dear santa can you help?

Dear Santa,

Hi there! Are you getting your letters from Chester County, PA?  I am sorry to ask  during this time of year, but you see parts of Chester County has an on again, off again mail problem.

You see, part of Chester County PA’s Mail sorts through another city and state. Yes, it’s true, part of Chester County’s mail sorts through Wilmington, Delaware!

Imagine, you send your next door neighbor a card and it takes not days , but weeks to arrive. Why? Because the mail sorts through Wilmington, Delaware!

Imagine you have an awesome local post office and equally terrific mail carriers. Imagine how awful they feel when they have to knock on your door and hand you damaged mail and damaged packages that sometimes look like the football after Monday Night Football! Why? Because the mail came to Chester County via Wilmington, Delaware!

Imagine you are waiting for a registered or priority package and you are tracking it on and you watch it travel from pillar to post and then it just stalls for a couple of days…in Wilmington, Delaware. (with no explanation, ever.)

Santa, it is sad but true. When you complain the United States Postal Service doesn’t honor their “we deliver for you” they terrorize your local mail carriers and post office or they blow you off entirely. Heck maybe YOU can get them to respond to emails – because unless you are contacting the Office of The Inspector General, you stand a pretty good chance of being totally blown off.

Last time I went on a tirade against Chester County PA mail partially sorting through Wilmington, Delaware I was told off the record that the reason mail from Chester County sorts through another state entirely was Joe Biden and is this true?  So should I be writing to Joe Biden instead of you Santa Claus?

I have a theory and that is the postal workers in the sorting facility in Wilmington,  Delaware resent having to also sort Chester County, Pennsylvania mail.  And that is why I hypothesize why mail goes missing, has inexplicable delays, and gets damaged. And who can blame them?  Wouldn’t you be upset if some politicians just doubled your workloads because they thought that was the solution to some stupid political agenda? 

December 1, 2016 update: spoke to consumer affairs personnel in Washington, DC in the Postmaster General’s Office after getting blown off by Philadelphia Consumer Affairs and the office of the USPS OIG. Santa would you like to receive a priority package marked fragile that looks like this?

So Santa, if you can talk to USPS about the mail and ask them to do something about the Chester County, Pennsylvania mail partially sorting in Wilmington, Delaware that would be an awesome stocking stuffer this Christmas!

east goshen farmers market holiday market – thursday december 20!


(Don’t forget to like their new page on Facebook!)

a vintage holiday barn sale….how can you resist?

I wonder, is there a Christmas or holiday ditty about a-barning-we-will-go???

Now you know my love for a special pickers barn on Little Conestoga Road, right? Well Kristin and Phil are having an extra FUN and FABULOUS sale this weekend!

They have raided Santa’s vintage workshop and in addition to all the normal fun stuff, there is vintage holiday everything. They are open ALL weekend this weekend November 23rd, 24th, 25th!

Here is the announcement:

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!¬† Just a little note to those of you who will be staying close to home this weekend….. the barn will be open this FRI SAT AND SUN from 10-4.¬† We are going to be kicking off the holiday season with our annual vintage holiday barn sale.
The barn is bursting at the seams with all our great items along  with a whole lot of vintage holiday mixed in! Our vintage holiday items include trees, ornaments, and other vintage holiday items.    
In addition we also have great new furniture, household items, toys, collectibles, Hess Trucks, Depression Glass, along with tons of other goodies!!¬† Everything is priced to sell……… come stop by, say HI, and find a treasure or two!!¬† Hope to see you then!
Smithfield Barn   425 Little Conestoga Road
Now I happened to see a small fraction of the cool ornaments and holiday stuff a couple of weeks ago.  This is my favorite barn.  These people are all about the deal and I never walk away feeling I paid too much for anything.

Bring a small flash light with you.



want to help jersey post sandy? here is how

Jersey Strong on Veteran’s Day even after Sandy. #njsandy¬†Photo comes from Anne Marie¬†Gercke¬†whose family got back into their LBI community to find this family home was too badly flooded to save.

Hi, I am about to post a giant list of who needs what in New Jersey post-Sandy.  A lot of this is focused on North Jersey, but there are some South Jersey places mixed in.

The list came to me from a friend who is a writer in North Jersey and who was affected by the storm. She got the list via Jersey Shore Hurricane News on Facebook.  If you need to contact Jersey Shore Hurricane News e-mail jerseyshorehurricanenews@ or visit their page on Facebook for a number that accepts texts.

I am posting this here hoping it reaches people who want to help, but don’t know how. The holidays are upon us, so if local business owners exist who can offer to defray shipping costs for people in the event they want to ship goods to any of these locations, I hope you will pay it forward and step up and contact local media, etc to do so. I have to be honest, some I contacted declined regretfully because the economy is so bad for so many, they just can’t afford it.

For those of you I have seen holding fundraisers and food drives for Sandy victims, I hope this list will help you.


I keep thinking of how hard this also must be on the children of New Jersey affected by this, so if you contact any of these people to donate, find out what the kids need.  After all, Christmas and Hannukkah are coming in addition to Thanksgiving next week. I think New Jersey needs an Operation Santa Claus for kids and families this Christmas in New Jersey, only I do not know how to make it happen.  I hope some who read this post will know how to make it happen and CAN and DO make it happen.


And do not send as a “donation” the garbage you can’t give away in your house.¬† That includes dirty clothes – as incredulous as you might be at the suggestion, it is actually happening.¬† And having helped run a charitable donation drive a few years ago that actually earned me and others a congressional commendation from Jim Gerlach, I can tell you how awkward it is to be collecting for people in need and you have people donating things that are unusable and then you have to in essence pay to dispose of someone else’s trash. I am sorry if that sounds harsh, but please follow the rule of thumb that it be something you personally could use if the tables were turned. The Asbury Park Press also seems to be very helpful in guiding people onto how to help.

Another thing, there is a whole population that is displaced in parts of New Jersey that you are not hearing about in the news.  Those who qualify as special classes and may be disadvantaged emotionally, mentally, and/or physically.  A lot of these people not only depend on public assistance, but live in subsidized housing on and individual as well as in groups.

I also noticed that finally someone in New Jersey government woke up and realized that mothballed Fort Monmouth could indeed be re-opened to provide some interim housing to homeless New Jersey residents post-Sandy.

Fort Monmouth to house hundreds of evacuees

 10:23 PM, Nov. 12, 2012

New Jersey officials were readying a shuttered military base to temporarily house residents displaced by Superstorm Sandy….Fort Monmouth will be taken out of mothballs and could house 400 to 600 families. Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable said families could begin moving in by month‚Äôs end.

Hopefully Fort Monmouth won’t become Katrina’s trailer issue and they just get it done.

Anyway, hope this post helps. I know it is a crappy economy and many are suffering, but these people in a lot of cases have lost everything. Pay it forward.¬† If you can’t afford to help, or have nothing to donate, pass the information along to someone who can.

phoenixville school district bans halloween

In Phoenixville, Scrooge has a new name: Phoenixville Area School District Superintendent Alan Fegley.¬† You see, Superintendent Alan Fegley is banning Halloween in Phoenixville schools, citing among other things ¬†‚Äúcontroversy surrounding the religious connotations of Halloween.‚ÄĚ

Bull twaddle. What a dope. Guess Santa Claus is next, huh? Oh wait, that is why so many schools across the country celebrate Halloween because it saves them from attacks by the political correctness police who whitewash everything into Happy Holidays Hell, right?

Seriously, somewhere Charlie Brown is screaming as another attempt is made to dumb down a childhood and American tradition.  We all are still Americans, right? Or has that become politically incorrect overnight too in Phoenixville?

Halloween is a universal kid loved time no matter the gender, ethnicity, religion.  As a matter of fact Halloween is so religion neutral across the country it is partially why it gets so much attention.

The History of Halloween is actually interesting:

History of Halloween

Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31.¬† The word Halloween is a shortening of All¬† Hallows Evening also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve.
Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand.

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture.

We are as a country, and certainly as an area, an ethnic melting pot.  So many cultures celebrate Halloween that I do not see what the big deal is?  Now from the costumey end of it, it is a holiday in major metropolitan areas like New York City that is very attractive to those of alternative lifestyles, so I have to ask, is Phoenixville Area School District riding the discrimination bus on this?

Kids love Halloween, and these  teachers and this school district needed to get creative, not kill the holiday.

Thrift stores this time of year are LOADED to the gills with gently used costumes, so why couldn’t the Phoenixville Area School District put out a plea to ask people to donate gently used costumes?¬† And the kids would dress up IN school instead of coming to school in costume? That is one way to deal in a sensitive manner with the kids who can’t afford costumes.¬† School districts all over the country do this for prom (as in they have little events with gently used prom dresses, so those who might not be able to afford to go CAN, so why not Halloween?

Another thing they could have done was make the costumes that were acceptable kid created only and put a price on say whomever could design the best costume for under $10 dollars.  Again, the school district could have put it out there that they were accepting clean and gently used donations towards Halloween costumes.

Or they could limit the costumes to “best mask”, and they could make the masks in class.¬† A parade of masks and¬† pumpkin decorating (and again, they could put it out there to local farms and businesses to donate pumpkins and gourds to donate.)

Halloween is not only a fun childhood tradition, it is a way for children to express themselves artistically and creatively.  Often the reality of life is difficult enough for small children, so who does it hurt to let them escape reality for a few hours and just be kids dressing up?

Phoenixville is all wet  and wrong on this one.

If I had kids in this school district I would dress up and protest in front of the school district administration building on a public sidewalk and protest this decision.¬† Or in front of the post office (or any place that is a public sidewalk where they can’t arrest you for demonstrating.)

If I was a farmer or business owner in the area I would be delivering mounds of pumpkins to the steps of the Phoenixville Area School District building and to the front steps of the home of Superintendent Alan Fegley.

The Phoenixville Area School District Building is located at 386 City Line Avenue, Phoenixville, PA 19460. Phone number: 484-927-5000. Dr. Alan Fegley, 484-927-5010,

Is Fegley worth the $205,000 per year another blogger reports he earns? Maybe if the school district paid more realistic salaries considering the econony, it might have a couple bucks to give elementary school kids Halloween back?

And Fegley?¬† Dressing up for Halloween doesn’t cause sexting (you know that other issue you dealt so well with?)

Seriously, Phoenixville?  You need Operation Pumpkin Drop.  Prove this school district wrong and give the kids Halloween back.  Kids deserve to just be kids once in a while.


By Frank Otto 10/23/12

PHOENIXVILLE¬†‚ÄĒ Elementary school students in the Phoenixville Area School District will be celebrating a fall theme day as opposed to Halloween-centric events this year and Superintendent Alan Fegley explained why at Thursday night‚Äôs school board meeting.

Fegley said the announcement was made in the elementary school student ‚Äúpackage‚ÄĚ from the district in August, but he explained the district‚Äôs decision to move away from Halloween fully at the meeting.

According to Fegley, a number of the elementary schools’ principals came to him with their concerns regarding Halloween celebrations for Oct. 31.

‚ÄúI approved the change for a fall-themed activity for a number of reasons,‚ÄĚ Fegley¬†said…‚ÄúThere was unhealthy competition for the costumes and treats that were being provided,‚ÄĚ Fegley said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm a competitive person, don‚Äôt get me wrong. But when it‚Äôs sitting there and making other students not feel good because they can‚Äôt afford the costume or can‚Äôt have it made, that‚Äôs something that‚Äôs just something the district just thought was not worth having to go through.‚ÄĚ

Additionally, with the costumes and despite warnings from the school, children continued to bring in costume weapons in violation of the school’s weapons policy.

Finally, the district wanted to ‚Äúhonor the diverse background‚ÄĚ of its students and open up the celebration to fall-themed events rather than Halloween because of the ‚Äúcontroversy surrounding the religious connotations of Halloween.‚ÄĚ