Spring Cleaning

So, it’s spring. The perfect (and somewhat cliche) time to clean up the house. Spruce it up, declutter, get the screens into the windows- you know, the whole jam. It needs to happen- spring is a good a time as any! Get all that winter “ew” out of the house, too.


There’s never a bad time to clear the clutter out of your home or garage or to do a wardrobe purge. When you donate your stuff to Goodwill, the revenue from the sale of your donations helps fund job training and placement opportunities for people with disabilities and disadvantages directly in your community. That’s cleaning with a purpose.

Have you heard of the the “Donate Stuff. Create Jobs.” campaign? Thanks to the programs and support services made possible by donations of clothes and household items, more than 261,000 people earned jobs in 2013 – that’s one person finding a job every 27 seconds of every business day. So you’re literally donating your stuff AND helping to create jobs.
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Military Family Monday: Married to a Reservist + Basic Pay Is Just the Beginning

Photo credit: Daniel Bendjy/Getty Images
Photo credit: Dream Pictures/Getty Images

Photo credit: Dream Pictures/Getty Images

Being married to someone serving in National Guard or military Reserve makes you a soldier too, serving right along with your soldier, Marine, sailor, or airman, helping on base, keeping up friendships and households and managing the civilian side of their lives. In most cases, it works for everyone involved. But it’s not easy.

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box of cash

Photo credit: John Boyes/Getty Images

When it comes to what you can eern in the military, Your monthly basic pay is just the tip of the money iceberg. Not satisfied with what you’re making now? There are a lot of ways to increase your bottom line. There are pays that you earn, pays you deserve, pays you may never heard of, and pay you get while deployed or TDY (temporary duty assignment).

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All In: The Struggle between Work and Family

Josh Levs, author of All In.
How our work-first culture fails dads, families, and businesses.
Issues: The parental leave battle; the struggle between work and family; Dumping the “doofus dad” stereotype; challenges of being a military dad; dads’ changing priorities; the overall importance of fathers in children’s life.

Time for a Clean Sweep?

zoe does dishes

Although I’m being compensated by Merry Maids for writing this article as part of the Merry Maids Father’s Day program. , every word in here is 100% true and completely my own

zoe does dishesWhen it comes to cleaning, moms do it all, right? Well, maybe if the moms (and lazy dads) in question are in their 70s or older, but that’s by no mean the experience of today’s involved dads—and their very lucky wives.

To be honest, I grew up in one of those moms-do-it-all (or at least most of it) homes. And my dad’s main advice to me about cleaning was to hire someone else to do it. But still, the old guy actually taught me quite a few cleaning-related lessons. Let me give you a couple of examples:



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Connect with Your Children–and Re-Connect with Your Childhood

Now Streaming - Dads Heirloom Edition

Disclaimer: I’m part of the Netflix Dream Team, but I’d been an active (okay. somewhat obsessive) Netflix user for years before.

speed racer 1960sWhen I was growing up, my parents were very much against television and limited my sisters’ and my consumption to PBS–at least when they were home. But the second they were out the door, the three of us would watch anything but PBS. And, like most people, we developed some faves that unwittingly became part of our DNA.

vertigoMy sisters were more interested in animated shows: Speed Racer, Casper, Scooby Do, Rtchie Rich, Tom and Jerry. But I was more into live action: Superman, Batman, The Three Stooges, Star Trek, The Prisoner, The Avengers. And, wherever I could find it, Hitchcock. Lots and lots of Hitchcock. But whatever we watched, it was inside a “fort” we built by throwing blankets over the back of the couch and some dining room chairs. And let’s not forget the Jiffy Pop. (The folks at Netflix just sent a fancier version of the couch/chair fort, which I’m planning on breaking out when my daughter gets back from sleep-away camp. Or I may try it out for myself, just to be sure it works.)

So when my kids got old enough, say around age five, I started them on Hitchcock and everything else I loved. And, not surprisingy, they came to love (most of) it too. We did (and still do, even though the kids are older) a lot more than just watch. We talked about the plots, the characters, their motivations, the choices they made, and what we might have done differently–or the same. At one point I had an epiphany about my parents’ insane fixation on PBS: It wasn’t the network itself; it was actually all about the “educational” content of the programs. And even though I rebelled against their TV preferences, I feel that I’ve passed my parents’ general philosphy on to my kids–but in a much more open-minded way: There’s something to be learned in almost everything (even The Three Stooges).
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