Hi,

I started this post a week ago and am just now getting back to it.  Last week was quite the week, I was fairly busy during the week with no week day housekeeper and then Meghan & Mark’s wedding for 130 guests on Saturday and then breakfast for 24 on Sunday (more on this later).  I had Derronda detail the five rooms she did on Sunday and so I just finished my three and am free to get back to my blog.

Food for thought, the new hockey arena, the Consul Energy Center will be opening for the new hockey season (two concerts first) and they are going to tear down the 50+ year old Pittsburgh icon.  I love Da Igloo, it is such an Iconic building.  So unique.  The City and County “fathers” are obsessed with tearing down this wonderful and unique structure.  Is there anyone in America that sees a picture of da Igloo that doesn’t know it’s Pittsburgh?  There is a group of local preservation’s fighting it, I hope they win.  Anyway, I digress, this building has been around for over fifty years, and when they tear it down, there’s a NINE MILLION DOLLAR MORTGAGE that needs to be settled.  OMG, could you imagine owning your house and after fifty some years, still owing a ton of money on it?  I think banks, credit reporting agencies and your neighbors would have some pretty unpleasant things to say about you and your irresponsible behavior.

I have absolutely the nicest guests.  As anyone that’s read my past couple of blogs, I no longer have a weekday housekeeper.  So I’ve been busy cleaning rooms.  I have this guest that’s been here for a bit and I’ve been refreshing/cleaning his room.  I haven’t found any trash in his trash can  or room since he checked in.  Then I noticed yesterday he was carrying out the debris from a fast food dinner he must have had the night before. I assume he was carrying it down the street towards where he’s working and dropping his trash in one of the sidewalk trashcans.   It’s not uncommon for me to see guests carrying in their dirty dishes into the kitchen, I’ve actually caught guests trying to wash their own dishes if I wasn’t in the kitchen to catch them.

I was on the deck in the beach this weekend and realized I had not ordered ladybugs this year.  (How could I tell, aphid secrete a sticky poop).  My neighborhood has an aphid infestation and last year I bought 4,500 ladybugs and it certainly dropped the number of aphids in my oak tree.  (How could I tell, a reduced amount of aphid poop & stickiness).  So I ordered another 4,500 tonight.  By the way, ladybugs aren’t the most intelligent creature on earth.  By instinct, they move up.  So as directed, when they arrived last year, I ripped the top of the plastic bag open and nailed the the bag up about ten feet from the ground on the oak tree.  A week later, I still had a ton of ladybugs hanging out in the bag.  So I upended it and made them all fall out into the sand and I let them fend for themselves.

So back to this weekend’s wedding.  Everyone had a great time, Jay did a real nice job with the food and his staff were very accommodating as usual.  A couple of weeks ago, Meghan contacted me.  The center pieces she planned was a “nest” of twigs with a pineapple in the center with it’s spikey leaves on top spray painted gold (Meghan’s very much into peacocks and so she added the top of a peacock feather in each pineapple top).  She asked me if I could incorporate her pineapples into breakfast Sunday morning.  An easy one was pineapple parfaits.  But I wanted to use the pineapples as the entree also.  So I talked to my good friend Lisa from Fabled Table and she gave me some recipes and I did an on line search and came up with a Paula Dean recipe I found interesting.  So I blended several recipes basically baking pineapple, cheddar, flour and crackers.  Note to self, always try a new recipe before trying to cook it for the first time for twenty-four people.  The flavor was there, I didn’t like the consistency.  So I’ve changed the recipe in my mind and will be using my guests this weekend a guinea pigs for attempt #2.  Beware new people this weekend.  :)  (actually Lisa & Bill are regulars).

My friend Tony that runs a greenhouse at Penn State main campus (we went to college together up there) said I can move the hibiscus out of the shade this summer.  The plant will be stunted, and I’ll have to water it frequently, but it should survive.  I’m going to do this because the next time him and Sue come down to PGH, he’s going to bring a Meadow Rue that takes the shade better than the hibiscus.  I’ve looked it up on line and it seems like it will be a welcome addition to the gardens.  The Rondo donax are waist high, the new banana plants are rapidly growing, the elephant ears are thigh high.  One plant I’m going to remove are the sea grasses.  Even though I really like the look of the sea grasses, you have no idea how much they like me.  I have weeded hundreds of their off spring out at least six times.  My elk horn is still struggling, Tony told me what I was doing wrong and I’ve corrected it, but it may be too late.  Plants are like inertia, even though they are alive, at some point they just pretty much give up.  I’ll keep working with it for another week and if I don’t see it responding, I’ll go back to that nursery in Shaler I’ve talked about in the past and get a new one.

I’ve sent my good friend (and customer) Myra my 50k updated manuscript and she’s busy on editing it.  In fact, she just sent me a section that made absolutely no sense.  When I read it, I knew what I was trying to express, but as she pulled those words out of the manuscript, it was pretty funny.  Also, a couple of visits ago we talked about my “composting” and she gave me some tips on how to improve my composting.  When I turn the compost in my bin, it’s night and day over last year (mainly, I was using way too much compost to brown material [leaves, grass clippings, etc]).  Thanx twice Myra.

Good night,

ed

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