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Modern Off Grid Zero Energy House Update

It was a gray, gray day on the land, but that didn't stop us!
When we got there it had warmed to 25 degrees, and four roofers were busy installing the rubber membrane for that north roof on the modern passive solar house kit. (So I think this counts as Construction Day 9?)

All the windows except for the clerestory are installed on our off grid passive solar house, and our wonderful contractor Ron also installed protective plywood to keep the weather and trespassers out around that transom area on the south side (where I was remiss in ordering it over the double doors) until the transom arrives.

This weekend, we had the special task of Pouch, the mascot of the kindergarten class, visiting us for the weekend, so if you look closely you might notice a little kangaroo named Pouch in random photos...

Hmmm. Big news of the day? House kit wonderful, but our poor hairless dog got caught up in barbed wire strung in the woods decades ago (we thought we had gotten it all up, that rings the field, obviously we missed some). He's ok, minus a sweater (which is *still* embedded there), BUT I would like to remind anyone even thinking about barbed wire vs. investing in solar electric fences... please don't even think of barbed wire. I'm still pickin' it off my land generations later, and it's hurting us. I have seen and heard so many stories of horses and pets torn up horribly... I was grateful my pet only lost a sweater instead of panicking and tearing himself up. It's another example of things that happened long ago affecting our environment today, no?

I walked around taking pictures of the house kit and was supposedly keeping the children busy while handsome hubby was in the shed sorting the VMI basketball floorboards, separating out the maple boards without paint, and those that might have the logo painted on them. We will auction off the VMI logo to help pay for our purchase of the VMI basketball court, which, aside from the logo, we will reuse those storied, 100% maple boards on the interior walls of the casa ti.

Little did I know that while I was taking pictures on *one* side o' the house, the children were on the *other* side gleefully jumping and splashing through mud puddles...

as the temperature fell...

So I came around the corner and there they were, COVERED with wet mud...

As we were slowly finishing chores and packing up to leave, the police stopped by.

Suddenly you just see this vehicle coming down the road, official lights and uniforms...
When we were there the same time last year, they did the same thing- drove right on up at the same time of day, mid-afternoon, checking on the land. As sad as we had been the week previously about someone *littering* in my frickin' environmentally friendly house kit -and- *trespassing* on our land, here comes the community to heal!

Police are welcomed with OPEN arms- they know there is an issue, and they are actively driving in this rural area during deer season to make sure people are where they ought to be.
They knew the story, they know the neighbors, they knew there was movement on our land where there had been a problem, and they came in to make sure we were who we were. Ayyyyyyymen.

They know of our plight and are watching over us! Even as we get to know each other! Word spreads fast around here, and I just feel SO much a part of this WONDERFUL community already.

We reflected on all the kind people we have met here. From Ron and Judy, (Ron smiled at 4 year old in 7 layers of dresses with unbrushed hair as he pulled up today, and grinned, "Always a fashion statement!"), The Aults (who have the sustainable free range farm down the street), George, who makes the best Glog ever : ) and lives over down the road with the Amish, Peggy (oh gosh I can't even begin to go into Peggy, she deserves to be in an adventure novel!) ... AND the Amish, even though they are somewhat seperate, they integrated closely here, in fact I got the nicest note from the boy I had mentioned last week on the carton of pepper jelly... I still can't get over that HE is part of the Amish crew building our home after years of my telling him, "Yeah, we camp, we have no shelter...." Serendipitous. When we are here, everything is okay. Even with rogue deer hunters.

The children are now completely passed out in their car seats as we race back to the city... this time of year, I don't want to be driving at dusk, ever. Too many deer, too many crazy people that *think* they are hunters. Rifle bullets travel way too far for my taste... already two people have been killed this year from hunting accidents, and I don't even know the count of people that have hit deer on the roads...

So here we are, driving home, on a crisp gray day. It is 4:17.
We are exhausted, but SO happy.

More videos...

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At 12/6/08, 11:44 PM , Blogger Kyanite Acres Farm said...

Looking good! Glad the dog is OK. I found alot of barb wire on my property too...

At 12/7/08, 11:54 AM , Blogger Passive Solar Prefab Homes said...

Fortunately I found him in time before he started panicking/struggling- 6 year old ran and got me as I was innocently focusing on the house kit, taking pictures.

It's amazing what can happen so quickly while your back is turned!

At 12/7/08, 2:54 PM , Blogger George said...

Great presentation of all the work that has been done, Copeland. It is really starting to shape up. I'm sorry to hear about your dog losing the sweater on such a cold day. It's almost as if the engineers who originally designed that barbed wire never took the time to envision that someday animals would be wearing clothes! I think that kind of lack of foresight shows gross negligence as well as a blatant disregard for animal safety!

At 12/7/08, 3:41 PM , Blogger Passive Solar Prefab Homes said...

Hahaha! You're so bad. ; )

Sorry we didn't call yesterday, we were only there 3 hours and as you can see, I was busy with the house kit and hubby was stackin' wood!

At 12/7/08, 3:45 PM , Blogger Passive Solar Prefab Homes said...

P.s. George: funny moment:
I was talking to the roofer and asked what they thought of the house kit, explained how passive solar worked, and admitted the design was a little more stark than what people in that community usually go for... and someone paused then sputtered out,
"Um...Are y'all from, er...
Y'all aren't from around here, are you?"

And we *ALL* started laughing as we collectively looked at ourselves: a chick with pink hair, a hairless dog, crazy children jumping in mud, husband with accent...

: )

At 12/8/08, 9:04 AM , Blogger Passive Solar Prefab Homes said...

P.p.s. My mother is now correcting my blog grammar. And yes, she does refer to herself as "Mother."

"We love seeing your VMI floor, house kit, children, and you on the GreenModernKits/casa-ti1.htm web site.
I look at it every day!

Mother S

Alumnus is masculine singular of the plural alumnae.
Alumna is feminine singular and the last syllable is pronounced with a short a.
Alumnae is plural for both, and the last syllable is pronounced as a long i.

( I think I have that right!)"


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