Monday, July 31, 2006

Better than the Flea Market

Ok, so we've been busy lately. Haven't even had time to blog. Is blog even a verb? Well, what have we been up to? Besides work and the "heat wave", we've been buying more stuff for the house.

Why do I care about shopping? And why should anyone else (not that anyone actually reads this)? Frankly, we've been getting some killer deals, thanks to craigslist, garage sales and friends. Here's the list for the last two weeks alone (est. retail in parenthesis):

1) Toddler Bed - $30($75) from craigslist.

Cobalt slept in his bed the very first night we put it up. At 32lbs and 36-1/2", he was getting a little big for crib. This is a very basic IKEA model, but hey, what the hell. It should be good for a year or two.

2) Bicycle Trailer for the little guy - $30($130) from craigslist.

I fixed Kyle's bike last fall, and cleaned mine up around Bastille Day (aka, Toby's Birthday). Now that we had working bikes, what would we do with the boy when we went for a ride? We decided to go with a trailer rather than the back seat, due to his extra-large size. This is about the bottom of the line (of the acceptable brands, anyway). It's better than the ones one can get at Target, Walmart or Costco, and not as good as the trailers at REI, for example. We've already gone on 4 rides: the first night was just around the panhandle, because we didn't have a helmet for him yet. After finding a helmet (and fighting with the little guy to try it on), we went for our first ride out to the ocean. This is a picture from that Sunday morning. Note that it was about 80 degrees at ocean beach. On 2 out of 3 trips to the beach so far, Cobalt has fallen asleep on the way back. So it can't be all that uncomfortable.

3) Picnic Table for the back yard - $100($200?) from garage sale down the street on the way to pick up Cobalt's helmet.

We were all set to build one of these puppies, and had been searching for old or extra decking wood on craigslist when we came across this just down the street. It was a no-brainer and a god-send. We broke it in with visits from those escaping the heat...Wei, Russ and Radlee up from San Jose on Saturday and Kyle, Rox, Zuby and Benny coming down from a scorching 112F in Ukiah on Sunday.

The table and chairs and in good shape. We cleaned them real well and just need to oil them.

4) Sideboard-type antiquey thing - FREE ($40-$400) from Kyle's co-worker, Lise (congrats on the new house!)

We got the best possible price on this lovely item...FREE. Lise just bought a house in Glen Park with her partner and decided that after 20 years (plus additional from her sister before her) or so that it was time to part with it. Not sure how to describe it, but we are using it as a sideboard. We now have the commode that came from vermont and this thing flanking the "fireplace". Much better than the stack of ikea cubes we had there before. I think we now have room for all of our linens and candles and then some. Of course, Kyle has already filled it up.

5) Futon, twin-bed size - $10 ($150?) from craigslist.

After my Parents come to visit in August, we will have a homestay student from China staying with us for a month. This will give us a little bit of added cash so we can keep Johnny and Cari for the dogs, while we try to save money for our housing default account, future repairs and Cobalt's college fund. Kyle has stayed at homestays in the past and has had several students stay with her back on Lyon street, one of which was partially responsible for Teeva's "nails" incident. Here's to hoping it doesn't happen again!

The picture above shows the futon in the living room, but we plan on putting it into the studio/office/junk room as soon as we get it cleaned up and painted. It's actually quite comfortable, and we like it wear it is. Maybe we'll replace the rocker that usually sits there.

It's funny, the night before I found this, I said to Kyle that I didn't think we were going to be able to find what we were looking for on craigslist, and might have to buy a new one or settle for a cheap twin bed that we could sell again after the homestay leaves. And what do you know, not an hour later this was posted and I picked it up on the way home from work (on a Sunday, yuk!).

I'm sure there'll be more to come and we'll keep you posted. Until then, happ shopping.

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