Sunday, September 25, 2016

Can We Change?

it is 7:30 p.m. in the holy city of Safed.  I went to my first codependent anonymous group session this morning.  what a trip!   I had every single line on the form to check off.  I am a classic case.  I couldn't stop balling.  it was totally emotionally draining for me.  I went with a gal pal and we fought like little old ladies on the way to get there.  it was much too hot, once again.  we didn't do much better on the way back.  we simply navigate differently.

yesterday, I went to the Sephardi synagogue in the morning.  I can't really follow the services there but they have a lovely and most comfortable ladies' section.  I do my own thing, read psalms, and go downstairs for refreshments afterwards.  I actually had a bit of cholent.  I then went across the street to visit my friend.  after a while I grew restless.  I thought about going to see my sister.  what a shock that would have been.

I had thought that I might see my son in shul, but alas, it was not meant to be.  I have not heard from them yet.  I assume they were back at work today.  I took a nap in the afternoon and got up at around 4:00 p.m.  I had not slept at all on Friday night.  my mind kept thinking about all sorts of changes that I needed to make downstairs to get ready for student rentals.  I couldn't turn off my brain.

I didn't like being alone and I didn't like not hearing from my son so I decided to take a walk downtown.  it was a bit cooler and not that oppressive by then.  it took about an hour and I surprised my friend.  we then went up the block to the old age home to visit our mutual elderly friend.  at around 7:00 p.m. it was gloriously cool and breezy and I sailed on home.  I didn't feel like catching a bus or a taxi. I loved the walk home.  I found my pace.

I didn't really sleep well last night, either.  I was too wired from the walk.  I got up at 6:00 a.m. and let the dogs out.  they can't really run into the neighbors at that hour.  they came back at 7:00 a.m. and I got up and started cooking.  I put up a pot of rice and had a cup of tea.  I then made a tomato sauce for some frozen string beans and put up some frozen chickpeas.  I then fried up about 25 fish patties.

I  planned on making a Shiva call this afternoon.  I wanted the family to have a decent lunch.  I ran over to the old age home for a moment to check up on my elderly friend after I schlepped back from the codependent anonymous.  I was truly beat.  I had some lunch with my girlfriend and then we went together to pay the Shiva call.   I caught the bus back up here at 4:30 p.m. and stopped off at the local supermarket for a few items.  I really wanted a frozen coffee drink.  those things are addictive.  I am currently off sugar.  I bought some grapefruits and made some juice.

I am wiped out now.  facing old demons is a bitch.  I need to go and lie down now.

Friday, September 23, 2016

A New Year

it is 8:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat, Wednesday night.  the grandkids just got picked up by one of their young aunts.  I had to pick up my grandson from first grade today.  I took a cab because I wasn't exactly sure where the school was.  it turns out that it was down the road from the open air market, we refer to as the shuk.

I waited for about 45 minutes in the hot sun.  we are in the midst of yet, once again, a heat wave.  it is unbearable outside.  it is nearly October and we are sweating our bodies off.  we stopped at the shuk to buy some bread.  I treated my grandson to a frozen drink and a cheap toy.

we schlepped home by bus and got home about a half an hour before we had to pick up the granddaughter.  I had disassembled the plastic playhouse from the playroom downstairs and dragged it upstairs.  I couldn't figure out how to reassemble it.  my grandson did it in minutes.

he didn't want to go back out in the heat to the gan with me.  I didn't feel right leaving him alone for so long.  he had a meltdown on the way to the gan.  on the way back the kids and I took breaks in the shade.  a ten minute walk became almost an hour trek.  I didn't feel like putting out for another cab.

I have made great strides with the downstairs.  I still have to spackle the master bedroom next week.  I went to look for curtains but they were all very expensive.  I bought a bunch of them in a second hand store years ago.  I took down the bedroom curtains, that the kids left behind, and hung them in my dining area.  what a pleasure!.

I also threw out the curtains from one of my bedrooms and replaced them with my old dining room curtains.  it made a pleasant change, too.  I managed to drag out a convertible couch and bed set from the downstairs bomb shelter /bedroom/t.v. room but couldn't get it into the master bedroom by myself.   perhaps my son will come over next week and help me.  one never knows.

I haven't heard from the kids at all.  I only get bits and pieces of information from my grandson.  I must get them out of my mindset once and for all.  I get treated like the help.  I get to see the grandkids, when no one else is around to care for them.  I went to the Sephardi clan twice last week to see the kids.  the 20 year old aunt treats me like a moran.  she doesn't think I'm capable of caring for them at all.  perhaps, that is the imput she gets from her sister.

I have no idea at this point if I will see the kids at the holidays.  they must be holding another grudge because I left the birthday party early.  I made the mistake of telling my son that I wasn't much enjoying myself.  so much for honesty.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?

it is 5:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  candle lighting is in about 45 minutes.  I made a few pieces of chicken for myself for dinner.  I am making a bit of kasha and red lentils  if I don't burn it.  I burnt the chicken.  I was outside disposing of old lamps and broken fixtures.  I have done a lot this week in clearing out the downstairs.

I had a phone call from a student who wanted to see the downstairs.  she never showed up.  for a moment I had hope of getting out of this financial abyss.  I picked up my granddaughter from gan and she got taken back to her Sephardi family around 4:00 p.m.  I had wanted to have the kids here for Shabbat but as the saying goes; you can want.

I have never had a choice of when I got the kids in all these years.  why did I think it would be different for me once they moved out.  I have always been the live in babysitter but I was only chosen when no one else could fill the bill.  when someone was on the outs with someone else I had the kids all the time unless I had a hospital appointment.  I don't think I ever said no.

I still do not know where my son and wife went on vacation.  I didn't ask the Sephardi grandma.  it's enough of a heart ache that I'm excluded from everything, I don't need to come off as a complete outcast.  I am making plans for the holidays with my friends.  I am not stockpiling food for the holidays like I do every year.  I am not planning on having guests.

I finished my cooking stint yesterday and got a bit of cash.  I bought some coloring books for the kids so when they visit, they will have something to do besides watch television.  I brought up some old puzzles from the downstairs, too.  the kids took most of the Lego to their new house.

tonight is my grandson's birthday.  his parents threw him a party before they left for vacation.  last year I was left alone with the kids on his birthday and I felt like a dope for not having a cake or something festive for him.  I guess kids now a days don't need to know when their actual birthday is.

I think I'm just bitter.  perhaps that is why I'm not told any details about what's going on in my son's life.  I don't think I was ever filled in while they lived here, either, but for sure not now.  perhaps that is how it is supposed to be in life.  however, it bugs the heck out of me that the Sephardi clan is let in on every detail, while the lone American grandmother, is always left alone in the dark.

I must get on with my life as it is now and hope that I will get some student rentals.  when my granddaughter was picked up I got a bit down.  once again, I am completely alone.  would it have been so hard for the Sephardi grandmother to let me have them for Shabbat?  after all, she has a full house on Shabbat.  however, I guess her daughter did not leave instructions that included my having the kids over night.  the kids probably will have a better time with the clan.

I remember crying on other occasions when my son would call me from vacation.  I always missed my grandson when he was not here.  now I have to get used to living alone.  it is much more quiet with them gone and I do enjoy the quiet.  but I do miss not seeing them every day.  I guess I am never satisfied.

after all, I am just here to serve.  I don't get to have the pleasure of my grandkids' company.  it's all or nothing.  there is no such thing as an hour visitation.  it's 10 hour shifts or nothing.  I was not invited to the Sephardi clan for shabbat, either.  why should I have the joy of being with my grandson on his actual birthday.  afterall, he did live here for 7 years.  I guess it's their turn.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Odd Man Out

it is 8:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just woke up.  I went to my grandson's birthday party last night at their new apartment.  I guess they do not know how to act with me.  I must be one big pain.  I feel like the odd man out looking in.  I've been working at the yeshiva for the past three weeks and trying to get the downstairs put back together since they moved out.

I feel very geriatric.  I am the one who needs to be picked up and taken to the party.  I am totally disoriented.  I left the party quite early.  I was tired.  I was not enjoying myself.  I was uncomfortable and I let my son know that I was not a happy camper.  I guess I do not know how to play the game.  I walked back.  it was nice to be on my own.  it isn't really far away.  I used to go up to that neighborhood every Friday night to check out the new houses.

that was many years ago.  that was when I was in decent shape before the grandkids arrived.  that was before I became a mother-in-law.  that was before my indoctrination into the clan.  that was when I was a free bird.  well, I wasn't exactly free then, either.  I was taking care of my demented father in those days.  I would take a nice long walk before we had our Shabbat meal.

I've put on more weight and am totally winded.  I went to the party on an empty stomach and then ate a bunch of pizza.  I feel totally sick this morning.  I felt very awkward in the new place.  I got the feeling that I was the only one there for the first time.  I might be wrong.  it was the clan and me.  the kids went off on their vacation last night.   the grandkids went off to stay with the clan for the next 8 days.  I was not told where they were going. 

I was not asked to help with the kids.  my son did say that he thinks they get too wild when they are with the clan but his wife made plans with her mother which didn't include me.  it was reminiscent of 7 years ago.  I feel like I tried for seven years to fit in and I'm right back where I started.  I'm on the outside looking in.  I'm doing penance for getting angry this summer.

they are an entity by themselves.  I am alone here with my dogs.  even though I put up with all the balagon downstairs for so many years, I was always all alone.  I was never included in the party details.  I was the one upstairs putting the barekas in the oven at the last minute while everyone else was partying downstairs.  I do not enjoy children's' parties.  I do not like the noise and I do not like the mess.

I feel like a strange creature.  I do not have the patience to be with my friends nor do I have the patience to be with my grandkids.  I am so uncomfortable about my weight gain.  I am happy that the kids found a place that they love.  my downstairs is like a basement flat compared to their brand new spectacular apartment.  the kids do not have a place to play outside but that is their choice.  I was always busy with the kids outside.  I was raised that way and that is how I raised my son.  we were always outside until evening.

I must get on with my life.  I must find a rental.  it isn't looking great.  I have been schlepping upstairs all the things that were left in my closets downstairs.  I am tired and hurting.  tomorrow is my last day at work.  I have to buy spackle and fix the master bedroom wall.  I also have to start getting the medical papers in order.

on Monday I went to the bank in the evening.  I finished work late.  I spent a lot of time buying my grandson a birthday gift.  it was overkill.  he got so many things that he didn't get a chance to play with the toy supermarket cash register that I bought.  it even talks.  maybe after he returns home from his hiatus at his grandparents' home, he will enjoy it.

he got a beautiful new bicycle but there is no area to ride it in.  hopefully, his parents will take him to  a park where he can ride.  nothing is perfect in life.  the downstairs is huge but not designer.  there is a huge backyard and garden but it comes with me.  if I could have kept my cool, perhaps they would still be downstairs.  I know in my heart of hearts, that would not have been good for them.  they are now faced to deal with grown up life.   and I must deal with my life.
      

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Detting Back To It part 3

it is almost midnight in the holy city of zefat.  the kids moved out today.  they left me a big mess.  I came home at 5:00 p.m. and both the downstairs door and gate were left wide open.  I have been wanting to clear out the laundry room for years.  the daughter-in-law wouldn't hear of it while she resided here.

I went through a closet all the way in the back of the room and started throwing out old lamps, material, and dolls.  forget eBay.  I want to be junk free.  I was going to give my old Maytag washer to the yeshiva where I work; but after going to buy a new one, I decided to hold onto to it for a bit longer.

my son left my computer table downstairs.  I have been using an older one.  I honestly, do not have the strength to drag it back upstairs right now.  ill leave it in the laundry room for now.  I would like to go through the boxes that I'm still storing for my niece in India.  I would love to transfer them to the closet on the wall.

that reminds me, I must throw out old suitcases tomorrow.  I don't plan on travelling anywhere and I  want to rid my house of junk.   the master bedroom needs plastering.  I will try to get to it on Friday.  I have to cook next week.  the kids are going away on vacation.  I don't think I will be able to take care of the kids by myself.

the Sephardi grandmother will have the use of the car so she can chauffer the kids around to gan and back.  I had the kids with me yesterday after work.  it was really exhausting.  I finally had a meltdown at the cheap dollar store.  I left my granddaughter inside crying and stood outside of the store.  we didn't get home until nearly 8:00 p.m.

the little kids grabbed up some more of their toys to take to their new apartment.  they took most of the lego that they play with upstairs.  I guess I will have to buy some new toys for them when they come over to visit.

the big kids faced a sewerage backup on their first day at their brand new apartment.  the electricity was also shorting out and they came back here to shower the kids.  in the end they left without showering.  my son let me know that my downstairs was neglected.  they did occupy the space for four years and didn't take on any of the repairs.

at least,  the electricity here doesn't jump and the sewer is fine.  once I plaster the bottom of the wall it will look okay.  I can also have someone take apart the closet that is currently standing in the laundry room and reassemble it in the master bedroom.  the kids had it taken out when they moved back in.  I want to throw out one of the convertible couches.  it is all ripped up and stained.  I know that it can be covered with a sheet but I don't think that I want to have large crowds downstairs again.

I don't think that I want to do holiday rentals anymore.  it is a real shame that the kids bought that huge pool this summer.  it is still standing in the middle of my yard.  I will store it in my storage shed.  I will also store a kid's bed, three carriages, and two cribs and a highchair inside.  I'm afraid of rats destroying them outside.  there are several rugs that may have to be chucked.

I am truly tired so I will end now.  I am no longer sad.  I am no longer mourning the grandkids moving out.  I am taking back my house.  I am taking back my independence.  I am throwing out the past and chucking out old junk.  I am getting ready for my brain surgery. 

my son came aback a little while ago.  he came to fetch a bag of kids' clothes and to ask for a beer.  I no longer buy alcohol for him.  everyone over in the new place is having a meltdown.  the ikea beds and closets arrive tomorrow.  he felt strange sleeping in the new home without a mezuzah.  I gave him one that has been upstairs for a year.  I asked him all year long to check if one of the mezuzahs was missing from downstairs.  I will take them all off the doorposts to have them checked this month.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Getting BackTo It part 2

it is nearly candle lighting in the holy city of zefat.  I am exhausted.  it took me hours to wash my floors.  I had to pick up my granddaughter from kindergarten at 1:00 p.m.  we went to the supermarket and got stuck on the line.  it was a struggle for me to walk home.

I made a fool of myself.  I thought that the organic pasta wasn't discounted on the bill.  the cashier lost my bill and I kept the whole line waiting.  it turns out that the gnocchi was indeed discounted and I felt like a loser, once again.

I cooked up the entire package of gnocchi for the kids and of course, they didn't eat it.  I spent hours on the phone this morning with a gal pal.  she just made a wonderful video which I will be posting next week.  I kind of live in her shadow.  I'm like her biggest fan and I would love to be her manager.  right now I act as her confidant and assistant.

the kids are moving out next week.  in the end, they found a place in walking distance to here.  we have all been getting along.  there is nothing left to rant about.  I made lunch for my friend and myself.  tonight I'm having spicy St. Pete's fish fillets and buckwheat and red lentils.  tomorrow we will have barbecue chicken wings in a spicy store bought prune and pomegranate sauce, rice, Chinese cabbage salad, potato salad, beets, green salad and store bought honey cake.

the kids just said goodbye. apparently they are going out for Shabbat.  once again, I am on my own.  I must get used to this.  I will have to make a life for myself.  next week the kids are going away on vacation.  the Sephardi grandma can handle them.  I will not get involved unless I am asked to help out.  I thought that we could split up the kids and I would watch the granddaughter who goes to gan in my neighborhood.  that is not an option so I wish everyone good luck.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Getting Over It

it is 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the kids just left for school.  my grandson starts first grade this morning and the granddaughter starts kindergarten.  what a milestone!  I kind of made up yesterday with my son and his wife.  I agreed to watch the kids all day.  I was called at night to ask if I could be with the kids.  I had plans to be in oncology with my friend but it was cancelled.

I could have very easily declined.  I could have kept up with my tirade but I didn't.  I feel like I got run over by a truck.  it was way too much for me.  I don't know when I stopped being functional.  the day before a young student came over to check out my rooftop apartment.  I became very maternal and spent 3 hours in the hot sun running around my neighborhood to find her another place.

I get that something is wrong with me.  my place was a bit over priced for her.  all the other places were brand new designer apartments way over her budget.  and yet she had to see them all, and I had to schlepp along with her, too.  the arrangement between the two of us might have been amenable but perhaps I would have become codependent.

I definitely do not know where to draw the line with people.  as soon as she decided that my apartment wasn't for her, I should have said good day.  this isn't being a good person.  this is being a clinging weirdo.  she and I bonded.  even the dogs liked her.  I was once again, giving out mixed messages.  I don't know how I am supposed to proceed with my life right now.  the kids haven't found an apartment yet.  they were almost packed and ready to leave last week.

they cancelled one apartment and went away for the weekend.  I was not informed that no one would be here for Shabbat.  it was pretty weird being all alone.  it was hurtful that I didn't know that the kids had gone away.  it was one more grievance to add to my list of complaints.  I do not like myself very much right now.  my grandson told me that I make too much out of everything, yesterday.  perhaps, I do.  I feel totally alienated from my son and wife.

yesterday I was with the kids from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.  it was hard.  I hadn't slept well the night before.  they were a bit hyper and wanted to do everything at the same time.  there were sheets of paper, crayons, markers, pencils, water paints, play dough, and scissors all over the dining room table.  the television was blasting away as well as the cd player.  they wanted to hear the score from star wars.  they dragged out the purim costumes, as well.

I was on kitchen duty again.  I made pancakes, ravioli, hard cooked eggs and salad.  I made numerous rounds of drinks and flavored milk.  it was pretty hot outside.  we went down the street to visit their play pals.   I took my two grandkids with another pair of little girls to the playground.  it was too hot to be outside.  we came back here and my grandson hit the pool.  I am still not ready to climb the ladder to enter the pool with my rib injury.

the young mother of the girls came over to take the kids back to her house.  I was getting lunch ready. I came about a half an hour later and sized up the situation.  she was quite overwhelmed.  she had at least 5 other kids there visiting.  I took my grandkids home but it wasn't easy.  I got the kids quiet and gave them lunch.  I put on the movie 'star wars' but it was too much for them to follow.

my daughter-in-law came home from work with flowers and candy.  it was her birthday.  I felt truly uncomfortable.  I have given her presents and cake for years.  I took my granddaughter with me and bought a mousse cake at the local bakery.  I put a sparkler in it and presented it.  she seemed pleased.  I kissed her and wished her a 'mazal tov'.  the wrath of zelda was abated.  I still feel left out.  I still don't know what is happening on a daily basis.  perhaps I shouldn't know.