Reclaiming My Balcony.

I never got around to replacing the utterly disgusting, ancient, moldy old carpet on my balconies (front and rear) because money. I’ve been a contractor for the last 5 years, so I don’t get paid time off or sick days or…much of anything…so yeah, anything that wasn’t actually leaking or shooting sparks around Ye Olde Condo was just going to have to wait for Someday, when I win the lottery or something.

But since the election (could I be feeling…hope??) I’ve been staring at the disgusting, ancient, moldy old carpet on the balconies and thinking this cannot wait any longer.

Even Ellie can’t believe how disgusting this is. She was only out there while I snapped the pictures for the handyman.

This is truly heinous. I can’t stand it any longer. I haven’t been using the balcony at all, obviously, and now we are at last coming into balcony weather – the heat of summer is finally over, and this balcony is another big chunk of living space that is just going to waste.

It has taken me a long time to decide what I wanted to do about this mess. A lot of the neighbors have opted to tile these spaces, but I’ve seen what their tile looks like after a few years of Florida weather, and yeah, I’d rather spend a lot less on indoor-outdoor carpet with a 5 year warranty. The stuff that is here now has been there for about 40 years, and the new carpet is much higher quality, made from recycled water bottles, and is a pretty dark charcoal color. If I get 5+ years out of it, that’ll be lovely.

So, I bit the bullet, pulled the trigger, took the plunge (why are all of these idioms so violent) and ordered carpet and found a handyman in the neighborhood to install it for me.

This isn’t something I could DIY, because I don’t have the tools, the time or the skills, plus, I have FOUR, count ’em FOUR project calls back to back on Monday, which is when my handyman neighbor will be here, installing the new carpet.

Next step will be ordering some practical, inexpensive folding furniture. I don’t want “real” outdoor furniture because:

1) did I mention my lack of funds; and

2) I’ve been through hurricanes and yeah, I’d like stuff I can just fold and bring inside, so it doesn’t go airborne and go through my sliding glass doors. I’m thinking a couple of decent quality lounge chairs and a small bistro set for morning coffee will do nicely.

I am indecently excited at the idea of getting additional living space and cooler weather to enjoy it. It’s the little things that keep us sane, you know?

November Already? OMG.

My 90 Day Reboot has been…educational…if not entirely successful. I have been much better about taking vitamins, meditating, and attempting to get more consistent sleep. I’ve been fair at saving more money. I’ve failed spectacularly on blogging, yoga, and the general category of “do something creative,” which covers knitting, crocheting, making anything at all. So now it’s November, and I’ve decided to focus on just three of the”fail” categories from my lengthy list of self improvement plans.

I will blog 4x a week in November. I reallyreallyreally want to get my blogging groove back; I don’t know why I lost it, but it’s around somewhere, probably with my knitting mojo. The cat probably hid it under the bed with her collection of catnip mice and used dryer sheets. I have plenty to say, but I generally compose great blog posts while walking the dog or driving to work and can’t remember what I had to say when I get near a keyboard.

I will find my knitting mojo. I inventoried my unfinished projects a month ago and it’s really not as bad as I’d thought. I have a sweater that needs sleeves, two afghans, two mindless yarn eating cocoon style sweaters in progress, one knitted and one crocheted…and that’s about it. I’m a Bad Grandma, I haven’t made anything for my granddaughters in a long time. I’ve decided to remedy that by starting small, with basic hats for the mountain-grown girls. If I pick something small and set a deadline, I’m more likely to follow through, and hopefully the hats will reawaken my love of making things with yarn.

I will get my yoga practice back, even if it’s just 15-20 minutes in the morning. Why do I stop doing things that I not only enjoy, but have tangible benefits? It’s a recurring theme in my life.

The refinance closed and the funds are in the bank. Some of it will pay debt, some will replenish my emergency fund, and the rest will go toward some long overdue home maintenance, like replacing the ancient and disgusting indoor-outdoor carpet on the condo balconies, and the not as ancient but damn near as gross carpet in the house.

My condo has an oddly shaped but deep balcony in front and an 8 x 16 or so screened balcony in back. The existing carpet has needed replacing for years, it was in bad shape when I bought this place and now it’s truly heinous, and so moldy it’s probably a health hazard. The balconies are great additional living space that is totally wasted because it’s just so gross out there. I don’t even have furniture out there, it’s just sad, empty, and gross.

Disgusting, isn’t it?

I’ve thought about my flooring options and my budget, and I think I’m just going to replace the ancient and gross carpet with fresh new carpet in a dark charcoal gray. I thought about tile for a hot minute but the installation cost is just not in my budget. It took a very long time for the existing carpet to deteriorate to this heinous state, and the new brands of indoor-outdoor are much better and more durable. The one I’m thinking of is actually made from recycled water bottles, and that’s pretty cool. Add some cheap, cheerful furniture and a few big plants, and it’ll make a lovely knitting spot this winter. Because yes, this is Florida – balconies are used in the winter, not the summer. It has just “cooled off” to 82 degrees (from the mid-90s) in the last few days.

Improvement, home and other, continues.