Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Year Five of The Whale


Кит is going to be 5 years old this spring. Whoa! Here's a picture of him as a 3-month old kitten vs now- what do you think?


I haven't given him a whole post on this blog since he turned one. Most of that post is still true, except that his favorite food is now tied between cantaloupe and corn on the cob. He'll go ballistic if you don't give him a little piece to eat. He also will only drink from a dripping bathtub faucet. If there's no drip, he stands on the rim of the tub and meows obnoxiously. Good thing he's so cute!


In case you don't know much Russian, Кит rhymes with "sweet" and means whale. It holds up in Ukrainian, too- Кіт means cat. In English, people just think we came up with some weird cat name. ;) And he's turned out to be more of a кіт than a кит. I dreamed of an enormously fat cat, but nope. He's like my husband, able to eat anything and never gain weight.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tall buildings in Ukraine


Happy Valentine's Day!


The stores are filled with cards right now. Romantic cards, funny cards, scornful cards, wholesome cards, and cards described by at least 20 other adjectives.

You know what doesn't exist?  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Planners! (RU, UKR, ENG)


If you're not a planner person- quick, click away from here!
Try this or this or this instead.

Wait, you are a planner person? Perfect. And welcome. :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Winter snapshots


It's been a cozy winter this year, thanks to snow, ice, and the awesomeness of fuzzy pajamas. There have been many weekends at home.

When the weather is good, it's time to get outside. Walk until something interesting appears or rent a car and use Google to explore.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pechersky Ascension Monastery


Until summer 2016, I think I'd never been inside an Orthodox church. There were tons of beautiful churches in Ukraine, but it always made me nervous to think of going into them. Plus, there was always the added step of finding a headscarf / long skirt, so I just avoided them.

Last summer, it finally happened in Russia. During a weekend in Kazan, we went on a whirlwind tour of mosques + cathedrals, each stop requiring a new headscarf / long skirt. Before that, though, we warmed up to the idea with an afternoon excursion to Nizhny Novgorod's Pechersky Ascension Monastery. This was perhaps the first time I'd ever been in an Orthodox church... and you know what?, it actually went fine.


What makes me the most nervous about these churches are the Orthodox priests.

Seriously, how could you not be intimidated by these guys? They're a terrifying combo of badass + thug.

(Watch this video and this video.)




Once I taught pronunciation to a Catholic priest from Mexico. He would show up for our lessons in jeans and a fleece vest, drove a Jeep Cherokee, drank beer, and was really down to earth. Perhaps I put too much stock in internet memes, but Orthodox priests really, really intimidate me. I could never imagine one showing up for an English lesson in a Patagonia vest. Instead, this is what I see in my head when thinking of them (this meme was floating around during EuroMaidan)-

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Snowy State of Emergency


So, it started snowing last night.
Really, really snowing (for this city, at least.)

By morning, downtown looked like this-

Train stop.
The city was shut down. Even if you had wanted to get somewhere, it was almost impossible to go there. We passed a hill where 4 city buses were stuck in a row. Drivers sat inside the buses, keeping warm and waiting for help. Your best travel bet = a pair of skis, a bike, or braving the streets on foot.