Oh, the Cabin…….

WARNING: This Is A Darn Long Post – Proceed At Your Own Risk!!

So, things have definitely been jumbled up with the cabin plans. We weren't even able to drive to the cabin (without fighting the weather and road conditions) until the first part of June. At that time, Bruce was finally able to start tearing the very decrepit decks off to assess the extent of structural damage we would be dealing with. It wasn't good, to say the least.


In the photos below, you can plainly see what bad shape the block foundation is in, and that the bottom log is deteriorating from water damage.


The plan that Bruce came up with entails pouring new cement pillar/pier supports to the left of where the cabin presently sits. The cabin has to be jacked up off the existing foundation (by professional house movers), and the rotting base logs have to then be replaced on all 4 sides of the structure. Then the movers will transfer the cabin over approximately 25 feet to sit it on the new cement pillar supports.

We were at an immediate disadvantage because by the time all of the problems were uncovered and realized, we were well into June. Anyone who has dealt with construction, and it seems that particularly in Montana, if you are lucky enough to find a reliable company to get done what you need, you had better get on their books very early in the season because their schedules tend to fill up very quickly. We were able to find only 3 companies in the whole state of Montana that move buildings. Add to that a variety of other complications because you are high in the mountains;

-Very wet, boggy ground in Spring/early Summer because of the massive amounts of snow that have just melted off, which in turn raises the water table of the many underground springs up there.

Just the distance a company has to travel to get to what will be the job site. And if lucky,

-Maybe 12 weeks of good working conditions if everything has dried out well, and it doesn't decide to snow before October.

Twelve weeks might sound like plenty of time, but the lion's share of planning, arranging, calling, and much of the pure physical labor to frame out and pour the piers has to be done by poor Mr. Bruce. In the last month he has been racing toward a deadline at his “day job”, and has been putting in about 12 to 14 hours a day Monday thru Friday, and also working every weekend for that month. Consequently, spare time has been pretty darn scarce. Needless to say, he is a tad thrashed at this point in time.

He was going to try and at least get the piers poured and the cabin moved onto them in late fall (risky time frame due to the high chance of snow), then do the rest of it next summer. Well, the problem with that plan is that in preparation for moving the cabin, the interior tile floor has to be torn out, and that means that out with the floor also comes the whole kitchen, and whole bathroom, also the wood stove. So, even if by some miracle we could get the 2 different companies lined out for this summer/fall (one to drill for the pier foundation, one to lift and move the cabin, with time in between to pour the piers plus the 3 week cure time required for the cement before it can accept the weight of a building) the cabin would literally be rendered useless, sitting like a shell on the new foundation for the remainder of fall, and all winter, until we can get in next summer to put in new floors, new kitchen, new bathroom, new septic system and plumbing, new electrical, and all new windows. I told Bruce we would be better off to try and get the foundation lined out and poured late this summer if at all possible with the company's schedule being what it is, then let it sit and cure until next summer. We'd make it a priority by February-ish to get on the moving company's schedule for early summer. By skipping the moving part until next summer, at least the cabin is useable right now. We can enjoy it this fall, and be able to snow machine in this winter because we'll still have floors, cupboards, appliances, electricity and the wood stove.

GAD ZOOKS…..I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

I wish I had an iron clad constitution for all this risky business stuff, but I'm a good old fashioned, security driven, worrying sort of Irish lass, and me thinks we may well have bitten off a much larger and tougher chunk than we bargained for – I guess all in good time, if the Good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise πŸ™‚


I hadn't dragged but the bare minimum up there because I knew we'd just have to haul it all out again as soon as we started ripping the floors out. All the good bargain stuff I had been finding had been tubbed up and was sitting off to the side in my dining room at home, along with the great big light fixtures from Craig's list. I decided if we have to wait a full year plus to start the decorating process at the cabin, I wasn't going to fall over all this crap in my house for a year. So this last weekend we packed the trucks and hauled a glob of it up the mountain. I spent a fun day Sunday hanging pictures, unpacking dishes, and making beds with fresh new bedding. We cut down a skinny little quaking aspen and I made curtain rods out of it. I hung my cute rummage sale find plaid curtains that turned out to be about a foot too long, so next weekend I will bring up a sewing kit and hem them. My camera battery went dead so this was the only photo I was able to get. It looked so cozy and homey when I got finished. I know I'll be cussing myself when I have to pack it all up and find somewhere to go with it next summer, but c'est la vie.


Teresa πŸ™‚



A Tour of the Extremely Bargain Furnished Living Room

Felt like it was time to re-arrange. Sounds much easier than it is – my living room is difficult. Too many doorways and the big ol' Tulikivi stickin' way out into the room. Just have to use a little imagination to get everything juggled around.

It's a blustery, thunder and lightening day. Here it is, the middle of the afternoon, and I had to turn the lamps on just to see what I was doing.

I love these rocking chairs. The smaller one came from Bruce's Grandparents farm, the larger one I found at a rummage sale for $15. We reupholstered both of them and polished up the oak, and I think they turned out really nice. I took the gothic window off the sideboard in the dining room and was at a loss where to put it. I didn't want to squash it back in the closet because it's pretty and needs to be seen πŸ™‚ so I propped it up in the corner and kinda like it there for now.

Moved the leather chair over to the other corner and it makes a good reading spot. I got this chair at a rummage sale for $35, bought the leather at a saddle supply shop in Billings, and managed to find an upholsterer in Bozeman that was a total bum. He had the chair for almost 5 months until I threatened to turn him in to the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Advocates, and any other consumer help agency I could think of. He then finally finished it, and did do a decent job, but the whole experience made me really wish that I knew how to upholster my own larger pieces. Simple smaller pieces I can do; big pieces, I'm a fraidy cat to try.

The metal coffee bin to the left of the chair I got at the thrift store for $25. The roll top desk behind the chair I rescued from my sister-in-law, who had it all ready to go to the dump. The cabinet that sits atop the desk is the upper portion of a Hoosier type cabinet which came from (you guessed it) a rummage sale; a super score in my opinion for $20! I “married them” and they are terrific storage.

That opening to the entryway, above the chair, is where the gothic window was supposed to be built in. A good dozen years later, I got sick of waiting. So when we got the oak floors in the living room last fall, I told Bruce to square off the opening, trim it out, and call it good. I'd had 2 carpenters look at it, and neither of them new how to trim out a Gothic arch. Oh for the craftsmanship of yesteryear! It is so hard to find help to hire in this area, and then you're lucky if you even get the basics completed. Thank heavens I have a very talented husband. Unfortunately, his day job keeps him far away from the “honey-do” list a goodly portion of the time. But when it gets down to brass tacks, he comes thru for me and some things get finished up. And very nicely I might add πŸ™‚

The pictures above the lamp are originals. Some of the very few originals I own. I mostly have antique prints.

I got this tiny drawing of sheep from an art gallery here in town (during crazy daze) for a wonderful price. Bruce cut the mat on our cutter, and the frame was (of course) a rummage sale find. Total cost, approximately $12! Not bad for original art πŸ™‚ I cut the little picture in the lower right hand corner out of a Victoria magazine and stuck it against the glass just for good measure cuz I thought it was cute.

I bought this farm scene at an antique mall in Bozeman because it reminded me a lot of Vermont with it's church steeple sticking up in the background. Turns out that, I believe, it's Russian. The detail on the steeple and the artist's name are what make me think that. This photograph doesn't do it justice. It is beautiful and very detailed when you see it up close. I'm so glad I got it, as the antique mall where I purchased it burned to the ground just a few months later.

Some of my flock of sheepies. This little plaque is cement, and was a gift from my Mom.

More sheep, and the print is one of my very favorite – it has a stone bridge with arches just like the very one we have in our town at Sacajawea Park. I got it at a rummage sale πŸ™‚ and framed it myself.

Here is my custom made in North Carolina couch that I purchased at a rummage sale for $40 and had reupholstered (not by the bum, but by an awesome upholsterer that has since moved away πŸ™ ) The lady I bought it from said she had it custom made, pre-children, back when she and her husband both had high paying jobs and more money than they knew what to do with. It is a phenomenal sturdy, hardwood, camel back sofa, and I don't know why she didn't just have it reupholstered herself. My gain!

A portion of my collection of antique, chalk painted Indian pottery.

I put my cast iron barn and farm animals on the sideboard where I previously had the gothic window.


There is a small light in the barn which makes the whole barn turn into a night light in the evenings. The china cows came from Bruce's grandparents; I found all the rest of the critters here and there over the years. The barn came from a thrift store in Big Timber.

I put all the rest of my sheep collection out, too. I only put them out about once a year because I have so many different collections and like to rotate them all. So it's fun to start unwrapping them and it never fails I'm surprised by some that I had forgotten about. I'm easily entertained πŸ™‚

Anyway, just thought I'd share some of my treasures. Now, maybe you can understand why I'm so whiney about not being able to rummage due to my new job! I hate shopping retail because I can't stand paying retail prices for anything! For real, 90% of my house is furnished with rummage sale, hand-me-downs, thrift store, auctions, etc., which I'm sure has saved me bazillions of dollars over the years πŸ˜‰





Porch Appreciation

Nothing better than a little porch appreciation on a warm summer evening.

Sitting in the rocking chair with a kitty by my side. Crickets serenading, a cool breeze wafting, carrying on it's crest the scent of newly opened rose buds, and a nearly full moon lighting the big open sky.

Dear Summer,

Oh, how I adore you!!

Please slow down!!






It was a wonderful, but much too fast 4th of July holiday.

I wanted to share some photos from the “Art in the Park Festival”, but most booths would not allow photographing since the majority of what was displayed was original artwork, and I'm sure they worry about people trying to copy/replicate their work.

I enjoy looking at the flag display the Veterans put out around the park.


Lots of folks out having fun over the Holiday.


As I passed this grouping driving down the street, I was struck by how they perfectly emulate all the things our little town is comprised of – the granary represents our farming and ranching, as does the rodeo sign. The sign is also an indicator of the tourist trade we rely on to a certain extent. The rodeo pulls in approximately 10,000 people according to the roundup committee's website. That is pretty darned amazing considering our town has a population of about 7,500 people! The Mayors Landing sign represents many of the activities the Yellowstone River offers; from fishing, to boating, inner tubing, plein air painting, even rock skipping! There are so many fun things to do at the river. The trains at the right side of the photo are representative of how this town got a spot on the map to start with – if it weren't for the railroad, I don't know if this town would ever have rooted and been able to hang on. There are lots of ghost towns in Montana, and we might well have been one of them had it not been for the jobs the railroad sustained our community with. And last but certainly not least, the beautiful mountains that surround us on nearly every side! They say Montana is “The Last Best Place”, and I don't know about that for sure, because there are a lot of wonderful places in this big wide world we live in, but I feel very blessed to call this my home. That stork sure did me a favor when he dropped me at this longitude and latitude πŸ™‚