The Report from Days 62 – 295: Moving Date

About a week ago I was given the move in date November 10, 2011; almost one month shy of a year since we broke ground. That’s day 325 for those of you playing at home. There have been lots (and lots!) of “we-can-probably-move-in-around-_______” dates, but never one with actual numbers! In celebration here are some stories and pictures that didn’t make it to posts of their own.

The Septic Field

Day 172

Not terribly exciting, and this is a foggy picture, but impressive to note that it took these guys only two or three days to dig, install and bury the whole deal. That really is a lot of dirt to move. Also, I refuse to live in a house with no indoor plumbing. I’m picky like that.

The Thief

In June we had what are called the “home run” wires, the wires that run from the house to the power company’s box, ripped out. The wires were cut and sold as scrap copper, earning the thief roughly $35-$50 bucks in cash. The cost to us was significantly more than that to buy replacement wire and pay the electrician to rewire the whole downstairs.

Day 212

Ev was mad, mad, mad. At this time we had not heard of any similar crimes in the area so we couldn’t rule out some kind of personal vendetta against us, our electrician, or new construction in general, especially since the huge roll of copper upstairs and all the tools were left untouched. Scary. Even though we weren’t living in the house at the time it was still a kind of violation that you don’t really want experience. Ev bought a motion detector and set it up outside in a pile of cinder blocks so we could have record should it happen again. There wasn’t much else we could do to protect the wires. If we locked the basement door there was a good chance that the glass would simply be smashed and we would have to replace a door or window as well as the wires. I figured once was enough and we didn’t have to worry any more.

I was wrong.

Just after the masons started working we were hit again on July 20, day 212. Ironically it was only that morning that the masons had moved the pile of cinder blocks and the camera without replacing it, so we had no visual proof. Now Ev was furious. The police hadn’t been very helpful the first time, but at least the second time they could tell us that wire stripping had been reported in empty and under-construction houses all over the area. So at least this wasn’t personal.Whew.

Sadly, even if the thief was caught we could get no recompense for his damage since all together he has stolen less than $100 in raw material. The time and money that went into replacing it would not be accounted for. So we bought more wire and the electrician rewired the downstairs for a second time.

As far as I know we are still waiting to see if the builder’s insurance will cover any of the costs.

The Earthquake

August 23, 2011, day 246, a rare magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook NOVA and most of the east coast. It was freaky to be sure, but so little damage resulted that we laughed the whole thing off. A few weeks later Ev found this:

Day 263

It’s hard to see so I’ll just tell you. It’s a crack that runs through our brand new brick from the door all the way to the roof line smack dab in the middle of the front of our house. Looks like we laughed a bit too loud. All brick houses will crack at some point as they settle, we just expected this in about 20 years, not 20 days. Sigh.

We’ve Got the Power

Day 270 brought us power. We waited more than a month for the power company to finish an installation that was supposed to take two days in August. To be fair, I’m sure that there was a lot of work in the middle as they cleaned up from the hurricanes that ravaged the coast, and we would be fine without power in an empty house when others would be hard pressed to cook or fight the late-summer heat. September 16th brought us glorious electricity. Until then we had a generator for the tools, but it wasn’t enough to power tools and the lights needed to work after dark. Now we could really make a dent in all the little jobs after hours.

A few days later I pulled up to see lights on in the house after dark for the first time. It was really starting to look like a home:

Day 274

More Chicken Goodness

Day 62

Way back in Feburary Ev designed and built this, our chicken coop. This coop is designed with a gang plank in the middle to reach the upstairs that can be lifted shut at night. It has a nifty sliding door for checking the two nest boxes. One whole side of the roof hinges for easy cleaning. The chickens use it for sleeping and most of their egg laying, but mostly they prefer to be out and about in the yard during the day. Should we need them to stay in one place we can shut the downstairs door.

Day 195

In early July we moved the chickens over to the new house. Above is a shot of the finished coop, and our handy coop-mover (AKA Granddad’s cart). She slides along the grass without much effort.

Day 284

More chickens in the attic. They really did love being in the house. Now that the floor is more maple hardwood than plywood they are banned! Silly chickens. But we sure do love these:

Day 276

The Garden Again

It really is important to us that we make our house and land work for us. Producing our own food is probably the single biggest step towards sustainability and self-reliance we can make. In fact, as I type I’m enjoying a fritatta made from our own green beans, potatoes and eggs. Next year we plan to expand the garden and possibly incorporate bees and turkeys to our little farmette. We also have water from our well, fuel for the wood stove from the trees, and income from the apartment.

Things are pretty quiet in the garden now while we wait for the fall and winter crops to grow, so here’s a recap.

Just getting started:

Day 105

The Belle enjoys her own special garden box:

Day 135

At midsummer:

Day 198

The very last of my tomatoes for the year:

Day 294

Helping

I’m sure everyone knows how impatient I am to move in (it’s an amazing house and I have a baby due – wouldn’t you be?). But there is very little I can do to help with NoelBaby tagging along; No painting. No roofing. No heavy lifting. Lately though I’ve been puttying nail holes in the trim, helping Ev lay the hardwood by racking (choosing what goes where while he nails), laying the stick-down tiles in the kitchen and mudroom, installing switch plate and electrical outlet covers, and other odds and ends like that. It feels good to be doing at least a small part, and every little bit I do makes the house feel more like my home.

Day 262

Day 304

The Belle helps, too:

Day 304

Hopefully I’m all caught up now on the little bits and pieces that I wanted to share. This has been quite the experience and it’s hard to believe that we’re really in the homestretch now! A funny note, I just realized that NoelBaby is due one year almost to the day that we broke ground. Wouldn’t it be funny if that’s how it works out?

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2 Comments to “The Report from Days 62 – 295: Moving Date”

  1. Beautiful house. Beautiful people. Beautiful life. 🙂

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