Loving House

Welcome to AbileneLoving.com! Abilene Loving is an advice columnist and reviewer. Her fantasy house, above, is the place where no problem is too big to solve, no issue too small to discuss, no person too old to get enjoyment out of life. Abilene herself is 63. She spent most of her life as a journalist, and she credits the school of hard knocks for her best education. To read or submit advice columns, click either the Advice or Ask categories on the right. To read or submit book, movie or "anything goes" reviews or comments, click the Reviews category. To join the book club, click Reviews category, then Books.

(Illustrations by sunshowerrose@live.com)

Dear Abilene


Pack your bags

What do you do when you live with someone and you ask them to help you with something, but he always has an excuse for not doing it? I asked him to vacuum the rugs once a weekend when I'm helping my sister who has cancer. He thinks I'm selfish and everything has to go my way or it's the highway. That is what he said.


Favoritism is ageless

My wife and I have been married almost 50 years. I love my mother-in-law as much as a son-in law could. Every time we go to visit, all my wife hears is how great her sister is. My wife's stepdad is always giving his grown grandson money and doesn't do anything for our son. When my son asks him why he leaves him out, the stepdad says he wants the other grandson to love him. My wife's stepdad and her sister are putting all the money and houses into the sister's name. It seems as though he is trying to hurt my family, so we will stop visiting my mother-in-law. He says we have never done anything for them. But he forgets who was there when my mother-in-law was battling cancer. The other kids were nowhere to be found. Not only has he been smart-mouthed with me, but now he's being smart-mouthed with my wife. What should we do?


Be a stout-hearted friend

I am attracted to this woman who is a few years older than me, I'm 64. On our first meeting things went pretty well until the end when I mistakenly didn't read her body signs correctly. She and I remain friends, but I would like more of a romantic involvement. Do you have any advice for me?

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Loving Book Club I — Richard Ford’s ‘Canada’

Let the reading begin!

We’ll start with reality fiction, of which Richard Ford  is a master.  His new book is Canada, available in hard cover and on e-books.  Ford chronicles a robbery, a suicide, the disintegration of a family, two murders — all measure by measure.  If you ever asked the question, “How did they ever live through that?” you will know.  They just kept taking one step at a time, eating when possible, staying away from goons, knowing when to accept help, noticing things carefully, thinking as little as possible.

Another Ford book, The Sportswriter, is the


‘He’s Wearing a Moose Hat!’

Rescue Me, He’s Wearing a Moose Hat

   And  40 Other Dates After 50

By Sherry Halperin

Seal Press, 2005


For single  women over 50, this book is a must read. Halperin was widowed in her early 50s.  When she recovered her equilibrium, she accepted blind dates from friends and subscribed to a number of Personals services. Her adventures through her many misfires are hilarious.

For example, “Jerry” started off the relationship by talking a little dirty on the telephone. It was a turnoff  but also fascinating. Halperin decided to meet him for coffee. He said he’d be wearing


One Nasty Wrinkle at a Time

By Abilene

What is aging? It’s getting older, one nasty, little wrinkle at a time. It’s getting spider veins and arthritis and fibromyalgia and high blood pressure. It’s not being able to eat hot Mexican food followed by a quart of chocolate ice dream.  It’s giving up smoking and hard alcohol and red meat and long hikes.

Aging is being asked to leave your company after 36 years, because the company needs to downsize. Aging means not being able to find another job because experience doesn’t count.

Aging really means you have more wisdom and experience, commit fewer crimes, get

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