Insectapalooza

Posted by Rebecca

It’s that time of year again when I’m in a constant battle with the neighborhood insects.  They seem to think they have squatting rights, and if they manage to avert a stomp of my shoe or any other eviction attempt, the place is theirs.  Well, my little buggy friends, it is not!

Living in a tiny trailer is a lot like camping all the time.  Small space, indoor/outdoor living, a good flow of fresh air, and lots of creepy crawlers.

Thankfully the ant population remained under control last summer.  The only real invasion I had was early last spring.  I had thrown a vacation cancellation party for some friends whose trip, no matter how hard they tried, was just not happening.  It was great fun with 25 friends packed into my tiny home, and the evening ended with a thin film of rum punch blanketing my entire floor.  The next morning I had a 5km fun run, and when I got home a colony of drunk ants was doing their best to clean up the place.  I put the little guys out of their alcohol-induced misery, and miraculously that was the last of the ant invasions for the year.

Let’s hope this year is similarly ant-free.  More or less.  I’ve been killing rogue ants here and there.  I think they are the scouts, looking for something promising to run back and tell their buddies about.  I’m trying to send a message that they are not welcome here, and to tell their friends to try the guy next door.

Another cringe-worthy visitor I see every summer is the earwig.  Even his name wigs me out.  Have you seen these things?  Super oogie little creatures with big pincers on their heads.  They’re pretty weird too.  They like to just hang out under stuff.  Under dish towels, utensil caddies, dirty laundry, shoes….  I haven’t seen any yet this year, but I know they are coming.

My least favorite of the invaders is the spider.  There are jillions of them.  Some like to hang out on the deck, weaving massive webs that I let them keep until company comes.  There are cities of them under the trailer.  I hope they are happy there because as long as they stay ‘under’ it is fine with me.  A few brave spider souls make their way inside.  Spiders used to make me hyperventilate.  Sometimes cry.  But now I have no choice but to be a big brave girl and squish them myself.  I usually miss the first time.  Then it’s a comedy of errors as I whack my flip flog again and again until I hit them.  Hopefully I hit them.  Because I’m pretty sure they don’t forget my attempts to extinguish their life, and as long as they are still living, I know they want revenge.

Here are a few of the different arachnids that I’ve spotted in my little pink trailer….

The Wolf Spider:

The Funnel Weaving Spider:

The Yellow Goldenrod Crab Spider:

And the good ol’ Black Widow:

Ugh!

Rebecca Knabe

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Over 10,000 and Counting….

Posted by Rebecca

Yesterday was a big day for our blog.  We received more views in a single day than ever before, and passed the 10,000 total views mark.  Thanks, in part, to a little website called Mobile Home Living.  It’s a great site that features inspiration and how-to’s, showcases some really cute trailers and mobile homes, and offers insight on how to make small space living work.

Crystal, the founder of the site, found our blog on The Nate Berkus Show‘s website.  Remember, way back when (just last year, actually), James and Tanille were flown to New York to appear in the House Proud portion of his show?  Well, Crystal found our blog through that article, linked it to her website, and the views keep coming in.

We had a brief Facebook and email exchange, which she signed off saying, “Us trailer girls gotta stick together.”  And those words ring so true.

It’s not an easy decision to move into a trailer park.  Often the neighbors are the worst part.  True, many parks are filled with fixed income older folks, families who have had financial challenges, and individuals who don’t see the need to spend more than they have to on a home; all of which can be fantastic neighbors.  However, addicts and welfare abusers are also usually par for the course.  It’s not uncommon to see old, rotten couches, toilets used as planters, piles of cigarette butts, or an ungodly amount of cats on the property.  This can be hard to swallow, especially if you take pride in your home and surroundings.

But I think times are changing.  The economy isn’t bouncing back quickly, and may never be as robust, even over-inflated, as it once was.  This means we, as a society, have to learn how to live on less and with less.  It does not mean, however, that what we have needs to be dirty and unkempt, or that we have to accept a trashy environment around us.  So, yes, us trailer girls do gotta stick together.  We can make the most of what we have by keeping it clean and in good repair, we can help break down misconceptions of the type of people who occupy trailers by being good neighbors and contributing to a healthy environment and positive society, and, equally as important, we can encourage our neighbors to do the same.

So, thanks to our friends and families and others who have read, and continue to read our blog.  Thanks to our fellow trailer folk for ongoing words of encouragement.  And thanks to our fellow bloggers, like Crystal, for the ‘link love’ and support.   10,000 times, thank you!

Rebecca Knabe

Rare Sightings

Posted by Rebecca

Yesterday consisted of a couple of rare events – me doing yard work, and a total solar eclipse.  Saturday I bought some flowers, mostly for pots, a shrub and some wildflower seeds.  And so yesterday I yanked weeds, dug holes and planted until I was filthy and my hands ached.  It was hard work, but I’m pleased that my yard is on its way to pretty.

Snap dragons and the shrub.  Behind the shrub is where I tossed the wildflower seeds.  My hope is that they are hardy enough to withstand Cassi standing on them on a daily basis.  For some reason that’s her favorite place to stand in the yard.  She doesn’t lay down, she just stands there.

Three pots that are lining the patio.  To the right of them is more of the wildflower area.  And one of my fancy pink flamingos.

The deck, with hydrangeas, snap dragons and lobelia.

A closer look….  I’ve had that big clay pot for a few years – from Ikea – as well as that silver thing underneath, which is on wheels.  It makes handling those big, heavy pots a lot easier.

The deck is done.  I love it!!

Solar eclipse viewing rule #1 – get some fancy viewing glasses, even if it means you have to pay a sci-fi nerd scalper 4x the original price.

Solar eclipse viewing rule #2 – make sure you look extra nice for this rare treat.  Makeup on (check), hair in place (never looked better), an outfit appropriate for the celestial glory (you betcha).

Solar eclipse viewing rule #3 – hope and pray the clouds move out of the way.  And you know what?  They did.  Just in time.  🙂

You can actually see the reflection of the eclipse in that pink splotch on the photo.  I’m not sure how my camera did that, but it’s really cool.  This is the only picture I took that shows the mirror image of the sun, and it’s just at the start of the eclipse.  But I was able to watch the whole thing from the trailer park, with James and Tanille and some other friends.   It certainly was a rare sighting, and it won’t be visible again in Northern Nevada until 2045.

Unfortunately, the other rare sight – me working in the yard – will likely have to happen again much sooner than that.

Rebecca Knabe

Tomatoes and Chives and Other Green Things

Posted by Rebecca

I’m growing stuff.  It’s very exciting!

Two years ago I bought some tomato seeds and Jiffy pellets for planting.  But for two years I have waited too long and missed my chance.  So last week I followed the directions and planted the seeds, and guess what??  They are growing!

This probably isn’t an amazing feat for most – like my dad, who works magic in the garden.  When I was growing up we always had fresh produce in the summer, and armfuls of blooms all over the house.  It was lovely.  The only things I can successfully grow are dandelions and crab grass.  Well, until now!  Because I’m growing tomatoes.

And I’m growing herbs.  I had an impulse buy at Lowe’s recently.  Right next to the check-out were these herb kits with cute galvanized pots, soil and seeds, all in one.  I was still on my tomato high, so I plunked down the $6.98 (big spender) and bought it.  And guess what??  They are growing too!

So now I’ve got a mini kitchen garden with tomatoes and chives and some other green things – probably basil or oregano, I don’t remember.  The third herb in the kit – parsley, I think – hasn’t sprouted yet, but I haven’t given up hope.  I keeping my fingers crossed, and my toes and arms and legs, because I have a feeling this growing thing is going to work out just fine.

If I get some tomatoes I’ll be making my favorite salsa recipe.  It was shared with me by my friend, Amber, and now I’m sharing it with you….

The Best Salsa Ever!

About 8 Garden Fresh Tomatoes

2 Bunches of Cilantro

Half an Onion (I use just a bit of onion powder instead because I’m allergic to raw onions)

Jalapenos (I use about 7 to make a spicy salsa – adjust to your taste)

One 28oz. Can of Plain Tomato Sauce

Salt to Taste.

Chop tomatoes, jalapenos and half-onion in half.  Add half of all ingredients to the blender.  (there were way too many “half”s just then)  Blend first batch, then second batch.  I dump both batches into a bowl, mix, and check if I need more salt.  Yeah, that’s it.  It lasts about a week in the fridge, if you can manage to keep it around that long.  Enjoy!!

Rebecca Knabe

Weekend at Tahoe

Posted by Rebecca

Last weekend I headed to Lake Tahoe for a girls’ weekend get-away.  Tanille, Kara, Erica and I hopped in the car and drove about an hour and a half to beautiful South Lake.  We got a great deal on a room at MontBleu, that came complete with a jacuzzi tub parked just inches away from the beds; but fortunately no one managed to roll over and fall in during the night.  The room was cheesy with pink marble, brass fixtures, and strange 80’s decor.  But we had a great time.

We spent the weekend enjoying local restaurants and watering holes, a bit of shopping, taking in a concert, and getting a little red on the beach.  The weather was perfect – warm with a slight breeze – and the water was freezing.  By July or August it should be a little warmer and more inviting.

It’s really great living so close to such a beautiful place.  It’s even better living a simple life so that now and then you have the time and means to take full advantage of the area.  😀

Rebecca Knabe