this pretty much sums it up


Ok I ventured out.  It’s insanely snow blowy outside.  I can’t find my front walk and there are snow drifts at essentially every door.  I am getting coffee and crawling back under the quilts.

This storm is real. Reminds me more of 1996.

Stay safe and warm.

this weather…

My high school friend Tina lives in Spencer Massachusetts. Where she lives has the distinction of having some of the most snow or the most snow in New England. She sent me this photo today and it is the side of a 14 foot tall greenhouse – she and her husband own a large plant nursery.

Just OMG.


ice, ice baby it’s a stay at home sunday


When I was first awake at 6 a.m. it was super cold outside, but dry. But it is pouring and the roads are cold enough that there is a lot of ice out there….and accidents.

A lot of churches are canceling worship services too.

If you do not have to go anywhere, don’t.

For more information visit NBC10 Philadelphia or media outlet of your choice.

NBC10 Philadelphia Dangerous Road Conditions Across Region

grocery store insanity


No matter how well you plan for holiday meals and gatherings, the dreaded few-days-before-grocery-store-run seems to be unavoidable and inevitable. And if we are comparing the holidays, I think the pre-Thanksgiving grocery store runs are the worst.

So yes, today I made my pre-Thanksgiving pilgrimage to Giant. Getting through the parking lot safely was a challenge in and of itself, but I think complimentary sedatives should be offered at the door before you enter the madness.

When you enter a grocery store Thanksgiving week you definitely start with a prayer for survival and a deep breath. Today was no different.

As the doors opened and I entered the grocery store, it was a sea of people. As I was at the Giant next to Hershey’s Mill, the store was not only a sea of people, but a sea of people half of whom were in slow motion.

The aisles were also full of “sight seeing” shoppers. You know, the people who rest their elbows on the cart and steer aimlessly often into people and aisle displays? (And speaking of aisle displays, why do the marketing teams of grocery stores let the aisles get so crowded with displays that literally block the grocery items we are shopping for?)

Having experienced the people who run into the rear of your ankles, today I wore boots. I still got run into twice. The thing that irritates me about that is I feel compelled to apologize although I was the one who got my calves and shins run into. And have you ever noticed how irritated looking some of the people who run into other people with their carts can be? It’s fascinating. It’s like they are not so much sorry they ran into you with the cart, but are irritated that you are in their way.

But it wasn’t all bad. The craziness of the Thanksgiving week shopping trips also breed a certain camaraderie among strangers. I did share a couple of giggles with strangers.

One of the giggles stemmed from overhearing a woman comment about this other woman under her breath. It was like she was reading my mind. You see the shopper she was commenting about was the trifecta of poor grocery store etiquette. Oh yes, that bad.

Trifecta Lady was this woman who was on her speaker phone of her cell phone having reality show high volume conversations. If that wasn’t bad enough she was also an aimless sight seeing shopper who blocked aisles…..because she was so into her cell phone conversation she should have been having someplace private and not on speaker phone….in the middle of an insanely crowded and crazy pre-Thanksgiving grocery store. And no one needed to hear that conversation.

Shouldn’t there be some sort of “Dummies Guide to Grocery Store Etiquette”? Not just on pre-holiday shopping weeks but all the time? I guess I just don’t get and never will get those who have the compulsion to have what should be very private conversations in public, on their cell phones. I don’t need to hear the conversation and neither does anyone else.

I survived my grocery store run. But I admit today is even worse because we are expecting snow tomorrow. So you not only have the pre-Thanksgiving shopping craziness, but the oh-my-it-might-snow milk and bread run.

My final comment on the pre-Thanksgiving grocery store craziness is how nice the people who work in the Giant were today. It made the in store craziness easier to deal with.

The holidays are hard on people, but sometimes I think people make it harder on themselves. I have seen the good in people this Thanksgiving season, but I have also seen the worst.

There are people with no sense of personal accountability who blame all around them for their shortcomings. It’s sad. It’s also so sad how angry some people become during the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving. But they are the people who feel they are “owed”. These are the sad people who can never see the good in anything….unless it benefits them. Hopefully some day they will get what it is all about .

Thanks for stopping by today. Practice safe shopping, hear?



To say I am bummed at the garden destruction courtesy of the hail storm yesterday is a bit of an understatement. Everything is bent and broken, and especially hard hit were all my ferns and hostas in the back garden on the edge of the woods.

Early this morning I was close to tears as I surveyed the damage. The leaves and fern fronds are just shredded and broken. This kind of destruction is hard for any gardener to see. I have worked so hard on my garden this spring to get things cleaned up after the winter.

Ice damage in February, ice damage in late May. Who would have thunk it?

So I emailed gardening writer Suzy Bales this morning to ask her advice especially regarding the hostas. This is what she had to say:

It is always good to give the plants time to recover and not to replant to quickly. Feed them with compost to help them recover. My hydrangea are dead from the ground up but they are sending up new shoots from the roots. Because the roots are established they will grow much faster than a newly planted shrub.
Best wishes,

I also looked at a thread on GardenWeb where a gardener from Oklahoma was looking for advice on caring for hostas after a hail storm. Hail storms like we experienced in Chester County yesterday are far more common in great plains states and other areas like Texas.

What I learned was gardener in these parts of the country are so used to these storms that some do things like cover hostas and perennials with sheets of window screening when hail is in the weather forecast. The theory is that the screening helps lessen the impact of the hail.

So I have decided to clean up the hosta leaves that are broken off completely and leave the rest of the plant to recover as best it can. You can’t really prune hostas per se, and if I remove all the hosta leaves broken or not it may be too hard on the plants.

Other plants got beaten up – herbs, zinnias, impatiens, hydrangeas, roses, peonies. I purposely stayed out of the garden today, but for everything damaged, I will only clear away what is broken. I don’t want to over-prune anything.

As I finish this post thunder is rumbling as the next round of storms are rolling in. This thunderstorm is going to be a doozy too I think . I really must say I am pretty much over the weather extremes we keep experiencing more of and next politician that says global warming is a farce deserves a piece of every gardener and farmer’s mind. That is the other thing I have been thinking about: how has this crazy spring weather affected farmers?

Anyway, gardening is like an unfinished canvas, there is always more to do. And gardening always requires patience. Tomorrow is another day and all that good stuff.

The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before.
~ Vita Sackville West


what a long, strange week it has been


The power came on about an hour ago. Fingers crossed it lasts this time. It has been a hell of a week and the fun is just beginning as next comes clean up and insurance companies and repairs….and undoubtedly more snow.

This long horrible week has been a week of amusing moments. My favorite is the email someone sent me from West Vincent that said:

“I had a call from Ken Miller at 7:00 this morning asking me to let you know. He said there is not a road in the Township that doesn’t have a tree down on it. The road crew and police are on the job but the ice is treacherous and the roads are blocked….Please pass the word. Thank you and be safe….Chickenman, please forward.”

That is pretty funny all things considered, and Chickenman did indeed forward the message out which shows him to be the fine feathered gent that he is. And amusing that the township would need his help.

Of course it had not all been nice, unusual and truly neighborly moments as there has been a lot said to people who expressed dismay and frustration and just plain exhaustion at the past few days…..myself included. As a matter of fact I just deleted a comment from someone who said I was “whining”. The reality is this week has been hell and never having experienced anything like this I am not going to apologize for expressing how I feel.

I close my eyes and I still hear branches and trees hitting my house and that will take time to fade. And I will never forget the sick crashing noise when the tree hit my house or how my house literally shook from the impact.

If I never experience anything like this again I will be very grateful.

Now the clean up and repair phase begins. The storm inflated pricing on the part of tree guys and contractors has already begun. It is the unfortunate nature of natural disaster and commerce. It’s not right, but it just is .

I hope my power is on to stay and I did want to thank PECO. Especially because their customer service people although they never had much they could tell us were for the most part very pleasant. ( It can’t have been easy to take calls from close to. 800,000 freaked out people) I also want to say thanks to all those line men who have descended on our area from all over the US and Canada.

I think this evening for the first time in days I will actually sleep tonight.

When my internet returns I will have lots of cool photos.

Be safe all and if you don’t have power yet I hope you do soon.

I wonder if I can get Verizon to repair the Fios on in time for Downton Abbey? Probably not but I can dream…..


not so winter wonderland


My reality is like hundreds of thousands of others today: ice, ice, and more ice.

No power. House has sustained tree damage but we are better off than some of our neighbors, one of whom has their roof smashed in.

Basically I think a lot of Chester County and beyond is a hot mess cloaked in ice.

No signs of PECO or even township snow plows. It’s eerily quiet as opposed to the normal quiet.

We consider ourselves blessed, it could be much worse.

Hope everyone is warm and safe and dry.

And to the weather people out there: the weather is not improving, but getting more icy and frozen.

Over and out.