Saturday, February 22, 2014

The End Of A Long Day

it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  shabbat just ended a little while ago.  while some of you are recovering from a crippling snow storm, we on the underhand, have been experiencing a heat wave.  the houses are still cold but we shed our long johns.  it was absolutely hot in the garden area.  we had to keep on moving into the shade.

while i just bathed the kids, the daughter-in-law did my dishes and straightened out the house.  there wasn't an inch of ground not covered by lego, crumbs, purim props and costumes.  the kids have been dressing up for weeks now.  my grandson likes to think out of the box.  he will put on clown pants over a lion's costume and cover it with a policeman's shirt and a soldier's hat.  today he squeezed his 4 year old frame into a 2 year old's cowboy vest.  he just loves to dress up.

i heard from my son, that when he took the kids to a nearby playground, the grandson had dragged along the pincher dog and made her go down the slide with him.  .she actually, didn't seem the worse for it.  she never gets out for a walk.  as a matter of fact, neither do the kids.  i don't know what got into my son today.  he usually goes off to nap for the day and resurfaces at the end of shabbat.

i was getting ready after to lunch to visit a friend on the next block.  i've already discussed that it's really about 4 short blocks away.  i was still in my robe, doing my after blessings, when my friend showed up. we sat downstairs in the sun for a couple of hours.  i walked her almost home, in my robe and slippers, and returned home to be with my grandson for the rest of the day.

we slept together last night as usual, and woke up together at 7:00 a.m.  the day was filled with making bottles of tea and juice and giving out snacks.  it seems like i did this for hours.  the granddaughter made her entrance about an hour later.  we all went outside in the sun.  it was too nice to be inside.  another friend had come for shabbat with her dog, so we were 2 old ladies, 2 little kids,  2 big kids and 3 small dogs for shabbat.

we all seemed to get along most of the time.  my daughter-in-law came down with sciatica before shabbat, and she was out for the count.  i quickly went into action with arnica cream, heat patches and pain pills.  i wonder if she realizes that i've been suffering like that all winter.  i have to say that i'm feeling a lot better lately since i took a remedy.  i actually have been out and about this week.  i made it to the bank, the city tax office, the water department and the medical carrier office all in one day.  i even bought the kids costumes for purim.

the daughter-in-law accepted the boy's costume but vetoed the girl's.  i bought two costumes for the price of one and spent about $50.  i gave over the receipt and told her to exchange it.  i didn't get all bent out of shape.  maybe i overstepped my place as grandmother of the girl.  i don't really care.  i love purim and i love costuming.  i can try to shorten and alter the snow white costume if she can't find something she likes better.  i wasn't exactly in love with it myself but i tried my best.   i guess i should have just handed over the $ and let her go shopping herself.  when will i learn?

i made shabbat meals once again this week.  the heat slowed me down.  i felt sluggish and sloth like.  i got a late start, too.  i usually start cooking by 9:00 a.m.  not so on friday.  i didn't really get into it until around 1:00 p.m.  i felt like i was doing everything in slow motion.  peeling the potatoes seemed overwhelming for me.  i was planning on making a potato kugel for a change, but i didn't have the energy to grate the potatoes.  i ended up making plain mashed potatoes.  i made a small chicken cholent for lunch.  i fried chicken cutlets for dinner and it took forever to finish.  i had a pile of dishes in both sinks and i wanted to cry.  i truly struggled to get ready for shabbat.

i did spend hours on the phone with friends, beforehand, in all honesty.  it zapped me of all my strength.  i baked a white cake and threw in some orange juice and vanilla pudding.  it was okay.  it did go for a change.  i had wanted to make some dairy corn muffins but there was no time to play around anymore.  i made some cabbage salad with mayo, a little bit of egg salad, mashed up a couple of avocados, and made a small israeli salad of cucumbers and tomatoes. i also served chumus.  it was a simple meal.  i had both kids with me while their mother rested until my son came home form shul.

i didn't get a nap today and neither did the grandson.  he was overtired and wild.  both kids trashed the house while i talked to my firends.  at least, the kids are sparkling clean again and perhaps fast asleep, while my house is once again back in shape and i even got to blog.  that's quite an end to a long day.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Getting Out Again

it is 8:45 a.m. and i am very tired.  i actually got out yesterday and went to a funeral.  a lovely lady who used to help care for my mom lost her husband.  he was about 50 years old.  they had 4 children.  she is left to care for 2 teenage girls and 2 small boys.  i think the youngest is 6 years old.  they were separated and living in two separate dwellings but the husband definitely spent a lot of time with the kids.  the husband worked in the local college teaching english.

he apparently was well liked by the staff and students. i wasn't  planning on going out.  it was rather windy and my eye was hurting.  i wanted to be there for the wife.  this was the first of many funerals lately in the english speaking community of zefat.  it seems that we have been losing members of our tight knit group every month.  everyone is reeling from all the trauma.  there was a pre purim party planned for last night which was, of course, cancelled.  i wasn't planning on attending.

the funeral was called for 3:00 p.m.  i had an early lift there but i declined.  i didn't think i could make it.  at 2:30 p.m. i snuck outside to check out the wind.  it was very warm and still.  i rushed into the shower and got dressed.  i called for a taxi and got there about 3:15 p.m.  the oldest teenaged girl, all of 18 years,  was a wreck.  she was wailing.  she actually took to lying on the temporary coffin and screaming 'abba' for about a half an hour until her mom got her up and out of there.

i ran into some old friends who seemed glad to see me.  the man was buried very close to my parents' graves so i got to visit them for a moment.  i actually, also, threw myself on both of my parents' graves and begged them to pray and intercede for our family's welfare.  i was 18 when i lost my grandmother.  i was left at home with her and i can still remember the hospice nurse telling me that she had passed on.  my poor grandma had been ravaged from cancer.  she was in her 70's and back in the 60's there was no treatment for cancer.  i remember being very quiet and sad.  i remember that she was the first dead person that i had ever seen.  we were very sheltered as kids and never told about the passing of relatives.

my grandmother's funeral was a first for me.  i remember wanting to jump in to the open grave after her.  it has haunted me for years.  i used to take my very young son with me to funerals.  i was reacting to being overly sheltered by my parents.  i wanted him to be a 'man' and see the way we jews ritually bury our dead.  i wanted it to be a natural part of life for him, a mitzvah.   all i could think of yesterday, was how my son and family would deal with my burial.  i know that i was being very morbid.  i dreamt of death last week.  since i took the remedy, i have been remembering my dreams after a long dry spell.  i dreamt that i had died but i was still here.  it was so frustrating because no one could see or hear me.  i was trying to speak to the grand kids but they couldn't hear me.  i remember being so close to them and blowing into their ears to get their attention.  some dream!

after the funeral i got a lift home.  i stopped off to see my friend on the next block.  i say that but it's really about 4 streets away.  i remember when i met her i told her that i lived 'down the street' from her.  when she finally came to visit she let me know that i did not live down the street.  in fact, she let me know that i lived 'up' the street and that it was quite an uphill incline.  before my illness, i was quite the walker.  not so much, now.

i still have to make shabbat for the kids, and i am simply too tired to function right now.  i can't imagine cooking today.  i am spent.  between running  to the electric company and the funeral, i'm done.  i think it will be a simple meal this week.  i might give over the veggies to the daughter-in-law and have her make the salads.  maybe we'll buy some cakes, too.

i am trying to get a few ladies to come over after the fast of esther next month, for a purim gathering.  i want to make some sangria and make a cheese spread.  i want to keep it very simple.  my friend wants to play her organ so we could party on down to her place.  i know it's hard because it's after a fast and most of us are busy making shabbat meals.  i am still going to try to do this.  i don't even feel the need to do a full costume.  perhaps heavy eye make up or fake tattoo.  we shall see who is willing to come out.  at least i'm thinking about it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Waiting In The Dark

it is 4:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the electricity just came back on.  at about 11:00 a.m. the power went off.  i assumed that it was a power outage in the neighborhood and was bummed out because i am lost without the telly.  after a short time, i checked with a neighbor just to be sure it wasn't just me without lights.  it turns out that it was just me.  the power company finally shut off our electricity.

i have been fearing this for awhile and yet, i still believed that i had time to pay the bills.  i was waiting for a reduction from the national insurance company and also for a good day to leave the house.  i didn't receive any notices or warnings and i had no idea that i had been shut off until around noon.  i called the electric company to ask how much i actually owed after the senior citizen discount.  they couldn't tell me right away.

i had about $100 in cash and only one check left.  i went to the super yesterday to get more bargains and used up my checks.  i was planning on getting to the bank tomorrow.  i woke up with a pain in my bad eye.  it was tearing and hurting and i was in no shape to get out of bed.  i didn't even make myself a hot drink.  i figured that i would get to the power company next week to clear things up.  when i finally realized that i had to get to the electric company right away i went straight into problem solving mode.  i thought about running to the local cash machine but i wasn't sure that i had any money to withdraw.

i quickly threw on a jacket and ran to catch the bus to town.  i went straight to the bank to check out my balance.  luckily, i had some cash left to withdraw.  i ordered new checks and jumped into a cab.  the cab driver remembered me from two months ago when he drove me to the tel aviv bus in rosh pina.  he owed me a receipt and gave me one today.  i don't know if the health carrier will accept it and reimburse me.  i got to the electric company, which is literally, at the other end of zefat, at about 12:45 p.m.

it didn't show on the computer that i had been cut off.  the manager asked me for the turn off notice, which i didn't have because i never got one.  the bill turned out to be a little over $400.  i did get about a  $200 reduction.  the manager promised that the electricity would be turned back on in half an hour.  i had about $2 left over.  it was exactly enough money to ride the buses home.  i started walking in the direction of the bus stop.  it was a long haul.

i was at the bottom of the industrial zone.  i tried to get a lift.  no one was going back to town so i kept on walking.  it was a warm and sunny day.  i didn't really know where i was.  i finally got a lift to a bus stop in the southern end of town.  i caught the bus right away and made it back to town.  the second bus was actually there so i avoided a 30 minute wait.. i got back to my neighborhood pretty soon and went to visit a friend.  she wasn't home so i walked to the little super to see if they had any bargains.  i bought a few tomatoes and went home.  they were in the midst of revamping the store and nothing was organized yet.

i got home at 2:45 p.m. and there wasn't any electricity.  i started my frantic calls.  i was so afraid that the daughter-in-law would come home to a dark house.  she was not a happy camper at all.  she started calling in rapid fire hebrew but was told that we might have to wait until 9:00 p.m.  by 4:00 p.m. it was already dark in my house.  luckily it was a warm day and we were all siitting otside in the sun.  i made my last frantic call about 4:30 p.m. and finally the lights went back on.

being without the t.v. and computer all day long was painful.  i am a junkie.  i am watching 7:15 a.m. reruns of the apprentice because the 'housewives' ended.  i am totally unmotivated to read or do a project in the house.  i have plenty to do here.  there are walls to patch up and paint, and there is a lot to clean.  i can't get started.  my mind is working overtime making mental lists but my body doesn't follow up.  i am a couch slouch!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Out On The Town

it's 8:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat and i just put the granddaughter to sleep and came back upstairs.  the mom took the grandson to a kids show in town.  i had it easy today.  the mom bathed and fed the girl before she left.  it was an unseasonably warm day so i washed the floors.  i haven't been in as much pain lately so i've been able to perform simple tasks again.  for instance, i made shabbat meals last week.

i baked two loaf cakes, made 7 salads, two types of fish, one chicken ball soup and a beef and chicken cholent in under 3 hours.  i was on fire.  it was pretty cold in the house so i needed to use a space heater to keep my hands warm so i could prepare the meals.  i had the grand kids with me for a short time while the daughter-in-law picked up the son.

it's a lot easier having the grandson here.  he can keep himself occupied and i don't have to get down on the floor and play with him.  i certainly don't have to chase after him anymore.  i find it a lot easier to fill a tub with bubbles and let him soak and play for a while than manually shower him.  i usually keep him company while he bathes.  sometimes, i stay in the t.v. room outside the bathroom and watch a show until he's ready to get out.  of course, i help him get out and dry him off and help him into his pajamas.  it's easy to put them both in the bath instead of showering them,too.

my computer is on the fritz so it's chancey blogging.  i can't really download anything without it disappearing.  i need to get the repair man over but i doubt that i have the money right now.  i haven't made it over to the social worker with my medical travel receipts in ages.  i simply, can't get it together.  i desperately need the money but i'm in a bad head space.   i sleep a lot and seem to be in a continual fog.

i want to go to the big supermarket tomorrow because i heard that they're having a huge sale.  i applied for a supermarket credit card just to get the bargains.  i know they will not give me the card because i've already been rejected 3-4 times.  i might just get away with the 50% discount tomorrow.  we'll see.  the kids were having a ball on saturday dressing up in costumes. i dressed the boy as a lion and the girl as a pineapple.  later on, he put several costumes on by himself while i napped.  he had the pineapple suit on, the clown's pants, and the policeman's shirt all under the lion suit.  he also had his fleece training suit on under all of these items.  he felt no cold.  he even put on a soldier's beret.

while i napped, he answered the door, went outside and said some psukim with the local chabad teenagers.  he came back inside with a toffee and woke me up to let me see his candy.  i saw that he was incredibly overdressed so i laughed.  he really got a lot of use out of the bits and pieces of costumes that i've collected throughout the years.  i remember my son loving to play dress up too, some 20 plus years ago..

the women are having a purim party this week even though purim is next month.  i want to have a purim party on the night before the actual purim but i don't think  i'll be able to get anything going.  i'm already thinking about purim day.  i doubt that i'll be making rum balls this year.  i don't think i'll get to making hamentashen either.  i'll buy some bakery goods.  i'll make the purim chocolate molds for the kids and buy some candy.  i'll host the meal or co host it with the sephardi clan.  the son wants to invite his firends and get wasted.  he wants to do a kareoke evening.  i'll buy some good quality booze and dress up and get laid back.  i'll make spicy barbecue wings,  and hot dogs in dipping sauce.  i'm thinking of making stuffed shells with chop meat.  i usually make meatballs but i think the shells might be a welcomed change.

i have  put on a huge amount of weight so i really need to lose it before purim.  i am simply not motivated.  i live in robes.  i look awful.  i was on the south beach diet before tu b'shvat but once i started eating dried fruits and carbs i went nuts.  i have to get myself in check once in for all.  i have to stop eating everything in sight.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Much To Do About Nothing

it is 4:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.   it has been a nice and sunny day.  i didn't venture out.   i haven't left the house this week at all.  i haven't even gotten dressed this week.  i've been relatively pain free, thanks to the recent remedy that i took.  however, i have been incredibly tired.   i  convinced myself that i have chronic fatigue.  the homeopath believed me and fashioned the remedy to improve it.  i don't think that phase has kicked in.  i am terribly exhausted from doing nothing.

i keep on waiting for some energy to kick in.  i need a shower and i need a change of clothes. it's so simple really, but so difficult for me.  i lay in bed for most of the day watching reruns on the telly.  it has been rather cold so i've been under the goose down comfortor with the dogs all week.  i  constantly think about making a move.  and then i fall asleep.

my gradson has been coming up each morning at 7:00 a.m.  he watches the telly while i prepare him some hot chocolate or hot milk with honey.  this morning i made them both bottles of carob milk.  i had a whole bag of organic carob powder left over form tu b'shvat.  from what i read, i think that dutch cocoa powder is probably more healthy than carob and it does taste richer.  the carob powder is naturally sweet.  any way, i managed to slip in some carob into their morning drinks.  i actually lifted the boy today,  a real testament to my recent welllness.  even he mentioned that his 'safta' was pain free again.

i sometimes help the kids get dressed.  this morning i got the definate vibe from the daughter-in-law that she didn't appreciate my being around.  i, anyway, come up each day for my morning fix of 'new jersey housewives' at 8:00 a.m.  i am a housewives junkie.  i can't get enough of these series.  i always imagined doing a zefat housewives show.   it would really make for a great satire on purim, but i don't think the general populace here would get it.  oh well!  thinking about purim makes me tired.  i don't think there will be tons of my home made rum balls or hamentashen this year.

i have a good buddy who has been calling every day in crisis mode.  does she have rats in the house? no. does she have a huge electric bill to pay?  nope.  does she have a health crisis like cancer?  once again, no. she is a wannabe singer/performer.  she actually did have a real career back in the days.  however, she packed that all in back in the 80's.  she really is a talented cometic writer.   we used to perform for the ladies at purim and chanukah but we haven't pulled off any thing  in years.  i was always the costume designer.  i still have an extensive wardrobe of costumes and props in my blog room..

anyway, my freind still wants to have a career in the music world.  i do encourage her to write songs and make videos to show on you tube.  afterall, that is the musical climate these days.  do i think that she has a chance to make it in the real world of music?  not a one.   they recently had try outs for the israeli 'x'  factor. even my son, the  kareoke maven, tried out.  did i think that he had a chance of making it?  no, not a one.  neither one got a call back.  nebech!  my friend hasn't really gotten over being rejected from the show.  how am i supposed to really relate to her ayway?  i can't get out of bed.  i can't drag my behind out of the house.  i  sometimes feel like playing up the cancer card but it doesn't really work any more.

my zefat sister and i had words before shabbat.  it was pretty much the same dance that we have been doing all these years.  i always get attacked for being judgemental and not allowing her to 'express' herself.  i have no patience for it anymore.  i cannot engage.  i have chronic fatigue from all the radiation i received last year. leave me alone.  my other sister, the voice of reason, has been suffering from similar back and leg pain lately, too.  she takes motrain and runs off to the gym to do planks, and plunges and tread mill.  she doesn't lie in bed all day like her younger sister.  does anyone really care?

i heard from the california chapter, that my zefat nephew was accepted into med school in n.y.  do you think the zefat chapter would go out of their way to spread the good news?  not a chance.  that is the way things are.  many years ago, i got a call from my california sister letting me know about a crisis my son was having right here in zefat.  did i get a local call?  of course not.  why can't  i just accept that things are the way they are and can't seem to change?   it was all so simple when i was undergoing treatment.    now that i'm cancer free, i can't  get anyone to give me the time of day.

i heard from the west coast connection that certain readers/ extended family members were happy to read the blog once again.  i am happy to know that people are reading my blog.  i would love to meet everyone some day.  i extend an open invite to anyone who happens to find themselves in zefat to come over and dine with me.  we have sleeping space too.  try to come when it's warm.  the house is a virtual ice box  this winter.

the son wants to renew his american passport thos month.  he wants me to schepp with him to haifa.  ain't happening.  he needs photos to prove his identity through the past years.  i haven't  really kept up but i do have some photos that may help.  i keep on thinking that the boy wants to escape to the states.  who knows?  i'm not going anywhere.