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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Lots Going On!

 

These big Ravens are really entertaining to watch while I'm at work.

We had a week of high 70's, low 80's temps. I was contemplating hooking up the little swamp cooler at work because it was getting pretty toasty in the afternoons. Glad I didn't jump the gun…..cuz after our tropical week, we were back to wearing parkas and cranking up the heaters. Welcome to Springtime in the Rockies!

A few days of cold and sloppy, then back to sunny Spring. Great traveling weather for a much anticipated event –

My big little son finally reached the finish line on his 4 long, hard years of college education. Bless his heart. He graduated on Saturday and, thank the Good Lord and all the Saints in Heaven, started a wonderful job the following Monday! And right where he hoped to be, here in Montana, in the middle of all the things he holds dear – skiing, hiking, fishing, biking, camping, and all the other treasures our area has to offer. Next hurdle is finding an affordable apartment, which is a trick these days, but thankfully he can commute from here for now, and can grab the right one when it pops up.

It was a nice graduation ceremony and a pretty day for a road trip.

 

Canyon Ferry lake was a pretty sight to take in; water so blue, and only a boat or 2 to be seen. Not many campers yet. They all come out of hibernation on Memorial Weekend.

We got to go to a flea market at the civic center in town a few weeks ago.

Not lots of stuff there, but it was fun looking.

 

 

That kind of starts the season off for rummage sales, auctions, and other fleas around here. I found only this “it's so ugly it's cute” 50's dolly that I got for the Cowboy and Indian bedroom.

We hope to go to a GIANT flea market they are having in northwestern MT later this Spring. We need to outfit the cabin kitchen, and I hope to do an unfitted kitchen with antique pieces for cabinetry. So, hopefully we will be able to hit the jackpot at this sale, and not have to worry about buying from antique stores and paying those inflated prices. And Bruce reminds me, a scenic, much needed road trip is always good for the soul! I fret when I have to go anywhere, but this time should be easier because the wild woollies are coming with us (which might be a fiasco in itself), and my big little son will be home to tend the antique cat, not that she needs much tending since she sleeps about 23 hours a day, but it's reassuring none the less. My good neighbor Eileen is the bestest critter sitter in the West, but it will be nice to not have to pester her. Getting gone for a few days will make Mr. Bruce very happy. He has to sort of pry-bar me out of my comfort zone. I'm one of those weirdos that likes to stay at my own little home, home on the range. I don't know how anyone could blame me when you have a view like this out your kitchen window!

 

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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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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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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A Cottage Bedroom

My time management skills are sorely lacking. But I did manage to get my big little son's former bedroom put back together again. Because of that, my turkey collection has to suffer another full year of being boxed up before they can come out and play again. I have so many beautiful and unique turkeys it's a shame to not get them all out, but I put 5 full totes of Halloween stuff out this year, and by the time all of that got put away, then also had the bedroom re-do that had to get done before Thanksgiving, well something had to give!

Anyway, thought I'd share how the bedroom turned out. I am really happy with it. It feels very calm and feminine and old fashioned to me. Let's see what you think about it –

These are the before pics. This room is only 9 feet by 10 and really difficult to photograph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just went from the doorway into the room, then clockwise around the room. It was pretty beat up from my teenage fella living there. When he was little, he used to bedroom hop. With no siblings, he had 3 bedrooms to choose from, but spent his teenage years in this room.

This is the first time I can remember that I didn't make it harder on myself and complicate things by using multiple colors, wallpapering, trying strange paint techniques, etc. I just got two partially full cans of light colored paint out from under the stairs where we store lots of extra paint, and I mixed them together. The result was a nice off white, with casts of buttery creme, beige, and even a bit of a pinkish tint at times. Depending on the light throughout the day, it can take on any of the above tones. I did walls, ceiling, doors, and trim the same color. That made it pretty snappy to finish. We did prime the brown wall with 2 coats of Kilz before paint went on.

This room didn't cost me a dime to re-do. I just shopped my house and didn't have to go out to buy anything. I don't know if that's good or bad, to think you have enough stuff to completely re-do a room and not have to buy a thing, from paint to bedding! The crazy thing is, even if I did add up the initial cost, it would still be little to nothing. I buy paint inexpensively from WalMart and keep what's leftover to use later. Nearly everything in the room is rummage sale or hand-me-down. Let me show you…

The old metal bed, mattress, quilt, little juniper filled chickadee pillow, and old quilt bunny; all from rummage sales. Shelf came from a craft sale, unfinished, and I painted it. The old, old baby dresses hanging from the shelf pegs my Grandma found in a box in the garbage a few houses down from hers. A family moved their elderly relative out of her house and threw nearly everything in the poor lady's house away. So at least these sweet little dresses were rescued. Lamp and chair were my Great Grandmother's. My Mom and I re-upholstered the chair (with clearance fabric) about 10 years ago. Night stand found on Craig's List. Had the lace panels for years. The valance looking thing at the top of the lace is a linen table topper, hand embroidered by my Grandma's tiny little French/Norwegian aunt (she was about 4 feet 10 inches tall in shoes!), many, many years ago. In the frame above the bed is Bruce's Great Grandparent's marriage certificate. It is unusually large, and so beautiful!

I love the detail; the deer by the lake, the different flowers.

Just a few of my favorite poochies from my antique dogs collection. The majority of these were found at rummage sales or were gifts from folks.

 

 

All the antique lady pictures were also my Great Grandmother's.

I moved the gothic window from the living room and added some rope lights. I placed it on an oak 2 drawer chest I got for a song at an antique sale.The wooden shoe lamp was sent from Holland when my Mom's cousin lived overseas. She sent it to my Great Grandmother, and I remember it in her home from the time I was little.

A happy little couple. My little glass corgis were just the right size to be their companions 🙂 .

I put some dollhouse furniture my Mom had when she was little on my little mini hutch.

 

 

 

I'm glad to have it all put together and off the to-do list!

So, in parting, I want to wish everyone the happiest Thanksgiving. I'm going to throw in a couple pics of turkeys from last year, just cuz I'm missing them so much!

 

 

 

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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PROGRESS

Here are a few shots of the progress on the new foundation for the cabin.

These are the drilled holes, but pre-pour of the cement piers. There was a good deal of surveying, angle calculation, time, and effort just to get these dozen holes put in the ground. And the majority of this Bruce did all by himself. God bless his heart.

 

 

 

He had to frame everything up, and set the sonotubes and rebar cages (which he wired together himself). Nine of the twelve holes drilled that will hold the pier posts ended up taking on water from the underground springs on the property. That did not make Mr. Bruce happy at all. He had to rent a pump and make other modifications to make sure everything was ready for the concrete pour. It took him the better part of the week to have everything ready. He had the concrete delivery scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday. Then, here came the cement truck, approximately 2 and 1/2 hours late. Just enough time for the ground in the yard to thaw out and be good and soft. I had to work the day they poured, and I am glad I wasn't there to watch, because it was a very stressful, torturous day. The cement truck got stuck on the property because of the boggy ground and excess weight of the loaded truck. And it was stuck a goodly distance from where the cement needed to be poured. A very good hearted man, who just happened to be stopped and chatting with Bruce in passing, gave up his Saturday on the spur of the moment when he saw the terrible picture unfold with the truck, and knew what a horrible pinch Bruce was in. He helped him get that concrete from the truck to the foundation holes, which was no small feat. Another cabin neighbor had a bobcat (a small tractor like piece of equipment) he let them use, and they would fill the bucket then drive from the truck over to the holes and dump in the concrete a scoop at a time. Not good. Once the cement was unloaded from the truck, which was a long while later, they were able to get it unstuck, and the truck driver got out of the yard and back to the road. This is a very condensed version of what transpired. There were lots of other exciting things that happened in the process, but this would turn into a book if I elaborated.

I haven't been up since the pour. Bruce said the road in the yard to the cabin is a torn up mess, and the piers are not pretty by a long shot, but thank The Lord they are done. And he beat the snow to boot. Needless to say, he decided to skip going up there this weekend. He needed a break away from that turmoil for a bit. Now, we wait til next Spring, then starts the process of getting everything ready to lift the cabin from the present foundation and move it over about 35 feet to the new foundation. Oy Vey, I don't even want to think about that…too scary.

So, on a happier note, here are some pictures I took on the way up to give Bruce moral support during the earlier part of this ordeal. I was a worthless helper, but that stuff was way beyond my capabilities.

This was one of my travel partners. The princess Declan, in her little pink blankey.

Glee rode in the back seat so she could hang her nose out the window. This little gal just snoozed the whole way up.

There was an impressive storm rolling in as I drove up.

It rained a little, slushed a little, and patches of blue sky shone thru all the while. Made for a very pretty spectacle.

It was pretty nice for the few hours I was up at the cabin. Bruce said I left just in the knick of time as it rained cats and dogs shortly after I headed back to town.

The trees in the cabin yard were putting on a pretty show of colors. Most of the leaves in town have blown off already. The wind just doesn't stop in this little town.

Anyway, steady by jerks. We just need to keep the faith that all will go well with this little mountain house, and it will be so wonderful when everything is completed and sturdy and snug when we finish.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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A New Hat For My House

Guess what just got finished at our house!

Yup, we have a brand spanking new roof!

This was another thing that just snuck up on us. I knew the porch shingles needed replaced because the front of our house faces east and spends the biggest part of the day in shade, so when it is snowy here (which is a big part of the time) the sun doesn't shine on the porch long enough to get the snow melted off the roof. So, consequently, it just sits on those shingles week after week, which really wrecks the heck out of them. Several times over the last few winters, Bruce had to get a ladder, climb up on the porch roof, and shovel the great drifts of snow off. Not fun, not safe. And as bad as we knew the porch roof was, we weren't prepared when we saw that the rest of the house shingles were all of a sudden looking pretty darn shabby as well. Great.

Boy, this was sure the year for it, tho. By the looks of how many roofing companies were hard at it this summer, a goodly portion of folks in our town were doing just as we were and digging deep in their wallets to remedy the “rotten shingle epidemic” our County was struck with.

This cupola and weather vane were a big splurge for me when we finished up the addition to the front of our house several years ago. I just love it, and am very happy we spent the money on it, which is a rare thing for me to say! When we scheduled with the roofing company, we made sure they did metal roofing as well as shingles. I picked a metal the same color as the cladding on our windows (which is called weathered bronze) and had them put metal on the porch instead of asphalt shingles. Now, hopefully, the snow will just slide off that metal, rather than sit there for weeks on end. They re-attached the cupola and weather vane and it looks so nice on the metal roofing. With all the trees in our yard, plus the height of the house, you can't even see the new shingles on the rest of the house. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because the garage and garden shed weren't re-roofed, and their shingles are now a different color than the house. Only those in an airplane will know that little secret!

Even tho it practically made my hand bleed to write that check to the roofing company, I am very glad we won't have to worry about leaks and/or shingles blowing off in the blizzards to come in the winter that is just around the corner. It's a good thing to take care of your home, because then it reciprocates and keeps you warm and sheltered and snug.

I know I said I wouldn't say the “f” word, but there is no sense in denying the fact that fall is now most assuredly here.

My hops are a little freeze dried, but will make nice additions to fall decorating indoors if I can get my rear in gear.

 

 

 

There is a lot of beautiful color popping up in my yard, and all over town for that matter. The birds will be able to feast on berries in my yard for the next few weeks.

I have carrots and a few onions to harvest from my veg garden boxes, and a few yummy little crab apples to pick. The worms unfortunately also love these little apples, so the lion's share goes to them. Actually I will gather all those I am unable to use, and take them to the cabin for the deer to snack on (they won't mind a worm or two in their apples 😉 ).

I need to hustle while the weather is decent and get the flower beds cleaned up and tucked in to keep them snugged up for the winter. I lost a lot of plants last winter, so I need to pay better attention this fall and mulch the dickens out of everything to blanket them.

MORE COFFEE, MORE COFFEE!!!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙁 ) 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 🙂

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 😉

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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