Trailer Trashtastic

on a mission to live in & love our mobile home

Posts Tagged ‘humor

Playing Catch Up

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Sooooo… let’s pretend I had  this blog called Trailer Trashtastic that I failed to update for months at at time….

I sure hope you forgive me for that, because at this rate I’m going to have to start every post out with a big fat apology. Anyway, I’ve been busy! I have about a gajillion things to share with you.

Let’s start with the bathroom. Before our bathroom was finished, we spent 8 days in the sun at the beach. It was wonderful. What wasn’t so wonderful from my perspective was that we had to leave our landlord an open invitation to finish the work while we were gone. Because at that point the project had been going on for 3 weeks.

Yes. I said THREE WEEKS.

Suuuuuuch a headache. painted trailer wall repair
I’m not super cool with people being able to traipse in and out of my house unsupervised while I’m far away. It’s not that I think anything is going to wander off… it’s the snoop-factor. I’m not gonna claim to be so interesting that people just really wanna root around in my stuff, but everyone has drawers full of papers with student loan balances, old report cards, little scraps of memories… you know, personal things that you don’t share with everyone. Or anyone. And I KNEW the snoop-factor was a real possibility when I came back and all my mail was on the kitchen table (but not at my request). It was confirmed when I called Mr. Landlord to advise him we were home and thanks for finishing up and he gave me a 10-minute dialogue about how he was looking for toilet paper to clean the mirror he hung back up (P.S. Who cleans a mirror with toilet paper?) so he wandered over to our other bathroom, alllll the way on the other side of the house, because I guess the toilet paper in the remodeled bathroom wasn’t good enough? And while he was in the other bathroom he noticed that the lid to the toilet tank was broken.

After our phone call I went into that other bathroom and saw that he noticed the broken lid (which by the way never matched or fit either toilet) so much that he moved the framed photos and candles that were sitting on top of it and left them strewn haphazardly across the sink. Also it looked like someone rolled around in the grass and then sat on our sofa for awhile…

Snoop-factor. It’s real and not imagined.

On the up-side, though, the bathroom turned out nicely. I’m happy with the finished wall and even happier that the toilet is seated and in working condition.

I’m also happy that we rent this trailer and do not own it because the caulk that was used to seal everything off  is not the kind of caulk you are supposed to use in a bathroom. In fact, whenever I run a rag across it to clean, some comes off. I don’t know if it was wrong or out-of-date-or both, but it never set up. And since I can’t handle another 3 weeks of my home being invaded I’m just gonna leave it like it is.
trailer bathroom wall repair

Okay. Moving along… I’m not actually done with the bathroom. There are a few purchases I’d like to make:

  • cabinet space/shelves for over the toilet
  • another curtain for around the tub– preferably one with a pattern
  • new towels!!!
  • a row of hooks for hanging towels

And speaking of hooks, I have a cool project that I’ll be sharing in the next couple of days:

kitchen organization for small spaces

Kitchen Organization!! For cheap.

I also constructed what will soon become COMMAND CENTRAL in the kitchen, complete with a giant chalkboard wall.

We came up with a solution to temporarily hide the laundry “nook” ugliness annnnd there are lots of things going on outside, too.

Fall decorations, ya’ll.

Photos and instructions for all this mess in the days to come (I’ll make good on these promises, I swear!!!), and in the meantime, I’ll leave you with the last remnant of our summer garden…

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Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Thursday, Friday, Saturday…

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It’s Saturday, and I am happy to report that the bathroom project is moving along nicely. On Thursday, after my Wednesday full of frustration and panic, work went at a slightly furious pace, and by the end of the day the new sheet rock was up with a coat of mud and most of the tile is back down on the floor.

The siding is in place at the back of the house, which means the exterior wall is complete. The siding even got a good scrub! No more tarp as an excuse for an outside wall.

single wide trailer bathroom remodel
At the top of the above photo you can see that the ceiling around the skylight still hasn’t been repaired; I’m not sure what the plan is for that to be aesthetically pleasing.

The toilet isn’t set yet; we have to paint first, so until someone returns to sand the three coats of mud on the wall we are at a bit of a standstill. Chad and I went to pick out a paint color yesterday.

We will be purchasing an Interior/Exterior Bonding Primer from Valspar. It adheres to slick surfaces like cabinetry and vinyl, so it will be just what we need to cover the wallpaper. I have plenty of experience with Gripper, by Glidden, the original product charged with the task of bonding to slick, hard-to-paint surfaces. It works reliably every time I’ve ever used it, and I only hope its Valspar counterpart does as well. We don’t have a Home Depot in our area, and paint brands are store-loyal.

mobile home bathroom re-do
This is where the new wall joins the old wall; we’re going to paint the entire back wall one color straight across. We’re going with a darker accent color pulled from some of the detail in the wallpaper. I’m still not a fan of the wallpaper, but if I’m picking whole rooms to paint, we are starting with my kitchen before we even consider the bathroom.

Also my bath tub is clean.

Happy sigh.

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

July 14, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Update on the Invasion

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Things wrapped up yesterday looking a little better. Chad came home from work and a super duper thunderstorm was blowing in, so at 5 pm construction moved into high gear. We have a wall!!! But no toilet.

Alas, I am still sharing the other bathroom with the little boys.

no toilet in the bathroom
This is the new wall. No drywall yet. The hole in the floor is where the toilet used to be…

mobile home bathroom remodel
This is the nice new sheet rock that will go over the new wall. This morning it is MAJORLY cramping my style because it completely prohibits me from accessing the bathroom counters and sinks at all. I can’t get to the cabinets down below with all my stuff in them.

Needless to say I’m looking pretty cool these days…

I did manage to reach the deodorant, so at least I think I smell alright.

To Be Continued…

 

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

July 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Home Invasion

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Let me begin by apologizing for being the worst Trailer Trashtastic blogger ever.

Sorry.

I do spend most of my time at Sugar Dish Me, so those of you that follow me there know that I’m not really missing. It’s just that I cook EVERY DAY, so taking a little extra time to photograph my efforts isn’t a big stretch, and there certainly isn’t any financial commitment beyond my usual grocery budget. I’m pretty proficient at doing things in a budget-friendly way, and while I would love to spend every bit of spare cash on home improvements and furnishings, mostly I just can’t really justify it.

Anyway… let’s talk about what prompted me to be here today instead of my usual Sugar Dish stomping grounds:

My home is in limbo (you know, the place Dante writes about that exists between Heaven and Hell when you just don’t know what to do or where to go? We are THERE.). It is not a happy place right now. We have been invaded.

It all started when I pulled up the rugs in the master bathroom for their weekly run through the wash. We have a really big bathroom (I mean disproportionately big… it’s almost as big as the master bedroom; I’d throw out measurements for you but math is not really my strong suit), complete with a pretty garden tub, flowy curtains, double sinks and a separate stall shower. There is a skylight that lets in lots of natural light. Our bathroom is generally a very happy bright place to be. Also – NO LITTLE BOYS ALLOWED.

So I pull up the rugs and start scrubbing the floors. Chad comes home for lunch and notices that against the bare floor the toilet looks sort of crooked. He messed around, pulled up a floor tile, and poked around for the source, but everything looked okay. Definitely crooked, though. When I returned to my bathroom scrubbing chores I noticed some light water marks at the bottom of the baseboards behind the toilet. Uh-oh.

It was a day or two before we had a few minutes to run over and inform our landlords of the issue. Some background on the couple we rent from: a very super nice retired couple that love to share fresh veggies from their garden. We are really very fortunate; I’ve rented from some real lame-o’s. These people are like hitting the landlord jackpot. BUT! They like to talk. So if we walk over the road to tell them anything, or even just to pay the rent, we can plan on being there for awhile. Sometimes it just doesn’t fit into our schedules.

By the time we went to let them know that the toilet is crooked and we suspect water damage from some of these crazy storms, the toilet was noticeably more crooked. That was Friday.


I took this picture on Monday morning before the work started. Even. More. Crooked.

So our very nice landlord/handyman wanted to do the work himself. Cheaper and faster, right? On Monday he got the ball rolling and took everything apart. He measured, made a list of materials, and got a good sense of what needed to be done. Basically there is a leak in the skylight or something that is routing water down the back of the house. The wall has water damage and it is now attacking the floor.

trailer bathroom remodel
When he finished working at 3 pm Monday this is what it looked like. At a glance, not too bad.

Tuesday morning arrived, and with it my early morning workout. Workout = Shower. The construction disaster should technically only affect one half of the bathroom. It’s a big enough space that I should have a clear path from the door to the shower. This half of the bath also includes access to the sinks and countertops.

THAT IS WHERE ALL THE IMPORTANT STUFF IS.

Important stuff like 42 bottles of lotion. And make-up. Jewlery. Face wash. Deodorant. Tweezers. THE MIRROR. My toothbrush and dental floss!!!!!! On my way to the shower I discovered that all of my clean towels have been thrown in one of the sinks and there is the great big mirror that’s been removed from the wall, moulding and all, just sort of leaning all heavy and dirty on top of them. The candles that usually rest on the tub are lolling on the counter waxing up bobby pins and a stray necklace. The bathmats that I washed, dried, and carefully laid over the side of the tub (remember the rugs that got this whole ball rolling? Yeah. Those rugs.) have dirty boards leaning on them. The lid to the toilet is in what was my sparkly clean bathtub. Also there is some unidentified dirt in there. Tuesday morning on the way to the shower I started freaking out.

mobile home bathroom remodel
Another thing about Tuesday:

At the end of Tuesday everything looked exactly like it did at the end of Monday. Rain was in the forecast, and even though it never rained and was 86 degrees and sunshiney bright, Tuesday must have been like the bathroom re-do Sabbath. Time to think and reflect maybe?

While we were sleeping Tuesday night/Wednesday morning it rained. A LOT. So at 4 am I woke up to a really cool watery dripping sound . That’s because it was raining in my bathroom.

mobile home water damage
I don’t know how much you can decipher from this, but the material you see with the horizontal slatted appearance is THE SIDING. That little bit of vinyl is all that exists between us and the outside world. The soaking wet board and insulation still hanging out in the middle of the wall are confusing for me…

water damaged mobile home sub-floor
My favorite part of Wednesday morning was this rained-on rotted sub-floor grossness.

After this I became afraid to enter the bathroom at all. Also I have been air-conditioning the backyard since noon on Monday… because I have room for that in my budget. I have become very worried about my washcloths, hand towels and PRODUCTS. How do you disinfect Argan hair oil?

By 8 am this morning I’d passed the point of no freak-out return. I called my best friend. She talked me down. Sort of.

Work began about 9:30 am (after the Tuesday hiatus… P.S. this morning it was actually rainy). The siding came off, the rest of the wall came down, and I resorted to frantically typing this post because I need to vent. FORREAL.

I can’t cook, can’t bake, can’t think with all the banging. I am terrified that we will be taken over by spiders since we have no wall. I think I may have to sell my soul to the power company at the end of all this.


When work stopped for lunch I poked my head in the bathroom. I have a blue tarp for a wall and why yes, that IS my back yard you see there!

I don’t know how many more days this will go on, but I do know that I am a girl and I need my bathroom. I really wish someone would have asked me where I would like my clean towels? Or told me that I should just go ahead and rescue all bath products before the work started. Or let me know that I’d have no wall…

Do you have any crazy remodeling experiences? Tips for how to survive this?

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

July 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Buggy-ful Weekend

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If you follow me at Sugar Dish Me you already know all about the rail buggy. An event organized this past weekend by a local Volkswagen parts dealer offered Chad and I a rare opportunity to spend an entire day devoted to his love of Vee-Dub and all things air-cooled. So we loaded up my obnoxiously large purse with bottled water and apples, jumped in the buggy, and got all set to go.

I realize that this has nothing to do with living in a trailer, painting, planting, or otherwise decorating anything, but if you have ever spent any time at a drag strip, you already know it is a completely Trailer Trashtastic activity.

We bring the boys here on hot summer evenings, the humid air thick with the smell of burned rubber and race fuel, and there is always something to see. My kids like to bet each other on which cars will win each trip down the track (this usually ends in an argument, some whining, and eventual separation with instructions to please shut up). There are super fast cars that must have cost all of someone’s retirement fund. Once there was a lady with a tiny monkey in a diaper on her shoulder sitting just below us. She was a side-show waiting to happen.


This is what I could see from up on the hill when we were driving in. A sea of Volkswagen. And some spectators.

About half of these people were here the night before the event; they offered camping and apparently were set to toss an engine block on a bonfire? The novelty of that was lost on me, probably because I’m not a boy and I wasn’t drunk.

We climbed out and I made a beeline for a string of Volkswagen buses. I have an odd sort of fascination with them. Chad wanted to register rail buggy in the show to be judged. See our #55 on the windshield? That means that we – with the rail buggy we drive often, the one that sits out in the rain, slings mud, and climbs hills – were entered into the same competition with the VW bugs, all shined and polished, brandishing the cover of the magazines that featured them. I am convinced we would have won a fancy plaque if only we’d voted for ourselves. Chad thought I was having delusions.




One thing Chad has always wanted to do is drive the buggy down the drag strip.

Like these guys. Except these beetles go really fast.
So fast they kept driving out of my photos.


But after this little green fella made a few passes we decided to give the rail buggy a go…

Click HERE to watch the video (Note: we did not post this and cannot be held accountable for the spelling errors in the title/description… Just sayin.).

We didn’t win any competitions with the rail buggy. We DID win a $25 gift card to a crappy diner though. So after a long day in the hot hot sun with only granny smith apples and water to nourish us, we hopped back in and headed for the restaurant wielding our gift certificate.

Most of the time I am a big advocate of diner food- I even started a series including Diner Classics at Sugar Dish Me. But this diner left a lot to be desired. The whole meal in fact. But the food was free so I learned to never spend any money at this place (except to generously tip our toothless waitress because she was super great) and I left with the resolve to make an edible club sandwich.


Mission accomplished.

The most important thing I learned is that in the obnoxiously large purse with the bottled water and apples, I should have included some sunscreen.

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

April 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm

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Adventures at Ollie’s

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This weekend, while wandering through what seems like an endless stretch of strip malls in a nearby city and attempting to shop for Andrew’s upcoming birthday, Chad steered us into an amazing new place.

Okay well it’s not new, but it’s new to me. Have you ever been to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet? It’s a place I’ve never been because really, from the outside, it looks sort of yucky (perhaps this is just the store closest to us and there are others that don’t suffer from being less than visually appealing). I was expecting piles of useless junk and all things knick-knacky (I am not a trinket girl – I don’t need more things to dust- sorry!).

Instead, as soon as we walked in the door, we were greeted by BOOKS. Two huge floor to ceiling walls of books! Brand new books at that. That’s when I knew Ollie’s had me. Chad, Evan, and I (Andrew spent the weekend in the mountains; LUCKY.) took our time and navigated every aisle in the store thoroughly. There was something for each of us— and probably the most for me! They carry everything from cleaning products to pretty painted ceramic pots. There were overstock rugs in all shapes and sizes– and of surprisingly good quality! Patio furniture, kitchenware from Rachel Ray and Paula Deen, and hordes of picture frames happily distracted me.

Evan thumbed through a book of photos from memorable demolition derbies (one of our favorite things) and then discovered an aisle full of board games (Oh no!). Chad was sufficiently placated with gadgets and tools of all varieties. I spied an aisle of prints on canvas and fell in love with a painting of huge red poppies. It’s on my list of things I want to buy, but at $59.95 it didn’t fit into the budget this week. Sigh.

I would have snapped a photo, but I was busy trying to avoid an employee that seemed intent on running over me with a palate full of baseball helmets, mitts and other goodies. Sometimes bargain shopping is hazardous.

So here’s what I ended up with (besides a little heartache over a print of poppies that WILL be mine)…


The metal trash cans were so adorable I just couldn’t resist- the retro green and yellow flowered one will go to live in mine and Chad’s bathroom, the strawberries in our bedroom.

Somehow the children managed to snap the inside of the lever in their toilet; I’m pretty pleased with my $1.99 fix (thanks to free plumbing, courtesy of my handy boyfriend). The skewers I grabbed because it’s grilling season and they were less than $1. Overpriced local grocery store: take that! The cook book, of course, will soon make an appearance on Sugar Dish Me; there’s a Baked Banana Rum & Lime Crumble that is calling my name.


So Ollie’s is going on my list of super great and cheap places to shop for housewares; right up there with Target and Big Lots. No, I was not kidding about Big Lots; it’s where I’ve found many awesome picture frames for less than $5…


…and a whole assortment of decorative metal signs…

like this one that lives above the washer and dryer advertising laundry (like as if laundry needs advertising).

Where are your favorite discount places to shop for good, cheap housewares? What are your favorite finds?

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

April 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I Am Trailer Trashtastic

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The place we- myself, my two kids, my boyfriend- call home is four walls and a roof. We have a tiny kitchen, two bedrooms, two baths. There is a little utility area where the washer dryer lives, along with a number of gardening mess and some tools. With two porches outside, some generic lighting, a couple ceiling fans, and electrical outlets that are never where you want them to be, we could be in any apartment community in any city in the U.S.

But we’re not.

All around us is wide open space… trees, fences, farms. Sure we have neighbors; where we live now is more populated than what we’d prefer, but as a girl from the suburbs, I can say the neighbors out here are much fewer and farther between.We have a yard full of soft green grass (when the gumballs from my sweet gum trees have been carefully extracted) and there are shady trees that line the edge near the road. In the small garden Chad dug up for me last year my pink verbena is blooming and the yellow bells are green and lush.


We are situated at the corner of two two-lane roads. No sidewalks, very little traffic, and not much noise (unless you count the very annoying adolescents with dirtbikes that pass by here 78 times a day when school lets out). At night you can see all the stars in the sky. Dark is actually dark and the moon perches right smack in the middle of it.

It’s really quite nice out here, and the truth of it is that we reside for now in a rented mobile home.


I grew up in a brick house in the suburbs of a large city in North Carolina, so deciding to move into a mobile home took a little hemming and hawing on my part. Tired of looking for affordable housing in our rural community and eager to put my feet down somewhere, we settled on this single wide trailer with a great big yard and shady trees.

My children required a little convincing; they weren’t sure about living in a home that fits on the back of a truck. Like me they have been bombarded by all the ugly things people say about trailer-dwellers.

And I won’t tell you that I haven’t come across more than my fair share of people that made all of my wildest visions of a trailer trash stereotype come completely true. But the fact of the matter is, there are losers and dirtbags anywhere you go. Some of them live in mobile homes. Others live in apartments. I’d say there are probably just as many that live in picturesque single family houses.

The boys were quickly sold by the green grass in the yard and a desk built into a small nook in their bedroom. I was all about my obnoxiously large bathroom, complete with a super deep garden tub. So we loaded up our things and moved in.

Nearly three years later, my boyfriend Chad and I find ourselves scoping out nearby properties containing a little acreage. We’d like to buy, and then build. Upon debating where to live while building, a used mobile home on our for-right-now-imaginary-property seems to be the most cost effective solution.

Which means that unless we accidentally win the lottery, the problems in this temporary home will follow us to our in-between new one.

We haven’t put a timeline on things just yet, so I got it in my head that I need to make our small but quaint living space just a little more cozy and livable. Trailers- particularly the older, single-wide variety- for me present an extensive series of aesthetic and spatial problems (for photos please see My Trailer’s Not Trashy). We have very little closet space, but mostly it’s the wallpaper that boggles me. And the wheat carvings on the cabinet doors are pretty puzzling.

Google wasn’t much help.

It appears as though we are the only young couple living in a trailer trying to make a more desirable place. And I know that just CAN”T BE THE CASE!

So my Cast, Crew & I have decided to turn here- the infinitely knowledgeable blogosphere! We will post photos of new projects, beg for ideas, and document the trials of turning our trailer(s) into something trashtastic.

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

March 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm

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