Hello, dear readers, and welcome back to the continuation of our monthly letters column. You’ve been keeping our inboxes full, so we’re diving right in.
On Wednesday, the Clinton City Council made a wise decision when it decided to move the city-wide election on how the hospital trust money can be used from Feb. 14 to March 7. That move gives the council until Dec. 21 to make sure that whatever is put on the ballot will take care of the needs at the hospital once Alliance leaves Dec. 31.
Republican lawmakers will take control of the House of Representatives on Jan. 3. That means that, among many other things, they will take control of the House’s investigative committees and subcommittees. GOP leaders have already said they plan to probe the Biden administration’s disastrous policy on the U.S.-Mexico border, the disastrous withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the disastrous failure to stop the flow of fentanyl into the U.S., and more.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I are working through some tough financial issues. We lost a lot of money due to bad investments, business deals and poor money management, and now we are struggling badly. We are afraid we may lose our home. The only people I can think of to ask for help are my parents, but I'm hesitant to ask. They told me years ago, when my husband and I first got engaged, that they do not think that we are financially responsible enough to be married. Telling them of our situation will mean we proved them right. What should I do? — Proving Them Right DEAR PROVING THEM RIGHT: Before going to your parents, can you go to a credit counselor? It would be helpful for you to get informed financial advice on what you can do to consolidate your debt and make strategic decisions to right your course. A debt management professional may be able to guide you toward specific things you can do to get your finances under control.
Parties fall apart; the center cannot hold. (We’ve sure seen that.) Mere anarchy is loosed upon the political world. (Have a look at the morning paper.) The best among them lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. (Cast your eyes toward the capital.) It can make us wonder what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Washington to be born. (We can only dread.)
Anew company called Helpsy is aiming to radically change the way we recycle our old clothes. Nearly 85% of old clothing ends up in landfills, which accounts for around 100 pounds per person, per year. Helpsy says when you donate clothes, you should donate the old and dirty items (think old socks and ripped T-shirts) with the lightly used ones. That way, textiles that can't be resold can be recycled (which costs more) and items that can be resold (sneakers, jeans and items with tags still on) make the whole textile recycling process worth a recycler's effort.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to a birthday party recently for a teenager in my family. It was at an amusement center that featured all kinds of fun activities, including a big arcade. We ended up playing video games for hours, and it was a lot of fun. It took me right back to my childhood. When I got home, I immediately downloaded a few of the games and got sucked into what feels like a time warp. I can play for hours on end without noticing the time. Yes, it is fun, but I know this is not good for me. When I looked up the other day, it was already evening and I hadn't done a thing. It was the weekend, but still. I know that's not how I should be spending my time. How can I enjoy this newly rediscovered pastime without becoming a video game addict? — Striking a Balance DEAR STRIKING A BALANCE: These games are designed to take you down a rabbit hole and keep you there. You do not have to let them win, though. Make a schedule for the day every day, including the weekend. You can allot yourself a particular amount of time to play video games. One hour seems like a manageable amount. Then set a timer on your phone or other device. Set it for 45 minutes and also an hour. That way, if the timer goes off and you immediately silence it, you have a backup reminder to stop playing. Otherwise, you could easily find yourself playing for hours on end. You do have to respond to your alarm by getting up and doing something else. You can. Ideally, you should schedule something interesting to do immediately after the gaming that will compel you to get up and take action.