The Greatest Compliment

Posted by Rebecca

My friend, Natasha, was visiting the other night.  Her son was playing with a little 9-year-old girl named, Trinity.  I was a 9-year-old girl once.  When I was 9 the only things on my mind were playing, pretty things like sparkles and kittens, and Barbie Dolls.  I think a lot of 9-year-old girls are fairly similar.

So it was an unexpected compliment when little Trinity walked into my trailer, eyes wide, and said, “It’s pretty in here!”

I was taken aback.  It was very unexpected.  And it felt like the greatest compliment ever.  I’ve had a lot of adults tell me that my place looks great, but sometimes I feel like they think they have to say that; or they’re really thinking, “This place looks great, for a trailer.”

Hearing it from a little girl, however, was better.  She didn’t know that it’s polite to express praise the first time you see someone’s home.  She isn’t aware that buttering someone up usually improves their impression of you.  And the last thing on her mind when she was preparing to walk into my home was, “I wonder how this place is decorated.”

So when Trinity told me that my place is pretty, I believed her.  She spoke from her heart.  And as I thanked her I thought to myself, “I think it’s pretty too.”

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Posted by Rebecca

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Well Hello, Baldy

Posted by Rebecca

So, I had an interesting Saturday morning.  It started out like an ordinary Saturday with a short run at Virginia Lake, a small man-made lake less than a mile from my home and right in the middle of Reno.  But this time turned out to be a little different….

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I was running along, top-speed, like a bullet train, setting new world records….  Not really.  I was moseying along at my usual running pace, trying to stay out of the way of toddlers and the elderly who were passing me, when I came across a small group of people with their eyes fixed high up in a tree.  As I got closer one of them told me that, lo and behold, there was a Bald Eagle up there, just hanging out.  Wowza!

I was so excited!  I’m not much of a bird person.  I mean, I like birds, but most days I can’t tell the difference between a sparrow and a chicken.  However, when I glanced up and caught sight of ol’ Baldy, I knew immediately that I was looking at 1 of only about 18,000 that can be found in the lower 48.  And in the middle of the city, no less.  AND I was standing right at the bottom of the tree where it was scoping out its next meal (or maybe just laughing at the lousy runner struggling by).

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The Bald Eagle is a special bird.  While it is no longer on the endangered species list, as I mentioned, there still aren’t an awful lot of them around, and it’s the only eagle that is unique to North America.  And they’re big – averaging 30-37 inches in height, with a wingspan of about 72-90 inches.  They are found mainly on the coast or in the vicinity of a large lake – not rinky-dink Virginia Lake – and they like to eat fish, but will also settle for other birds and rodents, and maybe even an unfortunate cat or chihuahua.

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So this was a rare and exciting sighting, indeed.  And it made for a way-better-than-usual Saturday morning jog.

Rebecca Knabe

Trailer Pick of the Day – Trailer

Posted by Rebecca

If you ever forget that you live in a trailer, you just have to check out the awning for a reminder.

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I wonder if it’s komfortable?

Rebecca Knabe

Small Spaces and Color

Posted by Rebecca

One of the many small-space-decorating myths is that color makes a space look smaller.  Not true!  Rejoice in the fact that there are more options available for those of us with tiny homes than ‘institution white.’  In fact, the correct use of color can visually expand your living space.

Here are a few tips I’ve found that will help you successfully decorate your small space with vibrancy and life:

–  Add color, but with restraint, says the Armstrong Floor Board Blog.  Don’t indulge your need for color at the expense of light and proportion.  Use splashes of color on radiators, doors, inside bookcases, or on small walls or partitions.

–  Paint the entryway a few shades lighter than the main room.  As you move from the darker entry to the lighter, brighter living space, the contrast will make it appear larger than it really is.

–  Create a focal wall with color, states an article on HGTV.  Although some designers don’t like this in a larger home, it can work wonders in a small space.  Sometimes a darker color on one wall can make it recede, causing the room to look more spacious.

–  It is important for small homes to be cohesive, and this can be achieved by using different shades of the same color to unite all the rooms.  This will increase the flow throughout your home, encouraging movement and making it feel more open.

–  Paint the ceilings a lighter color than the walls to draw the eye up and make it appear airier.  This is an especially effective tip in a low-ceiling home such as a trailer.

–  Don’t forget to add some black.  Yes, black!  A black item will help ground the appearance of the space and clarify the other colors.  Even something small like a lamp or a picture frame will work.  I love my black dining table and chairs.  They add a solid focal point to my great room without being distracting or overwhelming.

So try a little color in your small space.  If you don’t want to commit to paint, add some bright throw pillows or artwork, or even hang a colorful rug or piece of fabric on the wall.

If you do decide to take the plunge and paint a bold color on a wall or two, here is some exciting inspiration….  Tanesha Awasthi, author of the blog Girl With Curves, recently posted a few photos of her home.  Take a look at the beautiful color she chose for her 100 square foot living room, in the photo below, and notice how the dark yet bright blue allows the wall to recess, while the natural light and pale furnishings extend the visual boundaries of the room.

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Check out the rest of her blog for great fashion looks and confidence-building ideas for girls with beautiful shape.

Rebecca Knabe

 

Trailer Pick of the Day – 1927

Posted by Rebecca

Here are a few things that were going on in 1927:

–          The Holland Tunnel under the Hudson River opens, connecting New York and New Jersey.

–          Charles Lindberg flies the first solo transatlantic flight.

–          Work begins on Mount Rushmore.

–          Josef Stalin takes power of the Communist Party in Russia.

–          Benito Mussolini is Prime Minister of Italy.

–          Roger Moore, Gina Lollobrigida, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Pope Benedict XVI were all born.

–          The Harlem Globetrotters play their first game.

–          Ford Motor Company begins production of the Model A.

–          The first telephone service between New York and London begins operation.

–          A record cost $0.39, chicken was $0.42/lb., eggs were $0.59/dozen, milk was $0.56/gallon, and a raccoon coat would set you back $39.50.

–          Oh, and this little trailer park was born, just steps from the Truckee River in Reno, Nevada.

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Rebecca Knabe

The Life of Cassi – Part 2

CONTINUED…

Although Cassi started out timid in regards to food, over the years you would never know it.  Ridgebacks are one of those breeds that you are cautioned against leaving any access to food.  Cassi was no exception.  Once while I was bringing in groceries, she helped herself to a box of unopened microwave popcorn, meticulously licked the wrappers clean, and pooped kernels for a week.  Another time, I had run downstairs to the laundromat to switch the clothes, and when I returned moments later, a giant bowl of M&M’s was half gone.  The remaining M&M’s were soggy and covered in fur.  Twice during dinner parties, she helped herself from the food table – the first time at a friend’s house she brought down a plate of burritos, the second during a bridal shower she stole sushi off of a tray, right in front of me.  At a baby shower I had last year, she took a croissant from a toddler.  She ate anything that she found in the car, from restaurant leftovers, to beverages in the cup holders, to cough-drops.  She could not be trusted!

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Her ferocious appetite was curable, my uncle once said.  “If you leave her food out, she will quickly realize it is always available, and she won’t feel the need to overeat.”  We tried it.  And for a week she gorged herself, so much so, that her stomach was distended and she farted with every move.

Other than her over-eating disorder, Cassi was a great dog.  I’m a terrible dog trainer, but she still would sit when I asked, come when I called, and she never jumped or licked.  It all just seemed to come naturally for her.  Thank goodness.

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Cassi was also a little protective of me, and could get jealous.  When I was petting other dogs, she would wriggle in-between us and nudge my hand until I was petting her instead.  If I was talking to someone for too long, or reading, or watching TV for too long, she would bump my arm with her nose until all attention was on her.  This was especially the case when I had a full glass of red wine in my hand.

Her most jealous, protective moment came when I married my second husband.  It was our first night in our new apartment after the wedding.  Cassi was, or at least at the time I assumed she was minding her own business in the corner, chewing her nails or something.  In reality she was likely avoiding us, as we were about to find out what she had done.  As we crawled in bed for the night, my then-husband laid is head down on his pillow, only to find it cold and soggy.  Cassi had managed to carefully pee only on his pillow, with not a drop on the mattress or any bedding.  I was equal amounts horrified, impressed, and proud.  My Cassi was attempting to mark her territory, and let him know that she was not impressed with the new living arrangements.  However, it was less funny the following night when she did it again.  It was several months after that before we trusted her near the bed.

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In addition to Cassi’s quirky idiosyncrasies, she was a great companion.  She was a comfort through some hard times, and she was a happy face to come home to.  She was content to just be in the same room as me, curled up on a cozy blanket.  And she loved to ride around in the car all day, traveling far distances on road trips, or just running errands around town.

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And so Cassi filled my life with humor and happiness, and I tried to fill hers with comfort, security and love.  On her last visit to the vet, as the doctor sedated her before putting her to sleep, I laid on the floor next to her petting her head, playing with her ears, and talking to her.  I wanted my face was the last face she would see, and mine the last voice she would hear, in the hopes that she knew how loved she was up until the very end.

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Thank you for bearing with me through this.  It has been a difficult experience.  I am glad, though, that I got to spend Cassi’s life with her, and I’m glad her life was full and happy, and had a peaceful ending.

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Stay tuned for regular blogging to begin again.  I have stories and photos for you, decorating and design inspiration to share, and lots of other random thoughts to express.

Rebecca Knabe

The Life of Cassi – Part 1

Posted by Rebecca

Rimfire Cassiopeia Johari was born on June 20, 2001.  That was her fancy AKC name – Rimfire for the kennel where she was born, Cassiopeia for the constellation, and Johari meaning jewel in Swahili – but I never officially registered her because I knew I would never breed her, show her, or sell her.

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I hadn’t heard of Rhodesian Ridgebacks before, but my then-husband had lived in South Africa for a time, where they are very common, and loved the breed.  He found out about the litter in the local paper.  We had wanted a dog for a while, but finally got serious about our search after an incident I had with a Peeping Tom leering in our bedroom window while I was home alone one night.  Ridgebacks were loyal and protective, and large, so we were sure to both feel much safer with one in the house.

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Our plan was to get a “pet-quality” puppy, rather than a “breeding-quality” as they were cheaper.  And we wanted a boy.  But the litter of 10 had been available for over a month already; they were 14 weeks old and all the pet-quality puppies were gone.  Of the 4 left, 3 were boys.  So we looked at the boys, took them out of their kennels, and tried to play with them.  We wanted to interact, but the 3 boys were too interested in each other to have any interest in us.  That’s when the only little girl left in the litter wandered over from the far side of the pen, tail tucked between her legs, head down, sad eyes.  She came right over to me and sat on my foot.  She looked up at me and I looked down at her, and it was love at first sight.

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We paid our money, the breeder gave us a flimsy leash, and we headed to Petco to get all the puppy supplies.  I was so excited to have a dog of my own.  I had dogs growing up, but they always liked my mom more than me.  We arrived at the store, and I proudly grasped the leash to take my brand new baby inside the store.  I was so busy thinking about her and I prancing up and down the aisles, buying food and treats and toys, that I didn’t notice her trepidation.  She was terrified of the sliding doors.  I tried to pull her in, push her in, drag her in, but she was not interested.  And at 30 lbs. she was too heavy to carry.  So I swallowed my pride and put my new, gangly teenage puppy in the shopping cart.  She sat in it, facing forward, with her head resting on the edge of the cart.  Thus began the relationship with my new strange and fearful puppy.

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I quickly signed Cassi up for puppy school.  It was in a small office building, on the second floor.  I soon found out that Cassi was not only afraid of doors, she was also afraid of stairs.  As the other puppies were galloping up the stairs with their owners in tow, I was again pulling, pushing and dragging her up each step, until I gave in and carried her.  Every week was the same, and every week she was a few pounds heavier.  Once inside the classroom, the other puppies would run and jump and lick, and Cassi would wriggle between my legs and tremble.  The instructor was kind enough to let us come for a second round of classes for free.

The biggest impact that puppy school had on our relationship was this: Cassi was very cautious in everything, even eating.  She wouldn’t eat if anyone else was in the kitchen.  The dog trainer said this wouldn’t do, and she had me feed every meal to Cassi out of my hands.  I hand fed Cassi for months.  She was gentle and sweet, and an extremely slow eater.  We would sit on the kitchen floor together twice a day while she ate from my hands, growing more trusting of me with every mouthful.  From that point on, I was the only person in the world that she wanted.

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Needless to say, Cassi was not the statuesque guard dog we had in mind.  She was afraid of everything – doors, stairs, her leash, her shadow, loud noises, feet, and strangers.  In time she grew out of most of her fears, but was always easily startled, usually walked with her tail between her legs, and forever hated feet.

TO BE CONTINUED…