back to the historic village of yellow springs

Today I went back to Historic Yellow Springs. First up was the herb sale in the big field held by the Philadelphia Unit of the Herb Society of America.

The herb sale had not been held since before COVID19 invaded our lives. The sale was a rousing success and they basically had sold out but just a little after 11 AM! The tables were picked clean like locusts had descended upon the field!

After putting my plants in the car, I went onto the Yellow Springs Art Show. I had also not been there since before COVID19. The show was glorious, but some of the artists’ pricing were eyebrow raising.

One of the things I noticed the most was how alive the village was today. That doesn’t happen often enough. The Historic Yellow Springs Executive Director did not seem to be around and I was there for a few hours. I do not wish to be critical of the woman, but today was the kind of day that you get opportune moments. You never know where your next donation is going to come from and two seconds of conversation with visitors to the village means people come back to the village. I also know of people who have wanted to volunteer that somehow are never chosen to volunteer. And I’m not referring to myself because they don’t want a mouthy blogger volunteering there, and I know that.

For this amazing and living and breathing piece of history to remain viable into the future they have to be less insular. Their volunteers are amazing and helpful and nice, but the people that actually run the show (board and others) need to be more visible.

Becoming a member of Historic Yellow Springs is fun. I belong. You can join here.

While I was walking the village today I thought of an event that Meg Veno does at Life’s Patina. As part of Life’s Patina’s holiday events she does a German Market. It’s hugely popular as most German Markets during the holidays are. So I got to thinking since Life’s Patina/Meg Veno has breathed new life into the Jenny Lind House, and is nearing completion of an extensive and expensive restoration (and boy do I hope West Pikeland and Historic Yellow Springs are appreciative, don’t you?), why not pick you one of THE most creative brains in all of Chester County and take full advantage of the fabulousness coming to an amazing historic village?

What am I talking about? It’s simple: when I was walking the village today and I did it a couple of times first with plants and then going to the art show and buying some art it occurred to me that this life that was in the village today is so important for her survival. And I thought as I stood in front of the Jenny Lind house about how much I enjoy what Meg does every holiday season. And I thought that Yellow Springs should really pick her brain about doing a German Christmas village THERE.

Historic Yellow Springs is extra lovely on the outside during the holidays, so why not capitalize on new blood and fresh energy? Today in my mind’s eye I could see a German Christmas village up and down Yellow Springs Village. Christmas carolers and musicians strolling back-and-forth, a cart selling warm chestnuts and brown paper sacks, a vendor selling gingerbread fresh from the oven, and more. Couldn’t you just see someone with a beautiful little booth outside selling hand-painted German Christmas ornaments and nutcrackers ? It would literally be SO perfect!

I mean I don’t know why their Special Events Director, Executive Director, and board haven’t thought of any of these things. I know they don’t want the village to look like Disneyland, but I’m talking about things that are old-fashioned, historically appropriate,wholesome,pretty, and fun.

Other ideas? Bring back an updated version of the fall antiques show. There are enough dealers and high-end crafts people in Chester County that do such fine work including right in the studios of Yellow Springs that you could do this no problem. Why not make it a version of not what it was, but more of a blend of high-end crafts and art as well as antiques and collectibles?

Other things would be more children’s events like hayrides through the fall and pumpkin carving. Maybe a Halloween parade with old-fashioned Halloween games for kids?

There are more than enough garden clubs in Chester County so why not ask them to do their plant sales all on one weekend in the spring or early summer in the village? Or invite garden groups to do plant swaps in the village?

The possibilities are endless for this beautiful piece of Chester County history. But they need to extend themselves so people know they’re there a little more.

And all of these events should have membership tables with people asking are you a member of Historic Yellow Springs? Would you like to be a member of Historic Yellow Springs?

Today I was also treated to the clop clop of horses hooves as riders rode through the village. There is just something so nice about that sound.

Just my thoughts. If you can catch the art show before it closes at the end of this weekend, I highly recommend it.

Thanks for stopping by.

new year, new quiche

So we had a ham for Christmas. I decided to use some of the leftovers on a quiche.

I was tired after all of the cooking and baking I have done this holiday season, so I used a refrigerated Pillsbury Pie Crust – the kind that come rolled two to a package so I could use my own pie plate.

Preheat oven to 425°.

Here are your ingredients:

1 pie crust

1 cup chopped ham

1 cup shredded (or grated) Swiss cheese

1/3 cup shredded (or grated) extra sharp Cheddar cheese

1 grated (yes grated) small onion (I prefer a red onion)

5-6 eggs beaten

1 1/2 cups half and half

5 tablespoons whole milk Ricotta (drained)

Salt and pepper (not a lot truthfully – maybe 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

A couple of dashes of hot sauce (a light hand, not heavy)

Chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill.

Sauté ham and onion in a tablespoon of butter do not let stick to pan keep stirring. Onion should become translucent and then remove from heat.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs with half and half and Ricotta. Add dill, hot sauce, salt & pepper.

Line pie plate (I use a deeper dish pie plate) with crust. Rub bottom of crust lined in pan with just a smidge of very soft butter.

Place ham in crust as first layer. Second layer is shredded (grated) Swiss and cheddar. Slowly pour in egg mixture.

Cover crust with a pie shield or foil to keep edges of crust from burning. I use a silicone one – it’s adjustable.

Place quiche on a cookie sheet and put in oven and bake for 15 minutes at 425° F.

Then lower heat to 325° F and bake an additional 30 to 40 minutes depending upon your oven. You will have to occasionally check it once it hits the 30 minute mark and keep checking it to see when a knife edge comes out clean.

Quiche should sit a good 20 minutes before slicing.

New year, new quiche and the secret to how fluffy it will seem is the ricotta.

Enjoy!

magnolia cottage shop in malvern is looking magical and holiday bright!

Last year none of us were out much because of COVID19. This year we are taking baby steps. It is sometimes disconcerting being out because face it, we are not used to it. I think that’s why I appreciate the small businesses in our area even more.

One of my favorites, Magnolia Cottage Shop is all decked out for Christmas and Kathy the owner has gone out of her way to make it so wonderful and welcoming. The shop is full of so many fun things right now, I could have stayed far longer than I did!

I found a few things I loved including this little vintage Annalee white elf. I don’t know much about these Christmas collectibles, I have a couple of friends that love them so I have gotten a few here and there over the years and I think this one is a Frosty! He looks really cute on my tree!

Magnolia Cottage Shop has something for everyone and one of my other favorite things were the vintage Pimpernel Santa placemats:

Magnolia Cottage Shop is located at 288 Lancaster Avenue Frazer/Malvern PA 19355. They are closed Mondays. See website and Facebook and Instagram for more!

december 1st musings

Well dear readers, it is December 1st. 2021 is in the home stretch.

And what a year it has been. More crazy politics and the COVID-19 of it all still lurks, now with a new variant just in time for Christmas: “Omnicron”. (Who names these things? The hurricane namers?)

In some regards it has been a good year, in some regards rather difficult.

For me it has been a year of personal loss. A friend I had since 7th grade left this earth literally right after we did the memorial service for another friend I had since the 10th grade and lost during 2020. They were tough losses for me. Then almost too close together two friends from adulthood, and I wouldn’t have ever met one, had I not known the other. Then a favorite cousin, and two of the ladies who were part and parcel of happy memories of childhood and Society Hill…and whom I had seen throughout adulthood. The older we get, every now and again the fabric of our lives snags and pulls at our heart and memories.

I will admit parts of this year just got to me. Sometimes for different reasons. Yet here we are, entering into the Christmas season, one of my favorite times of the year. It makes up for me missing all the months of mad gardening, which still make me look out of the window to wonder what everything will look like when it comes up next year.

2021 was a year I definitely marveled at people…like the woman who posted the photo of me on Facebook in a hospital gown during October (AKA “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”). The photo was from either right before my 2011 surgery or just after but before I started treatment. More recently, is this rather obsessive and wound guy who is running around social media calling me a “shill for CVS” because I had posted information I had learned because I had the initiative to go to CVS corporate and tell them how bad things were here and ask what they were going to do about it. Once again I have to say, I am not paid to do these things and am not a compensated blogger.

2021 was us getting back to trying to feel normal and see friends and family. But I have to ask, who else almost has a panicky feeling if they are somewhere where a lot of people are? Or even if it is not a lot of people it feels like a lot of people? Of course now we are getting into corporate Christmas party season. I do not miss those days and wouldn’t be going if I was still a teeny cog in a large corporate wheel.

2021 is a year where the hangover of 2020 politics haunted us all year long. I expect these politics will haunt us for a very long time. I miss some whom I consider friends, but who don’t seem to have time for me now that they consider me ” super liberal” which I am still truly not. But I can’t and won’t conform to Stepford Wife style politics or herd mentality and follow the sheeple. Simply not my jam, and those who truly know me have no problem with that no matter what their politics are. I wonder will we ever be able to have civil political conversations again some day?

2021 was feeling like I was under siege as a blogger at times. I have been blogging long before it was commonplace and I will never understand why I am so, shall we say, “fascinating” to some? I am not so unusual, I actually quite ordinary. Is having a point of view that doesn’t have to be crowdsourced first on Facebook so unusual?

2021 was a year I cherished my family and friends even more than ever. But there for the Grace of God, go I. When you look at what others are going through, you do quite literally count your blessings. Life is not a Hallmark Christmas movie with a hero at the end and a happy ending, but it’s not so bad, and I am blessed. A phrase I don’t use often like tossing bits of popcorn into the air. But this year marks my 10th year surviving breast cancer among other things.

For all of us, it has felt like an eternity since our world went upside down in March of 2020 due to COVID-19. And honestly, I don’t feel we are out of the woods yet. And please, save your conspiracy theories like the one I heard last weekend when someone said to me that the people spreading COVID-19 were all the people who got their shots. And that, friends is one of the more irritating as hell aspects of 2021: it has been the year of the anti-masker/anti-vaxxer. By all means, keep protesting in front of malls and such, just stay out of my way. And don’t tell me I am wrong if I wear a mask somewhere. I hate wearing masks, but sometimes you just have to.

Now I am going to turn my attention towards getting my decorations up for Christmas. I am excited to be able to share this holiday season with some of my family. Nothing huge, but it will be Christmas.

I am, however, amused by somewhat extended family whom I have not heard from since way before COVID -19 hit inquiring as to Christmas plans. I would be offended, but that would require more head space than it deserves. Yes, it’s Christmas but umm where have you been? Some people sadly have no sense of their own optics based on behavior. You can’t always ask, sometimes you have to give.

Today I marked December 1st by having a photo taken with Santa. Nope sorry, that is my photo for my Christmas memories, but he was a rather marvelous Santa as you can see in the photo.

Seeing a Santa today really made me believe in the magic of Christmas. Here’s hoping we all have a magical season sprinkled with happiness. (And if you use Spotify listen to their just released list of what we listened to in 2021 – I like my list so far!)

Ho ho ho and thanks for stopping by.

happy thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving readers! Preparations are underway in my house and the pie is not as perfect as I had hoped, but will taste good. This year‘s pie is pumpkin with maple sugar candied pecans and diced candied ginger.

My husband brined the bird (a beautiful fresh turkey from Loags in Elverson, PA). Now the lady of the day is resting in refrigerated splendor waiting to be stuffed and roasted. The stuffing has been prepared and is also being refrigerated in a mixing bowl. This year I am doing a sage and sausage stuffing with mushrooms and diced apricots.

This year I chunked and par boiled the sweet potatoes slightly . I will roast them in the oven when the turkey comes out to rest. I think they will be roasted savory and sweet with just a hint of spice. I will also be serving a green salad with a maple mustard vinaigrette and it will be topped with some candied walnuts and cranberries. And yes there is homemade cranberry sauce. This year I made cranberry sauce with tangerines.

I don’t actually consult lots of cookbooks for Thanksgiving. It’s kind of based on things I’ve seen, other things I’ve been reading about and flavor profiles that I just think will go together. If you can read my chicken scratch and homemade shorthand you can see some of what I wrote down because I do write it down sort of…

I’m lucky this year I have lots of fresh herbs in the garden and although I’m only making one pie and one turkey as opposed to Martha Stewart posting on Instagram the ridiculous amount of turkeys and pies she was baking. I guess she’s feeding an entire town or something.

I think one of the things I love best about Thanksgiving or the smells that fill the house. It’s familiar, comfortable, holiday.

I also watched the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in decades. It was really good! I think I liked it better than the New York parade! It was more holiday happy!

Anyway Happy Thanksgiving all!

thanksgiving 2021

I don’t know that I have anything particularly profound to say this Thanksgiving. It has been quite a slog these past two years between hideous politics and COVID-19. This will be the year that a lot of us finally have a true holiday with family. Hopefully it will be a day to just pause and be together.

Some will travel, others will open their doors to friends and family. For some I know, it will be a perhaps bittersweet and poignant start to the holiday season – it has been a year of loss for so many.

I lost a few friends this year who passed away. Two were friends I made in adulthood, two were among the great ladies of my childhood, and one more recently was a neighbor for many years and a friend for so many more years preceding that.

How do we honor these wonderful people who were in our lives? I guess by trying to be the best people we can be. It made me think of this Dutch Hymm we used to sing this time of year when we were at St. Peter’s titled “We Gather Together”.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday filled with history and tradition. Hopefully we can all gather and have wonderful days wherever we are. Awesome that will mean watching endless football, and the first year I do that will be I don’t know when because I don’t really watch football. And I bet some of my armchair critics are saying “Aha that’s what’s wrong with her!” (Should I ‘fess up that I don’t like beer now too?)

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday for us and dates back to 1621, when the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is now acknowledged as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the “colonies.”

For the centuries that followed here in the US, “days of thanksgiving” were celebrated by individual colonies and then states. It wasn’t until 1863, during the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

This year a lot of Thanksgiving Day Parades will return. Our new normal thanks to COVID19 will be meeting our old normal, Thanksgiving Day Parades and activities.

But for some the holiday season is hard, and it kicks off tomorrow. I hope they get through it o.k.

Take tomorrow to enjoy your time with your people whomever they may be: your family, your friends, your neighbors. And take a moment to give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving.

santa says all good elves should stop at brandywine view antiques…

Yes… today I could wait no longer, I had to go to Brandywine View Antiques in Chadds Ford to see what Lisa has cooked up for holidays 2021!

It’s three floors of festive fun and Fa La La La.

I am writing this post because I am a happy customer and have been for years. I have not been asked to do this…I just want to pay forward the Christmas spirit and say #ShopSmall

Brandywine View Antiques is located at 1244 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA 19317. They are open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM.

reimagined wonderful

Today was a fun day that started out at an open house at the Reimagined Style studio. I had the best time.

When you walk into Tracy’s studio it’s a fabulous glimpse into her creative process as an artist. It’s also a wonderfully curated collection of antiques and vintage collectibles including some fabulous vintage and antique textiles. I came away with some fabulous vintage ornaments, and other ideas for gifts.

Reimagined Style will be around during the holidays and be sure to keep an eye out. If anything in my photos catches your eye, message them via Instagram or Facebook.

I am a happy customer. I have not been asked to write this post nor have I been compensated for this post.

#ShopSmall

santa says stop here!!!

I never stopped at this holiday market before today. I always meant to, but today it was pure impulse and OH. MY. CHRISTMAS. Why haven’t I done this the past few years???

The Burkholder Holiday Market is freaking AMAZING! It opened today and runs through December 23rd!! It’s apparently a whole holiday season of festiveness!! There will be not only this amazing holiday market but events through the season and you can also buy your Christmas tree from them! Seriously they are ALL about holiday family fun and their website has the entire schedule!

Now let’s talk about their Christmas shop. I loved it! So much to choose from that is beautiful and tasteful. And it smelled like Christmas in the shop. And the owners were so very nice.

My friend and I had so much fun! We found some really fun holiday decor and super cute ornaments and got some gifts for people. I think one reason why I liked it so much is because what I really love is a vintage Christmas feel, and a lot of what they had although modern, had that vintage emotion to the products they carry.

Burkholder Holiday Market – 359 Paoli Pike, Malvern, PA (Paoli Pike and Sugartown Road, enter on Paoli Pike.)

The Holiday Market runs November 12 – December 23
Tuesday – Thursday: 10am to 5pm

Friday and Saturday: 10am to 6pm

Sunday: 10am to 5pm

Closed on Mondays

add a little christmas magic to your world this weekend at life’s patina

Life’s Patina will welcome guests Friday November 12, Saturday November 13, and Sunday November 14! See website or Facebook page for details!

You know it was a great evening when you come home and you can still hear the music and people’s laughter and delight in your head! That was exactly the Life’s Patina experience for Holiday 2021 last evening! Last night was the preview cocktail party and shopping event for the Holiday Barn Sale which opens to the public on Friday, November 12, and runs through the weekend.

Some of my friends and I always attend the previews for Meg Veno’s sales at Life’s Patina. But a lot of time we choose the evening cocktail preview, and last night that’s what we did. And it was magical.

Yesterday was one of those days where I received a couple of broken Christmas teacups in the mail, so Christmas magic was exactly what I needed! When we walked into the barn, we were transported to a glittering, warm and elegant setting. Beautiful ornaments and inspiring tableaux or vignettes throughout the two floors and rooms in this magnificent barn.

I definitely was not fun for my friends to hang out with because I was literally distracted by wonderful things every time I turned my head! Among my favorites were the little felted Christmas mice. And the Mercury glass ornament wreath I bought. I also bought a felted garland – I just love those. They are simple and pretty and very old-fashioned Christmas to me.

Every year I think Life’s Patina can’t top the year before. And every year the magic just gets better!

I should also mention the food and cocktails were amazing, but for me it was just being there and soaking in the atmosphere. And the music was to die for. So perfect.

I encourage all of you not to miss Life’s Patina Holiday Barn Sale this year. It makes you believe in the magic of the season, and we all need a little holiday magic in our lives.

Life’s Patina Holiday Barn Sale opens tomorrow, Friday, November 12th. The hours are 10 AM to 5 PM. Wear appropriate shoes as you are parking in a field, and walking around in an actual old barn.

The Life’s Patina Holiday Barn Sale is also on Saturday, November 13th from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday, November 14th from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Life’s Patina is located on Willowbrook Farm, located at 1750 N. Valley Road, Malvern, PA 19355.

I would be remiss in not mentioning that this year is also Life’s Patina 10th anniversary celebration! And a portion of the sale proceeds will go to T&E Cares.

Thanks for stopping by and as always, I am not being compensated for this post in any way, shape, or form. I am merely a happy supporter and customer!