11/13/11 4:18pm
11/13/2011 4:18 PM

Riley Avenue Elementary School held its annual Halloween parade and, as usual, it was great. The kindergartners, first- and second-graders marched about in their spooky and fun costumes while students in the third and fourth grades participated in a walkathon in the back field and raised over $9,000 for the Trinca family. What a great job these kids did. Congratulations to each of you.

The morning program at Riley is holding its 12th annual Thanksgiving food drive. If you would like to help feed local families in need you can do so by dropping off donations of canned or dried goods — gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc. Grocery store gift cards are also welcome to help purchase turkeys. I know times are very hard but a little extra here and there is so much appreciated.

Photo makeup day is Friday, Nov. 18, for those students who missed out the first time. The highly anticipated Thanksgiving break will start Nov. 23, with the children returning to school Monday the 28th. Have some fun, sleep late and maybe cook a turkey.

Riley continues to emphasize the importance of hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes to help minimize germs being spread at the school. That said, student attendance has been good. Keep up the good work!

Happy birthday to Betty Fox at Dr. Bach’s office who celebrated on Nov. 16. All your family and friends — especially the little ones — and everyone here at Dr. Bach’s wish you a very happy birthday, Betty.

The Leonid meteor showers will take place after midnight tonight, Thursday. This is a great show to see but this year seems it will be a little weaker than those in the past. The best time for viewing is a few hours before dawn. Look toward the northeast skies and see what you can find.

There is an early deadline for my column for the Thanksgiving (Nov. 24) issue. If you have any news for me, please get it to me by tonight, Nov. 17, so that I can send it in by Friday morning. Thanks!

The local scallops are here and they are so good. It looks like they’re less abundant this year so get yours while you can. Don’t be afraid to freeze them. We do it all the time and are able to cook them well into the winter. Don’t wash them, just put them in a freezer bag and you’ll be good to go.

Till next week, enjoy whatever weather Mother Nature decides to give us. It surely has been different each week. Take care, be safe and I shall talk to you next time. Bye.

cpcolumncal@aol.com

11/07/11 4:28am
11/07/2011 4:28 AM

I hope you stayed up till 2 a.m. and turned back your clocks last Saturday night. I certainly turned mine back. I guess it was about 8:10 p.m. or so. Yes, I did it nice and early. What’s the big deal? It’s not like I missed out on anything — perhaps an hour of moonlight or so. Anyway, it sure is nice to get up in the morning and see sunlight. I felt like a bat getting up in the dark and now I feel like a robin.

Belated happy second anniversary wishes to my best pumpkin friend Danielle and her husband, Deejay Chasse, who celebrated on Oct. 30. Danielle has spent many pumpkin seasons with us at the farm. She is a joy, and Deejay is quite a keeper, too. We love you both and wish you many more happy years together. Congratulations.

Speaking of pumpkins, if you have some hanging around that are still intact, scoop out the seeds and either roast them or freeze them for some tasty eats in February. Seriously, scoop the seeds out, toss them in freezer bags and forget about them till you find them buried among your french fries. Then roast them with salt and enjoy. I must confess, I probably have many pounds of seeds frozen. I shall sell them to my daughter for a very steep price later on in the winter, as she and her friend are quite addicted to these crunchy treats. It’s nice to tease your children.

I would like to wish my beautiful friend and former Manorville resident Patti Smith a very happy birthday on Nov. 11. So, Patti Poo, 11/11/11, who could have a better birthday? Who could be a better friend? It’s all you, honey. From all of us, who love and miss you, we hope you have the bestest birthday ever. Miss Cassie, Patti’s daughter, will celebrate a few days later on Nov. 15. Cass, we all wish you the most happiest birthday ever. We do miss having you here with us, too. May your day be perfect!

Let’s not forget our veterans Nov. 11, Veterans Day. Each and every one who has gone above and beyond to protect our great country, those who are still with us, those who have left us, we thank you. Please, if only for a moment, stop and look at our flag, thank someone who has served, enjoy the sunset and remember that if it weren’t for these men and women we might not be where we are today. It is truly a gift to us all. Thank you.

That is all for this week. I expect to see you still buying brussels sprouts, cauliflower and rutabagas at your local farm stand. There are potatoes, amazing sweet potatoes and great apples for pies, for your Thanksgiving feasts.

Take care, be safe. Bye.

10/03/11 2:12pm
10/03/2011 2:12 PM

Just a reminder, Indian summer does not officially begin until after we’ve had our first frost. All the warm weather we are currently experiencing does not mean we can celebrate this event. Be patient; it will come. In the meantime, enjoy what we have — be it chilly or toasty.

Riley Avenue Elementary School will be closed for Columbus Day. Parents and their children will hopefully get to sleep in a little bit later on Oct. 10. Enjoy.

‘Meet the Teachers’ night will be Tuesday, Oct. 11, for grades K-2. Parents are urged to attend to get a feel of what our great school is all about. If you haven’t been to Riley before, do go. Spirit Day at Riley will take place Friday, Oct. 14. It is sure to be a fun time. Also, I do believe the annual Halloween parade is in the works. I will keep you updated.

A very happy anniversary to my son, Rob, and his wife, Jaime, on their third wedding anniversary Oct. 11. In addition to their boxer, Rocky, their daughter, Julia, will be in on the celebrations this year. Julia turns 10 months old, also on the 11th. She is adorable and I am a very proud grandma indeed. Congratulations, Jaime and Rob, and wishes from all your family and friends for many more years of happiness together.

Rob’s cousin Scott Kulesa, formerly of Baiting Hollow, and his wife, Lindsay, welcomed their first child, a boy named Kellen James Kulesa, on Sept. 29. He weighed 8 pounds and was 20 inches long. I’m sure brand-new grandma Jane Kulesa is very excited. We welcome you to the grandparent club. Congratulations everyone. Enjoy little Kellen, as he will grow very quickly.

Those wishing to enter the pumpkin- and vegetable-decorating/carving contest at the Riverhead Country Fair can do so from 7 to 9 a.m. on the day of this wonderful event, Sunday, Oct. 9. The contest is open to ages 4 to adult. The fair will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Any vegetable can be used so be creative. Good luck, it’s lots of fun. For more details and contest rules visit riverheadcountryfair.com, call 722-3873, or email countryfairpumpkin@yahoo.com.

I hope we all have a great Columbus Day weekend. May you get to where you have to go easily, may our farm stands flourish and may the weather be great. Till next time, be safe and I shall talk to you then. Bye.

09/26/11 2:50pm
09/26/2011 2:50 PM

OK, I want you all to stop going nuts. We have pumpkins — perhaps not the incredible selection that you are used to — but we have pumpkins at our farms and farm stands, which I expect you to visit not only for pumpkins but also for your mums, stalks, straw and, yes, candy apples. Have fun and enjoy, even if you have to wear shorts and tank tops while doing so. Here’s a quick observation. The animals seem to be stocking up big-time for winter. Just check out your acorns, or lack thereof. Cornstalks are being stripped of corn, walnuts are disappearing — and this is only the beginning.

Riley Avenue Elementary School held its first Riley Avenue Parents Association meeting of the year and they are off to a good start. There is so much to help out with at the school. I encourage all parents to attend the meetings and lend a hand. You will not only make new friends but will become a little bit closer to your child as he or she makes their way through this wonderful school.

Character education is a very important part at Riley. Our teachers consistently emphasize that students make positive choices and take personal responsibility. Schoolwide community service will once again be a top priority at Riley. Thanks once again to all our custodians at Riley for their hard work in getting the school ready for the new school year. Great job, everyone.

Riley will see its first days off on Sept. 29 and 30 for Rosh Hashana. “Meet the Teachers” nights will begin at 7 p.m. on Oct. 4 for grades 3-4 and Oct. 11 for grades K-2. Do try your best to meet with your child(ren)’s teachers.

Belated happy birthday to Calverton resident Steve Hackal, who recently celebrated, from your wife and all your family and friends. We hope you had a really nice day.

Happy birthday to Steve’s wife, Pat, who will celebrate Oct. 4. We hope you have a great day. Birthday wishes are also sent to my mom, Kay Troyan, who will celebrate Oct. 5. We wish you a wonderful birthday.

Happy wedding anniversary to my mom and my dad, Paul Troyan, who will celebrate Oct. 2. All of us, especially little Brookie, who simply adores both of you, hope your day is sunny, warm and perfect. Congratulations.

That is all for this week. Enjoy whatever weather Mother Nature throws at us, and boy she’s been tossing some stuff at us lately. Take care, bye.

02/01/11 10:38am
02/01/2011 10:38 AM

Baiting Hollow Congregational Church will hold a Victorian tea Saturday, Feb. 12, from noon to 3 p.m. with music by Jazz Alive. Sounds like a great way to kick off Valentine’s Day. For tickets ($12 each) call Joan at 849-4030.

Congratulations to Calverton residents Bill and Marge Ingrassia, who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Feb. 11. Their children threw them a wonderful party a little bit early at the Foxwood Village Clubhouse so that their granddaughter, who was home from college, could attend. By the way, Bill was recently elected as president of the Foxwood Village Homeowners Association. Many more years of happiness is wished for you from all your family and friends.

Riley Avenue Elementary School’s computer room is hoppin’ this month: the students are doing group projects with an introduction to PowerPoint, adding text and animations and clip art to editing their writings for spelling and grammatical corrections, the students are learning a great deal about computers.

Other happenings at Riley: Valentine’s Day celebrations are being planned schoolwide. The school recently held its first-ever Spirit Day, where students showed their school spirit by wearing school colors. The Parents as Reading Partners weeklong event was also a success. A great time was had by all.

Here’s a chicken fact for you: Chickens with white earlobes and feathers lay white eggs and hens with red earlobes and feathers lay brown eggs. Just a little chicken fun.

I’m getting a wee bit tired of being blamed for all the snow, the latest coming from my friend Karen of Manorville. I love the snow, but I don’t make the snow.

OK, it’s been almost two weeks and now I can finally talk about it. Our N.Y. Jets loss was devastating. The Super Bowl now marks the last game of the season. To all my new buddies who I’ve met in supermarkets, gas stations and various other places, we’ll get ’em next year!

I wish you all a great, safe, happy week. I hope the groundhog made the right decision. Take care, bye.