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Safety tips for snowmobile season

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January 18 to 26 is International Snowmobile Safety Week, and the theme is Safe Riders! You make snowmobiling safe. Here’s a rundown of some of the most important safety practices to follow when operating a snowmobile.

Precautions to take before leaving
Plan your trip in advance and practice staying safe by adhering to the following:

• Choose trails that you know well or that you’ve researched in advance.

• Bring a map of the area.
• Make sure your snowmobile is tuned up.
• If it’s your first time using a snowmobile, don’t take it out until you’ve familiarized yourself with how to use it. Be sure to take it slow during your first ride.
• Avoid snowmobiling alone and give someone who won’t be in your company an itinerary that includes your route and the duration of your ride.
• Ensure that you’ve memorized the hand signals used to communicate between snowmobilers.

Staying safe on the trail
Snowmobiles are definitely powerful, which is part of what makes them fun. However, they can also be dangerous should you fail to take the needed precautions. Here’s what you should do:

• Know your limits and the limits of your snowmobile.
• Respect signage and be attentive to your surroundings.
• Stop completely at intersections and look both ways before proceeding.
• Stay on the trail and respect private property.
• Be extra careful when driving at night. Adjust your speed so that you don’t “over-drive” your headlights.

For a more comprehensive list of safety tips, visit the website of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association at snowmobile.org.

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Aim for a retirement with no regrets

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Try asking a few people over 60 what they regret most about how they prepared for re­ti­rement. You’ll probably hear that they wish they’d gone about their financial planning in a different way. It’s worth studying their answers so you can avoid major discomfort later on. Here are the most common regrets:

“I should have started saving when I was younger.”
It’s important to start saving for retirement even in the early stages of your career. You probably won’t work for the same employer for an extended period of time, the way your parents did, and a company or government pension can easily disappear from under your feet if you lose your job before you qualify. Even if you are self-employed, open a 401K and be vigilant about it.

“I thought I didn’t have enough income to contribute to a savings plan.”
Whether you’re highly disciplined or a free spirit whose money burns holes in your pockets, the cost of living may always seem oppressive. But saving money doesn’t have to gut your paycheck. Set up an IRA with your bank, life in­su­rance company, mutual fund, or stockbroker. Make contributions that match your current capabilities and up the contributions whenever you can.

“I didn’t diversify enough.”
Diversified retirement planning is crucial; don’t be tempted to put the bulk of your savings at the mercy of the marketplace. If you count on just one source of retirement in­come, such as a pension and stocks, you and your loved ones may be left short if the market plum­mets. Prac­tice com­prehensive fi­nancial planning with IRAs, a 401K, life insurance, and mu­tual funds.

PC : Start planning early.

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How to choose your next range

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Are you thinking about upgrading your stove? If so, here are some things to consider before choosing a new range.

The space you have
If you’re not completely renovating your kitchen, you’ll need to purchase a range that fits into the available space. On the other hand, a renovation means that you have more options. Perhaps a separate cooktop and oven would be a good option? In either case, you need to know how much room you’ll have for your new appliance.

How you’ll use it
Someone who doesn’t cook much may be happy with a basic range, but those who love to create in the kitchen will probably prefer a gas model. Alternatively, a parent may appreciate an induction stove, which works quickly but doesn’t get hot to the touch.

Your kitchen’s style
A sleek, stainless steel range is well suited to a modern kitchen, while a white enamel one complements a more traditional esthetic. If you have the budget for it, you can also order a custom range in a color of your choice.

No matter what type of range you select, be sure to opt for one with an Energy Star label. This certification guarantees that your new cooker is energy efficient and eco-friendly.

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4 fresh ideas for decorating wedding tables

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The centerpieces at your wedding are sure to be the decor that your guests notice the most. Here are four fresh ideas for centerpieces that will make a statement.

1. Potted plants. A welcome change from cut flowers, potted plants can be taken home by guests and enjoyed for years to come. Anything goes, from cute succulents and cactuses to tall orchids and even herbs or flowers that can be transplanted outdoors.

2. Terrariums or lanterns. A geometric glass vase or container will complement almost any type of wedding esthetic. Fill it with moss and cut flowers for a romantic look or sand and seashells for a beachy vibe. Or, substitute the vase with an old lantern if you want to create a more rustic look.

3. Candles. A wedding is the perfect time to indulge in a romantic, candlelit dinner. Tall tapers in a variety of different candleholders are ideal. Or, use candles of varying heights to add visual interest.

4. Suspensions. If the ceiling and venue allow for it, consider hanging your centerpieces from above. Flower arrangements, candles and other items can be hung to add ambiance to the table and will dramatically impact the look of the room as a whole.

No matter what type of centerpiece you choose, make sure it’s not so tall or wide that it gets in the way of conversation around the table.

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The many benefits of visual art

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You don’t have to be an artist to reap the benefits of making and enjoying art. In fact, even small doses can be advantageous. Here’s what you should you know.

A tool for learning
Making art helps learners create different kinds of connections in their brains and increases their ability to think creatively and solve problems. Studies show that those who study art in school tend to enjoy learning more and do better in classes like math, English and science.

A feel-good activity
Art isn’t just for kids. In fact, an increasing number of adults are making art as a way to relieve stress. From filling in adult coloring books and making art journals to completing DIY projects and assembling crafts from a kit, it’s easy to find ways to unleash your creativity.

Indeed, taking a pause to color, paint, draw or sculpt allows you to break away from routine thoughts and the daily pressures of modern living. What’s more, creating art has been shown to release dopamine in the brain, one of the chemicals believed to be responsible for feeling good.

Viewing art is also good for you
Studies indicate that just one hour of looking at art, such as at a museum, can change the way you think and feel. In fact, it’s been shown that those who spend time looking at art are able to think more critically about things and feel more empathy toward other people.

From doodling with a pen to creating a masterpiece with paint and a canvas, making art is good for you. And remember, creativity is a like a muscle: the more you use it, the more powerful it will be.

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Which kind of food should I choose for my pet?

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When choosing the right food for your cat or dog, base your decision on the animal’s age, weight, breed and lifestyle. A kitten and an adult cat, or a Chihuahua and a Labrador, don’t have the same nutritional needs. If your pet is overweight, choose food that will allow it to regain a healthy weight.

It can also help to talk to your veterinarian in order to make an informed choice. He or she will be able to recommend a good-quality product containing the right proportions of all the essential nutrients your four-legged friend needs. Just because a product’s packaging lists various nutrients, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are present in sufficient quantities; some products contain a lot more grains than meat. Lastly, keep in mind that the more costly canned pet foods don’t necessarily have all the healthy nutrients your pet needs. Ask your veterinarian for more detailed information.

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5 types of summer camps your kids will love

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There’s more than one type of summer camp for kids. If you’re looking for one for your children, here are five types that may pique their interest.

1. Traditional. If your children like spending time outdoors, they’ll love a traditional summer camp. They’ll spend their time swimming, canoeing, camping, hiking and more.

2. Historical. Kids that are fascinated by history will enjoy a camp where they can dress up in historical clothes and learn about how people lived before the advent of modern conveniences. Whether they’re interested in the Middle Ages or the Victorian Era, your child is sure to learn a lot.

3. Language. Let your child become immersed in learning another language by sending them to a language camp. They’ll acquire a valuable life skill while having fun and making new friends.

4. Farm life. Kids that love animals and nature will enjoy spending their time learning how a farm works. Not only will they spend their time caring for farm animals, but they’ll also learn about agriculture and how to maintain a vegetable garden.

5. Academic. There are a variety of learning camps for kids. Whether your young academic wants to immerse themselves in a particular topic (there are camps devoted to coding, robotics, science, engineering, writing and more) or explore a range of subjects, there’s a camp that’s right for them.

No matter what kind of summer camp you choose to send your children to, they’re sure to create meaningful memories and make lifelong friends.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Feb
19
Wed
8:45 am Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Feb 19 @ 8:45 am – 2:30 pm
Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Reaching Out Now (RON) together with Skyline Middle School to host its 1st annual Career Day, “Passport to Success.” Joining with area business leaders, Warren County Public School, as we come together to empower our[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 19 @ 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, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
2:00 pm Rotary Club Blood Drive @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Rotary Club Blood Drive @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Feb 19 @ 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Rotary Club Blood Drive @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
All are invited to the Rotary Club of the Shenandoah Valley (The Area ONE|ders) blood drive on Wednesday, February 19th, from 2pm-7pm, at the Front Royal United Methodist Church (1 W. Main St. Front Royal)[...]
Feb
20
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 20 @ 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, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
Feb
21
Fri
9:00 am Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Feb 21 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Are you considering independent, corporate, or social entrepreneurship, or being groomed to take over a family business? Then, this workshop is for you! Topics to be covered: Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur The Importance of[...]
Feb
22
Sat
10:00 am Beginner Crochet: Dishcloths @ Strokes of Creativity
Beginner Crochet: Dishcloths @ Strokes of Creativity
Feb 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Beginner Crochet: Dishcloths @ Strokes of Creativity
Beginner Crochet: Dishcloths In this beginner level class, you will learn some basic crochet stitches and pattern reading to make pretty dishcloths for your home. Instruction will be for right-handed crochet. Please pre-register!
11:00 am Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 22 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Art Stars is a special needs art discovery program. This program is for ages 8 and up. Registration begins January 22. Participants should have a caregiver or attendant present in the program.
12:30 pm Crochet Workshop @ Strokes of Creativity
Crochet Workshop @ Strokes of Creativity
Feb 22 @ 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Crochet Workshop @ Strokes of Creativity
Crochet Workshop Do you have a crochet project you need a little help with? Already bought the supplies, but need help reading the pattern? All skill levels are invited to this Bring Your Own Project[...]
1:00 pm Discover love, adopt at Petco @ Petco
Discover love, adopt at Petco @ Petco
Feb 22 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Discover love, adopt at Petco @ Petco
Stop by Petco located at 2580 S Pleasant Valley Rd. on Saturday, February 22, between 1 and 4 PM. Meet the amazing Petco adoption team from the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke, learn more about[...]
1:00 pm Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Feb 22 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Moving Mindfully: Finding and keeping your footing @ Ruby Yoga
Join Ruby Yoga and Deborah Romero of Optimal Posture LLC for a series of workshops on moving more mindfully through life using the principles of yoga and the Alexander Technique. Slated for Saturday, Jan. 25,[...]