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Getting Ready for Hurricane Season

Already we have seen a storm approach as we hit hurricane season. Tropical Storm Danny is the fourth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, though it’s no longer a hurricane. It has yet to hit the US, but it is unlikely it will develop into a hurricane.

This is good news for us in Southwest Florida, aka Hurricane Alley. We are no strangers to hurricanes, although we have had relatively mild hurricane seasons in the past few years. Over the last 9 years, the US hasn’t seen a hurricane higher than a Category 3 (these storms go up to 5). Experts are predicting a 90% chance of a below-normal hurricane season this year (NOAA Climate Prediction Center). This is great news!

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare. It’s always best to be safe, have supplies on hand, and have an escape plan in place. It’s estimated that of the 6-10 named storms for this season, only 1-4 are likely to become hurricanes.

Hurricanes bring with them heavy rains, flooding, and devastating wind. Even if you have been through hurricanes already, you shouldn’t take them lightly. These storms can change strength and course very quickly, giving you little time to prepare.

It’s especially important to ensure that older Americans are well prepared and taken care of in the case of an emergency.

The Red Cross has created a great checklist to help you prepare for a storm. So get ready before another storm approaches.

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The License Plate Game – Florida Style

Remember the old “license plate game” you played as a kid?  It occurs to us that there’s an easy, fun way to play this game with friends as an adult, and Florida’s unique status as “most visited” state makes it easy.  Go for a walk in Naples, or Fort Myers, or any other reasonably-sized city in Florida, and as you go, check out the plates on each car.

Be the first to call out plates from Florida, Georgia or Alabama, and give yourself one point.  For South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee or Mississippi, make that two points.  Three points for Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky or Virginia.  Four points for Maryland, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, or Texas.  Five points for Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, or New Mexico.  Six points for New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Utah, or Arizona.  Seven points for Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California.  Eight points for Rhode Island, New Hampshire, or Maine.  Nine points for the Canadian Provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.  And, finally, ten points for the three Canadian Territories, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon, and for Alaska and Hawaii.  If, by some miracle, you spot a plate from one of the five US Territories, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, or American Samoa, you just win automatically!

If you call out one that’s already been called, or you mistake a plate for another, you lose the amount of points the ACTUAL plate is worth.

Pick a street to walk the length of, an area of a street to walk, or maybe even an entire neighborhood, and tally up your points at the end to see who won!

Need a primer on what all of those plates look like, to give yourself an advantage?  Or need the points handy?  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

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canadian plates

1 POINT: AL, FL, GA

2 POINTS: MS, NC, SC, TN

3 POINTS: AR. KY, LA, MO, VA

4 POINTS: DC, IA, IL, IN, KS, MD, NE, OH, OK, TX, WV

5 POINTS: CO, DE, MI, MN, NM, PA, SD, WI, WY

6 POINTS: AZ, ID, MT, ND, NJ, NY, UT

7 POINTS: CA, CT, MA, NV, OR, VT, WA

8 POINTS: ME, NH, RI

9 POINTS: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK

10 POINTS: AK, HI, NT, NU, YT

AUTOMATIC WIN: AS, GU, MP, PR, VI

And, don’t forget to check the backs AND fronts of cars!

plate rules


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4 Delicious Summer Meals

Summer isn’t over just yet! You can enjoy a few outdoor family dinners. Bring the kids and pets and it’ll be a grand ol’ time. But don’t forget the food! Food is what brings us together at the table, something to talk over and about. So try these tasty summer dishes at your next dinner.

Sweet and Spicy Apple & Pecan Coleslaw
This comes to us from Mom Spark. It’s a new take on the refreshing coleslaw we’re all used to. The extra kick really gives it some flavor.

Cowboy Caviar
This is a great bbq recipe that doesn’t require a stove, oven or grill. It’s just some tasty beans, and veggies mixed and seasoned to perfection. It complements any grilled meat or fish, and also goes great with chips. (Via Party Bluprints Blog)

Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Burger
Know what makes something Hawaiian? Throwing a pineapple on it! And boy does it taste good! You’ll wonder why you never tried it before (Via Skinny Taste).

Buffalo Fries
Who doesn’t love a kick of buffalo sauce? It goes great on chicken, pizza, and fries. Mix in some refreshing blue cheese and you have an appetizers everyone will love. (Via Tidy Mom)


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Tasty Summer Drinks

Summer isn’t complete without a refreshing drink on a hot day. And nothing tastes better than a cup of something homemade. Maybe it’s lemonade or sweet tea, or something a little stronger. Take a look at these easy to make drink recipes to get you in the summer spirit (get it summer spirit?).

Easy Peach Tea
Passion For Savings has a great homemade tea recipe using delicious peaches, water sugar, and tea bags. Check out there site to see exactly how to make this sweet drink.

Orange Lemon Shake Ups
This tasty summer beverage comes from Love Grows Wild. Adding a twist of orange to your lemonade never taste so good.

Frozen Coconut Limeade
We found this frozen summer sip on Dessert Now Dinner Later (great name huh?). This drink will certainly keep you cool and refreshed.

Cucumber & Melon White Sangria
This adults- only drink is great for dinner outside, or spending time with friends. This comes to us from Eating Well.