new year, new junk mail…and a suggestion!

OK I really am also starting to get tired of the things that get mailed to you that look like they are hand addressed but you open them and they are not. It’s just junk mail.

Got one of those yesterday from Renewal by Andersen. They are already on my least favorite list because of the pushy door to door salesmen that come around occasionally.

 This latest buy a mailing list junk mail piece came in an envelope that would have made you think it was an after Christmas holiday or New Year’s card from a friend.

I opened it and found this. Really juvenile bad hand writing as a mass mailing – it was printed like this on purpose.

Once again I will be calling to be removed from their solicitation list, and it’s another thing to recycle. I’m really at a loss as to how to get off their mailing list because I have asked repeatedly for easily a decade.

And if you live in Chester County and you want a really good company that’s local to do your windows I suggest A.F. Orizietti out of West Chester.  they have been providing excellent service and prices since 1957. We have been very happy customers through multiple homes with them. And everyone we have ever referred to them has been exceedingly happy. They are not compensating me in any manner for suggesting them as a company I just think they’re awesome.

In 2020 recycle the solicitations and support local service providers like this!

need some more merry festivus? try brandywine view antiques in chadds ford!

We had an appointment down in Chadds Ford late this afternoon so I asked my husband if we could stop at Brandywine View Antiques.

Brandywine View Antiques is locates at 1244 Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford, PA 19317, incidentally.

I adore the owner of Brandywine View, Lisa. She is just an awesome human being and I love to be around her. She’s a straight shooter and real. And she has an awesome eye.

When the holidays roll around, Lisa is always is on point. She has a carefully curated collection of old, new, and vintage. This year is even better than last year and I didn’t think she could top last year.

I went for some reproduction decorations including red mercury glass pinecones. I have been looking for red and green ones. I walked into Brandywine View and there they were!

Now because of the state of my knee I could not venture upstairs at Brandywine View Antiques. There are literally three floors of fun!

Anyway, there are still a few days of Christmas shopping left so don’t forget about places like Chadds Ford and Kennett Square too! Brandywine View Antiques is the perfect place to start!

I am not compensated in any way for this post. I am just a happy customer.

welcome to the neighborhood stove & tap!

I was psyched to be included in the first soft opening for Stove & Tap this evening. Tonight was the media opening and it was great to see Main Line Today, County Lines, 6ABC, and the always lovely HughE Dillon among others!

I will be back in a day or so with photos but just wanted to post something quickly this evening because I had SO much fun!

The owners and staff are the most gracious and welcoming of hosts, and were all so awesome. The decor is subtle and cool and I loved it. (They also have a nice ladies room!)

The food was delicious. The seafood towers were fresh and tasty, and other things I liked were the little sliders, wings, deviled eggs, and the hors d’oeuvres that were butlered throughout the evening. I also enjoyed the Nocino I tasted from Boardroom Spirits.

I look forward to going back and having a meal soon!

Everyone enjoyed themselves and it was so fun to see so many familiar faces.

Cheers to y’all at Stove & Tap! Welcome to the neighborhood!

no billboards for christmas please, east whiteland

Just when you think more headaches can’t possibly arise for East Whiteland residents, along comes the possibility of…..BILLBOARDS…BIG ELECTRONIC ones.

So riddle me this East Whiteland— why did you spend ridiculous amounts of taxpayer money on a Route 30 Corridor Study only to allow further deterioration via billboards? I mean What The ever loving F ? is Lancaster Ave / Route 30 / Lincoln Highway supposed to improve by being turned into I-95 in Philadelphia by GIANT television screens that are on 24/7/365? You haven’t even addressed the smaller one that blinds people near Lincoln Court!

Way to sneak in the holiday surprise, right? (Here is the link to the Planning Commission Agenda but the links to each of the items on billboard, but those links go absolutely nowhere right now .)

And about the E. Whiteland Outdoor, LLC?

So does that mean East Whiteland now has a lot in common with other townships like Tredyffrin, Haverford, Coatesville, and even more? (See the Community Matters Blog in Tredyffrin.)

And hey East Whiteland all those apartment dwellers you want on Route 30? Townhouses, etc? Do you really think these people and future residents want to have to buy blackout shades to avoid the glare of I-95 in Chester County? Because that is what people already face driving by that small non-related overly bright TV in front of part of Lincoln Court, right?

And it looks like East Whiteland zoning for off premises signs doesn’t exactly match the supposed spirit of what they supposedly wish to accomplish with the Route 30 Corridor Study?

I just can’t EVEN with this township. Sign me disgusted. If YOU are disgusted too please go to the Christmas Surprise Planning Commission Meeting. Wednesday December 18th at 7 PM. East Whiteland Township is located at 209 Conestoga Road, Frazer, PA 19355

life’s little observations

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Something occurred to me the other day.  And I am not a psychologist or expert in the field of how negativity affects people, especially where they live, so these are merely my opinions and observations.

Stress and it’s impacts on us is widely studied.  This article from 2018 was insightful-  Stress and our mental health – what is the impact & how can we tackle it?. So was this article- Psychological Stress, Physical Stress, and Emotional Stress, and this one – All the Ways Living in a City Messes With Your Mental Health.

We live in an area that was bucolic and peaceful. Agricultural and equine heritage and traditions.  It is now being overrun by development.  Every time you turn around, another community is threatened. That is stressful if you are directly affected/impacted, and it can raise your blood pressure just driving by a place where you used to see cows, or horses swishing their tails while they grazed to seeing how  it is now just a big pit of scraped earth or budding Tyvec-wrapped communities where everyone is or will be jammed in like lemmings.

And then there are all of the pipeline sites. They are ugly and raw and NOISY.  People’s property values are declining, their wells being poisoned by whatever the heck it all is they drill with (there are enough articles in local papers etc about this, right?) And we can’t forget the sinkholes. When I was first coming out to Chester County before I moved here, I used to love when I turned on 352 off of West Chester Pike if I came that way.  All of a sudden it was just green with rolling stretches of lawn and trees. Now it is a raped landscape that actually stresses me out just driving by it, so I can’t even imagine how directly affected residents feel.

Or other area stressers like contested sites within municipalities where state agencies like PennDOT are concerned.  Take the site of Route 352 (A/K/A N. Chester R or Sproul Rd) and King Road in Malvern.  This directly affects residents in East Whiteland and East Goshen.

And here we are at year end and no one knows what is happening for sure at that intersection, and that includes the directly affected residents.  Will they face any eminent domain? Will they face a complete loss of certain properties through eminent domain? It’s a big mystery. And I watch email after email by affected residents go by to municipal officials and PennDOT.  PennDOT never replies. It is like they are ignoring the residents utterly and completely, which adds to the feelings of stress, dismay and uncertainty.

Is it just me or have any of you noticed how people aren’t putting up their usual Christmas displays in some of these areas targeted by pipelines, development,  construction, and PennDOT? This is what I have noticed, and it bums me out to see houses usually bright and cheery at the holidays look dark and sad. But in all fairness, if you were facing any of these things, how cheerful and full of Christmas spirit would you feel?

Life can be hard, that is the reality of life.  But for a lot of these people, it shouldn’t be so hard. These folks moved here and bought their homes to raise their families.  Their piece of the American Dream.  You live right, pay your taxes, are part of your community.  And your home is indeed your castle, and for a lot of these people there are quite literally barbarians at the gate.

Elected officials NEED to think about how these scenarios are affecting their constituents. All they have to do is drive by and notice how the longer these negative issues persist, how they affect people. Real people. People who in a lot of cases voted for them. It shows in the little things like gardening and holiday decorations.  I think it is criminal to drive by homes where you know the owners were once so house proud and see these changes.

Just some of life’s little observations.  Wishing these people peace.

dumbest credit card thief…ever

The above arrived today via UPS. My husband had to bring it in because I can’t lift anything heavy right now.  It was from Mieli.

We opened the packing box. It came shipped to me in my married name, and billed to me in my married name. A very expensive vacuum cleaner.

Only I did not order one.

I thought it was a present from one of my family members for some reason so I called Mieli to find out who it was from.

The customer service lady sounded confused. Told me that I ordered it. And I said “How would I have ordered it?”

“With a credit card.”

Ding ding ding. All of the alarm bells go off in my head. I said to the woman can you please tell me the credit card number. She gives me my Visa number.

I don’t use it very often. And the only time I had used it recently was for a meal (not grocery but take-out) delivery service and I had ordered fruit from a grower in Florida.

Oh and did I mention I’ve had this Visa card so long it was in my maiden name? Yet this vacuum cleaner came addressed to me in my married name. I do not know honestly how this ended up on my doorstep because I am not a customer of Mieli.

So I initiated a fraud investigation and claim with my credit card company. They suggested I call Mieli back and initiate a return of this gold plated vacuum cleaner. So I did that. And the customer service lady said she would email me some number and I got off the phone.

Then lightbulb went off. How could she email me? I’ve never purchased anything from this company nor received anything from this company as a gift or even seen a catalog from this company.

So I called Mieli back again. I told them I wanted a copy of the original receipt but I also wanted to know right now what was the email address used to fraudulently purchase this item? They gave me the email address.

If your email address is thunt031@comcast.net you had better run. A fraud department is hot on your trail. And quite possibly the police as that is my next call.

My bank theorizes that somebody was supposed to call the Mieli back and change the delivery address or call UPS to change the delivery address and screwed up and didn’t. Or maybe they were just going to show up and steal it from my porch.

I also went through all of my transactions on this card which aren’t very many because I don’t use it very often.

I am quite sure my Nancy Drew activities have exhausted my poor credit card bank. But I was also able to give them the little detail that the phone number used was close to but not my home phone number.

Oh and did I mention that I think this was purchased on Black Friday? I didn’t do any physical or virtual shopping on Black Friday. And a $500 vacuum cleaner is not something I’m going to buy. 

So chalk this up to a learning curve and it could’ve been worse. I am very grateful that my bank is so on the ball. But Fa La La it’s the holidays so be careful where you use your card.

chesapeake bay crab cakes & more and the snotty pants customer service experience

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WARNING RANT AHEAD. Turn away now if you don’t want to read it.

Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes & More. A catalog company based out of Owings Mill, Maryland.  Part of the Chesapeake Fine Food Group.  They describe themselves on LinkedIn as:

Based out of Baltimore, MD, Chesapeake Fine Food Group is the proud parent company of Mackenzie Limited, Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes & More, and Impromptu Gourmet.

Whether you’re a seafood connoisseur or a chocoholic, our catalogs have something for the gourmet in everyone. We have a simple rule of thumb: find the best of the best, and never compromise on quality.

Our three catalogs circulate on a monthly basis, and we can also be found online at http://www.mackenzieltd.com, http://www.cbcrabcakes.com, and http://www.impromptugourmet.com

One tiny detail? I get catalogs from Chesapeake Bay and Mackenzie Limited. Only I have never ordered from them nor received a gift from them.  When TWO of the same catalog came in for Chesapeake Bay today I called “customer service”.  Can you say Ms. Snotty Pants at your service?

Indeed.  Snotful doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Ms. Snotty Pants was all professionally perky when she answered my customer service call. She was saccharine sweet until….OH MY GOD the nerve!  I had the temerity to request NO CATALOGS.

“You aren’t calling to place an order?” Ms. Snotty Pants asked.

“No, sadly I just want to kill fewer trees. I have never received a gift from your company nor ordered from your company and also never requested a catalog, so I just want to be removed from the mailing list.”

“I can’t help you.” replied the suddenly icy Ms. Snotty Pants. 

This is when she got truly snotty. Spoke to me like I was a toddler.  She couldn’t possibly help me because (wait for it) my name was on a mailing list they paid for.  Someplace called the Direct Marketing Association.

I was dumbfounded. I asked her to repeat herself.  So she did. Irritated Mommy to bad toddler style. Did she offer me contact information for Direct Marketing Association? NOPE.

And apparently although they can solicit me for business in an unsolicited manner and clog up my mailbox, they are not required to maintain an opt out of catalogs list that so many other businesses keep.  Basically this woman didn’t give a crap when she realized no credit card and order from me.

Forget about the fact that I think these lists should be like do not call lists (which aren’t paid attention to much anymore, sadly), I think this phone call speaks VOLUMES about the LACK of actual customer service because every other catalog company I have phoned to say “Hey no more catalogs please” could NOT have been nicer.  They were all lovely. Except for Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes & More.

So maybe they have wonderful products and maybe their other brands MacKenzie Limited and Impromptu Gourmet also have wonderful products. But I will never, ever order from them and will encourage anyone who wants to read this post this far to also never, ever order from them. Customer service should be pretty damn basic for a company like this. And they are lacking.

Oh and about the Direct Marketing Association?  If you call them, they have absurdly short customer service hours daily, and oh yeah, you have to PAY THEM to submit an application to remove your name from their solicitation lists when you didn’t give them permission in the first place.

So I signed up at CatalogChoice.org, a non-profit who will try to help you get off the catalog lists.

As per an article Chesapeake Fine Food Group is sadly woman owned by Laura McManus and  Kate Glenn. Don’t know them and shame on them for not extending customer service to people who take the time to contact you to ask to please be opted out of catalogs they never requested in the first place. And FYI? Their Better Business Bureau Reviews are  awful. Their Facebook reviews are on average bad as well.

Any catalog companies who can’t assist you in getting removed from a mailing list are not catalog companies who deserve the business of any consumer whatsoever.

Rant over.