Survival Essentials: The Spring Cleaning Legacy

Average: 4 (1 vote)


As children, many of us probably envied our parents just a little during spring-cleaning season, particularly if they were the type to respond to declarations of boredom with a list of apparently nonsensical household tasks. With heavy hearts — sprinkled with a smattering of annoyance — we'd get to work on the washing up, finish the window cleaning, or begin sanding the stair rails.  Parenting styles have evolved significantly since those stair-sanding, dishwashing youthful days of yore. Even then, discipline levels and communication techniques varied from family to family: now, however, we have parenting globalization to contend with. Today, child-rearing demonstrations exist on television, too. Radical approaches, contentious debates, an ever-increasing list of long-term consequences and "super-nannies" with a sixth sense akin to Mary Poppins remind us — on a daily basis — that we could be doing just a little better. Refreshing, no? As parents, the full complexity of life suddenly becomes apparent. Then we realize that we have to somehow equip our joyous little bundles with the know-how to navigate the world. We have to teach them survival skills. 
"Wait: Spring-cleaning is a survival skill? The kids won't buy this…."
Why yes, it is. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then we'll begin.

How To Guide on Supporting a Working Mom

Average: 5 (4 votes)

More moms are headed to the workplace these days and more fathers are staying home to raise the children. But even in this new era of parenting, an old motto rings as true today as it ever did.

“A happy wife is a happy life.”

While more moms are saying goodbye to husband and child in the mornings and headed to the office, the tug to stay at home is as real and strong as it’s ever been. Add in a healthy heaping of guilt for being the Mom who isn’t staying at home, and you have a recipe for disaster.

What’s a daddy to do?


Average: 4 (1 vote)

raccoonWe live in a rural subdivision and every year will have to deal with nuisance critters getting into our garage and eating all the cat food. It’s quite easy to do because we have a kitty-door in the wall. Our cats will just sit there passively watching a possum, raccoon, or s skunk eat all their food. So I use a live trap to make sure these nocturnal visitors pay the cover charge. And if it happens to be a skunk this process can get difficult. Here’s how I do it…

Treating Back Pain at Home

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back massageFor a long time now I have suffered from occasional lower back pain. Lifting heavy loads; twisting; and basic over exertion have all taken their toll on my back. Sometimes it’s even comical (though still painful). Like the time I was reaching for the toilet paper and bam, out goes the old man’s back. Seriously, what sadistic person mounts the roll behind you on the wall at shoulder height? If your spouse comes to help you in this position, you really know their love will last a lifetime. So here is how I fix my own back pains at home…

Installing New Grounded Outlets

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wall outlet new three prongI haven’t written anything in a while as we’ve been tied up with a remodel job. New flooring; kitchen cabinets; painting; plumbing repairs; and refinishing wood floors are all on the agenda. Somewhere in this do-it-yourself construction job is the basis for a great article. So instead of that let me tell you about my efforts to replace all the duplex outlets in our 1960 house…

Wedding Anniversary Gifts

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beach wedding honeymoonGuys - Wedding anniversaries are special occasions, but only if you make them special. Woe unto the hapless husband who forgets to recognize their wife on this one day a year. Luckily I have never forgotten our anniversary, although I did forget my wife’s birthday once…but that tragedy is another story. Speaking of stories let me tell you about what I did to make our 10th anniversary just a little extra spicy and special...

The Longest Blind Date Ever

Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

dating couple blind dateWhen I graduated from college I took a job working as an Engineer for a construction company. We worked long hours, sometimes 12 hours a day seven days a week. We barely had time to do anything else let alone consider dating. But being young (ignorant) and gainfully employed, I tried repeatedly to spark the interest of a young lady. Well actually it was any young lady… without success. I was shot down so many times my co-workers started calling me “skeets”. Finally one of them took pity on me and set up a blind date. Now the rest of the story….

Amazon Prime Membership

Average: 3 (1 vote)

amazon primeAbout a year ago, a friend of mine was blathering on about how cool the Amazon Prime membership was and I was mentally rolling my eyes and thinking blah, blah, blah… So a few weeks later I took the time to read up on the program details and decided that since it had a Free Trial option to give it a try. Besides, it couldn’t really be much worse than having a Costco or Sam’s Club membership – right?

Parent Teacher Conferences

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teacherI have a unique perspective on parent-teacher conferences (PTC). I’ve been attending these little academic dances for many years now - First as a student, and obviously now as a parent. However that does not make my perspective any different than yours. But being married to a teacher has given me a deeper and a much greater appreciation and understanding of the process. Let me share some tips and give you some free advice on how to make the most of these meetings....

I Hate Poison Ivy

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poison ivy plantI hate poison ivy. Not the movie where some old fart lusts after a nubile pseudo-teen goddess. The plant poison ivy is what I dislike. I never used to have anything against it, and probably rolled all over in it growing up as a kid. But somewhere around the age of 35 or so, I got a bad case of PI and it’s been all downhill (while scratching) from that point on. So here is how I deal with it….