Passive Solar Prefab Home Canters Into Rifle Season
|Passive Solar Prefab Home, meet Rifle Season.|
Rifle Season, meet Passive Solar Prefab Home.
|First, a baby walks.|
Next thing you know, THEY'RE CANTERING.
Off grid notes: The passive solar prefab home in winter is warm and toasty. But we all already knew that, from past winter adventures.
What changes, now living here full time, off grid?
My showers... are not so hot. I knew we had undersized the solar power system and solar hot water (purposely, thinking we'd be weekenders for another 5ish years so wanted to wait for the latest technology when we moved vs. suddenly permanently here, now), but... I am taking 80 degree showers.
NO it's not fun and if you think that 80 degrees isn't bad I want YOU to take an 80 degree shower on the next winter morning. No, really, try it. I want you to be as irritable and cantankerous as I. No, I courteously insist: DO IT. Then imagine doing that every day in winter and get steamed. Except that your black mood won't help heat the water, no? So y'all cheer up and just know, happily, that you are not I this winter during shower time. Or at least until we order more solar hot water tubes.
|One collector two collector three collector four...|
I will be calling Pat Root of Root Electric tomorrow to get the hot water booster installed, asap.
On a happy note, finishing the septic yielded extra GOOD! LOAMY! DIRT!
To place WHEREVER I WANT!
|Why helloooooooo there.|
Remember the terrace o' Virginia clay on the north side of the prefab house (yet with full south exposure)? Oh yes, I am decidedly turning that into a lush garden. Or... working on it. Continuously. Now with a nice pile o' dirt at the top, to then rake down and re-terrace.
|Dirt, you will be terraced.|
And we *did* get the Bantams from our Amish neighbor.
A pumpkin gave me attitude, so I made pie.
|"Oh YEAH, Lady? Oh YEAH?!?"|
|All dolled up and nowhere to go.|
IT'S RIFLE SEASON!
Again, I am grateful for the contentious Sunday hunting ban. It was not intended to, but this ban allows families around here one day a week to at least do something somewhat safely outside. We local hunters support the ban.
"'We killed that 7-0.' Edmunds, an avid hunter, has nonetheless stated his opposition to Sunday hunting 'People in rural Virginia especially recognize [Sunday] as a day of peace, and hunters who hunt in that area didn’t want it,' Edmunds said. 'It’s been up before us the past 15-16 years, and it’s died every year.'"
We may be on our own property, but we are surrounded with Come Here deer hunters with rifles on fleets of ATVs who just don't care. They've traveled hours from Virginia Beach to leased land to shoot something, anything. It sounds like a war zone.
Those hunters are all out on the back ridge, facing OUR FAMILY. They have no idea about the herd, no idea what animals should be culled... They have no idea the S's dogs took out all the fawns this spring. They don't care: They just want A BIG BUCK. And they are desperate to get SOMETHING, so if they want to shoot into your field or, trigger happy, mistake a child playing at the edge of our own field, their heads bobbing up and down as they play in the dirt... I don't even want to think about it but my hackles are up and I am ready.
|Ferocious Guard Chicken.|
Oh, and by the way, Virginia Beach "Hunters"? If you have to shoot six times in a row like you do? Then, uh, you probably should be working on your aim, honeychile, and not hunting.
Their fun and dogs or my kids... no comparison, no choice.
So. While the Not From Here Hunters rode ATVs and shot at anything that moved in the woods surrounding Higher Ground, we helped the Thanksgiving Fairy. You know the Thanksgiving Fairy, don't you?
The Thankgiving Fairy comes along and sprinkles stardust and suddenly you have pretty, trussed, grocery store turkeys!
|Look! It's magic!|
Thank you, Thanksgiving Fairy!
Speaking of Thanskgiving, here's the easy pie I made this week:
Pamplin Pumpkin Pie
This is the point where normal cooks would roll it out nicely and smoothly to then line the pan. I don't. I stick that dough in and smush it around and push it out and stretch it up to the rim, tap it around the edges and call it a day. #CountryCookin'
I would have taken a "Taaaaa Daaaaa! Cooked and finished!" picture but the Pipsqueaks dove into the pie like coyotes on a dog.
Anyhoo... this week, I had a strange dream.
I dreamt it was Christmas, and.... I went onto Facebook... and suddenly all these Richmond women started changing their profile pictures to: each of them sitting proud, carefully posed in upholstered Queen Anne's chairs, in their varying living room or dining room, to showcase behind them:
Long windows just clad with heavy tasseled, draped curtains.
As I relayed the dream to Handsome Husband over steaming coffee the next morning, I chuckled as I looked around at my aluminum clad, sleek modern house where one wouldn't ever dream of adding curtains to the angular expanses of glass: "Man, boy did *I* grow up in the wrong home town!"
|Frog Bottom Farm friends.|
These next years are watershed moments in farming. Why are so many smaller, natural, upstart farms not surviving? Will Big Ag Used-To-Feedlots-Of-Grain finally break under the out of control grain prices and turn back to pasture raised animals? Much less what about the data emerging on GMO?!? These are topics we discuss around dinner tables here, and if you are in the city think about how it impacts your own food supply.
My own thoughts are that now more than ever is a great time to grow your own vegetables, summer *and* winter, and have backyard hens, whether you are in the city or country.
Tomorrow, I'll be watching Ken Burn's The Dust Bowl.
Music ties into history. You can reinforce what you learn about a period historically by listening to and learning music. Here's what we enjoyed:
- http://www.yacubaddy.com/wynton.html Wynton Marsalis & Yacub Addy
"Congo Square was the only place in America where African slaves were allowed to perform their own music and dance in the 1700s-1800s, establishing the roots of American music."
- Please send any history-ties-into-music videos if you know of any good ones, I am searching for them!
Thanksgiving is a good time to re-evaluate assumptions, using it as an opportunity to turn negative experiences, into postive.
Like... for example: security cameras, set up to catch all the bad stuff that happens.
Sometimes, they catch the good.