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A Place for Almost Everything (And Joyfully Get Rid of Everything Else)

Jeni Ruisch

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Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has changed more than just the lives of the hopelessly cluttered. It has spurred small business owners into action to help those that mire in their piles of clutter. 

Michell Domke has always loved organizing (save for a foray into messiness as a teenager) and was in the process of starting a professional organizing business. But she found herself in a bit of an entrepreneurial slump, feeling like she didn’t know which direction to go in.

“I picked up The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, which had been sitting on my bookshelf, unread, for a couple of years. As I was reading it, I thought, ‘This is exactly what I want to do and this is exactly what I want to bring to my clients’.” 

“I fell in love with KonMari because it’s about more than just putting things in order. It’s about reflecting on your current state, visualizing your ideal lifestyle, setting your intention about where you want to go with your life, and making choices about what to keep based on what sparks joy.”

Domke utilizes Kondo’s method, called KonMari, to help her clients pare down their lifestyle. The method purports to have ripples that spread out to all areas of the user’s life. And Domke lives her philosophy as she teaches it to others. She is quick to discard things she no longer wants, but she’s not above the ebb and flow of organization versus chaos. And she takes all the phases in stride.

“My house is an active space. I live in it and run my business from it, so it fluctuates between very clean and organized, and a total disaster. It is super joyful, though. It’s full of plants, art, joyful sentimental items, small pretty things; it’s comfortable and cozy. I’m an entrepreneur, so when it’s a mess, I’m definitely in a creative, or growth phase. I won’t allow myself to clean or organize it, because that’s my distraction from doing the hard thing that I really need to do to get to the next phase.”

The KonMari method is singular in its approach to organizing. It provides a therapeutic purging process that seeks to remedy the hangover of consumption. It is a mindful approach to surrounding yourself with things that make you happy, and shedding the psychic weight of the things that are left hanging around.

“I fell in love with KonMari because it’s about more than just putting things in order. It’s about reflecting on your current state, visualizing your ideal lifestyle, setting your intention about where you want to go with your life, and making choices about what to keep based on what sparks joy. The ideal lifestyle is the roadmap for the entire journey. Keep what sparks joy and let go of the rest.”

Domke finds joy in helping people sort themselves out of rough patches.

“I meet people where they are at, and typically that’s in some kind of pain. [This can be] because of disorganization, clutter, or maybe the loss of a loved one, or the addition of a new baby to the family which is very joyful but comes with a lot of stuff! I’m 100% supportive of people where they are in their current state and help them to tap into where they want to go.”

The best part seems to be the way the method changes not only the surroundings of the user, but their internal compass, as well. 

“Typically in our culture we don’t tap into our feelings about anything, so making decisions based on what makes us happy can be revolutionary. You hone your sensitivity to joy through each category so that by the time you get to sentimental items you can look at them differently. Many of us have items that we keep out of guilt or obligation. They take up space, cause stress and really we have permission to keep or let go of any sentimental item we have.”

Sure, you might say: This all sounds nice. But what about those of us with real messes? The ones that keep certain doors in our houses shut permanently, as mess colonizes entire rooms. Or the ones who feel like their basements and attics are more deep, dark secrets, than simple storage areas?

“No one is beyond organizing,” Domke offers, benevolently. “But if someone doesn’t want to organize you can’t make them and you can’t do it for them. I get calls all the time from people who want me to fix their spouse, kids, roommates. My advice is start with yourself. Take care of your own things and maybe it will rub off on them. It happens! I’ve had spouses tidy their own things after they see the results of their partner. No one is hopeless. And you don’t need to clean or organize things before I come over. I’m here to help in the current state.” 

You hear that, dear readers? There’s hope for us yet.

To put your house and life in order, visit michelldomke.com

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Great Apes: Two gorillas coming soon to Columbus Zoo

614now

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The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is no stranger to primo primates. Colo (RIP) who was both the first gorilla born in captivity and the oldest known gorilla in the world, called the zoo home for 60 wonderful years.

Now, two new additions from a zoo in Wisconsin will be joining the storied Columbus troop:

17-year-old Shalia and her 4 ½-year-old offspring Sulaiman will be transferred to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium from the Milwaukee County Zoo in Wisconsin sometime in the next few weeks.

When the duo arrive, it will be something of a family reunion. Two-year-old gorilla Zahra is half-sister to Sulaiman, and has been at the Columbus Zoo since 2018.

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Play like a kid at R Adventure Park in the Hocking Hills

Mitch Hooper

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Tucked away from the main road leading into Hocking Hills sits a world that rivals most theme parks you can find. Complete with a multimillion dollar ropes course, 68 miles of riding trails, a speed course, off-road vehicles, zip-lining, a paintballing arena, and a damn roller coaster, this dreamland sounds just like that—a dream. But for Karry Gimmel, owner, curator, imagineer, and engineer—R Adventure Park is every bit of his wildest dreams made into reality.

Upon arriving at the park, we drove up the long drive-way and eventually our playground was unveiled from behind the tall trees. The ropes course towered in the background as Polaris quads, side-by- sides, and three-wheeled Slingshots were scattered about near the front desk area. As gray skies filled the sky, we knew the Ohio weather was going to do its best to give us its worst.

Photos: Brian Kaiser

“Don’t worry,” Gimmel assured us. “We have some of our best days when it rains.”

It didn’t take much to convince us. Gimmel has worked and continues to work as an engineer for Disney World—if anyone can be trusted as a reliable source for fun, it’s him. Combine his knowledge of theme parks from Disney World with seemingly unlimited space (thanks, unplotted land!) and a little horsepower, and you have a place where kids, mom, dad, and even grandma can participate.

He took us to the eye-grabbing rope course to begin our day. I’ve never been one to call myself an adrenaline junkie, but heights haven’t really bothered me before. Whether it be the roller coasters at Cedar Point or working summer construction on scaffolding 60+ feet off the ground, I came, I saw, and I conquered. So when I approached the first tier all strapped in my safety harness with my guide on hand, I was befuddled to find how nervous I was.

The first obstacle is an easy one: a balance beam. But to my eyes and brain, it was a tightrope across the Grand Canyon. And when I took that first step, I was sure it was a tightrope across the Grand Canyon and the slightest gust of wind would send me to my doom. Slowly and methodically, I stepped forward making sure to follow OSHA tips like always keep three points planted when at high altitudes. Turns out that summer construction job is paying off.

After making it down and back comfortably, we continued to turn the heat up. Each level higher presented more difficult obstacles—all seemingly insane until you actually complete them. Every obstacle completed might just bump your confidence to the point where you might just try a few backwards, hopping on one foot. But if you’re feeling more comfortable staying on the first tier, there’s no shame in that.

As we finished up the ropes course, the rain seemed to be moving in which made for an appropriate time to switch. We ditched our belays for helmets and safety glasses and made our way to the Polaris side-by-side vehicle. To say this vehicle was covered in dirt, mud, and dust is an understatement. Our driver went to brush some off the seat, but Gimmel quickly stopped him.

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that; you’re going to get muddy,” Gimmel said. “Do you want to do the trail, or the ‘trail’ trail?”

Of course, we picked the “trail” trail.

After a crash course in how not to crash, we took off into the woods cruising through the curvy trail surrounded by trees and nature. We continued as tree branches brushed by us and the mud slinging party only grew bigger. Each dry strip of land was a chance for the mud to come free from the tires and these human-seeking dirt bombs were on a mission. Our trek through the trail eventually took us to a speed course where we could finally let loose and see how this machine works. Gimmel knew exactly where to take us: the drag strip.

On the count of three, we screamed off down the quarter-mile dirt strip like a rocket shot out of a cannon. Gimmel, leading us in a one-man side-by-side, gave us a few seconds head start and still managed to smoke us in a cloud of dust. (We’ll get him next time, though.)

All-in-all, the 30-minute adventure on the trails felt like an eternity—in a good way. The twists and turns of the trails remove all your sense of direction, making you feel as though you just traveled miles away from the park. But with a few turns here and there, we wound up right next to the ropes course where our day all started. Of the 68 miles of trails, we covered about three.

The mantra at R Adventure Park is fun for everyone with an added bonus: instant gratification. Gimmel said the park started when he would have business partners visit for various reasons and inevitably, he’d be scrambling for a way to entertain them. He always keeps vehicles nearby and he had a few ATVs on stock which quickly became the favorites for his friends—anyone who’s ever tried to rent quads before knows how much of a headache it can be just finding a rental place, let alone finding trails.

Gimmel recognized the lack of options as well as the high overhead with getting into off-roading. At R Adventure Park, he could offer both without the big investment. But he was going to need some more off-road vehicles to accommodate. After some reluctancy, he was able to work on agreements with Polaris, making R Adventure Park one of the few spots in North America where you can rent, learn, and ride ATVs without having to purchase your own.

There’s another mantra for R Adventure Park and Gimmel says its thanks to his Canadian genes: creating a community. While you’ll find adventure and excitement in nearly every corner here, you will not find lodging. And Gimmel seems like he has no plans for that in the future. Instead, he encourages visitors to look into lodging options near the park as to support his neighbors. For him, it’s not about having the entire pie, it’s about everyone getting a slice. It just helps that his slice comes served in a Polaris Slingshot that can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds.

R Adventure Park is located on 15155 Sauerkraut Road, Logan, Ohio 43138. For hours and operations, visit radventurepark.com.

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Local canine training company won’t heel until human, canine bond is created

614now

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SPONSORED

Everybody knows that dogs are mankind's best friend, but being bffs with someone who speaks a different language can prove difficult. That's where ALL PURPOSE K-9 LLC comes in.

ALL PURPOSE K-9 LLC was founded with one goal in mind: to deepen the human canine bond. It's a one-stop-shop for pet owners seeking professional dog training, behavior modification services for aggressive, reactive, and fearful dogs, on- and off-leash obedience coaching, boarding services, grooming, and so much more.

But what makes ALL PURPOSE K-9 LLC different from all the other doggy daycares?

"ALL PURPOSE K-9 LLC has cracked the code between human and dogs by learning to understand what makes us human, our genetics, how we communicate, how we learn, and knowing about sensory and emotional responses," said owner Jordan Hickle. "Canines vary from their human counterparts, greatly. Having the understanding and knowing what these differences are allows us to go above and beyond in our educational experience."

Hickle attended The Tom Rose School for Professional Dog Trainers in High Ridge, Missouri where he completed both the Professional and Master In-Residence Certification Programs, graduating with honors.

ALL PURPOSE K-9 LLC teaches a fully comprehensive and practical handling course with all their Premier Dog Training Programs. These programs are tailored with your dog at the forefront of the program’s design process, explained Hickle.

And it's not called Columbus’ Premier Dog Training Company for nothing. Hickle leads his pack of experienced, well-informed, passionate professionals on a path towards singularity between you and your canine companion.

"Well behaved dogs who are knowledgeable in how to appropriately interact in our human world are able to accurately do their jobs of being a blood pressure lowering companion," said Hickle. "Not only that, their human companions can sleep peacefully at night knowing their dog is a well-behaved member of society and NOT a nuisance or liability!"

Is your dog a well-behaved member of society, or...not so much? Choosing ALL PURPOSE K-9 LLC is choosing commitment, concentration, and a livelong companionship between you and your dog.

"Above all, we recognize that your dog is family!" said Hickle.

ALL PURPOSE K-9 LLC will be moving from Reynoldsburg to 510 East Main Street, Columbus in September. For more information, call (614) 623-4593, email [email protected], or visit apk-9.com

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