the devil is in the details

You never know when you’re going to see that unexpected thing that you want to photograph. I found one of those things today when I photographed that segment of wall you see above.

I was in downtown West Chester for the moving sale for the store Dishfunctional on S. Franklin Street. They have been in this old warehouse for a number of years and they are moving soon to Lincoln Court in Frazer because West Chester borough approved Eli Kahn to build like two more apartment buildings.

Now I feel building apartments right there is just stupid because everyone knows it floods. And the other thing is every time you hear of some new ugly apartment building going up you wonder why nobody does adaptive reuse? Do you still see it in the city of Philadelphia in spots (my recent favorite example is The Gotham – look it up.)

So you have here this perfect section of old brick wall. What was it from? Where does it go because doesn’t it look like something is bricked up?

I have no idea what the latest behemoth apartment building will sprawl across but I don’t think that wall will survive somehow. So I decided to take its picture because I think it’s just so cool.

The new construction we see today is without depth, human scale, design, imagination, and sometimes you wonder about the quality of the whole project. They certainly don’t do brickwork like this anymore.

Thanks for stopping by. Off to watch A Discovery of Witches.

comments, or the theory of whisper down the lane.

Well as my readers know, the other day I wrote a post called hooey. I wasn’t exactly breaking new ground. I was talking in part about groups I find kind of nutty because they speak to me of cult mentality.

These groups popping up everywhere and sometimes you just simply get tired of hearing their rhetoric like it’s the only thing that matters, and theirs is the sole voice you should follow. That’s why I wrote the post. I was expressing how I felt as a writer and a human being with a brain.

You have all these people running around claiming to be “true” conservatives and “true” Christians. The problem is when you know actual true conservatives and true Christians you realize the differences immediately.

True conservatives have a belief system. And they are happy to discuss it with you. They don’t beat you over the head with it, they don’t tell you that your thought process is wrong, they tell you how their thought process is different. The true conservatives that I know may some days be a little right of Attila the Hun for me, but they don’t try to beat people with opposing points of view into a verbal pulp or physical pulp.

True conservatives don’t need bumper stickers on their cars and flags on their lawns. They discuss things like intelligent human beings. A couple of friends in particular come to mind, and I have always found them delightful because they also have terrific senses of humor. Some of my true conservatives do still believe in Trump. A couple will send me things to read once in a while but it’s not unpleasant, it’s not combative, it just is. I do have a couple who no longer speak to me. We didn’t argue or fight, we just believe different things and it doesn’t mean I dislike them, or them me. Again, it just is.

Even when I was a registered Republican I have had friends who were true conservatives. they didn’t label themselves as tea partiers or anything which has evolved since, they merely had and have their point of view. And while I never completely agree, although sometimes on some points sometimes I agree to an extent, I have never left any conversation feeling like I wanted to barf. Or like they tried to make me feel less than. They knew what being a patriot actually is. And even more importantly, we leave the conversations as friends who had a discussion. Not a blood battle. That is an important nuance that these newfangled ones don’t seem to grasp, sadly.

What I find interesting is you never hear from these true conservatives anymore. A lot of them quite honestly quietly joined the ranks of the Never Trumpers. Oh and they didn’t think January 6, 2021 was OK either. And they understand that someone asking them to get a COVID shot is not depriving them of their personal freedom. They are just being asked to do their part as an American to end the global pandemic on our shores.

Now let’s also go to Christians. True Christians also have a solid belief system. They are happy to talk to you about it. They are calm and firm and happy in their belief in God. But they aren’t mean or horrible to anyone. They don’t say they are God-fearing and then bully someone online.

True Christians are exemplary and the ones I know, are extraordinarily good people. They go out of their way to help others. And they have a quiet dignity about their faith. They walk in God’s shoes so to speak.

So when I wrote this post it took a little bit but the comments are starting to roll in. Truthfully I don’t know why what I say as one person matters so much to all of these people. Like them I have my opinions on things, but unlike them I am not allowed to have opinions according to them.

I had comments come in on this blog. I had comments come in via private message on my blog’s Facebook page after I wrote hooey. Among other things they have labeled me a communist or call me a commie. That’s so Joseph McCarthy/J. Edgar Hoover of them. Do they even understand the definition of the words they are using? Do they even know who McCarthy and Hoover were? And they wonder why I think they are bobble headed Stepford Wives or escaped from the 1950s?

I ask that question simply because I have friends who are now American citizens and have been for decades, who escaped communist countries or countries under communist rule when they were children. They can tell you what communism is actually about because they lived it.

Someone having a different thought process on things from them or their comfort level is not a communist. They are just different from them and their comfort level, which to me seems rather limited. And narrow-minded…something else I was called just yesterday in a comment on hooey.

And I haven’t been called a Nazi yet, but I have seen others who don’t share their particular thought processes called Nazis. and that usually has to do with having to get a Covid19 shot or carry a Covid19 shot card and show it in certain circumstances.

Here you have to ask them if they know their history? And if you’ve ever known anyone who either escaped Nazi oppression during World War II Germany, or had family members who did or were murdered by Nazis they wouldn’t throw that word around so lightly and incorrectly either.

I have known people who were both Jewish and non-Jewish who escaped Nazi oppression. Or watched their family members rounded up and made to disappear. I will start with Norwegians. You don’t hear a lot about what happened in Norway during World War II. We all learned about it again in 2021 if you watched a PBS series called Atlantic Crossing.

And then there were the Germans who were not Jewish but who didn’t agree with the Nazis. These families much like their Jewish neighbors in a lot of cases, had their businesses removed from them, property stolen by the Nazis, and they had to flee and hide during World War II. And some of these cases I actually knew people growing up whose fathers were sent to the Russian front to their eventual death basically because of the weather and starvation and poor conditions all because they didn’t buy in to what the Nazi party in Germany during World War II was selling.

This why it is actually offensive as well as ludicrous when some of these keyboard warriors call people “Communists” and “Nazis”.

And these are the people who also don’t want to wear masks, they don’t want their kids to wear masks even if their kids don’t care, and they don’t want COVID shots.

Yet as they are getting infected with the virus even within their own families it astounds me of the things that you see them talking about. Including crazy therapies that could actually kill people.

Now can we talk about the harm the unvaccinated are doing vis a vis the current spikes of COVID? And by the unvaccinated I am not referring to people who literally can’t get the shot because of medical conditions, or those who are so tiny and young they can’t get the shot for that reason. I am talking about those who chose deliberately not to get the shot. Maybe it is their right to not get a shot, but what about the rest of us having the right not to get sick because others are spreading COVID?

And then they give you their pretzel logic argument of if the shots worked then people wouldn’t get COVID. No that’s actually not true. Because of the shots in a lot of cases, people aren’t getting as sick, but because there are so many people who haven’t gotten shots the virus continues to spread and mutate. But hey, they will continue to do them. Meanwhile I know people with immunocompromised little children too young to get shots who are terrified. What about their rights?

But it’s OK for these others to espouse this nonsense and speak their piece. But no one else can. The moment you are the teensiest bit different from what they are spouting and/or their comfort levels you are bad. You are branded “evil” or a “mean girl” even as these types bully others every single day on social media.

And isn’t it ironic as well as crazy that these are the people that are bullying others every day because you don’t share their belief system, yet if you don’t share their belief system you are the one that’s the actual bully?

My post hooey is a threat to these people why and how ? Just because I right? Or is it because my opinion is different than theirs? Or is it just simply because I am not the same as they are? And they wonder why I call them Stepford wives? And wonder about cult mentality? Don’t they get I don’t care if their marvelous selves are not in my world?

I have to ask: are we all supposed to be zombies on this bus of life?

Then these god fearing nouveau conservative women tell me how conservative women are all so much happier than the rest of us. OK that’s what they believe, but if they are so happy why are they complaining about me? If they were so happy they wouldn’t feverishly read my posts, they were just go on about their lives. If they were so happy they wouldn’t scream and jump up and down at school board meetings or carry dumb signs outside shopping malls, would they?

And I hate to break it to them but having an actual pulse and discussing things and expressing your own opinion doesn’t make you unhappy. It makes you a human being with a brain that isn’t brainwashed. But I guess we’re not supposed to be independent in their eyes are we? We are supposed to accept what they say?

WHY?????

And I’m going to go back to their accusing me of being mean and bullying. These people literally attack anyone with a different point of view. And there are a lot of comments I choose not to share or publish I just file away as threats. Just like the past couple of days. And it’s all coming from these people who are supposedly so much better than I am and so much better off than I am because they drank the proverbial Kool Aid? Do they not even remember Jonestown in the Jonestown massacre in 1978 and the Reverend Jim Jones? Or do they not remember Moonies? That and they hate being called Stepford Wives, but how is it they don’t actually see themselves for who they are (and aren’t)?

And when these people are removed from my blog’s Facebook page because that is my right, they then start emailing comments to the blog itself. Then I block them there. Sometimes I get hate mail. Essentially I am a bad, mean, horrible person because I don’t agree with their point of view. They don’t understand that one of these American freedoms they espouse so frequently means I am also entitled to my opinion and I don’t have to buy into theirs.

But I have to ask do they do this special treatment with everyone who disagrees with them? I kind of think they do. But with me they seem to take it to a new level. Harassment, cyber bullying, cyber stalking. And then they all wonder where the kids learn these behaviors and whose behavior they are emulating in the schools and then they complain about that.

So here we are in 2022. I am not going to say “why can’t we all get along“ because I am a realist and that’s not possible. But their rights do not supersede my rights, or the rights of others. And if they are banding together in these groups, wherever they are they are literally no better than the bullies they complain about in their children’s schools.

Again, among the rights our founding fathers thought and bled and died for was the ability for all of us as Americans to be independent minded. We are allowed to think differently than the guy down the street or across town. It’s not a crime.

And along with that free will comes the ability to choose your own path. My path doesn’t have to be your path, and you don’t have to agree or even disagree with me. Being an American means we are both allowed to coexist.

Some of these people leaving comments call me a terrible liberal. Or maybe it’s a horrible liberal or a super liberal or a miserable liberal. And it doesn’t really matter because it makes me laugh since everyone who actually knows me, knows I am actually a moderate. Maybe I’m a little too liberal for some people these days, but that doesn’t make me a super liberal and that doesn’t make a super liberal wrong if they are super liberal. It just doesn’t make sense we are all NOT allowed to have our own beliefs in their eyes.

Get over yourselves. You aren’t all that and a bag of chips anymore than the next person.

Thanks for stopping by.

1950s Smiling Brunette Woman Housewife Photograph by Vintage Images

and just like that…even our t.v. characters age…and all of our lives change as we age and that’s o.k.

This morning I had a giggle. Sex & The City started on HBO in June, 1998. Cable was ridiculously expensive and I remember hunting the various COMCAST “special deals” just so I could have HBO. Nope, no Manolo budget here. I was single, watching the ultimate single girl television show.

Ok yes, I have talked about this show before, but come on? The original was a big part of all of our lives. Kind of like Star Trek for some of the guys I know.

I loved the cast, part of which was New York City. The clothes and the shoes I could never afford unless they were dumped at Loehmann’s or Daffy’s or Century21. And I could never walk in the shoes. The shoes I left and still leave to my sister (and her fabulous shoe closet/racks.)

This morning I had a giggle because I realized that way back when I used to watch Sex & The City in bed like my big single girl not so secret, sometimes with a glass of wine. Now I watch And Just Like That on Thursday mornings in bed with a cup of coffee.

Yup the 50s. Struck me as so funny. I don’t know why. Well maybe because I watch the new show drinking my coffee and then I go and clean up the rest of the kitchen and sort the laundry. Back then, in the Sex & The City Days, yes I did laundry and cleaned up the kitchen. Just didn’t admit it out loud.

So now I am a few episodes into the new show. I like it. It’s getting a lot of flak like the actresses were supposed to have been cryovaced and opened as their 1990s selves once again. Well gee, that would be a neat trick. They have aged, pretty damn well if you ask me and you can see a little “work” but at least they don’t have frozen face syndrome. I have seen a lot less of that frozen face syndrome since COVID started, but still, it’s out there.

Probably I am an anomaly. I don’t do fillers or injectables. No plastic surgery, still on my original body parts. If liposuction didn’t look incredibly painful, maybe that would be an option (I am actually joking) but I think I will just try to exercise more and eat less? I am not a perfect 10 now, wasn’t back then. After breast cancer surgery, people kept telling me about their favorite plastic surgeons. Well once you have had a couple non-elective surgeries that kind of hurt and if you hate needles, that is not really an option. Besides, ask your radiology technician sometime what they have to do to get a mammogram on ladies with glorious fake breasts. One word: contortion. Two words: no thanks.

Things about the show that still crack me up is they all still breathe the rarified air. They are mixing in more everyday kind of available clothes, but still the wardrobes and where they live. Pretty fun and fantastical. But those are ladies in menopause and I envy them their lack of hot flashes. Or they could just be like my mother was back then and simply not acknowledge their existence.

The conversations have shifted some with them. The hair coloring vs. not coloring crack me up. Oh I have had those because once I started breast cancer treatment I stopped experimenting with color. It was never much to begin with, just the occasional semi permanent color job. Now a decade plus later, my hair still has a lot of my original dark. I will admit some days I freak myself out because when I look in the mirror I see my paternal grandmother Beatrice, but for me I made the right choice. And my hair actually looks and feels better.

I am aging. I will admit to taking collagen supplements, but with age comes dry skin. But when I look in the mirror, except for the occasional glimpse of Beatrice and wondering how almost 60 years of life seem gone in a blink, it’s ok.

Now these television characters and the actors which portray them have all aged. I kind of like that they have aged right along with me. I think I would have been upset if the re-boot occurred with a new young cast.

I often wonder what women think as they age. We all know quite a few who aren’t doing it quite gracefully. The still too short skirts, tight pants, and short shorts. Overly carefully lit selfies and professionally taken social media photos. Some of these ladies have amazing figures, others do not. It’s just about aging gracefully, perhaps with humor. I mean we do have options other than mom jeans, right? I will admit to missing my leather and sued pants, however, and being able to wear strapless gowns.

Back then when the original show aired, I was wondering what this current part of my life would be like. I had a bunch of friends who married young, and I couldn’t see myself in their lives then. I wasn’t ready. It wasn’t about sowing the proverbial wild oats, never did so much of that, it was just about growing into myself I think. I wasn’t there yet. (However, I will tell you that back then, I still did cook, go antique and vintage treasure hunting, and garden.)

One of the best things for women about these shows is showing the relationships between the women and their partners, and the dating then and now. I was never much of a dater although I did it. I always found recreational dating much like the job interviews for the jobs I didn’t want.

But the characters the women’s characters dated in the original series? Cracked me up. I could see them in so many people my friends had dated and even I dated. Like Mr. Big. We all had one of those, I think. But we didn’t marry them, so it’s kind of no wonder they made her a widow. But I do know some young widows, so on the other hand I actually get that (and wish it on no one.)

And the Samanthas. We all had them, even if their clothes weren’t as good. But they grew up too, and not all friendships transcend the test of time. So no matter why that character is gone, I get it. I have a lot of my core friends, but I am exceptionally lucky. Some of the other friendships didn’t make it but it kind of falls into that saying about friendships being reason, season, or lifetime.

Truthfully I am glad to be me now, and that I am not dating in my 50s. I am grateful for my life and marriage. I know who I am, I know who he is. We aren’t ever perfect, but I know what it is to love and be loved, and there comes a point where that is just right and very lovely. Now granted, I know I am a very lucky woman, and I never take that for granted (or try not to.) However, I will completely admit it’s a little annoying that he can still imitate my high school self walking down the halls at Shipley carrying my book bag. So no, I do not get away with much, ladies.

Another thing I admire about the new series are the people they have around them. It’s not just bars and cosmopolitans. It’s the bitchy women’s committees and PTA savages. It’s the reinventing yourself when you thought you were all set, including sometimes starting over.

We can all relate. After all, I still remember the first time I did a car rider line, didn’t know where to go, and got in the wrong part of the line. I was literally surrounded by mini vans and had moms and dads who got out of their vehicles to SCREAM at me. Oh and the teachers and school personnel watched from the sidelines like it was a spectator sport.

And then there were the moms who wanted their high school kids to slow dance at their dances like “the holy spirit was in between them.” Had to bite my tongue with that one because did they actually know what their teenagers were up to and it certainly didn’t involve the holy spirit. But hey, whatever gets you through the day.

And now today add to the average and annoying PTA moms we have the anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, conservative beacons of light who will save all of us from ourselves while searching for that perfect hair color shade. The new Stepford Wives.

And then you have the not Stepford Wives who are just amusing. Self-described social media experts because they have a few Facebook group pages. And they still copy their material from everyone else and don’t have an original bone in their bodies. And they still want you to think certain communities adjacent to the Main Line are the Main Line, and why? Is the Main Line all that and a bag of chips? No sadly, and hasn’t been in years, just like there is no real “society” left to photograph.

Thanks but no, I will take me, lumps and all. It’s ok to age. We have much better shoes to choose from these days, and you only have to have a rocking chair on your front porch if you want one.

Thanks for stopping by.

hooey

From Philadelphia to Pittsburgh they are a bunch of mean girl bobble headed Stepford wives.

Let’s start with their website image. The American flag is supposed to a symbol of our history and our values as a nation. While it is fine to have clothing or hats with the flag ON IT, to WEAR an actual flag is a sign of DISRESPECT for Old Glory.

This group is born out of the Trumpublican movement which has destroyed the Republican party. Were they born out of the Tea Party? Maybe in part, and while old GOP politicians Tom DeLay may have been skunks, he and others kept these faux Republicans out of the RNC 2000. I know because I was there, and I listened to conversations perhaps I shouldn’t have listened to, but that is what happens when big wigs think volunteers are invisible like their help at home.

Anyway, did you know on yesterday’s date In 1776, Thomas Paine anonymously published his influential pamphlet, “Common Sense,” which argued for American independence from British rule? Do the purported Pennsylvania Conservative Women even know that or have they read it or are they busy studying acrylic nails and big hair and brassy color shades not found in nature?

This mission statement and this group are FULL of hooey. They are all about banding together like a bunch of sheeple and to say they are God fearing and take responsibility for nurturing and protecting the traditions that America was founded on, is in a word, OFFENSIVE. All of these people actually FORGET what this country was founded on and why.

They claim the advocate for freedom, yet their definition of freedom is subject solely to their interpretation of the word. And again, they forget if our forefathers hadn’t quite literally bled and died for us centuries ago, they would not have their freedom to espouse their bullshit and hooey. Well I can’t title a post bullshit so I chose hooey. But I digress.

I find it endlessly amusing that the crap they spout is in part what our forefathers fought against, yet they also fought for the rights for people to have freedom of thought no matter how ridiculous their thoughts were. Hence why I asked if these students of self-focusedness actually remember their American history? Do they actually know what it is to be an American?

Thomas Paine wrote how he thought it was in essence stupid that Americans should be loyal to a mother country that he considered similar to an unfit parent. “Even brutes do not devour their young, nor savages make war upon their families,” he wrote. He said our real connection as newly minted Americans was to people everywhere who yearned to escape oppression. “This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe,” Paine proclaimed. “Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still.”

Thomas Paine wrote about a new country with a strong government than protected the rights of the people. And can it be hypothesized that Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” influenced the Declaration of Independence and all that followed? I think so.

But back to these women who are the nouveau champions of our proverbial values and home fires burning. Of course home fires burning implies these women keep house and cook and clean. Ummm ok, they are why take out and delivery were invented, weren’t they?

“As God-fearing women, we take responsibility for nurturing and protecting the traditions that America was founded upon.”

~ From “Mission Statement” of Pennsylvania Conservative Women (PACW) formerly known as Conservative Women of the Mainline.

Traditions America was founded on as interpreted by them? That’s actually funny.

From The Motion Picture

They also claim they are “women modernizing traditional values.”

That doesn’t even make sense. Traditional values don’t require modernizing, they are based in traditions. When you “modernize” them, they stop being “traditions.”

Who decided they were the bosses of women, men and children anywhere? They are more like religious fanatics or cult leaders aren’t they? (Purple Kool aid and a doily anyone?)

Then there are the boobs at Moms for Liberty. Note the amusing mistake in their “About” section of “Moms for Liberty, Chester, PA” . They wouldn’t survive 5 minutes in Chester, PA which is in Delaware County. Now they are a national Stepford Wives consortium. That group has people tied to a group called Patriot Voices which is a 501(c)(4) which means donations aren’t tax deductible. Oh and Moms for Liberty is also a 501(c)(4) meaning donations to THEM are also not tax deductible. And upon looking at CONservative Women of the Main Line now rebranding to whatever, I noticed their donation button is not a donation button it is a “pay now” button which means they aren’t non-profit either are they?

I wonder how many people donating to these organizations which are not registered as tax deductible non-profit organizations think what they are donating is tax deductible? Makes you wonder where they money goes right?

Then there are the other groups and these groups all discussing anti-vaxxing, anti-masking and what works (in their little minds) against COVID (this is supposedly from Moms for Liberty group):

And I find myself circling back to their use of the word freedom. So they have freedom to choose? Ok, so do I, but when did freedom become subjective? When did their freedoms become more important than everyone else’s?

Let’s talk COVID for example. If they were less concerned about the hooey that getting a shot impinges on their freedoms would we have so much COVID on the rise again? Because let’s get real, the COVID cases in the hospitals taking most of the beds are the UNvaccinated. They exercised their freedoms but are now infecting us? How are their freedoms more important than ours? What if they had been around when this country was battling things like TB, leprosy, polio?

Is freedom subjective? Or did our forefathers fight for us to equally have freedom?

And if these women are modernizing traditional values does that mean they are updating tuna noodle casserole recipes? Inquiring minds want to know what the hooey is really all about because to this inquiring mind, they are Stepford Wives Sheeple and they better check their kool aid. And at the end of the day, I do know actual real conservatives and Christians and what is predominantly roaming around self describing as that? Not any of them, nor do they actually get it by a country mile.

Bless their hearts, I am finished thinking about insanity for the day.

Political Stepford Wives | chestercountyramblings

2021 in review

o))) Winter Solstice Full Moon Journey + Ceremony Soundscape... - Gabriola  Arts Council

Before I get to a recap of sorts of 2021, let’s talk Christmas decorations. Mine stay up to Epiphany (maybe a little later.) When do you take your decorations down? I have to be honest, I also just like them so much I wish the Christmas season were just a little bit longer. However, I know once January rolls around the nutcrackers and elves kind of look like they are staring at me from the bookshelves, so down they come until next year.

2021 has been a crazy year and let’s start with more current events. Recently a person purported to live in the Malvern area was arrested in West Chester after a bar fight. Not just any old bar fight, she (yes she) also was charged with biting and spitting on employees. Hey I am not making this up, just ask the West Chester Borough Police who posted it. THAT is why the media picked up the story and wrote about it.

Biting and spitting during what is still a GLOBAL pandemic known as COVID-19. Why am I talking about this? Well it made the news so I posted a link to a published article. No real rhyme or reason, I just posted it. I do post crime stuff every now and again. I will note that I posted with NO opinion. Just posted the article.

Up pops the Stepford -With -Matching -Capes- Crusaders. I was a bad person for sharing it. Why was I posting it. Oh and the best? I was a threat to the community for posting it. Say what? Oh and middle school behavior for posting it. Did I mention it was in the news?

All I did was post the link. If something is in the news and it’s posted, it doesn’t make anyone a bad person for posting a link unless of course it’s fake news. It wasn’t. Now if you don’t like something someone posts, we are supposed to be grown-ups, right? So why not just scroll by for something more to your comfort level? (I will note another news story, similar topic also has surfaced out of Bear, DE at a WaWa of all places. Same age range women. Bizarre, dangerous, and hideous behavior in the age of COVID19.)

Social media behavior in general (as in everywhere) has greatly deteriorated since the last presidential election and COVID19. Maybe all of you armchair critics merely like the sounds of your own voices but not everybody has to listen to it. And so we are clear, I am not speaking about that old-fashioned concept of disagreeing, yet having a thing called a conversation. I am referring to the beyond the nipping at the virtual ankles, being flat out obnoxious if not more. And yet these are the same people who don’t understand where kids learn about bullying.

New Year's Eve

Sometimes I turn the other cheek with these village idiots in local social media groups. This was not one of those times. I grow increasingly intolerant of this brand of bullsheit. And that doesn’t make me a bad person, it means I have had enough of those who wish to have local social media domination in a puffy cloud world where cute bunnies and unicorns fart rainbows.

Then the other day I had the best giggle all day from a writer, Brian Hickey:

“Let’s Go Brandon: the rallying cry of people who peaked in high school.”

~ Brian Hickey 12/28/21

That makes a nice segue to the comments of 2021 on this blog having to do with politics, maskers vs. anti maskers, anti-vaxxers and more:

I only posted a snippet of the hate mail comments I receive. But these show the range from I am a horrible person to why don’t I just kill myself. Ah yes the milk of human kindness at it’s finest. And mind you, I will get these comments when writing about a garden tour. It’s me I suppose. I am too different in opinion from them, I don’t know “my place”, whatever. Someone I know had this to say about one person being a keyboard tiger jackass:

I hope he accidentally uses his poison ivy as toilet tissue And deserves the kind of life that is small minded, mean, douche-y comment deserves. You on the other hand deserve to have a wonderful day that you had and being able to celebrate it free from pestilence.

Your “I’m-not-afraid-to-go-low” friend from New York.

I have to admit that made me laugh. My New Yorkers are fierce.

And as far as social media groups like on Facebook go, if you as an admin have the audacity to remove an ankle biter, that is rarely the end of it. Some of them keep trying to get back into a group. Others keep sending their friends and relatives to either keep beating their drum in their absence, or to spy and see if people are still talking about them. Hence the reason most groups these days do not let you join automatically. Everyone is tired especially of the Facebook ankle biters.

Even inane NextDoor isn’t immune from insane social media behavior. 2021 saw the oddly obsessed CVS man and the people who recently piled onto the poor woman who was just concerned about a homeless couple living in their car in a grocery store parking lot in Phoenixville. And let’s not forget the freak flag flying political posts of NextDoor and the crowd sourcing for should people call the police about things, or posting personal information publicly like it isn’t social media, although it most assuredly is.. That site in general is a big headscratcher.

Also in 2021 we had the woman who thinks Tredyffrin Easttown School District school board meetings are for her to throw extra blonde temper tantrums. She didn’t like me mocking her public comments at a public meeting. And at that time she was blathering to anyone who would listen to her (including local media) about her views on life, vaccines, masks, politics, the universe.

This was the same woman who during breast cancer awareness month (the dreaded and disliked Pinktober to many of us) posted a photo of me on Facebook in a hospital gown taken either before my breast cancer surgery or after my surgery but before I started treatment. It was like a wanted poster with piss poor timing. Among other things it was supposed to intimidate me. Purely female BS.

The school board follies on the whole were quite insane in 2021. The ugliest of the ugliest. And it’s not over. Even if so many of the anti-vaxxer anti-maskers, and Qanon cuties lost their school board races, they are still around. At least one was a nurse. A pediatric nurse, no less. I hope whomever she works for is proud of her efforts, right? Others of their ilk did not lose and made it onto school boards. Essentially the politics of crazy will continue to threaten public school education just like it threatens the very tenets of our society and democracy.

The most frightening example of threatening our democracy occurred this year on January 6, 2021. That is another highlight of the sheer volume crazy of 2021. Who would have ever thought we would be watching news reports of mob of Americans storming our beloved Capitol? On January 6, 2021, a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. hoping to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election by disrupting the joint session of Congress assembled to count electoral votes that would formalize then President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. This effort failed, and it has been in court and all over social media ever since. Mob members who have been identified are being prosecuted. One of the oldest mob members is from the West Chester area and I think I read he is in his 80s.

Living La Vida COVID in 2021 meant a lot of us spent a lot of time keeping to ourselves. And given the climate of the world around us, it was a perfectly acceptable alternative. As the world re-opened we still couldn’t be sure who was vaccinated, who was not, who had COVID, and who may or may not act crazy if they saw you wearing a mask or saw someone not wearing a mask.

This extended to a lot of our recent Christmas celebrations, which for most were considerably smaller to be safe, because what has arrived? The lovely Omicron variant. I know quite a few people who have picked it up, including at a Christmas concert I love but decided to skip this year because of COVID. Some people who were vaccinated I know who got snagged by the latest variant but they hadn’t had their booster yet. But most of the people I know who now have COVID19 have never gotten shots yet. I wonder if they will now?

Now that COVID cases are on the insane rise again, there are other issues. Remember we have one hospital in Chester County – Jennersville – closing at the end of this week, and another, Brandywine closing at the end January. It seems no one can stop Tower Health from doing this. But then again no one could stop Hahnemann in Philadelphia from closing, either.

Tower Health by these actions is essentially going to cause unbelievable problems for ALL residents of Chester County, not just the communities affected most directly by the hospitals they are closing. It’s a shame Chester County can’t sue Tower Health or federal entities like The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, isn’t it? Or can they?

New Yorker February 17, 2021 by Ward Sutton

Back to politics. The politics of extremism still rules the day. I have watched friendships erode over politics, even my own. I have a friend who is super conservative. I sent her a Christmas card like always. No card received here. Crickets.

I feel it is because I could never join the cult of Trump. I never judged this friend’s conservatism because it’s their belief system, and even if I don’t agree with a lot of it now, the world is big enough for more than one point of view. But I am wondering if I instead were judged? Makes me sad, but I can only control me. I won’t shut the door, but it makes me sad because there are a bunch of those in my life. I was fine when I was a Republican, but now I am not, I am somehow not worthy. Or I am not worthy to some because I am not liberal enough.

How did this world happen? I remember a time when you could be many political persuasions in a room, yet you would all leave the conversations friends. Now it’s “off with their heads” and you can’t have an actual conversation, let alone sit on different sides of the political fence. What good is that doing anyone?

Political cartoons: The best of October

Other things that marred 2021 was crime. Usually surrounding the City of Philadelphia, which has deteriorated into a filthy dirty, crime ridden city with a joke of a mayor and a doofus of a district attorney. But when Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon got carjacked at gunpoint at FDR Park in Philadelphia recently they got the bad guys in like a day….which NEVER happens to regular folk. I am very glad she is OK but I sure hope this keeps a GIANT spotlight on the hot mess that is the City of Philadelphia.

Crime has made it’s way more and more into what was bucolic Chester County. It sucks, frankly. And the police forces are smaller than in a big city.A lot of areas are covered by the Pennsylvania State Police. Like Charlestown where Anna Bronislawa Maciejewska-Gould went missing on April 10, 2017. In April, 2022 it is FIVE years. FIVE years.

In 2021 we saw the ugliness of development march on in Chester County. Even in a global pandemic it’s more, more, more. From butt ass ugly billboards to apartment buildings to fake carriage homes to townhouses for lemmings and more, over-development is now Chester County’s middle name, isn’t it?

We saw things like Tarad Hill Farm in West Bradford go up for sale. It remains to be seen what will happen, but it was being marketed for it’s development possibilities by the nouveau gentry who acquired it and now appears to be selling it. Support the efforts of groups like the Marshallton Conservation Trust in that area (please).

We also saw Rock Hill Farm in Willistown go into a sales agreement I guess since in that case there have already been plans submitted for development. (See here on Willistown website) That is 200 plus acres of what is not only amazing open space, but what about the history of the property? And it has Crum Creek going through it and is old-growth forest, wetlands, rolling hills and streams, and productive farmland. The big puzzle for me in this case is the son of the deceased owner or co-owner is on the Board of Willistown Conservation Trust and has been for a while, right? So why was nothing on that parcel ever put into conservation? In 2022 Willistown residents will see what will happen I suppose. So many object to it, but in the end I think the horse is sadly out of that barn. Someone recently put up a website.

Also in Willistown this year there has been the strange tale of the neighbors of Castlebar Lane and Wildflower Farm. They live in Willistown but apparently farms to them are verboten? Is this just a case of NOFIMBY (No Farm In My Back Yard) ? This is one of the most bizarre things in Chester County in 2021 and it’s so Scary Spice meets Stepford Wives meets Knotts Landing meets Desperate Housewives. Except in this case it’s a whole Scare Spice RACK. The township came to an agreement with Wildflower Farm recently, but we’ll see if the narsty neighbors (yes narsty) are finished yet. But hey look, they can always build bigger berms, right?

National View: Republican resurgence in 2022 already on the horizon |  Duluth News Tribune

This year has also been a crazy year in the seemingly unending saga of the pipelines. Sunoco/Mariner East/ Energy Transfer. Josh Shapiro announced criminal charges and then it seemed like a short time later announce a run for governor, so is this for him or for the residents of Chester County? And then they just announce that pipeline work would resume? Which came first, the chicken or the pipeline? File under to be continued….

However, in 2021 here at the end of the year have been a few surprises. Let’s start with Township Managers.

Casey LaLonde is done at West Goshen. Yup at the meeting on the 21st of December, he is leaving West Goshen for greener pastures somewhere in the private sector but where? Kiss kiss Casey and will folks find you at the Joan Crawford Museum as a docent?

Then today the news eeeked out that Mimi Gleason is out at West Whiteland? Fie under Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus in West Whiteland. Will it be Après Mimi, le deluge? Only time will tell and I think people should fasten their seatbelts.

Speaking of seatbelt fastening, today I learned that in East Goshen they will be “investigating” undoing eminent domain at the Hicks Farm. That was the word used in the meeting packet for next week. East Goshen Supervisors can you not begin next week with a simple resolution to end eminent domain? Okay semi rhetorical, because they can. It was done in West Vincent, it was done in Ardmore years ago. And so on in so forth. (Good lord they can even look on the Institute for Justice’s website for how tos probably, right? They practically have a legal zoom for eminent domain. Even a good Google can help you.)

And one of my favorite bright spots was the news on Crebilly Farm in Westtown. Recently the Westtown Township Board of Supervisors granted funding to Natural Lands to begin the process of grant proposal writing for the conservation of Crebilly Farm. I had to pinch myself on that one. But prayers up, there is something to work towards, even if there does seem to be an active real estate listing on the property?

Personally this has been a year for me. I reached a ten year milestone being breast cancer free, yet I lost two long time friends to cancer. Also this year two of the great ladies of my childhood passed away, and one of my late father’s favorite cousins. And the thing is none of these losses were due to COVID-19 but COVID kept people from saying goodbye to loved ones and friends all over the globe. And if we don’t all get it together, 2022 will be another long COVID riddled year. You aren’t having your first amendment rights threatened if you are asked to get a shot or wear a mask.

BUT I still had a wonderful year with my friends and family including being able to tour David Culp’s Brandywine Cottage gardens and have a couple of small and safe gatherings with vaccinated friends and family.

Life is what we make of it and it is the simple things that bring me joy. Like a phone call from a very dear friend who just wanted to thank me for being able to see my Christmas decorations. Of course I laughed and told her but now I had to start thinking about disassembling the tree and more and putting all of the ornaments away. When that happens it is like saying good bye to old friends for a year. But then we all start planning our gardens, don’t we, so it is a cycle of happiness, right?

As we literally count down the hours until 2022, I hope some of you can just hit the pause button. I wish for you health and happiness in 2022 and pray for a more peaceful world and a little less political craziness. I won’t be unrealistic and wish for it all to disappear, but maybe hope for just a little less mania.

Thanks for stopping by in 2021. 2022 marks this site turning 10. Happy New Year kids!

christmas traditions, baking, and even a miracle

As I have mentioned in previous years on this blog, in our neighborhood we have our own little tradition. We leave each other a little gift. I delivered mine yesterday and so did my one next-door neighbor, and bit by bit there are more little surprises appearing on our doorsteps in time for Christmas. We know these elves well, they are our neighbors. And this is one of my favorite Christmas traditions since moving to this neighborhood.

The neighborhood behind us does luminaries up and down their street on Christmas Eve. We see it through our woods from upstairs and it’s so lovely to look at!

I have done my baking including the Christmas stollen. This year I tried a new recipe using sourdough starter and oh and how it did rise! I did deviate slightly because I filled mine with marzipan.

I also made Lebkuchen for the first time. I could not find those German wafers you are supposed to use so I used a King Arthur recipe that makes them like bar cookies. This is the case with many king Arthur recipes I have discovered over the years I have had to tweak it. Their recipe was very dry and it omitted powdered anise which most other recipes contain. You don’t use a lot just a little smidgen. To combat the dryness of the dough, and I added about four or 5 tablespoons of buttermilk. The dough also completely crumbled apart once I was able to start to roll it the next day so I ended up pressing it into the pan. But it did turn out well and I added more liquid to the glaze because 2 tablespoons of brandy was not enough. I actually used about 4. I actually used a local Brandy that is apple brandy from Manatawny Still Works .

I will note I tried to tell King Arthur flour about the issues in their recipe and they were kind of ridiculous about it. Told me maybe I lived in a dry high altitude climate. (Umm no, live in Chester County, PA) and then they had to tell me how maybe I let some extra flower “slip into the bowl”. Umm no again so I will just tell you all my workarounds.

I didn’t get around to my anisette cookies or biscotti this year, but I baked a whole bunch of still traditional Christmas cookies. Big soft ginger cookies, sugar cookies, a couple different kind of chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, and white chocolate oatmeal cookies. On one batch of the chocolate chip cookies I was in too much of a rush and I forgot to add the eggs. So they ended up like chocolate chip lace cookies. Still perfectly edible.

Now for my Christmas miracle. I just found out that one of my growing up friends who lives in upstate New York just emerged from a coma. She was in a coma for the past two months.

It was kind of freaky the way I found out I just had this weird feeling because I hadn’t heard from her and we usually speak every couple of months. I thought about her a few days ago because I heard the old Kansas song “dust in the wind”. She and one other person I know from high school loved that song. And then the other day she just popped into my head and I realized I hadn’t heard from her.

I went to call her cell phone and the call just dropped and went nowhere. So I went to social media and saw that her brother had posted she’s been in a coma and was awake. So thanks to Facebook I was able to message and then video chat with her yesterday. That makes her the official Christmas miracle. She literally could have never ever woken up.

It was one of those things where everyone who knew thought those of us who did not know knew, only we didn’t. She was even a story in a newspaper in Auburn, NY that contains a link to a Go Fund Me to help with expenses. Yes she has health insurance, but another thing happened to her while she was in a coma for two months: somebody who went to “visit her“ in the hospital made off with her cell phone and the bank card that was tucked inside the case that no one knew was there.

As she told me yesterday this person essentially cloned her identity, emptied her bank account, and sold her expensive phone to one of those we buy used phone places near her. That apparently was caught on some kind of security camera I guess it was in a mall. As I am told the police have not apprehended this person yet but Karma is a bitch and they should just turn themselves in. I mean how do you do that to somebody in a coma? I hope as an additional Christmas present somebody turns that person in, and I think that if the phone was sold at a place that buys used phones, obviously that store knows who they are and they should come forward because that cell phone contained photos of her son who passed away a couple years ago and also of her late mother.

But for the grace of God go any of us, and his Christmas day is now literally right around the corner, I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Christmas. I also hope everyone is safe because Covid is on the rise again.

If I don’t post again, I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas.

scrooge alert: tower health is shuttering two hospitals in chester county, putting residents at risk and will potentially cripple our other hospitals.

Ahh yes, Tower Health. A name synonymous (it seems) with destroying local hospitals. It was announced quite recently that the deal for them to sell Jennersville and Brandywine Hospitals was DOA (dead on arrival.) These hospitals are now to be CLOSED while the world (and our area) still suffers from the global pandemic known as COVID-19. If I have it right, it’s Jennersville by December 31, 2021 and Brandywine by January 31, 2022

Does it seem incomprehensible? YES.

Should it be illegal? Well that is a good question because aren’t there supposed to be hospitals to proportionately serve areas geographically or something? Where are Federal Laws in this? What role does Health and Human Services play in this? What role does that quasi useless lame duck twit of a Governor in Pennsylvania (Tom Wolf) and his ridiculous Court jester who wants to be a US Senator (John Fetterman) play? How about all these lovely State Representatives and State Senators? The Veterans Administration since Brandywine closing will affect places like the VA in Coatesville, etc., etc? Look at mental health services covered by Brandywine? What are the options now? Nothing or Philadelphia?

Tower Health is responsible for their own incompetence morally, fiscally, ethically, legally. However, their gross incompetence here will have disastrous effects on all of us in Chester County.

Ambulance services and first responders will be taking great risks with their lives and patients lives trying to get people to emergency rooms in other areas, all a great distance away.

Chester County Hospital and Paoli Hospitals are already being overrun and overtaxed thanks to these announcements, and that will affect ALL of us because if both Brandywine and Jennersville close their doors that will swamp those two hospitals and what happens to those of us who already use those hospitals and have found them stretched thin due to COVID-19?

And employees of these hospitals? Do we really believe that Tower Health will place them all elsewhere. I call bullsheit on that.

Tower Health is NOT for profit. Since 1997. I just called Tower Health and asked. And I looked them up on Guide Star. I made it to the executive offices. I called in on (484) 628-8000. I got a nice woman on the phone, believe her name was Tracy (didn’t write it down). I asked her is they cared what they were doing to Chester County? She replied that was a hard question but she could have someone call me back. I declined, because after all I do not want platitudes blown up my rear and a little pat on the head. But I found it helpful that you CAN get through to the top. CALL THEM. (It can’t hurt.)

Here is the Tower Health IRS Form 990 from 2020:

And while you are making calls, how about Harrisburg. Go straight to the Governor’s office and tell Tom Wolf. He works for US, not special interests and it is time to remind him. (717)-787-2500. Now it require a teensy bit of patience to reach Wolf’s message takers because first they tell you they can’t help with unemployment claims. Then you get the COVID recording (not long), then you get a real person. I got John. He was very polite, took down my concerns. I asked if they actually made it to the Governor and he said yes. I told them how our entire county was being put at risk by these closures. I could not however, escape the total feeling of Wolf’s office doesn’t care, which of course means MORE people should call.

Next on my list was Congresswoman Chrissy Houlihan’s office in Washington, D.C. (202)- 225-4315. I spoke with Jack. We had an actual conversation. Chrissy’s staff takes down your name, number, concerns. Jack told me they have been getting a lot of calls and he did say for constituents concerned about these hospital closures to CALL their officials. He agreed that it is a good thing for them to hear from constituents. If you do not wish to call Washington DC, Chrissy has a district office in West Chester (610)-883-5050 and Reading (610)-295-0815.

I know that the Chester County Commissioners have been in CONSTANT meetings since this was all announced. They need OUR help to bug these other people. Face it, we need a Christmas miracle. We are ALL at risk if these hospitals close. It is hard enough to get into a hospital NOW with COVID-19, and has been since COVID-19 arrived on the scene.

Here is Tower Health’s stated mission:

THE MISSION OF TOWER HEALTH IS TO PROVIDE COMPASSIONATE, ACCESSIBLE, HIGH QUALITY, COST EFFECTIVE HEALTHCARE TO THE COMMUNITY; TO PROMOTE HEALTH; TO EDUCATE HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS; AND TO PARTICIPATE IN APPROPRIATE CLINICAL RESEARCH. TOWER HEALTH (PARENT) IS A NON-PROFIT HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THAT PROVIDES CHARITABLE COMMUNITY-BASED HEALTHCARE SERVICES AND PROGRAMS TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF THE PEOPLE AND THE COMMUNITIES IT SERVES IN THE GREATER BERKS, MONTGOMERY AND CHESTER AREAS THROUGH ITS SUBSIDIARIES (SEE FORM 990, SCHEDULE R). SUBSIDIARIES INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO BRANDYWINE HOSPITAL, CHESTNUT HILL HOSPITAL, JENNERSVILLE, HOSPITAL, PHOENIXVILLE HOSPITAL, AND POTTSTOWN HOSPITAL, THE FIVE OF WHICH ARE HELD IN SINGLE MEMBER LLCS THAT TOWER HEALTH IS THE SOLE MEMBER OF. AS A RESULT, THESE ARE TREATED AS DISREGARDED ENTITIES AND ALL OF THEIR INCOME AND ACTIVITIES ARE REPORTED ON TOWER HEALTH’S FORM 990.

~ Tower health via their Guidestar profile

Do we think Tower Health is living up to their mission statement? Ummm…NO or they wouldn’t be closing hospitals, would they? So where is the Bureau of Charities and the Pennsylvania Department of State on this?

There is a petition circulation about Tower Health and the closing of Jennersville and Brandywine Hospitals. It has over 4000 signatures. But I think people need to make the phone calls too. It’s easy to dismiss an online petition, sadly.

I saw Marian Moscowitz interviewed on Fox29 (I rarely watch Fox, just like this particular anchor.) From the interview you can see, that Chester County is flailing with this news. Not saying that to be mean or disrespectful, they just don’t know what to do. In the interview it came out that with these hospitals closing, it means people are at a minimum 40 minutes away for ER medical help. People are going to DIE potentially because of this. And how could Tower Health not truly vet a potential buyer? And Canyon Atlantic Partners who bailed? Their website is a WordPress site….like a blog (like this site.)

Now this is interesting. Via The Sanatoga Post I learned that IF the sale of Jennersville and Brandywine had gone through, they would have been converted to FOR PROFIT hospitals. They aren’t currently because Tower Health is NOT FOR PROFIT. (It gets confusing because BEFORE Tower Health acquired Brandywine and Jennersville I believe those hospitals BEFORE were a FOR PROFIT model. Then when Tower came in they were NOT FOR PROFIT.)

WEST READING PA – Canyon Atlantic Healthcare, the company that proposes to buy Brandywine and Jennersville hospitals from Tower Health, would convert both to for-profit medical centers that “will pay taxes and put money back in the community,” its chief executive officer said in a story published Wednesday (Nov. 24, 2021) by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

The current non-profit status of the two hospitals and others – including those in Pottstown and Phoenixville – acquired by Tower during 2017 from Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc. has been a continuing bone of contention among municipalities and school districts where they are located. The promised return of tax payments by Canyon Atlantic would be news welcomed by the taxing entities affected…..The Journal story by Senior Reporter John George also noted that Canyon Atlantic’s chief financial officer, Michael Zwetschkenbaum, earlier worked as CFO of Pottstown Hospital during its ownership by Community Health.

~ Joe Zlomek Sanatoga post 11/28/21

So…now what is what and who is who at Tower Health?

Sue Perrotty (Portia Sue Perroty) interested me. I found a 2018 write up about her via Albright College and well she was connected to the Rendell administration in Harrisburg (worked as Marjorie’s Chief of Staff) and worked for First Union (Now Wells Fargo) and the whole American Realty Capital of it all (quite scandalous a couple of years ago surprised that still exists in print as a connection):

Click on it to really read this!

Here is more about Portia Sue Perrotty based upon an old press release from 2014:

Click on the above screen shots to get them blown up to read easily.

Portia Sue Perrotty is on the board of Global Net Lease…along with folks like Ed Rendell. I found this out via a SEC filing page. She is the Non Executive Director and Independent Director. What is Global Net Lease? Here:

Global Net Lease, Inc. (NYSE: GNL) is a real estate investment trust that focuses on acquiring and managing a globally-diversified portfolio of strategically-located commercial real estate properties which are crucial to the success of GNL’s roster of primarily investment grade corporate tenants.

So what this says to me is this woman is no dummy. And she is obviously connected. So you mean to tell me she couldn’t find a suitable buyer for these hospitals even through her connections? And since she came out of a Rendell administration, like Tom Wolf, what has he known or been aware of regarding this debacle? I am NOT singing a conspiracy theory song, just curious. The world goes round via connections and political and other connections in Pennsylvania have always run deep, deep, deep, right?

Next the Board of Directors. The “Executive Team” can’t fart without their Board of Directors, so here they are:

So some dot connecting on who does what on the board:

Tower Health and it’s board and executives are a bit of a puzzle. Also a Nancy Drew mystery because if you delve into who is who and who they know and where they were (and are) it’s kind of inconceivable they couldn’t find a proper buyer for Brandywine and Jennersville. It is utterly fascinating.

But fascinating isn’t going to save these hospitals, is it? Maybe, Chester County and PA should have paid more attention to an article from this time last year:

Chester County braces for sale or closure of Tower Health’s Brandywine and Jennersville Hospitals

by Harold Brubaker
Updated Dec 19, 2020
Philadelphia Inquirer (December 19, 2020)

When the nonprofit Tower Health bought three Chester County hospitals that had been for-profit since the early 2000s, Maureen Tomoschuk was delighted.

Tomoschuk runs Community Volunteers in Medicine, which arranges free care for uninsured Chester County residents. She had a hard time getting help from Community Health Systems Inc., the for-profit that sold Brandywine, Jennersville, and Phoenixville Hospitals to Tower.

“We were very hopeful and optimistic when Tower took over” about securing more charity care, especially at Brandywine, said Tomoschuk.

Now that optimism has turned to fear that Brandywine might close.

That’s because Tower, just three years after paying $423 million for the three Chester County facilities plus Pottstown and Chestnut Hill Hospitals, is considering selling them in a bid to recover from an unsustainable debt load and massive losses that started even before the coronavirus pandemic slammed the health-care industry.

The Berks County nonprofit told municipal bond investors last month that it hasn’t ruled out closing hospitals it can’t sell….Advised by the gold-plated consulting firm McKinsey & Co., Tower bought the five hospitals from Community Health Systems on Oct. 1, 2017, to expand its clinical footprint from Berks County….Looking south, the Tower board also saw particularly attractive markets around Brandywine and Jennersville, with growing populations and high and relatively fast-growing incomes. Mixed in are pockets of lower-income people in places like Coatesville and Oxford….Instead of quickly becoming lucrative feeders for Reading, the five hospitals have generated more than $400 million in operating losses since Tower acquired them, and now the mystery in Philadelphia health-care circles is who would want to buy them — a particularly fraught question in the cases of Brandywine and Jennersville because these small, semirural hospitals have struggled financially for decades.

Ok so I am guessing they didn’t come sniffing around here because Chester County is wonderful, right? (Yes sign me jaded)

So here we are in a global pandemic called COVID-19 not seen since…1918 and The Spanish Influenza, right? Well guess what else this Inquirer article from December 19, 2020 tells us? How about the genesis of Jennersville Hospital? Curious? Here we go:

Jennersville, which traces its roots to a West Grove clinic founded during the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak, moved to its current location in 1959, according to the Daily Local News.

Next comes the 2nd article we all should have been paying closer attention to:

Money-losing Tower Health replaces CEO after sustaining big losses in Philly and suburban hospitals. Clint Matthews is following Tower Health’s chief financial officer, Gary Conner, out the door.

by Harold Brubaker

Philadelphia Inquirer
Published Feb 22, 2021

Tower Health, the financially troubled health system that owns six hospitals in the Philadelphia area, announced Monday that it had replaced its chief executive with a board member on an interim basis.

In a move that was unsurprising to health-care leaders in the Philadelphia region, the board replaced Clint Matthews, who led Tower through a dramatic expansion since 2017 in a bid to compete with Philadelphia’s academic medical centers such as Penn Medicine and Jefferson Health. Matthews’ successor is P. Sue Perrotty, 67, a retired bank executive who joined the nonprofit’s board in 2019.

After a massive operating loss of $438 million in the year ended June 30, 2020, and continued losses in the current fiscal year, Tower hired a national consulting firm to help improve its management. The system also engaged an investment bank to consider the sale of hospitals, including the five community hospitals that it bought in 2017 for $423 million.

And then most recently this Inquirer article in October:

Former Tower Health CEO Clint Matthews’ push for more money revealed in Montco court papers. Clint Matthews got a $405,000 bonus for a hospital deal that went sour.

by Harold Brubaker Philadelphia Inquirer
Published Oct 14, 2021

Before his dream of expanding Tower Health went bust, then-chief executive Clint Matthews was offered a compensation deal that included base pay of about $1.15 million and a bonus of $331,500 for the mergers he was about to engineer. He rejected it as “a bit light.”

The Tower board came back with a new offer. In the end, it agreed to increase his base pay by $100,000 ― and to bump the bonus by $73,500…Documents in a Montgomery County court case decided last week explore Matthews’s ambitious acquisitions and his relentless push for high compensation ― a drive that a struggling school system in the area served by his network, Pottstown School District, claimed undercut Tower’s very claim to be a nonprofit…Tower refused to say Wednesday what severance, if any, Matthews had been given. Nor would it disclose how much it is paying his successor, P. Sue Perrotty. It suggested that the public could learn that information once it filed required nonprofit disclosures with the federal government. That may not happen until 2023….When Matthews was gearing up for the hospital acquisitions, his simultaneous complaints about his pay did not sit well with Meg Mueller, a banker and Tower board member.

Then in that October article there is also this one little sentence that also stands out:

Matthews retired abruptly in February, leaving new management, mostly outside consultants, to unravel much of what he and a compliant board had done.

Shakespearean tragedy in the making here or what? Or just a good whodoneit requiring Sherlock Holmes?

Maybe this from September should have been paid attention to…even i it was out of a Reading newspaper:

Tower Health gives its CEO a formal contract
The West Reading-based health system also shakes up management at hospitals in Chester and Montgomery counties

By LISA SCHEID | lscheid@readingeagle.com | Reading Eagle
PUBLISHED: September 1, 2021

P. Sue Perrotty will remain CEO and president of Tower Health as the financially struggling health system finds a path forward in its partnership with Penn Medicine.

The Tower Health board of directors Wednesday announced the health system, which operates six hospitals in the Philadelphia region, has signed a contract with Perrotty.

The board said in a news release that the contract would ensure Perrotty will remain with the organization through its financial and strategic turnaround.

The details of the contract were not disclosed, and Tower declined to answer specific questions about the length of the contract or Perrotty’s salary….The board’s contract with Perrotty comes a month after Tower announced it was aligning with Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine after months of looking for a buyer for the struggling system. Tower recently said it is handing over its nascent liver and kidney transplant program to Penn Medicine.

Tower says Perrotty has been leading a turnaround…..

“Under her tenure, Tower Health’s ongoing financial turnaround has gained momentum, culminating recently with the organization’s first positive quarterly financial performance in more than two years,” Tower said in announcing Perrotty’s contract.

“Sue is a natural leader who has admirably stepped into this role with unwavering dedication and commitment to our organization,” Tom Work, board chair, said in the announcement. “Over her impressive career, Sue has shown a unique ability to inspire and motivate people around a shared goal. Sue has done exactly that as she quickly established a culture of meaningful communication to enhance Tower Health’s clinical services, drive innovation and strengthen our service to the community.”

So if Portia Sue Perrotty is such a strong leader, she should be able to keep at least one if not both hospitals open, right? Or is she merely just another former corporate raider type who doesn’t care about what she can’t see from her window? I.E. Brandywine and Jennersville are to her…expendable?

Found this quote from Lehigh Valley Business from Portia Sue:

Well Portia Sue, how about keeping at least Brandywine open? If not, some day you will probably visited by the four ghosts of Ebenezer Scrooge.

OK one more hyperlink to another Inquirer article…sorry not sorry lots of required reading, but they have been so darn interesting:

Brandywine and Jennersville Hospitals will close, leaving thousands in Chester County without nearby emergency care
A sale planned for Jan. 1 to Canyon Atlantic Partners LLC fell through. Tower needs to cut losses.

by Harold Brubaker Philadelphia Inquirer
Updated Dec 9, 2021

I don’t know what else to say other than the waters of the corporate moat around Tower Health sure are murky, and something is rotten in Reading.

I realize I have taken a long and winding road, it’s just Tower Health and this whole scenario is a wicked and convoluted tale, and fascinating relationships. At the end of the day, I don’t get the gross mismanagement that got everything to this point? I would say how does this happen but it does, right? This is like a double episode of Dateline or 20/20 or a made for TV movie waiting to happen, right?

People make your calls. Whether to Tower executives, board members, people they know, politicians….MAKE the calls. Don’t just vent on social media or think signing a petition is going to sway Tower. (Or elected officials in lofty places – sarcasm- like Harrisburg.)

christmas comes to wildflower farm in willistown (hopefully)

This evening at Willistown Township, the Township officials voted in an agreement with Wildflower Farm, specifically a settlement agreement. As I am a friend of the Heenans, I knew the agreement was coming, but was waiting for the official evening which was the Supervisors Meeting this evening. I have not been privy to the terms of the agreement, I should be CLEAR about that. I also didn’t ask because it’s not my business. I am just happy an agreement was reached.

Well, here it is:

I have to admit the Willistown Supervisors were very patient with the charming neighbors of Castlebar Lane. Still can’t decide if they are Super Stepford, Desperate Housewives throwbacks, Knotts Landing or just jerks of the first order.

And yes, Castlebar dwellers, that is my opinion and I am allowed said opinion. I would never have thought twice about any of this if I hadn’t seen things with my own eyes, including but not limited to someone driving back and forth and back and forth in front of Wildflower Farm’s driveways when I was there one time. For quite a while. I still think that was super creepy and stalkeriffic.

One of the neighbors, who was speaking a lot during settlement agreement identified himself as Frank Houder. He is on the Willistown Planning Commission and his business has gotten a lot of work out of Willistown Township over the years, correct? So I guess as an observer this evening I am a little surprised that he seemingly doesn’t get how things and ordinances work?

I don’t know. It’s a great mystery of life. How these neighbors can be so horrible even when tamed down at a meeting being recorded, escapes me. Again, my opinion and it’s allowable. But those people are why I do not go to many meetings and am grateful for Zoom and streaming. I can watch them and have my meeting Tourette’s and not disturb anyone. Because frankly, people like this make me want to stand up and tell them they are terrible and would they please just STOP.

So all these Scrooges of Castlebar Lane and their ilk will now sit and stew in their McMansions with their cold, dark hearts?? Will they keep filing things against Wildflower Farm? Will they keep essentially spying on Wildflower Farm?

People, it’s freaking CHRISTMAS. Do you get the whole reason for the season? Do you get how horrible you have been to your NEIGHBORS you supposedly wish to get along with?

And why do these neighbors think they should have been privy to a settlement agreement between the township and the farm? That has nothing to do with the neighbors, does it? Or do these people think so highly of themselves that everything has to do with them? (Umm hello, if the world revolves around them, stop it I want to get off.)

Well only time will tell what the Scrooge Collective on Castlebar Lane does. Here’s hoping they just accept they live in an area where farms used to be more plentiful than McMansions. Here’s hoping they realize how LUCKY they are to have a Wildflower Farm in their midst. I mean what if they were allowed to be pig farmers? Me thinks pigs would be far more offensive and odiferous than flowers, yes? And they could have a field of townhouses or ticky tacky new construction crammed in, but they are looking at a FARM and a nice rehabbed one at that. Be GRATEFUL.

As a gardener I have shared my garden resources with this farm – sources for unusual bulbs, tubers, roses, and native plants/trees. As a gardener, I am thrilled to have them close to home. They are wonderful and their flowers are awesome and so is their honey. And they are nice people I have come to know and I am grateful to call friends. Nice people. Beautiful children, hardworking. Chester County is LUCKY to have them.

Merry Christmas Wildflower Farm. Your friends and customers and nice neighbors believe in what you are doing!

Here are the prior posts on Wildflower Farm:

October 7, 2021: the strange tale of wildflower farm: in willistown when is a farm not ok to be a farm?

October 8, 2021: this is wildflower farm

Merry Christmas Heenans! Can’t wait for spring flowers!

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!

poseidon on paoli pike is fabulous!

My friends have been speaking about Poseidon Asian Cuisine & Sushi Bar since they opened. We finally got there this weekend and it was fabulous!

The restaurant is super clean and the staff is so nice. And the food? One word: FABULOUS. It was all amazing, and their dumplings and dim sum are sublime. The sushi is so fresh it practically melts in your mouth.

They also serve wonderful green tea in nice pots at the table. That’s a little detail that is important to me because a lot of restaurants have stopped giving individual pots of tea to each table, and if you like tea you don’t want to keep flagging down your waiter or waitress, you want to be able to just pour it yourself at the table. Oh also this restaurant is BYOB.

We will be going back soon and I just thought I would tell everyone how much we enjoyed it. It is like night and day inside as well when compared to what was there prior to them, which was Redhound Grill before they went under.

Poseidon’s hours are as follows:

Monday – Thursday 11am – 9:30pm
Friday – Saturday 11am – 10pm
Sunday 12:00 pm – 9:30pm

Poseidan is located at 128 Paoli Pike, Paoli, PA (610)-812-3333. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Five star food and many more “Yums.”

I was not asked to write this post, nor was I compensated. We just really enjoyed our meal.

Thanks for stopping by.