the hyphens that define my life

Honestly July 8, 2013

When we moved, we sold all of our furniture because our furniture was over 10 years old and kid thrashed.  We also sold our furniture because our new home was built circa 1940’s and has mid-century style that doesn’t suit our old furniture.  And, we sold our furniture because we didn’t love it enough to move it.

Now that we’re here in Spokane, we are without furniture, though not entirely. The house came with a beautiful dining room table with two leaves, chairs and matching buffet.  The guest room is completely outfitted with a queen bed, and dresser.  We sold the bunk beds and other bed sets, but we moved the mattresses.  We also kept our office chairs, camp chairs and beach chairs.  The house also has many built-ins, bookshelves, banquette, dressers and shelves.  Plenty of furniture to call our house a home, for now.

If you have bought furniture,  ever, you know that purchasing furniture is no cheap process.  If you add the words “mid-century modern” or “MCM”, the price tag is increased to meet popular demand.  We have a budget, we have a plan and we’re making good progress.

We have identified a new couch, accent chairs, a chaise, an area rug and some accessories.  Mr. Frugal is holding the purse strings tight before purchasing until he’s certain that I’m 100% certain I won’t have buyer’s remorse.  I see it as a stall tactic but that’s for another blog post.  We are shopping at consignment stores, vintage stores, thrift shops and, of course, Craigslist.  So far, we have bought vintage bed sets for the boys, a credenza for my office and a lateral file cabinet for Vince’s office.  This weekend we purchased a 71″ early 1950’s coffee table from Craigslist. The coffee table is an awesome, DIY refinishing and staining project I can’t wait to get started on.  I’ll post the before and after photos once it is complete, or will blog about any disasters or replacement purchases later.

When we, the entire family, arrived at the coffee table seller’s home, the boys tumbled out of the car into a wrestling match on the front lawn.  Why?  I have no idea, must be a boy thing, they wrestle everywhere. Vince and I entered the home, leaving the boys to fend for themselves, checked out the table, agreed on the price and I paid the man.  What really transpired is that I handed the cash to Vince who handed the money to the seller.  Everyone was happy, we went home with a new coffee table and a new project for me.

Last night, around 10 PM, the coffee table seller sent me a text saying he is either miscounting or he misplaced $20 of the total cash we gave him.  He apologized and asked if I could confirm that we did pay him the $20 in question.  Before we arrived at the house, we stopped at the ATM to withdraw cash for the purchase.  I didn’t spend any other money after buying the coffee table.  I counted the cash in my wallet and, sure enough, I short paid him $20!    I texted back that I had shorted the sale and I would be in the area Monday night for soccer practice and would drop off the $20.  I felt terrible.  I was surprised that both Vince and the seller didn’t double-check my counting at the time of sale.  Word to the wise, always double-check my math, even at base level counting.  The seller texted back that he appreciated my honesty.  Sure thing homie, that’s how I roll.

I passed this perfect sign on my honorable mission tonight to pay my debt in full.

golden rule brake

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Your Junk is Someone Else’s Treasure June 23, 2013

We’re still in moving mode.  On Saturday we managed to unload the trailer and unpack all of the boxes.  We had two casualties, a broken vase, a broken dinner plate. We were spent by the end of the day.  None of our boxes have arrived via Amtrak yet so we today we took on the project of going through all the stuff the previous owner left in the basement storage, the attic and garage.  We knew she was leaving things behind, stuff specific to the house and stuff she didn’t feel like dealing with and today we learned why.

I truly believe that someone’s elses junk is another person’s treasure.  I love some of the treasures we found today.  Franciscan ware china, McCoy pottery, vintage tablecloths and a bunch of other awesome stuff.  Our youngest has given up eating meals with a fork, opting instead to eat with the sword serving picks.  He hasn’t stabbed himself in the back of the throat, yet.  On the flip side, a lot of someone else’s treasures were left too, things that didn’t suit our taste, style or need.  We spent out Sunday loading the trailer with trash and debris.  The car was completely filled from passenger seat to trunk with reusable treasures to Goodwill.

On Saturday we did take a break and went to Manito Park.  The park is beautiful and we just rode bikes around and checked out the sights.  One thing we have never seen in ALL of Southern California that we saw yesterday was a group of at least twenty people, dressed in medieval/martial art attire playing some sort of sword fight. The swords and shields were fake but they were whacking each other.  There seemed to be some sort of structure to the game but I couldn’t decipher the play.  Fascinating none the less.  The sword fight added to our son’s eating with swords.  We avoided swords and opted for watching hockey and eating burgers at Waddell’s, which we found thanks to Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, for dinner.

No breaks for the weary today which is why my post is so late.  I have visited my local Trader Joe’s twice this weekend and staked my claim as a regular.  Each visit, the cashier asked what I’ve done this weekend.  My reply was honest, “My family and I just moved from Southern California on Friday” which spurred big welcomes and lengthy conversation about the weather, the great city of Spokane and convincing declarations that we’ll love it here.  Trader Joe’s wins Spokane Ambassador awards for being so welcoming and friendly.  Here’s something interesting to ponder, in Orange County Trader Joe’s will give kids a lollipop if they find the hidden Angels Baseball Rally Monkey.  In Spokane, a stuffed Sasquatch is hidden.  Kids tell the cashier they found the stuffed beast and the cashier yells “Sassy!”, which spurs all of the cashiers to yell out “Sasquatch”!  The Trader Joe’s mostly have the same foodstuffs available, with the only really noticeable difference was the bread section.  No more sprouted sesame bagels, 8 plus 2 bread or buttermilk bread.  As if I need any of it, but I was fascinated by the new bread options.  Hawaiian bagels, sour rye, local baked breads and pastries.  YUM!

Tonight, with the help of Trader Joe’s, we had our first home cooked meal.  A simple, chicken-veggie-pasta creation that was somewhat of a challenge to cook since my breakables have arrived but our unbreakables – like my pans and cooking utensils – have note arrived.  Thanks to the good fortune of some camping pots and cast iron pans left behind, I was able to pull together a meal.  We ate on dinner plates with plastic utensils.  Classy it was not, but the meal, thanks to our hard work and other’s cast-offs, was delicious.

No boxes yet today, but internet is installed tomorrow…progress!