Tomorrow’s the Summer Solstice and the Wiccan Lesser Sabbats, the anniversary of Lizzie Borden’s verdict (“not guilty” 1893), the film Jaws was released (1975), the Ed Sullivan Show was introduced (1948), Audie Murphy’s birth anniversary (1924) and West Virginia was admitted to the Union (1863).

The two window seats in Chenille and Oleander are west facing and really absorb afternoon heat (not to mention brightness).  Two years ago, I got vertical blinds from justblinds.com, you get what you pay for.  They lasted a year and a half and then really trashed out.  I found Grabber through Costco and bought wooden vertical blinds from them.  This American company has been custom making blinds since 1939, they originate in Wisconsin, but have expanded and are actually here in Pennsylvania now.  I just installed them yesterday and here’s the brown ones for Oleander:

And white for Chenille:

They both have a strength and quality I didn’t find with justforblinds.  The construction is so much better, as you can see in the next picture.  For the valence, they routed out a hole down the center of the valence (the lower image) that you slide a triangle kind of plastic fastener that hen slides down the valence clip:

Already today, with the blinds closed, you can feel the difference in temperature from these blinds keeping the hot sun out.  My one complaint is the interface between Graber and Costco is really a messed up thing.  You will need to contact Graber to help you work through it.  Speaking of Costco, there was recently an article in the newspaper about how poorly their web presence is.  I’ll vouch for that.  🙂  They apparently packaged one of the blinds before it thoroughly dried because when I went to hang the blind, two were mildly stuck together.  I sent Graber an e-mail this morning and they have already responded with this was unacceptable and they offered to make a whole new blind to replace this one.  I love companies that stand by their product.

Summer’s here and so are the garden tours.  The Academy Hill Garden Tour in Greensburg will be from 10 am until 3 pm on June 23.  This self guided tour will showcase eight to ten gardens and light refreshments will be served.  More info or advance tickets are available by calling Janet McNeel at 724.8343424 ( I didn’t put a link in to the Greensburg Garden Club because when I went there, it said there were no events on June 23-how stupid is that?).  Tour starts in this historic district in front of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.  The 60th Murrysville Garden Club tour will be also on June 23 from 9 am until 2 pm.  Advance tickets are $10 and at the door will be$15 at the Morninglory Shop at 4542 William Penn Highway, Murrysville and at the Toll House 5313 W Pike Street, Export.  Seven Mt Lebanon gardens will be on their “gentlemen gardeners” tour on July 8 from noon until 5 pm.  Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door for this tour at the Mt Lebanon Public Library on Castle Shannon Blvd (tour starts at the library as well).  There will be a garden reception the evening before in the library’s courtyard for $30.  More info at their web site.  Pittsburgh’s Botanical Garden is hosting their Town and Country Tour through 15 private gardens, proceeds to benefit their ambitious 640 acre site near Oakdale where they are creating natural Western Pennsylvania gardens/wild life areas.  The first phase is to open this coming September 13 which I will cover as we get closer, but mark it on your calendar.  They are planning a $30M project over the next 30 years to develop the entire site.  This year’s tour will be in and around Shadyside from 9 am until 5 pm.  There is a $50 self guided tour and a $130 tour with lunch and transportation.  More info at 412.444.4464 or their web site.

The Three Rivers Regatta is expanding to five days this year, kicking off Friday, June 30 and running through Wednesday, July 4.  There’s going to be more free concerts, boat races and other activities to fill in the time.  They are ging to have outdoor ice skating at Point State Park (they are calling it Point Skate Park) 🙂 in a 40 x 100 foot non frozen skating rink made of synthetic material that mimics ice.  Also new this year will be Lasertainment, laser light shows choreographed to music.  And the P-1 Superstock Championship Series (which normally is held in the ocean) will be making it’s Regatta debut.  The US Marine Drum and Bugle Corps will perform on July 1, the Beach Boys on July 3 and America on July 4.  All activities are free.

Have  a great day and week,


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