Friday, June 8, 2018

Sneak Peek of Mountain Cabin

Are you ready to see the inside of my new mountain cabin?
OK, here's a little sneak peek.

Closing went off without a hitch and the cabin is now all mine. 
The previous owner left everything behind in the cabin but the generator
so we've had a lot to sort through and either donate, recycle, throw away or keep. 
It's been quite a job but fun and exciting. 


We met the owner and her friend who were real mountain women.
They seemed very happy that someone bought their cabin 
who genuinely loved it and would take good care of it. 


The first thing that happened when we arrived was a scary hoot.
I had the keys to the cabin in hand when I stepped on the deck 
which has over an inch of space between the old boards. 
That's when I dropped the keys and they fell right though the deck onto the ground underneath. 
Not having anything to retrieve them, I got down on hands and knees 
and slithered under the deck to grab the keys Won't do that again!

So here is the living space inside the 366 square-foot cabin. 
It was jammed full of stuff including a table and chairs, cardboard boxes overflowing with newspapers and cereal boxes, and, of course, the ginormous generator. 
Here's a  before picture.


And here's the same space cleaned out.
Seems so much bigger. 


Did you notice the lovely toilet water tank on the wall above the sink?


That was the first thing to come down. So much better. 
The little kitchen area was jampacked with everything 
from dishware to cleaning products to lots of old canned goods. 


Gone!
Notice the toilet tank is gone. 


There must have been a zillion old pots and pans on the beautiful old wood stove
and boxes of food, newspapers and firewood on the floor. 
Check out that formica table backsplash!


It's getting there. I removed the backsplash but didn't take a picture of it. 
Trust me. So much prettier now.


By the way, several of our friendly neighbors stopped by to introduce themselves. 
There are only a few on our road.

And speaking of road, here was another neighbor that stopped by 
on the way to the cabin on our very bumpy road. 
Besides the antelope, chipmunks also showed up to welcome us.


It's been such fun planning what we'll do with the little cabin.
I have a million ideas!


We're looking forward to making it our own but first we have to get rid of a lot of stuff. 
I hope you'll follow along as we tackle a long to-do list and start decorating western style.

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Monday, June 4, 2018

Snapshot Garden Tour

Hello my Friends!

Just a little snapshot tour of my early summer garden. 
This rosebush has never had this many blooms . . . must be all the rain we had in the spring. 


 This is a quickie tour because I'm so focused on our new old mountain cabin. 
If you missed last week's post, you can read about my dream coming true HERE.


The garden is really greening up.
It won't be long til the hollyhocks are blooming around this old wheelbarrow.


Our closing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 2 so wish me luck. 
I have a thousand ideas of what I want to do with the little cabin, 
besides just enjoying the peace, quiet and beauty of the Rocky Mountains. 


I hope you enjoyed this quickie look at the garden.


I would love for you to come back next week to hear more about the cabin. 

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Exciting Mountain Cabin News

Hi Friends!
I'm so excited to share my good news with you about my search for a mountain cabin.
After several disappointments and a few possibilities that fell through,
I finally found my rustic log cabin. 
Isn't it great? Exactly what I wanted. 


I've been dreaming of a mountain cabin getaway for years 
and honestly wasn't sure it would ever actually happen. 
I always feel better in the mountains -- relaxed, peaceful, grounded and happy. 
Like it's someplace I'm supposed to be. 
So, I'm thrilled my dream is really coming true. 


I made an offer the first time I saw it.
Realtor Phil called me the next day to say:
"Well, I have good news and . . . pause  (you're killin' me here Phil) some more good news! 
They accepted your offer."

Yippee!
I was so nervous thinking someone else might beat me out of this little beauty.


It pretty much met all of my wish list items. 

 ✓ I wanted a rustic cabin under 500 square feet (this one is 336 square feet). Check.

✓ I wanted some land so the neighbors wouldn't be too close
(there are only a few houses in this remote area). Check.
The cabin sits on about 4.5 acres at an elevation of --  ready for this? -- 10,000 feet!

✓ I was hoping it would be under two hours from home. Check.
(but it is on a rather bumpy road).

✓ I wanted to stay within my budget
(my offer was under asking price and they accepted it). Check.

✓ And I wanted lots of pine trees. 
(There are mountains all around the cabin and the property backs onto 
National Forest land so no one will be building there.) Check. 


So you're wondering what it looks like inside, aren't you?
I took some photos inside but am waiting until the closing to share them.
For now, I'm showing you just the outside.

It's truly a historic gem.
It's an old miner's cabin that was originally in the next town.
Somewhere along the way, somebody decided to move it to this piece of land.
I'm so glad they did. It's unbelievably beautiful.
This is one of the breathtaking 14,000 foot mountains right in our front yard!


Now, we wait for inspections and then the closing, scheduled for June 5.
I don't know if I can wait that long.

Meanwhile, we are making lists of things to take on our first visit 
when we will just be cleaning and disposing of unwanted things left behind. 
The cabin is in great shape; there will be some minor projects but nothing too daunting. 
I also want to take measurements of the two rooms and the windows 
so I can start planning what to take there. (Ever the decorator!)

My dream of a mountain cabin getaway is coming true, my friends. 
And I couldn't be more thrilled and can't wait to share some more pictures with you. 
I hope you'll join me on this adventure.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Royal Wedding, Fond Memories

It seems everyone is obsessed with the upcoming royal wedding of 
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday, May 19 at Windsor Castle. 


While we celebrate the royal marriage this week, 
we also remember William and Harry's mother, Princess Diana. 
People are recalling special memories of Princess Diana, 
whether it's of her many charities or something more personal.


I have my own special memory of her.

Although I have traveled to England a few times, the visit I most remember was in the late 1990’s. We had enjoyed a double-decker bus tour of London, marveled at Harrods Department Store, 
minded the gap in the Tube, and swooned over the lush gardens and amazing architecture.
(I found some old snapshots from this trip which were taken before digital cameras).


Then, one day we boarded a bus to Eton to see Windsor Castle,
the oldest castle in the world, built in the late 11th century. 


As we strolled along the cobbled streets and admired the royal swans 
floating along the River Thames (apparently the Queen owns the swans!), 


we heard that Princess Diana was visiting her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry,
at Eton College to celebrate Prince William’s birthday
and that she had taken them to McDonalds for lunch. 

Although we didn’t get to see her, we were thrilled that Princess Diana was nearby,
doing what she did best -- giving her boys a “normal” experience,
one they probably still remember as do we.

Best wishes and happiness to Harry and Meghan on their wedding May 19 
which happens to be my own parents' wedding anniversary.


They would have been married 77 years.
Many happy years Harry and Meghan. 

***

Friday, May 11, 2018

It All Started with a French Tablecloth

I've wanted a colorful French tablecloth for years 
so when I spotted this one at a recent street market, 
I had to have it.


The blue and yellow colors gave the patio that warm ambiance of Provence 
and it was the perfect size for my bistro table in "Cafe Bleu."


With olives on the print, the fabric is coated with something that resists stains and dirt. 
Love that!


The tablecloth inspired me to spruce up this corner of the garden. 


Although it's a bit early to plant annuals, many of my perennials are at their spring peak.
(The blue flower pot picks up the blue of the tablecloth and, yes, it was an alley find!)


This private space in the garden is alive with white candytuft, lavender phlox, 
and pale blue forget-me-nots with blue and pink larkspur and red bee balm ready to bloom. 


The fragrant lilac bush that hugs this small patio is also peaking. 


In back of the bistro table I placed a small bench with watering cans 
and a concrete urn holding a transplanted ostrich fern. 


So please come on in and join me. 


Cafe Bleu is always open.


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Friday, May 4, 2018

My Favorite Haunts

Recently, a lovely reader asked me for recommendations of my favorite places to shop. 
My reply was: antique stores, estate/yard sales, thrift stores, and I just had to add . . . alleys! 

Some of my best finds have been while riding my bike down the alleys in our old neighborhood. 
And now that it's spring-cleaning weather, people are obliging me 
by kindly putting their unwanted items in the alleys for my perusal. 
So, I'm dusting off the bicycle and looking forward to adding to my Ethan Alley Collection.


You just never know what you might find cruising the alleys. 
Can you believe we recently found this discarded Adirondack set,
complete with table and foot rest? 
I spent two days scraping and painting but didn't it turn out nice?


Sometimes it's a big item like those chairs and we need to pedal home and get the car; 
other times it's something tiny that fits in my bicycle basket. 
Like these sparkly crystal doorknobs.


Another place I love to shop are antique malls. 
Recently I found a beautiful small demijohn (left) wrapped in wicker. 
Although I love the big boys, they're out of my price range so I was delighted 
when I found this one that was just right to add to my collection in the foyer.


This gorgeous copper tea kettle caught my eye at a vintage market and it was calling my name. 
I think the reason copper is so popular is it evokes the feeling of a hearth in the kitchen. 
Every time I walk into my little kitchen, it's the first thing I see and it reminds me of old kitchens where everyone gathered close to a roaring fire to keep warm, eat dinner and talk. 
I love its warm glow and many well-loved patches.


Estate/yard sales! Yippee! It's sale season again. 
Yard sales are starting to pop up all over our neighborhood. 
Although you can find some great bargains at yard sales, the real treasures are at estate sales. 
Check out estatesales.net for weekly listings in your area. 

My most favorite estate sale find was this beautiful old clock for $5!
It needed some TLC but was well worth it.


Yard sales are a great place to find vintage linens, dishes, old books and silverplate.
I lucked out when I scored this beautiful floral print for a few dollars.


Thrift stores like Goodwill and ARC can be amazing sources although you do need 
to check back often. We swing by our thrift stores about once a week. 
Fridays seem to be a good day because they're stocking the shelves for Saturday sales.


One of my favorite thrift store treasures is this amazing chair. 
An antique dealer told me it was probably 1800s English. $13. Sold! 


And, if you're feeling adventurous, you can keep an eye on construction dumpsters. 
Remember this chippy column I retrieved from an overflowing dumpster?
Be still my heart! 


Happy Sale-ing!!

***

CABIN QUEST UPDATE
Still looking for the perfect mountain cabin.
It's been a week of highs and lows, literally.
I found an incredible cabin that looked a lot like my Pinterest favorites.
But it went under contract almost immediately. I was so bummed.
Then, I found a hunting cabin near Rocky Mountain National Park
but it was on the worst road I've ever driven on and then,
when we finally found the cabin, it was just a disappointing mess.
So, still looking.

***

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Saturday, April 28, 2018

After the Rain

A late Spring shower is a bath for our senses.
It doesn't rain here often so the sound of rain is magical.

Like a hum before bursting into song.
We stop what we're doing and listen
as the rain refreshes the grass and bathes the flowers.


Then, after the rain . . . glistening jewels quiver on delicate spider webs.


Pools of crystal beads lie on a leaf like a broken string of pearls.


Everything is fresh, dust bathed away and stale air cleansed.


Birds take shelter, then venture out after the rain, beady eyes searching for worms.
Pigeons splash in puddles like little children; 
chickadees and finches shake the wet from their feathers, then refuel.


The heat of the day evaporates in the cool mist.
After the rain, the earth turns dark -- rich, fertile, moist.


And it sings.
Breathe it in and listen.

***

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