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.