slums of east whiteland?

I have sadly lost track of how many times I have posted this deteriorating structure over the past few years. It is located in East Whiteland Township adjacent to the Wawa at Planebrook and Lancaster Avenue in Frazer, behind Osman’s Pizza.

This is a property in a dangerous state of deterioration and it is not secured. It should be secured, it should have been taken down a couple of years ago.

It adds a certain je ne sais quoi to a stretch of Lancaster Avenue that has a slum quality. And before you go bashing me for that opinion remember that’s where people with few options as far as affordable housing live and I doubt it’s bargain basement rental fees.

Not everything along here has the need to be McMansion central but it could look better than it does. And it demonstrates a need for safe affordable housing.

Thanks for stopping by.

changes: yellow springs farm is for sale

Catherine Renzi from Yellow Springs Farm came over last week to drop off plants. My current garden is one of many over the course of 20 years that I have incorporated plants from Yellow Springs Farm into.

During this visit, Catherine entrusted me with the news she and her husband Al are now allowing me to tell all of you: Yellow Springs Farm is for sale. And before we go any further, know one thing: this is a conserved farm. This land will remain protected in perpetuity from subdivision or development because Catherine and Al Renzi donated a conservation easement in 2001.

While many land parcels in Chester County are NOT safe from wanton development, Yellow Springs Farm is.

I have know Catherine for many, many years. Before there was Yellow Springs Farm, she was a well respected financial advisor and for a few years I was a sales assistant in her office. As a matter of fact, I remember when she said she was taking her life in another direction and she and Al were buying a farm. To many of the stock jockeys, that sounded crazy. To me, it sounded wonderful.

Although Catherine started out essentially a boss, she has become my friend over the course of many, many years we have known each other. I have been buying goods from her farm as long as they have been selling them.

Yellow Springs Farm is a magical place and so beautiful. It has been a happy place for me in Chester County over the years. I always knew spring was truly here when there was an open farm day, and I could see the new kids. Kids, aka baby goats, are among the most joyful animals to be around. Goats can be a little stinky, but they are funny creatures guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The Yellow Springs goats are now gone from the farm. They went to live at another dairy.

Change can be hard, and Catherine and Al didn’t make this decision lightly. BUT people are entitled to new and different chapters, and if I am honest, when I saw Catherine had picked up her paint brushes again and started creating beautiful paintings, I knew change was coming.

Now while their location might be changing, Catherine will still be offering landscape design and consulting services (and hopefully plants!) from a new, TBD location.

With Catherine and Al’s permission, I am sharing their note to their Cheese CSA members:

📌📝Yellow Springs Farm Native Plants Nursery and Artisanal Goat Dairy will close this Fall. After 20 years of goats, gardens and countless community connections, Al and Catherine Renzi are ready to begin a new life chapter.

We are extremely grateful for the knowledge, friendships and warm memories you, our valued CSA members, have shared over the years. We could not have pursued our mission of connecting sustainable landscapes with local foodscapes without our customers, colleagues, chefs and so many Farm supporters, near and far.

The Farm real estate is for sale, but it remains protected in perpetuity from subdivision or development because of the conservation easement we donated in 2001. We imagine new owners will live their dreams here, and continue to care for this beautiful place. The goats were the soul of the Farm. They are safe, and have moved to another dairy. We receive their milk to continue making cheese until later this Fall– likely November. The dairy and cheesemaking equipment is available for purchase. Nursery plants not sold this season will come with us to our new location TBD. Change is hard to process, but we are focused on being glad that YSF happened (2001-2021), not sad that it is coming to an end. When we started this adventure in 2001, and now again in 2021, we made choices to take chances, and look forward to change ahead with refreshed aspirations. Every ending is a new beginning

We will connect with community venues and other means to pursue our interests in nature, conservation, and local food. Catherine’s creative muse, and Al’s analytical penchant for science are alive and well. We will share specifics as we know more details in coming weeks and months.

Thank you for sharing this fulfilling, challenging life chapter with us. Your support and enthusiasm for our Farm has been priceless. A piece of this place lives forever in our hearts, and we hope you too have fond memories of Yellow Springs Farm.

With warm regards and heartfelt thanks,

Al and Catherine Renzi
📌📝

So there is the news. If you are a realtor or a potential owner who is a farm lover with a conservation soul, follow this LINK and this LINK to the listing and schedule a showing. The farmhouse is sensitively and beautifully updated, and some lucky family could move in “as is.”

Yellow Springs Farm sits on a glorious conserved 8 acre parcel. The farmhouse as mentioned is restored and dates to 1850. A spring house, a bank barn, run in sheds and more await the right owner. The barn has a fabulous 1 bedroom apartment, suitable as a rental or space for visiting friends/family. If you think it’s you, contact:

Linda Burgwin
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Office Ph: (610) 225-7400
Cell: (484)- 716-0163

And no, I am not getting into the real estate listing promotion business. This is a special place and the Renzis are special people. Please if you are interested in the farm, schedule a visit through a realtor properly. Please do not just drive up the driveway for a look see.

Catherine and Al, you know I wish you nothing but the best and look forward to your next chapter. Cheers to you both!

To those interested in preserving the character of Chester County, be like the Renzis and consider conservation. Conservation and preservation go hand in hand.

day after ida

Gibson’s Covered Bridge has been Idafied. DAHS board member photo.

This is a post of mostly just photos. I have been gathering them today so we don’t forget what happened.

The news says most of Chester County got 6 to 8 inches of rain but that’s not counting the floodwaters from creeks and streams and rivers. I think where I am got at least 9 inches.

Green Lane Bridge, Philadelphia

This was a totally crazy storm and it’s not over yet and in Chester County places like Downingtown have been devastated and down around Chaddsford, Route 1, Creek Rd. , 202…. you name it roads are closed and I’m guessing they are going to be closed for at least a couple of days if not longer in spots.

Historic structures like Gibson’s Covered Bridge in Downingtown sustained terrible damage. I heard through the grapevine that house on the Perkiomen washed away and people wonder if that’s the reason why the Arcola bridge is closed but I’m not there there so I don’t know?

Vine Street Expressway Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia is insanely flooded and even the Vine Street Expressway is under water. Lots of parts of the expressway are closed, and all sorts of other roads and streets. And parts of South Jersey are also devastated. In particular an area I happen to like called Mullica Hill had tornadoes like the Wizard of Oz go through.

On the news, all the meteorologists are talking about climate change. Hurricane Ida’s aftermath in the Delaware Valley is living proof of how bad it is. And then there’s the whole thing of development. We have to have a conversation in every community about Stormwater management and development. We need a lot less development in our lives because the water in storms has nowhere to go.

Gladwyne, PA

Feel free to send flood photos to the blog via the messaging component of the Facebook page for this blog.

River Road, Roxborough.

It’s a lovely sunny day today but please if you can stay put, stay put.

have you been to frazer antiques lately?

Have you been to Frazer Antiques lately? I had not been since right before COVID19 hit. Well today we went and it was so much fun!

I took a bunch of photos and I am sharing them with all of you.

#ShopLocal #ShopSmall

Frazer Antiques. 351 Lancaster Avenue, Frazer, PA 19355. (610)- 651-8299. Open 10AM – 5PM.

still rotting next to planebrook rd and route 30 wawa in east whiteland

Can you believe it? That rotting structure in the photo above used to be a family’s living space. Until a devastating fire, Christmas 2016.

It’s now July, 2021. Obviously if the property owner was going to restore from the fire damage they would have already begun something, wouldn’t they have?

East Whiteland Township it’s quite the contrast with the cram plan new construction apartment building going up across Lancaster Ave isn’t it? On one side from the WaWa west is the burned out place and what some describe as poverty row, and the zest for new construction that looks cheap, but will be anything but affordable across the road.

Like a Tale of Two Cities, huh?

And to end this post is a potpourri of photos of this broken down wreck of a structure going back since the fire occurred. It’s time this structure is removed, because it’s about to completely crumble. It can’t be safe, can it?

it’s like spamalot….in malvern

I keep getting these emails….from the Progressive Women’s Leadership who say they are located right in Malvern PA at 384 Technology Drive.

Never heard of them before the spamalot e-mails. They always invite me to these fakakta seminars:

I lead myself and I am my own team, so why do I need their expertise? Oh and here is who they supposedly are, again, right here in Malvern:

Funny thing is…they are the same address HR Morning, Progressive Business Publications, and Learn Excel Now…Learn Excel Now also sends me junk e-mail.

Oh and the reviews of these spamalots is very amusing. See this wee snippet:

384 Technology Drive is a hopping place. This is the Kingdom of Spamalot. And they do not take you off of their lists you did not ask to be on in the first place.

What is totally amazing is some troll reached out to me from LinkedIn who claims to work for this company and well I’ll let you read his unsolicited message for yourselves. What is it with these people? I’m not a user. I don’t want anything to do with them. I never saw them out. I never signed up for anything. It’s Spamalot and apparently this is King Arthur:

Maybe I will hit up AG Josh Shapiro on Twitter to ask him about Spamalot Malvern.

Toodles.

whitetail disposal needs to dial the door to door sales behavior back a few notches, or get out of our townships.

As my readers will recall I wrote about Whitetail Disposal a few months ago. It concerned their door to door reputation during COVID-19.

When Whitetail Disposal showed up at my door last summer. The guy was clean cut and neatly dressed. No complaints there. He was easily identifiable as one of their employees. No complaints there. But when a homeowner (me) says she is uncomfortable with a door to door solicitation during COVID-19, and you should leave and here is what you shouldn’t do:

1. Don’t tell the homeowner you aren’t doing anything wrong. You are by arguing.
2. Don’t keep standing there waving your badge and saying you have a permit to solicit when the homeowner has asked you to leave. That’s called trespassing.
3. Don’t go to leave by cutting through people’s properties to get to other properties, that is still trespassing
!

I wasn’t the only one who had this experience and I went to my township and so did a lot of other people. A lot of people called my township out of concern. Aggressive door to door solicitation is bad enough in regular circumstances, this was during full-blown COVID-19.

One of the things that bothered me the most about Whitetail doing this during COVID-19 is if you said no to one person soliciting, a lot of times another person showed up a day or two later. When a homeowner says no, no means no and you market on a list that it’s do not solicit.

This even came up as a topic for discussion at one of our township meetings. (See East Whiteland 9/9/2020.) I would say their company rep was a smacked ass on that Zoom meeting. He told them everything they wanted to hear as far as I’m concerned how they do better and they do this and they do that but what do they do really if they keep sending reps back to places they were asked not to return to?

Flash forward to literally 10 minutes ago. I have to tell you even I am astounded by the brass balls on these people at Whitetail as they showed up on my street…AGAIN. And the neighborhood text chain went off immediately when they started door to door (a young woman with long dark hair, black t-shirt ) and I said to my neighbors I know exactly who it is and NO you don’t have to open your door to them —-it’s probably that trash company Whitetail…and sure enough it was.

This time it was a young woman with dark hair probably I would say early to mid 20s I’m about 5’ 6” so I would say she was probably close to my height.

When she got to me I was holding my phone, and I think she thought I was recording her but I wasn’t. Not that I would be outside of my rights to do so on my own property and on a public street.

I asked her what she was doing here. She said she was from the “trash company.”

I said which trash company.

She said Whitetail.

I said to her you already solicited on the street and she said “oh well we come back every year.”

I said everybody on the street asked you not to come back. Not you (her) personally of course but whomever was soliciting at the time. And I also said I went to the township about it, so again please tell me why you’re back here. She did not have a response to that question.

Next she said to me “well we have permits.” I said I am aware of your permits . But I am also aware of the fact that if residents ask you not to solicit them and you come back repeatedly that becomes a problem for your permits.

(I did not point out my no solicitation sign which is out plain as day.)

I told her to leave my neighborhood. (Yes I actually did because I was definitely pissed at Whitetail’s disregard for my neighborhood and the neighborhoods of others.) And because I was holding my phone and because she wasn’t sure if I was recording her or not she left.

So no I don’t have her on video but I have her car. I am sorry at this point I wasn’t close enough to get a picture of the tag. Also technically she was probably parked too close to our stop sign. I will note that Whitetail solicited a friend of mine who also has a no solicitation sign was also re-solicited. They also told Whitetail last year not to come back. Yet like spotted lantern flies, here they are again?

And I just called my township again. I just can’t believe that when they are asked not to come back they come back. I wouldn’t use them for that reason alone. People who do that have no respect for residents.

Whitetail is aggressive and as the screenshots I am including indicate, they still seem crappy.

Whomever you choose to provide services to your home is ultimately your business as the individual. But I will tell you that I am not going to have somebody performing any kind of services for me who doesn’t respect anything except the sale they are trying to close. I would never choose Whitetail or recommend them due to their door to door tactics alone, and it is my right to say so.

dear lowes

UPDATE: I am going to update this post to let you know how truly impressed I was by Lowe’s executive escalation customer service. I don’t know exactly what they call themselves but they come out of corporate and they were amazing.

My second part of my delivery went off without a hitch last evening, and the driver came from the Reading area which is usually where Lowes deliveries seem to come from for me. This driver (as opposed to the one I had a problem with who came from someplace else) was so nice, pleasant, professional, and really skillful with a big truck and forklift on a small street.

🚚🛻🛻🛻🛻🛻🛻🛻🛻🛻🛻🛻🛻🚚

Dear Lowes,

I also sent this to your CEO Marvin Ellison. I am also going to hit him up on Twitter.

I pay for Lowes to deliver heavy things. It’s a bit pricey for delivery. Usually everything is flawless, but today has been a disaster and I’m pissed.

I ordered bagged gravel and rocks. I order gravel and rocks for my garden pretty much every year.

Today’s issues began with your XPO delivery service calling my house at 6:45AM this morning. An automated call. That is not satisfactory. It woke everyone up.

I had a Ryder rental truck show up about 20 minutes ago. With a partial delivery and the guy did not speak much English and was visibly annoyed with me because he couldn’t understand me, and he almost took out my mailbox! And a really big flower pot!

He wanted to just dump 30 LB bags of rocks on my front walk and go. I NEVER TAKE HEAVY DELIVERIES THERE! Why? Because blocking a front walk is a problem. Deliveries actually go less than 15 feet to the left. It’s not like I’m asking them to cart stuff all over the property so what’s the big deal? I’m still a customer correct?

The second part of my order is somewhere. I am not sure when it will arrive.

So I also try to call XPO. The first time the woman can’t hear me for some reason and just hangs up. The second time I reached a man in the Philippines who seem to understand me pretty well and was very nice but he wasn’t really helpful.

Then I try to call your Lowes corporate offices and I can’t get anyone on the phone because magically your offices are closed even though it’s still the business day. Did I mention I work from home and you are causing me not to be able to work from home because I had to put everything on hold to figure this out?

Let’s go back to the first driver not only was he not speak English he wasn’t wearing a mask I guess it’s hot so I guess he won’t want to wear it while driving, but when he speaking with a customer face to face he should be wearing a mask, or offer to. I don’t know if he’s vaccinated.

Please note I am giving you a picture of the truck and how close it was to my nice new mailbox.

If I am paying for a service I expect that service to be good. I don’t expect to have to figure out why I have a split delivery when nobody told me I was having a split delivery and I also should not have to deal with delivery people who do not speak English and it makes you wonder if they have a valid drivers license?

Dissatisfiedly yours,

Me

new life comes to historic yellow springs

I have loved the historic village of Yellow Springs down Art School Road in Chester Springs for years and years. I was first introduced to the village by my late father. He loved the art show and the antique show the village no longer hosts in the fall (but should.)

We would come out to the village, attend the art show or antique show and have lunch at the now closed Yellow Springs Inn. At first the restaurant was in the building known today as “The Washington”, then it moved to the Jenny Lind House.

I don’t remember who exactly was in the Jenny Lind House before the Yellow Springs Inn went to live there. But I knew a little bit of the history and that it was a boarding house. Run (and built) by a woman named Margaret Holman.

Truthfully the history of Yellow Springs Village is so very interesting. As a related aside, Margaret Holman is but one of many women who played important and pivotal roles in this village over time and throughout its history. Now we add my friend Meg Veno to that list of historically important ladies. With her renovation of the Jenny Lind house and the amazing adaptive reuse that still nods to the past in process, she is bringing new life and a fresh set of ideas to Yellow Springs Village.

Restoring Jenny Lind is so positive for this magical village. And I was so glad to see people out enjoying the art show and picking up their box lunches from at the Jenny Lind today!

The restoration is not complete there are still at least a couple more months of solid work ahead of them. But today I had the privilege and honor to see the progress and how the renovation was coming along. I was literally almost reduced to tears. I had no idea that once upon a time at a Life’s Patina Barn Sale when Meg mentioned to me that she was looking for another project, and I happened to tell her that the Jenny Lind house was in bank foreclosure and the restaurant gone, that this would happen.