Sunday, August 2, 2009

Update from the Hot Desert

We are enjoying a little break of under 115 degree weather. It seems so balmy. Our outdoor bathtub has been our little dipping pool. But we realized we needed to shade it when I couldn't even put my feet in the water because it was too hot! So Stephen got a really cheap "gazebo" (I am using the quotes on purpose) to shade our tub. We assembled it that night. Next day was great, cool water all day. Then that night there was a windstorm just before sundown. Even though we pegged it into the ground, it flew up and crashed into the mesquite tree. The cover was surprisingly strong, only a few little holes, but the metal frame bent in a couple of places. After the storm, we put it back with some improvements, using the rope provided in the package, we tied the legs down as well as pegging them and included a couple of tires for balast. Next day, whoops. Now more metal is bent. The connecting roof tarp and the side stitching is coming apart. So we wedged one leg under the tub (cast iron with enameling, not going anywhere) and attached a coffee can filled with concrete to it. The north leg we left down (more shade in the late afternoon and weighed down with tires. The east and south legs are tied to tires and wedged with heavy branches. But because of the bent metal the top connectors keep coming apart, but that is easy to do during the many times we go out there just to pour cool water over ourselves so we can return to the little 12 volt fans in the bedroom and be our own personal water coolers. Today (2 weeks after purchase and original setup) we found all our tie downs broken and the whole "gazebo" upturned and heading for the mesquite tree again. I thought the dogs might have gotten tangled in it somehow, but when we went to retie the ropes they came apart in our hands! So evidently this fabulous outdoor convenience is only supposed to last a couple of weeks because the tie down ropes have begun to self destruct. I wish Stephen had remembered to put batteries in his camera, mine is still packed somewhere in a box. Also one day I was just sitting on the tub enjoying the breeze and shade and my feet in cool water and I spotted a tiny lizard on a branch near the ground. I was in the middle of telling it how cute it was when a gopher snake came out of the bushes and grabbed it and disappeared into the weeds. Well, there went a couple of mis assumptions, 1 snakes eat lizards! 2 snakes hunt in the hottest part of the day if there is shade! More to come.

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