Weekly Feature Articles

Goats Got Your Goat?

When my husband suggested we buy a goat, I talked him out of it. From all I'd heard, a goat would be more trouble than it would be worth. They escape all the time. They eat everything they shouldn't. They get into all kinds of trouble. I knew a woman who had a goat that was always getting out and loved to climb on cars, leaving roofs and hoods covered with hoof-shaped dents. What would we do with a goat anyway?

Boots & Saddles: Beginning in Horseback Riding

Brilliant autumn leaves, snow-covered pines, blossoms of a rainy spring, or dusty summer sunshine—the weather outside is always perfect for horseback riding.

Jane Austen: A Timeless Nonpareil

Although Jane Austen lived and wrote 200 years ago, she is as popular as ever. Popular culture has kept her books and her life alive through new movie adaptations of her books, continuances of her stories, biographies of her life, and fictional accounts with Austen or her works as a source of inspiration.

The Subject Is Roses

If you are asked to visualize a flower in your mind, chances are, you will visualize a rose. You can find roses in a child's drawing, grandmother's wallpaper and the family room’s sofa. Roses have been loved for thousands of years, throughout many civilizations.

Learn to Keyboard

"Keyboarding is a motor skill," Nansen noted. "It is a matter of training fingers to respond correctly and quickly to press the correct key — kind of like in athletics where you keep doing it over and over again until it becomes habit."
—"Teaching Keyboarding — When? Why? How?" Education World, 2/02/2001

Join the Green Cleaning Scene

If you pay attention to the news, you've probably noticed a lot of commentary concerning the environment and ways to live a more earth- friendly life. Some recent green news articles include the Clorox's purchase of the earth-friendly Burt's Bees, and the United Kingdom's plans to say goodbye to traditional light bulbs by 2011 by replacing them with energy saving bulbs. With more than six billion people living on the earth, companies, governments, and people are trying to find ways to become more earth friendly.

Divorce Resources

Divorce touches so many families in the Central Rappahannock Region. But there is help! There are many resources available to assist people contemplating or confronting the sad reality of divorce. Here are a few suggestions:

I. Some Good Books

Many Marvelous Museums

One of our family's favorite year-round activities is a day trip to our area's amazing museums. In the Fredericksburg vicinity we have access to the wonderful array of museums in Washington, D.C. and Richmond, as well as more specialized venues close to home. Here are our family's tips for making your visit successful:

  1. Visit the museum's Web site for ideas about special exhibits and programs. Also check on the museum's guidelines about bringing in outside food, stroller use, and other related issues.

Christmas Cookie Madness

There are two types of holiday cookie bakers. First, there are those who faithfully recreate their favorite recipes year after year to the acclaim of gift recipients. Yes, tried and true recipes are successful… but they can get a bit boring! Do their friends really wait each year with gleeful anticipation for the same old pecan sandies and rum balls, or do they secretly yearn for coconut lemon macaroons and double fudge bar cookies? If you are one of these bakers, take a breather from your holiday traditions, and try a fabulous new recipe!

Creating and Sharing an Online Reading Journal

For years I tried to keep a reading journal next to my bed, ready to record my reading adventures. I'd start one, lose it, and begin another. Last Christmas I purchased Nancy Pearl's Book Lust Journal with high hopes of chronicling my 2008 book list. I haven't seen it for a while now, but I seem to remember the two-year-old running away with it, Sharpie in hand.

Obviously, this mom of four needs a different solution--something that a toddler can't deface with indelible ink and is not easily absconded with. So I looked for an online solution. It turns out that there are several rich social networking and personal-library-recording Web sites out there. I am going to talk about my two favorites: LibraryThing and GoodReads.