Wednesday, December 16, 2009


One of the reasons I really wanted to push to go to Russia--because of all the hoops we jumped through--we could have given it up many times! I knew this trip would be special--I wouldn't be getting on a bus with a group of 75 year olds and our tour guide-Evonne--who would have us out in Red Square telling us how many gallons of paint it took to paint it. I LOVED having Nastia navigating our way--her personal loving touch on things, her making sure I had my purse zipped and being there. I was so grateful we could stay with a Moscow resident- Olga-that she did all the paperwork from her end. To stay with her, we lived as though we lived in Moscow. And I knew that I would never have the chance to travel this way in Russia, again. All of the possibilities that I hoped would take place, did!


The church was absolutely incredible! This was our last day and we started early-10am. This was the crown glory for the Russian Orthodox church in Moscow. The large vaulted ceilings with their ornate frescoes--what a treat! What I like to do is get in the center of a church like this and look straight upward-the scene was the figure of Christ holding a small child with a light and halo coming from it. I think the challenge for me is looking up and not loosing my balance!


This handsome man shared our bunk with us. He slipped out at one of the stops and bought this lion for his little boy--dad's going to get a warm welcome!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


What a treat and honor for me to have been invited to give a lecture at
the Science of Mind Study Group! Olga arranged it and after a full day of running around we ended up in a very nice meeting room and awaited folks to come.

Olga gave me several topics to speak on and I chose- "Loving and Accepting Yourself." Interesting that this topic is one to be explored by all humanity regardless of your government. This has been something that I have certainly held under deep contemplation for what seems like all of my life. So I guess that makes me an expert! We had a great group--Nastia was a wonderful translator...only she knows what I really said!

I will say this presentation was a highlight for me. It was symbolic that our teaching of Truth was being presented in Russia the same time as the World Parliament of Religions
where the New Thought Religions
were being recognized for the first
time. Wow!

I was given a cool calendar with
pictures of all the churches and
monuments that I visited...I am grateful!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Here I am journal ling so I can relay my trip to you--I've got the only colored shirt I brought- brilliant red. Moscow is very fashionable--most women wear high heeled boots-I don't know
how they do it--especially in the snow!

We walked through the neatest park that ended up at what
used to be a palace (perhaps I lived there in another life!?) but now it is a museum with Moscow artifacts. We made it there
on Monday so it wasn't open but because we study Religious Science, we had a great time enjoying the outdoor and admiring the architecture. I like the way snow flakes show up in the picture of Nastia and I--they look like snowballs but they aren't.
Sergui had joined us for most of the day before heading home.
We headed home too--first went to the market--they asked what I wanted and said Chicken--When we first arrived, Olga had prepared "fish in gelatin" which was a Russian specialty.

I looked like Jello but there were pieces of fish underneath and little garnish that showed were the squares were. Since I always say "Yes" when I'm a guest in someones home, I tried it and it was good! The chicken was much better--bread and butter, boiled potatoes--instant coffee and Eagle Brand milk---did I mention I put on a few pounds here with this hearty eating?

Saturday, December 12, 2009


It's a Ukraine and Russian tradition that when you get married you run around to all the famous buildings and monuments and get your picture taken. Since I've been here 3 months I've seen lots of wedding parties. Another thing they do is to place engraved locks-in both Moscow and Cherkasy on bridges. It's symbolic that they are "locked" together. This is a picture of yours truly looking over the Moscow river. I look like Mary Poppins in a snow storm!


The feisty Russian man is Sergui--he's a friend of Ira and Alex and was the perfect person to show us around since he's born and raised in Moscow. I got us to Red Square and in line for the Lenin Mausoleum. He knew all the KGB buildings and made sure we saw the stars atop all the buildings that were part of the Kremlin. Fortunately we found a souvenir place but I missed out on postcards of the "ornate Kremlin
church"--my favorite. We stumbled on a theatre and Sergui sprang for tickets. The theatre was beautiful...very, very old...but nice. The play was a folktale...great costumes...I kind of knew what was going on. I didn't ask Nastia to translate, I wanted her to enjoy it!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Nastia and I at Red Square--the snow has begun to dust the ground. I pictured Soviet troops marching around the square. We had a "tour guide" for the day-Sergue-he went to University with Ira's husband. He was so great about taking us around-he knew the Metro like
the back of his hand. He pointed out the KGB building and had lots of facts to share about the area.
Moscow is very expensive and the people seemed a little cold (I could be projecting) They
seemed very resourceful and proud of their
heritage--I got all that without through translation!!


It really as a dream for me to go to Russia. I could not have done a trip like that without a translator--not only did I not understand every sign, it wouldn't have helped to ask someone what the sign said. Nastia, a 25 year old angel made Moscow come alive for me. She thought ahead and got the Metro passes and tickets for the trolley buses.
The trip--17 hours on the train--was smooth. We were in the "cheap beds" with the locals. We had a wonderful meal of bread and cheese and chocolate before we hit our beds. My Ipod was great company but I loved the sound of the train moving across the track. This photo is of Olga and I in her flat having tea. I met her at the conference-she met us at the train station. We shared her flat with 2 cats-the flat has been in her family for many years. That is the most common way to get into real estate.

Friday, December 4, 2009


This is Ira and I at the girl's sauna night-every Friday
night this group of gals get together in these
sauna "suites" 5 rooms plus a place to change--big table where we brought in food and beer and then there was the sauna--shower--room to sit and talk--what a way to be in with the locals!
I was exhausted and couldn't understand anything anyways--their munches were smoked fish with bones, smoked string cheese, fried bread and cabbage salad. The sauna felt GREAT--how do you like my "do-rag"?

I leave today for Moscow--if I don't get an email out, I retrun Dec 10 with lots of Russian pictures--Very excited to travel like a local--much love!

Monday, November 16, 2009


This is about as blurry as I feel ---this is the feminine Goddess that protects Cherkasy- it overlooks a beautiful river. TEMENOS-the spiritual center is right near this beautiful powerful woman.

Today I felt like a "local"--I left Cherkasy at 5am to go to Kiev. Many people have to take this bus-3hrs--each way-to have work in Kiev. The guy was a maniac--it was more like the bullet train.

I met Ira --my own special Angel--and after a McDonalds coffee we bused to the Russian Embassy to show them my documents to get a Visa for Russia. We were the first ones there--I had to have an invitation which I got from Olga-a woman I met at the conference. Things went well--I will pick up the paperwork in 2 weeks.

Then subway/bus/walking back to pour my body back in bus for 3 hours....I snuggled into a nice nap when I got home!

Friday, November 13, 2009


For those of you who have never traveled in Europe with me don't know that I have a real thing for rod iron. I have pictures of door, fences, lights and windows. I can't explain it but I am so drawn to the shapes and patterns--I think it's so artistic--I'm sharing one of the designs with you.! My class started--it's a challenge to work with an interpreter because I have to talk so slow and wait for the translation but overall it went well--we're a small group. We wore masks in support of the Government closing public places however most of the town has not. Next week is the last week of the closings.
The Prime Minister of Ukraine called for the closings. She is running for President in 2010 and they are saying she made that move in hopes of pushing the elections back to May which would give her more time to campaign---politics and drama----part of every country...

Saturday, November 7, 2009


The Ukraine people are very bright--they must be because I know all people are bright. I observe the mindset--If it's not broken, don't fix it--there are older women who are paid to sweep leaves and they do so with a broom made out of tree branches .It's probably is the best way to do it or they would have created something else. In the US we have those obnoxious blowers that are so loud but they too work. I think it's great the Ukraine pays their people to sweep and yes it would probably go faster using blowers but this is the way they do there you have it!

I continue to know the flu isn't in my circle of influence. The locals don't seem to think anything of the threat because very few are wearing protection. I use antibac soap many times a day and have doubled up on vitamins and C. I think the Center will open-so I can start my class---this week w/ mandatory masks. I will go w/ translator to Kiev to the Ukraine Embassy to get the paperwork handled for the VISA (I just like to capitalize that word) to go to Moscow the first
week of December. I have been eating homemade blintzes from Ira's mom---they are to die for!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Here's Rick and Melissa, from Santa Rosa, in front of a beautiful Roman Orthodox Church that I walk by everyday-It's right before I reach the office.
This Swine flu is really hitting home here--the government has asked that there be no social
gathering of people. There have been 5 deaths in
the city. So, we are closing our office for a week
to support the orders--I mean guideline that the
government has given. After a week we'll see how
things go--the government has requested no gatherings for 3 weeks.--Stay tuned!


Last weekend Barbara and friends--Vitalek and Olga-- took on
a little wine making. The grapes had been picked (thanks,
Vitalek) so all we had to do is clean them off. We didn't use the
STOMP method with our feet, we did the "squich" technique
with our hands. Then we put the juice through a sifting cloth
to get the liquid in even more pure. It won't be ready to drink
for a while--it was such a great day for a nice outside project.
We enjoyed Ukraine vittles and American chili--oh yea!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ira and Daughter Alesya in kitchen

Here is pic of Ira and her daughter at the kitchen table.
We've been having oatmeat with bananas and instant coffee in the morming. Ira steps
out to get pastries which is our downfall.. The week was so great--I got to teach the 2 Friday groups since Barbara was heading to south Ukraine on the overnight train. Then we heard that
there has been a swine flu scare. Keep in mind that I have not heard or seen any news for a month. Barbara decided not to go because of the flu thing.

Ira's girls have been down this week, 14 and 16
they are so great practicing their english with
me. They are typical teenagers--love to sleep.

In God all things are possible...I'm aware of my
need for humor and laughter. My humor is
clearly not understood here. Believe it or not
there is a thrift store on the was to the office--
is anyone surprised?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This is my friend Vitalek who was assigned to keep an eye on me after the conference--We've had some great times--We've explored a huge park near by and we've gone to the "forest" to hike. We created a fire right in the center of the woods with no barriers --no nothing--I think I was babbling about the Cedar fires--it was a very strange feeling.
Unfortunately there are no "locaL attractions"--the city has about 300,000 ppl--no Sea World. I enjoy going to the market-it's about a half hour walk-very comfortable.
Today I had the morning to myself--Ira's daughters--Oxana
and Svelte are down from Kiev--they are 14 and 16 and very beautiful. I walked to the office and had a meeting with the Pracs for a couple hours then at 6pm Barbara gives a lecture.
My class is called MAKING GRACEFUL CHANGE--3 weeks long. I'm researching going to Moscoe in mid November for 5 days so stay tuned!

Monday, October 26, 2009


This pic is one of our "crew" from American.

Things you didn/t know about Lori of the Ukraine--
I look forward to having instant coffee with milk anytime I have coffee--where is that Starbucks iced latte?
I have to have help going to the postoffice because I can't read any of the signs and they don't speak any English here. (In Kiev it's easier to get around because more people speak English)
I'm getting much better about getting around on the computer...I'm so proud!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Did I mention that Russian and English do not come from Latin so there is NO...NO correlation between these 2 languages. When I said before I know a little Russian--I know 2 words "yes" and no and I hav'ent added any new words. And the shopkeepers don't think I'm cute and they don't smile---anyways..2 nites ago I was getting ready to hit the hay and I decided to close the bedroom door--only to learn that I couldn't get it open--it was completely jammed-wouldn't budge. I had a screwdriver (thanks to that Bob Sheets influance) and tried to take the door off--I am an American. No luck. In the morning finally my roommate came for me and couldn't get in. As I was removing the doornob-with my screwdriver , I started to yell to her I was in the bedroom and couldn't get out and then I din't hear anything. Next I heard all this sound and clanging--it was so loud--I was scared to death-I didn't know what was going on so I kept
pounding on the door and FINALLY I guess the guy got into the flat and was able to get the jammed door free....boy do I have an exciting life!!!

Starry-the Bee Keeper and Barbara

Friday, October 23, 2009


So I've been here almost a month! When I first got here we toured for a few days then went south to Crimea--a resort on the Black Sea. This is where the conference was being held. So there were workshops (I did one) speakers and activites. We ate all our meals together in a "mess hall." Breakfast was always some kind of cooked cereal, pepperoni, corn and peas--very strange.The ukraine people were incredibly warm and outgoing. We sang songs, put skits together and had a ball.

A high point for me was the view from my room (see pic) and swimming in the Black Sea--it was very powerful. At the conclusion we all took the 17 hour overnight train ride back up to Cherkasy(where the center resides). I said bye to everyone as they were leaving for the states later that day.


I've been out of touch because I was taking my mid-term for my World Religions class all week then Wammo! I lost the file somewhere in the ethers. I had to shift gears and put all the information back together in 12 hours. It was such a bummer. I had good tech people helping me but we never did find it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I'M A YEAR WISER....Imagine that! I had my birthday yesterday--it started by roomate Ira
leaving a container of pastries with raisins, chocolate and goo---I couldn't count as high of the calories--off the charts. I studies here at the house--I'm taking a course for my ministerial license--World Religions--then to the Center. Rev Barbara started the SOM community 9
years ago--she has office space and a few rooms for teaching. The staff is getting things back together following the annual Conference in Crimea--South Ukraine. They had another foreigner pastry for me and singing and flowers and a very nice gift. Later that day we had 2 classes-Unexpected Income and The Power of Love--the interpreter did'nt show so I powered
through 2+hours of Russian--who knows what was going on! It was a great day!

Very few people speak English--the first 2 times I walked to the grocery they had their
security people following me. Barbara and I both felt some cold/flu thing coming on so we both layed low today. She's having folks over for lunch tomorrow-soup for sure. We haven't
talked about how we'll be working together---probably tommorow....That's all for now!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It was a beautiful day here! As soon as I'm able to get my pics downloaded I'll ad them to the blog. I was on the computer a big part of the day then walked over to the office--40 min. Tonight was Foundations class--their 3rd class--the level that the student share is very deep. I get the feeling that "life is rough and then you die" here in Ukraine. These students are really trying to
look at things different--from the positive side and understand the possibility of things being another way. Will meet with Barbara and learn what next step is...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I'ts been raining in Cherkasy. This is the town I will call home. I'm starting my blog today even though I've been in the Ukraine about 2 weeks.