A model of Ecovillage community on display at a Sunday-afternoon open house at the Belfast site on an old farm. Disclaimer: the chocolate brownies are not part of the proposed community. One of the Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage housing units under construction in December. Milt Gross photo.
Down the Road A Piece Stories from Maine by Milt Gross
Recently Dolores and I visited what could be the perfect home for the future, and it may be for your future too.
Or maybe not, depending on your views of sustainable housing that largely does not use utility-provided electricity or petroleum-based heat.
And if you can come up with $187,000 to build it on your lot.*
Always interesting in a better way of living, we responded to a newspaper ad and headed on a Sunday afternoon to an open house at Ecovillage, a private community-housing project on an old farm along Edgecomb Road in Belfast.
We enjoyed a group session where we learned facts about the proposed community but didn't get to tour the one house already built, as the people who live there were home that day. We'll get to another open house, which is held at 2 p.m. the second Sunday of each month, so we can get inside this unique house.
A model of Ecovillage community on display at a Sunday-afternoon open house at the Belfast site on an old farm. Disclaimer: the chocolate brownies are not part of the proposed community. Milt Gross photo.
What's unique about Ecovillage houses? They are constructed with a view toward sustainability and protecting the environment. That means renewable building materials, energy provided without fossil fuels, clustered housing to make common infrastructure less expensive and provide surrounding open space, a place for homeowner gardening and farming on more of the old farm property, and more.
What interested us was the idea of heating and electric provided by alternate sources, solar heat primarily. Banks won't provide mortgages for homes without central heat, said Matthew O'Malia who one of several who presented information at the open house, so the units will have up to about eight feet of electric baseboard heat that can draw electricity from the area utility, Central Maine Power.**
But O'Malia said that for much of the time, even winter, the houses and apartment-like structures will heat sufficiently from solar energy. Did he mean in Maine? Heat from the sun through solar panels? He did, indeed. Heat will be stored and released as necessary in radiant heating in the insulated slab foundations, he said, and the units will be very well insulated.
The housing units will be so well insulated, you can heat them by using your washer and dryer, O'Malia said. O'Malia, an architect, calls the design of these units Passive House near zero. I'm pretty sure that refers to the amount of heat needed.
Fine so far.
Then came the part that doesn't interest Dolores and me. Community. Now, it's not that we don't like people. But we do like our privacy on our own lot where the deer, raccoons, turkeys, and other critters feel free to share our sunflower seeds. At Ecovillage, homeowners will own the insides of their units, condominium style, with the outsides and ground cared for by a homeowners' association. O'Malia noted that decisions by the association, which began in 2007 with seven members and is expected to grow by the end of next summer after nine families have built homes and moved into them, is by consensus rather than vote.
He lost me on that one. If a group makes a decision, say adds a rule about how loud your dog can bark, does it matter if they did so by consensus or by vote? One potential buyer asked if his dog could be chained outdoors and added that his dog doesn't bark. I don't recall the answer, but I also can't recall any dogs that don't bark.
Our cats don't bark.
The property now consists of 42 acres of the old farm with 19 houses already in the process of being purchased, according to a slide shown at the open house.
One of the Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage housing units under construction in December. Milt Gross photo.
One of the draws we heard was a statement that you won't need a lawnmower or garden tools, as you can borrow them from neighbors. If we own the inside, we don't need a lawnmower anyway, right? Kind of half right. The homeowner will have a "front yard," the from-awayer name for what Maineiacs call a dooryard, and a back yard, both of which will have grass needing mowing. Of course, the homeowner won't actually own that grass or the two yards. They're just for the homeowner's use.
O'Malia said if you sit in the front yard, you're by doing so inviting passersby to stop and chat. If you want privacy, sit in the back yard.
Homeowners vehicles will be parked in a common area to allow homeowners to walk on paths and be free of tired commuters narrowly missing them as they drive toward their front doors. Wait a minute. This is great, except for the question of how far would we have to carry our groceries from the parking area to our door. I know we're old fashioned and somewhat lazy in wanting to unload our groceries at the door, but have you ever lugged a 35-pound container of kitty litter from your car to your door? Our kitties refuse to carry their own litter containers.
A plus for the ecovillage, O'Malia said, will be the common building with room for sitting and reading, guest rooms for the homeowner's Aunt Mary, laundry facilities if you don't put a washer and dryer in your own home, play rooms, and more.
The common building will also have a common kitchen with several meals being served there each week. O'Malia, who is buying a home at Ecovillage, said he lives alone and will be happy to return from work and eat in the common kitchen. I'm happy to sit just with Dolores in our kitchen and eat the meals she cooks. Hey, please don't wander through our kitchen while we're eating. What if you should accidentally overhear us talking about -- you, for example?
The approximate cost of these homes, according to another slide, will be from $155,000 for a one-bedroom, one-full-bath 500-square-quad*** to $333,000 for a 1,500-square-duplex with three bedrooms and two full baths. You can also buy garages with these homes.
We certainly like the Passive near zero concept for a nice new house. We just aren't thrilled with living in a group. Remember college? Remember the Air Force or U.S. Army or the apartment? Remember the commune farms of the late 1800s and early 1900? Of course, you don't.
If you're at all interested in the idea of not paying the oil guy to back into your driveway or in having lots of close friends and neighbors, the contact information for Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage on the brochure we brought home provides a website at www.mainecohousing.org and a phone number, 338-9200.
If we can ever afford to build such a house, we'll probably contact O'Malia.
There's no place like home with no oil bills -- and where our dooryard is ours.
* The architect of Ecovillage, Matthew O'Malia of Gologic Homes in Belfast, provided us with this approximate price for a 1,100-square-foot house. Extra would be the cost of our own lot, well, and septic. We picked that size, as it is about the size of our present ranch house. Allen Gibson is the builder, according to O'Malia.
** The electric-heating baseboards will not be necessary most of the time, said O'Malia. But in Maine? This is not From Away Land, where the sun actually provides heat in winter. This is the Pine Tree State, where starting in late fall the sun's basic function seems to be to blind me while I'm driving. I'm fairly sure it does more, but that's what stands out for me. But I'd love to not have to spend more than $300 or $400 per year to heat the old homestead, so this part sounds good.
*** My fourth-grade teacher never educated me as to what a "quad" is. Is it one of four apartment-like units under one roof?
Milt Gross has been publishing Book Reviews and his Down the Road A Piece Column (1984) articles in numerous places for many years. A former minister of religion and newspaper reporter, he for many years did volunteer work on the Appalachian trail in Maine and after retirement drove buses. He is now completely retired and lives with his wife in view of the ocean in Maine.
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And life moved on. Until now, when Iím old enough to kick the bucket any day now. I think about that sometimes in the morning when I awake and look over to see Dolores sleeping next to me. It will likely be a shock for her, that morning she wakes up and discovers Iíve gone ahead to the next set of trails.
But she got up on a raised wooden garden placed there for tenants, about three feet high. She stood with her back to me, while I quietly came up from behind and grabbed her around her middle. She didnít fight, and I picked her up and huddled her close to my heavy jacket. She might have been cold ó or something ó because she stayed quietly against my jacket.
Iíve followed paths in Pennsylvania, where they were squeezed in between housing developments and alongside military units containing rockets to fire at the Soviet Union, should that occasion develop. Other paths were just through fairly open woods, past a cabin built for Boy Scouts, along a brook just the right size to jump over, and along other places where I have met a deer or a fox or even other people.
It doesnít say, but Iíll bet itís a fiction book, and itís about everything that could have happened to a wagon train rolling through the West in the 1800s. Thatís why I think itís fiction; not all that happened could have happened in a real-life trip.
That story, typical of the rural mindset in which it occurred, is also typical of the book. This tale would no doubt never have been published had it not been for the popularity of the original Little House on the Prairie, which became very popular.
Dates for Nabopolassar & Nebuchadrezzar Kings of Babylon - and - Josiah and Jehoiakim Kings of Judah as per Wiseman.D.J. (1961) Chronicles of the Chaldaean Kings (626-556 BC) in the British Museum - Trustees of the British Museum. London) using Babylonian Chronicles B.M. 22047 (p.65) and BM 21946 (p.67) but with a one (1) year adjustment for the Reigns of Nabopolassar and Nebuchadrezzar.
Perhaps if anyone had noticed the Ambassadorís words of wisdom in 2015 the election results might have been different. Now, despite the raging and foaming at the mouth of the losers, the election is over, and rather than acting like tantrum throwing children or worse, acting like hate filled anarchists, the people of the United States of America need act like mature adults who love and respect their democratic freedoms.
With all of the unbelievable things going on in America in this period leading up to the next Presidential election, I thought it might be time to revisit my original article. What prompted this revisit was two particular articles here at iPatiot which I heartily recommend that you read. The first is Trump says Bombings Islamic Terror, Hillary says theyíre Not by Dustin Koellhoffer and the second is Chaplains Ordered to Not Talk to Homeless Vets! by Rev. Austin Miles.
When you deal with Ďvanity publishers,í also known as self-publishers, understand that they are fronts for a big corporate monopoly and be very wary of their contracts. You literally need to read and understand everything on their website before you sign a contract. When you buy an authorís book from someone other than the publishing house whose name appears in the book, you are effectively robbing the author of sixty percent of his royalty and in the process, filling the coffers of big businesses.
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]