Hi,

It’s been a while, I’ve been super busy.  Dee hasn’t been here since late July and in addition to my normal, I’ve had to clean and refresh rooms.  The first two weekends were the worst serving 16 -18 for breakfast and then cleaning, refreshing and turning rooms for new guest to arrive.  I hired Nicole about two weeks ago and she’s doing fantastic.  Within a couple of days, she already knew the names of the rooms and which one it was.  She’s a natural cleaner and the rooms are sparkling.

I’ve come to a new insight, we are not red states/blue states, Democrats/Republicans, liberals/conservatives.  We are victims/entrepreneurs, well not actually entrepreneurs.  We are people that blame others for problems in our lives (victims) or we are people that see a problem and find a solution (entrepreneurs).  There are victims and entrepreneurs in all of the above categories.  I think if we focused on this instead of “He’s a Republican and so he’s wrong” or vice versa.  The question should be does he have a solution within his framework and does the solution work within my set of values?  Maybe I should change my set of values if his logic makes sense?

I probably have said in the past, but I love Halloween, it’s the non stress holiday.  No worries about cooking a turkey, buying great gifts, doing holiday cards, preparing a picnic.  You just throw up some decorations, buy some candy and that’s it.  No stress.  So here’s this year’s scary tree:

My OCD gets the best of me sometimes.  I would like to change my scary tree next year to be a Día de Muertos tree.  I’ve never seen Dia de Muertos ornaments that I could hang on a tree.  If anyone knows of a source, please let me know.  I would love to make them, but my hands are not steady enough to draw all those narrow lines.  Maybe I should start yoga to calm my nerves?  🙂

Here’s a cute small coconut I got last trip to Florida of a zombie (cute might not be the right word).    I have a hole series of small coconuts I decorated for a tree in the ballroom I use when I do a holiday party.  That might be a good winter project to change them all to Dia de Muertos coconuts.

I am currently in a battle, I’ve been feeding the song birds for several years now.  About six months ago, a pigeon, discovered there was food in my courtyard.  She invited her friends over and I was having 15 or more pigeons each day.  I started throwing tennis balls at them, they would fly away and immediately return.  After a month of this, I decided to up the anti.  I wanted to inflict some pain, I’m not about to kill them, I just don’t want them in my yard.  When I was young (6th grade) we moved from the city (Baldwin) out to the country (Finleyville to a house that had been empty for years).  My parents bought an old farm house, whose property dated back to a deed back when this area was part of Virginia, before Geogie Washington drew the straight line separating Pennsylvania from Virginia.  The farm house had been empty for years and we had a rodent problem.  My dad said something I thought at the time was pretty weird.  He said “Rats don’t live where rats aren’t wanted”.  I’m a firm believer in this now, I’ll tell you about the possum next.   So Mr. Cheap bought a pellet gun, it was cheap, $20 you get what you pay for in life, you don’t have to buy a Mercedes to get a good car, but if you buy a used care off one of those lots on the side of the road, unless you’re a mechanic, you’re taking your chances.  I could watch the pellet waver towards the pigeons.  So after a week, I invested in a BB gun, it uses a CO2 cartridge, so it produces a report.  I’ve been using this for about 2 weeks.  It pretty much works.  I’ve gotten several pigeons and they flounder around a bit.  I’m now down to about 4 or 5 at most, some mornings I don’t have any.  I usually shoot from right off the veranda, one morning they were ignoring me (and I was missing them), so I walked down the brick sidewalk in front of the carriage house and took my stand with the gun hand resting on my other hand (you’ve seen this on TV).  Some lady was walking up the sidewalk out front, saw me and screamed.  I told her she wasn’t a pigeon and it was just a BB gun, she laughed (luckily).  Pigeons don’t live where they aren’t wanted, I WILL WIN.  🙂

One morning last winter I came out of the kitchen and I thought I saw a possum between the shed and the carriage house.  I quickly closed the kitchen door to keep the kids from chasing it like they do the squirrels.  I was afraid it would bite or scratch them and they contract rabies.  I didn’t see it anymore, so I walked out to the shed and he was on the other side of the shed next to the wall.   I called 911 and when she asked for the address of the emergency, I told her no emergency but there’s a possum in my enclosed courtyard and I was afraid of my dogs contracting rabies and didn’t know who to call at 6 am.  She said not to worry about it, she would handle it.  20 minutes later animal control was at the door.  As I walked them back to my courtyard, I explained my concern about rabies.  The one guy said I didn’t need to worry about possum carrying rabies, because of their metabolism they can’t carry rabies, I knew that.  The possum was gone.  Animal control said they are climbers and it probably climbed over my wall to my neighbor’s yard or up the tree on the carriage house roof and into the alley way behind.  I didn’t see him for a couple of weeks, then one day he was out by my compost bin.  So I closed the kitchen door, rabies or no rabies I didn’t want da kidz battling a possum.  My closest weapon when I approached the possum was the pitch fork I use to turn my compost.  I banged it on the brick wall to scare him.  The possum ran down my yard along the wall towards the street.  He got as far at the banana tree and didn’t go any further.  I lifted one of the banana leaves and started banging the pitch fork on the wall to further scare him.  We were uncomfortably close (it’s a short pitch fork) 🙂 and he was snarling at me showing his teeth.  Rabies or no rabies, I didn’t want to get bit.  So I went up to the shed and got a long handled rake and started using that.  He’s still under there snarling at me.  Then I realized something.  His instinct must have been to escape along the wall and he couldn’t get past the banana trunk without exposing himself in the yard.and the brick wall, the banana trunk was right next to the wall.  So I left him came back later and he was gone.  I haven’t seen him since.  Dad, you were right rats (and possums) don’t live where they aren’t wanted.

Da gerl tore her other ACL and we go for the operation this Wednesday.  We’re old pros at this, we did it just last December.  Long story here, maybe deserves her own post soon.

Sold out tonight (Steeler home game) and I have some prep to do yet.

Have a good one,

ed

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