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It's 4:30a.m. and We're Off to the Races! - 11/30/09 07:42 PM
Virginia and I have been in Southern California since Thanksgiving Day spending a long holiday with our daughter, Taite. We did our fair share of sight seeing on Friday, taking in the sights in Corona del Mar, Newport and Laguna. It was especially fun since Taite has just gotten her real estate license and we could speculate about pricing procedures, perceived value, locations, etc. The real fun though started Saturday morning with the Turkey Trot Tri.
Taite's boyfriend, Jonathan Pauley (a fine young man who we like immensely) is the creator/owner of Renegade Racing and manages and produces races (4 comments)
Making My List and Checking It Twice - Books for Holiday Giving - 11/27/09 06:16 PM
Well, I’ve been making my list and checking it twice and the answer is always the same - books are at the top of our list for holiday giving. Who says you can’t sell real estate and read at the same time?!? Over the next few weeks, I thought I would share a number of our favorites, in several different categories. I make no claim to having read all of these, just that they are on my list, for giving and getting. Today we are going to start with history books: Defend the Realm by Christopher Andrew - a fascinating (11 comments)
Temple Beth El and Christ Church Alexandria, once neighbors on Washington St., celebrate each November with a service of remembrance and thanks followed by a reception and hospitality. The service alternates location each year and tomorrow will see the gathering at Christ Church at 10:00am with both priests and rabbis officiating. Over the years this service - generous in spirit and thanks - has developed a loyal following.
Now located on Seminary Road, Temple (2 comments)
Is It Dry? Woodburning Tips for a Great, Crackling Fire - 11/23/09 06:15 PM
Ok, so you've done your annual fireplace inspection and now you're ready to buy firewood. Follow these smart woodburning tips for a great, crackling fire1) Always check your source. Buy your firewood by the cord or rick instead of a whole truckload and you'll get exactly what you pay for. A standard cord of firewood is 128 cubic feet of wood, generally measured as a stack 8 ft. long by 4 ft. tall by 4 ft. deep. A rick is 8 ft. long by 4 ft. tall by the depth of the wood (approximately 18 inches.) 2) Is it dry? Dry, (0 comments)
The Last Flowers of Fall - 11/22/09 02:23 PM
Just four days from Thanksgiving we still have hydrangeas blooming in our front yard - the last flowers of fall. But now, instead of pale blues and pinks, the colors mirror the surrounding trees. We'll cut some this afternoon and enjoy their dried beauty long into winter.
The Last Flowers of Fall (8 comments)
Saying Goodby to A Kitty Friend - Mr. Mac - 11/21/09 03:54 PM
Today we said goodbye to Mr. Mac, our 20 year old 20 lb orange red mountain lion of a cat. We were not Mac's first family but we were his last and nobody loved him better. Mac came to us after losing his original homeowner to cancer. He made a brief stop at my brothers but another, far less mannered feline, made the situation untenable. Mac moved onto Howell Avenue and never looked back. He was known to one and all, afraid of neither man nor beast and fairly indiscriminate with his affection. Our next door neighbor reported one day that (15 comments)
Six Things to Check Before You Cozy Up to the Fire - 11/20/09 04:49 PM
Winter is fast approaching and there are six things to check before you cozy up to the fire. It's not particularly glamorous or fun but there are definitely things that you need to check out on a yearly basis before you even begin to think about chestnuts roasting on an open fire . . . . Spring and early summer are the very best times to have your annual fireplace inspection and generally the cheapest. Still, if you've put it off till now it's not too late. The degree of maintenance will depend on what kind of fireplace you have. A (4 comments)
October 2009 Home Sales in Alexandria's Old Town Neighborhood - 11/18/09 08:37 PM
October 2009 home sales in Alexandria's Old Town neighborhood show identical DOM (days of market) as in October 2008 and an increase of one in the number of sales. The exciting news is that the average sold price shows an 8.8 percent increase from $611,462 in October 2008 to $670,236 in October 2009. This steadfastness in total sales, along with the 2009 price increase, speaks to the overall health of the housing market in Northern Virginia. (2 comments)
Rogue Mortgage Swindle = 12 Year Prison Term - 11/17/09 08:21 AM
Joy Jackson, a Maryland woman who stole millions from area homeowners in a rogue mortgage swindle has been sentenced to a 12 prison term. Operating out of Lanham, MD, Jackson's scheme touched hundreds of vulnerable homeowners in Northern Virginia, the District and Maryland.
The Metropolitan Money Store promised to help people keep their homes and repair their credit. According to the Washington Post, " the company directed owners to transfer title of their homes to third-party buyers for a year. During that time, Metropolitan said it would borrow against the value of the house and use that money to pay (8 comments)
Blogging the Frugal Life Style in Alexandria and Northern Virginia - 11/16/09 09:15 PM
Blogging the frugal life style does not belong only to the "experts." Indeed, individuals in Alexandria and Northern Virginia are contributing to the blogging landscape with a wide variety of offerings on how to survive - and thrive - in what some have called "lifestyle deflation."
Some of the blogs are quite professional and have advertisers but most are your basic do-it- yourself blog. Stay at home moms, young couples and singles all offer their take on making the most of every dollar. Some share month to month grocery budgets, complete with store by store sales while other focus on (6 comments)
"With limited economic data released last week, mortgage rates continued their recent trend of slowly moving downward. While we continue to see limited activity outside of conforming and FHA-backed mortgages, it is worth noting that jumbo mortgages are beginning to reappear more widely in the market, and the difference between conforming and jumbo rates has been shrinking. This is a (0 comments)
Nook - The Latest in E-Reader Technology - 11/15/09 06:12 PM
What is "nook"? Nook is the latest in e-reader techonology and it's being introduced this month by Barnes & Noble - a reading tool designed by book people for book people. I've had this post in mind for several days and then tonight just happened on a post by Erica Ramus who was asking about the Kindle so I knew there was no time to waste. In the spirit of full disclosure though, I will tell you that my wife works for B&N so I've been totally indoctrinated and privy to lots of information. One of the key questions that (4 comments)
A November Sunday on the George Washington Parkway.
October Home Sales in Alexandria's Del Ray Neighborhood - 11/14/09 10:39 AM
October home sales in Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood show a decline in the number of sales from a year ago - 15 in 2008 to 10 in 2009 - but with an increase in home values. The average price is up almost 9.4% with the average number of DOM (days on market) down from 91 to 50 for the same time period. These numbers are a good reflection of both the stability of the real estate market in Northern Virginia and the continuing overall turnaround.
Want to know more specifics about October home sales in Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood? (0 comments)
Alexandria's Waterfront Parks - Rivergate - 11/12/09 05:03 PM
Rivergate, the second in our series about Alexandria's Waterfront Parks, is also one of the smallest. A little less than 2 acres, the park is located at the junction of Madison Street and the Potomac River.
In fact, driving south on Madison Street will lead you directly into a small parking lot for this space. Bordered on the north by Tide Lock Park and on the south by Oronoco Bay Park, Rivergate is a tidy nugget in the linear parks that front the Potomac River.
Although considered a city park, Rivergate is actually owned by the Rivergate Owners Association (1 comments)
Flooding Causes State of Emergency in Virginia - 11/12/09 03:38 PM
Govenor Tim Kaine has declared a state of emergency in Virginia because of costal flooding. The authorization will allow agencies to take necessary precautions as the state continues to experience the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida and a costal Nor'easter.
Officials anticipate flooding could last through Friday evening as the state experiences sustained periods of rain and storm surges. Conditions were expected to be worst in the Hampton Roads region, including Poquoson and Norfolk, where several dozen residents have already been rescued from their homes. Alexandria is also vulnerable, especially low lying commerical and residential areas in Old Town and (4 comments)
Del Ray's MV Big Flea is Ready for Donations - 11/11/09 08:35 PM
Del Ray's MV Big Flea is ready to start taking donations for its April 24th sale. Wait. What? You're new to the area and don't know about the MV Big Flea? Alexandria's biggest charity flea market, the MV BIG FLEA is organized by and supports the Mt. Vernon Community School PTA. Located in the heart of Del Ray, this annual event raises more than $25,000 for PTA projects. And now that you know - the Big Flea is accepting drop-off donations at its storage site: 409 E. Alexandria Avenue on Sunday, November 22nd--from 1-3pm only.
The MV Big Flea accepts (1 comments)
Alexandria Group Home Residents Aim for Special Olympics - 11/10/09 05:46 PM
A few weeks ago we wrote about our neighborhood chili cook off and how a particular group of folks had turned an otherwise dismal, rainy night into an unforgettable occasion. Particular because the group all live at the Bellefonte Group Home. The home is a part of the Alexandria Community Services Board and each of the 16 adults has special needs. In addition to winning the 8th Annual Del Ray Chili Cook Off, the group, self-named "the MOB" (Members of Bellefonte), have set their sights on entering their basketball team - the Wizards - in the national Special Olympics.
Veterans Day at Christ Church Alexandria - 11/08/09 02:15 PM
The parish rolls of Christ Church Alexandria, the home church of George Washington and Robert E. Lee, are filled with the names of men and women who have served their country in military service. From four star generals and admirals to combat pilots and coast guard commanders to privates and warrant officers, they are all part of a great legacy. To honor that legacy, Christ Church Alexandria celebrates Veterans Day in very special way.
A "wall of heroes" - photos of those who have served, past and present - is put up for all to see. Parishioners are invited to (7 comments)
Lincoln Memorial by Moonlight - 11/04/09 04:59 PM
One of the great joys of living in the Alexandria/Northern Virginia area is easy access to some of the nation's most famous landmarks. Last night's full moon, rising above the Lincoln Memorial, provided a memorable sight and a great reminder of why we love it here.
A friend of ours, Julie Wommack, took this with her mobile phone on the way to choir practice! (2 comments)
Each is relatively small but together they form a linear line some two miles in length and are anchored by the Mt. Vernon Bike Trail. Each one carries a marker denoting its hours, size and historical identity. Today we will visit Tide Lock Park. Tide Lock Park Tide Lock Park consists of 6.70 acres that are completely accessible to the waterfront and takes its name from an old canal that existed in the 1800's.
The remains of the canal were discovered during the (2 comments)
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