This umbrella will be put on Craigslist this evening or tomorrow. It was, in retrospect, an impulse purchase, and is now taking up more than its fair share of room in my little garage. I've met with two new contractors and will get bids from both this week, so the deck project is on. Because of that, I don't need this anymore.
I bought it last summer in an attempt to use my yard more, which faces west and gets uncomfortably hot at that time of year. As it turned out, I think I sat under it less than 5 times all summer. I have considerably higher hopes for a deck, which will also let me just let the dog out to the yard, as opposed to me having to leash her up and take her outside like I do now.
So, live and learn. I paid $350 for it and the dark plastic base that gets filled with water to stabilize the thing. I'll be happy to sell it for $100 (I'd probably take $75 even).
I've also taken pictures of a a few other items that I will also post on Craigslist: a bike trailer that I used to haul Mr W around in when he was a wee lad, a tagalong bike that he used for a summer, and Mr W's old bike, which is in really nice shape, but he's outgrown. If I can sell all of these things, I'll have recouped the investment for my raised beds.
In addition, I got a nice surprise today, in that my dad sent me some money towards plants for the garden - sweet!! Always the unexpected good surprises mean so much to me.