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Friday, May 27, 2016, 7:11 p.m.
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What did you do this summer?

posted: 05/25/2016 1:48 a.m. Discuss

Ah, summer, with its sunny days, cookouts and family vacations.

Creature Feature

posted: 05/25/2016 1:47 a.m. Discuss

I have a problem with my cat that maybe you can help with. She's friendly most of the time, but sometimes when I'm petting her she gets crazy and starts attacking me with her back feet and claws. She even tries to bite me. She's not a mean cat. Why is she acting so weird? I took her to the veterinarian and she checked out fine.

SHARON RANDALL: Staying afloat for life's ups and downs

posted: 05/25/2016 1:46 a.m. Discuss

Summer is still weeks away, but it started early for me with three big surprises.

PARENTING: Home-school teacher and students need 'recess'

posted: 05/25/2016 1:46 a.m. Discuss

Q I home-school my three children, ages 8, 6 and 5. The older two have a very poor attitude about doing school, especially math, and the younger one is starting to pick up on it. Their poor attitudes make the lessons take longer and they complain and cry about finishing their assignments. I've tried sending them to their rooms until they have a better attitude, but that seems like more of a reward to them because they get to do nothing. They are not working independently yet so I still need to teach them the lessons, but I get so frustrated when they huff and puff and act like school is so hard. They are all working at or slightly above grade level so it isn't that they don't understand, they just don't want to do the work. We do school each morning for about four hours, and then they can play the rest of the day. How can I show them they need to have a good attitude about learning?

MONEY MATTERS

posted: 05/25/2016 1:45 a.m. Discuss

DEAR JEANNE & LEONARD: When my husband's mother died, his brother's bossy wife, "Nora," put herself in charge of divvying up Mom's belongings. I'd been very close to my mother-in-law (my own mother died when I was young), and the one thing of hers I wanted was her monogrammed silverware. Nora grabbed it for herself, and I thought that was that. Well, recently Nora called to say she no longer wants the silver, and she's offering it to us for -- get this! -- $2,500. I was shocked. For one thing, that silver is a family heirloom, and I believe a relative shouldn't have to pay for a family heirloom. And for another, the price is ridiculously high. So what should we do? By the way, if we had Mom's silverware, we'd leave it to our children. But Nora and her husband don't have any kids.

EX-ETIQUETTE

posted: 05/25/2016 1:44 a.m. Discuss

Q My husband shares equal custody (of his children) with his ex, and I hate to say it, but she's a loser with a capital "L." She was just caught shoplifting and we suspect she's drinking again. Unfortunately, the kids overheard their dad and me talking about her and they've been very distant for the last couple of weeks. My husband would petition for custody, but his ex now lives with her mother and the kids love their grandma. We would hate to block the kids' time with Grandma, but we worry about their safety when Grandma is not around. What's good ex-etiquette?

Family: Summer camp, not the usual way

posted: 05/24/2016 11:23 a.m. Discuss

Summer is here (almost) and that means it’s summer camp season: camping, canoeing, hiking, swimming.

'Borrowed' belly

posted: 05/18/2016 1:49 a.m. Discuss

Kirsten Langhammer has given birth to three sets of twins in the past four years. Not one of those babies is her own.

Creature Feature

posted: 05/18/2016 1:49 a.m. Discuss

From the world of pet news, we've gleaned a few choice tidbits. Let's take a look.

SHARON RANDALL: Honoring mother: A phone call now, then

posted: 05/18/2016 1:48 a.m. Discuss

I forget things. Appointments and birthdays. Names of people I've just met, and names of people I've known forever. Or the glasses I can't find because they're on top of my head. But this was a first.

PARENTING: Parent at fault for enabling daughter's bad habits

posted: 05/18/2016 1:48 a.m. Discuss

Q My daughter, who just turned 3, has a surge of energy after dinner and can take hours to fall asleep. I try putting her down around 8 p.m., but there are nights when she doesn't fall asleep before 10. Sometimes she tells me she's tired but can't fall asleep. At other times, she will throw a tantrum before bed. When she stops she'll say, "I'm done crying, now I can sleep."

MONEY MATTERS

posted: 05/18/2016 1:47 a.m. Discuss

DEAR JEANNE & LEONARD: At a restaurant my husband and I frequently go to, our order got "lost" in the kitchen, and we ended up waiting 40 minutes after finishing our appetizers for our entrees to arrive. When we complained, the manager apologized and took the cost of our drinks off the bill. But in paying the check, my husband insisted on tipping on what would have been the full amount of the check, before the reduction for the mix-up in the kitchen. I don't see why we should have tipped on items the restaurant was -- quite properly -- paying for. What do you think?

EX-ETIQUETTE

posted: 05/18/2016 1:47 a.m. Discuss

Q My kids' dad and I have been apart for about a year. I've recently met a great guy and we are planning to move in together, but my kids, ages 11 and 13, are really fighting me. I'm surprised because I am the one who was always around -- their dad worked all the time.

Family: Giving the joy of children to others

posted: 05/17/2016 11:03 a.m. Discuss

In the past four years, Kirsten Langhammer, 40, of O’Fallon, Mo., has given birth to three sets of twins. None of those children are hers, though. Instead, Langhammer, already a mother of two, is fulfilling the dreams of other couples wanting to become parents by serving as a surrogate mother.

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