Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Put this in your pipe...

Just to the west of us, toward Lancaster County, the Amish farmers are busy harvesting their tobacco. It turns a lovely yellow when it's ready to be cut. But did you know that the tobacco from around here is not used for cigarettes? It's used for cigar wrappers and filler.

Dig It!

I have a potato patch about a yard square, and I had a great time harvesting my spuds yesterday. I filled a large basket, with more to come: there's still one more plant whose leaves haven't died back yet. I grow just your average spuds, no fancy colors or shapes, but my friends are amazed, as if I must be a real child of the soil to grow my own potatoes.
You bury sprouting potatoes from your pantry. They grow. Nothing to it!
Digging potatoes reminds me of a birthday game when I was a kid, before birthday parties became so elaborate and expensive. My mother would fill a big tub with sand and she'd bury little presents in it (exactly what the presents were has been lost in, uh, the sands of time). But I do remember that my guests and I would have a great time digging away with shovels and sieves, like archaeologists.
My mother also had difficulty getting the layers of cakes to stay in place, so she'd secure them with toothpicks. Whoever found a toothpick in his or her cake got a prize!
Once again, I've forgotten what the prize was; it was the finding that counted.

Monday, August 30, 2010

War and Peace

On Sunday we went to Old Kennett Meeting on Route 1 to hear author Bruce Mowday speak about
"Quakers in the Revolutionary War." It was a fascinating talk and touched on issues about pacifism that are still very relevant to Quakers today. He quoted from damage claims filed by local farmers stating that the soldiers had destroyed or stolen not only livestock, crops and equipment but also shoes, a new pair of breeches and a history book. A good crowd turned out, and despite the hot day, it stayed pleasant and cool inside the 18th-century meetinghouse.
Oh, and the "peace" part? Ended up the busy weekend relaxing in a hot-tub in Newlin Township under an incredible star-filled sky, with dear friends in the tub, three dogs on the deck, and a zillion crickets chirping away.


To celebrate the beginning of the school year, we had a family meal at a terrific new-ish restaurant called "Patty's Place" at the southeast corner of Route 202 and 926 in Westtown. They were having one of their periodic Latin-themed buffet dinners and everything was wonderful -- empanadas, ceviche, two kinds of rice, a beef stew, pork, pollo, ground meat encased in a potato crust -- WOW! It was the first time I'd been there, but I'm told their everyday menu is just as tasty.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


To Fran Maye:
Fran, if you think my quirky little musings would be of interest to your readers, I say, fine! Go ahead and print whatever excerpts you like from "Unionville in the News." Also, of course you can use any news tips that you see herein.
If you've been following my blog you know that what I write about is mostly my country life -- I emphasize "my" because my experience certainly isn't everyone's experience. I try to be positive, and I avoid mean-ness of all sorts because there's just too much of it in public and private life. Nature influences many aspects of my life, so there's a lot in here about the weather, animals, the garden, nematodes, rain, etc. and not so much about pop culture and electronics.
And if your readers don't like my stuff, please feel free to pull the plug with no hard feelings.


Just saw an ad in the local paper for "Foxfire," a new BYOB dinner menu by chef Ray Maxwell at The Stone Barn. A friend went last night and raved about it. Ray used to be executive chef at the Ball and Thistle pub at Wyncote Golf Club.

Country Life

We are so lucky and blessed to live near a one-lane gravel road. Yeah, sure, in the summer it's dusty and you have to wash the car more often, and in the winter it's toward the bottom of the list for the plow guys.
But y'know what? Driving on a gravel road makes you slow down and take your time instead of ripping along and developing "highway hypnosis." If there are oncoming drivers or riders, you pull halfway off the road so you can both pass. It's usually a neighbor, and you smile and wave or maybe stop and chat for a few seconds. And if it's a stranger, you smile and wave, too, because that's just the way you behave out here. (Yes, usually you get a funny look.) I like to think it's a tiny taste of the way life used to be before we all became so insular and plugged into earphones.
And, let's face it, it's a heck of a lot of fun dodging ruts and potholes.

Fall is coming

Two fun upcoming events that are part of our area's rich traditions:
"Denim and Diamonds" is the preview party for the Unionville Community Fair (if you want to sound like an old-timer, call it "The Farm Show"). Thursday, Sept. 30. The "new" location (third year, I believe?) is at Willowdale.
And the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup Races will be Sunday, Nov. 7, at Route 926/Newark Road. Great racing, a beautiful course, much socializing, Dubarry boots all over the place. Proceeds go to the Chester County Food Bank.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Politician in the House

We spotted Congressman Joe Pitts having breakfast at Perkins in Avondale on Thursday! I was too busy digging into my delicious "Magnificent Seven" special to report on what he ate or discussed with his companion.


Hi Fran the Kennett Paper editor...
Thanks for reading my blog. Let me think about your extremely kind offer!
And I saw your stories this week about Blockbuster & Capriotti's.


I am not one for censorship, BUT I think the "Chester County Press" WAY WAY WAY crossed every possible boundary of taste, propriety, compassion and good sense this week in describing in gruesome detail the sex acts Mr. Ware is accused of performing on young boys. I mean, this is the newspaper that not long ago ran a p. 1 apology for the ad about "Porn Star Night" that they'd published the previous week.
To make matters worse, they practically named the victims.

Monday, August 23, 2010

This First Day

This Sunday, August 29, from 1:00pm - 2:30pm, our friend Bruce Mowday will be speaking at Old Kennett Meeting House about QUAKERS AND THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. This is part of the meeting's Tricentennial lecture series. The Friends suggest, "Join us for Worship at 11am, followed by a snacks at Noon." Old Kennett Meeting is on Route 1 east of Hamorton, just across from the entrance to the Hamorton Woods development.

Route 52

PennDOT seems to be moving right along on constructing the "new" leg of Route 52 between Route 1 and Route 926. They're cutting a path through the woods on Longwood's land just west of Hamorton.
I'm a little surprised that this project is finally happening: I've heard talk of relocating that stretch of road for absolutely years. But what's going to happen to the Indian Hannah marker?
Oh, and another PennDOT note: when they repaved Route 926 last week they smoothed out the CD-jolting bump on the little bridge just east of London Grove. YES!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

MORE bad behavior

We know the Wares are big supporters of Boy Scouts; I wonder if any of this happened at Horseshoe? Yuck.
Update: no, it was family members.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another casualty

Stopped in for a quick Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks en route to Longwood Gardens today and noticed that Quiznos, the sub place, has apparently gone out of business.
Remember when Molly's ice cream parlour was there?

Friday, August 13, 2010


We just saw former Kennett residents Dick and Janice Taylor having dinner in Jennersville; they live at the Jenners Pond retirement community now (as does former Kennett Square mayor Ed Fahey). Dick used to own a print shop on Union Street, north of State Street. Sometime in the 1990s the borough bought it and then tore it down to make way for the Genesis parking garage.

Speaking of Kennett Square mayors.. what a shame to hear that former mayor Leon Spencer was laid off from his job at a private school in Delaware. What a great guy he is.


I never thought it would happen...but PennDOT has fixed the intersection of Routes 926 and 41. No longer are there ridges that make your car bounce even if you're doing only 3 m.p.h. Whoo hoo! Thank you!

the fine print

"The Horse of the Delaware Valley" is looking for a classified ad manager. I always enjoy seeing people pull this tabloid out of their PO boxes at U-ville. First thing they look at is the social page -- ladies with fancy hats watching the Hunt Cup or the Cheshire races -- to see if they're pictured.

Newlin in the News

Best wishes for a happy retirement to Newlin's Nancy Leech Mohr, who announced her retirement as head of 2020, the conservation/planning group.
We spotted Lauren & Rob Pearson (she's a school psychologist; he's a general contractor and Newlin township supervisor) dining at one of Cool Kennett's hotspots the other night.

Monday, August 9, 2010


So we know "who," of course, but the tantalizing question remains: what dirt did Ms. O'Brien have, or think she had, on the would-be victim? We'll see what comes out in the newspaper stories.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fall's coming

Despite how hot the afternoons have been the past few weeks, the evenings definitely are dropping a first hint of autumn. There's a tiny creek just across the road from me, and when you're strolling by it a certain chill hits your legs. I think the bracing scent of mint adds to the effect. And I've noticed that the walnut tree is already shedding its leaves, and this afternoon I heard the first "boom" of the year as a walnut fell onto the roof. In a month or six weeks there will be a virtual fusillade to awaken me.

Down East

Recession or no, tout le Unionville seems to be in Northeast Harbor. Or, if all else fails, The Shore.

New house?

I'm noticing some dirt disturbed at the southeast corner of Newark and Upland Roads. Anybody know what's going on?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I was napping in the hammock this afternoon when I heard a copter buzzing around very low overhead.
Ah, yes! Early August. Prime marijuana-hunting season for the state police.
There's something just not kosher about tearing up a square plot in the middle of a farmer's carefully planted and tended corn fields and planting a substitute crop of your own.
Well, yeah, and it's illegal, too.

Fly Me. I'm Tony.

Guess he won't be needing the Lear jet...http://www.philly.com/inquirer/breaking/news_breaking/20100804_Ponzi_schemers_share_of_jet_is_transfered.html