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12/12/16

SIP Passive Solar House Kit In Winter Performs Without Heat Overnight And What To Do When I'm Dead

So what is it like to live off grid with just a tiny firebox in your cook stove that heats the entire modern prefab house, yet usually you don't keep going at night because, well, YOU'RE ASLEEP?
Sun's going down... but the off grid prefab house's
energy efficiency is always at work!

If you've never lived in a SIP house, here's what to expect from a standard SIP prefab house kit package after nights when it's in the 20s and you had no heat (and of course you can always order the thicker structural insulated panels): when the sun rises after the cook stove dies out and thus the night was without heat, you will awake to the mid60s. Fire up the cookstove and there you go.

I guess we lose 4-6 degrees overnight when it's in the teens and twenties, which is in keeping with my "when cold outside and the prefab has no heat we lose about one degree an hour" guesstimate I usually note in winter.

Here, we went to bed, didn't keep the fire going, awoke to 16 outside but 66 indoors- now getting the cookstove fired for coffee and breakfast! Love the energy efficiency of SIP...
It is certainly rifle season and cook stove season.
Rifle season means hunters park on the side of the road to purposely run their dogs through your property. We ran off two hunt club trucks this Saturday trespassing on our neighbors' land... our aggressiveness in collecting evidence and pressing charges over the past few years (and the land owners here coming together to go after them, united) seems to be paying off (plus the summonses issued by the game warden!)... they want nothing to do with us and no longer bully but disappear when we even look at them. No longer do people fire from the road into our property because they don't know people are here. Believe me, THEY KNOW WE'RE HERE, now...

But it's still sad their terrible bullying and wasteful behavior is thought of as part of "culture," here. I don't tolerate that nonsense. Not only do these parasites treat our community poorly, but it is cruel the way they treat their animals... from starving them before a hunt to abandoning them, after...
Deep in our woods I can hear a lone hunting dog barking barking barking after something treed as dusk darkens to night.  The hunt clubs have long rumbled away, leaving behind their faithful without a glance or call. The hound howls, sounding for his men. 
Enter, stage left, a new chorus arrives: and that lone predator becomes prey.
#OperaInTheCountryButMoreLikeGladiator


Being Cook Stove Season, I got to cookin'.
Homeschool Cafeteria breakfasts now look like this-
There are roasts and stews and breads...

There was Brunswick Stew.
Bad Rooster Brunswick stew,
neighbor-grown sweet potato fries,
and vintage plates for fun in today's
homeschool cafeteria!

I know I was blasphemous. Instead of adding sugar to my Brunswick stew, I substituted sweet potatoes for the sugar and potatoes and it worked out great. As I served the Pips, Pip 2 seemed... quiet. A few spoonfuls into her stew she pushed her bowl away and fled. Then she came back, sat down firmly, started to eat, but then the tears... they just started flowing down her cheeks... sobbing.

We quietly walked away, into her bedroom, where she could get herself together. "Was my Brunswick stew that bad? I mean, sheesh, you know we substitute chicken for squirrel these days, what's a sweet potato?!?"

"No... it's just that... Momma, you're... aging."
Ohhhhh honey... we talked about how I don't want to die, either, but if we freeze-framed our life then think about all the paths not yet taken- that would get boring, fast! Who would you not then meet? What life events would never happen?

It was a beautiful honest discussion on our life cycles, the past, present, future, and through it all as I held her and hugged her and turned tears to reluctant hints of smiles: LOVE.

Let's talk about me when I'm dead.
In case yer wondering what I expect at MY funeral... instructions are here:
Recipes: 
Bad Rooster Brunswick Stew
Remember Stewie?
The chick that was a bad seed from Day 1 that then started attacking my childrenz?
He was delicious.

Start with a roast, and with roosters, always slow cooked. Then, with the leftover meat, follow any southern Brunswick Stew recipe but this time instead of potatoes and sugar, replace with sweet potato. Deeeelicious.

Speaking of aging, here's some fun pictures from the early days of this blog to show you how time has passed:
Your contractor frames out interior walls
so there's flexibility in the floorplan, fyi.
What the off grid prefab house looks like
without solar systems nor chimney installed!

Well, all this time taking pickled garlic to prevent sickness when I feel something coming on was finally defeated. Even pickled garlic, with all its anti-oxidant and bacteria-killing properties, couldn't overcome this thing. This plague, affecting many friends, apparently lasts two weeks and is pretty much the worst firey throat wheezing runny nose chapped face cold you could possibly imagine. I hope no one you know gets it. There's nothing you can do but rest. Good news is that on Day 5 you start feeling like it's a normal cold again... but it is miserable.

I made more soup. And at least we won't be sick by Christmas... HOPEFULLY...
Fiery Sausage Stew Fer The Sick
Because when your throat's inflamed and nose stuffed up you need spice to knock it out.
LOTS of garlic and onions (because it makes you better!)
...sauteed with spicy sausage
cabbage, cut small (anti-inflammitory)
black eyed peas (fiber, potassium, protein, iron)
tomatoes (vitamins C, K, B...)
loads of chicken broth
salt, pepper
and hot fiery spices of your choice, to the heat of your choice, to warm yer belly and help you breathe!

Notes on my broth:
When I roast a chicken, after, I take all the discarded parts and bones and simmer that. I do Asian Chicken. Herbed Lemon Chicken. Spanish Chicken. I don't clarify my broth, I just ladle alllll whatever was left in the pot in to something to freeze, mince up any leftover vegetables, throw that in, and call it a day. It is an awesome base for any soup or stew, and the unexpected spices that you recognize once it's thawed only serve as further inspiration for your soup.

SO. It's raining, we're sick and achy. There are horses to feed, chickens to let out, and fire wood to lug in. But we all pull together, everything gets done, and while trudging through the icy downpour, the off grid prefab house is a beacon of warmth and comfort.

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