Searching for a relationship requires patience

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been making the same dumb mistakes in relationships since I was a young woman. Now I am in my 30s, and it's getting old. I just can't seem to pick someone who will treat me right. It's not for lack of trying, either. I have cast my net pretty wide, but somehow I always seem to end up with someone who doesn't want what I want. What can I do differently? — Want a Man DEAR WANT A MAN: If you have been doing the same thing time and again, it's time to do something different. How can you figure out what to do? Start by making a written list of the character traits, goals and behaviors that you want in a partner. Be specific about everything, including fidelity, hygiene, family engagement, job or career path, credit score, home ownership, debt, desire for children, and anything else that comes to mind.

Listeria bacteria causes serious foodborne illness

Dear Doctors: We had to throw away some sliced turkey from the deli because of a listeria recall. We had used some of it to make sandwiches, but fortunately no one in the family got sick. What is listeria? What happens when someone gets sick from it?

Employee wants to roll over her vacation time

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have lots of vacation time left that I cannot roll over. I only realized it the other day, and it's already almost the end of the year. I asked my boss if I can take time off right now, and she said it's the worst possible time because other people are already out of the office. Should I try to get her to roll over the time to early next year anyway? It's not fair that I lose my time. I wasn't negligent; we have been working double time recently because the workload has increased dramatically. I suppose it is my fault, but I'm not getting a raise this year. I want to at least get the time that I deserve. — Time Off DEAR TIME OFF: Even though you have been busy doing your job, it is also your responsibility to request time off in a timely manner. Your company policy may be ironclad, but it is worth appealing to your boss's sensitivities. Request a meeting and plead your case. You really are sorry that you did not ask for the time off earlier. Point out what you have been doing and that time has slipped by. Ask if there is any way for you to take some days off in January or February. What you don't want to do is take the time without approval. Times are tough now, and companies appreciate team members who are all in. Hopefully your commitment will inspire them to support you.

Most don’t know how bad border crisis is

This week could mark the most consequential development on the U.S.-Mexico border since January 2021, when President Joe Biden essentially opened the nation’s doors to millions of illegal border crossers. Depending on how court fights turn out, Title 42, the Trump-era measure that allows the U.S. government to quickly return illegal crossers to Mexico on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID, will likely soon expire. After that, officials expect a flood of illegal crossers, all coming into the United States confident that they, like hundreds of thousands before them just this year, will be allowed to stay.

Best advice? Stay out of Russia

If there’s one clear lesson from the Brittney Griner/Paul Whelan controversy that’s keeping partisans in America’s culture wars all worked up, it’s this: Stay out of Russia. As my man Charles P. Pierce puts it in Esquire: “The government there appears to be operating on the same business plan as the drug cartels in this hemisphere, or the Somali ship hijackers: Grab up an influential hostage and get what you can in return.”


It's a popular question worth revisiting: Is gift wrap recyclable? The answer is yes and no: It all depends on the type of wrapping paper you have. If the gift wrap feels like regular paper, has a matte or glossy finish and just has a printed pattern on the paper, it is recyclable with regular paper. If it's a fancier paper that's textured or glittery, or has foil or anything that is clearly mixed into the paper to embellish it, it's not recyclable. To prep gift wrap for recycling, be sure to remove excess tape, and never add bows or ribbons to the recycling bin.

Mom switches from one unhealthy habit to another

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am worried about my mother's newfound habits. She used to drink, and I was the one who pleaded with her to quit, but now she has turned to other unhealthy behaviors instead. I don't want to nag her and seem like I'm always trying to control her decisions, so how can I be supportive while encouraging healthy choices? Is there a way to do this without coming off as judgmental or intrusive? — Concerned DEAR CONCERNED: Quitting drinking is not the same thing as getting sober, though it is an excellent first step. Your mother needs counseling. She needs to work through her issues to figure out healthy choices to improve her quality of life. It is a process that takes time and focused attention. Otherwise, exactly what happened will continue: namely, that she replaces one vice with another.

In 1913, the New York World newspaper published Arthur Wynne's 'Word-Cross Puzzle,' the first crossword puzzle.