A Chapter Closes

We are assuming rightly or wrongly that many readers of TinTeePeeLogCabin have found their way to this new blog.  If you are a new reader, here is a little background as to why we think we can speak/write about home restoration.

Our home in Montana is a beautiful log cabin with a deck overlooking the creek.  The Cowboy and I with Nat’s (the Cowboy’s father) help built this home from the ground up. We only used outside contractors for the fireplace, concrete work and final roofing material–we built the rest.  This is the third home Michael has built and one he enjoyed building very much.  It is constructed of 6×12 western red cedar logs with aspen and spruce walls and ceilings.  Many friends and family have said of our home, “it’s so cozy and warm.”  snow-oct08

In January 2003 following the death of my father the Cowboy and I started traveling south for part of the winter months.  At that time we were both still working–Michael owned his own construction/excavating business and I continued to work as a nurse consultant for Kimberly-Clark.  That first year we were gone less than a month but each year our southern travels have lasted longer and longer.  In April of 2014 we purchased a home in the community of North Ranch near Congress and Wickenburg, Arizona.  North Ranch is a RV/retirement community with a mix of RV lots, park models, mobile home and many stick built homes.  Our home was a stick built one sitting on a quarter acre lot which backed to the desert land owned by the BLM.

This North Ranch house needed work–tiny windows blocked the beautiful desert/mountain views, the kitchen was a total disaster and the flooring in this built in 2002 house was vintage 1970’s–stick on linoleum!  The carpeting was probably original to 2002 although we couldn’t be sure.


Boxed in kitchen, cabinets made from 1970’s paneling and shelves nailed to the walls with huge nails–really!!

We purchased the house and shortly thereafter departed for Montana.  In the fall of 2014 we came back with a cargo trailer full of building supplies and tools.  As to the “Cowboy” portion of this blog–Michael is a cowboy in the truest sense of the word–horses, cows, hat, manners, Wranglers, etc.  But he is also a “cowboy” in the sense he uses non-traditional methods for getting things done and is really frugal in all aspects of his life.

The Cowboy’s son Lonn manages a large ranch with absentee owners.  Several years ago the owners of this ranch decided to build a new ranch manager house for Lonn and his wife LoraLee.  The plan was to allow the fire department practice by burning the old farm house with its newer windows and doors.  Enter the Cowboy–he spent three days at Lonn’s removing all the windows and doors–these doors and windows have been stored in one of our barns since that time.


dscn1769This window came all the way from Montana in our enclosed cargo trailer–and fit perfectly–now we can see that gorgeous mountain/desert view!


The kitchen was boxed in by two walls–we removed both those walls opening up the kitchen to the views created by the new windows and giving the house a more open look. Kitchen cabinets are beyond expensive–and the Cowboy is frugal–so we rented a U-Haul truck and made a trip to Mesa, AZ for used cabinets and used furniture.  The cabinets were gorgeous custom made ones removed from a huge home a young couple was renovating.  The Cowboy measured, cut and measured some more making those cabinets fit–dscn1884

The person who originally built this house had issues with design–the master bath is tiny and the guest bath is huge.  To help solve the space issue in the master bath, the Cowboy, while we were in Montana for the summer, built a barn door–

dscn3449Now you no longer have to step around the door to get to the toilet.

DSCN3559Next to the last project before selling–marble tile counter tops–gorgeous and a whole lot less expensive than solid surface counter tops.

And the last project–laminate floors in the kitchen/dining area.


The Cowboy isn’t cut out for subdivision living and in late December we stuck a sign in our yard to see if we could sell the North Ranch property without the aid of a realtor.  We had a steady stream of lookers and one couple came back and came back again.  They bought the house. The process was made seamless by Pioneer Title in Wickenburg.

So, onward we go to southeast Arizona–a home and guest house on acreage near the community of Pearce, AZ.  Both buildings are in sad shape from being unoccupied for years but I bet the Cowboy and I can whip them into shape.  Follow along with us as we rebuild and enjoy a slower pace of life in southeastern Arizona.

62 thoughts on “A Chapter Closes

  1. I’m so excited to leave the first comment (I think) on your new and exciting blog! The little North Ranch house turned out so cute, and I’m looking forward to following the journey in Peoria. We’ll be by to check it out next time we’re in the area as well. Congrats and best of luck to you both!!!


  2. So excited for you and to share your journey through your blog! Can’t wait to see pictures- I know it will be beautiful!!


  3. I’m with Michael when it comes to subdivision living. Too many people around all the time. We can spend a month in park and not meet a person. I’m sure your new property will be in tip top shape in no time at all. I hope we can see it during a return visit next year. Until then we’ll follow along here. Good luck and enjoy:)


  4. So excited to see the start of a new chapter in your lives. Hopefully I will one day be able to get out and see some of the world again and hope to see Arizona. Take care and be careful on your journeys and activities.
    Don in Okla.


  5. Found the new venture !!! Janna, your new blog is spiff and very tailored……. I like it ! This will be great fun and exciting ! Thanks for sharing !


  6. Looking forward to you & Mike’s progress! I hope you post lots of pictures. Maybe someday, we can see the finished project firsthand. Karen, your Montana neighbor.


  7. Well, we aren’t surprised by your move from a restored home to restoring another property. Good on you, and all the best with the new place.


  8. We are so glad that we got to spend time with you at North Ranch. Like you said Jenna we are all part of the family that we had at North Ranch. I’m sure we’re going to spend more time with you in the future. Best of luck to you and Mike and your new adventure. Joe and Kathy -PS take good care of our Emmi


  9. Janna, we have never met, but know your mom and Chuck well. I enjoyed your blog very much and will continue to stop in and check on your progress. Never know, maybe one day we will meet. Lou Ann


  10. I’ve never posted on your other blog before, but have read along. Can’t believe it was 2014 when you purchased North Ranch! How time flies by. Like you, we seem to have a need to fix up, remodel, improve, and beautify homes! We are on our second home in two years on the outskirts of Tucson (East side). Probably our fifth or sixth remodel in the past 15 years or so. This is the best one yet. Gutted it, remodeled it, and continue to work on making very special outside areas on our acre. We still have stuff in storage in Yuma, waiting transport to here so we can use a stack of vintage stained glass we brought back from Mexico on the property here. We’re with you when it comes to squeezed in neighborhoods–no way! We have an unobstructed view of the mountains from this place, lots of wildlife and stars, birds, peace and quiet. A home with a guest house sounds fun! We still RV as well, cross country to DC area and back several times a year to keep up with our little granddaughters. The best of both worlds. Perhaps one day we will meet–it would be a nice drive and we’d love to see your new property!


  11. Long time reader but usually not a commenter. Have always enjoyed your blog and will continue to follow your new adventure here. Can’t wait to see your new property and all y’all ideas and experiences.


    1. This is so fun hearing from the long term “lurkers” who have never commented–as we say in the south, “don’t take so long next time!” Thanks for following along with the former blog and the new!


  12. Growth can’t happen without change……but so glad to see you’ll continue, just in a different format and subject. Hope you also include food and cooking comments! Appreciate the time you invest and the info you share.


  13. I have been following your blog for the last five years because it is a connection to Montana where my husband and I grew up. We have been “homewrecking” and rebuilding for about 30 years on our Missouri home so I eagerly await your new blog.


  14. Best of luck in your new adventure. I so enjoyed meeting you two when you spent time in TX and have continued to follow your blog. Still quilting on this end.


  15. Oh what an adventure we will continue to follow along from here in Florida and Ontario Canada…..Congratulations on your new project.


  16. We’re excited to hear of your plans and appreciate your energy. We will be looking forward to photos and documentation of your adventure. We wish you well!


  17. Wow, how excited you must be to have a new project. I know you guys will have this place like new & be serching for another in a few years.
    Have Fun. Becki


  18. Have enjoyed your Blog since 2009, when I visited with your Mom in Big Timber, also with you and Michael. That was a special trip. Has been fun following you. Enjoy and stop and smell the roses all along the way


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