Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fountain of Joy

I love the sound of running water. That is, running water in a natural setting; a leaking faucet or someone who leaves the water running while their brushing their teeth makes me gnash mine together at the sound of liquid money swirling down the drain. However, a brook, stream, river, waterfall and even a fountain is like the sweet melodic sounds of Mother Nature singing me to sleep (a bit much?).

For the past six or seven months, I’ve been in the market for a fountain, something to add to the front yard to delight our guests as they approach the front door. Plus, I figured I could open the window in the front room and hear the trickling water waft throughout the house. Target had a fountain I liked. It wasn’t too ornate, quite plain really, and was a single tier fountain, meaning water drained from only one level into the main basin. It was about four feet wide and maybe five feet tall; However, it was also $400! I don’t want to make payments on it, so I searched CraigsList and eBay for comparable fountains that might be much cheaper. I found cheaper ones in the $300 range, but they were gaudy: naked mermaids, pineapples spewing water out of their tops. Plus, all of the fountains I saw were giant, over-dominating concrete structures that the ancient Greeks would marvel.

Since I only have so much space in the area I want to put it (to the north of the porch), I didn’t want something that would look too large, out of place, and become the main focus of the yard. I wanted it somewhat hidden out of sight, something you would hear before you see it. For the past six months, I found nothing that got my attention, nothing in my price range that I wanted to pay, and nothing that I would settle on, except for the one at Target…

Every time I would go there, I’d see it in the corner of the garden section, that $400 price tag mocking me. That is, until last Friday. Taking a pilgrimage to the MotherStore for Matthew’s diapers (each box I hope is the last), I saw the coveted 50-percent-off sale tag on “my” fountain. Of course, I inquired. The price was slashed to $199, and Vince, the garden-supply guy that I always see working the register (he used to work for HomeGrocer.com if that recalls any painful stock purchases) said I could get an additional 10 percent off of that. As well, he’ll scour the back room to see if he could locate any more parts from other fountains, and he returned with an extra water pump, which is nice to have.

I was tickled to get a 50.25 percent discount ($400 marked down to $199) and then get an additional 10 percent off of that. Now I’m not a mathematician, and I don’t consider myself a good shopper, but I think something originally price at $400 and marked down to $179.10 equals a 65.225 percent discount.

And there was a time I was tempted to buy it at full price. But I guess timing is everything, as someone else was taking advantage of the savings too, buying a nice fire pit, originally priced in the $300 range for only $89.00. My advice to you is if you’re looking for something outdoorsy for your house/yard and you see it at Target in March… wait until late August for their end-of-summer sale. It is well worth it.

So, once home, I went to Home Depot and bought some pea gravel and a few concrete blocks, as I wanted it level (gravel) and elevated slightly, about a foot off the ground. It assembled easily and once I plugged it in and leveled out the top tier, it worked like a charm.

What’s left is to plant a ring of bushes around the base to cover up the elevating blocks and I need to wire a new plug so I can get rid of the extension cord that is currently snaking across the porch and doorstep. While I’m doing that, I may hook it up to a timer so it will come on in the morning and go off at night.

For once my usual impatience impulsiveness didn’t get the better of me and I waited until it went on sale, saving a couple hundred bucks!

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