The hand’s doing fairly well.  It’s just pretty frustrating, I must wash my hands 20 times during b’fast and only being able to wash one and part of the other kills me, I can type with all fingers of my right hand and just one finger on the other (and this causes me to look at the key pad and this really slows me down), yesterday a screw came out of Ruellia’s bedroom bi-fold doors and it took me over a half hour to fix it (this happens regularly and it normally takes me five minutes to fix it).  The good news is today writing out my reg forms for in coming guests are actually legible, it just takes me twice as long to do them.  I’m pretty set at this point that I will continue using my right hand, even when the left is healed so I can be truly ambidextrous.

Service is very important to me.  I think it shows in how I run my Inn.  I’ve been in hospitality all my life, and really appreciate it when I come across that in my vendors.  I bought all nine fireplaces in the Inn from a crazy lady that opened her shop when she wanted, closed it when she wanted, went to lunch when she wanted.  She was very nice, but was winding down her business and really didn’t care anymore.  Two of the remotes for my fireplaces broke and one of the receivers.  I can’t go to my crazy lady anymore, so I found another distributor for my Monessen fireplaces.  Comfort Living Fireplaces right down Ohio River Blvd are great people to deal with.

Speaking of customer service, Steve Bondarenka was here yesterday.  He’s a Registered Master Plumber that’s done work for me in the past, he’s my fourth Master Plumber I’ve had. His first time here was to unclog a clog underground from a drain spout.  He his work was fine, but then called me the next heavy rain we had to be sure his work worked.  Pretty amazing.  I had one Master Plumber that got a ton of work from me when I first bought the place and was always asking for money.  If you know me, I don’t have a problem paying my bills.  He was continually asking for the balance before he was done.  I had one Master Plumber that did shoddy work.  And the other one had done some work for me and I referred him to my sister for some work.  When I had hm go out to Betty’s to clear a drain, he bragged he was charging me what Roto Rooter charges.  I have drains snaked many times here and in Florida and Roto Rooter has always been the most expensive and the quality of work depends on who they send.  Steve doesn’t seem to have a web site, so I reluctantly will pass his phone number out 412.670.5931, just tell him I sent you if you call him.

Do you know something that I find funny?  When some people call for a reservation, I ask them for a lot of information, their name, the first name of their traveling companion, snail mail address, dates of visit and guest room.  We go through all that and then when I ask for a credit card number, I tell them I accept Visa, MasterCard and AMEX.  At that point, they ask me if I’m ready.  I’ve just written a bunch of stuff down, why would I not be ready? :)  Just one of the little quirks I find amusing.  I guess what they say about it not taking much to amuse small minds is true.  :)

I may get addicted to just serving continental breakfast.  It is sooo much easier.  I’ve had time to read the newspaper and instead of nibbling unhealthy, I’ve been having oatmeal.  Evening prep is a cinch and I’m cleaned up in no time.  But, I actually do enjoy cooking and varying my b’fasts.  I can’t wait until my hand is better.

Talk to ya soon,



A follow up on Gee’s Bend Quilters.  I was talking to Dave, a regular from North Carolina this morning at breakfast.  He was really moved by these wonderful women and talked to them at length yesterday.  They own part of a plantation in Alabama, where their ancestors were slaves.  The men that owned them (Joseph Gee and his partner Mark Pettway) were benevolent slave masters (oxymoron).  He treated them well, by the standards back then.  When they were freed, they worked as tenant farmers and eventually bought part of the plantation and set up their own community.

These lady’s are very religious.  They had an 8:30 flight Sunday, so I made b’fast for them at 7.  After b’fast, they sang a hymn of praise and thanx (to me also).  It was so sweet.  Unfortunately, I had newly weds in the guest room directly over us.  I couldn’t ask them to stop, and I was acutely aware of who was in the room over us.  When he came down, he made a comment about their night was fine until they heard the singing and thought they were in church.  When I explained what the singing was about, he was cool.

Well, that’s it for tonight.  good night,



Good news, I saw Dr Christopher Schmidt Thursday from Allegheny Orthopedic Associates.  He’s the doctor that did such a nice job replacing Betty’s shoulder last year and he doesn’t think I’m going to need surgery.  He thinks I’ll heal on my own in four weeks.  He wants to see me in two weeks and as long as the bone hasn’t shifted, I’ll be fine.  Also, they re-wrapped the hand and I have much better control of my hand.  I’m up to typing with several fingers.  And I think my right handed printing has improved another grade level, I  may be up to fifth grade.  :)

The Young Men and Women’s African Heritage Association is a non profit group over here on the Northside does a really important job with disenfranchised youth.  One of their programs is teaching quilting.  They brought  Gee’s Bend Quilters in for a show over at the New Hazlett Theater this past week.  What a nice group of older ladies.  And quite the quilters also.

I’m going to weigh in on the city’s option of leasing the parking authority to a for profit group to get money to get our pension fund up to where it should be, I’m for leasing  it.  I have called 311, the mayor’s help line, the president of city council and my city council man with suggestions for revenue enhancement.  All three went to voice mail, none have responded.  There’s a $1.5 million reconstruction going on my street with new side walks, period light fixtures and moving the utilities to the alley way. They finished my side of the street last year and then ran into problems with moving the utilities.  For a year there’s been parking meters on my side and none on the other side of the street.  They can’t install the high hat lights until the utilities are moved, so there’s maybe a dozen at most meters they can’t install (the ones attached to the high hats).  The other two to three dozen could have been generating revenue for a year now. The meters are already paid for and sitting in some warehouse!   Since this pension crisis evolved and they’ve been talking about leasing our parking assets, I’ve noticed missing parking meters all over the city with cars parked there.  That’s like me sitting with empty rooms and not selling them.  I go into one of my guest rooms to do projects only when I have several others available.  I’m not going to risk being able to sell a room because the only room available is under construction.

My other recommendation to my “city fathers” was to blitz the Northside on game days with parking enforcement like they’ve been doing over on the Southside on weekends because of all the drunks.  I’m not against the Steelers or their fans (including me).  It’s just if you break the law, there should be a penalty.  If the city is in need of funds, this would be a gold mine.  The city could easily recoup the cost of police and parking authority salaries and then tons of cash through ticketing and towing.  While we’re on this subject, my idiot neighborhood association pays off-duty officers to patrol the neighborhood (thousands of dollars a game) to do a basically ineffective job.  The worst part is this is a function the city is responsible for anyway.

While I’m complaining about my neighborhood association, they’re talking about supporting the Central Northside Association in their efforts to slow down traffic on North Avenue.  People speed to make the next green light.  They want to remove traffic signals and replace them with stop signs.  Instead of being hateful, and incurring the expense of removing lights, buying stop signs, etc, why not time the lights so if you travel at 25 miles an hour you hit them all green?

Well, it’s half time and I’m going to focus on the rest of the game.  Not to mention my left hand is getting tired.  I can type with all my fingers on my right hand, but have to do one finger on my left as well as hold it at an odd angle.  I even have a kink in my neck from this.

See ya,



We’ll call this blog useless.  That’s what I am right now.  I took da boiz down the park for a swim and as we approached the pedestrian bridge (ie narrow), there was a lady standing on the bridge with her dog on a leash.  My boys were on their leashes, but they are long leashes.  So I wrapped the leashes around my left hand so they were forced to be close to me.  As we passed the lady and her dog, both my dogs jumped toward her dog.  I heard a bone snap in my hand.  Since we were at the lake already, I let Razor do his swim thing (I couldn’t go to the ER, I had guests checking in that afternoon).  After my last guest checked in, I went to one of those urgent care clinics and yeps. the bone is broken between the knuckle and wrist.  I have an appointment Thursday with an orthopedic surgeon.  Wish me luck.

So while I was waiting for my last guest to arrive, I made the apple stuffed French toast, panned the bacon, made orange cranberry bread and collected my mis en place for the morning.  The next morning I got up and made breakfast for my 13 guests. It worked pretty well, as far as my guests could tell.  Kind of funny at times in the kitchen.  But then the clean up came, you should have had closed video of it.  I can’t use my left hand at all, so I can’t scrape the plates, I can’t put my left hand in water, I can only carry with my right hand…. it was pretty funny.  So until I have my left hand back, I am only offering continental.

I’m typing this with one finger on my right hand.  Derronda volunteered to come in today to help me.  What a god sent,I love Derronda.  She did the welcome letters and registration forms for the next week, she did the confirmation letters, she even wrote my checks.  Then she washed the pans I couldn’t wash, pulled the mis en place for for the next day, she even cleaned the kitchen floor.  Did I say I love her?

Betty came over today and she’s been doing all my dishes, she even weeded a bit.  She’s agreed to stay until Thursday, then I’m on my own again and sold out.  This should be an interesting weekend.

What a handicap this is.  This is going to sound bad, I don’t mean it that way.  A person without a hand is used to it and their life is adjusted to it.  My life is not, and I need to do a lot of things with two hands.  I can’t even fold towels in thirds to hang in the bath rooms, I can’t cut the chicken up in little pieces that I sprinkle on da boiz dog food, did you realize you need to hands to floss?  I bought a pack of those environmentally insensitive floss on a stick.

A while back, I was whining about finding a product I liked and then not being able to find it again.  One of those things was a low flow shower head.  They make all these fancy shower heads with all these bells and whistles, I want just a basic shower head that conserves water and improves water pressure.  I found them!  It’s not the same  model I used in Florida, but they are exactly what I want.  As soon as I can, I’ll be going back out to Rollier’s in Mt Lebanon and buy the other four they had (don’t sneak out there and snag them on me).  :)  They’ll order more once I clear them out.  I love Rollier’s, that’s where the palm tree in my dining room came from.  They’re an upscale hardware store that’s very well run and all kinds of things.  I’ve talked about them in the past.

I’m going to sign off now, since one finger typing is one of the few things I can do, you may be seeing more of me here :)



The Pittsburgh Festival of Lights starts this Friday at dusk in the Cultural District.  Ross Ashton will be back with four displays, one Old Bones a tribute to the Carnegie Natural History is basically a T Rex light, Splendors is a take off of the exhibit at the Heinz History Museum with relics from the Vatican called “Vatican Splendors: A Journey Through Faith and Art”.  Also, Cascade and Hope are done by Ashton.  There’s going to be a number of local light displays throughout the Cultural District, they are even changing some regular lighting in the District and some local light artists will be having some displays.  Ashton was here last year and had some pretty stunning light sculptures.

Speaking of lights, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (kind of like a Chamber of Commerce) started our Light up Night a number of years ago.  They had the name copyrighted and have been charging other cities (cities right outside the official city limits) a hundred dollar fee to use the name.  They came under quite a bit of local criticism for this.  It was just in the paper that they are donating proceeds to Project Bundle Up with a matching contribution.  How do you say Egg on your Face?

The County has been trying to find a new life for the old County Fair Grounds in South Park.  The County has a number of very cool parks with wave pools, bison habitat, and lots of spaces for family reunions, graduation, anniversary, birthday and any other events parties.  When I was young, they held county fairs there each summer and I have a lot of fond memories of them.  They were very agricultural and even though I lived in the country, I wasn’t overly familiar with cows and things.  The county is looking for feedback as to what can be done with the old fair grounds.  If you have any suggestions, they can be made at www.alleghenycounty.us/parks/SPFairgrounds.

What a day.  It was supposed to be slow, not guests tonight, so I arranged to take Betty exploring on the T (the T is the light rail that travels the south hills into Pittsburgh).  Betty just move into senior house in Beechview, right on the T line and she’s been nervous about using it.  It’s  a great system that will take her within a block of Mt Lebanon’s business district, right past a large grocery store and assorted other little plaza kind of stores.  So we ended up taking it all the way to the end in Library, PA and back.  I also plugged all Betty’s kid’s phone numbers in her new cell phone and we practiced using it.  All of this took about four hours.  OMG, my phone never stopped ringing.  I swear I picked up twenty room nights today and just finished showing the Inn to a potential bride for next year and am showing it shortly for a potential Bar Mitzvah this year.  All this and I didn’t have my rez book with me.

I’m not sure what this says about me, but my apartment is inundated with stink bugs.  I’ve been reading about them in the paper for awhile now.  Yesterday I had to kill 20 (and I’ve put screens in the open windows).  And they are all at my apartment.  I’ve see maybe two in the Mansion.  My apartment is at the one end and very back of the property, so I’m assuming they are migrating over from my neighbor’s either next to me or behind me.  (I hope it’s not personal)  :)  As long as I don’t start having issues with them in the Inn, I’ll be OK with battling them in my space.

I had a wedding this past weekend.  It was a great event and everyone had a wonderful time.  After it was finished, I got my breakfast prep work finished and the kitchen put back together and it was a little after midnight.  I said good night the the group of wedding guests still hanging out on the Veranda and took da boiz up to bed.  I was in bed shortly after that and I thought that was the end of the story.  Since the weather has changed, I haven’t been diligent in latching the door going into my apartment.  The next morning, the guests that were on the Veranda until 3 a.m. told me RJ came down, opened the Ballroom door (that’s how we go upstairs) and partied with them.  After awhile, they figured he should go back up stairs, so they opened to Ballroom door and shooed him in  and latched the exterior Ballroom door.  He was gone for awhile and the next thing they knew, was he has the lace curtains pulled back on the Ballroom window that looks out on the Veranda and his paws are on the window sill.  So they let the party animal (pun intended) stay up with them until they went to bed.  Too funny.

Well, my last tour of the day just showed up, have a good night,



Welcome to the United Nations.  Of my four guest rooms sold last night, I have a lady from Columbia, a gentleman from Japan and a couple from India.  (The other foreign guests are from that foreign country Ohio).  :)  They’re all playing nice, why can’t we do this on a global scale?

What a beautiful day we’re having today.  It is the perfect Fall day, bright, sunny, low eighties.

OK, time for me to vent a bit, I haven’t in awhile.  This morning I read where Charles Munger the VP at Berkshire gave a speak at the University of Michigan.  He told the students the public should “suck it in” during the hard times, this while we the people are facing the largest foreclosure rate in history, joblessness is next to double digit, small businesses are collapsing and bankers are getting their multimillion dollar bonuses.  And I like Warren Buffet, I hope he has a chat with Munger.  Even if that disgusting opinion is his, he should never rub his arrogance in our faces.

On a lighter note, my good friend Myra (the one the gave me the baked oatmeal recipe) is taking the plunge.  Her and her husband Phil just purchased a functioning bed and breakfast near Harrisburg.  By functioning, I mean it has an active b& b license and the physical structures are in good shape.  The previous owner has already sold all the furnishings.  So besides dealing with all the legal things of starting a business, the marketing things of starting a business and the frilly things, they have to outfit the Inn.  Luckily for her (and me), she’s the one that’s editing my manuscript, so they should have some good basics on starting and running an Inn.  I guess that ends the editing process, though.  ):  But that’s OK, I love to see people going off on their own.  More to follow as I get updates.  They’re a great family (son Alex actually usually travels with her when she comes to PGH, Phil has to stay at home for his regular job) and I have the utmost confidence they will do well.

Getting ready for the winter, I inventoried all eight fireplaces to see what I need for this coming winter (one is missing the remote control box and three are missing the remotes).  The place I bought them in 2006 was a real PIA.  A nice lady, but only worked when she wanted to.  So I went to the Monessen web site and they don’t deal with retail customers.  They did have a nice feature that you put in your zip code and they list all the local distributors.  So I put my zip code in and she’s not even listed anymore.  But there’s one right down Ohio River Blvd, almost to Swickley. I went there with my information and the lady their looked my Monessen up and found the “kit” the has the remote control box and remote for $100.  She couldn’t find just a remote listed and said I was going to have to buy kits for all three fireplaces.  I politely threw a fit.  The remote was dropped and broken and I have to buy a whole new system?  That’s like telling me I broke the remote for my TV and I have to buy a whole new TV.  Her associate asked me if I’d like to pursue this further and I said absolutely (they obviously don’t know me).  So they called their distributor and he said I had to buy kits.  We decided to call Monessen directly.  Guess what, you don’t have to buy the kit.  You can buy the remote separate.  Their name is Comfort Living Fireplaces, if anyone needs a fireplace or fireplace insert, very nice people.

Well, I think that’s about it for today, have a great one,



I’m sold out this weekend and basically the next four weekends (I have one room left October 8 & 9 and one October 15 & 16).  Derronda’s here doing all the breakfast prep and checking guests in, so I have some free time.  I checked my rankings on the search engines and I dropped from the #1 spot on Google, but I’m still in the top five of Google, Yahoo, MSN, ASK and AOL.  Also, I always calculate how many visitors I’ve had each day since I last checked my rankings and I’m running on average 75 per day, AWESOME.

I’m taking Tree Tender classes to be a certified City Tree Tender.  The main purpose of this is so I can properly care for the two trees they’re planting in the new sidewalks in front of my Inn and I plan on planting two new trees in my parking lot.  I want to replace the purple plum that was so seriously damaged during Snowmageddon last February and plant a new tree in back of the parking lot by the kitchen window.  The main reason I am bringing this up is at the class, one of the instructors said the Urban Tree Forge is still in operation.  If you remember, I spoke of it several months ago.  John Metzler set up with the City to take trees they needed to cut down and recycle them into flooring, cabinets, sculpture, etc over in the Point Breeze are.  John was tragically killed by a rental truck that broke loose from the one towing it and hit John.  I just assumed Urban Forge was closed, but she said it was still in operation.

On a related note, Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest is having their yearly fund raiser at Guardian Storage Solutions, 2839 Liberty Avenue on October 29th from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m.  It’s $25 in advance and $30 at the door with all proceeds going to Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest.  The space is pretty interesting, it’s a 100 year old building that’s been completely remodeled with the high ceilings, refinished hardwood floors and brick walls.  They’re going to have local food and libations, a silent auction, a cello performance by Gordon Kirkwood, the Mon River Ramblers will be performing and incredible art work made from salvaged wood.  Artwork will be for sale.

Garden updates, the hibiscus I moved once and was doing so good is really stressing out, I think it’s the heat and dryness of this summer has finally gotten to it.  I spoke with my Hort friend Tony and that’s his call on it.  I have been watering them basically twice a week, but maybe that’s not been enough.  The banana that gets a lot of sun is huge, the other is still pretty small.  The white clematis on the arbor is this massive explosion of flowers.  I have a bunch of zucchini and tomato plants growing in my garden from last year’s compost.  Hopefully this year I’ve done better and the composting will be more effective and reduce the seeds down also.  A funny thing is I have grape tomatoes growing in my garden and I never use grape tomatoes.  Seed companies take different strong seed stock and hybrid them, I think this is the seeds reverting back to what they really were.

Well, I’m gonna run, take care,



OK Myra, you embarrassed me into dealing with the crystal chandelier in the dining room.  I replaced the burnt out bulb when I saw your comments. I’ve been reluctant to fix the  two unlit bulbs, because I thought I had to rewire the whole chandelier.   I’ve already done that with three others and this chandelier is the biggest, it’s Waterford crystal (the individual crystals have a W stamped on them) and the center piece over my breakfast table.  I didn’t want to get in the middle of fixing it, run into some problem and have to stop leaving my dining room unlit.   So today, I took one of the two that wouldn’t work apart and took the section you screw the bulb into out to Lighting by Eric in Mt Lebanon.  Lighting by Eric has some pretty exotic lighting fixtures, as well as some fairly generic offerings and furnishings.  But hugely, they have Moe.  Moe is their light repair person, he is a wealth of information, expertise and parts.  As soon as Moe looked at what I was holding, he said “That’s European, you just need an adapter”.  European bulbs are metric and so our bulbs don’t fit (Waterford Crystal‘s British).  So I bought four adapters (two for back up) and for the first time since I’ve owned it, all the bulbs are working.  Thanx Myra and good luck Saturday.

I’m a corporate sponsor for the Carnegies (small fish in a big pond), that’s how I get the discounted tickets.  As a corporate sponsor, I also get their quarterly magazine.  I haven’t seen the new dinosaur exhibit that’s just opened, but have been hearing rave reviews (both in the newspaper and my guests that have been there).  What I didn’t realize was that they took a courtyard and enclosed it for the new exhibit.  That should add some architectural interest to the exhibit and the reason I’m even commenting on it is it’s silver LEED certified.  Way to go Carnegies.  Apparently the Sports Works down at the Carnegie Science Center also has an LEED certification and that is the new standard for the Carnegies.

It’s amazing what the Carnegies own.  What you see when you visit the museums is just a fraction of their collections.  Everything you see is just a tiny fraction of other objects just like it they have in storage. Academicians from all over the world come here for research.   From art to fossils to jewelry and clothing.  They’ve pulled out a bunch of stuff on birds and have an exhibit that’s just opened where you pair yourself to a bird.  It’s one of those A vs B personality traits comparisons.  Some people are aggressive raptors and some are meek sparrows.  Must of us fall in between somewhere.  They’ve made this some what permanent in that they can package it up and move it to new locations.

The Warhol has a new exhibit that looks kind of interesting, if not a bit bizarre.  It’s called Ordinary Madness and it’s a whole slew of things from a drain, a stack of broken glass, targets, etc.  It was put together by Dan Byers, Carnegie’s associate curator of contemporary art.  He wants visitors to embrace and enjoy the unease that contemporary art can inspire.  Barry Paris, a long time PGH Post Gazette film critic is assembling an exhibition on Marilyn Monroe that starts the end of October.  Paris has done acclaimed biographies on Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn and Louise Brooks.

The Science Center’s new movie in the Imax theater will be based on photos taken by the Hubble  Telescope.    The pictures that have in the Fall Carnegie Magazine are pretty incredible.  It’s amazing what’s out there in our universe.

I see my last guests are pulling into the parking lot, so I have to run.  We’ll chat  soon again,



I haven’t blogged in awhile, so I thought I’d do a short blog explaining my absence of late and brag a bit.

Why is it I seem to loose employees right before a holiday.  It happened at Memorial Day and now Labor Day.  New hire Alyce actually started on Labor Day and is working in nicely.  She misses some details, but every room she cleans, she walks out of a clean room.  That’s my biggest priority, CLEAN.  So I’m very happy.  The details will come in time.  The Parador isn’t a Marriott, each room is unique and there’s a ton to remember.  So today is her one week anniversary and she’s in the Mansion alone.  I’ll go over shortly to check on her rooms, I’m sure if I find anything, it will be minor.

I use Papua New Guinea fair trade organic coffee.  Iron Star Roaster here in Pittsburgh roasts if for me.  I was running low on the in room coffee packets about a month ago, so I called them and ordered more.  They were out, but supposedly it was in route.  I spoke with Tim a number of times, the coffee was in LA, but held up in customs.  Tim kept calling his supplier for updates, he even started calling around to see if anyone else had the beans.  Finally they arrived last Friday late morning, he roasted them, packaged 50 in room packets, and two five whole been bags for me AND DELIVERED THEM AROUND 5 P.M.  Talk about customer service.  Their web site’s sort of week, but they’re great people and carry great products and they ship anywhere.

Now, to brag, The Parador Inn of Pittsburgh is now 100% HD.  All guest rooms have HDTV.  These new TV’s are so much lighter than the old style.  I replaced Ruellia’s 32″ with a new HDTV and carried the new TV up with one hand and the new DirecTV box in the other.  I really struggled getting the old monster down those stairs (and then down the basement stairs).  Anyone want one or three analog TV’s for free?  Too late, I just donated them and the old style DirecTV boxes to Goodwill.

Busy last couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago we had a Steeler’s home game on Thursday and then Labor Day weekend.  I was sold out for four nights.  This past weekend, the Steelers played Sunday and the few guests room that weren’t booked for three nights, I sold those rooms on the open nights and ended up sold out for three nights this weekend.  Yeah.  :)  Also, I’m sold out the next five weekends.  Nina & Jeff are getting married this weekend (not here) and are housing their guests here and the following weekend I’m hosting Jamie & Randy’s wedding (they live right over on the Mexican War Streets).  Then there’s two more Steeler home games and the other weekend is just sold out for no particular reason other than everyone loves to come and visit me.  :)

By the way, I believe I’ve talked about my search engine ranking.  I have been diligently working on improving my ranking.  Most all of my business comes from the web.  When I was in Florida, I was happy with 30 visits a day to my web site.  When I moved up here, I kept my web page.  I went from being The Parador of the Palm Beaches to The Parador of Pittsburgh.  Well, talk about messing with the search engines.  At one point, Google dropped me totally (I did a search “bed breakfast pittsburgh pa” and stopped looking after 1,000 listings).  At the same time, Yahoo had me in the 200’s.  A guest stayed here and he was pretty knowledgeable about web pages and we did a barter thing and he definitely helped.  Kevin brought me to within 100 in Google and Yahoo was around 150.  Then he got me to Google within twenty and Yahoo 60.  I was the half way point between Kevin and his girlfriend.  They’ve since broke up and I haven’t seen him in a year (we E-mail periodically, if you’re reading this Kevin, I still owe you a weekend).  My printer Vollkommen hired this fantastic web guy, Kirk.  Since Kirk and myself reworked my web site, I’ve been in the top five of Google, MSN, ASK and AOL.  PIA Yahoo has kept me between 20 and 30.  Last week when I did my weekly search Google HAD ME IN THE #1 SLOT AND I’VE BEEN THERE SINCE.  Sorry for shouting, I’m just supper excited.  Yahoo has even had me in the top five lately.  If you depend on your web site to drive business, I definitely recommend contacting Joe (owner of Vollkommen) and have them look at your site.

And this was going to be a short blog?

Frustration.  I swear, when I find something I like, they drop it from production.  I’m not against change and improvements, but they seem to drop excellent products and replace them with these new products that don’t live up to the old.  When I was in Florida, there was this lo flo water conservation shower head call Euro Flow sold at HomeDepot, I haven’t seen it in years.  All the ones I see now have all these bells and whistles and don’t give have the added pressure these little babies did (I still have one in my shower, they last).  All of my ceiling fans/lights have two pull chains, one for the fan and one for the light.  I like consistency, I have a dolphin for the fan and a seahorse for the light (get it sea/seehorse).  I can’t find the seahorses anymore.  I’ve had this dust pan on a stick for a number of years.  Two years ago it developed a crack and I started looking for a replacement.  Lots of dust pans you bend over with, lots of lobby pans (the ones that fold up when you lift them from the floor), but for two years I haven’t been able to find a dust pan that doesn’t fold up.  Blankets, I have used the same blankets on my beds for years, I love them.  The cloth is solid and fuzzy with satin borders.  They are long enough that they reach from the pillow to the foot of the bed and can be tucked under the mattress.  The sides drape nicely over the mattress and are comfortably covered by the bed spread.  Out of desperation, I have bought retail micro fiber blankets (that don’t fit properly), blankets that sort of look like bed spreads and other frustrating excuse for blankets.  I went to Atlantic City Delaware last winter to a trade show trying to find what I want.  Did hook up with a commercial distributor, Mills Distributing and thought I had things covered (pun intended).  Well, we’ve been back and forth for months now and I still don’t have my blankets.  One of my watering cans has a small leak, so I was at Lowe’s two weeks ago and the closest thing I could find to what I wanted, I bought.  When I got home and filled it with water, I had to use two hands to carry it because of how the handle was cutely positioned, the weight of the water pulled the nose down and the water would pour out if you grasped it anywhere on the handle with one hand.  I hope it’s looking cute back on Lowe’s shelf.

OK, I’ll quit whining, for now.  With Alcyce, you should be seeing more of me here.



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