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5/26/15

Season Pass: From Off Grid Prefab House To The Season Of Sailing

The Dogtrot Mod in the northeast project resumes next week once the client returns from an out of the country visit. 


We left our own modern prefab house to spend time with family and friends on the Chesapeake Bay... 

It's that time of year where we begin the seasonal back and forth between sailing through the seasons, off grid in a modern prefab house, to sailing boats. 

We've always been sailors...
And these trees here? These trees on the bay? These trees raised me.
Now they're raisin' MY kids!


If you have read this blog, you know that I grew up spending summers on the bay, roaming free with a passel o' childrenz and cousins.
Pirate ship. Fer real.
So it made sense, when the opportunity arose, to save a 150 year old farmhouse that came up for a reasonable price a few years ago... so we could raise our Pips as Pirates, too.
Farmhouse? What farmhouse.
All I see are two-story rhododendrons and camellias.

Later, in retrospect, we realized they thought they were just selling that acre of land and that the 150 year old farm house was so far gone it was "certainly a tear-down." (It looked it. Check out the pictures.)

They didn't know us, did they.
The dining room, then...

...and now.
We love The House Where Great-Great Grandma Never Lived.
Planted roses...

Old grape vine + hay field + church beyond...
in the center of town!

Chicken coop + grape vine & old plantings.

Each summer, as we visit, we strip and paint and grade and drain and patch...
Each year, she improves. 

She is beloved.
The In-Town Ramshackle is raisin' my Pips, too.





And so, the annual summer journey of back and forth (and back, and forth) between the off grid modern prefab house and Granny In-Town Ramshackle begins.
Pirate Pips.

As we continue to shore up the In-Town Ramshackle, I will continue to detail the renovation.
But back to the off grid modern prefab home!



P.s. By the way- for some reason, tons of people keep sending this to me.
I send my regards.

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5/18/15

Off Grid Modern Prefab House Does AirBnB

The berries are growing at Berry Hill, soon to be picked... at the off grid prefab home.
What a week.
Regarding the passive solar modern prefab cabin, a Dogtrot Mod in the northeast, there were contractor meetings, architect meetings, and changes to be made to the design documents due to the client's individual site-specific tailoring (with, after initial consultation, an hourly charge for the architect, if that is what the client chooses to do) they submit to planning & zoning.

There was a distributor call for the R1 Residential prefab project in the northwest... we have been busy.

At our own modern prefab house, I made the big mistake of putting the off grid prefab house on AirBnB. Even with my blunt description of the off grid prefab, the response was overwhelming- frankly I'm mortified all these people want to visit.
"Being off grid means the house is broom-swept, not vacuumed, and there is no air conditioning. If you are expecting Red Door Spa, this is not the property for you. If you have fond memories of summer camp in the south, y'all come on in.
...
We are (slowly, over years) finishing the house ourselves (it is "done" but has a few "ugly" areas unfinished) so in full disclosure I present: The Ugly Areas! (Which is: the bathroom walls need to be pretty + along the ceiling in some spots)"
I even made a video, detailing Ugly Unfinished Areas.
And still they want to visit.
People: we live here! 
We can only go away so much! 
Actually, I'd rather be here than traveling... I'm quite settled in, thank you... so when one person after another started emailing me, I decided to shut it down awhile, because otherwise I'd never be home!

So, yeah: The Passive Solar Off Grid House Dipped Its Toe Into AirBnB. It was lovely, but we'd rather stay here, ourselves.
I was very curious about AirBnB as I dislike hotels so want to do AirBnB when we travel.

I want to step into people's lives.
In order to understand that, let them step into mine.

So... I thought I'd find out what it was like. The family who visited was lovely! 

And I loved going into the city to see our friends last week while another family experienced our life! I was happy to hear how much fun they had, with their 8 year old and in-laws, and how much they enjoyed the area.

BUT. There is something to be said for just keeping your home your home.

I *love* doing cultural exchange stuff. But... it's also a lot of work, and, as I mentioned, I kind of like this place, too, and live here!
Ahhhhhh my own bed...
there's no place like home.
Returned, at our prefab home...
There are a bunch of baby painted turtles in our pond, just about the size of silver dollars, and we have been MESMERIZED, watching them!
ADORABLE!!!!

Why yes, she IS racing chickens around the pond.

The story to the "tiny pond" is that it was supposed to be a natural pool. We excavated, and before a liner was put in, it rained- and has stayed full, ever since, for 3+ years now, teeming with wildlife and its own ecosystem.

I have thought upon the natural pool- while a good idea (actually, GREAT), lining it would prevent all the amphibians who make their home and flourish here from embedding in the winter- they would have the rim, but seeing the vibrant wildlife that already call it home makes me hesitant to disturb it for just a few humans' pleasure. You just wouldn't believe the FROGS and so many creatures that now call it home.

Wednesday we celebrated Pip 2's ELEVENTH birthday- birthday candles, cake, homemade cards... until Handsome Husband called: "UHM... it's not until TOMORROW."

That moment... then Pip 2 started skipping around, "I'M STILL TEN!!!!" and I, "Wait. ARE WE GOING TO HAVE TO DO THIS ALL OVER AGAIN?!?"

It was a great week.
The field is full of dancing fireflies.
Sparkling, and as high as the trees.

Pip 2 made a Tiny House Shelter Thingy and has been living in it, all week, with her pet rooster.

Then there are these two... ‪#‎AGirlAndHerBoy‬
She *loves* us. But when she's with Her Little Boy... watch out, world.
Frog catchin' going on while Tiny looks on, guarding his charge.
My most well behaved child:
...and those not so well behaved:
After all the excitement of friends and fun, we were all woooooooooooorn out.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Homeschool:
It's official: Last Stanford test submitted...
SCHOOOOOOOL'S OUT FOR THA' SUMMAH!

And thus, summer school begins.
"Oooo! ICE AGE!"
"JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE OUTTA SCHOOL DOESN'T MEAN I'M GONNA LET YOU JUST WATCH MOVIES..."
"Uh, Ice Age on Crash Course History, Momma..." she giggles...

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