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Net Zero Passive Solar Prefab House Starts More Holz Hausens And Gets Out And About

FINALLY Rain Came To The Off Grid Passive Solar Prefab!
Net zero prefab house with a rainbow!

When your area has been hit with drought, there is nothing more beautiful than the sound of sweet, sweet blessed RAIN.

Have you not noticed how brown and dry the pasture and grass around the off grid prefab house is? Ohhhhh we have, the horses have...

Oh to awake to a steady downpour! As you gain consciousness, all you can think is, "MAY IT RAIN LIKE THIS ALL DAY!"

It rained like that all day! The cistern was full! It overflowed into the pond! The pastures got soaked! The horses cavorted! The chickens... chickened!

I sat down with Pip 2 at dusk. "Imagine if this were December. You would have awakened to a snow storm! It would have tapered off and you would have played, and then right when you came inside, it would have snowed fiercely again!"

See, with a passive solar prefab house built with structural insulated panels, and with piles and piles of wood in the woodshed, and with a freezer and pantry full of deliciousness, snow is fun!
But right now it's rain, and for that our dry fields and family are deeply grateful.
Even with the gray days, the modern prefab house due to its passive solar design, had plenty of daylight:
Outside, it was gray. But inside...

With the rain, arrived fall weather!

Pip 1 arrived home safely from his travels.

I say safely, because he arrived home in one piece despite this...
"Here I am holding on to just a rope 2,600m
above Austria and Germany!"

 Seriously don't look at this part unless you want to have a heart attack:

I know everyone is giggling. But he had a stern talking to- because the #1 cause of death of young men is stupidity. It is perfectly ok to ask yourself, "Am I adding or removing risk to my lifespan?" when encountering a decision making moment... I'm glad I got these pictures once he was down and off the mountain, safe!

Pip 2 was so glad he was back, despite all her animal playmates...

There was lots work on a beautiful fall weekend! We filled the woodshed and are starting 2016 holzhaufens (or holz hausen), but Handsome Husband took time to pause with his favorite rooster.

This is kind of stage 1 of 3ish.

Am I Introverted Or Just Rude?
One morning, I read a great article that illustrates why, even though we're so happy on our own, I always get us out and into neighboring communities to do something. Each time we go out and about, we come away with so much more than the simple experience we expected.

Yesterday we went to cheer on the riders at Fine Line Fun Day- a horseback obstacle course and scavenger hunt. Pip 2 has been wanting and wanting "to do a show" but we have no trailer (and frankly, I'm no show mom, ha, but I really do want to let her do it because it's her dream).
So there we were, enjoying the show. As C.R. completed the course, she looked down at Pip 2 and said, "Want to enter?" "Oh, I don't have my horse..." "TAKE MINE."

THANK YOU to the deep kindness of a horsewoman, to the next generation. Pip 2 said later, "I now know miracles CAN happen!"
**Because of others' kindness, Pip 2 touched a dream she did not expect was within her reach.**

Here she is navigating the course on a horse she just met, in shorts (thank goodness she wore her paddock boots), in English tack (which she has just started trying again as of last week!) and a borrowed helmet.
(Photos by Ellen Oakley Withers!)

It's so easy to sit back at the homestead,
but you gotta get out!

From "Am I Introverted Or Just Rude?":
"Society has a rich history of people seizing on social evolution as an excuse for bad manners. From the Romantic poets to the transcendentalists to the Summer of Love hippies, many have rejected a supposed facade of good behavior in favor of being true to their inner nature. Good manners are mere mannerisms, the argument goes, which serve only to put barriers in the way of deeper connections."
"...When I skip big gatherings of strangers, I’m not just being a little rude to the individual people around me, I’m being uncivil in a larger sense. The more we isolate ourselves from new people, the more isolated and segregated our society is likely to become. Those casual interactions in dog runs and at kids’ hockey games are the ones that are most likely to cross social and economic barriers. They expand my little world as well as the overlapping bubbles that create a society."

...We went to a benefit for Virginia Donkey Rescue to support friends... and made MORE friends.
My friend S. leading the way!

So, in summary... We went to cheer on people in a horseshow, and Pip 1 ended up WINNING the danged thing, in shorts and on someone else's horse... a lifelong UNEXPECTED blessing of kindness from people doing more for others (who lends out their horse to a kid?!? who lends out their horse at a horse show?!?).

By the way- it was such a beautiful day at Farm Girls Vintage Faire benefitting Virginia Donkey Rescue! Evergreen is such a cool town... a train rumbled by on the trellis above as a bluegrass song sang about trains, ha! It is definitely something to put on your "to do" list!

We returned to the passive solar prefab house to continue seasonal preparations for winter- like the raising of the solar panels to best embrace the lower angle of the sun.

With a little fun and a little work, another great week was done.

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