A little different thing to do for Christmas is the Etna Scare house is hosting a Christmas Scare House.    It is December 7 & 8 and cost $20.

Another something different is the pop up bar on Liberty, it is the Miracle on Liberty, they don’t have a website, but operate under their face book page.  It doesn’t say it on the face book their location which is 705 Liberty, it’s their second year and the benefit of the pop up is Pittsburgh Food Rescue and more details are in Pittsburgh Magazine.

Vietnam veteran Stanley Stoltz passed away with no known family, so the funeral home posted a notice asking people to show up at the burial.  Hundreds showed up and gave Stanley a proper send off.

What’s ya doing this weekend?  The Parador is hosting an Alternative Victorian House Tour from 4 – 8 Friday and 11 –  4 then 5 – 8 on Saturday.  $5 cash donation and all proceeds goes to the local food pantry.  I am doing this mainly to support the food pantry, the neighbor hood association in 2009 had a presentation and then request from food pantry for a one time $1,000 donation from all 17 Northside neighborhoods to help fill their shelves during the great recession and the neighborhood association refused and has refused since then to support the food pantry.  As I told the association back then, in my world “little children should not go to be hungry.  I don’t know what world you live in”.  My comments were not well received back then.  They approached me this year and wanted me to let them use my home for their Victorian House tour and I said yes, but I want a $1,000 donation to the food pantry and they said no.  So I’m running my own “house tour”, please stop by and assist so little kids don’t go to bed hungry this holiday and winter season.  I could still use a couple of volunteers for the Saturday shifts, if you are available, call my cell 412-508-6000.

Speaking of hungry kids, just when I thought I couldn’t me more impressed with John & Giselle Fetterman (our new Lieutenant Governor).  Giselle started 412 Food Rescue, it’s an app she developed with some very tech savvy friends.  412 Food Rescue is an app that they developed to keep food out of the garbage stream and feed people that are food insecure.  The concept of 412 Food Rescue is based on diverting good food that would normally end up in the garbage stream because the quantity is not large enough for the “big guys” like the food pantry to bother with.  The food pantry will send it’s trucks to grocery store chains when the grocery chain realizes for example a delivery of lettuce will not last for them to sell.  So the food pantry sends a truck to pick up the cases.  There’s a lot of small operations with usable food that doesn’t fit into the “big guys” scenario, like me two years ago after my 10 year anniversary party and this summer after my jazz series events.  With my OCD and my hate for waste, I knew to put the left overs into pans I didn’t need back and took it over to my local homeless shelter (Northside Common Ministries location).  Giselle and team  developed an app that if say I’m on the Northside and driving to West Mifflin to pick up my coffee, I can enter my start and finish locations into the app and they will respond with there’s a pan of lasagna in Southside and it’s wanted in Baldwin (on my way).  There’s an article in the Shadyside magazine Shady Ave about 412 Food Rescue.  They have about 4,000 volunteers signed up and about 600 non profits that accept the food donations.  Not only does the app hook up drivers with food to be picked up and where dropped off, it also offers navigation aids.  412 Food Rescue made 18,000 deliveries in it’s first three years and expect that to be their total for this year alone!  412 Food Rescue has started a food education program teaching recipients how to properly prepare healthy meals with food provided.  They have also started a program Hidden Harvest that volunteers pluck food from city trees & shrubs on city property and back yards that product more food than the owner can use (you can donate here as well).  They have also partnered with Penns Corner Farm Alliance in Lawrenceville to create a program to use up unattractive, yet nutritious food.

Besides the Victorian House tour and the Alternative Victorian House tour, there are other seasonal activities going on at The Parador, all decorated the decorations are all pretty much the same, I did find an addition to my snow village this summer at a thrift store for $4:

It’s the middle house, kind of large and it’s all clear and lights up nicely at nite.   It looks a little blurry in the picture, but not in real life, I guess I need to hone my photography skills.  🙂


Another tweak I’ve made is I’ve had this silver lame for years and never thought of what to do with it.  This year I spread it under my Caribbean tree and it really reflects the lights nicely.

For those of you that have not been here over the holidays, note the star on the top of the tree is actually a star fish and the red garland around the tree is real fish netting I got, cut into strips and painted red.

And one other holiday thing, my cards should be hitting the streets any day, they are finished and just waiting for the printer to put them in the mail.

Keep warm and cheerful on this cold and dreary day,