Thursday, November 26, 2009

Leftover Lemon Cake...

This has been a decidedly boring week thus far but I'm sure that things are going to change before Sunday rolls around again.

On Tuesday I left the house. (Sad that it's an accomplishment worthy of note, but it is.) I walked a 3.2 round trip hike to Mega and home again in under an hour (it's impressive because I did my grocery shopping too.)

All I wanted for dinner was a bowl of Bubby's Tomato Soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. However, when I went to the kitchen to prepare dinner I realized that I was 200 grams short of tomato paste and that was for a 1/2 recipe. But I wouldn't give up on soup - instead I made a thick and hearty tomato-based vegetable barley soup. It wasn't exactly the right thing to go with grilled cheese - so I'll have to make the right soup next week - but the soup I made sure did come out deeeeliciously!

When Z got home from school we watched our 'Monday night shows on Tuesday night' and relaxed for a bit.

By the time Wednesday rolled around I was itching to do something fun. I decided that the adventure of the day would involve pasta. Not just any pasta though - homemade pasta. Oh, and I didn't just want fettuccine or spaghetti, no - I wanted ravioli!!! I concocted a filling from cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Then I started on the pasta. At first the recipe didn't seem to be working too well. The dough wouldn't turn into dough and I had to add a lot of water. Then the dough got so extremely dense that I physically couldn't knead it (I didn't feel too bad though - the mixer couldn't handle it either.) I let it rest for 20 minutes as per the instructions and when I came back the gluten had given a sort of elasticity to the dough. It wasn't quite kneadable, but it was a lot easier to work with. Finally after 4 hours in the kitchen; rolling, cutting, filling, sealing and stacking I put half of the raviolis into the fridge for dinner and the other half into the freezer for another day. When Z got home from school we boiled up some water, added the fruits of my labor and a few short minutes later we were enjoying a really delicious dinner - complete with a tomato basil sauce.

This morning we woke up bright and early. Z had to go to school early to work on a group project before class. He also had to pack up his stuff for Shabbos since he won't have time this afternoon. You see, we're catching a 3:10 bus to Tel Aviv and a 4:50 train to Bet Shemesh for Thanksgiving Weekend. I'm pretty sure that the fun we're going to have will make up for the relative boringness of the past week.

How do I know? Well, that's simple. I'm going to get a haircut, Oscar is going to be there and I'm bringing my kitchen-blowtorch so that we can make some really yummy cupcakes!

If you want to see some pictures of my ravioli making adventure click here!

I'll be back with more photos, more stories and more fun after a quick message from our sponsors...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Runny Nines...

Where to begin? Well, Shabbos was awesome! I guess that's a good starting point...

After lighting candles Z and I set off to shul. On our way down the main road we noticed that we were being followed. The couple following us looked like a nice, young, religious couple but we had never seen them before. We kept walking but they soon caught up to and then passed us. We smiled and said "shabbat shalom" but it wasn't until we got to the turn-off to the shul that they stopped and looked at us slightly confused. "Where are you heading?" we asked them jovially. With a smile they answered "same place as you, we guess." They walked with us and we began to shmooze. Turns out the husband is Israeli, originally from our new hometown and that his wife is American-born and has been in Israel since 2001. It also turns out that they are the 'new neighbors' that I mentioned have been drilling across the hall from us. They moved in last Sunday and are now settling in. They seem like very nice people and it's exciting that we're not the only religious people in the building anymore. I think we'll invite them for a Shabbat meal at some point.

I met Ora in shul and after davening we found Z and made our way back up the biiiiiig hill. The meal turned out deliciously and so did dessert. The company was great, the conversation was full of laughs and during dessert we played Phase 10 and Bananagrams. All in all a very successful and enjoyable Friday night.

Shabbos morning we decided to go to the 'far away' 8:30 minyan - which meant leaving the house at 8ish. I packed up the carrot kugel, a container full of chocolate crackle cookies and we set off across town. Davening was nice and after shul we headed over to our friend's house for the meal. After the meal a game of 'Settlers' was played - 'cut-throat' style. (Very 'white man takes over Indian land in hostile way' version) but it was a lot of fun. The we shmoozed, read a zillion cook books and relaxed. Pretty soon Shabbos was over but we weren't quite ready to go Home. So we stuck around for popcorn and a movie while the guinea pig ran amok. After the movie we checked the bus times and made it to the bus-stop just in time to hop onto a bus which took us straight home.

Sunday was pretty boring. We woke up super late and inaugurated the new pancake griddle. The pancakes came out super-fluffy and it was a great start to the day. Z headed off to studio at around 1:30 and worked on a project until dinner-time at 7ish. Then he went back to studio to work on the project some more and didn't come Home again until 2:00AM. (It seems most of his classmates also pulled an all-nighter on this project but they didn't have the opportunity to go home for dinner and they also didn't bother going home at 2AM.)

This morning we finished up the leftover pancakes for breakfast and Z's first class was canceled so he stayed home for a bit working on his project some more.

I'm trying to figure out what to do today. I really need to finish my book so that I can return it to the library. Maybe I'll read a bit and then work on an art project.

I should also figure out what to make for dinner. I think we'll have dairy tonight - I'm kind of in the mood for tomato soup and grilled cheese, but I feel like we had that recently. (It's become a favorite of mine lately - although nothing quite replaces my love of good macaroni and cheese.)

For now I guess I'll go browse the 3 job-hunting websites I frequent and send out a couple of proposals on e-lance. Maybe someone somewhere will want some work done. That would be nice. I guess we'll see.

Friday, November 20, 2009

GP LP NP...

Yay! It's erev-shabbat! Sorry world, I'm just a little bit excited.

Yesterday was a strange Thursday. Zalman is coming down with a cold or something so he skipped some classes under the pretense of feeling under the weather. Of course he felt fine enough to watch a movie (or 2) and to help me shlep home a few kilos of potatoes from the grocery store. (I'm not complaining, I'm just saying...) At the grocery store we met a neighbor who reminded Z that there was a 'boys night out' planned for 9PM at the university pub. By that time Z was feeling better and of course the prospect of a good burger couldn't be ignored. So he went out with the boys and I stayed home and pretended to get ready for Shabbos. I was a good girl and baked 1/2 a recipe of lemon-delight pound cake in my mini-bundt-pan. (The cake came out adorable - in case you were wondering) and in addition to the lemon glaze which gets absorbed into the cake I also drizzled it with a white glaze and topped it with some pretty decorative yellow sugar. I also baked 1/2 a recipe of carrot kugel in two smallish loaf tins. One for the freezer and one to take with us to our neighbor's house for lunch on Shabbat.

This morning I woke up at 7:30 but after mixing up the 'goop' for the matzah balls I decided it was too early to be awake so I went back to sleep for another 45 minutes. (Best nap I've had in ages.) When I got up I baked 3 trays of chocolate-crackle-cookies (that's 60 cookies for the record) I've had the dough in the freezer since Sukkot and decided that the time had come to use it up. Then I cooked the tomato-sauce chicken and roasted the garlic at the same time. The green beans got just a few minutes in the heat and I doctored my chicken soup with fresh carrots, some extra chicken and a sprinkle of seasonings. A few minutes later and the couscous was done too. The matzah balls came out nice and fluffy and we even wound up with some sushi (courtesy of Z - who should really learn that it is a bad idea to 'take over' someone's kitchen while 'someone' is still in the kitchen.)

Tonight Freddie's friend Ora will be joining us for the meal and tomorrow we'll be going down to the Lockerman's for lunch.

My greatest accomplishment today was cleaning the stove-top and scrubbing down the counter. Now it's so clean and shiny! (It's as though it ready for more cooking and baking adventures.)

The neighbors are still drilling and we hope that they will stop for the duration of Shabbat (although there are no guarantees.)

I've got a whole book to read this weekend. I wonder whether I'll actually finish it by Sunday. It's only about 500 pages, but since we'll be out I'm not sure whether I'll have the time. Guess we'll see.

Have a great one!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

YummZees...

Yesterday I went to Jerusalem to meet up with Shoshana (Eliyohu) and Deborah! We met in Geulah and had a yummy lunch at Brunch Bagel and then we wandered around and did a bit of shopping. I was successful in all endeavors and we even stopped at Nechama (my favorite bakery in Jerusalem for just about everything) to pick up sufganiot in honor of Rosh Chodesh Kislev! Even though it was a crazy hectic and full day I managed to catch the 6:30 bus Home. The ride only took a little over 1.5 hours and I was in pajamas by 8:45. Z was super helpful and (over)cooked some penne pastas. When I walked in I just sliced up an onion and some mushrooms, let them saute and then when they were good and soft I poured in a box of cream, seasoned with a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper and let it cook until it had thickened a bit. We ate this delicious feast topped with Parmesan cheese and dessert of course were the donuts. We split 1 caramel and 1 jelly (so that we each got a whole one.) While eating we caught up on 2 of our weekly TV shows. (This gives new meaning to TV dinners.)

This morning I woke up at 8:15ish and by the time I decided to actually get up Z had to leave for school. Lucky for him there was a serving of pasta left-over from last night's dinner - so he had a really yummy lunch to take to school. (He said that all of his classmates had been jealous of his gourmet lunch. If only they knew how easy it were to make...)

At 10:00 I was seriously considering walking 6.1 kilometers to the grocery store - just to have something to do when all of a sudden my phone rang. It was Nat, one of my new friends out here in the middle of nowhere. She didn't have work and wondered whether I'd be free to go to the mall with her in Petach Tikva. I said "sure!" because I love an adventure and because a reason to get out of the house is almost always a good thing. I remembered that I'd tentatively planned a 'day out' with another friend also so I suggested calling and inviting her as well. We timed our departure and all caught the same bus. I'd never been to the 'kanyon hagadol' but it's actually quite a nice mall. (They even have a movie theater and a kosher McDonalds.) We wandered around for a couple of hours, did a bit of browsing and even met up with yet another friend for some lunch.

Eventually we caught a bus back Home and 2 of us stopped off at 'Yesh' (the cheapest, biggest grocery store near the city) in order to pick up random groceries for Shabbos. Did I mention that we're going out for Shabbat lunch? No? Well it all happened so fast. Yeah, well we're going out for Shabbat lunch and it should be a lot of fun! Did I mention that since I already have 2 challot in the freezer along with chicken soup that all I've actually got to make for Shabbat is some chicken, some iced tea and maybe, just maybe, some matzah balls - oh yeah, and dessert. Never underestimate the importance of dessert.

Dinner tonight consisted of leftovers from last Shabbat. We still had 1 piece of potato kugel, 5 shnitzelonim (but there were only 3 left by the time everything was heated up), a chicken thigh, a bit of yellow rice and 3 pieces of deli roll. Now there are 2 pieces of deli roll left and Z can take them to school for lunch tomorrow. Ta-da! Talk about good planning.

Tomorrow is Thursday and I'm debating what to do. I've really been terribly lazy this week. Although I got out and about I didn't actually do ANY of the organizing that I was supposed to do. My guest room is a wreck, I can't find anything in my kitchen cupboards and the toiletries in the closet in my room are in such a state of disarray that if I actually needed anything from in there I'd have quite a hard time locating whatever was needed. I also desperately need to take care of laundry - but I've been saying, "it's rosh chodesh" so I don't really feel too bad.

I guess I'll figure it out tomorrow.

It's only a few hours away...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chocolate Pudding...

Hang on just a second...I'm just fishing a fuzz out of my glass of water.

Alright, that's better.

Yesterday I painted (my sad, short, bitten nails) with my favorite purple-y color. They'll be nice and long again in about a week and a half or so. Also, have I ever mentioned that I think that 'insta-dri anti-chip top-coat' is absolutely brilliant? Apply a coat 2 minutes after applying the nail-polish and *poof* your nails are dry in 30 seconds. Seriously. It's awesome stuff.

Aside from the nail-painting, yesterday was extremely boring. I caught up on all of my TV shows from last Thursday and didn't cook anything (yup, you heard me. I decided that there were enough left-overs in the fridge. Maybe I'm sick? Then again, maybe I'm thinking logically for once.)

Last night I crawled into bed niiiiice and early (read: 9:45PM) I thought I'd read for a bit but would you believe that I actually fell asleep at 10? Either I'm getting old or I'm even more bored than I thought I was.

This morning I woke up at 8. Yup 8. That's what, 10 hours of sleep? Nobody needs 10 hours of sleep. At least, I've never needed 10 hours of sleep. I think I've been sleeping too much.

I did accomplish 2 important things this morning. One was actually showering (I know, that sounds really gross - but I just don't feel the need to shower on a daily basis when I'm not going to leave my house and especially because showering really aggravates my super-dry skin.) The other thing I did was convince Z to take the rest of the left-over yellow cake with chocolate glaze and sprinkles (from Shabbos) to school with him and to feed it to his classmates. Much better them than me. That was my thought anyway.

I've been considering my 'to do' list since Z left at 9:50 (that was 2 hours ago for anyone who was wondering.) Ideally I should be funneling all efforts and energies into organizing the closets in my room, the kitchen cupboards and the shelving unit in the guest room. I'm not. (If you couldn't tell.) I'm sitting and blogging, and checking the news, and eating pitot with chumus and doing just about anything which doesn't require actual physical effort - well, with regard to organizing.

I've got to admit, I feel a bit guilty sitting here playing on the computer and being so darn unproductive. Especially considering I have a project to do on the computer too. Meaning that if I were just a bit less pathetic I would be sitting and typing up recipes for the cookbook that I'm meant to be putting together and that wouldn't be organizing my house or anything like that - but it would still mean that I was accomplishing something that's on my list of things to-do. So, I guess that's why I'm not doing it. Instead I'm rambling on in a blog-post in an attempt to procrastinate just a tiny bit longer. Sad, huh? Yeah, I think so too.

Tonight there's supposed to be a meteor shower. Friends of ours told us about it and now we're all psyched to see it. I'm guessing that we'll be able to see pretty well from our mirpeset (since we live a bit to the left of the end of the world.) Now I'm trying to decide what warm and yummy filling kind of soup to make for dinner that we can eat while watching the show. Maybe I'll make some fresh rolls too. That sounds pretty yummy. I guess I should also sweep/wash the mirpeset - that way we can just spread a quilt on the floor for the 'event' tonight.

Tomorrow I'm going to Jerusalem. I've got a few errands to run, and then I'll be meeting up with Shosh and Debs in town. I reckon it'll be quite nice. Although according to the weatherman it's supposed to rain tomorrow. I guess I'll take a jacket with me...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ivory

I'm back and I'm full of chocolate chip cookie brittle and lots of really yummy food. This Shabbos was super relaxing. I guess it all started on Thursday...

Thursday morning I pampered myself and went to a salon then I went to 'Yesh' to pick up some last minute groceries. Back at Home I got to work cooking for Shabbos. I managed to cook just about everything by 9pm. (Ok, I cheated a bit. The soup and challah both came from the freezer - but in my defense, I did cook them at some point.)

Friday morning all I had to do was boil the matzah balls and brew a few liters of iced-tea. As the rains poured down we went out to pick up a bunch of flowers for the Shabbos table. The kitties wandering around in the store were quite funny and the pretty white flowers were just perfect.

Friday night was as good as it could have been and we made it to shul in time for Maariv. On an exciting nite, one of our neighbors who davens in the far-away 'Anglo-shul' for Shacharit on most weekday mornings has decided to be our 'Torah Tidbits' shaliach and bring a few copies of the weekly dvar torah sheet over to the Netzarim shul (where we daven) for our reading pleasure. I'm excited about this - if you can't tell.

Although we were woken by some inconsiderate, noisy and not to bright neighbors at 1:30 in the morning (evidently they are not overly intelligent, seeing as the only game they could think of playing at 1:30 in the morning involved banging loudly on the furniture in their apartment and screaming like banshees) Shabbos day was quiet and uneventful.

Our menu consisted of all sorts of yummy things this weekend. Friday night we began with challah, chumus and roasted garlic, we then moved on to chicken soup with vegetables and matzah balls, the main course included Savta's roasted-chicken and yellow rice with vegetables and for dessert there was - who am I kidding - we were too full for dessert. Shabbos day we had challah with chumus and pickles, deli roll with 2 kinds of meat in it, shnitzel (which was moist and still had a crunchy coating) and some 'stick-to-the-pan' potato kugel. Dessert was a moist yellow cake with chocolate drizzle and of course it had colorful sprinkles on it. There was also chocolate chip cookie brittle to nosh on all day.

Today I finished 'Ysabel' by Guy Gavriel Kay and began a new series.

The week ahead includes; finding a job, basketball, a day in Jeru with Shosh and Debs and for now that's all there is on the schedule. I'm hoping more fun stuff finds its way onto the calendar.

Maybe I'll start walking this week. I really should. I walked a few 'warm-up' kilometers last week and it felt good to be moving again. I'm hoping it'll work the kink out of my knee (which gets worse when I sit for long periods of time) and I should definitely start stretching again too.

I'll keep you posted...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"I'll Be Fine..."

Today I did it. I actually left the house!

I went allllll the way to the other side of town and ran an errand that I needed to run.

Then I walked 1/3 of the way home and stopped off to check out the 'local' fruit and veggie store. (I'm still new to this city - so I'm still learning where the best places to buy certain things are.)

After buying some veggies I made my way to my friend's house. We spent some time at her house reading funny cookbooks and tasting yummy chocolate and fudge before deciding to make donuts.

We needed some ingredients and decided to shop and then go back to my house so we walked another 1/3 of the way home and picked up the ingredients that we needed. I was lazy so we grabbed a bus back up the BIG hill.

The donuts were a HUGE success! However, by the time they were finished we realized that both our hubby's were almost done with school for the day. So - I convinced her that she should have her hubby come home with my hubby and that we'd all have a yummy dinner and dessert together.

We ate our donuts first and Mushroom & Onion Calzones and a Pizza later we were very very stuffed.

It was quite a nice day.

I rather like having friends in my neighborhood! Especially ones who will come and experiment in the kitchen with me. :)

If you'd like to see some pictures from today then just click here!

Tomorrow another adventure but that's a story for tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Turkish Coffee Grinds...

I woke up at 6:00 this morning. Why so early? Not a clue. Especially considering I didn't have to be up until 8ish. After checking Facebook and my e-mail (neither of which were overly entertaining or exciting) I went back to bed to stare at the ceiling for a while.

At 8:10 I got up again and baked a batch of double chocolate chip muffins. (Speaking of which, if anybody can ascertain whether my muffin tins are smaller than typical muffin tins I'd be happy to give them a free muffin or five. I'm a little confused because the recipe claimed I'd get 12 or 13 muffins out of it and somehow I wound up with 18 regular sized muffins and 6 mini-muffins. I don't mind - I just put 9 of them straight into the freezer - but I'd really like to know where they get these 'servings' statistics from.) Regardless of the quantity quandary the muffins were scrumptious. Definitely needed a cup of coffee or milk to help them down, but yummy through and through.

The dud-chashmal technician arrived at the house at 9:58AM. He fixed the boiler in under 5 minutes and tested it to make sure that it was working properly. It was and I was ecstatic! I gave the nice man a cup of coffee and a fresh chocolate chip muffin for the road and after locking the door behind him I took my first delightfully steaming hot shower in almost 2 weeks and the 'dud' had only been on for about 10 minutes! Pure bliss.

I spent my afternoon puttering domestically around the house. I watered the plants, got rid of a grasshopper (a second grasshopper I might add - since Z had caught one at 8:30 and taken him out to the front of the building and this second one showed up at around 11:30), I washed the dishes that had piled up from dinner last night and the muffin-baking this morning, I made the beds and I even considered sweeping the floor - but I was just too lazy for that.

Truth be told I'm not sure where my day went. I know that I watched a movie, checked 3 websites for job openings and spoke on the phone for a grand total of two hours and ten minutes but I can't remember doing anything else of importance.

On a positive note I made ridiculously delicious Macaroni and Cheese for dinner. My 'Zippy Cheese Sauce' has NEVER and may I repeat NEVER tasted this good!!! For all you folks who missed it - well, you really missed out.

This morning I downloaded all of our 'Monday Night Shows' so that Z and I would have something 'new' to watch tonight during 'unwind from school time' - that's the time before 'homework time' when Z pretends that we're spending 'quality time' together because we're both sitting in the same room and watching the same thing. Endearing, ain't it? (Note to readers: Z defended his actions by saying something along the lines of, "blah blah blah.")

Tomorrow I've got to go out and buy a whole lotta fruits and veggies because tomorrow night I'm making oven-kabobs and will definitely be needing many veggies. As for fruits - I'm making an apple pie for Shabbat - partly because that apple tart last week got me in the mood for apple pie but mostly just because I love apple pie!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Handy

Look at me! I'm blogging! Kind of consistently! How cool?! I know. It's great.

Recap of the last few days - we spent Shabbat in Bet Shemesh with the parents and were there especially to spend time with Eli (Namnam) who went off to join the Israeli Defense Force this morning. He'll be property of the IDF for the next 3 years or so. It was a very nice weekend. I played Bananagrams for the first time ever and I really enjoyed it! (Even though the status of the word 'lube' remains under discussion.)

On Sunday Mommy drove us back Home. Along the way she graciously allowed us to do a 'Yesh' grocery shopping. (Gosh having a car sure makes it easier to get heavy groceries home.) We also got some yummy pizza for lunch and then we loaded up her new mini-computer with hours and hours worth of entertainment.

Last night I went out to play some basketball with the gals and it was a whole lot of fun. A whole bunch of Israeli women have joined the game and although it means that there are more players - they are fierce and rough players. I have to admit - it used to be more fun when it was about the socializing and exercise and enjoying time with friends rather than skirmishing over the ball and accidentally whacking people in the face while trying to rip the ball from their grasp.

This morning Z humored me and woke up a whole hour before he had to leave the house to get to class. I had woken up an hour earlier than him and made hashbrowns for breakfast. We enjoyed them with hot chocolate and the most recent episode of How I Met Your Mother.

I also spent this morning on the phone with 'fix-it-people' - most notably the dud-chashmal people who never actually showed up on Thursday. When I finally got through to the representative I politely requested that they come and solve the problem ASAP and if possible that they send a different technician. They are now scheduled to be here between 9-12 tomorrow and G-d willing we will have the option of electrically-heated-HOT-water before noon. (I'm optimistic - so sue me.) In addition, I spoke with the 'ceiling fix-it-guy' and he agreed to come tomorrow to find out why there was a cascade of water dripping from my bedroom ceiling a week and a half ago when it rained.

Did I mention the exciting news that our new 11-fin heater was delivered early this afternoon? Roasty toasty is what we're going to be when it's cold outside. Yes we are!

For the moment I've got load #3 in the washer, load #2 in the dryer, load #1 folded on the couch. I really should wash the dishes that are on the counter (only since breakfast - don't worry) but I'm feeling a little too lazy, I did put away all of the clean dishes that were on the drying-racks - I'm just not in the mood to get my hands all wet right now. I've also got to figure out what to make for dinner. It's a 'late night' for Z (he's got studio) so he won't be home until close to 9 which means he'll be really hungry but also really tired. Usually studio nights are soup nights or something like that - I'm just not sure what kind of soup to make. We've had; split pea soup, mushroom barley soup, french onion soup and Bubby's tomato soup in the last week and a half. Should I just make a filling vegetable barley soup for tonight? It seems so boring. Gosh - this is hard work.

I'll get back to recipe hunting now and I've still got 2 TV show episodes to catch up on from last week.

Interesting note - a large grasshopper has somehow moved into my herb planters (I'm not sure how he got up here, I DO live on the 2nd floor of an apartment building) and I'm not sure whether it's good for the plants or not but he seems pretty content. Guess I should do some research on that. For now I'm leaving the mirpeset door closed - no offense Mr. Grasshopper but I don't particularly want you in my living room.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Omphaloskepsis...

Me again. I know - I'm on a roll, huh? I guess being stuck at home with nothing productive to do and the unsuccessful job-hunt have made me into a super-procrastinator. I'd rather blog on a daily basis than clean out my closet or organize my guest room. Kind of sad actually. (Especially considering that blogging doesn't take more than an hour or two and that's if I really really stretch it out.)

Yesterday passed relatively uneventfully after the popcorn incident anyway. At 2:00 the 'window fix it man' arrived and got right to work applying silicon to every window frame in the apartment. (G-d bless silicon. It is the Israeli's duct-tape. Seriously. It is.)

At 3:45 the 'dud chashmal fix it people' showed up. They replaced the heating element in the boiler and instructed me to leave it on so that it could heat up. I left the switch on and 4 hours later there was still absolutely no hot water coming out of the taps in my apartment. Z took as he termed it 'a lukewarm' shower and when he was finished I tested the chilly waters but opted out of any attempt at a shower in favor of many prayers that the sun would come out and heat a bit of water in the morning.

At 9:00 this morning I called the 'dud chashmal company' and after waiting on hold for quite some time I finally got put through to 'our' representative. I explained that yesterday a technician had come to fix my boiler but that the boiler still didn't work. At this point she got quite snooty and asked me whether I was a technician, to which I replied "no" she then proceeded to ask me something along the lines of "well, if you aren't a technician then how do you know that the 'dud' isn't working?" I tried not to laugh as I responded with a simple, "because the switch has been up for over 4 hours and the water isn't hot." Thankfully she contacted the technician and was able to schedule an appointment for this afternoon.

I certainly hope that this time they get it right. Cause this not showering for 3-4 days in a row and then taking an ice shower thing is really quite gross.

On the bright side - the wind isn't blowing in through our window frames any more.

G-d bless silicon.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Chopping Broccoli...

Yesterday I woke up bright and early and baked some buttermilk cinnamon muffins for breakfast. I'm convinced that it was the right way to go because the day went relatively smoothly. Best part - it only rained a teeny bit.

Although yesterday morning was idyllic and peaceful this morning was an absolute comedy.

I woke up at 7:00. The sky was bright blue and the sun was shining. I decided to make popcorn as a treat for myself and of course so that Z could take some to school as a snack. (Please note: I have never successfully made popcorn in a pot before. The last time I attempted I didn't know the correct protocol and was cooking on an electric stove so it turned into a big icky mess of burnt kernels and oil. However, I have since been instructed in the correct procedure by a good friend and so was willing to 'give it a go' as they say.)

I took out a pot, I measured out about 3/4 of a cup of popcorn kernels (I know, I know - that's A LOT of popcorn), I looked at the kernels and at the pot and tried to decide whether or not the pot would be big enough - satisfied that it would suffice (or that it might just get a bit tight inside towards the end) I put some oil in the bottom of the pot and let it begin to heat up, I dropped in 3 kernels and waited to hear them pop.

*pop* *POP* *pop* - and ready set go...

I poured in the kernels, put the lid of the pot on and waited for the magic to happen. Sure enough some 30 seconds later I heard the popping begin. At this point I began to get nervous, I wondered again whether I'd made the right choice in using such a small pot. I bent down to get a bowl out of the cupboard and when I stood up, I knew I'd miscalculated somewhere along the line.

The pot was on the stovetop and the lid of the pot was going up and up and up. When the popcorn tower had raised the lid about 4 inches off of the pot I shut the fire and about one more inch and 8.3 seconds later the entire popcorn column exploded sending popped-corns from one end of my kitchen to the other. At this point I was laughing hysterically and running around the kitchen trying to collect my popcorn.

Mind you, it didn't help that there were STILL kernels popping in the pot!

*sigh*

That's been my morning so far. In a nutshell anyway.

The good news is that the window repair people and the 'dud chashmal' people are supposed to come today to fix the lack of hot water issue and to fix the window issues. I'll keep you posted, but the week has definitely improved.

Monday, November 02, 2009

"Shove Shove Shove..."

Hello world. It's been 2 months exactly since my last post. (That makes this my 901st post. Hehe, the strange things we gloat about. Not that I'm gloating, mind you - it just amuses me.)

A lot of stuff has gone on since that last post. The Holidays have come and gone (we were in Bet Shemesh for R"H and most of Sukkot - except that we threw an awesome Sukkah Open House/Chanukat Habayit type of thing on the Thursday of Chol Hamoed.) On Isru Chag Mommy and I flew off to America for a 10 day jaunt across the pond. Mostly shopping, lots of time with friends and family and apple picking! We got back Home in the middle of Z's first week of school.

I have to admit that now that we've in Z's 3rd week of school I'm appreciating more and more that fact that we moved out to Ariel. We're still on different wavelengths regarding what time he should wake up in the morning (when class starts at 10 I see no reason that he should sleep until 9:45 and then get up, dressed, make lunch and leave in 15 minutes) but I do enjoy knowing that he'll be home within 10 minutes of class ending. This means having dinner at a normal time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when he ends relatively early between 5-7PM and having dinner only a little late on Mondays and Thursdays when he ends at 9PM. There is also the added advantage of not having a grueling 2 hour commute in each direction - so theoretically this means there's more time for homework and more time to spend with me.

Speaking of spending time with me - is it abnormal that I expect him to find time in his schedule to spend quality time with me? Does nobody else expect this from their spouse? Am I overly clingy and demanding? I feel like I'm the only wife in the world who actually expects her husband to make time for her. Am I?

Ok - next topic of conversation. I guess I'll move on to my 'rants for today' - where to begin?

Well, last week was pretty terrible. I spent days searching for a job (to no avail), I messed up just about every recipe that I tried to make (including burning the garlic knots after having to make a full recipe because my 1st grade math skills weren't in working order and ditto to my challah), on Thursday it started raining - quite heavily - and I noticed that the frame of the window in my bedroom is actually coming off. This means that the wind is coming right on into the apartment. Thursday night (or should I say, Friday morning) the power went out at about 3AM and I was woken up by my computer's batery backup beeping the alarm. Power wasn't restored until 10:30AM on Friday which meant lots of rushing before Shabbos. The cherry on top was Friday night when the tape which we keep over the light-switch in the fridge popped off and the light came on which left us in a quandary regarding putting away our left-overs and more importantly getting out our food for Shabbat lunch. To make matters a bit more complicated - we had a guest over.

Additional observations made between Thursday and Monday:
1. There is a leak in the ceiling in our bedroom and water actually drips into the apartment. This only occurs when it rains - so we're assuming it's something related to the roof.
2. Our electric dud (the one you're supposed to use when there's no sun or other hot water) doesn't actually work. And there are 3 switches for it so we don't even know which one is supposed to control it. And no - none of the switches actually work because we turned on all 3 of them.

Back to the story - yesterday Z called our landlord to inform him of the complications that had come to light in the apartment. We were contacted by a nice lady named Shalvah who informed us that between 1-4PM on Monday that someone would be coming to fix the window. No mention was made of the ceiling leak or of the hot water issue. And so... this morning at 11AM when my house phone rang and it was my landlord telling me that someone is at my door to fix the 'dud' I was VERY confused. Nonetheless I opened my door and amazingly there was nobody there. I called the landlord back to get the man's name and number and then called the guy who explained that he'd left because nobody had answered the door. (Anyone who has been to my apartment knows that there is a 2 front door situation and can understand why I didn't hear anybody knocking.) after pleading with the guy he agreed to come back in 'an hour' (should have been around 12PMish) to fix what needed to be fixed.

At 11:40 Z called me and told me to get walk down to the University and meet him because he has the key to the 'apartment upstairs' which we need access to in order to sort out both the ceiling issue and the 'dud' issue. It seems he had spoken to the 'fix it up dude' about 40 minutes after I spoke to him and the guy said that he would be at our apartment between 1-2PM to take care of things. *sigh*

So - now it's 12:12 PM and I'm sitting at Home waiting for this guy to show up to fix things in my apartment (although I'm not sure which things he's supposed to be fixing because he's not from the company who said that they'd be here to fix the window between 1-4PM but he said that he could fix the window if he has time.) Basically I'm extremely confused. I also haven't taken a shower since Friday (and that was an ice cold and extremely uncomfortable shower experience.) I'm having no luck finding a job, which is getting frustrating not only because I really need to make some money but because I am bored out of my mind sitting around at home and doing nothing productive for the world at large.

Oh yeah and I missed basketball last night because I was on the couch doubled over in pain with stomach cramps that were so bad that I wanted to drug myself into oblivion but the drugs I had taken didn't actually do anything.

Still - I have to admit - the worst part of this is probably the fact that I'm running dangerously low on nosebleed stoppers. (hamevin yavin.)

For lack of anything better to do I guess I'll go reorganize my sock drawer again.