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Our First Karaoke Singing Gathering 1/15/11 Janet's Home

From Janet:

Hello to all! I was thrilled over the response of our BSGconnect members for wanting to attend our first gathering for singing karaoke and for all to come to this event at my home. I most certainly felt the love abound for myself (Janet), for Patricia C. and from our members for us starting up BSGconnect. It was the beauty of it all that will have an everlasting effect especially on me personally. It was heart-warming to have a large gathering at this home itself, as this home-my home will be sold and it was a grand finale.

It has been many years since I myself had heard music in the air within this home, due to the progressive illness of my dear partner. It took a large step upon myself to even want to participate with this. However, I felt it was time to bring in the light and bring in some moments of happiness into a home that was so sad for so long. Yet, I do recall the wonderful memories within this home with my partner, family and friends prior to illness knocking at this door. My life was a song and the music was so much a part of my life.

I was ecstatic to hear our BSGconnect members sing; hear the laughter; see the camaraderie amongst all the dancing, the movement abound my home and watching the genuine enjoyment of all attending. It truly was indescribable to witness our members who months ago too could not even listen to music. Many this day now were really getting into it as they sang solos, duets and in groups. Even the so called shy one's or the one's who said they did not sing were singing. It surely was a beautiful sound of music. It could make anyone well up with tears of joy. I know it did for me, especially in the quiet after hours when the event was over and all went home. I know it did for Patricia C. too as from time to time during the event I would just look over at her face as to see her reaction.

Both myself (Janet) and Patricia C. as your leaders of BSGconnect applaud all of you. It gives us great pride to be your leaders and to see the socialization progress amongst our members. Whether you realize it or not, we have all taken broad steps individually and as a group. It truly is a blessing -a joy to be around you all. We have all grown through our experiences. We have all opened our hearts and feel love and respect for one another.

Thank you all for coming, sharing and participating in this event. The following 16 wonderful people were in attendence...Patricia C., myself (Janet), Phyllis, Fionula, Anita, Judy & Richard, Diane V., Diane R., Jim R., Jim B, Sandy, Margaret, Mike,Helen & Kevin.

I also wanted to give special thanks to the following people...
To Patricia C. for your kindness in allowing me-esp. at this event at my home to be me and to congregate and enjoy the time with our members. I appreciate your manning the kitchen, prepping the food (for this I know you enjoy and do well at and for your understanding of my disability) and for bringing your wonderful spinach dip, ambrosia and mini hot dogs for all to enjoy. Thanks most of all for partnering with me in BSGconnect.
To Diane V. for coming to my home early A.M. for assisting in the set up for this event and esp. for the time consuming copying of the CD karaoke music cover listings for the songs all can sing.
To Fionula & Son (Rodger). Special appreciation from all at BSGconnect for the wonderful sandwiches from Subway At the Trade Zone of which (Rodger)being the owner of the shop. We will not forget your kindness and support.
To Judy & Richard. Thanks for the scrumptious apple pie which turned out great for topping of the ice cream and for all your assistance towards the end of the event in the clean up and for your continuous support of our group.
To All others who may have contributed food items for this event and I inadvertently did not mention your names personally (as I was caught up in the moment and could not keep track)... Please know that you too are appreciated from the bottom of my heart.

THE HAPPY ENDING OF A BEAUTIFUL EVENT. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

From Sandy :

Karaoke night hosted by Janet was another wonderful, successful event.
Janet you out did yourself with all the delicious food. Who else brought goodies? Patricia, ambrosia, yum yum, and Steve "made" that delicious apple pie warmed out of the oven. Anyone else? not sure who brought what.
Singing was such fun. I heard 3 prospective members for the Harmony In Motion A Cappella chorus!(A women's barbershop group). Thank you Janet for the fun time, grand conversation and time to connect


From Patricia:

Another fun bowling session on May 14. June joined us for the first time along with Margaret, Diana V, Diana R and me. Anita stopped by to cheer us on and give us some pointers. June ended up with the high score of the day. Beginner’s luck? Well hopefully she will join us again and we will see. Am I putting the pressure on? You bet! I for one and I know I speak for a few others, I am happy just to get some pins down!


Trail Ride July 12

Our first trail ride!! We went to the Double D Ranch in Blairstown. There were 4 of us; Diana V, Peter, Sandy and me (Patricia). Beautiful day. We started early at 10:30, good thing it was a hot day. For three of us, it was a very long time since we had been on a horse. It took a while to get us on the horses. Except for Sandy. As you can see from the pictures, Sandy is quite the horsewoman. She came dressed for the ride looking very professional. Diana V was nervous as was I. Once she got on the horse, Diana was not sure she could do the ride but she braved it. I for one was very proud of her. The trail was varied and quite scenic in spots. The trail went thru the woods, across an open field and along side corn fields where my horse and Peter’s kept stopping for a snack. Sandy who was ahead of me turned back and shouted “Don’t let him do that”. I shouted back “Easy for you to say”. It was a good experience and I am glad I did it. Would I say it was fun? I don’t know about that. I was too nervous I think. I would like to ride again without letting so much time pass. Autumn ride anyone?

I thank Peter and Diana for participating. Bravo to you two! I thank Sandy for her calmness and sharing her knowledge.


From Patricia November 10

As we very quickly approach the holiday season and another year is coming to an end, I wanted to catch up on adding to our photo album. Up until today, if you were viewing our album it would appear that things have slowed for us this year. Quite the contrary, we are very busy doing lots of fun things. We have 5 or 6 events a month. Between planning and attending the events, emailing, fliers and then I course there is my work I just don’t seem to be able to get the photos and stories posted. I promise to try (the operative word being try) to do better.

BSGconnect’s one year anniversary was in August and we celebrated with our Annual Barbecue on October 1 at my house. We had a great turn out and everyone brought food so we had an amazing feast. It was truly insane. Everyone went home with doggy bags. We had a great time. We started at 1PM and the last of the group left after 7PM. The members of the group presented me with a lovely card and present. Beverly brought me a beautiful fall flower with small blue lights. Stan brought me a card shuffler and new cards for game night. I was surprised and very touched.

It is so gratifying to me to see how the group has grown and matured in the last year. I am only the facilitator for this wonderful group of people. The camaraderie and support grows all the time as we get to know each other better. It is really amazing! We are a very diverse group, all having led very different lives. But we come together with the common bond of having lost a loved one and offer each other understanding and companionship.

One of our best events this year was the Photo Fest in September. We talk about our loved one and family all the time. But we don’t know what they look like. So we brought our pictures and albums. After munching on sandwiches from Dominck’s and salads, the 12 of us in attendance sat around in a circle and shared our photos and memories. It was terrific. Sorry no pictures from that day.

We bowl once a month. The turn out can be 4 to 8 people. We always have fun. It does not matter how many other people are in the bowling alley, we are the loudest  group. We cheer and high five every spare and strike. Though I must admit, last month Stan (the banana man) (inside joke) joined us for the first time. Now he said he had never bowled before. Well it must have been beginners luck. He ended up with the best score ever for the BSG members 150. So as we neared the end of the second game, I was done with the high fives as there were so many. Margaret is usually the high scorer.

Continued Patricia November 10

We had the first miniature golf outing on June 21. We enjoyed it so much we had two more. The first time we met on a Saturday so we had to play in two groups. The other two outings were in off peak times so we played together. It is much more fun that way. Of course, we cheer and holler every really good shot. I think that will be a regular event next year!


From Patricia

Dinner at Beverly White’s House November 5

One of our newest members, Bev invited us to her home for dinner. Despite having to postpone a week due to the winter storm we had 10 people attending. Everyone was dressed up for the occasion. Beverly is certainly the hostess with the mostest. Everything was amazing! Lots of great food! Delicious sangria! Fall decorations! Bev had a plastic frame with pictures from the Barbecue for everyone. We received our individual photo, the group shot and a poem she wrote . She planned a game for us to play which we all enjoyed. Bev is incredibly thoughtful. I know all the planning, time and expense that went into having such a great event. We all thank Bev so much.

An Original Poem By Beverly White

October 29, 2011

Redefining Life

We come together with common thread,
The loss of someone dear,
So each of us must redefine
Ourselves, our lives, our year.

I t’s hard to do, to make this change,
When sorrow burns and smothers,
But having friends who understand
Can ease the pain of others.

So, it is with great gratitude,
I thank BSG members,
Whose caring, sharing, laughter
Helps smooth those many embers.

T he essence of survival,
Is to meet each future day,
Knowing that we’re not alone
As we walk this brand new way!



November 12 New Jersey Vietnam Memorial

Five of us made the trip to the Memorial. My oldest cousin, Michael Ioli, a Vietnam Vet and an official tour guide at the Memorial made a special trip to be our guide. He was accompanied by his lovely and devoted wife Mary-Ann. Michael was a great guide full of terrific information and answering all our questions. He certainly added a great deal to our visit. If you have the chance you should visit the memorial it is very moving and powerful. All the way home, I had to hear how great Michael was but oh well. It was worth it. Love you Mike!



Trip to New York City to see the Christmas Tree. Quite an adventure with Fionula losing her purse. Luckily it was turned in and she was able to get in back intact. Oh! The luck of the Irish. To get a closer look at the photos click once.



Christmas Party at Charlie's.

Lots of food as usual. Fun with the grab bag. Charlie was a great host. Everyone had a good time.To get a closer look at the photos click once.

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