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7/31/11

Prefab's Passive Solar Goes Through Another Hot Performance, With Folk Art.


It was a quiet drive to the prefab home... We have a week without childrenz.
Did you hear me? WE HAVE A WEEK WITHOUT CHILDRENZ, folks.
We hightailed our party out to the passive solar zero energy off grid prefab house!

Without children, we were able to stop, meander and sight-see our way on the drive from Point A to Point B.
[And with no whining!]

We stopped at the Chula Junction Market, quickly glanced through the stalls... then stopped.
Now I know you know I lean towards modern design.
But like the diversity of our prefab house kits, some modern, some beautiful cottages that look like they were made 200 years ago but built passive solar and ready to snap on solar for the next 200 years...

The Sinda, from Green Cottage Kits...

I mean, beautiful design is beautiful design whether it is traditional or modern.

So there, in the middle of this huge flea market...
I... stopped.
I called Handsome Husband over, expecting him to shrug me off.
He stopped.

And we both fell in love with the folk art of William H. Clarke.


He is capturing architecture, culture, and moments that are sadly disappearing, yet a life we, and our community, still embrace.

When I see these children...

...I see my own children playing together, barefoot in the back yard, with just each other because there is no one else around, and nothing else to do.

When I see this procession...

...I feel my own experiences. I sense the snow. I appreciate the art while gently recalling sadness and times I've mourned.

When I see this...

I picture our friends and next-door neighbors The S's... Mr. S is going to butcher or cut some wood, maybe even with Handsome Husband like we've done in the past...

THIS one, I hope to save up money for:

"That's Old Hawkes Store, it's gone now... demolished..."

I see children walking along the highway to their favorite store, change jangling in their pockets with the hopes of something icy and sweet to cool their summer day, even if for a second before hitting the hot road again, home. I remember doing the same thing in Martinsville as a child...


From Blackstone, William H. Clarke worked in a lumber mill until carpal tunnel syndrome overcame him to the point his doctor said he couldn't continue to work at the mill. What else was he to do?
He always loved to paint.

"The choice was easy: Artist, HERE I COME!"
And he has painted ever since.

What a special, *special* person; he puts his spirit and heart into EVERYTHING. My heart is STILL singing. You feel love in the $25 paintings, you feel love in the $2,500 paintings. All worth every cent, still not sold for their true value. I'm very grateful to have met him, and to carry a bit of his heart into our home.


We arrived at the passive solar prefab house around 11.
As expected, the solar battery bank was fully charged... and we got busy with work!
Well, WE got busy... the dogs took a nap. (You know they're not allowed on the beds, right? Ergh!)


It's neat to see, in these extremely hot conditions (again, like last weekend, it will be 100ish), the passive solar design working- all the windows are in shade this time of year, yet natural light filters and fills the inside of the home, so you never think about light until nightfall.

We worked on painting bookcases, doing chores...

But I had lighting on my mind.
Back into Pipsqueak's bedroom I went, staplegun in hand.

I stapled up some LED Christmas lights in a random pattern to represent stars over the bed. Then we hung the moon. But we did not have the correct bulb handy, so stuffed it with more LED Christmas lights.
The result?

Not a moon.
A disco jellyfish.

We'll fix it later.

At 2pm, the temperature within the prefab home is 89. Now we didn't arrive until almost mid-day, so did not have an opportunity to let in the cool night air then close it up in the morning. Outside? 101. So, as usual, the comfort within the prefab is, without any heat or air conditioning, 20 degrees on the better side of what it is outdoors. Not bad. With ceiling fans? It feels 80, which is what I leave the thermostat in our Richmond house on.

So if these are the Dog Days O' Summer... we're totally cool. Just put on some opera, grab a book, and chill. Ahhhhhhh, summer. Yes I'm in a sundress. Yes I feel languid. 
Isn't that what summer is for?


Prefab house - passive solar design helps keep the off grid home cool.

Late afternoon we threw the prefab windows open and the breeze blew in, keeping the temperature hovering instead of heating, until dusk.

Then: A storm! Thunder! Lightening! (And most wonderfully:) RAIN!
I waited for the power to go out.
Oh.
Wait.
#OffGridSolarPoweredGoodness


Rain from Copeland Casati

It wasn't a gentle rain.
It was a huge, torrential, blow-the-oaks-wildly-back-and-forth good ole fashioned summer STORM.
And there filled the This-Is-Not-Supposed-To-Be-Frog-Pond
-But-A-Natural-Pool
-But-We-Didn't-Buy-The-Liner-Yet Natural Pool.
Again.
(I almost pumped it out today. I'm glad I didn't bother!)

The rain waned. Suddenly: A RAINBOW!

It was *so* vibrant, I must have had the camera on the wrong setting but...
I was so happy at that moment, it seemed like the rainbow was leading right into the heart of our home.



Early Sunday, another heavy storm approached, looking like it wanted to stay, settle in, and visit awhile. So, instead of the mud and mire, we hurriedly packed, taking the scenic, historic roads back to Richmond.


Goodbye, prefab house... I'm already counting days till I come home.

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