27. February 2008 · Comments Off on Villa Junque · Categories: Ain't That America?, Critters, Domestic, General, Home Front

‘Villa Junque’ (pronounced in Spanish as Hoon-kay’) – sounds so much better than ‘garage full of junk’, which is what mine has descended to, what with Blondie enthusiastically collecting ‘stuff’ for her eventual first apartment/house/place of her own. A couple of years ago, I saw a tee-shirt/sweat shirt with “It isn’t an empty nest until all of their stuff is out of the garage” and truer words were never printed across the parental chest. All of her accumulated stuff from two hitches in the Marines came home with her – the large TV, the stereo system, a lot of Target and Walmart bought kitchenware, a microwave, and several boxes of shoes and bedding. And a strangely comfortable metal-framed armchair and footstool which was apparently the prize of the Cherry Point single barracks, as it gravitated from room to room until my daughter inherited it from a friend and shipped it home with her stuff. She pleaded with me to re-upholster it, which I did… and to give it houseroom in the den… which I also did. As I said, it is strangely comfortable. Her TV and stereo also were allowed in, with some reluctance on my part. They were newer than mine by about a quarter-century, so a bit more complicated… but worked a little better. The classical station still receives badly, but that’s an eccentricity of their transmitter.

Her dog and her two cats were also folded into the household, and it generally works out, although three of my cats hate the dogs and prefer Blondie’s end of the house to mine. It’s all her other stuff which has made my house into the Villa Junque, although I do admit that some of the stuff I moved into the garage was specifically dedicated for her first place – the dining table that was too big for the dining area, some bookshelves superfluous to my needs once I put up hanging shelves and some other small stuff. Really, it wasn’t a patch on what I notice in other people’s garages. I could actually get my car into it, still. (Well, I could until Blondie moved in her stuff.)

Besides being drawn to the 70%-off shelves at fine retail establishments (where we have snapped up plenty of Christmas ornaments and wrapping paper for next year) Blondie is also a dedicated yard-sale shopper. Walking the dogs early on Saturday morning is nothing more than a disguise. She is actually reconnoitering for yard sales. With luck and walking the dogs, we can beat the roving pros, descending with their battered step-vans and pickup trucks and snapping up the good stuff. I don’t know where these people go with their oddly assorted gleanings; they are usually Hispanic and go for the furniture and the used appliances, but do not distain the clothes, bedding and toys. Blondie now has a nice collection of glass and silver-plate knick-knacks, garden lanterns and ornaments, chairs and crockery. She hopes that some of it may be Antiques Road Show-worthy some day.

I think our neighborhood is moving up, socio-economically; there is a better grade of stuff at yard-sales than formerly. Even the stuff put out for the trash – especially when someone is moving and is sick to death of making decisions about stuff – is a better grade. We struck a bonanza this year with pots and plants, but the absolute prize was spotted Sunday afternoon by our equally bargain-fanatic neighbor Judy. She saw a love-seat placed by the curb with a lot of other trash and made a special visit to our house to tell us where.

It turned out to be upholstered in leather, only a little worn on the seat cushions and two tears in places, and so heavy that it probably is a good grade of furniture. Well and I know that because of the chore it was for the two of us to load it in the back of the Montero and then carry it into the house. Whatever it will be to reupholster a solid hunk o’ small sofa like that is still less than it will cost to buy new. And it is amazing the difference that some cleaning solution, and some carefully placed throws and pillows will accomplish.

The Weevil loves it, since it is large enough for her to sprawl in comfort; Spike and the cats love it because the back and arms are broad enough for them to stretch out in equal comfort and all of them together. And I have to admit – it is a very comfortable place for humans to lounge as well.

But – we are swearing to everyone that we actually scored it at a yard sale for $20.

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