We are finally home in Israel after a two week visit to my in-laws in Maryland. We came home to the new reality of hundreds of rockets being fired into Israeli cities, including Beer Sheva. Last night’s barrage at about 3:00 am, inaugurated our use of our recently built safe room. Yes, it works. And now I can’t tell if I’m jet lagged or rocket lagged. Either way, I am so tired.
My dad was in his safe room in is house down the street, and we managed to communicate during one of the lulls to make sure he was ok. Our son, Hillel, was hunkered down in his building’s stairwell in Tel Aviv. He described some of the booms from the miraculous Iron Dome interception missiles as awfully close.
Sadly, a young Indian caregiver was killed by rocket fire on Tuesday. She had been sitting with her charge in the apartment’s living room because the 80-year-old woman she cared for could not make it to the safe room in time.
The last time we were in this situation, about two years ago, all the residents’ beds in Mom’s facility were wheeled into the main room and positioned away from the windows. There was an atmosphere of fun, as if they were all at a slumber party. This time around, their rooms have been upgraded to include special reinforced windows and the beds have been moved into the center of their individual rooms. When they sit at their tables in the main room, it is again away from the windows.
Nothing is 100% safe, but I know that Mom’s care facility is doing the best it can under the circumstances. There is no possibility of herding all the residents into a safe room in time to avoid a direct rocket hit. Once a siren sounds alerting us to incoming rockets, we have 60 seconds to make it to the safe room. If there is a direct hit to her facility, Mom is an innocent in the line of fire.
In fact, we received a call from the director of Mom’s facility to let us know that the Ministry of Health was offering us to temporarily transfer Mom to a different facility in the center of the country that does have a safe room for her.
Not only is the center of the country being more heavily bombarded than Beer Sheva but the thought of not being able to visit Mom for the foreseeable future has made the decision easy for us. Mom stays in place.
I haven’t even visited Mom yet since we returned. I’m hoping to see her on Friday. I’ve had a residual cold and cough since being in the US. Yesterday I visited my doctor who diagnosed me as having bronchitis and I’m on my second round of antibiotics to hopefully get rid of this persistent illness.
Meanwhile, my brother Simon, who was here in my stead, is back in California. He and my dad had a great time being together and visiting Mom. There were true moments of joy, and Mom even called Simon by his name.
We’re living day by day, holding our collective breath, hoping that the provocations will end by negotiation or by force. We’re praying for peace.
One of the best parts of our trip to the US was spending time with my sister-in-law Sharon, her husband Steven, and my husband’s first cousins Larry and Beth. What a delight to catch up and chat together. It was the biggest gathering my mother-in-law had hosted in more than a year, and by the time everyone left after a two-day extravaganza, we were all pretty wiped out.
You know how many things in the US are sold in large quantities? Well, we ended up buying two containers of natural peanut butter which clearly meant I had to use some in a dessert. Rooting around my m-i-l’s kitchen, I found the ingredients for non-bake oatmeal peanut butter chocolate bars. That, and my sister-in-law’s Ghirardelli chocolate brownies, were the hit of the party.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
If peanut butter and chocolate desserts could solve the world's problems, I'd be in my kitchen baking every day.
1 cup margarine
½ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla, divided
1 tsp water
3 cups rolled oats
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1½ cups / 200 grams chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
In a microwave safe bowl, combine margarine, 1 tsp vanilla, cinnamon, salt and sugar and cook on high for 20 seconds. Stir and repeat until margarine is completely melted. Pour over oats and let sit. Melt chocolate, water and 1 tsp vanilla in microwave on high for 20 seconds. Stir and repeat until chocolate is melted. Fold in peanut butter. Grease a small baking dish and pat oatmeal mixture into the dish, reserving a ¼ cup for topping. Spoon and spread the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the oats. When the oats are covered, sprinkle remaining ¼ cup oats then almonds on top of chocolate peanut butter layer. Cover and place in fridge for up to two hours. Remove from fridge, cut and serve. Yum!