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10/14/13

Off Grid Modern Prefab House On Energy Diet During Cloud Cover!

And just like that, the rain poured down, and with it, when it wasn't raining, a week of HEAVY cloud cover. One second Pipsqueak 2 was stacking wood in a sundress, barefoot...

...and the next we were under leaden skies, pelting rain, constant drizzle.


The Prefab House went on an Energy Diet.
We turned off the superfluous, opened up textbooks, and read.

Each morning I laid out math problems, to work, together as a team. It was practice for one, further learning for the other.

Yet it isn't QUITE cook stove season.  Even with cold evenings, the prefab house is just too warm inside!  With gray skies,  there was no solar cooking.  That means we eat a lot of salads, sandwiches, easy meals... Now, in this easy temperate temperatures yet with clouds, we all long for cook stove season. As difficult as it was to part with this summer, we now embrace fall, and the rush of winter.

With fall, rural festivals abound, as does bow season, and competitions...

I share a shooting trophy from my dad this week, which I jokingly entitle,
"The postcard read, 'Kate and I visited Area 54 and I took home this lovely souvenir.'"

At the prefab house, I checked the weather again, thinking of the upcoming weekend. Now this EXTREME unrelenting cloud cover had happened about two times last year. So far we had endured over five days of gray. The weather station confirmed: I should expect ANOTHER WEEK of clouds.

I battened down the prefab house for an Extreme Energy Diet.
No phones. No stereo. No laptops. No lights. No hot water. Everything off except the energy-efficient freezer.

That meant little access to work emails, and home school became solely reading texts, with math written on notepaper.

As always, we appreciate our non-electric tools during cloudy weeks:
The coffee grinder...

The Salad Master...

We were expecting weekend guests, South Africans who now resided in and were driving down from DC.  We explained to them that the modern prefab was now converted into CAMPING IN THE PREFAB.  We explained there would be no hot water.

They still came.
And we had a great time.
The rain didn't even wash out Appomattox's Railroad Fest!








While there, our South African friends enjoyed the antique shops...




We found Pimp Coats.
And who can resist a good Pimp Coat, I know I cant...
 
 

We even had a South African-Done-Gone-Southern Brie: a barbecue on embers in the intermittent drizzle.
 
 
 
It was a great weekend with guests, even with the rain, the gray, the camping in the prefab. I'm looking forward to them visiting again, when it's not so cloudy, when the modern prefab functions as normal! We had a *great* time.
[And yes: I *did* get that vintage Pimp Coat.]

Through the gray skies, the off grid prefab house loses 3 degrees a day. As I type this, in the dark of the morning, we are at 66 degrees. I am hoping brightness with at least add a few degrees like it has, most days, even with these clouds...

So we have been rising 1-3 degrees during the day, even cloudy, then losing three, nightly.
The cistern may be full, but folks, I'm hoping for some sun.
But camping in the prefab house really isn't bad.

You unplug, read, cuddle up and enjoy the view... 
It's ok: soon, there's always bright skies ahead. 

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