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5/12/14

Off Grid Prefab House Goes Through Another Cloudy Yet Sunny Yet Stormy Yet Sunny Week...

It was another cloudy yet sunny yet cloudy week. At the off grid prefab house, the solar energy level remained in the mid and high 80 percentile. 
Not sunny enough for the off grid solar battery bank to climb to 100%, yet not cloudy enough to fall.

At the off grid modern prefab house, cook stove season has ended; solar cooking season is here. But on cloudy intermittent weeks like here, I struggle.

During sunny times I can solar cook *anything* now! No longer am I intimidated by pasta or meats in the solar cooker. But cloudy weeks of weather during warm seasons challenges me.

Often during weeks like this I'll "start" something in the solar cooker, like potatoes, then "finish" it in the pan over a camping cook stove that sits atop the wood stove. I try to use propane / the camping stove as little as possible during these months- only for morning coffee, or to "finish" a meal.

When you do have to rely on it on cloudy days, you *cringe* at the thought of the amount of propane used...  On cloudy spring weeks we make a lot of quick crepes, sandwiches, quesadillas, and lots of hearty salads.  We opt for quick fried eggs over toast vs. boiled eggs, grits, or bacon, as the former is much more fast and wastes less.
Camping stove atop cook stove...

Often, on cloudy weeks, I go into a cooking rut. I asked my Amish neighbor what SHE's eating this time of year: "Potatoes, kale, lettuce, canned meat." Oh, I hadn't thought that they have moved from fresh to canned now, but it makes sense! You butcher in the cold, hence have fresh meat while canning most of it, to then pull out this time of year.

Everything is so green, so lush... 
His stick exhausted him.
We have enjoyed lots of morning walks, now that warm weather is here, and rifle season past...
Everything is lush in spring...
Yet I also note the cracked soil, even with the rain... and read:
How temperatures in America changed over two decades – big picture
"Just days after a major scientific report that laid out the impacts climate change is having across America, which Barack Obama is expected to use as ammunition for making his case to cut emissions from power plants, a new NASA map shows how temperatures have changed between 1991 and 2012 compared to the average temperature between 1901 and 1960"
More information:
7 Scary Facts About How Global Warming Is Scorching the United States
As I have mentioned, it is hard to grow food here, even as we amend the soil... 
I am concerned about how much harder it may become.  Already due to drought I have noticed a drastic reduction of fresh, organic produce in the grocery stores...

Saturday brought a tremendous lightning storm over the prefab house. Off grid, our lights and power stayed on, of course...
Here you can see the storm approaching, then how, even during dark weather, the daylighting within the prefab keeps the prefab house still bright!
It might be dark and stormy outside, but inside the prefab house, it's light!
After the storm passed, everyone was happily hoppin'.
Including this feisty jumping spider, who was chasing Pip 1...
Pip 2 bent down and cooed: "Awwwwwwwwwwwwww, does somebody need a HUG?"

With spring, the whippoorwills and tree frogs sing... it's so lovely, have a lissen:
Notice there is not a light... anywhere? And forget about light pollution. I love this time of year...

We love spring.
He is running around with a corn cob in his mouth,
begging me to chase him.

Reading Club
The Pips have *worn* him out.
Note he has put his prized stick in the dog bed,
himself taking the floor.

  • Harvard scientists may have solved one of the biggest environmental issues of our time: ow.ly/wBfEG
  • Internet ‘fast lane’ proposal crumbles as 150 tech companies voice net neutrality support
  • New "Safer" Tank Cars Were Involved in Lynchburg, VA, Oil Train Fire: bit.ly/1uafdxz
  • What's so scary about smart girls?
    "Why are fanatics so terrified of girls’ education? Because there’s no force more powerful to transform a society. The greatest threat to extremism isn’t drones firing missiles, but girls reading books.

    In that sense, Boko Haram was behaving perfectly rationally — albeit barbarically — when it kidnapped some of the brightest, most ambitious girls in the region and announced plans to sell them as slaves. If you want to mire a nation in backwardness, manacle your daughters."
Homeschool:
I am researching curricula, again, for next year... In the meantime check out Pip 1's math game he coded!
He says he will add subtraction... and explosions.

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