Made In The Shade

August 24, 2015




Everywhere you look, people are proclaiming that summer is over. Whoa, I say, not so fast. As a former kindergarten teacher, I am very well acquainted with the calendar and each season's birthday. Fall does not arrive until the 23rd of September, people. We still have a full month of fun in the sun left and I for one am ready to take advantage of every last drop.

Ok, well, maybe not literally. I'm a shade seeking girl by nature. I may have Mediterranean blood, but I don't have the skin. I sunburn almost immediately. I'm also not a fan of age spots or the crow's feet I get from squinting either.

I prefer to cover up and hide from a direct hit.

Yes. Like a vampire.

Unfortunately, our yard gets full sun all day, so if I want to enjoy some time outdoors, I need an umbrella. We actually have three. One is on our patio, it's part of the table set. The other two are in the pool area, but that space is tight, so we had to get creative.

If we didn't want to compromise the square footage that we were using for tables, or pay for pricey bases, we had to think of another way to make the umbrellas work. Thankfully, my very creative hubby had an idea, using these.


They are cheap, stainless steel U-bolts from the hardware store. They are super cheap and since they are stainless, they can be exposed to the elements, year after year, without rusting or rotting.



He attached the umbrella pole to the fence post.


He just secured one on the top and one on the bottom of the fence and cut off the extra with a saw.


Then, he used a file to get rid of the sharp edges and voila. All done.


Now I have two places to seek shelter around the pool when I need a little shade. This is our new addition.


This umbrella has been here for years, proof that this method stands the test of time. We leave the pole bolted to the fence all winter long and just bring the top portion of the umbrellas inside. 

Yes, yes, I know, we could've painted the bolts, but we're lazy like that and we can't paint the threads or we'd never be able to remove the bolts if necessary. With the garden in bloom (and my eyes closed enjoying the great outdoors) I never even notice them.

I just know that I can comfortably enjoy my backyard without bursting into flames.

It's a nice feeling.

PS- Did you notice the very conspicuous lack of pumpkins in the this post? 


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76 comments:

  1. CLever indeed! No, summer is definitely not over, not when I'm planning on a big birthday party outside for my little one! ;-)

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    1. Oh no, not over yet! Wishing you sunny days and a fabulous birthday for that delicious baby! :)

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  2. You. Have. Seen. Pumpkins. In. Posts????? Oh good grief no. -chuckle-

    This in-between season is a Joy, in itself. To be savored. To be swirled around, on the tongue, like fine wine. To be drunk in.

    Yessssss....

    Ahhhh, and smart hubbies are worth a million. :-))))))

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    1. So right, Tessa…worth a million!! :)

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  3. Hi,I came upon your blog visiting Cozy Little House.Have to say,love this idea for our deck.Our glass patio table has no holes and it's hot like the dickens out there.Very little dining/lounging going on so far.We moved here last September and miss our former veranda very much.I intend to scoop an umbrella asap and implement this very cost effective,smart idea.Thank you so much for sharing it.Bye the way,no pumpkins or fall décor are to be found here yet either.Tee-hee.Regards,D.

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    1. So glad you came by for a visit!! It makes me happy to hear that you were able to find some inspiration...and no pumpkins! Yet!! ;-)

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  4. Great solution, Kim! I so agree about summer! Here in Texas, we are probably looking at two more months of summer weather! I taught too, before my kids and when I homeschooled we always started after Labor Day!

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    1. I know that once Labor Day hits and the kids return to school, it will start to feel like fall, but I am a summer girl through and through! :)

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  5. Hi Kim, This is a great idea and looks fabulous. Great job and such a space saver for the deck. You are so right, we have another month or more for us here in Texas before fall. But after the triple digit temps, I am ready for cooler temps even if it is still summer. Your outdoor space is so inviting.
    Have a great day. Hugs, cm

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    1. Thank you, CelestinaMarie! It has been hot here, too, but last winter it snowed from November to April and the temps rarely hit 20 degrees. I thought spring would never come. I am not ready for the change of season just yet. I swear my toes are still defrosting!! I am holding on to hot for as long as I can! ;)

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  6. I can always keep up with fall because most years, the first day is on my birthday! I think it is a great time to start the fall solstice, but my pumpkins and fall decor usually go out September 1st....LOL. Girl, I'm the same way! I'm probably one of the few Italians who burns easily in the sun! And like you, I'm always looking for shade! I love these U-bolts. The hubster swears by them because they are so versatile and hold a fair amount of weight! I think the umbrella looks great and you don't always have to paint something to match! :-)

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    1. I thought that was supposed to be one of the benefits of being Italian, Benita…a good tan!! My mom is Albanian and is dark skinned the moment she steps into the sun. Not me. I look like a lobster after a trip to the mailbox!!

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  7. Great idea!! Your home is so beautiful and welcoming - I love all the use of color (RED! My favorite!!)

    I have to hide from the sun also....I have 3 umbrellas on my deck so I can enjoy my time out there!

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    1. Kindred spirits for sure, Debbie!!

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  8. There you go being smart again. :)

    It's still summer here. I would love to be one bringing out the pumpkins and fall but nope! not happening.

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    1. It’s coming soon enough!! I love pumpkins, just not the snow that usually follows them. ;-)

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  9. I agree!! Summer is not over at all and I won't get into Fall or decorating for it till October 1st. If it is warm then, then I call it Indian Summer....still Summer! Love your hubby's idea for the umbrella! I too have Mediterranean blood and very sensitive skin. I wear 50 sunscreen all summer long. Enjoy the rest of it!

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    1. 50 sunscreen AnnMarie and a big hat!! ;-)

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  10. Hi Kim,
    Love this idea and I am with you summer is not over just yet. I am a big summer girl so I am savoring every day we can get. Have a great new week.
    Kris

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    1. I’ve always been a summer girl, too and I’m still thawing out from that dreadful winter, Kris!! I’m not ready for fall! :)

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  11. Very clever, Kim. I'm not ready for fall, but cooler temps would be a nice change. My garden would also like a reprieve. '-)

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    1. I do agree Sarah, my garden needs a reprieve as well!

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  12. Very clever to attach to the umbrella to the fence! I am totally on board with you re. summer. I am already seeing some bloggers post about fall and pumpkins, blah blah blah. I don't like rushing seasons (OK, except winter) and like to live in the moment. Especially here in northern IL where summer just isn't long enough for my liking. Though also like you, I can't be in the direct sun for long...I am very fair, plus my mom has had skin cancer. I wear sunscreen, of course. Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks Melanie. That is all my husband...I dream things up and he makes them happen. Summer is not long enough for my liking either and winter seems to last forever, but I am trying to enjoy all the moments of the seasons. They go by too quickly without me wishing them away!

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  13. It's been in the "50's" here and windy, so feels like Fall . . . but heat is supposed to hit again soon! Great idea here, Kim>

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    1. 50’s??? Oh Cheryl no! I can’t listen to those numbers yet! ;-)

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  14. I love this!!! I'm a shade girl, too, even at the lake. I wish we had a deck---this is so smart!

    I agree we all tend to rush the seasons a bit. Sadly, we're rushing the years of our lives when we do that. I can live with heat and humidity---it's life!!!

    Jane x

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    1. I'm with you, Jane...no rushing the seasons!! And I'll have to try to remember that this winter! ;)

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  15. Kim, very clever, my friend, and perfect for a sun-loving, sunny spirited gal, like yourself!

    Poppy

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    1. Thanks Poppy! I am a sun loving girl! I think I would do well in Greece. Canadian winters? Not so much! ;)

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  16. Great job! Great idea! And hey! Noticed your husband has very nice hands! Ha!

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    1. I'll pass the compliment along, Cindy! ;-)

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  17. Isn't nice to have a handy hubby? I have one myself and there's nothing like it. ;) Thanks for leaving out the pumpkins and talk of fall weather. Enjoy!

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    1. It is nice to have a handy hubby, Kristi! It sure makes a lot of projects possible! Gotta love those guys. ;-)

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  18. Another clever idea and LOL no normal person would paint the bolts, would they? :)

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  19. I am not ready for fall yet either. I think we've moved from arranging our lives by nature's calendar(agriculture) to a business (profit) calendar.

    I love your creative idea! It looks beautiful, so easy to to take down for the winter & without the base you have less to store.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. We do like the umbrella idea. It’s been quite useful…and yes, the Halloween candy on sale at my local store is just wrong. I am still in float and bbq mode!!

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  20. Great idea, perfect sun block . . .
    Never would have thought . . . paint the hooks!
    Did we talk about this . . . I used to teach kindergarten too!

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    1. No! Kindergarten!! It was my favorite grade to teach. I didn’t know that, Lynne! ;)

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  21. I love it, I love it! My boys were just complaining about the very thing. We had temps in the 100's and my boys needed some more water balloons to enjoy August Summer Fun, right! We went to 4 different stores. All of the Summer outdoor fun stuff that you need to enjoy 100 degree days had been replaced by PUMPKINS and HALLOWEEN CANDY!! My boys yelled " IT IS STILL SUMMER PEOPLE" after the 4th strike out.

    Let us keep SUMMER alive until September 23rd. :-)
    And I love your umbrella idea. :-)))

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    1. Thanks Carla...and yes!! We went looking for new pool tubes, as ours popped, and we were unable to find them in any local store. There were plenty of pumpkins and shelves lined with Halloween candy, but not one tube. We had to order from Amazon!!! Ugh. Your boys are right...it is still summer, people! ;)

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  22. That's a great idea! Those umbrella bases do take up a lot of space, plus they can be very expensive. We only have one umbrella & it sits in a hole in the center of our table.....it should have a base to keep it more upright, but we don't mind the slight leaning effect....it's interesting!

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    1. Thanks Carol. This one was all the handy hubs' idea!!

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  23. Great solution. I am not ready for fall yet either. We have had a few cool nights but I am hoping that is just a teaser.

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    1. Our forecast is for the low 90's the next days, Lorri. I think summer is still hanging on!

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  24. Hi Kim, wow what a great idea for the umbrella and you saved money too without getting the base and hubby fixed it for you too. Your hubby wins the gold prize! Lol.
    Wishing you a wonderful day.
    Julie xo

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    1. Thanks Julie. I will pass your words along...and I agree!!

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  25. Such a great idea! You are right, I don't think August is the new"fall" either. My goodness, I live in Wisconsin and it was 90 last week. Ironically, it's only 65 today, but 78 is predicted for tomorrow. Love fall, but I can wait a few more weeks for sure. Enjoy that umbrella! Jane

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    1. Thanks Jane! Yes, it’s supposed to be in the 90’s here all next week. That is definitely not fall weather! :)

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  26. Hi Kim, I'm with you. It has been entirely too hot this summer and I am gritting my teeth not to wish it away. After looking back over the years and realizing how fast they have gone, I told myself that I wouldn't wish any time away ever again. I just mentioned that there was a nice feeling of fall in the air, that didn't mean I wanted it to come any sooner. I like your idea of making it comfortable in no matter what weather and you have done a beautiful job with the umbrellas. The colors are so pretty and I love your patio set..Keep cool!..Judy

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    1. Hi Judy. I am not a fan of wishing the days away either. I am afraid that I am guilty of that in the winter. I will have to try harder to just be in those cold, dark days. Thanks for all the sweet comments about my patio, we do like it...it's a really old set, but it's still functioning and looks ok. It's a keeper! ;)

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  27. KIM! HELLO!

    You and the man really get things right. This is brilliant and simple! I truly believe some of the most genius solutions are simple and you got one here. PERFECT! Yes, our weather played a trick on us yesterday and this morning. It got downright COLD and today was windy but gorgeous. Our trees are however, turning YELLOW and RED! So, they need to look at the calendar!

    Thank you sweet friend for coming to visit my post. School has started so I have to figure out how I'll manage my social media and work! AHHAHAH Have a great night. Anita

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    1. Hello Anita, my friend, how good of you to visit!! Those sneaky trees, changing already? I am hoping that ours stay green for a bit longer. School starts for us next week, the kids are ready for French class! We were speaking a bit of it today in the pool, in anticipation. I hope their eagerness continues once the homework starts! ;)

      I wish you a fabulous year with your students and I always look forward to reading your posts and seeing your gorgeous photos go by on Instagram. I’ll take whatever social media you can manage!

      Happy weekend!

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  28. I am so ready for fall, but mostly because I'm so tired of this humidity, ha! :) Very clever idea for securing the umbrella to the fence! And it looks so neatly done! ...voted for you in the blog contest! Best of luck! ...thanks for popping in for a visit! ~Rhonda

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    1. Thanks for the vote and the visit Rhonda! The humidity part of summer is not my favorite, I hear you loud and clear, but I actually prefer to the dark gray days of winter....but I am not in the south. I am sure that kind of humidity is brutal!

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  29. I already voted for you. I tried to vote again just because you don't have any pumpkins but they wouldn't let me...

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    1. Ha! Wendy, I love it! You just made my smile and giggle with your comment!!

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  30. Hi Kim, This is a great solution! No sign of Summer ending here in Florida with temps in the mid 90s.
    xx,
    Sherry

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  31. Kim that is a great idea ... and of course a great colour !

    We've had a lot of rain in my part of the UK and could do with a few sunnier days - maybe we may get some over the weekend?

    Take Care

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hi Jan! I wish you a sunny weekend! :)

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  32. Lol. I gather this post may in part be inspired by my posts....

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    1. Haha! No! The weather turns on its own and it's right to honor it, I am just not ready to let go of summer until the very last moment!! :)

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  33. Kim, this is such a clever idea! I am still embracing summer, but a pumpkin did sneak into my home. I am blaming it on Instagram. A group of gals are hosting #showusyourfall. I could resist and did one vignette in my entry. The rest of my home screams summer! lol! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Instagram and Pinterest are troublemakers aren’t they? I have pinned and liked so many pumpkins in the last week, I can’t even count, but that’s ok…they are my virtual decorations! ;-)

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  34. Well, since it is 100° here, this post is VERY timely!!! and I for one appreciate the no pumpkin policy :^) It is TOO hot for me to shop the even hotter shed!! You and your hubby are smart pumpkins though!! Good idea on the umbrella......
    I did manage an all sunflower deco for the back gate, and will put up some late summer sunflower flags this weekend.....but NO PUMPKINS!!
    Blessings to you,
    J

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    1. Sunflowers are perfect late summer decor, J! I bet they look great, you are the smart pumpkin now! ;-)

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  35. Hey Kim - what a great idea to bolt your umbrella to the railing! I have neither a porch nor patio to do such to... but someday I hope to! And I love to have some shade while enjoying the great outdoors, and your pool area is splendid - perfect way to enjoy the sun without being in it! And... no pumpkins for me either... mine are still green anyway on the vine, heehee! :)

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    1. You get extra points for growing your own!! :) Amazing!

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  36. Hi Kim! :)
    What a great idea! This is way better than a stand because it holds the umbrella steady in place, the stands tend to rock the umbrella in the wind! I am so doing this! Thank you for sharing!
    Kimberley

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    1. Thanks Kimberley! It actually does stay perfectly in place, you are right. No tipping or moving at all!

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  37. Great idea!~ Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

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  38. Great solution, Kim! Those umbrellas won't be going anywhere!

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    1. That’s for sure, Kimberly! Over the years we’ve had some a few pop up squalls complete with wind and hail and they have stayed put. That’s way better than having to fish them out of the pool!! Not my kind of swim!! ;-)

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