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

Sunday, August 30, 2015

opps they did it again

Yesterday was move in day at the group home, check out the other blog for photos.

I also got some of the tractor getting worked on it the shop (or garage as everyone calls it here), turns out it was a bigger job to get it ready to chop the sorghum that originally thought! They were still taking it apart and will need to get a number of parts before putting it back together. One of the problems is the PTO (power takeoff shaft) which was really close to falling off.

As I took this photo, they realized Polo was stealing someone's lunch!

Cristina was visiting Bear, who's leaving at the group home/shop
She keeps trying to get him to  sit, but she says "sat" instead

By six pm, the big move was finished, and Garry and I drove Maria home to the city, went out to dinner, and came home and locked the doors, alone at last.

 We have not been alone in a house for more than a couple days since we got married (when Seth and Jonah went home to Manitoba Max and Andrey Rudei were living with us here.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ukraine, as I saw it this week

I was gone for three months, and I've been back almost a week now, so I thought I'd share some familiar sights, while driving in Ukraine. I have taken all these in the week I've been here, some on the drive from Kiev to the village.

some of the  road is better, and some parts are worse,
always watch where you are going!

we drive on a causeway around this beautiful lake

many people travel by bicycle, most use it to carry loads

cow in the road... not really, she's staked out on a chain for the day

Garry buying cucumbers at a roadside market

ducks, geese and chickens run free during the day

Some things I missed getting photos of:

right after we left the hotel in Borispol (town where the airport is) was my first large branch sticking out of a manhole with no cover, so no one drives into it, of course.

A Lada with about six large boxes of vegetables tied on top of it. It's the time of year for buying and selling, prices are lower with an abundant supply so many people are canning to save food for winter.

Monday was the 24th year of Ukrainian Independence day- on the 24th of August. This billboard seemed in celebration of it, but there is some election set for the fall, so lots of political billboards again,

downtown Salonie (it says Praise the heroes)

Auto market, Garry had to buy a car battery , see the man purse?
Success! the big store had refused to sell the only one on the shelf that fit

KFC in Dnepro on Heroes of Stalingrad Street, it was noon
 and half the people were eating ice cream, not chicken.

Her shirt says "So Good, so Fasty" on the back

Ukraine, old car with Soviet-era plates, next to an expensive car in the parking lot.
and a lady in high heels walking...
with many balcony-styled apartments in the background
meanwhile in the village...

ladies are biking out the field to milk their cow midday...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Crop report- updated

 You already know from the last two posts that Garry is excited about his corn crop this year. The best he has had in Ukraine. He says a few years ago the silage had grain in like this, but the plants were not as tall. These photos are of the second field they are chopping, which was even better than the first, even though the land was not worked up last fall, since they got this piece to rent in the spring.

 Here is Garry in the old alfalfa field across the highway. As you can see, in a week or so, a third  fourth cut of hay will be ready to mow and bale. While I was gone, they had second third cut round baled, since the hayloft was full of small bales from the first and second cuttings. Definitely a bumper crop this year, he has never got four good cuttings here.

 He was thinking of plowing this field up this fall, but has decided not to. He does plan to plow the other old field at the end of the village, and plant it in corn next spring.
Garry's forage sorghum, pictured here, will be cut for silage as soon as they finish the corn silage this week.

More photos taken on Tuesday. Corn silage will be done sometime Wednesday. Then they will do some work on the tractor before starting the sorghum. Tuesday morning they put the giant part I brought back from Canada on the chopper before starting for the day.
rolling out of the yard Tuesday morning

 Monday they hired a tractor and wagon to help haul, and they started chopping directly into the (3) wagons as seen in the photo at the bottom of the page. The first day he claimed to use 60 liters of  diesel fuel, while the other two tractors used 20 and 14. I wonder how many he asked to be paid for yesterday (I asked if they really had him back again, and Garry said yes.)

Garry says this is the best cornfield 

The best alfalfa field, planted last year

sunflower crop

silage pile is growing in the bunker

chopping cron

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Busy days

Thursday afternoon Garry and I got back from Borispol, we stayed near the airport and drove home in the morning. The new students, Maria and the new group home parents returned from the sea the same day, (Garry had taken the others last week .photos on birds eye blog) I met them (and some of the returning students) when we returned from Bible study in Zap that evening. The parents and the new girls are living here (the girls are sleeping in the summer kitchen, where we had class last year) until the house is done, have I mentioned that?

Friday morning I was up before eight am and taking photos, so when Garry went down to the new house and I helped by finding good bricks out of the pile, since he was fixing the wall around the cistern that the cover had broken this spring when they were starting work on the house.

a short cut. maybe
 Garry got a phone call from Maria and we were off to a town on the other side of Dnepro because one of the new girls (Ira?) had to set up her pension money with the bank in the town she was born in,and today was the last day she could do it.. It seems her mother still lives there, but she gave her up, possibly due to her physical handicap, that's why she was in the orphanage.
We may have taken a wrong turn, we found the small city but drove down a dirt track beside a field for a while. There was a sign pointing that way for the place we were going however!

We found the bank. It was closed for lunch until two.

Lenin statues still standing in that city

 We got home by five for the staff meeting with Victor and all the group home parents at five pm, it had been rescheduled from one because we had to drive to do this bank thing today, and were gone from 11:30 until four, but everything worked out... except we have to go back on September fourth. The meeting went on until 7:30. Normally they are an hour. So it was a late supper (made by the girls, it had been sitting cooked on the stove since before we returned home, I ate mostly salad) and  fall into bed. Unfortunately, jet lag kept me awake until three am.

The table can fit a lot of people around

Saturday I was up at seven am and went shopping for tile for the backsplash in the group home with Garry in the morning, after dropping off Maria at home (Friday night's staff meeting ran late, so she stayed over) and stopping to drop a modem off to our missionary friends who lost internet during last weekend's storm. We drove back to the village and put it up after lunch and it looks great. Watch for photos on the other blog this week after it's grouted.

Garry really is excited about the corn crop
We were finished and back at the house after an ice cream break when Garry got a phone call from Maxim (who was in Zaporosia taking students for free medical check ups) saying that it was Sasha the tractorist's birthday and he'd like some time off so could Garry take over chopping? Of course. I continued making pizza for movie night, while Garry got dirty for the next four hours. He was very excited to run the chopper at two and a half kilometers an hour, watching the wagons fill up. The guys normally don't let him because they say he goes too fast and breaks things.

changing wagons

I messed up yesterday, I always forget that they talk hectares instead of acres. There are about 300 acres of corn and they will chop about 50 for silage. Seroseja, who is packing the pile with his payloader says that this year its solid instead of spongy feeling under his wheels. He says he thinks it is the one year in ten great crop year in Ukraine, when there is enough rain. The silage looks yellow and smells sweet too, since there is so much grain in it.

Driving the wagon back to the barns

Little Andre, who used to sell brewer's grain on Saturdays a few years ago,  is not so little anymore. He's six feet tall now and driving the tractor with the wagons back from the fields and dumping them into the pile. I took a photo of him while he and Max were changing a tire on the wagon on Friday.

I saved the last two pizzas- the spicy ones- and put them in the oven them at 8 pm, since I knew Garry wouldn't be home until dark. The new students had just arrived back about then, and were busy with popcorn and pizza and cookies as the movie was started. One bowl of popcorn had been snacked on by everyone who showed up early. I guess I should have brought two kilo bags of popcorn instead of one in the suitcases.

Garry showed up at dark and I turned off the oven because there was some people at the barn waiting for him to go breed their cows. Eventually he came in the house, was greeted excitedly by the students,  showered and ate his hot and spicy pizza. Then he came to bed while the movie played on in the next room. Next Saturday we hope to have the group home done and movie night can take place there.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

silage harvest

I am here in Ukraine now and awake at two am, so here's an update for you. Garry is busy getting the group home finished and furnished, hoping that we will have them all moved from our house to there next week. Photos to come.

The corn silage harvest is half done. They have chopped ten of the hundred acres of corn, and have half as much as they made last year. They didn't use it up, so they will make the same amount and the remaining corn can be harvested as grain this fall.

They have had two flat tires on the wagons because a wagon full weighs almost twice what it did last year since the crop is the best we've had in five years in Ukraine. Some of the twenty five pounds of parts in my suitcases went into repairs on the chopper today when the bearing went. That was the last thing Garry messaged me to bring, the day before I left. Good thing it was in stock.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

packed and almost ready

My suitcases are packed... in 24 hours I start on my flights to Ukraine. Garry will be waiting. I have been here for almost three months, but it has flown by with all the weddings, grandkids and fun. I am off to watch the boys play softball one more time tonight.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Max made it to Canada and other news

Garry is busy this week, helping with a basketball camp in Zaporosia. On the weekend he is driving off to the sea with the second year students for a weekend summer vacation. Maxim Rudei just returned from vacationing in the same place. Garry is anxious for me to arrive next week, not just because he left here three weeks ago, but because I am bringing parts the chopper needs replaced before chopping the corn for the silage pile. Unfortunately the rain has stopped and it is hot and dry this week, so they will need to start making silage soon.
Could one of these be Max's?

Maxim Boradin arrived in Winnipeg yesterday, however, he took too long going through customs in Toronto and missed his flight that was supposed to land at six pm, and Air Canada put him on the one that landed half past midnight. He was pretty excited to see us, as we were him. The Tremaines stuck it out to see him arrive, as did Seth and I. They visited the Ukrainian pavilion for Folklarama, while we took in a movie. We had thought he'd be on the ten thirty flight, so it was beginning to seem like we had assigned places to stand, watching other people come down the escalator.

Look, its Maxim!

Waiting for his bag with Don
He was pretty excited to see us, as he had been unable to get on the wifi in Toronto to send a message about his delay. We got home at 2:30 am and he was up at 10:30 to explore the farm/

Sunday, August 9, 2015

He's here

Baby Issac
He is our new grandson, Issac Micheal Verhoog, weighing in at 9 lbs 15 oz (yes over 5 kilos for European readers) who finally arrived early Monday morning at 2:28 am. He is adorable, and feels just right in my arms since all our babies weighed between 9 and 11 pounds! Since he is our first grandson, I think Garry wishes he was here to hold him, but he is busy in Ukraine.

The electric company has finally put up their pole, and everything is in place except the wires, so the "new barn" will have power soon. The wires should be up next week, the transformer is already up, and they need to sign a contract with the electric company still. Garry needs to get that milking parlor finished soon.

Our orphan, Maxim Boradin will be going to Kiev tomorrow and I will meet him at the Winnipeg airport Tuesday evening at six pm. He will spend a couple weeks here at the farm before starting his studies at Providence College (first English, then Bible). It appears he has given his Phillies shirt to a smaller guy in these photos Garry sent.

The finishing of the group home is progressing, furniture has been bought and they were working on finishing the bathrooms this week. Garry tells me everything should be done and everyone moved over there in ten days when I fly back to Ukraine.

Work was slowed by the fact the group home parents were helping with the camp (VBS) for the village kids at the church this week. Apparently on Wednesday there were free haircuts by the students from New Hope in Zaporosia and Garry got one too.

Not my favorite look, but it will grow back.
and after