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.