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Thankful At The Off Grid Passive Solar Prefab Home Over Thanksgiving

Hey, y'all, it's Thanksgiving!
We spent Thanksgiving at my parents, then the long weekend at the passive solar off grid prefab house.
We are sooooooo Thankful in so many ways...
I am especially thankful today for *awesome* nephews who play football with my 9 year old.

Whether it be at Grandma's...

...OR tossing the ball at the prefab house.

Off Grid Green Prefab Building Note: This prefab house is still under construction. Next up to accomplish are the solar heat, septic, and *then* we can close up and finish the interior walls. The green you see are the SIP (structural insulated panels) still exposed.

We are thankful for the journey of and excited about The Very Interesting Year.
We are super thankful for our coolio, efficient, modern, off grid passive solar prefab house!

As I type, three childrenz are in three adjoining beds all staring up at stars, endless stars, cozy under blankets, giggling and talking (can ya please stop talkin'?) and watching shooting stars, watching stars, watching stars.

Handsome Husband, working in DC, didn't arrive until Saturday.

I thought this would be hard to do all by myself, and after living in New Yawk Cit-tay so long certainly I have no driving skills, but Friday I not only hauled my precious childrenz and Shop Dawgs by myself to the land, but I lugged along a trailer full o' shelving and organizing whatnot, and at the last minute tossed in Nephew #3 into the car... Heck if I'm going to do this Full On Independence Thang, I might as well add as many wrenches to the mix and conquer my fear of breaking down with a car full of beloveds!

Honeychiles, it's called seasoning the pan.

We had a blast. They talked and talked and talked as I drove... and they lessened, unknowingly, my apprehensions.

Like the drill sergant I am, we expediently unloaded and were all "Oh my gosh the sun is setting soon, we have to get X, Y, Z, and PDQ done NOW!!!!!!!!"

Until, seeing the gate open, Mr. J. S. came-a-callin' with his 5year old grandson. And, all swathed in blaze orange, with lots of whoopin' and noise making, he helped throw footballs and rake leaves over the younger generation.

Just so many moments, this weekend, knowing we're doing the right thing...
Having some friends over for a Soup Dinner, seeing Nephew #3 and Pipsqueaks interacting with them, making their own friendships with the adults, who, very generously, offered, "Come to our farm tomorrow, we'll have work for you."
"We can do chores tomorrow?!? YAY!!!!"
They understand these kind adults are doing something nice for them, not just chores - there might be a little shooting, if they're lucky a little horse /goat / sheep petting, maybe a little riding, a little friendship on their own... which is so important for children, forming their own relationships...

SIP house, interior still not finished.
Mr. B enjoyed watching Pipsqueak #1 and Nephew #3 take turns shooting the bb gun...
"It's a shame they have to always shoot one at a time... send 'em over tomorrow."

Dinner commenced, a lovely evening followed. Handsome Husband put on Sally's cd, my Oldest Friend #2... [she's in a band called HEM] and it was like hugging my sister albeit in New York, here, in our home...

Nice evening.

After everyone left, we kept playing Sally... Pipsqueak #2 started to dance, Sally sang, I washed dishes, and thought about all the people saying grimly, "Wow, that's going to be really hard on you guys..." about our lifestyle choice to live between the land and D.C....
If this is what hard is, I embrace it.

Here's Sally singing, live, "An Easy One," which we know this year won't be.

I really was missing Sally, listening to her sing at dinner unexpectedly.
I was telling our friends what it was like, growing up with Sally singing, and how she ended up in a band.
Here's her story.

We discussed how, by being exposed to other families, living with The O's, growing up with Sally's parents The E's, we felt SO. Much. Love.
And that conscious moment, where we chose, "We want to be like they are, love, laugh like they do..."

As Sally sings, in My Father's Waltz,
"Throw your overcoat over a chair
and lay all your lazybones down... May this night keep you here til tomorrow..."

What Sally touches on is something Nephew #3 now understands:
"I used to think it was weird y'all were always 'Gone to the land'... but now... " and he shoots me that beautiful grin, a face full of light and smiles, and I know he now knows what we know:
He now feels, first hand, the shelter, comfort, the warmth of friends, community here.

Off Grid Prefab Green Building Note:
Still without solar hot water, hence no radiant heat yet, the cook stove keeps the prefab cozy. Note the fresh air supply hose on the right provides fresh air to the stove so that, with (critical in an energy efficient home:) sealed combustion the stove does not affect indoor air quality.

Today I am thankful for so many great (country) neighbors who have become great friends.

I am also thankful, the day after the Soup Dinner, that no one else in my family likes salmon.
I am eating leftover salmon dip with leftover cornbread for breakfast, and it is gooooooood.

Salmon Dip
Mince 1 onion & put in mixing bowl with 1 pack of cream cheese + horseradish as you like. Heat a tad so the cream cheese mixes easier, & mix up with a (drained & boned) can of salmon and glugs of lemon juice. Refrigerate, then shape into an oval, serve with crackers or toasted bread. I like my dip with lots of horseradish & lemon!

I am thankful for no tv.
Pipsqueaks gotta make their own fun.
Yesterday? A boat made out of duct tape and found objects.

That them thar is a catamaran! I think.

Today? Thanks to the deep generosity of friends, I sent the childrenz first to The B.'s to do chores.
"What chores do ya need, Mr. B?"
They walked in, and apparently Mr. B said, "There's a gun. It's now yours. Go play."

And that's how we ended up with two bb guns. They are *thrilled.*
(And Mr. B.- I make sure they shoot five minutes
and then *switch* by the way, just fyi.)

We're *all* having shooting competitions now! (*Thanks* Mr. B!)

After lunch, they headed to The W's to work.
They *love* working at The W's... they actually fight (really, seriously) over shoveling manure.

Pipsqueak #2 had been *begging* to ride bareback, so today, since they worked enough mucking stalls (with great glee) to Mrs. W's approval, was Bareback Day.

Green Building Note: I am thankful for reinsulating well around the penetrations we poked in last year. This was the first winter in testing afterwards, and it has been great to see no effect on our function after we re-insulated. Always be sparing and judicious with penetrations!

And I am very thankful for the beloved, amazing mid-century house we will soon be leaving.
I wish we could pick it up and plop it down in a neighborhood it deserves.

Don't think I'm crazy, my parent's own home you see at the beginning of this post was built in 1801 and moved in the 1920's from a farm in Hanover to Richmond cit-tay.

This mid-century house, full of life and parties and an international, eclectic feel, deserves better.

But it's time to focus onward, and onward is towards, gypsy-like, Higher Ground and D.C.
Here's to The Very Interesting Year, and to finishing the passive solar off grid prefab home!

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At 11/30/11, 10:23 AM , Blogger Heather said...

Wow - I love HEM! That's so neat that you're friends with Sally. Her music is gorgeous.

I'm so envious of your prefab house too. I love reading your posts and seeing how the house project is going. Hopefully someday my husband and I will do the same!

At 11/30/11, 4:00 PM , Blogger Passive Solar Prefab Homes said...

Thanks so much - you have no idea how appreciative I am whenever anyone leaves comments, I always wonder if anyone is reading this!

P.s. Sally is even more beautiful of a person than her gorgeous looks & voice. : ) I miss her!


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