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!