Monday, June 30, 2008

Do Yourself In Project #97: The Sun Screen

A while back, when I was staggering around Home Depot like an extra in Zombie Gardeners 3, Mum got an eyeful of this huge screened-in gazebo thing that was the solution to all the world's problems.

We have this great big section of concrete outside of our house, with southwestern exposure. This means that when I set foot outside my back door, I am unconscious by the time the door slams behind me. As a kid I used to sit there, with the rest of the family, to get some sun. That was around when I began choking on food, but that's another story. Not really.

It was a hot sunny day this day we saw the Home Depot gazebo. Standing inside of it, as it stood inside Home Depot, did not cool me in the slightest. Also, the weight stamped on the box--which was coincidentally my own weight--rather put me off the idea of dragging it back to the car. We asked if it could be delivered to the house, and it could...for a price. Also, the box that weighs the same as me would be deposited on the sidewalk some 50 feet from where it actually needed to be. And it wasn't going to put itself together, either.

We did not get a screened gazebo thing that day.

Now, for some reason my family has purchased about seven light, non-permanent sunshades for the yard over the years rather than actually using all these butch building skills we have. They insist each one will be different...stronger. Each one usually self destructs by October, because you aren't supposed to leave them up the whole damn year. It takes me about fifteen minutes to put these things together, so I can only assume it would take me less time to take one apart for storage. Ah, the arrogance of my's slipping.

Brylane Home sent a catalog to my house. In this catalog, was a screened version of the ol' windsock on legs. In brown. Dark brown. The kind of dark brown that conceals spiders and hell knows what else as you walk through it at night...because you have to walk through it, because it is parked right outside the door of the house and only the cats and dog have the sense to just run directly at the screened panels to get through it rather than finding one of the two zippered "doors" that are made of black screening that you can't really see until you're bouncing off of it.

Of course we got it. It was on sale!

It took me twenty minutes to put together, because the sun was out and I was sort of dead as a result. Bees rushed to the cool shelter of The Sunshade before we even had the Velcro straps adjusted. They're not dumb, those bees. They don't help, either, they just hover, jeering at the humans trying to adjust the crooked seams. A bird flew into it too, and man was he surprised by all that screening! Almost as surprised as I was to have a bird flapping around my head as its friend sat on the roof of the sunshade loudly wondering where his flying companion went. The bird figured it out and flew back around the way it had come in soon enough, and I'm relieved because I've just about had it with worrying about birds this year.

Mum and Nan love the sunshade in all its dark and not-rain-resistant-at-all glory. I have nothing against the sunshade itself as it's a lovely sunshade, but I have the kind of crazy that rejects what I've realized is basically Domo-Kun sitting in between me and my trees. I've taken to saying hello to the bees that gather along the ceiling as I lurch through, and luckily The Puppy does not want to grab the sunshade and run around the yard with it. Because you know who would have to go get it from her and put it back? Yes.

I predict this post will have a follow-up. But never mind that, here's a really nice picture Mum took of The Thing during the day, when it doesn't seem so menacing. Mum loves the sunshade so much she trusted it with her gardening bear. Aww.


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