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Net Zero Passive Solar Prefab House Is Spring Busy And Thinking On Water

Spring Continues At The Off Grid Modern Prefab House!
The annual spring snake catching has begun.
Snakes get moving, with warm weather, hungry, and move towards the coop, at which point we walk them to the woods with a creek or a cow pasture, depending on how persistent they are to the coop, yet in a safe range of their habitat so they can still thrive.

It's a reflective spring.
Handsome Husband was abroad this week, on a sad journey to say goodbye to his dad.
With him away, the Pips took over the baking.

We have deep gratitude for our friends the F's who just spent their weekend with me pounding fence posts. This second pasture will be more than double the acreage for the equines in their current pasture- so they will be very happy to rotate between the two without over-grazing. We are so thankful for the great friends we have here!
The existing pasture we have is on the left
so you can see what a huge difference
it will make!

Pip 2 helped!

There are so many projects we are busy finishing up- still working on the inside of the modern prefab house, still finishing little things on the run in and wood shed and will be building lean-tos on the existing shed...

Our cistern has been low, so (as always) we conserve water- not watering the garden as often, flushing dishwater down the toilet so not to use potable water... it's really how we all should be, knowing that water is precious, no?

Oh, that sound of blessed rain when your rainwater collection cistern is low at the off grid prefab house...
Late, the patter began, intensifying, steady, drenching, filling our rainwater collection cistern, and nourishing the spring garden's seeds, sown.

This time of year, with pollen, we have to really keep that rainwater collection filter CLEAN- and it's not just by sticking it under the pump but needs to be boiled. It makes a huge difference.

We had a good rain but the cistern is not (yet) full, so water has been very much on my mind this week. 

With water on my mind, it was timely to run across this article, discussing climate change in a real estate boom:
“The real estate community doesn't really want to talk about this and they're not required to talk about flood risk,” Bagley explains. “When you buy a house and there's lead paint you have to get a disclosure form. There’s nothing like that for sea level rise, climate change and flood risk.”

We love love love our rainwater
collection system, and
buried the cistern so you
can't even see it.

Speaking of water: oh, geez, they're at it again in Middlesex, with more "final" deadlines to sign up for "public" water, and are now even paying businesses to do so (with whose funds?)... 
I just can't get past the fact that the "water authority" created a public package threatening people that if they didn't miss the (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, is this the 5th?) deadline, connection fees would JUMP! SIGN UP NOW OR ELSE!

(I: OR for the same amount as the discount hookup, you should explore rainwater collection systems. And maintain yer dignity.)

Water, water, everywhere
yet not a drop to...
I just can't get past that. Why would I trust anyone that continually changes their dire "do this or ELSE" tone many times- it's like this horrid election except the Middlesex Water Authority gets to just keep on keeping on their bleating about getting people to sign up until they finally YEARS LATER (yes, years later at this point, or at some point, in other words there is no public referendum for the county they're just going to keep on until they get their numbers and where's the democracy in that?)... they WILL have their "public" water. That serves no one affordably and even then only on two points in the county. And takes away property rights of those ensigned. Sounds awesome!

If you'd like to read my initial post on my opposition to this "public" water issue, you may do so, here.
(HOW many of these "deadlines" have come and gone and when they don't get what they want they just make up another deadline until they get the number of subscribers to make it a "go"? I think it's been at least four deadlines "missed" - so far!)

"The drive to bring safe, potable water to Deltaville continues….
Did they just say,
"This is the last chance to save $5,000 or more
 on connection fees."?!?

Because I feel like I've heard that before.
Oh wait, we have.

Middlesex County’s Water Authority and the Bowman-Sydnor team have re-opened the incentive connection fee period for subscribers located within the public water deployment area of Deltaville. This is the last chance to save $5,000 or more on connection fees. This new incentive period will end June 1st, 2016.
EDA Grant for Businesses Connecting to Water
The Middlesex County Economic Development Authority voted last week to appropriate $100,000 to create grants for businesses and commercial property owners located in the water system deployment area to sign up for water service. Under the EDA offer, individual businesses and owners of commercial properties will receive a credit of $2,500 for each connection if eligible. Businesses or owners of commercial properties, who have already signed up for water in Deltaville, are also eligible for the incentive payments. Both current subscribers and those who plan to subscribe by the June 1, 2016, should apply to the EDA for the assistance as soon as possible."

That's a lot of money to be "appropriated" by the county for a few.
After numerous deadlines passed with not enough people signing up, therefore indicating this was something the community did NOT want, did the county taxpayers have a say in how their dollars were "appropriated" for those few businesses that sign up, most (or all) of them about 10' or less above sea level for "long term infrastructure investments," who always had a water issue and didn't have the good sense to invest where the majority of locals did and where water was potable, knowing those "investments" might be wiped out by the next big storm?

Have they done comparisons of this "long term investment" against where those same businesses would be in 50 years with rising sea levels in order to recoup costs?

Does Middlesex county as a whole support this when so many other marinas and landowners are wisely less vulnerable to poor water quality and climate change, by following practical real estate and investment decision-making?

Has the county investigated who is using the aquifer disportionately to the region to protect their whole regional community interests, like maybe the paper plant in the next county?

I would like to see from exactly where that grant money is being "appropriated." Because federal and state grants still come out of all our pocketbooks, depleting community money- to just hand over $100,000 to pay businesses to sign up when, after numerous deadlines missed because they didn't have the number of properties signed, they keep making up new (and now no longer ending?) deadlines until they just get what they want?

"The Middlesex Economic Development Authority (EDA) recently appropriated $100,000 in grants that will pay half of the current connection fee for eligible businesses that sign up for the proposed Deltaville public water system."

So many items in their contract creep me out in regards to property rights, but here is one glaring example that makes me wonder if anyone has read the fine print-
Thank you for your kind offer to take over
my property decisions but we politely
decline your generous proposal.

"Subscriber further acknowledges and agrees that in order to connect to the public water system, subscriber must disconnect any existing system from all private wells or other water sources, other than the public water provided by the Authority and that once it connects to the public water system provided by the Authority, it cannot ever disconnect from the public water system and resume the use of a water source other than that provided by the Authority, except for non-potable uses. Subscriber shall eliminate all present or future cross connections in the subscriber’s system."

So, if things don't work well, or a future property owner wants to install an alternative system (like my rainwater collection system!) you can kiss that right to your property use / owner's rights to deciding what systems you want to use on their own frickin' property... GOODBYE.

Reading Club:

  • The U.S. government levied a $10 million fine on Terminix companies Tuesday over its workers spraying a toxic pesticide at a U.S. Virgin Islands resort that nearly killed a vacationing family last year.

    The pest control company was charged with illegally using methyl bromide at a St. John resort and 13 residential locations across the U.S. Virgin Islands in recent years.
  • Battle Flags, Monuments and a Surrender:
    "...The South’s battle flags were surrendered at Appomattox in April 1865. Flying them again makes little sense in any official or public venue except cemeteries, museums and battlefield re-enactments. Battle monuments, in my view, are another matter entirely. The bravery and steadfastness of Southern soldiers was — for the record — acknowledged by the Union, and so memorials to these men are not inappropriate (I make a distinction here about combatants, not politicians).

  • Battlefield monuments might offend, but that is not sufficient reason to tear them down. Soldiers (on both sides) who formed lines of battle and advanced under a hail of lead (in the words of contemporary accounts) should have our respect. It is an unspoken code of every soldier to recognize the difference and honor it. Our society should, as well."

     Peace out, y'all.

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