Have you made any New Year resolutions?  As a real estate broker, each year I resolve to work harder, list and sell more real estate properties, become more organized in my every day life, spend more time with my family, become more tolerant and make more money.  As you all know, money isn’t everything.  Life becomes easier, but it does not solve all our problems. An important part of identifying and stating your goals should be to write it down on a piece of paper.  Also, an important part of your goals, i.e. starting that diet, returning to the gym, stop smoking, is to verbalize it.  Each year, I type in bold print, FULL CAPS, my goals for the New Year.  This Monday 1/5 at 9:30 a.m., I will begin the Sweathogs training program at the Staten Island Board of Realtors hosted by Vincent Zaloom.  If any of my readers are real estate professionals, this is something you might consider for the new year.  Call Vinny at 917-539-4798.  NOW is the time for you to take action to ensure a successful 2015.  How’s that for verbalizing?

If one of your goals for 2015 is to find a job, visit the Dongan Hills Library, 1617 Richmond Rd. on Monday, 1/5, from noon-2:00 p.m. to learn how to seek that perfect job Online.  On Thursday, 1/8, a MS Word for Beginners class will be held from 11-1, also at the Dongan Hills Library.  Call 718-351-1444 for information on both programs.  The New York Public Library is a source for much education and fun for babies, toddlers, teens and adults.  Check them out http://www.nypl.org

Were you able to visit the DiMartino Christmas Village?  There are only a few more days until 1/6 to make the trip to 107 Sharrotts Rd. (between Bloomingdale Rd. and Arthur Kill Rd.).  It is open from 5-11 p.m.  Joe DiMartino raises money for the Children's Cancer Center at SIUH by spreading the Joy of Christmas at his home in this elaborately displayed and interactive village.  It is like nothing you have ever experienced; great for kids of all ages.  Admission is free, but there is donation box if you feel generous or want to support a noble cause. 








Photographers, please read this re-run from last week. The opening reception of The National Lighthouse museum, 5D Bay St. Landing Greenway (behind St. George Post Office), will be Saturday, 2/7/15 from 1-5. The First National Juried Photograph Show for the Museum in association with the Creative Photographers Guild will be held on the same day.  Deadline for submissions is 1/11/15.  Exhibition dates are 2/7 through 3/7.  Hours are Wednesday, 10-4, Saturday & Sunday 1-5.  For information, email info@lighthousemuseum.org or call 855-656-7469.

A few things to do with your Christmas tree:  Check out the blog on the Gillani Homes website:  5 Crafty Uses for Your Tree After Christmashttp://www.gillanihomes.com/blog/5-crafty-uses-for-your-tree-after-christmas.html  My tree still smells great and for once, I am not ready to take it down just yet.  It makes me feel festive and happy.  But if the time is right for you to toss it, read this article and the following.   

The City Parks and Sanitation Departments and GrowNYC have combined forces to host the annual Mulchfest1. You can bring your tree to a chipping location on 1/10 and 1/11 from 10-2.  Bring a bag and get your very own bag of mulch at Clove Lakes Park and the parking lot of Conference House Park at Hylan Blvd. and Satterlee Pl.  2. Bring your tree to a drop-off site (Father Macris Park, Fahy Ave. and Lamberts Ln., Midland Beach Parking Lot 6 at Fr. Capodanno and Graham Blvd., Silver Lake Tennis House at University Pl. and Revere St. and Tappen Park, Stapleton) from 1/3-1/11.  It will be recycled later.  3. Put it at the curb.  The Sanitation Dept. will be conducting special curbside collections from 1/5 through 1/16. 

On Sunday, 1/4, beginning at 11, the Protectors of Pine Oak Woods will host the Gateway to the Greenbelt Walk, 3.5 miles through Willowbrook Park.  Call or e-mail Hillel Lofaso at 718-477-0545 or hillel5757@gmail.com for information.  When was the last time you walked through Willowbrook Park?  I have such fond memories as a child exploring many parks on Staten Island.  Willowbrook now boasts a carousel, archery range and much more.  Put this on your list to experience!

Also on Sunday, 2:00 p.m., at the Greenbelt Nature Center, 700 Rockland Ave., learn about Herbal Remedies for Winter Maladies.  You will learn how to fortify yourself to ward off a colonization of unwelcome organisms as part of a seasonal wellness strategy and also how to create comforting and effective natural relief if your defense becomes overwhelmed. Call 718-351-3450 or email naturecenter@sigreenbelt.org for more info.

Do you like to laugh?  Who doesn’t?  Staten Island has a number of venues where you can enjoy comedy nights1. 120 Bay Café – 1st Wednesday of the month.  2.  Flagship Brewing Co., 40 Minthorne St. 3rd Thursday of the month.  3. VMH Playhouse Theater at Snug Harbor, 1000 Richmond Terr., TBA, 4.  Looney Bin, 141 West Short Expressway Service Road West.  Shows posted online.  5. Hashtag Bar, 388 Van Duzer St. - every Monday.

Are there events or programs that you will be attending that you want to share?   If you want to comment, call me at 646-258-9696, write me below or at joan.coogan@gmail.com

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