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!!!