Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy Birthday To You!

it is 3;00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i am downstairs with the grandkids blogging on my son's machine. my computer is kaplutz. every day one of the kids has a meltdown before we enter the house. it is usually over who got the key to open the door. sometimes it's a kid who didn't get carried home. 0ccassionally, it's both kids freaking out together. i usually ignore them and risk the dirty looks form the other parents. it is unheard of here to let a kid cry. today is my son's jewish birthday. we don't go by the gregorian calendar. he was actually born on the 6th of january,28 years ago. since borh kids are working late i decided to throw a small party for him last night. i didn't have to babysit or cook on friday so i went out to get a present for him. i was asked to make a potato kugel so i set out for the big supermarket. i got a lift with a neighbor. the supermarket was under reconstruction and it was a huge balagon to find anything. i found the vegetables, which were in a totally different section of the store. it was a huge mess. why they were open under those conditions on a friday before shabbat, is uncomprehensible. i left the store without buying a birthday cake. i decided not to make a birthday cake from scratch. my track record hasn't been too good for cakes lately. i went next store to the pharmacy to buy a cologne for him. he had requested a certain one. it was over $100 and i passed on it. there were some half priced colognes but i had no idea which ones he liked. i had no desire to start testing perfumes. those days are over. i looked all over the store for gift ideas. i wanted some momento of his favorite soccer team but there wasn't a thing. i ended up buying some socks, underware, deoderant and body gel. i spent about $30 and about 2 hours of my time. i felt a bit cheap. i went back to the supermarket to try and find a cake. i finally found one and spent another $20. i was too tired to bus it home so i came home in a taxi. i didn't buy enough potatoes to make a large kugel so i ended up making a potato loaf and a noodle zucchini loaf. i also made a cheesecake. yes folks, i made yet another cheesecake. it cost over $10 to make. when i came home i explained my dilemna at both the supermarket and the pharmacy to the daughter-in-law. at least the lady at the perfume counter wtapped up all of the items to make a nice looking package. the daughter-in-law approved. i, of course, showed her the cake. she thought it was a bit pricey. she ended up buying the cologne for half price and a soccer play station game for my son, her husband. i offered to pay for half of the cologne but she declined. i offered to pick up the kids while she shopped so she wouldn't have that added pressure. i had to make the kugels and cheesecake while the kids were upstairs with me. i also made some jello. she came back and i didn't have to shower the kids. it was pretty close to candle kighting by then. i went downstairs while she picked up my son from work. the little kids told their father all about the gifts, cake and party before shabbat. my son got to wear his new cologne. another young couple with a small son and new born came for shabbat. the boy was sick and the baby was fussy. the food was pretty good. they brought baked salmon and salads and the daughter-in-law made soup and stir fry wraps. i provided the jello and store bought cookies. we also had two bottles of wine. i drank a large amount of sweet muscat white wine and had a huge headache later that night. i ate way too much, too. i went to sleep rather late that night. we usually all go to bed around 8:00 p.m. on friday night. the kids stayed up until 1:00 a.m. and i went to bed with my grandson at 11:30 p.m. he was way, overtired. i got up at 7:30 a.m. and my grandson got up shortly after he wet the bed. we were the only ones to be up. my son got up to go ro the synagogue at close to 10:00 a.m. the other young farher was very busy with his son who had soiled himself. my son was in a really awful nood. perhaps it was also a wine hangover. we ended up eating at around 12:00 p.m. everyone was in pajamas. the little boy was really crabby. no one took an afternoon nap. we usually all go to sleep at around 1:00 p.m. as soon as shabbat ended, i went upstairs to defrost the birthday cake. the young women did the dishes and the floors. the little kids were watching television. my son was in a horrible mood. we had had words in the afternoon. i didn't like how he was handling the kids. he let me know that i had been a lousy mother, once again. he asked me if i wanted to be the kids' mother. i was really ticked off at him. i didn't feel like coming back downstairs. i did so for the grandkids and not for my own son. although he had seemed impressed that i had bought him the latest deoderant for men, he didn't show any appreciation for my efforts to celebrate his birthday. the wife and the little kids were frantically blowing up balloons for him. he wanted to go out on the town with his wife and couldn't sit still for a cople of moments with his friends,kids and me. i told him that i wasn't going to sit for him. i didn't like his attitude at all. my gransdon came upstairs at 10:00 p.m. to ask me to put him to sleep. wile i told him betime stories, his young parents went out for the night. my son called a little while ago to thank me for all my efforts and to apologize for being such a downer. apparently, he doesn't do well on birthdays. go know! i am happy that the computer is working. i hope it makes paragraphs. i know how hard it is to read my blog without them.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Chanukah 2014

it is 11:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. it is the last day of chanukah. the kids are back at gan. i have to pick them up at 2:00 p.m. i have been in a funk for days. can't seem to get myself together or out into the world. i turned up going to two chanukah parties. i am stuck in my own head. i tried to make chanukah memorable. my family was united over the last shabbat and i found myself unable to get over to my sister's for the reunion. it's not like i was invited but i still, wanted to make the effort to see everyone. i think it's the extra weight that is getting me down. i have no clothes, either. i'm stuck in my house robes. i went out before chanukah to buy choclate coins, coloring books, laizer dreidels and a chanukah cd to make it fun for the kids. i ended up not making potato latkes this year. i couldn't face it. one day i did make corn fritters. i made a dairy meal the first night. i served sweet potato ravioli with two sauces. i made a cream sauce for my son and a tomato sauce for my daughter-in-law who hates the cream sauce. i had the kids with me and they were occupied with the cd, dreidels and coloring books, for the most part. i made a dinner for my mother's 6th passing and it ended up being a chanukah party. i served lasagna, cheesecake, green salad, and bagget with garlic butter. we played dreidel with chocolate coins, sang all of the chanukah songs and played chanukah trivia. i spent hours researching questions to make it funny. it was a sweet night. i didn't get down to visit my mom's grave. i went into a decline right after the party. i have a brain mri in a couple of weeks followed by two hospital visits. i am in a bad frame of mind. i set up 3 chanukiahs all week long. the little kids were very happy to light candles each night alongside their dad, who lit the large one facing outside the window. yes,i poured the oil and added fresh cotton wicks each night. i did have moments of joy last week i will admit. i started to think that perhaps it is time for me to take some type of pill. i can't get happy. my son is on ritilin and a sister is on anti depressents. i binge eat all the time and feel pretty awful afterwards. the doctors are so willing to give me something. i don't know why i fight it. i don't have to make shabbat meals this week. the kids are having a shabbaton downstairs with friends. i am, of course, invited to join them. i am too preoccupied with the financial difficulties of the moment to feel free. i know i should have a better attitude but i don't. i am in a real zelda funk. it is a beautiful day outside and i should be out in the sun and not buried under my blanket. oh well.......

Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy To Blog

it is 3:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. it has been way too long since i last blogged. it was due to a computer mal function as well as a personal mal function on my part. i am currently downstairs watching the kids. i am not feeling well at all. i actually went to the doctor yesterday to make sure that i was not sick. as everyone knows, i hardly ever do that. i usually consult my homeopath. my throat is killing me. in the past month or so, each member of my family has had a throat infection. some of the members got antibiotics and some went without medication. i only run to doctors for the referrals that i need for the hospital tests and visits. my insurance carrier recently refused the MRI request for my back. yes,they actually needed more information from the neurosurgeon. i had already decided not to do one anyway because i didn't feel like traveling to the south of the country while we were having ketushas dropping and mad men stabbing random individuals. i didn't even know that my request for the procedure had been denied. it kind of ticked me off, to say the least. after all, i am still considered to be a cancer patient. i discovered a new female doctor at my clinic. she seems genuinely interested in her patients. i get to vent about my past illness and she seems to get it. she doesn't tell me horror stories about her previous patients nor does she vent about how little she earns, like the seasoned doctors do. i have never been one to prefer a female doctor but this one i really like. i actually felt at peace with the world after seeing her. as usual, i had a bit of a meltdown at the clinic last week.

once again, my paperwork came back addressed to the wrong hospital. and once again, i complained about the inefficiency of that office. i got nowhere with the office person and all of the aggravation made me sick, once again. i'm sure they view me there as a crackpot. i don't even care. i had an MRI scheduled for 3:00 a.m. that next morning and the insurance carrier would only provide a taxi one way. i was obviously concerned about my return to zefat at such an unholy hour of the day. i was pretty sure that i would have to hang out there for a couple of hours until daybreak and i just couldn't bare the thought of being there any longer. as i tried to explain to this bureaucratic office worker, the actual MRI takes a lot out of one's self. once again, i was reminded that i could do these tests closer to home. i countered as usual, with the fact that they knew my case right there in tel hashomer. so much for dealing with bureaucrats.

 i am sick and my throat is burning. i also got into a tiff with the check out lady at the big supermarket that morning. i tried to return two cans of coconut cream at the check out counter. i had bought them thinking that they were half priced. i was rudely informed by the check out gal that the sale was only on coconut 'liquid' and not cream. go know the difference! i even went back to check out the sign again. yes, there it was in microscopic letters coconut 'liquid'. the fact that there were only cans of coconut cream on that shelf next to the half priced sign with identical pix of the cans of cream didn't seem to matter. as i approached that same check out gal, the very next day, with my new purchases and the two cans of coconut cream, she rudely told me that i had no right to bring food items into the store. she rudely pointed to the store's front office and rudely explained that people have to approach the woman at the counter. yes, she pointed to the same lady from the day before, who told me to approach the check out lady in aisle 1. when i answered that the counter lady had referred me to her, aisle 1 gal, she rudely told me that the counter lady wasn't the manager and that i should have gone to the office in the back. is there any wonder that i don't leave my house too often and deal with the public? my last errand of that day was to return a deodorant spray that i had bought the day before on sale at the pharmacy. it was a "buy one and get the second one for a shekel" sale. i reached for two dove deodorants. when i got home i realized that i had bought a generic brand instead of the dove. i have been using dove deodorant spray for years. the generic body sprays don't do the trick for me. i asked the salesgal if i could exchange the one deodorant. she told me that according to the board of health it was illegal to return deodorants. really?? when i reasoned that it was still in the same bag that i had purchased it in, she once again, told me that it was against the law. she repeated the mantra over and over again. i then addressed a young man who may have been in a managerial position for help. he wanted to help. apparently, he never heard about the health department's edict but couldn't help because the sale was over already. there was a difference of about 6 shekels which threw them both into a quandary. i offered to add the amount and they gave me the deodorant.

 i got home and went to bed. i was genuinely tired after my outing. i had even walked home. i had stopped off at my friends' home to rake their leaves before they returned from america that night. it took about an hour and a half to get the job done. i had gone over almost every day to leave food for their outdoor cats. that's right, rain or shine i braved it out of my house and over to my friend's home. admittedly, it is all of about a seven minute walk. i don't think i had the kids with me that day. i actually had quite a break from babysitting last week. the kids went away for shabbat so i was also spared from cooking shabbat meals. i did make a pot of chicken soup with turkey meatballs and some rice to bring to my friends. i also stocked their fridge with staples because i knew they'd be tired. i spent the shabbat morning reading a fascinating book about the peace agreement with sadat that ended with us returning the sinai. i guess you could say that it was the beginning of the end for us in terms of having to give back land for peace. it was amazing that world opinion hasn't changed about us one bit since the 70's. i had some chicken soup and went to bed about 7:00 p.m. on friday night. i slept until the next morning. i felt awful. the house was very cold but it was quite warm outside in the sun. i sat outside for about an hour but felt dizzy and queezy. i went back to bed until the afternoon. i got up and dressed and went over to see my friends. i stayed until about an hour after the sabbat ended. i was feeling unwell.

 i have been binge eating for a couple of months now and living in my house robes. i have put on a ton of weight and my stomach is huge and swollen. getting dressed is not easy. my clothes no longer fit. i started a diet once again yesterday. yesterday the big kids threw a birthday party for my granddaughter. she turned 3 on shabbat. i had wanted to buy her a pink tricycle but i never made it to town. i bought her two talking stuffed toys from the magic garden television show. they weren't cheap. she got two talking baby dolls from the sephardi family. one actually cries until you put the pacifier in its mouth. it is actually quite annoying. my grandson pretty much adopted the stuffed toys for himself. my granddaughter kept thinking they were teletubby dolls. oh well!

 the party was excruciating for me. young nursing mothers, 3 newborn babies, and a slew of little kids running all over the place. originally, my daughter-in-law wanted the party upstairs in my living room. lucky for me that she changed her mind. we have an enormous laundry room downstairs which co-functions as a playroom. i was once again put upon to make a cheesecake. i ran to the store to buy honey because the sephardi grandma was making morracan crepes. these non dairy crepes are not filled but served plain with honey. i can't stand them. they are quite doughy.

before the party i cleaned and shlepped in all of the plastic chairs that i could find and even brought down some of my kitchen chairs. i dragged in two large plastic tables from outside and another heavy folding table from the neighbor. my friend had given me some party goods from the states and i put a huge plastic disposable tablecloth on the wall which covered up the water damaged plaster and added a festive party look. the entire wall was covered in balloons. i usually stay upstairs when they have kids' parties but yesterday i was in it til the end. at one point i made hot chocolate for all the kids and served coffee ad tea to all their mothers. there were loads of cold drinks but everyone seemed to prefer hot drinks. there were tons of candy and nash but no real food for a party set at supper time. the sephardi grandma's batter didn't work so she turned it into fried donuts. there was birthday cake, cheesecake and fried donuts. not a great day to start a diet. i still think pizza or some other food dish like spaghetti would have been more appropriate. what can i say? i'm from another generation, another country and another planet apparently. i don't like a lot of kids running around and i don't love babies.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Feeling Sick

it is 3:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.   i have been fighting off a viral infection for weeks but finally succumbed.  i feel awful.  it's hard to swallow, my throat is sore and i have a dry cough.  my head aches and my eyes hurt.  i tried swallowing a cold tablet last night.  once again, it proved impossible to get a pill down.  i was utterly put off by the whole process.  half of the family was on antibiotics.  the other half is still coughing.  i felt so bad yesterday that i actually wanted to see a doctor.  i didn't have cab fare and i didn't have the strength to walk to the bus stop so it was a no go.  my son did go and was told that it was a cold..

i went off my diet a couple of weeks ago and consumed a ton of sugar.  i think i put back the six pounds that i lost, if not more.  i think that was the reason that i got sick.  i don't know if i'm coming or going.  i spend most of the day in bed, sleeping and watching television.  reading is out of the question.  it hurts my eyes even to blog.  i still have the kids with me and it is hard to cope.  my daughter-in-law was sick and home bound for a few days so she had the kids with her downstairs.  i did a couple of night babysitting stints but it was really hard and i refused to help out last saturday night.  i had had my fill of the kids all of shabbat.  i know that it is not a very nice thing for a grandma to admit.

i made shabbat meals but it was a bit of a struggle.  last week the house was trashed.  all of the dishes were in the sinks from the entire week.  i had run out of dish washing soap and didn't have the energy to go down to the supermarket.  the floors were filthy.  the dogs had pishied all over the house and one dog had thrown up in every room.  the floors were covered in dog hair and sand from the kindergartens.  it was horrible.  i had to choose between cleaning the house or going out and shopping at the supermarket.  i chose washing the floors.  i stood up somehow and started filling the bucket.

i spent about 3 hours doing all the rooms.  i spilled tons of soapy water all through the house.  i was exhausted afterwards.  i didn't have to deal with the kids that day.  i never made it to the supermarket.  the daughter-in-law shopped for the items missing for the shabbat.  she bought some fish, a few veggies, the drinks and milk. i had some chopped chicken and a small piece of beef to cook.  i made a soup with the broth from the sheep's head but it nauseated the big kids. i think it was a bit rich for me , too.  i made a cholent out of barley, potatoes, sweet potatoes and beef.  that came out pretty good.  i took eggs from downstairs and made a noodle kugel, a date loaf and some egg salad.  i had some cabbage and made some slaw.  i made two beet dishes.  one was baked beets cubed with lemon and the other was a raw beet slaw.   i took back the empty bottles on friday morning and with the returned cash bought some sunflower seeds and beer.

 i haven't made it over to the bank all month.  i didn't get any phone calls yet about returned checks so i'm hoping i'm okay.  one of these days i'll face the music. i don't have any income coming in besides from my welfare /disability check.  i'm in a whole.  i don't know what will be.  i haven't paid the water bill yet or the real estate taxes.  i can't really pass about any more checks right now.  i can't take out any more bank loans either.  just thinking about it makes my head ache.

i just signed up for an all day trip next week to some religious sites.   i have never been to hebron and i haven't been to kever rachel in years.  i hope i'll be physically up to the trip.  i was just at the kotel last month and would love to skip it but it is an integral part of the trip.  i can't imagine being out all day and night.  the last time i went to the kotel with my friend we were home by 9:00 p.m.  i don't think i'll get home before 2:00 a.m.    i don't know how i'll really survive the trip.  it is also a bunch of money.  and money that i don't really have.  i guess i can always cancel.  i'll think about it another day or two.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The End Of A Chag 2014

it is 7:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  our week long holiday of sukkot finally ended.  we had our barbecue this afternoon.  once again, we ate way too much meat.  i didn't even put out half of what i bought.  i had well over 2 pounds of steaks, half a pound of lamb chops, a package of hot dogs and 2 pounds of chicken wings for  4 adults and two little kids.  the daughter-in-law doesn't like meat.  i put back two pounds of kabobs  and 2 pounds of chicken liver into the freezer.  it was just overkill.

one of my gal pals was supposed to join us for the barbecue.  she came up last night and was very turned off by the, soon to be, three year old granddaughter's behaviour.  something was bothering the girl.  she cried a lot and screamed in pain for most of the meal.  she kept complaining about her tush burning and then it was everything form her stomach hurting to her big toe burning.  i tried rubbing vasoline onto her anus but it didn't soothe.  the daughter-in-law didn't help things any by trying to squeeze pus out of a hang nail on the little girl's big toe.  at one point she was screaming blood curdling noises.

i know that it wasn't pleasant to listen to it or be around it.  i was getting more uptight by the minute.  my friend asked me if this was how it was all the time and on every shabbat.  i didn't answer.  i felt like i was being judged.  i didn't like her assumptions about my life.  to be perfectly honest, i never really accepted invitations to families with a lot of kids throughout the years.  i also, do not like a lot of noise.  i don't like crowds, either.  but this was not the usual at the shabbat/holiday table for us.  it is usually more pleasant.

the kids usually play around the house while we eat.  i try to feed them a bit early,too.  they make noise but they don't usually scream all night.  when the little girl gets tired she usually falls asleep at the table in her mother's arms.  my friend was frustrated with what she perceived as poor judgement on my daughter-in-law's part.  according to her the kids should have been fed and put to bed earlier.  she was also very hungry and it was taking a bit too long to get the kiddush going.   we had all eaten a late afternoon meal knowing that we would be home from services late so we weren't starving.  my friend lives on coffee and cigarettes.  i felt very pressured and internalized her discomfort.

the little girl finally went to the bathroom for the umpteenth time and came back smiling.  she was no longer in pain.  who knows what transpired.  maybe she finally passed a stone, or laid an egg?  what matters was that she was no longer suffering.  my friend wanted to leave right after the meal.  i offered to escort her out of the neighborhood.  my grandson wanted me to stay home and sleep with him.  i was rather tired but i walked my friend to the top street.  when i got back my grandson was  playing cards with my other friend.

my other friend was angry at my daughter-in-law for picking at the little one's toe all evening.  she blamed her for all of the commotion.  we both tried telling the daughter-in-law that she should soak the toe in warm salty water to draw out the pus.  i explained that a cotton ball soaked in warm water would help the situation but of course, she ignored me, as usual.  i can only imagine how much it hurt the granddaughter as she squeezed the infected toe.  anyway, it was only the four adults for the barbecue this afternoon.

both grand kids are sick.  the grandson is officially on antibiotics for a throat infection.  the granddaughter has been coughing all week long.  both have runny noises.  i'm just waiting to collapse from some ailment, too.  i invited another gal pal from the neighborhood to join us for the barbecue but her husband had warned her about the rabbinical difficulties in making a barbecue on the holiday.  she is getting ready to go to the states soon and i think she just really wanted to rest and diet away the remaining time here.  to each his own.

we all woke up late this morning.  my grandson usually wets the bed around 6:00 a.m. or so.  i was shocked to see that it was already 8:30 a.m.  the services start at 7:30 a.m. at the Sephardi shul.  my son left around 9:15 a.m and came home to get the boy.  they put all the boys under a huge tallis on simchat torah and bless them and they get a bag of goodies.  they didn't make it to shul on time but the boy got the goodies anyway.  i didn't get to see the kids under the tallis and i got down.  i started judging my own kids for their lack of tradition.  what a way to celebrate simchat torah with so little joy.  i decided to pray by myself while i was waiting for the service to end.

we all went to the kiddush in the shul except for the daughter-in-law.  by then i was calmer and in a better mood.  after a few pieces of herring and a handful of cashews and pistachios, i was a happy camper.  it started raining but ended pretty fast.  i went home with my friend and granddaughter and the grandson stayed in shul with his dad.  the weather cleared up enough to be able to grill.  the steaks were still frozen and the coals weren't getting hot enough so my son started blaming me.  i guess he had a few l'chaims at shul because he started being nasty.  anyway, it all worked out.  the big kids had words between them but it never escalated into a full fledged argument.

after lunch i took my grandson with me over to the chabad bomb shelter minyan to say the prayers for the departed souls of my parents.  he was very good and not wild at all.  we were there for about an hour and then we went home. the big kids went downstairs for an early evening nap and both little kids went to bed with me.  somehow, after a lot of kicking and fussing and pushing, we all fell asleep for a short time.  the big kids came upstairs to make havdallah and everyone went downstairs, once again.  tomorrow is shabbat and i think that i might have enough leftover beef and meatballs to make it through the meals.  i just need to make some new salads and some side dishes.

i should take down the sukkah tomorrow.  i'll have the kids with me so it might be rough.  it might also rain.  we'll just have to see what happens.  anyway there are no more holidays until chanukah.  i think i feel relieved.  we made it through the holidays. whoopee!  i'm still a bit miffed about my girlfriend.  'let it go' as the popular song says, i guess.  if my current life style isn't her cup of tea, so be it.  different strokes for different folks.  amen!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Living In Huts

it is 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  we are in our 4th day of the festival of sukkot.  we had holiday meals on wednesday night, thursday day, and of course, our shabbat meals, on friday night and saturday day.  i was invited out for all of the meals.  that's right, zelda didn't cook.  i did make a small pot of rice for friday night.  i didn't bake either.  i brought store bought cookies to one host family and a few Bacardi breezers to the other.

i did have the kids with me every day last week.  they were under the weather today and their mom came home early from work and whisked them away to some kiddie show.  good for her!.  as for me, i'm just plain tired.  i had to walk home on both nights and it took me forever to make the half an hour walk home.  it has been hot once again.  i do not know why i'm so tired.  i haven't been running around with the kids.  they have been tired and very happy to lay around the house and watch television all day.

i haven't had my family in my sukkah at all.  i spent several hours decorating it and making it really nice.  i didn't hang up the shiny metallic apples this year.  i chose to string up the plastic grapes to imitate a vine.  i had plastic vines on all corners of the sukkah and i strung up some individual fruits onto those vines.  i did hang up a few plastic pomegranates and estrogs.  i had everything really clean and organized and then we had a major monsoon.  it was like a tornado in my backyard.  i screamed for my son to come outside as the sukkah was flying away.  the wind was too strong to get hold of the sukkah.  i had tied it down in some places which made it worse.  the sukkah looked like an accordion folding in and out..

my son got caught inside and the weight of the entire sukkah was on his arm.  i couldn't get a grip on the rest of the sukkah to relieve him.  i told him to just let it go.  suddenly the wind stopped and the rains began.  we quickly moved the sukkah to stand up against the wall.  it looked terribly twisted.  actually, i think only one of the metal bars is truly bent out of shape.  luckily, the bamboo sheets which constitute the roof, didn't blow away.  i had reinforced them with bamboo twine.  after the storm was over, the sukkah remained in tact. and  even the decorations were, for the most part, still hanging.

by the time we sat down at the in-law's for dinner, the rain had totally stopped and the air was really fresh.  they had dropped a huge tarp to cover the roof of the sukkah so it was nice and dry inside.  their sukkah looked amazing.  it felt like we were inside a house instead of outside in the patio.  it is really lovely on sukkot that all the neighbors are outside in their sukkahs.  it is such a great feeling of community.  i love walking home and checking out all of the sukkahs along the way home.  our sukkah is just metal bars making up the frame and material all around it.  it is not really strong like the wooden sukkahs.  one day i would love to have a wooden one.

i'm lucky, as it is, that my son erected the metal frame for me.  he also strung up the special sukkah material, too.  it took in total, about an hour to do all this and an additional 3 hours for me to decorate it.  some things never change.  the kids usually celebrate simchat torah with me and we do not use the sukkah for that holiday.  we have until wednesday to eat the meals in the sukkah.  i had breakfast with the kiddies this morning in the sukkah.  it was pretty hot.  i tried getting them to take a nap in the sukkah but it wasn't meant to be.  i didn't make any food today for dinner.  i don't know if the kids will eat out after the show.  no one really told me anything.

i was too tired to get to the supermarket in the afternoon.  forget about making it to town this week, too.  i need to buy veggies for the upcoming holiday on wednesday night and for shabbat.  i have guests for simchat torah.  i'm planning on making some meat in sweet wine and beef meatballs in tomato sauce.  i am counting on my son to do a barbecue on thursday afternoon.  i bought a ton of things during the summer. we still have a kilo of steaks, lots of hot dogs, a package of chicken steaks and one of chicken wings, loads of beef kabobs and a package of liver.  if it doesn't get used i'll make some liver pate for shabbat.  i'll make piquant fish and chicken cutlets for friday night.  i'm thinking of making a cholent for saturday lunch.  basically, that's a beef stew with barley and potatoes.  i have a couple of noodle kugels in the freezer.  i made a sweet pineapple one and a savory zucchini and onion one.  the kids like 'spaghetti' kugels.  i guess i'll cook up some more rice.  i also have tons of buckwheat groats in the freezer to make.

i would like to do most of the cooking on tuesday.  i have a chocolate cake and honey cake in the freezer. i'd like to make a cheesecake for simchat torah.  if i can get to the store tomorrow i will be able to start cooking early.  i also need to buy challah rolls and freeze them.  i have some wine and beer but i probably need to buy drinks, too.  i don't know if i'm up for all of this.  i guess i got to be. after this we are free until chanukah.  i hope i'll survive.

 backyard.  i screamed for my son to come out when the sukkah was flying away.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Back To The Mundane

it is 7:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  my grandson joined me in bed a little while ago.  i let the dogs out even though they had already made in my hallway.  i was surprised to see that it had rained.  we had endured a hot and muggy shabbat.  i was delighted to see the entire courtyard wet.  i thought that it was a good thing and that it had washed all of the dogs' pishie from the courtyard.  i then saw tons of mud everywhere.  i quickly threw a bucket of soapy water down the stairs and sponged away the mud.  i guess that was all the dirt from the roof.

my gardener was here and i offered him a cup of coffee.  he reminded me that it was a fast day.  and i was just about ready to have some fish and salad.  i really should fast as i ate way too much on the holidays.  we had seven holiday and shabbat meals.  i ate everything but did not indulge in cake or chocolate.  i did have dried fruit and bread at every meal.  i actually ate an entire roll last night.  i didn't even remember about the fast when i ate some fish and salad before retiring.

the holiday was very pleasant.  i went to the in laws for the first night's holiday meal.  it was pretty 'active' as usual.  i made a couple of honey loaf cakes and about 60 chocolates to bring.  i made symbolic chocolate fish and apples for the new year.  i must have made about 3 dozen banana cupcakes for us.  we had tons of overripe bananas around so i added chopped dates and cranberries and voila!  my sour cream chocolate cake was a complete flop.  it was burnt and dry even though i topped it with my first chocolate butter frosting, ever.  my friend liked it so i sent it home with her.  i had lots of store bought cookies and wafers on hand, which got us through shabbat.

another friend brought tons of bitter sweet rum balls and colored licorice to our mutual host couple so i brought some home for the kids.  they were a big hit.  i think i'll buy some next week for sukkot.  we had a blast at our friends' home on thursday afternoon.  i actually got tipsy off of the sweet kiddush wine.  it was a pleasure to have adult conversation in english.  it was a welcomed change.  i'm always with the kids and don't get to talk freely.  the kids came back early enough to take naps while i made salads and got all the food on the electric platter.  i made a red cabbage slaw with apples and cranberries which was well received.  i added some chopped garlic to counter balance the sweetness.  my son was pleased.  he does not like sweet salads.

i was able to serve a different dish at every meal.  the first night we had meat in sweet wine and chicken stir fry in plum sauce.  the sheep head was a big hit with my grandson.  i managed to pull off some very soft lamb to feed him.  my son was totally grossed out and couldn't look at it.  he asked me never to do it again.  i guess next year it will be back to fish head for us.  we had turkey meatballs in artichoke bottoms and stewed chicken for lunch.  i served the sweet spaghetti kugel.  my grandson loved it.  he loves spaghetti and he loves honey.  it's a no brainer.

i made a lovely barley chicken soup for friday night.  i put it on the platter to heat up.  i then got the bright idea of putting it into two small pots.  i took it off the platter and managed to drop the entire pot of soup all over the floor.  i was mortified.  i had boasted at lunch time that i had made a soup for dinner.  i was desperate.  i thought about going over to my friend to ask her for soup.  my son said that it was a tikun (rectification of a sin) and that i should rejoice.  i didn't feel like rejoicing.  i felt really dumb and inadequate.  it was not like i didn't have any other food to serve and really in a jam.  however, i couldn't start cooking another soup because my electric stove top was turned off.  i had barbecue chicken wings and leftover stewed chicken and turkey meatballs,  piquant fish and a couple of salads, chumus and rice.

 i also had a special noodle kugel that my friend had brought from a caterer.  i told my son that i was saving the special kugel for shabbat.  i showed him the kugel and he showed me the mold that was setting on top of the kugel.  i was once again mortified.  i felt just awful.  the electric water urn was a bit low so i added a lot of cold water.  i decided to make some packaged couscous for dinner but it was a disaster.  the water wasn't fully boiled so the couscous was a mush.  i tossed it.  we had a nice shabbat meal and no one except me, missed the soup.  the piquant fish course was devoured.  the little kids loved the chicken wings and the adults ate the remaining wings and the leftover turkey meatballs.  no one went to sleep hungry or dissatified.

i got a bright idea for shabbat lunch.  i took the leftover rice and added a can of mushrooms and a bit of olive oil.  everyone here loves canned mushrooms.  it was like i made a fresh pilaf.  the rice got consumed.  i served chicken in sweet chili sauce and it also got consumed.  my daughter-in-law complimented me too, for serving a new dish at each meal.  my son came back from services really early.  we sat down at 11:00 a.m. for a change.  he usually stays for kiddush and we sit around waiting for him.  it was a pleasant shabbat even though it was hot outside.  after lunch the kids went for a short outing with the kids.  it was nice to see everyone  getting along.  even the 4 dogs were more or less content.

the daughter-in-law did the dishes and everyone went to take a nap.  the little kids fought over me but i ended having both of them in my bed.  i fell asleep with the granddaughter but the grandson woke me up right away with his noise.  so much for naps.  the rest of shabbat flew by and we had our traditional third meal.  i put out leftover egg salad, cole slaw, olives, pickles, capers and i opened a cople of cans of tuna fish.  i had some sweet  challah rolls left so it was easy.  i even put out some leftover salami for my friend who isn't a fish eater.  soon shabbat was over and everyone left.  it was just me, the two dogs, the sofa and t.v.  i don't even remember falling asleep.

next shabbat is yom kippur.  yes, we have to fast on shabbat.  there are two meals that we eat before the fast which starts at sundown.  the big kids have to work so i guess that leaves me with the little kids.  i usually go to the cemetery to visit my parents' graves.  i don't see that happening unless i take a taxi and schlep the kids with me.  i also go to the mikveh.  i don't see that happening this year at all.  the kids will be spending yom kippur at the clan's home.  that works for me.  i get to spend the day in synagogue alone and i don't have to watch and feed the kids.  one for my team!

i  guess that's enough talk about next week.  i still have to get through the fast today and pick up the grand kids from gan at 1:30 p.m.  i thought about washing the floors.  i don't think that i have the strength today.  it is also cold outside.  the kids were not dressed warmly today.  i don't know if i need to take a jacket for my grandson.  i will have them the entire day and evening.  the parents aren't fasting.  that means i have to give them lunch and dinner and baths.  i thought about going to the supermarket to buy milk.  i don't know if i have the ump to move right now. what a dilemma!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Shana Tova! 2014

it is 11:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i am completely exhausted.  my grandson climbed into bed with me this morning at 6:00 a.m.  this boy does not like to sleep.  after a while of his playing with my neck and back, i finally got up and let the dogs out.  i also put the t.v. on for him in another room and tried to go back to sleep.  pretty soon after, the girl came up for chocolate milk.

i decided that it was time to start cooking the sheep head.  it was really easy and not nasty at all.  it was pretty clean.  it didn't really have much meat on it.  i cooked it for about 6 hours but i don't think it really needed that long.  i quickly plumped up some dried apricots and apples for a garnish.  i saved the broth for a future meal.  it wasn't fatty.  i might throw it into the cholent sometime soon.

i baked a small dairy chocolate cake.  it was my sister's rendition of my grandma's cake. i wanted to make a sour cream icing but i didn't have enough powdered sugar on hand. i ended up doing a 'pesach' number on my large bedroom.  it was really ripe. my granddaughter had pished on the porch as well as several of the dogs.  by the time i finished cleaning and changing the bedding, it was time to pick up the kids from gan.

at the corner gan, the cleaning lady was trying to get a small kitten out of the gan with her sponger stick.  my grandson carried it outside.  i thought it belonged to my neighbor's cat.  we carried it back to the house but i instructed my grandson to leave it in front of the nieghbors' house.  it followed us home and got hit by a car right in front of my house. my grandson saw the entire thing.  i tried to retrieve it but my dogs followed me out of the house and i was afraid they'd drag it away so i left it.  i finally scooped it up into a plastic bag while it was still alive. i placed it near my neighbor's steps.  by the time i came out again it was dead.

the little kids wanted to see the dead cat.  i had placed it in a plastic bag and put in it the garbage can.  i thought to myself that it was a kappara for my life. i took advantage of my granddaughter taking a nap.  i made a small tsimis with sweet potatoes, carrots, canned pineapple and dried apricots and apples.  it was the first time that i placed it in the oven.  i usually cook it in a pot on the stove until it is a darkish mush.  i didn't buy prunes this year.  i decided to stick with apricots.  i read online about adding apples to the tsimis.  i guess there is a first time for everything.

while the girl slept, i cooked.  i made a chicken stir fry and added store bought plum sauce. i usually use the sweet chili sauce but i decided to keep it sweet for rosh hashana.  it was a bit too sweet so i added some powdered garlic.  i had pondered the idea of adding pineapple but i decided not to in the end.  i have the kids with me tomorrow all day long. gan is on vacation.  i washed the floors this evening.  my granddaughter the not yet 3 year old clean maven, told me that i did a good job.

i put the kids to sleep under duress.  the girl couldn't find her pacifier and had a huge meltdown. my grandson told me his head hurt from all her screams.  i was upstairs searching every where for that darn pacifier.  she wanted to go to sleep by the television so her older brother also wanted too. he accused me of not being there for him.  she always says that i am for her brother and not her. he passed out in the middle of a story and she nearly passed out in my arms but woke up a moment later.  thank goodness her father, my only child, came home and found the pacifier.

before he left for a torah class, i found my dog on the stairs annihilating a live pigeon. i quickly retrieved it and disposed of it in my garbage can in the kitchen.  i better throw out the garbage the first thing in the morning.  so tomorrow, i have to make the following things: beets, leeks,string beans, fish, pumpkin and a quince.  i buy one every year and no one except me tastes it.  i have to open the pomegranate,which is a messy job.  i have to defrost the barley chicken soup, turkey meatballs, 2 types of chicken, and reheat the sweet kugel.  i have to make some rice and possibly some couscous.  i have an easy day tomorrow.

shana tova!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What's For Dinner

it is 11:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i am exhausted.  i went to town today to check my bank account.  it isn't good.  i spent way too much money on food and am back in a bad overdraft situation.  i will be lucky if they do not start bouncing my checks.  i simply lost track of all of the checks that i wrote.  i don't exactly know what to do at this point.  i'm praying that i'll survive the holiday.

i have been cooking and baking for a couple of weeks already.  today i made a dozen banana-pineapple cupcakes and two honey cake loaves.  i have already frozen a small cut of beef cooked in sweet wine, a package of BBQ chicken wings, a package of turkey meatballs in a piquant sauce, a package of chicken thighs in a piquant sauce and a package of chicken thighs in a thai sweet chili sauce.  i also made a sweet noodle kugel with pineapples.  i usually place a meatball in an artichoke bottom and spoon the sauce over it..

i have a lot of side dishes to make on wednesday.  i want to make a chicken stir fry with peppers and carrots in a plum sauce, a couscous with dried cranberries, and some sort of rice dish.  i need to make the symbolic foods that we eat on rosh hashana, too.  i have to cook: leeks, string beans, pumpkin, beets, a sheep's head, and some fish. yes, i said sheep's head.  i've been wanting to do this for years.  i ran to the big supermarket this morning and they didn't have any fish heads.  i have never attempted this before.  it isn't really large.  it may be a half.  i have been on line to find instructions.  the sephardim love the brains.  i think it is also a delicacy for ashkenazim, too.

i asked a sephardi lady at the bus stop how she prepared a head.  she gave me the basic outline and then spent nearly a half an hour telling me her life story.  she ranted on and on and did a monologue similar to mine.  it's amazing that we had similar lives.  i'm only making small amounts of each symbolic food. i want to make a tsimis with sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots and pineapple.  i'm planning on making two types of cabbage salad.  i need to cook up a pot of fish for the shabbat  meals too.  i want to do this all before the holiday starts.  i don't like cooking on the holiday.

i bought a bunch of sweet round rolls and placed them in the freezer.  i hope they won't be too dry.  i don't see myself going back to the store any time soon.  i hope i haven't made too much.  it's only the 2 big kids, the 2 small kids and the 2 old ladies at each meal. i guess i can always freeze the leftovers.  i served a chicken soup on shabbat that i had made and frozen on tuesday.  it was delicious.  as long as the kids don't catch on that i'm cooking in advance and freezing everything, they will enjoy it.  all i need is strength.

i bought 6 chocolate bars to make fish and apple candies.  i will try to make them tomorrow morning before i have to pick up the kids.  they are really a hand full.  they both  scream a lot and boss me around a lot.  the boy was getting very aggressive with me today.  he is quite strong.  i am totally beat. it's time to go to sleep.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

it is nearly 3:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i am blogging while the kids are unwinding from gan.  it has been two weeks since i last posted.  the kids went back to gan and i collapsed.  i couldn't move.  i  have been picking them up every day at 1:30 p.m.  it's about a 10 minute walk to my grandson's gan and a 20 minute walk on the way back.  my grandson is not a good walker.  my granddaughter is in a gan at the end of my street about 3 houses away. she throws a fit every day.  it is difficult keeping her form running into the street.  there are alot of cars nowadays.

i am exhausted.  i finally went to my homeopath and got a remedy for chronic fatigue and sciatic pain.  i am anxiously waiting for it to kick in.  i have been sleeping a lot ever since i got it.  i don't do anything except rest until it's time to pick up the kids.  i would love to do a real 'pesach' like cleaning before the holidays but i don't see it happening.  the2  kids and the 3 dogs trash my house every day.  the little chihuahua is marking her 'territory' all over the house.  i smell pish wherever i sit.  the lego is all over the t.v room floor and the there are toys scattered in every room.  i do not have the energy to clean it up.

i am not looking forward to an entire year of watching the kids every day.  so far the entire burden has been on me.  i think that once the holidays are over the kids might stay in gan til 4:00 p.m.  i can't wait.  i need some time alone.  i need to go to town and deal with my needs.  i need to get to the bank and i need to get a few things for the holidays. i am too tired to go to town bright and early and there isn't enough time for me to do my errands and be back in time to pick up the kids.  i feel trapped.

i've been on a diet for the last couple of weeks.  i am eating tons of veggies both raw and cooked.  i am trying to cleanse the old kidneys.  i lost a few pounds but my stomach is still enormous.  i  can't fit into any of my clothes.  i am tired of looking this way.  i can't run or walk fast.  i want to feel comfortable in my own skin during the holidays.  i have already made a few meals for the new year.  i do not know if i will have any guests, yet.  i wanted to farm myself out but my neighborhood buddy is having a difficult relative for the holidays and i don't know how comfortable that will be.

i invited a good friend to stay over with her dog for the chag and shabbat.  this year rosh hashana starts on wednesday night and goes right through shabbat.  that's 8 meals. i may go out to the sephardi clan the first night.  i don't know what my friend will do.  maybe she won't mind going to the neighborhood friend with the difficult relative. who knows.  i want to pray up here in my neighborhood.  i can have lunch with my friend  right here when i come home from services.  i don't know if the kids will be here or stay with the clan..  perhaps, the kids will come back for the evening meal.  if not, i can go to the neighborhood friend or i can stay home and host a friend or two.  i have no problem being home on friday afternoon and having lunch with my girl friend and the 4 dogs. woopie!

i think that the kids will be here for shabbat meals. i'll make the shabbat food on wednesday even though i'll have the kids with me all day.  i'm not planning on making elaborate meals.  i don't know if i'll get around to kugels.   i just might make some more food tomorrow and freeze it.  i am so not thrilled about cooking this year.  i'm pretty resentful about having the kids too.  when i'm not babysitting during the day and evening, i'm babysitting at night.  i am not happy one bit with this arangement.  so far i made a small beef roast in sweet wine, some chicken and some turkey meatballs in tomato sauce.  i don't even know what else to cook.  i'm toally unmotivated.

the only time i have off is when i go the hospital in tel aviv.  my recent pet scan was clean so i am cancer free.  i didn't schedule an MRI on the old brain yet.  i have a gyn oncologist appointment on thursday.  i'm going with my neighborhood pal and then we are going to 'jump' over to jerusalem and visit the kotel.  we were supposed to go on an all day synagogue sponsored tour but it fell apart.  this is the best we can do at this point.  i have a taxi taking me to the hospital and then it's about an hour bus ride to jerusalem.  i haven't been there in over 10 years.

the only downer is that i'll probably have to make shabbat meals on friday while i babysit the kids.  i know some grandmothers who would envy me.  they probably don't have little kids waking them up in the middle of the night or have to watch them every single day.  i should really curb my tongue.  that's why i love my blog.  i can really talk.  i spent all last week mourning for joan rivers. i watched every possible youtube video i could find on her. it felt like i lost a member of my family.  i guess the entire world felt the same.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Morning

it is 9:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the little kids are with me.  all four kids officially moved back downstairs on wednesday night.   the big kids took a mini vacation and were away for 3 nights.  i had the grandson and the sephardi clan took the granddaughter.  i spent a fortune keeping him satisfied.  his appetite for spending is enormous for a soon to be 5 year old.  perhaps it is on par with the habits of his father.  my son straightened out the downstairs all by himself while his wife was at work.  he did the floors too.  i had the kids with me while he scrubbed away.  the kids naturally were excited to see their mother after 4 nights.

i bought each of the kids a new back pack for gan.  the cost was around $70.  it was my prerogative as their grandma.  the daughter-in-law was in love with the 'hello kitty' bag.  i guess i scored.  i don't remember hearing a thank you.. my hearing isn't as good as it once was.  i think i inherited the hearing loss from my mom. anyway, it is a bit of an adjustment to being alone again on my floor.  i say alone, but i'm not exactly alone yet.  i've had the both kids with me since thursday.   next week after they return to gan, i will be alone all morning long.  my grandson definitely missed sleeping with me.  we've been bed mates for a month.

i made the shabbat meals yesterday while the kids played and watched television.  i only need to make a couple of salads today.  i'm nearly out of mayonnaise and don't see myself dragging the kids with me to the supermarket.  it's still hot outside.  i was nearly dead last night.  i couldn't walk or get out of bed.  i fell asleep as soon as the kids went to town with their mom.  i drank two breezes so i might have been intoxicated.  i doubt it.  i was simply worn out.  i also baked a cheesecake that no one has sampled yet.  i'm staying away from this sort of thing right now.  i've managed not to eat ice cream all week long.  i haven't loss an ounce but i keep on trying.

i got chewed out this morning for opening up a milk.  apparently, one was already opened.  i didn't see it.  i looked for it too.  it seems as if my eyesight is going almost as fast as the hearing.  gee whiz!  i didn't remind my son of all the toothpaste and liquid soap and shampoo that his kids wasted for fun.  i took the higher road.  big kids are a pain in the neck.  in my case, a pain in my back.  i wonder if i will be stuck picking up the kids next week. both gans are in this neighborhood this year.  the little one's gan is a few doors down and the bigger one's is about a 7 minute walk up the street.  how cozy!

i have an appointment on monday in tel aviv to do my bi annual pet scan..  i sure hope i'm still cancer free.  i don't really have any signs of being sick but i didn't have any idea that i had a brain tumor, either.  whatever will be will be.  i'm a bit fatalistic.  i will have the clinic send me there in a taxi and i'll bus it home. i hope it will be quiet in tel aviv.  i understand that we are still being bombed in the south.  i am so isolated from the world at times. we, in the north, have been so blessed with quiet.  i haven't left zefat in months.

the granddaughter is watching 'dora' and the boy is playing with his new "woody' doll.  he is obsessed with 'toy story' dolls.  the latest doll cost his parents $30.  disney sure knew what they were doing.  he expects me to buy a 'mr. potato head' for his birthday next week.  i wonder what the daughter-in-law expects me to make for the party.  i'm really not up to making lasagna.  i wanted to buy him a new bicycle for his birthday. maybe we can go half and half.  i usually end up paying for the entire thing.  i bought 4 new plastic chairs for the downstairs.  we lost a few this summer.  i also need to buy a new cover for the  pool.  it was also a casualty of the summer. i don't know if i should buy it now or wait until next summer.  by buying it now it's like i' staking a place in the future.  does  that make any sense?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

We're Having A Heat Wave August 2014

it is 4:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  a group of 15 yeshiva students just arrived.  my big kids took off for a few days leaving me to fend for myself.  at least, i only have the grandson and 3 dogs to mind.  the granddaughter went to the sephardi clan.  the little kids have cracked up.  after being out of gan for 2 months and camping upstairs for nearly 3 weeks, they finally went nuts.  they both started screaming at the top of their lungs all shabbat long.  the nearly to be 3 year old was the worst offender.  she was a real brat.

my back went out after schlepping heavy mattresses and doing tons of laundry.  i was the one who stripped the beds and washed all of the sheets and towels almost every other day.   i also did all of our personal laundry when i had the chance.  i have been crippled for a week.  for a couple of days i couldn't bend or get out of bed easily.  after resting on shabbat, i felt a bit better.  it is unbearably hot and humid in zefat.  i walked over to a friend and left the grandson there while i ran downstairs to the supermarket to buy us all some milk.
my grandson wanted to go to my friends' house because they bought him a small 'toy story' present.  i want to go out at around 6:00 p.m. and buy us a small pizza at the local pizza shop.  it's a 5 minute walk.  the grandson wants to buy another small present at the local toy store.  these are the small bribes i pay to keep him in toll.  i am grateful that the little girl is not here.  she was beginning to get attached to me but lately she has become afraid of me.  i guess i have been potching them a bit too freely lately.  in my defense, they have been super wild and out of control.  they have been literally, climbing the walls here.

the little girl got hold of the heinz ketchup and was spilling it all over the chihuahua's blanket and dishes.  she also smeared juice all over the t.v.screen.  almost every bottle of juice was intentionally spilled on to the floor.  i have been washing the floors on a daily basis.  the little kids have been torturing all 3 dogs.  they especially torture the small chihuahua.  i have been refereeing between the dogs and the kids, between the two kids and between the 3 dogs.  i am totally worn out.  i have been drinking two ' bacardi breeze's a day. the kids go back to the gan next week and i go back to the hospital to scan my body  for cancer.  that's my day trip.

i need to get a blood test, pick up my medical referrals, buy the kids new back packs for gan, pay my water bill and check out my bank balance.  i'm hoping to do this all tomorrow.  dragging along a little kid will be hard.  i might just wait until tuesday.  the heat wave is supposed to end then.  it really depends on how early i can get out in the morning.  the heat is brutal here. downtown is about 5 degrees hotter.  i guess we'll play it by ear.  the yeshiva boys are knocking on my door every 5 minutes.  the dogs are going wild.  the little boy is getting wild too.  he keeps using the dogs' leashes as a lasso.

the yeshiva boys arrived and immediately put up a huge barbecue directing the smoke into my house.  i quickly ran around and closed all of my windows.   they complained about the pool being dirty.  well, the last 30 people entering it in black clothes, this past 3 weeks, didn't exactly help.  i couldn't afford to refill the pool so it is what it is.  next week we'll empty it and maybe buy a larger filter next year.  it doesn't help to tell people not to wear dark clothes in the pool.  that's what modest, pious people do.  i wish i got a chance to hit the pool today but i didn't.   the boys freaked out about sharing only one bathroom and shower so i allowed them to use the bathroom and shower on the third floor.

i hope they don't sneak upstairs to sleep.  i don't want them using the air conditioner.  they aren't paying all that much.  no one really did.  we are not real savvy business people.  we work like dogs and give our home away for nearly nothing.  i can't wait to see the new water and electric bills.  i keep reasoning that most of the renters were from the south where bombs were falling all summer long and we were providing them an inexpensive respite.  who; knows?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Are We Having Fun Yet? Summer 2014

it is 1:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i just got back from taking out all 3 dogs.  it's hot!  we have a couple upstairs for a few days and a family of 5 downstairs.  right now the family is in the pool.  i should be in the pool.  the pool is looking a bit murky.  we had a group of 8 teenage girls for a few days.  they made a lot of noise and went into the pool with long hair and dark clothing.  in fact, they left hair everywhere. the kitchen floor looked like a hair salon.

they came to zefat to make a shabbaton.  they were all from netanya.  they came up to tell me on friday that they couldn't get their shabbat meals made with just two electric burners and a toaster oven.  they were told up front that's what we had.  anyone else would have not gotten involved.  anyone else but me.  i gave them a desposable aluminum barbecue to grill their fish.  that solved the fish problem.  then they had the roasted chicken problem.  once again, i stepped up to the plate to solve another problem.   i allowed them to use my toaster to roast the chicken.  it took over 2 hours.  i then used my huge oven to roast two trays of potatoes for them.  and last, i used my dairy oven for their chocolate souffles.  the kitchen was unbearably hot with 3 ovens going on all day long.

i will have to pay for all that extra electricity.  i also ran downstairs to set up the hot water urn for them at the last minute.  i struggled to get my meals finished.  i didn't get to cook on thursday because i wasn't up to it.  i had little kids with me until 5:00 p.m.  i made a kiddies wading  pool in front of the house so the kids could cool off a bit and i could take a break. i  was away from the little darlings for a moment and they had poured a lot of water onto the front steps and onto my pincher dog.  she was shaking when i saw her.   the little girl dragged mud onto my clean floors and i was forced to rewash all the floors.  i was not having fun.

one of the girls downstairs got sick on friday night.  i went downstairs to check it out.  i thought that the situation might warrant a trip to the hospital even though it was shabbat.  we all turned in relatively early and the next morning my neighbor gave me a strange look.  i thought that she might be upset that we were renting downstairs.  i didn't pursue the matter.  a little while later, the young lady who had been sick asked me for cab fare.  she told us that she had been in the hospital all night long.  i never heard a fuss.  her friend didn't want to disturb us so she went to a neighbor for help.  how did that look to the neighbors??

my son and i got into a screaming psycho drama fight at lunch and he took to his (my) bedroom.  i went to the upstairs apartment and read psalms all day long.  i was shaking.  i felt that i could easily have slapped him.  no one knew where i was.  i took a long nap on a real bed.  i've been sleeping on a mattress on the floor all week.  when i finally came downstairs in the evening, my son apologized.  apparently, i set off his triggers.  i just started crying.  i couldn't look at him.  i took off for another few hours.  i went to a neighborhood friend and stayed until after havdalah.  when i got back my son was watching a sports game in my space.  i went downstairs and schmoozed with the girls.  everyone was fine without me. the girls liked me and wanted to hear my story.  they asked if i was a matchmaker.

the kids were going to town and invited me to tag along.  i declined.  i needed to be alone.  i finally lost my appetite.  who knows, maybe now i'll shed some of this awful fat.  i can eat just fine, but i don't have any more desire to eat a quart of ice cream.  amen!  i'm alone today.  the little kids are at their aunt's.  she's making a summer camp for them.  the rest of the family went off to hadera.  tonight starts the klezmer music festival.  the town will be packed.  i think i'll skip it.  i thought about going down to see the yeshiva's band but i feel to fat.  i know that's crazy.  i'm ashamed of how i look.

last night i made dinner for the family.   i quickly whipped up spaghetti, chips, onion rings and soy franks. yummy!  i opened up a can of mushrooms and the kids went crazy over them.   i ate a bunch of pasta.  i didn't eat anything else after that.  i did drink a lot.  i've gone through many bacardi breezers this week.  it's the only way i can remain civil.  yesterday, while everyone was out,  i washed all the towels and sheets.  the girls left the place trashed.  i washed the kitchen floor and i cleaned the electric burners.  they were also trashed.  i didn't know that we were having more paying guests that night.  my daughter-in-law, after a long day of work, came home and cleaned the entire house.  poor thing had a migraine later that night.  i gave her the t.v. corner and helped put the kids to sleep.

the upstairs couple don't mind the dogs so much.  they aren't thrilled but they didn't complain.  they are paying less than 100$ a night to stay here.  downtown people are sleeping on the floor for 200$ a night.  the lady needed to get to a mikveh so of course, i hooked her up with the phone numbers.  my daughter-in-law ended up driving her there.  when she came back my son drove them to a local pizza shop.  where do you get such personalized service?  the air conditioner unit is leaking a major amount of water.  i'm waiting for my neighbor to come over and fix it.  i wonder how much it will cost me.  i think i'll make out with maybe a thousand dollars for all my hard work and sacrifice.  big deal!!!  i'll buy more food for shabbat.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Risky Business

it is 2:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i have an hour to myself before the kids return from their sephardi grandma  .it is a little cooler today.  things got pretty hot yesterday.  i spent the entire day waiting for the 5 yeshiva students to arrive.  i made a nice dinner for the family and was looking forward to sitting down and sharing it.  at 8:00 p.m. i was told by my son that the boys were coming to check out the place.  it wasn't a done deal.  all that schlepping for nothing.  i was livid.  my son turned on me and told me that i didn't hold my  Bacardi breezers well.  fool that he is, he still thought the deal could be salvaged.  i went outside with my food and ate on the table i had set up for the guys.  every bite was filled with bile.

the young men finally arrived.  they apologized for the inconvenience.  i tried to schmooze with them.  they were all from brooklyn.  they came upstairs and didn't seem too happy.  i let them know that i had been waiting for them all day.  my son tried to charm them but we both came off as too desperate.  they didn't like dogs and one might even have been afraid of them.  what could i do?  i was stuck with 3 dogs on one floor. my son told them to call me when they wanted to enter the house.  what a lame thing to say.  i told the young men that i would corral the dogs in so that they wouldn't encounter them alone.  i even brought up the new chihuahua to show them that it was a tiny animal.  it didn't really go over so well.  i told one of them that i had been a cook at an american yeshiva and had a lot of  experience dealing with yeshiva students.  i told him that i knew they liked their vodka.  maybe i came off as degenerate.  i offered to help them organize shabbat meals if they needed.  i just came off as desperate. it was an awful no win situation.

the guys actually said that they would stay until sunday.  they asked me about the curfew.  i explained that the house was unlocked.  i told them to feel at home.  i was going for caring but i came off as desperate, once again.  i thought we had settled on a price.  my son asked for payment and they hemmed and hawed.  they said that they had already paid the agent most of it.  my son tried to cover for the agent and he came off as shady.  i would have called the agent on the spot to figure out what was really going on.  my son and wife were on their way to a concert and didn't have any more time to deal with this.  i was left with the 5 young men,  the 2 small kids and the 3 dogs.  the guys told us that they were going downstairs to unload the car.  i showed them the back yard.  i offered them the use of the pool on wednesday when the family of 4 leaves.  i innocently told them that i had a group of girls coming on thursday and that maybe we could make a future 'mazal tov' out of the situation.  i thought i was being charming.  they obviously didn't because they took off and never came back.  they told me that they were going out to buy a grill.  i even offered them the use of mine.  oh there's nothing like an old fool.

i told my son from the start that i did not want to do business with this agent.  i also said that it was a bad idea to take on yeshiva boys while we have religious girls downstairs.  both he and his wife poo pooed me. they always do.  they have total lack of respect for my life time experience.  i am really annoyed.  i see red.  i hate myself for wanting and fantasizing about doing in this agent.  i want to be a better person.  it isn't just the loss of a potential income that is gnawing at me.  it's the same old problem.  my son is not a mensch.  he is all over the place and i can't reign him in and his wife can't either.  i am really broken. i  want out.  i am not enjoying my life one bit.  i am too stressed out.  i go for a pet scan in a few weeks and i'm obviously freaked out and scared that i might be sick again.

when i told my son  that the boys never came home last night he acted like a real cry baby.  he wouldn't contact the agent and confront him.  he had received an SMS at midnight saying that the students had decided not to stay for shabbat.  after all, how could they stay here while we had a bunch of hot babes in the swimming pool.  the SMS also said that the students didn't like having to go through our house.  no where did he state that they weren't coming back.  my son ran to work bright and early and said that he was finished with the rental business.  i am so mad at my son.  i killed myself the last couple of days.  last night i slept on a mattress on the floor because we took the bed upstairs.  i  had my granddaughter lying on top of me, the chihuahua on my head, and the pincher at my side. the third dog was sleeping on my grandson who was half way on top of me too.  i took out all three dogs so that they wouldn't make a pish in the house.  i didn't sleep well at all.  it was hot and it was way too quiet.  i didn't hear anyone coming in.  i got up at 5:00 a.m. and went up the stairs.  the door was wide open.  the lights were still on.  there was no sign of human life.  we were ripped off..

 i called the agent this morning and he blew me off.  when i mentioned that i wanted to be compensated for last night he became verbally abusive.  i sent him an email that i was planning on going to speak to the head rabbi of zefat about him.  i also threatened to write something on the zefat website about him.  i doubt that anything will come out of this mess.  if only i knew that my son learned his lesson from this i'd feel better.  i'm sure he didn't.  it makes me feel that i have failed him as a mother. i am scared to leave him alone in this world when i transpire.  i guess my mom felt the same way about me.  does that make me a loser?

my son called a little while ago. the agent said that 'perhaps' he could reimburse him for the purchase of the DVD.  i want more than that.  i want a night's rent. we earned it. i want justice in an unjust world.

Monday, August 11, 2014

And The Heat Goes On

it is 2:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  it is hot today.  the family of 4 downstairs are a bit bummed out that we don't have air conditioner.   i'm also bummed out that i can't throw myself into the pool and cool off.  for the next two weeks the downstairs are off limit to me, the kids and the 3 dogs.  we do have wednesday free.  that means we can catch up on the laundry and the kids can be downstairs for the night.  my daughter-in-law does the cleaning.  she made up the couples' room to be picture perfect.  i never accomplish that look.  i offer clean and down home style.  you know where the sheets don't match the pillow cases. eclectic, you might say.

i slept with the two kids last night.  we were all exhausted.  i had taken them to an outdoor gymborie. rubber floats for days.  i spent a bunch of money on taxis and treats.  the little one was not happy there.  she did not enjoy bouncing on rubber mats and such.  she even cried on the choo choo train ride and was in general, a royal pain.  i had to carry her in my arms, to boot.  i spent the time screaming at both of the kids.  i was ugly.  i would potch them and then buy them candy.  it was just too crowded and too hot.  i needed a chair. my back was killing me and i hadn't slept at all, the night before.   yes, i shouldn't have taken them.  i thought it would be a good time for all.  i thought i could sit and watch them play.  i wanted to get out of the house for a bit.  i thought very wrong.

 my daughter-in-law was at work until 2:00 a.m.  they had to do inventory at the clothes store.  my son got back at 8:00  p.m. and set up his computer.  he could have made up the beds last night.  he got angry with me because i wouldn't help him lift a bed.   he had another screaming bout with me.  he finally got a neighbor to help him with the bed.  i went to sleep without talking to him.  some time last night he got another bed frame from his mother-in-law.  i was fast asleep.  my daughter-in-law had to get to work by 7:30 a.m.  my son took the kids to the other grandmother so we had a couple of hours to finish getting the roof top apartment together.  i took a break and ran down to the supermarket.  i bought myself two pineapple bacardi breezers and a package of chocolate icecream pops.

we are still short 2 bed frames.  we have a few days to deal with it.  next week we have 15 yeshiva students downstairs for two days.  i spent the morning running up and down the steps to the roof top apt.  i schlepped up chairs and a mattress by myself.   i made up the 5 beds because my son was late for work.  he was in a foul mood because he was late for work.  as i said before, he had the entire night to get the job done.  he chose to play on his computer, instead.  out of sheer desperation, i  helped my son carry up a humongous t.v. set.  that was awful.  i panicked on each and every step.  i felt my legs giving out.  i nearly dropped it more than once or twice.

if my son was capable of multi tasking, he could have simply taken up one of the wall t.v.screens from down below before the people arrived.  anyhow, we got that old clunker up the stairs.  and upstairs, it stays.   my son had to buy a dvd player today because the real estate agent said that the yeshiva boys wanted to watch movies.  why the heck do we take orders from the agent anyway?  does he screen the guests?  no he does not.  he has sent us some real wackos in the past and took no responsibility in getting rid of them.  he gauges the prices and takes 80 %.  we do all the schlepping, cleaning and laundry afterwards and he makes a good profit.  i am always left with enormous water bills afterwards.  that's the life , i guess.

i'm supposed to collect the money from the boys when they show up.  i feel like taking more for u as a service tip.  the family downstairs didn't  pay my son on arrival. they said they'd 'wire' us the money.  are you kidding me???  i told my son that it was absolutely not acceptable.  big entrepreneur!  doesn't know squid about the real world or life.  that's my fault for always being there to bail him out.  i haven't really prepared him for the practical side of life.

i put a sign on the pool that forbids people going in with black clothes.  my son got mad at me for spelling it wrong in hebrew.  religious people are very modest.  the ladies go in the pool with valour robes.  the pool gets black afterwards.  i go in a dress that doesn't run.  i already saw that the lady downstairs was wearing, you  guessed it, a black cotton robe.  the pool has only been used this year by me and my grandson.  the sephardi family never made it over to partake in any water sports.  perhaps i can throw a barbecue/ pool party when the vacation season ends. but then, everyone might be back at school.  oh just the thought of it makes me want another bacaardi breezer.

not.  does he clean up the apartment and do laundry.  no he does not.  and to make things worse, he gauges prices and keeps 80 for himself.  i get stuck with the laundry and payilng premium electric bill and water bills.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

All About The Money

it is 9:30 p.m.. in the holy city of zefat.  we are waiting around for a family of 4 who will be residing downstairs for the next three nights.  the lady wanted an entire week at first and then settled for four nights.  we settled on a price and then she called to cancel the fourth night.  it's all pr ordained by heaven but it is a real pain in the butt.  i went downstairs to seal off the closets.  i was surprised that the daughter-in-law didn't leave them any closet space.  i placed fans in all the crucial rooms and the daughter-in-law took them out.  i don't get it.  yesterday, i washed down the patio area.  it smelled like cat urine and pigeon poo.  i also schlepped down chairs.  i cleaned the pool and filled it to the top.

the little kids are a bit freaked out.  it took me a really long time to put them to sleep tonight.  the little girl is a fish out of water without her crib downstairs.  i had a horrendous day with them.  i never went to sleep last night.  i dozed off for about an hour around 1:00 a.m. and never fell back to sleep.  i watched an old movie until about 5:00 a.m.  i jumped out of bed and did my floors with a wet mop.  i then did the large back bedroom, where the big kids will be shacking up for a week.  the daughter-in-law brought up  bags of clothes and toiletries and i arranged them.  my son accused me of meddling with his things this morning.  he couldn't find something.  maybe his hair gel.

i had a humongous blow out with my son at around 8:00 p.m.  he actually had me lifting a rather heavy bed with him.  i gave up.  i don't need to be crippled  for the next few years to make a few dollars this summer.  he let me have it and i gave it back in aces.  i even cursed him out.  he has no appreciation of how hard i have been working and how hard it is to take care of the little kids all the time.  i have made them shabbat meals for about three months straight without a break.  that entails buying the food and drinks and taking care of the kids on thursdays and all day friday.   he over booked groups and we are short a bed frame.  i don't think it's a catastrophe if one person sleeps on two huge mattresses.  i would hate to have to shlepp up the heavy wooden beds at this point.  hopefully, a neighbor will help us out.

i should take my share of the money and treat myself to a spa date or something.  i won't and i know it.  I'm leaning towards a new computer and paying my house insurance.   i  should save it all and hold on to some money for the future winter electric bill.  i'm still paying off last winter's bill.  my son can play financier all he wants but the truth is they are a real drain on me.  we are splitting the rentals fifty/fifty.  but in all honesty, they have been living here rent free for over a year now.  and they don't help with all the bills, either.  i know they are hurting for money but i think i should receive the rentals in their entirety.  it would create world war 3.  i have already told my son to take a hike twice this week.   i can't take his bulllying me anymore.

i pay the electric and water bills as well as the city taxes and house insurance with little assistance form the kids..  i am going crazy with being home with the 2 kids and all 3 dogs.  today was a nightmare.  someone was always taking out the Chihuahua and someone was constantly making in their pants.  i think both kids pished 2-3 times in their underwear in the course of the day .  the bathroom floor was pishied up and the hall was full of dog do.  i did a mopping about two times today.

we are having guests upstairs that will using my entrance and going through my house.  the kids are wrecking the entrance hall all day long.  there is dog hair and dog pish as well as toys and cut up paper all over the place.  there is also an assortment of kids shoes all over the place. i spend the entire day cleaning up.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Early In The Morning

it is 7:00 a.m. in the morning.  i'm not on duty yet.  i let the dogs out and didn't wash the floors yet.  i am tired.  the fast went pretty well.  i spent the day listening to inspirational lectures on the internet.  i had the little kids with me on and off.  i gave them their morning hot chocolate and half of a pita with butter.  i explained that i wouldn't be giving out sweets on a fast day.  they survived without lolly   pops and chewing gum.  no one cracked up.

i managed to sleep a bit.  i put the regular childrens' television shows on for them and didn't get up a million times to change the shows, like i do on a regular day.  it was very doable.  about half an hour before the fast ended i cut up some fruit and made a platter.  i quickly made a tomato sauce from some canned tomatoes and boiled up some frozen store bought cheese ravioli to break the fast.  i had bought plenty of soft drinks and i had some honey cake on reserve.

the  kids were very appreciative.  i even helped put the kids to sleep.  yesterday  i was left alone with the grandson and the new chihuahua, "chiwi".  she got out and ran threw the gate onto the street.  i managed to catch her in front of the house.  it wasn't fun.  i spent the day checking up on her and taking her out for short walks.  my son doesn't want her spending any time upstairs with my dogs.  he is afraid that she will pick up their bad habits, like pishing on the floors.  he knows that with just one pish you're out of the old ball game downstairs.

the daughter-in-law is not a dog lover.  she is making an effort to please her childish husband.  it is like giving in to a terrorist.  it is a mess.  we do not need another dog here.  we need mature parents who will tend to their children.  both the parents come home after a really long day at work and neither one has patience to deal with their kids.  yesterday the pair didn't return until 8:30 p.m.  they threw some onion rings, fries and soy franks into the toaster oven for dinner.  the girl got bathed.  i had already bathed the boy.  they put the little girl to bed and i put the bigger boy to bed.  they took a walk.  i finished off the 'ben & Jerry's and watched some E news.  they came back after 10:00 p.m..

i have the boy with me today.  i also have to make shabbat meals again.  i am tired.  i am bored.  i am fat.  i am in a rut.  it is pretty much the quiet before the week we will have around 15 paying guests.  we will be camped together on my floor.  all 5 of us with all 3 dogs.  good luck!  my back is killing me.  sciatic nerve here we go again.  it will be grilled chicken, chicken meatballs, spaghetti kugel, piquant fish, wheat pilaf and an israeli salad.  i am keeping it simple this week.

i finally got the phone service back yesterday.  it took over an hour, 10 phone calls and 3 different personnel.  i ranted and screamed my head off.  i left the boy downstairs alone with the chihuahua.  they both survived.  after a few hours with the phone i got a message that the phone was being turned off again due to lack of payment. i give up.

we had an offer of a small family coming up for a week.  the woman was a neat freak.   i told the kids to pass on it.  t meant that my daughter-in-law had to start doing a pesach clean up at 10:00 p.m.  she was already screaming at the kids.  we need the money but not at the cost of any one's health or sanity.  we will have other calls, i'm sure.  we all need a couple of days to regroup after the fast.  a quiet shabbat will go a long way.  i know, i for one, am looking forward to a good nap.  i can't get one with my grandson.  he is the anti-sleep child.  he is non stop and never slows down.  he will have a melt down but doesn't nap.  he is the bunny in the commercial for batteries that don't quit.  i will pass out before he does.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Been Down This Road Before

it is 5:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the fast begins in two hours.  i already had red lentil soup, bread and cheddar cheese, macaroni and sweet potatoes and a glass of chocolate milk.  i already feel uncomfortable.  i went down to the electric company this morning to pay the bill.  i wanted to avoid any last minute hassles before we receive our paying guests next week.

i was supposed to babysit but i received a reprieve.  the daughter-in-law didn't go to work.  she drove me with the grandson and the new dog, chiwi, to the bottom of zefat.  the industrial zone looks like the wild west, indeed.  i was told that one can no longer pay one's bill at the company.  that's right, they do not take checks anymore and yes, we have another dog.  it was straight to the bank to withdraw money and hustle over to the post office.  before that it was take the grandson to a bathroom with the dogie and then pay my city tax bill across the hall.

my phone got disconnected today.  my bank returned the payment about 3 weeks ago.  i have been calling the company for weeks without ever reaching an operator.  i had no way to pay the bill.  i managed to order a bill to be sent to my house but i still didn't get it.  not having a credit card makes life a bit tricky.  my daughter-in-law actually reached an operator this afternoon and they agreed to put the payment through the bank again.  they also promised to turn on the phone.  it still isn't on.  oh well.....

last night about 8:00 p.m. my son pranced in with a cute white chihuahua in his arms.  the small kids went berserk.  they had been with me at the local playground for hours.  they had already had their bubble baths and dinner and were ready for bed, when their father came home.  i went ballistic. shades of the past.  all those dogs he found and rescued as a kid and as a young man came back to haunt me.  all those puppies that i slept with, had inoculated and found homes for and all those huge dogs he brought in that i made him get rid of and paid for someone to haul them out.

he has tried the dog thing several times since he's been married.  in the last 6 years he has brought in 4 dogs.  each time a dog would pishie on the floor it would be vanished by the wifey.  she is not a dog lover.  she is a neat freak.  she doesn't like dog hair and she doesn't like balagon.  i screamed at my son last night.  i called him a balogonist, and a child.  i told him that i wished he would show the same amount of affection that he bestows on this dog onto his own children.  he accused me of ruining his childhood.  i went upstairs after i got the kids to sleep and ate a huge bowl of ice cream.

i'm falling for this dog.  i can't have her upstairs because of the other two dogs that my son brought in 10 and 11 years ago.  she already started being aggressive with my pincher.  i really don't know what is going to be.  the owner wants us to breed this dog twice before she becomes officially ours.  i shouldn't say ours.  it's my son's dog.  and next week we are receiving 17 paying guests that probably don't like dogs.  i need to keep all three dogs hidden away and out of the paths of the guests.  i will be alone .  the kids will be at work and I'll be stuck with the guests and the dogs and probably the kids.

i have gained even more weight.  i haven't been this overweight in 30 years.  i am beyond stressed out.  i don't have a moment to myself.  next week we'll be all camping together on my floor.  that will be rough.  3 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms yes,  but only one t.v. and a computer that is on it's last legs.  it will be an endurance test.  to be continued.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A time To Cry

it is 1:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  tomorrow night begins the longest jewish fast.  we mourn the destruction of our holy temples.   everyone is israel has been mourning already for weeks.  we are at war.   last week a neighbor's 22 year old son was killed in action.  i went to the funeral.  we were a thousand strong.  it was awful.  parents, families and community members all over the country are going to these funerals on a daily basis..

we are burying our youth.  the most recent kidnapped soldier was to be married in two weeks.  another soldier left a pregnant widow with a small child.  these are the tragedies that are befalling our nation.  some soldiers entered a boobie trapped building to save babies and were blown to bits.  this is what we hear every day.  every day we have more tragic news.  every day another mother loses a son.  every day, an entire community goes to comfort the families. the lists of the injured keep rising.  we do hear individual miracle stories here and there.   and we do hear of a lot of genorosity too.

we don't need to try and force the mourning of our temples.  we are mourning naturally on a daily basis. our children are our temples.   i have been trying to find recipes online for the pre fast.  i'm thinking red lentil soup and pasta with sweet potatoes.  i could go out and buy sweet potato ravioli but i think i'll make my own dish.  i don't know about eating dairy before the fast.  i can't remember what we ate last year.  it is a very hard fast.  it is really hot again. too.  i have been with the grandson all week and will have both kids later today and all day tomorrow..

i am exhausted.  shabbat was difficult.  my son is still reeling from losing a neighborhood buddy.  i went to pay a shiva call on thursday evening.  it was torture.  the house was filled with women who came to comfort the sisters and mother of the fallen soldier.  i stayed for an hour.  i read some psalms and cried.  i didn't approach the mom.  i couldn't.  i had no words of comfort.  i  was sick afterwards.  what can you say?

 i just finished washing the floors.  the house was totally trashed after shabbat.  the kids were super hyper and running a muck.  i think the parents as well as myself were in no condition to deal with them.  i can't count the number of times drinks were spilled, and plates of food were dumped on the floor.  my neighborhood  friend came over for lunch and i felt bad for her that it was so unruly and noisy. our kids are cracking up from not having gan for over a month.  the poor children in the center of the country and south have spent their summer vacation inside bomb shelters.

i made a special meal for shabbat night.  i feel that the best revenge on our enemies is to eat well.  i made a lovely grilled chicken, a mash potato and mushroom kugel, a string bean and chick pea casserole, a wheat pilaf, a mixed green salad and the usual piquant sephardi style stewed fish.  i also made an eggplant salad, an egg salad, a potato salad, a corn salad, a tomato relish and a very hot tomato salad, too.  of course, we had the standard humus.  i even baked a whole wheat honey cake that i usually make just for rosh hashana.  my son noticed and even commented on the special effort i made to make the shabbat meal.  trust me, i do not ever serve shlop but it just shows how effected my son is by the recent tragedy.  he has been hugging me on a daily basis too.

i just served leftovers for lunch.  i did make a fresh salad.  there was plenty of beer and soft drinks. my friend and i drank Bacardi breezers.  my friend is scared.  she's only been in israel for two years and this is her first war.  it's quiet in the north right now and we are very fortunate.  we are not being forced  into bomb shelters yet.  i feel bad for my friend.  i don't travel much and i'm not running down to the border to bring gifts to the soldiers.  there are many people who are attending to the soldiers from all walks of life.  i am staying close to home where it is relatively quiet.  i'm no hero but i'm coping.

our people, for the most part, are united.  we do have our leftists who are absolutely insane.  they busy themselves making trouble for their fellow jews.   what are we to do?.  the entire world is against us right now.  we are 'baby killers', right?.  i  try not to read the news.  i stay away from watching it on t.v.  bad news seems to reach  me anyway.  there is no where to run and there is no where to hide.

we are getting ready to have paying guests next week.  the kids placed an ad in a religious magazine and we might just be making some money.  that is if it continues to be quiet here. we live our lives day by day. and we pray for peace. the kids and i are getting along and working together for a change.

i am exhausted