Guest Columnists

Recommendations on opening up

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Dear Annie: I understand what “Unable To Open Up” is saying. I was never able to communicate with my parents. It carried over into my marriage and caused problems.

When batteries are just faking it

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Just when I think I’ve heard every possible way to save time and money every day, I open my mail to find new and clever ideas I’d never thought of. No doubt about it, I have the smartest readers in the world (good-looking, too!).

Stay the supportive course

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Dear Annie: My cousin has had anger issues for years, especially toward our grandmother. A few years ago, her parents got divorced, and her dad immediately started dating another woman, with whom he now shares a house. My cousin has announced that she is cutting herself off from all family ties, and, when she turns 18 next year, she is planning on changing her last name.

From luxury taxes to quick scissor-sharpening

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Over the years, I’ve noticed something. People who live comfortably do not do so because they are particularly wealthy. It’s because they are disciplined. They possess financial maturity. They live according to principles and rules they impose upon themselves. I have a feeling that Jane, today’s first tipster, is one of those people — quietly disciplined and financially mature.

City considers storage expansion for food pantry

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The Tira City Council met at the Community Center Monday. The group discussed upkeep of the building and grounds. The council considered adding storage for pantry items and will be discussing this more at the next quarterly meeting on June 1.

Past stuck in future

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Dear Annie: Why am I in a quandary? Because I have been married most of my adult life, and I feel almost nothing for my partner of 33 years, and I’m sure we are both just going through the motions of the relationship. Don’t misunderstand; I care deeply for this person. I just feel unfulfilled, and I can’t explain it.

Tough love is tough

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Dear Annie: My wife and I have a 20-year-old son, “Joe,” who has “failure to launch” syndrome. He coasted through high school, smoked pot, played video games and did the minimum to get by. After graduation, we agreed he could work part time and go to college, while living at home, although I would have preferred he work full time or join the service.

Planet plastic: Is reduce, reuse, recycle enough?

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Dear Annie: I am not optimistic about the plastic pollution of our planet. I remember a time when plastic did not exist and we managed OK with glass, tin cans, foil, paper, cardboard (waxed for dairy) and something called cellophane. Now everything comes in plastic. Even cans have plastic labels, and glass bottles have plastic caps.

Trying therapy, feeling blocked

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Dear Annie: I’ve been seeing a therapist for around five years, and I find myself unsure what to say. My wife first encouraged me to speak with a professional to help me better understand myself and deal with some buried anger. One of my major realizations in therapy has been that I have difficulty sharing my thoughts and emotions, and this can make therapy difficult. I’ve realized this is a common theme throughout my life, as nobody in my childhood ever tried to engage emotionally with me. My therapist will encourage me to discuss what I’m thinking; yet, I struggle to articulate it.

Easy ways to get a better deal

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Not everyone is comfortable with asking for a better deal or for a lower rate. Or for a fee or penalty to be waived. It’s a process known as bargaining or “haggling,” and for many, it’s a lot easier to do that online rather than face-toface in a store. It feels safer. And it’s a great place to practice your skills.