A couple years ago, I bought some paint to coat my deck. I wasn’t thrilled with the color, but the last time I had waterproofed the wood, it looked pretty when I finished — and didn’t last the winter.

Well, the paint barely lasted two winters and it has been peeling. So this is the year I’m going to have to remove the remaining paint. I purchased a 5-gallon bucket of waterproofing stain, so I need to get that done before the hot heat of the summer hits.

There was a time I could have just easily replaced the wood with new, treated wood. But if you go to the hardware store, the price of a 2-by-4 will set you back over $6 each. To understand how expensive that is, I used to get three 2-by-4s for a little over that amount. So I don’t even want to begin to imagine what the price of decking wood now costs.

It’s also time for me to work on my yard. A friend let me have a bunch of brick pavers, which I want to use to do the little piece of land between my front sidewalk and my neighbor’s service walk. I need a new handyman since the one I normally use passed away in January. So if you have somebody you can recommend, feel free to email me.

I also need to work in the front yard. Yes, I keep it cut, but it’s not as pretty and lush a lawn as I’d like to see. I found two good things at the resale store to help me with the lawn. First is a device I can add to my drill that will till and cultivate small areas. I planted some ground covering that I thought I liked, but now in retrospect I hate the smell of it. Worst is that it sends roots all throughout the yard, which is going to be hard to kill. But I’m on a mission to get rid of it.

I bought two beautiful hydrangeas at Aldi’s. I’m going to go ahead and start hardening them off and plant them outdoors. Should we have a cold spell, I’ll just cover the planter with a plastic bag at night which will help keep the plant from frost if it should get that cold. I also saved the flower heads from my zinnias from last year. Growing flowers from seed is one of the easiest things to do. It normally involves spreading the seed on the ground and sprinkling a little dirt over it. I can’t wait to spread those seeds all throughout my front yard to create a beautiful landscape of color once they begin to flower.

Lastly, it is time for me to begin to work on my vegetable garden area in the backyard. I normally grow tomatoes, green peppers and cucumbers. Last year I even grew watermelon. I needed one more month of growing time for the watermelon to fully ripen. This year I’m going to start my plant from seed in a small pot and then transplant it after May 15.

I’ll keep you folks updated.