Getting Sun the Hard Way

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 7 Comments

We’re having a heat wave here in Kentucky. Upper 90’s and all those crazy heat index numbers the weather people came up to make us feel miserable in the summer the way we do in the winter when they start spouting wind chill temperatures. It’s never just whatever temperature the thermometer says anymore.

I could have used some of that chill from these pictures yesterday as I was putting sealant and stain on my decks. Somebody asked me to post a picture of my decks, but I didn’t do a before and after picture. Plus, you all might see where I didn’t do such a bang up job if I post pictures. But it suits me and maybe I’ll dress it up with flowers and take a picture yet. But first we’ll just head back to winter and let all that snow make us think cold.

I was determined to clean and put sealer on my deck after I met my last writing deadline. That was the first of June, but then I had several guest posts and interviews to complete to get the word out about my September release, These Healing Hills. There’s always something to do that I have to admit is more appealing than scrubbing mildew off wood and smearing on sealant. But it needed doing. We had a man out to give us an estimate on doing the decks last fall but his price was eye-opening high. I can paint, I said. I’ll do it, I said. When I finish my book, I said.

Sometimes a person says too much!! But anyway, off we went to the hardware store to buy all the necessary do-it-yourself things. I got rollers and brushes and a very heavy five gallon bucket of sealant. My husband, still recovering from gallbladder surgery, wasn’t sure he should lift it. All I can say is that it’s a good thing I carry weights when I walk. Just call me Muscle Ann. You might make that sore muscles Ann. πŸ™‚

We bought that supposedly “no scrubbing necessary” deck cleaner. Maybe if your deck was the next thing to new or if you sprayed it on thick enough that might be true. Anyway, we sprayed and I scrubbed. The planks looked better, but… So Saturday, I sprayed on more deck cleaner and scrubbed some more. I ran out of deck cleaner before I ran out of deck. So I used white vinegar on the remaining boards. Worked like a charm and didn’t assassinate my flowers and grass the way the deck cleaner did. The decks looked much cleaner. Not perfectly clean by any means, but much better.

Yesterday, my granddaughter came out and helped me paint all the railing. We have a lot of railing. She would have loved to have some of this snow to cool her off. It was hot! Sweat dripping from your forehead kind of hot. I told her it would look like we just got back from the beach – except for the paint on our hands. But we got it done and then just before dark last night I got the back deck’s floor sealed. Now we’re replacing some of the planks that aren’t in good shape. I guess I should have waited until that happened to paint, but there was that promise I made about doing the deck when I finished my book. Sometimes you have to keep promises to yourself. Well, maybe all the time you should keep promises to yourself. But maybe you should be careful what you promise!

Hope the memory of this snow from the winter of 2015 will cool you off in this summer heat. Oh, and if you ever need a deck cleaned and sealed, don’t call me. I’m hanging up my deck cleaning scrub brush. At least for a while. Well, that will be true until I have to stain the new planks we used to replace some planks that were in a sorry state.

But first I have edits to do on my summer of 2018 book.Β  I think I’ll share about book covers come Sunday. Does that sound interesting?

Thanks, as always, for reading. Have you ever cleaned and sealed a deck? Did you need some refreshing snow to recuperate? At least the memory of snow.


Comments 7

  1. Karen Jones

    I’ve never cleaned our decks but I’ve watched my husband. 😊 The only cleaner I’ve seen him use is diluted bleach. Some bleach, mostly water. Living on the MS Gulf Coast I have no snow pictures to cool me down, but I’m saving yours for the next time. 😊 I’ll have to tell him about the vinegar–straight or diluted and did you have to scrub? No scrubbing with bleach water. Living on the water along with high humidity we are plagued with mildew! After Katrina all we had left were studs and no ceilings. He sprayed the whole structure with bleach water to kill the mold before we started to restore our home.
    I’m glad you’re giving up deck cleaning! I think you have enough on your plate keeping up with deadlines. 😊😝😊

    1. Post
      Ann H Gabhart

      I’m just getting too old for all that work, Karen! The deck cleaner we bought had some kind of bleach in it. It took the color out of the shirt I was wearing when it splashed on it. I had to scrub with the deck cleaner in places but that might have been because the deck was so bad. With the white vinegar, that I used undiluted, I did have to scrub but no worse than the deck cleaner. And it didn’t kill the grass and my flowers the way the deck cleaner did on the front deck. My daughter used some kind of formula with the vinegar, but I couldn’t find that online. I just found a video of the lady pouring the vinegar on and then scrubbing. She did the same thing with baking soda, but I didn’t try soda. I can imagine how quickly your decks mildew being in that humid area close to water. I hope your husband hadn’t just cleaned the deck when Katrina blew it away.

      1. Karen Jones

        Believe it or not, our decks survived! Probably because my husband helped build them! We have no grass under our decks so none to kill! 😊 I’m with you on the age—we’ve been married 57 years! Thank you for all your wonderful books and emails! 😊

  2. Lou Annne Panning

    NO! Never cleaned a wooden deck, we have brick patio…I like the moss growing in between the bricks. You can convince yourself of these things. But we did remove moldy stuff from cedar siding, not fun not doing it again. I agree with you regarding weather reports. We get just too thing open the back door and step outside. Glad you deck is done!

    1. Post
      Ann H Gabhart

      Well, not exactly done, Lou Anne. We discovered boards that needed replacing. So, some of those boards I scrubbed and then painted are being pulled up and new boards put down. I’ll have to stain and seal those when the wood dries out. Sigh.

      But I definitely agree, that moss between bricks is lovely. Oh, and I may step outside in a bit and take a walk even in this terrible heat index weather. πŸ™‚

  3. Lisa Bragg

    It was hot yesterday! I am glad you got most of the work done! My husband and I went through your town yesterday and we went to Shakertown( made me want to reread your Shaker books,I think I will!!)…I had never been there before and we loved it! We also went to ride the Dixie Belle paddle boat. We had a hot day but at least we were doing leisure activities, not working.You can keep the snow covered deck for a while though.I will take Summer over Winter.I hate being cold. Have a good week Ann!

    1. Post
      Ann H Gabhart

      What fun, Lisa! I hope you waved as you went by. And yes, you definitely should give some of my Shaker books a try. You might like the stories. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Shakertown, but I’m planning another trip soon. I’ve ridden the Dixie Belle several times. Always lovely on the river.

      Hope you are doing all right and winter is a little way away. The snow covered deck was the only deck picture I had and I thought it would cool us down just looking at all that snow. Either that or make us glad it’s still summer.

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