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Well, THAT escalated quickly quickly!

Lennon sure knew what he was talking about when he said "Life is what happens to you, while your busy making other plans."

I really thought things might just slow down a tick, in honor of the natural slowing of nature during winter. I couldn't have gotten it more wrong.. So much to do, so little time. I mean, where did January go?

So what happened during January (aside from not writing a blog last month)? Well, January was the time for reflection, and I decided since there's only one me, with limited time, I really needed to focus on the projects that I find most fulfilling.

That means discontinuing a lot of products I had previously made, and launching a large sale. It also means ending my wonderful association with the Damp Cellar Turnings. I've really enjoyed working with Joe and Patti over the years, but the plant path not only intrigues me, but has offered a number of wonderful opportunities.

Speaking of opportunities, I'm a big fan of the public library, having spent hours at the one in Wilmington as a child before being on the Library Council in high school, and a frequent studier between the stacks at the Paley Library on Temple's campus. So when I was asked if I'd like to be added to the Philadelphia Public Library's roster of approved vendors, my heart skipped a beat.

To be honest, I wasn't sure if it would happen, but I filled out all of the paperwork and provided them my W9 (see kids, this is why even when you're just starting out in biz, you get all your licensure & paperwork on lock), and low and behold, I was accepted.

I didn't even know I was accepted, until I was contacted by three separate library branches about schedualimg tours.

I'm thrilled, but I'm also aware that while I managed to get quite alot done in January, I've about 5 weeks until my first tour of the season Mt. Airy Learning Tree on March 11th, and then touring begins in earnest, starting with the first of a six date series of tours as part my collab with Painted Bride.

I will be posting those dates and locations soon.

January also meant continuing the battle to save Philly parks. Although we have raised awareness of the "master plans" that continue to be rolled out across the Park system, we've had a couple of set backs.


The first was a meeting for FDR held at the Yesha Ballroom on Snyder Avenue, where the hope was the Master Plan was being reopened for comments.

Rather cynically, I never believed that, but I thought I'd go and listen to the rhetoric, just to say I heard it from the horse's mouth.

What I expected to be a tense meeting, really boiled over. We knew people would not be allowed to speak, nor would there be a Q& A session. To circumvent this, many people had created signs to voice their opinion.

That was the first thing to go. They claimed they were a distraction, and no one with a sign was allowed in the meeting.

We had been told we would be able to pose questions via post it notes, on the large renderings of the layout of park segments. Once inside, we found that had changed too, You were allowed however to complete feedback forms that had been created with prompts such as "What about the Master Plan excites you most?".

Then they began restricting admittance to folks that looked non threatening or gave a the right answer when quizzed about why they were attending the meeting and who they represented.

Middle aged and non threatening (tee hee), I was allowed entry.

We were told that we couldn't film, citing an invasion of the privacy of children. (there were none in our immediate vicinity when we were told this). We were further admonished that if you were sighted filming, they would remove you immediately.

Then the doors were closed, and as the din from outside began to filter into the hall, I received a call from my mate outside of the venue, letting me know that they weren't allowing anyone else in, although some representing local football teams, who are pro Master Plan, seemed to wander in.

What happened next, I'm not entirely clear on. I had to pee. But when I emerged from the bathroom, it seemed the South East Asian Market had been successful in securing a permanent home in the park near the skateboard park, (Yay!!!). Then at least one protestor began using expletives when reps from Parks and Rec and Fairmount Conservancy opted to cut the mic, after their short presentation, and answer nothing.

I'm not a big fan of profanity in a public arena, and even though the hall isn't a church, it does belong to the church, so I understand how people were offended, and protestors barracking at the front doors didn't help our position. But it didn't have to happen. If people were allowed in with the signs, I don't think the anger level would have escalated so sharply and quickly.

Let's be honest, there were people on both sides who, as my Aunt Mary would say, "acted ugly", and those individual should take responsibility , or as we say in the vernacular "own your sh*t". As it stands PPR, FPC the organizers are happy to attribute the acts of a few individuals to Save the meadows coalition, but happy to distance themselves from the overzealous behavior of the bouncers who harassed and ejected people from a public meeting.

Cobb's Creek

The update on the Cobb's Creek situation, is a shorter tale. After getting the bill 220918AA held for a 45 day review, councilmanic prerogative prevailed and Curtis Jones managed to convince all 16 of the voting city councilmen to side with him, on the overlay that would allow developers to make changes without the public hearings thr Zoning board would require.

So for those that think this is a great idea, believing the overhyped historical black connection to the golf course, the promises of mentoring and 120 jobs that are to be created, let's circle back in a few months.

Now that developers have the greenlight, they will begin removing decks & gardens from homes because the city claims ownership of those couple of square feet, you've been using, and they've come to collect. And let's see how will it feel when you find 150 fencing installed, without any setback, right up to your property line.

For those of you who are still fighting, take this minute to girder your loins and rest.

There are more battles to be fought, and we'll need your strength,

As for me, I'm still using the time I have to my advantage and ticking things off as they go from "to do" to "done". But as they say, a change is as good as a rest, so my change is a weekend indulging in a little guilty pleasure,.

I'm headed to NYC to see Yoshiki, the drummer who made X Japan the most famous rock band you never heard of. You can't help but be inspired by a man who has had multiple surgeries on his neck after years of whiplash like injuries, from throwing his body into playing the drums, before composing classical music, including a composition for the emperor of Japan, creating a wine with Robert Mondavi, designing for Bacarat crystal, composing themes for film, television, and anime and now at 57, decides to join former band mate and two other Japanese rock legends to create a new band, and go on tour, just because.

That sounds like the inspiration I need about now, to fuel the psyche and fire up the soul.


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