Italian Driving Rules: A Few Things to Know Before Hitting the Open Roads of Italia

Whilst on holiday in Italy, some opt to rent a car and motor through the country, exploring all it has to offer. Since this usually requires an international driver’s license or some other special permission, public transport or tour busses are usually the way to go when touring with a large group. While the bus might be a more practical option, it is not the most serene.

On a recent high school tour through Italy, bus trips were plentiful and an EF Tour guide gave some firsthand insight to some of the regulations garnering automobile transport in Italy. Whether by bus or automobile, before one takes to the Italian roads there are a few things to be aware of.

While Paris has the highest accident rate in the world, according to Roman tour guide, Matteo,but Italy has the worst drivers in the world. Though law makers have attempted to curb speeding, the system is hardly efficient.

For example, as you pass from the country roads into the outskirts of Florence, there is a “speed box” that clocks the speed of cars as they pass along the road. The box takes a picture of the car and license plate and if one is caught traveling down that road faster than 28 mph, a ticket is mailed to the driver’s house about 3 to 4 months after the date of the offense. If one doubts that they are indeed the offender, they can make an appointment with the police station to obtain the photo of their license plate and speeding car.

Because of this rather complicated system people usually opt to pay the fine since most don’t remember what road they passed through several months prior. This procedure earns the Italian government sizable revenue but the number of offenders has not decreased.

Italy is also making an attempt to curb air pollution given off from automobiles therefore busses are only allowed to drive a limited amount of hours per day. Each bus is equipped with a disk that records information for the police to check at will. At any point in time, a bus can be pulled over, even if the bus was not breaking a law. Cops check the disk to see if the bus has gone above 62 mph at any time on their day’s journey, or if the busses have been driving too many hours that day. The disks don’t clock actual mileage though, they clock the time the bus has been running, so if a bus is stuck in traffic the time spent unmoving is counted against the driver’s time.

Engines on tour busses must be turned off while waiting to pick up passengers otherwise they will accumulate too much time on their disk. While this sounds like a great way to cut auto emissions, tour groups looking to escape the 100 degree heat after a summer walk through Pompeii, step foot on a steamy bus that can not be turned on until all passengers are fully loaded an accounted for. An attempt to purify the air makes for unhappy bus drivers and visitors.

Weekend drivers can take pleasure in knowing that their trips won’t be spoiled by trucking accidents. In Italy, as trucks are only allowed to drive on roads Monday through Friday. This has slightly improved road conditions in that traffic is somewhat reduced on weekends. However, since many opt to take small road trips on the weekends, one now has to battle the oodles of other drivers that have the same idea as they had therefore the traffic is still held up, but for different reasons.

Before hitting the open roads of Italy one must carefully plan their means of transport. Renting a car is often an appealing option, though be sure you are aware of all the rules and permissions needed. Bus transport is an economic option as well, though being packed on a bus in 100 plus degree heat in the summer is about as enjoyable as it sounds. And while many tourists might not be used to the rules garnering roadway travel, the Italian government is taking steps to ensure the safety of the roads as well as the cleanliness of the environment, even if it seems to hinder the driving experience.

Commentary Driving Helps Parents Teach Teen Drivers How to Focus

What does a teenage driver think about when he (or she) gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle? Chances are he thinks about things other than traffic and what’s going on around him – things like dating, parties, the latest number one music video, schoolwork, and so forth. But, driving is a complex task. It takes complete attention and concentration.

How can a parent tell if his teen driver is clearly focused on the driving task? How can he tell what kind of information the teen is processing? Is he properly organizing what he sees? One way a parent can help his teen learn to stay focused on the driving scene is to engage him in commentary driving.

What is Commentary Driving?

Commentary driving is talking – calling attention to parts of the surrounding environment that could directly or indirectly affect the driving task. The driving environment includes, but is not limited to: Condition of the car and driver, traffic signs, road markings, what can be seen (or not seen) in the mirrors and the presence of other vehicles. It takes into account the weather conditions, pedestrian activity, distractions, time of day, and much more.


Here’s an example of commentary driving:

Picture a teen driver about to enter a residential area straight ahead. It’s Saturday afternoon and the weather is warm and sunny. There are children at play, including a group on the sidewalk kicking around a ball. A car is approaching from the opposite direction. A few older kids are riding bikes farther down the block, but scatter to both sides of the road as they see the two cars coming near. There is a controlled intersection just ahead, plus there’s a green traffic light two blocks ahead. How does commentary driving work?

In commentary driving the teen is asked to state first what is most important: “Children in the street and on the sidewalk.” At the same time he should react by slowing his speed. He lists other hazards in order of importance: “Oncoming car. Upcoming intersection with stop a sign. Green light ahead. Glare from the sun.” He might also mention mail boxes, a blind driveway hidden by bushes, and what his speedometer reads. The idea of commentary driving is to train the driver to focus on the most important danger(s) first and to keep his mind on the ever-changing picture.

Developing Driver Organization Skills

A parent can help a teen develop good driver organization skills. With the parent behind the wheel and the teen in the front passenger seat, ask the teen to comment on what he sees, beginning with the most hazardous or most important clue. Discuss whether or not the clues are organized and what changes need to be made to improve the order.

Commentary driving is a good way to identify distractions and builds confidence. Allow the teen to get as much driving time as possible. Frequently test his organizational skills through commentary driving. After a few sessions, there will hopefully be a significant improvement in the teen driver’s performance.

Using the Senses in Learning to Drive

As new teen drivers gain experience, they learn to use their other senses. They develop an even greater awareness of the driving environment. Skilled experienced drivers are constantly aware of changing weather conditions, the different odors in the vehicle and the feel of the vehicle contacting the road. They instantly identify and make adjustments for pedestrians, animals crossing the highway, construction and distractions. Continuing commentary driving will show a parent how much more the teen sees as he gains more driving experience.

Commentary driving is an effective way to improve driving skills. It is gathering the most critical clues and responding in time to prevent an accident or driving mishap. Think of commentary driving as a method for gaining a better understanding of the driving environment at any given time. OTR (Over-the-road) truck and bus drivers go through the same routine in professional driving school. Trainee drivers are required by their instructors to comment on every driving-related thing they see in order to improve focus and driver performance.

A teen driver has a responsibility to keep others safe, as well as himself. He is responsible for preventing harm to property. Explain to your teen driver how important it is to always be aware of his surroundings. Set an example for your teen by being a defensive driver. Commentary driving is a way to reduce anxiety for a new driver and his parent; both are focused on the driving task. It’s a way to build good driving habits and skills that will keep a new driver – and those around him – safe from harm.

British-American Food and Restaurant Translations

For anyone travelling or living abroad, cultural and language differences can be as frustrating as they are interesting. It is useful to know in advance as many of these as possible to avoid confusion. Although it can’t be compared to learning an entirely different language, there are many words used in America that have another meaning in England. Jelly, for instance, is jam, and Jell-O is jelly. Therefore, ordering a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in London would only result in strange looks from the waiter.

The English language doesn’t just change in English speaking countries like America and Australia. There are subtle differences across the United Kingdom. For example, the Scots eat “neeps and tatties” while the English will have turnips and potatoes. Incidentally, turnips in England are known as swede, while the American rutabega is the English turnip. See how it can be confusing?

Americans Eating in Britain

American tourists may be surprised to be greeted by so many American-style restaurants. It can be tempting to stick with the safety of the familiar. After all, British cooking never had a good reputation until recently. But today’s standards and expectations are high as competition soars between restaurants, especially with those owned by celebrity chefs. Don’t give in to the temptation of a well-known fast-food joint. Experience the new culinary delights of British food. Trying local food is all a part of travelling to different countries.

Ready to Order?

Many English terms actually come from the French. When needing a napkin, it is acceptable to ask for a “serviette”. A zucchini is known as a ‘courgette’ and an ‘aubergine’ is what Americans call an eggplant. However, French fries are ‘chips’ and should not be at all confused with potato chips, which are ‘crisps’. Don’t forget the ‘tomato sauce’, also known as ketchup.

Order squash and a brightly-colored fruit drink will appear. Lemonade is actually lemon/lime soda. Soda is called ‘fizzy drink‘, beer is ‘lager’ and ale is ‘bitter’. Fancy a cuppa? It’s a cup of tea, always hot, served with the option of milk and sugar.


The appetiser is called a starter. In the mood for shrimp? Have the prawns. A succulent fillet steak (pronounced fill-it) will satisfy the desire for tenderloin. The ground beef in burgers and Shepherd’s Pie is known as mince, which is different from the delightful spicy raisin filling in mince pies at Christmastime.

Pudding for Dessert

The American version of vanilla, chocolate and butterscotch pudding will not be found on a British pudding menu. Pudding in general means dessert. A pudding also is a cake-like substance which is steamed in a bowl for several hours, such as the traditional English Christmas pudding. But don’t mistake a steak and kidney pudding for dessert!

The equivalent of the popular American pudding would be custard or mousse. Custard can be runny and poured on Christmas pudding! It can also be thick and eaten on its own, and is also an important ingredient in an English trifle which is layers of sherry-soaked cake, custard, fruit and whipped cream. Mousse is rich, light and fluffy.

A Few More Words of English

American – British:

  • Broth – Stock
  • Broil – Grill
  • Canned – Tinned
  • Pickles – Gherkins
  • Candy – Sweets
  • Cookies – Biscuits
  • Biscuits – Scones
  • Apple Crisp – Apple Crumble

To name a few!

It’s time to ask for the bill, not “check, please!”

Antique Doll Collecting is a Fun Hobby

Antique doll collecting is a hobby for women of any age. The pastime of collecting dolls, is centuries old. Grandparents and great grandparents have passed down their favorite dolls from one generation to another. Little girls the world over have kept these collections so they can be passed down to their future daughters. But doll collecting is not just a generational pastime. The art of doll collecting has been taken up by collectors of all ages and nationalities.

The joy of doll collecting comes with many questions. These questions concern such things as the expense of this hobby, how to take care of a broken doll, buying and selling, where to find accessories and the advantage of doll clubs. The following paragraphs will briefly discuss some of these issues.

The Fun of Collecting

As a doll collector, the fun of collecting is the sight of all those beautiful dolls gracefully displayed in their proper spot. With this economic climate it can be difficult to amass more dolls. However, there are other ways to continue to enjoy this pastime even on a budget. Rearrange them according to dress color, age or nationality. Find a new place to display them or sew new outfits for them. Any of these ideas will lend a new atmosphere to the collection.

Instead of purchasing a whole new doll, consider the purchase of a little something to brighten up the outfit. The addition of a belt or bangle can rejuvenate any dress. A new pair of shoes or boots or perhaps a different type of wig can go a long way to revitalize any collection without breaking the bank. Another tip for securing a new doll without paying full price, is to search for a doll that needs a little tender loving care. An all-original vintage or antique doll in perfect condition, will cost you a tidy sum. Re-creating a doll that has seen better days, will fulfill any creative urge. Cleaning, redressing, adding some ribbon or fixing some minor repairs, could bring a real bargain on a vintage antique.

Locating Help

A slow economy can be a buyers market. Web sites like ‘e Bay’ will have fantastic, below market values. Those who peruse the web with ease, will find sites where dolls are categorized for convenience. The following websites may help you decipher the terms, obstacles and challenges of the hobby:,,


Belonging to a collectors doll club can also help find new dolls at a lower price. Often members who are tired of some of their dolls, will be willing to swap for one they like better. Creating equal values in the swap may mean a little creative bargaining. But that is just part of the fun.

Adventures in Gardening: Part 3

This is the third part of a series. You can read Part 1 and 2 on my profile page.

Well, it’s been a month and one day since we planted our garden. So far, so good! In the last couple of weeks, things have really shot up, especially the potatoes, pumpkins and sunflowers. Here is the run-down of updates:

I reported two weeks ago that there were a lot of gaps in the rows of corn and sunflowers. We assumed that the planter was at fault and bought a huge packet of corn plant in the gaps, only to see that they were already filling in, slowly but surely. Now they seem to be mostly filled in. We learned that you have to be patient before assuming that something isn’t going to grow. Some seeds take longer than others. The corn still isn’t too big. I don’t know if it will be “knee high by the Fourth of July,” so the saying goes. Well, I guess it depends on whose knee it is. I’d say it will reach a baby’s knee for sure. The farmer’s corn in the field right next to it is getting huge and he even planted it after our garden was planted. It just goes to show you how much better the commercial corn will grow with fertilizers and such.

We didn’t plant any more seeds after all, but we went to a family gathering for Father’s Day and my husband’s aunt had extra cabbage and Amish Paste tomato plants to give us. The Amish Paste tomatoes are supposed to be good for salsas and canning, which is good, because we love salsa. We took them home and I planted those along the edge, so I now have a total of 16 tomato plants! Yikes.

I also mentioned that there were some weeds popping up. Well, I neglected to weed the garden for a while and some rows were getting kind of bad (I was too busy weeding the rest of the landscaping). I tried to use the small rototiller we have and it didn’t seem to be working right. It was just going over the weeds. I had to kind of angle it to cut the weeds. It then ran out of gas and I gave up. It wasn’t until later when I told my husband it was acting up that I found out he had changed the tines on it to form hills. No wonder it wasn’t digging up the weeds; it was just covering them with hills! I had to have him change the tines before I went out and did it right.

Another problem I mentioned before was the bugs on my eggplants. They were making the leaves look like lace. We sprayed them and haven’t had any problems since. The new leaves look fine. You can tell a definite different between the new and old leaves. I think I need to spray the new leaves to be safe, though.

We also try to spray Miracle Grow when we have to water, or at least every two weeks. From previous experience, I know it really helps. I have had almost completely dead potted plants spring back to life and flourish using Miracle Grow. We have a hose attachment that automatically dispenses the right amount of fertilizer as we water, so that makes it a lot easier.

Although I mentioned needing to put up something for the Oregon Sugar Snap Peas to climb, we didn’t get around to it until two days ago. I went with stakes and string. We used a maul to put in three wooden stakes. Then I put three rows of string on them, a few inches apart. We put it up this past Tuesday night. By Wednesday, several of the plants had already found the first string and were spiraling around it. I was impressed with their seeming intelligence. It’s like they knew the string was there and reached up for it. I noticed some of the shorter plants were getting their vines tangled since there was nowhere else to go. I think I need to add a lower string.

It’s pretty amazing how quickly things can change in a garden. I checked over all the plants on Tuesday. I saw a few blossoms on the peppers and tomato plants, but that was it. Then on Wednesday, I saw a few pumpkin blossoms had popped up. I had seen the little green starts of the blossoms, but they seemed to turn yellow overnight. I’m so excited. I can’t pick them yet, though. I need to let the plants grow more and pollinate. I can almost taste the fried pumpkin blossoms. I already have several “dibs” on them. At first I thought I would have too many, but now I’m not sure I’ll have enough for all the requests. We’ll see, but I’m sure there will still be plenty to go around.

I guess I should refrain from getting too excited. Just as things can change quickly for the better, they can also change for the worse. One example was when the bugs ate the eggplant leaves. I also lost the strawberry plants. I’m not sure why. Another problem would be if critters get into my garden and have a nice feast. I already saw the most notorious enemy of the garden, the wild rabbit, snooping around. It was probably getting a run-down to tell its friends.

“Well, how’s it look?” they must’ve asked.

“Oh, it’s getting there, but there’s nothing too exciting yet. She didn’t plant any lettuce or carrots.”

“No lettuce or carrots?! What kind of garden is that?”

I can almost see their disappointed little bunny faces. Do bunnies like pumpkins, tomatoes or eggplant? I think I heard that raccoons like pumpkins, and of course, deer and raccoons love sweet corn. We don’t have a fence right now, so I guess we’ll just see how it goes. I don’t want to kill or trap anything. I actually like watching the bunnies. I just hope they don’t demolish all my hard work. If so, I might have to reconsider the garden next year unless we get a fence for the more vulnerable plants.

In addition to the plants in the garden, I also planted some potted herbs and other plants a few weeks ago. I have cilantro, chives and three kinds of basil. I like that I can go out with some scissors and snip some off for cooking anytime I want. Whenever I buy herbs from the store, most of them go bad, so this is nice. Here’s a tip about herbs you might want to know: you usually need to use more to get more. In other words, don’t let them grow tall and spindly. The more you cut, the bushier they get and the more they produce. Even if you aren’t going to use the herbs, you want to trim them periodically. This seems to be really true for cilantro and basil.

Well, that’s all I have to report right now. Things are getting exciting. I can’t wait until I can actually eat something from the garden. I’m betting the pumpkin blossoms will be the first on the list. I know I still need to post a recipe for fried pumpkin blossoms. I just wanted to make it myself first before sharing, so I could make sure to include any helpful tips. Stay tuned!

If you want to see more pictures of the garden, I have an ongoing slideshow that I will continue to update every two weeks or so.


Eco-Friendly Hobby Ideas

Some hobbies involve a lot of waste, but others are extremely eco-friendly. For anyone who is interested in living a greener lifestyle, choosing an eco-friendly hobby simply makes sense. Even a hobby that isn’t traditionally green can have an eco-makeover once someone with the desire to have a smaller carbon footprint starts to enjoy it.

Knitting and Crocheting Can Be Eco-Friendly Hobbies

About ten years ago, knitters and crocheters began to get interested in creating yarn from plastic grocery bags. Today, many people still enjoy making reusable crochet tote bags from yarn that was once just a few flimsy plastic bags destined for the landfill. Textile artists also recycle plastic grocery bags. They fuse a stack of bags together to form waterproof fabric that they turn into totes, place mats or even apparel.

Another way crafters stay green with their knitting or crocheting hobbies is to recycle garments to find yarn for their projects. While unraveling items that were crocheted or knitted in the past is an obvious way to recycle garments, generations of hobbyists also cut cloth garments into strips and crocheted or knitted with the fabric. My great grandmother and great aunt crocheted beautiful rag rugs from fabric strips.


Mixed Media Artists, Dollhouse Decorators and Other Hobbyists Recycle Trash

Most people look at bottle caps or buttons on the sidewalk and see trash. Mixed media artists see a backing for a beautiful piece of jewelry or the piece they’ve been hunting for to finish off a piece of bird art. People who create miniature scenes see the top of a little footstool or a round picture frame.

People Who Restore Vintage Vehicles Prefer to Recycle Parts

As anyone who restores vintage cars or motorcycles knows, being able to do the restoration with genuine parts from the era is a dream come true. These hobbyists check classifieds, estate sales, junk yards and more in their search for parts they can use to restore their vehicles.

People who have a passion for restoring old homes also usually prefer to recycle old parts from salvage yards or refurbish items in the homes instead of buying new products to do the job. When they do need to buy a new product, they often look for green alternatives.

Organic Gardening Can Be a Green Hobby

Not everyone who is interested in organic gardening as a hobby is also interested in pursuing the hobby in an eco-friendly manner. However, the majority of these people are very conscious of their carbon footprints and try to recycle items or use earth friendly products as much as possible. Some examples of gardening greenly include swapping seeds and plants with other local gardeners, using cardboard as mulch and salvaging cement blocks and windows to make cold frames.

Almost any hobby can be enjoyed in a way that reduces carbon footprints, recycles materials that would have ended up in a landfill or helps the environment in another way. The key is to be creative and adaptable as you pursue your hobby. Whether you enjoy building models, geo-caching, or dancing, you can find a way to be a little greener as you relax and have fun.

New cyber-hobby embraces outdoors: 'Geocaching' marries high-tech gadgets and love of outdoor recreation

Chances are that person wasn’t a burglar, but taking part in Geocaching, a new internet craze that combines geeky technology with a love of the outdoors. The hobby is simple – you buy a handheld Global Positioning System, then log on to There, you’ll find hundreds of “caches” posted by people using internet monikers.

You punch the longitude and latitude coordinates into your GPS and navigate to the site and try to locate the hidden treasure.

Last April Ottawa hobbyists took part in Go and Get ‘Em 8, a bi-annual event that continues to attract newcomers to the Geocaching community. There were only a dozen people and a total of six caches to find when the event began four years ago, recalls organizer Tammie Winsor. Now there are 104 participants and 60 caches.

“We had to find a bigger restaurant to meet at after the event,” Winsor says. A few years ago “we used to wait a few days for someone to post a cache and go out and find it.”

Times have changed. The United States released precise GPS signal use for consumers in May 2000 and inadvertently started the Geocaching community. The first cache was hidden in Portland, Oregon in celebration of the change, and trend has been growing ever since.

“Now there’s 500 within 25 km from my house,” says David Carrierre, an Ottawa Geocacher since 2002. He is better known to the online community as “Zartimus.” The event is all about meeting the people behind the internet screen names.

“I’m always amazed at the diversity of people you get to come out,” Carrierre says. It is “a great combination of the love of the outdoors and the love of gadgets.”

Many gadgets can be involved in addition to the GPS unit, which costs anywhere between $100 and $600. Cache hunters arm themselves with Palm Pilots, digital cameras, and cell phones. Website users can have posts sent directly to their phones, then post back instantly when they’ve found the target.

“I’m sure that everyone who doesn’t know about Geocaching thinks we are a bunch of computer weirdos,” Winsor says. But she enjoys it for the hiking opportunities it provides.

“For us, we like to hike and make other people hike,” she says.

Geocaches can have multiple waypoints. Once your GPS guides you to the first target downloaded from the webpage, you’ll find a new set of coordinates to punch in and hike off to the next waypoint. Eventually, you’ll find the cache.

A mystery cache requires hobbyists to solve a puzzle before they can decode the right coordinates. Some puzzles stumped the community for months before being solved.

A cache must be a container with a log book and pencil inside – though they may not be obvious.

“I’ve got one that looks like a rock,” Carrierre says. “A lot of people don’t find it, they say it is missing.”

Carrierre’s cache for the weekend event was tucked away in a tree along the Ottawa River near Island Park Dr. A short climb up is required to reach into the nook where the container is hidden, concealed by camouflage tape. It was one of many that Ottawans were scouring the city for during the 24-hour event.

There is no prize, but some are still competitive.

“The intent is not a marathon,” Winsor says. But “some people are either competitive or they’ve misunderstood.”

Carrierre says he’s stayed up until 5 a.m. in past events to find as many caches as possible. Others are known to go without sleep for 24 hours in an attempt to find every single cache.

“That’s becoming pretty impossible,” Carrierre says of the growing event.

Others are less competitive, making a family event out of the cyber-sport. Winsor will bring her two-year-old son Finnegan to find a cache. To make things interesting, they’ll secretly take along a toy and slip it into the cache when he is not looking.

“Wow, look there is a dinosaur in this one!” Winsor will say to her son.

Garden Sage Takes Center Stage in Autumn

Garden sage, also known as the ‘turkey-herb’, is a shrubby perennial in the mint family. In cold climates, it dies down in the winter. In areas of mild winters, the cooler temperatures of autumn are just what garden sage, Salvia officinalis, needs to perk up its leaves and become an ornamental as well as an edible.

Spotlight on Garden Sage

According to proactive herb grower Madeline Hill, sage should be grown in a sunny location with well-drained soil in raised beds or containers and away from plants that need frequent watering. Raised beds eliminate nematodes and one can control pH more easily. Sage prefers a pH between 6 and 7. By keeping sage with other xeriscaping plants, the risk of root rot, crown rot and fungal leaf disease is reduced.

Sage may be grown from seed, cuttings, division, or layering. Sage seed is sown in early spring and germinates in 14-18 days depending upon soil and temperature conditions. Sage matures in 75 days. Stem cuttings can be made from spring through fall. Think ahead to make enough cuttings to give to Thanksgiving guests. Divisions can be made in spring. Older woody stems that bend toward the ground are good candidates for layering.

Herb grower Jim Long maintains that we recycle the same herbal flavors and scents from the “beginning of thyme” by propagating sage and other herbs by cuttings and division. Therefore, we taste the same flavors our ancestors tasted long ago.

When harvesting herbs, Hill applies the rule of thirds: harvest no more than a third of the leaves. After the spring blooming period, cut back a few stems to prompt new basal growth. Mature sage plants become 2’-3’ high and as wide. One or two garden sages provide a generous supply for a family.

Landscape Uses of Garden Sage

Horticulturist Jim Wilson first grew sage and other herbs as a business, selling his herbs to restaurants. His focus changed to the landscape potential of herbs. He saw the spreading habit of sage, its grey-green foliage color, pebbled leaf surface, and lavender to purple flowers as attributes earning ornamental landscape status.

Assuming the role of a talent agent for herbs in the landscape, he recommended sage in containers, along garden paths, as edging plants for borders, in mixed perennial borders, and entwined in knot gardens.

Garden Sage Understudies

There are a number of extraordinary varieties of garden sage, including:

  • ‘Berggarten’ – broader oval grey-green leaves 3” long, blue flowers, compact mounded habit
  • ‘Icterina’- golden variegated sage and lavender-purple flower spikes
  • ‘Purpurascens’- green leaves interspersed with steely purple leaves and lavender-purple flower spikes
  • ‘Tricolor’- variegated leaves with white and purple and lavender-blue flowers

These cultivar understudies substitute for Salvia officinalis in cooking but bring the same flavor and pungency to food as the original. Garden sages season poultry, pork, lamb, sausage, fish, stuffing, eggs, butter and cheese spreads, apple dishes, mushrooms, vinegars, dry bean dishes, stews, soups, breads, muffins, and tea.

The flavor and culinary versatility of sage make it a cornerstone in the herb and kitchen garden. Once fresh sage is used in recipes, store bought containers of dried or powdered sage taste like herbal ashes.

While sage enjoys a long run in your garden, share the cuttings and divisions of the “turkey-herb” with a larger audience like your ancestors did.

Turn Hobbies into Extra Cash Online: Learn How to Earn Money Using the Internet

Just about everyone is searching these days for ways to make a little extra cash. Finding the right venue is easy for those who already enjoy hobbies like photography, crafting, knitting, doodling, and writing. All that is needed is access to the internet and the ability to collect money. In the following examples a website or HTML knowledge is not needed to begin selling right away.

Three Companies Provide Easy Ways to Make Money Online

Companies like, and are always looking for hobbyists and those interested in making extra cash online to join their communities. These companies provide the online shopping cart and in some cases a personal website and URL at no charge. They also do all the promotion and advertising online so that all the seller has to do is continue to provide their products or ideas to sell and collect money. a Place for Crafters to Sell Online is supportive community of crafters that create and sell everything from hand made paper, dolls, knit items, jewelry, pottery, baked goods and much more! Etsy provides a simple website and URL that can be used to promote the seller’s products for free. Sellers are responsible for keeping their site updated, and handling shipping and shipping charges. Etsy costs nothing but a small percentage of the price when a sale is made.

Amateur Photographers Make Residual Income at provides downloadable photos, illustrations, Flash, video and audio files online. It’s easy to use interface, inexpensive prices and excellent search engine make it the preferred stock company for thousands of users every day. New applicants must upload three of their top photos and go through a stringent screening process typically taking three weeks or more. Once accepted, however, there is no limit to how much a photographer can make.

Many photographers have made Istock their full time job just by taking photos like the ones listed here. These are just some of the preferred photo themes that are in great demand at Istock:


  • Corporate Shots: anyone in a suit and in particular groups of people in suits.
  • Action Sports: cycling, soccer, football, baseball, you name it, they need it.
  • Holiday & Seasonal Themes: all holiday themed ideas, but well in advance of the holiday.
  • Concept Stock: metaphors and conceptual ideas. Usually staged shots work well.

Doodlers Can Earn Revenue Selling Shirts, Mugs, Hats, Cards and More

For those who like to doodle or write clever sayings making money online is now possible. Cafepress will put anything on t-shirts, posters, mugs, bumper stickers and more, and also handle the credit card processing and shipping. A free website is provided that the seller can use to promote products, but Cafepress does everything else. All the seller needs to do is keep those ideas coming, and collect a check.

Hobby’s Can Provide the Means to Make Extra Cash Online

These are just a few of the ways that hobbyists can turn their passion into extra cash using the internet. As the web expands and grows and people from all walks of life continue to search for products and services online, the potential to make money online by utilizing one’s own talents and passions will only increase. The sky is the limit for those with the vision and of course a hobby or two.

Winter Driving Tips: Vehicle Safety Guide for Ice and Snow

For drivers those who live in areas where ice and snow are problematic, preparing for a winter drive can be tricky business. Ideally, a person should aim to stay off the roads altogether amidst harsh weather conditions. When this isn’t possible, certain safety tips should be applied.

Before even getting into the vehicle, drivers should make sure to clear all snow from the roof, hood, windshield, windows, trunks and tail lights and headlights. Clearing just enough to see through the windshield is not enough. All windows should be cleared for full visibility; snow on the rooftop should be clear to ensure it doesn’t collapse onto the windows and obstruct vision; and snow should be cleared from the headlights and tail lights to ensure the car is visible to others.

When driving in snow and ice, drivers should be weary of hills. Drivers should remember that when driving in snow, going downhill can be trickier than going uphill. Keeping a certain amount of momentum can be necessary when driving uphill. However, when driving downhill, proceed with caution. It’s easy to lose control of where the vehicle will end up.

Anticipation is key. Adjusting based on where the car might be headed 10 seconds ahead of time can be a significant factor for a driver to stay out of a ditch. For instance, if the driver sees a sharp turn with a lot of ice, he or she should take the turn with caution or avoid it if possible.

Avoid abrupt turns or abrupt braking. Taking a turn too sharply, or braking too quickly and abruptly can cause a loss of control for the driver. Also, it can help for the driver to put the car in neutral before braking, since neutral doesn’t pull the car forward like having it in drive. This can help the car come to a fully controlled stop if conditions are severe.


Ensuring one has appropriate emergency supplies can be a life-saving practice. Ideally, these items would be together, perhaps in a bag of some sort, and would be easy to access in an emergency. The trunk is an ideal spot.

For Safer Driving

  • Chains
  • Snow shovel and scraper
  • Sand or kitty litter for traction

If pushing a stuck car out of snow, drivers should remember to rock the car gently in order to build momentum. Also, the driver should be careful about spinning out too much, as it might simply dig him or her deeper into the snow.

In the case of ice driving, remember to keep speeds low and to avoid sharp turns or abrupt breaking.

In Case of an Emergency

  • Booster cables
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Flares or reflectors
  • First Aid Kit
  • Exterior windshield cleaner
  • Bright cloth

Drivers should be sure to replace batteries periodically.

Survival Supplies in Case of an Emergency

  • Extra warm clothes
  • At least two blankets, and/or sleeping bag
  • High calorie, non-perishable food (including can opener if necessary)
  • Cloth/paper towels
  • Water

Being prepared can mean the difference between life or death. That also means checking weather forecasts in advance.