Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Countdown To Pesach 2015 Tuesday

it is 5:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just woke up and am too tired to start working in the house.  my front door was wide open and I heard the rain.  yes, there goes the windows.   I honestly don't care.   I washed all of the legos in the afternoon and left them outside to dry.  it was supposed to be a project to involve the kids, too.   I also washed the seat cushions for the dining room chairs and left them outside.  we may be without seat cushions for the Seder unless we have a couple of really sunny days.

I am really frustrated.  I wanted to go to the fruit store in town and stop off at he rabbinate to sell the chometz.   I decided to wash the dining room chairs, first.  they are in the house but still wet.  I didn't finish until about 11:00 a.m.  I had to do a lot of mopping up.  I desperately needed a hot shower.  I had my grandson at home and he is a royal pain in the old caboose. 

we set out by bus but he was already impatient at the bus stop.  I realized that taking him to the fruit store in town would be a mistake.  I opted for the large supermarket .  there I bought him some pastry and nash and a chocolate milk while I selected the fruits and veggies.  we cabbed it home.  I am not free to do my pesach cleaning thing alone.  I have a schedule.  I have to be home by 2:00 p.m. to pick up the granddaughter and today is the last day of pesach gan.

I will have the burden of caring for both kids and trying to finish the house by myself.  it just is not fair.  I have pretty much finished the hard scrubbing but there is still so much to do.  I have to change all the linens in 3 bedrooms and put away my clothes in the master bedroom.  I still have to wash the living room floor and do a bit of laundry.  I can accomplish it all if I am alone.  I am feeling so stressed out that I want to run away.  with the kids here I am on call all afternoon long.  I am wiping up spilled drinks when I'm not breaking up fights and changing the channels for them.

what is the point of all this pesach cleaning?  to make the home shine for whom?  to be alone or to be with family.  right now I'd rather be alone.  I do not really appreciate my family.  I am feeling very resentful.  I am not appreciating the grandkids.  they are a burden to me.  I am really not digging my son right now at all.   I fantasize about his coming to me to ask if I need any help.  you know, like taking out the windows for me or anything to lighten the burden.

 right now I am struggling to get him to go over to the rabbinate to sell our chometz.  it is no big deal.  he has to pass it on his way to his gallery.  he is just being lazy and inconsiderate.  I did a terrible job of raising him.  I will have to really lay a trip on him to get him to do this.  I definitely do not plan on taking my grandson into town with me today.  I have way too much to finish in the house.  I will give my son the choice of going to the rabbinate or taking his son with him to work.

my daughter-in-law is not much better.  she just assumes that I've finished the house and taking care of the kids is no big deal.  she works every day and comes home to clean.  I get it, she's tired.  my son doesn't help her.   however, she is 24 years old and I'm nearly 64 years old.   I was a single mom.  I used to work and I had no one to help me with my son.  I made pesach every year by myself and I managed without being a burden to anyone else.   I am feeling so unloving right now.

I saw that my old job of cooking in the yeshiva is available on a part time basis.  I feel like going back to work just to get out of babysitting.  I can be my own person for a sort while again.  it will be different this time.  I will not play house mummy.  I will just follow the recipes and program the new cook set in place.  no more vegan birthday cakes, or bread puddings, or any other extras.  I can make a bit of cash and be my own person again.  I can break free.  isn't that the true meaning of pesach, freedom?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Countdown To Peasach 2015 Monday

it is 11:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just had to take a break from the cleaning.  I am so tired and achy.  the kids came back a little before midnight last night.  I was already sleeping downstairs on the sofa.  my son wanted to show me his new clothes but I couldn't have cared less.   I was exhausted.  I'm still sick and coughing all the time and I resented having to be with the kids all night.

 I had taken care of both kids from 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.  I had run after them, supplied drinks and snacks numerous times, fed them, bathed them, and put them to sleep.  that's what grandmas usually do, right?  I had spent the morning hours scrubbing down the bathroom and washing the windows in all 3 rooms and mopping down all of the floors.  I was tired.  I had no patience for the kids.  I found myself screaming at them like a lunatic.

I really lost it on my son and grandson this morning.  the insurance company sent over the worker to repair the broken tiles from the leak in the wall we had a few weeks ago.   I let my son oversee the work while I washed the floors in the master bedroom.  I can't use the porch because there is a blockage in the drainpipe, so I had to mop all of the water through the entire house.  my grandson came up to use the toilet.  he managed to get cocky all over the bathtub.  I asked him to was his hands with soap and he refused.  I had no strength to go head to toe with a 5 year old this morning.

I ordered him to go downstairs to his father.  I also told him that he couldn't stay with me today if he didn't listen to me.  I went downstairs to see the work the repairman had done.  I noticed that the ceramic tile that had fallen off the wall from under the sink had not been replaced.   it was also no longer in the kitchen.  I went slightly ballistic.  I asked my son why he hadn't seen to it that the repairman replace it and I got the usual lip from him.  I told him that he was a horrible tenant and he went ballistic.  after all he is not a tenant.  he doesn't give me a cent to live here. 

I told him that he should have given me the head's up to check out the work before the guy left.  that is called a courtesy.  what would he know about courtesy?  he uses me as a babysitter and couldn't care less about me as a person.  neither of them do.  I'm here to serve them and I pay to play.  they use the grandkids to keep me in my place, too.

I told him that all he cared about was his new clothes and couldn't care less about my house.  he  told me not to take my stress out on him.  my stress is mostly caused by him and his family and all the expenses I have incurred since they moved back in.  he accused me of not caring about anyone except myself.  that's when I told him to take his son with him to work.  I screamed so loud I nearly lost my voice.  I nearly told him to make his own pesach Seder downstairs.  I  really wanted to tell him to move out again.  I am so fed up with all of his crap.

of course, I felt guilty about kicking my grandson out.  he's spending the day at his other grandma's today.  after all why shouldn't she share in the love.  I still have to pick up the granddaughter at 2:00 p.m. and I still have to finish the master bedroom.  I'm truly struggling with the task.  the weather has taken a turn once again to cold and nasty.  a storm is definitely brewing.  why not?  after all, most of the windows are washed already.  I wanted to finish painting the gate but it's not happening in this weather.  I'd rather do anything than the master bedroom.  it's such a mess.  laundry is also out of the question today.  oh well, I guess it's back to the master bedroom for me.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Countdown To Pesach 2015 Sunday

it is 6:30 P.M. in the holy city of Zefat.  I've have both kids with me since 2:00 p.m.  I just got a call form their parents informing me that they were in Haifa and wouldn't be back until midnight.  I was asked to watch the kids while they went out to buy a few outfits for pesach.  I didn't think that meant bathing the kids, feeding them dinner and putting them to sleep.  I kind of thought that I could go to bed early.

I didn't sleep very much last night.  I was obsessing over the brownish lawn for hours.  the gardener came today and of course, I didn't fire him.  I  did let him know just how much this upset me.  one more person who thinks I have no life.  the kids don't think I have a life because I don't have a job.  when I was working I was respected more.  no one could make demands on me.  my time was my own.

I coughed all night long.  my throat hurt and I felt sick.  I didn't do any cleaning.  I watched a horrible action film and then reruns of the Kardashians for hours.  I woke up feeling lousy.  I was in the bathroom and suddenly started washing the window.  that led to my cleaning the bathroom for pesach.  I then did the blog room floor and while I was pouring water around, I did the other bedroom floor.  at first I couldn't get the windows out so I went outside to try and use the hose.  the hose was useless as it has a major hole in it.  just one more thing to buy that I can't afford.

somehow, I managed to get the windows out.  putting them back in was another story.  I struggled for awhile and nearly gave up.  after a silent prayer I managed to have enough strength to put them back in.  my back is hurting me.  while the kids were running around the yard I painted the storage shed's door.  I started painting the rust on the front gate until the weather got chilly.  I bought turpentine so I was good to go.

I still have the living room to do and the large master bedroom.  I think I'm on schedule and making good time.  if I stay well, I have a good shot of finishing early.  that's really a fantasy.  I've never come in early.  i'll have to get my son to take out the living room windows so I can clean them.  there is no way I can do that alone anymore.  I still want to do the porch windows outside.  I only do them once a year.  the only problem is that birds dive right into them after they're clean and cloey dog drags in the bloody carcasses.

I have absolutely zero patience for the kids.  I am tired and frustrated.  I would like to be able to clean for pesach in peace and alone.  I don't know why I get the brunt of the babysitting.  I'm not feeling very maternal these days.  I'm annoyed and feeling very used.  I can't even blog in peace.  I have to go downstairs and deal with the kids on their turf.  I scream at the kids until I lose my voice every day.  it's not right for anyone.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Countdown To pesach 2015

it is 7:45 P.M. in the holy city of zefat.  Shabbat has just gone out.  I tried to blog on Friday but I hit a button and lost the entire page.  I didn't have the strength to start again.  I was so sure I had saved the blog.  oh well! 

I tried to nap this afternoon but my mind woke me up.  this time I was thinking about the garden.  the gardener used some kind of agent to kill the weeds and now there is no semblance of grass.  it's dark brown and I'm very sad.  I doubt that I have the money to replant new grass and I know I don't have enough money to pay for watering the grass anymore.

my mother paid a fortune 14 years ago to make a garden.  we moved in during a shmitta year like now, where planting for the entire year is forbidden.  I am truly depressed over the situation.  I can hardly afford the gardener and at this point I'm ready to fire him.  he's been with me for 14 years and hasn't raised his price but there isn't much left of the original garden.

due to the last couple of winters, the fruit trees have broken.  both the cherry and apple trees died a couple of years ago and the orange tree broke in half last winter.  the gardener pulled out all of my rosemary bushes last year.  it created a huge space in my garden.  now without the green weeds it looks dead.  in the past 14 years I never had to buy lemons or oranges.

this week is the final countdown to pesach.  we have until Thursday night to complete the spring cleaning.  although it is not mandatory how can one not go for it?  I have basically completed the kitchen and cooking area.  I do not plan on cooking anything until this Friday.   I did my kitchen windows and we are expecting a sand storm.  this happens every year.

the kids are springing for a gan for the granddaughter this week so i'll have it easier.  my grandson alone is pretty easy.  put him in front of the telly and give him some nash and he's a happy camper.  so from 7:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. I can clean uninterrupted.   I still have the living room, t.v. room and 3 bedrooms to clean.  it mostly entails washing the floors.  I did the windows in the blog room yesterday.  all the purim costumes have been organized and put back in the closet .  there really isn't any leavened food in the bedrooms.

my keyboard is new so I won't have to struggle with a toothpick this year.  the fridge is new so cleanup was pretty easy.  the freezer was completely clean so I could buy the chicken and meat a while ago.  I'll go on Tuesday to the fruit store in town and get the veggies and fruits that i'll need for the week.  I can give him a head check and while I'm in town I can sell my chametz at the rabbinate.  the only hitch is going to town with the 5 year old.

I haven't gone anywhere with him in years.  I took him for sandals a few years ago and was traumatized.  he ran all over the store and into the storeroom and I was mortified.   I could go to the super up here but I still need to sell the chometz.   you'd think my son could do it as he goes to town every day but I have been doing it for 30 years and I'm expected to continue.

I even bought all of the matzoth this year.  one box of handmade round for me and two boxes of handmade square for the kids.  that's over $40 I spent on matzoth alone.  we still need to get a few bottles of good wine.  I have spent a fortune on pesach.  you can't escape it.   I may have caught a few bargains on cleaning products, grape juice and pesach cakes but all in all, it's a killer.

I hope the kids will behave on seder night.  I hope the dogs will all survive.  there will be 5 dogs in residence during the first part of the holiday, which falls out on the Shabbat.  it's less work this way and more days of vacation.  I think the big kids will be working most of the week.  we are planning one day trip with the kids.  last year we went to Tiberius and it was super crowded.  we ended up having a picnic on the stairs opposite the public bathrooms at a well known religious site.

we came late to a show for kids and ended up at the new maul.  I hate mauls.  after some time we went driving around looking for a picnic area.   we ended up going up a hill to visit a religious site and couldn't catch a space to eat.  I had prepared chicken cutlets and potato puffs.  the little kids got a lot of treats and ice cream and were happy.  I actually had a good time too.

we are thinking about taking the kids to a zoo in Haifa.   my daughter-in law's older sister is coming to us for the seder.  I am a bit nervous about the food.  I prepare very simple food on pesach.  I don't use spices, I peel everything including tomatoes and peppers and I don't use garlic.  I also do not use matzo meal.   I am a bit of a fanatic on pesach.  this sister is used to her mom's food.  she also probably never had Ashkenazi chabad pesach food.

the daughter-in law is used to my beef in sweet wine dish.  I usually make honey orange chicken for the seder night.   the little kids don't like saucy chicken so I will make some chicken schnitzel fingers for the kids.  I use potato starch for the coating.  when I was flush with $ I would use ground almonds.  those days are gone.  I will make a potato kugel.   everyone likes that.  I have always made mashed potatoes for seder night but last year I bought a toaster oven for pesach. 

I saw a Jamie Oliver recipe for vegan chocolate mousse using avocado.  I have heard of this before but somehow it makes me nauseous just thinking of it.  I made a raw cake a few years ago with dates, nuts, cacao and coconut.  I loved it but everyone else were grossed out.  I bought a bunch of pesach cakes and brownies in case I don't get around to baking.  and of course, I bought chocolate bars and potato chips for the kids.  I even bought pesach jello. 

I usually try to eat only what I make from scratch but some times I slip.  I don't expect the kids to follow my stringencies.   I want everyone to have a ball.  I  sprang for steaks and bought a bottle of pesach ketchup for the kids.  I don't really mind if they want to eat chumus with the meal.  I'm planning on using disposable dishes this year.  let's wait and see what specialties they have at the fruit store.  I might even spring for a fresh pineapple or coconut.  who knows?  the sky's the limit when you can pay for it next month.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pesach 2015

it is 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.   I just moved all of my grains, pasta, beans and legumes out of my main kitchen to the small kitchen pantry. I went shopping for Pesach today and spent a small fortune.  I know it's a bit early but I couldn't face being in the house.  I am having a hard time concentrating on the Pesach cleaning this year.  I am all over the place and I find it very frustrating.

I decided to buy cleaning supplies and ended up buying tons of chicken, meat, napkins, disposable plates, aluminum foil, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, soap, tuna fish, grape juice, potato chips, cakes, garbage bags, tea and coffee all kosher for Pesach.  yes, the toilet paper is kosher.  they didn't have the round matzos so I will have to get them next week.  I want to buy a  really good bottle of wine for the Seder.  we usually get some from a winery in Dalton where my son once worked.

the daughter-in-law's family is going away for the Seder.  she asked if she could invite her married sister and family.  you know, the one with the 4 month old crying baby and two little boys.  they ruined my tu b'shvat Seder so I guess it's only natural that she wants to ruin my Pesach Seder, too.  my son does a great Seder every year.  he reads it rapid speed and we are at the meal part in no time at all.  as we all are drunk after 4 cups of wine, we sing all of the Pesach songs and it's really a blast.  the baby's crying will drown out all of the Seder.  my son will lose it and so will I.   the kids will be wild and leave the table and it will be a mess.

I ran to town to get to the hardware store yesterday.  I spent a small fortune there too.  I was able to find rat poison so I'm hoping to avoid another invasion this summer.  I started spot painting.  I painted over my grandson's crayon designs.  it took a few coats of the white paint but they are finally gone.   I didn't have the patience to start scrubbing the walls in the television room.  painting was much faster.  I didn't have to do entire walls.  I just needed to brighten up areas where little kids leave their mark.  I used to undo my dad's finger prints from the walls.  oh how I miss the man.  it will be 10 years since he left this earth in may.

I still need to put away all of the Purim costumes and props.  they are strewn all over the bed.  the closet doors were jammed shut so I didn't have access to the closets.  my son opened them a bit so I can reorganize my Purim things.  I will still have to get a guy in from the furniture store to fix them.  I am getting agitated.  it is getting harder to function with the kids to deal with all day.  they are so wild.   I had a particularly hard time this afternoon when my grandson's friends took a hike down the stairs from the gan.

the mother of these two 'angels' helps me by delivering my grandson to the gan at my corner.  his gan is about a 15 minute walk home.  my grandson finds the walk difficult.   I in turn, pick up her 3 year old boy when I get my 3 year old granddaughter.  the boy is a handful.  he refuses to come with me most of the time and he is always throwing rocks.  today the big brother, who is 5, made a run for it with his brother.  we all went running down several flights of stairs after the brats.

as if this wasn't enough stress, the 3 year old boy went running down the street to my house with my grandkids.   I could not, for the life of me, find him.  my grandson wouldn't tell where he was   hiding so I searched every room on both floors for him.  the mother was outside nearly hysterical thinking he was lost.  I screamed and begged my grandson to let me know where the kid was.  he was hiding under a chair downstairs.  his hands were wrapped around the chair so I couldn't pull him out.  I gave him a firm swat on the behind and yanked him hard.  I was ready to kill him. I was completely finished after that.

the kids are here for Shabbat.  the house was trashed by the puppy who pees and craps everywhere.   I got up at 7:30 a.m. to do the floors.  we were having a horrific winter rain storm.  it was freezing this morning.   this storm came right after a 2 day heat wave.  is there any wonder I'm confused?  I just put up a pot of soup for tomorrow night.  I bought turkey necks yesterday.  I have tons of chopped turkey so I'm going to make stuffed peppers tomorrow.  i'll make chicken wings for Saturday's lunch.  I was planning on making teriyaki liver, but i put the liver back in the freezer.  I don't feel like bothering.

last week I made a frozen pudding pie.  they can have left over hamentashen this Shabbat.  I'm really tired.   maybe i'll make some cranberry muffins in the morning.  i'll make kasha tomorrow.  I have two large bags of rice that I don't want to open.  it will be a simple Shabbat.  last week was intense.  I got drunk on Saturday and felt lousy all week long.  I couldn't move on Sunday or Monday.  I am really just plain tuckered out as they say in the south.  only I live in the north.  to be continued..........

Friday, March 6, 2015

Aftermath of Purim

it is 9:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.   I just got finished picking up discarded props and costumes from the garden where there was a karaoke Purim party last night.   I ended up having a full 11 people at my table.   I was able to find last minute guests.   I panicked a bit that I didn't have enough food so I started cooking another pot roast and another package of chicken wings.  I shouldn't have because there was plenty of food left over as the kids weren't interested in eating.

it's all good.   I have less work to do today for Shabbat.   the house is clean and I just need to make some fish.  I will rearrange my Purim closet on Sunday.   we were winding down our meal when my kids came home.  I was pleasantly buzzed from the sangria and helped them find costumes.  my friend's kids were very well behaved.  it was a sunny day and all the kids were playing downstairs in the yard.  I put all 3 doggies on the porch because I couldn't stand listening to the barking.

one of the guests was a 3 year old girl.   she and the granddaughter hit it off immediately.   they were so well suited to each other.  neither one has a sister.  it was a pleasure not dealing with the kids.   my young friend was happy being downstairs with two young ladies.   the daughter-in-law was also pleased being with her own age crowd.   they all left early in the day to do all sorts of fun Purim activities so I was free to do my own thing. 

I got to hear the megillah without any distractions and I got to set my table as elegantly as I wished.  no paper plates this year.  I set out all of my real dishes and glass wine goblets.  clean up was arduous but I was still under the influence of the sangrias so I was happy.   I went downstairs after my guests left and joined in on the barbecue.   they had lamb chops and steak and all sorts of sausages.   I didn't eat a lot but I did taste everything.  my son and a friend finished off a bottle of jack daniels.   they weren't the worse for it.  they were very freilich.

Purim was really a pleasure this year.  every one got to do their own thing.  everyone was in their own groove.   everyone buddied up.  I sang show tunes with a gal pal.  I felt no pain.  everyone had a blast and now I have to go downstairs and be with the kids for a while.  Shabbat shalom!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Purim 2015

it is 5:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.   I am alone.  ah the quiet!  I had the two little kids running around for 4 hours and the plumbers banging and drilling for a couple of hours, too.  my head hurts.  this year I am spending Purim with my friends.   the kids are going downtown to the clan for the seudah. 

I invited a few friends to join me for the afternoon Purim meal.  it is customary to get loaded.  I plan to do just that.  I didn't buy any expensive alcohol.  my friends aren't big drinkers.  I decided to go with sangrias.  I decided to go Sephardi cuisine, more or less.  I made Libyan style black eyes peas and chickpeas,  Moroccan style turkey meatballs and lentils and bulgur, Persian style orange marinated salmon fillet and a Moroccan tomato salsa. 

I did research on Purim food and found a source for serving fish, legumes and beans, turkey, and liver, as well as meat.  I made a little bit of everything.  I am planning on making chopped chicken liver later tonight.  I also have chicken wings marinating in a Szechwan sauce.  I made poppy seed hamentashen today.  they are not the best.  I also made some chocolate molds for Purim.  I have masks, hamentashen and fish.  I made 2 chocolate CDs to give away too.  my Purim baskets are very modest.  I have small bottles of wine, tiny cans of spicy tuna, mini bags of candy and small tins of butter cookies.

I am going to a Purim spiel tomorrow night.   the theme is cross dressing.  apparently, the men, will be in drag.  I am dressing up as a man in drag.  I have a glamorous costume wig and dress.  I can hardly close the dress which adds to the idea of a man squeezing into a woman's dress.  I will blacken my face under the nose and chin area to create a 5:00 o'clock shadow.  I did this the other night and freaked out all of the kids.

I have the kids with me tomorrow because the gans are closed.   last year I took the kids with me to the synagogue to hear the megillah and I came late and missed the beginning.  the daughter-in-law was sick and I was on call.  this year I get to be with the grown ups.  no little children running around underfoot, and babies crying.  I get to serve my food on time.  no one will be running around starting any barbecues while the rest of us are eating.  and the best of all, no one will be speaking in Hebrew.

I asked my friend to supply the music.  my son is taking the karaoke machine to the clan.  he makes a great Purim mix.  he like me, loves to party.  the other clan doesn't quite get it.  anyway, I'm pleased with  this arrangement.   I've hosted the clan for the last 3 or 4 years.   it  was time for a change.   my son isn't happy about this and has been giving me grief for days.  you know the old saying that misery loves company.   any how, I'm looking forward to Thursday's meal.  the idea of looking forward to anything is a bit foreign to me.   I'm even going to try to make a non dairy chocolate mousse.

I found a tiny puppy before Shabbat and took it home.  I couldn't let it suffer out in the cold.  everyone loves him except for my two geriatric dogs.  I am hoping to find a good home for him in the immediate future.  anyway, it hasn't really been a hassle dealing with him.  it is nothing compared to a Chihuahua in heat.   you may remember that we were "hosting" one before the holidays.  that turned out to be a real disaster.   I saw an add for the dog and her puppies recently.  they are charging $700 a puppy.  I nearly had a nervous breakdown and ended up without a penny after taking care of the 'bitch' for a few months.

I recently went to see a neurosurgeon in the zefat hospital for a second opinion about my non malignant brain tumor.  I was hoping that he'd say to leave it alone.  not the case.  he didn't understand why I hadn't undergone the surgery already.  I let him know that I was scared to death and he told me to leave it alone for a while .   I have a 4 month reprieve from neuro surgeons now.  let's hope I can hold it together for a little while longer.