Ok, so for all my waxing about the miracle of internet shopping: sometimes ya gotta see it. 

Remember the cute lil fridge, with good ratings? Well, it's DOLL SIZED. Guess I had not put it into context that what had been in the trailer was not a standard sized "mini" fridge. 

I found this one in stock near me at Home Depot. Sugar Plum was home from school sick, but fever-free and getting mighty board, so we went off to check it out. 

It still seems pretty dang small, peeps. I guess when I read that it was 4.5 cu feet, I just thought it was gonna be HUGE. Not so much. Well, on the bright side, I guess there will be ice cream, right? Right;) 

Guess what?! John told me to go ahead and order the necessary items to shine the ole gal up. I sure do hope he knows what kinda time commitment this is... but I don't want to talk him out of doing it! 

I think I've made no secret of the fact that most of this technical trailer stuff mystifies me. Polishing falls in that category. There are many, many opinions written about polishing an aluminum skin trailer, so in the end, I looked to Brian "Cool McCool". Have you ever looked at his blog? He does amazing work and just seems like such a great guy. Brian says he uses "a 7" grinder/ polisher with wool bonnets and Nuvite Polish." 

Well, that's good enough for me. Vintage Trailer supply recommends the same thing, but they sell a different brand polisher than I went with. I got the Makita pictured above, with the 3 bonnets, at Amazon. Rated 4.5 stars, over 150 reviews. List is supposedly $408, Amazon price $197.70. BUT... y'all do know to check the "used" price and see if there is a "warehouse deal", right? Warehouse deal means the item is new, but the packaging is damaged or perhaps it's been repackaged. It drops 30% or so off the price. This is how they describe it: 
Condition Used- Very Good Item is in original packaging, but packaging may come damaged. Item has no cosmetic scratches or blemishes. Item has no cracks or dents. All accessories are present and undamaged.  
I have bought several warehouse deal items and had excellent luck- never gotten a used item that I could tell- in fact, I've always gotten dinged up boxes at worst.  And, you can always return if it's not what you expect. 

So- one extra click and this baby is winging it's way to Texas for $137.12, free shipping.  

I then picked up the Nuvite F7 at Vintage Trailer Supply, who describes it thus:

Grade F7 is a heavy cutting polish. It has a very hard and sharp, but very fine, abrasive that continues it’s cutting action throughout the buffing process. 

It is a good choice for the first step when removing decades of oxidation or light corrosion from aluminum surfaces. It is usually best to follow F7 with C and then grade S.  F7 is a popular choice for blending scratches in an otherwise lightly oxidized finish.

So, what do ya'll think? It's pretty exciting!

Preparation for Sugar Plum's birthday party is in full swing y'all. We LOVE parties. I mean, seriously, this kiddo would call for me in the night when she woke or couldn't sleep and say, "Mama, let's talk about birthdays". She was TWO. 

We think parties are fun- we love themes, we love food, we love it when our favorite people surround us. We love crafting up the details, planning the party favors, thinking up crazy ideas that are wayyyy too elaborate- and then scaling them to fit reality. We love talking anticipating it, and yes, "talking about birthdays."

So, you can imagine how excited I was to find this amazing printable camper favor box. It's a $5 download and then you print, cut and glue and make up a whole fleet. It makes me smile just thinking about it. Cheap therapy, y'all. 

What's that? You want a different color? Like, pink? Boom! Prefer yellow? Green? Boom, boom! 

Alas, no silver! But I still think they are fabulous... And I think one with a gift card inside for Vintage Trailer Supply or Amazon or a State Park Pass would be an amazing gift. 

Check out the artist, Claudine Hellmuth, and her wonderful shop on Etsy. 

I have always considered myself lucky in that, as an "original owner", my trailer had never been plucked of all it's little cool tidbits. I have all the original shower stuff, like towel bar and little wire soap basket. I have the original porch light and lighting throughout. And, I have all the original cabinet hardware. But now that we are putting Humpty Dumpty back together again, I found myself in need of a few extra drawer pulls. (mmmmm....new trash/recycling cabinet...mmmmm)

Ahh, the magic of the internet. It is especially strong for those who need weird, obscure, 60 year old parts. I went back to the Etsy shop, Vintage Trailer Shop, where I had bought the red glass beehive taillights, and lucked right out. I happily snapped up a set of 5 of pulls. Only guess what? I opened the box when it arrived and out popped a lagniappe- pull no 6! Lucky dice! 

While I think I have wiped out the stock at the above site, never fear in case you or a loved one needs some of these fab chrome pulls. I'm not just bragging- I have a resource for you: I found another great shop on Etsy, Not So Hardware who has the most elusive of vintage goodies: Old Store Stock. Of these exact handles!! That's like finding a unicorn! So, if you have a spartan, or a vintage trailer you want to trick out in original 50's style, I suggest you pick up a few. (BTW, the shipping is for as many handles as fit in a small flat-rate box, so LOAD UP.)

The world is SO full of interesting people, doing interesting things. Pretty awesome, yes? 

(Ya'll know what a lagniappe is? Mark Twain once called it "a word worth traveling to New Orleans to get". And, I'm just giving it to you! You're welcome. Regional words for the win!) 

Kids, we are starting to look like an actual trailer again. The wood is roughed in, and I have to say: I'm VERY happy with the 1/8 inch natural birch. I think the curves look fantastic, the grain in nicely visible even unstained, and it feels good in there. 

So, here is the timetable: 
Next visit- 1/25. Between now and then the cabinets will be refitted, repaired and rebuilt. They will be sanded down and all the wood will be unfinished and  freshly refinished so we get a matching stain. 
I have decided to go very original with the layout, with minor changes. The original Dixie stove is out (safety/ practicality). The range will be built in where the Dixie was, so the galley counter will have a little "L" countertop added to drop the range and a cabinet built underneath. 
One other minor change, the non-working gas heater by the front door has been removed. This should add enough space to add in a cabinet with a pull-out trash/ recycling bin to the kitchen. It will be small, but this is a very practical move. Even with such a big trailer, it is not fun to have a trash can/ bag of garbage floating around getting in the way. 

At the 1/25 visit we should be down to details. The idea is that the following Sunday- 2/2- Tiffany and I will show up and liberate the trailer!! It's unbelievable, really... 

...and I still have to finalize where I'm going to put it as Nichole's property is on the market and it can't go home to that field. I think I have found a storage place not too far from me to take it. BUT...

...On the week-end of 2/14 we are going to take her out for Sugar Plum's Birthday. This is trickier than it seems... want to have a crowd for cookout and party, so needs to be close enough to town for guests. State parks (I LOVE State Parks!) are all at least an hour away. RV parks, well, let's just say I'm sure there is a special little park somewhere that isn't a concrete Hell and that thinks a Vintage trailer party for 9-year olds is fun, but I ain't found it yet. Sigh. That is a whole other rant, consider yourself spared. 

And finally- do you know how much stuff you can fit in a 33 foot trailer? John told me he had put the contents in storage, and silly me- I did not ask any questions. So, I picked up a huge jumble of garbage bags full of musty and worse for the wear stuff. So, now I am in the process of loading those bags up and seeing what can be salvaged and cleaned so I can magically pull it together to go out in the trailer on 2/14. See tuckered out lil' doggie in back seat crammed with misc stuff. 

But... I'd be lying if I did not say I'm looking forward to playing house, so BRING IT ON! Finally, something I'm good and and understand!!!

Here is the fridge I'm probably going to go with. $250 bucks, free shipping, Thank You Amazon. It gets pretty good reviews, and a surprising number of them are from RV/ Camper/ Boat owners, which makes me think it might be more durable than the garden-variety type I could get cheaper at a Wal-mart type store. I can also purchase a 3 year warranty (+$35), which is not my usual MO but might be worth it in this case as, you know, fridges probably are not at their best on bumpy roads and enduring the power turned on & off repeatedly. 
I like the 2 door aspect of this, and since I can build in some ventilation/ space this seems the best choice. 
Actual RV fridges suffer from severe ugliness and cost 2X. Not impressed. 

Here is the VERY BEAUTIFUL fridge I would put in were money no object. Ironically, it costs 4X to 8x more (depending on size), and gets absolutely DREADFUL reviews. My favorite review is actually titled "Fur Coat no knickers" on the UK site ReviewCentre where 59 reviewers have given it a whopping 1.1 stars out of 5 stars.  It's a Smeg, and Google it yourself if you want to know the gory details;)

P.S. "Fur coat no knickers" is now my favorite response and I am hoping to drop it into as many conversations as possible, context irrelevant. 

I went down to see the Spartan a few days before Christmas! You can see some of the support skeleton is in. Don't worry about where you see some "sagging"- there will be cross- skeleton beams that will shore that up and add strength. 

I'm sorry I'm such a poor photographer. But you can see how nicely insulated it's going to be. The framework will be strong- and I think we are going with the 1/8th wood, so it will need that great foundation. I'm happy with that- 1/8 is what I believe it originally was. Also- keeping it light:) 

Another little detail to notice is in the gallery below- the powder coated screws, which will never rust. John calls 'em "forever" screws. 

The fans will be framed out... A lot of detail work ahead, but things are taking shape! 
Land of Nod! $200 + extra for campfire!! Expensive? Well... not compared to what a real one will set you back:) Actually a pretty good deal!