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casa ti update, camping, and a new barn!

For the first time ever, we decided to camp when... well, when most people would consider it normal camping weather.

Because we have no shelter aside from our Scotty camper on the land to avoid the high heat of summer, plus we sail, we tend to camp September--> end of November/beginning of December, then March--> May. So I guess we lean towards extreme camping ; ) - when heavy down sleeping bags, multiple layers and hats on heads in bed are a must. Often, during those times we um, tend to dress in blaze orange, as not only is it freezing, it's hunting season.

So it was very strange to shed those layers, open up the camper windows, and let in the gentle summer evening breeze. It was also vastly different because normally I have to make sure the camper is completely ready around 5-ish for the children because once night falls... it's DARK. Instead, last night I felt like the sun never quite set- the dusk seemed to slowly linger and never quite slipped; to then regain strength and return as dawn.

But before we relaxed, we first had a meeting with our contractor. This is where the project turns from a Modern SIPs House Kit company, to where you start reading about a family building their dream. AND the mistakes and successes and trials and tribulations that we encounter as real people, and our own personal zero energy off grid decisions in conjunction with what you get with the house kit.

So let's start with the mistake.
I let my husband review our project. This is what happens when you marry a handsome MBA who wants to audit everything. And then he looks at you with that look and you say, "Awwwww, you're so cute, sure, why not?"

We then slipped six weeks behind schedule, the draftsman my husband supposedly hired never did squat, our contractor lined up new work, and now we have to get in line behind everyone else because we missed our scheduled opportunity to move ahead and have this house built in JUNE.

Ohhhh, yeah. It's totally our fault.
I am grateful our contractor didn't fire us for wasting his time.

So yesterday we reviewed EVERYTHING. And it was good. Because when you are planning a zero energy off grid house with all kinds o' stuff in the poured concrete foundation, you only have one chance to completely evaluate, think through, and get it all right. Our meeting yesterday confirmed... it's right. It's good. And Ron even sent us off with some corn and lamb ribs which we gratefully accepted (and will have for dinner tonight!).

Now here's another thing about our personal casa ti project:
Let me tell you about the crew: It's going to be Ron, and then the crew is made up of four men:
Three Amish and a Mennonite.

See, it can never be a 100% Amish crew because they need someone to drive 'em around and use their cell phone! Hahahaha! I'm excited. But it's a double edged sword: what is exciting for me as a person is bad for me as a business! Amish don't allow themselves to be photographed, much less videotaped, as it symbolizes vanity to them. We respect that. So getting shots of the house kit being assembled / videotaped is going to be interesting. So don't expect a lot o' close up shots of people. Maybe they'll let me film their hands. I don't care, I love it anyway and can't wait to get to know them.
But I'm jest warnin' ya, it ain't gonna be the typical house erection photos!!! ; )

Speaking of those nice Amish men, look what they did in the meantime!
Our barn! (Fine, actually it's a shed, but my children are calling it a barn so there ya go.)

I'm so thrilled with this "barn."

I trusted Ron and the Amish and they delivered. Since we had no idea what we needed, we told them what needs to go there and let their experience take on the project. A-plus, guys!

It's exactly the size, quality, and placement for security and convenience, and amazing craftsmanship to last... well, to last.

Really incredible worksmanship. I loved looking it over, marveling at how well it was put together. If this is an indication of future work on our house kit then... I am super, super excited.

So now we need to focus on improving the fields this fall. And in September, we start our OWN Green Modern Kits house construction.

In the meantime, here's some pictures from our weekend on the land. : )
Hope you enjoy.
We went for lots of walks (to the end of the property & back), ate lots of berries, chased lots o' grasshoppers, and generally just hopped around. The dogs are WORN OUT with adventure. And we are still smiling.

Last night I also listened to coyote howl for hours. Tried to capture it on the audio that was on my camera (which takes lo-grade movies sometimes, like the video in "My Mom Can Tie A Bowline Faster Than Your Mom" post) but it didn't work, I guess because it was picking up the silence in the camper and not the (loud!) noises outside. Oh well, there's plenty o' coyote, but it still was cool & eerie.

Oh. The scythe.
I'll explain quickly:
SOOOOOOOOOOOO much more efficient than any weed whacker, for smaller jobs when you don't want to drag out the tractor! Our purchase of several "old fashioned" tools (like the scythe, seed drill, and high wheel cultivator) were not so much out of nostalgia, or the fact that they don't use fuel (although that IS a bonus) but because, well, they're just so darned efficient! We have not been disappointed, and recommend them highly.


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