truth is stranger than fiction: the space shuttle balloon edition


All balloon photos in this post are courtesy of Lee Ann Embrey and used with permission.

So balloons are kind of part of Chester County. Or they will be until there isn’t enough open space left for them to land.

My friend Barry owns US Flag Balloon, Space Shuttle Balloon, & Flighthouse Balloon. (They have a website and you can find them on Facebook too!) I have flown in his American Flag balloon on 9/11 before.  It’s amazing.


All balloon photos in this post are courtesy of Lee Ann Embrey and used with permission.

Anyway yesterday they took the Space Shuttle Balloon up with some other ballooners.  It was a perfect flight with a textbook safe landing as you can see from the photos one of my friends took, and well the video 6ABC and PHL17 published stories on their TV newscast talking of a Chester County balloon crash?

OMG 6abc Action News ! SERIOUSLY?? Do you even vet your viewer submitted stories for truth or accuracy? I know the pilot and balloon owner. That wasn’t “an emergency landing” , that was  a plain old end of flight. (I can’t say much about PHL 17 because I did not see that report.)

They fly from point A to point B, land, and the ground chase team helps pack up the balloon and they are on their way.


All balloon photos in this post are courtesy of Lee Ann Embrey and used with permission.

Again, I flew in his American Flag balloon on 9/11 once. My husband and son were part of the ground chase team.  Maybe you should APOLOGIZE and CORRECT the record for US Flag Balloon, Space Shuttle Balloon, & Flighthouse Balloon? If you were really nice maybe they would take you up for a ride sometime.

There was NO emergency here.  Oy vey no wonder people complain about #FakeNews because this IS fake news.

Barry and company are all fine, and weather permitting the American Flag will be flying tomorrow (weather permitting and here is the event information on Facebook.)

When we saw the news (those of us who didn’t get a chance to watch the balloon go up, at first because of the “story” we thought our friend had crashed.

Not cool Action News, not cool at all.


All balloon photos in this post are courtesy of Lee Ann Embrey and used with permission.

this is community.


John Appleby courtesy photo

This is what community looks like. This is what it truly looks like when people come together for a greater good, and to support friends and neighbors.

Geoff Partridge is still missing.

Last evening it was bitter cold down on the Schuylkill, and still they came one by one to Flat Rock Park in Gladwyne for the Candlelight Vigil for Geoff Partridge. People who could not be there lit candles in their own home and posted photos on the event page.

A candle in Phoenix, AZ burned brightly last night during the Gladwyne, PA vigil. Courtesy photo from candlelight vigil for Geoff Partridge event page.

Last night you saw an example of the best kind of humanity. It’s the week before Christmas, and I don’t know about you but I’m praying for a Christmas miracle.

If you know anything concerning the whereabouts of Geoff Partridge please contact police.

And Philadelphia area media? Especially the television stations? Would it kill you to keep showing Geoff’s face on TV? I have seen what you have done with other missing persons, so please help his family out.

img_1440Lower Merion Township? I realize you all are not happy with this publicly but this is someone’s friend, son, husband, family member, neighbor and so on. And you know what? If this was someone beloved in your families these people would do the same for you. That is the thing about this community. I have seen it over the years.

True community like this is magical. Seeing these photos made tears well up in my eyes.

Again, Geoff is still missing.

Thanks for stopping by. Neighbors in Main Line town band together to search for missing man

by Vinny Vella, Updated: December 14, 2018 – 3:40 PM

missing at christmastime: geoff partridge from Lower Merion Township

Main Line Media News: Police, family continue asking for help in finding missing man: car pulled from river in Gladwyne

By Pete Bannan and Rich Ilgenfritz Richard Dec 11, 2018


John Appleby courtesy photo

the silliness of lillyness


So, more Lilly drama ensues.  As in Lilly Pulitzer.  This time it isn’t the Lilly for Target madness of earlier this spring, but the warehouse sale.

The warehouse sale is a study in insanity.  I went to one in the mid to late 1990s when the Lilly Pulitzer brand was revived  in 1993 when Sugartown Worldwide Inc of King of Prussia purchased Lilly from well, Lilly.  (Lilly Pulitzer Rosseau died in 2013) As a related aside, Sugartown sold it in 2010 for $60 million to Oxford Industries out of Atlanta.

The one warehouse sale I went to in the 90s after brand was revived, was a free for all with grown women behaving like savage beasts over the dresses and clothes  my mother and her friends all wore when we were growing up along with other lines like Vested Gentress which had more whimsical patterns. (Vested Gentress incidentally was manufactured right in Valley Forge PA between 1961 and 1985.  Personally, I always liked Vested Gentress better.)

At the one solitary warehouse I attended women were doing arm swoops and taking entire rows of clothes off racks and elbowing people literally for clothes. I remember one woman with an empty baby stroller that she was tossing clothes into. And then there was the cattle call dressing room section of the warehouse. It was like a Loehmann’s dressing room where you all got shoved in at once. Only my friend and I were almost scarred for life by the woman who had the red thong and bad suntan pantyhose on (it was really funny, sorry.)

That was a one and done experience and the new Lilly wasn’t half the quality of the old Lilly.  The old Lilly had fabric and lining that had some weight to them. They stood up to summer weather.   The fabric also lasted, which is why you can still find a lot of vintage Lilly.


Once the brand revived in the 1990s, in my opinion it cheapened a little and I have noticed that some more since it was sold again in 2010 to Oxford Industries.  The other thing is this: Lilly has become well regular. It’s everywhere now like overpriced Old Navy so why get so jazzed about it?

At the Lilly for Target debacle in April you had the Target website crash, stampedes in Target stores and unpleasantness that ended up with a whole lot of the cheaper line of Lilly for Target in eBay at quadruple the original selling price.  And for what? So a lot of women could show up at parties all wearing the same dress. Truly, it happened a couple weeks ago at a friend’s college reunion – five women from different areas of the country showed up in the same Lilly halter neck dress with a hot pink and blue patterned fabric. I didn’t like uniforms back in the day but that was school and the idea of walking into a room and having a bunch of women wearing my dress? No thank you.

jackie o in lilyLilly originally popped when style and fashion icon and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy started wearing Lilly Pulitzer in the 1960s. Jackie O as she was later known wore Lilly into the 1980s until Pulitzer mothballed the operation in 1984. Jackie and Lilly had been either schoolmates or classmates at Miss Chapin’s School in NYC.

So Lilly became this status of sorts. It was even mentioned in the Preppy Handbook. In the hey day of original Lilly you would see ladies from the Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Whitney and other legendary society families wearing Lilly at appropriate times of year.

I remember my mother wearing Lilly when we were growing up. Not a lot, just a few pieces. In particular I remember a couple of pairs of summer slacks that she would wear. They were so obnoxious a pattern that I remember a man in the grocery store (total stranger) saying “I bet your husband can never lose you in those pants”. (She didn’t wear them as often after that.)

My friends and I wore Lilly growing up and into our 20s and 30s when we would hunt the vintage down before it started to get as hotly collectible as certain baseball cards.   A big debut time every year for Lilly was the Devon Horse Show as a matter of fact.

But as new Lilly progressed and more and more Lilly stores opened and more and more retailers started carrying Lilly all over the place we just kind of stopped.  The prices were crazy, the fabrics and designs not as good as the original line and most importantly too many people were wearing it. And it is an age appropriate line these days too. It’s geared towards younger women in my opinion as opposed to original Lilly which was just geared towards women who liked a certain style.

But the historical status symbol of Lilly drove some women I know to check out the warehouse sale this week.  My one friend snapped a shot of the sale yesterday and said their was a FIVE hour wait in line. She said she had no idea it would be like that and left.

warehouse sale

Then up pops this thing on the local news last evening and this morning. Women who had waited for hours were abruptly shut out of the sale for “re-stocking”. Huh? Sounds like when there are lines of clothing manufactured just for outlet shoppers doesn’t it?

WPVI 6 ABC Shoppers outraged after Lilly Pulitzer event ends abruptly early

Friday, June 05, 2015 12:23AM

Call it a case of retail rage – instead of paisley and pink, shoppers were seeing a deep shade of red after the first day of a Lilly Pulitzer warehouse sale ended abruptly early.”I’ve never had a problem getting in the first day of the sale,” said Cathy Hedegard.Upset shoppers attending the Lilly Pulitzer warehouse sale wanted answer after they were told the doors were closing early on Thursday night.The annual sale is at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Montgomery County….It attracts people from all over the country – like Anni Carroll. She drove 10 hours from Charlotte and waited in line with her three children but didn’t get in”It’s extremely frustrating. I have three children under three with me. They were not allowed to use the bathroom inside – they closed the doors and wouldn’t let anyone in,” said Carroll.”The security guards are actually videotaping us thinking it’s kind of funny which is not,” said Joanne Resendiz.


And even more bizarrely was watching the television report which showed upset on the verge of tears women all outraged they could not get in because they “support” Lilly like a line of clothing has cult status. Maybe OLD Lilly, but new?

My favorite and the winner of the what-the-hell-were-you-thinking-Mother-of -the-year was the woman on camera being interviewed  who drove TEN hours to be at the sale. All the way from Charlotte, North Carolina with THREE children under THREE for a clothing sale. Whhhhaaaatt?  How much Lilly was she going to buy that she drove TEN hours with three LITTLE kids who couldn’t even go to the bathroom anywhere? That is simply astounding.


I don’t know about you, but no way no how. Nothing is worth this drama. Especially when you see it everywhere like Baby Gap. Sorry. This latest Lilly silliness shows exactly why it is time for a lot of women to find something else to wear. The Lilly for Target debacle was bad enough, let alone drama over a warehouse sale.

And somehow this Lilly doesn’t strike me as what the original Lilly intended. Ladies save your pennies. Unless it is vintage Lilly it’s not so Lilly anymore.

Thanks for stopping by.  Sign me #SoOverLilly


enough chester county spca, enough

ccspca pizap

Maybe I am post -surgical cranky, but I want to hear from State Senator Andy Dinniman and others on this.

I just had a WTF moment when a friend of mine texted me to let me know that the Chester County SPCA fired her (again) today. And oh yeah, they used the West Goshen Police Department to do it.

I am about to almost use a bad word: BULLSH*T

Once you get past the whole how-do-you-fire-volunteers of it all, I am stuck with how is it the Chester County SPCA continues to use a local police force like their own private security detail?????? (And yes my friend gave me one of the badge numbers but I am not disclosing this here as it is not the officer’s fault.)

Who is paying for this??? Are taxpayers/residents of West Goshen and Chester County on the hook for this misuse of municipal resources ???

I am completely and utterly disgusted. I hope the media eats the Chester County SPCA for breakfast. I hear some of the media is already working on stories.

I mean how can you get “people and animals together” when you keep using the local police as bouncers to fire volunteers?

And I thought it was bad when they used the police the last time…but two police cars to confront a woman????? REALLY????

apparently it is “fugly” out there with horse rescue?

Someone sent me the link to a site called “FuglyBlog” and more specifically a link:

But there is something fugly and funky going on about this website because for a fewdragrope from fugly blog minutes it came up and then it went down.

So the reason I was sent this post  was so I could see the apparent systemic problems with horse rescue within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Can we say it isn’t just Jessica Basciano, Barbara Luna, Turning for Home and Off the Track Thoroughbred Rescue that people need to have their eyes open with?

This manure pile that is horse rescue seems to have a lot of whinnying going on, yet the more I read about it, the more I wonder why PA’s Attorney General isn’t looking at inconsistencies and oddities in all of this from the end of those who are registered in PA as charities to criminal investigations having to do with animal rescues?  From how the horses leave the track and where they go to how the horse rescues run and if they meet to burden for animal protection and welfare let alone how these businesses and non-profits run doesn’t it just seem the questions are layered with questions?noassfqhamare from the fugly blog

And let me be clear, I am not just speaking about the two rescues blogged about up here before, but the entire business of horse rescue in Pennsylvania.  I heard a tale yesterday of a situation going on at another Chester County barn that seems just nutty.  I don’t own horses, never have, never will.  But am I wrong in saying that it seems the only consistency about horse rescue in Pennsylvania are the many inconsistencies? Is it just me who seems to feel that if there are hard and fast rules, there seems to be a lot of gray area for interpretation?

And lets talk about the group that is supposed to be helping being the eyes and ears of right, ok? LAPS or Large Animal Protection Society? I have been told repeatedly by those in animal rescue in general that these folks have badges or something?  That they can go in and do surprise inspections and if need be, remove animals? But is their judgement clouded because of personal relationships their ranks may or may not have with persons in the groups they are supposed to keep an eye on? (And before someone in LAPs gets in a lather, sorry but it is not beyond the realm of reasonable to ask questions is it?)  And what of all the people worried about horses in Chester County who have a hard time with LAPs personnel? Are they all bad people out to bad mouth LAPs or are they merely good people who keep going back to the well that is LAPs hoping they will actually do their job?

LAPs has on their own website:

LAPS Can Assist Other Humane Agencies

In addition to investigating reports of cruelty to large animals, prosecution offenders, and rehabilitating and placing animals in new homes, LAPS is always ready and willing to provide information and support to other agencies both within and out-of-state.  We have provided people in other counties with the means and knowledge to encourage their local law enforcement officials to step in when the local humane societies do not, and have many times supported the State Police in their investigations in areas where the humane agencies do not provide service.

Also, we are glad to help anyone wishing to organize a humane society in an area not currently serviced by one.   We have “been there, done that” and are more than willing to share the information you will need to get started.  Our knowledge of the way the system works has been hard-won over the years since 1988 we have been in existence.  If you need help, just call!

Pennsylvania’s law governing animal cruelty, Statute 5511.

Pennsylvania’s law governing disposal of dead animals

Pennsylvania’s law governing the marketing of animals.

So LAPs if all this kerfuffle and conundrum concerning horse rescue has you down, can’t you all turn to other rescue groups for assistance?  Like the Humane Society and the ASPCA?

Anyway, back to what prompted this post – this Fugly Blog.  I pulled the cache on this one post (it is a couple of years old).  I turned the cache into a PDF that I found a fascinating and illuminating read.  (see upload of Fugly Blog cache ) It is about yet another horse rescue, Another Chance 4 Horses.

I will note that I went to and pulled the most recent 990s I could find on Turning for Home, LAPs, and Another Chance for Horses.  I am posting them as they are public record and they are registered non-profits.  There are no 990s to be posted on Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue because has anyone ever been able to actually find a business registered, a non-profit registered, or is it just a fictitious name registration?  Maybe that is why the judgement I found based on that recent court date is lodged against Ms. B? (See the links below, you can check the documents out yourself.)

Every time I say I am done with this cautionary tale the more that crops up.  Water seeks its own level, mold spreads, choose your analogy I have but one final question and that is when did it stop being about what is right for the horses?


Fugly Blog cache

judgement entered

turning for home PA 2011 990

LAPS PA 990 2011

Another Chance for Horse 2010 990

CBS Baltimore: Animal Rights Groups Angry After Sick Horses Found On Frederick Co. Farm (“A Pennsylvania man faces animal cruelty charges for the death of one of his horses in Frederick County.”

I think a non-profit rescue called the “Foxie G Foundation”  took in some of these poor beasts and apparently same person as involved in that case last year in Adam’s County  a guy named James Houseman. It is like hop scotch with horses. ) 24 sickly horses seized from Dauphin Co. farm Posted:
Jan 14, 2013 3:47 PM EST
Monday, January 14, 2013 3:47 PM ESTUpdated: Jan 14, 2013 4:39 PM ESTonday, January 14, 2013 4:39 PM EST

By Sari Heidenreich – email (PALMYRA, Pa. (WHTM) -Twenty four horses, including four who are pregnant, were seized from a Dauphin County farm by the Humane Society of Harrisburg last week….Earlier this month, Kaunas said this is the first type of horse hoarding case she has seen.)

And from the LAPs website, “A Horse’s Prayer”:

Feed me, water and care for me,

and when the day’s work is done,

provide me with a shelter,

a clean dry stall large enough

for me to lie down in comfort.

Talk to me, your voice often means

as much to me as the reins.

Pet me sometime that I may serve you

more gladly and learn to love you.

Shoe me properly that I may serve you in comfort.

Never strike, beat, or kick me when I don’t understand what

you want, but give me a chance to understand you.

And finally oh master,

when my youthful strength is gone,

do not turn me out to starve or freeze,

or sell me to some cruel owner

to be slowly tortured or stoned to death,

but do thou, my master,

take my life in the kindest way, and

your God will reward you here and hereafter.

You will not consider me irreverent if I ask this

in the name of Him who was born in a stable…