Deck redo

Mr. Aitch and I needed to do a major overhaul of our deck.  I don’t remember how long it had been since we really, really, really cleaned it.  Yeah, Mr. Aitch would power wash it every couple of years but it was in pretty sad shape.

Deck-001

So we decided to get to work.

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We cleaned it.

 

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We scrubbed it.  I’m not affiliated with Sherwin Williams.  This stuff is just fantastic for removing old sealer and stain.

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We stripped it.

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We neutralized the stripper.  Don’t I look “neutralized”?

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We stained it.

Post-cap

We replaced the old wooden algae-covered post caps (as seen above) with these sleek copper ones.

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The entire process took about eight days as we had to work around the heat and humidity but it was worth it.

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We are enjoying it.

 

The first thing I did

I retired.  Again.  From the same job I had before.  They wanted/needed me back for a few months so I went back to work a couple of days a week to basically help train a new person.  That’s not exactly what I was hired to do but that’s how it ended up.  So April 28 was my last day as a working-out-of-the-house woman.

The first thing I did when I retired was go visit my grand kids in Colorado.  Mr. Aitch had other obligations so I went solo.

EZL-May-2016

I went to the twins’ school and cheered the girls and their classmates during the Fox Trot fund-raiser.  Their school mascot was there.

Mascot

 

And the students ran laps around the soccer field to raise money for the school.  I offered one dollar per lap for each granddaughter, thinking I’d only be out $20-30 total.  Not so.  It cost me $60 in all!  They ran and ran and ran and ran.

Thats-E

Thats-Z

We planted hanging flowers for the back porch and weeded the raised beds.  Sorry, no pics of those.

I helped my daughter build this.

Coop-cropped

Actually she did most of the building after I left.  I did help with the base and one side.

My trip happened to be over Mother’s Day and my daughter, s-i-l and the grand kids treated me fabulously!

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My SIL made this for Sunday brunch.  Yep, he’s a keeper!

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Can’t wait to go back.

Ants?

I love hummingbirds.  A few years ago I was lucky enough to see a nest in one of the trees in our back yard.  The food is easy to make (one part sugar to four parts water) so why buy it?

HF001

Hummers aren’t the only creatures that like the sweet syrup.  So do ants. They serve a purpose in the big scheme of things but I’m not a fan of ants.  On my hummingbird feeders.

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I’ve used this natural ant repellent for several years and it works great.  Plus it’s cheap.  And harmless.

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These tiny, syrup, sucking insects don’t like ground cinnamon.  So I mix cinnamon (use the cheap stuff) with some petroleum jelly and slather it on the pole about 12-16 inches close to the ground.

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Then I throw/shake extra cinnamon on the mixture on and around the base the pole just so they know it’s there.

I also sprinkle it on the top of my feeder.  The cinnamon/petroleum jelly mixture can also be applied to the top if your feeder is different.

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No more ants on my feeder.

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Of course I replenish the cinnamon as needed when I refill the feeder or if we’ve had a lot of rain or wind.

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Remember to replace the hummingbird food and thoroughly wash the feeder at least once a week even if there is still food in it.  Heat will sour the mixture in a few days. I usually fill my feeder about half way so I don’t waste much food.  I’d rather refill it more often than have sour, cloudy food for those amazing little birds.

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Clean, full feeders make happy hummers.