Saturday, December 31, 2016


it is 8:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  tonight is the last night of Chanukah.  I have been pretty busy this week.  I managed to do the blood tests, EKG, and lung x-ray for my pre surgery visit.  after giving up sugar and simple carbs for about two months; there was not any change in my sugar, cholesterol or creatinine.  they are all pretty high and they found borderline ST changes in my EKG.

I feel like I gained a bit of weight, too.  I didn't say no to the latkes this week but I didn't have one fried donut.  I stayed away from the chocolate coins, also.  I just had a piece of a dietetic chocolate wafer, that I bought by accident.  it wasn't so bad.  the kids had a sleepover on Wednesday night.  I took them to a kids' party at the chabad synagogue and then we went to visit my sister, who lives right there.

she hadn't seen the kids in a long while.  I got to see my nieces.  I hadn't seen them both in over a year.  we got home around 9:30 p.m. and got into jammies.  I laid out two mattresses on the floor of the t.v. room and we all snuggled together and watched the movie 'barnyard 2'.  the kids' bodies kept me warm.  we all woke up at around 7:00 a.m. and had breakfast and hot showers.  it was a pleasant sunny day.  we have been having tons of rain and stormy days.

we went to a local community center which had activities for kids.  it took a while for the kids to get into the swing of things but fortunately there was plenty of room to run around outside in the sun.  we walked back to town and I bought the kids ice cream cones.  I redeemed the coupons they won for shekels and we went to their favorite dollar store and I spent about $5.  we walked through town to get a bite to eat.  the local 5 shekel coffee shop was packed so we pushed on.  my grandson wanted pizza bit I was tired and my granddaughter was about to fall asleep.

she did pass out on the bus ride home and he was miserable the entire trip home.  the day before, we had run down to the supermarket to get frozen ravioli and mini pizzas and chocolate puddings.  on the way back he noticed a new hamburger stand.  they were only 10 shekels so I told him to order one.  my granddaughter didn't want one.  he also ordered an order of fries and onion rings.  the kid is a bon v von.  what can I say.  I was a bit ticked off when I had to shell out 30 shekels.  he finished most of the food and we all got to sample the fries and onion rings.

I was going to make latkes for my friend and myself but I decided not to bother.  I threw all of the grated potato mixture into a pan and made a kugel, instead.  I did fry up a package of chicken cutlets.  I had made a latke night on Monday. it was the 8th anniversary of my mother's passing.  I made cottage cheese latkes as well as potato ones.  I left them in the oven too long and they were a bit hard.  the kids were excited about making a Chanukah party with their parents.  my grandson made Chanukah crowns for everyone.  he used the stickers that I had bought for them. I made a large Greek salad and some fried dough Italian cookies with honey syrup. 

I got to go to Meron on Tuesday morning to the kever of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. I bought lots of cookies and assorted nuts to put out in my mother's memory.  I was able to light a memorial candle there.  some people have the custom not to visit a cemetery during Chanukah.  I will go to her grave next week.  I went to my son's for Shabbat dinner last night.  it wasn't very cold and I had spent the day cleaning the house.  the floors were muddy, pishied and filthy.  I bleached them for hours.

my grandson decided to have a sleepover last night. he asked his parents if he could come back to my place, assuming that they would refuse.  he was delighted that they said yes.  he did sleep with me for the past 4 years on Friday nights before we had the big blow out last summer.  my house was kind of cold as I had only left on one heater in the kitchen.  I was going to put the mattresses in the kitchen but it wasn't so bad in the t.v room.  we chatted for a while and he passed out. I got a neuroglia attack.

it might have been a reaction to a spice that was in the food.  my daughter-in-law made the most delicious meatballs but there might have been some MSG in the food.  I hadn't been bothered for a long time with that.  it felt like a migraine but it did settle down an hour later.  I didn't have anything to take for it and just applied pressure on my forehead.  it may be a precursor of what I'll be in for after the brain surgery. 

we both woke up at 6:30 a.m.  the dog had peed on my mattress.  the heater hadn't turned on yet.  I keep it on a timer. we had hot drinks and my grandson had his chocolate surprise egg.  I gave in and started buying these things for the holiday.  we bribed my granddaughter with three of these miserable things if she let her brother sleep at my house without her.  I had a couple of my home made blueberry oatmeal muffins for breakfast.  we got dressed and went to the local synagogue.  I hadn't made it out for the past two Shabbats.

my grandson found some boys to hang with and we met up at the Kiddush.  I had put a pot of bean soup on the electric platter with a few chicken cutlets for lunch.  my grandson had the cutlets and I had the soup.  it was really delicious.  I think I still have some frozen for when I come home from the hospital.  my grandson was pretty well behaved.  he didn't take a nap after lunch but I passed out.  he managed to wake me up from a very deep sleep.  apparently, the other dog had peed on my mattress and on my snood.  you have to be an animal lover, I guess.

we had tuna sandwiches on mini spelt pita bread at around 4:00 p.m.  when Shabbat ended, I made havdallah and got the chanukiahs ready to be lit.  just then my son came in with my granddaughter. she was here to claim her last chocolate egg.  they all lit the chanukiahs and I made a quick meal for us all.  I had bought mini cheese raviolis.  I threw in a package of mushroom and cheese and another package of spinach and cheese.  the kids like it plain without sauce.  I usually make it with a cream sauce for my son and a tomato sauce for the daughter-in-law.  my son asked where the sauce was.  I handed him a bottle of olive oil and a package of grated parmesan cheese.  it worked out great.  I also made a huge tossed green salad.

we all ate ravioli and the kids put on a child's music party tape and danced together to the Macarena.  my son went into the computer room to unwind and the kids watched 'the Karate kid' movie.  it was a nice visit and a nice end to Chanukah.  I have a lot of washing up to do tomorrow.  I also have an appointment with the doctor to review my blood tests.   I have managed to have my mezuzahs checked and just have one more to go.  I am calm.  I spoke with my homeopath.  she will help if I have side effects.  I am able to make jokes with my son.  he wants to help out.

another zefat personality died today.  I couldn't bring myself to go to the funeral tonight.  I don't know if i'll make it to the shiva visit.  I have to go to the hospital in tel aviv on Tuesday to see the anesthesiologist.  they are predicting a snow storm.  here we go again.....

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Getting Ready

it is 8:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I've been cooking and baking all day.  I am freezing meals for my return home from the brain surgery.  I went to the supermarket this morning to buy cleaning supplies, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, tissues, toilet paper, laundry detergent and softener, soap gel and plastic containers.  I even bought a set of 84 disposable plates, cutlery and cups for Pesach.  I guess I'm looking forward to the future.  it was also half price.  if I don't make it home the kids will have lots of food while they greave me. 

I read that one gains a bunch of weight on the steroids after the surgery.  I hope by having lots of healthy snacks and food I won't get too fat.  I made a batch of non gluten corn bread muffins.  I only got 8 out of the batch.  I had one this evening. it wasn't bad.  I didn't add any sweetener. I did swirl a bit of honey on the tops.  I also made 9 apple carrot muffins.  I don't know why I didn't get an even dozen.  I made another batch of oatmeal bars.  they also have no added sweetener and only a half cup of died cranberries.  they are quite filling.  I bought some kind of frozen blue berries in the supermarket.  I will make muffins tomorrow.  I think I have a bit of whole wheat flour left.

I made saucy tuna steaks and string beans, vegetable soup with green lentils and chick peas, grilled chicken legs with pomegranate and prune sauce, saucy potted chicken, beef and vegetable black bean soup, barbecue grilled chicken, and turkey meatball veggie soup.  I want to make some chopped chicken liver and mango and curry grilled chicken wings. I brought in my mezuzahs from this floor to be checked.  I still have another ten to bring in.  I would like to invite the kids for a Shabbat meal but I'm afraid of the rejection.  I think it's best to wait for them to ask me.

Saturday night is the first night of Chanukah.  I made plans to ago over to my friends on the next block.  we'll have latkes, and fried donuts.  I bought ingredients to make a cheesecake.  perhaps i'll make a greek salad to bring along.  my mother's yirtseit is on Monday night.  she died 8 years ago on the third day of Chanukah.  I would like to make a small party here but I'm sure the kids are busy or working.  it never seems to work out.  I bought tons of Chanukah stuff for the grandkids.  I have Chanukah chocolate coins, sticker books, coloring books, two kinds of musical dreidels, new slippers, and a new game.

while I was on the phone I left a very strong heater on in the kitchen.  somehow, it got turned around and was leaning against my very beautiful mahogany cupboards.  they got burnt and luckily I came into the kitchen before they actually started a fire. I don't think that this is the time to see about them being  restained and varnished. I will simply, hang a kid's picture on them to make it look homey.  I feel so stupid and careless.   this is the sort of thing that gets one committed to the old age home.

the dogs are scratching again and I am picking off ticks. I can't believe those buggers live in this freezing weather.  I better buy new flea collars tomorrow.  just one more thing to do while I'm in  town.  next week I have to do blood tests, an EKG, and a chest x-ray.  I wanted to see a lawyer to get my name put onto the deed.  I also want to prepare a living will. I made an appt. to see a social worker.  perhaps that can be done at the hospital.  it's all so dreadful to think about.  I'd rather cook and bake food than decide if I want to remain on a feeding tube in the eventuality of being incapacitated.  are we having good cheer yet?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

You Live You Live You Die You Die

it is 11:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  it is absolutely freezing in Israel.  I was in Tel Aviv yesterday and it was hailing.  it definitely feels like snow.  I just got back form my son's house.  my 5 year old granddaughter had a birthday party.  I got picked up at 5:30 p.m. and was ready to leave by 6:00 p.m.  I do not like kids' birthday parties.  never have.  I can't stand the noise, the mess, the balloons, the sugar overkill and once again, the noise.  it was cute to see my very fashionably dressed granddaughter posing for pix with her best buddies girls' posse.

my grandson couldn't stand his sister having the spotlight.  even though he had a favorite friend with him he couldn't calm down.  his cousins weren't much better.  I watched the two year old stuff fistfuls of gooey candies into her mouth for hours.  at one point she was choking a bit and ready to purge. as I have previously stated, I don't like kids' parties or kids at parties, either.  I hate kids bursting balloons.  I hate kids going to parties on a school night.  I hate kids staying up late after they are sugared up.

my son came home from work and split immediately.  he was hungry and needed some alone space.  he doesn't like kids' parties either.  actually, he doesn't really like kids.  I felt a bit trapped.  why did he get a pass to leave and I was forced to stay?  I had the kids with me on Tuesday night.  that was my granddaughter's actual birthday.  I made a party for the three of us.  I didn't have any cake but I had fried donuts.  I bought some grape juice for us to make a l'chaim.  I played a birthday CD and I put out jello with sparklers in them.  we raised the birthday girl on a chair.  my grandson, the animal, did the heavy lifting.  I gave each kid 5 shekels and an extra one to the birthday girl.  each kid wanted to put a shekel coin into the charity box.  my granddaughter wore an old crown and cape from Purims  gone by.  I taped a paper 5 to the crown and voila! she was the birthday queen.  she wore that crown and cape until she went to sleep.

we danced a bit and sang.  we lit the entire package of sparklers.  I gave her a gift of the Masha and bear dolls from the Russian cartoon show.  while the kids played with the dolls I made birthday silver dollar pancakes for our birthday supper.  I also gave them birthday drinks, birthday chocolate milk and birthday gift bags with Chanukah chocolate coins. before we started the birthday party they had a birthday bubble bath.  she probably liked the official birthday party this evening that her mommy threw for her, much more.  tomorrow, is the kindergarten birthday party.  I hate these the most. the grandmas have to get up and dance and answer questions in Hebrew. oh give me a break!

 luckily, I had eaten some cottage cheese and tuna salad before tonight's party.  I thought there would be pizza but I wouldn't have eaten any.  I am still on my diet.  I actually had a few slices of a white potato this week.  maybe i'll start making baked potatoes again.  after all, there is some potassium in potatoes.  I've been staying away from grains.  I can't remember why. I've pretty much platoed after a month and didn't really lose much weight.

I think I should start cooking up food and freezing it in packets so that i'll have food to eat when I return from the surgery.  that's if I am lucky enough to return to my house.  I wish I had the energy to do so.  I also want to get this house in shape before I go off to the surgery. that's also a feat to accomplish in the cold.  I have tons of muddied sheets and towels to wash.  the dogs trash the house when it's rainy outside.

I went to a neurosurgeon in safed today.  he's pretty much a dinosaur in his field.  I thought I would 'pick' his brain about the surgery.  he wasn't having any of it.  he was quite dry.  the bottom line is that if I don't do the surgery I could have side effects, major complications and die.  on the flip side, if I do the surgery, I could have side effects, major complications and die.  it's my choice.  thanks for nothing!  he did admit that the majority of these surgeries are successful.  my oncologist in Tel Aviv says the same about the staff there.

I asked the neurosurgeon if it was dangerous for me to have dogs in the house.  with a straight face he asked "dangerous for who? the dogs or you?" he then countered with dogs have less germs than people.  how I wish my daughter-in-law was there to hear that!  my sister was present but I don't think she caught that.  I also got the doctor to show me exactly where this tumor is.  and guess what? it's actually on the upper right hand side of my head and not on the back of my head, as I had misunderstood for the past four years. I think that I just might be able to change my own bandages.  we will just have to wait and see.

the majorly good thing to come out of this challenging situation is that once and for all I get it.   I am not in control of this situation.  I have no control over this tumor just as I had no control over my cancer.  I therefore, give it up to a higher power.  I am through with shaking.  I am through with crying. I am through with being afraid. I am through with falling apart.  I can only pray and ask others to pray for me.  so if you can take a moment to pray for the complete recovery of zelda bat tcherna, I would very much appreciate it..

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Day Of Reckoning

it is 10:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I am just getting started for the night.  I have a date for my brain surgery.  it has been changed four times.  the secretary willy nilly, chose a date for me. I was not consulted.  I freaked out.  it was not historically, a lucky day for the Jews. it was on a fast day, to boot.  we changed it to the following Monday and I started telling people.  I then received a phone message that it had been postponed to a Thursday.  the new manager wanted it that way.  here, I thought I had a chance of recovering enough to get home before Shabbat.  I freaked out once again and started ranting on the secretary about being alone on shabbat and not having kosher Shabbat food.

she threatened to cancel the date.  I could no longer reach her at the usual phone number. the message machine went on automatically and it wouldn't record outside messages.  I was given another number which got me no where.  I finally faxed the witch and was told that the date was in tact.  my sister offered to come up on Thursday for the surgery and stay in the hospital on Shabbat.  I started to think that I might be too out of it to even know that she was there.  now the surgery has been moved up a day and it will now be on Wednesday.  my sister works on Wednesday.  I will probably be in intensive care on Thursday and possibly on Shabbat.  I probably won't be eating and I don't know about drinking. I have now read up on craniotomy.  I am scared and shaking. I am inconsolable.  I am hopeless.  I am a coward.  I am okay during the day.  I run around every day getting the necessary medical papers for me and my friend who has cancer.

when I come home after dark, I become fearful.  I start ranting.  I haven't ranted since I started going to CoDa meetings. I started binge eating instead.  I have now successfully stopped binge eating.  I fit into a skirt that I couldn't close last month.  I have now returned to raging and ranting once, again.  I haven't had any carbs or sugar in about a month.  I have been eating tons of salads and protein.  I am afraid that my kidney function might be a bit compromised from all the protein. I have to do blood tests and an EKG and a chest ex ray pretty soon.  I am afraid that they might discover that I am diabetic, or suffering from heart and kidney failure.  I am afraid that my cancer might be coming back.  I am afraid that my lungs may be polluted.

I almost want there to be another medical issue that will cancel out the surgery. I was so very fit and healthy when I went away to do the cancer treatment.  I was in very good shape.  I go to see my gyn/oncologist on Wednesday.  I am afraid that I might start ranting on him about this surgery. he is a saintly man but he is not versed in neurosurgery.  I am afraid of going to the hospital on Wednesday. I remember lying down and sobbing uncontrollably while I was being examined by the radiologist and a nurse.  that was about four years ago.  I had just been told that I was in remission and a moment later I was told that they had discovered a brain tumor in the pet scan.  I have been troubled by this news ever since.  I am so far, asymptomatic.  I have been monitored for the past four years.  I have been 'scared straigh't of late, into doing the surgery.

when I told the doctor that I had agreed to do the surgery, I never meant now. when I said after Chanukah, I didn't mean the next day.  I was thinking about a few months after Chanukah but not now. after reading up on the procedure and all of the horrific side effects that could happen for which the surgery was meant to prevent, I am in a sheer panic.  it is so very cold here and I start to shake.  during the day it's warmer and I have been trying to do a bit of walking.  I want to cancel the surgery. I choose quality of life over longevity.  I am only 65.  I don't want to reach 80 being an invalid.

I have been reading all kinds of stories online about brain surgery survivors and their current trials.  I am supposed to be a woman of faith.  I was so strong during the cancer. why has this benign growth taken over my spirit and belief system. I have been a recovered drug addict for over 30 years and now I am going to be loaded up on all kinds of opiates, and pills.  I don't even take headache tablets.  this is going to be very interesting.  I made an appointment for a local brain surgeon.  I have a long list of questions. I want him to point to the exact place on my head where they will drill, saw, wire up, and open to expose my brain.  I want answers.  why didn't I ever ask the surgeon fromTel Aviv, to explain this 'procedure' to me before this.  I did have 4 years.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Cold Winter's Night

it is 8:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  winter is officially here.  we are having torrential rains.  as you may know; we have been the recent victims of a country wide arson attack. 700,000 individuals were relocated.  many people lost their homes.  the hospitals were filled with smoke inhalation patients.  we were very lucky here in safed.  they predict a record amount of rain water in the next few days.

this evening we had a gathering to commemorate the 30th day of the passing of our dear friend.  it was truly hard to get out.  I thought about not going but I remembered her visiting me during the second Lebanon war.  if she could drive up here while ketushas were falling, I could certainly, get a bit wet.  I took a taxi to town but I was already wet before I entered the cab.  I couldn't find one umbrella in the house.  I must have trashed them before pesach.

I got off in town and stood under a bus shelter for about 15 minutes until it died down a bit.  I was quite wet but I was warm.  in fact, it was overheated at the chabad house.  I wore my very new turtle necked shawl that the kids bought me on their trip to Prague.  I found a knitted hat that the daughter-in-law had left behind, and it totally matched and I looked tres chic. I was wearing my every day denim skirt but it was camouflaged by the gorgeous knitted shawl.

I waited for the bus in town for a long while but it didn't rain.  it was quite cold but I was warm.  I stopped off to feed my friends' cat and came home.  it didn't pour, luckily, until I got home.  I helped myself to several bowls of warm chicken and lentil soup.  I had put up a pot before I left.  the  dogs got some too.  the kids invited me to come up there for dinner tomorrow night.  if the storm continues, I will have to decline. 

I have two books to read so if I am stuck home on Shabbat I will be entertained.  the house is quite cold.  I do put on an electric heater here and there to stay warm.  I spend a lot of time under my comforter with the dogs.  they don't like this weather much, either.  I went through 5 seasons of 'Veep' so there isn't much to see now.  I can start the 'game of thrones' but I don't think i'll have the staying power.  I got used to half an hour shows.  I love 'Divorce'.

I have been watching lots of documentaries on Leonard Cohen.  I have also been catching up on the trashy news about Kanye West.  I have been a die hard reality fan for years.  I find it very soothing to fall asleep to the noise.  the house is trashed by my dog, tiny's, muddy paw prints.  I might try to give the floors a mopping tomorrow.  if it's going to pour throughout Shabbat I won't.  I haven't had to pick up the kids in a couple of days.  it's too hard and costly to schlepp out in this weather.

I went downstairs today to close the windows. I had water leaking into my master bedroom.  the downstairs is much warmer than my floor.  most of it is built underground.  my blog/costume bedroom is absolutely freezing.  it is all outside walls.  I keep on a small blow heater while I blog.  I noticed the other day that; during a recent wind storm; a bedroom shutter had blown off.   I also found that my large plastic picnic table had blown into the garden and broken a leg.  bummer!

it had stood under a wooden shelter for 17 years.  it never had as much as a scratch.  go know.  the winds have been quite menacing for days.  it might even snow.  it went from a very dry, warm and sunny fall to a very wet and very cold winter in just a day or two.  who knows what will be.  they had predicted a dry winter but since all of the arson lately. the country has collectively, been praying for rain.

I have been sticking to a diet lately of mostly veggies, protein and salad.  I haven't been eating gluten, and have only eaten a bit of bread on Shabbat.  I had a craving for oranges yesterday and indulged my craving.  otherwise, I haven't had any fruit.  I have eaten green lentils on Shabbat but have stayed away from potatoes and rice.  I have been buying a really thick lentil soup in town every day. I have also tried to stick to smaller portions and fill up on greens.  I hope I will lose a bit of weight before my next gyn/oncology appointment in two weeks.

I have scheduled my brain surgery for the 16th of January.  I am pretty scared.  I received the paperwork in the mail and went into a sheer panic attack.  I am not sure if I am doing the right thing or not.  I may have jumped the proverbial gun.  only time will tell.  please pray for me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wednesday In Safed

it is 5:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just got home a little while ago.  I had some errands to do in town and got a late start.  I was thinking about blowing it off but I skipped my shower and hit the road.  it is quite cold right now and there isn't any hot water, anyway.  we need to heat the water now.  I paid my city tax and water bill.  I thought that I had dealt with all of this before the holidays, but apparently, I did not.

I went to the post office yesterday to pick up a registered letter.  it was a warning from the water company to pay my bill.  I had paid the bill in early October and there isn't any normal reason for them to have sent me the letter now.  I had to take a bus to get to the post office and it really ticked me off.  I get nervous every time I go to pick up registered mail.  I always imagine the worst scenario.

I went to my friend's medical clinic to give them a copy of his CT's results.  I didn't know if they had received it from the safed hospital.  I try to not leave anything to chance.  anyway, what's one more set of papers to file?  I also took the liberty of making an appointment with his oncologist so when they return from their trip to the states, they won't lose any more time.  sometimes, you just got to be proactive.

my friend used to send over food every week when I returned from my radiation treatments for two months.  they have also hosted me for Shabbat and holiday meals for years.  they are my extended family.  my friend's husband is like a surrogate grandfather to my kids.  they adore him.  he spoils them with candy and rides them around in his golf cart.  he also chauffer's me back and forth from their home and the supermarket all the time.  I would do anything for them.

I finished my stint at the yeshiva.  my hands are trashed and my fingers are calloused, infected and cut.  it is hard to bend my middle finger and pointer.  they are swollen.  I spoke with the regular cook and she admitted that it is definitely more work now.  I put in a total of 30 hours in those five days and felt a bit defeated.  when there were less students, I could do both meals in under 4 hours.  let's face it, peeling 5 pounds of potatoes is not easy.  washing out pots and pans three or four times a day is also not a picnic.  when I was the original cook at this yeshiva I did not have to do the washing up. to add to the arduous task, the sink blocked up and I had to spend the entire day picking out pieces of food from the drain.

I received my pay from the manager but I didn't think it was enough compensation for the amount of balagon I suffered.  I asked for an additional $60 and got it.  however, I went into one of the worst codependent behaviors of late.  I didn't think the yeshiva could afford the extra money and I felt that it was fault that it took so many hours to make 10 meals for 20 guys.  I earned about $182 dollars for the 5 day gig.  I received $6 an hour.  to put it into perspective, I worked for an entire hour to pay for my 10 minute taxi ride home.

I came home that night and fell asleep in the evening.  I was too tired emotionally and physically to get out of bed.  I didn't budge until the morning.  the dogs didn't get let out.  I heard the phone ringing but I couldn't do anything about it.  I thought about returning the extra money to the manager and apologizing.  I thought I had burnt my bridges with them.  I even wrote a letter to the regular cook apologizing for my lack of speed.  I couldn't call my R.A. coach because we are not on CoDa mode right now and we do not talk about our problems anymore.  we can only discuss the solution.  I called my best gal pal in the morning and she set me straight.  I was acting crazy.

I ran to the bank to pay my electric bill and bought some chicken with the rest of my pay.  when you got cash,  you fill the freezer.  I bought chicken wings and legs, cold cuts and franks.  maybe sometime soon, the kids might want to come over for a Shabbat meal.  anyway, the money is gone.  and I do not have a clue when i'll earn any more.  so far, I haven't managed to attract any students.  I am holding out with renters because I need my quiet.  I guess quiet is a high price to pay.

I was turned on to a blog written by a young rabbi with ALS.  he lives in California and is totally paralyzed.  he uses his eyes to type his blog.  it takes him all day long.  he is the most happy person and his eyes smile.  it truly puts things into perspective.  he has a purpose and is pursuing his mission.  we should all be pursuing our mission on earth and spreading light, too.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

An Even Harder Day's Work

it is 8:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I got home a little while ago.  I caught the 9:00 a.m. bus to town this morning and went to my recovery anonymous sponsor.  we definitely, shot the breeze for an hour before getting down to 'official' business.  I got to the yeshiva at 11:00 a.m.  it seemed orderly and clean.  the floor in the dining room had dried from yesterday's flooding.

I made a mushroom barley veggie soup as soon as I got in.  I made macaroni and tomato sauce and a huge pot of spicy split peas.  I once again, mangled the opening of an industrial sized tuna.  I shook most of the contents out threw a slit I made in the can.  I  also made a cucumber and onion salad.  one of the guys remarked that it reminded him of the old days, back in 2012, when I used to cook there full time.  those were the loveliest times of my life.  I had returned to work after 10 years of caring for my parents and grandson.

I made a chicken stir fry for dinner.  I had little patience to cut the veggies into strips.  by then I just wanted to sit down.  I find it hard to do food preparation while sitting.  my legs were beginning to give out on me.  my veggie strips were not your perfect match stick shapes.  I am living in the 'solution' and I do not strive for perfection.  truthfully, I couldn't care less what the food looks like, as long as it tastes good.  and bottom line, yeshiva guys will eat anything.  I am supposed to be cooking for 20 but I fall short off the mark. when I cooked for 12 in the summer, I made enough for 20.  but 20 students eat like 40 students.  yesterday, I made 80 tuna patties.  for them, 3-4 patties a piece was a nibble.  so I made a huge noodle kugel and big pot of tomato veggie soup and a salad.

I try to make a variety of things.  I made a curried bulgur yesterday which was barely touched.  I left it again for dinner tonight.  I made a small pot of white rice and for the life of me, I don't remember why I did.  perhaps, I was planning on throwing it into the stir fry.  I thought about saving it for Sunday's soup but I put it out anyway.  except for the bulgar there hasn't been any leftovers.  that probably means that I haven't made enough food.  it's okay.  the regular cook comes back on Tuesday.  and no one at the yeshiva has passed out from starvation.

after work, I went to visit my friend who lost her husband on Sunday.  I was able to get the prescription meds for her.  the poor thing suffers from epileptic seizures.  I had a very intimate and profound discussion with her doctor.  he was friends with her husband.  the last time I went to him for paper work I lost it on him.  it was a very serene and somber discussion.  I guess my friend's husband had a good effect on people.  her sons are the loveliest young men and remind me of their father..

after the shiva call, I went to my other friends to pick up their key.  I will be feeding their cats, collecting their mail and watching their house for the next 3 weeks.  I plan also, to check up on the recent CT scan results and see the doctor for them.  they return on the same day that I see my oncologist in Ramat Gan.  my friend gave me some English magazines so I have what to read this Shabbat.  I think she threw in a Martha Steward's holiday issue, too.  I can't wait to read her thanksgiving recipes.

I will be alone this Shabbat.  my friends are spending the Shabbat out of town and flying out on Saturday night.  it will be strange not to see them on Saturday.  I'm sure I will manage alone.  I will catch up on my sleep.  last night I didn't have a nightmare about dying.  I saw that I do, indeed, fall asleep at  around 10:30 p.m.  I usually wake up at 1:00 a.m. and fall back to sleep with the television on.  I get up at around 5:00 a.m. or 6:00 a.m. and let the hounds out.  somehow, I feel rested today, in spite of my busy schedule.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Hard Day's Work

it is 6:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I just got back from work.  I am subbing for a few days at the yeshiva.  yesterday, I had my granddaughter with me for an hour until 3:00 p.m. and then we went to pick up my grandson from his school.  it was about a 15 minute walk.  my granddaughter managed to fall twice and skim her knees.  I carried her for a few minutes until my back began to ache.

my son didn't explain where to pick up my grandson.  he was at an after school activity program.  I, of course, went to the school.  when I didn't see any children there I felt a bit panicked.  luckily, the school maintenance guy was still there and he directed me to the building across the street.  my grandson was waiting in the yard with a few other children and he looked very happy and relaxed.  he had had pizza and coke for lunch and was learning how to build serious Lego.

we took a cab home because I cannot schlepp his backpack.  I don't understand why they have to take these heavy bags to school every day.  most of the kids travel by car or school bus.  I am probably the only grandparent who comes there by bus.  sometimes we get a lift home right to the door.  my son came back around 7:00 p.m. and did homework with my grandson.  he wanted me to bathe the kids here and watch them until he came back from a torah class at 9:30 p.m.  he was able to enlist one of their young aunts to babysit over at their apartment so I was let off the hook.

as usual, I passed out during the night in front of the television and woke up at 1:00 a.m.  this is a recent development in my sleeping pattern.  it seems to happen a lot lately.  I also have been having dreams of being terminally ill.  this also seems to be a reoccurring pattern in my dream cycle.  the husband of a dear acquaintance of mine passed away this week.  I used to work with him many years ago at a chabad outreach center.

I stopped by to see his widow before the funeral.  I don't go to night time funerals.  we chatted for about an hour and a half and I went home.  I felt broken all day long.  her husband had beat bone cancer and had been clean for about 14 years.  it came back this time with a vengeance.  his bone marrow transplant didn't help nor did the stem cells he had saved 11 years earlier.  I saw him before sukkot and he looked fine.  his wife had fallen and broken her hip the day he had returned from his transplant and he had to travel with her and return to the tel aviv area once again.  he told me, ''you got to laugh"..

I got to work today at around 10:00 a.m.  the manager of the yeshiva was making French toast for the guys.  all of the gas range was being used.  I looked around to see what I could do.  all the pots and pans from yesterday's lunch and supper were in the sink.  they are usually already washed.  I decided to start the washing up when the sewage started backing up from under the sink.  at the same time, a pipe was heavily leaking outside the kitchen.  while the manager played with the pipe under the sink,  I mopped all of the dirty water out of the kitchen.  this took about a half an hour.

by the time I finished the pots and pans, an hour had gone by and I hadn't even started cooking. the food processor wasn't working so I grated some veggies by hand to make tuna patties.  I struggled for a while with the regular can openers to open the industrial sixed can goods.  I butchered a can of olives and literally left some very jagged edges.  it took forever to make up and fry up some 80 tuna patties. the gas kept on turning off.   it was a strange morning.  luckily, I only mildly nicked my finger on one of the jagged cans.

at lunch time, the electric hotplate wasn't working.  I usually put all the food for lunch on the platter and the guys serve themselves.  I kept everything warm in the kitchen until the manager fixed the outlet.  I couldn't really do anything for half an hour while he played with the electricity.

I washed up the rest of the kitchen utensils and counters.  I made a meatloaf for dinner but I was too tired to grate any veggies to add to it.  I had already grated squash, carrots and onions to the tuna to make patties.  I couldn't peel another vegetable.  I sautéed carrots and onions to add to the bulgur.  I put the meatloaf into the toaster oven and proceeded to make a tomato and onion salad.  I went to see how the meatloaf was doing an hour later, and it was still raw.  the toaster oven hadn't lit up.  I was beside myself.  the dining room was flooded.  the plumber was no where to be found.  I was exhausted and wanted to go home.

the meatloaf was more or less ready when the plumber arrived.  I didn't think I had made enough food for the 20 students.  I couldn't use the sink while the plumber was working.  as soon as he left, I quickly threw in 20 eggs to boil and cut up a lot of zucchini and cooked them in a mild tomato sauce.  the delivery for the Shabbat food came about then.  i had to put the produce away and then I saw that one of the freezers had mal functioned and all of the chicken cutlets had defrosted.  I scrambled to find room in two of the refrigerators.  I left the yeshiva at 5:30 p.m.  I was there for 71/2 hours.  I am embarrassed to bill them but I spent the entire time working.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

How To Proceed

it is 7:00 the holy city of safed.  I had a friend remove the msn page on my computer and I lost most of my icons.  I had a major fit and so did she.  she is well versed in computer and I navigate with pictures.  I have been felling violated lately.  in just one week, I got a new wi fi modem from the phone company, a new cable box from the cable company and now a new page on my computer.  it's way too much change for this technological dinosaur.

I am pretty much coping with living alone these days and seeing the kids a couple of times a week.  I am still babysitting once in awhile but not all the time.  I have made new acquaintances at the local Sephardi synagogue and have become a part of that community.  I enjoy the Shabbat services and stay for the Kiddush.  I get to see my son and grandson on Saturday at the Kiddush.  my grandson comes over for half an hour. 

I didn't see them yesterday and figured that they went to a different synagogue nearer their house.  suddenly, I spotted my son but not my grandson.  he was busy playing outside with his buddies.  I felt the slightest bit slighted but it only lasted a moment.  it didn't fester.  he's getting older and less dependent.  that's a good thing.  I am living in the solution, to quote the N.A jargon.  I am beginning to isolate others' feelings from my own.  when people tell me their woes, it doesn't enter into my psyche.  they don't become my woes.

I spent the entire day with my friends in oncology last week.  the staff knows me there now.  I wanted to be a buffer between them.  my friend was very nervous and her blood pressure was rising.  her husband was being very upbeat.  he is in denial about his condition.  I played the part of the volunteer.  I made us cups of tea and handed out soup.  I found light reading material for us and sat with her husband and schmoozed about buying new household items.  I even sat next to him and listened to his words of scripture while my friend played games on her tablet.

I entered the doctor's office with them and played part medical liaison and part advocate.  I was exhausted the next day.  we stayed in town that day and had falafels and chips and went on to the clinic to get the paper work started.  they are travelling abroad for a few weeks and I will watch the house, collect the mail and feed the cats.  I am also subbing for a week at the yeshiva for the regular cook.  I will be busy for a while.

I am not happy with the N.A group at all.  from the beginning it has been my understanding that one must attend a minimum of 6 meetings before deciding that it isn't for me.  today will be my fifth meeting.  my dearest buddy has decided to quit.  I am going to go this morning with an open heart and mind.  I haven't bought the main book yet.  I have been receiving emails and phone calls form certain members who want to sponsor me.  it is burdensome.  I do not want to make this my life.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching the presidential debates and the Saturday night live parodies as well.  I am very pleased at the outcome and I hope that trump will help Israel.  I had to console my siblings who, like many of the country feel desolate.  I reminded them that trump had a wonderful effect on N.Y.C. when it was a bit of a wasteland.  he and mayor juliani brought it back to its glory; bringing jobs, tourism, investors and fighting crime.

I think that living on a mountain in Israel gives one a window on the world.  I think that I have a perspective on life that is not clouded by being political correct.  I can see through all of the rhetoric.  when one is fighting for his survival as a nation and a people on a daily basis, you do not get caught up on the little things.  I think that most Americans take their safety and physical security for granted.  we living in Israel, do not take anything for granted.  we never know what terrorist attack is waiting around the corner.

I truly believe that a woman losing the presidential campaign will not end in the downfall of women's rights.  America has survived worst historically, from the civil war, the great depression to 9/11.  I was a woman's libber back in the day.  I get it.  it will happen some day.  we had a strong female leader in golda meir, an American lady, many years ago who ran Israel with a mighty hand.  and to everyone who wants to leave America now because trump won the presidency, I say: come and live in Israel. and I end with G-d Bless America!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Saying Goodbye

it is 6:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I got back from the cemetery a little while ago.  the gravestone for our beloved friend, who passed on last Monday night, was set.  the funeral was on Tuesday afternoon.  I can't remember hugging so many women at one time.  I have been somewhat of a hermit for many years.  I got to see a lot of these women when they came to visit our friend at the home.  now that she is gone I probably, won't be seeing these ladies very much, anymore. 

on Monday afternoon I went to pay my water bill.  it was huge.  it covered the time we put up the pool.  my son participated in the payment, which was an improvement.  I dropped in to the home to see my friend.  I had heard from others that she was on her way out of this world.  I hadn't seen her in about two weeks.  I didn't think I could face seeing her die.  as I passed the home, I realized that I needed to see her.  she was sleeping when I came and I chose not to disturb her.  she passed on at 9:00 p.m. that night.

I got to see my sister twice.  we haven't met in nearly two years.  we both stopped off at our parents' graves today and travelled back to town together.  it reminded me of how happy I was when she used to visit me in oncology.  we had quality time together.  since I've recovered, we just don't make time for each other anymore.  perhaps, she will accompany me to my brain surgery soon.  I don't want to go alone.  I don't know if I want my son and daughter-in-law to take me.

our CoDa group is turning into a R.A group.  it is very frustrating.  I've only gone to 4 meetings and now we've switched to a different 'fellowship', as they refer to it.  it is a lot of mumble jumble rhetoric.right now.  after a month, I have not gotten even a tiny grasp on how to proceed with codependent behavior addiction.  it is dragging me down.  the good news, is that my son and wife and I are on good terms right now.

I do help them with the kids from time to time; but I am no longer solely responsible for their after school care.  it is feeling more normal.  I am less stressed out and I am less fearful.  I still do not sleep well.  I'm sure it has something to do with our turning the clocks back.  I am back to watching what I eat.  I have become huge.  I do not feel great.  I do not want another diet.  I eat what I like but I am not binging right now.  I need to be more active.

tomorrow I am going to the oncology department at the local hospital with my good friends.  my friend's husband will be starting radiation soon.  Been there and done that!  it has been 5 years since my diagnosis.  now, I go with my friends for their initial appointments.  I'm like the ambassador of cancer.  i would like to become a volunteer one day but I have enough on my plate right now with my upcoming brain surgery.

I was invited by the kids for Shabbat dinner on Friday night.  it was my second time to their new apartment.  the little ones were hyper and their parents were tired.  it went well.  I wasn't put off by the kids being wild.  it is not my problem.  I do not feel shame and I do not accept blame, either.  I enjoyed being with them and I felt honored that I was invited to their home.  people are tired.  the kids work hard.  it has nothing to do with me.  it is not a reflection on me.  zelda, is no longer playing G-d.   everyone is capable of managing without my help.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Long Day

it is 7:00 a.m. in the holy city of Safed.  I just woke up.  I am truly tired.  yesterday I travelled to the center of the country to see my brain surgeon.  I took a taxi there.  I didn't sleep much the night  before.  I was rather nervous about seeing the doctor alone.  he now works in a new office in the oncology department.  I wasn't so thrilled about being back there, either.  I dreamt that I was terminally ill.

I was convinced that he was going to rush me into surgery then and there.  while I waited two and a half hours to see him; I worried about not having my robe and toothbrush with me and leaving the dogs alone.  I was in a new part of the hospital and unsure of where I was.  I needed to drink and eat something but I was afraid of getting lost.  a very old secretary brought each patient to this location, one by one.  she spoke of herself in the third person.  it was a bit bizarre.

there wasn't any significant change in the tumor.  the swelling was about the same as it had been 3 months ago.  the doctor said that it was eventually going to cause me neurological problems.  he couldn't say when but he was certain of it.  I told the doctor that I had decided to do the surgery.  he seemed greatly relieved.  I then thought that perhaps I was being hasty.  I have been monitoring the tumor for 4 years.  we discussed doing it after Chanukah.

I will have to see the anesthesiologist first.  I dread another visit to the hospital.  it took about two and a half hours to get there by cab.  we experienced a bit of traffic.  I then had to wait a half an hour or more for a bus back to Tel Aviv in the hot sun.  that ride took an hour but it was pleasant.  I then waited another half an hour or more for an express bus back to Rosh Pina.  it was very hot in Tel Aviv without any shade.  that ride took about 3 hours.  I had a long wait in Rosh Pina for a local bus back to Safed.  I usually jump into a cab but there was not one to be found.  I got off in the middle of the road and had a 15 minute schlepp to my house.

I was depleted when I finally got home.  I ended up eating all the leftovers in the fridge.  I feel pretty awful this morning.  I have to disassemble the sukkah today.  my back is hurting.  I didn't rally drink yesterday.  I stopped in to visit my cancer nurse.  she lost a ton of weight and had a new hair do.  she looked fabulous.  at first she didn't recognize me but then she gave me a great big hug.  they were so wonderful to me in that wing.  I even saw one of the volunteers there who had been very kind but I didn't really connect with her.  It felt very strange to be back there.  I was hoping not to run into any of the cancer patients that I once knew at the hostel.

I may have a five day stint next month cooking at the yeshiva.  it's a bit of money.  and it's something to keep me busy and focused.  my son called yesterday while I was at the hospital.  he obviously didn't remember that I had an appointment.  he probably needed help with the kids.  I was disappointed that he didn't call me back to check up on me.  I guess he had his hands full.  I was the only patient yesterday who came alone.  everyone else had a family member with them.  I felt a bit sorry for myself.  I had hoped that my sister might tag along but she wasn't feeling all that well.

I made plans to meet a new American immigrant tomorrow.  the lady who used to run the Alzheimer's unit in the old age home, made the connection.  she wanted to get the two of us together.  I have to be careful not to be bossy or over protective of this new lady.  I have some key phone numbers for her but I have to keep it easy and breezy.  I can't wait until my next CoDa meeting.

there was a large Haredi family who got on the bus and didn't have seats.  I immediately went onto action.  I woke up soldiers who were taking up two seats and switched my own seating to accommodate the family.  I didn't hear any thank you,either.  I then got very frustrated when I saw the little kids standing in the aisles after I had arranged them seats.  I had to tell myself to chill out.  they even held the bus up after the ten minute break.  I was beside myself with worry that they all made it back onto the bus.  everyone else including the driver, was amused. 

when they got off the bus I wanted to help with their luggage but I didn't.  I was tired and my back hurt.  I did fetch the little girl's scooter.  I was concerned how they would all get back to Safed.  I watched them all schlepping the suitcases, crossing the street and entering the bus.  the little girl carried her scooter. I have to stop chasing people so I can help them.  People are indeed, capable of helping themselves and do not need Zelda to care for them.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A New Year

it is 3:00 p.m. in the holy city of Safed.  tonight the kids are coming for the holiday meal.  in a couple of hours we will be celebrating Simchat Torah.  the Sukkot holiday officially ends here tomorrow evening.  it has been a quiet holiday.  I took care of the kids a couple of times.  I am a bit nervous.  this will be the first time in a few months that the family eats here with me.  I made a simple meal.

I made a small piece of beef in wine and a small amount of beef meatballs in tomato sauce.  I made a sweet noodle kugel, some sweet rice, a small cauliflower, beets, baked sweet potatoes and a green salad.  I bought red grapes and cashews and a chocolate honey cake for dessert.  I also bought a round sweet challah with raisins. 

I didn't sleep much last night.  it is customary for the men to stay up all might learning Torah.  I didn't learn anything.  I watched some television and lost my sleep.  I finally passed out about a 4:30 a.m.  I ordered a cab for Tuesday morning to take me to the hospital inTel Hashomer.  I get to see the neurosurgeon and discuss my recent brain scan.  I am not looking forward to this conversation, at all.

I never finished cleaning up the downstairs.  the college students come back to learn in November.  I doubt that the downstairs will be ready by then.  I haven't heard from any students, either.  I get very anxious just thinking about this.  I made a date to meet up with a recent immigrant from the U.S.  we have a few new American families in my neighborhood, too.  of course, they are all much younger than myself and have young children. 

I have another CoDa meeting next week.  being alone all week and not having anyone to care for, led me into a terrible 4 day food binge.  I was so careful not to eat any sugar or dessert during the entire holiday and then wala, I went crazy.  I wanted to lose some weight before my upcoming brain surgery.  it was so clear to me what set me off.  I expected the grandkids to come over one day.  I had arranged to take them to an outdoor Sukkot party.  when they didn't show up in the morning I went into a food binge.

I stuffed my face all day long and then ended up taking them in the early evening.  I binged the next day and then another couple of days.  I wanted to take a walk and get out of the house one day, but it never happened.  I felt a bit sluggish and felt like I was coming down with a cold.  my friend was also not well and recovering from the Sukkot holiday, in general.  she had had a lot of sleep over guests.  I should have gone to town but I couldn't get it together to do so.

I have been going to services on Saturday mornings at the large and decorative Sephardi synagogue. I have become part of the congregation.  I always stay for Kiddush and kiss everyone in the ladies' section on both cheeks.  it is very comfortable and spacious.  tonight we will all meet up there.  I have asked the kids to come to me for Simchat Torah for the past seven years.  this year my son asked me if they could come.  I tried to persuade them to come tomorrow too.  then I realized that I was being needy and too demanding.  I have to hold back.

I asked a friend to join me in making a barbecue tomorrow.  she has lamb chops, and I have hamburgers, liver and wings.  it is weird living alone.  I do love the quiet.  I feel guilty that I have this huge home to myself.  I would love to buy a small place for myself but with prices being so high; I would not be left with enough income to survive.  I am comfortable in my home and am still capable of cleaning it.   I would love for my sister to join me here for a few months at a time.

I hope the evening goes well.  I hung up some curtains that the kids left downstairs and their chandelier in the dining area.  I hope it doesn't create any resentment.  my friend is coming for the holiday with her dog.  there will be three dogs for dinner.  in the past, my daughter-in-law couldn't stand my dogs but now that she is never here, I hope it won't be a hassle for her.  I am hoping to engage in some conversation tonight.  I want this to be a truly festive meal.

for the past 7 years, I kept to myself, took care of the grandkids and had virtually nothing to do with my son and his wife.  I felt like a nanny and a waiter.  I was always resentful.  I never engaged anyone in conversation and everyone went downstairs as soon as they ate.  the little kids never ate and never stayed at the table.  the married kids talked to each other and I felt totally alienated.  I'm sure I gave them dirty looks, too.  I don't want to be like that any more.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Book 0f Life

it is 5:00 p.m. in the holy city of Safed.  the Yom Kippur fast starts in about an hour and a half.  I have been making an effort to drink today.  I can't really get any water down so I have been adding apple-cherry concentrate.  it is sugar free.  I have been eating all day long.  I made schnitzels at 8:00 a.m.  I then put up a pot of chicken soup.  I had bought frozen kreplach but they became one giant clump of dough in freezer.  I tasted the only one that was still filled.  it was tasty but peppery.

I decided to go to the large supermarket to buy another package of kreplach.  I had given half of the kreplach to my friend.  I hope she had better success with them than I did.  I took a taxi to the mikveh in Canaan.  there is a small market near by and I was hoping that I'd find kreplach there.  no such luck.  I walked a bit to the supermarket in the heat.  there wasn't a package of kreplach to be found.

I settled for sweet potato mini ravioli.  I found a brand that wasn't dairy.  it is very pleasant in the soup.  the kreplach would have been better but it didn't work out.  I really should just let it go.  I called my son to take me to the cemetery.  I didn't feel like spending the rest of my holiday money on a cab ride.  my grandkids came along and helped me wash my parents' graves.  they came back here and watched a movie until their dad picked them up.

I sent a food package with him.  a few schnitzels, mini ravioli, chicken wing soup, rolls and a bit of honey cake.  the little kids ate macaroni here.  my granddaughter had smoked turkey and pickles.  I bought hamburgers, franks, kabobs, chicken wings and liver for the holiday of sukkot.  who knows?  we may just have a barbecue here one day.  I haven't made any plans for Sukkot.  I am waiting to see what pans out.

I want to take out the bars and build the sukkah on Friday.  I  offered my son half of the sukkah parts for his new place.  I hope he takes me up on it.  it would be so nice if the kids had a sukkah on their porch, right outside their living room.  for many years when we lived in an apartment building, we would schlepp down three fights of stairs to our communal sukkah.  the big kids never really used the sukkah when they lived here.  we'd have an occasional barbecue and they would eat here on Shabbat.  I mustn't get too involved with them right now.  I need to take a step back.  they know where I am if they want to come over.

I am pretty tired today.  I haven't been sleeping that much.  I washed the floors at around 10:00 p.m. last night.  I finished close to midnight.  I am a bit scared ever since I fell down my steps at the beginning of the summer.  I was having a 'moment' at 3:00 a.m. and decided to throw a lot of soapy water around the entrance way.  the male dog keeps pishing there.  I was sponging the water off the steps when I violently fell down the steps.  I was in a bit of shock.  I was very lucky not to have broken anything.  my back hurt for a few weeks.

I  will finish my blog and do the afternoon prayer.  I then will have my 'last' meal of chicken wing soup and mini sweet potato ravioli.  I had a schnitzel sandwich at noon time.  I am keeping it real simple this year.  I will go to the evening service and hopefully I will fall asleep early tonight.  may you all be sealed in the Book Of Life for a good  and sweet year!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Bring It On

it is nearly 7:30 p.m. in the holy city of Safed.  I was gone for most of the day.  I went to my second CoDa meeting this morning.   I wasn't planning on going but after my girlfriend told me this morning that I was being codependent, I showered and took a cab.  at first, it was just me and another lady.  apparently, a meeting is two people.  another lady joined us so it was a bit more lively.

you are urged to attend at least 6 meetings before you decide to quit.  I will give it a try.  I still don't fully grasp the process of the 12 steps.  the lady who joined us later on, co hosts other groups.  she suggested consolidating all of the groups into one 'recovery' anonymous.  I don't know how the alkies, druggies, food addicts, and parents of druggies would feel about that.  since there was only the three of us we could not make any decision.

I could easily go to the debtors' group and overeaters' group, too.  I would have three days out of the house every week.  I would be very busy but I'm afraid I would get too involved with other peoples' problems.  this morning I called the telephone company because my friend's phone wasn't working.  she has a cellphone and a basic grasp of Hebrew and yet, I felt that I needed to get this taken care of for her. 

as it turned out, she had already called the phone company, even earlier that I had and had it all straightened out.  I did not sleep a wink last night.  I was so tired, too.  I had read most of a novel and my eyes were burning.  I went into the bedroom and turned off the television.  I ended up tossing and turning until around 5:00 a.m.  I felt pretty lousy when I let the dogs out.

my mind gets overactive in the middle of the night.  I start worrying about all the repairs I need to have done in the house.  I wish I could just turn off my thought processes at night.  it was yet, another, really hot day.  I bought a few stretchy tops for the holiday's.  it's been awhile since I treated myself to anything.  I bought a pair of shoes at the hospital maul, but they proved to be less than comfortable.

I usually wear white on Yom Kippur.  I didn't manage to buy white sneakers.  I will wear the new straw like shoes, which are black.  I hope to clean the house tomorrow.  I went to the doctor's office in the evening to get my payment voucher for the neurosurgeon's appointment in the next few weeks.  I can try to spackle the downstairs bedroom's wall tomorrow. I  hope i'll have the energy and patience.  I need to buy some white paint, too.  I'd rather not go to town again, tomorrow.

my son asked to come for the final meal before the fast of Yom Kippur.  I ran out to buy frozen kreplach, little Jewish wantons.  as it turns out, they won't be joining me here.  I offered to make the meal for them to be picked up.  I don't know if this is codependent behavior, or just trying to give them a break.  I already bought the ingredients, and I can eat the leftovers on Shabbat.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Shabbat Shalom

it is 4:30 p.m. in the holy city of Safed.   it is about an hour to candle lighting.  we got through Rosh Hashanah well.  it was quiet and stress free.  I actually, enjoyed my food.  I didn't need to referee anyone and I had only adult conversation.  I went out the first night to friends.  I drank wine.  I slept well.  I got to services early and I stayed until the end.

I didn't have anyone to care for.  I didn't have anyone to take care of.  I had a friend staying over and we spoke freely without anyone interrupting the flow.   I missed having the grandchildren with me but I didn't miss the noise.  I didn't have to watch what I said, nor did I taste my own bile.  it was a good holiday.

the next day was a fast day.  I stayed home.  my grandson came over for a few hours and we watched Halloween cartoons.  the kids are mad for these.  his mother came to pick him up and I wished her a good new year.  I felt peaceful.  I didn't feel resentful or judgemental.  I felt like my genuine self.  the next day I set off for the hospital near Tel Aviv to do my brain MRI.

it took me about 3 hours to get to the hospital.  I took 3 busses.  I had a 5:30 p.m. appointment.  they took me in about 6:30 p.m.  that was a first.  usually I wait for about 2 hours.  I was finished by 7:30 p.m.  I had prearranged a taxi to take me home.  it took a bit to find each other but I was on my way home by 8:00 p.m.  we stopped for coffee and I got to sit outside and breathe some fresh air.  after being cooped up in the hospital for hours, it was nice to just relax.

I was extremely tired today.  I ran off to the supermarket to get some chicken for Shabbat.  I was just too tired to cook anything for myself so I put the chicken in the freezer.  I decided on having a tuna sandwich.  I just got a second wind and made some kasha, pumpkin, raw beet salad, string beans and fish.  why not eat a festive Shabbat meal even if I am alone.  I have a good Maeve Binchey novel for tomorrow.

I think I may have lost a bit of my stomach.  I haven't had any sugar lately.  I did dip the apple and challah in honey on the holiday.  I have been eating fruit again.  for some reason, I gave up fruit a while ago.  it could be that it was too expensive.  I have been enjoying apples.  I haven't had any chocolate all week.  I made whole wheat apple/carrot/raisin muffins before the holiday.  it was my treat with my morning tea.  there were only a few spoons of oil and honey in them.  it was a perfect  swap out for the traditional Rosh Hashanah honey cake. 

I may go to synagogue this evening for the Shabbat service.  my granddaughter may be there and I will get to see her.  that's if I don't fall asleep soon.  I am very tired.  I am trying hard to keep it all positive.  the kids got me a lovely turtle necked shawl from their vacation.  I will truly enjoy it this winter.  I sent them an email to thank them.  I even read their new year card.  a first for me.  I don't ever enjoy receiving help or gifts.  I am working on showing appreciation to others.  maybe you can teach an old dog tricks.  Shabbat Shalom!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Another Day

it is noontime in the holy city of zefat.  I am getting ready to leave the house.  it is too late to go to the medical office to get my voucher for the neurosurgeon.  I didn't go out yesterday.  I couldn't move.  every inch of my body hurt.  I think it was the heaviness of the CoDa meeting.  I spoke with my brother for two hours.  A good part of the conversation was about self loathing.  How fun!

I can't remember what exactly I did this morning.  I tried to fix a small coffee table.  I was so proud of my work until I realized that I had screwed the leg of the coffee table onto my good dining room table top.  I thought about running to town to buy some contact paper to cover the coffee table.  if the kids use it to draw, why bother covering it???

I went downstairs to take another crack at getting the sofa bed into the downstairs master bedroom.  it is now jammed tight into the doorframe.  I came upstairs to call the handyman to come to take the metal bedframe apart.  I really scratched the woodwork badly.  what's a little more varnish to apply??  I still feel dizzy and not all that well.  it could be the beginning of a virus, who knows?  everyone is complaining about the same symptoms.  the change in weather from unbearably hot to cold in the evening, doesn't help, either.

I had a very bizarre thought.  an addicted codependent personality would have a field day at the meeting.  there are so many other people in the room to chase after to help, control and advise.  I say this, because after the meeting, I wanted to invite a lady who was lonely to my house for the entire Rosh Hashanah.  we could have a ball egging each other on about our sons.  no seriously, having problematic people in a room with codependent people; is like having bottles of booze around at an AA meeting.

 there was a lovely young thing who showed up at the meeting late.  her husband was very ill.  I wanted to chase after her to get the medical details and involve myself in the case.  who knows, perhaps she needs a babysitter or a medical advocate?  I didn't invite the lonely lady, and I didn't offer to become a personal schlepper for the young thing, either.  I am taking it slow.

to rush in to help the two, or to try and solve their problems would only be enabling them and enabling myself.  I have to take a step back from my life and become an observer.  I have to listen more.  I have to stop interjecting in every conversation.  I have to stop offering my opinion, and trying to advise everyone what to do.  I have to take me out of every situation.  I am not Waldo.  I am zelda.

I need to spackle the downstairs bedroom wall.  I do not feel like it right now.  I don't feel like doing anything right now.  normally, I would call a friend and have an hour long conversation.  I am totally talked out.  I need to be alone.  I don't want to answer any calls or any emails.  I want to be alone like Greta Garbo.

I just remember what I did all morning.  I did laundry in my super duper gigantic Maytag washer.  It may be 17 years old but it keeps on washing.  I am caught up with all the sheets and towels now.  the kids took out their small machine and once again, it is me and my Maytag. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Can We Change?

it is 7:30 p.m. in the holy city of Safed.  I went to my first codependent anonymous group session this morning.  what a trip!   I had every single line on the form to check off.  I am a classic case.  I couldn't stop balling.  it was totally emotionally draining for me.  I went with a gal pal and we fought like little old ladies on the way to get there.  it was much too hot, once again.  we didn't do much better on the way back.  we simply navigate differently.

yesterday, I went to the Sephardi synagogue in the morning.  I can't really follow the services there but they have a lovely and most comfortable ladies' section.  I do my own thing, read psalms, and go downstairs for refreshments afterwards.  I actually had a bit of cholent.  I then went across the street to visit my friend.  after a while I grew restless.  I thought about going to see my sister.  what a shock that would have been.

I had thought that I might see my son in shul, but alas, it was not meant to be.  I have not heard from them yet.  I assume they were back at work today.  I took a nap in the afternoon and got up at around 4:00 p.m.  I had not slept at all on Friday night.  my mind kept thinking about all sorts of changes that I needed to make downstairs to get ready for student rentals.  I couldn't turn off my brain.

I didn't like being alone and I didn't like not hearing from my son so I decided to take a walk downtown.  it was a bit cooler and not that oppressive by then.  it took about an hour and I surprised my friend.  we then went up the block to the old age home to visit our mutual elderly friend.  at around 7:00 p.m. it was gloriously cool and breezy and I sailed on home.  I didn't feel like catching a bus or a taxi. I loved the walk home.  I found my pace.

I didn't really sleep well last night, either.  I was too wired from the walk.  I got up at 6:00 a.m. and let the dogs out.  they can't really run into the neighbors at that hour.  they came back at 7:00 a.m. and I got up and started cooking.  I put up a pot of rice and had a cup of tea.  I then made a tomato sauce for some frozen string beans and put up some frozen chickpeas.  I then fried up about 25 fish patties.

I  planned on making a Shiva call this afternoon.  I wanted the family to have a decent lunch.  I ran over to the old age home for a moment to check up on my elderly friend after I schlepped back from the codependent anonymous.  I was truly beat.  I had some lunch with my girlfriend and then we went together to pay the Shiva call.   I caught the bus back up here at 4:30 p.m. and stopped off at the local supermarket for a few items.  I really wanted a frozen coffee drink.  those things are addictive.  I am currently off sugar.  I bought some grapefruits and made some juice.

I am wiped out now.  facing old demons is a bitch.  I need to go and lie down now.

Friday, September 23, 2016

A New Year

it is 8:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat, Wednesday night.  the grandkids just got picked up by one of their young aunts.  I had to pick up my grandson from first grade today.  I took a cab because I wasn't exactly sure where the school was.  it turns out that it was down the road from the open air market, we refer to as the shuk.

I waited for about 45 minutes in the hot sun.  we are in the midst of yet, once again, a heat wave.  it is unbearable outside.  it is nearly October and we are sweating our bodies off.  we stopped at the shuk to buy some bread.  I treated my grandson to a frozen drink and a cheap toy.

we schlepped home by bus and got home about a half an hour before we had to pick up the granddaughter.  I had disassembled the plastic playhouse from the playroom downstairs and dragged it upstairs.  I couldn't figure out how to reassemble it.  my grandson did it in minutes.

he didn't want to go back out in the heat to the gan with me.  I didn't feel right leaving him alone for so long.  he had a meltdown on the way to the gan.  on the way back the kids and I took breaks in the shade.  a ten minute walk became almost an hour trek.  I didn't feel like putting out for another cab.

I have made great strides with the downstairs.  I still have to spackle the master bedroom next week.  I went to look for curtains but they were all very expensive.  I bought a bunch of them in a second hand store years ago.  I took down the bedroom curtains, that the kids left behind, and hung them in my dining area.  what a pleasure!.

I also threw out the curtains from one of my bedrooms and replaced them with my old dining room curtains.  it made a pleasant change, too.  I managed to drag out a convertible couch and bed set from the downstairs bomb shelter /bedroom/t.v. room but couldn't get it into the master bedroom by myself.   perhaps my son will come over next week and help me.  one never knows.

I haven't heard from the kids at all.  I only get bits and pieces of information from my grandson.  I must get them out of my mindset once and for all.  I get treated like the help.  I get to see the grandkids, when no one else is around to care for them.  I went to the Sephardi clan twice last week to see the kids.  the 20 year old aunt treats me like a moran.  she doesn't think I'm capable of caring for them at all.  perhaps, that is the imput she gets from her sister.

I have no idea at this point if I will see the kids at the holidays.  they must be holding another grudge because I left the birthday party early.  I made the mistake of telling my son that I wasn't much enjoying myself.  so much for honesty.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?

it is 5:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  candle lighting is in about 45 minutes.  I made a few pieces of chicken for myself for dinner.  I am making a bit of kasha and red lentils  if I don't burn it.  I burnt the chicken.  I was outside disposing of old lamps and broken fixtures.  I have done a lot this week in clearing out the downstairs.

I had a phone call from a student who wanted to see the downstairs.  she never showed up.  for a moment I had hope of getting out of this financial abyss.  I picked up my granddaughter from gan and she got taken back to her Sephardi family around 4:00 p.m.  I had wanted to have the kids here for Shabbat but as the saying goes; you can want.

I have never had a choice of when I got the kids in all these years.  why did I think it would be different for me once they moved out.  I have always been the live in babysitter but I was only chosen when no one else could fill the bill.  when someone was on the outs with someone else I had the kids all the time unless I had a hospital appointment.  I don't think I ever said no.

I still do not know where my son and wife went on vacation.  I didn't ask the Sephardi grandma.  it's enough of a heart ache that I'm excluded from everything, I don't need to come off as a complete outcast.  I am making plans for the holidays with my friends.  I am not stockpiling food for the holidays like I do every year.  I am not planning on having guests.

I finished my cooking stint yesterday and got a bit of cash.  I bought some coloring books for the kids so when they visit, they will have something to do besides watch television.  I brought up some old puzzles from the downstairs, too.  the kids took most of the Lego to their new house.

tonight is my grandson's birthday.  his parents threw him a party before they left for vacation.  last year I was left alone with the kids on his birthday and I felt like a dope for not having a cake or something festive for him.  I guess kids now a days don't need to know when their actual birthday is.

I think I'm just bitter.  perhaps that is why I'm not told any details about what's going on in my son's life.  I don't think I was ever filled in while they lived here, either, but for sure not now.  perhaps that is how it is supposed to be in life.  however, it bugs the heck out of me that the Sephardi clan is let in on every detail, while the lone American grandmother, is always left alone in the dark.

I must get on with my life as it is now and hope that I will get some student rentals.  when my granddaughter was picked up I got a bit down.  once again, I am completely alone.  would it have been so hard for the Sephardi grandmother to let me have them for Shabbat?  after all, she has a full house on Shabbat.  however, I guess her daughter did not leave instructions that included my having the kids over night.  the kids probably will have a better time with the clan.

I remember crying on other occasions when my son would call me from vacation.  I always missed my grandson when he was not here.  now I have to get used to living alone.  it is much more quiet with them gone and I do enjoy the quiet.  but I do miss not seeing them every day.  I guess I am never satisfied.

after all, I am just here to serve.  I don't get to have the pleasure of my grandkids' company.  it's all or nothing.  there is no such thing as an hour visitation.  it's 10 hour shifts or nothing.  I was not invited to the Sephardi clan for shabbat, either.  why should I have the joy of being with my grandson on his actual birthday.  afterall, he did live here for 7 years.  I guess it's their turn.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Odd Man Out

it is 8:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just woke up.  I went to my grandson's birthday party last night at their new apartment.  I guess they do not know how to act with me.  I must be one big pain.  I feel like the odd man out looking in.  I've been working at the yeshiva for the past three weeks and trying to get the downstairs put back together since they moved out.

I feel very geriatric.  I am the one who needs to be picked up and taken to the party.  I am totally disoriented.  I left the party quite early.  I was tired.  I was not enjoying myself.  I was uncomfortable and I let my son know that I was not a happy camper.  I guess I do not know how to play the game.  I walked back.  it was nice to be on my own.  it isn't really far away.  I used to go up to that neighborhood every Friday night to check out the new houses.

that was many years ago.  that was when I was in decent shape before the grandkids arrived.  that was before I became a mother-in-law.  that was before my indoctrination into the clan.  that was when I was a free bird.  well, I wasn't exactly free then, either.  I was taking care of my demented father in those days.  I would take a nice long walk before we had our Shabbat meal.

I've put on more weight and am totally winded.  I went to the party on an empty stomach and then ate a bunch of pizza.  I feel totally sick this morning.  I felt very awkward in the new place.  I got the feeling that I was the only one there for the first time.  I might be wrong.  it was the clan and me.  the kids went off on their vacation last night.   the grandkids went off to stay with the clan for the next 8 days.  I was not told where they were going. 

I was not asked to help with the kids.  my son did say that he thinks they get too wild when they are with the clan but his wife made plans with her mother which didn't include me.  it was reminiscent of 7 years ago.  I feel like I tried for seven years to fit in and I'm right back where I started.  I'm on the outside looking in.  I'm doing penance for getting angry this summer.

they are an entity by themselves.  I am alone here with my dogs.  even though I put up with all the balagon downstairs for so many years, I was always all alone.  I was never included in the party details.  I was the one upstairs putting the barekas in the oven at the last minute while everyone else was partying downstairs.  I do not enjoy children's' parties.  I do not like the noise and I do not like the mess.

I feel like a strange creature.  I do not have the patience to be with my friends nor do I have the patience to be with my grandkids.  I am so uncomfortable about my weight gain.  I am happy that the kids found a place that they love.  my downstairs is like a basement flat compared to their brand new spectacular apartment.  the kids do not have a place to play outside but that is their choice.  I was always busy with the kids outside.  I was raised that way and that is how I raised my son.  we were always outside until evening.

I must get on with my life.  I must find a rental.  it isn't looking great.  I have been schlepping upstairs all the things that were left in my closets downstairs.  I am tired and hurting.  tomorrow is my last day at work.  I have to buy spackle and fix the master bedroom wall.  I also have to start getting the medical papers in order.

on Monday I went to the bank in the evening.  I finished work late.  I spent a lot of time buying my grandson a birthday gift.  it was overkill.  he got so many things that he didn't get a chance to play with the toy supermarket cash register that I bought.  it even talks.  maybe after he returns home from his hiatus at his grandparents' home, he will enjoy it.

he got a beautiful new bicycle but there is no area to ride it in.  hopefully, his parents will take him to  a park where he can ride.  nothing is perfect in life.  the downstairs is huge but not designer.  there is a huge backyard and garden but it comes with me.  if I could have kept my cool, perhaps they would still be downstairs.  I know in my heart of hearts, that would not have been good for them.  they are now faced to deal with grown up life.   and I must deal with my life.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Detting Back To It part 3

it is almost midnight in the holy city of zefat.  the kids moved out today.  they left me a big mess.  I came home at 5:00 p.m. and both the downstairs door and gate were left wide open.  I have been wanting to clear out the laundry room for years.  the daughter-in-law wouldn't hear of it while she resided here.

I went through a closet all the way in the back of the room and started throwing out old lamps, material, and dolls.  forget eBay.  I want to be junk free.  I was going to give my old Maytag washer to the yeshiva where I work; but after going to buy a new one, I decided to hold onto to it for a bit longer.

my son left my computer table downstairs.  I have been using an older one.  I honestly, do not have the strength to drag it back upstairs right now.  ill leave it in the laundry room for now.  I would like to go through the boxes that I'm still storing for my niece in India.  I would love to transfer them to the closet on the wall.

that reminds me, I must throw out old suitcases tomorrow.  I don't plan on travelling anywhere and I  want to rid my house of junk.   the master bedroom needs plastering.  I will try to get to it on Friday.  I have to cook next week.  the kids are going away on vacation.  I don't think I will be able to take care of the kids by myself.

the Sephardi grandmother will have the use of the car so she can chauffer the kids around to gan and back.  I had the kids with me yesterday after work.  it was really exhausting.  I finally had a meltdown at the cheap dollar store.  I left my granddaughter inside crying and stood outside of the store.  we didn't get home until nearly 8:00 p.m.

the little kids grabbed up some more of their toys to take to their new apartment.  they took most of the lego that they play with upstairs.  I guess I will have to buy some new toys for them when they come over to visit.

the big kids faced a sewerage backup on their first day at their brand new apartment.  the electricity was also shorting out and they came back here to shower the kids.  in the end they left without showering.  my son let me know that my downstairs was neglected.  they did occupy the space for four years and didn't take on any of the repairs.

at least,  the electricity here doesn't jump and the sewer is fine.  once I plaster the bottom of the wall it will look okay.  I can also have someone take apart the closet that is currently standing in the laundry room and reassemble it in the master bedroom.  the kids had it taken out when they moved back in.  I want to throw out one of the convertible couches.  it is all ripped up and stained.  I know that it can be covered with a sheet but I don't think that I want to have large crowds downstairs again.

I don't think that I want to do holiday rentals anymore.  it is a real shame that the kids bought that huge pool this summer.  it is still standing in the middle of my yard.  I will store it in my storage shed.  I will also store a kid's bed, three carriages, and two cribs and a highchair inside.  I'm afraid of rats destroying them outside.  there are several rugs that may have to be chucked.

I am truly tired so I will end now.  I am no longer sad.  I am no longer mourning the grandkids moving out.  I am taking back my house.  I am taking back my independence.  I am throwing out the past and chucking out old junk.  I am getting ready for my brain surgery. 

my son came aback a little while ago.  he came to fetch a bag of kids' clothes and to ask for a beer.  I no longer buy alcohol for him.  everyone over in the new place is having a meltdown.  the ikea beds and closets arrive tomorrow.  he felt strange sleeping in the new home without a mezuzah.  I gave him one that has been upstairs for a year.  I asked him all year long to check if one of the mezuzahs was missing from downstairs.  I will take them all off the doorposts to have them checked this month.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Getting BackTo It part 2

it is nearly candle lighting in the holy city of zefat.  I am exhausted.  it took me hours to wash my floors.  I had to pick up my granddaughter from kindergarten at 1:00 p.m.  we went to the supermarket and got stuck on the line.  it was a struggle for me to walk home.

I made a fool of myself.  I thought that the organic pasta wasn't discounted on the bill.  the cashier lost my bill and I kept the whole line waiting.  it turns out that the gnocchi was indeed discounted and I felt like a loser, once again.

I cooked up the entire package of gnocchi for the kids and of course, they didn't eat it.  I spent hours on the phone this morning with a gal pal.  she just made a wonderful video which I will be posting next week.  I kind of live in her shadow.  I'm like her biggest fan and I would love to be her manager.  right now I act as her confidant and assistant.

the kids are moving out next week.  in the end, they found a place in walking distance to here.  we have all been getting along.  there is nothing left to rant about.  I made lunch for my friend and myself.  tonight I'm having spicy St. Pete's fish fillets and buckwheat and red lentils.  tomorrow we will have barbecue chicken wings in a spicy store bought prune and pomegranate sauce, rice, Chinese cabbage salad, potato salad, beets, green salad and store bought honey cake.

the kids just said goodbye. apparently they are going out for Shabbat.  once again, I am on my own.  I must get used to this.  I will have to make a life for myself.  next week the kids are going away on vacation.  the Sephardi grandma can handle them.  I will not get involved unless I am asked to help out.  I thought that we could split up the kids and I would watch the granddaughter who goes to gan in my neighborhood.  that is not an option so I wish everyone good luck.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Getting Over It

it is 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the kids just left for school.  my grandson starts first grade this morning and the granddaughter starts kindergarten.  what a milestone!  I kind of made up yesterday with my son and his wife.  I agreed to watch the kids all day.  I was called at night to ask if I could be with the kids.  I had plans to be in oncology with my friend but it was cancelled.

I could have very easily declined.  I could have kept up with my tirade but I didn't.  I feel like I got run over by a truck.  it was way too much for me.  I don't know when I stopped being functional.  the day before a young student came over to check out my rooftop apartment.  I became very maternal and spent 3 hours in the hot sun running around my neighborhood to find her another place.

I get that something is wrong with me.  my place was a bit over priced for her.  all the other places were brand new designer apartments way over her budget.  and yet she had to see them all, and I had to schlepp along with her, too.  the arrangement between the two of us might have been amenable but perhaps I would have become codependent.

I definitely do not know where to draw the line with people.  as soon as she decided that my apartment wasn't for her, I should have said good day.  this isn't being a good person.  this is being a clinging weirdo.  she and I bonded.  even the dogs liked her.  I was once again, giving out mixed messages.  I don't know how I am supposed to proceed with my life right now.  the kids haven't found an apartment yet.  they were almost packed and ready to leave last week.

they cancelled one apartment and went away for the weekend.  I was not informed that no one would be here for Shabbat.  it was pretty weird being all alone.  it was hurtful that I didn't know that the kids had gone away.  it was one more grievance to add to my list of complaints.  I do not like myself very much right now.  my grandson told me that I make too much out of everything, yesterday.  perhaps, I do.  I feel totally alienated from my son and wife.

yesterday I was with the kids from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.  it was hard.  I hadn't slept well the night before.  they were a bit hyper and wanted to do everything at the same time.  there were sheets of paper, crayons, markers, pencils, water paints, play dough, and scissors all over the dining room table.  the television was blasting away as well as the cd player.  they wanted to hear the score from star wars.  they dragged out the purim costumes, as well.

I was on kitchen duty again.  I made pancakes, ravioli, hard cooked eggs and salad.  I made numerous rounds of drinks and flavored milk.  it was pretty hot outside.  we went down the street to visit their play pals.   I took my two grandkids with another pair of little girls to the playground.  it was too hot to be outside.  we came back here and my grandson hit the pool.  I am still not ready to climb the ladder to enter the pool with my rib injury.

the young mother of the girls came over to take the kids back to her house.  I was getting lunch ready. I came about a half an hour later and sized up the situation.  she was quite overwhelmed.  she had at least 5 other kids there visiting.  I took my grandkids home but it wasn't easy.  I got the kids quiet and gave them lunch.  I put on the movie 'star wars' but it was too much for them to follow.

my daughter-in-law came home from work with flowers and candy.  it was her birthday.  I felt truly uncomfortable.  I have given her presents and cake for years.  I took my granddaughter with me and bought a mousse cake at the local bakery.  I put a sparkler in it and presented it.  she seemed pleased.  I kissed her and wished her a 'mazal tov'.  the wrath of zelda was abated.  I still feel left out.  I still don't know what is happening on a daily basis.  perhaps I shouldn't know.