happy winter solstice

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

the company you keep: gossip and politics

I think I sometimes truly grow weary of the politics of politics and all it entails including gossip….locally. Sometimes I find people that are perfectly nice becoming collateral damage because they are judged quite literally by the company they keep, right or wrong.

Ahh yes, the old adage you are judged by the company you keep. I remember my own mother telling me that when I was a teenager, and I remember scoffing at the idea. Then I remember being in my mid 20s and figuring out exactly what she was talking about and it was one of those a-ha moments that sometimes your mother is right. A friend of mine and I were talking about it recently and they said their mother said to them “show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.”

(Please don’t tell my mother I said she was right about something LOL, I will never hear the end of it.)

Anyway, this friend came to me to talk about a tsunami of really unpleasant social media. She’s not someone I know real well but I have known for a few years. I met her when she lived elsewhere and I was first out here. She’s been living for the past few years in a place in Chester County where I have a lot of friends. Only I don’t know if her experience has been so friendly all of the time while living there.

This person is fast becoming what I can only describe as collateral damage in a power struggle that she should just be left out of. But it’s kind of hard when you live in a small community. My friend’s opinions are strong, which I respect because I have some pretty strong opinions at times.

My friend is a very loyal person, and she has formed friendships in this community that I would not personally choose for myself, but it’s her decision. And I dance around the subject of these people with her because I don’t think it’s fair for my perspective to influence or taint hers. But if I was going to be dead on honest I would have to say that I hope these people remain good and decent people towards her. I have to admit I don’t know if they are capable of it, but that’s just my opinion, and I hope I am wrong.

This power struggle which exists for very good reasons can be contentious enough at times that it is literally like a battle of the Hatfields and the McCoys. And sadly, the people this person has aligned herself with have indeed hurt other people I care about. They have also come for me on occasion because I have my own opinions on things. But because I don’t live in the middle of all of them, I can be more objective at times and say I just don’t like them.

But this person whom I know, is again, literally being judged by the company she keeps. And I understand why, but it’s Christmas and I just wish everybody would let up a bit.

Chester County is an amazing place to live. Her residents have amazing heart. However, when it comes to politics and local shenanigans, it gets ugly. I have seen it in municipality after municipality. I used to think nothing could get more upsetting than Main Line or Delaware county gossip and politics… Until I moved to Chester County. Local politics can be a bloodsport out here, but can we say one of the roots of the cause can be when folks deal out good old-fashioned shady assed behavior?

I’m no fool, and I have my battle scars from just a few years living here. I’m outspoken and I’m a blogger. I don’t think you’re supposed to be either in the minds of some people. You are simply supposed to be some form of a Stepford wife. Or a bobble head.

I have done my time over the years of being the subject of gossip for being outspoken and a blogger and this whole theory of knives and knitting needles. And I have been the target of behavior that is so incredibly malicious and hurtful directed at me mostly because I was different than they were, or even because I just did not like them.

I think adult social bullying is the worst, and I truly think that a lot of people don’t even realize they are doing it. Another friend of mine and I were discussing this recently. She lives down on the Main Line and she noted that a child who was sadly very bullying towards classmates in school had parents who exhibited the exact same behavioral patterns towards adults.

Suffice it to say, human beings can be so incredibly cruel to one and other.

I think 2018 will go down in the history books as a year where everyone was totally mean to each other. I think a lot of this has to do with the stage that has been set in Washington DC , truthfully. People are so angry from coast to coast, and here in our little corner of the world you see it as well.

It’s Christmas. And my wish for Christmas as far as this nonsense goes, is a hope it just at takes a cease-fire at a minimum. Just slow your roll and stop being so mean to one and other. And you know what? I’m taking myself to task here as well. I haven’t been as nice this year as I should have been.

Just because someone doesn’t share in your exact ideology and belief system it doesn’t make them a bad person. And yes, even if they are friends with people you can’t stand it doesn’t make them a bad person.

In this life, we are all judged by the company we keep. And we also need to pause and remember we can’t control the actions of others we can only control the actions of ourselves.

Peace on earth, good will towards men, remember?

Thanks for stopping by.

this is community.


John Appleby courtesy photo

This is what community looks like. This is what it truly looks like when people come together for a greater good, and to support friends and neighbors.

Geoff Partridge is still missing.

Last evening it was bitter cold down on the Schuylkill, and still they came one by one to Flat Rock Park in Gladwyne for the Candlelight Vigil for Geoff Partridge. People who could not be there lit candles in their own home and posted photos on the event page.

A candle in Phoenix, AZ burned brightly last night during the Gladwyne, PA vigil. Courtesy photo from candlelight vigil for Geoff Partridge event page.

Last night you saw an example of the best kind of humanity. It’s the week before Christmas, and I don’t know about you but I’m praying for a Christmas miracle.

If you know anything concerning the whereabouts of Geoff Partridge please contact police.

And Philadelphia area media? Especially the television stations? Would it kill you to keep showing Geoff’s face on TV? I have seen what you have done with other missing persons, so please help his family out.

img_1440Lower Merion Township? I realize you all are not happy with this publicly but this is someone’s friend, son, husband, family member, neighbor and so on. And you know what? If this was someone beloved in your families these people would do the same for you. That is the thing about this community. I have seen it over the years.

True community like this is magical. Seeing these photos made tears well up in my eyes.

Again, Geoff is still missing.

Thanks for stopping by.

Philly.com Neighbors in Main Line town band together to search for missing man

by Vinny Vella, Updated: December 14, 2018 – 3:40 PM

missing at christmastime: geoff partridge from Lower Merion Township

Main Line Media News: Police, family continue asking for help in finding missing man: car pulled from river in Gladwyne

By Pete Bannan and Rich Ilgenfritz pbannan@21st-centurymedia.com Richard Ilgenfritz@21st-centurymedia.com Dec 11, 2018


John Appleby courtesy photo

bag humbug monday


Bah Humbug.

There I said it. (And I will undoubtedly say this a lot before this post is over.)

No, not feeling so namaste today.  


Simple, I am wondering what is ailing people this Christmas season?

People are driving like maniacs and fighting over parking spaces.  It’s run over people season with a shopping cart inside stores. Truly, the back of my legs/ankles are I swear getting dents. Bah Humbug.

Today waiting to pull out of a parking space, I had to wait fifteen minutes to pull out of a space because this woman in a giant SUV just literally pulled up perpendicular to my parking space and two others and threw it into park and just sat there. For fifteen minutes.  Completely oblivious to me or anyone else.  I watched her in my rearview mirror…she was on her phone. Bah Humbug.

Today I stopped at Aldi in Exton.  The store was like land of the zombies.  It was a marvel watching a bunch of people completely divorced from their surroundings navigate the store with those giant carts Aldi has.  All on their phones.  Not looking at anyone or where they are going.  Staring at their phones, then  staring straight ahead in some cases with vacant stares…like true zombies of the apocalypse. Bah Humbug, zombie edition.

And don’t get me started on how you have to wait for someone to return a cart because it’s just a few days before Christmas and Aldi has all of their carts locked up!  Yes, you have to rent a cart for a quarter.  I wonder does Aldi know about the cart hack work around on the Internet? Bah Humbug, Aldi.

And then there is social media. Oy vey there should be a pill for this. But if there was a pill for social media welcome to bizarreville posts Donald Trump wouldn’t be on Twitter 24/7 would he?  Think he needs a squatty potty for Christmas or something? I mean there has to be some explanation short of aliens invading his body to explain some of the more remarkable Scroogesque tweets, right?

maxine-1But seriously, holidays and social media is not for the faint of heart. Take a recent personal experience as an example. I saw this wonderful recipe someone had shared on their cooking page on Facebook.  As in an open page where they share tips, techniques, and recipes.

So I shared a post.  As in the originating post and page showed clearly.  I did not say it was my idea, but that it was a great idea.  Others concurred that it was a great post.

Should be the end of it, right? Nope.  Along flies a comment that tags me and says that they hoped I did not share their private post without permission. HUH????  Private? It was on a public page so how is that private?  In an effort to understand what was going on because I clearly did not understand, I messaged the person to clarify that I only shared from their open page and provided attribution.  The response came back “I don’t want you on my page.”

Oh OK Bah Feaking Humbug.

Alrighty then.  Block.  I don’t need that.  I also did not do anything to deserve it.  Did I also mention I had been a good customer of their former business? I guess it was o.k. to take my money at the time, right? I know they liked it when I sent customers their way. Sad, but not terminal to me.

Also filed under Bah Humbug, I recently had the woman who felt the need to vomit cray cray comments on Christmas party photos.  Now she was not the only one who did that, sadly.  There was also the woman I liberated myself from quite a while back who likes to be somewhat questionable with the comments having to do with me to anyone who will listen. Double Bah Humbug with a side of cray cray.  I don’t pretend to be perfect or lead a perfect life, but they were Christmas party photos.  Not the lampshade-wearing-swinging -from- the- chandelier- swigging -from -a -bottle -of -Captain- Morgan type photo but a lovely gathering of close friends and family.

Then there is the Bah Humbug you file under no good deed goes unpunished. Or also known as what happens when you make the difficult decision to tell a friend how you feel about something and they truly do not wish to hear it.  Umm yeah, you kind of sort of asked me my opinion and well I had to think about it, I thought about it and now I am sorry.  As in I am sorry I said anything.  Sometimes you just need to not say anything.  That is a lesson I need to learn personally.  But if I didn’t care, I also wouldn’t bother.  Sort of a double-edged sword.

It’s like December has a giant holiday full moon all month long. People struggle during the holidays, yes I know but seriously, do they know real loss this time of year?  I know people who have experienced soul breaking losses this time of year and you don’t see them behaving like this.

I read this interesting piece on Bustle from 2015:

3 Weird Things That Happen To Your Brain During The Holidays By Marissa Higgins

There’s a lot to think about during the holiday season: Visiting family, making time for friends, and (hopefully) eating lots of home cooking. But if you’ve ever stopped to wonder what happens to your brain during the holiday season, you’re not alone! Researchers are fascinated with this very subject….Some researchers believe that not only do our brains actually change over the holidays, but they know what culprit is: Nostalgia. Essentially, nostalgia is a bitter-sweet love for what is gone, and a longing to return the past. And when you go home for the holidays, this isn’t the typical nostalgia you feel when you listen to ’90s boy bands on your way to work or watch Nick at Nite before passing out. In fact, therapists say you should basically “expect to regress” during the holiday season

And then this from Psychology Today in 2011:

Why Our Minds Make Us Crazy During the Holidays
“Surviving” the holidays may be more pressing than we realize. By Shawn T. Smith Psy.D

The first job of our minds is to keep us safe. The world is a dangerous place, and we were blessed with an abundance of neurons devoted to keeping us upright and breathing….There is plenty to be anxious or depressed about this time of year, but relationships seem to be the most common concern….There was a time in our history when being ostracized was as good as a death sentence. Perhaps because of that, our brains are wired to pay close attention to our social world and to sound the alarm whenever relationships seem unsteady.

…During the holidays, when society focuses on family and community, we can become acutely aware of ruptured or damaged relationships. Our minds can give us all kinds of pain in response to that heightened awareness.

Second, our minds routinely compare us to others. Staying in the good graces of the clan means imitating normal behavior…..


Christmas and the holidays can be hard.  It is a gloriously beautiful time of year, unless it just isn’t.  It’s the end of the year, so pressures mount. We’re supposed to relax and enjoy being with each other, but emotional and even financial pressures can exasperate people during the holiday season.

Then there are the people with memeories that only surface at the holidays.  Some good, some bad, some unbearable. We can’t climb inside their heads and make it better, sadly. We all have our own holiday baggage of one sort or the other and if we say we don’t at a minimum, we are lying to ourselves.

I love Christmas.  I have always loved Christmas.  But as someone who married later rather than earlier, I like it even more now. Why? My sense of place. I belong and I am loved. And I know it. My sweet man is the guy you can bake cookies with and who will watch Christmas movie after Christmas movie with me because he knows I like them.  Christmas is indeed being with the ones you love. (Which is why I need to exercise my Bah humbugs so they fly free and away from me.)

That is Christmas.  The together thing.  The family thing.  Christmas and the holidays are wonderful if you allow yourself to enjoy them.  Some people can’t.  I think part of what makes the holidays hard for people are the seemingly perfect lives they see flashing before their screens and mobile devices on social media.

And if these people are more alone than others for whatever reason, I am guessing the holidays can be horrible. I am sorry. Truly. But it’s not all bad.  Find the magic in the season.  It’s there. Some years you have to look harder, but it’s there.

News flash: the holidays will never be perfect.  And I suffer from this at times because I want the holidays to be perfect because I love Christmas.  It’s the vicious Bah Humbug cycle. We all want it to be perfect.  It’s not. It never will be.

Chill people.  We’re in the home stretch.  Bake some cookies. Watch a Hallmark Christmas movie.  Find your Christmas spirit.

Until then, Bah Humbug.


the cookie chronicles continue: new cookie for christmas 2018!


So maybe some of you out there have baked with mint chocolate baking chips and my new recipe is not so revolutionary.  But I never have and I think I have come up with a cookie that can be described as if a peppermint pattie had a cousin. And truthfully, if you had the patience you could chop up little peppermint patties I am sure, but hey I have a lot of baking to do, so thanks, but no.

You will notice I am for the most part a drop cookie baker.  Can I roll and decorate with royal icing? Sure, but I am more about the flavor profiles of the humble drop cookie or biscotti.

Here is the recipe:

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies


1/2 cup sweet butter softened

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 package chocolate mint baking chips (mine was 10 ounces I think Ghiradelli , Hershey, and Nestle Make them seasonally and you can find them at wholesale nut folks like Nuts.com or Edwards Freeman Nut Company in Conshohocken)

1 cup mini white chocolate chips (mine are the Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value)

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur and if your flour is more than 2 or 3 months old, spring for fresh.)

1/3 Cup of Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder

Glittery baking sugar – today I used Christmas green from Wiltons

So How Did I Do it? Here are the mixing steps: 

So ……cream butter and BOTH sugars until smooth.  Beat in peppermint and vanilla extract.  (Buy good baking extracts, imitation extracts leave an after taste you will not like in your baking.)

Add eggs, mix until blended. Add cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Do this slowly and not all at once or you and your kitchen will be cocoa coated.

Add flour in three or four doses – don’t know how else to describe it.  Again, blend sort of on a lower blender speed or flour will fly.

When your dough is smooth and well blended, blend in your chips, cover your cookie dough and refrigerate an hour or two.

When dough is chilled pull out of refrigerator and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. And FYI if you chill cookie dough before you bake it will keep cookies from doing the super spread and will also mean you get softer and more firm cookies.  Or at least that has been my experience.

IMG_1426I use jelly roll sheet pans and silicone baking sheets.  I use the aluminum (silver-colored NOT dark coated they make your cookies BURN).  Mine are Chicago Metallic Commercial Baker’s pans and the Nordic Ware Commercial Baker’s Pans are also good.  These are the pans that have a raised edge of about an inch and are rectangular – they are the size of regular cookie sheets more or less. I use Velesco Premium Silicone Baking Mats.  They are 11 5/8” x 16 ½”.  They are best price hands down on Amazon but like the baking pans I mentioned sometimes you will find them at Home Sense or Home Goods.

In any event, silver NON-coated baking pans lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets are truly the way to go. Buy good pans. They last longer and the end result is preferable. Some of my friends swear by the insulated baking sheets (“air-bake” or something)

O.k. back to the baking of these cookies.

Break off bits of dough and form 1 ½” round balls.  Dip top in glittery baking sugar, and put on cookie sheets 2” apart.

Bake 8 – 10 minutes depending on your oven .  Tonight I started out at 10 minutes a batch for two batches and then went to 9 minutes for the final two batches.

Cool on baking pans a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  I store my cookies in old school metal tins.

This recipe makes a little over 4 dozen cookies.


christmas traditions should endure


I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. ~ Charles Dickens

We live in a crazy world.  Angry politicians are running our country, and overseas in one of the most beautiful places in Europe, Strasbourg, a fanatical radical shot up a Christmas Market, and was later shot dead by police. Strasbourg is a place special to my sister and I.  We both spent time there many years ago.  We are still connected to the families we grew to love.

When you think of Christmas, you try to think of happy things but truthfully many people have a difficult time emotionally during the holiday season.  They either can’t find a reason to look for joy or are unable to find a reason.  There are so many who sadly feel so alone at Christmas.  Or they are just so wrapped in their heads they lash out at people.

antique-christmas-postcards-vintage-christmas-postcards-to-get-you-in-the-holiday-spiritThis Christmas we also have a missing person that a lot of us are worried about.  His name is Geoff Partridge.  I wrote about him the other day, and Vinny Vella from The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote an amazing article yesterday. I don’t know Geoff, but I know his mother and we share a lot of people in common who are important to both of us.

And if you read what Vinny Vella wrote you will learn about the neighbors and friends of this missing man who have gone out searching repeatedly.  I am blessed to have them as friends as well.  Those people? They are the Christmas spirit. They are what friendship and love and community are all about.  And I know they won’t give up.

Just like the friends and family of Anna Maciejewska Gould of Charlestown, Malvern also won’t give up.  I never knew Anna, but I have Polish born friends and I know how much they and their families love Christmas. And how close they all are.   I thought about Anna the other day, because she leaves her little son behind.  I wonder if she was still alive if she would make Chruściki (also known as Polish Angel Wings) for her young son? I wonder if he has any memory of his beloved mother at this point?

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. 

~ Calvin Coolidge

Now, back to things like Christmas traditions.  Maybe I am a closet Pollyanna, but I think tradition is important.  I think it keeps the season alive in our hearts and brings people together.  Take Malvern Victorian Christmas.  I loved that event, and I wasn’t alone.  It was truly magical much like the Dickens Festival in Narberth, PA and the West Chester Christmas Parade (which is sponsored so generously by QVC.)

This year Malvern Victorian Christmas was replaced by Christmas on King.  It was December 1st.  I couldn’t attend as we were elsewhere that Saturday.  I honestly didn’t hear a thing about it one way or the other.  I hope it was a huge success for the beloved local merchants, but next year? Maybe next year they can do both events? Maybe make Malvern Victorian Christmas one night and Christmas on King the next day? I get we have to have new traditions sometimes, but we also need to keep old traditions alive.

Like baking Christmas cookies.  That is a Christmas tradition families should keep.  Sure you can buy your Christmas cookies, but there is nothing like the happy zone I find myself in baking for friends and family.  As a matter of fact, this year I put together a PDF of recipes I collected and a few of my own recipes.


So yes…Fa la la la la. No cookie grinches here! Follow this link ( xmas cookies ) to this collection of cookie recipes from ALL over the Internet and a few of my own personal cookie recipes (which I think I have published here on the blog before, truthfully.). For web-based recipes at the bottom of each page is the link to the originating sites (check out those various sites for MORE recipes.). I gathered them to make my life easier!

Yes a lot of them are in landscape – I do that when I print – easier for me. (I stick the recipes on the edge of the cupboard above my stove to follow when I am baking.  If I am using one of my cookbooks, I use my cookbook holder, but for web-printed recipes I hang them right in front of me.)

Another Christmas tradition are Christmas cards.  I remember we used to get and give so many more when I was growing up.  But once the Internet evolved and with the changing world, this is a tradition I think that sometimes flickers versus burning bright.

I am guilty of not doing cards for a couple of years and today I was reminded by my friends Lynn and James who moved to Maine about why they are such a beautiful tradition which also must endure.   Lynn included a letter catching all of us up on what their year had been like.  We heard all about their wonderful children as well.  As I was reading the letter I could almost see Lynn typing away in my mind’s eye.  On a gloomy rainy day it was the perfect gift to open. Cards and letter-writing take time, but the result? The result is a beautiful thing that is such a gift to receive.

My last Christmas tradition is decorating your home.  Not paying someone to come in and make your home burp Christmas but doing it yourself.  Collecting ornaments and displaying family ornaments and even the simplicity of the green and red paper chains we used to make as children, along with cutting out snowflakes.  Yes I am a little Christmas crazy when it comes to decorating, but I come by it honestly.  My parents loved decorating for Christmas.

At the end of November, I asked all of you to consider my Christmas blogging idea. It was a thought that has seemingly fallen flat or people have forgotten.

I have not lived here in Chester County long enough to know about all the celebrations continue today or are purely from the past. Parades, festivals, things that speak of the season and community.

So if you have memories of Christmas past and photos you would like to share. Please contact this blog via the blog’s Facebook page. Please tell me about the photos you’re sending and how you would like them attributed. I can attribute them simply “reader submitted” or put an entire name and so on. If you are sending things in for celebrations that still continue today and it something that requires public participation and donations, tell me who it is they are supposed to contact and when the event will occur.

We have 10 days until Christmas, so maybe some of you will consider this? I can only do this if you my readers participate.  My idea is to create not just one post about these traditions and Christmas history, but to be able to create several posts throughout the month of December leading up to Christmas. If it doesn’t work this year, I will ask again next year.

Here is hoping the missing find their way home for Christmas.

Here is hoping those who have lost their Christmas joy find it.

Here is hoping for some old-fashioned peace on earth, good will to man.


“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.”  ~W.T. Ellis

missing at christmastime: geoff partridge from lower merion township


This is being posted on Facebook and other social media outlets. Geoff Partridge has been missing for days.  His family and friends are frantic.

Geoff Partridge has been missing since about December 5th from what I can piece together.  And the only media that seems interested is Patch, Main Line Media News, and CBS Philly. Truthfully there is NOT much media on this and I can’t help but wonder why?

Geoff Partridge went missing in Lower Merion Township.  Is Lower Merion not excercising all options to locate a missing and potentially endangered person?  There is so little information available it’s kind of odd.

Does Geoff Partirdge have to be a missing teen or woman?  Or will this turn into one of these Lower Merion missing person mysteries? You know like Toni Lee Sharpless??? She went missing once upon a time in Lower Merion, correct? Or what about Anna Bronislawa Maciejewska from Chester County?  How do these people just vanish and it seems up to ordinary citizens to keep the missing persons cases alive?

When I first saw the missing blasts crossing social media I shared because he came from the township I essentially grew up in and spent a lot of my adult life living in.  He also just looked like a nice person. Kind of what motivated me to share about Anna Maciejewska when she first went missing. Life is short and precious and it costs nothing to pay it forward.

Then I read Geoff Partridge suffered from  bi-polar depression and  between Thanksgiving and the New Year can be really, really hard for anyone experiencing depression. It’s hard enough some years for any of us for any number of reasons.   All I kept thinking is his poor family, not realizing at first I actually know his mother as she and I share mutual close friends.

After I first shared the missing post my friends contacted me to say thank you and to tell me I did know his mom.  And as day after day goes by, I can’t help but wonder what is being said off of the record somewhere that this does NOT seem to be getting the media attention it should?

My friends from Gladwyne and many other residents are combing the area near where his car was found every day for hours.  I have friends with boats on the river who live down on River Road and close by who have been searching.  Even Philadelphia Search and Rescue has gotten into the act, so what gives in the Magic Kingdom that it just doesn’t feel like other than friends and neighbors have a sense of urgency?

Here is what TAPinto Lower Merion and Narberth has had to say:

Gladwyne, PA — Cadaver dogs from the Greater Philadelphia Search & Rescue Team joined the Gladwyne Fire Company Water Rescue Unit Sunday, December 9, searching for a missing Villanova, PA man.  The man’s car was found Wednesday at 1:47 PM partially submerged in the Schuylkill River.

Geoff Partridge, 37, of Villanova, PA, went missing on Wednesday, December 5 at around 12:15 pm.

The car was submerged but the rear end of the vehicle was still showing when it was noticed….The LMPD’s working theory is that the man was washed from the vehicle by the fast flowing river’s current after the car plunged into the frigid water.  The water temperature is low enough that a body could be submerged and unless found may not be spotted until the temperature rises in the spring….Roughly 27 persons, 3 dogs, and 5 rescue boats were employed for the search.  The local team from Gladwyne Fire Company used two boats, the Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue unit provided 3 boats.  Detective-Sergeant Michael Vice of the Lower Merion Police Department oversaw the entire operation.

Ok seriously. Not trying to be critical of law enforcement but Geoff Partridge is someone’s son and husband and friend and so on.  He matters.  Please pay it forward and share this post or the others on social media.

His family deserves answers.


geoff partridge

This was posted by someone I know on Facebook.

never wear a partridge in a pear tree on your head and other millinery mistakes


Actress Christie MacDonald flaunting a flock of family of artificial birds on her hat,                         circa 1902. Photo from Popsci.com

So it’s December, and people are talking about Christmas. And decorating and throwing Christmas parties and singing Christmas carols.  You know like The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Image result for partridge in a pear tree lyrics

And while a partridge in a pear tree is a lovely song lyric, would you go around wearing one on your head? I wouldn’t. And  if I saw someone doing it I would probably blog about it.  And file under millinery mistakes.

Yes…I am about to be my own ghost of Christmas past…..the scene is about to be set…..

Now way back in the fashion mistakes of 2012 were the women who went to Ladies Hat Day at Devon who wore loads of more fall appropriate taxidermy (but why did the taxidermy have to come off of the wall again?)   They also tried to cover up tattoos with concealer make-up but it was so warm that spring day at Devon, that the make-up ran, but I digress.

In addition to the taxidermy that year was someone else  who describes herself as a milliner who wore…wait for it…an upside down plastic or lucite salad bowl and called it a hat. It was very Carmen Miranda of her.


You all will remember a post on this blog mocking that creation and others over six years ago…in 2012.  It was right here, you know who wrote it, I did not hide my opinion.  That year it was such a carnival side-show at Devon’s Ladies’ Hat Day many others had a lot to say, including some other bloggers whom I never knew that I haven’t actually seen blog for years at this point. Blogs and bloggers come and go, and I am always amused people think I wrote every single one of them. LOL how would I sleep?

Apparently I am also solely responsible for all of the mocking which occurred that day. Over six years ago.  Dayummm, I must have super powers, right?

That was the Ladies Hat Day where I decided I was done with an event I used to very much enjoy….when it was mimosas, tea sandwiches, lovely summer dresses, and beautiful seasonally appropriate millinery. That day I (like make others) decided our social and charitable event money would be better spent elsewhere.

That 2012 Devon Horse Show is when we saw what that event was evolving into. No thanks. Cattle calls of ridiculousness. Bleck. I do not understand why people do not get that a lovely tradition at a horse show should have remained a lovely, civilized tradition.

Flash forward to this year.  Haven’t thought about that post or that “milliner” in forever. Why would I? She’s not in my social circles and I know a couple of actual milliners, one of whom who has trained in the U.K. and Europe.  And the milliners I know, know I don’t really wear a lot of hats.  Once in a while, but it’s not my jam. You see, when you talk with your hands, you tend to knock them off your own head and then they become flying weapons and additional drama…..

chicken12daysNow a funny story. When my husband and I were married, a milliner made me amazing white silk poinsettias to wear in my hair because I did not want a hat or a veil.  I designed what I wanted to wear in my hair and the milliner brought my design to life. The detail was fabulous. They were ethereal and beautiful – perfect for a holiday season wedding. Immediately after photos of the flowers in my hair surfaced, others who fashion themselves milliners and loving hands at home hat makers tried to copy them.  But they failed and looked quite cartoonish because they did not have the mad skills of the woman who made them for me.

But most of these modern “milliners” are so different from their predecessors. Or their European counterparts.  In most places in the United States, Europe and the U.K.  as has been the case as long as millinery has been part of ladies’ fashion, you know who the best are, but they don’t compete in hat contests wearing lucite salad bowls upside down on their heads, do they?

Anyway, why I am I talking again about buffet station pieces at “Glamour Don’ts”? Let me explain. Mrs. Lucite Salad Bowl 2012 felt the need to surface on photos a friend took at a private Christmas party. Friends and family celebrating the season.  It wasn’t an event for charity or public media coverage, it was a lovely and beautiful party where those in my world who are dear to me could get together and celebrate the joy of the Christmas season.

On one set of photos up pops Mrs. Lucite Salad Bowl 2012.  How I am a horrible person who (in her words since she desperately needs to be heard apparently)  “she never even met me, never knew me, never interviewed me and meanwhile made vicious assumptions and judgments.”

Oh and then she blamed ME personally for every other thing on the Internet back then (in 2012)  mocking that “hat”. From 2012 and you have had nothing else to talk about since? No joys or happiness? Truly, I am so sorry.

So Mrs. Lucite Salad Bowl 2012, allow me to be clear:

I have blog under my real first name and yes I did indeed mock your “hat” in 2012 because it was absurd – and I said so under my own name. I will say it again now and add I find most of your creations are absurd. Not fun, not edgy, not sophisticated, not beautiful—- absurd. And I am allowed that opinion. Ironically, I do not fashion myself the Fashion Police, just calling it how I feel about it.

A blog is someone’s opinion and MY opinion on that cheap piece of upside down lucite way back in the fashion mistakes of 2012 was shared by MANY that year.  I can’t tell you what they said, only what I said. And yes, I mocked it.  It wasn’t even clever.

Saying your “hat” in 2012 was absurd is not making “vicious assumptions and judgements” it was stating my OPINION. Is your ego so grand that you think I was supposed to interview you about that at the time? Or swap you a creation for a fake positive write-up like a compensated blogger which I am not? Are you high society somewhere and I missed the memo? Are we supposed to kiss the hem of your proverbial garmets?

You do not have to like me or my opinions, but the way you chose to vent a very old spleen from 2012 was well, tacky  (you do however get an 8 out of 10 for combining those particular degrees of difficulty.)  Do you see me or anyone else commenting on your family gatherings or family for that matter? Nope because you just don’t do that.

Mind you some of my friends had the following to say about people who are Christmas trolls:

Geez it is a salad bowl- fact- I had one like it years ago- pitched it because it was ugly even as a salad bowl.


That hat, like any good salad, should be tossed. Reminds me of the Dead Kennedys album “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables”. Like opening the refrigerator drawer and finding a bag full of brown slime at the bottom after six years that insists it was fashionable but was really past its best before it was even put on display. A fashion disaster worthy of the Titanic – “Iceberg (lettuce) dead ahead.”

And my favorite:

Don’t get me going… When the hat made its debut not a shred of good taste romained. The fashion police should have caesar.

So do you feel better now? If you are going to have cat scratch fever, at least get your facts straight and try not to look so silly next time.  You see dear, I don’t care that you didn’t like my opinion in 2012, I found it in extremely poor taste that you would choose to deliver your opinion on Christmas party photos of a mutual friend.  You don’t have to like me, but do you really think so little of them?

Merry Christmas and Bless your heart.


happy place: four dogs tavern/ marshalton inn

Don’t you just love this Chester County treasure? Four Dogs Tavern/Marshalton Inn?

Whenever another development is proposed in any part of the county, I think of places like this. You can’t create this out of Tyvec.

Marshalton is a happy place. Come visit and see the festive decorations and have a meal at Four Dogs!