life in the covid19 fast lane

We went into Center City Philadelphia to see my parents this weekend. I have not been in Philadelphia since before the riots this summer.

I didn’t have a camera with me so I captured a couple of photos on my phone but it really doesn’t do what looking at the city looks like now justice.

The city of Philadelphia after a year of COVID19 and riots and protests is not good in my opinion. So many boarded up store fronts. And these weird outside pods for bars on the sidewalk which are mostly on the street making them more narrow.

The streets themselves are in horrible condition, holes and potholes and trenches everywhere. Broken pavement everywhere waiting to literally trip you. Coming up 16th St. going home we also passed this generator that was almost a city block long that was running.

The streets are mostly empty. The people you see the most of are homeless. It’s back to Filthadelphia.

Philadelphia looks grey and grimy , depressed, and sad. And it wasn’t just a grey day making me feel that. I used to love the city. It felt alive and vibrant. Now it feels to be barely hanging on.

Thanks for stopping by.

chasing the covid19 shot

Trying to get a COVID19 shot is turning into a full time job. I am a Class 1A because I am still an active cancer patient on cancer meds. Yes, really. The closest I have been able to find a shot was the Wegmans pharmacy in Erie, Pennsylvania. 375 miles away.

I am registered everywhere. I waste lots of time on the pharmacy websites like Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, Wegmans, and more. And I love when people tell me oh they have shots and you go on and you try to register but no they don’t have shots…. they’re out of stock. And if it doesn’t say out of stock on the vaccine finder website, you click into the location you’re looking at and it tells you then.

I spent five days on the phone trying to get through to the Chester County Hospital COVID19 scheduling line. Five days of my life I won’t get back. I finally got through this afternoon. I am a priority registration in the system but they don’t have anymore shots so they can’t schedule until they have shots, which is probably why I got through. But the man I spoke to (his name was Rick) was super helpful and just nice.

Then I saw that report regional media has this afternoon.

Pretty goddamn disappointed in them right now. Except part of me almost understands why they did it.

I don’t know what is with Chester County not having enough shots or the state of Pennsylvania not having enough shots.

Basically, I have to wait to be called. Because there aren’t even any shots at any of the drug stores or grocery store drug stores offering shots around here.

And like I said I have signed up everywhere I can. Which is why I got really annoyed when some Democratic Committeeman posted on NextDoor:

Info to get Covid vaccinations. This is information from Pa House Representative Kristine Howard. Thank God she was elected! Hope this helps!

I know I bet you’re all excited hearing something like that right? Well don’t be she’s not breaking any new ground here and Kristine Howard never does anything. All her office does is regurgitate information that’s already out there.

When I pointed this out to the Democratic committeeman he said to me (and I quote):

“Other than whining what have you done to provide information about COVID vaccines?

The Democratic committeeman went on to mansplain to me about how he “had followed the rules” and spent 2 to 3 hours each day hunting a shot until he got an appointment.

First of all, I hate being mansplained to. Second of all,  who is he to presume with anyone? Why is it my job in particular to provide information about COVID19 vaccines? I don’t understand that.

He wants to “thank God” for a State Rep who does nothing and who has done nothing since she was first elected. As an elected official, Kristine Howard should be trying to get more shots into Chester County, not just regurgitating information already provided by MANY others to look like she’s actually doing something. As a farmer I once knew said about someone years ago, she’s more useless than tits on a bull. Vulgar, but accurate.

And our new State Senator Carolyn Comitta? Where is she? She has been kind of invisible to constituents in my humble opinion.

Who has been helpful in Chester County, PA? The county commissioners. Josh Maxwell helped me personally get correctly registered on the county website. I kept registering and it literally didn’t take. He can’t personally get me a shot nor would I expect him to, but he took the time to help me and explain the process.

Honestly the process itself is faulty. Pennsylvania is backwards. We should be able to get shots. I have friends in other states who have had no problem signing up or finding shots.

And people like to criticize national healthcare as exists in the UK but guess what? Those people are getting their shots. They are rolling them out and people are getting their shots.

Every time you turn around in Pennsylvania it’s either the story out of Philadelphia where the 22 year old who started the non-profit who was giving COVID19 shots to their friends, or like today hospital systems kind of doing the same thing. The thing about the COVID19 shot is it’s not really merit based it seems like who do you know.

Well everyone loves a good game of who do you know this is a global pandemic and who was a clear conscience can do that to jump the line? I couldn’t personally but I understand on a certain level.

People are out there every day trying to play by the rules and banging their heads against walls trying to get a shot, and there are people who are gaming the system (who may or may not be eligible for a shot) who are just taking advantage of holes they find in the screwed up system to get their shots and is that right?

COVID19 has shown us since it started this time last year to eat up our lives about how some people don’t necessarily have a moral compass. And that includes elected officials.

There should be more system efficiency, shots should be more evenly distributed, and it should be just easier to actually get a shot.  I have played by the rules since this started. I even went on voluntary stay at home before we went on mandated stay at home because of potential exposure to one of the first victims of COVID19 in Chester County and I still don’t know who that was. I just had the dumb luck of being at the same place at the same time.

So for the Democratic committeeman who serves where I live who wants to “thank God” for Kristine Howard in one breath, and in the other breath basically that I should be in essence what she is paid and elected to do, I will give Chester County Residents the direct line to the COVID19 shot scheduling line: (610) 883-5410.

I sign off on this Friday afternoon having very little faith in the system right now, as it exists. Thanks for stopping by.

 

ghost houses of swedesford road: more photos

The other day I wrote another post about the ghost houses Swedesford Road and how they continue to deteriorate .

A reader sent me photos. Looks like late fall or winter before snow. And I thought I should be clear that these USED to be owned by Church Farms School but now? Some developer or commercial real estate entity. No clue who.

Is this demolition by neglect? Well what do you think? Sure isn’t preservation is it? Wouldn’t you think West Whiteland would want these structures secured?

It is a shame that they’ve been allowed to rot. Now what?

dear usps…

Dear USPS,

I think I’m done trying to be sympathetic for a while. I am trying to be nice but today was just unnecessary. I know you’re understaffed, overwhelmed by Covid affecting your workers, and then of course there’s that guy who calls himself the “Postmaster General” who just keeps eviscerating you.

I get Louis DeJoy as Postmaster General is a postal service killer and a jackass, but seriously? We are the people who always have a clear front walk and don’t block the mailbox…even with snow. I am the one that leaves homemade cookies in the mailbox at Christmas for Pete’s sake.

The above package toss was not the work of our normal postal worker or normal substitute. It was some new guy. This was not a heavy box. The path was not blocked. No dog was gnashing teeth and barking. Dude just didn’t feel like getting out of his truck.

I have mail from November and December that just never appeared. A lot of Christmas cards I mailed just never were delivered. I track every package and I signed up for “Informed Delivery” so I can keep track of mail coming to me. On average, “Informed Delivery” mail arrives 2-3 days after we get the email telling us what is coming, if it arrives.

Our mail sorts through Wilmington, DE which is something that in fact, President Biden did while Vice President. Our mail used to get sorted through Southeastern, which of course makes sense. It has never made sense the Chester County, Pennsylvania mail gets sorted through Wilmington, Delaware. We have had problems for years, but since 2020 we hold our breath every time we are expecting something, or mailing something.

Normally we don’t have a problem at the local level, but lately it’s been rather haphazard. We all know if the mailbox is blocked even by snow that none of us on the road will get mail. That has been getting challenging for all of us including our township snow plow drivers because we’re simply running out of places to move the snow. But this today? Just blows my mind because dude had a clear path and he just chose not to get out of the mail truck and chucked my package.

Please, we are trying to not complain, but today was ridiculous.

Customers deserve better. Heck your workers deserve better. But the guy today? He should NOT have done this.

ghost houses of swedesford road continue to deteriorate

In 2019 I wrote about the little houses along Swedesford Road that just sit and rot.

We passed by them yesterday in the car, and one looks like the roof has completely caved in on. I wasn’t able to get many photos so I just clicked a couple with my phone.

These are sweet little houses. They used to be faculty housing for Church Farms School I believe years ago. And when you think of all the crap that is getting built in the category of new development even just up the road, it’s almost wasteful that these houses were never fixed up and had people in them again. I still think if any of them were salvageable and they were stored them they could sell them and families would move in there.

Thanks for stopping by.

target bryn mawr: today’s example of another bad proposed development plan…

Today social media groups on the Main Line are all abuzz about a particular development plan. It is proposed for Bryn Mawr. I think it’s awful.

It is the same developer apparently as the “Berwyn Square” that Eastown just said no to. Which was truly remarkable because Eastown never says no to anything.

I didn’t just connect the dots to all these development plans, Savvy Main Line did it for us (CLICK HERE FOR SAVVY)

Too. Damn. Much. Development.

The Bryn Mawr plan is shocking. Having grown up on the Main Line, and especially because where I went to high school was Shipley which is in Bryn Mawr, I spent a lot of years in Bryn Mawr. And I can tell you a great deal of the wonderful “village” feel disappeared when Bryn Mawr Hospital supersized. But a plan like this? I think it would kill what is left of the small town Main Street kind of vibe.

Obviously I no longer live in Lower Merion so even though I sent the commissioner for the ward that contains Bryn Mawr an email, I know my opinion doesn’t matter, I just gave it anyway. I figure he owes it to me to listen since way back when he wanted to become a commissioner in the first place a group I was part of helped him get elected.

The other reality of this plan and if you look at the last screenshot in this post it shows a rendering of sorts, and it also totally doesn’t show you what that Lancaster Ave (Route 30) intersection in Bryn Mawr is really like. It is an extraordinarily busy and accident prone intersection. It’s where Morris Avenue ends and Bryn Mawr Ave. begins. It’s where Ludington library is, the main and original branch of Bryn Mawr Trust Company is there. It’s where the train station is and a block or so from where the hospital begins.

2007 Accident Bryn Mawr.

The above photo was taken in 2007. One of the many accidents at this intersection. This particular accident I believe resulted in the fatality of the driver in the car in front of the bus. I also had another friend who was hit pushing her babies across the street in a stroller on a pedestrian walk signal at this corner. At that time, there was an NBC10 report on that accident.

No one is going to say that the building currently on the corner where they are proposing to put this apartment development is attractive. It’s never been attractive. But every development that is proposed is overly dense no matter where you live and whichever township or county you call home.

Downingtown PA development on Route 30.

The above photo is a development in progress in Downingtown. Another massive development. And none of these developments are particularly distinguishable from each other. Which is why I find great humor in the “brynmawr square“ and “Berwyn Square” development proposals

Above you see the development often discussed in East Whiteland. I don’t understand how the people who are paid to do the planning for these townships as well as elected officials have no vision.

At the end of the day this is why we desperately need to update the Municipalities Planning Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This amount of development is not sustainable. And I will never believe the emperor’s new clothes fairytale that it is.

It’s very sad that it has come to this, but pick the township, town, and county and there’s always a bad development plan or several bad development plans. We are the ones that live in these communities and it’s time for elected officials to start listening to us.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe in the snow.

Proposed “Bryn Mawr Square”
Lancaster Ave (Route 30)

sleazy, alarming, scamming postcards for the circular file

Got this postcard in the mail yesterday. Didn’t look at it until today. Today, when I looked at it, I thought to myself “what is this about?”

And they of the anonymous, could be interpreted as alarming postcard, want to send crap through the mail in not even an envelope “would appreciate you keeping this matter private”?

Say what? How about oh hell no?

So I called the number 267-279-9003 and it was illegitimate “Dan” (no last name given) and “Dan” wants to buy my house says the message.

The message is long and folksy but sleazy at the same time. He tells you how he will cover all your costs etc. but nowhere in the message does he say what his company name is who is affiliated with or what his last name is. So I hit “0” and left a message worthy of George Carlin.

Obviously a scam and not accredited with the better business bureau or even a real office. Some kind of virtual mail drop.

So if you look at the front of the postcard the postage permit is actually out of Tampa, FL. So I am going with scammers. I can’t really find much out online but I did find someone on Twitter who got one a while back.

Oh! And also amusing? Postcard says THIRD NOTICE so I have to ask where are the other two notices? You see dear scammer, I am super annoying in the fact that I would have remembered receiving this fake alarming postcard more than once.

Feel free to call up “Dan” and leave him a message. I can think of no better punishment than whomever having to weed through tons of unnecessary messages. Just call 267-279–9003 and when “Dan’s” message starts to play hit 0# and leave him a message 🤣 but don’t sell him your house 🤣

Talk to the hand scammer, talk to the hand.

what’s up with all of the amerigas delivery issues?

NOT GOOD ENOUGH AMERIGAS

I am about to talk about an issue I am not experiencing personally, but as I have started to see the issues crop up more and more in Chester County community groups, I figured it can’t hurt to put the problem out there. And the problem is simple: AmeriGas isn’t delivering the way they should be.

It’s winter, it’s cold. And no one wants to run out of fuel to heat their homes. A lot of people in Chester County use propane to heat their homes. A lot of people are signed up with AmeriGas and in several social media community forums I have seen posts, including today, about people coming close to running out or having run out of fuel and AmeriGas keeps telling them they’re going to deliver only they haven’t.

I am paying it forward and putting this issue out there. It’s cold this winter and we’ve had a lot of bad weather, so people expect delays with delivery of home related services like fuel. But when folks are told they were getting a delivery and then there is no delivery and then people keep being told they are on a special list but no matter who they talk to can’t actually get the fuel delivered, it’s just not fair.

Further complicating matters when you are running out of fuel and waiting on AmeriGas, is the legality of who owns the tanks. Most people rent their tanks. And if you rent your tanks other companies don’t want to deliver propane because it’s somebody else’s tank.

I did a little research and this is a problem with this company from coast to coast. AmeriGas has issues. A reporter from North Carolina recently did a story on the issues people are having with AmeriGas. (CLICK HERE ) after he did his story he got emails from as far away is Pennsylvania.

And a very unscientific and just general matter, I noodled around on Facebook and I put in the search term AmeriGas delivery problems and I came up with posts from people in groups all over the country.

So AmeriGas what gives? I am not hearing these complaints about any of the other local companies that deliver propane.

vintage beauty gets gussied up

My new old chair

A few years ago I picked this chair out of a barn. For $45. Which is astounding because vintage furniture of this quality is highly desirable even used. And if you’re looking at the gorgeous mahogany of this chair this is also why you don’t need to chalk paint or faux paint every piece of vintage furniture. Sometimes it just needs to be recovered.

“Brown wood” is cool, pass it on.

It’s a Southwood Sheraton side chair. It was made in Hickory, North Carolina. It’s just slightly past mid century, this chair dates to 1973 when Southwood was founded.

Southwood was started in 1973 with the vision to become America’s premier maker of authentic, museum-quality antique reproductions, as well as offering traditional upholstered seating. They went out of business around 2013, sadly.

Anyway, The chair when it originally came to me was in a powder blue silk velvet. But the velvet had been drying out and getting very brittle over time and I knew I needed to start looking for fabric to recover this chair in. Enter a friend of mine whose late mother had amazing taste. She gifted me a remnant of vintage Scalamandre upholstery fabric.

So I called up my upholsterer Ken and said I have the fabric for the chair. He had coincidentally just start looking for fabric for me for the chair because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.

Chair before makeover.

This evening my chair came home. It looks amazing! And I did save some money by supplying my own fabric. But that was just a fluke that the fabric was gifted to me. It’s just like the planets aligned.

Once again I am sharing with you the information on my upholsterer, Ken’s Upholstery. They pick up, they deliver, and their attention to detail is unparalleled. It has been a long time since I saw an upholsterer who is this good at his craft.

And Ken does nice little things for his customers like send you photos of whatever he’s working on for you from start to finish. And something Ken did for me was to put the original Southwood tag back on the bottom of my chair. I had not asked him to do that, I had asked him to just hang onto the original manufacturer’s tag!

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with the way the chair turned out. My husband knows he will never be able to drink red wine in it but that’s OK. I love it! And once again I am a regular customer of Ken’s Upholstery , I am not getting anything as far as compensation in any way shape or form to write this post. I am just a very, very happy customer!

Thanks for stopping by.

My chair reupholstered.

a valentine would have been nicer…

This morning I woke up with the phrase good fences make good neighbors running loose in my brain. Why? Because of something that happened yesterday.

Yesterday by around 8 AM our neighborhood looked like a used car parking lot. A bunch of cars from outside the neighborhood kind of parked all around the giant mountains of snow left by the snow plows through no fault of their own. It has been cold so not much has melted, there has been a lot of snow, and no more places to put it. One of the vehicles, a white truck, was even blocking the edge of my driveway.

All this snow has shrunken our on street parking making everything more difficult. Even mail delivery.

The cars came from outside our neighborhood and across a major road. The cars came from a property that new people moved onto at some point in 2020 and literally built a giant garage on that seems bigger than the house when you drive by.

The house has a bigger and longer driveway with more space behind the house for parking than anyone in our neighborhood. And again, across a major road, so if I lived there I would not park in the neighborhood across the road because it’s like playing chicken to cross the big road, a state road, safely anyway.

These folks have a LOT of cars and seemingly just a lot parked on their property. But it’s their property, so just an observation. Of course it’s an observation I wouldn’t even think to make if they didn’t park multiple vehicles in a small neighborhood on a small road that was not really where they lived.

Since these people moved into the area they literally park a couple to a few vehicles on our street a great deal of the time. A little head scratching considering their driveway size, parking pad, and big old garage, but hey, they bought a property that has needed a boatload of work so ok, I get it, work trucks and equipment need room. And you want to be neighborly, right?

Their parking habits weren’t a problem until yesterday. Yesterday when they butted one vehicle literally on a neighbor’s bumper South Philly style and blocked the edge of our driveway. That and the mountains of snow made it an issue. Our houses are all the way at the end of the road so it was a little odd. Usually they take all the on street parking further up the road. And no one gave any of us the heads up they would be taking most of our on street parking at one end of the street. Which in winter weather is just nice to do right?

I actually didn’t say anything to the people. It was 8 AM or maybe earlier, I was in my nightgown and needed coffee. I figured I would have coffee and get dressed and then see what was up.

However, I didn’t do anything in the end because my one neighbor got in her car and drove to their house. She asked them nicely if they could move their cars. They were expecting someone that needed room to park and then there is USPS.

If you are parking too close to or blocking a mailbox around here they literally will not deliver the mail. I know because we had one of our vehicles out of the driveway a few days ago because the heating repair guy was coming to adjust something and needed room to get into driveway, etc. As they were leaving, the mail was coming and I was told although we were not blocking the mailbox it was close enough that if it happened again we wouldn’t get the mail delivered because they couldn’t easily pull up and pull out, they would have to back up.

The neighbor who went to talk to these people is literally the nicest person you will ever meet. She would give you the shirt off her back. Never mean, never rude, just lovely. The people in the car house were not exactly receptive to her. So she kind of said “ok” and left.

In the meantime I had dressed and was looking out the window again at the truck blocking the edge of my driveway. Agonizing over what to do. You see, no one wants to have to call the police on someone. Especially for something like this.

But I didn’t have to do anything in the end because next thing you know I see out the windows these guys walking down the road rather animatedly. I could not hear their conversation, but body language said “annoyed”.

These guys moved the cars. I was off the hook and didn’t have to deal with the fact that someone had parked blocking the edge of the driveway in weather that narrows everything.

But it still begged the question in today’s world of what to do. Do you try to be the nice neighbor and talk to them next time, or just call the police? I put it out there to my friends and some said just let police handle it, and some said bake them cookies and go talk to them.

Well by last evening I learned these people weren’t the people you baked cookies for or invited over for a cook out. These people called the police on my nice neighbor. Yes, the nicest woman on the planet and she was told not to talk to them, not to go to their house, and so on.

The police were super nice to my neighbor, and they had a responsibility to do their jobs, so that isn’t an issue. The issue is the not quite neighbors odd over-reaction to a simple, polite, and pleasant request from my neighbor. Not a next door neighbor obviously because they don’t actually live in our neighborhood, but an area neighbor from a neighborhood they use like a parking lot. My other issue? They did this to her in a fit of righteous indignation or whatever and they literally had blocked part of my driveway. That’s actually not ok.

So sadly now we know what kind of neighbors they are going to be. And I say sadly because literally everyone around here is so nice. From road to road, just nice people. Honestly coming from the Main Line which had changed so much by the time I moved to Chester County, it took me a while to get that neighbors are still nice.

And my neighbors especially? These are the people that in normal times we gather with and have cookouts with or just hang out. These are the people that taught me the lovely traditions of leaving each neighbor a small Christmas gift. These are the neighbors who will come running with jumper cables if your battery is dead. These are the people who gathered together to help when another neighbor had a house fire. These are the neighbors that will help you move tree debris in a storm. And all during COVID19 we have socially distanced outside but check on each other and say hello. These are the people you dream of having as neighbors. Good, solid, decent, caring, nice people.

So it’s really sad that these other people can’t see what nice people are about. Now we know. A Valentine would have been nicer. But there are some who don’t understand the golden rule of do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Try to be kind to one and other.