Fall is on its way. A change in season calls for a change in plans – at least for us. Brian and I are looking forward to switching gears as the summer comes to an end. We’re excited to head into a new season with new goals.
Our autumn reset carries a more calm and purposeful intention than last year. As we’ve recalibrated our budgets and expectations for inflation and personal interest, we’ve leaned into a more simplified lifestyle. The decision to reduce summer travel allowed us to explore fun challenges here at home.
In fact, one big challenge we began about a month ago will continue into the fall: our balcony refresh! Our house features a second-story balcony that spans across the entire front of the house. The original door that led onto the balcony was a half lite with a screen door on the other side. When we bought the house, we knew we’d eventually replace it with a full lite door for more natural light. Well…we did it! For the first time, we replaced an exterior door by ourselves.
We had to accommodate a much larger space between the jamb and stud than we initially thought. What usually takes a few shims, actually took a couple of 3/4-inch blocks! Fully sealed and painted, our new full lite door looks great and really brightens up the room.
The first step to our balcony refresh is complete.
Fall 2022 Goals
Brian and I are inspired and focused as we venture into fall. We can’t wait to get into the rest of our balcony project, along with our other fall goals.
Even though there are plenty of house projects to keep us busy through the year, we’ve chosen two to complete before the end of the fall season.
It genuinely bothers me to own space I do not use. While Brian and I have found small moments to escape onto the balcony, it’s rarely a first thought. The iron railings likely haven’t been touched in 30 years, if not more. Worn and dull, the railings struggle to remain protected as they shed flaky layers of lives previously lived. The old plywood floors peek through peeling paint, bare and vulnerable to moisture and humidity. Rot creeps into the corner edges, slowly encroaching on the rest of the wood.
No matter how often we brush and sweep, the flakes of old paint and rot greet us every time. To step outside is to step into a slow decay. It’s messy, unfulfilling, and sad to see. Especially now that we have a front row seat from the inside out courtesy of our new full lite door. It’s time to enjoy the space we have. It’s time for a change.
Replace balcony door Scrape, sand, and prime iron railings Re-paint iron railings
- Dismantle plywood flooring
- Examine the current condition of joists, fascia, and overall structure
- Replace any structural points if necessary
- Find and acquire AB Marine-Grade Plywood
- Install new plywood, seal, and paint
- Enjoy our updated balcony
We crossed a few things off our list, but still have a ways to go! At first, we thought we could get away with scraping some of the flaky bits off and then repainting. Sure enough, we realized the railing would look WAY better if we sanded it as best we could (shown in the last photo). Don’t worry – we wore our masks!
I am very much looking forward to finishing this project before Halloween. Overlooking the front yard and street with a cup of coffee in hand sounds really nice, especially as the temperatures cool and leaves begin to change color. The biggest concern we have right now is figuring out where to find AB Marine-Grade Plywood. Hopefully, we will be able to track it down soon.
Patch Return Vent
When we had our zoned AC system installed, we walled up most of our old vents on the second floor. We neglected to close the return vent in our bedroom, located right above our bed. It’s time to take care of it! Brian and I have discovered that it’s an access point for annoying critters looking to explore. We aren’t interested in hosting visitors.
Over the course of a weekend, we will remove the vent cover, collapse the vent, and install some new drywall. It’s a good thing we still have some left over bedroom paint from the previous owner!
Brian and I are nixing our lawn service. Our house sits on 0.6 acres, which we’ve partially neglected. The lawn service has gotten us by over the last two years, but we’ve decided that it’s something we can do without.
Invest in a Lawn Mower
We have our eye on the battery-powered Ryobi Dual-Blade Mower. It’s frustrating that the price went up $200 within the last two weeks (hello inflation), but we are keeping tabs on this model in hopes of a sale! The current cost for our lawn service is $60 per visit, which means we are spending $120 a month during the summer. A lawn mower will get us outside and help us feel more personally invested in our own yard.
Clear Ground Cover and Lay Seed
The removal of three trees along our driveway resulted in patchy, lumpy, and weed-infested terrain. What better time to clear out the mess than when we’ve taken over our own lawn maintenance? Brian and I plan to remove the old pine straw and mulch, level the ground, and lay seed for new grass.
As much as we try to remain present from season to season, our days can sometimes run together. The next thing we know, three weeks have gone by in a flash. That’s 21 days. Twenty-one days gone in the blink of an eye.
We are going to make sure we savor this fall season. Our goal is to create measurable moments to enjoy the season. While we haven’t cemented how to measure these moments yet, we at least have them in mind:
- Light bonfires
- Watch scary movies throughout October
- Enjoy a scenic drive
- Take in the changing leaves and crisp air out on our balcony
- Cook and bake seasonal treats
- Carve out more time for leisure reading
Physical, mental, and emotional health affect all corners of our lives. We’re not getting any younger, and I’ve noticed changes as we’ve gotten older. Just like any other piece of machinery, the human body requires careful maintenance and fine-tuning to be in the healthiest state possible.
Drink More Water
I am still pretty awful at staying hydrated. Even though I try to drink a lot of water when I wake up, it’s still not enough to last me through the day. I tend to forget to drink water while I’m busy, and I don’t drink any water while I eat. By the time I get ready for bed, I realize I haven’t had as much water as I should have. I try to drink a good bit before sleep, which ends up causing me to get up throughout the night. Oy. I have to train myself to stay hydrated through the day, so much so that I don’t end up having interrupted sleep at night.
Continue Regular Exercise
Staying active is important to us. We’re currently in the middle of another P90X session. Brian and I have worked through the Classic, Lean, and have even tried some Doubles. We’ve also created our own custom schedule:
Exercising regularly keeps us energized, happy, and feeling accomplished. We look forward to maintaining an active schedule.
Self-reflection and accountability are necessary for growth. In my 35 years, I’ve learned that life doesn’t carry much meaning for me unless I am constantly growing. It’s important to be curious about yourself, what you stand for, what you crash and burn for, and how you get back up again. I truly believe that if I was not growing or no longer had the desire to grow, I’d be a little lost in this world. And not in a good way.
- Check out self-development resources
- Journal more frequently
- Keep on learning…whatever I feel like learning
Hopefully, the commitment to staying hydrated and physically active will help us sleep better! I also think a little light reading and some night journaling might help ease any anxious thoughts. Brian and I are going to create a bedtime routine that works for us to allow for better sleep.
Are You Ready for Fall?
A new season offers a chance to reset. Brian and I are ready to say goodbye to high humidity and daily rainstorms. We are happy to dive into the cooler months, especially since we’re going to be tackling work outside. With hopeful intentions and mindful commitment, we look forward to enjoying fall this year.
What goals would you like to accomplish this season?