Somebody in Warren County will emerge as top dog from the Westminster Dog Show at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and wind up with a pocket full of cash!
The international dog show is on Feb. 13-14, but the Humane Society of Warren County (HSWC) embarks (pardon the pun) on one of its annual fundraisers New Year’s Day. It’s called the “Dog Show Raffle”, tickets are available from the animal shelter, from members of its board of directors, and from humane society volunteers, the winner to be contacted Feb. 15, 2017.
Each raffle ticket will be randomly assigned to a dog breed competing in the show. Check your ticket number on FACEBOOK.
Sales profits go to the shelter, of course. A limited number of tickets sell for $10 each and provide a 1 in 202 chance of winning. The fun part is you can watch your dog on television as it proceeds through the breed groups and on to the championship winners’ circle. From that limited number of elite competitors comes the” Best in Show,” and you get to win $500 if you’re on the top dog.
Local sponsors of this first HSWC event of 2017, described as “absolutely pawsome,” are Shear Elegance Pet Boutique, where my pug, the elegant Ophelia, gets her monthly manicure; Lester and Mowery’s Pharmacy, where my Siberian husky Pola gets her regular treats from the kindly staff; and Syntax Communications, Inc.
For further information, call the Julia Wagner Animal Shelter at (540) 635-4734 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The Final Stretch: Your 4-Weeks to a Merry Christmas
Embrace the Festive Spirit with These Essential Pre-Holiday Tasks.
With just four weeks until Christmas, the holiday atmosphere is in full swing. Stores are filled with festive tunes, and a noticeable chill is in the air, signaling that the most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner. This is an ideal period to immerse yourself in holiday preparations, ensuring everything is set for a joyful celebration. Here’s a list of tasks to focus on in this crucial month leading up to Christmas.
1. Christmas Tree Decoration: One of the most cherished traditions of the holiday season is decorating the Christmas tree. Gather your family and spend an evening adorning your tree with lights, ornaments, and tinsel. This is a wonderful opportunity to create lasting memories and enjoy quality time together.
2. Gift Shopping Adventures: Continue your quest for the perfect gifts for your loved ones. With the shops decked out in holiday decor, browsing for presents can be an enjoyable experience. Keep an eye out for special deals and unique finds that can bring smiles on Christmas morning.
3. Outdoor Decorations: If the weather cooperates, start decorating your outdoor decorations. Whether stringing lights along the roofline or setting up a festive yard display, these decorations contribute to the neighborhood’s holiday spirit.
4. Preparing Freezable Meals: The holiday season can be hectic, so preparing some meals in advance is a great idea. Cook dishes like lasagna or meat pies that can easily be frozen and reheated later. This foresight will ease your cooking load on busier days closer to Christmas.
5. Writing to Santa: For those with young children, help them write and send their letters to Santa. It’s a magical experience that captures the wonder and excitement of the season for little ones, filling their hearts with joy and anticipation.
As Christmas approaches, these activities help get your preparations done and immerse you in the holiday spirit. By tackling these tasks now, you’re setting yourself up for a more relaxed and enjoyable Christmas, where you can focus on celebrating with family and friends rather than last-minute to-dos.
Championing Community Spirit: The Joy of Local Holiday Shopping
Twelve Reasons Why Local Shopping is the Gift That Keeps on Giving.
As the holiday season approaches, shopping lists grow, and the search for the perfect gifts begins. Amidst this festive hustle, a growing trend is reshaping the way we shop: buying local. This movement is more than a fad; it’s a celebration of community, craftsmanship, and sustainable living. Let’s explore the myriad benefits of local holiday shopping and how it positively impacts not just our gift-giving but our communities at large.
1. Unique, Handcrafted Gifts: Local artisans offer a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind gifts, enabling you to express your individuality and thoughtfulness. These handcrafted items, unavailable anywhere else, truly show your loved ones how special they are.
2. Boosting the Local Economy: By shopping locally, you ensure that more money stays within your community, fostering a thriving economy, job creation, and a robust community spirit.
3. Personalized Customer Service: Local shops excel in offering personalized, heartwarming customer service. They’re not just selling products; they’re building relationships.
4. Helping the Planet: Local businesses often source their products locally, reducing transportation distances and championing eco-friendliness, thus contributing to a healthier planet.
5. Bonding with Your Community: Shopping locally means engaging with the people in your neighborhood, strengthening community bonds, and enhancing safety and security.
6. Embracing Local Culture: Local businesses reflect the unique cultural heritage of your area. Supporting them means celebrating and preserving these traditions.
7. Supporting Local Charities: Many local businesses give back to the community by supporting local charities and organizations, meaning your purchases have a broader positive impact.
8. Better Quality and Freshness: Local producers and artisans offer fresh, high-quality products that elevate your festive feasting experience.
9. Investing in Entrepreneurship: Supporting local businesses means nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship, which can lead to the growth of groundbreaking new ventures.
10. Preserving Main Street Charm: Local shops add character and charm to your community’s streets, contributing to your town’s overall attractiveness and appeal.
11. Flexibility and Customization: Local businesses often provide more personalized services, from customizing products to exceptional customer care.
12. Securing Future Options: Supporting local businesses ensures a diverse and vibrant commercial landscape for future generations.
The act of local holiday shopping goes beyond mere transactional exchanges; it’s a meaningful gesture that celebrates community, sustainability, and personal connections. As we embrace the holiday spirit, let’s remember the power of our choices and the profound impact they can have on our local ecosystems. This season, make your shopping count for more than just the gifts you give.
Holiday Countdown: A 5-Weeks to a Stress-Free Christmas
Plan Ahead with These Essential Tasks for a Relaxed Festive Season.
With five weeks left until Christmas, the holiday season is inching closer. This is the ideal time to start ticking off tasks from your holiday to-do list. Addressing these chores now can help you minimize the usual last-minute frenzy, allowing you to embrace a more leisurely and enjoyable approach to the festive preparations.
Decorating Your Space: Begin by infusing your home with the spirit of Christmas. Now is the perfect time to buy new decorations for your house’s interior and exterior. Explore your local Christmas markets for unique and special items that can add a fresh touch to your festive decor. Finding those perfect pieces early means less scrambling as the holiday draws nearer.
Gift Planning: Compile a list of all the people you wish to buy presents for, including any party hosts you might want to thank. Organizing your gift-giving list ahead of time allows you to think thoughtfully about each person and avoid the stress of last-minute shopping. This also ensures you don’t overlook anyone in the hustle and bustle closer to Christmas.
Catering Arrangements: If you’re planning a holiday feast and considering catering services, place your order now. Caterers get booked quickly during this season, so early orders guarantee you won’t be left scrambling for options. Plus, this step takes a significant load off your shoulders in terms of meal preparation.
Early Shopping: Beat the rush by starting your holiday shopping now. Purchasing gifts early not only ensures better selections but also allows for a more relaxed shopping experience. You can take your time to choose the perfect gifts without the pressure of crowded stores and dwindling stock.
Preparing for Christmas doesn’t have to be a race against time. You set the stage for a relaxed and joyful holiday season by accomplishing these tasks with five weeks to go. This proactive approach means that when Christmas does arrive, you can focus more on enjoying the festivities and less on last-minute tasks.
The Power of Early Financial Planning: A Path to Prosperity
Unlocking the Secrets of Wealth-Building for the Young and Energetic.
From the moment we start earning, we’re bombarded with advice on saving, investing, and planning for the future. But what’s the magic behind starting early and making the most of your youth and energy? How does one harness the power of time, persistence, and compound interest to create a secure financial future? The answer is understanding the mechanics and sticking to a few golden rules.
Every expert will tell you that beginning your financial journey early in life can be a game-changer. Imagine being 18 and setting aside just $100 each month for the next 50 years. The simple act, combined with wise investments and avoiding debts, could propel you into the realm of millionaires by retirement. This isn’t about your earnings but about how effectively you handle what you earn.
So, what’s the roadmap to achieving such a future? Here are some steps to consider:
- Craft a Budget: Know what comes in and what goes out. Make sure you’re spending less than you earn.
- Define Your Financial Goals: Whether it’s a short-term goal like a dream vacation or a long-term retirement plan, put it on paper.
- Prioritize Wisely: It’s about your future, not just about looking good today.
- Boost Your Income: Take on extra tasks or hours, especially when you’re at the peak of your energy. It’s about investing in your prime years.
- Steer Clear of Debts: Debts are roadblocks. Every payment you make towards them reduces your income potential.
- Punctuality Pays: Pay every bill on time to avoid unnecessary fees.
- Emergency Fund: Life is full of surprises. Having a backup fund for 2-3 months can be a savior during unexpected times.
- Embrace Automation: Set up automatic transfers to your savings account. It’s efficient and ensures consistency.
- Adopt a Long-Term Perspective: Your annual savings may look modest, but imagine its growth over decades!
- Be Investment-Savvy: Engage in retirement benefits like 401Ks provided by employers and set up IRAs to maximize your investment potential.
While it might seem daunting to look decades into the future, especially when you’re young, it’s this foresight that sets the stage for a comfortable and prosperous retirement. With commitment, consistency, and the magic of compound interest, even modest monthly savings can balloon into significant wealth.
Festive Season Prep: Your 6-Week Countdown to Christmas
Get Ahead of the Holiday Rush with Early Christmas Preparations.
As mid-November rolls around, the air begins to buzz with the anticipation of Christmas. With six weeks left until the big day, it’s the perfect time to start gearing up for the festive season. Tackling a few key tasks now can help you avoid the last-minute rush and ensure a smooth, stress-free holiday. Here’s a handy guide on what you can accomplish in the upcoming weeks.
Sending Out Invitations: The holiday season is synonymous with gatherings and celebrations. Whether you’re planning a grand Christmas party or a cozy get-together, now is the time to send out your invitations. Opt for traditional mail, email, or even digital invites through social media platforms. Getting your invites out early gives your guests ample time to RSVP and helps you plan accordingly.
Planning Gift Exchanges: Gift-giving is a core part of the Christmas tradition. Begin by setting a budget for each present to keep your spending in check. If you’re part of a group exchange, it’s time to pull names if you haven’t already. This early planning allows you to think thoughtfully about each gift and avoid the last-minute shopping frenzy.
Crafting Your Party Menu: Start thinking about the menu if you’re hosting a Christmas party. Early planning allows you to experiment with recipes, consider dietary restrictions, and possibly even do some advance preparation. A well-thought-out menu can be a centerpiece of your holiday gathering.
Booking Beauty Appointments: The festive season is also a time to pamper yourself. Book your appointments with your hairdresser and esthetician now. Salons and spas get booked quickly during this season, so securing your spot early ensures you look and feel your best for holiday celebrations.
The countdown to Christmas doesn’t have to be a whirlwind of last-minute tasks. You can enjoy a more relaxed and organized holiday season by starting your preparations now. From party planning to gift buying, these early steps set the foundation for a festive and enjoyable Christmas.
Breathe Easy: Tips for Maintaining Freshness in Your Home This Winter
Ensuring Clean Air and a Welcoming Atmosphere.
With the mercury dropping and the inviting warmth of a heated home beckoning, many of us will find ourselves spending more time indoors. However, as the outside world grows colder, our sanctuaries can become trapped with stale air and lingering allergens. Fear not, for there are straightforward steps to ensure your home remains an oasis of freshness and comfort throughout the colder months.
Simple Actions, Big Impact
- Filter Checkups: One of the primary gatekeepers against musty air and harmful allergens is your air filter. As the saying goes, out with the old and in with the new. An aged, dust-laden filter fails to function efficiently. Routine replacements or cleanings not only enhance air quality but also prevent the circulation of undesirable odors.
- Smart Ventilation: Think of the fans in your kitchen and bathroom as mini lifeguards. That hood fan you switch on when making dinner? It’s not just for those accidental burnt-toast moments. It plays a crucial role in preventing food aromas from overstaying their welcome. Similarly, your bathroom fan aids in warding off the growth of odor-linked bacteria by dissipating moisture.
- Embrace Gentle Scents: The key to a pleasantly scented home is subtlety. Essential oil diffusers and simmered aromatic blends are excellent choices, filling spaces with delicate, refreshing fragrances without overwhelming the senses.
- Green is Clean: Plants are nature’s very own air purifiers. By incorporating indoor plants like the peace lily, spider plant, snake plant, or bamboo, you’re not just adding aesthetic appeal but also enlisting helpers in the battle against indoor air pollutants.
- Carpet Care: As the guardian of your floor, carpets are often the first to confront winter’s damp remnants. However, they can also trap and hold onto musty odors. A simple sprinkle of baking soda or a chosen carpet deodorizer can act as a freshness recharge. Let it absorb the unwelcome scents and then vacuum away.
- Laundry Alert: It’s easy to overlook certain household items when laundry day rolls around. However, items like rugs, throw blankets, and even shower curtains can become odor and dust culprits. Regular washes, especially in warm water, can keep these culprits in check.
The Essence of a Home
The environment of our homes is a reflection of the care we put into them. As winter sets in, let’s prioritize the purity and freshness of our indoor spaces. With just a few proactive steps, every inhale can be a breath of crisp, clean air, making the colder months cozier and more enjoyable for all.