Tag Archives: cabin

Home At Last: No Running Water, Electricity and Heating With Wood, In The Winter

As sporadic warm days grace these months, I am beginning to reflect on the miracle of living so happily with so little this winter.


The entryway leads into the kitchen. The cabinets were made by Tristan’s father.


This bench was made for Julia’s father. Tristan’s father made this table.


Most people ask, “how do you shower?”


The living area open up to the left of the kitchen. My closet fits remarkably underneath the stairs.


A photograph of my grandfather on the way.


I got the sun sarong in 2007 when I was studying in Costa Rica. A bit ironic that it is still my sun in the depths of Vermont’s winter.


The wood stove and a dress from Russia I bought at a thrift-store in Rutland.


The upstairs loft.


And bathroom.


A Busy Winter, And Preparing For It

The cabin I moved into on September 16 was…uninsulated.      Here’s how we got it ready for the winter. We started in the upstairs loft and brought in all tools and materials via the large window, which now simply offers a wonderful view.


The next step was to insulate between the studs. Given that the cabin was made by loving but not so experienced hands, each piece was cut into random dimensions, 13×15, 12.5×16 etc…But we did it! Many thanks to Tim, Alexis and Tristan!


We wasted no time to sheetrock and mud the walls. I will never forget Tim and I trying to balance the sheetrock on our heads as we pressed it up the angled ceiling and tried to screw it in with free hands. It didn’t work. We needed a third person but once it was done, it was beautiful! Again, lots of random sized sheets for the odd angles and studs. Going over the seams with liquid cement was the next step. The hardest part was cleaning it off the floors when it splattered and moisturizing my hands non-stop during the weeks it was worked on.


And at last, I plastered! At first, I hard to concentrate so hard to get the right coating on that I couldn’t even..talk! No, really. I love the color, it reminds me of adobe.


A similar process went on downstairs.


Meanwhile, back on the farm, Milky Way and Brownie were working on a project all their own…working down that hay pile.


I almost forgot about the window trim! What an easy thing to take for granted. Tristan’s father was instrumental in cutting the trim and giving us a few pointers during installation. I dubbed the pneumatic hammer “the pressurizer.”


Trimming really pulled the place together.


Friends helped put in the final pieces by headlamp light. Thank you Sarah and Marshall!


Why Red?

The red motif of Russia actually stems from “krasniy,” which in old Rus language means beautiful. Today the Russian word for the color red is krasniy as well. Moreover, red was the color of choice for rugs that lined the interiors of Russian izbushkas, teremoks and other living quarters. You can see this in the well preserved cabin of Peter the Great on his estate which is open to the public – the grounds are free and the structures serve as museums with a tiny admission fee. Russians began to line their homes long ago to counter the long, depressing winters when most were confined to their homes.

A Room in the Hermitage