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7/21/14

Modern Prefab House Project And Considering Car-less

Passive solar modern prefab house
The R1 Residential from Green Modern Kits
.

Things are happening fast, yet slow, with the Moss Beach Modified R1 Residential modern prefab house! The client will begin a blog very soon, and will give you much more detail there, but here is what I can tell you about this California modern prefab house project: 

I say fast, yet slow, because Moss Beach, near San Francisco, is a beautiful, historic, foggy microclimate full of special things... from Wikipedia:
"Due to the marine air currents off of the Pacific Ocean, Moss Beach experiences above average fog levels, but also superior ambient air quality. Note the everpresent fog in the photo to the right (the circular blotches are not a special effect, but a result of the droplets formed on the camera lens cover). Situated along the coast of Moss Beach is the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, a California designated area of Special Biological Significance. The reserve boasts a scenic blufftop trail through ancient cypress groves overlooking the Pacific Ocean, historically interesting tide pools and a variety of significant marine animals and pelagic birds. The unique outcroppings along the beach are part of the Franciscan formation, a favorite of local geologists."
The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

Understandably, there is lots of planning and zoning to navigate, to carefully preserve and protect this area. The client submits the design documents for the Moss Beach Modified R1 Residential tonight (hence why I call this fast), yet we will not hear a word on whether it is approved until September, at least (hence why I call this slow!).

While all this prefab house planning is in progress at work, I am in Deltaville, happily stuck.

See, when a storm rolled in quickly a few days ago, we raced into my parent's house just as it hit. 
"Eh, we can just spend the night..." Later I ran back to close up the hens, and let the dogs out, then, the next morning, I hurried the children: "Git yer shoes on! Git dressed! We have to let the chickens and dogs out!!!!"

We (finally) climbed into the car, I turned the key, and: click.
Nothing. 
The car... was dead.
I thought hard.
I opened the garage.
I raced off with one of my parent's boat bikes!
"Hold on kids, I'll take care of the critters and be right back!" 


Once home (2.5+ miles later... thus this would be 5 miles, *each trip* by bike...), I realized that... it is one thing to let out 10+ chickens and then herd them into the lawn with THREE people.... than one person. 
Chicken tree.

I chased the flock, they ran, and we did circles
and circles
and circles
and circles...
at some point I looked up, saw a kind neighbor, realized the futility of a one-(wo)man-chicken-chasing-show, realized that the upcoming day of rain would only mean I would be riding that boat bike back and forth to let out dogs, back and forth in the dark to close up the chickens, back and forth through lightning and monsoons...
That kind neighbor took me to retrieve the childrenz, and thus children and chickens and dogs were now under, albeit carless, ONE ROOF.
Are you bored? Not my problem.
Go talk to yer dog through a window
or something.


Who cares? We can walk anywhere... I have groceries! I HAVE WINE! We'll be *fine* until Handsome Husband arrives in two days! BRING ON THE NO-CAR LIFE!

We had fun! We went to the library and loaded up on books.  We got out. We walked those 2.5+ miles to the pool, talking all the way, looking at stuff, contemplating stuff, making up stuff, and it was so funny because once we got there, two moms were talking about their childhood vs. children now and how overscheduled and electronic-fied children's lives have become. I mentioned how data shows how important it is to have the gift of boredom, how it is necessary to boost creativity... One woman said, "Heck, when I was bored, my grandpa told me to just clear walk across town if I was bored, or read a book!" I paused, thinking about the 20ish books we read over the storm, and how, when the sun then came out, we walked clear across town to the pool.

In a walkable community, even in more rural areas like here, it IS possible to be comfortably carless.
Especially when you are in a great community.
For example, that good friend who picked up the childrenz? I came by later and thanked him, giving him some eggs. "Hold on!" he said, and ran to the back of his shop, where he then presented me with... mead!
I'm serious. Whenever I gift Henry,
he always gifts me with something
BETTER!

So, The In-Town Ramshackle Rocks On
And GOOD MORNING from the big ole town o' Deltaville!
We are still slowly cleaning and settling in to the 150 year old In-Town Ramshackle, it takes forever. Pretty much by the time I get it all spiffed up and ready for the summer it will be time to go home to the off grid prefab house!
This week's projects included more grading around the house site to ensure water does not get under the house, and the well filter was changed (this area of Virginia has a lot of rust in water).
I walked the property, noting the landscaping- lots of "rooms" created by shrubs, yet large open spaces...
I smiled, thinking that when we bought the In-Town Ramshackle, they probably thought they were selling us the *lot* and considered this house a tear-down!
The In-Town Ramshackle is such a special property and worth the struggle to save. Picture a 150 year old farm house not 50 feet from Main Street where, with your coffee in hand, you can stroll out, out to the far edge of the field to watch the deer and turkey! That's actually what  I just did- Pip 1 and I had a great time watching a tom and two hens blithely strut about, leisurely picking the field, then suddenly fly high into the pine! In a town! A town on the bay! I love it!
Look closely-  them thar's some turkey!

So we are here, enjoying turkey in town. 
Come and see us.

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