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.