Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I wonder how to handle this most troubling and difficult situation. A mother has three children -- 13, 9 and a one-year-old baby. No help from the father. While the mother is at work during the day and lots of evenings, the oldest girl is left in charge of the baby and sister and cooking and cleaning. That seems to be a lot left on the shoulders of the just-turned 13-year-old. Money is in short supply so not much left for a sitter. I feel this is unfair and unjust. After all, the mother had the baby, not the teenager. -- Concerned, Winnipeg
Dear Concerned: Could you offer personal help? Calling Child and Family Services, and possibly splitting the family apart, is probably not what anybody wants. Are you in a position to help the mother find a better-paying job, so she doesn't have to work nights as well as days? Could you research free services in your area or offer some of your own time to babysit one night a week? This is what our urban world needs: us to reach out and help the children around us. You know the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child"? Well, Winnipeg is a collection of overgrown villages. You know this family and their situation, so you must be a relative or neighbour. Can you help, even by dropping off gifts of casseroles or baking and words of encouragement, or taking a child on your knee while the 13-year-old gets dinner? Make friends with the mom first, and see how you can help out in a meaningful way. If anybody has other ideas to help, please write in.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This in response to the young woman scared to go back to her cabin because of a bear. The safest (for the user) and most effective method to scare off bears is an air horn, which can be purchased at any outdoor store. Another option to deter bears from the cabin is to lay down a border of Comet cleanser around the cabin. I got this one from an old trapper who used it to keep bears from breaking into his remote cabin. I used this one for years and it seemed to be effective. Of course, it will need to be reapplied every time it rains. One other attractant that you did not identify are bird and hummingbird feeders, which will keep the bears returning. -- Been There
Dear Been There: Thanks for the three great tips. No one should be kept away from their beloved cottage by the threat of bears.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I empathize with Tired, the lady with the very different-sized breasts. Been there, done that. For years, I was in her position and thought I did a pretty good job of pretending it wasn't an issue. Why would I mess with what was God-given? I was always a pretty confident person, but being lopsided is an ongoing problem, affecting what you buy, how clothes fit, what materials you can and can't wear.
I very recently had breast reduction surgery to correct "my" issue. It was medically advised because of back issues. I can't tell you how much of a difference it has made in my life. I'm near 70 -- yes, a senior. If I had known years ago that this avenue was open to me, I would have done it in a heartbeat. Perhaps Tired should check this option out. I'm confident she won't regret it. -- Thots, Winnipeg
Dear Thots: It sounds frustrating to you to think you could have done this decades earlier. Surgery isn't for everybody, but it has certainly helped in your case. Most women are a little different in breast sizes, but not dramatically, as in your situation. Thanks for writing in and sharing your experience.
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