Hardwood Floors

Often an enticement listed in Real Estate ads, our cabin has hardwood floors. Not just any hardwood floors—they’re probably antique.

hardwood floor

The homestead cabin’s hardwood floor (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Many parts of our cabin come from salvaged buildings, mostly from the historic Fort Seward in town. The U.S. Army built the fort around the beginning of the previous century.

In fact, one can find Quartermaster’s marks and even house numbers in certain parts of the building. The floors surely came from there.

quartermasters marks

Quartermaster’s marks from old Fort Seward buildings on our living room ceiling (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Ours aren’t the kind of hardwood floors potential renters or buyers dream of. They’re not highly polished, or deeply reflective. They’re pretty worn down, grooved so deeply in places that we’ve filled them with floor leveler. For warmth, we cover most of the flooring with rugs, especially our beloved polypropylene rugs (see Rugs That Wash and Wear). Therein lies the current problem, which leads to an appreciation of hardwood floors . . . .

Summer flea season can be pretty hard around here. With all the squirrels, voles, mice, and other small animals running around, our property is a flea’s paradise. And yet, they’re never so picky that they won’t gladly hop a ride indoors with us from the garden or yard. Inside, they not only bite us, but the cat.

This year, the fleas are particularly bad, enough so that Michelle banished the rug for a while. She rolled it up, hung it in the wood shed, and doused it with flea powder.

rolled up rug

The living room rug, rolled up, trussed up, and treated for fleas (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

While this goes on, we’re rather enjoying the hardwood floors. We find that the bare floor gets much less dirty than the rug, although we strongly suspect this has more to do with our dry weather (see “Real” Rain) than the lack of rugs. If we got the rains we’re used to, the floor might become just as covered with spruce needles tracked in on wet feet as it is when the rug’s in place.

But, whatever the reason, we’re enjoying it while it lasts, and making the most of appreciating the hardwood floors, whether by necessity or otherwise.

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2 Responses to Hardwood Floors

  1. Ekij says:

    I have heard the following is low-tech relatively easy way to control fleas.

    Put a tealight or other candle behind a clear bowl of water.
    Put a drop or two of washing up liquid in the bowl to break the surface tension as fleas are small enough that they can walk on the surface tension.
    The fleas are attracted to the candle and jump into the bowl where they drown.

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Ekji, I’ve heard of this method or variations on it, and find it very intriguing. We’ve never tried it, because in our small cabin, we’d be kicking this rig over every time we entered the room! If we were in a position to close off a room for a day or so, I’d likely try it.

    Instead, we use a product called Wondercide (the name of which cracks me up–I would have loved to have been in on the committee meeting that approved that!) which works really well. It’s very natural, appears not to harm pets or humans, and really kills fleas well. Plus, it’s cedar based, so it smells great.

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