Chickens

We have chickens. Five little fur-balls in a crate on the dining room table. There is a bigger one, old enough to be outside, but the ones that I keep staring at and checking every few minutes are the chicks. They huddle together-and on top of each other-  as if trying to form a ball of chicken. Their little wings are just starting to poke out of the fuzz. They are wonderful. I love them.

The dogs are going crazy.   LouLou killed two mostly-grown chicks when we were just getting set up. Now we are more vigilant and she knows she won’t get that lucky again. She and Buddy keep a vigil but it’s kind of half-hearted. In another month all the chicks will be outside. We’ve turned the sidewalk running around the side of the house into Chicken Central and it’s a lovely space with dappled shade and plenty of room for walking around and being chickens.

 I rent out my extra bedroom and bath and at least 14 prospective tenants have asked me about keeping chickens.  “Go right ahead”, I always say, knowing none of them are really ambitious enough to do it.  (It’s a LOT of work.) Then Jon moved in and actually built a coop in the back yard. We’ve moved the chicken area to the side, better protected and also closer to the neighbors, who also have chickens. The “big” one, a half-grown white silky with a fetching topknot, seems to like hearing the neighbors’ chickens.  We call her Silky Silk ’cause she’s definitely a rapper.  I love how she walks so deliberately, lifting her feet up high. 

Someday, I guess, we’ll be getting eggs from them but I don’t really care.  Our home is a happier, though messier, place. We have chickens.

END

The Tragedy of Toni’s

Over New Year’s we had occasion to revisit Toni’s 24-Hour Restaurant.  This is a terrific establishment, especially at 2am when I will never see it, but we experienced the same flaw as on our first visit-stale frying oil. This time it was the chicken-fried steak , which otherwise would have been wonderful,  which had been fried in oil that should have been changed.   I brought it home for LouLou but it was really a shame. On the other hand, the onion rings were great. Go figure. The burgers continue to be superb. My companion ordered a triple and almost finished it.

My chicken-fried steak came with a choice of breads including a home-made biscuit, which was delicious  and served with a huge gob of soft butter.

I guess in order to avoid the tragedy and heartbreak of stale oil, you could just order carefully, staying away from  anything  fried.  “I’ll have a blue cheese burger and a biscuit”. Nah, doesn’t work. I’ll keep playing the cooking oil roulette at Toni’s because when they do get it right, it’s glorious.

END

Three Things I Just Learned

1. Mega-uber-Hollywood producer Kathleen Kennedy, the godmother of the Star Wars franchise, is a graduate of Shasta High School. That’s in Redding.

2.  14% of the State of California is pavement. That includes roads.

3.  When the Humboldt Soup Company says on its Facebook page that they have Chicken Cocoanut Curry Soup, you HAVE to get there before 2pm or it will be gone.

Speaking of gone, we are taking a hiatus until the New Year. Stay dry and and take care of each other. Hopefully the new year will not be as ugly as the old was. Our very best wishes to each of you!

 

end

Yowza! Your neighbors are making piles of $$$ thru Air BnB! Or not.

Would anyone, I wondered idly, be crazy enough to list their place in Humboldt on Air B and B?  Well, apparently over 200 of you in Eureka have signed up, see HERE,  and in the other towns, there must be even more. Check it out!  You may see your neighbors’ house!!

You’ll surely see some houses you recognize, and the Eureka listings include a popup trailer and a couple of boats. I had no idea.  Really.

 

END

The HSU Economic Index For October Is In!

The Index of Home Sales fell in September but is almost 14% higher than this time last year.  30-year mortgage rates in Humboldt County have decreased fro 4 per cent to 3.875 percent, while the median home price rose from $268,000 to $270,000.  In other words, things are pretty flat.  See the full report HERE..

The Turkeys Are Lurking In Eureka

 

I don’t like cornbread stuffing. I don’t like cranberry sauce. I don’t like wheat bread. I don’t even like turkey much. But around this time last year I concluded that the Turkey Lurkey sandwich made with the foregoing ingredients by the then-Vellutini’s Bakery in Henderson Center, is one of the best I have ever had.

Vellutini’s has become a commercial bakery operating on Broadway near Marie Callender’s. Scott and Stephanie Phelps are now operating The Corner Bakery and Cafe at the Henderson and “F” location. (They also have Babe’s Pizza and Pasta, so they’re a busy pair.)  Stephanie shared that their intent, especially with regard to the Turkey Lurkeys, is to carry on exactly as before.  I agree. Why mess with perfection?

The origin of the Turkey Lurkey is shrouded in the mists of the past.  I think the reason they’re so darn good is the FRESHNESS of the ingredients, not just the bread, which you’d expect, but all of it. This season a Turkey Lurkey goes for $7.65 for a whole sandwich (they’re pretty big- I eat them in halves) and a half -sandwich is $5.25, both before tax. You have a choice of chips or potato salad. Get the potato salad.

I had a Turkey Lurkey  the other day and it was amazing.  Definitely puts you in a holiday mood, plus if you come in October you can check out the Hallowe’en goodies.

So welcome the Corner Bakery and Cafe to Henderson Center. Sometimes it’s nice when things don’t change.

END

My Favorite Businesses: Jeff W’s Lawn Service

I’d like to give a shout out to a business in which I have no financial stake at all. Jeff Wickizer has been doing my lawn for three or four years now and does a great job. He shows up when he says he will and works quickly. His cleanup is great and his suggestions are helpful.  In other words, he gets five stars.

You can reach Jeff by email to mailto:j.wickizer@yahoo.com or on his cell which is 601-2090.  He’s also the General Foreman and Estimator at Professional Tree Services and you can reach him there at 839-TREE (8733). Jeff is a hardworking young guy with a family (they just had a baby a few weeks ago) and I say anyone ambitious enough to start their own company on top of a full-time job is the type of entrepreneur who deserves your support. Besides, he does good work. Give him a call and tell him I sent you. You won’t regret it. 

END

Hazards of Landlording-here’s one you never thought of

We’ve been offline for a couple of weeks, during which we experienced a lot of what all of you have- the cellphone outage. out-of-town visitors, more visitors, family reunions, and gaining five pounds from all the eating out. We’ll catch up little by little but I wanted to tell you first about a lesson learned re: the US Postal Service.  This lesson may save you some grief.

I have a 3 BR/2 BA house and for several years I have rented out the extra bedroom and bath.  On the same day that we had visitors from New Jersey,  one tenant moved out and another moved in.  Meanwhile my friend from LA , with whom I was planning a road trip to British Columbia, also showed up and realized he’d left his passport in LA. He got a friend to fetch his passport and mail it to my place using certified mail.  I use a PO box for 90% of my mail so I didn’t notice we weren’t getting any mail in the mailbox.

After a few days his passport hadn’t shown up so he accosted the mail carrier, who told him that he hadn’t delivered any mail to us for a few days because the house was vacant. Vacant!  Never mind the cars in the driveway and parked in front! Never mind the well-tended and watered planter box next to the mail box! Never mind that there were three adults and a dog living here the week this happened! Never mind that the house has not been vacant for even a day since I bought it in 1993! He thought the house was vacant.

Why?  Because he saw the forwarding order from the tenant who moved out and concluded that the house was empty. He apologized profusely for his error but by that time the passport had been sent to some kind of postal clearing house in Sacramento. We called the post office on Clark and they advised us to wait a few days. We did and nothing happened. To make a long story short, we went down there twice and enlisted the help of a supervisor named Eley,  The passport finally showed up this past Saturday, after being lost in the bowels of the USPS for almost three weeks. The stress on both of us was extreme.

The USPS is like any other organization- only as strong as its weakest link. Every supervisor we talked to at the USPS said the carrier “needed to be talked to”. How ’bout he should be retrained??  The lesson learned is that certified mail, which costs $3 and change, is useless.  If you have something valuable to send, send it REGISTERED which costs $12 but at least they can locate it. Registered mail is signed for at each stage of its journey, much tighter tracking.  I notice that Fed Ex has a small package option for $8.  I suspect that when Fed Ex loses something, they find it pretty quickly. Again, they have a signature for each transfer.

Next time, Fed Ex for sure. And folks, don’t bother with certified.  It’s not worth the paper it’s written on.  If you have any stories about lost mail and the USPS we’d love to hear them.

END