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At The Passive Solar Off Grid Home, Another Quiet Week In The Country It T'Ain't

These beautiful fall days... the horses and dogs and childrenz are full of themselves, with the first cool nights, racing and romping and tussling around...

The client of the California prefab house kit project is out of town, but when she returns, things will move fast. The architect of the R1 Residential, Morgan Pierce, has done an amazing job working with zoning to maintain the integrity of a modern passive solar prefab yet meet local culture zoning / code... while continuing to celebrate sleek and fabulous modern design.

Want another sneak peek of this modern prefab house, modified for a historic area code? Ok, here you go...

I will go into much (extreme! exuberant!) detail on those exterior living spaces / patio / porticos / stairway soon. But LAWZ CHILE, HOWWWWWW GORGEOUS!!!!!!!

ONE rooster is left of the bantams.
Who has now teamed up with the MEANEST
hen, who now dotes on him.
Poor little guy...

At our own passive solar modern prefab house, we faced a new (to us) predator: VULTURES.
We have faced coyotes.
We have faced hawks.
We have faced 'coons and 'possoms.

But a flock of VULTURES killed two bantams and a standard.

When I first saw them (I never got a good look at their heads, just their HUGE wing span) I thought,
"Meh, no big deal, they're buzzards who just found some carrion..."

...Until I discovered the banties missing and the carcass of a hen *within* the electric fence...

I talked to our good friends The A's, who have hundreds of poultry so thought they should know, and Steve told me that not only do black headed vultures kill chicken, but goats, and even *calves* as they are birthed.

So we are taking the migratory black vultures very seriously; the dogs are outside guarding and have done a great job of scaring them off. (Note: they are protected by federal law.)

On our homeschool front, it was a week of educational field trips.
We toured the Federal Reserve...

(and while we're at the Federal Reserve check out all the gorgeous modern details...!!!!)

...the American Civil War Museum...

...and then the childrenz sailed off, literally, with their grandparents on a HISTORY TOUR!

They sail to Norfolk and back, touring Jamestown, Yorktown, Hampton Air & Space Museum, Fort Monroe, the battleship USS Wisconsin, the NAUTICUS Maritime Museum, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, the MacArthur Museum... I lose track but it looks like they're having a great time.


We are without children for over 24ish hours (non-work related) for the first time in almost TWELVE YEARS. We hightailed it to Charlottesville! Scottsville! And hugged and rode Zena.

Zena selfie.

Charlottesville is great. 
But let me tell you why we LOVE Scottsville: 
It's so. darned. walkable.
Charlottesville is a great, walkable city to a certain extent. But let's face it- if you want to do X, Y, Z... you have to drive to those points. It's just too darned big. Yes it's hard to compare a sprawling CVL with tiny Scottsville.

But in both scenarios, you drive to the destination.
In Scottsville you park once, and then you're done.
You can hike, view the river, fish, kayak, eat well (there were two restaurants in particular that had *great* menus), peruse the farmer's market, sit in a beer garden outside of its pub, tour the canal basin and the Scottsville museum... all with *one* park of the car.
Meanwhile, the dogs miss their childrenz terribly.
One morning I awoke, sensing a presence in the pre-dawn dark...
Groggily I turned over, and there... was a big head.

Well hellooooooo there.

Ergh! I rolled away. About an hour later, I heard whining, turned...
"We miss our childrenz!!!!"

Agh! I AM SUPPOSED TO BE SLEEPING LATE! I harrumphed and snuggled in to the blankets.

Five minutes later...

FINE I AM UP BOYS... it was only 7:30. Siiiiiiiiigh...

Reading Club:

With fall's yellow slanting light, mournfully, I am having what just might be the last tomato sandwich of the season.
But here comes broccoli!
Mustard greens!
The season turns.

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