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2/19/12

We're Cheep. Preparing For The Prefab House Next Steps While Enduring Midcentury Modern Missteps. And So... *Cheep!*

Our passive solar prefab shoulders through winter, warmly,
through passive solar design, energy efficient SIP,
and facing true south to embrace the low winter sun.

This week, Inhabitat discussed siting homes to function.
Our line of prefab houses, Green Modern Kits, Green Cottage Kits, and Green Cabin Kits, have always been designed passive solar, and energy efficient!

But back to my own prefab house kit construction-turned-family-chaos-documentation-blog:

We may be frantically packing, but that doesn't mean my mind is not on our beloved passive solar prefab home.  With this wet, dreary winter, I've been thinking about what it will be like next winter, once the solar hot water / radiant heat is connected, once the SIPs are covered on the inside instead of that green, prettily painted...

I can't wait to experience the day-to-day living in the prefab house, truly functioning instead of just depending upon just the passive solar elements, the extremely efficient structural insulated panels (SIP), and the cozy happy 1930s wood cookstove renovated for a tight envelope home...

I imagine the radiant heat warmth rising from the floor... constant, without tending...


We really need to get the building inspector out for an up close & personal tour of the prefab construction progress so far, but it seems lately that every weekend it's raining and I'm sick! And now we're packing. Spring can not come soon enough, and with it, progress on the off grid prefab house.
We are SO close to finishing! Arrrrugh!

With this journey, these tales of pay-as-you-go off grid prefab house construction and adventures that happen on the way, I wonder how we'll think of this time, in years to come...

How will we all be remembered? It might not be how you think.

"I Vant to be a Living Work of Aaaaart."
-Marchesa Louisa Casati

"Give me my damned hens back, Richmond.
You frickin' Rubes."

-Copeland Casati


"This is the *HAPPIEST* DAY OF MY LIFE!!!"
-Pipsqueaks, in unison, discovering they are now again Poultryfied, despite #RVA.
I can't take it anymore. Screw outdated cities that refuse to keep up with national standards of zoning.
Peeppeeppeeppeeppeep

Welcome Cocoa, Cinnamon, Waffle, Sugar, Night, and Nugget.

We even set up a Baby Chick Cam. Because... who needs jewelry on Valentine's Day.
More people than you imagine might want, instead, happy fuzzy chicks.

Another spring nears, and we are happily again overrun with hot chicks for the next small backyard flock. [Wow, and they'll never even make up the poundage or noise or trouble of the Average Family Lab.  AND they eat pests! AND improve the soil! Sophisticated cities, nationwide, are getting it. Richmond... eh.]

One of the baby chicks, only a day old when acquired, didn't make it. Discussing her death opened a window to the world.
"It's very common that a percentage of babies, of all kinds, die- often the runts, they aren't fully developed or have something wrong with them.  In some countries, people don't even name their children until they're two, so many of them die!"
"How do they die?!?"
"Well, they don't have doctors, or shots, and in a lot of places people don't even have enough food."
Pipsqueak 1, appalled: "Well how is that a country then?!?"
A pause.
"WHY doesn't the United States go in and shut it down?!?"
Adults have many differing views on that, child...

But the others live, and thrive.
Every now & then one of them will escape and run around my feet as I'm working... With all these little bits of fluff, peeping and hopping about We Large Giants...
My office now has shades of Horton Hears A Who.

Can you hear it?!? Can you hear alllllllllllllll the community crying out for basic sustainability other cities' zoning has already addressed? This is how I feel about the whole sustainable urban hen thing in Richmond.
Except in Richmond, we end up in the boiling oil.

But who cares- We've been crackin' on the packin'! Frantically!
And then...
And then... 
And then our Mid-century Modern Buyers dropped out.

So, last weekend, after tearing the entire house apart, removing art from the walls and driving it out to the land, that Monday getting baby chicks because we were SO happy to leave... on Tuesday we found out the buyers backed out, and that they had made that decision Friday. If only they had told us Friday...
And that's...
all I will say about that.
So the running frantically to the land hauling Delicate Things, the Ripping The House Apart To Pack, the columns and columns of teetering boxes... what to do, now? I guess...

Start cleaning again, decorating again, polishing again, hanging art back up, dragging Pretty Things back... to... sell the house, again.
And to top it all off?
My dining room is peeping.
Peep peep peep peep peep peep peep...

We've gone from this...
Oh so pretty, pristine, and modern super coolio...
Oh doooo ad-MIII-re the Herend china
and fine, out of production crystal.
Ooooo la la!
To this. 

And you know what?!?  
THIS AIN'T BAD.

We are narrowly avoiding the neighbors.
I give you: My nephew. Narrowly avoiding the neighbors.

We might be of dark ilk; which is why People Like Us need fuzzy baby chicks.
Do you deny us? (Our eyes swivel, to fixate coldly on your answer.)
[And nephew? You might want to steer clear of that fake raccoon in the end, too, honeychile... That thing looks like it has a baaaad case o' Suburban Rabies.]

Declaration of Independence.


You know what? Who cares.
I am seceding from Richmond.

Speaking of secession, Revolution is in the air:
I am prepping to attend a Revolutionary War birthday party for an 8 year old. What does one get a child who loves Revolutionary War history yet whose mom works at Barnes & Nobles?
I got the child a Jefferson Cup. 'Cause chile, he clearly has ENOUGH history books!

Aaaaaand I just had to ban my own child from bringing guns to the birthday party. #RevolutionaryWarHistoryThemedBirthdayForAn8YearOld


Boy did they have fun...

So. Back to the Mid-century modern dishevelment...
And it snows, a wet, cold, melty-miserable-and-you-can't-even-play-in-it snow.

So we pack, and clean, again, dreaming of when things will be warmer, happier, and finally finished at the passive solar prefab house.



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