Sunday, August 13, 2017

Life Goes On

it is 8:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  the grandkids just left.  and no, I did not shower them.  they were in the pool and I was exhausted.  they were actually, getting along together in the computer room and I passed out for a moment.  I even got to see my Australian cooking contest show at 6:00 p.m.

I made some chicken wings and French fries for my grandson.  the granddaughter wanted tuna fish but of course, didn't eat any.  she ended up having a yogurt with a banana.  I had one myself.  I am suffering from a severe earache.  I have had it since last week.  I did go to the dentist because I also had an awful toothache.

the dentist thought that I had an infected wisdom tooth so I took a week's load of antibiotics.  I can't believe how woozy I felt.  I have been pretty miserable of late.  a couple of weeks ago I slid on some dog pish and broke a toe.   on Shabbat my sciatic acted up and I was crippled.  I couldn't even stand up straight.  my teeth ached and my ear was inflamed.

I couldn't reach the dentist today, of course.  I don't have the kids tomorrow so hopefully I will get to see the dentist tomorrow.  it was a bit cooler on Saturday but once again, it became unbearably hot today.  they say that it is the hottest it's been in 100 years but I think they said the same thing last year.  my back is much better but my inner ear and jaw are both killing me.

 I am having friends stay over on Wednesday so I went to the local supermarket to buy a few things today.  there are tons of tourists visiting safed right now so the large supermarket is a real jungle.  if you don't get there early there is nothing left on the shelves.  I couldn't deal with the place this morning.  we will probably do some barbecuing on Thursday so I will have to buy some wings, kabobs and hamburgers.

I spent a bit of time in the pool this afternoon. I don't think it was the best thing to do with my ear problem but it was too hot not to.  I have no patience at this point.  I cannot deal with this pain much longer.  I have some pain relief pills but I haven't taken any.  i'm too lazy to go and find them.

I am basically, using arnica oil and peroxide to deal with the pain.  I travelled with the kids to hadera on Thursday to pay a condolence call.  my daughter-in-law's 49 year old aunt succumbed to her 9 year battle with bone cancer.  she was truly a saint.  she was a tremendous source of strength when I was sick.  she truly was a happy woman who loved her family.  she had an infinite amount of faith,  too.

it was a pleasure to see this extended family in action.  in spite of the tragedy everyone was united and loving.  there were loads of little children and babies running around and everyone got along.  the family unity is amazing.  having not had that all my life, made it seem even more miraculous.  yes, I am still not speaking with my family.  I try not thinking about them now.

the holidays are getting pretty close.  I want to do the minimum.  I will try and go out for most of the meals.  I am still contemplating the brain surgery.  my friends are leaving for a month in November so I need to do the surgery in October.  my other option is to wait until I become symptomatic.  my sister not having anything to do with me, leaves me very vulnerable, medically.  I don't think my son will be able to help me that much.  oh well.....

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Fasting In Safed

it is 4:40 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  we have been fasting since 7:30 p.m. last night.  I asked the gardener what he eats before the fast.  he told me that he just eats some sandwiches.  he also said that eating too much makes it harder to fast.  I haven't suffered on a fast in years since I stopped drinking coffee.  I used to get the most extreme caffeine withdrawals and headaches.

I haven't been drinking much tea lately, either.  I've had a pretty bad toothache.  I've been applying  arnica oil and rinsing with peroxide every 4 hours. I found that chewing raw ginger seemed to have a numbing effect on the gums.  since we are fasting, I didn't rinse with the peroxide this morning.  nor did I chew any ginger.

I have been watching holocaust memoirs and movies all day.  it is hard to stay in a sad mode.  we are mourning for the loss of our holy temples but it not so easy to relate to.  there was a large march last night by the 'women in green' movement  through the old city of Jerusalem.  there has been a lot of violence perpetrated against Jews recently.  two young policeman were killed and three members of a family were butchered by terrorists.

the incident happened on Shabbat night.  they were murdered at their Shabbat meal in their family's home.  I know that I write a lot about what I cook for Shabbat.  it is impossible to grasp the horror of what happened to this family who were celebrating the birth of a son, grandson and nephew.  the Jews are not allowed to pray on the temple mount.  it is under arab jurisdiction.  they consider it to be one of their most holy sites.  the two policemen, who were in their early twenty's, were murdered because the government had installed security equipment on the mount.  the arabs didn't much like that.

the two policemen and three members of the soloman family have been buried.  the surveillance equipment has been dismantled.  and we still don't have a holy temple.  that should be enough to keep us sad for a period of 24-25 hours while we fast.  somehow it doesn't.  we need to read the book of lamentations but yet it still isn't enough.  so we resort to watching holocaust movies.  if you google 'tisha b'av' you can get a list of the 10 best holocaust films.

on Holocaust memorial day there is no regular television broadcasting except for holocaust documentaries and movies.  even though it is a regular day in the country you cannot watch regular television.  on tisha b'av, the saddest day for the jews and a mandatory fast day, it is hard to find a holocaust show on cable television.  so, I sit and lie in the computer room watching the 1978 movie 'holocaust'.  it is hard to believe it was broadcasted 39 years ago.  there is a very young meryl streep playing a berlin gentile intermarried with a jew.

I think I actually watched this television series when it was first broadcasted so many years ago.  it seemed so shocking at the time.  when I first came to Israel in 1984 I was bored.  safed was a one horse town and the horse had just died.  there weren't many cars and only one movie theater.  there was no supermarket yet and they had built a maul but it was empty.  I started reading books.  and I started reading about the holocaust.  I can remember entering my mother's bedroom on several occasions while she sat crying, watching holocaust documentaries. 

I never could relate.  after all, the holocaust had happened so long ago.  I didn't know of any family members who had been murdered.  my parents were born in America and my grandparents had emigrated at the turn of the century.  I never knew that my great grandparents and several of their children had succumbed to the Nazis.  it probably wouldn't have mattered.  we were so sheltered and spoiled.   in 1984 I got familiar very familiar with the holocaust by reading many books.  I still like to read anything about the holocaust.  I finished the novel 'the nightingale' on sunday morning at around 4:00a.m.

I used to be able to read the book of lamentations all day long.  I cannot anymore.  I struggle to be happy.  I respect the day so I keep with the program except for the praying.  I might try a little bit in a while.  I have been lying down all day.  I finally feel okay to sit up.  three weeks ago I went to the hospital in tel aviv on a fast day. the fast started in the morning.  I had stopped eating at 8:30 p.m. the previous evening.  I went 24 hours without eating and I felt fine.  it was hot and yet I travelled 3 hours to the hospital and another 3 hours back.  I was mobile and pretty active.  I can't move today.

I am beginning to think about what I want to eat when the fast ends in a couple of hours from now.  the kids came over last night to eat before the fast.  I wasn't planning on cooking anything.  it is extremely hot outside and very humid.  there is no air.  I thought that the heat wave had broken on sunday but it started right back up again.  I got out and went to the supermarket.  I bought a bag of green lentils, shallots, cracked wheat, bow tie noodles and a few sweet potatoes and a few white ones.  I bought a small cream cheese and half of a watermelon.  I have never seen shallots in my 66 years on earth except on a cooking show.  surprise, they are tiny red oinions! oh well.

I had to go back out into the heat to pick up the grandkids from their summer camp.  I truly struggled to get home with the groceries. I first stopped off at the bakery to buy a few baguettes.  cooking was even harder to do.  the house was so hot.  there was no breeze.  the fans blew hot air.  I made a lentil  soup with carrots, shallots and white potatoes.  I was going for stew but opted at the last moment for soup.  I cooked up the sweet potatoes and the bow tie pasta.  I made the cracked wheat.  I even cooked up a couple of beets.  the daughter-in-law loves beets. 

I was soaking wet after I finished cooking.  the kitchen was smoking.  I fed the kids pasta.  I also bought them each, two barekas at the bakery.  I wasn't feeling so well.  the granddaughter was being a real brat and I wasn't up for it.  I tried running away from her and sitting outside.  she followed me outside and continued her whining and screaming.  I was too hot to worry about the neighbors.  the grandson has been pretty easy going lately sans meds.

I continued to eat all day long.  the watermelon was not great.  I ended the day with a bowl of soup and a hard cooked egg.  it is traditional to dip a slice a bread or egg into a bit of ash.  every year I do this and every year I suffer.  this year I skipped the ash.  my son and wife weren't in a hurry to get home.  they seemed calm.  they said the food was good.  I felt dirty and smelly and couldn't wait for everyone to go home.  as soon as they left I got out of my rancid clothes and put on a robe and passed out.  I slept through the entire night.  I let the dogs out at 6:00 a.m. and went back to sleep.

the fast will end soon and the three weeks of mourning will end and then we will have the klezmer music festival.  the kids will be able to go back in the pool and I will do my laundry and go out and try to buy a new skirt or two.  I don't want to be sad anymore.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Another Friday Morning

it is 9:30 a.m. in the holy city of safed.   the grandkids slept over last night.  I haven't really slept much lately.  I've been binge watching the first three seasons of Homeland.  I know they already broadcasted six seasons but we are a bit behind the times here in the holy land.  I went to sleep with each grandkid wrapped around me at 10:00 p.m.  the grandson got up 6:00 a.m.  the dogs didn't want to go out this morning.  it is still pretty hot here.  after I blog, I'll go downstairs so the kids can swim in the pool.

I already cooked a few chicken legs in spicy tomato sauce, some buckwheat groats and some tuna steaks in a hot sauce for my Shabbat dinner tonight.  I also made cottage cheese pancakes.  this time I added oatmeal and they aren't as light as the previous ones and a bit bitter.  I didn't add a banana this time, either.  I had only one left and my grandson may want it later. I just might help myself to a drizzle of honey tomorrow morning.  I went to the outdoor market on Wednesday with my grandson.  he's been with me every day this week.

I only bought some grapes, nectarines and figs from my 'man' this week.  I bought a lot of unroasted pistachios, almonds and sunflower seeds.  I think I ate too much this week.  even though, I stop eating at 8:00 p.m., I feel like I gained weight.  I just don't sleep or move enough to lose any weight.  it's very discouraging.  I think it's been a month now that I started my new eating regimen.  I used to lose on the 'south beach' but I don't think I can give up fruit at this point.  from every thing I read, fruit helps lose belly fat.  who knows?

I think I will be home alone on Shabbat.  I've had the grandkids all week and I need some alone time.  I will go to my synagogue and stay for the Kiddush but go home and eat my own food this week.  I have a novel that I have been wanting to read and haven't opened for weeks.  I need to return it next week to the English library downtown.  I also have to pay my water bill.  it's been too hot to schlepp down to their office lately.  my grandson doesn't like to go to town with me.  he did agree to go the shuk on Wednesday because he knew I would buy him a toy and some treats there.  there is a local bus that stops directly in front of the market so it's very doable.

I need to wash the floors.  the pincher dog has become incontinent.  she makes wherever she is.  she does go outside but she 's lost it.  she was never 100% trained but this is pretty bad.  the grandkids tell me to get her a 'shot' but I can't reconcile putting her down just yet. she still walks, eats and goes outside and sleeps with me.  I will do the floors after the kids have their time in the pool.  traditionally, you don't swim during the 'nine days' before the fast of tisha b'av.  my son's Rabbi said  that if I stay close to the pool and watch them every moment, they can be in the pool.  I can't go in and I have to stand next to the pool to see them. 

I bought extra veggies in case anyone wanted to join me for Shabbat meals.  I think i'll make the kids some chips later.  I like raw veggies more than cooked, these days.  I truly enjoy raw beets.  I bought  prepared chumus because I ran out of chickpeas.  I do prefer homemade to store bought.  there is a chumus restaurant in rosh pina.  they serve it warm with hard cooked eggs.  it's pretty yummy.  I made some boiled eggs.  I think I'll make a nicoise- like salad for third meal with the left over tuna.

all I do is think about food,  is it any wonder that I can't shed the pounds?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Be Careful

it is 12:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I just finished mopping up the laundry room and kitchen downstairs.  the pipe from the washing machine dislodged and all the water flooded out.  this is not a small job.  the laundry room is humongous.  I started my day by slipping on some dog pish in the hallway and landed on my back with one leg on the ground.  the other foot folded under my body and it feels like I might have broken a toe.  I rubbed my trusted arnica oil on it and so far it isn't black and blue but it is very painful to stand on it.  are we having fun?

I discovered that pigeons had been nesting on my rooftop balcony.  I need to clean up upstairs as well as clean the apartment. you may remember that it got trashed two years ago when we had a 3 day dust storm.  I had just made pesach upstairs for a potential renter and I left the windows open to air it out.  I haven't had the time or energy to clean it up since.

my grandson came over at 8:30 a.m. as he is finished with his 3 week summer camp.  the daughter-in-law found a 2 week camp that starts next week for both kids.  the only problem is that it's located very close to my sister's apartment.  I would not like to run into her while I'm picking up the kids.  it's also located near the Sephardi family's apartment so hopefully they will help out a bit.  the burden does seem to fall on me each year.

I asked the kids if they had made Shabbat plans on thursday.  I was open to cooking this week.  I was invited to join them on Friday night.  I didn't think that I would have the energy to walk up to their neighborhood.  I didn't really want to eat heavy food so late at night.  I have been stopping my eating every night at 8:00 p.m.  I don't think I lost any weight yet but I feel a bit better.  I had bought a prepared frozen chcken stir-fry and I figured on eating it on Friday night.  I was hoping to rest on Saturday and read a book.  I thought I'd have some canned tuna fish and salads for lunch.  I wanted to stay in.

I defrosted the 'stir-fry' and it looked quite disgusting.  I think I might had bought this once before and threw it out.  the sauce was kind of phlegm like.  I didn't even think of heating it up.  the dogs got a great meal.  they loved it but they also love dog do.  it was a bit disappointing.  I decided to cook some tuna steaks for dinner for myself.  I went back to bed for a while.

I was so exhausted on Friday morning that I didn't get out of bed until 11:00 a.m.  I actually schlepped out of bed to answer the phone.  it was my son asking if they could come for Shabbat dinner.  I sprung into action and washed the floors.  I had done the master bedroom on Thursday. I needed to buy fish, lemons and drinks.  I had one beer and a Bacardi breezer in the fridge.  I had bought eggs at the open air market, as well as a bunch of mangoes and black grapes and olives on Wednesday.  I still had some tomatoes, cucumbers and green cabbage and a large bag of carrots in the fridge.  I had tons of cookies in the closet.

I ran down to the supermarket and bought 3 bottles of soft drinks, a bottle of lemon juice, a large challah, 2 avocadoes, 2 beets, 2 small bananas, 2 lemons and 2 containers of cottage cheese, a bag of cilantro and a bag of milk.  I wanted to make my skinny cottage cheese pancakes for Shabbat morning.  I changed the bed sheets in case someone wanted to sleep over.  I defrosted a package of chicken thighs.  he kids brought over their defrosted fish fillets before they took off with the grandkids for the day. 

I made a bunch of boiled eggs.  I turned some into an egg salad with mayonnaise and some into an avocado and egg spread.  I could only find 2 fresh lemons in the supermarket.  one was the size of an orange.  I bought the lemon juice as a backup.  I never use it.  I grated the beets and added lemon.  I prefer raw beet salad to cooked beets.  I also made a grated carrot salad with lemon, ginger, coconut flakes and cilantro.  I made my own chumus.  I cooked the fish in a Moroccan spicy red sauce with carrots. I made a cole slaw with mayonnaise and cilantro.   I made a cooked tomato salsa.  I broiled the chicken in a spice mix of cumin, sweet paprika, turmeric, garlic and allspice.  I made a pot of boiled wheat.  the kids usually love it.

my grandson entered with his bag of pajamas and let me know that he he was sleeping over, right off the bat. my granddaughter started to cry because she also wanted to sleep over and didn't come with pajamas.  luckily, I had found a pair of her shorts and a tee shirt and put it in the bedroom.  their parents left and I took the kids to the corner with the dogs.  it was pretty hot in my house and there was air outside.  no one was sleepy.  I had set up a fan in the bedroom so it was a bit cool.  I slept between the kids, as usual. 

we made it out to synagogue at 9:00 a.m. after a couple of squabbles.  they were pretty behaved and found kids to play with.  we stayed for the Kiddush and both kids filled up on drinks and boiled eggs.  I had a lovely lunch of fish and then chicken.  the kids were busy playing.  I let them swim in the pool for a while.  the house pretty much got trashed.  the five year old balabuster cleaned it all up by herself.  no one took a nap.  I did lie down for a bit.  we went to the local park and found a turtle.  they had never seen one.  we finally said goodbye to the turtle and went home.

we got back into out Shabbat clothes and walked up to their apartment.   I had some salad and waited for Shabbat to end.  my son drove me home.  I was a bit tired. wonder why?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tuesday Good News Day

it is 10:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I saw my gyn oncologist this morning.  I got a great report and he upped my next visit to 9 months instead of the usual 6.  I  have a giant crush on him and I will miss him but I don't mind the break at all.  my taxi driver arrived 20 minutes late this morning and I was in a near panic.  I must have called the company at least four times.

standing outside in the hot sun didn't help at all.  it is still very hot in safed.  I think they say it's 100 degrees.   it is supposed to break tomorrow.  we shall see.  right now there is actually a nice breeze outside.  I opened the windows for some air.  I had a terrible earache and it travelled into my jaw.  travelling was not so pleasant this morning..

I waited close to an hour to get my number for the doctor.  it was sheer madness in the waiting area.  there were well over 100 ladies waiting to see various doctors.  on this floor you have a mix of female cancer patients along with the very healthy and visibly pregnant ladies.  it seems a bit strange to me.  I actually only waited half an hour to see my doctor although it took two hours to bypass the bureaucracy.  I was number 104 and there were plenty of ladies who came after me. I suddenly felt a bit dizzy.

I stopped off at the pharmacy there to buy pain relief pills, and peroxide.  I didn't take any and I didn't open the peroxide, either.  I'm too tired. I ate a pear and some almonds on the way to tel aviv and splurged on a small wheel of camembert cheese for the ride home.  it was lovely.  I didn't have to wait long for my busses.  I was back in safed at 5:00 p.m.  I gobbled up some peanuts and had a glass of milk.  just around 8:00 p.m. when I quit eating for the night, I had a can of tuna and a pickle.  it's water for me now until the morning.

I felt stronger on the way home.  last week at the same time, I was fasting the entire day while I made my way through the hospital.  today should have been a breeze but it was not.  the ear pain kept me down.  it's beginning to act up now but I'm too tired to deal with it.  I read about natural remedies.  I think i'll try some peroxide now.  I can always take a pill.  I should get used to pain pills.  after the brain surgery, I'm sure I will be needing them.

I am truly spent.  navigating through this intense heat is depleting.  yesterday we had a horrific fire in safed.  it was down the street form the Sephardi grandparents.  they were evacuated for a few hours from their house.  4 houses burnt to the ground.  they say it started as a brush fire.  seven people were sent to the hospital.  I was on my computer and I suddenly smelled burning rubber.  I thought that perhaps my fan was burning out.  after I inspected the house, I realized that it was a fire outside.

I went to pick up my granddaughter from her day camp and she told me that her grandmother's house was on fire.  she had seen it on someone's cellphone.  I called the Sephardi grandmother as soon as we got home.  her house was safe but the street was burning up.  the area was cordoned off and the busses were rerouted.  I was glad that I had stayed home to watch the kids.  my granddaughter wanted to see the fire very badly.  I tried to show her pix from the internet.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday All Day

it is 11:00 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  it is another hot day but there is a bit of a breeze.  I just had my breakfast.  I finally got to taste my silver dollar cottage cheese banana pancakes.  I found a recipe which uses only 5 tablespoons of flour.  I don't have a gluten problem so, for now, I will use regular flour.  I do want to explore almond and coconut flour in the near future. my sister is diabetic and I'm trying to get some recipes in order for when she visits.

I like these pancakes for Saturday norming before I go to services.  it's a nice change from muffins.  the dogs love them.  I was able to get about 28-29 pancakes.  after five, I'm satisfied.  I do like a bit of summer fruit with them.  today I had mangoes.  the fruit tends to ripen pretty fast in the heat.  my gardener said this morning that I looked younger.  I guess being hydrated agrees with me.  and of course, my eating lots of fruit and not eating after 8:00 p.m. doesn't hurt.

I woke up with a terrible earache.  I babysat last night for the kids and I didn't know how to turn off the air conditioner.  I couldn't find a cover, either.  I made myself a hot cup of tea to warm up.  unfortunately, the caffeine kept me up all night.  I finally turned the television off around 4:00 a.m. and fell asleep.  I woke up with an excruciating earache.  I didn't have any peroxide so I put a bit of arnica oil inside.  it took the edge off but I'm still in pain.  the grandkids are coming over and I'm not fit for human consumption.

I don't think I should go into the pool today. it is really hot outside and I can't see sitting outside in the hot sun while the kids play around in the pool.  I am not a happy camper right now.  I have been experiencing a certain well being of late.  it has been a long time coming.  I am trying so hard to shed all of this extra weight.  it just isn't budging.  I am not really active so I see that diet alone cannot do much.  it's really too hot to take long walks.

I'm off, once again, to the hospital in tel aviv tomorrow.  I will take a taxi and return by bus.  that's 3 busses, actually. I have a 50 minute bus ride from the hospital back to tel Aviv, proper and usually about that amount of time waiting for one.  I then have another long wait for a bus back to tel aviv.  I try to take an express bus which arrives in Rosh Pina in about 2 and a quarter hours.  I then take a local bus back to safed and I have about a 10 minute walk home.

tomorrow is my gyn oncologist visit.  I care about this extra weight.  I postponed it for about a month but I wasn't successful in shedding any weight.  oh well.  at least I look well, according to the gardener.  I have had an emotional time.  I had a falling out with my sister and missed the family wedding.  I am an emotional eater.  too bad, I didn't stop eating.  I'd be thin by now.  I am beginning to feel whole.  I still think about what was said all the time but I don't have the emotional baggage. I can actually experience joy.  I don't feel like a marked woman, anymore.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Afternoon Delight

it is 4:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I'm going to the Sephardi in-laws for Shabbat dinner.  the kid's grandfather, who is ten years younger than me, is having a birthday.  I didn't make it to the Sephardi grandma's birthday party but I feel more obligated to join them tonight.  it is still very hot in safed.  we do get some relief at night.  the house is very hot.  I have 3 fans going and it is bearable.

I made some 'skinny' banana cottage cheese pancakes for breakfast.  they only have 4 tablespoons of flour and two tablespoons of olive oil.  I added a lot of cinnamon.  no sugar was added.  last week I ate them with a nectarine sauce.  I threw out the sauce today without tasting it.  I was not in the mood for 'geriatric' food.

 I went back to the open air market on Wednesday and bought more fruit.  last week I discovered someone selling the most delicious fruits at really low prices.  I bought 6 pounds of nectarines for $2.50.  they were luscious and sweet and juicy and not at all like what you get in the supermarket.  I couldn't possibly eat all of them so I gave half to my daughter-in-law.  in this heat fruit ripens instantly.

I finally went to the large supermarket in Canaan.  I have been avoiding it for months.  I didn't want to run into my sister or niece.  I said a silent prayer that I should not see anyone who can harm me before I entered the store.  I made a playdate with a friend and the little boy she cares for with my grandkids.  we decided to make a barbecue.  I bought franks and chicken wings and hamburgers for really little money.  and of course, I bought a large bag of marshmallows. I also stocked up my freezer for the holidays.  I even bought frozen kreplach for Yom Kippur.  the holidays do come early this year.

I went to the brain surgeon on Tuesday.  it was a fast day.  I have not been eating after 8:00 p.m. lately. I got to the hospital in two hours by taxi.  the hospital was freezing.  I didn't feel hungry or thirsty.  getting home was a bit trickier.  it took about 5 hours to return.  I ended up taking a taxi from Rosh Pina.  I was spent.  I got back at 7:00 p.m. and the fast ended at 8:15 p.m.  for me it was a 24 our fast and I felt fine.  I think my body needed a strong fast.

I haven't weighed myself.  I think I may have lost an inch or two but my stomach is still very poufy. I have to say that drinking more liquids and eating fruits has helped me.  I feel much better and more energetic.  I am contemplating undergoing the brain surgery after the holidays.  we shall see what happens.  next week I go, once again, to tel aviv to see my gyn oncologist.  I might do a fruit fast on Sunday and Monday.  I am desperate to drop a bit of weight before I see the doctor.

I have had the grandkids with me all week.  we have spent a good deal of the time in the pool downstairs.  both kids swim like fish now.  of course, I can't get a moment to relax.  they need my constant attention and focus.  at least I feel needed.  as my taxi pulled out of the supermarket parking lot yesterday, I spotted my sister entering the supermarket.  it was the first time that I saw her since our falling out. I was so relieved to have missed her inside. prayers do get answered.

I woke up at 8:00 a.m. feeling pretty groggy and tired.  I had the kids with me until 10:00 p.m. last night.  I quickly washed all the floors because they were trashed.  I scurried around straightening up and I did the leftover dishes from the barbecue.  the kids got here around 10:00 a.m.  there was no day camp this morning.  both of them had meltdowns right away but at separate moments.  I worried about the neighbors being inconvenienced.  I guess that's by codependence acting up. they both recovered from their fits and we had a nice time in the pool.

I bought the kids new skate shaped scooters. they had a bit of a tumble going down a hill together. they both got pretty scraped up.  luckily, no damage to their faces. elbows and knees were mostly damaged.  I guess their removing their shoes was not a good idea.  it left them without a brake. oh well....

 the kids made birthday cards for their Sephardi grandpa today and I gave then a barbecue set to give him for a present.  I was willing to schlepp downstairs to the supermarket to buy him something but I remembered that I had bought a new set of utensils for pesach.  I must fly now and take my shower.  the Sephardi grandpa brings in Shabbat early.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


it is 11:00 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  I just washed my kitchen and dining room floors.  the large dog named, tiny, just tracked in muddy paw prints.  we are having an intense heat wave.  it has been over 100 degrees here.  I am one of the few people in this world who doesn't have air-conditioning in my house.  actually, there is a fine unit upstairs in the rooftop apartment but the place got trashed a couple of years ago when we had a 3 day sand storm.  I haven't been able to clean the apartment.

I had just done a pesach cleaning upstairs, as someone was interested in renting.  I left the windows open to air out the apartment and forgot to close them.  we had a very bizarre ash storm that lasted for days.  my entire house was covered in a layer of grey dust.  the dust was in the air. you could see it and taste it. It took over a year for it to settle.  it looked like the end of the world.  all the trees were covered in grey dust and we didn't have any rain to clean the air.  scores of people ended up in the hospital.  some lucky people with air-conditioning had kept their windows shut.  the rest of us were not so lucky.

I am travelling tonight to tel aviv to do an MRI of my brain.  it has been 8 months since my last test.  I have an appointment next week to see the surgeon.   I was supposed to have done the surgery back in December.  I got the flu and stayed sick for most of the winter.  I then got busy cleaning for pesach and the time flew by.  I am not particularly nervous today.  my blood pressure went up two weeks ago when I went to ask my doctor for the medical insurance papers.  I was shaking.

I started a diet regimen.  it is way too hot to truly move around.  I have stopped eating after 8:00 p.m. for three nights, already.  I take a 12 hour break now from food.  I started drinking water and lemon.  I haven't had a cup of caffeinated tea in a week.  I drink at least four cups of water upon waking.  I still feel dizzy when I am outside.  I haven't started the South Beach diet yet.  I have simply, stopped binging and eating any sugar.  I have been eating plenty of watermelon and cantaloupe.  my stomach looks a bit less bloated.

I am still hungry all the time but I am watching what I eat.  I used to lose my appetite in the heat but no such luck, now.  I haven't had any food yet today.  the grandkids will be here soon.  they are both in day camps.  I have been using the pool a lot.  the water has been pretty tepid.  I love the shock of cold water but in this heat you have to settle for wet.  I ordered a taxi to pick me up from the hospital at around 3:00 a.m.  my test is scheduled for 12:30 a.m.  it usually takes a couple of hours.  I hope I won't end up waiting a long time for the cab.

it is supposed to be even hotter tomorrow.  it is my English birthday.  I usually go by the Hebrew date but my siblings, back in the states, do not.  I had a nice visit with my niece from India last week.  she didn't ask why I missed her sister's wedding.  perhaps, she assumes, that my health didn't allow it.  there was no mention of any falling out between me and her mother.  my niece is a sweet young lady.  I was very happy that she came over to see me.  my kids do not allow me to invite her kids to use the pool.

my son and wife were very angry that I had a visit with my niece.   that entire family is dead to them forever.  they feel that I have groveled enough to them for years to maintain any semblance of a relationship.  I find it impossible to hate anyone.  although I do not feel that I can ever trust my sister again, it pains me to no end to know that she never wants to see me again.  I just thought that a break was necessary for each of us to regroup.  I know that I must focus on my family unit right now.  I cannot afford to be alienated from my son and his family right now.

I originally asked my sister if she would be my medical power of attorney.  I will have to make my son the power of attorney now and pray that he will come through for me.  the thought of depending on him is very scary for me.  I have always been the caregiver.

I must focus on my health now and get myself back in shape.  this is the fattest I have ever been.  I hope to lose a bit before my oncologist appointment in two weeks. I am so embarrassed to have put on so much weight.  I went with my friend to her hematologist appointment in the safed hospital yesterday.  she got taken in an hour early and we were out in an hour.  I felt a twinge of jealousy.  I always wait at least 2 hours to see my doctors in tel aviv.  if I have a 9:00 a.m. appointment I am lucky if I am taken by 11:30.  that's the price of going to a top notch hospital.  I have been thoroughly traumatized by the staff at the safed hospital throughout the years.  I watched helplessly as they nearly killed my mom.

there is no complaining to a higher authority here.  I try to influence my friends to seek out other treatments elsewhere.  travelling is definitely hard but I owe my survival to not having done my treatment here and of course, to G-d.  I didn't sleep much last night.  I watched the last season of the sopranos.  it's just to hot!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Afternoon

it is 2:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I feel a bit strange.  I don't really have anything to do.  I did a scouple of batches of laundry, earlier.  it was mostly towels and sheets.  it was mostly covered in dog pish.  cloey, the pincher is losing her control.  when I let them out they mainly forage for food scraps left out for the cats.  tiny the oversized tiny dog, still rips up my sheets and eats the foam off of the mattresses.  charming, you might say!

I think my maytag washing machine is leaking.  in the meanwhile, it gives me the chance to wash the downstairs floors.  I can't deicide if it's time to call in a repairman.  sometimes, I think it's better to buy a small machine.  I guess I will wait until it floods to make a move.  I am having a rough time with my tooth.  I think i may have an infection.  Friday is the wrong day to have a health problem in safed.

I went to the doctor yesterday morning to start the paper work for my next MRI, and doctors appointments.  I was feeling very nervous.  I asked the nurse to check my blood pressure because I have been feeling dizzy a lot lately.  it was high.  I have always had low blood pressure.  I was really feeling doomed yesterday.  I am hoping that it was a fluke.  I know that my recent weight problem does not help.  I stopped off at the bakery to buy some chocolate balls to bring to the kids.  the granddaughter loves them.

I sat on a bench and drank an ice coffee and ate two gigantic chocolate balls.  shame on me!.. while I was stuffing my face, two horses galloped past me.  it was surreal.  they were young and quite beautiful.  they were playing havoc with the passing traffic.  I am a bit afraid of horses.  I wondered if they might like a chocolate ball.  I thought about leaving the bench but I stayed glued to it, instead.  when do I have the time on a Friday to sit on a bench and drink iced coffee?  I'm usually washing the floors, shopping for groceries and picking up the grandchildren.  and cooking for Shabbat, of course.

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. yesterday.  I had been passing out during the day.  I didn't know why I was so tired.  I kept on falling asleep and missing all of my favorite shows.  I thought that it was later so I let the dogs out.  I decided to wash the floors.  suddenly I heard a loud commotion.  tiny, the medium sized stocky, male dog, jumped over the wall.  there were three pretty large male dogs outside my gate.  they all emerged on tiny.  I, somehow, shooed them away and got tiny back into my house, unharmed.

I finished the floors around 6:00 a.m. and showered.  I rested a bit and then went to the doctor.  I paid my electric bill and picked up a registered letter.  it was from the city reminding me to pay the real estate tax.  I haven't been to town in nearly a month.  I have gone to town to pick up my grandson but never made it to the bank or real estate office.  maybe on Sunday, i'll be a little more motivated to take care of business.  I also have to pay my water bill.  my best buddy sent me some birthday cash so I hope the bank won't be harassing me this week to take out, yet another emergency loan.

I do not have a credit card and you cannot pay any bills in the post office by check.  I am forced to go to these offices and it's always a long, schlepped out wait.  I am feeling out of it these days.  the heat does not agree with me.  my life does not agree with me, either.  I still have not heard from any of 'the' family.  I guess that I was not missed very much at the wedding.  I do get pretty depressed.  my granddaughter had a hernia surgery on Wednesday.  I stayed home and took care of my grandson.

he slept over the night before and I didn't sleep a wink.  he had closed all of the windows and terrace door and there wasn't any air.  he fell asleep on my arm and I was very uncomfortable.  the dog was also on my legs.  I picked him up from school later in the day and took him to a children's' fair in the evening.  it was packed and extremely noisy.  I sat on a plastic chair and waited for it to end.  there were far too many people there to keep tabs on my grandson.  you couldn't talk to anyone because of the noise.  there weren't that many grandparents there.  I finally met up with my grandson outside near the blown up trampolines.  he suddenly had enough and wanted to leave that second.  it took a while to walk out of the parking area and find a taxi.  I stopped off at the local bakery to buy him something to eat.

by 7:30 p.m. he had really had enough of me and my home.  he wanted his parents and of course, the gift he got for being a good boy.  I spent the next day in bed.  it was like a dream.  yesterday I spent about 20 plus hours awake.  I was hyper.  I couldn't calm down.  I couldn't sleep.  I couldn't relax.  I invited myself to my son's tonight for Shabbat dinner.  tomorrow night is my birthday.  my friends wanted to do something for me but I wasn't in the mood.  I think the kids will take me out for a birthday dinner.  I am turning 66.  and no, 60 is not the new 40!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Nothing To Say

it is 10:30 a.m. in the holy city of safed.   I am tired.  I haven't had a drink yet.   I had the kids yesterday for about seven hours.  no one wanted to use the pool.  everyone was tired and hot. the kids played with lego and watched television.  there wasn't any fighting.  we didn't leave the house to go to the park.  I went to the supermarket in the morning to buy food for Shabbat.  I thought about inviting the kids for Friday night dinner.  I spent a bunch of money.  the kids are home for Shabbat and I am invited to come for dinner.  right now I can't imagine moving.

I don't really feel much like cooking today.  I need to wash the floors but I have time.  I feel like a slug.  I need to pick up my granddaughter at 1:00 p.m.  I cooked up some non gluten macaroni yesterday for the kids.  I think it was made form rice.  it looked like macaroni but didn't much taste like it.  I ate a bunch of it with tomato sauce.  the kids ate it plain with olive oil.  they really didn't eat it.  I made 'skinny' banana cupcakes again.  I used only 4 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of canola oil.  they aren't great but they do taste sweet.

I was hoping to start experimenting with almond flour and coconut oil when my sister arrived.  she decided to cancel her trip to the middle east at this time.  I don't think I can afford a trip to the health food store right now.  I had some 60 % dark chocolate last night.  I didn't binge.  the kids ate most of it.  I bought it to make a birthday tiramisu for the Sephardi grandmother.  I don't know if I have the energy to do anything like that today.

I made several hospital appointments for July. I postponed my oncological visit for a month.  I decided to go back to the brain surgeon after I do another MRI.  I usually try to double up on appointments but this time I will be going to tel aviv 3 consecutive weeks in a row.  what a drag!  I'm thinking of doing the brain surgery after the Jewish holidays in November.  we shall see if the surgeon is available at that time.  I haven't been in touch with them since I cancelled my surgery in December.

I was supposed to go over to my girlfriend yesterday morning.  she wanted to trim my wig on me. after I got off the phone with the hospital, I was feeling dizzy and of course, anxious.  I went to lie down for while.  I ran down to the supermarket and felt dizzy there. I do not do well in the summer. I can't manage the heat. my efforts to drink more and to be more active are futile.  I am so depressed.
I feel like I am in a dream state all the time.

I have managed to stop binge eating although I haven't managed to start a diet.  I am grazing all day long until I fall asleep.  I have managed to stay away from junk unless you include those awful non gluten noodles and a ton of sunflower seeds.  they are very caloric but do have a lot of magnesium.  I must lose weight.  I bought tortilla shells on sale.  they are fun to eat but definitely, not all that nutritional.  I think I will stop off at the supermarket to buy a birthday gift for the Sephardi grandma.  she is actually ten years younger than myself.  our birthdays are a week apart.  I will be turning 66 next week.  my friends are all older than me by a year or two but I feel older than everyone.

being estranged from my family in safed has taken a huge toll.  I am emotionally spent.  I cannot make sense out of it.  the more I analyze it , the more I get upset.  and the more I get upset, the more I miss them.  what a mess!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Almost Shabbat Once Again

it is 4:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.   I've been living the life of riley all day.   I didn't wash the floors and I didn't do any laundry today.  I did sweep the leaves in front of the house and pool area.  it is warm but quite windy and chilly at night.  I had the kids with me for about 12 hours yesterday.  the schools were closed.  the kids hit the pool but it was too cold to stay in for any length of time.  my grandson was having a hard morning.  I was pretty tired myself, after the holiday.  I took them to town in the evening to buy them prizes in the dollar store.  they went with me to synagogue to hear the 10 commandments on Shavuot day.  chabad made a program for the neighborhood kids in the early evening.

I am going to the kids for dinner tonight and my friends on the 'next' block for lunch tomorrow.  I made a few hard cooked eggs for tomorrow evening and I bought some half baguettes for Shabbat.   they are wonderful with butter.  I just made some banana- prune muffins.  I was going to make a banana bread loaf to take with me tonight but then I thought about making non gluten banana pancakes.  you know, one banana and 2 eggs? I remembered that I had steeped prunes for my friend last week and ran to look up prune loaf recipes.  I found the perfect recipe for a banana-prune bread.

I was all out of milk, half a cup short of prunes and didn't have any nuts but yet, I persevered.  I cut the sugar from a cup to less than a half a cup and I substituted organic brown sugar.  I only had white flour but I would have preferred whole wheat or rye.  I threw the batter into muffin tins and managed to get a baker's dozen.  I used the wonderful butter from Holland  that I had bought for Shavuot.  it only called for 4 tablespoons.  I thought about adding some sour cream to the batter, but I refrained.  I need to go on a strict food regimen next week.  I go to see the gyn oncologist pretty soon.  I can always freeze the muffins.

usually, it feels strange when I do not cook for Shabbat.  I thought about making a noodle kugel with onions and mushrooms.  I don't have anything to serve the kids if they stop buy tomorrow to use the pool.  I didn't hit the supermarket this morning.  I don't have any tuna in the house, either.  that's why I was kind of toying with the idea of making pancakes.  i'll just tell them that my house is bare and invite them to bring their own treats if they come over tomorrow.

I just had a half baguette with butter.  I am feeling so sluggish.  I truly could use a nap.  I would be too afraid of over sleeping and not getting up in time to light my candles.  I just rescued the muffins from being burnt.  they are lovely.  they have a nice buttery flavor and they are not too sweet.  I don't know if I could have totally omitted the sugar from the batter.  it's a shame that I was out of nuts because it would have been just perfect with walnuts.  I am glad that I have something to eat before I go to synagogue in the morning.  what a great find!

I managed to get all of the tiny Lego pieces back into plastic baggies and off of the floor.  the kids, most probably, my grandson, will have to sort them all out.  I tried to save the diagrams inside the box.  I bought him soccer gloves yesterday.  he is an excellent goal keeper.  my son got into a lot of trouble for wearing soccer gloves in the ultra orthodox school system that he attended.  my grandson goes to a more modern school.  it was like Deja vu buying him the gloves.  I got my granddaughter, what I thought was a box of toy dolls and ponies.  it turns out that this box did not contain, any greenery, ponies or dolls.  it is simply a cardboard corral.  you have to buy the collectables by themselves.  what a rip-off!  what was I thinking for 10 shekels????

I will have to get to town on Sunday to see if I can find a small doll or pony.  I'm sure they exist.  I still have a sink full of dairy dishes to wash.  I didn't get around to them yesterday.  I really need to sleep now!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Almost Shevuot 2017

it is 9:30 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  it is almost Shavuot.  I have been invited to join the Sephardi in-law's for tonight's holiday meal.  it will be very noisy and 'lively'.  it's just what I need, I think.  as I probably, mentioned, I had a bad falling out with my sister.  next week is my niece's wedding.  my sister will not have anyone from her side of the family there.  oh well....  I need to get on with my life.

I went to the local supermarket to buy dairy products for the holiday last night.  I also bought an assortment of fruit: peaches, apricots, cherries, grapes, watermelon, nectarines, and bananas.  the prices were very high.   I didn't buy anything exotic.  I never made it to the fruit store in town.  the only fruit that I haven't had this season is apricots.  they aren't very ripe.  I think i'll let them sit on the counter until tomorrow.

I am planning on making a tiramisu, and stuffed manicotti for tomorrow's lunch with a Greek salad and a fruit platter.  I offered to bring  cheesecake to the in-law's and of course, I forgot to buy the white cheese and sour cream.  on my second trip to the supermarket, I remembered to buy soft drinks and toilet paper.  my guests went through about 30 roles of paper during Shabbat.  pretty odd! I think I have what I need for the holiday.  I bought baguettes and fresh butter for tomorrow's lunch.

I am planning on making a cheese mixture of cottage cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan to fill the cannelloni shells.  I have already shredded the mozzarella and cut up the Bulgarian cheese for the Greek salad.  I bought sliced and pitted green olives.  the kids are coming over soon.  there is no school today.  my son finally cleaned the pool and we filled it with water last night.  I woke up early and washed the floors.  I will go out later and find roses and greenery to decorate the house.  it is customary for Shavuot.  by tomorrow, the house will be covered in dry greenery.  it is dry and hot here.

I bought chocolate ice-cream yesterday and ate the whole thing by myself.  I forgot to replace it when I hit the supermarket this morning.  last year Shavuot was a bust.  the kids were hyper and my friend lost it on my grandkids.  my son was angry at me and it was not fun.  I spent a fortune and made what I thought, were, creative dishes.  I  made a breaded cauliflower with multi cheeses, a beet salad with goat cheese, a runny tiramisu, cottage cheese pancakes, a rocket salad with pears and walnuts and cheese and stuffed cannelloni with meat sauce for the night meal.  I didn't make my traditional lasagna and cheesecake and no one was satisfied.

this year I am playing it safe.  I am serving stuffed cannelloni in tomato sauce and Greek salad.  I didn't buy any goat cheese.  I did buy a package of cheese and mushroom stuffed mini ravioli, just in case the kids don't want to eat the cannelloni in tomato sauce.  my grandson likes his pasta plain these days with a drizzle of olive oil.  the kids are just coming for one meal. they can all swim after lunch if they want and rest downstairs.  I don't know if my friend will make it here for the holiday.  my other friends aren't up to coming out.  we are all tired and it is hot again.

I hope I get to synagogue in the morning.  I have probably put on ten pounds recently.  I have been food binging with a vengeance.  as if life hasn't been cruel enough, I also have the need to punish myself with overeating.  I just had a healthy breakfast of cottage cheese and fruit.  I wonder how the day will progress.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Life Goes On

it is 12:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I am waiting for my grandson to come.  apparently, there is no afternoon program anymore.  school ends at the end of june but they have already suspended the lunch program for the first graders.  it gets harder every year.  you see all the working parents with their kids by their sides at the banks, health clinics, restaurants, and clothes stores.  the teachers get off but the parents have to work.  it doesn't make much sense.

my dear friends from Jerusalem, came to visit me for shabbat.  my son and family also joined in the shabbaton.  we were a lively bunch.  of course, we all ate too much and drank too much.  I was exhausted, as usual.  I haven't had much sleep lately.  my sister and I had a terrible falling out over a family secret from 20 years ago.  my niece gets married next week and I will not be there.  neither will my son and his wife.

I have spent hundreds of hours on the phone talking with my siblings and friends.  I have not received any resolution and I doubt I will get any closure.  everyone tells me to get on with my life.  I went through a severe mourning period for my lost relationship and didn't shower, dress or leave my house for about 4 days.  I did eat an enormous amount of sugar.  I finally got up one day and showered.  I went out the next day to buy groceries and spent the day cleaning my house.  I hadn't done the dishes, either.  I cleaned my house and scrubbed the floors with bleach and soap.

I made all the beds and straightened out the living room.  I caught up on laundry, too.  I didn't sleep very much on Thursday night.  I spoke with my friend to around 3:00 a.m. and then couldn't fall asleep.  I found it very hard to prepare the shabbat meals.  I made plans to pick up another girl friend and help her take her ailing elderly dog to the vets to have him put down.  afterwards, we stopped off at the large supermarket to buy treats for Shabbat.  it was quite surreal.

I managed to make Moroccan spicy fish, a tabouli salad, a potato kugel, Chinese style stir fried noodles, grilled chicken wings, stewed chicken, beets, egg salad, cooked tomato salsa, and a green salad.  I bought humus and rolls.  I thought about baking a cake but didn't.  we bought two yeast  cakes at the supermarket and the kids brought a cheese cake loaf and a chocolate mousse loaf, to boot.  we had tons of potato chips, seeds, nuts and corn chips.  it was a food bacchanal.  we had Bacardi breeze's, assorted beers, port wine and jack Daniels.  no one was feeling any pain.

the grandkids were having a ball, too.  they received lots of little toys and legos.  the kids slept with me on Friday night.  we got up pretty early.  I was with the kids from about 6:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  everyone was nashing on the nuts and seeds and cakes.  I didn't think that anyone would want to eat lunch but they did and we ate at 11:00 a.m.  no one made it to the synagogue for services.  everyone went to nap on Saturday afternoon except me and my grandson.  he does not like to sleep.  he has never been keen on sleep.  I was delirious from lack of sleep.  he started to have a meltdown in the evening.  no one left the house.  it was hot outside.  the house was cool and comfortable.  we had a small third meal of leftover salads and tuna fish and then finished off the cheesecakes and ice cream.  my friend had bought a cream cake and ice cream to celebrate her dog's passing.  we had a toast earlier in the day to her dog, mickey.

my other friend was also going through a family crisis.  we have been on the phone together 24/7.  I guess we all needed a Shabbat to chill out.  but then, life goes on.  Shabbat ends and reality settles back in.  the older kids went off to the movies.  we stayed here and rapped until around 2:00 a.m. I had the television on but couldn't hear a word.  I was very concerned that I had gone deaf.  I found out this afternoon that my friend's son had simply lowered the volume on the remote control that I never use.  so, no, I hadn't suffered an hysterical deafness.

another close friend, had a bit of an emergency health crisis and ran off the clinic this morning.  I couldn't meet her there because my friends were due back from town and my grandson was supposed to come over, too.  I did most of the washing up this morning but there is lego all over the house.  I do not have the strength to deal with it today.  I am taking it slow today.  I still do not know if I will be hosting any holiday Shavuot meals this week.  I would be very glad not to do nay more cooking.  I am taking it very 'easy breezy' right now.  I do have cannelloni noodles and lady fingers if I do decide to make a tiramisu desert and a dairy stuffed cannelloni for Shavuot.  who knows.  I am still pretty traumatized from my fight with my sister.

Aftermath:  it is now 4:30 p.m.  I just got back from picking up my granddaughter from kindergarten.   my son left work early and the three of them are downstairs cleaning out the pool..  the pool was never taken down last year.  it made it through the winter but filled up a lot from all the rain we had.  it is green and sludgy now.  it didn't help that my granddaughter threw fresh oranges into the  pool.  I am staying upstairs and resting.  I have no strength to bud in to this project.  I think I may be making Shavuot meals after all.  I will keep them simple.  beef in wine for dinner with either a mashed potato kugel or plain mashed potatoes with a sweet noodle kugel.  perhaps I will prepare a green salad, string beans teriyaki and sherbet for dessert.  for the day I will make stuffed cannelloni, a greek salad, perhaps a crust less spinach quiche and a tiramisu for dessert.  I will have fruit for both meals.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Lag B'Omer 2017

it is 8:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I just got back from a kid's parade and rally in the neighborhood for Lag B' Omer.  it is extremely hot here and the forecasts say that it won't break until Wednesday.  the kids and I skipped the parade part of the program this year.  we went straight to the sports arena where the program was.  this is a particularly rink a dink arena.  his is no Madison square garden.  it's a neighborhood place.

once again, my grandson didn't win any prizes, and once again he fell into deep despair.  the Sephardi family is making a late night barbecue in the large park.  I declined an invitation.  I'm wiped.   I had to get to town to pick up my grandson this afternoon and was lucky to get a ride there.  apparently, the busses weren't running very often.  we had hundreds of out of town visitors in safed right now. too.  the city is messed up.  hundreds of thousands of people ascended in meron to visit the grave site of Rabbi Shimon. Bar Yochai.  many came to safed for Shabbat.  it was nearly impossible to get a taxi this afternoon.  most of them are going to meron.  the amount of traffic and noise of honking horns was horrendous.

a neighbor who drives a cab picked me up.  he was on his way back home.  he had had enough of the balagon.   I had to pick up my granddaughter from her kindergarten and it took us about half an hour to schlepp home in the hot sun.  I wasn't ready to go back in the heat for the grand parade.  perhaps I should have gone to the barbecue.  I didn't nap yesterday and yet I went to bed after 2:00 a.m.  I was zonked this morning.  last night we took the kids to a Lag B' Omer rally in a nearby soccer court.  it was very windy and chilly.  my grandson had a meltdown when he didn't win any prizes.  I didn't really want to go.  I was tired after Shabbat. my son didn't want to go to this rally alone.

a friend came over in the evening and the three of us played a wicked game of monopoly.  I won big time.  that was a first for me.  I don't do games, usually.  I had a great time.  I really was being obnoxious and lauding it over my friends.  I was half kidding.  anyway, it broke up a very long Shabbat day.  yesterday at the synagogue, two men nearly came to fist a cuff's.  it was quite shocking.  the women were freaked out.  anyway, this heat wave is getting us all a bit crazy.

my charge, went home this afternoon.  she really is doing well and I don't perceive any real problems.  she has a support group and I promised to send over some turkey meatballs this week.  today I made her French toast from a leftover Shabbat roll.  I have been making homemade applesauce every day and I cooked enough chicken so that we were able to have a dinner each night.  I sent home the leftover homemade chumus and was happy to give it up.  I did some laundry for her and then actually did some for myself. too.  I couldn't bring myself to bathe her dog.  I wish I could.

my niece's wedding is in 3 weeks.  I really have to lose a bunch of weight.  it might just be a fruit fast for me.  we shall see.  today, I ate a ton of food.  i have to start moving.  I have my gyn appt. soon and i'll be so embarrassed to show up so out of shape.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Morning

it is 11;00 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  I am zonked.  I just finished washing the floors.  the house is trashed.  I currently have 3 doggies in the house.  no, I did not find and adopt another dog.  my friend is recovering from an emergency gallbladder surgery at my house.  her very decrepit dog is here with me now.  I think she is pushing 20.  my friend went to see her family doctor.  my elderly pincher is pretty stinky, but this dog really reeks and scratches bald patches on her fur.  and she has raken to making turkey like gobbling noises.

I am still coughing but otherwise, I am doing better from last week's virus or flu.  the heat wave is intense.  I find that I cannot be out in the heat.  I easily, get dizzy and have to lie down.  I have to taxi it home with the grandchildren.  they are not so keen to walk in the heat, either.  my house is still comfortable and with the aid of fans, it's very doable.  at night, it gets cold.  is it any wonder that I'm sick all the time?  I have been 'nursing' my friend back to health.  she really isn't doing badly.  she didn't have an open surgery so she doesn't have a huge cut.  i'm afraid I became overbearing about her changing her diet now.  I read about how a high fiber diet is beneficial after this type of surgery.   my friend likes her rich food and her meat.   I know I am not a doctor or nutritionist.  I just get passionate about what I read online.  I have to buy a strong room freshener because of the dogs, now.

I know that in my own way, I have let myself go, as well.   most of my codependent behavior hang ups has led me to overeat recently.  so by my giving my friend a push in the right direction; hopefully I will also change around my lifestyle.  right now I am like a drill sergeant/life coach/dietician and cook.  I really should turn it around on myself and get myself moving once and for all.

I am planning on making a very simple Shabbat meal.   I will serve, sautéed chicken, baked potatoes, beets and chumus and spinach greens.  we will have homemade sugarless applesauce for dessert.  bye bye to Ben And Gerry's, white flour , fried schnitzel and hard cheese.  hello to whole wheat rolls, spinach and cottage cheese. 

I had the grandkids with me yesterday and they were calm and happy and serene.  we went to a local park and they didn't fight.  there were no meltdowns or shouting scenes.  it was so great.  my grandson decided to tidy up the playground and collected a bit of garbage.  my granddaughter spongered the front hall when we got home.  there is a lot of pish in this house right now with 3 dogs.  I showered them and made grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.  they had hot chocolate  and potato chips and watched some t.v. before their dad picked them up. 

I am still really tired today regardless of the lack of aggravation yesterday.  what can I do?  I can go to the supermarket now and buy some fruit and veggies for Shabbat.  my son left be about 70 beer bottles to return to the supermarket.   he knows I like to return them and I encourage the grandkids to help recycle, too.  but I doubt that I have the physical strength today to schlep them with my shopping cart.  I always use the return money to buy treats for the kids.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Almost Shabbat Again

it is 6:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  it is almost candle lighting.   I was invited to join my son and family for dinner but I am quite sick and haven't been able to function today.  I couldn't get out of the house to pick up my granddaughter from kindergarten in this neighborhood, either.  I was in bed until a little while ago.  I have felt congested lately, and I chalked it up to the change in weather.  I started sneezing the day before and thought it might be an allergy.  I came down hard today.  I didn't feel well yesterday but I forced myself to get to the bank and pick up my new checkbooks.   my bank card was declined in two cash machines up here so I thought I needed a new one.  I was at the bank for a long time and did not have the patience to stay.  I walked out and returned a bit later.

I went to the oncology unit with my friend on Wednesday.  I waned to lend my support.  his wife was having a musical rehearsal for a new ladies' play.  I am not quite sure that I want to get involved in this play.  so far I've just been a soundboard and gave over my impressions; most of which were negative, i'm afraid. I spent a lot of time listening to the musical choices and adding my own.  it took a lot of energy.  I think it hurt my throat to talk so much.

last night I felt like I may drown in my own phlegm.  I couldn't really lie down because I was spitting up so much.  today I felt feverish and my back hurt.  now I'm coughing.  I heated up some soup for tonight's meal..  I tried eating a bit of couscous and potatoes and felt sick to my stomach.  my sciatic is acting up, too.  I am quite miserable.  I don't even have a headache pill in the house.  I am going to try to take a hot shower if I can stand up.

the pincher dog just came in with a dead bird and ate most of it before I could grab it out of her mouth.  I drank a cup of hot chocolate a little while ago and it made me quite nauseous.   now I am drinking a hot cup of water laced with powdered ginger, lemon juice and honey.  I hope I can get it down.  my throat is very scratchy and I am afraid that I will be in for the long haul with this infection.

my head is heavy and I think I will just go back to bed and sleep.  I left the food on an electric hotplate in case I get hungry lately.  I am really fed up with being sick.  it is going to be a hard Shabbat being alone and not seeing my friends tomorrow.  I doubt that I will make it to services at the local Sephardi synagogue.  oh well.....

Monday, April 17, 2017

Pesach Ends

it is 9:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  pesach ended about an hour ago.  a couple of friends came over and we shared some torah insights and drank some wine and ate some matzah.  it is traditional to drink another 4cups of wine reminiscent of the seder.   I managed to drink two.  I ate a ton of fresh fruit salad.  my body needs to detox.  I am currently a bit inebriated.  it is not easy typing.

I got to taste my friend's charoset which was made with cooked dates and a banana and I got to taste my daughter-in-law's father's charoset which had peanuts in it.  it seemed irresistible until I actually, tasted it.  it was nothing special.  it's funny how the forbidden and unknown is so enticing.

I haven't cleaned up yet and don't think I will tackle anything until tomorrow.  I do not have a lot of washing up because I used mostly disposable dishes and cutlery this year.  I have only one fry pan to scrub and of course, I have to clean the pesach stove and put the oven back into the hutch in the living room.  I have a lot of matzah left.  perhaps I will make matzah brie later on in the week.  I need to buy eggs.

I do not have any leftover food except for a bit of chopped liver and some salads.  I am proud of how I planned and prepared for the holiday.  I got to rest today, which was nice.  I went to a later minyan at the local chabad bomb shelter this morning.  I had to say the traditional mourner's prayers for my deceased parents.  I got back at nearly 1:00 p.m. and had the meal with my friend.  it was considerably, warmer today.  I slept in the master bedroom last night and today.  the bed is not all that comfortable but it was clean and airy and somehow I could not bare to sleep on the t.v. couch one more night.

I woke up with a headache.  I did drink a bit of wine last night.   sulfates are a killer.  I also had nightmares.  however, I was very comfortable sprawling out on the bed.  I must go back immediately on my diet.  my niece's wedding is in June and I got to get slim.  my friend brought over produce from a moshav that she received for pesach.  I dread looking at potatoes.  I still have some palm oil left so when the kids come over I will make more french fries for them.  the palm oil industry may be responsible for wiping out the rain forests but they do make one heck of a good frying oil.

I didn't eat any chocolate, cake or potato chips during pesach.  I  did hit those three pretty hard before the holiday.  my food last night was a big success.  everyone left stuffed.  I had a pretty hard time sleeping.  my stomach was way too extended.  I am looking forward to eating less now.  no more holidays until Shavuot when we hit the cheesecake and lasagna.  it is a bit sad that pesach ended.  we work so hard for only one week of pesach.  it should be longer.  in the states they do have two more days.  I almost miss that.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Last Night Of Pesach

it is 11:30 a.m. in the holy city of safed.   it looks like rain.  tonight is the last night of Pesach.  I invited a few friends to join me for dinner.  I made a small piece of beef.  I didn't think what I had leftover from pesach seder was enough.  I have way too much now.  I also cooked 4 chicken thighs and fried up some chicken tempura.  it's really chicken nuggets, pesach style, so I renamed it. I also made some chopped chicken liver. it is a bit salty.  I  made a small piece of a salmon fillet.  I have diced beets, carrot salad, Israeli salad, avocado and chopped eggs and kohlrabi slaw.  I made mashed potatoes.  I have a  store bought pesach cake and poached pears in white wine for dessert.  I still might make a chocolate sauce for the pears.

I washed the kitchen floor with bleach and water.  I was too tired to go downstairs to retrieve my bottle of floor cleaner.  it is cold in the house.  the bank called this morning to tell me that I had gone over my overdraft.  I couldn't really fathom the extent of the rapid fire Hebrew conversation.  I think I took out a small emergency loan.  I really thought that I made it through the month okay.  the telephone bill will be the death of me.  with the family wedding and henna gifts, and the cost of making the sheva bracha and Purim seudahs and the pesach seder, I incurred a lot of expenses. hopefully, the next month will be easier.

yesterday, I went to my sister's for lunch.  I wanted to visit my nephew and family who live in the Ukraine.  I got to see his daughter for the first time.  she is around 16 months and was a bit afraid of me.  his son,who just turned three, was quite content hanging out with me and discussing his puzzle.  I had gone to synagogue at 8:00 a.m. and returned home around 11:00 a.m.  I ate some silver dollar banana pancakes and matzahs and drank white wine.  I drank a cup of hot chocolate and a couple of cups of tea and rested a bit.  the weather was horrid.  it was cold and rainy.  by the time I left in the afternoon, it had turned sunny and warm.

I got to my sister's after the meal had finished.  most everyone had left the table.  I was offered some salmon and I, happily, ate a lot of fruit salad.  everyone was tired and ready to nap.  I hung out with my sister for awhile and left in the early evening.  I walked over to the Sephardi family.  they were having their main meal and most animated.  my grandkids ran over to say hello and then returned outside with their cousins.  I wasn't hungry but I drank another cup of tea.  I stayed there until Shabbat ended and got driven home.

I think that my family, although not very communicative, was happy to see me.  we are just very disconnected.  I am much closer to my daughter-in-law's family.  I guess, I am a bit of a stranger to both families. I don't think anyone really gets me. however, I do share grandchildren with the Sephardi family and we remain close.  I find it hard to relate to my sister and her family but I love them all.. 

epilogue:  it is 3:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I just made the chocolate sauce.  I didn't boil it for as long as 12 minutes as stated in the recipe and I got a runny dark liquid that tastes like chocolate that doesn't harden.  it's not very attractive.  I threw walnuts on top.  I plan on pouring the remainder of the wine sauce.  I don't have any dessert dishes left.  I may have to place them into plastic drinking cups. oh well.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Nearly Shabbat

it is 5:45 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  candle lighting is in less than an hour.  I am home alone.  the  leftover chicken soup and orange ginger chicken is warming on the electric hotplate.  I couldn't move yesterday.  I stayed in bed sleeping and watching television.  I went with my son and grandkids to an indoor amusement park in an Arab village near karmiel on Wednesday.  it is usually, a 40 minute ride.  it took us 2 hours driving through unknown long and winding Arab villages.  we were relying solely on the GPS system and it took us for a ride, literally.

my poor grandson got car sick and threw up 3 times.  we had a late start due to the fact that my one and only front door key went 'missing'.  I got into a foul mood and decided not to go to the park.   I felt violated.  my son was on route to drive me home when I decided to go to the park.  I decided to make the best of a bad situation.  luckily, my son had one of my keys in his home.  we got to the park after 5:00 p.m. and it was huge, packed and very noisy.  my head was spinning.  I hate mauls and amusement parks are not my thing.  I wanted to share a holiday experience with the grandkids and have those memories.

the kids brought over steaks, liver, and chicken wings at noon.  I had franks in the freezer.  my son struggled in the wind, to make a barbecue.  I had already eaten two huge round natzahs with the remainder of the charoset.  that's a mixture of chopped apples, pears, almonds and walnuts to any novices out there.  I made a ton of French fries and I ate way too many of them.  I was beyond stuffed when we went to the park.  I brought potato chips and apple juice for the trip.  thank goodness I had plenty of wipes and plastic bags with me.

I went on two rides with the kids.  the grandson preferred to ride alone.  I sat next to my granddaughter and screamed the entire time.  I suffer from motion sickness and cannot take carousels or anything that moves much.  I played my hand at some of the video games.  it's not really my thing.  the kids took a trip to Jerusalem yesterday.   thank goodness, they did not include me.  I can't take the crowds, the lines, standing too much, or being out of town.  they made the right decision to leave me home.  I was so tired yesterday that I forgot to worry about them all night.  I think they made their own memories yesterday and I hope the grandkids will cherish them.

I invited 3 friends for Sunday night's holiday dinner.  I have some leftover beef in wine in the freezer and I made some more orange, honey and ginger chicken thighs.  I had a lot of barbecued liver that we never ate so I made chopped liver.  I made poached pears in white wine and orange juice.  the pears I made in the sweet red wine with ginger root were not a success.  the kids said it smelled weird and tasted like medicinal cough drops.  I have to say that I liked it very much and ate all 4 pears.  the kids left a bottle of light port here so I might just indulge with my friends.

I made mashed potatoes instead of kugel.  I only have a few eggs left and I might need them.  i'll probably make avocado and hard cooked eggs on Sunday.  I ran to the small supermarket to buy a few veggies.  I had leftover grated carrot and apple salad so I added a couple of new carrots, some walnuts and dates and fresh lemon juice.  I also have some leftover beets.  i'll make a kohlrabi slaw on Sunday.  I wanted to fry up some eggplant but forgot to buy one when I was in the supermarket.

I have two sweet potatoes that I can slice and bake and i'll see if I want to schlepp back to the store to buy an eggplant on Sunday.  I don't know what my schedule will be like and if i'll have the kids or not.  I poached some fillet of salmon in white wine and lemon juice.  I can serve it with my homemade lemon flavored olive oil mayonnaise.  it is quite thick.  my grandson whipped it up for me with my electric beater.  it was like a loose dressing.  it tasted  a bit bitter.  the grandson told me to add a bit of sugar and some fresh onion.  he is a 7 year old savant cook.  I added a bit of honey and more lemon.  it is the texture of lemon curd now.  it is quite tasty.

I plan on making a chocolate sauce for the pears on Sunday.  I think I tried this out last year.  you have to pour it onto something right away before it hardens into something unusable.  maybe I can pour it over walnuts.  it's made with cocoa, sugar, oil and water.  I also had a recipe for mole barbecue sauce to try but I chickened out.  I think I will have enough food for Sunday.  I have one store bought pesach cake left.  I might make some brownies.  I didn't think I would do anything today.  I was so tired.  I guess I got my second wind.  the weather turned cold and rainy.  my nephew and family are in from the Ukraine.  I'm hoping to join my chabad family for lunch tomorrow.  it is about a half an hour walk.  my grandkids are going to their Sephardi family for Shabbat.  I can't really eat at their home because of my Ashkenazi and chabad dietary customs for pesach.  oh well.....

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Night

it is 10:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  one of the grandkids is fast asleep and the boy is watching television.  the parents are out getting groceries for pesach.   the daughter-in-law had to work last night until 1:00 a.m. and had to clean the house after work today.  I kept the kids here.  I made two rounds of French fries.  I did all my cooking during the day and did some elements of the seder.  I made a pretty tasty charoset with apples, pears, almonds, walnuts and fresh ginger .  I don't use cinnamon on pesach.   last year I bought filberts and it was the worst charoset I ever made.  perhaps the nuts were rancid.

I made my moussaka and it came out pretty tasty.  the chop meat turned out to be hamburgers but I sautéed them into little pieces with fresh ginger.  I made a tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes and onions and red wine.  I topped it with mashed potatoes and beaten eggs.  it looks good and cuts nicely into serving pieces.  I made my usual beef in sweet red wine and I made honey orange ginger chicken bottoms.  I was going to make a kugel but I ended up going with mashed potatoes.

I had some tomato sauce left over so I made poached eggs in the sauce.  we call it shakshuka here.  I had some French fries, as well.  I made poached pears in sweet red wine and ginger.  I even made banana pancakes.  tomorrow, I will make the fresh salads.  it was a pleasure being able to cook today.  it is the first time in my life that I finished pesach cleaning early.  I am usually scrambling to wash the floors at midnight.  I was able to do the traditional search for chometz at 8:00 p.m.  I wrapped 10 small pieces of pita into little baggies.  the pincher dog ate one of them so I had to let them out until we finished the search..

I stayed up to 4:00 a.m. watching season 7 of  'the good wife'.  I didn't think I would be able to function this morning but I was fine.  I washed down the kitchen counters with a rag and bleach and covered them with tin foil.  I had exactly enough to finish.  I did have to take a large piece off of the oven but I covered it with a disposable table cloth.  I took out my mini food processor, my hand mixer, and an electric juicer I found in the closet.  I let the kids shell almonds and walnuts this afternoon.  it kept them busy for a bit.  I also let them juice some lemons and made a pitcher of lemonade for tomorrow night.  my grandson and I just made some olive oil mayonnaise.  it is a bit strong so he suggested adding a bit of sugar and a pinch of chopped onion.  he was right on the money.  it isn't exactly thick like mayonnaise but it is like a dressing.

I made the chopped beets.  I boiled the eggs in tea because a I read online that it gives them the look of roasted eggs.  it turned the eggshells brown but the eggs were still white inside.  I want to make avocado and hard cooked eggs tomorrow.  I also want to slice up some kohlrabi.  I will make an Israeli salad too.  I peel all of my veggies on pesach.  so I had to peel the eggplant, beets, tomatoes, carrots and onions before I cooked.  it's a lot of prep work.

tomorrow, I will burn the leftover pita downstairs. I found a slice of bread in front of my house. I will throw it down the sewer drain.  it will take forever to burn it.  I roasted/burnt two chicken necks over the gas stove.  it took forever.  I  still need to make the salt water and to grind the horseradish.  the romaine lettuce is already washed and draining in a colander.  I need to set the table and take out the matzah.  I had a large ant infestation the last two days.  they are coming out of my electric outlet over my kitchen cabinet.  what a drag!  looks like the kids will stay here tonight.

happy pesach to everyone!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Almost Sunday

it is 10:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I was hoping to finish up the pesach cleaning tonight.  actually, the house is clean.  I need to wipe down the kitchen counters with bleach and cover them with heavy duty aluminum foil.  I don't think I have enough foil to finish this.  I don't have any cash on me and I ran out of checks.  the kids are supposed to be here tomorrow morning so I doubt that I will have enough time to make it to the cash machine and large supermarket.

I have already covered my dairy kitchen island with a vinyl paper.  I took out various containers, napkins, haggadas, and machinery.  I am too tired to deal with the counters now.  I already covered the dining room table. I will probably set the table tomorrow.  I know one is supposed to showcase their best cutlery, china and finery but I do not have the strength to take anything down from the shelves.  I do not want to have to wash dishes after the Seder.  I bought a set of fancy disposable dishes.  I will use nice wine glasses.  I have my themed pesach napkins and I will try to make the table look nice.

I saw some ants on the kitchen counter in the cooking alcove.  I have my matzahs there and I am a bit nervous leaving them there.  I will have to find room inside the closet for them.  I took out the special pesach dog food and bowls.  I think the dogs are a bit confused.  I am defrosting chicken, chop meat and beef.  I hope to start my cooking tomorrow.  it may be hard with the kids here.  they were particularly wild on Friday.  I had them pick lemons for me and they were great.  my grandson washed out the dog bed for me and he was focused.

I rented the old movie 'babe' but my grandson said it was too sad.  he said everyone was being killed so he went outside.  that's when the 'fun' started.  I was screaming like a banshee all afternoon.  I didn't know where the kids were.  I was washing the kitchen floor and they were nowhere to be seen.  and of course they didn't answer my calls.  they were all over the place.  they were in the downstairs apartment and in the backyard but I had to keep telling them to come inside.  at one point, while I was washing the steps,  they started throwing lemons at me.

I got a soccer ball crashed into my spine. I let out a yelp.  I called my son to complain.  luckily, my daughter-in-law came home to get the kids.  the granddaughter apologized and gave me a hug.  the grandson started crying.  he didn't want a punishment.  I was relieved to see them go.  they called me just before Shabbat to invite me for dinner.  I was too tired to move but I went.  I didn't want to insult anyone.  the kids fought over who would sit on my lap.

I didn't make any food for Shabbat.  I had salami and turkey cold cuts, tuna fish, pickles and rolls.  I put up a hot water thermos and I was set.  I ended up having a nice Shabbat dinner with the kids and got home around 11:00 p.m.  I managed to get to services at the Sephardi synagogue and ended up at my friend's for lunch.  I schmoozed with my girlfriend and got home around 3:00 p.m.  I started reading insights of the haggada and fell asleep.  I got up at 6:00 p.m. and had a salami sandwich.  the dogs had some scraps.

I hope that the tin foil situation works itself out.  perhaps I will be able to cover part of the counter with heavy duty garbage bags.  maybe I can ask the kids to buy me some foil when they do their shopping.  I am too tired right now to fret about it.  my sister sent me an hilarious cartoon.  it shows a group of people. one person says that she loves to clean for pesach and everyone chimes in with a 'me, too'.  on the top you see the sign for an OCD therapy group session.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Almost Shabbat

it is 1:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  the kids are quiet and watching videos.  I am washing my kitchen chairs.   the weather is threatening.  it suddenly got very cold.  I wonder if this is the 'mud' rain they have been predicting.   all my windows have been cleaned.  it they get muddied, so be it.  I know that I washed and shined them all.

my shoulder is still sore from lifting the living room windows yesterday.  I cleaned the t.v. nook and washed the floor early this morning before the kids arrived..  it is as good as it can be.  if only I bought a new sofa.  oh well..... we made it out to the bakery to buy rolls for Shabbat.  I am planning on eating tuna, pickles and salami sandwiches for Shabbat.  I will try to go to synagogue tomorrow.  perhaps there will be a Kiddush.  I can always crash at my friends for lunch.

I have fruit and pesach cake so I'm fine.  I am trying to finish off the kitchen.  I am running out of steam.  I need to wash down the cabinets, bleach out the counters and cover it all width tin foil.  I may put it off until sunday morning.  the kids will be here on sunday so I will be under a lot of pressure..

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Down The Wire

it is 11:15 a.m. I'm scrambling to finish the house for pesach.  yes, I know that pesach is on Monday night.  And yes, I know that we have one more Shabbat to get through. I will be watching the kids tomorrow and on sunday.  I want to have the house, more or less, pesach cleaned by tonight. 

it was pretty hot yesterday and we couldn't stay very long at the playground.  both kids were pretty wild.  my grandson was shooting us with his water gun and I did not appreciate it.  by evening, it was cold and I was still wet.  I showered them both and couldn't wait for them to go home.  I was zonked fom pesach cleaning.  I hit the television couch and much to my delight, I found the seventh season of 'the  good wife'.  I watched one episode and fell asleep.  I woke up a bit later and couldn't move.  I was able to get up to fetch some pesach cake and some milk.

I entered the living room this morning and lifted out two of the windows.  I couldn't do this last year.  I quickly washed the windows and ran to my neighbor for help.  I could not put the windows back in by myself.  I felt pretty desperate.  I was afraid to leave the windows standing upright.  as soon as my neighbor left I went back to bed.  that really finished me. my shoulder took a hit.  like a gluten for punishment, I went back to the living room and took out the remaining two windows.  once again, I had to run to another neighbor to ask for help.

I quickly sponged the floor and voila! the room is done.  I have to finish washing the floors in the master bedroom and porch area.  I did the windows yesterday before the kids came over.  the bedrooms are already made up for pesach night.  I have to wash the kitchen chairs and floor today.  I will try to get to the counters, too.  I also have to give the cabinets a good polishing and I will be through.  right now I need to take a rest.  I managed to catch up on the laundry.  tomorrow, I will eat salami sandwiches for Shabbat.

I am hoping to be able to do the prep work on sunday.  I have tons of nuts to crack and vegetables to peel.  I hope the kids will let me work.  I am afraid to let them alone for too long.  they are into matches these days.  my grandson set a small fire to my couch pillow outside.  I will have to play it by ear.  yesterday, I went to town and managed to pay my elctric bill, the city taxes and water bill.  I was also able to sell my chometz at the rabbinate.  I bought two packages of romaine lettuce and a small piece of horseradish.

when I got back I found a gift package in front of my door.  I got canned corn, mushrooms, tuna fish, a bottle of grape juice and a bottle of oil.  I also got a jar of mayonnaise, a box of pesach cookies, a package of rice, some bambas and a floor towel.  I bought a kilo of square matzah for the kids and I have a kilo of round matzah for me.  I have been subsisting on tuna fish, corn and potato chips. 

I managed to strip the couch of its slip covers and washed them.  it was a synch getting them back on.  I can't understand why I never thought about doing this.  for the past 17 years, I have been dousing the couch with soapy water.  I can't afford to reupholster the couch.   I can't even swing a new couch cover but at least, it smells clean and fresh.  I am happy.  I look at the streaked, freshly cleaned windows and say my new mantra, 'it's good enough".

Epilogue:  it's 8:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I just finished washing the floor in the master bedroom and porch.  I had to take a long break today.  the living room windows did me in.  someone called at around 2:00 p.m. and I couldn't get off the couch to answer the phone.  I was too tired to talk and definitely too tired to mind the kids.  I ate way too much and passed out.  I got up around 6:00 p.m. and threw tons of soapy water around the room.  I still have some clothes to put away but I will do it in the morning.  the room is mostly made up.