Q. I would like to use your column as a platform to urge everyone reading to get a flu shot. I was one of those individuals who always thought that I did not need to get a shot for a variety of reasons: “I am healthy. I wash my hands often and avoid touching my face and never rub my eyes or …

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Q. I live in the Midwest. My husband and I have a good friend who dines with us quite often, usually once or twice a week, as well as on holidays. She is a longtime friend. The problem is this: She never brings anything with her when asked to dinner. She never asks us to her place for a meal…

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Q. I read your column almost every morning, and I’d love to hear your advice on my situation. I am 20 years old. I’ll be turning 21 this December. (Yippee!) My first real boyfriend and I have been off and on the last six years. Even at our young age, we used drugs, but both have succeeded in…

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Q. My son was married eight months ago and now lives on the other side of the country. During their courtship, engagement and wedding, I did everything I could to be friends with his wife. I bought her a rehearsal dinner dress, which she approved of at first. I helped her dress for the dinne…

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Q. My neighbor has a huge tree growing squarely in the middle of her yard. The tree is so big that a limb crashed down and broke part of a fence I share with another neighbor. I was left with the repair and the cleanup. When I mentioned this situation and my safety concern to the neighbor wi…

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Q. My boyfriend broke up with me pretty suddenly and over the phone right after spring semester ended. We haven’t talked over the summer, and now that school started this fall, it’s been pretty awkward. I still have feelings for him and a lot of questions. Since we haven’t talked to each oth…

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Q. We received a shocking message on our answering machine a few days ago. A woman called and identified herself as a possible daughter from an affair 35 years ago. Later, a woman left a message saying she was the mother. I have not been in contact with this woman for 31 years!

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Q. My husband loves to talk. He’s known for it. Friends who drive past our house and see him outside usually stop to talk to him, often for an hour at a time. He’s one of those people who’s “never met a stranger.” Many times, I have seen him have long conversations with people he’s just met …

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Q. When I see someone with all four knuckles on top of a fork, I thank my lucky stars for my mother and the many, many lessons she taught me in my 19 years with her. So, Annie, what is the proper way to grasp a fork? – Thankful in the Bluegrass

Q. Having been a registered nurse for the past 40 years, I have seen many changes in health care. I believe that nursing is a calling and not just a career. In my initial, youthful bliss, I took great joy in helping people in their hour of need. Patients and families were grateful and apprec…

Q. I am a single woman who is quite social, and frequently I go out to dinner during the week with a close group of friends. We also go to bars or clubs about twice a month on Saturday nights. Many of my friends love to get out on the dance floor and dance the night away. I’ve never enjoyed …

Q. I have a tricky problem going on right now. I am married and have been for a while – 20-plus years. It’s been a typical marriage, with its ups and downs, but I’d say I’ve been fairly content and things have been pretty good. Right now, I would say I am in the middle of my life, so this is…

Q. My daughter and son-in-law live in another state. He is a doctor, and she is a nurse. They are both 30 and have no student loan debt. They have two kids. I go up and visit whenever I can. I don’t make near the amount of money they do, but when we all go out to eat, I have to pay for mysel…

Q. I’m at my wits’ end, and I really hope you can help. I love my children, and I love being a mother, but my youngest seems to want to make that as hard as possible for me. My son is a senior in high school, and I fear he is going down the wrong path. He has always struggled in school, but …

Q. My 36-year-old stepson, “Greg,’’ acts as if he’s married to my husband. It’s like a constant battle to outdo me. When my husband and I go on vacation, Greg whines to Daddy that he never takes him anywhere. On Wednesday, which is Greg’s day off, he will plan something for lunchtime so my h…

Q. My girlfriend, “Lucy,” and I started dating three years ago, during our senior year of college. After graduating, we both got jobs in the same city where we had gone to school, and we ended up moving in together to save money. Living together was surprisingly easy, as we’re both pretty lo…

Q. My girlfriend, “Lucy,” and I started dating three years ago, during our senior year of college. After graduating, we both got jobs in the same city where we had gone to school, and we ended up moving in together to save money. Living together was surprisingly easy, as we’re both pretty lo…

Q. I use Facebook to keep up with relatives and friends, but I hardly post anything – especially not pictures of myself. I am attractive enough, but I’m not photogenic. These days, I find myself having to discreetly ask people at parties and events not to take pictures with me in them. I wil…

Q. I recently found out that I am expecting, which is exciting news! However, we have run into a situation with my mother-in-law, as she is a smoker. My husband has mentioned to her several times about quitting smoking and has gone as far as telling her she will not baby-sit this child if sh…

Q. My wife and I have been together for 20 years and married for four. We have three kids. In the beginning of our relationship, it was bad – and the bad all came from me. I cheated on her and hurt her. She stayed by my side, and that’s when I realized that I have a wonderful woman. I got my…

Q. I need your advice. My musically gifted high school senior appears to want to go to college and major in music performance. But he is refusing to visit colleges. He won’t discuss why; he just gets very belligerent when the subject comes up and won’t expand on any reasons. Should I let it …

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