Passive Solar Off Grid House On An Overcast Weekend, With Confederates.
|Packing like crazy to finally move to the passive solar off grid prefab house!|
passive solar off grid prefab house on a dramatic, cloudy-threatening-rainstorms-and-occasionally-sprinkling day, towing a load of teak mid-century furniture behind us.
[Shoot. Please don't storm / please don't storm / please don't storm... Drat. This is antique teak we're towing!]
But we *needed* to drag that load out, even while under construction, as we close on and leave the mid-century house on May 9th!
So, we're scurrying. Next week the final electric wiring begins for the passive solar prefab house: finishing the solar hot water, radiant heat and other electric work. Then we call the plumber to do his part on that, and dig septic.
Furniture dumped, the prefab house a jumbled mess, we high-tailed it into Appomattox for the Grand Opening of the Museum of The Confederacy.
The exhibit is great, with lots of amazing artifacts, and many thoughts and angles. Go.
Alexander Stevens and, who are we kidding, my family has been in Virginia since the 1600s. I do not discount that decimation and heritage. But grown, I do love hearing and reflect on all the voices and perspectives in history, and The Museum of The Confederacy does a great job in telling our nation's tale.
[If you're visiting the main museum in Richmond, also make sure to see the American Civil War Center...]
I am really looking forward to going back to the Museum of The Confederacy with visiting friends so I can linger and read more... and then continue on to Appomattox Court House, then for an afternoon at Holiday Lake!
My favorite moment?
They had a beautiful re-enactment- where voices read, via microphone, historical correspondence from the Generals as the days progressed during the battle of Appomattox... At the same time, re-enactors participated, on foot and on horse... and as the crowd listened, and watched, four cute children, from one family yet black and white, broke from the crowd, playing, totally oblivious to the history, intoned... and brought us back to today, while remembering our past.
You could see the adults moved and smiling, you could hear the quotes 150 years later, the re-enactors, these white and black children, and...
Do you know what those cute kids were thinking at that historical moment?
They reached out, into the re-enactors on horseback, stretched up their arms, and pet the "horseys" of Confederate and Union alike.
They. were. adorable.
I am looking forward to returning...
...Back at the passive solar net zero off grid prefab house...
My professional evaluation of the current construction situation is: Ugh.
|Moving in more furniture...|
|Moving more furniture...|
Furniture we have used to "camp" in, in the prefab house during construction, starts piling next to our Real Furniture... all jumbled up and STILL we need to close up the walls / line the SIP (structural insulated panels) with plywood, etc. much less paint, much less EVERYTHIHG so I've got jumbled china and furniture in piles and am GOING TO START CONSTRUCTION AGAIN.
So, at the passive solar off grid house on an overcast weekend... all the clouds, yet we awoke to the battery bank charged to 85%... and by lunch, 100%. Not bad.
Returned To Richmond...
A friend on Richmond's Food Policy Council sent me this:
Food Task Force to present ideas for healthy living in Richmond
The first sentence?
"Allowing backyard chickens, converting city properties to orchards and eliminating water fees for community gardens — they are all among ideas Richmond's Food Policy Task Force is bringing to the community this week."
|Peas are comin' up!|
UNsustainable Cities that have no Sustainability Plan much less are scared to say the words, "Food Security" : Look at your peers. Note it's a world-wide topic. Note your zoning is outdated.
Anyhoo, in the middle of packing and moving, we have another announcement:
Just because I don't feel like we have much going on in our lives (; ) ), this summer we open our Gypsy Caravan to... a French exchange student!
My biggest fear about having a French exchange student this summer is that she's going to think we're boring...
Thankfully, I know younger people much more interesting than I.
Sustainable Reading Club
- *A Plague On Both Their Passive Houses:* (Chiles, I applaud it but it's stuff like this that makes me stick to passive solar and not try to certify) by the ever-erudite Lloyd Alter.
- From The Guardian: Planning laws signal end of road for out-of-town shopping centres (Interesting! to consider, in the USA! Too bad Chesterfield didn't read this, years ago...)
- Beyond LEED.
(My frustration is that so many city officials only understand LEED points and not the culture of reducing waste, improving community resources, evangelizing frugal, sustainable methods...)
- Nearly all corn and soy products purchased at grocery stores are genetically modified and may place your health at risk
- From The Atlantic: A great article on improving soil while creating a healthier food system in the Age of Monoculture: Overhauling the Farm Bill: Planting for the Future With Perennials
- Love this: MIT Researchers Create Low Cost, 3-D Solar Panels
"Take some ordinary two-dimensional solar panels, stick them together to form a crazy looking three-dimensional solar tower that resembles an abstract sculpture of an accordion, and voila! If you are part of the intrepid team of researchers from MIT who dreamed up that arrangement, you have just boosted the overall efficiency of the solar panels by up to 20 times, and in the process you have caused thousands of solar power researchers around the globe to smack their heads and wonder why they never thought of that."
Sometimes, I wonder who will sing for me...