Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Midnight in Zefat

it is 12:15 a.m. in the holy city of zefat on tuesday night. i just got home from the women's purim play. i got there at 2:30 p.m. and worked until 11:30 p.m., setting up the refreshments tables. i ended up baking about 190 assorted muffins, 7 streussel coffee cakes, 4 eggless chocolate cakes, and 2 pans of coconut bars. i put everything in the freezer on sunday night.

on monday morning, we travelled to haifa for my son's hernia operation. zvi and wife, gal and gal's mom, miriam and myself caught the 8:00 a.m. bus. we went to a private hospital because we couldn't deal with another zefat hospital trauma. most israelis wouldn't pay the difference but in this case, i was more than happy to dig into my pocket.

the procedure was only about 40 minutes and thank the Lord, there were no complications. we were all really hungry by about 8:00 p.m. and we could not find a kosher restaurant or supermarket in the area. go figure! we settled on some pitas from a "kosher" bakery and managed to find some humus that was also kosher. i bought a container of 5% cottage cheese so i was a happy camper. we were very anxious for zvi to be discharged that night and were given up to midnight for him to pass several tasks.

first, he had to sit up with his legs on the floor, a few times. each time he sat up, he complained of dizziness. they gave him more infusion, which took a lot of time to finish. he then had to eat and drink something. he managed to have some tea and a sandwich but he then was nauseous. he also had to stand up and walk to the bathroom and pee. he managed the walk but he couldn't pee. then the fun started. they gave him more infusion with dramamine to combat the nausea and moments later he rather, violently, threw up. the nurse gave me the dinkiest little bowl, large enough to wash one's dentures but i quickly ran and snatched the waste paper bucket and put it on his bed.

they suggested that zvi stay the night instead of traveling about 2 hours, back to zefat. gal naturally, wanted to stay with him. i wanted to get home because i had the old age home in the morning and the show in the afternoon. by now, the baby had been with gal's married sister for about 14 hours and both miriam and i thought that gal should return. i was the logical candidate to stay with zvi. he was most relieved to be staying, and he even got to watch a soccer game on television, to boot. i was cuddled up in a very comfortable, orthopedic, recovery chair so i actually managed to fall asleep.

i got up about 7:00 a.m. and started to get the check out procedure in motion. zvi was able to eat breakfast and i had a couple of cinnamon cookies and coffee and a hand full of almonds. i can't even count the number of coffees i drank the day before.

we left haifa at 9:30 a.m. and were back in zefat before 11:00 a.m. i sprung for a cab. as soon as i got home, i tracked down the number of someone who works at the old age center to explain my absence. i have to go in tomorrow. i then made another 2 dozen muffins. i could hardly see straight. i had called gal from the hospital to ask her to defrost all the baked goods. zvi ordered a pizza and i ate the cheese off of a slice. i had some more almonds and a plain yogurt. gal asked me to babysit until 2:00 p.m. but her other sister took the baby for a walk. so i got all the bags in order for the play. i had to remember to bring, a pair of scissors, and a can opener, as well as all the paper goods, napkins, and empty bottles for the drinks. i even ran downstairs to the local store to buy more milk but they only had one bag of the mehaderin milk. luckily, i had two bags in the fridge.

i threw on lots of eye makeup and face powder and lipstick to get into 'part'. i wore a very fancy morracan dress and draped a huge scarf over my head. after all, i wasn't just the refreshments lady, i was also the hostess. i greeted every lady with a really strange 'welcome'. i didn't sound anything like a persian. i think i sounded more like an indian. i set up all the cakes and drinks and then covered it all so the women and kids wouldn't eat it before the show. i then cleared all the tables and set it up again for the evening show.

i am truly tired now and my back is beginning to ache. i think i single-handedly moved a few hundred wooden chairs tonght. that's show biz! i have omitted all of the psycho drama of sunday, simply, because i am too tired to continue to blog. perhaps once i'm rested, i will write about my ordeal.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


10 p.m. thursday night in the holy city of zefat. i have been on the move all day. i made it to yoga at 9:00 a.m. even though i didn't fall asleep until after 4:00 a.m. my mind was racing about all the things i needed to do today and i couldn't turn it off. i guess, the cup of coffee that i drank at about 10:00 p.m., didn't help me to relax so much.

zvi was rather grumpy this morning and very upset about not having a clean shirt for work. i never got around to doing the laundry. he complained about having a really terrible pain in his belly button. he also said that he had been suffering for a couple of days. i told him that it sounded like a hernia, and that he had to go directly to the doctor and not to work. he called his boss and squared it with him. luckily, he got an appointment right away, with the only decent doctor at our health insurance carrier. i offered to babysit because zvi needed his 'wifey' to take him to the doctor. however, gal told me to go to yoga and took the baby to her mother's.

yoga was empty so it was like having a private lesson. i kept worrying about zvi and wondering if he was being sent to the hospital. after exercise, i got a lift to town. i went to the clinic to see if zvi was still there but he had already left. i went over to the x-ray department to ask if he had been there, but he hadn't. so i went about my errands. i found a pair of cheap, cowboy look-a-like boots for zvi and i bought him a mock leather cowboy hat. i also bought him a toy gun and a lot of caps. i guess it's pretty weird to be buying a costume for a 23 year old man.

i kept on thinking all day, that, if i just continue to do my errands for purim, everything will be all right. i bought so many things in town that i misplaced a few. i even managed to buy 4 cartons of fresh soy milk with the politically, correct heksher on it. i came home and started making muffins. i'm not used to using white sugar and white flour, so everything looked strange. i made about 3 dozen medium sized corn muffins, 2 dozen chocolate muffins and 4 dozen chocolate chip muffins. i decided to call it quits for tonight. i would have liked to make one more dozen of something else, but i ran out of eggs. i actually, did have 2 eggs left, but i wanted to scramble them for dinner. i'm way too tired now to cook.

the kids finally came home and zvi was interested in seeing what i had bought for him. the boots were great but too tight. the hat was bent so i have to go back to town and exchange it for a straight one. i have to put up more posters tomorrow and exchange the cowboy hat and return the boots and buy another pair of boots, that i saw, in another store, in the next size. i also have to do the laundry and make a shabbat meal because the kids are staying home. zvi needs an operation on monday. he will be going out of town, thank goodness! zefat is not the place to be operated on.

perhaps, i'll buy a prepared grilled chicken in town tomorrow. i have a small package of chopped meat and i'll make some meatballs and stuff them into artichoke bottoms. once again, i need to buy some potatoes. it will be an easy shabbat for sure. i won't be able to bake a lot tomorrow, so i'll have to resume on motsei shabbat. good shabbos to one and all!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's Beggining To Look A lot like Purim

8:30 p.m. in the holy town of zefat. it's unusually warm and we're all feeling tired from the extreme changes in the weather. i 'lounged' around all morning. the loads of laundry are really starting to pile up. tomorrow, i have my thursday morning yoga class at 9:00 a.m. and then i'm scheduled to hang posters for the purim play, all over town. the porpoise suit that i bought yesterday, did not fit sahar. it wasn't all that small, but the porpoise head did not reach anywhere near to his head. gal came home from town today, with an even better costume. she bought a little prince type of outfit with a rather, arabian looking gold hat. i think he's more of a jewish prince than a fish, any day.

i stopped by the artist colony to pick up more fliers and to discuss the refreshments. i volunteered to do all the baking. i spent a couple of hours, shopping for paper goods and buying little party favors to decorate the tables. i finally returned the small toaster oven to the store because one of the dials broke off after only a month. actually, my summer tenant broke it but that's another story. i would have been happy with just a dial but i guess it was easier to send it back to the factory and give me a new one. i also returned the popcorn maker to another store. it stopped working the third or fourth time that i used it. i also managed to bake a dozen zucchini muffins, a niles perch with teriyaki sauce and sweet potatoes and send it off to the grieving family. i had some left over whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce from last night's dinner with the kids and my niece and husband and baby so i added it to the package.

i still need to buy coffee, tea, and sugar tomorrow. i'll buy the milk for the coffee on the morning of the show. i decided to make everything in the form of cupcakes and muffins. the only catch here is that they can't be dairy. i also, can't use the oranges from my tree because of kashrut concerns. i can't add raisins because of kashrut problems and i can't use nuts for health reasons. i will go and visit my sister after yoga to get my muffin tins back and to try to find soy milk with the politically correct heksher at the store under her apartment. i will stick to chocolate muffins, chocolate chip muffins, gingerbread muffins, and corn muffins, depending on finding soy milk.

zvi says that he wants to dress up as a cowboy for purim. that's his way of trying to get me to buy him cowboy boots. good luck! so one more thing i have to do tomorrow, is to check out the gemachs for second hand boots and a plaid shirt. and i have to buy him a cowboy hat, if he is really serious about this. for the past couple of years he was a pirate like jonnie depp. my plan of attack tommorrow, is to go to yoga, head over to my sister's place, go to town and check out the second hand stores for boots and a plaid shirt, buy a cowboy hat, poster the town, pick up some muffin papers and eggs and start baking. oh gosh, i forgot about all the laundry. i'm not cooking for shabbat so i guess i'll be doing laundry on friday.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Just Plain Tired

11:30 p.m. monday night in the holy city of zefat. sorry that i haven't been online in a few a days. the truth is that i've been too busy to blog. my friends from efrat came a few hours before shabbat. i spent the entire day thursday, cooking and baking. i also sent over a dinner of tuna patties and veggie noodle kugel to the family who lost their mother. i even made some orange cranberry muffins, too.

i made several salads on friday but i mostly shmoozed with my friends. my sister and niece decided to join us so i made some extra dishes. i made a few tuna steaks with teriyaki sauce and cooked up a batch of brown rice with almonds and cranberries for them. my sister, actually, ate with relish. my coconut cake with the chocolate topping, remained virtually, untouched. how could it possibly compare to michal's peanut butter and chocolate fudge brownies, anyway? however, my sesame cookies, were a really big hit! i might add, that there wasn't a corn muffin left over, either.

poor moshe from efrat, didn't get to have any potato kugel because i ran out of potatoes. once again, i made way too much of the mashed potatoes and eggs for lunch. i also made a cholent with black beans, wheat, chick peas, white beans, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and white potatoes. i threw in some meat bones, which the dogs really enjoyed, later on. zvi usually, loves to suck the fat out of these bones, but he prefered not to partake this shabbat. i threw in a few meat kabobs to boot. it was actually, very tasty.

after shabbat ended, the kids decided to go to the movies in nearby haifa, so we middle aged ladies got to babysit for sahar. it was sheer torture! he screamed his head off for many, long, hours. he was hungry but his nose was stuffed and he couldn't suck the bottle so he cried. then he couldn't breathe well because his nose was stuffed so he cried. i put his face directly into the stream of cold air from the vaporizer and he seemed a little better. he drank some of his bottle but he had gas so he cried. and then the bottle of milk was too cold so he cried. this went on all night. he couldn't sleep because his nose was stuffed. he couldn't relax because he had gas and a red tush.

i felt sorry for my friend from efrat. she came all the way to zefat to get some R&R and here she was again, having to take care of a baby even though it wasn't her own grandkid. we watched 'american idol' while sahar howled. there was little else on t.v. to watch so she decided to go to sleep. she had an early morning trip back to efrat, anyway. the kids returned after 2:00 a.m. and michal and i were really tired. gal was a little miffed that i over fed the baby. i had to give him formula because he was so upset. i finally got her to understand that the baby had drank only two bottles in the span of nearly six hours. she finally relaxed. as soon as she came in, the little rascal, stopped crying, smiled and cooed at her and even nursed.

the kids decided to catch a ride to tiberias, the following morning, with our friends from efrat. i of course, was asked to watch the baby again. i was a little afraid after the previous night, but of course, i agreed. michal watched sahar for an hour and a half, while i caught my yoga class on the next block. considering, that i didn't sleep very much, i was amazed that i actually made it out. i didn't sleep very well on friday night, either. perhaps the red port, that i drank, had something to do with it. all i know, is that everyone else said goodnight, and that i was still awake at 3:00 a.m.

when i came home from yoga, sahar was happily situated in michal's arms, drinking his bottle. he gave me his sweetest smile and gurgled hello. we took him outside for some sunshine and fresh air. he fell asleep in his carriage right away. michal and i headed downstairs with him for some sun, too. we drank tea and coffee and soaked up the warm sun for hours. when sahar woke up, we put him on a blanket on the grass. it was sheer heaven. he was so happy. he rolled around a little and played with the dogs and leisurely, drank another bottle. he had a 'poop' and a burp and he was one happy camper! when his parents came home at 3:00 p.m. he didn't even take notice. he was sitting propped up between my thighs, busily reading his book.

the kids went upstairs to have a meal and sahar fell asleep in his carriage. i started to warm up the shabbat leftovers for me and michal. i kept sahar downstairs for another two hours. zvi came downstairs to give us some leftovers from the thai take out. i stuck to my own food. even though i started the strict phase of my diet this week, i gave in to temptation and ate some frozen strawberry mousse cake and a bag of roasted pistashio nuts. i even ate the chocolate topping off several pieces of the coconut cake. i am not proud to admit to 'falling off the wagon'. i weighed myself today and i was shocked that i had already put on about 5 pounds.

after we had dinner, both michal and i were thoroughly, exhausted and wanted to go to sleep. it was only 6:00 p.m. i actually, dozed off as i read psalms. the next thing i know is that zvi woke me to tell me that the baby was awake. he scolded me about the baby blanket being in sahar's face. he also announced that he and gal needed to get to town and that i was on call, once again. i nearly cried, from being so tired. michal offered to help me but i sent her home in a cab with lots of lemons and oranges from the garden. after all, she had helped me out in the morning so i could go to yoga. the baby was his adorable self, and ate and went willingly, back to sleep. horray for the sun!

the kids got back at 8:30 p.m. and i can't remember anything after that. i struggled to get up today and it was not easy. i felt like i had been run over by a steam roller. i guess i'm really too old to be a full time nanny. i was supposed to do laundry today but for some strange reason, i decided to rearrange my photo albums. and rearrange i did for the entire afternoon! i didn't even stop for a coffee. i saw pictures that i haven't looked at in years. what a trip down memory lane that was! i am really beat.

i volunteer tomorrow morning with the dementia group. after work, i want to check out costumes for sahar. the kids saw a whale costume that they liked, and i need to exchange one of the wigs that i bought. i also volunteered to man the refreshments table for the purim show next week. i really have to start the baking. i decided on making muffins. i think a nice muffin and a hot drink is a lovely light refreshment at intermission time. all i need right now, besides a lot of flour, is some energy and a lot of strength. we really had a terrible scare on saturday night. my niece's in-laws run the beit chabad in pune, india and live across the street from the bakery that got blown up. they say that the beit chabad was the real target. my niece and husband and their 10 month old baby are heading there very soon, before pesach. i doubt that we'll sleep very well while they're gone.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Active / Inactive

it's thursday afternoon in the holy city of zefat. today i'm being active. yesterday, i didn't get out of bed except for making some food and letting the dogs out. i way overdid it on tuesday and i couldn't move on wednesday. i haven't really slept well since the kids have been out of town.

i jumped out of bed and let the doggies out on tuesday morning around 8:00 a.m. i said the morning brachas and had a hand full of nuts and caught the bus to town. i headed straight for the bank to get a letter for bituach leumi. the bank was empty so i headed right over to the national insurance office. i got the security guard to translate the form for me and apparently, i was reporting for the first time, inheriting a house. my daughter- in- law had helped me with the first form and i guess she let the 'cat out of the bag'. we shall see what will be!

i borrowed a pen from the clerk behind the desk. i returned it her when i finished. when i needed it again, the other security guard told me to go home and get a pen. i can just imagine that happening in a government office in the states. anyway, i told the guard to 'chill' as best as i could in hebrew. i had to drop the form into the outdoor postal box, because the clerk refused to take it from me. what a nice bunch of people they are!

i then walked over to the seniors' group on the next street. it was already 9:30 a.m. i was on my way to the office to ask if i could switch my tuesdays for wednesdays, when the social worker/director thanked me profusely for coming in on tuesdays. she said it was a tremendous help. there goes yoga on tuesdays! the seniors group was fuller this week. they had two new men. one of the gentlemen is russian and doesn't speak, hebrew, english or yiddish. he does smile alot. the floor worker speaks a bit russian so he isn't really neglected. murray and bertha were both back, so there were 11 in all. i brought in oranges and tangerines from my garden. i just baked sesame cookies to bring them next week.

after i said goodbye to the group, i hustled on down to the unemployment office. i stopped for a moment to check out the purim costumes in town. i bought the perfect clown suit and hat for my nieces' toddler. i then went down the block to pick up the posters for the purim show. i had only had one coffee and a few nuts for the whole morning, and i was beginning to feel a bit weak. i thought about going home for lunch but instead, i spent the next 4 hours taping fliers all over the old city, town, and the artist quarter. i called it quits at 4:00 p.m. i decided to go and visit my sister and see my grandnephew, menachem mendush. i was excited to see if the clown suit would fit him. i walked the 20 minute hill to canaan. i hung up fliers as i pushed on up the hill. when i got to the housing project, i put up more fliers around the complex.

as soon as we put the clown hat on m.m., he started to clown around. he was so happy! it was a perfect fit, too. i finally had something to eat around 7:00 p.m. it felt like a fast day. i stuck around til about 10:00 p.m. i wanted to walk home but i was just, too tired. i couldn't fall asleep, but i did hit the t.v. couch immediately. yesterday, i didn't budge.

i woke up this morning, after the dog abruptly, catapulted off my head. i made a rush to get to my yoga class. my foot started to hurt again, yesterday. the pain seems to come and go. thank goodness it went. i baked a batch of cranberry muffins to send over to the family that was in mourning last week. i want to make a meal for them today and make some kind of kugel for them. i also need to clean the house and cook the majority of the shabbat meal today. hopefully, my friends will be joining us for shabbat.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday, Monday

it's 11:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. all in all, it was an uneventful day. zvi and gal and baby sahar left a few hours ago for hadera. zvi has a 3 day wine show in tel aviv so they went to stay at gal's grandmother's house which is close by. i came back from the supermarket just in time to see them leave. i started crying. zvi was a bit annoyed. i was overwhelmed by my emotions, as usual. my first thought was to pack a bag and leave the city. i have been wanting to visit friends in netanya for a while. the only thing stopping me was the three dogs. once again, i'm trapped by the canines.

i sat for sahar at noon today. the poor thing was congested and couldn't drink his bottle and breathe at the same time. he was very hungry and started to cry. he was really miserable. the more i tried to feed him, the more he screamed. he couldn't fall asleep because he was so hungry. i set up the cold air vaporizer and threw in a few drops of eucalyptus oil to help him breathe better. i actually, held his face up to the stream of cold air. he seemed to like it. after a while, i reheated his bottle once again, and he finally could drink it. i helped to burp him and he had a movement which made him feel better. i changed his diaper and by that time, his mom had returned. he was able to nurse and was in a much better mood for her.

i made some lunch for gal and then i went to the supermarket to buy food for shabat. michal called to say that it was freezing outside and not a good day to be out. by the time i left, it was actually, pleasant outside. i walked to the store and was sorry that i couldn't walk home. it was too late to send home a delivery, so i ordered a cab. my very good friend from efrat is coming up for shabbat with her son. he and zvi have been buddies since they were two years old. i want to make a traditional meal because they haven't been here in awhile. that includes: chicken soup, potato kugel, chopped liver, and roasted chicken. i want to make spicy chicken wings too. i'll broil the little drum sticks and use the other part of the wings to make the soup. i'll make a meat cholent for saturday, as well as the standard, mashed eggs and potatoes for gal and zvi.

i want to send over a real meal tomorrow for the family that ends their mourning. i haven't decided what to make. i thought about doing a lasagna but in the end, i didn't buy any cheese. perhaps i'll do a fish and potatoes dish. we'll see how i feel tomorrow. i got a letter from the national insurance agency. it seems that i do, indeed, need to bring a letter from the bank and fill out the forms, once again. i am supposed to volunteer at the senior citizens alzheimer group tomorrow. i'll try to wake up early and get to the bank before i go. i'm a little nervous about waking up on time, being alone in the house, now. my son wakes me up each morning by talking to me while i'm asleep on the t.v. couch. sometimes the dogs and i like to 'sleep in' til late.

it's after midnight and i'm wondering how the kids are doing. it's much too late to call them. my niece and husband are planning to travel to india for pesach. i am just understanding how hard that will be for my sister. her grandson, menachem mendel is nearly a year old now and is beginning to stand up and move about the room. i haven't seen him in awhile. i better make an effort to visit them. i was hoping to invite them for dinner this week to catch up with zvi and gal but that won't be happening now.

i started buying some things to give out on purim. in a certain sense, it's like a jewish halloween. we get dressed up in costumes and hand out a lot of candy. we're supposed to give out a food basket consisting of two different food groups as well as two amounts of charity. but alas, it has turned into a sugar overload. last year we made candy sushi for gal's family, for a joke. they thought it was the real deal until i urged them to try it. we used apple flavored green fruit leather for the seaweed and rice crispies and melted marshmallows for the rice. we placed a candy fish inside each slice. so far, i bought small cans of tuna fish, pineapples, and small bottles of wine. i also bought mini halvah bars. i don't know if i'll make hamentashen this year.

a couple of years ago, when mom could still use her hands, we made hamentashen together. she made the dough and prune and walnut filling by herself. i simply, put a spoon of filling onto each circle of dough and mom folded them into perfectly, shaped triangles. here they fill them with poppy seeds or with chocolate spread. it's just not the same. mom made the best prune filled hamentashen in zefat. her dough was light and rich even though, she used whole wheat flour. i can't make hamentashen without thinking of mom.

i have to pick up the posters for the purim show tomorrow, after i leave the center. i volunteered to hang them all over the city. another woman wants me to mc the women's party this year. i'm becoming in demand. i have to lose more weight before purim. i'm sticking to the south beach diet for the next few weeks. i just read that peas, and chick peas, and white beans help lower the bad cholesterol and help raise the good cholesterol. i'm all for that. i still have to find a new fun halloween wig to wear on purim. i buy one every year. i have quite a collection. i saw one that was grey and curly and had a crown on top. perhaps i'll go as a jewish princess.

it's now 1:00 a.m. and i must finish the blog. my son just called to say goodnight. the baby has a slight fever, but they all arrived in tact, thank goodness. it really is strange to be alone once again. but that's another blog. good night.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Baby It's Cold Out There

it's 4:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. it is really cold outside, as well as, inside my home. for some unknown reason, the heater in the computer room keeps switching off. my hands and feet are nearly numb. i'm beginning to fantasize about taking a burning hot shower. that would entail getting up and turning on the boiler in the next room. perhaps, i will do just that, when i finish my blog.

i went to the local 9:00 a.m. yoga class this morning. it is only two blocks away. i could walk there in my sleep. the floor was freezing there, so the teacher modified the exercizes. i found that i was pretty stiff even though i went to the thursday class. i guess the cold is keeping our muscles tight. my right foot was hurting again before i left. it felt a bit better after the session.

i watched sahar for about an hour after my yoga class. he was in a good mood. he was tired but he did not want to sleep. he didn't try to speak this morning and was hoarse. apparently, he jabbered away all shabbat with the sephardi clan. i spent the shabbat alone, for a change. i got myself into a pickle by telling the sephardi safta that the kids might get snowed in while at their house for shabbat. as you recall, we were expecting a major snow storm last thursday. anyhow, the kids decided to stay home this shabbat but the sephardi safta said that i had already told her they were coming. they were pressured into going there and i didn't hear the end of it from my son.

they seemed okay when they left. it was way too cold for me to trek over there for the evening meal and return home. i simply, broiled up some chicken using bottled sweet and chili sauce and made a chinese chicken soup with bottled teriyaki sauce. i made some whole wheat couscous from a box and made a red cabbage salad. i made kiddush and ate a small whole wheat roll. i ate a huge amount of salad, chicken and soup. i bentched and went to bed. i read a magazine for a little while and went to sleep pretty early.

i got up at 5:00 a.m. and had some coffee. i let the dogs out and went back to sleep. at 8:00 a.m. a friend came over to visit with her two dogs. we threw all five dogs outside and drank numerous cups of coffee. she left at 9:30 a.m. and i went downstairs and sat in the sun. it was glorious. i brought down my book of psalms and read in the sun til about 2:00 p.m. i made kiddush and had some broiled chicken and couscous. i thought about getting dressed and going over to my sister's but i never made it out. i suddenly, felt tired and i fell asleep on the couch. i woke up in the evening and shabbat was almost finished. of course, since i slept all afternoon, i couldn't fall asleep last night until 3:00 a.m.

i went to pay a shiva call on thursday with michal. the day before, i sent over some cranberry muffins and oranges and tangerines from the garden. on thursday, i made a minestrone soup and corn bread. on friday, i sent over chocolates and banana cake muffins and a sweet noodle kugel. today i sent over some corn muffins and a lentil soup. tomorrow is the last day of shiva. i will try to send over some 'goodies' next shabbat. michal wants to make a cake. perhaps i'll do some kugels. i hope that my home made food helped to comfort them throughout the week. we should only have good news!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Stormy Weather

12:15 p.m. wednesday afternoon in the holy city of zefat. it is a cold and stormy day. we have been told to expect a possible snow storm. it is not the kind of day to be out and about doing errands. i spent the morning on the phone with my girl pal. apparently, her ex and his new wife felt that we snubbed them at the bris on monday. they blamed me, a 58 year old safta, for being a bad influence on the 59 year old 'step' safta.

suddenly, i remembered that my son had asked me to pick up a package at the local post office. i called a cab and had the driver wait for me. it was way too windy for me and my palsied face to be out on the street. the clerk gave me the package without a struggle. how great is that! it just takes a little more money to solve these things!

i had lofty fantasies of baking muffins, and making a pot of soup this morning. there are also three huge batches of laundry waiting for me to do. i have a sink full of coffee cups that are crying out to be washed and i don't have the motivation to do anything. it's beyond just being cold. it's mental inertia. it's so amazing that we enjoyed summer like weather yesterday at the cemetery. i can't imagine standing outside today in the cold. i guess chani did us all a favor by going when she did.

i really want to visit bertha from romania in the hospital but i don't want to go out again. i just had a visit from one of the cast from the purim play. i lent her my very colorful, persian king costume. before she came, i managed to make a dozen of really, nice, cranberry muffins. i also ran outside to pick a bunch of oranges and tangerines. since, the cast member lives in the same building as the grieving family, i wanted to send along a food package from me. although i had a ride downtown, i wasn't ready to visit them in person, yet. i also gave up on making a hospital visit.

i'm supposed to go to gal's sister at 7:00 p.m. for a house warming. this is the young couple's 7th move in just a few years. i feel obligated to bring something but i'm not up for making chocolates. i don't feel like baking any cakes because they are not fans of whole wheat flour. i'm leaning towards making a potato kugel, but that entails running out in the cold to buy potatoes. i think i just have to settle on making some type of cookies. i have lots of nuts left from shabbat and i do have some white chocolate chips in the fridge. all i need is the motivation. i honestly, don't feel like going out at all, in this weather, but i'm kind of obligated. i just remembered the bananas in gal's freezer but i don't believe it's their favorite thing. perhaps, i'll make some banana muffins tomorrow, to take to the shiva. the laundry is still waiting for me.

Life And Death

today we buried a dear friend. she was only 52. i can't believe that it was only a month ago that i went to see her at a rehab nearby. who could have imagined that she'd be gone so soon. i was supposed to visit her on sunday afternoon. i had an early morning ride to the kibbutz but i didn't want to miss my yoga class. i figured that i could see her later in the week. michal went without me and called, later that day, to let me know that our friend was on her way out of this life. i couldn't bring myself to go and watch her die.

yesterday, my great pal and partner in crime's stepdaughter held a bris in meron at the kever of rabbi shimon bar yochai. my friend had to work in the morning and didn't know how she'd have enough time to get ready to go to the bris. i reassured her that i would pick her up at work in a taxi and we'd proceed to meron for only 50 shekels. sometimes, you have to throw money at a certain situation. we actually, arrived early. the entire indoor kever was in a state of rennovation. it was so noisy and very disorienting. the festive meal after the bris, was somewhere in meron. we simply followed the crowd until we made our way into the correct house. the sephardi safta was just beginning to set up the tables. i thought about returning to the kever to read psalms, but my friend, the stepgrandmother, wanted to stay and help out.

so there we were, dishing out salads and setting up tables, while the crowd of people were entering the room for the seudah. we finally finished our tasks and sat down at the very last bench at the end of the room. we were only 4 women at the table and we had a full table of food placed in front of us. salads, and platters of couscous, and chicken, and sephardi potato kugel. we commandeered a bottle of araq, licorice flavored alcohol, and helped ourselves to as many l'chaims as we wanted. another one of my friends' stepdaughters made the most delicious whole wheat rolls. i was a happy camper.

we stayed at the meal until 4:00 p.m. we were rather, lucky, and were able to share a taxi back to zefat for only 20 shekels. i spent the next couple of hours, shmoozing and drinking coffee. i then walked over to gal's mom to retrieve one of my purim costumes. i had lent them bags of purim wigs and props last year. i drank some tea and chatted til 9:00 p.m. and then took a cab home. the 48 year old sephardi grandmother had spent hours on her feet frying donuts for her husband's kollel and then wondered why her eyes burnt and why her back hurt. she offered to drive me home but i didn't have the heart to make her go out again.

i went to the senior citizens' center this morning to volunteer. murray from brooklyn is still housebound because the elevator in his building is out of order. bertha from romania, fell on her head yesterday at the center, so she's in the hospital. i wanted to run over to visit her but i heard that her son had come in from haifa to be with her. the idea of an elderly mother with dementia, living alone, sickens me. the rest of the group seemed a bit subdued this morning. i think that the extreme changes in the weather are making us all tired.

i got the 'call' this morning, about our friend's passing, at 7:30 a.m.. yesterday i prayed that my friend should pass from this world peacefully and without suffering. and today i said goodbye. yesterday we watched a new boy baby being brissed and brought into the covenant and today we buried a dear friend.