Things Ivan* has found on the street and brought home in the last 5 months:
1) large 15 ft fiberglass boat, which he painted and buried in the yard to function as a giant planter
2) boat mast from same, now acting as flagpole (still need appropriate flag)
3) bed frame, to be assembled into visually-pun-nish "flower bed" in the yard (project as yet unrealized )
4) coffee table (in living room)
5) white upholstered chair (in living room)
6) two other upholstered chairs for outdoor patio/lean-to
7) a baby crib, with panels added so the whole thing serves as our new compost bin
8) concrete thingies that used to be those dividers in parking lots that keep you from driving into the hood of the car across from you- they were broken into 2-3 pieces, and now they serve as steps and pond edges in the yard
9) one beautician's sink, to serve as pond fountain/waterfall. (we also purchased an orange bathroom sink for $1 from a yard sale, also to use as a yard ornament, but it doesn't really count here as it was not free)
10) two shelving units (to use in the garage)
11) driftwood for driftwood fence (project as yet unrealized )
12) this huge old satellite transmitter dish-thing that weighs 100 lbs and I swear looks like skylab crashed into the front lawn
13) futon frame, cut up and plank used to repair park-style bench with rotted planks (bench came with house).
14) 70's style bookshelfy-bed headboard- not yet in use
15) At least 30 antique and non-antique windows in frames, meant for "let's enclose the deck into a greenhouse style addition" project, which is, you guessed it, as yet unrealized.
16) barbeque pit (acquired last night); unsure if meant for art of practical use.
and, honorable mentions
A) a few thousand AOL CDs (I've brought home almost an equal number, I imagine) for the garage project
B) space-age light housing acquired from surplus room of former employer (doesn't belong on above list because not found on street, although it was free) that resembles the "Robot Monster" diving helmet, acquired tonight and placed on pole in yard as ornament.
*and sometimes me if I was there at the time, but usually it's him acting alone
Not that I'm complaining- like I said, I did a fair amount of this myself in the past, though not with the zeal or "This could be a..." eye that Ivan has. And I assuredly would fill the yard with similar decorations if I lived alone, though I have a smaller car and less arm strength and thus, could not have brought home Skylab.
The growing re-occurrence of the "ooh, look, there's a new unexpected weird thing in the yard" has led to a running joke, especially when we're driving around together, that goes something like this:
Ivan: "look! an abandoned Teriyaki restaurant!"
Lara: (mock sternly) "No way. Leave it there!
Ivan: "But honey, it's just sitting there, waiting for someone to make use of it!" (imitates voice) "'Homer, put this in your house!'"
Lara: Nope, not this time.
Ivan (mock disappointed) "Oh-kay, fine. Hey, look- the West Seattle Bridge! and it's just sitting there..."
(repeat joke with old-growth trees, pedestrians, water towers, etc)
I am both excited and fearful of what the yard will look like in a year if we keep up the current pace (and object-size) of acquisition. I also wonder when friends and neighbors will get in on the game, stealthily leaving unwieldy "this could be art, or junk" objects just inside the fence, with Ivan swearing that, while he approves, he wasn't the one who put 57 bowling balls in the yard last night.
Sometimes I really love being a homeowner.