life and scarab bracelets

I have now had a few falls living in Chester County. I woke up today realizing that I didn’t feel like a stranger in a strange land any longer. It was a great feeling.

I love living out here. I love discovering cool things and bits of history. I love that almost every day there is something beautiful to take a photo of or something new to experience. Next on my living in Chester County bucket list is to go to a mud sale next spring. They don’t just occur in Lancaster County, there are several in Chester County as well.

The website describes mud sales this way:

Mud sales, named for the condition of the thawing early spring ground, are major fundraisers for the volunteer fire companies throughout Amish communities. They are huge events, sometimes drawing as many as 20,000 people, where everything from hand-stitched quilts (donated by the Amish women’s groups) and locally-made crafts to livestock, furniture, produce, baked goods, antiques, housewares, even the kitchen sink are all up for bid. In a sight that may seem like organized chaos to the novice mud sale visitors, six or seven auctions are conducted simultaneously as the Amish and English mill together over the many items bound for the auction block.

A woman in my gardening group went to one recently (they start in early spring and run through fall she tells me). She got amazing deals on shrubs and perennials and told me the quilts and other things being auctioned off were amazing. And yes she had me at patchwork quilts and plants! Apparently there is one coming up in Cochranville:

October 25 – Cochranville Fire Company Mud Sale
Cochranville Volunteer Fire Company
3135 Limestone Road, Cochranville

Onto other things. The other evening I went to a ladies’ get together hosted by a dear friend from college. She was one of those people I didn’t see during the ex-factor years and reconnected with after he was gone.

During that particular stage of my life there were a lot of people I didn’t see because they didn’t want to be around him but didn’t want to tell me that, either. There were also people I sort of steered away from because I was afraid of how he would react to them. It wasn’t always like that with him, but that is what he seem to become. Or maybe that was true self showing through and I was afraid to acknowledge that at the time?

I am only sorry I put my friends and family through all that at the time. I’m especially sorry to my late father and brother-in-law. They only wanted me to be happy, didn’t see my happy as being him, but I never knew that until they were both gone from this earth. On some level I believe that both of them can see me in my life now and are happy with my choices, but I really wish both of them were around to be with us still. But death, like life is part of our life cycle and life experiences, right?

It’s funny, the ex factor is finally fading like the bad memory he should be, yet for some reason people like him seem to keep tabs on my life and isn’t that bizarre? After all, he left me in a blizzard, isn’t that the truth? Why would he want any kind of connection? Because I was supposed to be miserable but life led me in a new direction leaving me happy and content and where I am supposed to be and who I am supposed to be with? Because I survived breast cancer? Morbid curiosity? And is it true, does he have full knowledge of certain cyber bullies? Really?

I have asked myself plenty of times why would someone care about my life basically literally years after they ended a relationship by their own personal choice? Is it because they have been part of my writing as having been part of my life experience? Many writers write about their lives. For example, a woman I know wrote about her divorce with brutal unvarnished honesty earlier this summer. Does that make her a bad person too? Is her almost ex-husband similarly afflicted?

But you know what? I really and truly do not care at the end of the day. It’s like dealing with cyber bullies who stalk everyday existence trolling for bits of anything to twist and pervert. It is simply a reaffirmation of my life blessings. And wow aren’t I lucky? Yes, yes I am.

People seem to have a fascination in general with people who blog and write. What they are writing about, how they write, why they write. For me writing is like my photography, it is simply part of who I am.

I was speaking recently with a woman I know. She is a friend and follows my blog quite closely. She was quite complimentary overall with how I write and my writing style. She was also honest about my writings which can be placed in the category of activism driven. Some she has liked, some not so much. Did I get all up in arms about that? No, it was a conversation. It wasn’t an attack, it was looking at what I write through a different pair of eyes. I value input like that.

We also talked about scarab bracelets. Decidedly vintage, and not very expensive to pick up and so much fun to wear. They scream 50s and 60s and like myself, she loves them. They are something that is a happy association of my childhood. When I was little my mother and a lot of her friends always wore scarab bracelets and I have loved them since I was a little girl. They are something most consider to be a classic. I see them in thrift shops all the time and while some people love the look of Bakelite and vintage rhinestones, I love the look of scarab bracelets.

Commonality and mutual likes. It is what draws us together. I have met so many cool new people through my Chester County Ramblings Gardening Group and Chester County Ramblings Home Cooking Group. It is so nice to connect with people who like to do some of what I like to do.

Moving to Chester County I am discovering myself again, not just Chester County. What I am discovering are parts of myself that are incredibly positive that I thought I lost through the twists and turns in life. Maybe it’s turning 50 too. At 30 I learned it was o.k. to be who I was, but at 50 I have learned to be myself.

I think that’s pretty cool.

I will close with song lyrics sticking in my head. I am not a huge U2 aficionado (that would be my sister since forever!), but a verse of new lyrics that I keep hearing again and again because of Apple goes like this:

I woke up at the moment when the miracle occurred
Heard a song that made some sense out of the world
Everything I ever lost now has been returned
The most beautiful sound I ever heard

Thanks for stopping by today.


first day of fall


Today is the first day of fall. I started the day for some inexplicable reason with cleaning out and rearranging the kitchen cabinets. I then spent time in the garden. It was a truly glorious and a wonderful day to be in the garden. The weather was fantastic.

This is not only the first day of fall, it is the autumnal equinox. This is also the pagan holiday of Mabon. Relax. Mabon is a harvest festival. Mostly. (Any Outlander fans out there? It was Outlander that made me go looking for what the autumnal equinox is called.)

Actually, Huffington Post had an article today about Mabon and they said:

The autumnal equinox falls on September 23 in 2014, marking the official first day of fall as well as the pagan holiday, Mabon, in the northern hemisphere.

Mabon is a harvest festival, the second of three, that encourages pagans to “reap what they sow,” both literally and figuratively. It is the time when night and day stand equal in duration; thus is it a time to express gratitude, complete projects and honor a moment of balance….The holiday is named after the Welsh God, Mabon, son of Earth Mother goddess Modron.

Next comes the Gaelic festival of Samhain, which to us encompasses October 31st to I think November 2nd – it covers Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls. And yes, I am still quite Catholic. It’s just that some of the traditions and old ways that came together to form our modern holidays and harvest festivals and so on are fascinating to learn about.

These historical pagan traditions celebrate different equinoxes and solstices which tie to various seasonal and agricultural things of significance. There are eight of these traditions: Yule (December/Christmas), Imbolc (almost spring/February), Vernal Equinox (Ostara/March), Beltane (May/May Day/old beginning of Summer), Midsummer (Summer Solstice/Litha/end of June), Lammas (August/Lughnasadh/first harvest festival), Mabon (autumnal equinox/end of September/first day of fall/second harvest festival), Samhain (Halloween/All Saints/All Souls/last harvest festival).

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed the first day of fall!

Thanks for stopping by!


barn sales and barn sales

So….I like barn sales. But I am discovering there are barn sales and there are barn sales.

I have gone to sales in barns where the barns are completely renovated and it plays host to a specialty store or antiques or antiques and collectible store. Those types of situations are where I expect traditional retail pricing.

The barn sales I go to normally are true barn sales, much like garage sales meet a flea market in a barn. These barns are former working barns now packed to the gills with all sorts of stuff. It’s a little dusty, and you have to dig, should bring a flash light….and you can dicker on price and sometimes barter. Things are priced to move. A picking paradise.

However, cropping up on places like Craig’s List and garage sale boards are this weird hybrid cross between the aforementioned. They call themselves a “barn sale”, but…..other than the barn or barn-like location are they really a barn sale?

I mean no disrespect to these folks deciding to hold sales in their barn, but $100 for a pair of not particularly large nor spectacular decorative pillows that might be $19.99 each in Home Goods is not barn sale pricing.

And I have never known a barn to grow an over-abundance of milk painted, chalkboard painted, chalk painted furniture. But then again, I just like the look of real wood, I am not a pastel princess. I can also gussy something up myself and don’t necessarily wish to buy a piece of grown-up furniture that looks like cotton candy.

Yes in Chester County we are seeing different shades of barn sales. I guess I am just a traditionalist and prefer the barn sales that really are barn sales. Sometimes a little dusty and dirty, places you can really find some amazing treasures.

And interestingly enough Merriam-Webster defines a barn sale thusly:

Full Definition of BARN SALE:

garage sale

First Known Use of BARN SALE



Thanks for stopping by!