Saturday, December 28, 2013

Eight Years

Eight years ago, you had a stroke that eventually took you far away from us. I remember that day as if it was yesterday and yet, it seems so incredibly long ago that I heard your beautiful voice.

I do know, however, you are in a beautiful place.  The almost weekly, if not daily, occurrences of oddball hearts still thrill me.  I woke up this morning to a paper heart on the great room floor.

I smiled earnestly as I do now.  The pain will always be there but it's tucked in a far away place so that I can instead revel in the wonderful, loving memories we shared throughout your life.

I love you, Mom.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Delavan Cottage: The First Two Weeks

I've been painting and going to auctions and antiquing.  Oh my, it's been fun!  Want to see what I've been up to?

I painted the main living/kitchen area of Delavan Cottage, our guest cottage at the lake.

It was slow going since I was painting over wallpaper.  It is textured and very adhered to the wall, so painting it was the best idea.  I used Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue paint.

So, so glad to see that green go!

We're going to put up dentil crown moulding and baseboards, as well, so that's why I didn't paint to the top or bottom.

I have started to paint the kitchen cabinetry with Pale Lemon paint by Glidden, but paint-matched it to Behr Premium-Plus.  I must say, after using Benjamin Moore, Behr's paint just isn't close to the quality. But I marched forward with 2 gallons of paint:

All the cabinets will be coated with 3 coats of Martha Stewart's Glitter Paint in Icecap. That's pretty much where I ended.  The top cabinet and pull-away cabinets have all been painted.  The sink cabinet and pantry are still to go.  I've been busy!

In between the painting, I have hit up a few antique shops.  Here are a few of my finds for the cottage:

I wanted a farm table to seat 6 and after shopping at new furniture stores and seeing prices at $895 and up, we found this table for $60 and with the table and all 6 mis-matched chairs, it was $168.  Yay!

The large canvas painting was just $15!  It looks great as the mantle focal point.  I'm finally home from nearly 2 weeks at the cottage.  I'll be back down in a bit to continue the process but it's time to focus on making money instead of spending it!  The auction circuit has been great and I'll blog about that next time!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Where's Waldo, I mean Johanna?

You might be wondering where the heck I am and why did my blog suddenly stop in June?  Why is my Etsy shop on vacation mode so frequently?  Where in the world is Johanna?  ::wink:wink::  Or not.

In any case, let me fill you in on the details.  My husband and I own a 1930's log cabin at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri as our vacation spot.  We purchased her in 2005 and lovingly named her, Moonlight Cocktail Cottage.

The photo above was taken just two weeks ago.

I have a flickr folder with many Moonlight Cocktail Cottage photos that I've taken over the years.

We've done loads of work to this place.  I need to dig out my external hard drive to show you the before-before pictures and believe me, you wouldn't recognize the place.  The entire 3 lots had dirt so every time it rained, everything turned to mud.  We had stones brought in to cover the lots.  I then created the garden spaces by hand-carrying and laying every single flagstone rock from home in my Honda Element.  

The flagstone rock was actually part of a stone fence from my husband's ranch out in Alma, Kansas where he grew up.  We brought lots of it to our Kansas home and built up around our fish pond.  We had a fire in 2005 because the pump in the pond caught on fire, which burned the deck and started to burn the outside wall of the house, so some of the rock is black from the fire. We never put in another fish pond because that was traumatic enough and I don't want another water pump outside, so the rock was sitting in the back yard awaiting a new project.

Digging up new garden spaces in the Missouri Ozarks is NOT easy.  They call all the rocks dug up, Ozark potatoes, and they couldn't be more correct.  You can't place a spade anywhere in the ground without hitting rock, so this garden is always a work in very-slow progress.

I painted every single paintable wall in the interior.  We had our kitchen somewhat remodeled.  My husband and I repainted the exterior, added a shed and painted that, too.  We also had a new roof installed last year.  Over the course of 8 years, Moonlight Cocktail Cottage has evolved into what it is today and still, it's a work in progress.  I always have projects in my mind to tackle.

You'll notice in the next two pictures just a peek of the cottage next to ours (The first picture is much older since it still has the old white roof, which has since been replaced):

Our property includes three lots, so it's nice and spacious.  In the picture above, there are still two open lots to the right of the white vehicle.  To the left is an open space and then the next door cottage.  When we purchased our place in June of 2005, no one came down to the place next door.  Ever.  As the years ticked by, my husband and I looked longingly next door wishing someone would love on the house.  It NEEDED work and loving hands like our place had gotten.  :)

Three years ago, we looked at the county tax records and found the names of the owners who lived Kansas.  My husband called and left a message inquiring if they'd ever want to sell the place because we would be interested.  We never heard back.

A couple of years ago, a local investor bought the property from the owners who didn't call us back.  He's a great guy and can sell ice to an Eskimo, so it's no surprise.  He then brought in a dumpster and cleaned the place out.  It had been sitting vacant for at least 6 years and I'm sure more than that because no one in the neighborhood can remember the last times the owners were down.  

He did the bare minimum to make it sellable and then sold it to a couple who wanted to downsize their lake house.  They came in and completely rewired everything and put in a 220 amp service as well as redid all the plumbing.  The owner's wife really wanted lake front (we're on the 2nd tier), so they sold it back to the investor and he went ahead and had the interior and exterior painted.  A new closet was built in the back bedroom and then it was put back on the market.

The house is close enough to ours that we hoped no one rowdy would buy it.  If they came down from the city and partied late into the night, it would ruin our peace and quiet.  And, having a place in the Missouri Ozarks, you always run the chance of someone buying it and quickly junking it up.  Our neighborhood doesn't have any rules, so anything can be done.  This means my husband and I still really wanted to buy the house.

This year we refinanced our home in Kansas to get in a much lower rate. So much of the year has been spent readying our home for inspection. We closed on our refi August 9th and both of us breathed a huge sigh of relief.  We were scheduled for a lake vac the 3rd week of August, so we met up with the investor and looked over the cottage next door and decided we were finally in a position to take it on.  We closed on the cottage August 24th.  With this added cottage and lot, we now own nearly an acre of land. Who would have ever thought in my lifetime I would be so incredibly blessed beyond belief! God is always good!


Here are all the before pictures:

The house is 720 square feet and includes a glorious screened-in porch, a main room with a wall-to-wall fireplace and kitchen, there's a back bedroom with a door that leads to the landing and then a full bathroom.

Right away, we placed a few things from our cottage inside this cottage to make it homey.  We also bought a new kitchen light fixture at Menard's, my new favorite hardware store.  My Dad was also down visiting, so he installed the light fixture and it looks GREAT!

I love the views out of the side windows:

This is our kitchen window view!  You'll notice yellow paint on the trees.  That's the Ozarks' way of marking property lines!  ;)

The cottage was built in 1950 so there are just a few vintage touches left; this door knob in the bathroom is one.  Isn't it terrific?

And last but not least is the screened in porch.  It has been a lifelong dream to have a screened porch.

So these are the reasons why I haven't been blogging much, if at all, and why my shop has been on vacation more than not. It will take quite some time to do everything that we plan to this cottage but we hope to have it open by next summer for guests.  I'm going to have to work very hard with my Etsy shop because all of my money earned will go towards the cottage and first on the agenda is to buy a new refrigerator and stove.  :)

But I have one last vacation ahead of me this upcoming week.  The shop will remain open, but shipping of items purchased will occur the week after next.  :)  Meanwhile, I'm going to stop by the hardware store to pick up some Benjamin Moore paint and head on down to the cottage for 4-5 days.

Keep watch!  I'll be blogging about the cottage every step of the way!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Vacation Wrap-Up

A 10-day vacation morphed into a nearly 3-week vacation!  Yay!  Because the giant big-box pharmacy that my husband works for has a store in Clinton, MO, he was able to pick up some hours and commute to and from the cottage.I have now had my fill and am happy to be back home.Even though we spent a good deal of time at the cottage, much of it was filled with finishing up the work around the place that typically we work on in the Spring.But because of the weather and other factors, we were behind on nearly every aspect.

R worked on the logs and painted the front of the cottage.We planted lots of new perennials in the garden.We antiqued.I read, he relaxed.We replaced the guest room bed and bought a recliner for the living room.There were lots of rainy days in between so in all the time we were down there, we only boated 3 times and he never took out the jet ski. That's one for the books.

I didn't take too many pictures.  We've had the lake cottage since 2005, so like a child, each year sees less and less photography.  But I did manage a few shots that I'll share:

R is punching in the directions to Hermann, Missouri.  We went to Stone Hill Winery for lunch and wine!  :)

This was taken on the way to the winery.  Can you believe this is Missouri?

I'm lazy and shot photos from the car as you can tell from the deceased bugs on the windshield!  Here we were leaving the winery.

On the way back, we went through Bay, Missouri.  Such a pretty area with lots of hills and church steeples.  I must go back with my better camera and spend some time!

This was before Edie's second boat ride.  Her first boat ride consisted of water with lots of wakes, wind and tons of boaters.  She was not impressed.  Here, she doesn't look impressed with the idea of trying boating once more.

But the weather!  Zero-percent chance of storms and calm water; it was the perfect day!

First we got gas at Hiawatha Beach where we saw the PO PO because there was a fugitive in the lake area and he was being hunted down!  :) *awesome*

Look at all that horsepower!  :)  *vroom*vroom!

Here we are waiting for Daddy to bring us lunch from Big Dick's Halfway Inn which is 29 1/2 miles from where we dock. While waiting, I started seeing clouds over the horizon that were looking a tad threatening and then we heard thunder!  Thunder!

From the boat damage we experienced with a horrendous storm in 2011 seen here:  2011 Boat Damage , we were slightly concerned!  We put the food away and punched the boat to try and get home except it wasn't looking well according to the radar:

We were able to duck into someone's dock while it stormed like crazy!  :)

Thank goodness for Captain Morgan!  ;)  He always takes pictures like he's still in the military.  Ha-ha!

Luckily Edie handled this with bravery.  Of course we were in a very sheltered cove, so the wind wasn't creating huge waves like in 2011.

Finally, when it was just sprinkling, we decided to try the drive back and came upon this.  Fortunately, right after I took the picture, the clouds stopped dropping!  Whew!

I had time to do some sewing.  This was the only item I documented: a bunting for our bike display:

Now we're back home and Edie has one more intermediate training class before graduation and we take a summer break! She loves her rides in the car!

I went to an auction last Saturday and my great-uncle's auction in Illinois was last Saturday, as well, so I'll blog about that coming up!