Thursday, November 29, 2012


I received an e-mail from the Mercury yesterday with an update on the YWCA's Literacy campaign.  We have had 721 people who connected to the link.  That is $721.00 for the YWCA's literacy program.   At first,  I thought that was pretty good....and then I began to ponder how many people... with  computers, smart phones, Ipads and tablets...  are in the greater Pottstown area.  I think it may be a quite a few more than 721.. and now that 721 doesn't look that impressive..especially since the program lost thousands of dollars in State Funding Cuts... The good news is that we still have time to improve...the challenge ends December 10th...

I learned a long time ago that it is good to think BIG and Out of the Box...and now its time to be BIG and BOLD with this challenge.  The Mercury has  an anonymous donor with an unspecified amount of money to give to this Literacy  program..they are giving us $1.00 for every person who clicks the link and fills out their information and email address... and all we have to do is step up, spread the word and encourage our friends and associates  to click the link and give their information.

I was at first leery and skeptical. I am of the generation who doesn't quite get the 'Facebook' thing.. but was are assured by the Mercury and the YWCA that my email  will NOT be used for solicitations of any kind...

That being said,  I believe we should raise the bar and step up to the challenge of raising $5000.00 to $10,000.00. or even more..  Its free and easy...and we should not leave any of this money on the table.  As a society, we are only as strong as the weakest among us. Our neighbors and friends who can't read and want too... are certainly some of the weakest members of our community and we have this chance to help them into the Light of Literacy...    click this link and fill in the doesn't matter to me who's blog you select...just select one and enter your information..  BEFORE DECEMBER 10TH...

If you are a professional I hope you will use all your connections on Linked in solicit signatures.
If you are an employer or coworker reading this..I hope you will encourage all your employees and coworkers  to sign on..
If you have a "Facebook" or other following....include this blog and/or link and ask you followers to join in.
If you are part of a church group or other organization.. forward this blog or cut and paste this link and tell them the story...
If you are on a sports league or an Optimist or Rotarian or any other group...pass the the information on to your other members...

I know that with a little effort.. on the part of a lot of people... we can show the world what we can do with our generous spirits...and a click of the mouse...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Being a a very under employed Interior Designer, during the longest economic slow down in years...I have time on my hands.. between networking and looking for alternative employment...I was cruzzin' the web the other day and found a site that led me to a shop I had not heard of ....with a very funny name..

FROGTOWN..Their website  was interesting and I could not resist a little trip down Rte 100 to 23 find this place.. I found it on the left...just before the entrance to St. Peters Village on the right...The building looked like it may have been a convenience store in its past life, but there where large green flags to let me know I had found it. The ambiance was wonderful...lots of light..nice hardwood floors...fresh white walls..and lively but soft jazz music. The show room beckoned me in... One of the principles of the organization, Colin Macy, was knowledgeable and delightful...A brave man, I thought, to start a business a year ago during a recession!
 There is a wonderful collection of very sweet children's gifts that are sure melt hearts and become family heirlooms.

There is also a large selection of beautiful jewelry that would fill any woman's heart with joy on Christmas morning.
The paintings on display...all by local artists... where wonderful and showed the great diversity of talent in the Tri County area..the displays where interesting and whimsical, and related well to each other.

This solid cherry, hand crafted cradle..made by Colin's dad, a furniture maker,  is exquisite....What Grandmother wouldn't want her Grandchild sleeping in this beautiful piece of furniture...Colin's dad had many other pieces on display and all very reasonably priced... for the quality of the workmanship.  I am not normally a pottery person...more a crystal and china gal...but the tableware on display made me a convert.  Very different and colorful with wonderful style.. and a bit of whimsy that would blend well with the most formal of settings. Fine wood pieces and elegant but casual pottery.

They also had wonderful artistic cards an small items.. perfect for holiday hostess gifts..bring your wallet..

And while you are here....I would not have been able to discover this great place if  I could not read and enjoy the I hope you will take  moment to click this link.. and register you support for the Pottstown Mercury's Literacy drive...for each registered email reader...we have a donor who has pledge $1.00 to our fundraising drive for the YWCA's literacy campaign....go my heart here..  and sign on....

Thanks and look for my next blog about the ARTFUSION19464  OPEN HOUSE...DECEMBER 7TH.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


To all my readers...the fund raising effort I wrote about in a previous blog is on...and we need your help.  The Mercury has secured an anonymous doner willing to donate a dollar for each person who registers at the following don't have commit money...although we would love that too.....just tell us who you are and that you support the program...that's it...simple...

Then follow the  stories of brave people who have benefited from the program weekly in the Mercury...

I hope you will support me and the rest of our Town Square blogging community in this much needed fund drive...we are off to a terrific start and I hope you will keep it going...


Thanking you all in advance...

Friday, November 9, 2012


I am an art  lover and.. itty bitty collector.. who enjoys discovering new shops and galleries.  I am continually amazed at the wealth of artistic talent in this little corner of the state.  And sometimes I am a bit embarrassed when I finally discover something that was right in front of me.. and I didn't notice. Studio B is such a place... The old saying that "the teacher will appear when the student is ready"  is so true and applies to appreciation and inspiration as well.

The current show featured at the North Hall Gallery at Montgomery County Community College is a visiting collection of member's works from Boyertown's Studio B.  The show is Magnificent ....It is a mixed media exhibit that illuminates the wide range of talent in the Studio B's collective membership. 

Studio B serves as the home of the Arts and Activities Alliance, which is a committee of  "Building a Better Boyertown (BBB)".  Boyerown is a member of the Pennsylvania Downtown Center Main Street program. This program is funded by Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and supported by the Berks County Community Foundation  (from their brochure).

The show is quite large...I believe approximately 150 pieces are on display for your enjoyment and purchase. 
I was initially taken aback by this piece as I am a lover of books and to see one cut and shaped in this way made me pause. I then began to wonder how the artist saw this in their  head and and then created this little masterpiece. 
This piece is from the "Windows on Boyertown" display upstairs in the Gallery.  It depicts the horror of the Boyertown Opera House Fire and the hope for the future..haunting and hopeful at the same time..and so beautiful in its interpretation and skill.
 This beautiful silver sphere has colored art glass(?) interspersed though out. It is stunning and would be the focal point in any collectors home. My photo does not do it justice.

This is a small sampling of what you will discover at the current exhibit at the MCCC gallery. Studio B also has a Friday night lecture series during the month of November. You can find out more about this and other offerings at their web site

So get off your computer and get down to the Gallery to take in this wonderful exhibit... but it will only be here until December 14th....Gallery hours are 8:00 am til 9:30 pm Monday thu Thursday and Fridays from 8:00 am til 4:30 pm.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I recently attended a gathering at the Mercury with the wonderful people from the YWCA of Pottstown.  It was an informational and brainstorming meeting concerning the adult literacy program that is run by the YWCA.  I had not thought about this problem, adult who can't read but want to learn.  It was not part of my world ... until Hurricane Sandy. 

As I have stated before,  I grew up in central NH...  The White mountains, On Golden Pond, beautiful  autumn colors and fierce winter storms.  It's the storm part that teaches you appreciation for nature with all its amazing power and how to live with it.

During my preparation for any storm event,  in addition to stocking up on food, water, candles, batteries and wine, I always include reading materials...books and  magazines that I have not taken the time to explore are always a stacked on the coffee table. I learned  early in life that getting lost in a book is a good way to endure an extended power outage.. there are other things too...but that's for another blog.

During my preparation for Sandy,  I began to ponder that meeting again and wondered what my life would be like without knowing how to read.   I realized the immense freedom I have because I can read...the joy of being able to receive thank you notes, birthday cards, and even the monthly bills and understand the thoughts expressed in each envelop or email.  I suddenly felt a chill at the thought of not having that skill. I felt a tinge in my soul when I recognized the  value I place on owning books...they are all over my home..every room has reading material somewhere in the room.  I tried to imagine what my world be like without having the ability to explore and understand thoughts, ideas and concepts of great writers...My life would be so different and impoverished.

The Mercury is joining forces with the YWCA to aid their Literacy Program  It's funds have been cut drastically because of the economic conditions our state is experiencing.  On Sunday, November 11 the Mercury will be kicking of its awareness and fundraising campaign with a feature story about the program.   There will be links to social media as well as inspiring stories and ways that you can help raise money and awareness.

It is not just money that is needed.  The YWCA also needs volunteers who are willing to commit to be a teacher. They have a complete training program to guide you with all you will need to change someones life. All you  give is time and compassion.     It takes a lot of time to build a teaching/learning/trusting relationship with another human being... but I  can't think of anything that is more important during this life than sharing thoughts, ideas and understanding with another member of my community.

For my part, I will be writing more about this effort.. and I am even giving some thought to becoming a volunteer.  I hope you will join the effort...Mark your calender and follow this blog for links and more information....
Oh Yes...Sandy spared me and my neighbors.  I had a tree fall on my deck.. but no loss of power...Just cozy time indoors to contemplate and appreciate all that I have.
To help the YWCA  click on this link and register your support...and an anonymous donor will give us $1.00 for each register at the site....
Thanks for your help...Carolyn

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Today was the day I finally made time to see the new exhibit at the "Art Fusion 19464" (the Gallery on High) in Pottstown.
I was not prepared for the complex emotions that I felt walking into the space.  I knew the story of the exhibit...THREADS OF A STORY: CONTINUED...paintings of the Freedom Riders and their journey with the justice system of the time...but I was stunned by my personal reaction to the paintings.

 I was 6 to 11 years old at that time in our American history, growing up in a very white New England village. But we did have TV, even if it was just three I would watch anything that was on.  I remember the News footage, but had no point of reference. It was not part of my "white girl life".             My response to these painting was such a mix of emotions.  The art is stunning:  big, bold and rich with color and texture.  The gallery has done a magnificent job of displaying the works.  It was my reading of their individual stories that hit emotional nerves deep in my gut.

"Mug shots are normally portraits of shame, but in those belonging to the Bus Boycotters and Freedom Riders, Charlotta Janssen sees their heroism, determination and courage"  (from the exhibit program)

These were real people with amazing courage and grace.  You can see it in their faces..their eyes. The artist has overlaid quotes, text and other media representation from the time. I sensed that these paintings were the work of her soul... honoring these heroic people...  To fully understand the injustice that they acted against, in a peaceful manner, made me wonder if I could be as courageous under those circumstances.  To be arrested and jail for peaceful assembly...respectfully riding a bus..

"In the spring and summer of 1961,...four hundred and fifty people-old and young, black and white, Northern and Southern- came togetrher to travel from Washington, D.C.,  through the Deep South defying the Jim Crow laws and putting their beliefs, even their lives on the line in defense of racial justice...their harrowing, horrifying and ultimately heroic story- (is) a tale of sacrifice, high drama, and unexpected triumph....a disparate band of volunteers expanded the realm of the possible in American politics, redefining the limits of dissent and setting the stage for the Civil Rights movement:  all by taking a ride on a bus"
                                                                   -Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle For Racial  Justice
                                                                                                     Raymond Arsenault

 I was sharing my thoughts with the lovely gallery attendant as I examined the story of each person.. posted next to their portrait.  We both agreed that we have come a long way....but that we are not completely were we should be.  There is more that must.. and will change.

 I found this to be one of the most emotionally powerful exhibits of art I have ever observed....I am grateful to have had the opportunity to experience such a brilliant and enlightening collection. My wish would be for every American to spend time getting to know these faces and their story's....and to thank God they are who  they are.  Go... and get to know them..

  The exhibit is here in Pottstown until October 20th....a must see....
  The hours areTuesday-Friday 10-5  and Saturday from 10-3


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Exploring Beaufort's Run

I recently discovered a web site listed on another website... www.BeaufortsRun was listed as one of their favorites web sites... and being a curious person, I clicked on to open. I discovered there is a wonderful sanctuary in Upper Pottsgrove, created and set aside by it's owners to celebrate the beauty and tranquility of their property, and their dedication to their beloved departed dog, Beaufort.

I couldn't resist...I had to visit this place. So I called a friend to see if she had heard of it. She had not so I invited her to join  me in my discovery. On August 16th the weather was perfect and we both had time in the late afternoon. I wanted afternoon light to practice my photography.  We met at the property off Moyer Rd in Upper Pottsgrove...not far from my home. The directions on the web page were easy and accurate, although if I had not seen my friends car...I would have missed it...just a simple clearing for parking... and after we got closer to the path, a beautiful metal sculpture of a standard Poodle then welcomed us at the beginning of the path.

Beaufort was a very loved dog...
This is the sign at the properties entrance stating that it is a certified wildlife habitat..It was not the a huge acreage I envisioned in my head (think Longwood Gardens)...But beautiful and just enough for a leisurely 45 minute stroll.  It is absolutely delightful, with wonderful  and whimsical little surprises sprinkled throughout.  We walked to the end and then backtracked to where we began...and we were amazed at the surprises we discovered at the second passing. 

this is the view as we entered the property.

These little guys just make you chuckle.

A lovely shrine at a peaceful turn in the path.

And this "out house"...  well what can I say...check out the hilarious.!!!
 This "Airstream" Bird house is my personal clever....
and this little guy says it all....
So the next time you have an hour to treat yourself...take in the beautiful little bit of heaven that is    Beaufort's Run in Upper will make your heart sing and spirits soar...