COVID is one of those things I have decided that when your brain starts to clear from this insidious virus, you are still left to rest, which leaves time for reflection and thinking assorted thoughts.

I have spent the better part of two weeks being sick. Definitely not as sick as I would have been if I hadn’t had shots, but sick enough. It gives you time for reflection when you are not feeling like your eyelids are fever hot and burning and your head is heavy and clogged and you want to sleep, yet you can’t breathe so you sleep in fits and spurts. While I am through the worst of it, the tired factor is definitely real. Truthfully, the last time I felt this tired was when I was going through radiation treatment years ago. It’s a kind of crazy tired where you want to sleep and you just have to rest. Even if you thought you had other plans, you literally have to stop and listen to your body.

Having COVID is also a very weird thing because nobody wants to talk about the fact that they actually have it because there’s such a stigma attached to it after the past few years. When I told people I had been exposed and tested positive some (right or wrong) made me feel like I exposed them to leprosy or worse. I felt that same feeling before when I told people had breast cancer. You can only control yourself you can’t control how people react to a situation but it’s really kind of sucky. I tried really hard since COVID became part of our world to stay healthy so I was feeling bad enough having to say “Hi I have COVID, you’ll need to get tested.”

And then of course there were the people from the event where I picked COVID up. Most were sympathetic, but others less so. Disappointing that some were downright obnoxious, but also human nature and reverting to high school form when uncomfortable. I did the right thing. I told the people I was around I got sick and where I picked it up. For me tracing was not particularly difficult, I don’t go many places and haven’t since COVID because I am immunocompromised.

Then, interestingly, enough, what has occurred over the past couple of weeks as I’ve had COVID are the people that tell me they had COVID but didn’t tell anybody. All these people literally went through this thing without telling people I think in part because of the social and political stigma that has been attached to COVID.

I think if we don’t talk about when we have it, we’re never going to get past it or learn how to get around it.

Then there was the other introspection. When you are supportive of others and then they are shitty to you, it actually hurts. And when you see them doing it to others who have been supportive of them as well, it’s just something which gives you pause. I have observed this recently and it does sadden me .

Now this is someone who could be going through something no one is aware of, but they’ve been pretty obnoxious which then makes you realize that if they want to live on their emotional island you can’t help them with that. Lashing out and pushing people away is their choice. And again, it’s really sad. So you take a step back and hope that they figure it out.

I found myself realizing over the past couple of weeks that I actually spend a lot of time checking in with people who sometimes aren’t so reciprocal. And I get everyone has stuff going on, but human beings can be selfish. And self-serving. This made me realize, we all can and should do better. Be better. But do we remember how?

For the past few years we have been living in an angry, angry country. Things that used to be beautiful and true have turned ugly. Principles and ideals, even political ones we thought we could count on have changed; even dissolved. I think that has had far reaching effects into all of our own lives.

For the political lately (and locally) I have two examples. Sad examples.

First we have the spring primaries. I will go local although I believe the issue is regional, if not statewide. Yes, the Chester County Democratic Committee, AKA the CCDC. Slowly but surely they are emulating what and who they replaced more and more every day. This election they employed the school of political dirty tricks poorly in the 11th hour. Their main problem? They may have knocked out an independent unendorsed candidate this time around, but they can’t control the narrative that their actions, some rather indiscreet, created. That narrative will have far reaching effects and consequences. Their actions have turned off more of their devoted. Me, I sadly expected it. Power corrupts and when leadership is weak and has tunnel vision are we really surprised? Nope, and history bears it all out.

So then we have to think about stupid human tricks. This week’s example comes courtesy of the West Goshen Republican Committee. A gun raffle fundraiser. Talk about tone deaf. The conversation for me, here is not an argument about whether or not people have the right to bear arms because they do in this country. I also, don’t have a problem with responsible gun ownership. The conversation here for me is that a political organization, being deliberately divisive, and acting quite the provocateur. Candidates that accept their gun money, even decent moderate candidates will suffer. It’s in poor taste and throw back Pennsyltucky politics. This is creating unnecessary divisiveness, and again, is in such bad taste.

And then there are the oddities of social media like the people you don’t want to be connected to and don’t even know who try to friend you on every platform. What you do know of them is their bad behavior on public pages. And somehow they feel the need that they have to know you. No, no I don’t want to know you, I choose not to know you. (And that’s okay.)

Then there is the reporter with whom you had a negative interaction with years ago of their initiation that you have zero to do with ever. Because they and several someone elses were indiscreet with a political hot potato e-mail that read like a press release and was shopped they actually think you had access to their email. Bloggers are not hackers, and wowwww please let me off of this crazy train. I don’t roll like that.

From there we move on to crazy school board candidates. They claim to go high yet they run around on the down low accusing people left right and center of doxxing. Ummm yeah, ok, it’s stuff YOU talked about including as a politician so how does this work again? And what’s even funnier is you have supporters who do just that to people but it’s ok?

And yes I have people who track me obsessively because I am a blogger. It’s creepy AF.

The world has turned into a completely crazy place, and sometimes we have to look hard to find our golden moments of peace and happiness. It makes me realize again that life is short. It’s not about being a perfect person because I don’t think we can be as humans. But it’s in part about doing what makes you happy and trying to be a good person.

So what else do I think? I think if you tell people you don’t desire contact with them and they persist with what can only be construed as unwanted contact that it gives you pause. Unwanted contact is creepy. I have actually had to block people on various platforms because they don’t have respect for boundaries. (But I am being repetitive and I apologize. It’s just something I marvel at.)

And then there are the people who are just bad actors on the stage of life. They do things to hurt people and think they answer to no one. Well Karma is a bitch, and eventually the truth will come out. Some of these people also pretend to be able to do jobs they are not actually qualified to do. Some of these jobs are centered around nonprofits which is sad.

These are just some random thoughts I have been having. You can agree with me, or disagree with me, that’s up to you. Life is short. Live it well. Do your best. Be a good human. Stand up for truth.


are women really liberated?


I took this photo of the Woman’s Lib Barn in Malvern about five years ago (I think – it could be longer) from across the road. The colors have been played with courtesy of filters, so pardon the artistic license.

So. Are women really liberated?

Yes, I am serious. I was thinking about it last night and this morning.  And no, I am not and never have been a text-book definition of a “women’s libber”. Unless speaking my mind and being somewhat independent minded make me one?

As history likes to tell it, The Women’s Liberation Movement was a political alignment of women and feminist intellectualism that emerged in the late 1960s. This movement was heavy into consciousness awakening and if you follow the historical timeline, grew out of civil rights.  The predecessor movement was the women’s suffrage movement of the early 20th century which enabled women by their hard work to obtain the right to vote. All of this had roots in a theory that social freedom was necessary for women to no longer be second class citizens.

And we were. But I have to ask if we are to an extent today or is it just a weird feeling because so much seems to be regressing right now?

Yesterday I wrote a post about politics and the mid-term elections which occur next week. The post centered around one writer’s article and another’s editorial. Interestingly enough, a lot of the greatest umbrage taken by my thoughts added to what others had written were from other women.

One woman said I was endorsing specific political platforms and vis-a-vis candidates because I suggested people read these pieces because I found them interesting. She went onto basically describe me as reprehensible for doing so.  I wasn’t telling anyone how to vote, I said it was an interesting read and what I was thinking about. They said specifically ““Well worth taking the time to read” is a political endorsement. Your message is not sharing information but suggesting endorsement of a political view that many in Chester County find reprehensible.”

The second woman came in via a rather strange comment and said : “You most likely have lost me as a follower. You sucked me in with Chester County Ramblings. I have enjoyed your writings over the past few years, until today. I want to hear about the history and happenings in the county that I adore. One thing I sure do not want to read are your political ramblings, pro, con, undecided or what you color you are wearing today. If this is route you plan to continue in your Chester County Ramblings, count me out. Ruined a good thing.” (I am guessing she missed the part where I write for myself and what interests me? Or that no one is compelled to read every little thing they stumble across?)

This is the stuff that blows my mind. The pretzel logic here is women are supposed to be free and liberated now for decades and allowed to express their opinions as long as their thoughts are sanitized with bubble water so everyone can float along on fluffy blue clouds?

So are women really free if other women feel the need to tear us down because we express our opinions and/or have an opinion they don’t care for?

This is some of what I was thinking about when I was in my garden working on my flower beds this morning.  It amazes me how quick women are to tear other women down.  That has always amazed me.  It’s so…well…high school.  If you do not conform to someone else’s comfortable notions you are bad.

Take an article which appeared in The Daily Local this summer about The Women’s Lib Barn:

….The Keegans plan on staying in the home they’ve loved for the past 50 years and have no plans on removing the unique message. They’ve had people ask about the barn, including a woman who recently asked for permission to make a painting of it, though they found it annoying when some bloggers posted stories on the barn without having all the facts.

“People today don’t understand it, they think all of a sudden it appeared. They don’t know it’s from the ‘70s,” Ronnie said.

“It isn’t women, it’s woman,” she stressed. “It’s my statement.”

I am guessing the lady is referring to this blog? What I have posted is what I have found elsewhere about their barn, including old articles but it got all lumped together seemingly at me? That baffles me.  Her barn is literally one of my favorites if not my favorite because it is quirky with its painted statement .

This barn was even part of my photography show at Christopher’s in Malvern a few years back in 2015. She sent me a note because one of my photos hung was of her barn. And to kind of criticize me for changing the meaning (in her mind) by cutting off the question mark at the end of her statement. (Well truthfully it wasn’t cut off, I did canvas prints and it was wrapped around the side.)

She invited me to come sit on her porch and she would tell me the story.  I emailed her back promptly to say I would love to hear about how the barn came to be the woman’s lib barn and that I would also love to give her the photo…and I never heard another thing.   I followed up again, and then just sort of thought “oh well” and went about my life. And then the reference to me (I presume) in the 2018 article someone I know wrote for the Daily Local. And then I again wondered if women were really liberated or just liberated enough to criticize other women?

Now when I ponder things like this, I do not extricate myself from the woman equation.  I can be as guilty as the next woman in the criticism of other women category.  But it does make me think again and again what are we liberated from exactly?

As time goes by and the seasons fold into one and other, I grow more at home here in Chester County and love the feeling of belonging.  I kind of love that I have shed my Main Line skin and enjoy the simplicity and beauty I have found.  I love my garden, my little house, my family.  The thing about Chester County which I have never felt anyplace else in my life is I can just be. Maybe it’s an age thing where I now realize I do not have to live up to everyone’s expectations, nor do I want to.

Yet occasionally I pause and ponder and marvel at the boxes women are still expected to be put into…even by other women. Like is the case with this blog and some of what I write.   If it’s my blog and I am the writer, aren’t I supposed to write about what I think about or enjoy or dislike? I am not a compensated blog, so I am not paid for my writing in this format of this blog.

I also wonder if my younger self was more of less free and liberated? Does this all vary with age and responsibility?

I accept that I am not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s impossible to be that person because we are all different and it should be o.k. to be yourself not a mirror image of every other person around you.

Like many other women I find it irritating when people contact you just so you can tell your husband something for them.  Every time it happens I imagine myself as a 1950s housewife complete with apron and starched hair.

Or then there are the occasions when you are having work done inside our outside of your home. I have had those who preferred to speak only to my husband. Not because I couldn’t grasp the tasks at hand but because they wanted to deal with a man.

This summer I wrote a post “life in the land of women” – it seems this post has been a continuation of that so I will close with what I said then:

We can’t teach tolerance if we can’t be tolerant at least some of the time ourselves.

We can’t teach the value of individuality and independance if we constantly go after those the least bit different from us.

Are we really free if we are confined by the perceptions of others?