Friday, September 21, 2018

Quiet Moments of Fall

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
So I'll let this glorious scenery in the Colorado mountains speak for itself 
and fill you with quiet joy. 
Happy Fall!!

'Nuff' said! 
Hope you're enjoying this wondrous time of year. 


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Friday, September 14, 2018

Aftermath -- the Cabin Break-In

Hi Guys!
Before I begin this post, I want to thank all of you for your thoughtful comments 
regarding the break-in of our cabin. I've never received that many comments on any post! 
Each comment was so supportive and sympathetic. I appreciate all your suggestions. 
We are in the process of replacing our door with something stronger and safer. 
 Thank you so much for caring. 

Now, on to this week's post . . . 

I'm actually feeling much better after scattered bouts of anger and sadness.
We've taken precautions and several of our mountain neighbors 
are keeping an eye on the cabin for us.
I don't want to let this incident take away from enjoying the cabin so life goes on. 

And what a life!
This week we were greeted by a wondrous scene at the cabin. 
The first snow!
Seems too early for it but at 11,000 feet, I guess it comes early. 

The cabin wore a dusting of pure white snow, 
making it look like a powdered sugar cookie . . . 

. . . while the meadow glistened and the majestic mountains gleamed. 

It was breathtaking, seeming to wash away any scary memories of the break-in. 

After removing the boarded-up doorway to the cabin, 
we went inside. I wasn't sure how I would feel. 
It's a creepy feeling to think about an intruder being in your home.

It was very cold inside but everything looked fine. 
Maybe our little Yei statue kept the cabin safe. (A Yei is a Navajo spirit diety.)

And, let me tell you, nothing lifts my spirits more than finding a great bargain at a thrift store.
While looking for a new cabin door at Habitat for Humanity, we found this gorgeous loveseat!
The perfect size, the red plaid I wanted, super comfy, and only $45!
It looked brand new so we hauled it up to the cabin in the back of our CRV. 
But just barely.

I spent a couple of hours moving it here and there, trying to find the perfect spot.
I think I found it!
The room actually feels bigger with this arrangement
even though it has a big piece of furniture in it now. 

Here's the perspective from the loveseat. Note the back door is still boarded up from the break-in.

Both seats have wonderful views of the mountains.
It doesn't get much better than this.

Thanks again for all your good wishes and hugs.


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Friday, September 7, 2018

Scary News: Our Cabin Wrecked!

Oh, where do I start?
I've been so upset, I've given myself some time to calm down before attempting this post.
Our lovely little cabin was vandalized!
Was it a bear or a human?

At first we thought it was the bear that has been visiting our neighbors.
He's a handsome fellow isn't he?

But the more we examined the evidence, the more we began to think it was a vandal, 
probably looking for money or valuables. Not going to find either in this cabin.

A thoughtful neighbor noticed our back door had been broken into in our absence and 
quickly boarded it up for us, then called us to let us know. Thank God for nice neighbors!

I was just heartbroken when I saw the huge mess the vandal had made.
It was much worse than I was expecting.

Here's the back door, smashed to smithereens. 
It sure looked like a hungry bear was the guilty party.
But we didn't have any food in the cabin.

Those of you who have experienced a burglary must know how I felt. I wanted to cry. 
We'd been working so hard to make this little cabin our own 
and now it was a total mess. I was so angry. 

The bedroom was trashed but the only thing broken was an oil lamp globe. Everything was tossed about, drawers pulled out and dumped upside down as if someone was looking for money.
It seemed unlikely a bear would do this.

Even a latched tool box had been opened and dumped (not easy to do without a thumb!). 

Outside we found a glass wine bottle that had been smashed against a tree and another tool box dumped. Looking more and more like vandalism or an attempted burglary.

The Parks and Wildlife guy came out and checked for signs of a bear but didn't find any
(claw marks, hair, poo, etc.). We then contacted the sheriff and reported the incident. 

I set about cleaning up the mess, sweeping up broken glass everywhere, making the bed, 
putting drawers and cabinets back together. 
As I worked I noticed the damage was just superficial, nothing too serious.
It could have been much worse but I still felt creepy. 
Ironically, the only thing missing was a canister of bear spray!

Since this happened, we've heard from another neighbor who found their door window broken 
by a rock. We also discovered a baseball-sized rock by our back door. 

I'm still working through my anger and sadness. 
For several days, I was so discouraged I didn't even want to go back to the cabin. 
But now I'm ready to return, replace our broken door and enjoy the mountains 
as the leaves begin to change and the high country welcomes Fall.

I won't be staying overnight there alone again though. 

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Friday, August 31, 2018

Did You Miss These Posts? Summer Cabin Recap

Hello my friends!

I hope you had a wonderful summer and are looking forward to cooler weather in September.
If you missed any of my cabin posts this summer, here's a recap of what I shared in early summer.
I think it's always fun to look back and see how things have changed.

Just click on the links if you missed any of these posts or would like to revisit them. 

May 25

June 7

June 25

June 29

July 13

July 20

July 27

Thanks for taking the time for a second look.
I hope you enjoyed seeing the re-birth of Timberline Cabin. 

Happy September!


Friday, August 24, 2018

The Green Door

Do you remember that old 1950's song "The Green Door"?
I recall dances in our basement where the song would play over and over
while neighborhood kids jitterbugged.

As the younger sister in our family, I always wondered what was behind the Green Door
and why it was such a big secret . . . 

Friday, August 17, 2018

"Final" Touches in the Cabin

Decorating my tiny mountain cabin is never quite finished --
always a tweak here, a fine-tuning there.

A few little touches have a big impact in this small space.
And it's oh so cozy and comfy  . . .

Friday, August 10, 2018

Overnight in the Cabin ... Alone

Base Camp, Denver, CO, Elevation 5,280 feet
Journal Entry, July 30, 2018, 8 a.m. 

Today I'm driving about two hours straight up. 
I'm going to my cabin in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, elevation 11,000 feet. 
I've been there several times before but the big difference this time is 
I'm going by myself and staying overnight. 

The weather is cool and cloudy, not unusual for this time of day.
It should burn off in an hour or so. Perhaps it's a bit more hazy than usual
because of the horrific forest fires on the west coast.

I'm feeling excited, a little nervous, but mostly looking forward to spending the night
in Timberline Cabin solo.  I hope the skies will be clear enough tonight to see the stars 
and the bears will all tucked into their beds for the night.
I appreciate all of your concerns about my safety and have taken precautions. 

Timberline Cabin: Journal Entry, July 30, 2018, 10:30 a.m. 
I make it up the rocky road to the cabin with no unpleasant incidents. 
I drive slowly and carefully, relieved that I have four new tires and 
happy that I won't have to drive back out this road on the same day.

I feel as if this is my own little world up here. 
The cabin is dwarfed by massive mountains and tall pine trees that rise up all around me.
The weather is sunny, windy and cool. 
The temperature outside and inside the cabin is 55 degrees.

I have a lot of little projects to accomplish today so I get busy. 
I love decorating the cabin and making it our own. 
On my last visit, I spray-painted two bright green wicker chairs a dark brown.

Now, I tug freshly washed and bleached seat covers onto the cushions and 
add a red velvet throw pillow on each chair. So much better. 
I join two woven scarves to make one long one for the table under the front windows.
Then I add a Hopi basket, some antlers and two red battery candles.

 Next, I tackle the Roman shades in the bedroom. 
As they were nailed into the wall instead of screwed, it is quite difficult to get them down. 
With them finally removed, I hang some Martha Stewart lace curtains that I had at home. 
The room looks like an old Victorian bedroom now. Charming. 
I think the old miner who originally owned this cabin would have loved the lacy curtains. LOL.

Noon: This task actually wore me out (must be the altitude) so I take a lunch break.
 (Note: I don't get hungry up here and usually lose a couple of pounds
each time I visit which I promptly gain once I'm back in town!)

Temperature outside is now 70 and 66 inside. I have to be careful to close the doors so the hummingbirds don't get in. I don't think I could reach them if they flew up into the vaulted ceiling. 
As I putter, I listen to an opera CD, something that probably, 
no make that definitely, would NOT happen if Ron were here.

It's breathtaking to watch the light changing on the mountains as the sun dips to the far side of the cabin. When the wind gusts, it feels as if the whole cabin is shaking, as if it's a living thing. 
I feel safe and warm to have this little shelter from the elements. I've never had a skylight so I love putting my head back and watching the clouds slide past the glass framed by pine boughs.

7 p.m. I listen to a CD book but my attention is drawn to what's happening outside. 
The sun is slowly sliding behind a pine tree in front of the cabin; the mountains glow golden, 
gradually swallowed up by lengthening shadows. The rocks take on a rosy glow like a ripe peach.

Quietly, the shadow moves up from the base of the mountain 
until the entire mountain is wrapped in shade. 
I keep running outside to snap pictures of the changing scene.

I listen to a CD by John Barry, so reminiscent of a favorite Out of Africa soundtrack, 
sending me miles away. I go to bed early, weighed down by heavy blankets. 
It's totally dark and quiet. I fall asleep easily.

NEXT Day, 5:30 a.m. 
I wake up early but it is too cold to get out of bed.
I recall it was too cloudy last night to see any stars when I trooped outside to use the bathroom.
Pulling on my cold clothes, I see the sun peeking over a rocky ledge like a shy child.
It's 31 degrees outside, 49 inside. It must have been in the 20s last night.

Silvery frost blankets the front deck and bushes. I can't stop shivering
but I don't light the wood stove because smoke fills the room while the fire is catching
and I can't take the chance of a hummingbird darting through an open door.

Around 7 a.m., the sun is beginning to touch the cabin but it's still 49 degrees inside. 
I light the propane stove for the first time and don't blow anything up.
Then I make myself a cup of hot tea. It tastes unbelievably good. 
I stand in a tiny pool of sunlight while I sip my steaming tea,
cradling the warm cup with both hands. 

At 8 a.m. the temp has finally climbed to a whopping 50 degrees inside the cabin. 
I step outside and am pleasantly surprised to feel the warmth of the early morning sun. 
I decide to collect kindling, thinking some physical activity might warm me up.

At 9 a.m., it's a balmy 55 degrees. 
I go for a short walk down our road to see if any of my two-legged neighbors are home. 
I meet Glenda who welcomes me inside her warm and charming cabin. 
Nice to have a local phone number in case of emergency. 
We will make great hiking partners once I can walk
from my car to the cabin without getting winded.

When I return to the cabin, I am quite tired and don't want to think about driving back to Denver. 
But, believing it would be safer if I take off before I'm really fatigued, 
I reluctantly pack up and drive home without incident. 
But I do truly hate that bumpy road.

What I Missed at the Cabin:
Ron, my dog Roxy, indoor plumbing, paved roads, nearby restaurants, warmth.

What I Didn't Miss at the Cabin:
Traffic, people talking loudly on their cell phones, telemarketers, noise, did I mention traffic?

I hope you enjoyed your visit. Can't wait to go back!
(If you missed my last post about this cabin, you can read it Here.)


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Friday, August 3, 2018

Going Solo in the Cabin

Hello my friends!
I've been wanting to stay overnight in our mountain cabin by myself. 
Although I'd stayed overnight with Ron and another time with my sister and nephew, 
I've yet to do it solo.

I had visions of enjoying the vast quiet with only the murmur of the rushing creek 
accompanied by the whir of hummingbirds peeking through the window.

Of doing some writing. Listening to music. Taking walks.
 Reading a book.

Sipping a cup of hot coffee in the morning, a glass of wine in the evening.
(make that a small glass of wine; learned my lesson about altitude sickness and alcohol).

Watching the Milky Way sparkling in the rare mountain air. 
Sleeping soundly cocooned in thick warm blankets.
Learning to identify local wildflowers.

But was I afraid to stay alone?
Okay, well maybe a little. 
Mostly I was worried about my car breaking down or having a flat tire 
on the rocky road into the cabin.
Honestly, driving over this road is like sitting on a jackhammer. 

Last week, my guardian angel stepped in to address this fear.
I awoke to a flat tire in front of my house.
When we took the car to the tire store to get the flat fixed, the technician said all four tires 
were in very bad shape and actually had blisters ready to burst which could shred the tire. 
So, now I own four spanking new tires and shouldn't have to worry about flats.

Any other fears?
Well, maybe a tiny bit about marauding bears.
If all bears looked like this, I wouldn't be afraid of them.

We'd already seen quite a few wild animals including pronghorn antelope, deer, moose
and some pretty persistent ground squirrels.
(Did you know a group of squirrels is called a scurry? Me neither.)

Neighbors had told us they'd seen bears near their cabins. 
But no cabins had ever been entered, no one confronted.
Here I am carrying a big stick and my bear spray just in case.

What about food coolers?
I contacted the local forest service and asked them:
"Should we leave our coolers filled with food outside the cabin or bring them in at night?"

Their advice was to bring them inside when we're staying at the cabin. 
When we're not there, we shouldn't leave any food in the cabin as bears may break in to get it.
(I'm wondering why they wouldn't also break in while we're staying there??)
Also to keep the surrounding area clear of anything that might attract bears 
such as coolers, bird feeders and trash cans. 
Good advice. 

Oh great, I forgot about mountain lions.
I know they always say don't run but I'm sorry, get out of my way.

So, armed with advice, four new tires, a bottle of wine and a stack of books, 
I'm setting off for a solo adventure in Timberline Cabin.

Stay tuned to find out how it goes.
Hey Ron, do I have cell service up here?

(If you missed my last post about the cabin, you can read it Here)


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Friday, July 27, 2018

Warming Up a Cabin Bedroom at 11,000 Feet

A bedroom should be a restful place with calm colors and soft textures -- 
a sanctuary where you can relax and gaze out the window at nature's beauty. 

But was it possible to warm up our cabin bedroom at a cool 11,000 feet?
Our small bedroom had a good start 
with rough plank walls, a dark wood floor and two windows 
with views of massive pine trees and steep mountains,

But it definitely needed some help in the furnishing department.
Here's a "Before" picture.

First, we cleaned out the stuff left behind.
We jettisoned a metal clothes rack, piles of junk, ratty rugs, and a gigantic plastic cooler.
Ron claimed this old dynamite box that had been nailed to the wall to store odds and ends.

I wanted to keep the look simple but cozy using warm colors and vintage accessories.
I was trying to decide what kind of headboard would look good
in this rustic cabin when I remembered I had a rusty metal headboard in my garden.
We lugged it up to the cabin. It was the perfect size and definitely looked rustic.

We'd decided to keep the bed that was already in the cabin.
The mattress was clean, comfortable and looked new.
Besides, we had no idea how to get a mattress in our compact car. 
The mattress lies on a home-made frame with six drawers
so we pitched the flimsy chest of drawers that didn't complement our style.

But guess what?
During a weekend yard sale hunt, we came across a rustic-looking chest of drawers.
It was marked $50 but the owner came down to $15 when we showed interest
and told her it was destined for our mountain cabin. Sold!

The oil lamp belonged to Ron's Aunt Viola.
A vintage hall tree found at an estate sale long ago and
 some old hooks along one wall hold hats, cameras and binoculars. 

I fell in love with this gorgeous comforter and pillow covers from Cabela's. 
Plaid cotton flannel reversing to fuzzy soft "primalush." 
Although I usually shop at thrift stores and estate sales, 
I plunked down some money for this new set. 
It was worth it. 

The little shelf and photo on the wall came with the cabin
although they were in a different place. 

On the other hand, the nightstands were a creative mix of our own things.
Ron's table is actually his grandfather's old milking stool.

And on my side is a garden table covered with a pretty crocheted piece
that my sweet neighbor Erin gave me and, of course, a pair of cowboy boots.

This vintage etched mirror came from my mirror collection at home. 

We have plans to cover the drywall separating the two rooms
with surplus planks stored in the loft
but for now I hung a Native American weaving flanked by two 
Harrison Begay prints. Both prints feature a young Indian girl tending her sheep. 

The antique rocking chair in the corner was my Dad's.
A Beacon Indian print blanket hangs over the back. 

The bedroom has been warmed up with soft textures and warm colors,
making it a cozy place to relax and snuggle.

At 11,000 feet, the nights are clear and cold, even in the summer.
We might have to add another blanket!


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