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Summer Survival Checklist 

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We like to think of What To Do as The Old Farmer’s Almanac for suburban yuppies. Each season we check in with the OFA for need to know stuff like the weather, meteorology and astrology. If we asked the OFA to edit a Summer Survival Checklist for our towns, we think it would go something like this:

The Old Farmer’s Almanac Report:

The Old Farmer's AlmanacWeather: The OFA forecasts a hot June, a rainy July, average temperatures and precipitation in August and a dry September. Take a break from the heat June 24-30, July 20-31, August 7-12, and 26-31. Get out your umbrellas June 12-16 and July 12-15. Hurricane threat September 16-17.

Astronomy: Full moon days: July 12, August 10, September 8. (Don’t talk politics or religion to your spouse on a full moon or you may be lawyering up in the morning.)

Perseid Meteor Shower: A waning Gibbous moon will make it harder to see the Perseids this year. But it’s worth a try because peak Perseid activity can reach 60-100 per hour. Take a peek pre-dawn on August 11-13.

Best Fishing Days: According to the OFA the best fishing days are between the new and the full moon. Here’s when the fish will be biting this summer: June 27-July 12, July 26-August 10, August 25-Septmber 8. Here’s some inspirational fishing music.

survival_celeste_longacre_love_signsAstrology: Celeste Longacre’s Best Days: According to the OFA’s resident astrologer/radio personality and author Celeste Longacre, here are the best days to: Quit Smoking/Begin Diet: 6/18, 23; 7/15, 20; 8/12, 16; 9/12. Go to the dentist: 7/2-3; 29-30; 8/25-27; 9/21-23. Start projects: 6/28-29; 7/27-28; 8/26-27. Prune to encourage growth: 6/29-30; 7/9-10; 8/5-6; 9/2-3. Destroy pests & weeds/cut hay: 6/20-21; 7/17-18; 8/13-14; 9/10-11.

How to keep those mosquitoes away: According to the OFA plant basil on your deck to keep away flies, hornworms and mosquitoes. Also use to make pesto.

Holidays, Observances, and other Celebrations: Father’s Day: June 15.National Ice Cream Soda Day: 6/20.Independence Day: July 4. Chocolate Day: July 7. Creamsicle Day: August 4. Kiss and make up day: August 25. Labor Day: September 1. Grandparents Day: September 7. Talk like a pirate day: September 19. International Day of Peace: September 21.

Mount Kisco Partners in Prevention: Worried about keeping your teen away from drugs and alcohol? Or how much involvement your child may already have had with drugs and alcohol? Survival_ML_DrugPartnersMount Kisco Partners is sponsoring a support group for concerned Bedford CSD parents who are unsure how to handle the situation. The group’s inaugural meeting was held on May 29 at the Mount Kisco Library where they presented a panel of speakers led by Fox Lane HS Student Assistance Counselor, Heather Buono that included prevention and treatment and law enforcement professionals. For more information about upcoming events check out their Facebook page or contact

A Peapod for locavores: The Pleasantville Farmer’s Market recently announced that they have joined Fresh Nation, an online farmers market that delivers Fresh Nation farmers market home deliveryright to your door.  The market’s new alliance with Fresh Nation will offer same-day home delivery on Saturdays from any vendor exhibiting that week. But whether you shop in Pleasantville or at the Chappaqua, Mount Kisco, or John Jay farmers’ markets (see our Guide to Farmers’ Markets) you can get home delivery of the fresh, locally grown produce, organic meats, baked goods and prepared foods from many of the same vendors you are familiar with any day of the week through Fresh Nation’s online market. You can spot buy or get weekly deliveries. Read more.

The Tower Garden

The Tower Garden

Tower Garden® for hyper-locavores: You’re a total locavore at heart but sometimes you’re just too busy to get to the Farmers’ Market. If prefer to have an organic garden in your own backyard the Tower Garden® promises an easy, eco-friendly, way to grow fruits and vegetables even if you don’t have a green thumb. The Tower Garden® is a vertical garden system that uses an advanced form of hydroponics, called aeroponics, to grow “more colorful, better tasting, better smelling, and nutritious fruits and vegetables” in an air and mist environment.  The Tower Garden®was first introduced at Epcot and is used in many high profile applications like O’Hare Airport and the NYC restaurant Bell Book & Candle. It recently became available for consumers through Juice Plus+, a fruit and vegetable supplement supplier and is represented locally by Armonk resident Lauren Bernard. Read more.

Wine Geeks Armonk PamplemousseA cool summer cocktail: Looking for a cool summer drink for your next garden party? At a recent wine tasting at Wine Geeks Armonk, WTD sampled a cool cocktail made with 5 parts white wine, one part gin and one part Crème De Pamplemousse Rose from Giffard Depuis 1885.  This liqueur is made from an extract of essential oils found in the skin of a grapefruit. It has a bright aromatic quality that balances the bitterness and tartness of fresh pink grapefruit – a great citrus treat with just a hint of sweetness and a kick from the gin. Throw another shrimp on the Barbie and mix one up!  Perfect after the pool, too. (Wine Geeks Armonk, 559 Main St., Armonk; 914.273. 9463;

How to water your lawn: Want to reduce your H2O footprint? Here’s a real simple checklist from on smart summer lawn maintenance that will prevent you from wasting water:

Water at night or in the early morning to reduce evaporation up to 30%.

Don’t overwater: Your lawn needs only a half-inch of water a week.

survival_rainbarrel_gaiiamWater less often but deeply.

Blowing’ in the wind: High winds can evaporate or blow water away from your target area. Turn the sprinkler off on a windy day.

Don’t water the street: You know you do it. Be more careful.

Use rain barrels (like this one from Gaiamto capture the rain from rooftop gutters and use it to water your garden.

Use native plants: Design your garden with plants that thrive in the local climate.

Sun Safety Tips from the American Cancer Society: According to the American Cancer Society more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are reported each year accounting for more than half of all cases of cancer. It is a sobering thought that, according to the National Cancer Institute, the evidence that sunscreens are an effective prevention for skin cancer is “inadequate”.  And while acute exposure to the sun, leading to sunburns, is associated with melanoma, cumulative sun exposure (even if you never burn) is a risk factor for nonmelanoma skin cancer.

So, no cutting corners when following these sun safety tips from the American Cancer Society.

Summer Survival Checklist: American Cancer SocietyAvoid direct sun exposure between 10am and 4pm. (That means breakfast and dinner on the beach – never lunch.)

Follow the Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap rules:

Slip on a shirt. Cover up with tightly woven protective clothing that you cannot see through.

Slop on Sunscreen (lip balm, too): Use generous amounts (a palmful) of  30 SPF or higher sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside.

Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, toweling dry or sweating.

Slap on a hat: Wide brimmed please. If you wear a cap, slop on the sunscreen on your neck and ears.

Wrap on sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection.

When its overcast: Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap on overcast days because UV rays travel through clouds.

Avoid all sources of UV light such as tanning beds and sun lamps.

Summer Exercise Heart Health Tips: If you’re a type A personality you will want to continue your regular exercise regimen regardless of the weather. Type B personalities may want to take the summer off.  But when it comes to exercise its use it or lose it. According to Dr. Barry Franklin, director of the William Beaumont Hospital Cardiac Rehab and Exercise Laboratories, “the key benefits” of exercise “are lost in four to six weeks of inactivity”. But, a few precautions are in order. Here are some tips from the American Heart Association to avoid heat stress or heat stroke.

Summer Survival Checklist: American Heart AssociationDrink plenty of fluids (preferably water) before, during and after workouts.

Nix on the caffeine and alcohol.

Morning and evening workouts –never midday.

Decrease exercise intensity and duration when the temperature or humidity rises.

Ease in to summer heat with repeated gradual daily exposures to allow your body to adapt “partially” to the heat.

Ditch the black spandex: Wear lightweight, light colored breathable fabrics like cotton.

Work out indoors: If it’s too hot … go to the gym.

Make a date: Exercise with your spouse or a friend – it’s safer.

Vacation Fitness: Fitness doesn’t stop for vacations. But use nature to give yourself a break from your usual regimen. Here’s some ways to diversify your exercise routines, break from your workday repetitions, and integrate summer’s recreational offerings into your fitness program.

Take a lake swim. Swimming or treading water is a great cardiovascular activity. It beats sweating out a roadside run.

Survival_beachwalk_iStock_000002193267SmallAt the beach: Buy some fins to add resistance to your swim and work back, lower limbs and trunk.

Remember Walking in the Sand: It’s more than a Shangri-Las classic, the added resistance of the soft sand beats the treadmill and it’s great for the ankles.

Build a sand castle: Or just kneel down and fill a bucket with sand and twist to toss it behind you. Alternate sides for a great oblique workout.

survival_sandcastleStretch the shore: Finish your beach workout with some stretching, deep breathing and meditation on the ocean’s edge. Check out the swimsuit fashions.

At the pool: Noodle races not only entertain the kids but they work the quads, hamstrings and glutes. Balance the noodle on your hips to work your shoulders, arms and back.

Canoeing: An all-over body workout that’s great for the shoulders, back, core and obliques. Scenic too.

Pole hiking: If you’re in the mountains or woods,add a pair of rubber tipped, aluminum poles to your hiking to work your upper body in addition to your legs and glutes. Stay in the shade.

Break it up: Don’t get caught up in the idea that you need a 30-minute non-stop workout. A series of ten-minute workouts throughout the day will suffice.

The Cost of Speeding to the Hamptons: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, for each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph, it’s like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas. So if you crank the old GL 450 up to 85 mph that’s an even buck a gallon – or over $26 extra per tank of gas.

Survival_NY_DMVAccording to if a state trooper pulls you over while you are driving 21-30 mph over the speed limit you can be subject to a maximum fine of $300 and an additional court surcharge of up to $93. You will also earn 6 ticket points (11 and you can kiss your license good-bye) that may subject you to an additional fine known as a DRA (Driver Responsibility Assessment). That will cost you an additional $100 a year for 3 years.

And if you’re on your cell phone when you get pulled over add another $50-$150 to your fine –plus the $93 surcharge. Just saying …

Tired of the License Plate Game on your drive to the Cape? You know the one where you track all the different state survival_licenseplates_istocklicense plates you see. Try this one: Name as many movies as you can that have a number in the title. We’ll get you started: Five Easy Pieces, Eight Men Out, 8 1/2, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Fahrenheit 9/11.  On the drive home switch to songs with numbers in their titles: “96 Tears”, “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover”, “25 or 6 to 4”, and of course, “One (is the loneliest number”. Have a great vacation. Take What To Do along.

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