The Non-Stop Surprises & Guessing Games Continue!!
If this is not the most mind-boggling game I have ever played I am clearly just having memory problems. I have certainly had a wild and diversified life where I have accomplished a ton of things that many have thought impossible. This project certainly “seems” more mind-boggling than anything before it, however. I literally wake up each day and wonder what the day will bring to it. I ride the waves up and down … getting excited at each new thing that shows up and then finding out the truth about it. The “truth” that I find out is sometimes spot on and even a million times better that what I was originally told and understood and sometimes so far off that I can’t even imagine how it could be so so far off. It is a surprise a minute and infused with enough guessing games that I swear I am in a video game.
This was another of those weeks. Things had stalled out, for multiple reasons, and I was dancing in and out of people and circumstances, determined to just keep dancing as if I were still at a 90s rave party after the sun came up. Friday suddenly there was a series of breakthroughs. Duke energy had not gotten back to me and Thursday the engineer from Duke emailed me and apologized that he had been deployed to northern Florida for 2 weeks because of Hurricane Idalia. He said he would go the property the next morning and sure enough he did … first thing Friday morning.
Electricity has been a debate from the get go. It took me months to find the correct electric power company (Duke was one of the companies I called that said they were NOT it, BTW). After spending hours in conversation with another company over time their engineers figured out it was NOT them and sent me to … guess whooo?? … that’s right Duke.
Not only that but, the prices I had been given along the way by various companies in no way set me up for the very real sticker shock I was about to get. The Duke engineer was great, we spoke and he gave me various options involving what they could do and how much my electrician would need to do for each option and even talked to me about tankless water heaters vs. old school water heater tanks. He also broke down the realities about costs. It seems that Florida is interesting about being off-grid, They welcome some things and some counties even encourage various off-grid activities with financial incentives.
My county, which is not one of the 4 who offer that however, looks like this: I cannot go directly off grid. I must go through a power company since there is one available. I need power company electricity on the property if I live there. I may, after I am hooked to the power company, install solar and utilize a switch to switch off the electric power company’s input and switch to my off grid system. They will even, right now, buy back excess energy I have from the solar system at a percentage. There are no guarantees that this will always be there because it has been legally threatened before and may be again. But for now that is true. However, once on the grid always on the grid and I will pay a monthly base fee whether I use the grid electricity or not. All very interesting if you ask me. Of course, no one did ask me.
As for the installation of that electric pole the best option is to get the pole up by the house and well. Then the electrician can bring it from the pole to an electric station he builds and run that to the shipping container home and the well. I will also need to clear land from the street SE corner to the home area in the NE corner. This whole little adventure will cost me almost $20K.
The other options all have the electric pole brought onto the property a short distance leaving the electrician to take it from the all the way across the land and to the home area. This adventure when priced out would actually end up costing me MORE than $20K. Seems that since Duke does this all day long everyday and gets better pricing on heavy duty cables, etc. it is actually cheaper to have them do it. Sooooooooo, there you have it … all the other smaller prices I was quoted was for things that would have never worked and I now had to increase my electric budget times four. Ouch!! Can you say: OVER BUDGET??? I can and it is painful added to the other under budgeted items I have already encountered.
Frankly, the money hurt but what hurt worse was that it will take a couple of weeks to get everything agreed to, the drawings done and the permits in and then once I pay for it all the install time will be 4-6 weeks out. This is the point where my head let out a VERY BIG SCREAM. That puts electricity on the property in November.|
OK, so, I was not going to be stopped … dance onward, keep having this conversation and get it moving. I then concocted a plan by which I would go ahead and at least get the permit for the overall site and the shipping containers in and get the containers on the property and live without electricity for a little bit. Yipee! I could do that.
Sunday at noon I met with a contractor who would do the concrete slab for the storage shipping container and the concrete piers for the shipping container I would live in. He wanted to see the land to see how much work needed to be done to level it, etc. He was great BUT could not do a bit of work until the permit was approved by the county.
THE PERMIT … THE PERMIT. That was the other breakthrough that had happened on Friday evening. After several delays and a slight redrawing issue Nair (my friend and GC) got the drawings for the permit back again with everything corrected and the architect’s signature on them. WhooooooooooHooooooooooooo!
This meant that she could now finish up the permit and get it submitted to the county this week. Country approximation for approval time 2-3 weeks. I am no mathematician but if I do simple math that says that if we get the permit to the county this week then we SHOULD (if nothing is rejected) have approval by the 2nd week in October … then the concrete work can be done the 4th week and shipping containers delivered after that. That makes the ability to live on land even without electricity almost a November thing too.
If you have been reading along for a while you will know that I was playing a crazy game to be living on the property for my birthday which is at end of 1st week in October. MISS!!
OFF!! MISS BY A LONG SHOT!! So, no matter how I look at it I will not be living on the property til November now. OK, so I confess, I let myself be grumpy and disappointed and had a pity party for a bit before I reminded myself that I had given this all up to the Universe and that the Universe knows better than I do and I would trust that. OK, so I had to remind myself several times over the last few days. But, I got it now.
The rest of the day on the property Sunday was spend re-clearing land just to keep it from getting worse. I trimmed and used the brush cutter and the chainsaw and got everything looking good again. It was another cooker of a day heat wise so I seemed to take more breaks than I worked but I got a lot done. I did manage to wack myself with a falling limb but other than some bruising and skin damage I am OK. As for the property … the Privacy tent was rocking in the wind but it was still tethered down, the tarp was still covering my containers, the rainwater collection tank collected several more gallons of water and there are no savage wild bores or alligators on the property. All is good.
As usual, I have posted videos of this whole adventure on the Freedom Acres YouTube Channel. This week there are videos of the clearing the property, a new tour of the property by Jeep, an update on the rainwater collection tank and naturally Gracie is continuing to manage everything and make guest appearances in various videos. Feel free check them out by clicking HERE. Also, feel free to subscribe and you can get notified when new videos go up! 🙂
This week I am back to moving the various pieces still left to manage. I am investigating growing things, butterfly gardens, creating women’s circles, researching whose land this was before it was colonized, etc. Learning, learning, learning! I never know how fast or slow things will go. I will keep trusting the Universe. I will keep creating games for myself but watch letting myself to get attached to any of them. I continue to welcome sending good MoJo, from you, for Freedom Acres and Gracie and I for all of the continued progress. It is so much appreciated!!! I send you love and freedom til the next week!!