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Sterling Blog: Silence

I had plans for this column this week. It was going to be about things to do in our community, places to go and a celebration of our vibrancy.

Spring has sprung at North Fork

There may still be many snow banks along the roads and in the woods, but spring is finally making its way to North Fork.
Many of our local farmers say Mother Nature might have one last wallop for us, and the animals and trees tell us it might be so. The horses are slow to lose their winter coats, and the trees have not began budding in earnest. So at every chance we make sure we have plenty of feed, hay and stall bedding on hand.
With the great help of the VDOT folks at the St. Louis station our roads have stayed open. This week they dealt with a huge sink hole in front of the Maloneys' house on Shelburne Glebe Road's turn at Forest Mill. A lady in a fur coat with a brand new Mercedes was almost stuck there and ended up with a mud-covered luxury vehicle.

ONTO THE TRAILS AT LAST

We were hoping for great weather next weekend, but we could not be so lucky. Rain is predicted Wednesday right through Sunday. If we do ride, it will be between rainstorms with lots of mud. Our horses sre still winter barefoot until next week and probably will be better off shoeless.
As spring arrives, let's all try to ride together. We have a big riding community. I only walk and trot, so if you like to go at my leisurely pace, give me a call. Fuggie is 28 now and I am no spring chicken, and my new horse is going to take some time getting fit even at walk-trot, so we would love some company.

GETTING READY FOR CAMP

We are starting to plan the summer Woof 'n' Hoof asnd Fuin on the Farm camps through Loudoun Departrment of Parks, Recreation and Community Servivces. Thre week-long camps will be going into their 12th year, and we are proud to lead them. If you are a fafrmer and would like for us to include your fartm, please call me. If you have a suggestion for a destination in Loudoun or nearby, call me about that as well.
Sign up for camps will begin in April, so keep an eye on the http://www.loudoun.gov/prcs website.

South Riding is well represented at the Odyssey of the Mind State Competition

Three of our schools will be represented at the “Odyssey of the Mind” state championships on March 27th. For those unfamiliar, Odyssey of the Mind (OoTM) is offered as an after-school activity sponsored by school PTA’s. According to their official site, “OoTM teaches students how to think divergently by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests. Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve those problems. They are free to express their ideas and suggestions without fear of criticism. The creative problem-solving process rewards thinking "outside of the box." While conventional thinking has an important place in a well-rounded education, students need to learn how to think creatively and productively.”

Mercer Middle School’s journey to states is being led by Wendy Kirwan and Laurie Wolfe. “Our Division II team placed first at the regional tournament on February 27th in the "Return to the Gift of Flight" problem. This problem asked the kids to exhibit six different kinds of flight plans, three of which had to be shown as different aircraft with different propulsion systems. Not an easy task! Plus they had to do it in a creative way: let's just say for them, "Time Flies"! The team members are Catie Hutchison, Ellie Hill, Sean Hernley, Will Kirwan, Michaela Miller, Elizabeth Donovan and Savannah Olson. The entire team are "Aldie Elementary Alumni" and have done Odyssey in the past: for five of them, this will be their second time at a State competition,” said Kirwan.


Little River Elementary School’s Division 1B, coached by Bill and Judy Munley, won first place for their solution to the “Food Court Problem.” “Team members are Michael Munley, Neil Smith, Siddhant Nalawade, Nitin Chetla, Ryan H., Noah Howell and Justin Sheehan. “Our team, known as the "Bushka Brothers," had top scores in all three categories. All team members are veterans of Odyssey of the Mind and 5 of them were a part of last year's Region 15 Championship team. They have learned invaluable skills in out of the box thinking, problem solving and team work,” stated Bill Munley.

A second team from Little River, the “Spectacular Seven,” won first place and a trip to states for their division as well. This team is led by Puneet Batheja and his team consists of Priya Batheja, Aashish Batheja, Carolani Bartell, Ruthvik Gajjala, Madeline Lanciani, Lydia Vlasto and Emmy Wood. Batheja says, “We won first place in the Regional Tournament for our presentation of the “Discovered Treasures” problem. The team learned creative problem-solving methods while having fun in the process - which indeed is the spirit of Odyssey.”

Hutchison Farm‘s winning team, led by Kim Stanley, presented a creative solution to the "Food Court" problem, where an "unhealthy food" was put on trial. The team members are Maria Togni, Madison DeMello, Christine Dang, Kate Nette, Erica Stanley, Matt Yorkilous and Kyle Cardone. “This was the first Odyssey of the Mind competition for six out of seven team members! The talented team of 4th graders used humor and unbridled imagination, combined with hard work and determination, to earn a victory in their first competition together. They discovered that with teamwork, great things are possible,” said Stanley.

We wish all of the teams good luck at states. More information and results will be posted on our blog.



THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COUPON!!

Featuring White Palace Restaurant on the corner of 21st & Main. Good for 10% off any food item. Does not apply to alcoholic beverages. Print, Clip & Save!!

OPEN FOR JOGGING!!

The W&OD Trail is now clear and free of snow. Workers finished clearing the trail late last week. Andy Kaganowich of the Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority stated that normally they do not clear the trail, but due to the excessive amounts of snow that has been dumped upon us they felt it was necessary.

According to the Friends of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail's (or Railroad Regional Park) website "Trail Pursuits" are well-suited for walking, as it is dotted with neighborhood parks and connecting trails. You should remember to walk single file to the right of the yellow line, and to be alert for passing cyclists, joggers and roller bladers. For your safety, please consider walking with a partner.

Likewise, the W&OD is well-suited for jogging. Please be aware that the Trail should only be used during daylight hours. For your safety, it is recommended that headphones or earphones not be worn or that they be kept at a low volume while jogging on the typically-busy Trail.

Every Thursday, Reston Runners host a group run on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. Anyone can join the run by meeting at the Wiehle Road commuter lot at 6:15 p.m. The Reston Runners also run on the Trail on the weekends. For more information, contact Reston Runners at (703) 437-3668 or Tom Voeller at (703) 860-9623.

With few hills, the W&OD Trail is a perfect venue for a bicycle outing. Use the W&OD as part of a circuit ride or for an “out and back” ride. See parking access along the Trail for suggestions on places to park to begin your journey.

This Monday & Tuesday will be perfect for getting out there and exploring the Trail as our weather has been forecasted for the 60's!! So dust off those running shoes and get out there!

JUMP STARTING PURCELLVILLE’S OLE TOWN BUSINESSES

Van Metre 5 Mile Run Raises Funds for Children’s National Medical Center

For the past 18 years, runners from Loudoun, Fairfax and all around the DC area have participated in the Van Metre 5-Mile Run benefiting the Children's National Medical Center. Participants in the 5-Mile Run, One-Mile Fun Run, and Kids' Run for Fun gathered at the Broadlands Southernwalk Marketplace on a bright and sunny Saturday morning to get some great exercise, win some super prizes and, most importantly, raise a lot of money for Children's National Medical Center. Ronald McDonald was on hand to kick the race off as serious runners and recreational runners and walkers stepped under the balloon arch and got underway!

photoGetting to the starting line
photoThe runners are off
photoGetting a high-five from Ronald McDonald
photoAll bundled up and ready to ride

Hillside Spring Fling a Super Success

Snow Plow Warriors!

photo

South Riding Running Club Helps Others Near and Far

A message from Alison Gittelman, President of the South Riding Runner's Club~

SRRC’s annual party always provides runners good reason to get together outside our weekday and weekend morning runs, with awards, good food, and great company, but this year’s gathering gave members another reason to attend: a silent auction to raise money for the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund.

We auctioned off running clothes, shoes, gift certificates, and gear from generous donors including Potomac River Running and The Running Store as well as private donations from club members. Runners bid fiercely (it’s that competitive streak!) and gave generously, raising $500!

In addition, runners brought with them canned goods for our annual food drive to support those in need right here in Loudoun County.

At the party, the board revealed SRRC’s new logo, designed by runner and artist Christy Borbidge, who not only won our logo design contest but also received our MVR (Most Valuable Runner) award for her service to the club in encouraging, supporting, and organizing runs for new members who fear they may not be able to keep up with the rest of the group. Invariably, they find they can keep up just fine!

This year’s Most Awesome Runner award went to Jeremy Reiderman, who joined the club less than a year ago, ran his first marathon in November (Richmond), and has become a familiar face at group runs and social events. A Florida native, Jeremy credits his wife, Carolyn, and other club members for convincing him that not only can he run in the cold, he can even do it wearing a kilt! (See his story on this blog for more about that!)

SRRC has been a resource for runners not just in South Riding but also in Aldie, Chantilly, Centreville and surrounding areas for over five years. We offer regularly scheduled weekend and informal weekday runs, social events, and volunteering efforts. For more information, visit us at www.srrunners.org.

photoMost Valuable Runner Christy Borbidge



photoAlison Gittelman presenting Jeremy Reiderman with his Most Awesome Runner award

Salute!

Years ago, we could be found at the Chantilly Bowl America every other Saturday night. Along with our husbands and about 60 other residents on the South Riding Bowling league, we spent our evenings trying to draw attention away from our bowling skills (or lack there of). One evening, we were paired against Jodi and Jay DiCianno. After a couple of rounds, DiCianno informed us of his new venture. Along with David Camden, and David Gaetani, Jay created a micro winery in his basement named Quattro Goombas. At that point, visions of barefoot Italians, stomping grapes with their pants rolled up, danced through our minds.
Quattro Goomba’s story is one of friendship, shared Italian winemaking, and a desire to create delicious wines. What started out as a hobby, quickly turned into a business when Winestyles, a retail wine establishment located in South Riding, held a tasting and offered to carry their wines. Five years have passed and a lot has changed. The Goombas have relocated. These days, the winery sits on 12 beautiful acres in Aldie. Last year they bottled 2000 cases of wine (that’s 24,000 bottles). They’re a full service winery that hosts private events, weddings, wine tours and private tastings.
The tasting room is located inside a log cabin complete with acoustic entertainment every weekend. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming with a homey feel. When the weather cooperates, the entertainment moves outside where you can have a picnic or just sit and enjoy the scenery. Now that the snow is melting, we are all looking for new things to do without breaking the bank or traveling too far. Quattro Goomba’s winery is just the place to go if you need to decompress and take in some new scenery at the same time.
Running a winery takes a lot of work. Just ask the wives, Jodi DiCianno , Carol Camden and Denise Gaetani, AKA, the “goombettes’. They can be found hosting a wine tasting, running the register or otherwise engaged at the winery.
It’s peaceful and not your typical winery experience. All are made to feel like family. It’s no mistake that we have yet to mention the fourth Goomba. The fouth Goomba is YOU!
For more information, visit www.goombawine.com

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