Me, CherkyB: "OK, well I'm going outside to put the cap back on the truck."You see, I take the cap off for the summer cuz that's when I get all my mulch and compost and move all the big stuff around. Autumn comes crashing down quickly here in the foothills, and the leaves on the aspens are beginning to turn already. Plus, if I trade in the truck, I'll want to trade it in with the cap on it, cuz it's a major pain to sell a used cap, especially for a not-ever-all-that-popular truck model.
And, as an added bonus, I can keep my fishing gear in there so's I can sneak off fishing on the days when I need to pick up HannahC at gymnastics at 8:30pm. I've only been fishing three times this year, and the best I've done was a little 5" bluegill.
Now, those of you who know The Mrs. and Me, CherkyB, probably know why I made this announcement on Saturday morning. I've made it a habit of informing The Mrs. of my weekend plans very early on so that, with some luck, she can run out of ideas of ways to keep me from doing what I want to do before I run out of weekend. True to form:
The Mrs.: "Oh. I wouldn't do that yet."Oh. Dear. God.
Me, CherkyB: "Why not?"
The Mrs.: "Well, something's been bugging me for a while."
Me, CherkyB: "..."
The Mrs.: "I feel like I'm missing something."
Me, CherkyB: "Your sanity? Your girlish figure? The best years of your life? Your pleasant personality?"
(OK, I didn't actually say that out loud.)
The Mrs.: [waving her arms about in the front entrance way] "You see this wall here. It's sooo ... empty."
The Mrs.: "What it needs is a giant set of shelves. I want some antique shelves. See, now wouldn't it be silly to put the cap on the truck if you're going shopping for something like that? Why, you'd just have to take it right off again. Now why don't you run along and do something else while I make breakfast for everyone but you."
I decided to clean the pond filters, as nothing takes your mind off antique shopping faster than does carp crap. Thick, gooey brown carp crap sucked into the skimmer boxes and deposited onto and into the nylon fiber mesh pad filters.
While the back pond was getting topped off by the hose, I called The Mrs. from my cell to launch evasive maneuvers:
Me, CherkyB: "Have you been pricing these things?"So we went to the antique stores.
The Mrs.: "No."
Me, CherkyB: "Don't you think we should stop in at American Furniture Warehouse to see what a brand new set of shelves costs so, you know, we don't pay too much?"
The Mrs.: "Yeah. That's a good idea."
Me, CherkyB: "OK. The thing is, American Furniture Warehouse is kinda in the opposite direction from the antique stores. I don't know if we'll have time for both."
The Mrs.: "You know, the furniture there will be cheap crap."
Me, CherkyB: "OK. We can go to Ethan Allen, then. It's just about as far away, but in a different direction."
The Mrs.: "The prices there will be outrageous."
Me, CherkyB: "OK, but then we could see the low price and the high price, and we can bracket what we should be paying."
The Mrs.: "It'll be $1000 at AFW and $5000 at Ethan Allen. I already know what they charge."
Me, CherkyB: "How?"
The Mrs.: "I've wanted one for a long time, so I've been following the prices."
Me, CherkyB: "You said you haven't been pricing them."
The Mrs.: "No, I didn't."
Me, CherkyB: "Yes you did. Just a minute ago. I asked, 'Have...'"
The Mrs.: "No, you didn't. Look, I know what they cost. I just want to go to the antique stores. Why are you attacking me? Why can't you ever do what I want?"
Now, never having been to the antique stores before, I knew they were on a strip of road that used to be outside the city limits to keep the sales tax low, but that the city annexed last year in order to generate sales tax revenue, which promptly drove about half the businesses out of business because the sudden combination of double the sales tax as well as double the property tax, plus a higher electric rate and water rate kinda cut into the slim margins a lot of the stores along that strip were barely surviving on.
But, anyways, I stopped at the first place. Now, this place turned out to be more of a flea market than an antique store, and they had no giant sets of shelves for sale. But we did manage to load up on chotchkies - I got a pair of old steel nippers for $4.99.
We kept working our way up the strip one shop at a time, hitting both flea markets and antique stores (plus stopping in the feed store for guinnea pig food), when finally in a consignment* antique store, The Mrs. stumbled across an Amish step-front cabinet from, according to the tag, 1870. It was originally marked at $2500, but the price had been cut in half. The Mrs. talked to the owner of the store, and he said that it had been in the shop a while and the lady who owned it had been cutting the price to try to get rid of it. He thought we could get it for $1000.
* (Let me explain what I mean by consignment antique shop here. It was a big, giant building where various antique dealers each had an area where they exhibited their stuff with their own price tags on it. The shop keeper would call them if you made an offer lower than the price marked to see if they'd take it. So, it wasn't like a bunch of people selling their old stuff. It was all professional sellers, just none of them owned the shop.)
We kept looking, but The Mrs. had fallen in love. I did manage to drag her to Woodley's Furniture, which was across the street, to price new ones, and they had a really nice floor model that was similar for $2100. But, of course, it didn't have the original wavy glass, the hand-cut dovetailing, or the hand-made nails. So we went back to the shop and made an offer of $1000. He called her and left messages on her home and cell, but she didn't answer.
We went home.
The moment we walked in the door, the phone rang with an $1100 counter-offer. Sold.
However, this thing looked big and heavy. I didn't want to pick it up myself, as The Mrs. has a bad back and most of my friends are spindly engineers. So the store owner put us in touch with Leon. Leon and his nephew brought us our furniture this morning and set it up in the entrance way for $75.
The Mrs. cleaned it all up with orange oil, put a table runner over the top, and then put decorative junk on it. The basket of yarn we got at the first flea market for $6 (well, the basket, not the yarn), and we grew the decorative gourds in our garden this year. They were about the only thing to survive the hail storm.