Virginia Johnson

Gari Melchers: Stafford County's Artist in Residence

In 1916, Gari Melchers, an internationally famous painter, purchased the Belmont estate in Falmouth, Virginia. With the exception of some European travel in the 1920s, he made this his permanent home during the last decades of his life. Area residents and visitors are privileged to be able to visit this gem of a museum which combines a glimpse of the artist's home life as well as a tour of his studio.

Growing a "Greener" Garden and Lawn

Does hot July find your lawn a patchy, scorched remnant of greener times? Perhaps it bothers you that your green recycling efforts may be countered by the water and chemicals that seem necessary to maintain the visible herbal greenness.

Why Even Have a Lawn?

Well, they're a terrific place for the kids to play. Summer evenings + cool, green lawn + kids = throwing a football. Red Light—Green Light. Badminton. Wading pools. Water games. Tire swings. Firefly captures. Etc.

Building Decks

Is there a forlorn space in your backyard? Does your new house lack individuality? Would you like another option for a children's play area, or do you just want a place to relax and entertain your friends while being a little closer to nature? If you're wistful about the good times you could be having with a bit more room, you might be one of the many folks in our area who are planning on building a deck addition to their homes.

Creating the Design

Striving for Success in School and on the Job

"Although workplace attitudes toward people with disabilities are changing, the unemployment rate among the job-aged disabled population is more than 60 percent, as compared with less than 10 percent among the general population. Two out of three people with disabilities are not working. And of those, two out of three want to work. With roughly $200 billion in benefits being paid out each year to nonworking people with disabilities, it just doesn't make sense for businesses to say they can't afford to accommodate people with disabilities."

Deafness: Choices in Communication

One of the first things hearing parents ask themselves when they discover they have deaf children is how they will communicate with them, and how, eventually, will their children communicate with the world. The decision is not an easy one. There are many factors to consider, including how much hearing remains, whether or not a cochlear implant will be an option, and whether or not the child has additional educational issues. Proponents of each communication approach have what seem to be ironclad arguments as to why their ways are the best.

Estate Jewelry: The Portfolio that Glimmers

Wearing a gown made of bonds and stock certificates is both bizarre and tacky, but there is an investment you can tastefully take with you on the party circuit this holiday season.

Since the dawn of time, woman has collected jewelry....
And, judging from the amount of it on the market today, she has thrown very little away. Whatever your pleasure—turquoise, diamonds, platinum, or tourmaline-you can collect it, wear it, and sometimes make a profit on it.

Creating Your Holiday Newsletter

Etiquette purists may shudder at a mass-produced family newsletter, but in these days of friends and family spread across the country, a newsletter can be an effective way to spread cheery news. After all, how much verbiage CAN you fit on a (mass-produced) holiday card?

In this age of free downloadable templates, digital photos, and inexpensive scanners, there's no reason not to try out a little technology to turn a yearly chore into a relatively enjoyable electronic tradition.

Some Tips for a Better Family Newsletter:

Modern-World Ways to Save

With food and gas prices skyrocketing, it's time to reconsider how we spend our paychecks. Even if you've got money to spare now, you could be looking at a downsized salary later or a period of unemployment. Unless you've been on the job for a while, that unemployment check isn't going to cover much. Better to rethink some everyday expenses so you'll have a bit of a financial cushion for later on.

There are some daily luxuries many of us think we can't live without. Still, there are ways to cut back on these costs.

Inside Ozone Alerts

As our area grows, the wide, open fields and shady woods that covered the counties and even some parts of the city in long-time residents' memories are becoming a thing of the past. Bulldozers replace tractors as common sights along the road. It's the pavement, buildings, and the inevitable traffic that comes along with both that guarantees a rise in air pollution. The future looks hazy from here—as well as hot and humid.