Janet Davis Cleaners - September 2019

“HOT OFF THE PRESS” Dry Cleaning News

(248) 543-0340 | www.janetdaviscleaners.com 27607Woodward Ave., Berkley, MI 48072 | 3645 Maple Rd., Bloomfield, MI 48301


THROUGH MY DAUGHTERS’ EYES Learning to Appreciate Reading All Over Again

The other night, my wife and I had just put our girls down for bed. It had been a really busy day for the entire family, but we still managed to get through all the steps of our nightly bedtime routine — well, almost completely through it. Just as Laura and I started the process of getting ourselves ready for bed, my youngest daughter’s voice echoed throughout the house, “WE DIDN’T READ MY BOOK!” We’ve been reading to her before bed since she was born, and in the four and a half years since, she literally can’t go to sleep without hearing at least three stories. After a really long day, when she was younger, I would tuck her in bed and watch her slowly close her eyes. I’d swear she was asleep, but then she popped up like a zombie, demanding that I read “Freight Train,” a short, simple book with trains, shapes, and colors that she had deemed the literary holy grail. Both of my kids love to read now, but it didn’t start out that way. When my eldest daughter was 1, her favorite activity was ripping the pages out of books. It wasn’t that she didn’t like the stories; she just thought the pages were much more interesting on the floor than inside the book. Now her take on reading is the complete opposite. In fact, on her last day of first grade a few months ago, she read the last chapter of “Charlotte’s Web” to me before bed. In first grade and already reading “Charlotte’s Web?!” It’s amazing!

Through reading to my girls at night, I’ve often thought about my first experiences reading. As adults, we’ve already trained our brains to recognize words on a page and then string them together to make sense of their meaning. You’re doing it right now, in fact, and you aren’t even thinking about it; it’s just happening. But watching my girls memorize common articles and conjunctions like “the,” “a,” “an,” “and,” “but,” and “so,” I can’t help but be in awe of how miraculously the human brain functions and how unbelievable it is that we can read in the effortless and facile way that we do as adults. It wasn’t always that way for me, though. I remember learning to read in the first grade — not the complex books my eldest daughter is now reading — but I didn’t actually take an interest until I was in third grade. That interest continued to grow all the way through high school, when I had the audacity to sign up for AP English. I’ve always been more drawn to math and science, but, since I had an affinity for reading, I thought AP English would fuel my enjoyment. The teacher, Mr. D., was great. Had a very tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and managed to teach me a lot about literary analysis despite some of my frustrations at the time. In fact, I didn’t realize how much the material from that class stuck with me until I was in my 20s and trying to find a book in the

airport. I picked George Orwell’s “1984,” a dystopian science fiction narrative exploring omnipresent government surveillance that also happened to be on my reading list back in that high school class. Had I not spent that year studying imagery, allegory, and symbolism, I wouldn’t have understood “1984” in the manner Orwell intended. I read a study recently which indicated that over a quarter of Americans admit to not having read a book in any format in the last 12 months. While I would never chastise people for refusing to participate in a pastime they don’t enjoy, I do want to encourage them to reconsider. Even rereading an old favorite can offer a fresh perspective.

–Kyle Matthews 1 (248) 543-0340

Stop the Spread



And We’re Convinced We Have the Best!

At the height of the Industrial Revolution, the average American worker spent up to 12 hours at work for seven days a week just to make ends meet. To make those long days worse, workers often faced unsafe workplace environments with insufficient access to breathable air. With the integration of labor unions, however, these employees began organizing strikes to protest poor conditions and encourage employers to renegotiate hours and pay. Then, on Sept. 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history. The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it. While Congress would not legalize this influential workingmen’s holiday until 12 years later, modern societies continue to regard Labor Day as an important event that pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers all across the country. Here at Janet Davis Cleaners, we believe Labor Day to be one of the best holidays because it allows us to openly acknowledge all the wonderful employees who work for us. Every business aims to find a hardworking and dedicated group of team members, but we feel especially thankful for the ones who come through our doors each and every day. While many people know that Janet Davis Cleaners is a five- generation-owned company, few realize we have several second- generation employees. In fact, we even had a third-generation employee work with us for eight years. To us, there’s no better compliment than seeing one of our team members enjoys their role and work environment so much that they encourage their family members to apply as well! Just as one of our main goals is to treat our patrons and their belongings with high-quality care, so too do we try to find new ways to keep our employees happy to come to work. As a result, they’ve referred us to people they know, and we hope that you will, too! If you know someone who could benefit from our services, show them this newsletter so they can give us a call!

School is back in session, but your child may be bringing home more than just random facts. Germs and bacteria that spread the common cold and flu are most prevalent in schools, but while these illnesses are strong, prevention is simple. Teach your kids how to prevent the spread of bacteria this season with these helpful tips.


Kids learn more by watching what you do rather than listening to what you tell them to do. Get in the habit of covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands. Make hand sanitizer and facial tissues readily available in your home and be sure to wash your hands before every meal. In addition, stick to healthy habits when you do feel sick. Drink fluids, get plenty of rest, and seek medical attention when it’s warranted. If your children see you taking care of yourself, they will be more likely to do the same for themselves in the future. Hand washing and nose blowing are about as fun as … well, just that. It’s no wonder children don’t want to take time out of their busy play schedules to combat nasty germs. Instead of making these important steps a chore, make basic hygiene fun. Use fun songs to teach the proper way to cover a sneeze, or do a science experiment to teach your children about the germs that are spread through just one sneeze. (According to research, sneezes can travel anywhere from 19–26 feet at 100 miles per hour!) For crafty kids, let them decorate tissue boxes or hand sanitizer containers to give hygiene some flair. Soon enough, you’ll find them being smarter about their health. As kids pack into classrooms this fall, germs will fly faster than this past summer did. Prevent the spread of the common cold and flu by learning more tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online at CDC.gov. AHH ... AHH ... ACHOO!

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It’s Time to Talk About Backpacks!

This summer has zipped by so fast that the school year is already upon us. As the kids start to settle into their classroom with their new teacher, their parents usually experience one of three emotions: total bliss, ceaseless nostalgia, or immense stress. Regardless of how you feel as you watch your kids bounce up the steps to the bright yellow school bus, you still want to take steps to keep them safe, and on Sept. 19, you can join in on National School Backpack Awareness Day. Because over 79 million American students are wearing backpacks at any given time, the potential for injury is high. The good news is the problem can be easily solved with awareness and a few recommendations. First, the backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 10% of the student’s total body weight when it’s full. Next, ensure the backpack extends from 2 inches below the shoulder blades to slightly above

the waist. Lastly, encourage students to wear both straps of the backpack to guarantee equal weight distribution. Once you have the tips for backpack safety down, you can turn to our team here at Janet Davis Cleaners to learn how to keep your child’s backpack usable for years to come! First of all, never wash a backpack in a washing machine and avoid drying in a dryer. Instead, use lukewarm water and a soft

This isn’t too complicated, but it is time-consuming. Because many of us here at Janet Davis Cleaners are parents ourselves, we understand you might not want to spend any of your precious free time washing backpacks. Bring them into us instead! We’ll get them looking like new in no time! Basil BERRY SORBET

sponge to hand wash, paying special attention to the dirtier areas. This step will ensure that you don’t harm any protective coatings on the bag. Once you’re done washing, hang the backpack somewhere inside to dry, as UV light from the sun can discolor the fabric.


Unlike standard ice cream recipes, this delicious sorbet doesn’t require fancy equipment or difficult prep. It’s also entirely dairy-free, making it the perfect vegan treat for the end of summer.


• 1 cup sugar • 1 cup fresh basil leaves • 6 cups frozen mixed berries • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice


1. In a saucepan over high heat, combine sugar with 1 cup of water, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves, creating a syrup-like consistency. 2. Remove syrup from heat, add basil, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain syrup into bowl and refrigerate until cold. 3. In a blender, combine syrup with frozen berries and lemon juice. Purée until smooth. 4. Transfer to a square baking pan, cover in plastic wrap, and freeze until set, about 2 hours. 5. Scoop and serve. 3 (248) 543-0340 Inspired by Good Housekeeping


Monday–Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(248) 543-0340 www.janetdaviscleaners.com INSIDE THIS ISSUE

27607Woodward Ave. Berkley, MI 48072

1 How My Daughters Taught Me to Read All Over Again 2 Teach Your Kids Flu Prevention Happy Labor Day to Our Amazing Team Members! 3 Let’s Get Those Back-to-School Backpacks Sparkling Like New! Basil Berry Sorbet 4 Honoring the Canines of 9/11

The Four-Legged Heroes of Ground Zero


In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers.

It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.

Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: AKCCHF.org.

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