Holiday schedule

Happy holidays!

The office at Pebble Creek at Lake Mary will be closed Dec. 24, 25 and 26 – this coming Saturday, Sunday and Monday – for Christmas.

The office also will be closed on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 and 2 – the following Saturday, Sunday and Monday – in observance of the New Year.

Other scheduling info to know:

Publix stores will be closing early on Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve – and closed on Christmas Day. Stores will operate on normal hours on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31). Some stores will close early on New Year’s Day – with the individual store for details. Publix pharmacies will be closed on New Year’s Day.

Target storeswill be closed on Christmas Day.

SunRail will run its normal schedule Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 26.

Lynx will run on its regular Sunday/holiday schedule on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Regular hours resume on Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, respectively, except for Links 426 and 427.

Seminole County libraries will be open until 5 p.m. on Dec. Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 but closed on Christmas Day and Dec. 26 as well as New Year’s Day and Jan. 2.

Hi there, cookie!

Few holiday activities are more fun than making cookies – the delicious smells in the kitchen. The memories. The love that goes into every batch.

Photo credit: Florida Dairy Farmers

Our friend Heather McPherson, cookbook author and former Orlando Sentinel food editor, has been working with the Florida Dairy Farmers on a project called The 12 Days of Cookies.

Cranberry walnut! Snickerdoodles! Lemon bars – yum! And there are more to come.

Check them out the Florida Dairy Farmers website here.

Oh, you just want the recipes? Here you go.

Happy (_________) Day!

Looking for something to celebrate? December is chock full of holidays and special days. We can look forward to Hanukkah (starts on the 24th and by the way, here are some recipes) and Christmas (the 25th, and you should make some cookies), plus the New Year’s festivities a week later.

But did you know we have a wealth of other special days, including:

TodayPoinsettia Day, which marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, an American botanist, physician and envoy to Mexico who, in 1828, sent cuttings of a plant he discovered in southern Mexico back to his home in Charleston, SC.

Dec. 13National Ice Cream Day. (Yes, there’s one in July too, proclaimed by President Reagan back in 1984.)

Dec. 14 – Full moon – go out and look!

Dec. 16National Chocolate Covered Anything Day. You know what to do!

Dec. 17National Maple Syrup Day. Did someone say pancakes?

It’s also Wright Brothers Day, which commemorates the day in 1903 that Orville and Wilbur flew the first heavier-than-air, mechanically propelled flying machine at Kitty Hawk, NC.

Dec. 19 Ugly Sweater Day. Come on, get in the spirit!

It’s also Oatmeal Muffin Day.

Dec. 21 – Winter Solstice. Shortest day of the year.

It’s also National Humbug Day. Vent your frustrations about all of the holiday prep you’re doing and release some stress.

Not a Scrooge? It’s also National Look on the Bright Side Day. Look for the positive today.

For Dr. Who fans, it’s International Dalek Remembrance Day. Time for a Dr. Who marathon!

Dec. 22Date Nut Bread Day.

Dec. 23Festivus. For the rest of us. Thanks, Frank Costanza! According to “tradition,” the holiday meal is accompanied by the “airing of grievances” and followed by “feats of strength,” in which the head of the household wrestles with the guests.

Dec. 26National Thank You Note Day.

Dec. 29National Pepper Pot Day. According to tradition, eating pepper pot stew (made of tripe, vegetables and pepper) gave George Washington’s army the strength to win the American Revolution.

Dec. 30National Bicarbonate of Soda Day. Baking soda is one of the most used chemicals of all time. Replace the box in your fridge – or make a baking soda and vinegar volcano with the kids!

Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve! Also National Make Up your Mind Day.

Welcome 2017!

What are you making for Thanksgiving – dinner or reservations?

Which are you – the person who loves to make turkey with all the fixin’s – and leftovers! – or the one who appreciates a good restaurant… and coming home to a clean kitchen?

Either way, we’ve got you covered.

For the cooks:

Turkey: Gotta start with the bird. Martha Stewart shows us how. Want to experiment? Epicurious has a whole list of options.

FYI… if you need some turkey 911, you can contact Butterball by phone — 1-800-BUTTERBALL (800-288-8732) — email, online chat, text (844-877-3456, available through Thanksgiving Day) or tweet.

Dressing: Cooking the dressing separately is safer that stuffing it inside the bird. Bonus: you can make more of it!

You can go basic and traditional, choose cornbread over bread as the base or do something different, such as brown and wild rice or even matzo. For a healthier alternative, think gluten-free walnut, kale and quinoa. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with Southern oyster dressing — version one or two. Yum!


Side dishes: Potatoes? Sweet potatoes? Green beans? Country Living has recipes and yummy photos of just about everything.

Food and Wine has suggestions for a great meal, starting with soup, then continuing on to turkey (or ditching the bird for lobster) and vegetarian sides.

Southern flair: Nothing like home cookin’. See ideas here, also from Country Living.

Finally, Country Living has a few suggestions in the pie department as well.

Don’t want to do all of the work? Publix, Whole Foods, Petty’s Meats and other stores will cook anything from the turkey to the whole meal for you. None of the work, all of the leftovers – win-win!

Or skip the bird and put a ham in the middle of the table. Or do both and make everybody happy.

Reservations please!

No cooking? No problem. Here’s a list of places serving Thanksgiving dinner. You might want to go ahead and see if they have room for you.

Whatever you choose to do, we at Pebble Creek at Lake Mary wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings!

Thanksgiving activities

Cook. Eat. Watch TV. Shop.

Break your Turkey Day routine with some of these great activities around the Orlando area:

Seniors First Turkey Trot: Burn off the calories before you consume them! Starts bright and early at Lake Eola. More info via Track Shack. P.S. – wear a costume.

turkey-runTurkey Day 5k: This family fun run in Sanford is a little closer to home. Runners, walkers, strollers and baby joggers all welcome. More info on the website.

Central Florida International Auto Show: See the latest cars, trucks and SUVs. $10 for adults. Orange County Convention Center. More info on the auto show website.

Leu Gardens: Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Thirty-minute guided tour every hour. $10 for adults. More info on the Leu Gardens website.

ICE! At the Gaylord Palms: Yes, it’s a drive from us here at Pebble Creek at Lake Mary, but worth it for the icy spectacle. More on the Gaylord Palms website.

Light Up UCF: Affordable and family friendly, this annual event includes rides, ice skating, a film festival, a light show and other attractions. More info here.

Servin’ up turkey: It’s always good to give back on a day of thanksgiving. Most holiday volunteer opportunities go fast though. Check out possibilities here for Hands On Orlando, Second Harvest or United Way – or ask at your place of worship. Year-round ways to help children, seniors and organizations in the community can be found here.




Last day to early vote!

Today — Sunday — is the last day to vote early in Seminole County. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

vote-500x375If you have not voted, get yourselves to the polls! Be sure to have your ID with you — one with a photo and a signature.

Seminole County Early Voting Centers are located at:

  • Central Branch Library (busiest location)
    215 N. Oxford Rd., Casselberry
  • East Branch Library
    310 Division St., Oviedo
  • North Branch Library
    150 N. Palmetto Ave., Sanford
  • Northwest Branch Library
    580 Greenway Blvd., Lake Mary
  • West Branch Library
    245 N. Hunt Club Blvd., Longwood
  • Old Longwood Elementary (least busy location)
    840 Orange Ave., Longwood
  • Oviedo Aquatic Center
    148 Oviedo Blvd., Oviedo
  • Elections Office
    1500 E. Airport Blvd., Sanford
    407-585-VOTE (8683)

Voters may participate in early voting at any location, regardless of where they live in the county.

Shortest lines are in Sanford and Old Longwood Elementary in Longwood. Longest lines are at the Central Branch Library in Casselberry and the Lake Mary and Longwood library locations.

Any questions, contact the Supervisor of Elections office at 407-585-VOTE (8683).

IF YOU PLAN TO VOTE ON ELECTION DAY, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, you must vote at your precinct. Don’t know/don’t remember where your polling location is? Check out the info from the Supervisor of Elections Office.

Fall back!

dont-forget-to-fall-back_tIt’s that time of year again – time to change the clocks. Say buh-bye to Daylight Saving Time and hello to an extra hour of sleep Saturday night.

To be precise, DST ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6. If you want to stay up and turn the clocks back at the official time, that’s your business.

What does the time change mean for us? Mornings will get lighter and evenings darker, so kids will get a break going to school, but it might be dark when the grownups head to happy hour. Drive safely, in either case.

Why do we change our clocks? Here’s an explanation from last March when we did the “Spring Forward” part of the program. Farmers Almanac also has a great explanation.