QUESTION: A senior church friend of mine has been distant ever since quarantine started. I know safety is important, but I’m worried she’s closing herself off from everyone. Is there any way to help her out?
MARY’S ADVICE: Hi Ethel, Yes, it is a very difficult time for all who are closed in. I think it is important to call, stop by her window to visit, or meet outside with social distancing. Encourage a walk. You’re so kind to care, Ethel.
JIMMY’S ADVICE: I’m just sayin’, Mary. “Stop by her window?” Ethel, do that a couple of times and the county sheriff will be socially distancing you from other felons … soon!
QUESTION: My wife loves to garden, and I really don’t. She’s been stuck inside with an injury the last couple weeks, so I’ve been tending to the plants. But when I’m watering and weeding, I hear her calling to me out the open window, yelling about every little thing I do that’s not quite right! Is this a “beggars can’t be choosers” situation, or should I just suck it up and deal?
MARY’S ADVICE: Oh, my dear Bert. It is such a gift to just say “Yes, Dear! I hear you! I will do the best job—just the way you like it.” That is a gift, Bert, to relieve her fears and know that her wonderful plants are safe in your hands.
JIMMY’S ADVICE: Salt, Bert. Think salt.
When she’s feeling better, she can start over and be happy with new soil and a new, flourishing garden.
In the meantime? Salt. (Google it).
QUESTION: I’ll keep this short. I lost my father two years ago, and my mother recently. My father’s death was a surprise, and I was broken up about it for a while. My mother’s death was expected, and I only feel numb. I know it’s not true, but I keep thinking I’m a bad daughter for not feeling the way I should.
MARY’S ADVICE: We can’t judge feelings, Lindsay. Feelings will come and go after a death. Just trust the process. Nothing is ever wrong when it comes to feelings. Sorry for your loss.
JIMMY’S ADVICE: I’m also sorry for your loss, but remember that “numb” is not a feeling . . . it is the absence of feelings. The feelings will come, eventually. And most people agree that to be “numb” is to be a numb bunny, like me!
QUESTION: I have a pet parrot. He repeats words he hears. I tend not to curse, but I often have a friend over who does. See where this is going? I don’t have a problem with cursing, but I’m worried that if I have company over, my parrot will say something distasteful. What would be your plan here?
MARY’S ADVICE: I sincerely believe, Gary, that a swearing bird would be a great, fun experience. It would bring laughter and smiles. I say swear away!
JIMMY’S ADVICE: Make a list of people this bird would offend. Invite them over very soon. Maybe none of them will ever visit again? Your life will get more fun almost instantly!