|Name of our city (Ternopil) with the name of a local boy who was killed in the fighting; I wonder if this is where he died......|
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Ternopil police admin building last night (video of the destruction- this has been or is being repeated in many cities throughout the country- it seems that ours was first.)
And the prosecutor's office (also a video)
And the court (video)
And here's a video of the police in another city NW of ours (Lutsk) being escorted out of their admin building to chants of 'shame' and other (not very nice) things. The title of this video is 'For policemen in Lutsk they organized a corridor of honor' with the last two words being in quotes as obviously, it's a walk of shame.
There are many many pix and videos and links from Euromaidan/Evromaidan/Євромайдан #tags on twitter and pages on facebook and instagram. What a fool this man has been to push the people this far.
And I've pretty well lost my appetite for this kind of thing. I never had much of one to begin with, actually, although I've seen enough here to make me wish for physical change for this country. It's good to keep in mind that there is a much greater power than any displayed in these pix or videos that has been true and will be always.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
|The floor at 4 pm last night when Mr FixIt left.|
-We've started the big clean up. Big. As in- Mr FixIt cut the first of the tile for the bathroom in the bathroom with the door wide open. If you want to see how far that powdery dust can launch itself in about 10 seconds...well- come on over. Inside cupboards (whose doors were closed at the time). All pipes Everywhere. The door at the foot of my bed that goes out to the balcony. All the potted plants (they're getting showers in the tub.) Not to mention our tooth brushes (shudder- don't worry, we took care of those straight away). It. Is. Everywhere. Sigh.
-Yesterday AM we were having quiet time, getting ready for the day when Mr FixIt's son zooms over to their stash of materials right outside the door to my room (the middle of which is a large panel of glass with a frosted flower design in it- Yes, it's poorly designed)- the door is ajar (because it won't stay shut- no doorknob, you know)- He looks in through the glass, sees N by her bed contemplating what clothes to wear- thankfully she was still in her pj's (Yes, they got here early yest)- and says Hello!- all bright and cheerful. N looks stunned and says to me- It's like living at the train station. And I did what I should have done 3 months ago and put a throw over the glass. No one's looking in anymore.***
-This morning, N was reading her Bible on her bed and Mr FixIt comes charging into the room (without knocking) to inspect where the new doorknob will go. She's once again in shock. (I was in the kitchen eating this time.) Just what planet are these clowns from anyway? Mr FixIt and Son? We Are So Over You. (They both left about 5 min later and haven't come back.)
***I feel like explaining this one a bit more. We got home very late Sun night- after 11 by the time we got in... and that's not in bed that's just in the door...we'd had a BIG day. Mon's are the one day we have to try to recover from the previous normally-very-big-and-long days. I woke up quite early with a migraine. A bad one. And was still trying to get to the point where I could move without the risk of throwing up. N was getting sick (she's flat out sick and in bed now). Mr FixIt has been arriving somewhere between 9 and 10 am. So his arrival not long after 8 yesterday caught us completely off guard and unprepared.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Language game? Now this is interesting. :)
This little girl in the rain- absolutely adorable! But I'll bet there were some tears when they finally hauled her back inside. ;)
|...and baked. Being as how I love meringue in nearly any form, these are pretty ok with me!|
|And the finished product. (Excuse that board- it is really truly there for us to stand on while we brush our teeth, wash our hands, etc...since the cement he used to set the tiles isn't dry yet. ;)|
Thursday, February 6, 2014
|Gorgeous hoar frost this morning. It's been warming up and is supposed to be above freezing during the day for the next week or so. Can't say that I mind all that much. :)|
|Closer to the window. I loved looking out this window early last week when the snow was fresh and unspoiled. There's that poem about life being like a field of newly (driven?) snow- be careful how you tread it for every step will show. There's a lot to be said for learning from our mistakes (and how sad if we don't)... but what about learning from others' mistakes? And what about asking and seeking and knocking until we find, receive and are opened to? And sometimes we have a fresh snowfall that covers it all up and lets us 'start again'. Life truly is special.|
|This must have fallen from a floor above us. Someone must have a clothes line off their balcony/out their window. I don't know- I think I'd go claim it if it were mine! It's been there for days and looks more lonely and forlorn with each passing day! ;)|
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
- I realized I've lost the PO box key. Hmmm. Possibly when we get this renovation done and N's stuff moved back into her room it will show up??? One can certainly hope.
- I read about my aunt and uncle's trip via AmTrak to New York. Their train was only 10 1/2 hours late leaving IN. No kidding. They spent the whole night on one of those Very Cold Nights waiting for that train, running to nearby gas stations for food and restroom facilities. This is enough to completely blow the mind of the locals here. My aunt came to the conclusion that you never leave for a train trip without 1) food or 2) books. (This is something I abide by in the land where they're nearly always on time...same goes for bus trips. You. Just. Never. Know.)
- Mr Renovation Man has finished the new plaster work in the nearly new room. And I noticed that the light switch has been moved down to about waist height. Our landlady (the real one, not her mom--who's the one footing the bill for the renovation, remember?) has a 1st grade son. The new wall paper is blue. I have come to the rather astute conclusion that we will soon be looking for a new place to live. This renovation is not for us. They will also not be doing more while we live here. (I'll get back to you in a few months' time to let you know about the accuracy of that prediction!)
-Popcorn is superbly splendid. Especially the kind that you pop on the stove top. In fact, let's not even include the microwave stuff under the heading 'popcorn'. After being wintered in for over a week in a village in the western part of the country, N's face was one big grin when we had popcorn for supper!
-N also loves corn bread. It's a give and take kind of thing! I love love love 'Zeleniy Borsch' (I've never had it with parsnips but it would be worth a try! One nice addition is some Polish-type sausage; also cilantro. pix here)- which I never had before the fall of 2000; I have also developed an affection for savory buckwheat, boiled (like rice, for instance) and served as a side dish.
Monday, February 3, 2014
February here is 2 1/2 days old and so far has been gloriously sunny. Today is 21F, bright blue sky and beautiful. I've not been outside yet...but it's on the agenda. For one thing, there was the phone call last night on the train. First there was the sms about UAH 40 having been put on my phone acct. And then the umpteen missed phone calls from an unfamiliar number. And then the one I actually answered (it was my smart phone which I seldom use as an actual phone- it's my mobile internet, actually- so don't ever have the volume on). This unfamiliar unknown person on the other end was begging me to return the uah 40 she'd accidentally sent to my number instead of her own. It's easy to do. We have these iBoxes everywhere (I just googled that- And I have no idea why we call them iBox! It's just a freestanding machine where you can punch in your phone number and then feed it money and your acct is recharged; you can recharge a lot of other accts, too but the phone is the only one I'm interested in). So if you accidentally switch a couple numbers or enter a wrong digit and that number exists- Bingo! You've given someone else a present! So, I need to go out and put uah40 on her acct...since it turns out doing it through the phone company involves passports and other rig-a-marole.
For another thing there's the nearly empty fridge out there.
|When my little sis was in middle school, she was (for how long? Don't know.) the arm wrestling champion. I can only imagine all the boys were thrilled.|
The new room is progressing. There was just a tremendous crash followed by happy humming and scurrying feet and more sounds of drywall being mudded so apparently there were no casualties. Mr Man also sings while he works. He's about 2 inches tall, weighs about an ounce, looks like he's about a hundred and moves in fast darting motions. I can only assume it was a short trip to the floor.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
*Little T and I once were called by a frantic (sort of) male from our little team- Get over here as fast as you can. These clowns who are supposed to be doing the painting aren't working fast enough. We need to use this place for GUESTS next week and they're slow as molasses. So off we went. To paint. And sure enough, there were 2 handymen. Painting. Sort of. Reality was they took a 20 min smoking and tea break once an hour. I kid you not. We worked circles around them and they laughed at us. What do you want to get this done for so fast, they asked. There'll just be more to do after that. One of our team said to me He doesn't want to hurry up because he's out of the house and away from his wife while he's here. Well haha. We gotter done, thanks. And they got fired.
Friday, January 31, 2014
|Remember those days? We did this. I loved it! :)|
And in some places, there's been lots of wind. Which is why I've been alone this whole week. Sometimes when you go make a short visit to your parents you end up getting 'wintered' in there. N was supposed to be there for a couple days but they've had so much wind that they can't keep the roads open and no bus has been by in days. (Or hadn't been.)
Yesterday, I made a pot of this (sort of) potato soup- only there's not much in the recipe that we actually can get here- like canned soup (which isn't good for you anyway, right?)- boiled chicken on the bones and used the broth and milk and white sauce for the soup and the broth in the recipe; no hash browns- used potatoes; no cream cheese- used a local sort of same thing; no cheddar cheese- used regular cheese; no bacon bits- used fried, diced ham. So- um, I guess that's the whole ingredient list. The thing is, while it needs some tweaking (not thick enough, needs more pepper in the actual cooking), it's pretty good was very easy to make and didn't take long. One thing living here does is break your dependence on processed foods... there just aren't many.
And then, when I needed a break in the evening, I went back to the kitchen and made these fun little donut-y things- also found here at PW. Ok- they need to be eaten while they're hot. But they sure are yummy! And kind of fun. I saw them on someone's page- don't remember whose- but Thanks, Whoever you are!
And I found this in my newsfeed- a fun first-lines-of-various-novels quiz.
And if you've been around Facebook, you maybe know that my parents got hung up in the Atlanta Snow Jam. Let me tell you- from across the ocean, it suddenly felt like they were tiny, helpless children caught up in a mad crush of danger. Ok, I'm sure it wasn't quite like that. We were all really really glad when some very nice people helped get them into a hotel room for Night #2 in the Snow Jam. (All the time they were holed up in that Waffle House, I was nourishing this hope that they were in a booth where they could sort of fall over sideways and catch a nap...which turns out to not have been the case.)
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Today was Day 1.
|All the stuff from the other room's in my room now-|
|But the mess in my room is nothing compared to the mess in that other room. I'm just glad it's not me having to take that old paper off.|
Friday, December 27, 2013
You've probably seen that video sneaking around Facebook. The one where Person #1 on a cell phone bugs Person #2 on a cell phone by pretending to have an equally loud conversation but just responding to Person #2's (supposedly too loud) conversation prompts. I say "supposedly" because it didn't actually seem to me that Person #2's conversation was all that loud...and Person #1 came across as rude...to me, at least.
There are an awful lot of rude cell phones out there, though. (Oh, you mean it's NOT the phone that's rude? Oh.)
Yesterday we had a 3 hour bus ride and were immediately in front of a whiny-voiced woman who used the whole time to catch up on everyone and everything. Actually, yesterday was full of rude cell phones.
A few years ago, I had the extreme good fortune to spend New Year's Eve in the same room as someone who was so important that she got phone calls and sms'es ALL NIGHT long...wishes for the new year and such. You know, important stuff. I guess she didn't know the phone's volume could, you know, be shut off. She also doesn't know how close she came to having that phone take a swimming lesson in the toilet.
Do I sound crabby yet? I do? Oh. Sorry. It's just this woman's phone apparently only works on speaker phone. On a crowded bus.
I value my privacy more than that. But whatever.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
|Off to the window I go with my bucket.|
|And wait. See that little figure? :) My hero!|
|I lower the bucket to her, she puts this in and I haul it back up.|
|And lay into that door knob from my side.|
Or at least- Um, could you go get a neighbor and see if he can help? I mean the kind of neighbor that knows all about screwdrivers and door knobs. Not the kind that sometimes wears a skirt.
Sorry. But sometimes.... it's true.
A visitor to L'viv- the first city I lived in here- This city wasn't one where you'd walk down the street and meet people you knew. In fact, people here were mostly too busy to care about what you were doing. The first place we lived, though, had a nice neighborly feel to it. L'viv is still my favorite of the cities I've lived in here. L'viv is just plain cool. Hills. Cobblestones. Old buildings. Ancient buildings. And some grocery-cart grocery stores. :)
Whose toddler needs one of these? I mean. I wish I was a toddler! ;) Ok- I wish I was not so artistically challenged. My GORGEOUS niece- Baby B- NEEDS one!
A world wide driving tour. Gulp. These are quite the roads. I can't actually say that I have much desire to see some of these. But they are amazing. I was on one in Spain (that never made this list) that did it for me. It wound around a valley and you could see several wrecks down over the sides- they were irretrievable so left there...and then served as warnings to other motorists to Be Careful! And that wasn't even the road up to Dalsnibba. Gulp. (I'mSorryMrBerghForBeingSuchAWimp). And yes, it's gorgeous up there. But I'm still amazed I'm still alive. (Remember the cow that ran in front of the car part of the way, Trude? Poor thing. I'm still fretting about it!) ;)
And this is one of my favorites- Kids' drawings of their grandparents recreated in photographs!
Oh my- and the part of me that loves the Lord of the Rings (I mean the book) and The Hobbit (again, the book)- I love this interactive map of Middle Earth. Google does some cool stuff every now and again. Although this is, apparently based on the movies as there are characters in here I've never heard of. grrr
A Chernobyl post- something I'm always interested in. The original post. And the one it links to- a good and simple explanation of why the accident happened.
Um- some old time baby names? Whee- some good ones here! How many of these have you met? I know some from this list and some others that could be on this list!
Oh yes- and where to get (highly overpriced) American food when you don't live on the other side of the ocean. Ahem. When you see a small box of HayBale Shredded Wheat for $13 in the 'ethnic foods' aisle you might be tempted (I did not cave, though. Sigh. I fasted. :0 )
You want to know what the countries around you are best at? What they lead the world in? Here You Go. (And cough- I have no idea what they mean about Ukraine and THAT. Um.)
Monday, December 2, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
And No- he did not get kissed.
At least not that time.
And like little boys seem to do, he grew and grew and grew. I just looked him up on Facebook... he's in college. Oh my. And I remember him from when he was 3. (And no, Big Older (WellNotThatOld) Lady is not/was not me!) ;)
I needed this pic after wading through Google's new Terms of Service. I don't pretend to even begin to understand most stuff about the web. And I know that it's nearly impossible, really, to make things completely private or to delete them once they're created and posted. But I'm not kidding- You'd better make sure your Google profile is where you want it. Those folks scare me more than Facebook. They seem even more intent than Facebook on making everything public UNLESS you specifically specify otherwise. (I keep both accounts because- Well, I do need to be in touch with people. And both sometimes work better than regular email for some people...especially people who change their email address more often than.... Than what? Than Ukrainian roads need potholes fixed? Than you sing in the shower? Something like that.
And while I'm at it- Be careful with what you put on your profile. Does everyone need to know what year you were born? Do they need to see your face tagged in every single picture? Does every stalker on the planet need to know your home address and telephone number? Or the names and ages of all your kids AND the school they attend? (A few years ago, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was quoted as having said: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. (this is a link, fyi)" Of course, he's right. Duh. We need to be honest, upright, moral, etc etc etc. We need to be that for our own conscience's sake. We should all be concerned about THAT first and foremost NOT because of what Google or Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever will share with the public or government. BUT there are other reasons for guarding privacy fiercely. Identity theft. Stalkers. It's a long list, and does include the government and what exactly they'll do with your web search data- but you can fight about THAT one somewhere else. The point is- We Need To Be Careful. Because I doubt that Google or Facebook care about more than their own earning reports or bank accounts. They don't really care about your privacy. At. All.)
In other random news:
- In spite of being dead tired and wanting only to go to bed, I took a shower last night AND washed my hair (does every stalker on the planet need- or want- to know that?!?)- And this is a Big Deal why? Because there is no water anywhere in the city today (and tomorrow, we hear)- the twice annual cleaning of the water pipes has begun. Natalya went to the train station to buy tickets today and did find out that the bathroom there has water. But the hospitals don't; the university doesn't; we certainly don't.
- Have you ever seen Orc Children? You know- Tolkien's little monsters. We had 2 hours on the train recently with some kids (age 0, maturity wise) who'd been for a tour of Western Europe. After watching them on the platform and hearing how they talked with their adult chaperones- I'm pretty sure they're Orc Children. I have Tolkien's Lord of the Rings as an audio book and some of them sounded exactly like the Orcs of Mordor. And were about as refined and polite and nice, too. I'm going to persist in my belief that not all kids that age are like that. Please please tell me I'm right. I mean- there are some MYP's I read about often who surely are NOT like that. (I guess someone knows what that's all about.)
- Early fall was cold and unfriendly. No heat. Freezing temps outside. Much need for camel hair duvets. The past 2 weeks have been gorgeous. Warm. (And full heat in the apt- go figure). Gorgeous foliage. I'm sure it won't last. But it's been great!
Friday, October 11, 2013
Sigh. Grammar and spelling. How old fashioned. Let's just do away with all the words that confuse us so much. There, their, they're? Pick one and use it every time in every situation. It's and its? Ditto. Awhile and a while? Ditto. You're and your? Why bother learning the difference? Or proofreading? Just go with your...I'm sure we'll all understand.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
One thing I did this summer is occasionally save a link I found and enjoyed on this post. I'm sure you'll be just over the moon with them, too.
This really interesting article about vintage bathing suits...wow
Have you ever wondered what the EU is? Well-- wonder no more! Or maybe do... (And- in case you're wondering- We here in the Wild East are trying to get into the EU. I don't really understand it all but it's causing quite a row with Russia and there is some resolution being signed very soon- next month, I think- about it. Not that much will change here, methinks. Call me a pessimist. And see that other post about the Norman Rockwell pic.)
This needs to be tried. Seriously. Frozen coffee. Oh Yum.
Oh wow- so does this. Greek Shrimpy things done some amazing way with feta cheese... I'm drooling. Time for my Shredded Wheat, I guess... what a substitute...(On the other hand- if you ever come to see us and want to tuck a box of the big 'hay bale' kind of Shredded Wheat in your suitcase, Well- feel free. I mean, I don't know anyone who'd mind. ;)
The Trees of Chernobyl - My first lesson with the students is a general one about stereotypes and how people see Ukrainians (and how they see Americans- now that's fun! We're fat and rich and dumb or smart (depending) and smile all the time, in case you were wondering!)- and Chernobyl is part of that. They live in a place that is still under the shadow of Chernobyl (although not as much here as in the NW) but they don't think about it. They don't think about radiation or its long term effects on them or the environment. And I think I understand that. I don't think about it, either. It's just part of being here. And here is where we are. And we live here. That's what we do. We Live.
A transcript of a space flight. The part about 'my watch is 10 seconds fast' sort of made me giggle. Imagine that being important. But I suppose it might be...might have been...(FYI- I did NOT read the whole thing. I skimmed the first 20 or so pages and then threw in the towel. But it did sort of look interesting. If you have a chunk of time you were wondering what to do with.)
hand drawn (beautiful) atlas of the early US. (another link to that atlas...and more links from this one. Really beautiful work) I wish I had this kind of talent!
and one about naps!! Nap On, Everyone! ;)
Now here's the thing- Without exception, from my students, this pic has elicited this story: The boy is in trouble with his teacher. His father comes to school with a gift for the teacher to placate her and get the son out of trouble. (Today, the word 'bribe' was used.)
The first time, I was sort of surprised and had a good look at this innocent picture. After 6 classes of the very same story, though, it's quite clear that this really is a different culture and that Rockwell depicted something that is universally recognizable by Americans.
And here's the thing- When I asked if they have 'detention' here, they just gave me blank looks. I guess not. But they do buy their way out of trouble. (Chocolate, coffee, liquor and money are preferred methods.)
Again and again and again.
Sometimes I think I'm used to the little nuances that make this place tick. And sometimes, it completely catches me off guard.
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Went with a dear friend this afternoon out into the valleys and ravines to simply ramble, breathe and be. And Oh, it was perfect. I have about a hundred more pix but will be content with these for now. Took plums from the tree here in the backyard with us and ate heaps along the way. Came home and had pancakes, eggs and smoothies for supper. And lots of good conversation along the way. Does it get better than that?