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  • Writer's pictureCabin Caretaker

Changes (Part 4)

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

[This is a series of year end posts about our year in review]

You can never go home again. I found that's true. I tried to see if things were the same. They weren't. Things always change. You can't stop it.

So when we stayed at the house before we bought it I made a laundry list of things I would change. I could see from the guest's view. I didn't want to lose that perspective.

So I kept lists. Lots of lists.

One of many, many, many lists...

My Notebook has 35 sections in it. Each section has anywhere from 3-30 pages of notes, lists, scribblings, posts, ideas and do not forgets.

It's hard. I am the marketer, advertiser, researcher, booking agent, cleaning liaison, interior designer, travel agent, local area information kiosk, web designer, blogger, copywriter, purchasing, organizer. The list goes on. Emotions get involved. This is your time, sweat and tears.

The previous owners said there was $65,000 worth of furniture in the home.

I have no idea what home they were looking at because it wasn't this home. The couch was a leftover you'd see in a old doctor's office. It was so rump sprung, you sat down and could lick your knees.

One word: Pleather.

Nothing matched. The iron with seashell (?) and glass table to the right didn't match the handmade wood table on the left.

Comfortable couches replaced the big ole blue monster.

The two identical left handed arm chairs from some kind of casino, had Bill Cosby sweater designs on them. They scream lake house do they not?

UGLY and yet another mismatched table with smoked glass.

The owners took all of the artwork when they sold they house. All of it.

Headboards were none existent. The bed frames were just wrapped in duct tape to prevent the metal from punching holes in the panelling.

The Walmart linens were 'passable' except for the shiny green ones down in the lower bedroom. The two large stripes looked like body stains in photographs to me. Not something to entice someone to stay and sleep.

BEFORE with shiny linens

Better place to lay your head.
AFTER with new lamps, new pillows, new Queen mattress (not the one from around 1950 that was there), 600 thread count sheets and 800 thread count sateen, 100% cotton, duvet over a hypoallergenic Company Store comforter. Large clock with USB charging ports and a place to put your luggage.

So I have been replacing as we go. We bought all new linens, blankets, pillows, towels, make-up towels so people wouldn't take off their make up with the white ones.

Gone is the 80s paint splattered rug.

Did this ever match anything?

Handmade queen sized Amish headboard for the guest room upstairs. New bunk beds, mattresses and matching dresser. 70's mismatched dressers with water ring stained tops, GONE. Matching linens for the rest of the beds. Blackout curtains for putting little kids to sleep on bright summer days, when the water beckons anyway. Nightlight? Check. Baby Monitors? Check.

Rocking chair? Check.

Downstairs is new antique Mission style couches and tables from Upstate NY, made in the 1900s. I have always wanted furniture like this and it's comfy. So I made all the pillows for the couches. I picked out the fabric and sewed them. Natural colors to match the outdoors and curtains to blend in with the trees.

Antique mission style couches and furniture.

I know why the furniture languished in the home. It's a pain to carry big heavy things to the house and then the doors are narrow so big stuff doesn't fit. If it doesn't go through the door, it's over the deck. Yet John still loves me when I suggested we bring in the large desk for the office. It darn near squished us flat carrying it down those stairs.

The desk that almost killed us. And a helpful USB charging tower.

Good thing about the old furniture. You didn't care when it got scratched or damaged.

But when a guest's dog pees in the middle of the bed and ruins the nice linens it hurts. I am replacing and trying to create a nice place to stay and some just don't care. They think it's a hotel. We are not a hotel. We are a family home.

2018 was our first full year in business completely on our own. When we bought the house was managed by a management company. They said that they would take care of the bookings they had and then hand it over to us.

It was their cleaner that left the huge mold to grow on the shower doors. It was the same cleaner that put out torn sheets and tattered towels for guests.

They didn't notice that a guest melted the microwave. Or wiped the grill with the towels. Or left the canoe out in the lake to float away.

The basement floors were sticky. The kids had black feet from walking in the house. We don't wear shoes in the house as a family rule. It keeps dirt outside where it belongs. It took me days to strip the gunk off the tile floors.

I scrubbed the kitchen. I refinished the doors in the kitchen from where the water splattered door and took off the finish.

Replaced all the dishes, glassware, silverware, pots and pans. Knives, kitchen gadgets, new coffee pot, tea pot, cutting boards, towels. Matching and clean. Dog treat to make even the four legged feel welcome.

Life is Good Dog treats and bowls.
Dog treats and stainless bowls ready to go, so you don't have to pack them.

The plans are grand. We want to replace the decks. The tile flooring. Paint the interior. Landscaping. Docks. More furniture to replace. Generally we want the place to feel that it is loved again.

If you want a hotel experience, please keep looking. This is a Sears Kit home built in 1975.

If you want to stay at your friends place by the lake with the amazing views then please give us call and come see what we have done since your last visit.


This is a series of year end posts about our year in review. Missed the first parts? Click to read the whole story.


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