easttown officials bring the uglies to berwyn

Berwyn is a gem, or was a gem. It’s getting redevelopment within an inch of it’s life, and the development is neither gracious or blending in. Just one cram plan after the other.

The development is garish, jarring, and thus far rather cheap looking. Apparently Easttown Township wants them all crammed in like lemmings.

Easttown officials as in the elected persuasion are not user friendly. They are most succinctly put self-serving, snide, and sanctimonious. They all no better than the peasants. They are quite feudal in attitude.

The erectile dysfunction going up on Route 30/Lancaster Avenue is even more disturbing than it appeared on all the plans. And you know how those plans are presented -always like the proverbial Elysian Fields.

The houses behind the erectile dysfunction look like Lego McMansions and are so crammed together you will hear the neighbors flush their toilets. It’s a cute and cozy relationship between the builder and listing agent too, right? And if there were fewer houses in this nouveau “Berwyn Village”, it wouldn’t be so bad, but once again it’s just too many damn houses.

The erectile dysfunction seems like it’s trying to maroon the Berwyn Tavern. It was the old Fritz Lumber site. Now everyone knew once Fritz closed it was going to be developed, but once again it’s going to be too much and too big. Between all of the apartments here and the monstrosity yet to break ground across Lancaster Ave at “Berwyn Square”, Berwyn is getting supersized in the worst possible way.

When that project is finished it’s going to be as ugly as what has happened and is still happening in Ardmore, PA and elsewhere.

Urban Canyons designed solely to line the pockets of developers. Maybe they will fund a traffic signal here and there, but they will just plop this crap on a community and move onto the next project.

These development projects stresses infrastructure, first responders, and school districts…just to point out SOME of the obvious. Communities are never in my opinion adequately or justly compensated for having to suffer through this crap.

R.I.P. charming Berwyn. Hope the ratables will be worth it, Easttown Township.

otoro sushi: amazing

Salmon “Rose”

I love sushi. Especially really good, top of the line sushi and sashimi. Fish so tender, it practically melts in your mouth.

Sushi “Tacos”

My friends in Berwyn have been telling me about Otoro at 668 Lancaster Avenue, Berwyn (down from 30 Main.) They are BYOB if you are going for dinner.

Amazing doesn’t even begin to cover it. Sublime might come close. Everything is super fresh and beautifully presented. The staff is super nice and just the right amount of attentive and helpful. The prices are fair.

I went there for lunch today with a friend after going to the Life’s Patina preview.

I can’t wait to go there again!

here we go again: a new battle for the brandywine

Photo from The Marshallton Conservation Trust (MCT) Facebook page which promotes the preservation and improvement
of the Marshallton community

It’s like development Whack-a-mole. We hear the news that Crebilly is safe for now and about literally like 5 minutes later this spectacular property on the outskirts of Marshallton is threatened by development given the sales and marketing materials on the listing. As per The Marshallton Conservation Trust’s Facebook page:

“1451 and 1452 Camp Linden Road and is often referred to as “Tarad Hill” and sometimes as the Bunny Meister Farm. It consists of 136 acres and includes land spanning from Northbrook Road on the west to North Wawaset Road on the East.”

~ Marshallton Conservation Trust September 9th, 2021

I do not know the property, but I have been by the approximate location in the past. What is left of horse country in Chester County (not being flippant but development eats up the land like a giant game of PAC-MAN in this county) is upset my sources tell me. This property is being big ass big time marketed and there is a website up called “The Brandywine.

Here are some screen shots:

The Realtor has serious chops. It’s Lavinia Smerconish, yes as in Michael Smerconish’s wife. Sadly, I wouldn’t expect him to necessarily be sympathetic to preservationists because real estate is quite simply in his blood, but wow, what if this was happening in Bucks County where he hails from originally? Would it resonate?

Realtors just have a job to do like anyone else, but wow just wow.

So here we go again, Chester County. A trust owns the land per the deed (and the name of the Trust shows up in Pocopson Meeting Minutes from February, 2021), but the address is oddly familiar isn’t it? Shame on them, but am I surprised? Nope.

Above is what the Marshallton Conservation Trust has to say. They left out expressing concern to the Realtor or famous husband. All I have to say is if you contact any of these people, be polite. It’s all sharks and lawyers.

“Traffic is slow on Northbrook Road!” ~ Friends of Radnor Hunt quote and photo 9/9/21.

I don’t know all (or a lot) of these horse-associated properties. However, the name of this place “Tarad Hill”, kept dinging in my brain. I knew I had heard of it, so I dug around to find the reference and it is Radnor Hunt Club. So not all who belong to Radnor Hunt belong to the foxhunt part, and not all who ride with the hunt are club members…but anyway, that is the reference and one can’t help but wonder, wonder, wonder what the foxhunters think? After all if this parcel gets developed in any manner, chances are they lose another prime location to ride in, right?

I don’t know. Chester County is kind of a development sh*t show at this point, so I don’t know if miracles will happen here and a conservation/preservation buyer will be found because when you read the marketing materials, it’s a just a fancy git’ r’ done and sold site, isn’t it? That is how it reads exactly – see it translated to Coldwell Banker, Opus Elite (and isn’t that company name absurdly pretentious AF?), Monument Southeby’s, ReMax in York, etc., etc.

Tarad Hill as a property is spoken about by people — apparently there is so much wildlife on that farm. Wild turkeys, bald eagles, herons, the list goes on. It is reportedly (and looks) magical. There is also historical importance. I was told the Hessians went through the property crossing at Trimble’s Ford on their way to defeat the “colonists” at the Battle of the Brandywine, causing Washington to retreat to Valley Forge for the winter. Yep, it’s more than just “Washington slept here”. Does it have bog turtles?

This property could indeed find a conservation/preservation buyer even from within the Chester County foxhunting ranks, but people have to want to save and preserve this. Of course all of the Chester County Realtors who go to Radnor, Devon, Polo matches etc, etc might have a client…you just never know, do you?

But right now, the song in Chester County remains the same: another big ass property with history is at risk. (If you would like to donate to the Marshallton Conservation Trust, follow this LINK HERE.)

Tally-Ho, Chester County, the preservationists need to ride again…and quickly.

Facebook photo found on Marshallton Conservation Trust page

BREAKING: miracles do happen – westtown said NO to toll

So it appears it’s over?

People are saying Toll Brothers is no longer the equitable owner of Crebilly because the contract was terminated, as per the group Neighbors for Crebilly/Brandywine in White. Therefore, Westtown Township Board of Supervisors then ruled tonight to deny the conditional use to build all those hideous houses.

I mean pinch me. I did have my third COVID-19 shot today so am I hallucinating? Or did this actually happen?

It happened.

Damn. It happened. A municipality actually said NO to a developer in Chester County. The only media reporting that I can see is Chaddsford Live which has covered this from the beginning.

For all you naysayers out there, this is what the power of the people can do. I have no idea what will happen next for this property. This isn’t the first development plan that has been proposed for Crebilly over the years and I don’t think it’ll be the last.

But for now, Crebilly is safe.

I would suggest in closing, that people in communities all over Chester County take the spirit of Crebilly into their municipality boardrooms and fight to preserve where they call home.

roasted squash soup

There are a lot of things I just make. There is no recipe, there’s nothing I look to, it’s just in my head. But today friends asked me to write down how I make my roasted squash soup.

So how did squash soup happen? Two weeks in a row I have gotten squash in my vegetable box. So squash soup popped into my head since it was a comparatively cool day (finally) to be in the kitchen. I decided small fresh sweet potatoes would be added to thicken it up and bone broth made in the InstantPot. Lots of fresh herbs from garden for the broth. When broth is ready and vegetables are cooled from roasting, into another pot it all goes to cook and purée with hand (immersion) blender.

So basically I lined a half sheet pan (18” x 13”) with foil, cut up all my hard sided squashes, baby sweet potatoes, and a couple of chili peppers from the garden, and sprinkled a little olive oil , some tikka masala powder, hawayij spice blend, and salt. I roast everything in a 425° oven for about 40 minutes. Then I turned the oven off and just left the vegetables in there with the door closed until everything cooled down.

Now for the broth part. I keep a Ziploc bag in my freezer where I put the gizzards and necks from whole chickens I buy to roast. I keep those in a bag in the freezer when I want to make broth. Sometimes I even save a chicken carcass after cooking (and freeze it) but that’s not what I used this time. This time I had a bag full of liver, gizzards and chicken necks. Literally like six sets. I used my small InstantPot which makes 3 quarts of broth.

How do I make the broth besides the chicken parts? One onion cut in 4, a couple of carrots cleaned and chunked, salt, rosemary/thyme/sage from the garden. I add water, leaving approximately 2 inches clearance from the top of the InstantPot liner pot. I hit the broth button and let it cook.

After both the vegetables are roasted and the broth is cooked I let everything cool down so I can proceed to the next step. The next step is easy: I take all the squash and scoop out everything from the skin of each piece and put it into a soup pot with the roasted baby sweet potatoes, the carrots used to make the broth, and 6 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter. I give everything a mash with a hand potato masher, and add the strained broth and cook on low for a couple of hours. Then I use the immersion blender and purée everything together. At that point I put it on simmer and let it cook down a little more.

Oh and this soup does not require a dairy component. It’s good just the way it is!

That’s it! Enjoy!

the darkness of politics

Fear mongering and misinformation

Being a Democrat is NOT being Socialist, Marxist, or Communist. They are actually their own individual political belief systems and ideologies.

In this country, many (but not all) people characterize their political beliefs and identify with a particular political party. You know like mainly Republican or Democrat or Libertarian?

However, that being said, there is not complete overlap between political party and political ideology, they are NOT necessarily 100% the same. It tends to be as individualistic as each person doesn’t it?

People used to be able to move about freely in this world, identifying with their particular political persuasions yet remaining individualistic.

People used to be allowed to have their own political views, as well as saying they were part of a political party. Some were more conservative than others, some more liberal. Some were just Malcolm in the Middle, neither one extreme or the other.

And that was OK.

I used to be a Republican and I was in the middle. A moderate. I was for the most part socially liberal and fiscally conservative. That is also what they used to call a New England Democrat.

But then changes, and not for the better in my opinion, began to change the Republican Party. I was still the same person but the party I had considered myself part of since I was able to vote no longer really resonated with me because the rhetoric became so incredibly uncomfortable for lack of a better description.

I realized that what the Republican Party was becoming as soon as Trump became the nominee was not something I could identify with (or live with as an updated skewed ideology.) So I became an Independent. I didn’t feel that I was a true Democrat or what I thought a Democrat was.

But because I live in Pennsylvania, if I wasn’t in one main party or the other I couldn’t vote in a primary. I vote. And then I had friends running for office as Democrats, so I changed my party once again after a couple of years.

Yet still, I didn’t feel like I fit. I was still that person politically in the middle. But what I have learned is that at least the Democrats seem to be more accepting and welcoming of the fact of people are individualistic politically and don’t have to be all of the same. We don’t have to be Stepford Wives on this bus. So I’m still not super liberal, but at least I feel like it’s ok to be me.

But then we go back to the Republican Party as it exists today. This screenshot speaks volumes because this is what made me leave: if you aren’t exactly like them, you are against them. If you aren’t exactly like them you are literally bad and evil people to be destroyed. How is it Godly and Christian of them to just be so damn mean?

Truthfully it makes me sad. But it’s something more than that because it’s just so dark.

We have had enough darkness in this country.

It used to be we could be part of a political party and it didn’t become an all consuming, all identifying thing.

What happened to the theory of the worthy opponent?

I said a few years ago that the politics of extremism would ruin this country, and I believe it is. I think as Americans we have to put this bullshit aside and start to come together. Or the darkness will swallow everyone whole.

Be the peaceful change you want to see.

Just little baby steps within your own world.

Re-learn that just because somebody is a different political party they aren’t necessarily a bad person.

Re-learn being able to have actual political and social issue conversations isn’t a bad thing, it’s a conversation.

Re-learn that our history as a country isn’t all sweetness and light and if we try to change it, we are doomed to make the same awful mistakes over and over.

We all do not have to be the same. We can be different from one and other. That’s what our founding fathers fought for. And that has absolutely nothing to do with being asked to wear a mask sometimes in the short term as we try to ditch a global pandemic once and for all. A global pandemic and valid health risk concerns, including to the most vulnerable among us (kids) is not a “tyrannical government” and to restore balance we need to work together, but that is not what the current Republican playbook calls for. They want to tell us about our purported lost freedoms instead of trying for actual unity in this country, or even camaraderie between different groups (including races and religions) of people. The irony is they simply don’t *get* the damage they continue to do. And if we weren’t free, they wouldn’t be able to spew their anger and vitriol and political misinformation.

The politics of extremism and misinformation are killing all of us. Every. Damn. Day. When will enough be enough?

That’s it.

Angry rhetoric and misinformation disguised as “balance”

in awe of a pure and open heart.

I was at a friend’s house this evening. She had a lovely gathering of friends. There was a lovely little origami box with a little favor in it for each guest when we left. Inside my box was a beautiful little note and a piece of pink quartz shaped like a heart.

The note reads:

📌You “wow” me because of your devotion to the community. I don’t know how the hell you do it or find the time. Unbelievable. Thank you for being so kind to me and validating me when I needed it most. I love how you are tough and strong….it has helped me so much and means so much to have your friendship. You are simply wow to me.📌

I am in awe of my friend and her kindness towards me. And her words. Her words are especially uplifting in a week where I have been called vile, a crazy bitch, and some other unmentionable descriptive and rather base adjectives.

How nice to have this little thing to treasure. I will keep this tucked away. It will always be a happy memory even years from now that will make me smile.

This whole evening made me think of a song sung at my grade school so many years ago…Simple Gifts. Here are the lyrics:

📌‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we will not be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
📌

Tonight was just that: simple gifts and a celebration of friendship hosted by a woman with a joyful and open heart we are lucky to call a friend. It bought me back to a better happy place, and made the craziness of life recently melt away.

I am in awe of my amazing friends. And it is so comforting to have them in my life. I am blessed to have my friends and family and to be able to feel love around me. Not everyone has that, and I know it.

I am in awe of this one friend in particular for her beautiful open heart and kindness to all. We live in a world where simple acts of friendship can buoy us through tumultuous and crazy times. And for me it also was an evening to enjoy the beauty of Chester County.

Thank you my friend. A big heart back at you. Thank you for reminding all of us this evening what is important in this world.

xoxo

in downingtown area school district, someone needs to fact check margie miller and those backing her….facts matter…

The crazy train stopped at Downingtown Area School District last evening at what should have been a lovely back to school evening.

And innocent LOOKING kindergarten teacher (but not employed by DASD), Margie Miller is once again the Fibber McGee candidate for DASD. She’s backed by Republican PAC Keeping Kids in School, founded by Clarice Schillinger who used to work for State Rep. Todd Stephens (R., Montgomery).

…But this PAC doesn’t care about facts or coloring outside the lines as they also back the WCASD candidates like the QAnon gal, #AnonymousAda, Ada Nestor who was in Washington DC 1/6/21 but Keeping Kids in School PAC don’t seem to be bothered by this candidate’s actions and squirrelly politics.

This PAC claims to be non-partisan but I call bullsh🤬t on that. And they should just be who they are, not try to hide who they are. I don’t know what the end game is for this political action committee (PAC) except to get Republican candidates in office which wouldn’t be a problem for me if they were backing sane, rational candidates because in Chester County they are backing the super screwy. Even the Philadelphia Inquirer has asked lots of questions about the QAnon and anti masker candidates and more so really, what do they want? Sister Wives for School Board? The Handmaids Tale candidates for school board?

So I have to ask where Margie Miller and “Friends of Margie” gets data?

Margie teaches kindergarten at a school NOT in a public school district (in essence private) and she is running on a platform to not raise taxes, right? It’s interesting that the increase in taxes being discussed is for an all day Kindergarten program for Downingtown students? She hasn’t offered a way to generate this revenue to fund an all day Kindergarten program that I can find and would a public school all day Kindergarten be a threat to her current school or something?

I have no problem with someone saying they don’t want to raise taxes, but when they essentially accuse someone of being solely responsible for any taxes being raised in the DASD they should offer alternatives.

So last night was a back to school event and Margie Miller’s pals blanketed all of the cars in a parking lot with their crap. And their crap is aimed at my friend, Rebecca Britton. And these people didn’t clean up the mess they left, which means school personnel had to, which means taxpayers paid for Margie’s Mess, correct? How is that saving money?

A back to school night should be about the kids, not Margie Miller’s selfish political motives. I mean my gosh one would think that Margie should have put as much effort into her campaign paperwork correct?

Yesssss….and is it true Margie Miller didn’t file her PAC paperwork on time so she was fined? So then is it true she not only filed the late paperwork but she only filed one page of the 17 page document? So yo’ Chester County Voter Services why did you accept incomplete paperwork? Chester County Voter Services when will a new letter of campaign violation be issued on bad paperwork?

This woman cannot even follow basic election laws, so does Downingtown Area School District really need this hot mess in office? IMHO that should be a resounding NO.

Margie I hope you are a better teacher than school board candidate but you have to wonder what you teach kids judging from your campaign actions? And who exactly is running you since you don’t ever seem to want to answer questions on your campaign Facebook page either but you (they?) delete any comment or question that makes you uncomfortable?

Dear Margie Miller oh gurrrllll, we’ve got your number. And my final comment is you would holler like a stuck pig if they blanketed your kindergarten parking lot with flyers from Rebecca’s campaign. Your behavior is disgraceful and if you were a kindergartner you would be in time out facing a wall wouldn’t you?

Folks don’t put DASD in time out, keep Rebecca Britton as a School Board Director in your Region 4.