not telling you who to vote for, but who NOT to vote for

People always ask “Who is State Rep Kristine Howard?”

Good question because really nobody knows. She has been the singularly most INVISIBLE state representative I’ve ever heard of since I first had the right to vote. Considering I’m in my 50s, I have been voting quite a while.

I literally remember when the committee people were coming around when Kristine Howard was running the first time.

I had not seen anything about her, hadn’t seen her physically anywhere, had not even seen photos of her anywhere at that point. NOTHING. She was just a name. The response I got was stunning and it was from her own party “No one really knows. No one has really seen her.” (and that message was delivered with an apologetic shrug.)

The sole image anyone had seen of her at that point is the photo on the left at the opening of this post. Only as we later found out she looks more like the photo on the right.

Even candidates I have not liked over the years got out there to shake hands and meet people and go to one bad chicken dinner after the other.

Last time we were supposed to vote for Kristine Howard just because she wasn’t Duane Milne. This time because she’s not Ginny Kerslake or Wendy Graham Leland. (I will note both of these ladies are out there, involved in the community, and care and have been that way long before deciding to run for office.)

Yet NO ONE knows Kristine Howard still. Is she the most closely guarded secret in Harrisburg or what? Kristine Howard seems to send out the occasional puff piece to let people know she’s around or she voted as she was told, only she’s not around is she? Try being one of her constituents and getting her to respond to you. Try getting anyone in her office to respond to you.

In my humble opinion, Kristine Howard does not show up for residents and constituents. This summer residents affected detrimentally and dangerously by pipelines begged her to come tour their neighborhoods with them. They got no response.

But when Governor Tom Wolf showed up for an insider’s tour basically with the pipeline company inside the fences of the pipeline that have eaten up people’s properties and lives and neighborhoods this summer, there she was for photo ops posing with Wolf and Carolyn Comitta only like magic those photos have all seemed to have disappeared as bad optics are wont to do? (if anyone has copies of those photos that DID exist I would love to see one again wouldn’t you?)

There was also in the summer of 2019 a very important public meeting held at Immaculata that affected her constituents in East Whiteland Township. The issue? Traffic circles, eminent domain, and PennDOT. She sent a staffer who stayed maybe half an hour, and the meeting was more than two hours long. Kristine Howard should have been there herself, could have been there herself, chose NOT to be there. 

The residents of the 167th Legislative District deserve someone who shows up for them, interacts with them, responds to their concerns. Kristine Howard is sort of being seen now because she’s being primaried. That is so insulting to constituents.

Think of politics in terms of fashion. Kristine Howard and Harrisburg need a makeover. I think the Harrisburg makeover is time better spent.

I can’t tell you who to vote for, but I will tell you who I think you SHOULD NOT vote for, and that’s Kristine Howard. She’s a fashion trend as tragic as hobble skirts, which literally impeded a woman’s ability to walk in the early 20th century.

dear senator dinniman

Dear Senator Dinniman,

Today I was not expecting to learn that you’ve decided to retire. Truthfully it makes me sad.

Why?

Because you are a rare public servant who has ALWAYS served the public. You have been so good to us no matter what our political affiliation.

You have been our steadfast and stalwart supporter on issues like the pipelines. You also are a big supporter of animal rescue which I am personally appreciative of. You appreciate historic preservation and land preservation. You are the real deal in a time when so many are not.

I know you would not have made this decision lightly, and family must always come first. But you have been so good to us over the years, that even I know as a resident of Chester County not as many years as some, that you treat your constituents like family.

So I just wanted to say most sincerely, thank you for your service. I also hope your wife gets better soon.

For my readers please FOLLOW THIS LINK to read Andy Dinniman’s statement.

they had me at beignets: farm boy fresh has landed in malvern

Full disclosure: haven’t been there yet. But I will be going. They had me at beignets. And a breakfast and lunch menu that looks fun and has some Louisiana and other flair to it. And I actually love a good breakfast and lunch place, don’t you?

So yes, they had me at beignets and if Chef makes gumbo, I may volunteer to ladle it out. I found a bio of the chef-owner Chef Paul Marshall on the Blue Star Stove website. That in and of itself amuses me because one of my best friends swear by these stoves. Chef Paul Marshall has quite a culinary resume and I would say we are lucky to have him local.

His Farm Boy Fresh is where the Three Crazy Ladies was at the Sunoco Gas Station at 7 Lancaster Avenue, Malvern or… the corner of Route 30 and Route 29. They are new enough that Google Maps doesn’t pick them up yet. So here is my version of a map:

Now I checked with them for a menu because they don’t have a website up yet (they are new and renovating) and heard back from them very promptly:

Hey thanks for reaching out. We don’t have a website and are looking to update the Facebook page in the coming weeks. We getting a system installed shortly that will allow for online ordering. Paul Marshall is the owner and chef, he has a long career as an executive chef in restaurants and wanted to do something local to bring his food in an affordable quick environment. The cafe is going through some renovations as well, new bar tables will be in the shop soon, so you can eat in store. I have a menu, I’ll attach it here.

Umm yes so this is a chef with some serious chops. Found this elsewhere:

…From his childhood on the bayou in rural Louisiana, the land of cayenne pepper, roux, seafood gumbo, beignets, and Andouille Sausage, Paul always showed a passion for cooking. During seven years under the watchful eye of Fernando Oca he learned classical French technique. Marshall returned to his New Orleans roots to work under Emeril Lagasse at Commander’s Palace. There he further developed his passion for ‘the new’ New Orleans cuisine, a melting pot of French, Spanish and American flavors.

Chef Marshall also was the Chef de Cuisine of Oscars at The French Brasserie in The Waldorf Astoria. Since then, he moved to Malvern, PA with wife Julie …

I like quirky. And I also love food with Louisiana influence (well except for catfish. I just don’t cotton to catfish.) And you have to respect someone with a passion for their craft. So below is the menu and I will be visiting soon. I learned about them from someone in my area!

I hear they are open while they are renovating, but it possibly could be a little bit limited while they polish and shine, which is totally reasonable. That’s why I haven’t been yet. But I will be stopping by soon!

favorite places: dixie picnic in frazer, pa

Hands down one of my favorite places for breakfast and lunch in Chester County is Dixie Picnic in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center on Route 30 in Frazer/Malvern.

I realized that although I have been enjoying the place for years, I have never written about them. Well I need to rectify that.

It’s not fussy, it’s not pretentious, it’s good food, well-prepared, served with a smile. It’s a wonderful scratch kitchen and I love sending people there because they are always so happy that they’ve gone! And now through the website you can even order online to pick up. And they have catering available!

The owners are as lovely as can be, and when we went today for breakfast we could smell the delicious smells of baking bread. (Their sourdough bread is my favorite.)

Today my husband had an omelette which is his usual go to go out to breakfast fare. It arrived the table fluffy and pretty.

He said it was delicious as always!

I tried something different today. I tried their avocado toast. I have had it a bunch of places recently where I wasn’t thrilled with it. It’s a pretty basic thing to make but some people just do too much. Today was perfect.

It arrived on a slice of their lovely sourdough bread and the avocados were just perfectly ripe and slightly smashed with an over easy egg on top. I added a little salt and pepper and some Tabasco sauce and oh my it was awesome! Truthfully it’s the best avocado toast I have had anywhere.

Something else they are known for that I did not have today are the upcakes. Delightfully homemade simply iced cakes in an array of flavors every time you go in the door. Some of my favorites include the carrot cake upcake and the red velvet upcake . And they also have this devil’s food one that has this amazing mocha frosting. And if you’re looking for something that is a lighter and fluffier upcake try the lemon. Upcakes are magically delicious.

Dixie Picnic is a wonderful Chester County business and I hope you give them a try!

even in the rain, chester county has incredible beauty

Yesterday traveling around with my husband in the pouring rain I was struck once again with the beauty of Chester County. So I hope you can see beyond the rain drops.

This is why I get so upset with the relentless march of development, cursed pipelines, and things like digital billboards.

Happy Sunday!

rainy day estate sale

Picked up some amazing vintage linens today that are already soaking in the sink! The woman who lived in this lovely little house liked to sew so I have some amazing full- coverage aprons and vintage pillowcases. I also picked up these cute little hand stitched clothes pin bags!

Another great vintage score was an entire plastic container full of trimmings and sewing notions. Lace and ribbon and different kinds of trim. This is a crafter’s delight and I will use this stuff in many ways over the years to come.

Finally, I also picked up some amazing cookbooks. I think the Amish Dutch cookbook is my favorite but running a close second was the first edition James Beard cookbook I also found.

It was a cute little house way out and beyond Strasburg Road. I was in heaven as we drove by farm after farm because it was so nice to see some stuff that hadn’t been overtaken by development. Even in the rain, Chester County is so beautiful to explore.

Stay dry!