We sure had a very productive day today. I did painting on our bathroom cabinet, while Mr continued to work on the chicken brooder. I will show my painting project when it's all done. We gathered syrup and plan to boil tomorrow. I took this shot as I was sitting while the sap was emptying into the vat. The sun was going down, the sauna was heating up and sap gathering was almost done for the day.
It felt so good to take a sauna after a very busy day.
I know I have talked about taking sauna, so the other day when we took sauna I brought my camera along.
In the winter Mr gets fresh snow to melt for washing up and throwing steam. We don't have running water and we finally have electricity instead of using an oil lamp which is very quaint and cozy at night, but electric lights are much safer.
When the hot water reservoir gets hot enough we fill the buckets so that we are not washing up with cold water.
Any water left in the buckets from the last time the sauna was used will freeze in the winter, then we have to melt it down.
This is the most traditional as you can get for a sauna.
Sauna has always been a big part of both of our lives growing up and as adults. I've only come to really appreciate having a sauna at our fingertips.
What an odd combination eh? Mr and I both came down with some kind of flu on Sunday and have been pretty much doing nothing since then. Not much work getting done for Mr in the office and I'm so happy that I have 99.9999% of my Christmas shopping done. I have 3 packages to mail out and was going to do that this week but I guess a few more days won't make a difference.
I'm all about natural home remedies and when my daughter-in-law told me about cayenne pepper and sore throats I knew I had to try it when we came down with this flu. I'm not a fan of drinking cayenne pepper but I will because it did relieve the soreness.
The other home remedy is our sauna. We have a sign and on the sign it is written in Finnish and goes like this "Sauna onköyhän miehen apteekki" translation to english it means "Sauna is on, the poor man's pharmacy". We really should go sauna everynight but we don't.
It seems like a long walk to the sauna when you're not feeling good but it's worth it, even on a cold winters day.
My hubby worked on getting the sauna windows in over the weekend. I, sad to say, didn't help. I was dealing with back spasms. I've never had them before and man do they stink. I'm not 100% over them yet but I'm getting there. I did read on-line that too much rest isn't good for them and that moving around some will help.
So, we walked around the yard a bit yesterday, then I made some pesto. I only had enough ingredients for 2 batches and my recipe doesn't really make that much, so I'll have to make some more later today. I found these cute little containers at the doller store, they hold 2 tablespoons of pesto. I put these in a freezer bag and now they are frozen for use this winter. I figured putting them in a gallon freezer bag will keep them from opening up and easy to find.
I'm off to Madison to drop off my camera to get it cleaned. The shop said it will be ready tomorrow sometime. I don't mind driving there two days in a row, I'd rather do that then have my camera in the shop for weeks on end.
Our son Dan and his wife Kelli came for the weekend. Dan came to help with the Sauna and they brought Dylan with them. Dylan has spent a lot of time with Dan and Kelli and is the sweetest little guy and he really seems to enjoy coming here to the farm.
Years ago when this one was younger and my responsibility I would have had a major problem with him doing things like this. But, I just told my dil...he's your responsibility now :))))
Before they left Jim and Dan went to look at the logs and Jim started working on them. This is how the logs were supposed to turn out, but not with the cuts quite so deep. So, Jim's decided to work all the logs out and I know it will take some time, but it will be worth it.
We had a wonderful weekend and I hope you all did too.
But soon. Tuesday morning our builders arrived and started working.
Of course Jim had to help. These top two photos were taken from inside the house, not clear shots at all.
Dove tail joints...
and the logs get caulked together.
All done for this day. When Jim worked construction he worked for a bunch of Finlanders. Whenever they finished a house they would put a sapling up on the ridge pole, then they would take the rest of the day off to celebrate. But since our sauna isn't going to have one, it went up on the highest spot. We're not exactly done, but we are done with this part, so Jim went into the woods and dug up a sapling and planted it in a box he made and nailed it to the highest spot which in our case is the gable.
The Amish men looked a bit confused at first, that is until Jim told them the story behind this tradition.
All done and ready for the roof, door and windows.
There is another story behind the walls of the sauna. Jim wanted the logs to look more like they were hewed by hand and not cut by a machine, only the Amish fellow didn't quite understand what Jim wanted and put way too many marks in the logs. We were quite shocked to see it at first, but figure as the logs weather and the roof, windows, and door are on maybe it won't pop out so much. The more I look at it tho the more I like it, and as some have said it gives it character.
eta: When the sauna is all done and ready for use the sapling tree will get planted again.
Well I hate to tell ya, it's not a matter of where we live, it's a matter of the language. Jim and I are both of Finnish descent and I wish I could speak the language other than a few words. I've only once ever heard sauna pronounced correctly, and it was recently on a Progressive commercial, other than Finlanders, most folks pronounce it wrong.
Jim received this book from our son-in-law one Christmas and this is where he got some ideas for our sauna. I looked on dictionary.com and that site pronounced sauna wrong, but in this book it tells you how to pronounce it.
There you have it, the correct way to pronounce sauna is SOW-nuh.
I just love to educate people on the Finnish language, especially in the pronunciation of the word sow-nuh :) I'm going to give you a bit of fyi of what I know about saunas.
Did you know that you don't wear swim suits to take a sauna and that you only wear your "birthday suits"? Some Finns and maybe this is years ago, where men and women took saunas together, not sure if that's just in Finland, because I've only ever know men to go sauna with men and women to go sauna with women, and married couples will go sauna together as well.
Tho I've never done it, while taking a sauna one often times will jump in a lake (preferably a very cold lake) or if it's winter the snow, then run like mad back into the sauna to warm up only to do it again.
Maybe I'll be brave and next winter give sow-nuh and a jump in the snow a try.
The floor of the sauna is done. Caution photo overload here.
I asked if he needed my help and I whistled a phew when he said no. I wasn't sure I had the strength to shovel that cement.
Now the finishing part of the cement work.
If you noticed Jim is wearing different clothes, he had to change clothes a few times. No wonder I have so much laundry :)
Hey, I didn't just take pictures, I set all the bolts in the cement. I know, it's a tough job but someone had to do it :)
Not sure if you all noticed that Jim had on a black boot and a brown boot. Well, there is a story behind this. Jim had two sets of cement boots and when we moved here Jim stored his boots in one of the sheds, he folded them over hoping to keep the mice out. When he went to get them for this job, he found that mice had made their home in two of the boots and ruined them. Would you believe it, the mice ruined the right boot of the black pair and the left boot of the brown pair, leaving him with a pair of boots only they are each a different color...We had a good chuckle over this and of course I had to take a picture of them ;)
That's it for the floor, the Amish guys who made the logs and are putting it together will be here next week.