Thursday, October 29, 2009


it's midnite in the holy city of zefat. everyone just left. kept the dogs in the master bedroom . cookie stayed on the bed and was quiet. cloey didn't stop yipping the entire evening. she stood in front of the door and at one point, sounded like she was going to die. i had to put her outside on the porch again. i'll probably hear about it tomorrow or the next day, from the neighbors. i have to say that everything turned out all right! i spent the day cooking and cleaning up and doing pots and pans from last week's meal. the chocolate cake, that i baked last night, was a big hit. i am so glad that i did it last night. it was really, very hectic today. i didn't even watch 'the days of our lives' or 'the real housewives of N.Y.' i ran out of gas this evening but it was no big deal because i just bought a two burner electric stove top. we have our own gas canisters here. we call them balloons. i use the small ones and it usually takes me three months to finish one. this last balloon has lasted for seven months, which tells you how little, i cook these days. i ended up making stuffed peppers with quinoa and sauteed carrots, celery, scallions, red onion, yellow raisins and raw almonds. quinoa is very healthy but it isn't very filling. i bought some bakala fish and baked it in a russian dressing 'like' sauce. i mixed mayonnaise, ketchup, dehydrated onion, garlic granules. chili pepper, sweet and hot paprika and dried coriander. i made fish roll ups which looked impressive. i then made a spinach and whole wheat noodle kugel. i also made a mixed green salad with baby beet leaves. everyone here goes wild for those baby leaves.! i ran outside in the rain to pick a couple of lemons. they were still green but i was desperate. i quickly whipped up some rich's non dairy whip cream and added 3/4 of a package of instant chocolate pudding and voila!, i had frosting and it wasn't bitter this time. i covered the circumference of the cake with the 1/2 inch white chocolate hearts that i made, yesterday. and i put the rose shaped chocolates in the middle of the cake. of course, i shook on some multi-colored sprinkles for effect. zvi said it was my fanciest cake yet! there was very little left over, so i guess it was good. i even ate an ordinary looking slice. i totally forgot that i was on a diet and that i'm prone to migraines and tend to suffer from eating things like fake whipped cream. my head is throbbing now. the cake was rich, so you could hardly tell that it was made with whole wheat flour. my daughter-in-law said it was good, but i can never tell if she is just trying to be polite or really means it. it was a nice get together and have a family reunion. my side held sahar and they held menachem mendush. his real name is menachem mendel. he towers over sahar. he only has four months on him but has a good, ten pounds over him. zahar is no slouch, either. he is already weighing in at 10 pounds. at one point , menachem was staring at sahar but just didn't know what to make of him. he definitely knew that it wasn't a doll. i set the table with a disposable paper table cloth with a party motif. i had really cheap paper party plates for the cake and disposable plates for the meal. i also had cheesy party napkins. i blew up 5 balloons by myself and i really struggled to blow them up. i asked zvi for help when he came home from work, but he was really tired and very cranky. he didn't even want to join us for the meal. so i blew and blew really, hard and at one point i thought that i might be having a heart attack. i still couldn't get those suckers to inflate. finally, i realized that i needed to blow out of my bad side and use the bad side of my mouth to get the best results. i successfully, blew up four balloons. during my last try, the balloon exploded in my mouth and i could hear ringing in my ears. it was a bit traumatic. i managed to mop the floor before anyone arrived. when my niece showed up we were already, assembled in the dining area, ready to wish her a mazel tov! we blessed each other and i wrapped up the remaining cake for them and threw in some of the banana-raisin muffins that i made yesterday morning. i gave some to my sister and threw in some of the corn muffins that i threw together in the morning. finally, i let the dogs out and gave them the remains of the spinach-whole wheat kugel, which they both devoured. i did the dishes and put away the leftovers. so good nite! my back is killing me! that's all of the aftermath.

customized Dolls

it is pouring here in zefat and i am so delighted for my garden and fruit trees! we really need the rain! i completely forgot about the picture of the 'zvi' and 'gal' dolls on the bottom of the blog. i did these the night before the engagement. basically, i didn't have anything to do for the 'henna'. it was the obligation of the kallah's family. the bride's family makes the initial vort or l'chaim. this is to announce the engagement. usually, a dinner is made for the immediate families, only. the parents discuss the finances and make a toast. later on, they have a small reception and serve drinks and cakes to the various friends and neighbors. i had the privilege of making a vort for my niece a couple of years ago. it was originally supposed to be a minyan of ten men but it escalated to over thirty people. her husband has ten brothers and one sister. she has two sisters and two brothers. and as you already know, i have one son. the sephardim make a huge engagement party in a catering hall and do a ceremonial 'henna' service. the kallah is given gold jewelry and the chatan is given a set of gemora and a silver watch. i also bought my kallah a set of silver candlesticks and tray. this was a throwback to the askenazi custom. the women dance to primitive sephardic music and balance baskets of home made goodies on their heads. they also wear traditional moroccan dresses that are quite colorful. the safta raba (great grandma) makes up the 'henna' and brings it out with birthday candles on it. some of you followers, may be familiar with egyptian 'henna' used to dye hair red. it has a religious connotation that i can't think of at the moment. it is a mud like consistency that quite frankly, resembles a cow paddy. you press a little bit of this glop into your hand and then you walk around for the next couple of days with a great big read stain . i needed an outlet for my creative energy. i decided to bake a cake in the shape of a wedding dress with a barbie doll in the middle as the bride. my friend had made one for her granddaughter's third birthday party at school. she borrowed my giant jello mold for the base. it looked and tasted stunning. i proceeded to make a smaller version, using my own recipe. it was a disaster.! i didn't want to toss it because it was still edible, so i frosted it and covered it with candy necklaces and put a little miniature doll on the top. it looked cute. i don't know if it actually, ever got eaten, but that's another story! i decided to make look-a-like dolls of zvi and gal. nowadays, there are many inexpensive bride and groom dolls. i think i paid $5 for each. at one time, you could only find G.I. Joe dolls or action figures. but now they have them all. i started with the boy doll. i immediately took out a black permanent laundry marker and transformed the plastic, orange hair to black. i then very carefully, darkened the eyebrows, and then drew a mustache and a little face hair. i took a gauze pad from my first aid kit and glued a small circle onto the doll's head to resemble my son's signature, white, knitted kippa. i then cut some white fringe or some old garment to create the strings for his tsitis. i drew a white line across the black plastic doll shoes with white out to resemble zvi's dress shoes, exactly. i even cut out the label from one of his versace shirts and glued it on to the suit jacket as a joke. because, everyone, knows about zvi's taste for designer clothes. i used purple marker to give the semblance of a lavender shirt, similar to the one, that zvi bought for his wedding. thank goodness, i was able to persuade him not to buy a white suit. gals' doll was a cinch! i blackened the orange hair with a marker and took a section of bangs and covered one eye. that was gal's signature hair style. i added the signature, black mole under the other eye and voila! the clothes wear modern and similar to what she wears. and i made designer tights with packing labels. i added tons of small gold jewelry and pasted a rhinestone on her finger for the diamond ring. i glued the shoes to a coaster which made a great stand and i placed them on a silver platter and covered the tray with tons of candies. it was a huge success! for the shabbat chatan, i transformed the gal doll into a bride, complete with wedding dress, and pearls and a bridal bouquet. and wouldn't you know , that i was still playing around with this on the night before the wedding. i used liquid white out to turn the red plastic shoes into white bridal shoes. i would love to do more customized dolls .

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Picture Commentary

2:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. it seems that i am not the only one still awake. just heard from loyal reader, mikimi. they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. i'm guessing that you are hoping that i won't go that far. anyway, i just wanted to give over a little something about the pictures on my blog. first of all, we have a picture of my new logo with an imaginary scene from zelda's place, my home and place of business. it really is a picture of lake kinneret, in tiberias, which is more commonly known as the sea of galilee. then we have some pix of my followers. (1) is of a new follower who is my cousin's granddaughter in california. (2) is follower, wendy, who shares the same last name and may be related. (3) is carol abrams, a follower and friend of my sister, ann (4) is a flower of sonsie, my sister's best friend and my loyal follower (5) is my sister ann, who encouraged me to blog and (6) is diana who is currently stalking me. the family group shot, captioned ,"the clan", is really my son's new sephardic family. through the magic of graphics, i have been transported to the picture. michal, a computer maven, chose a shot of me in a long moroccan green dress from the "henna" engagement ceremony. my son is the handsome young man, in the first row, on the left . he is joined by his father-in-law and wife's brother-in-law. behind him are 4 out of his 5 sister-in-laws , 2 young brother-in-laws, a mother-in-law and his wife holding their baby sahar. and then we have the picture of zelda, the proud ashkenazi -american safta holding her precious ,half sephardi /half ashkenazi ,israeli -american grandson, sahar at his bris. and the photo of the two women at the bottom of the blog are me and my good friend michal. we worked together in the same office ,twice. we have been friends for about 20 years. michal was my wedding planner and threw me my first sheva bracha. she has been my constant shabbat and holiday guest, for years. and when zvi and gal aren't here, she sleeps over and we have "pajama" shabbatons. she taught me how to use the computer program at work and brought me over to her new office when i quit my job. she is like a mother hen with zvi . she knits scarves for him and bakes him his favorite, lemon meringue pies. the tiny photo of me next to my profile is also from the engagement last year. i had no idea of what went on at a "henna". i never imagined that i would be given a moraccan dress to wear and parade around in. but you know about my fascination with costumes, right. in the pictures you see, i am wearing a red wig. sorry, that isn't my real hair. well, it is my hair, in the sense that i did pay for it. but you know what i'm saying. i am so happy to have 9 followers. i think that my sister ann must be paying some of you to read the blog, but in all honestly, if she can afford it, why not.? please stay in touch and i will also stay in touch. i invite you to share your pictures with me. i will try to add on more pictures and keep up my picture commentary.

Bake It Don't Break It!

just threw together a chocolate cake. you know, the kind that you add all the ingredients together with hot water and mix for 5 minutes. well, i should have used my hand mixer, but i couldn't be bothered looking for it. so there are these little clumps of baking powder all over the surface of the cake. i bet, when it's frosted no one will know the difference. and when they bite into the little lumps, hopefully, they'll think they are biting into tiny, chopped nuts. i already made some white chocolate hearts to put on top of the cake. these are a recent acquisition for my chocolate molds collection. i have fish molds and rose molds and tea cup molds. i also have "his" and "her" baby carriage molds. i have all the letters of the jewish alphabet and other jewish objects like : the shofar, star of david, sefer torah, ten commandments, and chanukiah. i also bought tefillin shaped molds for gal's brother's bar mitzvah, which will be in the year, 2012. i can smell the chocolate cake. as for the rule of thumb, when it smells like cake, it's ready; sure enough, it is ready now.! i opted for one large octagon shaped pan, rather than two layer cake pans. maybe tomorrow, i'll be able to slice this one in half and then frost it in the middle. or maybe, i'll just leave it, as it is, and just frost the top. i'm leaning towards making a spinach quiche tomorrow, instead of kugel. we shall, see.! i'm usually pretty quick in the kitchen but i can't hold a candle to my son's mother-in-law. she's a human cuisinart.! our menus vary, too. she will serve vats of spaghetti and, rice, and potatoes for an impromptu dinner. after all , she is feeding a small army. i , on the other hand, will serve a bowl of spaghetti, a plate of baked store bought fish sticks, a mixed salad and a bowl of steamed string beans for three. and that is exactly what i made for them tonight, minus the string beans. i even volunteered to make dinner without being asked . i used my recently, fixed dryer yesterday for the first time in over a year. and guess what? it took longer to dry than it would have if i had hung it outside on the lines. what a rip off! i went to a second hand clothes store today to buy a couple of 'new', used items. jewish law forbids a mourner from buying new clothes for an entire year, which is the length of our official mourning period for a parent. it is hard to believe that the year is coming to an end in december. i found a lovely thermal 'Lands End' zippered and hooded , full length robe for $4. i also bought two skirts, a vest, and a long dress top for $11. i'm sure i will enjoy the toasty, hooded robe, come this winter. it's now, midnite in the holy city of zefat and the coffee is just kicking in. i have lot's to do tomorrow for the surprise birthday dinner party. someone called before to see the downstairs apartment. but they didn't show up. they are doing some type of "healy"and "feely", motivational course for women and may want to rent my place. i really could use the money.! we shall see. in the mean time, i will resist from trying to slice the cake in half, right now with my trusted montra ," bake it and don't break it!"

Have You Missed Me?

i didn't blog yesterday. i woke up in a fog and couldn't focus. i watched sahar while his mom went out for a driving lesson. seems like he also woke up in a fog. and as soon as his mom left, he went back to sleep and continued to sleep throughout the day and into the evening. apparently, he also slept through most of the night. i was ready to go to sleep at 7:30 p.m. but i thought that my sister might visit so i drank a lot of coffee. she never showed and i ended up staying up til around 2.30 a.m. the right side of my face hurts and i'm scared to death that i might be relapsing with another bout of facial palsy. i went to town yesterday to deal with my bank account, but i missed the bank by five minutes. i can't seem to keep up with the bank's hours. i went passed the unemployment office and they were open so at least, i got to sign up for the month. i went to the grocery store and bought loads of canned goods for shabbos. it is my turn to host the young couple. my son loves canned palm hearts, canned baby corns, asparagus and artichoke bottoms. i also bought tons of aluminum foil baking pans in all sizes and shapes. these throw away pans are great for heating food on the electric platter. they take up far less space than pots and you can serve the food directly from these pans. i just place them on a nice tray. it isn't so ecological, but i don't use paper plates on shabbos. i also like to freeze leftover fish, or chicken and meat in individual cooking bags. these bags can split so it's wise to use two at at a time. when i want to serve the leftovers, i simply put each individual bag into a pot of water and boil for about 20 minutes and voila! last week i served pot roast that was left over from shavuot and no one was the wiser! i am so big on cooking these days. and it has nothing to do with my blogging. i basically cook once a week for shabbat. during the week i live on yogurts and sandwiches and canned tuna. i went to my niece's the other night to bring over a high chair. she offered me a bowl of pea soup and i must say, that i really enjoyed it. but there's no way that i would ever bother making it for myself. perhaps, when it gets colder, i'll start making soups. i love pureed soup but zvi likes it chunky. it is almost november, but we are still enjoying summer like weather here in the holy land. it isn't officially, the cholent season yet, here at zelda's place. tomorrow night is my niece's birthday and i am trying to put together a surprise party for her. so i ran to town to look for party goods. i bought a birthday paper table cloth, paper plates and party napkins, just for the heck of it. i am very much into themes. i actually found canned jellied cranberry sauce today and i already have my paper turkey napkins and straw turkey bread basket, so maybe we'll do a mock thanksgiving dinner this year. i also found lovely paper napkins with grapesmotif that will be perfect for my annual tu b'shvat seder. every year, i host a bunch of my lady friends and we eat 30 types of fruits and nuts, some cookies and cakes and drink four glasses of wine, similar to the pesach seder. by the end of the evening we are generally, feeling no pain. throughout the seder, we read different passages about the various fruits and how it relates to the jewish people. one year we sang songs with fruit lyrics. i usually scout out the town for a couple of weeks before the seder and find all the fruits that are required. i love putting my personal touch to all the parties and events that i host. i have an elaborate collection of plastic fruit that i hang in the sukkah each year. i am always on the lookout for new plastic friut all year long. i love my collection of paper napkins, too. i have ones that say, mazel tov !, shabbat shalom!, good yom tov!, "shana tova" and "good appetite", and many more. i once bought"sweet sixteen" napkins but by the time that my niece turned sixteen this year, i couldn't find them. i may have used them once to clean up a spill in the kitchen. i recently bought ones with tefillin on them for gal's brother's bar mitzvah. he is ten years old now. when you see something you like buy it now, because it might be gone the next day. i ran back to the store to look for more of those "'sweet sixteen'' napkins but they were gone forever. i am having a hard time planning my menu for tomorrow's birthday bash. i thought about making a cheese lasagna but you never know who might be fleishig. i didn't want to make chicken because we will all be eating chicken on friday night. i thought about making morrocan meatballs but i couldn't find the right chabad heksher for the ground beef. and my sister doesn't eat beef. i found the right heksher for the ground turkey but my nephew doesn't eat turkey. so i thought about making a salmon but my daughter-in law doesn't eat salmon. i thought about making a spicyand tangy, gefilte fish, but my son doesn't eat gefilte fish, now that he's sephardi. i thought about making a broccoli quiche but there wasn't any frozen broccoli in the store. so i came up with vegetarian stuffed peppers with sauteed rice, onions, celery, carrots ,and raisins. the raisins might be chancy because my son objects to when i put them in salads. i was thinking of adding some canned chick peas but i already bought chumus with chick peas. my nephew eats chumus with everything! i decided to bake some fish with a russian dressing like sauce. i usually, make it with bell peppers and soy sauce but i am already making stuffed peppers. i might make a spinach noodle kugel for overkill, and i might make a mashed potato kugel for over, over kill. now i'm wavering about making a casserole with mashed potatoes on the bottom and spinach on the top. i am limited because i could not find fresh mushrooms. and as i have a deep seated fear of salmonella poisoning, i don't use canned mushrooms. i narrowed down the cake to chocolate with a whipped cream frosting. i just have to decide if i want to use vanilla, or chocolate or caramel flavored instant puddings. they all have a bitter, after taste. i bought dairy ice cream and also bought pareve whipping cream to make a pareve ice cream. this is how i spent and wasted all of my afternoon. so, have you missed me?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Over Eaters Unite!

they have recently started an over eaters anonymous group in zefat. i believe that it is based on the classic 12 step program. i toyed with the idea of joining. and then i worried that i may not be accepted by the others because i wasn't really morbidly overweight. i couldn't risk the chance of any more ridicule or rejection at this point in my life. losing 10 or 20 pounds is a real hassle.! Dr. Phil says that it doesn't make any difference how much you need to lose, in his "weight loss challenge" platform. i beg to differ with the good doctor. i know three people who have lost a lot of weight on the weight watchers/ buddy system. i have one friend who has taken off more than 100 pounds in a couple of years. and as i already, mentioned, my brother just lost over 50 pounds in a few months. my neighbor and ex-gym buddy just lost 40 pounds. so why do the rest of us struggle with these unsightly 10 or 20 extra pounds.? i have always thought that the weight watchers program was like another religion for its followers. so many rules and restrictions.! i actually, tried it for a couple of days but couldn't continue. let's face it.! we are setting ourselves up for failure, every time we diet. and we all know that just as soon as we reach our goal weight, we will start to overeat once again. take the letters of diet and break it down. ( d= do, i= it, e= each, t= time). so we diet, and do it each time we gain weight. my friend sarah goes to a holistic doctor who suggests eating just plain, whole grain bread every other day. that's right.! you eat only bread all day long. Dr. Oz suggests eating whole grain bread drizzled with olive oil at the start of your dinner. it curbs the appetite and aids the liver. my ex-healer said to love the chocolate thay you eat and to be happy. weight watcher's allows you to eat the chocolate by substituting something else for dinner. i gained 20 pounds while on an exercise program. i have some nice clothes waiting for me if i can only get this weight thing under control. i finally went out and bought a "prairie" skirt with an elastic waistband. but i am sick and tired of wearing it and i miss my old waistline. my niece and sister went on another version of the bread diet and both became emaciated. currently, they both look well and trim. i who, was the fit one in the family, have fallen by the wayside. i am trying very hard this week to eat cautiously. i am trying portion control and the bread smear thing and am not bringing any treats, cookies, ice cream or trail mix with dried fruit into the house. so, wish me luck! and i wish you luck. i am going upstairs soon to take care of sahar while my daughter- in- law takes her driving test for the umpteenth time. so let's wish her luck.! and let's keep in touch and share our weight loss/weight gain stories with each other and remember there is power in numbers! over eaters unite!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Confessions of a Yo-Yo Dieter

my weight has always fuctuated according to the seasons. i was super svelte and on my game during summer, began to put on weight in autumn, and by winter i was pretty, zaftig. in my mid-thirties, after i had my son, my metabolism changed and i remained slender. i had a good figure and i was happily, a size 10. it was a pleasure to be able to find clothes to fit, so easily. i could also, eat as much and whatever i wanted and didn't gain an ounce. i had the appetite of a truck driver. however, i started to spread and gain wait in my mid-forties. so i started to diet. i would eat a lot of steamed fish with spinach and other veggies and would go for a 40 minute walk every night, directly after eating. around the same time, i started going to a holistic healer for a back problem. he convinced me to love what i eat and not fret over calories. he encouraged me not to feel guilty about eating a cookie. and if i was to indulge in a cookie or piece of cake, i was to really love it and enjoy it. after awhile, i seemed to get back into shape, rather effortlessly. in my late forties, i joined a gym . and for the first time in my life, i started to exercise and do aerobics. when i turned fifty, i began to learn ballet. it was fun but totally not my forte. i absolutely, couldn't to spins and turns. i would get so dizzy, that i would have to sit down. i continued my aerobic workouts and even started yoga and stretch classes. i have never been what you may call, flexible, physically or psychically. somewhere along the line, i started putting on weight and gained a huge belly. about five years ago, i had the lead role in a women's chanukah show and dreaded appearing on stage at my new weight. so i went on the south beach diet at the encouragement of my blogmaster, michal , who had just been on it and lost a bunch of weight. in the beginning stage you don't eat any carbohydrates or fruit for a two week period. for two weeks i didn't eat any rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, fruit or drink any juice. i managed pretty well so i kept up this part and never went on to step 2 or 3 or even maintenance. after a month i lost about 16 pounds so i kept it up for a year. i pretty much lived without carbs. on shabbos, i would have a limited amount of challah and grape juice. i think that this new regimen destroyed my metabolism. it didn't take me long to start gaining back some of the weight. i continued to exercise and i walked for miles every day. i was more muscular now, but it seems that muscles add on weight. but as long, as my clothes still fit ,i considered myself to be lucky. about 3 years ago i had to stop my walking because zefat was under fire from ketushas. i never quite got back my momentum. then, about 2 years ago when my niece got engaged, i started dieting once again to make sure i could fit into my dress. i was naturally very excited so the weight came off easily. but, once again, i gained most of it back and could not lose another ounce. i did a work out 3 x's a week, and i walked up a storm but nothing budged.! i ate minimal amounts of calories and ate tons of salad and cottage cheese and still nothing budged. i became lethargic and thought that i might be suffering from chronic fatigue. but all my friends and family told me that it was "just" hormones. i went on google and read all about thyroid and decided to check out my hormone levels and thyroid. my blood tests indicated that i was hypothyroid but the doctors didn't pick up on it because it was marginal. i went to a homeopath and after taking a remedy i noticed an immediate change in my cholesterol and thyroid. i was able to lose weight again, but i could gain it back in a couple of days. last year just before chanukah my son got married. i went on a bread diet just before the engagement and lost a few pounds. basically, i would eat slices of whole wheat bread with a smear of humus or tuna salad and lots of salad and veggies. i would eat a lot of eggs cooked in olive oil. it seems that , now, eggs lower your cholesterol and are good diet food. i continued dieting until the day of the wedding and lost 16 pounds altogether. but i also lost my mother, a few weeks later and once again i started to binge and gained back another 20 pounds. before pesach, i returned to aerobics and walking again and i lost about 7 pounds without really dieting. i was just working really hard, painting and cleaning the house. but right before pesach, i got bells palsey and went into a downward spiral. i didn't leave the house for months. it has now been six months and i still have'nt returned to the gym. just before rosh hashana i went on a fruit fast to try and lose a few pounds before my grandson's bris. i ate nothing but plums and maybe a few grapes for a week. i didn't even weigh myself to see if i lost anything. i seem to gain 4 pounds every other week. i will binge and eat for hours for a day or sometimes, two. then i will go on a diet for a week and lose the 4 pounds. i will be okay on shabbat, but start to binge again on saturday nite. sometimes, i will make it through sunday and then for no apparent reason ,start a binge on sunday nite. my brother just lost 50 pounds on weight watcher's. i started my bread diet last week but am being a lot more flexible. i really want to knock off this extra weight, once in for all! so much for the confessions of a yo-yo dieter.!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Somethings Can't Be Fixed

from the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, we learn, that if we think we can break it, then we have the power to fix it. somehow, i don't think this applies to today's world of appliances and air conditioning units. it's after 5:00p.m. and the very chatty, anglo repairman just left. he was here for almost three hours but did manage to fix the dryer. opening the dryer wasn't so mystical after all. first, he wanted to know why the dryer hadn't been serviced in seven 7 years. who knew that you had to service a dryer every two years! he then told me that he needed to replace a part that had somehow, melted down because i hadn't serviced the machine in seven years. he also told me that the electrical outlet and plug were both wired wrong. he even opened the plug to show me how it had been incorrectly wired. apparently, the brown wire which is negative, was put in the side where the blue wire, which is positive, goes and visa verse! being a lay person, i was curious to know how it was possible for the dryer to have worked at all, having been improperly wired for seven years. i'm still not sure about the answer i received. anyway, he didn't have a new plug on him, because that was back in haifa. and he didn't have a new plate to install behind the outlet , because that was also back in haifa. and he didn't have the spare part to replace the melted down part and had to buy a new one in haifa. he did say he was sorry but i was getting very frustrated. he couldn't fix the heating unit on the ceiling because it was too old. perhaps it was 11 years old. we had our heating unit in brooklyn for 40 years! but now they make the units more ecological and more environmentally friendly. which translates into having to buy new units every decade or so. i feel that i got off easy with only paying $100 to fix the dryer. he was actually able to tighten the melted down part and saved me the cost and the wait for his next monthly visit to zefat. so my heating unit is caput and a new one costs over $1000. i don't think i can swing it right now. i survived this long without it so i will have to find another way to heat that part of the house, i guess. it took the guy half a minute to open up the cover of the dryer and about a half an hour to close it again. but, lucky me, it is working again without that awful noise. we shared horror stories about bad repair jobs and bad customers for about two and a half hours. and we drank coffee and ate chocolate wafers while we reminisced about some of the old time rebbes. he finally left and it was just like saying goodbye to a shidduch that took up all your time and energy. he just called back because he mislaid his kneeling pad. i ran down the stairs and couldn't find it anywhere. so i ran back up the stairs to tell him not to schlep back to my house. why are anglo repairmen so slow? and how many anglo repairmen does it take to change a light bulb.? this one was just like the absent minded professor. first, he asked me which job he should do first. i told him to do the job that would take the longest amount of time, first. then, he asked me which i needed more: the dryer or the heating system. it felt like sophie's choice. i decided that, having heat was more valuable to me than having dry clothes. i also reasoned that clothes could dry on a rack in a heated room. i am beginning to play with the idea of bringing the dryer upstairs to help heat the room. well, in the end, the repair guy did find his kneeling pad . he just called back to apologize, once again. why is it so hard when some things can't be fixed?

Now You Say You're Sorry!

well, it's already noon here and no sign of any workers. can you believe it? i just got a call from the repairman. it seems that he had a late start and is only, now, leaving haifa. he should be here in another hour and a half. he said "sorry" but that was his way of being polite. he is after all, an anglo. but i am the one who is sorry. i'm sorry that i didn't get to unemployment this morning, and sorry that i didn't get to the bank, and sorry that i didn't wash the floor. and what ever happened to screen door man? he was already to come over on friday but gal was under the weather, so i had my son postpone. my right eye is very irritated and is really burning right now. the eye drops don't seem to be helping. i don't know if it's the side effects from the bells palsy or the strain from the late hours on the computer or the dryness in the air from this insane heat wave we've had. but i am suffering and my entire face is beginning to hurt. last nite, zvi figured out a way to attach the mobile to the portable crib. originally, when he tried to attach the plastic wheel , a small piece broke off rendering the bolt useless. he was ready to heave the whole thing out the window! it was made very cheaply, but it cost $50. anyway, the mobile was hanging over sahar but he was too busy staring at the shapes on his bumper pad to look up and take notice of the moving , smiling, stuffed sefer torahs; circling over his head. the tune is even jewish. "adon olam" is playing while the objects turn. i guess it will take him a little more time to focus. i kissed him goodnight last night and wondered what ever happened to that wonderful brand new baby smell. he smelled like an old man! maybe later, we'll bathe and shampoo him. i still remember the first time that zvi came home all sweaty and smelling like a little goat. i thought at the time that only little little boys could smell that bad. i guess babies do also. you might say that the "honeymoon" is over. i am just being honest. i would never say a word to the new parents about it! i just ate two of my wholewheat blueberry muffins because i was too tired to toast some diet whole wheat bread. i have been struggling with my weight for a couple of years now. i managed to lose 15 pounds before my son's wedding last year but i gained it all back. i will write a later blog about my crazy yo-yo dieting. it's already 1:00 p.m. and i am beginning to get a little nervous. I keep imagining, the repair guy calling to apologize, because he can't show up until night fall . and i imagine myself saying,"now you say you're sorry?" P.S 2:00 p.m. both the repairman and screen door man just arrived. i have this weird feeling that i might just get to say "now you say you're sorry".

Burn Out

well it's sunday morning here in the holy land. it's already 10:30 a.m. but i am still very tired. these late nite blog sessions are killing me. actually, i wasn't blogging til 3:00 a.m. this morning. i was on you-tube watching ''dancing with the stars." i watched almost all of last season 8 and then started in on season 9. i haven't yet, figured out how to download an entire show so i watch each dance ,video by video. somehow later on, i got into musical video's from "grey's anatomy" and ended up watching the last few episodes through the season's finale. that used to be my all time, favorite show and i would suffer real anxiety if i missed one. but the local cable company took it off. they are such such thieves! after they offer you a package deal with so many channels and the hottest series, they remove each show, one by one, and offer you the chance to buy the series on v.o.d. i found that i didn't miss the "sopranos" so much. well, not enough to pay the cable company a small ransom for it! but i did grieve a bit over "grey's anantomy". i woke up this morning from a really strange dream. it's been a while since i remembered having a dream. i try to jot down all my dreams as soon as i wake up and post them on the fridge. i always takes my dream notes to the homeopath to discuss them. this is a big part of the classical homeopathic diagnoses. i tend to dream in color and i can sometimes, remember an oder. this morning, i dreamt that when i went to take out the laundry from my maytag top loader, there was a huge puddle of water on the floor. and when i searched for the source of the water, i saw a tremendous amount of water coming out of the top of the machine as well. i remember, thinking in the dream, how lucky i was, that the repairman was coming that day to fix the dryer. i woke up from the dream and jumped out of bed and ran to put some clothes on because, in fact, the repairman was due to come at any moment. i let the dogs out and ran to the neighbor's to borrow a ladder for the repairman. i also need him to fix my heating unit that is situated on the ceiling and my ladder doesn't quite make it. i ran home with the ladder and realized that it was even smaller than my own. it's now 11:30 a.m. and there is no sign of the repairman. the screen door man was also supposed to come the first thing this morning too. why do they always tell you that they will come the first thing in the morning when they never show until afternoon. my eyes are burning from all the videos i watched and my head feels like total burn out!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Recap Of Zelda's Schemes

in the past 12 days of blogging i have offered up several of my money making schemes for my followers' attention. to recap just a few: (1) i invited you to send in money to plant commemorative trees in my backyard for you, (2) i have offered you the chance to rent my guest apartment situated in the neighborhood of the villas, here in zefat, (3) i offered you to participate in our time shares retirement penthouse and, (4) i have invited you for a fabulous stay at my B&B. i am now offering you a 2 for 1 special package deal in my new diet rehab program in my home. each person can have their own bed. i will cook nutritional, low carb, low calorie, inexpensive, tasty diet meals for you. we can sit together in the television nook and watch survivor and top chef together. you will be on the buddy system. when one of us regresses, the other one will say, "just say no!" to those dreaded, jelly filled, fried chanuka donuts that are already out in the supermarkets now. for exercise, each person will be given one of my dog's to walk. as this is a rehab, each participant will make their own bed, do their own laundry, and wash my dishes. i will take everyone out for a long walk around the neighborhood each day. i am also open to selling my baked goods to the public. so for now, this is the recap of zelda's schemes.

Questions And Answers

i am genuinely, overwhelmed by all of the response to my recent blog. first, i want to clear up any misgivings about the lemon trees. the situation here is that the trees are full with green, medium-sized lemons that need a little more time to ripen. i give it another couple of weeks. certainly, michal, by the time you return from california, there will be enough lemons for one of your scrumptious lemon meringue pies. hint! hint! and please don't think that i am abandoning you for shabbat just because i won't be home to host you this week. i need to let mikimi know that i do not make sushi. simcha laya hoffman makes the best sushi, ever! i happen to love sushi with brown rice, which is really odd because i loathe sea weed. my son wolfs it down like potato chips. he must be lacking some kind of mineral!. sea weed reminds me of my childhood years when we spent the long, hot, summer, days on bay #7 at brighton beach. we would go late in the afternoon and arrive to an almost empty beach and stay until night fall. on tuesday nites we would watch the wonderous fireworks show. my mother would pack up a chicken dinner, and we would sit on a huge blanket and feast. sometimes, we would have delicatessen from the nearby deli. for an added treat , we would walk down to mrs. shtall's house of knishes. as we couldn't all fit in one taxi, my dad and brother would travel home on the bus. we would put on our shoes and socks under the boardwalk and mom would always bring the amens powder to aid in getting off the wet sand stuck between our toes. it didn't do a thing for the long strand of wet sea weed that was always wrapped around our ankles; hence my strong dislike of sea weed. and for wendy, who wants to know if the muffins are fat free, a simple yes, will suffice. i only use canola oil for baking. i haven't allowed margarine into the house in years. a good rule of thumb is: if something doesn't melt at room temperature, do not eat it.! recipe: i simply mash up a few ripe bananas , about a cupful, and add half a cup of honey or brown sugar. i throw in a couple of eggs, add a half cup of oil, 2 cups of wholewheat or rye flour, and 1 tsp. of baking powder. sometimes, i add a tsp of real vanilla essence and i mix til smooth. then i throw in a cup of chopped nuts, or raisins and a bunch of chocolate chips and stir. this is more of a loaf cake than a real muffin. but because i bake them in muffin tins, i call them muffins. americans are mad for muffins! but in england at high tea, they are called tea cakes!. it takes about 30- 40 minutes in a moderate oven. (350 F or 150C). my rule of thumb is that when it smells like banana cake it's done!. my trick is to drizzle a little honey over the tops while they are still warm. and then i shake powdered sugar on them for effect. i use paper muffin liners which makes cleanup easier and saves a few calories by not greasing the tin. it was so good to hear from soncie again!. let me know which scenario you wish to sign up for. hopefully, in the near future, i will be able to offer the following: (a) a rooftop holiday and weekend zimmer with panoramic view of tiberius, meron and the golan, (b) an israeli time shares retirement penthouse or, (c) a studio apartment on the third floor of the house. all three scenarios are centrally heated and have air conditioning. there is one last scenario, that michal alluded to. yes, a sleepover in my apartment on the main floor. as michal commented, she did, have to make her own bed. in this scenario you have to fend for yourself! that just gave me an idea for another scenario. what about a rehab? anyway, as martha stewart says, thank you for all your questions, they were really good. and please note that i am always up for questions and answers.