Archive for June, 2007

More raccoon help
June 22, 2007

Here are a few more of your suggestions…. thanks!

“I have the same racoon issue, they even ate a hole in one of my trash cans… so one of the guys a work with suggested, putting a bungy cord on the trash can and a brick on that… sure enough one night that little creeper came back, got hit by the bungy cord and the brick, moved, all I heard was a “racoon scream” and no more raccoon problem at my house… don’t know about my neighbors.”

” Hi Michelle. Our neighborhood is also troubled with raccoons, but they seem to leave my trash alone. We periodically wipe the lids of our trash cans with ammonia water. It doesn’t smell very nice, but it works! “

Your Advice
June 22, 2007

Thanks to everyone who’s been sending in ideas on my raccoons! I thought I’d share a few. I’m not including your names… because I’m not sure if you want me to…. but here goes:

” We trap our raccoons in a wire box trap then my husband takes it to work and frees the raccoon in the country. Eventually we get rid of them all. I realize this may not be an option for you, but it works great if you have a place to take them. If you do transfer them somewhere, make sure you use a truck because they will claw through the bottom of the cage and destroy whatever they are riding in.”

“Hi Michelle, The only way I was able to get rid of raccoons was to get rid of the food source. I had to put the garbage cans in the garage for a few months until they moved on to someone elses garbage. I’m not sure they eat tomatoes. I know a lot of wildlife doesn’t so that’s not a concern. Hopefully someone who know more will respond. Good luck! I don’t blame you being afraid of raccoons, they’re dangerous. “

” Michelle:
We have the same raccoon problem! The three raccoons that live in our backyard each evening even swing on our swingset! They have lots of attitude and NOTHING has gotten rid of them! Please print any solutions you may get from readers. Love the blog!”

” I feel your pain with your raccoons. We’ve had a similar issue this summer with groundhogs. We’ve always had them around the back of our property, but this year we’re overrun with them. (I hear our whole town is, actually.) They’re bold, just like your raccoons. They even came to the front of the house where they BROKE the siding to tunnel under the garage(very near a street, albeit a relatively quiet one) and are EATING MY PETUNIAS right out of the pots! They even came up the patio steps and went around the side of a pot filled with a variety of flowers until they found the petunias. That meant WAR! We tried a variety of recommended methods of repelling or getting rid of them, from Juicy Fruit gum to black pepper, to no avail. What DOES work is a .22! Do you have one of those?? “

“I know rabbits hate marigolds. I plant them around our garden. As far as deer, they prefer my apple trees so they usually don’t bother with the garden. AS far the the raccoons, I’d contact animal control and ask them for ideas. Or contact your local farm store. “

I’ll share more of your letters later… but right now I have to go anchor the noon news.
Andrew is co-anchoring with me today. I’m going to ask him more about his “Check It Out” segment … He went to a cool new place last night called Calico Jack’s, right by Heinz Field and I want to hear more about it. That’s what we’ll be talking about during the commercial. He actually rode the mechanical bull there! (For those of you who missed it, it will air again on Saturday morning or you can watch it here.)

Some of you are also asking me about Wendy’s blog. I’m not exactly sure why she decided to stop writing… I’m sure she’s busy with three little ones running around.

I appreciate all your feedback. It’s fun to hear from you.

Orchid update
June 21, 2007

I wanted to thank many of you for writing in and giving me advice about my orchid.
It still looks great… just like it did the day I bought it.
Rob R. passed along this website for some interesting tips on growing orchids :

Thanks so much Rob…. and to everyone who sent me advice. It’s nice to hear from you.

Now, I’d like help with a couple of other things:
I planted two tomato plants…. and I’m worried the deer will get to them!

And it seems my neighborhood has a bit of a raccoon problem. I HATE RACCOONS! They drag my garbage all over the place. Somehow they get the tops off of my trash cans and rip open the garbage bags and enjoy making my life miserable in the morning trying to clean it all up. I think they have an attitude problem… because when I turn on the outside light to scare them off, they just stare back at me through the window and refuse to move. I’m way too scared to open the door…so I just stare back. It’s creepy. WHAT SHOULD I DO? HELP!

I can’t believe I have no pictures to post for you this time. I’ll try and think of something. I should bring my camera to the newsroom and work on some more candid shots. If there is anything you’d like to see at the station … just let me know.

Happy Birthday
June 17, 2007

Ally turned 7 yesterday. Hat tip to my friend Bonnie for the awesome party idea!
Two darling cheerleaders showed up in their uniforms and led the girls in a dance routine and some cheers… including a Happy Birthday Ally cheer. They brought pom poms and other goodies and made a GIANT Happy Birthday Ally sign.

How much cooler does it get than having some cool high school girls run the party?

I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for an idea for your daughter’s party. It’s so difficult to think of something that someone else in her class hasn’t already done.

All year Ally wanted to have a “Drake Bell” birthday. He’s a guy who had his own show as a rock star.. and now he’s trying to be a real rock star. Since he was filming a reality show in Pittsburgh, I emailed “his people” (ha ha ha ha… that sounds so Hollywood) and asked if he was around since we were having a Drake birthday. They emailed me back within minutes saying his reality show “was no longer in the works”… ( ha ha also, Hollywood) …. and so if it weren’t for the brilliant idea of cheerleading … what would I have done?

Croquet Match
June 15, 2007

I wanted to share some more pictures Zach took over the weekend at a croquet match.
It was very surreal because everyone was asked to wear white. With everyone’s outfits glowing in the bright sun it seemed as if we were in a dream or in Heaven walking around.

It was held in Greensburg at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg campus. BEAUTIFUL!

My kids played croquet for the first time and won their match. They were so happy and are now begging me to go back next year.

The event included some great food! It also raised money for the local YMCA.

It was a nice relaxing end to a wild weekend.
Many of you have been writing me about my orchid. It’s doing great and this weekend I’ll take a picture for you and show you… and I’ll post some of your tips, too.
Right now I’m waiting for my kids to get off the bus for the last day of school! YEAH!
And tomorrow is Ally’s birthday party. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Margot B
June 11, 2007

Here is that wonderful singer I told you about from the Relay for Life.
Her name is Margot B. and she’s a CAPA graduate… and is now in Point Park University.
You should take the time to stop by her website: and listen to her sing…. she’s terrific!

Here’s part of her bio that I swiped from her website:

” Margot B. began singing at a young age but has been on an upward climb since the age of 13 when she wrote, In My Dreams, a tribute to the late Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. Her song has been played at MLK events nationwide for the past 4 years and continues to get recognition. Margot became National Miss Black Teen at the age of 16 with a long list of national and regional modeling to her credit. However, being just another pretty face wasn’t enough.
On April 30, 2005 Margot B. released her first full CD entitled, Unframed, to a sell out crowd at the Hard Rock Cafe in Pittsburgh, Pa. Since that time, she has been performing to a growing fan base. The stage sizzles with the sundry tunes written and co-produced by Margot B.
Margot is currently working with producer B.Darius, previously of the Fugees, on a more Urban, R&B/Pop collection. Some of her most recent tracks can be found at as well as her music myspace. While playing the local circuit such as Mr.Smalls, the Hard Rock Café, Club Café, Mellon Arena, performing for the NBA and the NFL, her most memorable performance was just recently when she debuted some of her new tunes at the Black Eyed Peas Show to a crowd of nearly 60K with rave reviews.”

Best of luck, Margot….. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of you!

Relay For Life
June 10, 2007

A BEAUTIFUL day for Relay For Life … at South Fayette High School on Saturday.

Teams in the South Fayette/Bridgeville area raise money for the American Cancer Society by walking all day, all night, and all the next morning.

I welcomed everyone.
My 9 year old son, Zach brought the camera and snapped a ton of pictures which I promised him I’d post here.

We had a great time playing games and listening to the South Fayette High School band…. as well as an amazing singer who we also took pictures of … I’ll post them tomorrow when I google her and find out a little bit more about her. Her name is Margot B. and she’s very talented.

I also have other stories to share: getting stuck for TWO LONG HOURS on the Parkway West in all the Kenny Chesney traffic, going to a croquet match in Greensburg (Zach was my photograher there, too… so expect lots of photos), going to see High School Musical, getting a new washing machine, having to leave High School Musical at intermission because my water line broke while the men were installing my new washing machine…… Quite the weekend….
But right now enjoy these inspirational pictures of people donating their time for a wonderful cause.

This is the 9th year for the South Fayette/Bridgeville Area Relay For Life.
I want to say a special thank you to Kim Lowder, the Co-Chair for inviting my kids and me to take part.

Crosby Jersey
June 3, 2007

drumroll please……..

ISN’T IT AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who’ve been reading my blog since before Christmas…. you know my son wrote Santa a letter asking for an autographed Sidney Crosby jersey. I finally had the time to get it framed. I took it to Deck the Walls in the Ross Park Mall and I think they did a great job. It’s even better in person.
Yesterday we hung it over Zach’s bed.
I love it!

Shirley Jones
June 3, 2007

I was honored to emcee the Civic Light Opera Guild’s annual Pink Frolic Ball.
Van Kaplan, the Executive Producer of the C.L.O. presented Mrs. Jones with the Richard Rogers Award to honor her accomplishments.
I was a little nervous meeting her. What do you say to Ms. Partridge?

She told me how happy she was to be back home and she loves it here.
She was here born in Charleroi and raised in Smithton, Pennsylvania.
She made her Broadway debut at the age of 19 and soon found her way to the big screen.

We’ve seen her in “Oklahoma!”, “Carousel”, “The Music Man” and “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.” And of course: The Partridge Family…. among many other things.
The C.L.O. performers gave a wonderful tribute to her career…. when they were done Mrs. Jones gave them a standing ovation.

Bob Mayo
June 1, 2007

Congratulations to Bob Mayo!

Bob got a standing ovation as he was awarded the Service to Journalism Award at the Press
Club of Western Pennsylvania’s Golden Quill presentation.

Bob also received two other high honors at the event for his recent reports.

Bob is wonderful in so many ways (especially for answering any question I have for my apple computer).

I remembered when Bob made the switch from radio to television. We were thrilled he’d agreed to join us.

I was anchoring the morning news when Bob starting reporting with us. I remember in his first week on the job our producer, Karen, told him to go get reaction to a story. It was a difficult assignment because finding someone who’s willing to talk at 5:00am…. is not easy. He went to a popular bus stop and found a guy willing to go on live and give his opinion.

When the camera went on… Bob asked the man the question (whatever it was)… and before he could answer… the bus pulled up and all the guy said was “Dude, my bus is here. I got to go.” And then he jumped on.

It didn’t phase Bob one bit… he just smoothly turned back around to the camera and kept talking like nothing went wrong.

While Mike Clark and I laughed about it for months…. we were amazed at what a great job he did right off the bat.

I admire Bob for so many reasons…. not only in the quality of his work, but also in the quality of his character.

Great job, Bob! Your award is well-deserved.