Had a small wedding this past weekend.  It was catered by M Catering of Monroeville.  They did a real nice job, the couple from England wanted a Southern menu and it was a nice change.  Service and food was great and the guests had a great time.  The bride opted for a retro style in dress and music and even brought in a swing kind of band.   It was brilliant.

The dinner portion was over and I was in the hot kitchen making baked oatmeal for the morning’s b’fast when Rich, the owner of M Catering walked in.  He noticed my slicing knife and asked me if I went to P.I.C.A. (Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts) and I said yes.  He called Christian, his sous chef, in and we started talking, all three of us attended P.I.C.A. in the 90’s.  We started talking about the school, culinary and other things.  (One great idea was they serve a strata like I serve my baked oatmeal-I will be trying that out soon).  It made me realize what I miss about the corporate world.  One of the things I loved about working in the casinos in Atlantic City was the interchange of ideas among my peers.  In particular during those times, the casinos had deep pockets and gave us quite a bit of freedom in creating products to out shine our competition.  My peers and myself also shared an alternative life style of being busy when everyone else was off (and vice versa).  Most of my current circle of friends and associates are not “foodies” and work 9 – 5 Monday through Friday kind of jobs.  It’s an adjustment.

It’s started again.  Several months ago, my phone would ring and odd numbers would appear on my caller ID.  When I answered the call, no one ever spoke and the connected was severed.  This would happen twice a day, one at the same time in the morning and the other at the same time in the afternoon.  As long as I answered the phone, these calls kept coming in.  I quit answering these calls and they eventually quit.  This morning I got a second call (one yesterday at the same time) and is the last I will answer.  I wonder what this is all about, it’s too structured to just be a random occurrence, and with it stopping after I quit answering shows it’s monitored.

Phipps Conservatory is starting the third, and final, phase of their expansion this week.  First they did the lobby, then the Tropical Forest.  This latest expansion is going to be an environmental and educational center will take about a year to finish and the price tag on this is about $8M.  The purpose of the building will be for research and educational classes.  They naturally are shooting for a platinum certification from LEED.

I’ve been using the same mixture of unscented mineral oil and lavender for months now.  Months ago when I first experimented with this method of creating pleasant scents, I tried both this combination and vodka, distilled water and lavender.  The alcohol based mixture only lasted a couple of weeks.  The bottles of mineral oil mixture are still nearly full.  You just need to remember to keep turning the wicks every few days.  And they do give off a nice subtle scent.

I’ve been bringing  my outside plants in and finished yesterday.  Today, I’m cutting the elephant ears down and tomorrow Derronda’s going to help me dig them up.  It’s been going down into the low 30’s, upper 20’s on a regular basis and the cast doesn’t come off for a week, maybe two.  I’ve been getting more used to the cast and growing mobility with it.  I did a full hot American b’fast this past weekend and it worked OK.  Derronda’s a great help with prepping for b’fast and her and Alyce have been washing my pots and pans and even the dishes on slower days (busy days, I’m the one armed dishwasher operator).  🙂

Speaking of mulch, which I wasn’t, :), I’ve been raking the leaves onto that brick patio thing in the grassy area of the Courtyard.  I then take my lawn mower and shred them.  It greatly reduces their volume and will aid in their decomposition.  Also, since it’s so dense, the wind doesn’t blow the leaves around like piles of leaves do.  I like it.

OK, pull out the soap box, the election is in tomorrow.  First of all, I think both democratic and republican parties are useless.  I lean towards a democratic bend, so if you have a problem with this, this is the last paragraph and you can stop here.  I have never voted a straight democratic ticket.  The gap between the rich and poor has significantly widened in the last eight years, and the republicans are kicking and screaming about Obama wanting to increase taxes.  He doesn’t want to increase taxes, he just wants to stop giving discounts to the rich.  On a state level, the republicans are saying Onorato wants to raise energy taxes.  He wants to tax a new industry that’s not being taxed.  The thing about elections that has bothered me for years is they campaign ripping their opponent apart instead of building a platform we can base an intelligent  decision on.  Now that the supreme court has opened the flood gates to blind funding of campaigns, this year is the worst I’ve seen.  The democrats are guilty of this as well, but the republicans or republican supporters are so out of control with the lies and twisting the facts that as much as I hate the thought, I’ve been thinking of voting a straight democratic ticket.  I would rather vote all the bums out, but if I vote that way and give the republicans both house and senate, we could end up in even worse shape. In two years, I haven’t seen the republicans offer any alternative to what Obama’s been pushing.  They just keep saying no, and they’re not even civil about it anymore.  I abhor the wall street and bank bailouts, but something had to be done.  I do believe the country was on the verge of financial collapse.  Was it the right thing?  I don’t know, did the republicans offer an alternative?  No.  I just heard a quote (which I’ve heard in the past) from republican chairman that their agenda is to take over the house and senate.  Why not have an agenda of pulling the country out of the mess we are in with a solution that’s a compromise?

OK, I’ll stop, thanx for bearing with me,


  • I’ve been following your blog since my stay at your wonderul place in October. Actually I read some before we drove down. Especially interested in your “recovery” as Karen & I were there when the “event” happened.

    Love your political views – right on. I am registered as an independent alto swing to democatic side of the isle.

    Have spread the word here in Syracuse about your awesome place. Everyone from Syracuse to my nephew in Ca has heard about your place and especially the Tiffany window tour. Awesome beyond words.

    One last thing – I agree with Phipps it is right up there with Mt. Washington’s view of the city!

    Take care

    Syracuse, NY

    • Thanx for the nice comments, word of mouth advertising is absolutely the best kind. A business can’t buy the recommendation of a friend to a friend about a place, that’s why they make all those stupid commercials we’re supposed to relate to. I’m glad you appreciated Calvary, not only is it spectacular, but they are very nice people over there also. When you were at the Phipps, did they have the corpse plant out. I don’t know why they only put it out for a few days at a time, I guess it has some special needs.
      Thanx again and hope to see you guys soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seven − six =