Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Heat Is On

it is 4:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i have been busy lately.  i finally finished cleaning the upstairs apartment.  the pigeons have left the porch clean.  it was a hard job.  the wooden floor was beyond filthy.  i went over it a few times with a soapy mop.  i had two lovely ladies stay here for 6 nights.  i was nervous that they may not like dogs or pigeons, for that matter.

a good friend from the states also came up to visit for a few days.  i did a pesach cleaning in the back bedroom.  i wanted my friend to rest and have a private bathroom.  she had been visiting with her daughters and loads of grandchildren.  i wanted her to be able to relax in a no pishie zone.  i think she enjoyed her space.  the ladies also seemed to enjoy the upstairs space.  we were blessed with a week of cooler weather and plenty of cross breezes.  both spaces are still clean.

i finally caught the news in english and got to see what has been transpiring in our country.  yesterday, my neighbors buried their 22 year old son.  he was killed with many other soldiers on monday.  my son came upstairs forlorn to tell me the awful news.  i hadn't seen my 27 year old son cry in a long while.  i couldn't concentrate on anything else for the night.  i went to the funeral with many of the residents of my neighborhood.  there was a huge traffic jam in town.  we had to get out of the bus and procede by foot to the bottom of a hill.

this was the first israeli military funeral that my friend attended.  i took her to her first israeli wedding and now i had to take her to a funeral.  it was very hot in the cemetery.  it was surreal.  i stood above the cemetery, looking down, watching the funeral.  i couldn't really make out the faces.  it was a huge crowd.  on the way back up the hill i ran into my son.  he hugged me.  i have been exhausted since.  i know it was a long walk out of the cemetery and back to town, but i think it's the trauma that did me in.

i want to pay a visit to the family this evening.  i've had my grandson with me all day.  i've let him watch videos all day.  i also watched the boob tube all day.  i'm spent.  it was too hot to be outside.  i want to take him to the supermarket for a bit of exercise.  i listened yesterday to the words of the rav of the town and the rav of the military yeshiva and of course, to the words of the mother.  they all spoke of this boy's strength, and courage.  he died a hero.  he died because he was a jew.  they all spoke about how our nation is strong.  the mother asked her son to help her be strong.  she accepted this test from above willingly.  our people are indeed, remarkably strong.

we know how to grieve and how to rejoice.  we know when to laugh and when to cry.  we are but lambs.  and i guess we are lions when we need to be.  there have been so many of these funerals all over the country.  so many families of late have lost their sons.  almost everyone has a son in combat.  we are all in suspended animation waiting for good news.  so many people are in bomb shelters.  everyone has heard the warning sirens.  and everyone has scrambled to the shelters.  you have 13 seconds to get to a shelter or lie down on the floor near a wall.  so far, it has been quiet up here in the north.  we all wonder if we will be spared.

we started a 3 week period of mourning and are now in the final 9 days of av.  we fast on monday night and continue throughout tuesday night.  it is a very hard fast.  we are supposed to mourn the loss of our holy temple.  i think it isn't hard to be mourning right now.  we are all mourning the loss of our children.  the morale in the country is high.  the people for the most part, are united.  we are truly one nation.  i haven't seen this in all the time i've lived here.  may we have true peace and security in our land and may we welcome the redenption now!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday All Day Long

it is 11:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i have the grand kids with me all day.  i managed to do a bit of cooking last night.  yes, the kids are with me for shabbat, once again.  the sephardi clan brings in shabbat early so there is little time for the big kids to rest after work.  they prefer to be here for shabbat.  they don't usually return home until 4:30 p.m or even later.  last week we filled up the pool right before shabbat began.

i got up early and washed the floors.  i did them on wednesday but with the kids and dogs here all day, they were a mess.  my hip is stiff and it's hard to bend.  my right knee is acting up and i suspect, it is a result of the fall i took a few weeks ago.  i had the boy with me all day and a friend came over.  i splurged and bought sherbet, ice cream, cottage cheese, grapes, mango and melon.  we had a fruit platter and cottage cheese and i served ice coffee for dessert.  i'm still off coffee.  i still can't stand the smell.

 i made corn on the cob, piquant fish and chicken with potatoes, pumpkin, squash, onions, red peppers, and chick peas.  i baked coconut bars and a sweet potato kugel.  i made a mixed green salad and will probably make a cole slaw.  i will serve instant couscous with the chicken.  i also made a few pieces of broiled chicken in a sweet chili sauce.  i'll serve it for lunch with the kugel.

i took out a loan from the bank so i could pay off my bills and buy some very needed, household supplies.  i needed a few weeks of quiet form the bill collectors.  my telephone payment was returned.  trying to get someone from the phone company to help me on the voice mail is impossible.  i gave up trying.  how many times can you listen to the same recording?

the kids are following me from room to room.  it is too cool to use the pool this morning.  i am tired.  i started eating sugary things again.  i'm too tired to resist.  i need to get my body back into shape.  a good friend of mine is in the country visiting her kids.  she will come up to zefat soon.  i'm excited.  i haven't seen her in a few years.  we both had cancer.  she opted to go macro biotic and i went with chemo and radiation.  she's bopping around and thin and i'm fat and struggling to move.

my niece came over with the family to retrieve some of her belongings.  i've been storing them for about 6 years.  it was a fast day and yet i washed the floors and made lunch.  i made bulgar with veggies and a salad.  no one touched anything.  i poured out some drinks and that was it.  as it was a fast day, they didn't allow their kids to use the pool.  they had to travel to the center of the country so i offered to keep the kids here for a few hours.  the kids really don't know me and they all preferred to leave with their parents.

my niece offered to make a pool date for the following day but it never happened.  i stayed  home with the grandson and waited to hear form them.  i got a message from my sister that her husband was taking the kids for a walk.  she invited me to bring the grandson over for a while.  i was too schlep over to her apartment complex.  i didn't feel like it, either.  i am tired of running over there.  she also called to ask me to come tonight to visit her son.  he is a grown man, starting med school next week, and is quite capable of coming over to say hi.  i am trying very hard not to get down or feel negative thoughts.  i don't like that no one will come over to see me here.  it brings up too much heart ache from the past and that ruins my plan to stay positive.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saving The Nation

it is 11:30 a.m in the holy city of zefat.  my plan to save the jewish nation and achieve world peace is harder than i thought.  my plan entails shedding all negativity from my thoughts and actions.  i want to let go of all past hurts that were real or imagined.  i want to not judge people and i want to shed the feeling of being judged by everyone else.  this includes my feelings towards my family and that is where i trip up.

i haven't seen my sister's kids and grand kids in nearly a month.  my nephew has been here for about a month and i never heard a word form him.  they are all planning on returning to india and n.y. this week and i want to see them.  i am the one who was sick with cancer last year and i am the one who is currently suffering with chronic sciatic pain and stiffness.  i can't reconcile the fact that none of the family will make an effort to come over to visit with me.  if my kids didn't live downstairs, i doubt that they would come over either.  what does that say about me???

i inherited my parents' home when my mom passed on about 6 years ago.  my sister refused to set foot in my house and for 5 years she didn't.  i thought that after i survived cancer we were through with the past anguish over the house.  my sister and two of her daughters came over for my surprise birthday party last year.  that was the last time anyone entered my home.  i  visited my sister during chanukah and that's when the sciatic condition started.  i spent months in bed.  i had trouble walking or even bending.  i didn't see my siter until i went over to her place at pesach.  that was the last time i saw her until recently.  we live in the same town and a  5 minute drive away.

my nephew was here in zefat and no one here let me know.  i didn't make it to the family wedding last year and  he was a no show for the sheva bracha at my house. i haven't seen him in a few years.  what does that say about me??  i heard form my sister in california that my nephew was here.  she only knew because she booked his ticket.  i thought that my sister needed some time to enjoy her reunion with all her kids so i stayed away.  by the time i called to speak to my nephew he was in europe.  he returned last week but i wasn't up to visiting him.  i only know that he was back because i asked my sister when he was returning.  he has a rental car and i don't, for the life of me, understand why he didn't just drop by or call.  my sister in california told me that he promised to visit me when he was here.  i guess i just waited for godot.

my daughter-in-law ran into my sister at the supermarket.  my sister wanted to know why my son hasn't gone over to them to visit my nephew.  my son wants to know why his cousin hasn't called to say he's in town.  it's all so stupid and yet it's all i think about.  my niece asked me if she could come by to pick up some things i've stored for her.  i've waited weeks for her to call and plan a time.  my sister told me before shabbat that my niece wanted to come over.  i told my sister to let my niece know that today would be a good time for her and the kids to visit.  we put up the pool before shabbat.  i invited them for a meal, too.  i even let her know that my daughter-in-law would pick them up. i sensed some hesitation from my sister.

my sister was pressured before shabbat and told me to tell my niece, myself.  the only problem is that i don't have any contact numbers besides my sister's to get in touch with anyone in the family.  i sent an email first thing today.  i haven't heard from anyone.  what am i supposed to think??  how can i not have negative thoughts?  i am trying hard not to feel slighted.  i am trying hard not to judge my sister's motives.  i am trying hard to stay positive.  i am trying to save the jewish nation and my sanity.

the grand kids were running a muck during shabbat.  i had them all day long on friday but they had television and sugary drinks  and snacks to keep them happy.  they were insufferable on saturday.  their parents were too hot and too tired to deal with these kids.  i was reading psalms and wasn't on my care giver schedule. the little kids cracked up.  they were turning belligerent and violent and so were their parents, the big kids.  i lost my battle with world peace.  i couldn't even attain a little peace in my little abode in the middle east.  i couldn't stop myself from judging my son and letting him know that i thought he sucked as a parent. oh well..... he couldn't be bothered to refrain from letting me know that i also sucked as a parent.

we had a sewage overflow problem over shabbat.  thankfully, it wasn't on our property but on the steps along side the house.  my son let me know that the neighbor said to call the water company.  i called the water company first thing this morning.  my son was too busy to be bothered.  it was hard for me not to judge him or to think negative thoughts about him.  the workman came over and i hope the problem is solved.  how do i stop myself from resenting my son's lack of participation in the running of the house?  how do i stop myself from judging myself for raising a less than responsible son?  after all, at any minute the katushas can start dropping in my city.  how do i stay positive and not have negative thoughts?  the fate of our people is in my hands.

i had a lovely rap with my gardener this morning.  he is really under pressure and has to move house next week.  now that's real pressure.  i have it far easier.  i'm not going anywhere for now.  i just have this situation with my family right now that is bugging the heck out of me.  i also spent over an hour rapping with a gal pal about our problems with anger.  the pool is full and i'm sitting up here in the hot house.  what is wrong with me?  why don't i just find a shmatta to cover up and just take a dunk and cool off?  even my grandson doesn't want to jump in the pool with me.  what does that say about me?????

Friday, July 11, 2014

Shabbat Shalom

it is 2:30 p.m. in the old city of zefat.  i have both kids today.  one is passed out on the sofa and the other one is still bopping around.  i actually fed these two today.  it was rounds of strawberry banana drink, salami, olives, pastrami, grapes, melon., tortilla chips and hard cooked eggs minus the yokes.  i ate about 5 mashed yokes with mayo.  i might have given one to the dogs.

i cooked most of the shabbat food yesterday, while my grandson watched 'toy story 3'.  he is obsessed with it.  we both passed out in the late afternoon.  he was binge watching 'toy story' and i was binge watching dozens of episodes of 'desperate housewives'.   we share an addiction to the boob tube, unfortunately.

i had the kids with me until around 8:30 p.m. and then the big kids went to town after the little kids were put to sleep.   this grandma passed out on the sofa bed.  it's been really hot and i've been in bed.  there were days where i couldn't get up.  i've had moments when i couldn't bend or turn my body. last night i could hardly stand up from the floor.  considering katushas are falling in the center of the country,  i am in no hurry to perform an MRI on my lower back.

i have paying guests in a couple of weeks.  i did a preliminary pesach cleaning job a while ago upstairs.  i need to do the wooden floors.   it's a huge job.   i had the upstairs porch pigeon free for a short while but they are back.  i need to reinforce the discs on the perches of the roof and sprinkle more cinnamon.  in some places you can hear the pigeons in the walls.  i hope the guests will be okay.  i hope the katushas won't start raining on zefat.  i hope we all survive the summer.

my son set up the pool and bought a new hose on wednesday night.  we still haven't filled it with water yet. perhaps this afternoon, when the big kids get home, we will get a go at it.  it scares me to have a pool  with two small kids around.  i  filled up a bubble bath for the two earlier today to get a break.  they were really wild.  they managed to get water all over the floor and the little one took a spill as she went to pottie.

i made a minimum amount of food for shabbat.  i made the standard piquant fish dish, the piquant tomato relish, cole slaw, corn salad, mixed green salad, peppery spaghetti kugel, chicken stir fry, and chicken meatballs.  i'll mix up some package couscous later.  i bought a package of salami and turkey pastrami for lunch.  it's been so hot lately, i decided to not heat the kitchen with a hot plate.  i could use a cold beer right around now.  i have been having a glass at lunch every week.  last night i was thinking of having one.

hopefully, the hot food won't be missed so much.  i might try putting the hot plate on a timer.  i've always had problems with that  but i'll give it the old college try, i guess.   my niece from india, is still here.  i haven't been back to visit in nearly a month.  my nephew from new york is also here.  i need to make a giant effort to see them before they return home next week.

i'm thinking of making a dinner for everyone , but i have a strong feeling it won't happen.  i'd like to call a pool party next week.  perhaps that will inspire them to visit me here.  my son and daughter-in-law think i'm chasing after my own family and that i'm a desperado.  i'm just being realistic.  if i want to see everyone i need to go there.  the cancer card is over.  the sciatic card doesn't wash.

i am trying very hard in my own way to achieve world peace and survival.  i am trying to stay positive and not have negative feelings for the people that i know or have known in the past.  i am trying to get rid of all my perceived hurts and slights.  i want to clean my mental house.  it's harder than it sounds.  it's an uphill struggle.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Just Another Shabbat Kodesh

it is 9:30 a.m in the holy city of zefat.  it is the first shabbat after the horrendous discovery that our righteous teenage boys had been murdered.  we were all reeling form the tragedy.  i received several emails form friends that were meant to comfort.  i guess i was in denial for most of the time the boys were missing.

i went to an out of town wedding last night in netanya.  the son of good friends got married.  he is considered to be a bit of a chassidic genius and was married into a good family.  he was kind of 'adopted' by the sanz dynasty.  it was a very sentimental occasion.  we used to live together in the absorption building downtown and we indeed, spent many a shabbat together.

i got 'spiked' by some one's very high heel early in the evening.  it was way too crowded to dance.  i took a spill on tuesday afternoon.  i had washed the floors early on in the day and there were puddles of water everywhere.  the kids weren't home so i simply went back to bed to rest.  it was pretty hot.  later in the evening my daughter-in-law came up for some tomato paste.  i try to keep a lot in stock.

she asked me why there was so much water on the floor.  i usually throw down a bunch of shmattas to absorb the excess water.  i stayed in bed and directed her to the pantry.  she didn't find any so i jumped out of bed.  i took an immediate slide in the water and landed on my back.  somehow, my big toe attached itself to my leg to break the fall and i think i sprained my toe.  i also hurt my knee.  what a klutz i am !

i spent the evening catching up with an old friend,  she suffers from dementia.  she actually knew my name this time but she doesn't remember what we discussed 15 minutes earlier.  she seemed rather well, actually.  her care giver was quite anxious all night.  i don't think i could deal with her, myself.  at one point she walked miles a head of my friend and beckoned her to keep up like you would a puppy or small child.  my friend felt abandoned and went onto panic mode. .

i put my arms around her and shepherded towards the bus.  i shouldn't judge the care giver.  i'm sure my friend is giving her a run for the money.  she has always been a domineering figure.  it's hard to see her this way now.  but i guess it's par for the course at our age; or so it seems that way.

i  babysat my grandson up until about half an hour before the bus came to pick me up.  i rushed into the shower, threw on my clothes, and applied a bit too much eye shadow.  i never got to brush out my wig after applying conditioner.  i had a fake gold necklace that i wanted to wear.  i cleaned it off and forgot where i placed it.  i was really off my game.  i knew the crowd at sanz would be dressed to the nines.  everyone wore black.  i had a navy skirt and white top.  the only thing that more or less fits these days.  my friend called me from the bus stop. i was a few minutes late.  i  ran out of the house.  i was a pool of sweat in just few minutes.

i spent the morning cooking for shabbat.  yes, once again, i'm making shabbat meals for us.  i managed to make a small pot roast, a fried eggplant salad, a cooked tomato salad and some coconut banana cupcakes.  i have both children with me today.  my grandson just wasted the last of the tooth paste and put it in an envelope. last week the girl slathered the toilet seat, her hands and feet in colgate.  what a waste!

i am pretty tired this morning and really don't feel like cooking anything else.  i was planning on making stuffed peppers.  i don't have any rice.  perhaps i could fill it with wheat berries or barley.  i'm just not in a culinary kind of mood today.  i think i might just make some pasta.  i want to make some broiled chicken for lunch but i have two chickens frozen together in a container.  i don't feel like making that much.  i guess i could cook it all up and then eat it all week long.

i need to make a salad.  i was planning on going to the supermarket early this morning to buy some drinks and lemons.  we make salads with oil and lemon in this house.  no one likes vinegar.  haven't had any in the house in years.  i grabbed some green lemons off the tree and made some lemonade.  i have enough to make some salads.  the kids are being wild and i'm not up for it.  there's tooth paste all over the bathroom floor.  the kids are playing in a bubble bath right now.  it gives me a bit of a time out.

i guess we all are off our mark this summer.  the kids miss the gan and i miss being out in the world.  the poor families of the murdered boys have to get through shabbat after burying their children.  i guess i'll take boredom over all.  tonight is my english birthday.  although i celebrated my hebrew day with the kids last week, i invited a friend to come over for shabbat to make a small celebration.  i thought we could have a beer or some wine and include another friend.  we should all hear better news!!!!!!!  shabbat shalom!