Sunday, October 23, 2016

A New Year

it is 3:00 p.m. in the holy city of Safed.  tonight the kids are coming for the holiday meal.  in a couple of hours we will be celebrating Simchat Torah.  the Sukkot holiday officially ends here tomorrow evening.  it has been a quiet holiday.  I took care of the kids a couple of times.  I am a bit nervous.  this will be the first time in a few months that the family eats here with me.  I made a simple meal.

I made a small piece of beef in wine and a small amount of beef meatballs in tomato sauce.  I made a sweet noodle kugel, some sweet rice, a small cauliflower, beets, baked sweet potatoes and a green salad.  I bought red grapes and cashews and a chocolate honey cake for dessert.  I also bought a round sweet challah with raisins. 

I didn't sleep much last night.  it is customary for the men to stay up all might learning Torah.  I didn't learn anything.  I watched some television and lost my sleep.  I finally passed out about a 4:30 a.m.  I ordered a cab for Tuesday morning to take me to the hospital inTel Hashomer.  I get to see the neurosurgeon and discuss my recent brain scan.  I am not looking forward to this conversation, at all.

I never finished cleaning up the downstairs.  the college students come back to learn in November.  I doubt that the downstairs will be ready by then.  I haven't heard from any students, either.  I get very anxious just thinking about this.  I made a date to meet up with a recent immigrant from the U.S.  we have a few new American families in my neighborhood, too.  of course, they are all much younger than myself and have young children. 

I have another CoDa meeting next week.  being alone all week and not having anyone to care for, led me into a terrible 4 day food binge.  I was so careful not to eat any sugar or dessert during the entire holiday and then wala, I went crazy.  I wanted to lose some weight before my upcoming brain surgery.  it was so clear to me what set me off.  I expected the grandkids to come over one day.  I had arranged to take them to an outdoor Sukkot party.  when they didn't show up in the morning I went into a food binge.

I stuffed my face all day long and then ended up taking them in the early evening.  I binged the next day and then another couple of days.  I wanted to take a walk and get out of the house one day, but it never happened.  I felt a bit sluggish and felt like I was coming down with a cold.  my friend was also not well and recovering from the Sukkot holiday, in general.  she had had a lot of sleep over guests.  I should have gone to town but I couldn't get it together to do so.

I have been going to services on Saturday mornings at the large and decorative Sephardi synagogue. I have become part of the congregation.  I always stay for Kiddush and kiss everyone in the ladies' section on both cheeks.  it is very comfortable and spacious.  tonight we will all meet up there.  I have asked the kids to come to me for Simchat Torah for the past seven years.  this year my son asked me if they could come.  I tried to persuade them to come tomorrow too.  then I realized that I was being needy and too demanding.  I have to hold back.

I asked a friend to join me in making a barbecue tomorrow.  she has lamb chops, and I have hamburgers, liver and wings.  it is weird living alone.  I do love the quiet.  I feel guilty that I have this huge home to myself.  I would love to buy a small place for myself but with prices being so high; I would not be left with enough income to survive.  I am comfortable in my home and am still capable of cleaning it.   I would love for my sister to join me here for a few months at a time.

I hope the evening goes well.  I hung up some curtains that the kids left downstairs and their chandelier in the dining area.  I hope it doesn't create any resentment.  my friend is coming for the holiday with her dog.  there will be three dogs for dinner.  in the past, my daughter-in-law couldn't stand my dogs but now that she is never here, I hope it won't be a hassle for her.  I am hoping to engage in some conversation tonight.  I want this to be a truly festive meal.

for the past 7 years, I kept to myself, took care of the grandkids and had virtually nothing to do with my son and his wife.  I felt like a nanny and a waiter.  I was always resentful.  I never engaged anyone in conversation and everyone went downstairs as soon as they ate.  the little kids never ate and never stayed at the table.  the married kids talked to each other and I felt totally alienated.  I'm sure I gave them dirty looks, too.  I don't want to be like that any more.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Book 0f Life

it is 5:00 p.m. in the holy city of Safed.  the Yom Kippur fast starts in about an hour and a half.  I have been making an effort to drink today.  I can't really get any water down so I have been adding apple-cherry concentrate.  it is sugar free.  I have been eating all day long.  I made schnitzels at 8:00 a.m.  I then put up a pot of chicken soup.  I had bought frozen kreplach but they became one giant clump of dough in freezer.  I tasted the only one that was still filled.  it was tasty but peppery.

I decided to go to the large supermarket to buy another package of kreplach.  I had given half of the kreplach to my friend.  I hope she had better success with them than I did.  I took a taxi to the mikveh in Canaan.  there is a small market near by and I was hoping that I'd find kreplach there.  no such luck.  I walked a bit to the supermarket in the heat.  there wasn't a package of kreplach to be found.

I settled for sweet potato mini ravioli.  I found a brand that wasn't dairy.  it is very pleasant in the soup.  the kreplach would have been better but it didn't work out.  I really should just let it go.  I called my son to take me to the cemetery.  I didn't feel like spending the rest of my holiday money on a cab ride.  my grandkids came along and helped me wash my parents' graves.  they came back here and watched a movie until their dad picked them up.

I sent a food package with him.  a few schnitzels, mini ravioli, chicken wing soup, rolls and a bit of honey cake.  the little kids ate macaroni here.  my granddaughter had smoked turkey and pickles.  I bought hamburgers, franks, kabobs, chicken wings and liver for the holiday of sukkot.  who knows?  we may just have a barbecue here one day.  I haven't made any plans for Sukkot.  I am waiting to see what pans out.

I want to take out the bars and build the sukkah on Friday.  I  offered my son half of the sukkah parts for his new place.  I hope he takes me up on it.  it would be so nice if the kids had a sukkah on their porch, right outside their living room.  for many years when we lived in an apartment building, we would schlepp down three fights of stairs to our communal sukkah.  the big kids never really used the sukkah when they lived here.  we'd have an occasional barbecue and they would eat here on Shabbat.  I mustn't get too involved with them right now.  I need to take a step back.  they know where I am if they want to come over.

I am pretty tired today.  I haven't been sleeping that much.  I washed the floors at around 10:00 p.m. last night.  I finished close to midnight.  I am a bit scared ever since I fell down my steps at the beginning of the summer.  I was having a 'moment' at 3:00 a.m. and decided to throw a lot of soapy water around the entrance way.  the male dog keeps pishing there.  I was sponging the water off the steps when I violently fell down the steps.  I was in a bit of shock.  I was very lucky not to have broken anything.  my back hurt for a few weeks.

I  will finish my blog and do the afternoon prayer.  I then will have my 'last' meal of chicken wing soup and mini sweet potato ravioli.  I had a schnitzel sandwich at noon time.  I am keeping it real simple this year.  I will go to the evening service and hopefully I will fall asleep early tonight.  may you all be sealed in the Book Of Life for a good  and sweet year!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Bring It On

it is nearly 7:30 p.m. in the holy city of Safed.  I was gone for most of the day.  I went to my second CoDa meeting this morning.   I wasn't planning on going but after my girlfriend told me this morning that I was being codependent, I showered and took a cab.  at first, it was just me and another lady.  apparently, a meeting is two people.  another lady joined us so it was a bit more lively.

you are urged to attend at least 6 meetings before you decide to quit.  I will give it a try.  I still don't fully grasp the process of the 12 steps.  the lady who joined us later on, co hosts other groups.  she suggested consolidating all of the groups into one 'recovery' anonymous.  I don't know how the alkies, druggies, food addicts, and parents of druggies would feel about that.  since there was only the three of us we could not make any decision.

I could easily go to the debtors' group and overeaters' group, too.  I would have three days out of the house every week.  I would be very busy but I'm afraid I would get too involved with other peoples' problems.  this morning I called the telephone company because my friend's phone wasn't working.  she has a cellphone and a basic grasp of Hebrew and yet, I felt that I needed to get this taken care of for her. 

as it turned out, she had already called the phone company, even earlier that I had and had it all straightened out.  I did not sleep a wink last night.  I was so tired, too.  I had read most of a novel and my eyes were burning.  I went into the bedroom and turned off the television.  I ended up tossing and turning until around 5:00 a.m.  I felt pretty lousy when I let the dogs out.

my mind gets overactive in the middle of the night.  I start worrying about all the repairs I need to have done in the house.  I wish I could just turn off my thought processes at night.  it was yet, another, really hot day.  I bought a few stretchy tops for the holiday's.  it's been awhile since I treated myself to anything.  I bought a pair of shoes at the hospital maul, but they proved to be less than comfortable.

I usually wear white on Yom Kippur.  I didn't manage to buy white sneakers.  I will wear the new straw like shoes, which are black.  I hope to clean the house tomorrow.  I went to the doctor's office in the evening to get my payment voucher for the neurosurgeon's appointment in the next few weeks.  I can try to spackle the downstairs bedroom's wall tomorrow. I  hope i'll have the energy and patience.  I need to buy some white paint, too.  I'd rather not go to town again, tomorrow.

my son asked to come for the final meal before the fast of Yom Kippur.  I ran out to buy frozen kreplach, little Jewish wantons.  as it turns out, they won't be joining me here.  I offered to make the meal for them to be picked up.  I don't know if this is codependent behavior, or just trying to give them a break.  I already bought the ingredients, and I can eat the leftovers on Shabbat.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Shabbat Shalom

it is 4:30 p.m. in the holy city of Safed.   it is about an hour to candle lighting.  we got through Rosh Hashanah well.  it was quiet and stress free.  I actually, enjoyed my food.  I didn't need to referee anyone and I had only adult conversation.  I went out the first night to friends.  I drank wine.  I slept well.  I got to services early and I stayed until the end.

I didn't have anyone to care for.  I didn't have anyone to take care of.  I had a friend staying over and we spoke freely without anyone interrupting the flow.   I missed having the grandchildren with me but I didn't miss the noise.  I didn't have to watch what I said, nor did I taste my own bile.  it was a good holiday.

the next day was a fast day.  I stayed home.  my grandson came over for a few hours and we watched Halloween cartoons.  the kids are mad for these.  his mother came to pick him up and I wished her a good new year.  I felt peaceful.  I didn't feel resentful or judgemental.  I felt like my genuine self.  the next day I set off for the hospital near Tel Aviv to do my brain MRI.

it took me about 3 hours to get to the hospital.  I took 3 busses.  I had a 5:30 p.m. appointment.  they took me in about 6:30 p.m.  that was a first.  usually I wait for about 2 hours.  I was finished by 7:30 p.m.  I had prearranged a taxi to take me home.  it took a bit to find each other but I was on my way home by 8:00 p.m.  we stopped for coffee and I got to sit outside and breathe some fresh air.  after being cooped up in the hospital for hours, it was nice to just relax.

I was extremely tired today.  I ran off to the supermarket to get some chicken for Shabbat.  I was just too tired to cook anything for myself so I put the chicken in the freezer.  I decided on having a tuna sandwich.  I just got a second wind and made some kasha, pumpkin, raw beet salad, string beans and fish.  why not eat a festive Shabbat meal even if I am alone.  I have a good Maeve Binchey novel for tomorrow.

I think I may have lost a bit of my stomach.  I haven't had any sugar lately.  I did dip the apple and challah in honey on the holiday.  I have been eating fruit again.  for some reason, I gave up fruit a while ago.  it could be that it was too expensive.  I have been enjoying apples.  I haven't had any chocolate all week.  I made whole wheat apple/carrot/raisin muffins before the holiday.  it was my treat with my morning tea.  there were only a few spoons of oil and honey in them.  it was a perfect  swap out for the traditional Rosh Hashanah honey cake. 

I may go to synagogue this evening for the Shabbat service.  my granddaughter may be there and I will get to see her.  that's if I don't fall asleep soon.  I am very tired.  I am trying hard to keep it all positive.  the kids got me a lovely turtle necked shawl from their vacation.  I will truly enjoy it this winter.  I sent them an email to thank them.  I even read their new year card.  a first for me.  I don't ever enjoy receiving help or gifts.  I am working on showing appreciation to others.  maybe you can teach an old dog tricks.  Shabbat Shalom!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Another Day

it is noontime in the holy city of zefat.  I am getting ready to leave the house.  it is too late to go to the medical office to get my voucher for the neurosurgeon.  I didn't go out yesterday.  I couldn't move.  every inch of my body hurt.  I think it was the heaviness of the CoDa meeting.  I spoke with my brother for two hours.  A good part of the conversation was about self loathing.  How fun!

I can't remember what exactly I did this morning.  I tried to fix a small coffee table.  I was so proud of my work until I realized that I had screwed the leg of the coffee table onto my good dining room table top.  I thought about running to town to buy some contact paper to cover the coffee table.  if the kids use it to draw, why bother covering it???

I went downstairs to take another crack at getting the sofa bed into the downstairs master bedroom.  it is now jammed tight into the doorframe.  I came upstairs to call the handyman to come to take the metal bedframe apart.  I really scratched the woodwork badly.  what's a little more varnish to apply??  I still feel dizzy and not all that well.  it could be the beginning of a virus, who knows?  everyone is complaining about the same symptoms.  the change in weather from unbearably hot to cold in the evening, doesn't help, either.

I had a very bizarre thought.  an addicted codependent personality would have a field day at the meeting.  there are so many other people in the room to chase after to help, control and advise.  I say this, because after the meeting, I wanted to invite a lady who was lonely to my house for the entire Rosh Hashanah.  we could have a ball egging each other on about our sons.  no seriously, having problematic people in a room with codependent people; is like having bottles of booze around at an AA meeting.

 there was a lovely young thing who showed up at the meeting late.  her husband was very ill.  I wanted to chase after her to get the medical details and involve myself in the case.  who knows, perhaps she needs a babysitter or a medical advocate?  I didn't invite the lonely lady, and I didn't offer to become a personal schlepper for the young thing, either.  I am taking it slow.

to rush in to help the two, or to try and solve their problems would only be enabling them and enabling myself.  I have to take a step back from my life and become an observer.  I have to listen more.  I have to stop interjecting in every conversation.  I have to stop offering my opinion, and trying to advise everyone what to do.  I have to take me out of every situation.  I am not Waldo.  I am zelda.

I need to spackle the downstairs bedroom wall.  I do not feel like it right now.  I don't feel like doing anything right now.  normally, I would call a friend and have an hour long conversation.  I am totally talked out.  I need to be alone.  I don't want to answer any calls or any emails.  I want to be alone like Greta Garbo.

I just remember what I did all morning.  I did laundry in my super duper gigantic Maytag washer.  It may be 17 years old but it keeps on washing.  I am caught up with all the sheets and towels now.  the kids took out their small machine and once again, it is me and my Maytag. 

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.