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April 30 is National Arbor Day

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Beautify your world: Plant a tree

Founded by J. Sterling Morton of Nebraska in 1872, Arbor Day is a secular day of observance to encourage individuals and groups to plant trees.

Trees are an energy-saving home improvement. They can be as important to energy conservation as insulation or weather-tight windows and doors. They save energy by cooling with shade in the summer and by providing a windbreak in winter. Three strategically placed shade trees can reduce air conditioning costs by 30 percent.

Deciduous trees shed their leaves during the winter. They provide shade and block heat during hotter months. By dropping their leaves in the fall, they admit sunlight in the colder months. Place these trees on the south and west sides of buildings. Shade hard surfaces, such as driveways, to minimize heat load.


Evergreens retain their leaves or needles throughout the year. As windbreaks, they can help conserve a significant amount of energy that would otherwise go toward home heating. Place them on the north side of your home. Evergreens also provide shade in the summer.

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How to support nurses on the front line of the pandemic

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May is Nurses Month, an annual event that sets out to honor the contributions of America’s nurses. These essential workers are invaluable members of their communities, offering help to patients and their families, and playing a key role in delivering healthcare services. That’s why this year’s theme is Nurses Make a Difference.

In light of the pandemic, supporting nurses is more important than ever. Over the last year, these workers have risked their own safety to help those who need care. Here are some ways you can offer your encouragement.

1. Give them a shoutout
Publicly give your thanks to nurses on social media using the hashtag #Support-HealthcareHeroes. Recognition can go a long way in making the nurses you know feel valued.

2. Offer them a meal
Order takeout for the nurses you know, and see if you can have it delivered to the hospital or clinic where they work.



3. Help with childcare
If you know a nurse who has children, consider offering to lend a hand while they’re at work or when they need a break.

4. Drop off groceries
It can be hard for nurses to find time to pick up the essentials. Reach out to a nurse you know, and see if you can help by bringing them the supplies they need.

5. Make a donation
There are numerous campaigns dedicated to raising funds for nurses. Consider making a donation to the American Nurses Foundation, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses or a local nursing school.

Nurses working on the front line of the pandemic deserve to be reminded that they’re valued. This year for Nurses Month, consider reaching out and showing your appreciation.

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3 special ways to celebrate Mother’s Day

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Do you want to pull out all the stops for Mother’s Day this year? Whether your mom lives nearby or far away, here are a few ways to celebrate the occasion.

Theme party
Host an event your mom will never forget by choosing a theme. You could make the celebration a beach party, a Victorian ball, a Mexican fiesta, a casino night soirée, or a Great Gatsby-style bash. Consider your mom’s tastes and get creative. Think about the decorations, costumes, music, and other details so everyone can truly immerse themselves in the chosen universe.

Fun activity
Celebrate your mom by doing something together that you know she enjoys. It could be a walk in the forest, a visit to a museum, a day at the spa, a hot air balloon ride, or a wine tasting at a local vineyard. If Mom preferred to stay home, consider playing board games or having a movie marathon with all of her favorite snacks. Give her a unique experience, and she’s sure to be pleased by your thoughtfulness.

Video call
If you can’t get together with your mom in person, organize a video call that shows her how much you care. You could read her a letter or poem you wrote for the occasion, share a festive meal together despite the distance or play an assortment of games to brighten up her day.


So, what kind of celebration will you put together for Mother’s Day?

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Flowers for the mothers in your life

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Giving flowers on Mother’s Day is a time-honored tradition. If you’re looking to show your mom, your grandmother or the mother of your children that you care, here are some suggestions.

Cut flowers
Fresh bouquets are sure to please the ladies in your life. Offer them bundles of cut roses, gerberas, tulips, camellias, carnations, irises, lilies or birds of paradise. Select blooms in their favorite colors or fragrances, or let your florist make a custom arrangement.

Flowers for the garden
If the mother you’re celebrating has a green thumb, consider giving her a new plant for her garden. Pretty perennials like primroses and peonies or flowering shrubs like rhododendrons and lilacs are all good choices. Assess the landscaping of the yard to help you make the right choice. Alternatively, ask a professional at your local nursery for suggestions.

Flowering potted plants
There are many types of flowering plants that make great Mother’s Day gifts. You could get an African violet or orchid for her home, or a hanging basket or rose bush for her yard. Just be sure the person receiving your gift is interested in keeping the plant alive. When in doubt, look for easy-to-care-for plants like peace lilies and Christmas cacti.


Regardless of what type of flowers you buy for Mother’s Day, remember to include a card. The best part about your gift is sure to be that it came from you.

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4 Mother’s Day gifts to help Mom relax

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Mother’s Day is May 9th

Would you like to help your mom relax and unwind this Mother’s Day? If so, here are a few gift ideas that may be a good fit.

1. An overnight stay at a hotel
There’s nothing like a change of scenery, even a brief one, to take the edge off the daily grind. Depending on her tastes, opt for something sleek and polished in town or quaint and charming off the beaten track. With room service and onsite amenities, Mom will be able to indulge in a little pampering.

2. A home-delivered meal
Help your mom take a break from cooking by serving her a meal she doesn’t have to make. Order a dish she loves from her favorite restaurant or buy the ingredients to prepare it yourself. Either way, she’s sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness.


3. A basket of bath products
Give your mother an excuse to bask in the bath by offering her an assortment of goods. Put together a basket filled with a bubble bath, a sponge, scented candles, a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, and other treats for a relaxing experience.

4. A spa treatment and massage
This guaranteed anti-stress remedy is the perfect way to help Mom unwind. If you’re not sure which types of massages and treatments she would enjoy, opt for a gift card from a place that offers a variety of services.

From scented oil diffusers and adult coloring books to foot massagers and facial steamers, there are many other gifts that can help your mom relax. Look for these and other products and services in your region.

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March 17th: St. Patrick’s prayer of the deer

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While St. Patrick is one of the most well-known figures of modern folklore and festivals, ironically he is less known for his touching and beloved role in Irish faith and literature.

Among the writings attributed to him is the beautiful prayer The Deer’s Cry, also known as the Shield of St. Patrick, or the Breastplate of St. Patrick. This prayer was written as an invocation of protection to shield St. Patrick and his monks from enemies lying in wait in the Irish forests.

Having gathered his followers around him, St. Patrick was leading them past the hostile forces at Loegaire, Ireland, where the son of King Niall laid ambushes. Patrick’s enemies did not want him to bring the Christian faith to Tara.

In the morning before Patrick and the monks proceeded, they gathered and prayed a long and musical prayer of protection, including the words:


I arise today, through the strength of Heaven: Light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendor of Fire, speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea, stability of Earth, firmness of Rock…

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me: God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to secure me…

Christ to protect me today, against poison, against burning, against drowning, against wounding, so that there may come abundance of reward. Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left.

With such a powerful prayer, tradition says Patrick’s enemies were completely fooled. In the forest, as they waited to attack the missionaries, his enemies saw only wild deer (St. Patrick and his monks) and one fawn (St. Benen), following along behind, carrying books. They let them pass.

Today this lovely prayer of the deer is used to light and bless the Easter fires, as St. Patrick did when he arrived at Tara. It is still used as a shield against devils, poison, envy, and sudden death.

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Seasonal

Great love letters endure

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Love — mysterious, forbidden, secret, new love, and old — inspired some of the greatest letters ever written, notes so grand they are still treasured today.

Longest-lasting love letter – Arguably the greatest love letter has been read for literally thousands of years: The Song of Solomon, which appears in the Old Testament of the Bible. Written in 600 BC to one of his 700 wives, King Solomon writes: “…thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes … How much better is thy love than wine!”

Tormented love – A 17th-century Portuguese nun, Mariana of Alcoforado, wrote broken-hearted letters to her lover of two years: the scoundrel Noel Bouton, Marquis de Chamilly. Proving himself a cad, Bouton published the letters, thus creating a new word in French for love letter: Portugals. One of Mariana’s lamentations: “… all my pleasure is in repeating your name a thousand times a day. Some nuns, who know the deplorable state to which you have reduced me, speak to me of you. I leave this room you visited so often as little as I may, and spend all my time gazing on your portrait, which I love a thousand times more than my own life.”

Mystery love – Scholars still debate the identity of Ludwig van Beethoven’s lover who, in 1812, he famously calls his ‘immortal (or eternal) beloved.’ It was a love not to be: “Even in bed my ideas yearn towards you, my Immortal Beloved, here and there joyfully, then again sadly, awaiting from Fate, whether it will listen to us.”


Presidential love – President Richard Nixon’s love for his wife Pat was well known. In the early years of their relationship, he writes to Pat, referring to himself in the third person: “…when the wind blows and the rains fall and the sun shines through the clouds (as it is now) he still resolves … that nothing so fine ever happened to him or anyone else as falling in love with Thee — my dearest heart.”

Comedian love – From bad-boy comedian George Carlin to his wife Sally Wade:
“Sallyburger, If you took the number of sub-atomic particles in the universe and multiplied that number times itself that many times; and then added the total number of microseconds since the beginning of time, times itself; and then added 803 — you would still have only the tiniest fraction of a billion-billionth percent of the amount of love I have for you. Love, your candle partner, the romantic Mr. Carlin, your eternal flame.”

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King Cartoons

Front Royal
59°
Mostly Cloudy
6:08am8:10pm EDT
Feels like: 57°F
Wind: 9mph NW
Humidity: 61%
Pressure: 29.9"Hg
UV index: 0
ThuFriSat
64/45°F
59/41°F
61/41°F

Upcoming Events

May
8
Sat
2:00 pm Mother’s Day Weekend Paint Party... @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Mother’s Day Weekend Paint Party... @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
May 8 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Mother's Day Weekend Paint Party - Hydrangeas @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Bring Mom to The Studio for our Mother’s Day Weekend Special. Buy two tickets and save! This will be a lovely piece to add to your collections… and so much fun to paint. Join us[...]
8:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 8 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area – behind Mount Bleak. Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion Lab[...]
May
9
Sun
2:00 pm Mother’s Day Weekend Paint Party... @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Mother’s Day Weekend Paint Party... @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
May 9 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Mother's Day Weekend Paint Party - Daisies @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Bring Mom to The Studio for our Mother’s Day Weekend Special. Buy two tickets and save! This will be a lovely piece to add to your collections… and so much fun to paint. Join us[...]
May
13
Thu
6:30 pm Law Enforcement Officers Memoria... @ Front Royal Gazebo
Law Enforcement Officers Memoria... @ Front Royal Gazebo
May 13 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service @ Front Royal Gazebo
Please join Warren County/Front Royal Back the Blue, in partnership with the Fraternal Order of Police and Front Royal/Warren County Lodge #33, during National Police Week as we honor our local Law Enforcement Officers who[...]
May
14
Fri
12:00 pm Millionaire Maker Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Millionaire Maker Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
May 14 @ 12:00 pm
Millionaire Maker Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Join us for the 2021 Millionaire Maker held at award-winning Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club. The Millionaire Maker is a combined golfing and networking experience! Serious, amateur, and novice golfers are welcome. *Four golfers who[...]
May
15
Sat
7:30 am Captain’s Choice/Best Ball Golf ... @ Bowling Green Country Club South
Captain’s Choice/Best Ball Golf ... @ Bowling Green Country Club South
May 15 @ 7:30 am – 3:00 pm
Captain’s Choice/Best Ball Golf Tournament @ Bowling Green Country Club South
Please join us for the Captain’s Choice/Best Ball Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the Linden Volunteer Fire Department. The event will be held Saturday, May 15, 2021, at Bowling Green Country Club South (768 Bowling[...]
10:00 am Fort Loudoun Day: Living History @ Historic Fort Loudoun Site
Fort Loudoun Day: Living History @ Historic Fort Loudoun Site
May 15 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Fort Loudoun Day: Living History @ Historic Fort Loudoun Site
Bring the family and enjoy a fun day learning about the history of the French & Indian War era at the site of Colonel George Washington’s headquarters for the Virginia Regiment. Meet living history interpreters[...]
11:00 am National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 15 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Children’s Discovery Area: This National Kids to Parks Day, join us for fun-filled activities and music at our interactive discovery stations. Kids, pick up a scavenger hunt brochure and hike on the Track Trail. Just[...]
May
16
Sun
9:00 am Virginia Psychic Fair @ Arlington-Fairfax Elks Lodge
Virginia Psychic Fair @ Arlington-Fairfax Elks Lodge
May 16 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Virginia Psychic Fair @ Arlington-Fairfax Elks Lodge
Psychic Fair for both those who are serious and for those who are just curious. Event can be a life changing experience or just a fun time! Many of the best psychics, mediums, healers, and[...]
1:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 16 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
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 of beekeeping from hive construction to[...]