The Move

Friday 9-23-11

Yes, I know I'm a week behind with this post.  Some of us have moved you know. 

Today (well, the 23rd), I waited for the hot tub movers to arrive.  It has been raining all day.  Luckily they felt it wasn't too bad and arrived in the morning knowing that I have to be at work at 12:30.

They followed me over to the new house, set the hot tub into place, collected their $250 and then departed.  Jim will get the electrical hooked up and then fill with water quickly.  We're excited to soak in it after working hard on the move.

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In other news, Jim's Grandma, has arrived to help out!  She'll unpack, clean, organize, direct and dog watch as needed!  What a great help she'll be!

Here’s my parking lot at work… the leaves are changing…

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Saturday 9-24-11

It's move day! It rained most of the day. Ugh.

I took off from work today.

We hired 4 movers at $60 an hour. It's the same guy we used when we first moved to Charlotte. This was such a tremendous help. We supplied the moving truck (U-Haul). Up and down the stairs to the infinite degree. Worth it. Totally worth it. Jim directed the movers while I boxed up remaining last minute stuff. Grandma took Dasher over to the new house and started putting some stuff away. We had Robin come over and help Grandma as needed. When I had nothing else to box up, I too went to the new house and started unpacking the kitchen.

2011-09-24 001Above: It’s been almost 2 years since we’ve seen the dining room.

It took 2 trips and we got MOST of our stuff.  When will the rain stop?


Sunday 9-25-11

Trying to remember the order of what happened when is maddening.  Some may say it's not really important to get specific dates/events correct but for some reason it is for me.  Maybe me just being anal retentive... not sure. 

I can tell you that this morning, I made waffles and Jim, Grandma and I enjoyed a Mimosa.

2011-09-25 002Above: This is the gift box that our realtor gave us.

2011-09-25 003Above: This photo is for Flartus who said on a previous post:


Mike and Billy came over and assisted us with a final U-Haul run.  What needed moved was a few miscellaneous items along with all of our outdoor stuff.  We didn't take the outdoor stuff the other day since it was all wet.  It was still a big ole mess.  The ground was so saturated it was pure mud.  Jim laid down cardboard as a path for us to walk on.

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Above/Below: And naturally if the rain hadn’t been enough, a neighbor was having a party.

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Jim connected the hot tub electrical and started filling!  Tonight, we shall have hot tub time!

Monday 9-26-11

As you read the other day, here's where I got the news that Time Warner will come out sooner than October 12th to get me hooked up with service.

I worked on getting the bedroom somewhat presentable. 

2011-09-26 0102011-09-26 011Above: Clea (cat) and Dasher (dog).

Tuesday 9-27-11

Today I received a comment on the blog from hitchitch in reference to getting Internet established.  It shouldn't be much longer though but I decided to look into it anyway.  They referred me to for a free program that would allow Grandma's laptop become a WiFi Hot Spot.  I decided against it.  I didn't want to have to install a program on her laptop.  I decided to look for a program to use my cell phone.  I found one!  Free too!  And it works!  Not wirelessly, but rather as a tether.  If you want it from the Android Market, it's called EasyTether.  I installed a program to my phone and to my laptop and then connected the two via a USB cable.  Fast speeds too! 

Jim finished reassembling the office furniture enough that later in the week, I can start loading up the shelves and what not. 


Wednesday 9-28-11

Grandma and I headed to the rental to finish cleaning.  She and Robin got quite a bit done the other day.  We cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed, magic-erasered the walls, cleaned windows, etc.  Phew, what a lot of work...  Later in the evening when Jim came home, we went to dinner and then returned to the house to get the TV, TiVo and associated mounting brackets.  I spackled some more.

I started setting up all the equipment Time Warner would need for the install.  We paid our builder to have some cable outlets installed and this is what we got:

2011-09-27 012Above:  Really?  Not even a cable outlet with the connector protruding?  Not even a connector on the end of the wire?  You people suck.

Thursday 9-29-11

Speaking of sucking.  Time Warner came out today.  They ran a cable from the yard junction box to the house that they’ll have to bury in the future.  That was the big install?  Nothing works.  The guy told Grandma that Time Warner has to do something at the box.  Jim called them and they didn’t know what we were talking about.  They attempted to get a hold of the installer but failed.  Jim had to speak to several people and spent a long time on the phone.  The supervisor is crediting us $30 a month for a year.  I’m not sure how Jim got that deal, maybe because he mentioned going to satellite?  Tomorrow a supervisor is supposed to call me to tell us what’s going on.

9-26-11 PSA

So, I last told you about the Time Warner issue with not being able to have service until October 12th.  Aside from them sucking, what this means is no internet, phone or cable.  Right now it's not a big issue since I have so much unpacking and organizing to do. 

Recently I've discovered that I can now get Blogger access at work so I'll try to get my posts typed up and transmit them later. 

What I can tell you so far is that the move was a success.  It's great to be in the new house.  I have photos.  I have to figure out how to get them from my camera to work.  Jim's Grandma is staying with us and being an enormous help.  She's got a laptop with an AT&T internet connection.  I'm trying to figure out how to broadcast that internet connection so that Jim and I can use it.  Somewhere I have a special router that can use cell phone cards so that might be an option.  Verizon wants $30 for me to use my cell phone as an internet hub.  That's a little rich for my blood. 

Oooooo, update, update.  I called Time Warner at lunch to get an update.  Ms Awesome asks if I want to change the install date.  Well, yeah.  She re-explains the process of needing an engineer, a scientist, a politician, and a local gardner for a new install which is why it takes so long HOWEVER they can get it done THIS Thursday the 29th.  Would I like to switch the date?  Uhhhh, hell yeah.  So, the 29th it is.

In the meantime, when I return from Facebook, Scrabble, and blogging haitus, I'll post more info and pictures.

9-22-11 Thursday (Extra Credit)

There were big plans for today.  I was to load the trailer up before work and then after work, Jim would take it to the new house to unload.  Simple right? 

Well, I carried box after box from the second floor down to the living room, then into the garage and eventually into the trailer.  It was tiring.  Just like yesterday.  The out of shape slash old slash stairs suck played into my frequent breaks.  I joked with Jim that I should just stay home and get this all done.  He agreed, so I skipped work.  By early afternoon, I has wished I had gone to work.  I was exhausted.  My legs felt like Jello.  I muddled through and finally finished.

Jim had left work early, and for help, picked up a coworkers son, Robin, who had previously house sat for us while we were on vacation.  We crammed a few more things into the trailer and went to the new house to unload.  Naturally we let young master Robin do most of the stairs climbing.  We finished up, took him home and went out for Five Guys for dinner.  Mmmmmm.

As a side note, earlier in the day I called several utility companies to set up the account service transfers.  So I called Time Warner.  I wanted to know if its possible to have service in two locations, like an overlap, just how power and water companies do it.  The guy I spoke with, we'll call him Ditz, said no but I could set up a new account and then cancel the old one.  I said it wouldn't be beneficial since I wouldn't have to get a new phone number.  So he started processing my request for service transfer and says my number can't move.  Huh?  It's only a 15 minutes away from my current address.  Still in the same city.  He said it works off of substations or something like that.  I ask for a supervisor.  He placed me on hold, comes back and says he was wrong, the number can stay.  I'm left wondering if he just wanted me to get a new account for credit?  We continue.  He tells me the first available install date is October 12th?  What the ?  Yes, I understand my house is brand new and doesn't have cable.  I ask for a manager.  I get Ms. Mgr who empathizes very well and tells me that the 12th is a computer generated date and it might be sooner but no promises.  So 20 days without cable, Internet, or phone?  Really?  With this economy we can't get more contractors and what not?  We have a TiVo that we love and can't be used with satellite so right now we're kinda stuck.  I'll just keep raising a ruckus I guess.  I'm so annoyed though.  Maybe I should call again and again and again?

9-21-11 Wednesday (Quizzes)

It's been a busy week. 

Wednesday was our closing.  It went OK but of course I have some complaints.  Please reserve your gasps for the end.  The lawyer that did the closing seemed like an idiot.  Plain and simple.  Jim found more mistakes on the documents than he did.  The lawyer didn't do the standard "this document basically says this that or the other thing, please sign here."  He was more of a "sign here" type of guy.  If it wasn't for this being Jim and I's 3rd home purchase together, we'd be baffled.  I assure you, the lawyer didn't know any of this.  Jim questioned a $33 entry on the HUD, the lawyer said "yeah, weird" then finally figured it out and later made a strange comment that we almost cancelled closing over $35.  Jim and I both ignored it and assumed it was his terrible attempt at humor.  I know for sure that it was weird because after the closing I said to Jim, "I wasn't sure how to take that guy.  When he started talking about..." and Jim finished my sentenced.

After we closed, the woman at the NACA desk gave Jim a verbal pop quiz.  She treated us like we were kids and was testing what we've learned.  Then she said some more ridiculous stuff and whipped out voter registration cards to make sure we changed our address AND are registered to vote.  Odd.  She then immediately schedules us for our volunteer session (part of the NACA deal) for late October to tell other people how great they are.  Wacky. 

Our realtor, Donna, was there for closing.  Afterwards, she opened her trunk, grabbed a cooler and gave us champagne and OJ for Mimosas!  Very sweet, but since we weren't going home but rather to our new abode with no refrigerator just yet, we had to decline our gift, pending Donna's delivery for Saturday.  We're high maintenance.  I know.  Prior to the closing, we had loaded up the vehicles with a few things such as paper towels, toilet paper, hand soap, dishtowels, sponge, etc, etc. 

We then headed out for lunch then to the U-Haul place for one of those big double axle trailers.  Yes, we'll get a regular truck later in the week.  We headed to the rental and emptied out the attic storage of Halloween and Christmas decor boxes.  It pretty much filled up the trailer, give or take.  We have way too much.  Up and down the steps at the rental, over and over, rinse and repeat, made me realize that 1- I'm out of shape.  2- I'm old.  3- Stairs suck.  It wasn't fun. 

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We got it loaded up and arrived at the new house where Jim cut a hole in the wall.  Huh?  Well, during construction, the space under the stairs was going to be covered up.  Jim eye-balled it as being the perfect place for heavy Christmas stuff that we'd rather not schlep up steps.  Why not use the space instead of the intended waste?  Prior to drywall installation, Jim measured and mapped out where the studs, electrical and what not would be.  With tools in hand, Jim cut a hole in the garage drywall.  He did manage to saw right through the cord, creating a pretty spark.  Oy.  He'll later frame it and add a door.  I'd like a secret bookcase wall.  You know, where you have to pull a candle for it to open?  Well, maybe it won't be so much of a secret if I blog about it, huh?

2011-09-21 010Above: Whoops

2011-09-21 005Above/Below: 2 piles of Christmas and Halloween.  Most of which will fit in the space under the stairs.2011-09-21 006

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2011-09-21 009Above: Our pretty wall.

We've been asked why we didn't have the builder do it.  Well, finances.  Who knows what they would have charged.  Also we were at the maximum price that the builder would let us do without paying for anything else up front.

9-18-11 Sunday (Who’s Gonna Take Responsibility?)

Before I get started on today’s post, I need to catch up on some whining, complaining, and overall judging:

2011-09-10 045Above: These flags were given to each employee for 9-11.  Along the seam states “Made in USA” and I’m ashamed.  The ugly seam is showing on the incorrect side of the flag.  The red and white stripes are both crooked AND not equally sized.  Pitiful.  I don’t blame my job for this, I blame whomever the manufacturer was.  What I may blame my job for is that they purchased these hideously made pieces of… OK, moving on.


2011-09-08 003Above: This is my neighbor, Tequilla’s home. She also built with Adams Homes.  A couple of weeks ago I introduced myself and pointed out her siding issue.  It’s warped/buckled.  She hadn’t even noticed.  She was nonchalant about it saying something about how several homes in the neighborhood had this happening and that she was waiting until a year after the build (per instructions given to her) to contact the warranty department.  I cautioned her not to since the siding may not match.  Luckily for us, Jim had remembered that the builder changing siding companies when we signed contract.  Phew.  I later found out that she had taken my advice and requested a repair.


2011-09-08 004Above: Dear rental neighbor with a constant 6 (typically) vehicles in the driveway that don’t seem to move, how about removing that lawn mower box that’s been sitting on your hood for 3 weeks already?  I hope the combination of morning dew and sunshine permanently fuses the cardboard to your paint.  Maybe one of your 956 inhabitants can clean the yard up a little.


The scans I posted below are from the rental company’s price list of what they’ll charge if I don’t leave the rental in pristine condition.  I found it funny to have prices for some of this stuff although I can understand it’s a necessary evil:Henderson Price List 1Henderson Price List 2Henderson Price List 3

OK, I’m glad I got that off my chest.  Let’s talk about today:

We started the day with trying a local restaurant for breakfast.  Dino’s Family Restaurant.  The restaurant had an article about itself from 1986 framed and posted.  This place has been around a long time.  Unfortunately, I could tell.  The place was overall “creepy” to me.  I felt like any minute a roach was going to join me for breakfast.  The food was OK (omelets), however I couldn’t really get beyond the creepiness.  I couldn’t wait to leave.  One humorous tidbit appeared at the bottom of their menu:

2011-09-18Above: “We regret that we cannot be responsible for personal property.”  Having this sort of disclaimer on a menu troubles me.

Just about the time that the creepiness had worn off, we arrived in Rockwell, NC for an outing at Tiger World which lead to more creepiness.  This was a Groupon trip.  This place was kind of like a zoo in someone’s backyard.  More accurately, if I had to describe a redneck zoo, this would be perfect.  In defense of this place, once I researched it to post within the blog, I found that it’s more about animal rescue and nonprofit than being a zoo.  They had animals that were missing a leg or an eye.  I applaud them and think I’d return if nothing else but to support them.  Ready for more photos?

2011-09-18 027Above: The Lochness Monster was a nice touch but not really executed very well.

2011-09-18 009Above: The fencing between the various tigers, bears, wolves and what nots was disturbing.  I was actually worried they’d get through and attack us.  Really.

2011-09-18 010Above/Below: Reptile World was a dive.  A pieced together exhibit with a couple of snakes and turtles.2011-09-18 011


2011-09-18 012Above: Jim in Reptile World with his bag of nuts to feed the animals with.

2011-09-18 015Above/Below: He was great at catching… see video.


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2011-09-18 019Above/Below: Bad views.2011-09-18 020

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After our zoo outing, we headed home (a 40 minute drive) to Charlotte.  We stopped off at a Rose’s discount store and had a little fun:

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2011-09-18 028Above: The most awesome thing about this photo is it was actually Jim’s idea!

Well, it was entertaining to us…  Within our area, Jim spotted this in front of a funeral home:

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It’s weird.  The top reminded me of something nautical or like a parade float.  What the ?

Wednesday is the closing!

9-15-11 Thursday (How Do You Like Your Eggs?)

Yesterday, being Wednesday, nothing exciting happened.  I did manage to make a couple of returns, pack a box, do laundry, vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom (yeah, just one), removed some nails in the walls and patched them, etc.

The builder's salesperson, Michelle, called me a few times to verify where some of the issues were from the walk-through.  She wasn't part of the walk-throughs and therefore didn't know each detail.  Ted who knew the issues wasn't at the house so Michelle was double checking all the work.  I eventually emailed her the photos I had and a list of the concerns. 

Adams Homes is pretty hot to close.  NACA had emailed requesting a closing date for Monday but Jim and I will not commit to a closing date without completion of the punch-list.   The rush is on, the contract is only extended until Thursday 9-22-11 at this point.

When Jim came home we went out to dinner and then stopped at a couple of furniture stores.  We're rethinking the bedroom furniture purchase for both style and price.  We may just cancel it out all together and wait until all the other small purchases are made.

Fast forward to Thursday, we had the walk-through at 8:00am.  We weren't 100% happy with a few of the repairs and noticed 3 things we hadn't noticed prior OR didn't exist prior.  One of the brick decorative porch columns has a crack running down 2 bricks, and paint booger in the dining room and something else that eludes me right now.

Some time later in the afternoon, I receive a text to schedule another walk-through for tomorrow at 8:30am.  Jim will be late again to work as a result and isn't very happy about it.  Why didn't they just scrutinize their own work prior to us coming this morning?  It's constant wastes of time that continue to irritate us. 

imageAbove: I felt this entry needed a photo...

What is with the lack of quality?  Some readers have commented about the quality along the lines of: Do you really want this house?  What don't you see?  -- The good thing is that we've watched every step of the way and had Jim's dad, who owns a construction business in Naples, FL, come and look at everything before drywall went up.   I have to believe or maybe want to believe that all will be OK.  Adams Homes is such a big builder in Florida with a general good reputation... what's going on here in North Carolina?

While at work, some where around 7:30pm, Jim emails me that he worked late to make up his time and that he stopped by the house to see the brick had been repaired and that the front door still had a chip in the paint (as found this morning) and the caulk was still missing from the corner of the house for the 3rd time.  He's not going to tomorrow's walk-through as a result.  It's probably too late but I emailed the sales person about what Jim found and warned her I'd be angry if it wasn't at 100%.

Friday morning, I arrive at the new house to find Ted and a couple of painters are already there and have everything complete.  Egg on face much?  Yeah.  We had no idea they’d get there early in the morning to get stuff done.  I felt completely stupid that Jim didn’t come AND that I had emailed the salesperson.  Either way, what a relief.  Now, we’re waiting for a closing date which is Wednesday.

9-12-11 Monday (The Not So Final Final)

The saga continues.  Click here (for previous post) if the next paragraph doesn’t make any sense. 

Adams homes was unwilling to extend the contract!  Odd that they still seemed confident that they’d have everything done although we knew otherwise.  They were positive that the 4 items the NACA inspector found would be corrected before his re-inspect Tuesday and that the other outstanding items would be placed a promise to repair after the fact.  We were leery. 

We met with Ted, the Adams Home production manager, for our final walkthrough.  Well, now it’s going to be more of a semi-final walk through.  Ted told us that the superintendent, Roger, is no longer with the company.  Now this all makes sense.  Roger quit and didn’t care about the outstanding items so most were never addressed.  At the end of today’s meeting, Ted thanked us for coming in to redo this all and was awesome to work with.  He really wowed us with his willingness to correct any issues. 

From the NACA inspector (non-cosmetic issues only) were 4 items on the list:

  1. Anti-tip on stove.  This was completed but when Jim tested it, the stove severely wobbled.  It needs adjustment otherwise I’m sure it will fail tomorrow’s re-inspection. 
  2. Cracks in garage floor and side of house.  The garage floor was sealed but not the side of the house.
  3. Dishwasher hits knob.  They adjusted it slightly and hopefully enough to pass inspection but they will be redoing some cabinetry and the draw to accommodate the dishwasher.
  4. The swale in the front yard was a trip hazard.  This has been widened to be less shallow.  I think it’s barely noticeable except for the grass that appears dead in it.  I think they should have replaced the sod in it since the dead grass draws attention to it.

Remember the prior entry the builder stated in an email:

Ted spent some time out here the other day going through the house.  All items from the initial walk through and NACA repair list are complete.  Most of the items from your additional list are complete as well, however they had to

Item 1 and 3 a definite disappointment.  Item #2, you only got half that fixed.  So as I said yesterday, you guys lied.  You wasted our time.

As an act of good faith, they are going to pay the $75 re-inspection fee.  I just wish they would have been honest enough up front and said, “Hey listen, Roger is no longer with the company, we’re not sure if he addressed all your concerns, would you mind coming back in for another walk through?”  Then we wouldn’t have been so upset about the “waste of time”.

We’ll have another “final” walkthrough tentatively for Thursday of this week.  Per NACA, we can’t close by the 15th so Adams had to extend the contract.  Here’s some stuff they have to take care off:

2011-09-10 044Above: Bad caulk job

2011-08-31 029Above: Noted at first walkthrough and wasn’t addressed.  It’s like Roger just removed the tape and nothing more.

2011-09-10 018Above: House number bolts are rusting, one missing.

2011-09-10 021Above/Below: Bottom of the banister.

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2011-09-10 024Above: Scratch in the wood floors.

2011-09-10 026Above: Banister at the top of the stairs.

2011-09-10 027Above: A small problem that was made worse.

2011-09-10 031Above: Weird blemish above the light fixture that was never corrected even though it was pointed out during the initial walkthrough.

2011-09-10 035Above: Finger prints above the toilet tank.

2011-09-10 037Above: Gouges in the door frames.

2011-09-10 039Above: Still there from the initial walkthrough.

2011-09-10 041Above: That’s only part of what there is to see.

2011-09-10 042Above: No biggie.  The stopper took off some paint.

2011-09-10 043Above: They painted around the downspout.

I think in the end they’ll be able to get most all done before re-inspection.  Most likely the cabinetry/dishwasher/knob problem will still exist and they’ll provide an addendum stating so if need be for closing.

Ted was great to work with.  I’m glad Roger is gone. Too many times we were met with opposition for a correct repair.

Jim and I stopped into Furniture Row and bought the bedroom furniture we saw over the weekend.  Just as with the fridge and sofas, we made sure we can cancel for a full refund.  Their Labor Day sale runs until 9-23-11 but I wanted to get it over with and locked in at the sale price.  We may cancel the bedroom furniture just due to the money factor.  It’s the last of the big ticket purchases we needed wanted, however, we think the small purchases may gobble up a lot of money.  Besides, we can make due with our hideous bedroom furniture for a while.  It functions.