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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Corn and wheat and heat

The corn is looking good as you can see in this photo Garry put up on facebook on Sunday, he says it is 10-12 feet tall, but his sons say it doesn't show it in this picture.

The wheat harvest started last week when Garry returned to Ukraine. He has been working with some of the students; making this year's giant straw piles, in temperatures that have hit 42 C,(107 F). Apparently they bought all the Pepsi at the store in the village. the first giant pyramid of straw is done I heard.

 To make matters worse, the air conditioning is broke in the car, and the shop was unable to fix it on Friday when it was in the shop for seven hours! At least the A/C in the main room in the house is working... except when someone turns on the electric kettle to make tea, then it trips the breaker on the panel.

 Who makes hot tea to drink when its that hot? Remember Garry has a bunch of Ukrainians living in the house right now. He says the kettle is on for tea about six times a day. Hopefully our Canadian visitors are enjoying their time in the village, I think Garry said they fly out on the coming Friday.

 I haven't seen any photos of the straw yet. He did say that the combine was cutting higher off the ground to avoid the green weeds that the abundant rains have created, so they are leaving some potential straw behind. The wheat itself is actually better than last year, with it running about 4.2  tons per hectare, last year it was about 3.8. A lot of  the land we were able to rent for this year  was planted in wheat last fall.

 Last year we had more land, but more was in corn, I believe there are more acres of wheat this year than last, because it is better than corn for a cash crop in Ukraine. With the normal dry summers you are more likely to harvest a decent crop of wheat than get corn to become grain, some summers it is so dry Garry has to quickly turn the corn crop into silage, which you can't sell, just feed the cows. If its really dry, it isn't very good for that. Luckily it seems that this may be the one year in ten the local farmers say that there is a bumper crop... just a little more rain in August will do it.

  They have stored quite a lot of grain already, were going to sell a truckload or two on Monday to pay the cash rents, and some of the people in the village who get their rent in goods had picked up their two ton already. Garry said they would be dispensing it from the new shop floor, I'd like to see a photo of that.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Too busy to talk

Phoned Garry Friday evening his time and he was driving back into the village with Don and Sandy Tremaine, a couple from our church in Steinbach who came to teach at SEI (Summer English Institute) this year while we were away. We had told them they could stay at the house with us in the village for a few days after it was over, maybe help out with something for the school, since Garry would be back by the end of SEI. I found a few photos of them teaching and stole them off facebook posts by SEI students (I have a lot of friends on facebook who attend every year.)

 I hope they enjoyed their experience teaching in Dnepro, and that I answered enough questions that they were well prepared, we had an email correspondence over the last few months. I had heard that one of the staff broke their arm ice skating with the students last week, and it seems that in was Sandy, from the photos. Apparently some of the students went to hospital with her and translated.

When I talked to Garry he wasn't sure where they would be sleeping, since the house (and summer kitchen house) is full of students (7 new ones have already arrived), the group home family, and I'm not sure who else, because the new group house is not quite ready to move into, and he was five minutes from arriving at the house with them! I hope they got the king size bed I had planned to put them in...

Meanwhile I enjoyed a family birthday party yesterday for five year Keziah, which the newlyweds attended, having just returned from the honeymoon cabin in Minnesota. It's the first time I had been home for her birthday, since she was born while I was teaching English at SEI five years ago.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

He's arrived

Garry made it safely back to Ukraine and the village. I had a brief facebook chat with him last night his time as he was finally heading to bed, and he was excited to say that the corn there is 10-12 feet high. I am pretty sure that is the tallest corn we have grown there, because the rain has been good so far, and just a few more rain storms could mean that bumper, once every ten year crop the local farmers talk about.

I am busy returning the house to normal here in Canada. After celebrating Josh's birthday with him for the first time since before we left for Ukraine, I am looking forward to Keziah's birthday party on Friday, she was born five years ago while I was teaching English at the Summer Institute in Dnepropropetroesk, so I didn't hold her until she was a month old. I am not just waiting around to meet her new cousin, however.

Yesterday I spent three hours driving a cow to the vet with the old truck and trailer, the boys were busy chopping the barley crop (cover crop for the newly seeded alfalfa) and asked me to go. It took about an hour for her LDA operation (twisted stomach) and then I drove her home, and the old truck doesn't go real fast! She seemed in good shape after we bumped our way over the last 20 dusty kilometers, so she should be fine. She's in the "sick cow" group for the antibiotic treated cows, who are kept and milked in a separate milk parlor, until she's better (and the drugs have cleared her system). Then I did a bit of cleaning, finished putting weatherstripping around the new door between the house and garage that Garry's dad installed last week (hope to paint it today) and cooked dinner for the boys and the two hired men driving silage truck and drove it out to the field while the three "little boys" (we are debating a new nickname for the youngest three) cleaning up most of the plouf I made (Ukrainian rice pilaf.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

On his way

Garry is currently on a plane from Amsterdam to Kiev, where he will take a train Wednesday morning to Dnepropetroesk and then go by car to the village. He is most excited to see his crops, it seems they had plenty of rain, and Max and Masha took a few photos last week of the corn and sorghum. He left Manitoba yesterday on our son Josh's birthday, but we got to celebrate with pizza and cake on Josh's deck (the old one, his new house may be done in a week or two) for lunch before driving to the airport.
Max Rudei in the the corn field

Masha, too

That's pretty tall!

 The sorghum has grown a lot since they sprayed it to kill the aphids a couple weeks ago.

The first new students for the school have arrived so Garry is going shopping for furnishings for the new group home very soon! He'll be busy while I wrap up a few projects here while waiting for our new grandchild (Josh and Krissy's first baby) to make his or her appearance (due in one week!)

Rehearsal on Thursday
Friday evening was the big event when Garry walked our only daughter down the aisle. Here are a few photos, everything was wonderful with lots of relatives coming to Winnipeg for the big day.
Those dresses I hemmed for our granddaughters/flower girls

Jessica and James

They danced to the song  Don't worry, be Happy

Monday, July 20, 2015

St Labre 200

July 10-11 weekend was the go kart build and races. It has been held for seven years now, and this is the first year we've been able to attend it, since we are always in Ukraine teaching English in July, except this year for the weddings.

The powderpuff race with Audrey driving,
 two weeks after she became a Verhoog!

Noah with Audrey after the race...
a little muddy


 Garry was excited to drive a cart in the old geezers race, and he finished second. the official 200 lap race the boys had first for a couple laps, and second until they had tire trouble and ended up seventh (of 14). Everyone had fun, and money was raised for local charities, too.
Garry's parents watching the races

Our pit was next to the team that won, Team Awesome

Sunday, July 12, 2015

One more week

The second wedding is less than a week away. I am still busy with one day flower girl dress to finish hemming. Garry is a week and a day from flying back to Ukraine?
We have been busy every day it seems. This week he spent some time fishing with his dad. We even camped one day and night with this parents and Matt and Kari and the girls... four generation camping. We did discover the old Coleman tent has a hole in the fly! We got a little wet when it rained at five am. The hole loned up with my face! The girls enjoyed swimming in the lake and the campfire. .Watch for my post coming soon about the St Labre 200.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wedding weekend

Garry arrived Tuesday evening as scheduled and went golfing with two of the boys on Wednesday. His parents arrived that afternoon and wedding preparations continued for the rest of the week.

Friday night BBQ, Saturday afternoon wedding.

Garry had some swelling under one eye Friday morning, went to bed early and woke up Saturday with both eyes nearly swelled shut. He went to the walk in clinic (his father drove him, I was off to get my hair done and finish the centerpieces early in the morning) and his suspicion that morning was confirmed, poison ivy. The pills and cream they proscribed are making him feel better.

I crocheted the banner behind the head table 

family photo
We are very happy to welcome Audrey into the family. In less than three weeks the second wedding will be here.