santa says all good elves should stop at brandywine view antiques…

Yes… today I could wait no longer, I had to go to Brandywine View Antiques in Chadds Ford to see what Lisa has cooked up for holidays 2021!

It’s three floors of festive fun and Fa La La La.

I am writing this post because I am a happy customer and have been for years. I have not been asked to do this…I just want to pay forward the Christmas spirit and say #ShopSmall

Brandywine View Antiques is located at 1244 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA 19317. They are open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM.

the twisted tale of grinches

This.

Creekside Antiques Downingtown by The Brandywine is a lovely small business that just reopened not so long ago after being decimated by Hurricane Ida. Today they were violated by the Grinch who literally stole their Grinch from in front of their store!!

Facebook photo submitted to Creekside Antique.

So WHO steals from small businesses? It’s a special kind of turd. Another small business was stolen from today. Brandywine View Antiques in Chadds Ford also had issues today. The owner came outside of her store to check something (and store was open), and there was this woman cutting her hydrangeas off her bushes RIGHT next to the path to the front door of the store! Woman took off in a car.

Now the Downingtown Grinch has a happy ending because the police have located it, but that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

Support small businesses, don’t steal from them.

reimagined wonderful

Today was a fun day that started out at an open house at the Reimagined Style studio. I had the best time.

When you walk into Tracy’s studio it’s a fabulous glimpse into her creative process as an artist. It’s also a wonderfully curated collection of antiques and vintage collectibles including some fabulous vintage and antique textiles. I came away with some fabulous vintage ornaments, and other ideas for gifts.

Reimagined Style will be around during the holidays and be sure to keep an eye out. If anything in my photos catches your eye, message them via Instagram or Facebook.

I am a happy customer. I have not been asked to write this post nor have I been compensated for this post.

#ShopSmall

beautiful progress

In June of 2020 much to my delight, I discovered the old Hershey’s Mill at Hershey’s Mill Road and Green Hill Road in West Chester (East Goshen) was getting a new lease on life.

We passed by last week again, and the restoration continues! This is so refreshing and lovely to see! I wrote about it again at the beginning of 2021.

The work whomever owns this property now has put into this place is remarkable.

Anyway, just thought I would share. It’s really cool!

excerpts from the 11/15/21 great valley school board meeting

What is she trying to have a record of?
The meeting is recorded.
Was there someone special in the back of the room?

The school board meeting last evening for the Great Valley School District picked right up where meetings leading up to the election left off. The public comments were inane at times.

There were two appearances (for example) by local politician and former school board candidate Sallie Campbell. Sallie lost the election but she’s standing on her Alamo. I have to ask is she still a practicing nurse? She’s against masking and vaccinations for Covid, so when she enters a room or a hospital is she even vaccinated? If she is not what is the hospital doing about that? While it might be her right to make her choices, her choices affect other people because she goes to public meetings and she says she still a nurse correct??

Then there was the woman who also spoke a couple of times whose name escapes me who really dropped a bomb at the end of the meeting concerning the school superintendent’s past in Boyertown. It’s public information (CLICK HERE.) there is actually quite a bit out there on this, and other things because face it Boyertown as a bit of a hot mess of a school district. I guess y’all have to do your Googling I’m not going to list everything because I don’t know if the superintendent is really guilty of anything. I do however think that the school district needs to address this.

Then there was the older gent who seems rather homophobic? He also seems concerned with the functionality of women’s reproductive systems. Apparently women aren’t pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen enough?

I also take issue with the way the Great Valley School Board handles problems at meetings. I’ve watched enough of the meetings of other districts in Chester County and when there’s too much of a problem the solicitor for whichever district it is will tell people to either come to order or they will be removed. Instead they play the deny the presence card and say essentially if people don’t behave they all will leave the meeting. Sorry not sorry but that is crap because the taxpayers are paying for this. And they need to grow a pair and tell people to come to order or have them removed.

Anyway you can watch all the snippets from the November 15, 2021 meeting. You can find the balance of the meeting on their YouTube channel.

santa says stop here!!!

I never stopped at this holiday market before today. I always meant to, but today it was pure impulse and OH. MY. CHRISTMAS. Why haven’t I done this the past few years???

The Burkholder Holiday Market is freaking AMAZING! It opened today and runs through December 23rd!! It’s apparently a whole holiday season of festiveness!! There will be not only this amazing holiday market but events through the season and you can also buy your Christmas tree from them! Seriously they are ALL about holiday family fun and their website has the entire schedule!

Now let’s talk about their Christmas shop. I loved it! So much to choose from that is beautiful and tasteful. And it smelled like Christmas in the shop. And the owners were so very nice.

My friend and I had so much fun! We found some really fun holiday decor and super cute ornaments and got some gifts for people. I think one reason why I liked it so much is because what I really love is a vintage Christmas feel, and a lot of what they had although modern, had that vintage emotion to the products they carry.

Burkholder Holiday Market – 359 Paoli Pike, Malvern, PA (Paoli Pike and Sugartown Road, enter on Paoli Pike.)

The Holiday Market runs November 12 – December 23
Tuesday – Thursday: 10am to 5pm

Friday and Saturday: 10am to 6pm

Sunday: 10am to 5pm

Closed on Mondays

vintage christmas, anyone?

Yes that looks like an old sleigh above because it is!! A 19th century sleigh!

Where? One of my favorite places on earth any time of the year, but especially at Christmas: The Smithfield Barn in Downingtown on Little Conestoga Road, just outside of Eagle.

This is their vintage Christmas weekend and it’s full of holiday magic. A fun assortment of Pennsylvania found pieces with vintage and antique finds and an amazing assortment of vintage Christmas ornaments and decorations. It is an every year stop at this point. I alway get amazing ornaments including vintage Polish and Ukrainian and German Mercury glass ornaments.

The Smithfield Barn is not a store, it’s a picking barn and doesn’t have “retail hours”. You will however, find the proprietress at antique shows and high end vintage and antique markets. But she is the ultimate Christmas elf this time of year and when you step inside those big barn doors you never know what you find!

Bring a jacket and wear shoes suitable for a barn, and check out this Saturday, November 13th from 12 pm to 4 pm and Sunday, November 14th from 12 pm to 4 pm. 425 Little Conestoga Road, Downingtown, PA.

add a little christmas magic to your world this weekend at life’s patina

Life’s Patina will welcome guests Friday November 12, Saturday November 13, and Sunday November 14! See website or Facebook page for details!

You know it was a great evening when you come home and you can still hear the music and people’s laughter and delight in your head! That was exactly the Life’s Patina experience for Holiday 2021 last evening! Last night was the preview cocktail party and shopping event for the Holiday Barn Sale which opens to the public on Friday, November 12, and runs through the weekend.

Some of my friends and I always attend the previews for Meg Veno’s sales at Life’s Patina. But a lot of time we choose the evening cocktail preview, and last night that’s what we did. And it was magical.

Yesterday was one of those days where I received a couple of broken Christmas teacups in the mail, so Christmas magic was exactly what I needed! When we walked into the barn, we were transported to a glittering, warm and elegant setting. Beautiful ornaments and inspiring tableaux or vignettes throughout the two floors and rooms in this magnificent barn.

I definitely was not fun for my friends to hang out with because I was literally distracted by wonderful things every time I turned my head! Among my favorites were the little felted Christmas mice. And the Mercury glass ornament wreath I bought. I also bought a felted garland – I just love those. They are simple and pretty and very old-fashioned Christmas to me.

Every year I think Life’s Patina can’t top the year before. And every year the magic just gets better!

I should also mention the food and cocktails were amazing, but for me it was just being there and soaking in the atmosphere. And the music was to die for. So perfect.

I encourage all of you not to miss Life’s Patina Holiday Barn Sale this year. It makes you believe in the magic of the season, and we all need a little holiday magic in our lives.

Life’s Patina Holiday Barn Sale opens tomorrow, Friday, November 12th. The hours are 10 AM to 5 PM. Wear appropriate shoes as you are parking in a field, and walking around in an actual old barn.

The Life’s Patina Holiday Barn Sale is also on Saturday, November 13th from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday, November 14th from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Life’s Patina is located on Willowbrook Farm, located at 1750 N. Valley Road, Malvern, PA 19355.

I would be remiss in not mentioning that this year is also Life’s Patina 10th anniversary celebration! And a portion of the sale proceeds will go to T&E Cares.

Thanks for stopping by and as always, I am not being compensated for this post in any way, shape, or form. I am merely a happy supporter and customer!

meta jail, same as facebook jail and explain how those algorithms work? where is the actual customer service?

Facebook jail. It is one of the great mysteries of life. They will allow political commentary including before the January 6 insurrection that should be removed, they will allow cyber bullies and cyberstalkers, but then there’s Facebook jail.

My friend Lisa is a brilliant writer, and also as funny as hell. I think she has Facebook jail frequent flyer miles by now. Every time you turn around they’re putting her in Facebook jail and I don’t really understand why. I don’t think anybody really understands why, it’s like they do it on purpose.

My gardening blog (as in the outside website) ended up in Facebook jail for months during the pandemic. It was because of the title which is “the nightgown gardener”. Apparently it was the nightgown of it all, which is pretty funny if you know me, because racy will never be a descriptive adjective applied to me.

It was very frustrating because they allowed me to have a Facebook page that corresponds with the blog which was fine in the category of home and gardening page that goes with a gardening website. Yet it took months before they reversed their decision. And you can’t speak to anyone from Facebook, not even one of those messenger chats that a lot of websites allow for customer service. You can’t contact a live person if you are being harassed or stalked, either. You just can’t ever reach anyone period.

They have these weird, truthfully fakakta, algorithms. A friend of mine ran into it yesterday when she was trying to list, wait for it, Christmas ornaments. Of course that worked out for me because they are the kind of ornaments I collect for my tree so I bought them when she posted that she couldn’t post about them. But how does this even make sense? They are mercury glass you can’t say mercury. And if you say blown glass I guess they think they’re a little itty bitty bongs or something?

And then there was that moment during the election season where I called a super Trumper anti-vaxxer or anti-masker pig ignorant. I wasn’t put in Facebook jail per se, but I was warned. And have they seen the things that people say on Facebook and that’s what they catch and make an issue out of? I mean I don’t really care I just found it more amusing than anything else. when you think of the sheer volume of fake news that we saw Facebook allowed to be posted during this election season alone, it kind of just is mine blowing isn’t it?

So then there is my friend Beth who spends as much or more time in Facebook jail than my friend Lisa. She has breast cancer, brain tumors, and something that is like MS. Also funny as hell. But hey, she’s a threat to humanity somehow.

Now I have to ask since I am talking about Facebook jail will I be punished or thrown in Facebook jail? Am I living dangerous posting Facebook jail memes?

We all try to occasionally figure out the great mystery of life known as Facebook. How their algorithms work, why people who don’t deserve Facebook jail get Facebook jail, and why people who are completely off of their rockers rock on wandering around Facebook.

The algorithms are a mystery. Now given my former corporate life which included e-mail review, they obviously have software which seeks out and reacts to certain words. Corporate e-mail software set up for compliance purposes will trigger on everyday words like “bra” and I guess Facebook does this too? The only thing is in companies who do e-mail review, if an e-mail gets snagged for review there is an actual human being you can plead your case with. You can’t do that with Facebook. Can’t call them, you can’t email or message an actual person, all you can do is fill out their form thingy and hope someone reads it within the next few months.

I’m not trying to start a Facebook revolt, I’m not leaving Facebook, but I think they can do better. Unless of course this whole thing with algorithms in Facebook jail is just like a virtual reality of Zuckerberg’s beautiful mind so to speak? It just doesn’t make sense and really they can do better. I also feel like they do target certain people, and again I think it’s based upon an algorithm. But unless Zuckerberg is going for the whole Stepford Wives effect, I think he needs to find a better way.

In the interim, #FreeLisa , pass it on.

let’s talk about cvs

CVS used to be a super reliable chain pharmacy around here. But now it’s a hot mess.

I started using CVS 10 years ago, within days of my breast cancer surgery because Rite-Aid wouldn’t let my husband pick up my meds post surgery, and made me go into the pharmacy and wait 40 minute for meds that had been called in an hour before I left the hospital which was close to an hour away. I had to stand there practically drooling from anesthesia and in pain. There was no chair for me to sit on. So that is how I switched to CVS. (But I digress.)

My great uncle was a pharmacist. He was dedicated and beloved in his community back in the day. But that was before the time of chain store pharmacies eating up the market share, and small independent pharmacies have a really hard time competing, so there aren’t many of them left. Which sucks because (for example) if you have allergies to what binds and holds meds together, it’s really hard to find compound pharmacies. I miss the small independent pharmacies we all knew growing up.

But back to CVS.

CVS pharmacies are flailing, or failing, choose your descriptive adjective.  I do not believe it to be the fault of the employees, it’s a systemic corporate issue because I do believe they DO NOT treat their employees well as they seem unable to retain/attract them.   I used to think it was just our area, but given all of the media articles I have read I guess they have this issue all over?

I will only give a couple of examples locally of CVS issues although I can tell you Exton, PA and Berwyn, PA also are also having issues – just go on social media. Facebook and Twitter. Every day someone is talking about issues with CVS somewhere.


CVS located at 1450 Pottstown Pike West Chester PA (Store #3875) has had issues which precede COVID. Since COVID their pharmacy is closed more than it is open, and currently has no pharmacist other than floaters. It’s a new store, they can’t keep it staffed.


We switched to CVS in Frazer PA because of Pottstown Pike CVS issues. Frazer is located at 335 Lancaster Ave, Frazer PA (Store #5064).  I had to call THREE times to get my monthly prescriptions this month alone.  I am on automatic refill, only they didn’t fill them.  When I called, I sat on hold for quite a long time because they are seriously understaffed. When I asked why I didn’t get the text my prescriptions were ready when I actually called them into CVS a second time fearing they weren’t on automatic refill any longer, I was told they weren’t being filled unless people called in.  Then it still took three days to get them because both prescriptions were not ready when they said they would be. I am just lucky that I finished 10 years of breast cancer meds in September, not that the meds I still am taking are optional because they aren’t. And they are conditions related to having had breast cancer and had treatment and a decade of breast cancer meds.


Someone else I know has been trying for a week to get prescriptions refilled.  There are some days you go, and the pharmacy is just closed.  Then when you do go, the line inside is over an hour, and the drive thru some days without warning is your only option and during the work day can you personally afford to sit in a drive thru lane over an hour? They still do not have their meds.  Oh and our CVS in Frazer MAY have a pharmacist by tomorrow (Saturday), only people are all over social media saying THAT store will have a closed pharmacy until Monday or Tuesday of NEXT week.  And there is a CVS in Malvern, PA in the Target a few minutes away, which is also closed today.


So when people are off prescription meds because they can’t get them filled how does that affect efficacy? 


Again, I do not blame the staff CVS has, I blame the CVS corporate team.  They sit in the gilded tower, so perhaps they fail to see what is actually happening, except how can that be?


Thanks to a lovely New York Times article a while back, I know they mark certain patients via a form as “media threats”:

 …The specifics and severity of errors are nearly impossible to tally. Aside from lax reporting requirements, many mistakes never become public because companies settle with victims or their families, often requiring a confidentiality agreement. A CVS form for staff members to report errors asks whether the patient is a “media threat,” according to a photo provided to The Times. CVS said in a statement it would not provide details on what it called its “escalation process.”

~Ellen Gabler New York Times


I am sure after this post, I will be added to the list.

I am writing this blog post mostly because I took the time to TRY to reach executive escalations in their corporate headquarters yesterday,  and a very rude woman in in their corporate HQ could not be bothered with speaking to me, so she transferred me to some random customer service line where I sat for 90 minutes until the CVS end disconnected the call.


With health plans being what they are, many people do not have options for where they can go to get prescriptions filled.

(only locally they can’t even stick to those posted hours)


What does it take for CVS to wake up?


We can’t even count on CVS locally for COVID or Flu shots at most locations. 
Yes there are staffing shortages everywhere, but CVS is the worst.  And my local CVS is staffed by nice people who work hard, but they aren’t slaves on the CVS Plantation.

So CVS, what do you have to say for yourselves that doesn’t involve blowing smoke up the derrieres of your customers? Inquiring minds want to know.

For my readers, these are the email addresses I found for CVS: ExecutiveOffice@cvshealth.com , Matthew.Blanchette@cvshealth.com , neela.montgomery@cvshealth.com ,karen.lynch@cvshealth.com , shawn.guertin@cvshealth.com ,
Traci.Carter@cvshealth.com , michelle.peluso@cvshealth.com , customercare@cvs.com , CSS@cvshealth.com

I went Internet hunting and that is what I came up with, I like going to Executive Offices because it wastes less time and their regular vanilla customer service is somewhat useless and you can never get through to anyone.

As I close this post a reminder that I fell this is a systemic CORPORATE issue due to crappy corporate culture. The employees I have encountered from CVS locally have been very nice. So I encourage all of you to contact CVS at the corporate level. Take the time to tell them what is happening. I will note that CVS has been fined in other states for issues like this. (Refer to New York Times article CVS Fined for Prescription Errors and Poor Staffing at Pharmacies Regulators faulted four locations in Oklahoma, a rare action that followed complaints at drugstore chains across the country. By Ellen Gabler)

Have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by.