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What you should know before you adopt a bird

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Are you thinking about adopting a bird? If so, it’s important to do your research first. This will ensure you know what it takes to care for a bird before you make a commitment. Here’s some information to get you started.

Birds are social
Many bird species require constant companionship, either from their caretakers or other birds. Parrots, in particular, are gregarious creatures that need plenty of mental stimulation and social interaction. If they don’t get enough attention, this can lead to boredom, depression, behavioral problems, and even illnesses.

Birds are noisy
While not all birds talk, most will sing, whistle, chirp, screech, caw, and coo. It’s important to know that large species tend to be louder, but many small birds chatter constantly. It’s vital that you take noise into account when selecting a bird, especially if you live in an apartment building or work from home.

Birds need space
These winged creatures were made to be free, and most birds don’t enjoy being in a cage for long periods of time. Therefore, you’ll need to provide them with space where they can safely play and fly around, either in a specific room or area of your home.


Finally, it’s important to consider the cost of caring for a bird. In addition to their cage, toys, and food, your feathered friend will need to see a specialized veterinarian, which can be more expensive. Plus, many species live for decades, even upward of 50 years.

If you want to adopt a bird or learn more about what it takes to care for a feathered friend, visit a local pet store or animal shelter.

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4 tips for purchasing a video game console

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Video game consoles provide hours of fun for people of all ages. Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect model.

1. Backward compatibility. If you own several old games or want to purchase retro games, make sure they can be played on your new console. Some models allow you to use old discs, while others only let you purchase digital copies of older games.

2. Exclusive games. Every console has its own exclusive content, so make sure the video game console you purchase supports the games you enjoy most.

3. Graphics. Depending on what type of screen you’re playing on and how crisp you want the graphics to be, you may want a console that supports a 4K, HDR gaming experience.


4. Online play. If you enjoy playing online multiplayer games, you should ask your friends which consoles they own, so you can meet up and play on the same server.

If you don’t know much about gaming consoles, don’t hesitate to ask the sales staff at your local electronics store for help.

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A guide to using parental controls

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The internet can be a dangerous place for children. Cyberbullying, sexual predators, malware, and phishing are just some threats they can encounter online. Plus, too much screen time can disrupt their sleep cycle and negatively affect their mental and physical health.

Nevertheless, there are many benefits to letting kids use the internet, and parental controls can be installed to ensure their experiences are positive and safe. Here are some ways you can use them to keep your children protected:

• Limit their screen time
• Monitor their devices
• Track their location
• Increase their online safety
• Prevent unauthorized purchases
• Block inappropriate content

Though it’s a good idea to use parental controls, you should also educate your children about online safety and proper net etiquette. Explain the risks of using the internet, and teach them how to identify potential threats. This will allow them to develop a sense of autonomy and provide them with the skills they need to use the internet responsibly.


Remember that parental controls should be used to protect your children, not to invade their privacy. If you’re worried about your kids being bullied or some other issue, talk to them about it. You can also seek advice from a professional counselor or psychologist.

 

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How to effectively discipline your dog

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Is your dog behaving badly? While it can be tempting to scream, yell and get angry, these methods of punishment are ineffective and can be detrimental to your dog’s well-being. Instead, try using these techniques.

Reward good behavior
Positive reinforcement works better than traditional punishments. Condition your dog to behave appropriately by giving them treats and belly rubs when they do the right thing. Dogs like to please their owners, and they’ll work hard to keep you happy.

Punish bad behavior immediately
To be effective, punishments should be doled out directly following the undesirable behavior. If you weren’t there to witness the misdemeanor, don’t try to punish your dog after the fact. They won’t understand why they’re being disciplined, and doing so may create fear and anxiety that could lead to aggression.

Employ the power of redirection
The best way to discipline your dog is to correct their behavior. For example, if you catch your dog chewing on your shoe, say “No” and remove it from their mouth. Present them with one of their toys and praise them when they begin chewing on it instead.


In addition, it’s useful to understand that pets often act out when they’re bored. Keeping your dog active will often help get rid of pent-up energy and prevent bad behavior.

Lastly, you should never hurt, shake or intimidate your dog. If you feel like your pup is out of control, consult a professional dog behaviorist for help.

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How to make buying local a part of your daily life

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Do you want to help support the local economy and members of your community by buying from growers, producers, and merchants in your area? If so, here are some tips to help you integrate this habit into your daily life.

• Choose items made in the area. Whenever possible, select artisanal food, clothing, furnishings, and other products made by local craftspeople. You should also look for goods made with ingredients or materials sourced from nearby regions.

• Visit stores owned by locals. Rather than shop at large retail chains, opt to buy what you need at stores owned by people who live in your community. You can also check out local farmers markets, U-pick farms, and agritourism operations.

• Keep an eye out for labels. It’s increasingly common for food and other products that are made regionally to have an identifying label. If you want to ensure you make the right choice, don’t hesitate to ask a sales clerk for more information.


Once you make the effort to change your shopping habits, you’ll find yourself with a host of local products that you can’t live without.

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5 questions to ask before adopting a pet

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Are you thinking about adopting an animal? A pet can be a welcome addition to your home. Plus, it can improve your well-being and reduce stress. However, before you do, you should ask yourself the following five questions.

1. Do you have time for it?
Pets require lots of love and attention. They need to be fed and played with. If you get a dog, you’ll need to take it for walks several times a day, rain or shine. Are you ready for the added responsibility?

2. Can you afford it?
Pets can be expensive. On top of adoption fees, be prepared to pay for vaccines, food, toys and annual visits to the vet.

3. Do you have space for it?
Whether you live in a house, apartment or condominium, it’s important to consider the amount of indoor and outdoor space your desired pet will need. Also, some rental properties have rules about owning pets, so do your research before you bring one home.


4. Can you commit to it?
Consider the animal’s life expectancy. While some pets only live for a few years, others, like cats, can live for more than 20 years. Can you see yourself taking care of an animal in 10 or 15 years?

5. Does it suit your lifestyle?
If you’re going to adopt a pet, it’s important to get one that aligns with your personality and lifestyle. Consider the animal’s temperament, and don’t make a decision based on looks alone.

If you’re ready to adopt a pet, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local shelter or pet rescue organization.

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Kids’ Corner: Why is the sky blue?

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The sky is blue because of the way sunlight interacts with the atmosphere. Light is actually made up of all the colors of the rainbow. Once combined, these colors are transformed into white light, which travels in a straight line through the atmosphere until it hits an obstacle.

There are billions of tiny molecules floating around in the atmosphere. When white light hits them, it splits into different colors. However, instead of appearing orange, green, or purple, the sky looks blue. This is because the oxygen molecules in the sky only absorb and diffuse blue light, making the sky appear blue to the human eye.

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Upcoming Events

Sep
27
Mon
2:00 pm Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Sep 27 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
WARREN COALITION OFFERS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER Have you ever felt alone? Do you wonder why you react the way you do? Do you work with children? If you answered yes to any of[...]
Sep
28
Tue
7:00 pm Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Sep 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Dominion Ridge Academy is proud to host this free community event for parents featuring international speaker, author, and comedian Christopher O’Shaughnessy. Come enjoy an evening of laughter and inspiration as Chris addresses the themes of[...]
Oct
2
Sat
4:00 pm Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oct 2 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
October 2, 2021 from 4pm-8pm All are welcome to attend the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at Wakefield Country Day School. Loosen your Leiderhosen and get ready for Oktoberfest! This year, the Edelweiss Band is coming to[...]
Oct
9
Sat
6:30 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 9 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meets behind Mount Bleak. 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 Lab (JPL) Ambassadors[...]
Oct
14
Thu
5:00 pm 6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
Oct 14 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
Last year we did not get to hold our annual Wine Pull due to COVID. We are so excited that we are able to have this fun fundraising event this year, so be sure to[...]
Oct
30
Sat
1:00 pm Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Oct 30 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fort Valley Museum Fall Craft Festival – Annual Fundraiser October 30 & 31, 2021 | Saturday 1-4pm, Sunday 2-5pm Come by and support the Fort Valley Museum at our annual Fall Craft Festival (formerly “Christmas[...]
Oct
31
Sun
1:00 pm Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Oct 31 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fort Valley Museum Fall Craft Festival – Annual Fundraiser October 30 & 31, 2021 | Saturday 1-4pm, Sunday 2-5pm Come by and support the Fort Valley Museum at our annual Fall Craft Festival (formerly “Christmas[...]
Nov
6
Sat
9:00 am Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth C... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth C... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Nov 6 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Carriage Barn. Sky Meadows State Park provides a unique opportunity to explore the rich natural diversity of the region. Join professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch to learn about the remarkable fall wild[...]
11:00 am Blue Ridge Sprouts – “Nourish, S... @ West Oaks Farm Market
Blue Ridge Sprouts – “Nourish, S... @ West Oaks Farm Market
Nov 6 @ 11:00 am – 4:30 pm
Blue Ridge Sprouts - "Nourish, Savor, Learn" @ West Oaks Farm Market
A Festival for “Foodies” and the Whole Family! Love locally sourced food and want to learn more about the “real food” movement?  Be a part of this educational celebration and community fundraiser. Great for “tweens”[...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Nov 6 @ 12:00 pm – Nov 7 @ 2:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log House to see what tasty treats are cooking on the hearth. Watch as a Sky Meadows volunteer or ranger dons historic clothing and cooks delicious dishes using[...]