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1 week before Christmas: Time for the final touches

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Christmas is upon us and excitement is in the air. All that remains are a few final chores that need to get done before your guests arrive.

• Clear out space in the entrance way for your guests’ boots and coats

• Finish buying the fresh ingredients you’ll need for your holiday meal

• Stock your bathrooms with extra toilet paper and fresh hand towels


• Strategically place boxes of facial tissues and small bottles of hand sanitizer around the house

• Walk through each room to make sure nothing’s in the way or blocking an emergency exit

• Put hazardous objects like lighters, cleaning products, and medications out of the reach of children

• Shovel and de-ice your front steps and walkway, and consider putting down anti-slip mats so your guests don’t fall

Merry Christmas!

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3 types of home insulation

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Insulation protects your residence against both heat and cold, depending on the season. It also creates an acoustic barrier. Whether you’re planning major renovations or constructing a new home, don’t let your insulation become an afterthought. Here are three types of insulation materials to consider for your home.

1. Synthetic. While economical and efficient, this type of insulation is harmful to the environment and isn’t recyclable. It won’t decay naturally and can be flammable. Therefore, it must be installed with fire-resistant materials. Polystyrene and polyurethane are among the most common synthetic insulations.

2. Mineral-based. Made with raw and partially recycled materials, this type of insulation is incombustible and won’t decay. It can, however, attract insects that may nest within your walls. For this reason, you must replace this type of insulation every ten years. Rock wool, fiberglass, and cellular glass are well-known mineral insulators.

3. Natural insulators. Plant-based insulations are recyclable and don’t require much energy to produce. They also help keep your home cooler for longer during the summer months. However, since natural insulators aren’t great at managing humidity, they require careful installation. Cellulose, hemp, and cotton are some of the most popular natural insulators you can use.


Depending on the type of insulation you choose, you may be able to install it with a spray applicator or in pre-cut sections. Moreover, some insulation comes in large rolls or foam cubes. Some methods are more advisable than others, depending on the accessibility and size of the area to be insulated.

Avoid mistakes by relying on a contractor specializing in insulation to handle your installation.

 

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Why it’s important to call an exterminator

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Have wasps, ants, cockroaches, mice, or bedbugs taken up residence in your home or business? Instead of dealing with the infestation yourself, hire an exterminator to get rid of the nasty pests. Here are four reasons to call a professional.

• They can intervene effectively. Expert exterminators know exactly which specialized products to use against particularly persistent pests. They’ll prevent you from losing time on trial and error, and you can rest assured your infestation will be swiftly eradicated.

• They can safeguard your health. Many pest control products can be harmful to the health of your family and your pets if misused. Moreover, some pests can transmit diseases to humans. If you try to deal with an infestation yourself, you may accidentally get bitten or expose yourself to contaminated secretions and debris.

• They can help protect the planet. Pest management companies use environmentally friendly solutions, unlike some over-the-counter products.


• They can prevent a recurrence. Applying a pest-control product doesn’t always get rid of the problem. If you want to prevent pests from coming back, it’s crucial to find the source of the issue and make the necessary adjustments. A professional exterminator can provide expert advice to prevent a recurrence.

Lastly, trying to manage a pest infestation yourself is risky. Call an expert to remedy the situation quickly, effectively, and sustainably.

Are you a tenant in a multi-unit building with a pest infestation? Notify your landlord and talk to your neighbors at the first sign of infestation. It may be necessary to search their units to find the source and ensure it’s completely eradicated.

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5 things you should never throw in the recycling bin

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Today, many people want to help curb climate change and do as much as possible to limit their waste. Recycling is a big part of that process. However, did you know that many common household products can’t be recycled? Keep these items in mind the next time you’re shopping.

1. Aerosol cans. Although made of metal, aerosol cans are considered hazardous waste if any amount of liquid remains inside.

2. Batteries. Batteries contain toxic heavy metals. Therefore, you can’t throw them in with your regular trash or toss them in the recycling bin. You must send old batteries to a facility that can safely process them.

3. Brightly colored paper. You may think all paper is recyclable. However, the brilliantly colored paper contains dyes that can contaminate the recycling process and taint the color of new paper products. Instead, put colored paper in your compost bin.


4. Pizza boxes. Cardboard is recyclable as it is. However, if it’s covered in oil, grease, and melted cheese, you can’t put it in the recycling bin.

5. Pottery and ceramics. Old coffee mugs, dishware, and flowerpots are different from glass items and can’t be readily recycled. If you have unwanted, unbroken ceramic items, donate them to your local thrift shop.

Always check the rules and regulations of your local recycling program to ensure it accepts what you put in your bin.

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How to choose the right ceiling fan for your home

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The ceiling fan is a simple and economical solution for cooling a room in the summertime, circulating the air in winter, and possibly even providing lighting. Here are a few tips to help you choose the most suitable model for your space.

Blades
The greater the angle of incline, the more powerful the device’s motor will be. The diameter of the fan blades also impacts its efficiency. Consequently, the length of the fan blades must correspond to the size of the room. It’s less important how many blades there are on the fan; it’s more important that their size is compatible with the space in your room.

Downrod
Ensure the distance between the fan and the floor is about seven or eight feet. If your ceiling is more than nine-feet high, you must choose a fan with a longer downrod so you can set the blades to an appropriate height from the floor.

Activation
You can choose from several control options to adjust the fan’s speed. For example, if you choose a wall switch, you must install an electrical connection. However, you can also find models that come with a remote control or manual chain that hangs from the device.


Style
This decision depends entirely on your taste. However, make sure the fan you choose matches other elements and materials in the room, like the metal on the door handles and light fixtures. Keep in mind that lacquered blades are easy to clean, which you’ll appreciate if you’re installing the fan in the kitchen.

Lighting
You can also integrate your lighting directly into your fan and replace the bulbs as needed. If you choose this option, make your selection according to the types of bulbs you prefer.

Installing a ceiling fan or light fixture is subject to regional regulations and may require a permit. Therefore, it’s best to trust a licensed electrician to safely install your fan in compliance with building standards.

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Credit reporting changes in July

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Anyone who has struggled to pay off medical bills will get a boost this July as medical credit reporting changes.

Among the changes announced by all three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, Transunion):

  • Old medical bills that have been paid will no longer appear on credit reports. Medical debt is currently reported for seven years after it is paid off.
  • Unpaid medical bills will appear on a credit report only if they remain unpaid for 12 months. Right now there is a six-month grace period.
  • Medical debt in a collection that is less than $500 will not appear on credit reports. This move is expected to clear 70 percent of medical collections from credit reports.
  • Credit reports are designed to give lenders, in particular, an idea of whether a person will pay their debts. But 66 percent of medical debts are one-time unexpected and unpaid medical bills.

The credit agencies say the medical debts don’t provide an accurate picture of whether a person regularly pays his or her bills.

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News from home: One easy way to get mosquitoes gone

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The mosquito is probably the most reviled pest in the world, spreading disease and leaving itchy bites, but here is a cheap idea for getting them out of your space: Use a fan.

Mosquitoes are weak fliers who just can’t compete with wind. If you don’t want to worry about chemical vapors or open flames, buy a big fan to blow the mosquitoes off course. It really works, plus you get a nice, cooling breeze — a perfect solution for a hot, humid summer evening.

If you are moving around, though, insect repellent works well. Active ingredients like DEET and picaridin are the gold standard for keeping mosquitoes at bay and work for about 10 hours at a time. Essential oil-based bug sprays — like those containing oil of lemon eucalyptus — also deter pests, but not quite as well or for as long, so be prepared to reapply as directed.

Citronella candles look nice, but as a mosquito repellent, their performance is modest at best, with a small effective radius.


Bug zappers are not effective against mosquitoes and can kill valuable pollinators.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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Upcoming Events

Aug
10
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Aug 10 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Aug
12
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Aug 12 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
Aug
13
Sat
9:30 am Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 13 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Picnic Area Join Kim Strader, ANFT Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, for a gentle walk (no more than a mile or two) where we will wander and sit. Through a series of invitations and[...]
11:00 am Monarch Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Monarch Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 13 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Monarch Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area Habitat loss has caused Monarch butterfly populations to reach dangerously low numbers. Join the Park Naturalist and Virginia Master Naturalists as they set out to collect Monarch caterpillars and[...]
2:00 pm Pregnancy Center’s Community Bab... @ Living Water Christian Church
Pregnancy Center’s Community Bab... @ Living Water Christian Church
Aug 13 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Pregnancy Center's Community Baby Shower @ Living Water Christian Church
The Living Water Christian Church of the Shenandoah Valley is having a “Community Baby Shower” in support of the Pregnancy Center of Front Royal. We are inviting the public to attend and bring wrapped gifts[...]
Aug
17
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Aug 17 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Aug
18
Thu
7:00 pm Appalachian Chamber Music Festiv... @ Barns of Rose Hill
Appalachian Chamber Music Festiv... @ Barns of Rose Hill
Aug 18 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Appalachian Chamber Music Festival - Opening Night @ Barns of Rose Hill
The Appalachian Chamber Music Festival is delighted to be returning to the Barns of Rose Hill on Thursday, August 18, at 7pm, for the opening night concert of our 2022 summer season. The festival celebrates[...]
Aug
19
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Aug 19 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
Aug
20
Sat
11:00 am National Honeybee Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Honeybee Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 20 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Honeybee Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area The bees are buzzing at Sky Meadows State Park! Meet the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah as they perform a honey extraction. Learn about beekeeping, honeybees and the art of apiculture. Support beekeeping and[...]
Aug
21
Sun
12:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 21 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists of the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah (BONS) and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program series examines all aspects[...]