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

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fertilizer starts the farming season

In spite of the the changes in government, life here is unchanged, except for the ATM (bank-o-mats) seem reluctant to give us grivna right now. This is how we normally get money out of our Canadian bank accounts while here in Ukraine. Unlike other foreigners here, we have cash coming in as milk is sold, so it has not been a big problem for us.

Sunday was warm and the mud was still with us, but it got cold, with a dusting of snow even, for the beginning of this week. That was a good thing as Garry and the guys have been looking for the opportunity to spread fertilizer on the winter wheat. They planted 140 acres last fall, and with the weather warming up, hoped to get some on to have a really good crop. With the ground frozen, and the fertilizer bought, Monday afternoon we were hunting the house for the tractor GPS system to aid in the placement of the fertilizer.  Garry had put away someplace last fall to keep it safe. After looking three times in every place we could think of, we were stumped. It was about the size of the toaster, with cables,  in a plastic bag... where did it go?

Tuesday morning Garry talked me into going to the gym in Zaporosia with him, and when we got back around noon, Maxim was excited to tell him he had found it in "Seth and Jonah's room in the clothes cupboard" so they were able to start spreading that afternoon. They finished it this morning, as the mud is frozen solid everywhere, with some snowflakes blowing around again. However, it is supposed to warm up overnight with rain in the forecast, so they are very happy.

Garry is checking how many bags are left to use

Snowflakes were melting on the windshield as we drove up to see

Andrey got out of tractor for a photo with Garry

Last year they put fertilizer on the wheat, but it just sat there, because we did not get rain to move the nutrients into the ground for the plants to use. The melting snow and rain should get the plants their ammonium nitrate, and will hopefully mean a bumper crop, with all the moisture in the ground this year from the big snow, and some more rain this spring. There are still a few snow banks waiting to melt along the highways and in the fields.

Rapid changes (part 2) Lenin(less) in Dnepro

 Friday evening a crowd spent about six hours taking down the Lenin statue in the center of Dnepropetroesk, so on Sunday after church we stopped there to look. As you can see it has turned into a memorial to the many people who died in Kiev a few days before, with flowers and candles.

In Zaporosia the Lenin is still standing, but there are discussions about removing it. Someone who blocked it's removal has been fired from office. It is a much larger statue, looking up main street (Lenina) with a hand outstretched to the big dam, as if to say look what I have given you.
Many people were there taking photos

There is a Ukrainian flag in Lenin's place

The sign says Praise Heroes of Maidon 

Rapid changes ... (part 1)

We have been collecting photos of how things have changed here in Ukraine in the last few weeks in Ukraine. Last week Sunday we took some photos at the bottom of Kivova (street) just down the hill from where we go to church, near a government building, where there seemed to be a large police presence as we drove past. Later, we heard that one of the opposition leaders had been in Dnepropetroesk that afternoon for a rally.
There were police there last weekend

If you are wondering about the rockets, they are a new display this year to honor the rocket factory - samples of the ones built there
Dnepro was a closed city where the USSR built missiles and rockets at the factory, which now builds a variety of things, including rototillers for gardens

The same place one week later  the plaza looks rather empty!

Here is a photo of the Passage mall last week as we drove past it. They had European Union flags hanging over their sidewalk on Karl Marx boulevard, also. A couple of weeks ago the owners decided to support the Maidon protesters by showing channel 5 (which had a live feed of the protests in Kiev) about a half hour later, the mall suddenly had no electrical power, we were told. 

This week the video displayed on the outside of the building was what was happening at the RADA (parliament) with a live television feed. Over the weekend most television stations were displaying a burning candle in the corner of the screen in the memory of those killed in Kiev.

Friday, February 21, 2014

All is well here, in our part of Ukraine

With the news headlines, you might be worried about us here in Ukraine, but we are fine here in the village. It's a bright sunny Friday morning and we are getting back into the swing of things. Yesterday we drove back from the south and other than more traffic police than usual and lineups at bank machines and gas stations while driving though Zaporosia around 5 pm, things seemed normal. Garry is off to check out more corn planters to buy this morning and pay some traffic tickets he got back in November when he drove me to the airport in Kiev.

Garry checking out machinery 
We drove down to Crimea for a mini-vacation on Monday before the situation in Kiev had dramatically worsened, and everything there was relatively normal. On the way south, he stopped at a couple machinery dealers to see what they had for corn planters, but there were only ones like he had seen at the farm show last week, that he did not like.

We had a good time with some friends, watched some Canadian Olympic hockey, walked the promenade along the sea in Yalta and even went swimming- in a heated outdoor pool! It was 12 degrees C, if you are wondering...

We enjoyed the weather as Canadians! 

almost warm enough! 12C same as the air!

our van at the place we stayed

We even did some shopping in a few of the fancy shops along the sea where Garry bought me a belated birthday present of a Ukrainian Olympic track suit. Almost everything in the store was in the national colors of yellow and blue, but this one was in oranges and in my size - which in tiny Ukrainian sizes is 2XL! (I buy size 12 or 14 at home)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snow's melting... and Garry has cows to breed

The snow has been melting for the last week or so, and except for the big snow banks- like the one on the way out to the highway, it's mostly gone. It means that the field roads are impassable still, however because of the mud. Garry is anxious to go out to see his wheat field, but he can't yet. All those many beautiful feet of black soil is a sticky, muddy mess when it's really wet!

Luckily, he can't go for a few days anyway as we are down in Crimea. There was still some snow in the ditches until we got a ways down into Crimea, but the grass is turning green along the highway, and the wheat fields. As soon as we crossed the border, (there is a border, you don't stop but Crimea is kind of like the Quebec of Ukraine) There were cows out grazing, and goats and sheep (a big flock right beside the road, white, brown and mixed colored sheep there would be a photo but my camera battery went dead and needs charging) everywhere we looked! Back in the village the only animals we have seen out was on Sunday morning, when lots of chickens and even geese were out (most people in the village have a backyard flock). You have probably seen the palm trees in Sochi, well there are some here in Yalta, too (we are also on the Black Sea.)

So Saturday, Max came to the door to get Garry around 6 pm. He had to go breed a cow just as I started making sauce for the pizza. He asked if it was in the village and Max laughed and said 20 kilometers in Russian. By the time he returned I was just getting the first pizza out of the oven, the one with kolbasa on- we pretend it's pepperoni, it's close and much cheaper. The tiny meatball one, which was a first time trial, and every liked, so I'll do it again, was out in a couple minutes so he called Max and Andrey and they devoured the first two so fast I was lucky to grab two slices while the next two were in the oven! The fifth one ended up uneaten and in the fridge for Sunday, the guys will eat it for breakfast lunch or dinner, they love my pizza to eat.

Garry had to tell me a story about the village he went to, it was the same one that he had to breed a cow in the week before, when they were almost there, but had to take the long way around when they were just a mile before the village because the snow was not cleared (I wrote about it last week). It was actually the same man's cow, well this time his heifer, which was definitely in heat, mucus falling right to the ground, a great sign for her getting pregnant. Just a few days before, Garry had to go breed a cow for a second time... the first time was six months ago! (they cycle about every 21 days) He told the farmer to get her checked after a couple months this time by a veterinarian to make sure she is pregnant, even if they do not see her in heat.

Anyway, last week when they went to the village and got to the place where the snow was too deep, they saw an old LADA car sitting there with no tires on it. This week Max heard the story from the farmer about why the car was sitting there....

The owners of the car had driven home to the village in the snow, and were not too far from their home when they got to the impassible part of the road, so they decided to walk home. To prevent anyone from stealing  their car, they removed the battery and wrote a note on placed it on the dash. Please do not steal anything from this car, it doesn't work, the battery is gone. When they returned they discovered the tires gone, and an addition to the note..... since the car doesn't work it does not need tires....

Olympic sport watching

It turned out we had no English language Olympic coverage on our satellite (interestingly our service is from a Russian company) however one of the regular Ukrainian channels has a good deal of programming, and if you watch closely you can figure out what is happening because the graphics tend to be in English, I don't know why, but they are. Since it is Ukrainian television, we get about 40 minutes of coverage followed by 20 of commercials- it's the way all TV is done here, when the commercials start you can not just grab something from the fridge, you can go cook dinner.

You might wonder what the broadcasters are talking about, they do get very excited about any Ukrainian competitors, they seem better at cross country skiiing and biathon than anything else but there are some figure skaters and sledders I have seen, I saw one medal go to Ukraine, in a skiing event I think. They are excited about any favorites in the events also, from what I can tell.  According to my poor language skills, the most common word they use is Vancouver-rie or -ah, when talking about how they did in the previous games, the competitors are called sportsmen (regardless of their sex) and jumps of any kind are trampolin whether they are skiing, skating or whatever and the winners are of course champi-on. At least we have seen lots of events and sometimes Canadians winning medals. Last night we watched the womens hockey game with friends who are able to watch CBC on their computer, what fun to even see the commercials from home, and understand what they are saying.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Valentines Day!

My red roses and the crocheted chocolates I made
Garry woke me up with a dozen roses for Valentines Day. He said the man was reluctant to sell him such an even number, but he said he was sure he wanted 12. In Ukraine, flowers are given in odd numbers, even numbers of flowers are for funerals.
 Later that afternoon we were in the mall and saw many girls carrying one rose or three roses, and one with a huge bouquet, which I am sure had an odd number in total, maybe 15.

  I had packed some candy for Garry in my suitcase, Hershey miniatures, a large kiss and peanut butter cups, but I crocheted him a special box of chocolates that will last, also. The boys here decided they were a great joke gift.
Garry bought me a card, too
If you are wondering how Garry bought flowers early in the morning, he had taken the overnight train to Kiev on Wednesday night to check out the Farm Show in Kiev. Andrey and both Maxs went with him. I decided to stay home and take advantage of the empty house to give the bathroom a couple coats of white paint.

Garry said that there were not as many exhibitors or people visiting the show as the one we went to in the fall (story is on the trade school blog) He had hoped to find a corn planter to buy, because it has become apparent that the one he liked at the show in the fall from Turkey is not going to work out, the company does not know how to get it here. He said there was only one that was close to what he wanted, but it had electric motors everywhere- like on each fertilizers box instead of chains, and that looked like trouble. No "bobcat" either, so they are back to checking ads for used ones for sale on the internet.

So Friday morning they got home shortly after 8 am, with roses. I had to get up and let them in the door. I did not sleep much because around 10:30 I was trying to touch up the paint job, when the stool I was standing on tipped, while I was reaching up paintbrush in one hand and phone in the other, because Garry had phoned while he was waiting for the train back, to tell me about his visit to a new KFC. Exciting news, a Kentucky Fried Chicken near the train station, we have never seen one before in Ukraine. Anyway, I fell hard to the tiled floor and really whacked the back on my head, bent my glasses, scraped my leg... and finally went to sleep around 4 am, after holding frozen hotdogs to the lump on my head for several hours.

After a morning nap, and a quick lunch, we went into Dnepro because Garry was doing his English book club meeting that evening. We actually went to the mall and went bowling, however, I only won one game, unlike the week before when I beat Garry twice. You pay for the lane by the hour; in one hour, the two of us can almost finish 5 games. The mall was full of balloons and young couples listening to a pop band that was playing downstairs on a stage. You could even take photos with a giant white bear for valentines.

We did not have many people out for our meeting, which is held at the CCL building, since we don't live in the city. Unfortunately one of the guys was bitten by the neighboring dog that was loose,on his way in, it ripped a foot long tear in his jeans. There is an alley off the street, you go into through a gate to get to the door. The dog was inside the alley when we arrived and it seemed a little protective, I held my purse behind me, between me and dog, but it hung back then.  Victor tried to find the owner to complain, but there was no answer to banging on and  calling out at their gate (standard way to get someone to answer here, if you wonder). The dog was still running loose when we left so we walked very carefully past him, but everyone got out without further problems. We felt very bad for Eugene, luckily his leg was not hurt badly. His jeans however are quite ruined.

We passed a different mall, the Dafi on our way out of the city, and the parking lot was overflowing. It seems that Valentines day is becoming a more popular holiday here, especially for young lovers, even though one of our older students told us she does not celebrate it because it is not one of their holidays. Those days are coming soon, Feb 23rd is Mens day, and March 8th is Women's day, when Ukrainians give gifts to friends, relatives and people they work with.... almost every adult!
Most city centre mall was ready for Valentines Friday

Monday, February 10, 2014

The "Malinky Dome" - the little house

For the last three years, the milker ladies have lived in the summer kitchen or as Maxim calls it the malinky dome  (little house) When Victor used this house as a bed and breakfast for his Mennonite tours (before we moved to Ukraine) his mother lived in the summer kitchen and cooked for the guests. At the time, the summer kitchen had the only kitchen and bathroom, in here were three bedrooms, with the guests eating in the "arch room" and going out there to use the toilet. Of course, once we renoed the rest of the big house in 2009, there has been a bathroom and kitchen in here.

 The summer kitchen was where the Ukrainian guys who welded the barn together (including our Max) stayed in spring 2010, then Max stayed there until the milker ladies came with the herd of cows that September and stayed to milk them, and we moved them in that afternoon. The little house got it's own satellite TV when we got the new "pay satellite system"- that one has the "free channels", and an upgraded gas furnace, replacement windows and an additional radiator in the bathroom, but not much has changed since we put the bunkbeds in back then.

The ladies moved out this fall, and Garry decided to renovate the summer kitchen into a place for guests to stay who want to have a private space, with their own kitchenette and bathroom, but with some upgraded amenities.
There was an entryway along one end, where the outside door opens up, and the  furnace is located,  with the bathroom at the far end, or you can go into the kitchen, which had a door into the tiny bedroom. It was so small that a full-size bed would take up a good deal of the room, so Garry and Victor decided to knock that wall down last week Tuesday  when they cleaned everything out of the house- and carried most of it (cabinets and everything inside) up the stairs into the attic of this house!

Since then Garry and "the boys" have finished the demolition phase, clearing the wall rubble and removing the flooring from the new "great room"- it's about 3.4 meters by 5.6 meters- (almost 11 x 18 in feet) and this morning they made cement and poured a new floor in there.

Maxim B moved sand with the wheelbarrow

over to Andrey who was mixing cement near the house

work in progress- I didn't go out after lunch for a 2nd photo

As you can see, the old stove? fireplace? was in the far corner and got knocked down in the demo as it was falling apart, the one in Yana's house below looks better.

 Garry is using metal profile on the floor to level the cement, if you are wondering what's happening in the photo. Our Max did that in his house when he renovated it. The big white pipes on the wall under the windows are the heating pipes that the hot water runs through, it is heated by the same system as the big house, with the gas furnace over there in the entryway.

I'll let you know when it is ready for you to come visit! I think Victor may get more business for his Mennonite tours when people can have their own little house when they come to Ukraine to find where their ancestors lived.

If you are wondering why the milker ladies moved out...  

Last spring Yana talked to Garry about a house (really half a house, during Soviet times, old Mennonite houses were split into duplexes to make more housing- they were too big for one family) a little ways down the street. He agreed to help her buy it, and she took possession of it in October, and after a little work, she moved in with her mother this fall. For a while this summer, there was talk that her mother Genia was going to retire to their home village when she turned 55 (and could collect pension) but that did not happen after all. So they moved out of the malinky dome sometime in November. Here's a little tour of there new place before they moved in, back in October, when they were starting to clean it up, they are doing all the work on it themselves, there is no bathroom over there, just an outhouse, like many of the houses in the village, but they are very excited about having their own house, garden, and outbuildings.
the house even came with a dog

old stove, furnace?  

The kitchen is the first room you walk into

This a a pretty normal old village house if you are wondering. It does have a small attached "barn" you go through a small door at the back of the house, I am not sure what they will do with that ... it is unusual but there were many attached barns on some of the old Mennonite houses, not many of them are left.

through the little door

and its a barn room... maybe chickens? 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Lasagna for dinner

It's a foggy, frosty morning in the village, since the weather is warming up. It's almost noon and the snow is sliding off the roof finally with little rumbling rushes down the metal roof. Dinner in Ukraine is noontime at our house or to be more Ukrainian, we can sometimes have it between then and two pm, when many eat the main meal of the day.

The boys have been enjoying having me cook for them again, I think while we were gone, they mostly ate bread with jam or maybe slevki (like 50% cream that they spread a half inch thick on their bread instead of butter. They like Nutella on bread also, but it doesn't last long when you spread it that thick!

A couple days ago Andrey asked about eating something, which turned out to be lasagna, so I bought a box on Wednesday when we went shopping. The noodles available here for lasagna is in very thin sheets that does not get pre-boiled like the stuff at home in North America, I assume it is the real thing, since it is imported from Italy. Since it is imported, it is a little pricey so I have not bought it too many times.
 However, we had a pile of dry curd cheese from when the guys made some after separating cream last week when the snow kept the milk buyers away, so I had the other ingredient I needed. Hopefully it doesn't taste too sour, which it does sometimes, I think because the skim milk is left out to turn into curds, and then cooked instead of adding something to coagulate the milk. Ground beef is not a problem, since Garry and the guys killed a cow in December, and there is lots in the freezer. We are no longer eating tasty Princessca but a much younger cow who name was  Ma...something..ka. All I had to do was turn some tomato paste into sauce with some onions, garlic and spices.... they had better like this dinner.

So why did Andrey want to try lasagna? Because Garfield loves it. When he said Garfield I realized it was lasagna he wanted to try and Garry assured him I knew how to make this wonderful food. Ukrainians love cartoons, Tom and Jerry and Chip and Dale are favorites. Anyone who doesn't know any English can say their names! In fact, if Garry tells someone he has a brother named Tom they think it hilarious, since many have trouble saying Garry and call him Jerry.

So I'd better check how it's coming along in the oven, soon we'll know what Andrey (and Maxim and maybe the other Max, since he has made it in for dinner half the time since we got home) think of Garfield's favorite food.

They all liked it as you can see, all the guys had a second big serving.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Roads are improving

The other highway that the village connects to is on the left, on Wednesday afternoon when we drove to Zaporosia. Garry wanted a new MP3 player to listen to Russian lessons on, and we needed to make a serious grocery shopping run for all the things we didn't know we didn't have when we came back on Saturday!
the highway we normally drive, looking pretty good!

main highway into Zap, must be cleared by someone else

When will the second lane be clear to pass?
Downtown Zaporosia
We found the MP3 player downtown and then headed to the Ashan store at City Mall for going up and down every aisle, overfill the cart grocery shopping. on the way out of the city we had to stop at a railroad crossing when the lights and siren sounded, after a while (some pedestrians and a stray dog used the break in traffic to cross the street) an engine pushed three cars through.

first car through! The orange vest guy is hanging on

We got home just as dusk was falling, to unload our 3 bags of stuff and various bottles of water, coke, and a flat of eggs (eggs were really cheap this week.)  Hopefully Friday's trip to Dnepropetroesk and home in the dark will be just as safe. 

of course you can't flush toilet paper in Sochi!

Interesting watching the "international news" about the Olympics - we get CNN international- which not the same coverage as the USA, and the BBC along with some European news channels in English.

We laughed at the scandal of the sign telling the reporter not to flush the toilet paper... has no one been to a former USSR country before?  You really do not flush the toilet paper unless told it's OK to - hotels and apartments over five stories generally are good to flush but private homes and other buildings, if there isn't a sign, look for the waste basket right next to the toilet, it is there for your used TP. If the plumbing plugs up from the paper I am told, they have to jackhammer the cement to get to the plumbing for the system... maybe just a "not working" sign will get hung up, if you can read it.

The don't flush the toilet paper was one of the first things we learned the first summer we came to Ukraine, and carry your own toilet paper is a good idea too, public places don't always have it, unless you pay for a piece, and real Ukrainian toilet paper is rather like brown crepe paper you rip off a roll (no perforations) but the fluffier many colored kind you are more familiar with is widely sold and as popular it seems now. The first summer teaching English, I discovered what people do when they don't have any toilet paper on them when I found one of my English lesson handouts  had been put to to  a different use in the ladies' room waste paper basket.

 I found this photo on a Ukrainian site, of a sign explaining how to use a toilet properly, for those used to the old style we call "squatties" because that is what you do to use them. The center left is a good idea, when I am happy to find a western style toilet in a public restroom I always check for footprints on the toilet seat.

Some of the other things on the news sound like bad Russian to English translations.... like "water dangerous for on face", it could just mean don't drink the tap water, which is pretty standard for foreigners anyway! Try some menus translated into English for more fun, if there are any available that is, sometimes it can be almost as hard to figure out as if it was in Russian! I still remember the "ironed" dish on one menu, which was I assumed "pressed?"

We are looking forward to watching the Olympics on television this time, although we will miss the opening ceremonies because we will be doing Garry's English discussion group in Dnepropetroesk when it is on live (and we need to pay the satellite bill today on one of the machines in the city, we were going to do it on Wednsesday but Garry needs to put all the numbers for the phones, internet, and the satellite on a new card for his new wallet, since that was in his wallet that was stolen in December in Kiev)We did not see much of the last winter games in Vancouver because we did not have the Eurosport channel we have on the satellite then, we only had the free to air channels then. Garry had hoped that we could go to Sochi, because there was a rumor that visas to Russia would not be needed for the Olympics, but that did not happen and the price of tickets for the semi and gold medal hockey games is amazingly high when he looked online. We can have fun rooting for three different countries' athletes!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Slowing Things Down

The guys had been letting some extra cats in the house while we were gone, to eat and warm up including old Mooska, who came in this afternoon and decided to take a nap in a basket. The old girl is hanging in, in spite of being rather blind. Her hearing is still pretty good. She could hang out in the house more, if she ever learned to use a litter pan, but she's getting lots of good cat food to eat now. (The inside cats get the good stuff.)

The weather is still well below freezing here, the guys only have the water turned on for the cows during the day, so the pipes don't freeze and break things- last week when it was even colder, they were watering them with a hose and buckets. They are looking forward to the warmer weather coming, much less work, and warmer to fork silage outside and feed the cows!

Yesterday Garry was off to Zaporosia for the afternoon, and got back just around dark. He said the road was better on the side where they plowed it later (see previous post) but they were still doing some work on it.  He is determined to get right back into his routine and is planning to start his "How to Win Friends... " English group discussions up on this Friday night, and next Wednesday for the other group. He is sure the roads will all be good then, for even night driving.... I may stay home in the village, the only thing scarier than driving in Ukraine is driving at night and on bad roads to boot.

He disappeared for a more than an hour, it turned out that he had gone with Max Rudei to breed a cow. Max had bred the same cow while he was gone, so he knew where to go. Unfortunately they got to about 4 kilometers from the village where the cow was waiting, and the road was not plowed, so they had to go back out to the highway and go around the long way to the village. Garry was so tired that he fell asleep shortly after getting back at 8 pm.

This afternoon there was a cow to breed in another village, and they had the same problem, the short way to the village from here was not plowed, so they had to go all the way to Salonie and go around the very long way. Garry artificially inseminates cows in about six nearby villages, most of which are closeby, but not if you have to take the highway instead of the roads through the fields. We are right on the edge of two different oblasts (like states or provinces) which is why some of the villages are hard to get to when it is snowy or muddy and the dirt roads are impassable.

The neighbor Serosiah, the guy with the big payloader, opened the roads to six villages since the storm, and worked on removing snow from the highway too.

I put together a condensed look at our drive on the highway on Saturday and the snowblower machine we saw on the way in action. The good news is plus 8 C is coming later this week according to the forecast, so the piles of snow should start to melt.

Now if I could just get back on Ukrainian time, it's 4 am and I've hardly slept tonight... but the internet works really well when the whole village is sleeping!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Snowy ride/drive in Ukraine

We made it back to the village as we hoped on Saturday morning, the highway was open, although it still needed some work. Many of the semi-trucks that had been storm stayed and parked along the road were still there, trying to get them restarted since -20 C is not normal for Ukraine, they are not made to start in this weather. One truck was sheathed in ice from having hot water poured on it.
Victor's street- one car at a time!

Zaporosia chassay (main road into the city)

airport parking (in front of the terminal)
Victor drove out of the city and we stopped at the airport and jammed the suitcases in the back with everything else, they didn't even have to get cleared through customs, so it was pretty fast.
They were still digging out, days after the storm, it looked like some people must have parked their cars and flown away before the storm (maybe to Egypt) and not returned yet!

snow fence

almost to Bratski

The highway to Bratski (a sort of a suburb of the city) was good, even the diversion, where they put in a detour around the overpass they have been building for more than a year now. It looked like they had made a snow fence around there this year, with sticks and in one place sliced tires!

We made a quick stop in Bratski at the Ah-Ta-bey (ATb- it's one of a small grocery store chain) Max had asked Victor to get some plastic snap on lids for the glass half liter jars of sleevki (cream) to sell. The guys had made cream because of all the milk they could not sell when the buyers could not come in the snow.

 The highway was pretty good until we reached the intersection of the new highway that goes to the Dnepropetroesk/Dnepropajisk/Kiroy Rog highway.
opps! Anyone got a shovel?

Back in the cars, let's go!
There we had a slight delay, a semi had gotten stuck trying to turn around, blocking both sides of the road. As you can see in the photos, guys with shovels in their cars jumped out to clear some of the snow, and soon everyone was driving again...

even the police car which we followed all the way to Novy Swet.
The next section of the highway was not so good, in fact, large sections of the oncoming highway was not plowed, so they were on our side of the divided highway! I have some video I may try to put up later (back in the village so the internet is

Careful when passing! Oncoming traffic!

We even found the guys working on clearing the snow from the highway in Novy Swet  (New City- where the police checkpoint is) with some big equipment, hopefully they will soon have both sides of the highway open...

Is that a snow blower? There were two working here.

First one we've seen here 

There were still a few cars left behind in the road

From that village to ours the road was cleared on both sides, well except for the occasional car, at least one lane, anyway.

Different oblast (province) better clearing?

We're here... 2.2 km to go...

Road to the village is one car wide

.......and we made it home by eleven am, so I got to cook dinner while Garry checked out the goings on in the barn. The guys were happy to see us, and Maxim Boradim and Andrey were even happier to fill up on pizza that night after "two months- no pizza."

Finally here