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8/2/10

Exhausted, if I could ask for anything, it would have been what we did this weekend.


Exhausted, if I could ask for anything, it would have been what we did this weekend on the land in the passive design off grid prefab house kit.

Arriving late, we lost our oft-run race against the setting sun, dragged in suitcases and provisions via lanterns, and fell to bed quickly.

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
The next day brought new territory:
Through Virginia's National Park Service, there are free day-long history programs for children in Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and Pipsqueak #1 was finally old enough to participate!
This day's subject? American Indians.
"Early American Camp - July 31
Discover what it was like to live in Appomattox during Colonial times. Learn American Indian hunting skills, make and keep your own pinch pot, and make an Owner's stick. Learn to play Colonial era games and how about textiles (carding wool), and cut your own silhouette."
That left Pipsqueak #2 to entertain for the day.

While Handsome Husband was delivering Pipsqueak #1 and running tractor parts errands, Pipsqueak #2 and I built a temporary closet- a second-use recycled portable closet donated by a friend & coworker (thank you, Amy!).

It was a great Girls Project Teamwork Together Boo Ya! thing-a-ma-jig to occupy an hour...

She was really into it and helped me piece together the parts, often having to take them apart again and put 'em back together again properly...
(Oh. Like I can read directions.)

Pipsqueak #2 and I couldn't believe how TALL the closet was, once completed.
"Wowee. That can fit a lot of kitties, ponies and unicorns!"
(OR, neatly organized down comforters, sheets and blankets, honeychile.)

Then we organized further, going through "Throw it into the Portable Closet #1" into which we've hidden things, actually, EVERYTHING this year, and seperating it all, organizing further... It was amazing what, and the VOLUME  we had somehow stuffed into the original recycled temporary closet #1 (donated by friends who moved to Columbia)! So now reused closet #1 has practical tools and pointy things, and reused closet #2 houses soft warm cozy things like blankets and bed linens. And maybe kitties, ponies and unicorns upon occasion.

And when that was done, and Mission Accomplished with 6yr old?
We decided to visit Mrs. Esh's Amish Store for provisions.

Peach Jam From Mrs. Esh
Can you believe that Handsome Husband has never been to Mrs. Esh's Amish Store?!?
It's because he's always bush hogging or building something!
With the children this age and younger, I would do these things like go to the Amish Store on my own so he could Get Dangerous Things Done without children afoot.

But now they're older, we're more secure with a structure, and so we resolved that from now on, he needs to take the time out to accompany us for this ritual of stopping by, exchanging greetings, picking up dinner rolls (right off the oven this time!) and jam, and visiting.

On our way, we stopped by the D's; they were in the middle of pickling cucumbers.

And that's how we somehow weasled a gracious invitation to dinner. : )
Which was lovely.
And involved homemade peach ice cream.
And halfway through the evening? Sweet rain.
(Probably the one thing sweeter than home made ice cream in this drought, no?)

Sitting on their porch, listening to the rain as the children and dogs romped and the adults spoke into the evening... for the first time all week I found myself smiling... Thank you, D's...

These fields have been in drought so long, livestock have been struggling so hard through this heat, hearing the steady pat pat pat of light but steady rain was... so comforting, soothing... happy...

This weekend was all about respite.
Some of my favorite moments?
Napping On The Day Bed... Hey, Wait A Sec, Dog!
  • Exhausted, lying down on the day bed along the opened windows and the wind washing over me as I napped, allowing myself to surrender consciousness... and awake, mid-afternoon, refreshed.
  • Visiting Mrs. Esh's Amish Store and hearing her answer an out-of-town-er's question, "Yes we do accept checks..." They were grateful and surprised, thinking they'd have to find an ATM in the middle o' nowhere to get the handmade table with which they'd fallen in love.  Mrs. Esh reassured, "We do accept checks, we've never had a bad experience! Well, there was one instance where a girl had switched banks, but she fixed it..." and I thought to myself that I would like to incorporate a bit more of Mrs. Esh's optimism and faith and outlook this summer.  I'm normally a "glass is half full" kinda gal, but sometimes when you're just so exhausted, you need to be revived by watching others' happy outlook.  It really is contagious, kindess and happiness and joie de vivre...  Thank you, Mrs. Esh, for perking me up.
  • Chasing grasshoppers and butterflies with the 6 year old, and admiring the captured-then-released lizard of the 7 year old...

  • Reading into the night at the candlelit table with Handsome Husband, both of us absorbed in our books with lights flickering and rain gently tap tap tapping on the rooftop...

    "Israel On The Appomattox
    A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s Through the Civil War"

    by Patrick Ely
  • And of course dinner with the D's, with the children and camaraderie with their family and we were so appreciative that they included us when the parents were returning to Tennessee for another few months, having us on their last night all together on the farm for awhile... we are deeply grateful.
Thanks to this weekend, I'm reminded to Keep On The Sunny Side...
Which is good news for those of y'all awaiting SOLAR SYSTEMS information we are using in our off grid prefab house kit, which will be in the next post!

And speaking of Sunny Side... As in Sunny Side Up... as in within Urban Back Yard Chickens...
Here are some eggs from a friend's average-sized fenced-in back yard's happy flock in the city of Richmond: Hormone free, free range urban eggs, folks. Enjoy.

I'm also thinking about Nooks And Crannies.
We already planned lots of built-in spaces, closets for our prefab passive design house kit.
But the longer I live with these open spaces, the more I wonder, "Why close them up at all?"
I wonder why we couldn't have panels, with latches, that could open or close wall panels as needed. Those interior wall width dimensions are slim, sure, but... you never know when it could be useful... Imagine filling a wall with canned goods, pickles, jams... Or in the bathroom, a years supply of toilet paper (ok, maybe not so picturesque... ; ) ) or, er, scented candles... Why not? What's the harm? And, like so much unexpected things we've done this year... you never know when it might be a cool use for something! You could always add insulation within if you want to muffle noise... but why not leave it accessible? Because so far, I haven't been bothered by noise... to consider...

We shall see...

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