Archive for December, 2009

Good news on the book front

By From http://stormsrus.blogspot.com/ • Dec 31st, 2009 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

I was able to resurrect a fairly recent version of my 2009 chase photo book from some random backups on a thumb drive, so that effort has only been set back a few hours by my computer Armageddon of recent weeks. I’ll be working diligently on this proj…



Happy New Year!

By From http://fburg-weather.blogspot.com/ • Dec 31st, 2009 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

Altho’ the NY Eve weather is a bit wet and yucky at least it’s not freezing! The overall pattern for the next week will change that situation drastically and send temperatures plummeting as the Arctic express chugs in our direction. The good news is …



The Polar Bear Blessing

By From http://kybecca.blogspot.com/ • Dec 31st, 2009 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

What does this have to do with wine? Well, nothing but I thought it was really nice.

Wishing you
In your busy life,



Time for Relaxation



Good Sleep

Good Health with Exercise

Someone to Dance With

.. a Bit of Adventure

Good Looks


But Most of All …

I Wish You Lots of Bear Hugs

And The Comforts of Real Love

Many Blessings…



May you always have love to share, health to spare, and friends that care.


But watch out for those darn penguins!


Do you ever feel like doing this to someone?



December Wrap-Up

By From http://fredericksblogger.blogspot.com/ • Dec 31st, 2009 • Category: Blog Entries.Local


We experienced a traditional Fredericksburg holiday season this year: the downtown merchants’ open house, the Jaycees’ Christmas parade, holiday concerts, a church pageant, and too much time stuck in traffic on Rt. 3. Best downtown store decorations this year have to go to “A Place in Time” (photos above and below) which is so jam-packed with Christmas decor that it’s almost impossible to actually shop.

Our best musical discovery of the season was the Stafford Regional Handbell Society. We caught their performance at the Spotsy Mall (do I ever have to call it the Towne Center?), and these young ringers were a treat to hear. I’ve joined the budding handchime choir at my church, so I can appreciate the work that goes into their concert. Next year, we’ll try to catch their performance at Mount Ararat Baptist Church in North Stafford and avoid the noise and lousy acoustics of the mall.

And this month, we discovered a few new things on our strolls through town. Colonial Cupcakes finally opened, with its staff dressed in full colonial costume (bet the teenagers behind the counter love that uniform). We brought home a couple of samples, the key lime and the red velvet.

The Bella Italia market next to Castiglia’s opened in time for Christmas, a thrilling development for an Italian American like me. For our Christmas buffet, we stocked up on wonderful cheeses and sausage, plus a giant, but light panettone covered in confectioner’s sugar that we referred to as “Sugar Mountain.” (For the culinary purist, it was technically a pandoro, a similar bread also traditionally served at Christmas, but without the dried fruit.) They also have take-out specialities including homemade pasta, lots of deli meats, and Italian grocery items. I highly recommend a visit.

But for me, the most exciting change is that Virginia’s new restaurant anti-smoking law went into effect, where smoking sections now have to be completely separate areas, with their own ventilation system. A few of Fredericksburg’s oldest restaurants, like the Battlefield Restaurant across from the Park Service Visitor Center and the Rec Center on William St., went completely smoke free (a recent walk past the Rec Center found a cluster of smokers right in front of the entrance, huddled over the standing ashtray). I was so excited about returning to the main room at Sammy T’s, but the staff there was adamant that the restaurant was going to keep its arrangement of smoking in the big front room, no smoking in the little separate back room. I kept calling to see if they had changed their minds, but kept getting the same answer. So I was surprised and delighted that in mid-December, I finally saw this sign:

Better late than never.

(UPDATE: After seeing Emily’s comment that as of late Dec. the arrangement at Sammy T’s hadn’t actually changed, I just called and was told that the management changed their minds, and the front room will continue to be the smoking room. I’m so disappointed. Not that they will care, but there are plenty of other non-smoking dining rooms in Fredericksburg to enjoy, so I won’t be going back.)

The other noteworthy December news in town was the big snow. So many photos have been posted of the foot-plus accumulation that I don’t need to add much to the mix. I’ll just leave you with this photo from my front yard, where the snow reached 14 inches, a record December snowfall for this area.

Tonight, I’ll kick up my heels at a New Year’s Eve party and think about the freezing First Nighters downtown as we all wish 2009 a fond farewell. I’m looking forward to 2010…hope it’s a good year for all of us.



Looking Back on 2009

By From http://blog.mikemorones.com • Dec 31st, 2009 • Category: Blog Entries.Local, Photography.Local

A slideshow of my most memorable work from 2009



December Wrap-Up

By From http://fredericksblogger.blogspot.com/ • Dec 31st, 2009 • Category: Blog Entries.Local


We experienced a traditional Fredericksburg holiday season this year: the downtown merchants’ open house, the Jaycees’ Christmas parade, holiday concerts, a church pageant, and too much time stuck in traffic on Rt. 3. Best downtown store decorations this year have to go to “A Place in Time” (photos above and below) which is so jam-packed with Christmas decor that it’s almost impossible to actually shop.

Our best musical discovery of the season was the Stafford Regional Handbell Society. We caught their performance at the Spotsy Mall (do I ever have to call it the Towne Center?), and these young ringers were a treat to hear. I’ve joined the budding handchime choir at my church, so I can appreciate the work that goes into their concert. Next year, we’ll try to catch their performance at Mount Ararat Baptist Church in North Stafford and avoid the noise and lousy acoustics of the mall.

And this month, we discovered a few new things on our strolls through town. Colonial Cupcakes finally opened, with its staff dressed in full colonial costume (bet the teenagers behind the counter love that uniform). We brought home a couple of samples, the key lime and the red velvet.

The Bella Italia market next to Castiglia’s opened in time for Christmas, a thrilling development for an Italian American like me. For our Christmas buffet, we stocked up on wonderful cheeses and sausage, plus a giant, but light panettone covered in confectioner’s sugar that we referred to as “Sugar Mountain.” (For the culinary purist, it was technically a pandoro, a similar bread also traditionally served at Christmas, but without the dried fruit.) They also have take-out specialities including homemade pasta, lots of deli meats, and Italian grocery items. I highly recommend a visit.

But for me, the most exciting change is that Virginia’s new restaurant anti-smoking law went into effect, where smoking sections now have to be completely separate areas, with their own ventilation system. A few of Fredericksburg’s oldest restaurants, like the Battlefield Restaurant across from the Park Service Visitor Center and the Rec Center on William St., went completely smoke free (a recent walk past the Rec Center found a cluster of smokers right in front of the entrance, huddled over the standing ashtray). I was so excited about returning to the main room at Sammy T’s, but the staff there was adamant that the restaurant was going to keep its arrangement of smoking in the big front room, no smoking in the little separate back room. I kept calling to see if they had changed their minds, but kept getting the same answer. So I was surprised and delighted that in mid-December, I finally saw this sign:

Better late than never.

(UPDATE: After seeing Emily’s comment that as of late Dec. the arrangement at Sammy T’s hadn’t actually changed, I just called and was told that the management changed their minds, and the front room will continue to be the smoking room. I’m so disappointed. Not that they will care, but there are plenty of other non-smoking dining rooms in Fredericksburg to enjoy, so I won’t be going back.)

The other noteworthy December news in town was the big snow. So many photos have been posted of the foot-plus accumulation that I don’t need to add much to the mix. I’ll just leave you with this photo from my front yard, where the snow reached 14 inches, a record December snowfall for this area.

Tonight, I’ll kick up my heels at a New Year’s Eve party and think about the freezing First Nighters downtown as we all wish 2009 a fond farewell. I’m looking forward to 2010…hope it’s a good year for all of us.



December Wrap-Up

By From http://fredericksblogger.blogspot.com/ • Dec 31st, 2009 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

We experienced a traditional Fredericksburg holiday season this year: the downtown merchants’ open house, the Jaycees’ Christmas parade, holiday concerts, a church pageant, and too much time stuck in traffic on Rt. 3. Best downtown store decoration…



Interview with Tobias A. Mazing – Raving Reporter

By From http://rifilmfestival.com • Dec 30th, 2009 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

Post Christmas can be a bit of a letdown; much like a half-deflated balloon post party!  After a snowbound DVD marathon I heeded the call of the corner coffee shop and wound up bumping into Bibly, a friend of a friend and familiar face from RIFF 09. Bibly Twix is a young, budding and ambitious […]



Flying Dog Raging Bitch

By From http://www.musingsoverapint.com/ • Dec 30th, 2009 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

Edgy as always, Flying Dog Brewery is preparing for their 20th Anniversary in 2010 with the release of the equally edgy Flying Bitch Belgian IPA. I’ve been looking forward to trying this beer and this week it was one of the featured beers at the Capita…



Fried Chicken and Sparkling Wine – A Beautiful Thing

By From http://kybecca.blogspot.com/ • Dec 30th, 2009 • Category: Blog Entries.Local


Most people use sparkling wine for celebratory occasions such as New Years. That’s great, but as a wine to pair with food I think good sparkling wine is under-rated. In particular, sparkling wine is fantastic with fried foods. This is because the palate-cleansing properties of these wines are great for greasy foods which tend to stick. The other day I made fried chicken and paired it with the fantastic Thibaut-Jannison sparkling wine from Virginia. This wine is made by a bonafide Champagne producer who makes this wine in Virginia as a side project. It’s the best sparkling wine made in Virginia I’ve ever tasted, and better than the vast majority even from California. A little more fruit-forward and less yeasty then genuine Champagne, it was a great pairing with the chicken. I know this picture makes you want to try it. And so you can! This wine is availble at both stores. If you want to get really fancy and use real Champagne (ie sparkling wine from Champagne) then do so by all means.

If you want tips on the chicken, just ask me.