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10/14/12

Passive Solar Prefab Living, With A Hiatus In DC.

Off grid passive solar prefab house
*with solar walkway candy canes?*
Forget it, kid.
My child is trying to talk me into ordering solar powered walkway candy canes. 
"MOM, COME ON, isn't this EVERYTHING you work for?!? SOLAR!"
Um... For those of you that wonder: No, we have no walkway. We have fields. Fields apparently perfect to be lined with solar powered candy canes. 
Ohhhhh, my missed opportunity.
"Solar candy canes?!? Nooooooo!"
New Mexico Prefab House Project
I will have an update and hopefully a blog link for people to follow this project by next week.
Colorado Prefab House Project
The Boulder distributor is currently pricing out the two story modern prefab home, The R1 Residential, with the optional extra bath, for this family. So we are in the very beginning stages of a possible prefab home in this area.
Now Nomads, We Go Hither And Thither, At Will. D.C. is great. When there, we school in the morning, then see some incredible exhibits that are tied in to what they are currently learning in school. We wait until right after lunch, to avoid the school buses. It all blows our mind.

This week? The Smithsonian National Museum Of Natural History (Homeschool topics covered: adaptation, different scientific eras, I mean, sheesh, too many topics to list...) and the National Geographic Headquarters and its exhibit, "Discover the Golden Age Of Muslim Civilization: 1001 Inventions." (Homeschool covered: early explorers not in the Americas, early inventions, map making, time, the list, again, is endless...)

National History Museum:

National Geographic Headquarters:

But when it comes to meeting local kids, I'm flummoxed. Believe me, I accost any parent accompanying their child in the morning as I walk- and they are friendly, gracious, trying to be helpful. They all pointed me to the public elementary school just a few blocks away. Great! Like anywhere, schools are where the local community gathers.

How we play:
I don't think this would go
over well in DC...
#BarefootKids
#PotatoGun

So we traipsed on down at 4ish, expecting some local stragglers where we might break into conversation.
We didn't get past the gate.
"This area is private."
Uh, I thought it was the public school playground...
"Aftercare is in session."
Ok, I get it... wow, aftercare is publicly provided here? Huh. We'll come back later.

A few days later we tried a REALLY late hour, 5:30, hoping there might be still *someone* on the playground. I mean, we had already fed our children dinner.
Nope. The playground was filled with kids and no entry for us.
"No random neighborhood children allowed inside to play on the public playground until six thirty."
WHO GOES TO PLAY ON A PLAYGROUND AT SIX THIRTY?!?
I was... just... shocked. In all the cities and not cities I know, playgrounds are open for a fun free-for-all after 2ish...  all these children here, past the dinner hour...
Pipsqueak 2 looked up at me, as we stood, again barred from entering:
"Ma, we don't need to meet kids here.
I think we were meant to be farm kids..."

We walked away, with I, repeating, "SIX THIRTY?!?" in disbelief...

This is not a city critique. New York rocks the urban childhood vibe. 
As I often say: Go to any New York playground. It is full of parents drinking coffee and kids screaming.  DC has a lot to learn.
In the meantime, when we're here, we ARE having a blast.
And the neighborhood, near DuPont Circle but away from tourists, is GREAT. We love it, and you can tell that everyone who lives here loves this neighborhood, too.
The streets are gorgeous! The metro is fun! The museums, endless!
Just... no unchained kids, much less kids who might be slightly feral like my own...

So, in this bustling metropolis, we import kids to us.
This week, Germany came to visit! We love it when this German family comes, their child is the same age, and it is fun to see and discuss our culture, listening to their outside take and observations.


Wouldn't you think it ironic L.A. is courting us for a tv show, a reality show, and I have no tv?
I consulted friends. "We're friendly, but it would be a real pain to have cameras all around. BUT: It would be good for Pamplin, and Appomattox, and help our community. It would give a platform to the lifestyles and skills we are passionate about: off grid living, natural farming, canning... And heck, I think MY friends are fabulous...!"

My friend J.B.: "A reality show? I'm not eating crickets."
I: "I don't want you to eat crickets. Plus it's not like you'll find some Snookie here, honeychile; we're not The Housewives O' Pamplin Cit-tay or anything. But I'd be ok if we were The Country-fied Seinfield... and people might learn some history! I mean, DC doesn't even know where **APPOMATTOX** is!"

Reading Club:
Homeschool: 
We did school every morning until lunch as usual, then headed out to museums. But did you know the U.S. Department of Energy also has an online area called, "Ask A Scientist?" This came in handy when, studying weather, the 4th grader *insisted* fog is precipitation, no matter how many arguments to the contrary I provided. "Hey! Look what I found! It's Ask A Scientist!" He ran up, interested. And there was this.

Returned Home To The Passive Solar Prefab Home...
We walked into the off grid solar prefab house after being in DC- in the dark, temperatures plummeting, yet indoors, it was 70 degrees, and 1. there's no heat on plus 2. there was frost last night. Indoors, it's 70 degrees. 
Yay.
It's so good to be home... 
...Just in time for the Appomattox Railroad Fest.  
I hope y'all enjoy the pictures and video, below.




If you missed it, next year, y'all come out. Don't miss the food, music, vintage cars, firemen, and, of course, the Brunswick stew.




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