Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our First Shabbat

last week i went to hadera at the last minute to be with the kids for shabbat. my son had requested me to join with the sephardi family clan for a shabbat bar mitzvah. still feeling slighted and uneasy, i had refused to go. finally, it came to light, that my new granddaughter was being named there. a kiddush was not going to take place here.

i was riddled with guilt but i still didn't feel like shlepping to hadera. i didn't like leaving the dogs alone, either. the last direct bus was at 11:00 a.m. i was still debating whether to go or not when a girlfriend called to say hello. she kind of shamed me into going. i quickly tossed a few things into a bag and called a taxi.

although it was a simcha, the family was still in deep mourning for the grandmother of the clan. i managed to make some chocolate tefillin and baby buggies before i left. i also brought a few packages of novelty napkins for both the bar mitzvah boy and new parents. it did add a bit of simcha.

i thought it was worth it all, when my son looked up and saw me waving to him from the women's section in the shul. i was his only family member there. his wife didn't make it to the shul. he actually, came over to me and hugged me on his own accord. it was the first time, in years, i may add.

i spent the first night of chanukah alone. the kids came up to light the huge chanukah menorah but sahar was not with them. he was at his grandparents' home. i gave them each a token present, socks and underwear, and they left. i had bought a diego doll for sahar and my son took it with him to give to sahar. i was really hurt. not only did i miss out on seeing his reacton to the gift, but i was left alone while they were all celebrating together.

i let my son know the next day, how upset i was. he accused me of being a 2 year old and reassured me that they would be coming to me for shabbat. i tried to let him know that i wasn't sure if i really wanted to make shabbat for them. it went way over his head.

the next night they, all 3 of them, came upstairs to light. i gave sahar a token chanukah coloring book and box of crayons and a cardboard dreidel filled with goodies. my son asked me to make latkes for them. i was feeling very uneasy with the daughter-in-law sitting there. i complied with his request and hassled to fry up some latkes while sahar colored and his mom nursed the baby. i also made a greek salad.

i invited a few friends over on thursday evening, the third night of chanukah. it was the third anniversary of my mother's passing. i was very emotional. i have an 'official' latke nlight every year. this year i tried to get creative. i made plain potato latkes for my friend, the purest. i made sweet potato and veggie latkes for my other friend who doesn't eat white potatoes. and i made pumpkin latkes for a friend who doesn't eat potatoes at all. i also made cheesey corn fritters, just for the heck of it.

i made home made applesauce and a greek salad. i served regular sour cream, and a soft goat cheese spread. i made chocolate coins, menorahs and dreidels. i set the table with menorah napkins and tons of assorted dreidels. i placed 14 chocolates around the table, strategically, and went off to the computer room. when i got back to the table all the chocolates were gone. there were candy foils and lolly sticks all over the floor. i can't say for sure, if both the dogs were in on this caper. i tend to think that it was cloey the beast, who ate all 14 chocolates.

the evening was very cozy and sentimental. i spoke very lovingly of my mom. my sister did not join us. she invited me to come over for a game of dreidel and i invited her to join us. i had a shot or two of whiskey and cleaned up a bit. i still have some greasy pans to wash out. my son let me know that they were definately, planning on being here for shabbat. i defrosted some fish, and chicken cutlets, and a small piece of meat.

on friday afternoon, i decided to make a spicy stewed fish and fried chicken cutlets. afterall, it was still chanukah. for lunch, i made a small beef cholent for my son and plain boiled potatoes for my daughter-in-law. i made fresh corn and white rice. i made cooked swiss chard which the kids like, and a tossed green salad. i also made an avocado and egg salad and a mixed colarabi salad.

i got woken up at 8:30 a.m. on friday morning by my son. he was leaving for work and leaving me his son to watch for the day. i needed to get down to the cemetary by around 10:00 a.m. i made him some eggs which he didn't eat. i made him toast and cottage cheese which he just picked at. he was wilder than a mad hatter. i hadn't had the pleasure of his company for a couple of weeks, and he had definately, forgotten how to speak english. he also forgot what dogs were.

i struggled with him for a while and then called a cab. i grabbed a memorial candle and a box of matches and away we went. he fell asleep in my arms as soon as we took off. i was debating on leaving him sleep in the back seat with the driver but i grabbed him out of the cab and walked over to the graves of my parents. i quickly lit a candle for mom, put stones on each of their graves, wiped off a bit of dirt on mom's grave with a baby wipe, bent down and kissed both of their graves, and let out a primal cry. i didn't want to go.

i got back into the cab and continued to sob. i got home and put sahar onto the couch and started to cook. i baked a cheesecake and put up the fish. when he got up, i took him on his bike, to the spermarket and bought challah and a few more veggies. i bought a cake because i din't have enough time left to make one. i gave him his bath and returned him to his mom downstairs at around 2:00 p.m. i really hussled to finish cooking and clean up. candlelighting was at 4:00 p.m.

i don't think it was the best meal i ever made but one of the most pressured times i've had. sahar was really sick over shabbat. he had a fever and was hyper active. i watched him for a few hours in the morning while his mom rested and his dad went to shul. he tore my house apart. it will have to stay that way until tomorrow. i am way too tired to do dishes or anything else tonight. it was a pleasant shabbat, you could say, even though i forgot to buy chumus.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Caught In The Middle

mazel tov! i have a brand new granddaughter. gal gave birth on friday night. it was a hard wait for me. shabbat came in at 4:30 p.m. and that was the last comunication i had with my son. i was banned from coming for the birth so i stayed home like a lunatic. i couldn't concentrate nor do simple tasks.

i walked down to the hospital on saturday morning at around 8:30 a.m. it took me well over an hour. i arrived to an empty room. i tried persuading the nurses to let me get a quick peak at the new baby but it didn't happen. i waited for a while in the corridor until i finally spotted my son with his wife. i had to ask my son if i could give him a congratulatory hug and kiss. my daugter-in-law barely acknowledged my presence. she was feeling dizzy so i ran to make her a cup of tea.

she seemed unnerved that she hadn't seen the baby yet. i got up and went to the nurses station to inquire what was taking so long. that action was perceived as one of interference. gal then let me know that she, the mother of the baby, hadn't even seen her yet, implying that i was already to hone in on the baby. i feebly, tried to explain that i had made the gesture for her and not for myself. a moment later, her 3 sisters arrived. the baby finally came. the nurse spent a good deal of time explaining things to the young parents. one would have assumed that this was their first child. i was afraid to make a move to look at the baby.

i tried to make a joke and my son told me to cool it. i tried to encourage gal, as she tried to breast feed. my son told me that i was infringing on an intimate moment. after a while, my son asked if i wanted to hold the baby. i honestly, wanted nothing to do with the baby or her parents. my feelings were really hurt. i was made to feel like an intruder by both my son and his wife.

a little while later, her married sister showed up with her baby and husband. zvi ran off with the men and gal began a lively conversation with her sister. i tried my best to enter the conversation more than once, but it was clear that i was an outsider. i spent the rest of the time fetching drinks for my daughter-in-law, while everyone else munched out on the treats i had sent up before shabbat. i couldn't take another moment at the hospital, so i left. i was politely, thanked for coming. i was the only one she did not hug or kiss.

i decided to go to the in-laws' and visit my grandson. i cried as i climbed up the long road from the hospital. this should have been the happiest time of my life but it wasn't. my grandson was very happy to see me. when i got up to leave he came running over to go home with me. that wasn't in the plan. he was being taken to the hospital to see his mom and new baby sister. i patiently hung around until my son came to get him. the maternal grandmother went with them. i went home.

my son returned home late and asked me to give sahar a bath. it was well past his bedtime and the house was freezing. i offered to bathe him in the morning before he went to maon. i was accused of interference, once again. the kid's mother wanted him to be bathed at night. i was then informed that i could no longer enter the downstairs from inside my house because the new mother had no privacy. i was instructed to lock the door between the floors. i am now supposed to go outside and down the stairs to knock on their door. the fact that they all trapse through my house is not an issue. fine, let sahar go outside and up the stairs to see me. maybe that's the point. sahar shouldn't see me.

okay i get it. my daughter-in-law and i are finally engaging in a power struggle. she lives in my house but wants me out of their lives. every thing that i do for them, including laundry, is now seen as interference. perhaps it always was, and it has just now, come to a head. i realize now that she does not consider me family. i am simply, her husband's mother. i am not her family. i happen to be the biological grandmother of her 2 children but we are not family. i am the silly old woman who lives upstairs with her 2 dirty dogs who has a bunch of weird middle aged friends.

the next morning, my son left with sahar. we were not speaking because we had words the night before. he called to apologize from the hospital. i had no desire to go back again. i broke down and cried. he told me that gal wanted me to come. she didn't understand why i wasn't there. i was in no hurry to oblige. i did my laundry and some of theirs'. i spoke on the phone for hours. i got an s.o.s call from my son letting me know that visiting hours was almost over. i called a cab and rushed over.

i didn't get much of a reception. a moment later her mom came. after that my sister came. my sister had a heartfelt conversation with gal and got to hold the baby. the guards told us to leave so i did. zvi asked me to walk with him to the car. her mother took the baby and hugged her and placed her back into the cart. gal kissed them both goodbye and i left without any type of exchange.

i guess it is my son who has been trying to include me in their family, perhaps out of guilt. afterall, i am supposed to be his 'ally', his blood. i am so tired of getting the cold shoulder. i am so threw with trying to be accepted and loved. i obviously, am not. i am threw with being at the mercy of a 21 year old. where has my dignity gone? how did i lose my humanity and identity? when did i become just gal's mother-in-law? what ever happened to my sense of humor?

yesterday i blew my wad on heaters for the downstairs. i will be the one paying the huge electric bill, to boot. the buck stops here! i will find my life again. i will make a nitch for myself that doesn't include the kids. i will not accompany them to a family bar mitzvah this week nor will i spend shabbat in hadera. i will not sit around a huge crowd and watch them all fawn over my new granchild in another language. i will not make myself available to them anymore. i will not do their laundry today, either. i don't think that i will be available for future shabbatons.

i fell asleep with my warm dog in my arms. shouldn't it be my new granddaughter? i know that i am supposed to be the adult here. one of these days, i will start acting like it. but for now, i will just stew in it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

We're Having A Baby

it's 12:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. shabbat comes in at 4:30 p.m. candlelighting is at 4:00 p.m. my daughter-in-law is in the hospital in labor. i don't know if the baby will make it in before shabbat. i have goodies and fruit and drinks to bring over before shabbat.

i am at home alone. sahar is with her family. the kids and the sephardi mom went over to the hospital last night at around 10:00 p.m. i wasn't even called. i called my son to ask how everyone was. i was advised not to come. frankly, i had no intention of going there last night. i was completely exhausted and wanted to chill out with a good police show or something. my new part time gig with the young lady, takes all of my energy. being in a cold house all day long, doesn't help one feel energized, either.

my son called and woke me up at around 1:00 a.m. to let me know that gal wasn't in labor. he then woke me up at around 2:00 a.m. to let him in. he left gal with her mom and sister for the night. i tried to wake him up at 7:00 a.m. as he had requested the night before, but he was really tired and non-compliant. he finally got up at around 8:00 a.m. and i was advised once again, not to come to the hospital. i muttered something under my breath about the trials of not having any daughters and my son started to get combative. i had to smoothe things out before he left for the hospital.

i took a very long and steaming hot shower to get relaxed and in motion. i went downstairs to the small supermarket and decided to blow some money. i bought candies and cookies and shabbat treats to bring to the hospital. i bought dried apricots for the soon to be new mom. they asked me to pick up a pacifier so i bought both pink and purple ones. they were on sale to boot. only cost me 4 shekels. how hilarious is that! i had bought a set of toiletries for the blessed event so i have a little gift to bring, too. i also bought a bag of newborn diapers and wipes, just in case .

i put up a small pot of chicken soup for myself and bought a few peppers. i managed to get back on the diet wagon this week and knocked off a couple of pounds. i really wanted to be svelte when my new grand-daughter arrived. i can't really get my head around the concept of a grand-daughter. i have wanted a daughter my entire life. a daughter-in-law doesn't do the trick.

my daughter-in-law told my son that i shoudn't feel offended. how exactly should i feel? why am i home alone? i'm not taking care of my grandson so why shouldn't i be at the hospital? i was there til the end the first time around. i could sit out in the hall this time if she doesn't want me in the room with her. the fact that she also doesn't want her sisters there doesn't do it for me. i am the grandmother. i am the mother of the sperm donor. why don't i have any rights.

i am the one who runs out to buy the baby blankets, the stretchies, the cute newborn outfits and the diapers. i am the one who bathes and puts the grandson to sleep when they're too tired but doesn't get to see him all week. i am the one who provides them with a place to live but has no voice. this blog is called the zelda monologue, right. it is the rantings of a middle aged lady living in zefat, correct?

i planned to run over to the hospital, just before candlelighting, and leave the food package for the kids. the walk home should take about an hour and a half or even more, depending on how fast i can move my body. my son just called to ask me to get his shabbat clothes in order. i offered to bring them over in a cab but once again i was instructed not to come. what did i ever do to my daughter-in-law to be forbidden from coming to the hospital?

how will they feel if i don't go to see the new baby? i guess i'll have to wait on line again. her family will get first dibs to hold the baby. last time i waited for an entire month for my turn. their reasoning being, that the baby would live here. my grandson lives downstairs and i go an entire week without seeing him. he is in maon all day and then he goes to the other family until bedtime. if i want to get a peak at him i can always watch him leave for daycare, from my kitchen window.

i am trying my darndest not to get emotional and hurt. now i have to run over to her sister's apartment to bring over the stuff for the hospital. they will be going near there later today for shabbat. zvi will have shabbat with his brother-in-law's family who live near the hospital. so in the end, i really don't need to send over any shabbat treats at all. they can all fend for themselves and i can fade into the oblivion for good.

shabbat shalom! let's hope there will be good news soon!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Living In A Small Town

it's 9:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. the kids left with sahar and i have my morning free. i did the laundry yesterday. we are enjoying warm and sunny weather. the houses remain cold and our bones creak but outside it's gorgeous and cozy.

last week we had a family crisis. gal's grandmother lost her 3 year battle with the dreaded big 'C' disease. we don't say the name of the disease. the entire family camped out for the entire week at the house in hadera. i stayed in zefat with sahar on the day of the funeral. the next day i journeyed to hadera to pay a shiva call. gal decided to spend the week there with sahar.

it is hard to believe that just one month ago we were all at a family simcha together in zicron yakov. i pushed myself to go to the wedding because i had a gut feeling that safta esther wouldn't be with us much longer. she was an incredible lady, matriarch of a large and very close family. she will be sorely missed.

i spent all of friday doing a pessach cleaning of the kids' apartment. zvi left for shabbat to be with the family and i spent shabbat here, alone. we both figured that gal would want to come back to a clean apartment after such an ordeal. i did my best to comply. i had expected her to give birth in hadera and return with my new granddaughter. no such luck! the wait is still on, big time.

the mailman just had a special delivery for my neighbor. i knew that no one was home next store so i told him that i would sign for it. it is really funny. he knew my family name and remembered the address and building where i once lived, about 11 years ago. he even remembered the floor and on which side of the hall i was situated. talk about your good memory!

some people might condiser him to have the makings of a stalker but i felt very touched. sometimes, living in a small town has its benefits. i won't go into the down side right now. i'm feeling too warm and fuzzy. i just got a look at myself in the mirror. scary!! for starters, i'm wearing a huge forest green fleece robe over black tights and fuzzy slippers. i'm also wearing a teal blue ski hat with a pom pom on the top of my head. i said i was feeling cozy, remember.

i got a part time job caring for a 20 year old girl who is a high functioning austistic. she comes over every afternoon at around 4:00 p.m. and we chat and play games. i bake muffins every day for a treat and i cook dinner for her ,too. it is very demanding. she loves attention and loves to talk. she also loves to eat. we listen to music and she beats me at the game 'set'. it is the weirdest card game ever.

i keep saying that the game should be called 'not a set' or 'unsettling' because it really requires thinking out of the box. a set can be three cards that are totally different and have no commonality, whatsoever. it blows my mind but it does help pass the time. she stays for 4 hours and i find myself totally exhausted afterwards. my grandson doesn't especially warm up to her or vice versa. yesterday, he joined us at dinner time and requested toast and cottage cheese with a side order of canned corn.

i decided that we should take a long walk. i was feeling very headachey. my sinuses were all blocked up. i had fallen off the diet wagon and had binged for a couple of days. being outside, was much more comfortable for me. we walked around the neighborhood for about an hour. i was instructed to encourage her to sit and read in silence for a 45 minute period. i willingly enforced it. it really helped me. listening to someone 'blebble on', as my mom used to call it, for 4 hours is a harsh and grueling task.

i have only met with this young lady three times. i don't know if i'll be able to make it through an entire month. i'm already out of food ideas. i am not used to cooking on a daily basis. i'm used to eating tuna and yogurt and nuts. i can't afford to serve her this. last night i served her an onion omelette, corn and mashed potatoes. i sliced up a tomato and green pepper into rings. she had a hard time with the concept. she liked her salad all cut up into small pieces. i handed her the knife and cutting board and told her to knock herself out.

i still have some corn mufins left over so i won't have to bake today. i might make her french toast for supper. i am trying to be economical here. i am not getting a lot of money for this gig. at this point, any amount will help pay the fuel bill.

i might have her make tahina and sesame cookies for a project today. if it's nice outside, i'll make her go for a walk again. last week, we went to town for a shopping outing. i bought more baby clothes and she bought a favorite game. it was a bit of a strain having someone with me when i shop.

so far, it's working out. i figure that no matter where i might work, that it will be hard. i'm used to being a caregiver and a babysitter. this way, i don't need to travel or even, leave my house. it isn't easy giving up my afternoons like this, but i really have no other choice. i don't seem to be able to get weekday rentals now. most people want to be downtown in the old city or artist colony these days.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day After Thanksgiving

it's 2:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. last night i got my 'second wind' and actually, got up and did most of the dishes. it would have been a disaster waking up to that humongus balagan.

i just got back from the grocery and spent 117 israeli dollars on: 5 small bananas (always thinking of potasium), 2 bags of milk (always have to have milk on hand for sahar), 4 cans of tuna ( a gal's got to have her protein), 1 non dairy whipping cream (was thinking about making banana icecream), 1 small sweet challah ( gal sure loves those expensive sweet challahs), 4 sweet challah rolls and 2 cans of sauerkraut (thinking about that huge package of weiners in the freezer).

it is about 2 hours before candlelighting. i still have to mop the floor. this morning i straightened out my matches and candles drawer. i usually do it before pesach but i got frustrated not being able to find my shabbat wicks. i've done all of my cooking. i made a chicken-beef-veggie and barley soup for one of my guests. i had 2 wings and a chicken breast left over from the whole chicken i bought last week. i didn't think it was rich enough, so i took a slab of meat from the cholent for tomorrow's lunch. i made instant couscous so i can serve a wing and the slice of beef for the main course.

i also made fresh corn on the cob as a side dish. i made a veggie-lentil soup for my vegetarian friend and some stewed fish with pumpkin for her main course. i'm thinking that i should probably, also, cook up some brown rice, but i am really all cooked out, at this point. too bad that she can't eat couscous. she has a problem with wheat and she also doesn't eat potatoes.

i made a fleishig cholent for zvi's lunch tomorrow and threw in a huge marrow bone. he's been hocking me to buy one for the longest while. they don't give them away for free here, like in the states. 4 bones cost me 25 shekels. gal doesn't like to eat meat during the day so i made a sweet potato and a couple of white potatoes to serve on couscous with corn. that's a nice lunch.

i have left over pumpkin cake and banana bread so i didn't bake anything. if they don't want any they can always eat package cookies. that's if they have any. i for sure, don't. are we having fun, yet? i'm slightly exhausted.

i had a bit of a run in with my daughter-in-law this morning over hot water, or the lack of it. she rung up here for me to turn on the water heater first thing in the morning. i obediently obliged. after a while, i did some more dishes and then turned off the heater. i then got an irate call from my son, informing me that his wife wanted to take a hot shower and there was no hot water.

i ran downstairs and informed my darling daughter-in-law that she should feel free to turn on the dude when she likes. she was outright mad at me. she had asked me to turn on the heater hours ago because she had wanted a hot shower then. she wasn't too thrilled about my suggesting that she turn on the heater by herself, either. i was also informed that both she and my son missed their showers yesterday. i didn't dare let her know that i only shower about once or twice a week these days. come on, how dirty can they be?

wishing everyone a good shabbos.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bon Voyage

it's 8:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i haven't been blogging because it's been too cold in my computer room. after awhile, i can't feel my fingers or toes. my guests just left. i threw a thanksgiving/farewell dinner fo a couple who are moving back to the states.

we have become good acquaintances lately. i've had them over for shavuot, rosh hashana, sukkot, assorted barbecues and my 60th birthday party. sarah and i share a passion/addiction for reality t.v. she predicted the breakup of kim kadarshian before anyone else. although she isn't observant yet, we have a good time together and we always keep it real.

they are heading back to florida. the economic situation here proved too much for them. thankfully, they have children and grandchildren back home in the same town. i am truly happy for them and hopeful that their new life there will be a bit easier. who would have believed that our golden years would be so unpredictable. i for one, cannot leave the country. i am way too settled here to even think about it. of course, while the kids are here, i'm not going anywhere.

i spent most of the day yesterday cooking a thanksgiving meal. i spent the entire week on the net looking up new recipes. last year, i made an elaborate, thanksgiving fantasy. this year, i went traditional but relied more on standard, comfort foods. last year, i made individual peanut butter and mashed sweet potato cups. this year, i made mashed potatoes. i even bought, non dairy cream to add for that extra smoothness.

i made a basil flavored mushroom and barley pilaf. i scooped out the bottom of a long pumpkin squash to use as a serving vessel for the pilaf but it was too small. i ended up making a small amount of sweet potato and carrot tsimmis with raisins and dried cranberries which was the perfect fit for the squash shell. i made a corn pudding instead of corn on the cob. actually, i read on a trivia site, that they never ate corn at the original thanksgiving. i did make my famous corn bread that everyone likes. you know, the one without flour.

i made a ground turkey sage dressing with chestnuts and dried cranberries. it was nothing more than a glorified meatloaf. i do have to admit, that it was, rather tastey. i baked pumpkin squash slices with a savory spice mix and topped it off with sesame seeds. i couldn't find fresh string beans so i settled for frozen. i didn't feel like spending extra money to buy the french cut ones. the short squat ones were on sale for only 10 shekels. i added a drizzle of olive oil and a generous amount of chopped almonds.

i made a small amount of basmati white rice for a friend who is on a really strange diet. i added a bit of tumeric for color. i didn't add any oil. i made a baked pumpkin pudding. it was supposed to be like pumpkin pie without the shell. it was awful! i substituted cooking cream for whipped cream and it was borderline disgusting. i gave the rest a way to one of the guests, who was probably, the only one who actually ate it. it was a tiny bit runny and eggy. it was nothing like pumpkin pie.

i made a really good cranberry relish. it was the first time ever, that i found frozen, whole cranberries in zefat. it was a small bag of gold but i had to quarter the recipe. it called for way, too much sugar. i actually, cut it down to 2 tablespoons of date syrup and 2 tablespoons of honey. it had cinnamon and cloves in it but you could only taste the cinnamon. i will definately, save this recipe for future use. i would add more celery next time.

i had nine turkey cutlets left in the freezer. i cut them in half and lightly dipped them in corn meal and slightly fried them in very little oil. i then cooked them for about 20 minutes in cranberry nectar and threw in a half a cup of raw cranberries. i added a bit of garlic and some allspice balls. they were a big hit. i wasn't all that excited. the fresh green salad was amazingly crisp and fresh. i made a lemon and olive oil dressing and served a bottle of thousand island dressing, too. it was also on sale for 10 shekels.

we ended up having a real treat. a good friend brought a box of after dinner chocolate mints. i haven't seen them in years. i tried hiding a few for tomorrow but i gave them up in the end. i made both a pumpkin cake and a banana bread. one friend made a pecan pumpkin cake and another made chocolate chip cookies. another friend brought some very weird looking fruit. they resemble a dinasaur or something prehistoric like that. i wouldn't have the faintest idea of how to eat them.

we had no shortage of wine. i made turkish coffee with shots of rum towards the end. i was going to do the dishes a little while ago but i finally feel the rum. i invited two friends to join me for shabbat dinner tomorrow. the kids are going out for night. i can make a simpler meal for night time and make a meat cholent for lunch. i'll just run out in the morning and buy some rolls.

it was a lovely evening. but it was a bit bitter sweet. i will miss my friends but i will try to communicate by email. i don't seem to be able to keep my eyes open. what a mess is left in the kitchen. i chose not to use plastic today. i wanted an elegant dinner party. i even put on a long evening type dress that was really a glorifed housecoat.

wishing you all a happy thanksgiving and a good shabbos! love, zelda

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mortified And Humbled

it is 12:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. candlelighting is around 4:14 p.m. sahar got me up at 6:30 a.m. he needed an adult caregiver and a clean and dry diaper. he asked for choco milk. i had to run downstairs to retrieve a bottle. i put on the baby channel for him to watch. he wanted his play dough with him. he opened it on the pillow and held on to a piece. i was naturally, worried that it might get full of dog hair. something that would very much, displease his mom.

apparently, yesterday, cloey the dog rummaged through the downstairs' kitchen garbage pail and made quite a mess. i was apprised of this only this morning when cloey ran downstairs again. i don't complain about every mess their 2 year old son makes. why not afford me the same courtesy.

sahar and i went back downstairs around 8:00 a.m. his parents were just waking up. i 'apprised' his mom of the fact that he had already had a bottle, slice of bread and honey, and two boiled eggs sans the yellows. he gives them to the dogs.

i have already made a lemon cake and cooked the fish, rice, meatballs, and lentils for tonight's shabbat meal. the kids are going out for lunch. it is a relief for me. i really didn't feel like making 2 huge shabbat meals. i defrosted a few turkey cutlets that i will bread and fry up soon. i bought a can of chickpeas to make my own chumus. it really does not make a big difference in the price. i just feel like eating homemade chumus. i don't know about the kids' preference but probably, not.

i still need to cook up some hot tomato relish for tonight. i'll make a little egg salad, open a can of tuna, and cut up some tomatoes and cucumbers for an israeli salad, just in case the kids are all here for third meal. i still need to wash the floor and dust. the whole house is covered in a layer of soot. i suddenly feel really tired.

i' ve been on the 'south beach' all week long and haven't shed an ounce. what a drag! i think that i might be having an hysterical pregnancy as my stomach is actually, larger than my daughter-in-laws'. wouldn't that be something if we both gave birth at the same time! nothing short of miraculous, that is.

the kids wanted me to go with them to a family wedding on sunday. i decided that i would only go if i could get a ride home the same night. i really didn't want to leave the dogs alone overnight. as it turns out, there isn't any room for me on the return trip home, so i guess i am freed from this particular obligation. and i get to save a wad of dough, too.

i think i will try and get the heating fuel deivered on sunday. i gotta act fast as the 'allotted' amount for solar is going fast. i just had the most humiliating experience in the supermarket. i ran down to buy some challahs, even though i had a couple left over from last week, in the freezer. l know that the kids wouldn't enjoy their shabbat meal without fresh bread. i bought a dozen eggs, two bags of milk and some tomatoes. on my way to the counter i decided to buy some tuna and coffee.

i had only taken a 100 shekel note with me to buy veggies and bread. the bill was around 170 shekels. i quickly put back the coffee and was getting ready to put back the tuna when a young man paid the difference for me. it was about 25 shekels. i was mortified! i mean, i am not homeless. i simply didn't bring enough cash with me. the man told me to give the money to the shul for charity. i got outside and felt really small. i rummaged through my bag and came up with 20 shekekls in coins. i went back into the store but the man was gone already.

i give money to people all the time. it is shocking to say, but, more and more people, including young mothers and children, are panhandling in town, all the time now. there is one 'shnorer' who is situated regularly, in front of a certain supermarket. i have paid for strangers in the supermarket on more than one occassion. i was on the receiving end this time and it felt horrible. i don't know how people mooch money on a regular basis. i always try to preserve the dignity of the people who are requesting money. in my case, my pride before, was stopping me from allowing this man to do a good deed. i was preventing him from giving charity because i was embarrassed.

i think i will have a better understanding and appreciation of those less fortunate than me from now on. i will accept help from others without feeling inadequate or needy. i will allow others to also do mitzvahs. shabbat shalom! and may you be warm and comfortable.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

No News Is Good News

it's 8:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i got up at 7:00 a.m. and let the dogs out. i picked up my hamodia newspaper and came back into the house. it's really cold inside! it's dark and raining outside. what a shame that i never made it out for a walk yesterday.

i was planning on going over to the seniors' center this morning. i even thought about stopping at the city office first, to pay my tax bill. i really hate nasty weather. i haven't asked the kids if they are coming for shabbat. i went out last night to buy some veggies. i splurged on cottage cheese. i don't know if you have been kept abreast of the cottage cheese boycott here or not. an 8 0z. container of cottage costs about $2 here.

i also bought a few tomatoes and cucumbers, some hake fish, and a small package of fresh liver, just in case the kids do stay for shabbat. this cost me about $30. times are tough and prices are way out there. i was playing with the idea of making a thanksgiving dinner again this year but i don't think that i can afford to. last year i threw an authentic, retro dinner for about ten guests. i even had turkey napkins. this year i bought a paper turkey tablecloth.

if i do invite a few guests, the menu will be a lot simpler. i'll serve turkey cutlets instead of drumbsticks. i'll make pumpkin soup instead of pie. i'll make baked apples for dessert. i'll make a corn bread and add some cranberries. i bought some prepared chestnuts that can be made into a really delicious soup or dressing. i can always mash up a few potatoes. it can be a poor but festive thanksgiving afternoon meal.

i opened the newspaper to catch the headlines as i drank my morning java. "13 dead from snow storm in monsey" and "1 dead from terrorist rockets in the south". hundreds of thousands of students are reported to be at home. is this really true? where have i been all week? i normally do not read the news and i hardly ever watch the evening news. how is it that i thought the most urgent story of the day was kim kardashian's divorce??

after glancing through the hamodia and reading about the disasterous winter storm in monsey, the 56 year old man killed in his car by a grad missile, the dismantling of a well known israeli town, and other assorted disturbing news items, i began to shake. i immediately felt a quiver in my stomach and throat. i believe it is called agita.

i am in a state of panic. i don't want to leave the house now. i don't want to go to the family wedding in hadera on sunday, anymore. i don't want to get dressed. i don't want to think about anything. i feel paralyzed. my mother, may she rest in peace, was a politically savy person. at 91, she watched the kinesset hearings everyday and agonized over the news, nightly. i finally forbade her to read the news online. one of the last things she asked before she died, was if we still had a country left.

i try not to put any faith in government. i do not believe in any politicians. i pride myself in not believing the news. i trust in the Lord up above. i pray that things will turn around. i throw simple dinner parties with silly napkins to give each of us a lift. unfortunately, every now and then, i lose myself and begin to doubt my faith. i fall victim to the news.

No Service

it's 11:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i was planning on paying my city tax bill in town this morning but the hours just slipped away. i was in the middle of watching a documentary on the late, michael jackson, and i must have fallen asleep. pretty lame, i know. when i got up, i noticed that there was no longer any cable connection. i know better than to try and deal with them by myself. anyway, i still have internet.

i started the 'south beach' diet this week. i really needed something serious. the problem is that i don't really have anything 'appropriate' in the house to cook. i'm simply, not in the mood to food shop, either. i have been consuming a lot of eggs lately. i don't dare check my cholesterol levels although i know that recent studies okay eating eggies.

last night i threw 2 prepared hamburgers into a can of spicy canned beans. i have a huge appetite and a sedentary lifestyle, unfortunately. that doesn't make for a huge weight loss. i just can't get motivated to move. who knows, i might just walk down to town in a little while and visit a gal pal. maybe she'll feel like cooking up some lunch for us. who knows? stranger things have happened.

i spent the entire day yesterday, doing a bunch of laundry. it was finally sunny after a few days of overcast weather. it actually rained a bit at the beginning of the week. the stone houses are already very cold. i was working on accumulating enough money to pay for half a tank of fuel. however, i have other expenses that take precedence. are you really wondering what could be more important than heat? let's try electricity, and paying off the gardener, for starts. let's not even talk about the water bill, please!

i have been addictively, watching several of 'the real housewife' series here in my home in zefat. i would love to do a spin off of the 'real housewives of zefat'. i wonder if the bravo company would pick it up. why not? we can speak 'lashon hara' with the best of them.

so, when i'm not watching and discussing the 'housewives' with my cronies, i'm watching and getting caught up in sahar's life. the other day, he emphatically, told one of the dogs, that i was not her grandmother. oh please bless the terrible two stage! only a grandmother can get a kick out of it, right? i don't even want to remember when my son was that age. the kids aren't too keen on it, i have to admit. they are really amateurs!

i have been bathing sahar up here all week long. he prefers the jacuzzi bathtub to a shower. can you blame him? when he's ornary and not willing to disrobe, i encourage him to bring a favorite toy or chotchka into the tub and that usually works. i never bathed my son every day. it's too late to call the authorities, as i'm pretty sure that the statute of limitations has expired.

my generation was more laid back and less germaphobic. we believed in letting the skin breath. i never slathered him in baby oil or creams. when he began to smell like a billy goat he got bathed. i don't get this squeaky clean generation, at all.

oh cable just came back. gotta go!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Keeping Busy

it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i have nearly finished doing the dishes left over from shabbat. my son told me that it was a nice shabbat. i worked very hard to make a decent meal. after the long holiday, i was really not in the mood to cook any more. i had left over meatballs in artichoke bottoms that i 'refreshed' with a splash of tomato juice.

i was planning on making chicken cutlets for dinner. i had sahar with me all day long. we shlepped down to the super to buy challahs and veggies. i put him in the shopping wagon for a ride. he wasn't all that happy. we stopped off to put the empty plastic bottles in the recycling cage. they have them now practically, on every block. sahar loves putting the bottles in the holes. i bought him some bambas that put him in a better mood. he also loves dried banana chips.

the store was out of chicken. there were two slimy chicken steaks in the fridge, that never made it to the holiday barbecue. i shredded them and made up a soup for the couscous. i threw in canned chickpeas, pumpkin, onions, squash, potatoes and tomatoes. i added a sufficient amount of chili to spice it up. i cooked up some fresh corn, too.

i made a vegetarian cholent with white potatoes, sweet potatoes and barley. i bought icecream and cones for a shabbat treat. for a change, i baked a banana cake with both white sugar and flour. it went in a big way. i forgot to buy chumus so i made some from a partial can of chick peas and tahina paste. i made a tossed green lettuce salad with tomatoes. i grated two raw beets with a splash of lemon. i was economizing.

i spent the entire sunday doing the kids laundry. i watched sahar in the late afternoon when he came back from daycare. i spent monday morning taking down the sukkah decorations and curtains. it looked like rain. it only took an hour, where as, it took over 3 hours to string up the plastic fruits, in the first place. i washed the sukkah curtains, immediately, and put them away for next year.

i had to pick up sahar from daycare at 3:30 p.m. as the kids went off to tel aviv to buy new shoes for the store. i picked him up in a cab and returned home in a cab. i stopped off briefly at the store to buy some milk. when i got home i discovered that we were out of diapers. we headed out, once more, to the super. i took him in his bicycle/ buggy. he wanted to go out on his scooter, but i knew better than to attempt that.

the kids called from tel aviv and wanted to stay the night. i honestly, didn't mind. sahar was tired and nearly asleep. it didn't seem that hard to manage until the morning. however, the kids decided to come home. i was nearly asleep on their couch when they got back. it was around 1:30 a.m. sahar had just gotten up but returned to sleep with a warm bottle of milk. gal brought home a lot of boxes of shoes. i carried in the heavy boxes and quickly organized them. they are stored on the shelves in the laundry room. i emptied a top shelf to make room for more of the shoes. by the time gal arrived home, it was all done. i even threw out the cartons.

i watched sahar yesterday from 4:30 p.m. til 8:00 p.m. today, i spent the morning in bed. i was rather tired. i finally got up in the late afternoon to dismantle the sukkah. i removed the wooden boards and started to tape them together. it makes it a lot easier when they are in bundles. i was whacking away at the metal bars when my neighbor came by to help. he was very upset that i hadn't asked for help. i honestly, only ask for help, when i can't physically lift something. he unhinged all the bars and carried them downstairs for me. i placed them all back into the storage area.

zvi came back and was astonished that it was all 'magically' done. i let him know that the neighbor had done most of the work. zvi, actually, sat down to talk with me. one of the rare occurances since he got married nearly 3 years ago. we seemed to have 'bonded' again lately. i guess it's never too late.

we are all feeling a bit anxious about the arrival, soon to be, of the new baby. apparently, my daughter-in-law plans to come home straight from the hospital this time. you may remember, that i started my blog about 2 years ago because i was so stressed out about the new baby being at the other family for the first month. i didn't get to hold him for the first month.

i am a bit fearful that i will be expected to help out a lot more this time. i can't imagine taking care of both children at the same time. i have already been informed that sahar will need a lot of attention. thank goodness, that he will be in daycare til 4:00 p.m. i can't imagine giving him any more attention than i already give. i hang on his every word. i sit snd watch him ride his scooter. i sit and watch cartoons with him. i sit and watch videos on you tube with him. i watch him in his bath, while he swims and splashes and gets me all wet.

as it is, we are attached at the hip when we're together. i am not much of a baby person. they, honestly, scare me. i like them around 6 months old when they are already people. i am very over weight right now and desparately, need to trim down before the new baby arrives. i am eating everything right now but eliminating sugar from my diet. i can't seem to get back on my 'south beach' right now.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Holidays End

it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. the 8 day holiday of sukkot has finally come to an end. the people in town and in many shuls all over the town will be rejoicing and playing music, while the men dance with torahs. i'll be in my warm bed. i'm exhausted.

i had guests for meals in the sukkah on wednesday night, thursday afternoon, friday evening and saturday afternoon, tuesday afternoon and evening, and then again on wednesday afternoon. i stayed in on sunday all by myself and i went out for a birthday sukkah party on monday. i baked a lovely white cake with whipped cream icing for the birthday 'boy'. he turned 60 or something around that number.

i have to cook for shabbat meals tomorrow and i am simply, not up for it. i had to watch sahar on wednesday, so i did the cooking at night. i'll probably have him again tomorrow, so i will have to make a simple meal. i am perfectly serious. there will be no 10 salads tomorrow. i will not make a cooked for 2 hours sephardi tomato salad. they will be lucky if i make an egg salad. i will buy humus.

i woke up this morning at 6:30 a.m. i had some coffee and cake and davened. i didn't wait until i got to shul. i figured that i would be busy with my grandson and i was right. i shlepped him to shul at around 9:30 a.m. he stayed with his dad in the mens' section and all the little children were placed under a large tallis and were blessed. the sephardi ladies threw candies at the men. the kids scrambled to catch and collect the toffees. all the kids were given goodies bags.

my grandson sat happily on a bench, eating a bag of colored and sugar coated puffed wheat cereal. i had to shlepp him home because he pooped and i didn't bring a spare diaper. he managed to throw all of the puffed cereal all over the couch and in all its' crevices. i quickly sweeped it all up and shlepped him back to shul. it is only 2 blocks away but very hard when a 2 year old wants to be carried.

the service was lovely, not that i could follow a word of it. we got out at around 11:30 a.m. i went over to the chabad shul/bomb shelter on the next street. they were having a meal. i mean a seudah. salads, herring, challah, tuna fish, meat cholent, vodka, the works. the womens' section was trashed. i hung out for nearly 3hours just to say 'yizkor'. one of the leaders of the shul was so drunk that he forgot to announce the yizkor prayer.

when i got home the kids had already done a barbecue and seemed satisfied. my friend had put the rest of the food on the platter so that i walked in to hot food. what a pleasure! i took 2 sips of my son's arak and grapefruit drink cocktail and i lost all sense of time and space. i just polished off the rest of the barbecue. my grandson calls it fire.

we had a particularly, emotionally, difficult day on tuesday. we all watched with baited breath, the return of kidnapped soldier, gilad shalit. we all cried our hearts out with gladness and outrage that he was held and mistreated for 5 and a half years. we all couldn't really believe that he was sent home alive and in tact. it was all too intense. we were all jewish mothers watching our collective son come home. trust me, it took all of our strength. and then there were those who truly suffered watching their loved ones' murderers set free. that's another story for another time.

all in all, i had 18 guests during sukkot. that's 'chai', life in hebrew. i had two new guests this holiday. one was a delightful and bright lady. the other was an oppressed and tortured soul. there are just, so many different stories here in the holy city of zefat.

i do not have the umph to do the dishes tonight. i can't imagine wasing the floors, either. we didn't take down the sukkah tonight. i honestly, hate to see it go. it was my best sukkah to date. i called down to my son to take out the trash. i got undressed and took it out myself. the air was so fresh and envigorating. it's beginning to get cold.

we are all through with holidays for a while. we won't have another holiday until chanukah. i'll try to throw my annual latke night again this year. i'm already thinking about tu b'shvat. i throw a fruit extravaganza every year. it won't be until the end of january. but i'm already planning the menu.

the more i think about shabbat, the more i want to simplify the menu. afterall, we ate meat and fish all week long. i wouldn't mind a veggie shabbat but the kids would never go for it. i think it will be a chicken cutlet, couscous and veggies supper. i will make one tossed salad and put out some chumus. there are a few meatballs leftover, too. lunch will be a veggie cholent. i have leftover chopped liver for the carnivores among us.

this holiday, i made a lot of vegetarian dishes. i made a raw cake from carob powder, dates, coconut and nuts. it tasted just like a marzipan bar. i made red lentil and pumpkin soup. i made brown rice kugel with soy milk and dates. i made a split pea casserole. i made wheat free corn muffins with soy milk. i also cooked 3 types of fish ( salmon fillet, niles perch fillet, and st. peter's fillet) in 3 different sauces.

i may not make fish tomorrow. we'll see. it will be very hard shlepping back from the store with the bundles and sahar. last couple of times, i hailed a taxi to take me 2 city blocks. i am really tired so i will hit the couch. i'm still fleishig, so i'll have to drink a black coffee. shabbat shalom!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More Holidays

it's 2:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i know that i haven't been 'in touch' with you guys, lately. to tell you the truth, i had a complete meltdown after rosh hashana. i pulled a 15 hour gig the day before the chag and i was totally wrecked afterwards. i had invited five friends to join me for the first night of the chag. 3 of which showed up with their 3 dogs.

the kids informed me that they would be here for the entire 2 day chag. you may remember that i had cooked and baked for the 4 holiday meals in advance. i did make the 2 kinds of gefilte fish the day before. i spent all of wednesday watching my grandson. i did the minimum amount of work, as he napped. i had done the floors the night before and also set the table. gal hadn't been feeling well so they went over to the emergency room at around 11:00 p.m. i watched sahar until 2:00 a.m. he woke up and it took me nearly an hour to get him back to sleep. thankfully, the kids returned. gal was a bit dizzy and hyper-ventilating for a short while, but eventually, she calmed down and i went back upstairs. i didn't easily, fall asleep, as you can imagine.

i was planning to take it easy over shabbat and rest. the kids then informed me that they would be going out for the second night of the chag to the other family. i had already taken out the sausy chicken, meatballs in tomato sauce and the beef cooked in wine, to defrost. i simply, put the saucy chicken back into the freezer. they then informed me that they were planning on making a barbecue for the day meal. i put the meatballs back into the freezer and took out the chicken wings to defrost. i figured that i wouldn't need to cook for the next couple of holiday meals. i figured that i would stay at shul a little longer and have some leftovers by myself.

i tried to stay calm and go with the flow. i tried being both, easy and breezey. i stood on my feet frying chips for their barbecue, something that had once been unthinkable to me. i stuffed my face with the majority of the chips, as none of the kids had room for them. i took sahar out for a walk so he could get a nap. i had wanted to go with the kids on thursday night. just as they were about to leave, i suddenly, started having back spasms. i was completely miserable so i decided to stay home, alone. i was then informed that the kids would be returning for the shabbat.

the next morning, i defrosted the saucy chicken and went off to shul alone. later that day, i made some instant couscous, and prepared some st. pete fish fillets in a sauce that my daughter-in-law loves. i had left over beef, tsimmis and cooked beets but still, i scrambled to make a couple of fresh salads. it was a bit of a strain because the shabbat came in pretty early.

a friend had came by for friday lunch and we managed to feast on leftovers. we were involved in a serious rap when i looked over at the clock and began to panick. i had about an hour left before candlelighting. anyhow, i did manage to get everything on to the electric platter on time. another friend came over to join me for shabbat dinner but the kids were a no show. i became pretty undone. the weather was great so i knew that wasn't a factor. i had reached the end of my rope.

the kids did come home at 11:00 p.m. and i was fit to be tied. i didn't want to deal with them at all. my son and i had words the next day. he apparently, didn't like the looks i was casting him when he came back from shul. they got up after the meal to go for a 'stroll'. i was informed that they were going back to gal's family for the rest of the day and would be having the third meal there.

i fell apart after the holiday. i didn't clean up or do the dishes. i still haven't closed the table. i stayed in bed the entire week and binged 24/7. i became addicted to the 'real housewives of n.y.' and gained about 10 pounds. i was in a huge funk. the kids didn't talk to me either. i didn't see my grandson, once that week. they went to the in-laws for yom kippur. i stayed here by myself. i spent the entire day in shul. i broke the fast alone. i felt all alone.

i spent the entire day after the fast, doing the kids' laundry. i worked from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. hanging clothes outside in the hot sun. yes, we are having a major heatwave in the middle east. it is very interesting, to say the least.

the kids are going, once again, to the in-laws for the first night of sukkot. i will be in my sukkah with a few of my friends. i already cooked up some beef and meatballs in wine. i haven't decided on the side dishes yet. i am planning on poaching a salmon fillet in white wine, too. i have another couple of friends coming over for thursday lunch. i'll make split peas, brown rice, and pumpkin and stewed fish for my veggie friend. i think i'll make mashed potatoes and string beans for my carnivor friends. a friend is bringing over a banana cake. maybe i'll make baked apples for dessert.

the kids will be here for shabbat. whoopdie doo! why am i feeling less than thrilled? i am waiting for my son to come home to assemble the sukkah. i am feeling a bit tired. i have been shopping til i'm dropping for this holiday. i hope i get to relax and enjoy this chag.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy New Year Really

it is 1:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just finished sponging the floors. the kids went to haifa to pick up gal's sister. she apparently, is very sick and couldn't get on the bus to come for the holidays. i am upstairs listening for sahar. he has been sleeping through the night lately.

i started my new year's preparations at 10:00 a.m. this morning. i didn't stop for a break. i ran downstairs to do some wash. i stripped the couches and beds and did the covers and sheets. it was sunny so i got to hang it all outside. i worked for a staight 15 hours. i hope i'll have some strength to watch sahar tomorrow.

i made most of the symbolic foods today. i still have to depit the pomegranate tomorrow. every year i say that i am going to count the pips to see if there really are 613. i don't think i'll even try this year. i roasted the pumpkin in olive oil and added a pinch of coriander. i also did the same for the leeks but they seemed too dry so i added a bit of water to revive them.

i fried up some onions to add to the tsimmis and added a bit of tumeric as well as the cinnamon. i also gtated a bit of fresh ginger for a bit of a zing. i cooked the carrots, sweet potatoes, raisins and prunes until they were nice and thick. i drizzled a bit of honey for fun.

i braised the beet leafs with fresh garlic, onions and basil. i steamed the long, skinny, string beans with a bit of garlic, too. i cooked the beets and added a lot of lemon. i resisted the old urge to add honey. i cooked the gefilte fish and two fish heads in water with a lot of carrots and onions. half way through, i added some of the pieces with a slice of niles perch to a pot of very spicy tomato sauce. i had frozen the left over sauce from the lasagnas that i had made for sahar's birthday. i added some chili powder and a lot of fresh cilantro. i hope it gets eaten.

i made a small amount of curried brown rice. i added carrots, onions, apples and raisins and finished up an opened can of coconut milk . i also made a paste like substance by adding too much water to the red lentils and onions. it is a really weird consistency but it tastes delicious. i ate a huge bowl of it for lunch. i bet there is a word for this in indian cuisine.

i didn't make a sweet noodle pudding. maybe i'll find the time tomorrow. or maybe i won't. i'm thinking about mashed potatoes. i think i still need something to accompany the meat. i don't know if everyone will eat the tsimmis. for sure, the celiac won't touch it. perhaps, i can just cook up some plain flat noodles, and not turn it into a kugel. i also have a bag of bow ties. who knows? the sky's the limit!

the kids told me this evening, that they were going to spend the second night of rosh hashanna at gal's parents. they will have lunch there too. they are planning on returning for shabbat. as i mentioned in yesterday's blog, i had already cooked 3out of the 4 yom tov meals. oh well! i guess i'll have it easy for the next holiday, as long as the freezer holds out.

a little while later, the kids told me that they were planning on making a barbecue with another couple for the yom tov lunch. perfect! i will stay late in shul and enjoy the davening. i was planning on leaving early so that the kids wouldn't be left waiting for me. the chabad minyan starts really late. i'll either have some of my leftovers when i get back or enjoy some of their barbecued meat. we'll see. i'll defrost some chicken wings, buy some corn tomorrow, and make them a huge green salad. and that's it.

i don't know if any of my friends are planning to be here for lunch or second night dinner. if i knew the kids weren't going to be here i would have invited guests for the second night, instead.

i am just going with the flow and staying calm. whatever is meant to be, will be.

have a really wonderful new year!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy New Year

it's 9:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. we are closing in on the jewish new year. the holiday starts on wednesday night. it continues until after the shababt. that's seven festive meals we must create. afterwards, we fast on the following sunday.

i already cooked 3 of my main dishes. they are in the freezer in cooking bags. i find it much easier to defrost this way. you just pop a bag into boiling water and a short while later, voila!

i made a roast in a sweet red wine, meatballs in tomato sauce that will be topped over artichoke bottoms, and some spicy sephardi chicken bottoms. i baked 4 honey cake loaves this evening, an apple cake, one pan of honey bars and another pan of date bars. i still have a carrot cake loaf with cream cheese icing in the freezer from last shabbat. i'm pretty sure that i have over done it. i plan to give a way a few of the honey cakes to friends and family.

the apple cake is still in the oven. i used white sugar and flour for a change and i don't really know how to deal with it. i bought all of the veggies and fruits for the holiday. i only need to buy challahs on wednesday. i put in an order for my girl friend to make me some round whole wheat challahs. yummy!

i'm still debating on making a sweet noodle kugel. i am planning on doing the rest of my cooking tomorrow. i have to babysit sahar on wednesday and it will be too hectic to do anything else except perhaps, make a green salad. i want to make gefilte fish with a spicy tomato sauce. there is no way that gal or zvi will eat the ashkanazi sweet kind of fish. i am too afraid that the fish will fall apart in the tomato sauce so i'll make it the regular way, in water, and then bake it in the sauce. maybe i'll add a chili pepper. i have some niles perch slices to add to the pot, too.

i want to make a sephardi carrot and sweet potato tsimmis. the secret is fried onions and a touch of tumeric. i have raisins and prunes to add to the concoction.
i have to make a pot of brown rice for a friend who is vegetarian and celiac. she also doesn't do sugar. are we having fun yet? believe it or not, she can have pumpkin. i always cook the symbolic foods for new year's in soy sauce. zvi loves it. not this time. my friend cannot have soy sauce with wheat and i never made it over to the health food store to check out the wheat free kind.

zvi complains that he doesn't like my ashkanazi rosh hashana food. i have never used lemon, vinegar, or anything else that is sharp. i have always drizzled honey over every single dish. not this year. i will make every dish hot and spicy.

i have been surfing the internet for days looking up interesting recipes. i simply, have to put myself on auto pilot tomorrow and work hard. i will need to do the floors, too. i was thinking about visiting the seniors before the holiday. i haven't seen them in over a month. it will be hard to go tomorrow. i guess i'll see where i am holding.

i finally went to see the doctor last week. i felt sure that i had bronchitis. i have been feeling fluish for a month. i lost my voice several times. i coughed non stop and found it hard to swallow. the doctor didn't see anything. he said it could have been viral. he called it 'saftas' disease. always watching a kid and catching his runny nose. go know!

wishing you all a good, sweet, new year!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sick Again

it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i have been really sick for the past two weeks. my grandson was also sick. he supposedly has bronchitis. i don't have a clue of what i have. yesterday my throat was burning and i lost my voice. i spent the day coughing. i had a fever. i kept a cool rag around my forehead and throat.

i had the chills. it is rather hot in zefat but i've been lying around in a fleece lounging robe. i've been too sick to change. when i put the fan on i get too cold. i am too hot without the fan so i spend the day switching the fan on and off.

we had a party for sahar's turning 2 on monday night. it was requested that i make a couple of lasagnas and cheesecake for the meal and dessert. i was literally, in bed and found it very hard to function. i had run to the store on sunday to buy the noodles and cheeses. i made sure to buy the correct 'heckshers' because i had invited my family to join us for the party. i took the liberty of shopping for food for the upcoming jewish holidays, too.

the freezer is stocked with beef, liver, chopped meat and assorted fish. i even bought the traditional fish heads for rosh hashana night. the pantry is loaded with oil, honey and wine. i will eventually, need to buy grape juice and fruits and veggies. it is much easier planning holiday meals than shabbat meals. i try not to make anything sharp or tart for rosh hashana. i throw honey into every dish. i throw some rolled beef into a pot of sweet wine and voila! i guess i can always throw in some carrots, too. i probably, will throw the meatballs into the sweet wine, too.

i'm planning on sauteing half the liver with white wine and onions and using the other half to make chopped liver with boiled eggs and fried onions. this year rosh hashana starts on wednesday night and continues straight into the shabbat. that's 7 meals we must prepare. i have no idea who is coming yet for any of the meals. i am planning on inviting some adult guests for the first night. the kids are welcome to join me if they wish.

i was just told that they are planning on 'dining' with me this shabbat. i am not feeling well enough to go downstairs to shop. i'll have to shop, cook and clean tomorrow. are we having fun yet? so first thing tomorrow morning, i'll return the empties to the store and buy eggs, potatoes, milk, and veggies.

the kids have been, pretty much, living separately from me lately. it feels strangely, okay. they are beginning to raise their son, finally, by themselves. i haven't been called upon to babysit or put him to sleep. in a way, it's very liberating. they have to figure out what works for them as a unit. i'm always here in a pinch, but they are concentrating on managing on their own. i'm greatly, relieved.

a friend called the other day to implore me to stop blogging about them. she was afraid of the backlash/fallout if someone read my blog. i almost welcome all of them to read my blog and really understand how i feel most of the time. things have quieted down alot here since the big explosion. we are all pretty anxious about the new addition that will be arriving in december.

so i will simply focus on making shabbat meals and getting the house up to snuff. there is a lot of dog hair all over the place, as usual. i recently found a home for the little male chihwahwa, paco. it is a lot quieter and less smelly without him. he is well suited for his new family and we 'girls' are getting used to being the 3 'bitches' once again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quiet Tme

it is 6:45 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i am by myself. i just got back from town. i spent the day at the seniors' center. i hadn't made it over there in weeks.
it was a hot day.

i spent hours yesterday bailing out water from the pool. the grass already looks greener today. so does the remaining water in the pool. after a particularly, rowdy group of 20 or more paying guests used the pool for a few days, it was pretty much trashed for the season. there is just so much bleach you can add to the water. people bathing in full attire and velour robes, just isn't right.

i went to a sheva bracha yesterday for my suishi lady. i have known her for 18 years. i haven't been in a social gathering all year long. i was having a major anxiety attack. my carrot cake was dry and the cream cheee icing was melting. thank goodness, my gal pal had given me the day before, a lovely, dramatic looking, cotton shift house dress that was flattering on me and quite attrative. i had the perfect matching head scarf, to boot.

my dress and matching scarf, as well as my carrot cake, were the hit of the party. i had made one for shabbat. it was in honor of my daughter-in-law's upcoming birthday. it was the best carrot cake that i have ever made. it was very high and moist. the icing was perfection. i had a couple of slices by myself before shabbat.

the kids never got around to sampling the cake. zvi woke up late on saturday morning. he couldn't find his prayer shawl and rushed out of the house to catch the rest of the minyan. he didn't even have time to have a cup of coffee. my grandson came up at 7:00 a.m. i was in the process of making him a bottle. his mom didn't come up until after 10:00 a.m.

she couldn't tolerate the lack of air in my apartment and the excess dog hair around the furniture. she freaked out when she saw random dog hairs on her son's naked chest. i had removed his shirt because he seemed a bit feverish. i had left the windows closed to keep out the heat. i hadn't had the chance to change my dog hair ridden bed clothes yet. it was a mess. she ran off to her sister's house on the next street with sahar. she refused my offer of cake and coffee.

i had gone to her parents' house for the evening shabbat meal against my better judgement. i really had wanted to stay home and chill out by myself. we had hosted nearly 40 paying guests all week long and i had taken care of the grandkid all by myself. i was beyond tired. my legs hurt. my thighs hurt. i didn't want to walk the 30 minutes or more home. i had fallen down the day before and my back hurt.

the walk home was awkward. i followed the kids behind by some 10 paces. the kids had a fight on the way home. i was left pushing the sleeping kid in the stroller up hill all the way home, all by myself. it was most unnerving. i had bothered making an entire lunch for the kids. i had left the electric hotplate on to heat up the mashed potato kugel. i had struggled in the heat to shlepp down to the market and lugged home drinks, and a huge watermelon. i made several salads, cut open the entire watermelon, and rinsed a few bags of romaine lettuce. i made a carrot cake and frosted it, and baked a potato kugel for the kids. i even bought treats.

my son came home from shul at 11:00 a.m to let me know that they had made other plans for lunch. i was invited to join them but i declined their 'gracious' offer. i was not at all pleased with them. i was mourning the added expense of the groceries and all of the waisted hours spent preparing the meal. all i had wanted, was to hang in the pool by myself. i decided to catch up on my psalms.

the kids returned a little while later. my son felt guilty. when i didn't rush over to join them for lunch, there was a huge outburst. they ended up having a giant fight downstairs and i left home. i sat in the park for a couple of hours, reading tehillim.

no one had lunch. my son threatened to move out. i actually, wanted him to go, too. i was miserable and guilty. i got sick. i kept on rehashing the details leading up to the explosion. i kept on asking myself what i could have and should have done to keep the peace. my son didn't speak to me for a couple of days. i didn't see the baby or my daughter-in-law for a few days. i completely missed her birthday this year. the kids spent the day in haifa and there was no surprise party.

we finally made up over the phone. everyone told each other that we loved one another. we were all over tired from the herculean task of renting out the downstairs. i decided to start leaving the house again. getting back into a schedule and activities. i found my old cell phone and recharged it. i gave the number to the kids. instead of my always being home and on the couch 24/7, they can now call me on the phone whenever they need me.

i stopped off in town to buy gal a birthday gift. i didn't torture myself by trying to buy perfume for her. i bought a couple of expensive chatchkas. i spent about $40. i know that's cheap but she already got a very expensive gift from my son, her husband. i already spent my 'wad' of cash on repairs for the kid's apartment and the water bill. i didn't get any rent money from the kids this month, either. all in all, it was a rough summer.

i bought some good dark belgian chocolate to make bride and groom molds for my neighbor's daughter. her wedding is on monday. she is having a sheva bracha on wednesday. i also bought a plastic container that looks like a bottle of champagne, to showcase the chocolates. i bought myself a new top to wear to the wedding. i am tired of trying to squeeze into my old clothes. my stomach is really huge. i need subterfuge. i still may have to go out again and buy a skirt or long sleeve shift.

it's nearly midnite and the kids are in tiberius. they just called to ask me to make shabbat meals for them. here we go again! shabbat shalom!!! and chodesh tov and happy neaw year!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Camping In

it is midnight here in the holy city of zefat. the kids just went out to eat some local thai food in the neighborhood. sahar was still awake. we just had 12 paying people arrive who are staying downstairs for 3 days.

the kids are camping upstairs with me. they gave up their 5 room apartment to make some money this summer. their shoe shop has been very slow this month. we miracuously, had last minute renters before shabbat and the realtor just brought over a group this evening. i should say, rather, this night. he called us at 10:00 p.m. the entire town is renting out their homes. gal and i scrambled to add mattresses, sheets and pillows. the place was more or less in order. sahar was doing summersaults off the mattresses.

some people in zefat are making out like bandits. we are on the low end of the spectrum because we don't have airconditioning. the nights have been so chilly here that you really need blankets. the folks from the center of the country do not rent without airconditioning. hence, we lower our price.

the guests seem nice enough. they promise to be out for most of the day. last year i had a large family here who stayed downstairs all day long. the mother cooked all day and everyone had to have a hot shower. despite, a record heat wave that had us all melting, they insisted that i turn on the hot water boiler. they even filled up a pool with my water. their 3 day stint here cost me a $50 water fine. what was i to do? i was desperate for cash.

this realtor has been calling us all week long with all sorts of offers of groups. he doesn't call before midnight. not one of his leads paid off until tonight. the family from last year called a few weeks ago but i told them that we were no longer renting. i wasn't sure if the kids really wanted to bother. they surely do and we are all hustling to make the bucks before september.

so far we've made only about $1500. we split it down the middle. it will pay for a month's rent of the shoe store and hopefully, my water bill and city tax. i had to replace the toilet tank downstairs, so there went half of my profit. what can you do?

we just had a 3 day klezmer music festival in zefat. i didn't leave my house or neighborhood for the duration of the festival. sahar went to his other grandma all week long. i stayed in and watched television and stuffed face. zvi worked until 1:00 a.m. each night at the winery tourist center and gal stayed at the shoe store until 11:00 p.m. we are all on financial survivial mode.

i was planning on visiting the seniors on thursday but i got a call from a group of 10 who were desperately seeking a place to sleep in this area. they were hardly here. the place was untouched. we really locked out with that group. the realtor, is another story. he is a price gouger and takes 20 to 30% from us. we are at his mercy. it's not nice at all.

my niece and family are in from india and we still haven't gotten together with the kids for a play date. my nephew just came in before shabbat and we haven't connected with him, either. i'd love to make a dinner for them. we'll see. gal and zvi don't usually come home until after 8:00 p.m. i think it's hard for my niece to deal with two small kids now. anyway, the downstairs will be off limits until wednesday.

it's a bit hard on sahar. he doesn't quite understand why he can't go 'upstairs'. that's what he calls the downstairs. it's equally frustrationg for the dogs. i don't have leashes for them. it's a bit of a strain. the things we do for money, heh!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back To Business

it's 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. we are all busy trying to get the house ready for tourists. we survived the 24-25 hour fast which ended on tuesday night and went into work mode on wednesday.

i couldn't, exactly, jump out of bed yesterday. i was sore and dry. i stayed in bed until the afternoon. i then got up and started gathering the laundry. i had nine days worth of wash to do. the 'baby' has been sick and throwing up lately. the dogs have busy pishing on my beds. how absolutely, lovely!

i rearranged the clothes closets downstairs for the kids. i reattached some of the shelves that had been used to keep the dogs out of several of our rooms, for the past few years. sahar will be moving into an adjoining bedroom this winter with the advent of a new arrival. that's right, we are 'expecting' again. i say 'we' because we are all involved in this process. and, if you saw my bloated stomach, you'd think that i was the pregnant one.

a real estate agent came over to check out our premises. we took photos and set up props. we are all prepared to camp out together on one floor and rent the other two floors to make some cash. we are all hurting, financially, right now. the store had a very slow month and the kids are quite anxious to make some cash.

i had a builder come by to give me a quote for making a separate entrance for the studio apartment. that was last week and he never came back. there just isn't any income coming in right now. it's all about the $. i hate the enormous pressure that we're all under right now.

i have some red eye like infection going on right now and reading is almost impossible. of course, i ran out of eye drops, not that they have been so effective. my right eye is always burning. i think that i may have had a bells palsey blow up. my right cheek has had little feeling. here we go again.

i have been very busy with sahar, recently. he has championed 'terrible two's' to another level. oh please grant me the strength! he comes up here every day for his morning bottle. he will fling anything in his eye's presence at the dogs. it can be a shoe or some lego, or even a broom. he's fast. the dogs are traumatized. i have been a victim of his 'arm' quite often, too. are we having fun yet?

i haven't made it over to the senior's in a while, so i am hoping to get over there this morning. i have had a stomach bug two weeks in a row. it may be a reaction to the new remedy that i took. i have been a lot calmer about family issues lately, but i have been a lot less healthy, too. i think that the whole, recent, facial paralysis virus thing, is a result of the remedy. i need to write to my homeopath today.

i went to see my sister this week. it has been months, since our blow out. my niece and her family are in from india for the month. i finally got to meet my 9 month old grand niece. she is so lively! her older brother was more contained. he didn't remember me. he doesn't see me because i can't skype. i still haven't bought a camera. this normally, would have sent me into an emotional tail spin, but not so, now. i invited them over for a pool day. the only problem is that sahar is sick.

my sister and i hugged and kissed goodbye. it was a beginning. i still have issues. who doesn't. i still feel left out of the loop. but i have to learn to get over it. i have to focus on the good in my life. i have to stop having expectations. we all have to start loving freely. less judging and more loving!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The 3 Weeks Are Upon Us

it's 1:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. sahar is napping so i decided to blog. it's been some time. i've been taking care of sahar a lot lately. i know that i went slightly mad while the kids were in eilat. i wanted equal custody of sahar.

since they came back. i've been saddled with taking care of sahar. no discussion, as usual. i think there are some issues with the family dynamics, which i'm not privy to. i guess it's for the best. i really don't want to be a part of the situation. i just want to support them lovingly and help them out when i can.

i was having terrible thoughts and fantasies, of a custody battle with the in - laws. it disturbed me greatly, even imagining, the unimaginable. as hard as i tried, i couldn't shake these horrific thoughts. i am a medium, in the sense that i receive thoughts. i pick up on troubling events, too. i was picking up on the kid's current marrital crisis. being a drama queen, i over react all the time.

we are in the midst of the 3 weeks of mourning for the destruction of the holy temples. this is an historically unlucky time for the jews. we must take special care during this time. yesterday, my grandson ran into the street and was nearly hit by a car. we had a miracle. the car stopped before inpact. it wasn't on my watch. i worry all the time that something might happen while he is my care.

we must simply trust that Hashem is watching over us. we cannot become paralyzed by fear of the 'what if'. however, we must be vigil and not careless. with this kid it is not an easy feat. he is all over the place, all the time. he is always getting into trouble. this morning he was putting his fingers into the fan. thank goodness it wasn't on but it was plugged in. he is always trying to insert metal objects into the electrical outlets.

in a blink of an eye, he's on another foor. i have to keep all of the doors locked all of the time. besides grabbing for crayons and markers which are not dangerous, he finds sharp objects like japanese knives. he stands on his tippy toes and reaches the counter. i am running out of room to hide things from him. he is aggressive with the dogs and throws objects at them. he head - budded me this morning on my eyebrow. he threw himself down on the couch and hurt his cheek.

i was hit by a virus yesterday and could barely stand on my feet. i actually retched up some bile. i couldn't eat or drink. i finally was able to get some water down. the girls came over to swim and i opened the door for them and then went back to sleep. i slept all day and most of the evening. at 11:00 p.m. i felt a bit hungry. i had some melon. i went back to sleep.

i woke up feeling better. yesterday morning, when sahar came up at 7:00 a.m. it took all of my strength to get him a bottle. i was so sore and achey. i was a bit panicked that the kids were going to leave him with me. they didn't and i was relieved. i never thought that something bad might happen.

oh it is so peaceful while he sleeps! please grant me the strength to care for him!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Toddler Wars day 4

it's 4:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just indulged myself with a tuna sandwich on a whole wheat roll. i usually don't eat bread during the week. i have been trying very hard to lose some of this enormous bloat. i think this week i've tried to do a mock weight watchers' number. i ate what i wanted but kept the amounts smaller.

i am waiting for sahar to wake up. that's right, sahar is with me. his other grandma is coming over soon with his two uncles to have a pool party. yesterday, i hosted the aunts. it's amazing to see how wild religios girls are. they thrashed about the pool and assaulted one other. the water went spilling all over the place. i actually, filled up the pool before they arrived. what a waste!

i was hoping that they would bring sahar over with them. i understood, once they were here, that it was an afternoon off for them. gal's sister brought her little 3 month old boy baby. i spent the entire afternoon, sitting by his stroller and talking to him. i was like a paid babysitter without the pay. i don't usually do well with infants and newborns. i get hopelessly depressed when they cry. little orel was particularly, sweet and sociable yesterday. i mostly conversed in english. he seemed to get my drift. his mom looked a bit worried, though.

i didn't feel like joining them in the pool so i sat in the shade. one of the girls was hungry, so i raided gal's freezer and made some potato berakas and preve hotdogs. i brought out drinks, fruit, crackers and bissli. my fridge was empty. i cut up a little salad, too. i wanted to offer them spaghetti but they left before i got the chance to cook. everyone got a really long and hot shower and it must have been nice to not wait on line as usual.

i didn't trek down to canaan to see sahar. i've gone a day or two without seeing him. i was feeling content actually, when my son zvi called. he sensed the disappointment in my voice and they decided to have sahar brought over for the night.
i really didn't think that it was a good idea. he finally arrived at 9:00 p.m. he was nearly asleep. he was finally in my arms when the other grandma needed to hug him goodbye. he then thought that he was going with that grandma. he entered the house and wanted to watch videos. he almost fell asleep but was really too restless to settle down.

i finally got him settled down on the t.v couch and he nearly passed out but woke up crying. he called out for safta and i told him that i was there. he wanted safta miriam and he told me so. it was 1100 p.m. and he wanted to go back to his other grandma. i was going to ring her up and tell her to pick him up. i was really upset by the whole predicament. i don't get it. on sunday he was attached at the hip. on wednesday, he hardly knows me. what gives!

i was blamed for putting sahar to sleep with videos. this woman puts him to sleep in her bed every day and that is perfectly, acceptable. i feel like i've finally been shoved out of sahar's life. i'm the elderly lady upstairs who sometimes babysits for him. miriam is his grandma. i give him corn and bologna and she makes him couscous with meat and veggies. i don't use hair conditioner or baby gel. i don't dress him up at all.

oh bye the way, sahar was taken back to his other safta'a house right after the pool party this evening. afterall, i did have him overnight. why should i expect to have him tonight too. i have already become obsolete in his life. oh happy me!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Toddler Wars day 2

it's 10 p.m. in the holy city of zefat and i'm thoroughly exhausted. i went to sleep last night at around 5:00 a.m. that's two nights in a row that i've been unable to sleep.

i had a very long pep rally type discussion with my big sis in california. she says that i should get a life and that i should reclaim my power. that's a good one! who's got a life at our age. i know that sounds very bleak. i'm in a funk, remember?

the only good thing about the current situation is that i've lost my appetite, finally. i don't think that i'll shed any poundage unless i start to walk again. i actually read that you tend to gain more weight if you aren't sleeping well. it has something to do with how the body breaks up fat while we sleep.

i finally got out of bed at around 4:00 p.m. i didn't even shower. i decided to walk to town. i decided to visit a friend, too. my sister told me to get out of the house, so i did. i caught a ride to town on the next corner. it was too hot to walk, anyway. i figured that i could always walk home.

i left the house without my purse. i figured that i could always borrow the bus fare home. i had some money stashed away for a cab if i decided to get one, too. i ended up stopping off at gal's parents. i wanted to see sahar. i wanted to see if he missed me or not. when he saw me he was non plus. he then came running over for a hug. he wasn't clinging to me today. although, every time i tried to say goodbye to him, he would cry. so i hung around the family and walked down to town with them. it took forever. time was simply, dragging.

it wasn't as scorchingly hot in town as yesterday, but it wasn't cool, either. being without money in town was a big mistake. sahar wanted ices. yesterday i bought him a drink and ices. i had sold some jewelry to get enough money to cover my checks this month. i felt large. i had a wad of bills in my pocket. today i tried to teach sahar how to panhandle. i was half joking and half serious, i'm afraid to admit. i broke off from the group to visit a friend. she wasn't home so i rejoined the hot and miserable group next to the bank.

his sephardi grandma bought him a deluxe potty. i guess with her daughter away in eilat for the week, she plans to toilet train her less than two year old grandson. i didn't sign on for this. i would never impose my values on the topic. but rememder, i'm just the paternal granny. i think this is really wrong. but since i'm not included in any of the plans, i remain silent. i'm finally over my hurt. if that's okay with my daughter-in-law to let her mother potty train her son, well, so be it. i'm out of the loop. once more.

getting a life never sounded so swell. i really have to get back to my fighting weight. i got to have new clothes. i got to have some work. i got to get back to yoga. i got to get back to walking every day. i got to get back to being a red head. i got to get back to acting. i got to get some teeth.

i got to get my power back! even if i never had any, i got to restablish myself as a menstch. i got to clean up all the pish, poop and doggie vomit all around the house. i have to pay my water bill, my real estate tax bill, and my electric bill. i have to cancel my appointment with the homeopath next week. i need that money to pay a bill. i need to take better care of me. i need to eat something right now. i need to get a camera so i can skype my family in india. i need to go to unemployment.

i decided not to buy my grandson sandals. let his other grandma deal with it. or let his mother drive herself crazy. i know that whatever i buy will be wrong. so i left my cash at home. i intended to walk home because my entire body is stiff. i ended up being driven home by gal's mom. her sister needed to pick up shoes from downstairs, anyway.

i decided not to be angry or vindictive with the kids. i will not throw them out, afterall. i cannot guarentee that i will still be available 24/7 anymore. i'm trying to rethink the laundry, too. we shall see, won't we.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Toddler Wars

it is nearly 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just shlepped back from town in the heat with my grandson. i was only home for about 5 minutes when his other grandmother came by and literally scooped him out of my arms and into her car. i am really steaming.

the kids went off to eilat this morning for about 5 days. i was really looking forward to spending the night alone with sahar. i had asked the other grandma how she wanted to split up the days. i was willing to keep him here at night, sleeping in his own room. now that's a chiddush! my plan was rejected. i feel very resentful.

i want to call up my son and give him a mouth full of venom. that won't solve anything. he will only side with his wife. that's how it should be anyway. i guess my daughter-in-law doesn't really trust me with sahar. she wants him with her mother. she packed up a bag of all his summer clothes this morning and left me without hardly anything. she also didn't leave me a stroller. i am so hurt i could cry.

i didn't sleep a wink last night because i was so nervous about them leaving. i assumed that they had already left sahar with the clan. i didn't hear him make a peep last night. i finally fell off to sleep at around 6:00 a.m. at 7:00 a.m. zvi came upstairs with sahar and asked me to watch him. they had overslept. the inlaws were driving them to acco to catch a train to ben gurian airport. they were flying from tel aviv to eilat.

sahar seemed more tired than i was today. he is simply over stimulated at gal's family. here, he gets quality time with just me. it's quiet except for the dogs. maybe gal didn't want sahar to sleep with me and the dogs. i don't know anything because she doesn't communicate anything with me. zvi simply, stays out of the line of fire.

i am so upset that i keep fantasizing about kicking them out from the downstairs apartment. what am i the maid? good enough to wash their clothes and watch the kid for a while but not good enough to have a real relationship with my own grandson. i am the scapegoat, too. i am being blamed for getting sahar out of his crib routine and getting him used to watching videos to fall asleep. i never showed him videos without asking first. why am i validating myself, anyway??

i feel like crying. i can't believe that i have no rights. i have been having awful nightmarish fantasies of going to court to fight for custodial rights over the other family. it should never have to get to that place, please,G-d!!!!

this just isn't right. i am the paternal grandma. the kids live in my house. i have only one child. i have only one grandchild. i am totally alone tonight. why wasn't i given the chance to snuggle with my grandson tonight??? i am really mad at gal. i want so badly to tell her off. that's a luxury. i have to keep it cool all the time if i want access to my grandson. something has to give. i can't go on like this anymore.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Party Hearty

it is 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i've been in bed all day. i had a great time at my birthday bash yesterday. i bought some very inexpensive italian sparkling wine and it did the trick for me. it went right to my head. i needed it.

it was a bit rough going during the day. i didn't sleep the night before and finally passed at about 4:00 a.m. drinking coffee at mildnite is insane. anyway, i stayed in bed until 11:00 a.m. and didn't start to cook until 12:00 p.m. it wasn't so easy being so tired. i usually would have had it done on friday.

i mixed up the soy milk with a little apple cider vinegar to create a non dairy like buttermilk. i needed it for two of the recipes. i used it to make a corn bread that was non dairy and gluten free. i always make it with either, rye or whole wheat flour. it came out a bit dry so i covered it while it was still hot with foil. i also drizzled a bit of honey onto it.

i ended up not baking another cake. i served the left over chocolate birthday cake from my surprise party and the banana date cake from shabbat. i did make up a batch of gluten free peanut butter cookies. i had wanted to make some tahina cookies too, but i definately, ran out of steam. it was a very hot day and i was feeling cooked.

i made a large pot of chile and i actually didn't veer from the recipe, except for the type of beans that i used. it wasn't too hot. it was spicy and rather tastey. i threw a bunch of fresh corn into the largest pot i owned. i made a quick and tangy sauce for the cocktail franks, and i made a small meatloaf. i went downstairs to clean up the yard and lug down chairs.

i came back upstairs and smelled something burning. the top of the meat loaf was burnt to a crisp. i ran to the freezer to grab another package of chop meat but i realized that there wasn't really enough time to defrost it. i simply, sliced off the top and gave it to the dogs. i reshaped the meatloaf, covered it with a little ketchup, and baked it for a little while longer. voila! fresh meatloaf.

i was really tired but i kept running around the downstairs, setting up. i made a bunch of toasted pita chips but they were virtually untouched. i finely shredded some lettuce and brought down a store bobottle of dressing. i was actually, too tired to squeeze any more lemons and make my own vinegrette. i had already made 2 liters each of lemonade, ice coffee and ice tea. the ice coffee was as usual, well received. this time, i served it with rich's non dairy coffee creamer because i had set the table with my fleishig dishes.

i actually, used real glasses, bowls and silverware. i did have the suppplementary disposable dishes, too. i still haven't finished cleaning up yet. i still haven't finished cleaning up from shabbat, either. i set up the electric hot plate outside and created a strictly buffet style meal.

at the last minute, i made up some brown rice and carrots and onions for my vegetarian friend. i really had little patience to potchka at that point. i didn't have any creativity left in me. the apple pie icecream, that i had so labored to make, was totally over looked. the cornbread was a great hit and so was the left over banana cake. so much for fancy desserts.

at 4:00 p.m. it was still too sunny to sit outside but by 5:00 p.m. it had cooled down. the air was delicious. it was so lovely downstairs. everyone i invited, came.
we were a cozy dozen and there were 4 dogs. my friend decided to leave her 2 dogs behind.

paco, the newest guy dog, didn't shut up. he was only quiet when held in the arms of someone. it was most annoying. someone brought a really nice bottle of wine and it was well received. we started singing 4th of july songs and all kinds of american anthems. it was a lot of fun. it winded down at about 9:00 p.m.

as i was saying goodnight to the last of the crowd, a large truck pulled up and i received a huge plant and balloons form the kids. i persevered for the next few hours to bring in all the dishes and silverware and put away the tables and chairs. i gave up at around 12:00 a.m.

at 1:00 a.m. i heard sahar crying and finally went downstairs to get him. his parents were dead to the world. gal had been to the beach with her sister and zvi had played soccer. i put sahar on the t.v. sofa with the dogs and he crawled onto my body. he slept on top of me the entire night. he moved and switched sides the entire time. i have never seen such wiggling and squiggling. he finally woke up at 7:00 a.m.

i took him downstairs to reunite him with his parents but they were still fast asleep. i made him a bottle and stayed with him until 8:00 a.m. i then came upstairs and passed out.

i can't believe that i was so showered with gifts and emails this year. it really made turning 60, okay.