Saturday, June 28, 2014

Birthday Greetings From Zefat

it is 9:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  it is my birthday tonight.  that's right.  i turn 63.  i feel much older then that unfortunately.  we are having an intense heatwave.  it was nearly unbearable this shabbat without airconditioning.  my unit gave out a while ago and there just isn't any money to replace it.  i only use it a few days in the summer anyway.  it is usually cool at night in zefat.

i had to babysit both kids on friday so i did most of the cooking on thursday.  i woke up at 6:00 a.m. and washed the floors.  you wouldn't know it by how it looks now.  they are trashed.  i made piquant fish, chicken wings, turkey meatballs, chicken cutlets, potato kugel, wheat berries, and two types of eggplant salads.  i even baked a very moist chocolate cake.  the kids returned home at 5:00 p.m. and i made a raw salad with cabbage, cucumbers and carrots.

there is a clan family wedding tomorrow night in hadera.  i decided not to go.  i was supposed to baby sit the grand daughter but lucky me, i'm off the hook. the daughter-in-law decided to take her to the wedding.  i just do not have the energy to schlep out for this wedding.  i went to an outdoor wedding on thursday night but it was very close to home.  in fact, i got a ride home and it took about fifteen minutes in total.  i am not in the best shape these days.  dancing doesn't come easy to me.  i sat with old friends the other night and no one was doing much dancing.  we had a good schmooze session and got caught up with each others lives.

i met a lady from my old neighborhood in flatbush..  we even went to the same public school.  how cool is that!  we spent the night reminiscing.  it was wonderful to get out and see friends again.  i have been in isolation mode for years.  i actually became phobic around people.  i conquered my fears, and just went out.  i had a pretty bad eye infection and spent the night in sunglasses.  i didn't care.  i realized that no one else cared how i looked, either.  i'm sure no one wondered why i was overweight or why i had a red eye.  i stopped worrying about it too and genuinely enjoyed myself.

i was once considered a beauty.  i thought that facial paralysis was the worse thing to happen to me.  i was in a deep funk 6 years ago.   i felt that i lost my looks and yet i had a new grandson and that kept me happy.  i survived cancer and that should be a joy always.  this is the second birthday since i became cancer free.  i am going out tonight with the family to Tiberius for my birthday.  i hope that there isn't any last minute surprise party for me.  i just want to get out for a bit, have a milkshake or frozen yogurt and breathe the sea air.  i am pretty tired but that's par for the course.

Epilogue:  it's 1:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  just got back from the birthday outing in tiberius.  it ended well but it was rough going at first.  we didn't leave zefat until 10:00 p.m.   i was so paranoid that people were coming over to surprise me.  i finally calmed down when i saw my son dressed in bermuda shorts and a sports cap.  the kids were so excited but it was hard for them to deal with the car ride.  it was pretty warm and humid there and my son didn't feel well.  we sat overlooking the lake and had some ice pops.  i had a frozen coffee.

we walked over to some cafe/bars.  they were packed with american kids.  we finally sat outdoors in a cafe/bar and the cigarette smoke was getting to me.  the music was blasting and it was a bit of an endurance test at first.  we finally ordered our food and both the service and the food was good.  i felt like having a cocktail but it was very pricey.  we had pizza, spaghetti and a huge salad with fried halomi cheese.  my son ordered a large ice cream sundae, which we all tasted.  no one had any room left to really eat anything more.  the kids were running around but the place emptied out around midnight so it was fine for them to be free.

we got home pretty fast.  i am truly stuffed.  i ate almost the entire pizza by myself.  it will be strange to be alone in the house tomorrow.  the kids may sleep in hadera.  it's all a challenge.  i offered to pay for the meal but the kids wouldn't let me.  it was a nice evening.  of course, i feel like i burdened the kids by asking to go out but we did and we got home safe and all is well in our universe.  of course, we think about the 3 kidnapped boys even when we are having a good time.  we are always hurting for them and their families.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

School's Out Forever

it is 11:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  it's been a while since i posted.  i've been busy with the grand kids. next week the boy's gan officially closes for two months.  it is going to be a long, hot summer.  safta zelda is going to be spending a lot of time with the boy.  safta zelda is not all that patient and creative.

two weeks ago i took the boy with me on a really hot shabbat afternoon to visit my family.  my niece and family are here from delhi.  i got to see her 4 kids plus my nephew's new baby.  i hadn't seen my niece since the family wedding, right after i came home from cancer treatment, last year.   it was a pleasure to see the new grand niece and grand nephew.  is that even a word?  it wasn't a pleasure being so overweight.

it was hard navigating with my grandson.  it was a long, almost 40 minute, walk to the chabad housing project.  i didn't take a stroller.  he is not a big walker.  he is used to being chauffeured everywhere.  it was not an easy task getting him there.  he didn't have a nap that day and neither did i..   he had a real meltdown once he arrived.    he didn't want to wear his shorts anymore because they were too tight.   he also wanted his shirt and kepa off, too.  my niece found some schmattas for him to wear and he quieted down.

he wanted to see his long distance cousin, mendush.  mendush was no where to be found.  my grandson wasn't all that thrilled to be with his female cousins.  one of the girls asked him his name.  he told her that it was a secret.  apparently, this almost to be 5 year old, doesn't like little girls.  i took the three kids to the park downstairs, and kept them occupied for a couple of hours.  when we got back my grandson passed out.  in all fairness, i think, he had a fever.  he was burning up all day.  his mother didn't really care.  she was happy to have him out of the house.

towards the end of shabbat, mendush showed up and we woke up sahar.  they ended up playing nicely until shabbat ended.  luckily, a neighbor had donated a bucket full of lego and play house toys.  we took a cab home as soon as shabbat ended.  i haven't seen or heard from my family since.  it is really hot, and it's a lot of people and kids to navigate.  i'm thinking about filling up the pool next week.  we could have pool dates.

my birthday falls out on motsei shabbat.  i already told the kids that i'd like to go to tiberius near the pedestrian promenade along the lake.  we could have a pizza or something.  i really do not want them to throw me another surprise party.  i want to spend my special day (night) with my immediate family.  i wanted to make a party on sunday for my friends but the whole sephardi clan is going to hadera for a wedding.  i went to the henna extravaganza and i don't feel like going to the wedding.  they are taking my grandson so i am stuck babysitting the granddaughter.

there is a memorial musical evening for the 20th anniversary of the passing of the lubavitcher rebbe on sunday night.  i'd love to go and enjoy an evening out alone.  i should just tell the kids to shlepp the girl with them but i won't.  i  picked up my grandson at 2:00 p.m from gan yesterday and had the pleasure of his company until his mom came home.  they had an end of the year party at the gan at 5:00 p.m.  they left me with the girl and didn't return home until nearly 11:00 p.m.  i managed to put her down early but i wanted to be in my own space and chill out.  i wasn't informed that they were all going out for the night.  i expected my son to come home from work at 7:30 p.m.  whatever..........

i was actually, exhausted yesterday because i had taken a long walk in the heat.  i started walking a few days ago.  i am at my all time highest weight.  i look awful.  my stomach is as large as an expectant mom's.  i am in no shape to work out but i decided to at least, start moving the body again.  i am not doing speed or power walking.  i am simply going outside and taking a leisurely 40 minute walk.  i am also trying to cut out food binging.  i am trying to maintain some kind of social schedule, too.  i have been in bed for months with my latest sciatic attack.  i am coming out.

my back is pretty good these days.  my leg is still problematic.  i started feeling that the chronic fatigue was slowly going away.  i had some energy.  i went upstairs and tackled the pigeon problem.  i did a pesach cleaning job.  the place was trashed.  there was pigeon poo on the wooden floors and in the bathroom. everything was dark brown from a year's worth of dust.  i cleaned for hours.  i still haven't finished the floors but the balcony is clean and pigeon free.  bravo!

i have 2 ladies coming for a week at the end of july.  i gave them a ridiculously, low price.  i needed the money now.  i can't think about how much the realtors are asking.   i don't seem to get one over on anyone.  i am brutally honest.  i am not going to spend any money on this.  what i have in terms of household items is what they get.  i will put out a bit of tea, coffee and sugar but nothing more.  the space upstairs is lovely.  there is even some air.  they have the a.c unit too if it gets bad.   we don't have a.c downstairs.

i finally went to get a blood test yesterday.  it's been well over a year since i checked it.  i made a point of walking to the clinic and returning by foot, too.  they checked my blood pressure and urine.  of course, they wanted me to do a mammogram.  as i explained, i do a pet scan in another couple of months and that can find any sort of problem.   i never did the MRI on my back.  i can't be bothered.  maybe i 'll order one in august.

i had an appointment to see the homeopath last week but she cancelled.  i will have to survive without her right now.  i need to keep on going out, seeing friends, and keep on moving.  i have plans to go to a nearby wedding  tomorrow night.  i have a nasty eye infection in my weak right eye.  i am hoping it will clear up so that i can put on a tad of makeup.  i have no decent clothes because i've put on too much weight to fit into my nice clothing.   i don't have any money to buy some  moo moos.  i am just going to suck it up or in, in this case, and be a good sport and go to the wedding in a long skirt and loose fitting white top.  i am not going to turn any heads.  oh well.........

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Cheesecake Anyone

it is 5:45 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i got up at about 4:00 a.m and watched a bit of television.  it's all retread.  i am still tired but am in too much discomfort to sleep.  it's the back.  i have a constant nagging nerve type pain on my right side which makes lying down hard.  i think i must have fallen asleep early last night.  i seem to have chronic fatigue again.  it's a struggle to function at all.

the big kids are going through 'something' and it's not easy being in the middle of a storm.  the little kids are as rambunctious as ever.  the daughter-in-law started another new job yesterday and i got the kids for a few hours.  both big kids came home early and were sober enough.  i feel sick to my stomach all the time.  i have lost my shape.  i have a huge stomach now that seems to be getting larger all the time.  maybe it's an hysterical pregnancy, who knows?

i can't seem to be able to find a comfortable position to lie in or even sit in.   the pain is really wearing me down.  i am nauseated all the time.  shavuot is on tuesday night.  i tried to arrange to be together with a couple of friends but it didn't work out.  one gal pal of mine wants to have a quiet chag.  i offered to have her and hubby over for lunch but it was a no go.  another friend doesn't really have a place to be but i didn't want to bother to cook for just the two of us.  i also didn't want to be alone with the same person for 48 hours.  does that make me a bad person?

i think about the past a lot.  i used to have a full house and of course, i did a lot of cooking.  i used to make quiches,  kugels, eggplant parmesan, lasagnas, blintzes and of course cheesecake every shavuot.  it was a non stop food fest.  i had ladies coming over and we would read the megillas ruth and carry on until the wee hours of the night, all the while eating cheesecake and ice cream and drinking tons of coffee.  i haven't had a cup of coffee in nearly two years now.  the smell nauseates me.  i remember a time that i didn't trust anyone who didn't drink coffee.  my ex husband was a tea drinker.  need i say any more?

the shavuot late night ladies get together stopped as soon as i moved away from town.  it's too much of a trek to get up here from town.  i get so nostalgic every time a holiday comes around.  i am invited to the sephardi clan for shavuot.  i may sleep out.  that means leaving the dogs alone for a day.. the daughter-in-law wants me to make a cheesecake and a lasagna.  the price of lasagna noodles is sky high, not to mention, the price of dairy these days.  i have some cannoloni  noodles in the closet.  it's  a bit more work than making the lasagna,  but i guess, it's more or less, the same ingredients.  i have to get myself to town to pick up my new checkbooks and get to a supermarket down town to shop for dairy.  i actually need a lot more than dairy.   i am all out of toilet paper, shampoo, aluminum foil, tea, oil, sugar, napkins, grape juice, dish washing soap and probably a lot more stuff.

 i have been  fantasizing about getting up and out and going to a shul in town at 5:00 a.m.ish to hear the ten commandments on wednesday morning.  i did it once in my life.  i have to say the memorial prayer for deceased parents and if i don't make it to town, there is a chabad shul near the clan's home that i can go to at 10:00 a.m.  i guess the dogs will survive being alone.  it's not like they don't make in the house every day, anyway..

 the pain and the fatigue and the heat are keeping me down.  i feel drugged all the time.  i haven't taken any pain pills at all but i'm really out of it.  throw in some psycho drama to the mix and i'm finished.  shabbat was a bummer.  i did a lot of cooking  and no one ate any lunch.  i even made a cake in the shape of the ten commandments, which hardly got touched.   i am tired of making shabbat meals.  my bank account is depleted as well as my strength..  i need to shop in a store where i can write post dated checks.  i'm thinking september.  i don't know if i have cab fare to get home or not.  i am definitely not having fun right now.   chag sameach!