Wednesday, November 11, 2015


One of the things I am anticipating most about being at the Mountainview Hideaway, is having visitors. We have a quiet retreat, tucked away in the beauty of Northwest Montana and we enjoy sharing it with others. A lot of thought and detail has gone into creating a guest bedroom where people can have every possible comfort as well as a peaceful place to just relax and recharge. I've also gathered recipes for hearty breakfasts to start them out for whatever adventure the day might hold.

This summer in particular, the Hideaway saw its most guests yet! In July, our daughter Laura and her boyfriend Jake used it for several days as part of a three week vacation out west.

They left the morning after we arrived but not until after having their photo taken and enjoying a breakfast at one of our favorite spots, Montana Coffee Traders.

Our oldest daughter Jennifer and her family came to Montana after hitting Mount Rushmore on their family vacation. Dave and I wanted them to experience all the reasons why we love this area, so we came up with some ideas to hopefully entice them to come back again. For the grand kids, we set up our 2 backpacking tents and a pup tent so they could "camp" in the safety and comfort of our house. I say safety because there are bears and wolves in the area and we didn't want them to be scared of what might be out there. Everyone SAYS they want to see a bear, it's just that they don't want to see one looking right at them! We also had personalized tee shirts made for them, got them each a stuffed animal "mascot" and little lanterns for them to use at night in their tents.

Dave and I purchased a fire pit from Cabela's which we initiated with hot dog roasting and making "camping cones".

We took them into Glacier National Park and shared one of our favorite hikes, Avalanche Lake.

This past summer saw numerous wildfires and unfortunately, Glacier had one along the Going To The Sun Road which prevented us from going up to Logan Pass where there are mountain goats all over the place. We still had lots of other activities available, one of which was to go to Big Mountain in Whitefish. We rode the chairlift and had lunch at the Summit House Restaurant and rode alpine slides afterwards.

There was swimming at the public beach at Whitefish Lake...

Playing Baggo and Ladderball at the house...

Dave and Corey hiked to the Ptarmigan Tunnel while Jennifer and I took the kids on a white water raft trip...

We enjoyed The Huckleberry Patch numerous times...

The kids earned their Jr Ranger Badges...

We went to the Montana Vortex...

And did family pictures...

Montana is waiting and we are glad to be your guides!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I haven't blogged in quite a while when today I realized that, if all goes as planned, in exactly one year we will be on the road to Montana for our move to the Mountainview Hideaway! That's worth blogging about! The entire remodel on the house was completed last month. Our Contractor sealed up any exterior gaps, replaced bad boards and finished staining the upper level for us, all just in time because winter is coming to NW Montana. We had purchased some track lighting for him to install in the upstairs hallway and he will replace the storm door in the kitchen along with new wood door trim, since they had used the cheap alternative.

Springtime will see the detached garage being sealed up (like the house) and repainted plus we're having some work done on the stairs leading up to the room over the garage. This winter, Dave and I will start to research closet systems for the two master bedroom closets. I have begun my purging, beginning with my closet and now I am working on Fall and Christmas decorations. Dave wants to work up a plan of attack so we aren't overwhelmed as the day gets closer. We will probably take a smaller moving truck in April with a lot of stuff, mainly his very extensive Colorado dairy collection. Once we return, we can make repairs, paint ceilings and walls, etc. Inn September 2016, we will make another trip with everything else that we can spare. The plan is to live bare bones those last two months, sleeping on an air mattress, eating off paper plates, wearing a limited wardrobe and so on since we will be taking the car when we say goodbye to Texas that November.

During our last trip to the house this past September, we decided to apply polyurethane to the new posts and railings on the stairway. After sanding, and applying 3 coats, we were pleased with the outcome. Smooth AND a little bit shiny!

Out with the old....

In with the new!

The upstairs hallway turned out nicely too; add some of Dave's photography work and VOILA! Can't wait to see how this looks with the track lighting replacing what's there right now!



Monday, May 11, 2015


When we considered the upstairs remodel we hadn't planned to change anything but the flooring, add the trim work and new wood doors. Once our Contractor began the project he suggested we remove the wainscot paneling and the wallpaper border and go with textured drywall in the hallway and landing. He has earned our complete trust and so we gave him the green light knowing we'd be pleased with the outcome. Dave didn't mind the paneling and liked the border whereas I was pretty indifferent. I was surprised at how much brighter this area turned out even with Brenda and I painting this area the light gray color that is dominant in the Master Bedroom and Bathroom.

BEFORE: At the top of the landing looking down the stairs.

At the top of the stairs on the landing, the furnace room door is barely visible on the right.

AFTER:The landing area with the new furnace door.

New furnace door.


AFTER: Our contractor removed the light and wired us a new receptacle in the ceiling so we can install track lighting to showcase some of Dave's outstanding photography work. Our paint job is a work in progress. Once the stairs have been changed out, he will ad a log post at the top along with railing.

The new receptacle, this outdated fixture will be replaced with track lighting.

Brenda painting the upstairs hallway outside the bathroom and upstairs bedrooms. The light fixture over the master bedroom doorway is being replaced with one more up to date that will complement our remodel.

The new doors to the master bedroom, second bedroom which will be Dave's hobby room and the bathroom.

The second bedroom upstairs will be Dave's hobby room that will contain his vast Colorado Dairy collection. We've begun calling this room, "The Colorado Room". The previous owners had painted it this "horrific green" (I think that's what the swatch should have written on it!) and we knew that the color HAD TO GO!

The carpet wasn't too bad but it was nice to keep the hardwood flooring throughout the upstairs. Painting this room was a drastic improvement!

Beautiful new flooring and paint has transformed this room into a relaxing retreat! The unfinished closet still needs doors; in the meantime we have hung drapery panels to cover the opening.

Next project: painting the Pump House.

Friday, May 8, 2015


One of the most anticipated remodeling projects was the installation of hardwood flooring upstairs. With the exception of the upstairs bathroom which is tiled, we decided to completely change the flooring which was a hodge-podge of carpeting. The master bedroom alone had two different kinds of carpet plus an attempt at wood floors, the second upstairs bedroom which is now Dave's hobby room had a different carpet as did the hallway, landing and stairs! During our October 2014 visit, we accompanied our Contractor to the local lumberyard and made our selection; we chose Blue Pine. The lumberyard does the whole shebang, from harvesting local trees, planing and delivery. We picked the texture we wanted, nothing smooth because we didn't want to slide around on it and went with a Medium Walnut stain cut 50% so it wasn't too dark. One look at the grain and character of the wood and we knew that the end result would be striking!

The flooring arrived in December and the project began!

Before any work could be done however, our Contractor had to raise the support beam downstairs in the dining room. There had been a noticeable bow in the dining room ceiling and the master bedroom directly above was very uneven. During our October visit, he had removed the log post, pumped more concrete into the foundation and gradually raised the beam.

This photo from August 2012 when we purchased the house shows the log post that supports the beam above.

This photo from October 2014 shows the post has been removed and the hydraulics being used to raise the sagging ceiling.

This close up shows that he was able to reuse the log post, which has a lot of character and he has placed a "platform" underneath it.

Once the floor upstairs in the bedroom was more level, he was able to begin the transformation.

This "before" photo testifies to the three different types of flooring in the master bedroom. This is the "balcony room" in the master bedroom

The process...

The end result!

Looking into the "balcony room" with the antique vanity we brought up on this trip. We've also had new window and door casings installed, baseboards, ceiling trim and a new ceiling fan as well. The rug is a good fit but I will have to get add on blinds like I installed downstairs in the family room, to keep the sunlight from fading the rug and the furniture.

This side room in the master bedroom which we will use for our home office, had an unfinished closet.

New closet doors and trim finish the look nicely!

Before photo of the other closet in the master bedroom.

Both closets have matching doors now and the results are wonderful!

More hardwood flooring changes in my next post...