Calamity’s Cabin

The first part – – –  on five minute makeovers, old movies and living the dream.

Lorax Quote

“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become” Dr Suess – The Lorax   (Source – The Nesting Place  by Myquillyn Smith)

Ever fallen in love with a movie simply because of the house that’s featured in it or better yet because of what they are doing with the house? And when the house transformation reflects a good heart transformation –  you’ve got a winner in my books. My very favourites – Cross Creek with Mary Steenburgen, Under the Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane and well this one – just for fun Calamity Jane with Doris Day. Old fashioned and cheesy maybe  but one of my all time favourites ever.  I’ll confess straight up when it comes to the movies I am a bit old fashioned  – I love a good romance a happy ending and if there’s a song and dance routine going on –  all the better. You can keep your shock and awe type fillums – give me real people making a mess of life and love and finding their way through and give me the dream at the end of it too. For me this old movie has got it all – and in spades.

 Theres singing and dancing, romance, jealousy, handsome fellas walking around, gun slingin and horse wranglin and theres a last minute twist in the plot when you think its all gonna go pear shaped – – – but the best bit, my very favourite bit ever – the cabin makeover .


I told you it had it all.

In this scene Calamity – generous and kind hearted but clueless about how to live like a lady – invites Katie to come share her almost derelict cabin. Katie is horrified at what she finds but showing some grit of her own she convinces Calamity that all it needs is a “woman’s touch”.


So with Katies eye for pretty they start cleaning and organising and polishing and painting, old furniture is getting a new lease on life, curtains are being hung, plants are being potted, pretty things are being set around, and they never hit a wrong note once.  Within the course of five minutes Calamity’s dirty and dilapidated old cabin is oozing with girlish charm and loveliness – a pretty and cozy home – there’s the dream right there and I want to move in.

And it all looks so lovely  and with so little effort – – – – only in the movies!!

 – – – a “calamity” – an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster  – – – – sounds like your average DIY project to me.

You see – it doesn’t get done in five minutes or even in five weeks sometimes, its messy and exhausting, paint gets spilt and walked all through the house, you hit your thumb with the hammer, it takes at least three goes to get those curtains to hang right, and twenty more nail holes than you need to get your gallery wall just how you want it and theres no singing and dancing going on unless you’ve opened a bottle of “special” lemonade mid project. It usually looks a whole lot worse before it looks better, your finger nails are wrecked and you maybe haven’t showered in a while but – – –  love it – absolutely, worth it to make your house your own – definitely, – – – – exhilarating to see what you can do when you have a go – always.

Nine years ago we bought ourselves a little cabin too. We moved in – full of big plans – some that we have seen through, some that we are still working on and some that have sat back and laughed at us. For the most part money, time and skill have been in short supply – seriously short – but I found you can get a long way on just a little bit of each of these when you throw everything you’ve got directly at it. It takes longer,  it takes every ounce of patience and perseverance at times, your forced to rely on wits, creativity and elbow grease far more than you would like to and you find yourself shopping at garage sales and op shops a lot more than Ikea and Freedom Furniture but  – – – it makes it interesting and  I found out this too – the dream happens along the way – you don’t have to wait till the end. The really good stuff goes and happens right in the middle of the mess and the busy and the dodgy bank balance and the half painted rooms.

Our little girl was born about 18 months after we moved into our house, right when we had it all pulled apart and our business was going belly up fast and everywhere I looked there was another project to be completed. We brought our little bundle of girl home just a few days before Christmas so Ken decided that was the perfect time to start building a pergola on the back – did I mention I  had just had a baby and it was two days before Christmas – oh yes and it kept raining torrentially, the dogs wet and hairy kept running into the house whenever I opened the back door and I was having the whole family come over on Christmas eve – – – – awesome – – – – but what I remember most is it being the sweetest most lovely  time ever. I had this little girl in my arms and a little boy running around who earlier in the year had spent weeks on end in hospital with a broken leg. My house was full and I was the happiest woman in the world – kinda frazzled, kinda overwhelmed and totally numb from the waist down but happy.

Thank God for sisters that just come and help and Granddad’s that arrive with delicious German sausages to eat and husbands that drive to Bunning’s at 4 o’clock on Christmas eve to get a tree, and five minute movie makeovers that make you dream  – thank God for it all – for the happy ending right in the middle – along the way.



IMG_0769The entrance to our little cabin. In the interests of being real – what I haven’t shown you here are the bit’s needing a little more than a “woman’s touch” – the missing tiles , the loose screen, the eaves boasting two different colours and the balustrade that needs another coat of oil. But this little part says “Welcome”

 You can read  the second part of this post  – on heart makeovers and handsome fellas and falling in the “crik”

Also you can read my latest Women Connect post Just a Minute here.

I’d love to hear from you so please leave me a comment on favourite movies, the story of your house or anything really.  If you’ve enjoyed this post please share the link with anyone you think might like it. You can also subscribe up the top on the right using your email address. My latest post will be delivered direct to your inbox. 

God Bless

Tracey xx


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