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Tidying Up with Kids: Using Marie Kondo’s Method with Littles

Kelly Taylor

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The famous book written by Marie Kondo has given hope and advice to many. Learning to think about what “sparks joy” in your life and what does not can definitely be life-changing. Netflix has helped bring this advice to life by hosting the “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” show. Marie has been going into people’s homes and helping them experience the magic of tidying. The advice she gives seems like grand advice unless you have kids. You start wondering how you could possibly put any of this into effect with children running around. Is it possible?

Absolutely! Below are just a few ways in which Marie Kondo’s method can help parents.

Everything Needs a Home

Remember that old saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place”? One of Marie Kondo’s lessons is about how important this principle is, and I cannot agree with her enough. When kids are involved, it is even more important. I cannot tell you how many times misplaced items end up cluttering my desk, the dining room table, or the kitchen counters, all because my children do not know where they go. Making a place for everything and teaching your children where that place is will cut down on the clutter immensely.

Allow Your Children to Organize Their Own Space

Every person has their own style and preferences, including kids. If a parent forces their style on a child’s space, it probably will not stay that way. However, if the parent allows the child to participate in the organizational style, there is a higher likelihood of success. When I started allowing my daughters to help organize and decorate their own bedroom, it was easier for them to keep tidy. Because everything is organized in a way that makes sense to them, they do not have to think about where their things go anymore.

Let Your Child Decide What Sparks Joy for Him or Her

It can be so tempting to purge your child’s stuff yourself. If you just got in there while they are not looking, they would not have half as many items left and it would so much neater! They wouldn’t even notice those toys gone, right?

Wrong! They will absolutely notice something missing that they love. Just do not even try it! Our children are individuals, and though we do not always understand them, they love what they love. We have to let them decide what makes them happy and what does not.

My five-year-old has a pair of lime green shorts that I would burn if it were up to me. They are old and faded and, truthfully, the style seems to be from when I was little. One day, I put them in a charity bag while she was not looking, but later, I decided I should talk to her about it. She said she did not want to get rid of them. When I asked why, she answered, “They’re my mint-stealing shorts. I can put your mints into the little pockets on the front!” I laughed because she is constantly grabbing mints off of my desk and hiding them in those shorts. I find them and tickle her until her tummy hurts with laughter. To me, those shorts were worthless, but to her, they are a part of our fun and games. We simply never know what emotional attachment they have to things, so we should let them choose what to get rid of.

Tidy Up In Front of Your Children

There are many grown women who have no clue how to clean or organize. Why? Their parents never taught them. Often, they never even saw the cleaning done- it just happened somehow. Allowing your children to see you tidy up and, hopefully, getting them involved will not only instill the tidying habit but also have them ready to care for their own home.

It’s Okay to Purge Kids’ Artwork

I know it can seem like a huge betrayal to purge those beautiful pieces of art that your kids have created, but rest assured that it is not. Often, kids forget before long that they made it for you. Display new art for a while but then keep only certain ones. Some people take photos of the work and make it a digital photo album. I have a wall in my home where they are allowed to display their work for a time. We then decide together what we want to put away and what we can throw away. Making them part of the decision-making process will cut back on any drama.

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Three Week Pet and House Sitting Turns Into a Year Long Mystery

Kevin Wells

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Any responsible pet owner knows that if you cannot bring the animals with you then you need to make arrangements to ensure they are taken care of. If you are going to be gone for any length of time it is also a good idea to have someone check in on the house once in a while to make sure everything is ok. Last year one Canadian man agreed to watch his neighbor’s home while they were away.

The neighbors were going to be traveling for a few weeks visiting family overseas. They asked the man and his wife to watch the house and their pets and check on the house for three weeks while they went to Taiwan as his mother was dying and they wanted to see her and spend time with the family. They left the man $500 dollars for food for their 2 German Sheppards and their cat. The man agreed and went over daily to feed the pets and would walk through the house to check on things every week.

On July 1, he got an email asking if the man and his wife could watch things for a little longer. It was taking more time than they expected to take care of everything after his mother had died. They agreed and expected the man to return in 2 week’s time. They never arrived and no other communications were received. On July 21, the man sent an email but never got a reply. By the end of the month the neighbor’s cell phone had been disconnected and he was not responding to any email messages at all now. At some point in the following weeks a pipe had burst and ended up flooding the basement causing massive water damage. The man did not know what to do now since he still could not get in touch with the family.

He ended up paying someone out of his own pocket to have the leak fixed, and he also paid for one of their dogs to have surgery. This was quickly becoming a real nightmare situation, and worst of all, he had no idea how long it was going to last. He thought about trying to track them down via social media but they had a very common last name and he had no address or name for contact on who they were staying with in Taiwan so it seemed a search on his own was going to be fruitless.

The electricity was still running in the house, which the man credited to an autopayment. The internet was also still working. There was no way to track down a place of employment or other contact ins Canada who might know the couple and be able to help track them down. So, after waiting nearly a year, the man filed a missing person report with the police to try and get some help finding out what happened to the couple.  Eventually, they got a response- there was good news and bad news.

The good news was that the couple were alive and well and not dead or in prison as the man had feared. The bad news was that they seemed to be very irresponsible and privileged people. They said they had asked a relative to come to get the pets and deal with the house but had never checked in with him to see if any of it had been done. They said the man and his wife could keep the pets if they wanted or he could find some way to take them off their hands. He also seemed to care little about the house and made a statement along the lines of – if we ever come back we can pay to fix it or just buy a new house.  

The man said that he and his wife would keep the pets as they couldn’t bear to give them up after a year of caring for them. They were also very worried about what this couple may do with animals they seemed to truly care so little about. It is one of the most bizarre stories ever, but at least it ends on a happy not and those pets are still in good hands and are being loved and cared for. But let this be a warning before anyone agrees to house sit or pet sit for something- get all the details and contact information before you ever say yes!

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Experts Share What It Feels Like to Experience Giant Murder Hornet Stings

Shannon Jackson

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Giant murder hornets, also known as Vespa mandarinia, have been in the news a lot lately. They have been recently spotted in the United States. These hornets were seen in Washington State back in December and it marks the first time they were documented in the U.S. British Columbia has also experienced a number of different spottings throughout last fall. Many experts believe these hornets ended up in the area through cargo transport.

The hornets pose a threat to the dwindling honeybee population in the United States and, since they have few natural predators, they can wreak havoc on other fragile ecosystems. These deadly hornets have also been known to kill dozens of people each year in Japan so they really are not kind to humans either.  

On his show, Brave Wilderness, YouTube personality Coyote Peterson was actually stung on camera by a murder hornet. On the show, you can see him in pain and his hands begins to seize up. He later revealed that he was in pain for almost six hours. His arm ballooned up to twice its normal size. While a single sting isn’t likely to kill a human being unless there is an allergic reaction to the venom, 30 to 40 stings could in fact kill a human. Even if someone is not allergic to a hornet, the sting is incredibly painful and does have a lot of neurotoxins.

A murder hornet has also stung Conrad Berube, an insect expert. He was stung through a beekeeping suit and was also stung through two pairs of pants and the hornet drew blood in two different places. He later said that the day after he was stung, he felt like he had the flu with leg aches. He has said the sting was the most painful of any stings he has experienced.

The hornets have a longer stinger than a honeybee does. Hornets don’t break off their stingers when they sting. Since the hornet stingers can puncture thick clothing it’s best to avoid hornets and the nest when possible. The hornets are also attracted to tree sap. You could be stung by one while close to a tree. Avoid wearing dark clothing since hornets are more attracted to it and if you are going to be outside, avoid carrying any open top sweet drinks, such as a soda, in order to try and prevent these painful stings from happening.

These hornets are typically between 1.5 and 2 inches long and have large orange-yellow heads, along with prominent eyes and a yellow and black striped abdomen. The hornet’s life cycle begins in April. When the queen wakes up from her hibernation, she begins to scout out different spots to grow colonies and build underground nests. Murder hornets are the most dangerous during the late summer and early fall and this is when they are likely to do the most damage to honeybee populations. The hornets end up attacking the beehives and then decapitate and kill the adults. They do so while eating the larvae and pupae. It only takes a few hornets to destroy an entire hive in just a few hours. The hornets usually nest in the mountainous regions of Asia and it’s not often they are found in urbanized areas or large cities. The nest is typically found at the base of large trees and they aren’t able to tolerate extremely cold or hot temperatures, which gives some hope that they may not spread in certain climates in North America.

Currently, officials in Washington State are tracking the insects and using traps to ease some of the potential harm.

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Starving Street Dog Can’t Even Stand Up, Then Rescuers Help Her Transform

Shannon Jackson

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There are many incredible dog rescue stories but this one might be one of the most astonishing and amazing animal transformations through human kindness and compassion. 

Animal Aid Unlimited, a leading street animal rescue center in India, received a message from a person saying that there is a sick and dying dog on the street that is not even able to stand up. When the rescue group found the collapsed starving pooch by the side of the road, they realized the words of the Good Samaritan were not an exaggeration. The dog was extremely malnourished and so skinny that her body looked like just a pile of rocks. She was covered in mange and was completely hairless with painful sores all over her weak body. 

The rescues covered the stray with a blanket and took her to one of their facilities full of doubts the dog would be able to survive. The pup was so weak that she even did not have enough strength to eat when volunteers were attempting to feed her. Her sad eyes were full of pain and hopelessness. All she was doing was laying on her mat on the floor in the corner of the cell and staring at the wall. 

However, the rescuers did not want to give up and decided to do all they can to help the dog to survive and get back to a happy dog life. They named the pooch Helen and started working hard and tirelessly on saving Helen’s life. The saddest and the most heartbreaking thing was to find out that the dog was completely cut off from human contact and did not know what affection was. When one of the volunteers approached her and stroked her head gently, Helen shook it off like a fly because has never experienced such contact before. 

Even though the dog was very sick, both physically and mentally, the rescue team knew they could heal her. The first things they did were hooking the pup up to an IV  to offset dehydration and cured her damaged skin with the help of anti-inflammatory medications.  It took volunteers several months to bring Helen back to life. After 10 days her will to live was getting stronger, and Helen started her journey to recovery. It took her several months until she finally started getting better and transforming into a dog with some hope in her eyes and trust in humans. 

Soon the dog was unrecognizable. Her eyes got filled with the will to live and the body got covered with white soft fur. She looked like a brand-new healthy and happy dog. The volunteers say that she is an old, frail, and toothless girl with a very young and strong soul. At first, they thought they might lose her, but her hidden strong spirit helped her to survive. 

This story is an incredible example of how human kindness and a big heart can work wonders and transform the lives of other living creatures. 

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Animal rescue specialist removes gator from a residential property

Kelly Taylor

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It is very common for wild animals to roam freely in the state of Florida.  Gainesville is home to the largest population of gators in the world, who are often seen residing in freshwaters and even trespassing on people’s private properties. Even though they primarily eat fish, birds, and other reptiles, but once big enough, they can prey on larger animals like deer and buffaloes, however, if given a chance can easily attack a human as well.

Their predatory nature is what makes them one of the most dangerous creatures in the world, so their proximity to humans in the area puts people to risk in their everyday lives. One such incident happened when a homeowner, Mr. Scott returned from a casual grocery run only to find a gator amusingly laying on the front porch of his house. Living in Gainsville for nearly more than 40 years, he was used to this sight and was well-rehearsed in the protocol that needed to follow. He immediately called the FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline. Andrew Dunlop picked up the phone who guided Mr. Scott to take some precautionary measures before the trapper arrived. The guidelines included to not feed the gator anything as this act can make it lose its natural fear of humans. Secondly, Andrew asked Mr. Scott to keep his distance as coming too close to the gator can cause it to explore what it normally would have avoided.

The trapper arrived within 20 minutes of the call. He was well equipped and seemed confident and experienced. He used the tapping technique where he put a fish as a bait on a hooked stick. He started tapping the baited stick on the floor, slowly nearing the reptile on the porch. Once the gator caught sight of the fish, it quickly moved his face towards it. Taking small and gradual steps, the gator plunged to the bait opening its mouth in an attempt to devour the fish. The hook on the stick caught its mouth and prevented the creature from escaping. The trapper slowly pulled the gator to his cage. The gator was showing rapid movements however the tapper along with the assistant was well trained in calming the creature by holding it with secure hands and placing the cage at the back of their van. Mr. Scott was asked by the trappers if he would like to accompany them to see the gator escape to its natural habitat. He responded in the affirmative and hopped on with them in the van.

A small lake at a 5 minutes’ drive from Scott’s neighborhood was located as the home for the captured gator. His cage was taken out on the shore and the reptile was slowly unhooked. With a quick and small splash, the gator quickly rushed in the water back to his haven.

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Group of Heroes Save A Dolphin That Made Its Way to Shallow Waters

Kevin Wells

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It is always a great thing to let professionals and experts who know exactly what they are doing rescue animals since they are more knowledgeable. This is because people that are not experts tend to lack the knowledge and obviously the experience when it comes to being able to handle wild animals properly.

If you are dealing with a baby animal rescue, things can become more confusing. They are not easy to handle and it could be extremely dangerous, depending on the type of wild animal it is.

Time is definitely of the essence though especially when one has already been advised to stay away from what could potentially be some of the most harmless wild animals. It is only in our nature to do something instead of watching a helpless small animal struggle on their own. If we could, we are going to try to free the from whatever trap they are in on our own because it could be just a matter of seconds until they die or are seriously hurt.

This is exactly what happened one day to some frequent visitors in Dorset, which is located in the United Kingdom. There happened to be a baby dolphin that looks like he was in need of some assistance. He was already laying on the beach and he definitely needed to get back into the ocean. Can you guess what happens next? Yes, of course, there was an attempt for a few visitors that were obviously brave to come to the poor dolphin’s rescue.

It seemed as if the dolphin was acting a little bit weird. He could have been confused and delirious because he was headed toward the beach when a group of pleasant people that were standing by noticed one of the dolphin’s fin. The group instantly jumped into save mode. They knew that they had to do something and could not let the dolphin sit there and struggle. They knew there was no time to call a professional rescue team because this dolphin’s life was at high risk right now.

The group got themselves together and took matters upon their own hands to try and redirect the dolphin back into the water so he could go home.

There is a wonderful clip below that you can click on to watch and see the entire rescue yourself. The video will definitely have your heart racing as you watch the group attempt to save this dolphin’s life. You will see how they were able to turn the dolphin around and get him back into the deeper part of the water.

Last but not least, the dolphin is finally headed in the right direction. The group was able to get him back into the water and he began swimming towards his home. This would not have been possible if the group of people standing by were not there to save him. There were also other people that were standing around watching as the rescue unfolded. They seemed prepared to jump in if needed.

Make sure that you share this video on Facebook if you feel that you could have been right on the side of this wonderful team of brave heroes to help the dolphin get back into the water. Kudos to the great work they did!

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