Monday, February 28, 2011

Free Pancakes at IHOP!

Guess what I just read on the IHOP web site?

"Tomorrow is the day to Flip for Free Pancakes!
Join IHOP on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., for National Pancake Day and receive one complimentary short stack!* In return for the free flapjacks, we ask you to consider leaving a little something behind for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and other designated local charities. Thanks to our guests' generosity, IHOP raised more than $2.1 million last year. IHOP began its National Pancake Day in 2006, and since then, has raised $5.35 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities and given away more than 10.1 million buttermilk pancakes."

For more information, you can read about it at the IHOP website HERE.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Iselin Fire

A lot of people were looking here for information on a bad fire that happened Saturday Night on East George Place in Iselin. I read that everyone escaped unharmed, but I don't have any more information on the fire; this is not really a "news" blog. Sorry I can't help. I hope the family is ok.

CLICK HERE to go to "" which is where I found a little information on the story.

PHOTOS HERE are from NJ.Com, taken by Tony Kurdzuk of The Star Ledger.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A New Video from Green Street Videos!

It's a pop culture montage with a quiz at the end... from the very creative mind of Brian Lanigan!

So... did you pass the quiz? I sure didn't! :)

Some people have had trouble viewing these videos - you may have to be on facebook to be able to see it, I'm not sure. Let me know if you have a problem...

Friday, February 25, 2011

The ICE Carnival


will be held this weekend at Iselin Middle School. The Carnival is a cooperative effort between the faculty and parent/teacher organizations of Iselin schools. All three elementary schools, the middle school, and the high school are working together to create an event that will be both a fun activity for the kids, and at the same time a fundraiser.

The ICE Carnival is really meant only for the families that are a part of each of these schools, and if your child is a student at one of these schools, you probably already have your tickets and know when you are supposed to be there. If you have a few last minute add-ons, though, I was told that tickets and wrist bands will be available at the door. The wrist bands will be needed for the rides - they'll have inflatable bounce houses, things like that, which kids LOVE and are GREAT exercise!
Other activities they'll be having at the indoor ICE carnival include musical performances by the different school musical bands and choruses, fun snack foods, face painting, tattos and spin art, a "Drench the Teacher" game, raffles and guessing games. The whole activity will be held throughout the Iselin Middle School building, so the elementary school students will have a chance to see what middle school looks like.

It's the third year the ICE carnival is being held at IMS. Money raised by this carnival goes towards things like scholarships, new lap tops, and other technology improvements that all the schools need.

So if you are the parent of a student at School 18, 24 or 26, or IMS, get over to the ICE carnival this weekend and have fun raising money to support your school!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


Wordless Wednesday means I should be posting a picture and not writing anything.
But if you know me, you know I have trouble keeping my mouth shut - yak yak yak.
So I still wanted to write something.
I like this picture because it perfectly illustrates the weather; cold, but clear, and warm sun, with just a trace of springtime thaw...
I don't like this picture because A) it should be more about Iselin as a whole, and less about my own back yard, and B) I write way too much about the weather.

Like I've said before, this blog is a blog - not the news. So, for the most part, some days you'll get a post about what's going on around town, and somedays you'll get a post about what's going on in my head.

That's it, I'll stop talking now. :)
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fire in Iselin

I just saw this video, along with the story about the fire at Aspen Manor in Iselin, on Woodbridge InJersey. Thank goodness no one was hurt, according to the story. But it looks like it was a terrible fire.

There have been several fires in Iselin recently. Iselin has a volunteer fire department. Isn't that amazing? A bunch of people are willing to drop everything and put their own lives at risk - volunteering, not as part of their job - to keep our community safe. Day after day. And don't forget about the training that they have to go through to be able to fulfill this responsibility.

So, on behalf of Iselin, I just want to say THANK YOU!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Nora's Deli
on Avenel Street!

I just had a GREAT lunch at Nora's on Avenel Street.  Have you ever eaten there?  I know a lot of Iselin people go there all the time.

I tried Nora's for the first time just recently.  All those years I was missing out; they've been around since 1997.
Now that I've tried it, it's my favorite place...  you can't beat the food!  Delicious, and really generous portions!   Plus, it's a really friendly place, small and neighborly.  Nora is a lovely hostess, and she makes the place feel like home.

My son Nick and I went to Nora's for lunch the other day.  He ordered the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, and that was what made me think of doing a blog post on Nora's. That salad was HUGE! It came out on two plates, there was so much.

So we went back today, since it was a school holiday. Nick, being a teenager, was working on breakfast - a ham and cheese omelet - while I was already on to lunch. I got the famous 10 oz burger, and it was everything you could ask for in a burger, just perfect, juicy and delicious.  I didn't finish it all, I just couldn't.  I ate so much, I probably won't even be hungry for dinner tonight. :)

I told Nora that I was going to put the restaurant on my blog, and she said it was fine with her.  She also said I could mention that she's looking for one more good waitress.  I know a lot of people are looking for work, so if you've got waitressing skills, stop in and see if you're the right person for the job.

Nora's Deli (it's certainly more than just a deli) is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and Sunday from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  Oh yeah - and they even deliver.  Stop in for a nice meal out this weekend, and tell them I said hi!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tonight is a BEAUTIFUL full moon!

According to, this moon, the February full moon, is named....
"Full Snow Moon – Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult."

Country Comfort from McBump's Basement

A great song...
...hometown, Iselin, NJ

Monday, February 14, 2011

February Thaw


What a beautiful day!
And as the snow melts back,
you see proof that spring

Posted by Picasa

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today is the day to celebrate love with your true love.

Or, depending on your point of view, it might the day to scoff at a holiday promoted by the Hallmark Card Company.

Either way, hope that you have a lovely day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Grammy Awards are on tomorrow...

This is one of the nominees for "Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals."

I don't really think it's going to win, because it's going up against California Gurls, Airplane, Elton John, and Lady Gaga. But it's a nice song so I thought I'd put it up.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


This is a great video. My friend shared it on Facebook. It's just words, but they are some great thoughts, and I like the song, too. So even though it's not about Iselin, I thought I'd share it here. It's so many important lessons to learn for everyone, everywhere.

I want to write a little bit more, a little bit personal. I was a substitute teacher today in an Iselin school. I was given a brief opportunity to see one of the regular Language Arts teachers in action.

I was so impressed. Talk about a wonderful teacher. She was calm, caring, focused, and organized. The students were attentive and eager. Don't get me wrong - these weren't the top achievers, just normal kids - but they were obviously learning a great deal in her class. And you could tell from the way they interacted that this was not an unusual day; you could see from the positive, disciplined demeanor of the students and the teacher that this was what was expected and this was what happened every day. It made me so much more optimistic about the future of our country in general. There are some really great teachers doing a fantastic job in our schools.

I had some time to think after school was over, and I thought that it would be a great thing for parents to be able to see what I had seen. Of course, it's next to impossible. Just by observing, the parents would be having an effect on the classroom and changing the outcome. Some kids would show off, and other kids would want to fade into the woodwork. It wouldn't be just a regular day anymore.

So I just wanted to let you know - especially if you are the parent of a child in Iselin - that I've met a lot of teachers in our schools. And they are wonderful people, with extraordinary skills and patience. Sure, no one's perfect, but I truly admire and respect the job that they do.

They really deserve our support. Thank a teacher today! :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

The best Superbowl Ad?

It was a good game last night, right? I'm not really sure, because I was talking the whole time. Anyway, I think this was the best ad, of the ads I've seen. Anyone else have a different opinion?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Superbowl Sunday

Today is the unofficial National holiday, Superbowl Sunday.  And these are two pretty good teams.  I guess.  I don't really care at all about football.  I can't decide if I want to root for the Steelers, because my niece and one of my best friends from high school are both out in Pittsburgh, or for the Packers, because they've always seemed like such a great team with great fans, and I like the cheese-head hats.  Either way, I really don't care who wins.

But I'm still excited that it's Superbowl Sunday, because I always enjoy a reason to get together with friends, and eat really fattening party food.

And I really like the commercials.

And I can't wait for the new episode of GLEE, which will be on right after the game!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It's a nasty cold day in February, which to me means it's time to start thinking about the garden!

I think gardening is way more fun in February than in July.  Because in July, it's TOO HOT to go outside and garden, and you sit inside in the air conditioning and feel guilty for not pulling weeds or something.  But in February, you can't do anything but plan and day dream, maybe start some seeds if you have a good window sill or a grow light.

 This year, I'm refining the plan from last year's garden.  Things got WAY too out of control.  I had plants EVERYWHERE, stringbeans hanging down that I couldn't even get to.  This year, I'm going to try a different variety of tomato.  It's gonna be GREAT.

I'm going to order some more heirloom seeds from the Victory Seed Company    - Click HERE for the link -   so I can get started.  I really like using heirloom seeds - they are old fashioned seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation, and not genetically modified or anything like that.  You can plant the seeds, and when you harvest the plants, you can save seeds from your harvest, and you don't have to buy them again the following year.  I ordered a whole lot last year, and I liked them all, and saved a bunch of seeds for this year.  All I need is that new tomato.  Although every time I read a garden catalog, I get greedy, and buy too much.

I'm thinking about putting more plants in huge pots on my patio. 

The following is from the VICTORY SEED COMPANY's web site, and it's the reason I'm into heirloom seeds, in case you were wondering:

Our Mission
Why Support the Victory Seed Company?
The primary reason for our existence as an organization is to help protect open-pollinated and heirloom seed varieties during a time when the diversity of plant life on our planet is quickly shrinking.
Regions of the planet that provided much of the genetic material for our domesticated crop plants is rapidly being destroyed or irreversibly damaged.  Additionally, in the past few years there has been a growing trend of mergers and consolidations among the seed industry.  With responsibility to shareholders as a motive, less profitable and similar seed varieties are being dropped from the seed lines of the combined companies.  In many cases, these plants are forever lost to us all.
As we witness the elimination of old varieties from other company's offerings, the emphasis of commercial unstable hybrids, and the proliferation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we feel an urgency in our mission.
We have therefore dedicated our efforts to preserving and promoting the use of open-pollinated varieties -- old commercial releases as well as family heirlooms -- and working towards the protection of our genetically diverse horticultural heritage.  We truly believe in teaching these principals to all who have ears to learn.
(and NO, the Victory Seed Company isn't paying me anything for this publicity. I just felt like thinking about my gardening. That's it.) 

Anyway, C'mon, Spring! :)


Friday, February 4, 2011

The Sun is out!

It's a pretty day out there, with the sun shining, even if it's cold.

I took this picture yesterday in Merrill Park. I love the way the snow is all glazed glossy with a crust of ice now. But it scares me to walk around Iselin. Half of the sidewalks are still completely unshoveled; I was walking in the street on Green Street, when I went to the bank. And on the shoveled sidewalks, you can't be sure if there is a puddle or an ice patch. It's slippery in spots.

More snow is coming, or so they say... I'm going to have to see it to believe it... but more importantly... this is SUPER BOWL WEEKEND! Everyone is pretty excited, whether they are football fans or not.
What kind of snacks are you making???

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year celebration.

Happy Year of the Rabbit!
According to, the year of the Rabbit will be:
A placid year, very much welcomed and needed after the ferocious year of the Tiger. We should go off to some quiet spot to lick our wounds and get some rest after all the battles of the previous year.

Good taste and refinement will shine on everything and people will acknowledge that persuasion is better than force. A congenial time in which diplomacy, international relations and politics will be given a front seat again. We will act with discretion and make reasonable concessions without too much difficulty.

A time to watch out that we do not become too indulgent. The influence of the Rabbit tends to spoil those who like too much comfort and thus impair their effectiveness and sense of duty.

Law and order will be lax; rules and regulations will not be rigidly enforced. No one seems very inclined to bother with these unpleasant realities. They are busy enjoying themselves, entertaining others or simply taking it easy. The scene is quiet and calm, even deteriorating to the point of somnolence. We will all have a tendency to put off disagreeable tasks as long as possible

Money can be made without too much labor. Our life style will be languid and leisurely as we allow ourselves the luxuries we have always craved for. A temperate year with unhurried pace. For once, it may seem possible for us to be carefree and happy without too many annoyances.

This is the information I found on Wikipedia, which you can find HERE....
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity". On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No power by Chain O'Hills

A commentor wrote in from a work computer, to say that they had no power over by Chain O'hills Road in Iselin. The post was written at about 3:00.
Anyone else? I hope it gets cleared up quickly.


It's very icy in Iselin right now. I'm not sure how long it's going to last; hopefully the warmer temperature will melt everything away today. If I were you, though, I wouldn't go ANYWHERE.

I hear from Woodbridge InJersey that there are a lot of power outages in Woodbridge Township. I don't know where... all I know is I've got power here at my house, and I'm not going anywhere else to check it out. If you don't have power, write in and I'll post it...

And I hear that Punxsutawney Phil - oh yeah, and Zombie Sammi - have decided that winter will be over soon! I'm so relieved! Happy Groundhog Day!