I now know why it's raining today- Jonah just took a small toad away from Box the cat- in the living room- he says last night he got up and turned on the lights and she was playing with one that he caught and also put outside. Maxim told us once that there is a saying- Frogs in the house means rain!
In September 2009 I put together the Top Ten Noisy Things in a Ukrainian Village one of my favorites. Since we were doing all our internet on free wifi at the malls before we got the cellphone stick internet we posted about once a week back then.
If you'd like to check out what life was like the first summer/fall we were in Ukraine check out A Typical Day part 1 and 2 in November 2009, which summarizes what we were doing during the first months here.
Here's a pic from back then to go with those back blog posts- Garry and the boys playing futball with some of the kids on the street - that's how they learned machina was car! Like playing ball hockey in the street.
To expand the story of the mice in the fridge in Typical Day-
When we first arrived we slept in the main house but the bathroom and kitchen were in the summer kitchen- which is why we ate outside most of the time! One day when I was cooking (the first three weeks I was teaching English in Dnepro and mostly in the village on weekends) I noticed that there seemed to be signs of mice--droppings on the counter. I promptly put all the food that wasn't in the fridge in one of the blue rubbermaid boxes we had used as luggage, and most of the dishes, pots and utensils in another, along with a cabinet over the sink.It seemed to work well, if a little unorganized.
I was a little disturbed to find out Victor had realized there were mice the week before I did and set traps that he was checking and put the cat in the summer kitchen to catch them---Victor he thought the mice couldn't get in the cupboards. There were a large number of mice from what I could tell all summer, happily living there on what fell on the floor, I guess, once I sealed up the goodies.
He must have thought I'd freak out - guess he'd never heard the story of our first farmhouse in NJ and the dozens of rats we were living with with two toddlers- Garry thought I was imagining noises in the night until the night I turned on the light in the kitchen and rats ran everywhere! Explained the disappearing loaf of bread that the dog was blamed for! Garry ended up poisoning the things after the rat that ran around my feet while cooking dinner one night, the trap was too slow, you could only get one a night. This may explain why our daughter still freaks about mice- she was three.
You had to keep a close eye on that cat while cooking- one day I mixed up the batter for corn fritters in the bowl( a had one plastic bowl at the time- it was a little like camping) on the table, turned around to heat the oil in the pan, and glanced back and there was the stupid cat gobbling down my batter! I really did not think he ever caught a mouse, in spite of Victor's assuring me of his abilities- the cat was underfoot because the door was open because it was so hot with a fly net curtain drawn across the door- which might keep out some bugs but any animals could walk right in!
Garry thought the plastic bins overkill on my part since there weren't many mice in the traps. That is until the end of September or so when I discovered the tiny teeth marks on the butter in the wrapper inside the fridge (it was an old-style Ukrainian fridge.) The first time I chopped off a big piece and tossed it to the cat - thinking that it must have been left on the counter by someone, not wanting to toss it all. The next day I clued in when there were new bite marks. Further investigation found droppings in the bottom of the fridge. They were coming in through the insulation and seal in the bottom of the thing.
I washed out the fridge, threw away more food, put everything in plastic food storage boxes- it was a good thing we had bought some before we needed them. We started looking for a new fridge that would go in the big house and the new kitchen which was coming along by October. Until we flew home in December I carried every I needed for cooking out to the summer kitchen from the shiny new holodilnik (fridge).The kitchen was done by November but we couldn't use the nice new electric stove until we returned in January- the new 3 phase 10 amp service wasn't hooked up yet _ we had limited power before then, so I had to keep cooking on the gas stove and bringing dinner and the ingredients back into the house, unless I used the microwave or crockpot since it got too cool and rainy to eat outside by November!