fa la la la la…and just breathe…

I have to preface this post with this is just stuff I think about around the holidays. It’s not based on recent experiences, although some things may be based on past experiences. I am starting to get annoyed by the lack of reading comprehension with some of my posts. Take the one I wrote about the post office not delivering consistently. People are interpreting that as I am faulting the postal delivery workers themselves, I’m not and responsibility goes to the top of the post office here, but people aren’t reading enough into the post to figure that out.

So that’s the disclaimer. Either read on or scroll by.

Back to our regularly scheduled program….Let’s talk the holidays for a minute. It’s a chance for people to wind down OUTSIDE of work mode and spend time with their friends and families, right?

Well not everyone can manage this, sadly…Post COVID19 and living La Vida COVID, I have noticed boundary issues all across the board. The workplace is one of the worst examples.

We live in a world where technology allows us to work not only from everywhere, but all times of the day. So when you are working late at night or on weekends, you have to be mindful that while you feel you are being personally productive, you may be disturbing someone else.

How do I deal with this? If I am writing emails and responding at odd hours I may set an email up to actually send at a more appropriate time. Or I put things in draft form and set up a reminder to send them out at a more appropriate time. And I had to learn how to silence notifications, except for a select few on my phone, because I might be trying to be mindful of the time when I message people or email them, but others they don’t have the same compunction.

I work for myself and something that bugs me are people that think I should be available 24/7/365 even on holidays. Life doesn’t work that way, so I politely give them boundaries. “I am sorry that I couldn’t connect at that time dear client, I walk away from my email at X o’clock so I am present for my family.”

But then there are the people with whom you work with directly, or indirectly who never pick up on cues. Ever. You try to explain family time. Nope. You might have been sick. Nope. It doesn’t penetrate and it’s hard to deal with those with a lack of self awareness in this area. Those are the people whom I think you have to put on at least a temporary Amish shunning. Personally I am unapologetic about that after bosses from decades past who would literally call when I was home sick. I was never one who took recreational sick days, so if I was out sick, I was actually sick.

Being productive does not mean working 24/7/365. Don’t be a work martyr. The more life balance you have actually makes you MORE productive. It also shows your respect of others with whom you interact with and possibly work with as well.

I remember (and not fondly) the year-end and holiday frenzy when I was full on in the 5 days a week office trenches as in full time. People suddenly waking up to show how valuable (and neurotic) they were in hopes of getting that giant bonus. News flash: bonuses are the sum of the parts of the entire year. Be consistent all year round. Duh, it’s pretty simple.

And let’s talk bonuses. I remember being a sales assistant at Prudential Securities in the 80s. Brokers were getting big firm bonuses this one year at the holidays, yet the firm as in corporate, gave support staff a choice of a box of chocolates or a 5 pound canned Polish ham. Sales assistants and other support staff worked their asses off, so if you didn’t have a broker who paid you an actual bonus out of theirs, well that was not so fun. Back then I worked for a cheapskate who also wanted his assistants to cold call out of the social register.

I also remember what I called the “spawn tax.” Every year although who took what day off was supposed to be fair and equitable, it wasn’t. And if you were unmarried or without children you always got last pick of days off during the holidays. Try explaining that year after year to friends and family who wanted to do things with you. When I was single, I called it the “spawn tax” because if you didn’t have kids, there were plenty of co-workers who felt that you should just suck it up and let them take time off. Of course those were some of the same people shopping on QVC’s website during the work day.

This time of year, consideration matters. And in today’s world, boundaries should matter too. Unless of course one is pro-slavery.

Don’t be a Grinch and don’t be a Scrooge…and don’t be a suck up. Mutual respect also matters.

Happy Holidays from my desk to yours. I wish I could say I miss full on, full time Corporate America, but I do not.

And remember to tip and/or gift your service providers – USPS, refuse service folks, office cleaners. Even if you can’t afford money tips, a nice bag of Christmas cookies or something holiday festive is always appreciated. I tend NOT to give alcohol gifts because you don’t know who may have an issue.

And be thankful for what you have.

Carry on and Happy Holidays!

do we want to preserve chester county… or not?

So this is Chester county. Do we want to preserve her or not? Because we’re running out of time if we do wish to preserve her. If we do wish to preserve her history, her great open spaces (what’s left of them), her farms (what’s left of them) , her architecture (what hasn’t been replaced by endless fields of McBoxes.)

This isn’t a Republican or Democrat thing, this is the people coming together and working to save Chester County kind of thing.

People drive me crazy when they say “Oh but if you only elect this Republican or this Democrat that change will happen.” No it won’t. When did all of you get so dumb about community activism?

All of these politicians bring YOU to them. That’s not the way you do it. The way you do it is every time you have an election, the politicians take on your issues as their issues. Because if you just continue out there to take their issues on as your issues, you will always end up the loser.

No, often it is not nice. It’s hard. It’s a slog. You have all sorts of people screaming and yelling at you and calling you names. You know, kind of like my average day being a blogger. But you have to work if you really want to save something. You can’t just say oh let’s put up a Facebook page and save something. You actually have to do the work behind it. Look at Crebilly. Those folks did not give up. And they did it.

There have been countless groups who have put up private groups and Facebook pages proclaiming their issue. But the thing is they never really get off the social media pages, do they? They don’t go to meetings. They don’t take meetings with elected officials of all levels. It’s like they expect the world to come to them. I have to bite my tongue and not say how’s that working out for all of you?

If they do have loosely held “groups“, often these days you find different members of sad aforementioned “groups” are going in different directions with slightly different objectives that are often counterproductive. It doesn’t work because you all need to come together.

It doesn’t matter what political party you belong to when you’re working for a common goal and a greater good, you leave that bickering at the door. You need to forget the whole thing about oh if we just do this one little thing for this politician then they’ll help us. No they won’t. The goal of them and their campaigns is to make all of you come around to see their perspective. As we learned years ago fighting eminent domain mean in Ardmore, you have to flip that perspective.

And if the politicians make hollow promises, then you vote them out and you start all over again. And you keep repeating the process till you have government that you can work with, that works for the people.

And I have to say after doing the whole thing in Ardmore, also gave me some of the most amazing friends as an adult. I remember the first event I attended that the Save Ardmore Coalition did years ago. I entered a room a stranger and left with new friends, Friends I still have almost 20 years later. I did not start at the very, very beginning. I heard what they had to say, and I knew I wanted to be part of it. Oh and one election cycle we flipped half of the Board of Commissioners in Lower Merion Township to politicians of BOTH political parties who made our issue theirs. And they kept their word and ended eminent domain for good a few months later. As opposed to that eminent domain circus in East Goshen recently , it didn’t take a year to unwind. That my friends was BS, just like the self-aggrandizing Libertarian “award” , “honor” or whatever was bestowed upon supervisors or one supervisor in general, like the day before their spouse became the head of the Chester County Libertarian Party. That was no better than a publicity stunt. And it made me very sad.

So now that the elections are over, it’s time for communities across Chester County to come together to save what’s left of their character. Yesterday because we were going to visit friends further out in the county from us, we had this gorgeous drive back and forth. It made me think. It made me appreciate all over again the beauty of where we call home.

This also means that we have to start getting busy with our state elected officials, the lame ducks and the ones poised to take office in January. They need to start helping us preserve where we call home. And that means changing certain laws so that is possible.

One big thing requiring change is the Municipalities Planning Code. It hasn’t been comprehensively updated seriously since like 1969. And the last time it was comprehensively updated, do you know what one of the developments was that happened as a result of changes? Chesterbrook. We need fewer developments and that means we have to lobby for these people to get off the rear ends and enact an act of the state constitution. We need to redefine suburb and exurb. We need more meaningful historic preservation and land preservation with built-in components to make it more attractive so that more people are interested in doing it.

This isn’t my job to do this. I am a curtain raiser, and I am once again drawing attention to this very important issue. We live in a beautiful place that is not that far off of being completely ruined forever. And those of us who come from the Main Line can tell you all about that because once upon a time the Main Line was truly beautiful and somewhat magical with amazing homes and properties. Now it’s just a suburb with too many people with misplaced senses of entitlement.

And that suburban sprawl continues to move west, or should I say march west because it’s not flowing, it’s attacking. Every time you turn around there’s another development planned. Or land getting gobbled up now by things like data centers and worse which we don’t know enough about here in this area, but in other areas of the country they’re fighting tooth and nail to get these things out of their communities.

We also don’t have to scream to be heard. When we scream we’re no better than those people that annoy the crap out of us at every school board meeting because they are undoubtedly uncomfortable with their own sexuality, so everything they perceive as different, is bad.

Anyway, it’s not just t-shirts and post cards and endless lawn signs that are going to bring us change. It’s involvement in our communities. And it’s consistent involvement, not involvement when the horses are out of the proverbial barn and nothing can be done.

Since the onset of Covid we have the ability in a lot of places for hybrid meetings. They are both virtual and in person. And most meetings are recorded now, and if you are in a municipality that does not record their meetings, start there. You have a right to have your meetings recorded, and/or you have the right to record the meetings in their entirety and broadcast them on YouTube or Facebook live or whatever.

I think the beauty and character and history of this county are worth preserving. That’s all I have to say. But people have to be willing to get involved and stay involved.

I am a realist. Not every old house can be saved, not every old farm can be saved. But I think as an extended group of communities, we can ask better of our elected officials all the way to Washington DC when it comes to this. But we all have to put the political BS aside and try.

Thanks for stopping by.

the site might be more cleaned up, but the ruin of ebenezer on bacton hill road doesn’t have much time.

November, 2016

I have not written about the ruin of Ebeneezer AME Church on Bacton Hill Road in East Whiteland for a couple of years now. It’s not my party any longer, and truthfully there are members of East Whiteland’s Historical Commission whom I am sure would prefer I not have an interest in this site. I guess it doesn’t matter that I did a lot of work for this site, some of my friends did a lot of work for this site, and years ago when no one was paying attention I did the placement for the media coverage which was local and regional.

But I do have an interest in this site. It spoke to me years ago, and today I listened again. In 2016 a structural engineer reviewed this historic site and warned about not addressing the bowing of the longer north and south facing walls. There were also warnings of the use of heavy equipment on and close to site. Well today I got a couple of photos from the road because of what I saw a couple of weeks ago that disturbed me.

The walls are coming down. No, no one is taking them down, the years and years of neglect leave no other option for old walls.

November 13, 2022

I think this is tragic and really upsetting. But it’s not within my power to change it. It is still within the power of the AME Church, unless they have suddenly transferred the property to another entity. I also think East Whiteland Township could try to do a little more.

I asked someone for an update on the site in June and never heard a peep. OK fine, they aren’t interested in conversing with me, but now I am saying I told you so. If they want to preserve any part of the ruling of that church, they need to move a little more quickly. They also need to preserve the graves that are in the graveyard.

Ebenezer represents a heck of a lot of history and there are freed slaves, black Civil War Soldiers, and ancestors of people who still live in the area today. This site deserves respect. Respect just isn’t a historical marker, respect is a better degree of historic preservation. You can read about my coverage of Ebenezer by doing a search on this site or CLICK HERE.

#ThisPlaceMatters

nigella notes.

On Thursday evening, we made a rare venture into Philadelphia to see Nigella Lawson at the Kimmel Center. We don’t often go into Philadelphia these days, as it is somewhat of hot mess. And yes we saw that last night, and the sidewalk was actually torn up right in front of the Kimmel Center.

An Evening with Nigella Lawson was originally scheduled for November 10th at the Miller Theater, and was moved to the Perelman Theater inside the Kimmel. The Miller (formerly the Merriam) is under renovation. I am actually glad they moved it to the Kimmel, and the space is gorgeous and so clean! And my friend and food blogger Marilyn was two rows behind us!! Marilyn is the genius behind Philly Grub.

It was an amazing experience and some very amusing people watching. In front of us to the left was a woman who literally massaged the top of her companion or husband’s head the entire time. In front of my friend to the left of her there was a person who took off their socks and shoes and put their bare feet up on the seat in front of them!

Overall, it was not a bad audience at all, and we had super nice people immediately around us.

Nigella Lawson is warm and personable. Friendly, funny, self deprecating in the most amusing and human way. I have seen other personalities whom I admire “live”, and seriously I walked away thinking how truly nice I think she is. Of course part of it is I am sure is the fact I am an Anglophile.

I took notes while Nigella was speaking. I wish it had been recorded! She is as lovely in person as we see on our television screens. And I don’t mean just beautiful, because she is drop dead gorgeous. I also mean lovely as in the nice person you meet whom you want to have over to your house for dinner.

To follow are the notes I took as she was speaking. You will note her program wasn’t a cooking demonstration, it was also the woman outside the kitchen. And she is not a classically trained chef, like Ina Garten whom I also admire and follow, she’s one of us just elevated. She’s a home cook.

Michael Klein from The Philadelphia Inquirer was the moderator. He was excellent. He and Nigella had terrific chemistry and rapport. Michael’s manner also helped make this a memorable event. Not that any of us should be surprised if you have followed his columns for years.

So here are my Nigella Notes:

When she was 9 she wrote a play on the meaning of existence. Terrapins were the characters.

At 10 she penned a self-described “very bad” murder mystery.

Originally Nigella thought she would be a novelist.

She spoke about finding her voice in writing. Nigella’s voice evolved from writing about food. I guess that goes along with something that one of my friends and writing mentors who is a retired journalist has always has said to me which is “write what you know.“

Writing – find your own voice. Nigella touched on that again. She also noted her experience when writing about food that people are more connected, almost nicer. As a blogger I can appreciate that, because when I post a recipe everybody loves it and no one complains. But if I write about a politician or politics/political issues, the keyboard warriors salute (and charge.)

Funny little Nigella notes include how she feels about fruit bowls- she doesn’t mix her fruit. Every kind of fruit has their own bowl.

Regarding her first book How to Eat– wasn’t sure at first if she would have recipes. She wasn’t sure she knew how to write about food.

“Life is full of unexpected turns.”

Nigella remarked how inspiration comes to us in odd ways, as we “lurch” through life.

She found it fortunate in her work as a journalist to live through her words.

Nigella started with TV at 38 or 40. She had two small kids, a husband who had cancer. His name was John Diamond, and he was also a journalist. He was 47 when he died. On a rather personal note, this resonated with me because my sister became a widow at 43, when my brother in law, then 49, died of a swift moving cancer. So I respect what Nigella went through and was dealing with back then.

Nigella spoke about what her terms were back then in order to do TV. If she could do TV, she wanted to do it from home but unscripted. Wanted to speak naturally. And with two small children and an ill spouse, it was an early work from home arrangement, and good for her for getting that.

I always have loved Nigella programs because she is relaxed and has fun in her kitchen. Her own dishes and pans, and not everything is perfect, much like our own kitchens. And one of my favorite parts of her shows is when she would go into her kitchen late at night for a snack. It’s so human and real.

Oh did I mention her pink boots?? Seriously an important note, they were truly fabulous!

When asked about writing her books, she prefers to do her books as they evolve, not as a “churning out machine.”

This: a cookbook from the ingredients she loved that was an essay, reflecting on ideas, then recipes to follow.

Home cooking because of COVID seems to have inspired this book in part.

This book, Cook Eat, Repeat are essays with recipes, like a companion piece to How to Eat. For that reason, on my own book shelves, these books are together.

On making or creating a book with food- the feeling of creating something.

The practical can make you feel you achieved something- the dizzying feel of achieving from the blank page.

Cooking for one in book because of COVID but she’s done it before. But cooking for one is important- you can concentrate on process of cooking and learn.

Lockdown caused her to spend more time on Twitter. Also notes recipes for one are important. I agree. I have always cooked for myself, even when it was just me.

Nigella hates the term “guilty pleasures.” It “blinks to snobbery” as in liking the “right” things and being afraid to say that you like something.

Essentially she remarked the hell with you shouldn’t be eating something, just try it. Life is too short. Don’t be counterproductive. Guilty pleasures with food doesn’t really work. Feel grateful not guilty.

When asked about things that she can’t live without or would prefer not to live without, there was bread and butter. “Life would be poorer.” She says she definitely needs lemons and salt in life. She remarked about a chips sandwich and referred to it as an English delicacy. As near as I can grasp it, this would be a sandwich of french fries or chips in between two slices of bread with butter.

She loves English mustard. Coleman’s, specifically. I always have Coleman’s dry mustard in my spice rack, and when I can get the actual jarred mustard I do. It has a bite. I use Colemans mustard in deviled eggs along with curry powder.

Now she and Michael Klein chatted about “brown food.” She said she wants to write about not just bright food and color. Not everything has to be high octane in your face. Or Instagram worthy. There is a need in life for the quiet bits. Food might not always blow your mind, sometimes it has a quiet kind of dignity, comfort. Lasts longer. “ A stew doesn’t shout for you to come to the table, it whispers.” (I loved that description.)

Quiet food, comfort food, has equally rich rewards.

It’s not all about the “shouty look at me.” Not everyone needs to be the same. (Amen. I wasn’t destined to live in a beige, beige world for one.)

We evolve our ideas, but your cooking evolves the way your life currently is. “I bumble away” referring to being a home cook. The more you cook the more you know.

“If you can’t deal with a cracked cake in life, life is going to be more difficult.”

What do you want to eat ? People have different palettes.

Recipes express the nature of cooking. Recipes express the nature of the chef.

Then she and Michael took a few questions from the audience. We were all asked to write a question down and basically put it in a little wicker basket when we were checking into the event.

The event actually went over the time allotted, and I could have listened to her for a couple of hours more. It was delightful. It was such a nice change from the obnoxious world we’ve been living in recently.

This was a really cool experience, and well I didn’t particularly enjoy the City of Philadelphia because it’s just so dirty and the streets and the sidewalks are such a hot mess these days, but the Kimmel Center was really nice.

Thanks for stopping by.

this is WHY you need to VOTE tuesday.

Today is ugly season in Downingtown at Kerr Park. Their objective? To be louder, uglier, and nastier than everyone else.

This makes them (in their minds) better Americans than you and I.

They aren’t. It’s not actually a contest.

But all of this ugliness is exactly WHY people have to get out and vote Tuesday. They are exactly the reason we have to vote to preserve our rights. And those rights are whichever ones apply to us as human beings and Americans. If you think about it, to an extent, this election season is about protecting the basic human rights Americans enjoy, isn’t it? Our rights aren’t subjective.

Oh and where would we be without a Ron Paul t-shirt sighting as well?

The ugliness and abusive behavior and implied violence is supposed to make you afraid to stand up. It’s still the basic premise of bullies only win if you allow them. Trust me, I know. Threats and implied threats and harassment have become every day behavior for bloggers and other independent voices that aren’t interested in political cultism.

Those photos above demonstrate clearly that the Chester County GOP panders to extremism and extremists. If you are a Republican and you care about the party of Lincoln, I hope Tuesday you vote to keep their current slate of insanity and inadequacy out of office. I hope you vote to save what’s left of your party by voting against them.

Republicans and Democrats need to try to set a path forward to return to moderation, balance, and a viable working two party system. Because we need a viable two-party working system to maintain a democracy. That means saying NO to the ENTIRE GOP slate this time.

We are already “free people.” Our founding fathers fought, died, and bled for it. that means that these people also get to demonstrate their ugliness, sadly. But it doesn’t mean they have to win. But it means that Kumbaya time is over and you need to get out and vote on Tuesday.

I am just one voice. This is not my sole responsibility, and more of you need to find your individual voices. How we move forward as a county, state, region, and a country is a “We the People” kind of thing. I am not interested in people telling me how I should think and how I should write and what I should write about. I am writing about this because it matters to me personally. When I was born, women had limited rights. Women weren’t even really supposed to have their own bank accounts and credit card accounts and store charge accounts. And along with everything else, we vote Tuesday as women to preserve our rights. Don’t tell me you care, show me you care by actually voting.

Now please let me enjoy the rest of my Sunday.

hey lower merion residents, is this your billboard future?

Hey Lower Merion Township/Penn Valley/Gladwyne is this your future?

The secret is out. Once again the billboard baron is on the march. A reminder of what they did in East Whiteland Township, Chester County:

Oh and these are the trees they weren’t allowed to take in East Whiteland because residents went to PennDOT:

What has recently been heard regarding East Whiteland is that Catalyst withdrew their application from Penndot not so long ago and something like the billboard site is being sold to yet another billboard company?

And here are more views of current uses of the West Conshohocken sign not really so far away from where they want them in Lower Merion:

Yeah so read what came out from one Lower Merion Township Commissioner, Josh Grimes. And people say the commissioner in Bryn Mawr, Scott Zelov is all for moving the billboards so it now becomes the problem of another area of the township? Pretty obnoxious if true, right? Especially given all of the support other commissioners have gladly provided to him all these years over billboards in Bryn Mawr? Really hope this isn’t true don’t you? I also wonder who he’s using for a lawyer this time? Because unless I am mistaken I believe the lawyer he used and East Whiteland is actually Radnor Commissioner Jack Larkin and I wonder how he would feel if the shoe was on the other foot and they wanted to put billboards in Radnor?

And what’s with the carrot and rabbit psychology by billboard company? Kind of like what they did in East Whiteland, right? Perhaps it’s being done this way in Lower Merion because the objective all along was to get the giant TV billboards on the Schuylkill Expressway? Maybe the billboards should go up at “Maple Hill”? That’s in Gladwyne, right?

Please visit Daily Mail to read article

So my opinion which I’m entitled to have as I hope lower Merion fights these billboards because just because the man can buy a house in Lower Merion it doesn’t mean Lower Merion should have to be the location for his billboards unless they’re going on his own front lawn, Anyway, here is what Lower Merion residents are now facing:

a loss to mourn: taken too soon, julie powell

Writer and blogger Julie Powell has died. At 49, from a heart attack. I am actually truly sad about this. She was unique and I loved her writing style.

You also have to understand, Julie Powell and I never met in person. We were Facebook/Twitter peeps, and we did (do) actually have real people we share in common. So we were connected in that way.

I was a huge fan of her book, Julie & Julia which became a movie of the same name that I have also watched so many times.

I also was a reader of her blog. I could identify with the dead end jobs in NYC, as I had a couple of those there. I could also identify with trying to discover who I was and wish people wouldn’t look at me strangely or whatever when I say I am a blogger. Ironically, we started blogging at the same time. It was new, and people weren’t doing it. Our subject matter was different, I am not saying I am as good a blogger, writer, or anything like that, I just remember the early days of blogging…and Twitter.

Her blog was real, and sometimes raw, much like her social media musings. The blogging AFTER her original blog became a book ran from 2005 – 2010. (/http://juliepowell.blogspot.com/). I read that too. As an early person on the blogoshpere, I followed and read a lot of people. This was something not everyone was doing back then, and it certainly wasn’t the purview of mommy bloggers and more, like the people with the seemingly perfect lives and headshots and photoshoot photos taken solely for social media.

Because of Julie, I figured I would try Julia Child recipes. I figured why not? You see, although a lot of Julia Child’s recipes aren’t that complicated, her recipes can be intimidating. But through Julie Powell, I learned Julia Child. Shall we say, this is the woman who humanized Julia Child?

Julie Powell was found more on Twitter than Facebook. She didn’t really seem to be especially enamored of the Metaverse, and often said so. All these years later, I still enjoyed her musings even in first 140 characters or less, and then 280 characters or less. She could be insightful, outrageous, funny, sad, self-deprecating, and always her own fearless voice.

And Julie liked to cook. I think that is cool. So many people have these giant, glorious kitchens and most are just for show. They don’t even get their ovens dirty. When she was blogging from her apartment with it’s teeny tiny shrinky dink 4 burner stove a lot of that time, so was I. I had the same stove, only mine was white. I even had similar steel wire shelves for storage. And the same apartment sized refrigerator. Honestly, I produced some amazing meals in my shrinky dink kitchen, and she was luckier than I, because she had a gas stove.

Through her online musings we learned of her own human frailties, and I so admired her courage to be honest. I especially respected her ability to say she was feeling anxiety and depression. As a woman, that’s hard. Society may say they wish every woman everywhere to be utterly themselves, an original, but really they don’t want to see it. The reality of a woman being herself often makes others too uncomfortable.

I can speak from personal experience there.

My readers and even my friends might think they know all about me, but they don’t. I have learned the hard way that women still can’t be too honest about how they are feeling, especially on social media. We are supposed to have these picture postcard lives and perfect families, and more. You post a no makeup photo or express you are sick of certain things and it’s voila! Instant social media and more irritation. I often wondered if Julie would get the “I can’t believe you posted/wrote that.” messages and phone calls. Sometimes people post just to vent, ya know? It’s not all about you out there, it’s about them in that moment, not necessarily requiring attention or a comment.

Her second book after Julie and Julia was Cleaving. I think that was a book harder for people to read because it was a deeper journey into her world and marriage.

She recently had COVID. She wrote about it on Twitter. And today I noticed how god damned cruel and awful people are being. There should be a special place in hell for their literal inhumanity.

I am really sick of how people think they can be on social media. Cheering that someone is dead? And then of course, they call themselves “Christians.” She was a human being.

When you write whether as a blogger, a regular writer, reporter, or just a person, people are only O.K. with what you write if it matches THEIR comfort level. That is another reason WHY I admired Julie Powell. She spoke her truth, even if it did not make you 100% comfortable. She had a particular grace and honesty. Even if I was only part of her virtual world for a few years, I am glad I was there.

Fly with the angels, Julie Powel. Requiescat in pace. Read her obituary in the New York Times HERE.

Here are some other things to read. By her and about her.

How Julie Powell and her ‘Julie/Julia’ blog changed food writing
Washington Post

By Emily Heil November 2, 2022

Thank You, Julie Powell. I Owe You.
New York Times
by Frank Bruni Nov. 2, 2022

A Race To Master The Art Of French Cooking by Amanda Hesser/New York Times

Julie Powell, best-selling author of ‘Julie & Julia,’ dead at 49 NY POST

Omelets are hard to master and more lessons learned from “The Julia Child Challenge”
This week on the Julia Child-inspired competition, we tackle the “bean trick” for learning how to make omelets

By JULIE POWELL Salon 4/12/22

“The Julia Child Challenge” and the mystique of one of America’s most iconic chefs
Does this cooking competition
engage in some exploiting and some pussy-footing around? Absolutely
By JULIE POWELL Salon 3/22/22

I can hear Julia Child’s voice in my head again after six weeks of “The Julia Child Challenge”
It’s worth remembering that beneath the dumb corporate exploits, there’s a genuine bond. I still feel it

By JULIE POWELL Salon 4/19/22

Julia Child’s secret sauce and the little black dresses of French cuisine
On this week’s episode of “The Julia Child Challenge,” we tackle our namesake chef’s spy years. Well, kind of . . .
By JULIE POWELL
Salon 4/5/22

NPR: OBITUARIES
Food writer Julie Powell, author of ‘Julie & Julia,’ dies at 49

November 2, 202211:17 AM ET

an old pot cleaning hack that is still the best

I am making soup. And I had to start at one step of the soup which involved caramelizing onions, and the phone rang. It was someone I hadn’t spoken with in a while and I moved to the next room to take the call and forgot about what I was cooking on the stove.

I am sorry I forgot to take a picture of what it looked like when I returned to the kitchen and almost had a stroke. I removed the onions that were caramelized and not utterly destroyed and put them in a mixing bowl.

But then I was looking at the bottom of the pan and I’m thinking to myself I am never going get this clean. And it’s one of my favorite pots (by Great Jones– I am a fan of their cookware.)

So I’m standing there wondering what I’m going to do and I remembered what my mother’s mother, my maternal grandmother taught us to do. She used to make a paste out of baking soda let it sit for a minute, then add water and basically boil it on the stove. The burnt on bits literally float to the top of the water surface which is what you see in the first photo.

Next you allow the pan to cool down and it’s an easy cleanup with not a lot of scrubbing. Basically I used one of those safe scrub sponges with Dawn dish soap on it and cleaned the rest up.

I don’t know if anyone else does this or knows about it. But I’m glad I remembered it this morning because the second photo you will see as what the pan looks like now.

I will now go back and start this step of my recipe over.

Sometimes old hacks are the best, and I was reminded not to leave my pans unattended when I’m cooking!

Have a great day!

oh hello ethics inquiry and what does kyle scribner, international man of mystery think about this?

Now, I aim to be helpful, and I do not wish for ANYONE to not be able to read the screenshot (and so many don’t *get* all they have to do is *click* on the photo to see larger size), so allow me to give y’all the text:

From: danielle@danielle4pa.com
Date: November 1, 2022 at 5:28:15 PM EDT
To: RA-voterregstatcert@pa.govccelectionofficials@chesco.org
dryan@chesco.org
Cc: Marian Moskowitz <mmoskowitz@chesco.org>, Bill McGee <bill@pahdcc.com>, Liz Curtis Swain <[REDACTED]>,
Charlotte Valyo <chair@chescodems.org>, Carrie Gross <REDACTED>, Michelle Smith <[REDACTED]>, Alexandra Manning <[REDACTED]>,
Adam Bonin <adam@boninlaw.com>

Subject: Ethics InquiryGood Afternoon, Attached you will find a copy
of an ad that I received at my home address [REDACTED] on Saturday, October 22nd. If you follow the QR code on the ad, it leads to the
website of Kyle Scribner, who is the Republican candidate opposing
me in this election. I have searched the Department of State
website and I cannot find a report filed by the Uwchlan
Township Republican Committee or a committee on file in
that name one the DOS website. I also reviewed
Mr. Scribner’s finance report and cannot find an
In-Kind Donation disclosure on his finance report and
he has not filed any 24 hr. reports
that I can see. 

Today I stopped in to Chester County Voter Services and requested
to see Uwchlan Township Republican Committee’s report and no such committee exists. However, Area 25 Republican Committee, which
is also a name that this organization goes by was available to review.
It does appear that there are 3 expenditures that could align
with this mailing and the date that they mailer was received. 

The person submitting the report on behalf of the Area 25 Republican Committee, 605 Portland Drive, Downingtown, PA 19335 is Douglas Simpson. 

I do understand that mistakes may be made in the process of filing
campaign finance reports. However, transparency and accountability
to the voters in disclosure of contributions is the reason that our
campaign finance laws exists.

There are a few concerns here: 

The advertising disclosure is required in order to make it easy for a
voter to trace the source of material that they are being sent and
who paid for them. The disclosure on this mail piece does not align
with any registered committee at the state or local jurisdiction.
This could constitute mail fraud. 

If this committee is playing at a state level, it is required to report to
the Department of State and has failed to register or report their
expenditures to the state. 

If Area 25 Republican Committee is the true source of this mail, doing business as the Uwchlan Twp. Republican Committee, they are violating campaign finance laws. 

Friends or Kyle Scribner has also failed to disclose this
significant in-kind contribution on their campaign
finance report. 

Additionally, one of the people who was reported on
the Area 25 Republican Committee finance report to have
personally paid for this mailer against me is Michael Taylor.
Michael Taylor ran against me in 2020 and in
2021 Michael Taylor served as the solicitor for
the Chester County Republican Committee.

Mr. Taylor presided on behalf of Margie Miller over a dispute
regarding the Downingtown Area School District – Region 4 election,
where the Democratic incumbent school board member lost the
election by 4 votes, with 16 votes not being counted for various
reasons. I spent several days observing this process and
Michael Taylor’s close access and involvement in the process
of determining which votes would and would not be counted.
It concerns me that he may have this access in the process of
counting vote by mail ballots in my race or any other race this year.
He has gone on the record on social media saying that
they only needed to get vote by mail ballots thrown
out in that election to win. How can I be assured that he
will not be involved in the process of determining the
outcome of my race on election day? 

Transparency with voters is critical to an election process
that has integrity. 

I have been advised to report to Chester County Voter Services,
the PA Department of State and the Chester County District Attorney,
all who have jurisdiction over issues such as this.
Can you advise me on how to proceed? 

Danielle Friel Otten
~ Danielle friel Otten November 1, 2022 at 5:28:15 PM EDT

Sooooo….this is done on the behalf or at the behest of Kyle Scribner, International Man of Mystery? You know, I did not even know his actual name until like a week ago. You never hear him speak on his own.

Well I don’t have much more to say on the topic except for one wee thing. What do Uwchlan Republican Committee, AKA “Area 25” share with the Republican Committee of Chester County? Give up? The Chair of Uwchlan Republican Committee is the Vice Chair of the Republican Committee of Chester County. Isn’t that like SO cozy? I thought so. I like coincidinks, don’t you?

Oh and did I mention that the Republican Committee of Chester County blocks this blog on Facebook? Yup, they block, this blog’s Facebook page although this blog has never commented on their Facebook page. It’s very amusing, isn’t it?

Also amusing? The premise for the attack ad was how Danielle voted. But we all know if we use our brains, boys and girls, that how and why elected officials vote is not always a simplistic YES or NO. And if the elected official is someone like Danielle, if you ask nicely, she will tell you how and why she voted a particular way on a particular bill. FOLLOW THIS LINK TO CHECK THAT VERY THING OUT.

Anyway, Danielle Friel Otten is a friend. She was a friend before she ran for office. I am not in her district, but I believe in right and wrong. And I think unless Kyle Scribner has perpetual laryngitis he has some mansplaining to do, doesn’t he?

Whether or not anyone does a darn thing remains to be seen, but this is definitely interesting.

TTFN.

P.S. a helpful critic wrote in to remind me that I had written a post with Kyle Scribner in it before, so I had to post a correction. Actually, no, there is not need for mea culpas because I literally did not know who was running against Danielle as in the name of her opposition. But he is in a post about East Brandywine from October, 2020. Also truthfully? Once I heard who was running against Danielle I realized I had forgotten he existed in politician land. But since “Teresa” the helpful critic wrote in, I thought I would share the old post in case anyone wants to see those old East Brandywine meetings. But “Teresa” sadly said she couldn’t take me seriously because I said “mansplaining” and that it was a “gender thing.” I am horribly crushed, as everyone know I live for people named Teresa or Theresa to take me seriously….Go watch the Phillies people and quit writing to me LOL.

now a word about election deniers

When Trump won his presidential election I thought it sucked. Can’t stand him, never could. It had nothing to do with him being a politician. I thought he was a crook and a schemer and kind of nuts. Truthfully, him being President only confirmed my original feelings.

Did I love Hilary Clinton? Honestly, no. But him? Trump? He was the exact reason as a woman I knew as soon as he became the nominee, the Republican Party was no longer the party of Lincoln, but it was also no longer the party who cared about regular, everyday people period.

Are all Republicans bad? Nope. But good Republicans are hiding. They don’t want to be part of this nonsense. And it’s a shame they hide, because our country is a democracy based on a two party system. And our democracy is at risk.

Now back to election deniers.

When Trump won, I didn’t run around with my friends screaming the election was rigged. He won by being the snake oil salesman, fanatical cheating tent revival charlatan that he has always been. But the thing about Trump is there is always something lacking about the Wizard behind the curtain, so when he ran again, he lost.

When he lost, along came the election deniers to say it was wrong. Then came the January 6th assault on democracy and our nation’s capital. And there has been every day since then that has been an assault on democracy and what it is to actually BE an American, what it MEANS to be an American.

No one stole the 2020 election. Donald Trump lost the election all by himself. And obviously enough Republicans felt he was a corrupt Boss Tweed S.O.B. for that to happen.

I am tired of the barrage of misinformation from the sea of unqualified, nasty, potentially corrupt, apply your own pejorative term candidates the Republican Party is trying to shove down our throats. Allow me to point out a few: Oz, Mastriano, Napoleon “#whereisGuy” Ciarrocchi, Sarah Marvin, Gail Newman, Jessica Florio, Heidi VanderWaal, and the virtually mute Kyle Scribner. These people are not running for any of us. Truthfully I am not sure why any of them are running at all, and they are basically one step removed from digging up corpses out of the cemetery to run as Republican candidates. And all of these candidates cater to extremist groups and in some cases belong to them.

The Republican Party locally, regionally, statewide, and nationally have latched onto election deniers and election denying simply because that is all they have got. There is nothing based in reality, it’s all airbrushed for lock stepping sound bytes. And Trump still controls them, and he does nothing for the greater good, it’s all about doing things that benefit him, and that is the way it has always been. Trump is a corrupt malignant narcissist.

So if you out there want to believe the scams they are selling, that is on you. And I pity you all because if people like this prevail, we all lose. It’s that simple.

Truthfully I wish real Republicans would come out of the shadows. And send the deniers packing.

Also a friendly reminder that this is my opinion and until they repeal the first amendment I am allowed to have it. You don’t have to agree with me, and I have the right to choose not to engage including with threats and harassment.