The Details Of Finding Our New Home

Initial Entry -

First of all, most of you know that Rocky and I had always intended on retiring to this area after we purchased our property on the French Broad River from my nephew and his wife back in 2005. That was our dream and our plan. Well, sometimes plans change...

After relocating to Brevard and renting a house big enough for all "my stuff" and "settling in" for a period, we began the quest for a floor plan for our home to be built on our home site. To assist me, we had come up with our complete "wish list" which included vaulted ceilings, skylights, ceiling fans, large open kitchen, open floorplan for the main living area, formal diningroom, large master bedroom and bath, full basement with half bath, two-car garage and large deck. I struggled with this as we were intending to go with a modular construction in order to save both time and money and most of the designs were not flexible enough to give us the features we wanted. Once I found a design that, with only minor modifications, could "work" we contacted the manufacturer who put us in touch with the local builder who would do the final assembly and finish work. We asked him to set up some viewings of existing homes he had done of this construction in the Asheville area and he agreed. Unfortunately, at about this same time, Rocky had her unfortunate incident and we got delayed a few months.

Once Rocky was well enough to travel we contacted the local builder to set up the viewings again and he promised to arrange those and we set a date to meet. That date came and we failed to hear from him so we called and he said to come on by and he'd show us some houses. That turned into our being driven by several plain, rectangular houses he had done but no interior tours were available. We then requested to meet with the manufacturer representative to discuss options and alternatives available and he agreed to that as well. We set a date to all meet and discuss my floorplans. That date came and went without any contact from the builder and with it went any plans to deal with the builder.

This left us to consider the alternatives of contacting a local builder to discuss a custom- built home (more expensive and stressful) and looking at existing homes in the area for one we might find suitable, if not exactly where we had intended on living. We decided to start looking at existing homes while we were selecting a builder to contact. This decision led us through weeks of looking at listings, driving by houses in areas we would never consider due to either neighborhood, distance from Brevard or mountainous terrain, and doing walk-throughs of houses needing serious attention to update their way out of the 70's. In all it was a pretty depressing experience. At least our agent was friendly and helpful!

By this time, our rental lease was almost up and we were no closer to finding a builder or place to settle that we were when we arrived last year. We were depressed and just a little distraught. I admitted to Rocky that I didn't think we were going to "live the dream" we had intended and might have to bite the bitter pill and lower our expectations to match reality. I was scared and feeling a bit like a failure by this time. Then I made the same admission to my God, in earnest, and asked that if there was a plan, it would be revealed to me so that I could comply. What followed is detailed below.

Sunday, May 31 1:00pm

- Rocky and I are comiserating and decide we should look at the house for sale that is located immediately above our property in Windover Farms to see what features are found in houses in that price range (just a bit out of our "comfort zone"). It is listed as only a two bedroom but we figure it must be two large bedrooms because of the size of the home. We have viewed the gallery of pictures and it looks nice but not exceptional. I email our agent to schedule a viewing of the house.

Monday, June 1 11:00am

- Our agent responds that he's scheduled a walkthrough for Tuesday afternoon at the house in Windover Farms and we agree to meet him at his office first to do some paperwork he needs for regulation compliance.

Monday, June 1 10:00pm

- I am looking at the MLS listing page our agent sent and notice a link for a virtual tour of the house and view it. I go immediately to Rocky and say "I think we're in trouble with the viewing tomorrow." I take her to the office and have her watch the tour - she agrees; we could be in trouble. The house looks far better than the gallery pictures. I spend a very restless night, finally getting to sleep about 4:00am after another viewing of the video and making lists of things to check/ask the next day...

Tuesday, June 2 2:00pm

- The hours creep by. Finally, we meet our agent at his office and go over the necessary paperwork to bind him as our buyers agent and review the regulations for home purchases in NC, etc. and then leave in a light rain to look at the house in Windover Farms.

The rain stops as we approach Windover Farms and drive up the hill, above our property, to the house on Hillcrest Circle. Surprisingly, there are cars in the driveway and people moving around in the driveway. The current owners (who we have already met at the homeowners association meeting last October) are donating large items to the High School and the loading is just completing so we exchange pleasantries and enter the house - we are in trouble for sure...

The light is streaming through the skylights which are in the large living area as well as the kitchen itself) onto the hardwood floors. The kitchen is essentially part of the living area too as it is an open floor plan which includes the kitchen and small dining area with the rest of the great room. The wood-burning, stone fireplace includes built-in air blowers to send help the heat radiate into the room. Many of the kitchen appliances have been updated since the home was built in 1989 by the current owners. While not the optimal choices, the cabinets are bright and clean and will work nicely until such time as the countertops get replaced. There is no immediate need for that as the countertops are in excellent condition - just a little plain.

The home is a dual master bedroom design with each bedroom having its own bathroom. Not shown in the video are the full, walk-in closets off both of the bedrooms, providing ample closet space for each. The guest bath also connects with the laundry area which creates a walkway from the great room to the guest bath. There is a side area to the great room, leading to the open stairway to the downstairs which will house the HDTV and would provide a nice "stage area" for house concert settings.

Both bedrooms and the great room are walled with sliders leading onto the "rear" porch which extends the full length of the house and presents the year-round view of the surrounding mountains - and our property below. There are bird feeders galore and the yard contains a small Japanese Maple tree - one of Rocky's favorites!

We then proceed down the wide stairway to the "unfinished" basement. To the left, at the foot of the stairs, is the "hobby room" which measures approximately 16x22 and has two high windows for ambient light in addition to the recessed lighting in the finished ceiling. This is destined to become our combined office space along with a couch with fold-out bed in case our visitor list expands.

To the right of the stairwell is a small room containing the water tank and storage space; metal storage racks are already present here. Down a short hallway is the entrance to the remaining basement space which is unobstructed by any support pillars, making it large enough for a pool table/ping pong table at some point in the future. Rocky notices there is also a connection for a stove in the wall which exits in the fireplace above. This would make it simple to install a free-standing, pot-bellied stove (or other heating unit) in the basement at some later date. Just off the open area is another full bath as well. Light enters from the two high windows at the southern side of the open area where a side exit takes you up concrete stairs to the breezeway between the house and the 2-car garage.

The garage itself is very neat (probably because it has already been cleaned of most of the unwanted items by the owners) and was recently painted inside. It currently houses their car and the lawn maintenance equipment which includes an older Honda rider mower, a gasoline hand mower, weed-whacker and leaf blower along with miscellaneous gardening tools. There is about 5 feet of clearance on either side of garage door, providing more than enough space for storage racks and/or work benches.

The gardens are already planted with tomatos, squash, peppers and who knows what else. We got more than a little distracted by the magnificent view the increased elevation provides. We think we could be very happy here!!!

The owners return and we have a nice chat, during which they indicate they already have a new home awaiting them in the Flat Rock golf community and "could be out pretty quickly". They tell us they are leaving shortly to see family in the Chicago area and we tell them we hope they have a good trip as we prepare to leave; they are very nice people and we enjoy talking with them. On the way to the car we tell our agent that we are interested in seeing more information on the house as we really liked it. He indicates there is additional information he can access and provide along with any comparitive pricing for the house valuation.

Tuesday, June 2 5:36pm

- Not wanting to appear to be too eager, I send our agent an email with our cell phone numbers and a note that reminds him that we really liked the house. I subtley ask if he can suggest a mortgage broker we might want to talk to (nudge, nudge...) as well.

Wednesday, June 3 1:27am

- Yes, that was AM. Not much luck in getting to sleep that night so I sent off another email asking our agent if he could get numbers for their average utility bills over the last year - these would be valuable in determining worst-case scenarios as last summer was one of the hottest on record and the last winter was the coldest one in a long time. I figured if I was up I might as well be making work for someone else too!

Wednesday, June 3 12:31pm

- Our agent sends copies of the current owner's utility bills for the last 3 years along with a copy of the home inspection done when the house was first listed last July. The electric bills were incredibly low while the propane bill seemed to be higher that we had expected (we have since assumed that they like being warm - really warm). The inspection found only 2 minor items, both of which have been subsequently repaired. Our agent tells us the comparative price data should be ready later that afternoon - now we're really starting to sweat!

Wednesday, June 3 2:05pm

- Our agent sends the only comparative sales even close to matching the features of the Hillcrest house (which is difficult because of only having two bedrooms but all the other higher-end features). Some are higher, others lower but none really close to exact matches. Best guesses are that it is worth at least close to the asking price even in today's market. We all feel that the only reason it is still on the market is because of only having two bedrooms which causes it to be eliminated by any search criteria having 3 or more bedrooms. Good for us, I say...

That seals it for us and we tell our agent we want to extend an offer and set up an appointment at his office for the following morning at 11:00am to do the formal paperwork. He says he will inform their agent that an offer is being prepared and another sleepless night follows...

Thursday, June 4 11:00am

- We meet at our agent's office and do the formal offer paperwork which is ready around 12:15 for submission to the owner's agent. We return home and prepare ourselves for the dreaded "negotiations" to begin...

Thursday, June 4 3:00pm

- We have to appear at the court house to try to challenge the proposed valuation of our property in Windover Farms as they are saying it is now worth 66% more than it was when we bought it in 2005. I present our case and we return home and call our agent to let him know we are back at the house and available. He says he was waiting for us to just swing by as the owners have made a counter-offer of little more than our initial offer. My initial reaction is to simply split the difference and ask for the lawn equipment to be left but Rocky and I discuss it and come to the conclusion that these are nice people who have probably made their honest, best offer in an attempt to close the deal before they leave the next morning on a vacation to see family and friends "up North". We call our agent and tell him to accept their counter-offer if they agree to leave the lawn maintenance equipment and any of the metal shelving in the basement that they have no need for. And then we wait...

Thursday, June 4 3:30pm

- Our agent calls and tells us we just bought a house!!! He also asks if it is all right with us if the owners leave their exercise equipment in the basement as they have no need for it in their new home. We readily agree and head to his office.

Thursday, June 4 4:30pm

- The papers are all signed with the new numbers and contingencies and we leave to give the good news to my sister and brother-in-law who have been left completely in the dark until now. We also allow ourselves to inform the rest of the family and our closest friends - which would be ... YOU!!!

Thursday, June 4 7:30pm

- We meet with our landlords to request a 1-month extension of our rental lease. It's bad timing for them but they were pretty receptive anyway, considering all that has transpired this year. They asked for time to talk it over and that was fine with us. Onward and upward!

Friday, June 5 9:30am

- The search for a mortgage begins ... Good timing, huh?!!! Just weeks after rates hit their nadir (and begin to rebound strongly) we enter the market. Be that as it may, we contact our local bank and a broker recommended by our agent and the search begins. Both parties come up with similar estimates by the end of the day but the broker suggests that we wait until early next week to check the rates as they usually increase on Fridays and drop again on Tuesday through Thursday. "OK", we say, and settle in for perhaps our last "free" weekend before the packing storm begins. We both take a deep breath...

Sunday, June 7 2:30pm

- I can't stand to just sit still so I begin packing up the DVDs and CDs to get them ready for transportation to the new house (whenever). I complete this task about 7:30pm and call it quits for the night (for the most part). Both bookcases used to hold the DVDs and CDs are now empty and can be moved out of the basement into the garage where they can sit until they are moved into their new location in the new house.

Monday, June 8 10:30am

- Jerry Brown, the builder who built the house back in 1989 returns my call and we chat about what I'd like to have done prior to our occupying the house. This is primarily finishing out the "hobby" room downstairs which will become our joint office and overflow guest room using the fold-out sofa bed (which our friends have told us is very comfortable). Part of the finishing process would include constructing a hanging clothes closet and adjoining data closet for the computers and associated equipment which would provide a third bedroom when it is time to sell the house (many, many years from now...). A choice of flooring will need to be discussed as well. We'll probably have him estimate doing the drywall in the rest of the basement too, as it might make more sense to have it all done at once - prior to our arrival. Jerry tells me he is going to be in Windover Farms this week and agrees to meet us tomorrow morning when we are there to do our room measurements. Should be interesting...

Monday, June 8 11:50am

- The mortgage broker calls to report his findings on available rates that eliminate virtually all the closing costs; it doesn't sound like the rates have dropped over the weekend but they haven't headed skyward yet either. Rocky and I talk it over and decide to have him lock the rate in now to hedge our bets. He gives us a list of all the data he will need to collect from us and we set up a meeting for tomorrow after Rocky's 3-month follow-up appointment with her neuro-surgeon.

Monday, June 8 4:15pm

- I stop by our insurance agent's office and give them all the information on the new house so they can put together an estimate for the homeowner's policy. They will need the appraisal in order to do this but can start with the information I can provide for now. I make a mental note to ask our realtor how the appraisal is going and when it is scheduled to take place...

Tuesday, June 9 10:00pm

- We meet our real estate agent and the original builder at the house along with my sister and brother-in-law. While the others go through the house sight-seeing and checking fixtures and appliances in detail, the builder and I go downstairs to discuss what we'd like to do with the "hobby" room before we actually move in (if possible). None of the items are very complex but there are several issues to be addressed like refitting the ceiling tile supports once the walls are framed, insulated and covered with drywall. The dimensions change on every side and that requires changes to the ceiling perimiter. The addition of heat vents is almost a non-issue compared to the ceiling. The floor is ready for any type of covering we choose and there is no electrical wiring changes required so at least that won't be a problem. It will be interesting to see the estimate - I doubt it will be as cheap as I hope. I just hope it's not out of the ball park altogether.

Once Jerry has all the dimensions and requirements for the room collected we rejoin the others and I go about measuring the wall space so we can begin furniture placement. There is really more wall space than I remember and both walk-in closest measure 6' x 8' in floor space, providing more than enough room for both clothes and some storage of items.

In the kitchen, the alcove for the refrigerator measures about 36" x 70" which should be enough for a decent sized refrigerator; there is a stand-up freezer (which is being left with the house) in the basement so between the two we should have plenty of freezer space! The dishwasher appears to be in fine working condition as well.

We finally disperse around 11:30 and head home to get ready for Rocky's doctor's appointment in the afternoon. Everyone is smiling...

Tuesday, June 9 3:15pm

- Rocky has her follow-up appointment with Dr. Silver who indicates that things are not yet completely healed up but good progress has been made and he's happy with that. We make arrangements for a follow-up in 3 months and head out to meet the mortgage broker in Hendersonville.

Tuesday, June 9 4:45pm

- We meet with the mortgage broker who tells us that we are locked into the rate we discussed yesterday and that the rates went up by about .350 within an hour after we locked - good timing (for once). They already ran the credit report and rating checks and we passed easily (as we thought we would) so there seemed to be no obstacles to acquiring the mortgage with no pre-payment penalties attached. Let the signing and initialling begin!!!! Just before my hand started to cramp we were done and headed home after a very eventful and productive day; now we enter the "hurry up and wait" phase of the project. Mind if I pack while you wait?

Wednesday, June 10 4:45pm

- The home inspector calls and Rocky gives him the list of items we want checked closely like the septic system, the water system, the gas furnace, the wood structures (for termites) and the presence of radon gas above minimal levels. He'll be doing the radon and furnace and will arrange for the other inspections to be done quickly. Back to the packing process...

Friday, June 12 12:45pm

- The mortgage broker calls to remind us that we need to provide a copy of the cancelled earnest money check and copies of our original Social Security cards (new requirement imposed due to the Patriot Act). What a difference from the way mortgages were almost handed out, willy-nilly, a few years ago... Rocky had already obtained the copy of the cancelled check was stopping by the safety deposit box later today for the Social Security cards. Progress is still being made!

Monday, June 15 10:55am

- I receive a call from the gentleman who is to do the septic system inspection tomorrow. He is asking the location of the tank, which I cannot give to him because all I know is that it is in the front yard somewhere. I tell him our realtor's name and that is all he needs to obtain the information and access to the house. Nice to know the inspection process is, well, in process.

Monday, June 15 3:30pm

- I fax copies of our SS cards and the cancelled earnest money check to our mortgage broker. One more item off our list.

Tuesday, June 16 10:15am

- We get our first cost overrun. It seems that the access to the septic tank is not just below the surface of the lawn; it is four feet under the surface and must be excavated in order to pump the tank for the inspection. That will be an extra $100 - which we authorize and move forward...

Tuesday, June 16 12:55am

- Our mortgage broker calls and says there are move items the mortgagor is sure to ask for before the closing so he is emailing a list of item to be faxed to him in preparation for loan approval. One of the items is copies of our last two statements for each of our investment and bank accounts. All pages, regardless of their content, must be included. I figure that will be around 70 pages which makes faxing them a little pricey (at $1/page from the local UPS store) so I arrange to make the copies and then deliver them to his office - this works for him so it works for me too.

Wednesday, June 17 2:20pm

- Our mortgage broker calls to ask how the copies are going and we chat about the how the approval process is going as well. He sees no issues but warns me that the process is somewhat backed up due to all the refinancing that is occurring and having to be worked by the reduced staff of all the lenders. Internally, I prepare myself for a longer wait than I had hoped...

Friday, June 19 12:10pm

- I get a call from our mortgage broker saying he is in the Hendersonville office if we want to drop off the copies of our financial statements and sign the appraisal authorization forms. He also says we should be receiving a copy of the appraisal in the mail soon and to send him a copy when it arrives. I agree to meet with him later on.

Friday, June 19 3:40pm

- We mett with the broker who tell us that he has received a copy of the appraisal which came in above our purchase price (yeah for us) and things look like they might be able to set a closing date as early as next week! Now things are starting to move more quickly. The only missing piece of information is the homeowner's insurance provider. We tell him that will be Brevard Insurance Agency, though we have yet to commit to their agreement. A quick call to them and we are headed back to their office in Brevard.

Friday, June 19 4:45pm

- We meet with Melissa who enters all our information on the house and cars and provides us with additional options for insuring specific items on individual rider policies. We leave the effective date open until we know the actual closing date, for now...

Friday, June 19 6:40pm

- I send email to the mortgage broker telling him he can contact Melissa for a copy of the insurance certificate and to our real estate agent asking how the inspections are going since we may be able to close early. Our agent responds that the inspections are going smoothly but that the seller's agent has indicated they do not want to close early. We are really eager to begin moving the garage and basement items so maybe some negotiation of this process will yeild the result we want - I remain optimistic/hopefull that a positive solution can be reached...

Saturday, June 20 2:40pm

- Rocky finds an email from the inspector on the radon readings for the new house (Transylvania County has the highest readings in the state of NC) and it reports that the readings in the basement (where I will be spending a great deal of my time) are right at 12.0! The EPA has set the acceptable level at 2.0 and the initial warning level at 4.0! As it turns out, radon gas (radioactive) is the number two cause of lung cancer in the United States so now we have something we really need to deal with - at least it's something that can be corrected, given enough time/money/effort. And the saga continues...

Monday, June 22 3:10pm

- Our realtor calls to discuss our questions about the inspection results on the house. He tells us that the termite inspection has arrived and gives the house a clean bill of health. The septic and water inspections should arrive at any point and he is following up on them. He also reports that he passed along the radon results to the seller's agent and they are having the problem taken care of next Monday - nice people and a pleasure dealing with them when we are both seeking the best solution. Sort of restores you faith in humanity. They are still debating the closing date and access details but should have a response this week. Things continue to move forward, which is a GOOD thing!!!

Tuesday, June 23 10:20am

- Our realtor calls to say that the current owners are uncomfortable with our moving items into the house prior to closing due to insurance liability issues. However, they have a moving date of July 10th and are willing to close on the 9th with the provision they are not required to vacate before the 10th. Sounds like a reasonable compromise to us so we give our approval and can now finalize the insurance and settle our moving plans.

Tuesday, June 23 1:43pm

- Our realtor called again to report that he had spoken to the water system inspector and was told there is no "tag" on the well describing water supply delivery rate, etc.. Wells are normally tagged when they are drilled to give this information to assist in future trouble-shooting and sale but, for some reason, is not present on this one. We have asked our realtor to ask the sellers/sellers agent if there has ever been a problem with water supply or delivery. (One of the improvements listed in the home description was the replacement of the water pump in 2004 - which would be 15 years old if it had never been replaced before.) The sellers appear to have been perfectly candid so far as to existing conditions so there is no reason we feel they would knowingly withhold information at this point. Just call me crazy...

I was also informed that the inspection/service call for the propane odor in the basement would be done on July 2nd and that might be a good time to show up to meet with the sellers to discuss all the "care and feeding" issues for the lawn, gardens and house. If it won't be too many people, we'll take the Jacksons with us since they will be visiting at that time; it would be very propitious timing, to say the least!

Tuesday, June 23 2:30pm

- I received email from our realtor that the seller's agent indicated the status of the well had been questioned before and she was able to say with confidence that there had never been any issues with the well. I'm going to believe them since we have no particular reason not to, based on their responsiveness and candor thus far. More good news!

Thursday, June 25 9:58am

- We receive a copy of the appraisal via email which includes the properties used for comparitive analysis. From these properties it looks like we got a great deal! One more "Yippee!" for us! The appraiser does note that a correction of the street name will be required on the documents.

Friday, June 26 10:00am

- I call the local builder to ask how the estimate for finishing the basement office in the new house is coming; he tells me he has just received the last of the subcontractor estimates and he will email me the final estimate either tonight or in the morning. This should be interesting...

Thursday, June 25 11:58am

- Our mortgage broker calls and informs us that we are approved to close so we can do it at any time. We decide that around 10:00am on July 9th will be a fine time to close. He agrees to get back to me with the exact time and location once the arrangements are finalized.

Thursday, June 25 1:15pm

- Rocky and I go to our local bank to deposit a check from our Florida bank and are informed that a 11-business-day hold will be placed on it (which is past our tentative closing date)! I might have been less irritated had I not done the analysis and programming of financial systems for some 6 year for our mid-town Manhattan clients back in the late 70's. While not taking my frustration out on the teller, I guaranteed her that her bank would get the money into their clearinghouse account (where it would begin to earn interest for the bank) within 24 hours and that, surely some arrangement to shorten the hold period could be reached since we had been customers of the bank for almost a year. She politely informed me that the bank's policy was set and not deviation was permitted. We thanked her and left...

Thursday, June 25 1:58pm

- We receive an email confirming our closing will be at 10:00am on July 9th, 2009 at the attorney's office in Hendersonville, NC. Time to Rock 'n Roll kiddies!!!

Friday, June 26 7:50am

- I receive and read the builder's estimate for the finishing of the office in the new house; it is very detailed and about what I expected but not what either Rocky or I was hoping for. Rocky and I agree to study it in detail before we respond to the builder and thank him for his thoroughness and transparency of costs.

Friday, June 26 9:15am

- I call the senior customer relations person at our local bank to discuss their 11-day hold policy and am told that while they used to be able to call the bank of origin to determine the availability of funds in order to shorten the hold period, that policy has since been obsoleted in favor of a standard hold policy of a rediculously long period. (I'm now thinking more than ever that we should have let the banks fail on their own rather than bailing them out so that they can continue to abuse their depositors...) In any case, she says she will double-check with the branch manager to see if there is any way to shorten the hold period.

Friday, June 26 9:45am

- Rocky and I run through our list of options to make our fund available by the closing date. The only certain plan would be to go to the closest branch of our Florida bank (Washington Mutual, now Chase) which is somewhere in Georgia (3 hour's drive, one way) and submit a wire transfer request in person. We investigate the possibility of depositing our check in one of my relatives accounts (longer customer history) and them having a bank draft issued - no go there either. We finally decide to bite the bullet, simply deposit the check and delay the closing until the funds are available. Rocky heads out to accomplish this item.

Friday, June 26 11:00am

- Rocky calls me from the bank to say they have called our Florida bank and verified the availability of the funds but they are still unable to shorten the hold period. Rocky is waiting for a call from someone in the Georgia office to see if there is any way to create a wire transfer over the phone. I tell her to relax and go with the flow - worst case, we delay the closing.

Friday, June 26 11:45am

- Rocky shows up at the Blueridge Bakery (where a few of us "folkies" play each Friday morning) and tells me that the Georgia office finally returned her call but they cannot accept phone orders for wire transfers. So she went ahead and simply deposited the check in our account here and, low and behold, since the Florida bank is also in the Southeast banking region (probably using the same clearing house distribution system as the bank here), the hold period is only 6 business days! And it seems no one in the branch was aware of this - it only came up after the deposit was made. They could have saved a lot of anguish and ill will by knowing their own banking procedures. But we are happy since it means there won't be an issue accessing the funds and we don't need to delay the closing. Onward!

Saturday, June 27 11:00am

- Frank and Anne pick us up to go to the pool at Connestee Falls for the birthday party for "the twins" (Frank, Jr. and Stephanie's twin 6-year-old girls); we decide to give the house issues a rest for the day. Heavy sigh...

Thursday, July 2 1:30pm

- We meet the heating & cooling inspector at the new house with our dear friends Mike & Sandy Jackson in tow. While I accompany the inspector, Rocky, Mike, Sandy and our realtor chat with the current owners upstairs. Later, I get the opportunity to measure the refrigerator "alcove' in the cabinets again (35 5/8" wide) and I get the guided tour of the various water filters, air filters and floor maintenance items from the owner - lots to remember so I take notes on the list of questions I brought with me. We also tour the grounds and he points out the boundary markers, stack of firewood and compost bins that they have built. By 3:00pm I am sufficiently overloaded with information and additional items I need to research. We thank them for graciously sharing their time and information and head back to the rental house.

Thursday, July 2 5:30pm

- We visit the local Lowe's for the refrigerator selection process. I have described what is involved if we need to move the end cabinets in order to fit the new refrigerator and have left the selection process up to Rocky. The basic problem is that the "standard" widths of refrigerators are 33" and 36". There is some variance among models but those are the two numbers that appear most often. Rocky loops through the three aisles of available models checking widths and features for several laps until it becomes obvious to me that there is some form of analytical overload taking place. She seems to be honing in on a smaller model that, for some reason, is almost as expensive as the top-of-the-line larger model that we have already excluded from our selection process. We have a short "confab" regarding the options and possible changes we'd have to make for one of the wider models and finally decide to go with the model we originally looked at and liked the best over a week ago. It's stated width is 35.5" (which should fit, but probably won't) and it has all the features Rocky is looking for (except the blue-light, digital read-out in the door and the progressive lighting in the interior sections). It should work out fine and it is in stock and eligible for the 20% discount in effect for the July 4th sale. A good choice and one I think we will be very happy with. We schedule deliver for July 22nd which should give us plenty of time to have a water line tap put in and run to the refrigerator alcove for the ice maker (the other item on the "refrigerator" list needing attention). So we should be good to go - we head out to dinner!

Monday, July 6 2:30pm

- Rocky contacts the local mover who sets up an appointment for tomorrow at 1:00pm to view the house contents and give an estimate for moving to the new house. Rocky and I start packing up the kitchen items that won't be necessary between now and then...

Tuesday, July 7 9:45am

- I notify Allstate that we are cancelling our auto policy as of July 9, 2009 due to its being combined with our homeowner's policy. They are very polite and request only that we stop by to sign a form to that effect before the 9th.

Tuesday, July 7 12:45pm

- Randy Owen, the local mover arrives and looks over what (may) need to be moved. He sees no problem in getting it done in a single day for a fairly reasonable rate. Since he works by the hour, the more I get moved beforehand, the cheaper it will be for us. We mutually select July 28th as the move date at 8:30 in the morning.

Tuesday, July 7 1:45pm

- The mortgage broker calls with the final amount due at closing. Not a horribly big number but still pretty scary... Rocky checks the bank account and we see that the wire transfer has not yet been posted; I'll give them until 5:00pm before I begin to get concerned. Way too many other things to get done in the mean time...

Tuesday, July 7 3:45pm

- I begin the great carpeting search for the office to be placed in the existing "hobby room" of the new house. We have decided that a Berber weave would work best with the traffic it will receive. The room measures 22' x 17' so it will need approximately 42 square yards of carpet to cover it. I spend about 30 minutes in Carpet & More and decide that Rocky will need to look at some of the samples to let me have a better idea of what she is looking for.

Tuesday, July 7 4:45pm

- We stop by the insurance agent's office and finalize the automobile insurance issues, leaving her with the year's premium.

Tuesday, July 7 7:00pm

- We go to Lowe's to establish a baseline on carpet prices and find that the prices are not much different than those at Carpet & More; that could work either way for us, as we have only a little time to get this done. Tomorrow we will go back to Carpet & More so that Rocky can look through their selection. We may need to look at commercial-grade carpeting if we can't find anything we really like and can afford in the home sections. The large area rug for the livingroom will probably be searched for after the closing on Thursday and a Asheville store "Rug & Home" that specializes in them (and advertises deep discounts). So much to do and so little time to have it done...

Wednesday, July 8 11:00am

- Rocky and I visit Carpet & More to look at the Berber selections and manage to agree on a design within 30 minutes - how does that happen? No, she was not standing like a deer in the headlights and neither was I. We just browsed through what they had and both liked one particular color and texture. More good news - it is available for shipment as soon as the measurements are taken. The salesperson said she can go out and take the measurements at any time so now we are trying to set up a time that the current owners can let her in for ten minutes of measuring. A message was left on their answering device so we are hopefull that they are only out on a short errand, but time will tell.

Wednesday, July 8 3:00pm

- We go to the bank and have a certified check made out for the closing balance for the house without incident. They were very helpful and pleasant to deal with - I consider this an omen ...

Wednesday, July 8 4:00pm

- I get a call from the current owners of the house who have been shuttling belongings between houses all day and just arrived back. They indicate that after the closing tomorrow morning, they have no problem with my entering the house for whatever purpose. I leave a message for the carpet sales person that I will call her tomorrow afternoon to arrange a time to meet at the house and take measurements. A little research on the web tells me that Rug & Home is not the place to look for a carpet for the living area (17' x 12') and that it will most likely have to be custom-made. Oh well...

Thursday, July 9 8:36am

- We're preparing to take off to Hendersonville to meet with the attorney and close on the new house. While the weather is gloomy it cannot dampen our spirits or diminish or joy that we have been so blessed in our health and search for our new home. It's a great day to be alive...

Thursday, July 9 11:15am

- We initial our last page and sign our last signature. shake hands with the attorney and exit proud owners of our new home in Windover Farms!!!

Thursday, July 9 11:45am

- We stop by the race shop and unload the race car from the trailer (where it has been sitting for almost 6 weeks waiting to have the faulty seal replaced from when the transmission was rebuilt) and move it into the shop - maybe now that it is spewing transmission grease on THEIR floor it will get fixed! Off we go, trailer in tow, back to the rental house in Brevard.

Thursday, July 9 1:30pm

- We meet the carpeting agent at the house and she takes all the measurements for the room to be used as the office downstairs. Looks pretty simple to her so we follow her back to the store where we pay for the carpet, which she orders, and go on our way. She expects it to arrive early next week and will call us to schedule the installation.

Thursday, July 9 3:00pm

- Let the moving begin! The first order of business is cleaning the trailer floor which has accumulated a fair coating of transmission oil over most of its surface. A sprayer and some Simple Green seems to work fairly well at dispersing the mess and then a couple of rinses cleans the diamond-plate to the point my sneakers start actually having some traction! While it is drying, I try to organize the garage items that are to be the first load.

When the floor is dry (around 3:40), I begin that actual loading process. After only about an hour I realize there is a LOT of stuff in the garage! (I know, Rocky has been telling me that for years!) But I keep at it and try to put the boxes in a logical sequence and load it in an order to weight-balance the load; this is harder than it sounds...

A break for dinner around 7:30 gives me time for an Aleve and a period of relaxation. Rocky and I talk about the things that remain to be done before the actual move and other, unrelated, topics. I make a mental note (good luck with that) that I need to take more break during the loading process. Then it's back to the trailer during the remaining daylight with the unloading and loading of the shelving in the garage. This should be the last of the items going in this load except for the generator and (maybe) the air compressor.

I call it quits just before 10:00pm but the trailer is basically ready to go except for some slight rearranging of some bookcases I have loaded on top of the garage shelving. Just the final, large items left to be loaded in the morning.

Friday, July 10 6:30am

- I can't sleep so I get up and update the log. I'm actually thinking of playing at the bakery this morning since the movers will be loading up the previous owner's furniture at the house in the morning and I won't be able to use the driveway until mid-afternoon at the earliest. It might allow me some fun before doing the unloading, etc. I update the blog while I weigh my options... (I end up doing more packing instead...)

Friday, July 10 2:30pm

- I take the trailer load out to the house and am surprised to see the moving truck still in the driveway. So I park the truck and trailer on the street and as I am walking toward the driveway, the truck drives out, followed by the car with the current owners. The movers were over an hour late getting there so they got delayed; they are going to follow the movers to make sure they get the furniture delivered to the proper address. I wish them well and sent them on their way. (They are returning in the morning to finish "cleaning up". What nice people!

After their departure, I back the trailer into the driveway and begin the unloading, envisioning a quick and orderly unloading and arranging of the garage contents.

Friday, July 10 3:50pm

- Rocky calls me at the house to say that our realtor called to ask if we were interested in listing our 5 acres in Windover Farms for sale as he had a client arriving over the weekend who might be interested in it for her horses. We talk it over and set a price he can quote. Rocky agrees to call him back with the information and I go back to the unloading...

Friday, July 10 7:00pm

- I unload the last box into the garage. The boxes destined for the basement had to be hand-carried, one at a time, down the outside stairs as the hand dolly could not be controlled down the stairs due to their steep incline. However, stacking them at the head of the stairs allows you to get a firm grip in a mostly standing position so that at least helps. Anyway, I've had it for one day and may wait until morning to start loading the next load.

Saturday, July 11 7:30am

- Time to start again - I decide to start with my cup of coffee and doing email. It's very foggy outside so it should be a cool morning to begin packing the trailer with the rest of the garage items. Since it makes a fair amount of noise, with the floor of the trailer being diamond-plate, I think I'll wait until at least 8:00am to start actually loading the trailer. Besides, that will give me time for my coffee...

Saturday, July 11 2:30pm

- I finish loading the trailer with, essentially, the last of the garage items and some of the other "hobby" items and head out to the house. As I gack the trailer into the driveway and up toward the house, I notice the previous owner's car is still there! They are just finishing up and are tired but still smiling; we share some pleasant conversation and well wishes before we to the "driveway dance" where they pull forward and I back the trailer up to the garage so they can swing around and head home. So much for socializing, and now, to work.

Saturday, July 11 5:30pm

- Rocky comes out to enjoy the breeze for a while so I take a break and enjoy a cold Bass Ale - man, did that taste good! We have some idle chatter on the porch while enjoying the breeze and the late afternoon sun.

After about 30 minutes I get back to the task at hand and attack the last third of the trailer which still contains the Christmas boxes and more garage stuff. By 7:30 Rocky is ready to head home but I still have more to unload. I tell her I hope to be done in about 30 minutes.

Saturday, July 11 8:45pm

- I close up the trailer, which is now unloaded, and take my first shower in the master bath. I needed that! By 9:00 I am on the road home where Rocky makes me scrambled eggs and a bagel. The perfect end to the day. I'm thinking I may just do a little packing tomorrow and rest up a bit - I'm pretty bruised up all over...

Sunday, July 12 3:30pm

- After attending Gracies birthday party at Sycamore Flats in the Pisgah Forest, we stop by the rental house to pick up a few boxes packed with assorted items and Strider. We drive out to the new house and unload and I take Strider for his first tour of the yard, which he examines carefully and marks where appropriate. He then goes through the house, sniffing each room (but marking none, thankfully) on the main floor but does not venture down the stairs. Next, we move out to the porch where we spend the remainder of the afternoon enjoying the breeze and watching the sun lower over the mountains. I'm not sure I'll ever get tired of this...

Monday, July 13 8:15pm

- The weather report for today calls for rain and it is already damp outside from an overnight shower. Since the trailer roof vent leaks, this poses a problem for things in the trailer and, hence, the current plan is to do some packing today and leave the loading/unloading for tomorrow when the weather is due to be clear.

Monday, July 13 9:30pm

- Well, the weather doesn't seem to know what to do but it hasn't rained again so I'm guessing it's not going to get over the mountains to the north today. I decide to pack the front part of the trailer (at least) since it will not be exposed to the elements even if it does begin to rain. There still a few garage items that can go...

Monday, July 13 11:30pm

- Now I am firmly comitted to packing the entire trailer since I have already started loading the studio boxes and furniture and am past the trailer roof vent opening. Looks like another full load will be going out today!

Monday, July 13 4:30pm

- Rocky asks if I'm aware of the time and, regretably, I'm not. I have spent the entire day sorting, packing and loading the trailer (and doing two loads of laundry!) and still have the back third of the trailer empty. We decide that it will be better to simply complete loading the trailer today and take it out to the house in the morning. That will be easier on everyone and a better plan all around.

Monday, July 13 7:50pm

- The trailer is loaded. After loading in the four wardrobe boxes from the front room and the eight race wheels & tires from the garage I think I'm done. Rocky heads out to Taco Bell and I head to the shower - which felt wonderful!!!

Tuesday, July 14 7:30am

- Up and easing into the day. It is foggy outside so I'm in no particular rush to join the morning traffic pattern. I update the blog and have my morning coffee while my joints become more flexible. Rocky has Tai Chi at 9:00am and I'll probably leave around the same time for the house with the trailer. The plan is to actually unpack the four wardrobe boxes and return with them ready to use again; they hold a lot and are really easy to move! The other boxes will simply be unloaded and placed in their appropriate locations for later unpacking when weather does not permit moving or I'm done moving what I can.

Tuesday, July 14 9:30am

- I arrive at the house with a full trailer that wanted to bottom out entering the driveway - guess I had more stuff loaded than I thought! Who knew so CDs and DVDs (and a guitar amplifier or so...) could weigh so much? Anyway, a little more entry speed and no problem... Onward we go!

Tuesday, July 14 1:30pm

- Rocky arrives with sandwiches and soda - what a welcome sight! Just a short break for lunch and conversation and then back to the unloading. Some real progress is now being made as I have specific locations for categories of package contents. This will make it WAY easier when the unpacking actually begins.

Tuesday, July 14 3:10pm

- Our real estate agent calls to see how things are going and I tell him they are going fine. He tells me he drove the persective buyers by the property over the weekend and they'd like more information like a survey and any test results we have for the water, etc. I tell him I have general description of the property and "map" but I'm not sure it's an actual survey. I tell Rocky where I think it is and ask her to coordinate its delivery to him.

Tuesday, July 14 6:30pm

- I close up the trailer with the empty wardrobe boxes (4) inside in preparation for their reuse. They will come in handy for the remaining clothes, shoes and miscellaneous items. I begin some last-minute weed pulling and after about 5 minutes I realize that I have been pulling up what looks like poison ivy... A quick rinse off at the house and then I head back to the rental house for a thorough shower. Stay tuned on this one kiddies...

Wednesday, July 15 9:00am

- Decided to start the day with some music so we went down and played music with the rest of the old "folkies" and the Uniterian Church for about 90 minutes to set our minds at rest before beginning the afternoon's moving operations. It was a nice break (even with the occasional hand cramp!)

Wednesday, July 15 11:30am

- I begin packing the wardrobe boxes with the remaining "unnecessary" clothing and accessories along with a few of the pictures and anything else that fits into them. I get these loaded into the trailer and begin stagine the other items to be moved this afternoon to easily accessible locations.

Wednesday, July 15 1:00pm

- My brother-in-law, Frank, comes over and we move the large booze cabinet, the swivel card table, Rocky's clothes hutch, a side table and the wine rack into the trailer. These are then followed with the sound reenforcement cabinet and electronics from the studio and the porch furniture. That, along with the separation packing about fills up the trailer so we head out to the house and unload it.

Wednesday, July 15 3:30pm

- Frank and I complete the assembly of Rocky's hutch and retire to the porch with a cold beer. Tastes very good and we sit and enjoy the afternoon breeze. After the beer, we take a pass through the garden and he shows me which cucumbers and squash are ready to be picked (the squash is really too big and should have been picked and cooked earlier). We also pick some string beans that look ready and are the right size. He then takes off for his work assignment at the church and I return to the unpacking of the wardrobes and other boxes.

Wednesday, July 15 7:00pm

- The trailer has been repacked with the empty wardrobe boxes and other smaller boxes for reuse at the rental house. I head home for a shower and some dinner - I'm ready and in need on BOTH accounts...

Thursday, July 16 8:00am

- Contrary to the weather forecast, it's looking pretty good so I have decided to pack up the electronics from the studio and move them to the new house. It shouldn't take that long and it needs to be done anyway...

Thursday, July 16 1:00pm

- Well, OK, I packed up and loaded more than I had originally intended but, hey, I'm going to make the trip so I may as well make it worth while! The weather is still holding so I may try to cut the lawn while I'm out there; this will be the first time I've actually cut my own yard since 1980...

Thursday, July 16 2:30pm

- Got the trailer unloaded fairly quickly thanks to having specific areas for the electronics to go. On my way back from getting gasoline for the riding mower I stopped by the carpet store and they informed me the installer has scheduled us for first thing on Thursday, July 23 for installing the carpeting. That make three days in a row we have something happening at the new house (Tuesday - plumber for refrigerator ice & water, Wednesday - refrigerator delivery and Thursday - carpet installer); it's a good thing we have a lot of stuff out there to unpack!

Thursday, July 16 4:00pm

- I finish the majority of the mowing using the rider mower. The trim work still needs to be done with the weed whacker and the hillside area needs to be done with the hand mower but I'm done for today. A little relaxation watching the field swallows chase all the insects I stirred up while cutting the yard is just what I needed to end the day well.

Friday, July 17 8:20am

- Another beautiful morning - against predictions of rain and storms. Again, I decide to take advantage of this opportunity to move the kitchen food boxes and the contents of the liquor cabinet. Also on my list are a number of the smaller furniture items like end tables and night stands. Somehow, Rocky's small HDTV and DVD player make their way into the trailer as well. Out of the basement closet go two more bins of phonograph records, Frog's china and Rocky's depression glass - still boxed up from our original move. The large clothing box from our bedroom is loaded and then almost all the pictures from the Jupiter house (also still boxed) are loaded in the trailer. Last, Rocky's bicycle and several of our hanging plants go in and I'm off to the house to unload before the predicted rain arrives.

Friday, July 17 3:20pm

- I've unloaded the trailer and put everything in the room it will be stored/used, hung the plants and I have still beat the rain, which has yet to materialize. Rocky has called and is on her way out so I hit the shower to be ready to enjoy the afternoon breezes with her on the porch.

Friday, July 17 4:10pm

- Rocky arrives and we sit on the porch watching the hummingbirds chase one another from the feeder. There are at least three of them in almost constant contention for exclusive use of it. I have also seen a finch attached to the feeding sock, which is a first for me (on this particular feed sock). The bird batch is another big hit with the flock of local birds.

Friday, July 17 4:55pm

- The rain finally arrives and cools things off by a good ten degrees. Quite a blow for a while there - I guess that's why they call this particular neighborhood "Windover Farms"! Even in the wind, the hummingbirds were fighting over the feeder!!!

After the rain passes and activity resumes its normal level, Rocky and I leave to let Strider out for his walk and then get some dinner. It's been a good, productive day!

Saturday, July 18 8:30am

- Decided that the guest bed just had to get moved so I disassembled it first thing in the morning. This was followed by additional packing of the office bookshelf contents, leaving only a single shipping box for the desktop contents on the desk.

By 10:00 I had enough stuff packed to start loading the trailer but the box spring and mattress were just too bulky to handle by myself so I called my brother-in-law who came right over and helped me load the items on board. Since he was here, we decided to move the china cabinet as well, which proved to be heavier than I thought it was but we managed to get it loaded unscathed and strapped down. He then returned home telling me to call him when I was ready to unload it at the house. Great job!

Saturday, July 18 3:15pm

- After packing up and loading most of Rocky's office while she packed some of the towels and linen, the trailer is ready to travel. I ask Rocky to call Anne & Frank if they want to meet us at the house and we'll provide Subway sandwiches for dinner.

Saturday, July 18 4:30pm

- Anne & Frank arrive at the house and I am right at the point in unloading that I am ready for the china cabinet to come off. Frank and I man-handle it inside and into place without breaking any of the glass and I say a silent prayer of thanks... The rest of the load comes off without incident and we assemble the guest bed and put it in place. It looks great and signals dinner time. This was enjoyed fully as we watched the hummingbirds chase each other around the hummingbird feeder and enjoyed the many other birds playing in the bird bath and serenading us with their musical calls (including at least one "Bob White").

Saturday, July 18 6:30pm

- Frank helps me move the office boxes to the basement from the livingroom where I have staged them. I tell him I will do it next week but he'd rather get it done now - I don't put up a big argument. While we're in the basement we decide to move the exercise equipment to the far end and accomplish that task without either of us herniating anything. It's a good day! We spend the remainder of the evening poking through the garden and surveying the grounds, marveling at the views in all directions. Frank decided to check out the bird houses around the yard and found that one of them contained an unhatched egg and two young bluebirds who "played possum" when the lid was lifted - what a great discovery. Life is good to us!!!

Sunday, July 19 2:30pm

- Rocky and I take Strider and a few vases and things out to the house and enjoy another peaceful evening on the porch. I take Rocky and a ladder out to the bird house with the young bluebirds so she can peer down inside and see them - she is thrilled!!! We read (and snooze) in the late afternoon sun and, as it begins its final dive toward the horizon, we head back to the rental house for a light bite. This was restful and relaxing; tomorrow is another day.

Male hummingbird

Monday, July 20 10:30am

- I drive out to the house to meet the plumber who wants to look at the situation before buying the supplies for the water hookup for the refrigerator that he will be installing on Tuesday. We don't find any major items of concern so it should go fairly easily. He leaves, saying he will call me tonight to set a time to meet tomorrow - sounds good to me. I pick up a few things and take a few pictures of the house in shambles and the hummingbirds and head back to Brevard.

Monday, July 20 1:30pm

- I pack up the plants from the back porch of the rental house and take them out to Windover Farms. The ponytails I place beside the entryway to the house and the Ming Fern and spath end up on the porch, where we can enjoy them. I do a little more unpacking so I can bring some of the smaller boxes back for reuse and then drive by Cantrell's Antiques to see if they might have a suitable desk for my use in the office (Rocky doesn't care that much for my "homemade" desktop). Brian Wilson says he has a somewhat "formal" desk with 3 drawers across the underside of the top but no side drawers and an older oak secretary desk that he will have to look at first to see what structural condition it is in before he can make any statement about it. We decide I should stop back by on Friday to see what my options are.

When I arrive home Rocky is not feeling well and decides to go to bed around 5:00 to see if that helps so I feed myself and then the dog and catch up on email for a while while I wait for the call from the plumber. He calls about 9:30 to say he will call me when he arrives back in town from his other appointment in the morning which should be between 11:00am and 12:00 noon. OK with me as it means I can sleep in...

Tuesday, July 21 10:30am

- I load up the car with some small boxes of stuff and head out to the house, leaving Rocky home to field the call from the plumber. When he calls she calls me and tells me the time he should arrive.

Tuesday, July 21 11:50am

- The plumber arrives and we proceed to measure from the cold water line to where we want to drill the hold for access under the floor. A lot of double-checking and we make the hole missing both support beams and electrical wiring (both good things). Next we run the water line as a single run from under the sink, through the floor, over to where the refrigerator will reside and up through the new access hole we just drilled; this should avoid any leaks in the line for sure! Next, he has to cut and tap into the cold water line and provide the "T" fitting with a shut-off valve for safety - this is done under the sink and all is accomplished with little or no difficulty (to him). Next he installs the garbage disposal as I watch and marvel at all the little pieces that must fit together perfectly and the other aspects of installing it that I never thought of (like the water drain from the dish washer having to feed into it. This too is accomplished with few complications and he is done in under three hours time. Everything is cleaned and then checked for leaks and none are found. Not bad - job well done!

Tuesday, July 21 4:30pm

- Rocky comes out and approves the installation and then we enjoy the late afternoon on the porch before returning to Brevard for dinner. Tomorrow the refrigerator arrives; I sure hope it fits...

Wednesday, July 22 8:20am

- I arrive at the house and the delivery truck is already in the driveway with the crew waiting (they had just called Rocky at the Brevard house). Off comes the refrigerator and, on first attempt, it does not fit into the alcove. One of the delivery guys notices that it is hitting on the bottom trim piece of the pantry cabinet - not a problem because I have a saw! Zip! Off comes about an eight of an inch of the bottom trim piece but still no go; now it is hitting where the cabinets mate above the refrigerator. OK, I ease out the screws holding the pantry cabinet to the other cabinets and to the wall behind; this allows an ever so small gap to develop between the two and, voila, the refrigerator slides snugly in. We remember to connect the water line before pushing the refrigerator fully into place so we are now ready to bleed the water system. I flush about a gallon of water through it until the air bubbles are gone and no leaks are detected. They pack up and head out to their next delivery and I start removing all the styrofoam and tape from the interior shelves, etc.

Wednesday, July 22 10:15am

- Rocky arrives and, together, we remove the plastic from the exterior of the refrigerator. I don't think I've ever done that on a refrigerator before and I don't know if she has either. She's thrilled that now we can start cooling sodas and have ice available (after tossing the first load of ice, of course). Rocky and I do some furniture relocating until we're statisfied with the arrangement and then she starts unpacking the kitchen bookcase contents and I head to the garage to try to make space for a car in it...

Wednesday, July 22 4:30pm

- Rocky heads back to town after allowing me to use her car to positiong the concrete wheel stop in the garage on her side. It leaves plenty of room for the car and for me to access the shelves in front of the car as well. So we can now fit a car in her side without problem. Now, about my side... I spend another couple of hours transferring boxes from the garage to the basement (where they are intended to go) and straightening up in the garage and am pretty sure another car will fit on my side once the remaining basement items are relocated. Unfortunately, these are large/heavy items which will require more people to assist. Good thing we are having the whole family over for popsicles on Sunday, huh? Am I a weasle or what... Tomorrow, the carpet, the final pre-move item.

Thursday, July 23 8:30am

- I arrive at the house with a few more items in tow and prepare the area for moving carpeting through the main area. The installers arrive a little after 9:30am and get right to work hammering in the tack strips into the basement concrete; now that can't be fun! Rocky arrives about 10:45 and checks out their progress - only the padding is down at that point and we make a point to say we the think the color(s) are lovely - just what we wanted!

Thursday, July 23 11:30am

- Our realtor arrives to take some pictures of us with his realtor sign for his "success story" book. Nice to see him and catch up with what's going on in his life too - he just bought a house and closed this week! The work in the basement continues.

Thursday, July 23 12:15pm

- Rocky leaves to go to the carpet store to settle the final bill and look at other carpet for the large, livingroom area. We'll need about a 17-by-12 foot area rug for the furniture area without overlapping the floor outlets.

Thursday, July 23 1:40pm

- The installers complete the installation and it looks great! This will really help keep the room warmer in the winter and will make things much easier on the feet as well. The smell is not very good so I open the windows and start an air purifier running while I run Strider back to Brevard and get some lunch.

Thursday, July 23 3:30pm

- Back to the house to try my hand at staining the faded wood flooring in the master bedroom. Thankfully, the proper stain was left by the original owner and the application is not awful - I just don't tolerate being on my knees for long periods of time as well as I used to. Not a terribly long process but more fumes to deal with so I open the sliders in the master bedroom and master bathroom window and let it air out while I putter around in the garage and mount a new bird feeder bracket on the porch. This all keeps me busy until about 5:30 when I head back to Brevard. Another good day - nothing left now but the final packing and physical move to the new house. It's almost starting to feel real...

Saturday, July 25 10:24am

- Today is another "red letter" day as I fire up the blue car and drive it to its new garage. The spot has been cleared for it (well, actually it is going into Rocky's side for now) and a new oil spill sheet of cardboard is in place (the packing carton from the HDTV which the movers said they don't need). The ride out to the house, taken at a leasurely pace through the hills and curves reminds me of why I was drawn to these cars in the first place; the fact that it is a thoroughly glorious morning doesn't hurt either! After depositing the car in its new home, I return to Brevard for my "afternoon assignment".

Saturday, July 25 2:40pm

- I begin my planned effort of loading up the firewood purchased for last winter; we used very little of it since we only had about 3 fires during the whole winter! We plan on having more this coming winter since the fireplace is the centerpoint of the new livingroom. Then, after using it as a wood-burner for a winter, we'll consider whether or not to convert it to an "on-demand" gas unit (MUCH less work). I think I'd miss the aroma but maybe not...

Saturday, July 25 5:20pm

- The wood loaded and the storage area cleaned up, we pack up Strider and head out to the new house to enjoy another evening and watch the rain showers as they pass over the valley.

Family Lunch

Sunday, July 26 11:50am

- Had "the family" over to the new house for Subways and popcicles or ice cream before the movers loaded up the house with all our furniture. Unfortunately, most of the "women-folk" were unavailable as Stephanie was working at the hospital and Anne, Julie and Gracie were on their way to Raleigh where Julie would be attending a conference tomorrow and Anne would be getting together with cousins Mickey (Pam) and Lee (Frances) while watching Gracie. The kids loved playing on the porch and exploring in the yard and garden (with Hunter as their guide) while all the "adults" sat quietly and solved the many problems of the world... It was a nice, restful lunch - and then I put them to work. I want you to know that the CD bookcase I built that is 6' by 5'9" or so JUST fit at an angle going down the staircase to the basement where it had to be rotated OVER the final banister to the floor; it would not have been possible with less than the four people we had or if it was an inch or more in height - I got lucky on this one! Once that was done, the curio cabinet and PA supply box followed using the outside stairwell as they were not as large and only required two people to carry them down. By Tuesday most of the new carpet smell should be dispelled or diluted to the point we can move the furniture in and actually inhabit the room! So far, so good... On the way back to the rental house we see the same deer that I saw on the ride taking the blue car to the house yesterday - pretty cool!!!

Sunday, July 26 2:15pm

- Back at the rental house, Rocky resumed he packing in the kitchen while I attacked the upstairs music room. A couple of hours and 5 wardrobe boxes later most of it was packed, ready to be loaded into the trailer. The livingroom now looks like a storage locker! Oh well, it's only for tonight.

Sunday, July 26 5:30pm

- I start the "medium" wash as I wait for the "dark" load to finish drying. It's been a long day...

Monday, July 27 8:00am

- Today is the day for my "final" trailer load move to the house. I use the good, cool morning weather to load the wardrobes from the upstairs along with several boxes from the linen closet and several more from the kitchen that Rocky has ready to go. I keep seeing more stuff that needs to be packed, throwing it in boxes and putting it on the trailer. Finally only space remains for the back porch "garden" which takes several trips to load; along the way, the bird feeder gets loaded as well and I finally pull out of the driveway by about noon.

The unloading is relatively uneventful as I decide to leave the firewood in the trailer until I have more time. I clean up the garage just enough to make space for the blue car on "my" side, move it over and call it quits. When I call Rocky to tell her I am on my way to drop off the trailer she asks if I can go by Freeman Gas and sign the propane tank lease agreement. I say "Sure." as it is almost next door to the storage facility, and off I go. Home just in time for a shower and out for Pizza at Big Mike's - it was yummy! Then desert with the neighbors who wanted to have us over before we left - lovely couple who are very interesting and deserve more of our time and attention but we have matters that need our attention now (I have white wash in the dryer and Rocky has more packing in the kitchen to do tonight before the movers arrive at 8:00am). We go home, fold the laundry, Rocky returns to packing and I break down her computer system and get it ready to go. Around 11:00pm we call it a day; not much sleep was had that night...

Tuesday, July 28 6:00am

- We start the final "push" as I break down my computer system (keeping my fingers crossed that the DSL and phone service will be successfully switched over today as scheduled) and start packing Rocky's system into her car and my system into mine. Other smaller boxes fall prey to my roving eye and soon both our cars are fully loaded.

Tuesday, July 28 7:54am

- The movers arrive and I present them with the detailed packing order that I have printed out in order that the items coming off the truck will not have to navigate among items already unloaded in order to reach their destination. The mover is still shaking his head in wonderment regarding the amount of furniture and belongings I have already moved... They review the list and agree it's a good plan; the loading begins and Rocky takes off to her Tai Chi class which will do her good.

Tuesday, July 28 9:15am

- The mover tells me he has changed his plan and in order to avoid damage by stacking items in the truck he is going to make two trips. I say, "Well, then we should have started with the second half of the list then.". He agrees and we devise a modified list that will still avoid conflicts while preserving what has already been loaded.

Tuesday, July 28 10:20am

- The first load is taken to the house and unloaded. This includes the "trouble" items like the couch and Rocky's computer hutch, destined for the office in the basement. The movers take great care not to damage the goods or the house but a small divot is still taken from the basement wall at the bottom of the stairs. If that's as bad as it gets, we're in good shape.

The remainder of the items get unloaded without incident and even though the weather has clouded over no rain has fallen. The decide to take a short lunch break and meet back at the rental house at 1:15 to get the remainder of the items already staged on the main floor and the garage. It's a good plan and gives me a chance to unload all the stuff from my car and some of the stuff from Rocky's.

Tuesday, July 28 1:05pm

- I'm back and the house loading unsealed boxes into my car; within 15 minutes the movers are back and the "final" loading begins. No major problems are experienced and we're loading and headed back to the house by 2:45.

Tuesday, July 28 4:15pm

- The final piece of furniture is in place, the master bed is reassemble, the mattress is in position and all's well with the world. Rocky writes out the check and we thank each of the workers (one of whom is about to be 71) with gratitude and a little green... I would NOT have wanted to try this with volunteer help. They drive off and I return inside to the many tasks awaiting me. Like hooking up the computer systems and the HDTV in preparation for the dish to be installed and aligned tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, July 28 10:00pm

- The short form of the story is everything went smoothly; both systems are up, the office is working out great, the HDTV is working and so is the Blu-ray player so we should be in good shape for tomorrow. A quick shower really felt good. I think I'll sit out on the porch and listen to the rain for a while before bed. I think I'll sleep well tonight!!!

Wednesday, July 29 7:30am

- I'm up to enjoy the first morning in our new home but the skies are overcast and a steady drizzle is coming down. This is actually a good thing as we have been needing rain for the garden and lawn; the farmers in the area have been hoping for some as well. This morning I need to go back to the rental house and retrieve the satellite receiver we left to record "Saving Grace" last night. Once it comes back here at least we can watch some of the recorded shows/racing from last weekend that we missed (the antennae TV reception here is not good at all and tends to break up in this bad weather...).

Wednesday, July 29 11:30am

- Back home with the HD-DVR in tow. Set it up to the TV and we should be good to go when the dish installer arrives.

Wednesday, July 29 1:30pm

- The DirecTV installer has arrived, surmised the premises and declared it "undoable" - at least not with the existing cabling. Not only is the cable not up to the HD specifications but it was put in when the house was built and has been routed through places unaccessable today (and, of course, has been stapled securely all along the way). Not only that but the required grounding rod for the satellite dish is not available so, at a minimum, it needs to be put in before anything can be started. His best suggestion is to have the electrician put in the grounding rod and have him give an estimate for routing all the new cables to the various locations. He also suggested I go ahead and reschedule the install to get in logged into their system and he would then "work it in" when we were ready. He was very professional and pleasant though his appraisal was disappointing; this is our first setback on moving into the house at our schedule. We may have to have another family member record our programs for us, if any of them have Showtime, until we get this issue resolved...

Wednesday, July 29 4:30pm

- I decide to check with the local cable provider to see if they would have to re-wire the whole house for their service as well since Rocky thinks they provide all the programming we use anyway. Had to leave a voicemail message and now am in the waiting game again.

Thursday, July 30 8:30am

- Today is the day for doing the cleaning of the rental house in Brevard; neither of us is looking forward to this so we are slow to get going this morning. I'm still waiting for a call from the cable company anyway...

Thursday, July 30 9:20am

- I talk with the cable company and they have all the channels we need and won't need to rewire a thing. Sounds almost too good to be true but, since they will begin offering bundled packages by sometime in September, we go ahead and sign up with an install date of next Tuesday. I'm hoping for the best.

Thursday, July 30 10:10am

- We start the laborious task of packing up the "final" items at the house (there are WAY more of them than either of us thought). I begin by loading all the shipping boxes into the garage, followed by as many of the "other item" boxes into Rocky's car as will fit. Rocky is focused on cleaning the kitchen appliances but doesn't have enough room in the two coolers I brought to fit all the refrigerated and frozen food into them. We decide to leave it for now and we'll devise a plan B.

Thursday, July 30 11:45am

- Rocky takes off for her hair appointment and I carry on with the sweeping and vacuuming. As I go from room to room, I find more "stuff" in closet shelves that needs to be packed/moved. I am out of room in my car and there is more to go - so I keep my head down and plod ahead.

Thursday, July 30 2:35pm

- Rocky calls to see if I need her to return to the house and I say "Yes, there is way more stuff to be moved than I ever thought there would be." It's not the answer she wanted to hear but it was the truth. I am still doing the main floor carpeting.

Thursday, July 30 3:15pm

- Rocky arrives and I suggest she pack what will fit in the coolers from the refrigerator to take with her. She reminds me that she will be unable to carry the coolers from her car to the house if she does - good point. She agrees to pack up the refrigerator side and leave the freezer section goods for me to pack when I leave, bringing both coolers with me. Sounds like a plan. She finishes up with the kitchen while I move to the upstairs rooms and vacuum them. Once the upstairs is done, I go to the basement for the final "push" - at least it's a Berber and doesn't take as much effort (though there are more webs in the basement than the upstairs rooms).

Thursday, July 30 4:25pm

- I am finished in the basement and pack a few more boxes into Rocky's car for her to take with her. She heads on out home while I do some final work in the basement and garage in preparation for tomorrow's cleaning of the back porch and the pickup of all the shipping boxes. Once all that has been done, I pack what I can of the freezer goods into the cooler, load them up and head for home.

Thursday, July 30 6:30pm

- The cars are both unloaded and now the kitchen looks like a battle zone again. Rocky starts unloading the food into the refrigerator while I go to check with DirecTV about our contract lease term. It appears that when I signed up for DirecTV I signed us up for a 2-year period so it would cost almost $250 to cancel that contract in order to go with the local cable provider. You know me, too cheap to let that happen, so I head out to Lowe's in quest of the grounding rod, split-bolt connector and some shelf support braces for the additional pantry shelf I made yesterday.

Thursday, July 30 8:30pm

- I return with just enough light and a big enough hammer to provide the approved grounding rod requirements for the satellite dish. I'll have to call the original installer tomorrow and let him know the grounding rod has been installed to see when he might be able to work up in...

Friday, July 31 8:05am

- Up, but not yet ready to embrace the world. Coffee will help but not fully prepare me for conversation or other civil behavior.

Friday, July 31 9:05am

- I call the local cable company and apologetically cancel my order for cable service. They are very polite and understanding - no problem on their end. I then call the original DirecTV installer and tell him we're ready to have the dish installed. He is not in our area today but says there is another installer who is local and he will contact him to see if he can work it in today (the other installer is normally off today). Even though I am due to pick up the trailer and load the shipping boxes, I know the right thing is to wait to talk to whoever calls back; now I wait.

Friday, July 31 11:20am

- The alternate installer calls to see if he can come by to look at what needs to be done around noon - I say, "Sure.".

Friday, July 31 12:10pm

- The installer arrives and turns out to be the father of our realtor! He also lives in Windover Farms so he is more than just "local". We go over what needs to be done and how I want it done and devise a plan for he and I to run our respective errands and meet back here between 3:30pm and 4:00pm. He leaves and I head out to pick up the trailer.

Friday, July 31 1:18pm

- I get to the rental house and load up all the shipping cartons and other "miscellaneous" items into the trailer, packing it so it will not get wet in case it rains (which it has been doing daily for about the last 3 days). Then I hit the back porch with my big shop vac and blow all the pine needles out of the screening and off the deck; basically any item not bolted down is aerodynamically repositioned into the back yard and beyond! That done, I unload the last of the refrigerator items into the two coolers which I had brought with me and attempted to clean the refrigerator bins; this effort would have been greatly aided by having water service or any paper towels. I made due and if you're really interested how, I'll let you logic it out - it's not that difficult.

Friday, July 31 3:20pm

- Once the coolers were loaded back into the car it is off to the trailer storage facility to drop the trailer off (not enough time to take it home and unload). The boxes should be OK until tomorrow.

Friday, July 31 3:52pm

- Back home before the installer arrives; well done!

Friday, July 31 4:24pm

- The installer returns and we begin the installation plan. We locate a good access point into the house where the cables can enter between the main floor and the basement ceiling and we have clear access to them. We drill 6 new holes, one for each cable run, in a single line for better access and drainage. He then starts on installing the dish while I run the cables to my satisfaction - works for me! The first cable run is a bear as I have to find a way through a wall between the office and the remaining basement for access to both the main HD-DVR location and the master bedroom. Once a path is found, I string a lead wire for use with the three subsequent runs to be made. The installer says that if I have both runs to the DVR ready by the time he is finished installing and aligning the dish, he'll hook us up tonight; Rocky will be thrilled.

Friday, July 31 6:10pm

- The dish is installed and I am done running the cables for the HD-DVR. He wires the connectors, connects the cables to the DVR and we are on the air without a care!!! Yippee! "Now", he says, "I don't work on Saturdays but I'll leave the box of cable here so I don't have to bring it back (wink, wink). If cables get run, all the better. See you on Sunday afternoon." And saying this, he left the cable, some connectors and the tools to attach them to the cables inside the door, out of the elements, for safe keeping and disappeared into the evening. I resumed my efforts...

Friday, July 31 8:15am

- Rocky picked up some burritos and we dined on the porch together. It was very restful and I enjoyed taking a short break before I got back to the final two runs (I had already wired the master bedroom and the basement "studio" area).

Friday, July 31 9:05pm

- I discover that the hole we drilled for the guest bedroom is directly above the air return for the furnace and cannot be accessed; this will require a new hole and I leave that cable rolled up in the ceiling. The final run is measured to reach any corner of the office area and it too is left rolled up in the ceiling for future use.

Friday, July 31 11:05pm

- Enough is enough. I'm done with the cables and no more work is required in that area.

Saturday, August 1 8:10am

- It's really foggy but seems to be clearing a little at a time. Too wet to have coffee on the porch so I go downstairs and connect up the studio TV to a digital-analog converter and digital antennae so I can at least watch a couple of channels without a satellite receiver.

Saturday, August 1 8:50am

- Rocky is up and we decide to take a break and go to Asheville to try to find me an office chair and maybe an entryway runner. But first, more coffee...

Saturday, August 1 12:28pm

- We head to Asheville for lunch at the Thai restaurant before hitting the Target Mall.

Strider & rubber chicken

Saturday, August 1 2:10pm

- Into OfficeMax to look at the chairs I had seen on their website. The Sealy Executive model turns out to be the best for my build and purposes so we get one of those and a case of computer paper as well. Then I go to PetsMart while Rocky looks in some of the other stores. I remember we need to make a new ID tag for Strider with our new address on it only after I have checked out with the 40# bag of dog food and his new play toy - a squeeky rubber chicken!!!

I meet up with Rocky and we return to PetsMart and make Strider's new ID tag.

Saturday, August 1 3:24pm

- We leave and head for Rug & Home near Asheville. I have to stop and ask for directions since my GPS is clearly confused as to where the store is located; I choose the local Porsche dealership for this purpose, but of course! We were close - just the wrong side of the interstate! I'll have to talk to Garmin about that.

Saturday, August 1 3:42pm

- We start looking through their 6 piles of runners and are assisted by a very pleasant young lady who doesn't mind flipping though all the carpets. We manage to find only a single runner that might work and it is too narrow for our taste so we reluctantly thank the assistant and head home after a long, but not as strenuous, day as the last few.

The remainder of the day is spent "puttering" around the house, unpacking small boxes, rearranging some household items to suit our needs and getting ready for the previous owners' visit tomorrow afternoon to pick up some plants from the gardens. This will give us a chance to have them identify the many trees and plants for us - another win-win arrangement!

Sunday, August 2 8:05am

- Up and getting ready for church, which I am enjoying more now that I have time to really give it due thought. I think He had a lot to do with finding our new home and making it pleasing to us. I am truly thankful.

Sunday, August 2 1:05pm

- The previous owners arrive and we spend an hour or more simply roaming around the yard identifying plants, trees and shrubs and getting to know each other better. How nice it is to have such pleasant sellers - and friends in the making. (It is obvious they are still having separation pains by some of the wistfull comments made - we can sympathize.)

Sunday, August 2 3:53pm

- The DirecTV installer returns and we finish up by drilling a new cable hole in the guest bedroom. I run the cable while he finishes up with the wrapping and caulking of the cables at the entry point to the house. Finally, he attaches the connector to the guest bedroom lead and we're finished. The paperwork is done and then I have him look at the pantry cabinet which, I think, needs to be moved slightly to the right in order to avoid actually making contact with the refrigerator. (Right now it is wedged in and sets up resonation when the cooler kicks in; if the cabinet is not in contact with the refrigerator it should be much more quiet during its operation.) Since he was in the cabinet business for 6-7 years he says it will be no problem and will contact us when he has an open slot to move it over. Good deal!

Sunday, August 2 5:40pm

- Now I begin to catch up on email and this blog...

Sunday, August 2 10:17pm

- I was REALLY behind on this blog! Tomorrow I will add some photos of interest so be sure to review the last week or so's activity for new links and pictures. Enough for now - thanks for taking an interest!

Monday, August 3 9:05am

- This looks like it's going to be the first dry day in more than a week so I schedule it to unload the shipping boxes from the trailer up into the garage attic storage space (hope there's enough room) and then cut the yard. I'll start this right after I finish my coffee...

Monday, August 3 11:18am

- I go to the storage facility, pick up the trailer and return home with it and get ready to transfer the boxes to the storage loft.

Perhaps I should have looked at the storage loft before I made my mental plans for storing all the boxes up there; I just stuck my head up there ... and it is ... HUGE!!! After transferring all the boxes and 10 wheels up there I haven't even used 25% of the available space. It just keeps on getting better... (Women, I know this sounds mundane and boring to you but, to a guy, this is like being granted another wish from the Garage Genie.)

Monday, August 3 1:40pm

- With the trailer devoid of the packing boxes (but still containing the firewood) I return it to the storage facility and return home to address the mowing issue after a bit to eat. The weather is holding so I think I have time for some food and a short break.

Monday, August 3 2:48pm

- Let the mowing begin! It is a bit longer than it was the first time I cut it, due to all the rain we've had lately, and I want to do the trimming with the hand mower this time too. This may take a bit longer than last time...

Monday, August 3 7:18pm

- I cry uncle and let the weeding, whacking and leaf blowing until tomorrow. It was a warm, sunny day and I neglected to drink water while I was working all day resulting in my dehydration and general weekness. Tonight, I'll take it a bit easy and drink lots of water. The yard looks very good though and there is rain in the forecast for the later part of the week so it's good I did it today.

Monday, August 3 9:40pm

- The leg cramps begin; I hope the two bananas and continuous intake of water helps...

Tuesday, August 4 8:48am

- I don't want to move. I think everything in my body hurts except for maybe my fingertips. (I plan to play a little guitar later so that will get them aching as well!) I decide on a slow start to the day while Rocky goes to Tai Chi...

Tuesday, August 4 12:58pm

- Well, I had good intentions of relaxing a bit this morning and taking it easy but I made the mistake of taking Strider out for a walk under the tall trees behind the garage and while we wandered about the grounds I noticed how the weeds and grass had encroached on one of the rear flower beds so I stopped to pull a few weeds out and then I noticed another area in some need of attention and ... well, you get the point. The flower bed ended up looking much better and Strider loved it because he got to lounge out under the shade trees while I labored away in the yard and gardens. Who said "It's a dog's life."?

Wednesday, August 5 9:00am

- I go to play at the local Unitarian Church (old folkies gather there every Wednesday morning) and to get updated status on a friend who recently had two heart valves repaired; the news is good - he is home and has been seen walking downtown with his wife over the weekend. A great start to the day! The remainder of the midday is spent trying to get our address on our driver licenses changed but the lines are long and they break for lunch just before we get called; when we return after lunch we are told we have to sign in again and wait our turn. We choose to come back another day.

Rocky spends the afternoon on errands while I return home to do more unpacking, weeding, rearranging in the studio and updating this blog (at the gentle insistance of a good friend - thanks for reminding me, Sandy!). We spend the evening relaxing and catching up on TV programs we have recorded but not yet had a chance to watch. In all, it was a great evening.

Thursday, August 6 9:00am

- After some coffee and watching the fog lift in the valley, I decide that my objectives for the day will be to relocate one of the bird feeders to hang outside the porch, rather than directly above the railing, in order to cut down on the sweeping and railing wipe-down efforts. I add the installation of a magnetic door latch to that and decide to keep it at that. But, first, I need to find my trusty ice pick which I use to start the screw holes...

Thursday, August 6 10:30am

- Having failed to find my ice pick on a cursory search of the garage, Rocky and I decide to take Strider on a walk down to the river landing and back. This is about a mile and a quarter, round-trip, and there is still plenty of shade on the east side of the road supplied by the trees. It is a nice break from routine and we all enjoy it.

Thursday, August 6 12:10pm

- Upon return I resume my search for the ice pick by moving the blue car out of the garage and moving/opening the many boxes strewn about the garage. In a moment of clarity, I decide to separate the boxes into two "piles" - one that can be moved up into the storage attic and another that needs to be unpacked and organized in the garage itself. For better or worse, one of the first boxes of the latter category contains all my miscellaneous screws and nails and this ends up occupying a good deal of my time separating them out to place in the built-in storage cabinets provided specifically for fasteners and tools. It was probably time well spentand I'll have to continue on the tool side.

Thursday, August 6 2:48pm

- We get a call from Cantrell Antiques saying my desk is going to be ready later today and would I like it delivered. Sure! We are also informed that Dede, the man who has done all the work on our damaged furniture and who sold us the desk, suffered a aortic rupture over the weekend (result of an aneurysm) and is recovering at Mission Hospital. He's only 3 years my senior so now I'm starting to get nervous, having 3 friends with recent heart issues. Anyway, I start to tidy things up in the garage and arrange the cars so that they can pull the van up close to the house without difficulty when they arrive. My efforts show some real progress!

Thursday, August 6 4:15pm

- Brian Wilson and his son Christopher arrive with my desk and we manage to navigate the stairwell down to the office without damage to the walls or the desk itself. Brian tells me that it used to belong to the CEO of a software company down in Atlanta and this somehow feels fitting. We spend a good deal of time talking more about his father's condition and how it will be difficult to keep him "quiet and relaxed" once he returns home; he's another of those people who always has to be doing something or he gets fidgety - I'm thinking good drugs may be the best solution in the short term...

Thursday, August 6 7:10pm

- I head out to play at Silvermont - old time country music with local musicians every Thursday evening from 7:30-10:00ish. It feels good to be able to get back into a playing routine...

Friday, August 7 10:00am

- Off to the Blueridge Bakery to play with John Carter and see Don Burger, who had the heart valve repaired week before last - Don will be there but may not play this week. We'll see...

Friday, August 7 2:40am

- Back home after some shopping for "provisions" and stopping by the gym to get my current weight. This moving is a sure-fire weight-loss program as I am now down to about 126 (I was 154 when I retired). So I stocked up on beer and ice cream to help combat the trend.

Friday, August 7 2:57pm

- The inspectors from the propane supply company arrive and begin the inspection of the existing system. Everything checks out and now we know how to check our current level of propane and shut off the supply in case of emergency - both good things to know. I also now know how to restart the pilot light for the hot water heater and how to adjust the thermostat for it - more good things to know.

Friday, August 7 4:40pm

- My scheduled items have been completed for the day with the finch bird feeder relocated, the magnetic door latch installed on the door to the garbage disposal unit area and the painting hung above the guest bed. The new supply of liquid refreshment has been layed in for chilling and I'm ready to do some of that myself. Watch for embedded links to appear for some of the items of the last two days as I am about to take some additional pictures...

Friday, August 7 6:43pm

- Pictures taken, posted to the website and blog updated to reference them, I'm calling it a day. Now for one of those beers!

Friday, August 14 9:00am

- Well, house issues took a back-seat position to other, more important issues this week with our traveling to Monroe, GA to help celebrate our dear friend, Sheila's, birthday on Monday, staying overnight with them and returning just in time for the rain (which we've had a lot of lately) on Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday was consumed by my trying to get some medical attention for a spreading rash Rocky feared might be shingles but was diagnosed as a heavy exposure to poison ivy (it's all over the woods and Strider delivers it to me on his coat, we think). It seems that when my doctor left the medical group I was assigned to another doctor but, since I didn't require any service since that time they decided their workload was already full so just waited for me to call for an appointment to tell me they are not taking "new" patients - what a poor handling of that kind of situation! So I had to scramble around to find someone to see me on a short-notice basis.

Thursday we took Strider in to see the vet for his annual checkup - he passed with flying colors, only growling once when they took the fecal sample (hey, I'd do more than growl if someone tried to do that to me without putting me under first - that's why they at least sedate you...). Anyway, that was followed by the weekly cutting of the yard between rain showers and then playing at Silvermont in the evening and here we are!

There has been a fair level of box unpacking this week, primarily of office contents as we are sorting out all the categories of items, combining them from the two offices and determining their place in the new, single locations. Not very exciting but necessary, none the less. Beyond that, I managed to get the paper towel rack mounted in the kitchen and repair made on an old, wooden autoharp case but that is about all. There's still a LOT of sorting and arranging to be done but we are trying to take a more relaxed approach (opposed to my normal, obsessed and frantic attack) to the problem. So postings here will probably be less frequent, appearing only when some significant item has been accomplished (like the office move completed or the living area rugs selected and acquired or pictures unpacked and hung). With those events, pictures will be provided to assist in the visualization. We hope to have much of that done before our "color season" visitors begin arriving. Do we have enough time? And we still have to inaugurate the "Pickin' Porch" once our friend has sufficiently recovered from his heart valve surger to play his dulcimer - we're really looking forward to that for many reasons! Stay tuned...

Friday, September 11 7:30am

- Activity during the last month has slowed a little and been more restricted to unpacking boxes and organizing the unpacked items. We have also taken some time to enjoy some of the local activities such as the Tuesday night street dances (with live music), the Hendersonville Apple Festival (last weekend) and Parade and group events with the family. School is now back in session so, sadly, we will see less of Julie and her family in the coming months.

Living Room Pictures Some significant area of progress were made a couple of weeks ago when we unpacked most of the pictures from their original moving boxes and actually hung several on the walls! This is real commitment considering we only hung two pictures (in the kitchen) in the rental. We are still making up our minds on when many others should reside so we have several sitting against walls to help us make our final decisions - this may take a while...

No carpet yet in the living area (Rocky's department) but I'm sure that will happen before long. At that time I will take on the chore of refinishing the areas of the hardwood floor exposed to the sun and in need of some attention. It's not a terrible job but just requires some steel wool, stain, paste wax and buffing. After that, you need to wear rubber-soled shoes as the surface is very smooth and slippery; socks will not do!

The fall sessions of continuing education are about to start and Rocky will begin her classes in Tai Chi, some other oriental discipline (no, not Karate) and Appalachian Dulcimer. It should be fun and I hope to regiment myself to musical practicing/rehearsing during those time periods corresponding to her classes. (I hope none are too early in the morning...) She is also considering a humanitarian trip to Thailand with the church group as providing medical care will be part of their goals. It could be good for her and would be a wonderful experience regardless. I'll keep you posted.

I will add additional postings here as the various rooms reach "completion" or house items get added but I think I'll start a separate blog for our activities as we begin to settle in to our new home. This will help me keep things more organize and will allow you to pick and choose what information you view. Hopefully, you'll keep reading - and keep in touch as well. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16 3:00pm

- Rocky got the green light to resume full, normal activity from her neurosurgeon during her 6-month follow-up yesterday; she still has some healing to do but he is happy with the results so far and the Xrays did not show any movement of the secured vertebra. Good news! However, she is now down with severe bronchitis (no, she didn't attend or even watch the Gators play last weekend) so she's taking things very easy for a while. We hope to take a trip next week to see friends in Georgia and she doesn't want to miss that!

Saturday, October 24 7:30am - Just waved goodbye to our first overnight house guest, Sheila and Charlie Rhodes from Georgia, who came up to see the Fall colors. Unfortunately, it rained all day Friday so when we got up to the Blueridge Parkway the visibility was about 200 feet, at best. So we turned around and came back down - at least the colors were good during the round trip! Spent the remainder of the day puttering around Brevard, searching for used fireplace equipment (which we found at one of the local Thrift stores) and looking at cabinets and countertops (for Sheila) at Lowe's. After dinner at Big Mike's Pizza we returned to the house and played dominos (I lost, as usual, Sheila won) until bedtime.

Farmhouse and Fog Unfortunately, they had to leave early this morning to pick up their dog from the vet who had extracted two of their pet's molars and kept her overnight for observation. The good news was the weather had cleared overnight so they had better weather for the drive home - hopefully, the Fall colors were present as well for most of the trip back.

Just after they left I noticed the fog lifting in the valley below the house and took a picture of the farmhouse across the way that Charlie had remarked about on Friday - he liked the setting of the way it sat between pasture and woods; I thought the fog remnants just added the final touch to it - what do you think?

I will be updating this page as our relocation activity continues. Stay tuned for future additions!!!

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Changes last made on: Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 9:05am