Guest Columnists

Choosing words wisely

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Dear Annie: I was reading “Don’t Call Me ‘Dear’” and wanted to give you my two cents’ worth. I am a woman, 72 years old. If someone calls you “dear,” “sweetie” “sweetheart” or something like this, you should take it as a compliment. This applies whether the person doing the calling is a woman or a man, and it doesn’t matter if the person is a friend, relative or stranger; it would be a very nice comment. Life is too short to get upset with “little” things in the world. Just deal with it! — Gloria in Texas

Grow your own food 1 square foot at a time

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For years, I tried to grow a decent vegetable garden. It was the high cost of fresh produce — $3.50 for a few measly, wilted basil leaves; ditto for a pound of somewhat reddish tomatoes or mostly pink strawberries — that prompted me to try.

Unwanted clutter

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Dear Annie: My parents and my inlaws have a habit of cleaning out their houses by bringing their unwanted things to my house. When we first moved in together, my husband and I thought they were trying to help by giving us things so we wouldn’t need to buy them, but it’s been over a decade, and it continues.

Creative ways readers save time and money

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Sometimes, I wonder how “Everyday Cheapskate” readers discover their handy ideas. I mean, who would have thought something that cleans brake parts would also remove stains from clothes?

A COVID-19 relationship

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Dear Annie: I am a college student who has been dating a girl for about two months. She’s from out of town but lives in the same city as me. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been more isolated than usual. She has a roommate but otherwise feels lonely. I spend as much time with her as I can (respecting social distancing protocols, of course), and we text a lot.

Supporting people who have lost loved ones to COVID-19

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Dear Annie: Most people have not experienced the loss of a loved one from the COVID-19 virus. However, my father died Friday night after fighting weeks for his life. The situation was agonizing and yet our friends’ reactions to it have been a bit surreal. Here are some tips on supporting the bereaved based on what we have experienced:

Summer heat means irrigation

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As temperatures start getting higher, water evaporation increases, creating water deficiencies in the soil independent of the amount of rain we receive in a given time. This is the reason why irrigation is necessary during the summer months. (Water evaporates faster as days and nights get hotter.)