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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A New Cap for the Teslow

They've started the long journey forward with the restoration of the Teslow granary. If you look on my sidebar at categories, and click on granary, I have a couple of posts that will tell a bit of the story on the process of saving the old Teslow in our town. I borrowed a few pics from Facebook to show the placement of the new top on the building.

A construction company built the new roofing system on the ground, then hired the same crane company that moved our cabin, to hoist the new structure into place. That is no small feat in our town, where the wind blows at gale force 90% of the time.

Yikes that's a long way up!!

And there it is, all secure on it's new perch. Those guys at Montana Crane Company are a very talented lot. Also, the fellows working at OSM Construction surely had their work cut out for them with all measuring, cabling, stabilizing, etc. in preparation for the roof placement all those many stories up, up, up in the sky! So glad they are saving the old gal!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Full of Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Now we jump into the thick of the holiday season, and as hectic and wonderful as it all is, it's done in a flash, so enjoy and appreciate every minute of it!

Thought I'd toss in a quick cabin update. We did make some progress this Summer – big ticket items, so although it doesn't add much curb appeal, it is a big step toward getting to the finished product. First, a brand new septic system was plotted, permitted, and installed. This is “part one” in getting the much needed plumbing in place to facilitate kitchen water and a nice little indoor potty once again at the cabin.

This is the septic drain field, and lids to the underground holding tanks

The horrible, smelly, rotten old floor and foundation were demolished and hauled away. The old septic system, which had been inactive for years, was opened up and filled with dirt. Then, the whole area was somewhat smoothed out and left to fill in with native plants.

 

Even though it is still torn up, it looks 100% better than before. We have 1 burning pile left to take care of, and I'm sure Bruce will do that on New Year's Eve (prior to the big, annual New Year's celebration), when the fire risk is very low with the cold and snow.

This is all that is left to burn.

He rented a trenching machine to prepare for electrical and propane lines to be run over to the new cabin site. It was hard going as it is very rocky ground, and required much hand digging to remove rocks when the trencher couldn't get past them.

There was a bit of winterization that needed to be done, so Bruce took the time last weekend to go up and tie up as many loose ends as he could.

I had Election Day off work, and was having such an awful, anxiety ridden day from this horrendous election, that I decided to toss my poochies in the truck, shut the darn radio off, and take a “back roads” road trip up to the cabin.

This is up Brackett Creek.

 

 

 

This is the old Sedan Church, refurbished, and all decked out with Christmas lights, ready for the Holidays.

Such a pretty drive went a long way in soothing the senses. When we got to the cabin, I sat on the deck in the sunshine, read some cabin decorating magazines til about dark, then went in and popped some popcorn. I put in a DVD, sat in the middle of that gosh awful mess of a cabin with Declan and Piper, covered us up with a fuzzy blanket, and proceeded to watch a crazy sci-fi movie. Then we locked up, loaded up in the dark, and hit the trail for home. I felt lucky to have a nice escape day with no TV or computers.

I only put a dab of Thanksgiving decorations out this year. Trying to conserve energy to really get after the “Christmas Extravaganza”!

 

 

 

Already had my Native Americans out. I just love these Skookum dolls.

My big little son is at his new job 200 miles away and can't come home for just one day, so Mr. Bruce and I have been invited to the farm for dinner. My good Mom is cooking, and I will bring a salad and a pie. My Dad is going to BBQ steaks for he and Bruce. It's supposed to start storming tonight, so hope the roads won't be “slickery” for all the Holiday travelers.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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A Quick Trip Up The Mountain

We made a quick trip up to the cabin to make sure all was well. This has been a really busy winter for Mr. Bruce at work. That, coupled with the wacky weather, made it difficult to spend any time at the cabin. And who would really want to at this point anyway; it is a disaster up there (insert stressed out shudder here).

The last trip I made was in November when we emptied out the storage unit and brought everything, all boxed up, back to the cabin so we wouldn't have to pay the $40 per month storage fee. Bruce went up for the big New Years Eve party that many in the cabin neighborhood attend. He has no problem camping in the hovel. Me, not so much. He had a blast at the party, where they snow machined progressively to 4 separate cabins (in the dark no less), and ate, drank, gabbed, made merry, and rang in the new year. They had about 50 folks attend this year.

The cabin neighborhood webmaster made this nice photo collage of the party for website we all can access for updates. Note the lovely cabins - that is our inspiration!

But, with 2 months having passed, we thought it would be a good idea to make a trip up to check the pump, and make sure everything else was doing OK.

So we hooked up the trailer with the snow machines, loaded up the poochies, lots of warm hats, gloves, and other snow clothes, and we were off and running.

Once we got off the paved road, the rest (which is normally a dirt road) was mixed stretches of snow pack, then muddy slushy, but it was pretty manageable for this time of year. We were able to drive up to about a mile or so away from the cabin before having to park. The snow got too deep for driving, and it was time to unload the snow machines.

We've had the dogs on the 4 wheeler before, but not the snow machines. They most definitely knew where we were going, and didn't fuss one little bit when each of them got tucked into our bibs/coats, and we putt – putted down the road to the cabin. Snow machines are so loud, I thought it might scare them, but they loved every minute!

This is the new back door and porch deck that Bruce put in before it got too wintery. There was only one door in the cabin before, and that didn't feel safe to me. So we worked a back door and small deck into the new layout. The door replaces the window where the bedroom was before.

You can see where we taped off the potential new floor plan. It looked pretty good on paper – it looks pretty small when you actually see it on the floor. I don't know how those tiny house planners do it! We don't need GOBBS of room. It is just a cabin after all. But I don't want the new layout to be so horribly tight like the way it was set up before. The bathroom before was just ridiculous. But at least there is a bathroom there! I am more than happy about that! We just want to be able to maneuver in the space.

 

 

 

It is a heck of a mess right now, and will most likely get worse before it gets better. I'm having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. If we could work on it full time, or hire it done, it wouldn't seem so gargantuan. But this is something we have to do in our spare time, and there doesn't seem to be an over abundance of that lately. I guess it's always like that with remodeling, tho. We've been going thru it with our house for years and years! I hate the process, but LOVE the results! I'm sure we'll get there…….just don't want to have to add handicap accessibility so we can get in with wheel chairs and canes because it's taken so long to get to the finish line!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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COLLECTING!

Many of the things I have collected for the cabin I have posted about already. I'm afraid to get too far ahead of myself because our little cabin is fairly small (about 580 square feet + about 126 usable square feet in the loft; and the porch is about 192 sf, 1/2 enclosed, 1/2 open). The size of that little log house tends to grow quite a bit in my head when I'm away from it for awhile, and I seem to think a lot more can fit in the space than really can. So, I'm sharing some photos of things I've picked up over the last several months, and am hoping mightily that all this loot can fit!

These are antique metal “baker's cabinets”. I have never seen one as large as the bottom one before. They both have several shelves inside and hopefully will make good hanging upper cabinets in the limited space available with the cabin kitchen being somewhat re-formatted. Luckily, both of these were priced well below what I have seen even the smaller of the 2 of these antiques go for in my travels. The metal is fairly decorative, sort of like the old pressed tin ceiling tiles. Cleaned up, I think they will make unique cabinetry for the kitchen.

I've had some changes at work, and I feel like the luckiest person on the planet right now….they've decided to close on Saturdays, and boy, am I ever making hay while the sun shines! I don't know how long it will last (for good and ever, I hope) but while I have weekends free I have been hitting every rummage sale, flea market, estate sale, and antique show I can drive to within a semi-reasonable distance. I've been lucky enough to happen upon some excellent finds which has saved us a bundle off retail price.

This light fixture will be perfect for the bathroom at the cabin. It came from a rummage sale a builder was having, to get rid of excess surplus so he wouldn't have to store it. He got this fixture from a custom lighting company that was going out of business, and said he still paid way too much for it, but didn't want it to get broken in storage. So he said he'd take it in the shorts and give it to us for $20 bucks! That made me one happy girl!

It is awesome! That is real leather strapping wrapped around the metal “twigs”.

Then, of course, I couldn't resist a few do-dads!

This is not something I ever remember having seen before, even tho I have been thru bazillions of antique stores! It's like a powder box of sorts. Take the lid off and there is a well inside. It stands on 3 little metal legs. Love the picture of the Indian, and that's why I bought it. It came from my favorite antique/junk store in Big Timber.

I found 2 babies for the Skookum doll my Mom got me a while back. I am obsessed with Skookums right now, and look high and low for them, but they are super expensive. I feel extremely lucky to have found these babies in my itty-bitty budget bracket.

I'm not sure if they call these small figures Skookum or not, but she is blanket wrapped and cute as the dickens, and had to come home with me. Like a custom fit, she tucks right into the birch bark canoe I already had from a rummage sale.

This picture is my anniversary present from Bruce this year. I am enthralled with tee-pee anything.

And this beautiful Indian maiden picture was my Christmas present from my thoughtful husband. If I end up having enough wall space, I think they will both look terrific at the cabin.

I'm not sure if my bear collection will end up at the cabin, even if there does happen to be enough room. But, I may play “swap” on occasion, and they can spend part of the time up on the mountain. This big bear I found at the same time I got the Indian head powder box thingy.

 

Then I found this one at the “Little Bear Antique Sale”. They have a phenomenal sale every fall, over the hill. It never disappoints.

He is a Black Forest style mantle clock, and is about 14 inches tall. A lady was getting rid of the tail end of her personal bear collection, and added them to the rest of her inventory. Sure wish I could have gotten in on the rest of her collection! Her stuff was very reasonably priced.

I don't know if I've come right out before and said where I work, but it's at the Transfer Station for our town. There is no landfill here any longer, so all refuse is trucked out by a company to a huge landfill in northern Montana. I'm the lucky girl who gets to run the Scale House! I really love my job, BUT do have a few problems with it – I am a horrendous penny pincher. It is one of the priorities in my life not to be wasteful. I've come to the conclusion that I am in a tremendous minority. Oh my gosh people are wasteful! I put a lot of effort toward trying to redirect folks to our local charities if they have useful items, rather than having it go to a landfill. A few times I have been presented with golden opportunities to rescue things from loads destined to be dumped – let me show you a few of the things! These aren't good pics because most of this stuff is shoved in storage, or squished in the back of the garage, but you'll get the idea.

These awesome lodgepole pine benches were my first rescue. They came from a dude ranch nearby that has a long, long history. They decided to clean up and modernize a bit I guess, and came in with a big truck and huge trailer FULL of stuff. I could see these benches on the top and nearly fainted! I told the guy I wanted them and he said I was welcome to them! One has a seat so old it is stuffed with metal springs and horse hair for padding. I cringe when I think of the things I couldn't see on that load that went into the refuse trailers. There is also a solid wood, 6 foot tall cabinet, and a lodge pole pine lamp/table combo that didn't make it into the picture that I scavenged. A few weeks ago, I pulled an antique, quarter sawn oak rocking chair off a load. It has arms, and a padded seat and back. It was so full of mouse poop that Bruce pulled all the material off and shook it out, and it will stay in storage til I get the time to re-upholster it. I have some great, high end upholstery material I got at a rummage sale, that came from an interior design store. Or maybe I'll use one of my Hudson Bay blankets for the upholstery.

K – so I almost fainted again when I saw this. I said incredulously “You're not dumping that are you?” And the guy looked at me like I'd lost my marbles and said “Well, yeah…, it's just an old door.” I told him immediately that I wanted it. He didn't think it would fit in my car trunk so even volunteered to drop it at my house! I think at this point he was a little scared of me, and offered to drop it off so he could get gone from there 🙂 I was so darn excited! I'm not sure just where it will go yet, but someplace it will look awesome will pop up I'm sure.

OK, and for the grand finale I saved the best for last! This was the best Christmas present! And FREE to boot!

A genuine, cast iron, claw foot tub!! Oh Joy! I had been scouring loads for months looking for one. Most contractors just bust them up with a sledge hammer and pack them out in pieces because they are so heavy to drag out of a house and load whole, just to trash them anyway.

This most wonderful young man came in with a truck and topper and told me he just had a load for the metal recycling bin. I couldn't see what he had since it was in the topper, so just gave him the OK to go ahead. Fortunately for me he said “You don't know anybody that could use an old claw foot tub, do you?” I nearly jumped for joy and said “ME!!” This kind fella helped me load the whole works into my truck, faucets and all! And the cherry on the top was when he said “How about sinks – need any of those?”

Good Lord, it felt like I'd won the lottery! A high backed, cast iron kitchen sink…..with faucets!! And…

This awesome little cast iron bathroom sink!

He had painstakingly packed all of these out of the UPSTAIRS of an old house, hoping that someone could use and appreciate them. Well, needless to say, he found the right person!

So, stay tuned! I hope I'll be having a bit of the luck o' the Irish, and will be able to make all of this stack of goods work. Otherwise, I may end up having the rummage sale of the century!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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Switching Up

I need some big vitamins.

Last year I put every drop of Halloween stuff I own out. About 5 or 6 big storage tubs full. I do it solely for my own entertainment, because

#1 Mr. Bruce could not give a hoot. I'm sure he is not enthralled with skeletons, dangling bats, and blinking orange lights to weave thru to get to his recliner. 😉

#2 I had a grand total of 1Trick-or-Treater last year.

#3 No one but Bruce and myself passed thru the front door of my house the full month of October last year.

This year I am pleading exhaustion (aka laziness). I put one little ghosty sign, a pretend crow, and a light-up plastic ghost on my front porch, and that is the extent of it. Not that I really need to make excuses to myself for myself, but I guess it is the polite thing to do!

But, needing a little change/pick-me-up, I did switch out the shelf content on my hickory cabinet in the kitchen. Here is how the shelves had looked for quite awhile –

'

 

 

So I packed up most of this stuff, and drug out my bears.

I spent awhile arranging, then re-arranging them. Kind of like playing Barbies, but with bears – guess that's Montana style. (Or deranged CottageLodge gal style.)

 

 

 

 

I really like this big one. I think he is a very old Glacier Park souvenir bear.

The way he is painted and sculpted is similar to this smaller guy, and I know he is an early 50's Glacier souvenir. Some kind soul placed a piece of cloth tape on the underneath of the bear, stating where they got him and the year. I was glad no one had peeled it off at the antique store where I bought him.

I really like old National Park stuff, and try to snap it up when I come across it, if it's affordable.

This pic came across my feed on face book; I would love to have a bigger, framed version of it. It brought back memories of our family trips thru the park when I was little. We used to open the windows a crack and push cookies out to feed the bears. There would usually be lots of other folks doing the same thing, and most times would have a crowd of around 5 or 7 bears, all schnarfing whatever folks would hand out to them. Sometimes they would jump on the hood of the car and lick the windshield, begging for more snacks. Thankfully, this feeding practice has been strictly outlawed now, both for the good of the bears, and the safety of the tourists. I really don't know why it was ever tolerated. But it sure happened, clear into the 70's.

I can hardly believe October is 2/3s over. I love the fall, and we are having a beautiful one here this year, but I am totally unprepared for the holidays to be just around the corner.

Yep, I need big vitamins.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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We Made It!!

So the big day finally arrived! The massive equipment had no trouble navigating the twisty mountain road, thank goodness.

 

 

This is Leroy, the crane operator's dog. He really gave wild Miss Piper a run for her money! He was twice her size and they ran laps! Then stuff started moving along fairly quickly, so everyone was rounded up and we (Declan, Piper, and I) stayed in the truck and out of everyone's way.

It was down to serious business now.

All braced, sturdied, and strapped up. It was a very interesting, but stress inducing process. After seeing the miserable lack of craftsmanship while demo-ing, we (but especially Bruce) were so afraid that the cabin might not hold together when lifted.

And here we go – about 4 feet up at this point.

Amazingly, so gentle, and smooth. No swaying, or jerking. No cracking, popping, creaking, or groaning. It was so graceful….and quiet!

 

 

 

 

 

And down. A total of 6 minutes aloft. Believe me, it felt like 60 minutes while it was dangling in mid-air!

 

Safe and sound, Thank you Lord!

 

 

 

 

What a relief!

I climbed up the ladder to take a look inside.

 

What a difference. Because it is tucked more in the trees now, the light inside feels completely different. It is up so much higher it feels very tree-house-ish!

Then we took a look at the mess that was left behind.

 

 

 

It is plain to see how badly the north side is sunk down. And even with no building to hold it in, the smell was still horrific while standing on the abandoned floor. This whole mess will be broken up with a backhoe, and hauled in a dump truck to the dump.

Since it was a weekday, there were only about 4 neighborhood folks there to watch the move. They all gave a good round of applause when “the eagle had landed” 🙂 . Bruce came over to talk to everyone, and I jokingly told him “Now the work really begins!” and boy, those folks didn't miss a beat and said “Give the poor guy a break!”. I really was just kidding! I am so proud of all he has done to get this huge project accomplished, and almost completely singlehandedly. It was no small feat, and clearly shows how dedicated he is to this little mountain house.

There are several more projects in the works over the next few weeks……running new electrical to the cabin; having closed cell insulation blown onto the underside of the floor; securing the cabin to the new flooring system; cleaning up all the mess left behind; cutting in and installing a new back door so the wood stove can be moved back in (just so we will be able to use the cabin this winter – it would be near impossible without the stove), and too many smaller things to list. Now we are in a race with the weather. You never know what to expect in Montana, and I thank the Lord the weather held to move the cabin. Big equipment can't make it up the road if it's wet or snowy. So, cross fingers it will be a lovely, long, mild Indian Summer, and we will be able to get everything buttoned up before winter.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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The Last Rush

Well, Mr. Bruce is, again, fighting with Apple. So, instead of showing you the wonderful little video of the cabin move, you get plain old pictures – dagnabbit. I'll give you a few pics of the low down in getting ready for the move. A few posts back I showed you the floor system on the pier foundation that Bruce finished up without a ton of time to spare. Just soon enough that we had a couple of weekends to basically gut the inside, cut the body of the cabin away from the foundation, and get all the electrical capped off and a temporary source placed outside the cabin. Here are a few pics of the process –

The kitchen in pieces.

 

The bathroom and bedroom walls gone.

 

 

The floor, oh the floor. It slopes, rolls, dips, and bucks so badly, the only way they could lay tile on it was to cut the 12 x 12's into pieces in order to get them down the hills and dales. I was not sorry to see that wretched mess left behind.

There was a lot of water damage on the bathroom floor.

The wood underlayment in the bathroom was just rotted, and slivered off at the slightest rub. The whole floor bounced mightily when you walked on it. Probably lucky no one fell thru.

Here it is with each and every mess of a wall gone. It was insane how badly it was all cobbled together.

 

 

 

From the time we got the cabin, there was always a yucky, musty smell inside. You'd get used to it after a bit, but as soon as we'd get home, that horrible smell was so obvious on clothing, jackets, even your hair. It just reeked when we pulled the cabinetry out of the kitchen and bathroom. I'm sure it was from all the water damage that had occurred over the years.

Take a look at this bay window's damage, caused from snow and water, and from being improperly installed. And the logs beyond, from those decks holding snow up against them for so many winters.

 

 

 

All of the windows are garbage and will be replaced next Spring; and we plan to have the logs sand blasted (with ground walnut shell) then we will stain and reseal the logs inside and out. Resealing should eliminate any lingering gross odors.

Here is the sum total of all our ripping and tearing –

One giant pile to take to the dump

One giant pile to burn

We salvaged all we could, but there wasn't much worth saving.

We slept in Bruce's little camper trailer, and it was cozy and nice. We were all so exhausted (including the 2 vole hunters) we slept like rocks.

The iPad is out of juice, and it's near midnight and I have to work tomorrow, so I will plug this obnoxious little machine in to charge up, and be back tomorrow to finish up this chapter of our continuing saga!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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It’s Gonna Be Worth It!

 

The countdown has started – only a few more days until the big crane comes up the mountain to pick up our cabin and move it to it's new resting place on the pier foundation and new floor system that Bruce built. So I will share a few pics of some of the steps leading up to this gigantic, nerve wracking occasion.

To the left of the cabin are the cement piers that Bruce built last fall. This summer he worked building the new floor system. My big little son has a full time job in the town where he goes to college, but he came down 2 or 3 times on his days off to help his poor, tired Dad. We are also very fortunate to have a wonderful neighbor in our cabin community who generously jumped in of his own free will and worked like a horse helping Bruce out. We will now address this wonderful neighbor as “Saint John”! 🙂

 

 

The massive beams, all framed up and attached to the piers. Next step was attaching the decking, shown below, when finished

The cabin will be quite a bit further off the ground when on the new foundation. My big little son is over 6 feet tall, so this gives you an idea how far up the floor will be, with him standing next to it.

The porch floor will be where his elbow is. No new decks will be built after the move. The previous decks were responsible for a large part of the problems this poor cabin has suffered, because they held the massive amounts of snow up and against the logs and windows all winter, winter after winter. The weight of the snow broke the glass in several of the windows, and that is why you see blue tarps on them.

Just before the rest of the decks were torn off.

Bruce tore the deck off (where the wagon is sitting) several weeks ago to assess the damage to the base logs.

It's a rough looking mess, to say the least.

Here is an intermission shot of a vole hanging out of Declan's mouth. Super gross!! Bruce takes them away from her and throws them far and away. This last weekend she caught one and was so proud of herself; Bruce went over to take it away and she ran. He had to crawl on his hands and knees under the new foundation after her. She thought it was a game I guess, and kept backing up with her tail wagging the whole time. When Bruce finally got up to her, she looked him straight in the eye and took one big GULP! Oh my gosh, I could have barfed right there on the spot! It was not an extra small vole, and she just swallowed the thing whole :~[

Now, onto the inside. These next few pics are after we had moved most everything to storage, but hadn't started ripping yet.

The room below originally was a 2nd bedroom. The last owner tore the wall out to make it part of the living area. We kept a bookshelf and a small kitchen table and chairs there.

 

The tiny, tiny bathroom. Shower in the left corner, cabinet and short hot water heater facing the shower.

 

Potty and sink, and there is a strange, angled corner medicine cabinet above and to the right of the sink. Notice the 2×4 holding up the front of the sink. O brother! We really hope to be able to make this room a bit larger. It is so tiny you can barely turn around in there.

Looking in at the bedroom (which is to the right of the bathroom). It is only 9' x 9'.

Looking out of the bedroom, out to the wood stove, which is beyond the ladder to the loft.

The kitchen, just before we started ripping. The only things I was able to salvage were the cabinet doors, and the stainless steel sink. Everything else was so cobbled together it all fell to pieces or had to be smashed, in order to get it out. I am not a waster, and would have saved anything possible, but it was a lost cause.

The cupboards were put in over this green shag carpet, then they tiled right up to the cabinets.

The more we uncover, the happier we are we are moving forward with this huge project. There are so many things that are literally life threatening for anyone staying there, as it stands. The electrical is a complete terror – Bruce said it is pure luck this cabin didn't burn down it's so bad. He had to crawl into the space under the cabin and was appalled at what he found. They had filled 5 gallon oil cans with cement and used them as part of what was holding the whole cabin up!! He found live wires dangling, with no caps, coming from crazy junction boxes. Who builds something like that??!! Someone just wanting to make a fast buck, I guess. And, to think, it has stood nearly 45 years that way – good grief! As soon as he saw what a mess the electrical was, he got an electrician up there and they installed a temporary set up until the cabin gets moved.

 

 

The whole cabin is completely empty now, just a box. He has to finish cutting around the base of the cabin with a sawzall to free it from the existing floor and foundation (if you can call it that!). Then, bracing timbers must be placed inside the cabin to keep it sturdy, and keep it from wracking when they strap it up and crane it over to the new foundation.

Hopefully, this will all definitely be the right thing to do. They don't make anymore land, and we are sure lucky to have a little piece of some of the good Lord's finest work! A cozy little cabin in the mountains is the stuff dreams are made of, at least in my book!

Cross fingers that all goes well!!

 

 

 

 

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Kitchen Tour

A friend I haven't seen for about a dozen years called the other day on her way thru town, and wanted to come over for a visit the next day. Just those few kindly words struck terror to the very core of my heart!! With my palms sweating, I calmly suggested she come over the next day after I got off work. We exchanged pleasantries, set a time for the following day, and rang off. After few deep breaths to try to clear the panic attack polka dots that were swimming before my eyes, I headed directly for the closet containing the cleaning supplies. Sometimes a surprise like that is just the kick in the pants I need to get in gear, and get after all the things I've let slide for far too long.

I can never wrap my head around the reasoning those young couples use when looking for their first house on HGTV; how they decide a house is wonderful, or totally unacceptable, based on how well they can “entertain” in it. REALLY??!! I nearly faint every time someone says they want to come over to my house. On a good day, I need a bare minimum 4 hours lead time before I feel even remotely comfortable opening my door to welcome someone in. Never mind that opening the door to a good stiff breeze might send a dust bunny the size of a real bunny loping across the floor at my house. I also have a complete phobia about “smells”. I am so afraid when someone comes over they will be overwhelmed with doggy dander smells, or eau de litter box, or a lovely mildewey waft coming from the laundry drop, etc., etc., so I tend to over compensate out of pure, phobic fear. I own roughly 922 candles; approximately 78 cans of room spray (they vary from fancy pants home decor store purchases, to good old grocery store Glade); at least a dozen bottles of family sized Febreeze in various scents; even a few sticks of incense tucked away in a couple of rooms. I buy scented drawer liners, oil plug-ins, wash the inside of my washing machine with vinegar, and buy the strongest smelling/atomic grade mopping compounds known to mankind.

At any rate, my good Mr. Bruce threw in with me when he got home from work (he saw the true desperation in my eye, and took pity on me). He gave up the ghost at 1 a.m., and I shut the last light off at 2 a.m. and also hit the hay.

I fretted all day at work, made one last frenzied round thru the house before calling my friend to come over, then waited…….

It was just wonderful! – and I'm not being a bit sarcastic in saying that. She and her friend were so sweet, and complimented my house at every turn. If they saw anything that made them want to gag, they certainly did not let on! It was comfortable, and fun, and the 3 hours (!!!) they were here absolutely flew by!

But as grand as it was, it still didn't turn me – I will never be an entertaining kind of gal!!

I thought as long as stuff was semi-tidy, I would show you the kitchen and a couple of before pictures I found.

This is taken standing in front of the family room wood stove (which is still in same location today), looking into the kitchen. Now, the back door, to the right, is raised up to kitchen floor level. That wall where Bruce is standing was knocked out, and a full wall was built perpendicular, extending to where the pony wall shows in pic, successfully dividing the kitchen and family room. (Bye-bye open concept! I like each room to be their own room. I also like plenty of walls to hang pictures on.) Pony wall is torn out, and that is where the stairs come down into family room now.

Above pic taken, just to the right of where Bruce was standing in kitchen, looking down into family room.

The kitchen was “L” shaped before. More like backward 7 shaped. This main part of the kitchen is behind and to the right of Bruce in previous pic. This is the picture we put on Craigslist to sell the cabinets, just before we started gutting the room. I have a lot more before pics, but Bruce doesn't have time to scan and upload to iPad for me, so this is it. Now I'll show you what it looks like today.

Here is looking at the back door I told you we raised up.

Here is looking at the wood stove and family room, to the right, where pony wall was before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's a good little barnyard kitchen, where my wild little shorty pies can run in and out thru the doggy door, dragging in sticks, and mud, and whatever else they fancy. So, I'll just keep the cleaning supplies well stocked, in case we have to have another emergency cleaning session, but in the meanwhile, everybody can just run and hop and be happy, and we won't worry one little bit about entertaining!!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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