well that was fun! wish we could do it again tomorrow!

So my Christmas present to one of my really close friends from forever and a day was to gift her a golden ticket for the Surrey Services Holiday Tour & Shops. Not since we were in high school has there been a great Main Line -centric Christmas house tour essentially. One such tour used to be done by Agnes Irwin, and it was called Christmas in the Country. And then, of course, there were the tours of the Fairmount Park houses and you went around in one of those fun trolleys to each house.

Surrey Services should take a bow. The house tour and shops were an amazing experience. Of course I could kick myself, because I meant to bid on a couple of the trees in the enchanted forest before I was leaving, and I completely forgot. But that’s probably my subconscious telling me I have enough new Christmas stuff for this year!

We started out our day in Bryn Mawr and from there we moved to Villanova. We sadly we didn’t get into that Villanova house because the road was quite narrow and the property next-door to the house we were visiting was in some form of construction mayhem, and there were contractor trucks and landscaper trucks all over a very narrow road so there was no place to move to park and we gave up. that is some thing that was beyond that poor homeowners control and certainly beyond Surrey Services control. It’s one of my favorite roads, but truthfully, I had forgotten how narrow it was in spots.

I don’t know what it is about landscaper trucks on the Main Line, but none of them seem to be able to park. And I’m sorry not sorry that I find that incredibly irksome that the homeowner has a perfectly good driveway and you can see that there’s a house tour going on across the road and they can’t pull their truck in the driveway!

The next two houses were in Berwyn, and they were spectacular! We ended our day with another Radnor Township property, which was my favorite house and not just because it was my friend’s home.

All of these homeowners knocked themselves out for all of us on the tour, and the tour sold out quickly. All of the houses were festive and different. One of the things I liked best about each and every house was the fact that I was in homes that aren’t afraid of art and color. I am not a person who lives in a beige, beige world, so I appreciated the vibrancy in these homes. All of these homes had amazing kitchens, incidentally. And I cook so to see these kitchens was just so much fun for me.

My friend, who was on the tour had the most old-school traditional, beautiful and imaginative Christmas ornaments. He is definitely a kindred spirit as to types of ornaments that I personally love.

From all of the houses, I gathered little ideas to tuck away. I have a very small and simple house by comparison, but all of these houses, even if they were bigger than mine had warmth.

As part of the ticket price, we got a wonderful box lunch from Classic Diner. My friend and I had a turkey BLT. There was no room inside Eisenhower Hall at Valley Forge Military to eat when we got there, but it was such a nice day that we literally sat outside on the edge of the bleachers and had a little picnic. And I thought that was fun.

Parking was a bit of an issue at Valley Forge Military . This is the inaugural year for this event and I think they will figure it out but I think the people that were the ticket holders for the whole day should have had primary access to Eisenhower Hall, and when we couldn’t get into the lot, the police officer directing traffic who told us we couldn’t go into the lot was kind of not so nice and all we did was ask was where should we go to park because we didn’t know.

I completely understand how frustrated the officer must have been personally because it was a lot of cars in that area, but I think next year they should have somebody working the gate that only lets people with passes for the full day or whom require handicap access into that lot right there and people that are just shopping at the shops park at the other lot, which I think was across Radnor Street Road.

We ended up parking in a little lot we accessed from further down Eagle Road and the employees from the school couldn’t have been nicer. I will also note that parking would have been easier as well if some people hadn’t literally taken two spaces for one car —-that’s just bad manners.

Now, although I bitched about this a little right here in this post, I also know that because it was a crush it means this event was a huge success! Surrey has created something fantastic!

The enchanted forest, which I had previewed yesterday was amazing. There is literally nothing better to me than being in a great big room, full of fabulous Christmas trees fully decorated! And in the center of the room was a wonderful table, set for a Christmas feast. And the little bar at the end of the room, where the trees were, was serving, mocktails for people to try.

When you went up the steps to the second floor of Eisenhower Hall, you found yourself in a giant room full of fabulously curated vendors. I was thrilled to see some of my friends and their small businesses there, along with getting an opportunity to see and meet other vendors and local small businesses like Main Point Books.

It was just such a wonderful day. As I’m sitting here writing this, I still feel the happy vibe from the day. And that’s how you know you had a really good day.

This event proves to me that the best kinds of events during the holiday season or ones that give you something pretty and do something good. Surrey Services is a favorite in my family. They do such good work and important work. And they have the nicest volunteers and paid staff that you will meet pretty much anywhere. And if you are still looking for Christmas fun, I would suggest their consignment shop in Berwyn. Last time I was in which was a couple of weeks ago the place totally blew my mind because it was so full of so much awesomeness for Christmas and the holidays.

Hey Surrey, sign me up for the 2024 holiday tour !

christmas magic this weekend at life’s patina willowbrook farm in malvern!

Life’s Patina holiday preview was AMAZING! This time their charity partner is St. Mary’s Franciscan Shelter for Homeless Families in Phoenixville.

The event was packed and people were enjoying themselves and this amazing holiday experience that Meg Veno and her team put on every year this time.

This is an amazing and magical event that is different every year. And every year there is a charity partner because Christmas and holiday season is about giving back as well as doing special holiday things.

The Sale is this Friday Saturday and Sunday at Life’s Patina Willowbrook Farm 1750 N. Valley Rd in Malvern.

Hours are: Friday, December 1st, 10:00 am – 5:00 pmSaturday, December 2nd, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday, December 3rd, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Entrance is free and so is the parking.

what would charles dickens think?

I have been trying to give these Yuletide at Devon people the benefit of the doubt. Even sent potential sponsor people and others their way. But then on top of the fee just to walk in the gate, I next heard about the parking prices.

Sorry not sorry, my inner Scrooge came out at the parking prices on top of the walk in the gate prices without so much as a complimentary candy cane? Ummm?

And then there was the whole “press preview” because that cracks me up. Influencers, and more benign mommy bloggers were invited. I am laughing because my invitation must have gotten lost, yes? But then again, I don’t ask for or expect freebies, do I? But hey some Russian and India based bot tweeters have it on “X” so I guess that matters?

I have never been an it girl (or needed to be), nor am I an influencer or an overly socially ambitious “therapist” who wants to be an influencer, I just love Christmas and offer an honest opinion.

But my honest opinion after mulling it over is that for $35 just to walk in the door, not including parking or anything else unless you want to ride kiddie rides? I’ve made the decision to skip it. I am not saying don’t go, I am saying for me it’s a shiny Christmas bauble without the necessary luster.

If Yuletide at Devon had decided to offer to donate a portion of proceeds back to a local nonprofit even on just select days, as in doing something that would help people during the holiday season, I probably would have bought a ticket in the end. But what their event is messaging to people in my opinion is Christmas magic at a cost that a lot can’t afford. So sadly, I think for its inaugural year I am giving it a pass. Also the reviews have been quite mixed and everyone has said it’s too expensive.

Christmas should indeed be magical but maybe not another gaping dividing line between haves and have nots. What would Charles Dickens think? I am thinking he might think we need a modern Christmas Carol or something, truthfully.

So what events will I attend that I was delighted to buy tickets to because of a non-profit component? Keep reading….and first two other great giving ideas….

One of my other just giving for good picks this year is Plaid Pajama Project.


And of course you can never go wrong with Toys for Tots.


See below for 3 amazing event picks. I also have heard of another fun shopping event near Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem but I don’t know details yet. And I will also tell you that all of my picks for vintage and antique things that I love remain true at Christmas:

Now… here are my three picks for fun holiday events with a shopping component to attend in the area:

Holiday Magic for Good #1:

First up will be the preview for the Holiday Barn Sale at Life’s Patina at Willowbrook Farm. The preview tickets are sold out and I am happy to buy them every holiday season because it’s a spectacularly magical and beautifully curated holiday event that ooozes Christmas and the holidays. And a portion of the sales every time go to a nonprofit.

The sale has three FREE public days and free parking as well.

Friday, December 1st, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Saturday, December 2nd, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday, December 3rd, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

LOCATION: Willowbrook Farm, 1750 N Valley Rd, Malvern, PA 19355

Every year I introduced more people to this event, and every year they thank me for telling them about it because it’s such a wonderful experience!

Holiday Magic for Good #2:

When I first heard about this event in its infancy, a year ago, I was so excited. I can’t wait!!!

I am talking about the Surrey Services for Seniors Holiday House Tour and Shop. It is the first real holiday house tour of its kind in the Main Line area since Christmas in the Country, which was the event that Agnes Irwin did for years as a fundraiser!

The tickets for this event at Surrey sold like hotcakes. So the tour portion is actually sold out but they have this amazing set of Christmas shops over in Eisenhower Hall at Valley Forge Military Academy and College. That is free and open to the public on the same day as the house tour! And the vendors are carefully curated and a lot of local faces, that people love among others.

The Christmas/holiday shops are Friday, December 8 from 11 AM to 6 PM. 1001 Eagle Road in Wayne. And best of all there’s ample free parking! And I know who some of the vendors are for this and people will love it!

Best of all, this entire day, benefits, the fabulous nonprofit known as Surrey Services for Seniors, so what is not to love?

Holiday Magic for Good #3:

I guess you’ve already figured out I like Holiday house tours. Especially when they benefit a good thing.

So number three on my list is a West Chester Borough and area tradition.

The Holiday Home Tour will take place on Saturday, December 2, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and will showcase eight homes in the Northwest and Southwest quadrants of the Borough decked out for the holidays.

Created as a socially distanced replacement for the Holiday Home Tour during the pandemic shutdown of 2020, the family-friendly Holiday Door Tour was so popular the library now offers it in addition to the Home Tour! Running from Saturday, December 2 through Sunday, December 17, this self-guided tour will feature West Chester doors and porches decorated by their owners in holiday finery. It can be enjoyed at any time of day and by a group of your choice.

get tickets:

All proceeds from the Holiday Tours will benefit West Chester Public Library and the community it serves. Holiday Home Tour advance tickets are $40 per person and may be purchased in the library or online through December 1. Tickets may be purchased the day of the Tour, December 2, at the library for $50 each.

holiday open house at loch aerie!

Open house at Loch Aerie on Sunday 10, 2023 1 PM to 4 PM – please bring a non-perishable food item for Chester County Food Bank or a new unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. Loch Aerie is a very special house and this is so awesome they are doing this! If you haven’t seen her since she was completely head to toe restore, come celebrate the holidays and give back.

oh st.david’s fair!!! (50% off tomorrow 10 am – 2 pm!)

If you missed the Saint Davids Fair today, you have a second chance tomorrow!

50% off tomorrow! Open to the public.

10 AM -2 PM. 763 S. Valley Forge Road Wayne, PA 19087 🐿️

This fair is a little slice of heaven. It is a throwback to simpler and nicer times, and a reminder of what can be. There are books, fabulous second hand Rose clothes for men and women, housewares, flea market, you name it.

There is also a big furniture tent and tomorrow everything is 50% off and it’s cash or card. I suggest bringing cash because the Internet is spotty over there and some parts of the property there’s no reception.

This fair benefits the church and their various mission and other charitable projects.

fair deal of the decade

Ok ok I think at the 50% off sale today at St. David’s Fair in Wayne I got the deal of the decade! I finally found new everyday flatware.

I have been looking for flatware for such a long time that was just the right look for me.

I have had my old every day flatware for over 20 years. I like it but I was tired of it and I wanted something new that was preferably vintage that also had weight to it. And that’s one of the things I find important in everyday flatware because the handles have weight. That sounds rather picayune perhaps, but it’s just something you like the feel of a certain way, or you don’t. I think that’s probably why I also am a fan of old hotel silver which really isn’t silver. It’s got weight to it.

Yesterday at the top of a shelf in the back of the flea market sheds at St. David’s was a flatware chest that was dusty and I couldn’t reach it. It was also SO crowded that I couldn’t get to it even to really see.

When I came back today, it was still there. And I came back at the very end of the 50% off sale, and there it was. Service for 16 with the hostess set and was originally $74.00. At 50% off it was $37!

I just did a little bit of research and what I found is it is indeed very heavy, vintage flatware from Oneida. The pattern is called “Royal Flute”. And rather amusingly, it’s collectible! I was looking on eBay and the prices are kind of all over the map for it and people seem to like it.

My flatware is stamped Oneida Community. According to what I looked up, Oneida Community started production of silver-plated flatware and hollow-ware in 1899 using the “Community Plate” mark. The Oneida Community purchased the Wm A. Rogers company in 1881. In 1929 the merged company began producing a somewhat lower-quality line of products using those companies’ marks. In 1935, Oneida Community changed its name to Oneida Ltd.

So I don’t know? Maybe I think it’s stainless steel and it’s silver plate? Whatever it is, I don’t think it’s actually ever been used. I bought service for 16 with the hostess set for $37!

I washed up my new old flatware and dried each piece by hand. I swapped out my former everyday stuff and put it in the old flatware chest that the Oneida came in. I will hang onto that for buffetware or something. Or some day when someone’s kid has their first apartment, I will just gift them all this flatware.

I also bought some wonderful old books that I have to go through at my leisure. When I came home, it was time to move the tropical plants from the patio back inside for the fall and winter, so I didn’t get to everything today.

Anyway, this was a fun and lucky purchase, and that’s why I love flea markets in general.

I can’t wait until next year‘s fair!

Have a good night.

the obstacle course survived the zoning stuff in west vincent for non-profit events?

Trying this again. THIS is a share of a public post from a public Facebook group or page. I can SEE this is a nonprofit event. What I do NOT understand is why events are still happening here? I thought this site was not wanted by residents and went to court etc?

West Vincent has such inept and incompetent supervisors it is worth asking, isn’t it?

People who left comments, Facebook removed the post although I was sharing from a PUBLIC post etc. I did not remove the post. I can’t figure out why since it was certainly not controversial.



And while we are at it can we ask why Facebook is on crack this morning? A public post was shared, and comments were not deleted OR heated. People were telling me how non-profit events were allowed. I was trying to understand how this happened because last time I heard about this place, neighbors were up in arms and packing meetings.

The question was in the area of follow-up on a place and issue I forgot about. So according to people who have been to non-profit events there in recent past, it seems that those kind of events are somehow allowed?

I was curious hence the question. Can’t see the place from my house but when you remember how upset neighbors were and then after a long time you see the place pop up it’s natural to ask how did that happen.

But because we couldn’t have a normal and civil conversation on Facebook, I decided to post it here. Their algorithms are fakakta.

today at ebenezer, hope rose like a phoenix from the ashes

This won’t be a particularly long post and over the next couple of days I will be going through photos from the sign ceremony to post but today my heart was happy and full of joy.

I love this site, and I love the history it represents, and today I felt hopeful. Today I felt the old souls were pleased… and I could also feel more recent souls who loved Ebenezer whom I knew, Ann Christie and Al Terrell were smiling.

Also something unexpected happened. Today I got a thank you for my contributions to Ebenezer. That is a place that is so special to me, and the thank you was heartfelt. It came from Pastor April Martin and Bertha Jackmon. Coming from them that really meant something special to me. No one really has ever publicly recognized my efforts, and it’s one of those things where no brass band was ever needed, but a simple thank you today meant the world.

My relationship with the East Whiteland Historic Commission doesn’t really exist. I genuinely like a couple of the members and a few members past and present have always been truly really nice to me, and I enjoy speaking with them and knowing them a little bit, BUT I know most of those people do not like me, and a few do not go out of their way to make me feel welcome. And part of the things that have upset me about Ebenezer was trying to talk to them over the years. None of them are bad people, but they are quite cliquish, and not necessarily welcoming to someone like me, or anyone who isn’t their normal person.

Part of what I realized today is I don’t need their approval or permission to love local history. They honestly did a really nice job with the ceremony. Ebenezer’s graveyard is nicely cleaned up. A bunch of stones have fallen over but it’s partially the site itself, and there are new homes being dug around it. The plan is to restore the stones and cap the church ruin which is perfect.

There is a brand new website and fundraising will need to be done for the future and if there are folks who can set up a non profit to help Ebenezer live long into the future visit https://www.historicebenezerbactonhill.org/

It was really nice to visit Hiram and Joshua today too.

Many thanks to Chair of the East Whiteland Supervisors Scott Lambert and Manager Steve Brown for their support of preserving this historic site and for arranging all sorts of things today and East Whiteland PD for making a sometimes busy road behave today.

Again, I will post photos over the next few days. In the future I would like to plant daffodils and snowdrops by the grave stones after they are reset.

they had me at holiday house tour

Yes, they literally had me at Holiday House Tour. I love Christmas tours. my friends from Surrey Services told me about this about a month ago and I just forgot until now to post it

And I’m a big fan of Surrey Services for Seniors.

I know if Eddie Ross is involved it will be a fabulous event so save the date!

Friday, December 8, 2023.

oh it’s a life’s patina weekend this weekend!

What are you doing this weekend? How about Life’s Patina spring open weekend? You will be so glad you did – good for your soul 🥰 Click here for information!