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.

Monday, September 20, 2010

To Kill A Rat

it's 9:30 a.m. on a hot and sunny monday norning in the holy city of zefat. i have just disposed of a dead rat and administered first aid to my dog cloey, who was bitten by the rat. i have also just cleaned up dozens of blood stains in the house.

i am taking a coffee break. i just ate two ice cream sandwiches and am thinking about having another. why is my life centered around animals and pests? my schedule for the day was to decorate the sukkah and possibly see about finding new scach. the baby went over to his other grandmother. the girls , his aunts, are all home from school and want him there. at first i felt cheated, but then i thought that i could spend the morning doing fun things. catching and disposing of a dead rat is not a fun thing to do.

i can still recall the first time that my friend shoshana and i caught our first rat in a trap. the rat was quite agitated and kept moving around in the trap. we were also quite nervous and kept jumping every time the trap did. we finally worked up enough courage to drown the rat by immersing the trap in a bucket of water. however, we had no clue as to how to dispose of it once it was dead. we stood outside in the old city of zefat and waited for passerbys to ask for help. a man and his young son soon came by and we discreetly, told them of our predicament. the young boy most gleefully, volunteered to dispose of the dead rat for us. he came back quite happily, a moment later, with the empty trap and told us to call him if we had any more dead rats.

i came back from the denal surgeon in a funk yesterday. the doctor suggested that i undo the temporary cap and have the tooth pulled. it is the only molar left. i have been chewing food with it for the past few years. the price for the 3 implants will totally deplete my savings. just discussing the surgical procedure freaked me out of my mind. i think that i might just go for an inexpensive prosthetic. i still have to go next week and have three teeth pulled. is there any wonder why i've eaten the entire carton of ice cream sandwiches.

as soon as zvi came home last night, he started to assemble our sukkah. he was most impatient and not pleasant to be around. i ended up missing my aroebics class. the baby did not want to stay outside with me. he wanted his mom. i'm sure the clan would be glad to hear this.

i went downstairs to fetch the sukkah material and i noticed fresh rat droppings. i then saw that the hose of the washing machine was no longer attached to the pipe. it was most odd! i opened the washing machine and found droppings inside. all the traps were closed so i knew that we had a large rat in our household. cloey was acting very agitated upstairs in the kids' apartment so i guessed that the rat was probably there. gal didn't take me very seriously, so i went downstairs to watch t.v. she brought sahar downstairs for a little while and we watched our favorite kid's show together until he fell asleep.

zvi woke me up at 8:00 a.m. to let me know he saw the rat. i immediately, ran upstairs with cloey, our 'ratter' dog. zvi apparently, was having his morning sandwhich, when the rat ran between his legs. the three of us went into rat pursuit. we moved around all of the furniture and emptied all of the clothing from the built in closet. at one point, the rat was hiding in a very narrow tray under the refrigerator. his tail was about a foot long. our only chance of catching him was to corner him in the bathroom. we finally got our chance. while zvi and i were armed with brooms and mops, cloey caught him in her mouth. she was bitten in the process. zvi finished the rat off while i caught cloey and applied a kotex pad to her bleeding face. thank goodness gal finally got her period!

zvi called work to say that he'd be in late. i gave cloey some rescue to calm her down. she was hyper ventilating. zvi kept on yelling at me to take the dog to the vet. i was still in my house robe, holding my bleeding dog. i wasn't going to rush out and jump into a cab in my pajamas. i managed to calm her down and i applied some arnica oil to her face. the bleeding stopped. i poured a few drops of lavender oil onto her face to disinfect the wound. i poured her some milk and she drank it all down. i was no longer very concerned. i still had to go back upstairs and dispose of the dead rat and clean up all the blood stains.

zvi showered downstairs and went to work, leaving me to clean up the bathroom. he called to let me know that the dog, probably, needed to be placed in quarentine for rabies. i didn't have the vet's new phone number so i called a friend at work. she won't be back until 1:00 p.m. the city's vet clinic is closed today. i called the town's vet and he said that i had done well. he said to bring her in tomorrow for antibiotics, if there appears to be any infection.

so here i am, alone and totally spent. i still need to decorate the succah and finish attaching the material. i have to rearrange all the furniture upstairs and put back all of the clothes from the built in closet, where the rat took up residence. and i still have to bail out the water zvi left in my bathroom after his shower.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Flea Bitten

it's 8:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i've been up since 6:00 a.m. my son woke me when he came down to make a bottle for sahar. i sleep in the t.v. area next to the door. he hung out for a while and made an egg too. he's gotten used to disturbing me since he moved back in. he's a married man now but he still acts like my teenage son. the baby didn't want to drink his bottle because he was wearing a 'loaded' diaper. i quickly got up and washed my hands and changed him. i couldn't go back to sleep after that.

last night my son came down at midnight to search for ice cream because i had eaten his wife's last ice cream bar to break my fast. i was watching t.v. but i didn't like his barging in and making me feel like i ruined their lives. i am really getting tired of the lack of privacy and consideration on his part. i never enter their (my) apartment without knocking and i limit my visitations. anyhow, i stopped off at the supermarket to buy an assorted box of ice cream treats on my way back from town.

i made it to yoga and felt like a martian. it's been a while. afterwards, i got a lift to town and made it to the bank to order more checks. i then spent the rest of the morning searching for a certain type of sukklah covering(scach). i went to nearly every hardware store in town. noone had it. i guess we'll have to make due with our old covering. it's bamboo and it has seen better days. hopefully, it can make it through just one more sukkot.

before i went to yoga, i was fantasizing about evicting the kids. i was getting ready to sell the house and ship out. sometimes i feel like leaving them here and renting a small flat for myself. the only problem with this is that i have no money. and the reason that i've gone broke is because i supported them for the past two years and went through all of my inheritance.

i also fantasize about shipping the dogs out, too. i'm so tired of sweeping up all of the dog hair everyday. it's a losing battle. the stupid 'bitches' keep making in the hallway too. even when the door is open, they prefer to do their thing in the hallay. my life would be so much easier without them. i guess i have to wait it out until they pass on. sahar was having a hard time this morning eating his egg because he had a dog hair in his mouth. i couldn't see it but my son found it.

i have to get ready to see the dental surgeon in another hour. i really dread that. but at least, it's only a consultation. i am suffering with this temporary cap, too. it burns and when i bit down on it i saw stars. maybe i should just go toothless and take to begging in the street. who knows? it just might pan out $ wise.

i forgot to mention that the ants are finally gone and now the dogs are inundated with fleas. and guess who's itching and scratching her body???

Home Alone

it's 7:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. it is saturday night. we just finished the 26 hour fast of yom kippur. we stopped eating yesterday and lit the shabbat candles at around 5:00 p.m. it is a very strange thing to spend the shabbat fasting. we usually, stuff face all shabbat long.

i went to the cemetery on friday to visit my parents' graves. i had a good cry, read their tehillim, cleaned their stones and went home. we were supposed to eat two meals before the fast. i had a couple of whole wheat rolls and a slice of salmon, that i took from my sister. the kids went to the sephardi clan so i was home alone and didn't bother to cook.

i found a package of stewed chicken that i had frozen and i had it for the second meal. it was delicious. the day before i defrosted an unmarked package and it turned out to be cholent. it was great! i shared it with the dogs.

last sunday was a fast day and i felt dreadful. i guess after overeating at six holiday and shabbat meals, my body couldn't deal. i pretty much stayed in bed all day. i didn't have the will to get up in the morning and go to yoga. i forget about the evening aroebics, too.

i went back to the dentist and he put a temporary cap on one of my teeth. he wanted to pull out another two teeth on the right side but i absolutely refused. i have to go to the surgeon tomorrow to see if he can put in implants. i don't really have enough money at this point, but i'll need at least one to be used as an anchor for a bridge. it's all so depressing!

i went to the clan for shabbat after rosh hashana and they made a big deal about the baby being too attached to me. he didn't even see me for the entire time that i was there. when i got up to leave and said good night to him, he was crying and very overtired. he wanted me to pick him up, like i do all the time, and the sephardi grandmother got a wee bit jealous.

i am easily hurt. i admit it. i didn't like this one bit. i've decided not to go there for succot. i'd rather stay home alone or in my succah alone than be privy to that behavior.

i enjoyed being alone for yom kippur. i got to spend the entire day and evening in shul. i didn't have to babysit or deal with anyone's moods. it was a bit strange to come home to an empty house but i'll just deal with it. i wanted to watch a bit of television but the programming wasn't scheduled to come back on until another hour. only in israel is cable television off on holidays.

i stayed in shul this evening until 7:30 p.m. i broke my fast with a piece of store bought honey cake and a cup of orange drink. i got home and had a whole wheat roll with a bit of tehina and a sliver of green pepper. i then made two eggs and sneaked upstairs to the kids' apartment and 'pinched' an icecream bar.

wish me luck at the dentist. i am at my wits end trying to come up with money these days. if you have any suggestions, write in.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy New Year!

it's 9:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat and tonight is rosh hashana, the jewish new year. i am exhausted. i spent yesterday, cooking and doing laundry. i've been cooking and freezing since last week.

i still need to bake a honey cake, buy challah, wrap a few gifts to give to the neighbors, and clean the house. i am completely spent. my carot tsimus looks like something the dogs made. hint #1, don't cut up the prunes and apricots into little pieces. i don't know what possessed me to do that.

i finally worked up enough courage to go the dentist yesterday. i even went to the next town to do it. he needed more time to assess my mouth so i have to go back next week. i met some acquaintances who offered me a ride back to zefat, so i hung out with them for about an hour at the maul. watching people try on clothes is a drag. anyay, i got home and started cooking.

i defrosted my pot roast, tuna steaks, and meatballs on top of the electric stove last night. what was i thinking? the stove got wet and i blew out all of the electricity for a while.

i just went through my emails and i learned that fruit is a life saver only if it's eaten raw and on an empty stomach; and that drinking cold water after a meal gives you cancer. i generally, avoid eating fruit at all costs. and i like it cooked with honey. i love baked apples. that reminds me, what am i going to make for dessert tonight?

i do not like feeling this tired when i have so much to accomplish. perhaps, i can send the kids out to buy the challahs later. my kitchen is a mess and the counters are covered in ants. i went to the store to finally buy ant spray. would you believe that i left my check book at home and didn't have enough cash on me to buy it?

i don't want to look at food this morning. i think that i am all 'fooded' out. tasting the tsimis all afternoon didn't help. eating a tuna sandwich at midnight was definately, a big mistake. i still have to cook up the fish heads, leeks, spinach, string beans, pumpkin, and beets. and i have to de- pip the pomegranates.

maybe i should have gone to sleep early last night. ya think? i wish you all a good, sweet year!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm A Loser!

sorry folks for not blogging lately. i haven't been feeling well. the last virus did me in. my face got twisted and my eye doesn't properly close. i spent last shabbos alone. the kids were ready to leave at 6:00 p.m. to go to gal's family and i wasn't ready. i had watched the baby all morning and i had spent the entire day doing the kids' laundry and washing the floors.

i was waiting for someone to tell me what time we were expected to leave but noone did. i pulled a real hissy fit when zvi came downstairs to leave. by then i was no longer in the mood to be with people and much too tired to walk all the way to canaan. i set my shabbas table, defrosted some rolls and cooked up two hot dogs. that was my shabbat meal. i had an appple for dessert and a few grapes.

i had a humus sandwich for lunch. i wasn't feeling any more energetic in the daytime and i simply stayed in bed, reading psalms. i went outside in the evening to catch a breeze. by the way, the heatwave has finally ended and it is turning cold.

i finally made it to the water company and paid up. i was so worried all the time that they would turn off my water. they actually do that here. i finally made it back to yoga and aroebics and the senior citizens' center after a two week sickness, and i watched sahar on monday and wednesday.

i went to the supermarket this morning and bought almost everything i need for this shabbat and next week's jewish new years. i'll buy all the challah next week. i managed to get the veggies, fruit, fish, meat and chicken. i filled up the freezer.

i also got a new part time job. first time in years. i was hired to help with correspondence and billing in a new art gallery. i was asked to start this morning. i was a bit nervous but i manged to show up, anyway. i looked around at all the nude sculptures and pictures and i thought to myself that this really wasn't the most appropriate environment for a middle aged frum lady. i guess, i knew that from the start.

i really needed the money. one month of working in the gallery would have paid my electric bill or real estate tax or even water bill. they wanted me to create an introductory template letter on word so i sat down at the computer and had a panick attack, full blown melt down. i couldn't remember how to write a letter. i actually, never formatted a word document before. i thought that i would just be answering emails. i suddenly couldn't see out of my right eye. i just wanted to go home.

i continued to talk to them about the content of the letter but i wanted out. i finally apologized for waisting their time and got up and explained that i wasn't feeling well and had to go home. they seemed genuinely, concerned. i felt totally, demoralized. i stopped off at the local fruit store and picked up a few more things for rosh hashanah.

i caught the bus home and wanted to call my son and cry. instead, i decided to cook. i thought that i might have to baby sit tomorrow so i started to prepare the shabbat meal. i made a cooked sephardi tomato relish. i stewed some tuna fillets in a piquant tomato sauce. i made a potato salad. i baked a whole wheat banana cake. i cooked a roast beef in sweet wine for next week and froze it. i broiled a chicken in sweet chili sauce and froze it. i made an eggplant salad. i made an avocado and egg salad. i fried up chicken breasts using corn meal and sesame seeds for the batter.

it's 1:00 p.m. and i'm still feeling ashamed. i feel over the hill and worthless. i can't seem to shake this feeling of helplessness. i was even called out on my over feeding the baby tonight. i feel like such a boob! i have never turned down work but i've been unemployed for years. i can't deal well with pressure anymore.

the news has been so tragic in the past couple of days. 4 people were murdered by arabs the other day and another couple were badly injured. there are 6 new orphans without any parents. a woman and her nine month old fetus were slaughtered. her oldest child who is only 24 himself, promised at her grave to raise his siblings. a man from zefat, and father of 11, miraculously survived a near lynching. how much longer can we suffer like this ?

i just keep on making my menus. the holiday starts on wednesday night and goes into the shabbat. there are three evening meals and three daytime meals. we fast on the upcoming sunday. i still want to make meatballs and/or stuffed peppers, coleslaw, and some type of quiche or kugel tomorrow. i also need to clean the house and do laundry. what a cinch!

good shabbas and l'shana tova!!!