Sunday, August 31, 2008

Chocolate and Chili's

It's 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, the last day of August, and I'm still in bed. The workers have begun their assault on our apartment and I'm trying to stay in bed as long as possible. They're doing a good job getting me out of bed though, what with the drilling and the singing in Arabic. Moving will be inevitable for me, I just hope I can keep my serenity for a few more moments.

Thursday was extremely busy for us. I spent all morning cooking for our neighbors, with absolute pleasure, and when we brought over the food around dinner time they were very appreciative. Sometimes it's not such a bad thing to go overboard a bit when helping out a friend - they really appreciated it and it made all those hours of me on my feet chopping and stirring and sauteing completely worth it! 

Unfortunately, one of the dishes I made called for a serrano chili pepper. And, not really cooking much with hot peppers, I just treated it like any other pepper in the house. I washed, cut, took out the insides, diced and threw it into the dish. A few hours after I had moved on from that dish, my fingers on my left hand started to burn. And, as the time went by, it just got worse and worse. I thought perhaps it was in my head, so I went online and looked up chili "burns" and sure enough, I had "burnt" my fingertips with the hot chilis.

And, nothing I seemed to do was working! First, I soaked my fingers in cold water. Next, I took some ice from the freezer and wrapped it in a towel around my hand. That still didn't work. Pidgeon got involved and called his Mom for suggestions and she had no idea what to tell me. I looked online and saw people referring to pastes of baking soda and water. Someone else mentioned toothpaste. I saw a milk option and pounced. While soaking my fingers in a bowl of cold milk, Pidgeon's Mom called and asked us if we wouldn't mind picking Pidgeon's brother and nephew up from the airport.

It was absolutely our pleasure! Especially since Pidgeon's brother was hauling a huge Fisher Price baby bathtub for us from London. Now, we made a decision not to purchase anything for the baby in advance because of Ayin Harah, but there are certain things I can't find here that I need to get here before the baby comes. So, I made the exception to my rule and purchased the bathtub online and shipped it to Pidgeon's brothers house. It was big and bulky, but it's a fraction of the size of the baby basins they sell here. Plus, this one fits into the bathtub nicely or I could put it on my kitchen counter next to the kitchen sink when the baby is small. The best part is that it has a plug, so drainage will be easy. Now, all I have to do is get over my phobia of washing a baby. That's something I've never done - not even with my nieces or nephews - even though I've pretty much done everything else (feeding but not breast feeding included).

Well, we had only an hour before his plane touched done, so dinner was forgotten in the fridge and I washed the milk off my hand and we got on our way. It was stinking HOT in Tel Aviv at the airport. I had forgotten how hot and humid Tel Aviv is in the summer, it's gross. Unfortunately, Jerusalem wasn't any cooler when we got back with our passengers. Plus, we were almost and hour past my shot time, so we really had to haul ass back to the apartment to go that done.

We got home around Midnight and I immediately iced up while Pidgeon tried to figure out what's for dinner. In the end, we ordered from Joy Express since I was too tired to do any more cooking. I haven't eaten dinner at 1:30 a.m. in a long time, but it didn't stop me from passing out at 2:00 a.m.

Friday was manageable. I was able to cook the chicken, kugel and saute the shwarma within a few hours. Because I wasn't laden down with cooking I was able to get some writing done and even managed to finish the first draft of one of my thesis stories. It's a good thing, since that story is also part of my final paper for my last class, which is due at the end of September. I felt pretty accomplished, but absolutely exhausted, and the thought of going to Pidgeon's family for Shabbos dinner was not encouraging.

I ended up going to shul with Pidgeon and his brothers/Father because there was - once again - no air conditioning in the house. It was stinking, stinking hot in there with 2 ovens and a plata going full blast and not all the windows open. Pidgeon's Mom is not a fan of AC, she really hates it, even though it was a million degrees. I sat in shul as long as I could, soaking up with AC and just relaxing. Dinner was pretty challenging. Pidgeon's sister and brother-in-law continue to be really nasty to us. And, no matter how hard I try or make an effort, it's completely futile.

She makes me feel so bad about myself sometimes. I had complemented her on her new haircut/color as soon as we walked in from shul. She blew me off. Then, literally two seconds later, she asked everyone else what they thought about her hair and when they showered her with complements, she was gracious and happy. 


Plus, I'm still insulted that she has never once asked me or Pidgeon if we want to hold her baby. It's one thing if she was the kind of Mother who was really anal about who holds the baby, but she passes that baby around like it's a UPS parcel! For some reason, we're the only ones who don't "merit" to hold the baby.

I tried not to let it get to me while we were at dinner,  but it was hot and I was exhausted. At 10:30, I asked Pidgeon if we could just do our shot early and go home. He was more than happy to oblige as he too was hot and tired. We did the shot as quick at possible, benched and then walked home. It was the first time, since I've been pregnant, that I needed to rest in the middle of the walk. It's getting harder and harder to move these days, folks, and by the time we crossed Emek Refaim, my back was killing me. I think this is it in terms of long Shabbos walks, I just don't have the strength.

We got home around Midnight and, we were just really wired, so we stayed up talking and winding down before going to sleep. I guess we were really, really exhausted because we slept until 1:00 p.m. Shabbos day! I guess that meant no shul for us :)

Shabbos was absolutely relaxing and just what we needed to recharge out batteries. Because, as soon as Havdala was over, we had a ton of work to do! We spent three hours cleaning, rearranging and getting the rooms ready for the workers. We cleared everything out of the second bathroom, the second bedroom and the Mamad. Our bedroom is cramped and cluttered, with a portable closet with Pidgeon's hanging clothing next to my bed and our hamper next to Pidgeon's. I had to do a color load of laundry since the laundry machines in the second bathroom will be off limits until they finish the work. The dryer took forever to complete! I thought all that work would make me exhausted, but at 3:00 a.m. I was still tossing and turning and not able to settle down.

And that's when the home sickness hit. It came out of the blue, but because I couldn't sleep, I just get ruminating on Pidgeon's sister and how mean she is to me. And it just made me miss my family so much. So, I started crying, and hoped that I would just cry myself to sleep. Unfortunately, Pidgeon was having a hard time sleeping too, and he heard me crying and it just jolted him awake. He calmed me down and we talked a little, I explained what was upsetting me, and he was really wonderful about everything. After a while, I let him go back to sleep and then logged in to see which family members/friends were online. My friend Melissa was just getting her Saturday night going in Manhattan, and I told her what was going on, and she was so helpful. It made me miss everyone so much more, but at least her advice made me feel a bit better.  I'm actually ready to deal with Pidgeon's sister tonight at the family dinner.

Here's hoping all will work out!

Yom Tov from Baka!

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