Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Give Blood and Save a Life!

John F. Kennedy Memorial High School's National Honor Society will be holding a Blood Drive in the back gym on Wednesday, June 1, starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. Please participate and save a life!
Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.  ~Henry James, from quotegarden.com

Ukelele Songs

This has nothing in particular to do with Iselin. I just like it.

Eddie Vedder has a new album out, made up completely of songs on a ukelele! It's very mellow - a great album for a summertime day dream.
If you want to hear the whole album, you can go here:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Today

The T. Nulty Post 471 American Legion in Iselin will observe Memorial Day today by putting flags on the graves of veterans in local cemeteries, to be followed by a solemn service at the post home, located at 25 Brown Avenue in Iselin. All are welcome to attend the service in honor and memory of the Veterans who have served our country.

Originally called "Decoration Day," Memorial Day was founded in 1866 when Waterloo, NY, set aside this day to lay flowers on the graves of soldiers. It became popularly observed throughout the country in the years following the Civil War; approximately 620,000 lives were lost during that war, which is the deadliest war in American history.

The American Legion invites everyone to spend some time honoring the many, many soldiers who have sacrificed their own lives to preserve America's freedom.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Green Street Iselin Video:
Growing Up in Iselin
in the Old Days!

Thanks, Brian, for letting me post these videos on the Iselin Times... I love them!

Make Plans to Commemorate Memorial Day

The T. Nulty Post 471 of the American Legion, on Brown Avenue in Iselin, will be holding their annual Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday. The event will begin at 9 AM at St. Gertrude's Cemetery, with a Color Guard and a Wreath Laying ceremony. Then, at 11:00 AM, there will be a flag raising and an indoor service at the Post home. Everyone is invited to pay their respects.

Friday, May 27, 2011

In Honor of Memorial Day Weekend

It's going to be a lovely, hot, summer weekend, and everyone is thrilled to have a few days off. Never forget, though, the reason we celebrate this holiday. It's all about the men and women who are willing to lay down their lives in service to our country.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Time for me to bore you
with the weather and my garden!

Sometimes, I just love my garden.  Today was one of those days.  It was a beautiful afternoon, and all of the recent rain made it seem even nicer out today in the sun - it was humid, and warm, and just a marvelous day all around. 

I didn't even THINK of taking photos of the garden until it was late, so you don't get the full effect of the sun beating down. It was starting to get dark when I started snapping photos.

The other thing you don't see in these photos are the mosquitos - I attract them in droves.  (What is the plural grouping of mosquitos?  Like a gaggle of geese, a pod of whales, a murder of crows... what is a lot of mosquitoes called?)

So anyway, here are some of the flowers I've taken pictures of near my house.  They're May Flowers.  Because April Showers bring May Flowers.  And I guess May showers bring berries and tomatoes and other yummy garden things.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Banding Together Foundation Clothing Drive Until June 4

The Banding Together Foundation is hosting a clothing drive with a company Cash for Clothes.  They will give the Banding Together foundation 15 cents for every pound of unwanted clothing and shoes.

So don't you think now is a good time to go through your closet and get rid of the stuff you haven't been wearing?

Please bag these items and bring them to one of our drop off locations: Transitions Salon St George Ave. Avenel, and Iselin Volunteer Firehouse District 9, Green Street, Iselin.

If you have any questions or have difficulty bringing the bags of clothes, you can even contact Kimberly Burkhardt (732) 331-7958 or Joelle Slossberg (732) 841-1381.

Items can be dropped off from now until June 04, 2011, at 4:30 PM.

The Banding Together Foundation is a local charity established to help families within our community.  Their goal is to help families that have been hit with unexpected illness or catastrophic events.

The foundation was started when a resident from Iselin was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.  They were overwhelmed with love, support and donations. Their goal has since expanded; they want to continue the mission and expand the charity to help as many people as possible. The founders add, "We appreciate all of the support everyone has given our foundation helping people in our community."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

First Annual Emergency Services Cup
A Great Success!

Last night at the Community Center, the first annual Emergency Service Cup was held.  It was a hockey game, Woodbridge Township's Finest (the Police) against Woodbridge Township's Bravest (Fire and EMS).

The game was held to benefit the Relay for Life.  You can see the Relay for Life team page created for this event if you go HERE.

The game, which was sold out, opened up with great fanfare and ceremony,including a performance by the Middlesex County Police and Fire Pipes and Drums.  The National Anthem was performed by Kelly Peterson, Woodbridge Idol 2011.  Speeches and announcements honored Veterans and members of the Armed Forces because it was Armed Forces day, and Cancer Survivors, as the event benefitted the Relay for Life.

Then the game was on - and it was quite an exciting game, ending in a victory for the Bravest, who scored 9 - 5 over the Finest.

Door prizes and a Score-O competition also added to the evening's excitement!

In the end, the real winner was the American Cancer Society, who will receive 100% of the evening's proceeds.  So far, that figure is in excess of $2,700.00.

If you were there, I hope you had a great time!  Here are a few more photos of the game itself...

Many people had to come together to make the evening such a success, and it's almost impossible to thank everyone.  Among the many who should be thanked, though, are:
All the players on both teams; the 2nd Battalion 25th Marines; Debbie Meehan; Kelly Peterson; Middlesex County Police & Fire Pipes and Drums; Mike Richter; Monkey Sports; New Jersey Devils; P.J. Screening & Embroidery; Venture Crew 125; Walton Press; Woodbridge Community Center; Valor Ambulance Service; The Shannon Rose; Iselin Volunteer Fire Co. #1, District 9; PBA Local 38; Woodbridge Towship Fire Officers Association; Fords Fire Company No. 1; Woodbridge Township Ambulance and Rescue Squad; Visual E-Fex; www.hurryupnikolairuck.org; Lights, Sirens & Safety Supplies; Leisure Sporting Goods; International Association of Fire Fighters Local 290 Woodbridge; The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Woodbridge; and the Woodbridge PD USMC.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sagar Vira's Eagle Project

Sagar Vira of Iselin is working on an Eagle Project that I really appreciate.

Sagar, a member of Boy Scout Troop 523 of Colonia and a student at John F. Kennedy High School, is putting up a few bat houses in the wilds of Woodbridge Township. One of them is right here in Iselin!

He's got a lot of help from the members of his troop, as you can see from these photos.  When I stopped by to visit, there must have been 30 Scouts, working together on a much harder and dirtier project than you might think.  But you know what they say - many hands make light work.

Maybe you're wondering WHY I appreciate bat houses so much?  Well, I really LIKE bats.  I know, that's weird. No, I don't want one as a pet.  I like bats where they belong, like in the woods and fields.  I certainly don't want them in MY house.  But they are a really important part of the ecosystem.  They eat bugs, and that's a great thing, as far as I'm concerned.

According to Bat Conservation International, "More than two-thirds of bat species hunt insects, and they have healthy appetites. A single little brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in a single hour."
And with all the rain we've had, we need all the help we can get to get rid of mosquitos.  How can you object to a shy little mosquito-eating machine?  And I believe that a bat is WAY better than a pesticide.

I've been camping out in the woods at night plenty of times and seen bats flying around in the dusk.  It's different than a bird's flight because they swoop around differently.  But I've NEVER seen a bat attacking a person or flying into someone's hair. And they don't all have rabies - no more than every racoon or every skunk you see has rabies. People are scared of bats for no good reason.  I think Bats have got a bad rap because they're ugly.  I feel sorry for them.

So even though I don't want a bat in my house, I'm glad that there's a little bat house that they can live in, somewhere back in the woods of Iselin.   

And I'm glad that there's a bunch of Scouts who are learning about ecology, about taking care of our environment, and about working together.  Good luck, Sagar; I hope you make Eagle Scout!


Tonight, May 21, at 6:45 PM, the Woodbridge Police Department and the Woodbridge Fire/EMS are going to face off in a HOCKEY GAME at the Woodbridge Community Center. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door for $5.00.
All ticket sales will benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.
This is going to be a great game, and you should get there early if you want to get in! Along with the excitement of a great Hockey match, there will also be a few exciting door prizes and special activities.

Happy Armed Forces Day

Today is Armed Forces Day. Take a moment to think about everything we owe to the men and women who've been willing to serve this country.

According to Wikipedia, which you can read HERE,
The day was created in 1949 to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services.

Thank you to all of our Servicemen and Servicewomen. We are grateful for all you've done.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Art Show and Concert a great success!

JFK Senior Brittany Egan poses with some of the art at the High School.

Is that the sun I see?

Nice weather for ducks, right?

Do you hate cliches?
I personally like stupid puns and really old jokes. Sorry.

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Atch who?
God bless you. Must be allergies.

One good thing about the rain is that my kid's allergies are SO MUCH better.
I just looked at the pollen forecast. It's supposed to be bad pollen again over the weekend, so I guess I'll be turning on the air conditioner. I hate wasting the electricity like that, but on the other hand, it's nice for my kids to be able to breathe without sneezing and wheezing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Enough with the rain already!

I know I write too much about the weather. But c'mon, it's an important topic to EVERYONE! It's one thing that we ALL have in common.
This is a view I've been looking at a lot lately - looking up at the rain, trying to time it. If I wait a few minutes, will it clear up enough to run to my car? Or will it be raining harder? Today was especially interesting. It poured... it looked like it was going to pour... then, it magically cleared up for a tantalizing minute, and the sun broke through with a nice bit of summer heat... and then it poured again... Really heavy rain flooding the streets and everything!
When the sun DOES come out it's going to be HOT, and summer will be here for real. Are you ready?

JFK Spring Concert and Art Auction TODAY

John F. Kennedy High School is holding their Spring Concert this evening at 7:00 PM at the school. Admission is $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for students or seniors.
At the same time, the "Raise the Arts" auction will be held, showcasing and selling student art for sale in support of the "Raise the Arts" club.
Please support the Arts at Kennedy High School!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

JFK Art Auction

Somewhere out there, a teen-aged student is working, practicing, and learning to perfect his art, perhaps to paint or draw. That student could be the next Pollock, Picasso or Van Gogh. You might think that you would recognize that kind of talent, but no one recognized Van Gogh’s talent when he was young. According to Wikipedia, Van Gogh was “Little appreciated during his lifetime, (but) his fame grew in the years after his death. Today, he is widely regarded as one of history's greatest painters and an important contributor to the foundations of modern art."
Wednesday May 18th, if you aren't busy, come to JFK High School's first “Raise the Arts” Art Auction. The art auction will be held in connection with the JFK Spring Concert, and will be held from 6:30 to 9 PM. Take a chance on young, unknown artists, and support the arts and art education!

“Raise the Arts” is a new club at JFK High School. It gives JFK students extra time to hone their skills. According to an article by Nick Forte in The Torch, Kennedy’s school newspaper, which you can read HERE, “Raise the Arts” club allows students without a visual arts course to create artwork every Thursday after school.”

The article continues, “Raise the Arts club supports the art department and promotes creativity within the lives of the students that can't do so with tight schedules.”

Purchasing a piece of art through the “Raise the Arts” auction will help support these young artists by helping purchase art supplies. “There are close to 60 pieces of art for sale,” said Ms. Stachurski, club advisor. “There will be boxes with numbers corresponding to the work of art you are interested in bidding for. You will fill out a piece of paper with your bid, and put it inside the box. After intermission, we will go through the boxes and the highest bid will win. If the highest bid is a tie, the winning bids will all be placed back in the box and randomly chosen. Then, we’ll contact the winner.”

If you aren’t interested in bidding, you can also support the club by purchasing buttons for $1. The club members, led by President Sayli Talathi and VP Aliyah Mohammed, have been making the buttons by hand. They are very popular at the school.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the students have created, and I hope I can win a masterpiece!

“An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.”
James Whistler

Read more quotes at: http://www.brainyquote.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jersey Doesn't Stink

I'm a subscriber to several different blogs, and one of the blogs I was reading today is "Jersey Doesn't Stink.com". They are sponsored by High Point Auto Insurance. You can take a look at it if you click HERE.
I love New Jersey. As much as I love Iselin. How 'bout you?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Iselin Fire 9 Makes Progress

Iselin Fire District 9 has been working on the old Flip’s property for a little while now, and you can see some real progress if you drive past. I stopped in recently and spoke with the President of the Board of Fire Commissioners, Carl Christensen, who also happens to be a long-time Iselin resident.

Some of the project details include the Fire truck jungle gym, which you can see above, a landing pad for the fire safety trailer, a simulated building made out of block.  More parking will be added, and prominently featured in the design is a memorial area, which will include the Fire Department’s Memorial and a piece of the World Trade Center in honor of 9/11.

Mr. Christensen said that it will still be a while before the project is finished, but when everything is set, they plan on having a ribbon cutting ceremony of some kind… hopefully, sometime in June. 

I appreciate the efforts that they are making to create a nice area central to Iselin.  When Flip’s first closed, I was really worried that they could put a mini-mall in that spot – the traffic patterns on that little corner are already a mess, even without a business that draws a lot of traffic.  This is a much better option, in my opinion.

I can’t wait to see it finished!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Maglione Italian Ices -
A Traditional Iselin Favorite!

Maglione's Italian Ices has been an important part of Iselin since.... well, since before I can remember.  One of my fondest early memories as a child was going to the park with my Dad, and getting a cherry ice in a paper cup from the Maglione's Italian Ice stand over by the playground. (I remember chewing on the paper cup after the ice was done, because it was just THAT GOOD!)
Say "HI!" if you see Mr. Vinny at Merrill!

3rd Generation - Michael & Sergio
I'm pretty sure that everyone who remembers "old Iselin" will be happy to know that Maglione's push cart is still in Merrill Park, and they are still selling Cherry Italian Ice - and lemon, and blueberry... from the same delicious home-made recipe that they used when we were kids.

Mike and George discussing the Lemon Ice
And there are still Magliones making the ices. Ralph Sr. started selling Italian Ices 50 something years ago, and the family has continued the tradition all these years. Mike, George and Toni are running the business now, and there's also a third generation of Magliones who are learning the ropes.
Mike and Rich in the deep freezer!

If you're having a party or a picnic this summer, you can order Italian Ices in these huge 5 gallon buckets, which will give you about 100 of those delicious 5 oz paper cups (or 140 of the smaller 3.5 oz paper cups) - and they also have a 2.5 gallon size.
Michelle and Christina at a recent event
Or, you can go to Merrill Park, Roosevelt Park, or Johnson Park to get yourself an ice - or look for one of the push carts at a special event, like the Woodbridge Street Fair or the Rahway "Hot Rods and Harleys" show this weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What's up for dinner tomorrow, May 12th?

Cheeseburgers in Paradise!  Love to eat there... especially on the patio on a nice summer day!  Well... there's going to be a fundraiser.  I read this on facebook, and everyone's invited:
The Iselin Volunteer Fire Company #1 along with Cheesebuger In Paradise is sponsoring a fund raiser for the Ameican Cancer Society - Relay For Life. The event will run from open (11am) to close (11pm) on Thursday May 12th. The good thing for this one is NO FLYER is needed. Cheeseburger will donate 15% of everybody's bill the Relay. So come on out and share some good food and good company and help a great cause!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I hope all the Mommas out there have a great day.  
This is my favorite poem about what it means to me to be a Mom.  It's what I try to remember when I want to make decisions for my sons that they don't want (or need) me to make. It's something that my own mom was very good at understanding.  She was always stable - always there for me - but let me make my own path. Like the old saying goes, she gave me roots AND wings.  Thanks, Mom... I love you!

On Children
by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Eagle Scouts Honored

Two new Eagle Scouts were honored by Boy Scout Troop 31 yesterday evening. Patrick Daniels of Iselin (left) and Michael Wutkowski of Sewaren hold up a banner that has been signed by many of the troop's Eagle Scouts over it's long history.

The rank of Eagle Scout is a great achievement for a Boy Scout. In addition to fulfilling community service requirements, and earning badges covering a myriad of topics, and learning basic skills in areas like first aid, emergency preparedness, citizenship, and various outdoor skills, the Scout has to demonstrate leadership. The lessons he learns throughout his career as a Boy Scout is then demonstrated when he plans, organizes and runs an Eagle Scout Project. There are many complicated steps a young man must take to achieve the goal of becoming an Eagle Scout.

Congratulations to two fine young men!

The Eric LeGrand Bike Run
Going past Maglione's this morning

Friday, May 6, 2011

Eric LeGrand Bike Run
to Roll Thru Iselin Tomorrow!

This is going to be so cool! If you want more details, I got the following information from the New Jersey Knights of Columbus page, HERE. (If you want to participate, go to the link for the registration information.)
On May 7th, 2011 the New Jersey State Knights of Columbus Motorcycle Ministry will be hosting the “Believe Motorcycle Run”, a charity bike ride to support the Eric LeGrand Patriot Saint Foundation.

Eric LeGrand is a wonderful young man who is in great need due to the injury he sustained at the Rutgers vs. Army football game that left Eric paralyzed from the neck down. The people of Woodbridge township (Eric’s hometown) have been busy since the accident trying to raise money for him and his family.

This event will take place on Saturday, May 7th, 2011 (rain or shine). Registration is from 8am-10:30am. Kick stands up at 11am. The run will be police escorted. It starts at Merrill Park in Iselin, NJ and ends at Saint Andrew’s Knights of Columbus located at 109 Morrisey Ave. in Avenel, NJ. Live entertainment and food. Riders: $25, Passengers: $15, General Admittance: $30.

Get your hat ready for the weekend!

Happy Friday! This weekend, in addition to Mother's Day, is the KENTUCKY DERBY!
With all the fancy hats happening at the Royal Wedding, I think it's a great weekend to continue the trend and wear a fancy hat.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I love holidays!
Cinco De Mayo is a lot of fun... I'm headed over to Jose Tejas myself, along with about a million other people, I guess. It's one of those holidays that most people really don't know much about. But I was on Facebook this morning, and my cousin's husband had a good post that I thought I would share with you.
"Although I'm planning on drinking Coronas I want to make it clear that Cinco de Mayo is NOT! the Mexican independence, it's the Mexican army's victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla, Mex & in the USA. While May 5 sees limited significance in Mexico itself, the date is observed in the USA as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride."

So there you go. I'm not sure if Rodrigo is actually Mexican, but I like what he had to say about the holiday. I believe in any excuse for a celebration! Now, go enjoy it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Do you like Baseball?
JFK vs Old Bridge

I'm not a big sports fan. But it's spring, a time when a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of BASEBALL! So, if you're interested, the Woodbridge TV station has posted the video of the JFK High School vs. Old Bridge High School Baseball game. Let me know if it's a good game!
You can watch it by clicking HERE.

Thank your teachers today!

Glitter Graphics
Glitter Graphics

Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day.

I want to thank all of my teachers for everything they taught me.
I especially want to thank Mrs. Travis.

Mrs. Travis was a third grade teacher at School 26 in Iselin for a lot of years. For a while she also taught Gifted and Talented; I think she helped start the gifted and talented program. I also think she was one of the first computer teachers in Woodbridge. She was definitely one of the first people I knew who had a computer and computer games, back when computers were huge and the games were just word puzzles and rectangle blocks. BEFORE PONG. Yup, that long ago. Mrs. Travis was a lovely lady and my next door neighbor.

I was never actually in Mrs. Travis' class, but she was still one of my most important teachers. As my neighbor, she re-emphasized a lot of the lessons my parents were trying to teach me. Some of the things Mrs. Travis taught me:

1. Splinters only hurt for a minute when you take them out, and they feel much better as soon as you get an ice pop.
2. Books are a lot of fun. You can pretty much find out anything from a book.
3. Jigsaw puzzles are great. They are even more challenging and fun if you don't look at the box. Good luck with that.
4. Legos are great too. They aren't just for boys, girls can build things.
5. All children are smart.
6. Yes, you are going to college. The only question is WHERE are you going, and what are you going to major in?
7. Your mother is right, too much eyeshadow is tacky on a 15 year old.
8. Computers are fun. They aren't that complicated that you can't figure them out.
9. Good neighbors are dependable friends, but not involved in your business if you don't ask them to be.
10. Babies are fragile, but they aren't made of cotton candy. Don't worry, he's fine. They just cry sometimes, you aren't doing anything wrong.
12. That rash looks a lot like chicken pox.
13. Education is very important. It's never too late to learn something new!
14. Life is short.

I've had a lot of great teachers in my life, but I miss Mrs. Travis the most.
She passed away recently. She was very private, I don't even think an obituary was published.

So, if you have a great teacher, tell them how much you appreciate them TODAY!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

An Oldie but Goody

I hope we get some new music out of McBump's Basement pretty soon :)

It's a beautiful Spring Day outside!

What are you doing on the computer? Go outside! :)