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March 17th: St. Patrick’s prayer of the deer

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While St. Patrick is one of the most well-known figures of modern folklore and festivals, ironically he is less known for his touching and beloved role in Irish faith and literature.

Among the writings attributed to him is the beautiful prayer The Deer’s Cry, also known as the Shield of St. Patrick, or the Breastplate of St. Patrick. This prayer was written as an invocation of protection to shield St. Patrick and his monks from enemies lying in wait in the Irish forests.

Having gathered his followers around him, St. Patrick was leading them past the hostile forces at Loegaire, Ireland, where the son of King Niall laid ambushes. Patrick’s enemies did not want him to bring the Christian faith to Tara.

In the morning before Patrick and the monks proceeded, they gathered and prayed a long and musical prayer of protection, including the words:


I arise today, through the strength of Heaven: Light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendor of Fire, speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea, stability of Earth, firmness of Rock…

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me: God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to secure me…

Christ to protect me today, against poison, against burning, against drowning, against wounding, so that there may come abundance of reward. Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left.

With such a powerful prayer, tradition says Patrick’s enemies were completely fooled. In the forest, as they waited to attack the missionaries, his enemies saw only wild deer (St. Patrick and his monks) and one fawn (St. Benen), following along behind, carrying books. They let them pass.

Today this lovely prayer of the deer is used to light and bless the Easter fires, as St. Patrick did when he arrived at Tara. It is still used as a shield against devils, poison, envy, and sudden death.

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Interesting Things to Know

Pregnancy and maternity quiz: test your knowledge

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This Mother’s Day, test your knowledge about pregnancy and motherhood with this quick and easy quiz.

True or false

1. A baby’s sex is determined as soon the egg is fertilized.
2. Smoking increases the risk of having a miscarriage.
3. The chance of having identical twins is greater if there are already twins in the family.
4. The fetus’s heartbeats at the same rate as the mother’s.
5. Breastfeeding helps prevent breast cancer.

Multiple choice


6. Which of these sports should be avoided during pregnancy?

a) Horseback riding and scuba diving
b) Judo and mountaineering
c) Tennis and hot yoga
d) All the above

7. What hormone causes the uterus to contract during childbirth?

a) Estrogen
b) Progesterone
c) Oxytocin
d) Chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)

8. At how many weeks is a baby considered full term?
a) 33
b) 35
c) 37
d) 39

Fill in the blank

9. It’s recommended that pregnant women and women who are trying to conceive take __________ as a supplement to prevent deformities such as spina bifida.
10. __________ is the medical term for a woman in labor.
11. The __________ allows air and food to be exchanged between the mother and fetus.
12. The __________ connects the mother to the child during pregnancy.

How did you do?

Answers:
1. True
2. True
3. False (this is only true for fraternal twins)
4. False (it beats about twice as fast)
5. True
6. d)
7. c)
8. c)
9. Folic acid
10. Parturient
11. Placenta
12. Umbilical cord

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How to support nurses on the front line of the pandemic

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May is Nurses Month, an annual event that sets out to honor the contributions of America’s nurses. These essential workers are invaluable members of their communities, offering help to patients and their families, and playing a key role in delivering healthcare services. That’s why this year’s theme is Nurses Make a Difference.

In light of the pandemic, supporting nurses is more important than ever. Over the last year, these workers have risked their own safety to help those who need care. Here are some ways you can offer your encouragement.

1. Give them a shoutout
Publicly give your thanks to nurses on social media using the hashtag #Support-HealthcareHeroes. Recognition can go a long way in making the nurses you know feel valued.

2. Offer them a meal
Order takeout for the nurses you know, and see if you can have it delivered to the hospital or clinic where they work.


3. Help with childcare
If you know a nurse who has children, consider offering to lend a hand while they’re at work or when they need a break.

4. Drop off groceries
It can be hard for nurses to find time to pick up the essentials. Reach out to a nurse you know, and see if you can help by bringing them the supplies they need.

5. Make a donation
There are numerous campaigns dedicated to raising funds for nurses. Consider making a donation to the American Nurses Foundation, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses or a local nursing school.

Nurses working on the front line of the pandemic deserve to be reminded that they’re valued. This year for Nurses Month, consider reaching out and showing your appreciation.

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3 special ways to celebrate Mother’s Day

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Do you want to pull out all the stops for Mother’s Day this year? Whether your mom lives nearby or far away, here are a few ways to celebrate the occasion.

Theme party
Host an event your mom will never forget by choosing a theme. You could make the celebration a beach party, a Victorian ball, a Mexican fiesta, a casino night soirée, or a Great Gatsby-style bash. Consider your mom’s tastes and get creative. Think about the decorations, costumes, music, and other details so everyone can truly immerse themselves in the chosen universe.

Fun activity
Celebrate your mom by doing something together that you know she enjoys. It could be a walk in the forest, a visit to a museum, a day at the spa, a hot air balloon ride, or a wine tasting at a local vineyard. If Mom preferred to stay home, consider playing board games or having a movie marathon with all of her favorite snacks. Give her a unique experience, and she’s sure to be pleased by your thoughtfulness.

Video call
If you can’t get together with your mom in person, organize a video call that shows her how much you care. You could read her a letter or poem you wrote for the occasion, share a festive meal together despite the distance or play an assortment of games to brighten up her day.



So, what kind of celebration will you put together for Mother’s Day?

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Flowers for the mothers in your life

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Giving flowers on Mother’s Day is a time-honored tradition. If you’re looking to show your mom, your grandmother or the mother of your children that you care, here are some suggestions.

Cut flowers
Fresh bouquets are sure to please the ladies in your life. Offer them bundles of cut roses, gerberas, tulips, camellias, carnations, irises, lilies or birds of paradise. Select blooms in their favorite colors or fragrances, or let your florist make a custom arrangement.

Flowers for the garden
If the mother you’re celebrating has a green thumb, consider giving her a new plant for her garden. Pretty perennials like primroses and peonies or flowering shrubs like rhododendrons and lilacs are all good choices. Assess the landscaping of the yard to help you make the right choice. Alternatively, ask a professional at your local nursery for suggestions.

Flowering potted plants
There are many types of flowering plants that make great Mother’s Day gifts. You could get an African violet or orchid for her home, or a hanging basket or rose bush for her yard. Just be sure the person receiving your gift is interested in keeping the plant alive. When in doubt, look for easy-to-care-for plants like peace lilies and Christmas cacti.


Regardless of what type of flowers you buy for Mother’s Day, remember to include a card. The best part about your gift is sure to be that it came from you.

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4 Mother’s Day gifts to help Mom relax

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Mother’s Day is May 9th

Would you like to help your mom relax and unwind this Mother’s Day? If so, here are a few gift ideas that may be a good fit.

1. An overnight stay at a hotel
There’s nothing like a change of scenery, even a brief one, to take the edge off the daily grind. Depending on her tastes, opt for something sleek and polished in town or quaint and charming off the beaten track. With room service and onsite amenities, Mom will be able to indulge in a little pampering.

2. A home-delivered meal
Help your mom take a break from cooking by serving her a meal she doesn’t have to make. Order a dish she loves from her favorite restaurant or buy the ingredients to prepare it yourself. Either way, she’s sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness.



3. A basket of bath products
Give your mother an excuse to bask in the bath by offering her an assortment of goods. Put together a basket filled with a bubble bath, a sponge, scented candles, a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, and other treats for a relaxing experience.

4. A spa treatment and massage
This guaranteed anti-stress remedy is the perfect way to help Mom unwind. If you’re not sure which types of massages and treatments she would enjoy, opt for a gift card from a place that offers a variety of services.

From scented oil diffusers and adult coloring books to foot massagers and facial steamers, there are many other gifts that can help your mom relax. Look for these and other products and services in your region.

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Seasonal

April 30 is National Arbor Day

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Beautify your world: Plant a tree

Founded by J. Sterling Morton of Nebraska in 1872, Arbor Day is a secular day of observance to encourage individuals and groups to plant trees.

Trees are an energy-saving home improvement. They can be as important to energy conservation as insulation or weather-tight windows and doors. They save energy by cooling with shade in the summer and by providing a windbreak in winter. Three strategically placed shade trees can reduce air conditioning costs by 30 percent.

Deciduous trees shed their leaves during the winter. They provide shade and block heat during hotter months. By dropping their leaves in the fall, they admit sunlight in the colder months. Place these trees on the south and west sides of buildings. Shade hard surfaces, such as driveways, to minimize heat load.



Evergreens retain their leaves or needles throughout the year. As windbreaks, they can help conserve a significant amount of energy that would otherwise go toward home heating. Place them on the north side of your home. Evergreens also provide shade in the summer.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Jun
16
Wed
4:00 pm Messy Makers and Art Adventures ... @ microWave Project
Messy Makers and Art Adventures ... @ microWave Project
Jun 16 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Messy Makers and Art Adventures for Kids @ microWave Project
We are bringing back two of our most popular classes for the month of June, Messy Makers and Art Adventures! Messy Makers returns for the month of June on Wednesdays from 4-5 pm. With the warm weather[...]
6:30 pm Diamonds and Pearls Gala @ Holiday Inn & Suites
Diamonds and Pearls Gala @ Holiday Inn & Suites
Jun 16 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Diamonds and Pearls Gala @ Holiday Inn & Suites
You’re invited to Reaching Out Now Leadership Program! Join us as we celebrate the resiliency of our girls. Our current girl leaders will continue to carry the torch, lighting the way for our future girl[...]
Jun
17
Thu
7:00 pm Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Jun 17 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball vs. Purceville Cannons Thursday, June 17th @ 7 PM Bing Crosby Stadium
Jun
19
Sat
6:00 pm Karaoke Sing-along @ Bushel Pub
Karaoke Sing-along @ Bushel Pub
Jun 19 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Karaoke Sing-along @ Bushel Pub
Come join the sing-along and karaoke fun at Bushel Pub (inside the Apple House) on June 19, 2021, from 6pm-9pm.
7:00 pm Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Jun 19 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball vs. Woodstock River Bandits Saturday, June 19th @ 7 PM Bing Crosby Stadium
Jun
20
Sun
1:00 pm A Benefit for James @ Virginia Beer Museum
A Benefit for James @ Virginia Beer Museum
Jun 20 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
A Benefit for James @ Virginia Beer Museum
 
1:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 20 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists of the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah (BONS) and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program series examines all aspects of beekeeping from hive[...]
Jun
21
Mon
9:00 am Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Jun 21 @ 9:00 am – Jun 25 @ 12:00 pm
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation Experiment with video production through a variety of mediums including Claymation, LEGO® Minifigures, pipe cleaner creatures, and much more! Ninjas will capture images frame-by-frame and produce videos in a rapid prototyping style.[...]
1:08 pm Summer At Sacred Heart @ Sacred Heart
Summer At Sacred Heart @ Sacred Heart
Jun 21 @ 1:08 pm – 2:08 pm
Summer At Sacred Heart @ Sacred Heart
Come check out the biggest camp selection in Winchester! Over 57-week-long camps are offered on a rotating basis, from June 21 through August 13, for kids ages 3-13. Extended care options are available. We offer[...]
6:00 pm FREE Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
FREE Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Jun 21 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FREE Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
WARREN COALITION HOSTS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING The Warren Coalition, in partnership with Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, will offer a free, virtual Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training beginning on June 14th. This course is designed to provide information[...]