Monday, March 31, 2014


it is 9:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i just got out of bed.  i usually jump up at 7:00 a.m. but not today.  i am tired.  my leg hurts.  i really can't move right now.  yesterday i washed the windows in the large bedroom.  nothing got lifted.  i just took a bunch of soapy water and scrubbed down the glass doors and screens on the porch.  i didn't remove any of them and i didn't use any windex.  it was just getting the dirt and pigeon poo out of the porch.

i did do a lot of bending.  the drain where the water goes down is blocked so i had to bail out a bunch of filthy water with my hands.  lovely!  i didn't use bleach and i didn't do a perfect job.  i just got it to look clean and not disgusting.  my mother used to sit outside on that porch every day.  no one has sat out there in years.  i use it for my laundry rack now.  the pigeons tried to take it over last year but i managed to get rid of them when i came back from the hospital.

the kids may be crashing here for a few days during pesach if they get a rental downstairs.  i wanted the 'guest' bedroom to be nice.  a couple of years ago they slept there and while they were out the dogs soiled the bed.  the door doesn't properly close so i leave a wooden board in front of it to keep the dogs out.  i need to buy a wooden latch.  one of these days.

i need to get up and melt some chocolate.  i went to town yesterday just to buy the sticks and small cellophane baggies to make the lollies. i was a bit pressured to get there and return in time to pick up my grandson from gan.  my daughter-in-law was at the dentist getting a root canal.  i stopped off at home first because i had some heavy packages.  she called to let me know that she was already at the gan.  she has a bad infection and couldn't get the work done.

i offered to keep the kids here because she was in so much pain.  i had them upstairs with me from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  i wanted to make them food in my toaster oven but it still shorts out.  what a shame.  it was a great toaster oven.  i pan fried up some frozen chips and corn schnitzels for them.  i made a couple of rounds of hot carob milk which i tell them is chocolate milk.  the little one kept asking me for candy.  one of the few english words she's picked up in my care.  i do have some bags of marshmallows in the closet but i didn't feel like opening them.  i was saving them for future barbecues.

although the kids were mostly watching television, i couldn't get anything done.  i gave them their usual bubble bath, which they love and gives me a bit of time to relax..  i had to run up and down the stairs to get their clean pajamas and bring up food.  i had to sit with them and color and keep them out of trouble.  i had to referee their fights and then clean up.

at 7:30 p.m. i took them downstairs to see their parents.  i diapered the little one and insisted that my son brush her teeth and put her to sleep. she usually falls asleep as soon as she hits the crib.  the boy requires stories.  i told him 'cinderella, 'hansel and grettel' and 'the three little pigs'.  finally he fell asleep.  then i had to make dinner for the big kids. i made frozen chips in the toaster downstairs for the daughter-in-law who was in agony and i made pan fried chips and franks for the big boy.

i hit the bed after 9:00 p.m.  i watched the telly not that i could concentrate on anything i saw.  i was that tired.  i also ate way too much.  i have gotten hefty lately.  there isn't enough food in the world for me.  i really got to get a handle on it.  i don't know what i can wear today for the 'haircut' celebration.  it is sunny but quite cold and windy.  i am too tired to do any more windows today.  i can't seem to finish up that pathetic empty fridge.  i want to shop tomorrow for pesach food.  i hope that my last check will clear.  i also have to get matzah from town.  and i need to buy chometz free dog food.  are we having fun yet?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Varnish It

it is nearly 4:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i am on babysitting duty in a little while.  the weather took a change from heatwave back to winter and we had a bit of a rain storm.  i didn't want to get out of bed today.  the windows are still in tact.

i didn't want to do any pesach cleaning today.  after shabbat, i washed the dishes and hit the bed.  i ended up babysitting until midnight.  i was beat.  i felt guilty skipping a day so i decided to finish the fridge.  it wasn't a day to do laundry.  i looked at the dining room chairs and thought about dousing them with soapy boiling water.  i cleaned out the utility closet under the sink and found some mahogany wood varnish from a while ago.

i suddenly got an idea to re varnish the bottoms of the chairs and the places where the dogs had chewed off many years ago.  i went for it.  i ended up doing all 8 chairs but it didn't stop there.  i decided to paint in all the designer areas of the antique furniture that are dusty.  you can't really get into the spaces with a rag.  i used a kid's coloring book paint brush to do it all.  i have lost my mind, i know.  i then did all the handles and feet of the antique furniture, too.

i am afraid that when it all drys it will look awful. it will be a thick and sticky mess instead of a thin veneer.  the house reeks of varnish, to boot.  not healthy at all.  i must have breathed in varnish for hours.  i didn't even use gloves and i got some on the tiles..i don't know how i'll get the tiles clean before pesach.  i don't have any turpentine in the house.

tomorrow, i have to go to town to buy white chocolate and make about 50 tsittis lollies for my daughter-in-law's nephew who turns 3.  we all go to meron on tuesday for the haircut.  then we go on to the festive meal at the bomb shelter near the clan's house.  that's a full day away from cleaning.  i am falling behind. i have created an impossible situation for myself.  i hope i didn't mess up all of the furniture.  how many days will it take to clear out the smell of the varnish?  i still have a few chairs that are darker wood that i'd like to varnish.  what's wrong with me?


Friday, March 28, 2014

Almost Shabbat

it is 5:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  it is about an hour before candle lighting.  all the food is on the electric platter already.  i had a package of chicken bones that i didn't want to toss so i made a chicken soup last night at about 11:00 p.m.  i don't know if that was the new time or an hour earlier.  all i know is that i didn't get to sleep until after 4:00 a.m.  i drank some tea before i went to sleep.  i wonder if i'm finally feeling the caffeine.

i got up and was pretty tired.  i defrosted the spicy chicken wings for lunch tomorrow and i defrosted some broiled chicken liver for tonight.  i didn't have the energy to walk down to the supermarket  today.  i had 4 small potatoes and a carrot and an onion so i made a small kugel.  i also made white rice with green lentils.  i started out cooking them both separately, but i ended up throwing them together into a pot.  i'm afraid it's a bit of a blob.  i made some fish with a moroccan red sauce and i made cole slaw.  there was only a bit of mayonnaise left in the jar so i added a bit of lemon and olive oil.

i decided not to serve the pesach peanut cookies, that i bought yesterday for this shabbat.  after all, we still have another 2 shabbatons to get through before the seder.  i baked a whole wheat honey cake using date honey.  i also made some corn muffins.  i took a  package of strawberries and a banana from the kids' fridge and i made strawberry sorbet.  i bought sunflower seeds and i have beer in the fridge so we are good to go.

i don't know how the kids will deal with no cholent tomorrow.  i have sweet and spicy wings and kugel and rice pilaf.  they'll just have to cope.  i couldn't find any chicken in the store yesterday to make a cholent.  if it was just me alone, i'd have a tuna sandwich.

in between cooking and baking, i managed to clean both dairy and pareve ovens.  the only problem is that i shorted out the electric dairy oven which shorted out the electricity in the house.  all is well now but i won't know for sure if i killed my jumbo dairy oven or not, for a few days.  i'm letting it dry out.  i couldn't help myself.  the ovens were warm so i started spraying them with oven cleaner.  i actually got a good whiff of the stuff at one point and luckily, didn't choke.

i cleaned out the rest of the gadget drawers and reorganized them, which is always a pleasure.  i still need to finish the fridge.  most of the parts are on the counter.  hopefully on sunday, i'll get around to it.  i am under a lot of pressure to face the pigeon population upstairs.  just now i had two of them sitting on my window ledge watching me type.  i think this means war.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Windex Is In The Air

it is 5:20 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  actually, it is only 4:20 p.m. but i turned the clocks ahead this afternoon in case i forget tonight before i go to sleep.  yes, we are officially getting an extra hour of daylight.   i think that means we are also, losing an hour of sleep.  i'm not sure any more about anything.  oh well.  i passed out yesterday around 7:00 p.m.  i was exhausted.  all that windex and sun wore me out.  my nose started running and i started feeling sick.  windex will do that to you every time.

i didn't expect to be well today but voila! i am back on my feet.  i spent the afternoon catching up on laundry.  we are having another heat wave so hanging out the clothes was a charm.  i got dressed because i want to hit the supermarket.  those coupons are burning a whole in my pocket book.  i know that when i actually get there, they won't have any of the things on sale, but still, i can't wait to look around.  i will take my trusted, rusty, shopping cart to handle the heavy items.  why spend money on a taxi?  probably because it is easy.

i tried to limit my cleaning activities to the kitchen even though i was tempted to go to another area of the house.  i did clean out the bottom of one of my bedroom closets.  i found a lot of over night bags which i was happy to throw out.  i don't go anywhere overnight and i no longer belong to a gym.  even when i did go to the gym i didn't bring a tote bag.  anyway, i wiped around the dust, tossed out an old scrabble set and rearranged my boots.  i don't think i'll be wearing them any longer.  you really never know.  it once snowed right before pesach many years ago.

i am beginning to feel tired and i can't seem to get a caffeine buzz.  i don't drink coffee any more and i hardly ever drink cola.  tea doesn't do anything for me.  i can't go near green tea because it reminds me of the days before i went away for my cancer treatment.  yes, i still use the 'c' card whenever possible.  i almost finished  cleaning my kitchen.  i still have the gadget drawers to go through and the fridge to clean.  it didn't storm yet and my windows are still clean.  they are a bit stained and streaked but i'm not a perfectionist.  window cleaning is a man's thing, i think.

none of the women on my block do the pesach windows.  i've only seen the husbands do it.  and no one except me, would ever do it before a couple of days before pesach.  it's a real competition on my block who has the cleanest windows, house, car and patio.  i'm not fit to be in the competition. i can't possibly win.  last year i warned my neighbor not to leer at my windows because they weren't getting washed.  but, then last year i had just recovered from cancer.  this year i have no excuse.

when i say that i cleaned my kitchen that doesn't include the small kitchen where i do my cooking and baking.  i still have the dairy toaster oven and the real oven to clean.  also, the walls need to be scrubbed down.  that's the real nitty gritty.  that's what kills me every time.  that's what i was doing around 6 years ago when i got bells palsy.  that was one nasty experience.

i don't think i will do another thing after i return home from the supermarket.  i'm too tired to even cook.  i thought about making chicken soup but i think i may skip it and use my purim leftovers for shabbat.  i really am trying to pace myself.  next week i want to tackle the dining room chairs and the living room windows.  all i need is good health and a lot of stamina.  i am getting a bit nervous that i might get stuck with babysitting stints soon so i am trying to get as much done as i can.

i am also trying to shed a bit of weight.  i gained a ton after chanukah, lost some and regained a ton.  i just want to let you know that i am wearing a grey wig in the purim pix.  i was 'chanelling' my mom on purim.  my friend thought it was spooky that i looked so much like her. my son was dressed as a nerd.  he started wearing an indian costume and huge feather head band, which i spent my last 20 shekels on.  suddenly, he was inspired by a pair of black rimmed nerd glasses and he was extremely funny to look at.  he was the son i had always wanted, for a day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Cleaning

it is 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i'm beat.  i did a 5 hr. cleaning stint this morning.  i have pretty much, been averaging 5 hours a day doing my pesach cleaning.  it's really more than just pesach cleaning.  i'm making up for all the work i didn't do last year.

i've shined the silver spoon collection and washed the kitchen windows and screens.  i washed the curtains and already rehung them.  we had a warm and sunny day, perfect for windows and laundry. it will probably storm before pesach, but i don't care.  the windows didn't get done last year and i couldn't bare another minute staring out of those filthy windows.

i wanted to run to the supermarket, as i received some great coupons, but i was too tired.  the kids are here for shabbat and i'm tempted to serve the leftovers from the purim meal.  when i mentioned it to my daughter-in-law, she seemed a bit concerned.  i have liver, spicy chicken wings and meatballs in the freezer.  the last thing that i want to do is make another cholent.  i can save the leftovers for after pesach.  i have a small fridge  with a tiny freezer upstairs.

i'll see what's available at the super tomorrow.  i'd love to start shopping for pesach already.  perhaps, i'll go to the big super on sunday.  money is a bit scarce right now.  the kids are in a real financial pickle, too.  i put away my small meat toaster oven for pesach already.  i needed the counter space for the cleaned fridge parts.  i already did my freezer and am in the middle of the fridge.  i get bored easily and start other 'projects'.   i can't seem to get the fridge finished.

i did most of the kitchen cabinets and the silverware drawers.  i have thrown out a bunch of kitchen stuff. anything that was weighty, or had a scratch or chip got chucked.  i threw out a bunch of party dishes that were never used.  in fact, the labels were still on.  i needed the cabinet space.  i am trying to simplify life.  i want to be able to navigate through the kitchen and pantry with ease.  i cannot stand clutter.

i had the best time ever, today, at my friend's.  we tossed a bunch of junk that her husband left in the back yard.  he is a real pack rat and i don't know how she manages to deal with it.  she waits until he leaves the country and she goes to work.  i felt so great tossing all of the junk.  we were supposed to go to a torah class in town but she was a bit under the weather and i was half asleep.  throwing out the junk was a real high.  having lived, most of my life with my mom who was a 'saver' / hoarder, it felt therapeutic helping my friend clear out the yard.

i already cleaned the bedrooms before purim so i will do a quick sponger before pesach.  the large bedroom needs a bit more work.  the windows,  glass doors and porch need serious scrubbing.  i still need to get upstairs to deal with the pigeon takeover.  yesterday, cloey the pincher dog,  got hold of a pigeon and wouldn't give it up.  she growled at me but i was able to get it out of her mouth without getting bitten.  there was pigeon feathers all over the house.  i needed to do a thorough sponger.  i can't remember how many buckets of scented soapy water got thrown around..  the floor was still wet this morning.

my grandson joined me this morning at 6:30 a.m.  after he went downstairs, i got up and started cleaning.  i should have finished the kitchen cabinets and or the fridge, but instead,  i tackled the windows and curtains. yes, all 6 windows.  they were pretty light in weight.  i can't take the living room windows out.  i need to ask my son to help me.  i haven't done them in years.  i need to wash them next week.  i have 18 windows on this floor.  some are very small and do not come out.

my son wants to make a seder here.  i was hoping to go out.  my friends may not be in zefat and i can't eat at the in-laws on pesach.  it's more work for me.  if i keep on keeping on my cleaning routine , i just might get finished a head of time.  i think that every year but maybe i do have a shot at it.  the seder is on monday night and i could cook on sunday night, if i get everything finished.  we shall see what we shall see..

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Party's Over

it is 1:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i just cleaned up after my ladies purim party.  yes folks,  i threw a party for women.  after a couple of weeks of do i or don't i, i finally gave in and called a party.  i advertised for weeks in the local email zefat line and got pretty much no response.  i met ladies on the street who saw my ad and seemed interested.  i had two ladies car pooling and i thought that i had a shot of getting in a crowd.

i think we were 12 ladies in and out tonight.  i guess you could call us the mighty dozen.  there was never a crowd at any one moment.  i made frantic calls on Friday to beg ladies to come.  i am not ashamed to admit that i played the cancer card as best as i could.  "after all, last year i spent purim in the oncology ward.  don't you think you should come to my party while we are all alive".  i think the rap went something like that.  one lady had epilepsy and i promised her medical marijuana if she came.  i actually have a bit that my son got for me last year.  thank goodness, i never needed any.

i had a few last minute drop outs, too.  one lady couldn't get into the van.  she was in pain and couldn't maneuver her body to get in.  another lady, who resides at a senior citizen's residence fell asleep.  one of my designated drivers called to cancel on friday.  she wasn't finished cooking for the shabbat and purim so she couldn't come out to party.  another lady couldn't reach the first designated driver tonight and i guess she couldn't jump into a cab.  a lady from efrat who started this whole party going, lost her ride to zefat so she cancelled.  it's not enough that i called to invite people to a party, provided heat and a clean place, live entertainment, and refreshments, too.  i have to get them here also.

it is so depressing that i can't get a crowd together.  a lot of ladies go to the chabad house in the old city. what's so frustrating is the fact that it was i, with another gal, who established the purim party at the chabad house many years ago.  there is a need for older ladies to party without kids around.  i can't stand partying with younger ladies, either.  no one really dressed up for the party except for me , my co party promoter, and one other lady.  i was dressed as a city clean up person.  i found a city clean up person's vest in the street and voila! i had a costume.  i safety pinned a large garbage bag to my vest and wore authentic work gloves. sorry no pix of me , as usual.

we performed our purim parody of the cold play song 'viva la vida".  we also did our white house skit about hu jintao, a newer version of 'who's on first'.  the ladies liked it a lot.  my friend played her keyboard for hours.  at one point she was playing disco music and one lady was singing in russian.  it was bizarre.  it didn't really go together.  it was a bit trippy.  at one point i thought i was going crazy.  i drank a bit of cheap vodka and felt much better.

a popular rabbi's wife came.  she was right in the spirit of things.  at one point we were all in the kitchen doing the 'twist'.  i seem to remember that they played the limbo.  i ran to get my sponger stick and it was great fun.  it was great to be able to move again.  i think the remedy helped my chronic fatigue.  i have been doing things non stop lately.  i managed to fix some cracks in the walls and repaint them lately.  i did a manic pesach cleaning job in all three bedrooms on thursday during the fast day.  i baked some non gluten sesame cookies and dairy corn muffins and cooked the shabbat meal, too.  i never really went to sleep on thursday night and got up and started cooking for purim at 6:00 a.m..

i had a decent nap this afternoon and  got ready to hear the megillah.  my daughter-in-law took my grandson to a party at his gan so i got stuck with my 2 year old granddaughter.  i carried her three blocks to shul.  she was pretty well behaved and finally got the hang of using the grogger when they called haman's name.  i came prepared.   she had a pacifier in her mouth and a package of sour sticks in her hand.  we actually arrived a little late but i couldn't see finding another reading.  i'll do better tomorrow.

i took my grandson to shul with me this morning to hear parshat amalek.  he played outside for most of the time.  it worked out okay.  i set up the living room on thursday and decided to use paper plates for shabbat.
clean up was easy.  i didn't want to be saddled with ton's of pots and pans and dishes before my party.  i made a simple meal.  i had piquant fish with carrots and potatoes, stewed chicken and packaged couscous.  i made an israeli salad and a cole slaw.  for lunch i made a chicken cholent.  i bought hamentashen.

for purim i made beef meatballs and sweet chili buffalo wings.  my daughter-in-law made a chinese chicken strips dish with peppers.  i have three packages of cocktail franks to make tomorrow.  i need to make a dipping sauce, i guess.  the kids want to barbecue so i am defrosting liver.  they love it here.  i don't really know how many people are coming.  i can always freeze the leftovers.  i bought pumpkin in bowl shapes to fill with lentils.  i don't know if i will get around to it.

i am pretty tired right now.  i opened the table leafs and put on a clean cloth.  that's all i could do tonight.  i am heading straight for bed.  i'm not even washing off the makeup.  i'm beat.  but it was a real upbeat zelda tonight.  haven't danced this much in years.  happy purim!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I Used To Rule The World

it is 9:30 a.m. in the holy city of Zefat.  i am trying to get out today.  i collected some money for a widow for purim and i need to get down town to get it to her.  i started having leg pain again and i guess, i should get back to the homeopath.  in the meantime, i am getting ready for a purim party at my home.

i went over to a friend yesterday in the neighborhood to 'rehearse' a skit for the purim party.  i found a skit on line about a meeting with bush and rice to discuss the chief of the communist party in china, Hu Jintao.  it is basically a take on the famous abbot and costello shtick, "who's on first". at least, i am trying to get into the spirit of purim.  i take purim very seriously.  i don't think i'll fit into a costume this year but i will paint up my face.

i may go to my great nephew's bris tomorrow.  that depends if there is a place for me in the car that my sister rents.  i have put on a great deal of weight lately, and i don't know what i can wear to the bris.  i am also pretty broke at this point.  i have an enormous electric bill to pay and the kids are also tapped out.  my daughter-in-law got fired without receiving her paycheck last month.  it's always something here in the middle east.  last year i spent purim in the oncological ward so it's onwards and upwards from here for me.

i am supposed to be making a purim seudah on sunday and i still don't have a clue as to how many people are coming.  hosting a party on saturday night doesn't make things any easier.  i cannot for the life of me, figure out what to serve at the party.  remember money is a concern.  i also haven't figured out my purim seudah menu which makes me queasy.  i  think i should just go with munchies and forget about healthy alternatives and salads.  i can always cut up some carrots and celery.  maybe even serve some cherry tomatoes.  i can always buy some mini barekas.  you only go around once, right.

we have a shabbat to get through first.  i probably will need to cook for that.  when am i supposed to make the purim seudah?  i can make a few things in advance.  i'm thinking of doing a couple of pitchers of sangrias on friday afternoon.  i plan on making one white and one red.  i read that it can be prepared up til 48 hours before.  if  i use only lemons and oranges, hopefully, it won't be too soggy.  i don't like to make kugels to far in advance, either,  so i'll probably skip them.  maybe ill make a rice and lentil dish.  it probably won't go down well, bit i'm desperate.

the kids have been non committal about purim.  i don't know if the clan is planning on coming over too.  i wanted to serve pigs in a blanket.  i  couldn't find any prepared ones.  the pastry dough is a bit expensive and i don't like to rely on anyone else to help.  the problem is that in the past, no matter what i prepared, the members of the clan preferred their matriarch's food to mine.  she does everything last minute which makes me nuts.  heaven forbid that i buy the pitas in advance and freeze them.  and then there's the time thing.  no matter when i call the meal for, it doesn't happen until hours later.  i am trying very hard here to be as 'laid back' as zelda can be.

i invited a few of my own friends to the seudah so i need to have something ready when they come.  i have tons of ground chicken and ground turkey in the freezer.  perhaps, i'll make two different types of meatballs.  i can definitely, do that in advance.  i plan on doing sweet and spicy chicken wings.  it's best to do them on the same day.  the clan doesn't eat chicken wings.  i learned that the hard way one year.  as i had a million wings left over from the seudah, i invited some of them for shabbat.  no one would touch them. the cholent i prepared was nearly raw, too.  it was a disaster.

i am really struggling about what to serve for the party .  i would normally make a vegetarian chili with cornbread but being after shabbat, when everyone probably ate cholent with beans for lunch, it doesn't seem like a good idea.  i don't feel like preparing lasagna, either.  i want to stick to party foods.  i have a few dip ideas and need to buy some crackers, and rice cakes.  money is definitely, tight right now. nuts are quite expensive, too.  i don't want to start playing around with hamentashen.  i also want to keep the foods traditional.  two years ago, i made a non gluten seudah to break the fast.  this year there is no fast before the party.  it's more like a long feast before the party and the night before the festive feast.

i started spackling the walls yesterday.  i filled in the holes in different parts of the house.  i am all over the place.  i can't get concentrated on anything.  i need to get some paint now and cover over the white spackle.
i hope the living room will be large enough for the party.  i don't have the energy to clean up the pigeon poo on the third floor and get the studio apartment up and running for a party.  i guess we will manage.  i need to take out a bit of furniture from the living room to accommodate chairs.

my friend wants to do a disco/rock dance set on her Yamaha organ.  i actually, requested dance music.  she really gets into it.  she can play for hours at a time, oblivious to what's going on around her.  she is a talented musician but everything sounds like muzak to me.  i asked my son to make a party dance mix for me.  we had a blow out about a similar request a few years ago.  even if we only have the live organ music it may be fun anyway as an element of vegas or the catskills.  i'm hoping the sangria will warm everyones' hearts.  anyway, that's what it is.

we also 'chopped' a song parody off  the net for the party.  it is to the tune of the cold play song, 'viva la vida'.  it is about haman but has a lot of the song's original words.  it's pretty clever.  we rehearsed it yesterday for hours.  i think it's more fun when you flub it a bit but my friend is a perfectionist.  she is sick right now and needs to see the lung specialist this morning.  i am hoping that she will be right for the party.  they say she has bronchitis and want her to undergo a ct scan.  i am feeling a bit nervous right now.  in spite of her illness, she sang and played for about  4 hours yesterday. go know.

on one hand, i fear that we will have a poor turnout and on the other hand, i'm afraid we won't fit comfortably.  it's not like me to be so unsure of everything.  i am feeling very tired.  my eye burns and my leg hurts.  i am very anxious about purim.. and then of course, we have to get the house ready for pesach.  my blog room is totally upside down with props and costumes all over the place.  i also spackled in here.  there was a dank smell coming from behind the book shelf.  the wall was very wet and i had to chip away a lot of the paint.  if i had the money i would bring in help.  i do the best i can.  this room could really use a paint job.  oh well.....