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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Nothing according to plan

With our building teams arriving in less than two weeks, Garry had a list of things to get done on Monday which included getting ready for planting alfalfa and tearing down the shed where the new building will go.

However, things did not go as planned. Late Monday morning he discovered that he had two cows in heat and no semen to breed them. It is sometimes hard to see how many little straws are left in the bag in the tank of liquid nitrogen. He had planned to go for more Tuesday, while taking the alfalfa seed to be cleaned south of Zap (remember that little pile of seed they harvested last fall?) but had discovered that there was none left when a lady in the village called and he tried to go breed her cow. He has been breeding cows almost every day, at our farm and elsewhere. The first time Maria called about picking up some semen today she talked to a lady who said it was impossible, the boss was not in until Tuesday. She got the boss at the place in Molochasnk on the phone during lunch and he agreed we could pick it up at 5 pm. So Garry told me we should leave by 2:30 or 3 pm to get there on time.
Look how green that wheat field is!
and how black the ditch is, someone burned the weeds

That did not go as planned either. He found out that there was a sick cow that had calved in the last couple weeks, maybe she had a DA (twisted stomach) or other complication of her digestive system, she had blood coming out of her rectum, a very bad sign, so Garry and Max decided to do an emergency slaughter before she up and died. So it was quarter after three when he got back to the house. He changed his clothes and we took off south on the highway, forgetting to grab our phones.
Coming into Vasilika, one of the cities on the way

The police checkpoint there, their office is in the spaceship,
a remnant of the USSR

You can see why we call it the space ship
It had a fresh coat of paint since they are using it again
Luckily, we did not need one, we had no car troubles, in spite of the fact that Garry was speeding most of the way to try to make up lost time, and the roads in spring tend toward more holes than normal in Ukraine.

We arrived on the outskirts of Molochansk at 4:55, but it took more than ten minutes to get to the office. He had to drive slower, there were more holes the closer we got to our destination. Garry was relieved to see the boss' car, they were waiting for us so they could leave for the day.

After paying for and getting the semen, we had to go back the other side of the village to refill the liquid nitrogen in the tank, at the farm where they keep stuff, apparently they were getting a shipment that day. It slowly evaporates, so every time we buy more semen we buy more nitrogen to keep it frozen. We followed the boss' car there and went past the old Mennonite flour mill.
the old flour mill

It was the tallest building in town in 1900 something

the sun was getting low in the sky

we saw these turkeys out for some air
We had to wait by the gate for a few minutes. Garry stood outside, chatting with the boss in Russian about the price of milk, the lack of profit in dairy and pig farming, and the local houses, apparently a vet used to live in one across the street.

Then a green SUV pulled up with the nitrogen and after a few minutes with clouds of freezing as they poured it into the tank we were loaded back up and on our way home.

The sun did not really set until we were back on the highway heading back toward Zaporosia and on to the village. We decided to stop at the WOG for gas station hotdogs. There was a long line at the check out, Garry decided to try their new burger which was not bad, he said, except for the stale bun. We each had a hotdog, They only had the "white" ones, which we will not get again, the red or brown ones we normally pick are pretty good. Garry caught her in time to get his with only mustard, he gave me the one with a little circle of mayo around the top of the bun, they come "french style" sticking out of a hollowed out cone of a bun. He assumed it had the works, with ketchup, mustard and mayo because he was not in time to tell her to skip the mayo. I went over to the seating (it was a fancy WOG cafe with tables and chairs) while he waited for his burger to be prepared. When he came over several minutes later to eat he burger and fries (not great fries, dry, but I ATE THEM anyway because my hotdog left a bad taste in my mouth). He commented that we should not get the white hotdogs again, and I told him at least his had mustard on, I kept waiting to taste the ketchup but my bun was full of tarter sauce like mayo with flecks of pickle relish in. I am not a big fan of mayonnaise, so we were home before my stomach settled, long after we ate tiny pretzels all the way to Zap. 

We were home around 7:30 were we discovered the cow leg on the table. We had no ground beef in the freezer when we got home from Canada, so Garry kept some for us this time, the rest went to the student houses. Max left it on the table while we were gone. Garry cut it up (after breeding his cows) and I spent most of Tuesday afternoon and evening turning it into hamburger with the electric grinder.

Garry had gotten Victor to come out to save what he wanted from the shed, he was at the house when we left for our semen run, and was cleaning out the room behind the house to store all the good stuff. At least we were ready for taking the shed down on Tuesday. 

Max took the alfalfa seed early Wednesday morning, they couldn't clean it before today. If there isn;t enough after cleaning he will buy some they sell it there,  The ten hectares of land is worked up and they will be planting it Thursday, mixed with Oats so they can make silage out of it for the heifers and dry cows to eat this summer.

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