I really went in for bookcases (I buy all my bookcases there). Honest. But I kept going back to this oak bench seat. Great size, smaller than the standard. I could also move it by myself (though the sucker must weigh 60 lbs, easy---solid wood, you know). And it was a Great Deal, $129.
So I went home with my prize and cleaned the porch, which had turned into the haven of cobwebs, dirt, and dead throwaway newspapers. (Well, mostly cleaned. There's still a bin full of garden junk in the corner, and a stack of cast iron that I need to deal with.) I rearranged the potted plants, put the bench in a likely spot, made a table out of my tamalero, and suddenly had a very pleasant little place to sit and gaze on my roses and apple trees. (I've been known to sit on the porch steps, some evenings--it's a very pleasant place.) In a moment of inspiration, I strung up the fibre-optic butterfly lights, moving them twice before I settled on a potential spot. After dark, with the porchlight off, the effect is magical, since the glow on the edges of the wings is just enough to give them a moon-moth quality. Today, I plunked some dried hydrangeas into a vase next to the "table" for that extra touch. So, I have fushias on one side (along with some other plants), and a table on the other.
Another throwaway paper had landed on the porch by lunch today. I realized what the porch now needs is a trash bin! I got this great idea. If I decoupage pages from the decorator/linens catalogs onto an old wine box, I can get actual use out the catalogs and box, by creating a creative disposable trash can. When it's full, I take the whole thing out and dump it into the recycle bin, and make a new one. Put the paper recyclables to work on their own disposal, decoratively. What a concept!
So I sat out on my porch a bit, yesterday. When I don't use the bench, Ming has decided it's a great place to play Decorator Cat. Dual duty. I suspect I'm going to get a lot of use out of my new porch haven.