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July 2015

Features

Christmas Mothers in July

When asked to serve as the 2014 Christmas Mother, Maya Smart initially demurred, saying the timing wasn’t right. In fact, it was long overdue. The selection of Smart, thirty-four, propelled the 80-year-old program that raises money for needy families into the twenty-first century. The youngest and first black Christmas Mother…

Vacationing with the Kids!

  Good manners. Today the term sounds all Dowager Countess of Grantham with a shot of Eddie Haskell. And who wants to spend a week at the beach with those two? You see my point. Maybe manners need a reboot. Less Dowager. More Hermione. Boot Eddie Haskell and bring Captain…

Richmond’s Movie Palace

Bob Gulledge sat in his seat at the Byrd Theatre eagerly waiting for the moment he could get a look at the grand theatre organ he had been hearing about. The then 13-year-old had recently moved to Richmond from Hickory, North Carolina. “I was baffled as to why the organ…

Columns

Slow Down Summer

  There’s a name for what a lot of us are doing. It’s hyper-parenting. Don’t give me that look, I didn’t come up with it. Hyper-parenting is a term coined by psychiatrist Alvin Rosenfeld in his book, The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap. And I have to admit, I…

Now You’re Ready!

I have spent the better part of a decade cheering for my three sons from bleacher seats, making seasonal adjustments to the volume and verbiage of my encouragement. Though my cheers betray my athletic incompetence, many of my sideline cohorts know the sport(s). Years ago at a t-ball game, a friend explained…

Beach Week

And just like that, there he is. My older son, Ben. All graduated from high school. Boom. And of course it was grand. And of course we were so proud. I was guilty of maudlin Facebook posting and over-hugging and generally following the young man around wondering how it had…

“What Should I Write in My July Note?”

I asked my summer assistants, who that day consisted of two boys and two girls, ages five to eight. And here’s what I got, verbatim: There’s gonna be fireworks. You can have a picnic and some parties. And you can go to the beach. You can spend time at your…

Departments

Before Freshman Year Starts...

Q: My 18-year-old goes to college in the fall. She has never been around alcohol. We do not drink at home and none of her high school friends drank. I’m worried she’s in for a rude awakening. Is there anything we can do to prepare her? A: If your daughter attended high…

St. John’s Church Foundation

A year before Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he attended the Second Virginia Convention at St. John’s Church in Richmond. Alongside George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, and other important figures in the American Revolution, Jefferson listened as Patrick Henry gave his passionate and now-famous “Give me…

Pain After Pool-Time?

Summer is here, so ’tis the season for sun, swimming, and unfortunately, swimmer’s ear. Otitis externa, more commonly referred to as swimmer’s ear, is an infection of the outer ear canal. This condition is more common with water exposure to the ear, and can develop in all age groups. Common…

Just Desserts!

Zucchini Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Icing Line two muffin tins with paper liners and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, and ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt. Set aside. In…

It Starts with a Budget

The bottom line for success in your financial house boils down to one word: budget. More specifically, know your monthly budget and the numbers that make it up. Now, I’m not talking about the easy figures, like the mortgage, power bill, car payment, and insurance. Those are things that recur,…

Is Your Senior Pet in Pain?

There’s this one: I don’t think my dog is in pain, because he doesn’t yelp. Or this one: My dog still chases squirrels. How could she have arthritis? Both are logical conclusions from attentive, loving pet owners. However, people and animals express symptoms of pain differently. Pets may cry out…

Children and Annoying Behavior

While at the store the other day, I noticed a parent try to quiet a whining child. I saw the parent rolling his eyes, and I released an empathetic sigh. I knew how he felt when I heard the pleading:  “Please, just be quiet for fifteen minutes – just this once,…

Fireworks and Filters

Have you ever wondered why your white shirt or socks turned pink in the laundry? Oops! How did that red towel get in there? Our clothes are colored using different combinations of dyes to get the perfect color. We can use paper chromatography, which separates mixtures into their components, to help…

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