Monday, April 30, 2012

Staying The Course

it is nearly 5:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. we are continuing to have a desert heatwave. it looks like rain, but we just might be in for a sand storm. i am thinking about going to the local supermarket. they had nice chair cushions on sale last week.

things here are beginning to settle down. i actually, ran into my son, coming home from shul on friday night. i was alone for shabbat, once again. i didn't feel like joining my sister and family for the evening meal. they begin and end the dinner, quite late. i like to go to sleep early on friday night. i had tons of fish and chicken wings, left over from my get together on thursday afternoon. i even had some corn left.

i went over to see the family on friday afternoon. my sister had asked me for a certain remedy. my nieces were busy making and shaping challah and rolls. by the time i left, the rolls were ready. my niece insisted on my taking some home. i usually do not eat a lot of challah. i have to admit that the whole wheat onion rolls were sensational. i can't remember enjoying bread so much.

i had a strong urge to go to shul for evening services. i hadn't gone out on a friday night in years. i didn't want to go to the sephardi shul for fear of running into my daughter in law. i wasn't really sure if they were in the neighborhood or not for shabbat, but i didn't want to take any chances. i went to the chabad minyan, down the street in the local bomb shelter. i was hoping to run into an american lady who recently made aliya. she lives on the next block. she wasn't in shul. the service was, none the less, very lovely. there were not a lot of male congregants. there was only one other lady in the womans' section. still, i was inspired.

as i passed the sephardi shul on my way home, i stood on the corner to see if my son was there. after it was mostly, empty, i saw my son. he was alone. he saw me and crossed over to say hello. he immediately told me, that everything was going to be okay. i told him that it was great to see him and that he looked well. he also told me that i looked well, too. he was on his way home. the kids were eating at home this shabbat. i wished him a good shabbat and went home. i was high as a kite.

the next morning he came over at 8:00 a.m. with my grandson. i think the ruse was that he needed a thermos of hot water. my grandson was ecstatic to see me and to be in my house again. he hadn't been here in about 2 months. he nearly flipped out when he saw the living room, his old stomping ground. cloey the dog was very excited to see him, too. i gave my grandson a package of magnetic blocks and 2 wooden puzzles. i bought them before pesach, just in case i had a visiter. i walked them home. my grandson was perched in my arms. he was holding onto my body for dear life. i pretended that i didn't know where they lived. i wished them both a good shabbat. my son hugged me and gave me a kiss. he hadn't hugged me in over 3 years.

i was so happy. i went to shul at 9:00 a.m. i hadn't been there for shabbat services in many, many years. the service was beautiful. i couldn't stop crying. the american lady came just then. afterwards, she and her husband invited me to join them for lunch. i was so hoping that they would. i couldn't stand the thought of being alone for one more meal. we hit it off immediately. i stayed til almost 4:00 p.m. we then met up an hour later, and she accompanied me to an english torah class in canaan. she got to meet many english apeakers. it was her first time, since coming to zefat a few months ago, to go a class. we took a cab home after shabbat.

it was the best shabbat that i've had in a very long time. everyone at the class was complementing my short wig. that's right, at the last moment, i put on my wig. i hadn't worn it in years. i also got compliments on my clothes, the colors, my skin and general looks. i felt like a people magnet. it really works to appear well. to seem well, to seem fit and happy. i finally inderstand. nobody likes to be with a whiney loser. nobody likes desperate. nobody likes toothless. everybody likes a winner. to quote the infamous charlie sheen: "winning!"

i might have some part time tenants later this month. i know that i gave them too good of a deal, but i am desperate for income. i am trying as hard as i can to pay off my bills. i even, have a dog sitting job soon. but i think that i will blow it off. i don't want to have excessive barking when the tenants arrive. it isn't nice.
i am just going to stay on my new course. eat well, look well, act well. be well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Party's Over

it is well past midnight in the holy city of zefat. i finished up the dishes from the barbecue a little while ago. i didn't feel like buying disposable dishes this week. i wasn't trying to be ecofriendly. i was just feeling cheap. i don't like to use plastic dishes on shabbat. however, this was unusual for me to do a cookout and use real glasses,cutlery and plates. my friends cleared the tables for me so i was only left with washing the dishes.

the gentlemen finally came to see the downstairs apartment. it looked great. it was super cool despite the heatwave outside. unfortunately for me, i think the place is too big for them. it doesn't look like i got a rental. i'm 0 for 2 in the money game. i invited them to stay for the independence day barbecue but they declined. they had to get ready to travel. i invited them to my apartment for cold drinks. the 3 dogs were making a heck of a lot of noise. then the male dog engaged one of the men and started humpimg him. what a day!

my neighbors were partying hearty outside today. the music was blasting and they were feeling no pain. every year they come up with a theme. a lot of people do this for purim. they are the only ones, that i know, who do a themed independence day party. this year it was indians. not the people who live in india. you know, the ones who used to kill the cowboys. they built a giant tee pee that was the entrance way to the party. they had a killer barbecue going. the smells were making me hungry and left me lusting for meat. i wanted to dress up as a cowboy and go over to the indians and make a fuss. somehow, i didn't think they would get it.

i got up at 7:00 a.m. and walked the dogs. i had yogurt with bananas and almonds for breakfast. i splurged and drizzled some honey on to it. i had a couple of coffees and then made a bread for my friend with the food issues. i made it with only: one cup of rice flour, 2 eggs, 2 tbs of oil, 2 tbs of date honey and a package of ground chestnuts. i used a half cup of coconut milk for the liquid. it is a weird cake like bread. it is an 'acquired' taste. it is not for everyone. i didn't sample it today. i was way, happy, eating a whole wheat pita and chumus. i gave the rest of the bread to my friend.

my friend wants me to babysit her dog and the dog of her friend over shabbat. i don't think that her dog would like to be with me and my dogs. she is a bit of a scaredy cat dog. she would be lost without her owner. i cannot handle more than one doggie guest per night. her friend's dog is a mixed shephard. i don't do large dogs. i like little dogs. i do have a doggy gig in a couple of weeks, with a large dog. i intend to keep her on the upstairs balcony. that's once, upstairs sister, vacates the premises. i actually, feel sorry for sister dearest.

at 3:00 p.m. i went downstairs to fire up the grills. i bought a tiny, disposable grill for the fish. the friend with the food issues, doesn't usually eat chicken. the little grill lighted easily. the larger grill was a real hassle to start. i grilled some whole hake fish to start the meal. i served a colorabi and carrot salad, some chumus and tahina, and a large fresh green salad with red cabbage and cherry tomatoes. i even made a vinegrette dressing. we all ate bread, including me. we then had chicken wings, hot dogs, corn on the cob, watermelon, fresh oranges, and more rolls and pitas. i heated up a can of saurkraut. we never got to grill the kebobs. we were all happily stuffed. we did have room for roasted marshmallows and a bar of semi sweet chocolate. i forgot to serve the pareve icecream nuggets.

i had 2 marshmallows. it was way too sweet for me. later on, i had one icecream nugget. i had no desire to eat more of them. i needed a walk. it was getting cool but i was hot. i walked my friend back to town and then headed home. i didn't want to go home. i didn't want to enter an empty house. i must have walked for 2 hours. i couldn't stop thinking about past barbecues with the kids.

on my way home, i saw my son. he drove right past me. i think he saw me, too. we had 5 dogs at our barbecue. it was a riot. they were all making a lot of noise. we were all getting off on watching the dogs interact with each other. the music and hilarity from next store helped to drown out the noise of the dogs. and if it didn't who cares! we were all finished partying by 7:00 p.m. it wouldn't have been a good mix if the kids were here. there were just, too many dogs for their liking. all in all, it was a lovely day. i had a good time and good company. why can't i just stop torturing myself by thinking about the kids.

my guests thought that the meal was elaborate. my son would have scoffed at the lack of lamb chops and steaks. he would not have been satisfied with chicken wings and franks. he would have finagled a lot of cash out of me to buy fresh meat. why do i care now? i spent the day with friends. why does it eat me up that i wasn't with my family? i don't usually enjoy being with my family. i don't enjoy all of the scrutiny. guess what? no one scrutinized me today.

a lady was supposed to come over this evening to see the upstairs apartment. i never heard from her. so i guess, that leaves me, 0 for 3 in the money game, now. you can only hope and pray that things get better.

tomorrow is shabbat once again. i am way ahead of the game. i have leftover grilled fish, chicken wings, watermelon, rolls, chumus and colorabi salad. there were some uncooked wings left so i'll make a soup. it looks like i'll be alone again. at least, i'll eat well.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Independence Day

it is 9:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i thought about going down to the seniors' center this morning but i think i will have to skip it. i really need to go downstairs and spruce the place up. if upstairs sister was up now i would go and get the kitchen utensils that i store there.

the gardner is here and i just paid him 2 weeks earlier. the guilt offering present that i received yesterday, was burning a hole in my pocket. money isn't static. it's meant to be shared and passed around. anyway, it is just one bill that is off my head this month. the gardner mentioned that i looked well. believe it or not, i am tanned, 12 pounds lighter and my teeth are shining. i may have even smiled this morning. no, i didn't go to a halth spa or mountain retreat. i simply, have been eating well, walking more, sitting outside in the garden and of course, going to the dentist.

my neighbor across from me, once again, won this years' independence day flag war. he seriously, hung up 12 huge flags. i put up my one meager, kind of pathetic looking, stretchy material flag from last year. i don't buy newspapers so i didn't receive any shiny new flags this year. the adjoining neighbors didn't even put up a fight this year. shlomo won hands down. he is the official reigning flag king. it looks a lot like i am living across the street from the israeli embassy. it is really something! sorry that i don't have any pix to post.

i want to thank all of my loyal blog followers for the loving support that i have been receiving. it would have been enough, dayenu, if you just read the blog. i know how i tend to go off on a subject. i am overwhelmed by your generous comments and concern. i am currently havng a computer glitch that prohibits me from publishing your wonderful comments. hopefully, i will make enough income soon to get someone in to overhaul my computer. please keep reading and commenting whenever you like.

i woke up this morning feeling completely exhausted. it actually feels, like i was run over by a truck. it could be dehydration. i don't remember drinking very much yesterday. it could also be the letdown after a particularly, momentous day. i am taking it slow right now. i will drink some coffee and just chill out until i feel stronger. i probably need water. it isn't easy for me to drink any.

i had to take the dogs for a stroll a little while ago. it was a bit late for them. i have been going out at six or seven in the morning, all week long. the male charge left his calling card all over the kitchen. i will have to do a few buckets of water sponger today. right now, i can't move by body. my back aches. sitting in the dentist chair for over an hour, wasn't easy. it was worth it.

i am not a high maintenance type of gal. i get my sun from sitting in the backyard. i use vaseline on my skin. the oil of olay, isn't cutting it anymore. i eat simple foods like yogurt and almonds. i buy skirts off the sales rack for 10 or 12 dollars. i am happy with the simple pleasures of life. i don't crave lamb chops or steaks. i am happy with kebobs, chicken wings and franks. i don't dream of godiva chocolates or 7 layer cakes. give me a few dried dates and i am in heaven.

my plan of ation today, is to set up the downstairs kitchen. i want it to be ready for the prospective tenants. i also want to make up the bedrooms. my biggest fear is that upstairs sister will make a huge racket and scare off the tenants. i have to be positive. i gave these guys a really good deal. if they don't want it, they don't want it. i have to just keep putting my name out there. i have another dogsitting job in a couple of weeks. that will pay for another tooth to be bonded. we are having fun now! if this was a t.v. sitcom, it would probably end now.


it's almost 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i want to go to town. tonight begins the israeli memorial day. once again, they will not schedule regular programming on cable t.v. it will be 24 hours of peoples' reflections on the fallen soldiers' lives. it is way too morbid for me. we actually, discovered, a few years ago, family living on kibbutz. my father, apparently, had two first cousins living in israel. one died in 1974, a year before my parents made their first trip to israel; not that they knew of these relatives. one of these cousins lost a teenage son in the yom kippur war.

my parents were devout zionists. they always spoke about making aliyah. my father wanted to come here and fight for the israeli army. they didn't want to leave me alone in the united states. i was pretty messed up in the 70's. it was quite ironic that i made aliyah in '87, leaving my parents alone in brooklyn. i like to think that i made up for it by arranging for them to come here 12 years ago.

i got up at 6:00 a.m. this morning and took all 3 dogs out for a walk. i ate the rest of my brown rice and split pea concoction for breakfast. i got on the 8:00 a.m. bus to town. it actually came at 8:30 a.m. i saw the kids near the bus stop. my heart skipped a beat. i think that my son saw me, too. they were with my grandkids waiting for a ride. at first, i thought that they were also taking the bus, but they didn't. i wanted to go over and say hello to my grandson. i didn't move. i was paralyzed. i felt as though i had been kicked in the gut. i was afraid that he might cry when i left. i was afraid of getting a dirty look from my daughter in law, too.

i wondered what happened to their car. i suddenly, felt sorry for them. i started fantasizing about how i could help them. the bus finally came and i got on it. i went straight to the bank. my check hadn't been deposited. i then went back to the welfare office. luckily, it was empty. i got good news. the check is on its way. i got on a bus and went to the dentist. i had my front teeth bonded. they look amazing! the dentist was an artist. i was in the chair for over an hour but it was worth every dollar and every minute. i feel so much more confident.

the dentist kept asking me to smile. i'm not quite there yet. hopefully, one of these days, i'll feel like smiling again. i went to the supermarket on my way home. i felt like celebrating. i bought milk, and yogurt, two types of pitas and some hot dogs, chicken wings, eggs, and kebobs for thursday's independence day barbecue. i even bought some fish. i haven't barbecued any in about 30 years. the whole country is busy barbecuing, so why not us. i invited about 6 people to come over. i told everyone to bring something.

i got home and received a strange phone call. the lady who wanted me to take in her charge with aspergers, felt that i carried a grudge against her. i tried to explain that i was only trying to be assertive. i had asked for the first month's payment to be in advance. she felt that i had been hostile and aggressive with her. she couldn't understand where i was coming from. she wanted to give me some money. she wanted to pay me not to think badly of her. i told her many times that i didn't think badly of her. i told her that she didn't owe me anything. in the end, she sent over the money. she said it was a gift. it was about the same amount i had just spent in the supermarket. it was also, about the same amount i had given the dentist. i didn't get the new job. in the end, the financing fell apart. it wasn't meant to be. it was one less burden on me.

the young gentlemen who are interested in renting my downstairs will be coming over tomorrow to check the place out. i don't know if i should go downstairs and make up the beds now. i also have a prospective tenant coming over on thursday evening to see the roof apartment. can my luck really be changing??? i think that i will go downstairs first thing in the morning, and place a nice table cloth on the kitchen table and maybe put some pretty flowers in a vase. i think i will make up the beds too. what the heck!

tomorrow, the doggie charge will go home. hopefully, i will get paid. it really hasn't been so hard having him here. i may watch him again next month. he is beginning to come to me for affection. cloey dog cannot tolerate this. she is constantly running to chase him away. my life is becoming interesting again. i am feeling like a person. i am beginning to feel important. i am beginning to feel worthy. i am not chasing after the kids or the inlaws. i am just doing my thing after all these years.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A New Start

it is 11:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i haven't heard from the bank yet, so in the meantime, i hope that i am safe. i didn't get over to the bank yet, either, to see if the welfare check has arrived. if it hasn't come in, i will have to scramble to get over to the welfare office tomorrow morning very early. i have a 10:00 a.m. appointment with the dentist.

i have been bombarded with inquiries about rentals for the past few days. they all seem very promising. however, nothing has been finalized. a few young businessmen want the downstairs for a few months. as usual, i gave a pretty low rental price. i am not a shark. i am trying to survive. there are many places available, in the artist colony and old city. i find myself at a great disadvantage. i know that in august, people will rent anywhere. i can charge a considerable amount, by the night.

i am trying to get the downstairs rented until august. i don't want to bring in a lot of people. i don't want small children running around downstairs. i want quiet. i want civilized tenants. i refuse to suffer like i did last summer, at the mercy of a dememted and shady real estate agent. i am trying to stay positive. i am trying to rebuild my life. i am staying away from anyone who doesn't value me, as a person.

it is not easy being alone. however, i choose to be alone rather than be with people who do not respect and treat me in a loving manner. i am not speaking with a lot of people right now. i am keeping my life to myself. i am not ranting about it anymore. i am projecting confidence and well being. i am not coming off as desperate. the best revenge is to live well. i am here if anyone choses to come to see me. if they don't want to see me, they don't. it is their loss. they all need to see it that way.

i got a job offer to take care of a teenager with aspergers'. i worked with her last winter on a part time basis. i worked very hard. i was paid bubkis. i was then let go out of the blue. i am now being asked to let her move in with me. the pay is nominal. it is only a temporary situation. hopefully, she will be accepted into a group hostel in the near future. i am not doing this because i need to be a caregiver. i am not doing this because i can't stand to be alone. i am doing this because i do have the space and time to give to this job. i can use every shekel i get right now to be solvent. this time around, i asked for the money upfront. i will not chase after payment from anyone again. if the person can't come up with the cash, there is no deal. i refuse to be paid on a weekly basis. i have learned my lesson. naturally, the person was indignant. i couldn't care less. zelda is learning to protect zelda now. if i am not for myself now, then when????

i also have a a lady who wants to rent my upstairs in august. i haven't spoken to the upstairs sister yet. she returned last night without a word. her rental is over in another two weeks. we will see what transpires. i am doing what i can to financially succeed. so far, i haven't seen a penny. i will just hang in there and stay the course. renting, caregiving, dogsitting, you name it. zelda is available.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


it is 9:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i woke up at 7:00 a.m. i am coping with being all alone. the upstairs renter has been gone all week. of course, she never called me to let me know that she wouldn't be here this week. i left the downstairs door open and lit the hallway for the first couple of days, until i finally caught on, that she wasn't here.

i am dogsitting for a friend. i am forced to charge for the favor. i am broke. i am getting a whole $10 a day. whoopee!! i took the 3 dogs out to the end of the street. i had 2 of the dogs on leashes. cookie, the quiet dog, rolled in something disgusting. i had to give her a bath when we returned. it took me a while, to figure out where the horrible smell was coming from. i washed the kitchen floor with a rag and shook lavender oil everywhere. my charge, the male dog, peed and left his mark everywhere. the amount of barking here is astonishing. i hope the neighbors don't complain.

by son came by during the week, to pick up some shoes from downstairs. he had to deal with me as his 'accomplice' upstairs wasn't here. he seemed genuinely humbled. he actually asked how i was, but i couldn't speak to him. he came at 10:30 p.m. as i was dozing off in front of the television. my remote control doesn't work and i simply, can't be bothered to get out of bed to turn off the boob tube every night. i usually wake up in the wee hours of the night and turn it off. i have to disturb the two dogs who are fast sleep on the sofa with me.

my sister suggested that i speak with someone about the situation with my son. i don't have a rabbi to go to. i don't have a mentor. i casually, mentioned the situation to a rebbesson acquaintance of mine, and she seemed genuinely, stunned by the news. i couldn't bring myself to ask her for advise. she is afterall, recovering from a stroke. i have had people suggest that i start a conversation with my son. i guess i am still hurt by the kids' actions. i am missing the grandkids but not really missing their parents. i am like a prisoner missing his jailer. i think that i have to remain silent for now. in reality, nothing has changed. the kids never engaged me in conversation when they were living downstairs. i went entire weeks without seeing and talking to my grandson even though he was right downstairs.

i went back to the welfare office yesterday, to 'face the music'. i was told by the so called manager, that i would have an answer on wednesday. she told me to come back on thursday and ask for her by name. like a puppet, i showed up at 9:30 a.m. on thursday morning. it was packed there, as always, and very noisy. i ran into an old acquaintance there. she travels once a week, to another city, where i need to be for a legal matter. so now, i have a ride, if i ever get it together to put the house in my name.

i asked at the reception desk, for an appointment with the manager. i was told instantly, that it was not possible. the manager was in a meeting until 2:00 p.m. the old lady at the reception desk, didn't have a clue as to how to reach the manager by intercom phone. most government workers here, are hired by 'who they know' and not by what they know. it is called 'protectzia". the dim witted security guard agreed to call the manager for me. she told him that she had never told me to come in to see her. i was advised to take a number and see a regular clerk. surprisingly, i didn't get upset.

i knew from the start, that the clerk wouldn't have a clue as to how to help me. i also knew that there wouldn't be any information on the computer. that is precisely why, i asked to speak with the manager on tuesday. anyway, i quietly explained my situation. the clerk routinely, asked me, once again, for the bank papers, which i had already submitted the month before. amazingly enough, i didn't get upset or raise my voice. i quietly, explained, that i had submitted another set of papers on tuesday, to the manager, herself.

the clerk routinely, called the manager, and was given a number to call. she finally, understood the situation. the official hebrew translation of my parents' wills came in on wednesday. no one could be bothered to process that information. no one cared that i was left without my monthly stipend. no one cares. that's the harsh reality. i was told that i would receive an answer in a few days. no one mentioned, the word check. the office is closed on fridays. it is only open on sundays, tuesdays and thurdays. are we having fun yet??

as i was actually, right across the street form the seniors' center, i stopped in to say hello. i didn't get to speak with the day worker, as she was embroiled in her own battle with the new manager of the center. i said hello to my ladies down the hall and gave out hugs and kisses. everyone was genuinely, happy to see me. not bad for a 'difficult' personality. i even got a lift straight home by a driver. one of the elderly there, is a neighbor of mine.

it was holocaust day here in israel and that means, 24 hours of no televsion broadcasting, except for holocaust and war movies. i couldn't watch any sad movies this year. i am sad enough. i watched ballroom dancing on the internet. i did catch the end of 'escape from sorbibor' late at night. i am a t.v. junkie, shoot me. i simply, could not force myself to watch the old flick 'the great escape'. there was also a recent tom cruise nazi epic, which was too boring for words. i couldn't watch it. in my defense, i did watch several holocaust testimonies on the internet, and cried my eyes out.

i am alone for shabbat. i have 3 dogs here but i am devoid of human company. it is getting annoying. i don't feel like cooking. i don't feel like going to my sister's, either. they start the meal, way too late for me. i also don't want to face my sister's scrutiny of my mouth. i never got the spaces in my teeth, filled in. now she expects me to have them straightened. try explaining, that at 60, you either get implants or dentures. i am not a hollywood starlet. i cannot afford to redo my teeth and face. i do not enjoy the company of dogs. i also, do not enjoy the company of my sister and her family. i am meant to be alone.

i have a small package of chicken breasts in the freezer. i guess that will be my dinner. i have one carrot and one sweet potato left over from pesach, so i will toss them in a pan with the chicken. i have tons of canned tuna in the pantry, and lots of left over whole wheat matzah. i will simply eat, a tiny bit of the matzah, to avoid an allergic reaction. maybe i'll splurge and go out and buy a roll. who knows??

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself

it is 8:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i had to cancel my dental appointment this morning. i was supposed to have the spaces on my front teeth filled. i also nneded to have the plate tightened. it is virtually, useless, at this point. i am still chewing only on the left side of my mouth.

i didn't get my welfare check this month. i brought in the information they requested, well over a month ago. at first, i received letters that they hadn't received the information. i ran to the bank and had statements made for the past three months. i also, had copies made of my parents' wills. i put all of the above into a special envelope and put it into the information box inside the office.

i spent a morning at the office before pesach. i explained my dilema to the clerk. she said that the information i supposedly left, wasn't on the computer yet. she told me not to worry and that it would all be okay. she said that eventually, it would turn up. i of course, told her that if i didn't get my monthly check, things would not be okay at all. she asked me why i thought that i wouldn't be getting my check. afterall, i had gotten the previous month's check. she even called over my friend, to explain to me in english that it was all okay.

well it is not okay right now. i am in a sheer panic that all my checks will return. i am once again, deeply in overdraft. i really thought that i could catch up this month. i even deposited a bunch of cash. without my check, i'm done. i can't seem to catch a break. i went back to the office today to make more copies. i put a 5 shekel coin into the copy machine and got ripped off. i complained to the security guard but he said that it wasn't possible. he told me that i probably thought that i put in the 5 shekels but actually, only put in a 10 cent piece by mistake.

i started yelling. i had not been able to sleep the night before. i had finally dozed off at 6:00 a.m. i was livid. the copy machine ate my carefare home. i was ready to kill. i demanded to see the manager of the office. the place was packed. the clerk told me to put the bank copies that i had brought into an envelope and place it inside the infamous box. i went mad. i started yelling once again.

the lady manager told me to wait a moment. she 'officially' explained that the copy machine was an independent entity. she had no authority over it. i would like to see what would happen at social security or even the post office in the states if that happened. she then took all of my paper work and disappeared into an office. she came back later on and further explained that because the wills were in english, they had to be sent to tel aviv to be translated.

i was told that i would receive an answer tomorrow. i was then told to return to the office on thursday. i am waiting to receive an answer as to whether i will receive my check this month or any time in the future. i am in panic mode. they don't seem to care. why should they worry if the bank closes down my checking account. i am freaking out. i don't know what i did to end up in such financial trouble. perhaps, heaven wants me to understand the kids' plight first hand.

i don't know what to do with myself. shopping is out. anything to do with money is out. house repairs is out right now. someone offered 2 free couches for the taking. i called her last night and asked if they were available. she told me that she hadn't gotten much of a response. i asked if they could be held until this evening so i could secure a pickup. i hired a young guy to bring them. the lady asked me to call her in the morning. since i woke up late, i emailed her my plan. she wrote back that although she agreed to let me have them, someone else had asked before me. she was giving them to him. i don't get people. do you????? i felt awful when the young man called about the pickup.

this morning, after i left the welfare office, i went over to town. i saw my granddaughter with her 19 year old aunt in front of the bank. i stopped by for a moment to say hi to the baby. i sat down on a bench for about 5 minutes, talking with the baby. she giggled and smiled and baby talked to me. her sephardi grandma came out of the bank and gave me a 'cool' hello. she asked me how i was. of course, i said that i was okay. i really wanted to rant to her that her witch daughter wanted me dead. i wanted to scream about how unfair it was that i didn't get to see my grandchildren. i merely, wished her a 'cool' goodbye.

i walked home in the heat. i thought about visiting my sister. i couldn't face her negative reaction to my teeth spaces not being filled in. i sadly walked home. i had absolutely, nothing to do. the laundry is done, the house is clean. i washed the floor yesterday. this is not the time traditionally, to listen to music. i am going bonkers. i just don't know what to do with myself. i can't stop thinking of how the kids have nothing to do with me. i am torturing myself all the time. i can't seem to stop.

i cooked a huge pot of brown rice and green lentils for dinner. i had a can of tuna and a ton of walnuts and almonds. i must have eaten 6 bowls of rice and lentils. i am going nuts. i am miserable. i can't think of a single thing that would make me feel good. woe to me!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Getting Back On Track

it is 4:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. it is very quiet. i've been doing laundry all day. i had four paying guests for a couple of nights and had a large amount of sheets and towels to do. i accidently threw in a very delicate beaded top but it survivied. it may have shrunk a bit but i'll deal with it later.

i also managed to put away most of the pesach dishes and pots and pans. i still have a few things to put away. luckily, my pesach closets are right here in the kitchen. i need to clean the pesach stove and put away the pesach sinks and dish racks.

we are having a heat wave. we had a couple of cold and windy nights but it's hot again. the house is cool. i am feeling very alone and a bit sad. i had a few guests during the holiday but i feel alone. the kids have made no contact. that makes me sad.

i went to a torah class yesterday evening. i had a bit of wine and really enjoyed the class. it's been years since i did this. i walked my friend home in the late afternoon but it was really hot. i think i had an allergic reaction to some processed whole wheat matzah. i had been eating hand made round matzah all week long without any problem. i didn't have enough matzah left for shabbat so i bought a package of square whole wheat matzah. pesach ended on shabbat. i didn't need the round matzahs.

i felt incredibly uncomfortable, at first. the matzah felt like it was stuck in my chest. i went to bed siting up because i felt nauseous. i finally fell asleep in a reclining position. i woke up all swollen. my face was huge and my hands were huge and red. i was very upset. the day before, i went to shul and looked really nice. the weight loss showed and i looked good in my new skirt. now i looked like a cow.

we had an early lunch and i ate just a bit of the whole wheat matzah. my friend had chicken and i stuck to salmon. later on, my hands started turning red and swollen again. my friend didn't feel well. i also, didn't feel well. i figured the common denominator was the matzah. i have two boxes of it left but i will definately, not eat any more.

i walked home alone from the class last night and came home to an empty house. the 'upstairs sister' apparently, didn't return. i left the hallway light on for her. what a waste of electricity! my friend needs some cigarette papers so i will go out soon to the local store and buy some for her. i'll probably jump on a bus and go to town. i want to check my bank balance. i think i'll bring in the laundry first. i'm sure by now, it's all dry.

i look around my house. everything is orderly. everything is clean. well, except for the kitchen floor. it's pretty dirty again. i really don't feel like doing a 'sponger'. i had some milk chocolate today. it was the expensive kind from switzerland. it was very tastey. i haven't had any in 3 months. i felt like i needed a treat. my belly is pretty swollen. i'm not going to weigh myself today.

i feel bereft. not depressed, just sad. i keep thinking about the kids. i guess they're just busy. it's not that they paid me any attention when they lived here. i saw them when they needed something like: milk, toilet paper, babysitting, money, a pot or pan or my hand mixer. i heard from them when they wanted hot water. so why am i feeling so low? nothing has changed. i did used to see them from my kitchen window in the morning. now i don't see anyone.

i got to get myself on track. i got to stop thinking about the kids and the grandkids. i got to get myself a hobby and some income. i may do some dogsitting next month. it depends on whether or not the 'upstairs sister' leaves. i would like to use the upstairs balcony as my kennel. i know, everyone tells me to throw her out. i can't seem to do that. perhaps, she'll just leave soon. it's not as though she's found a job in zefat.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The End Of Pesach

it is 3:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. tonight is the second holiday of pesach. it is actually the time that the red sea split. we have a holiday meal tonight and tomorrow afternoon. we go directly into shabbat night. we don't pass go or collect any money.

we leave pesach but go staight into shabbat. we have no chance of changing back to leavened food. we have to use the matzah for the 3 shabbat meals. we won't be able to buy bread until sunday. i don't really miss it. it has been strange eating matzah. it is very filling and most binding. however, you simply must spread something on it. i like avocado and egg salad. the children use chocolate spread.

i made a mayonnaise 'like' dressing today. i used lemon juice and olive oil. it is very bitter. i added a bit of honey but it still tastes bitter. i mashed up a bunch of boiled eggs and used the dressing. it is edible. i threw out my first batch of mayonnaise yesterday. it had the perfect consistency but it was very bitter.

i used a new blender that my friend gave me. i tried to beat egg whites in it today to make icecream. they didn't exactly stiffen up. i added mashed bananas and sugar. i spilled in a bit too much vanilla extract so it looks weird. i wonder if it's edible. i cut up some melon but it wasn't very tastey. i drizzled honey on it.

i got up at 8:00 a.m. and went straight to work in the kitchen. i made a salmon fillet in white wine, a beef fillet in red wine, and a chicken and potatoes cholent for shabbat day. i made a small amount of charoset; using apples, dates and walnuts. it was better at the seder. i made a carrot and apple slaw, colorabi and carrot salad, and cooked a small amount of beets in orange and honey.

i made a ginger and carrot soup for a friend. it isn't as spicey as i would have liked. i just wolfed down two bowls of it. i also had 2 sheets of matzah. i hope i'll have an appetite later. i am very tired. the weather has gone from heatwave to fall/winter cold spell and possible storms.

i may only have one guest tonight. right now i feel like being alone. too bad i cooked for about 6. the kids still aren't talking to me. i went to visit the 'inlaws' the other day. a little 'birdie' let me know that the kids were out of town. my grandson had just fallen asleep so i sat around for a couple of hours and waited for him to wake up. i held the baby for a bit and gave her a bottle. i even got her to belch. i still cannot relate to her. she is pretty and cute but i never got to bond with her.

i felt like a criminal sneaking around. how did i end up with 'supervised' visits, anyway? i'm not a child abuser. i guess i am. afterall, i did throw the kids out. the sephardi grandma and me, made the smallest amount of small talk. we never nentioned the current situation. she was on the phone for hours. she delegates a lot of the tasks by phone. at home, she gets this one to make a bottle and another one to change a diaper. the others take the kids out all day long. even the neighborhood kids take over the daycare of my grandchildren. everyone has access to them except me.

i'm not exactly missing doing all of these menial tasks. i am missing the interaction with my grandson. he was glad to see me but a bit shy at first. by the end of the day, he was begging me to take him home to his mommy. i could hear his crying, all the way to the bus stop. it will probably be a while until i see him again. i mentioned that i hadn't seen the kids in a month. the sephardi grandma chose not to respond. it was like i never said it. she chose not to think about it. it could never happen to her.

the 'upstairs' sister actually, came down to let me know that she was leaving. she made the effort to wish me a happy holiday. i had gone up earlier with a glass of steamed lemon, ginger and honey tea, for her. perhaps, this was a sign of her appreciation. her little sister, beeped the horn for her and parked away from my house. she comes all the time and makes sure not to park in front of my house. isn't she lovely!!!

i called my son to let him know that he had mail. i resisted the urge to pick up a registered letter for him. he politely, thanked me. i think he was a bit relieved to hear my voice. maybe i imagined it. who knows. they drove up in front of the neighbor's house last night at about 11:30 p.m. and my son got out and took the mail. i had left it outside on the porch. life isn't all that sweet right now.

i have to pray and trust that in time, my life will be happier and more fullfilled. in the meantime, i get to enjoy my very clean and very orderly house. too bad there is no one here to see it. hope mom is 'qvelling' from heaven. i have been too busy lately to take notice. tomorrow, we go to synagogue to pray for the souls of the departed family members. oh boy do i cry!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Final Countdown

it is 1:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. tonight is the traditional checking for chometz. i usually pull an all nighter but i am hoping it will all get finished before midnight.

i still have the t.v. area, large bedroom and kitchen counters to clean. and of course, the final washing of the kitchen floors. i am very tired. my back is aching. i did over 12 hours of cleaning yesterday. none of my windows shine. i didn't use windex this year. i couldn't remove several of the windows, either. i simply, threw a lot of soapy water at them. i tried my best to dry them with newspapers. every thing is smeared. i don't have the energy to redo anything now.

this is the wrong time to try to be a perfectionist. i gladly admit that i am not one. i am in the middle of laundry. everything that isn't alive goes into the washer today. i wish that i could bathe the dogs too. i just don't have the energy.

i saw my baby granddaughter in town yesterday. i hadn't seen her in a month. she has grown so big. she is so smiley. too bad that she doesn't know who i am. i wonder how my grandson is doing. i wonder if he realizes that he hasn't seen me in a month. i wonder if a two year old has a concept of time. i wonder if he misses me.

i take comfort in knowing that he has a huge and very loving family. i know that kids are survivors and adjust easily to new situations. i bought some puzzles, and a bag of toffees, just in case i see him over the chag. i seriously, doubt that i will.

my son came over last night to get his car cleaning materials and 'borrow' the vacuum. i say 'borrow' instead of take, because i am trying to be nice. i couldn't clean any of the high places in my house this year, because my son 'borrowed' my ladder and didn't feel like returning it. my son has been coming around at night and the 'sister' upstairs has been letting him in. he doesn't want to see me. he had to knock at my door. i really didn't plan it that way. i handed him the cleaning supplies and bucket and all he managed to say was thanks. that's after he admonished me for not leaving the cleaning supplies downstairs.

while i hang out the wet clothes and while i do other tasks; i think about how i raised my son. i know that i raised him to be a generous, kind and loving person. i guess i didn't raise him to love me. perhaps that is just a natural thing. i don't know. i am very hurt by the kids' animosity right now. i miss my grandson very much. i have to keep to my schedule and finish my pesach cleaning. it seems like so little to do but it's way too much for me today. i don't have much to look forward to this pesach.

i will make my little seder with a couple of gals. i will invite a few guests for the second half of the holiday. i will be totally alone in the house for the week. i guess you pay a stiff price for your freedom. if the kids had decided to move out on their own; perhaps there wouldn't have been all this drama/trauma. i know that i am a good person. too bad that my son doesn't know it. maybe in time he will come around. i am counting on it. it is a different story with my daughter in law.

right now, there is a little bird on my window ledge. he is talking up a storm. i have to take in the laundry and do the t.v area. i still have to tackle the large bedroom. i am a bit hungry but eating is a hassle. i have my partial denture now and chewing on false teeth is ridiculous. i haven't tried almonds. why risk the pain. i have been on a banana, dates, almonds and tuna fish diet for a couple of weeks. i have lost about 11 pounds since before purim. i definately, want to lose another 3 kilos by shavuoth. then, maybe, i'll indulge in a little cheesecake. who knows? i have lost my desire for sweets. i guess the dates suffice.

wishing everyone a happy and healthy and kosher pesach!!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Countdown To Pesach

it is 7:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i have to be at the dentist at 11:00 a.m. today is the big day. today i get my plate. today i start wearing false teeth. i am slightly depressed. last week i started crying as soon as i reached the office.

i am really afraid that i won't be able to put it in myself. i am also afraid that it will hurt a lot. i fear that i won't be able to chew my favorite foods. let's face it, it is a sign of old age. most people today, get implants and in general, take care of their teeth. i don't think that people in the golden medina, think twice about the price of dental care. here, in the holy city, people do without teeth. it does not make us more holy by any means.

friday night starts pesach. we have 4 more days to get our houses in order. i did my toaster ovens oven and kitchen stove yesterday. i broke down and used a whole container of oven cleaner. i first tried soap and water and using my steamer. it didn't do anything. i ended up using my bare hands for hours. i was possessed. i forgot what a long and arduous process this is. the tips of my fingers are burnt and bloody today.

my lttle cooking alcove is ready for pesach. my main kitchen is almost ready for pesach. the windows are clean, drawers are crumb free, food closet is lined and stocked with pesach goods and fridge is lined and filled with fruits and veggies.
i managed to cut down oranges and lemons from the garden. the freezer is modestly filled with chicken and some meat. yes, i broke down and bought two small meat roulades.

i still need to scrub the kitchen counters and sinks. i have plastic sink inserts for the holiday. i even have pesach plastic bowls for the dog food. i did mention that i already bought chometz free dog food. i need to do a huge amount of laundry today. that's right, all the bedding, mine and doggies' need to get done. the living room needs a simple dusting and floor washing. i can't do the windows this year. they are simply, too heavy to lift out by myself.

that leaves the master bedroom, computer room and 3 bathrooms to finish up. that's a lot of work to do. what can i say. i already did the downstairs apartment. that took 12 hours. i thought i had a rental. i was manic. now i'm less than manic. i am tired and my hands are stinging. i managed to polish the candlesticks. i did my silver ones with toothepaste and my mother's brass ones with lemons. they are all shining. i wish she was alive to show her. maybe she's kvelling from heaven.

when i think about the current family 'situation' i think that maybe mom isn't so much kvelling. she's probably thinking that i blew it. i have moments when i also, believe that i blew it. i just keep on cleaning and getting the house done. it isn't so warm and fuzzy to be alone all the time. as much as i enjoy the quiet, sometimes it gets to be a bit eerie. i do get to hear the 'sister' prancing around upstairs and her trance music beat. every once in a while, her cigarette smoke drifts into my apartment. i frantically, get up and spray the hall with my deoderant, for lack of something stronger.

i need to get to town and cash a check. i don't seem to have any energy to jump up and start my day. i really over did it yesterday. my favorite movies, 'kill bill' one and two, were on last night at midnite. i turned off the television and went to sleep. if only they had scheduled it on saturday night, i could have endured both versions. i couldn't fall asleep for anything after shabbat. last night, i fell into a really deep sleep.

i went to the senior's center on sunday to say hi. i hadn't planned on staying too long. i was exhausted from not sleeping the night before. i ran to town to clear up a bureacratic problem. i caught the 8:00 a.m bus. i was very nervous. the clerk couldn't understand why i was so agitated. any way, i was finished in a few moments, so i ran across the street to the center.

they had a staff meeting, so i stayed on to help with the group. i mostly, sat outside in the sun with a few of the seniors. i left before lunch time. i needed to get home. i ended up shopping and didn't get back home until 4:00 p.m. i jumped into bed. i didn't do any cleaning. that's how it goes. one day 12 hours of cleaning, the next day bed rest.

my son called with a potential rental yesterday. someone wanted a 2 year lease. i couldn't possibly think about it. i want to take my time and figure out the best choice for rentals. i do not want a family living downstairs right now. i'm trying to focus on holiday rentals. i want to rent the upstairs studio full time. that will require building a separate entrance and stairs. after pesach, i will get an estimate. i will have to wait until after may to do anything. we are traditionally, prohibited from making repairs and building during this time.

i spoke with my brother, the psychologist, last night. he seemed to think that i was on the right track. he didn't judge me harshly. he understood how hard the situation is for me. he didn't really offer me any advice, but he did acknowledge my pain. got to get up and have some java. i put away my two burner stove, so there won't be any more hot food until friday night. bummer!!!