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It Didn't Happen! No Visit To The Modern Prefab House Kit.

 (If you're wondering, she's holding a bird she made. I think.)

The children awoke with sore throats, sniffles, and fever.

So... there was no weekend taking videos and pictures and observations in the modern prefab house kit.

Somehow I escaped the sickness. (Must be all that burnt garlic I eat out of the pan that no one will touch...)
I felt fine; the weather was beautiful... I hated to see the gorgeous weather here, and not be at the prefab house kit so... I played music and... cooked the entire weekend.
The dogs kept the sick children company, snuggling with them on the beds, couch... keeping the cranky children soothed with big eyes of empathy (as they stealthily stole their bed covers).

I realized how much I had forgotten what it's like to just cook for the joy and inventiveness of cooking, under no time or entertainment restraints - we are not used to having access to a stove on the weekend! When we *are* in Richmond, it's because we're in town for a reason and scheduled out tremendously.

Even in fever, the children whined, "We want to go to the land..."
We all miss it, when we're not there, despite the crazy suitcase lifestyle, the hectic workweek to get there, the meal planning (I cook everything the Thursday prior to the weekend), the incredible survival packing we've done for years through tick season, high summer heat with no shelter, the dark and quickly plummeting cold, then...

A light:
The prefab house kit construction this past year: exterior weather tight, yet still a lack of interior walls, restrooms or cooking stoves (or heat, and despite the fabulous passive solar design and super efficient insulation: I want heat and a stove!).

Regardless of its Coolio Net Zero Passive Solar Prefab House Kit status, our prefab modern house is still currently without systems.

The lanterns must be charged, down sleeping bags packed, multiple changes of ALL clothing items to accommodate muddy cold children, enough water, a *list* of items to have washed, charged, cooked, ready; otherwise you will be at a severe comfort disadvantage! And with that basic survival list, each week we have Important Items and Tasks - to bring out a certain drill, the chainsaw, an axe, to bring extra shovels to plant trees, sheets to drape, VMI basketball floorboards to sort,  tools to...
It never ends.

It's not so bad now that we have 1.exterior walls and 2.the children are out of diapers, but... you can imagine the routine: car packed / dogs loaded / chickens moved / wild cat fed / food cooked and in the cooler; clothes packed (and then unpacked, covered with mud)... for years now.

Hearing the children miss it terribly, despite being ill... reminds us we're doing the right thing, regardless of the stress of never doing one place well. 

(Note: that will change, new readers. We do not aspire to have multiple homes. This is not a weekend house, this is a Slowly Build Your Farm Out Of Raw Land While Holding Down Jobs In A Near City project.  You may have heard the phrase, "Makin' Somethin' Outta Nuthin'?" We embrace that. We are slowly building to our What And Where We Want To Live And Be.)

The 7year old wanted to discuss Animal Plans and informed me he has Big Ideas on how to do things, saying he does not want an electric fence like so many of our farming friends have. Although I grew up with a family farm, I too question some things, and have looked at ways to address the Fencing Issue. Solar electric fencing is a practical, effective way to protect livestock. (Did I mention the coyotes are the size o' shepherds here? The bears? Copperheads? The mountain lions no one has quite documented except for my cousin's friends who DO have a crazy photo? HECK YA, welcome to the country! If ya don't embrace it, move out! And far away! And don't make suburbs near the country!) Electric fencing is much better than the barbed wire with which I grew up unfortunately acquainted.

Re-thinking and exploring fencing (at this moment I pulled "How To Build Fences" out of the bookshelf) is educational. So I handed that sick chile' a book and told him to get back to me with a better solution.

In the meantime, I have my own research to do outside of the prefab house kit project: better energy-efficient, practical, modern design appliances.
My latest find is a stylish smoke detector that snaps on to a lamp cord vs. sticking to your ceiling...

What consumers need to understand is this: The house kit was finished long ago, and now we, as a family, are finishing the interior to our own family's needs.  So you can do with it, yourself, whatever you want.

I'm looking forward to documenting this prefab project's completion, but... it's a never-ending process.
The systems will snap on, the interior will be built; but... we have years of adventure ahead creating a sustainable farm.

P.s. Send in house kit photo / video requests via comments if you have any. I am missing it so much, can't wait to return and... dig holes. Lots of holes, for trees, as if we already didn't have any, having *not cut down a single tree for the home site*... we'll be planting more.

P.p.s. We *will* be having another Prefab Open House the weekend of April 11th, to coincide with Appomattox's History Weekend, more on that soon.

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At 11/23/09, 7:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Copland,
We are just finishing up our cabin in Maine and this week we'll put in our countertops and sinks, the last bits for us. Every step you have left will be a minor miracle that you won't forget. Toilet! Heat! Water for a bath! Hot Water for a bath! Real beds! Lights! A couch! Cooking stove and fridge! Countertops! Sinks! You get some small sense of what it was like to live through the before and after invention of these things. It does come too slowly, though, doesn't it??? Love the blog.

At 11/23/09, 8:49 PM , Blogger Passive Solar Prefab Homes said...

Because you've lived it, you, like I, can savor it.

I never thought I'd miss the days of camping in the teardrop camper, through December. And appreciating EVERY little thing that adds to comfort and functionality.

And using that time to rethink it all.

If I had to do it over... I wouldn't change a thing, I might have even prolonged it further. (Despite my housewife I Want To Have Thanksgiving Here impatience.)

Thank you for "getting it" - and sharing your own understanding.

: )

At 1/8/10, 12:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Copland,
I just found your blog. I remember the years of getting in our house and I do savor it. I still remember the first time I could take a shower in our new house - in the summer - before the water heater was put it - didn't even need it! felt almost like I was taking one of those outdoor ones. But sure was nice when I could take one in the winter too! Hang in there and enjoy!
I too love your blog.


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