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The Off Grid Passive Solar Prefab Home Sails Through Mud And Muck, Happily!

Off grid passive solar prefab...
with wreath. Fa la la la LA, honeychiles.
It looks kinda fuzzy wreath-y instead of
modern coolio wreath-y. I will deal with that later.
Now if only I can find the Christmas stockings.
...Maybe... I'll think about modern coolio wreaths next year.
Fa la la la la, la frickin' la. : )

Progress on Final Electrical Work progressed at the Off Grid Passive Solar Prefab Home. The week began with sun, and finished in mist and rain. 

Sad face: All the mud means: no riding.
Smiley face: Lots of reading and cozy moments endlessly cooking and embracing the beautiful warm heat of the cook stove.  The cook stove keeps the passive solar prefab home warm, a wonderful kind of warmth, not like electric heat.  The June storms gave us plenty of downed trees to cull.  And I only usually get the stove going during times I cook- functioning with the dual purpose of heating the house while making delicious breakfasts and dinners. The passive solar prefab's structural insulated panels (SIP) do a wonderful energy efficient job of retaining the heat during the time in between.

Mmmmmmmm cook stove.
And look at my cute mastiff-pit sitting by the rear door,
I did not even notice him there when I took this picture!
Shhhh: She's reading. It's a misty, gray day.
Curl up with a book and enjoy.

Often, I glanced at the battery bank readings and thought:
"Who wants to bet our solar battery bank is NOT charging at all today... #RainyDay
(But the rainwater cistern is filling!) #AlwaysAnUpside "

When it's overcast and drizzly for days, and you're surrounded by a recently dug up septic field, you park your car high in the field so that in an emergency you *could* get out...
...then relax, and just read a lot.
Your kids discover Chaucer.
By candle light.
Pipsqueak 1 is terribly disappointed Chaucer didn't finish The Canterbury Tales.
He is NOT impressed with my Middle English.
"WAAAAN THAT APRILL-lah deSHOURES-SOOOO-tah de draught o' March

I am always amazed how, even on gray days, the solar battery bank can *charge*. So even on days like these, if I don't *use* a lot of power, we can safely sail through and even regain energy throughout the day.  During most every gray day, there are always brighter moments that break through the cloud cover, and charge the prefab!  You would be surprised how much we still gain, as long as we are careful to conserve energy use within. (So no watching tv, playing music, no lots of lights on, etc. but thanks to the great window placement we never think of lights during the day even when it rains!)

At The Off Grid Passive Solar Home, when we were outside, we Got Dirty.
I feel like I'm walking in platforms I have so much mud
caked to my galoshes...
Pipsqueak 1 worked on his 12+ foot long Christmas List.
Who votes he gets coal in his stocking?
Um yeah, right. SERIOUSLY?

Item #23483948: A goat.
"A goat, not too small but can be trained to pull small carts and sleds with around 100 pounds."
Um, sure, kid.

Aaaand then there is Pipsqueak 2.  
"I want to wish for snow and ride...and play outside.
But I also want to help my parents with their work.
I want to make presents for my family and friends..."

We had a beloved old friend visit: Amy!
I think we, with the help of our good friends at Maple Brooke Farm, did a pretty good job makin' sure Amy and her fiancee were sent back to the city reeking of horses, goats, and donkeys... Oh, and chickens... Here she is, giggling with bantams... 
It was too soggy to ride but we could brush the horsies!

We are so grateful Maple Brooke Farm
(and all our friends here)
generously opens their hearts and home to our city friends.
Y'all might remember Amy & I had a friendly rivalry at work: Vintage Hat Fridays... now we just don livestock! 

You might also recall, how, after years of Vintage Rivalry, her dark horse of a dad came outta nowhere and SHAMED US with his mastery and won the competition! Sir, we all still lift our (vintage) hats off to you.
: )

Off Grid Hearts Are Full!
Longtime readers know that due to others, last Christmas was terrible. Good grief. We really were lambs loaded up into the livestock cars to be delivered... Never again. Thankfully we laugh about it now... A year later,  recovered, we revel in holidays.
What changed?
Holidays are ours now.
Obligations evaporated, we are free.

Holidays are relaxed, restorative. Lots of cooking with friends.
We are REALLY looking forward to this Christmas especially: our first in the passive solar prefab home, our first as living off grid, and, well, I might be dissing Pipsqueak 1's Christmas List, but I hear Santa *did* say he had some good plans for our family... #ToBeContinued
So, now that we look forward to holidays, here's some holiday cook stove tips to make things even easier!
Copeland's Make Holidays Easy Cookstove Tips
  • I wanted to make the butternut squash soup again for Christmas, as it was so good. Instead of undertaking things all at once, think about using the cookstove as like having free energy to do things in stages- so bake the squash, freeze it, then pull it out in 2 weeks along with frozen broth and whip a vat o' impressive soup together without breakin' a sweat in yer velvet dress! Impressive!
  • With the cookstove free energy theory at work, I always stick in a few potatoes into the oven to bake. Then I sit them on the counter, whole, to use in the next day for anything- Ah, want hash browns for breakfast? Comin' right up, and easily! I just slip off the skins, cube, and hashbrowns will be ready quickly, folks! Or throw it into a last minute stew!
  • I have onions often sizzling happily in a pan. I have the luxury to brown them, let them cool, set aside, to then quickly reheat, stir in flour & salt & pepper, add broth from the freezer while toasting bread in another pan, and VOILA! Deeeee-licious French soup! With no work or time it seems! Yet better than any your guests have had!
  • Beans are easy to have just cookin' on the stove... they smell delicious and can be thrown into about anything when not used as a side.
  • Make cookies. It's easy because you've already got the cookstove going, no? And Little Helpers eager to make cookies! Use cookie making as motivation to finish a homeschool lesson! "You can make cookies after you finish three chapter tests!" "Yay!"
Reading club:

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At 12/15/12, 12:14 PM , Blogger Lois said...

Can I ask which Chaucer book you have in your pictures? I'd love to get the same copy. Lois.

At 12/17/12, 5:53 PM , Blogger Passive Solar Prefab Homes said...

It's an *amazing* 1960s version edited by a husband & wife team and... I will need to look it up because I want to get a copy myself, the illustrations are fantastic!

At 12/29/12, 8:15 PM , Blogger Passive Solar Prefab Homes said...

Lois got the info for you!
Selected and adapted by:
A. Kent and Constance Hieatt

Illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren
from Golden Press

I want to get my own copy as well!


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