No Fools Here!

01/04/13 5:13 PM

Happy April Fool’s Day!

Sorry, no fools today at the plantation!


Today was a loaded day for me. I drove up yesterday afternoon after a nice Easter with the family to prepare for a week full of things to do. Last night was also my first time sleeping alone in the Mansion! Believe it or not, I slept pretty well. When I arrived last night, I dropped my things off and headed back out to grab a bit to eat. I don’t have things here to cook with so I am pretty much on my own for food. When I returned to the Mansion, I was surprised to find the plantation socked in by fog! It was so thick you couldn’t see the Mansion at the end of the drive as normal.

When I got up this morning, around 6:30am (yes, I had to get up early on my first official day away from the corporate job! No rest for those who want more!), the fog was still hanging around. I decided since my first appointment wasn’t until 7:30am, I would run over to Port Royal and have breakfast at Hornes Grill. Before I left, I got a great shot of the fog in the early morning hours!


Hornes seems to be a very popular place for breakfast. And I can see why! The food is great, the staff friendly and you see all the locals there! I got to see Mr. McGuiness, the antique dealer I love! The staff is starting to get to know me so I enjoyed the conversation that you would only have in a small town.

After breakfast I hurried back for my first appointment with a Handyman Company. We walked through the Mansion and discussed what needed to be done.

After this appointment, I met with a Tree Company. This was a very interesting meeting! The owner is a Certified Arborist. He told me more about our trees than I have ever known. First off the poor Walnut tree isn’t a Walnut, but an Ash. And the Red Maple we are thinking of cutting down is currently a hive for bees. The owner even got in touch with a local bee keeper who came and told me about the hive. I didn’t know, but bees go dormant during the winter months. Our have just started getting busy again. The bee keeper says in about one more week, we could have a thousand bees in this hive! Not good! But the Arborist says he can cut the tree down and have the bee keeper on hand to gather the swarm and queen and move them to his property. Glad it’s them and not me!

The Bee Keeper and I also got to talk some. We might be working out a deal where he would place a bee hive on the property away from the Mansion and people. He would manage the bees and harvest the honey. We would have fresh honey for the Mansion! I think it is a great idea! I also found out that he is a member of the American Legion. In his chapter, they have done so fund raising for Wound Warriors. This is a charity that Brett and I want to support. I asked him if they would consider helping us raise some funds to get a wheel chair lift for Belle Grove because it is our hope to offer a free weekend to a Wound Warrior once a month once we get started. He informed me that he may know someone who has a wheel chair lift that they aren’t using any more. If so, we may be able to purchase it. Keep your fingers crossed on this one! Wheel Chair lifts can run between 8,000 to 10,000 each! We just don’t have the funds to invest in this right now, but need one soon!

After the tree company appointment, we met with another Handyman Company. After another tour, he seemed to be right on the same page as us. He also told us that he would be able to get the jobs done quickly. Fast and good are the two key words for us this month.

After the morning appointments, I headed over to Verizon to get our new equipment and my new cell phone. We have been with T-Mobile for years, but Verizon seems to be the best carrier in our area here. We now have new cell phones (which I now have to figure out!), telephone service for the Mansion and most important, we have Wi-Fi! YES!!

After Verizon it was on to True Value Hardware, where I purchase some last pieces for the Osprey nest platform. We don’t have a date for when they are moving the Power Line Pole in the main driveway, but we want to be ready with the platform so we can have them attach it to the old pole and plant it for us. We just need to find something temporary to cover the chimneys until we can get the custom caps done. I also got a wheel barrow, which was badly needed to get the bricks we pulled to the pile! I have to put it together, but that’s okay. I can handle it!

Then to the most important appointment today! It was off to King George Court House and City Center! I got the Special Exception Form that was approved by the Board of Supervisors and walked it over to the Court Clerk’s Office and had it recorded. I also got our Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name recorded. Then it was back to the Planning Department to drop off the form and over to the Commissioner of Revenues office to get…YES!… Our Business License!


We are Official!!!

I was even able to get a temporary pass to the city trash drop off center! I can’t tell you how wonderful everyone was! It was one of the best experiences I have ever had with a government office! Thank you to every one of you for making me feel so welcomed!

So now, after this post, I am off to put together the wheel barrow while I watch the sunset on the river.

Tomorrow is another day of fun! We have a meeting with the architects that did the restoration on the Mansion. We are hoping to have them do the restoration on the outbuildings too.

After that meeting at 10am, it’s off to Ferry Farms to meet with our favorite archaeologist, Mara to date the “finds” from our metal detecting!

From there who knows what else I can get myself into!

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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 39 Comments »

39 Comments on “No Fools Here!”

  1. Love your fog picture. We get it here some mornings and I get homesick for the mountain I grew up on.

  2. It was okay for me. Just pretty, but creepy last night being alone!

  3. Jennifer Says:

    What a beautiful picture! Sounds like things are falling into place nicely so far. And such a wonderful experience with Government offices. They seem to be same the world over. Good luck with your bird nests and the beehives, that sounds great having your own fresh honey. 🙂

  4. Thank you!

  5. edgar62 Says:

    Sounds like things are moving along quite well. Like the government official. We have some here – not a lot, but some and it’s always god to meet one.

  6. Thank you! That is so true!

  7. Do NOT use chicken wire or anything like that to cover the chimneys… the ospreys will just use them as forms. I would suggest something very un-inviting….like barbed wire strands.

  8. You know someone had suggested chicken wire, but I thought better of it since they could get their claws caught in them. But barbed wire strands? Does that work?

  9. terry1954 Says:

    Don’t forget to eat supper!!!!!! LOL

  10. Haha, just came back from supper. Had a cheese steak at River Haven just across the river from us. Yum!!

  11. Dianna Says:

    goodness, you make me tired, just reading your list of things to do! Love your fog picture!

  12. Thank you! You know I am a little tired tonight too! After I answer a few comments and read a few blogs, I think I am going to jump into my claw foot soaking tub and soak for a little while. Then turn in with a good movie.

  13. Ya gotta love persistence. And, hey, there are people on the other (bottom?) side of the world who reckon you guys have done wonderful things! My love, as always, to Hurley!

  14. Thank you David! We are working on it! But I have to say I didn’t bring Hurley this time because I was going to be so busy. And to tell the truth without Brett or Hurley here, it is a little lonely. I can’t wait to open so I will never be lonely with or without them!

  15. Glittermoon Says:

    Wow, What a day. I’m exhausted after reading about it! How far are you from Port Royal? I just drove through there on my way back to Richmond. I go by there pretty often as I drive to teh Eastern Shore of MD to visit my mother and family.

  16. You know I am a little tired tonight too! But it is a good tired. Because the work I did today means something. It’s not just work I do to make a goal for someone else!

    We are just across the river from Port Royal. If you know where River Haven Restaurant is, you can sit at there back window and see us during the winter months. But come summer the trees fill in and we are harder to see.

  17. Glittermoon Says:

    Well, I will keep an eye peeled and perhaps one day turn up at your doorstep!

  18. Amy Says:

    Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing your excitement with us! Everything is so well planned…

  19. Thank you! I love to share!

  20. Sandy Says:

    It sounds like things are happening! I am sure you will have more peace of mind knowing that you are there all the time to handle things instead of trying to fit it in between work and commuting from home. I loved the pictures too!

  21. thank you! I hope so!

  22. willowandbee Says:

    Great pictures…I love fog! Once the tax bill comes, it’s real! How exciting!

  23. Thank you! You had to say tax bill … blah!

  24. Wow, that’s more than I do in a week! And blogging too! You must be exhausted! And I love the photo with the fog – what an amazing place.

  25. Thank you! I was really tired last night. Got to sleep around midnight and didn’t move the whole night!

  26. belocchio Says:

    How exciting. The first of anything is something we always remember. I loved your photograph of the mist/fog. Yours is a wonderful story of an exceptional life experience. It is always very positive. Virginia

  27. Thank you! I try to stay positive in all things!

  28. Patty B Says:

    Beautiful pictures especially of the fog. You bring new meaning to the words – dare to dream! How wonderful that you are living your dream. 🙂

  29. Thank you so much! It is such an adventure! I woke this morning and thought it was Saturday. What a joy to realize it was Tuesday!!

  30. David Says:

    Fog/mist … sounds like the making of a fall or Halloween-type weekend. 🙂

  31. Well pulling in after going out for food to find the plantation socked in with fog was a little creepy! lol

  32. becky6259 Says:

    Things are really coming together well and God is blessing your efforts! The wheelchair lift thing is especially a gift from God if it comes through. The picture with the fog reminds me of those old movies where there are people always running around outside of a mansion in the fog (cue scary music). The mansion is really looking good!

  33. Thank you! We hope it will come through! Keep praying! I loved the fog. It really was beautiful.

  34. melmannphoto Says:

    Congratulations on your progress. The first image of the property has a very stately look to it, as it should appear to someone approaching in their carriage. Fog shot is a great mood image – can feel the dampness and quiet in the scene. Look forward to hearing about your success.

  35. Thank you so much! I love taking shoots around the plantation! It just seems to have so many angles yet to be seen!

  36. Mama Bear Says:

    That pic of the fog was fantastic!
    PB and I are going to do the bee thing too. Not this house but our next one. Congratulations on the license!

  37. Thank you! Oh, you have to tell me how it goes!

  38. Congratulations!

  39. Thank you!