Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Night

shabbat has just ended in the holy city of zefat. it is almost 7:00 p.m. i haven't made havdalah yet. i just woke up from a short nap. i spent the shabbat alone. i was physically and emotionally spent. i had spent two days in a row with a lot of people and i couldn't face being with the entire sephardi clan. i needed some quiet.

i spent the shabbat munching on the left over nuts and fruit. i had a tuna sandwich for supper last night, topped with olives. i had a bowl of pomegranate pips for dessert. i had a salmon sandwich for lunch and the rest of the dried fruits for dessert. i've eaten way too much sugar. the thought of drinking grape juice now is too overwhelming.

i sat outside for about three hours in the afternoon sun, reading psalms. the dogs were barking at everyone and really making a lot of noise. it was so comfy sitting in the warmth of the sun. the house was freezing. i didn't bother turning on the heat. i usually, only heat when i have guests.

yesterday, i wrote to my first love. my computer savvy, good friend, found his email. i don't know how she did it because he wasn't listed on facebook, not that i know anything about facebook. i did the math. i met him 44 years ago. that was hard to swallow. being 60 is a bitch!

i actually got a response from him a moment later. i was so glad to hear that he was alive. it unravelled more of the repressed memories for me. wow! i have been on one heck of a memory roller coaster ride, lately. this one predates my college years, my involvement in the woman's lib and gay pride movements, and my brief stint in the hip, world of fashion.

i was really hyper yesterday. i spent the afternoon on the phone with friends. i couldn't quite come down from all the excitement. i tried to look up another friend who i haven't spoken to in 20 years. i think i understand my brother's reunion fever, now. he is forever meeting up with his college buddies all over the U.S. he's even planning a road trip out west to catch up with some pal of his from his frat days.

a couple of months ago, my son mentioned that he had met some guy at his winery who knew my brother from college. that was a pretty strange tale. after a long conversation, the guy mentioned that he had gone to bklyn college. my son asked him if he knew his mother, zelda gleich. he said he didn't know a zelda but he had known a charles. zvi told the man that charles was his uncle. so he left his email address with my son. i of course, forwarded it to my brother who was wildly ecstatic.

unlike my brother, i wasn't really looking for a reunion or a run down memory lane. i think i was looking for some kind of closure. i didn't find it. i was looking for pieces of the young girl that was just beginning her life's journey. i missed her. i never really got to know her. how heavy!!!

i'm supposed to go to a memorial melave malka in a little while, for the first anniversary of a friend's passing. i can't seem to get myself up and dressed. i am feeling very cold and very still inside. i want to honor her memory but i don't feel like being with a crowd of women. i think that i prefer to visit her grave tomorrow afternoon, instead.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another Hit

it is midnite in the holy city of zefat. my tu b'shvat seder/ soiree was a big hit. i spent the entire day, from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., arranging the fruits and table. i woke up at 9:00 a.m. and got right to work. i never had a coffee. it was like getting ready for the real pesach seder.

i started the morning with making turkey meatballs and cooking barley and wheat. i de- pipped the pomegranate and decided to count the pips. i got up to 27 and gave up. they say that there are 613 pips in every pomegranate. i vow every year that i am going to count all the pips. who knows? maybe next year.

when we were growing up in brooklyn we used to call pomegranates, chinese apples. i think that i actually, believed they came from chinatown. who knows? maybe they did. i also remember, that in hebrew school, they gave us a piece of carob and an apple for tu b'shvat, every year. they called it buxor. we never ate it. it was dry and really hard and you could break your teethe on it. it also tasted horrible. i love it now.

last night i took care of sahar for a bit, because gal got the flu again. sahar came home with very red cheeks. i guessed he was sick again, too. i rocked him back and forth until he fell asleep and put him in his crib. i quickly, got back to my seder preparations. he woke up shortly after, but his mom took care of him. i stayed put in my kitchen and made a sephardi tsimis with prunes, raisins, apricots, walnuts and peaches. they make it with a lot of fried onions and grease. it is tastey! i added a bit of cinnamon and a bit of tumeric but i didn't add any sweetener. the onions were sweet enough.

at 12:30 a.m. i made a flourless cake for tu b'shvat. one of my guests is off gluten. it was a recipe that i found on the net, last year. it is basically: 2 cups of shredded coconut, 6 oz. of carob powder, 2/3 cup of coconut milk, 1 egg and 4 tbs of date honey. it really was a cake. very rich, chocolatey like, sweet and very satisfying. the recipe called for honey and cocoa. i made the switch.

i made these very cute, miniature potted plants, for the party favors. i had been to the seniors' center yesterday and saw something like that, which truly inspired me to make some, too. i improvised and used little plastic shot glasses for the pots. i filled them up with crushed carob and a whole pecan nut, for the dirt. i used half of a dried kiwi for the leaf and a dried cherry for the flower. i used a toothe pick to hold the two fruits together. it looked like a real succulent flower.

i was still inspired so i then made fried lychee 'donuts'. they were more like tiny fritters. i also made an orange, almond, bulgar and quinoa salad. i played around with the table setting and decided to opt for real dishes instead of paper. i made a couple of floral arrangements in large brandy snifters out of the myrtle and mini roses.

suddenly around 12:00 p.m. i felt really sick. i realized that i had gotten the flu. i was dizzy and achey and i just wanted to collapse on the sofa. i was only expecting a few guests and i thought about cancelling. at one point, my arm went numb and i thought that i was having a stroke or heart attack. somehow, i muddled through for another 6 hours on my feet. i even washed the floors and polished all the furniture. i took a whole lot of flu remedy. i started to halucinate just before my guests arrived.

a couple of hours before the seder, i started receiving phone calls from women who wanted to come. one woman brought a friend, another woman skipped a wedding, another woman decided to brave the cold, etc. i ended up with 10 guests. i started to panick that i didn't have enough food. i was in no shape to do another thing. i decided that what i had was enough.

almost everyone had the chestnut soup and some had seconds. it is always a huge hit. the lychee donuts were nice. i also stuffed some lychees with hazelnuts. the fresh fruit salad with kumquats, papaya, kiwis, tangerines and persimmon was lovely. i think that i was the only person who ate it. the spicy, lychee, coconut, tomatoey, turkey meatballs was just enough. some had alot and some didn't want any. i made some poached fish for the gluten free, turkey free guest, who really enjoyed it.

i did all of the washing up before i hit the blog. there was no way that i was going to wake up to that mess, tomorrow morning. the 4 small shots of wine cleared my brain. now i'm just tired. i invited everyone to come back for a purim party in a few months. i have time to plan that out. maybe i'll make a theme. i could tell everyone to come dressed in 50's or 60's clothes. that's an idea!

Monday, January 17, 2011

All By Myself

it is 1:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i am home alone today. the baby went to his sephardi family. yesterday night, when the kids came home, sahar gave me a great hello. after all, we did spend friday night together.

after the shabbat meal, the young parents went downstairs at 8:00 p.m. to go to sleep. zvi was pretty mellow after downing most of the wine. he even, sang some ashkanazi tunes for me. they left sahar upstairs with me and told me to bring him back down after he fell asleep. little sahar was wired and a bit drunk from the kiddush wine. he played for a couple of hours and then passed out in my arms. i shared my t.v. couch with him and cookie dog. cloey dog wanted to jump aboard but i chased her awhile. she bit my finger and drew blood. then, cookie dog went into my bedroom and pished all over the bed and my freshly laundered house robe.

sahar slept until 5:00 a.m. but was very restless. he tossed and turned about in his sleep alot. he even hit me a few times in the head, at one point. when he did wake up, he gave me the most delicious smile. i desperately, needed to get to the bathroom and put him into the playpen. he, of course, screamed his head off. his dad came up to fetch him. my daughter-in-law felt quite guilty that he had kept me up all night. i din't sleep that night but it was mostly out of fear of rolling over onto him and crushing him.

i figured that i could catch a nap in the afternoon. the kids took sahar out for a stroll and i finished my bentching. the kids came back with a sleeping sahar and left him with me. i had the pleasure of his company until 4:00 p.m. my son wanted me to watch him on saturday night too, but his wife took mercy on me and took him over to her parents' home. i was so darn tired that i didn't and couldn't fall asleep. i think that i finally passed out at around 4:30 a.m.

i was 'given' the day off yesterday and somehow, got myself out of the house, in spite of the rain and cold weather. i made my way over to the biteuch leumi office and got the paper work for the discount for my real estate tax. the office was strangely, empty. i was in and out in about 5 minutes. it was a bit surreal. it was just, too easy.

i got right over to the tax office and then had a good two hour wait there. you can't win it all. i would have had an even longer wait but a friendly lady passed me a lower number that someone has tossed out. i really wanted to go to the unemployment office too, but it was already, closed. i did, thank the Lord, get my tax discount. the next stop on the bureaucracy train, is the water company. that will just have to wait for another week.

in the meantime, i am trying very hard to drum up some customers for my tu B'shvat sedar. no one seems to be interested in coming this year. everyone has some reason for passing it up. one person is travelling, another has a bad back. one person is diabetic, another's husband is coming home from a trip. one person isn't going out if it rains, another person doesn't eat fruit. what a shame that i already bought tons of goodies! however, i refuse to give up on it now. i might just make an intimate dinner party, instead.

i had thought about cleaning up the house today and catching up with my laundry. it's already 2:00 p.m. and i'm still not dressed. the refrigerator repairman is supposed to come over today so i don't dare go out. i was, also, supposed to call the plumber back today but i couldn't be bothered. i passed on the homeopath, too. it is just too cold in the house to wash the floors. my feet are frozen. i need to get some pile lined booties, for sure.

i helped zvi translate some promotional winery literature into english last night. he did most of the work and i was very impressed with his knowledge of wine and english. his young wife was not so delighted. she feels that his boss is taking advantage of him. i actually, looked forward to having a little 'quality' mom and son time together. it was no picnic, folks. the computer shut down a few times and zvi lost some of his work. at first, of course, he accused me of accidentally, hitting the off button with my knee. and of course, he cursed a lot and couldn't deal with his little toddler son coming into the room every couple of minutes. but, all in all, it was a successful joint adventure, thanks to the computer translation program.

i am a bit psyched. my geneolgist sister scanned me pix of what appears to be our paternal great grandparents. you might remember that my parents recently died at the age of 91. we are really talking about way back when. my great grandfather looks like wyatt earp, complete with handle bar moustache. great grandma looks more stern yet, heimishe. what a find! she recently reconnected with our first cousin. her mom was my farher's sister and my favorite aunt. it was in aunt mollie's albums, that she found the pix.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

All Talked Out

it's 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just got off the phone with a friend and finished a conversation which i believe, began at around 3:00 p.m. i can't believe it. i lost the entire day.

i got up this morning with a bit of a stomach virus. i spent way too long in the john. i went back to sleep for a while. it is freezing! i eventually got up and made some eggs and coffee. i spent the day in bed. i had high plans of paying the electric bill at the post office up here.

i also wanted to get to the supermarket and buy fish for shabbat and the few items that i still needed for tu b'shvat. so far i got a huge pomegranate, a small coconut, a star fruit, a quince, some dates, figs, carobs, kiwis, avocados, candied estrog, persimmons, dried cherries, prunes, dried apricots, dried peach, dried mango, dried passion friut, macadamia nuts, walnuts, cashews, prepared chestnuts, brazil nuts, hazel nuts. pecans, almonds ad roasted pistashio nuts.

i still need to buy a can of olives, some grapes or raisins, a can of lychees and some red and whine grape juice. i have wine on hand. i bought small amounts of everything because i'm not so sure that i'll have a large crowd, this year. i've been e mailing the old crowd to invite them.

i guess, i'll have to pay the electric bill next week. most post offices and banks are closed on fridays. i still need to go to unemployment next week and go to biteuch leumi to get the forms to get a city real estate tax deduction. i still need to pay the last two bills. that wil eat up an entire day. the problem being, coordinating getting into 3 different offices by 1:00 p.m. are we having fun yet?

the house is a mess, and i have tons of laundry to do. i have my tu b'shvat papers all over the table and produce that still needs to be put away. my stomach is still sore and loose so i will simply, have to take it easy this evening. i lost about 6 pounds already on the south beach. i have been eating really good food lately. the dogs have been making on my clothes and bed lately in the master bedroom. i think they are trying to let me know that they do not like my being downstairs so much.

yesterday, i went to volunteer at the seniors' center. i wasn't feeling all that animated. at least it was warm there. i then spent about 3 hours shopping for the tu b'shvat seder. i was able to arrange for a fruit delivery so i was free to visit a friend for awhile, downtown. it was a luxury not schlepping bags with me.

she had a small gang who were having a pizza evening. i was already feeling a bit woozey and the last thing i wanted was to smell pizza. i was, for sure, not going to eat any because of my diet. i stopped off at the local grocery and bought some canned tuna, low fat cheese and a few avocados. i offered to share my 'loot' with everyone until the pizza arived.

at around 5:00 p.m. i was feeling the strong need to get home. i got up to leave but it took me awhile to make my getaway. i waited for a really long time for the bus to come. i didn't feel like springing for another cab. i had a nice conversation with an old acquaintance while we waited for the bus.

when i got home the fruit delivery was waiting in front of the door. i also saw sahar's jacket on the ground. i figured that gal had come home early from work. i didn't see any signs that someone had entered so i went downstairs. it was dark and empty. i started folding some of the kids' laundry and put away the baby's sweat suits. i then folded the laundry racks and put them away in a corner. i heard cloey the dog barking but i coldn't find her. i think she had been locked out of my apartment and had been downstairs for awhile.

shortly afterwards, i got a call from gal leting me know that she had been locked out of the house. she couldn't enter through my window because sahar was asleep in her arms. she was on the next block at her sister's place. she said something about my watching sahar while she went back out. i frantically searched the downstairs for any tell tale sign that my dog had been downstairs. sure enough, she had deficated on the small rug in sahar's day room.

i was glad to see that sahar was feeling better. i was also, not so tired because i had had the morning off for myself. i tried making food for him but he only wanted to eat junk. i tried giving him bottles, but he also refused them. the kids got back from the supermarket at 10:00 p.m. sahar was wired!.

i was happy to get back upstairs and hit the net. i was looking up different groups of fruits. i only use fruits that we bless for growing on fruit trees. that leaves out bananas, strawberries, cantalope, melons, papaya, watermelon, etc. i was toying with the idea of buying chocolate beans, but the price was astronomical.

i might just give in next week and buy a package of the chocolate beans. i could always use the chestnuts to make a soup and serve it at the end of the seder this year. anything is possible. i got my new water bill and it was for over $200. i can honestly, say that i do not have the strength to deal with this now.

right now i am wondering how i will be able to make shabbat for the kids tomorrow. please 'Lord', grant me the strength to be on my feet all day tomorrow. amen!!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The More Mundane

it is 11:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat and i just got off babysitting detail. i got up this morning at about 7:00 a.m. to let the dogs out. i felt like i had been hit in the head with a sledge hammer. i briefly went downstairs to see if sahar was well enough to go to his other grandma's. i found gal and sahar in bed together. gal had a relapse and was staying home from work. so much for going out at night!

i got right back under the covers with the dogs and decided that i was also sick. i blew off any further thoughts about going to yoga or anywhere else in the world. i slept until about 10:00 a.m. but i still felt tired. it was cold in the house! i put on the small electric heater for a bit. i planned to sleep in all day long.

gal came upstairs to see if i was home. she wondered why i hadn't answered my phone. i totally forgot that sahar, as usual, had unplugged my phone on shabbat. she asked me if i could watch sahar while she went out. he had a fever so it was really dangerous for him to go out. i assumed that she was going to the doctor.

i quickly grabbed a cup of coffee and a hand full of nuts. my stomach is still huge but i do feel better from eating real food again. sahar has been hyper active since he got sick. he keeps climbing onto the t.v. table and switching the t.v. on and off. i keep threatening to give him a potch. i actually gave him a few smacks on the bottom yesterday after he pulled out the t.v wires.

the poor kid can hardly breath with his runny nose. he is in a great mood in spite of it. thank goodness, he isn't lying around like a limp noodle. i keep trying to get him to sleep and he keeps jumping off the bed to climb onto the t.v. stand. i usually, give up trying and just let him do his thing and drink more coffee.

gal got back at around 2:30 p.m. and i made myself some lunch. i grabbed a plain yogurt and sprinkled some cinnamon on it and made another cofee. i splurged and added some cinnamon and a spoon of unsweetened cocoa. i grabbed a few walnuts and hit the covers. it was really cold inside. i later, finished the eggplant and guacomole salads and used red and green peppers instead of bread.

at around 5:00 p.m. i was in the mood for eggs but i wasn't in the mood to brave the cold. i called up a friend who's neighbor sells fresh eggs and ordered a flat. she was on her way here when i reached for my bag and realized that i didn't have the 22 shekels. zvi must have borrowed my change. i only had a 200 shekel note. i ran around the house emptying all of the pushkas. i only managed to come up with 11 shekel coins and about 110 ten agarot coins. i was really horrified when the lady got to my door. i apologized profusely and offered her the bags of coins. she politely, declined. i then called up my friend to ask her to lay out the money for me. what a balagon!

sahar was brought upstairs at 5:30 p.m. because gal and zvi had to go to carmiel to pick up their repaired baby stroller. i put him in the playpen while i made him an omelette. he ate a few bites with gusto so i put the bowl into his playpen so he could feed himself. i got busy making a pot of chicken soup for the kids. i then made myself, some fried eggs in the spicy tomato relish, left over from shabbat. sahar smushed the omelette all over himself and the playpen. cloey the dog kept frantically, trying to paw the eggs onto the floor. what a mess!

i then strategically, placed the couches together to keep sahar enclosed in the t.v area and i ate my eggs and had a hot cup of coffee. i usually drink my coffee luke warm or even cold. he played for awhile and climbed onto my t.v. table until he nearly passed out. i took him downstairs and tried to put him too sleep. he was nearly out but he revived himself and started playing again on the floor. he had a few spoonfuls of soup and a cinnamon cookie. he refused his bottle. i had about two bowls of luke warm chicken soup and gave the dogs the skin and the bones.

i finally got sahar to sleep at about 9:00 p.m. he was in a deep sleep for almost 15 minutes, when he woke up. he got up just as his parents came home. gal nursed him while zvi put together the new activity table, that they bought in carmiel, for him. i was toying with the idea of buying one, too. he was really groggy at first but soon got into the swing of things and was having a ball with his new toy. i stayed around to heat up the soup for the kids. sahar wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to his safta zelda.

i have to get up at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning and do it all over again. they shoot horses don't they? i will have to endure the noise of the new musical table all day long. i remember having a life, once upon a time.

i recently signed on to be in a play again. i was so excited about acting again that i even agreed that it could be co-ed. we had a reading and we seemed to be in motion. i came alive again for the first time in years. the next day everyone else pooped out. so for awhile it's just diapers and me.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Mundane

it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. shabbat ended a little while ago. i am pleased to report that i did all of the washing up. my dishes, cutlery, pots and pans and glasses are all clean. yeh! i didn't want to end up like last week with two sinks full.

it was a pretty miserable day. it rained and was just plain nasty for most of shabbat. i had the heat on for most of the time. the kids are all sick. i had the 'pleasure' of watching my grandson and son for most of the week. my grandson was easy compared to his cranky 24 year old dad.

i ran errands for him and kept him supplied with vitamin c, fresh squeezed orange juice, chicken soup, homeopathic flu remedy, and natural cough syrup. thank the Lord, that he went back to work on thursday. the doctor made a big mistake by prescribing him antibiotics. his illness was viral and both his wife and son caught it. the antibiotics weakened him and gave him diahrea, to boot.

i finally was freed on thursday and my grandson went to his other grandma. i watched him until 9:30 a.m. and then made a mad dash to the seniors' day center. they were so happy and grateful to see me. i had second thoughts about going but i was so glad that i did. their regular caregiver was out of town and i think they appreciated a familiar face.

a young woman volunteer brought in three guinea pigs to show the old folks. they were so cute. they were a lot larger than the pair we had years ago, when zvi was just a lad. i learned on thursday that it was not good to bathe them. go know!

afterwards, i met up with a friend and we went together to make a shiva call. i hadn't been able to attend the funeral because i was taking care of sahar. i stayed a bit longer than i had intended and finally made my way to the supermarket at 5:00 p.m. i hadn't eaten all day long and i was feeling a bit woozy. i wanted to buy some things for shabbat that i can't get up here.

i caught a taxi home because i was really spent. i tried calling my sister in zefat because she was due back from india. no one was home. i called my niece in new york because it was her birthday and i think i may have bummed her out a bit. the poor thing turned 30 and is still not married. in her circles it's considered tragic. i'm sure she'll meet the right one eventually. i'm more sure, that she will aprreciate marriage more because she waited so long.

i had to watch sahar all morning long on friday. i put him in his playpen and kept him near me while i prepared the shabbat meals. he seemed to get a kick out of my peeling the tomatoes. his mom went to a bris and didn't get back until nearly 1:30 p.m. it took me a while to get everything done because i only have two working gas burners.

i managed to have two long conversations with two different friends while i watched him. he was pretty mellow for a sick baby. the doctor said he has the flu. i made a lovely meal inspite of finishing up moments after candlelighting. i really hussled at the end. the food was pretty tasty this week. i went back to my south beach diet on thursday. i finally weighed myself and i gained over ten pounds. it is back to lots of protein and veggies again.

i made tuna steaks in a piquant tomato sauce with peppers and potatoes. i made potted chicken and meatballs in a sephardi tomato sauce with string beans. i cooked plain white rice for gal. i made a green leafy salad with lemony dressing. i also made the cooked sephardi tomato relish. this time i didn't make it too hot. i made a small amount of baba ganush, a mayonnaise and eggplant dish. i made the usual cooked cubed beets in lemon and a guacomole with avocado and hard cooked eggs. i made a cole slaw and ate the entire thing by myself. thank goodness, that mayonnaise is allowed on south beach.

the kids came upstairs at 7:00 a.m. this morning. they usually come up around 8:00 a.m. zvi decided to catch an early minyan. gal was really under the weather so i watched sahar until 9:00 a.m. that's about when zvi came home and did kiddush. i served them both, boiled white and sweet potatoes with boiled eggs. we also, had all of the salads, left. i had a piece of fish, a boiled egg and some salad. i had a hand full of nuts for dessert.

the kids went downstairs at 10:00 a.m. to sleep. they left sahar with me until 2:00 p.m. he only slept for about an hour. he was a bit crabby and hardly ate anything. he did play very nicely for hours. i gave him two copper bells and he kept himself busy with them for the entire day. they were my mom's. sometimes, she would ring them to announce dinner. it was her way of being 'over the top'.

i was really looking forward to lying back and watching some t.v. this evening. zvi just came in to inform me that the sick duo are well enough to go to rosh pina and are leaving sahar with me. do i cry? or do i insist that they shlepp him over to the other grandma for a few hours? oh decisions, decisions!!!!

i finally caught up with my sister in zefat but i was too pressured on friday afternoon to speak for long. i would have liked to walk over there today with sahar but he was too cranky and sick to go out. my older sister in california, recently mentioned that my blog has been pretty mundane lately. i was beginning to feel a bit down when another reader told me that she really got off on my sense of humor. she actually told me that it made her day.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

it's nearly 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. shabbat ended a little while ago. i made havdalah by myself on wine and i am a bit 'lit'. zvi just called to ask if there is any hot water. that simply means, that i have to turn on the hot water heater for them so that they can shower when they come home.

zvi was under the weather when he came home from work yesterday. i made him a pitcher of fresh squeezed orange juice, gave him a flu remedy and gave him a bottle of vitamin c. he is still not feeling well. this means that i'll probably be sick all week long, too. i am just, so darn susceptible to the kids germs.

it isn't all that jewish to make new years' resolutions, but i have decided, anyway, to try and get back into shape. i hope to be able to get to the yoga class tomorrow morning. my back is aching. i feel like an 80 year old lady. being in the house all day long doesn't promote good health. i haven't made a yoga class in more than a month.

the lady from the other community center keeps calling me to pay up my membership dues. i haven't gone there since the summer. why doesn't she get it. i am no longer a member because i haven't set foot in the joint since august. there is no way that i am going to pay her a dime or a shekel, in this case. it is not the same as signing a years' membership contract at jenny craig's.

last night i fell asleep shortly after lighting the shabbat candles. i got up a couple of hours later and made kiddush and had my modest meal. i had two bowls of tomato soup, which was loaded with beans and chick peas and i had a pita with humus. i also, had some left over pumpkin and quinoa. i had a slice of the orange poppy seed cake for dessert and a hand full of pecans. i also had a lovely cup of honeybush caffeine free tea.

my paying guest presented me with two boxes of herbal teas. i hardly ever drink herbal tea but these are really nice. the guest is a really neat lady. we have similar life experiences but she is a real dare devil. she is a very active and independent lady. she is also very unassuming and totally undemanding. it's like she isn't even here. i am very lucky to have met her. i am definately, going to miss her.

after dinner, i read the hamodia newspaper for awhile and fell asleep again. i woke up at midnite with horrific pain in my eye. i hated to get out of my warm bed but i got up and made a warm compress. thankfully, i fell back asleep until morning. i woke up at 7:00 a.m. to let the dogs out. it was rainy. they weren't that interested in going out. i said the morning blessings and had a slice of cake. i then had about 4 or 5 cups of coffee but who's counting anyway?

i was engrossed in an article about a particular torah giant from the past when i heard a commotion at my door. it was my dear pal and her two dogs visiting. i had planned to daven and spend the morning catching up with my psalms but what could i do? i made some more coffee and gave the dogs some water. all the dogs went outside for awhile.

we hung out talking for a couple of hours and i got dressed and walked her partially, home. i got back at 1:00 p.m. and started to pray. i finished at 2:00 p.m. and then made kiddush. i had a pita with humus and olives and then opened a can of tuna. i gave most of it to the dogs. i wasn't really in the mood for water tuna. i had some more cake and coffee and then settled down to read tehillim.

i finished most of the book of tehillim and said mincha and had another coffee. i read the newspaper until shabbat was over. my eye is very irritated and i do not have any drops. this weather is definately, not good for my eye. unfortunately, neither is the heat, as it turns out. i am completely bloaded right now. i usually succumb to a food binge around this time on motsei shabbat. i think my thyroid is on the slow side. i am afraid to check my cholesterol, too.

my head is now on planning my tu b'shvat sedar, which will be in another couple of weeks. you may recall the elaborate dinner that i made last year for this holiday, when it fell out on shabbat. this year it will be back to the sedar of eating 20 different types of fruits and 10 types of nuts and drinking 4 glasses of wine. i'm thinking about not serving cake this year to begin the sedar.

i'm going with dishes of sweet and fruity cooked wheat and barley, instead. i'm toying with the idea of recreating the 'infamous' chestnut soup. only a few guests were here last year to sample it. i'm now thinking about making a flourless fruit cake for dessert. i can't wait to check out the web for recipes!