"We can fix it. Make it real nice. All it needs is a woman's touch."
Calamity Jane (1953)
Calamity Jane is one of my all time favorite movies. It has the best of everything. It has singing and dancing, not just one, but TWO love stories, a personal makeover and last but not least, a cabin makeover! Yay!
"With a tack-tack here and a tack-tack there
And a hand around a hammer
With a mop-mop here and a mop-mop there
You can give a cabin glamour
Then gosh-o-mighty, all at once
The cabin that we knew
Becomes a shiny castle built for two
Me and you....
So never underestimate a woman's touch!"
I've always loved the little Gurr family cabin in Silverton Colorado. It's where Adam and I got engaged. We had a lot of romantic little getaways there before the trio came along. And family trips there afterwards. It's small, but cozy and warm.
When Malan built a new, much larger, nicer cabin in Junction Creek, the Silverton cabin got used less and less. And just like Calamity Janes cabin, got run down and neglected. Adam and I still used the cabin though. Silverton is always so fun beautiful but the cabin was becoming less and less inviting. So our trips there had become less and less frequent.
The last time we were there, I made up my mind to ask Malan and Deanna if we could make some changes to the cabin. You know, clean out some of the clutter, and organize it a little better so it would be more comfortable. I told Adam of my plans and he agreed that something needed to be done. So, the next time we saw Adam's parents we asked them about it and they were fine with letting us do what we wanted to it. After all, we were using it more than anyone.
I started making plans and collecting things for the makeover. Adam and I both agreed that painting the walls white would really brighten the main living space and make it seem larger. I also came up with a plan to take out the upper cabinets and replace them with open shelving. I figured this would also make the space seem larger and make the kitchen items more accessible. Adam wanted to put in some flooring so the concrete wouldn't be so cold on our feet and we could get rid of the HUGE, cumbersome roll of carpet that had to be stored on top of the table so mice wouldn't use it for nesting material. Speaking of the table, it was a big, plastic, lifetime picnic table that was just too big for the space. I thought we could bring in a smaller table and chairs, and use the big green table for outdoor dining. There was an old shabby hide-a-bed in the cabin that no-one was brave enough to open for fear of what might be living in it, so we brought in a futon which seats more and is still a sleeper, but has less "mystery" to it. With all of our supplies and plans ready, we just had to find a time when we could go. We were finally able to reserve fall break for the cabin Makeover.
We loaded everything up Wednesday night and got on our way Thursday morning.
We arrived in Silverton on Thursday afternoon and got right to work. Adam started painting first thing while the kids and I cleaned out and burned old mattresses, the sofa, carpeting, old bedding, and expired food storage and the upper cabinets. It was kind of a gross, tiring hard job because the big fire pit was up a steep hill and a lot of that stuff was really heavy (and stinky). It ended up taking the kids and I over 8 hours to get all the old stuff out and disposed of and to put new cots and mattresses up in the loft.
Adam was done with all of the painting, at around the same time we were done burning everything.
The next morning, we put up a bunch of pallet boards on the wall where the cabinets were. It made a nice accent wall and helped the cabin keep that rustic feel that we almost lost by painting the walls white. I put the rods and shelves and even an old rake head for storage. I was super proud of the end result. It turned out just as I had pictured it would. Adam began laying the floor while Caleb and I built a shelf out of pallet boards for the wall above the sofa. We also put together the futon that took quite a bit of not-so-easy assembly. Once the flooring was in, we cut a small piece of the carpet to make a nice little area rug, then made another Bon fire with the remaining carpet. We put in the table and chairs that I had refinished. And installed some pallet wood for base boarding. That evening, we put on the final touches like filling the firewood holder that Adam made and hanging new curtains and pictures. By late Friday night we were almost done! Two days ahead of schedule! We were able to go for a buggy ride on Saturday and relax a little and enjoy the "new cabin". Malan and Deanna dropped by on Saturday afternoon and helped with some touch up painting. They loved all of the changes improvements we made (thank goodness). And they were very happy that someone cared about the cabin enough to put effort into making it more comfortable.
On Sunday we went to Church at the little branch in Silverton, spent a little more time at the cabin and then drove over to junction creek to spend some time with Malan and Deanna.
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done on the cabin. The plumbing and electrical work are in desperate need of repairs and Adam wants to level out the land around it a little more around the cabin. I have a feeling that there will always be little (and big) projects that need to be done to keep the little cabin usable. But the time and effort we put into it will always be worth it to me. I've always loved that place, and now thanks to a "woman's touch" I love it even more!