Weekly Feature Articles

Plan a Perfect Picnic

The long, lazy days of summer aren't quite over, and in Virginia, picnic weather continues through most of the fall, to include tailgate season. The library's shelves are brimming with cookbooks of all kinds to suit most every taste. Come browse our shelves, and try out some new recipes for your next friendly get-together in the sweet sunshine.

Just Peachy!

Quick Jumps to Recipes
Peach Ice Creams: Low Fat or Organic | Western Slope Peach Salsa | The Duchess of Windsor's Spiced Peaches

No sodium. No cholesterol. Extremely low in fat. High in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and niacin as well being sweet and juicy—what's not to love about a peach? Unless sugar is a concern, they are certainly one of summer's most delightful guilt-free treats, and they are in season locally.

Legendary Origins

Muddling Through Midlife

Good health, enough wealth, long life, happy families—the stuff that dreams are made of. But most Americans' lives fall short in one or more of these areas, and often it's the midlife years (40s to 50s) where things start to go haywire. If you're one of the many, many people who feel that just when they got the hang of the game, the rules completely changed, read on.

 

Work, Retirement, and Financial Planning

What's different about money management at midlife?

Discovering Jacques Cousteau

Naval officer, inventor, explorer, environmentalist, filmmaker, writer, and international media sensation—Jacques-Yves Cousteau's life was the stuff of legends. He was born in June of 1910. In our modern era of environmental concerns and done-nothing celebs, it's time to revisit the life and work of an extraordinary man.

Childhood among the Rich

Games for Everyone

Counter-culture revolutionary that I’m not, I am nonetheless always on the lookout for media that has been produced outside the mainstream. The catchall term for such media is “indie,” though such a mass grouping for what is actually a very diverse market is woefully oversimplified. But you get the idea:

The Mediterranean Diet - Che Cos'e'?

Nutrition and weight loss, two hot topics you can't avoid. Pick up any magazine or newspaper, listen to any news show, talk to any doctor, friend, or co-worker and the topic is bound to come up. Oddly, for all our interest in nutrition and weight loss, Americans have never been heavier. Fad diets abound but don't seem to work. How about a new diet—a new diet that's been around for centuries? A diet that lets you eat normal food, is tasty, filling and can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure? Sound too good to be true? Well, the Mediterranean Diet is all of these things.

A Backyard Oasis

Sitting by a garden pond, watching bright fish weave their way through tangles of lilies while listening to sounds of rushing water—does this sound good to you? When we moved into our house we inherited a fish tank and found out just how nice it was. Unfortunately, the tank resembled a moonshine bathtub. So we have decided to give the fish a new home. Planning the pond has been fun, but there are a lot of things to consider before you start digging.

One Father's Homeschooling Experience

When we were expecting our first child, I started talking with my wife about homeschooling—which I now prefer to call unschooling. She agreed, and we have never regretted it. Raised to be independent learners, both children did well on their college entrance exams and are now away at college.

Daylilies: Beauty for a Day

I’ve gardened for years, both flowers and vegetables, and am a Master Gardener. My passion, though, is selecting, growing, and enjoying cultivated daylilies. Daylilies (hemerocallis lilioasphodelus, Greek for 'beauty for a day') are so named as each bloom lasts one day, yet the plants may be loaded with blooms, opening over several days, if not a couple of weeks. Daylilies come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They generally range from about 12” to 46” tall and have blooms from about 2” to 8” across! Colors include cream, pink, peach, wine, almost black, red, orange, yellow, and variations and combinations of those colors.

Meant to Be Read Aloud

"In a poem, the secrets of the poem give it its tension and gift of emerging sense and form, so that it’s not always the flowering in the poem and the specific images that make it memorable, but the tensions and physicality, the rhythms, the underlying song.

The high spots of a poem could be said to correspond with the bloom in the garden. But you need the compositional entity in order to convey the weight and force of the poem’s motion, of its emerging meaning.