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Hunting waterfowl: a brief guide to decoys

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When it comes to hunting waterfowl, setting up the right decoy spread is crucial to your success. Here’s what you need to know about luring in snow geese, Canada geese, and ducks.

Snow geese
Since these birds tend to move in flocks of hundreds, you’ll need to set upward of 1,000 decoys to attract them. If you’re relying solely on full-body decoys, however, about 200 to 400 should suffice to create a realistic setup.

Canada geese

Early in the season, about 20 to 30 decoys dispersed in groups of five to seven is enough. Once these birds begin to migrate, however, their flocks increase in size and you’ll need closer to 120 decoys. Toward the end of the season, reduce the number of decoys and opt for lifelike, full-body options.

Ducks
When you hunt ducks, the appropriate number of decoys depends on the body of water where you’re set up. A more expansive area will require a larger decoy spread to look realistic. For example, a dozen decoys will suffice for a pond, but you’ll need several dozen on a large lake.

Remember to check for changes to your regional hunting regulations before the start of each season.

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A brief purchasing guide for the eco-conscious parent

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If you want to give your baby the best while upholding your commitment to protecting the environment, there are a number of purchasing decisions you can make that will allow you to do so. Here’s what to buy.

Nursery furniture
For the crib, changing table, rocking chair, and dresser opt for locally made pieces. Alternatively, look for furniture made of recycled or sustainable materials.

Paint and decor

Choose non-toxic paint made of renewable resources for the nursery, and decorate the space with handmade creations from local artisans.

Diapers and wipes
Stock up on washable diapers and reusable washcloths. For your baby’s delicate skin, purchase a mild soap sold in bulk at a zero-waste store in your area.

Nursing pads and bottles
Use washable nursing pads made of cloth and high-quality bottles made of recycled plastic, glass, or stainless steel that can be reused by your second child or donated to another family.

Bedding and clothes
Look for curtains, blankets, and other linens made of recycled or sustainable materials such as hemp. Dress your baby in locally made clothing or cute thrift shop finds.

To ensure you have everything you need before your baby arrives, visit the shops in your area or join an online group for parents looking to buy, sell and trade second-hand items.

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3 ways to enjoy a winter getaway

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If you have a few days off this winter, be sure to make the most of it. Whether you prefer to vacation alone or with your spouse, family or friends, you can have a wonderful time without going far. Here are some suggestions for a memorable holiday close to home.

1. Relax
There are a number of ways to recharge your batteries while you’re on vacation. Many winter resorts offer amenities such as hot springs, massages, steam rooms, hot tubs and day spas. When you aren’t being doted on by attentive staff, you can lounge in your ultra-comfortable room and enjoy your view of the local landscape.

2. Play

Are you the sporty type? National parks, winter resorts, and ski hills offer a number of activities to keep you busy in the winter, including:

• Skiing
• Snowboarding
• Skating
• Snowshoeing
• Snow tubing
• Ice canyoning
• Nordic walking

With so many fun options, you won’t have time to get bored. To try it all, rent a cottage that’s close to the action.

3. Explore
Do you want to venture into the wilderness to see trees, meadows, and mountains blanketed in snow? You can discover the charms of a winter landscape by navigating backcountry trails on a snowmobile or ATV. If you’d rather burn some calories while exploring, you can head out on cross-country skis, snowshoes, or a fat bike. See if there are rental outfits in your area that can set you up with the equipment and instructions you need.

No matter how you plan to spend your winter vacation, make sure to schedule your getaway ahead of time. The best winter resorts, hotels, and cottages tend to get booked weeks in advance.

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You don’t have to go far for great holiday purchases

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It’s hard to enjoy the magic of the season if you’re trying to navigate crowded stores or worried that your online purchases won’t arrive in time. If holiday shopping has become a dreaded chore, consider buying everything you need from the stores in your region. Here are a few reasons why.

Local entrepreneurs need your support
For years there’s been a growing interest in buying local goods, particularly during the holiday season. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, supporting local entrepreneurs is more important than ever. Small businesses rely on a loyal customer base to thrive, and your patronage during the holiday season is crucial to their recovery from the current economic crisis.

Local shopping benefits everyone

Buying local stimulates your region’s economy. It helps create more jobs in your area and provides many families with a much-needed financial boost during the holidays.

What’s more, when you opt for locally made products, you’re helping to protect the environment because fewer greenhouse gases are emitted when transporting the merchandise. You also spend less time on the road when you shop locally. This further reduces your carbon footprint and allows you to check numerous items off your holiday shopping list in just a few hours.

Local shops offer quality goods
From unique gifts and chic outfits to fresh ingredients and handcrafted decorations, local stores are stocked with everything you need for a memorable holiday season. And since small business owners prioritize well-made products, you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth. Plus, you’ll benefit from the friendly, personal service offered by knowledgeable employees.

From gift recommendations to easy in-person returns, shopping at stores in your region can lighten your load during the holiday season. This year, make it a point to buy local.

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7 ways to make the most of your basement

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Are you thinking about finishing your basement? While this can be an expensive project, you’ll increase both your living space and property value. Plus, you can easily adapt to this versatile space to suit your family’s needs over time. Here are seven types of basement conversions.

1. Workshop. Whether you enjoy sewing, woodworking, scrapbooking, or winemaking, you’ll have the space you need to store all your supplies and tools.

2. Home office. You’ll probably find it easier to concentrate in a room that’s cut off from the rest of the house. Plus, you’re less likely to be disturbed during conference calls.

3. Guest bedroom. This is an ideal way to offer your visitors more privacy. And if there’s enough room to fit in a bathroom, all the better.

4. Cellar. Whether you want to store wine, root vegetables, or canned goods, make sure space is well ventilated and the humidity level is controlled.

5. Personal gym. For this to be a practical option, the ceiling should be high enough to accommodate stretching and jumping jacks.

6. Playroom. Give your kids plenty of space to run around and store their toys without cluttering the main living areas of the house.

7. Laundry room. In addition to freeing up space in the bathroom, you’ll finally have the room you need to fold and iron clothes.

Keep in mind that natural light is limited in a basement. Therefore, you’ll want to opt for an open-concept design or glass doors and partitions if possible.

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5 fun Thanksgiving games

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If you’re looking for a festive way to spend time with your family over Thanksgiving, here are five fun games that will get everyone moving.

1. Turkey tag
Transform clothespins into turkeys using feathers, googly eyes, and other craft supplies, then clip them on to the back of each player’s shirt. When the game begins, try to unpin other players’ turkeys without losing your own. The last person with a pin on their back wins.

2. Sweet potato race

The first person to roll a sweet potato across the floor and over the finish line wins. The catch is you can only use a spoon to push it. Alternatively, see who can blow a feather across the room the fastest using a turkey baster.

3. Thanksgiving charades
On individual pieces of paper, write down holiday-themed phrases such as marching in a parade, carving the turkey, setting the table, baking pumpkin pie, and playing football. Take turns picking a phrase and silently acting it out while other players try to guess.

4. Gratitude pick-up sticks
Use a multi-color set or make your own by painting wooden skewers. Assign a category (person, place, food, thing) to each color. When a player picks up that color stick, they have to say something they’re thankful for in that category.

5. Turkey waddle
This is a great game to play outdoors. Each player holds a balloon between their legs, and the first person to waddle across the finish line with their balloon still in place wins. For larger groups, create teams and make it a relay race.

Additionally, you can search online for Thanksgiving trivia, riddles, and jokes to liven up your dinner table discussions.

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Tips for buying energy-efficient appliances

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In addition to being eco-friendly, energy-efficient appliances can save you money on your utility bills. Here are some tips for choosing the best energy-efficient appliances for your home.

Look at the labels
Most large appliances sold in the United States are required to have a bright yellow EnergyGuide label. This sticker displays the appliance’s annual energy consumption and indicates how it performs relative to other models in its class. Always consult the EnergyGuide label to learn more about the appliance before you buy it.

You should also look for the Energy Star logo, which indicates that the product meets strict standards for energy efficiency.

Consider the size
It’s often important to determine what size you need your appliances to be, especially when it comes to HVAC systems. If your unit is too small for your house, it will operate at peak capacity for long periods of time, which isn’t energy efficient. An oversized appliance isn’t ideal either, as it costs more upfront and is more expensive to operate.

Size is also an important factor when buying refrigerators, washers, dryers, furnaces, and boilers.

Make a “smart” purchase
Smart appliances are products you can sync up with a smartphone or home energy management system. This provides you with greater control over the way the appliance operates as well as real-time data about its energy usage.

In addition, many smart appliances, such as refrigerators, laundry machines, and HVAC systems, can be programmed to operate when electricity rates are lowest, saving you money.

Finally, once you’ve selected your new appliance, make sure to get it installed by the right professional. A faulty installation can impede your appliance’s energy efficiency and even cause it to break down.

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Front Royal
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Sunny
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Feels like: 50°F
Wind: 8mph SSW
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Upcoming Events

Nov
20
Fri
all-day Gobble Till You Wobble Virtual 5k @ Online Event
Gobble Till You Wobble Virtual 5k @ Online Event
Nov 20 – Nov 29 all-day
Gobble Till You Wobble Virtual 5k @ Online Event
Take part in the 1st annual Gobble Till You Wobble United Way Virtual 5K Run/Walk. Capture your run or walk using a fitness tracker or app and submit for a chance to win gift cards and[...]
Nov
27
Fri
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Nov 27 @ 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.
Nov
28
Sat
all-day Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Nov 28 all-day
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Why should Small Business Saturday just be celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Buy Local – Shop Local – Eat Local – Support Front Royal’s Small Business Community and stay local! Small Business Saturdays –[...]
10:00 am Christmas Tree Embroidery Class @ Downtown Market
Christmas Tree Embroidery Class @ Downtown Market
Nov 28 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Christmas Tree Embroidery Class @ Downtown Market
Learn how to embroider a Christmas tree using basic embroidery stitches – no craft or sewing experience needed! The finished tree can be displayed in the embroidery hoop. This class is appropriate for adults and[...]
Nov
29
Sun
all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Nov 29 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
Dec
5
Sat
all-day Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Dec 5 all-day
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Why should Small Business Saturday just be celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Buy Local – Shop Local – Eat Local – Support Front Royal’s Small Business Community and stay local! Small Business Saturdays –[...]
7:00 am 64th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
64th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
Dec 5 @ 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
64th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
The Kiwanis Club of Front Royal is celebrating its 75 anniversary this year and are committed to holding the annual Pancake Day fundraising event. This event raises significant funds which are put back directly into[...]
7:00 pm Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
Dec 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
It’s that time of year for Rotary Club of Front Royal’s annual Cash Fair, and we are going virtual this year due to COVID. This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and[...]
Dec
6
Sun
all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 6 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
Dec
13
Sun
all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 13 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]