Saturday, March 7, 2015

My "Day Off"

I wanted to post about my crazy "day off" yesterday, but by the end of the day I was beyond exhausted.  I couldn't even think straight anymore.  So here I am, giving a recap of Friday on Saturday, though I can't say I'm fully recovered.

Let me just mention, for starters, that I love to decorate.  I love fixing up my house, whether for holidays and special occasions or just everyday.  I love changing things up.  I love moving furniture around and into different rooms to get a new look.  Even when I was young and living with my parents, I would change things up and move them around.  I love to paint, I love to clean and polish and dust and shop for beautiful get the picture.

When my two older kids came home from living in Central Florida, they brought a bunch of furniture with them, including a sofa and love seat we'd bought them at a furniture outlet store.  At first I put them in the garage, since my son's desire was to look for a place and take the furniture with him.  Things didn't work out for him financially, and it made no sense to me to have brand new furniture in the garage while I was sitting on faded furniture that was 13 years old.  So I sold the old sofa and love seat and put the new items in the family room.  It worked quite nicely.

Last year I decided to get an electric fireplace/media center for the living room, and I got rid of the enormous wall unit that was in the family room.

The wall unit worked while we had the oversized television set, but once that broke (and there was no way to get it repaired) I was left with a gaping hole in the wall unit.  I tried fitting other things in there but it didn't work.  Out it went, and a television table the kids brought back with them took its place.

I'd originally put it in the living room, but I moved it to the family room and put the fireplace/media console in there instead.  I flanked it with bookshelves, a look I documented here.  And that worked as well.  I was super happy with the way the house looked.

Unfortunately, the furniture we'd bought for the kids was not the greatest quality.  It was 3 1/2 years old but looked like we'd been sitting on it for 20 years.  The cushions were attached to the furniture, and they were sagging horribly.  The frame under the cushions also appeared to be sagging.  The fabric itself looked the worse for wear.  It's microfiber, which usually stands up to all kinds of abuse, but this fabric was stained and the stain wasn't coming off.  I tried covering the sofa with a fluffy blanket so the sagging wouldn't show too much, but it wasn't fooling anyone.  I had moved this furniture into the living room at Christmastime because the tree wouldn't fit in there with the recliners and sofa, and after Christmas everyone wanted the ugly furniture to stay in the living room because "they made the room look bigger."  I thought it made the room look dingy.  I wanted so badly to get rid of it, but I didn't want the huge expense.  I thought about going out looking at garage sales or second hand furniture, though there's always a chance I'll end up with something as bad or worse than what I already had.  

After Christmas Costco always puts their home furnishings out.  I was walking by the seasonal aisle on my way to the meat section, when I saw a gorgeous, huge sectional.  It was a lovely beige fabric, light but durable, with the nailhead design that I love so much.  It was $999, a great price for this large piece of furniture but more than I wanted to spend.  I sat on it for a minute and loved how comfortable it felt.  Ah, if I could only find something similar but at a lower price!  A couple of  months later I saw that the price had been reduced - a common occurrence when Costco is ready to bring in the next seasonal item, in this case patio furnishings.  Now the price was $699 - a whole $300 off!  I was tempted, but at the same time, how would I get this home?  I don't have a truck or SUV anymore.  Besides, I was wanting to get some cabinets to organize the garage, and my car needs new tires.  Spending $700 on a sectional wasn't an option right now.

Because I have executive membership at Costco, I get a yearly rebate from them.  I wasn't expecting much; I buy from Costco regularly but I hadn't bought anything major, so there was no reason for me to get much money back.  I was totally surprised when the rebate check came in: $116.  The wheels in my head started turning really fast.  With this rebate check I'd be able to get the sectional for under $600.  No way was I going to find a deal like that anywhere else anytime.  I'd have to act, and fast.  Time (and inventory) was running out.

When I told my daughter what I wanted to do, she suggested renting a truck from Home Depot.  Home Depot rents vans and large pick-up trucks for $19.95 for the first 75 minutes, then $5 each additional 15 minutes after that.  The idea was, rent the truck, get the furniture from Costco (which is a few blocks away), get it to the house, and get the truck back in an hour.  That sounded doable!  Then I remembered the garage storage cabinets.  What if I could get those from Home Depot, and the furniture from Costco at the same time?!  I would save on delivery costs!  I checked out the Home Depot webpage, but there was nothing at all like what I wanted.  Everything was either plastic or resin, and I wanted something stronger.  I looked on the Lowe's website next.  Bingo!  A large steel cabinet for $249, and a smaller cabinet for $157.  Lowe's is less than a mile away from Home Depot; I could still get everything done and pay less than what it would cost to have the cabinets delivered, which was $79.  The picture looked brighter and better each moment.  I prayed and asked God to work this out for me as He saw fit, then I got to work.

Thursday morning I called Home Depot to reserve the truck.  Turns out they don't do reservations - it's on a first come, first served basis.  I told the woman at Home Depot that I'd need the truck Friday morning, around 10 am.  See, with homeschooling and work, Fridays and Saturdays are the only days I can run all my errands, and I needed to do this on Friday because that's also my son R's day off and I was going to need his help.  She told me to call a half hour before and she'd hold the truck for me, but no more than 30 minutes.  At that point I decided, on faith, to go ahead and order the garage storage cabinets from Lowe's so they would be ready for me to pick up the next day.  I was really taking a chance, and I considered skipping my bible study group to get there early, but that didn't feel right at all.  How could I put God in second place to garage storage and furniture?  No, I was going to my bible study class, and trust that God would provide.

I was up early Friday morning.  I'm so glad I have a quick and easy makeup routine for days like these, because I didn't have the time to spend in front of the mirror.  I went to bible study and boy am I glad I did - Daniel chapter 9 is totally awe inspiring!  I left just as the video ended, ran home and called Home Depot.  To my chagrin, the truck had just been rented out, and the woman didn't know when it would be back.  She kindly took my number and said she'd call as soon as it was returned.  In the meantime I was left to wonder, now what?  My daughter suggested I check with another Home Depot, but did I really want to go to the next city north or south of us to get this truck?  I thought about heading to Costco so I could be close by when the truck showed up; then a thought occurred to me: what if they didn't have the furniture anymore?!  I grabbed the phone and called.  Good thing I did, too - they were sold out.  NO!!!!!  I asked if she could check stock in other stores.  She found 5 of them at a store two cities north of us, about a 20 minute drive.  I called that Costco to verify and they confirmed that they still had it in stock.  If I was going to do this, I'd have to act fast, but not before lifting my petition up to the Lord.  I called the Home Depot in the city north of us.  Yes, they had a truck and it was available to rent.  The clock was ticking.

I grabbed my son and we headed north to Home Depot.  Renting the truck was easy-peasy.  All I needed was my driver's license, insurance card and a credit card.  I left there and headed north on the expressway.  I took a bit longer at Costco than I thought because the boxes were so large and bulky; so large that I wondered if we'd be able to get them all in the truck.  I didn't want to have to make two trips!  I was praying that it wouldn't be necessary, and praise God it wasn't.  The young man at Costco was able to get everything on and even tied the boxes onto the truck for us - now that's great service!  R and I went straight home, unloaded the boxes into the living room, and headed out to Lowe's.  My daughter A is still nursing her leg per her doctor's orders, so she wasn't able to do any physical work, so instead she was in the kitchen making stir-fry for our lunch.  No time to stop though - we ran to Lowe's to get the storage cabinets, which by the way, weigh a ton!  Oh my gosh, it took so long for them to bring the stuff out because the girl couldn't find anyone to put them on the dolly.  R and I were trying to load them into the truck and another customer kindly helped us.  It was definitely a three person job.  I stopped off at our local Costco to fill the truck with gas - that's something to keep in mind.  If you bring the truck back to Home Depot and the tank isn't filled, they charge $6.50 per gallon to fill it up.  No thanks!  I put $20 in and made sure that was enough.

Back home we ran, left the boxes in the garage, then hauled ourselves back to Home Depot to return the truck.  By now we were both tired and hungry, and R was getting a headache.  Because of unforeseen delays we had the truck for 3 hours, so I ended up paying $62 for the rental.  With gas the total came to $82, more than I'd wanted to spend, but considering that I was able to get so much done that I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise, it wasn't a bad investment.  Besides, now I'm able to enjoy this:

It looks so pretty, and is extremely comfortable!  The pillows were Christmas gifts from my son R.  He got each of us a pillow that he felt best described our interests:  A got Alice In Wonderland because of her love of Disney, E got Treasure Island, filled with adventure, and I got Sherlock Holmes.  My son knows me only too well!  Classic English literature, crime and mystery, all rolled into one.  Sherlock Holmes has been my favorite since I was a teen.  It never gets old!  Anyway, there is enough seating here for our family and then some.  I'm so in love with the look!  I would like to eventually get an area rug, but with Molly I don't know if that's the best idea.  The area rug I had in the living room had to be thrown out because Molly's nails kept getting caught in the rug and it was looking pretty shredded.  I don't think I want to do that again.

By the way, the stir-fry turned out exceptionally delicious!  It was a chicken stir-fry with lots of veggies and a spicy sauce.  It disappeared off my plate very quickly!  I'm so thankful to my son R who ran all around town with me, my son E for helping me get the furniture moved and everything put together, and my baby girl for cooking and cleaning.  I'm especially thankful to God for making it all possible - I couldn't have done it without Him!

We haven't put the garage storage cabinets together yet - that's our next project.  Can't wait to get that done as well!  Stay tuned!

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