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Time To Toss: Items in Your Home That You Should Dispose of Today

Kelly Taylor

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Over time, we start to notice there is clutter building in our homes, but we are not sure where to start. From our closets to our kitchens, the mess seems to keep multiplying. Below are five items that you need to toss from your home today.

Hangers

Clothes hangers come in wire, plastic, and wood options, and over time our homes accumulate more than we will ever need. Whether you pick them up from the dry cleaners or store purchases, hangers find themselves accumulating within homes. There is always more than enough, and they clutter up closet space. Find a cardboard box or plastic bin, load up the hanger surplus and drive to your local consignment retailer or dry cleaners. These retailers are always in need of such items and general recycling can be controversial for those wire types. Hangers are difficult to recycle due to their material types, shapes, and finishes. Because of this, donating them is the best option for home removal.

Magazines

Those magazines collecting dust in your magazine rack are ready for the recycling bin. Magazines and other news outlets are becoming obsolete in the world of smart phones. All major magazine subscriptions now have a digital app that allow readers to log in and read the stories from their phone. Load your lingering magazines up in a plastic bin and drive them to the local recycling center. You will be doing a favor for yourself and the environment, since magazines can be recycled into a variety of paper uses.

Outdated Electronics

We know about that junk drawer. The one that is home to the decade old cameras with the memory cards. Ancient cell phones also seek refuge here, clogging up space and collecting dust. It is time to dispose of those electronics you will never use again. The cell phones will no longer work with today’s services, and that camera is just an extra piece to carry. How about the iPods and MP3 players that house music from the early 2000s? They, too, have become a figment of the past for music. Smart phones today have the uses of these devices combined in a single device. If you have no sentimental attachment to these devices, local tech stores or your recycling center will be happy to take them off of your hands. Make sure that when you dispose of these electronics, you carry any cords or accessories, freeing up more space for your convenience.

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Plastic Storage Containers

It is time to tackle those dreaded kitchen cabinets. Housed inside one or several, you have accumulated a supply of plastic storage containers, and it is time to regain that cabinet space and declutter. First and foremost, inspect the condition of these containers. Many of them may have seen better days prior to being microwaved for several lunches. Trash any of these containers that are in questionable condition. If you are still left with an abundance of containers, take some and recycle them throughout your home. They are great for storing crayons, markers, and other crafts in the kids’ rooms.

Shoes

Pull out all of the shoes hiding in your closet floor and under your bed, and toss them out. Commit to the one year rule, throwing out any shoe pairs that have not been worn in that time frame. If they are in like-new condition, consider donating to local consignment shops. For those that have been worn, and you have been hanging on to them, it is time to toss. Pack them in a plastic bin or box and head over to your recycling center for their disposal.

Disposing of these items in your home today will free up lots of space and diminish the clutter building throughout the home. A clean home is a happy home, so get tossing today!

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Culture

The Remarkable Story Of Felix The Black Lab

Kevin Wells

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This is the remarkable story of Felix the Black Lab. Felix has had to overcome a lot of obstacles throughout his life. Felix was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. Cleft lip and cleft palate are openings in the upper lip and the roof of the mouth. These openings can develop during infancy when the facial structures don’t completely develop. While cleft lip and cleft palate are often seen as birth defects, they can be inherited through genetics. Felix’s owner believes that the dog developed the defects due to his mother having a poor diet or possibly inhaling chemicals.

In addition to being born with a cleft lip and cleft palate, Felix has also struggled with other health problems throughout his life. However, despite all of his struggles, Felix continues to have a great personality: always laughing and smiling.

Felix was adopted when he was just a few days old. The owner said that Felix was close to dying because his cleft lip and cleft palate left him unable to receive nutrients from his mother. Felix had pneumonia and the veterinarian declared that he only had a few more hours to live. As Felix started to grow, he had colon issues that caused digestive problems. He also has only one functioning eye and his jaws aren’t aligned properly.  Because Felix’s teeth were not aligned properly, he was only able to eat canned food.

In spite of all of these issues, Felix continued to fight. His owner fed him through a tube for a few weeks until he recovered from his pneumonia symptoms. Felix’s condition left him unable to chew dog food and lap water out of a bowl. He also had problems swallowing his food at times. Through it all, Felix remained energetic.

However, Felix’s owner wanted to try to give him a better quality of living, so he had surgery to correct his clefts. The surgery was a success. The surgeon was able to repair the roof of Felix’s mouth and rebuild his palate. The surgeon completed the procedure using Felix’s own tissues. The surgery also caused Felix’s skull to shift. In order to help transition to his new life post-surgery, Felix also takes some medications. In the aftermath of the surgery, Felix also had to eat through a feeding tube in his neck. It has been a huge adjustment period.

Thanks to the successful surgery, Felix has been able to enjoy many new experiences. He was able to go swimming for the first time. He’s also able to eat and drink regularly like normal dogs. Felix enjoys spending time with his brothers and sisters, including an Australian cattle dog and a terrier. He enjoys playing with stuffed animals.  Felix is a great example that you can overcome challenges if you maintain a positive outlook. To follow Felix’s journey, go to his Imgur account.

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Personal Clouds- Samoyed Dogs

Kelly Taylor

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Many people around the country and indeed around the world are absolutely in love with the animal that is known as man’s best friend- the dog. They go by many names and people love them all- dogs, doggos, canines, puppies, puppers, good bois, floofs, howlers, and woofers. Regardless of what you call them, and no matter what breed of dog you are talking about, a cute and well-behaved dog can instantly turn a bad day into a good day and put a smile on your face

However, some breeds garner special love and attention from their human companion. Some are better are defending our families and properties. Some are best-suited work helping us with work. Some are great with kids while others are best for a quieter family setup. Some like to run around and play all day. Some prefer to be laid back and lazy on the couch. Some are big and some are little. Some are plain-looking and some are very fancy. And then there are those rare breeds that seem to encompass so many groups that they stand out as a special breed all on their own, and the Samoyed breed of dog is one such example!

Samoyeds are very unique among the thousands of breeds of dogs because, you see, they often remind people of clouds. All it takes is one look at a Samoyed to see where that comes from. It doesnt take a lot of brains to see how soft and white and fluffy this breed is and how cloud-like they truly are!

They are gentle giants and are great pets to have as part of the family. The American Kennel Club talks about the Samoyed breed and calls them a very adaptable, family-oriented, energetic, friendly, and surprisingly gentle breed. This is why the attention surrounding this breed has taken off in recent years as more and more people are discovering this gentle and gorgeous breed and are finding out for themselves how much fun it can be to have a living floof ball in the home.

While they may look like a cloud and even feel like one with their soft fluffy coat of fur, this breed makes for a very big cloud! Samoyeds can reach a height of almost two feet at their shoulder when they are standing on all four, and the average weight for a full-grown male is between 65 and 70 pounds.

They are also a very active and energetic breed of dog, and they can extremely social with people in gnarly but particularly so with their family. They often want to be right with you, in tour lap, or at your side, loving to get hugs, and pets, and belly rubs. When you make a Samoyed dog part of your family, you best plan to spend the majority of your free time going for walks, playing in the yard, and engaging with them in the home. These dogs may closely resemble the clouds that lazily drift along in the sky on a sunny day, but they are a far cry from being lazy couch potatoes!

The only real drawback to these floofy clouds is the extent to which they shed. If all your clothes are black or your fanciest dresses and suits are darker colored then you may have some issues with the white hair that will ultimately end up everywhere. Their thick white coats protect them from cold temperatures which is what they were bred for as an original working-class dog for northern climates. It also means that these double-coated dogs shed all year long- and the shedding gets even more prolific when the summer heat kicks in. Also, people who have severe allergies to dander may find that the prolific spread of the fur around the house might be too much for their immune system to handle.

For most people, however, dealing with the vacuuming and cleaning of hair is a small price to pay to have your own personal cloud to hug and snuggle anytime that you want!

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Families that love to travel will love Yonder

Renee Yates

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For as long as I can remember, my family and I have always traveled. It is a tradition that we have passed down from one generation to another. Now, that I am raising my own kid, I find myself researching different places to explore with them. Whether it’s a new farmer’s market, a secret beach or an adventure across the open seas, we are always looking for our next story. As you can imagine, out of respect of the current events our globe is facing, social distancing has put our travels on pause. Though disappointing, it is completely understandable. That’s why during one of my late night researches while sipping my favorite tea, I was really excited to discover the treasure known as Yonder. 

It’s very straightforward. Yonder helps travelers establish connections with individuals who have properties deeply hidden in nature. Wow, right!? All you have to do to use it, is type in any keyword like pet-friendly, animal, tree house, you name it, it will work! Then once you hit submit, different locations will spring up for your to choose from. Each listing includes photos and details of each property. You also get an idea of what sort of experience is waiting for you at each location as well as what each host believes and their personal philosophies of how to incorporate nature into every day life

 As soon as I saw this, I quickly realized that this could be the answer to the summer getaway we had been itching to go on. As a family that loves nature, we were super excited to find a website that did most of the work for us. Some of the properties included on their lists are countless farms, ranches, vineyards and my all time favorite, nature immersive. Though some of the properties look a little less well groomed, about 70% of them cater to families. Each of the properties is handpicked and must meet certain criteria exceptional hospitality, natural surroundings, and activities to be listed. ”The creators of the website Tim Southwell and Freyr Thor dream that Yonder will help connect people to the healing powers of the natural world as well as in turn, inspire them to actively protect our planet. What a beautiful message and goal. Yonder believes in the importance of having a relationship with nature so much that they even became a public benefit corporation recently. This translates to mean that there is an equal emphasis on creating both profit as well as positive societal and environmental impact. Yonder hopes that by providing access to nature, their visitors will become more inclined to protect Mother Earth. 

Nature is beautiful and it’s a great goal to have. Yonder is helping so many families right now by helping them find a way to create amazing family memories this summer while still respecting social distancing and keeping a check on health. Most trips that are found on Yonder, provide nature filled life lessons that help create a sort of balance that is missing from the every day busy hustle of the 9-5 lifestyle. 

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Family helps raise $40,000 for an elderly man

Shannon Jackson

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On father’s day, Michaelangelo Mosqueda and his Gonzalez-Dominguez family were spending some time outdoors when they stumbled upon a man selling ice pops. These ice pops were paletas, a traditional Mexican version of the ice pops. This vendor selling the ice pops was seventy years of age. His name was Don Rosario. He has been a resident of Chicago for over five decades. To keep up with life’s expenses, he has been selling pushing his ice pops cart through the street of the Windy City. Chicago can be brutal in the weather. It has icy cold winters but the summer can get very hot too. The crime rate is also very high in Chicago. It is not uncommon to be mugged while walking around the streets. Don Rosario was not the sort of man who would complain. Even in this heat, he wore his cowboy-style hat and always had a smile on his face. He took great pride in his work and never felt his work was tough. That was part of why the family just couldn’t ignore him.

On a day like father’s day, the Gonzalez-Dominguez family could not help but feel sorry for the old man struggling to sell his ice pops on a scorching hot day. The family thought that they were blessed to be able to spend the day with their family and enjoy all the luxuries of life, but others such as this old man are not so fortunate. The family decided to buy all the ice pops from Don Rosario so that he can go home and relax. This gesture bought tears to the old man, who was not used to such acts of kindness.

When Mosqueda posted the video online, it became viral. Online viewers of the video praised the family for what they did but Gonzalez-Dominguez went one step ahead and did something that would change the life of Don Rosario. They set up a GoFundMe profile with a final target of $10,000. Even the family did not expect what was going to happen after that.

The GoFundMe is an American free fundraising platform designed for people to set up their profile and raise money from different events in life such as illnesses, graduations, businesses, etc. When the profile of Don Rosario was set up, it instantly got people to donate money to him. By the time the campaign had ended, the fun had reached $40,000. That is enough money for Don Rosario to retire and not spend his old age trying to sell ice pops. Mosqueda plans on withdrawing the money and delivering it all to Don Rosario himself.

Many research studies have shown that one of the keys to happiness is helping others. The family could have used the money to buy something for themselves but helping others is far more noble and satisfying than spending on materialistic endeavors. The family who helped Don Rosario and the people who donated to Don’s fund blessed themselves with more happiness and satisfaction. This story should be an inspiration for others to help those who need and who have not been blessed with necessities in life. This story also should be a reminder to show gratitude for what you have, whether it is more or less, it certainly is more than someone else out there.

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Life Without a Father: A Queer Parent Offers Their Take

Kelly Taylor

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I cannot help but to notice all of the ads that are on my social media feeds right now. Father’s Day is right around the corner. While I take my hat off to all of the great fathers out there who are doing their best to handle the trials and tribulations of parenting, it’s not a holiday I enjoy celebrating. I have not seen or spoken to my biological father in several decades now.

I highly doubt that we are going to have a reunion any time soon. I’m fine with it, quite honestly. It’s something that I made peace with a very long time ago. In many instances, it is best for both parties to move on. Some people just aren’t cut out to be parents and they need to stop forcing it. All I learned from him was a valuable lesson about the exact type of parent I did not want to be.

I feel confident when I say that I have been able to break this cycle. I’m not just a parent, though. I am a queer parent. There are a wide range of people out there who seem to believe that a child who is raised by queer parents will grow up to follow in their footsteps. It’s sad that such a narrative would continue to persist during the Information Age but here we are.

If this argument was even a little bit sensible, I would have grown up as a cisgender straight person. That does not take away from the fact that there are a number of people out there who would like to strip me of my basic human rights. They operate under the false belief that every home needs a mother and a father, in the traditional sense.

With so many broken homes and undeniable traumas that have been created by these settings, you would think that people would be willing to let go of this idea by now. At the moment, me and my partner are raising three children (with a small dash of assistance from a former female partner and a sperm donor) and things are going just fine.

My goal is a simple one: to raise happy, healthy children who are kind and responsible. I’m not going to remain dependent on the idea that they need a father in the home. There’s no need to fall into these types of traps. All a child needs is a home that is loving and safe. Children of same sex parents do not struggle in this regard. Studies show that we are doing a wonderful job.

The current administration may not agree but we are not about to allow these charlatans to ignore the facts. These hate mongers view queer parents as something that society needs to do away with and we wish that people were not willing to go along with this divisive rhetoric. People may look to use religion as a means of justifying their retrograde views but that does not mean that you need to, as well.

It’s easier to cling to a few passages from an old religious text than to admit that you are wrong. We all have much left to learn. No one is a finished product, no matter how old they may be. All we can tell you is that our kids are happy, healthy and well taken care of. They are not worried about the lack of a father in the house and you shouldn’t be, either. My kids do not have a “Dad” and we do not celebrate Father’s Day. It hasn’t stopped us from doing just fine!

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