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Luba's Horses and The Winter of 2008

Baba Tatiana w. grandaughter Sonechka
Luba and her extended family have been our close friends in Russia for almost two decades. Since we first met in 1989, she and her husband Sasha opened their home to us and it was though their eyes and those of their extended family that we slowly began to learn about the complexities of Russian society and family life.

Luba's mother and father always lived close by in an apartment in the south of Moscow and not a day would go by without a visit or a phone call. Two years ago both her mother and father's health failed and Luba and her brother Ivan began spending nights with them. When her father died last spring her mother sank into a deep depression. The only place her mother found any comfort was at their remote dacha several hours south of Moscow. So early last summer Luba packed the tomato plants she had grown on her Moscow balcony and headed to the country with her mother.

"What would happen if I stayed here this winter with Mama?" Luba asked Marty and me when we visited them last September. She had little firewood and would have few winter neighbors but she had a sturdy house with a warm stove and a cell phone for emergencies. The more we talked, the more the idea became a possibility .

"Mama cannot go back to Moscow this winter," Luba said as we watched Tatiana slowly shuffle around the garden harvesting vegetables for lunch. So Luba arranged for firewood to be delivered, sharpened her splitting axe and she and Tatiata, along with their cat and a stray dog hunkered down to await the arrival of winter.

The Horses
  The Black Horse
   For many years Tatania would make hand made socks for us to take back to Maine for the winter. Luba would spin the wool from the Korneva Farm sheep and her mother would knit by her side. When Luba told us she wanted to live in the country for the winter, Marty and I wondered what she and her mother would do other than cook, read and split wood. Luba was eager to explore new ideas and the Russian Felted Horse was born.
   This winter the herd has expanded to over 20. Luba would announce a new birth with a photo and text, both from her cell phone. These are supplied below unedited for you enjoyment.
  We hope to bring the horses and cows to America in April and begin the adoption process. If you would like to be the owner of one of these Russian Felted Animals, please let us know by calling or writing sometime after April 22.

Hello,my dear friend. I am interesting the news from America and I have seen how many snow we have.There is no 5% from your snow,will you please send us.We will be glad to receive.My mother are also interested in what time your visit in Moscow in 2008year. I send you photo how we have pleasure to celebrate New Year. Please note the photo with socks it is Anechka and Sonechka and my handwork about socks. As we have a good place for making the hill for sledge we use the water ,our whole experience is at your service. We should appreciate the opportunity of showing our working life after finishing all hollidays. With love to all Luba Peter ,thank you very much for the money for woods now I understood how many woods needs for the winter. My kissng.
Tatiana's Socks
Luba Sliding w. granddaughter Sonechka

First horse
Dear Marty I try to make horse in feltmaking Use the book for students you sent me Very interesting but my horse one time was like sheep very funny and add desighs about horse and send you photo but this photo from telephone not a good I think every exemp.will be like experiment. I love you my pray about your father Luba
Lozshack Horse
Marty,good day I did photo morning at the street Important for me to know what do you think about my first experiment, interesting for me character of horse Write me all,Luba Sent me photo horse about all side With love to all
Purple horse
Dear Marty Thank"s for the kind words about my English The way of creation letters likes the cart befor my lovling horse.Many feeling in one "s heart of hearts but few words and now time for thinking how I have to construct the sentence.One time I shout-God,God -need to have patience. Mama stand up 4-5 morning every day good time for working. I like dry felting and I am finding my seeing of all -quality form and content History this horse- many years ago-may be 100 -jok-I lived with my grandmother in the small villadge. The collective farm has the herd Chief horse-blak was very angry and when she was appeaance all people try don"t chance to find oneself on his way With love to all Luba
Circus Horse
Dear Marty Now I am illing of making the horse This is a speciman from circus The special offer for children My problem now I can not to repeat nothing We shall be unable the same horse every time will be new What do you think about ? With love to all Luba
Pink Horse
Dear Marty It is a good idea,.For me now one of the important news to know what do you say about quality. I will try to send you all photo my projects. I think it ia not easy to realize all my history in work but very interesting The last horse from popular tales from my childhood My love all Luba
Black horse
Good day,Marty Nessery for me to collect himself This horse is not simple.She takes my time.I believed two o'clock assure not. There was nothing for it - history The first I remember history after try to embody. The same place -my lovly village. At the begining June my uncle cut the hay we rake up together and pile up on the cart.Come backing suddenly horse stoped. whats happened. Horse looks underfoot with astonishment add we too-nest ,near 20 hen's aggs.Hen decided will be mother without peoples.We took aggs -thank horse and went to home. I will keep silence may be one week Love all Luba

Other Felted Farm Animals
The Bull
Dear Marty This is a bull,young,not baby,not adult. In our village every family had many animals-cows,horses,sheeps ... one time was difficult to find the herd and all desided -every people will be herd in my turn. When the turn has set my uncle told me -let"s go. Be carefully young bull will be cross with somebody. I had not troubles but Every time when I try to cange the pasture he did a turning the head my heart sank every time. With love Luba A good time was for us when we sorted out in the house your father
Red Cow
Dear Marty, Red Cow With love Luba
The Herd
Hello, my dear friend. I made one example horse else. Important to know how to make it and what the character every animals. I think they will be very funny and kindly but I make it and my emotion can be not very good in the same time,it is very interesting,eyes of one horse was very angry and need for me many time for the changing situation. I send you photo all With love to my friend Marty Luba


Luba w. brother Ivan
Luba's Daughter Anna w. Sonechka
Please visit Luba at

and help her through this Russian winter with your own stories of coping with life's adventures.