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Modern Prefab House Moves Into 2014

2014 came in like a lamb... literally.

We headed to The A's farm for a last minute bonfire and New Year's Eve supper. Parking the car, we waded through several large, lively heritage turkeys to reach the door... 

Inside, merriment ensued, but imagine the moment when Pipsqueak 2 excused herself, then:
Yes, a wobbly lamb bleated to a delighted Pipsqueak, who promptly dove in for cuddling.

So, at the A's, 2013 was put to bed with great friends, 'round a bonfire, looking at the stars. [I will forever laugh at sweet 5 year old J. at the bonfire crowing, "I want tortures! I want tooooooortures!" (He really wanted some TORCHES to festively have at the fire, ohhhhhh he was cute!!!!]
Children, with their "tortures."

At the off grid modern prefab, we spent our holiday vacation week teetering on scaffolding awkwardly hanging more plywood.
We were hoping to invite friends to dinner this week.
Yeah, right. How do you like my kitchen.

If you ever wonder why I am not including interior shots of the off grid prefab home, it's because it's "one of those weeks" where the modern prefab house becomes...
A construction zone.
She can't abide mess.
She's cleaning, with earmuffs on for the sound,
as he creates saw dust.

On January 1st, Handsome Husband nailed in the final panel in the prefab house's ceiling.

For now, we're done.
YES we still have areas to cover that are at the top north wall; YES we have to do the bathroom, YES we have to fill in a few gaps. But overall: It's DONE.

When we get bored with the natural wood interior, we can paint it and hang vintage wall paper.
Down the road.
Years. Down the road.

Handsome Husband surveyed his work.
"Does the natural plywood color make the room appear smaller?"
As a matter of fact, I think it does!
It still seems plenty spacious, the ceiling is huge; don't get me wrong.

But it's something to note, and remember, when making interior design decisions.

With the plywood finally up in the modern prefab, it was time to hang these vintage lamps we found awhile ago!

They are *perfect*! During the day, they subtly sparkle color with a modern touch.
At night, their large luminescence provide good reading light yet make dinner guests look softly fabulous.
We love 'em.

Oh the winter dun of the field around the off grid prefab house this time of year...
It makes you dream of organic seed catalogs, and garden plans.
Our biggest challenge is the Virginia clay that surrounds us.  Thankfully we now have a good spread of grass around the prefab house's home site, but that soil doesn't cut it when it comes to gardening. Here is a great article on how to amend, and improve clay soil.

Bad weather is coming, and I will use that indoor time to order seeds and reserve chicks and plan ahead for spring.

On Saturday, we awoke to an evening that had seen temperatures of 13/14 degrees!
But inside, with *no heat on all night* after the cook stove went out around 11 because I'm too lazy to load it up? 62. Usually in winter, we awake to 66ish, but heck, it was down to the low teens!  
I LOVE my SIP prefab house!

It's supposed to be even colder in the coming days... 
On Monday we are supposed to go down to ONE DEGREE.
("DID YOU SAY ONE?!?" I did. "...and with wind chill values as low as -10 below.")

With a high, on Tuesday, of FOURTEEN...and then down to EIGHT. In a lifetime, I don't believe I've ever seen Virginia at ONE DEGREE, much less -10!!!!

You don't want to go through that with wet wood... so we brought in a bunch of the woodpile, as it is currently raining, sleeting, fogging, and there is no way we want to approach such severe weather without being prepared with a passel o' dry wood, and a full pantry.

In the meantime we happily made pasta...
Vintage pasta machine,
in perfect condition!
A great non-electric tool find at $17!

Devoured up a friend's gift of home made feta...
And made some venison chili.

We even had time to run off the last belligerent hunters who were "Jest catchin' their dawgs" on land not their own.
As I slowed down to look at his lookout,
the lookout quickly radioed him to let him know I was on my way.
Unfortunately he could not pull out fast enough.

Well hellooooo there YXV-8903.
Awwww, didn't you used to be the old sheriff?
I know you think you're hot and can do what you want.
I'm hotter.
[Welcome to the internet, rube.]

Rifle season has ended... until next year.

Thinking back, on last year, our first year truly off grid in the prefab modern house, to this winter... and comparing:
It's not as frantic. It's better planned because we now know confidently how things run/ how to prepare.

Even keeping the cook stove going is not necessary at night because we have everything under control, can better predict, through experience, what our comfort level will be.

Here's the other thing: Despite the FRIGID temps, when it's 15 or whatever, if it is sunny, this prefab passive solar house HUMS. Our battery bank climbed rapidly on Saturday to 100%, because it was sunny, regardless that it was 15 degrees. So it's all working, in tandem, to sail through winter successfully.

It will be interesting to see how our "standard package" prefab house (you *can* order the SIP to be thicker, for colder climates) goes through this approaching POLAR VORTEX, though...
"Single-digit temperatures are expected in other parts of Virginia by Tuesday morning. Wind chills may reach zero to minus 10 degrees."
Stay tuned.

Reading Club:

"I am looking for 'Oh no don't touch me spots!'"
She is watching Clinton Anderson...
P. is watching the lesson.
Maybe next time we'll do math.
  • We are on winter break. This allows us all... a break. But today I think I heard them say that they missed school! "OH NO WE DIDN'T!"
    "What were your favorite subjects you've studied this year?"
    Pipsqueak 1: "Social studies... The Civil War."
    Pipsqueak 2: "Groundwork!"
    I: "Uh, horsemanship does not count."
    Pipsqueak 2: "Okkkkkkkk... I *do* like division in the thousands..."
    I: "Rock on!"

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