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The Woodbridge VA Connection, Issue #001 -- 2010 Resolutions...
January 15, 2010

2010 Resolutions

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Table of Contents

1)Site URLs

2)Introduction: Resolutions For 2010

3)Our "Big Back Yard"

4)New Pages:

Holiday Recipes
Wedding Shopping Guide
Gardening

Arts, Crafts and Hobbies

5)Featured Visitor FAQs: Preschool and Child Care Reviews

6)Recipe of the month: Leftover Soup

URLS for Living In Woodbridge VA

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You’re invited to build a page at Living In Woodbridge VA!

In January 2010 - showcase your Hobbies & Crafts talents by creating your own crafting page on our site.

It's as easy as filling out a form and we'll do the rest. On the Site Blog, toggle open the link titled "Tell Your Story". Fill out the form and we'll do the rest.

"No strings attached" - go ahead, establish your presence on the web by building your page at Living In Woodbridge VA.

You can include photos - visitors can add their comments or post questions. Be sure to let everyone know if you participate in a local craft fair or show.

We're building a Crafts section for the website and your submissions will be transferred to that page as soon as the page goes live.

Until then, they will automatically appear on the blog page.

Just because this months topic is all about crafting, it does not mean you cannot build a page on a different topic, or more than a single page.

  • Do you offer a service?
  • Would you like to post a review for a preschool in the Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, Dale City, Dumfries or Montclair zip codes?
  • Enjoy a particular restaurant? Do tell!
  • Planning an event of interest to local residents? Share it with our visitors and start a thread...

Is cooking your hobby? Looking for a recipe? Need a menu for a special event? I started a Holiday Recipes section but it can easily be subdivided into many categories.

Ask me about my hobby...I've dabbled in a variety of crafts over the years and participated in countless craft shows and fairs but knitting and sewing are still tops on the list. In fact, I'm "never not knitting". Love to cook too!

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Welcome!

Happy New Year and welcome to the first issue of the Woodbridge VA Connection newsletter.

We thank you for subscribing and encourage the participation of all readers. We've made it super easy for everyone to participate by building their own page on our site.

If you don't see the topic you would like to "moderate" or open for discussion, please let us know and we will build the appropriate invitation thus opening a platform for your topic. We do need to approve all submissions to ensure they remain on topic but it really is as easy as 1, 2 and 3!

Introduction: Resolutions For 2010

Have you set any goals for 2010?

Mine include making a concerted effort to organize my recipe clippings into a heritage cookbook - as a family, we already prepare recipe handouts for family gatherings to grow each others recipe collections.

With experience editing a "fund raiser" recipe book, I decided to use the very same method for my personal recipes. In the meantime, I'll share many recipes on this site.

They will include recipes gleaned from a collection of hand written notes and vintage cooking booklets dating all the way back to the late 1800's and the turn of the century.

Photography has been a life long hobby and I've also taken it upon myself to organize and preserve over 60 years of family photos. A daunting task to say the least...We have fading black and white prints, small and large format color slides and trunk loads of prints in all shapes and sizes.

I would like to transfer them all into digital formatting, enhance or try to repair those which were accidentally dumped into the Mediterranean when all our household effects were being transferred from ship to shore. Not only was it was a memorable event to witness but it turned into a crash course in how to rescue, salvage and rehabilitate your worldly goods to see another day. Even the car took a dive! Anyway...the end result would be a collection of scrapbooks, no doubt in quantities sufficient to open a mini library. Speaking of crafts? Are you into scrapbooking?

Other resolutions include:

  • de-cluttering via eBay, Woodbridge FreeCycle and any other method!. I now own my eBay traffic and it works like a charm when the time comes to recycling accumulated items that can qualify for the "new with tag" label - I have quite a few of those!
  • Doing much more research on the family genealogy to include DNA research.
  • Doing more in the way of knitting for our troops with one of the following organizations:

Ships Project

Project Helmetliner
Yes, it gets really cold up in the mountains of Afghanistan and Project Helmetliner is always happy to receive knit helmet liners and scarves knit in 100% wool yarn. Along with the requirement that the yarn be 100% wool [I love using Patons© Classic Merino], only the following colors - black, charcoal, brown and tan - are accepted. Patterns are available at: www.citizensam.org.

Operation Toasty Toes
Crochet enthusiasts will love this group...knitters too. They produce a variety of knits and ship them to military personnel stationed overseas. Be sure to use their patterns. For more information and patterns visit www.operationtoastytoes.org.

Knit Your Bit dates back to World War II. They still provide knits for veterans across the country. Every year, they post a new pattern.

Afghanistan was home for more than three years and I know first-hand how cold it gets at any altitude. In fact, summer temps can be in the triple digits during the day and drop like a rock as soon as the sun goes down, Camping and trekking above 10,000.ft during the summer months was a real experience in layering against the cold. Winter temps are that much worse!

Here is a photo of our home...more accurately, what's left of it.

Here is a listing of other charity projects which could use all our crafting and fiber arts skills.

Our "Big Back Yard"

This is actually dedicated to both the front and the backyard...

Was your landscaping damaged by rain and snow? Ours definitely went through the mill this past month.

Hollies, boxwoods, nandinas and more were seriously damaged by the recent snowfall. Many smaller bushes are nothing more than stubs. Yes, we knocked and brushed the snow off with brooms as it accumulated but it was not easy to keep up with the accumulation! Let's hope they will grow back stronger.

Actually, rain and snow greatly influence in your yard landscaping decisions.

Over the years, we planned the landscaping with great care, taking nearly every possible factor of the northern Virginia weather into consideration - sun, shade, drought, even some of the heavy, drenching rain we are often treated to during the summer.

Gardening is a relaxing hobby. We worked on a portion of the landscaping ourselves.

Chinn and Potomac libraries provided much of the study materials but it always helps to talk to landscaping experts. Sadly, even the experts at Meadow Farms, Kingstowne, the Lake Ridge Nursery, and Merrifield Garden Centers could not predict the extensive damage to both our established as well as our new landscaping plants. Some may be damaged beyond what new growth can "fix".

Your yard landscaping needs to be planned with close attention to potential damage from rain and snow as well as proper drainage.

This past summer, it took some help from the pros with heavy equipment to correct an awful drainage problem. It was obvious we had muddy spots, loss of topsoil and large puddles, which remained long after the rain, had stopped.

The terracing proved helpful during the summer when it gets hot and rain is scarce. We now have the yard landscaped and terraced in such a way as to basically water the plants when it rains and retain the soil so it does not wash away in the process.

With the exception of the damage caused by this heavy snowfall, snow is very important to your yard. Snow is nearly as vital to your landscaping plants as rainfall is during warmer months.

Yes, snow does provide moisture to your landscaping pants as it melts but the snow, although cold can actually help to keep your soil stay warmer.

It's perfect for the daffodil and crocus bulbs ready to pop up in the early spring in perfect form and color. This reminds me that I need to replace the bulbs, which were temporarily moved when the terracing was built. As is, they are furiously sprouting in the cold of the garage.

Looking forward to some warmer temperatures so I can get some yard work done...mostly a case of "pick up sticks" and cleanup right now. I will have to wait until late February or early March to trim back the damage caused by the snow.

Click HERE to add your stories to our Gardening page. Judy will be happy to answer general gardening questions although her "specialty" is organic gardening in Central Virginia.
Click HERE to submit horticultural questions and read more about gardening in Prince William County...

Featured Visitor FAQs

Help! Website visitors are seeking reviews for Woodbridge, Virginia preschools and Child Care services. Many are specifically looking for "at home daycare", "cost of child care" and even "24 hour child care".

It would be helpful to provide reviews from a variety of locations throughout Woodbridge and neighboring communities. You can post your reviews on our main "Child Care" page.

Recipe of the Month

For years, my in-laws had a food stall at a farmer's market. I saved reams of recipes they prepared in large quantities [along with all the cooking tools] but this recipe comes directly from my great-grandma Porters' Gold Medal cook book - a 72 page booklet which dates back to the days when flour still came in sacks or barrels, circa 1904...

A recipe for Left Over Soup:

Bones and trimmings from a roast of beef, beefsteak bones and trimmings, mutton chop bones, any cold vegetables except squash, cold cooked eggs, crusts of bread.

There should be about 6 pounds of meat altogether. Add whatever gravy was left over and four quarts of cold water; add one half teaspoon fresh celery seed [it was the secret ingredient in my mother-in-laws' potato salads]; one tablespoon of salt; one clove; four peppercorns, and simmer 8 to ten hours till the meat is in rags and the water reduced by one-half. Strain and set away for stock.

Notice that the "recipe" does not go into great detail or specifics. Actually, I learned to cook this way, using available ingredients and without the benefit of neighborhood supermarkets but that's another story. So this recipe is right up my alley...it is very easy to get creative and add small quantities of cooked orzo, macaroni, rice, cooked diced vegetables or potatoes.

In other words, you have the perfect base with which to use all holiday and everyday dinner leftovers!

I look forward to hearing from you,

See you next month!
De at Living In Woodbridge VA

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