So, my husband, Jeff, and I have a knack for coming up with (sometimes crazy, sometimes stupid) ideas and then needing to act on them immediately. Like yesterday. We were finishing a lovely walk on the 606 (Chicago's newest elevated pathway that we like so much that we run/bike/walk on it daily) when we decided to discuss shade on our roof deck. Now, this isn't a foreign topic of conversation for us. In fact, we've literally spent hours doing internet researching and discussing possibilities, like triangle sails or fabric woven through the slats of the pergola, each time ending up defeated because we feel like it won't work / will look dumb / is too expensive. We even went so far as to buy a patio umbrella and stand last summer only to open it for about 5 seconds on the deck and discover it wouldn't stand a chance in Chicago's unrelenting wind. Nonetheless, Jeff brought up shade again today. And the next 5 hours of our day were gone in a poof (but ended in success!).
Success, that is, after going to 4 different stores, nearly killing each other (or at least ending up divorced) at Home Depot (I hated his ideas, he hated my ideas, and being on the verge of hangry didn't help), driving over an hour through not-so-nice areas of Chicago, and buying a grand total of TWO umbrellas (the first one was another reject after being deemed too wobbly after being open for 5 seconds--don't manufacturers test for these kinds of things?!).
Anyways, the final contraption is an "umbrella stand tower" consisting of 2 regular cinder blocks and 3 half-sized ones (I didn't know they existed!) with the umbrella suspended in white marble stones that were poured down the empty 'chute' of the stacked blocks. Did I mention this is a roof deck? Meaning 4 flights of stairs above the ground. Jeff certainly wins the award for carrying the cinder blocks and stones all the way up (although I pitched in for the last staircase!). It was a team effort and now we're thrilled to have shade on our deck and love the look of the cobalt umbrella with our orange chaise cushions even more. Plus, how cute is it with two potted plants nestled in the open cinder blocks?!
Hi! I'm the creator of Pot Belly Bird, hailing from Spokane, WA. Here in my blog, I'll tell you about all the fun stuff I'm up to in addition to making cards, like cooking or biking or gardening!