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.

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