Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Getting Free

it is 7:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.   i woke up an hour ago feeling warm and toasty and pain free.  i actually walked to the door effortlessly.   my son and his 13 year old brother-in-law finally shovelled a path to the gate yesterday.   the gate is finally open.  cloey dog ran free.  cookie dog is still house bound and refuses to leave the house.  she has no shame at all in making in the hallway.  in a way, she is living on borrowed time.  we nearly lost her at rosh hashana.   she seems like an old woman.  she has that vacant look in her eyes.

grandson is happily playing with his lego on the floor.  he came up at 6:00 a.m.  he is pretty wild in the evening.  both kids get really physical with me at night.  it is freezing outside.  i am thinking about going to the supermarket.  that entails getting my son to drive me there.  the pain has returned and once again i am in semi invalid mode.  it seems to have travelled  back to my hip.  i took a pain pill last night before falling asleep.  i simply couldn't get comfortable.  i put the last of my medicated heat patches on my backside and hip area this morning.

my daughter-in-law's brother has a bar mitzvah in 3 weeks.  i am expected to make around 200 chocolate tefillins.  i did it a year ago before i got sick,  for the other brother.  i also walked half an hour in the middle of the night to the shul for his actual aliyah to the torah.  as i said, that was all before i got sick.  actually, i was already sick then.  i had been more or less diagnosed and was waiting for my treatment.   that was when walking was effortless.  that was when i was still super lady.  that was when i wasn't afraid of people or germs.  that was when i still took my health for granted.   that was before chemo and radiation.

 i am now wondering, how in the world, will i be able to make it to the shul on shabbat.   the thought of being in a large hall and greeting tons of people who knew me before i got sick, is way too much for me.  i have also put on a ton of weight and have nothing to wear for the occasion.  three weeks isn't enough time to shed those pounds, either.  i haven't walked to that neighborhood in nearly a year.  i haven't done much of walking at all.

i know this event has really nothing to do with me but i cannot get out of going.  i cannot play the 'c' card anymore.  i am scared about taking the pet scan in a couple of weeks.   i am terrified about the outcome.  i am still grappling with the idea of brain surgery, too.  i am a mental and physical wreck.  i am craving ice cream.  i know that it is way too cold to even think about ice cream but i can't help it.  perhaps, i'll buy some anyway.

i have to get to town next week to do a blood test so i guess, i can buy tons of chocolate, then..  i don't really think i have the stamina, but i can do it in shifts.  i can make some every day until they are done.  i don't know if i have the money either.  i owe the electric company big time.  i can't think about it now.  we are in snow mode.  we are on winter break except that no one is getting paid for the break.   the  city is shut down but the city cannot reimburse anyone for the shut down.  the roads are closed but so what??

i want pancakes.  i can buy a package of mix later.  i only have rye flour and it is a bit heavy.  no one wants to eat rye flour cake or pancakes.  my cakes have been pretty nasty lately.  i don't know how to make bread.  it would be so nice to have fresh warm bread.  perhaps the super will have cornmeal.  i can make some corn bread or muffins.  that's my aim for today.  why aim for the stars.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Trapped Inside

it is 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.   we are recovering from a major snow storm.  i can't get out of my courtyard.  i have a 3 foot hardened snow drift and can't open my gate.  the kids have been climbing over the wall.   as, i am still suffering from hip and leg pain, i can't put much pressure on my leg or endure the snow.  it is very depressing.

the town is still not functioning.  the roads have been plowed but the streets are still covered in snow.   the local supermarket is open but the schools are closed.  i did sit in the sun yesterday and it felt great.  the house is beyond cold in spite of the couple of heaters going 24/7.    i am eating anything in sight.   i finally got a hot shower yesterday.   coming out wet and having to dress in front of a space heater in a freezing room, isn't that much fun.

the dogs won't go out.  they pee and defecate in the hallway.  i am constantly washing the floor.   i can't get comfortable in bed.   i toss and turn for hours.   i just put on a heat patch that i had bought several years ago for my mom.  i can't really feel the heat.  the pain is constant and nagging.   i know it could be worse.  we lost all power on friday afternoon and spent the entire shabbat in the cold and dark.

i made shabbat food because the kids were not able to get to the clan for shabbat.   i went out on thursday morning to stock up and buy what we needed  for shabbat.    when i got back from the store, i could hardly walk.  the pain was worse than ever.  i  stopped off at the doctor to get a referral for a blood test.   he reviewed my records and then he told me that his brother had also had a brain tumor and survived surgery.  he then told me a horror story of how the poor guy developed phlebitis and caught a blood clot to the brain.  i didn't understand the end of the story.  i think the guy is a veggie now.  the doctor's cheery message was if this doesn't get you something else will.

as the snow proceeded to come down on friday morning, i went into action.   i baked a cake and made a pot of soup.  i filled two thermoses with hot water because i was sure we would lose electricity.   i took out some frozen chop meat but realized it would never defrost in this weather.  we did lose power for a few hours. when it came back on i made some fish, rice and lentils and a pot of chicken , potatoes and barley.   at the last minute i cooked up some franks.  we lost  power for good at 5:00 p.m.

i had just put all the food on the electric platter when the power went off.   i lit a few tea lamps and made makeshift hot plates.  i put candles all over the house.  i made sure to put one in the bathrooms.  we had hot food for supper.  the house was freezing and dark.  it was so bizarre.  we all went off to sleep at around 7:00 p.m.   my grandson slept with me in one of the freezing bedrooms.  he actually, gave off a lot of body heat. we got up at 7:00 a.m. and had to start the day in the freezing house.  i made luke warm hot chocolate with the water from the thermos.

i opened the door to see that the meter high snow drift was covering the stairs and courtyard.  it was already about a foot from the front door.  i started feeling panicky.  i felt trapped.  as the huge amounts of snow fell from the roof it made enormous pounding sounds.  it sounded reminiscent of katushas.  the kids went out to play in the snow.  it was actually pleasant outside.  it was hard to remember that it was the shabbat.  my son jumped the gate and went off to shul..  he was looking forward to having some whiskey or something 'warm'.

my daughter-in-law took the kids to the neighbors.   they had a wood burning furnace and lots of hot water.  i couldn't think about making it through the snow.  i was barely hobbling about as it was.  she came back for the pathetic cold pot of chicken cholent and returned hours later with hot food.  we ate the hot food and all went to sleep at 2:00 p.m.  the power came back on at 3:00 p.m.  i was too cold to get out of bed.  we finally all resurfaced at around 5:00 p.m.

it is going to take a lot more time for all the icy snow to melt.  it is much to hard to try and shovel now.  the kids waited too long to deal with it.  one neighbor actually had a shovel and everyone waited turns to use it. we are not really equipped for snow storms here in the holy land.   the major roads are now open so trucks can bring in supplies as usual.   i can truly say that my love affair with snow is way over.  i don't care if i ever see any again.  pix to be blogged soon.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Baby It's Cold Inside

it is 7:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  it is sunny but quite cold.  my house is already cold.  it's probably warmer outside in the sum.  i had to cancel my doctors appointments last week.  while i was out with my grandson i developed  something close to a sciatic nerve attack.  i stood up after sitting for a couple of hours, while he played in a padded gym for tots.  something wasn't right.

i had an enormous pain in my cheek butt  and suddenly walking was painful.  i managed to walk/limp over to my sister's apartment nearby.  she was getting the house in order for a visit from her son and new daughter-in-law so we went downstairs to play.  after pushing him for a while on a swing, i was desperate to get home and lie down.

i have been in bed since.  it is too painful to walk.  i haven't gotten dressed or washed.  i am a mess.  i did get out one more time with him for an hour.  i took a cab to the padded gym and returned home in a taxi.  i was in bad shape.  the kids made shabbat meals this week.  i only made rice, corn , cheesecake and a chocolate tea loaf.  it doesn't hurt for me to stand in one place.  lately though, lying down has been painful.  i still haven't popped any pills.  what's wrong with me?

 i need to get over to the doctor for some paper work.  i still haven't been reimbursed for the private driver who took me back home form the hospital in march.  they are refusing to deal with me.  i do not have the strength to deal with them, either.  i should go over to the social worker today but i just can't.  i had to cancel the brain surgeon and gyn/oncologist last week.  i was in no shape to travel and i didn't have the money to pay for a driver.  i feel like a loser.

i wrote to the homeopath but she really hasn't commented on my last set back.  we have been blessed with quite a bit of rain lately.  the garden is looking lovely.  all the succulents have opened up again.  maybe the oranges will grow a bit larger.  they are the size of tangerines right now.  i really should go downstairs and pick some today.  it's a lovely and sunny day.  i don't know why i'm still in pain.  the weather has definitely, cleared up.  it is however, quite cold.

my son had his 27th birthday this week and i was in no shape to celebrate.   i couldn't get out to buy anything nor could i bake a cake.  i simply gave his wife a hundred shekel note to buy  him a small cake and some balloons.   i watched the little kids while  the big kids went out for a bit.  it was hard for me.  i was in pain and the kids were being too rough with me.   i am a bit down.  all i do is stuff my face all day.  i'm afraid to get near a scale.  i haven't dressed or washed in days.  i'm a bit pathetic.

my son disconnected  my maytag washing machine last week.  he hooked up their little one and you need to be down on the ground  to open it.   my maytag wasn't really working well and my daughter-in-law had to suffer stains and dark lint on the baby clothes.   now everything is bright and white.  except for my things.  i don't know how to use their washing machine and haven't had the time to learn how.  i feel like, once again, my life is out of control.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Just A Bit Tired

it is 8:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  just finished serving dinner and fried donuts to the kids.  i had a late start this morning because i spent a lot of time blogging.  chabad has a habit of starting late so i didn't rush to the city for the show.  my grandson was anxious and kept telling me to get ready.  he was right.  when we got to the theater they were sold out.  i think they had brought their entire school system to the show so we and another 25 kids were turned away.

it was cold this morning so i didn't want to stand outside too long.  my grandson was more interested in buying cotton candy than getting into the show, so it worked out okay.  he ate the spun wad of sugar on a stick and was a happy camper.  we then walked into town and bought a couple of slices of pizza.  we sat inside at a small table and ate our pizza like gentle folk.  next, we went to a store and bought spider man and mickey mouse stickers.

we continued down the main street of town until we came to a candy shop.  we bought a couple of jelly worms, and a couple of jelly butterflies.  we stopped in the inexpensive ice cream shop but left empty handed.  we then went to the small supermarket to buy some cooking cream and lettuce.  i wanted to make a sauce for the sweet potato ravioli in my freezer.  there wasn't any lettuce and the grandson went ballistic when i didn't buy him a huge banana punch milk.  after a while, i bought him a small bag of chocolate milk and we made our way to the childrens' playground.

it was getting cold and i was feeling uncomfortable.  he was having a great time.  finally i asked him if he wanted to go back to the store to buy some potatoes for dinner.  he was all for going back to the store.   suddenly, he was whining and wanted me to pick him up and carry him.  i guess he was suddenly very tired.  just then a cab came my way and i jumped in with the kid.  as soon as we got home he wanted to watch videos on the computer.  he started playing with his stickers.  he placed one pack on his sweater.

i started to make a soup.  i had a big piece of pumpkin, a couple of carrots an onion and a couple of juicy tomatoes.  i added some ravioli to the finished soup.  it worked.  i then made a few potato and sweet potato latkes.  they were small but they came out.  my daughter-in-law came home and i served her soup and latkes.  the grandson had a couple of ravioli that i fished out of the soup.  they went downstairs and i started to make fried donuts out of a yogurt and flour batter.  i drizzled warm honey and then sprinkled cinnamon and coconut flakes on them.  they were good, actually.

my son called and asked if i was making latkes.  i told him that i had a pot of soup ready and asked him if he wanted a greek salad.  i them made a large salad of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives and salty bulgarian cheese.  he came home and had a few latkes, a bowl of soup and a huge salad.  i made a round of hot chocolate for the kids and daughter-in-law and we lit the chanukiah and then everyone went downstairs.  i did the dishes and came over to blog.  i am extremely tired.  i promised to take the kid to an activity tomorrow at a community center.   we'll see what time i can get it together.  there is one at 10:00 a.m. and another at 11:30 a.m.  we'll just have to play it by ear.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgivucka Ends But Chanukah Goes On

it is 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of Zefat.  today is the 4th day of Chanuka.   the gans are on vacation so i have my grandson with me until around 4:00 p.m.   i volunteered to take him to a theater in town for a chabad presentation at noon.  although it is only a five minute walk form the bus stop, we will cab it to be safe.   i haven't attempted to take him to town after a disastrous time with him a couple of years ago.   i am a bit apprehensive to take him today.

my thanksgiving/chanukah meal went well.  we were only seven at the table.  in the past i usually had a large crowd,  but i simply can't get one together anymore.  this friend is diabetic, and this friend is working evenings,  and this one's husband is out of town, and this one doesn't do well in a crowd, etc.  this was a small gathering and a cozy one at that.   i didn't have to open up the table and scramble for chairs.   it was comfortable  for each person.

i made sure to have a fun trivia quiz about both holidays and chocolate coins to sweeten the deal.  some of the questions were sheer silliness but i wanted a light evening.  it prevented a lull in the conversation.  we didn't do the usual  'what do you have to be thankful for' round robbin this time.  we were all thankful to be alive, warm, comfortable, and well fed.  we were all thankful for a couple of hours of  good cheer and food and fun company.  it was my parents' anniversary and i was thankful for all they did for me and the fond holiday memories.          

i had the grandson all day with me on thursday.  i hadn't been asked, either.  i spent a good couple of hours washing the floors and straightening up the house.   since i had pneumonia, papers and toys and clothes as well as, dirt and dog hairs piled up all over the place.  i found myself  trying to do a pesach clean up.  it was difficult to set the table and do the floors with a little 4 year old active boy  running around and getting  in my way.  i was not a happy camper or grandma.

i had a few turkey napkins left from former years.  i don't know what i'll do next year.  the supply is gone.  i still have my paper thanksgiving table cloth that i didn't use this year out of respect for chanukah.  the food was pretty good, if i do say so myself.  the applesauce which was frozen beforehand was just right.  the cranberry sauce was thick and jellied. it wasn't  too sweet but a bit tart.  i actually prayed for it to taste good.  the turkey wings and meatballs were good, not that i had many.  the corn bread was a hit although i didn't  go for it.  no one really touched the cranberry muffins.  perhaps it was overkill.  the string beans and almonds was a welcomed side dish.   the sage kosher 'sausage' rice dressing with chestnuts and cranberries was a big hit.  i served the rest on shabbat and even the sephardi daughter-in-law liked it.

i struggled with making sweet potato latkes.  they simply were not frying up.  they kept on falling apart.  i totally forgot how to make latkes. even after i had a long conversation with my sister the latke maven,  i wasn't able to produce one latke.  i finally threw the greasy mushy mess into a loaf pan and added a couple of eggs.  voila!  we had a tasty sweet potato kugel.  i had almost the same results with the corn fritters.  i persevered and made many very thin and greasy fritters.  they were actually a hit.

 i struggled at the last minute to make the pumpkin custard.  i really didn't care anymore.  i should have pureed it better because it baked into a very runny and very unappealing looking dish.  i tossed most of it. even though it was topped off with a scoop of pareve shipped cream it was untouched.  i think that's it with pumpkin desserts for me.  my pumpkin cake was not much better received last year.  fortunately, everyone was too full to complain or comment about the custard.   also, a good friend arrived with a huge box of jelly donuts with fancy icing to boot.  no one missed the pumpkin pie.

i was totally wiped out by the time the guests arrived.  i had planned on making a green salad.  it never happened.  i hurriedly cut up some red and yellow peppers and threw cherry tomatoes in to a dish.  i did make a mayonnaise dressing.  i had wanted to make russian dressing but the kids had made off with my bottle of ketchup.  i somehow relaxed during the meal.  i  ended up eating two enormous jelly donuts later that night after i did the clean up.  it was basically washing the dishes.  adults do not trash your house after a meal.

i woke up on friday and i was wasted.  i had to visit the cemetery.  it was the 5th anniversary of my mother's passing.  i was planning on going with my sister but i had to leave early.  my son couldn't go with me because he holds the custom of not visiting a cemetery during chanukah.  i took a taxi and literally stayed for about 5 minutes.  i cleaned both my parents' graves and had a good cry.  i lit memorial candles, said a quick psalm and went to town.  i had to exchange the bedroom slippers that i had bought for my granddaughter.  i wasted over an hour in the process.

i went to a small grocery and bought goodies.  i decided that in my mother's honor i would make a great shabbat.  i splurged.  i got home at noon.  i quickly sprang into action as shabbat candle lighting was at 4:00 p.m.  i  made a cholent with beef and chicken and used barley and wheat.  i fried up some chicken breasts.  i had a problem again.  i think using an electric burner just isn't the best for frying.   i cooked up a small piece of niles perch fish in a spicy sephardi sauce.  i served egg salad, corn salad, a green salad, guacamole, and two types of chumus.  i asked my daughter-in-law to make the red cabbage salads as i was losing steam.  i served the rice dressing and i made some oven fried white and sweet potatoes.

 i made a cheesecake using instant butterscotch pudding instead of the vanilla kind.   i had a banana  loaf cake leftover from thanksgiving that got overshadowed by the donuts.  i made raspberry jello with non dairy whipped cream.  i bought almond sticks, watermelon seeds and pumpkin seeds. i even sprung for kedem grape juice.  there was plenty of beer and a bottle of wine leftover from last shabbat.  i got the chanukiah ready for lighting and i was ready to collapse.

the daughter-in-law went to shul and left the two kids with me.  they were carrying on and the little one was crying and screaming  until i screamed at her to shut up.  i didn't get to shower.  i had a cranberry and vodka  cocktail and did the dishes.  i didn't let the grandson sleep over.  i needed to relax.  i didn't fall asleep until almost 11:00 p.m.  i was pretty wasted in the morning.  but the day went well.  i gave the kids chanuka cards and their mother played with them for a while.  lunch was tasty  and then everyone napped while i read psalms.  shabbat ended at 5:00 p.m. and i went to bed and watched t.v.  i watched a great movie although i was falling asleep during most of it.

the house is trashed.  i am too tired too clean it.  the heat wave is officially over and the weather has turned cold.  it is windy and definitely feels like winter today.  the grandson is anxious to get going.  the chanukah show isn't until noon.  i need a hot shower and some amphetamine.  wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gobble Gobble Spin The Draidel

it is 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.   tonight is the first night of chanukah.   i don't know yet if the kids will be here or not.   i can always fry up some latkes if they come around.   i have yams, pumpkin and sweet potatoes to work with.   i can also fry up some greek yogurt puff donuts in a blink of an eye.   i bought both kids a chanukah package of sweets and i still have a reserve of chocolate lollies in the freezer.  i really need to buy some cheap gifts, too.

 i have to pick up my grandson from gan later on today.  we usually go to the playground until the daughter-in-law picks us up.   so far the weather has been fine.  in fact, we are in the middle of a heatwave.  they call it a sherav, a desert wind.  no snow for us right now.   santa is definitely not in the equation here.  we'll just have to wait until we try on our new ugh boots this year.

my grandson visited me at 6:00 a.m.   i managed to rest until he requested his morning hot chocolate.  the dogs had already made in the hallway.  i start each day by sponging down the hallway.  i need to wash the floors but i am still a bit tired.  if only i could drink some coffee.  the smell still revulses me.

i finally took my remedy on sunday.  for a moment i felt totally well.  i felt my lungs opening up and i didn't feel sick.  it was then followed by an overwhelming fatigue and i couldn't get out of bed.  all i could do was sleep.  the kids finally made a birthday party for the 2 year old granddaughter on thursday.  i made a cheesecake and about 15 large chocolate lollies.  the noise level was out of control.  my head was splitting.   i spent a lot of time talking to our new yorker shabbat guest, who was invited to the party.  i then escaped to the upstairs.

i came down after the party was over for some cake.  i started binging again and have hit the sugar and carbs pretty hard lately.  i helped straighten up a bit and went back upstairs and watched some t.v.   i spent the entire friday on my feet cooking shabbat meals.  i started at 9:00 a.m. and finished at 4:00 p.m.  our guest was a gluten free vegan.   my daughter-in-law, being sephardi,  had no clue how to cook for a vegetarian, never mind vegan.  and you can forget about gluten free.

 zelda doesn't ever back down from a culinary challenge.  i made a gluten free egg less chocolate cake and a corn bread.   the secret here being soy milk and vinegar.   i made white rice, white potatoes, fresh corn, fried eggplant and a pumpkin soup.  i made a cabbage salad without mayonnaise dressing.  and of course, i made one with mayonnaise.   i also made a vegetarian cholent with canned beans and chickpeas and potatoes for his lunch.   i made the usual fish, chicken and meat cholent for the rest of us,  as well as a regular coconut loaf cake.  the kids tasted the egg less chocolate cake made with rice flour and spit it out.  the guest loved it.  in spite of the strange consistency, it tasted yummy and fudgy.  thank goodness that  he ate sugar and didn't know what night shades are!.

after shabbat, i was back in bed for a few days.  my throat feels a bit scratchy and i seem to have a bit of heart burn.  i don't know if this is from the remedy or a remnant of the pneumonia.  maybe it's all the junk that i've been gorging on.  who knows?   i have been busy making a thanksgiving chanukah feast for tomorrow night.  i have a non dairy cornbread, banana bread and a dozen cranberry muffins in the freezer.  i even froze my homemade applesauce.  i can use any leftover sauce to make a cake.  these non american kids hate applesauce.  they think it's baby food.  my sister's american lot think of it as geriatric food.   i think of it as a must serve traditional side dish for latkes.

 i made up a pot of very spicy turkey wings and meatballs last night.  i used up all of the leftover dry red wine in the fridge and added a packet of sweet chili sauce and some tomato paste. sugar.  i  also made up a batch of cranberry sauce.  i used the tangerines from the back yard instead of orange juice.  because i didn't water the garden,  they are the size of cherry tomatoes.  however, they do have a lot of juice but are a bit tart.  i used tons of sugar and added apples as well as some dried cranberries. i had one heck of a headache last night and i'm not sure if  it was from the msg in the chili sauce or the escessive amount of sugar in the cranberries.

 i've already cooked up some pumpkin to make a baked custard.  i don't feel like fussing with making a pie crust.  i don't have any ramekins so i cut out individual aluminum muffin tins.  they might be too small but how much dessert do we really need.  i bought some pareve whip cream to top them off.  for sure, that is asking for a headache.  are we having fun yet!

i have leftover rice so i'm making a sage sausage dressing with kebobs.  i have been on the web all week looking up recipes.  i thought about making a rice pudding but in the end, i'm making a rice dressing.  i bought lettuce, red cabbage and cherry tomatoes to make a salad.  i also have avocado to make guacomole.  i need something fried.  i think people are expecting sweet potatoes too.  i want to make corn fritters but i forgot to buy corn.  the local store was out of cooked chestnuts.  i'll buy the corn on my way to pick up my grandson.  i know this is way too much food, but the beauty of it all,  is that the next day is shabbat and i won't have to cook again.

Chanukah sameach and Happy thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Just A Perfect Day

it is 7:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i have an appointment to see my homeopath at noon.  i am hoping to get a remedy to strengthen my immune system.  i have never gone in for  bee pollen or echinesia.  i tend not to do well with herbal products.  i feel strange going homeopathic after such a long time.  i initially took a remedy  last december to help with the radiation treatments.

i felt too polluted when i returned from the hospital to get a remedy.  i was so traumatized from all the hospitalization, that i simply hid in my house for 9 months and tried to heal by osmosis.  i see now that it was a huge mistake.  i felt like i had let homeopathy down.  i felt like a traitor.  i realize now that i really hindered my recovery by not eating well and taking a remedy.

i recently was diagnosed with pneumonia.  i took a round of two different antibiotics and stayed in bed for about two weeks.  i lost my voice three times.  i insisted on having long telephone conversations which were painful for me and for my friends who had to listen to me violently cough.   i sounded like a fog horn.  my voice would fade in and out of the conversation.  by not being active, i put on a bunch of weight when i finally started eating.  this is not good.  i didn't feel as sick as i imagined i would with pneumonia, but i was very depressed.  at first,  i couldn't do much but sleep. i didn't drink liquids, take vitamin c and garlic, or gargle with salt.  i was very passive.  i felt defeated.  i ate way too much sugar.  i read that dark chocolate was good so i over did it.  i had bought a block of cheap chocolate to make lollies for chanukah but i managed to eat it all during my convalescence.

i didn't see the kids much but i did do a couple of babysitting stints at night.  i was feeling almost well on thursday.  the kids asked if i could make shabbat meals for them.   my daughter-in-law made shabbat the week before.  i went to the store all by myself.  it was the first time that i left the house in weeks.  i spent a small fortune on shabbat treats and drinks.  i cleaned the entire house.  i did the floors.  i had friends coming from efrat for the night so i made up the bedrooms.  i even baked a chocolate cake.

we made a barbecue and a couple of friends came over to join us.  my daughter-in-law went out with a gal pal.  the boys did a karaoke performance for us.  we were all pretty silly and loose.  i hadn't seen my efrat friends in nearly two years.  it was a good night.  we gabbed until the wee hours of the morning.  i got most of the meal done early.  my daughter-in-law came down with a strong throat virus and was down for the count.  i kept the kids with me so she could sleep.

by saturday she was in bad shape.  at least, at night she was able to eat.   in the morning she couldn't swallow.  she couldn't do much of anything.  my grandson slept with me on friday might.  he woke up at 6:00 a.m. and was ready for chocolate milk and cake.  my granddaughter came up shortly after with a diaper in hand.  my son sent her up to her grandmother to change her poopy diaper.  talk about your chutzpa!  i kept the kids with me until shabbat was over.

yesterday my throat felt scratchy and sore.  i stayed in bed.  my son called to ask me to pick up my grandson from kindergarten.  my daughter-in-law ended up driving me to pick up the kids form their perspective gans. they stayed with me until my son came home from work.  i bathed them together in the tub and fed them.  the house is now completely trashed but i am in no shape to clean it.  i had a strange dream about moving back to town.  it was so dramatic.  i can't imagine leaving  my house and neighborhood at this point in time.  at least it will be something to discuss with the homeopath.  they really like dreams.

i have to go to tel aviv tomorrow for the brain MRI and to see the gyn/oncologist.  i want to cancel.  i am very tired.  i can't imagine travelling so far.  i don't have the energy to call to reschedule the appointments.  i still have not been reimbursed for the taxi rides from march.  my medical carrier is definitely playing games with me.  i simply, do not have the money to take a driver tomorrow.  i guess i have to gird my loins and just do it or else, cancel in the morning.  pneumonia is a pretty good excuse.

i got an email form one of the yeshiva students that i knew while i was cooking there.  he is now in jerusalem and sounds like he is doing well.  this young man was quite a character in his 'youth'.  he has the tattoos all over his arms and legs to testify to it.  still, he was one of my favorite guys.  we sparred a bit but i definitely felt him.  we only went head to toe once, and i didn't back down.  he reminds me a lot of myself.

 i recently heard that lou reed had died.  he was one of my favorite artists and songwriters.  he was also a jew.  he lived to be 71.  that's pretty amazing for someone who was so self destructive as himself.  i read that in later years he did tia chi .  i pray that he rests in peace.  once again, i am humbled that i have survived my past and recent illness.  praise the Lord!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's New?

it is 5:45 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.   i got up about an hour ago.  i woke up with a spasmodic coughing fit.  i nearly  threw up.  i've been coughing for over a week.  for the most part,  it had been a dry and annoying cough.  both grand kids seemed to have this last week.

it developed into a very wet cough and i've been spitting up phlegm all week long.  it doesn't end.  i lost my voice twice this week.  i have been in bed all week.  i think i had a fever during the week but i didn't make any attempt to measure it.   i just lie in bed all day long.   i didn't have the kids with me at all this week.  i watched them for about an hour yesterday.  they haven't come running up here all week.  i wonder if kids sense illness.

my grandson didn't understand why i was talking in a whisper.  i had the longest, almost silent,  phone conversation of my life yesterday.   my voice would come out for a few words and then fade.  it was all too painful.  a long time acquaintance died this week after undergoing a bypass surgery.  i couldn't make it to the funeral.  the weather has taken a turn for the fall.  it is windy and cold now.

i have heard that there have been some earthquakes in zefat lately.  haven't really felt them up here.  i finally made a doctor's appointment for this morning.  i think it may be time to start antibiotics, not that i am sure about being able to swallow any.  i haven't been drinking much this week.  the only thing that felt good was hot chocolate.

i didn't  take out the ginger or gargle with lemon or anything else home remedy-like.  i just ignored it.  not a very pro active choice.    i think i've more or less given up.   i tried drinking tea but it aggravates my stomach.  my entire body hurts.   my throat is seriously irritated.   i am not a good patient at all.   i'm like an old dog.  i stay in my space and  keep still.   i hope i don't have to go to the hospital for tests today.  i am not in the mood to ravel..  i accepted an appointment close to home,  with a not so great doctor, because i didn't want to go to town.

i didn't call for a home visit because they send mickey mouse russian doctors who are useless.  no offense meant to the russian community.   i don't even know all the words in hebrew to explain my symptoms.  i am not in my element here.  at the hospital in tel aviv,  i get by solely in english.  the  nurses and office staff get peeved at english speakers.  doctors generally, are impressed.  they think they are dealing with a better class of people.  like who doesn't want to speak english?  most israeli english students, for one.

i am in no shape to make shabbat for the kids.  if they want to stay home they can take whatever they need from my freezer and cook it themselves.  i am done.  i need to get into the shower.  i reek!  i heard through my sister that my ex male suitor was texting her about putting me on certain prayer lists.  i didn't understand why he couldn't text me directly so i texted him a thank you.   i was 'enlightened'  that it wasn't proper to contact each other once the arranged shidduch was over.  he did however,  make an exception,  this one time, out of a charitable disposition,  because it dealt with a medical situation.  and to think, that i still miss his company????

i finally did my dishes this morning.  both sinks were over loaded.  i somehow managed to wash the floors in the middle of the week.  i think that i was feeling almost well one day.  by that,  i mean, one day when i wasn't burning up or feeling faint,  i did the floors.  i had lots of leftovers from shabbat, so the dogs and i ate well.  the dogs ate better than i did.  the smell of the meat  and chicken made me nauseous.  i ate the cooked veggies and sauce.  i only lost a couple of pounds.  i was counting on getting thin once again.

i am not looking forward to going to the doctor.  i received a notice from the medical carrier that they were refunding me $50.  i put in receipts for over $600.  some things never change.  that acquaintance who died this week, was also doing a paper tail to recover his severance  and sick day benefits.  he was owed thousands of dollars and was getting the old bureaucratic runaround.  that couldn't have been soothing to his heart.  having this looming over him couldn't have been healing.  i'm hoping that justice will be done for him,  even after his death.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Voting in Zefat

it is  4:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  today is the mayoral election in zefat.  i haven't decided if i want to vote or not.  unlike the rest of the anglos in the old city, i don't have any issues.  my neighborhood is clean and the garbage is picked up pretty regularly.  they haven't destroyed any trees up here, either.  i guess i am complacent when it comes to the local elections.

 zefat is known for having a corrupt city government.  the majority of past mayors were under house arrest for absconding with city funds.  i have been here for nearly 30 years and i can't say that i have witnessed any real progress.  we do have a lot more people living here these days than in the past.  it has created a backlog in the bureaucracy.

i got up early to do some errands.  my grandson joined me at 6:30 a.m.   he was wet from pishing in his bed.  he wouldn't let me shower him so i washed him with a damp cloth.  he had a field trip because all of the gans were being used as voting places.  i went straight to the social worker this morning.  she helped me compose a note to the medical carrier to accept my invoice for a couple of taxi fares back from the hospital.  we shall see if they finally reimburse me or not.  i still have three trips that i haven't recieved invoices for.

i then took a cab down to town to the national insurance office.  it was completely empty.  it was very surreal.  usually by 9:00 a.m. it is already full and quite noisy.  i felt an outer body experience there.  there were only two other people there besides myself.  i was told that i did get my monthly stipend yesterday..  somehow, it didn't show up on my bank print out.  i proceeded to the water company and paid one bill.   apparently, i missed another bill.  i don't remember receiving it.  it will have to wait until the new year to be paid.  i was the sole person at the water company too.

i  then made my way over to the bank.  it was also pretty empty.  i picked up my checkbooks and strolled over to the city tax office.  i was once again, the only person there.  i paid my real estate taxes plus late penalties and went on to the medical clinic to pay my health insurance bill.  as i was leaving the bank, the clerk warned me that i mustn't bounce any more checks.  i tried to 'enlighten' her that most of the damage was done while i was away from zefat undergoing chemotherapy in tel aviv.  she made a call for me but i don't really know what was said. or resolved.  i  had to pay a small ransom in bank charges lately.

i ran into my best gal pal and we went out for chocolate milkshakes.   how yummy was that!  she had to get back to work so we didn't have a lot of time to schmooze.   i did some window shopping.  i was looking for chanukah coloring books or props.  i didn't see any.  i ran into a few acquaintances and discussed my  past illness and treatment for a while.  i waited for the bus to get back home.  i t was getting late and i needed to get to my grandson's gan.  it turns out that there weren't any buses running at the bus stop so i cabbed it.  i had the driver wait for me because i was spent by then.

we came home and i bathed my grandson.  i had bought him a jelly donut but the dog ran off with it.  what a bitch!  we munched out on some great whole wheat rolls and his mommy came home.  they all went out to the park.  i'm pretty tired.  i was expecting a female border next week.  someone saw my ad for the upstairs apartment and thought it would be great for this gal.  i really thought it was a done deal but it isn't going to work out.  most people prefer to live downtown.

in the winter, it's colder but a lot drier up here.  the houses in the old city tend to be moist and moldy in the winter.  i really didn't have the energy to clean the upstairs but i sure was counting on the money.  this is an old story.  something has to give.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Thanksgiving This Year

it is 5:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i went to pick up by grandson from gan a little while ago.  i  seem to be doing that a lot lately.  fortunately, the weather has been warm and i have enjoyed the 15 minute sprint down to the gan.  we usually, spend a half an hour at the park and then we get picked up by my daughter-in-law.

earlier, i went to town to pay my health insurance bill.  my payment was returned by the bank.  they returned quite a few checks this month and it cost me over $70 in penalties.  i still have not received a disability check since late july.  i am totally caught up in the inane bureaucracy of the government here.  i have taken emergency loans am i am still deeply into debt.  i have several outstanding bills that simply cannot be paid.  this is just par for the course here.  i hear it's getting pretty insane in america too.

i am feeling pretty good despite a cold.  what can i expect being around the kids all the time.  they're all coughing and they all have runny noses.  i have a bit of color these days form being outside a lot.  i do not look sick anymore.  i have a bunch of appointments coming up soon.  there's a gyn/oncologist and a brain MRI in november.  there's a brain surgeon appt. and another pet scan in december.  and then it's back to the radiologist in january.  are we having fun yet?

i still have thousands of shekels worth of taxi fares that i didn't get back from my medical carrier and about 8000 shekels from the national insurance that i'm owed.  i don't have enough stamina to deal with all of these offices.  i ordered check books weeks ago, and i found out yesterday that the bank never reordered them.  i feel overwhelmed.  i can't seem to keep track of all of this balagon.  i  am only concentrating on this year's first night of chanukah, which happens to be thanksgiving.  that seems to be the only thing i can relate to.  it's the first time that these two dates coincide since 1885.

i try to plan the menu and look up recipes on a daily basis.  my computer will not let me into most cooking sites.   i want the meal this year to be traditional for both events.  i have my paper turkey table cloth,  my straw turkey bread basket and some turkey napkins left over from past years.  i already made white chocolate dreidel and chanukiah lollipops.  i still have the dark chocolate ones to prepare.  i also have dreidel shaped salt and pepper shakers.  i need to place a small chanukiah on the table for show.  i thought about using 8 of the lollipops to create a chanukiah effect.

i bought a small bag of cornmeal to make the traditional cornbread.  i have dried cranberries that i may add to the cabbage salad.   i already bought turkey wings and frozen whole cranberries.  i have an old challah in the freezer that i can turn into sage and sausage bread stuffing.  i bought two kinds of  kabobs that will take the place of the sausage.  i am still dreaming about making a pumpkin pie.  who knows?  maybe i actually will. this year.  last year i made a pumpkin cake.  it was dreadful.   i saved and froze enough clear chicken soup from a shabbat meal to add to the bread stuffing. 

i need to do something fried to keep up with the chaukah tradition.  that leaves making either corn fritters, or potato latkes.  i'm  toying with the idea of making pumpkin latkes.  i did it one year and they were a big hit.  i'll probably fry chicken cutlets for that shabbat meal.  i'm also thinking about making stuffed baked sweet potatoes.  everything is possible.  i  want to make a chestnut soup but i think that would be overkill.  i have a recipe for fried cookie bow ties.  i don't know if i'll want to kill myself with this project or not. 

 i wish i could buy a prepared pie crust but they only have graham cracker ones and they really aren't good for  pumpkin pies.  i'm also considering making a non baked kind of pumpkin pie using vanilla pudding.  i'll have to investigate some more recipes.  in the meanwhile, i need to see the social worker from my medical carrier and the clerk at the national insurance tomorrow.  that should take the entire morning to deal with both these issues for sure.  i have to get my grandson from gan at 2:00 p.m. which puts me under even more pressure.  i also need to go to the electric company which is at the far end of town which is an expensive taxi ride.

the shabbat after thanksgiving is the 6th anniversary of my mothers passing.  i would like to arrange a kiddish for her in the little chabad bomb shelter but i don't know if my finances will be in better order by then.  i know that i am a bit ahead of myself but that's what i always do.  i'm thinking of tu b'shvat after chanukah.  and i think of chanukah after sukkot.  it's funny but i haven't begun to think about purim yet.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hanging In There

it is nearly 1:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i just had my plumber friend come out to check my rooftop apartment.  i want to build a staircase and separate entrance to create a rental.  i have been talking about doing this for the last few years.  unfortunately, i have no savings left to pay for this.  i will have to take a bank loan and will probably not see any profit for years.  the plumber thinks it will cost a huge amount of money.

i was counting on not spending more than $10,000.  the way he's tallking this could be well over 30,000.  i am still trying to pursue female boarders.  it's really a great space upstairs.  i am running out of options to raise money.  i  am considering the option of moving upstairs myself and renting out my apartment.. that would be very hard.  just the idea of packing up all my belongings makes me sick.  i would have to exit through the downstairs apartment where the kids live basically, for free.  yes, sacrifices would have to be made by all of us.

i realistically, don't see myself getting a job right now.  i still have to undergo brain surgery.   i recieved some cash from my siblings to help me get through the immediate 'crunch'.  first thing i did was to fill up the freezer. i bought lots of inexpensive fowl.  i bought tons of chicken hotdogs, hamburgers, lamb kabobs, chicken bones, cheap steaks, turkey wings, and chopped turkey.   i even got some fish.   when in doubt or debt,  buy food.  i actually spent about $200.  that should get me through the winter,  food wise.  that of course, does not include veggies or fruit.

i had to pick up my grandson from kindergarten yesterday.  i walked down to the gan.  it was an easy  15 minute walk downhill.  i was happy to do it.  i even got a lift home with one of the mothers.  i made a big mistake in taking the grandkid to the super.  i wanted to buy some hot chocolate mix and tea.  i thought it would wear him out.  it nearly kiled me.  first, he got his 'mitts' on a  sticker book of 'trash people'.  that's his new fixation.  i immediately took it out of his hands and explained that i didn't have enough money to buy it for him..  it was 20 shekels.   it could make a nice chanukah gift.

he immediately threw himself on to the ground and stated to cry.  i ignored him and went off to find the tea. he grabbed another copy of the sticker book and started to open it.  i confiscated the second  book and placed it high up on the shelf.  he again hit the floor and srarted crying.  i tried to ignore him and went off  to find the cocolate mix.  he once again found, yet,  another sticker book and started to open it.  i got it away from him but it was a struggle.  i think i gave him a potch on his backside.

he was thirsty so i bought him a punch-banana flavored milk.  i found him a seat and told him to stay put and to drink.   he managed to 'aquire' some more items that he wanted to buy.  he held onto a small vile of tick tacks.  i refused to buy it for him so he ran off and started eating them.  i didn't want to buy them but i felt as a matter of principle, that i was obligated to.  i refussed to let him have them so he once again, threw an enormous fit.  there was no one else in the store besides the manager and the cashier, so i let him scream.  i wanted to kill him.  i momentarily hated him and had the most awful thoughts about hurting him when i caught up with him. .

the little brat was hiding and i could not find him.  i knew that he hadn't made it out of the store but i could not see him.  i checked the bathrooms and even climbed upstirs to the manager's office.  he was out of sight. i waited over a half an hour until i saw him.  and then, he ran away once again.  i must have been in that store for over an hour.  i felt like such a fool.  he finally caught up with me but he threw another fit when i refused to give him the tick tacks.  i don't know how i dragged him off of the floor and out of the store.  he then became one with the pavement and i left him.  i walked away but of course, i kept on coming back to get him up.

it took another half an hour of my screaming at him to get him home.  i actually gave him one gigantic smack on his back.   i was aiming for the backside but missed.  i then grabbed him by his arms and somehow shlepped him up the stairs.  by the time we got home he was over his fit.  i was fit to be tied.   i took him to the local playground and he was pretty active.   we got back home and i decided to take him and his baby sister to a neighbor's house,  where they were dedicating a new torah scroll to the local shul.  it was quite cold outside but i couldn't confine the two kids in the house.  there were many people milling about and the kids were not happy being indoors.

outside, my grandson helped himself to cookies and peanuts.  he climbed on to a small tree and was happy being outdoors.  i don't think the people outside were so happy with him climbing the tree.  my grandaughter was a royal pain in the neck.  she took a tumble down some stairs, as i was shlepping the stroller up the stairs.  luckily, she wasn't hurt.  i was beside myself.  i finally managed to get her to stop crying for a little while but i decided to take them home.  this was not the place for them.  i was sorry that i took them out.  the two of them are simply not fit for human consumption.  i can manage them in the house in front of the t.v. set. going out with them is a nightmare.  they are a pair of wild indians.  they are wolverine like.  i am  actually embarrassed to be seen with them.  some proud grandma i am!

my grandson told his father last night that he had caused me 'problems' in the super.  i tried my best to explain to him that taking candy and sticker books without permission and money is tantamount to stealing.  i refused to give him any tick tacks last night.  he came upstairs for the package of tick tacks this morning..  i only gave him two and he threw a fit in the car on his way to kindergarten.  his mother insisted that he doesn't get away with any of this shtick on her watch.  first thing this morning, he came into their bedroom and pished on their rug.  my son was beside himself.  wanted to know if the kid needs a shrink.  i think i need one.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Falling Leaves

it is 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the holidays are finally over.  i actually had a glorious simchat torah.  i thoroughly enjoyed the sephardi service at the big synagogue down the street.  i even stayed for the elaborate kiddish afterwards.  my son did a wonderful grill with lamb chops and steaks for our holiday meal.  i enjoyed some wine, too.  i later went to the chabad bomb shelter to say yizkor and had a 'bit' of vodka.  i was feeling no pain for hours.  i took a walk later on that evening.  i was feeling restless.

i've been in bed for a week.  it started to get cold and then it got hot again.  i've had a sore back for days. lifting small kids will do that to you.  i  worked on disassembling the sukkah for a couple of hours by myself.  i took down all of the ornaments and material.  i washed the curtains.  i started taking the bars apart but i had no more strength to finish.  my son finally put it away after i screamed at him the next day.

i am waiting for the kids to come home.  i'm babysitting for a little while until my son gets back from work. the daughter-in-law has a family function in another town tonight.  i'm pretty worn out at this point.  i would love to go to the supermarket but i can't leave.

i finally caught up with my laundry.  it started drizzling today so i hauled everything off of  the lines.  i will have to reconnect the dryer soon.  i have been losing sleep over my lack of funds lately.  it seems that i didn't get my disability check for two months.  as i turned 62 in july, they automatically stopped my checks.  of course, i didn't receive a letter of explanation or any forms to fill out.  i called my brother for an emergency loan.  i also, took out an emergency loan from the bank.

i never got reimbursed for the taxis i took back from the hospital, either.  i am in a total fiscal collapse.  is it any wonder that i wake up every night at about 3:30 a.m?  my son hasn't given me a penny in months and  the bills are lining up to be paid.  i have an appointment soon with the radiologist.  and then i'll be doing another MRI of my brain.  i am tired and very depressed.  that can't be so good for my health.

a few months back when i really needed help, the law of the land excluded me because i was 61.  yes,  i was too 'young' to get someone in to help me clean and shop.  suddenly i am 62 and the law of the lands says i'm too old to get disability.  i spent half the day at the national insurance office on tuesday.  i was given forms to fill out and the cold shoulder.  as usual, i was told that it was all my fault.

i had to seek help from a volunteer to deal with the forms.  it turns out that we used to volunteer together at the old age center.  i broke down and cried.  it was all so overwhelming for me.  i have exhausted all funds back in the U.S  and have been a burden on my siblings, to boot.  i feel rotten.  i am sick from the injustice of it all, too.  i am sick of fighting the bureaucracy here.

i landed back in bed until today.  i couldn't move.  i was emotionally and physically drained from all the stress about money.  i have been stripped of all finances, temporarily.  i  don't get it.   there is a cosmic message for me here to understand.  unfortunately, all my friends are in the same boat.  and these are the 'golden

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Chag Goes On

it is 7:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  it looks like rain.  it is cold. too.  i haven't been sleeping well.  one of my dogs is very sick.  i can't get a hold of a vet to visit.  i've been giving her some antibiotics but i don't know if she will pull through.  i keep glancing over to her to see if she is still alive.

i've been babysitting a lot this holiday.  the kindergartens closed a few days before the holiday even began.. this is really not fair on the parents and extended families.  i have been lifting the toddler a lot lately and my back is kaput.  she now climbs up the stairs all the time to visit.  i locked my door yesterday and she just stood on the landing knocking for me to open the door.

she is pretty bright and hasn't yet turned two.  i can deal with one of them at a time but together they make up one heck of a wrestling 'tag' team.  i actually fell asleep with the toddler for a while yesterday, and i woke up to a wet bed and soaked skirt.  i don't believe any of us pished on the bed.  someone dowsed me with water.

dealing with a ''terrible' two and 'horrible' four is a very hard job for anyone.  they both tend to have temper tantrums and someone is always crying.  they both can be obnoxious and strike out physically at any given moment.  i go right to sleep when the mommy comes home.  i live in fear of getting sick from them.  all of their school mates are being given the live polio vaccine.  they claim that vaccinated children cannot catch polio from the oral vaccine.  let's hope that they can't be carriers, also.  i flinch every time one coughs.

we haven't used our sukkah much this season.  we did have one shabbat meal together but got rained out on saturday.  i had a cook out on sunday with a few friends.  one gal 'manned' the grill while we sat inside blabbing.  i arranged salads and dressings and even made a noodle kugel.  we had steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs.  the weather was just right.  my friends even brought chassidic music for the atsmosphere.

the kids are working all through the week and even the children are busy indoors watching television and playing with their toys.  no one really wants to hang out together in the sukkah with me.  i guess i had the fantasy that we would all meet downstairs at breakfast time to eat in the sukkah and talk.  the only time i see the kids is when they need something from me.  my son comes up for milk, juice, toilet paper and  to ask me to babysit.  that's about the gist of it.  no one wants to talk to me.  even the grandson tells me to be quiet when he's engrossed in a show.

i had someone who did engage with me but he expected marriage in return.  i  simply couldn't take on the commitment at this point in my life.  it was nice though, to have someone who enjoyed my company and energy.  i am once again a bit down.  i think the kids will be here for Simchas Torah.  at this point, it doesn't matter if they go somewhere else.  i am tired of serving them.  i am tired of running around to please them and take care of their kids.  i am tired of being ignored and being made to feel extinct.  i am tired of  the financial burden.

i was watching an old movie from the 50's called 'marty' with ernest borgnine.  it was about a 35 year old bachelor living with his 'old' italian widowed mother.  she and her sister were both in their mid fifties left to live with their grown up sons.  one sister was being forced out of her home because her young daughter-in-law couldn't get along with her.  sometimes i feel like this.  i feel like i'm in the way.  i feel like an old shoe.  i feel like nobody here gives a hoot.

maybe it was a mistake to give up on the shidduch.  i did have company.  so what if the guy drove me crazy? at least i wouldn't be alone right now.  or maybe i'd be right here blogging about how he was driving me crazy.  i think i don't do well psychologically, with fall and winter weather. the sun just came out and i feel better already.  i guess i'm just very tired and it gets me down.  i'm plagued with memories of the past.  i remember holidays filled with guests and sukkahs filled with people.  i can't be happy with what is now.  it's hard to just be in the moment.  it's hard to accept being alone.  it's hard to accept being home all the time.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chag Samayach

it is 7:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i got up about half an hour ago.  i'm really too tired to start the day but i am under a certain amount of pressure to decorate the sukkah before i have to watch both children today. my son assembled our sukkah late last night.  i sat on a chair watching, sitting outside in the cold.  we had psychodrama for most of the time.

it's the same old thing.  i ask for money and i get told that i haven't been there for him as a mother all his life. the fact that i'm broke, recovering from cancer and facing brain surgery, doesn't seem to matter to him.  you can't get blood out of a stone.  he absolutely feels under no obligation to help me out.  i am in no condition to kick him and his family out once again.  i know that he has enormous debts due to a bad business venture but he has to find a way to chip in on the house expenses, too.

i get so pressured and frustrated that i sometimes think it would be easier if i die.  i can't believe that this is good for my survival at all.  i decided to break up a wasp nest yesterday under my front window, next to my front door.  i had been watching wasps entering for days and finally saw the nest.  i banged down with a broom handle and was immediately swarmed by many very large and very angry bees.  i quickly ran into my house and one followed me inside and stung me on my thumb.  it held on to my thumb for dear life.  i actually saw its enormous stinger going into my thumb.  it was quite a shock.  my finger became inflamed and swollen right away.

i couldn't use my hand at all after that.  i had spent the day with my grandson when an old acquaintance came by to retrieve her belongings which i have been storing for 8 years.  it was a hard and dirty job.  she had many cartons to schlep from one side of the roof threw the mounds of pigeon poo.  the poor thing had to bend down the entire time because the beams of the roof were so low.  i helped take down the trash for her for a couple of hours while the grandson played with all the utensils in the upstairs apartment.  he was happy. i felt sorry for this lady.  most of the stuff she had left was not worth holding onto.  she is pretty situated now in her new life.

i think though, she had a certain amount of closure on her life in israel.  she doesn't have to think about what she left behind anymore.  she did manage to take some clothes, household items and books to give away.  i felt totally depleted after she left.  i needed to rest but once again, i was called upon to watch the kids for a while.

i had gone to the super with my grandson earlier in the day.  he had created a scene when i refused to buy him gum.  some nice lady tried to console him while i was paying and bagging my groceries.  i simply ignored him and his 4 year old tantrum.  i guess the other shoppers were greatful to this caring lady.  she actually thought that i was the mother.  what does that say about her.  she had come over to him earlier when he was verbally abusing me in classic 4 year old jargon.  i was simply not listening to him because i was vowing in my head never to take him anywhere again.

after yom kippur, i sent an email to my ex gentleman caller.  i was trying to convey to him how hard it was for me to end the 'courtship'.  i wanted him to know that i did like him and even held fond memories of him.  i just didn't think it would work out for us at this time.  maybe the long fast had effected my ability to reason properly.  i guess i didn't know what i was doing.  i got an immediate reply from him that he would consider meeting to talk again about important issues and that he would write further.  he applauded my sense of honesty and let me know that i had made the right decision not to give up on this yet.  he even called me at midnight to ask if i wanted to talk even though he admitted that he was too tired to talk.  i thought i heard a change in his voice for the better.  he sounded sober and serious.

i thought that maybe i could give it another go after my brain surgery.  who knows?  the next day i got an email from him about an 'amazing' video of a man who had selflessly given his entire life and was then rewarded in the end.  he was urging me to watch it.  it nearly crashed my computer but it totally crashed any serious thoughts of reconciliation.  i let him know that i didn't really appreciate people sending me all kinds of  amazing and 'inspirational' emails.  i  guess i expected a serious communique about the possibility of our getting together to mediate some real issues.  instead i got another email letting me know that he was too busy to 'write' including a detailed list of all the tasks that he had to get done before the holiday.

i lost it once again.  i screamed in cyberspace at him. i let him know that in no way, shape, or form was i interested in trying to deal with someone who could not connect in a real way.  i accused him of being manipulative to boot. i do not regret for a moment what i said.  i have to watch the kids now. speaking of master manipulation.  i still need to hang the sukkah decorations and we still need to buy a sukkah covering.  i forgot that i threw out last years' bamboo roof.  part of me feels that i should just forget about the decorations this year.

my gransdon came up bright and early to be with me.  his little sister followed up the stairs shortly afterwards.  i feel like i'm living in a zoo.  ants, rats, dogs, pigeons, wasps, grown up kids and grandchildren all taking over my space.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Getting Ready For Sukkot

it is 7:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  today is sunday.  we survived the yom kippur fast and lived to tell the tale.  i was living in dread before shabbat.  i spent most of rosh hashanah 'seeing' dead people.  i even dreamt of my mother.  it wasn't a pleasant dream.  it was full of psychodrama and other family members.  it was the first time i dreamed of here since she died five years ago.

i had the awful feeling that i was going to die on yom kippur.  i really thought that i was going to drop dead either in my home, or in the bomb shelter.  i don't know why i was feeling that way, in all honesty.  i cried when i said goodbye to the kids.  i felt that it was going to be the last time that i saw them.  i dreaded being alone.  i have been alone on yom kippur for the past five years and i have always looked forward to it.  not so, this year.

i made it to the bomb shelter for the evening service.  i was dressed all in white and feeling a bit uncomfortable in too many layers of clothes.  the space was comfortable for a change.  the service was divine.  i was totally in the moment.  i saw my girlfriend and ended up walking her and her husband back home.  i was feeling no pain.  i was actually feeling energetic.  i ran into another acquaintance and walked her home. too.  i ran up a few flights of stairs and made it home.  it was warm but i was feeling well.

i got undressed and retreated to my t.v. sofa.  i started to read the book of Yonah until i passed out.  i woke up at about 6:30 a.m. and didn't feel so great.  my stomach was churning.  i was hungry.  i let the dogs out and davened on the couch.  i didn't think i could make it up and out to services.  i rested for a while and when i felt stronger i got dressed and made it out by 9:00 a.m.  the bomb shelter wasn't too crowded.  i  sat opposite the fan.  the service was wonderful.  i was in my element.  i was feeling no pain.  i was actually happy even though i was all alone.

i came back at 1:30 p.m. and got undressed.  i lay on the couch and finished the book of Yonah.  i passed out for about 20 minutes.  i  got up and out for the 5:30 p.m. service.  because we didn't turn the clocks back yet, the fast was an hour longer this year.  we ended the service about 7:30 p.m. and had refreshments to break the fast.  i got home at 8:00 p.m.  the kids came back early and my son was hungry.  i made him some salad and eggs.  i wasn't ready to eat.  later on, i had some lox and cream cheese on a whole wheat pita.  and then i  started eating and couldn't stop.  it didn't matter what i ate, i wasn't satiated.

i couldn't fall asleep.  i didn't have any caffeine and yet there was no sleep.  i finally passed out after 5:00 a.m.  i got up at around 9:00 a.m.  i started eating again.  nothing seems to fill me up.  it's very hot.  i felt faint a few times today.  the gardener was here and i couldn't go downstairs to say hello.  i stayed in bed for most of the day.  i felt pretty weak.  i had to babysit for a few hours in the evening.  the kids came back at midnight.  my grandson is still up.  the toddler didn't fall asleep until after 10:00 p.m.

my son took in a pug puppy.  that's all we need, another dog.  my grandson is nuts about it and is making the puppy nuts.  i am not going to bail my son out of this situation.  the dog already pished on the bed a little while ago.  the daughter-in-law will throw it out once it makes on the floor.  here we go again!  the kids are going to the sephardi clan for the first leg of the holidays on wednesday night.  i guess i'll have them for shabbat and simchas torah.

i can invite myself out for the holiday or invite some people to my sukkot table.  the entrees are in the freezer.  i did invite my friends for a barbecue.  we can either do one on thursday afternoon after services, or during the week.  we will figure it out later.  hopefully, my son will assemble our sukkah tomorrow.  i have tons of  plastic fruit to hang up.  i kind of wish that i had a bunch of money to buy new material and a new covering but i don't.  we will just have to make do with what we have this year.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy New Year

it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i just got relieved from my babysitting post.  i had to pick up my grandson from his gan today.  it was the first time in nearly a year.  i had to cab it.  i went to town in the morning to catch a couple of torah classes at the chabad house.  it was hard to hear the women speak.  i was not comfortable.  i felt nauseous and tired.  my eyes were burning.  it was very hot.  i had trouble concentrating.  as i looked around at the crowd i felt like i was hallucinating.  it was reminiscent of how i felt after radiation treatments.

i needed to pay a couple of bills and order new checks at the bank.  as it was already unbearably hot, i skipped the errands and went straight to the classes.  they are predicting a record high heat wave for yom kippur this shabbat.  as if it isn't bad enough having to fast for a whole shabbat, we will also fry.  i am already dreading the fast.  i am in a state of near panic.

i am not in a good frame of mind.  the new year has just started and i am already feeling depleted.  the food preparations for the holidays was gruelling this year.  i still have three entrees in the freezer to use for the next holiday or shabbat.  i ate way too much on rosh hashana and felt awful after shabbat.  i don't think eating honey with bread agrees with me anymore.  i fasted an entire day on sunday and i haven't felt well since.  it is hard for me to stay hydraded.  i can't seem to drink fluids.

it was hard for me to daven at the bomb shelter this year.  it was hard to stand during the entire service.  i felt nauseous for most of the day.  there was no air circulating in the bomb shelter chabad shul.  i sat  too close to the wall fan and i was afraid of getting bels palsy again.  my eye was anyway, burning and red and very dry from the heat.  they use a very unattractive, shmutzy, piece of beige material to separate the men and women's sections.  it added to my feeling of claustrobia.

it is impossible to see what is going on in the men's section now.  how is one supposed to know when one is obligated to stand when one cannot see when the aron is open.  the rav who read the torah portion didn't speak above a whisper.  when it came time to blow the shofar, he couldn't get a note out.  i was feeling enraged.  i was feeling desperate.  i was feeling depressed.  i was feeling trapped.   i left the bomb shelter before the musaf prayer.  it was the first time that i left early in 11 years.

i decided to come home and serve the holiday meal that i had prepared for the kids and a friend.  i couldn't stand one more minute in the bomb shelter.  the kids had prayed at the sephardi shul.  it started a full hour before the chabad minyon, so everyone was already home.  i have never missed the musaf prayer and i had mixed feelings about it.

it looks like i'll be alone for yom kippur.  i do not know if i'll make it all day at the bomb shelter.  my good friend is going to the sephardi shul.  she absolutely cannot deal with the chabad bomb shelter anymore.  i kind of think it is ruined for me too.  i won't understand a word of prayer at the sephardi shul but it would be very comfortable there.  i am at a loss for my spirituality.

i called off my shidduch at last.  i offered to maintain a friendship but i knew it wasn't meant to be.  i will be dealing pretty soon with the neurosurgeon.  i have to do another brain mri in november.  i am feeling lonely.  i miss the male attention and energy.  i miss the familiarity.  but when all is said and done, i do not think that i could have married this man.  i simply could not take the stress anymore.

my home insurance salesman just called to let me know that i dated all of my checks for 2012 and 2013.  i am amazed at how poorly i am thinking.  luckily he's my cousin and will change the dates on the checks for me.  i always fear early onset altzheimers as my dad succumbed to this.  you would think i have enough on my plate.  instead of being greatful for how well i am, i seem to complain alot and focus alot on the negative.  i  guess i'll have to work on this a lot this year.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The End Of A Year

it's 1 :45 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i have just returned home from saying the traditional prayer of 'selichot' in the local bomb shelter, which hosts a chabad minyon.  after shabbat ended, i rushed over to my sister's to see her newly married son and wife before they left.  i had called her home to see if she had come home from india, as she had not been in touch with me.  her daughter told me that she had returned on thursday.  once again, i felt hurt but tried to reason that she had been too tired to call me.

i had broken off my relationship with my 'gentleman caller' on thursday because i had also felt a certain amount of lack of interest on his part.  i guess you can call it bad timing, or you can say that it wasn't meant to be.  my sister said that it was all my old issues and my being alone for all these years.  after all, a live man asked me to marry him so it must have been my baggage that ended it.  my son said that i couldn't get married because i was too attached to my favorite t.v. shows.

i wonder how i manage to shop and cook all of the shabbat and holiday meals for them and also take care of their kids if i'm always on the boob tube.  i am a t.v. addict and i do watch for hours at a time but that is because i can.  i'm alone a lot.  somehow i was able to turn off the t.v. to go to work before i got sick.  i am always missing the end of a movie or t.v.show to babysit or speak on the phone with a friend.  and i never used the t.v. as an excuse to get out of meeting my gentleman caller.  i'm constantly being interrupted while i'm watching t.v.  i'm always giving up adult viewing for children's shows.

since i ended my shidduch, i haven't even turned on the t.v. set.  i don't even miss it.  i am pretty down.  i don't know how things got so muddled up.  i really was looking forward to being married.  i truly enjoyed the male attention and liked his company.  i might have liked just being friends 'with benefits' as they say, in the modern world.  however, this is simply not accepted in the observant, charedi world.  i wanted so much to be able to say yes.  but then reality set in.  maybe the guy wasn't as bright as i had first thought?  maybe he wasn't able to support me as he had led me to believe?  maybe he was too religiously zealous for me?  maybe his health was worse than i thought?  what would happen if i died first?  who would take care of him?  who would take care of the both of us if we did make it to old age? etc.

i was driving myself crazy for weeks.  i started getting morbid.  well , more morbid than usual.  i started telling my son that i wasn't long for this world.  i even asked him to do me the big favor of getting my hebrew name correctly spelled on my grave.  i know i am a witch!  i was not feeling positive about  life so i'd like to think that it was all the doubts about getting married to this man that were taking over.

this is the end of the jewish year.  we start a new leaf and a new year on wednesday night.  i managed to turn off the t.v long enough so that i could bake two lasagnas last week for my grandson's birthday party.  i shopped for food for the entire holiday season and i also cooked four holiday meals and baked two honey loaf cakes that are in the freezer waiting to be defrosted.  i didn't watch that much t.v. i guess.

the threat of war has been hanging over our heads for weeks.  there are many syrian casualties of chemical warfare currently being treated in the zefat hospital.  israeli planes are flying over our heads all day long.  i can hear the sounds of katusha's landing in nearby places.  it is scary.  trying to order gas masks is an endless job.  may we be safe from our enemies and have a quiet and peaceful new year!!!!!  to be continued.....

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Gone Fishing

it is  nearly 2:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i haven't been near my blog in a while.  i had the grand kids until this week.  the granddaughter went back to childcare this week.  the grandson is still off from kindergarden.  i am on 'vacation' this week.  no grand kids, kids, floors, laundry, or anything else.

i actually got out last week to go to the annual klezmer music festival.  i went alone on wednesday night.  my friend up here is not a night person.  she wanted to hit town at 6:00 p.m. to get a bit of the atmosphere.  i wasn't ready to go out until 8:00 p.m.  i wasn't up for atmosphere.  i had a mission to do.  the band from the yeshiva, that i had cooked and mentored, was performing downtown in the old city at 10:00 p.m.  i didn't want to run into large crowds of people and get pushed around.

i was scared to death of being stuck in a crowd.  i didn't take the bus, either.  i knew from past experience, that it would be a huge hassle.  i didn't want to ride around for 40 minutes on a crowded bus.  i called a cab.  i knew that i would have to walk up from the central bus station.  the whole town was blocked off from traffic.

i was just getting out of the cab when i ran into the brilliant lady, whose torah class i had participated in until i got sick.  out of the blue, we got into a very heavy discussion about not bailing our kids out of all of their problems.  she recently, through the help of a mentor, stopped babysitting for her grand kids.  she urged me to quit, too.  she encouraged me to get more rest.  she encouraged me to get a life.  perhaps the discussion, wasn't so out of the blue.  i did let her know how tired i was from watching the kids all summer.

we spoke for a while and i made my way to the concert area.  i immediately, ran into the black sheep of the yeshiva.  he was in an italian ribbed undershirt and flannel bermuda shorts.  his tattoos all over his arms and legs were quite visible.  it felt so good to see him.  we engaged immediately in a soulful conversation.  the rav of the yeshiva passed by and did a double take when he realized who i was.  i was decked out in a shoulder length red wig.  i had tons of eye makeup on, too.  i hadn't seen these guys in 8 months and i wanted to look good.

i hung with this young 29 year old male for dear life.  i didn't move from my spot.  i was asked if i was his mother by a young lady.  i was also asked if i was his girlfriend by another young man, who probably had a few beers.  i  finally saw the rest of the guys.  the lead singer gave me one of his cds.  it was so very bitter sweet.  i miss that time of my life.  that time of my life when i finally got out of the house and established myself in a job and new lifestyle.  i missed that time of my life before i had cancer and health issues.  i missed all of the positive energy i received and gave out.  i missed being affiliated.

i was hoping to connect with my male suitor but i didn't see him.  i must have been putting out strong vibes because one of the guys called him at home to let him know that i was there.  i felt instantly elated when i saw him.  it was cool.  i couldn't really let loose and dance but i enjoyed watching him dance with the guys.  i ran into a few people who knew me before cancer treatment.  this was my re entrance into reality.  i ran into a long time friend who has alzheimer's.  she knew me right away.  she didn't however, remember my name or that i had been sick.  she looked great.  i escorted her to her house and then went back to get my guy.

the concert ended about 1:30 a.m.  i had a fresh fruit drink and we sat on a broken bench and spoke until 3:30 a.m.  i finally caught a cab home and didn't fall asleep until nearly 5:00 a.m.  i had the grandson with me all day.  he was very tired and he stayed in and watched videos all day long.  i stayed in a prone position on the couch as long as i could.  that night i watched the both kids while the so called grown up kids, went to the music festival.  i passed out.  they grandson stayed up all night and played on the floor while i slept.

 i couldn't move the following morning.  i stayed in bed to well after 1:00 p.m.  i had to force  myself up to have some breakfast.  i was in no shape to cook.  i opted to make a simple shabbat.  i didn't run to the supermarket, either.  i had already shopped for what i needed.  and whatever was missing was going to be missing.  it took another couple of hours for me to start the meals.  i made a quick chicken cholent for saturday's lunch.  i threw in some boiled eggs.  i also made stuffed peppers with chopped beef.  i defrosted some leftover barbecued chicken wings from the freezer and made some niles perch with potatoes.  i had some chumus and made a green salad.  that was it.  i did the floors with a wet wop.  i  watched the grandkids for an hour while the daughter-in-law went to pick up my son.  i  gave her money to buy some fruit for dessert.  i didn't watch the kids so that she could go to synagogue.  i passed out until it was time to eat.

i told my son that i was going on vacation this week.  he wanted to know where i was going.  i let him know that i was staying in bed.  i felt scared that they wouldn't take me seriously.  i kept on listening for foot steps.  i felt enormously guilty not helping out with the kids.  i also felt bad about not wanting to see any of them.  it's never ever just a pleasant visit with them.  it's either 8 or 14 hour stints.  it's my making them shabbat meals every single week and spending wads of money.  it's also my son's disrespectful attitude when i voice my opinion.  it's the pressure of dealing with the spiders, the rats and the pigeons.  it's the pressure of being sick and broke.

anyway i got sick.  i have been overeating  and going on sugar binges for weeks.  i've been running on empty for weeks.  i have completely, shut down.  i am a wreck   i am depressed at being sick again.  i'm also upset with myself for gaining so much weight now.  i'm supposed to be on vacation.  i'm supposed to have a life.  my suitor was up in the hood today and called to ask if i needed help.  i didn't have the strength to get dressed nor the patience to see him.  that's not fair.  i didn't have the strength to get the medical papers in order to deal with my refunds nor did i have the strength to travel to get my dental bridge fixed.  i haven't showered or dressed in days.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Losing My Mind

it is nearly noon in the old city of zefat.  i am going mad.  i have the two kids with me all week long.  yes, i was informed yesterday  that the clan took off for hadera for the entire week.  no one was left behind to help out with the kids.  somehow this is my problem.   i had the kids from 8:00 a.m. til 4:30 p.m. yesterday.  i was too exhausted to stand.

it is now 8:00 a.m. on wednesday morning.  i have been too busy and way too tired to complete my blog.  i think the baby turned off the computer while i was still typing.  she gets into everything.  she isn't even two yet, and she is a total terror.  yesterday i received several blows to my head from both kids.  this can't be great for me.  my grandson threw a plastic bottle that landed right under my left eye.  it still smarts today.  i didn't dare look in the mirror to see if it was black and blue. they truly love me to death.  they bite and pinch me and lie on my body all day long.

i ran to the social worker from my medical carrier yesterday for help in getting back the money i spent travelling to the hospital.  i waited an hour to see her and she refused to deal with me when i entered her office.  she had the nerve to claim that it wasn't her job.  she had helped facilitate reimbursements for dental and hospital travels back in march.  she previously encouraged me to bring in all the receipts that i could find. i gave her a detailed listing of all hospital visits plus all the receipts that i kept.  i gave her copies of all hospital papers, too.   this was back in june.  i've called her for the last three weeks, because i didn't have the energy to schlep to her office.  she returned one of my calls after hours, so i couldn't speak with her.

she had no idea that two months had elapsed since our last visit.  she didn't even try to call the manager to find out what was holding up the claim.  i told her that i felt that it was all a ruse for me to die so that they wouldn't have to shell out any money.  it was nearly 10:00 a.m. and my son was waiting for me to return home so that he could go to work.  i was already beyond frustrated.  i was steaming.  i waited for a few more minutes to speak to the office worker downstairs, but she kept me waiting for nothing.  she told me to speak to another worker.  i left the office in a huff.  the girl is vrtually, useless.  i wish i could file a complaint with someone.

i didn't have cab fare because my bank account was overdrawn and i couldn't get any money from the cash machine.  all i had was a couple of coins for the bus.  i had just missed the bus so i started walking home.  it was unbearably hot and muggy.  it is a good 20 minutes to reach home by foot.  i was really not up to it.  i finally flagged down a car and got a lift to the top street near my home.  i was a mess when i got home.  i couldn't stop cursing the social worker.  i know it was not my finest hour.  i was one hot mess!

while the kids were watching cartoons, i called the medical office and asked for help.  eventually, the head manager called me back.  apparently, the bogus receipts that the private driver gave me a few months ago, didn't go over well with the clinic.  they accused me of taking a tour bus for a trip instead of coming home from the hospital.  i didn't  have the driver's phone number so i tried calling my sister.  after all, she had arranged the deal for me.  no one answered, so i emailed her my predicament.  i'm out about $700.  anyway, i got an email back that she was in india.  i had an out of body experience right then and there.

i was totally in shock.  only my baby sister could go off to india and not let any of her siblings know.  of course, i worried that someone wasn't well over there.  then i thought that perhaps my niece was pregnant or had just delivered, without my sister letting me know.  i will never understand her.  she scrutinizes me over every detail of my life.  she needs to know everything that goes on and yet she remains a mystery woman to us.  i tried my best not to get angry with her.  i don't know why i find her behavior so hurtful.  i'm sure she is totally clueless.  this is how she navigates through her life.

the bank called while i was with the kids in the computer room.  i was convinced that they were trying to force me to take another emergency loan to cover the overdraft.  i couldn't deal with the caller while the kids were making a racket.  he was only offering me a code so that i could do online banking.  i simply hung up and told the man that i couldn't cope.  i don't think that at my age one can truly cope with little kids.  my daughter-in-law is working on friday, too.  that means i have to make the shabbat meals while i babysit.  that is very hard with the two of them.  i can manage with the grandson but the little one is into everything.  i didn't even try to clean up the mess yesterday.  there  are lego peices  and crayons everywhere.

i have been getting up every morning at 6:00 a.m.and washing the floors.  yesterday i made them eggs and potato latkes and tuna patties and chips.  the majority of this food went to cloey the pincher and myself.  the dog is on her last legs.  she is making a terrible rattling sound and shakes a lot.  i have no time or money to deal with this.  i am hoping that she simply dies in her sleep.  she is more snappy than usual and has tried to bite the kids;  not that they don't deserve it, for torturing her.  i am having the time of my life.  the kids constantly, pull off the bedding and run around the house draped in it.  the little one pulls off her diapers.  the big one pulls off his underpants.  i am constantly chasing them and covering them up again.   i am binge eating out of frustration.

i invited my male suitor for shabbat.  i was  planning on putting him in the upstairs apartment.  that would entail doing a lot of cleaning.  the wooden floors need washing.  luckily my good friend, who lives nearby, suggested that he stay with them.  she has a spare apartment.  he can go to shul with her husband and get the true chabad experience up here.  he can come back to me for dinner and we will meet up there for lunch.  i'll make a meal for the kids and they can serve themselves.  it's a chance for us to discuss some important issues.  that's if i am not totally brain dead by friday.

my son was less than thrilled about meeting him.  he reminded me to get a prenuptial agreement.  after all, the house belongs to him in the future.  i tried to explain that the house goes to him after i die and if i don't sell it before that.  i told him that if i need to go into an old age facility the house will pay for my care.  i do not expect  him or his wife to care for me.  as it is, they are killing me by expecting me to care for their kids. they simply do not have any other help and it is my problem, as always.  i'm expected to find a substitute babysitter.  why me????

i was so tired and frustrated and nearly broken, that i decided that marriage was out of the question.  it was too hard.  too many details.  too much hassle.  too little and too late.  i was better off alone with my two dogs and television set.  i  spoke to my sister in california.  she is the voice of reason in the family.  she told me to take it slow and to not count out anything.  yes, it is a process and can be methodically worked out.  my brother, the psychologist called to let me know that my fears and misapprehensions were normal under the circumstances.  his take on it was that i was normal.  normal for someone my age, normal for a cancer survivor.  normal for someone who has brain surgery hanging over my head, literally.

 my sister who is currently in india, thinks that i should rush into marriage so that we can spend the upcoming jewish holidays together. after all, this is an available man.  she thinks that she can find at least 10 women who would snatch him up right away.  why was i taking my time, anyway??  didn't i know that good men didn't grow on trees.?  is it any wonder that i'm losing my mind?  i need to go to the super but i'm way too tired. i need to go on a real vacation.  i'm actually looking forward to the 5 day stay in hospital after brain surgery.  maybe i'll get to stay in a convalescent home for a while. no dogs or kids pishing on my bed. whoopee!!