As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Village News or a busy week

It was an event-filled last week or so in the village. We were up to 18 students after picking up another guy from Kirvoy Rog the Friday before and we had our annual Thanksgiving celebration dinner planned for that Monday.

Sunday evening, Garry got a phone call as we were getting ready to test the jacuzzi tub at the Crawfords. He didn't want to answer it because had just breed his sixth cow of the day, and had been driving all over to different villages, but wanted to make sure there was enough hot water to fill the tub since there wasn't the first time we tried it.
Note to the Crawfords- both hot water heaters need to be turned to maximum. Also if you do that and have two electric heaters on, you may blow the main breaker for the house. It is a shame that we cannot heat the house with gas as planned this winter. The company cut our gas line because of the renovation and it is going to take months to get through all the red tape. We are going to run a line from the barn, since we don't use much there anymore.

The phone call was not from someone wanting to breed a cow. He checked who it was since it had rung a couple more times, when he went to flip the breaker back on. It was Nellie and Garry had to go talk to Julia. Oksana (who got married last year) had gone to hospital in an ambulance. The village nurse thought she might have an etopic pregnancy.

They did surgery that night, Max drove in and gave the doctor 1500 grivna to operate. She was bleeding internally, so it was a good thing he did. No cash means no care in Ukraine. She came home the following Monday and looks good. They think she is still pregnant because it was twins and one was in the uterus, so we will hope and pray all goes well.

Monday morning two of the guys weren't there. Andrei who had been here for only ten days and we had celebrated his birthday with cake and gifts the previous Monday, and Sasha Bonderenko who has left before, took off after attending church in the village on Sunday. We're still hoping to track them down, we've had some leads.

Image may contain: 1 person, indoorI spent the day getting food ready, I cooked two big turkey breasts in the crockpot, one at the time, with BBQ sauce, and we had shredded turkey sandwiches. I also made pies and stuffing. I recommend the shredded turkey, it was really moist.

Victor brought out Daryl and Molly Porter (our boss as Garry says, he's the Europe Area director) out in the afternoon and they got to celebrate Thanksgiving with us and the students and staff who were there.




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Tuesday  Garry was not teaching so we drove the Porters back to Dnepro, they were safely back in Kirvoy Rog by evening and we having picked up some stuff were back working on the Crawford's house.

Wednesday Garry taught class and we raced off to buy mirrors for the bathrooms and some other stuff late afternoon and got to Kamaskoya for our SEI followup class there. We went to Big Burrito restaurant. Never go there, it is not a burrito that they call a burrito on the menu. Fries Mexicali was wedges with chopped dill on... gas station hot dogs are better by far.
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Thursday morning I taught cooking class - we made chicken noodle soup and Garry worked on the house. In the afternoon we left for small group at Steve and Jo's early because Garry had more cows to breed on the way.

Friday more cleaning tile for me and getting ready to paint the floor again. Some of it needed two coats but we still needed to walk on it to get to other parts of the house to work.
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Then we were off with the puppy to get her shots and the vet and returned the guy from last week because he wouldn't work in the barn (it smells too bad apparently) Well, we hoped to get Happy vaccinated but ended up with flea stuff and have to bring our car sick puppy back sometime... then we got stuck in a traffic jam and Garry was late for class and afterwards we got stuck in another traffic jam on the way to SEI follow up group! We did arrive by 6:45 to open the door, and not too many people were already there waiting.

Saturday it was back to work for me, at the house until two when I started making pizza dough. Second week in a row my Friday shopping was to feed the whole group of students. Steve and Jo came out to the village around 4:30 when Garry got back from teaching English in Dnepro, they had a student meeting like Just Youth but just for our guys while I cooked nine pizzas for the snack.

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Sunday we went to church in the village and on Monday we worked on the house and packed for Spain!

In Spain (hoping for no rain)

I finally got around to writing a blog post! Sorry about that, I really planned to get one done over the weekend, but I was still working on stuff at the Crawford's house in case they are here next week (I painted the rest of the floor Monday evening after washing all the tile with vinegar to get rid of the residue) because we are in Spain for a week with our fellow Manitobans, the Harders.
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We didn't actually try the fries for breakfast but they must be popular,
ice cream cones  and coffee are big breakfast sellers here
Yesterday we spent the day travelling; first we drove to the Kiev-Borispol airport from the village. We left before four am, and had breakfast shortly after six am in Kremachuk. We had been pleased with the roads up til then, but the next hundred kilometers was a lot of bumps and swerving around most of the holes in the road. However we had no flat tires or other car problems so we arrived in the city of Boripol at ten am. Since we had two hours before we needed to be at the airport, we went shopping for towel bars and toilet paper holders for the house at Nova Lena before lunch at McDonalds.
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We flew to Paris from Kiev landing as the sun set  and around eight pm got on a bus to the plane to Magala Spain.
















Image may contain: night and outdoorWe got the luggage (Garry and I had been urged to check our carry ons for free) and the rental car and drove to Mijas where Steve and Jo went to Bible school. We got to the apartment after midnight and the guys found a place to park the car, somewhere else after we got the luggage out, since we are on a narrow one way street.

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We slept in - it was after eight am when we went to find the bakery/coffee shop across the street. We got the exciting email that the Crawfords are going to be able to join us for the ride back to the village from Kiev next week when we return next Tuesday.



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Then we went to the school to take in the morning lecture at 9:30 and when  class was over at noon we went to get the car and find a Burger King.

That's right, since the home of the whopper has come to Spain, and not in Ukraine, so we wanted burgers for lunch.

It took a little longer than we thought to get to lunch...

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

New generator

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So we finally bought a new generator. We have been looking for one for two years since the cows moved to the new farm, because the old one was not big enough to run the equipment for milking. They had a method to make it work, it was used to power some stuff and the vacuum line was hooked up to the tractor manifold I think to power that.

So when Max was at the farm show he ordered a big PTO driven generator to hook to the tractor. They had gotten it ready but not actually hooked it up and ran it when it arrived a week or so ago.
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When the power was off in the village on Wednesday last week, as afternoon milking time arrived it was time to hook it up. That took a little longer than planned as Max had to do a spot of welding to get the PTO to work so he was at the shop when Garry had asked if I wanted to get a photo of the generator in action at the barn. They used the old generator to power the welder.
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Image may contain: sky and outdoorSo I got some photos over at the barn while Garry and Max were trying to get it going. They had a problem with the generator safety switch going off and stopping it as they tried to get the vacuum pump started in the barn. So they have to get a soft start for the vacuum pump so it will work correctly so it doesn't draw too much power as it starts up and stop the generator. This should save some money on the electric bill also.


 However, they cobbled something together last week so they could milk the cows. Garry had to run back to house for something so I went back before they got it running.

I did get some photos of everyone getting ready to milk.




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The new heifer sheds outside the barn, the two closest ones are the ones built this year.
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Friday, November 2, 2018

Still

We are still waiting to find out when the Crawfords will arrive in Ukraine, but they should know in less than two weeks. We should be finished with the house by then too. I've been really busy over there again this week (its still my excuse for having no time to read, write or crochet!)
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I was going to finish the tile in the kitchen on Wednesday morning. I mixed the adhesive up and then the power went out from ten am to 4:35. It was either regular maintenance day (which often happens at the end of the month, or out to fix a problem somewhere). I put up tile that did not need cutting but almost every one around the tulip "window" needed to be cut and was after 4:35, just as the village cows were heading home. Time changed here last weekend.
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The village cows as seen through the porch window of the house
The kitchen tile is up, the water is working over there, Garry and Max have fixed most of the leaks, and there are still a few details to finish but we hope to be done before this time next week.

I'll try to get another post up this weekend... or Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Back to normal

Image may contain: indoorBack into our normal routine, anyway. Garry has conquered jet lag and I'm getting closer to a normal sleep. We have been working like crazy on the the house next door.












The Crawfords were supposed to arrive this week, but have been delayed so we will have a couple weeks before they arrive. The house will be ready by then, except for the gas hookup, which may not happen until next summer! We have purchased a couple of electric  heaters for them to use. Hopefully we'll have time to test the jacuzzi tub before they arrive!
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Not thrilled that the brown floor paint we though we bought was brick red
in the green bedroom
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I finished painting after I took this photo, still the wood floor to paint and the tile for the backsplash, so I'll be too busy to write again until next week.
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Garry has been busy getting everything else finished, he has spent a couple days with the students pulling up irrigation tape so the corn field can be plowed. Most of the fields are plowed. The wheat was planted while we were in the states and is already up. The corn was harvested and was 13% moisture (very low, that's good) and did about 200 bushels to the acre. Non-irrigated corn in the area did 60. The vegetable farmer's irrigated corn did better than ours, but we had trouble getting water to the whole big field. They have already bought a pump to solve that for next year and are buying equipment so additional acres can be irrigated next year for corn and alfalfa, paid for by profits from selling corn.
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They also got the roofs on the sheds that were built last month.

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This morning Garry and the students built pens for small calves during class. There were six born in in the two weeks we were gone and they had been tied outside. Healthy when the weather is nice, but the colder weather has arrived and this morning it rained.
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Thursday, October 18, 2018

All's well that ends well




Image may contain: Garry Verhoog, indoorAt least I hope so. Garry finally arrived home at two in the afternoon on Wednesday. He got to Chicago on Monday and got on the plane for Vienna that afternoon, feeling pretty good. He had gotten an exit row seat on the plane.


Unfortunately there was a mechanical issue and the flight was cancelled. He deplaned and was re-routed though Munich, where he arrived late morning. His connection to Kiev did not come in until after ten pm, so he booked a hotel near the train station Tuesday night and a third train ticket for Wednesday morning (he had bought one for Tuesday evening Sunday afternoon that he couldn't use).

My flights went well and I had two seats on the train Monday night, I put my suitcases in Garry's original seat. Victor picked me up at 11:30 pm and I slept on the couch at his house, since it was so late. I thought I might stay in the city until Garry arrived Tuesday night (it was about the time he was boarding his flight to Vienna at midnight in Dnepro) but when I woke up I discovered his flight had been cancelled and I thought he might still be in Chicago, so Victor drove me out to the village after I got some groceries. The students were happy to see me and asked when Garry would arrive.

We also had to quick plan Leila's birthday party for Wednesday. Leila is one of the girls that live in our house, and she wanted to invite all the students for dinner today. Which we pulled off, with Victor picking up more groceries for me before getting Garry from the train station.

I did cooking class this morning at nine am ( I called Garry to make sure he had made his seven am train) and I cheated a bit, we made pudding to fill the cake roll Leila asked for and fruit cup or fruit salad as everyone else called it, for the party.

At eleven am class was over and I was working on lunch and boiling eggs for the oliviya salad (think potato salad with meat and peas and carrots to boot). After we ate lunch, Victor and Garry arrived after two. Garry carried in and unpacked his suitcases.
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Garry went all over the farm and fields checking out everything they had gotten done while he was gone. The wheat is planted and most of it is up and the corn was combined starting Monday. It yielded about four times as much as the nearby farmer without irrigation I think he said.

 Meanwhile, Nelly and Leila and later more of the girls helped me prepare the party food. We made the salads. Leila did the tomato, cucumber and onion one herself, we did the oliviya, the girls peeled potatoes to mash, chicken legs went in the oven. Nelly and the girls prepared four kinds of open-faced sandwiches that Leila had asked for (she had planned the menu with Nelly)- liver pate, cheese and kolbassa, cheese and garlic and anchovy or some kind of little fishes.

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The birthday party went off before six pm (we were trying for five) and was a success. Afterwards Leila cleaned up (have I mentioned how much she likes to clean up?) The cake roll was messy looking (and to cut)  but tasty.
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About eight pm Garry and I were thinking about sleep when we realized he did not have his briefcase with his computer and passport in. I messaged Victor, thinking he'd left it in his car. Unfortunately Garry was half-asleep when he got off and somehow left it on the train. He said he slept most of the trip and did not get his computer out. Victor called later and said it was on the train still and thankfully he was going to pick it up in the middle of the night.

Garry also lost his headphones on this trip, he thinks he left them on the plane in Chicago, but if he's still got his passport I'm happy. He's been wanting better ones anyway.

Well it's after one am here and I haven't slept (Garry went to sleep as soon as he heard the briefcase is on the train still) so off to fight with jet lag... Good night

update- Victor brought the bag this morning and everything was still in it, passports, computer and even two hundred dollars!
Garry woke up for the day around three am, shortly before I finally got to sleep...


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Flying back

Garry's project was dedicated on Friday and he helped finish off a few details before going shopping for skid steer parts yesterday. He is still there in Mississippi with his older sister, and his dad who will drop him at the airport on Monday morning. I will be flying out today, Garry tomorrow, we'll be back in the village for Leila's birthday on Wednesday, and we need to throw a party.

Image may contain: sky, horse and outdoorNow that our trips are over it will be time to get back to work. We need to finish off the house for the Crawfords before they arrive and it looks like the sheds they built this fall still need the metal on the roof.