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Still On The Water, Hunting.

We are still unable to return to the off grid prefab house.
I miss my energy efficient house, darned it!!!

Apparently, it's a mess, everything is moved around, in boxes AGAIN, there's sawdust everywhere, and so we're just gonna stay put, near the water. Not that I'm complaining.  
Not that I'm complaining,
but we really, really, really miss Pamplin...

Nothing left to do but lie low and hope the bees are busy from afar.
But wait!
Are those teens, far on a dock, I spy?
I'm marching over to go check that out.
Be very. Very. QUIET.
Yo. You in the back: ZIP IT.
Lie low.
am hunting

I mean, seriously: How hard can this be?!?!
But, here, in Deltaville, every child is either 20-25 or 8 and under, it seems...
Teens are elusive creatures.
And I've got a cute French teen to mother. Darned if I'm not going to find that child a herd.

With the French kid in tow, I... am... tracking... teens.
I've observed and noted their watering holes,

their trails,

their feeding habits.

Today I tracked several nice teens!
I, to A: "Shush. I see teens afar on the dock, lounging. Grab your towel, let's GO! I'm tracking."
A., smiling: "Yew just dew z'at Copeland thinggggg yew do!"
I, to A., kind of seriously: "You know, I could have been a GREAT spy...!"

Herd O' Teens, Accomplished.
Look! I was able to snap some pictures of The Elusive Teens, ranging free in their actual habitat!

I feel like a wildlife rehabilitator, releasing the Teen into the herd.
To be fair, I consider what a city host family might be like: usually both parents working, so if there is no teen in the host family, the young children would be in daycare, and she'd be alone until 6ish until the family returns to go eat at Applebees or, uh, Chik-Fil-A before bedtime! (Gross.)
Here, at least, if we're bored? We're still feral, and free... (and eat well...)

(And while we're being feral, we're in good company, sailing and fishing and Tall Tale Tellin'...)

Pamplin Cit-tay and Deltaville might not be renowned Big City destinations.
Our streets might not have names known to the rest of the world, but...
I wouldn't trade these towns for anything.

Here's some more pictures from the week, of we being feral.

[I love this garden planted by my friend Jen, in her boat yard...

She rightly knows that sailing families do not have a plot of earth at the ready, so planted a garden for the passing sailors... to pick and add to, as they please... I hope you enjoy the thought and kind intentions, as I do!

With our return to Deltaville, there was the heart ache of seeing the Deltaville Maritime Museum fire disaster up close as the monthly Farmer's Market still took place, defiant of the damage, embracing their community.

[Please bear with me through the 15 second commercial to see the director give her interview, the day after:]

This museum WILL rebuild. It is the heart and history of the community, and continues to be the town's center, even after the despair just a week ago, after the fire.

Pssst! By the way, the French girl loves roller coasters.
Can you *imagine* me, in a line-inundated, artificial food dye, plastic place like that?!? With litter?!? Everywhere? And foot-high sodas and foot-long food?
No. I'm throwing her out there to survive a theme park with someone else!!!!
(Theme parks. Litter strewn germ-saturated grossness. ; ) Ugh.)

My nephew told me what they do to save money when visiting theme parks:
Yes. This is a recipe, lol, of what I had better never ever see any of you doing:
  • Go to the nearest 7-11 next to the entrance of any horrid theme park before you buy your ticket
  • Get a cheap-o, horrible, instant cup-o-Ramen and add hot water to it until it is "cooked"
  • Drain out the water so you just have the noodles
  • Add condiments, lots of condiments- top it with the chili intended for hot dogs, a little ketchup...
You have just made... SpaGHETTO-os.  
Gross! I will be having a talk with my nephew about this "food."

We Don't Need No SpaGHETTO-os.
WE canned real food this week.

I canned Concord grape jam thanks to the old vine outside the In-Town Ramshackle (note the cinnamon & ginger in this recipe), elderberry jam, and mango salsa.

Reading Club

Elderberry Jam
I had been seeking high and low ever since we sold the Richmond house for elderberries... unexpectedly, I found the mother lode, in a friend's waterfront back yard.  Yessssssss. So yes, we WILL have elderberry jam through the coming winter to give us shots of sweetness with plenty of vitamin C...
Crab Pick Pasta
This pasta has no crab- it's so rich you can feed it at a crab feast for the vegetarians and honeychile they'll feel enough buttery richness to believe they've been pickin' crabs for hours!
  • a stick of butter
  • fresh asparagus, 3/4 of an inch cut
  • lime juice
  • fresh grated horseradish
  • olive oil
  • fresh salt & pepper
  • pasta
  • parmesean
Melt butter, add asparagus, horseradish, s&p, some glugs of olive oil to make a heart-attack inducing sauce. Throw in lime juice until you feel better. Toss in pasta, toss, add parmesan all over, more s&p to taste, and when you think, "Wow. This is so rich yet fresh, like you've been picking crabs for hours..." then serve it.
Welcome, Katchina!
Back in Pamplin, the foal we had been waiting for at our neighbors and good friends the W's finally entered the world!!!! Her name comes from the native-american term for "sacred dancer." What a beautiful filly!
Katchina, we can't wait to meet you and see all our friends soon, back on the land, finally home in our off grid prefab home!

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At 8/5/12, 10:40 PM , Blogger Roanoke in Bloom said...

My wife and I are looking to build a small sip's home largely off the grid in the coming year. Like you, I have found it somewhat challenging to find clear solutions to the composting toilet ventilation issue. Not wanting to create too many penetrations in the home. Have you guys come across any good solutions? How is your composting toilet working? I'm inclined to just crap in 55 gallon drums, and then stick them in the woods for a couple years, but Virginia wants a system that is certified by Standard 41, even if they don't seem to work well. I'd love to hear what you've learned as of late.

At 8/6/12, 8:00 AM , Blogger Passive Solar Prefab Homes said...

If you search on "Schofield" in my blog for what John Schofield had to impart on the subject, and also comb through here: You might find some of that information helpful.

The composting toilet is not an ideal solution, and this winter, with radiant heat working, will be a big test as to whether it is truly appropriate/ functional for year round use, especially in tight envelope homes. SO STAY TUNED FOR WINTER POSTS, I might be crying, lol.

But when the composting toilet works, it works well. I still have major issues with the design, especially for blackwater.

We were VERY CAREFUL to seal up ANY penetrations in the SIP well. And note how critical indoor air quality is then, so you must consider an ERV/HRV!

In the end, the least expensive and hassle-free solution was to install a conventional cheap drainfield. With a composting toilet. Because the kitchen run off is black water... and it satisfies code.


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