Returned from Kyiv, Ukraine four days ago and am getting my sleeping schedule back to normal. The first night I went to bed at 9:00 p.m. and got up at 4:00 a.m. the next morning, not bad. I did not sleep so well the 8-9 days I was in Kyiv, having jetlag is never easy. I also can’t sleep on planes…usually. However, the trip home proved different in that I slept half of the time and only because I was so tired from all the activities we did in Kyiv.
We went to a Chinese restaurant the first two nights, then another night we went to a Ukrainian opera which was very good. The singing, orchestra and costumes were phenomenal. On Saturday we went pysanki painting of real eggs under an instructor. Then Sunday I went to two church services which was at the same place just across the street from our hotel. In between that I went on a four hour tour of the city with some of the university students and my traveling companions.
It was a beautiful day in Kyiv and I took pictures of blossoming magnolia trees and blooming daffodils. We are about a month behind all of this but I came home to greened up grass in the lawns. Kyiv was still ahead, they had longer grass and even dandelions. Soon enough we will be mowing our lawn here which I don’t want to push that. Last summer we went for a LONG fall and that meant more grass cutting.
Not much else to add except that I had a tea party with some of my friends and used cup holders that my friends in Kyiv gave to us. It was fun to give some eggs away too in keeping with Easter that is coming up.
Good day today, I’m thankful for my parents who are still able to do things.
My husband and I did not April Fool each other. It was a usual day for spring, overcast sometimes and then sunny. I enjoyed being outside and cutting down the cockleburrs with my hubby to put in the bonfire. There were other branches that I assembled to put at the top of the heap. I had cut the grape vine and some other chokecherry bushes down earlier and so they got picked up to burn.
My Dad came out with the newer, better mower so that really means that it is spring and time to think about what happens when that first grass gets long enough to mow. I am thinking of all the gardens that need tending and that takes time and energy. That’s something I don’t have much of lately. I’m still nursing my runner’s knee and know I need to NOT overextend myself. I did several weeks ago when moving my folks stuff from their place. They are fully moved into their two bedroom apartment but now to sell the house. I think it will move quickly.
I leave tomorrow for a place that I used to teach at for 6-7 years. Some people are still living in Kyiv from the ten years ago when we were there. I look forward to seeing my bosses from our former university where we taught. I think it will be a fun time of reconnecting with people again.
I’ve packed and am ready for bed. This is my April Fools, I’m leaving on a jet plane and I DO know when I’ll be back again! I wish my husband were going with me just like old times. Packing for a week is different than packing for four months. I have room in my two big suitcases that are supposed to weigh 50 pounds each.
The picture below is when I taught in China for two years, the rest are expat friends and we are showing off our “kitty kat” plates that students gave us. Wish I had one now, 35 years later.
Yesterday morning I could see that there was going to be a beautiful sunrise. If this were a time lapse sequence it would have taken about 10-15 minutes from the start of when I got my first picture to the last. After that, it was a gloomy day while it rained almost two inches. We do NOT need the rain because it makes our gravel roads very sloppy.
I stayed home all day and got some things accomplished on my articles that I need to write, I’m actually getting paid for this. I find many other things to distract me so that is why I am glad I didn’t go into town. I need to get things organized before I go overseas for ten days starting next week. Maybe during down time, in airports or on the planes while traveling, I can write what has been on my “to-do” list since last September. The deadline is this upcoming September but I want these six articles that are 700 words each to be done by May.
So, kind of like a sunrise that takes time to happen, my writing is taking the same kind of time to evolve. Mine isn’t like clockwork and it isn’t pretty like these shots are. Also, I need to add something from the Expat Arrivals website…I hope this turns out after my last photo. Check out what I wrote about my time spent in Kazakhstan. I’m far removed from that country now as of five years ago but I keep up with my Kazakh friends on Facebook.
I took about three hours, maybe more to clean out my bay window of plants, clean the pots, transplant about four others that needed better planters and cleaned other things. Now I have the debris out and I want to look at it from my table where I have my laptop set up.
However, I am delaying and procrastinating what clean up job needs to happen next. I have my whole dining room table filled with pictures that I have sorted and also about 7-8 boxes worth of albums from both sides of the family waiting to be stored somewhere…Anywhere but where they are sitting now.
Unfortunately, that means I have to clean my upstairs closets in order to put these very old, vintage photos and pictures away. I don’t have children to hand this down to so really I should have siblings with kids take on these pictures. However, I LOVE old pictures and the stories they tell. On Facebook I have different people looking at the cars and giving their opinions about the old type cars, never mind that they also show my dear grandpas from both sides.
After I do this blog, then I will turn to the inevitable and I will have the satisfying feeling of a clean, new room that is freshly cleaned and ready for company. We will have some of my husband’s friends come in a month to visit him. That means we have to get some of the newly inherited double beds up into the bedrooms upstairs that have a single bed and another small futon.
Domino affect, I have to clean out those closets in order to put the boxes I’m getting organized here in the dining room. NEVER ends! Okay, that is why it is good to take a picture of the sunsets and that is what I did on the first day of spring. Many people on Facebook really liked one in particular.
Back to work…as much as I would love to continue with my delay and procrastinating ways.
Difficult to get used to every spring where we LOSE an hour of precious sleep. I’m grateful that we were able to make it to church this morning. That’s despite my not finding my curling iron to curl my hair, however, in our flurry to leave, I DID find my makeup so that was good. I had to lead worship so when I arrived, all was peaceful and calm and our practice went well.
I would have liked to have my sister and nephew join us but they were intent on getting home along with other brother enroute to Wisconsin and the other south of the Twin Cities. So, this weekend was a “family affair” with helping my Dad to clear out his shop that is full of inventory and other various things. We filled a dumpster rolloff with no problem in one day…I think it will take another 3-4 of these to purge the large place of all its contents.
You can see by the photo what the building looks like, it is one of the older ones in our hometown. It used to be a brewery along the river. Many people are interested in it for different reasons. Some think of a classy restaurant, others think of a sports place for bikers or hikers or skiers in the winter time. Whoever buys this place better have a LOT of money to put a new roof on and to also upgrade it for future customers.
In the meantime, we had a nice time working together as a family unit as my Dad was somewhat detached from it all. He is almost 87 years old, afterall. We have moved our folks to their new apartment and so now their house will be up for sale soon. Many transitions.
The major one for me this morning was to get myself put together after visiting with my siblings at a Mexican restaurant after a full day of work at the shop. End of the first day of skipping an hour ahead. The sun seemed to up sooner but our bodies felt like it was too early. Tomorrow should be easier because we have a week off of teaching because of Spring Break! Hurray!
Or…what is left of this day that is so faithfully celebrated in all other countries of the globe. I told my students today that we as Americans celebrate many privileges that other women in other communist or former communist countries do not enjoy. Every day is a holiday for most of us…while women who lived during the Soviet era needed a break like International Women’s Day.
I showed my students today a photo of many women at a Women’s Camp from 1950 and in this group of many ladies would be my Grandma Ellen. I haven’t figured out which one she is but I have several guesses.
Last night we had howling winds that were raging almost to 50-60 mph. I woke up in the morning and I was happy to NOT hear that kind of wrathful wind. This was basically the last class until after Spring break so that put me in a good mood too. I did not receive any candy, flowers or cards but on Facebook many of my former students or colleagues from other countries greeted me.
Indeed, happy international womens day!
We are half way through our semester and I have great students, one from Mongolia, another from India and two from Asia: China and Japan. The last student has an interesting background, his grandfather went to Japan from his home of Korea. I asked this student if he doesn’t consider himself part Korean…like we Americans think of our Nordic background or Italian or French ancestry. No…he feel 100% Japanese which is puzzling to me. I suppose because the Koreans and Japanese don’t like each other, especially after WWII, then you have to be distinctively one or the other, not a mix. I love this student’s laugh, he is also a big guy for an Asian.
The Mongolian student is very quiet and is not too strong of a writing student. Based on where she has come from, I can understand why writing would not be her strongest suit. She had a GREAT story about her grandparents. Her grandfather fell in love with this woman but then he had to go serve in the Sino-Mongolian war. He left behind this woman who had been promised in an arranged marriage to someone else. She slipped away just before the wedding and lived in Ulan Baator for several years until she could meet up with her lover, my student’s grandfather after he had served his three years. Her grandmother, as it turns out, had not let her family know where she was so she could marry the man she loved and NOT the one who was arranged for her.
I have another student from several years back who had a grandfather who fought in the Navy during WWII in the Pacific Ocean. He took sick and was brought over to a hospital ship but meanwhile when he was gone from his original fighting ship, it was attacked. Every single person died that he knew because of an explosion, he was the only person to survive that attack. He lived with survivor’s guilt all his life but he did end up marrying the nurse who took care of him on the hospital ship.
Yes, I have wonderful students who are trying to learn APA formatting so that they can write more academic papers. The first assignment is always the easiest because I am asking them to describe someone they love and respect. Some don’t know their grandparents but have heard a LOT about them from others. I feel privileged to be able to see into these lives of the GREAT Generation, no matter what country they come from.
The spring weather is very tempting to go out with not as much wraps on, I’ve been getting some great photos of sunsets and sunrises. I’ll show off some of MY grandparents instead. I have reason to be proud of both sides of my family. They were farmers and hard workers. These are both of my grandpas and my Dad on Father’s Day.
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