One nice thing about spring is how it staggers the blooming of flowers.  The daffodils came in like banshees first, the tulips have been a great disappointment, the bleeding heart is still small, but have a great flowering show:

bleeding heart

I have those hybrid bananas that’s been along the wall for a couple of years, it was getting too big, so last year I hacked it appart and planted two along the mansion, between the box wood and then spaced two along the outer wall bordering either side of the Aztec sun calendar.  The one along the mansion have been growing well, but nothing along the outer wall until this morning, I saw some poking up.

Arlen my friend that owns City Books came up with the idea of doing a food drive to celebrate World Hunger Day May 28, so we divided the neighborhood business district in half, she has from Galveston east and I have from Galveston west.  We devised a lottery kind of thing where when you drop of a non perishable food item, fill out 1/2 the coupon with just your name and phone number and over Memorial Day weekend, we will collect all the food donated and give it to the food pantry right up on Brighton Road.  Then we will draw names for the winners.  Participating merchants have to donate a $20 gift certificate or equivalent to their establishment.  Participating merchants include 412 Brewery (the new tap room on Western Avenue). Adda Coffee and Tea across the street from me, Bear Dog Bikes on Galveston, City Books on Galveston, Giorgios pizza and pasta basically across the street from me Modern Cafe on the corner of Galveston and Western, Motive hair salon on Galveston, Pittsburgh Acupuncture and Messageworks, Rufucillo Winery and Royalties on Western and Peppi’s on Western.

I have a number of new partners on my Around Town Page.  Under Attractions Phipps Conservancy has finally offered me a better deal than the $1 off they have in the past, they are now offering $4 off, not overly generous, but it’s a savings.  I’ll see how many guests take advantage of this.  I sell more Warhol tickets than any hotel in Pittsburgh, partially due to their generous $11 discount, I also sell a lot of tickets to the Carniegies out in Oakland for the same reason.  I sell a lot of tickets to the National Aviary and Mattress Factory.  Under the Restaurants tab, I didn’t realize I had missed Giorgio’s Place I thought I partnered with him when I partnered with Jeff at Peppies.  Not so, I saw Giorgio at Ruffino’s wine bar grand opening and he pointed it out.   He is now offering my guests a fee topping on a large pizza and free fountain soda.  It’s vinyl table cloth kind of place but Giorgio makes his own sauce so his pizzas and Italian entrees are pretty good and very affordable.   I spoke with the owner of Adda’s Coffee and Tea shop across the street from me.  They said they were going to give me coupons for free stuff, didn’t specify what the free stuff was going to be, but I’m sure it will be pretty good.  Several of my guests know Adda’s Shadyside location from when the went to school at Pitt or CMU.  Dan at Legends of the Northshore has partnered with me and will waive his corkage fee for my guests, not big, but nice.

An apartment complex in Raleigh, North Carolina was having trouble with tenants not cleaning up after their pets.  So they hired Pawzlife to come in and  hosted a “pup party” and any tenant that owned a dog had to bring them.  Pawzlife staff did a quick mouth swab to get a DNA profile. With the DNA profile, Pawzlife takes DNA samples of the dog waste left around.  Can’t really say my dog didn’t leave those droppings.  🙂

The Hay’s Eagle’s chicks are pretty big already.  And it’s cool how I don’t know if it’s someone from the Audubon Society or who, but some one is in the chat giving some interesting tidbits of info.  I will have the webcam on sometimes when I’m doing work in the office and it’s funny to watch, their nest is built, their kids are growing up and they will still bring new sticks in and add to the next, i guess you see that perfect stick you need to find a space in your house for it.  🙂  Speaking of raptors, Dorothy at the Cathedral of Learning didn’t eat her first chick this year, was kind of gross last year.  And I though pregnant women and pickles and ice cream at 4 am was bad.  Glad I’m not  a peregrine falcon baby, there’s four egg incubating.  The National Aviary is running the web cam on Dorothy.

Observatory Hill’s house tour is June 4, tickets are $18 at the door and $15 in advance.  Follow the link for more details.

I moved this past weekend, I want to thank my nephews Joseph & Michael for their strong backs, they were a big help.  When I did the major renovations several years ago, I had intended to eventually make my space a wheel chair accessible room.  I moved there because Razor’s arthritis was getting bad and he couldn’t handle the steps anymore.  And then I got lazy and just stayed there.  I got a notice in the fall that I was being sued because my website was not ADA compliant, got that taken care of right away.  It was pretty easy for Nick my web-guy to bring it from 47% to 80%.  It  brought to my attention that I was sitting on a time bomb, since my Inn has 9 guest rooms I am required to have a wheelchair accessible room.  So the construction at this point was pretty minor, the biggest thing was I decided to go ahead and replace the windows.  In addition to being ADA compliant a lot of my guests would prefer to have a first floor room, they’ve had knee surgery or some other thing that makes stair difficult.  Plus I get a fair amount of middle aged people coming with their parents or a parent and the stairs are a challenge. So here’s the before:

As soon as it’s finished in about 2 weeks, I’ll post new pictures.

My Gerl doesn’t like new things.  She’s used to wood floors (first floor of the mansion, the office, etc), ceeramic tile floors my kitchens, rugs here and there but had never seen vinyl tile floors like at my sisters.  Da Gerl was terrified.  She wasn’t too happy with stairs to our “new house”.    It took three days to get her comfortable with them.

I’m OK with parents that don’t want their children to get the measles vaccine, but not OK with them infecting others.  I think parents that choose to risk the health of their children by not having them immunized, should have to keep them quarantined, go ahead with home schooling.  It’s not your right to get others sick.  I really shouldn’t be talking on this, because I refuse to get a flu shot.  Mainly because I think we should build our immune system up and getting sick is OK.  When I had the flu, i wouldn’t visit my elderly mother or go to the senior housing she lived in so I didn’t infect an elderly person whom the flu could be deadly as measles can be to children.

Eric Church is performing at PPG Paints Arena this Friday and Saturday with 8 pm shows.  Be sure to buy your tickets and book your room at The Parador Inn, I am sold out Saturday and still have a couple of rooms available Friday.  Remember, you can park you car in my lot, get ready for the show, walk five minutes down to the “T” hop on that for free to Steel Plaza station and walk five minutes up to the arena.  No hassles fighting city traffic, finding and paying for parking and then a possible DUI afterwards.  Just bring the “T” back rest up and wake up to a wonderful breakfast.

That’s it for today, someone is at my feet reminding me it’s dinner time, 🙂