Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

At the end of an old year, and the beginning of a new year, most people have traditions and superstitions that they follow. The idea is to make next year the BEST YEAR EVER, right?

This new year is a particularly scary one for the superstitious, because of the prophecy from the ancient Mayans, that some people have interpreted to say that the "end of the world" will be December 21, 2012.

From Wikipedia:
The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs according to which cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on December 21, 2012.[1][2][3][4] This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have been proposed as pertaining to this date, though none have been accepted by mainstream scholarship.
A New Age interpretation of this transition is that this date marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era.[5] Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world include the arrival of the next solar maximum, or Earth's collision with a black hole, passing asteroid or a planet called "Nibiru".
Scholars from various disciplines have dismissed the idea of such cataclysmic events occurring in 2012. Professional Mayanist scholars state that predictions of impending doom are not found in any of the extant classic Maya accounts, and that the idea that the Long Count calendar "ends" in 2012 misrepresents Maya history and culture.[3][6][7] Astronomers and other scientists have rejected the proposed events as pseudoscience, stating that they are contradicted by simple astronomical observations.[8]
There is a lot to read on the Wikipedia page, but the fact is this:  No, I'm really not expecting it to be the end of the world.  Are you?

ON THE OTHER HAND... you just never know when the end will come, do you?  Sure, it might not be the end of the world, but you never know - you could be struck by lightning tomorrow.  So, with the idea of improving the life you have and making every moment count, lots of people make resolutions and set goals for the new year.  Plenty of times these resolutions are forgotten by the middle of January, but it's always good to start the new year with high hopes.  So, what are your resolutions?

Then there are the superstitions.  A lot of superstitions deal with food:

Toasting the New Year with Champagne is traditional.  (But I don't really like champagne, so I'll be having tea, thank you.)  Eat twelve grapes at midnight—one grape for each stroke of the clock; each grape represents a different month, so if for instance the third grape is a bit sour, March might be a rocky month. The goal is to swallow all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight, and maybe a 13th grape just in case
....Cooked greens, (cabbage, collards, kale, and chard, etc.) are eaten at New Year's because their green leaves look like folded money, so I'm making soup with Kale
...For the last few years in my family, it's been traditional for me to cook black-eyed peas in a dish called hoppin' john. (That doesn't mean that my family all eats it, of course. But I cook it anyway.) I've also heard that it's traditional to eat lentils
....Pork is supposed to be lucky for the New Year... (I'm making my Hoppin' John with ham stock and bacon!)
... Fish scales symbolize money, so eat fish! Cod and shrimp are good choices!
... Cakes and other baked goods are commonly served from Christmas to New Year's around the world, and of course we'll have cake at my house :)
...Make sure your pantry is stocked going into the New Year. Try to have food on your plate, and on the table, at midnight. But, don't eat lobster or chicken, because they will lead to setbacks. You shouldn't eat any poultry because it will make good luck fly away. I also read that chickens scratch backwards, cows stand still, but pigs move forward, so that's why you want to eat pork. 
Read More at have a lot of good superstitions on their page.  Try them all, what difference does it make?  It can't hurt, right?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Watch this Craft Video!

A big gift this year has been smart phones and kindles and other touch screen products. Did you get something cool for Christmas? If so, you might want to watch this video, so you can learn how to make "touch-screen compatible" gloves. I have to admit that I bought two pair of these kinds of gloves for people, before I knew you could make them! So now, I just have to find some metallic thread, and then I guess I can turn all of the rest of my gloves into touch screen compatible gloves!

The Quote of the Day

Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness, its opposite, never brought a man 
to the goal of any of his best wishes.
-- Miguel de Cervantes

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Quote of the Day

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. -- John Adams 

Read more:

Ice Skating at Roosevelt Park

**Monday, Dec. 26, 2011 through Friday, Dec.30, 2011** (WINTER RECESS) --Saturday schedule 


WEDNESDAY through FRIDAY 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
SATURDAY 11:00 AM -1:30 PM (SESSION # 1)

2:00 PM-5:00 PM (SESSION # 2)

6:00 PM-9:00 PM (SESSION # 3)

4:00 PM-7:00 PM (SESSION # 2)

The following dates will operate as follows :

Saturday, Dec.31, 2011 (New Years Eve) Only One Session 11-5 PM

Monday, January 16, 2012 (Martin Luther King's Birthday) Sunday schedule
Monday, February 20, 2012 (President’s Day) Sunday schedule

KIDS 17 & UNDER -$5.00
SENIORS - $ 5.00


Sales tax is included in all our fees
LESSONS AVAILABLE - Lesson Form (Adobe PDF), Liability Waiver (Adobe PDF)

Skate rentals are called off the ice 10 minutes before the end of each public session.


Chick-fil-A in Menlo Mall

I just read this on Chick-Fil-A's Facebook account:

Chick-fil-A at Menlo Park Mall

Today is the day! Receipt Day at Chick-fil-A Menlo Park!

Keep your receipt from today only, December 27th.
Then, come back to the store any time in January and show us your receipt. When you do, you will get EVERYTHING on that receipt for FREE!!
See you today!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Quote of the Day

Do not seek to bring things to pass 
in accordance with your wishes, 
but wish for them as they are, 
and you will find them. 
-- Epictetus 

Read more:

I wish I had a river...

Happy Boxing Day! Or St. Stephen's Day! Or Kwanzaa!

Today is traditionally known as "Boxing Day" in English tradition.   It's also the Feast of St. Stephen, as in the Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslaus looked out, on the feast of Stephen... When the snow lay round a bout, deep and crisp and even..."

I read somewhere that Boxing Day used to be about opening the poor box to distribute the gifts to the poor.  Now, though, it seems that it's more about shopping, and about bringing back boxes to the stores to exchange for the gifts that you REALLY wanted.
According to Wikipedia,
Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States honoring universal African-American heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. It features activities such as lighting a candle holder with seven candles[1] and culminates in a feast and gift-giving. It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–1967.

I've never really celebrated Boxing day, or the Feast of St. Stephen, or Kwanzaa.  If you do, though, well then HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to All!

Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Have a nice school break!

All schools of the Woodbridge Township School District will follow the 
scheduled early dismissal plan 
today -  Friday, December 23, 2011. 

High schools will be dismissed at 12:10 PM. 
Middle schools will be dismissed at 12:45 PM. 
Grades 1 through 5 will be dismissed at 1:10 PM. 
AM kindergarten will be dismissed at 11:35 AM. 
AM preschool disabled will be dismissed at 11:35 AM. 
PM kindergarten and PM preschool disabled will begin at 10:30 AM, 
and will be dismissed at 1:10 PM. 

All schools will be closed from Monday, December 26, 
through and including Friday, December 30, 2011. 
Classes will resume on Monday, January 2, 2012.

A holiday based on TV

"Happy Festivus" is the traditional greeting of Festivus a holiday featured in "The Strike" episode of Seinfeld. The episode first aired on December 18, 1997. Since then many people have been inspired by this zany, offbeat Seinfeld holiday and they now celebrate Festivus as any other holiday.

The slogan of Festivus is "A Festivus for the rest of us!" The usual holiday tradition of a tree is manifested in an unadorned aluminum pole, which is in direct contrast to normal holiday materialism. Those attending Festivus may also participate in the "Airing of Grievances" which is an opportunity to tell others how they have disappointed you in the past year, followed by a Festivus dinner, and then completed by the "Feats of Strength" where the head of the household must be pinned. All of these traditions are based upon the events in the Seinfeld episode ... and for more information, you can check it out on

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Farewell to Autumn


It's a difficult economy, and I know that there are a lot of people who are unemployed or under-employed.  Certainly, some of the people falling on hard times right now have pets who need to be taken care of.

Sara Schweitzer sent this message to me on Facebook, and I definitely wanted to share it with you:

I found this post on this morning, thought maybe you could use it to put on your website blog. 

Thanks, Sara, for sharing the information, and thanks to Marge for her care and concern!

Are you ready for the changing of the season?

Most of the time, by now, I'm thinking that it's been winter for weeks already. But really, winter starts tomorrow. Everything up to now has only been autumn.

Here are the dates and times for the next few seasons...
 WINTER SOLSTICE December 22, 12:30 A.M. ES
SPRING EQUINOX March 20, 1:14 A.M. EDT
According to The four seasons are determined by changing sunlight (not heat!)—which is determined by how our planet orbits the Sun and the tilt of its axis. The start of winter—the winter solstice—is the shortest day of the year, when the Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting longer.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Chanukah!

Happy Chanukah!  For 2011, the holiday is celebrated from December 20 to the 28th.

Here is some information about Chanukah from the Web Article "Chanukah in a Nutshell", which you can find on, HERE:
Chanukah -- the eight-day festival of light that begins on the eve of the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev -- celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, of spirituality over materiality.

More than twenty-one centuries ago, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who sought to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of G-d.

When they sought to light the Temple's menorah (the seven branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks; miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.

To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Chanukah. At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah (candelabrum) lighting: a single flame on the first night, two on the second evening, and so on till the eighth night of Chanukah, when all eight lights are kindled.

On Chanukah we also add the Hallel and Al HaNissim in our daily prayers to offer praise and thanksgiving to G-d for "delivering the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few... the wicked into the hands of the righteous."

Chanukah customs include eating foods fried in oil -- latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (doughnuts); playing with the dreidel (a spinning top on which are inscribed the Hebrew letters nun, gimmel, hei and shin, an acronym for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, "a great miracle happened there"); and the giving of Chanukah gelt, gifts of money, to children.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Who thought he was?  I missed that rumor.

Or... on the other hand... maybe there's a REALLY GOOD new digital camera that can take photos from heaven, and heaven really DOES look like NJ!

The Quote of the Day

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.  

~Roy L. Smith

Ready or Not, Here comes Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Quote of the Day

If you doubt yourself, then indeed you stand on shaky ground.  ~Henrik Ibsen

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Quote of the Day

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.  ~Louisa May Alcott

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Quote of the Day

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.  

~Anaïs Nin, Diary, 1969

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

JFK High School Holiday Concert Tonight!

The John F. Kennedy Memorial High School 
Holiday Concert is tonight - 
Tuesday, December 13th,  
starting at 6:30   

The cost is $3.00 for adults 
and $2.00 for students & senior citizens.  

Join us for an evening of the Arts!

The Quote of the Day

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. 

~Irish Proverb

Monday, December 12, 2011

Save the Trees!

This is one of the interesting tidbits of important information from an email I get from Jaffe Communications every day, called "The Morning Briefing."   Have you subscribed?  It's definitely worth reading.  For more information on Jaffe Communications, go to their website at

BACKWOODS - There's a heap of cash to be made in New Jersey's forests, say some state lawmakers, who want commercial lumberjacks to chop and sell trees from state-owned land. The $2.7 million plan would focus on logging about 800,000 acres of land, allowing sunlight to encourage new growth and reducing the chance of forest fire. Proceeds from the trees would fund the program. Critics say the state is missing the bigger picture - the fact that deer keep eating new plants that replenish the forests.

The Quote of the Day

The words "I am" are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to.  The thing you're claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you. 

~A.L. Kitselman

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Come to the Woodbridge Animal Shelter on Sunday!



ON SUN., DEC. 11

Visit the Woodbridge Animal Shelter… 
Pet Photos with Santa…
Discounted “Home for the Holidays” 
Pet Adoptions…
Pet Care Demonstrations & Clinics…  
Free Give-Aways…
WHEN:     SUN., DEC. 11, 2011 - 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
WHERE:       Woodbridge Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center, 
195 Woodbridge Avenue, Sewaren

 The Woodbridge Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center is hosting its 4th Anniversary Open House & Celebration with discounted “Home for the Holidays” Pet Adoptions… Pet photo’s with Santa… Pet care clinics… and special programs for pets and their families.  The Holiday Open House is from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Sun., Dec. 11.  Stop by the Woodbridge Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center in Sewaren and take home a new pet (dog or cat) just in time for the holidays…

Friday, December 9, 2011

There is a Total Lunar Eclipse tonight!
But will we see it?

I had a pretty crazy day today, how 'bout you? 

Whenever things seem crazy, I think of a friend who I worked with a few years ago, who always said, "Ahh, it must be a full moon tonight."  We laughed because it seemed like some months had a full moon three or four times... but no, really there is only ONE full moon in a month.  OK, sometimes there are two full moons in a month - but that's pretty unusual.

Anyway, with all the craziness, I just knew it was a full moon.  What I didn't know until the end of the day is that it will also be an eclipse tonight!

I found this photo at MSNBC, and it was credited to Akira Fujii / Sky & Telescope
Well, there's going to be an eclipse.  It's the last total lunar eclipse until April 15, 2014.  But unfortunately, we probably won't see much of it.   It's going to be mostly visible to those who are west of us.  Alaska is going to get to see the whole thing.  For us, the moon is going to set right as it is entering the "penumbra" - which I think is only the first part of the shadow.  It's not going to seem like much at all.

From the article on MSNBC, I think that something is supposed to just barely start at 3:33 AM, Pacific Time.  When it's 3:33 AM in California, it will be 6:33 AM here in Iselin.  Since 7:07AM EST is when the moon is supposed to set, that seems to make sense.  The total eclipse is supposed to be at 6:06 AM in California, which is 9:06 here, by which time the moon will have cleared out of our sky.

Plus?  It's going to be mostly cloudy, according the weather report I looked at.

So I don't think I'm getting up too early to watch it.

But - you CAN watch it on line.  That MSNBC article I mentioned?  It's HERE - and it's a very interesting article, for science geeks like me.  And at the end of the article, there are a few possibilities for watching the eclipse on a webcast.

The Quote of the Day

If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man should keep his friendships in constant repair. ~Samuel Johnson

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another video on bullying... a response to Jonah

Breakfast with Santa at JFK High School

Did you know that SANTA is coming to John F. Kennedy Memorial High School this Saturday, JUST to have BREAKFAST with YOU!?
Bring your wish list!
Saturday, December 10 9am-12pm
Tickets will be sold at the door.
$5- Adults 
$3- Children

Fun activities for kids!
Photos with Santa! - $3

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

From the Mayor's Office -
Press Release welcoming New Police Officers!

13 New Police Officers Appointed to Ranks 
of Woodbridge Police Department 
Eight Officers Complete Training… Take-Up Patrol Assignments 
Five New Recruits Undergo Police Academy Training 

Woodbridge – Mayor John E. McCormac today announced the appointment of 13 new police officers to the ranks of the Woodbridge Township Police Department (WPD) – eight officers have completed the state-mandated police training program at the Union and Somerset County Police Training Academies and will immediately take-up patrol assignments; five new police recruits will begin the six-month police academy training program for assignment in mid-2012.

The appointments were approved after each recruit successfully completed an extensive testing and eligibility process overseen by the New Jersey Department of Personnel, Department of Community Affairs, and the Woodbridge Police Department interview team.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of 13 new police officers and recruits to the ranks of the Woodbridge Township Police Department,” Mayor McCormac said. “I have consistently indicated that the public safety mission is our most important priority. As a result of our commitment to public safety, combined with the increased assignment of uniformed officers to street patrol, the Woodbridge Police Department continues to report a decline in overall crime in 2011. It is our goal to continue to maintain our police ranks at maximum staffing levels to effectively protect public safety.”

Joining Mayor McCormac to announce the appointment of the new police recruits were Police Director Robert Hubner and Deputy Police Director Joseph Nisky, Municipal Clerk John Mitch, ranking members and patrol officers of the WPD, and family and friends. The Woodbridge Township Municipal Council offered congratulations to the new police officers and recruits on their appointment and assignment to patrol responsibilities.

According to Mayor McCormac, each officer and/or recruit has an exemplary background, including eight military veterans having served active tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan . And each are forward-thinking individuals who have expressed dedication to the task of becoming a Woodbridge Township police officer and career law enforcement professional. The eight police officers beginning patrol assignments are: 

Photo courtesy of Woodbridge Town Hall - Office of Communications
(L-R) Marco G. Bruno, Thomas J. Ratajczak, Robert F. Montalvo Jr., Rafael Soares Marinho, John X. Janowski, Nicole H. Hubner, David M. Hughes, Bryan F. Dorward

Bryan Fredrick Dorward: Police Officer Dorward, 30, Iselin. 1999 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School and N.J. Institute of Technology. Officer Dorward joins the WPD after a successful career in the private sector working as a surveyor with William Held Associates since 1998.

John Xavier Janowski: Police Officer Janowski, 25, Sewaren. 2008 graduate of Ramapo College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Society and 2004 graduate of Woodbridge High School . Previously employed as a Corrections Officer with the Middlesex County Department of Corrections.

David Michael Hughes: Police Officer Hughes, 25, Woodbridge . Attended St. John’s University majoring in Criminal Justice studies and 2003 graduate of Woodbridge High School . Member of the WPD Auxiliary police force since 2007.

Rafael Soares Marinho: Police Officer Marinho, 25, Avenel. Veteran of the United States Army with service in Iraq as a member of the Indirect Fire Infantry. Officer Marinho received an Honorable discharge from active service in 2008 and continued to serve in the National Guard until September 2011. Previously served as a Corrections Officer for the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Nicole Helen Hubner: Police Office Hubner, 23, Colonia. Attended Richard Stockton College with studies in criminal justice; 2006 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School. Employed as 9-1-1 dispatch operator with the WPD Office of Emergency & Telecommunication Services since 2007.

Robert Francis Montalvo Jr.: Police Officer Montalvo, 26, Woodbridge . 2007 graduate of the College of New Jersey with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice; 2003 graduate of Cardinal McCarrick High School in South Amboy. Employed as a 9-1-1 dispatcher operator with the WPD Office of Emergency & Telecommunication Services since 2008.

Thomas James Ratajczak: Police Officer Ratajczak, 23, Fords and Hopelawn. 2010 graduate of Kean University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice; 2008 graduate of Middlesex County Community College with an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice; 2006 graduate of Woodbridge High School.

Marco G. Bruno: Police Officer Bruno , 25, Woodbridge. Former U.S. Marine with service in Iraq as a member of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Graduate of Thomas Edison State College with a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice; graduate of Middlesex County Community College with an Associate degree in Criminal Justice; 2005 graduate of Woodbridge High School. Previously employed with the Middlesex County Department of Corrections as a Juvenile Corrections Officer. Graduate of the Somerset County Police Academy.

Five WPD recruits – all military veterans - appointed to the Monmouth County police academy will undergo training in January, 2012: 
Brian Kevin Joseph, 30, Sewaren
Jeian Rastegarpanah, 29, Port Reading
Amanda Felicies, 26, Fords
Alejandro Ovidio Vasquez, 29, Keasbey
Gary Wayne Hubbard, Jr., 30, Woodbridge

“These new police officers and recruits have demonstrated a commitment to serve their community. Their training has, and will, prepare them for service as New Jersey ’s finest law enforcement officers. I welcome them to the ranks of the Woodbridge Township Police Department,” said Director Hubner.

Annual crime statistics compiled by the New Jersey State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit reported an overall 12.6 percent drop in crime for Woodbridge Township for the period Jan. – June 2011, making Woodbridge Township the safest large urban municipality in the state of New Jersey .

Stand Together against Bullying.

 Go to Stand - HERE - and stand together with me against being mean!
From the Stand Together website:
Sign up now and show your commitment. By registering, you become a part of a community of people who believe in respect for all. Who believe that our children have the right to live without fear, to express themselves freely, and be true to themselves at school or anywhere else. Join the ranks of these amazing people and help us reach our goal of a million people strong.
I pledge to...
  1. Refrain from bullying of any kind, for any reason.
  2. Treat others with respect.
  3. Intervene, if I safely can. Or tell someone who can.
  4. Encourage others to Stand Together against bullying.

Take the pledge.  Register.  Get your number.  Take your picture.  Then... live in peace and respect!!!

Pearl Harbor News Reel

This was found on ...

In Commemoration of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

From Wikipedia:

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan).

The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but two of the eight were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked.

The attack came as a shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8) the United States declared war on Japan. Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day.

.... President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy".

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Woodbridge Heritage Quilters

Are you someone who enjoys arts and crafts? Have you ever tried your hand at sewing? Are you looking for a new challenge?

If so, how 'bout making a quilt?

The Woodbridge Heritage Quilters is a small club of quilting enthusiasts from throughout our area.  They get together on the first Monday of the month at the Fords Library and showcase the quilts they are working on, discussing patterns and fabrics and plans. 

Everyone is working on at least one, and sometimes several, quilts.  Some of these quilts are for personal use.  Some are to be entered into quilt shows.  A lot of them are for gifts, and others are made and donated to local hospitals, for "Project Linus." But you don't actually have to have made a quilt in order to join the club; anyone who's interested is welcome.  In my own case, I've joined because I want to learn the techniques I need so I can start my first quilt.  I've got a lot to learn!

From Wikipedia:  "The process of quilting uses a needle and thread to join two or more layers of material to make a quilt. Typical quilting is done with three layers: the top fabric or quilt top, batting or insulating material and backing material. The quilter's hand or sewing machine passes the needle and thread through all layers and then brings the needle back up. The process is repeated across the entire piece where quilting is wanted. A rocking, straight or running stitch is commonly used and these stitches can be purely functional or decorative and elaborate. Quilting is done to create bed spreads, art quilt wall hangings, clothing, and a variety of textile products. Quilting can make a project thick, or with dense quilting, can raise one area so that another stands out."

The next meeting of the Woodbridge Heritage Quilters will be held at the Fords Library on the first Monday of February.  See ya there!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ummmm.... snow?

 Today was SO warm. It didn't even feel much like Autumn, never mind Winter.
And I haven't been hearing much about snow for this week... BUT....

There is this one web site that I first started checking around the time of the hurricane ... when was the hurricane again? ... you know when I mean. Anyway, I found this SEVERE NJ website, and it was VERY informative.

Then, that same website was the first place that I heard that started talking about snow back in October. And yup, it was right.

Well, now the Severe NJ Weather website is raising the idea that it might ... maybe... could... (gulp)...SNOW... on Thursday. No promises. But maybe....

Check the Severe NJ website, and follow the forecast, HERE.

Special Appearances at Joe Canal's on Route 1

Come on, you must have heard about this already, right?
Do you know who is coming to Joe Canal's?
I found this on their web site...
at Joe Canal's...

A Special Appearance by Lidia Bastianich
Wednesday, December 7th - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Also featuring Cristina Mariani, family proprietor, Banfi Wines

Lidia Bastianich is a TV Star, Chef, best-selling Cookbook Author, and Restaurateur, among other things.  You may have heard of her show - "Lidia's Italy"- or her cookbooks - Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy and Lidia's Italy.  She is the chef/owner of four New York City restaurants — Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto (recently awarded four stars by the New York Times). 

Well, Lidia also produces award-winning wines at Bastianich Vineyards in Friuli and La Mozza Vineyards in Maremma, Italy.  And so, she's coming to Joe Canal's on Wednesday.

But that's not really the BIG news.
The next day is going to be big.

(Well, not for me.  I don't really care about this guy.  But apparently, a lot of other people do.  So I just wanted to make sure you knew about it.)

 A Special Appearance by the Jersey Shore guy
"The Situation" -- at Joe Canal's
Thursday, December 8th -  5:00pm - 7:00 pm
 I got all this right off the Joe Canal's website... HERE
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, from the smash MTV series "Jersey Shore" is committed to his favorite passions in life. Devotion Vodka is one of them. Devotion has been on his "hot" list ever since he took his first sip. Now Mike is part of the Devotion team in helping get the word out.

The Situation will be appearing in person at Joe Canal's in Woodbridge on Thursday, December 8th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm! He'll be signing bottles of Devotion Vodka.  The bottles will be available for purchase for $19.99 through our BottleClub, which is free to join! (No personal memorabilia, please.)

Please note that no one under 21 will be allowed on premises unless accompanied by a parent.

Another video... on Bullying

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Video about Route 27

This was a really interesting video about the many people from various ethnic backgrounds settling from one end of Route 27 - in Newark - to the other end of Route 27 - in Princeton. I found it on (The Star Ledger) HERE.

Deck the Halls

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!  It's been a beautiful weekend, in fact.  So Christmas Lights will be sprouting up all over.  I put mine up last night... well, to be honest, my husband put them up.  Do you like them?

If YOU have done a really great job decorating and you want to share a photo, send it to my email address at, and I'll post it here on the blog!

The Quote of the Day

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.  
In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.  

~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Night Music Video

Every Tear Drop is a Waterfall by Coldplay -- so beautiful!

The Quote of the Day

No matter how carefully you stored the lights last year, 
they will be snarled again this Christmas.  

~Robert Kirby

Friday, December 2, 2011

Troop 523 Spaghetti Dinner on Saturday

Boy Scout Troop 523 presents their annual
Spaghetti Dinner,
Saturday, December 3, 2011... 3:00pm until 7:30pm...
at St John Vianney Roman Catholic Church 420 Inman Ave Colonia, NJ 07067-1150

Tickets are $8 for Adults and $5 for Seniors and Children under 10.
Boy, Girl & Cub Scouts in uniform admitted for free.
Dinner includes Spaghetti with Plain or Meat Sauce, Salad, Bread & Butter, Dessert and Beverage.
There will also be gift baskets for auction and a 50/50!

The Quote of the Day

To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring.  

~W.J. Vogel

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Quote of the Day

Christmas begins about the first of December with an office party and ends when you finally realize what you spent, around April fifteenth of the next year. 

~P.J. O'Rourke, Modern Manners

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LAST CALL! Sign up or donate for

How many people have been a part of JFK High School through the years? (Raise your hand.)

And of all of you people, how many of you know someone - friend or family - who have suffered from Arthritis? (Probably everyone!)   (OK, you can put your hands down now.)

Well, you are a part of JFK, and you should be a part of JFK's team to help raise money to combat Arthritis. Mr. Kaul, a teacher at JFK, has formed a team for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis.

It's going to be in Metuchen on December 4th. There is a registration fee to sign up, and then you can raise money... or you can just donate to JFK's team. The 5K Jingle Bell Run/Walk®is a fun, festive event for the whole family!   Put on your reindeer antlers and your running shoes and come join us for some holiday cheer.  All the details are on the website.

Several teachers and students have already signed up. Wouldn't it be spectacular if we proved - again - that JFK is NUMBER 1... by having the biggest team, and raising the most money?

I know we can do it... so click on this link:  
5K Jingle Bell Run/Walk team for Arthritis, JFK High School 

I hope to see you there!!! Sign up today. Or at least, make a donation!

The Quote of the Day

I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included. 

~Bernard Manning

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Quote of the Day

Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall.  We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space. 

~Dave Barry

Monday, November 28, 2011

Don't get left out
Of Cyber Monday Shopping!

My friend Janine sells PartyLite Candle stuff, and you can find some really good sales - plus 30% off for "Cyber Monday" - if you go HERE!

Plus - in line with my "buy American" fixation this year - the candles (maybe not the candle holders, but definitely the candles!) are MADE IN AMERICA... plus, your purchase will benefit a small business owner... Janine!

This is what Janine wrote on her Facebook:

How can I help you save a bundle?
Retiring scents & products get 'em now!!
Have a candlelit Christmas for LESS!
Effortless Holiday Shopping!
GREAT Gifts! & even More Great Gifts!
Mystery Host Opportunity!
Simple Pleasures Holiday Sweepstakes!
Free Tealights with $25 order
3 Doz Tealights for $25/3 Dozen Votives for $35!
Extra $50 Host Credit now through 12/15!
Collect orders, and YOU can start your business/earn $$ Now!

What a beautiful day!

The weather was amazing today.  NYC hit a record of 70 degrees, and I don't thing we're far behind... we might even have been warmer!   I hear it's going to rain tomorrow.  I just hope it's a warm rain....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Quote of the Day

The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. 

-- Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small Business Saturday

Today is "Small Business Saturday." It's a day to support the many small businesses and "Mom and Pop Shops" that make up a big part of our economy, providing jobs for our community.
According to Small,
New Jersey Small Business Profile - In New Jersey, small businesses are vital to the financial well-being of the state’s economy. Their contribution is essential for economic growth since they make up almost all employer firms in the state. 

There are lots of small businesses around town. Woodbridge publishes a "Shop Local" list. Here are a few...
Westfield Antiques - 717 Rahway Avenue, Woodbridge 
Auto Parts and Sporting Goods of Woodbridge - 108 Main Street, Woodbridge 
Classic Audio - 1239 St. George Avenue, Colonia 
Vintage Vinyl - Route 1, Fords 
Thriftway Card$mart - 853 St. George Avenue, Woodbridge 
Extremz Bike Shop - 108 Main Street, Woodbridge 
Rookies and Stars Sports Cards - 1350 St. George Avenue, Avenel

But there are plenty more.  And don't forget, today on Main Street in Woodbridge, there's a holiday kickoff celebration!
So, today's Christmas Shopping Suggestion of the Day?  Shop Local and support our local economy!

The Quote of the Day

Oh, for the good old days 
when people would stop Christmas shopping
when they ran out of money.  

~Author Unknown

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Present Idea - MADE IN THE USA!

I'm still looking for ideas for my Christmas Shopping list for things that are MADE IN THE USA, and I found this idea.  If you know someone who is in the medical field, this might be a good idea for you, too.  Actually, scrubs uniforms are a good idea for just about anyone who wants to be comfortable.  I hear that people wear them as PJ's or just around the house to relax in.

If you go to Blue Sky - the web site is located at - you'll find a whole lot of really nice choices.  They look stylish AND comfy!  Plus, like I said, they are MADE IN THE USA, which is really important to me this year, because I want to help an American in a manufacturing plant somewhere keep his or her job!

Oh, and there is some sweepstakes contest going on until the 30th... you might want to enter, too...

So, that's my Christmas Present Idea of the Day... scrubs uniforms for sale for a nurse, doctor, or medical professional that you love.

Small Business Saturday

Come Christmas Shopping in Woodbridge on Saturday with the Annual
“ Holiday Stroll” & Horse-Drawn “Sleigh” Ride on 
Main Street in Woodbridge
Price of admission to all Township Holiday events is a can…or two…or three of non-perishable foods to help our neighbors make it through the holiday season

Woodbridge – Mayor John E. McCormac and the Woodbridge Downtown Merchants Association kick-off the 2011 Holiday Season with the Annual “Holiday Stroll” and horse-drawn “sleigh” ride down Main Street on Sat., Nov. 26 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  It's a lot of fun... plus, it's "small business Saturday" - so come on down and support your local small businesses!

Justin Beiber in Menlo Mall?

I don't really follow Justin Beiber much. So I don't really know where he is playing right now... if he's in concert or making public appearances. But someone commented on the blog that I should write about Justin Beiber at Menlo Park Mall.

So I did a little research online, and I didn't find anything definite.

I did find a note from Menlo Park Mall on their Facebook page. Someone random had posted that everyone was all excited because they heard rumors that Justin Beiber was going to be there. The official Menlo Park Mall response was this:
Menlo Park Mall: People let eveyone know... If the mall is/was planning ANY appearances they would be posted by the mall on the website / here / and twitter. If you DO NOT read it here from us - assume it's not true. Thanks
The only thing I found was this commercial, linked to Justin's twitter accout...which does NOT promise that he's going to any Macy's in particular...

There is also some indication that Justin Beiber granted some wishes for some Make A Wish children... Could that have happened at Macy's in Menlo? I don't know, but maybe.
Also, this morning, #PrayforJustinBeiber is a trending topic on twitter.

A sample tweet is this:
#prayforjustinbieber Justin had an asthma attack and now he's in the hospital. RT if you care.♥

So the rumor...and it's just a rumor... on twitter is that he had an asthma attack while doing an interview. And if this is true, I suppose his personal appearances may be on hold for the moment. If you know otherwise, let me know! I'd love to post a picture of Beiber at Menlo!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Quote of the Day

Only one shopping day left 'til tomorrow.  

~Author Unknown

A Tale of Two Turkeys

It was the best of times, it was the... Yeah, it really was the best of times. I have a lot to be grateful for this year... not the least of which is a JOB!!! Yay! So, I decided to go all out on my celebration, and have TWO - very different - turkeys!

Those of you who know me, know that I am NOT a vegetarian. I am, however, interested in conservation, biodiversity, sustainable farming and heirloom vegetables. Farming isn't happening much in Iselin, but I did order some heirloom seeds for my garden last year. I'm saving some seeds from each harvest and planting them again next year.

Did you realize that some seeds only grow plants without seeds, so you have to buy new seeds every year? And a lot of people plant the exact same variety year after year, in garden after garden; but there are many different varieties of any given plant. Eventually, the old, unusual varieties disappear; but by preserving many different varieties, I believe you make our food supply stronger and better able to defend itself from pests and disease.   Same thing with Turkeys.  We all always get the supermarket turkey, which is bred to be lots of white meat and very mild.  They are raised in factories and never go outside.  I wanted to try something different.  No, not beef. 

Yeah, this is stuff I think about sometimes. Doesn't everyone? No? So, this year, I decided I wanted to order a free-range, organic, "naturally raised" kind of turkey. And I like the idea of a "heritage" turkey, which means that it is a variety not normally found in the supermarkets. I really wanted to go right to the farm and pick one up, but I didn't see a listing for a turkey farm anywhere around here.

(And I don't want to go hunting for the infamous Iselin Turkey! He's a wild one, and I'm hoping he stays free and has lots of little turkeys that will spread throughout Iselin.)

I did find a listing for turkey farms that were farther away, and it just so happens that they DELIVER! The down side is that a turkey of the size that I usually would order for my Thanksgiving dinner and everyone who joins us was just TOOOOO expensive.

I was worried if I'd get it on time.  I'm lucky it's so little, because it was delivered yesterday evening, and yes, it was nicely packaged and frozen solid.  (I knew it was coming in frozen; I'd rather it was frozen than spoil on the UPS truck.)  But here is the box...

Butterball Turkey and Heritage Turkey Farm Turkey
I switched them around here - the Heritage is on the left, Butterball on the right

Anyway, I compromised. I ordered two smaller turkeys from the farm in Wisconsin, for the price of the one larger one. And I've decided to save one of them for the next holiday dinner;

AND I got my Shop Rite turkey, and I'm cooking that too.

I'm cooking both varieties together, in the exact same way. And I'll let you know if there is any difference between them, and if there is a difference, which one is better? I'll have a poll of my family, and I'll let you know the results of the poll.
Heritage (L) and Butterball (R) fixed with butter, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper, and stuffed with celery, onions, and other aromatics...

Here they are, all prepared to go into the oven.

Happy eating!