Oct 25, 2017

A New Roof for our Cabin

I'm pleased to share our new cabin roof today. As I uploaded the photos for today's post, I chuckled to myself over how much they are not pretty and stylish blog photos.

But, to me, they are beautiful because we're so happy to have a new dry roof over our heads. When you've literally had water leaking through your ceiling into your living room, new roof photos become a thing of beauty!

This is our old aluminum roof. No one could tell us how old it was, just that it was very old; maybe even the original roof from 1950.

Most roofs in the McCall, Idaho, area are metal because of the amount of snow that falls here. Newer building structure is generally stronger these days, though, so new homes may not require a metal roof. It depends on how much snow the frame can withstand.

Metal roofs are designed to shed the snow. You can see how much snow stuck to the ridge line on top of the cabin, but most of the snow on the sloped sides slid off. 

On our old roof, the nails holding it down had popped up in many places. Instead of sliding off, the snow was catching on those nails in little ice dams. As it melted, water seeped down the loose nail holes inside the attic and dripped through the insulation to the drywall ceiling below. We wonder why the previous owners never attempted to fix the nails and stop the leaks, but they didn't. Our ceilings in every room look pretty much like this, covered with damage from leaks. 


This is our garage roof. It's not metal.

This is how the snow builds up on a roof that isn't metal. The snow piled in the foreground has slid off our cabin's metal roof all winter. But you can see the snow on the garage hasn't slid off; it's sticking and building up with each storm and getting very heavy. We saw many old sheds and outbuildings in our area that collapsed last winter because of heavy snow buildup like this.  

We got three bids for a new roof, and early one morning late last summer a crew of five men arrived to do the work. First, they tore off the old roof. We knew from our inspection during escrow that some of the sheathing had dry rot caused by the leaking water. The dry rot was made worse because the previous owner had covered the roof vents so that air wasn't circulating through the attic space.

It was sad to see how much of this beautiful old lumber was rotten and had to be removed. We could only guess at the reason for the previous owner not allowing attic air circulation; perhaps they thought the cabin would be warmer with the vents covered. One of the things we learned from our old cabin is that a solution we might think of as common sense, isn't always the correct thing to do. We learned to always check with an expert before changing or fixing something ourselves to avoid potentially costly mistakes in the future. A new ridge vent was installed, and the attic vents were opened up again.

This is one of the boards that was removed, covered with dry rot and mold. Later this fall we are having all the old insulation in the attic removed, and all of the wood and drywall there will be sprayed with a mold killer/inhibitor. We'll have fresh new insulation blown in, and we'll cover the sagging and water stained ceiling inside the cabin with new bead board. The mold abatement specialist doing that work advised us it's better to cover the old ceiling drywall than to tear it out and replace it. 

This is a pile of the old metal roofing that will be recycled. I was surprised how light and thin it was. I expected it to be heavy and rigid, but it reminded me of aluminum foil and bent very easily. 

Once the old roof is removed, new sheathing is installed.

This is the new sheathing on the garage.

A black waterproof membrane is installed over the sheathing.

Here's what our yard looked like during the work. My husband and I left and drove around the lake while the old roof was torn off, and it was a little shocking to drive up later and see this mess. The roofers assured me it would all be put back to normal before they left, and it was. They did a wonderful job. It took two days to finish the cabin and most of the garage. It started pouring rain on the third morning, so they came back the following week to finish the trim on the garage. 

We were so happy and relieved to be snug and warm in our cabin during the torrential down pour that week, knowing we didn't have to worry about any more leaks. My husband, pictured here, chose a 26 gauge standing seam metal roof that will last for generations to come. With a coat of new paint on the siding and a new roof on top, our little cabin will have a water tight winter for the first time in a long, long time.  

And now we are assured that our garage will not collapse under next winter's heavy snow. It will slide right off the new metal roof. 

We'll finish our painting and start working on the yard when it's warm enough next spring, but for now we're very satisfied with all we accomplished here our first year. It's been a lot of hard work, but so worth it. We love our little cabin, and can't imagine life without it!

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!