Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oy My aching Back!

it's 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i got up early this morning because i thought i had to take care of sahar. my back and shoulders are really strained. i ache! sahar went with his mom to the bank. i think she quit her job. i fought with the idea of staying home and continuing my pesach spring cleaning. my conscience got the better of me and i went to the senior's center.

i could barely move. i took a cab. it was a good thing that i went. they had another conference and i took over the group for two hours. we were all sitting outside in the sun. there was a heat wave today. one man, eliezer from romania, spent over an hour talking about death and burial in israel. although these elders suffer from dementia, they want to be happy. they were getting pretty tired of this depressing discussion.

i finally turned around the topic to pesach and started singing songs form the hagadda. one man, actually, got up and went back inside. he had had enough of the death talk. tatiana, the organ player, saved the day and came to play. i quickly got up and brought the electric organ from the other room. i was also successful in convincing one of the men to be showered. he had refused his daughter, earlier. i made a big spiel out of it and involved the other elders. we gave him a round of applause.

the seniors wanted me to dance for them. last week i did a mock tango and performed 'besame mucho' for them. they didn't understand that my back was sore and that it hurt to move. they wanted another performance. i got up and danced with eliezer. he actually spun me around a couple of times. i do not in general, dance with men. i really went out of my way to please this man. later in the day, when i kissed all the ladies goodbye for shabbat, he was quite upset that i didn't give him a kiss, too. if he only knew that i never even shake hands with men, he'd be shocked.

i said goodbye to everyone and went to town to look for slip covers for the couch. i ended up not buying any. i decided to stick with what i already had. sometimes i get into frugal mode. i came home from town and got into bed. i watched a little television and had the intention of doing some pesach cleaning. after a while, i couldn't get out of bed. my back was really stiff. i managed to hang up the curtains in the kitchen.

i stopped off at the local supermarket and bought a few things for shabbat. it's my turn to have the kids. i bought a loaf cake but i ended up eating it all. what's my problem? it will be a very simple shabbat. i ate a mango popsicle. i am supposed to be allergic to mango. i did feel a bit heady, afterwards. i think that i will just focus on making shabbat and getting the kitchen in order tomorrow morning.

hopefully, i'll feel better on sunday and spend the day working. i can't force myself to do when i can't anymore. i do seem to be dreaming each night. what a chiddush!

i thought that i'd be able to at least, finish the bedrooms today. well, i couldn't. the old grey mare ain't what she used to be. i took care of sahar for almost an hour tonight, while his parents went to the supermarket. hyper!!!!!! now i'm going back to bed. shabbat shalom!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pesach Cleaning Update

it's nearly 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just finished my pesach cleaning for wednesday. i got a late start. i didn't have to take care of sahar this morning. ideally, i should have gotten up at 7:00 a.m. and begun my day. i actually, got to bed last night before midnight.

i happened to pass out while watching television. i woke up at 1:00 a.m. and went back to sleep. i was glad that i had fallen asleep relatively, early for me. i wasn't feeling all that bright and chiopper this morning. i was feeling groggy and achey. i really have to stop gorging on cheap icecream.

i watched some television, gorged on more cheap icecream, and ate a sandwich. i made a phone call and lamented to my sister, how i couldn't get motivated to clean. i hated wasting a 'free' day. gal's sister is due any day now, and who knows when i'll get more free time to myself. as i watched television, i cleaned the american comforter lounge chair. i didn't really find any sizeable chometz. i usually throw buckets of bleachy water at it. not today. i simply used a damp rag.

i then went through the family photos and framed pictures and windexed them. i washed a few glass vases and chachkas. i then took out the kitchen windows, all four of them, and the screens and washed them in the bath tub. i washed down the israeli equivalent of venetian blinds. i then painted the window sills with the left over thick, white paint. i then windexed and dried the windows and put them back in.

i forced myself next, to take out the two large bedroom windows and screen, i painted the window sills and i washed the triest. i then went outside and washed down the outside of the triest with the hose. i then came back in and repainted the sills, because the hose washed away the fresh paint. i then shlepped the heavy bedroom windows into the bath tub and washed them. they were really heavy. i windexed them and had a hard time getting them back in. i was really tired.

there was a small flood in the bathroom. i had to soak up all of the water with a towel and keep on ringing it out in the toilet. i can't do another thing now. i know that the windows are probably streaked. i simply, cannot compete with the sephardi neighbors. the men usually steam clean the windows. my sills were always beige. now they are bright white. i just couldn't be bothered going to town to buy new paint. the white will have to suffice. afterall, it's the men that do the painting, anyway.

the rest of the house looks ransacked. the curtains are all strewn on the kitchen floor. i meant to throw them in the washing machine. i guess, it will have to wait until tomorrow morning. the kids should be home soon and i don't like using the machine while they're home. i also need to wash the shower curtains tomorrow. i didn't have the strength to unhook them from the shower. i must go to the senior's center in the morning. i feel guilty not going, athough i feel guilty not staying home and cleaning for pesach. there is still so much to do.

i cleaned out the meat silverware drawer but i still have all the kitchen cabinets to deal with. all you need is strength, i guess. i definately, feel my age. i remember in my 'youth' taking amphetamine to clean for pesach. oh, what i could accomplish in those days! i used to wash the wallpaper until it shined. those were the days!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Monday

it is 4:45 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. gal came home early and just took darling sahar over to his younger grandma. gal and zvi have courses this evening until 8:00 p.m.

my back and shoulder are still aching from yesterday's preliminary pesach cleaning 'workout'. the painted wall looks fresh although, there are patches of plaster that show through. however, since i took a remedy, i don't obsess over them, anymore. there is this one little circle that i'm planning on replastering and painting this evening.

i got up early today but fell back to sleep. i have started to dream again, lately. i should be writing them down for the homeopath, but i really can't be bothered. the other day i dreamt about a very suceessful production i put on in the big theatre in zefat. if only dreams came true!

zvi woke me up from another enjoyable dream this morning to take care of sahar. i was out of the house by 9:00 a.m. and managed to sign up at unemployment, pay the water bill and add the kids names to my bill, and also pay the real estate tax bill. this involved climbing up a lot of steps with the stroller and dealing with a crabby and screaming little toddler.

as soon as i got off the bus, i bought sahar a chocolate milk, a roll and a beraka. he ate a bit of the roll and crumbled most of it at the unemployment office. they asked me if i had an e-mail address and i don't know why i answered yes. you never, ever, volunteer information here.

he then drank most of the chocolate milk at the real estate tax office. he then started making bubbles and regurgitated some of the chocolate milk out. thank goodness, i brought wipes. as usual, it took quite awhile. sahar was getting restless, being strapped into his stroller. i didn't dare unleash him in the office.

i explained to the cashier/clerk that i had already received my discount but that it wasn't calculated on the latest bill. she looked on the computer at my account and tried to explain that the discount has to be processed at the beginning of every year. once again, i explained that i had already taken care of the paper work awhile ago. apparently, another one of the clerks hadn't entered the info into the computer. so everyone got the wrong bill. are we having fun yet?

i paid the arnona and went on to the water tax office. it was packed. everyone was waiting for a particular clerk, including me. he is the only one on the ball there. i took a number and left. i walked up the block to the pet store. i wanted to check out a small dog. i came back shortly after. i let sahar out of the stroller and of course, he headed for the door and the street. i had to hold onto him very tightly. i refused to let an old lady a head of me. i couldn't contain sahar anymore. he was beginning to yell. i paid the bill and made a mad dash to the bus stop. he finally fell asleep.

it was such a warm and sunny day that i really regretted not doing pesach cleaning. instead, i did 5 batches of laundry and hung it all outside. while i was pulling out more laundry inside, sahar somehow, made it over the wall to the neighbor's yard. i didn't hear any crying or find any marks, so i figured that he knew what he was doing. a little while later, i came outside to find him sitting on a plastic chair, holding his care bear ball. don't ask how he managed that feat.

i am really aching now. i want to do more windows. i'll probably get stuck with sahar tomorrow. i can't move, right now. i think i'll take a short coffee break. i still have tons of laundry to bring inside. i bought a mild cleaning agent to add to water. i did not attempt to buy anything more caustic than that.

the non chametz dog food should be in the pet shop this week. i prefer having it sooner than later. one year, when we had a zoo here, i had to find pesach sunflower seeds for the parrot, blood worms for the goldfish, chometz free dog food, and i can't remember what we did for the hamsters. those were the days!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Getting Started

it's 5:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. the kids left for tel aviv very early this morning. they took sahar to his other grandma. i should have jumped out of bed and started my pesach cleaning right away. afterall, it was a warm and sunny day. a perfect day for being wet. a perfect day for doing windows.

too bad that i couldn't fall asleep last night. i turned off the television way after 4:00 a.m. i wonder if it had anything to do with the last movie that i watched? just a little diddy about an arab woman who was falsely accused of adultery and stoned to death by the men in the village. it was way too graphic if you ask me.

my eyes were burning all morning long. i was feeling very guilty about not doing something for pesach. i finally forced myself out of bed and threw on my cleaning jeans dress at about 2:00 p.m. i started with the windows in the computer room. i washed the venetian blinds with soapy water. i have, absolutely, no cleaning agents in the house. i had a bit of dishwashing detergent left and i used that. i am trying very hard to stay away from the more caustic cleansers. my face cannot take them, anymore.

i did use windex, which is really, very caustic. i know i shouldn't have. i made up a batch of plaster and started repairing the outside window ledges. i really want to give them a coat of paint, too. i ended up straining my back trying to reach high crevices while i stood on a short step ladder. i didn't feel like climbing up a tall ladder outside by myself.

i wish i could report that i finished the computer room today. the truth is, that i managed to put away all of the costumes and purim wigs. i am just too tired to continue. i have given up for the day, already. the windows look smudged but i cannot deal with taking them out again and respraying them. i'm going for a fresh look. i am not going for perfection. i did that two years ago and ended up with a very twisted face.

it feels like rain. it is getting colder, too. i should have gone outside a lot earlier. what is one to do? afterall, we are not getting any younger, are we?
the computer room could use a fresh coat of paint. i painted it beige when we moved in over ten years ago.

well, i just couldn't leave well enough alone. i got the remainder of a can of peachy paint from about two years ago and added a bunch of really thick white paint from last year. then, i painted the wall behind the bed in the computer room. what a mess i made! paint all over the bed, the floor and all over my clothes and me.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Getting Sober

it is 11:30 p.m. on motsei shabbat in the holy city of zefat. i spent the day alone, reading psalms and the weekly newspaper. i finally washed all of the wine glasses from purim. i threw out the plastic wine and dessert glasses. it's getting awfully, close to pesach, now. i have to get moving and start my cleaning.

after an entire week of a veggie and fruit cleanse, i started binging again, on left over purim treats. it is hopeless! i spent the week with sahar, downstairs. we never left the house because the weather was rainy and cold. it's really strange that we had two warm and sunny days for purim. it usually turns really cold for purim. one year we even had snow.

i am getting sober now. i have to buckle down and put away all the purim costumes and shtick. i just need the time alone. i think i have sahar tomorrow. his parents are planning a trip to tel aviv to check out a potential business prospect. that means that i might have to take care of my adorable grandchild the entire day and night.

i have to get myself to the unenmployment office, as well as the water company and city tax office. i can't imagine shlepping there with sahar. i hate to put if off anymore. in my mind, i know exactly, what i need to do for pesach. in reality, i can't imagine accomplishing anything with the baby about.

i am really still tired from purim. i really over did it. i am not feeling up to doing physically hard cleaning jobs. my fridge and freezer, as well as my kitchen cabinets are pretty empty. it shouldn't be that hard to clean them right away. i'd like to start with the really hard job of cleaning the small kitchen. it is really a mess. this year i think that i am going to store all of the pesach goods in the main kitchen. i usually use the small kitchen pantry as my pesach kitchen.

it is still really cold in the house. it is not conducive to start using a lot of water and getting wet, yet. forget about doing the windows, now!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Purim Is All Gone

it's 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. purim came and went. i haven't been out of the house since sunday night. what can one expect after 12 hours straight of drinking pina coladas. today it's wednesday, shuk day in zefat. i wonder if they had a shuk today. it's been raining on and off. i already blogged my story but i hit the wrong button and lost the entire blog. what fun! i haven't cleaned up after purim yet.

in the end, we were only 10 at the purim table. i made, way, too many hamentashen and rum balls. i also prepared too many chicken wings and meatballs. i usually can gage this better, but i was expecting about 14 for dinner. the kids decided to go to gal's family for the day. i was, honestly, glad not to have to chase after sahar while i was drinking.

i was pretty exhausted on saturday night. i had taken care of sahar all of shabbat day and i had been on my feet all of friday, cooking for shabbat and purim. the kids had decided to be home for shabbat and of course, only let me know on thursday night. my gal pal came running over, all upset, on saturday afternoon. she had lost all of the purim wigs and her gloves. she actually, expected that i would be upset, too. i told her that it was no big deal. we would simply go to plan 'b' and wear human grey wigs. afterall, we were trying to emulate the queen of england. i gave her a pair of short white gloves and a short grey wig.

as soon as shabbat ended, i did the dishes and then jumped into a shower. i then tried to get into my dress. i needed my girl friend to zip me up and safety pin me shut. i gave her something to wear and i started making up my face. i wasn't going for glamerous, but somehow, i achieved it. i wore my mom's mink stole and long white gloves.

my girl friend decided that she didn't want to go to the all female party at the chabad house. she opted for the mixed party at a gallery in the artist colony. i left her off at the gallery and climbed up the hill to the chabad house in the old city. when i got there they were just in the middle of the megillah. afterwards, i decided to try to start the show, because it was really getting late. we really wanted to make it to the other party.

we asked the mc's if we could do our shtick first, as we were planning to leave. we were rejected rather easily. afterall, they had their rules and regulations. we hadn't gone to the grand rehearsal in the monsoon rains. who were we anyway?? i had originally, planned to interrupt the show from the audience, after a couple of acts, and spring into our shidduch shtick. it would not have gone over very big here. this group were, way, too serious for us. it didn't matter that we had iniated the first purim party at the chabad house many years ago. as we were told, that was then, and this was now.

we left in a mock 'huff' and promised to return to perform. we shlepped over to the other party and it was dead there. as soon as i arrived, i was ushered onto the stage and given a chair to sit in. they announced that the queen of england had arrived. i sat there and gave the queen's wave, while they snapped my picture for a while. it was pretty neat. a little girl begged to dance with the queen. i put my stole around her and swung her around. she was so happy.

my pal and i made our way back to the stage and did an impromtu skit. she grabbed the mike and asked me what i wanted from her. i answered that i wanted a shidduch. that got a big laugh. we got a round of applause when we told the crowd that we had just been kicked out of the chabad house. my friend then broke into her humorous song called 'he's gorgeous'. i pranced around her and made adoring faces. it was a huge hit. those little kids really loved us!

we then made our way back to the chabad house and they were only up to the 5th act. we were supposedly, the 16th act. we ended up staying, way too long. i felt very guilty about ditching my friend so we left again. it was nearly midnite. when we got back to the gallery my friend had already left. so, we shlepped back to town and i caught a taxi home. i was really frustrated, having missed the dance party and not being able to perform.

when i got home, my friend wasn't here. i somehow, got out of my dress and took off my stage makeup. she finally showed up. she had gone to the chabad house to find me and had returned to the party, too. how we didn't run into each other is still a mystery. she got a ride back home. i ended up being on the phone with my gal pal til 3:30 a.m. it was almost impossible to fall asleep.

i got up at 9:00 a.m. and got ready to hear the megillah. i felt like crap. i didn't know how i was going to be ready for the meal at 3:00 p.m. i got back from shul and poured myself a pina colada. forget about coffee! i felt better immediately, so i kept on drinking while i set the table, made the chicken and salad, put the food on the hot plate and gave out shaloch manot to neighbors.

on saturday, i was feeling goofy. i put a stocking cap on my head to feign baldness, and then put on the white knitted kippah with didelocks. everyone laughed hysterically, so i decided to wear it for the purim meal. i had told my friend that we were all dressing up in leopard. i knew she'd flip.

my girlfriend came over early. she was dressed as a chassidic rebbe. she really looked like a little man. i decided that she was the 'kvetcher' rebbe and i was her bacchur. i made facial hair with my mascara and darkened my eyebrows. i put on a long white dress and looked like a yemenite chassid. we went next store to the neighbors and shocked the heck out of them. i gave out shots of whiskey and left.

we gave out chocolate lollies and bags of nash to everyone we met on the street. when the guests arrived, i invited them in to the kvetcher rebbe's tish. i kept on drinking and served the meal in character. i blasted jewish trance music and stayed by my rebbe's side throughout the meal. zvi came home and nearly plotzed when he saw us. i looked so much like him, it was scarey. we then went on to another household to hear the megillah and do our rebbe shtick.

i then went to visit my sister who was shocked to see me dressed up like that. i ended up at gal's family for awhile and then went home with gal. i stayed in bed all of monday. i had wanted to visit the seniors but i couldn't get it together. i spent the day eating left over purim chocolates. i even, fell asleep in my costume. i somehow, managed to clean off the makeup. i had sahar with me yesterday and today, and i may have him tomorrow, too. i don't know when i'll get my place in order.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Business As Usual

it's 5:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just got home a little while ago. it took over an hour for the bus to come. the town was very crowded with visiters today. the school children were dressed in their purim costumes today.

i didn't sleep a wink last night. i looked at the posted photos of the fogel family who were butchered by arab terrorists on friday night. usually, you do not see these type of pictures in the media. after a terrorist attack, you see the empty shell of a bus, or the broken glass and debris from the shops. you never see the victims. you usually are not shown blood. the zaka volunteers come to gather all of the blood and body parts to bury. you are always shown pictures of the victims from happier times.

this is the first time that pictures of this nature were seen on the net. the family agreed to it. you cannot imagine the carnage that these terrorists, may they be struck down, managed to do in a very short time. i will spare you the details because by now, it's probably been discusssed on the american news. i also, cannot talk about these horrors any more.

i looked at the clock last night and it was already 4:00 a.m. i wondered if it was that last cup of coffee that i had or the realization that true evil does exist? i didn't want to go to the senior's center this morning. i just wanted to stay in bed.

i was tired and depressed. i figured that they would probably be holding the purim party for the seniors today. i came to the conclusion, that it was probably, better for me to join in. i had my friend's costume queen dress with me and luckily, a long red purim wig. i didn't have the strength to get undressed and put on the queen dress but at least, i donned the red wig and started dancing.

after a while, i really was feeling joyfull. many of the seniors were dressed in costumes and some even did a bit of shtick. it was a great success. we have to go out of our way to make joy and simcha. we cannot let our persecuters rob us of that. i stayed with the group until after lunch and then made my way to the open air market. yes, wednesday is still shuk day in zefat.

i ran into my son and grandson at the shuk. sahar saw me and wanted me to hold him at once. i left him with his other grandma and merrily went on my way. i was on a mission to find black gym pants for my friend to wear under her chassidic robe on purim. mission accomplished! for only 25 shekels to boot.

as i said, i waited in the hot sun for over an hour for the bus. i should have just jumped into a taxi. sometimes, i pick the wrong time to be frugal. today was one of those times.

i had wanted to get home to make the meatballs for the purim seudah on sunday. i've already made the turkey stew meat, non dairy chocolate rum icecream, and two batches of frozen rum drinks. tomorrow is a fast day. i guess the meatballs can wait until then. that's if i don't have sahar tomorrow. on saturday night, the little 'genious' climbed up to my apartemnt and entered all by himself. i turned my back on him for a moment yesterday, and found him on the third floor.

after a month on the south beach diet, i didn't lose more than a pound or two. i ended up binging last shabbat on rum balls and chocolate ship cookies. i was pretty disgusted with myself. the remedy doesn't seem to have helped me this time. i can barely zip up my queen dress for purim. it doesn't look all that pretty from the belly and behind, either. i have been on a raw veggie and fruit diet all week. i hope that this drastic measure helps.

i've been eating green salads with cucumbers, oranges, bananas, avocado, tomatoes and apples, all week long. i indulged in a mustard and honey vinagrette. who knows? perhaps this will finally get that huge stomach to go down a bit. it has been pretty tasty.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Making Hamentashen

it's 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just finished making a few dozen hamentashen. i was 'off' today and needed to use the apricot filling that i made a few days ago.

i've only made hamentashen once before. i totally forgot how to make the triangles. i went through a hand full of pastry circles until i finally got the hang of it. the dough was easy to work with so i decided to make up another bunch. the second dough was not all that easy to work with.

i usually use rye or whole wheat flour when i bake. this time, i used mostly all white flour with half a cup of whole wheat flour thrown in for good measure. i used unrefined cannola oil which has a very strong taste. i didn't have any other oil.

the first batch of hamentashen looked professional. the second batch wasn't so good looking. i started making some with a poppy seed filling but it tasted very bitter. perhaps the poppy seeds were stale or rancid. i will see how the filling tastes in the morning. i don't know if i really want to make any more hamentashen, at all.

i finally got all of the purim costumes and accessories for the kids. i bought a cute and very inexpensive mickey mouse costume for sahar. i also have the lion costume that i bought last week. i decided not to return it. i bought minnie mouse ears for gal. i also got her a pair of red poka dot gloves. i cut off the bottom half of an old poka dot dress to make a skirt for gal. i simply made an elastic wasteband and voila!

i added decorative gold stickers to zvi's zorro hat and cape. i bought a really cheap sword. i din't buy the zorro sword. it was 13 shekels. i already spent hundreds of shekels on purim shtick. i reckon that a 5 shekel sword will suffice.

my niece called me bright and early to let me know that the purim package had arrived in dehli. my little grand nephew was very excited, indeed. he was running around in his cape and persian crown. his dad loved his knitted kipah with long sidelocks attached. my niece loved the disco ball earrings and sequinned hat. i am so happy that i made them laugh all the way over in dehli. the little 3 month old ballerina was sleeping so she didn't get to try on her outfit.

yesterday, i took sahar to town with me. he napped while i hit the purim stores one last time. i spent nearly 3 hours there. i brought him over to gal's parents, afterwards. gal was supposed to visit a friend in that neighborhood, after work. as usual, the plans changed without my knowing about it.

the younger kids were home from school already. purim music was blasting and there were tons of costumes strewn all over the furniture. i shlepped over remnants of taffeta material because the boys want to be clowns this year for purim. in the meantime, they put sahar in a leopard material outfit and drew whiskers on his face. he was quite pleased to look at himself in the mirror.

i made some macaroni and salad for the kids when they got back home last night. they haven't gotten back yet tonight. i wouldn't mind having tomorrow off too. we shall see.

they are predicting a cold spell again and are even talking about snow tomorrow. we have had summer like weather for over a week. i am not looking forward to a snow storm. i had to put on my down coat when i ran down to the super. yesterday we were running around without coats.

i still have to finish the 2 queen dresses for the purim shtick. my friend called to say that they are scheduling a rehearsel for the purim shtick. i want to be spontaneous. i will not be censured by any committee. i will simply show up the night of the party and i'll do my shtick. or maybe, i won't do anything at all. we will see, won't we!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tired In Zefat

it's 7:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i got up half an hour ago. i don't have to babysit or do too much of anything today. i'm planning on going out to shabbat dinner with the kids.

i should do a major clean up because there's laundry all over the place and the floors are all filthy from the rain. i also have to make the hamentashen dough because i made the apricot filling on wednesday. right now, i don't have the energy to make myself a coffee. i have this nagging headache from yesterday that won't go away.

i went to the seniors' center yesterday but it was not a fun day. the electricity was off and we couldn't play music or make hot drinks. the russians who play live music for the group were off on a 3 day trip. i looked around for murry, my pal from brooklyn, but i couldn't find him. i figured he was down the hall in physiotherapy. finally, i asked if murry had come in.

i was told, rather, matter of factly, that murry had died. i was in total disbelief and started crying. i didn't want to upset the other seniors so i stopped crying right away. never the less, my heart was aching. it still is. i only got to know murry for a year but he became a part of my life. he reminded me so much of my dad. it was like having my dad alive again. murry was a good man from brooklyn who worked hard and took care of his family. he adored his wife doris. he had just turned 85.

doris, like my mom, took care of her husband and was devoted to his well being. she moved to zefat a few years ago to be near her only grown son and his family. one of her grandsons moved in to help her with murry. doris had worked in a doctor's office back in my old neighborhood in brooklyn. we had so many of the same references. she had given up a pretty good lifestyle in florida and then in nahariya to come to zefat.

murry used to tell me about their love of ballroom dancing. murry had hardening of the arteries and was suffering from dementia. he was the only one in the group that knew my name and actually asked about me. he was highly nervous and i spent most of my time there trying to get him to calm down. we had long conversations about baseball. we were both lamenting the fact that 'american idol' wasn't being shown on israeli cable this year.

i knew murry loved doris but he never spoke about his stepson or the grandkids. i guess he couldn't remember them so well. i went over to visit doris yesterday. i wasn't quite sure she was up for visitors. she agreed to have me visit but she didn't want the social workers to come from the center. murry had spoken about me to doris. he had appreciated all of the attention i had given him.

i came home from the center and made some blueberry muffins and a vegetable lentil soup to bring to doris. i needed to see her. she's in shock mode. it hasn't hit her yet. she's not crying yet. she's a stoic, just like my mom was. murry had a huge heart attack and they found him on the bathroom floor. it took the ambulance 25 minutes to get there. he was still alive when he got to the hospital which was 5 minutes away. the head doctor said that he didn't have a chance.

doris said that murry was a fighter. he seemed pretty with it the next day and told doris to go home and get some rest. he then told his daughter-in-law to make sure that doris is taken care of and he went to sleep for good. murry and doris had been married for 36 years. he met her when she was a widow with a young teenaged son. murry was called 'poppie' by his grandkids who adored him. it was so good to see where he lived and meet his family. doris showed me a photo of murry from the 70's. he was so handsome!

i met doris at the center's chanukah party. i invited her and murry to come over for dinner sometime. it was just too hard for her to manage something like that. murry was a handfull. doris never slept. doris is an elegant lady. may she find comfort amongst the mourners of zion.

shabbat shalom!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Rum Is In The Air

it's 7:00 p.m. on wednesday evening in the holy city of zefat. i just finished eating a plate of stewed tomatoes, kidney beans and eggs. i was really craving a hot meal. i had some cottage cheese and chopped peanuts and walnuts, earlier today.

i went to the post office bright and early because they were closed yesterday. the postal clerk didn't think there was enough time to get it to dehli by purim through the regular mail. i ended up paying more for express mail than what i would have spent to buy new costumes. that's the price you pay for waiting for the last minute. i started this project weeks ago but only got my niece's address this week. i was also hoping that someone from israel might be heading to dehli soon.

i ended up sending a feather boa with the other items. it all fit into a large mailing envelope. i packed each outfit in a seperate plastic bag. i also sent a package of purim clown napkins, and some paper eye masks and crowns. i hope this will help bring simcha to the dehli chabad house. i really hope that my niece takes pix of the two kids dressed up. i didn't get the chance. i also hope that the outfit fits my nephew and isn't too small.

i spent my morning and afternoon making purim chocolates. i made clown lollies, masks, megillahs, groggers and hamentashen. i also made 4 different kinds of rum balls. i kept on licking the batter from my fingers. i nearly got intoxicated from all the sugar. i ran out of corn syrup right away. i simply, substituted honey for the remainder. i also made an apricot filling for hamentashen. hopefully, i'll make the batter tomorrow. i'm way too tired to do anything else this evening.

i'm still not certain what i will give out for the purim gift food packages. i intended on using some of the rum balls. i'm not sure that i made enough. i really dread making any more. i still have to make a poppy seed filling for the hamentashen. not tonight, believe me.

the cable guy came at 2:00 p.m. but the t.v man never showed. at one point, i ran out of ground walnuts and started using ground peanuts. i then took out my new little food processor and started grinding up walnuts. the chocolates were also a bother. i guess i was tired today. i want to make up a batch of white chocolate molds using white chocolate chips.

i am planning on making some non dairy chocolate rum icecream, too. i think the little food processor is strong enough to chop up ice for my frozen dacquaries. i'd like to make up all of the desserts a head of time because they will freeze well. perhaps, i can also cook up the turkey stew and freeze it too. if i don't have to cook for the shabbat before purim, i'll make the purim meal on friday. i usually have sahar on fridays, but i've learned how to cook around his nap times. i've ruled out making quinoi for the seudah because it was expensive. i bought brown rice instead.

i hope i'll get over to the seniors' center tomorrow. i prefer going there on thursday because it's fun when the musicians come. we shall see.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Purim Is Getting Real

it's 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. today is wednesday and i'm off today. i've had sahar all week. i took him with me to the homeopath on sunday because there was no one else available to watch him. i kept him in his playpen all morning, while i did a bunch of laundry. he sat very quietly listening to his brachas book. he fell asleep the minute i put him in the stroller. he slept through the bus ride and woke up the minute we entered the homeopath's office.

luckily, he didn't disturb us too greatly. i got a new remedy and i think it's working. i feel lighter and more active already. she recommended getting someone else to watch sahar so i can get out again and go back to exercise. i'm thinking about returning in the spring. it's getting closer even though it's still freezing in the house.

i walked to town yesterday with sahar. it felt good. i felt in my stride again. i went to the toy store to buy some more costumes and things for purim. i got a zorro mask, cape and hat for zvi. i got the cheap kids' kind. i wasn't going to spring for the more expensive adult version. i think it's funnier this way. i also got a black hat with fake long side locks for a friend. i bought a big knitted kipa with long side locks to send to my neice's husband in india. i bought a sequinned cap for my neice and sent a pair of long, dangling earrings to match.

i spent a long time at the second hand clothes store and finally found a chassidic robe for my friend to wear with the black hat with side locks. i love dressing people up. another friend came over on sunday night and i fixed her up with a 'classic' beauty pageant look. i even threw in a pair of long white gloves.

i'm on my way to the post office this morning to mail the purim package to india. i'm a little nervous that it may not get there in time. purim is 19 days away. it's getting real. i should start making the rum balls and hamentashen and chocolates real soon. i think that i'm getting more in focus now.

i have to be back by 11:00 this morning because the t.v repairman and cable technician are on their way. we bought two new wall screen t.v.s this week. i know it's a lot of money but we are paying it off in 10 payments, each. i will take one of the heavy t.v sets upstairs for my rental. gal's sister is taking back her t.v. that we were using for the day room for sahar.

i still haven't gone back to the dentist to have my bridge made. i'm kind of thinking about implants now. i met a friend in town and she was not so thrilled with her bridge. i'm not so thrilled about not being able to chew for a few months, either. we shall see.

i think i finally have my purim menu down. it includes: beef meatballs, turkey stew, sweet and hot chicken wings, wrapped cocktail franks, rice and lentils, pareve chili and a huge green salad. i will make salmon fillets for the veggies in the crowd. i bought a package of bareka dough so i might make the sephardi eggs in a basket to give out for the shaloch manot. all i need is energy.