The Washington column for Feb. 11

Ruthie Windsor-Mann
Turnip (9″ x 12″, oil on panel), one of Ruthie Windsor-Mann’s paintings for The Art Cellar in Banner Elk, N.C. Ruthie Windsor-Mann

Love in the air

Is February the month of love? Well, it certainly is if you count the chocolates, the cards, the roses and the special dinners all centered around one day, Valentine’s Day, February 14.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday set aside to celebrate our fondest affections for our loved ones. Valentine’s isn’t just the day of “love.” It’s also the day for couples to recapture their relationship.

Some adore Valentine’s Day, while others dread it or say it’s just another day on the calendar. However, whatever your inclinations are, I hope everyone has a nice Valentine’s Day and that the ladies receive their red roses.

Remember love doesn’t make the world go round — love is what makes the ride worthwhile for everyone.

Happy Valentine’s Day at R.H. Ballard…

If you need something special for your loved one, R.H. Ballard Shop and Gallery, 307 Main St., is offering 10 percent off all new jewelry designs, boxed and tied with a gold satin ribbon. For the men, all colognes and apothecary items are also 10 percent off. They can also help you put together a box of Ballard goodies for the woman or man in your life. Lots of choices. Need a sweet card? They have a nice selection of Valentine’s cards in modern and traditional styles for both men and women.

…and Tula’s

Love is almost in the air at Tula’s in Little Washington. No, restaurant co-owner John McCaslin isn’t walking down the aisle. Rather, bartender extraordinaire Kriph Ramey (who assures us he isn’t getting hitched, either) will greet each Valentine’s Day dinner guest with a complimentary flute of chilled champagne, to be followed by executive chef Zach Allman’s special Valentine’s menu: locally raised Whiffletree Farm chicken marinated in citrus honey, served over toasted almond risotto; grilled rib eye with roasted garlic rosemary beurre monte, fingerling potatoes and sautéed spinach; and fresh trout stuffed with lump crab in a lemon Dijon sauce over a white bean and bell pepper medley.

Exhibiting art, visiting family

Washington artist Ruthie Windsor-Mann has been using her time since the RAAC Studio Tour in November to produce new paintings for The Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk, North Carolina. The Art Cellar has represented Ruthie for almost the entire 23 years it has been in existence. Catering to a resort crowd in the northwestern mountains of North Carolina, the gallery features nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. For more than 25 years, Ruthie lived and painted nearby in the town of Linville. Rather than only viewing her work on her website and Facebook, the venue at The Art Cellar gives Ruthie’s work a continued visual presence with her clients from cities in the southeastern United States.

A busy weekend coming up for Mayor John Sullivan and wife Beverly. They will be leaving on Feb. 12,  going to Chapel Hill and Southern Pines in North Carolina to visit daughters Brooke Cutler and Whitman Reardon and their families. Returning back home on Feb. 15. Enjoy your visit and a have safe trip back home.

Book Barn news

Helen Williams reports:

It has been almost eight years since the Book Barn opened its doors — a great many novels, cookbooks and gardening books have been on and off the shelves in that time; a great many sales of half price and six-for-a-dollar small paperbacks are now water under the bridge.

But along with the tried and true travel and history books the Barn has received as donations over the years, it has also been gifted with some amazing, old, unique and interesting tomes which have never been on sale —  these are real collector’s items.

How about a 12-volume, red leather bound set of Rudyard Kipling, published in 1917? Or “The Annotated Wizard of OZ,” published in 1973? Surely some of our young thespians, veterans of the RAAC production, would like that one. Regular price $75.

And maybe the RLEP or RappFlow groups would like our “Environment — How we Use and Control,” copyright 1934. Regular price $4.

And who wouldn’t like to have “The Works of Lord Byron including The Suppressed Poems,” published in 1834. Perhaps for a Valentine after dinner recitation? Regular price $15.

There is also a sweet little “Tales from Shakespeare” by Charles and Mary Lamb, one of first Cliff notes. Regular price $15.

There is also the original four volume of Convivium, the Journal of Good Eating, published in Wales, 1993. This fascinating set does not confine itself to recipes, but includes reviews of restaurants, short stories, new ways of growing vegetables, just the sort of thing we Rappahannockers like to read.

It would be impossible to list all our interesting books, but a quick browse any Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. will yield all kinds of wonderful finds, so come in and look around. You could find a great treasure — at half price.

WBC news

On Sunday, Feb. 7, the Congregation of Washington Baptist Church joined with the Jenkins and Gangel families in celebrating a Baby Dedication of Tyson Elliott Jenkins, the son of Holly and Matt Jenkins, and the grandson of Pete and Sandra Jenkins, and David and Kathy Gangel. Music for this very special service was provided by Angela Snyder and Wendy Aichele and the WBC choir. A reception for family and friends followed the dedication in the Fellowship Hall.

Sunday morning, Feb. 14, the Men’s Brotherhood of Washington Baptist  Church will be providing their traditional “Valentine’s Day Breakfast” for women in the Congregation who have never been married, been divorced, or widowed. A sign of the spiritual and social support for women in the church, the breakfast offers members of the Men’s Brotherhood a special chance to say “Thank you,” and to serve those who frequently stand in the kitchen serving others.

A traditional Ash Wednesday Service was held at Washington Baptist Church at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the season of the Church Year that offers the faithful an opportunity to prepare for the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ through self-examination, meditation, self-sacrifice and prayer. Though not part of the Community Lenten Series — which begins at Washington Baptist Church on Wednesday, Feb. 17, with a community dinner in the Fellowship Hall at 6 p.m. followed by worship in the Sanctuary at 7 p.m.  — the Ash Wednesday service provided an opportunity for followers of Jesus to begin their observance of a holy Lent.

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go out to a dear friend of mine, Pastor Phil Bailey. He will celebrate his special day on Saturday, Feb. 13. Bryant Lee will celebrate his day on Wednesday, Feb. 17. And wishes go out to Bud Clatterbuck, who is celebrating his birthday on Feb. 19, and Betty Grigsby, who will celebrate her special day on Sunday, Feb. 28.

Cancer survivors

Relay for Life of Rappahannock is looking for cancer survivors. Please call Karen Williams at 540-635-4673 and let her help you register, or you can register at


Condolences go out to the family of Dorothy Elizabeth Warner, 78, of Castleton. She passed away on Friday, Feb. 5. She was on the School Preservation Board of Scrabble, loved to shop and greatly enjoyed cooking and entertaining her family and friends. Dorothy stopped by the office several times and once invited me to go with her for Chinese food in Culpeper. So one day, we got together and took a ride to Culpeper, and had a wonderful lunch at Top’s China Restaurant. She was a wonderful friend. I could tell her heart belonged to the Scrabble School. Dorothy will be missed deeply.

The family will receive friends on Friday, Feb. 12, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Found and Sons Funeral Chapel, 850 Sperryville Pike, Culpeper.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 13,  at 11 a.m. at Culpeper Presbyterian Church, 215 S. Main St., Culpeper, with Pastor Wayne Bernardo officiating. Interment will follow in Shiloh Baptist Church Cemetery in Woodville.

Stay warm  and have a wonderful weekend!