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My Favorite Places February Pick: The Toy Store

Fredericksburg Sketches A visual Celebration of our community

By Casey Alan Shaw

Good Turn Earth Co. Show your plants some love

I went to The Toy Store and interviewed Cindy Dennis. Q: What are your most popular toys? A: I would say our Playmobile sets are our most popular item. Q: What other toys do you carry? A: Melissa and Doug, Schylling, Chuggington and many others. We also try to carry toys that are made in Virginia. Q: What is Schylling ? A: It is a toy Company who still uses molds from the 1930s to create their toys. They are classic toys. Many are made of tin like the Jack in the Box toy we carry.

Fredericksburg Time Co.

Q: How long have you been in business? A: We have been in business for 27 years. This is our fourth location downtown. It’s a family owned business. Our fourth generation now works at the toy store. I like to look at front window at the flying faries and dragons. Today I am making balloon animals with my new kit that I bought at The Toy Store. I also bought a beautiful new headband which I am wearing in the photo. Mattie, of the fourth generation, completed our transaction.

SKETCH #4: Mr. Tony passing Goolricks.

It’s February and this month’s sketch is a love letter of sorts for downtown Fredericksburg. Goolrick’s Modern Pharmacy and “Mr. Tony,” the white horse pulling those carriages you see downtown are, of course, two of Fredericksburg’s most beloved icons. I’ve drawn the Goolrick’s corner where George and Caroline Streets meet on several occasions. And it was on my list to head down Caroline Street to take some reference photos of a carriage ride for a future drawing. So it was the perfect serendipity recently when I walked out of Art First and there they both were crossing paths in the afternoon sun. I’m sure I’ll draw both again in the future, individually, but this drawing is my personal Valentine to remember a very special moment.

Casey Alan Shaw is a local artist. He exhibits his original artwork at Art First Gallery.

Six year old Callie Dunn loves to shop and eat in downtown Fredericksburg. Watch for her downtown to get a sneak peek at her next pick

Many of us are gardeners, though some of us are better at it than others. Fear not if you don’t have a green thumb though, a new local company aims to give us all one starting from the ground up. Good Turn Earth Company produces soil conditioner that is aimed at being a community centric way to love your garden and grow healthy plants. Utilizing a partnership with Downtown Greens, a non-profit community greenspace, the company also saves useable waste that would normally be thrown out from local businesses. “We rescue green waste from the landfill and turn it into soil conditioner that will help your plants grow strong and healthy,” says Sarah Perry, founder of the company. Out-of-date produce from Wegman’s, coffee grounds from 2530 Espresso and Hyperion Espresso, as well as leaves from Fredericksburg City all become part of the magical mix that ultimately is converted into Good Turn Earth Soil Conditioner.

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Christina Ferber is a teacher, writer and a mom who shares stories of our community and the people who make it grat, every month i FP.

Tuesday - Saturday 10-5

212 William Street,Fredericksburg


February 2015

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Once the green waste is obtained, it goes through a natural thermal process that heats it and turns it into compost. Next, organic matter such as worm castings, a special mushroom compost, and decomposed leaves, are added. No starters or bio-solids are used in the conditioner mix in order for it to remain as healthy as possible. According to Perry, adding the conditioner to your garden once in the spring, and again in the fall is all that you need to start noticing healthier soil, and likewise healthier plants. “Instead of picking up a bag of dead, sterile compost from the garden center, think about enriching your soil in a more meaningful way. The living organic mix we produce creates a sort of time-released nutrient flow for your plants as the microorganisms continue to break down and make nutrients available to your plants,” says Perry. The company is launching a Kickstarter campaign in March, with the goal of raising funds to grow the business even more into one that continues to give back to the community. “Our hope is to create a system for communities to make life out of green waste, and then cycle it back into that same community so they can put life back into their soil,” says Perry. As the current director at Downtown Greens, and now founder of a company, Perry has come a long way from her stint as a clown in France. “Being a clown taught me to embrace myself, flaws and all,” she says. “I had to be honest about who I was.” This combination of embracing a concept and having a community focus is what Perry and her partners hope will make their product part of your regular gardening experience. “What we don’t give our garden enough of is love,” says Perry. “You can love your plants by giving them living soil that continues to provide them the nutrients they need.” Look for Good Turn Earth Company’s Soil Conditioner at the Fredericksburg Farmer’s Market in the spring, or check out their website at You can also look for them in March on Kickstarter and help launch a local business.

By Jo Loving “The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last – the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald Something funny happened on my way to my fifties, I became incredibly sentimental. For the majority of my life, I was a romantic with an idealized view of reality. Yes, it is true. I wasn’t a hearts and flowers kind of girl, but I believed in happily ever after and that true love would always lead to complete happiness. As each decade ticked by, I was still tied to my romantic view. And then I was alone, and I no longer liked the month of February, particularly February 14. But my years alone taught me that romance was not necessarily the best thing for me. Sure, I enjoyed the company of men. But during those years, I enjoyed my solitude and came to know myself on a different level, and was ok with that woman. The children were grown, and I had determined that I would be happy in the pursuit of my own dreams, and I was. Then, by a complete twist of fate, I met him. We both attended an event that neither of us had wanted to attend. After an evening of laughing and discussion, I gave him my number. He called the next morning, and we had many dates over the next few weeks, then months. He drove 59 miles each way to see me. He was incredibly attentive, chivalrous, and romantic. He mailed cards just to brighten my day. He brought flowers to me. He was a perfect gentleman, with just the right balance between mischief and man. One

night, he took my hands in his, looked into my eyes, and said, “Jo, I’d like to pursue you, if you don’t mind.” Wow! In my life, I had never had a man ask if he could pursue me. “I would like that,” was all I could say, although internally, fireworks had been launched. This simple statement of his had reached me on a level I had never experienced. Before him, I had romance as defined by Fitzgerald in the quote, above – I believed things could last, but life had led me to a different conclusion. Instead of becoming bitter about it, though, I just hung in there, and never really lost hope. I became sentimental, but not a sentimental fool. I waded cautiously into this relationship. I have to admit, though, being consciously pursued was fun! So here was this man, who made me laugh, who courted me like no other, and who made me love him with his kindness, with his goofiness, and with his confidence. We were married in Savannah, Georgia (his choice), in a garden Gazebo, on February 14, 2008, Valentine’s Day (also his choice). It is with him that I am now in this downsizing experiment, living in a 750-foot-cottage. Somehow, I think it will be ok, and being sentimental about it also is ok.

Jo Loving is living life in the cottage with him, sentimentally satisfied, and that’s ok.

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I am sentimental, And that’s ok!

By christina ferber

By Callista Kathryn Dunn

Q: How did you decide to open a toy store? A: The Rocking Horse Gallery was looking to specialize their store. We bought out the toy portion of their store and opened The Toy Store.

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February 2015


Front Porch Fredericksburg - February 2015