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July 2016

Features

How to Give It Away for Good!

It took Sue Farrell a while after the death of her husband, Joe, in 2013 to feel like she could give his clothes away. It was important that his belongings go to someone or some place special. Finding the right organization to receive that kind of donation, and knowing where…

RV There Yet? Americana on Tour

During the summer, we always escape northeast or northwest because I was raised in Connecticut where two weeks of August are as hot as May in Richmond, and my sweat is actually my body crying for cooler weather. Last summer, we did a two-week RV tour of Pennsylvania, New York,…

Say Yes to Museums! Kids Can Handle Culture

Before you had children, did you ever fantasize about all the wonderful, enriching activities you would do together? Perhaps you had aspirations of tending a garden using the compost you create from kitchen scraps, which, of course, come from the many types of vegetables you prepare for your family each…

Columns

38 Fun-Fueled Ideas for Families!

Have you ever felt stuck in a rut and tired of doing the same old summer activities? I know we feel that way sometimes. Each summer, my kids choose a few camps they really want to do, but the rest of the summer is for family and friends and vacationing…

Fatherhood in Living Color

When I was seven, a wizard came to our house after school one Wednesday. He messed with a few wires, and then handed me a remote control the size of our station wagon’s car jack. The gizmo had just enough line to reach our green La-Z-Boy. Once the Zenith warmed…

It’s the Best Part of Summer!

It’s the month to fully immerse ourselves in summer splendor. There’s no school, it’s too soon for back-to-school shopping, and there’s plenty of time for summer reading, relaxing by the pool, and evenings filled with firefly chasing. (See how I made it sound like no one has to work? Hey,…

A Little Help Here, Please

I am a crier. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that my frequent crying jags are both predictable and pathetic. Sad commercials? No brainer. Sappy movies? Of course. Weddings? Always. Funerals? Forget about it. But even I can usually hold it together while grocery shopping on a Tuesday. I’m not…

Departments

Kids Can-Do: Magic Made Simple!

Whether we’re talking about kids or grown-ups, most of us don’t have any problem making money disappear. To complete our magical Kids Can-Do, and make money vanish into thin air, start with a little bit of prep. Then, follow some simple steps, and perform a classic sleight-of-hand magic trick that…

What Eighteen Means

Your child has turned eighteen. The prom and graduation have gone off without a hitch. Next steps like college or a full-time job have been decided on, and your son or daughter is excited about adulthood and independence. It is time to let go, but it also is a time…

Parenting Digital Teens

My 13-year-old is in an awkward phase, and her elementary school friends have left her behind as they continue to be on sports teams, which no longer interest her. She is spending a lot of time online, but it makes her happy. Should I be concerned even though the computer is in…

Food Insecurity in Central Virginia is Something We Can Work to Fix

A second-grader runs around the playground with her friends at an afterschool program. Beyond excited for a sunny day, she notices something in a nearby trashcan. Carefully avoiding her friends’ watchful eyes, she rushes to grab some food that was tossed out. Tucking a snack bag in her pocket for…

Scary Stats About Autism and Water Safety

It happens a lot. Children with autism leave a safe, supervised area because they are attracted to something of interest, especially water. This tendency to wander, combined with no intrinsic sense of fear, makes drowning the number one cause of death among children with the disorder, according to the National Autism…

All-American Recipes

Creamy Mac and Cheese Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub the inside of a 2-quart casserole with butter or cooking spray. Cook ½ lb macaroni according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Make topping by melting ½ stick of butter in a small saucepan. Add…

5 Ways to Protect Pets from Ticks

They are small, but powerful. They live off the blood of their host, and spread diseases as they feed. And unfortunately, Virginia is home to the big three: American dog tick, black-legged (deer) tick, and brown dog tick. As our population grows, we move into natural tick habitats and cross…

It Was a History-Making Hurricane

On August 17, 1969, a rare category 5 hurricane hit Mississippi and tracked north as it weakened into a tropical depression. Hurricane Camille, however, took a sharp, unexpected eastward turn and moved over the mountains into Virginia. Taking the state by complete surprise in the night, the storm caused severe landslides…

What to Know About Mosquitoes

Sunshine, balmy nights, food, and family recreation – all things we look forward to in the summer. For many, it’s a season when things slow down a bit and worries are further away. To ensure you get the most of your outdoor adventures, care should be taken to control pesky…

Reducing Poverty in Richmond

Do you know from experience, or have you ever considered, how stressful it is to live in poverty? Think about a family of four, trying to work one or more low-wage jobs, take care of children, arrange transportation, feed everyone – all on about $24,000 a year. Parents often become overwhelmed,…

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