WE SEEM ALMOST numb to crime, these days. Robberies, rip-offs — it’s part of the price we pay, living in Oakland. But someone is out there breaking into churches. There have been at least three burglaries in recent months in Montclair. It’s sad, because there was a time when churches stayed open 24/7 for people who wanted to pray. Now, most are locked when service isn’t in session. Locked, when it seems we need them more than ever.
ANIMAL TALES: Have goat, will travel. Reader Andy Hawkey says her goats have been making big money for the Montclair 4H club — as weed eaters.
“They actually have been on three straight gigs,” she writes, adding they also made $325 for Montera Middle School at a recent auction. A woman in Concord wanted them to nibble in her yard for awhile. And how do the Hawkeys transport the goats? In the back seat of their Camry! Imagine that sight as you’re driving down the road.
BOOK IT: Reader Susan Alcorn has been busy schlepping boxes of books up her rather steep driveway. The Montclair author has just self-published “Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago,” the story of her 400-mile hike across northern Spain. Not only are her closets full of books, “they’re lining my office wall, and creating a unique room divider in the living room” she writes. Alcorn appears at A Great Good Place for Books at 7 p.m. on June 15.
FREE FERTILIZER: Lots of coffee houses offer free grounds for your ground, but at Nelly’s Java, it’s bagged and ready for the garden. Just ask Roger Terlet, who’s been picking up organic grounds from the Montclair coffee shop and adding them to his compost pile.
“Nelly’s puts the grounds in plastic bag-lined milk crates that they leave outside, under their outdoor bench,” he says. That saves him the time of waiting in line to pick up the grounds — and leaves him more time to reap what he sews.
MIXING IT UP: If you want to make a real splash at your next cocktail party, try offering blood orange Cosmopolitans to your guests. Don’t know how to make them? The trendy bar Mezze on Grand Avenue offers private lessons for budding bartenders — upon request. For $40 a person, you learn the secrets of the trade and get to enjoy the drinks. Not a bad deal, considering the cost of blood oranges these days.
BIRD ATTACK: Straight from an Alfred Hitchcock plot, a bird has been attacking one of my readers. Yes, Nancy the Slipper Lady says she’s been assaulted at least three times under the trees outside Rite Aid in Montclair. The same bird and same manner of attack.
“He flies into the back of my head,” she says, “then takes off.” It’s not known for sure, but he may be attracted to Nancy’s conditioner. She uses Suave — scented with berries.