. I decided to ask the experts on the stroke survivor list if they maybe knew what the problem might be, and at last got the answer. It is not a very good idea for coumadin users to drink and it do odd things with oxy as well, but the general concensus was that one probably would be ok. So, The Five will gather this week to have *my* beer in celbration of an event that happened a year and a half ago. Wedenesday is supposed to be the hottest day of the week, so, check in on Thursday for a full report on how that long delayed beer was. So many wonderful things this week. Life is truly wonderful. Enjoy every minute of it for as long as you can. If I can, so can you!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I will be the first to admit that it could have been worse, much worse that it was. What happened? You ask. Oh, not much, I respond. My computer monitor up and died, as did my TV. My beloved geek was here a few hours later with a brand new, larger and better LCD monitor. While installing it he found out that the blasted thing needed a reformat. DAMN it just had one and I had just barely gotten it the way I like it, and here it needs another one. What a mess. So, that computer has a brand new monitor and Windows newly reinstalled, so, why does nothing except my game work right? It will not send e mails, or open web pages properly. And yes, it is a damn good thing that I have this and even though it might be a little slow, it sens mail and opens pages, if a bit slowly, but it opens them.
Then the real catastrophe happened. My newish LCD TV decided to imitate the monitor and died. Ok, fine, so it doesn't even turn on. O have 2 more! So there! The problem with that is that there was no one to get the spare out of Homeless' old room and switch it with the LCD. Golan hasn't shown his face for several days, so I called Benny, everyone's favorite 'gimp helper' He came about an hour ago and sorted the TV switch and now I at least have one to watch until I figure out a way to buy a new LCD. No rush at all. I'll get used to watching this one soon enough. I did find out that as long as WoW is working on "my" computer nothing else much matters. I just stayed up until I was falling asleep at the keyboard, and then, went to bed. Today is WoW's day to update their servers, so I won't be able to get my character any farther ahead than she is now. That is good in a way because instead of getting lost in the game, figuratively AND literally, I can catch up on things I've neglected in order to play. I can wash the dishes, fill my pill boxes and just do stuff I haven't.'had the time' to do. That game is the best and worst thing that has happened to me lately. It has my brain working in top gear, which spills over in to real life. I've learned so many little tricks there this week. It is a challenge that I rising to meet and I'm enjoying every minute there. I have met some absolutely lovely people there, who go out of their way to help me as much as they can. Now, if I could just remember to hit the enter key to bring up the chat box when want to say something, it would be nice. That really should be almost a reflex by now, but it isn't. Maybe one day soon it will be.
It's starting to get late, so, it's off to do dishes, then, sort the pills!