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January 2021 • Volume 9 • Issue 5

Finding the

Bright Side of Winter




All about our furry, feathered and scaly family members

Do your 2021 goals include Do your 2021 goals include finding a new home? finding a new home? Let our team help you Letthe ourhome team of help you find finddreams! the home of your your dreams!

Amanda Ostrander 540.655.3496 manda Ostrander 540.655.3496

CurtisBurchett Burchett540.354.6323 540.354.6323 Curtis

Lisa Lisa Seifred, Seifred,Client ClientServices ServicesManager Manager

BURCHETTHome HOMES BURCHETT BringingFamilies Families Bringing


|| 540.354.6323 540.354.6323

leading off: publisher’s note Another year has gone by and another New Year’s at Noon celebration is in the books. As we reflect on 2020 and all of the crazyness and sadness throughout the year, we are reminded of the symbolic nature of the start of a new year.

next big event and reach all of the new parents in our region. We invite you to come along for the ride and challenge yourself to be the best mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle or teacher you can be.

A new year gives us an opportunity to start again. A new opportunity to set forth resolutions that we intend to keep in order to better ourselves, our family and our environment. When the page flips over to January on the calendar, we have a lot to be grateful for from the past twelve months, but even more to be hopeful for in the next twelve.

We look forward to bringing you, our readers, quality articles and content in the year to come and continue our growth in the region. We are encouraged by the strength and growth of our region and we know that it will help lead the Roanoke Valley to bigger and better things in the years that follow.

You see, it may be symbolic and it may start off with two dreary, dark months in January and February, but a new year gives us the motivation to aim to be the best we can be and ultimately try to get right what we came up short on in the past year. The staff at Roanoke Valley Family magazine is no different. We are eager for the New Year to begin so we can reach our next milestones, create our

Our girls celebrating a White Christmas!

Happy New Year! “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each year find you a better man.” - Benjamin Franklin.

The Eagan Family

Andrea, Josh, Anika and Evelyn Proud Members of the Parenting Media Association since 2013! Learn more at www.parentmedia.org. 7

Co n t a ct Us: P.O. Box 4484, Roanoke, VA 24015 540-251-1660 www.roanoke.family


Josh & Andrea Eagan josh@virginiafamily.com • Anika and Evelyn’s Parents

Creative Director

Read Our Other Publications



Contributors Cristy Carr • Gene Marano • Sandi Schwartz Tani Haas • Rebecca Hastings Rachel Levine • Jacqueline Moon

Connect With Us


Tracy Fisher

tracy@virginiafamily.com • Charlotte and Evelyn’s Mom

Community Relations Director

We welcome reader comments, submissions, and the support of advertisers.

jeanne@virginiafamily.com • Parker and Connor’s Mom

We reserve the right to refuse or edit any materials submitted to us as we deem inappropriate for our audience. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with any submission to be returned. We do not accept responsibility for unsolicited materials.

Jeanne Lawrence


Jacqueline Moon jackie@virginiafamily.com • Elijah’s Mom, and Luke and Blair’s Stepmom

Sales Assistants Ani & Evie Eagan

sales@virginiafamily.com • Bauer and Chloe’s Owners


John Morris • COV Designs john@covdesigns.com

Roanoke Valley Family and www.roanoke.family are published by MoFat Publishing. Roanoke Valley Family is published monthly. The views and the opinions expressed by the writers and advertisers do not necessarily represent those of Roanoke Valley Family, its staff, or its contributors. While multiple businesses, schools, and organizations are represented in our pages, and magazines are often distributed to students according to the policies and procedures of each school district, this is not a publication coordinated or endorsed by any public or private school district, nor is it a publication with any religious or political objectives. As a mass media outlet, it is our oath and responsibility to communicate with due diligence, through our content, the plurality of views and opinions reflected in our audience of Central and Southwest Virginia. Readers are strongly encouraged to verify information with programs and businesses directly. Parents are urged to thoroughly research any decisions involving their children. Copyright 2021 by MoFat Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. All material, including artwork, advertisements, and editorials, may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher.




Submit Your Ideas Share your story ideas with us by emailing jackie@virginiafamily.com

© Copyright 2021 Mofat Publishing

Inside January

8 Things You Need to Know Before Taking Your Kids Skiing Snow sports are a great way to exercise as a family but can take some preparations. Read on page 12

Dog Dangers There’s several household common items that can be dangerous to your furry family members- learn how to avoid costly vet bills!

In the CommUNITY Roanoke Valley SPCA strives to help the four legged memebers of our community.

Read on page 14

Read on page 20

6 Local Events & Fun At Home

We urge families to be safe and carefully consider as they attend community events this winter.

18 Is it Time to Add a Pet to the Family?

Important questions to ask before a pet joins your family.

## Out with the Old, In with the New

The new year brings the perfect opportunity to clean and organize your home!

45 Thermometer Experiment

You just need a few items from around the house to make your own thermometer!

22 Rachel Reads

Discover heartwarming, funny and sweet stories about our domesticated animal friends.

42 Kid Activities

in the


Noteworthy news from around the Valley

TAP Assuming Care of Local Children’s Mentoring Program After decades of serving the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia (BBBS) will close effective January 31, 2021. Despite the unfortunate closure, Total Action for Progress (TAP) has graciously agreed to assume care of the BBBS mentoring program. TAP will facilitate the program’s 50 current matches in an effort to ensure those children in the Roanoke Valley continue to receive services and mentoring. TAP is also assuming care of the after school tutoring program, outdoor adventures, and in-school mentoring programs that are current partnerships with public school systems and Roanoke City Parks and Rec. The Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) model of one-to-one mentoring comes at a great financial expense. Due to declining grant funding and donations over the years, coupled with

the difficulty of fundraising during a pandemic, the BBBS board unanimously decided it is no longer financially feasible to continue under affiliation with the national organization. “While this was a difficult decision, after careful consideration we feel this is the right move to prioritize our children and the mission,” said Laura Carini, BBBS Board President. ”While we are sad to close the area’s largest and longest running youth mentoring program, we are confident it is the right choice. We are forever grateful to TAP and confident the organization provides the experience and resources necessary to best serve our children.” TAP will not use the name BBBS due to the expense of the affiliation fees that accompany the name and branding. The mentoring program will become a component of TAP’s Super Hero Kids program, which focuses on healing trauma and restoring hope

and connections for youth in our community. The mentoring component of Super Hero Kids will be called Super Hero Kids Connections. The program will operate under the supervision of TAP Housing & Human Services Director Stacey Sheppard. TAP has many years of experience leading mentoring programs, including Virginia CARES, Fathers First, Y.A.L.E. (Young Adult Life Enhancement), and more. Annette Lewis, TAP president states, “TAP commends Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia for its outstanding history of providing opportunities for the lives of both children and adults to be enriched. We regret that BBBS has to close and will do our best to continue the important mentoring work that has begun. TAP also looks forward to working with the current partners and adding new ones.

Roanoke Native April Marcell’s First Book April Marcell is a 2011 Hollins graduate, who teaches in the Norfolk school system, who has made 12 feature films and 7 short movies as well as 20 plays (including dramas, comedies and musicals).

“Poopie Jane”, illustracted by Urusa Zeeshna, is Marcel’s first book based on her second child, Farrah. It is about a four-year-old girl with a big imagination.

Cave Spring Merges Competing Little Leagues After a history of over 50 years, Cave Spring American Little League and Cave Spring National Little League have merged competing leagues to form a unified Cave Spring Little League. “We should be excited about children doing positive things and participating in something we all care about. Baseball teaches sportsmanship, respect, and skills. Youth baseball gives children and parents an opportunity to get outside, meet new friends, and have fun” Fred Corbett, Division 12 District Administrator, said. There are several, major benefits for the players and parents from both league’s merging: Players will no longer be separated from their Southwest Roanoke County schoolmates based on which league’s boundary they live in. Russell Emory, Board President of Cave Spring Little League, stated “Now you’ll get to play with your friends.” “We’ve had kids who go to the same school, but play on a different team. This merger will now allow all of the children in our Cave Spring & Hidden Valley communities to play together.”

Southwest Roanoke County. The merger of leagues will provide a greater, increased player pool to allow more teams, a greater variety of games and schedules, and a larger pool of players to participate in Little League (after regular season) Tournament games.

We heard it online!

“We are excited about the increase in quality of both coaching and resources,” Russell said. “For a lot of the kids, they’ll now get to play with their friends - whether you end up at Hidden Valley or end up at Cave Spring, we are all playing Little League together!” “I want people to say we are Cave Spring Little League; we are in this together.” To be eligible to play in Cave Spring Little League, players must reside in, or attend a private or public school within the league boundaries. Players who do not reside in the boundaries, but attend a private school within our boundaries must purchase a Non-Resident Participation Pass from Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Visit www.cavespringlitteleague.com for more info.

Player registration will be more streamlined, consolidating different league boundaries into one, larger league boundary covering most portions of

After an amazing call @coach_ ham & @Beau_Davidson We (@ jaybreeze_06) have decided to de-commit from ULM to stay home and join the Hokies family @HokiesFB!! We are looking forward to playing at Lane Stadium. Go Hokies!! -@jordensvibe (Salem High School Senior)

Breakfast “Burguesas” start at 6am in our Roanoke FarmBurguesa location. We have our very own FarmBurguesa blend coffee by our friends at RND Coffee. Vinton location will serve breakfast after patio expansion. -@FarmBurguesa

Northside Middle Schooler Wins Kids Baking Championship Holiday Special Taylor, who a year ago was a contestant on the Food Network’s “Kids Baking Championship” for six episodes, was invited back to participate in the cable channel’s holiday-themed television competition, “Seasons Sweetings.” Last year, Taylor finished fourth

out of 10 contestants. This time, her gingerbread house and chocolate cake claimed the holiday championship — $10,000 worth of kitchen appliances, baking supplies and other prizes. The 13-year-old has her own cake business here in Roanoke, TaylorMade Cakes & Creations.

Local tse EvenHom

& Fun at

January 4

January 14

National Trivia Day

Dress Your Pet Up Day

There’s nothing trivial about this special day. Trivia Day is a fun day. It is an opportunity for us to share those many little trinkets of knowledge. It doesn’t matter how big or how trivial. Dazzle your friends and family with generous portions of trivia today!

Great news! You don’t have to wait until Halloween to dress up your pet. National Dress Up Your Pet Day gives you the opportunity to, you guessed it, dress up your pet!

There are countless books and websites with an unending list of trivia on just about every subject imaginable. January 8

National Bubble Bath Day Today is a fun day to relax an enjoy the warm and soothing pleasures of a bubble bath. Best of all, it can be enjoyed by kids and adults. On Bubble Bath Day, there are a couple of ways to enjoy your bubble bath. And don’t forget your rubber duckie!

Sorry, we don’t have any ideas on how to dress up goldfish. January 20

Cheese Lover Day Do you love cheese, all kinds of cheeses? Spectacular, as today is National Cheese Lover Day. Use today to savor and enjoy any of the hundreds of varieties

FEB. 25-26

APR. 9-10

APR. 29-MAY 2

AUG. 5-8



Some pets like to get dressed up. Others, want nothing to do with it. This day is an opportunity to really dress up your pet(s). Make something for them to wear. Or, go to a pet store and buy an outfit. It’s winter, so something warm is best.

540-400-7795 • virginiachildrenstheatre.org Family • January 2021

of cheese. There certainly is no shortage of varieties. Depending upon what article you read, there is between 900 - 1,400 varieties of cheese, all classified by texture. It’s easy to celebrate this special day. Set out a tray of several varieties of your favorite cheese and dig in. Having a cheese tasting party with your friends, will make this day a truly memorable one. And, don’t forget the wine. Cheese goes great with cheese. Some Cheesy Trivia: Cheese is more flavorful at room temperature. Americans consume over 31 pounds of cheese per year.

But, that’s nothing. But that’s nothing compared to the French, who eat over 50 pounds of cheese per year. Historical records vary, as to when cheese was first made. It was somewhere between 7,500 and 8,000 B.C. Records suggest it may have first been discovered, by accident, in Poland or Arabia. The world’s largest cheese was put on display on this day in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. It weighed over 34,000 pounds. Eating cheese makes you feel gouda. So, don’t be bleu. Eat some cheese on National Cheese Lover Day! January 21

Martin Luther King Jr Day Born on January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. grew to

become one of the greatest Social Activists the world has ever known. At 35, he became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace prize. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 while making a speech from the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. His birthday became a National Holiday by an act of Congress in 1983. Many consider it a day to serve your community. Quote for Today: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” - Martin Luther King Jr. January 29

National Puzzle Day Don’t be puzzled by today. National Puzzle Day honors puzzles of all size, shape and form. Crossword puzzles are by far the most common. Sudoku, a number puzzle, is the most

recent puzzle rage. And, don’t forget the ever popular picture puzzles. There’s easy puzzles, and there’s puzzles for experts. They fit the needs of every person, and every skill level. Puzzles are a favorite pastime of millions of people, young and old. So, what’s with this fascination over puzzles? There’s numerous reasons for it’s popularity. For many, doing puzzles is fun. Some people just like the challenge of completing them, and graduating to evermore complex and difficult puzzle solving levels. For others, it is a way to kill time, and to eliminate boredom. Others still, do puzzles to keep their mind sharp, or to learn new words. Whatever the cause for your interest, spend National Puzzle Day doing puzzles. On this day, you can do crosswords, picture puzzles, Sudoku, or any other kind of puzzle that you prefer.

Family • January 2021


l ley ’s a V e k o n a o R Pa r k e n i l o p m a r On ly T

Game Day Eats and Treats Score major points with delicious dishes

B o o k Yo u r rty Bi r t hday Pa To day !

If the crew is coming over to root for your favorite team, it may be time to spice up the menu. Whether you’re hosting the weekend get-together or watching the game after work, switch up your typical spread and serve something new to leave your guests cheering for more. Variety is key when mapping out food for a crowd, regardless of the event. Plan on serving one main course and two sides, and consider no-fuss options like chips and dips. If there are kids in attendance, make sure there is something neutral for even the pickiest eaters to snack on. However, try your best to avoid anything that needs a knife and fork to eat -finger foods typically work best when the game is on and conversation is flowing.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam Ingredients:

launchingpadsalem.com 1300 Intervale Drive Salem VA 24153


1 teaspoon olive oil 3 pounds pork shoulder roast kosher salt, to taste ground black pepper, to taste 4 cloves garlic, quartered 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 8 ounces dried peaches 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 cup Black Olives, wedged 2 teaspoons country mustard 1 ounce arugula 8 onion rolls, split and toasted

Directions: 1. Heat oven to 375 F. 2. In large, high-sided saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. 3. Season pork with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook in pan 3-4 minutes on each side until browned. 4. Stir in garlic and continue cooking 3-5 minutes. 5.Pour in chicken broth, peaches and chili powder; bring to boil. 6. Cover loosely with foil and bake in oven 2 hours. 7. With slotted spoon, carefully remove peaches and transfer to small mixing bowl. Mix olives and mustard with peaches; set aside. 8. Continue to cook pork in oven 30-60 minutes until fork tender. 9. Allow to cool slightly then shred by pulling apart with fork. 10. Assemble sandwiches by spooning pork onto toasted rolls. 11. Top with arugula and peach-olive mixture.


& More! Easy Olive Bread Ingredients: 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 clove garlic, minced 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 10 ounces Green Olives, chopped 2 green onions, chopped 1 loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise Directions: 1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. In bowl, mix cream cheese, butter and mayonnaise until thoroughly combined. Add garlic; stir well to distribute. Add cheddar cheese, green olives and green onions; stir to combine. 3. Spread mixture on cut sides of bread. Bake 20-30 minutes, until cheese is hot, bubbly and starting to brown.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade Ingredients: 1/2 cup shallots, chopped 1/4 cup chopped smoked sun-dried tomatoes 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 2 cloves garlic, minced 6 ounces Green Olives, drained 6 ounces Black Olives, drained 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil sea salt, to taste freshly ground pepper, to taste crackers or toasted baguette slices Directions: 1. In food processor, pulse shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and garlic until finely chopped. Add olives, basil, salt and pepper; pulse again until chopped. 2. Cover and chill 1 hour. 3. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices.

Get more Game Day Recipes at roanoke.family

Bumper Cars Ninja Warrior Course Basketball Dodgeball Jousting Pit Fidget Ladder Airbag Pit Launch Tower Arcade with prizes Flight Training Wall Snack Bar 5 Party Rooms

8 Things You Need to Know Before Taking Your Kids Skiing by Pam Moore

The idea of skiing with your kids may feel daunting. But as the parents I interviewed for this piece agreed, it’s worth it. With a lot of planning (and maybe a little bribery) it’s totally doable. Here are some things to consider before hitting the slopes. When to Start Parents agreed, the earlier kids start skiing, the more confident they’ll be and the more fun they’ll have. Colorado mom Ellen Nordberg, got her twins in lessons by age four and says, “Our kids are 13 and committed skiers for life for having started so early.” Ian, a Colorado dad, recommends not rushing, but instead, waiting until kids are “excited about skiing so they’re self-motivated.”  You may be wondering if your child is ready. If that’s the case, Nate Chesley, a former Alta, Utah ski instructor and dad, recommends asking the following question: “How confident am I that my child will have fun?”


Family • January 2021

According to Chesley, success is less about the actual skiing and more about kids having the confidence to be separated from their parents, bundled up in bulky outerwear, trying to learn a new sport, with foreign objects strapped to their feet. The key to a successful experience is making sure your child is having fun, because as Chesley says, “Learning stops when the fun stops.” Even if your child spends half the lesson “eating snowballs,” if she’s smiling at the end and excited to try again, you can call it a win. Manage Expectations Be honest with yourself about why you want your children to ski and what you hope they will accomplish. Says Chesley, “Your motivations and expectations, and whether they’ve been met…will shape your child’s comfort and engagement with [skiing]. Push too hard, and you’re fighting against… fear and discomfort.”  High expectations lead to disappointment. Colorado mom Rebecca Johnson says kids “don’t care

that you spent $80 to take one whiney run on the kiddie hill.” Moreover, if you pressure them, “they may not take

another run just to spite you.” A Washington dad lets his kids choose whether to ski after their morning lesson, in order to avoid meltdowns and to keep it fun. Planning From scheduling to packing your bag, planning saves stress, time, and money. Being organized means avoiding paying resort prices for a forgotten mitten. If possible, ski on weekdays. Crowds are lighter, and prices may be lower. Also, enroll your child in lessons in advance, as they can fill up.  Arrive 15 minutes early for your child’s ski lesson to allow for unexpected delays and the inevitable bathroom stop once all their gear is zipped and buttoned. Remember, kids pick up on your anxiety. If you’re stressed about running late, they will be, too. The Elements Layers are key to staying warm. While kids’ bodies generally heat up faster than ours do, kids are more likely to complain about being too cold than too warm. If you can’t justify the cost of quality items your kid will wear for one season, try borrowing items. Musts: -long underwear -ski socks -warm sweater or fleece jacket -warm pants -snow pants -ski jacket -neck gaiter -mittens -goggles -Ski helmet (doubles as a hat) Remember to apply sunblock and chapstick with SPF. The combination of UV rays reflected off the snow and altitude make skin especially vulnerable. 

Even if your child spends half the lesson “eating snowballs,” if she’s smiling at the end and excited to try again, you can call it a win. Gear Most parents recommend renting skis and boots each season. Many ski shops have a trade-up program where you can trade last season’s gear for a bigger size at a discounted price the next season, or trade out for the next size mid-season at no extra cost. If you rent skis just for the day, prices are generally lower at your local ski shop than at the mountain. Renting locally also saves time at the ski resort.

advises, “Don’t underestimate the power of bribery.”

That said, if you have multiple children, buying could make sense. Joy Jackson, Colorado mom of three, buys her kids’ equipment. “It gets handed down to the next child and we tune them better than the rental stores do.”

Fun Factor Parents and professionals agreed, for kids to enjoy skiing, it must be fun. Strategies parents offered for upping the fun factor included: - Skiing with other families so kids can ski with friends (Plus they’re less likely to whine around peers.) - Sing on the chairlift - Keep candy in your pocket - Plan something fun at the end of the day, like going out for hot chocolate - Let them wear helmet stickers and mohawks -Plan a special grocery run and let them pack whatever they want (within reason) for lunch 

Nutrition Allow time for a solid breakfast. For picky eaters, consider serving a favorite food (exception: Twizzlers). You could also pack something to munch in the car, like a breakfast burrito or a sandwich.  Encourage your child to drink, starting the day before. Hydration is particularly important at altitude. Don’t force them to drink when they report feeling sick. When they puke, you’ll feel like the worst mom ever. (That was my experience, anyway). Snacks will help keep your child’s energy and mood up, plus they’re motivating. Parents cited candy, granola bars, and cheese sticks among prizes they keep in their pockets. Colorado mom Joelle Wisler

Lessons Parents overwhelmingly recommend turning kids over to professionals. If you plan to ski regularly, enroll them in a lesson that meets repeatedly with the same kids and instructors, so they get comfortable and make friends. Lessons also give you time to ski with your partner.  

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Taking kids skiing is a lot of work and it is not cheap. As with any family activity, there are no guarantees against tantrums, whining, or puke. But the rewards of sharing the sport with your kids more than make up for the hassles. And if you maintain low expectations, keep little toes warm, remember to bring candy, and focus on fun, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.

Family • January 2021



Dangers Protect Your Pooch from These Hazards by Kimberly Blaker

The last thing any dog owner wants is for their beloved family pet to experience a life-threatening emergency. Unfortunately, dangers to dogs lurk everywhere, and often, they’re things we’d least likely expect. Proof of this can is in the 213,773 calls to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center during 2018 alone. Add to this, hundreds of thousands of pets are treated for or die from a wide variety of preventable accidents each year. The following are just a few of the common hazards with which dog owners should take precautions. Chip & snack bags. Numerous dogs and cats suffocate to death in chips and treat bags each year. A survey by Dr. Jason Nicholas was reported on May 15, 2018, in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Of 1,354 respondents, Nicholas found pet owners were home 39% of the time when pet suffocation occurred. The lethal containers included chip and


Family • January 2021

snack bags, pet food and treat bags, cereal box liners, bread bags, and plastic containers, among others. Often, dogs get into food bags that are left out by their families. In other cases, dogs retrieve them from the

Many dogs have swallowed tennis balls whole, resulting in death. trash and have even been known to access cupboards. So store food bags in upper cabinets. Better yet, empty snacks and dog food into plastic food

storage containers (that they can’t get their heads stuck in). Also, when you dispose of bags, cut them down the sides in case your dog or another animal finds its way into the trash. Toxic foods. Many foods that are healthy for humans are toxic to dogs. Grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure and death in dogs. Chocolate can be fatal to both cats and dogs. Anything sweetened with xylitol can cause hypoglycemia, liver failure, seizures, and death to pets. Even salty foods can pose a risk like sodium ion poisoning as well as excessive thirst and urination. Lit candles.  When pets are around, candles pose added risk. Pets can easily knock over a lit candle and cause a fire. But also, rambunctious dogs or their wagging tails can get burned by the flame. Burning candles are also bad for your pet›s health, particularly scented ones.

So only burn candles when you can restrict your pet from the room. If you do burn candles when your dog’s around, place the candles up high. Just make sure the flame isn’t too close to the ceiling or a shelf above it.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion in dogs include heavy panting, a swollen tongue, tongue hanging out the side of the mouth, excessive drooling, frequently trying to lie down, or an irregular or fast heartbeat.

Lighters. These little gadgets make for fascinating chew toys for dogs of all sizes, until the first chomp. When a lighter explodes in your dog›s mouth, it can result in a burn and even force shrapnel to lodge in your dog›s mouth or throat. Ingestion of the liquid or inhaling butane can also cause several problems and even death. So always keep lighters well out of your dog›s reach.

If your dog shows signs of heat exhaustion, it needs to cool down immediately. Get your dog into the shade or preferably air conditioning. You can also put your dog in a tub of cool, but not icy, water, or use the hose to cool him off. Another option is to apply an ice pack to your dog’s head. But don’t feed ice to an overheated dog, which can be dangerous to your pet.

Heat exhaustion. All dogs can experience heat exhaustion, although certain breeds are particularly prone to it. Shortsnouted dogs are at increased risk because they have a shortened breathing system. Some dogs with longer muzzles are also at high risk. So research your breed to determine how well it can tolerate heat. Regardless of the breed, dogs should never be left outdoors without shade during warm weather. Neither should they be left in cars when temperatures exceed 40 or 50 degrees outside. Cars can heat up to exceed the outdoor temperature by 30 to 40 degrees within a brief time in the sun. Dog owners should also avoid overexercising their dogs and pay close attention to their dog for signals of distress.

Rope tug toys. These pose multiple risks to both pets and humans. Playing tug-of-war with dogs is known to increase dog aggression. Tugging can also damage your dog›s teeth. Most concerning, however, are the strings. Dog’s are known to unravel or shred rope toys and ingest the strings. The strings then get tangled around the dog’s organs. This can pose a life-threatening situation that’s resulted in numerous emergency surgeries as well as deaths. Rawhide.  One problem with this leather chew toy is that rawhide is treated with harmful chemicals. There›s also the risk of salmonella poisoning. Rawhide poses a choking hazard when dogs swallow it as well. Add to this, dogs can›t digest rawhide. As a result, countless dogs experience intestinal blockage and require surgical removal

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of the rawhide. Squeaky toys. These are usually made of soft rubber or cloth. So they’re easy for dogs to chew up or rip apart. The small round squeakers inside these toys are the perfect size for dogs to swallow and choke on. Tennis and other small balls.  According to many dogs, tennis balls make great chew toys. Unfortunately, they›re easy to tear apart and pose a choking hazard. If you have a medium to large dog, tennis balls pose a danger even without being torn apart. Many dogs have swallowed tennis balls whole, resulting in death. Kong and other rubber toys. Most rubber dog toys have a hole so they can squeak or hold treats. If the hole is large enough that your dog can fit part or all of its tongue into it, this can pose a severe danger by creating a vacuum. The vacuum can cause your dog›s tongue to get stuck and become engorged, cutting off circulation. Many dogs have required emergency tongue amputations. Some have even died. To prevent suction, toys with a hole must have an additional hole on the other side so air can flow through freely, eliminating the risk of a vacuum. Play it safe. The above is just a partial list of the numerous dog toys that pose hazards. Unfortunately, the dog toy market is unregulated, and most pet stores sell countless toys that are known to be unsafe. So always research pet toys before giving them over to your beloved dog.

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might notice we changed a little. While we have NextNext timetime you you visit,visit, you you might notice we changed a little. While we have always accustomed to following strict infection control precautions, always beenbeen accustomed to following strict infection control precautions, we’ve made a few changes notice. From our temperature we’ve made a few changes that that you you maymay notice. From our temperature and and screening station to our improved surgical masks screening station to our newnew and and improved N95N95 surgical masks and and faceface shields medical grade air purifying filters in each treatment room, shields and and medical grade air purifying filters in each treatment room, to to fewer people in waiting the waiting room, we’ve made changes to keep fewer people in the room, we’ve made changes to keep you you and and youryour family comfortable. us today to schedule appointment. family safesafe and and comfortable. Call Call us today to schedule youryour nextnext appointment.

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Are you thinking of adding a fourlegged, furry friend to the family? Adding a new member to the family is fun and exciting but it can also be stressful and disruptive if you are not prepared to take on the responsibility of a family pet. Here are some things to think about before you adopt a pet.

Is it Time to Add a Pet to the Family? By Sarah Lyons


Family • January 2021

Are the kids comfortable around animals? Some kids are naturally afraid of animals and it may cause them to act erratically around the new pet which may upset the animal. While a healthy respect for animals is important, kids should be comfortable around the type of pet you are considering adopting. If your child is fearful, do not force them to interact with the animal. Instead, show them how to properly care for the pet and encourage them to participate as they feel comfortable.Â

Do they understand how to properly treat an animal? Before adopting a new pet, kids should understand how to take care of them responsibly. They should also understand that they must be touched gently and carefully. They should not squeeze, hit, ride on, or drop the animal. Dogs and cats are not toys. If an animal feels threatened or cornered, they may growl, hiss, or bite. It is a good idea to explain this to your child and let them know if they are cared for in a loving way, this usually isn’t an issue. Is everyone in the family committed to the idea? Adopting a pet is a long-term commitment that everyone in the family needs to be on board with. Are the kids responsible enough to take on the tasks of feeding and caring for the pet? If not, is the parent willing to pick up the slack? Do you have proper space for the type of pet you are considering? Is your family home enough to walk

and feed a dog? Will the pet get enough attention with your work and activity schedules? Can you afford to care for your pet? Not only will there be an initial adoption cost but there will be food, accessories, vet bills, and boarding costs if you decide to travel. You should also consider if anyone in the family may have allergies, fears, or any other issues that may interfere with being able to commit to caring for an animal for years.

Dogs are generally higher maintenance than cats because they must be walked or have a fenced backyard. They need to be let out at regular intervals, which means someone has to be home during the day to do that. There are also many dog breeds to consider depending on size and temperament. It is wise to do some research on dog breeds before jumping in.

Adopting a pet is a long-term commitment that everyone in the family needs to be on board with.

If you have answered these questions and are still excited about the idea of adding a four-legged friend to your family, discuss with all family members what type of animal would be a good fit.

Cats are generally lower maintenance because they can be left alone for longer periods of time but they do still need love, attention, feedings, and a clean litter box. If chosen carefully, pets can be a great addition to a family because they bring many years of companionship and enjoyment.

Family • January 2021


In the community

by Sandra Pratt

Roanoke Valley SPCA It is hard to resist the cuteness of a doggie or a kitty in need of a home and The Roanoke Valley SPCA specializes in finding forever homes for all the furbabies who find themselves without one. Their mission is to create a community where there are no homeless cats or dogs through the power of adoption, prevention, and intervention. A main initiative over the past year has been reducing the number of animals in shelters and RVSPCA has achieved this by developing preventative programs to keep pets and families together. So many families have struggled with economic challenges which has made it difficult to care for their pet whether it be trying to feed them properly or provide veterinary services. The staff never wants a family to be faced with the decision to relinquish a beloved family pet until all other avenues have been exhausted. One program recently created is Dot’s Drive-Thru (a generous gift left to the organization by long-time friend Dorothy Hannaford) a monthly drivethrough food pantry in the shelter parking lot where cat and dog food is provided to anyone who needs it with no paperwork required and no questions asked. The P.E.T. (Pets Eat Too) Community Outreach Program provides pet food to about 500 senior and low-income clients through


Family • January 2021

local food pantries, Meals on Wheels, and hospice programs across our community. No one should ever have to choose between feeding themselves or feeding their pets. Through the generous support of individual, businesses, and foundations (thank you Banfield Charitable Trust!) the Companion Animal Relief Fund (C.A.Re) was set up to help families that may experience extraordinary veterinary expenses and may have to choose to relinquish or euthanize their pet. The C.A.Re Fund exists for unexpected veterinary expenses not for spay/neuter services (check out their sister organization Mountain View Humane Clinic for free or low cost spay/neuter services), routine wellness care, or maintenance. Anyone can experience life-changing situations that might make it difficult to keep their pet in the home with them; whatever that situation may be, the staff at RVSPCA will work to provide a transitional foster home for the pet until folks can get back on their feet. Pets will need to be seen

by their veterinarian and approved for this program. It is one less worry for families who might be putting the pieces back together after a flood, a fire or an illness that does not allow them to care for their pet. Keeping animals out of the shelter and in a safe, caring environment until they can be reunited with their family is the goal! Other alternatives to giving up your pet include admissions counseling, behavior assistance, information on pet-friendly housing (and they can even assist with pet deposits!) and discussion on how to re-home your pet as a last option. All these crisis intervention services are crucial to keeping pets and families together and keeping the shelters as empty as possible. Through the safety net of these programs, the staff at RVSPCA are educating our community about the responsibilities of pet ownership – it should never be a financial burden to be a pet family as the joy it brings everyone is priceless!!!alley SPCA

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Rachel’s Reads By Rachel Levine

Animal shelters have seen a dramatic increase in pet adoptions since the beginning of the COVID. Many families are looking to add a little joy and a new furry family member to love fits the bill. Whether you have a snuggly pet at home, or a pet rock is a better fit for your family, here are some fun pet themed books to share with your kiddos.

Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray

Warning: This story is only for families who LOVE fart jokes. Betty and Billy’s family have adopted a dog named Walter. They love Walter to pieces, but there is a problem. Walter farts. In fact, Walter farts A LOT. Eventually Betty and Billy’s dad says he can’t take the smell anymore and they need to return Walter to the animal shelter. The children are distraught. Thankfully, Walter’s farts make him an extremely effective guard dog and he saves the day. Check out Walter the Farting Dog to get the full (smelly) scoop!

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children by James Herriot

Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown

Have you ever seen a bunny rabbit or pretty bird outside and wished you could take it home? Now imagine a bear cub saw a human child and decided to keep that child as a pet! In this story a well-meaning bear cub


Family • January 2021

soon realizes she has bitten off more than she can chew. It turns out human children are nice to cuddle with, but very challenging to potty train. Children Make Terrible Pets is sure to spark lots of giggles, and reminds us that wild animals (including children) do not make good pets!

James Herriot wrote marvelous stories inspired by his time as a rural veterinarian in England in the 1930’s and 1940’s. His eight children’s stories have been collected into a treasury that will warm your heart. Friendship, kindness, and a love for animals fills these tales of a sow who adopts a kitten, a dog who never barks, a cat with a very busy social schedule, a dearly beloved horse, and many more.

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children is a book you will cherish and save to read with your grandchildren too.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Wilbur is a friendly and cheerful pig. His biggest priorities are spending time with his young owner Fern, eating, and getting to know the other animals in his barn. One day Wilbur is devastated to discover that he is meant to become dinner. His friend Charlotte (who happens to be a very well-spoken spider) comes up with a brilliant scheme to save Wilbur and keep him as the family pet. The story of Charlotte’s Web is a classic for a reason. This marvelous tale of true friendship will stay with your family long after you have read the last page.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

Mr. Popper is obsessed with all things Antarctic, but especially penguins. One day, to Mr. Popper’s glee, a penguin arrives at his house in a large wooden box. A small house in a temperate climate is not a very practical place for a pet penguin. Mr. Popper and his family have to quickly adapt their home to make it a suitable penguin habitat. As you can imagine, all sorts of fabulously ridiculous hijinks occur along the way. Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a delightful romp, especially perfect for a snowy day!

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Museum NOW OPEN!!! Check Website For Hours! Family • January 2021


Anyone who considers a pet a beloved friend, companion, or family member knows the intense pain that accompanies the loss of that friend. Following are some tips on coping with that grief, and with the difficult decisions one faces upon the loss of a pet.

Am I Crazy To Hurt So Much? Intense grief over the loss of a pet is normal and natural. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s silly, crazy, or overly sentimental to grieve! During the years you spent with your pet (even if they were few), it became a significant and constant part of your life. It was a source of comfort and companionship, of unconditional love and acceptance, of fun and joy. So don’t be surprised if you feel devastated by the loss of such a relationship.

Ten questions about the loss of your pet by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed.

People who don’t understand the pet/owner bond may not understand your pain. All that matters, however, is how you feel. Don’t let others dictate your feelings: They are valid, and may be extremely painful. But remember, you are not alone: Thousands of pet owners have gone through the same feelings.

What Can I Expect to Feel? Different people experience grief in different ways. Besides your sorrow and loss, you may also experience the following emotions: Guilt may occur if you feel responsible for your pet’s death—the “if only I had been more careful” syndrome. It is pointless and often erroneous to burden yourself with guilt for the accident or illness that claimed your pet’s life, and only makes it more difficult to resolve your grief. Denial makes it difficult to accept that your pet is really gone. It’s hard to imagine that your pet won’t greet


Family • January 2021

you when you come home, or that it doesn’t need its evening meal. Some pet owners carry this to extremes, and fear their pet is still alive and suffering somewhere. Others find it hard to get a new pet for fear of being “disloyal” to the old. Anger may be directed at the illness that killed your pet, the driver of the speeding car, the veterinarian who “failed” to save its life. Sometimes it is justified, but when carried to extremes, it distracts you from the important task of resolving your grief. Depression is a natural consequence of grief, but can leave you powerless to cope with your feelings. Extreme depression robs you of motivation and energy, causing you to dwell upon your sorrow.

stories, or letters to the pet. Other strategies including rearranging your schedule to fill in the times you would have spent with your pet; preparing a memorial such as a photo collage; and talking to others about your loss.

Who can I talk to? If your family or friends love pets, they’ll understand what you’re going through. Don’t hide your feelings in a misguided effort to appear strong and calm! Working through your feelings with another person is one of the best ways to put them in perspective and find ways to handle them. Find someone you can talk to about how much the pet meant to you and how much you miss it—someone you feel comfortable crying and grieving with.

Remember, you are not alone: Thousands of pet owners have gone through the same feelings.

What can I do about my feelings? The most important step you can take is to be honest about your feelings. Don’t deny your pain, or your feelings of anger and guilt. Only by examining and coming to terms with your feelings can you begin to work through them. You have a right to feel pain and grief! Someone you loved has died, and you feel alone and bereaved. You have a right to feel anger and guilt, as well. Acknowledge your feelings first, then ask yourself whether the circumstances actually justify them. Locking away grief doesn’t make it go away. Express it. Cry, scream, pound the floor, talk it out. Do what helps you the most. Don’t try to avoid grief by not thinking about your pet; instead, reminisce about the good times. This will help you understand what your pet’s loss actually means to you. Some find it helpful to express their feelings and memories in poems,

If you don’t have family or friends who understand, or if you need more help, ask your veterinarian or humane association to recommend a pet loss counselor or support group. Check with your church or hospital for grief counseling. Remember, your grief is genuine and deserving of support.

When is the right time to euthanize a pet? Your veterinarian is the best judge of your pet’s physical condition; however, you are the best judge of the quality of your pet’s daily life. If a pet has a good appetite, responds to attention, seeks its owner’s company, and participates in play or family life, many owners feel that this is not the time. However, if a pet is in constant pain, undergoing difficult and stressful treatments that aren’t helping greatly, unresponsive to affection, unaware of its surroundings, and uninterested in life, a caring pet owner will probably choose to end the

beloved companion’s suffering. Evaluate your pet’s health honestly and unselfishly with your veterinarian. Prolonging a pet’s suffering in order to prevent your own ultimately helps neither of you. Nothing can make this decision an easy or painless one, but it is truly the final act of love that you can make for your pet.

Should I stay during euthanasia? Many feel this is the ultimate gesture of love and comfort you can offer your pet. Some feel relief and comfort themselves by staying: They were able to see that their pet passed peacefully and without pain, and that it was truly gone. For many, not witnessing the death (and not seeing the body) makes it more difficult to accept that the pet is really gone. However, this can be traumatic, and you must ask yourself honestly whether you will be able to handle it. Uncontrolled emotions and tears—though natural—are likely to upset your pet. Some clinics are more open than others to allowing the owner to stay during euthanasia. Some veterinarians are also willing to euthanize a pet at home. Others have come to an owner’s car to administer the injection. Again, consider what will be least traumatic for you and your pet, and discuss your desires and concerns with your veterinarian. If your clinic is not able to accommodate your wishes, request a referral.

What do I do next? When a pet dies, you must choose how to handle its remains. Sometimes, in the midst of grief, it may seem easiest to leave the pet at the clinic for disposal. Check with your clinic to find out whether there is a fee for such disposal. Some shelters also accept such remains, though many charge a fee for disposal. If you prefer a more formal option, several are available. Home burial is a

Family • January 2021


columbarium, or even keep them with you in a decorative urn (of which a wide variety are available). Check with your veterinarian, pet shop, or phone directory for options available in your area. Consider your living situation, personal and religious values, finances, and future plans when making your decision. It’s also wise to make such plans in advance, rather than hurriedly in the midst of grief.

What should I tell my children?

popular choice, if you have sufficient property for it. It is economical and enables you to design your own funeral ceremony at little cost. However, city regulations usually prohibit pet burials, and this is not a good choice for renters or people who move frequently. To many, a pet cemetery provides a sense of dignity, security, and

permanence. Owners appreciate the serene surroundings and care of the gravesite. Cemetery costs vary depending on the services you select, as well as upon the type of pet you have. Cremation is a less expensive option that allows you to handle your pet’s remains in a variety of ways: bury them (even in the city), scatter them in a favorite location, place them in a

You are the best judge of how much information your children can handle about death and the loss of their pet. Don’t underestimate them, however. You may find that, by being honest with them about your pet’s loss, you may be able to address some fears and misperceptions they have about death. Honesty is important. If you say the pet was “put to sleep,” make sure your children understand the difference

every smile

comes from a place of safety and security that only a home can bring.

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Family • January 2021

between death and ordinary sleep. Never say the pet “went away,” or your child may wonder what he or she did to make it leave, and wait in anguish for its return. That also makes it harder for a child to accept a new pet. Make it clear that the pet will not come back, but that it is happy and free of pain. Never assume a child is too young or too old to grieve. Never criticize a child for tears, or tell them to “be strong” or not to feel sad. Be honest about your own sorrow; don’t try to hide it, or children may feel required to hide their grief as well. Discuss the issue with the entire family, and give everyone a chance to work through their grief at their own pace.

Will my other pets grieve? Pets observe every change in a household, and are bound to notice the absence of a companion. Pets often form strong attachments to one another, and the survivor of such a pair may seem to grieve for its companion.

Cats grieve for dogs, and dogs for cats. You may need to give your surviving pets a lot of extra attention and love to help them through this period. Remember that, if you are going to introduce a new pet, your surviving pets may not accept the newcomer right away, but new bonds will grow in time. Meanwhile, the love of your surviving pets can be wonderfully healing for your own grief.

Should I get a new pet right away? Generally, the answer is no. One needs time to work through grief and loss before attempting to build a relationship with a new pet. If your emotions are still in turmoil, you may resent a new pet for trying to “take the place” of the old—for what you really want is your old pet back. Children in particular may feel that loving a new pet is “disloyal” to the previous pet.

When you do get a new pet, avoid getting a “lookalike” pet, which makes comparisons all the more likely. Don’t expect your new pet to be “just like” the one you lost, but allow it to develop its own personality. Never give a new pet the same name or nickname as the old. Avoid the temptation to compare the new pet to the old one: It can be hard to remember that your beloved companion also caused a few problems when it was young! A new pet should be acquired because you are ready to move forward and build a new relationship—rather than looking backward and mourning your loss. When you are ready, select an animal with whom you can build another long, loving relationship— because this is what having a pet is all about! If you’re grieving the loss of a pet, you’ll find more helpful tips in Moira Allen’s book, Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet, available from Amazon.com






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• Junior Kindergarten program. • remediation program for students with diagnosed learning differences. • COVID-19 mitigation programs. Inspiring bright minds for 76 years • www.nor thcross.org Family • January 2021


Look on the Bright Side 20 Ways to Embrace Winter Inside and Out The holidays are over. All of the feasts were devoured with pleasure. The decorations were taken down and put away. Our friends and family have gone into hibernation. We are left with a feeling of larger waists, barer walls, and isolation. Old Man Winter has settled in and he is not leaving us for a few months. Instead of dreading this time of year, try embracing it. Winter is unique. Our lives slow down a little. Winter is the only time of year when we can find the greatest temperature change between the inside of our house and the outdoors. We are given the best of both worlds, if only for a short time. Make the most of it. Have an indoor picnic. Spread out a blanket in the family room. Make burgers on the grill and potato salad on the side. You get everything but the bees and ants! Get out in the sun. Try snowshoeing, sledding or making a snowman. Breathe in the brisk air and see your warm breath when it hits the cold. Plan a game night. Winter’s cold nights keep us indoors. Encourage your family to shut off the TV, sit around the table and do something together. Head to the zoo. While most visits occur during the warmer months, zoos are open year-round. See the animals and exhibits in a different light by visiting this winter. Make a bird/squirrel feeder. Snow, frozen ground and lack of vegetation makes it hard for wildlife to find food. Make simple feeders out of peanut butter and seed to hang from the trees.


Family • January 2021

Go on a cold weather vacation. Instead getting away from winter, try enjoying it by going ice fishing or dog sledding. If you don’t have snow in your town, plan to visit an area that does. Play video dance or karaoke together. It’s an excellent way to get exercise and have fun with the family. Your kids will get a kick out of watching mom and dad play video games. Use an indoor pool or outdoor hot tub. Wearing a bathing suit in the winter makes us feel like we are pulling one over on Mother Nature. Go on a hike. Load up your camera and take a hike in your local forest preserve. Capture the beauty of winter around you. Movie night. Try a twist on the usual movies in your library. Pull out the family movies from your last vacation, your son’s first birthday or your wedding. Pop some popcorn and experience those moments again. Roast hotdogs and s’mores over the fire pit. Call friends to pull up a chair and get warm. It’s a great way to get out with the neighbors after being cooped up on winter days. Fill water bottles with food coloring and water. Play Tic-tac-toe in the snow or draw pictures. The white snow is a blank canvas for artists of all ages. Build a fort in the living room. Pull out all the couch cushions and blankets and make a fort the whole family can fit in. Roll out the sleeping bags and spend the night in the fort. Make ice cream with snow. Collect 8 to 12 cups of fresh snow in a large clean bowl. Add 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of sugar and 1 tsp. of vanilla extract. Stir and

serve immediately. Plan your summer vacation. When winter gets you down, make plans for your summer vacation. Search online together for fun places to visit and start a vacation countdown on your calendar. Bake something new. Pull out the recipe books and find a new family friendly recipe to try. Get everyone involved in the planning and baking. Share your creation with family and friends. Start an indoor garden. Teach your children about the growing cycle of plants. Buy packages of vegetable or flower seeds and watch them grow into seedlings. Plant them in the spring and enjoy them all summer long. Make homemade hot cocoa. Store bought packages and K-cups are quick, but not as good as homemade. Mix 1 cup of milk, 1 tbsp. sugar, 2 tbsp. cocoa and ¼ tsp. vanilla. Heat on stovetop and serve with marshmallows or whipped cream. Play Flashlight tag. Take advantage of the shorter daylight hours. Bring flashlights outside after the sun goes down. Try to tag others with the light from your flashlight. Snuggle up and read a book. When the winds are howling and the temperature drops, sometimes it is better to appreciate winter from the inside. Pam Molnar is a freelance journalist and mother of three. Pam and her family look forward to the arrival and slower pace of winter.


Protecting Your Stiff Joints in the Winter

by Tuck Chiropractic

With temperatures dropping, many of us with stiff or sore joints notice an uptick in our pain. While there is not an exact science as to why this happens, it’s usually attributed to the drop in barometric pressure that happens in the winter. This factor is what causes your tendons, muscles, and the surrounding tissues to expand, which can be very painful for some. Here are some of our tips to help reduce discomfort when the winter approaches.

Layers This may be an obvious tip, but it’s still very effective in reducing joint pain. If the cold is the stimulant for pain, staying warm will prevent your body from exposure to cooler temperatures. Layers are also important so that you can remove unnecessary clothing once inside and in a comfortable temperature. You can certainly ditch the hat and gloves once the chill of outside is gone.

Move It may be enticing to stay cozy on your couch, nuzzled up with a blanket in the cooler months. And while it may be comfortable at the time, your body will not thank you later. Inactivity is sure to contribute to stiff bones and joints. It’s more important that we keep moving in the winter. In the summer, most of our activities revolve around enjoying the nice weather with outdoor activities. While going on an afternoon walk in the winter doesn’t sound nearly as fun, your joints need

the movement to stay healthy. Don’t forget your layers when you head out!


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Time to compensate for the drop in temperature. Heating pads can offer lots of relief to those with seasonal stiffness. However, it is extremely important to use heat treatment in moderation. It’s very easy to get warm and cozy with a heating pad and doze off, but nobody wants to wake up to scalding heat and burns. If you decide to use a heating pad, it’s recommended that you do so in twenty-minute increments.


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Avoid Holiday Weight Gain Now, this may, in fact, be the most difficult tip to follow. But we believe in you! Cold weather usually means the holidays, as well as holiday parties. We start to indulge on our favorite holiday foods and treats. While it may be a joyous time of the year, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight. If your joints are bearing added weight, you are sure to notice more pain than usual. Just remember, your favorite foods and sweets are fine in moderation. And if you do decide to indulge, remember to adjust your workout to your “holiday diet.” Nobody wants to spend the winter in discomfort. Always listen to your body and acknowledge the first signs of pain. Stop in to your closest Tuck Clinic and let us help you get back to being pain-free.

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millmountain.org Family • January 2021


Meet Your Neighbor

Ellen Cleveland LFA Kids Consignment


Family • January 2021

Roanoke native Ellen Cleveland loves to serve her hometown community and families as well as create events! She successfully merges the two into the LFA Kids Consignment sale in Roanoke.

the relationships I have made over the years and take my responsibility to ‘set the tone’ of the property very seriously,” she said. LFA has been a major part of her life ever since she returned to Roanoke fifteen years ago. She started as a consignor but also made girls accessories like hair bows, belts, and baby blankets and sold them at LFA Kids events. In 2007, she purchased the event and runs the consignment sales every year! LFA events are a family affair for Cleveland and her daughters. “The sale and being a mom to my girls takes up most of our time. I love that my girls are also able to be involved in the business and learn the value of serving the community while I get to spend more time with them before they leave the nest.”

It’s a win, win, win, for our local families, our community and the environment!”

For more than fifteen years, the LFA Kids consignment events have helped families sell and buy baby and children’s items! The sales are held twice per year at the Berglund Center. Cleveland says around 500 families participate each sale. She said, “Our goal is to connect buyers with sellers and help families in our community. Consignor families with gently used items are able to pass them along to others while making some money. Buyer families are able to afford more clothing and better brands than perhaps they may otherwise be able to purchase.”

Cleveland dedicates part of her life to creating the consignment sales events to help families in her hometown. She grew up in Roanoke, moved away for college, and then moved back in 2005. She has two daughters and wanted to raise them where she grew up. The scenery is one reason she chose this area to raise her family. “The mountains! They are so beautiful. Having grown up here, I knew it would be a great place to raise my girls,” Cleveland said. Her daughters, Emily, 17, and Sarah, 15, now attend her alma mater Cave Spring High School. In addition to running LFA Kids Consignment, Cleveland is a shopping center property manager, a job she has held since 2012. “Like LFA, I like

Cleveland spends the entire year working on the two sales events! She says all of the details, like community education, creating partnerships, website updates, consignor videos, ordering supplies, creating schedules, building spreadsheets, and staff meetings, take a lot of time, effort, and planning. “I love creating these events! We work hard to provide a service to our community. I love that we are part of allowing families to earn money on their items and help the environment by recycling gently used items. Other families can purchase quality, top name brands for almost 75 percent off retail. It’s a win, win, win, for our local families, our community and the environment!” Cleveland said.

LFA Kids Consignment also allows Cleveland to give back to the community in other ways. LFA donates unsold items to Goodwill. Consignors can choose to have their unsold items donated. She says they make two very large donations each year following each event. “So we are helping even more families in the community with those items,” Cleveland said. While LFA Kids Consignment takes up the majority of her free time, Cleveland and her daughters stay active. Their favorite place in the area is Smith Mountain Lake. “It’s our happy place,” she said! They love boating and water sports. The family also spends time at home and with close friends. They have two cats and two dogs! Cleveland enjoys working on home projects, dinners with friends, and playing board games as a family. Cleveland believes her LFA team and the consignors are like an extended family. She said some consignors have been with her since 2006! “My team is amazing! The best around and they never let me down. They are the face of LFA and I am forever thankful for each one of them,” she said. The next LFA Kids Consignment event is scheduled for March at the Berglund Center. More information is available at lfakids.com.

Family • January 2021


it’s something really different to do,” said Jason B., from Dover, DE, who has been taking part in the program for the last four months at his local library. Many of these programs usually take place in libraries and schools, but sometimes they are done at animal shelters. According to Project Literacy, “The Read to the Animals program has become a great opportunity for students to improve their reading accuracy, speed, comfort, confidence, and ability with a furry animal friend in the audience. Another benefit of the program is that the animals in the shelter are gaining socialization and companionship throughout the reading sessions.” It’s a win-win situation. In her article “A Reader’s Best Friend: The Many Benefits of Reading with Animals,” author Melissa Taylor cites educational researcher and linguist Stephen Krashen, who says that “a child’s ‘affective filter,’ or affective emotions such as low self-esteem and anxiety, can create a mental block that often inhibits learning. Reading to pets removes that mental block and increases the chance for learning to occur.”

Read to the Animals

by Susan Baldani

Reading is a necessary skill for everyone, but sometimes children can feel overwhelmed doing it—and even more afraid of reading out loud. However, reading to animals can make it a lot more fun, and enormously less threatening. There are quite a few programs that offer children this opportunity, such as Paws to Read, Tales to Tails, Bow Wows and Books, and Pawsitive Reading. No matter where you live in the country, you can usually find a program nearby. One of the larger and more well-


Family • January 2021

known programs is PAWS for Reading, which is one of nine programs run by PAWS for People, an award-winning, all-volunteer nonprofit organization. The therapy animals involved with the program, whether they’re dogs, cats, or bunnies, are well-trained and loving. Children receive supportive feedback and guidance, as well as stickers and bookmarks, from trained “human” volunteers. “It’s a lot of fun sitting next to the dogs, who often have their tongues hanging out while I’m reading. Plus,

While reading to animals, not only do participating children improve their reading skills, but teachers, librarians, and volunteers have reported an increase in their confidence, communication skills, self-esteem, social skills, and attendance rates. As stated on the PAWS for Reading website, “Nationwide, similar programs have tracked a rise in students’ reading test scores and attitude toward reading.” Special needs and English as a second language (ESL) students also benefit greatly from these reading programs. There are even programs available for teens and adults. According to the National Education Association, “Having kids read a lot is one of the crucial components of becoming a good reader. Young readers need to become practiced at recognizing letters and sounds. The only way to get good at it is to practice.” Reading is not only an important skill set for education, but for everyday

enjoyment as well. Getting lost in a good book is something we never outgrow, and instilling a love of reading in children is one of the best gifts we can give them. This is why it is so important for kids to become proficient readers who don’t see reading as a chore or something that they need to do. Instead, children should find pleasure while in the midst of a story and feel a sense of accomplishment when finishing a book. These unique literacy programs, along with parents, teachers, librarians, volunteers, and animals, can help accomplish these goals. Reading is learning, regardless of the subject matter. It opens up our minds to a myriad of possibilities and lets us experience a whole new world, if only for a few hours. Many of us find being with dogs and

cats calming to both our minds and bodies. Interacting with animals often leads to lower blood pressure, an improved mood, and a sense of comfort. While every reading program in slightly different, the animals involved are usually therapy dogs and the volunteers that assist with the programs are generally required to go through a training session themselves. Once you find a program nearby, you can check out the individual requirements. In her article “Books and Bones: The Benefits of Reading to Animals,” Cecilia de Cardenas focuses on a program called R.E.A.D, Reading Education Assistance Dogs. “R.E.A.D. dogs are usually mild-mannered and patient, calm and well-groomed. Other animals have been used in the program as well, from rabbits to guinea pigs to parrots.”

In Virginia, you can currently find these types of programs in Arlington, Alexandria, Hampton, Richmond, Williamsburg, Roanoke, Virginia Beach, New Kent, and other cities. A great resource for locating these programs is www.PawsToRead.com. “My website is there to connect people with ‘read to animal’ programs across the country. I write children’s books and know how important it is for children who are struggling with reading problems to have a safe, non-judgmental environment in which to practice their reading skills,” said Lee Wardlaw, the website creator. Not all cities and states are listed, so if you don’t see yours, use the email form to send a message to Wardlaw and she will get back to you with that information. Increasing your child’s literacy skills while giving him or her a furry companion who will listen without judgment is a true gift all around. And they might get in a good snuggle or two!

Family • January 2021



Family • January 2021


RAINE JONES Raine received 4,738 votes Total Contest Votes - 60,910

Family • January 2021


A lot of learning happens in the first five years. Text UWROANOKE to 274448

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Fortunately, you’ve got partners who can help! Smart2Start is your one stop guide for finding — and affording — early care and educational opportunities for children from birth to age 5. Bright By Text is a free service that provides tips, activities and community resources to help you give your child a healthy, happy start.

To learn more, visit: smart2start.org Text UWROANOKE to 274448 Standard message and data rates apply. Text STOP to 274448 to stop. Text HELP to 274448 for help.

Out with the old, in with the new. The new year brings the perfect opportunity to purge, clean and organize your home for maximum comfort and efficiency.

It’s that time - the new year brings a sense of purpose and renewal for all of us. Many of us have spent a significantly larger portion of our time at home in 2020, and it may be time to look over your surroundings and take inventory of what needs to stay, and what needs to go. Here are a few easy organizational pointers for every room in your home. Before you start, you may want to decide if you’ll toss or donate items to get rid of them immediately , or prep for a yard or garage sale and pocket a little extra cash for all your efforts! Kitchen: Start by going through the pantry and tossing all expired foods, wipe down the shelving and reorganize. Consider your family’s needs - make a snack basket or bin for kids, or easy to pack items for those taking lunches with them. Move on to the refrigerator with the same approach. Take inventory of plastic ware, extra lids and containers without lids should be thrown away. Living Room: Discard or recycle old magazines or papers. Purge storage containers of old or unused items. Find a space for extra blankets or pillows. Look over your knick knacks, books or DVDs and purge what you’re not using. Go through any pet items and purge old or torn toys. Look over any of the children’s items or toys and decide what should stay and what needs to go. Bedroom: Tackle the closet first. Consider taking everything out of your closet (aka the Marie Kondo approach) to take in the amount of clothing that you have. Now go through and select the items your wear frequently. Then approach the rest. If you can no longer fit into it - do yourself a favor and donate the clothing. Look over the items you’ll be keeping and see if they need repair or just replaced. Find some organizational shelving, hangers, boxes or other options to keep closets tidy. Move onto the dressers with the same approach. Look over bed linens to see if any need to be purged or replaced. Bathroom: Take inventory of towels and washcloths and get rid of those that have seen better days.

Go through the medicine cabinet and remove any expired medications (many pharmacies will properly dispose of medications for you - check locally). Go through the back of the closet and cabinets for items that have been there for years. If you’re not using them, time to donate or toss. Children’s rooms: Tackle the closet with the same gusto as the master closet. Children grow out of clothing at the speed of light - so check sizing and donate, sell or hand down any clothing that still has good use left. Put organizational bins to good use for added space. Tackle toys and books and hand down, toss or donate those that your children have outgrown or don’t use any longer. Garage: Use shelving to your advantage in the garage. Clear bins help to organize garage contents, and once organized, allow for ease of finding items inside. Get things off the floor and onto shelving. Look for oil or other chemicals that need to wiped up. Consider adding pegboard if you have a lot of smaller items to organize. Attic: Bonus points if you get this far. The attic is often where items go to be forgotten until it’s time to move. Take an opportunity to purge this space of old toys, clothing, furniture, decor and other items. Start with one corner at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. A bonus to cleaning out the attic is finding long lost treasures or taking a walk down memory lane.

A native of the area, Curtis Burchett has more than 18 years experience as full-time Realtor. He currently lives in Southwest Roanoke County with his wife and 3 children.

OF 2020 BESTBEST OF 2020

Weprovide providepeace peaceofofmind. mind. We Weare areFriendship. Friendship. We you have a loved one who should consider downsizing? a big decision! DoDo you have a loved one who should consider downsizing? It isIt aisbig decision! Thankfully there resources and friends available to help address your concerns, Thankfully there areare resources and friends available to help address your concerns, and point you and your loved ones in the direction that’s best you! and point you and your loved ones in the direction that’s best forfor you! Check friendship.us/insights articles that address popular senior topics, Check outout friendship.us/insights forfor articles that address popular senior topics, including choosing between staying at home or moving a retirement community, including choosing between staying at home or moving to atoretirement community, downsizing, and funding senior living. When you’re ready to have your questions downsizing, and funding senior living. When you’re ready to have your questions answered and take a virtual or in-person tour, simply give a call at 540.777.7103. answered and take a virtual or in-person tour, simply give us us a call at 540.777.7103. Discover today support and peace of mind that’s awaiting you and your loved Discover today thethe support and peace of mind that’s awaiting you and your loved ones at Friendship. ones at Friendship.

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What do you call a How do dog cold dog? catchers get paid? By the pound!

A Chilli Dog.

Why aren’t dogs good dancers? Because they have two left feet!

As the stranger enters a country store, he spots a sign: “Danger! Beware of Dog!” Inside, he sees a harmless old hound asleep in the middle of the floor. “Is that the dog we’re supposed to beware of?” he asks the owner. “That’s him,” comes the reply. “He doesn’t look dangerous to me. Why would you post that sign?” “Before I posted that sign, people kept tripping over him.”

ZigZag Word Search Words go left, right, up and down and can bend at right angles (but NOT diagonally). There are no unused letters on the grid and every letter is used only once.



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Thermometer Experiment Supplies: Plastic or glass bottle Straw (clear plastic/silicon is best) Food coloring Modeling clay Water Rubbing alcohol Directions: 1. Place a drop of food coloring into your bottle and fill it about 1/4 of the way with water and 1/4 of the way with rubbing alcohol. Close tightly and shake to mix the food coloring, water, and rubbing alcohol evenly. Open the bottle once everything is thoroughly mixed. 2. Hold the straw in the middle of the bottle opening so that it sits in the liquid about 1 inch from the bottom. 3. Fill in the bottle opening around the straw with the modeling clay to hold it in place. This should create a seal around the straw. Be careful to leave the straw open to the air. 4. Try moving your thermometer to different places inside and outside your home to see the liquid rise and fall in the straw. Try this: What happens if you make your thermometer with just water? It should respond to temperature changes a lot slower or less. Rubbing alcohol has a much lower boiling temperature so heat can transfer a lot faster. What’s happening: As the temperature rises, the water and rubbing alcohol in the bottle will expand and rise into the straw. The hotter it gets, the higher up the liquid should rise. As it gets colder, the liquid will contract which should make the level of liquid in the straw drop.

Family • January 2021





Stick Loom Weaving

Bring the Taubman Museum of Art to you with this fun activity inspired by the exhibition 16th Century Flemish Tapestry from The Hodges Family Collection, which is on view this month. A tapestry is a kind of woven painting that you hang on the wall. In fact, it looks like a rug! Weavings are created on looms, using special tools and thread. Let’s make our own to learn a little more about how it’s done!

1 Materials Needed: Y-shaped stick Bakers twine 2-3 colors of yarn Scissors


4 5

Gather your materials. Take a nature walk to find a good Y-shaped stick—the Y will need to be sturdy, not too bendy, and at least 4 inches wide.

Prepare the loom. Take the bakers twine and tie it securely to 1 side of the Y branch. Loop it around twice, then bring it straight across to the other side of the Y branch, where you will loop the thread again 2 times. Go back and forth up the branch, until you have an even, straight loom. Keep it taut, but don’t pull so tight you bend the branches. Tie the thread off at the end and cut any extra at the knot.


Take a piece of yarn, and weave it through the loom, going over one thread and under the next. Keep going until you get to the end, and then turn around and come back, weaving over and under the opposite way. When you’re ready to move on to another color, cut the yarn off at the end of the loom, letting a couple of inches hang loosely. Choose more colors and weave the same over/under pattern through the whole branch until you don’t have any more loom thread to cover. Remember to let all the yarn ends hang out the ends of the loom. Finish the weaving. Tuck the ends of the yarn into the back of the loom, placing the ends through yarn of the same color. You don’t need to knot it off, unless you want to! Be sure to use your fingers to push the yarn around to make it even when you are finished so there are no holes.

Voila! You’re now a weaver, and have a basic idea of how a tapestry is created. Check out the exhibition at the Museum to see the real deal for yourself!

110 Salem Ave SE, Downtown Roanoke | 540.342.5760 | TaubmanMuseum.org

Free General Admission sponsored in part by


Family • January 2021

RVFM_Stick Loom Weaving_FINAL.indd 1

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WIC helps families by providing: z Personalized nutrition education to help

the whole family eat better z Breastfeeding support through lactation

experts, classes, peer groups and breast pumps for moms in need

z WIC food benefits that can be used at the

grocery store to help provide the right foods to families z Referrals to local health and community

organizations to connect families with the resources they need

Contact your local WIC office or call the Virginia WIC office at 1-888-942-3663

VirginiaWIC.com This institution is an equal opportunity provider.




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Profile for Roanoke Valley Family Magazine

Roanoke Valley Family Magazine January 2021  

Volume 9, Issue 5

Roanoke Valley Family Magazine January 2021  

Volume 9, Issue 5