like january 6th except august at a school board meeting

Tonight there was supposed to be a Great Valley School District School Board Meeting. Except it was overrun quite literally by anti-maskers. (Here watch another video sent to me call it “takeover time”: https://vimeo.com/588137331 – not all but a lot of it)

Great Valley School District school board meeting was supposed to be recessed for this evening because of the people who refused to wear masks, which includes Republican Committee of Chester County school board candidates.

The police were called. F-ing ridiculous.

Kids first. Not freaking whatever self-serving politics.

Some random woman then running the meeting because she says that this is “their building” or something. Yeah, so January 6th, it is a little frightening and utterly UNACCEPTABLE. No clue who she was.

And these anti-maskers called those wearing masks “retarded” (their words) and they were wearing “face diapers”. Again, their words.

Chester County Republican School Board Candidate Sallie Campbell was observed flipping out and screaming at people in the audience….before the meeting. Obviously she is quite unstable isn’t she? And yes, Sallie the minute you became a politician as a a candidate for elected office (the school board) we can indeed wonder about you outloud.

Here is what got recorded that I could find so far by school district:

THIS IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. IF YOU PAY TAXES IN THE GREAT VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT, WE SHOULD BE ASKING THE CHESTER COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE TO PAY THEM FOR EVERY HOUSE IN THE DISTRICT. IF THEY WANT TO RUN THE WORLD, THEY CAN DAMN WELL PAY FOR IT TOO AND PAY OUR SCHOOL TAXES.

OUR KIDS AND PARENTS AND EDUCATORS ATTENDING PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS SHOULD FEEL SAFE. WHO FEELS SAFE WITH THIS CRAP? AND THE POLITICALLY CORRECT ANT MASKERS, ANTI VAXXERS? NOT VERY PC TO CALL PARENTS WEARING FACE MASKS LIKE GREAT VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT REQUESTED “RETARDED”

Oh and the people who were the anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers were recording this entire debacle. No one is quite sure where.

To the Great Valley School District: if you are going to do these meetings, enforce your policies. If people are non-compliant, have them removed.

Also tonight? People have NO IDEA who was vaccinated or not among the anti-maskers.

This is NOT acceptable. NOT Acceptable!

To the Chester County Republican Committee, and every local Republican committee within the Great Valley School District: these people were out there representing YOUR party’s SUPPOSED values. So are we to assume the Chester County Republican Committee is therefore OK with the events of January 6th in our beloved Nation’s Capitol? This is what being a Republican means? So you are ok with your people doing things like the man who yelled at the school board and called them “little bitches” and someone else calling a school board member a “pussy”?

These are the candidates NOT to vote for: Alex Enderle, Sallie Campbell, Lauren Dicranian.

Here are observations from a parent who was there:

My recap of the GVSD SB meeting that almost was:
I got there around 7.10 and went straight inside. There were already 5 other masked people in there, and 3 non-masked. There were posted papers everywhere that said masks are mandatory, and boxes of surgical masks for those who didn’t bring one.
I asked Dr. O’Toole if the mask policy will be reinforced, and I was assured it will be as soon as the board members come in. It was uncomfortable sitting there as the number of unmasked people grew, and I knew at least a couple are not vaccinated.
By the time the board came in, I would say there were about 45ish people in attendance, half masked half not. The masked included 2 of the school board candidates(Andrea Rizzo Region 1 and Tricia Chasinoff Region 3). The unmasked were led by R candidate for Region 3 Sallie Campbell- who before the board came in turned to us and yelled that we don’t have her permission to take a picture of her- some of us had their laptops out doing some last minute work, some had their phones texting etc.
Board came in, and Dave Barratt asked everyone to comply with the mask requirement. Some angry dude called him the ‘p’ word, screamed that ‘this is our building, we pay taxes, we pay your salaries’ (nevermind that the SB positions are volunteer, apparently he doesn’t know such details). Same person insulted another mask wearing parent asking if they were retarded for wanting to wear a mask. It went on in the same style. Barratt called recess and said they will meet tomorrow on Zoom.
Most of the masked parents left. I stood in the hallway for a bit listening to what was going on. Some masked parents stayed. The R crowd decided to hold their own meeting and broadcast it somewhere- there were at least 2 people recording/streaming what people said. I have no idea where.
People were asked to state their name and address like in a SB meeting and speak; it was sickening to hear them and know that this shitshow will go on once school starts. Nurses stood up and spoke against masks and against the vaccine. Sallie C said a prayer and once again spoke against the book that teaches everyone that whites are racist, yada yada same old story as last meeting, and shed a tear as she told people how she had to leave certain FB groups where she wasn’t appreciated.
All had a common theme: the CDC ‘recommends’ and is not saying ‘mandatory’; the PA DOH ‘recommends’ and does not ‘mandate’. The government cannot tell them what to put on their kids(masks) and cannot force them to vaccinate; this is a public school and they can decide what is best for their children.
I am upset the police didn’t come and they were allowed to continue this nonsense, especially considering what happened in other states. I left as I feared for my safety. On my way out I chatted a bit with Dr Goffredo and Dr O’Toole- I don’t understand why the police wasn’t called or didn’t come(I left about 40min after the meeting was cancelled). I
I am so sad with how radicalized some of our own neighbors are, and how political this all is, and it will only get worse.”

~Parent at the meeting non meeting, storming of the school board/school district meeting

Here’s what was sent to me by people in the room (turn up the volume)

Litter some of the anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers tossed aside as they were storming the school board meeting

living la vida loca…with covid

A friend posted this and I grabbed it from her social media. It kind of sums it all up.

Here we are in August 2021, and the COVID of it all still hums around the edges of all of our lives, and threatens to cause uproar in our lives once again. We have not obtained herd immunity in this country because not enough have gotten shots.

Please don’t misunderstand me, there are people who are legitimately UNABLE to get the COVID shot because of health conditions like severe allergies. But then there are all of these people who either just haven’t bothered, or they see it as a Don Quixote political stand.

So now there are these variants of COVID. Delta and Lambda are two. Here is an article from Reuters from the other day:

Aug 2 (Reuters) – The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

Delta breakthrough infections likely contagious

Among people infected by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, fully vaccinated people with “breakthrough” infections may be just as likely as unvaccinated people to spread the virus to others, new research suggests. The higher the amount of coronavirus in the nose and throat, the more likely the patient will infect others. In one Wisconsin county, after Delta became predominant, researchers analyzed viral loads on nose-and-throat swab samples obtained when patients were first diagnosed. They found similar viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients, with levels often high enough to allow shedding of infectious virus. “A key assumption” underlying current regulations aimed at slowing COVID-19 transmission “is that those who are vaccinated are at very low risk of spreading the virus to others,” said study coauthor Katarina Grande of Public Health Madison & Dane County in Madison, Wisconsin. The findings, however, indicate “that vaccinated people should take steps to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus to others,” she added.

Lambda variant shows vaccine resistance

The Lambda variant of the coronavirus, first identified in Peru and now spreading in South America, is highly infectious and more resistant to vaccines than the original version of the virus…In a paper posted on Wednesday on bioRxiv ahead of peer review, the researchers warn that with Lambda being labeled a “Variant of Interest” by the World Health Organization, rather than a “Variant of Concern,” people might not realize it is a serious ongoing threat. Although it is not clear yet whether this variant is more dangerous than the Delta now threatening populations in many countries, senior researcher Kei Sato of the University of Tokyo believes “Lambda can be a potential threat to the human society.”

~ Reuters 8/2/2021

Ok so locally and regionally it has been welcome to crazy town over to mask or not mask. And restaurants and other businesses are choosing to not have the non-vaccinated and even just the non-masked in their establishments. That is their prerogative, it’s their business.

A place called Martha in Kensington apparently is causing a hullabaloo over this. I read about Martha and their decision in Philadelphia Magazine first, courtesy of an article by Victor Fiorello. Comments across social media accuses them of being racist to very pointed and funny comments like:

“The government can’t tell them what to do! It’s their individual right as Americans to decide who to let in! Gee…. That works TWO WAYS!”

Let what is happening in Provincetown, MA be a warning via The New York Times:

By the Fourth of July, Provincetown’s tourist season had built to a prepandemic thrum. Restaurants were booked solid, and snaking lines formed outside the dance clubs. There were conga lines, drag brunches and a pervasive, joyous sense of relief.

“We really thought we had beat Covid,” said Alex Morse, who arrived this spring as town manager. “We had internalized those messages, that life will be back to normal. We beat this. We are the most vaccinated community in the state.”

Mr. Morse didn’t think much of it, five days after the holiday, when the town’s Board of Health logged two new cases of coronavirus. A week later, though, the cluster of cases associated with gatherings in Provincetown was growing by 50 to 100 cases per day. Alongside the numbers was an unsettling fact: Most of the people testing positive were vaccinated.

Provincetown, a quirky beach community at the tip of Cape Cod, has provided a sobering case study for the country, abruptly tugging Americans back to the caution of winter and spring.

~ New York Times 7/31/21

I happen to agree with the restaurant Martha. What they are doing is both common sense and brave. They represent an industry that took a direct hit across the country and all over the world because of COVID. They are choosing to try to keep their patrons and employees safe. Respect.

Now I read an editorial (also Philadelphia Magazine this by Ernest Owens) that came out yesterday:

The rise in cases caused by the Delta variant could be halted if we stopped coddling the source of the problem. More institutions should follow the lead of the Philly restaurants refusing service to those who won’t get vaxxed.

In one of my all-time favorite films, Mean Girlsthere’s a scene in which the alpha-female of her high school, Regina George, decides to wear sweatpants on a Monday — a violation of the code of her inner circle, the Plastics.

“So that’s against the rules, and you can’t sit with us,” says Karen Smith, a member of the Plastics.

I’m reminded of this scene because this is exactly how we must treat those who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19: You can’t sit with us.

The infuriating rise in cases caused by the Delta variant has led to an increase in public restrictions, including, in some places, a return to mandatory mask-wearing regardless of vaccination status. This time around, the science behind what’s setting us back couldn’t be more clear: Unvaccinated people are at a higher risk of infection, given how much more contagious this particular variant is. In other words, if more people got vaccinated and practiced other safety protocols, we wouldn’t be wading right back into this clusterfuck of restrictions.

At the very beginning of this pandemic, I had a little more empathy for those who were hesitant to get vaccinated…..Which is why we should all cut to the chase and clamp down, both socially and institutionally, on those refusing to be vaccinated. It’s time to pull out all the stops, via more restrictions and peer pressure. I cannot emotionally afford another government lockdown….Playtime is over. We have the power to stop the spread, so let’s do so now.

~ Philadelphia Magazine, Ernest Owens 8/3/21

I am with Ernest. Read the rest of the op-ed. He also remarks on the unvaccinated by choice who wanted everything to open up, but didn’t do their part (get vaccinated or at least wear a mask.)

I am still leery going out. I still carry and wear masks. And I also carry my vaccine card with me. Sorry not sorry, I do not have a problem if someone asks me I am vaccinated, and would show my card. Do I like still wearing a mask here and there? No of course not, it’s no fun. It kind of sucks and we are all tired of the COVID games, but if we don’t pay attention, we will go back to lockdown.

Of course to mask or to not mask is also a hot topic with school districts. To me it is kind of maddening. What is the big deal? Little kids especially are among the most vulnerable of our population so why are masks such a big deal? The option is we can go into lockdown again and kids will not be IN school if that happens. And for those who can’t grasp students wearing masks, this just in: Penn State is requiring masks indoors on ALL campuses. And even Vanguard is offering employees $1000 bonus if you get vaccinated. Genesis Healthcare is making a COVID shot a job requirement. They own nursing homes, and people in nursing homes are SO at risk so who has a problem with that? Seems kind of positive to me.

To follow are THREE video snippets. Two are from a very recent West Chester Area School District School Board meeting. One speaker is the QAnon WCASD school board candidate Ada Nestor (@AnonymousAda on Twitter and yes she was in DC January 6th, correct?), and the other is some woman who was just good theater because she was so off the rails. Apparently she is the IHOP mom (as in International House of Pancakes) because she lets people of different races, etc into her home. The third video snippet is that delightful nutbag martyr running in Great Valley School District for School Board, Sallie Campbell. What makes her profoundly disturbing other than she is utterly clueless, is she used to be a nurse.

I just don’t understand. I don’t. Yo’ put on a mask already (you’re a long time dead). I had to miss a funeral of a friend because I knew there are too many who don’t want to wear masks or get the vaccine, and was afraid to run into that in an enclosed space with questionable ventilation.


For those of us who live immunocompromised and more, it’s not a political conspiracy, and I don’t care if you “don’t get COVID as bad if you have the shot” I don’t want to get COVID at all.

People are legitimately terrified of COVID. As a cancer survivor and still active cancer patient I live an immunocompromised life every day. It’s not discriminatory to want more to have shots or wear masks in certain situations, it’s just life as we know it for now even if it’s unpleasant to some. Just my humble opinion.

Your personal freedoms will enjoy you surviving COVID much better. So just wear a mask when you are out. And yes, I know of people who have gotten COVID who are fully vaccinated. And these were people who were careful.

And for those who think you are wearing a Superman and Wonder Woman costume with “natural immunity”? Natural immunity is not enough. Getting COVID and recovering (known as “natural infection”) doesn’t appear to generate protection as robust as that generated after vaccination.

Don’t believe me? Check out what National Geographic published today:

As the U.S. grapples with its troubled vaccine rollout, an alarming increase in coronavirus cases across the nation has resurfaced a long-simmering question: Do people who’ve already had COVID-19 need to be vaccinated?

Natural immunity is a powerful force against certain diseases, such as chickenpox and measles. Surviving a natural measles infection can yield immunity that is comparable—or in some cases, superior—to vaccination, says Ruth Karron, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

But first, of course, the patient has to survive.

It’s also not yet crystal clear whether immunity from contracting COVID-19 is as powerful as the protection of a vaccine. What is evident is that the available vaccines mount crucial defenses against severe disease and death—even against more contagious variants such as Delta….Researchers already knew that COVID-19 vaccines “reliably induce antibody levels” that are as high or even higher than those of people who have recovered from severe cases of coronavirus, says Karron, who was not part of the new study. 

~ National Geographic 8/4/21

Don’t try to tell me that everything about COVID is “all political.” That is a bunch of happy horseshit. And I am very unapologetic in my opinion. TOO many people have gotten and/or died from COVID. Mortality ain’t politics. It’s being dead in the morgue. I know someone who couldn’t say goodbye to an immediate family member because they hadn’t gotten a shot. That will weigh on them for years to come.

The COVID shot is FREE. Death, however, is expensive.

Sorry, not sorry but I am low on patience and becoming increasingly leery of going out again because of all of the people who can get shots and don’t, people protesting safety protocols in schools, and who are telling me COVID is as real as the tooth fairy.

Just stop. Because if y’all don’t stop, we are going to be back on stay at home orders faster than whiplash. I like being at home, and don’t have to gallivant, but these people who put the rest of us at risk, and I do have a problem with that.

I don’t want to infringe on anyone else’s rights, so kindly stop infringing on my right to live. Being careful and wearing a mask and getting a shot are still not a big deal. But getting COVID is a big goddamn deal, often leading to death.

Yes, this was somewhat of a rant, but no one has a gun to your head saying “read this blog.”

xoxo

Orgy at my place': The world's best Covid cartoons from the past year

today was covid shot #2 day

Today it was back to West Chester and the Sturtzebecker Health Science Center. Yes, I just had my 2nd COVID shot.

Finally.

I feel like a weight is off of my shoulders. I know that sounds weird, but I was super nervous going to get the second shot. Now I feel relieved.

It was a much bigger area at West Chester than last time. Awesome nurses like last time. The girls signing me in (very young like college age) were kind of cranky. Probably because when they told me I “had” to give them my health insurance card so Chester County could bill my insurance company for some sort of fees, I said no.

I said no because although I have great health insurance, according to the federal government we do NOT have give ANYONE our health insurance card. So no thanks, because we all know whatever they bill health insurance companies for will come back to the insureds in some way. Sorry not sorry I pay enough now. The front desk gals did not like that “no” answer. But I don’t care as they didn’t even look at any of us as we came in. We were just part of the conveyer belt of life.

My nurse however was awesome and so were the rest of the people. These people are our heroes. This is hard work, every day, long hours, until it’s done. Right now my arm hurts and I have a bit of a headache, and achy joints, but other than that, so far so good.

Something I noticed around the Sturtzebecker Health Science Center today? People are just littering their parking lot with used masks. I wish I had had gloves with me as I would’ve picked them up and thrown them away. That bothers me because we are guests on that campus and they are nice enough to let us get our COVID19 shots there. So not cool.

It’s been a long week. A friend is gravely ill. One of the nicest people and getting my head wrapped around the fact I will never see them again is just hard. This is one of those people who is the shirt off of their back kind of people. And friends and family can’t do anything. No it’s not COVID related. It’s just surreal and it sucks.

Another friend lost her mother. Her mother had been ill for a very long time, but she was a lovely woman. And so beloved.

And while nice people like this won’t be with us much longer or have left us, there are nasty people who continue to roam the earth and it just makes you wonder why nice people are taken from us and those who are as mean as rattlesnakes survive?

Life is what we make of it. It always involves beginnings and endings. In the category of beginnings, another friend had a baby today. A beautiful baby girl.

Other friends are going traveling with no COVID shots. I think that’s nuts and I hope they are ok on their trip.

Beginnings and endings. And COVID shots. That’s all I have got today. Thanks for stopping by.

no devon horse show for 2021 either….

The Inquirer headline screams the bad news. Devon Horse Show is 86’d for a second year. However, Savvy Main Line broke the news before the articles and blog posts started.

And this is devastating news. The Devon Horse Show isn’t just about a tradition that has survived two World Wars, it’s a beloved player in the equestrian world. (The equestrian world in my opinion is shrinking in this area due to development, but that’s a conversation for another day.)

See the screenshot just above? This is interesting blog post to read. I don’t know the author.

I will note that there is a lot of misinformation going around in local Facebook groups about The Devon Horse Show. And I think it is a horrible disservice to all parties involved to put forward false information. That’s why I haven’t blogged about this personally until today. I’m not a Devon insider so I don’t know why exactly the show was canceled other than I believe it is the Covid19 world in which we live that is the reason at the end of the day. Essentially I wanted to think about this for a few days.

But for some to take the knee jerk reaction and try to blame ongoing zoning and other issues around the horse show for the cancellation is patently false information. That has nothing to do with this decision and the Devon Horse Show in and of itself has not so much to do with the current zoning issues either in my opinion. And that’s not to say that there haven’t been zoning issues about the horse show itself because there have been.

The zoning kerfuffle has always been in part about about the residents who live around the horse show who don’t want everything around the horse show super sized and overly urbanized. They don’t want the horse show to go away they just don’t want development to overrun everything.

👉🏻See www.saveeasttown.org and http://www.preservedevon.org/. 👈🏻

I think that is perfectly reasonable and I have good friends who live within the shadow of the horse show and have for years. It’s a lovely area that is facing extinction because of development. Those people are trying to preserve what makes the area special including the horse show. And just because some of these people also have had issue with the head of the horse show over things like the ongoing BS with boxes, whisper down the lane wants to blame THEM for the horse show being cancelled? (Follow this LINK to an article where Devon was taken to court over the box issue…and LOST.)

Come on! I am not a fan of what some of the Devon Horse Show had evolved into in the past few years complete with the ridiculous women who don’t know one end of the horse from the other showing up in all their tacky glory for Ladies Hat Day which used to be truly lovely, but even I am concerned about Devon.

But even with my concern about Devon because of the past fond memories I actually have, I’m not going to run around and blame the neighbors. That’s crap.

No one could have predicted a global pandemic, but I think plenty could have predicted future problems with Devon Horse under current leadership.

Maybe, just maybe, the keyboard critics could get off their proverbial high horses and take a long hard look at Devon and it’s financial structure and current leadership and maybe decide from there how to save it. Because it’s going to need saving.

When I was growing up Devon to me meant summer was here. And my friends and I would go in our old school Lilly Pulitzer and Vested Gentress dresses and Eskil’s clogs or Pappagallo espadrilles and khakis or jeans and wander the then much smaller vendor area and midway.

We would stop and get Devon fudge to take home, check out the antique dealers booths, the hospital’s thrift shop booth in what seems like an old spring house across from the burgers, ride the Ferris wheel and then go to the stands and watch the horses go round and round from someone’s family box. One of my favorite things were when the carriages would enter the ring and the majestic Clydesdales. It was so exciting.

I used to love Devon Horse Show. I remember things like the person who used to have cool antique prints next door to the woman who would bring her Jack Russells who would hang out in her booth. Or all of the years getting a Devon burger and hanging out at the picnic tables watching the world go by. And Betty Moran there to greet you in that booth next to where you entered the show.

I stopped consistently going to Devon Horse Show in 2012. I actually went to the fall classic show a few times between then and Covid19. I liked that show. It was more chill then the see and be seen that May Devon had morphed into.

A great little history of the show can be found at:

A Look Back at “Old Devon”, An All-American Horse Show by Nina Fedrizzi

One of the Devon related events that I was honored to attend was October, 2015. It was the dedication of the Devon Horse Show historical marker. I still have never understood why the horse show seemingly found it so objectionable, but the sign actually had to be placed across Lancaster Avenue from the horse show. A few of my friends, including the late Michael Morrison, poured their hearts and souls into getting the marker erected. The dedication ceremony was October 2015.

I will note this is not the only time in its history that Devon has not had a horse show. There was no show between 1900 and 1910. In 1918, with the US in World War I the show was supposed to be cancelled, but apparently a much smaller show instead happened. The show that year benefited emergency aid and war relief. According to the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society it was the following year in which Bryn Mawr Hospital became the recipient charity for the first time. During the Second World War there was no show 1943, 1944, 1945.

The Devon Horse Show is a beloved tradition. If the show’s nouveau patrons and box holders continue to support the show even through these closures, I think the show will survive. But the thing is this: are the people today who pretend to be philanthropic really as philanthropic as those who came before us? Because that’s in my opinion one of the things that is going to have to happen for this show to survive and come back: philanthropy.

I also feel that for the Devon Horse Show to come back and thrive they need to make peace with their neighbors for real. There also needs to be more transparency on the part of the horse show on the financials. Break all of the costs down, and work out future scenarios, maybe go more back to basics? Go a little retro?

Devon can survive. But perhaps the decision to hold off another year will end up giving the horse show folks the gift of reflection? Maybe they need a new Chairman? I realize some people will think I’m being horrible by saying that, but I don’t see how the show has been well …..consistently thriving under his leadership. And I’m entitled to that opinion.

Here’s hoping Devon uses this cancellation to improve, and step forward to an even better future. Get back to the tradition.

Thanks for stopping by.

shot #1 done!

Hello everyone and greetings from West Chester University!

Yes….. I JUST GOT MY FIRST COVID SHOT!

It has been a perfectly crappy day full of babysitting adult toddlers in Facebook groups so this is the highlight of my day.

Truthfully today is the highlight of 2021 so far.

I was beginning to wonder if this day would ever arrive.

The registration process was pretty seamless and the people here are so nice!

I am on the 30 minute post-shot wait and so far I just feel a little warm and somewhat thirsty. I can be shot reactive so I sit for 30 minutes while most everyone else sits for 15 minutes. There is a paramedic sitting with us in the post shot room.

I was surprisingly emotional when I got my shot.

I feel like I can breathe again.

This has been a hell of a year since we all entered the COVID19 world in which we now exist.

life in the covid19 fast lane

We went into Center City Philadelphia to see my parents this weekend. I have not been in Philadelphia since before the riots this summer.

I didn’t have a camera with me so I captured a couple of photos on my phone but it really doesn’t do what looking at the city looks like now justice.

The city of Philadelphia after a year of COVID19 and riots and protests is not good in my opinion. So many boarded up store fronts. And these weird outside pods for bars on the sidewalk which are mostly on the street making them more narrow.

The streets themselves are in horrible condition, holes and potholes and trenches everywhere. Broken pavement everywhere waiting to literally trip you. Coming up 16th St. going home we also passed this generator that was almost a city block long that was running.

The streets are mostly empty. The people you see the most of are homeless. It’s back to Filthadelphia.

Philadelphia looks grey and grimy , depressed, and sad. And it wasn’t just a grey day making me feel that. I used to love the city. It felt alive and vibrant. Now it feels to be barely hanging on.

Thanks for stopping by.

ciao 2020. may you be a year not to be repeated.

I can’t take credit for that funny cartoon above as it is circling the Internet. But it is too perfect to ignore and just sums up this strange year we’ve survived.

Yes I thought about a week ago I had written my last post for 2020 and then things happened. I learned those who claim to be Christian and pious aren’t always pleasant on social media. And while I really appreciate the pastoral leadership at Covenant Presbyterian Church sending me an email to acknowledge my concerns, well, some of us discovered that we got word for word as in yes verbatim the same email. That made me a little disappointed in them, but it also made me realize that they just don’t get it (or don’t want to.) I still hope they abandon the fakakta idea for a 12 foot high LED sign in front of a historically charming church on Lancaster Avenue in Frazer. (And isn’t fakata just the most perfect word to describe so many things in 2020?)

And if we’re going to talk about giant electronics signs that look like movie screens and giant TVs come to life, it is worth remarking that West Whiteland has a planning commission meeting next week where yet another one of these giant digital billboards is being proposed. Yes, January 5th. And I predict much like East Whiteland and their “settlement agreement” which will face East Whiteland with a Sophie’s choice of where to put signs residents don’t want. And then there is Upper Merion Township. They have their own giant digital billboards issues. Same billboard company and same solicitor as East Whiteland. There is still a petition circling for them if you agree with all of the residents who don’t want zoning changed in parks to accommodate billboards. And in West Whiteland what is with the other billboard related LLC very close by to the one being discussed January 5th?

Other things on the hit parade of 2020 include another year of unending issues with the pipelines. Energy Transfer, Sunoco Logistics, pick a name they spent another year making a mess, putting residents at risk. One of my late fall favorites? Was seeing photos on social media of workers’ trucks parked in fire lanes at local shopping centers like they were big important people that couldn’t park in a spot, and what’s up with that FU to the community?

As we head into 2021 there is a story out of Lower Merion that no one’s talking about. It’s about that property adjacent to Stonleigh that Lower Merion School District “acquired” for playing fields after they bought the property on Montgomery Avenue (what once was the Clothier Estate) for the new school. OK so everybody knew that the County Line Road property was going to become playing fields. That’s not news at this point. But what bears pondering is exactly how many hundreds of trees is the Lower Merion School District going to take down in the end for these fields? This is a sizable property and it has heritage trees doesn’t it? It’s over 10 acres isn’t it? So that is a big chunk of property to deforest isn’t it?

Now I’ve heard neighbors over there in both Lower Merion and Radnor Township are very concerned about the trees of it all because this road straddles both municipalities in spots. Lower Merion School District’s Superintendent should give a rat’s fanny about the environment as involves the future of his students, right? One thing I have always wondered about this set of projects both for the school and the playing field is how is this going to affect skinny hilly windy County Line Road and some of the surrounding small streets near these projects? And aren’t first responders a little far away from both of these new education locations? So what does that mean in the future? Once again I reiterate how glad I am no longer on the Main Line and feel for my many friends who are still there.

Other things I won’t miss in 2020 is the conflicting ways people treat each other online in the same communities. Maybe it was because so many people were home and they spent way too much time on social media, but I think people have spent a lot of 2020 being miserable to each other in as much as others also have tried to lift each other up. I can tell you personally I am closing out 2020 feeling completely less patient with people. It is something I am going to work on for 2021, but I’m telling you right now it might be a struggle at times.

So how about the mask of it all? I am not going to get into the argument that has been almost the totality of the year of what stays open and what closes due to COVID-19 (including schools), but I am going to comment about what crap it is I think the people complain they have to wear a mask. I live an immunocompromised life. Elderly relatives live immunocompromised lives. I know so many people at this point personally and indirectly from all over the place (as in just not this area) who have gotten COVID-19 in 2020. And these were all people who were careful and wore masks.

I also think it’s crap with regard to the people who can’t keep their kids at home who then turn into super-spreaders of coronavirus at all ages and stages of life. No one has liked feeling as confined as we all have during the year 2020. No one has liked how it has affected our economy, our personal psychology, our sense of freedom. It has been a difficult year emotionally for everyone. Some people feel so isolated and alone. Even those of us who live with our families can have different times during the year where they could pinpoint feelings of loneliness and isolation.

We close the year with vaccines….finally. That will start up all the anti-vaxxers I’m sure, but I would remind them gently that this is no ordinary virus. And we have already seen in the past few years what an uptick of measles and other childhood diseases has done across the country. All I’m saying is, people please try to keep it together so we can get out of these various stages of quarantine and get back to life. It won’t be life as we once knew it as we are forever changed by 2020, but hopefully we can get there.

Another thing I will be glad to see in the rearview mirror is the ugliness of politics in the United States of America during the calendar year 2020. We have a new president to look forward to and that serial narcissistic sociopath who’s been living in the White House the past few years? I guess he’s going to be Florida’s problem isn’t he? He has continued throughout the holidays (including today) to try to make his case for anarchy and civil war while he discusses his imaginary voter fraud and “rigged elections”. Dude doesn’t get it that he was FIRED by the American people. FIRED. Here’s hoping that America’s political parties get their crap together so we don’t come this close to a dictator ever again, especially the Republican Party because they ALLOWED this to happen.

2020 was also the time of no longer tolerating racial injustice in this country and great sadness and anger as a result from coast to coast. People came together in the midst of a global pandemic over it. We should all offer up a prayer for a peaceful 2021 and meaningful resolution to some of these weighty issues. We the people as in all the people deserve as much.

2020 was a year of personal sadness for me. I said goodbye to people I really didn’t want to say goodbye to. And they didn’t lose their lives to COVID-19, but because of COVID-19 you couldn’t see anyone to say goodbye to those who were dying.

Other friends of mine faced heath crises that had to have been extra stressful every time they had to go in and out of a hospital setting. I know the two skin cancer procedures I dealt with had me holding my breath in and out and through the COVID tests before each procedure.

Now 2020 wasn’t all bad. I got to garden a lot and work on restoring my old quilts and that makes me happy. Fortunately for me I am more of a homebody than not so I have gotten through not seeing a ton of anyone at all but I do miss my friends and my family. FaceTime and Zoom just isn’t the same, but I will say I am grateful for the technology because being able to see someone when you’re catching up is a wonderful thing.

In 2020 we saw extremes all year long. Exhausting extremes at times. But hey, you know what? We are still standing. And that’s a good thing. We can do this. We can survive and get past this. We can see 2021.

For most this year, it will be a quiet New Year’s Eve. For us, pretty normal as we generally stay in. I keep seeing reality TV stars like Sonja Morgan flitting across Twitter and Instagram asking what we’re wearing for New Year’s at home. Not sequins. But I live in Chester County so I don’t think it would be sequins ever…haven’t really seen any live sequins since I moved here.

In my final reflection of 2020, I will freely admit that if we are honest with ourselves, 2020 taught us all things about ourselves and others. Some good things, some unflattering things. It’s all about human nature.

As we bid adieu to 2020 for sure it won’t be a fond, lingering goodbye. It will be an enough already move along nothing more to see here kind of goodbye.

Pope Francis said something this afternoon which has stayed with me: “We thank Good for the good things that have taken place during the pandemic, for the many people who, without making noise, have tried to make the weight of this trial more bearable.”

And for something else fun, click HERE for a lovely rendition of Auld Lang Syne from my lovely friend, Mindy Rhodes.

Wishing all of you a peaceful and happy New Year’s Eve as my 8th year writing this blog draws to a close. Cheers to 2021 and new and healthier beginnings for this country and around the world.

christmas traditions

What are your Christmas traditions? Are you keeping them in the year of COVID-19?

We’re trying . Santas came out today and outside lights went up. When my husband went out to buy an additional strand he discovered another 2020 shortage: Christmas lights. A friend of mine said today she thinks people are trying light up the darkness of 2020. Kind of a beautiful thought if you think about it.

People are baking up a storm. I have not started baking yet. In a few days I will. I haven’t decided what I am baking yet.

Christmas cards have started to arrive. I have ours…. but I have to actually address and mail them. That procrastination has nothing to do with 2020, I do this every year. I just have to sit down and carve out the time. That and will the cards reach everyone since the post office seems more than a little problematic right now.

I have been talking with people and getting ready for Christmas is happening in fits and spurts. We start and then we pause. 2020 is a year like no other thanks to politics and COVID-19.

For me personally? As much as I love Christmas it has been hard some days because you put up some decorations and then you realize no one is really coming over. But it’s Christmas, so you still do it because it is a simple good and pretty thing to celebrate in a year when there often has not been much that was good or pretty.

Another tradition at this time of year I am keeping? Neighbor gifts.

When we first bought the house, we didn’t actually live here the first Christmas. We were updating appliances and putting in new heating and air conditioning and things like that. So we kept “visiting” and around this time that year, and little presents started to appear. We didn’t know what to make of it, until a new neighbor explained the tradition of leaving every neighbor a little Christmas treat.

I love this tradition and today I filled my little bags with treats! I am not sure when I will deliver them but thy sure look cute!!

Keep your traditions! And I wonder if we get snow this week, will we have a white Christmas? It’s feels like forever since we had a snowy Christmas !

Merry, merry. Thanks for stopping by.

bit by bit, christmas comes to life

Bit by bit, Christmas is coming to life. The tree is getting there. It takes a couple of days. The ornaments get layered in. Mostly vintage with some new. My nod to 2020 is the gnome with a little face mask.

Every year is a bit different. But constants like my father’s German mercury glass pine cones mixed in with the ones I have collected which include German and Ukrainian mercury glass pine cones.

The Ukranian ornaments I discovered thanks to my friend Kristin. They are really special. A little more primitive in style compared to their German counterparts and often more brightly hued and the glass is slightly thicker than their vintage German and Austrian relatives.

I use a lot of woodland themed ornaments made of mercury glass. As a homage to our woods acorns, pinecones, nuts, birds, foxes, and even a tiny red squirrel. I delight as each ornament emerges from it’s protective wrapping cocoon. Every December it’s like greeting old friends.

Santas and nutcrackers will join little elves throughout the house. Yes for a little over a month, it’s a lot of work. This year I went back and forth in my head on what I was going to do. In the end, Christmas won.

In a year when COVID19 has kept us in the grips of a grim pandemic reality, getting Christmas out is a sweet reminder there is more out there waiting for us.

This year there will be no Christmas parties, and Christmas Day will just be our small pod, but we will have Christmas…and still (hopefully) love every minute.

18 days until Christmas. #MaskUp and stay safe.

seeking christmas mojo

Today I realized I needed help finding my Christmas mojo. The past couple of days I felt it slipping away. This morning I fell smack dab into a case of the Christmas Crankies.

Yesterday my mother texted me to tell me they weren’t coming for Christmas. The COVID19 of it all. Ok I get that. It was the fact that the queen of proper communication texted me and signed off on her text with her first name, not mother.

Umm yes, even my own relationship with my mother is complicated. Life isn’t a Hallmark Movie and she’s not Donna Reed meets Carol Brady and never will be. Sigh.

Last evening I made a male approved dinner. Scratch macaroni and cheese and chicken cutlets….only the son of it all blew me off for video games and got dinner at 11:30 PM. Right or wrong I am sick as F of video games and it hurt my feelings.

Recently my good growing up friend Tiger died. And another good friend’s husband is gravely ill.

On a cheery dysfunctional social media site known as Facebook, I help run a gifting group. The nail files and pitchforks came out when I had to discuss something from a group administrator perspective.

I really am tired of the pack mentality or mob mentality for lack of a better description. If you aren’t part of their immediate circle or the least bit different in thought process you are a badd, baddd person. Never mind that some of them spent hours messaging one of my moderators who had nothing to do at all with what I said. It made me have several oh bitch please moments today with the mob mommies, which is contrary to my wanting to have Christmas season feelings.

And then there were the people who made up bad fake reviews on the business of friends. That is a special kind of mean. Not nice.

Politics. Done with the election and the giant orange baby throwing temper tantrums in the White House as he tweets from the john. Dude…it’s over…moonie-like followers, it’s over. One guy won, your guy lost. By all means, leave for the Island of Misfit Toys via Mar a Tacky, just shut up already.

Also impeding my Christmas mojo is the apparent inability to use the word Christmas. People, people every year, really? We celebrate and name every other holiday, so why not Christmas? I don’t want to say Happy Holidays and I do say Merry Christmas. The political correctness police need to give it a rest already.

And the COVID19 numbers are rising. High school kids and college kids are half being responsible and half not so much….just like all the so-called adults. Someone came to my house yesterday wearing a mask with his nose hanging out. All I could do was stare at the nose and be grateful they were OUTSIDE.

Wear your damn mask and wear it correctly. That way eventually when there is a vaccine we can all eventually stop feeling walled up by our own four walls, yes? And the vaccine? How will they really control distribution or will it be pay to play?

2020 is a hard slog, OK? Today it got to me. Just got to me. I can’t pretend to be Sister Mary Sunshine all of the time.

I miss seeing my friends and family. We all stay home so we CAN see each other again. But when?

The bah humbugs threatened to rise to the top, so I had to take assertive action. Very assertive action. It was Santa time. And at 56, no I am not going to visit a Santa and give him my Christmas wishes. I had to get out a Santa.

I bought out the big Santa. He always puts a smile on my face. Bought him from a yard sale group a few years ago. I feel MUCH better now and will find my inner decorating elf tomorrow.

Thanks for letting me gretz.

22 days until Christmas! Decorate! Bake! (Whine when necessary.)

Thanks for virtually visiting.