I know it’s been awhile, I’ve missed you too.  🙂

Not having a housekeeper has been a challenge.  I’ve run ads in the paper and literally had hundreds respond, 1/2 had no qualifications.  Of those that I set a date & time for an interview 3/4 didn’t call to cancel just didn’t show up.  So I’ve been trying a new way this time within my network of friends and business associates. I went over the Reverend Larry at Calvary thinking he might know a mother that needs to be home to see the kids off to school and then being home when they returned.  My hours would work perfectly for that.  Instead he referred me to a guy working at the church.  Reverend Larry said this man has had some problems in the past and he had been good there.  I thought I’d give him a chance.  I told him I’d start him at $10 and when he could clean a room without me having to make corrections, I’d raise him to $12..  He never cleaned a room that I didn’t have to go in and finish up.  I had to repeatedly instruct him on how to perform certain tasks.  He’s over weight and again I was willing to overlook that, I made sure before he started he knew he had to bend over and clean under the beds.  Because of his obesity, he broke one of the steps in Bougainvillea from the second floor to the third (the old servants quarters steps).  He then was referred to as fat a** when speaking of him to my friends.  🙂  The last straw was I told him to clean the dust off the steps from my construction fixing what he broke.  3x and there was still dust on the steps.  When I told him he needed to clean the steps he threw they keys down and grabbed a hand full of dirty paper towels.  Yes, you’ve removed dust, but the stairs are still dirty.  So he walked off the job.

When speaking with my friend Jay that runs the food pantry, I explained I what had gone to Reverend Larry for  and Jay suggested school bus drivers.  They work early morning and then are free until afternoon.  Plus they are already vetted.  What a great idea.  I called three school bus driver companies, one of them was very cooperative and posted what I was looking for.  I did find someone that seemed pretty good.  Being the owner, cook, housekeeper and broken stair repairman I wrote her phone number down on a piece of paper that I’ve lost.

Since Dee quit in November, I didn’t want to hire a housekeeper right before the winter.  She was normally laid off in January and February.  I tried covering Steeler weekends with temps.  Many just didn’t show up. One showed up with bad breath and when I took her discretely to the ballroom with some mouthwash, tumbler and paper towel.  I quietly asked her to rinse out her mouth and she responded “WHAT ARE YOU SAYING, THAT I HAVE BAD BREATH?”  I said no, I was just asking her to rinse her mouth out.  She responded “I’VE NEVER BEEN SO INSULTED, I BRUSHED MY TEETH THIS MORNING” and she walked off the job.  If any of you know someone looking for a job, send them my way.  Male/Female I don’t care.  No experience required, honesty, good attitude and good work ethic are the experience I want.  Besides the $15/hour to start, there’s also the possibility of some decent tips.  I know what Dee used to walk out with sometimes. I made $30 myself last weekend.  🙂

A friend of mine lost her husband a little while back.  Ray had four kids from his previous marriage and she knew of my friend Nicky that makes memory bears.  A memory bear is a teddy bear made from clothing the deceased was fond of.  Nicky made one for herself when Kerry passed away last summer.  If you knew Kerry, you’d know that pink flannel shirt he always wore.  So my friend asked me to talk to Nicky  to see if she could make her some for her step-kids:

Memory bears

Aren’t they cute?  If you would like Nicky to make you a or some memory bears contact me and I will pass on your info to her.  I won’t put personal information out even in my blog on the web.  Email me if you want her to contact you ed@theparadorinn.com

They finally finished the fountain over in the Commons Park in front of Allegheny General Hospital.  It was designed to look like the original one built there during the Victorian times.  Here it is during the day:

Allegheny Commons fountain

And here it is at night with the LED (post Victorian):

Allegheny Commons Park fountain at night

And it’s not just housekeeping that’s been keeping me busy, finished up the new Bromeliad.  It is my first first floor and wheel chair accessible guest room.  Da kidz and me moved up into the old Bromeliad.  Da gerl didn’t like the idea of climbing stairs, she doesn’t like new things.   I told her that she was going to have to get used to them or she would be sleeping at the landing on the bottom of the steps.  So she’s now my stairs champ.  Here’s some pictures of my new room:

Bromeliad entrance

And here is looking from the ramp into the guest room:

Bromeliad wheel chair accessible guest room

And here’s from the back of the room towards the door:

Bromeliad wheel chair accessible guest room

I’m pretty happy with it.  I need to update my website to reflect this.  This room has everything all my other rooms have except for a fireplace.

My good friends from college Dave & Claire came up last week from Texas for several weeks and Dave’s been following my pigeon saga.  We are at a stalemate the pigeons and myself.  Instead of up to 30 pigeons I frequently now have just 3 -5, an improvement, but not good enough.  So Dave brought me his Daisy pump action rifle.  Much more accurate than the BB hand gun I had been using and not lethal.  This might be the game changer.  Wish me luck. 🙂

Generally, it’s been a great year for my gardens.  First off the daffodils did great, the best year ever.  The alliums I have the purple ones and they also did very well this year.  The tulips & hyacinth did very poorly this year.  The elephant ears are taking their time.  The banana plants are doing well.  I was concerned about the white lilac and dogwood, neither was doing much until this week:

White lilac and dogwood in the courtyard

You can see my celebrity ger’s head there.

I was interviewed by WTAE TV (Chanel 4 here) for the Garth Brooks concert last Saturday.  A friend send me a link to it, but it was muted and all fuzzy.  If you find it and get it to work, would you send the link to me so I can include it in a future post.

Gotta run, da kidz are whining they’re hungry,