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Want to untangle Christmas tree lights? Walk a reindeer?

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During the Christmas season, supply and demand rules.

At no other time of the year do so many part-time jobs pop up in so many variations.

A tour of such websites as simplyhired.com and jobmonkey.com, among others, turned up the following Christmas job openings.

In England, the groceries and general merchandise retailing giant Tesco launched the nation’s first-ever Christmas light untangling service. The job description:

Manage the Christmas Lights Untangling Stand, untangle customers’ Christmas lights quickly and efficiently, check for broken lights and bulbs, put a smile on customers’ faces. Tesco also was looking for a hand-holder at an ice skating rink.

Elsewhere in the UK, a person was needed to become a human hot water bottle, requiring a special hygienic sleep-suit. Also, a professional tea taster was needed to consume 300 cups of tea a day, and a garden center was on the lookout for a reindeer walker.

Back in the U.S., Harbor Farm Wreaths in Maine was seeking somebody to move boxed wreaths into shipping containers, fill wreath decorators’ stations with decorating materials, haul in racks of wreaths for decoration, place wired tags on the wreaths, then haul in poles of brush and ask around if anyone needed help.

In Arizona, Christmas at the Princess Hotel and Resort in North Scottsdale was hiring conductors for its train depot cars. The advertisement: Come work where you will choo-choo through the holiday! Join our friendly, festive team of hospitable holiday helpers!

Meanwhile, in California, San Diego Party Lights was looking around for Christmas light installers to join one of the state’s largest lights installation businesses.

Applicants were to have experience with ladders, no fear of heights, possess excellent customer service, and be comfortable taking directions. Anyone who was not reliable, or did not want to work hard was told not to apply.

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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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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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3 Valentine’s Day treats that aren’t a box of chocolate

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Are you hoping to spoil your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day with something other than a box of chocolates? If so, here are some less common but equally decadent options that are sure to please and delight.

1. Candied fruit
Candied fruit isn’t just delicious in fruit cakes. It’s also great on its own or dipped in chocolate. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruits are common, but almost anything can be turned into a sweet, sticky treat. Try candied pineapple, cherries or even ginger for a spicy twist.

2. Pastries
Pastries are the perfect treat to surprise a loved one with on Valentine’s Day. Though you may consider baked goods better suited to breakfast, rolls, pies and tarts are just as delicious for dessert. Some good choices include eclairs, cinnamon buns, cupcakes, fruit-filled Danishes and croissants of all kinds.

3. Anything chocolate-dipped
Chocolate-dipped strawberries are a classic, but almost any food can be made extravagantly delicious by coating it in chocolate. Indeed, fruits of all kinds can be used, as can nuts, pretzels, cookies and even coffee beans. And when you consider the many different kinds of chocolate available, the possible combinations are almost endless.

With an array of options out there, you’re sure to find the perfect Valentine’s Day delicacy to treat that special someone.

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Seasonal

Happy New Year, 2020

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Let the bells ring, and the cannon fire!

Happy New Year to all.

January 1 is the first day of the Gregorian calendar year. It’s a public holiday in the U.S. and many other countries. Traditionally, it is a day when people analyze their lives and decide what changes or improvements they want to make in the coming year.

This day has been observed as New Year’s Day in most English-speaking countries since the British Calendar Act of 1751. Before that time, the New Year began on March 25, approximately the date of the vernal equinox.

On January 1, the Earth begins another orbit of the sun, during which it will travel about 583,416,000 miles in 365.2422 days.

In some countries, New Year’s Day is called “Everyman’s Birthday,” and everyone becomes one year older on this day rather than on the anniversary of their birth.

In the U.S., many people encourage fate to bring them good luck in the coming year by eating “lucky” foods. Some like corned beef and cabbage. Many think black-eyed peas or red beans and rice will do the trick.

Whatever you believe, here’s hoping you have a new year filled with love, luck, and prosperity!

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Upcoming Events

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, February 19 and Thursday, February 20: Come in for some great stories, songs, and a craft about our feathered friends, Birds!  Siblings welcome. Wednesday, February[...]
3:00 pm Cancer Care Center Ribbon Cuttin... @ Fauquier Health Center for Cancer Care
Cancer Care Center Ribbon Cuttin... @ Fauquier Health Center for Cancer Care
Feb 20 @ 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Cancer Care Center Ribbon Cutting and Open House @ Fauquier Health Center for Cancer Care
Fauquier Health will celebrate the opening of its new freestanding Center for Cancer Care with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and community open house this week. The new 25,640-square-foot center and equipment upgrades were made possible by[...]
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,[...]
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!
2:00 pm Paint a Wine Bottle @ Strokes of Creativity
Paint a Wine Bottle @ Strokes of Creativity
Feb 22 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Paint a Wine Bottle @ Strokes of Creativity
Come paint a wine bottle with Dottie Knob. Dottie will guide you step by step as you create a wonderful up-cycled piece for your home, office, or to give as a gift! This is an[...]