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

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Calves cows trucks and stuff

While we were in Canada there were a number of heifer calves born, and on Tuesday Garry pulled a backwards one while I was teaching English. It was another heifer calf, I think it is seven in a row, maybe we will get to a 50% male/ female ratio yet. It is even more than half Holstein because her mother is part Holstein.

it's a girl too!

Brewers grain is here!

pulling in the delivery truck 

On Thursday before the big snow, Garry had a delivery of brewers' grain come, their new truck can't come in our yard and dump in our pits, Garry took a few photos. You can see there is less snow than now, they used the tractor to pull it in the driveway. 

Early this week Garry had the "good vet" out to see a sick cow, that had calved a month ago, and was not eating. Garry was sure she had a DA- twisted stomach- since he could hear a pinging sound through his stethoscope, a classic diagnosis. He was frustrated when the vet did not check her for this, possibly because they don't operate on cows for them here. Max hates it when Garry argues with the veterinarians. Garry hates that they don't know as much as he does about some cow diseases. The vet pumped her stomach full of upset tummy stuff, and decided they should tie her up at the end of the barn and just feed her hay. That was Wednesday, the idea was she'd be better or sold for meat, if she was not recovering. 

 Garry was wishing he had gotten a toggle kit while we were home. The boys in Canada fix most of the cows with this themselves now, by doing what we used to call the magic stitch - instead of a full operation cutting open the cows side, this procedure rolls the cow over to untwist her stomach- the absomason one- cows have several stomachs! Then a stitch is made to hold it in place through the belly. 

On Thursday the cow was nibbling hay, but Garry decided to enlist the students in the afternoon lab to roll the cow over- literally you take the lying down cow, get a hold of her legs and roll and roll her onto her back and over onto her other side--and when the big gas bubble moved, hope it stayed in place even without a stitch-- he had Victor look for some kind of big needle toggle substitute in case it was needed, but as of Saturday morning she was sounding good although she's still eating just hay, he is hoping for a full recovery. 

Snowy day

We got a couple inches of snow last night and it made some big drifts.

 Garry was surprised when "tall Max" - one of the students showed up before daylight to help feed the cows. The students are assigned work experience through the week, but not on weekends. However Max likes to work so much he comes to help every weekend! He insisted that walking in the blowing snow was nothing. Garry made him and our Max muffins for breakfast while they finished up feeding the cows - there are only two wheelbarrows right now. The students have been showering here at the house after they work, the guys have been doing it since before we went home to Canada, and now some of the girls are too. Apparently the foster houses have a water shortage, and now they are all clean when they go home.

The milk buyer even showed up this morning in spite of the bad roads, however they got their van stuck trying to get in the driveway. Our Max had to get the tractor started and clean out the drifts that formed last night. It didn't help that there is some ice on the road under the snow!
the view from the front window

Garry decided we should drive to Zaporosia for the pro basketball game that was scheduled. He had talked to someone in the city who said the roads there were in good shape. I was doubtful, but we set off. and had to get Maxim to come get us out of a big pile of snow the plows on the highway had formed at the end of the village road. We stopped a picked up a lady who had been standing on the side of the road waiting for a ride while we were waiting for Max and the tractor. Her friend and daughter - about 12 - had gotten a ride earlier, they looked cold standing there in the wind as cars and trucks whizzed past kicking up snow.

She talked on her cell as we drove and didn't seem worried- it was a bit of a wild ride, some of the highway was drifted, some had one lane cleared, we caught up to traffic, and even detoured - unofficially onto the other side of the road for a kilometer or so behind another car when there were cars in the ditch...or all over the road, even the car pulling a trailer with two horses that we had seen while we were stuck--- lucky they were just waiting for it to clear not in the accident/stuck cars.
plow coming

now we are driving on the other side of the road

There was a scary moment when we returned to the track on our side of the road and when the old Lada in front of us slid a little in front of Garry, but we got to the dam around game time- and got a call from John, whom we'd asked to buy our tickets since we'd be getting there late- no game, so did we want to go for lunch with him. We went to a nice Italian place and had lunch and then headed home by four, the road was better, less traffic, but it was drifting again....we'll see how it is in the morning for the drive to church.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Coming soon- more stories!

Sorry we are having very slow internet most of the time, and we can hardly load any pages, let alone do blog posts, even in the middle of the night when I am wide awake with jet lag. We have gone from plus temps to snow on the ground when we got up on Thursday, more snow was coming down when we went to bed last night. Poor Garry had to get up at ten o'clock after sleeping for an hour when Yana came to the door to say there was a broken water pipe in the barn.

He is looking a little banged up since Thursday afternoon when he was "trying to catch a heifer" while the students were here for class, he came in with manure on his clothes and scrapes on his chest, arms and hands. Then he had to wait to get in the shower as one of the students had gone into the bathroom while he was explaining wheat had happened to me- I was sick in bed with the flu all day. Tonight he was helping me make pizza and cut his other hand with my new paring knife while cutting a chunk of cheese to grate, so now both his hands are sore. It has not kept him from working on one of his new 1000 piece puzzles, which has been spread out on the coffee table since Wednesday.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Back in Ukraine, but my body disagrees...

I am sitting at the keyboard, its after one am--when I woke up after a couple hours sleep. Which is more than I got the night before, when I lay awake until almost 5 am and slept less than two hours. Garry picked up at the Dnepro airport Friday afternoon. I landed almost two hours behind schedule, but I was happy to have landed there, since before we boarded in Vienna, they had announced that they might land in Kiev or Kharciv, due to fog in Dnepropetroesk, and then provide ground transport. I was madly texting Garry before riding the bus out to the tarmack--European air travel is not as glam as you may imagine-- with the news that the pilot would decide in the air, and if I landed at the airport it would be closer to 3 than 1:35!

They waited to announce we were in Dnepro until after landing---it got a bigger round of applause than the landing, and Ukrainians seem to alway clap when they land, it makes you wonder sometimes...It was foggy, Garry said it was worse than when he drove in as we rode back to the village. Garry said that there was snow covering the roads when he arrived the week before, but it was melting when I got back, and very muddy everywhere in the yard. Garry tells me there are some heifer calves to see in the barn, but I think I'll have to find some boots, or maybe it will be froze some in the morning.

Customs had me send my luggage through the xray machine - lucky me my suitcse came out on the carasuel first, so I hoped for a quick exit to find Garry who had texted that he was waiting--and then wanted to know about pill bottles--three bottles af Advil and I look like a smuggler I guess. I need my cold and sinus, I swaer I am allergic to Ukraine sometimes, I an fine at home.

I was hungry, I had not eaten much since dinner on the first plane two hours after leaving Newark, Breakfast 4 hours later was a chunk of kiwi, half a strawberry, and a cube of watermelon, a hard granola bar, and small muffin. Rush to board flight from Germany to Vienna, where I had an upset stomach and had cola instead of juice and only ate half the date filled crossiant served. Hurry through customs again since we landed a half hour late because of de-icing--once again no sercurity screening, some airports you do it everytime you takeoff, some drop you past it--find out plane was now sceduled for 11 am instead of 10:20, it was almost noon before we got onto the plane which had to wait to de-ice and get a spot on the runway in the light snow which had started to fall before we left. They had a good pile on the ground there in Vienna already.

Once were were finally in the air, my stomach growled with the info it was snack to be served, it was a lovely half cream cheese filled sandwich with green herbal flecks. I ordered tomato juice and tea with milk so I could fill up on my drink selections. My emergency stash of crackers and pretzels was in my roller bag at the back of the plane--- with the exception of a melted Hershey bar I didn't dare open. My computer bag was under the seat, since I barely got my coat in the overhead by the time I boarded and found my seat, I ended up 8 rows back of my ticket some old guy was sitting in 7D, he had been reissued tickets and had not realized his seat had changed so I headed back for his aisle seat in row 15 when he fianlly found it. I did get the only empty seat on the plane between me and an older lady, but had to give the flight attendant my bag to store, so I had to get to the back to get it and was the last one on the bus to the terminal and the last one thorough passport control, so  I thought bonus! when my flowered suitcase appeared first.

At least I wasn't Garry who had his hand luggage inspected at every stop by sercurity, lost some of his machinery parts that he thought would make his checked bag too heavy right as he started in Winnipeg, and somehow had the zipper come open on his carry-on bag in Germany as he was going down an escalator, spilling mast of the contexts down the moving stairs, he said people were helping him grab stuff as he decended, and at the bottom, Sadly he lost the pieces to the travel Blocus game I bought him at Liquidation Workl for Christmas when it hit the escalator, the case came open and the little plastic pieces went into the gears in the bottom of the escalator!

I was so hungry I did make pizza for dinner since it Friday, although it had no italian spice since Garry had not realized we were out of it. Andrei missed my pizza so much he ate more than one---pizza that is. Good thing I made three so there was three slices in the fridge. After only dozing on my planes I went to bed before Garry at 8 pm, was up twice in the night, falling asleep around 5 am and since the house was empty Saturday, slept until noon. I hope I am awake for teaching on Tuesday, Garry had no trouble adjusting and enjoyed his classes last week while I was in New Jersey.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New year, here, Christmas there

It is Christmas eve in Ukraine, where most people celebrate with the "old calendar" of the Orthodox church- old New Year is yet to come, Garry has been in Ukraine for it the last few years, and he will be again. Here is Manitoba we spent the afternoon celebrating our son Noah's 25th birthday. It is actually on January 7th, but we did it early since Jessica and Jonah had to return to Morden for the start of school tomorrow, so it was our last chance to have the whole family together for this visit home.

We fly out on Thursday, Garry to Ukraine, I am flying to New Jersey for a week to visit with my parents before joining him. So the next few days we are tying up loose ends, stuffing suitcases with all the stuff to bring home, including the model tractors the John Deere dealer donated to display at the the trade school, and I need to undecorate the Christmas tree and "throw it outside, but not the ornaments" our 4 year old granddaughter gave me instructions today since they did it last week.
How will we get all this stuff in our suitcases???

Tuesday evening we will be speaking and showing slides at Emmanuel Evangelical Free church in Steinbach at 7 pm, if you can make it out.