Friday, July 22, 2011

22 July 1957 “Tenant Drama Continues, A Trip to the Farmer’s Market, and a Cookout”

Yesterday was our court date. We, hubby and I, had to go to continue the process of evicting our derelict tenants. We figured, as would have been the norm, that they would not show up for the day. They have no case as we are evicting on the grounds of non-payment. It has now been over 4 months since we have seen any sort of rent from them.

At first we had to sit through all the criminal cases, which were quite interesting. As we assumed, there was no sign of our tenants. Then, just as they began to announce that they were to next move onto the civil cases, a full hour after our scheduled time, one of the tenants shows up. She saunters in an hour late and still manages to get there on time.

I had to say, listening to some of the other tenant issues before we were called up were really bad. One couple hadn’t paid for seven months and they told the judge, “Well, there were bed bugs and mold”. The landlord said, “We sprayed the complex for bed bugs three months ago”. Then they countered with, “Well, he doesn’t seem to care that the microwave electrocuted our daughter”. The judge said, “Was she seriously hurt, did she have to go to the hospital?” They said, “No, it was just a shock”.

The judge then proceeded to tell them, “Look you have to pay rent or get out.” The landlord said, “If they get out in 10 days, by the end of July, we will waive any un-paid fees”. They said no and the judge them gave them until the end of August, so they have another free month rent.

What was interesting about this couple was later, when we were waiting to meet with a mediator (the judge had all the cases concerning tenants go through the mediator and then back to him) we heard this couple bragging to another couple in the waiting area about new tattoos! They were showing a large one on his arm and he said, ‘Yeah, and the wife just got this one” and he shows a large one on the back of her neck. Now, how is it that they can pay hundreds of dollars for that but not any rent? And if their microwave really is unsafe for their daughter, how about using that money to buy a new one, since a landlord is not required to provide a microwave, just an oven/stove. It was amazing how much of the “It’s not my fault” attitude that so many people have. Do they not realize the landlords also have to pay to live somewhere as well? That no one is allowing them to just live for free and do as they please? There is so little actual rights to private property in this country any longer, it was quite sad.

The good news was that due to our mediation, our tenant agreed to pay back the $5800 in back rent $200 a month. Of course we realize we won’t see any of this money, but as part of this bargain she relinquished any rights to get a 10 day extension. She agreed to get out by Aug 1 (and we can now have a sheriff remove her 48 hours after that if she has not done so) and she is required to move all of her own belonging with anything left considered abandoned and we are allowed to throw it out. We were really concerned as our state also has laws that may have required us to pay for a moving company and a storage company for them! All in all it turned out better than we hoped. Of course we are still out months of rent, we will have to pay for a dumpster to removed all the things they will leave (such as old sofas in the yard and so on). It is really hard to be a landlord in my state.

On Wednesday, however, I had a lovely day out. It was nice to have a good day before yesterdays ordeal of tenant drama. A friend and I went to the Farmer’s Market in Hyannis, a town about half an hour away from where I live further down Cape.

farmersmarket1Here I am, ready for the day in a new skirt I whipped up that day. It matched my favorite summer handbag.farmersmarket2My friend (not my vintage friend but also a lovely vintage dresser when we get together) looked cool and fresh in summer yellow with her trusty vintage rattan Summer handbag.

Hyannis is the main town on Cape Cod. It is the largest and therefore we figured its Farmer’s market would be larger than our own respective towns of Sandwich and Dennis. We were wrong. It was quite small. And two of the vendors were from farms here in my town of Sandwich.

farmersmarket3I still purchased some of their lovely beets though. Look at those amazing colors of orange and purple.farmersmarket6Another vendor from my ‘neck of the woods’ is the Jam Kitchen. Here you can see some of there selection including cherry and of course beach plum, a Cape Cod specialty. beachplum The Rosehips of the Rosa Rugosa, or Beach plum are wonderful for jams and can be cooked and even made into teas. beachplumrose The flowers are a single row of petals rather than the fuller look of hybrid or tea roses. They are lovely, though, and are often seen dotting the beaches and dunes as well as a favorite yard plant along with the hydrangea and day lily. They grow like weeds here and are the easiest rose to manage, very resistant to insects, mold and so on.

 farmersmarket7Of course there was a lobster vendor. farmersmarket8And I loved the name of this Farm: “Not Enough Acres”. Believe you me, I know how they feel.

     farmersmarket9 There were lovely homemade pies and sweets.

A funny story was that my friend and I had lunch at one of our favorite little places here in Hyannis, Common Ground. The inside of the restaurant is so quaint and rather like a Hobbit House, with real tree branches and logs making up the seats with booths like little cottages with roof and windows!commongroundcommonground1  commonground2 commonground3

They make the best food all from scratch and we often choose this place as the fun go to place for lunch when in Hyannis. They make a wonderful double oatmeal maple cookie with maple cream filling. After our lunch, we decided to forgo the treat, in case there was something more tempting at the market. And, thank goodness, they too had a booth at the Farmer’s Market, so we ended the day with the cookie after all.

farmersmarket4 Here it is happily awaiting our appetites as our Summer Purses look on.farmersmarket5 Look at that lovely filling, it is large enough for both of us to share.

At the end of the day, relaxed and home again, I decided to cook some chicken and veg on the fire. We don’t have a traditional barbeque. I don’t like cooking over propane and much prefer charcoal or wood. Wood, is of course, my favorite form of outdoor cooking heat. We have a little outdoor fireplace we made with dry-stacked bricks from our property. We often enjoy fires here and I simply place a grate over the top, after I get a good hot coal going. The wood (which you can also get fruit woods or mesquite woods to throw on the fire as well) imparts wonderful flavor to whatever you cook on it.

bbqchicken The chicken turned out wonderful. I used barbeque sauce and though it looks quite dark, is how I prefer to cook it. The skin, when this shade, is so crispy yet holds the juiciness and taste of the fire, wood, and sauce. I also cook some freshly cut zucchini and squash as well as onions and peppers. And a tomato plucked from the vine and a few snips of basil from the pots of herbs on the terrace mixed with olive oil, salt and pepper made for an easy but delicious summer cook out.barbqchicken Can’t you just taste that Summer flavor?

I hope all are having a lovely day and as always, Happy Homemaking.


  1. Glad you got at least some rectification on the rent business. Oh, I wish I were in New England right now! It was such a lovely place to live (we lived in Mass. and N.H.).

  2. Just so you know...if your tenant agreed to the $5800.00 in payments, if they fail to pay then they are in contempt of court and can be arrested. I would double check, but that was the was it was when my parents had a similar situation. even if they are one day late on their agreed time, it is contempt. find out for may need to know. best wishes.

    Lorie B

  3. That is good to know. I did know that anything in the signed agreement not met would be contempt, but I didn't know it mean arrestable. That is good to know. Certainly $200 a month for that much seems so silly, but honestly if there was any chance of actually getting it I would be thrilled. As we have been having to pay the mortgage right along even though we have not been getting any rent. It isn't as if we ever were making any money on the deal.
    Thanks for that information.

  4. mary-where in Mass did you live? I do so love New England. We are lucky in our seasons, our cities and our countryside. Though costs can be a bit higher the history and beauty is often well worth having less space or less everything in order to live here.

  5. OMG, I found you through looking at the Vintage Wife's blog. I just opened my "retro" blog and after looking at yours I all of the sudden feel soooo small and insignificant. I love everything, E.VERY.THING about yours. So much to read and learn, great history posts too. Looking forward to reading more!! I'm a new follower and I even added your button to my blog. Have a great weekend! :)

  6. You look as fresh & pretty as a summer's day in your skirt & blouse, 50's Gal! And I liked your friend's outfit that a vintage (or vintage-type) wicker purse she's carrying? :o) I have one that looks very much like hers.

    Well!...I guess you're heaving a sigh of relief, eh? I'm so happy you have this court date behind you, & that the process is begun to be rid of these tenants. What amazes me the most, I think, is the goofy laws in place that allow you, as landlords, practically no rights at all! I know there can be some real "stinkers" when it comes to landlords, but OH, PLEASE! What are the lawmakers thinking?


  7. Sincerely Retro-thank you! I am glad you like what I have done thus far. I tend to go through a 'nesting' phase every few months or so and change it all around, but I do try.
    I feel bad as I have not done any 'news' in some time, but I have been far too busy with the tenants, the house for sale and de-cluttering and rearranging the two story barn and yard sales and the list goes on. I shall return to it in a new format, though, so don't worry. And thank you for placing your button on your blog, it is much appreciated.
    Brenda-that is a vintage purse as is my turqoise. I also have one similar to hers. At lunch we were discussing how to mend hers. One of her leather straps has come loose and she is going to remove a bit of the lining, steal one of the metal stud/gromits and try to use that to repair where the leather meets the rattan/wicker. When you have an old well made item, you repair it. If you buy a $10 purse at say Payless, you just toss it and buy a new one. The art of mending and repairing really has gone on the wayside, hasn't it?

  8. Good news on the rental situation. You look happy and pretty in the picture.

  9. Your summer skirt is beautiful. I have often wondered where you find your plus-sized vintage clothing. Most clothing from the 1950s that I come across in shops is all average-sized.

    Regarding your delightful handbag: did is come in aqua or did you paint it yourself? I love it!

    Happy Hollingsworth

  10. Yes, most of my 'vintage' clothes are made by me. But, when I was beginning to live in the 1950's it just made sense to me, as a homemaker I would have supplemented my own wardrobe with my own sewing skills. I have sometimes, through ebay and locally, come across actual vintage pieces from a 'fuller figured' gal.
    My purse came in that color and it has a darling bamboo handle. I also have a plain wicker/rattan like my friend has and I have a woven version with bright summer flowers woven from the same material. I almost ALWAYS get a good compliment when I use these handbags, "What a lovely pocketbook, is it vintage?" that sort of thing.

  11. I am so glad to hear the tenents will be gone soon if all goes well. I have been through this myself and the damage from tenents was horrific.
    The skirt you made looks great and the cafe I am familar with. I lived in the twelve tribe communities for several years but it was not the life my husband wanted so we left.
    The food indeed is great and the decor unusual. they are very talented. Anyone wanting to go to one of the cafe's look up by google common ground cafe and see their other locations in the U.S. or go to twelve tribes communities.
    Glad you had a lovely day out.

  12. Greetings dear,
    I just wanted to check in and tell you that I'm back from my holiday - we almost drowned, it has been raining non-stop in Denmark for two weeks now. But the good thing is that we have finished the living room renovation and have moved back in. It is SO lovely! And I will take "after-photos" in a few days and write a guest blog post about it.

    I've downloaded all your blog posts and will start reading them, so watch out for comments on older posts. I hope everything is OK at your end, I'm feeling much better - even my broken ankle is better now. :)


  13. 50's Gal, I just happened to talk to another customer at Nordstroms last week about her beautiful vintage wicker pocketbook. She said shes had it fir years and also mentioned she's gotten it repaired by a furniture craftsmen over the years. Makes sense as this man expertly repairs wicker furniture. Just an idea for your friend's adorable bag.



    Hope ur tenants don't leave u with this surprise. Gonna have to rent more than a dumpster!

  15. Man I like your post and it is so good and I am definitely going to save it. One thing to say the In-depth analysis this article has is truly remarkable. No one goes that extra mile these days? Bravo!! Just one more tip you can get a Translator for your Worldwide Audience !!!


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