Monday, April 30, 2012

The Dad Post

Today is my father's 67th birthday, however we won't be able to celebrate with him.  Not this year or any other year.  My father passed away this past October (2011)  So in honor of my father I am going to share a bit about him. 

My father won custody of me when I was 2yrs old and did not remarry until I had graduated high school.  He raised me by myself, through the good, bad and sometimes even ugly.  Try being a teenage girl and having only your father available for advice..need I say more? *smile*

My father had a series of careers throughout his lifetime.  He faught in Viet Nam (63-67) He had joined the Air Force and volunteered to be a Commando, but the Air Force did not have Commando school so they sent him to Army Green Beret school.  When he went to Viet Nam, he went "Loaned from the Air Force to the Army as an American Advisor to the Vietemse Paratroopers"  So no one really knew who he was.  LOL 

After the military and running with the Hell's Angels he made his way to Texas.  Here he worked on a dairy and some how managed to get his way into the leather industry.  He was truly a brilliant leather artist, even winning 1st place at the State Fair of Tx for a saddle he tooled and built himself.  It broke his heart when he had to sell it due to financial issues. 

During his leather artist career, he became "The World Famous James S. Wood" because he also performed Rattlesnake shows.  I spent many weekends all around the state of Tx while he performed shows with the Heart of Tx Snake Handlers.  By the time was I was almost out of elementary school he had branched out on his own.  The summer after my freshman year, dad had a gig at Texas Safari (no longer open) where he performed snake shows.  Through that it branched to stagecoach and wagon driving, training a zebra to pull a wagon, exotic animal handling and numerous tv shows.  Oh let me back up and say, when I was in the 2nd grade, he was on "Those Amazing Animals" a branch of "That's Incredible"

My senior spring break was spent in El Paso with an elephant, ostrich, python and various other animals.  It was not uncommon for me to bring home baby lions, bears and tigers all because of our working at the exotic animal park.  

After I graduated my father began giving tours of down town Waco (Tx) with a wagon pulled by mules.  He soon bought his own carriage and gave carriage rides as well.  When he decided to give up these...he had found out he had cancer. 

To say the least I had an amazing childhood.  When it was cold we were out cutting firewood (a source of income) While my classmates were enjoying Saturday morning cartoons, I was bundling up to cut and split cords of firewood.  Once, a tank froze over and we "ice skated" in our boots.  We would take break and go searching in the woods and river banks for creatures, tracks and fossils and thus my geology love was born. 

I grew up on a ranch and we worked cattle.  It was nothing to ride the bus home from school and see a note on the fridge with the keys to the truck telling me where to go.  Quickly I would change, take off, do a few donuts in the pasture and then meet up with him to work cattle.  I remember sitting down with him after another incident involving fencing and cattle and he said, "If you ever marry a rancher, be sure he has good fences."  I think there might have been something deeper there, as I never did marry a rancher but the statement still sits with me as long as the memory of the wooden corral under my behind and the smell of cow patties floating through the air.

My dad taught me a few things about parenting.  1) Stop and smell the roses or cow patties, Look at the world around you and involve your children.  2) You can talk with your children.  You can trust a young adult with information.  I was helped weed the girls from his dating list and put my current "mom" number one on the list 3) Laugh.  My dad was funny.  A dork sometimes, but funny.  Stupid jokes, bad jokes, funny stories were always running around through my head with him.  We swapped them.  It was not uncommon to call each other up just to share a joke.  4) Live life....he took risks, chased his dreams.  There was something always bigger and better on the horizon and I never stopped dreaming.  Even as an adult, I am chasing my dreams.  My dream...a doctorate in Geology.  5) Give your opinion.  My dad didn't brow beat me with his thoughts but spoke his mind once and then let me mess up or correct the issue. 

I am sure there is more....I just can't think of them..  I do miss my do I miss him.  I catch myself several times going to call him to tell him something funny that happened.  Or to tell him I won a scholorship or to tell him I love you.  I miss his laugh and seeing his eyes crinkle.  I miss the handle bar mustache kisses.  I miss his knee high boots and big western hats.  I miss the fact there was always a book or magazine in his hand.  I miss skipping (as a child) with him across the mall parking lot.  I miss just saying a punch line to a joke when the situation called for it and we both knew what was being said.  I miss his voice, his singing, his huge embracing hugs.  I miss him. 

My dad in his hey day
My dad about a month before he died.  He was getting a Mary Kay facial with me!!  Even sick, he still had fun!  He hated the way he looked at the end, but he was still wonderfully my father!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Now mind you, I do live in West Texas in the middle of one of the worse droughts in history, and it doesn't look like it is getting any better any time soon.  We are on well water which means I can water (unlike those IN town, who face severe monatary punishment if they go over a certain amount of water) however, I am a bit relucant to just water all the time as I am trying to be a good steward as well. 

A little geology for you (since that is my major)..we live on the edge of the largest aquifer (natural) of water called the Ogallala Aquifer.  This aquifer is drying up.  Already where we live is pulling water from other sources in order to supply the town with water.  I say all of this to say....our well water, which comes from the ground, is coming from the aquifer.  I don't want to speed up the process any by having a very pretty and lucious green yard...I would rather have a few pretties and midly green yard and know I may have added a day or two to our water supply.  Sadly, this is really a reality for those of us who live in West Texas.  Our water could dry up.....If you pull out a map, you will notice there are no lakes really out here, especially compared to the rest of Texas. 

But, since I live where I live, I do want a few pretty things.  And then there is the issue of my previous fail trying to hang up my toucan planter.  As for now, the toucan just sits on the ground.  That might be his new home until I get to a lumber yard with Robert and figure out what we need to build a strong enough pole for my planter.

Since I became the proud ownder of two shepard's hooks, I have since became the proud owner of two pretty hanging baskets. 
I have no idea what this little plant is.  It has beautiful flowers when it's not 100+ outside.  And yes, we have already had a day of 104 degrees temps!  The poor thing just shrivels up, but by the evening and early morning, it is back to looking pretty. 
This is another no named one (because I have no clue!) but it is a member of the succulant family so he ought to do just fine out here.  The leaves are waxey/glossy and the little pink flowers close up at night.  Such a pretty little thing.

My friend Micah suggest I get Knock Out Roses so yesterday I did just that.  I bought one.  Lynsie requested it not be pink, so I found the closest I could to red.  This moring Jacob and I planted him.  Eventually where he is planted will be a raised bed but for now, he looks great there in the yard. 

The picture is not the best.  And as you can see, I still need to work on our little deck.  But my sweetie has been working about 100 hrs a week, so I can wait a bit before getting that all fixed up.  This picture does really show you how dry it is out here.  We had to wet the ground just to plant the rose bush. 

Even though, we currently don't have a lush yard like we would have been able to have in Central Texas, I can say, it is very nice to have a few things out to welcome us home.  I also picked up a tomato plant for sweetie  I have it planted (barely visible yellow pot to the left of the picture) It came with a few tomatoes as well as buds.  Now Robert can pick his own tomatoes and enjoy them. 

Regardless of where you live or what you live in...having it looks nice and inviting if nothing else makes you feel welcomed to your own home.  Even if you never have company a few things outside will help you fee invited in.  When a huge wind blows through and knocks my plants off (and yes that does happen) everything looks so bare until I get every one put back into their little homes and back up.  We don't have a lot of company (unless you count neighborhood teens coming over) so I do this for me.  Even Robert likes to see it be inviting when he comes in.  I can't change the fact we live in a trailer right now, but I can make it into a home.  I can't change the fact we live in West Texas and its dry out here, but I can do a few things to help spruce up the place!!  It may be dry out here, but at least when you pull up to our little home there is a bit of a green welcoming committee waiting to greet you!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A fun project

Okay, I am gonna be real honest and say, we probably saw this on Pinterest.  If you don't know what Pinterest is then I beg of you, stop reading and start clicking!! I love Pinterest.  It is a great site to showcase your favorite things, your company, your e-biz, whatever.  And it's an even better place for people like me with no orginal thoughts (or it seems) to get brilliant ideas to decorate a home with or to exercise with or cure cancer or whatever bits of internet info you have been dying to get your hands on.  Okay...back to the project.

We went to Wally-World looking for a plant (see previous post about my epic fail) (which by the way I did find a pretty little hanging basket)  Lynsie, my wonderful daughter, found the tinniest, cutest little succulants.  We LOVE succulents here...LOVE.....I mean love.  Did I mention love?  But hey we do live in West Tx and well ....succulents are our gardening friends!  Lynsie wanted them for her room, but didn't want to put them in a typical pot.  I mean, who wants plants in a normal pot?  So we headed to housewares. (okay, actually first we went to electronics and then over to grocery and we may have slipped through the craft area as well BEFORE heading to housewares)  We are looking at really neat white bowl, but the bowl is white. Bleh...down with the white bowl.  We don't like white bowls around here.  White is too boring for us.  (but honestly, would have been striking with the succulents)  And Lynsie asks, "Can we plant them in wine glasses?" 

Now, before you start your grand quest for wine glasses let me point out...they have small openings? mouths? Not sure what you call the part you drink out of.  So we chose goblets instead.  The opening? mouth? was wider and they were heavier...which is NICE. 

So now on my table sits a little row of succulents all planted in goblets.  Lynsie likes to watch the water roll down the sides when she waters them.  We probably should have put a few rocks at the bottom and then the soil, but hey...we got them in there and planted.  We will just becareful of the watering. 

So here they are, because I know you have been waiting to see them!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fail, Epic...Fail

It's not like any big secret I live in a trailer.  I do. It is how it is out here.  If you find a home you are lucky so you take what you can get.  With that said.  I like to have a little fun out here.  I have jokingly said I would put up pink flamingos.  Okay, so I do have pink flamingo lights, they just haven't made it "up" yet.  Hmm...better find a guy to work on that for me this weekend.  Would be nice to have my little lights going while we grill. I digress.  Now to my fail.

Last weekend we went to Stanton (Texas) to "Ole Sorehead Trade Days"  and yes that is what is really called.  You can buy all sorts of goodies and we did.  One of them was a recycled golf cart tire turned into a Toucan.  I would have bought the pink flamingo but Robert wouldn't let me buy one on Saturday, so when we went back on Sunday I had to settle for the toucan as all the flamingos had found a home.

Now the nice thing about West Texas is all the open spaces.  But with wide open spaces comes NO trees.  Okay so there are trees out here, just not like there is in Central Texas.  We have one small pine tree in the yard.  I'm just so happy to have a tree I don't care what size he (or she) is.  And because we live in a trailer we do not have some place to hang up planters.  No rails or decks with roofs that type of thing.  We have to improvise. 

Today I visited one of my FAVORITE stores...Hobby Lobby where I purchased a "shepard's hook" for hanging plants.  Of course the one I have is much cuter than a plain ole iron shepard's hook. 

So I had Alex water the spot (ground is hard when it's dry out here) and put in my hook.  I love it!  I planted my little plants in my toucan and hung him.  Then watched the pole bend....and bend...and bend.  AGGHHH  The toucan is too heavy!  So I know have a random hook in the yard.  (which I will fix this evening.  Dang, I have to buy another plant.  Makes me so sad! LOL)  Meanwhile, I have a planted toucan to deal with.  There was a hook hanging from the roof by a previous tenant..just dangling away while I discuss the quandry with Alex.  I ask him to see how sturdy it's sturdy.  So for the moment the toucan hangs off it.

Ugh!  I do call this blog Trailer Trash, but not because I actually intended to look like we live trashly (is that even a word??) But to show you can do and make a nice home with whatever you have.  A tent, rv, big fancy home, or even a trailer such as I.  So now, I have to get with my men folk and decide the best way to hang said Toucan.  And in this picture you can't even see the pretty little flowers.  As I said...epic fail.  *sigh*

I did have a few left over plants...oh wait, let me back up and say....what a pain it was to plant the flowers in there..  a rounded bottom makes for a pain in my hinny planting..but I got it done.  (or should I just say, I "got er dun")  So here are my left overs...all nice and cozy against the stairs.

Right now our little deck needs some love....or some one may need the ER if it decides to go....I have no idea how old the deck is...poor little deck.  My plan, once it has been fixed is to move it off, clean out very well underneath, add lattice except for the far side no one sees but me and Jacob (the official yard waterer) to hide my plant stuff and some other stuff we have stowed under there.  So please pardon that mess.  It is a work in progress around here. 

Hmm...not off to figure out what type of plants I want to hand on my pretty little hook!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Organize your small space

As I have already said, we live in a small place.  One of the main issues with a small space is storage.  We don't have a lot of stuff, but we do have items we like to have around.  Now before I go on, you need to know I do have a rented storage space.  It is a small one and it holds things we want to keep but don't have room for.  I have our holiday items, a table and chair set part of my dresser (I'll explain more on that later!)  as well as dishes etc..  We did keep these items because we have teenagers who will be living the next in the next few years and we wanted to be able to have these items for them. 

Fortunantly we have a small dining area but very little cabinet space.  Our cabinets are home to our food, dishes, pots and pans, bakewear and nice dishes.  Here is a a picture of our dinning area.

As you can see, it is not a large space.  In just our dining area we have our table and chairs, dog food and water, trash can as well as shelving for our baking supplies.  It is a well used space. 

We went to Sam's and found our great little corner shelf for about $89.  I honestly didn't think I would like it, but I love it.  Robert was the one to pick it out.  To make room in our cabinets all the baking products were moved to this shelving unit.

I have a tendancy to like things closed up, so I had to adjust to having my goodies just all out in the open and exposed! LOL  Of course you already know my love for baskets, so I do have several baskets on the shelf holding things such as our cloth napkins as well as wooden spoons and scrapers.  The space ended up being quite cheery with all the different colors on there. 

Another problem we had was cooking spoon storage.  We had a special container for them, but it sat in the way of the electric plug.  We were always moving it back and forth and then, spoons would fall out and onto the floor.  I hate that!  So with Mr. Looks Good in Wrangler's help, we set up a new way to store them.  I love this for several reasons.  1)  I can count and be sure all items have been put away correctly (the dishwashers at my home sometimes are not successful in this endevor)  2) I can move them and reach the plug without dropping them onto the floor.  3) It just looks great!!

To get the look we bought a towel rack and installed it.  The hooks are actually shower curtain hooks.  We bought our supplies at Target but you can get them anywhere! 

In a spall space you will have to go verticle in order to maximize your space!  This little thing only costs a few dollers and freeded up counter space (or if you have them in a drawer) and it provides interest to your home.  Just think of it as art work!!  I call this space, "The Spoon Rest"  okay so I'm kidding!  But you get the picture. 

Another word of wisdom about small spaces, if you can keep your counters cleaned off your home will look much cleaner and less cluttered.  And trust me, in a small space, every bit helps!! 

Totally unrelated, but yes I did decorate the dog's feeding area.  Our dog is very protective of the area and if I take items down and move them, he will sit and watch.  I bought the pillow which says, "I don't do leftovers" from the Cracker Barrell for $1.50.  His little dog print was $1 at a thrift store and the dog bone art was for $6 at Ross.  Whimsy is always good in a home, and for us, decorating this little area makes us smile.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ode to Baskets

I love baskets. Probably a bit too much, but I love them. I use them for a lot of different things and in a small house it is essential. Well at least in my small house it is. The nice things about baskets, they fit in places where a shelving unit or dresser or a piece of furniture just won't fit. I have baskets, on shelves, in closets, under chairs, behind chairs, under bedside get the picture. I even have baskets lining the top of my cabinets for decoration, but if I needed to---I could use them. They are just my favorites and I don't want to use them. I am in my living room right now and on my bookshelf I have two baskets. 1) because they help decorate the space and 2) to hold stuff!! DUH!! One basket holds all my dogs toys which are covering up some electronic stuff I haven't gotten around to moving. Previously the basket held movies and before held something else, but I just don't remember. The other basket is smaller and is used to hold cards..playing cards. I am not sure how we ended up with so many decks of them. Now they are all neatly tucked away. In my tv hutch, I have another basket to hold more card games. Again, it adds visual interest as well as great storage for UNO, Phase 10 and who knows what other games we have in there.

One of my favorite baskets is this one:

It stores all my cami tops. I used to be under this great chair, but now the chair has moved on and the basket is located in my closet. I don't have enough space in my dresser or room for another dresser, so the basket works great. I simply grab out which cami I want and put it on. Because I don't dry these in a dryer, I hang them in my closet to dry. Once dry, I quickly fold, turn around and back in the basket they go. Ta-Da! Before being moved to my closet, it hid under the chair. No one really ever saw it, and it was quick grab and get when I needed a cami.

My room also has a basket for craft items, cd's, current reading, the list goes on. They have served me well. And for a small space, I am better able to use the space I have available for those items which do not need large amounts of storage.

I buy my baskets both new and used. Under my bathroom cabinet I have an ugly pink basket but thanks to spray is now black. I think I paid $1 for the basket, so not only am I able to orgainze quickly, but also cheaply as well. And who doesn't love a good deal. When I am out and about I simply keep my eyes peeled for a basket and if it is the right shape for what I need, then home with me it goes. And if it happens to be ugly, out comes the spray paint, and wah-la I now I have a pretty basket.

Now, I must warn, don't go crazy...too many baskets and you have a bit of tacky going on. Buy good looking baskets (or make them that way) before putting them out. Just because your space is small does not mean it needs to look like Wal-Mart's Easter Basket aisle threw up in your home. Don't gather all your baskets in one spot, unless you are trying to make some sort of statement and look around for places to stash a basket or two. Under the coffee table for magazines? By the front door for a catch all. Under the bed for shoes or what nots. Hidden away in cabinets with spices or lids or whatever contained....okay--so maybe you can go a little basket crazy.

So how do you use your baskets? Do you have baskets? Which one is your favorite??

All hail baskets and small home living!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Official Introduction

We really aren't trailer trash.  But generally people think of that when you say "hey, I live in a trailer," and thus the trailer trash name.  I will tell you how we got here, so maybe you can be a bit more understanding of how and why we live in one.

We moved to West Texas for work.  Yep, the oil field.  It is a practical gold rush out here.  Families, single men and women are moving in from all over because currently our town is #1 in the state of Texas for lowest unemployment rate.  Signs are posted every where saying "Hiring"  If you want a job, it's out here.  Almost every company related to the oil field has a sign as well, not including every 7-11, resteraunt and various other places.  Job fairs are the norm out here with one about every month.  You see maybe one homeless man out here.  And honestly, if you don't have a job, it is because you simply don't want one. 

We moved out here in June of 2011.  We lived in a motel for a month.  Not the best of times, but not the worse....hey it had a pool!!  LOL  Out here when it comes to housing, you take what you can get.  We found this place and well....took it. 

You have to understand, housing out here is crazy.  3 bedrooms rent for $1500-3500 a month.  I am not joking.  We have discussed buying, looking for another rental etc...  but the truth is, we have a good price for rent and we are not 100% sure we are staying out here forever (discussion has already been had over North Dakota) So we our tiny little single wide mobile home. 

There is six of us.  Four teenagers and two adults.  Three teen age boys share one room (all teenage boys are over 6ft tall let me add!!)  The girl-child has her own little room, and of course, us two grown ups share a room.  Our home we have figured to be about 900sq foot.  Yep, that is it.  In the land of plenty and excess, we live in a tiny home.  We make due and make room.

Now let me explain a bit about our little trailer park.  It is not your typical lower class, cars on blocks type of place.  Our neighbors include a DPS officer, second in command for the fire department, and people who drive NICE cars.  You have Yukons, Escalades, big ole burly Dodge trucks etc... parked out front of little homes.  So really, no trash here.

My little blog is simply how we live in this small home.  How I decorate so it feels more like a house.  So I hope you will join me in the fun of living my crazy life.  And maybe glean a few ideas for yourself which you can use in your home!