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.