Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Our Shangri-La is back up and ready for the rest of the summer / fall. =)

 
We have had a 10x10 metal Gazebo on our 14x12 rear wooden deck for 5 years now (we picked up the Gazebo from Aldi for $79 at that time). My mother absolutely loved this deck/Gazebo during the last 2 years she lived with us before she passed away, and she would have coffee or tea on the deck many mornings while it was nice out (or during the rain as it was dry under it). It enhanced her calm and it does the same for Penny now regarding her battle with Cancer.
 
We call it Shangri-La.
 
We have 2 grills (a 6 burner gas grill and a charcoal kettle), a storage/sitting bench, table with 3 chairs, surrounding red/white/blue rope light, Penny's Garden plants (tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers), and a stone water feature which makes for a very enjoyable comfortable / blissful place to relax.
 
Unfortunately, during that time... we keep on going through the canopies (they are made thin and are easily damaged by wind / weather). If you look around suburbia, many people have these gazebos and many are just shells as people cannot find the correct canopy replacements. This year, I could not find a replacement canopy that fit no matter where I went or looked (we got one on clearance from Target 4 months ago and it said 10x10 but was actually 11x11 so we had to take it back after trying to install it as it was truly too big).
 
I finally found another one on clearance on Target.com and we took a chance (and the price was right - they usually are $50 to $99 and we got it half off... thank God for a credit card to make it possible). It arrived yesterday and I was feeling good enough to try to put it on today. Well, the top tier barely fit (but with elbow grease, it did), and the rest of the canopy was too long at the ends by 2 inches. So, I made lemonade out of lemons and used plastic ties to tighten each corner so it was tight as a drum. The fabric is better than the ones we've had previously, so hopefully we will be able to keep this one for at least 2 years.    
 
Here it is again in its full glory (seen from the kitchen).
 All is dry under the canopy (while it is raining).
 
The bench.

The storage / sitting bench and water feature. A temporary gate was put up for the dogs (I will be making a gate this weekend).

I am paying a price for getting up on the 5 step ladder to put the canopy up, but it was worth it (Penny and I enjoyed a few minutes this evening sipping on smoothies with the trickling water dancing in the background).

We don't need a campground to escape to, we have our backyard and Shangri-La to enjoy instead without leaving home. =)

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