Welcome to Antler Valley Farm

The Final Inspection

The kitchen was coming along nicely.  Well, nicely might be too strong of a word, but it was progressing in small steps at least!   All the cabinets and countertops were in place and we had a working plan to build up the island cabinets a few inches.  Then we could install the butcher block counter and I could sit back and enjoy the most beautiful kitchen ever.  That will probably last .67892 seconds, but I will enjoy that snippet of a moment!

The plumber had worked several days and had finished up on Saturday with all the plumbing except one pesky dishwasher mounting bracket.  We got the part and he was planning to finish that on Monday morning.  So we called Joe, the electrician to ask him to disconnect the power from the well.  That was a little sad for me because I was really enjoying having working lights and outlets in the house.

However, to pass the final inspection, you can’t have any electricity in the house.  So, goodbye dear lights!  If we pass the final inspection, the building inspector will send the paperwork over to Duke Power and they will connect our power for real!!!  That will be an exciting day!

All weekend, we went over our paperwork and hoped and prayed that we hadn’t missed anything important.  Gutters?  Check.  Termite inspection? Check.  HVAC? Check.  Plumbing? Almost check.  Electrical? Almost check.  Power?  Soon.  Sewer?  Check.  What are we forgetting???  This is me.  And I just know that we were forgetting something.  For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what we were missing though!  It didn’t help that my brain was almost completely scrambled from the late nights of working on the house, or at play practices with our kids.  Why did I think I could handle building a house, maintaining our current farm, 4 different plays at the same time, and the holiday season?  Yeah, that’s enough crazy to have me committed!!

Well, we somehow made it through the weekend.  It was Monday!  Final Inspection Day!!!  Jim was working in Statesville that morning and the inspection was scheduled for after lunch.  He must have been hustling that day because he got done with his job and still made it to the farm before 1 o’clock.  Wow!

When the inspector got there he walked Jim through all that he was looking for and why.  Then he said, “You passed”.  Yippee!!  Whoo-hoo!  Oh-yeah!  We passed!  It’s probably a good thing I wasn’t there when I learned we passed.  I might have made a fool out of myself.  What else is new though, right?

As it turns out all we had to do was switch out the living room smoke detector for a newer version that detects carbon monoxide.  He also suggested that we put weather stripping along the opening to the attic to prevent heat from escaping.  Yes, sir!   We would love to do that!   Consider it done!

He called the office and said that we would have an official copy of the CO later that day.  How cool!  Once the paperwork was completed by his office they would fax it over to the power company who would put us on the schedule to turn on our power.  I still don’t believe it’s real!!

They even emailed us a copy of the Certificate of Occupancy.  I immediately printed it out and wanted to frame it.  Jim thought I was going a little overboard.  Say what???

Jim was thrilled we passed, but he wasn’t as estatic as I was.  Let’s be honest, he’s a normal human being and I’m an emotional, over-reactive basket case.  Of course he wasn’t over the moon excited, he was ready to keep working and get us moved out there.  That is why I love that man!  He’s my superhero, hard-working husband.

After he called to tell me the good news, he hopped on the dozer to finish grading out a spot for our storage building.  All our furniture was not going to fit in our house, so we had to have somewhere to store it.  Then he was planning to move the trees out of the fields and finish leveling up the spots for Desi and Minnie’s run-in sheds.  Yep, that’s the plan, man.

Well, Jim worked for less than an hour before his dozer started beeping.  Not a good sign.  Apparently he had blown a fuse for the emergency brake.  I didn’t even know that dozers had emergency brakes!!  Why would you need one?  I have no clue!  But I can assure you that Jim’s dozer does in fact have an emergency brake and it apparently serves a purpose.  When it doesn’t work it, for whatever reason, it pops the fuse and the dozer won’t move.  Hmmmm.  Great timing dozer.  Perfect.  We only had Monday afternoon and a few hours Tuesday to do dozer work before we were expected to get 2-3 inches of rain on Wednesday.  Then the following Monday was Christmas.

This strong, lovely, yellow, piece of metal has been sitting in this same spot for weeks now.  All because of the fuse for the emergency brake.  Silly dozer.  

Jim called the dozer repair guy and he promised to work him in on Tuesday afternoon.  Well, it’s really hard to keep up promises like that the week before Christmas.  Days went by and he couldn’t make it out there.  The dozer guy has contracts with huge companies and they come first.  We completely understood and appreciated him trying to work us in.

Then the rain came in.  A few inches of rain actually.  So, dozer work wasn’t really going to get done anyway, without tearing up the ground.  So, we went back to working on the floors.  We only had a few days before Christmas to get the work on the floors done, so why not get started?

Well, I had to wait for the plumber to come back, turn on the water and check for leaks or problems.  Sure, that shouldn’t take long.  Unless it’s us… and unless it’s our house!  Then it nearly guarantees a problem.  A problem like mud in the water lines.  So much mud that it took the plumber and his helper all day long to fix the problem.

They kept calling Jim to tell him that the water still wasn’t working.  At one point they were talking about cutting through the sheetrock.  The finished and painted sheetrock!  Just so they could cut the pipes in the walls.  NO!  I don’t know much about plumbing, but there just had to be a better way, right?  Well, apparently there was.  Okay, it might not have been a better way for them, but it was a better way for our walls!

After working all day, and keeping my nerves on edge they finally resolved the problem and got all the water in the house flowing nicely.  Without cutting into the walls!!!  Thank you!!   Since it seemed that we had dodged a catastrophe, I was ready to start on the floors.  Sure, why not tackle the floors?  It’s only the week before Christmas!  Ha!

Oh, yes the floors…where do I start??

I was so tempted to just spend the money and install tile over the concrete!  I mean, cleaning and scraping the mess of those floors was ridiculous!  Each room took me hours.  It seemed longer, but it was only hours in each room.

Camden wanted to help take pictures of the floors.  And then I got distracted taking pictures of him.  But you can see in this picture that the floors do need some serious help.  

I had to vacuum and then put down the cleaner and let it set for 2o minutes.  Then scrub vigorously until it stopped bubbling.  Then wipe clean without letting it dry.  And then rinse the floor clean with water multiple times.  And if all the paint and plaster didn’t come up, I had to scrap it and repeat the whole process.  That was just for the cleaning!  The cleaning that involved some kind of acid that ate through my pants and completely destroyed the skin on my knees!  I even went so far as to wrap garbage bags around my knees to protect them, but by then the damage had already been done.  My knees still haven’t forgiven me.  My Christmas present to myself was to take a break from the floors!


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