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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Seriously Shady Thing to Do

Welcome to another episode of 
We Needed One So I Made It Out of Crap We Already Had Theater.
You may recall I recently poured a concrete patio.
You may recall I put in an in-ground umbrella stand to provide shade.
 What I did not share is how many times a good storm turned the 
thing inside out and halfway across the yard.
Maddening. And so not cool.
 So after rooting around the house, I formed an idea.
 One that required marking the exterior wall of my house with
a 10 foot horizontal line 10 feet off the ground.
 One that required masonry bits, 38 feet of clothes line, two PVC
pipes about 2 1/2 feet long, eye bolts, screw hooks, a reasonably tall ladder,
wire scraps, a dog tie out stake, two nine foot discarded wooden drapery rods, 
and the sunshade panel left over from the gazebo.
The Minions and the hubs thought I was nuts,
but that didn't stop me from my evil plan to enjoy 
my mini patio in shaded bliss.
Sam of course came out the minute he saw the ladder.
 You know, because I'm still not "allowed" on a ladder.
 After seeing the roof repair post, and me on said roof, he's afraid to
leave me alone to go to the gym.
 Get caught on film admiring your husband's butt.
 Anyway, mark the wall with your intended locations for the eye bolts.
 Make sure you have proper Feline Overlord supervision.
Someone has to call the paramedics.
 Using a masonry bit slightly smaller than the screw portion of your eye bolt,
put holes in your exterior wall.
What amuses me is that no one ever even questions me around here.
"Go drill holes in the house."
"Sure, Honey!"
Maybe it's because I allow my home to be randomly 
festooned with the wires for their interweb gadgets and what not.
 Insert the eye bolt. It should be a very tight fit.
You'll need a specialized tool and technique to screw it all the way in.
 Okay, fine. Put a screwdriver in and twist.
 Here's a close up.
Savannah likes the zoom on my camera.
 While that's happening, thread the clothesline through the top portion of the tarp.
These sun panels have handy ties on three sides that make them perfect for this purpose.
You're beginning to suspect where I'm going with this, aren't you?
I could not even hazard a guess as to what this is supposed to show,
but I'm keeping it. 
Have a staring contest with some cactus.
Look menacing.
 Actually, this particular tentacle of our Kracken was 
in Samwow's way, so before he could continue with
his portion of the project, it had to go.
 I was mildly disturbed by how much he enjoyed it though.
 I get it, I get it.
You'd like new gloves.
Sam sealed the eye bolts with a little Goop to make any gaps water impervious,
and then went inside to work on the computer with his head phones on.
I was given one more admonishment that I'm still fragile,
stay off the ladder...
 ...which I promptly ignored.
Thread the ends of the clothesline through the eye bolts with
the sun shade hanging between them.
Tie the loose ends of the ties to the eye bolt to keep it in place.
Marvel at how unflattering this camera angle is. 
 At this point, you now have a tan sheet tacked to the side of your house.
I can hear my property value skyrocketing.
 Now thread the clothesline through the ties on the sides.
 I ought to go to one of my neighborhood association meetings just to listen to
 them grouse about me, huh?
 Okay, so far so good.
 Do the same thing on the other side.
The support poles are going to be housed in these lengths of PVC pipe.
We drilled into the wall. and we'll be putting screws on either side.
 Leave enough screw exposed for the next step.
Twist a heavy gauge plastic coated wire around the first screw.
 Then...oh, just look at the pictures.

 Got it?
Sink the pole in.
 We put screw hooks about an inch from the top of both poles.
 The other support will be in this huge pot of rosemary.
 Adjust it until it's perfectly vertical.
 Or close.
 Run the clothesline to the hook for a measure.
 Tie a loop in the line and attach it to the pole.
 Make a total "der" face and slide the tarp over.
 Tie the tie to the hook.
This sucker is staying put.
 Screw your dog tie out stake into the ground about 8 feet out from the pole.
 Attach the clothesline to the stake and pull it tight.
 Make any adjustments and...
We have shade, people!
We also had a storm last night.
Guess what?
This little solution weathered the wind and rain perfectly.
The fact that I no longer choose waterproof fabrics for 
outdoor structures has the added bonus of there being
no water pooled in the top.
I moved my potting bench into the shade as well,
and for absolutely no money, I have another outdoor area we can relax and enjoy.
It's kind of odd what you can do when you use your imagination.
Mine is lethal.


Danni@SiloHillFarm said...

Your imagination is lethal!! That is a very cool idea! My Sam had yet to agree to "drill into the house siding". I'm showing him this!

Michelle L. said...

Yay! Great project - i love your idea for using the dog stake - geeenius!

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Unknown said...

Very cool and innovative idea, And the use of dogs stake is very thoughtful.