So we are making slow progress with the deck. The lumber was purchased - it's just a matter of finding the time to fix it. I should also confess that we did fix the above ground pool. :-) I know this is a want, not a need, but it turned out we just needed a liner for $400, plus water for $900, and it would have been more of a pain to rebuild that part of the deck. (It's a huge oval above ground built into the deck). I also found a helpful website/forum that advocates using bleach, borax, and baking soda instead of costly chemicals from pool stores. The pool isn't perfect (we did it ourselves) since we were quoted $2500(!) to install the liner- but hopefully will last at least a few years, and provide our entertainment for the summers! It's also nice to jump into it after working on the deck!!
We are also having issues with our water - two tests have come back w/ bacteria, and we were about to purchase a UV light, when I had the Culligan guy over to test our hardness (there is an old Culligan unit from the 80s in the basement), and he asked us if we shocked the well with a full gallon bleach - which we did not - we used only a few quarts. So, we decided to shock it one more time with more bleach - and are praying that this does the trick!! We probably do need to deal w/ the hardness either way, but I'm going to look into other options before buying the 1200 unit Culligan recommended.
The other news is that we think DH has lyme disease. He is finally going to the infectious disease Dr today. His blood tests were negative for lyme, but I'm reading that this is normal, and that he may need a spinal tap to test for it. Scary. So, I put his 2k deductible in the budget, so I don't have to worry about cost. He has many of the symptoms, (tiredness, crabbiness, headaches, body aches, sensitivity to gluten, etc). which are much worse lately (including memory loss), and we think he may have had it for at least a year. He has pulled enough ticks off him over the years - however never had any of the any of the classic symptoms like a bulls eye, but I think I do remember him being sick last year... So who knows.
I really just want to get back to saving our emergency fund! And, we still have half a house to furnish!