Friday, July 28, 2017

Another Friday Morning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Be Careful

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tuesday Good News Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday All Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 14, 2017

Afternoon Delight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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