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The Hogansville Herald
Manchester, Georgia
December 21, 2000     The Hogansville Herald
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December 21, 2000

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They're smothered Grandma's hugs Dear Ann Landers: My mother-in-law, "Ellen," moved back to town after living away for five years. She is a lovely Woman, but there's a problem I can't deal with. Ellen is a "hug- ger." She insists on hugging me and my children every few min- utes. If my son wants to call a friend on the phone, Ellen "needs a hug first." If my daugh- ter wants to watch a video, her grandmother "needs a hug first." She hugs me before we sit down for dinner and again after dessert. This is entirely too much hugging for me. I don't feel comfortable with it and neither do my children. I also suspect a lot of this hugging is an attempt actually feels. My kids have me to let them know Grandma is coming so can leave the house. Any advice on how to deal with this? -- GETTING CRUSHED IN COLORADO Dear Crushed: Tell Grand- ma in a tactful and loving way her hugs are precious and be doled out more spar- r -- that too much hugging naakes them seem ordinary. I it is awfully hard to get to cut back, but do Meanwhile, try get the children to be more receptive. Explain that Grand- loves them very much, and should show her they love Dear Ann Landers: Words express the impact your on smoking have had my life. My husband is 58 I am 54. We both smoked over 40 years. My husband extensive cardiovascular disease, lung disease, bladder and needs surgery. I asked the doctor, what prepare him surgery, his response was, smoking." I finally realized three things: First, - my husband never quit smoking as as I continued to smoke, Ann LANDERS AMERICA'S COUNSELOR and second, my love and con- cern for him far surpassed my desire to smoke. Last but not least, I wanted to have my hus- band around so we could enjoy our retirement years together. When I read the column you wrote about the man who set a date to stop smoking, my hus- band and I decided to try the same thing. We selected our granddaughter's birthday and discussed the date every time we lit a cigarette. We made a list of all the things we could buy with the $400-a-month we had been spending on cigarettes. When the day finally arrived, we were so excited about quit- ting that we couldn't wait to do it. Our friends are amazed that we both quit smoking so easily. We now walk over a mile every morning without huffing and puffing, something we could not have done before. Giving up smoking was not a sacrifice. It was a gift we gave to each other so that we could have more healthy, happy years together. -- HOMESTEAD SENIORS Dear Florida Seniors: Con- gratulations on your new, healthier life. I hope your letter will provide inspiration for those who need additional en- couragement. Ann Landors' column is distributed by the Creators Syndkate. Write to her in care of the Orlando Sentinel, P.O. Box 211, Orlando, Fla. 32802-0211. For a reply, please enclose a stamped, self- addressed envelope. Advice 00ging cat likely Silffered a stroke Question: I recently experi- enced an episode with my 13- year-old Siamese-mix cat. When we went to bed the night before Thanksgiving, she was fine -- running around the house, having fun. When she woke up, she was stumbling around. Her condition wors- ened throughout the day -- not eating, not using the litter box and having difficulty walking. We went to the emergency vet- erinary clinic, where they of- fered a grim outlook. They hooked the cat up to an IV and determined her low potassium level was the cause of the prob- lem. I began to add potassium gel to her food, and she immedi- ately returned to normal. She's been fine ever since. Would you have any more information on what happened? --LW. APPLETON, WlSC. Answer: Dr. Richard Thoms, a feline vet in Rochester Hills, Mich., says from the descrip- tion you provided your cat most likely suffered a stroke. Cats generally bounce back quite well, usually making full recov- eries within 24 hours. He says the low potassium level (hypo- kalemia) did not likely cause the symptoms you witnessed. Probably, this was the result of not eating, or perhaps an early indication of kidney disease. Concerning the stroke, Thoms says cats sometimes continue to have such strokes their entire lives. They can worsen in severity, or your cat may never have another epi- sode. In any case, there's no predicting and no prevention measures you can take. Q: My daughter's preschool has a classroom ferret. I'm con- cerned about having one around young children. This pet goes home with different students every weekend. What's your opinion? --J.S. SUGAR LAND, ILlS A: As much as I adore fer- Steve DALE m MY PET WORLD rets, this is probably not the best idea. Kim Schilling, author of Fer- rets for Dummies (IDG Books, New York, N.Y., 2000; $19.99), agrees. Schilling totes ferrets to schools for educational pro- grams. She walks around the room allowing kids to touch and sniff their fingers (ferrets have a unique odor) but they don't really play with the ani- mals. Schilling said she would worry about harsh handling from well-meaning kids too young to understand how to handle a ferret. Ferrets can be injured if dropped, or they could be stepped on. If a kid goes to put a ferret up to his face or tries to cuddle a ferret (which most don't especially enjoy), the pet might bite "Of course, the ferret was probably brought up around young kids and is just fine," says Schilling.. "If the ferret is getting the at- tention he requires during the week, is handled frequently and only with careful supervision, and the weekend owners are truly responsible and under- stand ferret feeding and care, this is a wonderful idea," says Schilling. "But in my experi- ence, all these 'if,s' probably aren't happening." Steve DaWs column is distributed by Tribune Media Services and runs every Saturday. Write to him in care of Tribune Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1400, Chicago, IlL 60611. t__._ WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2000 E3 Smear campaign will die on its own Dear Dr. Wallace: Two weeks ago I went out with one of our school's better athletes. He is popular and considered to be a good guy. We had fun on our date until we stopped to see the stars and he got aggressive. Only when I got out of the car and threatened to walk home did he finally realize that when I said no, I meant it. I enjoy dating, but I feel strongly that teens should not get involved in premarital sex. It's nobody's business but mine, but I am a virgin. After that date, I knew I would never go out with that guy again. But now he is smearing my reputation. He told his friends he and I had sex and I wasn't very good at it. Several of my best friends told me they heard the rumo.rs. Even one of his buddies called to ask me out. I guess he thought I was easy. I feel terrible about this. I'm embarrassed to go to school and it kills me to think people believe him. My friends know the truth, but the rest of the school thinks I'm a tramp. I talked to this guy yesterday at school and asked him to please stop spreading lies. But all he said was, "I didn't tell any lies about you," and he walked away. What should I do? -- NAMELESS DALLAS Dear Nameless: Teens are hard to fool. Absurd rumors die quickly in teen circles. Continue to be the same young lady ybu have always been. Keep smiling and hold your head high. Trust me, this time next week the rumor will have come full circle and died at the Robert WALLACE TALKING WITH TEENS foot of the loud mouth who started it. Some guys are so caught up with their image that they spread false rumors to hide the fact that they struck out. Dear Dr. Wallace: The guy I'm dating is wonderful. I tell him I love him and he says he loves me too; maybe even more than I love him. Simply said, we are a couple in love. Since that's the case, I want a commitment that we are a love- team. I want to wear his class ring, and I want him to wear mine. These rings would show the world we are connected. I know this sounds corny and old-fashioned, but that's what I want. George knows we are committed to each other, but he feels exchanging rings is unnecessary. Whose side do you favor? Please say mine. -- GRETCHEN IN BALTIMORE Dear Gretchen: I side with George. Exchanging rings is nice only if both parties agree. Don't spend time debating about the ring issue. Instead, spend time debating which one loves the other one the most. Robert Wallace is a former English teacher, counselor and high school principal who holds a doctoral dagreein education. Write to him in care of Tribune Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1400, Chicago, IlL 60611. WE SELL DIAMONDS Watches and Estate Jewelry-Highest Prices Paid Buy Sell Trade EWELERS Satellite "IV Save $289 by.Subscribing Today! Programming starting at $21 /mo. 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