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‘Friends’ are hidden backbone of many libraries in Pittsburgh, elsewhere

By Deborah Weisberg
In early December, Valerie Bailey and assorted relatives gathered in Bailey’s Jefferson Hills’ home for their annual marathon cookie-baking session. Using her mother’s recipe for mini ...

Despite intimidation, women still passionate about video games

By Joe Wos
The term “Ol’ Boys Club” conjures up the image of a room of cigar-chomping businessmen in pinstripe suits sitting around a country club telling dirty ...

The Word Guy: How to pronounce ‘victuals’? Rhymes with whittles

By Rob Kyff
Today, some random dispatches from the Word Front. Tough to swallow: Have you ever noticed that the pronunciations of some words bear almost no relation to their spelling? How, for instance, would you pronounce “victuals,” meaning “supplies of food”? “VIK-choo-ulz”? ...

Hax: Hubby’s texts to his colleague draw suspicion

By Carolyn Hax
Hello, Carolyn: I really need another opinion on my husband. I’m 29, three kids, have been married for 8 years, together 14 — since high school. Basically, I notice my husband texts with his co-worker early in the morning, midday ...

Ask Demetria: Married mom feels like she’s missed out

By Tribune-Review
Q uestion: I am against cheating. I won’t do it, but it feels like I haven’t truly lived. I went to school, got married, had a baby. I feel like my husband’s had a full life. He’s traveled all over ...

Mt. Lebanon couple’s website helps shoppers find that perfect gift

By Rachel Weaver
Everyone’s been there. It’s the last minute. The stores are mayhem. The choices are overwhelming. Suddenly, that display of gift cards near the checkout starts ...

Greensburg rabbi’s dreidel collection tops 600

By Deborah Weisberg
When she bought her first dreidel decades ago, Rabbi Sara Perman — then a high-school student — had no idea it would spin into the ...

Coping with Kids: Pillowcase fit for a little princess

By Tribune-Review
The Hair Fairy, a new line of customized satin pillowcases for girls age 3 and older, takes the tangle out of morning hair. More mature princesses have known about the benefits of sleeping on satin pillowcases for years. Satin maintains ...

Auction Watch: Leechburg auction house ends 2014 with rare coins, banknotes

By John Altdorfer
With the height of the holiday season upon us, auction selections come up short in the weeks ahead, with just one event at Smith’s Antique ...

It’s time for moms to stop holding kids’ hands

By John Rosemond
Q uestion: My buddy’s wife walks their 11-year-old into the classroom each day. Then she takes out his assignments and helps him get ready. We’re talking about a very capable kid who has no “issues” at all. My ...

Ex-etiquette: Dad say no to Mom taking kids to grandpa’s

By Jann Blackstone
Q uestion: My ex and I share equal custody of our twin 6-year-old boys. They are close to my father, with whom I recently had a falling out over a business deal. I’m so angry I don’t want the kids ...

Don’t drive yourself crazy with holiday parking

By Chicago Tribune
Sick of the holidays yet? Well, at least, you’ve got your shopping finished, right? Ho-ho-ho. Yes, it’s time to head for the mall, where your first challenge is parking. Some advice from the experts — Roy Nielsen, the security traffic captain at ...

Hax: A breakup shakes up reader’s holidays

By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion: Dear Carolyn: A few days ago, I had this nagging feeling that something was up with my boyfriend of two years. I asked him, and he said he had been wanting to break ...

Monthly gathering lets Western Pa.’s reptile lovers bond

By Ed Phillips
When Joanne George’s children wanted reptiles for pets, one word came to her mind: “Ew.” Much has changed since that first impression for George, who ...

Lots of ways to gift your Pittsburgh love over holidays

By Joe Wos
Yinzers love their city, and their gifts reflect that. But Dad already has the holy trinity of sports ties (Pirates, Penguins, Steelers), and Mom has ...

Book program connects kids with Jewish values

By Rex Rutkoski
Mail call has taken on a new level of excitement for many Jewish children in the Pittsburgh area. That’s because their parents have enrolled them in ...

The Word Guy: We might get obsessive about double possessive

By Rob Kyff
Question: Which is correct: “He’s a friend of Bill” or “He’s a friend of Bill’s”? — Joe Summers,  Lawrenceville, N.J. If Hillary Clinton runs for president, this could become a common question. Strict grammarians condemn “a friend of Bill’s” as ...

Hax: Couple needs to make decisions as a team

By Carolyn Hax
Dear Carolyn: My husband, kids and I split Thanksgiving and Christmas between the two sides of our families. This year, Christmas is with his family. My family lives many states away, and holidays involve people coming from all ...

Warning: Scooters, other toys may be hazardous to kids

By The Los Angeles Times
Toy-related injuries involving American children have jumped about 40 percent since 1990, according to a new analysis of hospital data. In 1990, infants, toddlers, children and teens were being injured at a rate of 18.9 per 10,000. By 2011, that rate ...

Rise in toddlers wearing glasses due to improvements in vision screening

By Kellie B. Gormly
Little Matteo’s right eye was turning inward and getting stuck, and the condition was worsening every day. His parents — Hilary and Matt Meurer of the ...