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9/13/10

The seasons turn in the off grid zero energy prefab house kit, and here we are, back in fall.


The seasons turn in the off grid zero energy prefab house kit, and here we are, back in fall.

We spent 9-11 at a Firehouse Fundraiser in a small, vibrant community in rural Virginia, Darlington Heights near Hampden-Sydney.

It was appropriate. The community, the true spirit of pulling together to help others, creating volunteer emergency services from citizens standing up and stepping forward to help their neighbors...plus, shared with their gritty urban cousins in big cities nation-wide, there is that character, that strength, that, "Hellz Yeah!" that I love that you only get in extremely urban or rural communities.

Now I'm relaxed and happy in the zero energy prefab after dinner, the children are asleep, we are reading by candlelight and suddenly...
I am listening to rain.

I remember...
camping on the land, with a toddler and 3 year old... in the 1960's teardrop camper... no respite from the heat, never enough protection from the cold... it was always challenging, but after each successful endurance, we recalled it fondly. The worst moments were: rain.

I remember packing up frantically, adults dashing convoys from the camper to the car in the downpour, hoping we wouldn't get our car stuck in the mud with no one to know our plight... No one knew us, we knew no one for help, if it might be needed... we were truly on our own, in the middle of nowhere.

I remember the sudden darkness as afternoon storms rolled in, and with the beginning drops despite our hopes it would pass over, a split-second decision, even in the dead of night: Leave.

I remember this now, each time it rains.
I think it helps that we clad the zero energy off grid prefab with galvalume, so that even with the SIP (structural insulated panels) we can still, thanks to the metal, hear the pitter patter, pitter patter of the rain clearly.  It is a lovely sound, and I write this by candlelight as I listen to it overhead and each time find it ironic that now one of my favorite moments on the land IS when it rains.

Outside: it rains, cold.
Inside: The children are warm in their beds, the adults, reading quietly. And despite the wet chill of outdoors, the temperature is so cozy inside the zero energy prefab, I might crack the windows open, further.

We are still without systems, so we, in the prefab house kit, are zero energy off grid in the most base form.
But the systems have now arrived, and next: we install.
Throughout the evening, the rain intensified and waned, in interludes. I slept lightly, enjoying it all.

Sunday we awoke to a bright blue sky; unexpectedly, it was warmer.

At ten, Pat Root, our electrician, Jason Dorris, our contractor, his wife Kristen Dorris, who is an architect with an emphasis on graphic and interior design, Handsome Husband, and myself met to go over systems installation and, with Kristen, some color schemes.


As usual, in our crammed-into-one-hour-of-intense-discussion weekend meetings, there were also all manner of animals and mini-humans running amok.

That didn't deter us from accomplishing the final electric meeting before Pat Root and Jason Dorris start work on electric, The Cloud, the bathroom (composting toilet), and I can finally dream of finishing the SIPs (structural insulated panels) with a smoother solution so we can get to painting those darned green SIP another color. Not that I minded it that much, but... it will be nice.


Kristen Dorris did a great job of taking my ideas, and established themes and finishing them with color. It pulled everything together, allowed for interesting notes of dimension while retaining the airy feeling that is so important in a small footprint prefab house kit.

On my end, I made two purchases last week for the bedrooms: lamps.
After racking my brain and going over accounting... I think... that I never ordered those darned lamps I have been moaning about since spring.  I could find receipts for EVERYTHING ELSE, but not those "missing" lamps. No emails confirming purchase or delivery, no QuickBooks line item, no proof that it ever happened. I am shifting the "missing lamps" blame from Handsome Husband to myself.

So I splurged: 
Fifteen 1960s-ish Venini Murano hanging tubes that would make up one of Murano's historic mid-century chandeliers except I bought them separately to play with and create my own version of something fab but not too fancy. (Who needs "Dealer price upon request" prices any-hoo?)
 Here's what one tube looks like:


And
I bought this lamp for 99 cents:
It's fantastic. It makes me happy. It was 99 cents.

Now, Handsome Husband is getting some Big Ideas, I will warn you.
It's not just about The Cloud, which I will go into next week.
He is now going on now about The Beach.
I will fill you in as details filter in.

Watch out, this sounds serious. I feel a Hawaii 5-0 moment coming on.
Picture we, with umbrella and towel, on the roof.

Better check those roof loads, honeys.

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