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02/04/12 12:00pm
02/04/2012 12:00 PM

Did you know spring is just around the corner? Yup, March 21! Bring on the daffodils. I spotted the very beginnings of the rhubarb popping out of the ground the other day, to which I yelled “go back, go back,” to no avail. If this weather holds will the asparagus arrive super early? Or the strawberries, for that matter? I do know there are some nice Brussels sprouts, broccoli and other late crops that are still very fresh and good.

Get well soon to Calverton resident Dee Sujecki, who has managed to break her ankle. I sure hope Rick is being a great housewife to you, Dee. We all send you our love and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Riverhead Police Department’s COPE unit held an anti-bullying session for parents last week at Riley Avenue Elementary School. Students also attended an anti-bullying assembly, where the students signed an anti-bullying oath with their parents. Much thanks to Officer Jill from COPE and to the Riley Avenue Parents Association for these very important presentations.

February is Black History Month and Riley has many things planned to recognize the many achievements of African-Americans. Friday, Feb. 10, is Spirit Day at the school, the 15th is the Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m. at the high school and Feb. 20-24 is winter recess, when school will be closed.

I hope you’re using your Stop and Shop card to earn cash for Riley Ave. Elementary. Just log on to stopandshop.com/ourstores/bonusbucks/index.htm and use ID No. 09106 or call 1-877-275-2758. Cash for Riley just for shopping — awesome!

A ‘My Furry Valentine’ photo contest exhibit will be held on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Art Sites Gallery in Riverhead. There’s a suggested donation of $10 for admission. Proceeds benefit homeless animals at Kent Animal Shelter. What a cute way to begin the Valentine’s festivities. Also, don’t forget the “Beat the Heat” spaying program currently under way through February at Kent. The cost is only $20 per female cat. You must mention “Beat the Heat” when you call 727-7797 to schedule your appointment.

Congratulations to Dr. Vic Grazina and his wife, Jennifer, who welcomed their second child, a daughter, Dec. 21. Neila Kai Gallo Grazina weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces and measured 20 1/2 inches. Her big brother, Nico, simply loves his beautiful little sister. They are very cute together. Congratulations and much love and happiness to the four of you from all your family and friends, especially all of us at Dr. Bach’s.

Happy birthday to George Buckingham, who will celebrate Friday, Feb. 10. All your family and friends hope you have a great birthday, George.

Congrats to all the Giants fans on their team’s win at the Super Bowl!

A very happy Valentine’s Day to one and all. May your day be full of love, happiness and sunshine. Until next week, be safe, take care and I will talk to you soon. Bye.

01/29/12 12:00pm
01/29/2012 12:00 PM

I found something really special the other day — violets and aconites in full bloom under their protective leaves! This is super early and I had to dig to find them but they looked so beautiful with the promise of more pretty things to come.

Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton and Pet Smart are sponsoring a Beat the Heat event. During February Long Island residents can have their female cats spayed for only $20 per feline. In the spring, a time when cats go into a “heat cycle,” many unwanted kittens are born and the shelter becomes full. Spaying your cat before this cycle assures you there will be no need to give your kittens away. To get this amazing discount you must mention “Beat the Heat” when you call 727-7797 for your appointment. You may also visit kentanimalshelter.com to see potential new friends for adoption.

Belated happy birthday to Phil Zizzo, who celebrated Jan. 24, and his daughter Lauren Ciciulla, who turned 30 on Jan. 27. This is the first time Lauren celebrated a birthday as a married woman (Sept. 16, 2011). Your wonderful wife and mom, Lynette, and all your family and friends say happy birthday. We hope you both had a great day.

Happy birthday to Miriam Niegocki, who will celebrate Feb. 5, from your daughter, Joan, your husband, myself and all your family and friends. We hope your day is very nice, Miriam. Birthday wishes also go to Ed Hodun Jr. on the 5th. Your daughter, Amanda, and all your family and friends hope you enjoy a relaxing day, a fun day, a “do whatever you want” day.

This is a silly thing to write about, but hey, you know me. Someone gave me a recipe last week and it called for feta cheese. Do you know what happens to feta cheese when you add it to hot food? It melts like mozzarella cheese and gets stringy. I was in awe but it really was good!

Did you know the very first Groundhog Day was celebrated on Feb. 2, 1886, in Punxsutawney Pa.? That’s where the tradition began but we have many of our own groundhogs here to annoy us all summer long. They do a great job of eating our gardens, don’t they? It is said that if the groundhog sees his shadow we will have six more weeks of winter. I’m sure many of you are thinking that six more weeks of this winter is perfectly fine.

Go Giants! I am, as most of you know, a diehard Jets fan, but I also like the Giants. If they can beat the “you know what” out of New England (a Jets fan’s biggest enemy), well, they have my support. Good luck!

Take care, be safe, look for your flowers under the leaves and I shall talk to you next week. Bye.

01/16/12 3:00am
01/16/2012 3:00 AM

What weird weather this year, right? Last Saturday I was driving my truck down Route 58, going past Riverhead Raceway, when I just happened to look at my temperature gauge, which read 48 degrees. For some reason I looked at it again and the temperature had dropped. It kept dropping till it reached 41 degrees, which happened in just one mile. Then it began to rain and as I turned the corner it started snowing. Spooky stuff.

Congratulations to Benny Orlowski, who has retired from Cornell Cooperative Extension after 29 years. A great party was thrown for him at Indian Island, at which many of his co-workers and lots of family and friends helped him celebrate. Benny, all your friends, your lovely wife, Eileen, your children, grandchildren and myself wish you a very warm, sunny retirement with tropical breezes following you everywhere. Congratulations and have fun!

It’s spaghetti time! This Saturday, Jan. 21, is Baiting Hollow Congregational Church’s annual spaghetti dinner. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10. Call 591-0822. There are two seatings available: 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Do go, eat, relax and enjoy some great food and wonderful friends.

There’s an ongoing fundraiser at Riley where you can help raise money for the school by doing virtually nothing. Those with a Stop & Shop points card can help Riley earn money from your purchases. To register for 2012 log on to stopandshop.com/aplus or call 1-877-275-2758 and use school ID 09106. Do consider participating.

Many thanks to a few wonderful, kind and caring people at Riley: Mrs. Kappenberg and Mrs. Masterson for the holiday murals, which are brought to Peconic Bay Medical Center each year, much to the delight of its patients and staff. And to Rose’s Care and Share, RAPA and all our Riley parents who have donated many gifts to help families in need this past holiday season. Thank you all so much!

Belated happy birthday to Gary Pelis on Jan. 16 from all your family and friends. We hope you had a simply wonderful birthday, honey!

My mom grows orchids and she grows them amazingly. I was always leery about trying to grow them. I am happy to say she’s right, they are easy to grow as long as you feed them and water them regularly. It’s fun to watch their little buds pop out. Do try it. Get an orchid with or without flowers (they are much cheaper without flowers), sit back and watch the fun begin.

Take care, have a great week and I shall talk to you next time. Bye.

01/10/12 2:00am
01/10/2012 2:00 AM

I hope this column finds you totally relaxed and ready for some snow. Boy, did I call this one wrong, eh? I really thought we’d have a bad winter but, hey, we still have plenty of time, my fellow winter-lovers.

Let’s start by talking about having a fun night out. Baiting Hollow Congregational Church’s annual spaghetti dinner will take place Saturday, Jan. 21, at the church on Sound Avenue. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under. There will be two seatings: 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. You need to go to this. Not only do you not have to cook, it’s so delicious! Call 591-0822 for information and tickets.

The annual Rockin’ for the Homeless fundraiser will take place Saturday, Jan. 28, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Polish Hall on Marcy Avenue in Riverhead. This is such a great cause. You will enjoy four great bands in four amazing hours. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. There will be all kinds of door prizes, and so much more. Call 298-4145 for tickets and info. Tickets can be purchased locally at Barth’s Drug Store or at the Polish Hall. Why not have some fun while helping a very worthy cause? Hey, two weekends with something for you to do — awesome!

On Saturday, Jan. 14, the Miss America contest will be seen on ABC television. Big deal, right? Yes it is. Robin Bonner, a patient of Dr. Bach’s, will be representing Rhode Island. We are very excited for her and wish her the best of luck. Do tune in. Maybe you, too, will know our next Miss America. Good luck, honey!

Riley Avenue Elementary School welcomed back all their students after the holiday break. I will let you know of all the upcoming happenings so stay tuned.

I’m very proud of myself for not letting a 1-year-old scare me. I babysat overnight for the first time for my granddaughter Julia last week and we really had a great time. All four of us — my Yorkie, Brooklyn, Julia’s boxer, Rocky, and us girls — enjoyed our time together doing baby stuff. The 5:30 a.m. wake-up call, complete with poopy diaper, didn’t even make me flinch — although my eyes were closed so that worked out well. Great job, Cheryl.

Happy birthday to my dad, Paul Troyan, who will celebrate on Jan. 15. We love you, Pop. From all your family and friends, we hope you have a really great birthday.

We sadly said goodbye to Calverton resident Peggy Perkins last week. Peggy died one day after her wedding anniversary to Perk. You will be missed, Peggy. You were a good friend who always had a kind word and smile for us all. God bless.

Happy New Year to all of you. Be safe and I shall talk to you next week. Take care. Bye.

12/18/11 3:28pm
12/18/2011 3:28 PM

Here we go … bring on Christmas! I hope you’ve finished your shopping and wrapping and are nice and relaxed and ready for Santa. I for one am ready for lots of nice white snow. Mother Nature could surely bring us snow lovers a white Christmas, a white New Year’s or a white any day of the week. Good luck to us all.

Riley Avenue Elementary School would like to wish each and every one of you a very merry Christmas, happy holidays and the best New Year ever. School will be back in session on Jan. 3, after everyone has enjoyed a break from homework and the everyday things that go with learning. So have a great time, enjoy and relax.

Don’t forget the fourth annual Rockin’ for the Homeless fundraiser will take place Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Polish Hall in Riverhead. Tickets go on sale Monday, Jan. 2, and may be purchased at Barth’s Drug Store in both Riverhead and Mattituck, at the Polish Hall in Riverhead and at Mattituck Presbyterian Church. This is a great event that benefits a great cause. Come enjoy four great hours with four great bands. By the time the event approaches we’ll all need a fun night out — you know, cabin fever and all that stuff.

Here’s some good news. Now that winter has arrived the days will now begin to get a little bit longer. Yes, my friends, we have endured yet another day, the shortest, darkest day of the year, and now it is all uphill. So enjoy that little bit of extra sunlight at the end of the day.

Congratulations to my friend and Riverhead resident Barbara Mongelut, who has once again won an Outstanding Rental Agent award for her expertise in the realty field. Barbara, congrats to you from everyone in the Fairfield community and all your family and friends. Great job, honey!

I have lots of solar lights. I figure if I can have my yard look really nice without paying LIPA a dime it’s all good. Anyway, the moral of the story is: Change your batteries in your solar lights. If you don’t they will weaken and won’t give off enough light.

A very happy 30th birthday to my daughter-in-law (and great mom to my granddaughter), Jaime Pelis, who will celebrate Dec. 27, and to my son, Robbie (a great dad), who will celebrate Dec. 28. We love you both dearly and hope your day is very special. Your cutie-pie daughter and my granddaughter, Julia, and all your family and friends wish you a happy, happy birthday! Also, birthday wishes are sent to our friend of many years Karl Kohler, who now lives in Florida, but has left us with so many great memories. We wish you a great birthday, Karl. We love and miss you!

That is all for 2011. I wish each and every one of you a simply perfect holiday season, full of happiness, good health and wealth, and the simple things in life that truly make life so nice. I will talk to you all again in my next column on Jan. 12, 2012. Be safe, take care and God bless. Bye.

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12/09/11 12:40pm
12/09/2011 12:40 PM

Only 10 days till Santa Claus arrives, so get a move on! Wasn’t it just the Fourth of July? Or even Labor Day, when we were sad to see the summer go? Where did the time go?

The staff at Riley Avenue Elementary School has hung murals at Peconic Bay Medical Center’s skilled nursing facility and the residents and staff there are delighted with the artwork. Riley chorus members will soon be Christmas caroling there, a highly anticipated annual event.

Rebecca Cohen, a third-grader at Riley, had the privilege of having her dad visit Mrs. Menis’ class to teach the students about Veterans Day. The children really learned a lot. Many thanks to Mr. Cohen and all who protect our country.

On Sunday, Jan. 8, at 11:30 a.m. Matt Kar and Rowland, Patti and Jessica Hautsch invite you to enjoy a buffet brunch and some very good company at the Jamesport Manor Inn in memory of Ryan Hautsch, whom we lost so tragically and all to soon. Ryan lives on in our hearts and in a scholarship in his name for local culinary arts students. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for teens and $12 for children. Soda, coffee and tea are included. For reservations, call 722-0500. All proceeds support the Ryan Hautsch Scholarship Fund. Once again, many thanks to Matt for his thoughtfulness.

Belated happy birthday to Holly Burke, who celebrated on Dec. 11, from your husband, Sean, your children and grandchildren, and especially Joan. We hope you had a perfect birthday. DeeJay Chasse celebrated his 30th on Dec. 10 with a surprise party in his honor. We hope you had a really fun time.

Happy birthday on Dec. 15 to DeeJay’s wife, Danielle, my number one pumpkin helper (OK, number two. Sorry, Danielle; Jamie was there first). We all love you, honey! Wishes also go to Calverton resident Florence Danowski on Dec. 18. Happy birthday to this wonderful, fun lady from all your family and friends. May your day be perfect, Florence. We love you lots.

My little Julia celebrated her first birthday with a party last weekend and I do believe she loved it. There were so many toys, all of which she played with to everyone’s delight — a perfect little hostess. We all had a great time and can’t wait to see what Christmas will bring.

Remember that tip I gave you about keeping raccoons out of the garbage by putting ammonia on top of the bags? Well, I had no ammonia and instead sprayed Westley’s Bleche-Wite tire cleaner on top. I have to say, not one little varmint has dined on my trash. Try it. It’ll give you peace of mind, as you won’t have to keep picking up your trash in the morning before you go to work. Ugh.

A very happy Hanukkah to those of you who celebrate. May your holiday be lovely, happy and healthy.

Be safe, take care and I shall talk to you next week, which, by the way, will be my last column until Jan. 12. Bye.

12/06/11 11:34am
12/06/2011 11:34 AM

OK, last year we had snow flurries on Dec. 6 and it was quite cold. So far there hasn’t been a flake in sight but I’m not giving up hope. The snow will come, my friends — just wait!

Riley Avenue Elementary School is in full holiday mode as its annual Winter Wonderland kicks off Dec. 13-15. This event, which goes way back to when my kids were in school, offers the students the opportunity to shop for their families with the help of the wonderful school volunteers. Winter Wonderland is made possible by the Riley Avenue Parent Association. Many thanks for this truly nice event for the students.

Riley’s annual fourth-grade holiday concert will take place on Monday, Dec. 12, in the Riverhead High School auditorium at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend and hear some beautiful music. Also, the annual visit to Peconic Bay Medical Center’s skilled nursing facility will take place once again this year, an event that is much looked forward to by the patients, staff and children alike. The before-school program went above and beyond again this year as they put together amazing Thanksgiving baskets for local families in need.

Many thanks to RAPA for their generous gift card donations, and to all the students, parents and staff who brought in donations. It is much appreciated. This wonderful group is also sending a nice package of treats (candy, gum, granola bars, coffee, beef jerky and holiday cards) to an Air Force unit in Afghanistan. Donations are being accepted till Dec. 10. I know it’s short notice but if you could drop off a little something to make our soldiers feel the holiday spirit, it would be great. If you choose to drop off a card, please address it Dear Airmen.

Are you ready to rock and roll again? The fourth annual Rockin’ for the Homeless will take place Jan. 28 at the Polish Hall in Riverhead. With four hours of fun and four fantastic bands it’s sure to be a great time. Tickets go on sale Jan. 2. Stay tuned for more details.

A very happy birthday to my little granddaughter Julia, who will turn 1 year old on Dec. 11. The year has flown so quickly. Julia has grown up to be quite a little lady, with her own ideas on how life should be. So my little punkin, I love you and wish you the best first birthday ever. From your mommy and daddy, auntie Jamie and all your family and friends, big and little, happy birthday, honey!

That is all for this week. Get out into the woods and cut some fresh pines for your windowboxes and planters. It looks and smells so nice and will last the entire winter fresh and green. Take care, be safe and I shall talk to you next week. Bye.

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