happy 25th anniversary to the west chester growers market!!!

IMG_6363I missed all the political fanfare early this morning, but I did make it to the 25th anniversary of the West Chester Growers Market.

State Senator Andy Dinniman and Chester County Commissioners Michele Kichline and Terrence Farrell were there at the opening of today’s market to celebrate with everyone and present citations and proclamations.

But where oh where were the officials of West Chester Borough? Borough Council? I mean it is NO SECRET they have been discussing the lot on the corner of Chestnut and Church Streets again right?  And what developer and hotel owner want in on whatever is discussed, hmmm?  Oh the irony that they just discussed this again, what? This past week?

wcb

And no one from the Borough could come to the West Chester Growers Market in an official capacity to celebrate their 25th anniversary? The County and State felt they should be there, so why not the Borough?

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

Photo courtesy of County Commissioner Terrence Farrell’s Facebook Page.  He and Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline presenting a County citation to Paul “Bud” Hauser, an inspiration behind and one of the four original growers who founded the West Chester Growers Market 25 years ago. I think this is fabulous that they did this!!

Oh and my opinions are my own, by the way.  And sadly I think West Chester Borough needs to appreciate the organizations which bring people into the Borough weekly for 25 years, don’t you? The West Chester Growers Market brings people and farms and small food producers together. In a world filled with ugliness, this is something genuine and nice.

Today the market was bustling in spite of the crazy heat.  And the vendors were nice enough to have lots and lots of water on hand for customers. And ice cream!!  And balloons and face painting for kids!

IMG_6377

I love the West Chester Growers Market and it is pretty much the only one I patronize at this point since East Goshen seems to have given up on their farmers market which I think is a huge mistake since they have one of the most awesome locations.

The photos I took today were my own.  I am not compensated in any way for posting about the market. I post about the West Chester Growers Market because I love it and think it’s fabulous.

And if West Chester Borough Council gets their knickers in a twist because I do not feel in my opinion that they appreciate the market in all it’s fabulousness, tough noogies and am I wrong?

HAPPY 25TH ANNIVERSARY WEST CHESTER GROWERS MARKET!! 

WE LOVE YOU IN CHESTER COUNTY!!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

visiting the lockwoods

Today I went to St. Paul’s in Exton for the Loving Our Earth Expo. It was a lot of fun and they had interesting vendors and terrific speakers including Mike McGrath from You Bet Your Garden.

While I was there, I decided to find the Lockwood family whom are buried in the graveyard adjacent to the church.

St. Paul’s is quite old and was started around 1827. It actually was apparently and offshoot of one of my favorite churches Old St. David’s Radnor. It was consecrated by Bishop William White in 1829. I will note they could probably use some angels to get some of the headstones in that graveyard repaired.

The Lockwood family are the people for whom Loch Aerie was built. I have been meaning to visit their graves for a few years, so today I made the time for it and I’m glad I did. I will also note one of the newer buildings is named after the Lockwood sisters.

dinner and a show…in malvern

People’s Light stage.

Tonight we had a long overdue dinner date with a dear friend from high school and her husband. These friends are like family to me, so I love when we can get together.

We started in Malvern Borough at Restaurant Alba where the chef was kind enough to do one of the fabulous tasting menus for us (usually Monday through Thursday)

Now I don’t normally photograph the entire menu, but dinner was spectacular.

First up was an egg from the chef’s own chickens served with a fresh grilled ramp and served over couscous:

Next was this delightful fresh trout with refreshing pink grapefruit and micro greens:

After that a delightful pasta that had pistachios chopped in the sauce!

Following the pasta was this melt in your mouth pork belly served over polenta that was totally sublime.

Following the dinner was a flourless chocolate ricotta cake:

I just love Alba. The staff is so nice and it’s just a special place. They got us out the door in plenty of time to make our 7:30 PM curtain at People’s Light.

I think sometimes we take for granted that we have this amazing theater complex and talented players right here in Chester County. I started attending plays there when I was a teenager. One of my good friend’s parents were big and early supporters of this theater treasure.

This evening we saw For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday. It runs through May 12th and I loved every minute! When I was little the daughter of a family friend was Peter Pan in a summer production at the Community Theater in Avalon NJ. I remember her flying across the stage in her green tights and costume. It was magical!

Flash forward to this evening. I am an adult and this was a grown up version of Peter Pan. With all the magic of the version of the show I loved as a little girl. (Yes that’s all you get out of me, go see it before it’s gone!)

This evening we also had the extra special treat of seeing another friend from high school’s brother perform and the dog in the show? He was trained by another friend! So it really was a very exceptional and memorable evening.

People’s Light is an amazing and wonderful resource. I will close this post by asking for you to support the arts in Chester County and suggest if you can, please make a donation to People’s Light. Keep the creative light burning!

why i like hallmark movies

img_5540

Quite the post title, isn’t it? But it’s true, I like Hallmark movies. Yes, I watch Hallmark movies.  I especially love the Christmas movies, because well, I love Christmas. (But I digress.)

I know some who know me only by what I write here might find this all surprising.  Or even laughable. Those who know me off this blog might find it surprising. But it’s true.  And why is it?

The people in the movies are nice. Even the bad guys have redemption.

Yes, a completely unrealistic perception of the current world we live in, but it provides nice escapism.  It’s nice to see communities come together even in a fictional way.  They love local traditions like fairs, festivals, and carnivals and the Hallmark ones look like so much fun!  Even their fictional bake sales look good! And in Hallmark movies people fight to save small independent businesses like local bookstores, so for this bookworm, what’s not to love about that?

With regard to the world we live in today, definitely too much social media. And yes, I am as guilty of it as the next person.  I love when I get criticized for posting something that isn’t bubbly and sweet, because ummm I don’t always feel bubbly and sweet.  Plus I have to wonder if the seemingly perfect lives and families I see portrayed across social media very day are that? How can they be so perfect? Are they really not so perfect? I now make an effort to try to be OFF of social media at times.

Hallmark movies show us the little niceties in life that people like to forget.  Like take this for example: I received a newsletter recently from an organization I belong to and it showed their 2019 schedule including garden tours and visits.  They had asked me in the fall to tour my garden for potential inclusion and then never followed up after thanking me for taking the time to show them around.

I guess I now know why I never heard a peep again, and truthfully it is fine that they did not choose my garden (it’s an ungodly amount of work to prepare especially if you don’t have a minion squad), but how about a follow-up note or a call to say they went in a different direction but thanks for playing along?

And that is not the only group which toured my garden but never followed up.  My own high school alma mater sent employees from the alumni office to tour my garden in the fall but no one from the committee ever followed up.  It’s like they are too important for the actual details of planning  their garden tour event.

With regard to ths event  (like many others) , I know it depends geographically where they are going and I am in Chester County, but I also know realistically a cottage and woodland garden in Chester County would never hold much interest for most of today’s Main Line private school mommies, but still. Manners, ladies. Manners. Is it so bloody hard to be polite and say thank you?

Now sadly, this behavior seems somewhat pervasive because I have two friends with two lovely businesses who received similar treatment at the hands of their annual holiday shops event committee members.

Imagine being an alumni with a high end accessories and jewelry business that by rights should fit nicely into their holiday shops mix and submitting your information for consideration multiple years and one year someone was overtly rude to you who was a committee member and the other years you were just completely blown off without even an acknowledgement? Or imagine being an alumni with another business who was also declined as to  type to find out said business type appeared probably because they were somebody’s buddy?

(But hey a couple of years ago like a certain non-profit’s Fall Classic Shops they had LuLa Roe. Priorities, natch’. )

We are all grown-ups here, right? Many of our mothers served on committees which were predescessors to today’s events and they would not have dreamed of being rude to alumni or anyone for starters, and would have handled turn downs of businesses for things like the holiday shops well…differently.   How differently? A decline would have been so polite and handled with such finesse that the recipients would not have felt there was a rejection.

Whether by handwritten note or phone call thanking someone for their interest, a simple nicety goes a long way.  Everyone goes away happy.

And events like garden tours? You would have had committee members who were active in their garden clubs, and more.  And they never would have sent staff to preview anyone’s garden, they would have gone personally – after all it was supposed to be their event, their volunteerism for the school, right? And those who were interested in participating who for whatever reason weren’t chosen? It would be a nice little outreach again thanking them for being interested and hoping they would subscribe to the tour anyway, etc.

But the truth of the matter in my opinion is most of the parents on these committees today don’t care about the alumni, or their feelings.  Ironically of course, some day their children will be alumni, but hey whatever floats their boat.

Having attended these events to try to support my alma mater I also haven’t been able to help but notice how these parents volunteering at these events often appear as cliquey as their kids.

Now how does this fit into my whole I like watching Hallmark movies of it all? Simple.  When these events are portrayed on Hallmark movies even if there is event committee drama, everyone is nice to everyone else.  And they love when fictional alumni take the time to be interested. And manners.  Old fashioned manners.

Hallmark movies can teach us the life lesson of it is just as easy to be pleasant as it is to be a jerk. That it is as easy to be inclusive and takes far less negative energy to be rudely exclusive.

Hallmark movies are not the real world.  But they are a nice place to visit. Sadly they seem to be representative of times gone by.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

kicking off the holiday season life’s patina style

IMG_0430

I love Christmas and was so excited when my friend Amy suggested we attend the Holiday Tea at Life’s Patina on Willowbrook Farm in Malvern.  The tea was today and it was an amazing event! (In all fairness, EVERY Life’s Patina event is amazing!)

Mind you, my day did not have an auspicious start as I locked myself out of the house accidentally this morning dealing with pets.  Not only did I lock myself out, but I was in my nightgown with wet hair.  I had to march myself across the road to my neighbor’s to call my husband to get back into the house.  (Have I mentioned I have awesome neighbors? I do! I am sure the sight of me in my nightgown has scarred them for life, but anyway.)

So after the trauma of locking myself out of our house in my nightgown, I managed to be ready in time to go to the tea.

I love the Life’s Patina events!  The proprietress, Meg Veno, is an amazing woman.  She has the biggest heart, is just so darn nice, and has an eye that gets me into trouble every time I attend a barn sale.  Seriously, the woman has an amazing design aesthetic and is super creative and finds the perfect things.  Her holiday events are among my favorites because, well, it’s no secret I love Christmas!

IMG_0442

This morning when we walked into the holiday preview tea, it was sensory overload.  The holidays were beautifully spilling out of every nook and cranny of the barn.  This was a lovely and exclusive event complete with a delicious luncheon for all of us who subscribed.  I especially liked the Quiche and the little smoked salmon sandwiches and the peach tea.

It was like a little bit of holiday magic in that barn today. People were happy. Holidays are festive times for friends and family, and this was a very nice reminder of times to come.

Another component to today was the charity Meg chose to receive a portion of the sales.  She pays it forward in that way with her events.

Today’s charity recipient was the Women’s Resource Center of Wayne, PA. This non-profit has the mission to help women and girls  successfully navigate life’s transitions and to inspire others to do the same.  By providing resources, tools and support for today, we create hope for tomorrow. The Women’s Resource Center serves Southeastern, PA including Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, and Delaware counties.

Founded in 1975, the Women’s Resource Center began when five women placed an ad in The Suburban and Wayne Times calling for a meeting on women’s issues. Forty-five women attended the initial meeting, indicating a strong demand for an organization that was dedicated to the special needs of women. The original group established three goals that remain in place to this day:

1) To provide information and referral services to women & families;
2) To offer supportive programming and workshops; and
3) To maintain a physical location from which to serve the greater Philadelphia community.

This is a very worthy non-profit and I was happy to do my part and purchase some really fun things for the holidays.  I will admit I bought some Christmas ornaments and the world’s funniest holiday cocktail napkins.

Also today was the unexpected surprise of running into old, familiar faces at the tea and shopping preview.  I saw someone I basically had not seen in over five years.  We were friends in another lifetime.  It was nice to catch-up and meet her new friends.

I was truthfully amused by all of the Main Liners and city dwellers who made it out “to the country” to attend this preview.  I hope they all saw and appreciated the fall splendor of Chester County today.

Willowbrook Farm is an absolutely magical property with majestic trees donned at present in fiery reds, oranges, and spectacular yellow.  They have a huge Ginko tree which is captivating this time of year.  You just do not see many Ginkos anymore and the only other ones of similar height and majesty are on the path leading to the Haverford College Nature Trail that runs behind the one side of Haverford Friends School.

You too can see the magic in store this season at Life’s Patina.  There are holiday events coming up! Christmas magic doesn’t even begin to describe what is coming up.

Holiday Barn Sale – New Dates (postponed because of flooded fields)

November 16 – November 18 FREE ADMISSION! 10 AM – 4 PM

German Christmas Market at Life’s Patina

December 8 – December 9 FREE ADMISSION but asking for donations to  MainLineFreunde and T&E Care  3 PM – 6 PM  (Follow German Christmas Market on The Main Line HERE on Facebook.)

Willowbrook Farm and Life’s Patina are located at 1750 N. Valley Rd
Malvern, 19355 BUT this is a private residence, NOT a store so you can’t just show up.  The fabulous dairy barn full of magic is only opened to the public for special events.  Feel free to follow them on Facebook .

Here is a sampling of the Christmas magic I found today at Life’s Patina which also included discovering Stony Hill Farm out of Pottstown:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

help uncork the cure to cancer by attending the 27th annual wine festival to crush cancer at the dilworthtown inn!

23864348508_8d52b7ba26_o

Even grey fall skies couldn’t keep people away October, 2017!!

You know summer is reaching her end when you get the notification that it’s time to buy your tickets for the Dilworthtown Wine Festival!! We love this fall event. It’s fun, it’s outside, it’s just a fabulous day.

21583398254_bcbf40990e_zOn Sunday, October 14, 2018  more than 1,500 oenophiles will help uncork the cure to cancer as they celebrate the 27th Annual Wine Festival at the fabulous Dilworthtown Inn.

As Chester County’s favorite wine event, the festival features more than 100 wines, craft beers, sumptuous fare prepared by Dilworthtown Inn chefs and local food trucks, a silent auction, shopping opportunities in the Gallery of Artisan Vendors, live music, a Performance Car Show, and much more. Proceeds from the wine festival benefit patients of The Abramson Cancer Center at Chester County Hospital and Neighborhood Health.

37008066844_a1873f017d_o

For friends and family members battling cancer, the cancer specialties at Chester County Hospital bring the world-class care of the Abramson Cancer Center close to home. As part of Penn Medicine, it offers the latest treatment protocols and cutting-edge technology.

22216477811_ade819d6b5_kThe outstanding medical staff, clinical team, nurse navigators and hospital volunteers are known for providing the highest level of care and attention to the needs of our patients. And, the hospital works to give every patient every edge in their battle with cancer, including assistance for patients who are uninsured and under-insured. Outside of the hospital, patients continue to have access to the highest level of care through the services of Neighborhood Health (home health, hospice, private duty, and Senior HealthLink services).

22019294339_c00b786512_oThe Wine Festival is organized by the Brandywine and Greystone Women’s Auxiliaries to the hospital. To attend, volunteer, sponsor or donate, visit www.2crushcancer.com     or call 610.431.5054.

 22018069570_647f54d94c_zAs a 7 year breast cancer survivor as of June 1st, I attend this event because I know what good  Chester County Hospital and Penn Medicine do.  I would not be alive if it wasn’t for Penn Medicine.  So I make it a point to attend this event and support it, for that very reason.  Hokey as it may sound, it is the truth.

I have friends who work so hard on this event from the volunteers to the wine brokers.  It is an absolutely glorious way to spend an afternoon, so I hope you will consider buying tickets and attending.

VISIT EVENTBRITE TO EASILY PURCHASE TICKETS TODAY!

Image may contain: drink

Event Details:

When: Sunday, October 14, 2018 – 12 noon to 4 pm (rain or shine)

Where: Dilworthtown Inn, 1390 Old Wilmingtown Pike, West Chester, PA 19382

Questions: Contact Kate Pergolini at 610.431.5054 or Kate.Pergolini@uphs.upenn.edu

22019290819_83d959f645_o

General Admission Tickets: $45 until October 6, 2018/ $50 starting October 7, 2018

Enjoy the Grand Tasting of more than 100 wines & Craft Beer, Performance Car Show, Live Entertainment, Silent Auction and Shopping Gallery. Food is available for purchase from local food trucks.

 

VIP Tickets: $110 until October 6, 2018/$115 starting October 7, 2018

Your VIP Ticket includes all of the above, plus it is also your pass to the VIP tent, where you can enjoy reserved seating, fruit and cheese, special wines, gourmet food and more.

22193422542_249519a58e_o

Designated Driver Packages: $225

We want you to enjoy the day responsibly. The designated driver package includes 5 General Admission Tickets and One Free Designated Driver Ticket. The Designated Driver Ticket allows you to enjoy the Performance Car Show, Shopping Gallery, Live Entertainment, Silent Auction and also includes lunch and a non-alcoholic beverage.

22206165865_b719cb6b0f_o

are you ready for the best tredyffrin historic preservation trust house tour yet?

I love old and historic house tours almost as much as I love garden tours. And my friend Pattye Benson, proprietress of the Great Valley House of Valley Forge  is also President of the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust.   She also is the woman who makes the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust  Historic House Tour come to life year after year. Every year is better than the year before, and not one year has disappointed.  My husband and I are Patron Sponsors of the tour, and proudly so.

The Jones Log Barn. July, 2018 photo courtesy of Pattye Benson

Travel back in time this year on Saturday September 29, 2018 from 10 AM to 5 PM.  If you love history and architecture, you will not want to miss the much-anticipated 14th Annual Historic House Tour.

‘The Culver House’, c.1860 ~Pattye Benson photo

To celebrate historic preservation, the public is invited to attend ’Jazz it Up’ the 14th Annual Historic House Tour Preview Party on Sunday, September 16, 6 PM – 9 PM  at the historic Duportail House in Chesterbrook.  An evening of fun with live music, food and drinks, join us to celebrate the homeowners and the homes featured on the tour.  Classical jazz music provided by the award-winning ’Jazz Mavericks’ from the Center for Performing & Fine Arts of West Chester. In addition to the historic homeowners, the preview party is a lovely thank you thank the generous individual and corporate sponsors who make the annual tour possible. Attendees also get a sneak preview of the beautiful homes featured on the 14th Annual Historic House Tour!

Wayne Bed & Breakfast, c.1885
~Pattye Benson photo

The annual historic house tour would not be possible without the generosity of individual and corporate sponsors.  Click 2018 House Tour Sponsor Packet for information about how you can be a sponsor and receive complimentary tickets to the house tour and the preview party.

To Purchase Tickets for 14th Annual Historic House Tour & ‘Party for Preservation’ Preview Party CLICK HERE 

NOTE:  Tickets for the Preview Party and/or the 14th Annual Historic House Tour are nonrefundable.

The Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust is a small nonprofit 501c3 organization and your ticket purchase is tax-deductible as the government allows.

  • You will receive a confirmation (via email) of your house tour ticket(s) purchase prior to the house tour day.
  • The house tour ticket pick-up location for 2017 is Tredyffrin Library, 582 Upper Gulph Road, Strafford, PA, starting at 11 AM on Saturday, Sept. 23.

‘Foxmead’,Strafford, c.1911
~Pattye Benson photo