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Passive Solar House Kit - In it, we camped!

Still no interior walls (Ron is off building his pastor's house who needs to move in by Easter), but that did not deter us from camping in the house kit.

After four years of camping in the tiny-but-fantastic 1960s aluminum Scotty camper, I have to admit it was nice to lug a bunch o' the camping equipment from the Scotty to reuse in the open, spacious off grid modern house. As I pulled the practical, necessary camping equipment we had relied on for years from our beloved camper, I looked at it anew and realized that a lot of camping equipment is not eco-friendly! When we bought the necessary equipment years ago, it was because the folding chairs, storage tubs, cutting boards, machete knife cases, blaze orange hunting hats/gear were IMPERATIVE to have in an isolated place when camping through all seasons.

Now, in the comfort of the house kit, I'm looking at all this and thinking, "Man. If someone made environmentally friendly affordable camping gear they would make a FORTUNE!"

(Hmmmm. HMMMMM...
Nah, I already have too many jobs. But YOU do it!)

I was gone all Saturday at a social media conference nearby, so when I returned the mattresses had been blown up, the sheets and blankets were on, the "solar soldiers" (as we call the solar exterior lights) charged from a day in the sun, and two happy pipsqueaks were jumping and playing in their new passive solar living space.

Just seeing the queen-sized air mattresses in the still-not-framed-in bedrooms gave me a better idea of the room dimensions. Setting out the beds, the card table, chairs along the east side, really gives us a sense of the future finished space. It's perfect. It's open, filled with natural light, yet warm, cozy, interactive without being cramped. I can't wait to see it more furnished. It's getting very hard not to jump ahead and move in.

It had snowed over ten inches earlier this week...
The ground was wet and there was mud.
Oh, was there MUD.
A LOTTA mud.

I swept muddy dog tracks, children tracks, my tracks, his tracks.
(This is starting to read like a Dr. Seuss book, no? Say it ten times quickly.)
Aaaaaand was grateful we had chosen the smooth take-it-all concrete instead of frou-frou bamboo.
(I would have spent the rest of my life trying to protect that floor. It would have been awful. I would have been miserable.)

Yet, just days after a major snowfall, it was so warm this weekend we opened wide the doors wide and WOW could you feel the cross breeze- I can not wait to spend time here in spring! The dogs naturally gravitate to the passive solar sunbeams in the concrete thermal mass- and love surveying their kingdom from the open doorways while listing against the frame, half awake, in the sun.

I went for a nice long (muddy) walk with the 4 year old, watching while she measured creeks with her stick, surveyed the breached pond, and climbed hills with the dogs. A lot of trees had been downed from the heavy snow, so we had to cut some. Don't worry, the ones that fell were scrappy young ones that weren't part of the crop tree release strategy we have. We will never timber; but are trying to help prune and encourage healthy growth of the woods through selection so they can grow strong vs. competing for resources with weed trees.

It was good to hear the frogs.
They, and the bees, have had a rough few years. So to hear them peeping so exhuberantly in March was glorious. (Listen to video, below...)
I remember a few years ago on my family farm noticing that the pond was quiet, the 35' deep pond where I grew up fishing and canoeing and swimming and... listening to peepers. It was so strange to hear the blowing of the wind, the water, and, on that day, no frogs.

Frogs are loud. My entire life had, until then, been filled with the cacophony of peepers and bullfrogs. So to hear the frogs so loudly happy on "the land" gives me hope.

On Sunday, I spent a good bit of time curled up in a chair, reading fifteen year old issues of Countryside Magazine given to us by Ron & Judy while the children and dogs played.

Now HandsomeHusband, I will remind you, is from a large European city. He delighted in the scouting camera he had erected on a nearby tree and what it revealed: two deer stopping by to check out the off grid house kit! I'm including some of that here too.
: )

Here are more pictures, below, than you would EVER want to see of our fun weekend camping in the off grid zero energy modern house kit!
Just click on 'em to get the large version and captions!
(And some videos o' frogs and passive solar musings, below.
Hey, it was a fun, muddy weekend. : )

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At 3/10/09, 5:35 PM , Blogger George said...

Thank you Christoph and Copeland, That was another great tour. I'm glad the weekend was so warm and you didn't have any major tree damage. Sounds like you lucked out!


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