Did you hear yesterday some exotic animal collector committed suicide after releasing all his wild animals.  Zanesville, OH was asking residents to stay indoors.  Damn straight.  🙂  Tomorrow is the anniversary of an employee at Herbert Birch Kingston candy company decided it would be nice to pass out candy to the sick, the shut-ins, etc.  It became known as the Sweetest Day (1922), it’s the anniversary of the Saturday Night Massacre when President Nixon in a desperate attempt to squelch Watergate cleared house of those involved (unfortunately, he exempted himself, we had to do that one).

I’ve been sitting at my desk most of the afternoon watching the squirrels getting ready for the winter.  They are all over the  place running and scampering.  And teasing RJ.  Derronda caught them on film yesterday and I think she was going to post it on Utube.  They know the difference between RJ and Razor and single him out.  It’s really funny to watch.

Nia Quilt Guild, Young Men and Women’s African Heritage Association is having a show at the New Hazlett Theater starting this Sunday, October 23 through next Sunday, October 30.  It’s daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. with an opening event at 2 p.m. and the closing day’s hours of noon until 4 p.m.  These are the folks that brought Gee Bend Quilters up here last year.  These ladies stayed at my Inn while they were showing their quilts at the New Hazlett Theater.  They have the most amazing story.  They were slaves to a “nice slave master” (I’m sure I’m totally politically incorrect here, no offense meant).  The gentleman didn’t abuse the slaves, made sure they were fed and housed properly and their work load wasn’t abusive.  So after the Emancipation Proclamation, many of the slaves stayed on as share croppers.  They eventually purchased a sizable portion of his plantation and a barn.  This is where, to this day, the ladies gather to quilt.  Their quilts are world famous and command a strong price.  And, they are the nicest ladies.  From young teenagers to grandmothers, what a group of wonderful people.  Nia Quilt Guild is taking from these ladies and teaching young girls of color the importance of art, family and work.  They also are multi-generational.  More info at Nia link or by calling 412.322.4008.

Michael Lotenero is having a show and fund raiser at the Persad Center at 6425 Penn Avenue (Bakery Square) starting with a reception on Friday, November 11 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. and then a showing on that Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.  Michael is a 20 year multi-disciplinary artist and designer that is known nationally and been acknowledged and reviewed nationally.  I really like his art, more info at either link or by calling 412.441.9786 ext 224.

Well, the Occupy Wall Street group has really taken off.  Two days ago I saw where the Teachers Union was donating space for storage (mainly food) close by and they group had amassed $200k.  In today’s paper, they have over $400k.  That’s a pittance compared to whom they are taking on, but it’s a long way from where they started a month ago.  There’s even some lady up in Alaska that with her dogs have begun Occupy the Tundra.  🙂

Well, we sold my parents possessions at an auction this past summer.  This Saturday, they’re selling the house.  If anyone’s looking to buy the old homestead, while it’s still affordable before I get better known ( 🙂 ), come on out this Saturday by 10 a.m.  I will probably not be able to make it until about 11.  More info at the auctioneer’s web site, Behm.  Betty doesn’t want to go out and watch it, which I think is a good thing.  Forty plus years raising a family would be pretty emotional for her.

Myra, my friend that recently opened The Stone Manse Inn in New Cumberland has been doing great.  She’s not even open a year and has had several sold out weekends.  She’s had people that used to stay there when Phyllis used to run it as Farm Fortune Bed and Breakfast stop and visit.  She just sent me a new maple French toast recipe, which I’m going to experiment on my guests tomorrow morning.  Which reminds me, local people.  I use different breads depending on what I’m doing with French toast.  For the sweeter recipes like apple stuffed FT, I have always used Challah (Jewish egg bread) and the only Challah I could find here in Pittsburgh was at the Giant Eagle in McIntire Square on McKnight Road.  Any of my regulars know what I think of Giant Eagle.  I’m now using Breadworks egg twist and I actually like it better than the Challah.  You can’t teach old dogs new tricks (just ask Razor)  🙂  I’m used to Challah and wasn’t too eager to try something new.  Plus you have to order the egg twist ahead of time and it comes in this huge loaf.  Well, it lasts several days in the refrigerator and over a week if you freeze it.  Lisa, my good friend from Fabled Table, has been trying to get me to use if for about a year now.  I like it so much that with the orange FT recipe, we don’t put the added sugar in the mix and it’s just fine.

I’m looking for a SMALL refrigerator.  I own a .58 Cu Ft Chefmate that I bought since moving back up here.  But I don’t remember where I found it.  I’ve been to the usual suspects (Sears, Target, etc) and no one has one that small.  Chefmate doesn’t have a web site, you have to buy from their retailers.  When I search for it, the browser always defaults to 5.0 from .58.  This has been going on for over a month.  I took Betty out for a walk yesterday in Dormont (she lives in Beechview) and passed Dormont Appliance Center.  So we went in and perused the entire store, saw a number of employees back in an “office” non show room area and no one came up to us.  So I didn’t see what I was looking for and we left. I was surprised, because they are famous for their customer service. We got as far as the sidewalk when this man comes flying out the door and can’t apologize enough.  He pleaded with me to come back in and so we did.  I couldn’t have felt more important after the way he treated me.  Here it was Craig Scheimer, the guy that owns it.  So they’re looking into my small refrigerator.  I definitely have a new refer store.

Well, that’s about it for today.  Chuck, from Metro Classic Builders, is bringing my new exterior doors for Ruellia, Bromeliad and two of the three Ballroom doors.  I can’t wait to have weather tight doors that actually function and I don’t have to keep putting screws back in the hinges.  🙂


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