This four week course with instructor Elena Maza will focus on learning basic skills to create watercolor landscape paintings: basic composition and use of color and value to create a sense of depth and distance. During the first class (indoors), students will work from a photograph of their choice, developing thumbnail sketches to find the best composition, learn how to plan their painting and apply the paint with washes, dry brush, and other techniques. During the following classes students will paint en plein air (outdoors) weather permitting, at a chosen location, and apply the same process learned indoors to their outdoor paintings. This class is recommended for students with some previous drawing and watercolor painting experience.
Recommended materials (not included) are listed on our website. Tuesday afternoons, 1:30-4:30pm, Sep. 3rd – Sep. 24th. Class will be held in our upstairs studio at 205 E. Main St., Front Royal, Virginia.
Class policies: We understand that scheduling conflicts do happen. You may cancel your class for a full refund up to 48 hours before the first class, by phone or in person. No refunds will be issued after this time.
In case of inclement weather, we will reschedule the class. Please check our Facebook page for updates on class cancellations due to weather.
Pests that can be repelled with plants
Did you know there are a variety of plants that naturally repel insects? Here’s how to ward off a few common backyard pests using flowers and herbs.
In addition to feeding on sugary fruits and vegetables, ants farm tiny leaf-eating insects called aphids. To repel ants, plant tansy, lemon balm, mint, mugwort, or chrysanthemums. Catnip also works well but may attract feline visitors.
These metallic-looking bugs aren’t picky about what they eat, but they’re especially fond of roses, string beans, and raspberries. To ward off Japanese beetles, plant tansy, catnip, chives, or marigolds. The smell and taste of the leaves on these plants will repel them.
Finally, while flies are relatively harmless, they can be a nuisance. You can ward them off with herbs such as basil, lavender, and rosemary.
Get some social distance with a bike ride
It’s commuting and fitness melded together: Faster than walking and as much exercise as jogging. It lets you enjoy the scenery, which, depending on your time in quarantine, could mean a lot.
If you aren’t already a regular rider, you’ll want to ease yourself into cycling. Begin with half-hour rides every other day or three days a week. And practice your basic skills in an empty parking lot.
Learn to shift gears without wobbling and to look over your left shoulder while steering straight ahead.
When you take to the roads, always ride with traffic, ride in the street on the right. Use hand signals, and obey all the traffic rules.
Buying a bike
If you decide that you like riding, you may want to get a new bike. Be sure to shop for one that suits your normal riding distance. Traditional 3-speeds are good for short rides, and 10-speeds are best for longer rides. Then there are all-terrain bikes that provide an all-purpose alternative.
When riding to work, put your belongings in a backpack or tie them down in a basket or rear carrier. Carry a tool kit to fix flat tires.
You’re never too old to take up cycling and benefit from it for the rest of your life. Studies at the University of California at Davis compared three forms of exercise: Jogging, bicycling, and tennis. Middle-aged sedentary men were assigned to one of the three activities for 30 minutes a day three times a week. After 20 weeks, the joggers and cyclists had an equal improvement in endurance, and both groups lost a substantial amount of body fat.
When riding after dark, make sure you have lights on the bike, reflective tape on your helmet, and wear light-colored clothing.
Games to play indoors/at home
Cabin fever took on new meaning this year, as we were forced to stay home well beyond the winter months. And that meant we needed to get creative to keep our spirits up – and our families occupied.
Enter family game time. You don’t need a closet full of board games to entertain the troops; imagination can go a long way (and save some bucks). Consider these game ideas from around the web:
* Minute to win it. Based on a TV show of the same name, participants compete in a variety of challenges with a minute to finish. This can include stacking pennies or plastic cups, barreling through obstacle courses, balancing as many books on your head as you can for a certain distance, etc. You’re limited only by your imagination and can expand into team tasks as well.
*Indoor snowball game: stack plastic cups into a pyramid (like at a carnival) and try to knock them down with those fluffy indoor snowballs. Balled-up socks work well, too.
*Drawing game: one person starts by drawing a shape on a piece of paper, then passes it to the next person, who adds to the sketch. Keep going until everyone’s had a turn or for a pre-determined amount of turns.
*Sock toss. Ball up clean socks and set up laundry baskets or other receptacles at varying distances, then assign points – a longer toss gets more points, a closer toss gets fewer. Beware that this may quickly turn into sock dodgeball.
*Ring toss. Use upright paper towel rolls and rings made from plastic plates.
There are tons of other ideas, from indoor cornhole to Bingo, Mad Libs, hangman, hot potato, fort-building, making a castle out of cardboard, making a bird feeder, setting up a play store, indoor (or outdoor) scavenger hunts, dance parties, and more.
Local harpist and inventor, John Kovac, is using quarantine time to create interesting gadgets
Front Royal resident and harpist John Kovac has been making the most of his time indoors by using his free time to embrace his clever creative nature. He’s developed a prototype for a qwerty piano keyboard he’s calling a “Tunietype.” He’s also expanded his crafty solar-powered mechanical art collection to include perpetual motion and anti-gravity devices.
In this video, he’ll share several of his unique creations and Beth will test out the ease of his keyboard invention by attempting to play “We are the World” for the first time. His mini and full-sized qwerty keyboards attach to piano keyboards and allow users to type the notes computer-style.
It enables anyone who knows the alphabet to successfully play without any knowledge of musical notes. The entertaining gadget allows aspiring piano players to hunt, peck, and play a tune as if they are typing on a computer.
John has been well-known in Warren County for decades and (pre-COVID) was seen playing at local restaurants weekly and performing at festivals. He’s constructed over 200 harps, has lectured about harp building at the Library of Congress, performed at three international harp conferences, authored articles in harp journals, and has written several books.
Visit www.johnkovac.com to learn more and check out the prior WHAT MATTERS Warren video from 2018 featuring John’s harp-making talent at https://royalexaminer.com/a-what-matters-warren-interview-with-local-musician-john-kovac/.
He’s available for bookings to provide either solo harp music or a string band for weddings, corporate or special events. Other videos about his Tunietype and solar-powered devices are found on his YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/jgkovac/featured
WHAT MATTERS: Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and Youtube.
Learn more about Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com–check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or email@example.com.
About WHAT MATTERS: WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved with her local or international nonprofit work or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.
Abbreviated Memorial Day Ceremony draws nearly 40 to Courthouse lawn
Despite minimal public notice, this community’s eighth annual Memorial Day Ceremony always including a nod to the K-9 Dogs of War drew a respectful, partially masked and generally socially distanced between family groups crowd of over 35 to the Historic Warren County Courthouse grounds in downtown Front Royal at noon, Monday.
Following the announcement of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Phase One partial reopening from mandated Coronavirus pandemic precautions, the now co-Town sponsored event was resurrected under a limited plan to honor America’s fallen and their families without endangering citizens from the still-prevalent COVID-19 Coronavirus that has killed over 97,000 Americans just past four months since the first case was identified on our shores.
For perspective, our war in Vietnam claimed just under 60,000 American lives lost in action over a 20-year period (1955-75); 9/11 claimed just under 3,000 lives on one day in 2001; and Benghazi claimed 4 American diplomat lives on assignment in a terrorist hotspot.
The theme of sacrifice and struggle symptomatic of, not only wars between peoples, but also once again between new viral disease strains and their animal or human hosts was a part of stirring remarks by both event moderator Marine Corps Reservist Lt. Colonel Robert McDougall and Lay Minister Michael Williams to kick off Monday’s ceremonies as the courthouse bell chimed noon.
Introduced for the invocation by McDougall, Williams set an emotional tone for this Memorial Day, 2020: “Almighty God what an incredible blessing to live in a country where we can freely come together and be thankful.
“What a joy to live in a country where we can come together and peacefully assemble.
“What a joy to live in a country where men, women and a lot of our four-legged friends gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we could do what we do.
“What an incredible blessing that we live in a country where the biggest complaint we have right now is whether we should wear a mask. – Father, how selfish of us.
Forgive us … Please let us be thankful for one another – period. Whether we agree with them or disagree, it’s irrelevant. We live in a country where we can freely differ. And we have that because of the many people who gave their lives for us so that we can peacefully differ … Help us to be humble, not out of a spirit of arrogance, but out of a spirit of kindness.
“Help us to have our conversations; help us to differ respectfully; help us to laugh; help us to love. And let us never forget those who gave that ultimate sacrifice so that we could stand here on that hallowed ground today,” Williams prayed, then acknowledging the Town and County leaders and citizens present to mark the solemn occasion.
“Thank you for our town; thank you for our mayor; thank you for our board of supervisor’s chairman, and thank you … for those who came here today of their own free will to be thankful for the men and women and the many others who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Amen.”
A 12-year active duty Marine who still serves as a reservist, McDougall, then acknowledged participants and continued William’s invocation’s theme of the depth of the importance of Memorial Day as a living memorial, not only to those gone but left behind and all Americans seeking to keep a nation’s democratically based spirit alive.
The laying the wreath, donated once again by Fussell Florists and proprietors Betty and Steve Showers, was performed by Front Royal Mayor Eugene Tewalt and County Board of Supervisors Chairman Walter Mabe. Other elected officials present included Supervisors Delores Oates and Cheryl Cullers and Councilman Gary Gillespie and his canine friend.
McDougall acknowledged Royal Examiner contributor and good friend, British-born Malcolm Barr, a Royal Air Force veteran, for resurrecting this community’s Memorial Day ceremony eight years ago, with its special acknowledgment of the role of our K-9 Corp “Dogs of War” who have been on the front lines with American soldiers in every conflict since World War II. McDougall noted the first military dog training school opened here in Warren County in 1943.
While usually represented by many citizens’ dogs at the normally conducted ceremony at the Gazebo/Village Commons, due to the abbreviated pandemic nature of this year’s ceremony the Dogs of War were officially represented by Barr’s Husky Rescue dog Diva, alone.
“Freedom is not free. And for so many families, every day is Memorial Day. Please do what you can to support the families of service members that did not come home,” McDougall reminded us of the ongoing nature of sacrifices made, with a nod at one point to Able Forces Veteran Services CEO Skip Rogers presence.
“Cherish each day of the freedom that these brave men and women provided us. Remind those you gather with this weekend about the TRUE MEANING (emphasis in context) of Memorial Day – for it is both a day to mourn and to celebrate the courageous sacrifice that has been made to protect our way of life.
“May God Bless the fallen, and may God Bless America. Thank you for being here today,” McDougall closed in acknowledging those present, adding a heartfelt, “Semper Fidelis”.
And you too can be there to memorialize, commemorate and remember what the sacrifice of those who have gone before us has preserved for us all in this exclusive Royal Examiner video recording. – Come, celebrate Memorial Day 2020 with us:
Memorial Day community celebrations
The Colonel James Wood II Chapter, Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution color guard, along with other patriots presented a special program at Hidden Springs Senior Living today to commemorate Memorial Day.
Rev. James Simmons gave the invocation and Dale Corey along with Marc Robinson spoke about the meaning of Memorial Day. The program ended with a musket salute.