Thursday, December 31, 2015

Let It Snow 2015

it is 5:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  they are predicting a huge snow storm.  I spent the day yesterday running around town getting a new heater plus a kerosene one in case we lose electricity.  I am not into this at all.   I had a taxi take me to the gas station and the driver filled up a huge geri can for me.  I felt thoroughly useless.  I ran to the bakery and supermarket twice.  I wanted to make sure we had a lot of milk and challah for Shabbat.

I am now making a chicken soup and cooking chicken and potatoes for Shabbat.  I have gas so if we lose power we can still heat the food and have hot water.  I am a wreck.  the porch shutter slats are broken off and we already have a lot of water backing up.  I did have all year to remedy this situation so I'm truly frustrated.  I tried hanging up a shower curtain but it blew away.  I should have been working on this weeks ago.  I bought bottles of water in case we have to shut off the water pipe.

I finally went off my diet and went on a 3 day sugar and carbs binge.  it took me three months to lose a kilo and I gained it back in a few days.  I'm disgusted.   I have been sick for about three weeks now.   I made it to the doctor who suggested I have inhalation therapy, 3 days of prednisone and 10 days of antibiotics.   I haven't taken any meds.  I've had a huge appetite and  have drunk tons of orange juice and hot milk.

I don't think I have pneumonia yet.  the doctor said it was bronchial.  I do feel winded after I walk a bit.  the doctor suggested doing a chest ex ray.  I just didn't get around to do it.   I ran to town to pay the city tax and water bills.   the weather was so nasty.  I hadn't been out of the house, except for getting the kids from gan.   the computer wasn't working in the water company.  I didn't have the energy to schlep way across town back to their office.  I took a taxi home and ran back down to the supermarket.   I missed the hail storm by a few moments.

I wanted to make a cheesecake for Shabbat but I truly don't have the energy to bake.  the bakery didn't have any yeast cheese cakes, either.   I made a special detour just to buy one.  I bought cottage cheese to make a lasagna tonight.  guess what?  I don't have the energy to make one.   I bought organic non gluten gnocchi that were on sale.  I doubt that I have the energy to boil water at this point.  at least, I got a jump on the Shabbat cooking.  candle lighting is around 4:00 p.m. these days.

I always schmooze with a gal pal on Friday morning.  last week it was 11:00 a.m. when I got off the phone.   I had to pick up the kids from gan at 12:30 p.m.   I felt extremely pressured.   I don't think I have the energy to shower the kids tonight.   I think they may stay home with me tomorrow.  it will either have snowed tonight, or  harbor threat of afternoon storm.   I walked to pick up my grandson at 3:30 p.m. and it was really cold and rainy.  I couldn't get a taxi home.  I had the company of a young mother and her son so the trek home wasn't so bad.  luckily, my grandson had galoshes and a hooded coat.

I managed to wash the kitchen floor before I headed out.  I wear my winter boots while I 'sponger' the water.  my vacuum cleaner doesn't suck up the dog hair from the carpet in the t.v. room.  when the kids sit on it they get full of dog hair.  I use a lint brush a couple of times a week to scoop up the hair.  I sprinkle baking soda on the rug to try and freshen it.   if only I was dog less.  how easy would life be?  I do use them for body heat when the kids aren't around.  I have plenty of scents all over the house to prevent that doggie smell.   it's hard in the rainy season to prevent that.

the gnocchi was not that big a hit.  it did have a weird smell.  it's non gluten so it's probably made with rice flour.  the last time I made it I didn't boil them first.  I think I just threw them into the tomato sauce.  I don't remember a smell.  I have watery chicken soup with soggy thin noodles or the gnocchi to offer my son when he comes home.  he'll probably eat something in town if I know him.  I'm going to take the kids downstairs now.  I don't think I have the energy to shower them but we shall see.  I'm tempted to use the noodles to make a kugel for lunch.  maybe i'll go for it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

For He's A Jolly Good Fella

it is 5:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.   tonight is my son's 29th birthday.  that's right folks, I gave birth to an 8 pound baby boy right here in the holy city of zefat, many years ago.   I have been struggling with the flu since Sunday morning.   I am at last, back on my feet.   it has been awful. 

I was talking with a gal pal on Friday morning and she had just gotten over a stomach virus.   I  could have sworn that I caught the flu from her over the telephone.  I know that stranger things have happened.  I somehow, had a strong appetite through out the week.  I didn't take any aspirin or flu tablets.  I have a psychological problem swallowing pills.   I must have been feverish because I kept on seeing moving objects.  I actually thought I saw a huge black rat.

I never got to put away the Chanukah menorahs or wash the remaining Shabbat dishes.  I stayed in bed under the comforter huddled with the 3 dogs for days at a time.  I was able to get up to pish and make cups of tea.  showering or getting dressed was not possible.  I wore about three layers of heavy clothing.  I had muscle pains and sciatic twinges.  I ate toast from left over frozen challah rolls and whatever else I could scavenge from downstairs.  I had a bit of Shabbat food leftover which I went through very early in the game.  I didn't lose an ounce.  as I imbibed lots of carbs, I may have even gained some weight.

I slept through most of the week.  I kept the t.v. on but slept through all of the programing.  I managed to stay awake for the X Factor finale but I kept on schmoozing through 'Fargo' and 'The
 affair.  I craved sugar but was afraid to have any.  I had a couple of strawberry yogurts and a bar of halvah.  they tasted awful.  I was craving orange juice but didn't have any oranges.  the daughter-in-aw doesn't buy fruit from the right place for me, kashrut wise.   I did have a banana each day.  pretty heavy on the carbs.

 I bought a digital scale today.  my scale is probably about 15 years old and I don't think it's accurate.  family members and friends have been complaining about my scale for years.  the consensus is that it is on the plus side.  I'm actually afraid of digital scales, myself.   we shall see.  I need to shed all of my layers before I attempt to weigh myself.  it cost only $20 so I'm not all that concerned about it.

the Sephardi grandma was on call this week.  I still had to pick up the kids on Tuesday and it was traumatic for me.  I was so sick.  I couldn't get it together to call a cab so I walked to the gan.  it was a lovely day but I was very weak.  going there was okay but the return walk was tricky.  I felt a bit faint and couldn't find a cab.  I got home and couldn't handle the kids.  they were very rambunctious and aggressive with me.  it was their first day back to gan and they were overtired and violent.  I ended up passing out on the t.v. sofa.

my son expected me to bathe the kids but I physically could not.  I am very lucky that the kids are going to the Sephardi family for Shabbat.  I thought that I was going to have to cook tomorrow.  I didn't really want to go to the supermarket today but I needed to buy a birthday cake.  I was in no shape to bake a cake, either.  I bought some veggies to make a chicken soup for myself and a couple of challah rolls for Shabbat.  one evening my son ordered in some spicy Chinese chicken soup.  it truly relieved my throat of any pain.  boy was it hot!!!

I took a cab to the pharmacy to buy a gift for my son.  I couldn't really afford a bottle of cologne and I wouldn't know what to buy.  the saleslady wanted to start spraying me and I had to decline in order not to start a coughing and choking fit in the store.  I bought a bunch of face wash and deodorants and body gels.  every thing was on sale.  I think I spent about $30 and another $10 for the cake and $13 on cabs. 

the big kids went off to the maul and I picked up the small kids.  I got back from my shopping spree and felt really awful.  the weather changed and it started to rain.  I called my neighbor and enlisted her help in picking up the grandkids with me.  I was a bit short in the cash department to order any more cabs.  next week I have to pay some bills and straighten out the finance situation.  I 'blew my wad' during Chanukah.  I went through the loan money pretty fast, too.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sleepless In Zefat

it is 11:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.   I am truly tired.  we came home from the family haircutting celebration party at 11:00 p.m..  I had taken the kids out to a show at 10:00 a.m.   I was very pressured to catch the bus.  as we were literally out the door, I ran back inside to catch the phone. I thought that it might be the daughter-in-law calling to coordinate the afternoon's plan.  I don't carry my cellphone and it makes it hard for her to reach me.  it turns out that it was my BFF and I blew her off to catch the bus. 

I had arranged with another girlfriend to meet up on the 10:00 a.m. bus with the little boy that she cares for.  I felt a bit bad about the abrupt way I hung up with my gal pal but I couldn't call her back.   the bus actually came late and we waited for nearly 20 minutes.  it isn't easy waiting at a bus stop with two small kids.  a  taxi came by but he was only going as far as the central bus station.  we all piled in and out of the cab in rapid speed and waited for the bus.

a local yokel city worker was spray painting parking lines in front of the bus stop.   the fumes were unbearable.  we were all coughing and holding our noses.  sometimes it feels like we are living in  the city of 'helm'.  we got to the theatre with plenty of time to spare.  the kids had a ball running around in the lobby.  each grandkid found a friend or two from their gan.  it was really cute.   the production was only an hour long.  we then went into town and to a grocery where I bought cookies for the 7th anniversary of my mother's passing.

when I realized that I had missed her date that night I went into a tail spin.  I usually do something to commemorate her passing.   last year I made a latke night for a few friends and I made a 'thanksgivica' dinner when historically, the two holidays coincided.  the big kids had taken the small kids out of town to buy Chanukah gifts.   I thought about making some latkes and chicken cutlets for after the lighting of the Chanukah menorah but  they had already eaten at 'burger ranch'.  I waited the entire night for their return.  I ended up going to sleep around 11:00 p.m. without lighting my chanukiah.

I woke  up shortly afterwards to let the dogs out.  I saw the car and realized that the kids had returned.  by then I was really in a bad way.  I felt so alone and isolated.  after my son lit the Chanukah lights I called my sister in L.A.   it was midnight our time.  my older sister is my voice of reason and was able to calm me down.  I may have stopped crying but I was still quite agitated.  I  went to light a memorial candle but I was all out.  I poured a lot of olive oil and a bit of water into a  small juice glass and  lit it next to a small picture of my mom. 

I then read s bunch of psalms.  now it was 2:30 a.m.  I went to lie down.  my mind was racing.  I jumped out of bed to make a potato kugel.   there is nothing worse than yesterday's kugel.  I thought about making a  cake.  I was all out of eggs.  I got back into bed around 3:00 p.m.   I came up with a game plan.  I would run to the supermarket at 7:00 a.m. and buy a ton of goodies.  I would get all kinds of nuts and dried fruits and chocolates.  I would then run over to my friend's  house and bring a fresh bag of milk and feed the cats.  I would then return home and shower and  get ready to go to the kids' show.  now it was 5:30 a.m.

I could not get up the next morning.  I felt nauseated.  my head hurt and my eyes burnt.  before I knew it, my son was going off to work.  I needed to shower and the kids were alone downstairs.  they were already dressed but a bit unkempt.  somehow I managed to get dressed and made up and out of the house by 10:00 a.m.  game plan changed.  we did not go over to feed the cat.  after the show we had an hour or more to kill.  I was able to get some cookies and cheap Chanukah  presents for the kids.  I didn't buy a gift for the little 3 year old having his first haircut.  I had asked the daughter-in-law to pick up something from the clothes store where she works.  it didn't happen.

she picked us up and drove us off  to Meron for the haircut.  the family was very delighted with the selection of  cookies I brought.  we made platters to give out to the people there.  I had enough time to stop off at a souvenir shop and buy a small leather drum and cards for the birthday boy.  I had enough time to enter an indoor gravesite and pray for my mom and family.  I even got to light a memorial candle for my mom.  I had some refreshments and was driven home.  I had enough time to go over to feed the cat and bring fresh milk before I got picked up to go to the party.

as soon as I entered the house, I ran to call my friend back.  she was very cold and when I tried to explain what was going on she didn't want any part of it.  finally we made up.  now I'm off to take the kids to a carnival.  and I have to make Shabbat meals.  we will do it up in honor of mom.  I invited 2 friends for lunch.  I still have a sparkling pomegranate wine in the fridge to toast mom.  I will make a cheesecake later this evening, too.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Spin The Draidel 2015

it is 4:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just got back from a playdate on the next street.  a lovely young mother of 3, invited us to play with her kids.  two out of the three kids are in the same gans.  we met at a local Chanukah party in the nearby community center.

it was way too crowded and over heated.  today was a lovely and warm day.  the sun was pretty strong and you didn't even need a coat.   I got stuck carrying mine as well as the kids' coats.  I took out a huge loan yesterday at the bank.  my checks were bouncing all over the place.  I needed some breathing space.  I ended up taking out more than I truly needed thanks to the bank clerk who was doing some fancy financial hullabaloo.  I was flush today. I spent $10 on the party and another $10 at the bakery.

I will be paying off this Chanukah for the next three years.  go know!  I plan on taking the kids to a production of the 'ugly duckling' in town tomorrow.  we then have a haircutting ceremony in Meron,  followed by a celebratory dinner in the evening.  the daughter-in-law is taking the kids to 'toys are us' to buy Chanukah gifts.   I don't have the strength to go to town now to buy a gift for the three year old birthday boy.

my check to the gas company was returned.  I don't think they have an office in zefat.  I called the number for the guy who schlepps the gas balloons to zefat and I tried to arrange for him to come over so that I could redeem my check with cash.  well, that didn't  happen today.  it's hard to navigate this world  without a cell phone.  yet, I resist using mine.  I could try again in the morning but i'll be out all day.

I just thought of a good idea.  I will ask my daughter-in-law to buy something from the clothes store where she works for her nephew.  of course, I will reimburse her when she returns.  that way I can rest now and not have to jump on a bus.  I do need to jump to the supermarket up here to buy a carton of milk.  my friend is out of town and I have been coming over to feed the outdoor cats they have more or less benefactored, as of late.  they called me last night to come over and get a bag of milk that expires today.  I, of course, need to schlepp on over there and replace the expired bag with a fresh one.

it is very dark outside and the street lights haven't come on yet.  I think I will treat the cats to a bag of milk.   this young mom of three gave me a brand new doggie bed, a bag of top quality dog food and treats.  I see that money is not lacking in this household.  they brought in a puppy and apparently someone stole it.  that happens a lot in zefat.  for some strange reason people/kids steal dog collars off  dogs' necks here.  pretty bizarre!  her 3 small kids were afraid of the puppy.  my grandkids are crazy for dogs, having grown up with two, and now three dogs in my house.

I went off  my diet a bit.  yesterday I had potato latkes and today I had a greasy pita with olive oil and zatar.  I think that's hyssops in English.  I then had two barekas with salty cheese and half a small bag of chocolate milk.  I also had half of a strawberry flavored leban.  however, I didn't succumb to eating a fried donut yet.  I think I will p ass on those and get back to my carb free diet tomorrow.  I allow myself carbs on Shabbat.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Come Back In 6 Months

it is 4:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just got back from my gyn/oncologist appointment in Tel Hashomer, a small city near Tel Aviv.  I left by taxi at 6:00 a.m.  my appointment was for 9:15 a.m.  of course, I didn't sleep a wink last night, for fear of oversleeping this morning.  it was very dark and very cold and wet this morning.  it wasn't much warmer in the center of the country.  I read on line that they had foiled a plan by the Arab head of cleaning there to organize a few terror attacks.

I took a boiling hot shower at around midnight and watched the recent British 'x factor' into the wee small hours of the morning.  I felt a bit nauseous when I got out of bed.  I had a strong cup of black tea and away we went.  traffic was pretty decent and I got to the hospital before 9:00 a.m.  after travelling for nearly 3 hours, I was told at the front desk that my doctor wasn't coming in today.  I nearly had a meltdown.

 I have been seeing this top doctor through the clinic for 3 years.  I learned very well at the beginning not to settle for a substitute.  I actually left the women's clinic twice when he wasn't there.  both times I had other appointments with either the radiologist or neurologist.  I was getting ready to get up and go back home at 9:30 a.m.  I was trying to figure out how I could wangle another taxi ride back from my health insurance carrier.  I was called into he doctor's office at around 10:00 a.m.

I was so very relieved to see the doctor.  I had about a ten minute exam and I was finished.  he gave me a clean bill of health and told me to come back in 6 months.  I asked him if he was planning on retiring.  I was fixating on never seeing him again in the outer office.  I don't think I could trust another gyn doctor to touch me.  this man is an angel.  he is the kindest and nicest doctor,ever.  he is the top man in his field and in this hospital.  I had to fight really hard to get in to see him from the start.

I thought that I might have a hernia because I have been experiencing some discomfort around my naval lately.  I couldn't see my navel the other day and got a bit panicked.  I'm not one to run to doctors so I waited t see my gyn this morning.  I told him that I hadn't had any sugar in 2 months but still, haven't managed to get he belly fat in check.  he told me that I needed some physical exercise.  he didn't seem that patient, either.  I thought about rescheduling my appointment for when I was thinner but in the end, I decided to go while the weather was decent.

I asked my son to buy me some Chanukah candles from the zefat candle factory to give to the doctor and his assistant.  the ever wacked out secretary wasn't here today so I gave the doctor two packs of designer candles.  it cost around $25.  I think it's a nice gesture.  I believe that Chanukah starts on Monday evening.  the third day of Chanukah is the 7th year of my mother's passing.  last year I made a latke night for some friends.  I don't know what I will do this year.  the little kids will be home for the entire week and I will probably have them here with me.

money is also a problem, once again.  my daughter-in-law's nephew is having his third birthday next week and his first haircut.  in the past I made chocolate lolly pops with a picture of a scissors and a number 3.  I don't think I can afford to make them this year and I doubt that I will have the energy.  last few times it took about 3-4 hours.  the doctor asked me about my energy level.  I was too tired to tell him how truly tired I am all the time.  he asked about my bowel movements and appetite.  how embarrassing!  just one look at me and you can see that I have no problem with my appetite.

my nephew and wife came back from the Ukraine, where they were running a chabad house, to have their first baby girl.  they are staying in Rehovot, which is just a bus ride away from the hospital.  I  would have liked to go and visit them but I didn't have their address.  my sister was supposed to call me last night to coordinate the details.  she travelled yesterday.  perhaps she did call while I was downstairs with the grandkids but she didn't leave a message and I don't have her cell number.

the taxi driver was very accommodating and offered me a good deal to travel home.  I considered having him drive me to Rehovot but I didn't have my sister's phone number with me.  oh well....  that's par for the course with my baby sister.  she only recently let me know that her daughter-in-law had returned to the country to give birth.  of course, I wasn't told beforehand that they were expecting.  I got a text announcing the birth.  she never uses the phone for personal calls.  when my daughter-in-law was giving birth my sister called the hospital 5 or 6 times even though I promised to call her as soon as the baby was born.  she never let me know once in 4 births that my niece was in labor.  she's funny that way.

I took a 45 minute bus ride back toTel Aviv and caught a 2 1/2 hour express bus back to Rosh Pina.  I then took a 15 minute local bus ride back to my neighborhood.  I stopped off at the small supermarket and bought 6 kilos of dog food which was half priced.  I actually schlepped the dog food home and didn't call a cab.  that's 13 pounds of dog food.  I also managed to carry home 3 bottles of beer too.  my son needs beer at the end of his working day to relax.  yes, I am an enabler.  when he has had a particularly depressing day at the gallery he is MIA, leaving me to put the kids to sleep.

it was supposed to start storming today but the day ended on a very warm and sunny note.  I passed out on the bus ride home and woke up for the rest stop.  I got a cup of tea but it was too hot to drink.  I had some before we got back to zefat.  I ate a ton of roasted peanuts while I waited for the bus in Tel Aviv.  I guess I should have something for dinner.  I probably have a can of tuna in the closet.  I'm way too tired to cook.  I wonder if the kids will be joining me for Shabbat.  I was hoping to go to my friends but they are going out of town for a few days.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

How Many More?

it is 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  it is quite cold this evening and the wind is howling loudly, typical of a zefat winter night.  a 21 year old girl from zefat was murdered a few hours ago in a suburb of Jerusalem.  she was standing on the roadside waiting for a bus.  she was knifed to death by an arab.  it was the third attack at that location this week.

 my very close friend lives right there.  she services her car there and buys groceries at the supermarket there.  she is afraid to go there with her grandchildren.  it is a beautiful place to live but very dangerous as of late.  I can't see myself going any time soon to visit my friend.  we are enduring knifing attacks on a daily basis.  a young bride who lost her father and brother in a ghastly terrorist attack last week, has decided not to cancel her wedding this week.  she has invited the entire country to come to her wedding.  they are having it in a huge conference hall in downtown Jerusalem.  I saw a notice on the zefat line.  some people are planning on going to the wedding.

an 18 year old yeshiva student was sent home to America in a body bag.  he did a lot of good deeds in his very short life span.  this 21 year old zefat girl never had a chance to be a woman or have a family.  my heart is aching. I feel so sick.  I'm sure I know her family.  I have no way of knowing if there will be a burial tonight.  I can't really go out in this wind and cold.  I will probably find out in the morning where the family will be sitting Shiva.  I'm sure the entire town will be there.

I had a lead today for a really good job but it didn't pan out.  the job was definitely a hard one, but the salary would have taken away all of my financial pressures.  I truly didn't think I was physically up for the job and it required my working on Fridays, too.  it would have been my ticket out of babysitting for the grandkids and it would have provided me with a good income.  when push came to shove, I declined the job.  the hours were a bit much for me and I wanted to work off the books.

I have definitely slowed down a lot.  the cold weather doesn't agree with me.  I get all achy and my right eye gets easily inflamed.  I am super stiff and my back hurts.  as soon as the sun comes out, I am fine.  my granddaughter turns four this week.  my daughter-in-law wanted to have the birthday party in my home.  I didn't agree and she got a bit peed off.  I have way too many pictures and books and chactchkas lying around to entertain a band of 4-6 year old wild kids running around.

 I offered to clean the roof top apartment for the party.  it's a good place for a party.  she declined.  she will just have to suffer and throw the party in the gigantic laundry room.  I offered them a while ago, to take out my maytag washer and dryer from the room.  they both declined.  my grandkids have soiled my dining room chairs, as it is.  I have placed cushions to keep most of the mess off of the chairs but the kids always remove the cushions.  the daughter-in-law won't sit on a cushion because the dogs also use the cushions sometimes.

I think I will be called upon to make yet, another cheesecake.  the one I usually make, which calls for a low fat white cheese spread and instant vanilla pudding, has become very affordable to make.  I bought a caramel like instant pudding hoping to make a slight variation of said cheesecake.  I mentioned the caramel pudding to the daughter-in-law and she said that it tasted horrible.  all of the instant puddings here taste horrible.  the Belgian chocolate and French vanilla are much better but nearly impossible to find.

I had a very aggravating phone call from a nasty clerk at my medical insurance carrier.  she said that my getting a one way taxi ride to the hospital near tel aviv was coming to an end.  I didn't really understand every thing she said.  she was no mean and even hung up on me when I raised my voice.  I get so nervous when I need to deal with these bureaucrats.  I ran to get a doctor's letter and faxed it to this witch.  I haven't heard from her in a week.  it turns out that she was out sick and no one else could tell me if my dotor's note got sent on to the proper authorities for consideration. 

the entire thing makes my blood boil.  I can't fight properly with these small minded paper pushers in Hebrew.  although I've lived here for over 30 years, I still speak like a new immigrant.  it is a real drag.  it zaps me of all of my strength.  I always crash after one of these encounters.  I will have to head on over back to the office tomorrow for another one of these shout outs.  I see red every time I go there.  someone just might get the wrath of zelda tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

All By Myself

it is nearly 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I am all alone this evening.  I actually spent the entire day alone.  the Sephardi grandmother picked up the kids today from gan.  I was given the day off by the daughter-in-law.  I guess she thought that I was upset last night or just totally overwhelmed.  they don't get that their kids miss them.  I do not understand modern parenting or non parenting, as it may.  it really bothers me that the big kids spend so little time with their little kids and that they don't seem to miss them.

I grew up in a time where the mom was always home.  you came back for lunch and she would have tuna salad with a smiley face made up of carrots and raisins and red pepper.  my parents never took a vacation with out their kids.  I actually was 18 years old the first time my parents stayed away all night.  my father came home at 5:00 p.m. and we would all have our supper.  my mother wasn't out shopping all night and my dad wasn't out at the baseball games.  parents once stayed home with their kids.

I worked long hours when my son was growing up and he was left to his own devices for most of the afternoon.  I did provide him with a car service and plenty of cash to buy pizza or falafel and a pass to the local pool.  nevertheless, I wasn't home to make him tuna faces but I never went shopping without him.  I didn't have any outside help with my son, either.  I will admit that I was already in my thirties when I became a mom.   it never occurred to me to go away for a couple of days without him.

I had a late start today but I wasn't under any pressure of a time restraint to pick up the kids today.  I was able to clean up the house and straighten out the living room.  I even washed the kitchen and front hall and got rid of all the dirty dishes.  it was freezing today and exceptionally windy.  it sounded like a hurricane.  we had a bit of rain but mostly it was dark and grey.  I didn't get out to the supermarket until 4:00 p.m.  I found it hard to focus.  I bought veggies for Shabbat and a few drinks.  I couldn't really visualize what I planned to make for tomorrow's lunch and I was limited with cash. 

I ended up writing a couple of checks.  it was a bit risky but what the heck!  I bought eggs, cornmeal, lettuce,  Greek cheese and black olives.  I came back from the supermarket with a cab.  I was too tired and cold to schlepp with the shopping cart.  I made myself a cucumber and tomato salad with a probiotic yogurt.  it was yummy.  I then made a banana bread and a corn bread.  both were new recipes that I found on line.  both used butter and were quite different from how I usually make them.  I will make the bread pudding tomorrow morning.  I sure hope that my guests don't have eggs for breakfast because I think that i'll be making poached eggs in tomato sauce as well as a Greek salad.

I feel like I should be making some type of soup but I think that it will be enough food without it.   I also keep thinking about making tuna patties, too.  I think the shakshuka and cornbread with a greek salad will be fine.  and we still have the bread pudding and banana cake with the coffee.  I would have preferred making a meat meal but the guests preferred a dairy one.  I didn't feel like making fish.  I thought about baked potatoes but I think it is overkill at this point.  I bought an orange juice  drink so I think we are set.  my girlfriend has gum problems and I know it is hard for her to chew her food.  I think that she will be able to manage with this menu.  I will shred the salad and cheese.

I bought a bottle of sparkling pomegranate wine but I think i'll save it for thanksgiving.  my son had his eyes on it last Shabbat.  it was on sale for $5.  I can get another one, I guess.  if I have the time tomorrow morning, i'll try to buy a soft cream cheese spread.  I already used up 2 bars of butter.  I bought a blue cheese.  perhaps it goes with corn bread.  we will see.  I am truly tired and cold.  I am too tired to take a hot shower tonight.  there's always tomorrow morning.  I will get an early start and if I'm inspired i'll make another dish.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

All Night Long

it is 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the small kids are still up and their parents just got home.  I managed to bathe the boy but the girl is still prancing around in a princess gown I found near the trash.  I had them since 2:00 p.m.  I called the big kids three times to ask them to get home.  the little kids wanted to see their parents.  they did not want me to bathe them and i was desperate to get upstairs after being with the kids for 6 hours today.

of course, the big kids came home and didn't get the kids settled down.  the daughter-in-law came home with all sorts of sale clothes.  how that girl loves to shop! it  doesn't matter that it's way past the kids' bedtime, the kids must try on all the new clothes.  they bought the boy Australian leather boots that looked tiny.  watching them struggle and not succeed to get his big hooves into the boots was not pleasant.  it was down right annoying me.  and then my 28 year old son was carrying on because his wife doesn't want him to go out of town tomorrow night to see a champion soccer game.  like I didn't have my fill of whining all afternoon long with his kids.

I haven't blogged in some time because I have been taking care of the little kids every day.  I spend most of the day and evening downstairs.  when I try to sneak a bit of time to blog or make a phone call the kittle kids follow me into my computer room and play with the computer.  they usually are watching videos on my computer.  the computer downstairs is kaput.  mine will be too if I continue toallow the kids to use mine.

I have been trying to shed some pounds before my next gyn/oncologist appointment next month.  I have tried to do 'south beach' but I haven't lost an ounce.  I also haven't been watching how much I eat.  I have stayed away form carbs and sugar for three weeks but nothing is budging. I am still wearing my pregnancy jeans skirt.  my new clothes don't fit.  I have been hitting the humus a bit hard and have been overdoing the sunflower seeds.  that's quite caloric.

my girlfriend who does count calories has been on a strict regimen and has slimmed down a bit.  it was so much easier a few years ago.  I managed to lose ten pounds in a month.  but then I had cancer.  right now, I have a huge belly.  it is actually bigger than when I was pregnant some 28 years ago.  I am not in the best of shape.  I really need to lose about 16 pounds.  I have always managed to do so, on the 'south beach'.  I don't know why this time it isn't working.  I will still hang in there.  I lost some girth during the summer while I had the cooking gig at the yeshiva.  unfortunately, I regained it all.

the house is a mess and I haven't been functioning as of late.  i'm back to not sleeping at night.  that's not good for weight loss or one's vitality.  I am like a golem.  I leave the house every afternoon to pick up the kids but I never make it to the supermarket.  I am out of everything.  the fridge is bare and so are the closets.  I bought just what I needed to make Shabbat meals.   the kids went to their friends for Friday night meal so I went over to my friends.  they live a couple of blocks away, as we say in New York.  since we turned the clock backwards, Shabbat begins really early.  we light candles this week around 4:00 p.m.  by 7:30 p.m. it feels like midnight.

I still have some fish, chicken and soft drinks left over from last week's purchases.  i'll just need to buy veggies for this Shabbat.  I am very broke.  I am afraid to write any more checks.  I paid off the enormous water bill and am waiting for the kids to reimburse me for their share.  I got a little bit of  extra cash from welfare last month, so luckily, I didn't have any more bounced checks.  what a way to live!  is there any wonder I don't sleep soundly at night?

I invited my good gal pal over with her twin sister, who is visiting, for an early lunch on Thursday.  I definitely have to get out early to the supermarket tomorrow and clean my house.  the kids trashed it weeks ago.  they dragged in all sorts of toys and threw it all in the salon.  the salon looks like a storage shed.  we have a baby crib, mattresses, bicycle and mini car plus tons of leggo.    I need to dust all of the furniture.and wash the floor.  my friend's sister has never seen my place before.  are we having fun yet?

I am thinking about making shakshuka, a Sephardi poached egg dish in spicy tomatoes.  I also want to bake a banana bread.  I actually sprung for a few bananas for the kids this week.  they are pretty expensive.  of course, the kids didn't eat them so they are now brown.  they will make a great banana loaf.  I have tons of challah rolls in the freezer and was thinking about making a bread pudding, too.  i also wanted to make corn bread but I might just buy some fresh pitas and call it a day.  i think i'll make a greek salad with shredded lettuce, cucumbers and feta cheese.  let's just see how i function tomorrow.

we are once again plagued with a rat downstairs.  it seems enormous.  he manages to keep moving the trap around.  we haven't seen him but he did manage to eat a huge hole in the sewer pipe.  we need a plumber to replace the pipe but the kids can't be bothered.  if they were paying me rent I could cover the cost of the plumber but they aren't and I can't afford the repairs.  they are not good tenants.  actually, they are really squatters.  that's right, they moved in while I was sick and in the hospital without my okay.

upstairs i am experiencing a flea infestation.  i suffered the entire summer with ticks and now it's fleas.  i am covered in bites.  what's that old adage, "you sleep with dogs and you wake up with fleas"?  i am quite uncomfortable.  i keep sprinkling lavender oil on the dogs, my itching body and the bedding.  i don't think it's working.  i look like i have aids.  my entire body is covered in scabs.  the things we endure for our pets.  i still have three dogs.  'tiny' is huge and still a puppy.  he has eaten about 4 of my siddurs and other holy books.  he is insane.  he recently ate a huge gap in my bed.  i have to remember to leave him on the porch when i'm out of the house.

i started thinking about making a thanksgiving meal.  i don't know if i can swing it financially.  so far i have found new recipes for cranberry sauce, squash soup, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.  i made a pumpkin custard a couple of years ago.  it was foul, all separated and runny. the only place where i can find raw cranberries is the Russian market near my house.  they also sell all kinds of non kosher products including pork.  i try not going in there but once in a while i need a small bottle of some kind of liquor and they always have it .

right now i am not sure if i will actually pull off the holiday feast but it's fun thinking about it.  i no longer have my turkey napkins but i do have a straw turkey bread basket and a thanksgiving paper table cloth.   i didn't take down the stuffing recipe yet.  we still have some time before the big day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Putting Things In Order

it is 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just finished putting away the metal poles of the sukkah.  I left zefat around 12 hours ago to travel to Tel Hashomer to see the neurosurgeon at Sheba hospital.  I got there an hour early and had an additional 2 1/2 hour wait.  the surgeon wants to remove the brain tumor.  it hasn't grown much in three years, but there seems to be more swelling than was seen in January.

I have been given another 8 months to consider the surgery and monitor the brain by way of MRI.  I'm thinking "if it ain't broke then don't fix it".  I do not have any symptoms so I am going to do the waiting game.  I went to the shopping center at the hospital to look for possible sales.  I couldn't find any shoes in my size at the orthopedic store, unfortunately.  they were giving them away, practically.

I waited for about a half an hour or more in the hot sun for a bus to Tel Aviv.  it took forever to get to the train station where I catch my bus back to zefat.  fortunately, there was a taxi going back to zefat for the price of a bus.  so for about $10 I rode home in comfort.  the driver left me off near my house.  the regular price is about 700 shekels. ($170).  the driver actually, lived in my neighborhood.

my health care provider paid for my taxi ride to the hospital this morning.  so I really locked out today.  I got up at 7:00 a.m. and took off the bamboo roof from the sukkah and removed all of the decorations.  they are predicting a huge storm tomorrow.  I had some tea and I showered and I left.  I got home some 12 hours later, grabbed a chicken schnitzel and let the dogs out.  Tiny, the overgrown puppy, ate a huge hole in my bed.  I didn't leave him on the balcony, as usual, when I go out.  I guess it's karma.  he ate a gigantic hole in the Sephardi grandmother's mattress that was in my room, and I didn't replace it yet.

 at 7:00 p.m. I took down the sukkah material and wooden slats.  Just then my son came home and I ran in to heat up the leftovers for him.  after he had some dinner, he was open to taking apart the sukkah frame.  I ran up and down the stairs with the metal poles and finally rearranged the items in the storage unit to make room for the entire sukkah.  I then came back upstairs to blog.  I am really tired now.  I hope we have a huge rainstorm tomorrow to wash away all of this brown dust.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Simchat Torah

it is 12:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.   we end the holiday of sukkot today and start a new holiday called Simchat Torah, tonight.  we have a farewell meal in our sukkah and we go to synagogue this evening.  we eat in the house tonight.  after all that work decorating the sukkah with my enormous collection of plastic fruits and vines, it's nearly over.  it's like Pesach.  you work really hard and the week goes too fast to enjoy it.  I must have spent 7 hours hanging my decorations.

we actually used the sukkah each day this year.  I made meals every night.  one night my son and his married cousins-in law ate hero sandwiches and beers in the sukkah.  they were supposed to do a barbecue but when push came to shove, everyone was too tired to bother with the grill.  the little kids were with me the entire week.  their parents had to work and I had to stay home with them.  I tried to eat most of the meals in the sukkah with the kids.

their mother and I took them to an outdoor party that chabad made for kids.  the kids could run around the playground, which was a good thing.  they didn't win any prizes in the gift grab bag so we had to buy them candy and balloons to placate their disappointment.  their mom went off to an exercise class and their dad went off to a soccer game in Haifa that night.  nice life these big kids have.  I, on the other hand, do not have a life.

I was sick all week with a throat virus so I didn't have the energy to do much.  I took the kids to a Chassidic puppet show at the chabad house but they were bored out of their little heads.  too bad it wasn't 'Power Rangers' or Roy Boy'.  at least I didn't have to schlepp them on the bus to town.  their mom drove us to the show and took us home.  that was a bit of good fortune for me.  I even got treated to an ice coffee drink.

I let go with the diet regimen and am totally puffed out once again.  even my new fat clothes don't fit.  I need to see the brain surgeon near Tel Aviv on Tuesday.  it's a bit scary to travel these days.  I ran out of checks and cash and have been running on empty, as we say.  I went to the bank before the holiday to order checks but the machine was out of order and I was on a mission to buy a new bamboo roof for the sukkah.  I also ran around the neighborhood trying to find a cash machine.  they were all out of order, too.

I managed to get some cash at the bank when we went to the puppet show but it went very fast on drinks and veggies for shabbat.  I ran into a friend at the supermarket and got to borrow some money to finish my shopping.  my pantry and freezer are nearly empty.  I didn't have money to buy a cake for the holiday.  I made a lovely tiramisu for the holiday but we ate it on Shabbat.  I just made a chocolate fudge cake which is an eggless cake.  I made it with mayonnaise.  I was all out of eggs, sugar and oil.  I did have a large jar of mayonnaise in the fridge and this recipe.  the cake is awful.  I used the rest of my organic brown sugar.  I've made this cake before but this time it didn't come out great.

I fried up my last package of chicken breasts today.  I had one egg left and two challah rolls, which I turned into bread crumbs.  I had a two pound package of chopped beef.  I added some eggs, cilantro and parsley and bread crumbs.  I filled a package of cannelloni noodles with most of the mixture and baked it in a tomato sauce.  not my best work.  I turned the rest into meatballs and threw them into the pot of meat simmering in wine.  I had this tiny piece of meat.  I didn't have any sweet wine so I used a bottle of dry red wine and added some honey.  the meatballs are soggy.  I guess it's better than being hard like hockey pucks.

I don't really have a dessert.  I have been picking pomegranates in the neighborhood.  I didn't get to shop today.  I went to bed really late last night.  the men stayed up all night learning torah and I stayed up all night watching season 10 of  'Grey's Anatomy".  I got up at 7:00 a.m. and washed the floor.  I didn't have the strength nor the care fare to go to town.  I hope my son buys drinks and milk because I'm nearly out.  I was hoping to get a bit of cash from the kids this morning but it didn't happen.

I will have to do a huge shopping next week.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sleepless In Zefat

it is 4:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat and I can't sleep.  we ended the fast of Yom Kippur at around 7:30p.m.  I spent the day in synagogue and had a wonderful time. I had davened at the local Sephardi synagogue on Rosh Hashana and didn't know one tune. it was very frustrating.  it was also extremely hot and I didn't feel well.  I had walked over to the local Chabad bomb shelter where I pray on holidays, but I had a panic attack and had to leave.

I  felt dizzy and nauseous and came home.  I think I lost my vision for a moment, too.  after a few moments and a damp towel on my face, I regained my composure and vision.  I walked over to the Sephardi shul which was air conditioned.  the kids were with me for the first night so I didn't mind not following the service.  it was very annoying the next day.

today I was at home in the bomb shelter.  I felt well and strong.  I loved the Chabad tunes and was in my zone.  I didn't stay for the Kiddush to break the fast because the kids were home.  I put out store bought chocolate croissants and a cheese yeast cake.  I then made a tomato and cabbage soup and cheese barekas.  no one was left hungry.  my son was in a good mood and put up the frame of the sukkah.  the small kids helped by bringing him the metal poles.  my grandson, the 6 year old tank, did a bit of hammering, too.  he made some horrific karate grunts before he hammered.

we start the holiday of Sukkot on Sunday.  the kids will be home from gan for a week.  thank goodness, the air is fresh again.  we need a good rainstorm to clean off all of the dust but we can breathe easy again.  they predicted the worst heat wave in centuries for Yom Kippur.  it was actually comfortable today.  the bomb shelter was not air conditioned but it was fine.  it was hotter on Rosh Hashana.  the house was comfortable, too with only a few fans. I didn't sleep well because it was my job to wake up my son at 5:00 a.m. to catch a special service.  I woke up every hour on the hour.

my grandson insisted on sleeping with me and he was sick.  he tossed and turned and coughed the night away.  sometime in the middle of the night it got cold.  I found a blanket and covered us both.  it was lovely.  it was so amazing that it wasn't as hot as they predicted.  I think that G-d decided to give the Jews a break.  I had a nightmare that all the neighborhood houses became flooded with sewerage and that we had to clean up the mess on Yom Kippur.  that week long sand storm traumatized us.

I am anxious once again, about finances.  I think I can get through the rest of the holidays with the food in the freezer.  I still have a small piece of meat and a package of chopped meat.  I am thinking about making a meat lasagna.  I have never made one before.  of course, I cannot add cheese but I think mushrooms or eggplant might work well.  I don't think the little kids would like eggplant.  I know they love mushrooms.  my friend, who is probably coming for the holiday, doesn't eat mushrooms. i'll come up with something.

I do not want to make meatballs again.  I just can't.  I don't think the kids would like meatloaf.  the American boys in the yeshiva went crazy for it but I don't think Israeli's would go for it.  I could make up some beef patties with a lot of cilantro.  that might be just the ticket.  if I get lucky the kids will go to the Sephardi family for the holiday and I can go to my friends.  I still have to make Shabbat meals.  the kids decided to stay home for Yom Kippur at the last minute.

they always go away for Yom Kippur and I am left alone to pray at my local bomb shelter in peace.  this year they panicked because of the weather forecast.  I scrambled to make food before the fast.  I made a small pot of chicken soup with this tiny capon.  I had one onion, 2 sweet potatoes and a piece of pumpkin.  I didn't have any celery or carrots. I didn't have parsley, either.  I made a bunch of potatoes, rice and chicken fingers.  I had bought a lettuce so we had a bit of salad.  I had a bunch of pomegranates from my friends' trees.  I ran to the bakery to buy rolls and a cheese danish loaf.

I have a list of things I need for sukkot and I think that I'm out of checks.  any wonder I can't sleep.  I brought up all the metal poles for the sukkah on Tuesday morning from the shed downstairs.  it took a lot of schlepping up the stairs.  I was determined to put the sukkah  upstairs in the front courtyard this year.  last year we had a humungous wind storm downstairs moments before the holiday began and our metal framed Sukkah nearly flew away.  my son caught it and was holding on to it for dear life.  it was a miracle that he didn't break his hand.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The End Of The World

it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of Zefat.  we are in the midst of a dirt storm.  I've been here for over 30 years and have never witnessed anything like this.  I've been caught in sand storms and have cleaned up after dirt storms but never has one lasted for more than a night.  they are predicting that this will continue until Thursday.  it looks like the end of the world.  the sky is grey and the air is full of dirt.

people are walking around wearing masks.  there is no air.  a breeze is beginning to blow but I don't dare open my windows.  I spent over 5 hours today washing the bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen area.  I could not sleep last night because the dirt was penetrating my air.  everything was covered in this greyish soot.  walking to pick up the kids from gan was nightmarish.  it was so hard to breathe.

I have left my windows open all summer long and didn't think to close them last night.  I dragged in all of the laundry but I totally spaced out about the windows.  I had to wash the computer table and phone and book shelf in the blog room and of course, the floor.  the bathroom was filthy.  I had to wash the sink, and the tub and the floor.

the other bedroom was also covered in the dirt.  the master bedroom is a disaster area.  the porch door was left open as well as the three windows and it's hard to breathe in that room.  I will tackle cleaning it tomorrow.  I wanted to clean for Rosh Hashanah but this is more like a Pesach job.  I polished the antique furniture in the living room and washed the leather sofa with soap and water.  i'll do the floor tomorrow.

I closed all the windows on my floor and it is a sauna now.  but the house does look clean.  the plumber came and fixed my running toilet and put a new plastic tank in the hall toilet.  there went the rest of my holiday rental money.  it is good to have the hall bathroom working again.  I have not stopped moving today.  I did the last of my laundry and put it on the rack in the kitchen. 

I did a bit of cooking this afternoon while the kids played.  I made a small piece of beef in sweet wine, a small tongue Sephardi style with prunes and raisins and a fair amount of beef meatballs.  it is all in cooking bags in the downstairs freezer in the kids' fridge.  I hope the daughter-in-law doesn't check it out because she doesn't like leftovers.  I don't know how the cooked prunes will hold out in the freezer but I can always discard them.  I tasted the tongue and it was delicious.  I have only had tongue once, in Israel, and it was strange.

I have to admit that I nearly gagged when I took the tongue out of the package.  it was hands down, the nastiest thing I ever cooked.  even the quartered sheep's head last year was less gross than this tongue.  after removing the thick skin and making one inch slices the tongue looked fine.  there is just about one slice per guest.  it was pretty small.  I think it might have been about one and a half pounds.  it cost about $10.  it was the first time ever, that I cooked a tongue.

when I was in the cancer hostel the Sephardim were going on and on about cooking brains.  I know in my mom's time it was a large delicacy.  I think I'm up to making brains.  I wanted to cook lungs but the supermarket up here didn't have any.  I did read that the Jews in Germany had the custom to feed their kids calf livers on Rosh Hashanah.  I thought about making liver.  I might do it on Sunday.  I love chopped liver.  I know that somewhere in the freezer is a package of liver.  I made it teriyaki  style once, and the daughter-in-law loved it.  I haven't even thought about what to make for Shabbat.

they have predicted a hot Rosh Hashanah.  I think chicken soup will not be on the menu.  I have tons of chicken parts in the freezer.  I just might make some sweet chili chicken wings for Friday night.  I try not making these type of dishes on Rosh Hashanah.  I have the custom not to make pungent or sour foods on the holiday.  I used to add honey to everything I made and I used to suffer with migraines.  I think I added some honey to the beef.  I shouldn't have as I cooked it in a bottle of sweet wine.  I didn't spare the pepper so perhaps the honey will help to compensate for the pepper.  I  added a bit of honey to the tongue but I also added a bit of lemon to make that sweet and sour thing happen.  the recipe called for cider vinegar.  I never seem to have that on hand.  the meatballs are cooked in a Sephardi tomato sauce.  I added something that I didn't recognize in to the meat. it might have been a barbecue spice of some kind.

I'm planning on making a lot of side dishes.  I will make rice with raisins, and an apple and raisin noodle kugel.  I'm thinking about making a waldorf  salad sans the walnuts.  I have the custom not to eat nuts on Rosh Hashanah.  I also will make a red cabbage salad with apples and raisins.  my son hates fruit in his salads.   I can always make him a salad without the fruit.  and of cause, I have to make the tsimis with apricots. prunes, carrots and sweet potatoes.  I'm the only one who ends up eating it but I must do it anyway.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Shana Tova!

it is 10:15 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just got back from the large supermarket.  I needed a fish head for Rosh Hashanah.  I already shopped for the fruits and veggies this morning in town.  I spent a small fortune.  I bought all the items that are symbolic on Rosh Hashanah.   I got two types of dates, dried and fresh.  I got a hunk of pumpkin, a few leeks, a few apples, a bunch of fresh string beans, a quince that needs to be cooked, a package of beet leafs, and a green squash that looks like a gourd.  I have beets and carrots left over from last week.

I bought some sweet potatoes to make a stew with prunes, apricots and carrots. the Sephardim add fried onions and turmeric.  I swear every year that I will not make a tsimis.  I always end up making it and no one eats it.  it is a throw back to my childhood.  I can't help myself.  I also plan on making a sweet noodle kugel.  a friend is coming for the holiday.  my daughter-in-law won't eat it.  she hates sweet kugel.  I usually add a small can of pineapple but I didn't buy any this year.  I think I will add an apple.

I didn't buy any potatoes so I won't be making a potato kugel.  I do not plan on going to do any more food shopping.  I have wine, soft drinks, a few beers and tons of grape juice.  I do need to buy round challahs.  I have absolutely no freezer space.  the mini freezer that a neighbor gave me didn't work.  everything got defrosted.  I normally would not refreeze meat but I had no choice.  I threw everything back into the freezer space in the fridge.  I had thousands of shekels worth of poultry.  it hadn't gotten off yet but it was very bothersome.

I plan to bake and cook before Shabbat.  I will need to store things downstairs in the kids fridge.  I don't really like their knowing that I precook food.  they have a misconception that holiday and Shabbat meals must be cooked on the same day as the holiday.  my daughter-in-law's mother does everything last minute.  she would never freeze challah of cooked chicken.  I will just have to see how I feel.  it is incredibly humid here.  they say we will have a heat wave for Rosh Hashanah.  we have had a heat wave here all summer long.  it doesn't end. 

right now it looks kike we are having a sand storm.  I did tons of laundry and dragged it all back into the house because everything is covered in dust right now.  the kids say that they are planning to be here for the entire holiday.  that's 4 meals.  in 6 years they have never spent the entire holiday here.  we usually go to the Sephardi grandma's for the first night.  I come back to the dogs and spend the day with close friends and the kids join me for the second night and day meal.  something is up.  one year I cooked all 4 meals and they split on me.  no one is really talking to me.  my son gets angry when I pry.

I bought a small piece of beef that I always braise in sweet wine.  the daughter-in-law likes it that way.  last year I bought a quarter of a sheep's head and it was delicious.  my grandson really got off on the meat.  my son and wife were totally grossed out.  I didn't see any sheep heads tonight and there were no lungs to be had.  I bought a small tongue and will try to do it justice.  I have been on line for hours.  I think I got a decent recipe.  I have never cooked a tongue before.  I haven't really made a menu plan yet.

I am trying to get the house in order also.  I gave all three dogs tick treatments but it didn't really work.  I found a tick hosting on my arm near my vein.  I keep on changing the sheets and sprinkling rosemary oil on the furniture and dogs.   it worked in the past.  I think this heat wave has brought out a tremendous amounts of ticks.  I am tired from this. the children had ticks feeding on them and I took a lot of grief form the Sephardi grandma.  they took pix and sent them to the kids in Eilat.

I managed to buy a few outfits at the second hand boutique so I won't have to scramble last minute to find something to wear.  I can smell dust.  the window is open and it must be horrible outside.  all the cars are covered with dust right now.  I can't bring myself to check out the outside courtyard.  I am truly exhausted.  I ran to the bank this morning because I received an email letting me know that the banks were forced to give rebates to customers from 1990 through 2008.  we were supposed to receive 2500 shekels.

they told me at the bank that we were all getting an automatic deposit of 7 shekels.  there went all of our dreams of striking it rich. in my case, being able to afford all of the food that I bought for the upcoming holidays.  oh well.....the plumber fixed my running toilet and is coming tomorrow to replace my hall bathroom toilet.  I was going to cancel but he already ordered it.  more checks to give out.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Party's Over

it is 11:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  my grandson just fell asleep.  his sister woke up and I put her back to sleep.  their mother was returning the deflate able trampoline that she rented for the birthday party and their father was fast asleep.  I cleaned up the entire yard and threw away all of the debris.  I took out the trash, put the leftovers in the fridge and washed all the serving bowls and silverware.  I did not get as much as a thank you from the daughter-in-law.

I spent the entire day cooking and baking.  I had a late start because I was exhausted.  I made two cheesecakes, a chocolate birthday cake and two mashed potato kugels.  I also baked 3 packages of frozen cheese barekas.  I ran to the local supermarket to buy more whipping cream and disposable aluminum baking pans.  I went to the large supermarket last night but they were out of the 9x11 aluminum pans.  I bought the round ones which I thought, would make serving a bit harder.  I know that most cheesecake is round but I have been making rectangular cheesecakes for years now.

I bought a sugar picture of 'Ben Ten' to put on the cake.  I was going to make a layer cake but I truly didn't have the patience.  I froze one of the cakes and used only one for the party.  my daughter-in-law asked me to make a small birthday cake.  she said that most people would prefer the cheesecake and the birthday cake would be a waste.  she bought the frozen barekas, tons of veggies to make a fresh salad and a huge watermelon.  I was not up for making lasagna and quite frankly, didn't have the money to do so.  I thought about buying mini pizzas or soy hot dogs but they were very expensive, too.

I bought a large sack of potatoes and made a huge pot of mashed potatoes.  I didn't have the energy to grate that many potatoes.  I don't have a large food processor.  I added grated onions and diced mushrooms, a lot of eggs and some flour and I had two kugels.  I would have liked to add more mushrooms but my son raided my pantry twice this week and ate the canned mushrooms.  the pashtida, as the Sephardim call kugel, was a big success.  it was a bit peppery but everyone liked it.  I had two servings, myself as well as two cheese barekas.  oh well....

I tasted the icing on the chocolate cake and had a taste of the cheesecake as well.  I made the icing with whipped cream and vanilla pudding.  I had a recipe for chocolate frosting but it involved cooking so I opted for the pudding version.  I spread the frosting on the cake but didn't pipe it on.  it didn't look fancy.  I placed the picture and scattered colored sprinkles on the cake.  it was and old fashioned looking party cake.  my grandson liked it.  all the kids wanted to eat part of the picture.  my daughter-in-law had called her mother in distress because she didn't have a birthday cake.  I don't  know if she didn't like my cake or really didn't think I had made one.

my daughter-in-law came home from work in a state.  I had picked up both kids from gan this afternoon.  I left the mashed potatoes on the stove and ran out to pick them up.  I had cleaned the backyard yesterday and bailed out the remaining greenish water in the large swimming pool.  I also bailed out the water in the wading pool.  I put the pool away in the storage shed.  it was a job and a half.  I brought down some chairs and went upstairs to bake the frozen barekas.  that took about another hour and a half.  last year while I was dealing with the barekas, my son presented my grandson with the bicycle that I had bought for him.  this year I didn't buy a gift.

I am planning on going to town in the morning to check out the second hand clothes store.  I had seen a dress there last week and it fit.  I had my heart set on buying that dress but it was promised to another lady.  somehow, the dress is back in the shop.  perhaps it really was destined for me.  we shall see.  I bought a small piece of meat for the holidays as well as organic whole wheat flour and brown sugar.  I make a honey cake for my daughter-in-law's father every year.  for some reason he prefers whole wheat.  this is quite unusual for a Sephardi person.  I also prefer whole wheat honey cake.  I am planning on baking and cooking next week. 

my neighbor gave me a small freezer so I am now able to make meals ahead of time and have enough room in the freezer.  I am quite excited about that.  I was planning on buying a small freezer when I finish paying off my new fridge.  I had enough room in my cooking area to accommodate the small freezer.  it's like the size of an office fridge.  it has 4 drawers.  it was the answer to my prayers. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Home Again Home Again

it is 7:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the big kids finally returned home from their vacation on Saturday night at 1:00 a.m.  I had their little kids with me the entire week.  they were supposed to come back on Thursday night but they decided to break up their long ride back from Eilat .  they spent Shabbat in the old city of Jerusalem.  the little kids stayed with me for Shabbat.  I just served my son and grandkids organic premade gnocchi with tomato sauce.  they were on sale at the supermarket.

I spent a few hours on Friday doing the small kids' laundry.  I made minimum food for Shabbat.  I cooked up a few chicken legs with potatoes. I made a bit of instant couscous and a small salad.  I bought mini challah rolls and pastries.  that was it.  the kids had lots of junk before Shabbat. I bought several cartons of chocolate milk.  I didn't even feel like mixing up chocolate milk for them.  I actually enjoyed the store bought chocolate milk.

I took both kids to synagogue with me on Friday night but I was very nervous.  I gave my grandson a slap.  that wasn't exactly conducive to want to be in shul.  I was way too tired to be with the kids by myself.  I finished my stint as a cook in the yeshiva on Thursday.  I returned home from work and had about an hour to get ready for a wedding.  I returned home from said wedding at 2:00 a.m.  I did get up and dance a bit to the very loud Israeli trance music.  I wore my wig and it was winging wet.  it was fun to be with all the neighbors again.  it's been a few years since I could manage to go to a simcha.

I decided to take the kids back to shul on Saturday morning.  I managed to pray inside while they ran around outside.  a family who lost their soldier son last year donated a new sefer torah to the shul.  they made a simple Kiddush after services.  the kids were happy to sit and eat.  they had brown hard cooked eggs and lots of soda.  I never buy soda.  I let them have as much as they wanted.  I munched on nuts and raisins and eggs, too.  when we got home I let them go in the wading pool. when they came upstairs they ate some cold cuts.

we all settled down in a bed together and I fell asleep.  I was rudely awakened by my granddaughter bopping me on the head.  my friend came to visit and we had a couple of vodka breezes.  the kids were making as much noise as they could.  my grandson had a birthday while his parents were out of town.  I didn't get a chance to buy him a gift or make him a cake on Friday.  I didn't realize that it was his birthday until Saturday morning.  my granddaughter and I sang 'happy birthday' and made a big fuss over him.  I tried lifting him 6 times in a chair.  I hurt my back. the kid weighs a ton.  he will have his official party on Tuesday.  i'll make the usual cheesecake.

my daughter-in-law's sister took care of the kids all week long.  she got here every morning around 9:30 a.m. and was here when I returned from work at around 4:30 p.m.  one day I went to pick them up at the Sephardi grandma's house and we returned home on the bus.  almost every day, I took them locally to have a frozen coffee drink.  I needed one every day to keep me going.  I bought barekas, potato puff pastries with potato filling, every day too.  it was our staple food.  I had cheerios and cornflakes on hand and lots of milk.  I managed to make an omelet or two. and I opened plenty of cans of tuna last week.

I wasn't much for cooking after working all day long in the yeshiva's kitchen.  it was good for me to work this summer.  I haven't felt so much like my old self in years.  I am a fatter version of the old zelda but I can still bust a few moves o the dance floor.  I lost a few pounds but can't seem to get the bulk off.  I haven't been exactly eating well lately.  I haven't binged in a couple of months.  I did eat a bag of Doritos this afternoon.  and I had my fair share of the gnocchi at dinner time. I didn't have any ice cream this summer or any candy.  I did have an occasional cookie or piece of cake. it was really too hot to eat much this summer. I tasted some milk chocolate yesterday but it tasted nasty.

I managed to buy a few tops and skirts this summer.  I definitely, haven't been running around in the old rags lately.  I need to shed about 18 pounds to look like my old self.  it's funny but when I got thin after the  chemo, I felt emaciated and couldn't wait to put on some weight.  I then, unfortunately, spiraled out of control to my present day state of being grossly overweight.  even the gyn oncologist said that I should start losing some weight. I see him again in December.  if only I can be slender again....

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Home Sweet Home

it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I got home about an hour ago.  the bus ,which is on holiday schedule, got stuck in the middle of a street in Canaan.  the bus driver honked incessantly for a while to try to get the owners of the cars, which were blocking the road, to come out and drive their vehicles away.  he wouldn't allow the passengers to get out of the bus, either.  we sat there for a good 40 minutes. normally, I could have walked home but I had a heavy 2 burner stove to bring home.

I might have a short term renter so I went out and bought another stove.  a family staying for a few days, broke my daughter-in-law's stovetop so she took mine.  I've been cooking with gas, once again, since Pesach.  electric burners do take forever to make meals.  I got up very early this morning to go upstairs and straighten out the apartment.  it needed a sponger so I washed the wooden floors.  someone from the yeshiva group, staying downstairs for a few days, was using the upstairs to have coffee breaks.

I asked my son to bring up the bedframe and mattress and of course, I was met with a lot of resistance.  he brought up the frame but of course, he didn't bring up the mattress.  I will have to schlepp the mattress up in the morning because the lady is coming to see the apartment. I would like to make the bed up and run to the supermarket first thing in the morning.  I have to watch the kids tomorrow as well as cook for Shabbat.  I need to buy dog food and I have a million beer bottles to return.

I can take the kids with me in the morning but it is easier if I go alone. they always want to stop at the playground and then they always want treats at the supermarket. it's faster and a lot cheaper if I go alone.  again, that depends on when the young lady is coming. I hope she decides to stay for a few months.  I can sure use the little bit of rent money.

this morning I waited here with the kids until their teenage aunt could come to babysit.  I took a taxi to work because it was almost noon when I got myself together. I defrosted chop meat to make chili but I knew that would have to be for their dinner.  I didn't have enough time to cook it by 2:00 p.m. that is when I serve the lunch.  well, I don't actually serve it. I bring it into the dining hall and leave it on the electric hot plate.  the guys come to eat any time afterwards. they are mostly polite and always thank me for their food.  I explained to them that I was not a chef. I told them that I was only a Jewish mother cooking for her 25 boys.

I thought about making a tuna fish and macaroni salad for lunch.  I needed something else for those who don't eat fish.  I thought about making buckwheat groats and onions.  I found two packets of instant couscous and decided I would make a vegetable medley with sauce.  I had a few carrots, potatoes, onions, and squash and I added a few tomatoes. I usually add pumpkin and cabbage but that is what I had in the kitchen.  the guys loved it.  they also loved the tuna fish salad and hard cooked eggs, that I made at the last minute. 

it took another two hours for the chili to finish.  I browned a lot of chop meat and added it into the chili mix.  I only used kidney beans this time.  the last time I added chick peas.  I made a large pot of rice.  the guys love rice.  they aren't so keen on pasta. I made a huge Israeli salad but I didn't dice the veggies tiny.  I didn't have the strength.  I washed the floor and went home.  I stopped at a local super and bought the electric burners and headed for the bus.

I am exhausted.  I was hoping to get out tonight for the last night of the klezmer music festival.  I will take a shower and crawl onto the t.v. couch.  I am wasted.  I just had a few dried dates and a slice of cantaloupe. I had some eggs this morning. the kids didn't eat theirs.  it was hard to eat them. I have been drinking milk with cinnamon.  I read that cinnamon helps lower the blood sugar.  I haven't had much of an appetite in this heat. I did have a taste of the couscous and tuna salad.  they were both very tasty.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

If You Can't Take The Heat In The Kitchen

it is 6:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just got back from town.  I finished work at 4:00 p.m. and found a lovely second hand boutique clothes store in the old city.  it's been there for 5 years and I never passed it.  I was able to buy a jeans skirt, fancy sequined top, dress, dressy skirt, and 5 assorted tops for about $70.

I have been running around in rags because I refused to buy fat clothes.  I lost a few pounds but I still look overweight.  my stomach is a source of embarrassment to me.  the lady who runs the boutique is a neighbor of mine and we used to go to exercise class together. she is gorgeous and thin. she looks like a Hollywood actress.

I left work sweaty and smelly. my clothes reek of cooking grease.  I fried about 50 tuna patties and tried to make potato puffs out of yesterday's left over turmeric potatoes.  I ended up tossing out the oil and the potatoes.  I thought I could get by with yesterday's lentil veggie soup but it had gone off so I tossed it.  I made a huge oatmeal kugel with the leftover oatmeal from breakfast.  I added tons of eggs and several cups of flour and a cup of sugar.

it was a great success. I let that sucker bake for hours.  it finally became crusty and I couldn't stop eating it ,myself.  I tossed in tons of cinnamon and powdered ginger. one young man called it 'brilliant'.  the huge pot of rice was virtually untouched so I will use it for lunch tomorrow. if someone will open up an industrial sized can of tomatoes for me , I will make Spanish rice or sloppy Joes.  I left 1 1/2 pounds of chopped meat defrosting in the fridge. there is no real can opener in this kitchen and the men use knives and hammers to open these huge cans.

 I am able to open the large cans of tuna but not the mushrooms with the Israeli opener.  I wait for one student who seems to have the know all and he opens the cans for me.  I bless him and make a big deal about him each time.  I made a huge pot of mushroom barley soup for dinner and added tamari sauce to last night's kasha varnishkas.  I also added more macaroni.  I cooked up a package of chick peas this morning and they went like hot cakes.  I ate about 3 tuna patties.  I skipped meals yesterday and just drank milk with cinnamon.  I am trying to lower my blood sugar.

I would love to get out of going to the neighbor's wedding.  it will cost me a lot of money to go. I still need to buy a skirt and I have to give a cash gift.  I won't be able to eat anything there because it isn't my level of kashrut.  I was hoping the kids would go in my place but I think they will be in Eilat next week.  the worst thing is that I don't like the bride.  I have always found her to be a crass young thing.  she used to scream out her window for my father to shut up on weekends when he would sit outside and sing.

the klezmer music festival starts tomorrow evening and the busses are already on holiday schedule.  the drivers are also quite nasty and very impatient.  it has already become a hassle to go to town and return.  i might venture to town tomorrow night to check things out. my friend will probably want to go really early. I don't get back from work until  5:00 or 6:00 p.m. I don't know any of the acts anymore.  once I waited to hear the 'Klezmatics' and the violinist Muriel Reznick..  that was a very long time ago.

Monday, August 17, 2015

What A Difference A Day Makes

it is 8:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I haven't had any time to blog in a couple of weeks.  we went through a horrific heat wave.  we gave most of our fans to the renters downstairs so we were stuck upstairs sleeping without any.  I managed to buy a couple of new fans but the puppy aka 'tiny' ate the wire off the really strong one. hopefully I can get it fixed soon.

I had a 10 day hiatus from the cooking temp job.  I went to do a brain MRI last Monday.  I had planned on cancelling the appointment but since I was off from work I decided to keep it.  I took a direct bus to Bnei Brak, which I was able to catch in my neighborhood; and caught a bus to Tel Hashomer from there.  the bus didn't enter the hospital area so I had a good 1/2 an hour hike in the sauna like weather.

I arrived at the hospital at 9:00 p.m. my appointment was for 10:00 p.m.  they took me at 11:15 p.m. and I was finished at 11:45 p.m.  I ordered a cab to take me home earlier in the day. my medical carrier pays one way. there really isn't any way to get back to zefat at that hour.  I was exhausted and fell asleep immediately.  the nudnik cab driver actually called my cell and then proceeded to wake me up to get me to answer my phone.  he thought I had given him a bogus cell number because he had called me while I was in the MRI machine and of course, I didn't have my phone with me.

the taxi was too cold so I kept on opening my window.  every time I would fall asleep the driver would close the window and I would wake up from the cold.  I am not a big fan of air conditioning.  it would have been nice if the ac unit was working on the 3 hour bus ride to Bnei Brak.  it was stifling and very crowded.  I had two men sitting on the floor of the bus at my feet.  these lovely young people gave me the heads up to get off of the bus to catch a connecting bus to the hospital.  I had no idea where I was.

I stayed in bed all day on Tuesday.  I was physically wiped out from the travelling and the heat.  on Wednesday morning I caught an 8:00 a.m. bus to Jerusalem to visit my dear friend who was visiting from upstate New York.  she was kind enough to meet my bus at noon so I didn't have to struggle to find the neighborhood where she was staying.  travelling in Jerusalem was quite efficient and inexpensive.  it was the first time that I didn't taxi it and I used public transportation.  I was always afraid of bus bombings so I never travelled.

I was afraid of café bombings so I never went to Netanya to see my other dear friend.  I finally had a reunion a few weeks ago and the three of us gals had a ball. for someone who doesn't leave zefat, I've made it all over the country this summer.  as soon as I got back to zefat, I was back to babysitting literally, straight off the bus.

my friend and I went to the Kotel on Wednesday night.  the busses weren't running there because the president was at a ceremony there.  a man from Montreal donated 73 sefer torahs for the fallen soldiers of last year and another 3 for the 3 kidnapped young men who were murdered.  it was an amazing sight to see so many torahs in one place.  we were able to catch a taxi with another couple of people so it was very inexpensive.

a young man helped walk us through the old city to get to the Kotel.  I enjoyed the walk immensely. neither my friend or myself knew how to get there from the Jaffa gate. after the dedication service the crowd thinned out.   the regular visitors were there to pray and suddenly the live band started playing the 'Moshiach' rock song and the men started to dance with the torahs.  they came around to the women's section so we could touch the torahs and blow kisses.

 I think the cost of a sefer torah is between 20 to 30, 000 dollars.  you can do the math.  we finally left the Kotel at around 11:00 p.m.  they had shuttle busses driving the masses to a central location.  we didn't exactly know where we were or how to find our bus.  a couple of young boys walked us around the block and then some to get to a connecting bus stop.  I didn't see any signs for our bus so we jumped into a cab.  I was strung out at that point and just wanted to get back to the apartment.  we had been schlepping around for hours.

we finally got back at about 12:45 a.m.  my friend had made a short film of the event so we watched it on her computer.  we ate a lovely meal of fresh salmon and brown rice and salad thanks to my friend.  I slept in the next morning and decided to leave Jerusalem a bit early.  I caught the 1:00 p.m. bus and returned to zefat at 5:00 p.m.  the bus was just pulling into zefat when I got an SOS call from my son.  he wanted to take his wife out on her birthday and needed me home by 6:00 p.m.

I ran into the supermarket across the street from the bus stop and frantically bought veggies for Shabbat.  there weren't any shopping carts so I schlepped bags.  I ended up leaving the super without my tomatoes. I raced home in a cab and didn't have a second to myself.  the next day was Friday and I had the grandkids with me all day and had to cook the Shabbat meals.

I took the kids out with me to buy some milk.  first they wanted to play in the playground and then they wanted to go in the pool.  I went to the local bakery and bought us each a frozen coffee drink. I bought a couple of berekas and pastries.  we sat for a bit and then went home.  I bought milk in the bakery so I avoided schlepping them to the super and up the hill.

we spent about 2 hours in the pool.  I then brought them in and gave them hot showers.  I put on a kid's film and proceeded to start cooking.  I made a cheesecake for the new month celebration.  I bought a lovely marble cake in Jerusalem for Shabbat.  the kids wanted to make a birthday party so I took out the marble cake but it was riddled with ants.  yes, the ants have come back this summer.  the ticks are also out in full.  my dogs are riddled with ticks.  I don't use the chemical collars so I spend hours picking off ticks.

I returned to work yesterday.  I only had to make them dinner.  l don't know why it took me 4 hours.  I made a Chinese style turkey stir fry with carrots, onions and canned mushrooms.  I had some tamari sauce and powdered ginger.  I also made a vegetable barley soup with fresh carrots, squash, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes.  I made a huge vat of Israeli salad and a noodle kugel with squash and onions.  I actually used spaghetti.  I got home at 8:00 p.m. I was exhausted. it's hot again.

this morning I got to work at 11:00 a.m.  I was binge watching season 5 of 'The Good Wife'.  the boys have lunch at 2:00 p.m.  I made a vat of shakshuka.  that's a middle eastern dish of poached eggs in a diced tomato sauce. because I added 25 eggs I needed to bake it rather then poach them in a pan.  I also made a vat of cooked potatoes in tumeric.  I made a small bag of spicy split peas.  there were a few apples left over from breakfast so I made a sliced apple and carrot salad. I sprinkled cinnamon and powdered ginger. I was all out of lemon juice so I added a bit of olive oil.

I had to slice the apples and carrots very thin by hand. the food processor is kaput.  I also sliced up cucumbers and red onions for a second salad.  my hand was cramping up.  for supper I made a vat of macaroni and buckwheat groats a.k.a, kasha varnishkas.  I was all out of rice.  I also made a veggie red lentil soup and a huge tray of meatloaf.  I hand grated a few huge squash and onions and added it to 3 pounds of chopped meat.  I added 6 eggs and some matzah meal and voila! and an hour later, it was done.  I was all out of ketchup so I added some mustard, tamari sauce and some leftover chopped tomatoes from the shakshuka.  I didn't taste it because I was in the mood for a frozen coffee drink.

I went to town to shop for an outfit for a neighbor's wedding next week. although I dropped a few pounds, I am still awfully over weight. nothing looks good.  I found a skirt but it was very pricey and not good quality.  I will try the shuk (outdoor market) on Wednesday.  I might go back to the store and buy the skirt. it's been years since I bought myself something new.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Heat Is On

it is nearly midnight in the holy city of zefat.  the little kids are sleeping in the blog room tonight.  their parents are downstairs making up the apartment for the renters.  my son is filling the pool.  I am beyond exhausted.  the first day of work was grueling.  I ended up being there for 6 hours.

I caught a ride to town and stopped off to buy a new filter, cover and chlorine tablets for the pool.  it came out to cost over $150.  that was most of my birthday money. we'll use the filter for years even if we buy a larger pool.

I went to get a key made but the guy in town's machine wasn't working.  oh well. I guess i'll have to go in the morning before work.  I truly dread going to work tomorrow.  it was horrible.  I took out three containers of soup from the freezer and threw all of it into a huge pot.  I added some fresh squash and onions and a few cups of frozen mushrooms. it took over 3 hours for the damn soup to heat up. I ended up scalding my entire arm in the process.

I made a salad with a huge beet, some sad looking carrots and a bunch of apples.  the food processor was nearly busted.  it had no safety switch.  I also made an Israeli salad out of the left over sliced cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes from breakfast.  I started off the day by making a huge amount of corn bread.  there were supposed to be 25 guys but I only saw a handful.  I could have made a smaller one.

I put the lunch out which consisted of tahini, melon, corn bread, salads and soup and leftover potato kugel.  they apparently do not like leftovers.  when I worked there the guys would eat anything.  I could give them macaroni three times a day.  I made up a separate dish for a guy who doesn't eat gluten, grains, lentils, beans, night shades or sugar and any kind of seeds.  I found a few ground beef patties in the freezer that the other cook had made for him.  I threw them in a pot with sweet potatoes, onions and squash.  I had the manager help me put the food out.  before I could intercede on this kid's behalf, someone had already eaten his patties.

I was exhausted.  I quickly sautéed some strips of turkey cutlets and made another concoction for him.  I do not feel like catering to him again tomorrow.  it's enough already.  I soaked some kidney beans for tomorrow's lunch. I hope to get to work early enough to cook up these beans.  another guy who doesn't eat meat or fish, wanted to know if I was making chick peas.  after all, he needs his protein combining.  like a fool, I cooked up a package of chick peas.  that only took about 2 hours.  I made a small salad for supper using sliced carrots, cucumbers and onions. I was left with only tomatoes for tomorrow.

I sautéed a bag of pre washed and sliced cabbage, lots of onions, carrots, red peppers and strips of turkey cutlets. it took forever.  I added some tamari sauce, garlic and turmeric.  I didn't taste it . I didn't want to be fleishig.  I don't even care if they liked it or not.  I am planning on serving the leftover soup tomorrow for dinner even if they don't eat it.  one guy had the nerve to tell me that even though I didn't make up the soup from scratch; he was looking forward to tasting my food tomorrow.  really now!

I am planning on making a dish of poached eggs in tomato sauce.  a true Sephardi delight for dinner. I will make up some kind of spicy stew with beans and chick peas and canned tomatoes.  i'll sauté a bunch of chop meat and inions and throw it into rice for the meat eaters and leave enough rice over for the veggies.  and to think I used to get off on this????

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Best Made Plans

it is 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I have been cooking since 4:00 p.m. because I thought my niece and family would come over for dinner. they are returning to India on Tuesday.  I got to see them once in two months.  they called at 3:00 p.m. because they were ready to visit.  I was waiting for the electrician to come.  we still do not have electricity in 3 of the rooms downstairs.

the air conditioner installer who played with the electric box for 4 hours on Thursday could not come today.  I doubt that he will ever come here again.  he clearly did not know what he was doing.  a local electrician form the local shul promised to 'jump over' at 3:00 p.m. 

my friend is coming here tomorrow around 2:00 p.m. hence, I invited the family for dinner tonight.  I don't want them to come tomorrow while my friend is here.  I washed the floors with plenty of bleach this morning.  we had 4 dogs here for Shabbat and it was awfully unpleasant.  I ran out of perfumed floor polish and the dish soap did not cut the smell of dog pish.  there was assorted dog hair all over the place.

I made bean soup, fried eggplant, fillet of salmon, cole slaw and  macaroni for supper.  I guess I can serve it tomorrow for lunch.  my friend is planning on staying the night and we are going to Netanya together to visit a mutual friend.  I haven't seen her in over 10 years.  I plan on coming back on Wednesday.

the yeshiva needs me to sub for their regular cook, who replaced me when I got sick two years ago.  the gig is for 3 weeks.  I really need the money.  I hope I can still get it together to cook for 20 people.  it's been a long time.  I hate people seeing me so overweight.  I gained 25 pounds since I last worked at the yeshiva.

I am getting really uptight about the electricity.  I have stayed home twice now for nothing.  I am planning on being out of zefat for two days.  this Shabbat ends in a fast.  tisha b'av starts on Saturday night.  it is a rough fast. I am not looking forward to it.  I do not know what to do with the giant puppy, either.  having paying guests downstairs is going to be a hassle with 3 dogs upstairs.  I know the dogs are going to make a lot of noise.

I am already too tense.   I simply cannot go with the flow. my son procrastinates about every thing.  he promised to paint the hallway but I know he won't.  if I didn't have the 3 dogs I would stay in Netanya for the week.

Epilogue: my good friend from America came to visit on Tuesday.  about an hour after she arrived my niece came with her family.  no one was hungry.  the kids played outside while their parents took some of their belongings from the downstairs closet.  I have been storing their belongings for over 7 years.  I said goodbye to them and spent the evening with my friend.  I helped her go through old photos until 2:00 a.m.  I've been storing her belongings for years, too.

we made up to go to Netanya on a late afternoon bus.  we had a ball with our friend and laughed our tushies off.  I headed back to zefat and my friend went on to Arielle.  I threw out all the food that I had made when I came home on wednesday.  I went off to the yeshiva on Thursday to check out the kitchen.  on Friday I spent the day cooking for Shabbat.