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Off Grid In A Modern Prefab House A Frigid New Year Dawns

At the modern off grid prefab house, it is positively FRIGID!
In the modern off grid prefab house it was -4 last night
 but is now a BALMY 13.

But not inside. The tiny firebox in our vintage cook stove heats 1,200 square feet of the modern prefab house, easy.

Once that cook stove heats up the interior of the off grid modern prefab house, the energy efficiency of the structural insulated panels retains the heat. So yeah, we're good.
So when it's frigid, we still wake fine even with the fire out overnight...

And of course the passive solar design helps, too.

We had dear friends from LA / NYC visit!!! More on that in a sec!
With the end of the year, I had some moments to mull over how to make frugal, bare-minimum-systems off-grid living easier.

With the last week of rifle season approaching, thus leading into the season where one fells trees and cuts firewood, I am rethinking some things for my "Living Off Grid Comfortably When Yer Eighty" plan. I had mentioned how we had always done crop tree release, improving the conditions of our woods, and how the tree of paradise and wild cherry properly seasoned had been great for firewood.

I'm going to put this thought out further: if you focus on just cutting weed trees, you can also rethink your equipment. Much as we gravitate towards smaller older tractors we could buy in one payment vs. getting into debt for years, focusing on the weed trees also allows us to easier manage firewood WITHOUT super heavy chainsaws and eliminates the expensive log splitter!

If you are just cutting weed trees, you can use a smaller chainsaw which you can handle when older v.s. paying some strapping young person... The trunk and branches cut easily into perfect categories without further splitting: 1. smaller branches to start the fire, 2. larger round logs to just feed the fire one log at a time. If you need more heat, just add a few smaller logs to that one big log, and there ya go. The larger round logs burn evenly, for a long time, so are perfect to balance one atop the other to slowly sink down at night, or just one at a time throughout the day.

A sharp reader noted our rainwater system configuration a few weeks ago and yes, they are correct: later designs of the rainwater filtration DO have the UV light treatment after water goes through both filters. Ours was according to the old design, but now that it's pointed out, it is on our "to do" list.

It makes sense, here's more, from Rainwater Management Solutions:
"Though the practice used to be to have the UV light between the sediment and carbon filter in the flow path, that practice has changed. Here’s some reasoning behind it: Carbon filtration typically serves as one final stop for particle filtration as it can filter particles as small as 1 micron. In addition, it can reduce discoloration of the water. Discolored or cloudy water can cause the UV light to be less effective at sterilizing bacteria/virus, so this is typically the reason for now putting the carbon filter before the UV light. This is our typical configuration now. Please note that the UV light should be kept on at all times other than routine maintenance and some water should be flushed before consumption in the event of a power outage (basically emptying any water that may have sat in the chamber without exposure to treatment)."

Ok back to our beloved guests.
A dear L.A. / NYC friend and his son came to visit!

S. is, for a job, a noter of trends and a fancy designer o' fashion for a famous worldwide brand!
S. says I am writing this prefab house blog alllllll wrong. 

He says that in my pictures and descriptions I make this small footprint prefab house appear TINY.

"You don't get a sense of the SCALE! The airy BEDROOMS! THE HEIGHT!" Ok fine S. I don't take bedroom pictures because THEY ARE KIDDOS ROOMS and even when I tell them to pick up IT'S A MESS! We're ALL a mess! Everywhere!
Ok here's a picture of a bedroom HAPPY NOW? ; )

S. and his son are LA / NY, but work and family mean they are also in Asia and Europe all the time. So it was ADORABLE when, asked about his daily life, his son replied, "Well yeah I do X, and Y, but I don't have FUN LIKE YOU DO LIVING HERE!" I am so thrilled to see this adorable bi-coastal, multi-continental kid LOVING being in Population 40! We had SUCH a great time.

So HOW did we entertain the bi-coastal city kid who kept saying over and over how much he loves it here????
I gave him CHORES.
"Y'all go toss some hay to the horses."
S. helped too!

"Y'all go break up the water in the horse troughs."

"Now let's go do our farm errands."
LA / NYC Kid: "You mean REAL AMISH??? FAN-TASTIC!"
I had to remind him that Amish friends are like any of my friends: funny, good people. Once he met Mrs. E and hung with her, he got it.

...took them to the High Bridge trail...

And that was enough for a LA / NY kid have a BLAST. I just love them. COME ON BACK Y'ALL I HAVE MORE CHORES FOR YOUUUUU!!!!

My heart is so full when loved ones visit, we can't wait to see them again...
I am hoping S. will write down some thoughts about his own experience at the off grid prefab. But it did occur to me that putting more people and not just close-ups of my dogs might give a better sense of scale like in this picture we took by putting his camera in the bookcase and then all running together to pose before the camera snapped:

Alas, I think you're stuck with pictures of dogs, tho'- comparing them to pictures of me, the dogs are MUCH MORE PHOTOGENIC!

S: "Yeah let's talk about those dogs. You keep taking pictures but because THEY are in the foreground and the PREFAB is in the background. The house then seems MINISCULE. PLUS you have the BIGGEST DOGS IN THE WORLD."
OK FINE... but they're so CUTE!

The visit was last minute but glorious.

I would be remiss if I didn't write down the recipe inspired by our mutual New York friends V and Steven. I only say Steven's name because after he made us this pasta in New York, Handsome Husband could not stop talking about it and then when we had last minute company, tried to recreate it (with Steven aiding him via text), and now refers to it as if it had been invented decades ago and EVERYONE knows what "PASTA À LA STEVEN" is like Caesar Salad or Oyster Rockafeller.
(And don't fergit the À LA, y'all.)

Take three times the amount of garlic cloves a sane person would and cut them in half instead of mincing them and then sautee in great olive oil and then add more great olive oil. Now add more olive oil. Crush whole canned tomatoes and add to pan. Let simmer. Reduce for 45 minutes while adding more olive oil and hand-crushed tomatoes as needed. Now decide what you add to it and cook it in the sauce in the end if seafood, if sausage fry in a separate pan and add in once done, add sea salt and herbs of choice. Of course, you are going to have your pasta al dente when you then toss and serve. Handsome Husband says to make sure the sauce is thick "like stewed tomatoes."

Here's Steven's: (He had octopuses, mussels, shrimp... amaaaaazing!)

And Handsome Husband's. (Just a plain but DELICIOUS tomato sauce!)
Deliciousness, demolished.

Both were divine!

Happy New Year, y'all.
Tiny's snoozing his way through Day 1 of 2018.
May the rest of the year be as contented and peaceful. 💛
In the meantime, enjoy the supermoon!
It was so pretty!
Hmmmm WAIT does this SUPERmoon make my prefab house look small? ; )

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At 1/11/18, 12:36 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

It's been a decade since you started blogging on this is some perseverance. I don't think I've ever seen a personal/business blog that goes way back. Thank you for your little anecdotes on life and other things...Congratulations and keep up the good work!

At 1/30/18, 10:27 AM , Blogger Passive Solar Prefab Homes said...

Thank you! I have to laugh because somewhere an English teacher is proud- "Class, your assignment is to write about ONE THING FOR TEN YEARS..." I hope I passed! : )


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