Monday, January 26, 2015

Better Than Before

Ta-da! The new floors! (More photos below.)
I've had a pretty good track record for turning this Shack in the Woods into something almost cute, she said oh-so-humbly. Until now ...  The new wood floors are painted a grayish/tan/gray. Maybe not the right call. But, at least better than the laminate that was there before!

The old laminate was an unnatural yellowish pink tan, and whoever put it in decided that they didn't need to bother putting it in the center of the living room because, you know, there was a rug there anyway. Most of the pieces slid around a lot, the glue once holding them in place to the crappy particle board subfloor had been subjected to years of a lack of climate control.

The old flooring ...

The new flooring is the cheapest white pine we could find; no reason to over-invest in a Shack in the Woods. They're 5-inch-wide tongue-and-groove, which is just what I wanted. Of course, they dent easily. Nick's already made his mark when he charged our stray cat at the back door.  (Cat update to come.) But that adds character, right?

But the new floor does have some charm to it. I was going for a cottage look -- and a color that would hide the dirt and dog hair really well. And it does! But the color kinda almost feels ... institutional? Sterile? I guess because it's a cool, rather than warm, color.

Alas, in hindsight, maybe I should have given them a gray/taupe stain rather than paint, but I was nervous about polyurethaning anything because when the humidity hits 90% for days on end in August, some older polyurethaned furniture in the house likes to try to mold. OK, it doesn't try; it gets a thin dust of mold. Just that white mold, not that evil black mold. Did I mention my life isn't quite as glamorous as it once was?

And I was worried that exposed wood grain would compete too much with the exposed wood grain all over the walls ...

So, here's a collection of photos. Notice that I also painted the kitchen/dining table a charcoal color, and that I DO like a lot!

And if we ever do decide the new floor color just ain't right, we know where to get more paint!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cat Update

Clearly she read the blog and found out she was shelter-bound, because when we went to load her into the cardboard box on Friday morning, she was nowhere to be found.

But sure enough, she showed up at 7 Saturday morning, meowing loudly enough to wake us all up. Bitch.

For now she's earned a reprieve. The shelter is closed Sundays and Mondays. I bet ya she knew that.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mason, Rescuer of Cat(s)

The cat Mason pulled from the tree, sniffing my gloves.

Most days, our morning and evening walks are grossly uneventful. We usually just walk the same route up to the lake, occasionally talk to Nick about all of the other dogs we see along the way (that'd be NONE because, trust us, no one else walks their dog in these woods) and otherwise banter about the chores ahead for that day.

But yesterday we saved a cat. Well, Mason did.

Walking up the hill to the lake, we heard meowing. It took us a minute or so to figure out the pleas were coming from 25 feet up a tree. A little black-and-caramel-colored kitty was holed up on a high branch, and she wasn't happy about it. But she wasn't climbing down, either.

We were headed into town that morning, so on our way out, we gave her some incentive: chicken and a bowl of water down on the soft forest floor. (Jump, Kitty, JUMP!)

About 5 hours later, we returned home (yes, errands take 5 hours when you live an hour from town), and she was still in the tree, so Mason got his chance to fulfill a lifelong dream: To become a fireman.

With the extension ladder fully extended, he climbed to the top rung (and I'm quite certain the OSHA warning tag on the ladder's side has clear views on such use) and he used a soft fluffy paint roller on the end of a 6-foot-long stick to prod the kitty into climbing down just far enough for him to get a grip on her scruff.

But then she refused to let go of the tree, so he had to hold her out a couple of feet from the ladder and carefully negotiate his descent.


The cat is temporarily residing on our back porch. She's a purrr machine, and all she wants is love.  We're doing our best, but Nick the Dog isn't so good at sharing our love. Every time she peers in through the French doors, he charges. Somehow she's found a safe little hideaway, wiggling into a small open space inside our battery cover. But every time we go outside, she pops out for more love. Mason, the big softie, built her a little towel-lined box to sleep in.

Alas, we can't keep her. Nick wouldn't have it. And the coyotes WOULD have her. And we'd have no neighbor to care for her when we go on vacations. And another costly Frontline prescription?

I know, I know. She's such a cutie, but tomorrow we take her to a local shelter. She's adorable. She'll get snapped up in no time. Right?

Oh, the floors, you ask? They're done. They're not perfect, but we like them. And they're a whole lot better than what we had. Photos to come, once we can FINALLY put furniture back into the room. On Sunday.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cold and Floorless

The guest room has been overrun during our project hell.
How's the floor project coming along, you ask? A glimpse of our guest room should give you a good hint. And we're expecting a guest to come visit in a few weeks. And that guest is my mom. OY.

Well, at least all of the old floor is now finally gone. So is any shred of warmth. This arctic blast is at least good for one thing: Keeping us away from outdoor projects and focused on the floors. When I couldn't help Mason today, I spent time polishing the silverware, which always gives Mason a good laugh. (Come on, a girl has to have SOME standards, right? Besides, didn't I mention that MOM was coming to visit?)

Tonight we'll hit a low of 6, which is about 54 degrees lower than the weather I can really enjoy. We'll warm ourselves with some brutish Scottish Ale (thanks again, Dean!) and keep the fuel flowing into our trusty wood stove.

Last year these were the nights that some Chattanoogans saw their pipes freeze. But no worries here. That cabin skirting project from a couple of years back means it's a balmy 45 degrees under the cabin right now. And a little propane heater in the well house keeps our water tank from freezing. (Just trying to remind myself that major projects can be a pain in the ass, but EVENTUALLY we'll be happy we did it. Maybe.)