Breakthrough International Ministry of Intercessory Prayer

August 31, 2011 by Contributor Faith, Lifestyle 2 comments

By Mark Gunderman

The present Catherine Marshall Center was originally the Lincoln school, built in 1879. It was purchased by Catherine Marshall LeSourd and Len LeSourd in1978 to house Chosen Books, now a division of Baker Books. Today it serves as headquarters for Breakthrough International Ministry of Intercessory Prayer in Lincoln, Virginia. Breakthrough is always open to new Christian Intercessors joining this ministry. As the number of requests for prayer grows, Breakthrough seeks a greater number of Intercessors. Breakthrough believes that God chooses and calls individuals to this ministry. Please pray for His leading about entering this work. Photo courtesy/ Breakthrough Prayer Ministry.

For more information you can contact Breakthrough by:

Wandering Back Home

August 31, 2011 by Contributor Columns, Sushi's Corner Comments Off on Wandering Back Home

Before the school year starts it is Mrs. B.’s tradition to have a fun family gathering around the grill one last time for the summer.

The cool evening breeze was settling in. Bernie and Laino where down by the fields near the Beaver Dam Creek putting their ponies away for the night. Mr. B. was working the grill and good smells began to fill the air. Mrs. B., family and friends filled the tables with yummy treats to compliment the dinner. Before I knew it, we all gathered round Grandfather under the story tree. I love family times like this because you never know what kind of a whopper of a story Grandfather will come up with!

Grandfather cleared his throat; ahhh um. Grandfather always did this as it bought him time to think and he stroked his chin. Then he began; Two wanderers in love … many long years ago … came upon a ledge of rocks hidden under some ancient maple trees. Beaver Dam Creek trickled quietly below, luring them in, to make this their new home. That they did. Midnights had come and gone. One cool evening after a storm had cleared, two young Cairn terrier pups were born. Both mother and father were proud of the son and daughter that had come to them under the moon and stars.

Nelly, the farm Border Collie and I looked at each other. Grandfather lovingly winked at me as if to say – hush now and listen. Yes sir! My ears are in full alert!

Many moons came and went and in the blink of an eye the proud parents knew it was time. They could not keep their son and daughter from moving on in the world.

And as it came to be, one night in the moon’s golden beams the brother and sister were gone. The sister went in the direction of Leesburg, where she would follow her dreams. The brother drifted towards Middleburg, where he would work as a great fox hunter.

Now, this is a story about the sister, whose name was Philomena. After she ran away from home she learned about life – with a bright tooth Cairn terrier grin she learned she could have anything from anyone as she understood human’s desires and their need for love. Always restless though, one human home after another, soon wore out its excitement and she would travel on. She traveled a one way path towards Sterling, as she knew her life would be more exciting than where she had been. Upon her arrival she saw the city lights at the foot of the hills. Her heart was beating and would not be still. The city lights beckoned her in. She shook her wiry Cairn terrier coat, sleeking her form with her tongue and practiced her best white toothy grin. She knew what she wanted, she knew what she was after, for Philomena loved to play and dance and grin. Sterling had what she wanted. Into the city she went.

It was the same way back in all the other towns she had left. Human’s would feed and care for her. Groom her hair for her. Be silly fools for her.

One shop keeper found her and knew Philomena would be the answer to draw more customers in. The shop keeper had a handsome dog like no other Philomena had seen in her travels. He was a real cowboy’s dog, much like Nelly there.

Nelly and I glanced at each other hanging on Grandfather’s every word.

The cowboy dog was sleek, long and firm in body. He knew he was different and not like the rest. Philomena grinned and danced as her heart leaped for joy to gain his affection. The strong handsome Cowboy did not play like the rest for he was insanely jealous. He hurt inside … because his shop keeper had brought into his territory a young little flirt. He shot Philomena a look, as if looks could kill, and she knew this young cowboy had reached his limits with her. He growled and he fussed at her, scaring her more, and he sent her away from the shop with her tail tucked under and her heart forlorn. For you see, Cowboy was the star of his shop, and no one but no one was going to intrude upon his thunder. Defiantly, Cowboy ran Philomena out.

Philomena was tired and sad. She decided to return back home. She had learned that the grasses look greener over the fence, but when all was said and done, life with her family was really the best. Homeward, Philomena trotted. Her heart was filled with joy as she remembered the love, peace and tranquility of her home by the creek in the woods. As she thought about the cool running waters, the shade of the trees, the chasing of butterflies and the honey of the bees, she realized that her home really was the sweetness of life and that was something she could have only learned to appreciate from her long wanderings.

She now knew that family is something you never forget and that the countryside has pleasures that are better than best.

That’s a lesson I had to learn as well, the story of home and family as told by Grandfather.

And so now my dear family, summer has come to a close and it is time to get your school books under your nose. Study hard for life is short. Good schooling brings competence, structure and responsibility. Make your Moms and Dads proud.

Come out to the farm and visit – fall is just around the corner! Love, Sushi!

Wow! I now have my very own email address!
Sushi@fields of!
I would love to hear from you …
please email me with lessons of home
that you have learned …
– Love Again, Sushi Rallies for New Park

August 31, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Our Towns Comments Off on Rallies for New Park

Fundraising Effort is On!

Skate Now is a nonprofit organization spearheading the community driven effort to build a skate park in Purcellville. Skating is extremely popular with youth in the area. Hundreds of skaters are anxiously awaiting the building of the park, and having a safe place to enjoy their sport.

The park will be located at the corner of Route 287 and Hirst Road, right near the Purcellville exit from Route 7. The site – on land owned by the Virginia Department of Transpor-tation – is very close to the bike trail, allowing skaters easy access. When complete the park will be leased through the Town of Purcellville. … Continue Reading

Mortgage Rates Reach Record Lows

August 31, 2011 by Contributor Columns Comments Off on Mortgage Rates Reach Record Lows
Real Estate Ticker

By Carl Fischer

Despite the gloom and doom so widely referenced in the national media, there IS a silver lining for those who can take advantage of it.

According to Freddie Mac in its weekly mortgage market survey August 5, “…the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular choice among buyers, averaged 4.39 percent this week, its lowest average for 2011. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage and the five-year adjustable rate-mortgage also both reached new historical record lows.”

So if you’re in a position to purchase a home, or re-finance the one you have, right now would be a great time to do just that. … Continue Reading

Saving the Phenomena in Your Back Yard ­– Monarchs

August 31, 2011 by Contributor Farm and garden 1 comment

By Debbie Burtaine and Nicole Hamilton

The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) enters life as a fragile egg laid on the underside of a milkweed leaf.

The egg normally hatches within four days. The monarch then goes through two additional life cycles, the larval stage (the caterpillar) and chrysalis stage, before maturing into a beautiful black, orange, and white adult butterfly.

As an adult, the Monarch has a wingspan of 3.7 to 4.1 inches. Males can be differentiated from females by the black spot found on a vein on each hind wing … … Continue Reading

Hunt Country Gourmet’s RESTAURANT REVIEW – Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm

August 31, 2011 by Contributor Dine With Us, Lifestyle 1 comment
Hunt Country Gourmet

By George E. Humphries

A major jewel in a most un-chain of 13 and counting area restaurants is Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm in Broadlands, VA, a short distance south of the Dulles Greenway’s Exit 5.

As a long-term off-and-on DC area resident (at the whim of the Navy Department), we have enjoyed the wide-spread hospitality of some of the elements of Clyde’s Restaurant Group for several decades they have grown and spread in the DC area. But it is not in any sense a cookie cutter chain. Clyde’s contains historic and varied venues such as the 1789 Restaurant, the Old Ebbitt Grill, the Tomato Palace, the Tombs, and the Tower Oaks Lodge. Willow Creek is solidly representative of the quality, variety, and reliability of all we have sampled. … Continue Reading

TV and Toddlers

August 31, 2011 by Contributor Uncategorized Comments Off on TV and Toddlers
Mike Clem

Dr. Mike, My friend refuses to allow her 17 month old to watch TV. She believes that early TV exposure can cause cognitive problems in development, and she even cited an article to make her point to me. Is this true? I hope not because my toddler loves Sesame Street. He watches a little in the morning and then a little at night. I watched tons of TV growing up, and I turned out okay. What are your thoughts? Am I a bad mom? – B. in Loudoun County

B., I do not think you’re a bad mom for allowing your toddler to spend a little time with Elmo and the gang. However, between watching television and videos, Twittering, surfing the Internet, texting and playing computer or video games, it seems that we are all spending more time than ever looking at some sort of screen, which does beg the question — How much screen time is too much for our little ones? As a psychologist, of course I am been witness to the extreme cases. However, over the past few years, screen time concerns rank up there for why kids and teens are coming to therapy. Presently, I work with several teenager boys who were spending the majority of their free time gaming in isolation with limited, and for some, no peer related social contact. I also see several teenagers who have great difficulty managing their texting time. More and more elementary aged children I work with can’t seem to get enough of their handheld gaming devices – DS, Gameboy, PSP, etc. Early intervention and planning is the key to successfully managing your child’s screen time. As the parent of a toddler, you are in a position to set the stage for healthy screen time for him for years to come.

I don’t know exactly which article your friend cited, but The American Academy of Pediatrics currently holds the position that children two years and younger should watch NO television and should have NO screen time. Children three years and older, according to the American Academy or Pediatrics, should have very limited screen exposure. Interestingly, some of the research on the Baby Einstein series has actually revealed a delay in language development for toddlers who watch that show. At the same time, complete abstinence from TV for our little ones may not be realistic for all parents. I think it comes down to time management and the mere fact that most of us are living very busy lives. Screens are wonderful distractions for our toddlers, especially at those times when we as parents have only two hands and way too much to manage.

I hold the position that abstinence is best but moderation in TV viewing is fine for our toddlers. The idea being that TV should not be used as a babysitter but rather as a complimentary activity to your child’s day. If you are going to allow your toddler to watch a little TV, then make the most out of each and every viewing experience. Be present when he watches and interact with him during the show. For example, if the Count is counting to the magic number of the day, then count along, or if Elmo is dancing, then dance along. Perhaps you could even schedule TV time as an educational activity each day, reviewing what was watched for greater retention. I advise against allowing your child to watch TV whenever he wishes or alone or for him to watch TV during meals or during other social activities.

Dr. Mike, My husband and I are in a serious disagreement and need your input. I’d like to seek treatment for our teenage daughter who is depressed and acting out in a number of concerning ways. My husband is opposed to treatment because he feels that our daughter will be “labeled for life with a mental disorder” by the insurance company. He also feels we can solve our daughter’s problems at home as a family by increasing structure. While I agree that we can and should be doing more as parents, I also feel we need professional help. What do you think about his point on labeling? – S. in Loudoun County

S., Typically a client’s private mental health record remains private under the Health Insurance Portability and Availability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). It is true, however, that third party insurers (managed care companies and insurance companies) often require a diagnosis in order for treatment to be approved and covered. Thus, there will be a history, a paper trail and a label for your daughter once she is in the system. While a client’s information is generally considered to be private, many of our clients elect not to use their mental health benefits to avoid a mental health diagnostic label on their record (or their child’s) or the risk of that information ever being discovered later in life.

I agree with both you and your husband in regard to what you should do. If you believe your daughter is depressed, she should be assessed by a mental health professional immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry with your daughter’s wellbeing, and if that means receiving a diagnostic label, so be it. At the same time, as parents you will likely need to improve communication and increase structure to help her through this difficult time.

For more information on your privacy rights and protecting your mental health treatment, contact SAMHSA’s National Mental Health Information Center at: SAMHSA, P.O. Box 42557, Washington, DC 20015. Telephone: 800-789-2647. E-mail: and Webpage:

Dr. Mike, We recently found out that my husband, who is in the Army, is being deployed to Afghanistan for several months, and he is leaving at the end of Summer. We would like some advice on how and when we should tell our sensitive 4 year old daughter. – M. in Loudoun County

M., Your husband’s deployment is going to be an adjustment for you all, but there are a few things you can do to make things a little more manageable for your daughter. I would not share the news of the deployment with your daughter too early, as you don’t want her to become sad and/or anxious over the next several months. Instead, enjoy your Summer as a family. I would let your daughter know of her daddy’s deployment about two weeks before his departure date. This will give her plenty of time, at four years of age, to process the hard news and prepare for his leaving.

When you discuss the deployment all together, you and your husband should talk to your daughter openly and honestly. Your husband should certainly let her know that he will miss her, but he should also let her know that he is going away to do something very important and that many people are relying on him to do a great job. It’s also normal and okay for your daughter to hear that you are both sad and that you will miss one another and to see you both sad together as a couple. By experiencing you in these ways as parents, she will be more comfortable opening up about any negative feelings she is having. Your husband will also want to discuss where exactly he is going. Buy your daughter a globe or map, which she can keep in her room and pinpoint Afghanistan with her. You might even want to look up Afghanistan on-line and have age appropriate discussions on the country – the culture, the products that come from there and the weather your husband will be experiencing. The more your daughter knows about where daddy is going and what daddy will be doing the more secure she will be in accepting his deployment. Also, have your daughter help your husband pack. This should help to give her a sense of additional control over things with the departure.

Before your husband’s departure, video tape your husband reading several of your daughter’s favorite children’s books. Your daughter can comfort herself by playing and replaying the videos while your husband is away. Your husband might also want to make a photo calendar comprised of several family photos. This will give your daughter a visual aid to remind her of daddy and your connectedness as a family. She can also cross off the days on the calendar until her daddy returns. Your husband might even want to make two copies of the calendar – one for your daughter and one for him. This way your daughter and her daddy will have the shared, special task of crossing off the days while apart.

The Armed Services is doing an excellent job of supporting deployed service men and women with their children back home. Your husband will likely have frequent access to Skype, in which he can communicate via computer with you and your daughter face-to-face. There are also several good books now to assist your daughter in making sense of her daddy’s being away. I recommend you have a few of those on hand. “My Daddy’s a Hero,” by Rebecca Christiansen and Jewel Armstrong is a personal favorite of mine.

Once your husband is away, be sensitive to your daughter as she adjusts to her father being away and watch for signs of distress. At age four years, you will want to watch for: prolonged sadness, separation struggles, unexplained crying or tearfulness, clinging behavior, regression toward a favorite blanket or toy or younger behavior (e.g., thumb sucking), social avoidance, bad dreams, and fearfulness in new situations. Should your daughter struggle for several weeks across her home, school and social environments, I recommend you seek out the assistance of a child psychiatrist or psychologist for support and guidance.

Dr. Mike, My best friend’s child was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and their pediatrician feels that his behavioral and attention problems were caused by Lyme’s. My son was diagnosed with ADHD in the second grade. He is now ten and presently takes medication and is in behavior therapy for his ADHD. Should I get him tested for Lyme Disease? Is it possible that my son has been misdiagnosed all along and that he is not receiving the right treatment? – S. in Loudoun County

S., It is true that some individuals are misdiagnosed with psychiatric conditions when in fact they have Lyme Disease. That is because Lyme Disease, if left untreated, can negatively impact the nervous system. Most people think of Lyme’s involving circular rashes and swollen and painful joints. However, symptoms of advanced Lyme Disease can include memory impairments, disorientation, an inability to concentrate, migraines, difficulty falling asleep and profound fatigue. Since Lyme’s is a deer tick borne condition, many individuals with the condition may not even be aware that they were bit or why they are now experiencing problems. Those with Lyme’s may very well end up at psychiatrist or psychologist’s office confused over their symptoms of Panic Attacks, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Depression or ADHD.

Early detection and treatment is the key to addressing Lyme’s, otherwise the disease can become debilitating if left untreated. So should you test your son for Lyme Disease? I recommend you consult your pediatrician on this, but I think you should. Especially since you are now concerned about it and you live in Loudoun County where there are a fair amount of deer, and therefore, deer ticks.

Now, if your son is tested and Lyme’s is discovered, he will likely be on a course of antibiotics for a month or so. If his attentional symptoms are solely due to the Lyme’s disease, those problems should subside. Keep in mind though that your son may have ADHD regardless of whether or not he has Lyme Disease. I am not sure how accurately your son was diagnosed with ADHD, and so you may want to reconfirm that diagnosis as well with a qualified mental health professional. Neuropsychologists are the best trained to diagnosis ADHD. Dr. Amy Gordon in Loudoun County is an outstanding neuropsychologist.

Michael Oberschneider “Dr. Mike” is the Founder and Director of Ashburn Psychological Services (APS), a private mental health clinic comprised of 12 MD and PhD level mental health clinicians. He and his team are here to serve our Loudoun children, teens and adults. To learn more about Dr. Mike and the APS team, please visit: or 703-723-2999.

They Always Make Me Smile

August 31, 2011 by Contributor Columns, Virginia Gardening Comments Off on They Always Make Me Smile
Donna Williamson

By Donna Williamson

The asters are starting to bloom. They always make me smile. The color is gorgeous in the late days of summer and on into autumn when so many other plants are tired. They are host to myriad beneficial insects. And they remind me of what a fraud I am.

My classes in gardening and garden design take place in the winter months. One of my stock comments is, “That’s a five-minute plant.” I’m referring to using a plant that has only a few days of beauty in a location where better performance is required. … Continue Reading

Back to School Notes

August 31, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Events, Lifestyle Comments Off on Back to School Notes
Back to School Fields of Athenry event 2

Backpack Safety
By: Christina VanDerHurst, D.C.
Perry J. VanDerHurst, D.C., F.A.S.A.

It’s that time of year again when children are returning to school; loading up their backpacks. Unfortunately, those bags are often the cause of injury.

The American Academy of Orthopedics stated that backpack injury is a significant problem for children. Fifty-eight percent of orthopedists have seen patients complaining about back or shoulder problems related to backpacks. The problem usually lies with the weight of the pack, as well as improper use.

Some common conditions we see associated with backpack injury are neck, back, and shoulder pain, arm numbness or tingling, poor posture, muscular imbalances and fatigue, as well as scoliosis. Children’s bodies are still growing, so it’s extremely important to care for the spine. By implementing some simple strategies, you can provide your child the best chance at avoiding potentially life-long problems.

In order to be as safe as possible, your child’s backpack and its contents should weigh no more than 15 percent of the child’s body weight. To figure this out, weigh your child and use the following formula:

Child’s Weight x 0.15 = 15 percent of body weight

Once you have that number, weigh the backpack with its usual contents and see if it’s too heavy. Remove any non-essential items that can contribute to the overall weight of the pack. Also, backpacks should be worn using both shoulder straps, and it should fit snug on the back, rather than hanging down.

Of course, the most difficult part of implementing backpack safety can be getting your child to put the pack in its proper place. Believe it or not, the most common injuries result from someone tripping over a backpack!

Drs. Christina and Perry VanDerHurst practice chiropractic and acupuncture in their office, Blue Ridge Chiropractic & Acupuncture, in Purcellville, VA.

Healthy Lunchbox Presentation at Fields of Athenry Farm

Tara Rayburn, “The Healthy Habit Coach” … “Mom-on-a-Mission” and author of “Essential Gluten Free Recipes” will do a special presentation on “The Healthy Lunchbox … What’s in your Lunchbox?” and “The Essential First Aid Kit”, Saturday, September 17, 2011 from 3 to 5 pm.

The event is part of Fields of Athenry Farm’s ongoing Farm to Community Heath Outreach Series, which brings speakers and experts to the farm on a wide variety of family health topics.

Tara Rayburn is a dynamic speaker, Chi-To-Be Master, Weston A. Price Chapter Leader and 2011 Conference Presenter, Young Living Essential Oils distributor and a Mom-on-a-Mission! Her mission is to share knowledge, experience and resources and help others live healthy “Pro-Active” lives by tapping into their own intuition. She empowers individuals and teaches them that health is truly an accumulation of our daily habits.

Tara will be flying in from Las Vegas for a special presentation at the Farm on how to pack a healthy and nutrient rich lunch and snack for all of us on the run.

She will also share great advice on how to send your child to school with a truly healthy lunch that will be the envy of all their friends.

Attendees will learn how to build and use an Essential First Aid Kit, and see how good farm food and essential oils have eliminated frequent doctor’s visits, asthma, allergies, colds, and the like.

For event pricing and registration go to

Market Volatility and Your Emotions

August 31, 2011 by Contributor Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on Market Volatility and Your Emotions
Amy Smith-BRL

“Market volatility: period when financial instrument prices fall quickly or go up by an unusual amount.” That’s a dictionary definition. Mine is more like the “I’m going to be sick” feeling that usually accompanies a roller coaster ride at my daughter’s favorite theme park. Unless you’ve not been checking your emails, reading newspapers, or watching television (a.k.a. “vacation”), you know it’s been a bumpy ride the last few weeks, and some financial experts say it might be like this for a while.

Here are some things you might want to consider before F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real) kicks in:

  1. Don’t Panic: No matter how careful you are, you can neither predict nor control the future. No one has a crystal ball.
  2. Know what you own and why you own it: When the market goes off the tracks, knowing why you originally made a specific investment can help you evaluate whether those reasons still hold and whether a lower price might actually be a buying opportunity. It is individual stocks that determine the market, not vice versa. Buy value, not market trends or the economic outlook. … Continue Reading

What’s That September

August 30, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Uncategorized Comments Off on What’s That September

By Mike Clem and Bob Shuey

Here is a heavy rusted metal piece found by Rosemary Stanger in the ground at her home in Round Hill. It is large-more than a foot along the base.It swivels in the center and has the following words stamped in it: “Clover Leaf,”  “Unloader,” and “Pat May 12  03″.

The item is a Myers Cloverleaf Hay Unloader. It was used to lift hay from a wagon or truck parked outside the barn. A large claw or fork was used to grab the hay and then ropes and pulleys on the unloader would hoist the hay up to the loft. The unloader was suspended from a track at the peak of the barn. The hay would be lifted and then rolled into place within the loft along the track. I’m sure some “old-timers” out there would know more about the item and may even have one still in their barns.

Raising the Rent

August 30, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Uncategorized Comments Off on Raising the Rent
Doug Frank Photo

Dear Doug:
I own a townhouse which I have rented out to a nice family on a month to month basis for the last 2 years for a very reasonable price. In recent months, my mortgage payment increased after I locked in to a fixed rate. I would like to raise the rent to help re-coup my higher costs, but I don’t want to risk losing my tenants. I have done some research, and I know I am renting below the market. Are there any rules about how to go about raising the rent? I want to increase the rent from $700 to $800. Is this reasonable? How much notice do I need to give them?
… Continue Reading

Brothers Revisit the C&O Canal

August 30, 2011 by Contributor People Comments Off on Brothers Revisit the C&O Canal
CandO photo

By Susan Thompson

The early morning air is cool as it floats up from the waters of the canal, drifting over the little hikers and their dad. The boys charge up the tow path, full of the kind of energy only 10 years old boys can generate at 8 o’clock in the morning. With homemade sandwiches in their backpacks, a discussion ensues as to who gets to carry the flag. After much negotiating, the coveted flag, made from a bamboo branch and an old piece of canvas, is jammed into the winner’s backpack, protruding at a jaunty angle. It will change hands several times during the day per negotiations. Time and location are duly noted by dad and ‘The Saturday Morning Hiking Club’ sets off on another adventure.

Fast forward 46 years. The 184.5 miles of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal haven’t changed a great deal. The trail bed is still clay and crushed stone. The trees along the path have matured since 1965, creating a canopy over the path. The Saturday Morning Hiking Club is a distant memory for the brothers but one that has brought them back to the Canal. They have returned, aiming to tackle the full length of the tow path on bikes. Gone is the boundless energy that propelled them down the tow path in their youth, replaced by middle-aged bodies that are less cooperative. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Trusting Science

14 Nov 2015


“The Four Corners of Deceit: Government, academia, science, and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That’s how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.” – Rush Limbaugh [1] I previously reported [2] on …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Some Thoughts on Veterans Day

13 Nov 2015


By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Veterans Day is a time to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and it is also a time to reflect and remember with gratitude. America is a free and democratic nation today, …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Phil Bolen Memorial Park

4 Nov 2015


I never knew Phil Bolen as the Loudoun County Government Administrator; I never even got to know him as Director of Parks and Recreation, and I certainly never knew Phil Bolen the teacher and coach at Loudoun Valley High School. …


Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Willisville

30 Sep 2015


You may never feel the urge to travel to this little, unincorporated community; it’s not exactly a conduit for commuter traffic, and there aren’t really any places to shop, or gas up, or procure much of anything else from a …

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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

4 Mar 2015

pot of gold

Hello everyone, this is Hokie Cat from Fields of Athenry Farm. Sushi is in big trouble as we speak and is residing in doggy dungeon. I am here to fill you in on what took place. My brother Mountie loves …

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Virginia Gardening

Planting an Allergy-Free Garden

5 May 2015


By Donna Williamson Tom Ogren has a long-time interest in allergy-inducing plants. He has written several books on the topic and in February released his latest The Allergy Fighting Garden. He explains why plants can stir up allergies and has …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

Choosing To Live in the Present

4 Nov 2015


By Samuel Moore-Sobel I love a good story. I love telling stories and hearing other people’s stories. Our experiences bring meaning to our lives, and help shape us into the people we are today. Yet inherent in storytelling is the …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

Amy and Dan Smith’s Planning for Life: Trusts

4 Nov 2015


A common estate planning device is the trust. A trust is simply an agreement between two people: the person who establishes the trust, who may be called the Settlor, the Grantor or the Trustor, and the person or institution who …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015


Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015


Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Blue Ridge Middle Places 11th In National Science League

1 Jul 2015


Blue Ridge National Science Day Declared Tuesday, June 10 has been officially been declared Blue Ridge National Science Day. At a recent Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and members of the town council signed a proclamation designating this …

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November 2015

Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours

Red, White, & Boo!

Mrs. Lucketts’ Haunted Garden & Playground


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours

Red, White, & Boo!

Steve Potter Live at North Gate Vineyard

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Elementary Drama Camp

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Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists – painter Karen Hutchison and glass artists David and Dale Barnes


Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Kipyn Martin Live at North Gate VIneyard

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The Essential Elvis Tribute Show


Christmas Bazaar

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The Capitol Steps


3rd Annual Bluemont (Juried) Holiday Craft Show

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


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View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015


Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input sessions June 4, 11 and 18 at 7:00 p.m. at town hall for the proposed sweeping zoning changes. These major …

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Good Government Reinforces the Family – Another Perspective

4 Oct 2015


By Malcolm Baldwin Who can disagree with the title to Dave LaRock’s September article in the Blue Ridge Journal – “Good Government Reinforces the Family”? But sadly he largely misunderstands what government has done and ought to do for such reinforcement. Many of his prescriptions would harm families while others would forestall any improvement in family conditions. His conclusions become …



2015 Loudoun 10K Trail Race Raises over $30,000 to Support Boulder Crest Retreat and Our Nation’s Veterans

16 Nov 2015


“I continued to be humbled by our community and all they do to make Boulder Crest Retreat a success. Jim Schatz and his team at Loudoun Road Runners are amazing. This trail run is in alignment with the rural nature of Boulder Crest Retreat and we look forward to the event every year. My personal appreciation goes out to all …

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Purcellville Cross Serves as Beacon of Hope for Highway Travelers

9 Nov 2015

Crux St. Francis de Sales

By Mark Gunderman The Crux Gloria was erected and dedicated by St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in November 1990. If you’re traveling from Leesburg on Highway 7, passing through Purcellville just west of the Berlin Turnpike exit, you can look to your right and see a majestic metal cross sculpture. Within the cross, the shape of Jesus appears to …

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Carver Center November Events

4 Nov 2015


The Carver Center is at 200 Willie Palmer Way in Purcellville. Call 571-258-3400 to sign up for the following programs. November 6, Friday Lunch and movie Still Alice 12-2 p.m. (ages 55 and up).  To sign up call 571-258-3459. November 9, Monday AARP Driver Safety Class 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m (ages 50 and up). Pre-registration required. AARP members $15, …

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Wild Loudoun

Wild Loudoun: of Chipmunks and Chestnuts

4 Nov 2015


Chipmunks are small, beautifully elegant little creatures, with large glossy eyes, a sleek brown body, a short, pointy head, dainty white stripes above and below the eye, and a series of black land white lines down their sturdy little backs. They have a very sweet posture – sitting upright and holding food with their two perfectly formed front feet, while …

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Around Virginia

Comstock Speaks on Syrian Refugees


Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) released the following statement on the current terrorist attacks in Paris: “After September 11, 2001, we tragically learned that al Qaeda was at war with us, but we weren’t at war with them. Again, with the recent murderous terrorist attacks in Paris, we have learned that …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Tourism Revenues Topped $22.4 billion in 2014


Statewide data shows increase of 4.1 percent compared to 2013 Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia’s tourism revenues topped $22.4 billion in 2014, a 4.1 percent increase over 2013. In 2014, tourism in Virginia supported 216,949 jobs, an increase of nearly 700 jobs to the previously reported forecast estimate of …

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Good Government Reinforces the Family


By Delegate Dave LaRock Working as the elected Delegate for the 33rd House District has renewed my understanding of the value of a strong family. After decades of raising my family of mom, dad, and seven children and building my family’s business, which provided countless opportunities for mom, dad and …

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Funding Sought for Scholarship for Loudon Students Participating in Youth Sports

4 Nov 2015


The Don Rose, Sr. Youth Scholarship Fund is seeking financial support to provide scholarships at college, technical or trade school. Applicants from public, private, and home schools are eligible to receive the scholarship, provided they participated in youth sports within Loudoun County. The fund aims to award two $500 scholarships …

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Leesburg Ladies Tennis Team Wins State Tournament

4 Nov 2015


Ida Lee Park Tennis Center’s Ladies Singles 2.5 Team, Simply Smashing, won the USTA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship tournament, held October 16-18, at the Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club. Simply Smashing members include team captain Beth Cioni, Debbie DeLadurantaye, Jennifer Fox, Robin Haast, Holly McMullen and Deja O’Malley. They train …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015


– By Andrea Gaines Loudoun County was heavily invested in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Loudouner Francis Lightfoot Lee was one of 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. More Loudouners served in General George Washington’s army than any other county in Virginia, and the county’s enormous …

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Mary Rose Lunde

Behind Closed Doors

4 Nov 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde It’s sad to say that the norm now is to wonder about the next school shooting. For a student it is the most terrifying thing, the next shooter could come at any moment, and any day could be the day that you die. It could be …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015


– By Sarah Nearis Look at these sweet and summery pink blouses and tops. Don’t you want to try one on? Some women are afraid to wear pink, thinking it’s a bit too feminine. But, pink comes in such a wide variety of shades – from soft mauves to fuchsias …

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Thank You for Another Successful Halloween Block Party

4 Nov 2015


The 5th annual Purcellville Halloween Block Party was the best attended to date with an estimated 6,000 descending on 21st street in Old Town this past Friday evening. Costume …

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Ethics in Campaigning and Voting

1 Nov 2015


My Dad used to say it’s what you do when nobody is watching that counts. Over 80 percent of my “zoning permitted” and “land owner …

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$17 Dollar Tolls-Ouch!

27 Oct 2015


Recently Gov. McAuliffe proposed $17 round trip tolls on I-66 inside the beltway with Chuck Hedges the Democrat nominee for the HOD 33rd district being …

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