Front Porch Magazine

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contents closeups 5the powell women dragons den & treasures 6frazer wood elements iconic fxbg business 12lewis rogers New Superintendent fsnmp Porch talk 3great lives series 20th season 4 on the in fredericksburg Messages 7everything greens: 2023 or bust 8In the Garden: time to make the donuts 9growing & crawling: true or false 10i have a friend: community 12tidbits...small bites of local news 13 season’s bounty: all about country ham 14cold weather cocktails 15vino: all that sparkles is not gold 16-17Calendar of Events 18history’s stories: rueben thom what’s in an island? pleasure island 19 history in our backyard: a soldier writes home 20 emotional wellness vs academic achievement 21emancipated patients: innovations 22 moss free clinic benefit at sammy t’s 23auto known better: to new stuff in your closet 24art in the burg ...galleries in january 26 resolved on resolutions 28companions: .new puppy 29astrology & you poetryman: liberty 30fredericksburg sketches 31 year end review ...And More! 11annual empty bowl 25 veux aller en france ? 27chemistry is cool! stem makes impact 12 5 2 January 2023 Front porch fredericksburg 6
Cover: “Sunset bridge” By David C. Kennedy

Great Lives

Popular series 20th season

The 2023 series continues the Great Lives tradition of featuring an eclectic mix of personalities from many eras and geographic locations. Besides West, Frank and Springsteen, upcoming subjects are Alan Turing, Shirley Jackson, Thomas Paine, civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, Ted Kennedy, J Edgar Hoover, Rembrandt, Magellan, Sandra Day O'Connor, the Transcendentalists, Lafayette, Queen Isabella and Colin Powell

The 300-plus lectures of the past 19 years have focused not only on specific individuals but on notable groups and fictional characters. One non-human subject, the great Virginia racehorse Secretariat, was among the most popular presentations in the history of the series, Crawley said - and also his favorite.

Anne Frank, Bruce Springsteen and Virginia-born technology pioneer Gladys West are among the intriguing figures featured in the 20th anniversary year of the William B Crawley Great Lives Lecture Series at the University of Mary Washington.

The popular biography series will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 19 through March 28, 2023, at Dodd Auditorium in George Washington Hall. All lectures are free and begin at 7:30 p.m.

A notable example of positive relationships between the University and the community, the program is significantly supported by donations from area corporations and private individuals.

The lecture about Gladys West, set for Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, will be of particular interest in the Fredericksburg area, said series director and namesake William Crawley, distinguished professor emeritus of history.

"Although largely unknown to the general public today," Crawley commented, "Dr. West fashioned a remarkable career that took her from a poor tobacco farm in southern Virginia to become a mathematician whose work in the 1940s and '50s contributed significantly to the development of GPS."

West, a resident of Dahlgren in King George County, was a mathematician at what's now the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division. Lecturer Karen Sherry will be joined onstage by a panel including West's daughter Carolyn West Oglesby '83, a Mary Washington alumna.

All 2023 lectures will be recorded and made available on the program's website after the live presentation. But attending at Dodd has the advantage of an audience Q&A with speakers. Books by speakers also will be available for purchase and signing.

Great Lives Series Tuesday & Thursday, January 19-MMarch 28, 7:30pm

Laura Moyer is University Relations & Communication Editor
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Dodd Auditorium George Washington Hall, UMW

Fraser Wood Elements

local pride plus reclaimed wood equals one iconic business

"It's just a great little community," agrees product designer Everett Pitts "There's been so much opportunity right here in town."

Of course, it helps when you have a reputation for doing great work. Fraser Wood Elements began in 2014 doing high-end custom work in reclaimed wood for local businesses and residences. The company's founder and owner, David Fraser, spent years as a reclaimed wood dealer in South Carolina and found that people were constantly asking him if he knew someone who could help put that wood to use, designing and creating custom interiors and furniture.

the Anderson Bar Cart, and the Coleman River Table (picture bottom), which has become one of their most admired and requested pieces.

Woodbridge, and Leesburg. We're a local company, but there is only so much business to win here in Fredericksburg. We have to grow outside of the area to get bigger."

"But the roots are here," Pitts added. "As much as we want to grow beyond, we'll always be a part of this community.”

Tom Conway isTeaching at JM and working on getting an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design

The building at 601 Jackson Street began life in 1889 when the Farmer's Creamery Corporation needed a foundry for making crates and containers to hold their dairy products. Over the ensuing years, it was home to a number of other well-known local businesses. In 1913, a local inventor designed specialized metal crates for shipping eggs to urban store owners and residents. His company, the Fredericksburg Metal Egg Crate Company, manufactured their product there for many years. Then, after several decades as an extension G&H textile plant on Hanover Street, it was the original site of the Roxbury Mills Nursery.

Today, the 8,000 square foot building is the main production facility for Fraser Wood Elements, a local business destined to be every bit as iconic as those others.

These days, it seems you can't dine out in Fredericksburg without running into David Fraser (above) and his crew. Fraser Wood Elements is everywhere. Rebellion FXBG, Farenheit 132, Benny Vitali's (picture upper right), Castiglia's, 6 Bears and a Goat, Capital Ale House, and Mian Noodle all prominently feature the company's work.

"That's the great thing about this town," says Fraser. "All of the local businesses tend to look to each other. Have you been over to A. Smith Bowman? We did a lot of work there in the tasting area and gift shop - cabinets, tops of displays, all of that woodwork was us."

"I always thought I could be that person, so once I got married and moved to Fredericksburg, it seemed like a no-brainer. I started looking for opportunities to do custom pieces, and it grew from there."

"That's the challenge now," says Fraser, " to sell more, to move to wholesale, to design for mass production and arrange to have products shipped. We're taking on interiors in Manassas,

Fraser Wood Elements Storefront at 1023 Caroline Street Main Production Facility , 601 Jackson St fraserwoodelements com facebook fraser wood elements

For several years, they worked out of a small garage downtown on Jail Alley, behind Fredericksburg's historic courthouse, turning out custom one-of-akind furnishings for local residents and businesses. Over time, they've begun turning those custom items into product lines, selling them from their storefront at 1023 Caroline Street. Each product is named for the client who first commissioned the piece: the Woodfield Dining Table, the Leonetti Console Table,

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New is the year and familiar are the projects ahead of us! As the new normal we're all adjusting to rolls over us like a 400 pound black walnut limb, 2023 brings us new and familiar tasks that come with caring for our land and community. New is the compost system that will feed our vegetables, new is the native plant meadow on Daffodil Hill, and new are the hopes and dreams that we possess for our 56 acres of land. As we saddle our "new" we also undertake the familiar - the impending spring cleaning, the usual garden maintenance, the kickstart to familiar fundraising, and the turning of beds in the Youth Farm Program for another season of kids learning. We look forward to similar mushroom workshops and new foraging programs, welcoming back garden volunteers and celebrating new ones. We have removed familiar invasive plants to pave the way for new Virginia native plants... Are you picking up on the trend here? While we adjust to the new normal we recognize that the familiar can bring the comfort we're looking for. We aim to embrace both.

This new year for Downtown Greens may look similar to the years past, but our team dynamic has developed like a fine stinky cheese. Fortunately this lends to comfortably settling into our new groove for 2023. Our Garden Coordinator is nearing their 1 year anniversary in March and after adjusting to their position here is excited to roll out new programs for spring and summer. With our expanded Take What You Need Garden beds we will grow new kinds of fruits and vegetables for the Free Fridge and Pantry We've compiled a photo album that will help us catalog what's blooming and when in hopes to better identify plants and their bloom times around the gardens. We look forward to the daffodils in March, the redbuds in April, eating serviceberries and

mulberries in May, monarchs in June, and July blooming Liatris. We have hopes of achieving our goal of fundraising for our new land and the conservation trust locked down, and so much more. We're taking what we learned in 2022 and applying it to our future with vigor.

As we roll over into another year, we are met with similarities and the potential for new developments. While there may be a new normal happening for a lot of us, we can revel in the fact that some things will never change - our love for gardening and environmental stewardship, our dedication to youth education, and our commitment to our community and neighbors. With the growth we ' ve experienced in 2022, we hope to take what we ' ve learned, and what we ' ve lost, and begin anew Our Lower Garden looks different with the snagging of our great Hackberry tree and our education department looks different with our Education Coordinator expanding her

horizons (We miss you, Savannah!) But you know what Heraclitus said about change… it's the only constant in life. Unlike our black walnut trees last January, we strive to bend and adapt as these changes wash over us like 14 inches of snow.

Cheers - Salud - Jubel - ProostGood health to 2023!

Em Ford is the Garden Coordinator at Downtown Greens who is hoping the lower garden isn't leveled again by another winter storm

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Greens 2023
bust Where Fredericksburg Gets Engaged New Year Special! Your choice: take 20%off any repair or 20%off any in-stock item! 606 Caroline Street Old Town 373-7847 Tues-Fri: 10a-5p Sat: 10a-4p
By em ford

Growing & Crawling

true or false

"Daddy-Longlegs are one of the most venomous spiders, but their fangs are too short to bite humans"

Many of us have heard this wisdom passed down from generation to generation but is it true?

The answer is no, and also no because...

As for the most obvious no, Daddy Longlegs make their living by eating decomposing vegetative and animal matter although they are opportunistic predators if they can get away with it. They do not have venom glands, fangs or any other mechanism for chemically subduing their food. Therefore, they do not have injectable toxins. Some have defensive secretions that might be toxic to small animals if ingested. So, as far as harming humans, this old tale is false.

Another reason this is technically not true is that Daddy Longlegs are not spiders Though in the arachnid class along with scorpions, ticks, mites, and

spiders, their order is Opiliones. True spiders are in the Order Araneae.

One way to tell the difference is by looking at their bodies! Opiliones have a single segment for their head and body, surrounded by 8 creepy-crawly legs. Spiders have two segments for their head

and body while still sporting the creepycrawly leg look.

So, when you next see one of these leggy beauties, feel free to let them crawl all over you...if that's your thing…

Janet Douberly is technically not a spider at Downtown Greens.

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We connect isolated, lonely seniors in our area with a trained volunteer, for a weekly, friendly visit. Even a simple social connection can help someone feel valued and alleviate isolation and loneliness which can lead to depression and more. So, imagine the benefits of multiple social connections!

Twice a year the Senior Visitors Program offers an event for program participants and their volunteers to come together and meet other volunteers and program participants. In the summer we hold a picnic social. In the winter we hold a holiday open house. At both events, program participants can enjoy food, games, and most importantly connect with each other.

This year, the Senior Visitors Program Holiday Open House was made possible through the generosity and volunteer efforts of Bridgeway Church of Spotsylvania. One of their volunteers, Traci Kennedy, has volunteered with the Senior Visitors Program in the past. So, when Bridgeway Church was looking to help the community this holiday season, Traci suggested the Senior Visitors Program.

Bridgeway Church provided food, games, crafts, door prizes, and a festive atmosphere for our seniors. (Volunteers

Our seniors were overjoyed to have a warm, safe place to get out and enjoy the season. The room was filled with laughter, hugs, and smiles. Some of the comments we received were:

"I don't remember the last time I've had so much fun at a party!"

"This is so nice for someone to do this for us. I feel quite spoiled!"

"I always enjoy these events. It is so nice to be able to get out in the community and meet people."

"I wasn't sure I wanted to come, but I'm glad I did."

In addition to the Bridgeway Church of Spotsylvania, the Senior Visitors Program is grateful for the DisAbility Resource Center for allowing us to use their conference room, Virginia Home Care Partners for providing additional door prizes, and other individual community members for donations of puzzles and calendars for seniors to take home.

It is wonderful to be part of a community that values our seniors and values connection. I hope in the coming year we can all look for - and reach out to - those individuals in our community who may be feeling alone or isolated and let

them know they are not alone; they are part of our community!

All of us (staff and volunteers) here at Mental Health America of Fredericksburg look forward to continuing to serve our community in 2023 and collaborating with the people, organizations and businesses that make this community such a wonderful place to live.

Laurie Black is the Senior Visitors Program Coordinator at Mental Health America of Fredericksburg

If you know a senior who could benefit from having a weekly, friendly visit or if you would like to volunteer to visit a senior, call the Senior Visitors Program at (540) 371-22704 or visit our website at mhafred org Refer a senior or sign up to be a volunteer! The Senior Visitors Program is a free community service program of Mental Health America of Fredericksburg

10 January 2023 Front porch fredericksburg
Mental Health America of Fredericksburg's Senior Visitors Program (you've heard me say this before) is all about connection. included as pictured above left to right: Ben, Andy, Madilynn, and Melissa Acors, Traci and Chris Kennedy, Paster Dave and BJ Hockney, Chris and Tammy Long )
“I Have A Friend” community
Donate to a Cancer Organization Let’s Find a Cure!

S e a s o n ’ s B o u n t y all about country ham

What we know as "country ham" is a regional Southern specialty type of heavily salt-cured ham, air-dried and sometimes hardwood smoked, then hung and aged for at least 70 days and up to three years. Virginia hams are especially well-known, being one of very few foods, another being asparagus, mentioned in writings by George Washington. Virginia hams were exported to England during Queen Victoria's reign as one of her especial favorites. Country ham is prized for its salty flavor and can be baked, braised or simmered, then glazed as desired. Best served very thinly sliced at room temperature, it pairs well with breads and cheeses, fruits and vegetables on a charcuterie board or as the centerpiece meat with side dishes. The well-known "Smithfield ham" is a traditional country ham from Smithfield, Virginia, its process and products trademarked in 1930. A bone-in whole ham is a full cut from the hind leg with the hock, or pork knuckle attached (the extreme shank end). Their pigs are fed a diet of peanuts and grains, and the resulting hams are processed, treated, hickory-smoked, salted, cured and aged for up to two years. Sliced and served, the ham is delicious - and what I love is later using it up in soups, stews, chowders, risotto, beans, dips, spreads, quiche, omelets, pasta dishes - well, pretty much everything except ham dessert!


In a prepared savory 9" pie crust, cover the bottom with about one cup of chopped ham. Top with 2cups shredded Swiss cheese or a combination of Swiss and Gruyère cheeses. Beat together 6 large eggs and 1 1/2cups heavy cream, 1/2teaspoon white pepper (no added salt!) and pour over the cheese. Sprinkle with fresh cut chives or finely minced parsley. Bake in preheated 325F oven about one hour - until browned and set. Wait about 15 minutes until slicing into six to eight slices. If you have leftovers after refrigerating, wrap individually and freeze - quiche is a good keeper. Thaw in refrigerator and reheat in a 350F oven.

DELICIOUS LARGE LIMAS (or dried beans of your choice - I also love cranberry or cannellini beans. Many stores sell a 15dried bean medley that's also great with country ham.) Pick through one pound of beans, then cover with at least 1 1/2qts cold water. Let rehydrate overnight, adding more water if necessary. Pour off

the water and rinse beans. I use a large enameled Dutch oven when preparing - chop one large onion, about two cups, and tip into the pan along with a country ham hock (or other cut with the bone) the beans, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and two quarts of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally. Most beans are cooked within two hours. To check their doneness, do a "mash test" against the side of the pot with a fork. Great with ham biscuits!


I use King Arthur flour, and their website has many many delicious recipes, including Angel Biscuits. This is my go-to recipe for ham biscuits. Follow the directions, then butter and fill with thinly sliced country ham. Jezebel sauce goes well with ham biscuits, as an appetizer served over a block of cream cheese, as a glaze for meats, a dipping sauce for fried shrimp or fresh vegetables, in turkey sandwiches and turkey burgers. Named for the biblical figure of Jezebel allegedly because of the condiment's hot and saucy (and perhaps seductive) character! The medley of flavor is simultaneously sweet, spicy and tangy. Mix together 18 ounces each pineapple preserves and apple jelly, 4ounces prepared horseradish, 1/4cup Colman's dry mustard, 2tsp coarsely ground black pepper (optional). Chill.


This popular and very traditional sauce consists of fried country ham drippings, combined with coffee or water, and served with the fried ham, biscuits, grits and fried eggs. How did the name come about? Supposedly the ham drippings in the gravy look like small red eyes (??). Fry up a few slices of ham, then deglaze the pan with a bit of brewed coffee or water. Add pepper to taste. Also known throughout the South as Poor Man's Gravy, Red Ham

Gravy or Bottom Sop - best to sop up with the biscuits!


Prepare one cup of grits as directed, but substitute whole milk for half of the liquid and 3-6 peeled and smashed cloves of garlic. When ready, remove the garlic cloves and stir in 2cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 6T butter, pepper to taste, 4 large beaten eggs (beat eggs separately into a portion of the hot grits first so you won't end up with scrambled eggs!) and one cup minced country ham. Cover and bake 350F for an hour until puffed and golden brown. Enjoy!

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Vanessa yummy
each month The Soup & Taco, Etc. 813 Caroline St. Fredericksburg, VA Serving Traditional Mexican, Tex-Mex Food and Something More!! Tuesday to Saturday 11am-9pm Sunday 11am-6pm Phone: 540-899-0969 The Sunken Well Tavern Eat Well Drink Well Live Well 720 Littlepage 540-370-0911
all seasons
vanessa moncure

Sunday January 1

First Hike Day@Motts Run. All Ages Start the New Year off right by spending the first day out in Nature! Bring out the whole family to take a hike on one of the many trails at Motts Run Reservoir , 2-5p, 6600 River Rd

Sunday Brunch Sunken Well Tavern, 720 Littlepage, til 1p

Tuesday January 3

Mother Goose Time, Specially trained staff present stories, songs, and activities that lay the foundation your child needs to get ready to read. FXBG CRRL, 1201 Caroline St, 10:30-10:45a

Wednesday January 4

The Ringing Nativity Performance Ensemble This group of advanced handbell musicians will perform the repertoire for The Ringing Stafford Regional Handbell Society 112 Juliad Court #111 Fredericksburg, VA 22406 , 1:30p

Tough Like TJ Blood Drive, Rosner Family YMCA, A blood donation truly is a "gift of life" that a healthy individual can give to others in their community who are sick or injured. , 10a-2:30p, 5700 Smith Station Rd

Trivia Night, Sunken Well at 6:30pm Match wits with the 'Burgs finest minds. Prize! 720 Littlepage

Jeopardy nights at Adventure Eagle Village 7:30 pm. Play on your own or with your friends to test your trivia skills Adventue Brewing, Eagle Village,7:30-9p.

Thursday January 5

Live Music @FXBG Food CoOP, local performer Steve Bell, 6-7:30p, 320 Emancipation Hwy

First Friday January 6

“Treasured Scenes Of Winter” Opening Reception Brush Strokes Gallery, 824 Caroline St.

“New Beginnings” Opening Reception First Friday, 6-9pm Artful Dimensions, 922 Caroline

“Red Tag Sale” All Member Show, Opening Reception, 6-9pm Art First, 824 Caroline St

Experience the candlelight, music, and decorations of a colonial Christmas … and the uncertainty of Revolution. In Twelfth Night at Kenmore, 1202 Washington Ave

Jurassic Quest, life-size dinosaurs, walking dino rides, incredible fossils, FXBG Expo Center, 1-6p. Show thru Sunday

Open Mic Night w/Green Bean @Adventure Brewing Eagle Village, 6:30-9:30p

Live Music @Adventure Brewing North, One Night Blue, 7-9p, 33 Perchwood Dr

Saturday January 7

Live Music@Casey's, Shannon Peterson Solo Musician & Guitarist Performs a variety of classic rock, new age rock, oldies, country, originals and more! , 6:15-8:15p, 622 Kenmore Ave

Puppy Manners Workshop, Being Proactive in Training with your puppy will help to alleviate future unwanted behaviors. Start your new addition off on the right Paw. Woof Houze, 445 Emancipation Hwy, 9a-12p

Live Music@Adventure Brewing North, Suzie &Stephen, 7-9p

Sunday January 8

Sunday Brunch Sunken Well Tavern, 720 Littlepage, til 1p

Nights of Destiny, a Live Action Role Playing group, is a Gothic Horror game set in the Dark Ages time period. Its the darest night of the year , join the vampires of Powhatan as they gather to celebrate survival and prepare for the coming year. Your Hobby Place, 4276 Plank Rd , 2-7p

Swing Dance Lessons, New 7-week series of Salsa classes hosted by DanceFxbg & Spanglish Latin American Band Sunday nights at DanceFXBG dance studio, above Picker's Supply , 902 Caroline St, 4:30p

Wednesday January 11

Trivia Night, Sunken Well at 6:30pm Match wits with the 'Burgs finest minds. Prize! 720 Littlepage

Jeopardy nights at Adventure Eagle Village 7:30 pm. Play on your own or with your friends to test your trivia skills Adventue Brewing, Eagle Village,7:30-9p.

Thursday January 12 Food CoOP Book Group, 12-1p, 320 Emancipation Hwy

Live Music@Colonial Tavern, FJC Jazz Jam, 7p 406 Lafayette Blvd

Friday January 13

Winter Restaurant Week Begins.Restaurant Week showcases the many talents of downtown's eclectic mix of award-winning restaurateurs. The list of participants was still being finalized as of this writing, but it's expected to include most downtown restaurants. For list of participating restaurants and menus Thru January 22

FXBG Boat Show, What better time to start preparing for your summer than in the cold, dark days of winter!? Get ready for fun in the sun at FXBG Boat and Water Sports Expo! , FXBG Expo Center, 1-7p

Auditions for The Merry Wives of Please be prepared to do a cold read headshot and resume for the audit 810 Caroline St

Live Music @Amy's Cafe by the Falm 103 W Cambridge St

Open Mic w/ Green Bean @Eagle Vil

Live Music @Adventure Brewing Nor

Saturday January 14 Open Mic @Adventure Brewing Eagle

Sunday January 15

Sunday Brunch Sunken Well Tavern,

FXBG Boat Show, What better time than in the cold, dark days of winte FXBG Boat and Water Sports Expo!

FXBG Greater Bridal Show Join Vir Show, vendors, taste wedding cak fashion sow by David's Bridal, givea Expo Center, 12-3p, 2400 Airport D

Wednesday January 18

Woof & Wine? Let's toast to our p popular monthly Woof & Wine! We from and our Paw Patrol on standby meet new fur friends and play. Emancipation Hwy, 6p

Trivia Night, Sunken Well at 6:30pm minds. Prize! 720 Littlepage

Jeopardy nights at Adventure Eagle or with your friends to test your t Village,7:30-9p.

Thursday January 19

Toddler Time, Specially trained staff that lay the foundation your child Howell Branch, 10-10:45a, 806 Lyon

Great Lives Series, "Alan Turing", lec Dodd Aud

Live Music@FXBG FoodCoOp, Dave Emancipation Hwy

16 November 2023 Front porch fredericksburg january 2023...May the New Year Bring Peace Throughout the World 540~479~4116 1013 Princess Anne St , FXBG Become a Friend Advocate ~ Donate ~ Volunteer

DAR of events

Windsor by William Shakespeare! ding from the script and also bring a tion. Stage Door Productions, 6-8p,

mouth Bridge, Karaoke Night, 8-12p, lage, 6:30-9:30p rth, Retro Active, 7-9p e Village, 7-9p , 720 Littlepage, til 1p to start preparing for your summer er!? Get ready for fun in the sun at , FXBG Expo Center, 1-7p

ginia Bridal Magazine 28th Annual kes, try products, demos, designer aways & more. FXBG Fairgrounds Dr,

pups! Join Woof Houze for our very e have an array of wines to choose y to keep your pups safe while they Small bites will be served. 445

m Match wits with the 'Burgs finest

Village 7:30 pm. Play on your own trivia skills Adventue Brewing, Eagle

Live Music @Colonial Tavern, Bruce Middle & Geoffrey Dean, 8p, 406 Lafayette Blvd

Friday January 20

UMW Dept of Music John Whit, guitar & Kayla Hanvey, Flute, Seacobeck Hall, 7:30p

Mr, K Comedy Night@KC'S Music Alley, 9p, 1917 Princess Anne St

Open Mic Night w/ Green Bean @Eagle Village, 6:30-9:30p

Live Music @ Adventure Brewing North, Rick Hollowell, 7-9p

Saturday January 21

Getting to Zero Waste, FXBG Food CoOP, board member, discusses our waste generation habits and presents numerous ways that each of us can do

our part to get to zero waste...simply and effectively. 2-3p, 320 Emancipation Hwy

In The Garden with Tree FXBG, garden information series , Dorothy Hart Community Center, 408 Canal St, 10-11a

Ballads, Burns & Brews, Join us for an evening of drinking songs and taste some of the lively beverages common to our 18th century tavern guests with Colonial Faire , 5-7p, Rising Sun Tavern, 1304 Caroline St

Live Music @KC's Music Alley Central Station, X-Factor , 8p, 1917 Princess Anne St

Live Music @Colonial Tavern, JAZZ, 8-11p, 406 Lafayette Blvd

Open Mic w/ Michael Green, @Adventure Brewing Eagle Village, 7-9p

Live Music @A7-9pdventure Brewing North, The Cold North,

Sunday January 22

Sunday Brunch Sunken Well Tavern, 720 Littlepage, til 1p

Tuesday January 24

Great Lives Series, "Shirley Jackson", lecture by Ruth Franklin 7:30pm, UMW Dodd Aud

Thursday January 26

Live Music @ Colonial Tavern FXBG Blues Society Jam, 7p, 406 Lafayette Blvd

Great Lives Series, "Thomas Paine", lecture by Craig Nelson 7:30pm, UMW Dodd Aud

Live Music @Colonial Tavern, FXBG Blues Society Jam, 7p, 406 Lafayette Blvd

Saturday January 28

Empty Bowl for Empowerhouse, Libertytown Arts Workshop, 916 Liberty St, pottery demonstrations, live music, and snacks, Every Empty Bowl attendee will receive a fabulous handmade bowl from a local artist

Frosty Brew Thru is an exclusive craft beer cider and wine tasting event FXBG Fairgrounds, 11a-4p

Master Gardener Annual Seed Swap, Rowser Bldg, 1739 Richmond Hwy, 9:30a-1:30p

Live Music @Billiken's Smokehouse, Cody & Tyler, 7-11p, 623 Caroline ST

Sunday January 29

Sunday Brunch Sunken Well Tavern, 720 Littlepage, til 1p

Tuesday January 31

Mother Goose Time, Specially trained staff present stories, songs, and activities that lay the foundation your child needs to get ready to read , CRRL FXBG, 10:30-10:45a, 1201 Caroline St

If you are reading this 306th issue of FPF, thank an advertiser in our 26th year of continuous publication!

present stories, songs, and activities needs to get ready to read , CRRL ns Blvd

cture by David Leavitt 7:30pm, UMW

Guy, acoustic rock, 6-7:30p, 320

Wednesday January 25

Trivia Night, Sunken Well at 6:30pm Match wits with the 'Burgs finest minds. Prize! 720 Littlepage

Jeopardy nights at Adventure Eagle Village 7:30 pm. Play on your own or with your friends to test your trivia skills Adventue Brewing, Eagle Village,7:30-9p.

List your events email frntprch@aol com: subject Calendar Deadline for February 2023 issue is January 19th

Helping homeless children and families in City of Fredericksburg, Counties of Caroline, Stafford & Spotsylvania 540 371 0831

front porch fredericksburg January 2023 17
FB @ FABeerTrail

history’s stories

Reuben Thom

He was one of the most well known and respected members of the Town of Fredericksburg in the 1800's and especially the Civil War years. Today the only reminder of his existence is a marble plaque on the right side wall in ST Georges Episcopal church Reuben Thom was born in 1782 and resided and worked in the Town of Fredericksburg all of his life.

Thom was a "big man" around town although he stood only five feet in height. Reuben was on the church Vestry for fifty-two years, being Senior Warden forty of those years, according to research by Ben Hicks, Historian of the church. Reuben Thom was the first President of the Aqueduct Company which was one of the first company that provided water to the Town, and continued in existence to the mid 1900's. The water did not come from the river as today's source, but from the springs that are located near Trinity Church on William Street. Thom had a store in Town prior to being appointed Postmaster selling dry goods which he continued after his appointment into the 1850's.

Reuben was well known for being the Postmaster of Fredericksburg from 1841-1865, a total of twenty-five years. The only other Fredericksburg Postmaster to have served longer was Lemuel Houston who served six months longer (19471972) than Thom. Murray Forbes Postmaster of the Falmouth office served for thirty-eight years, making him one of the longest serving in the entire state of Virginia. Thom was appointed (June 1861) at the beginning of the Civil War at the age of seventy-nine, Postmaster of the Confederate States post office in Fredericksburg. Reuben like many Postmasters in the southern states continued their duties under the Confederate authorities. The Confederate postal department was said to have made a profit during its operation. The stamps that were issued by Reuben Thom are very collectible bringing prices in the hundreds. Keith Littlefield in his recently published book on the Postal History of Fredericksburg gives a detailed account of how Thom operated with efficiency the change in operations. Littlefield did clear up a longtime misconception that Reuben Thom was in a group of fifty-seven Fredericksburg prisoners sent to Fort Delaware in retaliation for the Town having Confederate officials arrest Union

troops. The fact was accepted all these years since Thom was the only Confederate official in Fredericksburg, making him a likely target for arrest. Reuben Thom is clearly on the Fort Delaware list, however, Littlefield found it was his son (Reuben T. Thom, Jr) who was a captured Captain in the Confederate army. Captain Thom had served in the Confederate Marines on the CSS Virginia. Captain Thom remained defiant refusing to sign the Oath of Allegiance and was not released until after the war was over in 1865.

The Thom home was burned during the battle in 1862 having been hit by a Union projectile. I believe he may have moved into the Stone Warehouse adjacent to the Chatham Bridge until he built another home in the Town in 1863 on Caroline Street. There is little information available during this period as fire destroyed many records that had been sent to Richmond or they were looted and carried off.

Reuben Thom died at the age of eighty-five in 1868 after a long and productive life dedicated to serving the citizens of Fredericksburg. With over fifty years in his church and over twenty years as the Postmaster. His grave site is located in the Cemetery adjacent to Saint Georges.


Dedicated To: Tunny Sullivan, Kenny Blevens, Beatrice Wenger, Wayne Acors, & Tommy Fines

W h a t ’ s i n a n I s l a n

Pleasure ISland

An oft-forgotten bright spot in Fredericksburg's history is Pleasure Island, found at the foot of William Street underneath the Chatham Bridge. This place has amazing stories to tell!

It was once called Brown's Island, for its owner, John Brown, a silversmith, Town Council member, and warden/trustee of St. George's Episcopal Church. In the late 19th Century its name changed to Scott's Island. Starting in 1910 this was the home of Casino Island, which boasted electric lighting, arcade games, and a theater seating 700 people for "moving pictures", vaudeville acts and concerts. A bustling amusement park, Richard Southworth's Pleasure Island, operated here from 1921 to 1924.

Let's back up a bit and get a fuller picture of activities on this unobtrusive piece of land. As early as 1805 an Independence Day celebration was held here, including 22 cannon salutes followed by "social mirth and harmony". By 1806 an admission fee was charged: 1 shilling 6 pence (around $5 today), entitling the ticket bearer to "any amount of refreshments he may want". The cost to attend a barbeque here in 1806 was 21 shillings (around $68 today), equivalent to a week's wages for a skilled tradesman at the time. That sounds expensive, but folks kept coming.

Thus began more than a century of festivities on the island. Barbeques, picnics, tea parties, dances, 4th of July celebrations and spectacular fireworks occurred here, along with wrestling and boxing matches and all manner of amusements. At times up to a thousand people would cram onto the island!

Many fascinating newspaper reports about the site were complied in "The Island - Brown or Scott'sFredericksburg, Virginia 1805-1924" by Robert A. Hodge (1990). A pioneering historian, biology teacher and amateur paleontologist who researched and wrote on a wide array of local topics, Hodge was instrumental in creating Alum Springs Park. Later, Sue Stone, a volunteer at Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. (HFFI), wrote a wonderful article on Pleasure Island (see Front Porch's July 2017 issue).

According to Hodge this was a lovely spot, festooned with old oaks, elms and sycamores, and "a velvety tapestry underfoot". It sported a gymnasium, and a "massive greased pole, thirty feet tall with a sum of money at its apex for the successful climber", along with a wooden dance platform, tents, and two saloons: one for women, and one for men. To temper things out a bit, the Sons of Sobriety held alcohol-free events here from time to time.

Pictured here is a cute little relic of Pleasure Island: a cast iron, silverpainted arcade target. It's from the collection of Barry and Ruth Coder Fitzgerald. Ruth authored the book "A Different Story: A Black History of Fredericksburg, Stafford and Spotsylvania, Virginia" (1979). The Fredericksburg Area Museum's recent exhibition, "Pleasure's Past", displayed amusement-related objects from the island including arcade targets identical to the one pictured here.

Today, pedestrians and cyclists enjoy an overlook on the revitalized Chatham Bridge, with great views of the river and island below, connecting us once again to fascinating stories of our little City.

So … what's in an Island? Here, a reminder of good times past, and a bright future to come.

An attorney and retired archaeologist, Jon Gerlach serves on Fredericksburg's City Council, Ward Two.

Photos by Jon Gerlach
18 January 2023 Front porch fredericksburg
Tuffy is Front Porch’s Resident HIstorian

History in OurBackyard

Farm boy, Joe Shaner, grew up in Rockbridge County, Virginia, so named after the natural bridge located there. Citizens of the county formed an artillery unit. Once formed in 1861, it became the Rockbridge Artillery Shaner "jined up" as a private. Being part of Robert E. Lee's

Army of Northern Virginia, his battery saw action in most major campaigns in the eastern theater of the Civil War.

Soldiers' letters home lent a personal touch to hard duty. Since the Confederate clothing depots were often

lacking, women back home provided many items. Shaner writes about this in his numerous letters home to his family. On Sept 23, 1861, Shaner writes "Dear Sister . . . I wrote . . . to mother for a new pare of pants and if I dont soon get them I will be naced for the want of them." On October 11, 1862, "Dear Sisters . . . I wold be very glad if she (mother) would make me a suit of cloths for I cant get any pants or coat down here or any socks . . . the Yankee coat fits me very well and that she can make mine by that and . . . take the buttons off . . . and put them on my new one . . . put some artillery trimeng on my coat . . . red tape around the collar and the cufs on the sleaves and a red stripe down the leg of the pants." On October 27, 1861, "Dear Sister . . . ask Father wheather he can get them boots made or not . . . and tell her (Mother) that I shall look . . . for my over coat for it is a getting very cold down here now and I need it . . . "

Due to the shortages, theft of clothing is a problem. Some interservice rivalry shows here. On October 22/63: "Dear Sisters, I had very bad luck on this last march . . . my napsack with every stitch of cloathing I had exept that I had on stolen from me right from the head of my bed I had all these shirts and socks that you all sent me in my knapsack and a nice new gray jacket that I had just had trimmed and all my draws and paper and envelops and everything thit I had in the world exept the worst cloathes that I had . . . for I allways put on my worst cloathes to wear on a march it was some stragler infantry man that was passing through our camp that night that stole it."

In camp at Blue Run Church Sept. 10 1863 Shaner writes " Dear Sisters . . . I am very well pleased with my hat and

Shirts they fit me first rate . . . I shall have enough of socks now to last me nearly all winter fo a yong Lady in Rockbridge sent me a very nice pare a few days ago . . . "

In camp near Battery Alexandria March 14, 1865 Shaner writes "Dear Sister . . . I bought myself a good pair of shoes this morning. I had to pay $60.00 dollars for them but I was oblige to have them as I have bin nearly bare footed for some time."

In less than a month Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

Paul Scott is a member of the Board of Directors of Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, Inc. The mission of CVBT is to preserve land connected with the Campaigns of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House. For more information, see

front porch fredericksburg January 2023 19 The Central Rappahannock Heritage Center is a non-profit, all-volunteer archives whose mission is to preserve historically valuable material of the region and make it available to the public for research 900 Barton St #111, Fredericksburg, VA 540-373-3704 Volunteers Wecome! Contact us about donating collections of documents and photographs
Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian
a soldier writes home
907 Princess Anne Street, Downtown Fredericksburg

A new year prompts me to look at new medical technologies - high tech gizmos to keep us healthy.

There are many innovations in many different fields but those likely to impact the most of us are:

AI and ML

Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning - in many ways mimicking what a good doctor should do. But, faster, without fatigue, distraction or grumping at their nurse.

AI can review records in a flash and so take into consideration all the illnesses and tests you've had in the past. It can call up a much more comprehensive list of things that might be wrong with you (the "differential diagnosis") - why you're anemic; what's causing your neuropathy; what might the cause that mass on your CT scan - while your meremortal doctor may be lucky to come up with just a few common causes.

It can review images far quicker and more accurately than a human being - a boon in analyzing the massive numbers of images generated with mammograms, MRI scans etc.

It's likely you've experienced the AI benefits of telemedicine already - which got a big boost from covid when we all had to distance.

This is being taken a step further with robotic "doctors" rounding on patients in hospitals. Or a robotic surgeon, like the Da Vinci surgical system, which means the specific skills of a surgeon in one location can be used to help out in some remote location. A submarines, outer space, a battlefield - anywhere there's a connection.

It's not just patients that like the convenience of telemedicine and not having to be in the office however - just don't interrupt your doctor during his golf game.

Wearable Technology

To date most wearable devices are gizmos like i-watches and Fitbits. But we are moving beyond that with garments made with "omniphobic" silk based coils powered by "magnetic resonance coupling" that will allow incorporation of all kinds of sensors.

So far wearables have mainly been monitoring basics like steps taken and heart rate. But now can monitor blood pressure, heart rhythm,

temperature, blood sugar, oxygen saturation, quality of sleep, speech patterns and physical activity - and can compute these to decide if you are heading for a stroke, a heart attack, diabetic coma or even a depression.

With fabrics, garments, like NadiX "the worlds smartest yoga pants" can monitor your posture - tell you if you're doing it right. Or Owlet Dream socks monitor your baby's oxygen level.


Analysis of a person's genome allows tailoring medications to individual metabolisms. Identify those with a gene variant that stops the anticoagulant clopidogrel (Plavix) working for exampleso they and their doctor can know before they have a blood clot and a stroke for example.

Or the field of "pharmacogenomics" is finding particular favor in matching mental health issues to the best medicines, rather than trial and a lot of error.


The innovation I have the most reservation about however, is retail healthcare.CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Amazon are all getting on the bandwagon with "omnichannel" care combining online pharmacy and advice, and in-person with "doc-in-a-box" and vaccinations in the store.

However, at the same time, expect much less personal care. And doctors' offices and hospitals (especially in rural areas) to be put out of business or be absorbed into some giant corporation.

I know getting an appointment to be seen - especially if you are unreasonable enough to want to see an actual doctor - is a challenge. But we are settling for second class care in my opinion.

However you get your healthcare, have a happy healthy new year.

front porch fredericksburg January 2023 21 Have You Tried Acupuncture? Call Now to Schedule 540.847.6985 Dianne Bachman,LCSW Psychotherapist/Astrologer Now offering psychological astrology & astrological consultations In addition to Individual, family & marital therapy Hypnosis Expressive Arts 540.845.7622
E m a n c i p a t e d P a t i e n t s innovations (540) 269-4911 Painless Acupuncture PEMF Cellular Wellness Best Holistic Health Care

e u x A l l e r E n F r a n c e ?

Sister City FrÈjus student exchange opportunity

President Eisenhower created the Sister City program after World War II to build international ties and foster friendship and an understanding of different cultures through "citizen diplomacy."

In 1980 Fredericksburg created its first pairing with Fréjus, France This partnering has created relationships that continue to this day and has sparked the adoption of numerous traditions for both the French and American cities. We now host an annual Bastille Day party and have a Giant Omelet celebration every ten years to commemorate the anniversary of our founding. In France, they celebrate the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving every year to share in our holidays.

Fréjus is a city, about the same size as Fredericksburg, on the Mediterranean coast, between Nice and St. Tropez. The city has over 2,000 years of history, dating back to Julius Caesar's conquering of Gaul/France. Ruins from Roman times can still be seen in the Amphitheater, aqueducts, and city gate. In the 19th century, Napoleon landed at Fréjus after his Egyptian campaign. More recently, Fréjus saw the landing of Allied Troops as part of the movement against German occupation in World War II. Today the city is a popular summer vacation spot with nearby hiking and beautiful beaches and marinas.

One of the most vital pieces of our organization is our student exchange program. Every year for the last 42 years, except for COVID, we have had students travel across the Atlantic and live with families to learn about a life different from their own. In even numbered years, we welcome students from Fréjus, while in odd numbered years we send our young people to France. Students spend approximately two weeks living with a family and experiencing what daily life is like for teens in the other country. The foreign students then spend three or four days in either New York City or Paris before returning home.

We are currently looking for students who would like to participate in the 2023 Student Exchange Program We will be sending up to 20 high schoolers to Fréjus in mid-July, generally leaving around July 10th and returning around the 26th. The ideal student is anywhere from age 14 to age 18 with at least two years of French studies. Students will be immersed in the language while they are in Fréjus and their language skills with grow greatly over the two weeks.

Most days that students are in Fréjus, they will be participating in activities with their hosts and the other students and chaperones. These activities are designed to share the culture, activities, and history of the area. Some of the activities we have done in the past include visiting Fragonard Perfumery in Grasse, spending a day in Nice, creating arts with local artists, and spending the day kayaking and paddleboarding at the beach. We always have an historical tour of Fréjus and celebrate Bastille Day with our Sister City. On the weekends the students are free to spend the time with their host families experiencing different things. Students have gone to the beach, visited Marineland (a park like Sea World), gone horseback riding, and many other activities.

At the end of the trip, the chaperones take the students to Paris to visit cultural landmarks and see a different part of France. In the past students have visited the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Palace of Versaille, Musée d'Orsay, and many other places. Students have also gone on walking tours to visit different restaurants and gain an appreciation of the importance of cuisine to France.

If you are interested in learning more about the exchange program, or our Sister City program in general, you can visit our website www fredericksburgfrejus com or contact us or on Facebook Fredericksburg Sister City Association. Our applications can also be found on our website. The stated deadline of January 15 is for early acceptance, applications for this incredible opportunity will be accepted through February 15, 2023.

Kristin Moeller participated in the Frejus exchange in 2009 as a student, and in 2019 as a chaperone. She is a dedicated member of the FSCA Board of Directors even though she recently moved to San Antonio (thanks to Zoo

front porch fredericksburg January 2023 25
America Stands for Freedom America Stands With Ukraine

Resolved... on resolutions

As the days of 2022 waned, and the prospect of the "tabula rasa" of this January approached, my thoughts turned to the topic of resolutions. Most of us can't resist the impulse to welcome the New Year as a new beginning in which we can improve our actions and behavior and conjure up a list of steps we can take to make this year a better one. That discussion with myself resulted in three basic resolutions for resolutions" that could give them a better chance for longevity.

1 Formulate the changes we'd like to make in positive terms rather than terms of denial or what not to do. For example, "Do not eat sugary treats" could be stated as "Incorporate fruits and healthy alternatives in my diet as alternatives for sweets or desserts." It's just a little more enticing to see an image of what we'd like to do rather than the image of an object or action we want to avoid with a slash sign through it.

2. Translate general goals into specific measurable objectives. For

example, "Get more exercise in 2023" could be reconfigured as "Walk for 30 minutes three days a week." This both allows us to track our progress but also provides a plan to recoup in the event of a slow start toward the week's goal.

3 Use the buddy system. Enlist a friend who has the same or similar goal as a partner in taking the steps to realize it. From personal experience, I know this can be a key to success, even down to the phrase "taking steps." And the buddy system has value beyond strengthening a resolution.

Years ago, when our sons were in middle school together, a friend and I began taking weekly walks together. In addition to providing an opportunity to limber up our joints and get some fresh air, we quickly realized that our walks also provided a great time together to compare notes on updates on their school and our neighborhood.

Soon, the "talk" became more important than the walk, and it took on a

life of its own. As the years passed, and then the decades, and our sons moved on to new ventures of college and careers, our walking talks continued and were a foundational element of our week.

With time, the topics we discussed morphed from trading notes on the boys' ventures to talking about the best sleeping positions for an aching back or entering the stage when you begin to refer to your left knee and right knee as your "good knee" and "bad knee." Whatever the change in our external circumstances may be, the internal value of mutual support and camaraderie we share has remained invaluable.

I have resolved: To the best of my ability, I will align my resolutions to these basic guidelines that experience has guided me to.

is a local writer and artist

26 January 2023 Front porch fredericksburg
Collette Caprara

C o m p a n i o n s

Happy New Year or New


opposed to another puppy food which may be too big for them to eat. When it comes to treats, all treats are not made equally. Find one training treat and stick to it. Giving too many different treats can upset your pet’s digestive system. Consult with your Veterinarian about their recommendation for your puppy’s diet.

Happy New Year to One and All! 2023 sure rolled in swiftly. With the holiday season behind us, many of us are recovering from all the festivities, familygatherings and all that food! But for some, Santa may have brought your family a gift that has four paws, a cute wet nose and an adorable face…A NEW PUPPY! Everyone dreams of waking up to find a puppy under the tree but once that thrill is gone, it is time to get busy caring for your new bundle of joy! Here are some tips to help get you started with your new puppy.

We will start with the basics needs for your puppy Purchase supplies such as a dog bed, crate, feeding/water bowls, collar and leash, puppy food and some training treats. When it comes to a crate, buy a crate that will be comfortable fit your puppy. This means your pet should only be able to stand up and turn around comfortable. No need to buy a Chihuahua a huge crate! This will allow your pet to have more accidents due to its spacious accommodations. Remember, the crate is a place for your puppy to retreat and relax in while you are away from home. So, you can put blankets and even a dog bed in it. Dogs tend not to use the bathroom where they sleep and crate training is a great tool to use for while you are potty-training your pet.

Puppy food is essential to your pet’s nutrition. Be sure to choose the right food. Large breed puppies shou ld be fed a diet targeted for Large Breed Puppy as they require different nutrients since they grow so fast! Other puppies such as Chihuahuas or Yorkshire Terriers may need a diet with smaller bites as

Training is always a question I am asked when I see new puppy owners. Establishing a good treat that your puppy loves will help in the training process. Be sure the treat can be consumed quickly and it is not a treat they have to sit and chew. Start with getting your pet’s attention with the treat. Then, say your puppy’s name and tell he/she to “Come”. Only reward your puppy if the command is done. Repeat this process when teaching your pet how to “Sit” or “Lay Down”. I am not a fan of rewarding pets when they come in from outside after using bathroom. Many pets will go outside only to turn right around to come get the treat and then use the bathroom in the house. So, be mindful when treat training your pet. Limit treats as it is added calories to their regular diet. A good alternative to treats is using your pet’s puppy food as a reward.

Puppies are Heaven sent! They are so playful and a fun addition to any family. Nothing better than a snuggle or hug from a puppy and an occasional “wet” kiss! But puppies can be a handful! From potty-training to crate training to basic obedience training, becoming a new puppy owner is a lot of work. Being consistent with training is the key to a well-trained and well-behaved dog. With your time and dedication, your new puppy will be graduating from Puppy 101 with Top Honors in no time!

Dr. Gerri S. Reid is the Owner/Veterinarian of Reid Mobile Veterinary Services. 540-623-3029; ; facebook eVetServices

28 January 2023 Front porch fredericksburg
Photo of Kaja by Reid Mobile Services


Astrology & You serious capricorn

Liberty Liberty (A New Year Resolution) (A


We hear autocrats in the world imply that all of us are sheep who must follow their doctrine about how to act and what is best.

But humans have a brain to think and make choices and decisions opting where each life should go or any alternatives we may prefer.

Now is the time to begin control of every aspect of our existence by a resolve to advance liberty and enjoy the future we deserve.

Frank Fratoe lives & writes in the city.he loves.

Happy New Year! As we close the door on 2022, many of us are wishing for more peaceful, easier times ahead. Certainly, we have been under so much pressure with the pandemic, the economy, climate change, fighting and destruction in other parts of the world. It is easy to go down that deep spiral of worry and fear. Certainly, Capricorn season can bring out the most serious parts of us, craving plans and a safe, clear passageway to the future. So, it is at those bleak times that it can be

helpful to engage in communing with the night sky, like going for a walk in the woods by moonlight or standing under the stars, feeling yourself being infused with the light of the Moon. This month, Venus will shine the brightest of the planets. Throughout the month, Mars, Mercury, and Jupiter will also be visible and you can check the times and dates on the following website to plan your night gazing: @3600316.

Creating the intention to soak in the qualities of these bright planets can be an interesting way to engage in selfreflection, meditation, or self-care. Here are a few archetypal qualities the planets have to offer, so depending on your personal need, you can choose: Moon: Feelings, the unconscious, our personal needs, what nourishes us and feeds us, security, ability to relate to others. The Moon's expression is shaped by the sign it is in. For example, a Moon in Aries might approach life as bold, ambitious, and an initiator. A Moon in Taurus might be more inclined toward security, home, and comforts. The Moon changes signs about every two and a half days.

Venus: Love, relationships, beauty, aesthetic senses, sensual pleasure Mars: Warrior spirit, courage, passion Mercury: Communication, the mind, learning, mental functions

Jupiter: Expansion, hope, faith, sense of humor, higher learning So, bundle up, find a safe place where the sky is relatively dark, and allow yourself to experience the energies of the planets. Now, here is the astrological weather for this month:

January 1, we start the month with two personal planets in retrograde, Mercury and Mars. Probably not the best time to initiate something new but rather a time to hold back, re-check, and review any plans. With Mars in Gemini being retrograde AND out of bounds, we may feel pressure from within. Go for a walk, lift weights, do something constructive to channel the intensity of Mars.

January 2 Venus enters Aquarius. We might find ourselves engaged with friends or partners who are unique in some way. We might also find ourselves feeling like we would like a bit of space for the next few weeks.

January 6 Full Moon in Cancer. Intuition is strong depending on the placement of your other planets. In addition, this Cancer Moon asks: Where do you feel most vulnerable? What do you need to feel safe and secure? What feeds your Soul?

January 12 Mars stations direct (but will still be out of bounds until May), making a square with the Moon in Virgo. Even though Mars is free to move forward, it may be advisable to give it a few days before taking any bold action. Virgo Moon can assist in refining any plans.

January 18 Mercury stations direct, making a square to Jupiter, bringing the rather constricted and responsible tone to a more lively, hopeful week or so. For some it may feel like a lightbulb has turned on! Ideas and a zest for learning abound.

January 20 Sun enters Aquarius. Focus is on the collective and the name of the game is teamwork. Ingenuity, uniqueness, and a bit of rebelliousness is also featured for the next month, until the Sun enters watery Pisces.

January 21 New Moon in Aquarius. Time to plant the seeds of intention regarding what you would like to accomplish, innovate, or manifest in your life over the next month.

January 22 Uranus stations direct and can produce surprises or sudden changes in money matters, values, things of value, or how we are able to value ourselves. Expect the unexpected.

January 26 Venus enters Pisces brings us to the end of the first month with a strong intuitive sense regarding relationships. Watch your boundaries and remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of others.

Dianne Bachman is a psychotherapist & astrologer practicing in FXBG.

She can be reached at

Artwork Mandala by Carl Jung

front porch fredericksburg January 2023 29

Fredericksburg Sketches

A visual Celebration of our community

January, 2023 sunrise

As I write this the holidays are still ahead of us but as you read it all the good fun, family, friends and food are in the rearview mirror.

Now we begin that long slough toward spring, but it will come. This season has been an incredible one for sunrises and I find that I've been getting up earlier just so I can catch them. Many of my Facebook friends have managed to capture their brilliance with their cameras and smart phones but I've had no luck in that department. So I had to try to capture it on paper with pen and ink and watercolor.

The awe-inspiring colors are impossible to reproduce but sketching serves to remind me how amazing it has been watching the sun peek through the trees. This sketch was done from my bedroom window where I get the best view. In the summer when the leaves are on the trees I can't see the sun until it gets to the tops of them so, even though I have to look through the empty branches, the color is there in all its glory.

This particular morning a few of my neighbors were stirring, hence the lights in a couple windows, but all else was in dark shadow. The color in the sky was the star of the show, though, making the artificial light seem anemic.

Hope you get to see a sunrise yourself soon and may it amaze you, too!

30 January 2023 Front porch fredericksburg
810 Caroline Street (540) 371-5684 Give a Child Something to Think About Books, Games, Amusing Novelties M-Sat. 10am-6pm; Sun. 1pm-4pm Have a Hot Drink where warm hearts wish you Happy New Year Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose?
Paula Raudenbush is an admin for the Fredericksburg Chapter of the Urban Sketchers and maintains a studio in Libertytown Arts Workshop.