After several days of painful health problems and a pretty mopey afternoon, I went to Ikea and bought a new patio chair. My old patio chairs were covered with beautiful purple canvas, and although they were gorgeous and comfy, they were requiring a lot of maintenance before I'd actually enjoy sitting in them (I'm talking a good hour with the vacuum, which would then have to be cleaned afterwards). This makes me sound clinically insane, but bear in mind that this is Phoenix, land of dust. Those who know how much I enjoy the vacuum know this ceremony didn't happen very often, and it was driving me crazy because part of what sold me on this townhouse was the balcony.
The balcony is sunny in the morning (when one might want to go outside with a good book or the New York Times Book Review and a cup of tea) and shady in the afternoon (when one might sit and surf the internet with an Italian soda or a glass of wine). It overlooks a pond that is full of fish and attracts lots of chirpy little birds. Growing up from the patio on my ground floor is a very pretty trumpet vine that attracts curious and friendly hummingbirds. The balcony even gets stellar reception from my wireless network.
So I finally decided that I needed a lower-maintenance deck chair, and Ikea had some that didn't inspire hysterical laughter or cruel and unusual punishment of sales clerks. I should really have two deck chairs, but I had a Sophie's choice moment at Ikea. I could buy the deck chair that I really wanted and the ottoman that would clearly be fundamental to my future deck chair bliss. Or I could buy two sub-optimal deck chairs and no ottoman. I totted up in my head the number of times anyone has actually sat with me on the patio and made my choice. It's much easier to blog with your feet up.