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Lifestyle Columnist

By Gene Woodwick

Ahh … at last … The summer days have dwindled down to September, which means summer folks have gone back to their urban abodes and beach folks are free to act like themselves again.

The Rock Doc — What antibiotics may be doing to us

It’s astonishing to think about, but when my grandfather was born, tuberculosis was the number one cause of death in our country. Worse still, one in five children didn’t live to see their fifth birthday, in large part due to endemic and epidemic diseases. Today that’s all changed.

Using mother tongue makes family conversation difficult

Dear Abby: My son married an educated professional woman from another country. When their twins were born, my daughter-in-law immersed them in her native language so it would become their mother tongue. Although I understand and respect the benefits of being bilingual, this caused a lot of communication gaps and frustration between us and the grandkids during their early years.

Day care operator needs a timeout for her mouth

Dear Abby: My neighbor has a registered day care business, and every day I hear her screaming at young children and infants. They are all 4-year-olds and younger. We live in a rural area outside a small town. She uses profanity and says mean things to them. It makes me want to cry when I think of how scared those kids must be.

Wife is unwilling to shoulder burden of mother-in-law’s care

Dear Abby: My mother-in-law is 80 and in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. She lives alone an hour and a half from us. She also has a professional who takes care of her once a week. My husband, “Fred,” goes to help and entertain her every weekend, and I sometimes accompany him. She has enough money to stay in an assisted living facility, but Fred wants to build a mother-in-law apartment for her on our property.

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Overweight woman’s bikini top gets harsh review from mom

Dear Abby: I’m a 24-year-old plus-sized woman (60 or 70 pounds overweight), but very comfortable in my own skin. When swimming in public, I wear a one-piece bathing suit because it doesn’t attract a lot of attention. When I’m home, I have a bikini top and shorts I prefer to wear. This is because I don’t like being covered up like it was in the 1950s, and I feel good when my curves are properly accentuated.

Roy Vataja — Stumbling and bumbling through the past

A personal note: As I was sauntering home on the eve of Art Walk 2014, I stumbled and hit the pavement, breaking the fall with my face. As the abrasions heal, it seems a good time to look back at other Harborites who have taken tumbles of varying degrees of seriousness. Whether it is an unfortunate accident or a case of simple human stupidity, the Law of Gravity always wins. The first one is a classic.

Dear Abby 8/5

D ear Abby: What is the protocol for naming a baby after a deceased person? If the name you want to use is a deceased family member’s name, do we ask his next of kin for approval? Do we say nothing? Is it assumed that people who wish to use someone’s name when naming their child should seek permission (whether the person is living or dead)? Obviously, some people will use the name regardless of being granted a blessing or not, but I’m wondering what is appropriate in this situation.