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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Community Rally – A Teslow Update

A few posts ago I told about the impending demolition of the antique Teslow granary in our town. I mentioned how sad a lot of folks were about losing this icon…..boy, I was not exaggerating! Even tho it was really down to the wire, a bunch of concerned citizens jumped right on it.

There were folks popping out of the woodwork at the very last minute, rallying to save the Teslow.

With cooperation from the owner, and some very generous people, they were able to purchase the building and stop the demolition.

Even a TV actor who owns a home locally stepped in to help the cause.

Actor James Denton

The effort made papers and news stations around the state.

How awesome! I'm so glad it gets to stay. Because once they're gone, they're gone.

The big question now – What are they gonna do with it? It's, as yet, a mystery!

Stay tuned…………… 🙂

TTFN,

Teresa

(all the pics are from Facebook)

 

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River Art

These photos were in our local newspaper this week. Apparently, the staff photographer found them by chance. They are on the river bank just a couple miles out of town.

 

Aren't they awesome?! Think of the time it must have taken collecting so many of each of all the different colored stones. Nice to know there are still folks out there that have enough ambition to get away from all the electronic stuff, and innovation to find pleasure in the wonderful things nature has to offer if you just put your mind to it…..and maybe use your imagination a smidge.

The last few days the weather has been wonderful; high 50's, low 60's. Then, today, it snowed to beat the band, and the wind blew something fierce. But, it is just February, and it is Montana, so none of it really should be a surprise! But…….I did see a sweet little red-breasted robin today, so Spring can't be too far around the bend 🙂

Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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They’re Taking Her Down

I didn't do my homework before starting this post, so I'm not sure what year the Teslow granary was built, but this iconic structure has stood in our little town for all my life, and even as far back as my Mom can remember, and she moved here when she was a teenager, many moons ago.

Now it's scheduled for demolition. Many of our townsfolk are very sad! There is a community appreciation site for our town on Facebook, and they have had a kind of photo “contest” to basically just honor and show our appreciation for this long time sentry of of our little country town.

These photos I am sharing from Facebook-

 

 

You can see how it's been slowly falling apart over the years. The wind in this area is wicked, and structures here, especially ones as tall as this, require more maintenance than buildings in areas with less volatile elements. The roof is blowing off, bit by bit, as are sections of the sheet metal cladding. The busiest street in our town runs right next to this granary, so it is more than a little hazardous having chunks of this building fall to the street.

These are photos I have taken of the old building –

 

 

It was for sale at one time, and I heard someone was interested in restoring and putting a restaurant in the building. I guess it all proved to be too much of an undertaking, because it never came to fruition.

So, over the next few weeks, we'll be losing a piece of our little town's history. I really hate to see these kinds of things slip away.

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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Winter Mantle

I don't decorate for Christmas in my bedroom, but I did decide having a few of my favorite deer out would make a nice Winter mantle.

I kept the wreath my Mom made, the wooden box, and the little cabinet, but switched all the birds for deer.

 

 

 

I told Mr. Bruce he was off the hook for a stocking stuffer for me, and got this pretty little roe deer faux mount for myself.

We're just 11 short days away from Christmas, and I'm ready to start baking and candy making for the remainder of my gift giving. All the “bought” presents are waiting to be wrapped. I made it easy on myself this year and just put a minimal amount of decorations out. This is the very first time since I've lived in my own house that I haven't gone hog wild and decorated the house from top to bottom. Even with just a pretty tree, and a couple of cute, cheery things set out, it looks cozy and festive and is good enough for who it's for!

Best wishes for a safe, memorable, and joy filled Christmas to you and yours!

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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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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