Saturday, March 22, 2014

Going back outside

At the end of December, right before the new year, Yulia and I got started working on our veranda. The exposed clay walls and old ceiling needed to be covered, and three out of the four doors and a window between the veranda and living room needed to be replaced

Yesterday I finished nearly all I could do. Here are the results:

The door and window to the living room. The living room is north facing, which is why we included a window in the door and kept a window going to that room instead of doing away with it. The inclusion of these windows will help bring extra light into the otherwise dark room on the other side.

A close up of the window. Our "TV screen without a TV."

The yellow door will lead to what will eventually be the bathroom. The white doors lead to our dining room and kitchen.

Here is a step by step of how I replaced the interior doors:

Take off the old door. Use a crowbar to rip out the old frame.

Realize that doors from 50 years ago were shorter than contemporary doors. I had to use a hammer and pick to bore through the clay. I also had to saw through a thick beam of oak that was embedded in the clay. As I was sawing I prayed that the wooden beam was not load bearing.

Install a new frame

Add the door. Make 87 minor adjustments until everything is level.

Cover everything with wood paneling.

The front door still needs to be replaced, but I must wait for help from Yulia's dad with that. If I couldn't finish an interior door in one day it was no big deal. I could take my time and finish it another day. If I don't install the front door in a day, we'll have to go to sleep that night with a hole in our wall.

The frightful old front door (I boarded up the windows in the winter to help the room stay warm) with the new red door waiting next to it.

Can't finish the ceiling until the front door is replaced.
The big picture.

 I hate to say it, but just as we're finishing up our veranda it almost doesn't matter anymore. Our attention is shifting from interior renovations to the world outside.

Yulia made some sun tea yesterday with rose hips and fruits.

Before (Will the weak March sunshine be enough to brew tea??)):

After (Yup!):

Our garden is still kinda bare, but we see the potential in it!

But not everything is bare. Look at these edibles that overwintered:

Mache (Corn salad)
The flowers bring the first rush of color to a bleak landscape. They bring us outside like little bees.


Yesterday I took Toma on a bike ride to the forest and we brought some blooming wildflowers back home with us.

Lungwort "Медунка" (Bees love these)

"Анемона дібровна"

And we're planning another trip to the forest tomorrow. Curious what we will find this time...


  1. Definitely springtime : )
    Yulia's tea looks awesome!

    1. We just had some tea, and it was very nice.
      We should also say that you can make raw tea from rose hips inside too. No sun necessary. Just grind them up and soak them for 24 hours. Then it's ready. That way you don't destroy certain vitamins with boiling water.
      And after you soak the rose hips in cold water, you can still make hot tea with them!

  2. Beautiful work on your home. Your space is progressing nicely.

    Here we had a dusting of snow this morning, but the light insists that it is already spring.

  3. Don't worry. The light will win out eventually!