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Last I was posting here, I had just moved to Russia and things were quite stressful. They didn't actually feel that way but reading back over my posts, I was stressed.

Nowadays, things are much calmer. We're living at our dacha ("we" being me and my gf, N) outside of Saint Petersburg with our two cats, Uma and Koba, and our two lovebirds, Ari and Buzik. ("Arbuz" is watermelon in Russian and they look like little watermelon faces so we thought that was appropriate.)

I've worked at my school for almost six years now and my lessons have been entirely online for the past ten months which is both good and bad. I miss seeing my students but I don't miss the security rigamarole every time I had to enter the buildings. I also don't miss the expense of taxis. I traveled many, many times by Saint Petersburg Metro which invariably made me ill. The Metro is really deep underground here and the escalators are quite steep. By the end of those rides I'd be shaking in the knees and not feeling great for my lessons. But I did it. Now I feel much better for my lessons, and I have no commute!

My gf, N, (I'm using an initial because she has a highly popular LJ in Russia and has a very unusual name) works and works and works so I'm alone most of the day, at our dacha (country home). We built this place with our own two hands (in one month!), so I'm especially fond of it. We have generally spent summers here but this is the first year we're spending the winter here. And it's cold! It's -22C right now but pretty cozy inside. I'm happy N made me pack so much "vata" (insulation) into every wall, despite how itchy my face and hands were. She's a very smart woman.

I enjoy being alone during the day, but I'm never really alone because (besides my quite heavy class load) there are a lot of wild birds, and foxes, and rats, and muskrats, and stray dogs to tend to around here. There are even beavers, but they never ask for food. Of course I also have my "pets". Now that it's so cold, Koba and Uma just want to spend all day in our banya (Russian sauna). So I start the "pech" (wood stove) and keep it stoked for them. You've never seen such happy cats. Five delivered meals a day and my petting schedule of every half hour. Our birds have their own bedroom here and I have tricked it out with toys and spend several hours a day (when I can) interacting with them. They're so smart! I love birds so much.

In the winter, it's lovely because no one ever comes up to our dacha and knocks on our door. In the summer? It's sort of a hot house of visitors. I'd really like to journal about them because they're quite amazing.

Of course the best is when my N is finally home every evening. She always insists on cooking (except for when she's in the mood for Mexican, which only I can approximate). And then we just spend a quiet evening together. I love her very much.

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
ravengirl
Jan. 7th, 2017 03:45 am (UTC)
Yay! So happy thrilled smiley to see you on LJ! *mwa* Great update. See? We're in touch on other social media, but I learned a coupla details in this post. LJ rules.
baronessvarla
Jan. 9th, 2017 05:53 pm (UTC)
I agree! And thanks for inviting me to come back.
tyrsalvia
Jan. 9th, 2017 05:34 am (UTC)
I, too have been spending more time around here lately. There's a big LJ revival group on FB right now, and a bunch of folks came back and then started friending each other so there would be something to read. It's good. I'm glad to see you here!
baronessvarla
Jan. 9th, 2017 05:54 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy to see all my old friends here. FB could never be the same. And, yes, I have been checking out the revival page for new LJ friends. So interesting.
imamessnal
Jan. 9th, 2017 03:27 pm (UTC)
Yay! Glad to see you post over here. I read regularly still but haven't posted in a while either.

I think a journal of your house visitors would be amazing!
baronessvarla
Jan. 9th, 2017 05:55 pm (UTC)
Luckily, house visitors in the winter are few but come Spring I'm sure I can describe all the characters who knock on our doors.
redgrrl2001
Jan. 10th, 2017 10:42 pm (UTC)
OMG!! I've been wondering about you! Glad to see you back!
baronessvarla
Jan. 11th, 2017 07:22 pm (UTC)
Wow! It's sooo great to see you! Hooray!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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