No Fools Here!

Apr. 1st 2013

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 »