Friday, May 10, 2013


I am excited because we have set a date in August, purchased our airfare and reserved a rental car for Dave's first visit to the Montana house! It is so incredible to people when they learn that he has yet to set foot inside the house. Almost one year to the day, he will finally get to see it in person. The best part is that the biggest projects of the remodeling phase are now a reality. He will get to enjoy the family room and the kitchen for himself instead of seeing those rooms through photographs.

Our next interior project is the downstairs guest bedroom. The previous owners had a doorway that passed from the bedroom to the living room which is on the other side. They closed it off but the transition isn't very smooth, you can tell the outline if you look at it from a certain angle. The living room side is particularly noticeable. When I was there in October I went ahead and painted the bedroom, except for the section that our contractor will redo. We also need crown molding, trim and the ceiling needs to be patched. We will also have wood flooring installed. One of the things I like in the bedroom are the built in closets that frame the window and the window seat.

Not really digging the mauve colored shade but it works for the time being. I loathe the carpet colors! Shudder!

I have to ask myself why the previous owners didn't add trim? One of life's mysteries!

The section of the wall that will be smoothed out. At one time there must've been a light switch on the wall. I am having the contractor patch that as well.

Not really sure where the door is, we are having a knotty pine one installed. I am thinking that our guests might like some privacy!

We had originally decided to have the same flooring installed in the bedroom that is now in the remodeled family room. I didn't worry about the floor transitioning from the office (pine pergo) to the bedroom since there will be a door. While I was at the house last month I met with our contractor and as we went through the house evaluating upcoming projects, I suddenly realized that the flooring we had decided upon would clash with the window wall that has the closets and window seat. Dave and I began looking for alternatives and saw a sample of flooring that we really liked that had the "skip-peel" look to it. However, when we saw a picture of a room done in it, it was a deal breaker. This bedroom size room will be overwhelmed by the flooring as if to say, "LOOK AT OUR FLOORING!!!" when you enter it. Flooring should compliment not compete...We are considering a distressed pine flooring now.

We have a more pressing concern then the flooring choices. When the contractor pulled back the hideous carpet in the guest bedroom it was obvious that water had backed up into the room at some point. He is going to have to work on a drainage issue first, channeling snow melt and run off away from the house.

Now that the weather is transitioning to Spring in Montana, our contractor will be doing some outdoor work, this new drainage issue and the some roof work. Over the Winter, ice dams caused some leaking into the kitchen area; it turns out there is insufficient flashing so he will take care of that for us. Once the guest bedroom is finished Dave and I will bring the new queen sized bed downstairs, set the room up and use it until we retire. When we make the final move we will start using the upstairs master bedroom. In one sense, it would be nice to keep the bed upstairs until that time but we are both eager to see the downstairs bedroom completed. Hurry up August!!

Friday, May 3, 2013


A little of this and a little of that for today's entry. I have been doing some long term day dreaming regarding the workshop over the detached garage. If money were no object, I would love to turn this area into a "Guest Room" with a bathroom. However, money IS an object and I just do not see us affording to do that. When I showed this area to Brenda I told her that I thought this would make a great scrapbooking and crafting room for me. Her husband Charlie (Dave's best friend and our own son's namesake) is very handy and has done many remodeling projects; so between the two of us we have decided that once the guys are retired, THIS will be THEIR first retirement project! I could even see Brenda and her prybar ripping out the shelves and such! We could insulate the area and hang drywall and install a floorboard heater and do new flooring. The previous owners even had a small woodstove up there at one time. There was still some wood stored up there for the stove so I chucked it outside so we had a little extra to burn in our new woodstove in the family room.

Looking inside the workshop area.

Other projects that we had our contractor work on was the well house. We needed him to install a door in order to separate the area that houses the pump, insulate the well house, add a heater and finish up the exterior. We also had the plumber install a new pressure tank with emergency shut off switch. The electrician wired up a light for us so that we don't have to use a flashlight in the event we have to check something in the dark.

Before and after of the exterior:

I am thinking that the remainder of the well house will make a great gardening shed!

We had one of the locals stop by and hang out at the play house for awhile too!

The next entry will be the wrap up.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I could easily title today's entry, "The Idaho Adventure". Before I type out all the details I need to give a little background. I am a member of a special group of Christian ladies called, "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf" or simply, "Scarf Sisters". We come from different parts of the world and all of us have different experiences but the common thread that binds us all is our relationship with Christ. I feel very honored to be a member of this collective as we encourage and pray for one another during the inevitable ups and downs of life. Mrs. Mac our founder, lives in Idaho and contacted me about a tip on some furniture that she heard was for sale. Needless to say, she had my immediate attention!

She knew someone who worked with a lady that had placed an ad for log furniture for sale and sent me the link. After looking at what was for sale, Dave and I decided we would purchase the five drawer chest and the two nightstands. I called and made arrangements to pick them up while I was in Montana, when the lady told me that they were heavy and her husband couldn't help load them, I figured he must have recently had back surgery or something. I was unconcerned knowing that we could remove the drawers to lighten the load and we had the furniture dolly. As several people learned of our upcoming drive to Coeur D'Alene, Idaho I was told to be prepared for wintry weather, have extra blankets, boots etc. I remember thinking,

"Pe-Shaw! Dave and I just spent Christmas in Yellowstone, how hard can it be?!"

Brenda and I headed out early that morning, planning to have breakfast at Cracker Barrel in Missoula. While enjoying our breakfast, looking out the window, it began to snow. My first reaction:

"Ooooohhh, pretty!"

We headed west on Interstate 90 and as we came to the first mountain pass, (Fourth of July Pass) it began snowing harder. I have never driven this route before so I was clueless as to the second pass, (Lookout Pass) and how steep it is. I had already begun second guessing myself as to whether the furniture would fit in the back of the van. Never mind that we had already hauled an enormous load of household items all the way up from Texas, I chastised myself for not getting the measurements of the five drawer chest! I tried not being anxious, wondering what I would do if the chest wouldn't fit in the back of the van. The snow was falling heavier and accumulating on the interstate and becoming slick. Climbing Lookout Pass behind two semis, I could see a snowplow behind me. When we reached the top of the Pass and crossed into Idaho, I realized that the worst part lie ahead, going downhill. I shifted down into low, put on my hazard lights on and crept down the mountain behind the semis. Naturally I was passed by cars with Idaho and Montana license plates but I am sure that once they saw my Texas plates, they quit shaking their heads and wondering why I was being such a baby!! Fortunately we got down the mountain without incident!

Once down the mountain, I called the sellers and explained that I would be * forty-five minutes late due to the snowy conditions on the road. As it turned out, that was the first of several "God-winks" of our Montana trip. Due to being late, we arrived a few minutes after their moving truck got there. Brenda and I went inside and met the gentleman whom I was purchasing the furniture from; as it turned out, he was much older than I expected, they were downsizing and moving out of state. His wife was right, he would not be any help loading the furniture! We wrangled the two nightstands from the bedroom but couldn't figure out how to remove the drawers from the chest. I couldn't believe my ears when one of the furniture movers, a strong twenty-something year old, volunteered their help in loading the chest into the van!! They loaded all three pieces of furniture and it fit like a glove!! If we hadn't been delayed climbing the Pass, Brenda and I would have had to figure out how we were going to wrestle this stuff into the van by ourselves! I gave them a tip, (I really wanted to hug their necks!) and told them to enjoy lunch on me. I have to admit, I was feeling VERY pleased at this point!

I called Mrs. Mac who had invited us over for lunch and told her that we were on our way. It was such a treat meeting her for the first time face-to-face and spending a couple of hours with her and meeting her husband. Brenda summed it up later when she said,

"She and her husband were just delightful!"

After enjoying a delicious lunch of Elk Chili, Mrs. Mac had us follow her to a rustic furniture store nearby.

Brenda and I at Hauser Lake, Idaho.

We arrived at Wild West Rustic Furniture and I have to admit, I found myself becoming giddy as I saw all of the goodies on display! I was on the lookout for a sideboard or bookcase that I could put in the kitchen for displaying my cookbooks and antiques. Brenda pointed out one piece which was actually a TV Stand that would be perfect. As I hemmed and hawed, wondering if it would fit, she asked me for my mini tape measure which is on my key ring, then ran outside to see if we could fit it into the van. She came back all excited because she said if we put it in sideways, across the back captain's Chairs, it would fit! That clenched it for me. I ended up buying several things that day besides the TV Stand; purchasing two lamp shades as well as a skip peeled ladder to display our Pendleton Blankets. Fortunately, neither of these guys came home with me!

After hitting a quilt store we said our goodbyes and started the drive back to Montana. Once again, we had to climb Lookout Pass and once again the roads were slick. The scenery however was incredibly beautiful and with a heavy load of furniture in the van, we took out time, navigating the roads.

It was 9:30 PM when we got to Missoula and we still had 135 miles to go, in the dark and in the snow. Not knowing the road conditions and the potential for deer on the roads, we made a snap decision to get a room and spend the night in Missoula and finish the last leg in the morning. I am really glad we did although I must admit, I have never checked into a motel with just my purse! We had planned on going to church in Kalispell but flexibility was the rule and not the exception on this trip!

A summary of our productive day!

The HEAVY five drawer chest from Idaho!

One of the two nightstands from Idaho which might become end tables in the living room once we bring the leather sofa up from Texas.

The two new lampshades for the "Wild Wings" lamps. Dave found these unique lamps online and I hauled them up in the van.

The ladder for displaying our blankets, in the family room.

This will look fabulous once the kitchen is complete!