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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

If Walls Could Tell A Story…The 108 Year Old House…On The Inside

I recently introduced you to my latest project.   The biggest most challenging junkin’ project I have ever taken on.   I shared with you the exterior and yard space of the 108 year old house in Minburn Alberta.  When I posted about the old place that my cowboy owns, everyone was very excited to see what we were up to.  There were many comments anticipating the tour of the inside of this today I am going to share just that with you.
If you are following this series, you will remember that this is the property that My Cowboy, and his 7  older siblings (one sister and 6 brothers), his mom and dad, and whoever else needed a place to crash lived.  Cowboy says that there were always a few extra kids staying with them...Their home was open to whoever needed a place to stay.   (personally, I think his mother was a superhero...she already had 8 of her own kids, and she was open to caring for extras???   That to me is amazing)
My Cowboy bought the property after his mother decided that she no longer wanted to live here, and moved to a slightly larger community.   The place stood empty for the better part of 10 years…empty except for the leftovers that no one really wanted to claim.   Time alone without heat or any real maintenance took a little bit of a toll on the old house.  The inside can only be described as  a stale mess.

Today’s tour will include a look the interior rooms before we got too much started.   I have a lot of photos to share today, and in an effort not to make this post painfully long, I will share just a few shots of each room.  After today's total tour, you will only see a glimpse of each room as it is progressing with the clean up and transformation.

Grab yourself a coffee…it’s going to be a long one!  I have to say...that the photos I am sharing seem to somehow make the inside of this house not look so bad.   Trust spite of the fairly nice look in the is a mess, and a stale smelling disaster area!  Cob webs and dust are just the teensy tip of the iceberg!

Shall we begin???
To give you a better idea of what you are looking at, I am putting this picture of the exterior of the house up first.  This may help you see where you are as we walk through the house.
First, look at the gray slanted addition on the side of the house.   This is the addition that was added  to give this large family extra space.  It eventually became a porch, and a bedroom.   For many years it has just been a space to drop off equipment or things that needed to be locked up and stored. It is an ugly eyesore!
Now…it is our work space…and in the spring it is going to be ripped off, an a patio put in it's place.

You can see that before I remembered to take some photos, we had already removed the old bath tub and toilet…they were robin’s egg blue…Yes…there were a lot of bright and “wonderful” colors used in this old lady.   The orange on the back wall there is another cheery addition to the layers and layers of paint on most of the walls in this old house.

For right now, this porch is a great spot for us to cut wood, mix paint and store supplies while we work on the rest of the interior, that will be transformed into something completely different.

When you walk into the porch, you can go directly into the kitchen…
You can see the doorway into the porch and to the right, there is a gigantic hole cut into the wall.   That big hole is there intentionally…We are going to put a large window into this spot.   Once the porch is removed, a picture window will be a nice addition to the room.
The wood in this house is fir, and it is OLD…which means cutting it is a nightmare.   I don’t know how many blades Cowboy went through to cut this wall…but it wasn’t pretty.  lol

There is wall paper, which is falling off…and lots of it.   Layers and layers of it!  There is ick and old grunge everywhere…and then there are all the paint colors.   We have a lot to do in this room.

It is just a darned good thing that what goes on ‘under my hair’, as my youngest calls it…(meaning my imagination) is active and very very big.   I am gonna need it!
The first and by far the most important thing we needed to do, was to get a toilet installed in this house!   I was sick to death of  “roughing it”, and with fall coming there would be no tree cover to hide my bare bottom if I needed to pee!   So…Cowboy got busy and was working on the bathroom as I took all the photos.
The living room was full of just about anything and everything you could imagine.   There was a huge pile of very cheap laminate flooring, a nasty bathroom vanity, a filing cabinet, boxes and boxes of greeting cards that the family was given over the years, books, papers, you name it…I bet it was there.   We sorted through it all and either burned or sent most of it to the dump.  We tried to sell the laminate flooring and the vanity in a garage sale, but no one wanted it, not even for free... so we tossed it.  Anything that was sentimental in value is now in storage. 

By far the biggest improvement in this room will be the removal of this carpet…which has seen much better days…although it was ugly even when it was new…haha.   You have got to wonder what inspired the style of 70's...well other than drugs...haha

We now are heading up to the second floor.   I need to figure out what to do about the steps.  Cowboy thinks we need to try to keep as much of the stairs and railing original if we can.  It is going to be a challenge...they are very well worn.
At the top of the stairs, we have an adorable set of windows just screaming for me to put some pretty little curtains on them.   However that will only come AFTER we get some of this other stuff dealt with.   As you can see...the plaster walls in this area have seen MUCH better times.  
A few years back one of Cowboy’s older brother’s decided to start to remove the plaster.   That idea was short lived however, when big brother realized how much work that would entail…and now we need to decide how to deal with this mess!
There are holes in the plaster everywhere…and I do mean EVERYWHERE.   This house is going to take a lot of drywall patching compound.
At the end of the hallway, we come to a door.   This is the door out to that fabulous little balcony on the front of the house!
Something pretty needs to happen in this area too I think.
I don’t even think words can describe my thoughts on the mess in this room.   We cleaned it up to take this photo.  Be glad it’s blurry…Be VERY glad.  This room is going to take a lot more work than other' it will not be on the top of the will wait until after Christmas.

This…is one of two bedrooms that are getting immediate attention.  This one, for some unknown reason is in good shape!   The floor, and walls seem to be almost fine.  Perhaps  all it will take is a few simple coats of paint to smarten this room right up!
This bedroom is not as lucky as the other smaller one.  Several layers of peeling wall paper, and crumbling plaster are making me wonder what I have managed to get myself into.
I need to come up with a plan…and I need that plan FAST.   It was September when I took these photos…and my Cowboy wants to be able to stay overnight here in this house in November!
He is an avid hunter, and wants to be able to crash here after a long day in the bush.   Since he does do most -  if not all of his hunting in the Minburn area, it kind of makes sense… to go home from here IS an hour away, so having a place to stay if necessary is a comforting thought.

So…what I need is a little time to scheme…and plot and plan.   Not too much time, as we are getting to a crunch here...Cowboy works away from home 2 weeks at a time, and that isn't going to make things go any faster!
I do know that my Cowboy wants this place to be a hunter’s hideaway….not a frilly Victorian palace.   So…I have to come up with an idea…that will be comfortable, rustic and still have a little Tootsie  style in it too!   Is that even possible?????

I just don’t know how the heck I am going to incorporate MY style of decorating into this house   There are a lot of challenges for me to incorporate some of the items that Cowboy is insisting on having in this place…did I mention that he has deer heads and other dead things that he is going to use in the d├ęcor?  He is a guy...and has a few cheezy "guy" type things too.   Ya…this is going to be a challenge of my Tootsie  skills like you have never seen before!

Wish me luck…I think I am going to need it!

Stay tuned for the next episode of  If Walls Could Tell A Story…the 108 Year Old House.

Until Next Time…Happy Junkin’/ Renovating/ Decorating!

*)*)*)… "Wisdom is knowing when to speak your mind and when to mind your speech."

¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.



Did you miss a post in this series???
 Article #1  If The Walls Of This Old House Could Tell A Story…The Saddest Chapter Is About To End.   



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Monday, September 27, 2021

If The Walls Of This Old House Could Tell A Story…The Saddest Chapter Is About To End.

Hey guys!   I'm here today to re-publish the series many of you know as the 108 year old house series.   It was originally published 8 years ago and shares the story of how the Cowboy and I began our journey to restore/ renovate the old house we have in a tiny town in Alberta Canada.   There is a wonderful reason for refreshing your memory of this process ....we have finally gotten back to work and it is so exciting!

So...sit back, enjoy the next few posts and get ready for the next stage in our journey to revive the old girl. 

Have you ever gone for a drive and focused your attention to the old homes in your area?   Some of them are so grand…and others humble.  Some, when you look at them, almost scream with happiness and pride, and others look sad and forlorn.  If these houses could tell a story, I bet every one of them would have a sad chapter or two within. 
My Cowboy owns a property about an hour from where we live in a TINY little village called Minburn Alberta.  The population of Minburn is at best 75 people.   This property is where he and his 6 brothers and 1 sister grew up.   The old place holds a LOT of memories for my Cowboy, and it has a very special place in his heart. 
About 15 years ago, my Cowboy’s mom decided that she had lived there long enough and moved to a little larger community in Northern Alberta.   It was at that time, that my Cowboy, (the youngest child of the family) decided to purchase this place from his mom.  He had a plan that he would fix it up slowly, and use it as a weekend project place.
Life is hectic…work, kids, rodeos and life made time of the essence and the empty house stood alone for the better part of those 15 long years…and those lonely years took a toll on the place.  Members of the family occasionally would stop by the place to drop off unwanted items…and eventually it started to look a little dumpy.
Last year, when my Cowboy and I started dating, he took me to his old stomping grounds.   I noticed how sad he seemed when he looked at the place…he even mentioned knocking her down, and either leaving the enormous lot empty, or putting some sort of mobile home on it.   Now, if you know me, you know how much I LOVE a challenge…and if it involves junkin’ of any kind…I’M ALL IN!   This old lady does not deserve to be knocked down…she needs to be Tootsified!   It took a little talking, and encouraging, but that is just what is happening! 
I would like to now introduce you to the Cowboy and  Tootsie’s BIGGEST junkin’ project EVER!…and my Cowboy’s childhood home:
This house 116 years old!   She is sound, and pretty much solid as a rock.  The roof doesn’t even leak…(this surprised me as it needs to be re-shingled in the worst way!)  
There is no way my Cowboy should knock down this old lady…She is just way too pretty to send to the dump.  
I adore the little balcony on the upper level…I NEED to stand out here and enjoy the view!
I have a plan…and it’s a big one…that will take a lot of elbow grease and determination…but I do have a plan…and I am absolutely going to see this old house brought back to a beautiful state!   I can’t wait to see my Cowboy smile when he comes here…I hate that sad look he gets in his eyes.
The original house is all covered in ceramic tile shingles…there is a nasty addition on the back there…which will eventually have to go…but can stay for now.   It will become our workshop as we tackle the HUGE undertaking of  fixing up the inside of this house!
We started in the summer of 2012.   We worked on the yard all summer long.  
The following photos are what we started out with AFTER we mowed down the tall grass. 
Cowboy had been paying someone to mow the lawn there…but that person did not take much pride in the job, and slowly the place got over grown and awful!   It took us a long time to get that enormous lot mowed properly!
This is just a portion of the yard…the west side of the yard. 
There is the the east half!  That old skinning shack will be burned this winter. 
This is the back portion right close to the house…
The trees are everywhere…there are some very pretty private areas in this yard…
I am in heaven in such a place…the possibilities are endless …my imagination is getting a great work out!
We worked about 6 days each month last summer getting all the scrap cleaned out of the yard…and thinning some of the Caragana bushes and overgrown Poplar trees thinned out, dead branches pulled, and the tall grasses pushed back to the property line.  
The whole family got involved…me, kids and cowboy…we all worked our little fingers to the bone…but ended up with a beautiful yard to enjoy our visits in…
It looks SO much better now:
I have some flowers in mind for this place…
I have a lot of plans for the whole yard…I just need the time to do it!  lol
When the winter came, I took the opportunity to chat up that Cowboy about the potential inside this old house!   All my chatter and encouragement worked.   I had a bunch of ideas on file, and showed him lots of them…I also kept some to surprise him with when he goes away to work and I am on my own in the project!   I really wanted my Cowboy to restore this old lady. 
To my absolute delight, when spring arrived this year, we got busy and started to work on this place.  We decided to start to work on the inside of the 108 year old house first, and then tackle the outside next year.   If we fix up the inside a little bit, we can spend the night here and not have to drive the 60 minutes home after a long day.  It is finally time to take this old lady from her sad sad look…to something much more inviting…something comfortable, and happy.
Come along with us, as we dive right in and start one of the biggest junkin’ adventures I have ever been on.   We are re-purposing, and salvaging, and creating in every room of this old house.   It is going to be a most enjoyable journey…and I can’t hardly wait to share each time we get a little more done!
Stay tuned for some absolutely scary interior photos of the old lady before the Cowboy and I got our grubby little hands on her!   She is going to end this most saddest chapter of her life, starting NOW.
Until Next Time…Happy Junkin’!
*)*)*) Beauty catches the attention, personality catches the heart <3

¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.


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