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5/30/17

Days Of Rain At The Off Grid Passive Solar House

It monsooned at the off grid passive solar prefab house. I think it rained allll week long.

Monsoon outside... ...happy to be in the passive solar prefab!

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Once or twice a year we get endless cloud cover like this, and, off grid, are grateful for our battery bank of stored energy AND the backup generator.
The sideways rain was so fierce
it hit the windows all the way under the overhang!

ANOTHER tornado watch left us alert and sleepless- once the tornado watch ended after midnight, our guard was let down, we finally drifted off to sleep, only to be awakened at 3 a.m. by the ROAR of a sideways storm...


This is how I felt the next day:

I today, after yesterday's monsoon and tornado watch and 3a.m. roaring, sideways storm...

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At least at Higher Ground we don't have to worry about flooding. I would never consider purchasing real estate without considering elevation, and musing on it long term, as in, "What will this XYZ elevation be in 50, 100 years?" because otherwise, is it an investment?
But at least our cistern was full.

And inside the off grid prefab house, we were happy and dry.
We spent the week catching up on reading and organizing...
Pip 2 ground me some coffee...
With the children inside, the dogs had nothing to do but nap.

We (finally) have some long term investments paying off at the off grid prefab house- we are getting a return on investment on our fruit trees planted a few years ago! Cherries! Peaches! I can't wait to make tarts!
So we have been busy during breaks in the rain collecting fruit.

The sun FINALLY peeped out, everyone tumbled outdoors, but it was still too soggy to ride or mow or get anything big done. But Pip 1 did paint fence posts, and Pip 2 groomed the equines.

Spa time!
Once it dries off a little, we'll be back to mowing fields and gardening!
And another pretty, fun week at the off grid prefab house begins. : )

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5/22/17

Passive Solar Design of Off Grid Prefab House Keeps Us Cool In Heat

Returning to the off grid modern prefab house from the city, it was hot! It went up to 90, but inside the off grid prefab house no dogs were panting- check it out- without air conditioning, the off grid house stayed cool thanks to ceiling fans, energy efficient SIP and the prefab's passive solar design. We were comfortable.
"What heat. We're cool..."
...but you can see that sun beating down,
just not in the house!

It seemed with the heat, everyone was silly, as if summer vacation has already started.
"Who, we? Silly?"

Even the lawn mowers are acting up.


But it wasn't all play. This time of year, everyone is frantically putting up hay.
This kid keeps telling us he's a City Kid,
but he sure can sling some bales...

I solar cooked to keep the inside of the prefab cool and efficient. It's nice to use just the sun to cook this time of year!

When we first built the modern off grid prefab house years ago, everything was well graded. As with any house, you want 3" of foundation (at least) where earth meets the house, then graded even further away, at least 6" in the first ten feet.

Here are some early pictures of the off grid prefab house:
We used pallets for temporary "stairs" during these days...




Remember these says of mud, mud, mud?
Good gracious what a MESS.

A few years ago, getting ready to bring our horses finally home, we dug a livestock well and decided to backfill with the resulting gravel dust.

It seemed like a good idea at the time- reuse something that was waste from drilling the water well.
Granite dust ALL OVER THE PLACE,
might as well repurpose it (and that ugly well cover!)...

Remember THESE days? They too were a MESS.
But I was never happy with it- granite dust wasn't as "dry" as I expected like gravel, and never really looked good, so we are now re-grading with the use of our vintage tiny tractor.

At some point (most likely this fall) we will edge it with a modern gravel look that is both functional for keeping the area drained and dry, as well as aesthetically pleasing to celebrate clean, modern, efficient design.

Here's some inspiration.
In the meantime, WE'RE MAKING ANOTHER MESS.
But at least we're having fun. It's good to be home at the off grid prefab house.



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