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6/10/13

Prefab House : Off Grid Relaxing With Rain and Riding

The replacement window for the off grid prefab house's shattered pane sits in a corner, untouched. It has been a busy week at the modern prefab home, but not related to green building or off grid construction.
Replacement window, untouched...

As sad as I was to watch kale season wane, with it's end marks a new period: Summer food!
Summer veggies growing...

In summer, one must always have homemade pimento cheese, flavorful hummus, and cucumber sandwiches on hand. If you don't, I'll judge you.

If you're a poor dear who hasn't been brought up with pimento cheese, it's ok, I'll help you!
Here's how to make pimento cheese:

Copeland's Pimento Cheese:
- mince a small onion (warning: my pimento cheese is a tad more onion-y than store bought)
- grate 1 big block o' SHARP cheddar
- glug in some Worcestershire
- enough homemade mayo or DUKE's (do NOT let me catch you using anything but Duke's!) to bind it
- large jar of pimentos, with some of the broth
- cayenne pepper AND a pretty drizzle of sriracha
MASH IT ALL TOGETHER.

Serve on bread as a sandwich, and if you want to be REALLY decadent? Make a grilled cheese with it, so it oozes on toast...

Living in an off grid house, I use a lot of non-electric tools in the kitchen. One of my favorites is my Saladmaster, which I used for the pimento cheese. If you ever find one in a thrift store... grab it. It slices, grates, shreds, makes pretty ruffled shapes, quickly, efficiently, easily, without electricity.
Pimento cheese makin'

At the off grid prefab house, tropical storm Andrea brought lots and lots of rain.
It's was a good few days to be inside the modern prefab, listening to the steady rain, working and reading and enjoying hearing the cistern fill. It was a steady downpour, waning rarely.

Solar Powered Off Grid Sleep Over
An indoor day at the passive solar prefab-
note, with rain, how bright it still is inside!
Pipsqueak 1 had his first spend the night out. The next night, with rain, his friend slept over.
Because of the rain, I couldn't just toss them out into the yard; and, being little boys in elementary school, this is what they wanted to do: Play games. Electronic games. Watch movies. Game. Apps.

Normally, I'd just say, as my friend J.B: "Too bad, so sad...", throw them outside, lock the door, and call it a day. But it was a tropical storm. And this child was enthusiastic, but not quite an Off Grid Kid.

I gritted my teeth. And steeled myself for the battery bank drain, in the rain.
Sometimes you have to dance that line, where you squander some electric juice for a good time.
They had a great time.
Look at all that rain...!

HOWEVER, when I checked on the weather the next day, thinking all this rain had passed... I freaked
Aaaaaaand the battery bank sez? "Eeeeep!"
  
Ok, forget it kids, at the off grid prefab house we are pulling back and going into Extreme Energy Conservation mode to get through this week.  The visiting child asked, "What is a battery bank?" and I happily explained the wonders of the prefab home's functions, finishing with an educational, "Can you imagine what it would be like to check your house to see if it was gaining or losing energy?" He shot back: "Yeah, that's why I like living in the city."
LOL!

Now there were a few days without rain:
Pipsqueak 2 Was Busy With Horse Camp.
"Hurry up, Momma! I can't miss a SECOND of camp!"

Pipsqueak 2 cantered on one of Secretariat's granddaughters!
I thought that was pretty cool for a nine year old. Both Pipsqueaks are reverent about Big Red... Pipsqueak 2 had already cantered this horse, has already loved her for over a year, had no idea until this week the history! That little girl's eyes were SAUCERS!
Secretariat's granddaughter

Grandchildren Visited Neighbors; Pipsqueaks Played All Week
If you have children and consider visiting Appomattox, here's the way to do it:


Start off at the Museum Of The Confederacy.

Then tour Appomattox Court House Battlefield Park. It was impressive how the children younger than my own still were engaged by the audio & oral reenactors giving voice to history- and having the latter site to run wild around in (fields, people, fields...) really made for a day. Regarding Appomattox Court House, what I also liked was that there were discreet benches everywhere under the shades of trees, around bends... so you could contemplate or, (lets face it:) collapse a little after trudging around.

Combining the two in that order really memorable day / educational outing.

Afterwards we went to an ice cream shop that just opened- The Sweet Shop on Atwill- but you easily could have had panini's at Baine's or country cooking at Prospect Diner, while very easily one parent could have been with kids while the other wandered into the antique shops. It's a win/ win day for kids and adults.

At The Sweet Shop, the kind proprietor asked the children to contribute hand prints to decorate the store.

And then suddenly, expectedly and not expectedly, I lost a dear old friend.
As A.S. explains: 
David

"This is what David Castleman looked like when I met him. He was a scrawny little guy with a bad dye job, and he showed up at 7 North Harvie Street some time around 1989 if my somewhat hazy memory of that time is correct. J.O. told me that Dave had cancer -- 'and it's up to all of us to make sure that he has the most fun possible for as long as he can.'

I left for Los Angeles not long after that, and it's been forever since I've seen Dave in person, but you guys all worked really hard to make sure Dave had the most fun possible for as long as he could. I know he was in awful pain a lot of the time, but he was a serious badass about it and built a great life in spite of the pain. My heart breaks for his family right now, but Dave is not in pain any more and the fight is over. 


Copeland Casati, I hope you don't mind that I stole your awesome picture. My thoughts are with you and the rest of Dave's friends today."

I don't mind at all.
Even in my sadness this picture makes me laugh- WHAT am I wearing?!? - David taught many lessons about living your life to leave the world laughing, with more love, lots more love, thanks to his presence.  Really, do you want to leave the world having "won" every match, having "made it" ...yet without friends? Or, when your spirit walks, wouldn't it be better to have left with people celebrating you, people from all walks of life and from all over the world making friends with each other because of YOU? That is how David has left, he created community, embraced hijinks, added lots of love and laughter to our meager existence. 

Picture credit Doug Dobey
"Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
-Dylan Thomas

David raged. Heck he had one cancer after another for twenty years and it P*SSED him off! He took that fury and battled pain the entire time I knew him. David loved hard core, heavy metal, punk rock. Yet even with that fury, he was able love deeply, laugh often... He married a radiant woman. They have a beautiful child, who knows her daddy loved her. 

That's why, when it all finally, suddenly, too-quickly yet happening-for-years happened, we are shocked. Floored. But glad he is released. Cancer... is a cannibal.



Reading Club: 
Homeschool:

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