Cousin Katie

We had another visitor last week. Cousin Katie Feller stayed with us for 2.5 days over the Sukkot holiday. Katie is on a semester-long high school exchange program just outside of Jerusalem.

We didn't do much over the few days she was here... a few errands, a little relaxing, and an opportunity for Katie to veg out, take a break from schoolwork, and eat as much as she wanted out of our pantry (the little luxuries that she misses from back home). Katie was a great guest ~ she made herself at home, helped me with the girls, and even cleaned up after herself. So polite!!

We had a great time seeing Katie and look forward to having her back over Thanksgiving.


The Pay Off

My car registration was up for renewal last week, and along with it, the yearly car inspection. While Matt was busy with the Secretary of State visit, I got up early, got the kids off to school, and took the car to the station for it's inspection. Everything went quite quickly, until they made me open up the hood to check the car's pollution output. After almost 10 minutes of "inspecting", they told me that my CO2 and my Lambda were off, and that my car failed the inspection.

"Are you serious?" I asked them in an accusatory tone. "You're honestly telling me that my car didn't pass inspection, yet when I look around half the cars here are being held together by duct tape and bungee cords, and they're passing?" What's wrong with this picture? I was directed to the post office inside where I could get a 1 week extension. Then I called Matt. He told me to take my car to "his guy" who helped get it passed last year.

I drove straight to the mechanic and asked for Aaron, who apparently handles all the Embassy vehicles repairs. Aaron and I talked for a few minutes, he looked at the inspection report, and then he delivered the news that it would about 5000 Shekels to fix it and get the car passed. "WHAT????", I yelled. "That's insane!! You need to talk to my husband". I called Matt on the phone and then handed it to Aaron to come up with a better solution than spending $1200 to "fix" my car. They agreed to have Matt drop the car off on Sunday morning and let them take care of it themselves.

Late Sunday morning Matt drove the car to the mechanic after taking Libby to the vet. A few hours passed and by 3 pm we got the phone call from Aaron letting us know that every thing's been handled and the car is now registered for our final year in Israel.

"Was it fixed", you asked? Of course not. There was nothing wrong with the car - it just needed a little pay off. $90 and some schmoozing took care of everything. Oye, what a day!


It's Not a TOO-MAH.....

Thank Goodness!

Last week we reported that Libby had an infection on her back paw, and we needed to put on her Elizabethan collar so that she wouldn't lick her bandage. We treated her paw with a topical antibiotic for a week with little positive result. So last Friday we decided to take her to the vet so he could give us some new medicine.

Dr. David Cohen has been Libby's vet since we arrived in Israel. He's Canadian, and is probably the most loving vet we've ever met. When I walked in on Friday, he took one look at Libby and shook his head. He told me that her paw didn't look good at all. However, before we even got to his examination of her paw, he told me that her ears smelled and that she probably had a double ear infection. When we took off the collar, he looked inside and confirmed his assessment. He then looked down at her paw and told me that she had a mass on her paw. The mass was soft and mushy - either a cyst or a tumor. He did a fine needle aspiration of the mass and unfortunately no liquid came out. He said that it was probably a tumor, but we won't know until he removes it and sends the mass to the histology lab.

He cleaned Libby's ears, gave her a once-over, and scheduled her surgery for Sunday morning. At that time, he would also clean her teeth, flush her ears, clean her anals, remove the mass and send to histology, clip her nails, and basically give her a tune-up. We also decided to discuss allergy options for her as her paw licking is out of control.

Today we dropped Libby off at the vet around 9 am and waited to discuss her allergies after the sedative for her surgery kicked in. The doctor said that Libby's allergies are chronic, are making her miserable, and affecting her quality of life. He also mentioned that she has the potential to lick her paws until they bleed (which she already does), thus causing her a cycle of skin infections (which she has)... and damaging her system in the future. He suggested putting her on prednisone, a steroid, that would help counteract the histamines and decrease her allergy symptoms. We'd start her on a combination therapy of prednisone and an antihistamine every other day and monitor her until we have the correct dosage. More on this in a few weeks...

We finally left so that Libby could have her surgery and tune-up, and returned back around 4:30 pm to pick her up. The end result is that she probably doesn't have a tumor as previously thought. She had a large scab on the bottom of her paw, which was covering a decent size hole in her foot, which was housing a lot of hair, debris, and a 1/2 inch quill (or similar object) that was irritating her foot and causing the infection on the top of her paw. No kidding! The hole ran diagonally through her foot, and when the doctor removed the mass, he was able to do a cross section of the mass and found more of the same debris there. He cleaned and irrigated her foot, ensuring everything that wasn't supposed to be there was gone, stitched up the top, and sent off the mass to pathology. Even though he's 75% sure that the mass was due to the foreign object, he wanted to cover his bases. We're thrilled.

Libby was mighty drowsy and slept most of the evening on the couch next to me. We had to put the collar back on her since we know how much she enjoys eating bandages off her legs. We have a ton of antibiotics to give her over the next 10 days, and a few follow up visits with the vet. But in the end we have one healthy, expensive pooch back at home. The girls couldn't be happier. Neither can we.


Yom Kippur

Israel came to a standstill today for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. As with every Yom Kippur here in Israel, the country literally shuts down. The holiday is the only day of the year when all Israeli radio and TV broadcasts go off the air. With rare exceptions, cars disappear and the country's roads and highways become eerily empty, used mainly by children on bicycles taking advantage of a rare opportunity to ride in the middle of the street. In fact, the holiday is referred to as the Day of Bikes.

While fasting, Matt and I managed to take the girls on a 3 mile bike ride. We met up with our friends the Steinbach's and the Fleming's, and walked/rode our annual route.

Sheridan, Kit, Riley, and Emily

Gang on the freeway (I took the photo)

A horrible photo of the tired Perlman Family


Charlie Soap

I recently discovered an amazing laundry powder and all purpose cleaner that I had to share. It's called Charlie Soap, and for those of you who have gone "green", this is for you! I have used my Charlie Soap for the past 2 months and have been amazed. The all purpose cleaner works great as a stain remover ~ it's done wonders with stains both new and old. For all you moms out there - this product's for you - it's environmentally safe, has no smell, and is perfect for anyone who has sensitive skin.

Check it out at www.charliesoap.com


It's Lampshade Head

Due to a minor infection on her back paw, we had to re-introduce Libby to the conical collar. Doesn't she look happy?

Time Change Tonight

Fall Back.... One Hour!

Just a reminder that our time changes tonight. Until late October when the clocks change in the States, our time difference will now be...

9 hours ahead of California ~ Pacific Time
8 hours ahead of Arizona ~ Mountain Time
7 hours ahead of Chicago ~ Central Time
6 hours ahead of New York ~ Eastern Time


L'Shana Tova!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year, a wonderful Rosh Hashanah, and an easy fast at next week's Yom Kippur.

We're just laying around and enjoying the few days that Matt has off before he heads to Jerusalem for the Secretary of State's visit next week.

We'll be in touch with more of the latest in the next few days.


Cynabubs Comes For a Visit

Over the Labor Day weekend, cousin Cynthia came for a 2 day visit. I picked her up late Sunday night from the airport and brought her back to our house. Her first day here we went to the girls preschool, where Cynthia enjoyed the morning in each of their classrooms. Matt had the day off work, so we took her to breakfast at a restaurant that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, and to a wonderful Judaica store to look for future gifts. In the afternoon the girls played, Sheridan took a nap, and we finished off the night by eating at the girls favorite restaurant... Zozobra (an Asian noodle house).

The next morning Cynthia and I went to breakfast around the corner from our house before I dropped her off with her friends to head up north to the Galilee. We didn't get to see Cynabubs again before she left Israel, but she called several times to tell us about the amazing time she was having touring around. Lucky for us, we'll see her again in December when we come for our final R&R in California.

Here's a photo of Cyn with the girls.

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