Just a few pics of random corners throughout my house. Guess I better make myself useful and start dusting some of them…. 😉
Just a few pics of random corners throughout my house. Guess I better make myself useful and start dusting some of them…. 😉
This has been the craziest winter. The weather has been so cold and stormy, it seems like one day just blends into the next. Where usually that makes things feel like they are dragging, this year it is zipping by. I kind of feel like I'm sleep walking thru this season!
Anyway, one of the oldest projects on the honey-do list at my house has finally been completed, so thought I'd share! We remodeled the family room and kitchen about a year after we moved in here. That was a long time ago! For all the years since we finished, there has been no hearth mantle around the wood stove in our family room. I've begged, whined, and belly-ached for so long! I even shopped around trying to find something ready-made that I could slap up there on my own, but had no luck finding anything that would fit in the space. I do know how to use power tools, and I did take wood shop in high school, but I'm not brave enough to tackle a project that is a really prominent, and permanent fixture in the house. Something like that needs to not be done by an amateur, but by someone who is a craftsman. Bruce is more than capable of building a mantle, but it's that darn time thing again, and there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything he needs to do done. So, I told Mr. Bruce I was going to start searching for a carpenter to get the dang thing built and installed! As it turns out, we were lucky enough to have the perfect fellow agree to do the project. Mr. Z was a shop teacher when I was in high school. When school was out during the summers, he and a few other teachers would do carpentry projects, even house building. When Bruce moved here from Nebraska, he was fortunately hired by Mr. Z to be on their summer crew! They became great friends. Bruce worked for him off and on over many years, until finishing college and finally giving up carpentering for full time engineering.
Mr. Z is an extremely talented wood worker, but has all but given up the craft because he struggles with severe rheumatoid arthritis now. But Bruce pleaded, and thankfully Mr. Z consented! I would have settled for a simple 3 board, faux beam looking mantle just to have the project done, and not have that ugly, unfinished space showing anymore! But he came over to measure, and see what all it would entail, and he asked me what I would truly like to see up there. I showed him a quick sketch of the super simple 3 board method. He said “Now, if I'm going to take the time to do this, I want you to have what you really want!” Well, with a green light like that, I proceeded to pour my heart out! I told him how much I like arts&crafts/mission style, showed him a few pictures in some of my American Bungalow magazines, then drug out my stash ……
Several years ago I took an Adult Education pottery class our local high school was offering; 5 weeks, one evening per week. My Mom, my “other mother” Roxy, and myself, all signed up and were excited to go. Unfortunately, we had a “teacher” that was not interested in teaching. She said she was turning us loose to do whatever we felt was creative, and she would mentor us if we felt it was needed. :-/ Maybe some of the others in the class were familiar with pottery, but the 3 of us had never worked with clay before! So, we did the best we could with what we had – It wasn't too difficult for my Mom or Roxy because they are both extremely artistic, but I'm another story! Back to my good old American Bungalow for reference, and I managed to churn out 10 tiles, and several long faux branch tiles for a border. Our “teacher” did not take good care when she fired our clay works, and we ended up with all manner of round bottom rather than flat tiles, and other deformities on Mom and Roxy's projects. But it cost $100 to take that class, and I hoped I would someday be able to use my finished products, given that terrific cost.
So I pulled out my box of tiles, and worked with Mr. Z on incorporating them into the design. I chose 6 tiles to use, not wanting to overwhelm the woodworking, and he left with a plan.
A few weeks later, he came back with a beautiful, artfully done mantle; solid oak, stained a rich golden brown, and in the mission style that I love so much. He and Bruce carefully installed it. I could have jumped with joy! It was my job to place the tiles in the spaces he had designed to hold them. I knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge since they were round bottomed and out of square from the firing mishap, and I was terrified of messing up that phenomenal mantle. I got some epoxy glue, and a tube of grout and went to town! I'm very happy with the finished product because of the wonderful woodworking, and it is such a relief to finally have it done! It's also nice to have a little offering from me built into the house, because this house sure owns a big chunk of my heart!
Now I just need to re-black the stove pipe, add a fresh coat of satin sealer to both the rocks and slate hearth, and it will all be fresh and finished! Makes me so happy when something can be checked off the mighty to-do list!
Merry Christmas, all! It feels like Christmases from years back around here, because we have had blizzard conditions in the last few weeks, just like when I was a kid.
The street crews were working round the clock for a few days because the wind was blowing so fiercely they couldn't keep any streets or roads clear.
We won the “lowest temp with windchill” game! It was wretched! I had never in my life had a “snow day” before last Monday, but they closed where I work, and kids weren't required to attend school if it was too difficult for them to get in.
This was at the beginning of the rough weather late last week. I took this photo as the deer came in to forage from the green waste pile at work, where it is easy pickins. A local brewery dumped their many bins of spent grain, and there were at least a dozen and a half deer having a smorgasbord there for several days. They just love it.
We all stayed snugly warm in the little scale house. Piper enjoyed watching the deer out the window, and Declan stayed all tucked in her blankies.
I didn't end up putting a lot of Christmas decorations out after all. The small storage room where I keep my holiday decorations is currently where all the more fragile, and non-mouse proof cabin goods are being kept. And there are bins upon bins stacked in there. I have beautiful Christmas stuff, and hate skipping a year of seeing it all, but it would have been plain old self abuse to try and man-handle all of that cabin gear to get to the decorations, to then man-handle all those tubs, boxes, and bins that hold the decorations. Then, in just a few short weeks, it would be time to go thru the whole process again to put it away. So, hopefully, next year the cabin will be finished enough to have all those tubs back where they belong at the little mountain house.
Here is what I did manage to scrounge up to add a little holiday cheer.
I kind of have a little “farmy” theme going here this year, because these do-dads were easily accessible. Santa and his jingle bell sheep, with a few pine trees, and an old plaid camp blanket.
Santa and his reindeer, just landed in the barnyard.
An old toy truck (from Bruce's boyhood), filled with bottle brush trees, and towing the cute little bird house trailer my Mom and Dad made me for Christmas a few years ago. (I will never put that sweet thing in the yard for the birds – selfish me……. Don't tell Santa shhhhhh.)
And the pretty antique deer family (that really belongs to my big little son, but I won't relinquish guardianship of them until he OWNS his own home, and I'm sure he couldn't give a hoot one way or another how long I keep them 🙂 ) nestled in a bed of pine boughs, with a deer shed antler candleholder. I have a few other things scattered here and there, but not much to speak of compared to what I usually put out. I will be grateful for such a small amount when the time comes to “un-decorate” because it will take about 1/8 the time it normally takes me.
We will all be going to the farm for Christmas dinner. My poor Mom keeps getting stuck hosting all the Holiday dinners, even tho I argue and try to get them to come to my house. I'm sure she thinks that each holiday we are upon may be the last one spent at the farm, because they are still in the process of trying to sell it. It is a heart wrenching experience, and they are finding that potential buyers can be very mean and demanding people. They love their farm with all their hearts; it's not just a piece of property to them. That makes the whole process even more difficult. So, we will make more good Christmas memories at the farm; eat, drink, and be merry!
Merry Christmas and Glad Tidings to you all!
Gosh, this has been a pretty Spring so far! I guess I feel like it is my responsibility to inundate you with globs of happy, Springy photos 🙂
This year the fruit trees are absolutely loaded with blossoms in town. Light pink, dark pink, creamy white; and now some of the lilacs are starting to pop, lending to the explosions of color. And, it seems like overnight, it is as green as Ireland around here.
The birds planted this Japanese flowering crab outside my back door. It is about 4 years old now, and it is packed with blossoms this year. The funny part is, it is actually 2 trees growing together, and 1 has dark pink blossoms, the other has light pink! Looking like just one tree, it is surprising to see the 2 different colors.
This apple tree below is the first tree I planted when we moved into our house. I can't remember the name, but it's a crab variety and has the most delicious, sweet little apples. I have to try to beat the birds to them every year.
We're not too far off from yummy rhubarb everything – from pies, cobbler, and muffins; to conserve, and punch…..because I can't stand to waste a bit of it. I think my little family isn't all that fond of the stuff, but too bad, so sad for them! If I grow it, I use it!
I've had a small box of potatoes sitting on a blanket on my couch in the kitchen since last fall. Miss Piper shredded the seat of this particular leather couch shortly after I got her, when she was having a sock mauling frenzy. I repaired it as best I could, all the while reminding myself that it was an old couch (even if it was in perfect condition prior to the mauling incident), and I couldn't hold it against her since she is just a fun loving puppy dog. I no more than turned my back, when she completely undid my repair job, complete with a little extra flair and fluff kicked in. Hence the blanket over the boo-boo, weighted down with the box o' potatoes!
Come Spring, the remaining spuds were merrily sprouting away in the box – sans dirt. So, I risked taking the designated couch protector away, leaving just the blanket covering the wounded cushion. My Grandpa O'Connor told me when I was a little kid that St. Patrick's Day is the best day to plant potatoes. Out they went to my raised bed garden. I plopped them in the dirt, taking care to point the sprouts up and barely, barely poking out of the dirt (March is normally darn cold in MT, and I was hoping they wouldn't freeze off)
Here is one of about eight that are making their way thru.
There were 9 to start………..
See the fresh crater at the bottom of the photo?
Yup. She dug it up, toted it into the house, dirt up her nose, potato full of holes, and apparently a good time was had by all (except the potato). She is ever so busy.
What a goof ball! Here she is in “taking a break” mode, her rump plopped on the step with feet dangling. This resting thing is a rare sight to behold.
I don't know how it's possible that she and Declan weigh more than a pound a piece (they weigh 24 and 16 pounds respectively) – they go like wildfire and I would think burn, bare minimum, three times the amount of calories they consume! But they are both fit as fiddles, sleek and muscled.
Little Declan is a bit more collected than the Buffalo Gal. She is definitely not the instigator in all the shenanigans around here. She is very sweet tempered.
These girls love to go “bye-bye”. So we loaded up and went to the park to see if the swans were here yet to let us know it's officially Spring. No such luck, but we found a close second!
Those are some darn cute, fluffy little Spring conveyors!
The Spirit moved me to dust today, and I decided it was an opportune time to put out a few doggies from my collection.
Looking at these wire haired terriers, I would bet Miss Piper Doodle has many relatives of this breed of dog in her lineage.
This cute plate was a bargain find at the thrift store.
I like looking for dogs for my collection that I've had in real life, as sort of reminders. Even tho we had many dogs as I was growing up, in high school I got the first dog that was officially “mine”. She was a pure bred greyhound puppy. My Aunt knew some ranch folks that had a pair that had a litter. My puppy was the last one of the litter and was about 4 months old. Since they hadn't had an interested buyer for her, they told my Aunt I could have her since they were assured she'd have a good home. I named her Chatelaine, Laine for short, and we all loved her for a good many years. She was a beauty, and one of the sweetest, smartest, calmest, most well mannered dogs we've ever had.
A whole herd of little blue and white antique terriers.
An antique bird dog TV lamp, and a few St. Bernard's thrown in the mix. I've never had either of these breeds as pets, but they're cute.
A shepherd dog keepin' warm buy the wood stove.
A pair of bird dogs for the table centerpiece.
I can't put the little corgi or border collies from my collection out just yet, because losing Glee and Rooti is too fresh. But they'll take their place among the rest of the good reminders, a few years down the line.
Knock on wood, it seems everything is working this time. Good thing – I was on the verge of inventing some new, very naughty words, trying to get the darn thing to publish before. Not a good way to get in Santa's good graces.
I think this should just about wrap it up. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE CHRISTMAS! Thanks so much for stopping by so I can share my expression of the season with you. We don't get a lot of company, so I'm glad you folks come on in my humble abode and take a peek at things I cherish! That makes it worth all the effort!
Here's wishing you all a blessed and merry Christmas! I hope Santa is very good to you, and all those you hold dear.
Yay! It went thru! Guess I can only load about a dozen pics at a time. More makes Blogsy wig out. So, here goes round 2 –
Tis the season! Time to festive-ise the CottageLodge! I love looking at Christmas open houses. I've recently seen about 30 bloggers Christmas home tours, and something that surprised me is most were pretty conservatively decorated. Most were elegant or cute, but fairly minimal/streamlined.
Boy, not me. I like to fill 'er up. I have never had a “themed” Christmas, just the same old, cherished things I've had for years. This year I put out probably half of all my decorations. I only decorated the living and dining rooms, keeping the back of the house/family room baby (puppy) proofed.
I will get on with the picture tour and hope it works this time. Blogsy is what I use to post on my IPad, and it is giving me a hard time – this is my 3rd try to get this post out. I am going to break it into 3 or 4 posts in a row to see if I can get it to publish. So here goes part 1, cross fingers.
OK, we'll try to get this published, and hopefully I can come back with another batch if this goes thru!
See you in a minute!
My time management skills are sorely lacking. But I did manage to get my big little son's former bedroom put back together again. Because of that, my turkey collection has to suffer another full year of being boxed up before they can come out and play again. I have so many beautiful and unique turkeys it's a shame to not get them all out, but I put 5 full totes of Halloween stuff out this year, and by the time all of that got put away, then also had the bedroom re-do that had to get done before Thanksgiving, well something had to give!
Anyway, thought I'd share how the bedroom turned out. I am really happy with it. It feels very calm and feminine and old fashioned to me. Let's see what you think about it –
These are the before pics. This room is only 9 feet by 10 and really difficult to photograph.
I just went from the doorway into the room, then clockwise around the room. It was pretty beat up from my teenage fella living there. When he was little, he used to bedroom hop. With no siblings, he had 3 bedrooms to choose from, but spent his teenage years in this room.
This is the first time I can remember that I didn't make it harder on myself and complicate things by using multiple colors, wallpapering, trying strange paint techniques, etc. I just got two partially full cans of light colored paint out from under the stairs where we store lots of extra paint, and I mixed them together. The result was a nice off white, with casts of buttery creme, beige, and even a bit of a pinkish tint at times. Depending on the light throughout the day, it can take on any of the above tones. I did walls, ceiling, doors, and trim the same color. That made it pretty snappy to finish. We did prime the brown wall with 2 coats of Kilz before paint went on.
This room didn't cost me a dime to re-do. I just shopped my house and didn't have to go out to buy anything. I don't know if that's good or bad, to think you have enough stuff to completely re-do a room and not have to buy a thing, from paint to bedding! The crazy thing is, even if I did add up the initial cost, it would still be little to nothing. I buy paint inexpensively from WalMart and keep what's leftover to use later. Nearly everything in the room is rummage sale or hand-me-down. Let me show you…
The old metal bed, mattress, quilt, little juniper filled chickadee pillow, and old quilt bunny; all from rummage sales. Shelf came from a craft sale, unfinished, and I painted it. The old, old baby dresses hanging from the shelf pegs my Grandma found in a box in the garbage a few houses down from hers. A family moved their elderly relative out of her house and threw nearly everything in the poor lady's house away. So at least these sweet little dresses were rescued. Lamp and chair were my Great Grandmother's. My Mom and I re-upholstered the chair (with clearance fabric) about 10 years ago. Night stand found on Craig's List. Had the lace panels for years. The valance looking thing at the top of the lace is a linen table topper, hand embroidered by my Grandma's tiny little French/Norwegian aunt (she was about 4 feet 10 inches tall in shoes!), many, many years ago. In the frame above the bed is Bruce's Great Grandparent's marriage certificate. It is unusually large, and so beautiful!
I love the detail; the deer by the lake, the different flowers.
Just a few of my favorite poochies from my antique dogs collection. The majority of these were found at rummage sales or were gifts from folks.
All the antique lady pictures were also my Great Grandmother's.
I moved the gothic window from the living room and added some rope lights. I placed it on an oak 2 drawer chest I got for a song at an antique sale.The wooden shoe lamp was sent from Holland when my Mom's cousin lived overseas. She sent it to my Great Grandmother, and I remember it in her home from the time I was little.
A happy little couple. My little glass corgis were just the right size to be their companions 🙂 .
I put some dollhouse furniture my Mom had when she was little on my little mini hutch.
I'm glad to have it all put together and off the to-do list!
So, in parting, I want to wish everyone the happiest Thanksgiving. I'm going to throw in a couple pics of turkeys from last year, just cuz I'm missing them so much!
Here it's his birthday, and he is slaving away at the cabin (for reals – he's desperately trying to get the new foundation in place before it snows). It's an exceptionally beautiful day and I am very much enjoying his birthday present while he is away. I don't feel a bit guilty because every year, for any occasion I would merit getting a gift, I always ask for something that benefits all of us. Usually something for the house, and usually it entails labor. More than a couple of times I've heard “why can't you just ask for jewelry, like most normal women?” Well, this year, his “present” is not just for him. It's something we will all love and share, hopefully for many, many years to come.
Her name is Declan, she is 8 weeks and 2 days old. She weighs just over 4 pounds and is about 5 inches tall at the shoulder. Her name is Irish/Gaelic and means “Full of Goodness”! Oh, are we ever in love, and I mean all of us including Glee. She arrived at the shelter in Bozeman, from a shelter in northeastern Montana that rescues animals from the Indian Reservation. Apparently on the reservations, they don't believe in spaying and neutering, because I checked 3 separate shelters in Montana, and they all had received an abundance of puppies and dogs that had been taken in during a sweep rescue from the reservation. Many were feral, and they keep those dogs longer to try and restore their health and socialize them so they will be adoptable.
We lost our little Rootin' Tootin' Twister in July. He was 16 years and 5 months old. That is amazingly elderly for a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd. He started failing badly. A lady that ran the Animal Welfare League in Laurel many years ago told me something that has stuck with me all these years. She said “We must remember to choose quality over quantity in the time our pets have here on earth; that is our duty to them.” So we decided it was time, and did our duty because we loved him. He was a fine and awesome little fellow, and it was truly a gift that he spent his life with us.
I had been very tentatively checking out adoptable dogs in shelters across the state, not sure if it was the right time to add another member to our family, but looking none-the-less (what is wrong with me? I just can't seem to help myself). Every so often, I would peruse the shelter sites, and Friday morning I had a break at work and decided to take a look. This little baby just sprang off the screen and basically said “Here I am! What the heck are you waiting for?” It said she was a Pembroke Corgi (like Glee), Chihuahua cross. So, a bit smaller than Glee, which is good because we need smaller for more portable now that we have the cabin. That way we can bundle them up and sling/secure them to the front of us, and we can all ride (putt-putt) in to the cabin on the snow machines this winter. I've seen folks perch their dogs in front of them on snowmobiles, but I think, for safety sake, I will try to fashion something out of a sheet to keep them secure against us when we ride in.
I decided to call the shelter and see if they had more info about her, because there was some conflicting info in her file they sent home. It turns out they have no idea what breed she is, as they just scooped up as many dogs and puppies as they could when they did the sweep. Apparently, they did not see parents of any of the puppies they collected, or if they did, they didn't know which babies went with who. So the shelter staff just guessed at her heritage. I think she looks very much Jack Russell terrier, but does have the Corgi coloring. Who knows? I just hope and pray she doesn't get St. Bernard sized. That would be more than a little inconvenient, but we would still love her 🙂 !!
The way things fell into place, it seems it was just meant to be! I saw her on the shelter site Friday morning and contacted them immediately. There was another family that had sent in an application to adopt her, so I figured we were out. The shelter called Friday afternoon and said the other family had cancelled, that if we wanted to meet and possibly adopt her, we needed to get there that afternoon. They will not hold puppies because they want puppies placed and bonding with their new family ASAP, and they knew she would go fast. By a lucky twist of fate, Bruce was home, gathering equipment etc., to take to the cabin to start his foundation job. Bless his heart, he dropped everything and flew over to Bozeman to pick her up.
She has been such a good little baby. She cries for only a few minutes when I put her in her crate when we go to bed. She has slept all night long the 3 nights she has been here….knock on wood! I am so lucky that with the job I have now, she can go to work with me! I took her to work Saturday and she did so well. Glee has been so very patient with her, but it will be nice for her to have a break while Declan is at work with me. Puppies do tend to pester a bit!
There are so many animals out there that need families that love them, I am glad that we were able to shorten the list even by one! We will love and cherish her cuz we are of the clan of folks that are dedicated (probably beyond reason 🙂 ) to their furry kids!