Author: Patti Carmalt-Vener

Coping when family members are the turkeys at Thanksgiving dinner

Dear Patti, I love Thanksgiving and have always enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving dinner for my friends and family. Much as I enjoy spending time with people I’m close to and grateful for, however, Thanksgiving the past two years has been nothing but a chore.  My husband’s parents are no longer alive and his older sister (the present matriarch of his family) has agreed that I host Thanksgiving and she hosts Christmas. Every December she complains endlessly about how much work it is. When she comes to my house for Thanksgiving, she always brings extra food and says — behind my...

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Raise your child’s self-esteem by listening and caring

Dear Patti, I’m worried about Ella, my 10-year-old daughter. She’s very smart and talented but seems to lack social confidence, especially around other girls her own age. I initially ignored it because she’s an only child and I’m a single parent. We’re extremely close and my parents caution me against becoming an interfering, controlling mother or getting in the way of Ella figuring things out for herself. Ella has four girlfriends she spends most of her free time with after school and on weekends at our house. I’ve seen their interactions and overhear their conversations and it’s clear Ella...

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Use seasonal affective disorder to confront unpleasant or repressed memories

Dear Patti, For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt a heaviness of emotion as well as a dull emptiness and sadness come over me this time of year. It usually starts in October and lasts on and off throughout December. While everybody else is gearing up for fun and laughter during Halloween and family closeness and celebration during Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m dreading the rest of the year. It’s not like my family was too poor to enjoy traditions or that we always had a terrible time. I’ve never understood it. I’m now a grandmother at...

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Less showboating and more talking helps everyone have fun

Dear Patti,         I’m almost 17 and am going out Halloween night with my two best friends. We wanted a costume theme that included all three of us. Since we love music, we decided to dress up as a girl band. A few weeks ago they came over and we picked two bands that we might dress up like: TLC or the Pussycat Dolls. My mother interrupted us and said I couldn’t wear such a costume because it was too sexy and inappropriate. She then proceeded to tell us we should dress up as peanut butter, jelly...

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A teenager wonders what to do after overhearing mom speak of cheating on his dad

Dear Patti, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I overheard my mom talking to her best friend on the phone when I came home early from soccer practice. She was talking about having an affair with a man from our church. They worked together this past summer and then started playing tennis with each other. He’s married, too. My mom said that while she loves my dad, she’s in love with this man. As soon as I realized she was sharing very private thoughts with her friend, I should’ve walked away. Instead, I kept listening. I feel very guilty....

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THIS WEEKS COVER

Upcoming Events

Nov
20
Mon
2:30 pm Steven D. Harris Jazz History Pr... @ Pasadena Public Library Central Branch
Steven D. Harris Jazz History Pr... @ Pasadena Public Library Central Branch
Nov 20 @ 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Author and jazz historian Steven D. Harris presents “Centennial in Swing: The 100th Anniversary of Jazz on Record,” from 2:30 to 4 p.m. The program covers the first jazz recordings in 1917, progressing to the[...]
3:00 pm Pasadena Readers Book Club at Ce... @ Pasadena Public Library Central Branch
Pasadena Readers Book Club at Ce... @ Pasadena Public Library Central Branch
Nov 20 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
The Pasadena Readers Book Club meets to discuss “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez from 3 to 4:30 p.m.
7:00 pm Book Signing at Vroman’s @ Vroman's Bookstore
Book Signing at Vroman’s @ Vroman's Bookstore
Nov 20 @ 7:00 pm
Ivy Pochoda discusses and signs “Wonder Valley” at 7 p.m.
Nov
21
Tue
9:00 am Reservation Deadline for Pasaden... @ Pasadena Senior Center
Reservation Deadline for Pasaden... @ Pasadena Senior Center
Nov 21 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday is the reservation deadline for the Nov. 23 Thanksgiving dinner at the Senior Center. Cost is $12, $10 for members. Thanksgiving dinner starts at 11:30 a.m., with a festive meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed[...]
7:00 pm Book Signing at Vroman’s @ Vroman's Bookstore
Book Signing at Vroman’s @ Vroman's Bookstore
Nov 21 @ 7:00 pm
David Lebovitz discusses and signs “L’Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home” at 7 p.m.

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