yes, vintage linens are among my favorite things

So I know I must be pretty boring every time I talk about how much I love vintage linens, but I do.

I bought a couple new old dish towels and these two amazing embroidered vintage pillowcases that were all remainders of an estate sale.

I think people overlooked the pillowcases because they were super yellowed with age in spots including covering the fabulous embroidery. They are embroidered with pine cones and pine branches. I just thought they were so incredibly special.

So I soaked them overnight in Restoration and a little Woolite. You can buy Restoration directly from Engleside Products or on Amazon.

I have said before how terrific this wash is on vintage linens and quilts and old crocheted items. But I wish I had taken a photograph of the pillowcases before I soaked them because this was that amazing a transformation!

Now my old linens are drying on a clothes rack and when they are dry I will press them and put them on my pillows next time I change my sheets!

Don’t overlook old and vintage linens. They add so much charm and character to your home.

I am also in the process of restoring and patching an old flannel-backed quilt from Maine. I love them on our beds in the winter there’s nothing cozier and nicer than an old patchwork quilt and vintage embroidered pillowcases! and if you shop smart and aren’t afraid of cleaning items up you can usually find both of these things at less than fancy dealer prices.

do YOU want signs like this in your community?

A friend of mine sent me this today because they were up in Quakertown, PA.

This is the company that Haverford Township goes to court with this week after many years of no activity. This is the billboard company that Lower Merion Township has gone to court with and Tredyffrin Township is currently in court with as well. This is the billboard company that has been to West Whiteland, Phoenixville borough, Charlestown Township, and now is beginning a journey with East Whiteland Township.

I think this is like the best of tacky Vegas and that’s not where we live is it? I think it’s even worse than I 95. But that’s just my opinion.

What is your opinion on the signs out there in blog reader land? I am honestly interested in your opinions. Feel free to leave a comment.

Billboards = Blight

#NoBillboards #NoBillboardsInTheBurbs

big anti-billboard turnout in east whiteland

It was a packed room with people standing on the sides of the room for the Billboard hearings in East Whiteland tonight.

Tonight was about establishing party status for people with regard to each individual hearing for each individual application. As kind of expected pretty much everyone was objected to and if Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny had been present they would’ve been objected to as well.

The meeting was honestly quite contentious at times and once the video is up I will post a link so people can see it for themselves. One thing I did not care for was when East Whiteland ‘s solicitor threatened to have police remove a resident. It was a woman, a very nice woman whom I actually know, and she didn’t understand the process.

And that was something tonight that I thought was problematic – it was very confusing trying to understand the process. I sort of understood the process, or most of the process because I’ve been to these hearings before, but I was in the distinct minority and it wasn’t explained well.

Ginny Kerslake from West Whiteland showed up and suggested that East Whiteland do what West Whiteland did and request a full scale test of the signs.  That’s a really good common sense suggestion so I hope it happens.

Also the billboard company is going to have an open house coming up for residents of East Whiteland at the Desmond Hotel. I am a little fuzzy on the date ( I *think* it is Thursday, January 23 at 7 PM) and as soon as I have clarity I will post it here. I would suggest that residents go.

I have a feeling this is the first of many, many Billboard hearings. Tonight you had people showing up with legitimate reasons for wanting party status other than immediate proximity to the locations. Health impacts. Serious health impacts. I will give East Whiteland Supervisors kudos here for standing up for those residents, in particular, Supervisor Rich Orlow.

Anyway good job East Whiteland residents and others. Not a fun meeting for anyone. but if you care about your community this is just one of those issues where you have to keep showing up.

I did not see anyone from State Senator Dinniman’s office or anyone from State Rep. Kristine Howard’s office either.

christmas has left the building

Bit by bit, Christmas has left the building. It has taken longer this year post knee surgery. I also have been sorting the ornaments, honing down what I actually use versus what I haven’t been using.

I did decide I really liked the look of my copper tray loaded up with my old glass candlesticks, so that I am keeping that the same way. I have just put away the Christmas candles and the Christmas tablecloth I used this year which was a cheerful tartan. Now I have one of the vintage damask tablecloths I own on the table. It’s sort of a deep teal to green shade. Totally mid-century and totally fun.

Only the tree remains up and that is indeed a process to take down. The old ornaments all go into their own boxes. One by one. It’s old mercury glass topper has already been put away.

One thing I linger on is my great grandparents’ German Kugel that hung in their home in Lancaster when Mumma, my maternal grandmother, was a little girl. Mumma gave it to my mother, who gave it to me. I don’t have any daughters so I don’t know to whom I will pass it some day.

What I can’t ever decide about the Kugel is should I put it away. It hangs on the dining room chandelier and I love to look at it. So should I keep it hanging? I want to, but realistically if I keep it hanging all year round, chances are I will damage it. So into it’s box it will go until next year.

That is the funny thing about Christmas decorations. There are some you could look at all year round like the Kugel, and others like the Santas and Nutcrackers who seem to stare at you after a while.

Until next year, Christmas, until next year.

new year, new junk mail…and a suggestion!

OK I really am also starting to get tired of the things that get mailed to you that look like they are hand addressed but you open them and they are not. It’s just junk mail.

Got one of those yesterday from Renewal by Andersen. They are already on my least favorite list because of the pushy door to door salesmen that come around occasionally.

 This latest buy a mailing list junk mail piece came in an envelope that would have made you think it was an after Christmas holiday or New Year’s card from a friend.

I opened it and found this. Really juvenile bad hand writing as a mass mailing – it was printed like this on purpose.

Once again I will be calling to be removed from their solicitation list, and it’s another thing to recycle. I’m really at a loss as to how to get off their mailing list because I have asked repeatedly for easily a decade.

And if you live in Chester County and you want a really good company that’s local to do your windows I suggest A.F. Orizietti out of West Chester.  they have been providing excellent service and prices since 1957. We have been very happy customers through multiple homes with them. And everyone we have ever referred to them has been exceedingly happy. They are not compensating me in any manner for suggesting them as a company I just think they’re awesome.

In 2020 recycle the solicitations and support local service providers like this!

it’s 2020! new year, new decade!

Found this photo above on a Google search when I put in “New Year’s Eve 1920. ” It just seemed like a fun image to kick off a new decade a century forward. So happy 2020 y’all!

The last decade which just concluded has been the largest decade of change in my entire life. I thought about it last night as we watched the ball drop in NYC.

As 2010 rolled around, I knew or I sensed, or I hoped changes were coming.

I was in the tail end of the wrong relationship and life partnership for me. I knew I wasn’t happy but I still thought it was just me, that I wasn’t working hard enough in the relationship.

I remember feeling guilty on New Year’s Eve 2009 into 2010 because I thought to myself as I looked at this person did I want to be looking at them when I was 70? What a horrible thought I thought to myself as in that moment if I was honest the answer was hell no. But it was somehow oddly and accurately prophetic because a few short weeks later in a February blizzard that was just all over.

I think people were waiting to see if I fell apart but I didn’t. I mean I had my emotional moments, it was a decade out of my life, the prior decade, but it wasn’t right so it didn’t last. When someone asks you to commit your life to theirs and they didn’t 100% commit to you and never shared a lot of their life, even their friends and relatives, it’s not going to last because it’s not the right person. I should have been smarter, but sometimes you have to go through something to actually understand it don’t you?

Mostly I felt guilty about feeling relieved it was over.

So that started the last decade with a bang. But things happen for a reason. I have great friends and family who were all waiting for me on the other side of that. It took a while to not me angry at those who actually called this person to ask them to return to me . They didn’t understand that on that February night in 2010 I closed a door without regret. I didn’t need to have the wrong person in my life to complete me. I completed me. I just didn’t know it until I closed that door.

That new decade was a new start for me. That phrase god closes a door and opens a window comes to mind.

That winter of that new decade, my friend Sherry and I and others received a Congressional Commendation from then Congressman Jim Gerlach. It was for something that Sherry and a wonderful doctor named Ken Marx thought of and I helped with called Operation Angel Wings. This will always be something that I was so proud to be a part of. It was a truly amazing thing to volunteer on.

Somewhere in this year of the last new decade, my husband and I began to talk more and more. We had known each other in high school. And the First Friday Main Line in October of 2010 was where it truly began. I think that is exactly when my heart also opened to a little boy standing with a cup of cocoa in the doorway of MilkBoy Coffee. That was also the evening I got to reconnect with my friend Eric who passed away a few months ago.

Also in the fall of 2010 I got a historical marker from the idea stage to actually raising the money to make it happen. The Wayne Natatorium sign. It was a cool piece of history worth preserving.

Then time went on for 2010 until it ground to a halt in December. That was the year I burned Christmas cookies for the first time ever. That was the Christmas that never really happened except for the motions.

This was the Christmas we lost my beloved brother in law and my sister’s amazing husband to a deadly form of mesothelioma. He was gone in a little over 3 weeks.

There was a blizzard in NYC right before his funeral- NYC was white and fairly silent for a couple of days. Keith is still one of the best people I have ever known. And I miss him, especially around the holidays. He was all about the holidays. He loved Christmas cookies.

But then on New Year’s Eve 2010 into 2011 when I was sitting in the still of my apartment after returning that day from my sister’s in NYC, the phone rang. It was my now husband. We talked through the night and into the New Year on the phone and I killed his Blackberry battery LOL.

I think my husband thought I was very quiet last night for a while. And part of it was because I was thinking of that New Year’s Eve 2010 into 2011. And all of the past decade.

2011 was a magical year and one of the hardest. I fell in love truly and deeply and was also diagnosed with breast cancer. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Quite literally.

But breast cancer freed me to be my better self, I think. More and more time was being spent in Chester County and by the spring of 2012 the transition was completed and I was out here. Best thing that ever happened to me. I am home, truly home in Chester County.

Life moved forward and I reconnected with many of my favorite people from growing up who also were Main Line ex-pats who moved to Chester County.

I learned how to be a stepparent in this last decade. I am still learning. I guess the biggest thing I’ve learned later in life in becoming a parent is that it is always a work in progress.

I also gained a stepfather and amazing stepsiblings in this decade . I am very blessed to have an amazing second father and stepbrothers and a stepsister and step nieces and nephews. It is fun to be part of their crew!

This last decade is also when on my parent’s anniversary one year I married the love of my life. Surrounded by friends and family in an amazing old house. We were married by one of our friends.

This last decade I have also let my inner gardener and treasure hunter out. I left myself open to new opportunities. Many of you have followed my journey here and other places I write. This has been the decade where I have truly begun to evolve as a writer. I have some amazing professional writers as mentors who have guided me along the way. Write what you know.

I have met all sorts of cool new people who often have been kind enough to share their experiences and lives with me.

I have made some friends the past decade that I will keep forever. I made some others friends that I let go of for various reasons, including that they left this earth. That sounds awful but it’s not. It’s the cycle of life. Another old saying comes to mind about people who are in your life for a reason, or a season, or a lifetime.

So much in my life has changed in 10 years. It really makes you pause and reflect and count your blessings. I start this decade in a wholly better place. The right place for me with my amazing husband whom I love to the moon and back. I am truly blessed.

So here we all are on the first day of a new year and a new decade. I wish you all the best and cheers to 2020!

What a long strange (and wonderful) trip it has been.

Happy New Year!

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards

~ Soren Kierkegaard