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At The Passive Solar Prefab Home: Closets, Kleptos And Community

I know this will shock you, but living in a prefab home chock full o' boxes because you don't have closets built yet is NOT FUN.

So Handsome Husband reused some scrap wood to build rudimentary closets this weekend.

Pipsqueak 1: "So THAT'S what prison beds look like!"
I don't care what you think, Pipsqueak 1, I love them. Reused wood frames = less boxes! I'm thrilled to have somewhere to finally start to put things. Bring on the prison beds! Fancy schmancy built-ins can come later... if ever. I'm liking their depth- everything stacked instead of focused on hanging; and deep enough I can put last season's category (shirt, skirt, folded dress) behind the current season. It looks very retail. And prison bed-ish. Yay.

During fall is when you really notice the passive solar prefab's functionality- you go through September and October as the ground crisps and the evening air cools, and yet, still with no heat turned on, you enter the prefab house there is a marked difference: You awake, warm and so cozy, then go to let the dogs out and BOOM!- feel that cold outdoor air. In the afternoon, we throw open the windows to catch the now-warmer day's breeze. I really do feel like we have to cool off the house before night approaches!

Not having to use heat during these months means I do a LOT of solar cooking.  So busy unpacking, the solar cooker makes hot grilled cheeses and heats up casseroles freeing me to do errands and work.

Septic, finishing the pond dam, and a root cellar have *finally* begun. Well, at least the leveling part. They have to level so that we can have a gravity fed septic field, as, being off grid, we want to minimize energy use as much as possible.

The children loved the huge construction equipment in the field and the fresh level ground... they rode bikes over it, ran over it, walked around it like they were on the moon... and even, over it, flew a kite.
How Boys Fly Kites

I didn't even mind so much when the children climbed onto the roof, so long as they couldn't get back down. #AhhhhQuiet
"Momma, ha HA, we're up here on the ROOF!"
Ha, ha, Piiiiiipsqueaks, Momma took the laaaaadder...
Ah, it's so nice and quiet now...

It seemed like the perfect beautiful Get Things Done fall weekend until, making soup, after a hectic week of boxes and children and dogs and chickens all flying through the air, I finally made a proper meal and went to reach for the soup spoons.

Which were gone.

Fifteen settings of family silver.
Handsome Husband's beloved trumpet.
Stolen. Along with all the silver.

I know it was fifteen settings because they didn't have time to grab the knives...
It's as if they grabbed from right, to left, were interrupted, and didn't have time to grab the last bin of silver.

They also stole our family sterling serving pieces from the 1800s.
They stole the 1908 silver trumpet that had been passed to Handsome Husband from his father.
We're still discovering what was stolen, heartbreak each time.
This was all for our children. If they didn't mean so much to us, don't you think we would have sold them?

No forced entry.
No boxes torn apart looking for stuff... no, these were people who walked in, knew what they were getting, knew the boxes held nothing of value, and left.

I know it's "just stuff." But these are family pieces, for our children, to then pass on to their children, that we now don't have. Someone... stole... from our children.


I wondered if we'd go to our friends' farm potluck, I didn't want our shattered selves to infringe upon their joy...

We went.
I'm glad we did.
It is a balm to be surrounded with good people.

I made Fall Remembers Summer Pasta.
In summer, I toss diced really ripe tomatoes + mozzarella + fresh basil + good olive oil, salt, a touch of balsamic and let it sit, shake it up, let it sit, then serve the next day.

But it's fall, and fall wants something more hearty, yet the fresh ripe tomatoes remind you that you still have summer's glow in the day.
  • *Fresh* *ripe* tomatoes, diced. If there are only mealy tomatoes available then forget making this recipe.
  • Diced mild cheese like montery jack or colby
  • 1 Onion, a little larger than minced, and I solar cooked them a little so they're still crunchy but not too strongly raw
  • Dried basil, be generous...
  • Penne Pasta (again, I solar cooked it- the secret is, unlike most solar cooking that does not need any water, you DO need to cover pasta with water! Solar cooked pasta is very starchy because it doesn't come to a boil, so the starch sticks to the pasta, but really good.)
  • Good olive oil, salt, pepper and be generous with the balsamic
  • Olives would be REALLY GOOD in this!
The potluck ended with a farm tour. It was nice.
A. gives a tour of their farm...

We're still going through the house looking for stolen heirlooms.
I'll try to end this on a bright note.

Reading Club
  • Preservation awareness: Virginia 'Scenic Byway' Route 5 does not have to become a 4-lane highway.
    [Why, Richmond, WHY would you destroy Route 5?]
    "Those rural qualities include Colonial history, John Smith and Pocahontas, plantations and beautiful agricultural landscapes. There are more than 30 historical markers and two major Civil War battlefield sites. The rural New Market corridor made Preservation Virginia's 2012 list of the Most Endangered Historic Sites in Virginia.

    The roadway that is now Route 5 has connected Richmond and Williamsburg for more than 400 years, according to Nicole Anderson Ellis, a Varina resident and a leader in the opposition to the Route 5 Corridor study. In addition to all the great scenery, the area is frequented by thousands of cyclists. Within the next two years, the area will welcome the completion of the Virginia Capital Trail, a 55-mile bike and pedestrian trail that will connect Richmond and Williamsburg."
Science this week (study topic: electricity) has compelled Pipsqueak 1 not only to want to build a wind turbine (he lives solar so that is now boring to him) but he now desires a CNC machine
Alllllllllll in good time, kid.
[Here's what he wants to do:]

And my 9 year old is ALL. OVER. THIS: Teen launches space camera and takes pictures of earth!

4th Grade
We will go on... a little less open.
As I explained to my sister, "I can't take these people any more. I have the right to live unattacked, unstolen from, I don't understand why those I am supposed to love hurt us so... I have the right to not comprehend and walk away."

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At 9/16/12, 7:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is horrible news. Unfortunately, I know EXACTLY how you feel, as we have had heirlooms stolen, as well. Actually, my father has, but like you said, it was for the children. My father and I talked about it and agreed, "Let it go". C'est la vie.
And by the way - if there was no forced entry, that usually means it happened while the contractors were there, one of their workers...

At 9/16/12, 8:50 PM , Blogger Passive Solar Prefab Homes said...

We're still discovering items missing... clues... and all this, now, is especially difficult in our year of transition... : (

At 9/16/12, 9:29 PM , Blogger George said...

Copeland, I am so sorry that this has happened to you. Having things taken like that from the sanctity of your Home is to be both violated and assaulted. I hope the dishonorable culprits are caught and your treasures returned! -G.

At 9/16/12, 9:30 PM , Blogger George said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


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