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10/8/12

D.C., Back To The Passive Solar Prefab Home, Prefab Project Updates.

We are exploring a new world: Life in DC.

For the first time since "Also Moving to D.C." this spring, 
We Went To Washington.
Handsome Husband was thrilled.
Arriving late at night, the Pipsqueaks awoke just in time to see us pass the Washington Monument.
Pipsqueak 2: "LOOK! It's The Big White PENCIL!!!!!!!!!!!"

A Potential Client Requested Pictures of our own off grid passive solar home interior progress, so here you go:


The plywood is 80% up; the ceiling in the great room remains uncovered until electric work is finished. After having silver, jewelry, and all of our son's cash stolen, we will not be asking the perpetrators back to finish the plywood job, so finishing the plywood will be resumed later, when we have nothing else to do.

I'm actually enjoying just the bare plywood look.

And next year, when I have less on my plate and feel like I want a new look, I can paint it.
Here are some of our interior design ideas over the years for our own casa ti prefab, in case it helps someone...

New Mexico Prefab Home Update
We are moving along nicely with the client, contractor's team, and ourselves. I am so excited this client (Finally! Another blogger!!!!!) is willing to share her journey with the world. And I know you are too, because you are well tired of my continual digressions from green building / prefab house kits!  I am expecting to be able to post a link to her blog next week.

My notes: As I mentioned, this client intends to customize her own Dogtrot Mod from our prefab cabin line, Green Cabin Kits in the following manner: The Dogtrot Mod is made of two parts: A main area, and a separate bedroom/studio area.
The major differences between the standard Dogtrot Mod and this project is that they are adding more secondary areas. They both have parents aging, and expect the possibilities of their moving in. Along with this multi-generational issue, they want to enclose the areas between the buildings to protect elders from the elements.  We address that by adding square windows on the north side, providing daylighting yet enclosed for protection.

The contractors want to discuss HVAC and I think it's a good time to remind everyone of my old post where I explore HRV / ERV decisions for energy efficient homes.

The contractors have some great past experiences with SIP, whereas often our biggest hurtle is explaining the benefits to contractors who insist stick frame is easier & better.  
I foresee a super energy efficient team in the making...

Our Zoo Enters The Concrete Jungle
During the overcast week of rain, it was a good time to be in Washington: If we had stayed at our own passive solar prefab home, newly leveled in the drive and field to prepare for septic, the freshly exposed dirt would have created the perfect mud bog.

Imagine all those dog paws and childrenz feet glopping in from outdoors, stomping Virginia clay through my beee-yoo-tee-us prefab house. [Albeit still not unpacked and interior properly finished. But Imagine the clay...]

Instead, I was in De City, aka DC, with not a speck o' mud in sight, imagining pleasantly how filled my rainwater cistern must now be.   

In the country, rain stops things. Rain, or lack of rain, affects *everything.*

In the city, everyone bustles as usual, ducking about, with just an occasional,
"Ah, now the sidewalks are washed!"

Most city folk don't even bother with umbrellas, much less the muck boots we all rely on at home.

Our Da City, aka DC, neighborhood.

Cities, as much as I love them, hit my senses, with a constant underlying scent of garbage, with strong notes of Eau de Chien Avec Pleins Des Crottes, even in the nicest environs. And I know, being an ex-NYC & Paris gal myself, that no one residing here smells it.

All is forgiven when, on warm autumn nights, the air is filled with the saucy smell of marinara.
I love to walk the dogs during dinner hours...

The dogs, on the other hand, are appalled they are being asked to do their business on all this nice orderly pavement.  And they are especially horrified I am picking it up after they are done.
They might be country dogs, but they were raised well:
"Excuuuuuse me? You want me to SOIL these perfectly nice, historic cobblestones?!? WHERE IS THE FIELD?!!??"
We've got fields a-plenty here, honeychile.

The White House Goes To The Dawgs
Apparently disheveled dogs and childrenz are uncommon near the White House on a week day morning. As they walked by, suit-clad staffers kept exclaiming towards The Puppy,
"A dog! Awww, A DOG!!!! ...A biiiiiiig dog."
We: "He's a PUPPY!"

Y'all come visit. We've got lots o' history.
It was interesting being in Washington during the first Presidential debate. 
What struck me more than anything was how not a person we met knew where Appomattox is
If they don't know where Appomattox is, how will they ever find Pamplin Cit-tay?!? 
Shouldn't that be grounds for revoking their DC Political Citizen card if they don't know where our NATION reunited?!? [DC: Y'all come see us. You'll love it.]

An Entrepreneur Grows
The Just-Turned-10yr-Old is *excited* about our near-DuPont Circle location.
"Do you SEE all the PEOPLE that walk by OUR FRONT YARD every day?!? I can sell lemonade, hot cocoa, art, eggs... RIGHT FROM THIS YARD. *Imagine* the dollars I will make!"
That lasted a few days, then:
"Y'know, lemonade stands are great, but for my stand I think I want to make lasers and resell them."
We shall see.

We Return To The Barn, In The City
We spent a lovely afternoon at the National Zoo.

I appreciated so much that so much we experienced there was right on target with what the 3rd grader has been studying: seed dispersal, habitats, instinct, adaptation, ecology, leaves... it was PERFECT timing to review her science studies this past semester.

Two hours in, we entered the Children's Petting Zoo. In a barn. I'm thinking, "Why do my children even want to go in here. If they catch all the chickens and jump on something's back & take off into the sunset with staff chasing behind them, it is sooooo not my fault."

The first thing I heard as we walked into a beautiful, well cared-for barn, was:
"Ewwwwwwwww. Peeeeeee-Yew!" from the city folk.
I smiled, and recalled my senses as I walk these streets that they can't smell.
A barn, for me, is alive, warm, comforting. See, we all have our different perspectives, yet it all meshes together beautifully, creating a vibrant fabric.  Maybe the Presidential debates should embrace all our senses of our nation's rich fabric, and smile a little more.

Back To The Land
Returned to the off grid passive solar prefab house, we threw a birthday party ("I'm ten! TEN! At first I woke up and thought I was nine, BUT I'M TEN!!!")...

The next day, we awoke to a downpour.

What I want you to see in these messy pictures is that (again, excuse the mess) it is *pouring* outside yet look at all the daylighting! Even on gray days you don't think about turning on a light.

With all this rain, at first I thought I was living in the middle of a rice paddy
(Handsome Husband: "Aren't you glad I moved the cars up to the field?").

But now I think this cozy prefab home can become an ark!

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