misdirected emails.

  

Until I started getting misdirected emails a few years ago I never knew there was a Ms. Senior America pageant.

Yes seriously, the objectification of women now goes into our golden years. Is this what we have to look forward to?

Sorry but I think it is ridiculous.

Anyway all of a sudden a few years ago I ended up, or my email address ended up on a Ms. Senior America Pageant list for their Oklahoma chapter. And here I thought Oklahoma was reserved for Ree Drummond the Pioneer Woman. But it’s not. There are also pageant queens from 3 to 99. Who knew?

Anyway, for the past few years I’ve been getting these emails. I alternately go through phases of I contact the sender and say please take me off your email list I’m not who you think I am, to blocking their email addresses, to just deleting the emails.  These emails are like a bad case of poison ivy they just endure.

So yesterday I got this email:

I see that you have two new contestants for the 2016 pageant. I am

so excited about that. We will have a good fun pageant. Senior

ladies that are still active impresses me. You are a beautiful

woman that still cares about your appearance. I think that is so

good.

As you know I was able to arrange a nice facility for our 2016

pageant. I did that by phone and email while I am in Palms

Springs. Carol and I are in touch often making plans for the 2016

pageant.

I would love to see contestants go to National for the finals even

if they aren’t crowned Queen. I have been able to go to most of

the National Finals since 2008 to support our Queen. I was a

contestant in Palms Springs, Calif., then a volunteer. I am a

Cameo member here as well as Oklahoma. Calif. Cameo Club inspires

me. They are so active.

Best regards,

Ladell



Eyes rolling.

Cameo Club? I Googled it. Came up with an odd You Tube video or two (watch one HERE and another one HERE.)

OMG.

I kept Googling. Ms. Senior America is Serious Business. Check out this article I just found in Colorado where they are presently seeking contestants to compete in the national pageant in (of course) Atlantic City.

Supposedly they exist to make senior women feel better about themselves?  I have never *understood* beauty pageants so I definitely do not get this. I look at my mother who quite stylish as a “senior” and try to imagine her doing something like that. Oh my how her eyes would roll at the concept.

Anyway, this time the beauty queens got crabby me. How hard is it to correct an email list after all?  I told them this has been going on for years  at this point.

This is what I got back from “national”:

This is not coming directly from our organization. Each states is independently run. I will reach out to the Oklahoma Admin. and relate this issue to her. I apologize for any inconvenience but I would imagine it is a computer error and I will ask her to please rectify the error ASAP. Thank You for your patience and understanding,

Umm yes. Patience and understanding? Ok but seriously lady, this has been a computer error of a few years duration.

It’s frustrating and it’s also like receiving  someone else’s personal mail left opened in your mailbox. I would just rather not.

My friends find this hysterical and somewhat unbelievable. I don’t think that is what the pageant goddesses are going for.

 I predict some day we will see Sarah Palin in Ms. Senior Alaska…that I would pay good money to see. Caribou Barbie and all that jazz.  But what would be her talent portion of the pageants? (But I digress.)

Anyway, here’s hoping the geriatric Barbies finally remove me from their pageant list. I am just not the tiara type.

Oh and FYI from the Miss Senior Pennsylvania Facebook Page:

Ms. Senior PA Pageant is a pageant to emphasize honor women who have reached the “Age of Elegance.” It is a search for the gracious lady who best exemplifies the dignity, maturity and inner beauty of all senior Americans, the foundation of America.

And the bannner of the page is a lady of a certain age in sweats, a tiara, sneakers….in front of farm animals.

Sorry I just can’t get my head wrapped around this. It is like observing a parallel universe.

The moral of this story is watch where your emails go AND you never know where a misdirected email will end up.

reimagining comfort food: rice pudding 2016 edition

rice puddingWhen it comes to winter we think of comfort food. But sometimes some of the comfort food we remember seems better suited to the nursery. So how do we take something like rice pudding and grow it up?

I love rice pudding and that’s what I decided to do today: change it up every so slightly.  What I am experimenting with is soaking raisins in a couple tablespoons of orange juice, cinnamon, and approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons of whiskey left over from Christmas cakes that didn’t turn out so well.

I didn’t use leftover rice this time I cooked some fresh with cinnamon and cardamom.

Guess what? It’s yummy!

Rice Pudding

Preheat oven to 350°

5 eggs

scant 1/3 teaspoon of salt for pudding liquid

3 3/4 cups milk

2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract (so much better than the American variety)

2 cups of cook riced (1 cup dry rice cooked with 1 1/4 teaspoons cardamom and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of salt)

1/2 to 3/4 cups white organic or turbinado sugar

1 cup of mixed yellow and black raisins soaked in 3 tablespoons whiskey 2 tablespoons of orange juice and a dash of each cinnamon and nutmeg. (I soaked these about 3 hours before making pudding.)

Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom to taste (pudding liquid)

Lemon or orange zest (optional)

First butter a largish casserole baking dish and place in a Ban Marie (a/k/a large pan filled halfway with hot tap water)

Then beat the eggs in your mixing bowl. Add the vanilla, sugar, salt and mix until frothy. Beat in milk. Add dashes of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg.

Set aside.

Put spice scented rice in bottom of  casserole baking dish.

Spoon raisins over rice.

If you want to zest some lemon or orange do so now.

Pour pudding liquid (eggs/milk/sugar) over everything else in casserole baking dish.

Put in oven in Bain Marie for 1 hour and check for doneness – or when the knife comes out clean.

Today my pudding took a total of 90 minutes to cook right.

When doneness is achieved remove from over and Bain Marie and cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Enjoy!

development food for thought

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August 13, 2008.  O’Neill’s apartment buildings Riverwalk at Millennium go up in flames. It burned hard and fast and was awful.  A lot of the articles surrounding this have magically disappeared off of newspaper sites over time but for those of us who worked in Conshohocken during that time frame and watched them going from a dedication where then relatively new President Bush (as in George the younger) was at a brownfield ceremony to sign a piece of legislation known as The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act to a reality often have strong opinions about rapid development and so on.  This legislation was signed in Conshohocken PA in 2002. I know as I was there right in the first few rows watching it happen. My State Senator at the time gave me a ticket.

As the Inquirer article stated at the time:

The legislation that Bush will sign – the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act – creates a five-year program that can give states up to $200 million a year to clean up more than 500,000 polluted industrial sites, more commonly known as brownfields.

The act authorizes money for the cleanups and exempts small businesses from liability if they did not contribute a significant amount of the pollution. It also will create a public record of brownfields.

O’Neill Properties is one of the most familiar names when it comes to developments on sites like this.  Quite a few of the sites like this are actually in Chester County.  In East Whiteland. (Uptown Worthington or Bishop Tube anyone?)

2761103987_6629fc2f5e_oWhen Millennium went up in flames it was a crazy thing to watch, and SO many fire companies responded.  Here is what 6 ABC WPVI TV said at the time:

A multi-alarm fire was raged for hours Wednesday night in the 200 block of Washington Street in Conshohocken.According to Conshohocken Fire Department Chief Robert Phipps, 11 firefighters have been injured due to the multi-alarm fire at the Riverwalk at Millenium and three or four fire trucks have been damaged. The extent of the injuries is not yet known.

Officials also tell Action News that 80 fire companies from 5 counties helped extinguish the blaze…..”It’s surreal. People are just in shock; they don’t know what to do,” resident Hope Raitt said.

It was an emotional scene in the haze of smoke.

Residents were in tears.

Many made frantic calls on cell phones……The main concern for many was their pets.

The Riverwalk at Millenium allows animals, so many people arrived home from work only to learn their pets may be trapped.

 

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A little over a year after the fire, a settlement on it was reached (Click here to read about that).   In the fall of 2010 the project then completed was for sale (Click here to read about that.)  All of this occurred after a big huge article about the developer in Philadelphia Magazine.

After the fire there were enough articles to fell a forest. Again, most of them are no longer online, and who knows if they even exist in archives. Here’s a LINK to a related article having to do with the banking in 2012.) And today Riverwalk at Millennium has reviews on Yelp. A lot of the reviews aren’t exactly flattering. (However in all fairness reviews of Eastside Flats is not so fabulous either – see this and this and this and this.)

In 2010 a crazy lawsuit started in Federal Court about Uptown Worthington (where the Malvern Wegmans and Target and other things are today.) This thing burbled and spat fire for a few years until it was settled (one article about this available HERE.)

The food for thought here is simple: what can we learn from other developments? That is a valid question because if you think about it, no matter where we live around here in Southeastern PA we share the commonality of the same or similar pool of developers from place to place.  These developers are like old time mining prospectors – they get what they can get and pull up stakes and move on to the next community. That leaves the reality of these developments for the community to deal with.

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Let’s talk about Eastside Flats. How are they renting really? And why is it these Stoltz people and Korman people don’t seem to care about issues? Or basic things like trash? I was there the other day to have lunch with a friend and there was trash on the sidewalk, like it was a true urban area versus downtown Malvern. And the fake “brick” sidewalks? They look fake, are fake, and are more slippery than the real deal. And what about trucks? Why is it delivery trucks can just block the street, block the only driveways into the parking lots? And the landscaping? Or lack there of?

img_1840And at the end of the day one of the biggest problems with Eastside Flats is still human scale and inappropriate design for the area.  They tower over everything and citify a small town in a way that is architecturally inappropriate. And I would still like to know how fire trucks can navigate this site in the event of fire. How will they reach the rear for example? Via the train tracks? That is another thing that is potentially worrisome.

Development also causes other potential issues. Things like storm water management. When I lived in Lower Merion all you ever heard from the township is how on top of the topic they were.  Yeah right, and they own the Brooklyn Bridge too, right?

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3934298722_d09f391eba_oAbove was my old neighborhood and one photo from Pennsylvania Ave in Bryn Mawr.  I documented storm water management issues for years because even with a summer thunder storm the flooding was insane.  A lot of it had to do with the railroad tracks that ran elevated up their hills through the neighborhood, but not all of it.   We would even have power and Verizon outages from Lancaster Avenue from the water underground. On a few occasions, PECO actually brought in people to pump the water OUT from underneath the ground.

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And have you ever seen what happens when the Schuylkill River floods? Check out this photo I took in Conshohocken in 2007:

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Radnor Township often doesn’t fare better. Next are photos of Wayne a friend of mine took here and there over the past few years:

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Ok so yes, this is the Main Line. Not us here in Chester County. But we can LEARN from their mistakes if our municipalities would kindly wake-up.

Development is an ugly fact of life. No way to seemingly avoid it. And the pool of developers, our veritable land sharks isn’t so big. It’s basically the same ones hop scotching around.

We are Chester County. We were known for great open spaces and farmland and horses and our beautiful natural vistas. I use past tense because development project by development project what Chester County is or was known for is eroding. Fast.

Take for example a project in Willistown I did not realize was happening. Passed by it the other day on Devon Road. Chapel Hill at Daylesford Abbey. People have been upset about this for years….and it finally is starting to happen. (read about it in an old Inquirer Article.)

Or the old DuPont Estate Foxcatcher Farm now Listeter or whatever by Toll?  How jarring is THAT development? And how is it selling? Yes it is neighboring Delaware County but again, it is another example of “is that really what the community wanted or needed”?

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Whenever we read about these developments in the newspaper we hear the talk of “demand”. Whose demand and is it real or imagined?

It doesn’t matter where we live in Chester County, I am reminding all of you once again in 2016 that if we aren’t better stewards of where we live, what we love about Chester County will cease to exist and as we get more and more development we will experience more and more issues like from a lack of true storm water management much like our Main Line neighbors and so on.

Whatever happened to the SOS or Save Open Space initiative in Chester County from the what 1980s and 1990s?  In my opinion we need something like this more than ever. Or we will be seeing more ugliness like the last photo I am going to post. Taken from the Schuylkill Expressway headed west as a car passenger recently.  Not sure where the project is, but I think Lower Merion Township near the river?

Bottom line is we need more than lip service when it comes to development from planning, zoning, or elected officials. Doesn’t matter what municipality. We don’t exist in a vacuum and what happens where we live affects our neighbors and vice versa. If your idea of Chester County is well, Chesterbrook or Eastside Flats you will be steaming by now.  But I am betting most of you want more moderation and more land and open space and area character and historic preservation.  Saving land saves us all.

Thanks for stopping by.

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snowy sunday

It’s a lazy slightly snowy Sunday on a holiday weekend. Not much snow in the way of accumulation, just Mother Nature giving us a little frosting, reminding us it’s winter.
  Christmas is finally tucked away in labeled plastic tubs in the attic. Now I look at my house with fresh eyes and as much as I love my vintage ornaments, Santas , and nutcrackers I am glad everything is finally put away. I tried to be better organized this year putting things away, so we’ll see how well I did when December rolls around again.
  I got a really cool Italian print for my kitchen for Christmas and yesterday I took it and a new woodblock cut my friend artist Margery Niblock sent me (also for Christmas) over to Framers Market Gallery in Malvern yesterday for framing and matting.
 But adding two new pieces to my walls means something  has to give.  Which means I have been going from room to room to figure out what gets moved where…and what just comes down. I can always rotate on the walls.

  I have been sitting here with magazines strewn across the bed looking for ideas and future inspiration. Originally I wasn’t going to do this today but the family room has been commandeered as teen game central for hours,  and after cleaning up the kitchen and oiling the cabinets the sounds of gaming sent me up to look at magazines. Either that or I would start commenting on how is it they can yell “ouch” and “ow” repeatedly when we’re talking about what is going on via a television screen. 

(Oops my age and video game intolerance is showing. )

  Today I  have seen all sorts of just fun ideas and repurposing while flipping through my magazine pile which has been accumulating since mid- December. I just love the ideas and possibilities even if it is not something I will necessarily do.

 Old vanity tables repurposed. The beauty of old mismatched candlesticks clustered together.

  

 China cabinets showing up as unexpected storage. An armoire turning into pantry storage in a kitchen. A chippy industrial stool and old signage used as art. Vintage fabrics and linens, farm egg baskets as storage, old white milkglass, pretty vintage books, and more.

 Some of what I see in the magazines  is too fussy and over the top for me. A great deal of what they stage isn’t what you could live with every day, but taking elements here and there and adding it to your home is fun.
  From vintage linens to repurposing things as lighting, seating, and storage it’s a totally fun way to pass the time. You can get some fabulous ideas. And you realize how often you see some of what they are repurposing in thrift or consignment shops, garage sales, and even flea markets.  These are a lot of the things my friend Kristin picks up for the Smithfield Barn – and there sometimes it amazes me that people can’t see the possibilities… and then I see a similar item repurposed in a magazine. 

 And yes, I also went through a gardening magazine or two. 

All in all it has been a lovely and lazy snowy Sunday. (And Downton Abbey is on later!) 

Thanks for stopping by!

  

women to women: a puzzle for the ages

Godey-april-1861As I begin this post it has no real form yet.  A quasi flowing stream of consciousness. I figure by the end of the post the title will find me.

I have written many times before about my transition from being a Main Liner to a Chester County gal. And I am going to do it again. So if you don’t want to hear anymore about this or don’t like a flowing stream of consciousness, turn away from the blog now and visit again tomorrow.

Yesterday my friend Alene wrote about in essence adolescence and David Bowie.  She was part of a group of girls I was and am to this day still friends with.  Our 13 and 14 year old selves were quite different from a lot of our classmates at the time. And wow what we were subjected to from a pack of mean girls before they called them mean girls.

godeycovers-featured-270x290I have written about those girls from back in the day before.  And middle age hasn’t changed or softened a lot of them, and at the end of the day they are still just stuck in the 7th grade hallways with their tight jeans, bad perms and crimping irons…sneaking cigarettes and oh yes stumbling in their Candies.

We  (Alene and I) had a bit of a conversation about what she had written on her blog and in part she said

It’s interesting to me that you got a chance to witness what became of those people, whom I have long since forgotten.” I haven’t forgotten how it felt, though. It is sad. Now people talk openly about bullying behavior in the schools and the psychological effects on kids, but it seems to be universal and timeless.”

I had told her that on some level I felt sorry for these people. I actually do.

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These girls affected all of us in different ways but a similarity my friends and I share to this day is those silly girls made us realize what we don’t want in friends. For years after it also affected how I trusted or accepted people, which translated more simply is in a lot of cases I didn’t trust, I didn’t accept.

I worked to change that.  Sometimes I still work at it.

Take my moving to Chester County.  Moving and starting a new life no matter how exciting is very different when you’re an adult and middle-aged woman versus young and single. And this move in particular made me feel once again like that uncertain 12 year old who was thrust into a new and rather large school and area without much in the way of life skills to make the transition easy.

Maybe that sounds silly, but when I first moved to Chester County it is how I felt. Excited to be here yet so uncertain.

I have been lucky with this move that over the first years here I have discovered that many people I was friends with for years and years live not too far from me, and I have met a lot of really nice and genuine an amazing new people.14583203070_afc32dff39_o

But (there is always a but isn’t there?)….some people you take a chance on are just fated to disappoint.  And I have met some disappointing individuals.  Not too many, but a few.

No matter what age you are, you will always meet people who will just be uncomfortable because they can’t fit you into one of their boxes of pre-conceived notions.

But today I was faced with a situation that I not only did not know where to go with but definitely at first hurt then ultimately offended me.  Not disappointed.  Disappointed would have been on the short list of emotions when I was 12 but not now. I was emphatically offended.

Someone I had met over the last year basically told me today we couldn’t be friends because I was…wait for it….a blogger.

Initially I had reached out to her after we met as many of us do today, via social media. Right or wrong it is how we do a lot of our modern connecting. (Maybe we should bring back the calling card?)  But anyway.. I never got anything back. So I wondered if I had said or done something. I wasn’t sure what because this isn’t someone I run into (for example) every time I go to the grocery store. So I sent her a note. And what I got back basically made me just sort of sit back momentarily stunned:

 

Sorry if I offended you. Not my intention. But when I thought about giving a blogger access to my “personal” life, I got concerned…..I thought we got along well, as a public “voice,” you are in a different category.

 

O.k. so right now a certain group of equally disappointing “grown ups” some of whom reside in West Vincent are cheering at this post. Why? Because I have never been a human being to them, just a target to attempt to pummel into the ground. (But I digress.)

1206204introI do not think this woman intended to be deliberately hurtful. But there is no accounting for the accidental ignorance in human beings, especially women.  It was hurtful but mostly it was simply outrageously offensive to hear. I had thought I had made an initial friend connection with this person. But apparently I merely (I guess) had a use for a brief period of time?

But to say essentially you can’t be friends with me because I write?  Wow so very Puritan New England. Is being a blogger like wearing a proverbial scarlet letter or being branded a witch?

I have blogged for I would say about 15 years at this point.  When I first started my blogging was 100% based in political activism. That was deliberate. I had discovered I had a few opinions on politics and things like eminent domain for private gain.

So 15 years ago I would have said o.k. I can understand the fear of knowing a blogger because well blogging was new. But today, in 2016? It’s more like who doesn’t have a blog or online journal?  Lordy people there is even a Friendship Blog  – seriously – it is written by a published off the Internet PhD named Irene S. Levine about friendships. The author welcomes you to her site thusly:

Friendships are among the most complex but meaningful relationships in our lives. These unique bonds often run deeper than family ties, and sometimes last longer than our relationships with spouses or lovers. Yet there are few agreed-upon ground rules or roadmaps…..Dramatic changes in the ways women live, work and communicate have made navigating the terrain of female friendships even more daunting. This website aims to help readers navigate the awkward misunderstandings and disappointments—as well as the long silences and distance—that often crops up among friends.

I read this website once in a while because it’s interesting and not sugary sweetly and fakely cloying.

I was surfing the site just now looking for pearls of wisdom about making new friends after a certain age and I found this post on this site by a blogger (shock and horrors) named Cathy Chester who writes on her own site called “An Empowered Spirit” :

First-Person: Friendship lessons after 50

……Friendships have always been an important part of my life. I tend to them like a cat to her kittens, nurturing each one as best as I can….

Over the years I’ve tried to learn the difference between friends and acquaintances. I’ve been bruised a few times because I’m sensitive and sentimental, and always try to see the best in people.

During adolescence everyone experiences disappointment of one kind or another. When you are an adult, does this continue to happen?

The difference between friends and acquaintances is this: Friends stand by you through good times and bad. Acquaintances keep you at an arms length, remaining casually friendly at a safe distance.

In my fifties, I am trying to better understand human nature, to learn more about people and why they act and behave the way they do….We all think friendships get easier during midlife, and in some ways they do. We are more self-assured, and less likely to tolerate bad behavior. Yet in other ways we are striving to find ourselves….

There may be people you meet and there’s an instant connection. You form a close bond, and if you’re lucky it lasts a lifetime. Hold on tight; this is worth nurturing.

Tend to them. It’s worth the effort.

There are those you meet for a time and, when life moves on, so do they….

It’s time to let go and move on.

There are those you meet, and for some unknown reason they never feel a connection to you……The situation will never change.

Move on. It was never meant to be….

I am no authority on friendship. I am not a relationship expert, nor am I perfect in any way. But I know what I know from years of trying to be all things to all people as a child. As an adult, and after many disappointments, I’ve become more protective of my heart. And I’ve become truer to myself.

I love my friends, I’ve let go of past ones, and I thoroughly enjoy my new ones.

 

O.k. wow. Talk about someone just sort of reaching me where I am feeling today. I am going to pay more attention to An Empowered Spirit and Cathy Chester.

It’s funny but when this crap happens in life, you feel like you are experiencing it all alone.  But thanks to my actual friends and other bloggers in my age group no less I can put this into perspective. And jettison what happened to the invisible list  yet lengthy list of life experience.godey9-1861

But the whole thing about you can’t be friends with a blogger? What is that about? Blogging is something I do, it has never defined who I am. It’s a creative outlet for my voice, my writing, my photography.

And somehow I don’t think that is a bad thing. For the most part, I am happy to walk at the beat of my own drummer.  Now sometimes I doubt all that and wish I could be more like a lot of women my age.  Until I don’t.  Today was one of those times.  I realized the…well limitations of being limited in perspective.

Am I angry? No, but offended, yes.  It will pass and writing about it helps it dissipate in a game of mental catch and release.

In an era when women are corporate leaders and heads of state what does it do to the sisterhood metaphorically when you tell someone you really can’t be friends with them because they are a blogger? Oy vey.   I guess to some blogging is like a communicable disease. That is kind of funny if you think about it. Or sad.

Oh well!

Live and learn and let go. (And my post title just came to me as I predicted it would!)

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Been down one time
Been down two times
I’m never going back again

You don’t know what it means to win
Come down and see me again

~ Fleetwood Mac

 

P.S. If you want to read a really funny blog post  check out  What Not to Wear After Age 50: The Final Say by Michelle Combs.

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