Sunday, May 31, 2015

Trans Communication

it is 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just heard from my sister in Zefat that her daughter and family are visiting from India.  actually, I didn't hear it straight from my sister in Zefat.  I heard it directly from my sister in Los Angelos.

I got a 'guess who is in from India? ' email this morning from my Zefat sister.  I haven't seen her since she accompanied me to my last doctor's appointment, which was five months ago.  she  just recently told me that my niece was visiting her sister in Delhi.   I  guess I assumed it was she who came home.  I made that assumption based on the fact that Zefat sister told us all that the kids in Delhi were coming at the end of June.

my Californian sister, who is the voice of reason in my family, was planning on visiting too.  she wanted to coordinate her visit with the delegation from India.  I was so looking forward to her visit.  I was planning on going shopping this week to stock up on fish and chicken.  I started looking up diabetes friendly meals, too.  I was so stoked to see everyone.

L.A. sister found out from our nephew in N.Y. that the Israeli Indian clan had arrived already.  my sister here in Zefat has still not confirmed their arrival.  she is still playing "guess who else is here from India?" games with me.  oh well.  my sister in California was a bit shocked and very disappointed because she asked our Zefat sister to keep her in the loop.  this is so indicative of our family's disconnect and failure to communicate.

I can remember hearing on the phone from my mom in N.Y.C. that my son was crying over at my sister's home in Zefat.  that was over 20 years ago but nothing has changed.  there doesn't seem to be any direct communication.  I don't track my sister's kids on face book.   I don't use face book at all.  if anyone wants to be in touch they know my email or phone number.

my brother, who lives in Philadelphia, recently married off his daughter.  I asked him for pix and he sent me the link right away.  I contacted my L.A. sister to comment on the one and only picture of her.  she was the only sibling who attended the wedding.  she had not received the link from the brother in Phili.  I had to send it to her.  there is definitely something wrong with the way our family communicates.

I don't know when i'll make it over to see my family in zefat.  they all work and I need to be home by 2:00 p.m. to pick up my grandchildren who go to gans in my neighborhood.  right now, with the 4 dogs here, my house smells like a kennel.  I don't see anyone coming over to visit us.  my own little family unit isn't too thrilled to see their Israeli cousins, either.

I just bought a gallon of bleach and am planning on cleaning the house tomorrow.  hopefully the bleach will kill the smell of doggie pee.  I think I will have to bring the puppy over to the pound.  I cannot deal with him at all.  he ate my granddaughter's brand new bikini and 2 pairs of brand new sandals.  he's eaten numerous pairs of the kids underpants and right now he is eating the stuffing out of the couch.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Afternoon

it is nearly 3:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  my floors are clean but smell of doggie pish.  I'm pretty much finished with my cooking.  the kids are just having lunch with me tomorrow.  we are all going to the clan for Shabbat night.  one of the sisters is having a birthday.  I don't know if i'll make it or not.  I'm tired and don't feel like taking a long walk home at night.

we've had a really bad heat wave.  it's been brutal.  I try not to be outside at all until it cools a bit in the late afternoon.  I've been making a kiddie pool for the little ones.  they love pouring water all over their old granny dearest.  I haven't complained about getting wet, either.

I started my morning with pycho drama.  I simply reminded my 28 year old son to wear his helmet when he rides to town on his electric bike.  all hell broke loose.  he threatened to move out and I told him to get the 'blank' out of my house and find someone else to babysit the children.  I know it isn't ideal to share the house but my son doesn't have a choice.  he can't afford to move out and live on his own. 

I'm very conflicted.  on one hand, I know, that if I had a rental I'd be financially secure.  on the under hand, I can't throw my son and his family out.  I tried it a few years ago and it was torture not seeing the grandkids for months.   I cannot deal with my son's mood wings.  I'm sure it is the effects of the Ritalin but what can I do?  I'm simply not ready to roll over and die yet.  I often think that would solve the boy's problems.  I'm sure he will be devastated.  I'm his only blood except for his kids.

I should just learn to bud out of their lives.  I guess I'm too controlling.  if he wants to tempt fate and ride without a helmet it's his decision.  the same applies with the daughter-in-law.  if she wants to continue taking a certain med that she obviously shouldn't be on, it's her problem.  why do I take it upon myself to straighten them out?  it's their lives, right?  when my mom gave over her folk wisdom I accepted it like the Ten Commandments.

I'm not saying that I never gave my mom any grief.  I'm simply saying that I appreciated her common sense and her vast knowledge of medical issues.  I remember her telling me that if you're going to get cancer your best chance of survival is cervical cancer  l thought about that all through my radiation treatments for my cervical cancer.  yes, mom was right.

my son called me a few times from work to apologize.  I wasn't having any part of it.  I wanted to stay mad.  all the while, I kept on cooking.  I burnt the rice and I burnt the wheat.  I nearly burnt the tomato relish.  I baked a pound cake and whipped up my last container of cream.  it was stiff for a second and then separated.  I added some instant vanilla pudding but it didn't really help.  I put it in the fridge and tried not to obsess over it.  I ended up slicing the loaf in half and putting the cream mixture in the middle.

I didn't taste any because I'm back on the 'south beach'.  I just have to lose some of this bulk.  I truly dread seeing the gyn next week.  I guess I dread his seeing me, more.  I wanted to make black eyed peas for myself but I couldn't be bothered.  I ran out on Wednesday to shop for Shabbat.  as far as I knew, I was making all of the meals.  I spent a small fortune on veggies.  I was told yesterday evening that the kids were going to the clan for the night meal.  normally, I would have already cooked most of the food but I hadn't.  I was too hot and tired.

they wouldn't get away with a switcheroo with the Sephardi mom.  I'm too wishy washy for sure.  I spent an hour or more sobbing on the phone with my pal from efrat.  I then got into a politically incorrect argument with a zefat friend over the 'American Crime' t.v. series.  I started getting angry about the government's policy on immigrants.  I then thought who cares? I live in Israel.

I made a small pot of turkey meatballs and cooked up a few pieces of chicken.  I made a small egg salad, a raw beet and carrot slaw, a bulgur salad,  a tomato salsa, an eggplant salad and a cabbage slaw with mayo.  I still have an eggplant to fry up.  I'm tired and would love to take a nap except that the grandson is here while his mom and sister nap.  oh well.......

afterthought:  last week as I fell asleep, my grandson played with my deodorant spray.  I woke up from the noise.  I yelled at him and retrieved the spray.  I fell asleep sometime afterwards and was awakened by the sound and the smell of my deodorant spray.  once again, he had taken the spray.  this time he used up almost the entire can.  I could hardly breathe.  as there wasn't even a slight breeze or flow of air, I sat outside for hours until my lungs stopped burning. 

he was by now, downstairs, playing alone in the backyard.  his parents and sister were all sound asleep.   I let him know once again, how dangerous playing with spray perfume and deodorants are.  his father took him inside. I told them later what he had done.  I also told them that he is always playing with their perfumes.  well, just awhile ago, he broke the daughter-in-law's expensive bottle of perfume.  she was fit to be tied.  oh well...........

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The End Of A CHag Shavuot 2015

it is 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the holiday of Shavuot just ended in the holy land.  in the states people are coping with yet, an additional day.  that's another two meals.  I'm so glad that I live here.  I was very uncertain about my holiday menu this year.  I didn't have to prepare Shabbat meals too but I, nevertheless, felt extremely pressured.  I couldn't, for the life of me, concentrate.  I ended up cancelling my oncologist appointment.

I was not faring well all week in the wake of a another desert heat wave.  I didn't do my grocery shopping until Thursday.  that's a first for me.  usually, I've already cooked and frozen all sorts of meat dishes.  no one wanted to eat meat.  everyone wanted dairy meals.  according to tradition, one eats a meat meal by night and a light dairy meal by day.  some sticklers eat a mat meal in the afternoon too.

coming off of a Shabbat afternoon meal which is most often chicken or meat, the thought of eating more meat at 10:00 p.m. was too horrifying.  I wanted to be sophisticated and have a cheese and fruit platter.  I wanted to prepare mushroom and cheese blintzes.  everyone here just loves mushrooms.  I knew I had to come up with a cheesecake or two but I was bored with the old standard vanilla pudding one.  And I most definitely didn't want to make a lasagna.

I bought some Italian lady fingers in the local supermarket and knew I had to go with tiramisu.  I hadn't seen lady fingers in years.  I went on line for days coming up with the ideal recipe.  I also opted for a non bake cheesecake this year.  graham cracker crusts were on sale at the large supermarket.  I spent a lot of time online and I also spent a lot of money at the supermarket.  whipping cream and cooking cream and sour cream and cream cheeses were all on sale.  there wasn't much of a variety of fruit, though. I only bought grapes and watermelon which were both very expensive.

I ended up buying packaged mushroom and cheese tortellini and made my own mushroom sauce.  I didn't use the cooking cream because the daughter-in-law prefers a tomato sauce.  the little kids don't like tomato sauce so I made a mushroom sauce that resembles the packets with fake chicken soup mix.  there wasn't any frozen blintzes at the supermarket and there wasn't anyway I was going to make them from scratch.  I think that I actually made blueberry cheese blintzes for my parents about 12 years ago.  that was probably the last time I made blintzes.  I made a small amount of baked wild salmon and a small piece of spicy Moroccan style Niles perch.  I made a beef bourgeon 'inspired' dish but since I didn't have any red wine I used fig liquor.  I threw in all sorts of things to make it tasty and a can of mushrooms.  we never touched it.  I froze it for next week's Shabbat.

 I also made a salt and black pepper noodle kugel in a round dish.   I don't make the standard dairy sweet noodle kugel with sour cream because the daughter-in-law doesn't like it.  I bought a package of lox and a creamy goat cheese spread.  this is always a big hit with my guests. the daughter-in-law can't stand goat cheese.  the selection of cheeses was a bit limited at the big supermarket.  I found a goat camembert which was lovely with the grapes.  the daughter-in-law actually ate that one.  I made a salad of roasted beets and walnuts on a bed of greens.  only problem is that I dotted it with the creamy goat cheese.  I had to make a separate salad sans goat cheese for the daughter-in-law.

I made an Israeli salad and used Greek yogurt instead of mayo.  can you guess who didn't touch it?  I bought a lovely dark pumpernickel bread and froze it before Shabbat.  I waited until 8:20 p.m. when Shabbat ended to heat up the food.  the bread was still frozen.  I thought that I had a lot of time before my son came home from synagogue.  I expected to eat at around 10:00 p.m.  you really can't start preparing food for a holiday on Shabbat.  I did as much of the prep work as I could on Friday.  I washed and shredded the lettuce and I baked the beets and peeled and sliced hem.  I cooked the tortellini and made a mushroom sauce.  I put it all in a casserole dish to be reheated on Saturday night and I hoped for the best.  the recipes always say to serve immediately.

I made the infamous tiramisu and the no bake cheesecake.  I chose not to temper the egg yokes with the sugar as one of the tiramisu videos showed and I only used 4 yokes instead of the prescribed 6.  I didn't have any espresso and neither did the large supermarket.  I used powdered instant coffee.  I didn't have any rum or coffee liquor or masala so I used a bit of cherry liquor.  it was that or the fig stuff and I ended up using it all in the meat dish.  the tiramisu looked simply wonderful.  so did the no bake cheesecake.  I ended up not using the spring form pan as recommended and I didn't have any pie filling to cover the cake.  the Israeli kids don't like that stuff anyway.

 I used the prepared graham cracker crusts that I bought on sale.  the first one crumbled to pieces as I opened it.  I got inspired and used the crumbs of the broken crust to cover the cake.  it looked just like a store bought cake.  it tasted a bit salty to me.  I used 30% cream cheese.  I usually use 5% and add vanilla pudding and a lot of eggs.  I put both desserts in the fridge to firm up.  after many hours I checked on them and they looked okay.  I tried to cut them up to give the daughter-in-law a taste when she came home from work.   the cheese cake was not firm at all and couldn't be sliced.  the tiramisu was runny and looked like cheese soup.  the daughter-in-law was not impressed.  she was not happy to hear that I didn't make the standard cheesecake that I always bake for every birthday. she was very disappointed in me.

I thought about scrambling for ingredients to make yet another cake but I just couldn't do it.  I ran to the computer and went online to see how to fix a runny tiramisu.  from the number of posts I saw, I get that it is a very common problem.  one should never experiment with new recipes before a holiday.  we froze both cakes for a couple of hours and voila! they were both spot on and spectacular in the end.  zelda reigns!  my son came back from services at around 9:00 p.m.  I panicked.  I was still heating up the bread and tortellini on the electric platter and plating the salads.  my grandson was gauging my antique wooden table with his spoon and I lost it and hit him on his hands a few times.  I never hit him in front of his mother.  she ran downstairs to tell my son what I had done.  I felt awful.

as usual, after all the expense and time and effort I put into these holiday meals, it is utter chaos at the table.  the bread was served still frozen in the middle and I was horrified.  I try to hide the fact that I freeze bread.  the kids like fresh bread.  my son asked if I made lasagna and then I felt like a complete failure once again.  why didn't I just make a damn lasagna.  that's what they wanted.  the cheesecake with the vanilla pudding and a lasagna.  that's what I make every Shavuot.  why was I trying to be sophisticated with these kids?  he ended up being pacified by the lox and goat cheese spread.  they both enjoyed the salads and especially loved the desserts.  there is only one slice left of each I'm happy to report.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Here We Go Again Spring 2015

it is 11:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.   I got up at 7:00a.m. and discovered dog feces and pish all over the house.   the guest dog must have had a midnight snack and relieved herself all over the kitchen, t.v. room and hallway.  I went onto 'sponger' mode and washed the house for the umpteenth time this week.  the puppy pees everywhere but it's a small amount to clean.  the guest dog, although small in stature, defecates like a pony.  I had my work cut out for me.

I started to cook for Shabbat.  I made a chicken stir fry and then got on the phone with a gal pal in Jerusalem for about an hour.  I still have the chicken meatballs to cook up and I might make some fried chicken fingers, too.  I was planning on making a potato kugel but I might just opt out for a potato mash and couscous.  I am not feeling very creative.  I am tired from having the kids all week long.  I have to pick up my grandson which means I have to get dressed and schlepp all the way down to his gan and back later today.

I have been wanting to go up to the third floor apartment to check out the porch area.  I wanted to water the plants upstairs, too.  I saw some pigeon poo a couple of weeks ago.  I wasn't prepared for what I found.  the puppy and the pincher were already upstairs.  I saw poop all over the  wooden floor.  I assumed it was the work of the puppy.  I then saw a large pigeon flapping its wings and before I could blink, the pincher had it caught in its mouth.  I tried to grab it out of the dog's mouth but I ended up yanking off a wing.

I got the rest of the bird out of the dog's mouth without getting bitten.  I carried its bleeding carcass down the stairs and out of the house.  I threw it over the gate aiming for the garden and miraculously, it flew away.  zelda to the rescue!  I went back upstairs to check out the mess and discovered that the bird had nested on top of the kitchen shelf onto my two burner stove.  I found all the twigs and 2 warm pigeon eggs.  I disposed of the eggs but didn't have the energy to tackle the clean up.  the mini fridge is covered in pigeon poo.  i'll try to ago upstairs on Sunday.  just when you think it's pigeon free, you get another round of pests.  I did find an open window so hopefully, this will be the end of this story.

I cancelled my gyn/oncologist appointment for Tuesday.  I was pressured to get the paper work done and it was raining hard on Wednesday so I didn't go out.  I went to the doctor on Monday and got the referral.  the office was closed so I couldn't send it out for a voucher.  I didn't want to schlepp to town.  it was hot.  what is the purpose of having a clinic up here in the neighborhood if the office isn't open in the morning? 

I did not want to return to the clinic that evening.  I had to deal with the kids and I was pretty disgusted with my health carrier.  so now I have a few weeks to get my diet and my paperwork in order.  good luck with the holiday of Shavuot coming up.  I mean give me a break! it's like a mitzvah to eat cheesecake.  I still don't know what the kids are planning to do for Shavuot.  I don't dare plan ahead because the kids are always telling me something contrary at the last minute.  I would love to get out of making Shabbat meals next week.  I don't mind being alone for Shavuot, either.

last year I slept out and spent Shavuot with the clan.  the two dogs survived rather nicely.  this year I have 4 dogs here and couldn't think of leaving them all alone over night.  I already bought lady fingers to make a 'tiramisu.'  if the kids decide to go to the clan for Shavuot I can always serve it on Shabbat.  we'll just have to wait it out.  I do want to shop on Sunday for cheeses, downtown.  maybe i'll be alone and treat myself to a cheese and fruit platter.  the kids are expecting lasagna.  I'd rather not bother making one this year.  I was thinking of buying a package of ravioli.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Getting It Together

it is 7:30 a.m. and I'm getting ready to start my day.  I feel a bit rested today.  I was really out of it yesterday.  I had a bad dizzy attack in the afternoon.  I've been drinking a lot of lemon water lately and I thought I was keeping myself well hydrated.  I don't know what happened but I'm feeling stronger today.

I was able to get a doctor's appointment for 9:00 a.m. so I will try to walk over to the office.  I need the exercise.  I watched the kids yesterday and put them to sleep while the older kids went to a shoe sale.  the three year old pulled off my head covering and I was totally humiliated.  my hair is always covered and no one has seen my head in 30 years.  I keep my hair cropped very short and no longer dye it.  I don't wear my wig much, either.

the kids laughed at their accomplishment.  I was fit to be tied.  I gave the granddaughter a potch on her hand.  I really wanted to beat her.  I felt so violated by them.  the big kids got back at 8:30 p.m. and I retreated upstairs to my t.v. corner.  I am addicted to reality t.v.  I have 'lifetime' and i'll watch anything from girl midgets to serial killers.  I truly love 'dance moms' and 'storage wars'.  I have watched a couple of drug and alcohol interventions and a few episodes of 'hoarders' but they were too hard to take.

I really don't do much lately.  I finally tracked down the number for a washing machine repair service.  it was a long hard trail, too.  hopefully, i'll get a 'whirlpool' technician to come to the house.  I've used the local yokels but they can't really fix the problem.  I'm learning to use only professionals. I have a huge load of towels waiting to be laundered.  I'm so much calmer today.  I feel like I've been sedated.  I'm thinking about keeping the doctor's appointment next week.  I might try to reach the secretary later and see if I can reschedule if I have the resolve.  something tells me to just forget about it, though.

I still feel a bit pressured to buy some produce for Shabbat but maybe i'll get lucky and the kids will go out this week.  one can only hope.  I got a letter from the vet to bring in the puppy for his second rounds of shots.  I need to buy him a collar first.  he is a lot to handle now.  I really am thinking about leaving him at the outdoor animal shelter.  he is used to sleeping with me in a bed but he is still a young thing and I can't keep up with him.  I saved his life.  that should matter for something, right?

I am still stressing over the arrival of the friend's dog.  I am dreading it, actually.  she took care of my dogs when I went off to radiation for 2 months.   I do wish that she found someone else to care for this pet.  and I wish I was getting paid for the gig.  I certainly could use the money.  anyway, it's a new day and I'm already feeling a bit tired.  perhaps it's time to see the homeopath again.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Can't Sleep

it is 6:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.   I have been tossing and turning for hours now.   I can't sleep.  I am worrying about finances as usual.   I am wondering how I will provide meals for another two shabbats plus Shavuot holiday meals.  I am wondering how I will deal with four dogs in the house for an entire month.  a friend is dropping off her dog this week while she travels to the U.S.A.   how will I cope with this awful old dog who scratches and rips out her hair all day long?   how will I find a good home for the puppy I found who is growing larger by the minute and destroying everything in his way?

how do I go to Tel Aviv next week for my gyn oncologist appointment just a few days before Shavuot?   how can I face the doctor being so overweight?  how do I travel home with such limited resources?   what if he feels another tumor?  what do I prepare for Shavuot meals?  I have been downloading all sorts of recipes for blintzes, quiches and cheesecakes for weeks.  when should I buy the dairy products, this week or next week?  should I even bother making Shavuot for the kids or should we opt for going to the clan this year?

I have been struggling with all these issues all night long.  we've had a heat wave and now it is cold again.  I didn't clean up after Shabbat.   I have dishes in both sinks and the floors are full of dog pee.   I have to get to the clinic to get my paperwork done before next week's hospital visit.  I haven't made an appointment yet.  the washing machine is on the fritz again and I can't find the number for a whirlpool repairman.   I can't really write anymore checks out this month.  I am finding it too hard to take care of the kids every day.

I am too tired to start the day now.   I am so worried about money.  I borrowed money from a friend and am worried about how I will pay her back.  I am stressed out to the max.  I need to sleep.   I need to pick up my grandson from his gan later today.  I dread being alone with the kids.  they don't listen to me anymore and  they are very wild.  on friday they played with the hose and took a mud bath.  I went ballistic.  they ran away and hid from me in the garden.  I nearly stroked out worrying about them entering the house before I could wash them off.

I am thinking about postponing my doctor's appointment.   why should I care about his seeing me so  overweight?  why should I worry so much about Shavuot meals?  why should I stress myself out about making Shabbat meals?  why shouldn't the kids deal with the washing machine repairs?  why do I need to deal with everything?