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5 eco-friendly laundry habits to adopt

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Washers and dryers consume an excessive amount of energy and water. Here are five habits you can adopt to conserve resources and make laundry day better for the environment.

1. Only wash what’s dirty
If you wear a shirt for only an hour or two on a cool morning, for example, it doesn’t necessarily need to be washed before it can be worn again.

2. Wait for a full load
It’s more energy efficient to run a full washing machine once than to do two small loads, even if you adjust the settings to use less water.

3. Use cold water
Up to 90 percent of the energy used by your washer goes toward heating the water. Plus, cool water can effectively clean clothes and is actually better for some fabrics than warm or hot water.


4. Favor green products
Look for biodegradable, phosphate-free laundry detergents and fabric softeners, preferably products sold in recyclable packaging or in bulk.

5. Air-dry when possible
Dryers consume a massive amount of energy. Whenever possible, opt for eco-friendly alternatives like a clothesline or drying rack.

In addition, make sure to maintain your washer. You should clean it a few times a year to remove lime deposits and other residues that can reduce your appliance’s efficacy.

Pro-tip
If you need to replace your washing machine, opt for a front-load rather than a top-load model since it will use less water. Plus, the spin cycle tends to be faster, which removes more moisture and shortens the drying time. For optimal efficiency, choose Energy Star certified products.

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How to stop yelling at your kids

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After a bad night’s sleep or a stressful day, it doesn’t take much for parents to lose their temper. While yelling can feel good at the moment, you’ll likely feel guilty afterward if you raise your voice in front of your kids. Here are a few tips to help you keep your composure.

Reassess your responsibilities
Do you often feel overwhelmed by your hectic schedule? If you’re getting pulled in a million different directions, it’s normal to lose your cool. Parents often feel like they have to put other people’s needs before their own, but this can leave them overworked and make them quick to have an outburst.

Consider whether you can redistribute chores at home or cut back on the tasks that demand your attention. Additionally, be sure to make time to recharge each week with activities you enjoy.

Be consistent with discipline
Laying out clear rules about how your kids are expected to behave can reduce the likelihood of losing your temper. Additionally, consistent punishments will ensure your children know the consequences of breaking the rules. It’s also important that both parents be on the same page about the rules in order for them to be effective.


Learn to reign in your reactions
In the heat of the moment, shouting can feel like an automatic response. However, there are several things you can do to dissipate your anger before it boils over:

• Verbalize your emotions by saying “I’m very upset, and I want to scream”
• Take several deep breaths and count to 10 slowly in your head
• Go to another room or step outside for a few minutes to calm down

Finally, don’t hesitate to use babysitting services, parent helplines, and other resources that can give you the support and advice you need to foster a more positive home life for you and your kids.

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How to protect plants during a heat wave

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Hot weather can wreak havoc on your garden. Here’s how to protect your plants during a heatwave.

Apply mulch
High temperatures can dehydrate your garden, so apply a liberal layer of mulch to reduce evaporation. Opt for light-colored mulch such as dry grass clippings, as this will reflect sunlight and help keep the ground cool.

Water early
If you water your plants early in the morning, you’ll give them more time to absorb the water before it evaporates. This will help protect shallow roots from dehydration and reduce the risk of heat stress, which is essentially a plant sunburn.

Provide shade
Install shade cloth over your plants to protect them from the sun during periods of extreme heat. You can find this product in various sizes at your local garden center. Just be sure not to enclose the plants, as this will trap heat and reduce air circulation.


Finally, remember to protect yourself as well. Wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat when you garden, and avoid strenuous outdoor work during heat waves.

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Caregiving: How to get into a smaller place

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Sometimes, perhaps at retirement or maybe after the loss of a spouse, seniors quickly realize it is time to move to a smaller place with fewer responsibilities relating to home and garden maintenance.

It is a huge task: Finding a new place, sorting through belongings, selling the old and buying the new, moving, setting up, and settling in.

Often, though, seniors might like to move but wonder how they can manage the huge project. Adult children might wonder how they can possibly fit a task of this size into their busy lives. They might not even understand why the move is even necessary. They might think mom or dad are fine where they are.

So, if you want to move, tell everyone with no reservation and tell them you need help with the project.


Here is a brief idea of how to plan your move. You’ll need six months, with help from family and friends.

1. Spend some time sorting through keepsakes. Some keepsakes can come with you. Some, like old photos, can be distributed to the family. Securely pack the keepsakes you are taking and move them to your storage unit.

2. Identify a suitable apartment location, even if you are not ready to move in. Be sure to try senior living locations and look at places near family or friends. Once you find the right place, you can get a sense of the size and decide what you can take with you.

3. Identify the furniture you want to take to the new apartment. You may also be able to buy new things if your existing furniture is to be sold or donated. Identify the things that will go with the house at the sale: appliances, for example.

4. Sell things that you won’t need. Friends and family might be able to sell more expensive items piece by piece. However, at some point, you will be left with a variety of things unsold. You have choices with these leftover items. A junk hauler will take almost anything away, even big items, and the cost should be reasonable.

If you have furniture, silverware, dishes in a quantity that you haven’t sold, an auction house will often send a person out to pack up everything, sell it for you, then give you a percentage of the sale.

5. Once the old house is pretty much cleaned out, you’ll want to rent an apartment and arrange to move.

6. As soon as the house is cleaned out, hire a real estate agent and sell.

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How to react if your teen lies to you

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Though it’s normal for young people to fib, it can be upsetting to realize your child is making up stories. Here’s a look at how to react if your teen lies to you.

The first thing to consider is why your teen has lied. Is it because they’re afraid to disappoint you? Do they want to avoid being punished? Are they going through something they’re ashamed of?

It’s also important to reflect on the parenting style you want to use before you confront your teen. For example, if you treat them like a child, refuse to let them make their own choices, or punish them too harshly, your young adult is more likely to break the rules and continue to hide things from you.

In order to maintain a healthy relationship with your teen, you need to model an open and honest approach to communication. In particular, be sure to provide explanations for the rules you establish (prioritizing homework, weekday bedtimes, etc.), as this will increase the likelihood that your teen will respect and follow them.



Additionally, give your teen the opportunity to express their opinion about the rules, and be open to negotiating reasonable changes. If your teen feels like you respect their point of view, they’re more likely to tell you the truth.

Did you know?
There are two types of lies: prosocial and antisocial. Prosocial lies are told for someone else’s benefit, either to protect them or make them happy. Antisocial lies, however, are motivated by personal gain.

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A brief guide to pruning roses

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Cutting back rose bushes promotes new growth and reduces the risk for fungal diseases. Here’s what you should know.

When to prune
Most types of rose plants should be cut back in the spring after the last hard frost but before the leaf buds bloom. The ideal time to prune roses depends on where you live, but it generally falls between mid-March and the end of May.

How to prune
Be sure to wear thick gardening gloves and a heavy long-sleeve shirt to protect yourself from thorns. Using a clean, sharp bypass pruner or lopper, remove:

• Dead, damaged and diseased branches at the base or a healthy spot on the stem
• Branches that cross or create too much congestion in the middle of the plant
• Suckers growing around the base and any branches that are thinner than a pencil


You can also cut back healthy branches to give the plant a more appealing shape. Just remember to make cuts at a 45-degree angle, so water doesn’t pool on the stem.

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4 tips to help your dog stay home alone

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Are you worried about your pup getting anxious or causing mischief while you’re away? Here are some tips to help train your dog to be comfortable at home alone.

1. Make your pet feel safe
If you need to confine your dog to a designated room or crate when you go out, make sure they’re well acquainted with space beforehand. You can do this by giving feedings, hiding treats or encouraging your pup to do tricks in the room or crate while you’re at home.

2. Practice being apart
To get your pet used to not having you around, leave them alone in another room with a long-lasting treat. Start by checking in on your pet after a few minutes, then gradually increase the interval. As your pup adapts, you can begin to leave the house for increasingly long periods of time. You may want to start by just taking a short walk or running a quick errand.

3. Provide plenty of distractions
One of the best ways to keep your pet out of trouble is to make sure they’re occupied. Be attentive to the toys and treats your dog prefers, and make sure they have access to them while you’re away. Consider choosing more interactive toys or ones that hold and dispense treats for your pet to enjoy when they’re home alone.



4. Find time to check-in
If possible, adjust your schedule to minimize the amount of time your pet spends alone, and have your partner or other family members do the same. Alternatively, you can ask a friend or neighbor to drop by for a quick visit during the day. For longer absences, hire a pet sitter or find out if your local veterinary clinic offers boarding services.

For additional advice, or if you’re concerned about your pet experiencing separation anxiety, speak with a veterinary behaviorist or another qualified professional.

 

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Apr
18
Sun
9:30 am Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 18 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
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 prompts, we[...]
10:00 am 2nd United States Cavalry – Civi... @ Sky Meadows State Park
2nd United States Cavalry – Civi... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 18 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
2nd United States Cavalry - Civil War Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Get up-close and personal with history. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment. Interact with the 2nd US Cavalry as they perform daily tasks of the Union soldiers. Activities[...]
Apr
20
Tue
all-day Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department Mad Science Kit contains experiments that focus on fun, interactivity, and entertainment. Participants ages 6-12 will be able to perform four (4) experiments, including Dyed Carnations, Lava Lamps,[...]
10:00 am Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 20 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Players will enjoy several hands of Mah Jongg against skilled opponents. This club meets on Tuesdays from April 6, 2021 through April 27, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Warren County Community[...]
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 20 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Apr
24
Sat
10:00 am Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 24 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
On this Earth Day, celebrate safely by doing your part to restore our earth and joining the Great Global Cleanup. Stop by one of our tables at the Explorer Outpost, Picnic Area, or Lost Mountain[...]
12:00 pm Empty Bowl Supper “To Go” @ Downtown Market
Empty Bowl Supper “To Go” @ Downtown Market
Apr 24 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Empty Bowl Supper “To Go” @ Downtown Market
Come out to enjoy our favorite fundraiser to benefit the House of Hope, the Empty Bowl Supper “TO GO”! DATE: Saturday, April 24 from 12noon-3pm Ticket Link: eventbrite.com/empty-bowl-supper LOCATION: Main Street & Downtown Market Check in near the[...]
12:00 pm SHS Band Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
SHS Band Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Apr 24 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
SHS Band Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Join us for an afternoon of golf at Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club in Front Royal! 1 pm Shotgun, Registration from 12pm – 12:45pm. $85/Player $340/Team Help us celebrate Skyline High School Band’s success while[...]
12:30 pm Color Run Fundraiser @ Warren County Department of Social Services
Color Run Fundraiser @ Warren County Department of Social Services
Apr 24 @ 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Color Run Fundraiser @ Warren County Department of Social Services
Save Our Children Front Royal is hosting a Color Run/Walk to raise money for The Child Safe Center, located in Winchester, Virginia. The Child Safe Center is a local non-profit who supports sexually abused victims[...]
Apr
25
Sun
4:00 pm Paint with a Superhero @ Downtown Market
Paint with a Superhero @ Downtown Market
Apr 25 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Paint with a Superhero @ Downtown Market
$30 per painter or 4 painters for $100. Bring the whole family and save! Join us for a special Paint with a Superhero event! Be sure to dress up as your favorite hero or villain[...]