Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Happy Chanukah

it is 7:30 in the holy city of safed.  tonight is the first night of Chanukah.  I invited the kids to come for a party.  I do this every year and I am disappointed every time.  I rushed home from work about an hour ago.  I finished frying up about 74 3 inch latkes for the guys and left.  I called my son to say I would like to start around 6:00 p.m.  I got up at 7:00 a.m. and started cooking. I made sweet potato latkes, beet latkes, and cottage cheese latkes.  I also made a chestnut soup.  the daughter-in-law likes chestnuts.  I made greek donuts with yogurt.  I cut up veggies and feta cheese to make a greek salad.  I also bought sweet potato mini raviolis.  I am sick.  I have lost my voice and feel horrible.  I am no longer in the mood for a party.

I ran around town buying little surprise gifts for everyone and went food shopping twice.  I'm sure at this point that the latkes are dried out.  I do not understand why 6:00 p.m. becomes 8:00 p.m. I am tired and my throat and head hurt.  why does the daughter-in-law choose to clean her house while I am waiting for them to come over.  they are going away for Shabbat and invited me to join them.  I declined their gracious offer. I need to rest and be quiet.

I invited a few friends to come over on Thursday evening.  it is the ninth anniversary of my mother's passing.  I am still not communicating with my sister in safed.  it is pretty odd.  I have never not spoken to her before a parent's yirtseit.  oh well, it is what it is.

I sent Chanukah email cards to all of my special friends.  my favorite one is a dog singing a Chanukah song.  I am a bit annoyed that the kids aren't here yet.  while I was online they arrived.  my son was disappointed that I didn't make the regular white potato latkes.  my daughter-n-law got a stomach ache from all the fried foods.  she suffers from the pylori bug.  the kids ate very little and wanted to see the prizes.  I did get to quiz them on Chanukah.  the parents were on their cells and not really paying attention. 

I tried playing dreidel with the kids but they started fighting over chocolate coins.  by then I was too sick to deal.  I think this will be my last attempt at a Chanukah party.  my grandson was disappointed with the bey blade toy I bought for him.  I need to watch them tomorrow afternoon.  I need to, also, fry up about 50 turkey schnitzels tomorrow.  I got a great deal of help today from the other cook.  she peeled and processed the 30 potatoes using the funky food processor.  all I had to do was fry those suckers up.  I used three frying pans at once.

 I wonder if I will make it to work tomorrow.  I had to take a cab this afternoon.  I know that I'm sick but the house is freezing.  it was summerlike this morning. I left for work without a coat.  it was rather calm and then suddenly it became Antarctica like.  I am sitting in front of a heater right now.  I do not have the strength to walk the dog tonight.  every man or dog for themselves.  my friend's dog makes in the kitchen all the time.

yesterday I tore the house apart and did a serious cleaning.  I didn't spare the buckets of water.  it took me a few hours.  I even returned the empty beer bottles to the supermarket.  I set up the chanukiahs early in the day.  I did my thing and hopefully that's it.  maybe tomorrow we can get a pizza for the kids.  who knows?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

I'm Still Standing

it is 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  I just got back from taking tiny, the medium sized dog, for his second walk.  the first one at 7:00 a.m. was uneventful, if you get what I mean.  I did two shifts at the yeshiva on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I survived.  yesterday, I fried up about 70 huge turkey schnitzels.  I used up three bags of breadcrumbs and then hit the precious bag of corn meal.  I should have just added a bag of flour from the start.  oh well....

the other cook, who designs the meal plans, expected the schnitzels to cover two evening meals.  however, yesterday was a chabad festive evening.  it was the commemoration of the liberation of the founder of chabad chassidus thought, the alter rebbe, from Russian jail.  every year they make quite a big megilah about this.  there is quite a lot of vodka to be had at this time.  I wonder what shape the guys will be in this morning.  in the past, the guys were quite hung-over and missed breakfast.  I hope it doesn't make them more hungry.

the manager of the yeshiva told me to serve up all of the schnitzels and come up with something else for tonight's meal.  they must have had a food orgy last night.  or perhaps, not.  these guys can really eat.  I also made a huge sweet noodle kugel and pot of rice to boot.  I was supposed to make green beans too but I gave up trying.  I was frying three schnitzels at a time in two small fry pans for about two hours.  I used the egg cartons to blot out the excess oil.  I didn't have paper towels.  the stove top got trashed.  I stayed an extra half hour to clean it.  I did manage to cut up veggies to make a crude salad.

I baked a chocolate cake the night before and froze it to keep it fresh.  for lunch I made a pot of thick split pea soup, a tray of 13 pounds of cooked potatoes, a huge bulgur salad, a tuna salad with smashed 30 hard cooked eggs, a tomato and chick pea salad and pita chips. there was hardly anything left.  these are 25 of the hungriest kids around.  I was almost ready to hand over the kugel, too, but I resisted.   I need to get the grandkids today so I will go in around noontime.  I am just going to make another two shephard's pies for dinner.  it's just another 6 kilos of potatoes to peel, cook up and mash.  I have a bit of turkey schnitzel to throw into the pie with the 5 pounds of chopped meat.  I will also make the green beans as a side dish.

I hope the cook will not be disturbed that I didn't exactly follow her meal plans.  I tried.  but I was thwarted by the manager each day. I am making Shabbat meals for the kids once again.  I guess they don't want me to be alone.  I will not do it as elaborate as last week.  I need to get to town early to buy treats and eggs and a small piece of meat to make yet another, cholent.  meanwhile, winter has hit Israel.  it's cold and rainy and dark.



Friday, December 1, 2017

Hussling

it is 10:00 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  I got up at 5:30 a.m. and my cooking contest, 'my kitchen rules' was blasting away.  I had turned it on at 12:30 a.m. but I must have passed out.  these days I fall asleep pretty early.  the telllie doesn't get turned off.  I watched the show and then took 'tiny' the medium sized dog for a quick walk.  he isn't so glad to be home alone and has started chewing the mattresses again.  he destroyed my two best flannel sheets that I use on the double bed.  I woke up the other night in front of the computer.  I had actually passed out online.  it was 9:30 p.m.

last night we had a birthday party for my granddaughter downstairs.  I don't know why but I voluntarily went out and bought all of the party goods.  it cost a small fortune.  it was a princess theme.  I ran to the supermarket on Wednesday morning and did a proper food shopping. I bought tons of olive oil for lighting the chanukiah.  Chanukah is right around the corner.  I also bought 4 new laser dreidels for the kids. I bought tons of canola oil and potatoes to fry up latkes and most of the ingredients to make a cheesecake.  it has become very popular to eat dairy foods on Chanukah.

I filled up the freezer and pantry.  I bought cleaning supplies.  I paid my electric, water and real estate tax bills.  I went downstairs and cleaned the huge laundry room which doubles as a party room, the stairs, hallway and bathroom.  I spent about three hours on it.  I schlepped down both plastic tables and about 16 chairs from the upstairs courtyard.  I also washed them all with the hose.  I cut out some pix of a princess and her coach from a coloring book and scotched taped them to the cabinets.  I hung up a few birthday banners.  of course, everything was pink motif.

I took a photo magnet of my granddaughter and put it on the outside entrance door.  of course, I taped a small cut out of a crown to her head and then taped a small cut out of a 6 to the top of the crown.  I then taped a cut out of a birthday cake under her face.  I get pretty caught up on my themes.  the Sephardi grandma made a beautiful pink and white birthday cake and a vat of homemade couscous with veggie soup.  I was tired from schlepping but she did the hard work.  as usual, I played hostess and made the hot drinks for everyone. I always feel like such a phony.

the party was just for family.  the five little cousins ran around like wild Indians.  the three boys had bey blades, the latest craze in Israel.  I straightened up my house on Thursday before I went to town and work.  I came in early so that I could come home in time for the party which was called for 6:30 p.m.  I got up early and ran to the local bakery to buy jelly filled fried donuts which are popular around Chanukah time.  my friends were returning from overseas and requested them.  I had gone to their house on Wednesday before work, to bring fruit, veggies, eggs, and some dairy products.

I made a vat of macaroni and meat sauce for the 24 yeshiva guys, a monster sized squash and mushroom soufflĂ© and a huge chunky Israeli salad.  my hands are trashed form work. I have calluses, blisters and burns and one of my thumbs is infected.  I don't know how much longer I can keep  this up.  before I went to work I spent 3 hours cooking for Shabbat.  the kids asked to come again.  they were here last week, too.  I figured that I must have filled up the fridge for a reason.  I still have to make a cholent, and a few salads.  last week I had to pick up the kids in town from school.  I did the floors and ran.

last week we took the school bus home and we returned at !:00 p.m.  candle lighting was at 4:00 p.m.  I had done double shifts at the yeshiva all week  and I was wrecked.  I had no time to cook for Shabbat before Friday.  I managed to make fish, liver, chicken wings, rice, mashed potatoes, meatballs and cholent.  I only had enough time to make two salads.  I made a slaw with white cabbage, cranberries and walnuts and a green salad.  needless to say, it was a bit of a disappointment.  it was also, the kids anniversary and I couldn't find a small non dairy cake anywhere.  I bought a few cream puffs but no one liked them.  I felt like a loser.  this week I don't have to pick up the kids and I might just have enough time to make a banana loaf cake.  I have leftover birthday cake for the daytime.

I do have to wash the floors but I don't feel under any real pressure.  I am truly tired and my body aches.  I have pain in my lower back and both shoulders.  I ran to town after work yesterday, to buy snacks for Shabbat at a  certain store and a birthday present.  I spent a fortune.  I bought a mini kitchen for my granddaughter.  it came in 4 pieces.  it has tiny pieces and the microwave lights up and rings.  my grandson was quite jealous.  they love playing restaurant. they have a cart with tons of pots and pans and plastic food objects.  they keep a pad and pen and are always taking my food orders.  my house is one giant playhouse.

I found a lovely play rug outside and it lies in the living room, which has become the kid's playroom.  they kind of out grew the t.v. area.  it still is good for lego and puzzles but the main place is the living room.  it gives me great pleasure because the living room has never been used much except for sitting shiva.  I find it actually, comfortable now.  I need to get some heaters put up on the walls and it will be well for winter.

the house is freezing.  it's warmer outside in the sun.  everyone was cold last night even though I put on one heater.  I only have one outlet downstairs in the laundry room.  one day i'll take care of that, too.  I think i'll use my salary to buy more heaters next week.  thanks to a very special friend in the states who helps me out, I haven't had the bank calling me lately.  May she be very blessed!!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday All Day

it is 12:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I haven't posted in a long while.  I have been too tired.  I've had the grandkids with me a lot and I've been cooking supper, five times a week for 22 yeshiva students.  I haven't had the strength to do laundry, pay my bills or do any other errands.  I have been binge eating without stop.  my back hurts and I'm terribly out of shape.

my sleep has been erratic and I'm basically a wreck.  last week I had to sub two times for the other cook.  she is also breaking down physically.  I put in 61/2 hours on Wednesday and then another 7 hours on Thursday.  that's all standing on my feet.  I can't seem to cut veggies sitting down.  the conditions in  the kitchen are primitive.

the oven isn't working and we are down to three gas burners.  we use a large toaster oven to bake kugels and cakes and roast veggies and make casseroles.  it takes about 2 hours or more.  I spent an hour yesterday mincing chicken cutlets and turkey meat to make 2 shepherd's pies.  I didn't have the hand strength to fully mash a vat of cooked potatoes.  it was quite lumpy.  and the pies were too liquidy. I didn't have any more time left to bake them more.

my granddaughter was with me for about an hour and a half and I was pressured to pick up my grandson from school.  I called my son to bring my grandson to the yeshiva.  I needed more time but I was too tired to continue working.  I put the leftover salads from lunch into plastic containers and washed out the many very large plastic dirty bowls.  I scrambled to clean the stove tops and the floor.  did I mention that the sink gets clogged and I have to bale out the mirky water after every set of pots and bowls that I wash??

 I started to cut up tomatoes and cucumbers to make an Israeli salad but I gave up.  there was plenty of leftover cucumber salad, egg salad and macaroni salad.  I threw the remainder of the carrot salad into the macaroni salad.  I did manage to make a side dish of cooked zucchini with chickpeas in soy sauce.  hopefully, there was enough food for the guys.  the food processor is a 'challenge' to use.  the cover flies off and you have to insert a knife onto the starter button to make it run.  I am afraid to use it.  the other cook has the magic touch.  she makes all kinds of salads with it.  I stick to a knife and make chopped salads or cooked veggies.

I probably could have stayed another half an hour to finish the Israeli salad but I wanted to go home.  my son was giving me a lift to my house.  otherwise, I have a twenty minute walk back to the bus station and at least a half an hour wait for a bus. I also have a half an hour bus ride now since they changed the route. I obviously, opted to go home by car. I was so tired that I found myself telling my son where to let me off.  crazy??

I had the grandkids for the whole Shabbat.  I picked them up in town from school on Friday and rode the school bus home with them.  it is not for the fainthearted.  the older kids are animals.  they put their school bags on the seats so the little kids don't get to sit down.  they also scream and literally, hang from the rafters.  there is no adult on these busses.  last week I screamed at them to sit down and shut up until I lost my voice.  on friday, I turned my back to them once I made sure that most of the little first graders had seats. I ran to the supermarket early in the morning to get veggies and fruits.

I bought a ton of treats in town on Thursday. I didn't get home until after 8:00p.m.  I spent a real fortune. I felt bad for the kids being away from their parents.  they slept at the Sephardi grandparents' house on Thursday night.  their parents went to a hotel in Tiberius. I washed the floors before I went to get the kids on Friday morning.

on the ride back from school on Friday morning, we stopped for more kids at another school.  I  tried to get the kids to go to the back of the bus to clear the aisle for the other kids to get off the bus. I went to the back of the bus and started tossing school bags off of seats.  the bratty kids were pretty shocked and enraged at my behavior.  I finally got the new kids to get seated before I made my exit.

 I am currently dog sitting for another friend. this dog is old and ugly and has managed to rip out most of her hair. she scratches non stop and also poops and pees non stop throughout my house.  I am not digging this at all.  my dog also has a scratching problem.  I believe that he is allergic to fleas. 

I read that coconut oil remedies this.  I try to slather some on his body whenever I find a moment.  I haven't been entirely successful.  I really should do the other dog too but I can't stand to touch it.  my granddaughter had some kind of break out herself, on Saturday.  it first looked like a few mosquito bites.  when she woke up her face had huge red marks like hives.  it wasn't on her back or other parts of her body so I didn't think it was chicken pox or measles.  I applied coconut oil to relieve the itching.

she complained that her belly button was hurting. sure enough, she had a huge swelling there too.   I was a bit anxious because she recently had a hernia surgery.  after lunch I let the kids go visit friends.  they were at the local park binging on sweets and I thought I might get a bit of a rest. at 2:00 p.m. I became alarmed.  I found them playing in the dirt and my granddaughter looked like a demon.  she had huge patches of redness over her eye lids and under her eyes.  I assumed that it might be an allergic reaction to the coconut oil. I asked my neighbor, who is a fledgling nurse, if she thought it was an allergy.  she didn't really commit to an answer.

I managed to get the kids back to the hose and promptly showered them and put them into clean pajamas.  we played bingo for a while.  Shabbat is pretty short now.  it ends at 5:30 p.m.  I couldn't wait to call their parents and let them know that their daughter needed medical attention.  they didn't seem too concerned.  an aunt came over and took pix and sent them to the parents who were out of town.  I asked my son to come home earlier. they like to go to the movies and mauls.  we were driven to my son's apartment so the kids could go to sleep in their own beds.

I was tired because I had missed my Shabbat nap.  I forced myself not to fall asleep. there is nothing more wrong than to be found sprawled out and snoring on the couch when I'm babysitting.  the parents returned home at 1:00 a.m.  I never did fall asleep.  I could barely stand yesterday.  I would have asked the other cook to sub for me but she was just barely back on her feet after having suffered a kidney stone attack.  I came home with my son yesterday at 5:00 p.m.  I usually get home at 7:00 p.m.  I think I passed out after my cooking show at 7:00 p.m.  I do not have to watch the kids today. I am planning on going to the yeshiva around 3:00 p.m.

I am desperately trying to curb my food binging.  I do not have a real plan.  I am trying to eat one food item at a time.  I had one egg for breakfast.  I had one banana for a snack.  I had one red pepper with one large spoon of peanut butter for lunch.  I did have a nice bowl of green salad.  last night I had one chicken cutlet for supper. and I had one grapefruit for a snack.  I don't think that I can commit to a fruit fast at this moment in time.  and I don't think hat I can deal with the south beach diet anymore.



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Raining

it is 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  it is cold and rainy.  they had a hail storm downtown today.  I finally took down the sukkah this morning.  it did look threatening so I went into action.  my son had taken off the bamboo roof covering a few days ago.  the material , which I've had for over 20 years, was pretty dirty.  I threw it into the washing machine on a gentle cycle.  it survived.  it doesn't look brand new but it doesn't smell bad now.  it only took me about an hour to take down all the decorations, dismember the bars and wash the material. 

I am pretty tired these days.  I had the grandkids almost every day during the holiday.  I also cooked almost every day which is a lot for me.  I went through all my cooking job money pretty fast.  I spent a fortune on food and treats for Shabbat and holiday meals.  if I need to make shabbat for the kids it will be a simple meal.  I have some wings and chop meat in the freezer.

it is it is 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  I just got back from walking, tiny, the medium sized terrier.  he likes being on a leash now.  the major problem is that there are many loose dogs around in this area and they all want to war with tiny.  it doesn't help that he growls at every 4 legged creature, too.  I took him out last night at midnight and at the corner circle, a young and collarless small german shepherd was hanging around.  I had to grab tiny and hold him and I screamed for the shepherd to scram.  it is very stressful.

I need to go to the yeshiva later to defrost some chop meat.  they end their holiday break tomorrow.  I need to make supper for 18 students tomorrow.  I didn't sleep very well last night nor the night before.  I am pretty wrecked.  I watched a pretty graphic sexy and violent movie in the middle of the night.  I slept through most of it.  the son did get vengeance on the ones who turned his mother into a prostitute.  I was truly too tired to get up and turn off the television.  I don't feel well this morning.  I also ate an enormous amount of candy last night.  I have been binging for the past two weeks.

a vey dear old friend has her first anniversary of her passing this Friday.  I have been thinking a lot about her for weeks.  I even asked someone when her yirtseit was because I was feeling her so strongly.  I don't want to chance running into my sister at the cemetery.  I am not ready to see her.  she has emailed me twice and I deleted both texts.  she is in denial about what transpired between us.  I know Dr. Phil would disagree with me.  but then again, he never met my sister.

I truly believe in accountability.  I can no longer be around people who cannot fess up to their atrocious behavior.  you can't fix something unless you admit that it is broken.  this goes far beyond being political incorrect.  it took me a long time before I could own up to my mistakes.  I would like to believe that I can admit when I screw up.  I am pretty busy picking up the grandkids after school.  we ride home on the school bus a few times a week.  it is free and the kids love being with their peers.  who knows what I will do when it begins raining every day.

I am obsessed with following the Harvey Weinstein scandal online.  it reminds me of the Clinton years.  it comes into every home if you want it or not.  it hurts that it is a jewish man, to boot.  we are supposed to be the light to the other nations.  we are not supposed to be bullies.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tomorrow Night Is Sukkot

it is 9:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  my little sukkah is ready to go.  I just hooked up the light.  it is only 2 meters by 2 meters.  I only used half of the parts so that if my son wanted his own sukkah it was already stored in the shed.  I broke two ceramic decorative hangings of lemons and apples.  oh well....  I always buy a new decoration before every sukkot but I was not so inspired this month.  the kids made some paper chains and my grandson made a lantern.  I am afraid to hang it over the light bulb.  I do not want the sukkah to burn down.

I will hang it as a decoration.  I always hang my vast collection of plastic fruits and vines.  this time I  mainly used clusters of grapes, apples, pomegranates and citrons.  I didn't hang up the odd pear, peach or passion fruit.  I also didn't hang up the silver glitter apples this time.  when the kids come in the morning, they can help me put them up if they want them.  I tried to avoid the tinsel.  I schlepped up a large picnic table from the downstairs.  I couldn't believe that it actually fit.

I decided to stay up here in the neighborhood tomorrow night.  the kids are coming on Thursday afternoon to make a barbecue.  I splurged big time and bought a bunch of steaks.  I will make some tomato relish and humus tomorrow.  I will also make a green salad on Thursday.  I can't decide if I need to make potatoes or rice to go with the meat.  they are also coming for Shabbat meals.  I haven't exactly decided what to cook.  I might just go with schnitzels and mashed potatoes and of course, spicy morracocan style tilapia for supper.  I'm thinking about making a cholent for lunch.  I bought a nice piece of meat.

I really blew my paycheck on this holiday.  it felt good to have a little money for a change.  after this we have simchat torah and then no more holidays until Chanukah.  I'm not sure when I will do my surgery.  I'm kind of scared to wait until I have seizures.  I am also scared of not being able to get back to work.  as hard as it is to cook every day for 12 hungry young men, it is harder to think about being a shut in.  I have been hitting the junk food again. I simply lost myself. 

I have been riding the school bus 3 times a week with my grandkids.  it is free and I save on cab fares.  the grandkids love riding the bus with their peers.  my grandson doesn't exactly like my screaming at his little boy friends.  it is a zoo.  the kids wanted to sleep over tonight because they don't have school tomorrow.  I needed a break.  I had them here til 11:00 p.m. last night.  I thought I could wash the floors tonight but I absolutely didn't have the energy.  I spent a couple of hours this evening decorating the sukkah.  I will wash the floors tomorrow and change the sheets.

I want to do a bit of baking tomorrow.  I want to make chocolate and date brownies.  I might just use the jar of coconut oil that has been sitting in my fridge for months.  I hope i'll have some energy tomorrow.  it will be good for me to go to my friends on the next street.  I can't even think about walking home for 40 minutes from the in-law's.  I hate to seem stand offish but I just don't have a lot of energy of late.  I don't think that I've been drinking enough and it has turned hot, once again.

my friend, on the next street, is a frequent visitor to Vegas.  in fact she has tickets to go in November.  I freaked out when I read the internet.  of course, my living in Israel has made me believe that every mass murder is a terror attack.  from what I've seen on the American news, they are calling out the availability of a crazed man to get automatic weapons.  the platform is against guns and not isis and the jihad movement.  oh well....

Monday, September 25, 2017

The New Year Begins

it is 7:30 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  I just got back from walking my dog, tiny.  tiny is not small.  he has become a bull.  my friend picked up her dogs a couple of days before the holiday.  it is very quiet at Zelda's place these days.  tiny doesn't require a lot of attention.  he spends a lot of time in the closet of the costumes.  I managed to buy two new outfits for the holiday.  I thought they were white but they were actually off white. one is a lacey see through , sleeveless dress and the other is a very long layered meshy top.

the house is pretty clean, too.  no one is pishing on the floors these days.  I spent a lot of time cleaning the house for rosh hashana.  I bleached for days.  I changed all of the bedding in every room. my friend with a dog chose not to come for the holiday.  she thought we were having a heat wave and she chose to be alone.  it was warm here but there were breezes and at night it was actually, cold.

the kids also opted for walking home after the meals.  the grandkids slept over on Friday night but for most of the holiday I was alone.  it was very quiet and I didn't sleep that well.  the prayer service was 5 hours long the first day.  I was very uncomfortable and standing became painful.  the following morning it was 'only' 4 1/2 hours long.  it was not enjoyable.  I had to sit down.  my sciatic was acting up. it was an endurance test.

there was way too much food, too.  I didn't touch any honey cake and pretty much stuck to my regimen.  I did eat too much dried fruit and it poofed out my stomach. I went a bit crazy the last couple of days.  I ate 3 large dairy chocolate bars and I finished a tin of honey bars.  and then last night I had a bag of potato chips.  I am very tired and very nervous.  I haven't heard from the hospital about my brain surgery yet and just the thought of it is making me crazy. 

I fasted on sunday and went to the yeshiva in the afternoon to make them a supper to break their fast.  I got back at 6:00 p.m. and the fast ended at 7:00 p.m. I was pretty tired yesterday.  I went to the yeshiva at 4:00 p.m.  my uniform that I used to cook in is gone. I couldn't find an apron, either.  I do not like cooking in just clothes.  I fried up about 50 turkey patties yesterday and I came home reeking of oil.  my clothes are filthy.  I am not a happy camper.

  I was supposed to make hamburger stroganoff, whatever that is, and a carrot and squash loaf.  I just didn't feel like it.  I had no patience to look up the stroganoff recipe, either.  I couldn't get the food processor to work and I didn't feel like hand grating the vegetables.  I ended up cooking up a pot of boiled potatoes with a lot of oil and turmeric and a pot of plain rice.  I also made a small pot of zucchini with tomato sauce.  and I served turkey patties for the main, as they say on my Australian cooking shows.  the frying of 50 patties was very tiresome, too boot.

I was too tired to visit my friend after work.  I came home and pretty much collapsed on the t.v. couch.  I was too tired to eat a proper meal, too.  I had nashed on leftovers at the yeshiva.  I  had a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk.  I have to get back onto my food regimen, pronto, before I really blow it.  I don't really have much food in the house.  I get my check on Wednesday so I will be able to buy some food and get ready for yom kippur, which falls out on Shabbat.  I usually make a pre fast soup for the kids.  I bought frozen kreplach months ago.

I wanted to buy a kids' sukkah for the grandkids but I don't know if i'll be able to financially swing it.  I  think I get paid after the holidays.  I still have to get the adult sukkah put up.  I don't think i'll be entertaining much this season.  I don't feel like cooking again.  I over did it for rosh hashana..  I've been fighting a sore throat since before the holidays.  I gargled with peroxide which quieted it down a bit but I am beginning to cough again.

I am still upset about the fallout with my sister.  I spent the entire holiday thinking about the situation.  after all, the theme of the holidays is forgiveness.  I am sick about it.  I have very little peace of mind.  I am thinking about seeing a therapist.  I am too busy to relax.  I can't follow a story line on television and I can't seem to finish my book.  my back is acting up and it hurts to walk.  who knows? perhaps the brain surgery will get my mind off my family situation.



Thursday, September 14, 2017

The NewYear

it is 1:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  my friend's dog woke me up about 5:30 a.m.  I could not  rouse myself out of bed.  finally at 6:30 a.m. I took the 3 pooches out.  the pain in my ear and jaw came back.  I am beginning to think that it may be time to get the tumor out of my head.  I  started to clean the house for Shabbat and, of course, for the holidays.  I put away the food I made yesterday for Rosh Hashanah.   I cooked a small piece of beef in sweet wine and I made some spicy chicken and turkey meatballs.  I decided to make a small batch of spicy beef meatballs; so as I cleaned, it cooked.

I know a lot of people who don't like to eat 'leftovers' straight out of the freezer.  I don't tell anyone anymore when I cook.  I am not working next week on Wednesday but I still wanted to get a head start on the food preparations.  I am too tired right now to make a few honey cakes.  I have a banana chocolate chip loaf in the oven.  the kids are too tired to make Shabbat for themselves so I am hosting them for Friday night.  I just made a pot of very spicy chicken soup for tomorrow night and the traditional Sephardi spicy red sauce fish.  I used tuna and tilapia this time.  I like my tuna.  I made potato salad, tomato relish, spicy hot carrots and beet salad.  I am planning on making humus tomorrow.

I went food shopping yesterday.  I bought the various traditional veggies and fruits that we use for the holiday.  and of course, I bought the two most important ingredients, honey and a fish head.  we use beets and beet leaves, carrots, pumpkin, leeks, apples, black eyed peas, pomegranates, dates and fish for the pre meal ceremony. each food is dipped in honey.  one year I made a fourth of a sheep's head.  the kids were turned off.  only my grandson and I tried it.  it was yummy.  the Sephardi grandma makes lungs.  it's really tasty.

I haven't decided if I am going out for a meal yet.  I am invited to join the clan but it will be super noisy.  I don't know if my friend is coming with her dog or not.  it is a pretty long holiday.  it goes right into Shabbat.  we are talking seven meals from Wednesday night til Saturday night.  that's four days together.  I am not looking forward to this at all.  some people cook on Friday morning after services.  I am hoping that I will have enough food so that I won't have to cook.  I don't mind making salads but I don't like being on my feet in the kitchen after standing at services all morning long.  I have to make a dinner meal for the yeshiva on sunday.  it is a fast day.

I kind of ran out of money.  I usually make a cheesecake but I think i'll skip it this time.  I don't know if I have enough veggies to make it through the holiday.  I have enough time to shop next week.  I already bought a ton of rolls.  they are in the freezer, of course.  I may make a kugel or two if the eggs last.  I didn't buy drinks.  I can always ask the kids to get some.  I have lots of grape juice but I don't have any wine.  my son is usually in charge of getting choice wine.  I cleaned the upstairs apartment so the kids can have privacy.  they may even bring their cat.  I want to clean the master bedroom soon before I go to work.  are we having fun, yet?


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Party's Over

it is 8:30 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  yesterday evening I hosted a birthday party for my grandson, downstairs.  last year the kids were in their new apartment and only had room for family members.  now that we are on better terms, the party came back to my home.  I pressured my son to come around in the morning to take down the pool.  last year it stood outside during the winter, uncovered, catching rain water.  it was pretty awful.  we really needed the space for the party.  I made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

it took about half an hour in all, to dismember the bars and clean the pool.  I was left to put it back into the original box.  I must have folded and refolded the pool three times but it was too heavy for me to lift.  I couldn't get that sucker into the box, no how.  I left it folded in a corner of the patio with the pool's ladder. I was concerned about having the ladder around kids.  I  actually found a family toddler attempting to climb it.  no one else noticed but me.  I also worried that there wouldn't be enough light outside when it got dark.

I spent hours downstairs washing down the patio and wet mopping the bathroom and hall floors.  the place is huge.  I cleared the laundry room, which is also very huge, of any objects left over from the party I threw before pesach.  I was so concerned that the place look clean and smell good.  I sprayed the bathroom for some time.  the entire house smelled good.  I schlepped down about a dozen or more chairs to the patio from the upstairs.  I couldn't manage the two tables, by myself.  I secluded the two dogs that I'm caring for into the master bedroom.  I washed all the floors in my house, too.  someone would for sure come upstairs to borrow something so I did all of the dishes left in the two sinks.

I couldn't stand anymore.  my back was finished.  I got ready to go to work at the yeshiva.  I waited half an hour for the bus.  I didn't feel like taking a cab.  I searched the house for light bulbs.  I was obsessed about lighting for the outdoors.  I ran to a house goods store on my way to work to buy small halogen bulbs for the downstairs fixtures.  I didn't know who would put them in for me.  they are pretty high up on the wall.  I obsessed all afternoon about these lights.  the man in the store didn't know or care about what I was looking for.  he was young and hungry and wanted to finish his sandwich.

I was too nervous to spend too much time cooking at the yeshiva.  I worried that the dogs might get out while I was gone.  instead of making a kugel, I made stewed potatoes.  I took out a 9x11 pan of leftover tuna loaf to serve the young men for dinner.  it was quite dense.  the other cook suggested that I break it up and make it into fish patties. sure!  I finished cooking some ratatouille, zelda style, cleaned up and left.  I waited a half an hour for the bus to come home.  I was very tempted to catch a cab but I resisted.  I even caught a small shuttle bus in front of the yeshiva to catch another bus in town.  it's about a 7minute walk but I was that tired.

I thought about stopping off at the supermarket to buy some bulbs but I went home directly, instead.  the downstairs was very party like.  the tables were all filled with prizes and candies and drinks and chocolate goodies.  there were balloons strung everywhere.  my daughter-in-law had two sisters and a very abled teenage brother helping her set up.  I'm a one woman show.  what ever I can't do doesn't get done.  I have no help.  I was delighted that the dogs were all intact except for the pincher.  I think she is dying.  she is no longer able to stand up on her hind legs and she stopped drinking and eating.  I'm thinking about taking her to be put down tomorrow.  who knows? perhaps they will shoot her up with steroids and she will revive.

I searched my drawer for bulbs one more time and lo and behold, I found a small halogen light bulb.  I asked the teenage brother if he could put it in for me.  I schlepped down the ladder and a few screwdrivers and voila!  we had tons of light.  I took a shower and made an effort to look nice.  I even put on eyeliner and lip gloss.  when I got downstairs, there were just a few kids.  it was mostly family.  I went upstairs to make some tea and the guests arrived en masse.  there could have been 25 or more 8 year olds.  they had a sound system and mike. the noise was unbearable for me.  in just moments the patio was littered with wrapping paper, burst balloons, drinks, candy wrappers and loose candies.  I thought to myself, why exactly, did I wash down the patio hours before?  I guess I didn't want to offend anyone with the smell of dog pish or the sight of loose dirty leaves..

everyone got cold outside so the activities resumed in the house.  within moments the house got trashed with candy wrappers, spilled drinks, wrapping paper, smashed salad and chocolate cake remains.  one of the activities was frosting store bought cupcakes with hand made whipped cream icing.  the Sephardi grandma was in charge of that activity. while the girls were decorating cupcakes in the kitchen, the boys were making bedlam in the laundry room.  then the pizzas arrived.  the place was super trashed with leftover ketchup wrappers and half eaten slices of pizza.  the Israeli's love ketchup on their pizza.  I stayed outside.  I was a bit overwhelmed.  I was picking up leftover pizza slices and eating them.  I was so tired.

after the cupcake decorating and pizza the kids once again came outside and I was so pleased that the patio was well lit.  the kids rode around on all sorts of wheeled toys.  then the parents came to pick up the kids.  the party bags were distributed and almost everyone left.  the Sephardi family finally left and I told my daughter-in-law that I would clean up.  I just wanted everyone to leave.  I was exhausted.  I needed to be alone.  I needed to take the dogs for a walk.  I threw out a ton of garbage and brought up drinks and leftover party bags..

I don't have an ounce of energy left in my body.  I woke up late and took the doggies out at 7:30 a.m.  I usually take them out at 6:00 a.m. I washed the front hall because someone pished and left a bit of doggie do.  I don't blame them.  I goofed up this morning.  all in all, I do believe that my grandson actually enjoyed his party for a change.  my daughter-in-law was in her element.  she loves being the mc and really gets into these kids' activities. her family supports her and they all pick up the slack for her.  my son stays out of sight until the end and then supplies beer for the few men present.  he then slips away.  this time he took home the loot.  my grandson scored big time.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Even More Tired

it is 3:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I spent 3 hours washing the floors and changing the linens in my house this morning.  it is just too doggy here.  I was able to clean out all the dog hair, pish and doggie droppings all over the house.  I am dog sitting for my friend's two small pinchers and they are a hand full.  there are currently two female and two male dogs co existing here.  my female pincher is very old and on her way out, I believe.  she has become incontinent and can barely walk.  she pishes and leaves droppings wherever she stands.

I cannot see having her putdown just yet.  she doesn't seem to be in pain.  she makes it outside and to the end of the street.  I may have to leave her on the bedroom porch in her doggie bed.  she seems to enjoy the company of the other dogs.  perhaps she has gone senile.  the two males got into a loud scuffle this morning.  I was not pleased.  my male has been hiding in the costume closet all day.  I just fed them so I will be able to take them out for a walk before Shabbat.

the kids came back from their five day holiday trip on Wednesday.  I had them for about four hours yesterday before I went to the yeshiva to make dinner for the students.  I am cooking for 12 these days.  it takes about 2 hours to make the meal an additional hour or more to wash the pots and put away the leftovers.   it amounts to about 3 hours on my feet.  I am truly feeling it in my back.  yesterday I came home after 7:00 p.m.  I fed the dogs and raced out.  they had a celebratory meal at the Sephardi synagogue for a new sefer torah.  they had a ceremony earlier in the evening for the fallen soldiers at the local high school. 

I was starving and looked forward to a good meal.  we went to the house where the torah was brought the night before.  I wasn't hungry at all.  the hostess, who lost her young son in the army two years ago, served a vegetarian couscous.  I tasted the veggies and had a few raisins, and nuts.  last night I really went for it.  I ate a huge roll and finished a plate of humus with spicy chopped meat.  they brought out the schnitzel after 9:00 p.m.  my friend split.  even tough, I don't eat after 8:00 p.m. I didn't care last night.  they brought out little cubes of very spicy meat with chick peas.  this is a Sephardi delicacy: lungs.  I actually love it.  I pretty much finished off the whole bowl at my table.  at 10:00 p.m. they started bringing out platters of rice and potatoes and couscous.  I left. 

I walked the 3 dogs and then collapsed in bed.  I sleep with 3 dogs now.  I didn't feel so well last night.  I was actually naceous.   that's what you get for eating tons of lungs late at night.  I felt fine this morning.  one of the dogs woke me up at around 6;00 a.m. and not very gently.  I took the 3 out on leashes.  my pincher can't keep up with us on a walk.  we got back a half an hour later.  it was quite cool and breezy.  I decided to take a 'power' walk by myself.  I seem to have high blood pressure now.  I made it only about a couple of blocks away.  I couldn't get myself to climb the hill to the top of the neighborhood.

I walked around a bit for another half an hour and made it to the supermarket.  I bought a few pieces of fruit and eggs and some items that were on sale before the holidays.  I also bought a package of 5 grain tortillas.  they are extremely thin and delicious.  I didn't make a thing for Shabbat.  I kind of wangled an invite out of my kids and friends.  so I am set.  I put up hot water in case I want a tea and I made banana oatmeal silver dollar pancakes.  I love having a few before I go to synagogue.  I don't eat muffins or cake anymore. 

I need a rest and I need a shower and I need to walk the dogs.  I wonder if i'll get a rest today.  candle lighting is in about 2 hours.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

This Is A dog's World

it is 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  I am utterly exhausted.  I finally tackled cleaning up the rooftop apartment.  there was a lady who wanted to see it.  I dragged myself upstairs on Friday afternoon and washed the porch area and the bathroom.  I was too tired to deal with it in the morning.  it took about 2 hours to do this task.  everything had to be washed.  I did all the dishes, pots and pans, cutlery, knickknacks and pictures and the screens and windows.

I had my friend's dogs with me so I put them out on the porch while I worked.  on Saturday night after Shabbat ended, I began washing the floor.  I could not finish it.  yesterday morning at 6:00 a.m. I washed the entire wooden floor.  that was no easy feat.  I had to go over it about four times.  the space is about 120 meters.  the place needs throw rugs, for sure.  I also dragged up a couple of tables and chairs and other heavy items.

the lady in question, had emailed me that she was available to come in the evening to see the place.  of course, I came home from cooking at the yeshiva in time to meet her.  when I got home I checked the phone and internet for messages.  she had decided not to waste my time as she was exploring other situations and locations.  I kind of knew it in my gut that this was a no show but I am ever so glad that I finally took care of the apartment.  I now know what repairs are needed to do when I get some money.

it is pesach clean right now and will make a great sleeping space for the holidays.  I might even show it to a student .  there are not many jewish students, unfortunately; and I feel uneasy renting to moslem arabs.

at around midnight last night I was awakened by the hysterical shrieking of my friend's two dogs.  I had no idea what time it was.  I was beat.  I had to walk over to my son's apartment and feed his cat while they are away on vacation.  I waited for the sun to go down because it was another hot day.  it is a 15 minute walk uphill.  I struggled.  I used to walk an hour and a half every night, effortlessly.  a lot  has changed.  I am older, heavier, and I have high blood pressure now.

I have let myself go.  I used to do cardio and yoga.  I can't bend down to pick up objects without wincing.  I still haven't lost an ounce.  it's been about two months now without sweets and nashing.  I do not eat after 8:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m.  I need to get this belly fat cut down once and for all.  I lost a ton of weight after the cancer treatment but I felt too thin.  I gained about 10 pounds this summer after I had a bitter fallout with my family.  I am not the kind of person who stops eating when she is sad.

I have an animal crisis.  my friend's dog wandered into my neighbor's yard and she let her out.  I should have let the neighbor's no that I was babysitting other dogs.  I hope she will find her way back to my house.  I just went around the neighborhood with the other 2 dogs but didn't see her.  I am feeling awful.  a few years ago I sat for another friend's dog and she made it out for hours.  I will wait until this afternoon before I go to work.  oh well....

aftermath:  it is 9:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I went downtown at around 2:00 pm. to see if the doggie had made its way back back home.  I stayed home all day long in case she returned.  I ran around the neighborhood for hours looking for her.  I prayed all day long and put coins in a charity box to find her.  it turns out that the neighbor heard her barking and called her nephew, who in turn called my son to get my cell number.  he was going to pick me up and take me there.  my son,
G-d bless him, never thought to call my house phone to let me know that the dog was downtown.  anyway we got reunited and I took her home in a taxi.  I then went to work and came home around 7:00 p.m.

I stopped off to make a condolence call.  a young man aged 33 passed on.  he was a tortured soul with schizophrenia    I knew him when he was a young lad. what a tragedy!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Very Busy

it is 11:00 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  I am just getting up.  I need to go to the supermarket and buy cleaning supplies.  there is someone coming on sunday to check out my roof top studio apartment.  it has been trashed and unclean for about two years.  the pigeons have taken over the porch area, once again. that will be a load of fun to clean up all that dried up pigeon poo.

yesterday, I cleaned my house.  I spent the morning washing the floors and doing laundry.  the pincher dog has become incontinent and is making all over the house.  the kids trash the rest of the house with paper cuttings, potato chips and spilled apple juice.  I saw an ad for part time work at the old yeshiva that I used to cook for.  of course, I needed to start the same day.  it is only for supper and there are only about 8-10 young men at the moment.

the pay is pretty low but it will help pay for my dental crown.  I probably will have to stop working to have the brain surgery.  I made an appointment to see a local neurologist to get permission to have  both my wisdom tooth and another tooth removed.  I have been suffering from intense ear and jaw pain and the dentist is afraid that the brain tumor is presenting nerve symptoms in my face.  the ear doctor said to get another dentist.

I woke up two days ago and couldn't move my head to the right.  it is still pretty stiff and I have lower back pain, too.  it is a bit scary.  I can move my head now but it is still painful.  some how, I managed to work that day at the yeshiva.  the cooking doesn't take more than 2 hours, but the clean up and putting away leftovers does require an additional hour or two.

yesterday I spaced out and cooked enough rice to feed 25 people. I added way too much water and got a giant pot of yellow mush.  I made a kugel out of it by adding eggs and cinnamon.  they will be eating kugel for days.  I strained most of the rice and in the end, I could have presented it as some form of sticky rice.  I ate a bowl of it before I cleaned the kitchen.  it actually, wasn't so bad.

I got back home at around 5:00 p.m.  I showered and met a friend at 6:30 p.m. and we took off for the klezmer music festival in town.  I have been going to the festival for over 30 years.  I used to live in town and it was right in my backyard, so to speak.  now I live a good hour by foot to town.  I used to walk there and back.  I am pretty out of shape these days.  my friend and I did walk up and down the main pedestrian street in town last night.  we wanted to check out the food stalls.  it was mostly the usual stuff.  I thought about buying an eggroll at the thai-chinese restaurant.  my friend wanted popcorn and soft ice cream.  as much as I was tempted to get a frozen ice coffee, I held out.

my back was pretty much aching and sore and I was truly exhausted  form the day's work.  I ended up getting a slice of pizza.  I have been trying so hard to lose weight lately, but I haven't lost a drop.  I haven't been eating after 8:00 p.m. but I started nashing on sunflower seeds at night.  not great!  I only had about 20 shekels on me and that was for a cab if we needed.  the busses were running to 12:30 a.m. so we didn't need a taxi.  we were both ready to go home by 10:00 p.m.  It felt like two old ladies out to town.

there was an outdoor market so we walked around for a bit.  I didn't see anything to buy except a toy for the kids and I held out.  they are going away for 5 days to hotels for a vacation.  my vacation is not having to mind them for a few days.  I ended up buying a fresh fruit salad for 5 shekels.  even though I don't eat at night, it was refreshing.  it probably gave me a sugar rush.  I drank two glasses of almond milk when I got home from work.  I didn't have any real milk at home.  I added a bit of cinnamon and chocolate powder.  it was okay but I think I will buy some real milk this morning. 

we didn't walk all over the city looking for music.  we went to the central area where there was a huge outdoor concert space.  we saw an amazing Russian violinist named sanya kroiter.  I truly loved him.  he looks like a young Robert dinero and his music is out of this world.  I left feeling very satisfied.  it was a little bittersweet because I remembered the years before when I would be at klezmer with my young son and parents all night long.  I don't think I could handle being there alone with my grandkids.

 I am alone for Shabbat.  I will make myself something simple to eat.  I have a copy of the novel, 'the zookeeper's wife', so I will have something amazing to read.  I start my dog sitting gig on Saturday night.  my friend is bringing over her two small dogs for about a month while she has a family reunion in montreal.  that's right , I will have 4 dogs here.  I am planning on keeping her dogs downstairs.  I can't worry about the two males getting into macho alpha dog fights or peeing all over my house for territory.  I also, have to go over to my son's house and feed his horrible cat while they are away.  at least, my friend paid me for my services even though I already blew the money.

and now I must get dressed and out and somehow get the upstairs cleaned.  that will be quite a feat.  I don't truly believe that this woman will want the apartment but I must at least, try.  I let the water out of the pool yesterday.  it had turned green and I didn't have the money to buy cleaning agents.  hopefully, my son will clean it and put it away before winter this year.  we had a wonderful summer in it.  so that is my story for now.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A littleTired

it is 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I am missing my cooking competition show because the kids are watching a movie.  I am pretty tired and have little patience left.  I had some guests for a few days and I also had the kids here, too.  my friends arrived in the late afternoon on Wednesday and the kids were still here.  my grandson received a giant box of lego and he went into building mode for hours.

my son decided to go out to get a bite to eat with his friend and I stayed home with the kids to about 10:00 p.m.  no one had eaten much so I ran out to the neighborhood pizza shop and bought a small pie.  on Thursday we made a barbecue.  my friend's adult son stayed in the pool with the kids while I got everything organized.  he was a bit shell shocked.  these kids are wild.  anyway, he survived and was able to man the fire that evening.

another friend joined us and thankfully, it cooled off in the late evening.  the kids were tired and we brought out covers and mini mattresses for them to lie on while we ate.  they did perk up for the roasted marshmallows.   the kids slept over on Thursday night.  their parents wanted some 'alone' time.  my friend and I had ventured out to town earlier that day to check out the art galleries.  she hadn't been there in years.

 we stopped off at a local Yemenite restaurant in the old city.  they serve sandwiches and we drank some exotic plant juice, known to make you high. we blew big bucks with the rest of the tourists.  we didn't really get high but we both seemed more relaxed.  we ran to a small market and bought some beer and things for the barbecue and for Shabbat.  once again, we blew big bucks.  or in my case, a big check.  we got stuck in town and waited for 20 minutes for a taxi.

on Friday I washed the floors, once again.  I had done them on Wednesday and changed all the linens in the bedrooms.  what could I do, the floors were trashed.  I got a late start cooking.  the kids needed a lot of attention and they wanted to be in the pool.  my friends joined the kids in the pool while I scrambled to finish the floors.  my friend did all the peeling and helped me cut the veggies for salad.  I seldom accept help, but I was losing steam fast.

while the kids stayed with the adult male guest, his mother and I ran to the local supermarket and bakery.  we schlepped home an enormous watermelon, and a case of bottled water in my shopping cart.  we took turns pulling the wagon.  the amount of shopping and schlepping seemed endless.  my money soon ran out and so did most of my physical endurance.  I was beat. 

I have been suffering from an infected wisdom tooth and neuralgia in my face and ear.  I had taken a week's worth of antibiotics which left me reeling.  the dentist was afraid to do any work until I had my ear checked out and a letter from a neurologist.  she is convinced that my brain tumor is presenting symptoms.  I ran to an ear doctor on Tuesday evening.  he had arrived late and I ended up waiting in a freezing reception area until 8:45 p.m.

he told me that my ear was fine and that I needed a dentist.  he had little patience and said there couldn't be any connection between the pain in my jaw and ear to my brain tumor.  he said to switch dentists.  the bus wasn't running on schedule due to a concert in town.  I waited 40 minutes for a  bus and got home at 10:00 p.m.  I was simply overwrought.  I have an appointment with a neurologist in two weeks.  in the meanwhile, I tread lightly.  every once in a while I get a twinge of pain in my teeth and mouth and eardrum. 

I tried to keep the Shabbat preparations to a minimum.  I made spicy stewed fish fillets, and stewed spicy chicken.  I defrosted  turkey meatballs from two weeks ago and threw it into the chicken.  I wanted to make a liver teriyaki with the left over liver from the barbecue but I ran out of time.  I also wanted to fry some chicken schnitzel but I ran out of strength.  I did manage to make a huge potato kugel and baked a few beets.  I made a  cooked tomato relish, a carrot and almond salad, an egg salad and a lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad.  I had store bought chumus and olives.

I did all the dishes and clean up by myself.  I usually have help.  I set up the electric platter for the morning.  I couldn't get to synagogue.  I was wasted.  I gave over the master bedroom to my son and wife and they slept with the granddaughter.  I slept in the t.v. room on the tiny sofa and my grandson slept in the middle of the room on a mattress.  I stayed in the living room for most of the morning on the large couch.  it was surprisingly comfortable and cool in that room.  I never sit there.

everyone took naps and I fell asleep in the living room with the kids.  I actually passed out while the kids went amok.  I had sat downstairs in the sun while the kids swam in the pool.   I woke up and the kids were in the t.v. area with my friend.  the parents were still resting.  I worried about what to serve for the third meal.  I made an Israeli salad with tiny diced tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion.  I served fresh whole wheat pitas, danish butter, sliced yellow cheese, cottage cheese and 5 % white cheese spread.  everyone was satiated.

another friend stopped by with chocolates, fruit and cookies so we all munched out on her package.  it was a very long Shabbat.  I made French toast with leftover challah this morning and my friends left.  the kids came over at 1:00 p.m. I ran to supermarket to bring back the empty beer bottles and buy some treats.  I am beat.

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.