Steady By Jerks: More Chronicling Of A Very Drawn Out Cabin Rehab

I guess this would be a “triannual” cabin update, since the last one was in July, and the next one probably will be around March or so. There is already over 30 inches of snow at the cabin, so no more driving in; snow machine or snow shoes must be utilized to gain access now. And that is really going to put a kink in any forward momentum for all that needs to be finished up there.

Mr. Bruce really earned his keep this Summer. He would put in a 40+ hour week at his job, come home Friday, change clothes, throw what he needed for a few days into his pack, grab a bite for dinner, then head to the cabin until Sunday night. Come home, go to bed, and start the same process over again the next morning. Week after week, all Spring, Summer, and Fall long. I think he only missed 3 weekends, and that was due to day job work obligations for the most part. I mentioned before that the carpenter he'd made a deal with never came thru, which didn't really surprise me. The man was too over-booked, and our cabin job was too insignificant in the scheme of things, and too far out in the boonies. But I wish he'd come clean clear back in February when Bruce called to get on the guy's work schedule. It would have given us the opportunity to try and find someone else since we were starting good and early, before the Spring rush started. Bruce had faith in the guy, but to no avail. Anyway, this is what Bruce has gotten accomplished since Spring, and primarily by himself.

He did hire an electrician for the beginning part of the big electrical process, and our big little son went up a couple of weekends to help his Dad get some of the worst windows replaced. There are only going to be 8 windows total in the cabin when all the changes are completed. One window is newer and in good shape, so it will be left as is. The remaining 7 are to be replaced. Bruce and sonny boy tackled the 3 in the worst condition, and were able to pull the old, then get the new ones set, over a couple weekends. There was a lot of log cutting and patching required, so it was very labor intensive, and time consuming. A smaller window on the porch, next to the door, Bruce was able to install by himself. So, what remains on the list for replacement is – one in the bedroom, one on the porch, and one in the loft. Bedroom and porch should be pretty straightforward. But, the one in the loft will be difficult, and it's all my fault. I felt, for safety sake, it should be big enough to crawl out of if need be. So, the window will double in size, necessitating more log cutting. It will be tricky since it is in the tight pitch of the roof line. Then we'll have to get a rope ladder, or attach some type of wood ladder to the outside. Here are the before and afters of the windows –

The old bay window in living room, barely hanging onto cabin.

 

 

Terrible rot and broken glass. It usually had a blue tarp attached to keep the weather out.

 

 

Brand new fresh! No more extending beyond the roof line inviting leaking.

 

Tight, secure, and weather proof. Double paned and with low E.

So much better.

 

Tiny before bathroom window, lower middle.

 

New bigger bathroom window moved left, with tankless hot water heater venting to the right, propane furnace venting to the left.

A slider window for good bthrm moisture ventilation. Hot water htr has the potential to be the elephant in the room unless we can come up with a creative cover solution.

 

The before kitchen window to the left of the door, and the porch window that will be eliminated.

 

New kitchen window, moved up, to accommodate taller kitchen cabinetry.

 

It will sure be nice when we're able to have the logs stripped and stained. They look pretty ghastly right now.

 

A lovely view to see out the wonderful new window.

 

 

We got a good solid wood door from Craigslist, and the window in the following picture is now installed in the opening to the right of the doorway. I didn't get a photo of them installed.

 

So much of what has been done isn't really photographable – tons of electrical work, mass amounts of plumbing, hours worth of trenching (with machinery and by hand digging) to accommodate cables and pipes of all kinds. A company we hired came up and blew in a foam insulation to the entire underside of the cabin. It is supposedly the best you can get. It better be. It is so expensive it would bring a tear to a glass eye. After much research, a tankless water heating system was decided upon. A larger one to service the bathroom, a smaller one for the kitchen. Installation was a bear, but he got it done. Now we have to figure out how to camouflage the monstrosity in that itty-bitty bathroom. We'll git 'er. It's just going to take some imagination.

We've roughed out a plan for the electrical layout inside the cabin. This is something you really don't want to mess up. It's not easy going back later to add or subtract plug-ins and fixtures. Way different than wiring a house where the wiring is hidden. Because of the logs, all the cabin wiring has to be run thru conduit, which is a kind of hollow metal tube, and the conduit then attached to the logs on the interior and run to each plug in and light fixture. Looks a bit funky, but not much in the way of alternatives.

This is a photo I borrowed off the Internet to show an example of how the electrical wiring will be run thru conduit. Hopefully we'll be able to make ours look a little less obtrusive than that shown in this photo.

I'm most certainly not a delicate flower that expects “the man of the house” to do all the rough/tough aspects of remodeling while I sit at home and sip tea and knit. I'll get in there and rip and tear with the best of them. Gosh, I even have my very own hammer, saws, screw drivers, and tile saw! (I know you're impressed! ;-D ) I'll try my hand at most anything finish wise, with a bit of mentoring. But this electrical and plumbing is beyond me, and Bruce doesn't have the time to fiddle around and try to teach me the stuff. So the poor guy is pretty much on his own with this mountain of malarkey to get done.

Anyhoo, with the new insulation blown in, and a majority of the new, awesome, weathertight windows installed, it should be considerably easier to heat this winter. I'm sure he'll snow machine in and work on whatever he can as often as possible this winter, and should be downright cozy during his working weekends! I'll stay back and tend the home fires until I can be of use “up the mountain”. And I'll be happy to work toward the finish line on this long drawn out process! Whatever the heck it takes to get this bugger put back together!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Having Fun at the Little Bear Fair!

My day off happened to be THIS beautiful fall day! So I got up nice and early, drank some coffee in my PJ's, got dressed and caught up a few things around the house, then hit the trail all by my lonesome. The Little Bear Antique Fair started today, and I don't need much persuading to get my tail over there to check out all the wonderful treasures. It's a great place to start your Christmas shopping if you have friends and family that like antiques and oddities. That's why it's good to go by yourself.

This is the earliest I've ever gotten to one, and there were quite a lot of folks right at the starting gate. I'm sure they were all hoping for first dibs on the best stuff! I've gotten lots of things over the years at this twice annual sale in Bozeman, and always anxiously look forward to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Authentic Christmas stockings, and kids red wool snow pants from many years ago.

 

 

 

 

I found a just right “something” for my good Mom, but it's a secret til Christmas! Saw lots of good stuff, but contained myself and kept a latch on my pocketbook. Quite a few things I spotted I already have at home, but mine were mostly rummage sale finds which I was lucky enough to find over the years, and for a whole lot less “moola” than they were asking at this sale!

I have been searching endlessly for an antique panorama of Cowboys. They seem to be pretty darn rare. I found a pretty beat up one at an antique store a couple months ago, and nearly fainted when I saw the $500 price tag! Today I saw 3 awesome panoramas that I was salivating over…….$1,500, $2,400, and lastly $4,000!!!!!!!! Gosh, who'da thunk it! I believe I'll hang tight. I live by the mottos “All good things come to those that wait”, “Haste makes waste”, and “Patience is a virtue”. I've found there isn't a much worse feeling than having buyer's remorse; and being the penny pincher that I am, would never dream of spending that kind of money on what is essentially a do-dad. But, boy, am I ever a sucker for a good do-dad…..at the right price.

Here's a pic I borrowed from Pinterest to show you all what I mean by a cowboy panorama. This is taken of one of Ralph Lauren's homes, and I'm pretty sure he can swing the price tag these panoramas are commanding 😉

Anything “Ralph Lauren” just turns my crank! I could give a hoot about clothes/fashion, but his home lines are to die for in my opinion.

I really didn't feel too bad about not getting anything this trip thru the antique fair. With all my Mom's sorting and purging, she's given me some awesome stuff over the last few months.

This “Library of Health” book was my Great Grandmother's. I put it out with some of my Halloween stuff because it's got a bit of a “Frankenstein” vibe to it!

 

 

 

There are all kinds of charts of body parts inside that flip thru one flap at a time to show all the layers of said body parts. Cool.

This is my Great-Great Grandmother's platter, and must be around 140 years old, give or take, as close as we can figure. That's a long time for something this fragile to still be in one piece, and with no chips or cracks. I will be it's steward for as long as I can, and hope the younger generation in our family shapes up and starts to appreciate these family heirlooms.

I also took a lot of the leftovers from her garage sale. She didn't have a great turnout because the weather was so cruddy that weekend. She was pretty much forced to donate all that was left because there is so little room in her new house. I just couldn't stand seeing my Great-Grandmother's cuckoo clock from Germany go, some antique pictures, and other smaller things that were gifts to my Mom, or things that meant a lot to her but she still had to part with them. So if I could squeeze them in my house, I took 'em. Maybe when all their remodeling is done, she'll have the room to take some of it back.

Hope you all have a “Spooktacular” Halloween!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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A Months Worth Of Blabbering

It's been awhile since I've popped in. Just a bunch of this and that going on. I'm never sure lately, when I first peel an eye open in the morning, what day, month, or year it is. If the radio alarm turns on I know it's a work day, then I try to sort it out from there. It went from that really bad snow storm in May, to 90+ degree temps just days later. The hot, dry summer persisted to the beginning of September, then temps dropped to 30's – 40's and we had to fire up the woodstove, after absolutely melting the week before. That lack of transition makes my poor brain darn confused.

Since I don't have any specific subject matter, I'll just toss a few photos out about what's been going on, and a few leaf peeper views.

My flower gardens are pretty much caput after a few hard freezes. But the grass is greener now that it's cool; much more so than when it was so hot this summer and it was cooked and yellowed.

I climbed over, and rearranged the cabin boxes in the storage room, enough to reach a bit of Halloween decorations. Our house is the only one in a 10 block radius that has any decorations out. Not many seem to be too enthused about the holiday yet, but it makes me happy to see the lights twinkling on my little porch!

My folks are 2 months in at their new place. Oh my gosh – what a Herculean effort it has taken to get them just to where they are at this minute. And they are probably only 1/2 way to where they need to be.

A blank canvas, pre-fenced.

The first thing they lined out before even moving, was to hire a fencer to enclose the entire 7 acres so they'd have a safe, secure place for the little horses. That whole process didn't come without it's bumps and bruises. The first guy only did about 1 square acre, then my folks were lucky enough to find a different guy that was a bit more enthused and motivated to get the job done. It was horrendously expensive, but had to be done. Fencers, especially good ones, are few and far between around here.

Then came the barn builders. Wow, they were some kind of organized! I can't say enough good things about this fledgling business. They were phenomenal, and very affordable comparatively. My folks had to hire a separate business to come out an prepare a pad/foundation before the builders came. That took a couple days to haul all the fill dirt/gravel to the site, then level and compact everything with the big construction equipment. The barn builders started the next day. The framing crew came first, and this is what they accomplished in just 1 day. Amazing!

Take a look at that mighty pretty fence in the foreground, too!

 

 

 

On day 2, a 2nd new crew came to enclose everything with metal sheeting. Not an easy task with the wonderful wind we have around here. They, also, were no nonsense, and this is what it looked like at the end of the day. Really, dirt to this in 2 days!

Front view, and to the right of the house.

 

The back side.

 

The opening on the left end will be framed in to make it not quite so vast, and then regular barn doors will be built and hung in the smaller opening. Individual stalls will be put in at some point. For now, it is good enough shelter from the wind, rain, and snow as it stands. The middle section will hold all the hay, and be a place to park much of the equipment out of the weather. The right end, with the door, is my Dad's shop. A third crew came back about a week later and poured a cement floor in the shop section, and finished everything off. All in all, it is a handsome, well built structure that will surely add value to the place.

Then there's the house……my Mom calls it a Barbie Doll house. It is significantly smaller than the house they moved from. She sold a ton of stuff to an antiques dealer before even moving, gave gobs of stuff away, and handed down important heirlooms to us kids and other family members. There still was nowhere to put things, so she pared down even more and had a big rummage sale to boot. Even though they absolutely did not want to take on major remodeling, she decided to go ahead and turn the garage into a living room, as they really had no space for the things that make a house their home. So everything has been turned upside down inside. Farm activities and dogs + pale blue carpet = not a good mix. Out it goes, to be replaced with hardwood floors. Crazy kitchen layout + old appliances + dark wood cabinets and blue flowered bedroomy wallpaper = bye bye. To be replaced with practical new appliances with no added frills or do-dads; new granite countertops in place of 4 inch tile and grout counters; and cabinets to be painted a nice light color, because that's what she likes. New paint, new light fixtures, new window coverings. All this before even starting from scratch in the garage. A couple that did work on my little house, my present house, and my folks farmhouse, have come out of retirement to work with my folks on this new place. That was a lucky break because it is near impossible to find anyone worth a hoot presently with this crazy housing “surge” our town is experiencing. The carpenter that was all lined out to help Bruce at the cabin has never bothered to even show up. While waiting on the many things that have been ordered, they've taken on a half dozen smaller projects, and also got the garage door pulled out and the new window put in.

Having the garage turned into living space should make a significant difference in how they will be able to function in the house. This garage is 600 square feet, with an added area that will be utilized for storage.

To put this in perspective, the whole main floor of our cabin is 576 square feet, and we have to squeeze in a kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and hallway!

The walk thru door will be removed, and a new door placed on the opposing wall for access to the patio.

 

 

A wood stove will be put between these 2windows.

It's like I said before, it has been their lot in life to turns coal into diamond at every home they've owned. Although this house was more than adequate when the bought it, it just didn't function the way they needed it to. It wil be a most excellent little farm when they get it all put together.

Luckily, the weather has been fairly decent these last several weeks, which has helped them move things along. I have been very much enjoying the beautiful fall colors, and wish it could stick around.

 

 

 

 

 

So beautiful.

We had a lovely sunset tonight, with some really unusual clouds.

They look like big feathers!

 

My silly Piper had to come help me take pictures. Always one to get the best vantage point!

And I'm sure you've always wondered what a big, hungry, vegetarian gal eats for dinner – so I'll show what was on the menu tonight.

Fried green tomatoes with buffalo berry catsup (my great grandma's secret recipe), garlic Texas toast, and peach iced tea. It was pretty darn yummy!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Parade of Homes

First and foremost, THANK YOU LORD FOR THE RAIN AND SNOW!!!!! Usually I fuss about winter coming, but this year I welcome it with open arms if it helps in getting these horrible forest fires put out. It says in the Great Falls Tribune that an estimated 1,103,252 acres have burned in Montana this summer. What a tragedy. You'll see a bit of snow in some of the pictures in this post, and I'm lovin' it!

On with the story. Every fall there is an event called “Parade of Homes” in Bozeman (and neighboring counties if the homes submitted are snazzy enough to meet the Parade's high standards). It is one of my favorite events to attend, and I really look forward to it each year. I wasn't sure I'd be able to go this year because we all have so much going on, and weekends are mighty short. But, thankfully, we were able to get things straightened around enough to be able to take in the very last day they had the homes open. There were 15 homes this year, 13 in Gallatin County, 2 in the County where I live. There are so many people milling around in the homes it is nearly impossible to get any good photos, and I'm not sure they really want you to anyway since they charge admission, and probably don't want folks showing the home photos around and maybe putting a dent in the ticket sales. I took exterior photos of my 2 favorites, just to give an idea of the awesome views they have surrounding these beautiful homes.

Look at that lovely snow!

 

 

I did snap one quick one of the living room in this home.

 

 

 

 

This home was up Paradise Valley. This particular builder always does a great job every time he's had a home in the parade. I think this is the 4th house he's built that I've been fortunate enough to see.

After touring this home, we drove back to town, then headed over the hill to Bozeman. We went thru the catalog provided with the ticket purchase and decided to pare it down a bit. We chose just the ones we thought looked most interesting, and picked 6 to tour out of the remaining 13. I was not terribly impressed this year. Most were extremely modernized versions of “farm houses”, or “traditional houses”. The outside would look fairly true to form, then you'd step inside, and eek! Holy smoke, ultra modern. Not my cup of tea by a long shot. One we went to was fairly normal, a roomy 3200 square feet, vaulted ceilings, 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a modest media/theater room (some of them are vast in these parade homes), attached garage, and a tiny yard that was barely a strip on each of the 4 sides of the house. It was the most liveable for a family with children I thought (except for the tiny yard which didn't give kids much room to play), and I supposed the price would be somewhat affordable for a typical young family budget…….I was shocked when I saw it was $749,000! It is beyond me how a young family can take on those kinds of payments. And what is even more shocking is the fact that they sell rapidly! That is why the real estate market in our little town is going haywire – we are getting the overflow of folks from Bozeman that can't afford those outrageous prices. But they can pay more than most people employed in our little town, so it is driving the prices up here by leaps and bounds.

It makes me worry for my big little son. He has a good job for this area, and yet he would have to make five times his wage to afford something half as much as this “normal” home on the parade. And that is the case for most all the young adults that I know around here.

Anyhoo, the last house we saw was my very favorite. It was just a few miles down the road from Bridger Bowl Ski Resort, and the area is spectacular in every direction for views.

It was hard to get a decent photo because it was built high up on the hillside, and had a treacherously steep driveway to get up to it. The whole road, from where you left the pavement, clear to the house, was basically a glorified cow track. It made the road to our cabin look perfectly tended and groomed!

They made you park far below, then walk up the road to the driveway, then hike the whole driveway to the house. Whew! But as you can see, almost all the front of the house was windows – and get a load of the view out of said windows….

 

 

 

 

 

This is looking directly at some of Bridger Bowl's ski runs. Just a sprinkle of snow on them now; much, much more to come later!

 

Even tho we probably should have stayed home and worked on the to-do list, it was nice to take a break, see some lovely (and some interesting) homes, and get off the beaten path for a change.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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WILDLIFE

There's plenty of wildlife in our neck of the woods. Some become adventurous and decide to visit the city side of things. I've had a couple of interesting visitors over the last few weeks, both at work and at home.

This big, beautiful golden eagle showed up for about 3 days in a row at work.

It was quite content to just hang about, and didn't seem to be bothered much at all by the traffic thru the scale house.

You can see how extremely large it was in comparison to the magpie a rail below and to the left in the pic. The magpies were ganging up and trying to bully the eagle into leaving. It didn't work. A bit of a joke since, size wise, they look like they are canary sized versus the 3 feet plus size of the eagle.

It was working really hard pulling the tarp back with it's big toes, trying to find something yummy to snitch out of that garbage laden trailer. Yucky!

Probably does smell pretty tempting judging by the number of crows, magpies, and other garbage eating birds that hang about on a daily basis. The department of transportation brings in all the road kill deer and other animals for disposal, which to carrion eaters, must smell delectable!

And speaking of delectable, cat food is a gourmet treat to be had if your nose is good enough to catch a whiff of it in your nightly meanderings.

Apparently this little critter has a really good sniffer, since he/she invited itself to a snack on our front porch this last week. I thought it seemed like my kitty was eating a lot more than was possible for her, and blamed it on the big cat that lives down the street.

It's finally been cooling down really well in the evenings, so I leave the doors open until I go to bed. I lock the screen door to the front porch and leave twinkle lights (wrapped on branches in a small barrel) on for a soft night light. I was reading the other night and could hear crunching. I assumed it was Angel and peeked out the door to check on her and caught this little busybody instead. The pictures aren't good because the light was so low, but it was a sight to see. It had made itself comfortable on Angel's blankets, laying flat on it's belly with it's little feet sticking out behind it, and would pull one piece of food out of the dish at a time with it's little paw and eat it. Then take a nice long drink of water followed by some more food. This went on for a long time, and when it decided it had had enough, got up, stretched, and waddled off into the flower bed and under the porch. It must sleep under the front porch all day and come out at night to eat and mosey about.

 

It was so darn cute to watch, but now we have to be very careful to turn lots of lights on outside in the back yard (we're staying away from the front yard at night for awhile) and whistle and talk before we take the dogs out to potty before bed. It is not a fun task washing a skunk squirted dog, let me tell you.

The deer are still thick in town. I saw a doe with tiny little twin fawns standing on the side of the street when I came up the hill to my house a few days ago. And the berries have been abundant this season, so there have been a wide variety of birds in my yard lately, also.

Pretty cheap entertainment!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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In A Good Path For The Eclipse

Our little town is not too far away from the path where folks had the ultimate view of the eclipse. We were able to view about 95% coverage of the sun. Boy, people were sure wound-up about it! The eclipse viewing glasses were a major hot ticket item everywhere you looked. Just before the big day, some enterprising soul was trying to sell the silly little paper and plastic things for $25 a pair on Craigslist! One of the gals I work with came out early to relieve me for lunch (and so we could both have a nice clear view to gawk at the eclipse together 🙂 ), and she read on the Internet to stack old film negatives about 8 deep and clip them together, on each end, with a clothes pin. You could hold them up like steampunk opera glasses of sorts, and take quick peeks at the eclipse in progress.

I took a few pictures while at work during the height of it, which was about 11:35 a.m. mountain time. I had read it makes the birds confused and they think it's time to bed down, but it has been so smokey here from all the forest fires in progress, the birds I saw didn't seem to notice the eclipse at all!

This was at 11:30 a.m.

This first pic was around 5 to 8 minutes from the most obscuring we would witness. The shadows were odd, and it got darkish in the scale house like before a good rain storm, but it really wasn't that dark out.

This was the height of the whole shebang, about 11:38 a.m.

I took this pic of my hand's shadow on the side of the scale house to show just how much light there still was.

 

This was the tail end of it, about 11:43 a.m. It was still odd light, but rapidly getting brighter.

Anyhoo, there is my slide show/book report on the whole get up! I'm so lucky to have a window to hang out of and take pictures where I work!

TTFN

Teresa

 

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Goodbye Farm, It Was Good Knowin Ya

I guess the title says it all. It's been a mighty difficult last couple of weeks. Twenty seven years makes for some long, hard roots to pull out. My poor folks are completely exhausted. But at least they have everything out, and hauled to the new place. There have been a number of fiascos to overcome, but they've managed. One being, the man they had lined out for over a month prior to the agreed upon start date to fence a portion of the pasture at the new place, pulled out 2 days before he was to start. He called and said “I'm not going to make it to your place – I'm just too bushed from my last fencing job, and you can understand my side.” At that point in time my Mom had a bit of a short fuse, and she really didn't understand his side (what a way to run a business, that big knot head). Boy, did she let him have it. Needless to say, he was Johnny-on-the spot 2 days later, and fencing away at the new place. They would have had absolutely nowhere to contain their little horses had he not shown up, and I'm sure she made that abundantly clear. There are too many people who have garbage work ethics these days. Or at least it sure seems like that around here.

My folks did the lion's share of all aspects of the move themselves…..and they are no spring chickens. Far too proud to ask for, or accept help, no matter how many people offered. The way all the legal paperwork shook out at the end, with the vacate date of the owner of the home they were moving to, and they themselves tied to a move date decided by the people that bought the farm, gave them exactly 5 days to move all of their worldly possessions 15 miles from the farm to the new place. They had rented a “Pod” moving container about 3 weeks earlier, so were able to box up many things and stack in the pod, which helped. But, when you move a whole 2 story house, barn and outbuildings, and farm equipment, there is a lot more than a pod's worth. Oh my gosh, that 5 day move period was a killer. Bruce and I each took a vacation day, and also went out every evening after work; and my big little son, my brother, and his son, also pitched in as best they could (as my brother and my son both work 10 hour shifts each day with their jobs). We were loading 3 trucks (cabs and boxes), and a 2 horse trailer for each trip in – and made trip after trip….after trip. Oh Lordy. And to make matters worse, they are in the middle of a huge highway construction project between the farm and town. You could expect a 15 minute wait for a pilot car each way, both coming and going. And a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

But that part's done now, and there are just a bazillion boxes to sort and unpack at the new place, more fences to build, a new barn to build, water hydrants to install, and the list goes on. Even with all that, I believe the good Lord helped them get a place that will suit their needs; with a nice little house, just enough land to support the little horses, only a couple miles from town, and best of all, the fact that they were able to nab it in this out of control real estate market we're experiencing presently.

I took a few pictures in parting, but only a few, because I was ready to bawl and didn't want to make my folks feel bad. I don't deal well with change, and this was a mighty big one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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A Vacation Day Morning

Enjoying the cool morning, on my vacation day.

Sitting in my porch glider, with my biggest cup full of Java, listening to the birds sing, and watching my silly puppies play. The trees are obscuring, from my neighbors, my still being in my pj's, and I'm happily flourishing on this beautiful summer morning.

So blessed!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Celebrating Independence Day!

Isn't this just awesome!

Man made fireworks competing with Mother Nature's fireworks! This is the rodeo and fireworks celebration we have over the 4th of July in our little town every year….but with a little extra kick this particular evening. I wanted to be sure and share this wonderful photo since we're not too far out from the 4th. We do have some extremely talented folks that live in our town, and I borrowed this from Facebook to share with you all.

Here are a few more shots I took myself while just moseying around close to home, over the last couple months. Since it'll be Christmas in just a few weeks, guess I'd better share the few warm weather photos I've taken (kidding!…….but not really :-/ )

 

 

The park geese with their new broods, in varying stages – some have newer fluffy yellow babies, some are 1/2 way to looking like their parents.

 

This is the Crazy mountain range.

This is about 7 miles from the cabin. Such a pretty day it was!

About 4 miles from the cabin as you top a hill and look southerly, this is the Absaroka mountain range.

 

A golden eagle in a field near the road.

And a bald eagle on a telephone pole just above the golden.

 

 

 

Hope you all are having a nice summer, and are making the most of it!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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Journaling the Cabin Progress

This is going to be a dry post. I'm putting up a ton of pre-renovation cabin pics just for documentation. Mr. Bruce has been up there the last 6 weekends working like a fiend. He also struck a deal with a too busy contractor. It is so wild in this area presently, with people buying property as quickly as it hits the market, then fixing it to flip, or live in themselves, that it is next to impossible to find a decent contractor worth his salt. All the good contractors/carpenters are lined up with work for months to come. I'm sure there are plenty of shysters out there, because when it's popping like this, those shady types are drawn in like rats to grain. But Bruce has known this fellow for years, and the man is a local that has lived here all his life. He has a good reputation, and is therefore busier than the dickens. But, after a bit of skillful finagling and bartering on my Mister's part 🙂 , the contractor said if Bruce will have everything lined out, and every bit of the lumber, cement, screws, nails, basically every and all supplies needed (including all the new Windows, and all the new flooring) sitting at the cabin ready to go, he and his crews will pop up there between their other big jobs as time allows. Anytime there is slack on the big jobs they're working on, or if there is inclement weather that they can sneak away from their outdoor projects and come up to work on indoor things for us, they'll shoot up to the cabin and try to bang out one project at a time. That's about as good as it gets right now for folks like us that have comparatively smaller projects. When it's chaotic like it is presently, in demand contractors don't want small jobs. Especially when they have to trek clear up into the mountains to do them.

Oh, good gosh, I hope this works out!! We've been burned by carpenters before, but we've also been lucky enough to have some excellent ones do big jobs for us at our house. I just want to get the big basics done on the cabin, then Bruce and I can tackle the smaller, more manageable ones. Bruce doesn't have the time, or number of men available that are needed to get windows and doors installed, the wood flooring laid, or the walls put in. He will still be doing the majority of plumbing and electrical himself, as well as all the trim and finish work; and together we can install the wood “tongue and groove” panels on the walls, sheet rock where needed (if we decide to use sheet rock in the bedroom and bathroom), building and rocking the new hearth for the wood stove, and installing whatever we decide to use for kitchen cabinetry. I can paint, wallpaper, tile, stain, make curtains, and decorate to beat sixty without any help. But for the big, heavy duty stuff, we need a crew of men to come in and hit it hard to get it done in short order.

Once the new windows are in place, we can contact the company that will sandblast the logs on the exterior (the company we looked into uses ground walnut shells to blast, then the shell dust and log dust can be left on the ground to naturally decompose). The blasting will basically sand away the discoloration and weathering, and leave a nice even tone on the logs to then stain and seal, making the exterior look brand new, hopefully.

The odd shaped windows on the top right will be eliminated. Then, all along the top, left to right under the pitch, will be framed in and probably covered with shakes, so it will be symmetrical.

 

This bay window is being replaced with a picture window. Same width and height, but flat in the wall.

 

The circular vent to the left of the window will come out as the furnace is moving to the hallway, resulting in dreaded log patching.

 

A larger window will replace the bathroom window, shown center, which will require log cutting and patching.

 

The kitchen window, left of door, has to be raised 1 1/2 logs higher, and the porch window, far left, will be eliminated. More log cutting, and filling. Not fun.

 

 

Porch floor must be laid, and an end wall built, since there will only be stairs to the front now.

 

 

This is the enclosed portion of the front porch. The 2 windows shown will be eliminated, and a big walk-in storage closet will be built, floor to ceiling across this whole end of the porch. There isn't much room for storage in the living area of the cabin, so we want to be smart with this space and squeeze every square inch to make it useful for hanging, boxing, shelving, leaning, and stacking. The window on the floor to the left came out of our kitchen at home when we remodeled and put in the giant picture window. This will be installed to the right of the front door entering the porch. We bought a nice, solid wood door with glass upper from Craigslist, saving probably $300 vs buying a brand new one. We got bids from 3 different companies on the window package we need. Only 6 windows have to be purchased, and I was shocked at the $5,500 price tag from the first company. The second company came in at $4,200. These bids were for aluminum clad wooden windows. We got a bid for vinyl windows next, which was much more reasonable (less than a third of the first bid), albeit not quite the quality we were hoping for – but we have to remind ourselves that this is just a cabin, not a full time residence. And we need to be careful not to dump in more money than we would ever be able to recoup on the little place. Having to build the new foundation, and crane the cabin to it, put a major dent in the budget right off the bat. We have to be very careful with our spending, being mindful to get the most bang for our buck. There is a very long list of things yet to do, and after the shock of the windows bids, we will have to be extra diligent in searching out the best buys. That shouldn't be hard with the decorating/furnishings (since I'm the queen of rummage saling ;-0) but building materials are a different kettle of fish.

As for the inside…..

We do have a plan roughed out. Bruce is wrangling in the plumbing right now. We're having a heck of a time trying to find the best options for hot water. We don't particularly want to go the heater tank route because, unless you plan to keep the propane furnace at 48 degrees all winter (which would be very costly) to prevent water in the tank and pipes from freezing, you must drain and winterize the tank each autumn. That means no hot water if you hope to snowmobile in for weekends in the winter. There are many tankless, hot water on demand options available, but high altitude, extreme temps, and not being there daily, really complicate the decision. I know there must be a good option because I've seen tv shows about hunting camps in Alaska where guides bring folks to a shut down cabin, walk in, flip a few switches, and they're fully functional for a week or so. They leave after minimal winterizing, basically in suspension til next trip in, which they do often, all winter long. We've researched on the internet; I even got a year subscription to Cabin Living magazine to look into that and other things, hoping to make the most informed and correct choices. We surely don't want to dump a bunch of $$ into things, just to have them be dysfunctional and have to be replaced for even more $$. Bruce has checked with other folks in our cabin community, and it seems bottom line up there is water heater tank – bite the bullet and leave the heat running; or rough it – winterize and do without hot water in the winter months. I'm sure there has to be a better, more practical option. We'll keep after it…if nothing else, Mr. Bruce is the prize winner in persistence.

 

The blue tape lines are wall placement markers for bedroom and bathroom. Bigger bed and bath than what was there before, but still mighty tight!

 

Such a dreadful mess - makes me want to pull my hair! Doesn't bother Bruce in the least.

All I know is summer is fleeting, and boy, do we have a lot on our plate! Between work schedules, my folks moving, trying to get as much as possible done at the cabin in the short season we have to do it, and regular old house chores and maintenance, we could all stand a few more hours in the day to be sure!

Anyhoo, not whining….even if it does sound like it! All these things are very good “problems” to have! And not problems at all! We just need to stay organized, and step it up as best we can.

Meanwhile, Pinterest is my friend – it gives me so much to aspire to!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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