I am building my first home. Lucky me because it is in the woods! It is an adventure I surely will not forget.

Me with Rory

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What the heck

was I doing going to a doctors appointment yesterday when I needed to be focusing on my presentation. I had made the appointment a month ago with a new doctor. I have been searching for the right fit of a primary care physician since my other one moved on to employee health at a hospital.
Then two weeks ago my professor scheduled, at my request, my presentation, for this Friday. I had forgotten about the physical.
Everything is good, though, the new doctor is nice and now I am racing to hem my dress and making notes for Friday.
Tomorrow I must stop at school to refresh my memory on the podium dials and knobs I'll have to use to get the screen down, turn on the computer, level the volume, etc.
Wish me luck. It all happens on October 2nd at 11am.

Friday, September 25, 2009

House Design

I have been online again seeking house designs. There are so many!
I am sticking with the log cabin, but believe it there are so many types of even just the traditional one. What kind of roof line, what kind of roof materials or a panel system, how many windows on the front, sides, back, what style doors, do I want an 8' deep porch, or 6, or 10...

Thursday, September 24, 2009


My graduation date will be December 2009, with commencement in May 2010. ( My college stopped Dec commencements just last year.)
Simlar to when I finished my BS degree, I finished March 20th with the last exam, graduation date May something and then commencement in July.


It is all about school these past two weeks. One more to go and I am done. I will have my Master of Arts degree in Public Communications. Oh, yeah, and a student loan....

My presentation is Oct 2nd. I have already turned in the project and have clearance. My prof said I won't have to defend the paper. Yahoo! That is great. He said he has already given it the green light, so I am just presenting my paper and project.

Still, it is nerve racking to stand up and speak, especially in front of all the professor's. I know once I start presenting, it will zip by.
I am still busy printing out everything and having spiral bindings put on some extra copies.
The two main ones for school are finished. One goes in the library for circulation and the other stays in the department.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Saw Sammy yesterday and we went over some things on costs. I had been thinking of running four courses of logs up onto the second floor loft wall to give it a knee wall rather than have the roof line come right down to the floor. But considering the cost and the fact that half the upstairs will be open to the ceiling it seems like a frivolous expenditure, so I will probably pass on it. It really would have only been a benefit for half the upstairs, but I would have been paying for it for the entire second floor.

Also the difference between having a 25 x 35 house and a 28 x 38 house wil be about $23,000. So, do I need that extra footage? It would be nice, though. We'll see. In addition, I really would like an extension on the bedroom of about 12 x 8 and that will be another 7 grand if I do it. I will see. So many decisions.

Also I am going to go with concrete blocks for the double chimney and I can face them with field stone later.

Sammy doesn't think we will have to put in the required 4' frost wall on the walk out basement side because we will probably hit rock. We did hit horizontal shale at 5' on the knoll when we were digging for the 1st perc test. In one spot I think we even hit it at 4'.
I wasn't sure if this was the level of rock code counts as suitable to anchor the foundation into or not. Like, does the rock have to be limestone, granite, impervious to drilling, or whatever.
Because I think realistically a huge rock smasher could bust up the horizontal shale, but Sammy thinks it counts and we will be able to anchor to it so i won't need that frost wall.
(Frost wall equals more $).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Didn't think it would happen so fast but I got the maps filed on Friday. I got in and out in the town office, the city downtown office and the same at the uptown office. Yeah.

I spent the weekend doing some fun stuff mixed with working on my paper. I went to a psychic fair Sun and the church Fall Festival on Saturday. So nice to get outside.

I am waiting to hear back from my prof on when I can present. I am aiming for this coming week. It will seem so strange to not have homework. I won't know what to do with myself...not. lol

I am looking for an agent and/or publisher for my paper and for the memoirs I wrote to go with it. Let me know if you know of any.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Maps are signed

I just checked in with the building department and the maps are signed, but one form wasn't. The clerk and I went to school together, so she called the chairman and asked him if he could come back and sign the form. I checked back in and the chairman was there doing it. Yahoo.
Small towns are so great in that sense and since I know the chairman's brothers from the school bus ride he has been really helpful also.
We use to ride 50 minutes to school everyday and knew everyone along that route pretty well.

Right from work, I'll go grab the maps and the form and go to the first county agency I need to go to to start the filing process. I doubt if I'll make the second county office, but you never know.

I'll have to go fuel up my truck on break and grab something to eat.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Voted In

The Planning Board voted yes to the subdivision. Yeah!

The surveyor spoke at the public hearing with me. He was worth every penny and when I think about the three meetings he attended the two visits at the property with me/Ma, The many site visits he did, including last fall, and all the measuring, point posting, metal detecting (when we were looking for markers from 1912, which neither one of us ever found), drawing he did, prints he made, he was really reasonable. He gave a ton of his time on the phone and in person.

Now more paperwork is in my future. I have to pick up the maps once signed, get a copy of the letter they are sending to Ma saying it was approved, go to one county building and pay $25. for them to do a tax search to verify that Ma has paid her taxes (I can't bring proof, they do a search themselves), and I get permission to file the maps from them in the form of a receipt, and one other thing there which I have forgotten. Then I go to another county building to file the maps and pay another $25. and get on the new tax roll for assessment, and I have to pay $10. for some other thing.
Simple. lol

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Paper Hill

I had accumulated I don't know how many documents to do the survey. It was an incredible amount of paperwork. Yes, of course the surveyor does this, but then again you have to pay him for the privilege, so I gathered all of it. Since my mom had never had the property surveyed and any previous owner didn't (that we knew of) it was a chore. I would have still had to survey it, but we would have had some of the records already. It turned out to be fun being such an investigator anyway.

The parcel I am buying is surrounded by two different roads and three other property owners. One road had taken some of my mothers land back in the 50's so we had a map for that. The other road took land in the nineties, so that wasn't to hard to get at the county clerks office, but it was a massive amount of documents. In addition, the one neighbor had given me her survey map which really helped. The deeds for the three neighbors weren't too hard to get because they all owned their parcels for a shorter amount of time. Meaning that their deeds were on line.

At the time I gathered documents last fall, I didn't know if I would be buying the property across the road also, so that involved still yet another two property owners. I had to get all their deeds, and I got the deeds that their deeds referenced. i also got deeds for their other properties as well, since a couple of them own more than one parcel. Then I found out that my mother had two deeds. One from the 50's and one from the 60's. I got them both. Then I also got deeds for her land all the way back to 1902 in case the title search people or the lawyer, whomever needs them.
Now normally the seller would have already done this or had the documents, but since she wasn't planning to sell the land before I asked her if I could buy it, and since she is my mother, I did the leg work. I also did not want to pay tons more money for someone else to do it.

The real surprise that came a week or so before the survey was completed was that in 1912...Yes, 1912, now you are probably saying, "What the heck does something in 1912 have to do with 2009?" Well, as it turns out, in 1912 the county took a piece of the same land for a road improvement! What is now the state road once was a county one. They took some land from the maple tree marked with a K to the..you get the idea? So it had to do with my survey because no one had recorded this information on to any subsequent deeds and it did show up on one of the maps from the road takings in the 90's, but with no info. That is no map number, no deed book or page numbers, nothing. Just the little numbers 1912 between some bearing points with a jagged line depicting the taking. Of course between those two bearing points where road taking should have had bearing points there were none.

Anyway. Off i went to the clerks office with nothing but a date and a land owners name. Now if you have ever been to the clerks record office you will know that you need more than this.

I told a staff person there that I needed help with this and he kept repeating that it was impossible. The more someone tells me this the more determined I am. I sat with the index of maps book, sans map number and went through it page by page. Yes, page by page. Long story short a week later I had the maps, the deed, the new bearing points, the entire kit and kabootle. Now that first day I can proudly boast that within 20 minutes I had discovered what I thought was the right map number, but I had to screen microfiche that was unclear, go to another building, The Hall of Records downtown, and search for the original map and go through many more sets of unclear microfiche that no one could read, and then finally from 10:ish in the morning I got back home at 3:30 hungry, yet happy.

These maps turned out to be fine, but we were still short the deed and the bearing points. Another day I searched and got the deed since I had more info now, and then into the next week, I was able to fortunately track down the right secretary and retrieve digitized images of the bearing points within an hour of one phone call to DOT.

I now have every record anyone could possible have on this parcel. The surveyor told me it is all complete except for a deed for the Hill road from when the county took some of it in the 50's. The surveyor didn't need that deed since the description was on the map, but I will get it for my records. He discovered that the neighbors two iron pipes are about a foot off a bit from the takings.

The new survey map is a work of art. Beautiful and informative.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Public Vote

Tuesday night at 7 will be the public vote on the subdivision. Please pray that it goes well. The Planning Board already gave it their thumbs up.
I've been working on my paper for school this past week since the family has returned to the coast and abroad. It was a great visit, but never long enough.