Life’s Patina is a beautiful, happy place to visit. The seasonal barn sales are fun to go to. It’s a dream of creativity and just pretty things to look at.
Friday, April 29. 10 AM – 5 PM
Saturday, April 30th. 10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday, May 1st. 10 AM – 4 PM
A portion of Life’s Patina Spring Preview Party ticket sales and merchandise sold during our barn sale will be donated to CARE’s Ukraine Crisis Fund, which aims to reach 4 million in Ukraine with immediate aid and recovery, food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support and cash assistance, prioritizing women, girls, families and the elderly.
These events are both indoor and outdoor. The parking is field parking so if the weather looks like it’s going to be funky check their Facebook page or website.
Even if you don’t need to buy anything you may find a little something or a large something that you cannot live without. And you will enjoy every minute that you are there!
LOCATION: Willowbrook Farm, 1750 N Valley Rd, Malvern, PA 19355
Things we forgot we missed, yet didn’t forget we missed during COVID19 was live music. Last night made up for that. We went to Phoenixville to The Colonial to see Al Stewart courtesy of Point Entertainment.
The last time I saw Al Stewart, it was at The Point in Bryn Mawr. The early 2000s. He actually played there a bunch, and it was a wonderful small venue to experience his music. Fun fact is he played at the original Main Point around 1970.
So much time has passed, and I might be in my late 50s, but if the venue isn’t too large I like live music, and I have always loved listening to Al Stewart.
One of the most fun things about listening to him live is he is a student of history. You would think, in a former life he was a history professor and as my husband points out, history has influenced his music. Truthfully he’d probably be great fun to have as a dinner guest.
Also a word about the opening act, which is also Al’s band for his shows: The Empty Pockets. They are really good, and they invited Phoenixville/Philadelphia favorite Cliff Hillis up on stage for a song! Many will know him from Smash Palace and as part of David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket.
Last night was a terrific night of music. And The Colonial Theatre is such a gem. I always wonder when it’s fully restored, if it gets fully restored, will the silk damask on the walls be restored or replaced? It is one of the relics of the past of this theater that is one of my favorite things.
Before the concert we had dinner at The Black Lab Bistro. It was amazing! Sadly what isn’t amazing is the parking or lack there of in Phoenixville. It’s worse than Ardmore, and almost as bad as Manayunk.
Devon Horse Show is celebrating their 125th birthday! It’s a great milestone considering all the hoopla the past few years, right? (You still have to imagine what we didn’t hear about and continue to not hear about, don’t you?)
And yes, technically it is year 126. COVID19 etc. caused the actual anniversary year to get canceled.
But oh my gosh and by golly, those platinum ticket prices are extraordinary, aren’t they? It’s being held at Merion Cricket Club? Better be some gold plated filet mignon, eh? Can they pay in bitcoin?
But there is limited availability, so best snap up those tickets. $450 for the big kids and $400 for young friends under 35 ? Young Friends tickets are usually more reasonable in price with more of a price gap between them and regular tickets, traditionally. Guess the Molly Mark-up who set the price gouging here is hoping for lots of corporate tables at $10,000?
Who would have thunk it: Academy Ball prices for a horse show gala and it’s not even white tie. It’s just plain old black tie. And as of now, we all know what happened to the Academy Ball, remember? Sadly went the way of the dinosaurs for now, didn’t it ?
And Wayne G? Buddy, Merion Cricket always offers valet for events.
For these prices, here’s hoping Devon Horse Show & Country Flailing has planned a nice matching platinum sponsored forensic audit covering the last couple of decades of finances and spending, eh?
If I were on the committee for this gala event, I would not hold it at Merion Cricket Club. For an event like this, it is out of the element of the actual horse show and horse. And rather pedestrian, even if lovely for a party.
If I were on the committee, my first choice would to put up tents in the oval and have this gala AT the horse show. That provides so many more options, like bringing the extra special VIP guests to the party via carriages, which would meet them slightly away from where valet would be (so as to not spook the horses since people seem to have forgotten how to act around horses when in a vehicle). Or I would hold such an event at The Radnor Hunt, which is the perfect setting as well for such a gala. And in that case, it would also benefit another beloved equestrian location/tradition. That is win-win.
I would also adjust the ticket prices. It might be a gala, but better to adjust down so not to offend supporters in a time where the economy has been up and down.
Have a swanky party Devon, and one last question: are horse show boxes for the upcoming season the party favors?
Before I get to a recap of sorts of 2021, let’s talk Christmas decorations. Mine stay up to Epiphany (maybe a little later.) When do you take your decorations down? I have to be honest, I also just like them so much I wish the Christmas season were just a little bit longer. However, I know once January rolls around the nutcrackers and elves kind of look like they are staring at me from the bookshelves, so down they come until next year.
2021 has been a crazy year and let’s start with more current events. Recently a person purported to live in the Malvern area was arrested in West Chester after a bar fight. Not just any old bar fight, she (yes she) also was charged with biting and spitting on employees. Hey I am not making this up, just ask the West Chester Borough Police who posted it. THAT is why the media picked up the story and wrote about it.
Biting and spitting during what is still a GLOBAL pandemic known as COVID-19. Why am I talking about this? Well it made the news so I posted a link to a published article. No real rhyme or reason, I just posted it. I do post crime stuff every now and again. I will note that I posted with NO opinion. Just posted the article.
Up pops the Stepford -With -Matching -Capes- Crusaders. I was a bad person for sharing it. Why was I posting it. Oh and the best? I was a threat to the community for posting it. Say what? Oh and middle school behavior for posting it. Did I mention it was in the news?
All I did was post the link. If something is in the news and it’s posted, it doesn’t make anyone a bad person for posting a link unless of course it’s fake news. It wasn’t. Now if you don’t like something someone posts, we are supposed to be grown-ups, right? So why not just scroll by for something more to your comfort level? (I will note another news story, similar topic also has surfaced out of Bear, DE at a WaWa of all places. Same age range women. Bizarre, dangerous, and hideous behavior in the age of COVID19.)
Social media behavior in general (as in everywhere) has greatly deteriorated since the last presidential election and COVID19. Maybe all of you armchair critics merely like the sounds of your own voices but not everybody has to listen to it. And so we are clear, I am not speaking about that old-fashioned concept of disagreeing, yet having a thing called a conversation. I am referring to the beyond the nipping at the virtual ankles, being flat out obnoxious if not more. And yet these are the same people who don’t understand where kids learn about bullying.
Sometimes I turn the other cheek with these village idiots in local social media groups. This was not one of those times. I grow increasingly intolerant of this brand of bullsheit. And that doesn’t make me a bad person, it means I have had enough of those who wish to have local social media domination in a puffy cloud world where cute bunnies and unicorns fart rainbows.
Then the other day I had the best giggle all day from a writer, Brian Hickey:
“Let’s Go Brandon: the rallying cry of people who peaked in high school.”
~ Brian Hickey 12/28/21
That makes a nice segue to the comments of 2021 on this blog having to do with politics, maskers vs. anti maskers, anti-vaxxers and more:
I only posted a snippet of the hate mail comments I receive. But these show the range from I am a horrible person to why don’t I just kill myself. Ah yes the milk of human kindness at it’s finest. And mind you, I will get these comments when writing about a garden tour. It’s me I suppose. I am too different in opinion from them, I don’t know “my place”, whatever. Someone I know had this to say about one person being a keyboard tiger jackass:
I hope he accidentally uses his poison ivy as toilet tissue And deserves the kind of life that is small minded, mean, douche-y comment deserves. You on the other hand deserve to have a wonderful day that you had and being able to celebrate it free from pestilence.
Your “I’m-not-afraid-to-go-low” friend from New York.
I have to admit that made me laugh. My New Yorkers are fierce.
And as far as social media groups like on Facebook go, if you as an admin have the audacity to remove an ankle biter, that is rarely the end of it. Some of them keep trying to get back into a group. Others keep sending their friends and relatives to either keep beating their drum in their absence, or to spy and see if people are still talking about them. Hence the reason most groups these days do not let you join automatically. Everyone is tired especially of the Facebook ankle biters.
Even inane NextDoor isn’t immune from insane social media behavior. 2021 saw the oddly obsessed CVS man and the people who recently piled onto the poor woman who was just concerned about a homeless couple living in their car in a grocery store parking lot in Phoenixville. And let’s not forget the freak flag flying political posts of NextDoor and the crowd sourcing for should people call the police about things, or posting personal information publicly like it isn’t social media, although it most assuredly is.. That site in general is a big headscratcher.
Also in 2021 we had the woman who thinks Tredyffrin Easttown School District school board meetings are for her to throw extra blonde temper tantrums. She didn’t like me mocking her public comments at a public meeting. And at that time she was blathering to anyone who would listen to her (including local media) about her views on life, vaccines, masks, politics, the universe.
This was the same woman who during breast cancer awareness month (the dreaded and disliked Pinktober to many of us) posted a photo of me on Facebook in a hospital gown taken either before my breast cancer surgery or after my surgery but before I started treatment. It was like a wanted poster with piss poor timing. Among other things it was supposed to intimidate me. Purely female BS.
The school board follies on the whole were quite insane in 2021. The ugliest of the ugliest. And it’s not over. Even if so many of the anti-vaxxer anti-maskers, and Qanon cuties lost their school board races, they are still around. At least one was a nurse. A pediatric nurse, no less. I hope whomever she works for is proud of her efforts, right? Others of their ilk did not lose and made it onto school boards. Essentially the politics of crazy will continue to threaten public school education just like it threatens the very tenets of our society and democracy.
The most frightening example of threatening our democracy occurred this year on January 6, 2021. That is another highlight of the sheer volume crazy of 2021. Who would have ever thought we would be watching news reports of mob of Americans storming our beloved Capitol? On January 6, 2021, a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. hoping to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election by disrupting the joint session of Congress assembled to count electoral votes that would formalize then President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. This effort failed, and it has been in court and all over social media ever since. Mob members who have been identified are being prosecuted. One of the oldest mob members is from the West Chester area and I think I read he is in his 80s.
Living La Vida COVID in 2021 meant a lot of us spent a lot of time keeping to ourselves. And given the climate of the world around us, it was a perfectly acceptable alternative. As the world re-opened we still couldn’t be sure who was vaccinated, who was not, who had COVID, and who may or may not act crazy if they saw you wearing a mask or saw someone not wearing a mask.
This extended to a lot of our recent Christmas celebrations, which for most were considerably smaller to be safe, because what has arrived? The lovely Omicron variant. I know quite a few people who have picked it up, including at a Christmas concert I love but decided to skip this year because of COVID. Some people who were vaccinated I know who got snagged by the latest variant but they hadn’t had their booster yet. But most of the people I know who now have COVID19 have never gotten shots yet. I wonder if they will now?
Now that COVID cases are on the insane rise again, there are other issues. Remember we have one hospital in Chester County – Jennersville – closing at the end of this week, and another, Brandywine closing at the end January. It seems no one can stop Tower Health from doing this. But then again no one could stop Hahnemann in Philadelphia from closing, either.
Tower Health by these actions is essentially going to cause unbelievable problems for ALL residents of Chester County, not just the communities affected most directly by the hospitals they are closing. It’s a shame Chester County can’t sue Tower Health or federal entities like The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, isn’t it? Or can they?
Back to politics. The politics of extremism still rules the day. I have watched friendships erode over politics, even my own. I have a friend who is super conservative. I sent her a Christmas card like always. No card received here. Crickets.
I feel it is because I could never join the cult of Trump. I never judged this friend’s conservatism because it’s their belief system, and even if I don’t agree with a lot of it now, the world is big enough for more than one point of view. But I am wondering if I instead were judged? Makes me sad, but I can only control me. I won’t shut the door, but it makes me sad because there are a bunch of those in my life. I was fine when I was a Republican, but now I am not, I am somehow not worthy. Or I am not worthy to some because I am not liberal enough.
How did this world happen? I remember a time when you could be many political persuasions in a room, yet you would all leave the conversations friends. Now it’s “off with their heads” and you can’t have an actual conversation, let alone sit on different sides of the political fence. What good is that doing anyone?
Other things that marred 2021 was crime. Usually surrounding the City of Philadelphia, which has deteriorated into a filthy dirty, crime ridden city with a joke of a mayor and a doofus of a district attorney. But when Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon got carjacked at gunpoint at FDR Park in Philadelphia recently they got the bad guys in like a day….which NEVER happens to regular folk. I am very glad she is OK but I sure hope this keeps a GIANT spotlight on the hot mess that is the City of Philadelphia.
Crime has made it’s way more and more into what was bucolic Chester County. It sucks, frankly. And the police forces are smaller than in a big city.A lot of areas are covered by the Pennsylvania State Police. Like Charlestown where Anna Bronislawa Maciejewska-Gould went missing on April 10, 2017. In April, 2022 it is FIVE years. FIVE years.
In 2021 we saw the ugliness of development march on in Chester County. Even in a global pandemic it’s more, more, more. From butt ass ugly billboards to apartment buildings to fake carriage homes to townhouses for lemmings and more, over-development is now Chester County’s middle name, isn’t it?
We saw things like Tarad Hill Farm in West Bradford go up for sale. It remains to be seen what will happen, but it was being marketed for it’s development possibilities by the nouveau gentry who acquired it and now appears to be selling it. Support the efforts of groups like the Marshallton Conservation Trust in that area (please).
We also saw Rock Hill Farm in Willistown go into a sales agreement I guess since in that case there have already been plans submitted for development. (See here on Willistown website) That is 200 plus acres of what is not only amazing open space, but what about the history of the property? And it has Crum Creek going through it and is old-growth forest, wetlands, rolling hills and streams, and productive farmland. The big puzzle for me in this case is the son of the deceased owner or co-owner is on the Board of Willistown Conservation Trust and has been for a while, right? So why was nothing on that parcel ever put into conservation? In 2022 Willistown residents will see what will happen I suppose. So many object to it, but in the end I think the horse is sadly out of that barn. Someone recently put up a website.
Also in Willistown this year there has been the strange tale of the neighbors of Castlebar Lane and Wildflower Farm. They live in Willistown but apparently farms to them are verboten? Is this just a case of NOFIMBY (No Farm In My Back Yard) ? This is one of the most bizarre things in Chester County in 2021 and it’s so Scary Spice meets Stepford Wives meets Knotts Landing meets Desperate Housewives. Except in this case it’s a whole Scare Spice RACK. The township came to an agreement with Wildflower Farm recently, but we’ll see if the narsty neighbors (yes narsty) are finished yet. But hey look, they can always build bigger berms, right?
This year has also been a crazy year in the seemingly unending saga of the pipelines. Sunoco/Mariner East/ Energy Transfer. Josh Shapiro announced criminal charges and then it seemed like a short time later announce a run for governor, so is this for him or for the residents of Chester County? And then they just announce that pipeline work would resume? Which came first, the chicken or the pipeline? File under to be continued….
However, in 2021 here at the end of the year have been a few surprises. Let’s start with Township Managers.
Casey LaLonde is done at West Goshen. Yup at the meeting on the 21st of December, he is leaving West Goshen for greener pastures somewhere in the private sector but where? Kiss kiss Casey and will folks find you at the Joan Crawford Museum as a docent?
Then today the news eeeked out that Mimi Gleason is out at West Whiteland? Fie under Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus in West Whiteland. Will it be AprèsMimi, le deluge? Only time will tell and I think people should fasten their seatbelts.
Speaking of seatbelt fastening, today I learned that in East Goshen they will be “investigating” undoing eminent domain at the Hicks Farm. That was the word used in the meeting packet for next week. East Goshen Supervisors can you not begin next week with a simple resolution to end eminent domain? Okay semi rhetorical, because they can. It was done in West Vincent, it was done in Ardmore years ago. And so on in so forth. (Good lord they can even look on the Institute for Justice’s website for how tos probably, right? They practically have a legal zoom for eminent domain. Even a good Google can help you.)
And one of my favorite bright spots was the news on Crebilly Farm in Westtown. Recently the Westtown Township Board of Supervisors granted funding to Natural Lands to begin the process of grant proposal writing for the conservation of Crebilly Farm. I had to pinch myself on that one. But prayers up, there is something to work towards, even if there does seem to be an active real estatelisting on the property?
Personally this has been a year for me. I reached a ten year milestone being breast cancer free, yet I lost two long time friends to cancer. Also this year two of the great ladies of my childhood passed away, and one of my late father’s favorite cousins. And the thing is none of these losses were due to COVID-19 but COVID kept people from saying goodbye to loved ones and friends all over the globe. And if we don’t all get it together, 2022 will be another long COVID riddled year. You aren’t having your first amendment rights threatened if you are asked to get a shot or wear a mask.
BUT I still had a wonderful year with my friends and family including being able to tour David Culp’s Brandywine Cottage gardens and have a couple of small and safe gatherings with vaccinated friends and family.
Life is what we make of it and it is the simple things that bring me joy. Like a phone call from a very dear friend who just wanted to thank me for being able to see my Christmas decorations. Of course I laughed and told her but now I had to start thinking about disassembling the tree and more and putting all of the ornaments away. When that happens it is like saying good bye to old friends for a year. But then we all start planning our gardens, don’t we, so it is a cycle of happiness, right?
As we literally count down the hours until 2022, I hope some of you can just hit the pause button. I wish for you health and happiness in 2022 and pray for a more peaceful world and a little less political craziness. I won’t be unrealistic and wish for it all to disappear, but maybe hope for just a little less mania.
Thanks for stopping by in 2021. 2022 marks this site turning 10. Happy New Year kids!
This afternoon started at The Cottage Shop in Marshallton. It’s a lovely little spot which is only open a few times a year, and it is something I missed during COVID19. This little gem is on W. Strasburg Rd not too far down from The Four Dogs Tavern.
Then it was off to the front porch of The Marshalton Inn for a Holiday Artisan Market with Re-Imagined Style and others. (They are there until 3:30 PM then it’s all hands on deck as they get ready to light the tree and welcome Santa to one of my favorite and so historic villages! The tree lighting is at historic Martin’s Tavern at 4 PM and festivities run until 6 PM!
Our last stop was The Four Dogs Tavern for lunch and to get some more Four Dogs swag (T-shirts, they make great gifts!)
Four Dogs Tavern is one of my favorite places. The atmosphere is awesome, and the food is always very good. I was very amused today after lunch when I had stepped outside and was waiting for my husband and this small group of Trendy Wendys stepped out of the Four Dogs and one said to the other “Well it looks like an old building I guess.”
Wisely I said nothing. But in my head, I was definitely rolling my eyes because oh that building has history!
The school board meeting last evening for the Great Valley School District picked right up where meetings leading up to the election left off. The public comments were inane at times.
There were two appearances (for example) by local politician and former school board candidate Sallie Campbell. Sallie lost the election but she’s standing on her Alamo. I have to ask is she still a practicing nurse? She’s against masking and vaccinations for Covid, so when she enters a room or a hospital is she even vaccinated? If she is not what is the hospital doing about that? While it might be her right to make her choices, her choices affect other people because she goes to public meetings and she says she still a nurse correct??
Then there was the woman who also spoke a couple of times whose name escapes me who really dropped a bomb at the end of the meeting concerning the school superintendent’s past in Boyertown. It’s public information (CLICK HERE.) there is actually quite a bit out there on this, and other things because face it Boyertown as a bit of a hot mess of a school district. I guess y’all have to do your Googling I’m not going to list everything because I don’t know if the superintendent is really guilty of anything. I do however think that the school district needs to address this.
Then there was the older gent who seems rather homophobic? He also seems concerned with the functionality of women’s reproductive systems. Apparently women aren’t pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen enough?
I also take issue with the way the Great Valley School Board handles problems at meetings. I’ve watched enough of the meetings of other districts in Chester County and when there’s too much of a problem the solicitor for whichever district it is will tell people to either come to order or they will be removed. Instead they play the deny the presence card and say essentially if people don’t behave they all will leave the meeting. Sorry not sorry but that is crap because the taxpayers are paying for this. And they need to grow a pair and tell people to come to order or have them removed.
Anyway you can watch all the snippets from the November 15, 2021 meeting. You can find the balance of the meeting on their YouTube channel.
The above photo was sent today from a friend who had a friend passing through Bucks County. They snapped this photo at York and Street Road. I guess that makes it Warrington?
My friend’s friend was speechless. I am speechless. It’s literally a penis protest. And I thought the anti-masker protests were fakakta. I am sure someone will comment that I am anti-man anti-penis but ummm, what I don’t get is why the anti-foreskin folks are protesting? Is there a must get snipped law we are unaware of?
I will note if you look at the photo at the bottom that will show a school bus. Which means kids were looking at this. it’s like a renegade health class come to life.
According to a couple of newspaper articles within the past couple of days that I unearthed, these people are also standing there with giant red splotches on their crotch to represent blood I guess. Oh to be a fly on the wall when the police have to drive by.
📌‼️It was hard to avoid, a group of men, and two women, all dressed in white, with red splotches on the crotches of the pants, holding up signs that proclaimed, among other things, “Genitals Should Not Have Scars,” “Stop Cutting Baby Penises” and “Foreskin Theft!”….Over the past two weeks, the group, members of an organization called The Bloodstained Men, have been traveling the highways and byways of Pennsylvania, staging protests to the practice of circumcision, which the group contends is a human rights issue. They came from all around the country, meeting at the Philadelphia airport, renting a van and hitting the road….The group – which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – argues that many male newborns in this country are circumcised at birth, a violation of their human rights because a newborn cannot consent to the procedure. 📌‼️
I just don’t know. I have really limited things I can say about this because I’m still somewhat speechless. Isn’t this an issue with their parents for doing it? And if these are all adults are their parents even alive?
So I am guessing the house is coming down soon? That’s sad. I haven’t looked at the plans on Radnor’s website but why bother? Municipalities have no balls these days as far as pushing back against over-development in their communities. And residents are getting the fight beaten out of them one municipality at a time, one development at a time.
The photo of one lone vintage Chippendale camelback sofa is the one that gets to me. I have one I got at Resellers years ago when they were in Frazer. It’s just a style I love.
I like looking at old furniture, I really don’t care for new furniture. Old and vintage furniture tell a story, like old hardware and even light fixtures. And the quality is often far superior to the newer counterparts.
I won’t be going to this demolition sale. I hate seeing the end of old homes. It’s a shame this has to happen. It’s even more of a shame this lovely property will be developed because it will change the area forever.
Life’s Patina at Willowbrook Farm is one of my favorite places. It has been a happy place for me since I photographed it for the first time in August of 2012. I never get tired of taking photos there.
This morning marked the preview of the Fall Barn Sale at Life’s Patina. My friend and I plan a girl’s day around Meg Veno’s amazing events. We went to the early session which featured “brunch with a view”, and because we had lunch plans, brunch was actually my dinner. (We were all given “brunch boxes” when leaving.)
The barn was a dazzling array of fabulous vignettes from top to bottom. I showed restraint and stayed away from the Johnson Brothers china….which was really hard. But I couldn’t say no to the fabulous creations of Tracy Phillips from Reimagined Style! And I may have snuck a fox kit statue into my garden. And bath salts from Zoet Bathlatier.
Meg and her team do such an amazing job with these sale events! And they are always so pleasant and fun! The charity Life’s Patina is introducing many of us to this time is SpeakUp! and it’s there for teens. If you go, pick up their literature as they do great things.
📌‼️We are back!!! This September, we’re bringing you our latest fabulous vintage and new home accessories, decor, furniture, gift items, and architectural salvage at our Fall Barn Sale. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be open to the public without a scheduled appointment so head on over to peruse all of our artfully curated finds while taking in Fall at Life’s Patina. Local purveyors of fabulous artisanal foods will be holding tastings and creations from local artisans will be shown as well. A portion of all proceeds from the sale will be donated to the amazing Speak Up!, a nonprofit dedicated to helping teens develop supportive relationships with the adults in their lives.
Barn Sale Hours:
Friday, September 24th, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, September 25th, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, September 26th, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm📌‼️
It was a wonderful way to spend part of the last official day of summer! I hope you will check out Life’s Patina this weekend! BRING YOUR MASK PLEASE!