Sunday, October 18, 2015

Surprises: Some pleasant, some not so much!

By Michael

Sometimes life can feel like the movie, Groundhog Day. You wake up and relive the same day over and over again. At times, it feels like I am in Groundhog Day. I've been hanging siding on the walls of our house since May. When I first got started it felt nifty: "I finished framing the first window--neat!" Now I think, "One more freaking window to frame. When will this end??"

I'm feeling this way because I want to wrap up this project before winter. I want everything to be nice and sealed up before the first snow. Or should I say, wanted?

Yes, it happened already! We had our first snow! Just like last year, we got it in October--pretty unusual around here. But we only had a light coating. We read that it snowed up to 20 centimeters in parts of Poland! Suddenly it doesn't feel so much like Groundhog Day anymore!

As the snow was falling, our primitive little sink started leaking. It started on a Sunday night after I came back home from a day trip to Lviv, so I was in no mood to fix it that night. I took a look at it Monday morning and discovered that it wasn't leaking at the seams as I expected, but, rather, was leaking through pinhole sized openings that formed in the sheet metal. Strange! I've used vinegar to clean out the basin once or twice, and I assume that that was enough for the acid to begin eating away at the metal. I actually patched up the holes with caulk, but when I filled the basin with water again, some new holes appeared that I had not noticed before. Yulia claims that she saw a pinhole form and start leaking seconds after I poured the water.

This is what the basin looks like

And here is the hole. You can see a little streak of rust coming from it.

I guess that means that this basin is kicked. I gave up on it, and we began using this beautiful porcelain water tank that my parents gifted us instead.

Not a bad compromise!

But not all of our surprises have been negative ones. Last week, for example, Yulia and I tried making some pumpkin gnocchi or, as we call them here in Ukraine, "lazy varenyky." The varenyky were a flop. They didn't taste too good. We had a whole bowl full of dough that hadn't been used yet, and, instead of throwing it out, we let it sit overnight. The next day we noticed that the dough had risen as if it had yeast in it. We thought, what the heck, let's try baking this stuff and see what happens. Yulia put the dough into some forms and...whaduyaknow? We had some unexpected pumpkin bread! I want to make that same mistake again sometime. Some mistakes turn out to be delicious!

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Oh yes. And we saw a pretty big snake in our garden not too long ago. It was moving slowly because the weather was cold. We see snakes by our house very rarely, and each time we just see their backsides as they quickly slither away from us. We hope this guy found a nice, warm place to overwinter.


  1. That porcelain water tank is indeed beautiful !!

  2. Yes. Many thanks to my parents for a lovely birthday present!

  3. I love reading your updates :) :) :) Hope you guys are able to finish up with all the exterior work before colder weather comes! If you get more unwanted snow, please send it across the ocean to me. I promise to find a good home for it.