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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bits and bites and pictures

Monday they spent some time waiting for this truck to be ready
 to do the pour,  on Wednesday all 3 trucks arrived on time.
Garry is still busy with his cement pouring, even with John and Maxim gone. Maxim had to go home to his village- about a two hour drive to take care of some family problems, his father is ill but Max should be back later this week. His brother Andrei is still here, but he fell off the motor scooter Tuesday evening while going to buy some more fuel for the generator, he is still pretty sore today because he scraped several layers of skin off his right arm and shoulder and a big piece off of his left palm. Apparently the fuel container started to fall and he reached for it and lost control. Since it is Maxim's scooter, he was fixing it yesterday before his brother comes back and sees it.

Monday afternoon a truck brought the pipes for the barn

They put them in the precept (wagon) so they can move
 them easily when it is time to install them

We were gone to Zaporosia at the time, Garry wanted to buy some bolts and other parts to fasten the pipes to the cement for the freestalls in the barn, since they would need them before today's cement pouring. Seems like he is running out of donated funds, there may not be enough to finish the next section to pour. So maybe the project is stalled for a while, Garry was hoping to order the freestalls that will attach to the pipes so the guys could weld them while we are gone the end of June. There is a mission conference in Hungary and then we will fly home to Canada for ten days for Seth's high school graduation, and Josh and Krissy's wedding.

Kintaskiya Kookna (Chinese cooking)
We went to the chinese restaurant while we were there and were pleasantly surprized, it seemed that after the first time, it was never as good (we were very excited as this was the first Chinese restaurant we found here), but Tuesday's choices were delicious, even the cold squid spicy salad. The chicken dish was kung pawl chicken or as close as we have come to it here. You order off a Russian menu, so you are never sure what you are getting...

The power had gone out at 9:30 in the morning, apparently a maintance thing, it was supposed to be back on at 5 pm, I found out at lunchtime from Garry. We had broderbrat (sandwiches) and the guys fired up the generator so the ladies could use the milking machines for the afternoon milking at one pm. Victor was out for the day, he had brought dessert. He also brought the rest of the fence pieces, so they painted fence in the afternoon. It looked like rain all day (and again Wednesday) but it never actually rained.
the generator

I had just picked a huge bag of spinach I planned to freeze around 11 am, figuring the electric would return soon. I ended up doing it between 10 pm and 12:37 am, after we got home and the power was back on. Just the thing to keep you up at night! There were bowls of water a pieces of chopped spinach all over the kitchen when I went to bed. I also finally got the load of laundry I put in at 9 am finished running through it's cycle around midnight.

Here are some other photos from the last couple days....

Needles thinks this is his chair, he naps in it whenever he comes in

Box prefers the couch and my crocheting

English signs are popular, there is another food stand
in Zaporosia called Burger Kings

 Our trip to Zaporosia on Tuesday- the on top of a Lada photo was taken in the city as we drove home, it was almost dusk. The chairs would wobble when he hit a bump or hole in the road.
On top of a Lada-
                     two large armchairs

The boys that Garry used to play soccer with three summers ago are tall now

 Wednesday English class

Making rockets with Tonya's class

Ready for countdown

Fire! How high did it go?

Interested bystander behind the boys
This was Tonya's graduating class from her English school, they have been studying with her for six years, and are between 14 and 18 years of age. We had several people walking by that stopped to watch the rockets going up, like the babushka who kept getting closer to see better, and  even a marskutka driver who stopped his van along the road and watched one of the last ones as it was pumped up and launched!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Farewell to John

Garry's brother John (Garry has 4 brothers) was here for three weeks, he arrived a few days after I left for my trip to Manitoba. He says he had a better time than last year, when we did more touring, but this year he mostly worked with Garry on the barn remont project. forming up and pouring cement.
The first slab of cement they poured while I was gone

John was flying out Monday morning early, so he took the train to Kiev Sunday afternoon, but before he did we had a busy Sunday. We drove to church, and one the way there, Garry got pulled over at the checkstop. He was not wearing his seatbelt. and when the policeman asked why, Garry told him in Russian that he had really good insurance (apparently he has not been putting it on on purpose, so he could try this answer out. Then the policeman asked why John, in the front seat was wearing his then, and Garry said it was because he was American, and Garry is from Kan-na-da. The police man laughed and waved us on our way...

Gary and John decided on one last rocket launching with the Sunday school kids after church. They printed off some sheets and brought their stuff, and when the kids went off after singing, they went with them to help them make the paper rockets. They returned when the sermon was nearly over, 45 minutes later, and Garry whispered that they had to do most of the making (it surprises me that this surprised him, but things done with a large group of kids is always harder than doing it one on one)  Too bad they missed Pastor Andrei preaching with laryngitis. After the service, while the milk was being sold they fired off rockets with the kids, and some of the parents watching. They did worry a few people when Garry let the kids try to aim for the open window. The kids were excited when one bounced inside, and no one was hurt in the making and firing of the paper rockets again. We are going to do it one more time today (Wednesday) at the final English teacher classes Tonya, who sits behind us and translates at the church service almost every Sunday.

praise and worship time at church

the SS graduates

they got certificates and Bibles

milk sales after the service 

Garry and John with the kids

John brought all the stuff for making the rockets and the parts to make the compressed air launching device (mostly PVC parts) in his suitcase from Michigan. He wanted something to bring to do when he visited a couple orphanges where he sponsers kids- that's the other thing he did while he was here. Garry drove with him to Kharcov and he took a train to Donestk. I think they built hundreds of rockets, and had as much fun as the kids did. The hand pump is one from the shed here and the battery for ignition is one for Garry's rechagable tool.

After church we went out to the downtown Puzata Hata restaurant with John, then dropped him off at the train station about two hours before his train was going to leave. He had three more books he had brought to read on the trip to read yet, he only read one while he was here.

Garry and John talking at the restaurant 

John arrived home safely, he said he talked to a few people on the train and airport that spoke English. He left some work clothes here, he plans to come back nest year.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The crop report for May 27th- updated

the green field at the  far right in the background
 is one of Garry's cornfields- the green field close is onions


Here we go with the crop report for the week, as you can imagine, the cool rainy weather in the last week has made the corn much happier, no curling leaves now. Two fields are looking good, almost waist high at least thigh high. The largest (third) field is still a little shorter and not as green as it tries to get past the weeds. Two applications of herbicide did not kill off the grass and ragweed well. Garry is wishing he had cultivated or scuffled the field, but it should get growing over the weeds now.  The hot weather when it was sprayed stressed the crop some too.

Other crops

We aren't growing the next crops, but I took some photos this week of spring grain, wheat, and winter canola or rapeseed (the Russian is closer to the latter.) The internet was really slow the last couple days, so I just put the rest of the photos I planned to put in Sunday or Monday night today.

a little light and weedy, spring grain

The village herd out grazing Sunday afternoon

the winter wheat fields are starting to change color

Winter canola field, the pods are all set now

Hay Days

Monday Garry mowed down the little garden alfalfa field, second cut will be under way soon.  Meanwhile, it looks like the new alfalfa fields planted this spring may become good stands, Garry was worried he might have to plow up that little field again this year.
There is alfalfa growing there!

Across the road, looks like it will be ready to cut
 for the first time in a couple weeks

See the difference between our first cut bale and one they did for the neighbors?
Yes the green one with the leaves on top is ours!
With the rain, all the hayfields should be growing, it will be good for the second cut alfalfa field (not pictured this week) too. It looks like there could be some rain in this week's forecast now...

Garry has been asked to bale for some of the people in the village, Maxim did some last week for people, and since he is away Serosia did some more today.

In the Ukrainian calendar, this month is based on the word for grass or weeds travla and there are many people out cutting grass on the roadsides and bringing it home to dry for hay. Some people were cutting grass out by the ponds on Sunday.

You see cars getting filled with grass along the highway

Serosia out with a mower to cut some grass for his own hay

We see many more people out cutting grass to make hay with gas-powered weedwhackers than three years ago, but there is still a lot of hay made by hand. These guys were out by one of  the ponds
This guy was cutting with a scythe,  hot work!
they were filling bags to take home 

These little piles in the field will become part of
 a bigger haystack by their shed, these people milk 5 or 6 cows

not everyone was working Sunday afternoon!

I think these people stopped in today to ask about baling hay
 it involved Garry, Andrei and Maxim via cell phone to talk ...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Since I last posted... rain, rockets, and bus tours

I love you too, Polo, down!

Polo has a habit of jumping on me when I walk outside- to show how happy he is to see me, but it's not so good when it is muddy out!
Grape vines are growing and the roses are blooming....

 Friday morning it was wet and raining, in fact we got the first good soaking since last fall, making Garry and his cornfields very happy. It is still muddy today, as you will see when we had a tour bus of Mennonite heritage people stop in late this afternoon.

Friday afternoon we went into Dnepro, Garry and John got  to shoot off rockets with another English class, ironically on Rabotcha street, near the rocket factory. Light rain was falling, but most of them got off, one blew up on it's second launch, about 10 feet in the air. Good thing they are made of paper and tape and powered by compressed air!

Before the class we went downtown, hoping to go bowling, but our favorite bowling alley has closed it's doors, and we don't know if it will re-open! The mall was packed with parents, kids and teenagers since it was the last day of school and they were celebrating. Many of the grads were dressed up, the boys in suits and the girls in dresses, including one group that seemed to be going for the Japanese school girl fashion, with white lace kneesocks, short shirts, blouses and hair in two ponytails with the big puffy hair things the little girls wear! I wish I had brought the camera....

Today Garry, his brother John (who will be leaving Sunday afternoon on the train to Kiev, he flies home to Michigan on Monday) With the assistance of Andrei and Maxim, worked on getting the first section of fence up, and you can see it looks nice. One person in the village stopped by to ask how much it cost. There was a steady procession of people in to buy brewers grain this morning, we still sell more than we feed our own cows by far. As you can see the rain brought some cooler weather, I think it was a nice change for John, he has been here three weeks and it was plus 30 C (80-90F) most of the time!

digging fence post holes

Brrewers grain customers are coming in by motorcycles

with side cars and trailers

The village herd was grazing across the pond near the collective barns this morning
 (the one they are remodelling is the far one)

almost across the front 

John touching up the paint

after lunch they put some cement in the post holes-
that's Maxim in shorts and a coat

I think Andrei likes kittens as much as Jonah

Yana doing the afternoon milking

Of course the normal everyday things were getting done too, as you can see in this photo. Check out the next two photos to see how much the weather has changed this week....they were taken on Wednesday. Andrei is using the shovel I brought back in my suitcase from New Jersey...

 Later in the afternoon, the tour bus stopped at the end of the drive, they got a little behind schedule because  all the farmers were busy checking out the barn and some of the ladies were using our nice bathroom (always a bonus while travelling in Ukraine) in fact the bus nearly left with the last three still in the house!

our pretty new fence!