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  • You've got children. We've got answers. Or at least a good place to hide from your kids.

    Raising Quirk knows that your kids didn't come with an owner's manual. We also know that you may still feel like a kid, too. You're not alone.

    Our community is filled with advice, activities, entertainment, and, most important, parents just like you. It's a lifelong adventure and we're in it together. Consider us your online playgroup!

    Follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we build our fun new community!

  • Contents of a Toddler's Backpack, Photo by Cathy Stanley-Erickson

    Memorial Day is coming up soon, so the ceremonial beginning to summer is upon us. More importantly, for anyone under 18, it means that school is almost over!

    If I remember correctly, that also means that the shiny new backpack you got last fall, and the promise you made to yourself not to be disorganized this year, are both destroyed. In these last few weeks of school, we deal with a very prevalent issue from The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Parenting.


    Oh how I adore when I see those little asparaguses (asparagi?) poking their pointy heads through the soil in my garden. Who doesn’t love this tasty little tree of spearrific deliciousness? No one, that’s who!

    And the best part about this happy-looking and scrumptious-tasting vegetable? Well, for many people it grows as a perennial. That’s right—no need to replant year after year, it just keeps on comin’ back. To that I say: sign me up.

    Many gardening websites and experts note that asparagus is picky about where it sets its roots—it needs a deep bed and hates weed competition especially. That’s probably true, though I haven’t had too much trouble with my pair of plants, now about 5 years old, and I pretty much neglect them completely (though I did take the time to dig kinda deep and amend with compost when I first planted them). The only trick to remember is that, after planting a seedling (known as a “crown”), you shouldn’t harvest any spears for the first couple/few years.

    Practice patience, I know it’s hard. But after that, snap away, though try to limit yourself to only those spears that are thicker than, say, a no. 2 pencil. You can harvest for a few weeks—do it daily—and then stop and let the spears grow up nice and tall (they can reach 5 to 6 inches). Watch them burst out into pretty airy fronds, which are especially pretty in rain and snow and ice (when they become one of my favorite photographic subjects.) I cut mine to the ground in very early spring (around March in these parts) because I like the frondiness for winter interest and garden structure.

    Being a husband and a father, my attention immediately turns to my family. And, in a pre-apocalyptic world, I'd definitely focus on spending as much time with them as possible. I imagine that we'd pack up and find happiness in a warm, sunny location near the beach--a place we all love. Maybe a stop at Disney World--assuming it's still in operation. (Surely nothing would be sadder than an abandoned Disney World--well, maybe the end of the world. But, I digress.)

  • So the world is ending in six months. Damn. I guess I’ll never go to Paris; I guess I’ll never write that novel. There’s that list of books to read in the back of my mind though—the classics, the Must Have Read Before You Die titles. What would I read if I only had six months left to live?

  • Photo by Ryan Harvey

    Every Wednesday, we offer advice and strategies to survive all of the most dire and urgent circumstances, as well as some of the more common scenarios we all deal with.

    This week we've got an excerpt from the original Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. If someone had shown me this before I went skydiving, I am not sure I would have done it at all! But it’s better to be prepared if you’re going to do something as insane as jumping out of a plane.


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