Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I have this thing about blankets and coverlets. I have accumulated enough to keep every homeless person in the city of Denton warm, all winter long! I have bought my own and I have received them as gifts. I have purchased clearance priced fleece blankets at Wal Mart for as little as $2 to keep in the car for emergency. Granted, living in Texas, that doesn't actually happen but I AM prepared none the less! I have of course, my favorites. Dave bought me a beautiful pine cone coverlet years ago that I put away because I was tired of the endless parade of teenage boys crashing on our couch, who after an all-nighter, X-Box marathon, used my beautiful coverlet to cover themselves. I have the Old Faithful Inn Centennial coverlet from 2004 and I have recently (2013 and 2014)bought the centennial coverlets from Glacier Park Lodge and Lake McDonald Lodge inside Glacier National Park. Next year is the centennial for the many Glacier Hotel and I will certainly get that one too! I hung the 2013 Glacier Park Lodge Centennial coverlet over the footboard of the guest bed.

I've never owned a "snuggie" but I did give one to my Mom to keep her warm when she was going through her chemo treatments. I told her it was my way of wrapping my arms around her since I was so far away. There's just something about burying ones self within the folds of a blanket, feeling its softness and breathing in the scent of your favorite fabric softener...one word that immediately comes to mind: comforting.

There is a difference however between woven coverlets, fleece and woolen blankets. This sometimes secret love affair of mine involves Pendleton. In 2010, long before we found the Mountainview Hideaway, it was the centennial of my favorite national park, Glacier. I have this thing about centennials as I am sure you have figured out. It's my goal to visit those national parks that are celebrating their centennials within my lifetime. When we spotted the Pendleton commemorative blanket, made especially for Glacier's centennial, we splurged and bought it! Two years later on our 2012 trip to Glacier with Dave's brother and his wife, they surprised us with a gift of a Pendleton blanket, this one had the symbolic red jammer on it. After buying our home in Montana and the remodel of the guest bedroom was complete, we moved the two Glacier Pendleton's in there, in keeping with the them of the bedroom. They are on display on this KIVA ladder that I picked up in Idaho in April 2013.

In 2011, after Dave had his surgery for prostate cancer, we went to his happy place for a week, Yellowstone. While we were there he spotted Pendleton's Yellowstone blanket with Old Faithful on it and we purchased it for him. Pendleton makes several National Park blankets (Acadia, Badlands, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Crater Lake, Ranier and their newest, celebrating Rocky Mountain NP's centennial in 2015. I might be in trouble since we have our family vacation planned to Colorado next year, visiting RMNP of course!)I am really loving the colors!

Back to Dave's blanket...

I ordered another KIVA ladder from a local furniture maker in Kalsipell back in April so I could display his blanket in the family room, AKA "The Yellowstone Room". I could write another blog entry about cramming that thing into our rental car on our most recent trip. We wanted to save a little money so we rented a Chevy Impala as opposed to an SUV. IT took us a solid 15 minutes to load it up diagonally in the car but I digress... Here's the end result, I love how it turned out! To the right, draped over the rocking chair is the Old Faithful Inn centennial coverlet.

We have purchased towel sets, of Glacier and Yellowstone too. I am more about how pretty they look and Dave is all about using them. I am thinking my pretty Glacier ones will outlast his! Here they are in our downstairs, western themed bathroom.

We both have the big coffee mugs and for the time being I have put them on the nightstands in the guest bedroom. Great for keeping track of small stuff: Dave's car keys and change in his or I keep my jewelry in mine when getting ready for bed. You can see them in one of the previous pictures of the guest bedroom.

I just spotted this on their website and I think this has to go on my wish list. Seriously, this is gorgeous!

I left a few of our games up at the house, our old backgammon set amongst them. I can just picture Dave and I setting up the games on a chilly winter day with the snow falling outside, sitting next to the wood stove while the smell of bread baking and soup simmering in the crockpot fills the air.... Can't you?

Friday, August 22, 2014


It's hard to believe that we've been back from our trip 2 weeks now. While it gets harder and harder to leave our beautiful Mountainview Hideaway and return back to Texas life, it's nice to know that we will be returning in just 7 weeks for another 2 week visit. I am eager for chilly Autumn mornings and evenings where we have a fire going in the wood stoves, seeing the green Larch trees transform into their brilliant shades of golden hue, the smell of wood smoke hanging in the air and wearing sweat shirts and jeans. Fall has always been my favorite time of the year and who knows...maybe we'll even see a light snowfall up there as well!

This picture (October 2012) was my very first trip after we bought the house. I took a day off from cleaning and painting and explored Hungry Horse Dam and Reservoir. We had already gotten a light snow fall and the mountains behind me are in Glacier National Park.

This past weekend, Dave and I took a road trip up to Glenpool, Oklahoma to visit JHE Log Furniture Place and order our new china hutch for the Montana house. We hit the road before the sun came up, traveling up Hwy 75 through small town America.

We got to finally meet Jason and his wife face to face and we also got to see the workshop where the magic begins.

We ordered our new hutch and it should be delivered during our October visit.

Before we left the house 2 weeks ago, I went ahead and moved the bookcase out of the dining room in anticipation for the new hutch. I have gotten used to having it in here so it seemed a little odd to go ahead and move it into the office/library.

I can't wait to post pictures of the new hutch in the dining room! One of my smaller projects that I worked on during our recent trip was to create a coffee bar. When we had been planning the kitchen remodel and update last year, I entertained the thought of having our contractor build shelves on the back side of the redesigned stove island to house antiques, cook books and such. Dave wasn't on board with that so he told me to find something that would accomplish what I wanted, he basically told me to go furniture shopping! Needing no further encouragement, I quickly (before he could change his mind) went on a quest and found exactly what I was looking for in April 2013. It was on my trip over to Idaho to pick up the five drawer chest and two nightstands that my friend Cathy had given me info on, that Brenda and I, after enjoying lunch at her home, followed her to a rustic furniture store nearby.

Although the back of the van was already filled with the bedroom furniture I had picked up, when Brenda spotted this TV stand at the showroom she ran out to the van with my tape measure. She assured me that we could fit it into the van and we did! We also brought back a KIVA ladder and two large lampshades, proving once again that sometimes a big van is as good as having a pick up truck!

I have been holding off on finishing the last window treatment in the kitchen because we have had some leaking issues over the winter with ice dams. In April 2013 I brought up the new cellular shades and curtains for the kitchen and dining room windows but decided to wait, until we were certain this one window in particular was cleared up. Our contractor thought he had taken care of it but this past winter it reared its ugly head once more. He's addressed it but I want to wait another winter to be certain, I don't want to risk ruining the new window treatments. In the meantime, we have these lovely paper, pleated shades!

Back to the coffee bar...I came up with the idea of creating this in order to clear up counter space. I like the idea of having less clutter so I moved the coffee pot and canisters onto the TV stand. This is before:

This is after:

I moved the Grizzly platter from the bookcase in the dining room and placed it where the canisters used to be, I really like it here!

I like having everything in one place. I have all my coffee supplies underneath in one of the baskets and I have our coffee cups and other essentials in the canisters or on top. I have plenty of room underneath to house my many cookbooks and recipe binders. All in all, I am really pleased with how it turned out. I did however move it away from the window right before we left just in case, we have any kind of a leak still. I am eager to finally have this window completed and get to check one more thing off of my list of projects!

Monday, August 11, 2014


Nope I am not blogging about Jim Morrison today but rather my door projects. All of the exterior doors were primer gray color and had never been painted. Long ago I realized that color on a front door is more than cosmetic, it sets the tone, makes a statement as to who the occupants are. I have shared the eclectic color choices of the previous owners so I guess I should be thankful the doors weren't painted bright pink or some other hideous color! In April, I selected the colors for the doors and their trim but we were unable to work outdoors because of the temperatures. Having a small window of opportunity I saw this trip as my chance to enhance this house by bringing it one step closer to its potential.

The french doors leading out of the family room.

The french doors afterwards. We are replacing the black storm door that leads into the kitchen, the back door was painted as well.

The french doors, with temporary paper privacy shades, from inside the family room, before

After painting and installation of the new add on blinds! The blinds were incredibly easy to install. just 5 minutes! I can raise or lower them or open and close them for privacy. A great investment!

The upstairs balcony has french doors that were also painted.

Before doors were painted and the balcony was restained.

The interior view of the front door before:

And after:

The exterior view of the front door last summer before the electrical and porch project:

The exterior view of the front door after:

I also scraped and painted a fresh coat of white paint on some of the door frames and window frames where it was needed. Dave and I painted/stained the lower portion of the front of the house and hopefully will do more on our next trip up. Dave also plans to paint the underneath side of the porch roof. We are trying to do as much of it ourselves as possible and only hiring out the second floor area to be painted by someone who is better equipped than us.

After our work, support posts done as well!

I will also be taking off some of the interior, wooden doors (closets, bedrooms, etc) that have never been finished and I will sand, condition and stain them out in the garage. Working vacations are a paradox in that they are work but somehow they are still relaxing!

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Oh my goodness...our 15 day trip to our version of earthly paradise has come and gone. The days went by at a nice pace, unlike the fast pace of our daily grind here in Texas which tends to be filled with responsibilities, job demands, drama and so forth. We had a nice work/play balance while we were there, accomplishing many home projects as well as getting some hiking and fishing in (for Dave). Our evenings at the house were so anticipated because they were relaxed and fulfilling. We brought almost all Westerns up with us, to watch on the TV...the 2010 version of "True Grit", "Silverado", "Lonesome Dove", "El Dorado" as well as our vacation DVD's were a great way to wrap up the day. Nearly every evening found me in my pajamas next to Dave on the sofa with a blanket to keep me warm.

One of the more pleasant aspects of our Mountainview Hideaway is the temperature. The house is only eight miles north of Columbia Falls but because of the mountains surrounding us, our temperatures are cooler; so far the greatest difference has been eleven degrees! When we first bought the house we looked up the annual snowfall amount in Columbia Falls which is on average around sixty inches. We have since discovered that up on the North Fork we can get up to three times that amount!! It makes sense when you think about it; if it is in the mid-thirties and raining in Columbia Falls, it can be in the twenties and dumping snow up at our place! Another aspect of the house which is extremely enjoyable is the inside temperature. On this recent trip we were in Columbia Falls and it was 85-90 degrees in town, maybe 75-80 degrees at our house but inside it was a consistent 68 degrees! It was cooler than running the air conditioner back in Texas which struggles to maintain 77 degrees inside, in the heart of the summer. We would open the windows overnight and by 10 AM we shut the house up and it would stay cool throughout the day. We have lots of beautiful, tall trees creating a significant amount of shade for the house, this explains why I would cover up with a blanket while watching a movie at night!

Overnight with the windows open in the guest bedroom and the temperatures going down to the fifties and even the upper forties, meant lots of snuggling under that Denali fleece bedding!