Hi,

Tomorrow, obviously is the Superbowl with the Steelers and the Packers battling it out.  It is also Aaron Burr’s birth anniversary (1756), Bob Marley’s birth anniversary (1945) and Midwinter’s Day Celebration in Ann Arbor, MI.  It is also day of the Celtic holiday, Umback (sp?), also celebrating midwinter’s day.  I’m hosting a party tonight for a local business that has their annual holiday party celebrating Umback instead of competing with all the holiday parties in December-it’s Kirk & Penny’s third year with me (last year it was scheduled on the day of Snowmageddon and was postponed for two weeks.  :)

I love it when one of my brain storms work.  Any follower of my blog should know I’ve been working on Bougainvillea, the guest room that’s like a town house with it’s living room on the second floor and the bed room’s on the third floor.  I changed the bedroom from a full to a queen, repainted it, changed some of the wall art around in the bedroom.  I came down and rearranged the living room and repainted that as well.  The second floor hallway was a series of narrow closets, probably of use back when the servants lived there, but useless today and just added clutter.  I took the doors of the two under the stairs going to the third floor, took the old shelves out and canvas wall paper and all the extraneous things out of there.  I started patching it and am going to make them open book cases.  It already looks so much better and open.  It’s amazing how changing a small area in a room can make such a major visual improvement.

The Super Bowl Trophy, originally designed by Tiffany & Company in 1967.  It is a regulation sized football weighting about seven pounds of silver, is made in New Jersey and takes about four months for Tiffany’s craftsman to make.  Go Steelers.

An eight grader from Brentwood won the Justin Bieber singing contest and will be going to LA for the premier of Bieber’s movie Never say Never and meet with the singer.  Deven was the winner of an on-line contest that had thousands of votes.  Way to go Deven.

“Relish” is a newspaper supplement magazine similar to “Parade”.  I get it in the Thursday’s Trib and there was an article on Conflict Kitchen out in Shadyside, complete with a recipe and pictures.  Conflict Kitchen’s been operating at 124 S Highland Avenue for awhile now, it’s a take out only restaurant that features menu items from a country the US is in conflict with.  They feature foods from Afghan, Iranian, Iraqi and other countries.  You can get more info and even discuss menu items at their other web site www.conflictkitchen.com.

Just a reminder, you should check your credit report once a year.  I had a very bad credit score when I opened my first Inn down in Florida and paid a dear price.  I worked diligently and raised it over 200 points before I sold that Inn (it’s since gone up even higher).  :)  Some general pointers to consider, the biggest issue that can negatively effect you is the amount of credit available to you and the amount you have in use.  If you have a thousand dollars available at maybe a dozen department stores (frequently people open a charge account to get that twenty percent discount off a purchase over the holidays and forget about that odd ball card), the banks look at it as you could add $12,000 debt over night.  Add to this multiple general Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, etc with limits of five thousand each.  Even though you only have maybe five thousand in debt on these cards, banks look at it as you could be thirty maybe forty thousand dollars in debt over night.  You should cull the cards you have down to ones you actually use.  To have a mix of major credit cards and local (ie Macy’s Sears, etc) is a good thing, just pay them off.  Of course many of us can’t “pay off all our cards”, we can better manage our debt by stream lining it.  The next major issue is your payment history.  Do you pay consistently on some cards and forget about others?  That’s what happened to me, I missed a Discover payment, the balance was about $10 and I let it slide over 90 for various excuses.  MAJOR hit on my score.  Be sure to make all your payments on time, and I recommend paying off the smaller ones so you can focus on the major debts after wards.  Also, with a lot of these bank consolidations, many banks can’t track bad payment history from absorbed banks.  So get your credit report and if there is a negative report from that loan you had with Local Bank Pittsburgh that was bought by Chase, there’s a good possibility they can’t prove a bad payment history.  If they can’t prove this, they have to remove it.  Also, generally speaking negative info should be removed after seven years.  What for this.  And as you build your credit, you become prime for scammers to try and steal you credit.  What for credit cards opened under your name, but you didn’t open this card (this also has happened to me).n You can get a free report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1.877.322.8228.  You can do this once a year and it is free.  I don’t believe these give your actual FICO score, but it’s a good tool too work on your credit.  You will thank me when you go to buy a new car, house or other major investment and get a significantly better interest rate.  :)

I Made It Market is back.  It is being held February 11 from 11:30 until 3:30 at University of Pittsburgh’s William Penn Ballroom  in Oakland and from noon until five p.m. at the Glass Lofts on Penn Avenue in Garfield.  I features had made gifts and art of natural body and bath products, greeting cards, clothing, jewelry, woodwork, ceramics, etc.  A good chance to pick up something for yourself, that gift you’re going to be needed or just to browse local artisans that aren’t big enough to have their own shop.

Did I say Go Steelers?

ed

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