Day: September 1, 2023

Pets of the Month, Pets, Places, & Things

Meet Bronte Sisters – Branwell, Charlotte & Emily

By Erin Shackelford This month we need your help to find some very special adopters for 3 little, playful kittens. Emily, Branwell, and Charlotte (the final Bronte sister Anne has been adopted) are some of the sweetest, happiest, snuggliest kittens you could ever find. They will make wonderful companions — sure to provide their families with lots of entertainment and love. Unfortunately, they have all been diagnosed with FeLV (or feline leukemia virus). It is a common disease in cats, and we suspect inherited from their mom. FeLV cannot be cured, but it’s not a death sentence. Cats diagnosed with FeLV can live whole and happy — symptom-free — lives. However, their lifespan is usually shorter. The average lifespan of an FeLV+ kitten is 2-3 years, but they can live longer! FeLV+ cats should not live with other cats who do not already have the disease, as the virus can be spread to other cats. While we encourage you to consider adopt these siblings together, as long as they go to loving homes, they will be happy! All three are healthy and exuberant! They enjoy tasty Churus (wet cat treats), pipe cleaner toys, and feather wands. They’re just happy-go-lucky kittens! They deserve a chance to find homes and enjoy as much time as possible with a loving family. We know there are families out there for them! If you’re interested in talking with our adoption and veterinary teams about caring for an FeLV+ cat, please email us at or call 703-746-4774.

From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Sending Off Summer….

By Lani Gering I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad that summertime is coming to an end. I just celebrated my 70th birthday the end of last month with a very fun “Come Fly With Me” themed party at the Flight Deck at the base of the Capital Wheel a week or so ago and I guess I sort of consider that my send off to the season. I realize we still have a few weeks of “official” summertime left to cram some last minute adventures in but I really do look forward to the fall kind of activities. Football games and tailgating, roasted marshmallows and fire pits, Blue Ridge Mountain leaf peeping (during the week), Fall Wine Festivals, etc. I also look a whole lot better in fall clothes – you know…jeans, denim shirts, sweaters and cute fall boots! No more worrying about making sure my legs are shaved and tan and that my swimsuit tummy control panel is in full “working” mode. If you know, you know. September is also the prelude to the holiday season and Halloween is one of my favs. It also means that we are that much closer to the Christmas hullabaloo at the Harbor. Looking forward to welcoming Rudolph back to the Gaylord as this red-nosed icon is the subject matter of this year’s ICE display. Watch this space in the upcoming months for detailed info about Christmas 2023 at the Gaylord and the rest of the Harbor. Coming to an end this month are the all of the free weekly fitness classes – Monday Cardio Blast, Tuesday Dance Fitness and Saturday Yoga. All of these “get in/stay in shape” classes take place at the foot of the Plaza Stage. Cardio and Dance run from 7-8 pm and Yoga is a 10-11…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Single Space

Rockin’ into September

By Lori Welch Brown  There are LOADS of reasons to celebrate this month. First—it’s my birthday. Even though I have approached the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ stage of life, I am still 1000 percent on board for celebrating. “Bring on the cake,” I say, and then I silently pray it’s German chocolate. Second, it’s mine and XXL’s wedding anniversary (No. 9). Upon doing some research aka a quick Google search, I’ve discovered that the traditional gift for year nine is pottery. “Made of clay, pottery is carefully molded into something of great beauty and lasting presence,” per  “A modern alternative would be leather. A strong, durable, and enduring material that can also be quite flexible, and only gets better with age.” Leather it is! I do like to think we are getting better with age, and flexibility is the key to life as well as a happy marriage. Lastly, and perhaps most excitedly, it’s back-to-school month! Okay—that’s not actually true. Somehow, against all rules of nature, August has become back-to-school month. What the bloody H-E-double-toothpicks?! How is that possible? Well—since we’ve pushed Halloween to March, I guess it only makes some sense in some alternate universe. But, I’m a Gen X’er and for me, back-to-school month will forever be September. It just makes sense. Summer isn’t over until after Labor Day. Actually, scratch that. Summer isn’t over until the U.S. Naval Observatory says it’s over, and this year in the Northern hemisphere the fall equinox arrives on September 23, marking the end of summer. So stop rushing things. September is our ‘tween month when we get to have our cake (German chocolate, please) and eat it too. We can still enjoy some pool time, and if we’re lucky dig into our closets for a crisp leather jacket. Y’all know…

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Go Fish, Pets, Places, & Things

Take Me Fishing…Ladies First!

By Steve Chaconas The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) recruits people into fishing and boating, targeting young children, teenagers, and college kids. Women, the low hanging fruit, rock the cradle, bait youngster hooks, and are fishing’s future. When thinking of someone who fishes or is good at fishing, 8 in 10 women think of men. Ignoring this background noise, veteran Green Top pro staff angler Christie Bradley thrives on competition and opposition. Earning the esteemed position as the highest finishing female angler in a top level “men’s” Bassmaster tournament, Christie encourages and educates women and young girls on fishing’s benefits. “I’ve been examining what is it about me that makes me enter into male dominated stuff, like working in cyber security. I like challenging myself.” Along with barriers and participation challenges, RBFF research indicates that women who fish are happier and healthier than those who don’t. Christie says fishing encourages confidence. “It’s a snowball effect. As you master skills, you want to learn the next thing and you’re more confident and proud of what you’ve learned and you share it, a sense of accomplishment and that feeds the desire to continue to perfect other skills.” As female participation in fishing hits record levels, nearly half of female anglers don’t feel respected by the angling community and 1 in 3 feel stereotyped. While appreciating that the industry targets women Christie, pro staffer for Pure Fishing, Mare Marine, and Ranger Boats, says women complain about being underrepresented. “It’s our own fault. If we can’t put aside excuses, we can’t blame the industry for lack of support for us…companies are seeking us to represent their brand if we’re good representatives. We shoot ourselves in the foot, damaging our own brand when complaining. We have more opportunities than men, but women are so…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Points on Pets

Should I Care if My Cat Is Overweight?

By Alberta Frost I have adopted two wonderful companions from King Street Cats (the only all-volunteer, cats only, no-kill rescue in Alexandria, Virginia).  My first was a shy boy who is very solid and muscular.  When I took him to his first vet appointment, I was surprised that the doctor said, “this cat should not gain any more weight.”  Turns out, at the shelter he had been hiding all day only coming out at night to chow down on dry food.  His sturdy frame was disguising a growing waistline.  When he began to feel comfortable at my house, he started getting more exercise and, heeding the veterinarian’s advice about weight control, I switched him to canned food.  He slimmed down a bit. Now enters Cat Number Two – younger, more active but with a bit of a belly on him, and a great love of eating.  Again, to my surprise, at his first checkup the doctor said his weight was perfect; he just had an unusual body shape for a young cat!  The cats became good friends.  So much so that Cat Number One let cat Number Two eat some of his food at every meal.  Suddenly I have one cat who is a bit trimmer and another who – you guessed it—has become overweight. Obesity in cats is defined by the animal medical community as 20% above normal weight. Just like us humans, this condition is a growing problem and it has serious health consequences.  Obesity is the most common preventable disease in cats in North America, affecting almost 60% of domestic cats.  This condition shortens cats’ lives and increases the risks of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and urinary bladder stones. How do you determine if your pet is overweight and, therefore, at risk for these serious health…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Blame It on the the Bosu Balance…

By Ryan Unverzagt September is one of my favorite months because college and pro football are in full swing. Athletes have been grinding it out for the past month and a half in training camps and the weight room. Now is their opportunity to showcase their talents to the world. I can only hope that you can find that same type of motivation to keep working hard on your health. Think of how exercise makes you feel better. You have more energy, sleep soundly, stress less, and think clearer, but more importantly, you have more confidence and happiness in your life. If these benefits don’t get you going, I’m not sure what will! This month’s exercise is called the Bosu Balance Single-Leg Abduction. A great challenge for balance and concentration. You want to get comfortable standing on top with both feet before attempting just one. This exercise can be included in your warm-up and performed at the beginning of your routine. To start, step on top of the Bosu with a single foot directly in the center of the rings. I think of it as a bulls-eye. Line the opposite foot next to the planted one (Figure 1). Keep only one foot in contact with the Bosu before moving the leg out to the side (abduction) and away from the center (Figure 2). This movement should be slow and under control. Pause for a few seconds once your leg is abducted before bringing it back to the start position. If your balance gets thrown off (and it will), simply touch the non-planted foot back on the Bosu to regain balance. It’s also ok if you just step off completely and start over. I suggest using a mirror for feedback, but the goal is to maintain balance without looking down at…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Urban Garden

A Campaign for September!

By Rosemary Verey Autumn is approaching – here are some tips to ease the gardener into that time of mists and mellow fruitfulness. September is the start of autumn, when nature is having a final fling of beauty before quieting down for winter. And it is helpful to prepare a program or campaign for your autumn activity. We will be taking cuttings of our doubtfully hardy and tender favourites – verbenas, diascias, felicias, argyranthemums and pelargoniums. Do not forget the violas, rock roses, dianthus and fuchsias that are useful for infilling after the tulips are over. Most of our cuttings go on the mist bench, carefully noted with the name, number and date. If you don’t have the facilities to create a mist, put these cuttings in pots with a polythene bag over the top to conserve moisture. Hardwood cuttings are easy. We have a well-drained shady bed where cuttings 10-12 inches long are lined out, with half their length buried. For an extra shrub or two put these round the parent plant. By late spring they will have enough roots to move them to their permanent home. Try ribes, spiraea, privet, rue, honeysuckle, philadelphus, weigela, hebes and willows. Seed gathering continues into the September program. Gather seeds in paper bags, then transfer them into sealed envelopes and store them in your fridge. Sow some now in drills and watch out for slugs eating the young growth. We order new bulbs every August, many of you may have done the same. Some crocuses, both species and Dutch, scillas and puschkinias and others ring the changes, and keep up a selection each year. Plant the prepared hyacinths in September so they are in flower at Christmas. Paper white narcissus are wonderful for forcing. Put them on the surface of a flat…

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Beauty & Health, Fitness

Exercise – It’s Mental!

By Nicole Flanagan We all have mental hurdles that we need to jump before getting into workout mode. For some of us it’s just getting up and out of bed and making it to the gym first thing in the morning. Sometimes it’s the end of the day exhaustion that you have to convince yourself will go away once you get on the elliptical. Whichever problem you may be having here are a few ways to rethink a pre-workout hesitation. Don’t think: “The scale doesn’t budge, why bother working out” Do think: “Keep up the good work and it will pay off” Stick with the scale: Love it and you’ll probably lose pounds. In a study at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, of 3,026 adults who were watching their waistlines, those who weighed themselves more frequently lost more weight over two years or regained fewer pounds. Plateaus are part of the process, Stay motivated in the meantime by giving yourself credit for how much better your clothes fit and for improving your overall health. Fix the problem by changing up your routine. As your metabolism changes to accommodate your smaller size, you are going to have to change what you’re doing to keep your body responding and shedding fat.  If you’re eating light already (around 1,500 calories a day), don’t cut back more; turn up the intensity and/or increase the length of your workout session a smidge. This will not only burn more calories but also increase your cardio capacity, meaning that everything feels easier to do, so you can keep exercising. Crank the resistance on your stationary bike, push the pace of your walk or run for one-minute intervals, or add step-ups or jumping jacks between sets of toning moves: The cardio-strength mix of circuit training burns 512…

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Beauty & Health, First Blush

Fine Lines, Dark Circles & Puffiness – Ugh!

By Kim Putens “How can I get rid of the fine lines, dark circles, and puffiness around my eyes?” The eye area is the most delicate and where the first signs of aging begin to creep up on us.   Most often, it is the area that is most neglected until we see that first wrinkle. The most important thing to realize is that prevention is the best defense against the inevitable aging process. Choosing to use an eye cream at an early age is the best defense against those fine lines creeping in before we’re ready. There are also a few other remedies to weaken the defenses of those fine lines and to address other eye concerns. Aging – When we begin to age, the eye area is the first to show those signs. That is why it is the most important area to take care of. Taking care of our eyes is quite simple – moisturizer.  Keeping the eye area moisturized is key to maintaining its elasticity and keeping the crows feet and wrinkles away. Choosing an appropriate moisturizer is important. Too light of a moisturizer won’t be effective and too heavy of a moisturizer will just make your make-up a runny mess.  To determine the right weight of a moisturizer, look for a moisturizer that absorbs into the skin just enough to still provide relief and still be a little slick.  Furthermore, the right moisturizer must not be too intense. The eye area is the most delicate skin on our face and requires that we take great care to ensure it is treated accordingly. A moisturizer designed specifically for the eye area is the best choice. Choosing any facial moisturizer isn’t appropriate because they often contain too many active ingredients that are too much for the eye area…

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Let's Get Crafty, Wining & Dining

Tailgating Season Is Here!!

By Timothy Long I love fall. It is by far my favorite time of year. Oktoberfest begins in September and brings us many wonderful new festbiers to enjoy. Blue Crab season runs well into October. The torturous humidity of the DC area dissipates. It’s a time for blue jeans, sweatshirts, and sweaters. But the best part of fall is the way it kicks off, pun intended. In the last weeks of August, College Football returns and tailgating season begins! The great thing about every subject mentioned in the previous paragraph is that you can enjoy them all together. You can easily put on your college sweatshirt and blue jeans, go to any crab house, and drink festbier while watching your game and devouring crabs. My wife and I will do this a couple of times this season. However, as much as I love them, blue crabs are not the best tailgate food. They are messy. They draw tons of flies.  And the set-up takes way too much room.  So, we’ll deal with crabs another time. The tailgate is a huge American tradition. And it is not just about drinking before a football game. These types of celebrations occur in the fall, and have for centuries, when growing season ends and the crops have been harvested. The football tailgate is merely an extension of those celebrations. University of Notre Dame cultural anthropologist John Sherry states that: The idea of getting out of your house and feasting and drinking somewhere else is a pretty old tradition. People eat and drink and build up community in the process. It’s one last blowout before we hunker down for winter. It is believed that fans partied before the first college football game between Rutgers University and Princeton University in 1869. And legend has it that…

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