Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy Endings

it is 2:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  it's actually 3:00 a.m. because we turn the clocks ahead tonight.   we just got back from our neighbor's wedding in Nahariya.   my son was in a real tizzy all of Purim because he felt restricted in his usual drinking habit.   he was such a crab that I told him to stay home, get drunk and forgo the wedding.  the daughter-in-law kind of backed me up.

at 3:00 p.m. he went out to catch a megillah reading with his wife.  he returned an hour later, a new man.  he had a bit of wine and ate some barbecue and was in a pleasant mood.  he had gone out last night to a party and could not enjoy himself.  I, on the other hand, had a blast at my 'dead rockers' party Purim spiel.  I did a lot of dancing and truly connected with some old friends.

I had the kids with me on Wednesday.   I was fasting but felt fine.  we all schlepped down to the supermarket  to return our empty bottles and to get veggies and food for Shabbat.  the kids played for a short while in the playground but it was too hot to stay outside.  I bought them coloring books for Purim, which kept them occupied for a while.  we also watched a televised Purim play, which the kids now know by heart.  I bought then their favorite kinder treats with the refund from the bottles.

I bathed them in the evening and their mother came home and got them into their costumes.  we all went to the Sephardi synagogue to hear the megilla.  I was still fasting.  we got back around 7:30 p.m. and I quickly gulped down a roll and a slice of cheese and got into my costume.  I had already applied my hard rock make up look before shul.  I drank some sangria and called a cab.  I took half a bottle of sangria to hand out at the party.  it was one of my best batches to date.

I got home around 1:30 a.m. from the party.  I was a bit hungry so I had some nuts.  it was the first time in months that I ate after 8:00 p.m.   I woke up this morning feeling a bit shaky.  I ate two hot dogs that were sitting on my counter from the night before.  I put up a pot of potatoes and forgot all about them.  I went downstairs to get the kids dressed for the megillah reading and was pleasantly surprised to hear that their young Sephardi aunts were taking them out for the day.  I was free!  I poured myself a glass of sangria and ran off to shul.  I was thinking about going to town to see my friend at the old age home when I suddenly remembered that I had left the potatoes on the gas. 

I said a silent prayer that my potatoes should not burn my house down.  I thought about calling my son to run upstairs but I couldn't be bothered borrowing someone's phone.  I got back home and the potatoes were in tact.  there were a few drops of water left in the pot.  it was a true Purim miracle.  I quickly made a mashed potato kugel  and drank some more sangria while it baked.  I ran off to a neighbor to give a Purim gift basket and returned home to a delicious kugel.  I had a small piece and ran off to my gal pal on the next street.

she was bummed out about the Purim party at the chabad house the previous night.  the party was a fiasco.  she was the music provider but the coordinator of the evening sabotaged all of her hard work and effort.  and to boot, she was locked out of the chabad house this morning, when she went to retrieve her equipment.   I brought her some of my happy sangria and walked her to an afternoon megillah reading.  I got home at about 2:00 p.m. and thought about calling a taxi to go to the Sephardi family.  just then, my daughter in-law came home and drove me to the family.  when I got there they were just starting to light the barbecue.  my son was lying on the couch in a dead heap.  he was miserable.  I just kept on drinking my sangria and passing out rum balls.

I suddenly was ravenous.  I went outside and grabbed a hot dog and a pita and gobbled it down.  I  then ate another three hotdogs and some salads.  I drank about 4 cups of strong tea.  the family started piling in.  I just kept on drinking my sangria and gulping down tea.  the little kids were getting their faces painted and wanted to paint mine.  I explained that I had a wedding to go to and couldn't risk face paint stains.  I ate more barbecue and was pleasantly stuffed.  we left the Purim meal at about 6:00 p.m. and we left for the wedding at around 7:00 p.m.  we got there with plenty of time to catch the ceremony.  the hall was massive.

 I didn't think that I could eat a another thing this evening, but they served brains and I wanted to try it.  it was really good.  I actually passed on the steak dinner but had a piece of chicken and half of a baked potato.  at one point I felt really nauseous.  it was way too late and way too much food for my poor stomach.  I truly dreaded the ride home.  luckily, I felt better after I drank some club soda.  we danced a bit at the disco and we left quite satisfied.  and to think we suffered all week long about going to a wedding on Purim.

I have to make Shabbat meals for the kids but I don't have the burden of watching the grandkids.  they happily slept over at the Sephardi grandparents' tonight.   I bought ingredients to make a tiramisu dessert.  I think I may have invited a friend to join us for Shabbat.  she has a dog but it's been quiet since we lost our cookie.  two dogs is better than three but four is way too many.  I have the leftover potato kugel but my friend doesn't eat mushrooms.  I threw in an entire can.  oh well......

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Are We Having Fun Yet 2016?

it is 11:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just got back from town.  my friend did a performance at a local café/supper club in the old city.  I got some money from my friend at the old age home when I helped bring her to the bank.  that little bit of gratuity helped pay the gardener this month.  I have exactly enough money in the bank to give a wedding check on Thursday night.  my friend's husband slipped me a hundred shekels today for Purim so I took his wife out to the café and paid for her dinner tonight.

I bought some chocolates and small bottles of grape juice to give out on Purim.  I am not baking hamentashen nor am I preparing a meal this year.  we are all going to the Sephardi family for Purim.  we can't really let our collective heads of hair down this year because we are obligated to go to our neighbor's wedding.  we cannot get drunk.  we cannot get outrageous.  I have the nagging suspicion  that my son will lose himself and pass out before the wedding.  worse scenario, I will go with the daughter-in-law.

I went to visit my old friend at the home today.  she was quite upset about something the resident social worker told her.  at this point I do not believe every thing that she tells me.  I try to have the head nurse confirm what is fiction and what is fact.  she marched herself right into the social worker's office and I followed behind.  se was having trouble getting the words out so I intervened.  the social worker attacked me.  she got upset and asked me not to speak to him any more.

I tried to get the idiot to show some compassion and try to speak to my friend in a softer manner.  he discussed his problems with me and I showed him no gratitude.  I also told him not to talk about this in front of my friend.  she isn't deaf.  he later came to complain about me to the head nurse.  I thought I finally had my friend calmed down.  her departing words to me was not to speak to the social worker again.

I tried to find shoes for the wedding.  I found a pair that looked nice but was a tiny bit snug around the toes.  the next size was enormous even with inserts.  I didn't buy the shoes and I'm very frustrated.  perhaps I can borrow a pair of my daughter-in-law's flats.  I got the day off today and didn't have to pick up the kids.  I had an engagement party at the local chabad  synagogue at 7:00 p.m.  I stopped off in town to get a present for the bride.

we got there and it was virtually empty.  we then helped put out salads and such and left right after the bride came in.  we wanted to catch the bus to town.  it was freezing.  luckily, we caught a taxi.  I had a lovely dinner and a hot chocolate with amaretto.  tomorrow is a fast day.  I am home with the kids tomorrow.  at night we go to the synagogue to hear the megilla and then I have a Purim party in town.  this year's theme is dead rock stars.  I wanted to channel bowie but I'd rather be a Katie Perry wannabee.  how fun!!

I bought some dried coconut and crushed peanuts to make rum balls.  I have a stale chocolate cake in the freezer and a bit of brandy so I will do my best to make these treats tomorrow.  I already made a pitcher of sangria for tomorrow night.  I was thinking about making a potato kugel to bring to the family for Purim but now I am thinking about not doing it.  I don't want any obligations.  I have to watch the kids on Thursday, too.  I will probably take them to a kids' party in the morning.  I tried on my outfit for the wedding today.  it's not that bad. I was able to get new pantyhose that actually fit.  I have black feather earrings just to give it that touch of Purim.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Hard Day's Night

it is 7:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I am in an emotional tail spin.  it was another nasty day today, cold and stormy.  I didn't plan on going outside.  my dog continues to wake me up in the middle of the night, seemingly in pain.  I tried to reach another vet this morning but his cell phone has been changed, I think.  I need a second opinion.   I need someone to tell me to put this dog down and quote me a reasonable price.  I think I will have to schlepp the dog by taxi on Friday morning to the clinic.

in the meanwhile the house stinks of pish and diarrhea.   all three dogs smell awful.  it is too cold to start bathing them.  I felt obligated to call my old friend in the old age home today and ask her if she wanted me to visit..  she had called me each day this week not to come out to see her.  I thought that she was looking out for me and I later realized that she was simply looking out for her money.

I had initially refused payment for my nine day stint with her at the hospital.  I did allow her to reimburse my cab fares.    and this was after a lot of exertion on her part.  I was not planning on going to the old age home a lot.  I felt that my participation was less needed.  I went a few times and once again she wanted to reimburse me for the taxis.  I guess I was giving mixed messages.   I have always found it hard to ask for money.

today when I called, she sounded very vulnerable and I think I heard her cry.  I asked her if she would like me to visit and she told me to come.  I got there before lunch and she was still resting in bed.  I tried to encourage her to keep on resting until lunch.  she tried to get caught up with me because I hadn't seen her in 6 days.  I have been in touch with every person who has gone to visit her and have had several long phone calls with women friends about her.  I did feel the shift in my involvement  as the key person at the home. 

I was officially off the hook so I don't know why I tried to get sucked back in.  she made it quite clear to everyone that she no longer required a visit in the morning or at lunch time.  that was primarily the time I went to see her.  I understand it all now.  I became a financial burden to her.  after she finished her lunch, she made her way back to her room to pay me.  she wanted to give me 50 shekels for my taxi rides for one day.  she only had 200 shekel notes and went into a bit of a panic.  she told me that she would pay me next time.

I don't know why I told her to give me the 200 today.  I offered to get change for her and then I offered the money back to her because she seemed desperate.  she didn't accept the 200 shekel note back and told me to keep a record of my taxi rides.  I think that I was feeling desperate because I knew that I needed money to pay the vet to put the dog down.  I felt awful when I left.  I think my friend was totally okay and calm when I left.  I cannot get calm.  I am fit to be tied.  I feel like she was playing mind games with me.

I never asked this woman for a dime.  she got very distressed when I didn't take the money.  she told me last week that even though she knew I didn't like to take money she needed to pay me.  I kept trying to qualify that she was reimbursing me for my cab fares and I guess, not for my time with her.  today before she ate her lunch, she said that she needed to pay me.  once again, I tried to encourage her to have her lunch before we got down to 'high finances'. 

she mentioned more than once today that everyone else who came to visit her did so for the mitzvah but she paid only me.  I just wasn't getting it.  I thought that she was rewarding me for my valiant effort to be with her and watch over her.  I don't know how many times I said that she didn't have to pay for my cab fares.  I took money from her because I thought that she would be hurt if I didn't.  what a mess I got mysef into.  I want to go tomorrow and return the money and tell her that it was all a misunderstanding and that I don't want any more money to transpire between us ever again.

I know that this a sign of her ongoing senility but it is also a sign of my financial vulnerability and desperation.  my son gave me a whole lecture on not taking her money but in the end, he doesn't give me rent or pay me for watching his kids all the time.  and I'm spending money that I do not have on buying food for Shabbat every week.  I spent a small fortune on the vet this week and next week I have a wedding to go to.  I'm not even thinking of pesach yet.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Monday Morning

it is 6:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the dog's yelping woke me up.  she still seems paralyzed and can't stand on her legs.  she is so stressed out.  she is able to drink some milk and eat a bit of tuna but can't navigate by herself.  the weather has changed.  it is very cold and stormy.  there went the summer like heat wave.  I have the beginning of a migraine.  yesterday my daughter-I-law had one.  she was on her way to the gym,  I begged her not to go.  the last time she went to gym in that condition she ended up in the emergency room and they performed a brain CT.

she came right back and went to bed.  I was in the process of raiding her fridge.  although I do not eat after 7:00 p.m., I am not shedding those unsightly extra pounds.  I know I consume a lot of calories and live a pretty stationery life.  the dog is crying and I don't know what else to do.  I gave her tramadol drops, a piece of an anti-inflammatory and a half of an antioxidant pill. I wish the vet would just put her out of her misery.  I don't really think that I can afford it.

it cost over $150 here.  I keep on petting her and trying to soothe her.  I can't take it.  she had to pish  in her bed.  it smells horrible.  she smells like a dead thing already.  the other dogs are very solicitous of her.  my head is sore and I'm overtired.  my eyes are burning.  I had the kids out in the park yesterday for a picnic and  a bit of exercise.  I splurged on cashews, popcorn and potato chips on them.  I also indulged in the nuts myself.  I never got lunch yesterday.  I have a wedding in a week and half and I was hoping to drop another five pounds. oh well....

my son came home relatively calm last night.  he was not able to shower the kids and put them to bed type of calm, but better than he left, type of calm.   he had closed his gallery and gone off to visit the grave sight of a tsadick in Meron.  good for him.  I think we are all holding on for dear life.  my back is throbbing.  I should be cleaning the house from  puppy's diarrhea attack yesterday, but I have no strength.  my friend in the old age home called me last night to tell me that I'm not needed today.  she is in charge of her own visitation now.  she went through her phone book with someone else and comprised  a list of women she liked to see.  slowly, slowly I am being pushed out of the picture.

I still get calls and emails from other women who are visiting.  we are all comparing notes.  everyone has her own thoughts about how to proceed.  I seem to be the only one who thinks her exit from this world is coming closer in time.  everyone else is waiting for a miracle.  I took the time to read about living with brain tumors even though it was too close for comfort for me.  I did call the hospital and schedule my next MRI.  I don't know what my future will hold and how my tumor will present problems either.  I feel like I'm playing Russian roulette with my brain tumor sometimes.

I don't have the kids today.  their mother splurged on tickets to see a kid's show.  if it was warm and sunny I'd me mopping the floors right now.  I think I will curl up in bed and watch 'the Blacklist'. on VOD.  I don't feel well.  I  think that I will just go back to sleep.

Gimme A Break

it is 2:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I am truly bummed out.  I didn't sleep a wink last night.  I went to Shabbat lunch with good friends on the next block.  it really is a bit further than that but I still relate to it in Brooklyn terms.  in fact, my friend thought that I literally lived a block away and schlepped over here one time, all out of breath.  it's about a 7 minute walk uphill.  I decided to walk to the Sephardi family for third meal.  I arrived around 4:00 p.m.  it was quite hot outside.  it took me about 45 minutes.  I'm totally out of shape.  it isn't really more than half an hour walk.

 everyone there was tired and all the kids were beyond hyper active.  one young aunt had given out individual bottles of coke to all the small kids.  it's not as if they hadn't already been plied with candy all Shabbat long.  this is the only family that I know who serves rounds of candy and ices between the fish and meat courses.  the young parents chatted amongst themselves while the children ran amuck.  at one point the Sephardi grandma yelled at the little boys to stop jumping on the bed.  a little while later two of the boys toppled to the floor. one of them was my grandson.  luckily, no one got hurt but the fur started to fly.

Sephardi grandmother vs. Sephardi grandfather and Sephardi big sisters against my daughter-in-law; all letting out primal screams accusing my chubby grandson of pushing his cousin off the bed.  a few moments later the toddler fell off the couch and the screams began once again.  by the time we left for home we were all spent.  I couldn't really relax.  I received a couple of heavy phone calls about our mutual friend in the old age home.  apparently, the nurse there thinks she can continue like this for a year.  I wouldn't want to place a bet or anything like that but my money would not be on the nurse.

I was supposed to go to a CPR course in English today.  I fell asleep around 5:00 a.m.  it might have been later.  I couldn't stand up at 8:00 a.m.  I felt nauseous and my head hurt.  the daughter-in-law had a migraine and my son was having a 'rough time'.  my oldest dog is screaming.  she had lost her bark of late but she doesn't stop crying.  I was awakened by her crying all night long.  I called the vet.  she gave her a shot of morphine and se slept for awhile.  she just got up and is yelping again.  I gave her two drops of tramadol.  she can eat and drink but suddenly she lost the ability to walk.  just what I need!!  I have no patience for this.

I didn't visit my friend in the old age home today because I was supposed to go to the course.  I have to get the kids soon from gan.  my neighbor is having a Sephardi engagement party for her daughter tonight.  I feel like I should go.  it will be a hoot.  the ladies go wild and there is lot's of goodies and food.  I don't think I have the strength to go.  the wedding is on Purim.  my son is in no shape to go  later and my daughter-in-law is working all night.  we are all obligated to go to the wedding.  I wish I could feel excited and go out and just have some fun.  I don't think I can leave the dog alone.  she is in pain and distress.

I don't feel like being with the kids, either,  I am truly tired and stressed out.  I don't really have an outfit for tonight but I guess, I could throw something together.  I was hoping to lose weight before the wedding but that didn't really happen.  I managed to get an appointment for my next brain MRI and doctor's appointment in early June.  that was quite an accomplishment.  my MRI is at 5:00 a.m in Tel Aviv.  I guess I won't be getting any sleep that night.  I will have to take a taxi there and my health carrier will pay for it.  I will return home by bus.  my young male dog had an upset stomach during the night and made diarrhea all over the house.  that is how I started my morning.

I think the vet will have to come back.. the dog doesn't seem any better.  she suspects a tumor or stroke.  sound familiar????  and no, we are not having fun yet.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Enter Simcha

it is 2:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I have spent the morning on the phone with friends.  no food shopping, cooking or cleaning today.  the kids gave me the good news that we were all invited out for Shabbat.  we are going to the Sephardi family for Shabbat.  the kids haven't had a Shabbat out in months.  I am excited for the grand kids and I am totally relieved that I have nothing to do.

I am tired and very sad.  a very old friend is dying.  I spent 9 days in the hospital with her and have been visiting her often at the old age home.  I watch the daily decline and I block it out.  yesterday it finally hit me and I started crying.  it started me reliving the final days of my mom, too.  I thought I had worked out my emotional issues with my mom a long time ago.  she's been gone for7 years.  I started dreaming of my mom and reliving fights.  I am in a very vulnerable place.

we just heralded in the new month of Adar.  Purim is just around the corner.  we are supposed to be with joy and increase the amount each day.  I can't get there yet.  I am in mourning mode.  I come home from the old age home with medical issues each week.  I have been experiencing headaches and leg and back pains.  I usually collapse over Shabbat.  I will need to walk home from the Sephardi family tonight.  I haven't walked in a long time. I am completely out of shape.  I seem to absorb my friend's physical limitations, too.  I feel like I'm 90 years old instead of 64.

last night I took the kids to the local synagogue for a festive meal and evening of music.  there was food for days.  we sat at a semi empty table and I sampled all the salads.  they were great.  I don't eat after 7:00 p.m. anymore.  I have lost about 3 pounds.  big deal!  I need to shed at least another 20.  my good girlfriend who lives on the next block, told me about not eating at night.  they were barbecuing tons of chicken and the kids wanted some.  it was taking a long time and the kids were getting antsy.  my grandson was getting bent out of shape.  they are usually in bed by 8:00 p.m..

my skinny granddaughter was having salads and pickles and was in her element.  my chubby grandson was getting whiney and desperate.  luckily, my friend's husband took my grandson outside to find him some meat.  then they started bringing  in tons of more salads, barekas, pitas, kugel, and all kinds of pastry dough objects filled with meat.  I had a plate of chumus toppled with chopped meat.  my girlfriend told me that chumus is fattening.. oh well.  I got some chicken for the grandkids and they were finally happy.  they had soft drinks and I helped myself to a shot of arak. 

at 9:00 p.m. my granddaughter was falling asleep in my lap and my grandson was shoving barekas into his mouth.  I got up to leave.  the Sephardi ladies asked why I was leaving while the music was just starting.  I had the kids as my excuse.  the truth is I was tired and a bit heart broken.  I had a rough day at the  old age home.  my granddaughter wanted me to carry her home.  I could not.  we managed o get home and I still needed to shower the kids.  my son came home but as usual, was in no shape to shower the kids.

he currently has a bruised rib.  it may be cracked.  who knows?  the kids passed out and my son recounted his 'war' stories of working on the gallery row in the old city.  he was talked out so I wished him goodnight.  I dragged my body upstairs and let the dogs out.  I think one of my old dogs is dying.  she's lost her bark.  she lets out sounds like a crying baby.  I have no patience.  I want a moment to feel joy.  enough death!!  at around 200 a.m. I started to cry.  I feel so sad.  and I am fatigued.