Sunday, December 30, 2012

Going Away

it is 4:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i went to town, but  didn't get anything done.  it was a waste of my energy.  now when the nurse asks me, on a scale of 1 to 10, how tired am i, i can answer 9, easily.  i am really not feeling good.  i did go to bed last night at 4:00 a.m.  i am ashamed to admit that i watched hours of violent movies.  i saw 'midnite express' and 'scarface', but i can't recall what i watched after that.

i woke up in a panic.  i called the hospital to confirm my appointments for chemo and radiation tomorrow and then i broke down and started crying.  i am really scared.  i  don't have any energy to pack.  i don't know what i'm doing.  the house is in order, at least.  the bedroom is still cluttered up wtih clothes strewn all over the bed.  i meant to put everything away.  it didn't happen.

i read different sites of what to eat on chemo.  apparently, i've been feeding the cancer cells with all of my cravings for cake, chocolate, icecream and pizza.  and here, i thought,  it was zelda who wanted the comfort food.  who knew????

i am tired of thinking about all of this.  i want to call it a night.  i need to cut my hair before i leave.  i need to pack.  i need to put away my clothes.  i need to cook and eat some salmon.  i am already feeling queezie.  i  managed to buy a hard covered note book for my journal..  i have my meds, my organic toiletries, and i want to make some oatmeal to bring with me.  i read that it is good to eat a small meal before chemo and another, before radiation.

i bought a small alarm clock, in case i sleep too late in the morning.  i haven't been getting up at 5:00 a.m. lately.  i usually pop up at around 7:00 a.m.  i haven't a clue  what to wear tomorrow.  i read that loose clothes are the best.  i also read that some people gain weight on this treatment.  can you imagine doing all of this and also getting fat???

i still need to take down all the mezzuzahs in the home.  i am beat.  can't do anything.  am trying to just breathe.  i want to cry.  i am so out of my league here.  i don't want to say anything negative.  i'm willing myself to feel well.  i better get up and eat something or cook something.  the house is already cold.  why am i nauseous??  i hope it isn't a virus or reaction to the shabbat food.  i am having a hard time.  when was the laat time i packed to leave my house?  would you believe it was 13 years ago?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Dancing Til The End

it is 9:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  last night i went to a wedding.  i was trying to convince myself that i was too tired to go.  i was back in 'invalid' mode.  i got a late start to town and i called a taxi.  i picked up the rest of the meds for nausea and went over to the health food store.  it's funny, that all the meds list nausea as common side effects of the meds.  catch 22 or western medicine?

i bought a natural toothepaste, deoderant, and liquid soap.. no more aluminum for me, right now.  i was tired after a short time.  and i was ravenous.  i stopped in a little pizza store at the end of town.  no one was there.  i sat down and devoured a lovely slice of pizza.  it tasted like ambrosia.  i waited a moment and ordered one more slice.  i couldn't finish it but i was happy.  i have never eaten 'junk food'  and pizza was never something  that agreed with me.  suddenly, my body wants icecream, crembos, pizza, shwarma and i don't gain weight.

maybe this disease agrees with me.  i am being ridiculous, i know.  i saw a young lady in town wearing a purim wig.  she worked at the toy store.   i was so delighted to see her.  purim is my favorite time of the year.      i got such a rush of happiness.  i wanted to say that purim is a state of mind.  and everday can be purim.

i got to the wedding and couldn't wait to see the yeshiva guys.  they have never seen me all dolled up.  they have never seen me with hair.  they have seen me in kerchiefs with a little grey hair showing, and without makeup.  they freaked out.  it was just like purim for me.  heads turned.  the rabbi looked in shock.  his mouth was wide open.  it was so much fun.  and then all the ladies came running over to tell me how great i looked.  i hugged and kissed and hugged some more.  i was surrounded by great ladies.  half of the table were cancer survivors or patients like myself.  we all gave each other blessings for good health.

i decided that i couldn't dance.  after all, i have cancer, right?  then i saw a very lovely lady who i've known for a while.  she has had MS for years.  i recently  saw her riding in a motorized cart.  there she was, standing and walking on her own.  i ran over to hug her.  she told me, that as of late, she has been feeling well.  i decided right then and there, that if she could walk, i could dance.  and i ran over to dance with the bride.  i then started a wild dance in a corner with a few of the over 60's club.

we all went insane.  we were rocking and rolling.  the younger girls with hypo energy , came running over to rock with us.  we were being caught on video.  we were the hit of the wedding.    we were on fire.  my farhead was soaked with sweat.  i learned yesterday, that you can be happy and have cancer.  i learned that zelda is still here.  i realized that the doctors have only seen scared little zelda.  they didn't meet zelda, the dancing queen.  they don't know me.  i am loved.  i have a good life.  i am fun to be around. i am a survivor.

i got to speak with several of the guys from the yeshiva.  i gave them hell for smoking.  i also gave them tons of brachas.  one of the younger ones, who has made me his surrogate mom, yelled out ' i love you'.  i smiled and told him 'right back at you'.  i caught another guy staring at me. this one is the 'tough' guy.  i turned my head , caught his eye and smiled back at him.  it was a intimate and lovely moment.  i will treasure all these moments forever.

i am going to my son's for shabbat meals.  this is my farewell shabbat.  i hope my grandchildren are well.  doesn't matter.  everything is good.  i finally get it.  love is all you need.    shabbat shalom.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

They Don't Get It

it's nearly 10:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  my son just called to ask what i had in the house to make him a breakfast.  it took all of my energy just now to heat up a glass of warm milk for myself.  what do i have in the house?.  let's see.  i bought a bag of rolls yesterday, a bag of milk and a bag of dog food.  i bought a shwarma for dinner and i had a roll with avocado.  i also ate 2 israeli crembos, a poor man's mallomar.  i  never eat these.  i am starving.

i do not have the energy to cook.  my son asked if i could make shabbat meals for them.  are you kidding?  he doesn't get it.  i launched into a rant.  a quiet one, but nevertheless, a rant.  i told him that i am in no shape to cook, receive guests, or be a guest.  i cannot babysit anymore.  i cannot worry about his overdraft anymore.  i cannot have them live here now.  he wants to move back home.  his rav thinks that would be a tremendous chessed on my part.  does his rabbi know what cancer treatment is??  does his rabbi know how tired i will be?.  or how tired i already feel?

does his rabbi know that i already blew my savings and inheritance the first year they moved in?  does the rabbi know how much noise they made and how they disrespected me?  Does the rabbi know that i raised their first child and gave up my yoga and exercise regiment?  does he know how the kids used huge amounts of water and electricity and refused to pay for i?  does he know that the kids left my house wothout letting me know and that they didn't speak to me for 3 months?  does he even know that i was kept from seeing my grandchildren during that period?  does he know that none of their problems is really my problem?

i must maintain my stance.  these kids do not know how to budget.  they do not listen or take advise.  i cannot afford to bail them out.  giving them money that i can't afford to give away, only goes into their black hole.  i am broke and am out of work.  i am relying right now on the kindness of my siblings.  i can't afford to share it with my son.  that sounds awful but it's the truth.  i am in no condition right now to make any major decisions.  is their rabbi going to co- sign on their lease?  will he reimburse me when they don't pay the electric bill?

everything these kids have , i bought them.  stove, refrigerator, beds, closets, table and chairs, couches, candlesticks, kiddush cup, even silverware.  i wanted them to start off right.  the other parents gave nothing.  they had nothing and gave nothing.  i gave whatever i had.  i didn't save a penny for my future. i still have the house and will probably have to sell it.  but right now i can't think about all of this.  i have to remain calm.  i cannot leave the quiet zone.  i start chemo on monday.

i just got a a call from one of the sephardi clan.  i actually like this lady.  she has been sick for a while.  she always smiles and you would never know that she isn't well.  she is one of these fanatic sephardi returnees to religion.  i respect her beliefs.  she is amazing!

now i have blown the entire morning.  i got to get to town now.  to be continued...........

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's On

it is 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i called the radiology department at the hospital today to inquire about a date for the treatment.      they told me that no date had been given and that it was usually a 2-3 week wait after the simulation process.  about  half an hour later, someone called  my sister to say that  the chemotherapy  treatment would begin on monday.   was that a coincidence or what?????

i had just told my sister that i didn't mind a week off but she wanted my treatment to start immediately.  i managed to catch up on all the laundry yesterday.  i put away a couple of chanukiahs and washed the dairy dishes this morning.  i  had a rendezvous with a potential suitor at 11:00 a.m.  we drank hot chocolate and talked.  we ordered a sundae glass of whipped cream but hardly touched it. unfortunately, we talked so long,  that i missed getting to the health care office.  all in all, i think is was worth it.

i bought a cheap new cellphone because the ringer on the old one was broken.  that explains all the missed calls, i had all summer long.  i filled up the card so i will have plenty of conversations, while i'm away.  i managed to bring in the denim skirt for repair, so i will have a confortable skirt for tel aviv.  i bought an adorable alarm clock for only 8 shekels in a junk store.   i also bought a bottle of  good vodka and a few bags of cookies and nash for the yeshiva guys.  i went to bid them a farewell.  i gave out brachas and had a little vodka on an empty stomach.  that's the best way to drink vodka.  they didn't replace me.  they are giving the guys catered food packages.  it broke my heart.

by 3:00 p.m. i was tired.  i couldn't hang out anymore.  i needed to get home.  i stopped off to buy a turkey meat sandwich.  i was ravenous.  i couldn't wait to eat it.  i schlepped my tired body to the super to buy dog food.  i returned home to be attacked by my two very hungry dogs.  the three of us ate the shwarma together.  i had most of it.  i was still hungry after the sandwich.  i ate about 3 tangerines from the tree.  i have an abundance of citrus fruits this year.  i wish i had the strength to cut a lot of fruit to send to the yeshiva.  i just don't.  who knows? maybe tomorrow.

i still need to go to the health food store.  i want to buy non metal shampoo, toothepaste, soap and deoderant.  i need to stop by the health care clinic to get more forms and then buy more meds.  i saw the gardener this morning and paid him for the next two months.  i want to leave zefat with a clean account.  when i got to the super they greeted me with a bounced check.  i was just at the bank this week trying to clear up everything before i left.  they didn't mention a word about the check.  i wonder how many more they bounced.  the gardener. told me about a new cancer therapy where the person is put into starvation mode for 60 days.  after a while the body starts eating it's own cells, and preferably the mutated cancerous ones.

i wished him luck but i could never do anything like that.  i enjoy eating too much at this point.  i may not be feeling like that in a short while.  we shall wait and see.  i think my sister spoke with the nurse and let her know that we finally got a starting date.  she insisted that i call the social worker so that she could process the paperwork for the hostel.  i didn't fall into that trap.  the social worker told me, natter of factly, yesterday that it was not her job.  i refuse, from now on, to have any expectations of things happening as according to plan or schedule..  i won't waste any more of my precious energy worrying about the bureacracy any more.

"i don't care anymore what they say cause its my life" is my new montra.  i've decided to  visualize my tumor shrinking during radiation.  i've decided that ' i will survive' is my other montra.  zelda is in the house.  zelda is back.  long live zelda!!!!  zelda will journal and blog and participate, and be a light to less fortunates.  zelda will do okay.

zelda asks everyone to pray for her recovery or do an act of kindness every day for someone.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Staying In

it's 11:15 the holy city of zefat.  the weather was nasty this morning so i decided to stay in.  i got settled back into bed and decided to watch some t.v.   i pressed the wrong button and there went my watching t.v.  my son was already on the road so he couldn't jump over to assist me.  what a boob i am.

i took it as a heavenly design for me to get off my behind and function.  i went downstairs to do some laundry.  there is a t.v. downstairs but i don't know how to work it either.  i washed a load of wet bath towels that had been on my balcony for quite some time.  they came out quite smelly.  i had to wash them again.  i had a power outage and lost all electricity for a while.  i sat outside on my porch and consumed a pint of choclate almond icecream.  i  tried to have some last night but it nauseated me.

somehow, i'm not concerned about by weight right now.  i am actually, back to my weight that i was 4 years ago, after dieting very strictly for my son's wedding.  i figure that the chemo will take care of the rest of the weight loss for me.  unless, i prove, to be the only one in history, who gains on chemo.  wouldn't that be a joke!.  i honestly don't give a hoot how i look, anymore.  sometimes i add a bit of gold under my eyes to look a bit more life like. i noticed yesterday that my face looked okay.  i suddenly wasn't so swollen  under my eyes.  the bags were beginning to look like steamer trunks.

i have so much to accomplish this week.  finishing the laundry,  putting away all the dishes and pots, doing the floors, and organizing my hospital papers, are just among some of the .herculean jobs to get done.  my mind is racing.  in my mind, i can do it all today.  it's almost like starting pesach clean up.

i did start putting away all of my clean clothes and rearranging my drawers.  i got bored.  i wanted to go out and go over to the large pharmacy and shop for things.  i realized that maybe i should buy an organic deoderant now.  that's something to do tomorrow in town.

the student of the social worker called me again this morning.  i became instantly enraged.  she wanted me to take care of having the medical carrier fax the hostel when i got my date.  she wanted me to arrange everything and left me the phone numbers.  i was told specifically, by both the family doctor and head of radiology that i didn't and shouldn't deal with the bureacracy anymore.  i told the student the same and she spoke to the social worker.

the social worker called me and once again, in her ever so soft and sweet voice, let me know that she wasn't taking care of any of this.   once again, she invited me to call her whenever i wanted.  she's lucky that  i didn't raise my voice or call her the 'b' word.  i wonder how high my usually low, blood pressure rose.   screw everyone!!!!!

the house is ice cold again and i still have lots to do.  i can't get the t.v. to work anyway, so i guess i should persevere to finish a project.  it's  back to the laundry room for me.  i must have over 30 sheets that the grandson pished through in the last few months.  i sure hope that the towels smell better. my dryer doesn't seem to help with israeli towels.  i've always hung them out in the sun.  ain't no sun right now.  we are going to be using the dryer all day long today.  the electric company is going to do well by zelda this month.  that's the story.

does my blog need a warning?  like:   'reading this blog can cause double vision, swelled heads and agita".

Monday, December 24, 2012

More Things To Do

it's 9:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just got back from visiting a neighbor.  i had borrowed a bottle of canola oil and a cup of salt recently, and i wanted to return them before i go to tel aviv.  she made a point of telling me that salt must be returned. i think it's a sephardi thing.  i remember that another sephardi neighbor told me once, the same thing about eggs.  i do try to return everything that i borrow, when i remember.  before rosh hashana,. i remembered that i still owed another sephardi neighbor 20 shekels for a cab . i went running over to repay her.  she didn't want to take the money.  i had to beg her to take the money so i could go into rosh hashana without debts.  i  guess that is another sephardi thing not taking money..

the weather was nice today so i ventured out to do some of my errands.  as soon as i got to the bus stop, i realized that i had left my cell phone at home.  buying a card for the phone was on the top of my list.  i also  forgot to take my denim skirt that needs a new zipper.  i debated whether i should return home or not, but i simply, didn't have the energy to run back home.

i had to concentrate and remember which bus stop to get off at.  my body still thinks it's going to the yeshiva to cook.  i walked up to the main post office to get the $ that my sister sent  me through western union.  i waited a very long time.  there weren't that many people there but each person was taking a long time.  i got the money and thought about going to the old age center to say hi but i still had so many things to do.  i went straight to the bank in town to get my new bank card.  i had chosen my parent's old address in brooklyn as my secret code.  they had already selected a code for me.  bummer!

i took the stairs and went down to the doctor's office.  there was no one there.  i thought i had a good chance of getting the prescriptions for the anti nausea meds in record time.  the doctor was on a break.  suddenly, a lady sat across from me and started coughing up a storm in my direction.  she didn't make an effort to cover her mouth either.  she told me how sick she was and i immediately,  jumped up from my chair and ran into the nurses' station in sheer panic.

i requested that the nurse bring the forms into the doctor while i wait in the nurses' room.  i figured that the really sick patients wouldn't come to see the  nurses.  i think i sat there for nearly 2 hours.  i could hear the woman coughing out in the corridor for a long time.  the nurse offered me a tea and i started crying.  i told her that i couldn't seem to get a handle on my feelings.  she suggested that i see the social worker.  that was actually, on my list of things to do.  i was going to 'crash' the social workers' office without an appointment.  the nurse went in ahead of me and the social worker refused to see one more patient.  i got an appointment for next week.

i then got 4 out of  5 prescriptions and went over to the pharmacy to buy them.  i have to wait until tomorrow to get the consent form for the 5th medicine.  that's the one that 'tricks ' your brain into not knowing that you're nauseous.  i hope i won't be forced to take this medicine before my chemo.  i don't want any part of it.  the pharmacy didn't have the 4th medicine.  he had to order it.  i thought about going to visit the yeshiva but i felt too weepy.  it was now 1:00 p.m. and i knew the stores would be closing until 4:00 p.m.

i decided to go home.  i felt i had done enough for today.  i was tired and feeling crampy.  i was also starving.       i had skipped breakfast.  i decided to go to my good pal's house for lunch.  sure enough, they were just sitting down to eat.  she quickly made up a plate for me.  she suddenly got up and went over to her state of the art keyboard and started giving me a concert.  she played and sang for 4 hours.  i ended up joining her for some oldies.  i felt like i was on a cruise ship.  i actually got up to dance for her disco finale.  i was so relaxed.  i didn't get to do laundry but i didn't care, either.   it never made it on to the 'list', anyway.

so tomorow, if the weather is nice, and i have some energy,  i will go to town again to complete more items on my list.  by the way, my granddaughter's virus hit everyone except for me.  thank goodness my immune system is still working.  i explained to my son, that during treatment, i will not be visiting the kids.  it breaks my heart but my immune system will be very compromised and i can't risk getting viruses.

i called the hostel yesterday and they can supply kosher mehaderan food for me.  i don't have to schlepp a pot and burner and worry about cooking warm food.  i tried to speak to the social worker from the hospital but she blew me off.  sound familiar??  not only didn't she return my phone message, she had a student call me.  it took me a while to realize that i wasn't talking to a professional.  i told the student that i wasn't her homework and that i did not appreciate being passed off to a student.  i asked her to pass on the message to the social worker.  the social worker did call me back but gave me a second of her time.  she was ever so soft spoken on the phone, and told me to feel free to call again.  i give up!

my homeopath feels certain that she can help me through the side effects.  i have been so utterly brainwashed by the doctors and nurses against alternative meds for the side effects, that i nearly refused her help.  hopefully, i 'll get to see her before i start the treatment.  i was an advocate for my parents for years.  we managed to bring homeopathic medicine into the ICU for dad.  we told the sephardi nurses it was blessed water from a sephardi tsadick.  they gave him the pneumonia medicine every day,  he actually, survived 2 bouts of a hospital bug before he died.  i have to stand up for zelda now.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Things To Do

it's 9:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  today is a fast day.  i am exhausted.  i stayed up until  2:30 a.m. to watch the talent portion of the X- factor.  it is sunny but cold outside.  i don't have the strength to go outside. i have a lot of things to take care of this week.

i called the nurse in the oncology ward to find out if she got to speak to the social worker on thursday, to get me into the hostel.  she won't be in until after 2:00 p.m. today.  i tried calling the social worker directly.  i left a message.  i am feeling a bit agitated already.  i am trying to stay calm.  i don't have the strength to raise my voice.  i am fasting.  i want comfort food.  i want a hot drink.  i want to have energy to move.  i have none.

my son just stopped by.  apparently, one of the shabbat guests caught this virus, that they claimed didn't effect adults.  he is now throwing up.  my son also feels like crap.  i feel like my number is up. i feel like a time bomb.  i am terrified at the thought of getting sick before i start the chemo and radiation.  i have to start dealing with all of this on my own.  the kids are too ignorant to understand what is going on.  my throat is scratchy and i coughed a lot last night.

i have to go to town to get 4 prescriptions of meds to fight nausea and a consent form to buy the fifth one.  that's 5 meds for nausea and 5 stages of grief.  originally, they said that the tumor was 5 centimeters.  what's up with all the fives, anyway?????  i  need to buy the 5 meds before i get to the treatment..  i also need to go to the post office to pick up the money that my sister sent.  i then need to go to the money changer and get shekels.  my sister also wired money directly into my bank account. this will probably  end up biting me in the behind because you  are not allowed to show foreign currency when you are in the social system.  my poor behind has already been tatooed and will be the focus of the radiation.

i am trying so hard not to get emotional.. i am beginning to feel panic.  i am also feeling awful.  i have a bit of nausea.  maybe this is a good chance to practice how to vomit.  i am struggling with finding the good in every scenario.  i am angry inside my gut.  i am screaming inside my throat.  i am going to start crying now.  it's not because i'm  feeling why me?  it's more like i'm thinking how am i going to cope with all of this.

i need to clean my house and get all my papers in order.  i need to buy toiletries and socks, and underware and more pads.  i need to buy boots.  i can't even stand up today.  i need to do a huge amount of laundry.  i don't feel well.  i just paid part of my enormous water bill by phone.  one less office to visit .  i need to buy a card for my cellphone.  this all involves going to town.  i can't make it today.  i can't will my body to move.  i am cold and sick.  i am feeling depressed.

do i call a rabbi and use the 'c' card and break the fast?  or do i call the doctor and ask if i am allowed to fast?  that both requires energy.  i don't feel well enough to talk to anyone.  i am waiting for the social worker to call me back.. why does everyone leave us poor cancer people hanging all the time??  this makes me mad and i feel the rage coming closer to the surface.  i wonder how high my usually, low blood pressure is rising.  i am becoming a real character.

my friend in new york has adopted a more extreme approach to life.  her theme song is an old hard rock song by phil collins called  'i don't care anymore'.  i am guilt ridden by the fact that for the past two months, i did nothing healthy.  i ate what i felt like and didn't do any walking.  i had fried donuts everyday and ate bad chanukah milk chocolates. i didn't eat any greens and i drank hot milk at night.  i want to eat better during the tratment but i read such conflicting info.  one page from the mayo clinic lists fruits that are great anti-oxidents.  another page warns against eating said fruits.   another page said that jst one bite of lettuce could be fatal.  what's a cancer patient to do???

i thought about visiting an holistic nutritionist here in zefat but  i've been warned that she is fanatical.  i don't think i can be fanatical right now.  i feel that it's a bit late for drastic food changes.  yesterday, i had store bought applesauce for breakfast.  it was so soothing.  i also have been eating a lot of white challah with goat butter.  i've kind of let my body decide what it wants to eat.  everyone and his mother is doing an elimination diet right now.  i think the chemo and radiation will do that for me with a lot of bad side effects to boot.

i feel like the bubble girl right now.  don't touch me and don't breathe on me.  i am losing my mind completely.  i have the social worker and the nurse on my mind.  i can't think about anything nice.  the list of things to do is getting bigger.  it's beginning to choke me.  my niece and sisters want to shop for me.  my sister doesn't like my bras.  in normal times, bra shopping is traumatic, but now????  i wouldn't survive it.  where are all the volunteers to take care of my dogs???? why should i care how i look during radiation and chemo?  i just keep on remembering how mortified i was lying on the scanner for 25 minutes with my very white, flabby and dimpled exposed .behind sticking out??  is there nothing sacred anymore????

at least, i quit my job.  don't have to worry about that anymore.  i thought  that i'd have some energy to go over today to introduce the new cook.  i even imagined that i'd be up to spice shopping to restock the cupboards.  sheer fantasy on my part.  i can't even stand up and go into the bedroom to put away all my clothes.  my mind is racing towards purim and pesach.  i don't have a clue what will be.  i got to take it one day at a time.  today is a write off completely.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Five Stages Of Grief

it's 8:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the minute shabbat ended i turned on the boob tube to see who won the x-factor.  it was a no brainer, i guess.  i started feeling depressed today.  after i did my blog on friday, i started reading about the radiation treatment.  it was a big mistake.  as i read about chronic side effects and  the chances of the treatment causing more cancer,  i got angry.  i have to admit it wasn't towards G-d.  i think it was directed at the doctors and nurses.  i realize though,  they are just messengers of G-d.   i have to turn my head around.

i am a loose cannon.  one minute i'm laughing and the next i'm crying.  i  seem to have panic moments.  not the real deal of an actual panic attack, where your chest contracts and you can't breath.  it's more like i keep on thinking about  the what ifs.  i am torturing myself and i seem to enjoy torturimg my  family.  i am not a tsadick.  i am a witch.  i can't seem to settle down.  i feel like an invalid already.  i saw an old lady in a wheelchair back in october, while i was at the zefat hospital.  i didn't see any family around her.  it was like seeing my future.  i was terrified of becoming that lady.  since then, i see an old lady alone in a wheelchair wherever i am.  in every hospital i see her.  i am haunted by her.  i get freaked out every time.

i went out this morning to the end of the street.  i haven't walked with the dogs in weeks.  it wasn't really cold and it wasn't pouring.  we have been blessed with downpours lately.  as i walked the empty street, i revelled at the fog.  i have always enjoyed a good walk in the fog.  i walked normally.  i wasn't in any discomfort and i didn't drag my leg.  lately i've had a lot of pressure in the groin area and have felt a weakness and strain in my leg.  i actually enjoyed the moment.  i was at peace.  i dreaded seeing a neighbor, but they were all holed up in their warm homes.  the men were at shul.  i  didn't want the moment to end.  i sat outside for a while drinking a cup of tea.

i no longer drink coffee.  the smell nauseates me.  i've  made several cups only to throw them in the sink.  i've made the very, trendy move to drink green tea.  i like spearment.  you don't get a high like form caffeine, but it's soothing.  i enjoy tea.  i never trusted tea drinkers.  my ex- husband was a tea drinker.  need i say more? i've always kept a fair variety of teas in the home, as part of my being a good hostess, but i never drank any.

i got back home after my stroll and decided that i needed to sleep.  i didn't have any shabbat food or rolls but i didn't care. i didn't feel like eating.  i wanted to sleep.  i decided to pray.  i haven't been able to utter a holy word since i got my diagnosis.  i finished praying and decided to stay in.  i was supposed to go to my son's for lunch.  i also had a standing invite at my friends' on the next block.  i decided that i didn't want to see people.  i wanted to sleep the day away.  i was having some quality time with the pooches.

just as i was getting nice and cozy in bed, my son and his friend came over.  they wanted me to join them for lunch.  i really didn't want to go.  i got dressed but i put on too many layers because my bedroom was like an ice box.  i kept a heater on next to the t.v. couch all shabbat long.  this is not the time to be miserable and cold.   as soon as i got to my son's home,  i was miserable.  my grandson was making too much noise and my grandaughter had a virus.  another toddler was there and was coughing up a storm.  i went into panic mode.   i made a big fuss about not wanting to catch anything.  then i felt like an old fool.  it's hard to be gay when you're hurting and frightened.  i find it hard to be around gorgeous young things, too.

last night i walked through the freezing cold to go out for the evening meal.  it was only about a 7 minute walk but i was miserable.  it was cold at my son's place and i was very uncomfortable.  my grandson was acting up and hit me in the face with one of his toys.  i was beside myself.   my granddaughter was puking all over herself and i was not a happy camper.  the food was really great and i ate up a storm, actually.  afterwards, all i kept thinking about was all the side effects of the treatment.  i started crying.  the young lady guest told me how beautiful i looked in the wedding pix.  i felt the need to explain that once i was beautiful.  and even though it was only 4 years ago,  i experienced bells palsey, right after the wedding..  tell me, who would really want me at their dinner table?

the kids wanted me to sleep over but i bolted out the door and ran home in the freezing cold.  i think i begged my son, in case of my demise, to let my sister have any furniture that she wanted.   i got the house and all the 'antique' furnishings.  i've been paying through the nose,  to insure these nearly broken down antiques, ever since.  i am out of control.  i told my son that it is not his job to make me happy.  i need to find my own happiness in spite of this disease thing.  i have to come to terms with it and find a way to love it  and accept it.  i can't lose patience with the rest of the world who aren't sick.  living at the hostel is my best shot.

i need to be with people in my 'c' club.  i need to join group sessions.  i need to find a way to love myself.  this is an impotant life lesson.  i hope i'll enjoy being in tel aviv and feast on the atmosphere.  maybe if i'll have enough energy i'll be able to take walks on the beach.  my family sent me a bit of money to hold off the creditors for now.  i might get some assistance from the state, once i start the chemo.  then i'll be a bonafide invalid.  i'm praying that i will eventually regain my strength after they destroy my immune system. .i  guess that's why they call it the 5 stages of grief.  but do i have to have all five at the same time?

i called my son up on purpose to tell him who won the x factor.  that was tonight's spiteful moment.  to continued.....................

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Cancer Club

hi everyone!  it's nearly 10:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i know it's been a really long time since i posted.  since the holidays, i have been running to gyn doctors, doing ultrasounds, taking biopsies, doing ct and pet scans,  and finally last week was diagnosed with cervical cancer.  i will be leaving my home for 8 weeks to undergo radiation and chemotherapy at a top notch hospital in tel aviv.  i will be staying in a hostel and arriving home for shabbat.

i have been shlepping back and forth to tel aviv for the past two months.  in between hospital appointments, i continued to work at the yeshiva.  i faithfully, cooked for them and mothered them as best as i could.  during chanukah, i fried up a storm.  i actually made latkes and homemade applesauce for them on the first day.  i don't think i ever fried up so much food in my life.  i fried corn fritters, turkey schnitzels, eggplant, and fish.  i continued to make hot soup and meals for the guys, until this week.  i couldn't go on.

i started having to sit when i peeled the veggies.  i know for many of you out there, this is a tried and true method of food preparation.  for me, it was a sign of defeat.  i knew it was time to take a break.  i was able to find someone to take over for me while i am gone.  i didn't want to leave them in the lurch.  i think this cancer thing is my chance to get away and finally take care of zelda.  i know this is an extreme test but i guess i need it.

to say that i am calm is a lie.  i am terrifed.  i am mortified too.  i am in a process of total submission.  my body now belongs to the technicians, nurses and doctors.  for someone, who has never been really sick, and mostly used homeopathic remedies, this is huge.  for someone like me, who is a homebody and never travels, this is huge.  for someone who needs to be in control, this is huge.  to suddenly be at the mercy of incompetent  bureuacrats  just to get to do tests, receive the results and see the doctors and get diagnosed, is huge.

i have been using up a lot of my energy and mornings, for the past couple of weeks, pursuing the results of my biopsy.  it took over 27 days to get a diagnosis and be told that the biopsy wasn't clear.  i have been terrorized by doctors in zefat from the beginning.  at my first ultrasound in the emergency room,  i was told that i probably had a cancerous growth.  i was hospitilized overnight to do a CT, even though i live nearby.  i was told that i would probably hemorhage, when i signed myself out of the hospital against medical advice, when they didn't perform the CT.  i returned the next morning.

 i was told that they wouldn't perform the biopsy unless i was fully anestetized in the operating theater.  i was also told that in the event of a serious rupture of the tumor, i would be receiving a total  hysterectomy.  i was scared to death of doing a biopsy. i was scared to death to be defenseless in zefat.  i asked for a second opinion with the top man in tel aviv at sheba hospital..  it took a month to get an appointment at the clinic.  in the meanwhile, the pap smear came back,  showing that i had a carcinoma.with 'squamous' cells.  i tried to look it up on internet and was abruptly, 'welcomed'  into  the world of cervical cancer.   i couldn't read any further.  i wasn't ready to know.  i still held fast to the fantasy that it was only pre-cancer cells.  i actually,  had tried to convince the doctors  that it was merely, a fybroid tumor at first.

the local gyn called me at home to tell me that the pap results weren't good. i had forgotton all about the pap. when i asked if i had the big or little C,  he just told me that it wasn't 'pareve'.  i ran to his office, which is located in my neighborhood.  he handed over the results in a sealed envelope.  he told me to go to the family doctor.  he didn't explain one thing to me.  he did finally,. give me a letter to fax to the sheba hospital to urge them to make an  earlier appointment.   i did receive an earlier appointment, but the incompetent secretary, forgot to call to let me know, so  i had to wait another 3 weeks to see the specialist.

in all honesty, i enjoyed the 3 week break from doctors.  i was terrifed of  them.  the specialist doctor proved to be my angel.  he spoke to me very nicely.  when you request to speak in english you are treated nicer here.  the doctors find it more sophisticated.  not so, with the bureacrats.  they get hostile.  they are threatened and behave downright, rude.  i did the biopsy and didn't hemorhage.  i was euphuric.  then i needed to get a pet ct.  and the 'fun' began. i was running to the doctor for the referral and waiting for the health carriers' consent.  who was i, 'zelda the elitist', who wanted to go all the way to the center of the country to do these tests.  didn't i know that angels didn't exist.  didn't i  know that bad things do happen in these places, too?  why not go to rambam in haifa?  what's so bad about waiting a month?   what can happen in a month or two???   we then started calling all over the country to get the earliest, possible  date.  i had appointments in 3 different hospitals until i got a quickie tour at ichilav.  then i was back to the doctor for more referrals and waiting for consent forms once again..

one morning shortly after the biopsy, i started bleeding.  i was in sheep panic.  was this the hemorhage that they had been warning me about from the start??  after a short time i was fine. i wanted to go to work.  my sister insisted that i see the doctor here.  the kids came to take me to tel aviv to check it out.  the doctor here said to go to the zefat hospital.. i refused so i  got another referral and away we all went.  it turned out to be nothing.

 the results of the pet scan  were ready in a few days.  i  still  had to get the incompetent sheba secretary to fax the ichilov people.  the incompetent secretary hesitated to fax the ichilov people.  she didn't 'like' the fax number i had given her.  she had my sister call her back 3 times with the same number.  each time she said it couldn't be right.  in the mean time, she agreed to send the fax.  i checked  with the impatient bureaucrat at ichilav the next morning.  they never got a fax from sheba.  i freaked and confronted the incompetent secretary. G-d bless her, she stood by her story.  she didn't know where she sent the fax but she was sure she sent it to the number i gave her.  she kept on mentioning the bellinson hospital.  i told her that dealing with her was like being in the twilight zone.    she got angry and hung up on me.  but you better believe she finally sent the fax and the results were in..

so now i had the pet results but no biopsy.  i threatened her that if i didn't have those results and a new appointment for the diagnosis then i would call the head of the hospital.  i also called patient's advocacy and got them involved.  so i finally got to see the specialist on tuesday. i waited 3 hours.  i also got to see the head of radiology.  what a character???  i went yesterday to start the process.  i was simulated.  i don't exactly know what that means.  it's a scan.  i was also tatooed.  my backside looks like a child played  tick tack toe on me while i slept.

i will be starting treatment in about 10 days from now.  i don't know if i'll have access to the internet.  i'd love to keep you all informed.  for those of you who pray out there, i'm known as zelda bat tcharna.   may we all have good news.  shabbaat shalom!

Friday, October 5, 2012

End Of A Chag

it is 10:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. a friend came over to help sort out my computer technical difficulties yesterday. i am trying to blog with a new set up. it isn't easy for someone who hates changes. we had a barbecue yesterday. nothing fancy, just chicken wings, spicy franks, hamburgers and chicken steaks. my friend did all of the work. my other friend's husband, who was supposed to be 'manning' the grill, got sick and couldn't come. her son wasn't familiar with a non gas grill, so my friend went into grilling mode. she did a great job. everything was succulent and nothing was dry. those californians really know their barbecue. being form the east coast, we didn't have much experience with cookouts. we had an hibatchi once, but it didn't get used too often. my mom did the grilling. i can only remember an occassional barbecue or two. dad was clueless when it came to grilling. he only learned how to boil water for his instant coffee, after he retired from the post office. i went in each day this week to cook for the yeshiva. i had been given a two week vacation. as too why i volunteered to come in, is still a mystery to me. i am not normal. i have been incredibly tired this week. we have had an insane heat wave for the entire chag. it has been most debilitating. i finished putting up all of my sukkah decorations the morning of the holiday. i was in the sukkah for 7 hours. i strung up dozens of fake plastic fruit. i did not have a good time. it was more like an obsession that went really wrong. i am getting to old for this. my body does not spring back any more. i have to cook shabbat meals for the kids today, and i'm procrastinating going to the supermarket. i need more veggies, water, drinks and grape juice. i really don't want to cook. the kids are coming for the holiday on sunday. why i got this double header, i don't know. last shabbat, the kids decided that i needed some 'alone' time with my grandson. they agreed to his sleeping over. i think my daughter-in-law said that she didn't care where he slept. i believe that she actually said that she didn't care if he slept in a refrigerater. what a vote of confidence! i have to make a cholent now because i accidently took out a package of kishka yesterday and put it on the grill. i thought it was a package of franks. i guess i got to get cracking. it looks like rain. last shabbat, the kids, primarily my son, decided i needed some 'alone' time with my grandson. he got to sleep over. my daughter-in-law agreed. i believe she said that she didn't care where he slept. in fact, she said that she didn't care if he slept in a refrigerater. what a vote of confidence in me! my grandson wet our bed and i woke him up at 2:30 a.m. to pull off his wet clothes. i hadn't been given a change of clothes. i changed the sheets. he got up and wasn't going back to sleep. he was super hyper and i was super irritable and tired. he finally passed out around 4:30 a.m. i don't think that i recovered from that even though it was a week ago. i hope i dond't get another chance tonight. does that sound unloving and ungrandmotherish?

Monday, September 24, 2012


it's nearly 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just got home from work. i've been super busy lately with cooking holiday meals for the yeshiva. the boys are going on hiatus next week and i was given the time off, too. some of the boys are sticking close to 'home', so i volunteered to come in once a day to make one festive meal for them. i know, i am pathetic! i just felt so bad for the guys being left on their own to fend for themselves. i got to work around 9:00 a.m. this morning and there wasn't a student in sight. i took out last night's bulgar and rice leftovers and cooked some barley and carrots to add to it. i didn't make enough and some guys didn't get any. i have no clue who's here and who's there. i boiled up a large amount of eggs and mashed them up with fried onions. i didn't resort to mayonnaise. the produce hadn't yet arrived, so there were so salads. it was a real drag because i needed to make five meals and i couldn't get started without any veggies. i cooked for tomorrows' 2 seudahs before the fast of yom kippur. i put up a vat of prepared fish sticks but the oven was taking way too much time. i think it took 2 hours today. i was just about to hit town when the veggies arrived. i quickly peeled and hand grated carrots, squash, onions and potatoes to make a kugel. it also took over 2 hours to bake. i made a quick whole wheat dough without eggs, to make kreplach. i wrapped the ball up and refrigerated it while i continued to cook. next, i made a clear and plain chicken soup using wings. i intended to make kreplach to put in the soup. i then put up two chickens in a pot with onions and carrots. i didn't add garlic. i just added a pinch of paprika and lots of fresh parsley and dill. you are supposed to eat bland foods before the long yom kippur fast. i then made a pot of spicy red lentils for lunch. i made a huge pot of white rice for the meal before the fast and another huge pot of mashed potatoes for the morning meal. i had a bit of leftover pumpkin soup so i put it out for lunch with the lentils, kugel and fish sticks. everyone at the yeshiva is sick, including myself, so i handed out bowls of 'jewish penicillin' chicken soup to all the guys. i soon realized, that i hadn't really prepared supper for tonight. i think i actually, gave it out during lunch. i made a barley and veggie soup for the vegans for their last meal before the fast. i then fried up a bunch of hake fish. most people don't like this fish unless it's fried. i was getting exhausted and i didn't think i'd ever make it out of the kitchen. the army jet planes were zooming by all morning long. war is in the air. i was feeling quite nervous. i have been hearing the sounds of distant booms for days. the army is absolutely up to something. i was wanting to go home and sleep in my bomb shelter bedroom, all morning long. i was close to having an anxiety attack. one of the students was melodiously, going over some texts and i found myself feeling calmer and calmer. the noises of imminent war soon ended. i washed up all the pots and pans and put all the food away. i labelled everything and left instructions. i took a bit of soup home for myself for tomorrow. i wished everyone an easy fast and made my exit. another 7 hours on my feet. one of the 'boys' told me that i was a very special lady and that my head was on right. he also said that a lot of guys had stayed on because of me. once a jewish mother..... as i was leaving, i took out the ball of dough to see if i could easily roll it out. forget about it! it was a disaster so i threw it back into the freezer and quickly made a few noodles. then i left. so much for the kreplach. i am too tired to boil water for a cup of coffee. i spent the entire day, cooking, and i didn't even have one drink. i have been suffering from pains in my legs for days. my lower back also hurts. i have got to get myself back in shape one of these days. in the meantime, i must atone for all the terrible gossiping that i have been doing freely, lately. i don't know what's gotten into me at all.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

An Old Story

it is 8:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i should be going to work about now. i am a bit agitated. my son just called to let me know that he and wifey are going out of town for a few days. that's without their kids, of course.

i didn't have to cook breakfast yesterday. i came in to work about noontime to prepare lunch and supper for the guys. it was a bit weird to be home in the morning. i was tired from shabbat and couldn't do anything. my dirty dishes are still in the sink. i left work after 5:00 p.m. and went over to the spice store to stock up on spices. my cooking is only as good as the spices that i use. i don't use flavoured boullion cubes in my kitchen.

i spent a bunch of money and luckily, ran into one of the guys, so i didn't need to lug the heavy package home with me. on my way home, i saw an open house event at the local childrens' gan. i wondered if my grandson was going to such an event at his new kindergarten. i wanted to participate, too. i called the daughter-in-law to ask if she was going over to the new gan. i was told that there wasn't any such happening over there.

the new gan is close to my home. i assumed, that i would be asked to pick up my grandson from time to time. when i asked if daughter-in-law was going to spend the morning at the gan on the first day, since she works, i was informed, after the fact, that she had already quit her new job. the baby, however, will remain in daycare until she finds another one. i was also informed that i needn't buy party goods for my grandson's third birthday party next week. i was asked to buy some jello and non dairy whipped cream, and i was given the green light to make chocolates, cookies and a cake. wow!

i asked if they were going to make a small family birthday party on shabbat, the boy's actual birthday, but she didn't feel the need to do so. of course, they are going to her family on his birthday. i only get them when they are too tired to make shabbat on their own. she expects most of the clan from hadera to com. i don't know any of the details, yet. why would i? i am never told anything until after she and her mother decide what to do. i have absolutely, no say in what goes on. why should i? i don't even know if they are going to invite my family. but then, i don't even know if my family would attend. i am miserable. the only respect and admiration i seem to get, is from the guys, whom i cook for.

i was completely, flabbagasted to hear that the kids were leaving on my grandson's first day in kindergarten. the baby only started daycare last week. too. i can't relate. my parents never left us kids, overnight. i left my son only once, when he was two. the idea that the other family get the kids for 3 days, brings back bad memories of the last time the kids left my grandson with them. i don't want them overnight. i would have a hard time getting them to gan and daycare in the morning. but still, i would have liked to be informed sooner. i am bummed out. i am, once again, being treated as the outsider. if i want to know how things are going at the gan, i have to hussle on over to the in-law's to get a report. i feel so cheated.

my daughter-in-law doesn't allow my grandson to sleep over on shabbat. but it's fine to leave the kids for days there. i am always the odd guy out. i am always made to feel like the babysitter down the block, instead of the grandmother. i am so hurt. i have just started to have a relationship with my granddaughter. she will forget me now. i am so not loving this!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Shabbat Shalom

it is 11:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i have the grandkids with me. i jumped out of bed at 6:00 a.m. and started to wash the floors. i also, did the dishes, that have been sitting in my sink all week.

it was a long and hard week. i put in, at least, 6 hours each day at the yeshiva. the busses were running on holiday schedule so it took forever to get home. instead of the usual 15 minutes, it was more like 45 minutes. i went to the music festival each night, and it took over an hour to reach town. if i had, had the strength, i would have walked to town. i didn't.

the first night, i did walk home, i simply. couldn't wait another minute for the bus. i had gone to hear the yeshiva's band and i was, indeed, wired. i made it home exactly, at the same time as the bus. i went three nights in a row. i left each night after the set ended. they played from 8-10 p.m. each night. i didn't stroll around and check out any other music. i was too tired.

i ran into my nieces and nephew on the last night. i hadn't seen my nephew in a year. he's learning in college in new york. i went to the seniors' center on thursday and they were having a klezmer event. i sang and danced with the best of the old folk. i got back to work late and ended up staying til 5:00 p.m. i made a chicken pot pie, of sorts, for them. i didn't get home until 7:00 p.m. i stopped off at the super to buy a few things for shabbat.

one of the older guys from the yeshiva is coming to stay for shabbat. he'll sleep downstairs in the guest apartment. we are going to a mutual friend for lunch. my son called to ask me to babysit at 8:00 p.m. of course, i had just gotten undressed and into bed. i agreed, even though i was tired. i was still feeling guilty about not babysitting, the night before. i had made plans to meet up with a galpal and they wanted me to come over for an hour before that. i flatly refused. i felt weird for hours afterwards.

my son picked me up and we went to get the kids from the other family. sahar was beyond tired and threw, one, enormous three year old fit. he kicked and pinched me while he thrashed about in the back seat of the car. he ripped off my head covering, too. he passed out about 5 minutes after we got home. shenhav followed suit a little while later.

i cannot get a thing done today. shenhav is whining and sahar needs a nap. last night, i got driven home and asked if they could come for shabbat. i had managed to buy some things earlier, but i needed to hit the super again, this morning. i ran into a friend who also, wants to come for shabbat. at least, the house is clean. it will be a simple meal. i told the kids that they'd have to manage on their own for lunch. in the old days, i would have cancelled my lunch plans. not now. i look forward to seeing my friends tomorrow.

i made a pool outside for sahar. while i was inside. diapering the baby, he made one enormous dump inside the kiddie pool. it took a while to clean it up and refill. while i was blogging, sahar drew all over his body with a magic marker. are we having fun yet??

Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting Ready To Rock

it is nearly 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. tonite starts the 3 day klezmer music festival in zefat. town is already one hot mess! it took a while to get home from work. i did a 6 hour shift today. my legs feel like lead. i am tired.

the men from the yeshiva have a chassidic rap group. they are performing each night for a couple of hours. i want to go back to town, in another hour or so, to check them out. they need all of our support. they are so dedicated to the 'cause'.

i got to work this morning at 9:30 a.m. i stopped off at the bakery to buy a couple of loaves of rye bread for breakfast. the supermarket was nearly out of eggs again. i only bought a couple dozen. i usually buy 3-6 flats of 30 eggs each, for the week. i made humus from scratch this morning from the dried chick peas that i cooked yesterday. the boys went slightly mad with joy. i had to use a small hand blender stick and my hand was killing me after a while. it did taste good. it wasn't as smoothe as the store bought, but it was chemical free.

i boiled up the meager 24 eggs and put up a pot of diced potatoes. i spiced them up with tumeric, grill spice, and hot paprika. i didn't spare the oil, either. the boys loved them. i found a couple of melons outside the supermarket and i assumed they were up for grabs. they were actually, delicious and much better than what our supplier delivers. the veggie delivery came just as i was serving breakfast, so the guys got a huge salad also.

i made a huge pot of saucy and spicy vegetables for lunch, to go with the left over pasta. i usually serve this with couscous but i am out totally out of grains. i cut up cabbage, onions, green peppers, pumpkin, carrots, squash and tomatoes. i threw in the left over potatoes and chick peas. i made sure to add chili flakes. the guys like it hot.

i made up a tray of peanut butter and oatmeal bars for lunch. they are a bit gooey but the guys love them. they are eggless so my vegan friend can partake. i made a quickie red lentil soup for dinner. i grated the veggies to make it cook even faster. i opened up an industrial sized can of tuna, sliced in some onions, and left for the day. i just realized that i could have added mayonnaise because the 'anti- mayo' guy left the yeshiva today. wow, what freedom! i can start making egg salad and potato salad again with mayo.

there is a young guy from sough africa, who is beginning, to get on my nerves. he doesn't eat white flour so i can't serve him pasta or couscous. he wants to eat healthy so he buys fruit and veggies on his own and gets in my way when i'm cooking. i don't like the guys reaching into the closets for spices. now, i'm missing several plastic containers and their covers. this is very annoying to me. i spend ,way, too much time serching for things in 'my' kitchen.

this south african kid got a bite or something on his arm and came up the next day all bandaged up. he looked like he had suffered a bad burn. somebody gauzed him up and told him to keep it bandaged for a few days. he thought it was a serious tick bite. apparently, it had flaired up a bit. i, zelda, the tick expert, told him that it wasn't a tick bite. it could have been a spider. they seem to have a few of these pests at the yeshiva. i asked to see the wound. he didn't want to take off the bandage. i, zelda, the yenta and classic jewish mom, insisted on looking at it. there was nothing to see. it was a non event. this clown was planning on going to the doctor. i told him that he didn't need a doctor.

i can't just cook food. i am not a cook. i am a jewish mom and grandma. i give too much. it would be too boring if i couldn't interact with the guys. i need to nurture. i am not a caterer. speaking of catering, next week is my grandson's third birthday. it is a milestone in jewish law. a boy gets his first haircut at three. he gets a pair of tsitzis, (garment with fringes) and he gets his first yamukah (skullcap). he looks like a boy now. he's no longer a toddler. he goes to kindergarden. he starts to learn the alphabet and how to read and pray.

the kids are planning on making a dinner at the local bomb shelter near the inlaw's house. they will cater it. i have already bought chocolates to make lollies for the occassion. i have tsitzis molds and haircut molds, believe it or not. i am welling up with tears at the thought of it. i am so emotional. i wonder if i'll live to see this boy to chupah. i'm a nut, i know.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Shabbat That Didn't

it is 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i haven't been able to blog lately. i have simply, been too tired. i have been cooking and standing on my feet for a minimun of 5 hours a day at the yeshiva. i have come back home every day to rest a bit. i have passed out on my t.v. couch each day from the heat. i have roused myself from the deep sleep at night fall and have been up all night, subsequently. i was not able to do anything in my home. house cleaning and laundry was out of the equasion.

i had friends visiting from efrat and they arrived a day early. i had the utmost intention of doing a thorough cleaning job before they came. they landed right in the midst of zelda's house of chaos. luckily, i had managed to buy some bread, cheese and milk for breakfast. i get to see these friends once a year. i had hoped to make a festive evening and invite some friends over for a barbecue. my friends had other ideas. they were planning on going over to teveria for a couple of days of hot baths and chinese food.

i was quite frustrated. i had to work the next day and they were planning on leaving after noon. i suggested that they stay for an early barbecue before leaving, and they agreed. i went on to work and produced 3 meals in rapid fire time. i was finished by 1:00 p.m. i completed it all in about 3 and 1/2 hours. a new record for me. of course, i didn't bother baking any kugels, or making anything complicated. i got back around 1:30 p.m. and the grandkids had already been dropped off. a good friend was holding the princess when i arrived.

i took the kids outside to fill up the kiddie pool. they splash around and i get wet and cool off. it's a win/win situation. my son and his friend went out for quite a while. they came back with fresh steak and lamb chops. i had put out spicy franks, kabobs, chicken wings, and chicken steaks. i guess, that wasn't quite good enough for my son. my grandson wanted marshmallows. they were all out of them at the supermarket in town. i had stood on line for 15 minutes just to buy coals. i even took a cab home to get back as quickly as i could.

the guys did all the work while we women, sat outside in the shade. it was a delicious meal. my friends got ready to leave right after we ate. i was left with the kids. my son told me, after a few beers, that he had lost his job. i was rather perturbed. he went home to 'chill' right after the barbecue. they came to pick up the kids after 9:00 p.m. both kiddies were fast asleep. i was ready to collapse.

i went to work the next day in a state of extreme fatigue. i could barely speak. my son called to ask me to babysit after work. he arranged for his wife to pick me up in town at 3:00 p.m. i was under enormous pressure to finish cooking. i had visited the senior's center for a few hours that day and had only returned to work at 1:00 p.m. lunch is served at 2:00 p.m. i stopped off at the supermarket to buy some eggs. i quickly fried up some onions and canned mushrooms to make an enormous pot of scrambled eggs. i reheated some pumpkin soup from the night before. i cooked up a bunch of carrots and onions and added it to the left over couscous from breakfast, that no one ate. i also reheated the rest of the macaroni in tomato sauce, from the day before. i sliced up a lot of tomatoes and onions for a salad and the guys had one hell of a lunch.

i still had to make dinner and get out of there by 3:00 p.m. i had a lot of pots to wash, too. i decided to make spaghetti. i know that it isn't the most nutritional of foods and i know that the kid who doesn't eat white flour would be out of luck. and yet, i went for it. one of the other young men on a specialized diet, was hoping that i would make some rice. i didn't. i couldn't. i simply, was running out of time. spaghetti was the fastest thing to make. rice would take too long. i was out of bulgar and i had already served couscous twice that day. usually, i would make a side dish of lentils, but i didn't. i quickly threw the rest of the canned mushrooms into a pot with onions and a lot of garlic and ginger and dried chili peppers and added soy sauce. i made some kind of salad and ran out the door.

i had the kids until 9:00 p.m. the baby was in my arms all day. my grandson was hyper and overtired. i was beside myself with exhaustion. i wanted to relax. i wanted the kids to come and pick up their kids. i wanted to lie down. i wanted to cry. the kids finally arrived with a present for me. it was a very belated birthday gift. it was a huge mahagony photo stand with current pix of both grandkids and their parents. the kids wanted to know if i liked it. i just wanted them all to disappear. my son let me know that they would be coming for shabbat. didn't i know??

i woke up and ran to the little supermarket first thing on friday morning. i had some fish in the freezer. that was about it. i bought challahs, milk, 4 kinds of drinks, grape jiuce, fresh corn, potatoes, chicken, packaged smoked turkey, icecream and two kinds of ices, tomatoes and cucumbers, melon , almonds and sunflower seeds. it came out to 350 shekels. i was able to make two payments. i had to take a cab home. it was too much for me to carry. i had just gotten home and undressed, when my son called for me to babysit. he was out on his newspaper route and his wife had to get to her new job. i told her to bring the kids over.

i got another call from my son asking me to please just 'jump over' to their place. i was only supposed to stay until my son returned from his work at 9:00 a.m. i threw on my clothes and ran over to their apartment. my son didn't get home until 10:30 a.m. he wanted me to stay a little longer. he needed to shower, daven, and have breakfast. he then received a job offer from another winery in the same area where he had been employed. he was very elated. he needed to 'chill' and have a beer. he asked me to take the kids back to my house so he could relax. my grandson was super hyper and acting aggressive. i thought a pool would calm him down. i told my son to come around 100 a.m. to get the kids.

at 2:00 my granson fell asleep. the baby was another story. my daughter-in-law came to get the kids at 2:30 p.m. i gave her the baby and told her that my son should pick up his son when he woke up. i managed to make the chicken and fish while sahar slept. my son came to get him around 3:30 p.m. i scrambled to finish the shabbat meals. i made a honey cake, fresh corn, a mashed potato kugel with mushrooms and onions, couscous from the box, and an israeli salad. i even, opened a can of artichoke bottoms and made a vinagrette. i quickly picked up all the scattered toys and wet mopped the apartment. there was no time left to throw around any water. i set the table and lit my candles.

i was too tired to go to shul for evening services. the kids came around 8:30 p.m. we sat down to dinner and my daughter-in-law immediately, went into a tirade about why my son hadn't taken care of the kids that day. when he called to tell her that he was starting a new job, all she had to say was that there was no one to take care of the kids next week. her family was going away for the week. there was no mazal tov from her lips. i called up a friend to ask her to help me with the kids but that wasn't okay with 'queenie'.

after a while of her badgering my son, he left the shabbos table to lie down. he suddenly, wasn't feeling well. i had just served the chicken. my daughter-in-law was not happy being alone at the table with me. i served her tea and cake and she wanted to go home. they were here for about an hour until they left. my grandson wanted to sleep here but queenie didn't let. they left and i collapsed into bed.

i woke with a migraine this morning. any wonder? i had some coffee and cake but i couldn't daven. instead i read psalms. i took the dogs out and then put the food on the electric platter to heat up. i cut up a fresh israeli salad and went to bed. my daughter-in-law arrived with the kids around 11:00 a.m. she was a bit miffed that my son hadn't come back from shul. we sat for a while in the living room with the kids. she was getting bent out of shape that he still hadn't returned. i knew that he was retaliating from last night's tongue whipping, and wouldn't be coming back any time soon.

i suggested that we have some potato kugel and salad until he returned to make kiddush. she wasn't having any of it. she got up to leave. he returned at 1:00 p.m. and she left with the baby. no goodbye, no apology, no no nannette. my son was trashed. he looked disheveled. i was beside myself. all the food was still sitting on the blecht. i gave him his son's shoes and asked him how he could disrespect us like that. he just said that he didn't do anything. he left with my grandson and i was a bit concerned for his safety. i couldn't relax. i was fit to be tied. i tried to daven. i made kiddush but got nauseated at the thought of food.

i ate an entire box of icecream and almost finished the cake. how's that for self punishment? i spent the day aggravated and worried for this couple. i finally passed out for a bit. i awoke unrested. the migraine was stil there. i am truly fed up with their poor behavior. i think i am going to unplug the phone for a few days. let them deal on their own. i am finished!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The End Of A Long Haul

it is 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just left my son's place. i was babysitting both kids since 3:00 p.m. i couldn't take antoher minute. i needed to see my house and let the dogs out. i left this morning at 8:00 a.m. it has been a really long week.

i spent seven hours cooking on sunday, on monday and on tuesday. i left yesterday at 2:00 p.m. i actually, worked for 4 hours. i couldn't stand any longer. i felt at the verge of a physical collapse. i actually, had a dizzy spell, when i got home. luckily, i got a ride home from the bus stop. i also got an offer for a rental.

my plumber bought a house in the area and was able to sell his house very quickly. the only problem is that he has to vacate in the next two weeks and wants to rent the downstairs for a year. as much as i need the money, i can't see myself giving up my privacy and backyard for an entire year. i love to entertain downstairs and i love to hang out downstairs with my grandson. i'm just not ready for that type of committment, yet.

i spent the entire week baking goodies for the yeshiva. they were finishing up tracts of learning and i wanted to help them celebrate with cookies and cakes. i felt very joyous being part of their simcha. i worked very hard making eggless cookies from tahina and from peanut butter. the menu plan this week was meatless. i fried up fish and served up tons of the dreaded breaded frozen prepared fish sticks, too. today, i made very hot and spicy teriyaki like fish fillets. i made soup all week long, too. i cut up tons of tomatoes and cucumbers. i can hardly bend my fingers in my right hand.

i got cnfirmation today that word of my cooking 'prowess' has spread far and away in the yeshiva world. this is so cute! i had guys lined up today to eat lunch at the yeshiva. the kids were on a break this week but not me. i cooked up a storm. i think i made more food than ever before. there were less kids and they ate more. i stopped saving the peels. the guy in charge of the compost garden, split. i have to admit that it saves a hell of a lot of time throwing the peels directly away into the garbage. i don't even feel guilty.

i got to work at about 8:30 a.m. and made a vat of macaroni. i had wanted to make jam out of sour plums from a friend's tree, but it didn't happen. i went to the supermarket and bought a cheap jam to spread on to my cornbread. it wasn't at all sweet. i made a quick breakfast of boiled eggs, melon, red cabbage salad, chumus, and toast. and then i ran off to the seniors' center. i wanted to blow them off but i couldn't.

as it turned out, i was badly needed to cover during a staff meeting. at 12:30, i made my exit. there were two other helpers and i needed to finish up cooking. i had to babysit at 3:00 p.m. i made lunch which consisted of fish, rice, cole slaw, and veggie soup. i left at 2:00 p.m. i posted instructions about the night meal and wished everyone a good shabbat. i waited for the bus for over 40 minutes.

each day this week, i baked an extra cake for the guys to break the fast on sunday night. i managed to freeze left over rice and chili beans and brown rice with lentils. i made eggless cornbread, chocolate cake and oatmeal bars, too. that is for starts. if they are still hungry they can always order pizza. i did my best. i don't have to come in tomorrow or sunday. i am free!!!!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cool Again

it is 6:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. the unbearable heat wave broke last night. i am sitting in my blog room with the window open. i am enjoying the breeze. last week i couldn't be in my blog room at all. there was no air. it was the hottest room in the house. it was a sauna. the entire house was like a sauna. i don't know why i didn't turn on the a.c, as they call it here. it was nearly 104 degrees in the shade.

i would go to work, come home, and pass out on my couch. i couldn't move, once i got home. the house was a wreck. i was a wreck, too. i didn't maintain contact with anyone. i was simply, too hot to speak. i would see people bopping around in the heat, while i was literally, dragging my body to and from the bus stop. i fell ill last week. i don't know if it was a virus or dehydration, but i felt vile.

i had both grandchildren with me at home, and i couldn't cope. i picked up my grandson from daycare by cab. it was too hot to try and schlepp him to the bus stop. shortly after, my son dropped off the baby. he didn't bother to bring the stroller. i had the pleasure of holding the baby on my lap for hours. she was very crabby and i was even more crabby. i couldn't get her to take a nap because she's used to falling asleep in her stroller.

she spit up all kinds of vile hot liquids on me. i smelled like rotten cheese. i was nauseated by the virus bug and had terible stomach cramps. i wanted to sleep. i called my son, who was at home napping, and begged him to come and pick us up. i knew at his home, i could put both kids down in their own beds and then rest a bit. my son finally came to get us and i was able to get the baby off to sleep. my grandson was a different story. he was up for about another 2 1/2 hours in his bed. he kept on jumping out of his bed, while i was pasing out on the rug in his room. finally, he fell asleep and i did too, on the floor next to his bed.

my son came home around 10:30 p.m. and found me on the floor. i was too sick to walk home. my son drove me home. i don't know how i made it to work the next day. i felt awful. i couldn't get any fluids down. i couldn't eat a thing. i managed to swallow a hard peach, of all things. i did manage to cook for the yeshiva. i even made fried turkey cutlets. i don't know how i did it, when the smell of food was making my stomach turn.

i am feeling better. i finally ate some solid food on shabbat. i basically, drank yogurt shakes all week long. i couldn't get the yogurt down with a spoon, so i added milk. what a week! i never got to say farewell to my niece. they left on tuesday for india. i tried calling but no one there answered. it was a hard farewell for the family. i really feel for my sister. i couldn't take it.

the kids came for shabbat meals. i went shopping on my way home from work on thursday. i got up at 6:00 a.m. on friday and walked the dogs. there were tons of cows coming down from the valley. i got back and began to throw tons of bleachy
water all over the floors. the house was filthy. there was wads of dog hair everywhere. i turned on the air conditioner. i worked for 6 hours straight. and then i took a break and called a friend. i lost my momentum. i was tired. my son called to ask if i could watch my grandson all day while his wife cleaned her apartment. i actually, declined. score one for zelda!

i spent another four hours making the meals. i prepared too much. i threw together a quick chocolate cake but it turned out raw on the bottom. oh well! the kids commented that it looked like i made an effort to make a nice dinner for them. what did i use to serve, garbage? anyway, they were pleased. they ate and left right away. that suited me. i was afraid that my grandson would want to sleep over, but he went home with his parents, very willingly.

the next morning, i couldn't stand up. i couldn't make it to services, either. my body was kaput. my bad eye was half shut from all the bleach that i had used. i managed to get the dogs out and came in and laid down. i read the secular newspaper about the recent terrorist attack in bulgaria. my niece was planning on joining her friends there last week. my sister vetoed the trip. she had a bad feeling about it. the kids had a quick lunch and left with the baby. i was given the pleasure of watching my grandson. i managed to put my grandson to sleep on the couch next to me. we had a momentary blackout and the a.c. turned off.

my grandson slept for a few hours while i reads psalms. i also nodded out for a bit. when he got up, we took the dogs for a walk. he loves holding on to the leash. we got home from our 'nature' walk, had some juice, and i took him back to his home. the kids were going to friends for the third meal and i have an on going class at 7:00 p.m. i carried my grandson all the way home. i am his slave. i then literally, dragged my body to the class. it took a bit longer than a half an hour.

today, i got to work at around 9:15 a.m. i got up at 6:00 a.m. and cleaned up from shabbat. i washed the remaining dishes and pots and i washed the floor with a wet mop. i took my leftover challah with me to make the guys french toast for breafast. i was completely shocked to see what was doing in the kitchen. all the dirty plates and cutlerly and left over food was still on the counter. all of the left over salads plus the empty plastic containers were also left on the work table. there were two large pots full of leftover food. i couldn't ascertain what they were. both garbage cans were overflowing and flooded with flies. there were ants crawling all over my work space. i was totally livid.

i thought about screaming at the guy in charge of the kitchen. i tried calling the head of the yeshiva. i thought about going home. i decided to clean it all up and screw the guys. they could have plain boiled eggs and salad for breakfast. i manically, dumped out all the left over food stuff into the garbage and sink. i quickly washed up all of the pots and dishes. i banged things around. i made a lot of noise. i slammed the plastic dishes around, too. it took a good half an hour until i washed down the counters. i made about 25 boiled eggs. i ended up making some oatmeal, too. i wanted to let them know that they were missing out on some great french toast. i wanted to warn them that if this happens again, they won't get to eat my food. i toasted a package of frozen whole grain bread and i cut up a salad. i was steaming. there were only a few guys around. they are on vacation this week. too bad, no one let me know.

the rabbi came in to let me know that it's 'busy as usual' for me. i am to cook for the guys, as usual. i made a barley veggie soup without mushrooms. the shabbat cook used 'my' mushrooms for some dish that i ended up tossing out. i got all aggravated again. i made a bunch of potatoes. i cooked rice and i cooked up beans and chick peas. i couldn't decide what i was going to serve for lunch. i took out hake fish fillets to thaw out. i thought about making fried fish. i looked at the clock and there was no time to play around with fish. i had little time to get lunch on the table. there were a lot more guys now to feed. the vegan was actually going to eat today, so i wanted to serve something filling.

i ended up using the left over boiled eggs from breakfst to make a tuna salad with pickles and mayonnaise. the anti-mayonnaise guy was out of town. when the cat's away, the mice play with mayo. i also served a platter of oven roasted potatoes, a shredded cabbage salad, and a pot of barley veggie soup. while the guys ate, i ran downstairs to the supermarket and bought a can of crushed tomatoes. i diced up some carrots and onions and added canned corn. i then added a lot of different spices and chili flakes and turned the beans and chick peas into a vegetarian chili. voila!

i didn't leave work until 4:30 p.m. that's another 7 hour day. but who's keeping track? i am!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cooking With No Gas

it's 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. left the job at 2:30 p.m. got in at 9:30 a.m. that's another 5 hour day that i put in this week. i can't seem to beat this time. i didn't even want to go in this morning. i was really beat this morning. i didn't even walk the dogs. i simply, opened the front door and went back to bed. i may have fallen back to sleep. i can't remember.

i babysat for the kids for a short while last night. they needed to pick up some shoes that i store for them, in my downstairs apartment. my daughter-in-law tried her luck at selling them at the open air market place, today. it was boiling hot there. i stopped by after work to see how she was doing. as usual, i was made to feel like i didn't belong. i actually, made a sale for her. i chatted up a young american lady and explained that it was like a clearance sale. she ended up buying a pair of sandals. did i get any credit? of course not! my daughter-in-law thinks that i am a total incompetent, because i don't speak fluent hebrew.

why i'm still bothered by this i don't really know. i offered my help and i was rejected, as usual. i stopped off to visit my new friend. she lives on the next street. she actually lives across the street from my post office box. it's pretty convenient to drop in. we shmoozed for a couple of hours and i left.

i got a ride to town this morning. i was kind of, literally 'taken for a ride' if you get my drift. my neighbors down the block, stopped for me. they asked where i wanted to be dropped off and i told them obligingly, that the central bus station was good. they told me that after the husband got to the supermarket at the tail end of town, the wife would take me back up. i was too tired to ask to be let out of the car at the nearest bus stop.

i rode with them all the way to this supermarket and i was freaking out a bit. i should have taken the bus. i would have already been at my cooking staion by now. the wife dropped me off a good bit out of the way for me. i gerded my loins and advanced up to town. i was totally exhausted by the time i got to work. there was no gas. yesterday, the gas stopped and started up a bit, so i thought that we'd be okay today.

it was already too late to bake a kugel or cake for breakfast. luckily, i had some boiled eggs left over from yesterday. i made a huge chunky tomato and cucumber salad and opened up a can of tuna. the kids are not used to such simplicity anymore. i explained that i was out of gas. one of the guys had some natural peanut butter. he was a happy camper. i put out a fresh whole grain bread and cut up a watermelon. it was really a scorcher today. now we have a lovely cool breeze.

i decided to make instant couscous for lunch. all you need to do is pour boiling hot water over the grain and stir. the thing with couscous is that you need a spicy sauce or soup to pour over it. and you need gas to cook and make a sauce. i sliced and spiced up a couple of pumpkin squash and put it in the oven to bake. later on, i added some water to the pan to make a sauce. after that, i added some tomato paste to make it even more saucey. are we having fun yet? i decided in the end, to serve it for supper. the vegan who is fasting all day long, wouldn't go for kugel made with eggs. i am worried about him.

in the meanwhile, i took out the food processor, something, that i never do. i got one of the guys to show me how to use it and i proceeded to grate potatoes, onions, carrots and squash to make a kugel. i also baked up a sheet of fish sticks while the kugel was baking. i'm glad that i don't get bent out of shape in the kitchen when things go awry. the many years of watching julia child and other cook shows paid off. julia child was great about dealing with flopped dishes. she always said that it something fails you simply reinvent it. you give it another name. i take this to heart. instead of frittatas, i serve scrambled eggs with veggies.

i made further use of the food processor and made cole slaw. i refrained from adding mayo. one of the boys has a near like phobia and paranoia about it. he is always asking me if i put mayonnaise in things. i keep trying to reassure him that i am not trying to sneak any mayo into the dishes. today, some of the guys wanted to complain that i didn't add mayo to the tuna fish. they told me to set aside a plain portion for the anti mayo kid. it didn't matter that i put out a jar of mayo on the counter. they wanted 'mommy' to add the mayo. it is adorable.

the boys had a mini 'fabrangan' at lunch time. they say a bit of torah and have a few shots of liquor. they also have lots of goodies, too. i was a bit miffed. you know, slaving over a hot stove, or in this case, a hot oven and all. i wanted to scold them and tell them not to ruin their appetites by eating potato chips, but i refrained. as it turned out, they ate my lunch before they ate the junk food. as luck would have it, we ran out of fish sticks. i quickly put a few more into the oven. couldn't have my boys squabbling over food, could i? i served up a cantalope, which really went down well in this heat.

i decided that i didn't have enough food for supper. salad, sliced pumpkin and couscous wouldn't do. i baked them an eggless, wholewheat, banana, date and peanut butter cake. that's what i do. i can't help mself. the director of the yeshiva told me that he is loving my food. he told me that he has to let me know every day how great my food is. he wants me to stay inspired. why didn't i take the time to let him know that money talks? why didn't i ask for a raise? he fantasized about creating a state of the art kitchen for me. i told him that i wouldn't know what to do in one. i need more money not machinery. i am once again, quite over drawn at the bank.

the vegan kid, who is fasting during the day, for the entire three weeks, came in today, shivering. poor thing, he was cold. fasting will do that to you. i also felt cold on sunday, during the fast. he wanted us to turn off the air conditioners. he took the remote and turned them off. i told the rabbi that i couldn't possibly, survive the heat with the oven on all day long, and that if the vegan boy was cold, he could wear a sweater. i think it was a major coup for the rest of the boys. Zelda! zelda! zelda!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Back On My Feet

it is 300 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just got back from work. i had a long weekend this week. yesterday, was a fast day so i didn't have to go to work. i offered to come in and make a pot of soup to break the fast, but i was told it wasn't needed. the young man in charge of the kitchen, when i'm not there, prefered breaking the fast with cake. a friend came over and we blabbed all afternoon long.

i stayed an extra couple of hours on thursday, to make two cakes. i made an eggless chocolate cake and an eggless banana-squash cake. the young man also put up a vat of prepared frozen fish sticks. i'm glad they had what to eat. i had left a watermelon for them also, but he didn't cut it up. i served it this morning at breakfast. i don't know why these kids aren't mad for melons.

i fell asleep yesterday evening, just before the fast ended. i woke up at 8:30 p.m. i broke my fast with a whole wheat pita and a couple of boiled eggs. i then had cookies, grapes, and iced tea. i drank some coffee so i couldn't fall asleep. i finally passed out at about 4:00 a.m. i was a real hot mess this morning.

i got up at 6:00 a.m. and took the dogs down the street for a quick walk. i showered and got ready to leave early. my neighbor offered me a ride to town. i had to go to the produce store to buy eggs and veggies for the week. i bought way too much. luckily, as it turns out, they will be having a shabbaton at the yeshiva this week; so there will be plenty of produce for the young men.

i dragged two flats of eggs, a couple of green cabbages, and some tomatoes back to the yeshiva. that entailed climbing down quite a lot of steep steps. there were plenty of cucumbers left in the fridge, so i made a huge amount of salad. i didn't have the patience to dice everything into tiny pieces to make an 'israeli' salad. instead, i sliced the tomatoes into rounds and sliced the cucumbers into thin strips. i didn't make a dressing, either.

i quickly boiled about 20 eggs and made a huge pot of oatmeal. it was hardly touched. the vegan is apparently, fasting all week long during the day. i am a bit upset about him. i know that i worry too much. i want to speak to the rabbi about him, anyway. i don't want him to know that i'm determined to speak to someone who can set him straight. he only let me know so i wouldn't go to the trouble of preparing anything extra for him. he is such a sweetheart.

i diced up a bunch of potatoes and parboiled them. instead of oven roasting them, like i usually do, i threw them into a lot of eggs and fried onions and made almost, a fritta. it was more like scrambled eggs than a fritata, but it was the same kind of principal.

i made an inexpensive type of fish fillet, in a spicy 'morracan like' tomato sauce, for lunch. i cooked up a bunch of tiny macaroni and left it pretty plain. i coated it with olive oil and oregano and garlic. i made another batch of chunky tomato and cucumber salad. this time, i added lemon and made some tahina as a dressing. i made a pot of spicy chicken wings with turkey meat balls for supper. i cooked some plain rice and made a pot of spicy green cabbage and zucchini. i don't think that rice and veggies will sustain the vegan after fasting all day. i didn't make anything else for him, either. he'll just have to eat some bread and tahina. there is always peanut butter. i should have made him an eggless cake. i was so tired and hot. i just wanted to get out of the kitchen and go home.

i sure hope that the kids liked the fish. the director, the rabbi, and the yeshiva manager, all sat down to lunch, too. i hoped they saw first hand, what i am doing for them. more important, they approve of what i am doing there.

my niece and family are returning to india today. i thought that they had more time here. i am so sad. i never got to buy any gifts for the kids and i did want to give them a contribution. perhaps, i'll get some energy to visit them later tonight.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Long Day

it is 8:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just got home. i took the dogs for a quickie stroll and am ready to crash. i got up as usual, at 6:00 a.m. took the dogs out for a walk and went back to bed. i decided to wash the floors. i finished my 'sponger' at 8:00 a.m. i took a fast shower and ran out to catch the 8:45 a.m. bus to town. i made a mad sprint and caught the bus as it turned the corner. surprisingly, i didn't have a heart attack. i've been doing this sprint all week long.

got to work at 9:15 a.m. i got a bus card for seniors' even though i'm only 61. for about $15 a month, i have unlimited bus rides. i don't have to search my tsedukah boxes for busfare anymore. i feel so free. i don't have to catch a ride to town anymore, either. enough of those dirty looks first thing in the morning!

i made a flat of boiled eggs for the yeshiva boys and defrosted a nice loaf of whole grain bread for breakfast. i didn't feel like making any quinoi, today. i made a huge cucumber salad and sliced up a lot of tomatoes. i put out some humus and pickles and olives. i cooked up a vat of potatoes and another one of spaghetti for the other 2 meals. the boys weren't back on time, so i took off for the seniors' center.

i met my new friend and neighbor in town and brought her to the center. i introduced her to the key personnel because she wants to play music for the seniors. i went back to my group and spent the morning dancing and singing for the elders. i felt great. i have been eating only chocolate and icecream and sugar for the past couple of months, since i started cooking full time at the yeshiva. i seriously, have to put an end to this awful regimen. i am walking around with a huge stomach and i think i am suffering from a urinary tract infection. it is all from the sugar, i bet.

i left the center at 1:00 after i helped feed someone. i stopped off at the supermarket to buy a few things for shabbat. i also bought more whole wheat flour and a small box of cocoa for the yeshiva. i decided to make a couple of cakes for sunday to break the fast at night. i am not going to work on sunday. i offered to come in to make a meal for after the fast, but one of the older guys said they'd rather break the fast with cake. i stayed until 5:00 p.m. today to make the cakes.

i got back a bit late and didn't have enough time to make a hot lunch. i used the cooked potatoes and made a vinagrette sauce. there are at least two guys there who don't eat mayonnaise. i made good use of the canned goods that arrived, while i was out. i made a quick corn salad and opened up 2 huge cans of tuna. one would have been enough. while the guys were eating, i 'semi' deep fried some prepared fish sticks. i was dreading making them but the guys wolfed them down. i even had a few. they honestly, weren't bad.

i fried up some canned mushrooms with onions and added it to the spaghetti. the poor spaghetti was sitting in water all day. it tasted like noodles. when i added olive oil, it kind of became one giant blob. oh well! i don't have to deal with it. i'm off tomorrow and sunday. i overheard a couple of the boys talking about different yeshivas. they asked each other how good the food was. one of the kids said, 'nothing as good as this yeshiva's food'. i'm getting a swelled head to go with my huge swollen chocolate and sugar belly. oh, the price of fame!

as i was returning home on the bus, i drove past a simcha. the local chabad bomb shelter/synagogoue was having a selebration for the new sefer torah. i stopped by my friend's house and we walked over together. it was lovely. the huge mitzvah tank camper was out and the yeshiva boys were waving huge moshiach flags and dancing. there was taped music. the younger boys were holding huge flares for candles. it was very joyous. i'm glad, though to be finally, home.