Maybe it takes a really hard winter to appreciate spring

Cercis Canadensis AKA RedbudMaybe it takes a really hard winter to appreciate spring but I’ve been enjoying—intensely enjoying--every moment of the Spring of 2015. Yes I lost a few plants, but the ones which survived are doing really, really well. My early blooming deciduous rhododendron—Cornell’s Pink—has never looked so good.Cornell’s Pink rhododendronAnd the daffodils when they finally arrived have been spectacular.Ice Follies naturalizing all over my garden.I’ve been spending all the time I can spare in my garden ....more

Jim Kenney for Mayor: For once progressives are not divided

Usually a primary season is fraught with tension. The progressive community is divided about which candidates merit our support and I often find myself on different sides from my good friends, the people I work with in issue groups. Not this time.Given the broad support Jim Kenney has among progressives groups and organized labor, and given the cross racial, multi-ethnic coalition Jim Kenney has built, this feels more like a general election than a primary.What a contrast with past mayoral primaries! ...more

I have snowdrops and crocus, but where are the daffodils??

t I have snowdrops and crocus, but where are the daffodils??I have been keeping garden notes since 1996 and this is the first spring that I have not had daffodils blooming by April 1. The earth may be warming, but that’s sure not the case in my garden. (I am not a climate change denier, just an impatient gardener.)In 2013 which also had a cold miserable winter, at least by April 1 I had a few tete a tete daffodils (small bright yellow miniatures which are usually the first to bloom) ....more

Lake Garda, Two days in Paradise;The Northern Italy diaries, Part III

This was our 3rd trip to the Italian Lake District; our previous trips to lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano were in the summer. The crowds were overwhelming, the narrow, winding streets clogged with traffic. In late September, the tourist season was almost over and the roads far less crowded ....more

Verona’s Magical Old Town: The Northern Italy diaries, Part II

Piazza dei SignoriGothic spires of the Scaliger TombsWe now try to do no more than 2 hours driving per day, so we took several days to drive from Venice to Fiesole where we had rented an apartment. Our first stop was Verona. We were there in the 1980’s and it was one of my all time favorite travel experiences ....more

When we returned

When we returned from our trip to Italy in October, I had so much garden work and election work to do that I decided to postpone posting my notes and photos, figuring that I’d really enjoy reliving this trip in the cold, miserable days of winter. My husband and I both want to spend our last travel years in Europe; however, we're drawn to different parts of Europe. For Rick, it’s central and eastern Europe; for me it’s southern Europe ....more

After this miserable cold winter, I so enjoyed the Philadelphia Flower Show

After this miserable cold winter, I so enjoyed the Philadelphia Flower Show. I went to Friday afternoon’s Members’ Preview which was surprisingly uncrowded. (I have been to Members’ Previews that were more crowded than the regular Flower Show.)My husband who has accompanied me to the Flower Show for many years, this year refused to go ....more

I recently learned

I recently learned that in many (perhaps most) counties in Pennsylvania committeepeople vote on all endorsements in Democratic Primaries at regularly held county conventions open to the public. This is in sharp contrast to the Phila Democratic Party's down model where decisions are made by a small group, the Party Executive Committee, and ward leaders are expected to rubber stamp the decisions.The Counties that hold nominating conventions include:Montgomery County, held on Feb. 19, 2015.Delaware County, to be held on Feb 22, 2015.Bucks County, to be held on Feb ....more

Democracy is Alive and well—in the Montgomery County Democratic Party!

The Montgomery County Democratic Committee will hold its 2015 MCDC Nominating Convention on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 7:30 PM.Montgomery County committeepeople have a vote on endorsements--unlike the Philadelphia Democratic Party where the Party Chair and other members of the executive committtee decide endorsements and expect ward leaders and committeepeople to rubber stamp their decisions. Also the Montgomery County Nominating Convention is open to the public—unlike the Philadelphia Democratic Party where decisions are made behind closed doors.In the Philadelphia Democratic Party rules, both the old rules and the 2014 rules posted at Philadelphia Democratic Committee Facebook group provide for a County Convention: ARTICLE 4 County Convention The County Convention shall consist of the officers of the County Committee, and County Committeemen from the various wards in the City and County of Philadelphia. In my almost 3 decades as a Democratic committeeperson, I have no recollection of such a convention ever being held ....more

Jim Kenney for Mayor

The field for the Democratic nomination for mayor appears settled and for me the choice is clear—former councilman Jim Kenney. I’ve always liked Jim Kenney, an intelligent guy with good policy positions, who cares about ordinary Philadelphians, and who would probably be a very good mayor. He is the candidate mostly likely to build the broad based, cross-racial coalition necessary to win and to govern ....more