Thursday, May 2, 2013

Family Visitors

Lina decided she would try moving back to her flat.  She has not lived there since Roman died Jan 1 and it will be hard for her to be alone, I know. but she is working such long hours these days, she will not have time or energy to think.

The funeral company she works for also sells grave markers and related site amenities, fences, etc.  Easter is May 5th this year and the Sunday after is when people visit the gravesites of relatives, many traveling long distances.  People have been busy since the weather turned nice cleaning and planting flowers etc.  Lina's company had 150 grave markers and related to install this spring and she has been working 12 hour days, sometimes 7 days a week getting everything and everyone organized.

Sveta Romanenko, Tanya's niece, is staying at our house for a couple weeks before she leaves with her mother to Kazakhstan on an extended visit to her mother's sister and other relatives.  So we traded one for one.

Tanya's cousin Nadia (Nadezhda), Nadia's daughter-in-law Lucia (Ludmilla) and granddaughter Liza (11 yrs) from Chelyabinsk arrived in Dnipropetrovsk on the Moscow train at 7:00 this morning.  Tanya had not seen Nadia for 20 years, though the last couple of years they spoke on Skype several times a week.

Nadia's mother, Natasha, the last of six sisters, is in her 80's and lives with Nadia.  I met her in Abakan a couple of times.  She is awesome.  Not very big but she has "kharakter" as Tanya says.  (Tanya's mother and all her aunts had "kharakter" from my observation).  She was the best heavy duty welder (HER choice of careers) in all Krasnoyarsk Krai and worked mainly on logging and road construction equipment until she retired.  She may not have been the man in charge but I suspect she ran the shops where she worked.  Her late husband was an avid outdoorsman and would disappear for days at a time into the forest with his rifle and two dogs.  He could at least boss the dogs.

Tanya left at 4:00 this morning to meet the train which she thought arrived at 6:00 and they arrived back at the house about 9:00 am.  Sveta and I were up at 6:00 (could have been 7:00, darn!) to get last minute cleaning done and breakfast ready.

Breakfast was cold sliced meats; oven roast chicken, carrots and potatoes; green salad; pickled olives, mushrooms, red peppers and cucumbers; and lepyoshka (yeast-raised bannock) hot from the frying pan.  And six 10:00 am.

And Tania and Dasha (Daria) came home from the hospital today.  Dasha is a week old today.  Masha informed us she would be busy for the next few days helping her mother look after the baby. We have not seen Dasha yet nor even pictures.  I hope we can go see her tomorrow but I have not heard back from Andrei yet.  It is the custom of some people in Ukraine to keep all visitors away from the baby for several days (I don't know the exact time) to prevent the baby from getting sick.  Whether Tania is one of those or not, I don't know.

The place is full of females.  I feel like a capon in a hen house.


  1. I've never heard of a fried yeast bread but would love to try it, being a great lover of bread and a baker of biscuits, cornbreads, muffins, loaf breads, and crackers. I was wondering if what you had for breakfast is fairly typical. I would guess not due to the quantity.

    1. Tanya made it up last night and put the dough in the fridge. She hauled it out when she got home this morning, cut and rolled out odd shaped pieces then slashed holes in them so they would fry better. I noticed the dough was fairly sticky as she dusted it in flour before frying.
      Breakfast ranges from porridge to omelette to borsch to salada to whatever is handy.

  2. I hope Tanya and you get to see little Dasha soon. We will be expecting to see some pictures then.

  3. "Capon in a henhouse." Fascinating image. Good for a caper. Or something.

    But, truth be told, there is a lot of stuff happening in the house. Hope everyone stays sane, and otherwise healthy.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

  4. "Capon in a hen house." You've been spying on me, haven't you? I hope you don't mind if I use that expression as it is so apropos.

  5. How wonderful to have extended family around. I wish I had more of my own near us.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Well, my last comment sure appeared on the wrong post. I have no idea how, but I'll take it and put it where it goes.


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