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12/11/17

Modern Off Grid Energy Efficient Prefab House Compares Snow Storms In Different Homes

Modern off grid prefab house net zero cozy with winter snow.

It's all fun and games until an unexpected snow blankets the region.
Did Y'ALL know this storm was coming? I didn't. A few flakes, sure. But INCHES of SNOW?
It was a wet snow. A heavy snow. A cold to your bones snow.

For thousands, the power went out... it's still out!
And where were we?
Caught in the city for doctors' appointments and holiday events.

All was canceled. If I had KNOWN this storm was coming, we would have rescheduled doctors' visits and stayed at the off grid prefab house!!!! Instead of being relaxed and cozy in our energy efficient off grid prefab home, we were in the city in a 1920s foursquare with single glass panes and drafts... and the power... was... out.
Thankfully not for long.
Many of our country friends have had power out since Friday, and still are without.

In the middle of the night in the drafty city foursquare, I gained consciousness thinking, "Wow, the air, it's SO COLD thank goodness we have down comforters that are REAL and work, I wonder if the power went out!" Thankfully by morning the power was back on, and had time to warm the house with delicious radiator heat. But I wondered what temperatures would have greeted us, indoors, if it had NOT come back on...

Handsome Husband reflected: "Wow, when I went in to the off grid house Friday and you had already been gone for days so no heat... it was 65 inside." With no heat. No heat for days.

Another note: In this city house, it is programmed to turn on like most people these days- a thermostat set according to your schedule. The thermostat was set to "away" Saturday as people weren't supposed to be there this weekend. Pip 1 came downstairs Saturday morning and remarked that in the hour since he woke, he saw the setting had dropped from 68 to 60. Within the hour the indoor temperature in that city house dropped SIX DEGREES.

In winter temperatures in our off grid prefab house, when the tiny firebox in the cook stove goes out as we go to bed and hence there is no heat until I get the fire started ohhhhh nine or ten hours later... our average indoor temperature drops six degrees TOTAL.

Looking at pictures this week I reflect on how we often just used the cook stove last for meals vs. running constantly during the day, and how one day, Pip 2 decided to work on the concrete floor- imagine being on a concrete floor in winter but feeling comfortable enough to be in BARE FEET.
And no, the radiant heat was NOT ON.
I had nothing to do with this. She wanted the concrete non-red-clay-stained.
GOOD LUCK, CINDERELLA!
I don't think you'll ever get paw prints and dragged in dirt
out of our lifestyle. It's easier to embrace the patina, honeychile!

As you read this I will be arriving back at the off grid prefab house, and am curious as to what temperatures I will find indoors. On one hand, it's sunny so the passive solar will be at work. On the other, it's cold- highs of 40, lows of 20. I'm guessing that no matter the temperature I find in the energy efficient off grid prefab, it will be fine, vs. if the 1920s house had no heat for days...

I always love adventures in the city.
But it'll be great to be back at the off grid prefab house.
Dog 1: "It's cold out here! Let me IN!"
Dog 2: "Ahhhh it's comfy and toasty here, I'll think about it..."
Love the city, but it's good to be back at the modern off grid home.

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12/4/17

Off Grid Modern Prefab House Checks In On Rainwater System, Super Moon, Patrick Henry And A Parade

Off Grid Modern Prefab House Checks In On Rainwater System, Patrick Henry And A Parade.
It's just another quiet week in the country...
It might be frosty outdoors, but indoors, even with the cook stove out all night, we wake comfortably. 
It was a warm week at the end, so I often only used the cook stove for dinner!

Passive solar daylighting fills the off grid prefab house this time of year, casting light across the furniture and floor.
Usually, pictures I take of passive solar in the prefab are during morning, and lunch... the house just streams with sunlight.

But late one afternoon near dusk this week I was doing sit ups and thought it was an interesting angle to see how the light streams in, even at this late hour this time of year (vs. summer when the overhang prevents the lower sun from heating) so... here ya go.
At the off grid modern prefab house, chores this week included switching out the rainwater collection filters and UV light bulb. Ideally, it should be done about once a year... the filters, maybe twice. Ideally, the process should take about fifteen minutes.
Ideally.
OOPS.
Um. Taa daa?

There was a lot of talk about the supermoon.
I reflected on the views we have here, with no light pollution, where I casually gawk at galaxies, beautiful moons and space station fly overs... but never take it for granted. I know what a treat it is to have skies like this.

Don't bark at mah space station...

Oh look. Now it's the moon AND the space station! AAAAAAAAAAA I LOVE YOU MOON AND SPAAAAAAAACE STAAAAAAATION!

Ahem.

We should talk more about the value of dark skies. Communities are beginning to realize what a rare commodity it is, and benefiting economically from keeping light pollution out.

From The Guardian:
"Milky Way no longer visible to one third of humanity, light pollution atlas shows.
Scientists describe ‘cultural loss of unprecedented magnitude’ as global atlas reveals extent of light pollution in the world’s skies."

Dark sky destinations are a tourist, and thus money, draw.
Grand Canyon Turns Down Its Lights to Become a Dark Sky Park
Want to learn more? Ignore the robo-voice and click through the slides, here.

In the meantime, Handsome Husband and I are having an epic battle over a Craigslist post this morning to which a friend drew my attention:
It is an ad for a cook stove.
$125
ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE DOLLAHS, FOLKS. That is a great deal!!!!
I called Handsome Husband.
"GIT ME THAT COOOOOOOOKSTOVE!"
He: "NO! We already HAVE a cookstove!"
"But it could be Pip 2's DOWRY COOKSTOVE!"
He: "OH. MY. GOSSSSSSH. I can't believe you just said that. 😑😣🤔 NO!"
I'm so mad at him! EVERYBODY NEEDS A BACKUP COOKSTOVE. They only last... forever...

Well, I guess if you have a cook stove that lasts forever there's no need for another one, unlike anything made these days...

It was a great weekend.
City friends still wonder what we DO every weekend, but there's always plenty o' entertainment. This weekend: The Appomattox Christmas Parade and Patrick Henry's Red Hill Open House.
If you love small town parades and historic places, these two are great to visit.
Here are some of my favorite pictures of the Appomattox Christmas Parade:





What IS this? I Truckosine?

At Red Hill, the Garden Ladies O' Our Town Population 40 decorate Patrick Henry's home for Christmas and I thought they did a beautiful job. I always reflect on the voices who lived through producing working plantations and thought the cotton in the arrangements a poignant reminder.
Have a good week.

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