Thursday, May 31, 2012

So Tired

it's 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just got home. i left for work at 7:30 a.m. i caught a lift to the central bus station and walked to the yeshiva. i wanted to buy a really strong coffee but all the restaurants were closed. zefat doesn't hussle or bussle so early in the morning. i came in early because i wanted to get the breakfast and lunch done so i could run over to the seniors' center.

when i got in, i saw that there weren't any eggs. i placed an order at the fruit store on tuesday morning and shlepped a very heavy box of fruit and veggies back to work. i took one flat of eggs with me and ordered another 4 flats to be brought over with the fruit and veggies. the order arrived in the evening and came without the eggs. i sent someone back to the store yesterday to get the eggs. oops, i guess he forgot.

they also forgot to tell me that a new batch of boys were coming in this morning. so now i'm cooking for close to 20. i can't keep up with these bucharim. they are like termites. they consume everything i make. i made a vat of spaghetti before i left and it all turned into one starchy blob. i don't care. i left work after 5:00 p.m. i also found out last miute, that i was required to make shabbat for about 10 guys tomorrow. shoot me now!

i hussled this morning to make food for the regular 10 and then for the newcomers. i made an eggless carrot cake for my old crowd and then a sweet noodle kugel for the new guys. i didn't have any noodles so i used spaghetti. if you are really following the blog, you will realize that i served spaghetti twice today. i'm hoping that the new arrivals are too jetlagged out to ralize it, too.

i hastily, heated up the porridge made from quinoa and fruit, and managed to burn it. what a shame! it didn't go yesterday so i 'doctored' it with fresh apples. it got thrown out into the compost heap. that's right, the kids are keeping compost. i have to save all peels, eggshells, and leftovers for the compost heap. what a drag! are we having fun yet?
i got one of the 'old' bucharim to run to the fruit store to get me my eggs. i maniacally, boiled up about 30 eggs. i cooked up a pot of boiled potatoes and one of spicy green lentils. i mixed it together and added soy sauce and fresh lemon. i baked a bunch of beets in tin foil and sliced them up with fresh lemon and ginger. i opened up a giant, industrial sized, can of corn and one of tuna; and made a salad with mayonnaise. the new boys liked it. everyone loved the lentils and potaotes.

i made a huge vat of mushroom and barley soup for supper. i had to get a guy to open the huge can of mushrooms for me. i just, do not have enough power in my hands, to deal with these substandard can openers. i can't seem to get a grip. i made sesame spaghetti but it flopped, seriously. the first time i made it, it was fantastic. i guess i used way too much spaghetti, this time. i also cut up a bunch of cucumbers and tomatoes and made fresh tahina sauce. i hope no one complains tomorrow.

tomorrow will be a challenge, making shabbat from what is left in the pantry. i found a frozen roll of gefilte fish in the deep freeze. i also took out two packages of turkey wings to make a soup or stew. i have enough potatoes left to make a potato kugel. i'll make some rice and red lentils. i have plenty of colorabi left to make a salad. i also, have a few carrots. i will bake up some more beets. it is so much easier to bake them. it doesn't get to streak up all the walls, like when it cooks in the pot. it should go rather fast, i hope. i plan to bake them a cake, too. the 'eggless' guy won't be there so i will go wild with the eggs tomorrow.

i bought a small fillet salmon for myself for shabbat. i have some frozen meatballs, if i choose to have them. i bought some whole wheat rolls and a few cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. the last thing that i want to do, is cook, when i come home. i managed to wash the floors yesterday, so the house is clean. i really need to do laundry. perhaps on sunday, tomorrow is out. i'm too tired to do anything right now. i walked home from town. i stopped off at the supermarket and got a ride home with a neighbor.

i got paid for the last two weeks and put it directly into the bank. it covered half of my overdraft. the dogsitting money paid the water bill this week. hopefully the tenants next week will pay the electric bill and gardner. winning!!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

She Works Hard For The Money

it is 5:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just had a visit from my son and grandson. my son is temporarily on sick leave, due to a bad back. he picked up my gandson from daycare and brought him here to see me. it was about an hour visit and it was just enough time for me.

things have really turned around for me. i have a very nice dutch lady, renting the upstairs for a few weeks. i then have a dutch couple staying downstairs for the next two weeks. i started my job cooking for a small yeshiva on sunday. i am basically, preparing vegetarian dishes for the boys. they are very into health food.

i have been slicing, dicing, chopping, peeling and grating by hand for days. i managed to make them an eggless carob cake yesterday. while i was cleaning out the pantry shelves, i found some whole wheat flour. i even found a couple of packets of baking powder. i made an eggless carrot cake for them this morning for breakfast. the 'boys' are so cute and appreciative.

so far, they love my food. i gave them boiled eggs and oatmeal on the first morning. i also put out humus and salad. they don't seem to eat bread. they only like the seven grain type and the budget apparently, doesn't allow for it. they also aren't given dairy. this limits my menu considerably. i am not afforded any perks like canned tomato paste or beans, so i have been making every morsel of food from scratch.

yesterday was very frustrating. the gas stove top was malfunctioning and i had to get all 3 meals made on one burner. i was getting really weary. i stayed there way, too long. i made a huge pot of lentil soup for supper. it took all day long to cook. i resorted to making couscous from a package, which doesn't require cooking, for lunch. i simply, poured boiling water from the electric kettle. i did cook up some carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, potatoes, tomatoes, onions and green peppers for the sauce. they loved it. it would make a great breakfast cereal, if the director allowed me to buy some cranberries and nuts.

i grated a bunch of carrots, onions, squash, and potatoes to make a kugel for their dinner. my fingers are all cut up. i left work at 4:00 p.m. and couldn't stand being there for another minute. i wanted to stay to boil up the eggs for this morning's breakfast, but i was literally, falling off my feet.

i got up really early today and left the house at 8:00 a.m. i thought if i got an early start, perhaps i could leave at an earlier hour. i caught a lift on the next street, from a driver who takes a neighbor to the seniors' center, where i volunteer. i can get to town each morning with him, now. it's a time and money saver. they also offered to pay for my carefare down at the center. they need me there on thursdays. i will go to the yeshiva and set out the breakfast, make their lunch and go back to the center until 2:00 p.m. i will then return to the yeshiva to make the supper. i can always stay later on wednesday and get a jump on the thursday meals, too.

i made oatmeal for the boys on monday. i put a pinch of cloves and a bit of sugar in it. i didn't have butter or cinnamon or even milk to play with. nevertheless, they loved it. i made sesame spaghetti for my first supper because i had limited time. i served it cold. it was basically, diced red pepper, oil, garlic and tamari sauce. it was a huge hit. i also made a rustic vegetable and barley soup. i very quickly, cut up some carrots, onions, leeks, squash, potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, and a lot of garlic into chunks. it was a big hit with the guys.

i'm supposed to be cooking for ten or more. i can't say for sure, if i have had the entire ten bucharim yet, in the dining area. for sure, i haven't seen any leftover food. there have been some late comers and occasional stragglers to my kitchen. i always worry about them not getting fed. today, i increased the amount of food that i prepared. i made a pot of lovely kidney bean stew. after it was cooked, i managed to knock over the pot and lost half of the stew. the boys ended up having saucy beans and rice for lunch.

it looked like i made, way too much today. i also made a vat of macaroni with eggplant and squash for dinner. i made a huge tomato and spanish onion salad, too. hopefully, the boys put away any, or all, the leftovers. they will just have to eat them again tomorow, if there is a lot left over. anyway, i am pretty good at doctoring food to create a new dish. i am trying to spoil them but i won't waste food. i pretty much, used up all of the produce already, in just 3 days. that's what you get when you don't buy tomato paste, baby!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Same Old Day

it is 5:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i have been scrubbing away in the studio apartment upstairs for hours. i know i told the sister that she didn't have to clean up before she left. she still, could have taken out the trash and cleaned the fridge. i am exhausted. apparently, pigeons have been living inside the apartment behind the door, on the rooftop.

the area was completely covered in several months of pigeon poo. why didn't this ditzsy girl let me know sooner??? i spent hours scrubbing off poo and a years' worth of dirt off the windows, screens and doors. i never got to do a pesach cleaning upstairs because the sister was already situated there. she didn't bother to clean the place since she got there. the sandstorm really took its toll on the wooden floors upstairs. the girl has asthma. wouldn't you think that she would stop smoking and clean up the dust??? wouldn't you think she would let me know that the roof was covered in a ton of crap?

my son took the vacuum cleaner so i can't even use that to clean up the mess. i am tired and full of pigeon poo. this is not the best thing for me, either. i can't continue. i am broken. i think i'll have to start again first thing in the morning. i have no more strength. i feel violated, once again. i know that i gave this girl a clean apartment. i am shocked to see how she was living. the carpet is full of hair. i took it outside to wash it down. i used a clothes brush to get off some of the hair.

there were two bottles of vodka wedged deep into the freezer. i had to defrost the fridge. either they were left over from the summer, when we had yeshiva bucharim upstairs; or she is an alcoholic. if they weren't hers, why didn't she bring them downstairs to me and clean out the freezer. could it be that she didn't open the freezer in 3 months???? there was a box of ices in the freezer. was that also left over from the summer?? i am almost certain that i did the freezer a while back ago before she moved in. who knows anything anymore.

i washed down the upstairs porch and watered the plants. it is a lovely sitting area. the air is great and the view is spectacular. i still have hours of floor washing to do. kill me now! i really can't budge.

some idiot from the city, hacked off a great deal of my jasmin from off of my wall. i am really aggravated. he left a huge amount of the remains of the bush in front of my gate. my neighbors must assume that i chopped it off and left it there. the guy destroyed my bush. it was lush and blooming. the smell was out of this world. he only took the jasmin off from the middle area, leaving the branches totally bald. i called the city office twice to complain. i am afraid that he might have killed the bush.

i know this isn't a serious problem in the relm of real problems. i just wish that i had run outside when i heard the sound of an electric blower. how dare he touch my property. it wasn't interfering with anything of the city's. i think he did it on purpose. i pay my gardner to keep it orderly and tailored and now some punk slasher ruined my look.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Brand New Day

it is 7:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just cancelled my dental appointment. i have no strength to get on a bus and travel today. i made myself sick yesterday with binging. it was the first time in months. i started to put back some weight and i think i binged out of frustration. everyone else in the family had a stomach virus and i think, i subconsciously, wanted to be sick, too.

i will take myself in hand today and watch what i eat. i have to go upstairs and clean the studio apartment. the upstairs sister promised to do it before she left, but she didn't, in the end. i finally, have 2 rentals for the next month. i am taking less then the market rate but i am managing to get people in. it's all about survival.

i still have the jack russel terrier with me and he has been making a lot of noise. my neighbors have all complained. i have tried shutting the windows but he can still be heard outside. i put him in the living room last week but he became even more hyper and ate my couch pillows. i have tried to give him more physical attention but once he gets into his barking mode, he doesn't stop. this can go on for long periods fo time. i am overwhemed.

i went to town this week to meet with the head of a small yeshiva. they are looking for a cook. i know how to cook. it should be a match made in heaven. i am waiting to meet the head honcho of the program. i can't think of a reason why they wouldn't hire me. i did ask to work off the books. that may just be the reason for them to pass on me. i simply, cannot afford to give up my government stipend to make a few extra bucks.

i thought that a part time job might be good for me. getting out of the house every day and earning some money, seemed to make sense. i figured that it would keep me active and end my being a shut in, once and for all. i didn't think about how unwell i tend to feel in the summer months. i have recently been dizzy and lethargic. i chalk it up to not drinking. i get by with a few coffees a day. i always forget to drink liquids. i find it quite hard to swallow water. i need to buy some natural apple juice.

a worker from the seniors' center called yesterday. she apparently, needs me very badly to come on thursdays. she even mentioned receiving help with transportation. i seem to be in demand these days. my son has been calling and sneeking in visits. he wants his mommy back. he even emailed me pix of my grandchildren. he is very sorry that this whole thing got so blown out of control. he is not a happy camper.

he is suffering a lot with back pain resulting from a recent car accident. he was rushed to the hospital yesterday with severe back and chest pains. they, of course, ruled out heart attack, and couldn't find the source of his pain. he has a doctor's appointment this morning. he needs to go to a healer or chiropractor. he really doesn't believe in this. he won't spend the money. i don't have the money to help him, either. i feel guilty. i think i ate an entire cake yesterday because i feel so guilty. it hurts me that he hurts. afterall, i am still his jewish mother.

last night, my daughter-in-law came over to help her sister move out. she didn't say hello and i ran back into the house. i couldn't stand to look at her. when she did enter my house, the terrier went super hyper active. he was running around in circles. she started to laugh. she wasn't the least bit upset. i suddenly, grabbed her and threw my arms around her and hugged her. she held on tight too. i kissed her on her cheeks and then kisssed her again. it was like the first time i met her.

the girls took a while to get everything out of the house. i allowed the sister to leave some boxes in my bedroom until she can come for them. the sister thanked me and hugged me goodbye. i came off like the good guy once again. i normally, would have been a bit spooked to be alone but i am having an older lady move in tomorrow for 3 weeks. i hope it will be okay. she did come by to meet me this week. she loved the apartment. i gave her a fair price and offered to host her for shabbat meals. i don't really foresee any problems.

with the income from the dogsitting and rentals, i just might be able to climb out of my overdraft. the cooking job would really keep me afloat. we can only hope.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'll Do Anything

it is 10:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i've been in a funk. i've been home alone for weeks. i haven't been out at all lately. i'm also tired. i guess i'm depressed. i feel uneasy all the time. i'm not sleeping very well. i wake up feeling tired. i've lost the will to shine.

i started gaining weight already. i had to take myself in check, again. i have to stay away from sugar. i really need to get out more. tonight begins the great pilgrimage to the gravesite of rabbi shimon bar yochai. thousands of people from all over the country will be desending on meron. it is normally, a 10 minute bus ride. tonite, it will take between 45 to 60 minutes.

i hate crowds. i don't think i'll be going down to meron today. perhaps, i'll go tomorrow. i'm thinking about going on friday, also. i need to get to town and pay some bills. i can't be bothered getting dressed. i've been walking the dogs in my robe. i feel like i have chronic fatigue syndrome. i should go to the doctor and get a blood test. i don't have the energy to do that, either.

i'm terribly bored. i can't deal with my life. i have been answering ads all over town to obtain work. i have been given the runaround by everyone. i applied for a babysitting job in someone's home, a cooking job in a small yeshiva, and a receptionist's job in a tourist center downtown. the problem is that i live pretty much, far away from town. when i lived in town, it was never an issue to run around and get to a job in the old city or artist colony. everything was a 5 or 10 minute sprint.

now, i have to worry about bus schedules, and getting paid off the books. it is very frustrating. everyone is looking for help but no one wants to talk money. i am waiting for the yeshiva to set up an appoinment to meet me. i kind of already know, that it will be a hassle to make 3 meals a day and be in and out of the place all day long. it is definately, a full time job, and i am sure that they will be paying less than a part time salary. it is a good job for someone who lives in that neighborhood.

i am also awaiting part time rentals. someone came over last night to check out the place for a two week rental in june. the dogs were yiping their heads off. the male jack russle terrier boarder, never shuts up. he really wants to cuddle with us on the t.v. sofa but my little pincher doesn't let him come close. i can't complain. it pays about $100 dollars a week. that pays for two teeth to be cosmetically filled.

my son came by last night to pick up his mail and get more shoes. he looked awful. he has a bad backache. he was rear ended in a recent car accident. he is suffering a lot. he looked out of it. i was involved with a potential client outside. there wasn't anything i could do for him. i wanted to give him arnica but he didn't want to try it. i wanted to set up an appointment with a healer but he wasn't interested. my heart ached for him. i wanted to tell him to come back again with his son. i miss my grandson so much. i had to let him go. i was busy. i have to take care of zelda.

i went to the dentist yesterday. he filled in the small space between my front teeth. i was actually, okay with the space. the thrill is gone. i'm pretty much over going to the dentist. i started this process last january. however, i still want to fill in a couple of my bottom teeth. i also need to do a cap. this is consuming the major part of my savings.

i stood up for myself yesterday. the billing department decided that they had undercharaged me for the tooth bonding. they doubled the price, per tooth, last week. when i complained, they told me that i could pay the original price for just one week. they told me that it would be doubled afterwards.

i went to the manager before my treatment and showed him the written estimate of all the work that i had agreed to do. thankfully, they agreed on the original price. i saved over 1000 shekels. that will pay for most of the new cap. that, indeed, took some perseverence, on my part. i was afraid that the dentist would be annoyed and not do a good job. he didn't seem put out, the least bit.

i am currently offering myself out there, to do, just about anything. i will walk your dog, cook your meals, burp your baby, speak to visiting tourists, and board your parents, all for just a small sum of money. any takers out there???

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Remembering Dad

it is 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. today is the seventh anniversary of the passing of my father. i have been remembering his last days in the hospital for the past hour. it looks like it is just my sister and myself this year, heading down to the cemetary, together. my son and i are still estranged. i did mention, when i saw him this week, that it was his grandfather's yertzeit. that of course, got no response from my son.

when the year of mourning ends for the sephardi grandmother, later this year, you better believe, that my son will scramble to go out of town to her memorial. i am feeling a bit forlorn. everyone tells me that this is not a 'significant' yertzeit. apparently, after seven years, you are supposed to not care anymore.

i still mourn for my dad. i still miss him. i still remember the day he passed on. it is still, very significant to me. it hurts me very much that his grandchildren don't feel the need to honor him by visiting his grave. while my mother was alive, i would make a family meal every year. now that she is gone, and left me the house, no one will set foot ito my home. and now, my daughter in law, and son won't even come over.

i feel defeated. i feel 'cursed'. the rental downstairs, didn't happen. they guys played me til the end. they wanted to move in on the 15th of the month. i agreed to it. i agreed to each and every one of their requests. i appeared, desperate. they led me on. i lost the upstairs rental, too. i even lost a weekend rental.

i gave up a dogsitting gig. the lady lied about the size of the dog. she told me that her massive pooch was small with a lot of hair. a friend of mine, set me straight. i do have my male charge coming later today for 2 weeks. that should pay for another two teeth to be filled in. i don't get it. i don't know why my luck won't change.

i feel tempted to call my son and beg him to bring my grandson over to visit. i of course, won't. i have to maintain my cool: 'i'm too busy, beautiful and successful to miss any of you' facade for now. he knows only too well, how much i miss my grandson. it is very obvious to me that his wife is behind this. he has to grow up and learn how to stand up to this family. he has to demand that i have a place in their lives.

my sister wants me to say something for my dad at the weekend class. i briefly went through this week's chapter of 'ethics of the fathers'. i wasn't inspired. i have nothing to add. all i do is cry when i think about my dad. i took care of him up until the end. while he was in a coma, i slept outside on the veranda of the hospital, curled up in a chair, for three nights. i gave him a sponge bath when he was burning up with fever. i held his hand while his soul left his body. i even diapered him on occassion. i became his mother. he became my child.

i am all alone here in this huge house. i am alienated from my only son. i don't get to see my grandchildren anymore. i can't seem to make a living. i consider myself to be a loving, warm and caring person. i feel like an outsider in my own life. i just don't get it.

i have to get ready to go to the cemetary. i want to wash off the graves and light candles for each of them. i have print outs of the psalms to read. i haven't made any plans for shabbat. i don't feel like cooking. i don't feel like being with people, either. i am numb. i am in mourning mode.

my dad was not into materialistic things. i never knew him to want for anything, except, of course, his meals. he had a lovely voice and loved to sing. the dementia took away his filter. he was stripped of all self consciousness. he could get up and shake his booty at the drop of a hat. he would sing frank sinatra songs in the taxi. all the drivers in zefat knew him. he was well loved. the neighborhood children would come running to hear him wish them a good shabbes. he would say 'shabbat shalom' every day of the week.

he always said, 'do what's best for you'. someday i will.