Sunday, October 25, 2009

Last Week in October

The Fall colors are at their height now and this morning's 42 degrees feels crisp.

We've had some colder days and some hotter days and a little rain and wind in the last two.

On the farm, clean-up continues in the barns, the chicken house, and around the yards. The lawns are mowed for the last time this season. All the hay has been baled and put under cover. I'm feeding whatever freeze damaged vegetables are in the garden to the chickens.

In the houses, I am cleaning and sorting, too. The freezers are full enough to get us through without having to do a lot of driving in ice and snow this winter. After more than ten years since the last move, I've finally gotten down to the last parts for furniture, like teak book shelves and a corner computer desk which have been leaning up against a wall in the basement. Once these find their places and are put together, I'll be able to do a thorough cleaning and re-organization of the basement. Gee, it feels like I've just completed a giant jigsaw puzzle.

I had the propane tanks for the greenhouse filled to provide emergency heat if it gets too cold for the small electric heaters to keep the temperature above freezing. All the potted plants are tucked in, but there remains clean-up and organization for those days when it's raining or too cold to want to work outdoors.

We also maintain a little propane at the house in case the electricity goes out. For now, electric is cheaper than propane. I finally caught on last year, when we did not need to use propane at all, that the company was routinely charging us for delivery of propane, even when the tank was full. I don't know how many hundreds of dollars -- probably more than a thousand -- were charged for propane not delivered. Although I made a complaint to the Department that regulates utilities in Virginia, nothing could be done because the Propane Industry is unregulated in the State of Virginia!

As you can probably tell, that still burns me up.

At the time I had finally caught on (I'm slow, evidently, and too trusting) there was a series of articles in the Roanoke Times about similar problems that others were having. I think the State Legislature should be doing something about regulation, but am not aware if they are. So, for now I'm monitoring the gauges on the tanks which show only the percentage left inside. There is no system of reporting usage other than the initial ticket saying how many gallons they delivered. You must more or less know the capacity of the tanks and try to extrapolate from there.

So, I'm trying.

Ta ta.

1 comment:

CountryDew said...

That is good information to have about the propane companies. I might need that. Thanks.