September 27, 2005

My real estate classes are going well. I've been pleased with my scores on the quizzes so far but things are stepping up and I have two quizzes next week (covering six chapters and the entire Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act!) That will wrap up the study of fundamentals and then we'll begin the section on Real Estate Practice. it's a lot to handle along with working, taking care of the home and basically being a single parent while Tim is working out of town. I am determined to succeed and make a go of it. I don't have a legal background. It might help a little but it isn't required here in Pennsylvania. I have to know some basics for my own use but can't discuss law at all with a client - not even basic questions. It's considered practicing law which is a big no-no. It sets you up for a lot of liability. My instructor says to tell them they need to ask an attorney no matter how small and innocent the question. New construction is booming in our area - not so much boom with existing homes. Everyone wants what they see on television. I'll be with an agency, not on my own.

I hear you on the misery of filling the gas tanks. At least our prices held steady at $2.69 for a couple of weeks. The price jumped to $2.79 yesterday and thanks to Hurricane Rita I suppose it will continue to climb for a while. I think everyone will be relieved when this hurricane season finally ends. Why do we want to use propane? Well, of all the heating choices available, it is the  cheapest around here. The outdoor furnace would be cheaper to operate but at the moment we can't afford the initial cost for the furnace itself ($4000 - $8000). We've been heating with propane for a few years. We have a couple 225 gallon tanks that Tim filled himself. Unfortunately, with our bitter cold winters we have to fill them quite often and it isn't unusual to wake up to a cold house. Tim's work schedule has gotten to such a point that he can't always get them filled when we need them. In a pinch I used to haul one to the garden center for filling but I didn't want to haul tanks in the new car. Anyway, it's the law now that the tanks have to be hauled standing up so I can't do it. We are having a 600 gallon tank put in the yard out behind the shed. We called every company in the phone book for prices and packages. Agway was the worst wanting a $700 deposit. The company we're going with doesn't charge a deposit, is waiving the install fee and we're on a monthly payment. The initial fill is $1.69/gallon and after that we're locked in at $2.19/gallon for the rest of the winter. All the other companies were charging $2.57/gallon or more already and there was no price lock. Oil, gas and electric are even worse.

Weather-wise it's been hot and dry this month, feeling more like July than September. We had a good all day rain out of Rita's remnants yesterday but we need so much more. Everything is so dry and the water table is down. After several very wet years I'm wondering if we're cycling into a drought period? At least we are enjoying some more seasonable temperatures following the rain and should see overnight lows near 40 by the end of the week. Last time Tim was home, we spent the weekend running and doing some much needed shopping. This weekend we'll be staying home and doing all our winterizing, closing the pool and preparing for the propane tank. It's my favorite time of year. I just hope I have time to enjoy it this year.