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Bird’s Eye View (Dec 10, 2014)

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. So, the Christmas lights are beginning to appear around town and as my maternal grandfather The Venerable Vulture would no doubt have said, “It’s all very festive and gay,” in the traditional sense of the word of course. Although it must be said, and let’s be honest about this, ultimately this time of year is really only unconditionally enjoyed by a couple of groups of people: children (for all the obvious reasons) and gay men. As a result of spending many Christmas holidays in San Francisco as the only straight Turkey Vulture on a construction crew of six birds of prey, I feel that I can make that observation with a degree of authority. Yes, those guys just loved this time of year. And the parties? Wow!

And with that last thought in mind, for your Quotes of the Week let’s refer to “parties,” a topic we have never visited for quotes before. First up, we have this from that master of good manners, Jane Austen, who somewhat inevitably said, “The sooner every party breaks up the better.” I love her writing but she should have relaxed a little sometimes; maybe even burned her bodice!? Next, who can argue with Elsa Maxwell (1883-1963), the American gossip columnist and author, songwriter, and professional hostess renowned for her parties for royalty and high society figures of her day, who commented with some experience that, “Nothing spoils a good party like a genius.” Yes, Elsa, many a good party around these parts has been tarnished by certain “experts” and their know-it-all monologues. Having attended a number of those SF parties mentioned above, it would seem that those in attendance were not aware of these wise words from British writer Izaac Walton (1594-1683) who said, “I love such mirth as does not make friends ashamed to look upon one another next morning.” But finally, and with the “Season of Joy” upon us, let me share this splendid thought by Adela Rogers St. Johns (1894-1988), the American journalist, novelist, and screenwriter, who remarked, “Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness, which is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you’re lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love.” And with that I wish you much joy at this time of year.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #340. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will be visiting the Valley just once more this month, tomorrow, Thursday, December 11 from 2-4pm at the AV Farm Supply and new customers are always welcome. Previous visitors should be aware that they can call 462-8833 and the vets will bring your pet’s charts with them. making this an even better service than it already is! This is their final visit of the year but they have confirmed two dates in January. Thursdays, January 15 and 29. #341. The annual toy drive by the Food Shed and our Volunteer FireFighters is underway and you can certainly help by visiting All That Good Stuff store in Boonville where owner Claudia will give 10% off any toy that you buy for kids who will not be getting much else this Christmas. She will pass that gift on the volunteers when they come by at the end of this week to pick up the toys. please contribute if you can. #342. Gardeners, farmers and produce growers of all kinds, please remember Food Bank days as a time to donate your extra produce. This is always the third Tuesday of every month, which on this occasion is next Tuesday, December 16. It will be greatly appreciated if you could please drop off on the Monday before, behind the Boonville Methodist Church. If you need someone to glean your produce to take to the Food Bank, contact Valerie Kim at or Denisse Mattei, the Food Bank director, at 895-3763. #343. The Boonville Winter Market is every Saturday, rain or shine, in front of the Boonville General Store, 10-12:30. Come on down with your locally grown or made food or crafts, to sell or trade. For more info, call Cindy at 895-2949. #344. The Chamber of Commerce “Mixer” planned for The Madrones tomorrow, Thursday, December 11, has been cancelled.

Here is the menu for the Community lunches over the next week at the Senior Center in the Veterans” Building in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from seniors and charges $7 for Non-seniors. Tomorrow, Thursday, December 11, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Chicken Stir Fry, Jasmine rice, mixed vegetables, Asian Slaw, and Triple Chocolate for dessert. Then next Tuesday, December 16, the menu will feature Clam Chowder, Broccoli salad, Garlic bread, Tabbouleh salad, with a dessert of Pecan Pumpkin pie. The Center will be open on Thursday, December 18 for a lunch of Ham, Twice Baked potatoes, Green beans, dinner rolls, Barley salad, and Rum cake for dessert before closing for two weeks over the holidays. They will re-open for lunch on Tuesday, January 6. Remember, all ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.

Moving quickly on to a few of the topics and Valley events under discussion this week at The Three-Dot Lounge — “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant (and surprisingly reliable) Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…Many people in the Valley who have chickens no doubt have their “horror” stories of their coops being invaded by various creatures that manage to get inside and then devour the defenseless brood. Well any such critters who may be thinking about making an “attack” on the plump and healthy looking chickens at Penny Royal Farm at the south end of Boonville will have to come up with quite a master plan to overcome the veritable “Chicken Castle” that has been built there alongside Hwy 128. I’ll keep you posted.

…A number of Three-Dot regulars, including myself, have attended or plan to attend the Christmas parties of a couple of the Valley’s book clubs. However, I am having little luck in securing an invite to the event being held by the wonderfully named Cliterati book club. For some reason I have never been invited to any of their gatherings.

…So the holiday parties continue and a wonderful evening was had by all at the AV Brewery’s event last Friday evening where the food and drink inevitably and appropriately flowed in abundance. However, it will be hard to top the Volunteer Firefighter Association’s event held at River’s Bend (formerly Wellspring) and catered by Coq au Vin. The hors d’oeuvres, turkey dinner, and desserts were all delicious and, as the wine flowed, the various awards were passed out to a number of volunteers for the wonderful service they and the whole group provide for our community. A great night out in the Valley on many levels.

…The next day saw a gathering of the AV High School Boys soccer team and coaches at The Buckhorn, Boonville to celebrate their recently concluded Championship season with pizza and spicy wings. While their efforts do not have the importance of those by the firefighters and others, the joy they gave many folks this past season was significant and the smiles on their faces, barely visible beneath the smeared hot sauce, were equally as joyful and well-earned.

…Next up, this evening in fact, it’s the Independent Career Women party at The Buckhorn to which a number of Dependent Career-less Men have been invited for the only time of the year when the “inner sanctum” of the Women’s gathering is open for the men’s wonderment. I shall be there. And on Sunday, the AV Lions will be celebrating another year of Valley fund-raising as they sit down to enjoy a feast at Coq au Vin restaurant at The Floodgate where they will not have to prepare food, bbq tri-tips, or clean-up a single thing. They deserve it!

I’m outtahere. Until we talk again. Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; be wary of strangers with more dogs than teeth; please remember to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle; and may your god go with you. A final request, Let us prey. Sometimes poking, often stroking, but always humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PS. Keep on wagging that tail, Fred. … Is that “lafter” I hear, Carroll? … Keep up the good work, Round-eyed Robin, wherever you may be.

One Comment

  1. MarshallNewman December 10, 2014

    Mr. Vulture
    On chicken-eating critters that accessed our chicken house, we used a good spotlight and a rifle when I lived in the valley. The critters usually lived close to the chicken house and once eliminated, could not teach their brethren about the easy pickings there.
    Marshall Newman

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