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.


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