Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Out with the old and in with the new

Although the above photo may suggest so, Yulia and I did not go cliff diving by a volcano somewhere in the South Pacific on New Years Eve!

Instead we spent the evening at home and decided to start a new tradition. We made a bonfire in our backyard. We thought of three things we wanted to be rid of in the new year and cast them into the fire.

Casting my thoughts into the fire

and Yulia casting away hers

Levko and Toma joined us and seemed especially meditative as well

We hope that next year we will have more like minded neighbors with us at our village to join us in this tradition. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Derek and Katya, a young couple who are interested in buying a home in our village.

After the fire we ate a delicious dinner. We had a first in Ukraine: kale! I was at the Bazaar in Lviv a couple days ago and found kale for the very first time. It only cost 2 hryvnias (25 cents) for a bunch!

Out with the old and in with the new is not just a metaphor for us at the moment. We made a big step in fixing up our house recently and had new windows installed.

Old window (They were always wet and foggy like this. Some windows were actually rotten from the constant moisture! This is a photo of the best looking one.)

New window

We also starting installing wood paneling on our veranda. It actually looks like a real room now!

The plastic covering the windows is not permanent. We had to cover the window in order to keep the plants from freezing. We have some nasturtiums (the red flowers), date palms, and cedars that Yulia got in Greece growing up there. There is a large, double paned window at Yulia's grandparents house that we plan to install in the spring. 
We wish all ours friends, family, and readers the very best for the new year! And to those celebrating orthodox Christmas on the seventh--a very merry Christmas!


  1. Great blog! Thank you for keeping us informed on the situation in the Ukraine. Also, I would like to get info on buying a home in the Lviv area. My wife is Ukrainian (from Luhansk Oblast Area) and I'm Mexican-American, we are planning to move there in the next few years. I travelled to the Lviv area a few years ago and fell in love with countryside. My wife has never been to that part of Ukraine, but she enjoyed the picture I took of the area.

    1. Thanks for your comment.
      So happy to hear that you are moving to Ukraine!
      To get a start on looking for homes, go to this website: People list properties (along with goods and services) that they are selling here. Of course, you can come visit us and see our village as well.
      Our thoughts on finding a home: In general, properties by Lviv are most expensive and get less expensive farther away from the city. A house on a main road means that more buses go by, but that also means more automobile traffic. Highly populated areas have more businesses like groceries and hardware stores (Our village is an exception. It is very small, but has a really good store for some reason.). Poorer areas have less jobs and amenities, but the nature there is more pristine for those reasons. It all depends on what you are looking for and what you want.
      This is obviously just a cursory response to your question. If you have further questions, please contact us through our contact form. Your message will go to Yulia's email.