Living Comfortably in 400 (or less) Square Feet, According to Bob Vila

Posted by Rebecca

There’s a Bob Vila article buzzing around the internet today that has some great tips and photos to help you either make the leap to smaller-space living, or help you in your current small space home.  My little trailer is about 450 square feet of living space.  Here’s the gist of the article, but be sure to check out the full article for more information and a complete photo gallery.

–  Use a beautiful armoire as a home office.  The best part?  When guests arrive, just close the doors – no messy office to tidy.

–  Fill your tiny home with double-duty furniture, like ottomans or end tables that store clothing or blankets.

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–  If you have higher ceilings, hang shelves up to 18 inches from the ceiling for extra decorative storage or for your books.

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–  Glass, clear acrylic, or Lucite furniture can open up the space and add a modern touch.

–  Mount a shallow shelf above your kitchen or bathroom sink for pretty towels or bottles of soap and lotion.

–  Lighter colors give the illusion of space, so use them generously.

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–  Make like Julia Child and hang your pots and pans on the wall or from the ceiling to free up some cupboard space.

–  Use mirrors behind sofas, beds or other large pieces of furniture to expand the visual boundaries of the room.

–  A strategically placed book shelf can serve as a room divider and a major storage unit, all in one.

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–  Allow your tiny home to be flooded with natural light.  Keep windows clear, and if you must cover them, opt for sheer fabrics and shades to let in some beautiful filtered light.

Learning to live in a tiny place is challenging, but worth it.  Think of all the extra time, energy, and money you will save when you no longer have a large home to pay for and upkeep.

Rebecca Knabe

Remembering Cassi

Posted by Rebecca

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It was six months ago today that I kissed my sweet Cassi good-bye.  She was old and sick, and then took a turn for the worse, so I had her put to sleep.  She didn’t suffer, and we had spent her whole life together, and it was so sad, but I was glad I was there with her up to her last breath.

It’s been a hard six months.  I miss her a lot.  Granted, life is easier now – I have more freedom than I have had in over a decade.  But life is less full and less fun.  The pink trailer felt more like a home with her in it.

Fortunately most days I think of her with a smile on my face, rather than a tear in my eye.

I am often asked when I am getting another dog.  I’m not getting another dog.  At least not right now.  I have a busy life, and I feel it would be unfair to bring a new critter into my hectic lifestyle.  There wouldn’t be enough time for training or bonding.  And a new dog wouldn’t be Cassi.

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I don’t talk about her loss too much because I’m much better at stifling my feelings than I am at revealing them.  But I’m also better at writing my feelings than I am at speaking them.  So here I write about my lovely pet and the little hole that remains in my heart as I carry on without her.

My friend and neighbor, Natasha, helped me on the day that Cassi died.  She came to the vet with me, helped me get her things out of the yard and house, and spend the rest of the day watching funny movies with me.  Last week I discovered Cassi’s dishes in Natasha’s yard.  She said she couldn’t bear to get rid of them and wanted to use them as a planter.  I was thankful that she’s more sentimental than I am, and asked if I could have them back.

I now have a new favorite thing in my yard, and a happy reminder of the world’s greatest pup, that is almost as pretty as she was.

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Rebecca Knabe

Stormy Sunday

Posted by Rebecca

We don’t get many thunder storms in Reno, but when we do, they can be a doozy.  The one we had last Sunday had lightning that lit up the menacing, swirling sky over and over again, before unleashing a downpour of flood-like proportions.

If you’ve never heard the rain from the inside of a trailer, it’s like a rhythmic fox-trot is unfolding on the roof with pitter-patter footsteps.  This storm was not fox-trotty or pitter-pattery.  It was more like plunking over Niagara Falls in a tin can.

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I fear that being housed inside an aluminium tube with that weird antenna thingy strapped to the roof during a lightning show can’t be a good idea….

Rebecca Knabe

Decked Out

Posted by Rebecca

The pink trailer’s deck is up and running for the summer, and as of this week it looks a little like this….

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Is your outdoor space ready for summer?  What are some of your favorite potted plants?

Rebecca Knabe

New York, Part 6

Posted by Rebecca

The last few days in New York were pretty quiet.  We drove back from New York City to Jamestown – about 7 hours.  On the way we stopped in Newburgh to meet my Uncle Harlin and Auntie Norma for lunch.  They live in Wallkill, NY, at the Watchtower Farm Branch Office.

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Back in Jamestown, we did a little sightseeing in the country….

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And we visited a local Amish farm.  Did you know that Amish farms are one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. farm community?  They are also a great place to buy plants for your garden and patio.

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While at the Amish farm, John’s mom spotted a weedy patch that was, in her opinion, just begging to be cultivated.  It was dense with burdock.  Burdock’s can make two claims to fame. It was in the original recipe for root beer, and was the inspiration for velcro.  The leaves are a little bitter, but delicious when mixed with egg and flour, seasoned, and lightly fried as little fritters.

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The Amish family was kind enough to let John’s mom do a little weeding for them, and we ate well that night.  🙂

Rebecca Knabe

New York, Part 5

Posted by Rebecca

And now for the continuation of Day 2 in NYC….

After our walking tour of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights, we took the subway Uptown for a picture in front of the gang’s favorite diner.

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Tom’s Restaurant, also known on Seinfeld as Monk’s Diner, is the inspiration of Suzanne Vega’s 1991 hit, Tom’s Diner.

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On the streets in Morningside Heights.

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Next a trek through the way-too-crowded Theater District and Times Square.

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We ended our evening at Eataly, a massive Italian marketplace full of shopping, wine, and eateries – a foodie’s dream come true.

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Double photo-bomb – this is the family we traveled with, and they were taking a family picture while I was in the loo.  I was able to rush back in time to unexpectedly appear in the photo, only to be outdone by the handsome, posing waiters behind me.

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A view of the Empire State Building from Eataly.  If the weather had been better, we would have had an unobstructed view of the city, as the roof and walls are retractable, making it a great destination for a balmy summer evening.

Rebecca Knabe

New York, Part 4

Posted by Rebecca

Our second full day in NYC involved a lot of sightseeing via walking.  We walked and walked and walked.  The weather was still grey, but way less rainy, and not too hot or muggy, so it was a great day for walking.  Did I mention we did a lot of walking?….

Here are a few famous, and a few less famous, sights:

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Grand Central Station

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Meet me at the clock.

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Now for a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge.

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25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY – Worldwide Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses

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A great view of the under-construction Freedom Tower, as seen from Brooklyn Heights (it’s the one with the crane on it).

I’m not yet done with the day, but I have way too many photos still to share, so stay tuned….

Rebecca Knabe