That one time we forgot to open the grey water tanks and things got… interesting. 

So I’m not sure if everyone reading this understands how water usage is dealt with on a camper. So, to make sure you understand the adventure we had recently, I’m going to fill you in on how it works. Incoming water can go into the holding tank and then be pumped to the faucet when used or you can have it hooked up to a hose all the time. We leave ours hooked up, so we don’t have to use our pump and honestly so we don’t have to think about it after we get it all hooked up.  

 

Mina has three tanks for outgoing water. A main grey tank that the shower and sink drain into, a black tank for the loo, and a grey tank for the kitchen sink. The main grey one is the one used to flush the black tank.  Generally we leave both grey tanks “open”, meaning they drain as we use water and flow directly into the septic. 


So now that you understand how that basically goes, free flowing in and out for grey water, until we need to flush the black tank. Things got interesting on Friday morning, when I was getting ready for the day. I was letting the water warm up to wash my face when I noticed that the water wasn’t actually draining out of the sink. First thing was turning off the water and checking that the sink stopper was still sitting up in the “soap holding area” of the sink. (And by “soap holing area”, I mean the minuscule space that might fit half a bar of hotel sized soap, but happens to fit the sink stopper pretty well.) My next thought was that somehow the sink had managed to already get clogged with hair or who knows what else. I  tried hand plunging, and that didn’t really do much either. Next realization was that the grey tank might actually be full. We have little buttons to check how full the tanks are next to the buttons for stuff like the slide and awning. Sure enough. Both the kitchen and the main grey tank were full. So outside I headed and they were both closed off, so I opened them up and let both tanks drain. Sorry if the ending was a bit anticlimactic, but it was pretty amusing at the time. And now I have learned to check that the tanks are open, and that dealing with them isn’t that intimidating after all. 

What I’ve learned from two weeks in Mina Manor. 

Two weeks. 15 days if you want to be precise. We moved in on Mother’s Day, and then proceeded to spend almost every moment that we weren’t working or sleeping getting everything out of the old house and getting it all cleaned up for our final inspection. Late nights followed by very early mornings, but on Wednesday, we handed in our keys and said goodbye to the third house that James and I have lived in. Mind you, that makes Mina Manor house number four in five years.  Now onto more intersting things, like random thoughts on what I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks.

  

1. Cats actually adapt pretty well, but they get totally freaked out with when we move spots. ( Yes, that lump in the bed  is Neville and Luna. We moved spots today, as each reservation through the summer months is for 15 days.) They both have found spots that they love and Luna especially has been loving that there are so many birds.

  

2. You probably won’t miss much with downsizing. This morning I made strawberry crisp and it felt like such a normal and homey thing to do. 

    

3. Art makes a place feel like home to me. Yes, this is the bathroom and that is the amazing gallery wall you get to look at when you use the loo.

  

And that is the paint line art that is also in the bathroom. I wanted to bring in the string art I had from the old place, but it just wasn’t practical, so I added something with a similar feel. That wall is behind the toilet.

  

4. Luna still likes to climb weird places. I guess that isn’t really something I’ve learned in the last two weeks, but it still is adorable.

5. Neville makes a totally adorable and not scary at all guard cat. Unlike Luna who will hiss at you if you get too close. She even hissed at me!!! So of course when I got inside I gave her extra cuddles. 

    

5. Spending more time outside in nature is so amazing. We actually had time to go on a bike ride. It was rejuvenating, and beautiful. 

6. You really can live in less than 200 square feet. I have lived in small spaces before (hey college dorms), and I have lived with far fewer ammenties, so I knew I could live in Mina without a problem. But even if you haven’t done it before, the right attitude around going tiny with your living space is the most important thing. 

      

7. At the moment what I miss most is Wifi. We’re still working on figuring out the best solution for wireless internet, so at the moment we’re using our phones for staying connected. 

 

8. Just do the dishes. (Which has nothing to do with the cutest walrus rock in the histroy of ever that we saw hiking yesterday!) Seriously though, when you have teeny tiny sinks and nonexistant counter space, just doing the dishes and you use them/ finish with them is a good idea. 

Mostly Moved In. I think. 

 We moved into Mina on Sunday. Which meant of course that it was a totally chaotic day, where I also attempted to get the house cleaned up and ready for a pre-inspection on Monday morning. So in reality it was a blur. In fact this whole week has been a bit of a blur. And for being “moved in” we aren’t exactly spending a bunch of time at Mina yet. 

However, we were at Mina long enough for my friend and at-the-moment next door neighbor to bring over amazingly delicious banana bread. 


Luna has found all sorts of new perches. She occasionally sticks her head through the curtains so she can see out the window and it is just adorable. Neville and Luna are both adapting well. I was concerned as cats tend to not really enjoy moving. And the first night was honestly miserable. They were up prowling, meowing and walking on our faces all night. I was ready to adopt them out if they kept acting like that. 

  

The rug fits perfectly with the slide out! And it doesn’t seem to be getting too dirty, which is awesome! We have a built in vacuum in Mina that has already proved to be worth it’s weight in gold. 

  

Neville has also learned how to stick his head out the curtains so he can see what is going on in the neighborhood. We are one of the smaller campers in the park. We’re in a row of a ton of massive 5th wheel trailers and then there is Mina, and she almost looks like a toy. 

  
They were tired from being such brats the night before. They are lucky that they are adorable. 

  
Soon I’ll share how the bathroom ended up! Paint pens, massive maps and gallery walls oh my! 

  

Not all of the art stockpile made it on the walls. But I’m loving what we do have up.  A few art pieces may need to get ordered in specific sizes. 

To sum it up though, still very busy. But enjoying it so far. 

Headboard is finally up. And the saga of trying a gazillion different ways to get a map on the wall. 

Earlier this week we finally put the headboard up. It was a piece of art from the house that somehow worked in great as a headboard. The installation process was… fun. I don’t think it’s 100% level, but then again I don’t think anything in Mina is.  Level was merely an abstract idea for the people who built her. 

   

And that’s wombat by the way. Wombats were our favorite animal that no one takes about when we visited Australia. So we got a stuffed wombat. And it now lives in our bed. We’ll see how long it stays there. 

  

You’ve basically seen this before but now it has the real throw and the first layer of curtains is up in the great room on the big windows. It might be a bit excessive, but I really like having that white set of curtains so light can still come in, without feeling like we’re living in a glass house. 

  

 Apparently I’m fearless when it comes to pattern mixing with decorating. I don’t think it’s possible to convince me to wear a combination with this many different colors and patterns. That marvelous teal throw was something that James has been dreading since we couldn’t find a teal couch for the space. I let him know that the compromise would mean a teal throw blanket. He never sees the value in them, but I sure do! 

  

Apparently you should just paint anything you need stuff to never stick to with the paint we used. We tried using normal poster tape on the map, tape that I’ve used more than once with great results. And trying to get the map to stay up must have looked like two adults playing drunk whack-a-mole. I would push down on some of the tape, then James would and anytime we let go oft he map it would start to slide down the wall. After the failed tape we went another direction with white poster putty and so far it is working. 

  

The side of the mirror is teal!

 

We moved Mina last night! From the storage lot to behind our house. This weekend is move everything into Mina weekend! 

   
I kind of love that she’s called a “hideout”! 

   

More painting. Really, you’d think with how small Mina is that we would have run out of space to paint by now.

So, you would think by now that we would have literally painted every surface at least 12 times. Not so, since the last post I’ve managed to paint another two times, with four different colors of paint I might add. I added another layer of paint in the teal bathroom, so it’s actually teal, not splotchy teal over sad tan walls. And I finally used that marvelous copper paint I picked up and showed on Instagram! I covered the headboard area with it and of course it took two coats as well. It could probably use a third, but it isn’t the only thing going in that space, so I’m not going to worry about it. photo 2

On top of that painting, I was also able to finally paint the teeny sliver of wall over the slide out, the four inches that would have been way easier to ignore. At one point I had my face squished against the ceiling and I was straining to see the part I was painting. But it was still worth it, since I can look up at the space and just be glad that it is finished.And I painted the inside of the drawer space thingy. The designers (if they are even allowed to be called by that title) really don’t seem to use space very efficiently. For example, the kitchen has two small drawers. Above those drawers was a spot that had a piece of wood paneling stapled to the front of it so we couldn’t even use it. Seriously. So we knocked it out (actually I got to punch it out and it made me feel super strong!) And then James did the more complicated part of building a little platform so I can slide in a basket and at least USE the space.

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I sewed the first batch of curtains as well. And we got those up, and photographed poorly. Yay for camera flash, and LED lantern lighting.

That’s basically it for now. And of course we’ve been doing the little things that don’t really photograph that well, but finish it up and make it much more livable. Oh, and things like moving stuff into the storage unit, and sorting through basically everything we own. Seriously, why do we have so much stuff???

The Elephant in the Room

I just want to address the elephant in the room. We switched out the couch. Yep. There have now been three entirely different couches inside Mina. The logic behind it was due to spending some time visiting with a friend in Mina. I was chilling on the couch and kept thinking how awkward different things about it were. The actual seat depth is oddly short, and the spring mechanism is basically non existent, so you are either perched on the frame or left feeling like you are falling through. And that couch didn’t have arms. I really like curling up against couch arms. 

  
After the realization of how much I disliked the old couch sunk in I put on my don’t-hate-me-for-this face and talked to James about it. He had been having the same sorts of thoughts and considering we will be the ones living in Mina we now have an oddly tall couch, but a comfortable one with support annnnddddd arms! 

  
This weekend was also full of additions like the cutest bookshelf ever! I actually have a photo on my phone of that exact bookshelf from a year ago, I just could never justify getting it when it felt so undersized in our house. It is perfect. Already made, and even has a little lip in the front, so that I’m not always worried about everything falling off. 

  
I’ll post soon the saga of the smart tiles.  

 

Almost Livable

This past weekend we were able to get some more work done on Mina. She is starting to actually feel livable, and the “tan decor” that was once everywhere is now a thing of the past. We brought some of the “soft goods” into the space as well, and it’s amazing how quickly it makes the space feel more like home.

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They gypsy teal looks awesome, everywhere except the bathroom. I still need to paint one more coat to get the color more even. Some dishes started to make their way in as well, and surprisingly, I actually have more space than I thought I would. At some point a divider to make a second shelf in the kitchen cabinets will happen, but for now I’m excited at how much progress we are making.

photo 2We brought our real bed in finally. It is quite a bit taller than the original bed that came with Mina, but that’s because the original bed was actually a mattress topper, not a real mattress.

photo 2

The little head boppers went back up! I was considering re-upholstering them in teal, but then I realized that it would be a lot of work for a part of the place I didn’t really want to be front and center. And making them teal would have ensured that they were a focal point. The color goes well with the flooring too, so it’s one less thing to worry about.

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And last but not at all least, the desk!!! This bad boy is replacing that sad little dinette, and providing a working space we will actually use! Both of our desktop computers will get to live on this desk, so we had to make sure it was sturdy enough. The back legs and support system are screwed into the frame of Mina, so it’s nice and sturdy. The vinegar dye process I used on the desk parts didn’t quite take exactly the same for the different wood types. Some day I may try to get them a little closer to the desk top piece, but we shall see what time allows.

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We really are wrapping up the big projects inside. We still need to “tile” the backsplash in the kitchen, put in the cat door for the litter box solution, find and instal the perfect headboard, and add curtains, but other than that it’s basically livable. Which means it’s time to start covering Mina in art!