Amazingly, we got me to the airport in plenty of time for my flight. After a farewell coffee with The Savtas I was whisked away by wheely driver and left to carry out my cigarrette smuggling plot. I bought 10 cartons, 5 of marlboro light for me and 5 Marlboro red for Jeff. I took the packages apart and stuffed the individual packs into my carry on bags, and they got through!Never mind the 3 cartons in my checked bags-giggles- The only problem was at LaG uardia, where the TSA stole the gifts . That for Jeff and Jonathan. I got to Portland a few minutes after Susie and we got the car and went to the hotel. That was a bit of an adventure! I was headed in the right direction but stopped at a huge place with a huge parking lot in to try to figure it out. A guy in a pick up stopped to ask if we were ok and tried to show us where the hotel was. He was very sweet and found two wrong ones. Then I found the right one quite by accident.
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
So much to do and so little time to do it in. A month might seem like a lot of time to get things done before a long trip, but, for me, it's not. I used to be able to charge all over the place and get things done easily. Now that I have this stoopid miserable problem with my legs I have to time things so they don't swell up too much before I can get them up. I've been a bit concerned about the flight to Maine. I have a long wait at LaGuardia before the flight to Maine and have been trying to find leg extenders for my wheely. It's a problem if the wheely didn't come with them. Mine didn't. Savta and I decided to take our favorite helper, Jonathan with us to Haifa on Thursday to get my international driver's lisence, and to go to the FedEx office there to send something. Thursday morning duly rolled around, and I remembered that I still owed Sid, my wheely guy 3 thousand shekels for my other new one. It didn't get paid for on time and I told him that as soon as I could, I would pay for it. So, when I remembered it, I called to tell him that I wanted to come down next week, pay it and have him go over the wheely before the trip. I called and someone other than Sid answered, and told me that Sid had passed away a few months ago. Through my shock and tears I told what I wanted to do, and he said fine. In somewhat of a daze I picked up Savta and Jonathan and we headed out of town. Along the way, Savta and I discussed the whole thing, and decided to go to Raanana (where Sid's shop is) and pay the debt and do the lisence there. FedEx would have to wait another day. Part of the reason was that I have a dentist appointment on Sunday, and a meeting with a Knesset committee on Monday. See? No time. When we got there, I asked Chanan, who is running the shop now, if just maybe there were some leg extenders that would fit my wheely. He disappeared into the back room and reemerged with one in his hand that didn't fit. He went back and came out with one that fit! He spent well over an hour adjusting it to my leg, then, got the other one. They were obviously not for my wheely, but they fit! Wait time problem-solved! I happily paid him the old debt and for the leg extenders and off we went to get the lisence. When we got back to the car after that Savta couldn't find the cell phone he'd left in the car charger. Panic ensued until we finally found it under my seat. We stopped to eat about half way home. Partly because we were hungry and partly because my feet were on fire. The combination of my pressure stockings and the rubber floor mats in the car are a nightmare of Steven King proportions. I'll have to find a solution before I leave.
After I dropped everyone off, I came home, fell into bed and cried my eyes out. It's not every day that something like finding those leg extenders happens. Not only that, but for the first time since my leg issues started, I got home from a long drive like that with no swelling at all in either leg. Devine intervention? The Hand of G-d. No doubt in my mind.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Who thought that putting together a little jaunt like I'm going on at the end of the month would be such hard work? Brain work can be as tiring as physical labor. It really is. I spent the better part of four days at my travel agent's office putting all the flights and rental cars together. We only ran into one minor problem with Alaska Airlines, my nemesis from my last trip. In the end we got it sorted. The problem was with the wheely part, but we finally got that approved. There were more fun and games with the rental car. We started with Avis and got a total dolt who told us that I'd have to return car# 1 on day 28 because a month is too long. Then, he got really stupid about something else(their office in Portland is closed when I land there) and I very loudly told Jenni to forget Avis, that I wouldn't take an Avis car for free and to try Hertz. After she hung up with Avis, she shot me a grin of pure evilty and said that the Avis guy heard me. Fine. Things got off to a really bad start at Hertz. The first booking agent she got was rude and argumentative. This time it was Jenni's temper tantrum and she demanded to talk to a supervisor. When she finally got to the supervisor, it didn't take long to get the deal done, and it came to almost $1000 less than Avis, and there were no problems at all. I gave her a check for the cars and inquired about severance terms, as all that's left is to pick up the tickets and vouchers! At home I reserved the hotel for the first night. No way am I going to even think about driving from the airport in Portland to my brother's in Lewiston after a whole day flying. That is a very stoopid thing to do. I'm brain damaged, not stoopid! I had to use my in Israel only credit card for that, as my international one hasn't arrived yet. Funny thing about that card. I can use it to pay for things overseas, but I can't use it there in person. Handy for Amazon, my game and a few other things. So, my new card will owe my old one the cost of that room. I'm sure I'll figure out a way for the debt to paid. I've been in touch with most of my Maine friends and we have plans to meet up. Some are not in Maine, but, I'll see the ones who are on the east coast! Now, that's a plan that came together. You could even say that I'm on the Jazz!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
One fine sunny day last week, Savta and I were 'holding court' in our usual conference room, aka the mid level entrance to the mall in town. While enjoying the warm day over cigarettes, and friendly banter with he guards and paasers by, several of the local gimps came up and asked us what was going with a program they are all members of. The closest I can get to name of the project in English is The Support Community For the Disabled. That condenses down neatly to 2 words in Hebrew. The JDC started it a short time after the last Lebanon war in order to train those of us who were able and interested to be able to give real time answers to local disabled folks during a security emergency, war, or other emergency situation. Members were also supplied with medic alert/call buttons and phone numbers as well as the option to get greatly subsidised ambulance and medical service. There were bi monthly get togthers, seminars and movies as well as trips to various places that we don't often get a chance to go to because of mobility issues. We don't all have adapted vehicles. There were several projects carried out members that were 'commisioned' by the municipality, which in the end were proven to be nothing more than busy work devised to keep us busy and quiet while things just stayed the same. The JDC turns projects like this over to the 'locals' after three years, and only after securing the funds to continue from the government, which is supposed to channel the agreed upon amount to the company that runs the project. The transition was seemless in the other localities, but, not in Kiryat Shemonah, which was the flag ship of the whole program.
Savta and I promptly set out to find out was going on, and the information was at our finger tips with in minutes as one of the project's employees showed up at just the right moment. He told us that the company intends to close the project at the end of this month, whether or not they get paid what they owed. The do not and will not trust the municipality to uphold their end of the agreement and transfer the funds they contracted to pass on. This just wasn't acceptable to us and we called the other two members of ouur local group and contacted the press. The reult of one is in my previous post. I will post the newspaper article after I bully my HP scanner into working. Not all handicapped people are as fortunate as I in being relatively well educated and somewhat able to express myself, so here I am, finally posting about something important here. Tonight we are metting with a group of students at the local college who are interested in helping us. I even opened a Facebook for us. It's in Hebrew at the moment, but my page is the English one for anyone who might be interested.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Have I mentioned before how much I adore my dentists? Mr and Mrs. Dr. Painless did it again! My new teeth arrived and I couldn't be happier. Mr. Dr. Painless worked long and hard to get them to fit perfectly, and we had a slightly insane photo session when they were finally in! It's not everyday someone gets purple teeth! I haven't stopped smiling since they went in. And there are 2 more to go, on the other side. The tech who actually made got the color just right. I can't hardly wait to get started on the other side. It's so much fun going to this dentist! He and Mrs. Dr. Painless are just the best.
I'm taking the day off today because it's a little yucky outside and I'm taking Savta to see a doctor in Nazareth tomorrow. Two long car trips back to back can be exhausting for me, So, I'll play it smart and stay in today. Next Monday will be here soon enough. Monday is my day at the dentist's. The best day of the week!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Panic? Who? Me?
I managed to send myself into an emotional tail spin yesterday. I am quite used to getting notices from the courts here that this that or the other thing has had a lien taken out on it. I actually was foolish enough to think that those days were behind me after clearing up the debts Shmariah dumped on me. I was free and clear, or so I thought, until I went to the mail box yesterday and found a notice that informed me that my salary(I don't have a salary that can be attached. By law disabled benefits can not be taken for any reason other than owing social security back payments) had been attached by the court as a third party to the debt. Panic immediately set in and I called Homeless and ranted and raved about the whole thing. I understood it to mean that the company he owes 54 thousand and change($15,428) shekels to wanted me, as Shmaryah's ex employer to pay his debt them. It made no sense at all to me. I gave Homeless all the information from notice and he tracked down the lawyer who told him that I had it all backwards. That notice simply instructed me to not pay his salary to him, but rather to the court! Joke on me. I honestly thought they wanted ME to pay it! I have already written them a letter informing them that I no longer employ him, and very kindly included where they could find him! After the total panic I felt at first I can quite happily laught at myself. It really is over! That guy is a liar, coniving, thieving, debt dodger of the first order. I hope they catch him this time and lock him up for a good long time. If/when that happens, I'll know it really is over and stop looking over my shoulder and panicing when I see strange things in the mail.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Moving right along with the Jerico Project. Golan started painting today while I was still sound asleep. I was up until almost 0600 after playing my game for way too long. I logged off at 0445 and was still awake until after 0500. I vaguely heard Golan painting and woke up at around 1130. Th difference in paint colours is amazing. This shade is more 'alive' than the old one. I love it
Things are going great guns at the dentist as well. He's finishing the right side tomorrow which will be nice, then we move to the craters on the left side. I just hope those go more easily than the right side crater did. Not that I mind going to this dentist. I quite enjoy having him excavating and building in my mouth. He is an absolute dear and has as warped a sense of humor as I do. That is always a big plus.
I seem to have developed a very bad habit of late. I've started leaving the house before my wake up coffee. That has rarely happened before, and I can't say I like it much. Thing is, I stay up so late that it's late by the time I get up and don't have much time to get things done before places close at 1300. Maybe I should go to bed earlier? I'll have to think on that one for a while. Morning coffee is a non negotiable clause in my contract with myself!
Saturday, March 12, 2011
For the last week or so Golan and I have been working industriously on the Jerico Project. Two walls came tumbling down, but not because of a trumpet; it was a nice big sledge hammer that did it. I'd been thinking and pondrering for the longest time on how to sort the crowded kitchen issue for once and for all. Thing is, when Gimp House was renovated for me, I could still walk and the tiny closed in kitchen was perfect for me. Then, when I couldn't walk any more, an office chair in there was fine. It's not any more. The wheely to chair transfers get harder by the day. A radical solution was needed-The Jerico Project was born! After months of turning it every which way in my head, I suddenly 'saw' the answer. After a brief consultation with Golan about whether or not it could be done, and a short negotiation about cost, I hired Golan as project manager for The Jerico Project! The first day of the project was kind of a yucky day out and I was feeling not too great, so I just stayed in bed and slept through most of the demolition. I did wake up at one point long enough to tell him to stop everything and rebuild the walls because I forget to take a before picture. He almost put me to sleep permanently after that. I did take a couple of pictures that show where the walls were, but are no more. We ran into a minor problem with the washer and drier but came up with the answer quickly. Golan cut a few of the 'pantry' shelves and they slid right in. It might look a little strange, but Gimp House is all about what works for me. On Thursday night I had a vision of a trolley type thing on wheels that I could keep my mixer and crock pot on. On my way to the grocery store I swung through the Home Center store and saw the very thing! I decided that I would go back for it on Sunday as there was no way I could take it and the groceries home on Harley. First thing Sunday morning, I went back and told the guy I want THIS. He went off a few feet to get one in a box and I said, "No, this, not in a box". He went off to get the manager's permission, which, was a no brainer. I paid for it and a guy from paint brought it out and scud taped it to Harley, and I got it home just as Golan was coming over. It's absolutely perfect
Another minor hiccup came a long in the shape of the annual inspection by the housing authority. They come around once a year to make sure the place is still standing and the right number of people are living in it. Every year, the clerk who 'takes care' of the place comes alone. This time he had the district enginner and a boss in tow.
Hmmmm, you think maybe somebody told them I was tearing down walls? Not a doubt in my mind. Thing is we can do what we want to 'our' places, but have to return it to the way it was when we got it. I'm leaving Gimp House feet first, so who cares? There's also the fact that this place will stay on the books as a disabled flat and losing the walls will only make less work when the time comes. I did point out to Moshe the engineer that we left all the support columns and beams in place. All the other flats in this building took them down. All the tattletale had to do was ask me if I had and I would have shown him, but, oh, no, it's much more fun to do it that way. That was a waste of a phone call.
Monday, January 31, 2011
It's been quite a week! My server finally got my gaming issues sorted, or so it seems. I couldn't log onto my game for close on to four months, unless I used my net stick. That set off warning bells that the trouble just might be with my server, and not my computer, which the game support types kept trying to tell me. After a chat with my ISP, I got a static gamer's IP and the problem was solved for two whole days, then, the whole thing started again. I got back onto them and told them in no uncertain terms that if it wasn't sorted PDQ, I'd switch to another ISP. That time they put me on to their gamer super tech guy who admitted that they were indeed at fault and that at least 3 other people who play the same game had complained, and that they had turned the issue over to their engineer types. So, I just kept trying to log on this computer and if it didn't work, went to the lap top. Then, one fine evening it worked! Now I can play pretty much when I want to and not worry about getting disconnected at the worst possible moment!
The bad news is that I have a bad case of the stupids. I let my myself gain some weight back and now my pressure stockings don't fit. My legs swell up like balloons if I sit here too long. Back to diet board. I don't have to lose much; maybe4or 5 kilos or so, then, I'm back in business. The swelling goes right down when I lie down, and I finally figured out how to get worst foot propped up here.
That seems to help. I also think I broke something in my knee. I did one of my weird twist and fall into the wheely moves and heard a snap there and felt a fierce stabbing, very sharp pain in my knee. I'm not too bothered by it as I don't walk in any event, and don't see any reason to rush to get it fixed. My pain med keeps it pain free. It will either heal itself, or not.
I spent a lot of time watching the European skating championships and they were amazing. There are lots of youngsters coming up in the ranks, and most of my favotites placed pretty much where I'd hoped. The very best was Sarah Meier from Switzerland. I've liked her ever since she started competing at Europeans and was hoping she'd take the gold this time, especially as it was to be her last competition, and at home. She did it with one of the best and best skated long programs I've ever seen. There wasn't a dry eye in the place, or in Gimp House, for that matter. I couldn't have been more pleased for her and I will miss her in future competitions.
I have a sick feeling that ice dance will soon be going the way of the dinosaurs. They've eliminated the compulsary dance and are just having a short, and long program. It seems to be getting more and more like pairs, and less and less and less like ice dance. That's too bad. Ice dance was always special, never mind that it was 'my' thing!
I finally found a place in town that sells purple pots to go with my purple frying pans! And that after being told that I'd never find them. Then, a friend sent a link to a place that sells only purple things. Gimp heaven.
Friday, January 14, 2011
This whole dentristry thing seems like it might not have been the best idea I ever had. The really dumb part was stopping after Shmaryah ran through all my money. If I'd realized how bad restarting it in the middle would be, I'd have found a way to continue it and get it all done before I started with the whole rat poison thing. The oral surgeon who consulted on my mouth stated caregorically that going with our original plan which consisted of I don't know what was a very bad idea and strongly recommemned doing root canals and crowns and bridges, in effect, turning my mouth into a royal Interstate highway system. I'd rather have teeeh pulled than get root canals. Turns out I was right! The very first root canal didn't have any canals, but the tooth next to it turned out to not only have canals, but a dead gondolier in one of them that started to rot and made my cheek swell up like a balloon. After digging around in that first tooth, and still finding no canals, we came to the conclusion that it was the one next to it that was causing the trouble. Crazy thing is that it really didn't hurt much because I'm on naxyn and it masked the pain. If my cheek handn't swollen up I might never have known what was going on in there. Taking the tooth out should be lots of fun because we suspect a broken root. No. It is not going in a cast until it heals. It's coming out on Monday one way or another, and should supply me with lots more one liners about my teeth and Venician gondoliers in canals not to mention complicated road systems!
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
What a day today was! I called Oshria as agreed. It turned out that they (husband, son, brother) were coming up here to go to the prehistoric museum on Kibbutz Mayan Baruch. We decided to meet up there, and of course I got there a few minutes before they did. She called and I drove around the corner to where she was. Seeing her again was a little like a hand grenade going off in my head. Lots of hand holding and smiling through tears, and best of all, when she saw me again, she really did remember the little brat that I was back then. When I heard her voice again after so many years memories came flooding back like a mini tsunami. I remembered clearly that at the end of that summer I wanted to go with her, but not home again. I recall being devasted that she was leaving. She sure did make quite an impression on a little Jewish girl from Maine. She was and still is the very best.
We traded abridged life stories of how we got to where we are today and could have gone on for hours if not days. The museum was fascinating, but I only really had eyes for her. Our time together was way too short for me, but she is here on a family visit, so I tore myself away and they went off to see the 'Jewish snow on Mt. Herman and I went to the Savta's for couscous, and got home not long ago. I'm having a hard time finding the exact words to describe how felt, so I'll just let the pictures say it all.
I'm pretty much the only person I know who has a good time at the dentist. I actually look forward to going to him. His new name in Israel is Dr. Painless, and his wife (also a dentist) is now Mrs. Dr. Painless. My appointment was for yesterday at 1500, So Homless and I left early and went on a shopping expedition at the huge shopping complex not far from the clinic. At last, I have new phones with headsets that allow me to talk with both hands free. I also stocked up on lots of new replacement purples-pens, a diary, and new notebooks. I go through those notebooks at a frightening rate. I take notes on new things from the game to help fix them in my memory.The phone near the computer is up and running and just might have two numbers I use most from that line in it's memory.
I was on pins and needles all day waiting for my camp counselor to call. She finally did, and I am heading out for where they will be today in an hour or so. I am so excited I can barely stand it. I was so wound up last night at the very thought of seeing her again that I couldn't even think of bed much before 0230. And it here is; the big day, and I'm counting the minutes until the agreed that I'd call gets here. Why do clocks move so slowly? Only half an hour to go now.
Of course I used my foolproof stress/excitement cure until my eye lids started drooping. That is possible only because Moshe Savta got my log on issues sorted for once and for all, we think. I'm afraid to even think that it might really be fixed. One of the reasons I love tha game so much is that it requires my total concentration and there's no room for anything else in my poor damaged brain when I'm playing. I still don't trust the fix enough to even think about trying to do some of the more difficult things there yet, but maybe by the weekend. For the time being, I'm concentrating on periferral things in the game that are almost as important as moving my character ahead. That is quite challenging enough for now. It is now to get dressed and ready for my trip back to my childhood!
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Had a bit of a strange day on Wednesday. Homeless and I had a few things to do here, so he came to town in the morning.
When he got here, I went out to hop on Harley to meet him at the mall. No go juice. Empty batteries greeted me. Ok. No problem. Plan B. Homeless is here to help with the wheely, so into the car I went. Not a parking space to be had anywhere near the mall. Move to plan C. Go to Savta and get newly repaied Old Brand New Harley from him. At last. I finally got to the mall and we did all the stuff we'd planned on doing, and some shopping to boot. So, I took Old Harley back to Savta, got the car with all my bags in it and went back to the mall to get Homeless. Because I can get stuff in the house more easily when on Brand New Harley Too Jr. I told Homeless that if he would just take my stuff in and dump it on the bed for me, I'd take him home, and so it was. There was no way I could have done that on my own. It's all I can manage just getting from the post I lock the wheely to up to the door with my bag of holding, never mind more bags. I left home for this little jaunt at around 1100 and got back at 2130, only to discover that I had forgotten to take my morning meds which include my pain killer! Needless to say that was an early night and I went sraight to sleep and woke up early on Thursday morning, determined to get the issues with my game settled once and for all. Savta's son, Moshe had suggested getting a permanent IP, which I did to no avail. I kidnapped him to come here and sort it himself. It turned out that somehow the cable company had unilaterally changed it back. After close to 7 hours, we got it all sorted and I got on just fine yesterday. That was the problem all along. It seems that they don't really like giving out permanent IPs, and lost tons of customers who left them for that very reason, and not just over the same game I play, but other games as well. In the end they bought more dedicated IPs and have more available for gamers. Now, I can play when I want. Moshe is going to come over and tweak the computer even more on Sunday, though I'm not sure it's needed now. All I really want is for that game to work properly, but as he's in town, I might as well let him.
It was quite a week, what with getting my butt shot, and a root canal done on Tuesday, the day at the mall on Wednesday and computer fix marathon on Thursday. I was a bit of a busy gimp to put it mildly. I never would have gotten half as much done if I hadn't made the trip to get my butt shot.
Now that my bank account is finally mine again and all restrictions have been listed, I can breathe again. The bank has a rule that anyone with a lien against their account must get permission to withdraw cash even if their balance is very high. It's just one of those Israeli things. Now that everything is paid, no more permission asking to get my own money. What a joy it was yesterday to not have to wait that extra minute for the permission! And best of all, I start with a clean paid off credit card tomorrow. It was a long time coming, but, I made it.
One of the guys at the bank keeps telling me not to be foolish again (reference to the Shmaryah catastrophe) I keep telling him that I'm sure I will do more foolish things, but not repeat the old foolish ones. He just grins. At least this time, I was smart enough to put aside the equivalent of $25 thousand where I can't get to it easily. Not a bad safety net in addition to the savings account I already have in almost that amount.
The icing on the cake will be in a few days. The camp counselor I finally found after a 50 year search is in Israel now, and supposed to be in a town about 20 minutes from here for a couple of days next week. That is going to be one damp reunion. I so can't wait to see her again after so many years. I already am starting to get choked up just thinking about it. Who? Me? Sentimental? You betcha!