Labor Day tips for your Monday festivities

Happy Labor Day, neighbors of Pebble Creek at Lake Mary

If you are planning to celebrate on Monday, management would like for you to be aware of the following:

Grilling

  • Grills on the property are for all residents – first come, first served and be prepared to share.
  • Gas grills are available at both pools.labor day grilling
  • Charcoal grills and picnic tables are available at these locations:
    • next to the 793 building.
    • the playground.
    • between the 753 and 757 buildings.
    • between the 700 and 705 buildings (in island).
  • NO charcoal or gas grills are allowed on balconies or patios. If flames are seen on your balcony/patio, you will be issued a warning. Upon second offense, you will be asked to leave – as in pack your stuff and move out.

Pools

  • At the pools, be a good neighbor. Don’t monopolize tables, chairs, loungers, etc., and please clean up after yourselves.
  • NO parties – each apartment is allowed only two guests at the pool.47 pool for blog
  • NO loud music.
  • NO smoking.
  • NO glass containers.
  • People behaving badly will be asked to leave the pool area.

The office will be closed on Labor Day, but the property and the pools will be monitored throughout the weekend. Don’t hesitate to call the courtesy officer to report people behaving badly.

Party places

If you have a large group and everyone wants to party together, here are some nearby locations that can accommodate your plans:

  • Wekiva Springs State Park: Get here early to enjoy hiking, biking, birding, horseback riding, snorkeling and other activities. Pavilions are available for groups. More info and reservations at 407-884-2009.
  • Kelly Park: A great recreational spot, especially if you love the water. But be warned: The park is VERY popular. Be patient and have an alternate plan. And go early: Park officials say 280 vehicles will be allowed entry each morning, with an additional 50 vehicles after 1 p.m. with an afternoon parking pass. These 330 vehicles equate to an average of 1,350 visitors each day.
  • Wekiva Island: Live music starts at 2 on Monday. Enjoy canoeing, kayaking, volleyball and other activities. Cabanas are available for rent as well. Food, beer and wine are for sale.

Make democracy work – VOTE!

Today is the Florida Primary, the day when voters in each of the political parties vote for their party’s nominee for Congress, State Senate and State House, as well as local elections.

If you voted early or by mail – good for you! According to the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Office (SOE), more than 10,700 of our neighbors took part in early voting and more than 25,000 have voted by mail.voted sticker

If you have not voted, you need to go to the polls TODAY. We all get to vote in the Seminole County School Board race and for Circuit Judge in the 18th Judicial Circuit, Group 9. All of us also get to vote on a constitutional amendment regarding a tax exemption on renewable energy devices.

Democrats and Libertarians have senatorial primaries. Local Republicans have their state races as well as primaries for Clerk of Circuit Court, Tax Collector and Board of County Commission.

Polls are open today — Tuesday — 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Do you know where your polling place is? Your precinct number is printed on your voter information card and your sample ballot. For additional info, check the voter info page of the SOE’s website.

The website has a list of precincts and an interactive page that lets you input your information and see your precinct location.

Remember to take your current, valid photo ID that contains your signature. Approved ID includes:

  • Florida driver’s license
  • Florida ID card
  • U.S. passport
  • Military ID
  • Student ID

For the full list (plus the answers to other frequent questions), see this page on the SOE’s website.

Make your voice heard! Make democracy work!

Us vs. the heat

If you’re complaining about the heat, you have good reason: July was the hottest month since the late 1800s when climate experts started keeping records. And not just here in Florida – we’re talking worldwide. Last year was already a scorcher and this year likely will surpass it.thermostat for blog

We at Pebble Creek at Lake Mary can’t change the weather, but we can choose how we react and how we can stay cooler (and save money on the power bill) when it feels like a million degrees outside.

For starters:

  •  Set your AC to 78 degrees. Every degree increase saves you about 5 percent in cooling costs.
  • Close the blinds. Shutting shades and curtains keeps out both the sun and the heat.
  • Only run fans in occupied rooms. Fans can make it feel 2 to 3 degrees cooler, allowing you to use your AC less.
  • Grill outdoors. Cooking in the oven and on the stove top creates a lot of indoor heat.

A more detailed list of suggestions can be found on this page from Duke Energy.

2016GlobalAdjusted_Map_Jan-Jun_720_492_s_c1_c_c for blogBy the way, weather geeks:

  • July is typically the warmest month of the year globally because the Northern Hemisphere has more land masses than the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that July 2016 also marked the 15th consecutive warmest month on record for the globe.
  • The Arctic has been one of the areas of the world that has seen sky-high temperatures this year, which have led to record low levels of sea ice.
  • Those roasting Arctic temperatures have extended into Alaska. The state’s average temperature is 9 degrees F above the 1925-2000 average for the year through June. The North Slope town of Deadhorse just recorded a temperature of 85F (29.4C), the hottest temperature ever measured within 50 miles of its Arctic coast.

 

Is a storm brewing?

storm_99
Photo credit: SpaghettiModels.com

A potential tropical storm is on the horizon. An area of low pressure that meteorologists are calling Invest 99L is hanging out in the Leeward Islands and may be headed toward the Sunshine State. It’s expected to be near or over Puerto Rico, Hispanola and the Bahamas by the end of the week.

What does this mean for us at Pebble Creek at Lake Mary? That we should take precautions, just in case. The chance of the storm headed directly toward us is slim, but we could still experience rain, high winds and power outages. Depending on the severity of the storm, you could be on your own for as long as three days, according to FEMA.

Here’s how you can be prepared:

  • Stock up on food and personal items for at least three days – and don’t wait until the last minute because the shelves could be bare.
  • Stock up on water. You’ll need a gallon per person per day for three to five days.
  • Fill the gas tank on your vehicle(s) – pumps won’t work without power.
  • Go to the ATM now – if the power goes out, those won’t work either.
  • Make sure you have enough food and water for your pets.
  • Charge your phones – or go high-tech and get solar-powered phone chargers, flashlights, radios and even fans.
  • If you or a family member takes prescription medicine, make sure you have enough to get through the aftermath of a storm.
  • Fill the tub with water for toilet flushing.
  • Turn the fridge down to the lowest setting. Open it as little as possible if the you are without power. You also can freeze containers of water and put them in the fridge to keep food cold if the power goes out.
  • Pay attention to the weather reports.

Also be sure to have:

  • Basic first aid kit and insect repellant
  • Important papers should be in a waterproof (plastic) bag where you can find them
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlights, battery operated radio and extra batteries

Bus duty

School starts bright and early TOMORROW morning. Which means there will be school buses on the roads and in our parking lots here at Pebble Creek at Lake Mary.

Time to review some school bus law and etiquette.

bus stop sign for blogThe state of Florida has a good bit to say on the subject.

Under Florida Statute 316.172, when approaching a school bus that has its stop lights blinking and stop signs showing, you must stop as well. You may not pass a stopped school bus with its lights and signs indicating that children are getting on or off the bus.

So, just don’t. If you’re behind a bus and it stops, you stop.

Think you can go around? Nope, though the law does take into consideration whether you tried to illegally pass the bus in the right side or the left. Children stop off the bus to the right, making it the more dangerous side.

If you pass the bus on the right-hand side, the minimum fine is $265 and 4 points for your first offense. A second offense within 5 years carries an additional $265 fine, as well as the suspension of your license for up to one year and a mandatory court hearing.

Drivers who pass on the left-hand side are no less culpable for their actions. Your first offense will cost you $165, and a second offense will add another $165 to that total, along with license suspension of 90 days to six months.

You will also be required to attend and successfully complete a basic driver improvement course.

Photo credit: Sanford Police Department
Photo credit: Sanford Police Department

If the bus is traveling in the other direction, there are other considerations. On a divided-highway situation where the area between the opposing lanes of traffic is more than 5 feet of empty space, which could be taken up by a median, either a raised or physical barrier between lanes of traffic, drivers in the opposing lane of traffic are not required to stop.

If no median or space is present – for instance, on a two-lane road or neighborhood street, drivers in the opposing lane of traffic are required to stop when the school bus indicates that it is going to stop.

As always, be careful when our younger neighbors are walking through the parking lots or boarding the bus near the playground. Don’t speed through the lots or try to race around the bus. Allow extra time if necessary.

 

 

 

Not PBJ again!!

School starts on Wednesday! Notebooks and backpacks? Check. Cool new outfits? Oh yeah.

Thought about lunch?

That’s right. On top of everything, you have to send the little darlings to school with something nourishing to nosh on – and it better not be lame or they’ll trade it for Cheetos.

lunch for blogWe found some creative ideas from local celeb chef and culinary educator Emily Ellyn (Next Food Network Star, Cupcake Wars, Cutthroat Kitchen and the like).

Check these out:

Taco Pockets

Serves 1-2, depending on age and appetite.

You only need five ingredients for these yummy, healthy pockets, packed with all the fun of taco night. Note: Toasting the tortilla shells seals in the cheese filling, making for a clean and tidy lunch box.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup canned or frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons tomato salsa
  • 1 20-inch flour tortilla

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine the beans, corn, cheddar and salsa, stirring to combine.
  • Place filing into the center of the tortilla, then roll it up burrito-style  with the ends closed to encase the filling.
  • Toast, seam side down, in a non-stick pan over medium heat until golden brown. Repeat on other side and refrigerate overnight.
  • For added filling and nutrition, add lunch meat and/or lettuce.

Homemade Pizza Bites

Makes 12, 2-inch tart shells

Pizza bites – easy and delicious – and who doesn’t want pizza for lunch?!

Ingredients:

  • 24 slices turkey pepperoni
  • 24 slices zucchini
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella
  • 12 mini (2-inch) tart shells, defrosted according to manufacturer’s instructions if frozen.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Arrange tart shells on baking sheet and tuck in a slice of pepperoni, then zucchini, pepperoni, then zucchini again.
  • Top each with about a tablespoon of sauce and a sprinkling of cheese.
  • Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and the cheese is golden.
  • Cool, then refrigerate overnight.

Emily has a whole bunch of kid-friendly lunch options on her website.

What do other chefs send to school with their kids? Check out their ideas here, here and here.