Here chickie, chickie, chickie.....I
grew up in that place and time where if you wanted fried
chicken for lunch after church, you simply changed out of
your Sunday go-to-meeting clothes, walked out to the yard,
grabbed an unlucky bird, wrung its head off, and sat down on
an old stump and proceeded to pluck its feathers. You were
assured of a fresh fried chicken, so fresh it was never even
refrigerated. I can remember my Aunt Mabel Underwood (who
was also an aunt on my father’s side) horrifying me with a
flopping, headless chicken.
Fresh chicken was only got that one way,
and I even remember once when we went to Christoval for a
few days for a Carter family reunion (Grannie Carter used to
take the “waters” there), we took along several live
chickens, fed them around our cabin, then ate them one by
one. That tells you how stupid chickens are. One would think
they would notice the disappearing flock and run off.
My mother didn’t get her chickens that
way. We lived out on a ranch with plenty of chicken room,
but my semi-outlaw father only kept fighting game cocks for
his real outlaw friends, so our fried chicken came from the
“locker” in town.
Everybody had a freezer in town in those
days. They called it a “locker” and you kept your
slaughtered farm stuff there before deep freezes became
available for the general public.
No, mamma didn’t milk no cows either. She
was a real cowgirl/beauty operator, and she wasn’t about to
do all that other farm wife stuff which might mess up her
nails or make her have to smell something real bad.
So when I first married my first husband,
I had no idea how to cook a chicken or even cut one up for
cooking. Fortunately, my favorite Aunt Margaret Compton who
could work in the kitchen so fast her hands would blur, and
who was eventually murdered (along with her daughter, my
cousin, and another friend) in a gory and much publicized
Dallas triple homicide by a vengeful ex-son in law, taught
me how to cut up a chicken for frying when we lived in
Snyder, Texas that I have not forgotten till this day.
All of this is to tell you about my
recent experience with a frying chicken (You didn’t think it
was a trip down Texanna memory lane, did you?)
I asked my granddaughter what she wanted
for her birthday dinner, promising to cook anything. One of
her menu choices was fried chicken. My first inclination was
to buy some KFC, Church’s or Popeye’s, as I hadn’t fried
chicken in so long, and I figured that she would be just as
happy since I wasn’t sure if she had EVER had real
The more I thought about it, the hungrier
I became for some homemade fried chicken myself so off to
the store I scamper.
Now remember, it’s been many years since
I had anything other than KFC or Church’s, so I was shocked,
SHOCKED mind you, about the price for a cut-up fryer. EIGHT
BUCKS, and I figured I needed two. “I’m not paying $16 for
unfried chicken,” I told myself. “Wonder how much whole
chickens are? I haven’t had a “wishbone” in 15 years,” I
thought. You don’t get wishbones with store-bought chicken.
The whole chickens were $5 each so I
bought a couple and brought them home. I had forgotten what
a chore it is to cut up chickens. For one thing, I don’t had
the right knife so my two birds got really hacked up. I had
forgotten the hassle of skinning the fowls. And the mess
flouring and frying make? I’m not sure my kitchen will
recover until a professional cleans it properly.
I’m telling you all this to complain
about the high cost of fresh chicken and to give you a break
from unremitting politics. No wonder Bo Pilgrim can afford
to hand out $100 dollar bills on the House floor. Okay, I
just had to throw something political in.
Don’t forget......You’ve probably
received your home and property assessment from the Fort
Bend central appraisal district by now. Since you only have
until the end of May to protest, you should have received it
by now. If you overlooked it, you can find it on the
internet under http://www.fbcad.org/Appraisal/PublicAccess/
For those of you who pay your taxes
through your mortgage company every month, this little piece
of paper might not mean much to you. After all, it only
shows what your property is worth, and doesn’t require you
to pay anything....yet.
In fact you probably are patting yourself
on the back as your property has increased in value over
last year. You are telling yourself how good an investment
you have made because the value has gone up so much, often
with no reason whatsoever.
Well, wake yourself up. Those assessed
values are used by as many as 100 taxing entities, 17 of
which may tax you.
Your property values have probably
increased because someone in your neighborhood sold their
property for a nice profit. The Central Appraisal District
is quick to jump on that. They are not as quick to record
sales of insignificant values and bring your assessment
The internet is a wonderful thing. You
can look at the values of your neighbor’s house and see how
you compare with it. You can even take that to the CAD as
proof that your property is overvalued.
If you want to protest, simply go the CAD
building over in Rosenberg on FM 2218 (almost across the
street from Terry High School and one half block down from
the Driver’s License building) and line up to protest.
Remember, they can’t go up more than 10% per year. Do you
realize if your property increased 10% a year, then in five
short years, you property would be worth (and taxed) 50%
more. Go early.