Day: November 1, 2017

Personality Profile

Barney Barnwell is Passin’ It On!

By Lori Welch Brown Barney Barnwell is Passin’ It On! Life is so busy that you barely have time for a yoga class let alone time to get to know your neighbors, right? Sure you wave as you drive past, buy Girl Scout cookies from their daughter, pass out Halloween candy to their lil’ goblins and all those other ‘neighborly’ things, but you can never remember if he goes by Charles or Charlie and you’re too embarrassed to ask again. Lucky for me, I had the opportunity to spend some time with one of my neighbors in the most unlikely of places—the Joint Replacement Pre-Op Center at Mt. Vernon Hospital. I was anxious as I reported in to the Center back in August, but relieved to see a friendly, familiar face—the face of my neighbor, Barney, who was manning the desk as a volunteer and checked me in. During the couple of hours I spent being guided through all the exam checkpoints, Barney left an indelible impression. I learned a little about his time in the military, his commitment to his volunteer work, and his passion for serving. Here’s what first hooked me about Barney—at 82 years young, he still gets up at 4:00 AM every morning and starts his day with at least a five-mile run. But what really struck me about Barney is that he not only had all the very anxious patients in the waiting room talking and laughing, he had them talking and engaging with each other. His bright, joyful mood was contagious. When I left that morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about Barney and the positive impact he was making on people’s lives every day. Barney was born in Charleston, SC and was just five years old when his father passed away. It was an…

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Master's of Cuisine, Wining & Dining

Chef Amadou Quattara

By Chester Simpson Chef Amadou Quattara Bond 45 149 Waterfront Street National Harbor 301-839-1445 When did you first become interested in cooking and what made you choose a culinary career? When I was 15. I did a lot of cooking with my mother on the Ivory Coast of Africa. She is my inspiration. Who or what has been your biggest inspiration(s) during your career? Francis Lavendour was a chef in Washington DC. I was a Sous Chef under him. What dish on the menu are you most curious to see how it’s received? For sure the Chicken Pepperoni Parmigiana. It’s unlike any Chicken Parm you have ever had. We pound the chicken into a 10 inch circle. Bread it then add Pomodoro Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella and Pepperoni. People always think it’s a pizza. What do you feel sets your cuisine apart from others in your field? Big portions and Big flavor. If any chef in the world (past or present) could prepare you a meal, who would you want that to be? My Brother. Chef Morou Ouattara from Kora Restaurant. What’s your guilty food pleasure? Szechuan Chicken. If you would like to see your favorite chef featured in this space, send contact information to

Arts & Entertainment, Featured Post, Last Word

Discover Treasure at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center

Discover Treasure at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center By Cat Holladay James and the Giant Peach – First Edition Roald Dahl classic uncovered by intern in Library of Congress Young Readers Center. What started as a typical day in the Young Readers’ Center on the desolate lower level of the Library of Congress (LOC), ended with a monumental discovery and a very excited intern. While shelving books on autopilot as she routinely did, a cracked and discolored spine caught Phebe Miner’s eye. And while she didn’t know exactly what she’d found, her gut was telling her it was important and her breath caught. Turns out, she’d uncovered a first edition. Between Matilda and The Magic Finger, the red-orange spine of Roald Dahl’s classic, James and the Giant Peach, stood out. As Miner gently pulled it off the mahogany-colored lower shelf, several things spoke to the treasure she had discovered. “The pages on the fore edge were yellow,” she says, “And the copyright page had a stamp and details about the type of paper used.” She and another intern “Googled” from the cheery Young Readers Center (YRC) reading room. The room was established as an interactive reading room in 2009 by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and oddly, is the only place one can touch books in the world’s largest library. Those searches revealed that the aged book was a prized first printing of the beloved children’s story. Miner says she was giddy as only a bibliophile can be. “I get to tell my boss that I found a first edition,” she recalls nearly jumping up and down to this day. Following discovery, the book was restored by an LOC restorer in the bowels of the Jefferson Building. Holes in the dust jacket were repaired and creases flattened. And while…

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Beauty & Health, First Blush

5 Easy Tips for Perfect Skin

By Jackie Edwards 5 Easy Tips for Perfect Skin Do you worry about your skin looking dull and lifeless? Many people today, especially women, worry about the appearance of their skin and spend lots of money on products which promise youthful, soft skin. However, there are many simple and inexpensive things you can do to get perfect, glowing and healthy skin without blowing the budget. Here are five simple tips to get your skin glowing: 1) The Importance of Nutrition We all know that what you eat and how much you drink greatly affects your energy levels. However, nutrition also affects the skin, which can look dry and suffer from breakouts if we don’t follow a healthy diet or allow ourselves to get dehydrated. A good skincare regimen will never balance out the effects of bad nutrition. Make sure you are eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and choose whole foods instead of refined foods. Whole foods are packed with nutrients and provide us with everything our body needs, such as minerals, vitamins and fibers. They can also help you lose weight and clear up your digestive tract, as they are low in added fats and sugar. Our skin is around 64% water, so the best way to hydrate it is from the inside. Dehydration will make your skin dry and flaky, and also more prone to wrinkles. Drink lots of water to prevent under eye circles and bags, prevent aging and wrinkles and repress acne. You also need to be drinking around eight large glasses of water per day. This roughly means around 64 oz. Drinking lots of water not only keeps your skin healthy but also helps your digestive system and strengthens hair and nails. 2) Wash Your Face Every Night Although this can sometimes feel like a…

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Arts & Entertainment, Last Word

A Pocketful of Mysteries

A Pocketful of Mysteries Miriam R. Kramer Despite our recent unseasonably warm weather, November will always be a month of shuffling through leaf piles and traveling to the Shenandoah and other mountain destination on leaf-peeping trips. We dig out our scarves and heavy coats to guard against frigid winds and autumn rains. Most of us want to relax before the holiday whirl of travel, parties, and family get-togethers is underway. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, The Likeness by Tana French, and Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie are the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea by the fire. This trio of classic suspense novels will give you a respite from hectic reality and take you on a dream trip to Europe as cold rain blows against your windowpanes. In The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith is a master of psychological suspense. Her clipped, matter-of-fact sentences present one of the most interesting anti-heroes of twentieth-century suspense: Tom Ripley, a small-time crook who dabbles in mail fraud while moving from one shabby apartment to another in New York City. The father of a casual friend, Dickie Greenleaf, offers him a trip to Italy if he will visit Dickie there and persuade him to give up his dilettantish pursuit of becoming an artist to return home and join the family business. Tom, notable only for his lack of notability, takes on this voyage from its inception as a method for metamorphosis. He lies skillfully and pathologically, making up stories about his origins. In the process, he gradually inserts himself into the life of careless, affluent Dickie and his resentful friend, Marge, who jealously guards against Tom’s intrusion into their idyllic Italian life. Through intertwining himself in Dickie’s life, Tom creates a new persona that he almost believes…

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Grapevine & Vintner Profile, Wining & Dining

Cider Week Rules

By Nancy Bauer Cider Week Rules Back in the eighties, I took a seat at the bar in a London pub. This was before pubs got all tricked out with pendant lights and scrummy snacks. Smoke was thick, beer was warm, and wine was for tossers. I was stymied on a drink choice, but the barman sussed it out and pulled a pint of hard cider from a tap hidden among the bitters and lagers. Lightly chilled, apple juicy but dry, lovely little sparkle. Mind: blown. May I have some more, please? Cider. Yum. And still surprisingly underappreciated. Despite a craze that’s seen cider drinkers increase from 6 to 18 million in the US since 2012, the sale of hard cider in bars and restaurants is still just a tiny fraction of beer sales. In Virginia, on-premise sales compared to beer are twice the national average, but miniscule nonetheless at just 3%. As a lower-alcohol, gluten-free beverage crafted for a wide variety of palates, cider is deserving of your attention. Especially this month, as we move into firepit and roast pork season. Here’s how to get more Virginia cider into your life. Cheers, mates. Virginia Cider Week Cider Week runs from November 10th to the 19th. Tastings, tours, and tap takeovers are happening all over Virginia. Pick a couple events and harvest a bushel of new experiences. See Cider Week events ideas at Thanksgiving. Think outside the Riesling and Beaujolais Nouveau this year. Cider styles are wide enough to pair a different bottle with each course, but if you want to keep things simple, try Foggy Ridge Cider’s ‘First Fruit’ The versatile sparkler will lighten the mood and both complement and balance the maze of flavors and textures on the holiday table. Save the last bottle for a post…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Urban Garden

Plant Based Essential Oils Boost the Mind, Body & Spirit during the Holidays

By Melinda Myers Plant Based Essential Oils Boost the Mind, Body & Spirit during the Holidays Ease into the hectic holiday season with the help of aromatherapy. The fragrances of plant-derived essential oils have long been used to improve the health of our mind, body and spirit. We are betting that many of our readers have several of the herbs used in the following elixirs in your gardens. Boost your energy and increase your focus as you work to balance work, family and holiday fun. Peppermint has long been prized for this and so much more. You’ll find it also helps relieve headaches and indigestion. Freshen your home with the scent of grapefruit. It’s the perfect solution when unexpected guests drop by for a visit. You may also find the grapefruit aroma, along with your company, help to lighten your mood. Use eucalyptus essential oil in the fight against colds and flu this winter. Just place a few drops into a diffuser on your desk at work, in your bedroom or family room. The diffusers come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. Some use heat, ultrasonic vibrations, fans or wood wicks to disperse the fragrance throughout the room. Others, like the Eden Aroma Diffuser, allow the fragrance to seep through the porous portion of the diffuser pot and into the room. Or use a eucalyptus eye mask to help relieve sinus pressure and sooth tired eyes. Just gently heat or cool the mask, cover your eyes and relax into a bit of relief. End your day with relaxing lavender. It helps reduce anxiety, relieves headaches and improves sleep. Turn up the heat and fragrance with the Ultimate Lavender Wrap ( Simply pop the flax, rice and lavender infused insert into the microwave. Place it back into the cloth…

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Pets of the Month, Pets, Places, & Things

Pets of the Month

Pets of the Month Jipsee Are you ready to run, run, RUN? Then we’ve got the gal for you with our gorgeous Jipsee girl! This goofy girl is constantly showing off her tongue because she is always in motion, and that can be tiring on a lady, but it doesn’t slow Jipsee down. If you’re seeking an energetic exercise companion, dash down today to meet your new puppy pal! Cello & Calypso This combo is a bonded pair with a carefree attitude and willing to snuggle with their human once they get beyond their initial shyness. Cello with his luscious black coat is perfect match with his bonded mate Calypso with her Calico fur. This boy and girl go together, so some lucky person will get double the love and affection, not to mention the joy of watching their relationship and being a part of it. Both senior adults, they will love living in a home where they receive attention and a comfy lap, have room to play and a quiet place where they enjoy a sunbeam and watch the world go by. They’re a perfect match for someone with a busy schedule who looks forward at the end of each day to being greeting by two loving cats who will treasure your company and care. Winfred Winfred is a beautiful snake looking for a family to love her and treat her to all of the finer things in life. Winfred first came to the AWLA abandoned in our parking lot in a Wegmans shopping bag. We quickly learned that outside of her aquarium, this beautiful Ball Python was friendly and affectionate with everyone she encountered. Our volunteers describe her as their favorite little snuggle muffin and she has stolen many hearts during her stay. This curious girl loves to…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Fitball Leg Curl

By Ryan Unverzagt FitBall Leg Curl This month’s exercise is the FitBall Leg Curl. This exercise focuses on the hamstrings, but also involves the glutes, low-back, and spinal extensor muscles. Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs straight. Position the center of the FitBall underneath your heels. Lift the hips up by contracting your glutes and low-back. You should form a straight line from your shoulders to the feet. Arms can be parallel at your sides or out perpendicular (like a “T”) for better balance. This is the start and finish position.   Slowly roll the FitBall toward yourself using your hamstrings while maintaining the bridge position. Do not let your hips drop during the exercise. Keep the movement controlled as you roll the ball back to the start position. The slower you go, the more difficult the exercise.   An advanced move is to perform this exercise with a single leg. From the bridge position, lift one foot off the FitBall a few inches while the other leg does all the work! This simple maneuver takes much more effort and focus. You will appreciate how much balance is required even though you are lying down!   I hope you are keeping up with your exercise routine going into the holiday season, will make it a lot easier to justify eating your way through Thanksgiving! Have a good one.

Financial Focus, Pets, Places, & Things

Focus on year-end tax planning

By Carl Trevison and Stephen Bearce Focus on year-end tax planning Our company is committed to helping you succeed across all areas of your financial life. Here are five considerations to think about when it comes to tax planning. Five areas to consider at year-end: 1. Analyze your investment portfolio. • Review your portfolio to help ensure your allocation still aligns with your goals. • Assess tax consequences if you have sold assets earlier in the year. • Review tax-loss selling strategies if you have capital gains but wish to keep exposure to a depreciated sector or security. 2. Manage your taxes. • Evaluate the pros and cons of deferring taxable income, if you expect to be in the same or a lower tax bracket next year. • Talk to your CPA about increasing your tax deductions. 3. Maximize your tax-saving opportunities. • Consider increasing your retirement savings for the year. • Find the right type of IRA for you. • If suitable for your circumstances, consider consolidating your assets. • Take advantage of an FSA or HSA for health care expenses. 4. Protect what matters. • Review your insurance coverage to help make sure it is adequate for your needs. • Review your beneficiary designations and make any necessary adjustments due to life changes (i.e., marriage, divorce, birth of child/grandchild, death, etc.). 5. Leave a legacy. • Review your estate plan to help ensure it is aligned with your wishes. • Think about creating or adding to a tax-advantaged college savings plan. • Consider developing a plan to complete charitable and family member gifts by year-end. Taking the time to create, review, or update your investment plan can help you reach your short-term and long-term financial goals. Contact us to schedule a review of your financial situation. Wells Fargo…

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