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The vet of tomorrow: no longer white and male

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As the U.S. military undergoes significant demographic shifts, so too does the veteran population. In honor of Veterans Day, celebrated every year on November 11, here are some facts about the future of American veterans.

More veterans are women
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the proportion of female veterans will almost double by 2043, from nine percent to 17 percent. In the wake of increased enrollment following the events of 9/11, women are actually the fastest growing group of veterans. They face particular challenges when trying to adjust to civilian life, many of which aren’t addressed by existing resources.

The average age of veterans is changing
Currently, people aged 50 to 69 make up 42 percent of the veteran population. By 2043, however, the proportion of veterans under the age of 50 will increase considerably, as will the number of those over the age of 70. This means that the services offered to veterans will need to accommodate the needs of a more diverse population in terms of age.

Veterans are becoming more ethnically diverse
As the U.S. military becomes more diverse, it’s expected that the veteran population will exhibit the same trend. The proportion of non-Hispanic white veterans is likely to fall to 64 percent in 2043 from 78 percent in 2013.

Since non-White veterans are disproportionately affected by issues such as homelessness and lack of access to resources, it’ll be important for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to work with community leaders to help ensure their well-being.

Veterans of all genders, ages and ethnicity have sacrificed a lot to keep our country safe. On November 11, take a moment to thank them for their service.

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A survival guide for Valentine’s Day

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How will I survive Valentine’s Day? It’s a question that many people ask themselves when the red hearts start to appear in stores at the beginning of February. For some of us, it can be hard to stop this Valentine’s Day anxiety from building up to alarming levels. If that’s how you feel, here are some tips to help you make the best of the festival of love and avoid all of Cupid’s traps.

Couples
Does your loved one claim that Valentine’s Day is not really all that important to her? Don’t fall into the trap of not doing anything for her on this special day! It’s quite possible that she’s calling your bluff. Despite her apparent indifference, she expects to receive a little something, even if it’s only a card. Yes, it’s a contradiction, but that’s the way it goes.

Do you have kids? It’s important to depart from your usual family routine for the day or at least plan a romantic evening together. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to renew the ties that bind you, to spend some quality time together. Reserve a table at your favorite restaurant well in advance, and don’t forget to organize a babysitter.

Singles
Are you single? For you, Valentine’s Day can be a heart-breaking day, especially if you’ve just broken up. But isolating yourself at home and succumbing to the dangerous trio of romantic movies, pajamas, and chocolate certainly won’t help you in any healthy way. All it does is guarantee depression.

Distract yourself instead. Plan a night out with friends, go out for a drink in a bar, or participate in a singles’ activity. Who knows, your new soul mate may be there as well. Remember that Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love in all its forms. Take the opportunity to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you; that includes your parents, siblings, children, and friends.

Do you dread Valentine’s Day? Follow the survival guide!

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How to use the language of flowers in your Valentine’s day bouquet

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Flowers are ubiquitous on Valentine’s day, but few people realize that the various blooms in their bouquets are imbued with symbolic meaning. This year, consider using the language of flowers to let your sweetheart know you care.

Roses
A classic choice for Valentine’s Day, roses can express different things depending on their color.

* Red symbolizes a deep, passionate love, which is why they’re ideal for a romantic partner.

* Pink roses symbolize appreciation and make for a milder gesture than red ones. They’re a nice choice if you don’t want to overwhelm a new love interest.

* White roses stand for purity and innocence, making them a great choice for a friend, daughter or other relative.

Tulips
Beautiful but understated, tulips are a wonderful alternative to roses and also hold various meanings depending on their color. In particular, red tulips are a symbol of passion and love. And because they last longer than other cut flowers, tulips also represent the longevity of your relationship.

Lilies
These flowers, specifically the white ones, are associated with royalty and will express to your loved one that they’re a king or queen in your eyes.

These are just a few of the many flowers that you can include in your Valentine’s Day bouquet. If you’re still not sure what blooms to choose, your local florist will be happy to help.

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Love, hormones, and chemistry

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This Valentine’s Day, you’re proud to celebrate the love that blossomed and matured between the two of you over the years. You also feel a little nostalgic thinking about where you met each other for the first time and all the emotions that characterized the beginning of your relationship. Remember that euphoria? The light-headedness, pounding heart, and butterflies in the stomach? Why did they eventually fade away?

The chemistry of love
What we commonly call love at first sight is largely a physiological occurrence. It is caused by the hormones secreted when two people are attracted to one another. In that sense, it really is all about chemistry. Here is a breakdown of what takes place:

• Phenylethylamine causes a state of euphoria, relaxation, and wellbeing.

• Adrenaline elevates the heart rate and blood pressure.

• Serotonin affects the nervous system.

• Oxytocin contributes to self-confidence, sensitivity to other people’s emotions, and feelings of attachment.

• Dopamine stimulates feelings of pleasure and motivation.

• Endorphins cause sensations of pleasure and relaxation.

But when it comes to mature love, why does the euphoria go away? Especially if you’re still very much in love with each other. According to scientists, the concentration of love-at-first-sight molecules begins to decline after about 18 months of being together, and they disappear completely after a relationship has existed for four years. However, it is possible to stimulate the secretion of small amounts of these molecules with regular physical activity, making love (orgasm), and by consuming certain so-called aphrodisiac foods with your partner.

Science and love are interrelated. That’s why when you meet someone the “chemistry” is so important.

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Valentine’s Day isn’t just for sweethearts

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Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show those you’re closest to how you feel, whether they’re your friends or family members.

Celebrating with friends
Why not use the holiday to celebrate the bonds of friendship? Avoid pricey, romantic restaurant options and instead consider:

• Throwing a potluck party at home
• Heading to a local diner for a down-to-earth dinner
• Hitting the town and dancing the night away
• Singing some tunes at a karaoke bar

When deciding what to do, make sure to choose something that will be fun for your entire group.

Celebrating with family
Valentine’s Day is also a great time to connect as a family. You could:

• Head to the cinema for a family movie night
• Have a delicious dinner at a nearby restaurant
• Go bowling
• Try out laser tag
• Work together to beat an escape room

Depending on the ages and interests of your family members, the right way to celebrate will vary.

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Cooking for love on Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is all about romance and seduction. Perhaps the old saying “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” has some truth to it, and just maybe the reverse is true as well. So, why not tantalize your loved one with a mouth-watering meal. Here are three succulent reasons to don your apron and get out the pots and pans.

Primo, there’s something rather alluring about watching your better half lovingly create a dish just for you. Add a bottle of good wine, some mellow background music, a beautifully set table, the soft glow of candlelight, and you’ve all the ingredients required for concocting a romantic evening.

Secondo, the kitchen is full of all sorts of tempting foods. Every sense is stimulated during a successful dining experience. So, when you plan your menu, go for intoxicating smells, exquisite flavors, unctuous textures, and appetizing colors. Even your hearing can get involved; think of the sound of sauces bubbling gently on the stove, juices sizzling in the pan, and roasts crackling in the oven. Conjure the mouth-watering sound of a lobster claw being cracked open. And don’t forget the aphrodisiac properties attributed to certain foods and spices.

Terzo, for a meaningful romantic interlude, there’s nothing like sharing a delicious meal while gazing into each other’s eyes over the candles’ soft glow. Share a bite from time to time, and don’t forget to save room for dessert.

You don’t have the skill of a Cordon Bleu chef? Don’t worry. A favorite restaurant will do just fine. Buon appetito!

A romantic meal is a wonderful way to savor good food and some precious time together.

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The chemistry of love

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Falling in love may seem like a mystery of the heart, but in fact, an array of chemicals and hormones are at play. According to scientists, there are three categories of romantic love: lust, attraction and attachment. Each of these categories is governed by its own cocktail of hormones and chemicals.

Lust
Testosterone and estrogen fuel lust, or the desire for sexual gratification. While it’s typically considered a male hormone, testosterone increases libido for just about everyone. This effect is less prominent with estrogen, but many women report being more aroused around the time they ovulate, when the hormone’s levels are highest.

Attraction
High levels of dopamine and norepinephrine are at play in the initial stages of a romantic relationship. Dopamine is released when we do something that makes us feel good, in this case, spending time with someone. Norepinephrine, which also plays a part in the fight or flight response, makes us feel more alert and nervous.

Together, these chemicals make people feel giddy, euphoric and energetic. They may also cause a decrease in appetite or the inability to sleep.

Attachment
Oxytocin and vasopressin are the hormones that make us feel connected and attached to another person. Together, they help people bond to one another and induce a desire to create a long-term, monogamous relationship.

The chemistry of love is complex and fascinating. Thankfully, understanding the forces at play makes it no less meaningful.

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Upcoming Events

Feb
17
Mon
8:30 am Bring a Friend to School Day & O... @ Wakefield Country Day School
Bring a Friend to School Day & O... @ Wakefield Country Day School
Feb 17 @ 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Bring a Friend to School Day & Open House @ Wakefield Country Day School
Come visit Wakefield Country Day School for our Open House/Bring a Friend to School Day. For the entire school day, students may bring a friend with them to school. Parents may join in on the[...]
10:00 am R-MA February Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA February Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Feb 17 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
R-MA February Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy invites you to come discover what “The Power of Rise” can do for your child at the next open house on Monday, February 17th. Tours begin promptly at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.[...]
Feb
18
Tue
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 18 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, February 4 – Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! After[...]
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[...]
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
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.
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,[...]
2:00 pm Magic Show @ Samuels Public Library
Magic Show @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 22 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Magic Show @ Samuels Public Library
Local magician Kevin Owens will entertain the whole family with his amazing magic show, which always includes audience participation and lots of laughter!