Hi,

Wow, a week has gone by.  Remnants of last night’s storms are still hanging around.  It got pretty intense here, worse in other areas around Pittsburgh.  Over an inch fell and they had several feet rushing down some streets.  A good soaking for the plants.  The plants are all doing well (one hibiscus is struggling).  The Arrondo Donex along the front fence are already waist high already (the two foot tall wire fence Stephen put up to block da boiz from racing threw them has worked great and kept da boiz from trampling them).  Both new bananas have new leaves, so they’re settled in and I think they will like their location better than the last bananas I had.  The one hibiscus that gets the most sun is almost a foot tall (the shadier one is only about four inches).  The Angelica gigi (crack cocaine for bees), one of my favorite plants has a bunch of new shoots also.  My new elk horn fern that I planted on a piece of drift wood is struggling a good bit, I think I may have planted it incorrectly.  I’m going to shoot my friend Tony an E-mail for advise there.  And everyone’s favorites, the elephant ears are still short, but bunches of them are jumping up.  I mentioned that Maria & Frank (my first wedding here) spent their anniversary here two weeks ago.  Well, Maria brought here photo album and it’s amazing how much the gardens have matured and filled in.  One thing that I will be taking out are the sea grasses.  I swear every seed from their beards grew new ones, what a weeding chore.  I’ll let them hang out until right before they seed, then they’re out of here.  :)  Also, something’s eating my basil and cilantro, I think it’s slugs.  I’ve seen some of their trails on the sidewalks.  I’ll have to go out at night with a flash light and find the little buggers.

We had a wedding this past weekend.  Kate & Charlie had their ceremony here and then the reception.  They looked great, their florist did a real nice job with flowers, cake flower (out of icing) etc going well together.  Jay’s food was excellent as always.  We did have a few “back of the house” issues that were resolved and the guests were never aware of.  Then their Aunt Ann hosted a brunch for them, it was supposed to be about 40 guests, they ended up with fifty.  Bam, one of Jay’s chef’s did a great job keeping up with the omelets.

Apparently, my weekday housekeeper Stephen quit.  He was scheduled Friday and called to say he probably wouldn’t be in because of an issue with one of his knees.  I never heard from him again.  He was supposed to work Monday and never showed up.  When I called him, I got voice mail.  I left a message yesterday and never heard from him.  It’s shame to end a job like that.  He would have had such a glowing recommendation from me.  Now, if a future employer calls, I will say what a great employee he was, BUT that he quit with no notice.  In all my years as a manager and significant hirer, I would never hire someone that quit with no notice.

That’s one of the reasons for the lapse in blogging, besides getting ready for and running the wedding over the weekend, I had to do housekeeping duties Friday and Monday (in addition to what else I have to do).  OK, I’ll quit whining now.

Myra was in last night with her son Alex (she’s the one that runs a cyber school in Pennsylvania and she and her husband Phil are considering doing their own B & B out around Harrisburg).  I’m sure I’ve talked about Myra here in the past, she’s the one that gave me the baked oatmeal recipe (that of course I changed).  When she told me that her and Phil were considering buying that B & B out by where they live, I sent her a copy of my manuscript.  She found it to be very useful and offered to edit it, which I agreed to.  What she edited was AMAZING.  I have great ideas, and a lot of information to offer, but I am not real clear sometimes.  What she edited had such a better flow.  She’s finished with school this weekend and offered to edit the entire manuscript.   THANK YOU MYRA.  :)

The Northside Initiative is having a meeting here this afternoon.  They are mainly East Ohio Street merchants (East Ohio Street and Western Avenue are basically the same street, the names change several times and the old Allegheny Center Mall block direct access).  Since the day I moved here, I have supported the reconnecting of the two districts.  The old Allegheny Center Mall is the poster child of failed urban renewal that had all the wrong elements.  They destroyed the old market place that was historic and the center of the old Allegheny City.  They tore this and other historically significant buildings down in the 1960′s desire to bring the suburbs into the City.  Instead, they destroyed historic buildings, divided communities and created a useless piece of real estate on one of the most important pieces of real estate in the City.  They could relatively easily reconnect East Ohio to West Ohio Streets, there’s no buildings in the way.  They could even reconnect Federal Street back down to East/West Ohio (again there’s no buildings there).  That would be the biggest thing they could do to really kick start Northside’s renaissance.  As I’ve said in this blog, 90+% of the economy is fueled by small businesses.  In stead of spending millions subsidizing the Steeler’s stadium that has maybe twelve events in a year), PNC Park, the new amphitheater (which we are subsidizing), we should be directing funds to reconnecting these streets and I guarantee the business district of the Northside would explode (in a good way :) ).  At the very least, take down the stupid No Turn On Red signs all around the old Allegheny Center Mall and time the traffic lights so you can make it around that hulking piece of useless real estate without having to stop at each intersection.

The tickets I got from the Carnegie’s are quite the hit.  I’ve only had them for about a month and need to order more.  I don’t know if people that would normally be booking here are taking advantage of them or if I’m getting reservations because of their availability.  (I am a little corporate sponsor of the Carnegie and one of the benefits is I get tickets to the Warhol and the Carnegie at half price.  Most places work them into a special, instead I decided to offer them as a special in and of them selves.  This way anyone one visiting me can take advantage of them and they are not only for people signing up for a particular packaged special).

Well, that’s about it for today, I promise it won’t be a week for me to add a new entry.

ed

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