House Renovation Made Complicated

It is late summer here in the Russian countryside. The nights are getting a bit chilly but the days are pleasantly warm. Bikini-clad women stroll around in the gardens bending down to the garden beds to pick newly ripened cucumbers and other fresh produce. Apples are ripening, berries are ready for the picking and the potato fields out back are full of delicious fresh spuds. Further west people may be courting disaster in any number of ways, but I am taking a break from writing about any of that (though observing it all from a safe distance with a great deal of concern). Instead, I am busying myself with setting up a country estate of sorts in the sunny and hospitable Republic of Karelia, in its southernmost section, located between Lake Ladoga (Europe’s largest lake) and the Finnish border.

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