Until the last U.S. Presidential Election I was a life-long registered Republican. I even took my corporate vacation during the RNC 2000 in Philadelphia so I could be a media relations volunteer the entire duration of the convention. I loved that experience. I met so many interesting people, and even lent a Congressman who was a platform speaker of some level cab fare so he could get to the Philadelphia Convention Center when he came to Philadelphia on Amtrak but forgot his wallet.
But the Republican party changed. And maybe I have changed too, but if I am honest with myself and you my readers, the majority of my life I have always been a ticket-splitter.
You see, I do not subscribe to the quackery that if a candidate is of a particular party they are a bad candidate and I can’t vote for them. I look at the candidates themselves NOT the political party to make my decision. I have no misplaced sense of obligation to either political party, which is probably WHY I became an Independent.
But politics, including in Chester County, has continued to disintegrate since he who shall not be named took the Oval. Sorry, not sorry, it is the unfortunate truth. And my opinion. This country is now like a daily episode of the now defunct ABC series Scandal.
No longer does political civility exist. Republicans think Democrats are evil and Democrats think Republicans are evil. It is the theatre of the absurd. You can’t discuss the merits or lack thereof of ANY candidate.
And heaven forbid you not act like a perfect little political Stepford wife and share an article you find interesting. Like this one:
Philly-Area Media Chain Tells Readers: Don’t Vote for a Single Republican
“There are some Republicans that do a good job and should be taken seriously,” says the editor. “But they are sort of sacrificial lambs, unfortunately.”
by VICTOR FIORILLO· 10/31/2018, 9:12 a.m.
With the most contentious midterm elections in memory coming up in a matter of days, news publications across the country are publishing their endorsements of their chosen candidates. But one group of media outlets outside of Philadelphia has taken a much different approach.
West Chester–based Brandywine New Media, which owns the Times of Chester County, the Unionville Times, the Kennett Times, the Coatesville Times, and the Downingtown Times, has run a staff editorial telling readers that they should “not vote for any Republican candidate on the ballot.”
Here is the Times of Chester County original editorial:
Editorial: An electoral shock to the system needed to save GOP
Oct 28th, 2018
As has been the case since the earliest days of The Times, we had planned to make endorsements in all of the 2018 elections….
But 2018 is a unique time in the history of American politics.
While some would try to paint a false equivalency that both of our major parties are bad, lacking ethics and are slaves to electoral expediency, we find ourselves unable to agree.
One party has been gripped by a mania, a cancer, and seems unwilling or unable to return to its roots, and instead panders to fear, anger and the worst instincts of a minority of its members: the Republican Party…..America needs two functioning parties to provide political balance and steady leadership. America needs a healthy Republican Party, as a counter balance to the occasional excesses of the Democratic Party — something sorely lacking now. If the current path continues unabated, we will see the end of the Republican Party as we know it.
….we suggest that you do not vote for any Republican candidate on the ballot. We know this is a difficult ask for many, but these times and our democracy cry out for a reset and only staggering losses will get the attention of elected officials and the party’s voter base in a meaningful way.
I have provided but an excerpt of BOTH the article and editorial, but I strongly suggest no matter what your political persuasion you should take the time to read BOTH pieces in FULL.
I wasn’t going to write a pre-midterm election post, but when I shared the Philadelphia Magazine article by Victor Fiorello on Facebook a woman piped up and said because I shared the article and suggested it was an interesting read that I was making a political endorsement. Allow me to quote her directly: ““Well worth taking the time to read” is a political endorsement. Your message is not sharing information but suggesting endorsement of a political view that many in Chester County find reprehensible.”
Can I say WTF now? I mean WTF? I am NOT suggesting endorsement. IF I was suggesting endorsement of candidates, I would say so. Suggesting an article about the current state of politics is an interesting read or a good read is NOT an endorsement of anything other than the actual article!
I actually would like to say thank you to Victor Fiorello for writing about an editorial I saw but did not take the time to read until he pointed it out. And I would like to say thank you to Publisher and Editor of Brandywine News Media Mike McGann. Mr. McGann that editorial is nothing short of honest and spot on. And a little bit sad.
I am truly sorry that so many lack intellectual curiosity about the political times in which we live, or are afraid to check things out lest they turn into a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife (Genesis 19).
I am so sorry so many choose to be deliberately uniformed. It seems to me life is more interesting when you don’t behave like a veritable ostrich and bury your head in the sand, but what do I know, right?
I also realize some love to hate me because I speak my mind and am a blogger and am just different from them, but lordy. I fully accept although I find it fantastical at times some people (even other women) cannot handle women who do not conform to some pre-conceived set of notions that remind me of 1950’s housewives wearing kitchen aprons. These people should keep their own side of the street clean and do not presume to tell me or anyone else what to do. Because in fact, THAT is what is reprehensible here.
Being American means freedom of choice when you vote. It means being your own man or woman and voting your conscience. Being American also means you have the freedom to read a couple of local articles without fear of being put in the stocks like some renegade 17th century New England Puritan. (calling Hester Prynne and all that)
Grow up and remember your collective pride in what it is to be an American and to enjoy the freedoms our forefathers fought and bled and died for. We have the right, actually a duty to question the political status quo as Americans. Right now the status quo has some major suckitude going on. The political process is at present so incredibly contorted that our country is to be succinct, MESSED UP.
And to other women out there: it took until 1920 and when 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, stating, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Oh and another fun fact? Women in the state of Georgia could not vote until 1970.
Read up and vote next week people. Vote for who you choose, not who some political party bobblehead from either party tells you to vote for.
Thanks for allowing the rant and Happy Halloween.
Today I went to Loch Aerie to drop off my “housewarming gift” —- my big Loch Aerie print by Christopher Schultz and he is or was a Chester County Artist. The print belongs there. (I wish I knew more about the artist!)
The house is so happy she’s smiling. I know it sounds crazy but you can feel the difference in the house now that she has a family that so loves her once again.
The house will be used as a venue space. It is privately, not publicly owned, so please be respectful of that.
Loch Aerie is a jewel and god bless the Poiriers for saving her.
I love Apple Butter and Pear Butter. Snd I like to make a hybrid cross mix of both in the fall. I always have. Maybe it’s my Pennsylvania German heritage shining through – my maternal grandmother was Pennsylvania German and I learned how to make a lot of things from her.
I have been reading various recipes on the Internet and decided to try making my apple pear butter in the Instant Pot.
I have an 8 quart Instant Pot. I cored apples and pears. I cut them into chunks of a fairly even size, and filled my Instant Pot to just below the “max” line.
I know, I know that isn’t very exact for some of you home cooks but apple butter consists of apples cooked down….
I did not peel either the apples or the pears because when you make everything all fine with an immersion blender after the fruit is cooked it all is very smooth and lovely.
But let me back up. After the fruit was loaded into my electric pressure cooker, I added a quarter cup of orange juice, maybe closer to a third of a cup I wasn’t measuring too precisely.
To that I added half a cup of brown sugar, four cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon ground mace, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, a healthy dash of salt, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
The vanilla is a quirky thing I read about it in a recipe when I was researching this and I thought I would try it and it ended up working out well.
Anyway give everything a toss within your Instant Pot to make sure the apples and pears are kind of coated.
Set your Instant Pot to the manual high pressure setting for 9 minutes. The valve should be at the top sealed position. When time is up, turn off the machine and allow the natural pressure release to occur. That will probably take a good half hour or so. I didn’t time it exactly.
Meanwhile make sure your canning jars are properly prepared and sterilized and get your big pot ready for water if you are doing a canning bath.
When your pressure cooker is de-pressurized and it is safe to remove the lid, take off the lid and remove the four cinnamon sticks. Using your immersion blender, blend the fruit until it is smooth and seamless.
But wait, it’s not ready yet here’s the next step.
Turn your Instant Pot back on to the sauté setting and adjust the sauté setting to LESS. Simmer the apple pear butter for 30 to 40 minutes until the apple pear butter is thickened and at your desired consistency. Most recipes I studied suggested 15 to 30 minutes but I actually did 40 minutes today to get it where I wanted.
I will caution you to stick around in your kitchen with a silicone spoon or spatula. You will need to stir it occasionally while it’s continuing to cook down or it will stick to the bottom of the Instant Pot.
When you think it is thick enough and cooked down enough, turn off your machine and allow the apple pear butter to cool down. I basically ignored it for a good hour.
At that point you can jar it up and either do your canning bath or store in the refrigerator. I did the canning bath because now that I have gotten the hang of it it really is my preferred way of dealing with preserves and chutneys and things like this.
I will leave my jars sitting on a wooden cutting board on the kitchen table until they’re completely cool and then I will add the labels and the date I made the apple pear butter. I made six jars. Not big jars – small jars and two taller skinny ones – see the photo at top of the post.
Making apple pear butter is one of those fall things. It’s definitely something that fills your kitchen full of false spice smells. And I do tend to combine both fruits when I make it.
You can serve apple pear butter on toast, bagels, English muffins, cheese and crackers, pork roast, all sorts of things.
I will note doing it in a pressure cooker reduced the time spent canning considerably. I think I am going to research other kinds of preserves and even chutneys to see what else I can make and can via the Instant Pot.
Being a blogger is sometimes a strange business. The document I am sharing pertaining to development in East Whiteland and purported number of students that some developments old and new add to the Great Valley School District. It was left in my mailbox a couple of days ago. No note, no envelope.
The letter is written by David C. Babbitt & Associates (CLICK HERE FOR SCAN of what I have called frazer lanes)
Now when it comes to experts and consultants, the voice of one of my favorite former Lower Merion Commissioners named Lew Gould comes to mind. He said one time when it came to a particular traffic study at the time that those who commission the studies gets what they pay for.
I will also note that this letter ONLY ADDRESSES APARTMENTS. Not other kinds of developments. Not townhouses, not “carriage homes”, not single family homes. I think the numbers might creep up significantly?
So I do not know what to think of this thing that was left for me. But I do not feel I am sharing anything privileged or illegal. As a matter of fact this is the type of information which would be shared with a municipality during a planning process. I belive this was left for me because I have been critical of the affect of new development on the school districts in Chester County, in this case this study pertains to Great Valley.
Where I find this puzzling is it kind of runs contrary to some of what I have heard pertaining to the elementary schools in Great Valley School District and how crowded they are becoming. I have also heard the high school is incredibly crowded. My days with kids in any school district is done, and our son went to a charter school.
I figure this letter is another good place to start a conversation.
East Goshen got a good dose of the public’s ire in three municipalities over their proposed zoning changes last evening.
Now I am still not sure how the meeting ended other than I don’t think anything was completely decided and the supervisors were clearly annoyed that the public had the temerity to pack the house . I was watching on YouTube and fell asleep.
Here are two photos people sent to me. One from inside the meeting room, and one from the standing room only overflow in the hall. I really do not know what ails the newer commissioners to the East Goshen board but I hope they snap out of it. But I don’t know that they will, do you?
Prior to this East Goshen has always been such a jewel because it avoided this kind of development and it avoided rezoning that would ruin it.
But now? They are all short-sighted. Changing the zoning to add cluster development is a mistake. Not just my opinion apparently given the turn out last night would be my guess. What they want to do isn’t visionary. It’s stupid and greedy.
It adds more traffic, it will crush the infrastructure, it could very well affect the school district, and what about those of us on wells and stuff as all this development affects us too?
What about nature in the equation? These parcels support a lot of magnificent wildlife and more so what about that?
In my opinion, the majority of developers don’t care. It’s all about their profit and the more they can do high density housing no matter how a property sits the more profits they make. Because face it they are clustering the houses because they can’t use all of the land. Another example would be the hideousness going on over on Church Road in Malvern. Or even within the same school district East Goshen sits in. What about Greystone Hall in West Goshen?
It’s all about the money, honey. These municipalities do not care about the existing residents. Neither do the developers. It’s about profit margins. Ratables. Nothing about reality. Nothing about us.
The reality is more meetings throughout Chester County need to be packed. If we don’t stand up a lot more often and demand our open space and farms be saved and respected the pace of development will never slow.
We also need to elect better local politicians. And better state level politicians. The Municipalities Planning Code needs to be updated with better protections.
We need more land conservation and fewer plastic mushroom house farms. We need more real farms.
And we need a county planning commission run by someone from Chester County, not Lower Merion which is a land of infill development. I asked at least 15 years ago what was actually smart about “smart growth” and I am still waiting.
If we all don’t get more active in our communities we are going to look like parts of Bucks County, Montgomery County, and outside Harrisburg where it used to be open space and rolling farm land. Now it’s development after development punctuated by some version of a strip mall.
Thank you to all of the residents who went last night. Everyone can watch a replay by following this link.
I will note at the end an East Goshen supervisor took a jab at neighboring municipality East Whiteland for not letting residents know this was happening. O.k. not wrong but hey East Goshen did you really go out of your way to get this issue out there? Come on now, wouldn’t you have been just as happy with stealth mode?
Here are the names of the East Goshen Supervisors:
Here is a link to their page on the East Goshen website. It’s time to start contacting them (politely). If the public does NOT keep up the pressure, this zoning will become reality. Even if you live in a neighboring municipality, if you are against this, you should contact them. And contact your own supervisors in your municipality.
Be vocal. Be present. And East Goshen residents? If you don’t like the decisions change the faces of who governs you. Be a stakeholder where you live. Not a sheeple.
Today is one of my most favorite days of the year. It’s my sister’s birthday and it’s also fall tree work day!
Treemendous Tree Care arrived right on time and our trees are getting their fall haircuts! I am also taking down a couple small saplings that didn’t make it, and trees that are interfering with the growth of more valuable trees. From our tree work I will get more mulch in the form of wood chips, and we will also get more firewood.
One of the things I can’t stress enough to homeowners and gardeners alike is the importance of routine tree work. When we moved in here there have been virtually no tree work in at least 50 years.
People do not realize how much better it is if you do routine tree work versus waiting for a crisis or an emergency. Yes, a good arborist does not come cheaply, but if your home is your castle and your most valuable asset, it’s a necessary thing. And Treemendous Tree Care considering their skill set and knowledge are very reasonably priced.
We tend to do tree work twice a year. We live partially in the woods. And taking good care of your trees is also responsible environmentally speaking.
Once my tree work is complete I will be starting on the final push of fall gardening and fall cleanup.
When the leaves start to fall I will shred them for mulch on my beds. In the meantime I am starting to do my fall trimming and my final fall planting. That will include some reforestation this year. I am planting some hardwood saplings deep in my woods for future generations to enjoy. Those trees are coming from Go Native Tree Farm in Lancaster, PA.
Yesterday I planted white currant bushes from Honeyberry USA. White currant bushes are hard to come by and I had planted them before and a few years ago someone who was helping me a little bit in the garden who didn’t know what they were cut them down as if they were weeds. Who you have on your property and and your gardens is a learning curve.
Sometimes even though someone is very nice they don’t have the knowledge base or depth of plant knowledge that you need. I now have a much better team assembled to help me with the things I can’t do myself.
And this morning my bulbs arrived from Brent and Becky’s in Virginia. I also bought some bulbs this year from P. Allen Smith. I get very excited when my bulbs arrive! I’m not so happy with my back after I plant all of them, but it’s so worth it in the spring when they pop up!
OK I am going back to supervise my tree work and lay my bulbs out for planting. Enjoy this beautiful fall day! It’s a little crisp but it’s lovely outside.
Also…try to be kind to one and other and pay something positive forward.
Today the news broke that someone in this country that someone is mailing pipe bombs to people like the Clintons, Obama, George Soros, and others.
That is truly a WTF moment.
These actions are not what the USA is about. These are not the actions of loyal Americans, but acts of domestic terrorism.
These actions are horrible. I don’t care what your politics are or what political party you belong to, no one should be mailing anyone pipe bombs.
I posted the New York Times article they published a couple of hours ago on my blog’s Facebook page with the sole comment of WTF. Sorry not sorry, it’s how I felt.
After I posted the article, the comments started. The one person who liked the article as in liked it because it was a good thing someone was mailing pipe bomb things to high ranking Democrats, took me to task because apparently I hadn’t posted articles when some Republicans were mailed envelopes with suspicious content.
Excuse the hell out of me, I didn’t know it was a domestic terrorism contest between political parties. I also had been blissfully unaware of that news report.
I used to be a total news junkie. I don’t watch the news very much anymore. Ever since this administration came to Washington our country has devolved into an angry hateful nation.
That is not my America. To me that is not being an American.
Truthfully, I am kind of sick of both political parties at this point.
The Democrats in Chester County evicted two teenage girls from the “Sunrise Movement” an event recently because they didn’t want them asking Governor Wolf environmental or pipeline questions at an event. They bought event tickets fair and square. So wrong. Of course one of the young ladies was already essentially ridiculed this summer by Wolf’s golf spike shoe wearing opponent Scott Wagner.
The younger voters might not have all the life experience of an older person, but they are the ones who will be inheriting the hot mess this country is becoming. Don’t discourage involvement. People are growing apathetic enough, myself included if I am honest.
The anger and rage coursing through this great nation is utterly terrifying. It has to stop.
We need to get back to civility within our political system.
In my humble opinion that also means we need to start systematically electing different kinds of politicians. We need to have representatives in elected office who actually represent us, not special interest groups, big donors, political party bigwigs.
Since the founding of this great nation people have fought and died for our freedoms. People need to remember what it is to be an American, and part of that is the ability to embrace differences in others. We are all not supposed to be identical. We are a nation founded by immigrants, and those people risked their lives to come here to escape political persecution, religious persecution, etc.
We need to stop the anger.
We need to stop the violence.
We need to just hit the pause button even in our own individual lives to be appreciative for the gifts we have been given by God.
Do something nice for a change. Turn off the political vitriol.
East Goshen used to have my utmost respect. Then came pipelines and I was a little unsure. Now comes higher density development (the meeting is this Thursday, October 25th and any decision perhaps may potentially affect residents in East Whiteland and Willistown too unless I am mistaken?) and I am shaking my head. Not them too?
Now I have to wonder who got to whom in East Goshen? Says who precisely that yet another Chester County municipality has to get carved up even more like a prize turkey ?
Why does Chester County need more semi-detached “carriage homes” or TWINS in a single family area? Why does Chester County need more triple townhomes “triplexes”?
The answer is NO ONE NEEDS THIS! Is it or is it not true that this is just a way for developers to make more money? This is not about us as residents, this is about more money, isn’t it?
To quote their email and attachment today:
It is proposed that the zoning in the Township’s R-2 district (the predominant residential zoning district in the Township) be amended to allow for semi-detached carriage homes (twins) and townhomes (triplexes) on undeveloped or under-developed parcels of 20 acres or more.
• Currently, only single family detached homes are permitted in the R-2 at a maximum density of one unit per acre.
Oh and here are the potentially affected parcels and acreage:
There are four undeveloped or underdeveloped parcels with over 20 acres in the Township:
980 Hershey Mill Road (34.7acres)
1469 Morstein Road(20.6acres)
401 Ellis Lane (87.3acres)
204 Line Road (31.9acres)—However,this property (Thorncroft) has a conservation easement that restricts future development to no more than—we believe—two additional residential units, once the tenant house currently under construction is complete. This conservation easement is enforced by the Pickering and French Creek Conservation Trust.
• In addition, theoretically, undeveloped parcels of under 20 acres that are contiguous to any of the 20+ acre parcels listed above could be combined so that more acreage would be affected, provided the respective owners can agree on any terms of sale amongst themselves. See the map for more detail about the abutting properties.
Who is driving this bus ? Don’t you love how open space is suddenly “under-developed parcels” ?
Hershey Mill Road is twisty-turny and floods in a few places. It also is pretty busy on one end because of Villa Maria’s lower school. It also happens to be a beautiful road just the way it is because it actually maintains its character pretty much from beginning to end. I don’t think it can handle more development even if someone wants to change the zoning to make it happen. Just my opinion of course, but my opinion nonetheless.
And then let’s talk about Morstein. Up at the end of Morstein where it meets Boot Road it already is townhouse city on one side. I am not sure which municipality it is, but it is West Chester at that end.
However, Morstein off West King is very different. Until recently it was one of the last bastion of horse farms and beautiful rolling fields at the edge of East Goshen and East Whiteland. It is already under siege for development from the East Whiteland side, as the small farmette that was 1530 Morstein is about to become a cul de sac of new McMansions “Red Barn Farms“.
Right across the street at 1535 Morstein and 1537 Morstein are two McMansions on postage stamp sized lots. They were created by a two lot subdivision a few years ago. The lot originally had a small stone house, and was long down into the woods. But heaven forbid a small house on a deeply wooded lot remain unmolested right? (I will note for the record I would not have found it to be a bad plan if they had only built one house)
So two McMansions are shoehorned in at 1535 and 1537 and they stripped so many trees to create this Nirvana of Naked Acres that the street behind and alongside now see and hear all of the traffic from Morstein and also get to look at two new houses that only have stone veneer on the very front, with the three remaining sides looking like kind of naked beige boxes. From the side and rear the houses are stunningly unattractive for what they have cost. Again, just my opinion, except I know many people share it.
If this East Goshen zoning change goes through, 1469 Morstein is the same side as the two lot subdivision so I have to ask if the East Whiteland roads of Collegeview and especially Anthony will be affected? How could they not?
Anyway, I think the change zoning is potentially problematic. Here are screen shots of what East Goshen emailed out about below. They do not broadcast their meetings, so especially if you are adjoining municipalities and are concerned about this you need to go to the meeting in person. If you are going to be affected by this potential zoning change this might be your only opportunity to speak up.