Day: July 31, 2019

Pets, Places, & Things, Single Space

My Sybil Summer

By Lori Welch Brown My Sybil Summer Anyone remember that 1976 movie “Sybil” about the woman with multiple personalities or perhaps the Netflix show, “United States of Tara?”  I can relate.  I don’t know if it’s the heat or Mercury Retrograde, but seriously—who am I and who is that woman who had a near meltdown because the nice folks at Outback forgot to put her filet in the sack at curbside pickup.  “Aye, matey.  Somebody toss her some bar-bee, stat!”  My inner Miranda Priestly was quick to let them know that she was not amused by their incompetence.  “By all means, move at a glacial pace.  You know how that thrills me.”  Mercury was in retrograde from July 7 to July 29 so at least I had an excuse for so many Miranda sightings.  Thank you, Mercury!  And praise Jesus that’s behind us.  Mercury rules planning and logistics and basically makes everything and everyone go haywire.  I don’t sit around charting my astrology, but I do sit up and take notice when Mercury goes into retrograde because that is no joke bloke.  Seriously.  I could set my Apple watch by it except that it stopped working. Anyhow, I survived July—a meltdown or two notwithstanding.  I’m adjusting to a new world view with my 89 year old dad who now resides in the guest room across the hall two weeks out of the month.  For the record—I’ve only had four roommates my entire life—three girls in my twenties and my husband.  My girlfriend roomies at least picked their socks off the floor and let me borrow their clothes and make up.  I haven’t shared a roof with my dad since 1985, and trust me, it was his house, his rules back then.  His rules motivated me to work hard to earn…

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On the Road, Pets, Places, & Things

On The Road

Versatile actor Henry Thedens of Hamburg, Germany was in Southern Maryland to appear as guest artist for a Fundraiser banquet held at Bailey’s Olde Breton Inn in Leonardtown on May 2. His dinner show, An Evening With Marlene Dietrich, raised just over $5,000 for Lions Camp Merrick, a children’s summer camp located in Nanjemoy, MD, which provides vital services to children with diabetes, impaired hearing, or impaired vision. In the photo he is sampling French fries with Old Bay seasoning, and Key Lime pie from Stoney’s Kingfisher restaurant in Solomons, MD. Henri wanted to be sure that the OTC traveled with him to his hometown and was kind enough to send photos. Hamburg, Germany photographs by Jorg Wolters Kingfisher Photo in Solomons, MD by Ellynne Brice Davis

Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

I’m Alive

By Ron Powers I’m Alive It’s been 7 years since the Hives have geared up for a major album release. Now they’re back and better than ever with a jaw dropping single called “I’m Alive.” A picture of triumphant resurrection is painted with “I’m Alive”. It’s the kind of song that makes you feel more resilient and capable. There’s a grit and toughness to it that embodies the advice Winston Churchill once gave: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” After a few minor and major chords followed by a rolling drum fill, the song erupts with iconic Hives guitars, and a chilling scream from singer Pelle Almqvist. In the background we hear bells ringing out, alerting bands everywhere that school is back in session. Listening to this song gives you the feeling that the last seven years have not been easy for the Hives. Throughout the song, singer Pelle expresses sentiments of being down, dead, or buried. On the first verse we hear the lines: “The light in the tunnel Was an oncoming train I was under the rubble But I’m back again” These opening lines and all that follow are delivered by steady knowing hands. “I’m Alive” comes with all the attitude and style the Hives are loved for. It also displays a new level of excellence that shows why many feel The Hives are one of the best, if not the best, bands in the business. On a technical level the production and musical arrangement of “I’m Alive” is some of the most impressive work I’ve heard from the Swedish punk rock band. It has everything you’d want in a proper banger, but at the same time there’s an epic and even inspiring tone to it. All this while maintaining that unmistakable Hives swagger and attitude. The…

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History, History Column

A Nation’s Character

by ©2019 Sarah Becker A Nation’s Character “Character, my friends, is a byproduct,” Woodrow Wilson said.  “It is produced in the great manufacture of daily duty.” Wilson, a wartime President [1914-1919], was born December 28, 1856 in Staunton, Virginia.  He was the Scotch-Irish son of Presbyterian minister Joseph Ruggles Wilson and Janet Woodrow Wilson.    Romans 5:3-4, NIV Archaeological Study Bible: “And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope…” A nation’s character, like that of an individual, is elusive,” World War II Navy and Marine Medal recipient John F. Kennedy professed in 1946.  “It is produced partly by things we have done and partly by what has been done to us.  It is the result of physical factors, intellectual factors, and spiritual factors.  It is well for us to consider our American character, for in peace, as in war, we will survive or fail according to its measure.”    “Inspired by a deeply religious sense, this country, which has ever been devoted to the dignity of man, which has ever fostered the growth of the human spirit, has always met and hurled back the challenge of those deathly philosophies of hate and despair,” Kennedy continued.  “We have defeated them in the past and we will always defeat them.” “In 1917…the American character was stimulated by the slogans ‘War to End War’ and ‘A War to Save Democracy,’ and again the American people had as their leader a man, Woodrow Wilson, whose idealism was the traditional idealism of America,” Kennedy explained.  “To such a degree this was true he was able to say, ‘Some people call me an idealist.  Well, that is the way I know…

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Grapevine & Vintner Profile, Wining & Dining

Three Days in Southern Virginia: Martinsville – Henry County

By Nancy Bauer Three Days in Southern Virginia: Martinsville – Henry County You already know way more than you think about southern Virginia’s Martinsville–Henry County. The region is known as the home of many household names: Bassett, Fieldcrest, NASCAR, Marshall Fields. Today, it’s also home to locally-crafted libations, plenty of culture, and lots of options for romping in the great outdoors. This three-day itinerary will have you shaking off the Beltway and I95 blues in no time. DAY ONE Check into Stuart Hill Bed and Breakfast (228 Spencer-Preston Rd, Martinsville) for the weekend; the Colonial Revival home built ca. 1910 is located between Martinsville and Stuart. There are just three rooms at the popular little inn, so book early. Hi/Lo Lodging Options ·      Planning a milestone celebration for a group of family or friends? Book the Stoneleigh Historical Country Estate (375 Edgewood Dr, Stanleytown). Starting at $800/nite, this 1926 Tudor mansion was the home of an early Governor. Chef, butler and bartender are extra. ·      Looking to go off-grid? Rent a yurt, a cross between a tent and a cabin, at nearby Fairy Stone State Park (967 Fairystone Lake Dr, Stuart; $75/nite). Stop at the Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center downtown for maps and info, and then walk a few blocks toward “uptown” for local fine art and handmade crafts, thrift store finds, and more. Grab a casual dinner at Hugo’s Uptown Restaurant and Sports Bar (25 Bridge St., Martinsville) before heading out to Mountain Valley Brewing (4220 Mountain Valley Rd, Axton) for the evening. Mountain Valley is one of the few Virginia breweries actually farming their own hops. And the only place you can sample these intriguing brews is at the taproom, they don’t bottle or can anything. Live music starts around 7pm. DAY TWO After…

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Go Fish, Pets, Places, & Things

Not So Fine Print

By Steve Chaconas Not So Fine Print Boaters would never intentionally go up a creek without a paddle. But they might be setting a course without proper insurance coverage. As an avid boater who also uses a boat for business, complete coverage is essential to my business and peace of mind. But sifting through coverages with insurance agents, aka salespeople, is like speaking Greek. Not understanding what you need or what you want could end up with incomplete coverage. Cost should not be the sole determining factor. First thing to do, according to Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), is to pull out previous policies and read them. Thanks to BoatUS founder Richard Schwartz, policies are a bit easier to comprehend, but there are still ambiguous areas and boating specific coverages. Surprisingly half of all boat sinkings occur when some small part below the waterline fails. On bass boats it could be as simple as a faulty or lost drain plug or drains or intakes for livewell systems. If a boat sinks it’s likely a total loss. “Consequential damage” coverage pays for losses that often start with a failed part that may be excluded under the policy, but most importantly, the rest of the repairs or total loss will be. After reading the policy, you might notice fuel-spill liability fine print.  Fuel-spill liability protects from claims for cleanup or third-party damage due to the accidental discharge of oil or fuel that can occur in a sinking, fire, collision, or grounding. This is where many policies specifically state they only pay costs associated with a fuel spill up to the policy’s set limit of boating liability coverage. While many boaters might find this acceptable, better policies separate out fuel-spill liability and provide coverage up to the maximum amount you can…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

The Side Plank aka Hover

By Ryan Unverzagt The Side Plank aka Hover Hopefully your summer has been filled with plenty of physical activities. This month’s exercise is an isometric one called the side plank or hover. The goal of an isometric exercise is to hold the position shown in figures 1 and 2 without any movement. This is a total body exercise. Therefore, multiple muscle groups are involved including the shoulders, triceps, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, internal & external obliques, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, quadratus lumborum, erector spinae, and muscles of the hip and outer thigh. Looks may be deceiving because the side plank is difficult to master. Balance, strength, and posture are important factors to pull this one off successfully. Even though no movement is required, balance will be the biggest challenge. If this is your first time attempting the side plank, try the position in figure 1 using a mirror for feedback. Notice that the knees are bent, but you should form a straight line from head to knees, meaning that your hips are forward and in-line with the shoulders and knees. Place the elbow directly below your shoulder with the forearm perpendicular to your body. This will help maintain proper balance. Place your other arm across the chest with the hand on your opposite shoulder. During the plank, focus on your spinal posture and don’t forget to breathe! Just because you are holding this position doesn’t mean you need to hold your breath. Figure 2 is the full-fledged side plank. This is the more difficult position because the points of contact with the floor (forearm & feet) are further apart thus creating a mechanical disadvantage between these two points. This means your muscles have to work harder to maintain the desired position. A common mistake is to let the hips drop toward…

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Financial Focus, Pets, Places, & Things

Goal-based Insurance Strategies Can Help Strengthen Your Portfolio

By Carl Trevison and Stephen Bearce Goal-based Insurance Strategies Can Help Strengthen Your Portfolio Similar to your investments, your insurance needs and related strategies change over time. As part of a smart financial strategy, it’s critical to review and adjust coverage at different life stages to make sure that you’re protected. “I refer to insurance as one of the cornerstones of an effective financial strategy,” says Peter Landry, Director of Wells Fargo Advisors Life Insurance. “You can have the best investment strategy, and you can have the best rate on your loans, but it’s also important to have the right type of protection in place. Insurance is an important asset protection tool for any good financial strategy.” Landry outlines four basic life stages that should trigger a reassessment of your insurance strategies. Life stage: Starting out When you’re launching a career, your insurance needs tend to fall primarily into the category of income replacement: helping ensure that critical expenses like the mortgage and college tuition are paid if you pass away. During this stage in life, as you’re dealing with multiple expenses and trying to build wealth, it’s important that your insurance strategies are properly aligned with your budget and timeline. “You may want to consider term life insurance—a good, relatively affordable solution that covers you until you reach your peak earning years and when you might see an overall reduction in your expenses as well,” says Landry. He suggests a level premium term policy that’s maybe 20 or 30 years. Life stage: Pre-retirement At around 45 to 60 years old, it may be appropriate to think about leveraging life insurance to help with retirement planning. “Several individuals in this age range may have maxed out what they can contribute to a 401(k) on an annual basis,” Landry says. “They…

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Beauty & Health, First Blush

Get that Summer Glow On!

By Kim Putens Get that Summer Glow On! During the dog days of summer, most of us need a pick me up to our beauty routines.  Forget the spa and save some money by giving yourself an at home facial.   Here are some easy steps on how to get a spa-worthy facial in the privacy of your own home and at a fraction of the cost. Step 1 – Get Your Face Squeaky Clean Use a good facial cleanser to rid your face of make-up and debris from the environment.  Be sure to use the right cleanser for your skin type.  If you are dry or sensitive, avoid cleansers with too many active ingredients, glycolic or alpha hydroxy acids.  If you are oily, be sure to use a cleanser that gets your skin and pores clean without stripping it. Step 2 – Scub a Dub Dub Get rid of dead skin and rid pores of the gunk.  Find a physical exfoliante – one with some grit to get rid of the ick.  Beware of physical scrubs that use nutty ingredients as their scrubbing agent.  These can superficially scar the skin and cause problems during your not so youthful years.  Look for scrubs that use perfectly round spheres to ensure a safe exfoliating experience.  Examples of such are those with ingredients of diathomous earth or jojoba beads. Some tips on using a scrub: 1. If you use on dry skin, you’ll get a deeper exfoliation 2. For a good scrub, but not too deep, use on damp skin after you cleanse. 3. For a mild exfoliation, mix the exfoliant with your cleanser. Step 3 – Put on a Mask Even Though It’s Not Halloween Now that you’ve cleansed and scrubbed away the dead skin, apply a facial mask.  Masks come…

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Beauty & Health, Fitness

Exercising in the Heat: How to safely work out in hot conditions

Exercising in the Heat: How to safely work out in hot conditions The dog days of summer are upon us and with the warm weather and longer days we all have a chance to get outdoors and enjoy some summer activities. Whether you are participating in sports or other physical activities during these hot months, it is important to keep in mind the potential risks that come with exercising in the heat. As long as you understand how to safely work out in the heat, there is no reason not to take advantage of what summer has to offer. There are many factors that contribute to how our bodies adjust in the heat. Air temperature and humidity play a major role in the body’s ability to regulate itself. Let’s say you’re running in 80-degree heat and the humidity is low. Your body will be able to regulate temperature easily because the environment is cooler than your body temperature—which is typically 98.6 degrees. Up the humidity to 95 percent, and your shirt is sticking to your body because the sweat is no longer evaporating. When the temperature outside exceeds our internal temperature, the body loses its only natural defense against overheating, which is the ability to sweat. The evaporation of sweat from the skin allows the body to cool down. However, when the humidity level is too high, there is less evaporation and therefore less cooling. This combination of high humidity and high temperature can be dangerous if a person is exposed for too long without proper hydration. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are two dangerous side effects that can happen when the body can no longer handle the heat. Signs of heat exhaustion include general fatigue, weakness, nausea, dizziness, muscle cramps, and an increase in body temperature. A body temperature…

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