Getting Ready for Winter

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1 November 2016 - 8:27, by , in Blog, Propane News, No comments

Well, so much for the price of propane staying down. Since our last newsletter, the price has risen about four cents per litre, and it hasn’t even gotten cold yet. Now, some of this increase is due to the price of oil going up in the month of October, and oil seems to drive everything else. Speaking of driving things up, the overheated real estate market in this area is driving up housing prices, which is great if you are selling here and moving to some out of the way place where real estate prices are considerably lower, but if you are selling here and buying here, the big gain on the sell soon gets gobbled up on the buy end of the purchase transaction, plus some more. That, coupled with a higher tax assessment, would almost seem like you are going backwards.

Talking about real estate, have you received your latest MPAC Property Reassessment lately? I think they come out every three years, and I just received mine on two properties; my home here in Clyde, and my propane filling plant location at Avenue Road and Elgin Street in Cambridge. These two reassessments have risen thirty percent in three years. Ouch! It’s great to say ‘oh, your properties are worth a whole lot more’, but unless you are selling, it just means a much higher tax bill to pay. Did your disposable income go up 30%? Not likely. I often thought that realty taxes should be based on the most recent selling price of the property, so as not to penalize the current owner just because property prices in general have risen, unless of course you have done some major additions to the property.

Nothing definite on cap and trade carbon pricing yet. Some talk about it starting in January at 2.5 cents per litre, but so far it’s just talk. I hear a lot about Canadian consumer debt being very high. I wonder how it might come down when property taxes are taking big jumps, electricity costs are just nuts, food costs are climbing, and carbon taxes are soon to be added in. If interest rates go up, we may be in for a lifestyle change. I wonder if we should start to plan for that now, just to be ahead of some of this potential turmoil.

One of our service technicians, David, along with his wife Jessica, delivered a new daughter on October 27th, named Zara. All are doing fine. On a sad note, Maryanne who worked with us for twenty years full-time and sixteen years part-time recently lost her husband Bruce, quite suddenly to a heart attack. A sad day for all. Bruce was seventy eight years old.

Another staff member, Shaun, took his family to Snyder Farm a couple of weekends ago, to pick pumpkins and participate in all those activities offered. At one point their daughter, Faith, jumped off some hay bales, landing awkwardly on her arm and suffering a pretty nasty break. Like all kids, after a few tears and a new cast, she is already back to normal.

Spectacular fall colours these past weeks, what a display mother nature puts on this time of year. I hope you took some time to admire and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, not just this time of year but every day.

Lots to do around the farm before winter actually arrives. I pulled in the swimming raft from the pond, which was a little harder this year as the dry summer made the water level pretty low, which in turn made the bank higher for pulling the raft up onto shore (thank God for the tractor). Still have to service the snowblowers, put the tire chains on the tractors, blow the water line to the barn, store away lawn and porch furniture, clean the leaves out of the eavestroughs, store some of the summer farm equipment in the barn, put up the squirrel feeder (bird feeder), and I’m sure about fifty other things before we are done.

My sweetheart has been busy thinking up a Halloween theme for this year. I don’t know what it is, but she mentioned something to me about ‘doing up the barn’ in case it’s raining. I think I subtly asked her if she was nuts. I told her Howard Hill, who is our neighbor from Clyde, emailed me that he was again this year bringing his tractor and wagon with a load of kids up to our house. As we are a long way back from the road, it’s the only way kids show up to our door. I said to my sweetie ‘you know how it is, wagon pulls up, 20 kids at the door, 47 seconds later they are back on the wagon and gone’. So no, I’m not interested in spending multiple hours ‘doing up the barn’ for Halloween.

My granddaughter and grandson are all excited about Halloween, and Sunday morning our granddaughter, Kristen, asked her grandmother what she was going to be dressing up as for Halloween. Now, Grandma doesn’t want to give anything away, so as she took a moment to think about her answer, I said ‘oh, Grandma is going to be a refrigerator! You know, nice bright white, covered in family pictures, chrome handles on the front with all the candy inside. The trick or treaters knock on the fridge door, it opens and there’s candy.’ My granddaughter of course says ‘no she’s not!’ but Grandma looked at me and said ‘you gave it away!’ Of course Kristen was surprised by this, and Grandma went on, ‘you saw all that white material upstairs, didn’t you? Well!’ Then turning to me again she said ‘thanks for giving it away.’ Kristen had a confused look on her face, then turned to her brother and said ‘let’s go play’.

I still don’t know what Grandma is going to be, or what the theme might be, but I’m sure it will be somewhat elaborate. I can think of a few things Grandpa might like to see Grandma dressed up as, or not so dressed up as, for Halloween.

Remember, a kind word or deed can mean a lot to others. Give them freely and in abundance. And don’t eat too much candy–however too much is.

Your support is always cherished.

Yours truly,

Peter Rivers

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