Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm Right Here

it's 11:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. it looks like i'll be here all by myself for shabbat. it got cold today. it is supposed to rain throughout shabbat. we really need it.

i have an old friend from brooklyn staying overnight with her teenage daughter. her mom was really good friends with my mom. my sister knew her since 5th grade. my sister helped her to become an observant jew, many years ago.

she hasn't been in zefat in ages. my sister is still in india so they couldn't meet. i guess i was the surrogate. i really like this particular woman and her great husband. they used to come to our house to perform the pesach sedar. her parents weren't observant and his parents weren't jewish. i have such fond memories.

i was afraid that i might get over emotional. i have been very sad lately. i'm also, very tired. i have been with sahar alot and doing 13-14 hours shifts of babysitting. i haven't gotten out, and i haven't been to excercise in months. i'm overweight and feeling bogged down.

on wednesday, i spent the entire day babysitting and i always feel like i've been hit by a mack truck, the next day. i got up at 9.00 a.m and finally finished the glasses and pots and pans left over from last shabbat. i can't do anything upstairs when i'm watching sahar. i can do the kids' laundry when we're downstairs and he's asleep. otherwise, i am held captive by that little monkey.

i got up at 8:00 a.m. the next morning, prepared to do a cleaning number on my apartment. afterall, my guests had never been to my home. i only managed to wash the dishes, bake a cake and make up one bedroom before i got a call that they were almost in zefat. i still hadn't done the bathroom and the second bedroom and didn't have the time or strength to wash the floors.

the weather was cold and nasty and i ran out in the windy air to get to the little supermarket. i bought extra milk, cottage cheese, and a soft cheese. i somehow, figured that she was a whole wheat, health food type of eater, so i bought a can of tomato paste, and a can of beans to make up a soup. only bought a couple of carrots and squash to add to the soup because i had some frozen veggies on hand. i settled for a bag of white pitas because there weren't any whole wheat ones. i had my whole wheat orange and poppy seed cake to serve.

i kind of thought that we'd have soup and sandwhiches for lunch and maybe omelettes and salad for supper. i came back from the supermarket and quickly put up a vat of soup. i used dehyraded onions and garlic to save a bit of time. it boiled over onto the entire gas range. what a balagon! i had no more desire to go back into that chilly and windy air but i did.

it was considerably, warmer down in town. the sun actually, came out for awhile. we walked through the streets of the old city and artist colony for about 3 hours. they bought some souvenirs and gifts to take back with them. we went over to the zefat candle factory and bought some really nice hand made candles. we stopped off at a little yemenite stand and had homemade yemenite pita wraps. i had a lovely coffee and chilled out for a bit.

we began to discuss the dinner menu and i was informed that my friend was both, gluten and sugar free. so much for my orange cake. she also didn't eat tomatoes. that left me with a vat of tomato soup. and forget about the omelettes, because she had already eaten eggs at the hotel. we decided to go food shopping on the way home.

afterwards, we hiked down to the ancient cemetery to visit the grave of a great tsadik. we them climbed further down to the modern cemetery to visit my parents' graves. my friend took pictures to show her mom. as i mentioned before, they were life long friends.

at 5:00 p.m. we taxied back up to the little super and i bought a fresh chicken, a bag of rice cakes, a couple of carrots and sweet potatoes and a small piece of pumpkin. we climbed up the few flights of stairs back to my house and i went into action.

i turned on the heating system and made some tea. i served the teenage daughter the cake and fresh squeezed orange juice that i had prepared earlier in the day. i then heated up the soup and put out pitas and humus. i think she was starving. i then put the veggies in a pot with some spices and stewed them, while i put up the chicken to broil. the dinner was more or less ready to eat by 6:30 p.m. some of the chicken, however, was a bit on the pinkish side, so i put it back in the broiler.

i forgot to make the quinoa, so i quickly threw some in a pot with some onion flakes and cooked it while the chicken was broiling. i have a little of the food left over because they ate tiny amounts. that will be my shabbat meal. i am too tired to do the floors or prepare anything else. i'll just have the left overs and soup for dinner and a pita and tuna fish for lunch. i might just treat myself to a bit of heat, too.

after dinner, i invited them to hang in the t.v. corner and blog room. the teenager watched a couple of movies and hung out under the covers with cookie the dog. she missed her own dog from philadelphia. her mom caught up with her e-mails and i did the dishes. i then called india to let my sister and her friend catch up. the ladies went to sleep at midnite and i stayed up a little while longer to watch some t.v.

i jumped out of bed this morning at 7:00 a.m. and took a boiling hot shower. i had to keep lowering the shower so i wouldn't burn. i then put up some oatmeal fot the guests and got little sahar. i put him in the stroller and walked them to the bus stop. he of course, wanted out of the stroller. i had to carry him home. my back is hurting. i am really looking forward to being alone.

i wish that i could have organized a little shabbaton for a few women to bring in the new year together, but it didn't happen. i'll celebrate with my bed and pillow.
i'll wish you all a happy new year and a good shabbat!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Resting A Bit

it's 11:15 p.m. on thursday night in the holy city of zefat. my guest arrived a little while ago and i found myself reminiscing about my parents' deaths. the guest lost her 101 year old father two years ago. he was a survivor.

it was a lovely and sunny day. it was warm until about 5:00 p.m. the electrician came over pretty early and then the gardner arrived. i like 'hanging' with the gardner. he is a very savvy guy. we have a 5 minute rap session while he takes a cigarette break.

the electrician wasn't savvy. he couldn't fix one of my outlets and actually, asked me if i needed it. he tried to figure out where it was connected to. i was getting nervous when he played with the wiring near the computer so i told him that i didn't need the outlet. he fixed an extension cord, changed a few light bulbs to energy saving fluorescent ones, changed a fixture or two and charged me over $110. he was here for almost an hour but he was really slow. and part of the time he was taking other calls.

i was relieved that the apartment upstairs was well lit but it was not worth that type of money. when people come to this huge place they see $$$$. i couldn't wait for the guy to leave. he was creeping me out. the refrigerator repairman worked a lot harder for his 400 shekels but unfortunately, the fridge is still leaking and freezing up again.

zvi was mad at me for paying the electrician so much. now adays, a repairman won't set foot in your house for less than 180 israeli dollars. times are rough, i know. the gardner does me favors all the time. he would never think of asking me for extra pay. i try to repay his kindness by giving him cash when i have it. i paid him in advance today. i was afraid that i wouldn't have the money later on this month. between the gardner and the electrician, i was riped out this month.

the money from the guest visitor goes right to the lawyer for the probate. zvi's car riped him out this month. it is really hard to survive here. i really worked hard to make the guest apartment nice. i bought an inexpensive rug in the supermarket. zvi got mad that i wasted money on a guest. i explained that a rug is an investment. i can always use it downstairs. anyway, perhaps this can lead to other guests.

i woke up feeling like i had been run over by a truck. i guess i over did it yesterday. anyway, i couldn't get myself over to the senior's. gal drove zvi to work and left the baby with me. he was really interested in watching the electrician work. i think he has potential. anyway, i sat in the sun until gal got back. she took the baby to a family event in hadera. i ran to the drug store to buy her antibiotics before she travelled. i asked her to meet me at the super on her way out of town.

i bought sahar a little book and a large 'winnie the poo' bib. i met her mom outside the pharmacy and we dished on the kids for a good half an hour until gal arrived. i then leisurely, did my food shopping for shabbat. it was a pleasure. the store was empty. there weren't any carts but i stalked a guy until he gave me his. i took a taxi home and ran upstairs to lay down the rug. it looked great. i took the baking pan form the new toaster oven to the local mikveh. i then headed to the small super because i forgot to buy eggs.

i checked out the local gift shop for cheap place mats for the upstairs, but they didn't have any. i got back home and thought it would be nice to take a nap or just lie down for a while. instead, i decided to start cooking for shabbat. i also wanted to make a soup for the guest. my hands were stinging, and swollen and red. my fingers had small abrasions on them. i could barely close them. that's what you get for not using gloves when you do a pesach clean up.

i treated myself to a whole wheat roll and can of tuna. i hadn't had any solid food in days. i have been living on almonds and tahina and drinking lots of coffee. surprisingly, i lost some weight but my stomach is still huge. the roll was very delicious. i shared some of the tuna with the dogs. water tuna, just doesn't do it for me anymore.

i made tuna fillets and potatoes in a hot red sauce for tomorrow night. i also cooked the piquant morracan tomato relish that gal loves. it takes a couple of hours to do. i made it with fresh tomatoes. the prices have come down somewhat. i also made a cheesecake. i accidentally used potato flour instead of cornstarch, so it might be a tad, weird. i made a potato salad with mayonnaise for gal. i already took out the chicken to defrost. i ran out of eggs so it doesn't look like kugel this week.

i made a veggie, mushroom and barley soup which was really yummy and hearty. i had three bowls. i also made a batch of corn muffins and i actually, ate one. it was yummy! i had some rice dream left over from thanksgiving which was still good, so i made a double batch of batter and filled up the large muffin tin. this way i could use my pareve oven and muffin tin.

i invited the guest to join us for shabbat but i don't know if she will. i think she has food issues. she declined a hot drink and didn't seem interested in muffins or soup. i left some upstairs for her, anyway. maybe she'll be hungry in the morning. usually people want something to eat after a long flight and trip. go know!

i think i'll pot some chicken and potatoes for a change. i don't feel like broiling this week. gal does love her potatoes but manages to weigh in at a slight, 120 pounds. i'll probably make a pareve cholent with potatoes, barley, chickpeas and wheat for lunch. after all, i did make a cheesecake to serve 12.

i defrosted the coconut cake from the housewarming party, so i won't be baking tomorrow. i'll mosey on down to the super to buy challah and that's it. i have jello for dessert and taco chips and bambas for nash. i'll make a green salad for zvi and maybe i'll do a mexican corn salad for gal. she liked it when i put a piece of a chile in it. i just remembered buying fresh corn today but i can't find it anywhere. it may not have made it into the shopping cart.

the cheesecake and fish are already in the fridge. by now the tomato relish should be cooled down, so after i put it away, i can lay back and watch a little t.v. i don't think that gal got back yet. it's almost 1:00 a.m. well anyway, nightie night!!! and good shabbos!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Job Well Done

i am sitting here in the holy city of zefat in my soaking wet socks and crocks. i did a sponger a little while ago in the upstairs guest studio apartment. my shirt sleeves and skirt hem are also wet. it is 10:30 p.m. on a wednesday night.

i got up at 7:00 a.m. and went downstairs to fold the rest of the laundry that i did for gal's family. i hung out with sahar while his parents got ready ready to go out. zvi went to work and gal had a sick day. i watched sahar for a little while so gal could take the car in for service. apparently, the other day they didn't pass their annual car inspection.

the problem was faulty breaks. they already spent a small fortune recently, on replacing the breaks. they made the 'pilgrimage' a few times to hadera to have a family relative fix the car. this time the kids decided to go the local yocal in zefat. he just happens to be our next door neighbor, who has always liked zvi. he supposedly, gave him a break in the price.

i was toying with the idea of going to the old age center today but i decided to stay home and get the upstairs apartment ready for tomorrow's paying guest. i don't remember exactly when i went upstairs. i had to stop for a while when gal came back from the auto repair shop. she forgot to bring the paperwork and had to go back. i helped her load the car with the bags of clean laundry.

i was working like a snail today. it wasn't just your manic pesach cleaning job. i was interior decorating and accessorizing. i was also potting plants to put on the outside porch. the place looks cute but empty. it is freezing up there. i really cleaned it well. i made the best of the few extra pieces of furniture that i had.

i had a visitor ealier in the afternoon, too. i had just gotten back to work and was covered in mud, when a former neighbor appeared in the backyard. i offered her a cup of coffee but she declined. i took a break and sat in the sun for a little while with her. i then made my way upstairs, several times, and brought up all the plants. i was in the middle of washing the wooden floors upstairs, when i got a lovely call from my sister in india. in spite of all our run ins, i really miss her.

zvi got back at 8:30 p.m. and i had just finished washing my floors. they were so moody from the three day rain storm. i also did my dishes. they have been sitting in the sink since friday. i just turned on the boiler and i'm waiting for hot water so i can wash up and warm up. i still need to do a few things upstairs but it can wait for tomorrow.

i called an electrician to come tomorrow to fix a few broken outlets upstairs. i also have one in my computer room and zvi has one in his computer room. i want to buy a small rug for the upstairs apartment. it is so cold and bare. a shaggy rug will do the trick, i think.

my darling sahar was especially clingy and very affectionate today. he cuddled for a while and i didn't get one potch from him. i fed the little chubby one, macaroni and cottage cheese and a bowl of dry cheerios for dessert. he loves those cheerios to bits. i nearly went mental when i saw gal's sibblings giving him trix the other night. there is about 4 or 5 different food dyes in that cereal, not to mention all the sugar.

i don't know if i'll make it over to the seniors' center tomorrow. it really depends on how early the electrician gets here. gal wanted me to babysit this evening when she went to her course. at 5:00 p.m. i started to panick that i wouldn't be able to finish the apartment. i apologized profusely, and sahar went to safta miriam's. she must be going crazy not being able to do sponger.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When It Rains It Pours

i have been sitting in front of my computer for about an hour and my hands are just about frozen. it's 8:00 p.m. on a monday night in the holy city of zefat. we have been blessed with four days of torrential rainfall. it finally let up today and we saw the sun. it has been freezing and storming and thundering and lightening for days. the streets were nearly flooded. who could possibly complain.

it really felt as if the world was finally coming to an end. it started raining on friday evening but it stopped a little while later. the kids went to gal's family for shabbat and i stayed home alone. i made a pot of turkey soup and defrosted some deli from the housewarming event. i didn't want to chance walking back in a storm.

the deluge started on saturday morning. it was quite erie to be alone. the dogs had no desire to brave it out. the house already got cold and i stayed under the blankets all shabbat with the dogs. i drank a vat of mint tea and read the newspaper all day long. i checked on the downstairs and saw that the water was already coming in through the windows in three bedrooms and the kitchen. my living room couch was also wet. that's zefat winters, folks.

sahar stayed in with me for the past three days. i tried my best to keep him warm and amused. poor kid had to wear tons of clothing. he looked like a chubby snowman. i bought solar on friday to heat the house. i was outside with sahar when i saw my neighbor getting a delivery. he told me that it was a good price so i ordered half a tank. i went inside to find my checkbook because unfortunately, they didn't take credit cards. i had the baby with me and it was a bit of a balagon. the guys kept screaming for me to come out.

the young delivery men were in a big rush and ended up flooding the outside with the solar( kerosine). i finally found the checks and had to run out into the street with sahar in one arm and the checks in the other. his mom got back shortly afterwards, and i did my best to hose down the area. after four days of monsoon rain it still reeks of kerosine, and it is somehow seeping into the house through the walls. i am at my wits end!

yesterday, some idiots delivering solar to the ethiopian absorption center, accidentally loaded the solar into the water hose. an entire community is without water for about a week. i got an s.o.s call from a friend warning me not to shower or drink the sink water. luckily, my neighborhood's water supply, wasn't poisoned.

gal's family wasn't so lucky. her mom came over last night with three of the kids to take showers. her water had been shut off since 3:00 p.m. she filled up some bottles with water, and i gave her a couple of bottles of mineral water. she sent over about 4 batches of laundry this morning. while sahar napped in the stroller outside in the sun, i did their laundry and then some of mine. i also took cuttings of lavender, rosemary, tea geranium and geraniums and planted them all around the front yard. the ground was so saturated, that i figured it was a good time to do it.

it was really nice outside so i hung a bunch of laundry outside on the lines. i took it all down at about 5:00 p.m. and it was all still damp. i threw a bunch of it into the dryer and it was more or less dried, in a very short time. at one point, the dryer suddenly stopped and i assumed it had died. i was about to sit shiva over it, when i realized that it couldn't have died without some sort of death rattle. for sure, the circuit had blown so i simply, and gratefully, reloaded the box.

gal had to go to the emergency room this morning . she was suffering with pain for two days. it turned out to be an infection in her womb. i was nervous the entire day that she might be hospitalized over night. i worried about who would be in charge of the baby. i know it's really, dumb. i was so relieved, thank goodness, when she came home. the poor girl was put on two different and very strong, anti- biotics. who understands that??

my little grandson is an absolute brat and house wrecker. he is into everything. he goes into all the closets and takes things out of all the drawers. he pulls things out of the garbage and puts things into the garbage. matches, bills, drinking glasses, clothing, shoes, pajamas. nothing is off limits to this little menace. i couldn't find his shoe the other day. i checked the oven and the fridge. i emptied the entire garbage can. i checked all the drawers of his dresser. i checked all the rooms and all of the closets. i was really freaking out.

just before my daughter- in- law returned from work, i found the blessed shoe in his toy box. his other grandma said that it should have been the first place to look. after all, she did have him the entire week of chanukah, and in my opinion, created a monster. don't get me wrong. i love him to pieces and the feeling is mutual. when he isn't clobbering me he's slobbering me. what can you do with an over active 15 month old boy?. i keep saying that his father wasn't like this. i don't think anyone believes me.

i have a 'paying' house guest coming on thursday. too bad it's so darn cold upstairs. she's lucky to have a heating system. i'll freeze downstairs, while she uses my electricity all day long. i can't seem to catch a break. what a pity she didn't come two weeks ago during the heat wave. zvi finally got a friend in this evening to re-affix my door. after a month, it finally closes. Yeh!! he'll have to carry up the small fridge and a bed tomorrow. i'll have to clean the place up, too.

i planted an assortment of cactus to place on the upstairs porch. i'll have to haul it upstairs tomorow. hopefully, it will be a warm and sunny day. i can no longer feel my extremities, so i'll call it a night.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Last Night of Chanukah

it's 10:00 p.m. on wednesday night in the holy city of zefat. it's the last night of chanukah. i am still waiting for my daughter- in- law to get back with sahar so we can light the chanukiah.

my son has had a stomach bug all week. it hasn't been the ideal chanukah for him this year. he actually, requested that i make some potato latkes for him the other night. unfortunately, he couldn't really eat them. he admitted that it hadn't felt like chanukah since my mother passed away, two years ago on the third day of the holiday. i tried my best to keep up the chanukah spirit, none the less.

i ate a couple of greasy, jelly donuts, a couple of hours ago and have been suffering ever since. i really lost control of my diet this holiday. once again, i find myself with a huge, bulging stomach. all the sugar and carbs made me really sluggish, too. i haven't been to yoga or exercise in months. i can't seem to get myself back on track.

i went to the outdoor market today and bought a bunch of pajamas and sleepers for sahar. i also bought a couple of sweaters in town for zvi. it is his birthday next week. i don't know if gal is planning a surprise party here. i will just go with the flow. i haven't had sahar here all week. i stopped by the in- laws yesterday and he ran into my arms. i guess, he still knows me. he's going there again tomorrow. all the kids are home on vacation and they want him there. i guess it doesn't matter what i want.

we had two cold and semi wet days but it is hot and dry once again. i have had a stinging pain in my right eye for days. i forgot to buy eye drops, while i was in town today. i stopped by a friends' place on my way back from the shuk. it started to get cold so i caught the bus home. zvi came home and was a bit melancoly.

when he is up here he is still my young son who is never satisfied. he is missing things and complaining all the time. when he is downstairs, he is the happy young married father and husband. his moodiness is a strain on me for sure.

my baby sister is on a plane to india, as i blog. i ran to town yesterday to buy some baby clothes and accessories to send with her for my new grand niece. i bought some new born pink stretchies, a couple of little pink dresses, a hair band, a pair of striped socks, a package of fleese sheets with duckies, and a tiny pink fleese blanket with hearts. it is very hard to find baby clothes without animals on them. chabad has a custom of not wearing clothes with non kosher animals on them. bunnies, teddy bears, doggies, and horsies are all taboo. basically, that only leaves cows, chicks, duckies, and sheep.

i wanted to buy these very cute cow slipper socks for mendush but i was a bit afraid of the hired helpers there. you know how they revere cows there. i bought three packages of chanukah chocolate coins for mendush. i bought him one of the last remaining laizer draidels in town. it plays some really cheesey disco song. i also bought him a CD of the traditional children's chanukah songs. it may be the last day of chanukah but he can always listen to the CD.

i spent the morning yesterday at the old age center. it's a good thing that i showed up. they had a staff meeting and i had to babysat the group with a young volunteer. it really was not hard at all. i kept a chanukah tape playing the entire time. most of the group napped while the rest played dominoes. i did have to escort a few of them to the bathroom but thankfully, no one fell or disappeared on my watch.

the kids finally came down at 11:00 p.m. to light the chanukiah. that's okay as long as there are still individuals in the street who can see the lights. we tried on a couple of the sleepers and everything i bought for sahar, is too small. i'll have to exchange them next week. what a shame that i have to wait a whole week. but that's the life here in the middle east.

Monday, December 6, 2010

On The Sixth Night Of Chanukah

it is 6:30 p.m. on the sixth night of chanukah in the holy city of zefat. we were blessed with a few drops of rain today. it is suddenly cold here. we have been both, enjoying summer like weather and suffering from the exreme dryness. we are all itching and walking around with dried and cracked hands.

last night i made a chanukah latke night for a select few. i had sahar with me all day long so i missed yoga. zvi was home with a stomach bug and couldn't cope with the baby. i hadn't had sahar with me for the entire previous week. i was recovering from a really bad flu and didn't really have the strength to take care of him. i missed him, never the less. his other grandmother wanted him with her all week long.

he really changed in just a week. he seemed less happy and more fearful. he was hard to please and he cried a lot more, than usual. i put together a house warming party for the kids on thursday night. i spent hours straightening up the laundry room, after i did all the laundry, to make it look like a family room. i set up all the tables and did my best to make it look festive. i made chocolate coins, chanukiahs and draidels for the kids. i bought some awesome, laizer draidels for the boys.

we needed a minyan( 10 men) and only got one at around 9:30 p.m. the meal was called for 7:30 p.m. i put a vat of mini potato berakas in the oven at around 6:00 p.m. earlier, i made a batch of fried bow tie cookies and smothered them in powdered sugar. i also bothered baking a coconut cake which never got touched. it's in the freezer.

i ran to the supermarket to buy berakas, cold cuts, drinks, chumus and olives and pickles. i made an israeli salad and cole slaw. i ran back to the local super because i forgot to buy the chumus in the large supermarket. of course, i bought more berakas, because i got paranoid that there weren't enough. gal's mom made pitas, potato salad and a large chocolate cake. a few of the neighbors came in with their wives, because we were searching high and low for a minyan. the couple of women that came, didn't eat anything. everyone was in shock over the disasterous fire that was still burning in haifa. the evening seemed so surreal. we all just stared at the flames on the t.v. news.

i had tons of cold cuts and berakas left over. i froze the cold cuts and brought the berakas over to my sister, the next day. she thought about bringing them to the shul for the daytime kiddush. it was the second anniversary of our mother's passing. i picked up my sister at 11:00 a.m. on friday morning and we went to visit her grave. i only stayed for about 15 minutes. i read some psalms, cried for a bit and left. i still had to buy the challahs and cook the shabbat meals. it's a good thing that i had the taxi wait for me. my sister stayed on and was stuck there a short while later, while there was a huge funeral procession for a local resident who had died in the fire. the street was blocked off to all traffic and she ended up walking a great distance back to town to get a taxi.

i watched sahar all day long on shabbat and again on saturday night. he cried for almost two hours while i tried everything to put him to sleep. he finally passed out in my arms. yesterday, he was in a much calmer mood. i think the 'ruckus' at the other grandparents' home is too much for him. here he gets to have some quiet time and some t.v. time. they are not that thrilled with his watching t.v. or his playing with the dogs. what can you do?

he seemed like his old playful and smiley self yesterday. he hardly cried and he slept for nearly three hours. thank the Lord! while he slept, i washed all the floors with buckets of soapy water. i made some applesauce and peeled the potatoes for the latkes. i also made a greek salad with diced cucumbers and tomatoes, olives and cubed feta cheese. i even managed to clean up the stove and the small kitchen area. i still hadn't cleaned up after the thanksgiving dinner i made.

i had to go out and buy eggs so i took him in the stroller when he woke up. i gave him some lunch and then gave him a bath and got him into his warm p.j's. he played nicely in his crib for a while and then i put the crib into the t.v area so he could watch his 'baby luli'. i asked one of my friends to come a little early to help watch him so i could fry up the latkes.

while he watched his show, i started to hand grate the potatoes. he was fine so i started frying up the latkes. i totally, forgot what a 'potchka' it is to make latkes. they take forever to fry up and the entire house gets smokey. i opened all the windows but it didn't help. i was simultaneously frying up potato latles and making little fried greek donut puffs. i was still frying latkes when the guests arrived. i usually have them made already, and warming in the oven. i was red faced and working hard. the house was reaking of fried oil. it was not my most shining hostess memory.

i quickly threw in some slices of eggplant to fry up in the remaining oil. i then sat down to join my guests. everyone loved the fried eggplant, donuts, greek salad and the home made applesauce. the latkes went pretty fast and i was apologetic that i hadn't made more. in the past, i would have marched back into the kitchen to fry up some more. i was tired. i made a batch of hot chocolate with steamed milk and added a jigger of rum for each cup. i topped it off with marshmallows. we had a very fancy chocolate layer cake for dessert, that someone bought.

everyone left at 8:00 p.m. and i watched sahar until 11:00 p.m. he fell asleep in my arms without crying. i carried him downstairs and put him in his crib. he went to his other grandmother today and i stayed in bed all day long. i think i have him tomorrow.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shabbat Shalom

it's 12:00 p.m. on erev shabbat. i never went to sleep last night. i got off the blog at 3:30 a.m. and i was over tired and way over stimulated to sleep. i was also cold and damp from washing the dishes. i didn't want to wake up the yorkies to get my bath robe so i went to sleep in my damp clothes. actually, i didn't go to sleep because i was shivering.

i got out of bed at 7:00 a.m. and mopped the floors. first, i let all the dogs out. i then got sahar and gave him a little breakfast and took him with me to the grocery to buy the challahs. he was playing nicely in the playpen while i started to make the meal. his mommy came home early and took hom downstairs. i got on the phone and shmoozed for nearly an hour and a half. i am too tored to stand up now.

i bought cookies and a cake so i don't have to bake today. it is going to be a simple meal because i am dreadfully tired. i defrosted some fish sauce from last week's meal and i will cook the tuna fillets in it. i am planning on broiling some chicken thighs in a sweet thai chili sauce and i am going to roast some potatoes and pumpkin in the oven.

i'll make the tomato relish that gal loves and a carrot salad. i'll make a baby leaf salad for zvi. i'll also make some egg salad for tomorrow. i forgot, i need to cook the beets, too. oh veh! shabbat shalom!!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Is That All There Is?

it's 1:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just finished the washing up from our elaborate thanksgiving dinner. we were nine women sharing stories, company, sangria, and really good food.

noone came empty handed. mikimi brought 4 different salads. michal brought a vat of cranberry relish. danya made her 'to die for' chocolate chip, pecan cookies. she brought so many that i had to pull out mom's giant cookie jar that i've been storing high on a shelf. ruth brought an assortment of roasted nuts and a bag of designer gummies. i don't know how anyone eats these things. zvi and gal took the remainder downstairs. chaya tikva brought a lovely bottle of white wine. devorah leah brought a bottle of natural raspberry juice. leah brought a large container of natural almonds. judy brought her homemade egg nog and gave a devar torah.

how fortunate, that i just happened to have a bottle of baccardi to help 'spice' up judy's eggnog and spirits. i also was able to accomodate danya and turned her 'virgin' mary tomato juice into a full fledged bloody mary cocktail.

i tried everything but i couldn't really drink. i was having a headache and eye pressure from being sick and probably dehydraded. i spent the day watching sahar. he was rather passive for a change. he actually sat in his playpen for about 2 hours watching t.v. and playing with his toys. i brought him a bottle of milk and some bambas. he had already had his breakfast and was satiated.

i was in the next room doing the kids' laundry. i accidently washed zvi's national security photo identification card. it's ruined. i offered to pay for a new one but that didn't appease zvi, very much. what a shame! that little voice in my head told me to check all the pockets and i just didn't listen to it.

in the past, i washed his army identification card several times and nothing ever happened. i guess you're all wondering why i'm still doing their laundry. i just want to help them out and make their lives a bit easier, while i can. my mom did all our laundry until she was nearly 90. she was a laundry freak, anyway. she also loved to iron. that generation would iron underware.

anyway, sahar kept himself occupied until it was time to go outside and hang up the clothes. i came in to take him outside with me and discovered that sahar was soaking wet from the waste down. the sheet was also soaking wet. i couldn't imagine how he had pished so much. at first, i thought that i had forgotten to put on his diaper. it finally occured to me that he had simply, spilled out his milk while i was doing the laundry.

i quickly changed his clothing and went outside. the poor boy fell right on his chin and luckily, didn't get too hurt. he was playing on the ground and cloey dog was digging for something while i hung up the wet clothes. sahar was rubbing his eyes so i washed his really, dirty face and hands and put him in his stroller. he fell asleep immediately. while he slept, i went upstairs and made the sangria, waldorf salad, and steamed the green beans. i suddenly panicked and thought that there wasn't enough food to serve, so i steamed some fresh broccoli.

sahar slept for a long time so i did more laundry. this time it was mine. when he woke up he was really clingy. he didn't want to be put down at all. he only wanted to be in my arms. i had to hold him while i made coffee and while i made him his oatmeal. he had a banana while he sat in my lap but only managed to have a few mouthfulls of the oatmeal. i decided to give him a bath. afterall, there were women coming who had never seen him. he was a bit more active in the tub. afterwards, i turned on the t.v. once again. shame on me!

about an hour before the guests arrived, i took out the foods that needed to be reheated. i put the mashed sweet potatoes and roasted white potatoes in the pareve oven. i put the sausage stuffing in the small meat toaster oven. i heated up the barley and mushroom casserole on the stove and then put it on the electric hot plate. i also put the cooked carrots, pumpkin, fish and qinoa, green beans and almonds, on the hot plate. i then heated up the turkey and kept it on a low heat so the sauce really thickened and darkened.

the sangria was a big hit. the individual peanut butter mashed sweet potatoes was a hit. even though i worried about it, the corn bread was a hit. the pumpkin pie was not a hit. it looked like a pancake. i used the wrong size cake pan and it just didn't succeed. i had two slices and got a headache from the artificial whip cream. don't get me wrong, it tasted really good. in fact, i feel like having another slice right now but i don't want to risk another headache.

the jellied canned cranberry sauce from america was a hit. the string beans and almonds was a big hit. the mushroom and barley casserole served in the mimi pumpkin was a really big hit. it was really spicey. the roasted rosemary white potatoes was a disaster. they weren't fully baked. i would surely, have been kicked off 'top chef' for that blunder. this crowd wasn't a white potato crowd anyway. the aspic salad of carrots and pineapple was a big hit. it required a sohisticated palate. surprisingly, the waldorf salad was not a big hit. the artificial whip cream was a turn off for this crowd. they have serious health issues and no one wanted to risk it.

i originally, decided against the whip cream. i added a generous half a teaspoon of honey and sqeezed on an entire lemmon. i then thought about my pal michal, who really likes the salad with the whip cream, and i relented and added a few dallops. it was so sweet. i had some with my pumpkin pie and then got another headache.

the steamed broccoli was a hit. the biggest hit of the night was the sausage and sage dressing. go know! it was absolutely delicious. i can't believe it. it was my first attempt at making stuffing in isreal. i can't remember if i ever tried to in the states. oh, by the way, the turkey was definately, a hit. it was scrumptious.

i kept the dogs separated on two floors all day. i put the 3 smallest upstairs on the large porch and the troublemaker on the porch of the master bedroom. i didn't want to risk another attack with sahar around. i was up all night long checking up on the injured dog. she was fine today. it was a really hot 'summers' day. it didn't feel like a fall thanksgiving day at all. after the meal, michal snuggled on the t.v. couch with a couple of the mutts and that extra attention was sorely needed. they're all asleep and quiet.

the kids are here for shabbat. i have sahar until noon time. cooking will be a breeze compared to what i did on wednesday. believe it or not, i don't have any leftovers. i always prepare just enough for the meal. i do have the mexican corn salad left over because no one touched it. it was not a hit.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Let's Do Thanksgiving

it is 8:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. tomorrow is thanksgiving. i have been in the kitchen and on my feet since 8:00 a.m. i have finished making the meal. i will steam up the string beans and make the waldorf salad tomorrow.

it was hard preparing the meal and dealing with my very runny nose. every time i sneezed or blew my nose, i washed my hands. and every time i tasted something, i washed the spoon with soap and hot water.

i'm afraid this virus is airborne. i really hate for my guests to catch it. i'll scrub the floors tomorrow. the pumpkin pie is in the oven as we speak. it is not my finest endeaver. i made an awful crust from rye flour. i didn't have any powdered ginger and i was too tired to go to the store. i thought about buying some margerine, to make a cookie crust but i simply couldn't budge. i was getting desparate, because i never, ever, use margarine on principle.

in the middle of my preparations, my sinuses got clogged up and i couldn't smell a thing. i also couldn't taste anything. earlier in the day, i ate an enormous portion of the mushroom barley casserole that i made. it was very yummy and very spicy! i carved out a small acorn squash to use as a serving dish for the casserole. how clever! i read that online.

i had to stop for a while because genie the yorkshire tried to kill roxy the yorkshire. i could not get her off of the tiny little roxy. she had her teeth sunk solidly into the dog. both cookie dog and cloey the pincher, tried to rescue the tiny roxy. i just checked in on roxy and she isn't doing well at all. i cleaned her cuts and rubbed arnica into her leg but she is really out of it now. i hope she isn't septic.

i think the dogs are hormonal. they want to go out at all hours of the night and we've been visited by a couple of local male doggie studs. this is not what i need right now.

the pumpkin pie doesn't look custardy. i used non dairy whipped cream and i think my error was whipping up the cream. it didn't turn brown until the end. in the past. i always used rice dream. milk. i threw in a few baked apples for those who don't like pumpkin pie.

i opened the 'shop rite' jellied cranberry sauce and it appeared to be okay. it's been over thirty years that i had any, so i don't remember what it is supposed to taste like. it definately tastes artificial. i hope it doesn't taste stale.

i will make a seperate waldorf salad for my vegetarian friend. she doesn't eat night shades or anything with flour. she also doesn't eat sugar. i will slice up an apple and celery, add some toasted almonds, and a few fesh dates. i'll just sqeeze lemon juice on it. i doubt that she eats the regular dried cranberries. they're loaded with sugar.

i made a couple of slices of nile perch for her. basically, i threw in a carrot, some celery, garlic and dried onion. i used dill, rosemary and parsley for the spices. i squeezed on some lemon and drizzled a bit of olive oil. i was afraid to use black pepper. it was definately, a challenge. i'm used to using paprika chiles,soysauce and tomatoes. i cooked up some plain quinoa for her and left it in the fish broth. it tasted pretty good.

she will also be able to eat the string beans and almonds that i will prepare tomorrow. i steamed some plain slices of acorn squash and tossed on some chopped peanuts. i saved a few plain, sliced beets for her and squeezed on lemon. i candied the rest of the beets with fresh ginger , honey and orange juice.

i want to make up a batch of sangria tomorrow. i made up some peanut butter mashed sweet potato cups. i topped them with chopped, toasted peanuts, some crushed pineapple and dried coconut. i lightly drizzled each cup with honey. i made very small portions of food. i oven roasted a few plain potatoes with rosemary for the non sweet potato people. i've never used that herb before. i decided that making mashed potatoes was over kill.

i cooked up some turkey wings and a couple of drumb sticks in an herb and white wine sauce. it smelled divine. i didn't taste it because i didn't want to become fleishig. i managed to make up a pan of sage, sausage turkey stuffing. i used kabobs and hamburgers, the turkey broth that i made the other day, and added some of the water from the cooked pumpkin. i sure hope it tastes okay. the dried challah cubes were perfect. i hope that my friend appreciates the effort.

i made a small dish of lemon and parsley cooked carrots. i made an aspic for the classic pineapple and shredded carrots salad. it was my first time using plain gelatin. i'm afraid that some of the gelatin became lumpy. the texture is a bit thick. so much for not buying the flavored gel. i simply, didn't want all the added sugar.

i made a 'mexican' style corn salad with scallions. green pepper and celery. i threw in a tiny bit of a chile. i covered it in a mustard mayo dressing. it is a bit hot. my corm bread did not come out great this time. i used a different recipe calling for more milk than usual. it is definately, more crumbly.

my mom made the same announcement before we sat down to eat every year. she would always start the meal by saying "everything that is supposed to be hot is cold and everything that is supposed to be cold is hot". one year, i decided to make the dinner by myself, turkey and all. i slaved away for hours. everyone sat down and devoured the meal in minutes. i was totally distraught!

i remember watching the movie, 'mighty joe young' on every thanksgiving. i wonder if they still show it in america. i know that they made a remake of that classic. i can still remember the scene with the leading lady playing 'beautiful dreamer' on the piano, on a revolving stage that the gorilla was actually, holding up.

tomorrow, it's wash the floors, steam the string beans, make the sangria, and the waldorf salads. i don't know if i have to watch sahar. i didn't make it to the seniors' this week. i'd hate to infect them with this virus.

i didn't hold on to any of the recipes that i downloaded on the net. i can always find new recipes. quite honestly, i wasn't all that impressed by them.

enjoy your thanksgiving and please remember to give thanks to the good Lord above.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Doing Preparations

it's 2:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. it is only monday, but i've already started preparations for the thanksgiving meal. i made a corn bread and tossed some cranberries into the batter. the recipe called for buttermilk. i used rice dream milk, instead. i threw in a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to compensate.

it didn't come out so great. the top is crunchy and the inside looks brown instead of yellow. the recipe called for whole wheat flour. i used rye. go know! it also is a bit sweeter than i usually make it. i only added four tablespoons of honey. i'll just put it in the freezer and hope for the best.

i put up a pot of turkey soup with tons of veggies and little turkey steaks. i am currently, suffering from a viral throat infection. it is hard to speak or swallow. i have this annoying, dry cough, too. unfortunately, it doesn't stop me from over eating.

i figure, that the turkey soup, like jewish penicilin, will soothe my throat and i'm sure the dogs will enjoy the bones. i want to reserve some turkey stock to make the sausage sage dressing for the turkey. i cut up the remainder of the huge challah from shabbat, into cubes, and toasted them in the oven. so little by little, i am getting prepared for thursday.

i already set the dining room table for thursday. i placed a small, squared, cream colored table runner with a leafy pattern, onto the middle of the gold colored table cloth. i put some golden acorns on the table, filled the straw turkey basket with miniature lemons, and filled a clear glass vase wwth rosemary, hyssops, and tea geranium from the garden. i also placed the acorn cardboard tea lamp holders shaped like mini xmas wreaths, that i bought in the dollar store, last year.

the date on the american, canned, whole cranberry sauce, expired in august. i'm planning on opening it and tasting it anyway. who knows? maybe it's still edible. one friend is planning on bringing a can of libby's canned pumpkin to place on the table for nostalgia. i am toying with the idea of preparing the chestnut soup that i made for the tu B'shvat sedar last year. it is purely, 5 star 'restaurantish' but perhaps. a bit over the top.

the vet is coming over to give cookie dog her third mange shot. she wants to give cloey one as well, as a preventative measure. i'm not so sure that i agree with that. the little yorkshires are running all over the place. cloey doesn't allow them into the inner sanction of our t.v. room. they love running about in the front yard. there's plenty of room and no escape route. the downstiars is not at all secure.

the problem is that these little gremlin look a likes, like to tinkle all over the place. although, they piddle in small amounts, they don't seem to miss a spot. i got up early and washed all the floors. i used a mop today. i was in no condition to throw buckets of water around. it wasn't warm today, either. i had to give roxie dog a bit of first aid because, genie dog attacked her and drew blood.

the kids just got back from their night out at a tsimmer. it was their second anniversary last week. sahar stayed over night at his other grandparents' home. i was, originally, suppossed to keep him here. i really, was not in great shape to chase after him for 24 hours. he slept through the night and didn't seem to be so concerned that his paarents weren't here. they have eight sets of hands over there so i guess, it was the logical choice. i tried not getting too emotional over it.

everyone seems to have their special thanksgiving requests and likes and dislikes. i'm making a seperate fish dinner for one friend who doesn't eat any wheat, night shades or sugar. i'm planning on steaming some fish with carrots, pumpkin and quinoa. i'll cut up an apple and some celery, throw in some walnuts, sprinkle it with lemon and call it a waldorf. voila!

i'm leaning towards making peanut butter mashed sweet potatoes. i'll save some plain for a friend who doesn't like her sweet potatoes, sweetened. i'll add crushed pineapple and a bit of honey to the rest of the yams. i wanted to make rosemary baked potatoes but i think that i'll stick to simple, mashed potaotes for the potato purests.

i'm still thinking about making a veggie jello mold. i want to bake some mushroom and barley pilaf inside a small acorn squash and use it as a serving dish. i'm still not sure about making the waldorf salad with non dairy whipped cream or not. i'm definately, going ahead with the pumpkin pie. i also want to bake some apples. i'll make one without the brown sugar for the diabetic in the crowd.

it's only monday, thank goodness. i realize that you can't please everyone all of the time. i have to do some more thinking about the menu, i guess.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Going Back To Sleep

it's 4:30 a.m. on friday morning in the holy city of zefat. the yorkshire doggies just woke me up. i can't really say what they wanted. i had a horrible sensation that one of them died or got eaten by another one.

if i didn't have my own two dogs in bed with me, i would keep the 4 yorkies right next to my bed. they seem to have settled down a bit. they cried and yiped all through the night before. i didn't get much sleep.

my throat really hurts. i just goggled with hydrogen peroxide and water but it didn't help. that last carton of ice cream that i devoured, didn't sit right. neither did the bag of peanuts. when will i regain my self control? this over eating is really bad news.

i have to make shabbat meals today. i did most of my shopping yesterday afternoon. i went to volunteer with the seniors. all 10 seniors were there. there was also two other female volunteers. two young and very petite young 'chippies', as my mother would say. we had a mini concert with the russian lady with the platinum hair and another musical session when the rav came. it was a good day to visit.

the rav played some really good music to warm up and i then realized that the rav was a real musician. i had a new found respect for him. not only did he volunteer to come and speak to the seniors twice a week, he was an accomplished piano player. he then played the regular chassidishe set for a crowd of over 25 seniors. afterwards, one of the sephardi gentlemen sang piyutim for about an hour. the small crowd of sephardi seniors was very happy and self entertained.

i went to town later on to search for some sage and thyme. i actually found a bag of dried sage in the health food store but couldn't find thyme. i bought a bag of fresh and 'bug free' rosemary in the fruit store. i don't really know if rosemary and thyme are interchangeable but that's what i have to work with. i once had a small metal container of mixed chicken herbs and spices on my shelf for many years. it probably was a mixture of sage, thyme, rosemary, marjoram and savory.

i finally threw out the container years ago. i hadn't used it in years. i use mostly middle eastern spices these days. i make a mix of tumeric, coriander, cumin, cilantro, allspice, cinnamon and the occassional bay leaf. i think i'll cook the turkey legs and wings in white wine. i might make rosemary baked potatoes and sage and sausage apple turkey dressing.

i'm planning on making a small corn bread and maybe some orange cranberry muffins. i know it's probably over kill but i am going to make small portions of everything. i would love to start the thanksgiving preparations now, but the shabbat meals takes precedent. i am having 5 guests tonight. i still need to buy the challahs later today. i have everything else except for the ice cream because i ate it all. i am planning on making a cheesecake so we'll skip the ice cream.

i had great news yesterday. my niece in india, gave birth to a girl. mazel tov!. i started crying from joy and relief. i am also very saddened that i won't be seeing my niece in person. my sister already has her visa and is getting ready to travel. i don't think that i will be going to india any time soon.

i really have something to be thankful for this thanksgiving. my mother's second yirtseit is in another 13 days. i don't think that this new baby girl will be given her name. in the two years that mom has been gone, we've been blessed with 3 grandbabies. however, i am already feeling the profound loss again.

the house is smelling pretty doggie. i have to do a number on it later and buy some bottled air fresheners. i already defrosted the chicken and the beef livers. i want to make a batch of chopped liver for shabbat. i think i'll broil the chicken in bottled sweet chili sauce. i might even make a potato kugel tonight. we'll see how i feel when i actually wake up again.

i can't wait until i speak to my niece today. india is three hours ahead of us but i think that it might be too early to call her now. i'll call later on this morning.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


it's 8:20 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just got out of bed and did my new ritual of brushing my teeth with salt toothepaste made from baking soda. i then rinsed with hydrogen peroxide mixed with water.

my gums have been gushing blood again. after eating fruit for an entire week, you'd think that the vitamin c would have kicked in. apparently, not. i also blew my diet last night by eating almost an entire chocolate cake and half a bag of bambas. i don't know why i keep on sabotaging my efforts to lose weight. it seems that eating a bowl of oatmeal may have triggered my binge. i don't do well with carbs. i think i may need to go to OA.

we went out for shabbat meals together so on friday, i concentrated on cleaning up the apartment. i managed to bake a dairy chocolate cake between throwing lots of buckets of water around the house. it took me about 2 hours to finish the floors and clean off the counters. i really neglected everything last week to take care of cookie dog. i had dirty dishes all over the house.

she seems back to her old self except for her skin. it seems crusty in some places. she isn't scratching any more and genuinely, seems healthy. i have to admit that i didn't give her a skin treatment yesterday. i also didn't give her any prepared food. i saw that she was eating the dried dog kibble last night. i'll give her some tuna and eggs and slip in some echinacea later on.

the 4 yorkshire terriers are coming on wednesday so i have to get that room in order today. sahar went to his other grandma this morning, so i have the entire day to get it done. i was planning on going to yoga this morning. i figured that i had enough time to blog before i left. i then remembered that we started yoga at 8:00 a.m. this morning. oh well...

i got it in my head on thursday to make a thanksgiving dinner this year for friends. i then received an email from a pal, asking if i was making a meal and if she could come. i guess it was meant to be. thanksgiving was my parents' non jewish wedding anniversary that we celebrated each year. i started to fantasize a lot about recreating some of my mother's dishes.

mom always made string bean casserole with canned mushroom and barley soup and she topped it off with fried onion rings. that was her friend, edith's recipe. i doubt that they have frozen onion rings here. and forget about the canned soup. i have seen frozen breaded chicken rings, but it is just not the same. so, i went surfing on the net for basic batter recipes.

if i really want to get purist here, i can fry up my own onion rings and make a batch of soup. or i can serve crunchy string beans and almonds, and dish out a small serving of mushroom and barley soup on the side. i can also, just skip the soup all together. i seem to struggle with the candied yams casserole that mom always prepared, too. you know the one with the domino brown sugar, pineapple rings and miniature marshmallows. i want to go authentic mom 1950's but i also want to go healthy. i might just go with baked sweet potatoes topped with canned pineapple, and drizzled with a bit of date honey.

i actually found a recipe for a 1950's frozen fruit mold that called for cream cheese, mayonnaise, whipped cream, marshmallows and fruit cocktail. i remember seeing this concoction in a magazine, but i don't think that we ever made one. i think i'll go with a yellow jello carrot, celery and raisin salad mold. i doubt that i'll find lemon jello here. it might have to be apricot flavored.

we don't have whole turkeys here. they wouldn't fit in our tiny israeli ovens and cooking them on the stove just isn't the same. we do have ton's of turkey products. i haven't decided whether to make cutlets, meatballs, thighs or roulade yet. we'll see what's available in the supermarket next week. mom always made individual potato kugelettes. i might just do that. i'll buy some little aluminum muffin tins. of course, for the desert, i want to make a pumpkin pie. mom never, ever, made one. i can't really remember what we had for dessert.

i bought a can of real american cranberry sauce last year. it's somewhere in my closet. i sure hope it's still good. a few years ago, i made cranberry muffins with dried craisins. at one point in time, cranberries were impossible to find. i plan on making cornbread. that's also something that mom never made. you can't find the libby's canned pumpkin here, either. you have to buy a hunk of pumpkin and cook it up and mash it. i'd love to make pumpkin soup and pumpkin muffins also, but i really have to chose one pumpkin dish.

a few years ago, i watched martha stewart's thanksgiving theme show. what a pity they took it off the air, here. i really loved it. i especially, loved watching her make jewish dishes, like potato latkes. she smothered them with sour cream and caviar. it was so sickening! she also dalloped her peroges and stuffed cabbage with sour cream too. her mispronunciation of the jewish dishes was priceless.

i'm so excited that i will finally get to use my straw turkey bread holder and turkey napkins this year. i'm thinking about serving sangria. the trees are full of oranges and tangerines. i want to buy fresh corn too, but i don't know if that's over kill or not. we shall see.

Monday, November 8, 2010


it's 4:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just turned down the prospect of a night out, participating in a bagel bake off and watching a new woody allen movie. besides being nervous about leaving cookie dog alone, i'm only eating fruits this week and i've been 'off' woody allen for years now. i think that he is a self hating jew and i refuse to support his latest efforts.

i went to the seniors' day center this morning. i really didn't want to leave the house. i'm taking care of sahar tomorrow and i figured that this might be my only chance this week to get out. i didn't want to get there too late so i splurged on a taxi.

to my surprise, they were having a rosh chodesh party in the large dining room. they had live entertainment and i got to hang with my 'buddies'. some of the women danced but i held myself back. i don't dance in front of men. especially, old men. i did move around the room and clap my hands very rigorously. that got a marked response from the crowd.

before i left for the center, i cleansed cookie's wounds and massaged the almond oil/lavender mixture into her mangey eaten flesh. i also hand fed her some canned tuna, scrambled eggs and sour cream and bread. i doctured all of that with some probiotic and vitamin c. i even chopped up some raw garlic for the tuna. she ate a bit and actually, went downstairs for a bit. her noise was less dry than yesterday and i think her fever went down.

i think cloey dog knows instinctively, to keep her distance from cookie. we all three did sleep together on the t.v. couch, but we didn't touch. i think that the itching might also be getting relieved. i didn't find wads of hair all over the floor this afternoon, when i returned. the vet just called to check up on cookie. what an angel! i also spoke with a local homeopath on the phone last night. he was so kind to discuss alternative treatments for free.

cookie's nose is cold again. thank the Lord! it is so hard to stress out over pets. i feel so useless at times. i do try to read up on the traditional treatments to understand the process but i prefer to supplement them with homeopathy. i am a firm believer but i am not a fanatic. i do think though, that in the case of traditional medicine, less is enough.

the vet is planning to come at the end of the week to give cookie another shot against mange. the problem is that it sometimes returns even stronger afterwards. that is very typical after treating ailments with cortisone. the cortisone kills the symptoms but doesn't treat the root cause. i will be so glad when this is finally behind us. i feel a sense of shame. you know, the stigma of having a 'mangey' dog. you conjure up thoughts of abuse and neglect. you would never imagine a dog living the good life in a villa would end up in this condition.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Survivial of the Fittest

it's 10:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. today is the first day of the new month of kislev. we just got back from the clan. they had a double birthday party tonight for gal's pregnant sister and 11 year old brother.

i am totally freaked out. on friday afternoon, we discovered that cookie dog was missing a large patch of hair on her lower thigh. she was also very red. as usual, when things go awry on friday afternoon, you have to wait to deal with them on sunday morning.

i put some lavender oil on the redness, but it seemed to make it worse. cookie seemed normal so i didn't worry that much. i gave both dogs a few sausages on friday night and cloey nearly choked to death on a piece of the sausage. she frantically, rolled on her back, peed all over the floor and gasped for breath. luckily, the piece of meat got dislodged. what a bit of trauma!

i took care of sahar for most of the morning on saturday. gal was exhausted so i let her nap. sahar fell asleep in the baby buggie, so i got to daven and catch up on my psalms. when he awoke, we went downstairs and played in the grass with the dogs. cookie wasn't into running around. she seemed weakened. cloey tried her best to engage cookie in a game of chase, but cookie wasn't budging. sahar stood with his hands clasped to get the dogs running, but to no avail.

we had our shabbat lunch and a friend came over with her two dogs to visit. the kids went downstairs with sahar and i got ready to walk my friend back downtown. a moment later, zvi came upstairs and handed me sahar. i simply, put him in the stroller and we took off. i got back about an hour and a half later. sahar was just getting restless.

at the end of shabbat, gal went to her friend's to study for her accounting course. zvi ordered pizza and was getting ready to watch a soccer game. fot the third time that day, it was sahar and safta zelda together, once more. gal finally came back at 11:30 p.m. sahar had already woken up and screamed relentlessly, for about half an hour. i fell asleep after 2:00 a.m.

i got up at 7:00 a.m. to shower and get ready for yoga. sahar went to his morracan safta and i called the vet. cookie was definately not well. the vet agreed to come over and i went to my yoga class. it was hard. i have been binge eating all week long and i put on about 10 pounds. this yo- yo dieting is wearing thin. i should say heavy, because i really filled out. i almost stayed home because i looked so fat, but i forced myself to get out and face the music.

i took a nasty fall on friday afternoon. i washed the floors with lots of water and moments before candlelighting, i ran to get a towel to dry them. i went crashing down on my back, breaking the fall, somewhat, with my wrist. oddly, it just started hurting this evening. i decided to go on a fruit fast for a few days before i return to the south beach diet. all i had to eat was: two bananas, one red grapefruit, a green apple and two coffees. my stomach hurt all day long. when we reached the clan, they were all busy frying up chips. i couldn't tolerate the smell from the oil.

after yoga, i went to the local super to buy some chocolate to make the birthday loolies. i found some 60% bittersweet chocolate bars. i then spent over an hour at the local gift shop and bought a couple of birthday gifts. i got a package of fuzzy socks for the sister. and i bought a ball that had gold glitter and another ball inside it, which lit up. i also bought the brother, a birthday coffee mug and put a bunch of candy inside it. sahar loved the ball and demanded that everyone hand it to him.

i bought sahar a barbie doll ball because that was the only one i could find in the local gift shop. zvi was less than pleased with my choice of balls. to compensate, i bought a care bears ball the next day in town. so now, sahar has his choice of balls to kick around.

the vet came over around noon and we decided together that cookie dog had mange. i have had zero experience with this parasitic illness, and i asked the vet if cookie was going to die. i have always thought that mange was fatal. the vet gave cookie about 4 different shots. cookie was feverish and sluggish. she also wanted to give cookie a shot of prednisone but i think we decided to hold off for awhile. the vet told me to get some antihistamine and antibiotics for cookie. i never made it over to the clinic to get the prescriptions.

i actually, was too freaked out to deal with it. not that i am really all that keen on presciption drugs. i was scared to death that i had exposed the baby to the mange. i also feared that cloey would get it. i was totally convinced that i already had it and i started to feel really itchy. i called the local homeopath to ask for healing alternatives. he reassured me that mange in humans isn't really all that bad. he also suggested using lavender oil in a base of almond oil to soothe the itching. the cream the doctor left was practically useless in stopping the itching. cookie has practically, yanked out all of her leg hair. she looks pathetic.

in order to promote good health and healing, we have to stop the itching. the homeopath told me to wait a couple of days before giving her the antibiotics. apparently, an animal breaks down with mange when his auto immune system is weak. antibiotics plays havoc with the immune system. you want to boost the immune system with good food, vitamin c and probiotics. we happen to have had some in the house because i bought them for gal, when she was on antibiotics, last year. she never opened them. i mashed some up and gave them to cookie in some sour cream.

i stripped all the furniture and threw all the coverings and sheets into the laundry. i put it all in the drier to kill the parasites. i steamed all the couches and chairs and put fresh linens on them all. it is more comfortable for cookie this way. there are large clumps of hair all over the house. i am mortified and itchy, all at the same time.

i don't have to sit for sahar tomorrow. i really don't want him on my floor until i see some improvement in cookie. i don't know what i'll do if cloey follows suit and comes down with the mange. i tried to really underplay my fears to gal. she already thinks that sahar's playing with the dogs is unhygienic. i didn't dare let on at the birthday party that the dog was sick. i fell a bit sick to my stomach with this dirty little secret. i also have to let my friend know that her dogs were exposed to this dreaded disease.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Night Long

it's well after midnight in the holy city of zefat and it's the first moment that i am free to blog. i woke up this morning to the sound of sahar crying. it was around 7:00 a.m. i was supposed to babysit for him today so i went downstairs and brought him to my floor a bit early.

he was not at his finest. he smelled of pish. i quickly changed his diaper and put on 'baby luli'. i made myself a strong coffee and i made a bottle of camomille tea for sahar. i wanted to go to yoga at 9:00 a.m. his aunt offered to watch him for the hour so i could get out. he was really cranky so i gave him some homeopathic drops for teething pain.

he seemed really sleepy so l figured that i could get him to fall back to sleep in his carriage. he nearly did until he saw his aunt. he was all smiles with her and wanted to run around. his aunt is pregnant for the first time after nearly five years of being married. that's just what i've prayed for. a new baby in that family.
it will definately take the spotlight off sahar.

despite my month's long abscence from yoga, i was, surprisingly, not all that stiff. i had wanted to return to aroebics, too, this evening, but gal didn't arrive home until after 8:30 p.m. that's a lot of hours with sahar! he is teething and not all that interested in eating. throughout the day, i gave him a bit of everything that i had in the house. in the 13 hours that i had him, he managed to eat a stawberry flavored yogurt, a bit of an omellette, a bit of tuna fish, a few spoons full of cottage cheese, half a banana, one date and a hand full of bambas. he drank half a bottle with milk. that was his entire food consumption for the entire day.

i picked him up at around 10:20 a.m. from the aunt's and he fell asleep soon afterwards. i think that he may have eaten some cornflakes and milk there. i kept him outside in the fresh air. i read a bunch of psalms until he woke up at about 1:00p.m. he was still crabby so i gave him more drops. i decided to give him a nice warm bath because he still reeked of pish. i got him into the tub but he didn't want to sit down. he didn't want a bath. i quickly got him cleaned and out of the bath in record time.

i took him downstairs where it was very sunny, and let him walk around in the grass. when i no longer could stand chasing after him, i went inside and put 'baby luli' on again. i cordoned off the t.v area by placing the couches together so he couldn't get away. he was happy watching t.v, patting the dog, and walking with his miniature stroller. he did try to break through a few times, but for the most part, he was okay.

i ate almost the entire can of tuna that sahar rejected. i also ate an entire container of cottage cheese, most of the omelette that i prepared for sahar, 4 dates, the remaining half of banana that sahar left, and a bunch of walnuts and sunflower seeds. i also drank many cups of coffee. cloey the dog, climbed onto the table and ate sahar's portion of omelette and most of his bambas. cookie the dog, ate almost an entire challah roll from shabbat. nobody starved.

i took sahar to the local grocery store and he started to scream really loud from his carriage. i gave him a chocolate wafer cookie and a moment later, his face and hands were covered in chocolate. i was in shock. thank goodness there were handy wipes in the carriage. he then screamed because he wanted to hold the banana by himself. just as he was about to squish the entire thing, i took it away from him. boy did he yell after that!

he seemed really tired at around 5:00 p.m. but i was afraid to let him sleep at that hour. he seemed to get his second wind at about 6:00 p.m. and by 7:00 p.m. he was hyper active. at 8:00 p.m. he forgot that he had a mother. gal came home with zvi and her parents. i brought sahar downstairs to see his grandparents. he didn't have patience to stay with his grandfather and he wanted out of his grandmother's arms to return to me. he even hit the grandmother. i saved the day by admitting to her that he had also hit me today. i simply, returned him to her arms and walked away.

sahar finally got nursed and fell asleep after 9:00 p.m. gal's mom asked me to walk with her to her daughter's house on the next block, while her husband put up the curtains for gal. when they all left at around 11:30 p.m. i stayed with sahar for a little while. he woke up and couldn't be conforted. i managed to feed him some cornflakes and milk that gal had left on the table. when gal came home he didn't want to leave my arms. once again, i placed him into his mother's arms and walked away.

how lucky is that? i get to do it all over again tomorrow. whoopee! i feel like eating a box of chocolate wafers but i'll abstain.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Morning

it's 10:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat and i am on my blog. there is absolutely, nothing to watch on cable. i got up at 8:00 and had a coffee and some walnuts. i don't have to watch sahar this morning because his 17 year old aunt wants him with her. i am trying to see only the good in every situation that comes my way, now. i am trying to be open and positive and non judgemental.

the key word here is trying. last night when i went downstairs to say hello to sahar, he didn't give me the time of day. he was watching 'baby luli' and dancing in his portable crib to the music. he didn't even look my way. there was no love connection there, at all. i did not like the way it felt being, emotionally shut out, by a toddler. a cople of hours later, zvi came upstairs with him and he jumped into my lap and didn't want to leave, as we watched 'uncle moshe' videos on the computer together. i guess, even toddlers, need their down time alone.

thanks to my new remedy, i can still ascertain injustice and get frustrated, but i no longer need to rant and repeat myself. last night i spoke with the owner of the yorkshire terriers, and she shared a horror story about the previous day's veterinary treatment. i was definately, outraged at the over medicating and vaccinating of these poor little dogs and expressed myself. however, the story ended there. i didn't pick up the phone to call another friend to repeat the tale. i also, didn't rush to the blog to rant about this vet.

thinking back, that may not have been a good thing, considering my blog pseudo name is 'ranting zelda'. you'll just have to forgive my not ranting this time about pet doctors. while i was at the senior's center on tuesday, my local doctor popped in to give murray from the bronx, his flu shot. before i could shout out "run murray, run!" it was over. the doctor asked me what i was doing there and i think he asked me how my mom was. i panicked for just a moment. he then reminded me that it was time to get my flu shot. it was pretty ironic, considering the fact, that i had actively waged a campaign for ten years against having my parents vaccinated.

a few years ago, the nurse came and entered the house without knocking. she headed straight for my mother's room with a hypodermal needle in hand. luckily, i was still home and interceded. i had already refused on 5 other occassions that winter, to have my 91 year old mother given a flu shot. the nurse left in a huff and refused to check her blood. mom was on a blood thinning medication which needed to be tested every two weeks. i refused to bring her to the health clinic during flu season. i simply, demanded home blood testing, instead. on a previous clinic visit the nurse's little daughter, who was obviously sick and out of school that day, suddenly hugged her mom while she was trying to draw blood out of mom's problematic veins, and the needle went flying out of her hand. i believe that it was our last visit to the clinic.

on another occassion, both the nurse and doctor refused to come and check mom's blood after i refused to allow her to be shot up with cortisone for her gout. they stayed away for about a month until they showed up again. i quess they had nothing better to do that day. i have never been one to run to doctors. i have a basic distrust of the medical profession. i have relied primarily, on holistic healers and homeopths for the last ten years.

i finally did the dishes last night. it's less hot today and i must do the floors later. i should start getting the 'guest dogs' room set up. it looks like i'll be boarding the four little terriers in a couple of weeks from now. it's a huge responsibility. these pups are like this couples' kids. i sleep with my dogs and share meals with them, but the kids always come first. these are my pets. they offer a lot of affection and undying loyalty. they love me unconditionally. none the less, i await the day to be pet free. i don't think that i will take in any more dogs in the future except for pay.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Make A Move

it's wednesday afternoon in the holy city of zefat. it's already 1:30 p.m. and i haven't made a move yet except for preparing food. i've had fried eggs and canned beans, walnuts and tahina, and a couple of coffees. i have been eating only foods that are on the south beach diet. my bulging stomach is slowly shrinking.

i've just had the most lovely phone conversation with my niece in dehli,india. there are over 100 israeli families there. apparently, they live on the good side of town near the american embassy. they usually have around 15 guests for shabbat meals. they are catering mostly to families. the israeli backpackers seem to go to the other chabad house on the bad side of town for meals.

my niece is planning to open a preschool in her apartment. she will be getting the help of two israeli girls soon because she is due to give birth in another few weeks. i miss her so much. it really feels good to have my feelings validated. her little 18 month old mendush is playing with his 5 year old uncle mendush. there are another 5 mendushes in that same family. chabadnikim customarily name their first son, menachem mendel.

i still have dishes to do from last shabbat and i need to wash the floors and put away my laundry. we are having a heat wave this week and i don't feel like making a move. there is nothing on the television that i haven't already seen this week. cable t.v. here leaves a lot to be desired. i also need to call the owners of the dogs that i'm suppossed to be boarding next month.

i wish that i was the roaving aunt who travels from one country to another to visit her family and check out the scenery. i have never travelled in my life. i've been to california twice, and then i came to israel. i haven't even travelled here in israel. i haven't left zefat in two years except to go to one wedding. i have a friend who is 76 and can't wait to go back to india. she went there a few years ago to help out for pesach.

last night my son zvi asked for my help in writing an ad for goat icecream in english. i wanted some so bad. i haven't been eating dairy lately, except for the many containers of icecream that i wolfed down. i've been sticking to eggs, canned tuna, and veggies. i'd actually enjoy a bit of cottage cheese right now, but i can't make a move to get dressed and go down to the grocery. i could raid the kid's fridge but zvi gets hysterical because i tend to finish all their cookies and icecream in one sitting.

i have been relieved of babysitting detail this week. gal's teenage sisters are home from school and want sahar. i keep offering my help but they want the kid there. i haven't seen him in two days. i should feel free and take the time to clean up this pig stye but as i've said already, i can't make a move.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

peaceful bliss

it's 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. all is peaceful. i am actually feeling calm. i have been so uptight lately, with the kid's move and trying to reorganize my space. i have been trying very hard to rid myself of many of my mom's nick nacks, and i have been dealing with probating my parent's will and of course, the fallout from the will.

it isn't a very pleasant situation, to say the least. i found myself, once again, ranting to whomever would listen. i embellished my stories and dramatized them to the point of tears. i went through the past 30 years of my living in zefat and dealing with my sibling here.

i was getting pretty weirded out. i was also getting bombarded with warnings from my friends and other siblings to protect what is mine. i was seeking out validation from anyone who would lend an ear. i was doubting my right to exist. i was stuffing my face with containers of icecream and packages of cake. i was living in my night gown.

i finally broke down and went to see my homeopath. i also went to visit my daughter in law's mother. we kind of caught up and tried to 'one up' each other on our grandchild raising skills. i was told that my giving him pieces of cucumber was dangerous. i was also told that putting molasses in his milk was questionable.

she told me that the baby was totally comfortable there with all of the kids to play with and i immediately began feeling inadequate. sahar has only the dog to play with here. she also insinuated that perhaps my speaking to him in english was not beneficial. i, of course, tried to confer that experts have said that one should speak to a child in his original language. i left however, feeling that i was too boring and not stimulating enough for my 13 month old grandson and that somehow, i was impeding his speech progress.

i rehashed the inheritance dilema with the homeopath, and she agreed that i was most deserving of the bulk of the will. i felt that she was trying not only to validate my feelings, but to also, present a case scenario for me. she gave me a couple of drops of her magic potion and i immediately, became quiet and calm. it was so great.

now when i 'discuss' certain issues, i am unemotional. i do not rant. i did, feel a bit queasy at the lawyer's office this morning but i managed to deal with it. i then went over to the seniors' center and everyone seemed to be in a bad mood. no one felt like talking to me and no one seemed to care that i had come to visit, either.

i ran to the hardware store to make another key for gal. she lost hers after just a couple of days. as i was leaving to go to town yesterday, i decided not to leave my key outside in the planter. i figured that i'd be home before gal got back from work. that little voice in the back of my head said to leave the key. i had gotten accustomed to listening to the voice but i didn't yesterday.

gal got back early, and climbed in from the front window and fell and hurt her leg. i got back a little while after. listen to that inner voice! it's an angel taking care of us, always.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Moving On Down

it's 3:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. anyone wondering what i'm doing up at this unholy hour of the night?. the kids moved into the downstairs apartment this evening. i took care of sahar for a couple of hours in the early morning and then brought him over to his aunt, who lives on the next block.

i had my grandson with me all week long for about 12-14 hours each day. his parents were busy working long hours and taking evening courses. i never got out of the house except to take him for short walks in the neighborhood. i started preparing gourmet meals for him. siver dollar pancakes for breakfast, sweet potato latkes for lunch and cheese omelettes for dinner. he had milk flavored with molasses and he discovered multi grain cherios.

yesterday, he stared right at me and with his most stern voice said, "no, no"! i guess he heard me say that a few dozen times lately. he likes to disconnect the phone cord and he tries very hard to pull out the cable card. he's a handful! it's been too hot to take long walks, not that i have the pep to do so. i haven't been to exercize in 3 weeks. i did manage to lose a few pounds by staying away from simple carbs. of course,not binging helps.

i got to volunteer this morning at the seniors' day center but most of the group was missing. the rav came by to give a torah class but he couldn't play any music on the electric organ. the transformer was shot. i went running around the center to find another one but the handyman was off today and no one else knew what a transformer is.

i left the center a bit early, because i promised to pick up sahar from his aunt's at 1:00 p.m. i waited in the hot sun for a while until the bus came and then i waited outside her house until i realized that no one was home. i had high hopes of cleaning up my bedroom and doing laundry today but i suddenly felt ill. i must have been border line dehydrated. i suddenly had an intense pain in my bad eye and i felt like my head was spinning out of control.

i think that i passed out on the sofa. soon enough, there was a house full of people scurrying about carrying objects and furniture down the stairs. they had to remove my door to pass through my apartment, too. for hours, i had to listen to the commotion. i was getting quite agitated, too. i was afraid that zvi and/or his brother -in -law might hurt themselves moving the fridge down two flights of stairs.

i simply, did not understand this rush to finish moving in by shabbat. it's not like they had a specific date to vacate the upstairs apartment. that put a huge strain on me, once again, to move around the extra pictures and pieces of furniture on my floor. the house is trashed and i was just told that they will be staying in for shabbat. i really, do not feel like making shabbat dinner tomorrow. i've had a long and hard week.

zvi's brother- in- law left well after midnight and hastily, put back the door. well folks, it no longer closes. zvi tried to fix it a few times but finally gave up. i now have to find a repairman tomorrow and pay him to reattach my door. i am not a happy camper. and i am too wired to fall asleep. the kids were still mucking about downstairs until a little while ago. they have to go to work tomorrow.

there is still a lot of stuff left to be schlepped upstairs. dressers, closets, beds, mini fridge, table and chairs. i'm hoping to use the upstairs as a short term rental. i really hate all of this hoopla. i have made one move in my entire life. and that nearly did me in. there is also a bunch of old furniture outside to be carted off and trashed. don't even get me started about stuffing the huge downstairs fridge into the shed.
at least, i get to sleep in tomorrow because sahar is going to his other grandmother in the morning. i think he will need a little time to get used to the new surroundings. i've only taken him downstairs once or twice when i did the laundry. that reminds me, we still have to bring down gal's wasing machine.

i am really looking forward to my privacy once again. i am hoping that they stay downstairs and not bother me as much. spoken like a true 60 year old single lady.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chodesh Tov

tonight we begin a new jewish month. chodesh tov! it's 9:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. the kids just got back from their very busy working schedules. the baby fell asleep in my arms about an hour before they came home. he tried to nurse from me before he passed out. he bit my chest.

zavi woke me up at 4:30 a.m. this morning. he wanted his freshly laundered jeans. i actually, got up and went downstairs to retrieve it from the dryer. i did a couple of batches of laundry last night and totally forgot about them. i threw one batch in the dryer and i must have passed out soon afterwards. i left the sheets and towels in the washing machine all night long so i had to rewash everything because it smelled dank. i also left all of my wash hanging on the lines. when i went to bring it in, it was already damp from the evening mist. i finally took it back inside while sahar was napping.

while sahar slept, i also did all of his clothes by hand in a large bucket. that's the only way i can get the food stains out. gal is a bit obsessive about dirt and stains on the baby's clothing. i don't have a hot water cycle in my maytag washing machine. we had three plumbers in to fix it and yet, no one was successful. one plumber even tore up my kitchen floor and of course, he couldn't replace it with matching tiles.

i was a bit of a short order cook today for sahar. i made him a plain omelette for breakfast and threw in some peas and canned black beans on the side. he got a glass of milk with molasses afterwards. i made whole wheat pasta for lunch and added a bit of ketchup for flavor. i was all out of tomato paste. i cut up small pieces of cucumber, which he wolfed down. he had boiled potatoes and carrots for supper and two strawberry yogurts for dessert. he also had some bambas. i say 'some' because cloey the dog, ate most of them. he mostly, fed himself and threw tons of food on the floor for cloey, the dog.

i was too tired to do anything really special with him today, so we stayed holed up together in the t.v. area. he got to watch his baby shows and play with his toys, while i drank coffee and stuffed my face. i even let him rip up a few paper back novels just for fun. remember 'billy jack'? i did take himout for a short walk on his bicycle to check the mail. it was really cold in the house but way too hot to spend any time outside. he had a nice bath and cried when i took him out. i really wanted him to take a second nap but it just never happened.

i have to go to the dentist very early in the morning. i still have no idea of what i am going to do regarding tooth implants vs. prosthetic. i don't want to get my teeth pulled either. i am just going to play it by ear.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Keeping Busy

it's 5:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i've been busy today. i threw in a batch of laundry at 7:30 a.m. before sahar came down to me. at 8:00 a.m. i made him breakfast. i gave him a cheese omelette broken into little pieces and some grapes, depitted and skinned. i also gave him some frozen peas. he absolutely loves them. he also loves tomatoes and cucumbers.

he is feeding himself these days. no more mashed veggies or bottles for sahar. i placed some aluminum foil on his high chair table for kashrut reasons and he was very attracted to it. he really enjoys eating off of the shiny surface. after he finished his meal, i called the refrigerater repair service. apparently, my contract was still intact but the company has gone under. it was explained to me by a rather impatient party, that it went to court. the new company was servicing the old customers for a fee.

i absolutely refused to pay another penny. afterall, i still had a month left on my contract. i actually hung up with the woman on the line before i started to yell. i did say something to the effect, in hebrew, that this was all a lot of nonsense. i called a local yocal to come and fix it instead. it ended up costing me $110. not cheap at all. perhaps it would have been better to call in the company repairman. who knows?

i went downstairs with sahar to hang up the laundry. i dragged his bicycle down the stairs so that he could be strapped in and riding while i did the laundry. he was pretty good for a while until he got testy. he was tired so i put him into his stroller and went to the end of the street. he was fast asleep by the time we got back to the house.

while he slept, i disassembled the sukkah. i taped all of the bars together. hopefully, when zvi returns home from work, he'll schlepp it downstairs to the outside storeroom under the house. it is already beginning to get cold. it is pretty windy now.

gal came home early from work and took sahar upstairs. i hadn't bathed him yet nor changed his pajamas. he was covered in coriander from the fish and potaoes he had for lunch. i was really afraid that gal might freak out when she saw him. she bathed him while the repairman did his thing. he replaced the anti-frost mechanism in the fridge which had aparently, frozen to death. go know!

while i threw in the first batch of laundry, i discovered a very small rat dead in the trap. i disposed of it in a baggie and threw it outside in the garbage. i didn't want to take a chance that either dog could find it and bring it into the house. while sahar slept, i sprayed the dogs with a very strong flea and tick spray. when sahar woke up i took him and the two dogs into the bathroom and proceded to give the dogs a bath. i didn't want the dangerous poison to remain on their skin with a baby in the house.

i would have loved to bathe sahar right afterwards, but i was waiting for the repairman to come. instead, we hung out in the front yard until gal came home.

sahar went to his grandparents this evening while his mom went to her accounting course. i missed the pilates class by 15 minutes. and i just might miss my aroebics class tomorrow night. yes, they have settled the management strife.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Going Down For The Count

it's 9:00 p.m. on a monday evening, in the holy city of zefat. i spent the day visiting with a potential 'client'. the lady has four little female yorkshire terriers that i may board for two weeks, while she visits the states. i can earn enough money to pay my electric bill next month.

in the meantime, my refrigerator seems to have expired. i just brought down all the food to my old fridge on the bottom floor. the dogs are inundated with fleas and ticks and the ants are back. i am at my wits end deciding if i should go for implants and dental surgery or a partial plate.

i went to the senior citizens' dementia group this morning to visit. there were only a handful of the regulars there. i felt like going back home but i stuck it out. in the end, it was good that i was there. when the rabbi came in to give his talk and play some music, there was a large crowd floating in and i was most needed to help seat everyone.

i am covered in flea bites. what is that old saying? when you lie with dogs you wake up with fleas, or something to that effect. i am getting overwhelmed. i've gained nearly 10 pounds. perhaps now that all the food is downstairs, it will curtail my binge eating.

i have one month left on my refrigerator service contract, i think. of course, i couldn't reach the service today. would you believe that they don't take calls after 4:00 p.m.? i tried reaching the internet provider, too. i requested that they send me a form to pay through my bank account, last month. they sent it to my old address and promised to send me another form before the holiday. i'm sure that my payment this month will not go through because i got a new credit card.

what else is going to go wrong?? i am beginning to get depressed. we are still having a heat wave and i am feeling uncomfortably, hot. i can't seem to generate any money from the house and finding any work isn't a reality. maybe dogsitting will pan out. who knows?

i babysat for sahar yesterday for 12 hours. i caught a ride to my exercise class at night but when i got there it was a no show. there seems to be a management problem. i don't know if they will continue to host the class in that center. i also ran into the palates instructor who was trying to get me to come back. i wish i had the will to work out.

i need to babysit again for sahar tomorrow morning. i'll have him with me for 12-13 hours. that means that i will not be able to do any laundry. he's afraid of the machine. i hope that i'll be able to reach the repairman. i won't hold my breath. they don't even have an answering machine.

is there anything else that i haven't complained about? why is life getting so hard?

oh yes, by the way, my son zvi has hemorrhoids. he came home yesterday a bit forlorn. he found blood in his stool and of course he was scared. he spent the day working on the harvest at the winery. he was so proud of himself. i totally forgot about his problem with all these nudgey problems that i've been facing. he went to the doctor and had it checked out without his mommy. he's really growing up. thank goodness it wasn't serious.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The End Of A CHag

it's 10:00 a.m. tuesday morning in the holy city of zefat. it is the last night of the holiday of sukkot. we say farewell to our sukkahs tomorrow and the holiday of simchas torah begins. we have our festive meal in the house after a week of eating outside.

for the most part, i've been in the house all week. i had guests for the first night of the holiday while the kids went out. i badly, craved some adult company for a change. i simply, could not face the 'clan's' kids yelling and fighting all night. i also, was not up for going up and down the dozens of steps, to help bring the food to the sukkah all night long.

unfortunately, the 'adult' conversation in my sukkah, was centered around our favorite shows on cable. it was not your spiritual type of evening. i tried my best to be a good hostess, never the less. it was way too hot to walk over in the daytime to the clan. this was an unprecedented sukkot heatwave. we usually wear sweaters at night, but not this year.

i spent the entire sunday in bed watching james bond movies. they were all the same and all really corny and poor. i think i lost my touch to reality, after three of them. i also spent the day binge eating, which is a pity, because i finally lost some weight. so once again, i find myself back on the south beach diet.

i rushed to town this morning to deal with my bank account. someone called yesterday to let me know that i was 800 shekels in the minus. i happen to have a 1000 shekel overdraft, so i was a little concerned that the bank had renegged. my daugter- in- law was driving to town, so i rushed out to catch a ride with her, completely, forgetting to bring a very important form with me.

the bank official told me that it was all taken care of and i left after a minute. i ended up going to the pricey local super in town even though i had intended on going to the cheaper supermarket up here. i had a 20 shekel coupon and i could have gotten a free cab ride home. i lost out on a 40 shekel saving because i was simply, off my game.

i had wanted to go to the old age center this morning at 9.00 a.m. but the kids asked me to babysit for a short while. i got totally screwed up and forgot what i needed to focus on. i finally got into the shower but it was time to go. i hate depending on anyone for a ride but i needed to save a few bucks. so in the end, i lost money on it and still have to go to town in the morning to deal with the bank once again.

i thought about going to volunteer in the morning. i already cooked a piece of meat in sweet wine and made some meatballs in a piquant tomato sauce. i made a cheesecake and baked a banana cake with white flour, for a change. i need to wash the floors again but maybe i can do it early before i go out.

i haven't figured out the menu for thursday morning yet. zvi might want to make a barbecue in the afternoon so i could make a pot of vegetarian cholent to have for kiddush. or maybe the cheesecake will suffice, who knows?. i wanted to buy a couple of steaks for zvi but they were 100 shekels and i suddenly got frugal. i did spring for a 100 shekel bottle of wine for the first holiday, so i'm really not all that cheap. i could buy some lamb riblets tomorrow, if they have any left. that just adds one more thing to buy and do tomorrow.