Hot Stuff

I am just now sitting down before the computer screen, it is 7:39 a.m.

I arose at 5 a.m., dressed quickly, unlocked the back door and went outside to stand in the middle of the back yard, to stare at the dim starry sky. I knew the Perseid Meteor Shower would be fading in the morning light, but it seemed worth a try to see it. After standing for ten minutes I was rewarded with one flash of a meteor, before the clouds silently engulfed and shrouded the sky.

I love the food at this time of year. We have a basket of Ontario field tomatoes, and a basket of Ontario peaches, and what what a daily feast they provide. I eat toasted tomato sandwiches, and enjoy peach smoothies all day long. Attila added tomatoes to our green salad last night. I don’t eat tomatoes at any other time of year. Local field tomatoes are flavourful, sweet and juicy, as compared to those offered in grocery stores which are like red cardboard imitations.

After eating a lovely breakfast consisting of a toasted tomato sandwich on rye, and a peach smoothie, my day’s activities began. The drought continues, so our bath and shower becomes grey water and is carefully saved in the tub, to be used to water the gardens. This morning I ladled many pailfuls of bath water, using them to refresh the lungwort, hosta lilies, and lilies in the front yard. These plants are not flourishing, but they are surviving, with such attention. I am sad to observe that the large tree in the next door neighbours front yard, which is beside our driveway, is suffering and it looks like it will die. We will miss the shade it provides!

It was too hot this morning for a walk, the temperature at 5 a.m. this morning was 25C, with a Humidex of 34, much too warm for me. At around 4 p.m. this afternoon the temperature rose to 37C (98.6), with a Humidex of 45C (113F). What a day! Attila heard that we were the hottest spot in Ontario today, could be.

I notice that there are daily cooling centres open all over the province, which is wonderful for those who do not have air conditioning. Attila works with very hot machines, in a large, well ventilated, but not air conditioned, space. These days he looks haggard when he arrives home. Thank goodness for our heat pump! It is a climate control unit, heating in the winter, cooling in the summer. Because our house is so very small, it is not outrageously expensive to keep it at a constant and comfortable 22.5C; the electricity bill is only $70 a month more than when the unit is not running at all, which is when the temperature outside is either below -7C (19.4F), or above 22.5C (72.5F).

Being housebound, this morning was a perfect opportunity to pay bills and attend to the pesky administrative side of life. Recently our home was reassessed to market value, which is far less than the value the property taxes were based on; our assessment went down by over a third, and is still probably a bit high. The upshot of this is that our tax bill went down by a third. We have already paid our taxes, and they don’t give rebates, so the amount owing back to us will be used against our 2017 property taxes. The process of applying for this reassessment is arduous, and it took many, many hours of my time to put together, and submit the evidence needed for the review process. It paid off though, and I wish I had done it sooner, as the amount we have been overpaying is quite significant, and the rebate only begins the year the reassessment judgement is made. This reassessment project took up copious amounts of my time over the last six months. As well, there was a rebate offer on the paint we bought to finish the garden shed, and that had to be applied for, which fell to me. The first time I submitted the forms they were rejected because I put the sale price on the form, rather than the manufacturers suggested price. The second time I submitted the forms the rebate was approved. Also, when we bought the dishwasher we were offered a $100 gift MasterCard as a bonus. The catch is it has to be applied for online. All went well until it I ran into a few confusing parts of the form, three telephone calls to the help centre got that straightened out, the customer service person, Alice, was excellent (good for you Whirlpool for hiring such a competent and pleasant person!). That was my project today, making sure we get our promised $100 gift card.

With these three projects of mine, the property reassessment, the paint rebate, and the dishwasher bonus gift card, we are able to pay for the new dishwasher. All it took was weeks of my time fiddling with all these forms and processes. I reckon it is worth it if I end up with a dishwasher. I like this particular cluster, or “roll of three” set of circumstances!

Well, I guess I’ll sign off for now. Saying we aren’t cool in Ontario!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

25°C
Date: 5:00 AM EDT Friday 12 August 2016
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: falling
Temperature: 24.9°C
Dewpoint: 21.9°C
Humidity: 83%
Wind: SSW 16 km/h
Humidex: 34

33°C
Date: 4:00 PM EDT Friday 12 August 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 33.3°C
Dewpoint: 22.4°C
Humidity: 52%
Wind: SW 29 gust 42 km/h
Humidex: 43

Quote

“The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803 – 1882

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13 Responses to Hot Stuff

  1. WendyNC says:

    Maggie, your hourly rate may not be high, but you’re doing a good job of work and getting results with pursuing the tax adjustment and the rebates. I diligently pursue those rebate cards when they’re offered and my husband has become quite skilled at using them, even when the issuer tries to make it very hard. All the persistence does pay off!

    I had to chuckle–I’d be chilly in the summer at 72.5F. Our equivalent of your Humidex hit 106F today, but our world was still cooler than yours!

  2. Wendy, the old adage is “a penny saved is a penny earned”, we have taken it to heart!

    I find 72.5 a little chilly when I am sitting at the computer, and a little warm when I am working at something physical. The heat today is truly unusual, and just as unwelcome! We got through it though, and Attila can spend his weekend installing the dishwasher inside the air conditioned building!

  3. Bex Crowell says:

    Since I’ve been retired, I don’t do paperwork anymore. If I didn’t have Paul, I’d be stuck paying all the bills he’s responsible for. All mine I pay online with one-click and it’s done. He’s old fashioned. He writes out checks and gets stamps and envelopes and mails them via the Post Office. He’s probably an antique… if I sold him on EBay I’d probably get good money for him now!

  4. Wow, 37C (98.6) IS hot for your area! I’m weary of the heat, too. I’m glad you at least got some money back and will save money in the future. That’s a definite win! I wonder why your neighbors don’t water their tree. Would they mind if their neighbors water it?

  5. Bex, Paul really is old fashioned, I can see the sales pitch, “Vintage Male, old fashioned quality can’t be beat!”

    I do all of our bill paying and administrative stuff. I am thinking that soon I should simplify how I am dealing with things, but I never seem to get around to doing that.

  6. Joan, 37C is truly exceptional for Ontario, what a summer!

    The tax assessment appeal was very worthwhile, the agency that handles property values expected real estate prices to increase exponentially, which they have in the cities, but the rest of the country is not experiencing that kind of inflation, so the assessments were way too high, based on a Toronto/Vancouver formula of increased value.

    The neighbours are talking about chopping the tree down, it hasn’t been very healthy for the last few years, so watering it would only save it to be destroyed later. They don’t seem to like trees, and chopped down all the trees in their back yard when they bought the property. Luckily we have quite a few trees on our property which we are watching carefully for signs of stress.

  7. TopsyTurvy (Teri) says:

    Today, we’re receiving copious amounts of rain – and for once it’s not after sunset but midday. I’m doing my best to encourage the rain to head your way, Maggie. I see the radar is showing a few spotty showers around there. Hopefully, one of the long soakers will make it there.

    Your tomato and peach offerings sound delicious. You may have encouraged me to step outside the box and get a few things outside our standard fare.

    We received our property assessment last week. Our area is getting spill-over from the Toronto market so our prices are rising. The assessment came in just about where we expected, but unfortunately that means our property taxes will be going up next year. There’s a real give and take in that, pay more now but hopefully get back more when you sell.

    Your 22.5 would be a bedtime temp for me. Daytime we keep the house around 25 (78F). Unfortunately, that means the downstairs can get very cool. I have to have a blanket on when down there. I’ll be glad when we get the upstairs office done so we can spend most of the day with consistent temps.

  8. Teri, we have clouds, and there was rain early this morning, but not enough to make the plants perk up. Hoping for more.

    If the property assessment reflects the real value of your home, then indeed there are benefits to rising prices and taxes. Our home isn’t nearly as valuable as they had assessed, so taxes were going up and the value of our home if we were to sell would not reflect the tax rate we have been paying. That is remedied not though.

    We have only one floor to heat/cool. so the thermostat represents the temperature in the entire living area. 25C is a little warm for me, I find myself overheating when I am moving around at that temperature. I guess I am a bit of a hot house flower, the temperature range at which I am comfortable is about 4C, not much to work with there.

    Your upstairs office sounds very nice!

  9. Teri says:

    Lol! On grocery shopping today, we did indeed get field tomatoes and nectarines. I prefer nectarines for direct eating as I actually have a ticklish palate and peach fuzz tickles me something awful!

    I offered to make a nectarine crisp, so now DH is going to go out and buy some real peaches as they’re much less expensive than the nectarines when it comes to using them for bulk dishes.

    DH was also thinking toasted tomato sandwiches when he saw the field tomatoes. Maybe it’s a local thing, though I do like tomato and monterey jack cheese sandwiches, myself.

    Hope that rain hit you. Have a good night!

  10. Teri, our internet conection went down yesterday evening, we had thunderstorms and that might have done it. I was too tired to explore the issue, so I just gave up, turned off the computer and went to bed. It did rain yesterday, several times, and this morning you can tell.

    We grew peaches on the farm where I grew up, and I never enjoyed the skins, always peeled my peaches; it was messy with plump tree ripened juicy peaches, but oh so sweet and good. Peach juice stains clothing, my Mom knows!

  11. Kate says:

    You may laugh and think I’m a nutbar and a flake, but when I’ve been worried about no-rain, I’ve made a little stroll to the end of our driveway and respectfully petitioned the sky in every direction for rain … and got it the next day, every time. Co-ink-ee-dink? Maybe. Then again … .

  12. Kate says:

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who finds 72F not perfectly comfortable when I’m sitting still. I thought maybe I was a wuss or there was something wrong with my circulation!

    I don’t even buy so-called fresh tomatoes at the store anymore; they taste like just so much wax.

  13. Kate, I really noticed the difference in heat/cold tolerances when I worked in an office with another woman. My first office mate was always hot and liked to keep the temperature quite cool. My subsequent office mate was always cold and liked to keep the temperature quite warm. I was always uncomfortable, with both of them, one was too hot and one was too cold!

    I like fruits and vegetables in season, so tomatoes are a late summer early autumn food for me, unless they are canned or frozen. “Wax” is a good description of the tomatoes on offer at the grocery store, other than the field tomatoes.