127 square feet
During the last two weeks our internet service has been really off and on. This is due to the fact that our Satellite does not function well at temps below -40. Today is day 4 of -50 to -60 degrees. Needless to say, the girls have not been allowed outside, but they do not seem all that bothered by it. Indoor activities having been keeping everyone busy. We are really enjoying all of the projects and crafts sent to us by family members. The girls have plenty of workbooks, stickers, crayons/markers, and the like to keep them entertained for quite a while. We have also been watching portions of animated movies once every couple of days or so. Their unanimous favorite so far is Shreck. Thanks to a friend in Chicken, we now have all three and also a special Christmas Shreck! For the longest time, the girls showed no real interest in cartoons or television in general. But to Nate and I’s relief they are to the point where their attention can be held by animated shows, and that gives myself and Nate some much needed quiet. In a very small living space, you just get used to the noise. The background noise of battery operated toys that I have learned to tune out, the girls mild chatter, occasional outbursts of jealousy and of course the inevitable squabbles of siblings.
Our cabin is 127 square feet. Yes, I said 127. Keep in mind that much of that space is not usable floor space, but rather storage for food, water, clothing and other supplies that need to be kept inside. When I say I water, what I really mean is 14 five gallon buckets full of Dog water, and 4 five gallon buckets full of People water. You have to remember that anything that cannot be frozen has to have space inside the cabin, and that includes water for everyone that is hauled up from the creek 2 or 3 times a weeks by Nate. The rest of the cabin doubles and triples in function everyday with a rotation of chores, except for the girls bedroom which is one whole corner of the cabin. The kitchen table is the most multi purpose space we have. We sit down and eat meals there. We have also butchered all of our meat there. That is also where the girls spend the bulk of their time, including bathtime when I fill up a large galvanized tub with warm water and lift them into it. I was doing baths on the floor until it got really cold, now the table is working well.
I also use the table as a food prep area, and that is where I knead my bread. I have two counters to work with in my kitchen, but the table is the easiest because its such a large surface area. On the counter next to the table is where I have my wringer attached for doing laundry. Laundry is a pretty simple task, but without running water or a water heater or a machine it can often turn into a multiple day endeavor. The wringer’s purpose is to remove as much water as possible before hanging the clothes above the stove to dry. The washing process is basically filling up our galvanized “bathtub” with hot water, adding a bit of mild soap, and then finding the cleanest dirty clothes and adding them.
I let the clothes soak for a while and now and then I go by and plunge the dirt out with a good old-fashioned rubber toilet plunger. After plunging and soaking several times I wring out as much water as I can by hand and then run them through the wringer. Our clothes get relatively clean, and I don’t use very much soap because the dirt is removed by plunging, so that means I don’t usually rinse the clothes, which means saving water!
If the first batch of clothes were not super dirty, I usually try to use the water for another load of dirtier clothes. By the time that second load is done the water is usually black and its arc of usefulness has come to an end.
Cabin life is treating us all well, and I especially love this teeny, tiny space. It forces simplicity, but also creativity. I have had some people ask me about Cabin fever. I have given it some thought. Cabin fever is upon me, but the kind of fever that makes your heart race and mind sing. Seclusion, Wild animals, Beautiful Children, Laughter and Washing my hair in a soup kettle…
Home Sweet Cabin…