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Rediscover the joy of ice skating

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If you’ve never experienced the joy of gliding across a frozen lake or simply haven’t ice skated in years, consider making time for this activity during the winter months.

Ice skating is a fun and affordable pastime, and since it’s a low-impact sport that’s gentle on the joints, it can be suitable for people of all ages. What’s more, most people can master the basics in less than an hour.

Furthermore, ice skating is a great aerobic workout that can improve your balance and cardiovascular endurance, strengthen your abdominal and leg muscles, and fine-tune your motor skills.

If you want to go ice skating this year, there are plenty of places you can lace up your skates, including indoor and outdoor rinks, forest trails, and certain lakes, ponds, and rivers.


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How to identify and eliminate red spider mites

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While most pests are easy to spot in your garden, some are difficult to see with the naked eye. One example is the red spider mite. This pest is less than 1/64 of an inch long and only makes itself known when your plants start to suffer. Here’s how to spot red spider mites and eliminate them.

Appearance and behavior
Unlike the name suggests, red spider mites come in various colors, including brown, orange, and green. They suck the nutrients and chlorophyll directly from your plant, which causes the leaves to turn yellow and dry out. If left unchecked, this can cause the plant to die. Moreover, red spider mites don’t act alone. In fact, a single plant can be attacked by hundreds or thousands of mites.

The easiest way to spot red spider mites is to use a magnifying glass. You can also try pressing the plant’s foliage onto a sheet of white paper. If the paper becomes covered in tiny, moving specks, your plant is probably infested.

Control and elimination
Red spider mites thrive in hot, dry weather. Therefore, regularly watering helps prevent them from multiplying. Additionally, you can use a powerful spray nozzle to blast red spider mites off the leaves of your plants. However, if one plant is infested, you may want to dig it up to prevent it from contaminating nearby vegetation.


Finally, if you suffer from repeated red spider mite infestations, you can encourage or purchase predatory insects to take care of the problem. You can also use horticultural oil or insecticidal soap to keep these pests under control.

 

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How to be a responsible hiker

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Hiking has become an increasingly popular summer activity. However, the influx of inexperienced hikers on popular trails has led to various problems. Here are a few tips on how to be a considerate hiker.

Respect nature
Bring back all your garbage, including apple cores and other biodegradable materials. Also, make sure to stay on marked trails. If you stray off to create a shortcut or go around a puddle, you could trample fragile plants. You should also avoid picking up sand, flowers, rocks, and other parts of nature. What’s more, don’t disturb or feed wild animals.

Be civil
Most hikers want to enjoy a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. Shouting or listening to loud music, for example, is rude and inappropriate. However, a friendly “hello” or a smile is always appreciated. Additionally, don’t stop in the middle of a trail. You should also let fast walkers go around you and prioritize those climbing if you’re descending. Moreover, share the beautiful views by not spending too long taking pictures at scenic outlooks.

Be prepared and careful
If you’re not well prepared or don’t know your limits, you could put yourself in danger. Therefore, bring plenty of food and water, even on short walks. You could be outdoors much longer than anticipated if you get injured. You should also bring the right equipment like a good pair of shoes, a first aid kit, and a whistle. Finally, choose a trail that matches your abilities and respect all trail signs and instructions.


One last, important piece of advice: don’t risk your life for a selfie.

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Use warm colors in your decor

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Do you want to repaint or decorate a room or two in your home? In 2022, warm colors are all the rage. Here are some tips to help you choose the right color and achieve the desired results.

Balance warm shades with cool tones
Combine warm colors with cool elements to create a sense of balance. For example, yellow or orange walls go perfectly with a polished concrete floor or wrought iron furniture.

Use them in the appropriate places
Yellow is a particularly stimulating color that has been shown to improve concentration and productivity. Therefore, it’s ideal for your home office or the bedroom. Moreover, red has a restorative, soothing effect, while orange evokes friendliness and creativity.

Think about the mood you want
Do you want to create an intimate or energizing space? Answering this question will help you determine the intensity of the colors to choose. Canary and mustard yellow, for example, evoke two very different moods.


Consider the effect of lighting
Both natural and artificial lighting can impact color. Before you start painting, make sure to try the colors in your space. Apply a few samples to the wall to see how your lighting affects the finished result.

Do you need help creating the perfect decor? Consider consulting an interior designer.

 

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When to prune your trees and shrubs

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Although trees and shrubs can grow very well without intervention, occasional pruning helps promote optimal health. Here’s what you need to know.

Flowering
Shrubs like rhododendrons and lilacs bloom from last year’s stems, whereas others, like roses and hydrangeas, bloom from new growth. It’s best to prune shrubs that flower from old wood immediately after blooming. However, shrubs that bloom on new growth should be trimmed in the spring.

Dormancy
In general, shrubs and trees go dormant in the spring before their buds open. This is the best time for pruning because the plants heal faster. Late fall is also appropriate. However, pruning in the winter should be avoided.

Furthermore, mid-summer is ideal for pruning trees that produce a lot of sap in the spring, like maple, birch, and willow.


Lastly, pruning large trees and fruit trees should be left to the experts. For the best results, contact a professional tree pruner in your area.

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How to choose the right cycling accessories

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Whether you’re new to biking or a seasoned rider, investing in the right accessories will make your time in the saddle more enjoyable. Here are a few tips for choosing the right cycling gear.

Helmet
Every cyclist needs a well-selected helmet. Don’t hesitate to try on several models to find the perfect fit. The helmet you choose should be comfortable, easy to adjust, and stay in place when you make sudden head movements. You should also select a helmet that’s suited to the type of cycling you do. For instance, road helmets don’t have a visor and are sleeker than mountain biking helmets. If you enjoy varied biking activities, a hybrid helmet may be best.

Clothing
If you’re an avid cyclist, invest in proper clothing to significantly improve your comfort and enjoyment. Moisture-wicking socks and fabrics can help keep you cool and dry on hot summer days. Cycling jerseys often have practical back pockets for carrying small items like your keys and phone.

The right pair of cycling shorts can make a big difference on long rides. Choose a pair of shorts made from a comfortable material like chamois or nylon spandex. Make sure the shorts have as few seams as possible to reduce the risk of chafing. The thigh band should also remain in place without cutting off blood circulation. Although bib shorts take some pressure off your abdomen, they’re not very practical for women. It’s up to you to decide what you like best.


Bags and panniers
There are many different cycling bags to choose from to serve you on a long ride. A seat bag is good to store small items like your wallet, a repair kit, and snacks. However, a handlebar bag makes it easy to access things like a camera or map. If you need to carry camping gear or a change of clothes, a pannier attached to your bike’s luggage rack is ideal. Invest in a waterproof model or saddlebag covers to keep your belongings dry.

If you need personalized advice, speak with the sales staff at your local bike shop.

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Bring your office to the backyard

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Do you work from home? Whether you want to escape distractions or enjoy some fresh air, moving your office outside could boost creativity and productivity.

Depending on your needs and the available space, you can create an open office by installing an overhang on your deck to protect you from the weather and the sun’s powerful rays. This option is ideal for summer. However, it may not work when making calls in the middle of a rainstorm. Therefore, you may want to build a complete room, similar to a converted shed, which can be used year-round.

Things to remember
Above all, your workspace must be functional to ensure you’re as productive as you usually are in a traditional office setting. You must also have access to electricity and a stable internet connection. You may also need to consider investing in an air conditioning, ventilation, or heating unit.

If a backyard office appeals to you, work with local businesses and contractors to make it happen.


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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

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Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

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White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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Upcoming Events

May
22
Sun
2:00 pm Common Scents: Historic Perfume ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Common Scents: Historic Perfume ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 22 @ 2:00 pm – May 23 @ 4:00 pm
Common Scents: Historic Perfume Making Workshop @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Have you ever wondered how to harvest the fragrance of a flower or capture the irresistible aroma of sandalwood? Then this hands-on workshop is for you! Join us and learn how people in[...]
5:00 pm Let’s Come Together @ DoubleTree by Hilton
Let’s Come Together @ DoubleTree by Hilton
May 22 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Let's Come Together @ DoubleTree by Hilton
A Night of Prayer and Worship, All are Welcome Prayers led by Pastor John Miller of Abundant Life Church and other Local Pastors DoubleTree by Hilton 111 Hospitality Dr. Front Royal, VA Sunday, May 22[...]
May
25
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
May 25 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
May
28
Sat
8:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 28 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area: Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion[...]
May
30
Mon
7:00 pm 2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
May 30 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2022 Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Concert by Front Royal Community Band Monday, May 30, 2022, 7pm, at the Gazebo on Main St. (sponsored by American Legion Post #53)
Jun
1
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 1 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Jun
4
Sat
10:00 am Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am – Jun 5 @ 11:00 am
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Overnight Parking Lot. Ready to try backcountry camping? Spend 24 hours in nature learning backcountry skills and survival techniques with professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch. With Sky Meadows’ Backcountry Campground as the[...]
10:00 am Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Boston Mill Road Trail near the Park Office. Learn how fences and tree plantings improve water quality at Sky Meadows State Park. Stop by our Explorer Outpost table along the Boston Mill Road Trail where[...]
10:00 am National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am – Jun 5 @ 12:00 pm
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the intersection of Boston Mill Road Trail and Hadow Trail. Get your hands dirty as we work to improve the hiking experience on Hadow Trail. Join park trailblazers as they work to enhance[...]
11:00 am Gospel Music Festival @ Gazebo
Gospel Music Festival @ Gazebo
Jun 4 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Gospel Music Festival @ Gazebo
FOOD WILL BE AVAILABLE | FUN ACTIVITIES! | LIVE MUSIC!