August 2008

Rental Homes Vacation Homes Log In

Issue Number 11, August 2008

Back To School Commuting Safety

It’s the end of August and you’re about to drive past the quiet, barren school zone once again, but wait something is different! There are children scurrying about with their back packs and bikes. The speed limit has dropped and there is a traffic jam. This can only mean one thing. School is back in session and you should have left the house 10 minutes earlier. While this can often incite day dreams of childhood excitement, you need to wake up and review a few safety tips for back to school.

For Job Commuters:

  • Be prepared for a longer commute due to increased vehicular traffic, the addition of school buses and teenage drivers.
  • Watch out for children darting out into the street or riding bikes.
  • Be patient and observe the law when nearing a school bus that activates its stop sign arm for the loading and unloading of children.
  • Be mindful of intersections where children are prone to gather for the bus.
  • Lower your speed in schools zones. The speed limit has likely dropped to 20 mph and a speeding ticket will cost you twice as much.

For Children Commuting to School:

  • If your child is walking, preselect a safe walking route and practice walking it before hand. Discuss busy corners, looking both ways, using sidewalks and where to walk if there isn’t one. Be sure to discuss the importance of never deviating from this route. There truly is safety in numbers, so walk with a group of children. Always wear light or bright clothing so drivers can see you. Reflective patches on back packs and shoes are great! And discuss what to do if your child is approached by a stranger. A great video to watch is Too Smart for Strangers by Walt Disney.
  • If your child is riding the bus, don’t walk toward the bus until it makes a final stop. If you are waiting across the street, don’t approach the bus until the street is clear and the driver says you can proceed. Once on the bus, always remain seated, keep all body parts inside the bus at all times, keep the isles clear, and your voices down. Always listen to the bus driver.
  • If your child is riding a bike, be sure it is in good riding condition always. Preselect a safe biking route and practice riding this route before hand. Discuss the dangers of darting out in front of vehicles and the safety of always looking before proceeding. Supply a lock so the bike doesn’t get stolen. Discuss everything you would if your child was walking.


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Appreciating Labor Day

Labor Day is usually observed with family picnics or backyard grills, lots of friends, a game of badminton and a dip in the pool. The last dip maybe, if your pool closes for the season. And if you recently relocated to a new home, Labor Day weekend is a great time to discover what’s interesting about your new town. Go online to learn about local parades, concerts, festivals and art exhibits. You’ll surely find something that peaks your interest and desire to get involved in your new community. But overall, be sure to RELAX! You deserve it because you’ve been working so hard.

To truely appreciate the Labor Day holiday it is good to know how it all began. Learn about its origin in the late 1800s when the average American worked 12 hour days and children provided cheap labor. Read about the labor movement, its struggles along the way and why we celebrate “the value and dignity of work, and its role in the American way of life”, known as Labor Day.

Green Tip

Green Tip

Let your children ride the bus to school instead of driving them yourself. Buses are actually more efficient than cars and release lower amounts of carbon emmisions.

Plus, it keeps keeps you off the road and allows you to save on gas!

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Easy Entertaining

Try this easy and elegant dip at your next gathering.


Spinach Artichoke Dip

By Lisa Aitken



1 package cream cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup Parmesan cheese

3 cloves garlic

1-2 tsp. lemon juice

1 package frozen spinach

1 can artichoke hearts (chopped)



Mix all ingredients and bake at 325° for 25 minutes.

Serve warm with sourdough bread, pretzels or celery for dipping.

Got a recipe of your own you would like to share? Tell us at

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