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Monthly Archives: August 2008

Foundation, Day 1

The masons had to finish their previous job and worked only part of the day today. The part of the foundation shown above is the left wing of the house on the downhill side and is about half of the house’s total footprint. This downhill side is where the foundation is highest, and it’s where […]

New York Times on Boomers' second act

A local example of a humble house in the provinces The New York Times has a story today on the very strategy I used for early retirement — taking the proceeds of years in the city to buy or build debt-free in an area where the cost of living is low. Personally I cannot imagine […]

Blocks, sand, and cement

Today (Tuesday) the blocks, sand, and cement for the foundation were delivered. The masons will start work tomorrow. I had not planned on having a basement. It was too much for my budget. However, the lower half of the house turned out to be an easy dig for a basement. So I’ll have a half […]

Restoring Edna St. Vincent Millay's garden

Edna St. Vincent Millay, photographed by Carl Van (via Wikipedia) Steepletop today, Washington Post The Washington Post has a nice story today on my favorite poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay. I think there are always those who want to restore her standing as a poet, but this story also talks about the restoration of her […]

Tropical storm Fay

Weather Underground Western North Carolina is in the possible path of Tropical storm Fay. Wouldn’t a nice rain late next week be nice.

The footings have been poured

2 p.m. Friday By 3:30 p.m. today, the footings had been dug, inspected by the county, and 10 cubic yards of concrete poured. I believe that works out to around 15 tons of concrete. On Monday the materials for the foundation walls will be delivered, and the masons should start laying blocks on Tuesday.


10 a.m. Friday The work on my house has started. This morning they’re digging the footings. The concrete truck should arrive in the early afternoon to pour the footings. It rained yesterday, and the ground is a bit wet, but that doesn’t seem to be of much concern to the guys doing the work. I […]


Stokes County couldn’t issue me an official mailing address until I got my final building permit. Since the time I left California, my mail has temporarily been going to family in Yadkin County. I got the building permit on Monday, and I put up my new mailbox this morning. I’m officially on the map now […]

I signed a contract to build my house!

I signed a contract today with a construction company in King (also in Stokes County) to build the exterior of my gothic cottage. I also got the building permit from the county today. The construction company is eager to start, so work on the foundation may well begin this week. As I mentioned in an […]

Rough hurricane season ahead?

NOAA Three organizations that watch hurricanes have issued revised forecasts calling for a rough hurricane season ahead. One of the organizations, Tropical Storm Risk Inc., has given a 95 percent probability that 2008 will be in the top third of years historically for hurricane activity. A good source of hurricane information, and the one I […]