not our pipeline

Pipeline and sinkhole. Just The Fact Please photo. November, 2017

Before I moved to Chester County, I was somewhat ambivalent about Sunoco and their pipelines. Among other things, I grew up with a father who was for years, in-house PR for a then major oil company.  And part of that was during the Exxon Valdez era.  But oil companies had deep pockets and what did I know? Nothing was near where we lived and those oil company deep pockets were always giving box loads of stuff to schools, bought full page ads in school newspapers for the kids of employees, etcetera.

When you first hear about problems with pipelines, pipeline construction, or even fracking, it is like this fuzzy thing out of focus ahead of you in the haze. It can’t possibly affect you. Until it does. And in my opinion, it is.   I have friends who hail from Western Pennsylvania who literally have been warning people for years.  And they are just nastily labeled “fracktivists”. Guess that is the new label for “concerned citizen”? Because I have got to tell you, the people I knew who once lived in Western PA are…wait for it…MOMS.  You know how dangerous moms are, right?

Then it seems like in an instant but a couple miles in either direction from where you live as far as the crown flies in any direction, stuff starts to happen.

Well issues.


You feel like local municipal officials and politicians are just covering their ears saying “na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na” in order to NOT have to listen to residents.  Respected environmental activists are labeled as being alarmists.

Then all of a sudden the  PA DEP seems to wake up and temporarily halts work on Sunoco’s Mariner 2 Pipeline.  Only as per residents in some affected Chester County neighborhoods and State Impact by NPR  that might not quite be true as they report on January 9, 2018:

When Danielle Otten woke up Monday morning, she didn’t expect to see men working on the Mariner East 2 pipeline construction site that sits about 40 feet from her backyard, along Devon Drive in Uwchlan Township, Chester County.

For one thing, work in the area had stalled after drilling dried up and damaged nearby water wells this past summer. And just last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued a court order halting construction along the 350-mile long pipeline after Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners continued to violate its permits, causing damage to private water wells, streams and wetlands…..When DEP issued a stop work order to Sunoco last week, it appeared that all work would halt aside from drilling and erosion controls that had to be continued in order to prevent additional environmental damage. But a spokesman for the DEP now tells StateImpact that when it comes to anything other than earth disturbance or water crossings, the agency doesn’t have jurisdiction.


In Chester County, as a resident, you can’t avoid the truth of the pipelines. And the risks and dangers. So many of us are on wells. And so many with wells are already having issues. And then there are those other pesky things…you know like sinkholes and so on?

The jarring visuals you see with your own eyes like the beautiful swaths of lands torn assunder are burned into your brain.  Once you see it, you can’t un-see it and you wish you could.

Swing sets and play houses of small children sit in macabre juxtaposition to giant earth moving machines and huge pieces of pipe.

Giant walls, pipes, and earth moving machines also sit across the driveway from senior citizen apartment complexes and grocery stores.

Pipeline so close and on top of churches and schools in addition to residential neighborhoods and please, tell me, how is that safe?

Next to firehouses too? So basically, Sunoco puts those supposed to protect us at risk as well?

You have friends and former neighbors who have Sunoco gobbling up their land for the pipeline.  You count your blessing like we did that we moved long ago from certain parts of Chester County because otherwise this view could be your very own backyard:

Uwchlan Safety Coalition photo

Only you can’t help but wonder if your slice of heaven will remain unmolested by pipelines? Like Medieval Feudal Lords, you are never quite sure what they will swoop in and take, are you?

You are, as residents of Chester County and elsewhere, supposed to bend over and accept these new vistas:

My photo, taken July, 2017

When you say “no I think this is bad” there are people who will  jump all over you. “It’s perfectly safe. You don’t know what you are talking about.”

Perfectly safe? Is that why CBS This Morning ran and over FIVE minute segment on the national news this morning from coast to coast?

Sunoco is raping our land. They are depleting it, irrevocably changing it and in my opinion putting us all at risk.  It is not OUR pipeline, it is THEIR pipeline being forced upon us all and we are not benefiting from it.  This isn’t OUR infrastructure, it’s Sunoco’s infrastructure. What they take is being shipped OVERSEAS.

As another friend Ginny said to others:

Sunoco cannot replace the large, mature trees they are chopping down for this. Nor can they restore the fragile and important wetland there if they wreck it, just as they couldn’t restore the private wells that they wrecked in Marchwood this summer with this pipeline. 

Living with hazardous liquefied natural gas lines is not a part of living in suburbia. In fact it is reckless to put these lines through densely populated areas, right alongside houses, schools, apartment buildings, shopping centers, seniors homes, etc. 

And now, Sunoco also wants Chester County Library’s freaking lawn? (See Dragon Pipe Diary)

When does it stop?  When did Corporate America’s rights become more meaningful than ours in Chester and Delaware Counties and elsewhere in Pennsylvania?  Why are we as residents being forced to live with something that destroys and takes and give nothing back in return? Why don’t residents matter? Why do we spend so much time feeling like our elected officials have forsaken us on this issue?

And why is it when you mention anything about not liking or distrusting pipelines some fool will always hop up and cry foul partisan politics? I mean do they really think we are such imbeciles that an issue which is non-partisan and affects EVERYONE is an example of partisan politics?  Take off the dunce caps, because opposition to Mariner East is clearly bi-partisan.

Pipeline, East Goshen. My photo. Summer/Fall 2017

Today in addition to the CBS News report, Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety is a nonpartisan, fact-based, grassroots coalition of locally-based safety groups, made up of concerned Pennsylvanians from across our Commonwealth issued a press release:

Well guess what? I believe these folks, and this pipeline and it’s march across Chester County and elsewhere terrifies me.  These people protesting are our neighbors and friends. And there are quite the growing numbers of experts, environmentalists and others who believe these residents.

There is also a very important petition circling. It is directed at our rather elusive Governor Tom Wolf on asking him to protect our communities under the PA Health and Safety Statute.

Please sign and share this petition today.

Here are some articles:

Dragonpipe Diary: Sunoco’s destructive plans for the Chester County Library lawn

State Impact PA Despite DEP order to halt Mariner East 2 construction, some work is still allowedJANUARY 9, 2018 | 5:34 PM Susan Phillips

State Impact: Water problems persist along Mariner East pipeline route despite court interventionOCTOBER 12, 2017 | 5:03 PM BY JON HURDLE

State Impact: DEP issues violation to Sunoco for another spill of drilling fluidAUGUST 30, 2017 | 6:40 PM BY JON HURDLE

grist: BRIEFLY Stuff that matters PIPE DOWN

Daily Local: Pennsylvania DEP shuts down construction on Sunoco gas pipeline By Bill Rettew, brettew@dailylocal,com POSTED: 01/03/18, 5:25 PM EST

Daily Local: DEP accuses Sunoco of unauthorized drilling By Bill Rettew, POSTED: 01/02/18, 3:49 PM EST

Daily Times, Phil Heron: Editorial: Economic benefits alone won’t resolve pipeline concerns

Look at the end of the day, did we come to Chester County for this view below? I don’t think so. We need to protect what is ours.  And what is ours, is not necessarily theirs.


Uwchlan Safety Coalition Photo

eagles 🦅 going to the super bowl !

On February 4th, 2018 the Philadelphia Eagles will meet the New England Patriots in Minnesota for Super Bowl 52.

Here is an article from Sports Illustrated:

We’re Going to the Stinkin’ Super Bowl’: Eagles, Patriots Punch Ticket for Minnesota

Did I watch the game?

I might be committing football sacrilege, but no.

I grew up with a father and mother who really weren’t sports minded. Except for perhaps the Army-Navy Game. That was a tradition they kept with friends when I was little, and I even remember as a small child attending a brutally cold Army-Navy Game at Veterans Stadium. I remember the din of the crowd, a sea of midshipmen and how cold I was.

I also remember going with my father when I was little to see one Saint Joe’s Prep football game. The Prep was his alma mater and they won the game. But again, my overwhelming memory was being freezing cold.

I remember going to Super Bowl and other football kinds of parties growing up, but to me it wasn’t very exciting because I don’t know the first thing about football. I still don’t really know the first thing about football.

I remember I tried really hard in 1980 to like football and better understand it when the Eagles were going to the Super Bowl that time. I even went to a Super Bowl party.

The Eagles lost.

In 2004, I again tried really hard to like football better and understand the game better when the Eagles went to the Super Bowl to face whom they are facing this time again – the New England Patriots. I watched the game.

The Eagles lost.

So yesterday? I didn’t watch.

The Eagles won.

Perhaps I should repeat my ignoring pattern for the Super Bowl? After all just because I’m not much of a football gal, it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the hometown team, right?

sunset, east bradford

One of my readers snapped these shots the other evening on the way home from work. I am delighted to share them with you.

The nice thing about looking at photos like these is it reminds about the simple things that are important in life.

Family, nature, friends. The act of living. Being present in your life.

A lot of ugliness exists in the world today, so sometimes we forget about the little things like looking at a beautiful sunset.

We all should stop and enjoy the beauty every now and again shouldn’t we?

It is truly humbling when you can admire the simple beauty of a Chester County sunset.


taming the interior jungle

Winter means I only have the inside a/k/a house plants to tend to. It won’t be spring soon enough, but for now it’s all about taming the interior jungle.

Fridays is plant tending day. I start with the big Boston Ferns. They love the dappled shade on the edge of the woods on hooks in the summer, but in the winter they hang from the family room ceiling on hooks the prior homeowner (who was a wonderful gardener in her day, I am told) put up.

The ferns go to the sink where they get watered and misted. I leave them to drain a couple of hours while I tend to the rest of the jungle.

I start with the orchids and small Clivia (offspring from the big Clivia pots.) They are on moisture trays which I periodically add hot tap water to. The orchids each get a couple of ice cubes and today they will get sprayed with foliar feed.

The Clivia along with their mother ship relatives which are in large pots on the floor just get some water. Occasionally I water everything with Irish Organic Fertilizer (you can buy it on Amazon and I use it in my garden and on my house plants and orchids.)

I have two ivy topiaries which I actually made, and they also get watered and misted in the kitchen sink once a week and left to drain before returning to their plant saucers and plant stands. (I have a few vintage plant stands from the Smithfield Barn that I use for indoor plants to save the furniture surfaces.)

I have two citrus trees. One is a grapefruit tree I grew from seed. It has never bloomed or grown fruit but as it has matured it has grown thorns. My other citrus is a small Meyer Lemon. That has born full-sized fruit once and then almost died. It’s now thriving in a new pot and I hope for blossoms soon. The citrus trees are planted with soil specifically for citrus trees and it drains well. I tend to let them dry out before watering again. It’s a balance, but when I overwater they drop leaves.

I did buy a moisture meter which does help keep my plants watered properly. But some plants just defy all logic. Like our giant Mandevilla. We inherited it from the prior homeowner so it is well established and now in a rather large pot. It has a trellis in the pot for the vines but the pot is so heavy it is on a saucer on wheels. At this point every winter it sheds leaves. Constantly. It makes a real mess. Then it looks like it is half dead, but then spring rolls around and new leave start to sprout. But right now it is in the middle of its ugly season where I look at it and swear I won’t go through this again….until summer when the marvelous hot pink flowers appear.

I also have Christmas Cactus. It thrives on benign neglect. It also prefers a more sandy kind of soil. I toss a handful of ice cubes in the pot on the soil once a week and that’s all. I learned from a co-worker years ago that they literally thrive on being ignored.

My addition to the interior jungle this year other than a rosemary plant I am overwintering is the pretty Amaryllis I received as a gift a while back. It bloomed for Christmas, and I thought it was finished blooming and was starting to grow leaves and much to my delight another flower bud is pushing from the base! So right now I am letting the stem die from the first flower and keeping the soil moist so the next flower can grow.

Like my regular outside garden I have learned through trial and error over the years that the best thing I can do for my houseplants is also keep them on a schedule. As long as I stick to a schedule as far as watering and feeding and general tending they seem to do OK.

As for what else a gardener does in winter, well that’s easy. I go through plant catalogs and gardening magazines as I wait for spring!

Thanks for stopping by.

quilt repairs and flu days

I have had the flu since December 28 when I felt that first tickle way in the back of my throat.


This was the year I forgot to get a flu shot. And I got full-on flu. Including the scary nights you are afraid to sleep in the middle of the night because you can’t breathe. Last year when I got the flu shot it made me as sick as a dog (but ironically not this sick), so this year I kept procrastinating… next year? Back to flu shots.

As someone who was treated for breast cancer, I do live with a slightly compromised immune system. My husband, however, attributes this lengthy flu to not resting properly. Or, I haven’t stayed in bed enough. Now I hate to admit it, but since I have been getting in bed and staying in bed I am starting to feel better.

But who has the time to stay in bed, I ask? (And by the way I am writing this on the WordPress app not my computer.) I for one have learned the hard way that one has to make the time.

Staying put is a hard thing for me to do. So what have I done besides read and watch TV? Sew. I have a bunch of quilts to repair and restore.

I have written before about my love of old handmade quilts and re-making them when repairing them.

I love hand made and vintage pieced at patchwork quilts. Although I can repair and reimagine them, I am not a quilter and would never presume to call myself one. Real quilting is such an amazing art form.

I have now repaired and reimagined several vintage quilts. And then I add my own touches. Ribbon, lace, quirky odd pieces or fabric, and even embroidery are my touches. Hand sewing as I don’t have my mother’s talent with a sewing machine.

Some people only display their quilts and afghans, but I use them. I love them and to me they are among the things that make a house a home. To me it is home to have these quilts.

I am almost finished reimagining this blue and white one. It’s fairly large and has some weight to it. My friend Sara who is a real quilter had given me some odd lots of fabrics, and the one I am using is just perfect – a fun dog pattern on a blue background.

I don’t make the patches that necessarily mimic what the original quilter did. I stick to basic shapes I can cut out and stitch evenly.

This is a fun way to make myself relax…and stay in bed. Seriously, those are two things which are very hard for me to do.

When I finish the blue and white quilt, I will move onto an old Maine-made patchwork quilt. Maine if anyone is interested is a place where I think some of the most amazing handmade quilts come from. And a lot of them are flannel backed. And this certainly is a winter where you can appreciate flannel- backed quilts.

Thanks for stopping by!

chester county 2018: ask not for whom the bell “tolls”

Yo so maybe the Chester County Commissioners and the Chester County Planning Commission should put all of us out of our misery now and just rename the county Toll Brothers County?

where is the customer service, iris usa?

UPDATE: heard back from company, finally. They are replacing the broken containers. That is what I wanted and what is right and fair.


I had ordered six 30 quart weatherproof containers made by a company called IRIS USA.

I might as well have just thrown my money away!

IRIS makes terrific containers. But they do NOT package their products well for shipping. I ordered a set of six and I will in the end have only TWO which are usable because they were shipped with no padding or packing, so they broke before they reached me. Some had broken lids some head broken bottoms where is a little black hinges were broken off the containers. I have a whole pile of plastic shards.

I can’t believe that a company like this doesn’t get that you can’t ship containers without any padding or packing especially in the winter when the colder temperatures make the plastic more brittle !

I have been in contact with their social media customer service people on Facebook who assured me days ago that someone would contact me from their company and make good on the containers that I did not get to use because they arrived broken.

Yet days later, nothing. Not even an email.

Yesterday I was told via a Facebook message that everyone is extraordinarily apologetic that no one has bothered to connect with me and they will look into it further. Yet all I am hearing is crickets.

I contacted them via email and have heard nothing, I resent the email a second time today.

I also called their corporate offices and all I got was a voice mailboxto leave a message for customer service, not an actual person.

Customer service to me is a big deal. I’m not asking for free stuff I’m just asking them to make good on the order that I initially placed. My order was for six containers, and given four were broken, I just want the four broken ones replaced. Otherwise I am throwing money away.

If you see their containers in regular bricks and mortar retailers, they make great containers. But don’t order them online from IRIS since they don’t know how to ship them properly, and their customer service is not what it should be.

The photo that is the last photo on this post is what the containers are supposed to look like. The other two photos show what I actually received. I had bought these to help better store some of my Christmas decorations.

Buyer beware.

Thanks for stopping by.