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Interesting Things You Need to Know

Raise yourself to new heights with rock climbing

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Rock climbing is fun, engaging and a great way to stay active. Here are some of the benefits of learning how to do it.

* It’s an awesome workout. Rock climbing is a full-body workout that engages all major muscle groups, burns calories and develops an individual’s strength, balance, endurance and agility. You can also expect to get your heart rate going.

* It sharpens your mind. Rock climbers need to continuously switch from one handhold to the next as they advance up a wall. This helps develop hand-eye coordination. In addition, they have to determine the best route up the wall, which tests and enhances problem-solving skills.

* It helps you beat fear. Rock climbers have to contend with any fear they might have around heights or falling. While they’re perfectly safe strapped into their safety harness, getting to the top and overcoming these fears is a great way to build confidence.

* It’s a great experience. Making your way up a wall is a stimulating challenge. You’ll feel a terrific sense of accomplishment when you reach the top.

Most rock climbing gyms can accommodate climbers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned mountaineer, there’s a wall for you to conquer.

Belay certification
Belaying is the rope technique you use to keep your climbing partner safe while they’re on the wall. If it’s your first time rock climbing, you should get belay certified before you start. Call your local climbing gym to set up a lesson. Belay certification doesn’t take long and it’s essential to safe climbing.

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Women in hunting

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Although the overall number of hunters in North America is steadily decreasing, among women, the sport is rising in popularity. According to a survey by the U.S. Wildlife and Fish Service, since 1991, the number of women hunters in America has increased by 36 percent.

Women are becoming interested in hunting for a variety of reasons, but many cite an interest in ethical food practices and spending time outdoors as motives.

Hunting gear

In response to the number of women taking up hunting, there’s an increasing array of weapons, accessories and clothing available for them.

If you or a woman you know is interested in taking up the sport, it’s a good idea to shop for smaller weapons that are specially designed for women. They’re lighter and easier to handle.

Also, there are many accessories that can make hunting easier when you’re getting started, such as anti-recoil pads that reduce the impact on your shoulder when you shoot.

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4 reasons to become a market vendor

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Consumers are increasingly interested in buying local, and farmers’ markets have multiplied in cities and towns as a result. Here’s why growers and producers should consider becoming market vendors.

1. More revenue
By selling directly to consumers, you skip the middleman and pocket all of the profits. In addition, you get to set your own prices and save on shipping and packaging costs.

2. More flexibility
Most farmers’ markets don’t restrict the quantity of goods their vendors must offer, meaning you can simply sell what you grow. This is great for small operations that can’t meet supermarket minimums, new producers and producers transitioning to different crops.

3. More convenience
Hard-to-market crops like heirloom varieties that can’t withstand transport are ideal for farmers’ markets. Plus, they’re popular with market shoppers.

4. More knowledge
Selling directly to your customers helps you keep track of what they pay a premium for and what they buy overall. If you offer something new, you’ll get immediate feedback. Talking to your customers will help you decide how to diversify your crops.

In addition to these benefits, market vendors are in a unique position to be ambassadors for their farms. By forging strong ties to the community, they stand to gain support in growing their business.

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Preparing for retirement: 5 reasons to get help from a financial pro

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Your savings and investments are the key to a comfortable retirement. However, many people find navigating the world of finance confusing. Luckily, financial professionals make managing your money easy. Here are five reasons working with a financial adviser or planner is the smart way to prepare for retirement.

1. They know the ins and outs of the industry and can offer up-to-date advice.

2. They’ll take your whole financial situation into account to create a money management plan tailored to your unique circumstances.

3. They can tell you which of your expenses will increase when you retire and which are likely to decrease.

4. They understand the different investment options available and can guide you towards those that best suit your needs.

5. They’ll advise you on what actions you need to take to achieve your financial goals.

With the right financial professional, you can rest easy knowing that your needs are met. And if you have any questions, they’re just a phone call away.

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5 things you should never feed your dog

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You may already know that grapes, garlic and chocolate are dangerous for dogs to consume. However, there are a number of other foods that can be just as toxic. Here are five things you should never feed your pooch.

1. Yeast dough. Yeast causes dough to rise and it’ll do the same in your dog’s stomach, making it distend painfully. Furthermore, during the fermentation process, yeast produces ethanol, which can lead to alcohol poisoning.

2. Alcohol. Booze has the same effect on dogs as it does on humans, and the smaller the dog, the more dangerous it is for them to consume it. Intoxication can lead to disorientation, vomiting, diarrhea and even death.

3. Dairy products. Milk and other dairy products can cause digestive problems and trigger food allergies. As is the case with humans, some dogs are more sensitive than others.

4. Xylitol. This artificial sweetener is found in many types of gum, candy, toothpaste and even peanut butter. While safe for humans, it can increase your dog’s insulin levels, leading to hypoglycemia. In turn, this can cause vomiting, lethargy and even liver failure.

5. Bones of any type. Dogs love to chew on bones but gnawing on them can splinter and injure their digestive systems. Stick to store-bought chews instead.

Besides these potential poisons, you should never feed your dog food that isn’t fit for human consumption. Ingesting raw eggs or chicken can lead to salmonella poisoning and eating spoiled meat can make them sick.

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Trapping: 5 things to know about the Canada lynx

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Magnificent and mysterious, the Canada lynx is a hunter’s prize. Its fur is silky and its meat tastes similar to hare. Here are five facts about this wild cat that may increase your odds of trapping one on your next hunting trip.

1. Don’t let the name mislead you: this species of lynx isn’t confined to Canada alone. It’s also found in Alaska and in various parts of the northern United States. It lives in boreal forests and in areas where the snowshoe hare, its preferred meal, is abundant.

2. Lynx are highly cautious and therefore seldom seen. However, several traps, including foothold traps and killer-type (conibear) traps, are effective in capturing them.

3. The Canada Lynx has sharp vision in the dark but a poor sense of smell, so you don’t have to worry about concealing your scent.

4. It hunts in open spaces, so set up your traps in locations where they will be visible from a distance such as near forest roads, beaver dams or waterways. Choose areas where hares are plentiful.

5. The large pads of its paws have a snowshoe-like buoyancy that allow it to successfully chase down hares. In fact, they’re so enormous and disproportionate to the animal’s size that lynx tracks are sometimes confused with cougar tracks.

Provided you have the required trapping permits or licenses, you can trap the Canada lynx in all Canadian provinces and territories except Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, as well as in Maine and Alaska in the U.S.

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4 side businesses for farmers

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Shiitake mushrooms

If you’re looking for ways to maximize profits or stay busy during the off-season, here are some ideas for farm side businesses.

1. Grow mushrooms. Selling specialty mushrooms can be very lucrative, and with a bit of equipment, you can grow them all year long. Focus on varieties that aren’t available in supermarkets and sell them at local farmers markets.

Additionally, you can reach out to restaurant owners who are often happy to pay a premium for specific varieties.

Another option is to sell your harvest as medicinal mushrooms, but make sure to familiarize yourself with municipal, state and federal laws so you don’t violate any regulations.

2. Sell farm byproducts. If you raise animals, you can bag and sell manure to customers or local garden centers.

Alternatively, if your farm gathers a lot of feathers from either wild or domesticated birds, instead of throwing them out, clean and sell them to arts and crafts stores and local artisans.

3. Agro-tourism. Consider setting up a fruit stand or welcoming visitors to your farm. A growing number of people are interested in learning about the food they eat and how it’s produced. Thanks to this, agro-tourism is on the rise.

Additionally, farm visits make great field trips, so contact local schools to see if they’re interested in a tour of your establishment.

4. Put your fields to work. If you have a piece of land that isn’t being used, consider turning it into a campground, especially if you live near a tourist destination.

You’ll need to install basic facilities like showers and restrooms, but this is a small investment to make considering the potential profits.

You can also organize a gear swap and charge vendors for the use of your property.

Expanding your business can be easy and more lucrative than you think. It’s also a great way to build stronger links with your community.

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Oct
22
Tue
10:00 am Acrylic Painting: An Individuali... @ Art in the Valley
Acrylic Painting: An Individuali... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Acrylic Painting: An Individualized Approach @ Art in the Valley
With an emphasis on individuality and creativity, this acrylic painting class welcomes all skill levels. Some concepts we will explore include various paint application techniques, color theory, and composition. Within these basic parameters, we will[...]
1:30 pm Botanicals in Watercolor I – Fal... @ Art in the Valley
Botanicals in Watercolor I – Fal... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 22 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanicals in Watercolor I - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with instructor, Elena Maza, will deal with the basic three-primary color palette, different pigments and how they interact, how to mix all colors from three primary colors, how to apply washes,[...]
Oct
23
Wed
10:30 am Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Oct 23 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Art Class "Fall is Here" @ Art in the Valley
We are offering classes for children ages 7-12 who would enjoy expressing themselves through art. The students will expand their creative side with drawing, painting and constructing, using various mediums such as acrylic, pastels, watercolor[...]
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing: October 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing: October 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Oct 23 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanical Drawing: October 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. This four session course will focus on learning basic drawing skills as applied to botanicals: basic line drawings[...]
Oct
24
Thu
10:30 am Small Business Lending Forum @ Samuels Public Library
Small Business Lending Forum @ Samuels Public Library
Oct 24 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Small Business Lending Forum @ Samuels Public Library
The forum will provide participants with an overview of U.S. Small Business Administration and USDA/Rural Business Cooperative-Services (RBS)’s financing programs and services.  Participants will have the opportunity to field questions to lenders and learn more[...]
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Oil Painting... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 24 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful oil paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with oils necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
Oct
25
Fri
9:00 am Virginia Department of Veteran S... @ Able Forces Foundation
Virginia Department of Veteran S... @ Able Forces Foundation
Oct 25 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Virginia Department of Veteran Services @ Able Forces Foundation
Able Forces Foundation is hosting Andre Miller, Resource Specialist, Virginia Veteran and Family Support, Virginia Department of Veteran Services, to assist veterans, their spouses, and dependents with questions regarding Veteran benefits and in filing claims[...]
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 25 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful acrylic paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with acrylics necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
Oct
26
Sat
9:00 am Walk to End Alzheimer’s @ Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Walk to End Alzheimer’s @ Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Oct 26 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Walk to End Alzheimer's @ Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Join the Northern Shenandoah Valley Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s Together, we can provide care and support to improve the lives of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia (including family, friends, and caregivers), and[...]