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Three alternatives to wood-burning fireplaces

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Looking for a fireplace that’s more environmentally friendly and energy efficient than a wood-burning one? Here are three options worth looking into.

1. Gas fireplace
Convert your old wood-burning fireplace using a gas insert. It’ll provide the ambience and warmth of a wood-burning fireplace with the flick of a switch. If you’re already connected to a natural gas line in your area, a technician will connect it to your fireplace. If natural gas isn’t an option, propane is another possibility.

2. Electric fireplace

You can put an electric fireplace in any room in your house that has an electric outlet. These fireplaces can heat rooms that are up to 400 square feet.

3. Pellet stove
Pellet stoves use pellets, a renewable fuel source, to distribute heat. They’re easier to use than wood-burning units — just fill the storage hopper with pellets and set your thermostat to the perfect temperature. In order to maintain the selected temperature, a sensor will send a signal to a mechanism that drops new pellets into the fire when needed.

So which option should you go with? Get help deciding by talking to a professional. He or she can advise you as to which type of fireplace or stove is right for your home.

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How to choose plants for your aquarium

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Selecting plants for your aquarium may seem simple, but if you want your fish and plants to thrive, you should put some thought into your choice.

For starters, choose plants that are well suited to your aquarium’s environment. The type of substrate that covers the bottom of the tank, the temperature of the water and the lighting will all inform what types of plants will do well.

Also, consider what types of fish you keep. Some species will eat the vegetation in their environment. If you keep rainbow fish, tetras or others that are known to nibble on plants, pick vegetation that’s resilient and has sturdy leaves.

Finally, it’s important to consider the size of your aquatic plants when arranging them in your tank. Short, slow-growing plants need to be placed in the front and along the bottom of your tank so as not to obstruct the view. Mid-sized plants should be planted along the sides and in the middle of the aquarium. The tallest plants should go in the back of the tank where it can hide the tank equipment and provide your fish space to play and hide.

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4 ways to help snow removers get the job done right

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Thanks in part to the size of their tractors, snow removal service employees need your help to ensure that they’re able to do their job. Here are four things you can do to make certain you get the service you deserve.

1. Keep your driveway clear
Make sure your driveway is free of clutter. Shovels, sleds, hockey equipment and other winter accessories can prevent snow removers from clearing your driveway and may even damage their equipment.

2. Be careful where you leave your bins
Trash, recycling and compost bins should be removed from your driveway as soon as they’ve been emptied. Avoid leaving them in areas where snowbanks are likely to form. If you can’t keep them out of the way entirely, try to position them so they won’t be an encumbrance.

3. Move your vehicle
If possible, park your vehicle at least 10 feet away from your driveway so the plow can remove snow from it without having to maneuver around your car.

4. Remove ice
If your driveway is icy, you should use ice melting products or abrasives. Doing so will reduce the risk that you or someone else will slip and fall. It’ll also prevent the snowplow from sliding on the ice and potentially losing control. This is especially important if your driveway is sloped.

Snow removal service employees do their best to ensure your driveway is kept free of snow. This winter, help them help you by doing your part.

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4 kinds of people who should have a walk-in shower

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Are you renovating your bathroom and planning to install a new shower? If so, a walk-in shower may turn out to be your best bet. Here are four types of people who should have one.

1. Design enthusiasts. Imagine a walk-in shower with a mosaic tile floor and contrasting walls, or one with a sleek modern look perfectly suited to a contemporary esthetic. Design enthusiasts will relish the ability to create a space that’s functional and stylish.

2. Those with reduced mobility. Children and people with reduced mobility sometimes find it hard to climb in and out of a tub. Additionally, those who rely on wheelchairs can’t easily cross a shower threshold. A walk-in shower eliminates these issues.

3. Neat freaks. Because the walls and floors are simple expanses of tile, a walk-in shower is a cinch to clean. Including a handheld showerhead will make tidying up even easier, and designing niches into the wall for your shampoos and soaps will help you keep things organized.

4. Those with ample space. Walk-in showers feel more spacious than other types because they lack an enclosed shower base. To make it feel even bigger, opt for glass walls or do away with them altogether. Just make sure the floor slopes slightly towards the drain.

If you’re interested in installing a walk-in shower, be sure to hire a qualified plumber for the job.

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Gifts teachers will love

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Christmas is the perfect time of year to extend your thanks to your children’s teachers. Instead of giving them another “world’s best teacher” mug, choose one of the following gifts that’s sure to please.

• Personalized pencils with their name printed right on them
• A tote bag that’s roomy enough to carry all their work to and from school

• A personal laminator to neatly display student’s work (don’t forget extra laminating sheets)
• A gift card to a local coffee shop to keep them caffeinated while they’re marking homework
• A membership to a local museum to inspire their lesson plans
• A scarf to keep them warm
• A gift basket filled with supplies like dry-erase markers, red correcting pencils, glue sticks, grade-appropriate books and even classroom decor
• A nice bottle of wine to help them relax over the vacation
• A box of artisanal chocolates, because everyone deserves a treat

In addition, few teachers can resist handmade gifts, so anything your kids make is sure to be appreciated. No matter what you choose, don’t forget to have your child make a card that expresses thanks to the teacher for everything they do.

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How to enjoy the holidays without overindulging

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Food plays an integral part in many holiday celebrations. But when you have many social obligations in a short period of time, it can feel like all you’re doing is eating. Here’s how to enjoy the season’s festivities without overindulging.

Don’t skip meals
Eat regular meals throughout the holidays as this will make you less likely to overindulge at parties.

For breakfast, make some eggs or avocado on toast. These foods are full of protein and healthy fats that will keep you going all day.

At lunch, try a salad topped with a healthy protein like salmon, grilled chicken or legumes.

Have a light snack before heading out to the party to make sure you don’t arrive hungry. Focus on protein-rich foods like nuts or plain yogurt with fruit.

Stay hydrated
Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and in between consuming alcoholic drinks. This will help you avoid becoming dehydrated and will also allow you to feel more satiated and therefore make you less likely to overeat.

Get in a workout
On the day of the party, try to get in a workout. Not only does regular exercise help you metabolize your food quicker, but you’ll also crave healthier foods, making it easier to pass on heavier fare.

Making sure you take care of yourself over the holidays allows you to treat yourself without overindulging. You’ll enjoy spending time with loved ones and set the right precedent for the new year.

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How to choose a hanging light for your entranceway

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Are you redecorating your entranceway? If so, here’s how to find the perfect hanging light for it.

Determine the right size
To determine how big it should be, measure the length and width of the space in feet, add the numbers together and then convert the sum to inches. For example, a room that’s 10 feet by 12 feet needs a light fixture with a diameter of 22 inches.

Select the right height
Hanging lights should never be less than seven feet away from the floor. Any lower and they may give someone a bump on the head.

Choose a style you love
Hanging light fixtures come in a multitude of types, colors and shapes. Remember to keep the rest of your decor in mind when making your selection.

If you’re installing a light fixture where there wasn’t one before, hire an electrician. A certified professional will make sure that the wiring is done to code.

Types of hanging lights
• Abstract pendants are modern light fixtures formed into unique shapes.
• Bowl pendants have bowl-shaped diffusers that are turned toward either the ceiling or floor.
• Cluster pendants comprise a group of mini-pendants that provide the same amount of light as a single larger pendant.
• Crystal chandeliers can be made of cut glass or crystal and are perfect for formal spaces.
• Drum chandeliers are similar to drum pendants but have numerous light bulbs.
• Drum pendants are cylindrical and have a fabric or hardback diffuser.
• Globe pendants are sphere-shaped and usually made of a transparent material.
• Mini chandeliers are smaller fixtures that can be used in tight spaces.
• Mini pendants are slender hanging lights typically used in multiples.

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King Cartoons

‘Tis the Season

video

Front Royal
32°
Light Rain / Freezing Rain
07:2216:51 EST
Feels like: 32°F
Wind: 0mph SE
Humidity: 89%
Pressure: 30.34"Hg
UV index: 0
FriSatSun
38/36°F
50/39°F
47/32°F

Quotes

Upcoming Events

Dec
13
Fri
6:00 pm Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Dec 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Ruby Yoga will host a Holiday Open House Friday, Dec. 13. Doors open at 6 p.m. with free gentle yoga starting at 6:20, followed by refreshments and door prize drawings.
7:30 pm Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Dec 13 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
The Blue Ridge Singers presents its 2019 Christmas concert titled “Canticum Novum:  Sing a New Song” featuring some of the finest Christmas choral music across the centuries at one of the most popular events in[...]
Dec
14
Sat
11:00 am Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
December 14 is the 220th anniversary of George Washington’s death. Today we will learn more about this great leader of our country and celebrate his legacy. Refreshments will be served. For ages 7 to 18.[...]
11:00 am Saturday with Santa @ Warren County Community Center
Saturday with Santa @ Warren County Community Center
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Saturday with Santa @ Warren County Community Center
Bring the kids and your camera for yummy snacks, crafts, and a picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus! All are welcome!
1:00 pm “Clara, Little Mouse & the Golde... @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
“Clara, Little Mouse & the Golde... @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Dec 14 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
"Clara, Little Mouse & the Golden Key" @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Join us for this original version of the timeless story ballet The Nutcracker Suite. Follow Clara and Little Mouse on a journey to find what the Golden Key unlocks… Christmas will never be the same[...]
Dec
15
Sun
4:00 pm R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
Dec 15 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas Concert @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
The local community is invited to join the Randolph-Macon Academy family for an afternoon of holiday spirit with the R-MA Band and Chorus! The annual R-MA Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday, December 15th,[...]
Dec
17
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 17 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
7:30 pm Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Dec 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert | Presented by the American Legion Community Band Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at 7:30 pm Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus in Front Royal, VA
Dec
18
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 18 @ 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, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
19
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 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, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]