11/21/11 5:00am
11/21/2011 5:00 AM

Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays in my opinion — very relaxed, turkey, gravy, football and no presents. It’s truly a time to give thanks for our crops, our family and all the things we take for granted. I always make a wreath on Thanksgiving morning and we hang it up at the farm just before dinner is served, a nice tradition we’ve upheld for 30 years or so. I will teach that to my little granddaughter as soon as she can hold onto some cedar branches. Unless, of course, her dad beats me to it as he learned to make wreaths from our “gramie” when he was very little. Why not start a tradition of your own? They are simply wonderful and you’ll be in awe as you think back to when they began.

Mrs. Sterns at Riley Avenue Elementary will hold a Thanksgiving play for all students this week to celebrate this fantastic holiday. We wish her first-graders the best of luck, as the whole school will be watching.
Thanks to all who donated to the food drive at Riley. It means so much. Riley is very proud of all its parent volunteers. Whether you’ve assisted with centers or various activities in the classroom or art room, your help is much appreciated. If you haven’t yet, do consider getting involved. It’s fun and you will meet so many nice people. From everyone at Riley, a very happy Thanksgiving to all!

Baiting Hollow Congregational Church will hold its annual “Green Sale” on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Available for purchase will be wreaths, sprays and all types of greens for the Christmas season. There will also be a white elephant table with all kinds of good things for everyone. So stop by and see this wonderful group and get yourself some holiday cheer.

If you’ve decided to make a homemade pumpkin pie from scratch, well good for you! But let me make a small suggestion. Bake your pumpkin and drain it thoroughly before you add the spices. The less water, the firmer the pie. Butternut squash or cheese pumpkins are really your best bet. By the way, did you know that when cranberries are ripe they bounce? They do! Now there’s a fun game for the entire family. Those little pockets in the berries make them bounce, however damaged berries do not. Hey, the kids are off for a few days. Why not make them earn their cranberry sauce? Check those berries.

One more thing. Buy your Christmas tree soon. I kid you not. I got mine the day after Thanksgiving last year with Mom. We took them home, cut their trunks a little and stuck the trees in buckets of water until we were ready to put them up. They lasted so well! Think of it this way: You might buy a tree the third week of December but that tree has been cut and sitting on concrete without water for weeks. The sooner it gets water the fresher and safer it will be. When I took mine down it lasted outside till March!

I wish you all a very happy, wonderful Thanksgiving! Take care and I shall talk to you next week. Bye.

cpcolumncal@aol.com

11/03/11 4:00am
11/03/2011 4:00 AM

So, snow already. Yeah I saw some of those fat flakes swirling like mad last Saturday night. For once I’m not upset that it also rained here — after all, the trees are still standing. I’ve told you before that the animals were up to something as they are still stocking up for winter. My daughter Jamie, who is kind of mad at Mother Nature, was planning to visit for the weekend but got snowed in at her home in Albany.

We had a surprise, yet very welcomed, visitor at the farm the other day. Fred Pradon stopped by with his daughter Donna and her husband, Steve. Fred lives in Vermont and we haven’t seen him for years. We talked for hours reminiscing about his days as a game warden and the fun times he and my dad had together. It really was great catching up with him and we hope to see him more often.

Happy anniversary to Jan and Carol Niewadomski, who celebrated 36 years together on Oct. 13, from your son, Jimmy, and all your family and friends. Congratulations. We hope you both had a great day. Happy fifth anniversary to Shannon and Eric Hartenstein, our neighbors across the street from the farm, who celebrated on Oct. 29. They have two adorable little boys and make quite a cute family. We hope you both enjoyed your day. Congratulations to you and best wishes for many more happy years ahead.

Here are some raccoon tips. I was talking to a raccoon expert the other day — didn’t know they existed, did you? — who told me these varmints like to eat clean food, so they clean our garbage before they eat it. To help keep them away open the lid of your garbage can and pour ammonia over your garbage. If you want to see a show, sprinkle some cayenne pepper on the lid. When the raccoons try to pry the lid off, the pepper will get all over them, resulting in their rolling around and scratching like mad. He says it’s better than watching TV and after a few times of trying to get into your trash they will stop. Good luck and let me know how you make out.

I had a great birthday. Lots of friends from near and far called me. Former Manorville residents Patti and Kenny Smith called from North Carolina and we caught up on some news. The most amazing thing is that Kenny finally flew in a plane and he loved it! Hey, some things take time.

That is all for this week. Take care, be safe and I will talk to you next time. Bye.

10/19/11 5:00am
10/19/2011 5:00 AM

I will begin by saying that Kent Animal Shelter would like to thank those who helped them with their kitten/cat adoption, at which a great number found a new home. It is Kent’s hope that if and when you decide to look for a pet that you will stop by the shelter to select your new best friend. They are such good friends indeed.

I hope everyone has found their “dream” pumpkin by now. See, I told you there were pumpkins in them there fields. And the veggies just keep getting better. Cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts are just some of the fall vegetables that taste amazing. The tomatoes, however, taste better now than they did during the summer. They may look a little ugly, but trust me, get your last fix of the year while you can. Corn is still around, and very sweet I might add. You now have your farm update of the week.

Congratulations to new parents Jessica and Billy Newport on the birth of their first child, William Thomas Newport. I met little William last week at the farm stand as he picked his very first pumpkin. OK, his mom and dad helped. He is a gorgeous little guy who was born on Sept. 30, weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces and measuring 20 inches. Proud grandparents are Manorville’s own Tom Smith, and Jenny and Bill Newport. Our best wishes to each and every one of you. My love to you, Jessica and Billy. You’ll be great parents!

Manorville was a rockin’ as a surprise party was held for Buzzie Egert’s 70th birthday. Yes, Buzzie was very surprised as he returned home with his buddy Pete after enjoying a car show and relaxing afternoon. Speechless would be the word and Buzz is never speechless. His children did a great job throwing him this amazing party. It was perfect. So, Buzzie, we love you dearly, we hope you had a great birthday, and thanks for being such a great guy.

Congratulations to Aidan Tobin, a first-grader at Riley Avenue Elementary School, who won third place by decorating a pumpkin at the Riverhead Country Fair. Great job, Aidan!

Riley’s before-school childcare program is once again holding its annual coat drive until Oct. 29. Jackets, coats, vests, gloves, mittens, scarves and hats are much needed. All men’s, women’s and children’s sizes are welcome. Donation boxes are located in the main lobby so feel free to drop off anything you can.

Parent-teacher conferences are coming up during the day and evening on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Information will be sent home to parents. Just to give you a heads-up, school will be closed on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, and on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

That is all for this week. Be safe and I shall talk to you next week. Take care, bye.

09/06/11 12:46pm
09/06/2011 12:46 PM

It’s been almost 10 years since 9/11, one of the saddest days in United States history. Once again we on the East End and in many other places where Hurricane Irene visited, have come together to love our neighbors, to help each other, to care. Just like 10 years ago, our hearts have opened to one another. It is simply beautiful. I only hope that we hold onto these generous feelings; it really is very perfect.

Happy birthday to a great guy, Steve Orlowski, who has been very busy helping people clean up after the hurricane. Best wishes for a peaceful birthday Sept. 9, from your two beautiful children, Cormac and Cayleigh, your wife, Kerin, and all your family and friends. We do love you dearly, Steve! And to Paul Ceberek and Donald Pelis from Calverton, who both celebrate Sept. 11, all your family and friends wish you both a great day. I hope you are also done with the hurricane cleanup.

Happy wedding anniversary to Miriam and Charles Niegocki, who celebrated Aug. 31. Miriam and Charles were married in 1952 and are living happily ever after. So, from your daughter Joan (my buddy), myself and all your family and friends, we hope you both had a great day together. Wedding anniversary wishes also go to Donald and Maureen Karpilovsky, who will be married 25 years on Sept. 13. We wish you a very happy day and hope you have a perfect lakeside celebration.

Baiting Hollow Congregational Church will hold its annual yard sale on Sept. 10 at the church on Sound Avenue. There will be over 50 vendors selling antiques, clothing, housewares, baked goods and more. Be sure to stop by and enjoy this really wonderful yard sale.

Once again, back to Irene. Fun was had by a lot of people. Children learned the art of board games, campfires, camping in the backyard, s’mores, and gazing at the stars — activities us older people know all about. My mom is a generator wiz. I am beaming with pride at how she ruthlessly trekked out every morning at 6 a.m. and gassed up/started ours.

Take care, be safe, and God bless. I shall talk you next week. Bye.

08/30/11 4:33pm
08/30/2011 4:33 PM

So, what do ya think? We haven’t had a tropical mess like this for a while. I had forgotten what 50 mph-plus winds felt like — awesome and quite scary at the same time. If that’s the last we see of this kind of stuff for a while, it will be quite all right with me. However, give me an old-fashioned blizzard anytime.

Kent Animal Shelter is having a Wines and Canines 5K run/walk at Martha Clara Vineyards on Sunday, Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m. There is a minimum $25 donation per person and children under 12 are free. There will be wine tasting, food vendors and 200 acres of scenic vineyards. All this for our little friends at Kent Animal Shelter who need our help. If you are interested, call 727-5731 for more information and to register.

Don’t forget to go see John Neely’s photo exhibit on New Orleans at Palmer Vineyards on Sound Avenue. Do go … and enjoy!

Peconic Lake Estates Civic Organization recently held its “adopt a highway” road cleanup. Their cleanup areas are Forge Road, Forge Dam and South River Road. These areas are cleaned three times a year by PLECO — in May, August and September. They were able to get the areas sparkling clean in only 45 minutes, which tells us that keeping on top of it does make a difference. President Ernie Fugino thanks one and all for their efforts. It really is a beautiful community.

There’s an early deadline for the next issue of the News-Review. If you have any news for the Sept. 8 issue, please get this information to me by tonight, Thursday, Sept. 1, as I need to start working on it. Labor Day is here already!

I hope everyone was safe after the storm and hopefully your power is back on. I know a lot of you who lost it (the power that is). Unfortunately, our crops have some damage also. Not yet sure on how much but I will let you know.

Till next time, be safe and I will talk to you soon.

08/22/11 2:43pm
08/22/2011 2:43 PM

What a perfect weekend for the Polish Town Fair. with great weather once again. God indeed smiles down on Polish Town each year. Mom and I went to the fair Sunday morning and made the rounds. We saw Aunt Bert Harris, Aunt Kay Davis, and “Ma” Adele Ambrose, some of our most favorite people who never fail to make us smile and laugh. Everyone deserves a hearty congratulations as, once again, the fair was great!

River Road, Calverton resident Gene Sendlewski got married this weekend. OK, he sort of got married — he was the “groom” in the traditional Polish wedding at St. Isidore Church during the fair. I can only imagine how he felt in front of all those people who were watching. Great job!

Speaking of River Road, Kent Animal Shelter has a half-price special on black cats and black-and-white cats. It seems there are not many calls for black pets so Kent has a lot of them. Why not get your special friend now? Halloween is just around the corner and you’ll be the hit of the neighborhood. Just visit the website kentanimalshelter.com and give a peek and get a new friend.

A few houses away from Kent lives my friend Louise (Sanders) Vance, whom I have had the pleasure of knowing from the farm stand for about 25 years or so. Louise and some of her classmates met recently at a friend’s home in Sayville and went back to see their school on which they attended in the mid-1930s. They took pictures and reminisced about their time there together. A great time was had by all!

Now on to South River Road in Calverton. Sherri Guthrie has created an apron that has won her a brand-new sewing machine. For the contest, sponsored by Peaceful Quilting, contestants had to create a special apron. Sherri’s included a chicken design. It seems she is very good at sewing and deserves our congratulations. Great job, Sherri. I admire you, as my greatest feat is sewing on a button.

Belated happy birthday to Terry Bach, the wonderful wife of our very own Dr. Bach, who celebrated her birthday this past week. We love you dearly, Terry, you are the best. From all your family and friends, near and far, we hope your day was all yours and simply perfect.

Happy birthday to Carol Niewadomski, from Dr. Bach’s office, on Aug. 29 from your husband, Jan, your son, Jimmy, your mom, and all of us at the office, who enjoy your wit, humor, singing, and really big smiles. May you have the best birthday ever, Carol Lu. We love you!

OK, here’s your farm tip of the week: Feed your plants. Not only your veggies but your hanging baskets, planters and window boxes. Do they look weak? Not blooming too much? Feed them! We’ve had a lot of rain, which washes out fertilizer, so grab your Miracle-Gro and drench them. In about a week or two you’ll be amazed at how good they look. Of course a hurricane could … well, let’s not go there.

Have a great, safe week. I shall talk to you next week. Take care, bye.

08/16/11 8:20am
08/16/2011 8:20 AM

Are you ready to become Polish for the weekend? Yes indeed, the highly anticipated Polish Town Fair kicks off on Saturday and I love it! It’s great to walk around and visit with friends you haven’t’ seen in a while, eat some Polish food you might not have had the time to make this summer, and drink something cool and refreshing. Yes, I’m ready.

We have a new arrival on River Road in Calverton. Cato Pete Miloski was born to Maya and Brian Miloski on Aug. 3 at St. Charles Hospital, weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces. Big brother Max, who is 1 1/2 , is delighted with his new brother. Grandma Jennie Miloski is a very proud grandma, as is Cato’s Grandma Cornelia, who is visiting from Germany for three weeks. Everyone is enjoying her visit and all her help. Congratulations to all of you from all of us. Enjoy your beautiful baby boy.

Well kids, it’s almost time. Yes, time to head back to school. I guess there’s about three weeks or so left of freedom. Have a carefree, wonderful time off. To all those who are off to college, we wish you all the best. Learn and have some fun along the way, too. I know you will.

Happy birthday to my niece Holly White who celebrated on Aug. 15. Belated wishes to you, Hol, from all your family and friends. Hope your day was great.

My buddy around the corner from the farm stand, Michelle, asked me a good question last weekend: How do you make tomato sauce for the winter and freeze it? No need. Just place your tomatoes (plum tomatoes are the best) in a big freezer bag and freeze them whole, the way they came off the vine. I did this last year and, boy, is it easy. The skins come right off when you thaw them out. You can cook them whenever you want. The smell of fresh tomatoes cooking when it’s 10 degrees outside is one of the best scents you can imagine. While you’re at it, put some peaches in the freezer, too. They are now at their peak and you can use them for so many things later on.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the last few weeks of August. May the weather be perfect. I shall talk to you next time. Take care, bye.

cpcolumncal@aol.com

08/08/11 11:45am
08/08/2011 11:45 AM

Woo hoo! The birds have hatched and have left the nest in the tractor. I was able to chop up some pesky weeds Saturday without fear of being pecked by the mama and papa mockingbirds. There’s never a dull moment at the farm. Now it’s just a matter of watching the chipmunks and hummingbirds chase each other around. I must admit those hummingbirds can be scary when they zoom toward us, fighting like there is not enough nectar to go around. Believe me, there is.

A big welcome home to Dennis Ruffini, who is doing very well after surgery. We are so glad to see you up and about and would like to congratulate you on your speedy recovery. Keep up the great work, Dennis.

Our friend Chart from the Peconic Lake Estates Civic Organization, along with about 34 volunteers, has once again removed six yards of Ludwigia, a very pesky weed that grows in the Peconic River that once threatened to choke the river with its lush growth. About four years ago over 60 yards were removed. Keeping up with this weed year after year truly does pay off. Thanks to everyone who cares enough to make our water clean. Great job!

Here are some fishing tips from Chart: It is better to fish on a cloudy day than on a sunny day as the fish like to hide from the sunlight. Cloudy days usually mean cooler temperatures and the fish go out to feed when the sun is hiding. The best times to fish are first thing in the morning and later in the evening. Thanks, Chart.

Chloe Roth, granddaughter of Ray and Diana Cheshire of River Road in Calverton and who moved here from Germany two years ago to go to school in Westhampton Beach High School, graduated this past June, after which she enjoyed a really cool trip cross country with her grandmother Jean Plitt and her brother Russell. Places visited included Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands and the Mississippi River. Currently family is visiting from Germany. I’ll tell you more next time.

Happy anniversary to my co-worker Kerin Orlowski and her husband, Steve, who celebrated their seventh year of married life together. We love you both dearly and wish you the very best of luck and happiness with your two little children, Cormac and Cayleigh. Congratulations.

I had a great time with my best friend, Patti Smith, last Friday night. No, she didn’t come for a visit from North Carolina, we talked on the phone. Patti has a great garden, planted and grown without my guidance. We picked her first-ever watermelon via phone and she even cut it and sent me pictures. It’s a beauty!

That is all for this week. Buy some extra corn, cook it, cut it off the cob, and put it in the freezer in a freezer bag. The result? You’ll have corn for Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or New Year’s, or Valentine’s Day, or a Monday when the snow is flying. Take care, be safe, bye.