Friday, April 28, 2017

Exhaust fan over wood stove, hardy kiwis, and more

We are publishing this video in April, but we made it back in December. This is a vlog style video where we show you how we installed an exhaust fan near our wood stove. In the winter the living room (the room with the wood stove) is the warmest and driest room, whereas the rest of the house stays cool and moist. We wanted to "spread the love" around the house by putting in a fan right over the wood stove in order to send the warmth and dry air to the neighboring room.

Yulia also shows you her smoothie, how she protected our hardy kiwis in the garden, an old traditional Ukrainian rug, and her art supplies.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Living in Ukraine: An isolated backwater?

In this video Michael reads what he thinks is an excellent passage from Robert Kaplan's book, "In Europe's Shadow." It's excellent because it perfectly sums up how we feel about life in Ukraine.

Western Ukraine shares a border with many countries: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova. In a way, this area is a crossroads for many different countries and cultures, and we share a common history with many people just across the border. Yet at the same time, the border feels like a hard barrier. Travel back and forth can be difficult, for example. It also creates a separation between Ukrainians and their neighbors, and this, in turn, fuels many negative stereotypes about our country.

Michael discusses how Ukrainian life and culture is both connected to, yet separate from the rest of Europe.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It's April and Europe is being buried under snow!

In case you haven't heard about it, many parts of Europe experienced quite the cold spell this week. Many countries (including Ukraine) got significant snow.

Here where we live (near Lviv) we only got flurries, but it's been cold and windy all week. It's getting old, to be honest. We're looking forward to the warmer weather coming next week (We see 20 degrees in the forecast!).

Do you live in Europe? If so, what's the weather been like near you? It's the spring time and lots of plants are flowering and/or vulnerable. Have you noticed any damage on things like fruit trees?

PS -  No comments from the United States, please. We see that it's nice there--no need to rub it in our faces! ;)

The Euro News article mentioned in the video:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter weekend video

Here are some pics and clips from our Easter weekend. On Easter Sunday, Yulia and I went to her grandparents' house to celebrate. We took a walk after our meal and explored the local park and beautiful Dnister River. On Monday, we walked around downtown Lviv and saw the Spring fair. We didn't buy anything there--just went for the ambiance. It was a beautiful day and a nice break from the hustle of our daily lives!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Why are all the trees in Ukraine painted white?

Have you ever wondered why the trunks of so many trees in Ukraine are painted white?? We have. It's apparently an ongoing national debate in the country. Many people say it helps protect trees from bugs, and many say it's pointless and ugly--a habit from Soviet times. Kyiv recently banned the painting of curbs and tree trunks white, so it seems like things may be changing.

What are your thoughts? Do you like seeing freshly painted trees in the spring? Have you ever seen painted trees in other countries? Lastly, do you know why people do it? Let us know!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A lost Christmas Eve episode from the archives

We were looking through some old files of ours and realized we had forgotten to upload this video from Christmas Eve. Things were so different back in January! It was SO SO cold and snowy! And Michael's beard was much bushier! :) Ha! That's why we like documenting our journey. It's always interesting to look back and see what daily life was like for us!

Updates on our many building projects!

It's been a while since we've updated you on the goings on at our home, so here's a peek into what we've been up to!