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The new receptacle, this outdated fixture will be replaced with track lighting.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

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Several months back I had been looking on PINTEREST when I saw the transformation of kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. It got my wheels to turning and I mentioned it to Brenda as a possibility. As it turned out, she was familiar with the process having used it before on some vanities in their condos. Hanging on the wall above the vanity the owners had hung a cheap, white medicine cabinet and THEN attached the ceramic wall tile behind it! In the never ending "shake my head, what were they thinking" moments related to the previous owners I figured I had nothing to lose by using the "Rustoleum Transformation Kit" on it. Since the counter top and basin in the upstairs vanity had a gray swirl running through it and there is gray ceramic tile, flooring I decided to go with a medium gray for the vanity. The process is not complicated but requires several hours for drying in between the steps.

BEFORE: The upstairs vanity is white-washed with pink undertones and the medicine cabinet hangs above. The previous owners had painted this room, along with the 2nd upstairs bedroom this horrific green!

Summer 2013, Dave and I painted primer over the green and painted the bathroom a light gray to coordinate with the master bedroom and upstairs hallway.

DURING: Brenda removed all the drawers and doors and taped off the vanity; she is really knowledgeable on home improvement projects and decorating advice, what an asset!

AFTER: Brenda drilled holes and installed new hardware giving the vanity and mirror a more updated look that better fits our colors and decor. This is a drastic makeover!

I love the new look!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Time does indeed march on, at an ever-increasing pace it seems! Another springtime trip to the Mountainview Hideaway is in the books and the countdown has begun for the next trip which will be in July. I left on April 16th and drove to Denver to meet my best friend Brenda who was flying from St Louis; she has a very busy schedule and had several upcoming commitments so we had a tight window for our annual work trip. The drive to Denver is only *13 hours from here and while I would've enjoyed her company, I figured this would give us more time at the house instead of on the road. I loathe driving interstate 25 from Pueblo to Denver so I took an alternate route through the Oklahoma Panhandle and eastern Colorado which was less stressful; as it turned out I would have more than enough stress, behind the wheel. I had been watching a weather system that had been moving through the Rockies a day or two before the trip and I estimated that I would be coming up right behind it, I wasn't however, counting on it to stall over the mountains!

At Limon, Colorado I began to drive into a rain/snow mixture but arrived at the Denver airport two hours before Brenda's flight; giving me more than enough time to gas up the van, eat dinner and relax. As I sat looking out the window, the rain and snow mixture gave way to snow; big, wet flakes that began to accumulate.

As I checked and rechecked Brenda's flight information the end result was the same, her flight was delayed due to the weather. I had hoped we could make it north of Cheyenne by day's end but that notion was beginning to slip away right before my eyes. I altered my expectations and figured we would stop in Cheyenne for the night. Once it showed her flight had landed, I started driving over to the concourse in this unfamiliar airport. The snow was really beginning to come down; in my opinion, the airport is not very user friendly in the first place and then add to it, a spring blizzard and my stress level began to increase! After being honked at by security to move on from where I was waiting, it took another ten minutes to circle back around and get to the pick up area. Eventually we connected and we started making our way through this intense white out blizzard!

It should come as no surprise that I don't exactly have a lot of practice driving in snow while living here in Texas. Ice storms find me holed up inside where it's safe and staying off the roads! I admit the snow was beautiful but it would have been more enjoyable if I were not driving "The Mothership" which was weighed down and loaded to the brim. It got to the point where my headlights weren't even lighting up the road in front of me, forcing me to exit and clean off the 3" of slush that had accumulated all over the front of the van. It was shortly after this that I made the executive decision to pull off the interstate and stop for the night! We had barely been able to drive forty miles since leaving Denver International Airport!

After getting a good night's sleep we awoke to snow still falling....seriously? We loaded up and headed out, northward bound on Interstate 25. We saw several snowplows but they were clearing on the southbound side meaning we were just slowly making our way on the uncleared roadway. There was a scary moment that sent me on the verge of hyperventilating when a semi decided to pass me, forcing me onto the shoulder and then being momentarily blinded as its slush covered the windshield. After composing myself I was able to thank the good Lord that we were safe and still on our way. By the time we hit Cheyenne, the snow was once again a rain and snow mixture and by the time we hit Casper, we were finally out of it!

Only 500 more miles to go!

To quote Helen Keller:

"Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing."

It seems that our adventure wasn't over just yet!

We were making really good time and I was beginning to think that we might still make it to the Mountainview Hideaway by day's end, albeit late that night. We had just crossed Homestake Pass and were roughly twenty miles west of Butte when I felt the van jerk. It continued to jerk and buck and I had no power steering: I drove it slowly until I crested a hill to where I could get a cell phone signal. I realized that we were going to have to get a tow truck and have it towed back to Butte. We had pulled off the interstate and drove to the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort and waited for Triple AAA to send out the truck. I was nervous seeing him tow the van behind us, all loaded down with furniture and stuff but I had the presence of mind to give thanks to God that I hadn't lost my ability to steer "The Mothership" while I was on the mountain pass! The driver got the van to the FORD dealership and then dropped us off at a hotel for the night. I normally would not take the van to a dealership but when you are stranded on a Friday night in an unfamiliar city, you do what seems to be the most logical. The next morning the hotel shuttled us over to the dealership so we could be the first ones in line once they opened at 8 AM. Apparently on Saturdays they have a skeleton crew working and it took them a couple of hours to tell me that in their estimation, the serpentine belt broke because the pulleys were rusted and had ground down the new belt we had our home town mechanic replace, just 1,500 miles ago...The pulleys should arrive by days end on Tuesday (via wagon train)...UGH!

I made the decision to rent a car, transfer our personal gear along with some of the boxes and high tail it to the house. Whilst rattling off our vehicle options I stopped her at a Subaru Forester. Dave and I are planning to replace the van next year with a brand new Subaru; we have had the Outback as a rental before so I figured this would give me an opportunity to test drive our other consideration. I ended up forgetting all the movies and my shoes in the van but in the long run, once we finally made it to the Mountainview Hideaway I was able to take a deep breath...we were finally here. I am confident in saying that Brenda and I met the criteria for Helen Keller's idea of life being an adventure!

Stay tuned for my next post on our work projects...