lovely life’s patina

One of the things that COVID-19 has done is it has disrupted our every day lives and our routines.

My friend Amy and I have our “Fran days” named after her mom where we put everything aside and do something together and have lunch. A lot of times we schedule those days to support Meg Veno at her lovely Life’s Patina events. Until today, this was one of the things that COVID-19 had interrupted for us around here.

Amy and I have been friends since high school and we even grew up in the same neighborhood, so I feel really blessed to have her in my life all these years later. So when we heard that Life’s Patina was going to open by appointment for their Fall Barn Sale we decided to make our appointment and go. Our slot was today and it was just wonderful!

Sensory overload, so much to look at! Something for everyone! And how lucky were we to also have such a beautiful day to be there…and guests today also received an awesome goody bag!

It was so nice to see friends and acquaintances and to see what Meg and her team had done. I love the Life’s Patina Barn on Willowbrook Farm and actually the very first time I was in it was during it’s renovation that led to Life’s Patina.

Being at Life’s Patina today made this surreal life we have all been living seem a little more normal. I actually liked the feel of a smaller, more intimate shopping experience with less people. Everyone was socially distancing and everyone was wearing masks and there were hand sanitizer stations all over the place. They did a great job!

Enjoy my photos of the day and if you go you need an appointment it’s not just open as normal this year. A lot of the time slots are sold out, so check the calendar and stay tuned for other opportunities to visit Life’s Patina this fall. And you can also shop online!

life in the land of women: social media power trips

Recently I wrote a post about women and social media. I will refer back to that post and some things that a woman I have made the acquaintance of said to me a while ago which was “women will never learn to simply lift each other up.”

Once again I should add, especially on social media. And it continues to be sad and true, no longer merely sad but true.

There was a woman I know whom I will also call a friend who started a local gifting group. She started a local Buy Nothing Project Facebook group.

The Buy Nothing Project operates on wonderful principles. They offer a simple platform of giving people the opportunity to give and receive in their community. They have inspired people to the extent that there is this whole network of these groups all over this country and I believe in other countries. It’s kind of about being neighborly and other often ignored old fashioned principles. It’s a “hyper-local gift community”.

It’s a way to recycle useful items without the whole barter, buy, sell of it all. You give because you want to give. You give to someone who needs it more than you, and they in turn (hopefully) will pay it forward someday to other people who might need something more than they do.

In a jaded world this is kind of nice.

I belonged to this local Buy Nothing group, but I didn’t spend a lot of time in the group. I would pop in when I had some thing to gift. Earlier this week the group seemed different. I didn’t pay it any mind. Truthfully I had no clue. But the group seemed different – for example, I was suddenly on post approval and I think I had posted in the group maybe five times. I had not been on post approval before in this group.

However, life is busy, and I didn’t pay it any mind as I had only popped in because there was something I was going to gift but when I realized I was on post approval (which seemed weird), I just gave the thing to a friend instead. But then as is the whisper down the lane of social media people started to ask me if I knew what was going on. Truthfully I had no clue.

Then I found out what was going on.

Basically a small group of other women whom I wouldn’t know if I fell over them in the grocery store, did a power-play that is something that is reminiscent of fighting over the popular girls lunch table in middle school. That kind of young female coup: nastiness and pettiness and meanness and then not owning your behavior. So you see it really is suitable for the age group of middle schoolers.

This group of three women removed the woman I know who founded this particular local group, and then were systematically removing any and every person who was either close to the founder, friendly with the founder, just knew the founder, or wondered where the founder had gotten to because they didn’t see her on the page.

When I heard about this I was essentially gobsmacked. Not only is this woman who originally founded the group one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, she is very genuine, and she is one of those rare birds who is never about the drama. Even if she’s not pleased with you, she’s kind. So as opposed to a woman like me who can be extraordinarily opinionated and sometimes a bitch about it, I’m listening to the story and I am incredulous.

And I am incredulous for the simple fact that we’re supposed to be grown ass women. I think one of my best friend’s 11-year-old is more mature than these women.

So these women did this for what reason? I don’t quite get it as a Buy Nothing Group is at its core based upon being nice to one and other.

I put a post in for post approval in this local Buy Nothing Group, and basically said I felt what they did was wrong and I didn’t want to be a part of this group anymore and I was leaving. And I left the group. I knew they would never publish my post, but they wouldn’t get the joy of deleting me personally I left because what they did was abhorrent and somewhat morally bankrupt.

Now the Buy Nothing Project says on their website and social media channels that they don’t get involved in issues with in local chapters. What’s a shame is then once this local chapter exists you can’t have another Buy Nothing namesake group. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own hybrid group inspired by with the founders of Buy Nothing originally intended. Those founders would be Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller.

I have read a few articles about the Buy Nothing Project including this one from Huffington Post this past February:

Buy Nothing’ Groups: Stop Spending Money And Just Ask For What You Need/ These Facebook groups prohibit exchanging money and bartering, but they reduce waste and build communities.
By Casey Bond 02/28/2020 10:40am EST | Updated February 28, 2020

📌Americans tend to be a wasteful bunch. The United States, home to only 4% of the world population, is responsible for 30% of the planet’s total waste.

You’d probably like to contribute to that problem less. Not only would you help the environment, but you’d probably save a ton of money, too. But the county’s waste problem can seem like such a big issue that it’s tough to know where to start.


That’s where your local “Buy Nothing” group on Facebook can help.
The very first Buy Nothing group was founded in 2013 on Bainbridge Island, a 35-minute ferry ride from the heart of Seattle, by Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller….Clark and Rockefeller wanted to find a way to contribute less waste ― not just as individuals, but as a community. They decided the answer was to share what they already had. And the key, Rockefeller said, was to do it in a way that would build relationships among neighbors who might otherwise never connect.

….As the name implies, you can’t buy or sell anything in these groups. Trading or bartering is also prohibited…Members are also encouraged to participate as individuals and not as representatives of a business. “There’s no marketing,” Rockefeller added….As of now, Buy Nothing groups only exist on Facebook. The goal of the groups is to remain hyperlocal so that members connect with their immediate community. If a group becomes too large ― usually more than 1,000 members ― it gets split into smaller factions in a process called “sprouting.” Members are only allowed to belong to one group that serves their precise geographic location…..Though the project was founded out of purely benevolent intent, it’s not clear whether everyone who participates holds the same values….📌

So this is a great idea. But human nature is human nature. I have seen the seedy side of people with situations like this before who always just seem to have their hand out, they’re not offering a hand up.

And then of course there are the people who want free stuff so they can turn around and sell it for a profit. That bothers me as well because you think of the fact that this is supposed to go to someone because they need it not because they want to make money off of something. I think it should go to people that actually have a use for it or really need it.

These Buy Nothing Groups are also in my observation, more women than men by percentage of membership. When you get too many women together there are some who want to be in charge because they’re nurturing and they’re trying to do a good thing, and then there are the women who want to be in charge because it’s a whole lot of power tripping, condescension, and nonsense. And I think what happened in this local group was a whole lot of power tripping and nonsense.

The amusing thing is, anyone who asks what happened to the founder of this local chapter get removed. If you private message them because this group is on Facebook I have read conversation threads of these new women in charge so to speak leaving the conversations versus telling people what happened. I’m sure finger-pointing will be next. And I am told that it is not the only problem with these Buy Nothing Groups. I was told just today about a group about an hour away that also has been having issues. I think sometimes it boils down to people forget why they’re in this group or a group like this in the first place.

But it also goes back to my whole premise of women not lifting each other up which is kind of sad. Especially on social media. It is in the nature of women to be competitive. And for every woman who wants to do something because it’s the right thing there’s a woman who wants to do some thing for whatever attention they might get out of it.

And that whole doing something just to get something out of it personally but for the wrong reasons is something I really just don’t care for. This is the reason why I always tell my readers that I am not a monetized blogger. I just want readers to know that if I like a store or a restaurant or a nonprofit it’s based on my own personal experience enjoying whatever it is not because I’ve been compensated to say nice things.

I heard another example of it this week where woman who seems to spend her life running Facebook groups basically wanted to poach a post from a group she was part of and post in one of her groups. This woman does nothing unless she is indeed going to literally profit from it. And she is not someone who is share and share alike. Anything they do is to raise their personal profile, and I see that as sad and kind of lonely.

I don’t pretend to be perfect or lead a perfect life. At 56 I have made plenty of mistakes. Who hasn’t ? It’s part of life. but for me it’s the same from when I was a teenager: I don’t get how women treat each other at times. The way supposedly adult women treat each other and use each other on social media is astounding to watch.

I would say why can’t we all just get along, except I know that’s super trite and goes against human nature. I think I would settle some days for women just not being so bitchy to each other. I think that’s why I like the concept of Buy Nothing so much – it’s a simple way for us to lift each other up and pay it forward in our communities and try to be nicer in a world that is not so pleasant right now.

Thanks for stopping by.

meanwhile this morning at shoen road in west whiteland and leftover thoughts about emails to democratic committee people.

My photo still taken from a live video feed.

Last night I wrote about this guy who does whatever for State Rep. Kristine Howard and all these nice residents whom he calls “radicals”?

These are just people. These are just people who live in Chester County. These are just people whose well water has been fouled and property values decreased. These are the people that get sinkholes on their property now because of pipeline work. These are the people who travel busy public roads that get sinkholes from pipeline work. These are just people with reasonable expectations of quiet enjoyment. A reasonable expectation of quiet enjoyment is actually legal term isn’t it?

And when they look outside, they see sites like I captured in the still images from a live video feed a few minutes ago. And it’s just not the savaged landscapes it’s the sounds. Everywhere you go you hear the sounds of the pipeline equipment. And there was this thump thump thump that will echo in your brain for days if you even just drive through an area with work going on. That is noise pollution. Sometimes where I live I can hear the rhythmic thump, thump, thump from neighboring townships dealing with Sunoco/Energy Transfer/Sunoco Logistics.

This was on Facebook in May with this : 📌2am Exton train station work AGAIN?
This is ridiculous. Yes we live close to the Exton train station and realized that when we purchased our house in Valley View, but why must this work be done starting at 1am every night? There clearly is not as many trains running during the day right now. Any idea who to call or find out how long this will go on for? It’s constantly backup beeping alarms, jackhammers and loud banging NON STOP. Arghhh 😡📌

And don’t forget the light pollution from the night work, right? Even if the temperatures cool down, how can affected residents open their windows for a beautiful night sky and maybe even a breeze? The night work lights make that impossible right? So take away that aspect of a reasonable expectation of quiet enjoyment for that too, yes?

Facebook photo similar to what I took off of live video feed

As I was listening to this live video feed this morning I was very sad to hear this gentleman say they’ve been (meaning the pipeline company) here over two years, they were supposed to be here three months. I don’t know if I got what he said word for word but I think that’s pretty darn close.

Photo still I captured from live video feed of Shoen Road area this morning

So State Rep. Kristine Howard, your pool boy (or whatever he is other than from Pittsburgh) is calling these poor people RADICALS? They are just people. They are just residents. They are also your constituents in some cases. Your pool boy is calling people quislings??? Do you even get the historical reference and how offensive and wrong this is? Especially to those of Jewish heritage?

Quisling as a word word originates from the surname of the Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling, who headed a domestic Nazi collaborationist regime during World War II. Quisling was put on trial for war crimes in Norway after World War II. “He was found guilty of charges including embezzlement, murder and high treason against the Norwegian state, and was sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, on 24 October 1945.”

People I love are of Norwegian heritage, and so are other friends and relatives.This use of this word is beyond offensive to us and to my friends who are Jewish. How does something like that even come out of this guy’s mouth or keyboard? And WHY? Even if he doesn’t like them he can’t use other word choices?

And it doesn’t stop there. Then there is this:

So what is the lesson here? Other than if you think pipelines are bad, or think pipeline permits should be pulled and pipeline work stopped completely until a real and actual and thorough inspection is done according to pool boys from Pittsburgh and leadership in the Chester County Democrat Committee we are all bad and radical people?

And the other lesson is what? If you are a Democrat you can’t talk to Republicans? If you are a Democrat you will be drummed out of the part for speaking to anyone who is not a Democrat or someone they approve of? HOW IS THAT EVEN LEGAL TO PROPOSE OR EVEN MORAL? I did not sign up for this crap when I moved to Chester County as a (then) lifelong Republican. I did not sign up for this crap when I changed from being an Independent to a registered Democrat for the fakakta primary. You know, I would switch back to Independent right now except I am going to enjoy being a ticket splitter and casting my vote for Wendy Graham Leland. As Chester County Democratic Committee leadership seems easily swayed and confused, please not I am not telling anyone how to vote. I am telling you how I will be choosing to vote. BIG DIFFERENCE.

The Chester County Democratic Committee claims on their website that “.. the Chester County Democratic Committee in standing for Freedom, Fairness, and Opportunity — regardless of who people are, what they believe, and where they come from. Together, we can make Chester County and Pennsylvania better places for all!”

So how does the above jive with:

And do we realize what the transgression was? Ginny Kerslake and Wendy Graham Leland (AKA State Rep. Kristine Howard’s opponent) commenting on a public thread about pipeline issues on Facebook. Not some Democratic party controlled message board, and even then, what is the big freaking deal? We aren’t supposed to speak to anyone who isn’t our political persuasion ever? So the takeaway is we are only supposed to live and breed in Stepford and be bobbleheads? Talk about taking a page out of Trump’s book of Suburban Housewife Rules, right?

Are we quite literally all Pravda on this bus? Am I a bad person because I have friends from different political parties like Ginny Kerslake and Wendy Graham Leland? Is the chair of the Chester County Democratic Committee Dick Bingham going to act on the attacks on Chester County residents who are Democrats? Or is his position personally pipelines over people?

Newsflash to pool boys from Pittsburgh, invisible state representatives seeking re-election, and the apparently malleable and spineless “leadership” of the Chester County Democratic Committee: Pipelines are a non-partisan issue. They affect everyone. To say we are radicals or traitors or whatever the verbiage is because we don’t like pipelines is deeply troubling as well as wrong. To tell registered Democrats or even registered Republicans we may not talk to our friends and neighbors because they are of a different political party is just a big bag of political pathetic tossed into a big box of wrong. It goes against every tenet of just being an American. It’s downright anti-American. Dick Bingham, MayAnn Piccioni, and Charlotte Valyo should be removed from their leadership roles. Somehow I do not think Joe Biden who has many, many friends across the political aisle would approve of these current events in Chester County, do you?

Oh and the lovely US Constitution allows my opinion.

We cannot allow outsiders to control our political parties. It’s anti-democracy.

Today boys and girls we learned once again on so many levels, how bad pipelines are for our communities. Vote your conscience in November and no matter what, do not think for one single moment that your friends, neighbors, relatives and more are bad radical people because they think the pipelines need to go. Energy Transfer/Sunoco Logistics/Sunoco are not nice people and they don’t operate for anyone other than themselves. They are pure profits over people, and well it’s time for #peopleoverpipelines. #DefendWhatYouLove #MamaBearBrigadeRocks

Facebook photo

rewind to a very cool and memorable day

I met Michelle Obama March 13, 2008 in Ardmore PA when Barack Obama was the candidate. I asked her when I met her when she would run for office because I would vote for her.

I never forgot this day. Or her. She struck such a chord in me even back then.

I met her because my friend Daylin Leach got me into this very small gathering- 50 women at St. George’s in the Haverford Township side of Ardmore. Daylin knew I wanted to meet her and that was a great kindness because back then I was definitely a Republican although I was starting to split my ticket more and more.

There were 50 of us in attendance but I think in a way we were out numbered by the press and Secret Service.

12 years and a lifetime ago. Time well spent and forever memorable.

A friend of mine asked me today her reply to my asking her when she was running for office. Actually she didn’t answer all. All she did was smile and ask me to vote for her husband.

It was because of her and that meeting that day that I actually really started to seriously consider her husband as being someone whom I would vote for.

Michelle Obama moved me last night like she did in 2008. She cuts through the BS and speaks to you, the individual. Here is an excerpt from her speech:

📌 “ ….I’ve met so many of you. I’ve heard your stories. And through you, I have seen this country’s promise. And thanks to so many who came before me, thanks to their toil and sweat and blood, I’ve been able to live that promise myself.

That’s the story of America. All those folks who sacrificed and overcame so much in their own times because they wanted something more, something better for their kids.

There’s a lot of beauty in that story. There’s a lot of pain in it, too, a lot of struggle and injustice and work left to do. And who we choose as our president in this election will determine whether or not we honor that struggle and chip away at that injustice and keep alive the very possibility of finishing that work…..As I’ve said before, being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are. Well, a presidential election can reveal who we are, too.”📌

Visit Vox to read the whole speech. Visit CNN for a full video of the speech.

I know that my post will secretly and not so secretly upset a lot of those I know whom are still quite conservative. And to them, with all due love and respect, you need to get over it. You also need to be honest with yourself about what is working and not working in this country. And essentially there’s more that’s not working then actually working. That is pure and simple a top-down leadership or more specifically lack of leadership issue.

With regard to the last four years, I think it’s all a little Wizard of Oz-ish. But we haven’t been paying enough attention to the man behind the curtain.

But every time I hear Michelle Obama speak I am again reminded of the possibilities. The possibilities and hope for a better tomorrow. I actually really wish she would run for something because she is amazing. And inspiring.

Last night I was reminded of when I met her in a small setting. I still like her. I thought I would share my memory with my readers.

This November the choice is simple: do you want four more years of what we have been experiencing or are you willing to reach for a better America?

Keep Calm and Carry On.

can’t stand the social media and other covid-19 stupidity, so might as well bake.

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Bread.

A baking art form I have never mastered.  Well I am going to give it a whirl.  My childhood friend Martha made that beautiful loaf you see above.  (And no, I am NOT sitting in her kitchen in Philadelphia, I borrowed the photo from her Facebook page.)

It’s No-Knead Bread and it is a New York Times recipe:

INGREDIENTS
3 cups/385 grams all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran, as needed

PREPARATION
In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K.

Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

And why am I conquering my fear of bread making? Well among other things, I have a friend who owns a restaurant who is teaching everyone the fun of baking sourdough bread with her sourdough starter.  So baby steps.

But baking and gardening and cooking distracts me from the idiots on social media.  And it keeps me from looking at the Chester County COVID19 maps. Both of which are good things.

Off to start my dough!

Have a good evening!

one of my last true newspaper guys is retiring.

This. It’s a miserable and rainy Monday morning. Here we are in the midst of a global pandemic known as COVID19 or coronavirus, and one of my most favorite, true, and steady voices of local journalism has announced his retirement.

I am just super bummed. Phil Heron thank you for everything and your friendship. I know why this makes me sad. Phil is an old school paper and ink newspaper guy. “Stop the presses.” (Only I don’t know if Phil ever said that!) These are our heroes of local journalism.

As a citizen journalist (well we bloggers are called that even if some of you don’t like that term), true journalists don’t always give you the time of day. Phil Heron is one of those newspaper guys who always has had the time. A true professional in his industry.

I got to know Phil in part not just because of my community activism days back with the original Save Ardmore Coalition over issues including eminent domain, and when the billboards saga started in Bryn Mawr, Haverford Township. I also have to say my friend, the late Tom Murray, another true paper and ink newspaper guy, deserve credit here. Tom liked connecting people.

Phil will still be around, but it’s still sad because our local journalistic voices just become fewer and fewer. How can they not when they are bought by hedge funds and venture capitalists who don’t actually give a damn about local journalism, local issues? Phil for example has also been a leading voice on the pipeline issue. Local editors and local journalists give our issues voices, they help amplify our own personal voices.

The Heron’s Nest: After 38 years, reaching the end of the road
April 13, 2020

If you missed the note I tacked on to the bottom of today’s Letter From the Editor, allow me to make a personal note. It’s the column I always dreaded writing. Because it’s the last one.

After nearly 38 years, this will be my last week at the Daily Times. I started in 1982. June 14, Flag Day, to be exact.

I will write more about it later this week, but since the word was leaking out there already, I figured I would get ahead of the curve and formally announce here in The Heron’s Nest as well. This is my decision, at least in part. It’s probably not the way I envisioned it, but it is time. I’m not quite sure how to wrap up 38 years, but above all else what I will remember is the people – both those I worked with every day, and those loyal readers who picked up the newspaper every day, or who now visit the website.

So Phil Heron, I wish you well in retirement, and God knows you have earned it. But I think the future of local journalism got a little more grey today.

Support local and regional journalism. Please.

sometimes people should just stop picking at other people. this is one of those times.

I swear there is a meme for everything and this one is pretty much perfect. Why am I posting this? Because some people just floor me on social media. Facebook especially.

Backstory: a few years ago when I had my first knee surgery, I was literally just home from the hospital and practically still drooling from the anesthesia. Sitting in a daze in bed, I was mindlessly looking through social media on my tablet. I noticed this one woman posting comments on my Facebook timeline that I just didn’t want to deal with. So I didn’t say anything, I just deleted the comments. After all, your personal Facebook page is like your virtual house, right?

So the woman whose comment I had removed posted another comment in the same vein. There I was practically drooling like you can do after surgery and anesthesia and I wondered what alternate reality I was living in that this woman wouldn’t just get I probably didn’t want to deal with this? I made a decision. I deleted the new comment and quietly unfriended the woman and went to sleep.

Unfriending this person was not something I wanted to do. But when I was still sitting in bed the next day scrolling through Facebook still somewhat dazed post surgery, I knew it was the right decision. Why? Because she took the argument of the deleted comments and moved them essentially to another woman’s Facebook page (whom I also knew – ironically I introduced them to one and other) and sat there talking about me like I couldn’t see it. Kind of like they were talking on the phone only it was all playing out on Facebook. It was crazy and I decided, sanity and maturity should prevail, and I just blocked both of them so I wouldn’t have to see their online brand of crazy in the future.

Still part of me felt bad. I had known the one woman for many years. But knowing her was sometimes exhausting. The other woman was always just kind of sad always striving to belong. Also exhausting. I sent both women a note explaining why I had decided to distance. I figured I’d make one last attempt at salvaging the relationships. I explained to them I just had surgery and I didn’t want to deal with any of this right now. But if they wanted to talk about it, explain what they didn’t understand, and I would try to listen. Need list to say, that didn’t happen never heard from either, and I went on about my life. I wish I could say I missed either woman, but I don’t.

I especially don’t miss people who act like this while experiencing a global pandemic. Life is kind of stressful enough right now. What I didn’t expect was that they would do this again to someone else. I sadly thought this behavior was because of me. But it’s just them.

A very nice woman who is a very close friend has literally just had a similar experience with these two over the past couple of days. My friend had posted on HER Facebook timeline that it really bothered her that people including the President keep referring to COVID19 as the “Chinese Virus.” She said she found it offensive. In my opinion she’s not wrong.

No matter what your opinion is, my friend said it on her timeline. It’s kind of like when a lot of us don’t judge the women in menopause posting the Nametest things all of the time that says they wish they were pregnant again or what movie star they think they look like. Their thing, not ours.

To be clear, viruses do not know borders and even the CDC Director Robert Redfield agrees with this point. To keep saying that over and over puts Chinese Americans and other Asians in Jeopardy much like what happened with the Italians and Japanese during World War II and the internment camps in this country. Or the Irish need not apply campaigns and signs you would see in shop windows in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s kind of like referring to the influenza pandemic of the early 20th century as the “Spanish flu”. The virus didn’t actually originate in Spain that might’ve been one of the first places that documented it in newspapers. The COVID19 virus exploded in China, but there is no absolute that it is the true country of origin for the virus.

Well the woman I removed from my timeline a few years ago, of course had to argue with my friend. My friend politely asked her to kind of stop, and sadly that didn’t happen. So my friend just quietly unfriended her and blocked her and removed the comments. Below is the comment that finally made my friend have enough.

Now you would think that would have been the end of it. But sadly no, the other woman I had removed from my circle of friends a few years ago for chiming in where it wasn’t her concern did so again. Seriously:

So my friend unfriended and blocked the other one too. I truly am stunned at how pig ignorant people can be. It’s like these women have this whole tag team of nastiness, which is truly sad.  I wonder if either one of them gets it yet that more and more people distance themselves from these two all of the time. They are having social distancing practiced on them as a matter of keeping one’s sanity.

My friend wasn’t “slamming” the President. She was specifically referring to a term in this whole coronavirus world we live in that she found offensive.

Given the times we currently live in and everything that everyone is going through, wouldn’t you think that these two women would have better things to do than to argue and spread vitriol? What do they gain with these little Facebook games?

I am really sorry that this happened to my friend too. I remember how upsetting I found it briefly at the time. It’s like this whole sense of betrayal when people are so nasty. Then you realize no one is worth that crap.

Look, OK, we probably all have a more than small dose of cabin fever at this point. We are living our lives in a way we’ve never had to live them before. But when I look at what those who live through World War II have to say it just sort of gives you a whole new perspective.

 I can’t make people be kinder to one another. And I’m sure some will have comments about what I have written today. It’s just one of the many things I am thinking about because face it, we all have so much time to think right now. And perhaps that is part of the problem. I don’t think some people are comfortable with their thoughts.

But I don’t understand with all that we have to deal with why these two women persist in doing this? All they are doing is isolating themselves further from people within their community and showing the world how unhappy they are. And that’s the thing that we are also discovering through all of this staying at home and self isolation: we are not islands unto ourselves after all. Humans need human contact and community, and it takes a global pandemic to realize it. So try being nicer, right?

I have always maintained that social media is both a blessing and a curse. It would be nice if right now with our every day lives up-ended indefinitely if we could try to make it more of a blessing than a curse.

If something annoys you or you don’t agree with it, you don’t have to leave a comment every time. Sometimes you can just scroll past it. That way people don’t fight and friendships remain intact during a very difficult time.

Try to be kind today.

stepping back in time in chester county

A lady posted a bunch of amazing photos in a local Facebook group with the following message: “I still have a couple containers of old photos to go through. Any of these folks or places look familiar to you? This album dates back to the late 30s and 40s”

With her permission I am posting the photos here. They are all of the Malvern and possibly Phoenixville area. If you know any of the people in the photos or where the homes are located, please leave a comment.

A lot of the photos are of soldiers from World War II which I find particularly poignant. It makes you wonder who came home, doesn’t it?

The irony is the era some of these photos were taken was another time when we were doing our part for our country and staying home and growing victory gardens and living through rationing.

Anyway I hope you can help identify some of these people! I thought it would be something fun for people to do in times where it’s not so much fun during the day sometimes.

Be well.

haters gonna hate

Haters gonna hate COVID19 shaming style

Hey Taylor Swift you are so right, haters are gonna hate. And when I agreed to be interviewed by Bill Rettew for The Daily Local this was one of the things that I told him often happened to bloggers. No not mommy bloggers who write about Disney or who are compensated bloggers for pimping out products in exchange for compensation, or bloggers who stick to sharing about gardening, crafts, cooking, i.e. safe topics. I mean bloggers like me who tackle local issues, current events, and even politics.

As long as I color inside the lines, I am good. But the minute I am vocal about things that concern me, or even current events including the COVID-19/coronavirus, I am somehow a bad person, someone who must be targeted, disciplined, called out. According to these people who do these things you aren’t supposed to speak, you definitely aren’t supposed to care about your community or the greater good.

The reporter had wanted to talk to me because before Coronavirus full onset had happened and it was essentially a news topic because it was happening overseas, I went to a horticultural event that ended up having Chester County’s 2nd coronavirus victim also in attendance. Public health reports on this person, a man much younger than I came out a week after the event, just as we were all getting glimpses of what is now our new normal. The reports stated he had mild symptoms and was at home.

I stated all along and it’s true, that when I got to this event which had been going since early in the morning that Saturday it was close to their ending time. I went to see a specific plant vendor and to buy a book. There weren’t many people there in that part of the event. There were a lot of people in the actual meeting house across the way, but I did not have tickets for those talks and wasn’t in that building at all.

I was in and out in a short amount of time and went home. Yes, I was less than happy when I found out I was at an event with someone who tested positive. But I did and my family did exactly as we were told to do by my doctors at Penn Medicine AND the county. We took the most conservative approach. I was NON symptomatic. We all were. It meant NO symptoms. NO fever. NO cough. NON SYMPTOMATIC .

Today I am off self-quarantine. Yesterday after 5 PM my lovely husband went to the CVS drive thru to pick up my cancer and thyroid meds we could not get for days because of self-quarantine. Medicine that is not an option for me and I was running out. If I can’t pick up the meds, he is the only other person as my spouse who can get them.

After he got my meds, he stopped at a local business that was essentially empty to pick up beer. A friend’s business that was closing last night until the governor says businesses which are non-essential can re-open. Social distancing was observed and paying by card he and the clerk at the counter had zero contact.

My husband came home and literally wiped down the whole inside of the car, everything he bought home and washed his hands. We had dinner.

Then the comment appeared as captured above by a screenshot. Oh goody, a stalker. You will note the made up profile name. Before I blocked and reported them, I looked at the profile. Nothing real about it. Just someone looking for an A-Ha moment to get at me. And how creepy was it they were ummm seeming to follow my husband around? It makes you wonder if they drive up and down your street too and go through your trash, doesn’t it?

People sometimes disgust me and this is one of those moments. They would not target a traditional journalist or writer like this, just me as a blogger. The point of transparency and education since I decided to talk about this first on my blog and then to a reporter escapes them. They just wanted to get at me, shame me.

But what did this person do instead when they chose to do this? They actually discouraged other people from coming forward to report they had been around someone who was exposed.

Think about it, I know I did the right thing by reporting that I had been at an event where a COVID19 victim was. The event did the right thing by telling us that poor person was in attendance, but if you hadn’t bought lecture tickets, they had no way of knowing specifically who was there. So how many people do you think who may have stopped at this event actually reported they were there like I did?

People are scared about this virus . I am scared about this virus. My one and only sister and one of my step-siblings live in New York City which was described as a virus epicenter with among the most victims in the US I think.

So shame on whomever this person is for rolling up with personal animus and misinformation. I will note they should be more concerned about the groups of kids and people still out there going around barriers to closed playgrounds and basketball courts because those groups of people in close contact like THAT? They are the ones who are going to spread the virus.

I am doing my part and so is my family. Instead of trying to stalk, harass, call out your friendly neighborhood blogger, why don’t you do your part and take care of your family?

I will note that the comments have since disappeared. I don’t know why or how or who. It’s just discouraging that even at times like this as people are trying to pull together and do the right thing, some people just suck.

coronavirus/covid-19 frustration

Wegman’s on 29 in Malvern RIGHT NOW

I placed a grocery order the other day. Not a panic, I want to clear the shelves grocery order, but a normal one for normal groceries. Through Instacart.

Nothing had been canceled, I thought my order would go as planned.

NOPE. People have once again cleaned out the Wegmans in Malvern on 29 again of food and it is only 1 PM and supposedly they had just restocked.

This is crazy town. This is also food hoarding I think. Now I understand WHY during World War I and II there was food rationing.

Hell I did not even need toilet paper. Just ummm….regular groceries, a few spices and so on.

They don’t even have frozen Mac & Cheese!

My poor shopper. I told her just to cancel the order. She couldn’t do it and couldn’t get through to Instacart as an employee. I finally just sat on the phone for close to an hour to get an order that basically couldn’t be filled, cancelled.

Sorry not sorry I think that’s crazy town. I got a nice guy in a totally offshore call center at Instacart to cancel. But I had to sit on the phone for just shy of an an hour. (55 minutes)

Look I am not going to apologize for getting groceries delivered. I live on the fringes of the immunocompromised as a breast cancer patient. Besides how many people do this on a regular basis? And in the present moment it seems to make sense…given coronavirus.

What doesn’t make sense however, are the people who are just panic buying everything in sight to the point where you can’t even get basic groceries. What the hell is wrong with those people? I have also heard tales of people in the grocery stores shopping and getting food ripped out of their hands like it’s the bridal sale at Kleinfelds in New York.

More from the Wegmans in Malvern

Here is what a friend of mine named Gwen said today:

One thing that this pandemic has driven home to me is how very lucky I am–how lucky most of us are. We’re upset that concerts, games and other events are being cancelled. Many folks don’t have access to those things ever. We’re upset that we have to wait a day to buy whatever we want. People in refugee settlements or living in poverty may always be hungry or without basic staples.

I worry about what will happen if our health care workers get sick and if our hospitals are overburdened. But I’m not the doctor, nurse or aide who has to leave my child or aging parent to take care of others who are sick. And many people rarely have access to or can afford care. I have a warm home in which I can shelter in place and food to eat. I have a job that lets me work from the comfort and safety of my home. I have people to help take care of me if I do get sick. I have access to care. In the most important ways, I am wealthy beyond measure.

Very true. And thank you for putting it into perspective.

My Instacart message …after I got my order canceled SMH…

Now let’s talk other things. This morning I wrote that we live in municipalities with small township buildings in a lot of cases. Even in larger township buildings there isn’t (in my humble opinion) enough room to even practice “social distancing” for meetings. Even for the boards and township employees who sit up front.

Municipalities should be voluntarily rescheduling ALL public meetings and hearings for the next month to six weeks. They don’t know even among the employee and elected officials ranks who would or might be immunocompromised or even who they might have been exposed to. Same with whichever attorney or individual who might have business before a municipality.

Coronavirus is real and if they are closing schools and sporting events as a precaution then township buildings should follow suit. No one is going to die if applications before boards and commissions are paused for 4 to 6 weeks, but if people are potentially exposed to sick people in boardrooms is that really a risk municipalities in Chester County want to take?

Contact YOUR municipalities and ask them what they are doing. I am not being an alarmist, this is no joke. And also if any of you have family members who were lost in the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918 you know it’s no joke. Better safe than sorry. (See: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Wolf has ordered the closure of schools and other public venues in Montgomery County, which has the most coronavirus cases in the state.)

Oh my soooo many people were upset with me. Comments like:

 It doesn’t help to bombard municipal workers with questions. They are getting advice from the County, the State and the CDC. It is rather overwhelming. Please resist the urge to make it worse.

Respectfully, I disagree. There is so much information that is out there that is conflicting or as clear as mud. Last time I checked government still works for us, and to whom are we to direct concerns if we have them? Shelter in place and pose questions to the cat and dog perhaps?  It doesn’t hurt to ask politely if you are wondering about something. You don’t have to call, you can e-mail.

Plenty of municipalities are postponing and rescheduling events and meetings. Plenty are not. A lot of municipalities broadcast live, and Tredyffrin for example, has offered residents an email address to mail public comment questions and statements to so they get on the record. But then there are the municipalities who record NOTHING and offer the barest of bare bones meeting minutes, or who record audio only and release after a meeting is over, or record meeting but only post after a meeting is over. Not naming names they know who they are.

What is happening now is why municipalities need to catch up with the times and modernize. You all have access to PEG channels or YouTube technology and you can indeed broadcast a meeting live on YouTube. East Goshen does it. And East Goshen has gone the extra step to say how many people can fit in their small boardroom with proper social distancing.

Then there were the people annoyed with me for mentioning the Spanish Influenza outbreak in conjunction with the coronavirus. People, that is historical FACT. There was quite literally a parade for World War I in Philadelphia that was NOT canceled and it caused the Spanish Influenza to go pandemic in the area because the crowds were not broken up.

Chester County PA has just announced they are moving to only essential services. No prison visitors or visitors to long term care facilities. Closing the libraries, courts, and parks and trails for 14 days. There is more but they are speaking faster than I can type. The are declaring an emergency county-wide. This is no joke. This is hunker down and ride it out as best we can.

It would be nice if people would stop hoarding groceries or accumulating things people need everyday so they can price gouge and make a buck off of the troubles of others.

Covid-19 is nothing we have seen before. Life has to be somewhat draconian until it’s figured out. This thing is going to affect us.

I agree with the Chester County Health Officials who urge us not to look at this as a punishment but an opportunity to be together. Life throws us curve balls. Maybe we could rise to the occasion here? I am confused and worried just like everyone else. But the ONLY thing we can control right now is how we react. We need to be calm and hunker down.

Thinking of all of you.

Wegman’s Malvern, PA