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Finally, some time to travel



Your retirement is fast approaching and with it the opportunity to travel—at last! What a great project, especially as traveling during your retirement years has lots of advantages. Be careful, however, to stay within your limits, as well as your budget. After all, you want to be able to make the most of this opportunity for as long as possible.

Leave when you want
Now you can go away whenever you want, which allows you to take advantage of last minute deals or take part in events that you’ve always dreamed of, such as the Rio carnival or Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to see the Monaco Grand Prix or tennis at Wimbledon.

Take your time
Since there’s no limit to the duration of your vacations now, you can take the time to do everything you want. Traveling no longer has to be an exhausting marathon, a whirlwind of visits where you cram in as much as possible in a short amount of time. In other words, travel doesn’t have to be synonymous with exhaustion anymore.

Travel your way
Not only do you have time to travel, you also have time to plan your own trip. You can now put together the trip of your dreams, a journey that will be tailor-made to meet your best expectations.

So what to do? Will you soak up some sun in southern climes, explore Europe, or enjoy a total change of scene in Asia? Will you discover some African cultures, take a Mediterranean cruise, or visit Italy’s most famous museums? Whatever your destination, you’ll now have the time to admire the world’s great monuments, pedal along the most beautiful bike paths, and see all the new and ancient wonders of the world.

When you retire, you can take the trip of your dreams at your own pace.

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How to keep your appliances running like new



If you’ve recently purchased new appliances, you may be wondering how to make sure they continue to run. Here’s what you need to know.

Don’t pack your fridge too full, as this can block airflow and make the components work harder than necessary. You should also vacuum the compressor and wipe the door gasket with soapy water at least twice a year.

Stove and oven
Keep the oven clear of food buildup by periodically running the self-clean feature or manually scrubbing it down. Keep electric coils or gas elements clean and avoid dragging your pots and pans over glass-ceramic cooktops. Wash the surface regularly with warm, soapy water or a special cleaner.

Always rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. If there’s a filter, make sure to clean it regularly so it doesn’t get clogged with food particles. Once a month, run it on empty with vinegar to keep it clean.

Never overload your washing machine and make sure to empty clothing pockets so the drum doesn’t get damaged. Run a monthly cleaning cycle with hot water and vinegar. Always keep the door open after a wash to allow the interior to completely dry.

Clean the lint trap after every cycle and wash it monthly to make certain the filter doesn’t get clogged. At least once a year, get your dryer ducts professionally cleaned. This will ensure that your machine runs smoothly and decrease the risk for house fires.

To find out more about how to take care of your specific appliance, be sure to consult your owner’s manual. Though these tips are a great start, they shouldn’t replace the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

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Identity theft: prevention and intervention



How many times over the past year have you entered your name, address, phone number, email address, birthdate and other sensitive information into a sign-up form?

Unfortunately, this information can be used by fraudsters to usurp your identity, allowing them to obtain credit in your name or perform other criminal acts. Here’s how you can reduce the risk of identity theft, and what you should do if it happens to you.


While a large proportion of personal information is leaked through corporate data breaches, it’s still important to exercise caution. Here’s how to minimize your risks:

• Always check your bank and credit card statements for suspicious activity.
• Only use trusted and protected websites to make payment transactions.
• Don’t use password auto-fill features, as these store all your passwords in one place, which could be disastrous if someone gains access to it.
• Shred documents containing sensitive information when you don’t need them anymore.
• Never give sensitive information (like your credit card or social security number) over the phone or by email.
• Leave your passport and social security number at home unless you absolutely need them.
• Consult your credit report once a year.

If you think you’re the victim of identity theft, contact the police immediately and then notify the relevant governmental authorities, your financial institution, the credit companies you have accounts with and any other organization who could be affected by the incident.

Additionally, you should ask for your credit report and close any fraudulent accounts. You’ll also need to cancel all unauthorized transactions individually by contacting the affiliated creditors directly.

Rebuilding your credit after someone steals your identity may be challenging. Some experts recommend investing in identity theft and fraud insurance, which is sometimes offered by financial institutions.

To report a fraud to the Federal Trade Commission or to receive further prevention tips, visit

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What to expect the first week of summer camp



Is your child anticipating their first summer camp experience? If so, knowing what to expect may reassure them — or simply satisfy their curiosity. Here’s some information you may want to share.

Their first day
When they first arrive at camp, kids will be able to check out the area, meet their fellow campers and get to know their counselors. There will also likely be games and activities that allow everyone to get to know each other.

What they’ll do
Most summer camps offer an array of activities for kids to learn, explore and have fun. And whether it’s a specialized camp or a more traditional one, the itinerary is sure to include singing around a campfire.

Where they’ll eat
Generally, meals at camps are served in a cafeteria similar to the one where your child has lunch at school.

What if they get hurt?
Everyone who works at the camp should be trained in basic first aid and will be able to deal with regular cuts and scratches. There should also be a nurse available onsite to help with anything more concerning.

Where they’ll sleep
Your child may sleep in a tent, dormitory or shared bedroom, depending on the type and location of their camp. One thing that’s common to all camps is that boys and girls sleep in different areas and that counselors bunk separately.

If your son or daughter still has questions, don’t hesitate to contact the camp. They’ll be happy to assuage any fears and share more information.

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How to feature bright colors in your wedding



An increasing number of brides and grooms are incorporating bright colors into their wedding outfits and decor. Here’s how to do the same.

Choose the right color
While red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet look great on a rainbow, it may be overwhelming to use them all at your wedding. Instead, choose only one or two of your favorite colors.

Or, choose colors based on the meaning behind them and the feelings they evoke. For example, green is the color of renewal and balance, while blue calls to mind feelings of serenity and peace.

Use color judiciously
Incorporating colors into your wedding doesn’t mean everything should be bright and bold. Instead, favor neutrals and use your chosen hue as an accent here and there. The bride’s bouquet, bridesmaids’ dresses, centerpieces and the groom and groomsmen’s ties are perfect places to inject a vibrant shade.

For a look that’s rich and voluptuous, be sure to use different shades and textures of your chosen color.

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10 things you can rent for your wedding



If you’re planning a wedding, there’s no need to buy everything you’ll need for the event. Here are 10 things to consider renting instead.

1. Tables and chairs. Even if your venue offers them, you may prefer to choose different ones that better suit your theme.

2. Table linens and napkins. These come in a number of colors and styles and can be selected to complement your wedding esthetic.

3. Lighting. Add lights to create the precise ambiance you’re looking for.

4. Centerpieces. You’ll need to purchase the flowers, but many florists offer vases as rental items.

5. Tents. If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, it’s important to have a plan in place in case it rains.

6. Lounge furniture. An area with comfortable chairs and couches is a great place to rest between dances.

7. Dancefloor. A space to cut the rug is a must at most weddings. If your venue doesn’t have one, rent it.

8. China, flatware and stemware. Your caterer or venue may have some that you can use, but you may wish to upgrade to nicer looking pieces.

9. Photo backdrop. Whether you’re planning a photobooth or not, a beautiful backdrop is sure to be a hit with selfie-loving guests.

10. Entertainment. If you want to make sure your guests have fun, rent some large scale games or even a bouncy castle to keep them talking.

To simplify your life, find a company that offers full rental services and can include everything you need in one package.

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Should I sell my home?



Selling your home after retirement has certain advantages. You can move closer to your family, reduce your expenses, have access to better services, or find a home that is easier to maintain. However, moving isn’t for everyone. Life in a condo may not suit you and a smaller home may force you to get rid of some precious belongings.

Whatever your choice, never rush into a decision. Visit several neighborhoods or rent a condo for a few months to make sure that the lifestyle and the area suit you. Factor in all the routine expenses linked to your new surroundings, especially if you move away from your family or you decide to live abroad. In other words, you should take into consideration traveling costs to visit friends and family in addition to maintenance and property taxes.

Don’t make the mistake of believing yourself to be immune to poor health, either. Will you have easy access to healthcare? Does your health insurance cover care received abroad? And who will take care of you if you are far from your family?

Moving is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Whether you want to live in a smaller home or a condo, in a retirement community or abroad, it’s a good idea to consult a real estate broker and financial planner to find out what best suits your needs and if you can afford them in the long-term.

Selling your home has advantages and disadvantages; think twice before you make a choice.

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Upcoming Events

10:00 am Day of Giving @ Samuels Public Library
Day of Giving @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 27 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Day of Giving @ Samuels Public Library
In conjunction with “Love Your Library Month,” Samuels Public Library will hold its first “Day of Giving” on Thursday, February 27, 2020. Thanks to an anonymous donor, all donations made in-person at the Library or[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 27 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, February 19 and Thursday, February 20: Come in for some great stories, songs, and a craft about our feathered friends, Birds!  Siblings welcome. Wednesday, February[...]
9:00 am Veterans Benefit @ Able Forces Foundation
Veterans Benefit @ Able Forces Foundation
Feb 28 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Veterans Benefit @ Able Forces Foundation
Able Forces Foundation will once again be hosting a visit by Andre Miller, Resource Specialist, Virginia Veteran and Family Support, Department of Veteran Services, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Danielle Cullers, Homeless Veteran Advocate-Volunteers of America[...]
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Feb 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Love Revival - FREE Monthly Community Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Come enjoy a hot meal on the last Friday of every month at Love Revival Ministry Center.
10:00 am Loom Knit a Kitten @ Strokes of Creativity
Loom Knit a Kitten @ Strokes of Creativity
Feb 29 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Loom Knit a Kitten @ Strokes of Creativity
Loom Knit an adorable kitten. In this beginner’s class for teens and adults, you will work on a 24 peg loom to knit a small stuffed toy. *Instruction will be right handed. No prior knitting[...]
11:00 am Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Soups @ Samuels Public Library
Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Soups @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 29 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Soups @ Samuels Public Library
Nothing is more comforting than warm soup on a chilly day! Learn how to make some yummy soup, and do some taste-testing to choose your favorite. For ages 8 and up. Registration begins January 29.
11:00 am Trauma & Resiliency Training for... @ Samuels Public Library
Trauma & Resiliency Training for... @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 29 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Trauma & Resiliency Training for Early Childhood Providers @ Samuels Public Library
Statistics show us that one in four children will experience trauma by the age of four. This trauma could be abuse, hunger, homelessness, witnessing violence, medical trauma, or grief. We know that a child’s greatest[...]
1:00 pm Bingo Fundraiser @ Elks Lodge
Bingo Fundraiser @ Elks Lodge
Feb 29 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Bingo Fundraiser @ Elks Lodge
2:00 pm Speed Dating with Books @ Samuels Public Library
Speed Dating with Books @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 29 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Speed Dating with Books @ Samuels Public Library
Do appearances, of people or books, influence you?  How much time does it take for you to decide that you are/are not interested? What criteria determines interest? Come spend time in a “speed dating” atmosphere,[...]
10:00 am Read Across America Day @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
Read Across America Day @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
Mar 2 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Read Across America Day @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
Monday, March 2nd, 2020, is National Read Across America Day. Students of all ages are invited to come to the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke’s pet adoption center, located at 111 Featherbed Lane, to[...]