John, an ex-guest from New York, stayed at my Inn in Florida a number of times as he was working for his NYC client Nancy who was building a house in Florida.  He has since moved to FL and each holiday he sends a number of pictures.  This picture has nothing to do with Easter, but I loved it.  It’s now my screen saver.  Note the three dogs are on the outside of the gate trying to get in:

3 dogs

The finish on my ballroom walls is called orange peel.  Today that effect is applied using a sprayer, then a wide trowel is used to knock down the large deposits.  What I did was mixed 50% water and 50% spackling/joint compound/mud in a one gallon bucket. I took old hand held mixer blades I have in the basement.  I mixed it too much.  I then mixed this with the paint and mixed them together.  I didn’t quite get the effect I was looking for my raised bumps are not quite as large as the original ones.  If I do it again, i will mix the water & mud the same way, but not as thoroughly.  Then I will mix this concoction it with the paint, in a larger bucket I will take an old hand held whisk to finish it up.  Here’s a picture of the original finish:

Orange peel them

Here’s the finish I produced, close but not quite it:

Orange peel

As I said, close but no cigar.  My pictures are not as clear as when I visually look at it.  So above’s a primer on how you can reproduce the orange peel effect.

Something I like about this covid19 is the push the county is making for mail in ballots.  the application is easy to fill out and what I really like about it is I will have the ballot at home to review candidates.and research whom I want to vote for.by looking up their history on line.  Going to the polling place I would find candidates I wasn’t familiar with and either not vote for that office or worse take a stab at who I thought I might like-uninformed voter is a bad voter.  🙂


Since I’ve been empty, I contacted Allegheny General Hospital here on the northside and offered free lodging to doctors, nurses, EMTs and other front line providers.  After going through various layers, I ended up in contact with Carrie that’s involved with AGH’s Heroes Project.  And she sounded super excited about it and several times thanked me for my generosity.  She even quoted several of their staff in particular that she thought would be great for this.  Then she totally fell off the grid.  I don’t know if someone there nixed it over quarantine concerns or what.  After not hearing from her for several days, I did send a follow up email and again have not heard anything since.  So I tried.

Speaking of nice people, my sister cleaned out her pantry and since I’m somewhat associated with the local food pantry she asked if I could drop off her donations.  I then cleaned out my pantry and ended up with four boxes to donate.  I took it over to the food pantry and every time I interact with the those people I am impressed with how nice and grateful they are for donations.  Suggestion, talk to you neighbors and maybe do a neighborhood pantry cleaning and donate the food.  You could also purchase some pantry items or even fresh vegetables and fruit.  If you want suggestions on how to handle it, call me 412-231-4800 and I’d be happy to talk to you about it.

John did commit to that small wedding next weekend.  The original plan was for a wedding of over 300 guests and obviously couldn’t do that now.  So they are just doing immediate family, so it will about 20 people.  And though they are family we will have plenty of space for proper social distancing.  So it looks like some will arrive Thursday night and the rest Friday night and stay through Sunday.  I waved event space fees and  gave them the discounted room rates I’m featuring now.  It’s not much money for me, but right now it all helps.  🙂

I lied to you, not on purpose.  I had finished stripping and refinished the floor in Lady Palm.  As I started working on the bathroom door,  I had stripped several layers of paint off the door and came to a point where I thought I had all the paint off because it wasn’t reacting to the stripper so I was planning on doing a faux wood grain on it. As I started with the sanders they took another layer of paint off and I saw bare wood with wood grain in it!  There are a few flaws underneath filled with wood putty, but I will be OK with that since it’s an original door and most of it will look great.  I’m hoping to finish stripping the door this weekend and the starting the various layers of finish so I’m done by Wednesday so I can get all the odors out of the room before my wedding.  Here’s a pic when I discovered the grain under the last layer of paint:

Lady Palm door before

That’s it for today and no politics and no negativity.  I can’t guarantee that for the next post, but I will try to keep it contained.  🙂

Stay home, if you have to go out be sure to wear a mask or similar devise covering your mouth and nose (don’t do it like that idiot governor in Florida that left his beaches open and then re-opened them prematurely). and maintain your six feet apart.  Sorry I couldn’t help myself with DeSantis.



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