About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.

oh those golden rams!

Photo borrowed from WCU Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/GoldenRamBand/

Photo borrowed from WCU Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/GoldenRamBand/

Ok how cool is this? West Chester University’s Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band has been chosen to be one the marching bands in the….wait for it…Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. THAT is just cool!

The magic time is 11:44 AM, when they hit the reviewing stand and will be ON TV. As in NBC10 locally. NBC airs the parade nationwide.

Total performance time that we’ll see is about 1 minute 15 seconds.

See it or not.  Don’t blink.

I love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and this is a Chester County marching band! I know no one in this band but am just plain excited for them!  What an honor! According to Macy’s they were last in the parade in 1986.

Last updated: Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 1:08 AM

Sparkling blue flags waved and 600 feet stepped in time as the West Chester University marching band sent a holiday tune into the darkening November sky.

With drums and flutes, trumpets and clarinets, the students last week turned a campus blacktop into the winter wonderland they hope to create near New York City’s Herald Square on Thursday.

That’s when the college musicians will have 75 seconds to dazzle tens of millions of viewers with “Winter Wonderland.”

The band is one of 10 high school and college bands nationwide selected to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which typically generates huge television ratings and draws thousands to New York’s streets….”I’ve been watching the Macy’s parade since I was little,” said drum major Jacqueline Cotto, a fifth-year music education and performance major from New York City who joined her first marching band in eighth grade. “I always wanted to march in it. That was always a dream.”


The Incomparable Golden Rams played in the Thanksgiving spectacle once before, in 1986. This year, WCU is sending the only group from Pennsylvania.

The band plans to play popular tunes as it marches during the three-hour parade. When band members reach 34th Street, the Macy’s building, and NBC’s cameras, they will break into “Winter Wonderland.” ….The band is scheduled to rehearse once on the site before the parade – at 4:30 a.m. Thursday. Hours later will come the moment Ross and Platt said they were most looking forward to. They are due to arrive at 34th Street at 11:44 a.m. to perform before millions….



Ok, seriously? How can you NOT be SO excited for them????

CBS Philly: Local University Marching Band To Perform In Macy’s Parade


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local university’s marching band is set to perform this Thursday in New York at one of the season’s most beloved parades.


Out of 138 colleges that applied, the West Chester University Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band was one just of four selected to perform at this year’s Macy’s thanksgiving day parade.

here we go again in tredyffrin


I haven’t written about Tredyffrin in eons. But the news out of Tredyffrin is disturbing if true.

In July of 2012, then Township Manager Mimi Gleason resigned.  In 2014, Tredyffrin relieved then Public Works Director Scott Cannon of duties. In more blunt terms, Tredyffrin fired him.

Tredyffrin Township released a statement at that time (TT Press Release 2014 02 10 ) which said in part:

In his capacity as Director of Public Works, Mr. Cannon engaged in conduct, himself, and directed vendors and subordinates to engage in such conduct, involving two instances of the improper disposal of materials on Township property in a manner prohibited by Pennsylvania’s environmental laws. Since the areas affected are not easily accessible to the public and, as addressed in more detail below, since no immediate danger was identified by DEP, we cannot disclose the locations until that agency’s investigation is complete.


Well apparently Mr. Cannon was arrested and is facing criminal charges on chemical dumping (MDJReport Tredyffrin Cannon ).

Tredyffrin issued a statement over the past few days (Tredyffrin Press Release Nov 2015 ) which states in part:

Former Public Works Director, Scott Cannon turned himself over to the Tredyffrin Township Police Department for processing on Friday, November 20, 2015.

The charges brought by the State Attorney General’s office arise from facts that were disclosed publicly in February 2014 during a meeting of the Board of Supervisors following the Township’s own internal investigation. The Township is unaware of any allegations of violations other than those disclosed in February 2014.


Walt Hunter at CBS3 was the first media to cover this story. Walt quotes Cannon’s lawyer on the charges:

In response to a CBS 3 inquiry, Cannon’s attorney, A.J.Chotkowski, emailed a statement that reads in part:

“Mr. Cannon was surprised and disappointed to learn that charges were filed against him today… the charges occurred less than a year after Mr. Cannon initiated a civil action against Tredyffrin Township stemming from his termination as the Director of Public Works… Mr. Cannon denies that he, or any other employee under his supervision, violated any law or caused any environmental harm. The substance alleged to have been released is magnesium chloride, which is merely a common salt product used to treat roads.”


Ok but according to the state, aren’t chemicals like this supposed to be disposed of properly?  As in not just dumped on Tredyffrin Township owned property and allowed to spill into the Valley Creek?

Yes, the Valley Creek. You know where Tredyffrin had raw sewage issues? Remember groups filed suit against Tredyffrin this time last year over violations of the federal Clean Water Act? 

To quote Penn Environmental at the time :

penn enviro 2014

Last December 2014, Tredyffrin agreed to a costly clean up settlement in the raw sewage case .

And now this. The Philadelphia Business Journal says in their article:

Scott Canon, 56, of Glen Mills, is facing four counts of unlawful conduct and a count of prohibition against other pollutions for opening a large tank containing magnesium chloride, and releasing 1,000 gallons of the chemical into the township’s public works facility, according to the Office of the Attorney General.

Main Line Media News has a story today on this as well and the comments are as interesting as the actual article.

MLMN article

Political chess anyone? Mimi Gleason (so much for that pretty quote of “a job is not a life”, eh?) went to West Whiteland and Bill Martin came out of the polluted Bashore era in Radnor Township via problematic Bridgeport, correct? Is there culpability when it comes to Tredyffrin’s former Public Works guy and the current and former Township Managers of Tredyffrin when it comes to this case? Has anyone contacted Mimi Gleason in West Whiteland for her thoughts? Did she hire this Scott Cannon?

I can’t help but wonder what else will surface in the always politically charged muck and mire of Tredyffrin Township. Because can it said nothing there is ever simple?

But at the end of the day what disturbs me the most are Tredyffrin’s pollution problems. It’s bad enough when it’s a specific company in a certain municipality and all of this has been well, municipally caused has it not? First raw sewage, now this?

And how have these issues affected Tredyffrin residents as well as their municipal neighbors?

To all the sewage add a 1000 gallons of Magnesium Chloride.

What the heck, Tredyffrin Township? Well only time will tell where this case will go , especially given all the problems in the attorney general’s office in Pennsylvania.

Sign me glad not to live in Tredyffrin but I sure wish they would clean up their act (and pollution problems).




christmas crafting


I have been on the hunt for a larger soft form folk art Santa, and I haven’t been able to find one.

So I decided to make one and here he is!

For my first attempt at a craft like this I don’t think I did a bad job! I used things I had around the house. 

Recently we had gotten some new pillows I saved the old ones for crafting – the beard and the body is stuffed with one of the old pillow’s stuffing.

Buttons I always save I think it’s a habit that comes from my mother and grandmother because both of them sewed. So I reused some buttons. 

Some red cotton lace trim I had picked up at a fair years ago has had many uses and this time Santa was able to have festive suspenders by using a couple short lengths of it.

Santa’s actual head comes from one of those flannel cotton shoeshine mits  you get in hotels. His clothing was made from old pajama tops and bottoms. And that includes his little plaid boots.

Buttons were used for his eyes and I painted them a little in the center so he didn’t look so bride of Chucky. His glasses were made from red florist wire and he has a little yarn mouth.

His mittens were actually thumbs from old knit gloves that had holes in them. And I formed his body and his legs from one of those grocery store-type  recycled, reusable “fabric” bags.  The bag I used actually was a giveaway in Ardmore, PA  a few years ago and it was off-white so it worked perfectly for these purposes.

I handstitched him together and made him a cap and gave him a yarn tassel at the end of his cap. I created his nose and some depth in his face by bunching the fabric and the stuffing and stitching it down in places.

I can make wreaths and things but this is my first time ever trying to make something like this. I didn’t have a pattern I just had an idea in my head of what I wanted him to look like. He’s about 3 feet tall. I had wanted a Santa likes this to sit on a chair at Christmas.

Move over Martha Stewart because I think my Santa is pretty cute! Have a great day!


a great thing: plaid pajama project

d52a97ecd64d48da08be311e8331e66fSo my friend Pamela had this idea born of her own Christmas memories and family traditions. In her own words:

Every Christmas for as long as I can remember, my sister and I were allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve. We received a new pair of pajamas from Nonnie and Poppie and wore them that night. During our teen years we had some funny pajamas opening experiences as it was humorous to see what they would choose for us.

You’ll still find us laughing till we cry when recounting pair I got during my freshman year of college which were purchased slightly too large. How large you ask? Large enough for Kristina and I to fit in them- together! As you can see, these pajamas played a huge part of our family Christmas memories.

My parents, Mema and Pepa, carry on this tradition and give pajamas to our children each year, and even when we aren’t together it’s the only gift they open on Christmas Eve.

I wanted to take this tradition one step further, to give pajamas to local children in need this year. And while I could do this alone I thought I’d give my family and friends the option to give, too. I have a few connections working to find children for me so if you are here and there isn’t anyone left to sign up for please check back. I’ll keep adding children as I get donors! 

If this tradition touches your heart and you would like to contribute by choosing a child to buy for, or if you would like to contribute towards our wrapping supply costs you may sign up here.

Plaid PJ

Plaid Pajamas Project is just a nice thing we can do for kids at Christmas. And these are kids here in our area.  Participation is as easy as a click of a signup button on plaidpajamasproject.com.  Classes have been sponsoring classes, families have been sponsoring children who share a name or a size and when no names are available, all sizes are given to shelters where comforts of home are always in short supply.
pp1All pajamas must be brand new with tags attached and not contain any branded characters or wording. While the temptation and intentions are wonderful, Plaid Pajamas Project asks that no additional gifts be sent with the pajamas. 

Plaid Pajamas Project also accepts cash donations to support delivery, wrapping and other expenses. Pajamas and donations can be mailed to Plaid Pajamas Project, PO Box 186, Berwyn, PA 19312. Pajamas can also be dropped off at Lulu’s Casita in Ardmore or Creative Clubhouse in Havertown.  Signups have come from across the area and one name in particular stood out for my friend Pamela.

pj“I check the list every day and one day I saw my Nonnie’s name on the list and I welled up with love and pride,” said Pamela.  “She’s given me and my family so much in our lives and now she’s reaching out to help me bring her tradition to others. I guess that’s what the holidays are all about.

Pamela is one of my earth angels as well as a friend. She gives so much and has such a big heart. So not only have I donated to the cause, I am paying it forward and asking you my readers from near and far to help if you can.

To learn more about Plaid Pajamas Project, visit plaidpajamasproject.com.

To sign up to participate CLICK HERE.

  • All pajamas must be brand new with tags attached.
  • Pajamas should not contain branded characters, or any wording.
  • Only one set of pajamas should be sent per child chosen, nothing additional (i.e.: slippers, socks, bathrobe, etc.)
  • All pajamas should be sent to Pamela’s home address, she will make the drop offs to the recipient families. After you sign up you will receive an email with the mailing address. You are welcome to order online and have your order delivered to me. In the shipping area please use one of the address fields to indicate the first name and age of the child you are buying for.
  • PO Box 186 Berwyn PA 19312
  • Email plaid.pajamas25@gmail.com with any questions!

A private pajama wrapping party will be held in December.  Media will be invited to attend.

it was just a day for quiche

23127011015_b6198c483e_o (1)I just felt like making a quiche and I had made a ham a few days ago, so I pulled out one of my Smithfield Barn vintage pie plates and away we went. And by the way, spend the money to make your quiche with Swiss and Gruyere cheeses…it makes a world of difference.

Here is what I made (my recipe):

Quiche with Ham and Portobello Mushrooms

6 large eggs

¾ cup evaporated milk

1 large shallot

1 small onion

1 8 oz package of baby Portobello or crimini mushrooms sliced thin

2 tablespoons butter

1 deep dish pie plate and one pie crust (I make my own crust or buy refrigerated pie dough in a pinch – don’t like frozen pie crusts)

2 ½ cups shredded cheese – half Swiss and half Gruyere

About 2 cups of minced up ham

Worcestershire sauce

Tabasco sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Sauté onion, shallot, mushrooms and ham in 2 tablespoons of butter. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.quiche fixings
  3. Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add milk and mix well. Add a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco.22708578528_dd9d321aaa_z22708494837_30b4350096_z
  5. Place sautéed mixture into pie crust. Then cheese. Finally pour milk and eggs mixture over top.
  6. Place quiche on a baking sheet and bake on the middle oven rack for 15 minutes at 400°, and then reduce heat to 350° and bake another 30-32 minutes.23127011385_63dc503a55_z

When toothpick or knife comes out of quiche clean, it’s done. Allow to cool at least 25 minutes before serving.





gotta have a wawa? ok but why so many east whiteland?


Someone I met with yesterday who lives farther out in a more rural and straight farming community in Chester County said to me when we met up in Malvern Borough “I don’t like to come this way much any longer. It’s too congested and is getting over-developed.”

Yup. That is exactly how I felt about the Main Line when I left and I still do.

When I was little I remember distinctly the separation of city into green that one felt when traveling from Philadelphia to the suburbs known as the Main Line.  In the heat of the summer, the temperature would drop quite a bit once you got back to suburbia because of the trees and the green. The farther west you headed the cooler it got. Until you go to say Lancaster County. Lancaster was always hot and humid. Too far from water I suppose.

But as I grew up that temperature differential dropped as development occurred.  I remember the first development as a kid that I saw as a death knell to a way of life was what they call Oak Hill in Penn Valley.  I remember when there was farm there and lots of open space. When you drove by one corner you could see the remains of a silo and a spring house down in a little valley.

I love Chester County but I fear for Chester County because the planning is all pro-developer from municipality to municipality.  It’s not about us, the residents. It’s not about open space and protecting our farming and agricultural traditions and our history. It’s about the ratables and the lore that business taxes will cure all woes. Will they? When our school districts get full to busting at the seams and no plans were made for them, will that be curing all woes? Or will that just make those taxes go up as the school districts scramble to catch up in the ever-growing land of plastic houses?

Great Valley is one school district I wonder about in the land of disconnect.  And that is because of East Whiteland.

East Whiteland recently released a list of development in the works, and I do not believe that is all of it (read East Whiteland Development List Township Release Fall 2015 ). I find this list terrifying because well, I want to live in Chester County, not the next King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, or Conshohocken.  The development is all designed and planned so that developers can cram in as much per square foot as possible. It’s about calling all lemmings, your Tyvec wrapped monstrosities are ready.

And a lot of this is apartments. Apartments. When did the country become about apartments? And hey, is what is built already really filling to capacity?

oneill heaven

That is O’Neill’s building on the other side of Worthington. The Royal Worthington which I find well, royally unattractive. Sorry.  It has as much appeal as a Lego Tower only not as colorful. Lego towers are fun to build as kids, but do you want to live in one? With a “royal” view of highways? Imagine going out on their lovely Juliette balconies and hearing the whir of 202 and other major highways? Yeah, that’s Chester County living alrighty.

And then skip over to the Borough of Malvern. Eastside Flats. I love Chirstophers and the little boutiques, Kimberton Whole Foods and Malvern Creamery. But the buildings? The design? It says nothing about where they are placed, they are just a monument of in-your-face development left by the developer who sold the project and moved on. I know little of the new Eastside Flats owners other than trucks going there and equipment are always blocking King Road. And the apartments at night do not appear to have full occupancy.

Only Patch seems to be noticing all the development from media land, and what they post is only peripheral given I doubt the Malvern  Patch editor actually comes to the Malvern area which is more than a borough. One article talks about brining “thousands” to the area.


King of Prussia and worse here we come if people don’t wake up.

I drove by Linden Hall the other day. The land has been raped and scraped and pillaged in advance of those townhouses that are coming. I keep hearing about all the “restoration” that is supposed to occur to Linden Hall, which is quite historically significant, but I see nothing. Except broken windows on the side when I drive by. If the house is left open to the elements and construction much longer, how will that affect the actual ability to save Linden Hall? There is after all, nothing that guarantees that building’s preservation.

Let’s talk about historic preservation. East Whiteland has a historical commission pretty much in name only because you never hear about what they do, what they have saved, what they are planning to save. They don’t post their meeting agendas, they don’t post their meeting minutes.  The last minutes and only minutes one can find posted are from 2009, and it isn’t much. Here is a screen shot from just now:

East Whiteland Hist

So now let us go to the impetus for this post: WaWa. WaWa is like the new RiteAid wanting to gobble up as many commercial spaces as possible. East Whiteland has three in close proximity. Two in the Route 29 area (Swedesford off 29 and near route 30 on 29), and one on Planebrook and 30 (first photo in this post). Now there are plans for another WaWa in East Whiteland.  Umm there already is a WaWa, PA,  East Whiteland.

According to Patch this next WaWa is going in at the Haven at Atwater – another ridiculously pretentious name for a land of plastic which even Patch describes as “massive”. If that one gets built will it also be a pick up spot for day jobbers?

Response is mixed. I believe a lot of people don’t want another WaWa but some are of the mind set  more is good and how WaWa will keep taxes down and let municipal services grow. I do not quite get that logic because if municipal services have to grow, all taxpayers have to pay. And what about people on fixed incomes?

I know the jingle of “Gotta have a WaWa” but  there is no accounting for taste and one would *hope* people would want better for East Whiteland than gobs of plastic townhouses, limited historic preservation in a very historic area, and oh yes plastic chain stores to serve the plastic townhouse set?  Given the Wegmans and Target and existing WaWas and other things, I would say the 29 corridor is pretty well served already.

Time will tell.  Personally, I like my own coffee better.

Thanks for stopping by.