Sunday, July 20, 2008

Official Sponsor of the War

First official sponsor of Israel's next big war (g-d forbid) is.....Meal Mart! (Complete with logoed stickers that afix easily to soldiers helmets and armored personal carriers).

I sometimes love reading the Jerusalem Post online edition because they have some gem articles hidden on the bottom. This morning, as we woke to the fast of 17 Tammuz, I found this article about Meal Mart equipping IDF infantrymen with food packets in the event (g-d forbid) of another war.

Gotta love corporate sponsorship, already the IDF has lined up some contenders for the next (g-d forbid) war. Pidgeon and I couldn't stop laughing when we read about this for numerous reasons. First, because of all things they found wrong in the Second Lebanese War, it was that the infantry soldiers need to take with them boxes of food until supply lines could be open? Pidgeon's brother fought in the Second Lebanon War, and from what he's told us, hunger was certainly an issue but there were far greater things that needed fixing first and foremost. 

Next, we got a good chuckle because we LOVE Meal Mart foods. There is a Meal Mart on Main Street in Queens, where I'm from, and my Mom loves Meal Mart. In fact, she places a Shabbos order from them almost every single Wednesday night and my Dad picks up the food before Shabbos. Meal Mart makes some great Southern Fried Chicken, potato kugel, turkey legs (ask for those special, they're great!) and other yummy Ashkenazi traditional Shabbos fare. We're a big kugel family, and their sweet potato kugel is also yummy.

But then, Pidgeon and I got to thinking, about what all this yummy Ashkenazi food would do to Israel's soldier's intestines. And, we'd like to warn whatever future enemy might attack next (g-d forbid) that they should invest in some gas masks. Cause, if all those soldiers are gonna be chowing down on some Meal Mart chulent before battle, it's gonna get stanky! It seems like Israel's newest secret weapon is Meal Mart greasy chulent and their smelly side effects.  So beware, the flatulence a coming to get ya!

It was the Jewish fart heard round the world - that's what they'll write in History books. Just you wait!

Moving on. 

Shabbos was an affair to remember. In fact, it started with Friday afternoon's Simchat Bat that left me feeling a bit overwhelmed. I am not a big fan of big parties, never have been, never will be. I prefer small, intimate affairs. And, the Simchat Bat was just so huge and full of people who all seemed to know me even though I didn't know half of them, that I kept searching for a corner table to hid at. It didn't help that Pidgeon, g-d bless him, ditched me twice because he claims he was also scared of the guests and it was every man for himself so he found his corner first. He left me at the mercy of a table full of his first cousins. I coulda throttled him. Anyway, I finally managed to make it over to his table where there wasn't even a seat saved for me! 

As I write this, Pidgeon is protesting that he had in fact saved a seat on his left for me. Fine, he did. Granted, that seat was smack in the middle of the sun, and being 22 weeks preggo, that's not the best place for me to sit. Especially since I was wearing black, and sweating, and hungry and thirsty and needing to get off my fe fi fo fum feet. 

After Pidgeon's brother and girlfriend did some creative manuevering, I managed to sit down in a semi-shady spot and stayed there until we got up to leave. Then, I came home and cooked up a storm for first course, as we were eating both meals with Pidgeon's family. I made fettucine and  vegetables with creamy peanut sauce and steamed 3 bags of edemame. It was a big, big hit with the family! I was pleased everyone like it. The food Friday night was pretty good, the conversation however could have been better.

For some reason, Pidgeon's Mother and sister decided that the dinner table was the perfect time to talk about breast feeding. And, in particular, the state of my nipples. I prayed the floor would open and swallow me up, but it didn't. For about 15 minutes they went on and on and on about nipple erections as I tried to eat my noodles. I just nodded and smiled and looked around at Pidgeon and his brothers for help. FINALLY, Pidgeon's little brother couldn't take it anymore, and he begged for the topic to be changed. I could have kissed him, I appreciated it so much.

We decided not to sleep over at the house for Shabbos and so Pidgeon and I walked back to our apartment at Midnight. It was really nice weather and we enjoy the walk usually, but it was hard for the first time for me to walk. Once we crossed the train tracks into Baka, I was in some serious fatigue. My legs were shaking and I needed to just crawl into bed. And, the fact that I had to do this on Shabbos during the day - twice - was very scary. We managed to make it home without me collapsing and I think I passed out dressed on the bed.

When Pidgeon's alarm went off at 8:15 a.m. on Shabbos, I was in no mood to move. But, we had a 45 minute uphill climb ahead of us and Pidgeon wanted to get to the 9:30 a.m. Minyan at Chovevei so I peeled myself away from the sheets and got moving. It was hot, and not an easy walk. I packed with me a change of clothing and a big water bottle, which I finished right before I got to Pidgeon's parent's front door. The worst part was the Chovevei Hill from the Inbal hotel, as usual, but Pidgeon was kind and patient and took things at my pace. Bless him. I let him go inside the shul for Minyan and then sat for a few minutes on the bench outside drinking my water and trying to calm my heart beat down. I walked the rest of the way to his folks very, very slowly and then when I got inside the house I made a beeline for the kitchen. I was so hungry, I hadn't thought about eating anything before we left, and so I was famished! Fortunately, the kitchen was well stocked with some Kiddush food. I had some crackers and cottage cheese and then went down to Pidgeon's old bedroom and passed out.

We were finally down with Kiddush and lunch around 3:15 and, even though we were offered to stay over until after Shabbos, I wanted to get home. Our apartment has great air conditioning, and I love my bed. So, we filled the water bottle back up and began out journey. It was so, so hot outside! The streets were practically deserted until we got to Emek and we kept passing a couple of people who looked like they were in the middle of some torture walk. It was bad. We stopped a number of times under trees for some shade and so I could get some water into me. But, I hate hot water, so it was difficult to choke it down. Finally, around 4:00 p.m., we made it through the front door. 

I thought very hard about taking a shower, I was all red in the face and my body temperature was very high. Pidgeon told me to do what I needed to feel better, so I took a spray bottle and just spritzed myself good and collapsed in the AC coolness of the apartment. I woke up 3 1/2 hours later and just snoozed on and off until Shabbos ended. It was worth it. Difficult and probably not the smartest thing to do while pregnant. But definitely worth it.

Today, we're really staying around for most of the day. Pidgeon is fasting and I'm trying to at least hold out until mid- day even though the Rabbi told me that I don't have to fast. It's already 12:20 so I'm gonna eat something soon. We're hoping to go to the Kotel tonight too. I haven't been there in a while and, since it's the start of the 3 weeks, thought it couldn't hurt to head over for some praying. Meanwhile, our neighbors are hosting an Open House party tonight after the fast to celebrate their new apartment. We were invited but I declined. I don't go to parties during the 3 weeks, just not my minhag, but I'm sure we'll hear the cacaphony of noises down below.

Well, I think I'm off to break my fast. Here's wishing everyone who is fasting a very easy and meaningful one!

Shavuah Tov from Baka!

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