Sunday, February 26, 2012

And the walls come down...

Of course I had to think of this song...

So there has been this issue of debate over the last few weeks. The bathroom wall. Stay or go? We get out and that seems to be the first question. Ah god, peer pressure! I can't decide. I don't want to regret taking away my cute little room. Ben explains to me (3-4 times, bless him) why it's a good idea. That by removing the main wall, we can then rebuild sections or partial walls or whatever to still give that nook and cranny aspect that I love more than anything. It's a hard sell. But I buy it. The demolition begins a little roughly with an almost blinding incident (I didn't actually get hit by anything, but did get a little startled-good times) and then it's off.  I still can't decide if I am going to love or hate it or hate it then eventually love it more.
Wait! I changed my mind!

The walls came down

Still have a little nook in the back of the bathroom

Do you feel a draft?

Once it's obvious there is no going back, I start to try to embrace the idea and envision what could go in the space. Definitely a custom bookcase (already ordered from Ben). I'll figure it out later. The guys work on clearing the bathroom and fridge section floor, removing random slats and cutting copper pipe. Bob fixes the open spaces in the floor and also the back part of the trailer.  I take off all the cupboard and closet doors to prepare to sand. The trailer seems as open and naked as ever. I realize that we are now pretty much to the point where we need to start putting it back together. That seems even more scary than tearing it down. Now I have to decide what I want to use Agnes for.

Unfortunately, I made a sad discovery in the cupboard under the oven. I found one of the baby mice. that didn't make it. I was so hoping we wouldn't disturb their little home until they were old enough to survive on their own. I'm not sure what happened to him..maybe fell?  Next visit we may have to finally deal with trying to evict the little furry field mice. RIP poor little guy.  :(

We have a lazy lunch and Ben decides he is going to build a quick table before we leave. As usual, it comes out super cool!

Bye ground!

New floor. Kinda.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Boys and dogs in cars..

My friend, Joe (he's the one who really started all this craziness) had been wanting to come out to see Agnes. Ben and I have a little routine now. He helps with the trailer then works on one of his creations. Lunch is turkey or egg salad. Need to have sandwiches and potato chips when working on a trailer., dontcha think? Just goes hand in hand. Ben's current project was complete, so the day would be filled with trailer work. I was really looking forward to Joe coming out as he hadn't seen any work that we had done yet. Also, because he is Joegyver. We talked the day before about the pipe issue and Joe assured me that it would get taken care of. Ben decided to bring his puppies along so they could have some freedom to run around. The doggies piled into the car along with Ben and Joe, and a pack of 8 ft of benderboard. Knowing Tucker's penchant for chewing up anything and everything, I was hoping the benderboard would arrive intact. Tucker behaved himself but did get blamed for the mysterious odor that filled the car at one point. How could anyone blame him? Look at this face!

I had talked to my stepdad for awhile on the phone the night before. He told me how much he really enjoyed us coming out. They live so far away that visitors are always welcome change. But is wasn't just that. Although he has plenty of projects to keep him busy, the process of working of something together is so rewarding. Especially a new and unique project that we had to learn along the way. He has loved teaching Ben how to use all the tools and he enjoyed learning. He made sure to help me as much as possible but without taking the satisfaction of doing myself away. I love being outside and also seeing him enjoy all of it and seeing Ben create some beautiful pieces. My mom loves talking and taking care of everyone. It seems like such a nice experience for everyone and one that we look forward to every week. At least I know I do.

Joe and Ben get shit done-

They dive into pulling the fridge out with no problem, of course. Just heavy and had been attached in a really crappy, modified, band aid type of way. They also remove the pipes with ease that we had been so concerned about how we were going to get out. Bob and I address the rotted wood situation and make plans. I wanted to start sanding the floor, but the trailer is a little crowded. I feel like I am not doing anything. I don't want to just sit back and direct and make someone do all the work. I want to learn and be hands on and do things myself so that when it is all done, I can say, "Yes, I did that!".  I start to feel like an observer while all these men are doing the real work. "Hey, wait a minute I want to rip out the wall! I want to remove the pipes",  feeling a little useless and a little envious as I watch. Then I relax and smile. Each one of them seems to be liking the satisfaction of completing a task, being involved. They are having their own dialogue without me, and I think are enjoying themselves. I realize that I do need them to do certain things and I hope it makes them feel good to be needed. I know that when it's done, it will be even more special knowing they were a part of the experience. That makes me immediately 100 times more happier than doing everything myself.

This also means that more ideas come into play. Like the idea that Joe and Ben got that I should tear down the bathroom wall. That did not go over well with me at all. Didn't they know that nooks and crannies and hidden spaces are my most favorite thing in the world?! Didn't they know how I loved my teensy little bathroom soon to be a library/tea room/wine room? What's that you say? Not really enough room or practical to do that in a 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 ft space? Why not?  The thought of opening up my favorite little space in the trailer was horrifying. They insist that I should tear down the wall and build more useful things for the space. Granted they were only trying to help me fulfill my vision.  I think. Or maybe they just felt like wrecking something. Anyway, I couldn't commit to the idea just yet. The idea or a separate room was one of my favorite quirky things about Agnes. Would she lose a little charm if we changed her from a cottage vibe to great room vibe? Not really my style.  But Joe told me how he could build shelves and all the ways we could transform the bathroom into a really cool little space that was just more accessible. Ok, that seems like a good idea. Will need to mull it over a bit... We also talked about the fridge area. We could get a smaller one and use the extra space for something else.  One thing there was no question about was the bed. I decided that the second I walked in the trailer the day I bought it. The back of the trailer would need a big white fluffy bed. Not a fold out or table that converts to an icky foam mattress. No, I want a cloud.

Work time!

Yay! That pipe is gone!

Saving wires as the back gets ripped off
This is where the white fluffy bed is going
Hmm.. kinda cool all open

Old Fridge
Slightly damaged floor

Assessing the situation

The infamous seagull poop splat (what is it?!)


But I want to help!

My little nooks and crannies

Happy doggie

Most awesome dog

Portion of puppies

Shy momma

Are you sure that's how?

Oh, Joe!

Today was a full day. The dogs got to really run and were smiling the whole time. We ate sandwiches (of course). We drove up to a cool old hardware store and also went to see Patty, the junk lady. We scored a bunch of goodies there and also met 11 puppies and their mom! It was so tempting to snatch one of them up to take home. We also met an awesome border collie with white eyes and a horse with her baby. Bob gave the guys each a knife from his collection and loaded Ben up with some starter tools for his business. Oh yeah, and we did a little work on the trailer :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

My friend, Ben, has been working on a surprise project for his girlfriend for awhile. He finished all the woodwork on Saturday and wanted to put finishing touches on it on Monday night after work. It was raining so he used my covered porch. The "finishing touches" ended up taking about 5 hours and consisted of stretching a small amount of stain more than I ever thought possible. And also hammering in a railroad pin, not once but twice that was so loud my ears were ringing for hours. Also, I'd like to apologize to my neighbors as this was done at about 9 pm and echoed throughout the neighborhood. I wonder what the hell they thought it was?? It wasn't that he was working slow or anything. It's just that he had confused the fact that it was only half done with what finishing touches actually meant ;P.  Plus, we kept adding and changing little things and coming up with new ideas.

This is what half done looks like, Ben :)

Attaching an antique light fixture that still worked!

Staining in the dark
I helped him hang up the final product and it was perfect! The stain made it to the final slat of wood and the lace stayed clean. There was a moment of a heart sinking when he turned it on and the light didn't work, but only due to the cord being a little short and pulled out of the outlet. Yay! Great job, Ben! It is such a cool piece and I can't wait to see all the creations to come. Keep your eyes open for beautiful creations from him. You can give orders now before he gets too expensive. ;) I would highly suggest it.

How beautiful is this?

So charming

He built the lace filled frame!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I'm laughing at clouds So dark up above

What do you do on a rainy/blustery day when you are trying to renovate a trailer? Make do, of course. Technically it wasn't supposed to rain today, but the sky looks pretty threatening. Ben and I decide to risk it and jump on the road for the ride out. We figure he can do some work on his project in the garage and I can maybe sand the trailer floor or cupboard doors.

We stop at Home Depot. Well, kind of. More like we take a scenic route of the longest way possible to get to Home Depot. It's not my fault! It's a different one than I usually go to and because we are talking I get off on the wrong exit. Not so bad. At least it's prettier than the freeway.

Home Depot!! So much fun! Just so many things to look at! And apparently we need to see them all. I have no idea what the majority of the things in there are for (yet ;P) but I want everything. I really want to buy a piece of copper pipe just because I like the way it looks and feels. I want to hit something with it. (I'm really not a violent person). I'm sure I can figure out a use for it later, right? Ben decides to spend, oh, I don't know, about an hour and a half selecting just the right part for his creation. Apparently the employees at Home Depot freak out a little if you tell them you want to mix plumbing parts with electrical parts. Gasp! The very idea of using a brass plumbing tube for a light fixture. Hardware discrimination, I say! We decide to be a little rebellious. The employees were polite and helpful, just really confused.

By the time we get out there, it's a bit late so  I decide to just measure every possible space in my trailer for future reference. Ben does some work on his project. We also go up the street to visit the "junk lady" (still don't know what the proper name of her store is) to see if we can unearth any hidden treasures. We pull up to the store and I can't wait to get out. I see a rusty bedframe in the grass and I know we will find some treasures here. Tons of rusty old things, bottles, military trunks, lanterns. And funny little random rooms.

Patty reminds me of some of those sellers on "American Pickers". The first five items I ask about she tells me are not for sale because she either can't part with them or has big plans for them.  I finally pry some goodies away from her for a great price and Ben finds some silverware for a fraction of the price at boutiques. He also convinces her to sell a lace curtain panel that had been using a bungee cord as a hanger.
Always find goodies here


The Junk Lady Store! Rusty awesomeness

Beautiful view-obviously photos taken on another day ;)

Even though I didn't do any physical work on Agnes, it was still a productive day. I need to start making some decisions about what to do with the interior! I still don't know exactly what I want to use her for. Just lounging/hanging out? A private little office/work space? A complete escape full of all my favorite things? Yes, that's it!! At least I have measurements to take home and work with. Oh the possibilities for my little sponge....

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The roof the roof the roof

Goal for today: Get the scary toilet out, get the vents off the roof and get the roof ready to be removed. Notice I just said, ready, not actually taking it off?

Had some challenges figuring out how the toilet was attached. Tried to rock it off its base. Tried to find bolts holding it down with no luck. Finally, I ended up straddling it, leaning over it upside down. That's when it happened. That's when I saw it. Oh god. There was liquid swirling around deep inside. I think I may have run out screaming...? This is one of those times when I wanted to be the observer. Someone needs to come help me NOW! Please!

One way or another, you're coming out today
Making way for the extraction. Ben with his favorite toy.

Room with a view

I am so grateful for this
At least the worst part is over

Ben decides that he is determined to get the roof off today. I personally think we need some other people to actually lift it off, but apparently my concerns went completely unnoticed. He got the vents off the top and the guys had it almost down when my mom and I came out of the house! I couldn't believe it! I really thought it was going to be a bear to remove. I hadn't figured out a way to lift off with beams or using pulleys. I would have spent at least two more trips planning for it. But they just went ahead and did it. Awesome. Love it.
Please don't fall through the roof
Nice sunny spot...

...for a cigarette? Please don't set Agnes on fire

Thar she blows!

Wow! Most impressed!

Worse in some places. Better in others.


Worst water damage