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How to avoid indoor air pollution

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Many people think of air pollution as an outdoor problem. However, studies indicate that the air in most homes is two to five times more polluted than the air outside. Unfortunately, poor indoor air quality can cause serious health problems, especially when you consider that people spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors.

Causes
Sources of indoor air pollution include:

• Mold, dust and pollen
• Tobacco smoke
• Gases such as carbon monoxide and radon

Additionally, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a leading cause of indoor air pollution. These gases are given off by many sources. Because they have a low boiling point, they can be released from products even at room temperature. They’re found in cleaning materials, personal care products, new furniture, building materials and even some fabrics.

Solutions
Here are a few ways to keep the air in your home clean:

• Choose products low in VOCs, and if possible, store new furniture, carpets and building materials outside of your home for a few weeks until they stop emitting gases
• Avoid scented products like plug-in or aerosol deodorizers, candles and incense
• Make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working
• If you have one, keep your air exchanger on at all times and clean the filters regularly

Help yourself and your family breathe easier by identifying the sources of indoor air pollution in your home and taking steps to reduce or eliminate it.

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I just adopted a dog, now what?

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Adopting a dog is a life changing event. Here are some steps to take when you bring your new canine companion home.

• Take them to the vet. Your dog should be examined to ensure that they don’t have a disease or other issue that requires attention. In most cases, they’ll also make a recommendation for when the dog should be spayed or neutered.

• Schedule their vaccinations. Many animal shelters vaccinate dogs before they’re adopted. Nevertheless, you’ll need to make sure your pup’s up to date with their shots. Vaccines should be administered annually for the rest of their life.

• Get identification. If your municipality requires it, get your dog licensed right away. Also, make sure they can be identified, either with a tag on their collar or a microchip embedded under their skin.

• Start training. It’s a good idea to train your dog to come when you call and follow basic commands like sit, stay and down. Not only are these commands useful, but training sessions serve as a great way for you and your pet to bond.

If your new pet seems shy or nervous around you at first, don’t get frustrated. A period of adjustment is to be expected. With consistent love and attention, they’ll quickly become more comfortable around you.

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10 gifts outdoorsy types will love

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Are you looking for a gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your life? If so, here are some ideas.

For their next adventure
1. A portable water filtration bottle or straw

2. Binoculars
3. A kit to turn the flashlight on their phone into a lamp
4. A military grade compass
5. A down jacket or rain coat
6. A wireless charger for their electronics — one that’s solar powered is ideal
7. A portable camping stove and mess kit

To inspire them
8. A wilderness survival book
9. Novels and memoirs about outdoor adventures
10. A birdfeeder to bring wildlife to their backyard

To really spoil your outdoor enthusiast, consider buying them a pass that will grant them access to the country’s national parks for a year. No doubt, they’ll love exploring the American wilderness.

5 ‘wild’ books for wilderness buffs
1. Into the Wild
By Jon Krakauer
2. Wild: From Lost to Found on The Pacific Crest Trail
By Cheryl Strayed
3. The Call of the Wild
By Jack London
4. One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey
By Sam Keith
5. Lost on the Wild: Danger and Survival in the North Woods
By Cary J. Griffith

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Top brass: the metal interior designers are falling for

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An alloy of copper and zinc, brass is once again at the forefront of home decorating trends. Today’s brass, however, is muted and offers a welcome respite from the flashier rose gold and copper that dominated the design world in years past.

Brass goes well with almost any color, from somber blues and burgundies to pale neutrals like cream and blush.

Increasingly, retailers are offering an assortment of brass items to their customers. From cabinet hardware and faucets to floor lamps and chandeliers, there’s no shortage of options if you want to bring brass into your home. If you’re in the market for a new bedframe, consider one made of this metal.

To prevent your brass from looking dated, choose angular, modern pieces that are brushed to a dull sheen instead of the overpowering shine that was once popular. Keep your pieces looking new by regularly cleaning them with ketchup, tomato juice or a simple solution of lemon and salt.

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Gifts for the people who serve you all year long

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The holidays are the perfect time to say thank you to the hairdressers, bus drivers, babysitters, baristas and many others who regularly serve you. If you’re wondering what to get them, here are some ideas.

• Pretty hand soaps
• Holiday dish cloths

• Scented candles
• A scarf or shawl
• A soft blanket
• A tote bag
• Premium coffee or tea
• A to-go mug
• A bottle of wine
• A box of chocolates

If you know a little about their tastes, you can also consider something more personal like a book you think they might enjoy, a sweater or a decorative item for their home or workspace.

The point of buying gifts for the people who serve you is to thank them for the positive difference the make in your life all year long. Don’t forget to include a nice card with a handwritten mes¬sage expressing your appreciation.

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Protect your home from radon

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Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally when the uranium in rock and soil breaks down. When released into the outdoors, it poses no threat. However, if it seeps into a home, it can accumulate and cause significant health issues.

Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking, and it’s the leading cause of the disease in non-smokers.

While you can’t see, taste or smell radon, you can test for it, either by yourself or by hiring a professional.

If you decide to test your home yourself, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and to send your samples to a lab for analysis after the test period.

Alternatively, if you hire a professional, ensure that the individual is certified and that they conduct a long-term test over the span of at least three months.

A test that reveals radon quantities higher than four picocuries per liter is concerning. In such a case, it’s important to hire a professional to seal any leaks and reduce the level of radon in your home. A certified radon-mitigating contractor can assess your property and make changes that will stop the gas from entering your home.

Don’t risk your family’s health. Have your home tested for radon gas and take the steps necessary to guarantee clean air.

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Games to liven up your gift exchange

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Are you tired of the same old holiday gift exchange? If so, here are some fun games to enliven this year’s gift giving.

• Dice. Every number on the dice comes with an instruction (pass to the left or steal a gift). Take turns rolling the dice until everyone has a present.

• Hot potato. This childhood favorite is just as fun to play as an adult. Turn on a holiday song and pass a present from person to person until the music stops. The person left holding the gift is out of the game but keeps the gift.

• Personal trivia. Everyone writes a little-known fact about themselves on the gift they contributed. The others must guess who the information is about in order to win the right to open the present.

• Cards. Cut some regular playing cards in half and distribute card halves to all participants. Draw the other card halves from a bowl or hat to determine who gets to choose or steal a gift next.

• Story. Rewrite a well-known Christmas story to include the words right, left and across numerous times. To start the game, everyone holds the gift they brought as someone reads the story aloud. Every time an instruction word is said, the presents get passed in that direction.

To make sure that everyone receives a gift they’ll enjoy, be sure to decide on a budget and theme beforehand.

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‘Tis the Season

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Dec
8
Sun
2:00 pm R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Dec 8 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Discover The Power of Rise at Randolph-Macon Academy! Join us for an open house on Sunday, December 8th, with tours beginning promptly at 2:00 pm. Families interested in applying for the second semester (January 27,[...]
3:00 pm Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Dec 8 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
The Valley Chorale of Front Royal (previously Front Royal Oratorio Society) presents its 2019 Christmas concert titled “HOME FOR CHRISTMAS” – a program of uplifting sacred and secular selections sure to brighten everyone’s yuletide season.[...]
Dec
10
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 10 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
Dec
11
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 11 @ 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, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
12
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 12 @ 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, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
14
Sat
11:00 am Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
December 14 is the 220th anniversary of George Washington’s death. Today we will learn more about this great leader of our country and celebrate his legacy. Refreshments will be served. For ages 7 to 18.[...]
Dec
15
Sun
4:00 pm R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
Dec 15 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas Concert @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
The local community is invited to join the Randolph-Macon Academy family for an afternoon of holiday spirit with the R-MA Band and Chorus! The annual R-MA Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday, December 15th,[...]
Dec
17
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 17 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
7:30 pm Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Dec 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert | Presented by the American Legion Community Band Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at 7:30 pm Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus in Front Royal, VA
Dec
18
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 18 @ 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, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]