Oct 18, 2017

Day Hiking Around Our McCall, Idaho Cabin

Hi, Everyone! 

Yesterday, I bought a bunch of fall flowers on sale to fill our pots at the cottage. I also have forty daffodil bulbs to plant here after planting forty more at the cabin last weekend. So I have my work cut out for me outside in the gorgeous autumn air disposing of the frost bitten summer flowers and replacing them with the new cold hardy ones. 

Before I pull on my gardening gloves and head outside I wanted to share a quick post about our kids' day hikes earlier this year to a few of the small mountain lakes near our cabin. 


This is our daughter, Jessica, and her husband, Brody. 



And these are their dogs, Oliver, the enormous Labrador Retriever, and Jake, the not-so-enormous West Highland Terrier. All of our dogs are allowed on the sofas at our cabin where the lifestyle is very informal. We cover the sofas with thick blankets that are laundered after each visit, just so they can snuggle up with us on cool mountain evenings. It's one of the best parts of being at the cabin. Although, as you can see, with Oliver and Jake on a sofa together, there's actually no room for us. Anyway, Oliver and Jake are up on the sofa looking out the window with excitement because they just heard someone say the word "walk," and they know they're about to enjoy their favorite cabin pass time - going for a hike in the mountains.



The mountains around McCall are sprinkled liberally with small mountain lakes located within short drives followed by two or three hours of hiking from our cabin which sits on the edge of the Ponderosa State Park peninsula.  



Hiking is one of Jessica's and Brody's favorite things to do, too. They hike almost every weekend, whether they're in Boise or McCall. Oliver and Jake are well trained, so they're allowed off leash during their hikes.



Jake is quite a little trooper and has no trouble keeping up on his short legs. He can hike for miles without tiring. Can you spot him here among the trees and wildflowers? 

  

The wildflowers were incredibly beautiful around McCall this year after a long wet spring. 



These photos were taken on several different day hikes. This is Little Payette Lake.



No one could remember the name of this pretty little lake located next to a dirt road. I'm not sure, but I suspect these trees succumbed a long time ago to a forest fire.



This is Upper Hazard Lake.



I just noticed Oliver is peeking out from behind Jessica in this photo.







And this is the treat that Oliver and Jake have been looking forward to on their hike; cooling off and frolicking together in the lake.




Back at the cabin, after their long hike and swim, they'll be tired out and very content to nap away the rest of the afternoon. In such a small cabin, tired and contented dogs snoozing on the sofa and out from under our feet makes everyone happy.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing a few of Idaho's small mountain lakes today. And now I'm heading outside to plant my daffodil bulbs. Whatever you're plans are today, I hope it's a good one!



Oct 16, 2017

Touches of Autumn at our Cottage

Today, I'm sharing little touches of fall decor at our cottage. I asked my husband to bring up my big plastic storage boxes from the basement last Friday and spent an hour sprinkling a bit of fall color into each room. Normally, I'd empty those boxes and spend a few days decorating our home for fall, but this year I only had time to put out a few things. I was only home from the cabin for less than a week and my time was crammed full. I was running out of time to get any decorating done at all, but I didn't want to head back up to the cabin without changing our summer decor. At one point, when my fall leaf swag wouldn't cooperate and swag properly over the armoire in the living room, I lost patience and tossed it back in the box. No time for unruly swag nonsense! 

Here's how my three and a half days home went: first we had dinner with our daughter and her husband before they left on vacation for Park City, Utah. Then my brother in-law flew into town on business and stayed with us for three days. During that time I squeezed in a hair cut, a doctor's appointment, our annual meeting with our insurance agent to review our coverage, some shopping for the cabin, daily dog walks, paid the bills and caught up on paperwork, and did a ton of laundry. We finished up the week having dinner with our other daughter and her husband who were just returning from their vacation to Hawaii, and the next day we headed back up to the cabin for the weekend. 

Probably sounds like nothing to my readers who work hard at their jobs everyday, but for this retired lady it seemed like a lot! I didn't have much time to enjoy my fall decor until we got home from the cabin again this morning, and as I came into each room I was so glad I had taken a little time to add just a few small touches of fall to welcome us home. 

When I realized I left my camera and tripod at the cabin I wanted to share my sprinkles of fall with you anyway, so I tried out my husband's iPad camera. It was a little hard to hold steady, but I was pleasantly surprised how well it did, especially in our low light. 





















As you can see, there's nothing new or fancy going on with our fall decor this year - just little touches here and there. Yet I love how every year I can reach into my boxes and pull out the same things, arrange them in new spots around the cottage and in new ways, and they feel like new to me. 

I just love that!

I'm so glad you stopped by today, and I hope you've found time to sprinkle some warm and cozy touches of fall around your home, too!




Oct 8, 2017

Dining at our Tiny Cabin

Have you noticed that our tiny cabin in the woods has no dining room or breakfast nook or any rooms at all expressly designed for eating meals? Have you ever wondered where on earth we eat our meals here? When I planned the furniture layout for our cabin, I wondered the exact same thing!

Wall one
Our cabin has a kitchen (with no room for eating) and one bedroom and one bathroom (sure not eating there) and an eleven foot square living room.
  
Wall two

Wall three

Wall four
Hard to believe we fit all this furniture into an 11' x 11' room, isn't it?



Let's go back here to wall one. Aha! An unfolded drop leaf table, a wicker chair and a pulled-up ottoman comes to our dining room dilemma rescue! Perfect for cozy romantic dinners for my husband and me.


This is the same table in our Boise cottage.
My regular readers may remember how I refinished and painted this table for our Boise dining room back in 2014. You can read about that here. We fit six diners around this fifty-four inch wide table comfortably for years, so I knew it would work for us at our cabin, too. Usually, we leave it against the wall here at the cabin and unfold just one side for my husband and me. For family occasions we can also pull it into the center of the living room, open both sides, and fit our six chairs from the patio around it. Presto change-o, from tiny cabin living room to tiny cabin dining room! 



My mother and father bought this maple drop leaf table and six heavy matching maple captain's armchairs for their kitchen shortly after they were married in the forties. I inherited the set in 1984, and had it shipped to us in Austin, Texas where we were living at that time. It made the trip back to California with us and then made the trip out to Idaho when we came here in 1988. When I switched to a rectangular table that fit better in our North End Boise cottage, my daughter found a place for it in her farmhouse entryway. And finally, when we bought our McCall cabin and I was wondering where on earth we'd eat our meals here, I remembered my mother's drop leaf table. 



We've furnished our little cabin mostly from what we already had, along with some thrift store finds. I found a set of these nice heavy blue and white plates at The Idaho Youth Ranch, my favorite thrift store in Boise. (No judging us for all the yummy carbs on this plate, please - it's cabin food!)



We use drinking glasses my daughter designed and my brother in-law had made for gifts for everyone for our family reunion eight years ago in Red Lodge, Montana.



One of my new splurges for the cabin was this cute cabin themed flatware. It was very affordable and I just couldn't resist it. (Note: unfortunately, the store doesn't carry this pattern any longer and the manufacturer's name isn't stamped on the back.) 

So now, just in case you wondered, you know everything there is to know about how we dine at our tiny cabin in the woods. If you need a solution to your tiny space dining dilemma, give a thought to trying your own drop leaf table!

Thanks so much for stopping by today - I hope you have a wonderful week!


Oct 2, 2017

Cabin Exterior Painting Part Two


Happy October, everyone! I hope you're all enjoying a bit of mild fall weather by now. Here in McCall, Idaho it's been cloudy, raining and even snowing a bit. The sudden weather change caught us off guard, and we found ourselves scrambling to get one coat of paint on our cabin before the nights dropped to below freezing. 

Paint won't set up and cure properly if it's applied when it's too cold, and we sure as heck didn't want to be scraping and priming again next spring if our new paint job failed. So, even though we thought we started plenty early with the scraping, caulking, and priming, we suddenly found ourselves with only two warm days left to paint before our roofers were scheduled. Each of those two days the temperature was right for painting for only about seven hours. We painted as fast as we could, rolling the paint onto the horizontal siding in sections with four inch rollers and then going over that with our brushes. 

We just barely got all the cabin siding done before the roofers showed up and we had to quit. They used up the last two warm dry days installing our new roof, and now with freezing temperatures forecast for every night, our painting days are over. The rest of the cabin, along with the entire garage, will have to wait for next year. Our paint salesman told us we won't get as good protection from two coats of paint spaced so far apart as we would if the second coat was applied now, since they won't bond as well, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. We'll keep our fingers crossed that what's done so far will hold up over the winter, and if not, we'll deal with more scraping and priming when the time comes. 

We're chalking up our mistake to being newbie Rocky Mountain cabin owners who had no idea how fast the warm 80 degree summer transitions to a cool wet 50 degree fall with freezing nights. It's really fast!! Of course we're disappointed that our cabin doesn't look very good right now wearing both new and old paint with lots of patches, but we're relieved to have at least one good coat of paint protecting our walls for the upcoming winter.

Oh, and we did think about hiring someone to finish painting for us, but every single painter was already employed and hustling to finish their own jobs. We've added that to learning about living in a tiny town in the mountains - hire your subs the season (or even the year) before you need them!

So, today, we'll show you just a few photos, a tiny sneak peek, of the new paint. Our completed Cabin Exterior Painting Part Three blog post will have to wait until... well, maybe until next summer after it warms up again and we can finish painting!

Before (blue) and After (red)
Here's the new red paint color on the cabin next to the old blue paint color that's still on the garage. Our goal was to make our little cabin appear warm and welcoming while also having it blend in more with its surroundings. We wanted it to be hidden in the trees at first glance, but once discovered, to have a happy and friendly feeling - like coming across a little surprise deep in the woods. We think we've accomplished that so far. 


Before
We also wanted to take our little cabin from the cute lake cottage vibe above to a more rustic forest cabin vibe. 

After
So far, looking past the unpainted trim and windows, we love how happy, warm and welcoming our cabin looks with its new red paint. This red is a color match from a sample of Home Depot's Behr red Barn and Fence paint by our McCall Sherwin-Williams store in their satin finish Emerald paint line. We're still working on choosing trim, shutter and window box paint colors that help create a more rustic look. At first we were leaning towards creamy white, but we found that looked too cottage-y for us. Now, we're experimenting with darker shades of green, brown, and tan. 

We removed the shutters for painting, but they'll be going back on again along with the window boxes. After giving it a lot of thought we're going to replace the sail boats on the shutters with pine trees. But don't worry, we had to promise our kids we'd keep the sail boats safe for them to replace when they inherit our cabin because they love them a little more than we do. 



So, that's it for today! Just a tiny peek at our new paint. The next big change for our cabin that I'll be sharing is our new roof. (We love it!)

    
Read all about prepping our cabin for paint here.
Take our cabin tour here.
Read all of our cabin blog posts here.


  
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