Day: February 1, 2018

Pets, Places, & Things, Road Trip

Greenfield Inn B & B

By Bob Tagert Greenfield Inn B & B The February Road Trip takes us to the beautiful Greenfield Inn Bed and Breakfast in Washington, Virginia. Normally we all think of going to the mountains in the fall to check out the fall foliage, but there are some advantages to visiting the mountains in the winter. Although the green pastures and farm land have taken on a dormant brown color and the leaves have fallen from the trees, the farms are still active and horses and cattle can be observed running in the fields or feeding on the daily hay bale. Life in the country doesn’t stop in the winter, but it does slow down a little bit. This is the time to take advantage of fewer tourists when you visit the wineries and shops and eateries that dot the landscape. We selected the Greenfield Inn as our destination not only because of the history and beauty of this 83-acre farm but also because of its proximity to the towns of Washington and Sperryville, Virginia. The Inn is a grand southern Georgian-style 1760’s mansion surrounded by gently rolling hills. Its two-pillared entrance provides the gateway to breathtaking views in a relaxing, comfortable setting of understated elegance. Sitting areas and garden spaces invite you to unwind. Centrally located in beautiful Rappahannock County guests enjoy easy access to wineries, breweries and distilleries; antique shops; boutiques; spa; hiking trails in the Shenandoah National Park; Civil War attractions; theater and more. Greenfield Inn Bed and Breakfast is one of the oldest mansions in Rappahannock County. Built between 1767 and 1769, Greenfield, like other older homes, has had many additions over the years but the original 1769 structure is known as the Southern Georgian-style of architecture, which was the dominant style for domestic construction in the…

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Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

Music review for “Follow My Heart”

By Ron Powers Music review for “Follow My Heart” Music & Lyrics by Pauline Frechette Arranged and produced by David Campbell vocal version written & performed by Pauline Frechette Instrumental version features Stewart Cole on trumpet With her latest EP release, “Follow My Heart”, Pauline Frechette creates emotional music that is simple and melodic with poetic lyrics that tell her story.  The EP includes both a vocal version and instrumental version of the same song.  In the vocal rendition, Pauline’s technically demanding vocal is delivered with such a purity of heart and with such honesty that it created quite a visceral effect on me. I felt myself pulled into her world. In fact, I was caught quite unaware of how deeply it affected me emotionally. There is something about her breathy delivery of her intimate lyric that brought me back to the pains of my own early discoveries of love and life.  Here’s just a sample of her lyrics: “Follow my heart to a time when I first discovered love, and the summer wind caressed my salty tears.” and “Follow my heart to a time when I first discovered life, with the beauty of a symphony I cried.”  … “There, all alone I was one with the night. Barely breathing, capturing the stars.”  There’s something about that last lyric, sung with cascading notes accompanying it, that took me back to my teens – lying on the beach, listening to the waves and allowing myself to get lost in the stars. After falling in love with the vocal rendition, I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear it as an instrumental.  But I was pleasantly surprised to find myself again transferred from Earth into the stars with the strength of her communication being told in her melody alone, even devoid of any…

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Caribbean Connection, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

As St. John’s Heroes Rebuild, Visitors are Welcome

As St. John’s Heroes Rebuild, Visitors are Welcome By Jeff McCord Whether in their twenties or sixties and whether they hail from the Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, Dominica or Virginia, everyone is working frantically on St. John and St. Thomas.  It’s a post Hurricanes Irma-Maria race to repair and rebuild in time to salvage the usually tourist high season months of February and March.  Everyone is sweating and too busy for conversation. Galvanized metal roofing and any kind of window are in short supply.  New orders are weeks and thousands of miles from being filled. Yet, islanders make do. Building owners work side-by-side with contractors and day laborers.  Dented cars and pick- up trucks with cracked windshields and fenders patched together with duct tape and plastic fasteners carry available supplies to hundreds of job sites throughout the greening, blossoming hills.  Once unloaded, the refuse of blown out walls, mangled roofs and dead appliances is hoisted aboard and taken down to overflowing dumpsters and collection points.  What can be saved is reused. My family waited four months for electricity to be restored before returning to our St. John home.  So, we are playing catch-up with hurricane repairs, mold eradication and searching for materials.  We work side-by-side with carpenters from the British island of Dominica – best known as the bread basket of the Caribbean before devastated by Maria – and young boat captains and crew beached indefinitely by the loss of their vessels and employers. They are skilled mahogany and teak refinishers and painters. Three days before Irma struck, we had fled the islands to our cabin in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.  Friends who stayed and survived the maelstrom are eager to tell their stories. Some are harrowing.  A photographer spent the early morning of September 6 battening down his family home…

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Beauty & Health, Spiritual Renaissance

5 Good Reasons to Learn to Read Hands

By Peggie Arvidson 5 Good Reasons to Learn to Read Hands Palmistry can be used in many professions. It can also be useful in your personal life. Here are five good reasons to learn to read hands. Disclaimer: If you’re going to be reading people’s hands at work for any reason, make sure you have their permission. 1. In healing professions. I use this term broadly on purpose because anytime you’re in the business of helping people transform their lives I consider you to be a healer. Some examples: nutritionists; medical professionals but especially nurses; life coaches; business coaches; pastors; therapists; massage therapists and more.  If you’re a healer you want the best for your client. Pragmatic Palmistry can often speed up the process of whatever healing you do by helping you and your client focus on not only the symptoms, but the underlying challenge that may be overlooked. You cut out the time it takes to get to the heart of the challenge and get to work right away, united with your client and focused on the most effective way to get results. 2. In hiring/recruiting jobs. A long time ago I was a professional recruiter in a cut-throat industry. I learned so much about people, motivation and interviewing techniques in those years and loved putting good people together with jobs where they could excel. As good as I was in that career; I could have been more successful if I knew how to read hands back then. Palmistry helps a recruiter or hiring director clearly see the strengths and challenges of the individual interviewing for a job. If you’ve narrowed your search down to a few excellent candidates for a position that will require a great deal of concentration, quiet and focus you might think twice about the…

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From the Bay, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

Ice Boating: Winter Adventure with Plenty of Excitement

By Brian Buzzell Ice Boating: Winter Adventure with Plenty of Excitement I am frequently asked “why”?  Are you nuts!  Predictably, these are expressions of curiosity from my friends in Alexandria, not those of my childhood growing up on Delavan Lake, Wis.  What I am describing to my neighbors and friends in Old Town is the sport of iceboating.  Arguably, the coldest sport in the world with wind chill numbers that are mind numbing. From mid-December to mid-March, weather conditions permitting, one will see ice boaters gliding across lakes or tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay.  The sport of ice boating can be found any where in the world where a body of water freezes to the depth of at least 4-6 inches without substantial snow cover.  Additionally, there must be sufficient size to allow for maneuvering room to sail the boat safely.  The world capital of iceboating is Lake Geneva, Wis. the next lake over from Delavan Lake. The Potomac River will normally freeze over especially above the 14th street Bridge most winters.  In 1966, I remember walking on the ice by the Lincoln Memorial my freshman year at GWU.  That winter parts of the Chesapeake Bay froze solid enough for some limited iceboating by smaller iceboats.  I am sure there are some old-timers in the area that can tell similar tales of seeing iceboats on the Bay. Iceboating is not new; it is not a sport derived from advances in technology associated with the past 100 years.  In fact, there were iceboats on the canals of the Netherlands in the 1600’s to move cargo.  Controlled from the back, stern-steered they were the boats that came with the settlers to the New York City area and the Hudson River in the 1700’s.  It wasn’t long before Americans figured out how to…

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Arts & Entertainment, Gallery Beat

Erik Thor Sandberg at the Katzen!

Erik Thor Sandberg at the Katzen! By F. Lennox Campello I should start this column by writing: “If you see only one art show this year…” but then, I suspect and hope that most of you who read this column see more than one art show a year. Do not miss the fantastic show by DC area painter Erik Thor Sandberg at the American University Museum – Katzen Arts Center (through March 11, 2018). The news release tells me that this “exhibition features a series of new paintings by American artist Erik Thor Sandberg within the context of selected earlier works. Sandberg is known internationally for pushing the skillful illusionism of master oil painting to the current edge of Magic Realism on three-dimensional wood panels of his own design. Grounded in humanism, Sandberg’s paintings present a compelling contemporary expression of how people connect with each other, nature and basic elements of life.” That is all true, but, since I’ve known Sandberg (and have admired his works since he was an art student under the great Margarida Kendall Hull at George Washington University – in my reckoning the greatest realist teacher ever to grace a DMV art school classroom) for several decades now, I can add also that Sandberg’s exceptional artistic talent goes beyond “skillful illusionism” and (in addition to that) is also augmented with a healthy dose of psychological kung fu that reaches into the solar plexus of one’s mind with the punching power of a Bruce Lee on steroids. What Sandberg paints on his canvas are gorgeous mind hooks that ensnare the viewer and hypnotizes the casual observer beyond what a “normal painting” would offer.  Early in his career, Sandberg was often compared to the creations of Hieronymus Bosch, the fantastical and somewhat macabre Dutch 1400s master who populated…

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Arts & Entertainment, Events, Events

Alexandria February Calendar of Events

Alexandria February Calendar of Events Thousands will join in the revelry for the 286th anniversary of George Washington’s birth in his adopted hometown of Alexandria, Virginia. The city celebrates the General’s birthday throughout the month of February with 16 festive events, including the George Washington Birthday Parade, a Cherry Challenge among Alexandria’s restaurants, free admission to historic sites, popular walking tours and an 18th-century banquet and ball. Alexandria is a “best of” when it comes to the spectrum of sites and special events associated with General Washington. With George Washington’s Mount Vernon just eight miles south of historic Old Town, more than 140 locations in present-day Alexandria are associated with the nation’s first president who conducted business, gathered with friends, worshiped and even owned a townhouse in the city. For complete event information, visit Parade & Featured Events 19th George Washington Birthday Parade 1-3 pm Old Town Alexandria The nation’s largest George Washington Birthday parade marches a one-mile route through the streets of Old Town Alexandria. This community parade honors one of the Alexandria’s favorite sons. For more information, including parking, maps, route and status, visit or call 703-829-6640. FREE. Jan 28th through Feb 11th Cherry Challenge In honor of George Washington’s birthday, participating Alexandria restaurants will create unique, cherry-centric dishes in celebration of one of the most cherished legends surrounding our first president. This year features dishes from dozens of restaurants, including Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap, Junction Bakery & Bistro and Jackson 20, and from every area of Alexandria—Old Town, Del Ray, the West End, and along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Patrons rate their favorite dishes, and winners are given special recognition at the George Washington Birthday Parade. A “Frequent Cherry Diner Award” will go to the customer who buys and rates the most Cherry Challenge entries. For more information, visit or…

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