going to france for dinner via chester county

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We have this sort of unofficial supper club with some of our Chester County residing Shipley friends. Last night, we were treated to dinner at the home of one of these friends.  We all went to France via Chester County because another guest at the table was renown local chef, (an actual honest to goodness amazing French Chef)  Sylvie Ashby.

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Chef Sylvie 

Chef Sylvie lives in West Chester. She was born and raised in Normandy, France. She always wanted to share the love and passion for French cooking and comfort food the French traditional way by only using seasonal fresh produce and meats from the local markets.

Last evening’s dinner was one of my favorite meals ever.  I grew up on bœuf bourguignon or beef Burgundy or bœuf à la Bourguignonne is not some ordinary stew, as delicious as they may beef.  It is elevated far beyond that and if done properly like last night, the meat does not disintegrate but melts in your mouth. Last night, it was probably hands down the best I have ever had.

We started with hors d’oevres of belgian endive boats piped with a light and fluffy goat cheese, goat cheese toasts, and one of my favorite purely French treats I have never made, gougères!Related image Gougères are these fluffy puffs of warm pastry made with Gruyère cheese.  (Check out this recipe for gougères from Alain Ducasse.)

After our main course of bœuf bourguignon we had a marvelous salad with fresh greens and a delightful vinaigrette with an amazing blood orange infused olive oil from a Taste of Olive in West Chester. And the bread? Amazing as always from La Baguette Magique in West Chester.

The beef and cheese were also locally sourced.  I forget whose goat cheeses we had, and

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Chef Sylvie Courtesy Photo

I do not know the farm name for the beef but for some reason I think it was from down near Landenberg.

And dessert? Channel your inner Julia Child, it was Floating Island! Floating Island is a light as a feather dessert consisting of meringue floating on crème anglaise.  The crème anglaise is custardy and delicious.  Chef Sylvie finished the dessert with a light caramel drizzle.

This dinner was a true mini vacation to France.  I love when we get together to have dinner with our friends, and we loved being introduced to Chef Sylvie.

And guess what? You too can hire Chef Sylvie to bring the taste of France to your home for intimate gatherings.  Chef Sylvie specializes in French country cooking, bringing France to the comfort of your own home for private dinner parties.  And her prices are emminently reasonable. She also will cater events like birthday parties, Girls ‘night out, Crepes bar party, Book Clubs, Wine Clubs…her website is cuisinedesylvie.com . You can also find her on Facebook Cuisine de Sylvie.

One thing I did not ask her is if she teaches cooking classes.  I think that would be super fun!

Stay safe in the snow and ice!

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american on american terrorism is NOT o.k.!

Today the news broke that someone in this country that someone is mailing pipe bombs to people like the Clintons, Obama, George Soros, and others.

That is truly a WTF moment.

These actions are not what the USA is about. These are not the actions of loyal Americans, but acts of domestic terrorism.

These actions are horrible. I don’t care what your politics are or what political party you belong to, no one should be mailing anyone pipe bombs.

I posted the New York Times article they published a couple of hours ago on my blog’s Facebook page with the sole comment of WTF. Sorry not sorry, it’s how I felt.

After I posted the article, the comments started. The one person who liked the article as in liked it because it was a good thing someone was mailing pipe bomb things to high ranking Democrats, took me to task because apparently I hadn’t posted articles when some Republicans were mailed envelopes with suspicious content.

Excuse the hell out of me, I didn’t know it was a domestic terrorism contest between political parties. I also had been blissfully unaware of that news report.

I used to be a total news junkie. I don’t watch the news very much anymore. Ever since this administration came to Washington our country has devolved into an angry hateful nation.

That is not my America. To me that is not being an American.

Truthfully, I am kind of sick of both political parties at this point.

The Democrats in Chester County evicted two teenage girls from the “Sunrise Movement” an event recently because they didn’t want them asking Governor Wolf environmental or pipeline questions at an event. They bought event tickets fair and square. So wrong. Of course one of the young ladies was already essentially ridiculed this summer by Wolf’s golf spike shoe wearing opponent Scott Wagner.

The younger voters might not have all the life experience of an older person, but they are the ones who will be inheriting the hot mess this country is becoming. Don’t discourage involvement. People are growing apathetic enough, myself included if I am honest.

The anger and rage coursing through this great nation is utterly terrifying. It has to stop.

We need to get back to civility within our political system.

In my humble opinion that also means we need to start systematically electing different kinds of politicians. We need to have representatives in elected office who actually represent us, not special interest groups, big donors, political party bigwigs.

Since the founding of this great nation people have fought and died for our freedoms. People need to remember what it is to be an American, and part of that is the ability to embrace differences in others. We are all not supposed to be identical. We are a nation founded by immigrants, and those people risked their lives to come here to escape political persecution, religious persecution, etc.

We need to stop the anger.

We need to stop the violence.

We need to just hit the pause button even in our own individual lives to be appreciative for the gifts we have been given by God.

Do something nice for a change. Turn off the political vitriol.

caving to development? important meeting october 25th in east goshen! could affect neighboring municipalities too!

East Goshen used to have my utmost respect. Then came pipelines and I was a little unsure. Now comes higher density development (the meeting is this Thursday, October 25th and any decision perhaps may potentially affect residents in East Whiteland and Willistown too unless I am mistaken?) and I am shaking my head. Not them too?

Now I have to wonder who got to whom in East Goshen? Says who precisely that yet another Chester County municipality has to get carved up even more like a prize turkey ?

Why does Chester County need more semi-detached “carriage homes” or TWINS in a single family area? Why does Chester County need more triple townhomes “triplexes”?

The answer is NO ONE NEEDS THIS! Is it or is it not true that this is just a way for developers to make more money? This is not about us as residents, this is about more money, isn’t it?

To quote their email and attachment today:

It is proposed that the zoning in the Township’s R-2 district (the predominant residential zoning district in the Township) be amended to allow for semi-detached carriage homes (twins) and townhomes (triplexes) on undeveloped or under-developed parcels of 20 acres or more.

• Currently, only single family detached homes are permitted in the R-2 at a maximum density of one unit per acre.

Oh and here are the potentially affected parcels and acreage:

There are four undeveloped or underdeveloped parcels with over 20 acres in the Township:

980 Hershey Mill Road (34.7acres)

1469 Morstein Road(20.6acres)

401 Ellis Lane (87.3acres)

204 Line Road (31.9acres)—However,this property (Thorncroft) has a conservation easement that restricts future development to no more than—we believe—two additional residential units, once the tenant house currently under construction is complete. This conservation easement is enforced by the Pickering and French Creek Conservation Trust.

• In addition, theoretically, undeveloped parcels of under 20 acres that are contiguous to any of the 20+ acre parcels listed above could be combined so that more acreage would be affected, provided the respective owners can agree on any terms of sale amongst themselves. See the map for more detail about the abutting properties.

Who is driving this bus ? Don’t you love how open space is suddenly “under-developed parcels” ?

Hershey Mill Road is twisty-turny and floods in a few places. It also is pretty busy on one end because of Villa Maria’s lower school. It also happens to be a beautiful road just the way it is because it actually maintains its character pretty much from beginning to end. I don’t think it can handle more development even if someone wants to change the zoning to make it happen. Just my opinion of course, but my opinion nonetheless.

And then let’s talk about Morstein. Up at the end of Morstein where it meets Boot Road it already is townhouse city on one side. I am not sure which municipality it is, but it is West Chester at that end.

However, Morstein off West King is very different. Until recently it was one of the last bastion of horse farms and beautiful rolling fields at the edge of East Goshen and East Whiteland. It is already under siege for development from the East Whiteland side, as the small farmette that was 1530 Morstein is about to become a cul de sac of new McMansions “Red Barn Farms“.

Right across the street at 1535 Morstein and 1537 Morstein are two McMansions on postage stamp sized lots. They were created by a two lot subdivision a few years ago. The lot originally had a small stone house, and was long down into the woods. But heaven forbid a small house on a deeply wooded lot remain unmolested right? (I will note for the record I would not have found it to be a bad plan if they had only built one house)

So two McMansions are shoehorned in at 1535 and 1537 and they stripped so many trees to create this Nirvana of Naked Acres that the street behind and alongside now see and hear all of the traffic from Morstein and also get to look at two new houses that only have stone veneer on the very front, with the three remaining sides looking like kind of naked beige boxes. From the side and rear the houses are stunningly unattractive for what they have cost. Again, just my opinion, except I know many people share it.

If this East Goshen zoning change goes through, 1469 Morstein is the same side as the two lot subdivision so I have to ask if the East Whiteland roads of Collegeview and especially Anthony will be affected? How could they not?

Anyway, I think the change zoning is potentially problematic. Here are screen shots of what East Goshen emailed out about below. They do not broadcast their meetings, so especially if you are adjoining municipalities and are concerned about this you need to go to the meeting in person. If you are going to be affected by this potential zoning change this might be your only opportunity to speak up.

all hail tecovas: boots you will live in

I rarely do a retail rave. But I have discovered this boot manufacturer out of Austin, Texas called Tecova.

I love boots but I don’t wear high boots as in just below my knee, I like shorter boots and booties. I also don’t do much of a boot heel. I will note Tecova makes all heights of boots. They are beautiful western boots, not overdone in the least. Simple, handmade, classic for men and women and they also make a couple of weekended duffel bags and beautiful leather belts.

They popped up on Instagram and I clicked through to their website. I have been looking for boots that actually fit my feet properly. And as anyone knows who tries to buy boots, it can be a problem.

I chose a classic simple black bootie called “The Penny”. I ordered a half size up from my normal shoe size, because every time I buy boots I have to go a little bigger much like with heels.

These boots fit like they were hand made for me. They fit like boots that should be easily many times over what I paid for them. (I will admit one of the enticements to me was the boot that I wanted was on sale.)

These boots fit perfectly in the heel which is a problem I always have with any shoe because I have a narrow heel. When I was younger my feet were a true narrow width, and now they are more of a regular width , but my heels are still quite narrow.

The boots are buttery soft leather and they are made in Leon, Mexico and sold through this company in Austin,Texas. They have beautiful leather soles and a chestnut brown heel. I could wear these out with jeans, or dress them up truthfully. They are that attractive a boot.

I tend to choose western boots over others because ever since my knee surgery and a couple of bad ankle sprains, heels are not my friend so I have to be careful on the shoes and boots I choose. But I’m not ready for orthopedic shoes just yet. I’m half- Italian so I remember the orthopedic lace up oxfords on little old Italian ladies when I was growing up!

As per their website, company founder Paul and his partners I assume we’re tired of the exorbitant prices for leather western/cowboy boots. And also a lot of them are so extreme in design that they don’t have broad appeal. I am sure they also ran into fit issues, which is always a problem with me with boots, until now.

Another thing about this company is they only sell direct to the consumer. These aren’t a boot you are going to find in every mall or boot store across the country.

Anyway, as always I have not been compensated for my opinion. I bought a pair of boots and they are just amazing. And again they are classic and beautiful and buttery soft fine leather.

If you are looking for boots, try Tecovas.

from anita hill to christine blasey ford

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I am watching Christine Blasey Ford give her opening statement.  As women we are all wired differently, but in my humble opinion this this woman is not lying. She is telling and reliving her truth on national television. (CLICK HERE not sure if link will change.)

When as a country do we stop blaming and shaming victims of any form of assault? This woman has been the target of harassment and death threats since she came forward? She and her family have had to MOVE OUT of their home? Her email was hacked this week?

She says “my responsibility is to tell the truth.”

I have watched the emotions run across this poor woman’s face.  I will note that while not consistently a Senator Diane Feinstein fan, I thought she was magnificent this morning.

I also thought Senator Chuck Grassley was a veritable tool in his opening remarks. He has been a tool consistently throughout. Senator Patrick Leahy just made me tear up when he said to Dr. Ford “We owe you a debt of gratitude…bravery is contagious.”

I remember watching what happened to Dr. Anita Hill vividly in 1991.  She has been quoted recently as stating :

“Access to equal justice for all is what was at stake in 1991, and it’s what’s at stake now,” said Hill, now 62 and a professor at Brandeis University.

A friend of mine recently said on Facebook:

For me, the striking thing about the reports of the (alleged) actions and behavior of  Kavanaugh & peers in the 80’s is how utterly unsurprising and familiar the stories are and how much I took such behavior for granted as normal throughout my high school, college, and twenty-something years.

Philadelphia’s Main Line prep schools are not very different from those in the suburbs of DC. In the 80’s …we marinated in a pretty formidable testosterone stew, and the drunken, groping party scene among the schools was the reality I knew. For the most part I stayed out of the fray, but certainly had moments in the heart of it all – it may have been luck that I wasn’t assaulted, but I’m aware of female peers who were and who still feel the impact today, even if they never reported anything. I’m familiar with some of the men I was told were perpetrators, who now are stable, engaged, contributing citizens who may not remember or even be aware of the impact of their actions years ago.

When I arrived at my traditional, predominantly male college, the drunken, groping fraternity party scene didn’t faze me since it corresponded to the social scene I knew, and was one in which I willingly participated. As in high school I mostly avoided assaults that some other women experienced, until the one time that I, dead sober on a weekday night, bumped into a male friend who was wasted, who wasn’t convinced that I didn’t want to hook up with him, who pinned me to the ground until I managed to push him off and run away. It’s just about the most scared I’ve ever been around another person – I can imagine the feelings of fear and panic and lack of control that Christine Blasey Ford may have felt – and avoided him for the next few weeks, yet I never went to campus police and may have only told one or two people at the time. Later the guy apologized to me profusely and sincerely. I believed him that he had scared himself as much as he had scared me. We remain friends and is someone I like, admire, and appreciate to this day. Not every woman at college was so fortunate.

Pledge season involved a lot of male nudity; it wasn’t unusual each spring to find myself on the dance floor with some drunken, naked guys (who by that point may have become so numb and inured to public nudity they didn’t think twice about stripping down). I thought it was adventurous and funny; in retrospect now I can imagine how unsettling or upsetting it may have been for others at the fraternity party. From my perspective at that point, that’s just the way it was – that was normal.

Looking back at this culture through the lens of 30+ years of maturation and experience, I feel a little like the proverbial frog in boiling water – if I had been dropped in, I might have jumped right back out, but having been immersed in it as it slowly heated up, I never noticed that anything might be amiss. For whatever reasons – obliviousness, immaturity, desire for social acceptance, preponderant male power and privilege, entrenched social mores – it rarely occurred to me to question what we then accepted as the norm. Others may have been more mature or enlightened far earlier than I. It’s taken me longer to wake up and recognize it as unhealthy and harmful. Waving your penis drunkenly in someone’s face (it’s surely happened somewhere, whether officially witnessed, reported, and documented at Yale in the 1980’s or not) is not funny or acceptable. It’s boorish and threatening, and also probably really unattractive. (Sorry guys – penises are usually pretty ugly!)

So there’s no real moral to my tale, just an observational outpouring based on my experience as a white, heterosexual, overly-educated woman of privilege who has lived primarily in affluent parts of America. The issues that have been raised by Me Too, Why I Didn’t Report, Time’s Up, and ongoing stories that shed light on the pervasive nature of sexual misconduct, assault, and crimes in our culture are bigger and broader than just my tiny little slice of life.

The stories being told by the women speaking out against Brett Kavanaugh, though, speak to a specific milieu I recognize. He may well be an intelligent, accomplished professional, a man of faith, a pillar of the community, and a devoted husband and father, but he could also have been an asshole as a teenager, especially when drunk, who casually and cavalierly exercised his entitled belief that girls were prey to be conquered or trophies to be won while glorying in his alpha male dominance and sexual prowess.

I don’t know him and I don’t know if that’s the case, but, if true, the actions outlined by his accusers fit a profile that I find fully believable and very likely possible. For this and many other reasons it really chaps my hide that a bunch of desiccated, crotchety, superannuated white guys are trying to force through a vote without some semblance of sensitivity to the nuances of the situation. There is nothing easy here, and it burns me up that the response by some of those elected to lead our country is to say, essentially, “hush now – stop making a fuss over nothing and let us go ahead and do what we want.”  Wonder how a younger generation of men may ever have picked up the notion that they might be entitled to casually and cavalierly conquer, belittle, and suppress women while glorying in their alpha male dominance. It shouldn’t be normal.

I shared my friend’s post because she is right.

As I was a few years ahead of her in high school, don’t think similar thoughts haven’t crossed my mind when it comes to the conversations which persist about Supreme Court nominee Kavanugh as yet another woman comes forward. (Since I wrote this yet another woman has come forward I will note for the record.)

Thinking about all the parties from high school forward and thinking about times even as a young adult in my early 20s having to dodge this total tool who tried to trap me in someone’s parents’ bedroom coming out of the bathroom at a party I completely agree.

Being slammed up against a wall of a bedroom like that was not sexy or fun, it was terrifying.

All I remember about that were thoughts racing through my head that I had to get out of there and telling myself I couldn’t afford to panic. I was able to knee the guy in the crotch to get away. I can still see the draperies, the coverlet and canopy of this now long gone proper Main Line master bedroom. I can tell you the bathroom I used was the interior master en suite bathroom in the back of the bedroom.

Most of us have stories like this from our single days. The funny thing is I don’t actually know many women who don’t have at least one of these stories, if not more. Most of us, myself included, have multiple stories. Suffice it to say, it was an experience I had as a teenager which propelled me in my twenties to just get out of that room.

Being raised by mothers who just expected us to be good and proper girls, did not actually prepare us for the reality of it all growing up. And how many of us had mothers we felt we could truthfully discuss these issues with? I love my mother but I know I couldn’t discuss it with her. I still couldn’t.

Back then, women/girls were blamed first. It was always “what did you do?” not “Oh my God, what can we do to make this right?” Even today, the initial knee-jerk reaction is to blame the women/girls first instead of listening.

Not all of us want to talk about these incidents. Because back then if you talked about them it was also whispered that you were “fast” or “easy”. The guys in this equation were just sort of patted on the back and sent on their way. It was expected, and almost condoned behavior. Just “boys being boys” only it never felt that way if you were on the receiving end.

I also remember the stories of college girls when I was a freshman who were supposedly “trained” by fraternity brothers when I was in college. “Riding the Train” of course today would be called gang rape. Back then it meant they all lined up and took turns. They would ruin a girl’s reputation but what they in fact did was commit gang rape. These things were whispered about, not reported.  We learned whom to avoid and what parties we probably should avoid. But the “boys” persisted.

Stories range from attempted assault to rape. And then there are all the women who won’t talk about what happened to them. Ever. Or not for decades.  Some women deal with it in therapy or somehow push through it.  And there are those who never dealt with these issues and what happened to them has continued to play a part in their now adult lives. Because as a society we don’t deal with these patterns of behavior, they persist to future generations. Maybe you will disagree with me, but those are personal observations.

And I don’t think as a society we can judge people for waiting however many years before they come forward. These were traumatic events and they have triggers. People can bury these things in their subconscious for years, until there comes a point in time or something triggers a memory and they all come flooding forward. And then it’s like these women have to live it all over again because they didn’t deal with it in the first place. And a lot of the times they didn’t deal with it in the first place because as a society we’ve only just started becoming supportive. As a society, we did not used to be so supportive.

Jessica Knolls’ book Luckiest Girl Alive comes to mind. It is kind of the way it was, although factionalized. Here is a New York Times article discussing the impetus:

 Jessica Knoll Reveals the Rape Behind Her Novel, ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’  

By Alexandra Alter
March 29, 2016

….She is no longer dodging those questions. On Tuesday, Ms. Knoll published a raw and chilling essay describing how the gang rape depicted in her novel was drawn from her own experience in high school, when she was sexually assaulted by three boys at a party, and then tormented by classmates who labeled her a slut.

“I was so conditioned to not talk about it that it didn’t even occur to me to be forthcoming,” Ms. Knoll said during a recent interview at her publisher’s office in Midtown Manhattan. “I want to make people feel like they can talk about it, like they don’t have to be ashamed of it.”

Anyway, I think these women deserve to be heard. I also think they should not be judged about how long it took them to come forward.

Societally, this is something that women are NOT supposed to talk about in public.(Just Google #WhyIDidntTell And while there are a lot of people who have used the #MeToo movement for personal gain, and there are plenty of women who were not truthful and cried wolf, it has also given a lot of women a voice that is long overdue.

I will also note I have a problem with women who cry wolf. Women who fake it in this category are reprehensible. They make it more difficult for actual victims of abuse to come forward and even be heard.  Sadly, my gut reaction to this whole scenario now unfolding on a national and international stage is still that I believe these women.

If you ever experienced anything like what these women are recounting, sorry not sorry, you know. You know because you experienced what has been pshawed off for far too long in this country as if not acceptable but almost expected as a rite of passage.

Anita HillThere is a recent Huffington Post piece that I think should be checked out:

Huffington Post U.S. NEWS 09/21/2018 02:26 pm ET
Rape Survivors Share Why They Stayed Quiet In Powerful #WhyIDidntReport Tweets
President Donald Trump tried to bolster Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by challenging sexual assault survivors who didn’t immediately call the police.
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By Ryan Grenoble

I also read this piece on The Cut:

THE BODY POLITIC SEPT. 24, 2018
When the Muzzle Comes Off
By Rebecca Traister

Watching these proceedings as they unfold today I am struck by the two lines of questioning: legal questioning by the legal expert Rachel Mitchell constantly interrupted by some absurd five-minute rule by I can’t desacribe as other than politics.

Dr. Ford was asked one of the things she remembers most, remembers vividly.  She responded the laughing.  Sorry, I remember being a teenage girl and right or wrong, and while boys might block it out, or compartmentailze it away, girls remember the laughter.

Being laughed at or about is something you do not really forget. You grow up, you move on (or should if you can), but you do remember. We learn from our own personal histories just like we learn from actual history. However this shakes out, we need to be different in this country.  It’s not about the political correctness police running amok, it’s a question of respect.

Whatever happens today, I hope it’s not another Anita Hill scenario.  For both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, put the politics down and get to the truth. Waht an ugly time we live in.

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suicide and depression

I am not even sure where to begin this post, so I am just going to dive in.

Suicide and depression.

NO NOT ME!

It’s the topic swirling in my mind since I was asked if I knew someone who had died over the past few days. Someone who had been clinically depressed and had committed suicide.

She was not someone I knew personally, but she was one of the thousands of members of my gardening group. She loved gardens and gardening. I am so sorry that gardening and other joys in her life like her children couldn’t keep her on earth for the people who loved her.

Suicide is something that touched me for the first time as a teenager and freshman in college. A boy whom I knew (and who was actually a cousin if a high school classmate) jumped out a dorm window a couple of floors above me. I remember it was the night before parents weekend started.

I still can remember waking up in my dorm room on the first floor to all the flashing lights and sirens. He was there, on the grass, outside my window a little bit away from it. The dorm was in like an “L” shape back there, so there was this bit of an open grassy area back there. I remember the student led memorial service with Genesis song Follow You, Follow Me crackling on a stereo in the quad area where the service was. I can even remember where I was standing.

I didn’t understand why then, I don’t understand today. Have I thought about what it would be like to NOT be here? Yes, when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. I was newly diagnosed, not staged, and that combination of emotionally numb mingled with terrified. What I realized that fateful day was how badly I wanted to survive and live. So while I understand why suicide happens, I also don’t understand because I am not made that way.

I think of all of the women I know. Many I have known since early childhood. Some have had amazing and extraordinary lives and careers, others like myself, more regular lives. We have lived our lives. Sure we have all had regrets along the way, it’s what makes us human. Sorrow, joys, life in technicolor sometimes more black and white…but we live on. I am grateful for my friends.

Are our lives what we expected as children? Honestly? I don’t think so because I don’t think life is made that way. We have the paths we thought we would take, and they are often quite different from the paths we end up on. But we are alive and kicking.

As an adult, a friend from growing up lost their younger sister to suicide. It has been just two years since that horrible event. The younger sister left behind her own young family as well as her parents and sister and other relatives. To watch a family grieve like that was raw and awful. It breaks your heart.

So when I heard this recent news I was thinking about this topic no one wants to discuss. I am going to share something written by blogger Lynn Getz who blogs under Be Like a Mother. She also has a talk show type of a program called Mom to Mom on Radnor Studio 21. She had interviewed the person who died recently. Lynn’s words on Facebook this week were so heartfelt and eloquent so I am sharing the message she shared here, in the hopes it can help others to pay this forward:

One of my other projects was a local public television show called Mom to Mom with Lynne Getz, which focused on connecting local moms to local resources. The show gave me a chance to feature many of the wonderful women I met through networking and showcase their businesses in the hope of helping other local mothers connect with them.

On one show I interviewed a local mom, Heidi Diskin, who was finding power in her pain of dealing with depression and bipolar disorder by sharing her experience through her Silent No Longer Foundation. Heidi was passionate about ending the stigma around mental health, advocating for more focus on it as brain health, and giving help and hope to those affected by depression and anxiety.

Yesterday I learned that Heidi lost her battle with this disease.

When I learned of her passing, I went back and watched this episode, listening again to Heidi’s words of advice about being proactive, getting a “check-up from the neck-up”, and knowing the signs of depression in others so that you can reach out and help them.

Heidi’s mission was to #endthestigma and speak openly about mental health. We need to talk about depression, and how it affects brain chemistry, making people believe they are not worthy and not needed. YOU ARE! We need to talk about how it tells you that no one will miss you, or that your kids will be better off without you. IT’S LYING! We need to know that depression and anxiety aren’t character flaws, they are diseases and must be treated as such. We need more people to speak out like Heidi did.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. If you or someone you love is suicidal, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

And in honor of Heidi, and all the brave souls who fight so hard against their brain disease, please take the time to watch Heidi’s episode, share her story, and reach out to that friend who has been on your mind that you haven’t heard from in a while. Know the signs of depression, and do not be afraid to ask for help or help someone who may be fighting this battle silently. For Heidi, and the nearly 45,000 other Americans who die by suicide each year, we must be silent no longer. https://youtu.be/OmpnjSbPQHY

Again, I did not know Heidi personally. But I have known women like her. And I know they feel isolated and alone, even if they aren’t. We need to take the stigma out of depression and mental illness. Maybe if we can have more open community conversations about this, we can all be the better for it.

Malvern Library in Malvern Borough on September 24th is having a joint event with Daemion Counseling Center that comes highly recommended . Reservations are required. Here check it out and thanks for stopping by: