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7/8/13

Off Grid Rain, With Deltaville Deluges, And NYC In Tha House.

"Phew! This summer is crazy!"

At the off grid modern prefab house last week, even though it rained, the cistern was only full enough to where the pump float safety valve cut off... hence, no water.  It was a frustrating week at the off grid prefab home, unable to easily access critical elements like... water, easily...

So, yeah... I picked up the dogs, and chickens, and fled. I fled to sunny Deltaville, to the In-Town Ramshackle, where, even though it has 150 years o' dirt and dust and rust-stained bathtubs and sinks and even a rumored ghost... there was plenty of water. The In-Town Ramshackle beckoned hot showers, sunshine, magical afternoons on the sandbar...

It rained. Remember how I begged for rain? Honeychiles, it POURED DOWN RAIN.
The 4th of July neared- it was still pouring.

Good news? Unlike last year, as the 150+ year old In-Town Ramshackle was renovated, there were now no leaks!  Last year? If a cloud even *thought* of spittin' out rain, that roof would yield a crack. Nope. Alllllll sealed.

While the rain came down in sheets, beating against the house, I happily worked away in my office, while Pipsqueaks did summer homework, curled up with books, or pieced together puzzles. All of us listened to the loud patter of rain on a tin roof in a sealed-up-for-the-next 150 years farm house. It was comforting.
Puzzles. Rain = Lots of puzzles.


Just as I started to relax and really, without fear, enjoy the tapping of rain on an old farm house... The In-Town Ramshackle sprang a leak. Then four.
Drip.. drip... drip... drip drip drip drip drip drip dribble dribble dribble...
RIGHT ONTO MY MID-CENTURY DANISH WORK DESK!
"Aieeeeeeee!"

And then?
Drip drip drip drip dribble dribble trickle trickle ...in THREE MORE SPOTS!

Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllll... maybe there are a few more leaks to fix...
"Quick! Grab bowls! Lots of them!"

Back at the off grid prefab house? Our gutter is reinforced, hopefully not bending, so that the cistern is filling. Let. It. Rain.

Design Notes: Katja Ollendorff Featured On Pattern Observer!
My dear friend and industrial designer Katja is featured for her prints... Check out the great article on her, and here's some samples:
I'm loving her Pinterest boards, too...

Vegetarian mint juleps.
"Can't let a NYC girl return without a proper julep,
now, can we? That would be INhospitable!"

With the 4th of July, came the arrival of my wonderful, wonderful NYC ex-Roommate, Miz P. She is vegetarian, so I cooked up a vegetable storm. 
On the menu? Spinach pies with hints of lemon, nutmeg, and dill. Backyard pesto. Asparagus, onion, potatoes, bean & cherry tomato pasta. Veggie paella with saffron. Grilled pimento cheese sandwiches with big fresh salads. Black bean & corn salad. Curried rice. Hummus. Bruschetta. Tapas.

Oh, and mint juleps. That's vegetarian, too, y'know.

Here's a few things I made:
Potato, Asparagus, Tomato Summer Pasta
  • Boil some smooth small potatoes in a pot until tender, set aside to cool
  • Saute lotsa garlic & onions in olive oil
  • Dice potatoes, add to the pan
  • While you're doing that, cook some penne until al dente
  • After potatoes are browning very slightly, sprinkle it all with salt and add a bunch of asparagus cut in 1" pieces
  • Add in a can of drained kidney beans
  • Turn off the heat, let cool until lukewarm, fold in the penne
  • Add in lots of quartered cherry tomatoes
  • More salt, pepper, red pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar to taste
  • Finally, sprinkle in & fold in Parmesan all throughout

Spinach Pie
(Adapted from Great Good Food by Julee Rosso)
Make pie crust & line the pan. Keep repeating to yourself, "Do NOT use grease! Do NOT use grease! VEG-Eh-TARE-IAN pie crust! Use BUTTAH!" Ok, phew, now that that's done, work on the filling:
  • In a large bowl add in equal amounts (at least one cup, depending on how many pies you're making) shredded mozzarella, cottage cheese, lots and lots of fresh parsley, and enough beaten eggs to bind it loosely
  • In a pan heat olive oil, an onion, minced.  Then add lots of sliced mushrooms, lemon juice, some water so they don't burn but get nicely cooked
  • Once cooked add chopped up spinach to the pan, heat it up
  • Turn off the heat and sprinkle in more lemon juice, some nutmeg
  • Dill: If you have fresh, add a bunch to the mixture once it cools down. If you don't have fresh, just add it now to the pan
  • Let the spinach mixture cool, then add to the large bowl & mix well, then add into the pie crusts
  • Bake at 350 until the top is slightly brown!
Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches. Mmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmm. (I posted a recipe a few weeks back.)
As Miz P. was new to Deltaville, and from New Yawk Cit-tay, I thought I'd point out how urban Deltaville is:
We have a parade. Every big city has a parade!
And I would like New York to know OUR parade lasts ten whole minutes!






 
 
 

We have celebrities. No, strike that: We have FAMOUS ROCK STARS.

Heck. We are like five times bigger than Pamplin CITY-population-199, and we have TRAFFIC. [Miz P.: "Um. Copeland, that was two cars."]


In Downtown Deltaville, I live twenty feet from Main Street. 
Urban, honeychiles, URBAN
As with any dear friend, it was a lovely time.
Ok... Maybe not *everything* was Big City Urban.

We built sand castles...
Watched races... while reading...

This t'ain't NASCAR, honeychiles.
 ...admired sting rays and sand bars...
 
 
 

Not being girls to just lie idle, we even claimed, founded, and ruled our own island. I present: The Island Of Copelandia.
My reign was brief, deposed by rising tide. Oh, but I plot my return...

There was lots of quiet reading on the front porch, and... well...
I couldn't let a New Yawk girl go without having a proper mint julep, then an evening sail to our cousins, The French Fries. 


"It's all right, P. is at the helm...
AAAAAAAAAAAA P. is at the helm!!!"




We ended with Cousin Cocktails at a Mod Seventies Pad.
Not bad.


Family history, with whale bones. Cool.




And then Miz P returned to NYC, and we, to our off grid home.

Returned To The Off Grid Prefab House!
With Joy, And Disappointment.


Joy:
I thought they wouldn't care a whit, and, after seeing me lope towards them daily all these months, I thought they were actually *glad* to be rid of me awhile. But the second I got to the edge of the field, the horses' ears swiveled, straight up, tracking me. "Is that her?!?"

By the time I had opened the gate they were already rushed against it, and once in, our horses gave me the most JOYFUL welcome. I even got a nicker I only hear R. give her filly... It was the most warm, loving glad-to-see-me reunion. Oh I can't wait to see them again tomorrow, and every day... what a gift in my heart they are.

I really thought they were sick of me and glad for a break... it was the most beautiful affirmation of, "No, y'all don't just love us, but you're in our herd, too; welcome back, we love you..."
Hey horses! We heart you, too!

Disappointment:
After all this rain, our off grid cistern is only 1/4 full, again.
So now we research 1. is it that the water is not draining properly through our filter OR 2. is there a leak. This is maddening. And stressful.  Living off grid does not mean you have to live crudely, you can actually live very well; but not having water is not only crude but unsustainable.

But I am happy to be home, at the off grid prefab house, with, or even without water.
A steady breeze is blowing, the dogs are passed out on the cool concrete floor, it is quiet, content, and restful to be home.  A thunderstorm passes over, and then, like many moments this year, a rainbow.
As hard as it has been, I'm taking this rainbow as thinking maybe we're doing something right.  On cue, not one, but TWO wipporwills begin to call. 
'Night, y'all.

Reading Club:
Homeschool:
Pipsqueak 1 is *loving* scratch programming. *I* love that he's loving that! #SummerLearning
Scratch programming is via MIT- free, accessible via browser, great intro to programming / thinking logically- http://scratch.mit.edu/ Pipsqueak 2 is enjoying watching Pipsqueak 1 futz around with it all. As always, her learning style absorbs absorbs absorbs before she suddenly, confidently, expertly takes to the task at hand.

Evaluating: Luminosity

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1 Comments:

At 7/8/13, 7:15 PM , Blogger George said...

Nice Gams, all around!

 

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