Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm Right Here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Resting A Bit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Job Well Done

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When It Rains It Pours

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Last Night of Chanukah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 6, 2010

On The Sixth Night Of Chanukah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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