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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Friday- squeezing a full day into only half!

the team joins the foot traffic at 7 am in the village
Friday morning and the chance of rain for the afternoon arrived early...everyone was up and ready for the final push to see what they could get finished; with breakfast (after cooked buckwheat and brown sugar biscuits on Thursday we were back to oatmeal or cornflakes with Bonnie's apple filled buns) right at 6 am. Well, everyone but Craig, who was still recovering, although he did walk over to site later in the morning to try to get a few more photos.

 Then they headed out into the rain, along with everyone else. I got a couple photos and Garry and I picked up a few vegetables at the village store for the last soup of soup I was making for lunch, since I was completely out of carrots, potatoes and cabbage.

Polo was the first one on the job and runs to meet us

Ready to pour the floor of parlor (where the cows stand for milking)

Neil got to work first this morning

The ceiling is done, the walls will get finished  today
Garry had to run to Zaporosia first thing in the morning for the umpteenth time for some needed part and to exchange money to pay for the two loads of cement that was coming on the last day. The first load was due at 10 am, but the corn planter was supposed to come at 9 am and he planned to be back for that. He had driven to Sumy two weeks ago to purchase a used John Deere corn planter because he does not like any of the Ukrainian-made ones. Last week the money was transferred from Canada to the bank, and he paid for half of it, with the rest on delivery.
Just need the little metal roofs on the vents
It's here 15 minutes early!

Unloading the planter
Garry was back just before nine, the guys said they could let them unload it until it was paid for...which he hoped to do online. However he had to race off to the bank in Dnepro to change the money from dollars to grivna before he could do it. They decided they could unload it while he went there I guess, because when I was going to walk to the barn with the morning snack, there was a little village traffic jam while they unloaded it with Serosia's loader; with a Lada waiting on one side and a horse and wagon on the other, along with two old guys with a bicycle, who mostly seemed to be watching and discussing the action.

Guiding it past the house on the loader
When I got to the barn around ten the guys were hard at work on the cement pour, except farmer Neil, who was making the little metal roofs for the vents. He said that he would not be able to leave with an easy mind unless they were finished and up on the roof.

This is the last truck the guys emptied this week

Adam with the wheelbarrow

Neil hard at work

Vents as seen from the inside of the barn

Neil finishing the last vent roof around 1 o'clock

Hole in the wall
I went over with Bonnie and Maria after getting lunch ready since they were going to eat at the house, pack up and leave for an overnight stay in Kirvoy Rog before heading to Kiev and the airport on Sunday morning. The sun even came out around noon. Of course I took some more photos... the morning's wet concrete was right in front of the doorway between the barn and addition so they had to make one to the outside to finish the sheathing inside before leaving. If only Garry had gotten the foundation walls done before they arrived, the bathrooms and walls for the rooms might have been done before they left too!
Just a few more to do...

looking good, but the Ukrainian guys had to do the last load of concrete 

Almost the whole crew- left to right back row- Andrei, Dima, Andrei R;
Richard, Chris, AJ, Jan, Garry, Adam, Neil & Bonnie, Maria, Caleb;
front row-kneeling- Max B, Jack  and Neil (Craig is missing, Max R and Serorosia)

Maria climbed up with Neil for a better look

Lunchtime- around 2 o'clock

Bonnie bought a rake to take home at the village store

Neil all dressed up and ready to go

Goodbye friends! at 3:30 pm

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The rest of Thursday

Walking from the van to the barn
Lunch on Thursday was different, I was only in charge of brodebrot (open-faced sandwiches) because the housemother/girls living in the girls' home offered to make real borscht for the guys.

Maria and Bonnie came back from painting (they were finally finished) and helped me assemble sandwiches- we got fancy, tuna with cucumber slices, egg salad with cheese, and of course, sliced meat (kielbasa or what Ukrainians call sausage) and cheese. At 12:30 Garry came with the van to get us and drive down to the girls' house and get the borscht, and the three lovely young ladies to serve it. It was a 20 liter pot full, I rode in the back of the van and sat on the spare tire, and tried to keep the lid on. The girls were in the middle and Maria sat with Bonnie in the front passenger seat, causing much laughter. They only problem was a big hole near the pond, where a big splash of borscht escaped, spraying cabbage and other bits and liquid over the wheel well, luckily not on me!

We served lunch inside the new milkhouse/classroom for the first time- we use whatever is the biggest flat surface, most of the week that was a pile of boards, but they had been nearly used up at that point! Here are some lunch photos. Some of the guys had thirds on borscht. There was one sandwich left, and Maria said we must have not made enough, because Ukrainians will not take the last one to be polite. I told her that was not true of Canadians, and one of the guys agreed as he went back to work saying "you snooze, you lose" and we laughed because Caleb snagged the last one as he walked past to prove the point.

Jack stapling up the vapor barrier before lunch

Ready for lunch? Suisa, Liza, Maria and Bonnie set up 

Service with a smile

Everyone finds a place to sit

Our Andrei and Maxim, brothers, and only a year apart in age

Everyone is having some more

Victor Dantsev and Jack 

Refueling the generator- it was running most of time

Back to work
Like Ukrainian flags on top of the barn!
I went back to work on one last big dinner for the team, but I slipped outside for long distance photo of the progress, because they got all 11 vents (or chimneys as we called them) that had been painted blue and yellow in place before night fell.

Bonnie and Maria walked to the store and on to the girls home, so Bonnie could learn how to make the fruit-filled buns that the girls had brought over on Wednesday at lunchtime.

What did the guys have for dinner? Well, except poor Craig, who was  unwell all day, although he was looking a little better by evening.

Let's see if I can remember... day one...baked spaghetti? (It was so long ago) and ?, Friday night was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, cooked carrots and cabbage cucumber salad, which Bonnie kindly finished so I could go to Garry's English club with him in Dnepro (and she made cookies for dessert) pizza on Saturday, Bonnie made a lovely dessert of pumpkin pie squares. Sunday was my Ukrainian style dinner with plovf, Ukrainian salad (venigret, it has cubed cooked carrots, potatoes and beets, mixed with onion and mayo; and Ukrainian candy for dessert, Monday I cooked Chinese with stir-fry, and trifle and the birthday cake.  Tuesday I went to the store in the afternoon, so we had some pork chops, all the store-bought vereniki they could eat (they enjoyed the cherry-filled ones, too), frozen broccoli or beets, and homemade brownies for dessert. Wednesday, meat loaf again with boiled potatoes, fried cabbage, carrots and  mushroom, and more venegret salad  and Thursday (the last supper) I attempted making a different Ukrainian salad that has chopped cooked potatoes, carrots, and hard-boiled eggs, and ham with peas chopped pickles and mayo and sour cream, called Olayviah , flattened chicken breast dipped in egg and flour and pan-fried and baked macaroni and cheese, and trifle for dessert again.

Bonnie had a little salad and trifle after Garry drove down to pick her up (and return the giant borscht pot)around 9:30 pm, she brought a pile of apple-filled pier- rag-ski with her. We had them for breakfast along with our usual oatmeal on Friday morning.  Maria stayed at the girls home this week since we were full here, and Andrei and Max Boradim stayed at the boys home, they were happy to move back on Friday, although they were still showering and eating dinner here before heading out for the night. Join a work team, and come visit us, and you won't go away hungry!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thursday morning

A little cloudy at times, but still nice spring weather, There were a few touch-ups on the paint in the morning by Bonnie and Maria on the big vents for the ceilings and the guys were working on the addition, putting metal on the roof and insulation in the walls. Of course they were pouring more concrete (every day but Sunday) when I walked snack over to them.


Painting touch-ups
 Here are some photos I took then. Craig, our official photographer was feeling unwell and spent most of the day in bed.... it was evening before he was looking a little better.
Concrete curbs for the freestalls

 The freestalls were delivered this week and they started assembling them on Wednesday. They cost the same as when we talked to the company two years ago, but cost less with the dollar being stronger against the grivna now.
Crossovers, were poured too. 

This guy had to get a shower after putting the insulation in the addition!

Getting ready for Friday morning's concrete pour

Garry eating on the run

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Breakfast time- oatmeal and toast this morning
I slept in until 5:30 this morning, but got some oatmeal going right away, because we try to eat at 6 am, so they get devotions finished and are out to work around 7:00.

Bonnie was up before me, but she was actually out helping the ladies milk the cows, she even milked one by hand (there are four that they still milk that way because they are old cows who did not like the machines.)
7 am and off to work they go!

Like a row of yellow and blue booths
I got a few photos at lunchtime before my camera battery died.... unfortunately not of the progress on the addition, though.... Thursday is the last full day of work and there is still lots to do!
Yes it is warm again today! Ukrainians are still wearing jackets though 
Lunch is here! We spread it out on whatever boards look good
Masha eating lunch

One of the Ukrainian guys finishing lunch. 
Maria (Masha) and Bonnie painted most of the day after bringing snack (fried egg sandwiches) over to the guys at 9:30 this morning.

Garry missed lunch, he had to run back to the city because he had bought the wrong something...
Bonnie and Neil

Polo tries Kool-aid but he is not a fan

Richard back at work after lunch

Masha is painting blue today

So is Bonnie

Andrei and the other guys working on the freestall headrail

I hoped to get back over there to get more photos before dark, after charging the camera; but I was too busy peeling, chopping and washing up with Bonnie hard at work at the farm painting. I have been getting spoiled with all the dish washing she's done this week.

Seven pm and some of the guys are checking out the latest in world news after getting back from the barn, dinner is ready... I guess everyone got enough there was a little salad and potatoes leftover after Garry filled his plate. He was the last one to eat because he had been off to breed a cow again. This time no one went with him- the night before Bonnie had gone along for the ride to see a Ukrainian farm.