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.....