Monday, May 19, 2008

Russia, bread, & our house

You get three topics for the price of one blog today. Only because if I keep putting off blogs to keep them a separate topic, I'll forget. First up, an interesting byproduct of the "green" movement: a local bakery has had to close. Too many farmers growing corn for ethanol now instead of the rye for flour. If you don't feel like reading the article, basically the owner would have had to raise his price on some loaves to $10 a loaf between the high cost of flour and cost of gas. Sad, really. We try to support all the local businesses that we can, and I hate to see them go out of business.

Second, an interesting article about Putin's Russia came across my radar from a friend in Colorado. The essence I got from it was, the government will continue to be corrupt (and the classes continue to grow farther apart) as long as the people stand for it. What many don't understand about Russians is that they stay as far away from government as they can. They are so introverted. A great illustration about this came at a local museum we visited in Ekaterinburg. All of the museum displays were symbolic of a Russian's life throughout history. At one part, we entered an area where there was a door that was closed and locked. No way through, we'd have to turn around. "Ah," said Ilyana, "it looks closed. But Russians have a way around this." And then she opened a little door within the door. And that led to more doors. But these doors also swung backwards or forwards, or you could push part of them aside like a maze, to get through the solid-looking doors. As Ilyana said, "although under communism it appeared that things were at a dead end with only one way to go, a true Russian will always find a way around it."

So it doesn't matter if the government is corrupt; it doesn't matter out in Siberia, at least, if the economy is up or down. Russians make do as they have for decades, no matter what is happening in Moscow. The government can do what it likes, make whatever laws they like; out in the country where the real people live, they have their own customs and ways around things. I can't see the Russians rising up in indignation; where we were, at least, they were quite aware that the government was a failure but as long as it didn't affect them personally (many still affected by the purges of Stalin) they didn't complain.

And now, for our house. By our scale Charlie's 15 pounds; we'll get the true numbers tomorrow. So Doug finally brought the crib out of storage and set it up Sunday night. Of course, he doesn't want Charlie actually sleeping in it; that would mean he's growing up. So he will take naps during the day in it, at least through this weekend when we're camping.

And the outside of our house is finally the way I want it. Flowers were planted in the front as the weatherman says it's 40s or higher from here on out at night. Isn't it wonderful? Although I guess you can't really see the flowers yet. So admire the new light and mailbox, and the burning bush has been moved to a better location, and the railing on the deck is much more attractive than it was.

And lastly, I did some planting of my own today. Some leftover soil, and we had bought some of those "sprinkle seeds" of North American wildflowers. Thought it'd be fun to do with Roman. Well, he's afraid of bees and didn't want to come outside in the first place, and when he did he refused to touch the soil. Or the plants. So you can see who helped me!

Hopefully the wildflowers come up. Roman has 3 sunflower seeds that are starting to grow, so I had to repot them as well.

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