JAC THEELEN REALTY

Jac Theelen Realty









News letter December 2015
         
Get more free time.
Do you feel that there are not enough hours in the day?
Are you to stressed out to get it all done in the time that you have.
Here is an idea: Track your hours. 
Keep track of what you do in a day. 
Most of us do things like checking e-mail, as soon as it comes in. Replying messages. Instantly and repeatedly. Checking Facebook, and keeping it up to date with photos and text.  It takes so much of our daily hours that you almost run out of time do the things that really need to be done.
Try to book some OFF LINE TIME !!! It will brighten your day
Did you know:
Did you accidentally crack one end of an egg that you intend to boil !!!
Crack the other end too. Then you'll be able to cook the egg as planned without having the contents run out of the shell. 
 
Did you knowreindeer like bananas
 Like the Energizer Bunny, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer got his start as an advertising gimmick. A copywriter named Robert L. May first created the merry misfit in 1939 to lure shoppers into the Montgomery Ward department store. 
Storage for your garden vegetables
Cold and Moist Storage
Beets, parsnips, carrots, turnips and rutabagas prefer cold, moist storage. This means temperatures between 32 and 40 degrees F and 80 to 95% relative humidity - a refrigerator or a moist cellar qualify. Rinse these crops and trim tops to within one-half inch. Store in plastic bags with small holes - to keep moisture high but still allow airflow
.As for storing carrots, we put ours between layers of sand in a five-gallon pail, directly after taking them out of the ground.  They will keep until spring that way.
 
Potatoes can be stored in similar conditions but prefer a slightly lower humidity, around 80%, compared to 90-95% for carrots, turnips and parsnips. After harvest (once tops have died back and dried), brush soil off potatoes gently (do not wash). Then cure for one to two weeks in a warm, moist, dark location.
Warm and Dry Storage
Pumpkins and winter squashes prefer temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees F and 60 to 75% relative humidity. Be sure to wait until the squashes are fully ripened, or storage time will be decreased. But be sure to harvest before frost - frost damage will shorten storage time. Leave stems intact, cure at 80 to 85 degrees F for two weeks before putting into storage. (Do not cure acorn squash.) Lay pumpkins and squashes in a single layer one inch apart.
Housing market.
Are you thinking of selling your house acreage or farm.It make a huge difference what you sell, where it is located, and what you want to sell it for.
Today’s market, is good if you want to sell starter homes, that means homes in the lowend of te market.
Buyers that want to reduce their living cost due to loss of work or a lower income are looking for these homes.
If you are in the top of the spectrum, then it will be much more difficult to move your home.
there are enough uniek properties available, and most of the sellers are very motivatd.
When you want to sell, it is better to start with a good price, than to try the market and reduce later.
Acreages and bare acreages are selling when they have a great location, are priced for today’s market. The top end homes on these acreages have the same issue as the homes in town, that is that there is a good amount for sale, and not enough buyers for these homes. To sell in winter time, you have to be very active and have it priced to move it.
Interested buyers will see a great deal and will buy, even the time of year is not ideal.
Easy snow removal
Plan Ahead:
Be sure you have the proper tools to maintain your walks. A good snow shovel, an ice chipper and sand are all essentials that you should have throughout the winter months.
Take Care of Your Body:
If you are not physically active or have an ongoing health condition, check with your doctor to make sure the physical strain of clearing snow and ice is okay.
Dress in multiple layers of warm clothing. You should also wear supportive boots with a good grip.
Warm up and stretch your muscles before you start shovelling or chipping by walking around the block.
Be sure to take frequent breaks while you work, at least once every 10-15 minutes.
Shovelling:
The best shovels to use have a small blade and ergonomic handle with a gentle curve.
Push the snow as you shovel; it's easier on your back than lifting the snow out of the way.
Don't pick up too much at once. Use a small shovel, or fill only one-fourth or one-half of a large one.
Lift with your legs bent, not your back. Keep your back straight. By bending and "sitting" into the movement, you'll keep your spine upright and less stressed. Your shoulders, torso and thighs can do the work for you. 
Spray the shovel blade with cooking oil if the snow is sticking to it.
Clearing snow soon after it falls prevents it from being packed down and becoming ice, which is harder to remove.
When you remove snow from a gravel road, leave a very small amount on the ground, so you don’t move all the gravel.
Clearing Ice:
Warm weather during the day can make ice soft, so it's easier to chip or shovel away.
Spread sand or gravel on icy patches to make your sidewalk safer for pedestrians. Spreading sand on a sidewalk before ice forms can also make future ice easier to remove. 
Micro wave -safe container and spreading it while it is still warm can make it more effective. It will embed itself in to the ice, creating a gritty top layer.
Pile snow in a place where it will not run across your sidewalk when it melts and aim your downspouts away from areas where people walk to keep your sidewalks clear during freeze-thaw cycles. 
Immediately Stop Shovelling and Seek Medical Attention If You Experience:
Discomfort or heaviness in the chest, arms or neck.
Unusual or prolonged shortness of breath.
A prolonged dizzy or faint feeling.
Excessive sweating or nausea and vomiting.
Excessive back pain.
News letter December 2015
         
Get more free time.
Do you feel that there are not enough hours in the day?
Are you to stressed out to get it all done in the time that you have.
Here is an idea: Track your hours. 
Keep track of what you do in a day. 
Most of us do things like checking e-mail, as soon as it comes in. Replying messages. Instantly and repeatedly. Checking Facebook, and keeping it up to date with photos and text.  It takes so much of our daily hours that you almost run out of time do the things that really need to be done.
Try to book some OFF LINE TIME !!! It will brighten your day
Did you know:
Did you accidentally crack one end of an egg that you intend to boil !!!
Crack the other end too. Then you'll be able to cook the egg as planned without having the contents run out of the shell. 
 
Did you knowreindeer like bananas
 Like the Energizer Bunny, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer got his start as an advertising gimmick. A copywriter named Robert L. May first created the merry misfit in 1939 to lure shoppers into the Montgomery Ward department store. 
Storage for your garden vegetables
Cold and Moist Storage
Beets, parsnips, carrots, turnips and rutabagas prefer cold, moist storage. This means temperatures between 32 and 40 degrees F and 80 to 95% relative humidity - a refrigerator or a moist cellar qualify. Rinse these crops and trim tops to within one-half inch. Store in plastic bags with small holes - to keep moisture high but still allow airflow
.As for storing carrots, we put ours between layers of sand in a five-gallon pail, directly after taking them out of the ground.  They will keep until spring that way.
 
Potatoes can be stored in similar conditions but prefer a slightly lower humidity, around 80%, compared to 90-95% for carrots, turnips and parsnips. After harvest (once tops have died back and dried), brush soil off potatoes gently (do not wash). Then cure for one to two weeks in a warm, moist, dark location.
Warm and Dry Storage
Pumpkins and winter squashes prefer temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees F and 60 to 75% relative humidity. Be sure to wait until the squashes are fully ripened, or storage time will be decreased. But be sure to harvest before frost - frost damage will shorten storage time. Leave stems intact, cure at 80 to 85 degrees F for two weeks before putting into storage. (Do not cure acorn squash.) Lay pumpkins and squashes in a single layer one inch apart.
Housing market.
Are you thinking of selling your house acreage or farm.It make a huge difference what you sell, where it is located, and what you want to sell it for.
Today’s market, is good if you want to sell starter homes, that means homes in the lowend of te market.
Buyers that want to reduce their living cost due to loss of work or a lower income are looking for these homes.
If you are in the top of the spectrum, then it will be much more difficult to move your home.
there are enough uniek properties available, and most of the sellers are very motivatd.
When you want to sell, it is better to start with a good price, than to try the market and reduce later.
Acreages and bare acreages are selling when they have a great location, are priced for today’s market. The top end homes on these acreages have the same issue as the homes in town, that is that there is a good amount for sale, and not enough buyers for these homes. To sell in winter time, you have to be very active and have it priced to move it.
Interested buyers will see a great deal and will buy, even the time of year is not ideal.
Easy snow removal
Plan Ahead:
Be sure you have the proper tools to maintain your walks. A good snow shovel, an ice chipper and sand are all essentials that you should have throughout the winter months.
Take Care of Your Body:
If you are not physically active or have an ongoing health condition, check with your doctor to make sure the physical strain of clearing snow and ice is okay.
Dress in multiple layers of warm clothing. You should also wear supportive boots with a good grip.
Warm up and stretch your muscles before you start shovelling or chipping by walking around the block.
Be sure to take frequent breaks while you work, at least once every 10-15 minutes.
Shovelling:
The best shovels to use have a small blade and ergonomic handle with a gentle curve.
Push the snow as you shovel; it's easier on your back than lifting the snow out of the way.
Don't pick up too much at once. Use a small shovel, or fill only one-fourth or one-half of a large one.
Lift with your legs bent, not your back. Keep your back straight. By bending and "sitting" into the movement, you'll keep your spine upright and less stressed. Your shoulders, torso and thighs can do the work for you. 
Spray the shovel blade with cooking oil if the snow is sticking to it.
Clearing snow soon after it falls prevents it from being packed down and becoming ice, which is harder to remove.
When you remove snow from a gravel road, leave a very small amount on the ground, so you don’t move all the gravel.
Clearing Ice:
Warm weather during the day can make ice soft, so it's easier to chip or shovel away.
Spread sand or gravel on icy patches to make your sidewalk safer for pedestrians. Spreading sand on a sidewalk before ice forms can also make future ice easier to remove. 
Micro wave -safe container and spreading it while it is still warm can make it more effective. It will embed itself in to the ice, creating a gritty top layer.
Pile snow in a place where it will not run across your sidewalk when it melts and aim your downspouts away from areas where people walk to keep your sidewalks clear during freeze-thaw cycles. 
Immediately Stop Shovelling and Seek Medical Attention If You Experience:
Discomfort or heaviness in the chest, arms or neck.
Unusual or prolonged shortness of breath.
A prolonged dizzy or faint feeling.
Excessive sweating or nausea and vomiting.
Excessive back pain.
News letter December 2015
         
Get more free time.
Do you feel that there are not enough hours in the day?
Are you to stressed out to get it all done in the time that you have.
Here is an idea: Track your hours. 
Keep track of what you do in a day. 
Most of us do things like checking e-mail, as soon as it comes in. Replying messages. Instantly and repeatedly. Checking Facebook, and keeping it up to date with photos and text.  It takes so much of our daily hours that you almost run out of time do the things that really need to be done.
Try to book some OFF LINE TIME !!! It will brighten your day
Did you know:
Did you accidentally crack one end of an egg that you intend to boil !!!
Crack the other end too. Then you'll be able to cook the egg as planned without having the contents run out of the shell. 
 
Did you knowreindeer like bananas
 Like the Energizer Bunny, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer got his start as an advertising gimmick. A copywriter named Robert L. May first created the merry misfit in 1939 to lure shoppers into the Montgomery Ward department store. 
Storage for your garden vegetables
Cold and Moist Storage
Beets, parsnips, carrots, turnips and rutabagas prefer cold, moist storage. This means temperatures between 32 and 40 degrees F and 80 to 95% relative humidity - a refrigerator or a moist cellar qualify. Rinse these crops and trim tops to within one-half inch. Store in plastic bags with small holes - to keep moisture high but still allow airflow
.As for storing carrots, we put ours between layers of sand in a five-gallon pail, directly after taking them out of the ground.  They will keep until spring that way.
 
Potatoes can be stored in similar conditions but prefer a slightly lower humidity, around 80%, compared to 90-95% for carrots, turnips and parsnips. After harvest (once tops have died back and dried), brush soil off potatoes gently (do not wash). Then cure for one to two weeks in a warm, moist, dark location.
Warm and Dry Storage
Pumpkins and winter squashes prefer temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees F and 60 to 75% relative humidity. Be sure to wait until the squashes are fully ripened, or storage time will be decreased. But be sure to harvest before frost - frost damage will shorten storage time. Leave stems intact, cure at 80 to 85 degrees F for two weeks before putting into storage. (Do not cure acorn squash.) Lay pumpkins and squashes in a single layer one inch apart.
Housing market.
Are you thinking of selling your house acreage or farm.It make a huge difference what you sell, where it is located, and what you want to sell it for.
Today’s market, is good if you want to sell starter homes, that means homes in the lowend of te market.
Buyers that want to reduce their living cost due to loss of work or a lower income are looking for these homes.
If you are in the top of the spectrum, then it will be much more difficult to move your home.
there are enough uniek properties available, and most of the sellers are very motivatd.
When you want to sell, it is better to start with a good price, than to try the market and reduce later.
Acreages and bare acreages are selling when they have a great location, are priced for today’s market. The top end homes on these acreages have the same issue as the homes in town, that is that there is a good amount for sale, and not enough buyers for these homes. To sell in winter time, you have to be very active and have it priced to move it.
Interested buyers will see a great deal and will buy, even the time of year is not ideal.
Easy snow removal
Plan Ahead:
Be sure you have the proper tools to maintain your walks. A good snow shovel, an ice chipper and sand are all essentials that you should have throughout the winter months.
Take Care of Your Body:
If you are not physically active or have an ongoing health condition, check with your doctor to make sure the physical strain of clearing snow and ice is okay.
Dress in multiple layers of warm clothing. You should also wear supportive boots with a good grip.
Warm up and stretch your muscles before you start shovelling or chipping by walking around the block.
Be sure to take frequent breaks while you work, at least once every 10-15 minutes.
Shovelling:
The best shovels to use have a small blade and ergonomic handle with a gentle curve.
Push the snow as you shovel; it's easier on your back than lifting the snow out of the way.
Don't pick up too much at once. Use a small shovel, or fill only one-fourth or one-half of a large one.
Lift with your legs bent, not your back. Keep your back straight. By bending and "sitting" into the movement, you'll keep your spine upright and less stressed. Your shoulders, torso and thighs can do the work for you. 
Spray the shovel blade with cooking oil if the snow is sticking to it.
Clearing snow soon after it falls prevents it from being packed down and becoming ice, which is harder to remove.
When you remove snow from a gravel road, leave a very small amount on the ground, so you don’t move all the gravel.
Clearing Ice:
Warm weather during the day can make ice soft, so it's easier to chip or shovel away.
Spread sand or gravel on icy patches to make your sidewalk safer for pedestrians. Spreading sand on a sidewalk before ice forms can also make future ice easier to remove. 
Micro wave -safe container and spreading it while it is still warm can make it more effective. It will embed itself in to the ice, creating a gritty top layer.
Pile snow in a place where it will not run across your sidewalk when it melts and aim your downspouts away from areas where people walk to keep your sidewalks clear during freeze-thaw cycles. 
Immediately Stop Shovelling and Seek Medical Attention If You Experience:
Discomfort or heaviness in the chest, arms or neck.
Unusual or prolonged shortness of breath.
A prolonged dizzy or faint feeling.
Excessive sweating or nausea and vomiting.
ExcessivNN

News letter march 2016Newsletter May 2016N


Advice from a banker
 
According to a Canadian banker, Canadian farmers have been able to profit from the low currency and have less financial pain than their U.S. counterparts thanks to the falling loonie, which for Canadian farmers has eased the pressure felt by thousands of farmers south of the border.  Most Canadian farmers have pretty average returns. The exchange rate compared to the U.S. dollar has helped with that.
Future higher inflation could trigger higher interest rates. That could create problems if returns don’t cover investment payments.
During the years of the commodity bull market, returns were high. During the low-interest-rate era, debt costs were low. In this kind of situation it is easier to make money. 
The interest rate could very well climb, now that there’s a new president in the U.S.
An inflationary period would make debt more expensive to manage and a more normal commodity period would continue to leave margins thin.
Knowing your cost and looking for returns will be key in a time of lower returns.
Knowing your financial risk and having your bank support your management decisions can save you from having sleepless nights. 
Young farmers might not have faced a higher interest rate environment connected to a period of low returns, but they are generally well-educated and well-prepared. Whenever you foresee issues in the near future, it is always good to be proactive and talk to your bank in advance.
Fix your start issues with oil
At –30 most car owners plug the car in or park it inside.
Sometimes that option is not available and after parking your vehicle for a couple of hours in the freezing cold you could have an issue in getting the motor to turn over.
First, make sure your battery is in good shape and fully charged. ( This would normally be the case if you’ve driven it a bit.)
Maybe put a battery in with higher cold cranking amperage (CCA).  The higher the number, the more energy is available to start your car.
An easy way to help your motor in our cold climate is to change to a different motor oil as most cars will have just regular oil.  When it gets very cold, the oil will turn into molasses. The starting motor will have trouble turning the engine over with this thick stuff in the bottom.  Also, it won’t lubricate the motor when it is still cold, which is very bad for your motor.
Drain all the oil from your motor,  and fill it with only fully synthetic oil. (Don’t fall for fancy names other than full synthetic.)
 Change your filter, too.
The price is probably twice what you are used to, but you can change oil at longer intervals, so doing this really won’t cost more.
Your motor and, in the long run your wallet, will love it.
Why it is a bad idea to drive with an almost-empty tank
In the summer, you can take a chance and drive until you have only fumes in the tank. But in Winter, if you do get stuck or stranded, the engine will be your only source of heat. And you don't want to have to worry about conserving fuel and saving the planet right at that moment -- you just want to stay warm. You can idle the engine to stay warm, or as long as you have gas.  No immediate harm will be done to the engine by doing this.
By the way, if you have an old jalopy, we suggest you crack open the window a bit if you are going to be idling the engine. Old jalopies are more likely to suffer from exhaust leaks and rust holes. This may not be a problem while you're driving because the wind is removing the exhaust as you move forward; but if you're sitting for a long time while carbon monoxide is slowly leaking into the passenger compartment -- well, we could lose a client. And we've got only six left!
Finally, if you’ve had to pull over and stop in the midst of a humungous snowstorm, be sure to get out periodically and remove snow from behind the tailpipe to keep it unobstructed.   
When driving in the snow, do everything slowly.  Even with good coolant, snow tires, stability control, all-wheel drive, and the bag of Doritos in the trunk, keep in mind that driving in snow, sleet, and ice is very treacherous. And even if you maintain control of your car, not everyone else will.  So don't ever get lulled into a false sense of security.  Do everything slowly and gently.  Remember, in the snow, the tires are always just barely grabbing the road.  Accelerate slowly and gently, turn slowly and gently, and brake slowly and gently.  To do this, you have to anticipate turns and stops.  That means what?  Going slowly and leaving plenty of distance between you and other cars.  Rapid movements lead to skids and loss of control.  Drive as if there were eggs on the bottoms of your feet - step on the gas and the brake pedals so gently that you don't break the eggshell.

If you're nervous about driving in winter, consider spending some time practicing.  Go to an empty parking lot and try sending the car into a little skid on purpose.  Slam on the brakes, then practice turning into the skid and see what happens -- and practice until you're comfortable regaining control of the car.  Doing this in a large, empty parking lot (preferably without light poles) allows you the luxury of skidding without ending up flat on your back, looking up into the eyes of seven different EMTs.  The more comfortable you are maintaining control and regaining control, the better a winter driver you'll be.  When you have no time to practice, use the highway, but don’t forget to charge your phone so you can play games while you’re waiting for the tow truck.
Tire pressure, why would you check it?

Here's one service item that's often forgotten: tire pressure. Ask your mechanic to check it, or do it as soon as winter arrives. Why? Because tire pressure drops by about one pound per ten degrees of temperature. So, if it's -10 now, and the last time you checked your tire pressure was back during that sweltering heat wave in July, your tires will be dangerously low and will jeopardize your car's handling.
 Floor tips

DIY LAMINATE FLOOR CLEANER
 To make about 16 ounces or enough to fit in a spray bottle use this recipe:
5 ounces white vinegar
5 ounces rubbing alcohol
5 ounces water (use distilled or boiled and cooled water if you are wanting to store this longer than one week)
optional: 3-5 drops essential oils (lemon or orange and peppermint is a great combination for this recipe)
 
Hardwood floor cleaner
Removing Scuff Marks    Keep a spray bottle with a mixture of 50/50 vinegar, water and about 15 drops of essential oil of your choosing.
Sprinkle scuffs with baking soda then spray solution, let fizz for a few seconds.          Scrub marks until they are removed then dry with a soft towel.
 Scratch repair
Rub a crayon that is the same color as the flooring into the scratch, filling the space as full of
thewax as you can.
To seal in place, heat with a hair dryer to soften the wax, allow to cool for a few seconds, then buff
with a soft cloth.



Advice from a banker
 
According to a Canadian banker, Canadian farmers have been able to profit from the low currency and have less financial pain than their U.S. counterparts thanks to the falling loonie, which for Canadian farmers has eased the pressure felt by thousands of farmers south of the border.  Most Canadian farmers have pretty average returns. The exchange rate compared to the U.S. dollar has helped with that.
Future higher inflation could trigger higher interest rates. That could create problems if returns don’t cover investment payments.
During the years of the commodity bull market, returns were high. During the low-interest-rate era, debt costs were low. In this kind of situation it is easier to make money. 
The interest rate could very well climb, now that there’s a new president in the U.S.
An inflationary period would make debt more expensive to manage and a more normal commodity period would continue to leave margins thin.
Knowing your cost and looking for returns will be key in a time of lower returns.
Knowing your financial risk and having your bank support your management decisions can save you from having sleepless nights. 
Young farmers might not have faced a higher interest rate environment connected to a period of low returns, but they are generally well-educated and well-prepared. Whenever you foresee issues in the near future, it is always good to be proactive and talk to your bank in advance.
Fix your start issues with oil
At –30 most car owners plug the car in or park it inside.
Sometimes that option is not available and after parking your vehicle for a couple of hours in the freezing cold you could have an issue in getting the motor to turn over.
First, make sure your battery is in good shape and fully charged. ( This would normally be the case if you’ve driven it a bit.)
Maybe put a battery in with higher cold cranking amperage (CCA).  The higher the number, the more energy is available to start your car.
An easy way to help your motor in our cold climate is to change to a different motor oil as most cars will have just regular oil.  When it gets very cold, the oil will turn into molasses. The starting motor will have trouble turning the engine over with this thick stuff in the bottom.  Also, it won’t lubricate the motor when it is still cold, which is very bad for your motor.
Drain all the oil from your motor,  and fill it with only fully synthetic oil. (Don’t fall for fancy names other than full synthetic.)
 Change your filter, too.
The price is probably twice what you are used to, but you can change oil at longer intervals, so doing this really won’t cost more.
Your motor and, in the long run your wallet, will love it.
Why it is a bad idea to drive with an almost-empty tank
In the summer, you can take a chance and drive until you have only fumes in the tank. But in Winter, if you do get stuck or stranded, the engine will be your only source of heat. And you don't want to have to worry about conserving fuel and saving the planet right at that moment -- you just want to stay warm. You can idle the engine to stay warm, or as long as you have gas.  No immediate harm will be done to the engine by doing this.
By the way, if you have an old jalopy, we suggest you crack open the window a bit if you are going to be idling the engine. Old jalopies are more likely to suffer from exhaust leaks and rust holes. This may not be a problem while you're driving because the wind is removing the exhaust as you move forward; but if you're sitting for a long time while carbon monoxide is slowly leaking into the passenger compartment -- well, we could lose a client. And we've got only six left!
Finally, if you’ve had to pull over and stop in the midst of a humungous snowstorm, be sure to get out periodically and remove snow from behind the tailpipe to keep it unobstructed.   
When driving in the snow, do everything slowly.  Even with good coolant, snow tires, stability control, all-wheel drive, and the bag of Doritos in the trunk, keep in mind that driving in snow, sleet, and ice is very treacherous. And even if you maintain control of your car, not everyone else will.  So don't ever get lulled into a false sense of security.  Do everything slowly and gently.  Remember, in the snow, the tires are always just barely grabbing the road.  Accelerate slowly and gently, turn slowly and gently, and brake slowly and gently.  To do this, you have to anticipate turns and stops.  That means what?  Going slowly and leaving plenty of distance between you and other cars.  Rapid movements lead to skids and loss of control.  Drive as if there were eggs on the bottoms of your feet - step on the gas and the brake pedals so gently that you don't break the eggshell.

If you're nervous about driving in winter, consider spending some time practicing.  Go to an empty parking lot and try sending the car into a little skid on purpose.  Slam on the brakes, then practice turning into the skid and see what happens -- and practice until you're comfortable regaining control of the car.  Doing this in a large, empty parking lot (preferably without light poles) allows you the luxury of skidding without ending up flat on your back, looking up into the eyes of seven different EMTs.  The more comfortable you are maintaining control and regaining control, the better a winter driver you'll be.  When you have no time to practice, use the highway, but don’t forget to charge your phone so you can play games while you’re waiting for the tow truck.
Tire pressure, why would you check it?

Here's one service item that's often forgotten: tire pressure. Ask your mechanic to check it, or do it as soon as winter arrives. Why? Because tire pressure drops by about one pound per ten degrees of temperature. So, if it's -10 now, and the last time you checked your tire pressure was back during that sweltering heat wave in July, your tires will be dangerously low and will jeopardize your car's handling.
 Floor tips

DIY LAMINATE FLOOR CLEANER
 To make about 16 ounces or enough to fit in a spray bottle use this recipe:
5 ounces white vinegar
5 ounces rubbing alcohol
5 ounces water (use distilled or boiled and cooled water if you are wanting to store this longer than one week)
optional: 3-5 drops essential oils (lemon or orange and peppermint is a great combination for this recipe)
 
Hardwood floor cleaner
Removing Scuff Marks    Keep a spray bottle with a mixture of 50/50 vinegar, water and about 15 drops of essential oil of your choosing.
Sprinkle scuffs with baking soda then spray solution, let fizz for a few seconds.          Scrub marks until they are removed then dry with a soft towel.
 Scratch repair
Rub a crayon that is the same color as the flooring into the scratch, filling the space as full of
thewax as you can.
To seal in place, heat with a hair dryer to soften the wax, allow to cool for a few seconds, then buff
with a soft cloth.

Advice from a banker
 
According to a Canadian banker, Canadian farmers have been able to profit from the low currency and have less financial pain than their U.S. counterparts thanks to the falling loonie, which for Canadian farmers has eased the pressure felt by thousands of farmers south of the border.  Most Canadian farmers have pretty average returns. The exchange rate compared to the U.S. dollar has helped with that.
Future higher inflation could trigger higher interest rates. That could create problems if returns don’t cover investment payments.
During the years of the commodity bull market, returns were high. During the low-interest-rate era, debt costs were low. In this kind of situation it is easier to make money. 
The interest rate could very well climb, now that there’s a new president in the U.S.
An inflationary period would make debt more expensive to manage and a more normal commodity period would continue to leave margins thin.
Knowing your cost and looking for returns will be key in a time of lower returns.
Knowing your financial risk and having your bank support your management decisions can save you from having sleepless nights. 
Young farmers might not have faced a higher interest rate environment connected to a period of low returns, but they are generally well-educated and well-prepared. Whenever you foresee issues in the near future, it is always good to be proactive and talk to your bank in advance.
Fix your start issues with oil
At –30 most car owners plug the car in or park it inside.
Sometimes that option is not available and after parking your vehicle for a couple of hours in the freezing cold you could have an issue in getting the motor to turn over.
First, make sure your battery is in good shape and fully charged. ( This would normally be the case if you’ve driven it a bit.)
Maybe put a battery in with higher cold cranking amperage (CCA).  The higher the number, the more energy is available to start your car.
An easy way to help your motor in our cold climate is to change to a different motor oil as most cars will have just regular oil.  When it gets very cold, the oil will turn into molasses. The starting motor will have trouble turning the engine over with this thick stuff in the bottom.  Also, it won’t lubricate the motor when it is still cold, which is very bad for your motor.
Drain all the oil from your motor,  and fill it with only fully synthetic oil. (Don’t fall for fancy names other than full synthetic.)
 Change your filter, too.
The price is probably twice what you are used to, but you can change oil at longer intervals, so doing this really won’t cost more.
Your motor and, in the long run your wallet, will love it.
Why it is a bad idea to drive with an almost-empty tank
In the summer, you can take a chance and drive until you have only fumes in the tank. But in Winter, if you do get stuck or stranded, the engine will be your only source of heat. And you don't want to have to worry about conserving fuel and saving the planet right at that moment -- you just want to stay warm. You can idle the engine to stay warm, or as long as you have gas.  No immediate harm will be done to the engine by doing this.
By the way, if you have an old jalopy, we suggest you crack open the window a bit if you are going to be idling the engine. Old jalopies are more likely to suffer from exhaust leaks and rust holes. This may not be a problem while you're driving because the wind is removing the exhaust as you move forward; but if you're sitting for a long time while carbon monoxide is slowly leaking into the passenger compartment -- well, we could lose a client. And we've got only six left!
Finally, if you’ve had to pull over and stop in the midst of a humungous snowstorm, be sure to get out periodically and remove snow from behind the tailpipe to keep it unobstructed.   
When driving in the snow, do everything slowly.  Even with good coolant, snow tires, stability control, all-wheel drive, and the bag of Doritos in the trunk, keep in mind that driving in snow, sleet, and ice is very treacherous. And even if you maintain control of your car, not everyone else will.  So don't ever get lulled into a false sense of security.  Do everything slowly and gently.  Remember, in the snow, the tires are always just barely grabbing the road.  Accelerate slowly and gently, turn slowly and gently, and brake slowly and gently.  To do this, you have to anticipate turns and stops.  That means what?  Going slowly and leaving plenty of distance between you and other cars.  Rapid movements lead to skids and loss of control.  Drive as if there were eggs on the bottoms of your feet - step on the gas and the brake pedals so gently that you don't break the eggshell.

If you're nervous about driving in winter, consider spending some time practicing.  Go to an empty parking lot and try sending the car into a little skid on purpose.  Slam on the brakes, then practice turning into the skid and see what happens -- and practice until you're comfortable regaining control of the car.  Doing this in a large, empty parking lot (preferably without light poles) allows you the luxury of skidding without ending up flat on your back, looking up into the eyes of seven different EMTs.  The more comfortable you are maintaining control and regaining control, the better a winter driver you'll be.  When you have no time to practice, use the highway, but don’t forget to charge your phone so you can play games while you’re waiting for the tow truck.
Tire pressure, why would you check it?

Here's one service item that's often forgotten: tire pressure. Ask your mechanic to check it, or do it as soon as winter arrives. Why? Because tire pressure drops by about one pound per ten degrees of temperature. So, if it's -10 now, and the last time you checked your tire pressure was back during that sweltering heat wave in July, your tires will be dangerously low and will jeopardize your car's handling.
 Floor tips

DIY LAMINATE FLOOR CLEANER
 To make about 16 ounces or enough to fit in a spray bottle use this recipe:
5 ounces white vinegar
5 ounces rubbing alcohol
5 ounces water (use distilled or boiled and cooled water if you are wanting to store this longer than one week)
optional: 3-5 drops essential oils (lemon or orange and peppermint is a great combination for this recipe)
 
Hardwood floor cleaner
Removing Scuff Marks    Keep a spray bottle with a mixture of 50/50 vinegar, water and about 15 drops of essential oil of your choosing.
Sprinkle scuffs with baking soda then spray solution, let fizz for a few seconds.          Scrub marks until they are removed then dry with a soft towel.
 Scratch repair
Rub a crayon that is the same color as the flooring into the scratch, filling the space as full of
thewax as you can.
To seal in place, heat with a hair dryer to soften the wax, allow to cool for a few seconds, then buff
with a soft clNoth.

Newsletter April 2017


Your yard ready for spring?


Avoid heavy yard work in the spring until the soil dries out – foot traffic and hard raking can compact or disturb soggy soil and damage tender, new grass shoots. Once the soil is good and dry, give your lawn a good spring cleaning to encourage grass growth and discourage pests and diseases. Remove leaves and fallen debris, and gently rake to fluff up and separate the grass shoots.

In areas with heavy snowfall, leftover snow piles can smother the grass underneath and foster mold growth. As the weather warms, spread snow piles out with a shovel to encourage melting.

Avoid heavy yard work in the spring until the soil dries out – foot traffic and hard raking can compact or disturb soggy soil and damage tender, new grass shoots. Once the soil is good and dry, give your lawn a good spring cleaning to encourage grass growth and discourage pests and diseases. Remove leaves and fallen debris, and gently rake to fluff up and separate the grass shoots.

 

In areas with heavy snowfall, leftover snow piles can smother the grass underneath and foster mold growth. As the weather warms, spread snow piles out with a shovel to encourage melting.


Avoid heavy yard work in the spring until the soil dries out – foot traffic and hard raking can compact or disturb soggy soil and damage tender, new grass shoots. Once the soil is good and dry, give your lawn a good spring cleaning to encourage grass growth and discourage pests and diseases. Remove leaves and fallen debris, and gently rake to fluff up and separate the grass shoots.

In areas with heavy snowfall, leftover snow piles can smother the grass underneath and foster mold growth. As the weather warms, spread snow piles out with a shovel to encourage melting.
Avoid heavy yard work in the spring until the soil dries out – foot traffic and hard raking can compact or disturb soggy soil and damage tender, new grass shoots. Once the soil is good and dry, give your lawn a good spring cleaning to encourage grass growth and discourage pests and diseases. Remove leaves and fallen debris, and gently rake to fluff up and separate the grass shoots.

In areas with heavy snowfall, leftover snow piles can smother the grass underneath and foster mold growth. As the weather warms, spread snow piles out with a shovel to encourage melting.

If your lawn is already well-maintained, all you need to do is give it a light raking once the ground has dried out. However, problem areas should be addressed quickly, as they can stress your lawn and make it more susceptible to weeds and disease.

 

One common problem is uneven ground. Low spots cause poor drainage, while high spots are often scalped by the lawn mower. Since these situations create poor growing conditions for grass, grab a shovel, cut away areas that are raised, and fill in those that are depressed.

 

Another issue that plagues lawns, particularly in high-traffic areas, is soil compaction. This occurs when the soil becomes densely packed, making it difficult for grass to take root and allowing hardier weeds to take over. To test your yard for this problem, stick a garden fork into the ground. If the tines fail to penetrate 2 inches (5.08 centimeters), your soil is compacted and should be loosened with an aerator designed to remove small plugs of soil from your lawn.

 

Even if the soil is properly prepared, you can still have a problem with thatch, a tangle of above-ground roots common in dense, spreading grasses like Bermuda and Zoysia. In especially bad cases, a thick mat of thatch can make it difficult for water and nutrients to reach the soil. You can break up thatch with a specially designed rake or with a mechanized dethatcher for larger jobs.




 What burglar's know about your home


 If you want to keep yourself and your family safe here are a few ways of deterring burglars and would be break-ins.


1. Living in a poor section will definitely deter a burglar. Burglars aren't going to bother with homes that look like the people in them can't afford anything nice. So if you are thinking of buying a home for safety issues you can consider moving into a lower income neighborhood.


2. You can deter a burglar by looking like you can't afford to breathe the air around you. Burglars are looking for homes to break into that the owners are wealthy or at least have nice things. Keep your Jaguar in a locked garage without windows and drive an everyday clunker. Something from the 1990's would be good. Park it in front of your house for would be burglars to see.


3. Burglars like privacy. The best way to deter a burglar is to live on a clear cut acre with outside lights. Burglars like the dark and they like to be able to hide. Don't give a burglar the chance to hide or be in the dark. Purchase outside solar lights and place them around your house. Lights deter burglars.

Open areas deter burglars. Burglars need somewhere to hide. A yard free from debris and low to the ground bushes/shrubs or no bushes/shrubs will deter burglars quickly. If there is no way for a burglar to sneak in or out a burglar is less likely to choose your home.


4. Most homes are staked out before a burglary. Burglars like to rob more than one home if at all possible. Burglars drive around neighborhoods getting the feel for the streets and seeing who is home and who isn't. They may stake out homes once or for several months. If you are purchasing a home gated communities may be the safest if there is only one way in and out. No escape path will deter a burglar.

Another deterrence for a burglar is a community crime watch program or an area where people walk at night or is well lighted. Burglars like privacy so if there are people around burglars will be deterred.


5. Don't leave expensive items where anyone driving or walking by could see them. If you have expensive artwork or a 52 inch flat screen television don't leave the items near a window where burglars could see them if they are walking or driving buy. A burglar that knows what you have will know what he wants and it will make your house an opportune situation.


If your living room has big windows leave the curtains shut when you are not at home. Turn your furniture so no one can see what you have. If a burglar is unsure whether or not you have nice things he may not waste his time breaking into your home when he knows three doors down there is two computers, a big screen television, and a telescope. He would much rather have that stuff then not be able to get anything at your house.


6. Another good way to deter a burglar is to leave lights on even when you are not home. Burglars who think you are home or up won't want to be caught so they may go to the next house. If you have any way of automatically turning lights on and off you might want to use them. Leave the radio turned on, or the TV, so it looks that you are around.


7. Dogs and security systems deter burglars. If you have a dog it is best to keep it where the burglar can't see it unless it is a ferocious dog and then make sure you constantly walk it and have it on your front porch.

Security systems are also good to have. If you have a security system sticker in your window burglars won't take the time to find out if you really have the system or not.


8. The best way to deter a burglar is to not flaunt anything you do have. Burglars are more likely to hit homes they know have something than to hit a home that they are unsure of. Burglars don't want to waste their time so if you have nice stuff be careful of who sees it. Most times a burglar is someone you know.


Take a picture from all you valuables, serial numbers etc. It will make it much easier when you lose them.


FARMERS: When you want to identify crop in the bin, use micro confetti.

HOMEOWNERS: For valuables there is a invisible bar code as an option


In this economy crime will be going up. If you can take steps to deter a burglar then maybe you won't become a victim.


Tips for getting your house in shape this spring



Gutters: If you did not clean your gutters before winter begin, you should definitely do it now. Inspect your gutters for leaves and debris. Make sure nothing is clogging the gutters. If your gutters are clogged, water will overflow and damage your house’s siding. Other issues to look for are holes, sagging and loose or missing fasteners.

 

Roof: Grab a ladder and get on the roof! Harsh winds could have damaged your roof so look for loose or missing shingles. In addition, take a look at your chimney’s flashing. Assess if it’s peeling away or deteriorating.  Tip: If getting on the roof is not possible consider using binoculars or your phone/digital camera to inspect.

 

Siding: The rain and snow could have hit your house hard this winter. So you must inspect for loose siding. If loose siding goes unchecked, water can get inside causing your support beams to rot. Keeping your siding clean is also important, because of the inevitable Spring showers, you want to keep your siding as dry and clean as possible. Clean regularly your siding to avoid mold and mildew.

 

Deck: Clean your deck! In order to start using it during the warmer dry days of Spring, depending on what is around your home, clean off any leaves or wash off any dirt that accumulated throughout the winter season. Tip: To protect your deck from moisture and UV rays, consider staining it and sealing it.




Just my thought,



Life is to short to make a to do list
When there is no time to do it, 
don't sweat it, forget it.

 

The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,


dinner is on us.

@

















     Newsletter March, 2017

PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM FIRE


Here's how to avoid some big fire hazards:


•  Candles:

Never leave a candle burning near flammable items. Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room. Make sure candles fit securely into candle holders so they won’t tip over. Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.


• Smoking, If you smoke, consider smoking outside.Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes. Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.


• Electrical Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords. Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.

Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when no one is home. Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.


• Clothes Dryers  Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.  For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines. Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe. Use solid pipes, NOT FLEXIBLE for long runs. Flexible will slow down air, and collect lint inside.  Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.  Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.


• Children playing with fire ·Keep matches, lighters and other ignition sources out of the reach of children.  Teach children fire safety at an early age.  Make sure children have adequate supervision


• Cooking  Be alert when cooking and don’t leave food unattended. Don’t throw water on a grease fire, and put a lid on the pan to smother the fire. If an oven fire flares up, turn off the oven and leave the door shut until the fire extinguishes itself.  Keep clothing, pot holders, paper towels and other flammable items away from fires.

• Have working smoke detectors in the house and keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case. 




Time to dream.


 Do you ever have a problem you want to solve, but don’t know how?

 

Here is an idea. 

Think about it just before you go to bed. 


Your brain will work on it overnight and you'll wake up refreshed with a solution for your problem. 


Sometimes working hard is good, but sometimes working smart is better.


 Find a like minded person who can think like you. 

Sit down for a coffee, and brainstorm about ideas and share solutions to problems.


Sometimes it is better to walk away from a problem you have and visit someone. 

You may find out that a solution is just a friend away.



Buying a property.


The purchase of a property is more tan putting your signature on the dotted line.

Here are a few things that might help you get what you want. 


Make a list of properties you might like on the first impression. 

Go over this list and see if all meet the criteria you set out.


            Is it at the right location

            Does it fit the needs I have?

            Does it fit my financial situation?

            Does it have a long-term benefit, and if I want to move in a few years, will it retain value in the short run?


Then go out and visit as many properties as you can see in a day or so.


As soon as you have seen three or more you'll get an idea of what you like and where you'll have to adjust your ideas.


Sit down and reduce the number of properties you visited to the ones you like the most.


If one or two jump out at you, consider going further. If not, take the best one and start looking again with the newly-found criteria in mind.


You will find that the more you know what you don’t want, the easier it is to find what you do.



It’s always a good time to buy.


The current market in Alberta is slower than it has been before a long time.

 The best time to buy is:

  • When you have the financial means to get into the market.
  • When the property you want to buy is at a price level you can afford.
  • When a motivated seller has his property priced so that you as a buyer see it as a good deal.


Even in a booming market, there are always opportunities for those who are looking for them. 


Sometimes a low price is an indicator that no one has interest in a property.


Check it out, and see why, sometimes you might find a gem.



Ask a professional to guide you through the process and help you find what you want.


That same person can take off your rose-colored glasses should you get caught up in the hype of buying.






Just my thought,



What is progress?
Computers, cell phone's, texting

 sending messages to others and expect instant reply.

Take your time, shut of you phone, sit down for coffee and talk to someone.
You find out, you might  like it

 

The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,


dinner is on us.

@



 



 





News letter February 2017


 

Driving with an empty tank


In Summer, you can take a chance and let your gas deplete until you have only fumes in the tank.  

But in Winter, if you do get stuck or stranded, the engine will be your only source of heat.  

And you don't want to have to worry about conserving fuel and saving the planet right at that moment -- you want to stay warm.


 You can run the engine at idle speed to stay warm -- as long as you have gas. No harm will be done to the engine.

 

By the way, if you have an old jalopy, we suggest you crack open the window a bit if you are going to be idling the engine. Old jalopies are more likely to suffer from exhaust leaks and rust holes. 


This may not be a problem while you're driving because the wind is removing the exhaust as you move forward; but if you're sitting for a long time while carbon monoxide is slowly leaking into the passenger compartment, , we could lose a client. 


And we've got only six left!

 

Finally, if you are pulled over and stopped in the midst of a humungous snowstorm, be sure to get out periodically and remove snow from behind the tailpipe to keep it unobstructed.

 

 

 

Tire pressure: why would you check it?


Here's one service item that's often forgotten: tire pressure.

 Ask your mechanic to check it, or do it yourself as soon as Winter arrives.  


Why?  Because tire pressure drops by about one pound per ten degrees of temperature.  So, if it's -10 now, and the last time you checked your tire pressure was back during that sweltering heat wave in July, 

your tires will be dangerously low and will jeopardize your car's handling.

 



Tax tip, renting or farming


Farmers have a tax exemption when they sell their farms.  

The exemption can be lost in its entirety in certain circumstances. 

  The farm property must be used principally (at least 50%)  in a farming business. 


  If this is established to the satisfaction of the Canada Revenue Agency (the “CRA”), it must still be established that the taxpayer/farm owner (or the spouse or child of the taxpayer) is in fact carrying on the “business of farming” on the property in question.

 

An owner who elects to simply lease out his or her property and to collect rent risks losing the right to claim the capital gains exemption on its sale and/or to roll-over tax-free the family farm to a son or daughter.   

In this situation, the owner is, in effect, a landlord and has ceased to be in the business of farming.  


 Considering the value of the exemption, this is a huge loss, largely avoidable with even a little tax pre-planning.

An owner who wishes to safeguard his or her tax exemption must take active steps to ensure that it can be proven to the CRA that he/she is actively engaged on a regular and continuous basis in the management and/or day-to-day activities of the farming business. 


 The owner must contribute time, labour and attention to the business with a view to the successful and profitable operation of the business.


What if the farm property is “rented out”?  

 Safeguard your position by having a written contract with the “tenant” stipulating that the owner retains the individual to provide certain specific services to the farming operation (such as providing machinery and work and services involved in planting/harvesting of crops), reserving unto the owner the provision of the land as well as the obligation to pay the full cost of  property taxes, insurance, ditch/drain/tile maintenance, on-farm storage and farm building maintenance.    


The owner should contractually also maintain sole decision-making with respect to which crops will be grown, seed selection, rotation of crops, as well as planting/harvesting involved in the management of the farming business.   


Never refer to the person providing services as a “tenant”.   

Maintain control as the owner of the farming business.


With proper thought and planning, this extremely valuable exemption can be utilized and safeguarded for the benefit of the owner and/or succeeding generations.


Talk to your accountant and raise this issue to make sure he or she is fully aware of your specific situation.



 

Solar power, subsidies and grants

 

What kinds of PV Systems are eligible?


To be eligible for funding, a Photovoltaic system must be:

    * grid-tied, not off-grid,

    * approved under Alberta's Micro-Generation Legislation,

    * positioned to optimize sunshine and minimize shading,

    * purchased after April 1, 2013, including already-installed systems.

 

How are costs shared?

 

Grants are calculated based on an eligible system's nominal wattage, up to a maximum percentage of system cost. 

Third-party contractor-installed systems are funded at a higher rate than self-installed systems. 

A maximum of 100 kW of solar PV or capacity$50,000 per applicant is available through the program.

           

  • Without an Energy Assessment Solar PV Contractor-Installed   $0.45/W to maximum 20% of project costs 
  • With an Energy Assessment Solar PV Contractor-Installed   $0.60/W to maximum 25% of project costs
  • Self-Installed  $0.15/W  to maximum 10% of project costs
  • Self-Installed  With an Energy Assessment $0.30/W to maximum 20% of project costs

 

Grant Maximum 100 kW or $50,000.-


When pricing out a system, bring the price back to cost per watt installed. 

Then subtract the grant to get to the cost you will pay for the system.


If you are thinking of installing a solar system, you may find it helpful that we have gone this route. 


We designed and built a solar system with great advice from others who have helped us.

 We are very willing to share that information with you.

 

Our system is ground-based, with 9600 watt of panels (9.6KW). 

 It is grid-tight, so we always have power, even without a battery bank.  


An automatic-start generator is installed for back-up.


Compared to a fix rack system, a tilting system is more efficient.  

The panels can tilt toward the horizon, to optimize the amount of power they can produce. 


Cost of the set-up was $22,500 or $2.25 per watt installed.

 

Call us if you’d like to come out, or if you want more information.

 




Just a thought,


To get something you never had,

You have to do something you've never done



 

The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,


dinner is on us.

@








Newsletter January 2017

 

Advice from a banker

 

According to a Canadian banker, Canadian farmers have been able to profit from the low currency and have less financial pain than their U.S. counterparts thanks to the falling loonie, which for Canadian farmers has eased the pressure felt by thousands of farmers south of the border.  


Most Canadian farmers have pretty average returns. 


The exchange rate compared to the U.S. dollar has helped with that.

Future higher inflation could trigger higher interest rates.

 That could create problems if returns don’t cover investment payments.


During the years of the commodity bull market, returns were high. 

During the low-interest-rate era, debt costs were low. In this kind of situation it is easier to make money.


The interest rate could very well climb, now that there’s a new president in the U.S.

An inflationary period would make debt more expensive to manage and a more normal commodity period would continue to leave margins thin.


Knowing your cost and looking for returns will be key in a time of lower returns.

Knowing your financial risk and having your bank support your management decisions can save you from having sleepless nights.


Young farmers might not have faced a higher interest rate environment connected to a period of low returns, but they are generally well-educated and well-prepared.


 Whenever you foresee issues in the near future, 

it is always good to be proactive and talk to your bank in advance.




Fix your start issues with oil


At –30 most car owners plug the car in or park it inside.

Sometimes that option is not available and after parking your vehicle for a couple of hours in the freezing cold you could have an issue in getting the motor to turn over.


First, make sure your battery is in good shape and fully charged. ( This would normally be the case if you’ve driven it a bit.)


Maybe put a battery in with higher cold cranking amperage (CCA).  

The higher the number, the more energy is available to start your car.


An easy way to help your motor in our cold climate 

is to change to a different motor oil as most cars will have just regular oil. 


 When it gets very cold, the oil will turn into molasses. 

The starting motor will have trouble turning the engine over with this thick stuff in the bottom. 


 Also, it won’t lubricate the motor when it is still cold, which is very bad for your motor.

Drain all the oil from your motor, 

 and fill it with only fully synthetic oil. (Don’t fall for fancy names other than full synthetic.)


 Change your filter, too.


The price is probably twice what you are used to, but you can change oil at longer intervals, 

so doing this really won’t cost more.


Your motor and, in the long run your wallet, will love it.





Winter driving


When driving in the snow, do everything slowly.

  Even with good coolant, snow tires, stability control, all-wheel drive, and the bag of Doritos in the trunk, keep in mind that driving in snow, sleet, and ice is very treacherous. 


And even if you maintain control of your car, not everyone else will.  

So don't ever get lulled into a false sense of security. 

 Do everything slowly and gently.  

Remember, in the snow, the tires are always just barely grabbing the road. 


 Accelerate slowly and gently, turn slowly and gently, and brake slowly and gently.  

To do this, you have to anticipate turns and stops.  

That means what? 


 Going slowly and leaving plenty of distance between you and other cars.  

Rapid movements lead to skids and loss of control.  


Drive as if there were eggs on the bottoms of your feet - step on the gas and the brake pedals so gently that you don't break the eggshell.

 

If you're nervous about driving in winter, consider spending some time practicing. 

 Go to an empty parking lot and try sending the car into a little skid on purpose.  

Slam on the brakes, then practice turning into the skid and see what happens -- and practice until you're comfortable regaining control of the car. 


 Doing this in a large, empty parking lot (preferably without light poles) allows you the luxury of skidding without ending up flat on your back, looking up into the eyes of seven different EMTs.  


The more comfortable you are maintaining control and regaining control, the better a winter driver you'll be.  


When you have no time to practice, use the highway, but don’t forget to charge your phone so you can play games while 




 

DIY LAMINATE FLOOR CLEANER


 To make about 16 ounces or enough to fit in a spray bottle use this recipe:


5 ounces white vinegar

5 ounces rubbing alcohol

5 ounces water (use distilled or boiled and cooled water if you are wanting to store this longer than one week)

optional: 3-5 drops essential oils (lemon or orange and peppermint is a great combination for this recipe)

 

Hardwood floor cleaner for removing Scuff Marks   


 Keep a spray bottle 

with a mixture of 50/50 vinegar, water and about 

15 drops of essential oil of your choosing.


Sprinkle scuffs with baking soda then spray solution, let fizz for a few seconds.         

 Scrub marks until they are removed then dry with a soft towel.


 Scratch repair


Rub a crayon that is the same color as the flooring into the scratch, filling the space as full of

the wax as you can.

To seal in place, heat with a hair dryer to soften the wax, allow to cool for a few seconds,

 then buff with a soft cloth.





Just my thought,


 

When everyone is heads in panic for the exit doors

it might be a good idea to turn your head


Perhaps to see that behind you

the windows are wide open!


opportunities are often there for those who want to look for them



 

The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@










Newsletter December 2016

 

Soundproofing your house


Being in your home over the winter months makes you realize that wherever groups of people live together, noise can be an issue. Noise might be coming from the dishwasher, the TV in the room next door or your kid playing the saxophone.

To stop noise from traveling through hollow uninsulated walls, you can add a second wall on one side, and fill this with sound- proofing insulation.


This is not regular “pink” insulation, but a rock wool product.

If you want to keep it simpler, cover the walls in question with a sound-absorbing foam. For ceilings, you can add special tiles or, again, a foam.  Doors should be made of solid material, such as solid pine. They are fairly inexpensive

 (check with Windsor Plywood).


Don’t forget weather stripping around and beneath the doors.         

 Consider the room an outside area that needs to be sealed.

Make sure, when you apply foam to the interior, that it is fire-resistant.


Appliances are available with a range of prices. 

You will find that the higher-end products have extra insulation. 

 If you don’t want to replace you current appliances, you can check whether there is room for additional insulation, especially in the critical front portion where most of the racket escapes.

 When you want to insulate, use a  rock wool product.


If all fails, ask the kids to practice at a friend’s house. 

Then prepare to kiss off your friend? 



When the big bills disappear


Large-denomination currency, such as 100-dollar bills and larger, might going to disappear.

That's, when governments will get it their way.

 

This has been in the news in different countries.

 India, Europe, and even the US are thinking of eliminating the large currency bills.                      

  This measure is being promoted as a way to keep organized criminals from easily moving large amounts of money.


You can carry a million dollars’ worth of $20 bills in two bags weighing 50 kilograms (110 pounds). 

 The same amount of money in 500-Euro bills would weigh only two kilograms, and will fit in a small area


There are those who are more cynical about why central banks want to take out the big denomination notes.

 If the 500-Euro note disappears, about a third of all currency goes out of circulation, and gives more control to the banks.


There is even talk about making our society paperless.

 You would do all transactions electronically, by computer, phone and plastic.  

A cup of coffee, or transactions of only a few dollars, would be possible only by means of plastic.


A donation to a homeless person, a poppy for Remembrance Day, the kettle drive of the Salvation Army – all would need Interac, credit card, or wired options, if there were no cash.


All money can be controlled and followed, from the moment you get it until the time you spend it!


Another potential danger is not having access to your money because of a computer glitch.


Expect that when the switch over happens, there will be a short grace period, and no turning back.


Follow this important issue and voice your opinion, 

because the cashless age might be here before you know it.



Winter time; Snow time,


It is that time of year again.

Lots of snow, and when it melts, you could have a skating rink in front of your driveway or door the next morning!


When you use Ice Melt or salt, snow melts fast, but only once.

All this salty water will end up in your lawn or in the river. 

That’s a lot of salt to impose on our environment. 


 Also, salt eats away at your concrete, and leaves nasty marks.

This happens because salt and concrete react to each other.


If you use sand or very fine gravel instead, it will stay. 

So when the water freezes, there will be some grit on the ice.

Using sand or gravel is a great alternative, especially in the long run, and better for the environment.




Fresh Christmas trees: how to keep them fresh!


Fresh trees smell good, look good, don’t produce VOC’s and bring the real spirit.

If you have a Christmas tree this year, a real one, and want to keep the needles from falling, here are some great tips:


Buy a fresh one.

Cut about 3 inches off the tree, and put the tree in a stand with fresh hot/warm water.


Hot water will soak in better to hydrate your fresh tree.  Leave it in a cool place for a day, to soak up the water.

Add more water if needed, always hot/warm.


 After you bring it in, keep the water level up, as they “drink” about a liter a day.

If you let it run dry, you should make a fresh cut again. 


Don’t put the tree over a heat vent, and keep it out of the sun.

If you follow these simple steps, your tree will keep its needles for weeks to come.  


After the season has ended, turn it in to get it chipped into compost.


Just my thought,

 

It’s almost 2017, a new year with new ideas.

And… when you make new year’s resolutions, 

cut the list to one or two, write them down and tell all yours friends.


HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A GREAT 2017



 

The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@




Newsletter November 2016


What you should know about aluminum wiring


 

The main problem with aluminum wiring is in the connections.

When electricity passes through electrical cables and connectors, the wires

expand and heat up. One of the problems with aluminum wiring is that it

expands three times more than copper does. In other words, it has a much

higher rate of thermal expansion.

 

When the electricity is turned off,

the wires and connections cool down and contract. All the expanding and

contracting will eventually open up a gap, exposing the wire to air. The

resulting oxidization causes the connection point to get even hotter.

 

Over time, the connection can become loose, creating a fire hazard.

Aluminum wires tend to oxidize and are not compatible with devices

designed to be used with copper wiring.


If any wiring upgrades or alterations have been done by do-it-yourselfers or unqualified

electricians, you could have a problem.

If you think you have aluminum wire issues in your house, contact an electrician.



What is a backwater valve?

 

A backwater valve is designed to allow water or sewage to flow only one

way -- that is, out of your house.

Anytime there is a sudden heavy rainfall, the sewer lines can become overwhelmed, causing water or sewage to flow back towards your home. If there is a sewer system back-up, and you have a backwater valve in place, sewage will not be able to

flow back into your house.

 

Backwater valves are required by some municipalities and recommended by

others. They can be installed in the initial new construction, or can be

retrofitted into existing homes.

 

Installing during the initial construction is naturally much cheaper, and can be installed for between $150 to $250. When retrofitting, some concrete will need to be removed

to access the main sewer line. The cost to retrofit a backwater valve

can range from $1,000 to $2,000.

 

There are subsidies available in some municipalities to assist with the installation of backwater valves.

If you have a new or older home, that has any fixtures located lower than the street level, it is a recommended to have a backwater valve installed.

 



To qualify for a mortgage, what do you need?

 

To get a mortgage from a bank, you need to go through an approval process.

It is good to ask multiple banks at the same time for a quote. Now you have rates to compare, and if rejected at one bank, you have still others working on an option, at the same time.

 

You want the best deal, and the only way to find that out is to get a price from different lenders.

A different option is to use mortgage brokers.  They have access to a lot of banks and other lenders.

 

The advantage is that they’ve done the comparison already and know who has

the best deal.


Royal Bank is one of the banks that do not work with brokers. If you have this bank as

a “house bank “or want their quote, you have to approach it yourself.


 

Below a list of things you need to take with you 

when you go to “shop” for a mortgage:

 



* When you made an offer on a house: the purchase contract that is signed by the buyer (you) and the seller.

(It should have a condition for financing.)

* A listing sheet, with all the information about the property.


* If you’ve sold your home, a copy of the sales contract.


* A copy of your savings account for the last 3 months, RRSP, and other

money you have or will get as a gift.


* A copy of your last pay slip.

* The last 3 years’ worth of T4 slips.

* A letter of employment. Your employer will give you one,

stating that you have a job.

* Your T1 general statement.


* Proof of other income, disability income, child support , pension,

rental income, etc.

 

* If you own a home: a current mortgage statement, and notice of assessment.

* Your property tax bill.

* Heating cost, condo fees and other fixed costs you might have for the home.

 


* A void cheque if you apply other than at your “house” bank.

 

 

 

This list might seem long, but it will speed up the process as you don’t have to go back to get this information.

 

For those who are young, or are new in Canada: we recommend getting a credit card.


BE SMART:

When you get a new credit card, make an arrangement with Visa/ MasterCard , that at the end of every month, they can take the money you owe them automatically out of your checking account.

If you do this for an amount of time, it will show you pay your bills on time. 

This will bring your credit score up.  


The higher your score, the easier you can get a mortgage and the better the rate.

 

ADVICE:

If you get a credit card…do not leave a balance at the end of the month!!!

When you get a credit card, you should have savings or a regular income

that gives you disposable income.

 


Apple Cider Vinegar



Vinegar is made in a two-step process, related to how alcohol is made.

 

ferments the sugars and turns them into alcohol.

 

further ferment the alcohol and turn it into acetic acid, the main active compound in vinegar.

 

In French, the word “vinegar” actually means “sour wine.”

Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar also contains “mother” strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance.

 

acid suppresses your appetite, increases your metabolism, and reduces

water retention.

Scientists also theorize that apple cider vinegar interferes with the body's digestion of starch, which means fewer calories enter the bloodstream.

 

stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums. Brush as

usual after you gargle. You can also brush your teeth with baking soda

once a week to help remove stains and whiten your teeth; use it just as

you would toothpaste. You can also use salt as an alternative to

toothpaste. If your gums start to feel raw, switch to brushing with salt

every other day.

 

Some people also like to dilute it in water and drink it as a beverage.

Common dosages range from 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 mL) to 1-2 tablespoons

(15-30 mL) per day.

 

        Just my thought:

 

       

 You can never do to much good.

Getting a good feeling by helping someone, is doubly good!




The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@





 




News letter October 2016

 


Treat your lawn before winter


Winter will come, even if you don’t enjoy thinking about it.

To get your lawn ready for winter, here are some tips:


 Rake all the leaves and moss off, and put them over your flower beds as a blanket against the frost.


Aerate it. This means either rolling it with a pin-surfaced roller or doing it the old fashioned way, using a pitchfork to poke lots of holes in the ground, so air can get down to the roots.


Fertilizing in the fall will bring up the sugar content in the grass, and hence reduce frost damage.  Use a special Autumn fertilizer that fosters root development, not heavy top growth.


Cut the grass somewhat longer, to prevent damage by frost.

You can also mulch the clippings with your mower.


Make sure the ground is moist before winter hits, to protect it from freezer burn.


With that all done, you should get early green grass in Spring.

 

 

 Eavestrough cleaning


If you want to protect yourself from getting flooded in spring, make sure you clean your eavestroughs when all the leaves are off the trees, but before frost hits.


Don’t forget the downspouts, as they might have become plugged.


Leave the downspouts on the ground to help get water away from the house when the snow starts melting.


 If ladders make you nervous, 

use an extended wand on your garden hose, or ask a helpful neighbor.

 


Fall housing market.



In fall and winter, the housing market normally slows down.


This year, due to the bigger inventory of homes, there might be some good deals to be had, as sellers like to sell their homes before the winter and heating season begins.


 Although it is speculation, there could be very well be truth in the notion that since the oil economy that has slowed down, the secondary effect on other industries will affect the short-term pricing of homes. 


Compared to 1 year ago, sales trough MLS have gone down by 13.8%

Compare to 1year ago, prices trough MLS sales have gone down 6.4 % 


These are homes that sold in the Central Alberta region. Other regions might have seen different numbers.

Starter homes will see percentage wise the lowest change. 


If this impact is prolonged, it can affect the housing market for some time to come, and might change as lesser sales effect the price in a negative way.


If you are in the market to buy;


Discuss this situation before you make a purchase decision. Timing the market is impossible. Making an informed decision is.



Planning to sell;


 Consider whether you might want to sell in the near future or hold onto your house for an extended period.

 

Future resale value will not be as certain as it was five years ago.


When you want to sell your home, now or in the future, 

it is wise to sit down with someone to discuss your options and possibilities.

 Beware of information overload. 

 Information is great; good advice is better. 


For thoughtful advice, I’m only a phone call away.

 

 

Sand better than salt


Since Winter is approaching, snow and ice soon will be challenges you’ll have to deal with.


Instead of putting salt on your driveway and sidewalk,

 you can consider a second option: as soon as possible,

buy some fine gravel or sand.


A covered pile of this material outdoors, or pails of it in your garage, will provide a dry supply ready to use this winter.


Advantages:


Concrete sidewalks and driveways will not deteriorate as they would with salt.

The sand/gravel will stay in place, even when the snow melts a bit, 

so you will benefit longer from the anti-slip substance on your sidewalks and driveway.


Your grass and garden will love it, as the runoff will not damage them. 

Your wallet will love it too, as it will save you money.


 

        Just my thought:

 

       

 Plan ahead for developments to come your way.

The road ahead might have unanticipated twists and turns.


But don’t forget to look around, 

enjoy the improvements for which you’ve worked so hard,

 and appreciate the beauty of the Autumn landscape.



The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@








Newsletter September 2016

 Newsletter September 2016


        Remodel your house by changing your lights:

        Light makes all the difference.  Here are some tips on what you can do.

        Light fixtures:
        A light fixture can be open at either the top or at the bottom, or completely closed.
        The ones that are open at the bottom work better on farms and acreages because when you have flies, they won't collect on the bottom, but just fall out.
        Glass can be clear or milk-coloured. The clear glass will show the bulb, but opaque glass will show only the light.
        If you hang a fixture at eye level, it might shine in your eyes, but if you suspend it a little higher, it will light up the room.
        Sfere (Jac, do you mean spherical lights or lights that create atmosphere?) lights are better if you can dim them. Often you only have to replace a regular switch with a dimmer switch ($20 difference).
        If you are leaving the lights on, change the switch for a motion detector, also called an occupation switch.  It will turn the lights on when you come into a room, and turn them off when you leave.

        Bulbs:
        In one room, try to use all the same color of light. Whenever you use multiple bulbs in a fixture, always use the same color of "white" bulbs.

        Although some bulbs are more expensive to buy, they generally conserve energy and last longer. If you have hard-to-reach places, change to LED bulbs, since they last an average of
        10000 hours or longer, a lifetime far superior to that of a regular bulb that lasts an average of only 2000 hours.


         Although incandescent (regular) bulbs are not efficient, they give off lots of heat. They are useful when you need both light and heat.  High pressure sodium/natrium (Jac, what is natrium?) lights: these              are outdoor lights that light up the yard or work place. They take time to warm up, so they cannot be turned on and off frequently. They give more light when warmed up,so they are NOT efficient.
         CFL (fluorescent) bulbs (the spiral ones) are energy efficient. Colors are "Daylight", (a cool blue color), or "Warm White".  The latter is a better color if you want to make your house "feel" warm.
         CFL (fluorescent) tubes are used for work areas or to illuminate larger spaces. If you want to make the atmosphere more intimate in the room, use these tubes for providing indirect light by hiding them          behind a fixture or plank.
         Halogen bulbs can provide sparkly, bright, white, warm-colored light. These bulbs are not efficient.
         LED spotlights: These bulbs are very efficient. "Bright White" gives the same kind of light as a halogen bulb. "Daylight White" is a cooler color.
         LED regular bulbs: they can replace your regular light bulbs. They have opaque glass and are dimmable
         LED tubes: These can replace your fluorescent tubes. They are very efficient and come in different white colors.
         Edison bulbs: a new kind of bulb that resembles a regular bulb.  They are not efficient, but give off beautiful, warm, yellow-white light.
         Edison LED bulbs: these provide the same yellow warm light as above, but are very efficient as well.

        Colour of white lights:
        2000 Kelvin warm yellow light (romantic light)
        3000 Kelvin incandescent warm white light (warms the room)
        5000 Kelvin cool daylight (good light for work or reading)
        10000 very cool north (Jac, what is a north light?) white light (great for reading but "feels cold" to your eyes)

        100-watt light bulbs produce 1600 lumens.
        When you compare bulbs, check for how they compare to an incandescent or regular bulb for watts.  This will tell you how much light you will get.
        Kelvin will give you the color of the light, while the type of bulb will give you its life span.

        What will be the best one for you depends on the application and how much you want to spend.  LED bulbs currently give you the most bang for your buck, but cost the most as well.

        UNDERSTANDING FERTILIZER NUMBERS

        The label on the fertilizer bag is required to show the percentage by weight of nitrogen, available phosphate (commonly referred to as phosphorus) and sulfate of potash (commonly referred to as                 potassium):

        The first number is nitrogen, which promotes overall grass shoot growth.
        The second number is available phosphate (phosphorous), which promotes strong root growth.
        The third number is soluble potash (potassium), which helps grass withstand stress, such as drought or disease.
        For example, a 24-2-8 fertilizer has 24% nitrogen, 2% available phosphate (phosphorus) and 8% soluble potash (potassium). Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are also sometimes referred to as             N-P-K.

        To understand how much of each nutrient is being applied to your lawn, you must multiply the weight of the fertilizer bag by the percentage of each nutrient. For example, a 30 lb. bag of fertilizer rated         24-2-8 has:

        Nitrogen: 24% x 30 lbs = 7.2 lbs. nitrogen
        Phosphorous: 2% x 30 lbs = 0.6 lbs. available phosphate
        Potassium: 8% x 30 lbs = 2.4 lbs. soluble potash

        HOW MANY POUNDS OF NITROGEN ARE APPLIED?

        Take the total number of pounds of nitrogen in the bag and divide by the number of thousands of square feet the bag covers. Since we have already calculated 7.2 lbs. of nitrogen above, we need the             number of thousands of square feet. For the 5,000 sq. ft. yard bag used above, divide by 5 to get the per 1,000 sq. ft. rating. So, applying 7.2 lbs. of nitrogen per 5,000 sq. ft. results in 7.2/5, or 1.4 l            lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft.

        When you put fertilizer down, make sure you are not adding too much. Too much will "burn" your grass as it will take water away from the grass.
        If you are not sure, a slow release fertilizer is much safer to use, as not all nutrients are available at one time, but will be released slowly.
        It is recommended that no nitrogen be applied to cool season grasses in the summer because lawns go dormant due to heat. This is why you can mow less frequently in the summer.
          If you have a grub or insect problem, a pesticide without fertilizer should be applied after you discover the condition.


        How to renovate with paint
        Cleaning is the most important step in the process. Years of greasy fingerprints and cooking splatters can leave a layer of grime that inhibits paint adhesion. You can remove most of the gunk with TSP
        substitute (a cleaner from DAP or Savogran) or a degreaser—the former if the cabinets are not too dirty, or the stronger degreaser if the grime is thick—but it may take a couple of passes. After that,             you'll need to rough up the surface with some 100-grit sandpaper to help the paint stick.

        The primer you use can also make or break the finish. To get a glassy surface, you need to use a "high build" sandable primer, such as Eurolux from Fine Paints of Europe, to best fill the wood and even         the surface.
        The sandable part of that equation is imperative, so that you can smooth the surface before painting on the finish coat. You may even need two coats of primer to completely fill the grain.

        To keep the doors and drawers flat as the paint levels, make yourself a pronged drying rack by drilling screws up through several pieces of scrap wood. That way you can flip your work as soon as it's         dry to the touch. Also, screw cup hooks into the edges of doors and drawers so you can grab hold and move them without fingerprinting the paint; then hang hem up for out-of-the-way drying.

        The formula of finish paint you use contributes to the smooth look. Traditionally, painting cabinets for a high-traffic area such as a kitchen required using oil-based paints. However, working with oils can         be messy, and the fumes are toxic. Fortunately, while latex paints will never quite self-level and flow as well as oils, they're getting close. Latex formulas specified for cabinetry—labeled "100%                     acrylic"—will create an even, durable finish. And, in many cases, they're also low in volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which make that noxious paint smell.

        As long as you're sprucing things up, consider changing the hardware or putting on a faux finish for that added wow factor.


        How to make your quad safe:

        Recent research has proven that mounting a crush-protection device (CPD) manufactured and tested by an engineer onto a quad can reduce deaths due to rollovers by 30 per cent.“  Quads are great             machines for use on the farm because of where they can go and the tasks they can do,” says Don Voaklander, director, Injury Prevention Centre, University of Alberta. “Quads have a high centre of
        gravity, a narrow wheel base and low pressure tires that allow them to travel into places and over rough ground that few other vehicles can handle. However, these features also make them unstable and         prone to rolling over.”

        Rollovers are the leading cause of death for quad riders. An average of 15 Albertans die each year while riding quads. Of these deaths, seven die because the quad rolls and crushes or suffocates them.         The average quad weights between 350 and 400 lbs., some reaching as high as 600 lbs.  Body armour and other protective gear offer little protection in the case of a rollover. Even a helmet doesn’t             guarantee you won’t suffer a severe head injury if the quad rolls,” says Voaklander.

        A crush-protection device is a hair-pin or circular device mounted on the quad behind the rider. It extends to around the height of the rider’s head. Studies show that riding is not affected by the                     quadbar.  It does not interfere with handling or comfort; in fact, riders report forgetting that it is there.

        Should the quad lose balance and begin to roll, the CPD can stop its motion. This results in the quad being tipped on its side and the rider is safe from being crushed. If the quad has too much                         momentum and keeps rolling, the CPD creates a space under the quad for the rider. This reduces the chances that the rider will be crushed or trapped under the quad. CPDs are aftermarket products t       that range in price from about $660 to $1360. They can be mounted onto most quads and are sold with instructions so the quad owners can mount the devices themselves.

        Just my thought:

        Ever thought, why is there no app for happiness?
        It’s because only those who really care can make you happy.
 Newsletter September 2016


        Remodel your house by changing your lights:

        Light makes all the difference.  Here are some tips on what you can do.

        Light fixtures:
        A light fixture can be open at either the top or at the bottom, or completely closed.
        The ones that are open at the bottom work better on farms and acreages because when you have flies, they won't collect on the bottom, but just fall out.
        Glass can be clear or milk-coloured. The clear glass will show the bulb, but opaque glass will show only the light.
        If you hang a fixture at eye level, it might shine in your eyes, but if you suspend it a little higher, it will light up the room.
        Sfere (Jac, do you mean spherical lights or lights that create atmosphere?) lights are better if you can dim them. Often you only have to replace a regular switch with a dimmer switch ($20 difference).
        If you are leaving the lights on, change the switch for a motion detector, also called an occupation switch.  It will turn the lights on when you come into a room, and turn them off when you leave.

        Bulbs:
        In one room, try to use all the same color of light. Whenever you use multiple bulbs in a fixture, always use the same color of "white" bulbs.

        Although some bulbs are more expensive to buy, they generally conserve energy and last longer. If you have hard-to-reach places, change to LED bulbs, since they last an average of
        10000 hours or longer, a lifetime far superior to that of a regular bulb that lasts an average of only 2000 hours.


         Although incandescent (regular) bulbs are not efficient, they give off lots of heat. They are useful when you need both light and heat.  High pressure sodium/natrium (Jac, what is natrium?) lights: these              are outdoor lights that light up the yard or work place. They take time to warm up, so they cannot be turned on and off frequently. They give more light when warmed up,so they are NOT efficient.
         CFL (fluorescent) bulbs (the spiral ones) are energy efficient. Colors are "Daylight", (a cool blue color), or "Warm White".  The latter is a better color if you want to make your house "feel" warm.
         CFL (fluorescent) tubes are used for work areas or to illuminate larger spaces. If you want to make the atmosphere more intimate in the room, use these tubes for providing indirect light by hiding them          behind a fixture or plank.
         Halogen bulbs can provide sparkly, bright, white, warm-colored light. These bulbs are not efficient.
         LED spotlights: These bulbs are very efficient. "Bright White" gives the same kind of light as a halogen bulb. "Daylight White" is a cooler color.
         LED regular bulbs: they can replace your regular light bulbs. They have opaque glass and are dimmable
         LED tubes: These can replace your fluorescent tubes. They are very efficient and come in different white colors.
         Edison bulbs: a new kind of bulb that resembles a regular bulb.  They are not efficient, but give off beautiful, warm, yellow-white light.
         Edison LED bulbs: these provide the same yellow warm light as above, but are very efficient as well.

        Colour of white lights:
        2000 Kelvin warm yellow light (romantic light)
        3000 Kelvin incandescent warm white light (warms the room)
        5000 Kelvin cool daylight (good light for work or reading)
        10000 very cool north (Jac, what is a north light?) white light (great for reading but "feels cold" to your eyes)

        100-watt light bulbs produce 1600 lumens.
        When you compare bulbs, check for how they compare to an incandescent or regular bulb for watts.  This will tell you how much light you will get.
        Kelvin will give you the color of the light, while the type of bulb will give you its life span.

        What will be the best one for you depends on the application and how much you want to spend.  LED bulbs currently give you the most bang for your buck, but cost the most as well.

        UNDERSTANDING FERTILIZER NUMBERS

        The label on the fertilizer bag is required to show the percentage by weight of nitrogen, available phosphate (commonly referred to as phosphorus) and sulfate of potash (commonly referred to as                 potassium):

        The first number is nitrogen, which promotes overall grass shoot growth.
        The second number is available phosphate (phosphorous), which promotes strong root growth.
        The third number is soluble potash (potassium), which helps grass withstand stress, such as drought or disease.
        For example, a 24-2-8 fertilizer has 24% nitrogen, 2% available phosphate (phosphorus) and 8% soluble potash (potassium). Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are also sometimes referred to as             N-P-K.

        To understand how much of each nutrient is being applied to your lawn, you must multiply the weight of the fertilizer bag by the percentage of each nutrient. For example, a 30 lb. bag of fertilizer rated         24-2-8 has:

        Nitrogen: 24% x 30 lbs = 7.2 lbs. nitrogen
        Phosphorous: 2% x 30 lbs = 0.6 lbs. available phosphate
        Potassium: 8% x 30 lbs = 2.4 lbs. soluble potash

        HOW MANY POUNDS OF NITROGEN ARE APPLIED?

        Take the total number of pounds of nitrogen in the bag and divide by the number of thousands of square feet the bag covers. Since we have already calculated 7.2 lbs. of nitrogen above, we need the             number of thousands of square feet. For the 5,000 sq. ft. yard bag used above, divide by 5 to get the per 1,000 sq. ft. rating. So, applying 7.2 lbs. of nitrogen per 5,000 sq. ft. results in 7.2/5, or 1.4 l            lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft.

        When you put fertilizer down, make sure you are not adding too much. Too much will "burn" your grass as it will take water away from the grass.
        If you are not sure, a slow release fertilizer is much safer to use, as not all nutrients are available at one time, but will be released slowly.
        It is recommended that no nitrogen be applied to cool season grasses in the summer because lawns go dormant due to heat. This is why you can mow less frequently in the summer.
          If you have a grub or insect problem, a pesticide without fertilizer should be applied after you discover the condition.


        How to renovate with paint
        Cleaning is the most important step in the process. Years of greasy fingerprints and cooking splatters can leave a layer of grime that inhibits paint adhesion. You can remove most of the gunk with TSP
        substitute (a cleaner from DAP or Savogran) or a degreaser—the former if the cabinets are not too dirty, or the stronger degreaser if the grime is thick—but it may take a couple of passes. After that,             you'll need to rough up the surface with some 100-grit sandpaper to help the paint stick.

        The primer you use can also make or break the finish. To get a glassy surface, you need to use a "high build" sandable primer, such as Eurolux from Fine Paints of Europe, to best fill the wood and even         the surface.
        The sandable part of that equation is imperative, so that you can smooth the surface before painting on the finish coat. You may even need two coats of primer to completely fill the grain.

        To keep the doors and drawers flat as the paint levels, make yourself a pronged drying rack by drilling screws up through several pieces of scrap wood. That way you can flip your work as soon as it's         dry to the touch. Also, screw cup hooks into the edges of doors and drawers so you can grab hold and move them without fingerprinting the paint; then hang hem up for out-of-the-way drying.

        The formula of finish paint you use contributes to the smooth look. Traditionally, painting cabinets for a high-traffic area such as a kitchen required using oil-based paints. However, working with oils can         be messy, and the fumes are toxic. Fortunately, while latex paints will never quite self-level and flow as well as oils, they're getting close. Latex formulas specified for cabinetry—labeled "100%                     acrylic"—will create an even, durable finish. And, in many cases, they're also low in volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which make that noxious paint smell.

        As long as you're sprucing things up, consider changing the hardware or putting on a faux finish for that added wow factor.


        How to make your quad safe:

        Recent research has proven that mounting a crush-protection device (CPD) manufactured and tested by an engineer onto a quad can reduce deaths due to rollovers by 30 per cent.“  Quads are great             machines for use on the farm because of where they can go and the tasks they can do,” says Don Voaklander, director, Injury Prevention Centre, University of Alberta. “Quads have a high centre of
        gravity, a narrow wheel base and low pressure tires that allow them to travel into places and over rough ground that few other vehicles can handle. However, these features also make them unstable and         prone to rolling over.”

        Rollovers are the leading cause of death for quad riders. An average of 15 Albertans die each year while riding quads. Of these deaths, seven die because the quad rolls and crushes or suffocates them.         The average quad weights between 350 and 400 lbs., some reaching as high as 600 lbs.  Body armour and other protective gear offer little protection in the case of a rollover. Even a helmet doesn’t             guarantee you won’t suffer a severe head injury if the quad rolls,” says Voaklander.

        A crush-protection device is a hair-pin or circular device mounted on the quad behind the rider. It extends to around the height of the rider’s head. Studies show that riding is not affected by the                     quadbar.  It does not interfere with handling or comfort; in fact, riders report forgetting that it is there.

        Should the quad lose balance and begin to roll, the CPD can stop its motion. This results in the quad being tipped on its side and the rider is safe from being crushed. If the quad has too much                         momentum and keeps rolling, the CPD creates a space under the quad for the rider. This reduces the chances that the rider will be crushed or trapped under the quad. CPDs are aftermarket products t       that range in price from about $660 to $1360. They can be mounted onto most quads and are sold with instructions so the quad owners can mount the devices themselves.

        Just my thought:

        Ever thought, why is there no app for happiness?
        It’s because only those who really care can make you happy.nNew Newsletter September 2016

 

 

        Remodel your house by changing your lights:

 

        Light makes all the difference.  Here are some tips on what you can do.


Light fixtures:

        A light fixture can be open at either the top or at the bottom, or completely closed.

        The ones that are open at the bottom work better on farms and acreages because when you have flies, they won't collect on the bottom, but just fall out.


        Glass can be clear or milk-coloured. 

The clear glass will show the bulb, but opaque glass will show only the light.

        If you hang a fixture at eye level, it might shine in your eyes, but if you suspend it a little higher, it will light up the room.

    

    Sphere lights are better if you can dim them. 

Often you only have to replace a regular switch with a dimmer switch ($20 difference).

        If you are leaving the lights on, change the switch for a motion detector, also called an occupation switch.  It will turn the lights on when you come into a room, and turn them off when you leave.

 

Bulbs:

        In one room, try to use all the same color of light. Whenever you use multiple bulbs in a fixture, always use the same color of "white" bulbs.

 

       ** Although some bulbs are more expensive to buy, they generally conserve energy and last longer. 

If you have hard-to-reach places, change to LED bulbs, since they last an average of

        10000 hours or longer, a lifetime far superior to that of a regular bulb that lasts an average of only 2000 hours.

 

 

        ** Incandescent (regular) bulbs are not efficient, they give off lots of heat. They are useful when you need both light and heat. 

** High pressure sodium lights: these are outdoor lights that light up the yard or work place. They take time to warm up, so they cannot be turned on and off frequently.


        ** CFL (fluorescent) bulbs (the spiral ones) are energy efficient. Colors are "Daylight", (a cool blue color), or "Warm White".  The latter is a better color if you want to make your house "feel" warm.


       **  CFL (fluorescent) tubes are used for work areas or to illuminate larger spaces. If you want to make the atmosphere more intimate in the room, use these tubes for providing indirect light by hiding them behind a fixture or plank.


       **  Halogen bulbs can provide beautiful sparkly, bright, white, warm-colored light. These bulbs are not efficient.


        ** LED spotlights: These bulbs are very efficient.

 "Bright White" gives the same kind of light as a halogen bulb. "Daylight White" is a cooler color.


       **  LED regular bulbs: they can replace your regular light bulbs. They have opaque glass and are dimmable


        ** LED tubes: These can replace your fluorescent tubes. They are very efficient and come in different white colors.


        ** Edison bulbs: a new kind of bulb that resembles a regular bulb.  They are not efficient, but give off beautiful, warm, yellow-white light.


         **Edison LED bulbs: these provide the same yellow warm light as above, but are very efficient as well.

 

        Color of white lights:


        2000 Kelvin warm yellow light (romantic light)

        3000 Kelvin incandescent warm white light (warms the room)

        5000 Kelvin cool daylight (good light for work or reading)

        10000 very cool white light (great for reading but "feels ice cold" to your eyes)

 

        100-watt light bulbs produce 1600 lumens.

        When you compare bulbs, check for how they compare to an incandescent or regular bulb for watts.  This will tell you how much light you will get.

        Kelvin will give you the color of the light, while the type of bulb will give you its life span.

 

        What will be the best one for you depends on the application and how much you want to spend.  LED bulbs currently give you the most bang for your buck, but initial cost are the highest as well.

 



        UNDERSTANDING FERTILIZER NUMBERS

 

        The label on the fertilizer bag is required to show the percentage by weight of nitrogen, available phosphate (commonly referred to as phosphorus) and sulfate of potash (commonly referred to as potassium):

 

        The first number is nitrogen, which promotes overall grass shoot growth.


        The second number is available phosphate (phosphorous), which promotes strong root growth.


        The third number is soluble potash (potassium), which helps grass withstand stress, such as drought or disease.


        For example, a 24-2-8 fertilizer has 24% nitrogen, 2% available phosphate (phosphorus) and 8% soluble potash (potassium). Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are also sometimes referred to as             N-P-K.

 

        To understand how much of each nutrient is being applied to your lawn, you must multiply the weight of the fertilizer bag by the percentage of each nutrient. For example, a 30 lb. bag of fertilizer rated         24-2-8 has:

 

        Nitrogen: 24% x 30 lbs = 7.2 lbs. nitrogen

        Phosphorous: 2% x 30 lbs = 0.6 lbs. available phosphate

        Potassium: 8% x 30 lbs = 2.4 lbs. soluble potash

 

        HOW MANY POUNDS OF NITROGEN ARE APPLIED?

 

        Take the total number of pounds of nitrogen in the bag and divide by the number of thousands of square feet the bag covers. Since we have already calculated 7.2 lbs. of nitrogen above. For the 5,000 sq. ft. yard bag used above, divide by 5 to get the per 1,000 sq. ft. rating. So, applying 7.2 lbs. of nitrogen per 5,000 sq. ft. results in 7.2/5, or 1.4 lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft.

 

        When you put fertilizer down, make sure you are not adding too much. Too much will "burn" your grass as it will take water away from the grass.


        If you are not sure, a slow release fertilizer is much safer to use, as not all nutrients are available at one time, but will be released slowly.


        It is recommended that no nitrogen be applied to cool season grasses in the summer because lawns go dormant due to heat. This is why you can mow less frequently in the summer.


          If you have a grub or insect problem, a pesticide without fertilizer should be applied after you discover the condition.

 

 

        How to renovate your kitchen with paint


        Cleaning is the most important step in the process. Years of greasy fingerprints and cooking splatters can leave a layer of grime that inhibits paint adhesion. You can remove most of the gunk with TSP or a degreaser—the former if the cabinets are not too dirty, or the stronger degreaser if the grime is thick—but it may take a couple of passes. 

After that, you'll need to rough up the surface with some 100-grit sandpaper to help the paint stick.

 

        The primer you use can also make or break the finish. To get a glassy surface, you need to use a "high build" sand-able primer, to best fill the wood and even the surface.

        The sand-able part of that equation is imperative, so that you can smooth the surface before painting on the finish coat. You may even need two coats of primer to completely fill the grain.

 

        To keep the doors and drawers flat as the paint levels, make yourself a drying rack by drilling screws up through several pieces of scrap wood. That way you can flip your work as soon as it's dry to the touch. Also, screw hooks into the edges of doors and drawers so you can grab hold and move them without fingerprinting the paint; then hang hem up for out-of-the-way for drying.

 

        The formula of finish paint you use contributes to the smooth look. Traditionally, painting cabinets for a high-traffic area such as a kitchen required using oil-based paints. However, working with oils can be messy, and the fumes are toxic.


 Fortunately, while latex paints will never quite self-level and flow as well as oils, they're getting close. Latex formulas specified for cabinetry—labeled "100% acrylic"—will create an even, durable finish. And, in many cases, they're also low in volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which make that noxious paint smell.

 

        When you're sprucing things up, consider changing the hardware or putting on a faux finish for that added wow factor.

 

 

        How to make your quad safe:

 

        Recent research has proven that mounting a crush-protection device (CPD) manufactured and tested by an engineer onto a quad can reduce deaths due to rollovers by 30 per cent.“

  Quads are great machines for use on the farm because of where they can go and the tasks they can do, and have a high center of gravity, a narrow wheel base and low pressure tires that allow them to travel into places and over rough ground that few other vehicles can handle.

 However, these features also make them unstable and prone to rolling over.

 

        Rollovers are the leading cause of death for quad riders. 

An average of 15 Albertans die each year while riding quads. Of these deaths, seven die because the quad rolls and crushes or suffocates them.        

 The average quad weights between 350 and 400 lbs., some reaching as high as 600 lbs. 

 

Body armour and other protective gear offer little protection in the case of a rollover. Even a helmet doesn’t guarantee you won’t suffer a severe head injury if the quad rolls.

 

        A crush-protection device is a hair-pin or circular device mounted on the quad behind the rider.

 It extends to around the height of the rider’s head. 

Studies show that riding is not affected by the quadbar. 

It does not interfere with handling or comfort; in fact, riders report forgetting that it is there.

 

        Should the quad lose balance and begin to roll, the CPD can stop its motion. 

This results in the quad being tipped on its side and the rider is safe from being crushed. 

If the quad has too much momentum and keeps rolling, the CPD creates a space under the quad for the rider. 

This reduces the chances that the rider will be crushed or trapped under the quad. 


CPDs are aftermarket products that range in price from about $660 to $1360. They can be mounted onto most quads and are sold with instructions so the quad owners can mount the devices themselves.

 

        Just my thought:

 

        Ever thought, why is there no app for happiness?

        It’s because only those who really care can make you happy.


The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@








Newsletter August 2016

Ants


Ants are Mother Nature’s garbage grabbers.

  They clean up organic material in the environment.


However, in and around your house, they’re a nuisance, so here are some ways to get rid of them:


        Use ant powder. It’s a chemical substance that they take to their nest and will kill the colony.


        Pour diesel fuel on their nest and light it.  With this method, make sure your house is adequate insured, and a fire extinguisher is close.


        Put a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and powdered sugar in a clam shell left over from fruit or veggies.  It needs some small holes in the side. The ants will take the concoction to their nest because they love the sugar, but the baking soda will kill them.

 


SAY YES

 There is an infinite number of reasons to say no, but something is stirring the yes within you:

For something to be a question mark — requiring a very considered decision — something, often deep inside of us, is saying yes.
 A no should be clear and obvious. Pay attention to that little cheerleader for the yes side for a while. 
Listen to what is has to tell you. 
It is often correct.

 Opportunities do not always arise again — or at least not the same ones:

Life and luck favor the bold. Sometimes when making a decision and considering both outcomes, 
the “no” outcome is connected to regret somehow. Regret is sometimes the biggest risk of all. 

Life is richer, fuller, more vibrant:

When we say yes, we do more, create more, live more.

“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity to do something and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes. 

Then learn how to do it later.”  (Richard Branson)



Your home is your castle; don’t make it your prison.


As you’ve heard on the news, security is important.

Today, with more break-ins and thefts than ever, protecting your property is becoming increasingly important .  

But at what point does one become overprotective?


Alarm systems can be useful, but make sure you let your neighbors know about them, since neighbors can investigate faster than anyone.


Install a system that is fail-proof. 

After three or more false alarms, nobody will take your alarm seriously any more, 

so try to avoid this kind of scenario.


Pictures and other recordings of property are great when they reveal licence plates or other information that can help police identify stolen goods.  Install motion activated camera's. 

Make pictures of the most valuable and precious things in your home.


Automated gates and fences around your home, keep the good people away. It will help to keep the fly by night criminals out. 

Regular visitors are also kept out, as is your neighbor down the road, who has to call ahead, no spontaneous visits, no unexpected friendly visits.


                                                       Real criminals will find a way to get to your house


TIP:

Never corner criminals, but you can try to chase them away.  

A non-violent criminal that is cornered might turn on you. 



Know the law: if you do harm to a criminal in or on your property, the burden of proof is on you to show that it was necessary (you were in danger) and that your reaction was proportional.  If you hit him with a baseball bat, you’d better have your ducks in a row, or you will be charged. If you’re wondering how fair this is,   remember it’s the law, and the law is not always fair! 
Something I heard: If we keep turning our houses into fortresses, pretty soon we’ll be living in jail, while the criminals will be free.  
Know the law: if you do harm to a criminal in or on your property, the burden of proof is on you to show that it was necessary (you were in danger) and that your reaction was proportional.  If you hit him with a baseball bat, you’d better have your ducks in a row, or you will be charged. If you’re wondering how fair this is,   remember it’s the law, and the law is not always fair! 
Something I heard: If we keep turning our houses into fortresses, pretty soon we’ll be living in jail, while the criminals will be free.   Know the law: if you do harm to a criminal in or on your property, the burden of proof is on you to show that it was necessary (you were in danger) and that your reaction was proportional. 

KNOW THE LAW:

 If you hit a burglar with a baseball bat, you’d better have your ducks in a row, or you will be charged. 

If you’re wondering how fair this is, he is breaking in, and maybe will harm you... remember it’s the law, and the law is not always fair, you have to proof it was necessary!


Something I heard: If we keep turning our houses into fortresses, pretty soon we’ll be living in jail, while the criminals will be roaming free.  



Know the law: if you do harm to a criminal in or on your property, the burden of proof is on you to show that it was necessary (you were in danger) and that your reaction was proportional.  If you hit him with a baseball bat, you’d better have your ducks in a row, or you will be charged. If you’re wondering how fair this is,   remember it’s the law, and the law is not always fair! 
Something I heard: If we keep turning our houses into fortresses, pretty soon we’ll be living in jail, while the criminals will be free.  

 

 

Summer Maintenance

 

Summer is the ideal season to do maintenance on your house, spring works too.


Window check

Ensure that the summer heat stays outside by checking and maintaining your home's windows. One of the key items in window maintenance is routinely checking the sealants. Ensure that both inside and out are secured, and caulk any open areas in between. Also, check weather-stripping for any faults and replace it immediately if there is an issue. Taking care of windows will keep your home looking and feeling good.

Homeowner tip: Use a small paintbrush or toothbrush when cleaning windows to get to hard-to-reach areas.


Roof check

Your roof should be inspected annually to ensure that you don't have any problems. Whether you have just ended your rainy season or are about to begin it, checking your roof regularly will assist in finding a small problem before it becomes a large, leaky one. Contingent on the type of roof, you may also want to clean your roof to avoid any permanent water damage.


Air conditioning tune up

The number one priority for your summer home maintenance checklist is to have your air conditioning (AC) unit tuned up. As important as getting your car tuned, your AC needs to be tuned to inspect and prevent unwanted emergencies. The tune-up is used to inspect refrigerant levels, which is important for your AC to keep running cool and keep your summer electric bills low. As well, to ensure your fan is functioning well, your coils are thoroughly cleaned and there are no potential fire hazards with faulty wiring.


 

 

Just my thought:


If you wait for an answer to all questions life throws at you,

you might need more than one life.

Some questions should be left as just that

Questions!



The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@







newsletter July 2016  


Tips to prevent identity fraud


There are many things you can do to prevent identity fraud from happening to you.


Protect your personal information

  • Put important identification (ID) in a safe place. This includes your Social Insurance Number, birth certificate, passport and any other cards or documents that show your personal details.
  • Before throwing them away, shred all documents that have your personal information (such as your name and address) on them—including old credit card statements or other old ID.
  • Share your personal information only with companies you know and trust. Don’t give out more than you need to.
  • Don’t leave personal information lying around at home, in your vehicle or at the office.


In public places

  • Keep your wallet or purse out of reach of other people—in crowds, in shopping malls and while on public transportation.
  • When making a purchase, keep your card in sight, and make sure that the card returned to you is yours.
  • Carry a minimal number of credit cards or other important personal information with you.


At home

  • Lock your household mailbox if possible. It is common for thieves to look for credit card statements, new credit cards and credit card applications.
  • If you are going to be away, arrange for a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail. You can also go to your local post office (with identification) and ask for Canada Post’s Hold Mail service. There is a charge for this service.
  • Order a free copy of your credit report at least once a year from one of the two credit reporting agencies in Canada, TransUnion and Equifax, to make sure that all the accounts listed belong to you.


On the phone

  • If you did not initiate a phone call, don’t give out any personal information or a credit card number over the phone, even if the caller claims to be from a legitimate company. Instead, get a name and number from the person calling and verify that the number and company are legitimate before calling back.


Online

  • When online, make sure the website you are using is secure (look for the green “lock” on the top of the page)
  • Ensure that your firewall, anti-virus and spyware systems are up-to-date to protect personal information on your computer.
  • Don’t give out any personal information by e-mail, because it is not a secure method of transmission.



 What to do if identify theft happens to you


Start a written log of what happened and how you first noticed the fraud. 

Keep all documentation that you think may be helpful in the investigation. 

Then, follow the steps below, taking notes on the people you spoke with and exactly what they said:


  1. Contact your local police and file a police report.
  2. Contact the financial institutions, credit card companies, phone companies, and other lenders for any accounts you suspect may have been opened or tampered with.
  3. Contact the two credit bureaus in Canada, Equifax and TransUnion. Ask that a “fraud alert” be placed in your credit file. At the same time, order copies of your credit report and review them. Make sure all the accounts and debts that show up on your report are yours. Report any incorrect information to the credit bureaus.
  4. Contact the RCMP.

 


Housing market in Alberta


The prices of homes in almost all price ranges have fallen over the last little while.

This is due to the oil crisis and related lack of employment. 

For those who want to or have to sell, this is something that can keep them up at night.


Are we there yet?


Price reductions are mostly done by those who want to get out of the market now.


Those who cannot or will not accept a lower price will keep there price where they had it before. (sometimes because they own more than what the reduction would be.)  

When markets keep falling, outside forces like lenders will push these sellers into a sale, which get the ball rolling downhill even faster. At that time current prices are not so bad after all.


As a seller, you have to get all the facts in a row, look at the market, and make a decision on rational grounds. The worst you can do is becoming emotional about it, which blocks all rational thoughts.


Timing the market is difficult, even impossible.

When do these price reductions stop, and start climbing again?  How about seasonal influences?


Advice from different outsiders can help you to make the right decision.


Time will tell whether your timing was right.  In hindsight everyone can be a winner.


If you are thinking of selling, or know someone you’d like to refer to me, please call.

Advice is free; I’m here to help. You can reach me by e-mail or simply by calling 403 318 2252.


 

 Organic weed killers for your garden

 

When looking for organic or nontoxic solutions, here a few options.


As most weeds are edible, you can cut them off and eat them.

Use boiling water: it will kill without residue.

Table salt: (dissolve 1 part salt in 3 to 8 parts water). Warm water is easier.  

Don’t drench the soil as too much salt will stop anything from growing (add some dish soap so it adheres better to the leaves).

Vinegar: Spray full strength over the weeds

Combine 1 cup salt and 1 gallon vinegar.

Borax: 10 ounces borax in 2.5 gallons of water.


 

Make your small back yard look bigger:


*Put planters of various sizes together in groups and plant lower and taller plants in them. 

How about mixing in some herbs?


*If your lot is small, try not to hem it in with privacy fencing. It will just feel smaller. 


*Use your property lines as an opportunity to grow more plants with a living fence of hedges or trees. This strategy will allow your yard to merge visually with your neighbor's property, and you’ll have something lush to look at while you relax.


*Use smaller furniture that blends into your landscape.


*If your backyard wraps around to a side yard, don’t let that small piece of real estate go to waste. Instead of parking the recycling cans there, find a way to make it a private dining spot or nursery for special plants. It may become your favorite garden nook.


*When you have a small footprint to work with, use your vertical space to its best advantage. Hang planters on fences or walls, or build a planting column. Four sides means quadruple the planting pleasure!


*Avoid solid wooden or concrete panels as they tend to stop the flow. Use trees and scrubs. In combination with wood or steel. Building planter boxes can elevate the garden and add privacy.


Optical illusion: 


Diagonal paths create the illusion of a space being larger than it really is. Instead of a shorter, straight walkway, allow it to cut the yard diagonally or wind around, if space permits. The same goes for decking.

For example, lay planks diagonally across a square deck versus horizontally or vertically.


If design permits, trick the eye by decreasing the width of the walkway as it progresses toward the back of the yard to make the end seem more distant than it really is.


Using bright colors near the entry to the yard will focus attention there and cause the rest of the space to recede. Warm colors such as red, orange and yellow tend to excite the brain and should be used in spots you’d like people to focus on. On the flip side, cool colors such as pink, purple, blue blend into other greenery and don’t trigger the same emotional response. 

Place these colors near fences and borders toward the outer edges of the yard.


Adding levels to the yard creates depth by interrupting an otherwise small space. And, when we say levels, this just means a slightly elevated or sunken patio or even perhaps a large, raised planter or container garden.


If using container gardens in the design, make sure they have trailing vines or succulents draped over the sides to pull the eye downward.  




Just a thought:


Nothing is forever

If you think about it

Now, is already history



The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@






Newsletter June 2016



Safety Tip in Case of Fire

 

When there is a fire on a farm or acreage, there is always a huge demand for water.

In these rural areas, hydrants are seldom close, you have to rely on tap or open water.


Having a water pump on a gas engine is very cheap insurance in case of a fire.

Have the tank filled at all times, and quick coupler hoses to connect.


An even better idea is to keep a trailer with a water tank on it, ready and full for these events.  You can set it up with a small gas engine pump and a couple of flat hoses, so you can get near the fire.


A 2-inch hose will be fine. When you put a reducer at the end and bring it down to ¾ inch, it will give you a very powerful water fighting tool.  Have it ready to go at all times, as you never know when disaster might hit. 


Call 911 first, assess your risks, and then attack the fire. Try to ensure your safety.  Property can be replaced, but life is priceless.



Treat treated wood.


If you have a deck or outside structure that is built with treated wood, you might want to give it some tender love and care in order to make it last longer.


Treated wood is regular lumber that is soaked under pressure with a fluid that prevents it from rotting.

It will penetrate the wood for only a few millimeters (1/8 of an inch), so if there are any cuts or damage to the wood, untreated wood will be exposed.


To keep it in good shape, pressure wash the surface and let it dry. Then treat it with a preservative.(Pentox)  


You can use a brush for small jobs, but if you have to do a big one, use a backpack sprayer or air sprayer.  Products like water sealant work well for a while, but need to be repeated after years of exposure to the elements.

  

Whenever you see weathering, and want to give the wood some color, always use stain rather than paint.

The latter will seal the wood, and water that is trapped inside will destroy your deck or structure in no time.




Chickens in your back yard



Having fresh eggs every morning is great, and for lots of people, the sound of chickens reminds them of country life.  With having chickens comes the responsibility to keep the coop clean, the food and  water fresh (even in winter) and preventing predators from getting your birds.


There are lots of different breeds, and each has its own advantage.

 A multi-purpose breed can be kept first for eggs and afterward for meat.  After a lifetime of laying eggs, a chicken’s meat is not as tender, but you got the eggs, so it is a tradeoff.


Americanas lay blue-green eggs and come in the most beautiful colors. The price for these birds is higher, as they are harder to find on the market. The eggs taste the same as other eggs.


Isa brown chickens are very tame and easy-going.  They produce about one egg a day.

You can let them roam in your yard, as long as there is no predator around.


If you want to keep a rooster, think about your neighbors, too. A rooster that keeps them from sleeping can make even the best neighbor upset.


When putting up a structure, check whether you need a permit.  Although most farmers don’t need one,  acreage owners might.  It is something to check into.




Insurance tip: Air BNB


When going on holidays to a far country, some people opt for AIR BNB or property sharing sites.

Planning to rent through  property sharing sites? 

 Nothing in life is without risk.  If the renter in a foreign country wants you to pay before you come, check out reviews and ask for references in Canada, so you can call them BEFORE you pay.  


Scams are out there, and they  will ruin your holidays before you even start them.

A couple from Calgary that went for this option found their house vandalized upon their return.


If you want to share your house , it is good to have coverage on your home insurance.

Call your Insurance broker regarding your coverage, as you are renting your home.

With the right insurance you can leave, knowing that these kind of claims will be covered.


Your current home or tenants’ insurance will cover you for any damages you may cause while travelling, assuming that these damages are unintentional.  If you were to cause property damage to your host’s residence, the host would first try to collect from your home or tenants’ insurance before using his or her own insurance policy to cover the damage.


Check out the coverage on your insurance before you go on a journey. Knowing before you leave gives you options to change your coverage if necessary. 

 Happy holidays!



Planting evergreens and decidious trees

If you are planning to plant trees this year, consider the following tips.
Check the root ball.  It should have very fine roots at the outside, light in color.  If you see large roots that are cut, you might lose part or all of the tree.
If plants have been grown in pots for some time, you can lift them by the stem without the plant coming loose from the dirt in the pot.

If the root ball is very dense, make a few cuts in it from top to bottom so the roots will spread in the ground after planting.
Never remove fine roots, and don't drop the root ball on the ground.

Dig a hole that fits the root ball, loosen the soil on the bottom, plant the tree and make a berm around it so you can add enough water.

Do not add water to the planting hole before you plant, as it will close the pores in the ground.
When fertilizing the plant, look for a fertilizer that has the lowest number to start with.  

As the plant has to get root bound first, it does not need a lot of nitrogen. 
Water not too frequently, but rather thoroughly only every few days.  This will encourage the plant to start growing roots.

It is better to plant smaller scrubs  than larger ones, since smaller ones will grow faster than larger ones.  A 6-foot evergreen with a large root ball has a bigger chance of surviving our climate than one of ten or twelve feet.

  

Just a thought:


When you are mad for one minute,

You lose 60 seconds of happiness

 




The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@








Newsletter May 2016


This year we celebrate two anniversaries.


In 2000 I started in real estate.

 A big thanks to Bob McDonald, my broker at that time, who helped me to get acquainted with real estate, and encouraged me to stay focused on what mattered to my clients and to me.


In 2006 when Bob retired, he was the one who pushed me to become independent, and start my own brokerage.


 My goal is to help others find what they are looking for, and give advice when selling. 

Sometimes that means saying no to a deal.



Although advice on what is happening with the market is something that doesn’t work 100% of the time as timing might be off, it is great to see, after many years, that most of my clients are still happy because I succeeded in finding their place to settle. 


 My goal is not to become the highest producer in real estate.  

Rather, my satisfaction comes from meeting your needs for property and sharing useful ideas in this newsletter. 

Hope to see you soon.


Thanks to all of you!


Jac



     Buying Foreclosure Properties

 


There are different kinds of foreclosures:

If you want to purchase a property but lack enough money to buy it outright, you generally can get financing. 

Your name goes on the title but the financial institution will hold a lien against the property in question. 


Judicial Foreclosures: This type of repossession happens when the owner is in arrears and the financial institution is not able to recoup what it has lent. The worth of the owner is essential, as the title is in the owner’s name, not the one of the financial institution. 

When there is a default on the loan, the financial institution will send different notices to make the owner aware that he is in arrears. If he cannot pay the mortgage they will send a letter to the court and ask to get title of the property.


 This lengthy process can finally result in the bank getting legal ownership. 

 As there might be more titles as security, those might be taken as well, to settle the debt. 

This is one of the ways that lenders assure themselves of security in case there is a shortfall.


Advice For businesses


it is a good idea to leave the primary residence out of that security, in case the business fails. 


 You don’t want to end up without a roof over your head.




Non-Judicial Foreclosures: in this case the title stays with the borrower until the property is paid for in full. 

When the borrower is in arrears, the lending institution will send  notices out to get payments up-to-date.

If this fails, the lender can start the sale through a Notice of Trustee Sale. 


 This will go much faster than a court-ordered sale.

When a foreclosure goes to auction, the auctioneer will start at the amount that is owned to the lender. 

This can be an opportunity to get a bargain if only a few will bid.


If the bid is not met, the property can go to the lender and becomes a bank-owned property which can be marketed to try to recoup the bank’s interest in the property.



The best approach is to talk to your financial institution in tight-money situations!


Foreclosure is something that banks like to avoid, not only because of cost and work, but also because of potentially bad PR.

  A good relationship with the banker can help alleviate a lot of stress, and help resolve issues before they get too big to tackle.



 

Spring Planting

 

While for some, the garden is a place of relaxation and creativity, for others it’s simply a place that has to be maintained.  

No doubt they would like to pave it, just to get rid of the work.

 

If you want your yard to look great while requiring little maintenance, here are a few tips.


First make a drawing of what you would like in your yard.

If you want a deck or other structures, build these first.


Lay out black water pipe, attach sprinklers on risers and dig it them in just below the surface.

Start at the house, and make sure the dirt is sloped away from the house.


Cover everything with ground cloth, with a little overlap where sheets are touching. 

Where you have something coming out of the ground, cut the sheet, and fold it around the obstacle.

Lay out your pathway on top of the cloth. If you want to add sand, use the modified type.


Put the plants on the cloth where you want them, cut a cross in the cloth, and plant the trees, or shrubs in the soil below. 


Finish off with mulch, rock or gravel. 

The advantage of mulch is that it looks more natural, and will compost over time.

 If you ever want to change things, you won’t have to haul it away, but just incorporate it into the soil.


This type of garden is great to look at, does not need much work, and adds value to the property.




Buying Real Estate and Insurance


When buying a new property it is good to look at some items that may affect your cost after the purchase.

    On an acreage, as soon as you have a farmer doing any harvesting, you need to have farm liability insurance. 


    This is often overlooked and can be an issue at moment of loss. 

It can be more attractive to have a big garden than to give your grass away to a farmer.


   The state of the buildings you buy decides whether they are insurable.

    Get the dates of the most recent roof, electrical, plumbing and sewer renovations.  

     This will make a big difference in the premium.


 Bear in mind that trailers that are not bolted down to a foundation are more expensive to insure.


   Let your insurance agent determine the replacement cost of your buildings.
With replacement-cost insurance you are sure entire investment is going to be honored at moment of loss. 

Market value does not reflect the reconstruction cost. 
(Thanks to Eric Verstappen Cooperators Fahler)



                     Mothers’ Day Sunday May 8



Mothers’ Day is more than gift giving.


It is not all about what you give her, but how.

Waking up to a breakfast in bed is more than breakfast.

It is showing that you care.


 To make it even more meaningful, show that you thought about it a few days ahead.  

Get fresh croissants or buns and warm them in the morning. 

Get her favourite jam, and decorate the serving plate with a freshly-picked (wild) flower.


Your present can come later; the fact that you got up early and made breakfast shows how much you care.


If you have little children, let them make something in the days ahead. 

It is more about the time they spend to make it than the money it has cost.


 

Just my Thought:


when you are looking for luck

Don't go to far

Sometimes it is so close to you

that you are stepping on it.


 


The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@










Newsletter April, 2016 

 

Small issue?  Fix it yourself.
 
Water leaking from your toilet tank will not only cost you money when it comes to your utility bill, but it can also cause water damage to your bathroom floor and premature wear of your toilet’s internal workings.
To find out whether your toilet tank is leaking, add some red food coloring to the water in the tank.
 Come back in about an hour and see if the water in the bowl is pink. If it is, you have a leak.
 
 
The main cause of leaky faucets is worn out washers. 
The washers inside of the faucet handles are rubber and tend to wear out quickly. Replace them by turning off the main water supply, unscrewing the leaky handle that controls the flow of water to the spout, removing the old washer, and dropping in the new one.
 If you have a ceramic tap, you have to replace the part.

 
Faulty washing machine drain hoses are as important as water supply lines when it comes to keeping water off of your floor and in your drain where it belongs.
 As with supply lines, regularly inspect the ends of your washing machine drain lines for discoloration or rust, and replace them immediately if you find evidence of leaking.

Hot water tank maintenance is worth it

A new tank is expensive, and a leaking one even more. Maintenance means cleaning it every couple of years. Here is how you do that yourself.

To drain your water heater, first turn off the water supply and power to the water heater.

 For electric water heaters, turning off the power means that you simply flip the circuit breaker to the “off” position.
 For gas water heaters, turn the thermostat setting to the pilot position.

Next, connect a water hose to the drain fitting at the bottom of the tank and put the other end in a place, such as your driveway, where the draining hot water won’t cause any damage. 
A typical garden hose is a direct fit to the drain fitting. 
Turn on all the hot water faucets in your home and then open the drain valve on the water heater. 
Turn the water supply back on with the drain valve still open to remove any built up sediment in the bottom of the tank.
 Then close the drain valve, refill the tank, and turn the power back on.

 
Getting rid of Nicotine stains and water stains

If you are trying to cover up nicotine-stained walls, you will need to apply a stain blocker to the walls before applying paint. Nicotine will prevent your paint from adhering properly to the wall surface and will cause bubbles. Additionally, if stale smoke or other odor is an issue, add a few drops of vanilla to your paint. This will help combat odors that have seeped into your drywall.
 
 
 
Plant pruning

You can prune the plants this spring, as long as you do the ones that do not flower.
Dogwood, flowering plum, honeysuckle, hydrangea, and lilac
 are the ones that can be pruned in late Winter or early Spring.

If you prune too late in Spring, you might lose some flowers, but the rest of your plant might flourish and grow more vigorous. 
Be sure that you cut away dead wood, and try to get the shape that you are after.
If you want to save some of the branches that you cut, put them in warm water after cutting, 
and set them in your house in a cool place for a couple of hours to soak the water up. 

You might want to warm the water up a couple of times.  
In return, these branches will give you their Spring flowers.


Home staging – make do with what you have.

When you’re selling a home, staging it can make it sell quicker and for more money.
Here some tips to stage your home at minimal or no cost.

Focus on the front. Wondering where to begin? 
The curb appeal of your house is very important. 
 Potential buyers have most likely driven by it before they come into your house. 

In that thirty- second window, they already have gained an impression that might influence the likelihood of the sale. 

Replace an ugly outdoor fixture or a burned-out light bulb.
 Trim trees and shrubs,put out some flowering plants, and mulch the flower beds. 

Pressure-wash the outside to give your house a crisp look.

Take down your shower curtain and replace it with a crisp white one, and hang some new white towels.
 It makes even an older bathroom look good.

Burned-out bulbs mean lack of maintenance to home buyers,
and they will gladly deduct dollars (in thousand-dollar increments) 
if they suspect they will have to do a lot of work before moving in. 

Replace light bulbs with new ones, preferably halogen or bright white LED bulbs. 
 LED bulbs also show that you’ve spent money to get your house ready.
Go for the crisp and bright and warm look.  
Avoid "blue white" bulbs. They make it feel cold

De-clutter and depersonalize your home.
Once you sell, you’ll have to move your belongings anyway. 
So, why not box up all the things that you don’t need, and put them in storage.
 De-clutter tables, closets and storage areas.

 It will create space, and space is what buyers are looking for.
Touch up paint scuffs, replace worn-out door handles 
use a cleaning agent to give your home a fresh smell.

Don’t use scented candles, as buyers might suspect you have something to hide.
 
Have someone else walk through your home to help you find spots that you may have overlooked..
A warm and welcoming house, with the smell of fresh coffee,
 is almost inviting you to drop your bags because you feel you’re at home.
If you want to sell, give us a call
Good advice is just a call away!


Just my thought


Don't be afraid of having an opinion.
If you do and others don't agree, you have a point of discussion.
Nothing is harder than reading someones mind.  


 

The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@






 

Plant pruning
You can prune the plants this spring, as long as you do the ones that do not flower.
Dogwood, flowering plum, honeysuckle, hydrangea, and lilac are the ones that can be pruned in late Winter or early Spring.
If you prune too late in Spring, you might lose some flowers, but the rest of your plant might flourish and grow more vigorous. Be sure that you cut away dead wood, and try to get the shape that you are after.
If you want to save some of the branches that you cut, put them in warm water after cutting, and set them in your house in a cool place for a couple of hours to soak the water up. You might want to warm the water up a couple of times.  In return, these branches will give you their Spring flowe



newsletter march 2016


Selling in a Buyers’ Market

 

       When you are selling your property in a buyers’ market, prepare it properly. 

Since there are more sellers than buyers, the buyers can afford to be picky.

  A ready-to-go to place will sell faster.  So how can you make your property as attractive as possible?


       For one thing, declutter your house. Box up everything you don’t need, and put it neatly in the garage or in a storage place. 


Clean the outside up, too, by getting rid of junk, scrap metal, and other unsightly detractors from your property’s appearance.

       
 You should also fix any items that need repairs or maintenance. This includes painting doors, walls that are scuffed, broken light switches, broken doorknobs, leaky gutters, leaking taps, and running toilets.  
All of these things are inexpensive to resolve, but they can easily cost you the sale if not attended to.

   If need be, invest in upgrading your home. Be careful, however, with spending money that does not generate at least the same return as it has cost.  
Putting in a new kitchen can be the trigger for an offer, but what if the potential buyer’s taste is different from yours?  Tread carefully.

   Be ready for an offer. 
This means that if a reasonable offer comes, react fast and make an equally reasonable counter-offer that both buyer and seller can live with.
 
 Treat your water well this spring.

 

 The water well that you have for domestic use or for your livestock is something that is taken for granted, until there is a problem.

 You can keep it in a good shape by chlorinating it on a regular basis.

 Do this at least once a year to kill all bacteria in the well and the lines to your house and buildings.

 

 If you forget this, you are risking that eventually:

     -- your pump might get full of slime and goo, and possibly fail.

     -- iron bacteria might develop, making your water smell like rotten eggs.

     -- the production of your well could be reduced.

     -- iron stains could damage your fixtures and clothing.


 Ultimately, a lack of maintenance could ruin your well.

 

As a fix to all these problems, you can shock your well every year.

 It only takes a couple of hours. 

You can also use a constant chlorinator which drops chlorine into the well whenever you use water.  However, that requires an extra filter to remove it from your drinking water.  It is best to “super shock” your well.  

If you only pour chlorine into the well, and flush this through the lines, you won’t kill all the bacteria, so become familiar with the method below.


First find out how deep your well is.  Then measure the static water level. This is the distance from the static water level (top of water when your pump isn’t running) to the bottom of your well. 


This information is in your well driller’s report. It is also available online for all the wells that are drilled in Alberta.

 If yours is very old and no data are available, check the surrounding wells.  If most of them have the same depth, assume that yours does, too.  Otherwise, call a local well driller.


 To prepare for the shock treatment, obtain a big, clean drum or container that can hold the water that is needed to mix with the husehold beach you’ll be pouring into the well.


To calculate the amount of household bleach you’ll need, do the following:


    1. Measure the diameter of your well.  Some are 4 inches across; others are 6 inches across.

    2. For a 4-inch casing, multiply 5 litres by the number of feet of water standing in the well.  Multiply the product of that calculation by the height (in feet) of the water column in your well.  For a 6- inch casing, multiply 10.9 litres per foot of standing water by the height of the water column.

    3. Add chlorine to the water in your holding tank.

 

(Use household bleach from the supermarket 0 .019 litres per foot of water column in wells with 4-inch casing, and 0.042 litres per foot of water column in wells with 6-inch casing. 


 For example, if your static water level is 100 feet and the well is 150 feet you have a column of 50 feet. (Incidentally, for a 6-inch well, that is 50x10.9= 545 liters of fresh water.)  50 x 0.042 = 2.1 litres of household-strength bleach are required. MORE IS NOT BETTER!
         4.  Flush this down into the well.

         5.  Open all the taps and hydrants.  Flush the toilets, (and drain the hot water tank until only cold water comes out -- until you smell the chlorine).

         6.  Let the water sit for 24 hours if possible, but not for less than 8 hours.

         7.  For the meantime, have water for yourself and lifestock stored so you don’t have to use the well.

         8.  When the shocking time is over, drain all the water from your lines, starting with an outside tap. Attach a hose, and run it for a couple of hours away from the house so the chlorine does not  damage your grass or vegetation.

              

DO NOT DRAIN INTO THE SEPTIC TANK.


         9. When most of the smell is gone, flush the lines in the house.

 The best season to do this is Spring or Fall.


 Take precaution: chlorine is poison, so don’t inhale the fumes.

 When you plan to use stronger chlorine, recalculate.

 Too much chlorine is not better but worse, as it changes the PH, so you might not kill the bacteria at all.  Be sure to use the proper mixture.


 More information? Please visit the AB GOV. website

 http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/deptdocs.nsf/all/wwg411



Problems with your power?

 

   

 While it should go without saying that the relevant circuit breaker should be shut off prior to working on any electrical device, let us state this here as a safety precaution.

 

 Outlet is Warm or Gives Off Sparks.

 Not good. Unplug all cords. Get inside and make sure that wire ends are all firmly connected. If there is any doubt about the condition of the receptacle, simply replace it.

 

 Circuit Breaker Tripping or Fuse Burning Out.

 The most common reason for circuit breaker tripping is an overloaded system. Turn off appliances that consume a lot of electricity, flip the breaker, and try again.

 

 Cord Falls Out of Outlet.

  Bend out prongs to make the wire stay in the outlet or easily replace wires for lamps. Be careful about appliance cords, though, given the high power draws. Finally, the outlet may simply need to be replaced if it is old enough.

 

                                                   Fun fire at all times


 

 If you like the crackling and the direct heat of a fire, you are not alone.  However, every year house fires start due to unsafe storage, unsafe use, or (worse) CO poisoning.

 

 When you use a fireplace or wood stove, keep flammable material at least 3 feet away.

 Install non-combustible material around all hot parts of your stove or fireplace.

 Have fresh air coming into your room at all times, so your stove or fireplace does not use up all the oxygen.

 Start your fire small to warm up your chimney for a couple of minutes. This will create a natural draft, and prevent toxic CO gas from entering your room.

 Sweep the chimney every year, to remove creosote and prevent a chimney fire.

 Install only certified stoves and fireplaces, and use proper pipes for your chimney. Their cost will sometimes exceed the cost of the stove, but don’t gamble with your life.

 If you DIY, have an installer check it.

 To prevent insurance problems, call your agent before you start. This will prevent exclusion and can maybe save you money on the yearly insurance premium.

 If you have an existing wood-burning appliance in the house you bought, make sure it is installed properly. If in any doubt, check it before using it!

 

 Spring is around the corner. Are you ready?

 

 Spring is only weeks away.  Are you ready for the big meltdown and spring rain?

 Check your culverts for ice build-up.  If necessary, get a steamer to melt the ice plugs.

    This is the time to connect the downspouts of the eavestroughs and add some pipes to move the water away from your foundation and basement. Wet basements are mainly caused by water that comes from your own roof.

 When you plow the snow off your road, move it away from the sides so it can melt in the ditches. That way your road will stay dryer.

 Keep an eye on melting water. As frost is still in the ground, the ground cannot absorb all the moisture, so it will run off your land to the lowest area.




Just my thought


Don't work for your retirement
Or for things that you want to do in the future

Save for the future but work for today
Tomorrow might be different than you planned.

The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@



 




News letter February 2016

 

Interior ideas


To give your home a country look, here are some ideas to get started.

Add color and patterns. Country homes are colorful and you will see different patterns throughout the house.


Flowers and greens in your flower beds in front of the house will give it a welcoming feeling. A rough look or wild flowers are okay too.


Add planters to your entrance, flower pots in the house, and if need be, use silk flowers and greens to spruce up your home.


Display old pictures, antiques and collectibles in your home. 

 It does not have to cost a fortune.  Look for glass mason jars and old items you find at garage sales, for example.

Add some soft pillows and draperies with warm, soft colors to your interior.

 



Alberta Dream is alive and well

 

For those who want to think that the Alberta Dream is dead, here a few things to think about.


We live in a country that has clean air, freedom of expression, 

varied opportunities, great health care, excellent education and much more.


Coming from a different part of the world, you see all the advantages that Canada and Alberta have. 

There will be always room for improvement, but we have so much that others desire.


Sure, the oil price is currently low. That results in fewer jobs and a detour to more prosperity.


But dreams are still made possible every day.

Our economy has to diversify, and the only way for that to happen is through the efforts of entrepreneurs like you.


It is up to each individual to produce new ideas in order to work on a better future for themselves and others.

 The government can encourage, but diversification can not be forced from the top down. 

 Rather, it has to come from the bottom up.


It will create new prosperity and make new dreams come true.

And...

 you know what they say:


 if you dream, you might as well dream big.


 

     Used oil: use it wisely


Used oil can be used to coat outdoor tools before storage.

 Mix oil with fine sand. Stick garden tools into the sand. (The sand will remove any dirt; the oil prevents it from rusting.)


Treat fence posts with used oil to keep them from rotting in the ground.


Brush it onto wooden trailer deck floors to prevent rotting.


Use it to treat any metal that will be left outside to avoid rusting.


It also can be used on chain saws to lubricate the chains.



 

               Why does having children make having a will more urgent?



We know, you are healthy and nothing will happen to you as a couple. 

And who wants to think about a will at this time? Think again!


You don’t want to leave it up to the state to make the decisions for you, but that is what will happen if you die intestate.


For example, if you don’t name a guardian for your children, the court will decide who gets to care for them.


You should also name a property manager to manage the property you want to leave to your minor children. 

This can be the guardian or someone else. It is done with the children’s best interests in mind.


While you’re at it, set up a living will. 

With this document you let others know what you want them to do if you should become incapacitated. 

Make sure you tell your loved ones you’ve made a will and tell them where to find it.


If you die intestate, a government administrator will dispose of your estate, 

and he or she will charge a healthy percentage of your worth for performing this service.  


This is money that your children could be getting!!!


 

        Don’t forget about your passwords.



When you have bank accounts and legal documents that can be opened only with passwords, 

you need to make them available for the one who survives you.


Banks will not give you access to your loved one’s bank account or important information if you don’t know the password. 

 You would then need a court order for access. 

 It is preferable for your executor to be able to access this information in a safety deposit box.


It might also be helpful should you get into an accident and someone else needs to take care of your banking business for a while.


The ideal approach is to review your portfolio and make a list of important 

phone numbers, 

a list of assets, 

your bank accounts,

insurance policies,

 and other information


 that someone acting on your behalf would need in case you are not able to handle your affairs. 

 Review this list annually and update it where necessary.

Put it in a safety deposit box, or another secure place.




Just my thought


The best investors are those
that know what will happen in the future




The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@





 Newsletter January 2016


We wish you all a very prosperous New Year in great health. 

 
New Year’s resolutions: how do you keep them?
 
Write your resolution down for all to see.
Make one change at the time.
Break it into small portions that are achievable.
Give yourself a small treat when you achieve each small goal.
Avoid temptation when possible.
Repetition will make it stick. If you stick with your resolution for 3 weeks, it will become a habit.
Ask your family and friends to help you with encouragement.
 
What your house needs in the cold winter months ahead

Prevent water pipes from freezing
When it gets bitterly cold outside, keep the doors of closets with water pipes in them open, to get warm air inside them.
If need be, let the water drip or trickle. It won’t prevent the line from freezing, but takes the pressure off when it freezes thus reducing the likelihood that the pipes will burst.
 
Rake snow off your roof if there is a big snow dump.
Excess snow can eventually wreak havoc with your trusses.  They are built for a normal snow load, but multiple snow dumps can be too much for your roof.
Windows are ways to the outside world, but also holes in your walls.
Big windows will lose a lot of heat if they are not sealed properly.
The best way to prevent this is 3-ply windows with argon filling.
If you have a problem right now, get a plastic cover at the hardware store.
The best ones attach to the window frame, and are heated with a hair dryer to stretch without a wrinkle.
The trapped air between the plastic and window acts as an insulator.
When you have a room with a window that does not seal properly, and you don’t need the window, cover it with a snugly-fitting Styrofoam sheet.
It will drastically reduce heat loss.
 
The housing market today

 
House prices are always changing. The current economy in Alberta has put a downward spin on our house prices, and upward pressure on land prices.
When economic times are changing, the demand for tangibles is tending to increase

If you do not have to buy or sell your property, this does not affect you. 
As long as you can make the mortgage payments, a change in price will not have much impact.

When you want to sell or buy, consider good advice before you go into the marketplace. 
This is not the time to think doom and gloom, but also not a time to stick your head in the sand for market information.
Good information can help you to avoid stress, and helps ensure that you get the most out of it. 

Consider long-term consequences when buying or selling. Avoid the hype, and feel confident with your decision. 

Should you like to sit down and discuss this, please feel free to call me: 403 318 2252

 
How to get rid of these nasty stains

Red Wine
use club soda to remove the stain. 
Grass stains
 use toothpaste, and rub it with a tooth brush and some water.
Blood stains
add table salt, rub it into the fabric, and wash as usual.
Have a stained collar in your shirt? 
 Rub in some shampoo before you wash it.
Lipstick
use a piece of bread and rub it over the stain. Brush crumbs away.
Grease stain
sprinkle corn starch on the spot, and let it soak up the grease for a few minutes.
Ink stain
rub with milk on a sponge.

 
Just my thought:

Dare to dream, 
and create something new.
Only those who dare to dream
 can make a dream come true.



The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@





December 2015


Not enough hours in your day?


Do you feel that there are not enough hours in the day?


Are you too stressed out to get everything done in the time that you have?

Here is an idea:


 Track your hours each day.

Most of us spend a great deal of time checking e-mail, replying to messages, and updating Facebook. 


 It takes so much of our day that we almost run out of time to do the things that really need to be done.


Try to book some off-line time

It will brighten your day.

 


Did you know:


    Did you know that if you accidentally crack one end of an egg that you intend to boil, you should crack the other end, too? 

Then you'll be able to cook the egg as planned without having the contents run out of the shell?

    

that reindeer like bananas?

     that like the Energizer Bunny, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer got his start as an advertising gimmick? 

 A copywriter named Robert L. May first created the merry misfit in 1939 to lure shoppers into the Montgomery Ward department store. 

 

Storage for your garden vegetables



Cold and Moist Storage


Beets, parsnips, carrots, turnips and rutabagas prefer cold, moist storage. This means temperatures between 32 and 40 degrees F and 80 to 95% relative humidity -- a refrigerator or a moist cellar qualify. 


Rinse these crops and trim tops to within one-half inch. Store in plastic bags with small holes to keep moisture high but still allow airflow.


As for storing carrots, we put ours between layers of sand in a five-gallon pail, directly after taking them out of the ground.  They will keep until spring that way.


Potatoes can be stored in similar conditions but prefer a slightly lower humidity, around 80%, compared to 90-95% for carrots, turnips and parsnips. After harvest (once tops have died back and dried), brush soil off potatoes gently (do not wash). Then cure for one to two weeks in a warm, moist, dark location.


Warm and Dry Storage


Pumpkins and winter squashes prefer temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees F and 60 to 75% relative humidity. Be sure to wait until the squashes are fully ripened, or storage time will be decreased. But be sure to harvest before frost, since frost damage will shorten storage time. Leave stems intact, cure at 80 to 85 degrees F for two weeks before putting into storage. (Do not cure acorn squash.) 


Lay pumpkins and squashes in a single layer one inch apart



Housing market.


Are you thinking of selling your house acreage or farm.It make a huge difference what you sell, where it is located, and what you want to sell it for.

Today’s market, is good if you want to sell starter homes, that means homes in the low end of the market.
Buyers that want to reduce their living cost due to loss of work or a lower income are looking for these homes.

If you are in the top of the spectrum, then it will be much more difficult to move your home.
there are enough uniek properties available, and most of the sellers are very motivatd.

When you want to sell, it is better to start with a good price, than to try the market and reduce later.

Acreages and bare acreages are selling when they have a great location, are priced for today’s market. 
The top end homes on these acreages have the same issue as the homes in town, that is that there is a good amount for sale, and not enough buyers for these homes.

 To sell in winter time, you have to be very active and have it priced to move it.
Interested buyers will see a great deal and will buy, even the time of year is not ideal.


Easy snow removal


Plan Ahead:

• Be sure you have the proper tools to maintain your walks. A good snow shovel, an ice chipper and sand are all essentials that you should have throughout the winter months.

Take Care of Your Body:

• If you are not physically active or have an ongoing health condition, check with your doctor to make sure the physical strain of clearing snow and ice is okay.


• Dress in multiple layers of warm clothing. You should also wear supportive boots with a good grip.
• Warm up and stretch your muscles before you start shovelling or chipping by walking around the block.
• Be sure to take frequent breaks while you work, at least once every 10-15 minutes.

Shovelling:

• The best shovels to use have a small blade and ergonomic handle with a gentle curve.
• Push the snow as you shovel; it's easier on your back than lifting the snow out of the way.
• Don't pick up too much at once. Use a small shovel, or fill only one-fourth or one-half of a large one.


• Lift with your legs bent, not your back. Keep your back straight. By bending and "sitting" into the movement, you'll keep your spine upright and less stressed. Your shoulders, torso and thighs can do the work for you.
• Spray the shovel blade with cooking oil if the snow is sticking to it.
• Clearing snow soon after it falls prevents it from being packed down and becoming ice, which is harder to remove.
• When you remove snow from a gravel road, leave a very small amount on the ground, so you don’t move all the gravel.

Clearing Ice:

• Warm weather during the day can make ice soft, so it's easier to chip or shovel away.
• Spread sand or gravel on icy patches to make your sidewalk safer for pedestrians. Spreading sand on a sidewalk before ice forms can also make future ice easier to remove.
• Micro wave -safe container and spreading it while it is still warm can make it more effective. It will embed itself in to the ice, creating a gritty top layer.
• Pile snow in a place where it will not run across your sidewalk when it melts and aim your downspouts away from areas where people walk to keep your sidewalks clear during freeze-thaw cycles. 


Immediately Stop Shoveling and Seek Medical Attention If You Experience:
• Discomfort or heaviness in the chest, arms or neck.
• Unusual or prolonged shortness of breath.
• A prolonged dizzy or faint feeling.
• Excessive sweating or nausea and vomiting.
• Excessive back pain.


Just my thought


Do the unexpected
Make some else happy
Christmas is 365 day's a year


The best compliment  you can give, is your referral.

When you refer us to a friend,

dinner is on us.

@





November 2015

News letter December 2015
         
Get more free time.
Do you feel that there are not enough hours in the day?
Are you to stressed out to get it all done in the time that you have.
Here is an idea: Track your hours. 
Keep track of what you do in a day. 
Most of us do things like checking e-mail, as soon as it comes in. Replying messages. Instantly and repeatedly. Checking Facebook, and keeping it up to date with photos and text.  It takes so much of our daily hours that you almost run out of time do the things that really need to be done.
Try to book some OFF LINE TIME !!! It will brighten your day
Did you know:
Did you accidentally crack one end of an egg that you intend to boil !!!
Crack the other end too. Then you'll be able to cook the egg as planned without having the contents run out of the shell. 
 
Did you knowreindeer like bananas
 Like the Energizer Bunny, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer got his start as an advertising gimmick. A copywriter named Robert L. May first created the merry misfit in 1939 to lure shoppers into the Montgomery Ward department store. 
Storage for your garden vegetables
Cold and Moist Storage
Beets, parsnips, carrots, turnips and rutabagas prefer cold, moist storage. This means temperatures between 32 and 40 degrees F and 80 to 95% relative humidity - a refrigerator or a moist cellar qualify. Rinse these crops and trim tops to within one-half inch. Store in plastic bags with small holes - to keep moisture high but still allow airflow
.As for storing carrots, we put ours between layers of sand in a five-gallon pail, directly after taking them out of the ground.  They will keep until spring that way.
 
Potatoes can be stored in similar conditions but prefer a slightly lower humidity, around 80%, compared to 90-95% for carrots, turnips and parsnips. After harvest (once tops have died back and dried), brush soil off potatoes gently (do not wash). Then cure for one to two weeks in a warm, moist, dark location.
Warm and Dry Storage
Pumpkins and winter squashes prefer temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees F and 60 to 75% relative humidity. Be sure to wait until the squashes are fully ripened, or storage time will be decreased. But be sure to harvest before frost - frost damage will shorten storage time. Leave stems intact, cure at 80 to 85 degrees F for two weeks before putting into storage. (Do not cure acorn squash.) Lay pumpkins and squashes in a single layer one inch apart.
Housing market.
Are you thinking of selling your house acreage or farm.It make a huge difference what you sell, where it is located, and what you want to sell it for.
Today’s market, is good if you want to sell starter homes, that means homes in the lowend of te market.
Buyers that want to reduce their living cost due to loss of work or a lower income are looking for these homes.
If you are in the top of the spectrum, then it will be much more difficult to move your home.
there are enough uniek properties available, and most of the sellers are very motivatd.
When you want to sell, it is better to start with a good price, than to try the market and reduce later.
Acreages and bare acreages are selling when they have a great location, are priced for today’s market. The top end homes on these acreages have the same issue as the homes in town, that is that there is a good amount for sale, and not enough buyers for these homes. To sell in winter time, you have to be very active and have it priced to move it.
Interested buyers will see a great deal and will buy, even the time of year is not ideal.
Easy snow removal
Plan Ahead:
Be sure you have the proper tools to maintain your walks. A good snow shovel, an ice chipper and sand are all essentials that you should have throughout the winter months.
Take Care of Your Body:
If you are not physically active or have an ongoing health condition, check with your doctor to make sure the physical strain of clearing snow and ice is okay.
Dress in multiple layers of warm clothing. You should also wear supportive boots with a good grip.
Warm up and stretch your muscles before you start shovelling or chipping by walking around the block.
Be sure to take frequent breaks while you work, at least once every 10-15 minutes.
Shovelling:
The best shovels to use have a small blade and ergonomic handle with a gentle curve.
Push the snow as you shovel; it's easier on your back than lifting the snow out of the way.
Don't pick up too much at once. Use a small shovel, or fill only one-fourth or one-half of a large one.
Lift with your legs bent, not your back. Keep your back straight. By bending and "sitting" into the movement, you'll keep your spine upright and less stressed. Your shoulders, torso and thighs can do the work for you. 
Spray the shovel blade with cooking oil if the snow is sticking to it.
Clearing snow soon after it falls prevents it from being packed down and becoming ice, which is harder to remove.
When you remove snow from a gravel road, leave a very small amount on the ground, so you don’t move all the gravel.
Clearing Ice:
Warm weather during the day can make ice soft, so it's easier to chip or shovel away.
Spread sand or gravel on icy patches to make your sidewalk safer for pedestrians. Spreading sand on a sidewalk before ice forms can also make future ice easier to remove. 
Micro wave -safe container and spreading it while it is still warm can make it more effective. It will embed itself in to the ice, creating a gritty top layer.
Pile snow in a place where it will not run across your sidewalk when it melts and aim your downspouts away from areas where people walk to keep your sidewalks clear during freeze-thaw cycles. 
Immediately Stop Shovelling and Seek Medical Attention If You Experience:
Discomfort or heaviness in the chest, arms or neck.
Unusual or prolonged shortness of breath.
A prolonged dizzy or faint feeling.
Excessive sweating or nausea and vomiting.
Excessive bac
News letter 
Economy Down, opportunities Up


When the economy has a downturn, you can focus on the opportunities than will come out of it.
Was it hard to find a good trades person?  Now you can get someone to do work on your house much more easily. Maybe you can get a better price too.


Are you working less overtime?  You can do things yourself instead of having to hire others to do it. It won’t add to the GDP, but you’ll neither pay taxes on the work you do, nor on the former income you once spent on someone else’s services. 


When you’re shopping for goods or property, you can get better prices, so your dollar will have more value. Your savings can go a long way.


Think ahead, and look for the things that you don’t need now, but will need in the future.
And if you are entrepreneurial, looking for that niche in the market --  if it’s not there, you’ll have to make it!





Theft and break-ins: how to avoid them!


When you go away, here are some tips to keep your home secure.
Lock away your handyman and gardening tools, which may be used to force open doors or windows, and any item that may be used to gain access to the property or cause damage.

Record descriptions, models and serial numbers of your valuables and then put them somewhere safe. Before you leave, close all internal doors to help contain any fire that might occur.

Then, check that your doors, windows and garage are locked securely, and remove spare keys from hiding places.  As you leave, check everything again.

Show some caution when you talk about your trip. Your blog/ face book isn't the best place to announce that you'll be away from home for a month. 
Being aware of who's around when you discuss your trip in restaurants and even at work isn't a bad idea either.
Make sure that your children are discreet, too. 
No one is saying that you should be suspicious of everyone you meet, but even a chance remark has the potential to lead to unintended and unfortunate consequences. 
The less information you put out there, the less likely it is to reach the wrong ears and eyes.

Being happy is easier than being sad



•    When you are smiling, you are using fewer muscles than when you are frowning. (Try it, it feels great!)
•    Surround yourself with positive people.