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5/28/13

Modern Passive Solar Prefab : We Plant, Slay, Play.

At the passive solar prefab home, we wait.
The well permit is here for the off grid well we want to put in for horses. There is nothing left to do but wait, hoping to get on the well driller's schedule, soon...


At the passive solar prefab, we are used to waiting. For things to happen. Here.

The air smells of nectar.
On spring's breeze, you can just *smell* the honey in the air...
With the rains this week, you have to watch out for clouds of swallowtail butterflies sipping water from the wet roads, and to keep a particular eye out to help turtles cross safely.

Last week, at my neighbor's The W's, doing barn chores, my friend Mrs. W asked,
"Did you see the Amish drive by today?"
"No--! Our house is so off the road, we never see anything!"
"There was a buggy going by earlier... You know, sometimes the Amish teens come down this road, driving their buggies and socializing, too!"
I thought that was pretty neat...

Then today, when picking up something from an Amish farm down the road, the wife said, "Oh, we saw your husband last weekend when he was on the tractor, mowing!" Suddenly I put the two together- "Wait! That was Y'ALL out last weekend? You should have stopped by!" She hedged, "Oh, we didn't know if you were ready for guests..."
I was so surprised- "Please *do* stop next time! And what were you doing out on our road?!?"
She smiled, "We were just out... taking a pleasure drive..."

We chatted a bit and I mentioned which horses were ours, over at The W's, so that next time she is on a pleasure drive they can stop by and see us, and see the horses (her husband is a real horseman and loves horses)... and pointed out what the W's farm looks like.
Amish neighbor: "Oh, yes, there was a woman on the porch, I remember that farm!"

This made me chuckle:
  1. Just as we try to be respectful of our Amish neighbors and not encroach on them too much when we go to their farms, here they were doing the same thing to us, not just barging in for a visit! (I told her please do so, next time!)
  2. We all smile, wave, and try not to ogle Amish neighbors when the buggies go by... You'd think we'd get tired of seeing all the buggies, but as many years that pass, we never do... Yet: I realized that just as we enjoy our Amish views, here are the Amish out for a pleasure drive ogling US and thinking WE are picturesque! : )  So my Amish acquaintance was enjoying seeing Mrs. W sitting on her porch, reading a book, enjoying the pretty spring day!
  3. Wait. Does that mean our road is AN AMISH TOURIST DESTINATION?!?
I love moments when your perspective flips unexpectedly, and you consider what it's like from a different viewpoint... and find surprising commonality... : )

The cicadas are out; so are the stinkbugs.
FYI IF a stinkbug lands in yer wine, it DOES taste like citronella. In case y'all wondered if it was just a smell. #NoLongerSipsWineInTheDark

As spring ebbs towards summer, another cycle in another year, it was an exciting week:
Apple trees were planted.

A broody bantam's first chick hatched.
We named her Ping Pong.

The horses happily rolled themselves from white/light gray to Historic Virginia Clay Red.
That's supposed to be a light gray horse.
Down to our last lamb chop, it was just in time to put the twenty-five meat chickens into the freezer.
Will we raise Cornish meat birds again? Maybe not.
I was appalled by how freakishly different they were from our wonderful, agile laying hens.
There's just something not right about an animal that can't survive on it's own past 8 weeks without breaking legs... Even naturally bred, I guess what I'm saying is I am not sure if we are quite fans of meat "designed" birds.

It was interesting, data said to expect 30% loss, but that must have been factory farm conditions (ew), due to "piling up on top of each other, hence suffocation" (ew). We did not lose a one. But from the start they were not... like real chickens. I prefer wilder / more predator proof birds.

In fall, I will try a truly free range flock- from breeds that forage well, avoid predators, that I can cull, a few at a time, as needed, when needed.

The prefab's new window is here!
The prefab's new window is here!
THE NEW WINDOW FOR THE PREFAB HOUSE IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember the extremely energy efficient and expensive window accidentally shot out of the modern prefab home by Pipsqueak 1's ricochet?
Modern prefab home, with broken window.
More lovely broken window pics.
Endless broken window pics.

But instead of finally replacing our shot-out-by-the-ten-year-old energy efficient window in the off grid passive prefab home, we... returned to the Chesapeake Bay, for Cousin Time.


Cousins had Cousin Tea Parties. And cousin tea party picnics... And more cousin tea parties.
Cousin 1: "Let's have a tea party!"
Cousin 2: "AND a picnic!"
Cousin 3: "In our clubhouse!"
All: "O-K!"

Cousins drew beautiful portraits of everyone.
My portrait...
This is either Handsome Husband or Pipsqueak 1.

Cousins fished.

And? Every little girl should have a big, tattooed-up, brawny bald uncle to haul her off and patiently teach her how to paddle board.
We ate very, very well.
Po' Folk Pheasant
Lightly batter pheasant (flour, s&p, season-all) and fry. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Serve on crackers spread with cream cheese & pepper jelly. To *die* for...

How To Roast Oysters Marty-From-Seattle Style: 

Flat side down until you see one drop of water coming out. Then flip, so that the oyster, now opening, preserves its moisture while *also* opening the other side. Not over cooked, perfectly done.

Reading Club: 
P.s. In the United States, it is Memorial Day. If you have served, we are very grateful for your service. Thank you.

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