A big win for a little township

I have been quiet during the past few months.  Earlier this year I decided to put my name in to run for Township Supervisor.   In my corner of Montgomery County, PA the Republican party has had an iron grip for a long long time.  But more than that,  the individuals who have held this office in recent years have not served the community well.  Lack of transparency, responsiveness to residents needs and concerns, and the absence of any vision or plan for the future has led to frustration and a simmering stew of resentment. Continue reading

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About a fig tree

This is the story of a fig tree.  About five years ago I decided I wanted to grow figs in the backyard of our northern Virginia home.  You may know that George Washington successfully grew figs at Mount Vernon.   It was pretty cold in the 18th century, so I figured if George could do it, so could it.  What I didn’t take into account was the fact that George probably know a lot more about horticulture than I do, and had people working for him whose sole job it was to grow things.  And now that I think about it, maybe these fig trees were inside a green house.  Never mind all that.  How hard can it be?  So I began my fig saga, first with one fig tree, then with a second in year two.  I got figs from one tree in year two.    Then this tree died after a protracted cold spell in the winter.   In year three I removed the dead fig and replaced it with a fourth one.  This one, like its predecessor expired after a rough winter.   Now in Pennsylvania I have finally succeeded. Continue reading

Telling the truth

Since late March I’ve spent many hours knocking on doors.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am running for supervisor.   I’ve had doors slammed in my face, had smiles and hugs, and everything in between.  I talk about taxes, sewage and water, traffic and lighting, and development and zoning.  While there are a lot of things I don’t know about, there is one thing I tell everyone:  I will tell you the truth. Continue reading

Spring harvest time

In between knocking on doors and meeting people in my township, I have been busy in the garden.  Building on lessons learned from last year, I have already had some early successes.  These include lettuce, spinach, radishes, and peas.   I recently started putting in my summer veggies:  tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and green beans.  The longer than usual cool spring weather helped extend the lettuce.  I had so much lettuce I have been giving it away by the armfuls.  The spinach is about done and going to seed, which is good because I need the space for zucchini and cucumbers.  I found a local source for high quality compost, and learned about the value of covering plants, organize means to battling pests, and growing in bags. Continue reading

Marching for Mother Earth: The People’s Climate March

Waiting for the march to begin; wall separating the Hill School from High Street in Pottstown, PA

My readers probably know that since last year’s election, I have become a bit of an activist.  There are so many things to protest, where is a woman to start?  Women’s issues, healthcare, financial regulations, voter’s rights,  jobs, taxes, the environment . . . and so it goes.  In March I met with a few friends and made a suggestion:  we should hold our own march.  I’m not sure at the time that they believed it would happen, but it did.  With the tremendous support of my husband and a few good friends, we pulled it off.   And so was born the Climate March Pottstown. Continue reading

On the road in the Highlands of Scotland

I have been quiet lately.   After returning from our trip to Scotland life took over.  Since late last year and the tears and the depression, I got back up and into the game.  I volunteered for an organization that I care deeply about and have been on their fundraising committee for their big event of the year.   It was hugely successful and thankfully now in my rearview mirror.  Did I also mention I’m running for local office?  That was another of my post-election decisions.  If you want to have an impact on your community, you have to step up and get in the arena.   I have been knocking on doors and meeting lots of people and listening to their concerns.  More on this later, but first I want to take moment to remember the beauty of Scotland. Continue reading

The Edinburgh Yarn Festival

Two weeks ago I attended the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (EYF),  a  fiber festival in Europe.  After years of going to Maryland Sheep and Wool and New York Sheep and Wool (Rhinebeck), I wanted to see what an urban fiber fest was like.  It did not disappoint.  The Edinburgh Yarn Festival was on held on March 9-12 this year.   Friday and Saturday were market days — codeword for shopping, and 8 – 12 March were class days.  In between there were opportunities for seeing the city, taking a day trip, joining others for knit night, and a traditional Ceilidh – Scottish dancing.  It you’re a fiber fest officianado you probably knew that some of these events were limited and required a combination of luck and dedication to score a ticket.  Esther and I signed up for classes at 9 am on the Saturday of Rhinebeck in October 2016.  Advance purchase tickets sold out quickly as did space at the Ceilidh.  But no worries.  There was plenty to do in the evening in a city that parties hearty. Continue reading

Listening skills

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Harry Potter World, where even frogs have words.

We all want to be better listeners.   It’s a great skill to have and people like good listeners.  But the sad fact is that while we want to be good listeners, we really want others to listen to us.  We like to talk, and we want people to listen to us, because at the end of the day, it’s really all about us, right?   Seriously, though, I am going to talk about listening.  First of all, there’s hearing and there’s listening.  I hear you but I don’t know what you said because I don’t really care.  To truly listen and absorb meaning, you have to close down your brain to unruly activity and focus completely on the other person.  This is the hard part, for this means it is about the other person, not you.   When you truly listen, a wonderful things happens.  You connect to another person in a very intimate and personal way.  This is how relationships are built. Continue reading