The Finishing Touches

Before we start today, let’s play a game called “reveal your mental dysfunctions to the world.”  It’ll be fun.  It’s nice to know how nutty other people are so you can feel good about where you’re at on the crazy scale.  I’ll go first.


1 – I have a sizable fear of Home Depot.  More specifically, I’m quite sure that it’s not safe to have all that heavy stuff stacked way up high, and I’m also sure that I’ll be in Home Depot when there’s an earthquake.  It’s an unfortunate affliction, because this is almost the only store that I regularly visit – sometimes 5 or more times a week depending on the type of job I’m working on.  So if you see me there and I’m dodging about, eyes bugged out, hands covering my head like I’m running through a mine field, now you know why.  Probably best not to stop for a chit chat.


2 – While I love avocados, I cannot look at an avocado pit without thinking about choking on it.  It gives me the heebie jeebies, big time.  I have zero idea how this mental illness came to be.  Even thinking about them as I type this gives me a swirling fright.


3 – I have a REM sleep disorder that causes me to do things like dive out of bed, pick through my girlfriend’s hair to figure out if she’s a gorilla, and yell obscene things regarding the need to exit the building ASAP.  It’s sort of the pits.  Just when you think you’re settling in for a nice, restful sleep, things get all kooky and ridiculous.


Your turn!


Other things on deck:

Today’s song.  Don’t you find her captivating?

Things I’ve asked the Google this morning:

“Who is Sean Hannity?”  (no thanks)

“Should I be watching Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ‘Cosmos‘?”  (for sure, right?)

“What’s up with the new Michael Jackson album?” (I think I’ll pass)

“Am I truly a millennial?”  (yes, but very nearly the oldest of the old millennials)


Alright, here’s the big unveiling you’ve all been waiting for!  Here’s what’s happened since the last post on this gem:

*I added the 10′ diameter ceiling tarp.  I thought I could get away with securing only half of the grommets to the circular tube, but tarps are floppy and it would have looked a little sad that way.  So I secured 4 of the 13 grommets by drilling eye bolts through the tube and then used 3/16″ wire cable and cable clamps to connect the two points.  For the other 9 connections I just used the cable and cable clamps because drilling gets old.  In other words, 4 connection points are fixed and 9 are able to slide back and forth a bit (but not too much).


shade final 5

Next I added the essential west-side curtain.  I ended up going to Harbor Freight because they sell affordable canvas drop cloths (and affordable everything else).  The thing I discovered about this store is that everything is seemingly sprayed with some kind of horrible petroleum/BPA/pesticide mist.  Right?  I needed a gas mask just to do my shopping.  The canvas smells super bad, and it gave me hives after 5 minutes of messing with it (I had to install grommets so it could be hung as a curtain).  Maybe consider another source for this material.  Anyway, this one is 9×12 and it covers about 1/3 of the perimeter, which is perfect for now.  As it gets hotter I may add another one for all-day shade.

shade final 2

shade final 3

Then I installed some grommets at the bottom of the cloth and secured them with tent stakes because the wind was crazy-makin’ yesterday afternoon.  This way we can enjoy the shade without having the cancer cloth swirling around our faces.

shade final 1

After the sun went down, I tied up the cloth so we could watch the bats and enjoy the evening air.  I think it will have a longer life if it stays tied up when not in use, don’t you think?  Either way I’m sure our summer sun will chew it up with no hesitation, maybe even in one season, but for now it’s working great.  If you have thoughts on more durable fabric options, let me know.

shade final 4

Alright, time to build your own!  We’re coming up on the upper 90s this weekend, so prepare accordingly.  Send me a picture when you finish, I would love to see how you do it.

P.S.  Thanks for all the awesome messages yesterday regarding the big switch.  It’s scary to plunge into something new!  So it’s nice to have a few words of encouragement.

  1. We have used our trampoline in a similar way for our children’s play fort and we used fabric shower curtains instead of the drop cloth. They too only last about 1 year, but they are inexpensive (around $9 at Walmart) and are waterproof (and you can get them in cute patterns/colors if you so choose). I’d also suggest spraying it down with ScotchGard Heavy Duty Water Shield to help it maintain it’s integrity during rain (we live near the coast and get a lot of rain showers). Hope these tips help!

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