comments, or the theory of whisper down the lane.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHY?????

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for stopping by.

1950s Smiling Brunette Woman Housewife Photograph by Vintage Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for stopping by.

hooey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From The Motion Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Political Stepford Wives | chestercountyramblings

yes virginia, there is indeed a santa claus (in west whiteland)

Yes Virginia, #andjustlikethat apparently there is indeed a Santa Claus. The news out of West Whiteland is La Mimi is gone girl gone.

I remember when she was manager of Tredyffrin. Never thought much of her there (Terri Woodman formerly East Whiteland’s Manager was the Asst. Township Manager at Tredyffrin 1986 – 2001 as a related aside). I remember when Gleason left Tredyffrin she was doing this whole “a job is not a life” thing (What? Would I make this up? CLICK HERE)

But really WHY did she leave Tredyffrin? There were some rather questionable things that happened back then, weren’t there? The sewer main that broke in Tredyffrin Township circa 2012, right? Or lettergate? The twisted tale of Tredyffrin? And that interesting tale in Tredyffrin didn’t quite end when La Mimi left Tredyffrin for “retirement” did it? CLICK HERE.

Then of course La Mimi popped out of retirement and popped up at West Whiteland (when La Mimi left Tredyffrin, I predicted no matter what that article said, eventually she would pop up as a manager elsewhere.)

But I digress. Suffice it to say, I have not been a fan. (Just like I am not a fan of that Supervisor Theresa Hogan Santalucia and her sunny personality and vast vocabulary and I bet she wasn’t on board with not renewing the contract of La Mimi was she?))

Her LinkedIn is already updated.

What happened to cause the #breakup? The eternal #pipelines of it all? Over development? Being like the Red Queen / Queen of Hearts and the whole off with their heads this is my kingdom of it all? Who knows and who knows if they will ever tell right?


However, next steps also depends WHICH consulting firm will West Whiteland use to shepherd them through? I remember when a consulting firm wanted to put a piss poor interim in Radnor the year they fired Dave Bashore. (Read this article to learn more why that Radnor Manager was removed.) I forget his name but the guy was from Coatesville and had been one of the supporters of eminent domain attempt of the Saha Farm, remember? (Coatesville folk who showed up in droves to that Radnor meeting long ago might remember.) A lot of times the consulting firms use former township managers who were not the best wherever they were, so here is hoping they vet even the interim candidates carefully. And I think it would be great if the residents could view the public CVs of potential candidates.

BUT the forensic auditors who helped Radnor back in the day sure hit pay dirt. And I am NOT saying anything remotely like that occurred, it’s just common sense that if you are removing a township manager, you look at everything and the staff, right? Just in case things were not always for the good of the residents but a petty little fiefdom or corner store, right?


Happy New Year West Whiteland Township residents. Your reorg meeting next week will be one not to be missed. It will be hybrid so you can go in person or zoom it. Monday January 3rd, 6:30 PM

christmas traditions, baking, and even a miracle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

holiday landmines…and other thoughts

Today was the day I had slated to address our Christmas Cards. It will have to wait until tomorrow. I hit a holiday landmine this afternoon.

I received a few Christmas cards, and ever the Christmas card addressing procrastinator, I thought I would open them. Well one was a note from a friend who lost their spouse. They said something along the lines is the problem with looking at photos is you can’t hold hands with it.

That just made me stop. So beautiful and yet so sad and heart-breaking and tragic a sentiment. It made me remember the breadth and depth of their love. And I know there are others out there in my friend group who is having the same emotional struggles right now.

So I thought to myself, tomorrow is another day and I will do the cards then.

It made me think of last week when I was getting out more of the Christmas ornaments. Every year I know these boxes containing some of my late father’s ornaments are in a certain ornament tub in the attic. Every year the boxes fall apart a little more, and the handwriting fades a little more. And every year, I am a puddle for a few minutes all over again when I see them. And I remember when the boxes were newer and sturdy. And the handwriting bold and definite.

Christmas is magical. And often bittersweet. And sometimes it can be sad within the beauty of the season. I know quite a few people this year who will be spending the holidays with one person down in their lives. Someone who completed their circle in some way.

We need to take a beat and pause during this time of year. These are the things that are actually important — those who remain and those who have left us. Christmas memories. Keeping old and good memories and making new ones while remembering those who are no longer here.

All of this occurred to me today as those twisted Stepford Wives in the local chapter of “Moms for Liberty” who released their book burning list I guess recently (or it surfaced again in time for Christmas?) The list includes The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Outlander by Diana Galbadon, Forever by Judy Blume (which they were flipping out about when I was a kid), Beloved by Toni Morrison.

The funniest bad book was 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James which literally made me laugh because the kids are probably stealing it from their mother’s bedside table – and yes that book is total trash. And of course all of the books that are geared towards kids who may be LGBTQIA are always bad, and well let’s sprinkle the world with extra racism at Christmas to show how Christian they all are. But let’s not forget as soon as you tell a kid something is BAD, they want to know all about it.

All I can think is how can these people have such sad, narrow-minded lives? And then my mind goes back to people I know who are struggling this Christmas season. As my friend Tom said:

“The most moronic group name I’ve seen in a while. They don’t know what they want to believe and others to follow. Liberty defined is, “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.” So by asking authority to impose restrictions on freedoms is insane.”

I don’t know what it will take for people to wake up in our world and realize being different is what makes us unique. It makes us individuals. It makes us human. And these oddly empowered people who worship still at the altar of extremism in politics Just.Don’t.Get.It.

People in this country and in other countries have lost so much over the past couple of years, can’t they just take a beat, take a breath and remember what this season is supposed to be about? They are as bad as the Scrooge neighbors of Castlebar Lane in Willistown who were nothing short of miserable at the meeting the other night where the township announced the settlement agreement with Wildflower Farm.

I just don’t get people. I want to think some of these people may also find the holiday season difficult except they seem to be like this all of the time, right?

Christmas is in 10 days. Can we be kind and supportive of those who need it and stop all the extraneous B.S.? (And that includes the crazy rage-o-riffic impatient driving patterns everywhere.)

But oh yes! Before I forget: HUMOR. The Christmas star on this local tree has had too much Egg Nog, apparently:

That reminds me of the tree we had as a kid that my mother swore had spinal meningitis. It looked all perfect on the lot and we got it home and it leaned at such an angle that my father put it in a corner and kind of leaned it against the wall so people didn’t notice as much!

Personally, I miss my father and my great aunts and my brother in law and my maternal grandmother at Christmas. These are the people who loved Christmas even more than me I think. And they always made it fun…even if decorating a tree with my father could be maddening because he had a specific ORDER to adding ornaments to the tree. And I just realized now that I *think* I do the same thing. So that just made me smile.

Well that brings another rambling stream of consciousness to an end.

Try loving one and other for at least a short while? Life is short, it’s Christmas.

Bah humbug to all Christmas crabs and to all a good night.

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

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

Does it seem incomprehensible? YES.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the Tower Health IRS Form 990 from 2020:

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

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

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

Here is Tower Health’s stated mission:

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

~ Tower health via their Guidestar profile

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Joe Zlomek Sanatoga post 11/28/21

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

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

Click on it to really read this!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Harold Brubaker

Philadelphia Inquirer
Published Feb 22, 2021

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

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

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

And then most recently this Inquirer article in October:

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

by Harold Brubaker Philadelphia Inquirer
Published Oct 14, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tower says Perrotty has been leading a turnaround…..

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

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

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

Found this quote from Lehigh Valley Business from Portia Sue:

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

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

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

by Harold Brubaker Philadelphia Inquirer
Updated Dec 9, 2021

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

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

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

christmas comes to wildflower farm in willistown (hopefully)

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

Well, here it is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the prior posts on Wildflower Farm:

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

October 8, 2021: this is wildflower farm

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

art imitates life or life imitates art?

In 1998 a little show launched on HBO called “Sex and the City” based on Candace Bushnell’s 1997 book of the same title.

That show spoke to so many women. I was 34 when it launched. So 23 years have passed and I still watch re-runs of the show. With the show you also had all the fabulous New York City settings and the clothes…and the shoes…. I still can love the shoes and still not be able to walk in them!

The show back then was not only a fun escape, it also provided humor into the lives of women then. As far as TV goes it was ground breaking in its own right. We identified with some aspects of the life situations (though a lot of it was often portrayed in a campy unrealistic fashion), and wished we had the clothes, shoes, and even apartments and more.

I remember some of my friends and I knew a guy we used to call “Mr.Big” (like one of the characters from the show.) We didn’t date him, he used to come down from NYC and visit other friends sometimes for things like Radnor Hunt. Expensive cars, expensive cigars, big career. At the time it was kind of amusing. Always fun to be around, and if you ever happened to be in New York City, and he was free, he would always take you out for a fabulous dinner or drinks. I remember having dinner with him one time at The Monkey Bar, which was definitely New York City iconic, and closed during COVID in July, 2020. The guy we laughed at being a very “Big” and larger than life died in 2008 in NYC. He was 48.

Sex and the City ran as a series until 2004. Then there were two movies, one in 2008 and one in 2010.

Meanwhile, time passes for all of us. Some of us got married, others divorced, and some of us were liberated from bad relationships and were fortunate to find the relationships we should have waited for life to show us in the first place. Some of us had kids, some of us didn’t. Some of us got sick, had things like breast cancer. Some of us were widowed and lost life partners.

We’re not kids anymore. So it makes sense that some of the TV characters some of us followed for years would also grow and change, yet parts of them like parts of ourselves remain the same. Enter the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That.

I watched the first two episodes early this morning, before I even had coffee. Yes, I know, ridiculous at 57, but I loved that show. I wanted to see where they went.

I wasn’t disappointed, and if you loved the show, you will too. It’s real, it’s funny, and the first two episodes, much of it is bittersweet. They covered the no Samantha thing as actress Kim Cattrall chose not to reprise her role. Her part was pretty iconic, so I’m glad they did not try to recast her because I don’t think it would work .

Spoiler alert: they moved Samantha to London. And like happens to many of us as we age, some friendships don’t stand the test of time, and this is what is alluded to here. But the biggest spoiler is literally kill off Mr. Big in the first episode. That was fairly realistic and so sad. And a shock. Throughout the first series we always rooted for the off again and on again relationship of Carrie and Mr. Big. But I guess that is the case with real life, with age, also comes loss.

But even within this kind of television earthquake is so much of what we love about the original series. The characters are just older. They are dealing with different things: career shifts, kids growing up, dealing with teenagers of both sexes, being parents. And the clothes. Still great. And the sets? Still amazing. It’s adulting with flair, and they still have the clothes, cool apartments and houses that made the original show so fun.

I think this show is going to be a nice escape this winter and I hope it does more than one season. It is not Shakespeare, and it’s not the world that most of us live in, although certain situations with touch us, but it’s still entertaining to watch. And it reflects bits of our world as it now exists.

Life doesn’t stand still frozen in time, so I am guessing our TV shows can’t either.

Here are some articles about it:

Hollywood Reporter: ‘Sex and the City’ Boss on His HBO Max Revival: “This Isn’t What Was; It’s What’s Next”

Washington Post: ‘And Just Like That …’ is ‘Sex and the City’ for 2021: A bloated, laugh-free comedy about grief

Time: Why that Big twist was necessary

New York Magazine: And Just Like That … Series-Premiere Recap: A New Start
By Maggie Fremont