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.

 

Enjoy!

22504252134_99809fe008_o

 

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

wawa1

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.

Sigh.

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.

wegmans

 

 

paris, oh paris

 

There is that moment when….. one of your dearest and closest friends texts you a photo….from PARIS.

As in the city which has just been a victim of terrorist attacks…The city of lights….Paris.

My exact text back to her was “For the love of Christ don’t tell me you are in Paris now??”

And she messaged back “Yes…can you freaking believe it?!!!”

These are the little things you don’t think of – you know a friend is going away on vacation but you forget where.

I have friends who call France home, so when the news broke of those attacks last week I really felt my heart in my throat.

Then I had a conversation with another dear friend this morning who said she might be taking a break from social media because people pounced all over her because she commented on Paris but neglected to mention Lebanon and Africa and wherever else there had been terrorist attacks also last week.

OK really???? That how you’re going to judge a person’s worthiness because they forget to remember other horrific events which occurred across the globe last week on Facebook???

And as far as the tourism goes in Paris, I am really sick of these attacks no matter where they occur. It is so awful that people are committing these acts in the name of one religion and culture against people who are other religions and cultures.  Why are we fighting medieval religious wars in the modern era?

 

This is the other photo my friend sent this morning.  It was a moment of silence at noon today Paris time and all French came outside. 

My friend said is all the French want to talk about it. They will say things to Americans like “this is how you must’ve felt after 9/11”. She also remarked how remarkably gracious the Parisians are two visitors in their city even at a time like this.

My friend says the sites are shut down in Paris but restaurants and cafés are open. She said wherever you go your bag is checked and they actually feel quite safe.

What a crazy world we live in. I can’t wait for my friend to get home…. Not that this craziness can’t happen anywhere and I think that’s part of the problem. But as my friend points out with her photo, we need to keep on living.

To my “American(s) in Paris” , safe travels and see you soon.

Paris, je t’aime.

goodnight garden

 

Yesterday after spending a few days feeling really crappy post dog bite (the tetanus shot triple threat combined with horse pill sized antibiotics as a precaution are not so much fun) I finally went out into the garden for a little bit.

A dear friend gave me three tree peonies I had to get into the ground, and I needed to dead head and prune roses. I also cleared out some of the remains of perennials that had died back, and hard pruned my Nippon daisies  and butterfly bush.

As I looked around at the beech and oak and other trees which are still hanging onto some final golden, red and brown leaves, the sky and earth just had that look.  The look of goodnight garden until next spring. 

all about townhouses but where is actual linden hall restoration?

So? Where is the restoration of Linden Hall? All we have seen are woods plowed under and townhouses begun.  Quite a few windows are broken on the side and it makes me wonder where else.

Thought I would post in the event that the East Whiteland Historical Commission might actually be proactive here?