PATCHED IN- The Advice Blog!

The Only advice blog! Patched In.

Do you like to read Dear Abby or Advice Columns?  Have you ever wanted to ask simple questions about say...cooking or recipies or easy cleaning tips?  How about advice on how to handle a sticky situation at work or school?  Ask me anything.  I am "Patched In" and will offer my honest advice and best tips and some to die for recipies.

Write in and ask me anything.  Hope to hear from you soon

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Hollie Gonzalez November 06, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Here is my first question for this weeks blog... Richard E Hi Hollie, love this column, Here is my issue. I live on a nice lot on a corner on Shawsheen St. Every weekend a bunch of people hang yard sale signs on the telephone pole next to my driveway. They are big cardboard, posterboard, and sometimes even metal! The people never come to take them down, and they always end up in my yard, driveway, or blowing down the street, eventually in the Shawsheen river. I think this is so rude. I pick up at least 10-15 of these a month. It is really ticking me off. Any suggestions?
Hollie Gonzalez November 06, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Hi Richard, My first thought would be that all those signs probably have an address where the yard sale is..I would go and put the signs in their yard, but that probably isn't going to solve anything. I know it stinks picking up other peoples trash. We have an empty field next to our house and ignorant people seem to think it's their personal dumping ground. We pick up trash almost every day from it. It's sad that people don't take care of our environment. No matter how many times you pick up the signs, there will be more the next week. So sorry, but there is really no solution I can think of other than watching for the people putting up the signs, and asking them to come back and take them down. Richard, Just think that you are doing your part in helping this beautiful Earth by picking up the trash and throwing it out.
crystal b November 06, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Hi Hollie, I think you are pretty sassy in your answers. I love it. Here is my question. I hear my neighbors fighting all the time. I live at least 40 feet away from their closest window. Even when they are closed, I hear them yelling. Should I mention this to them?
Hollie Gonzalez November 06, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Hi Crystal, I would stop listening. Really, unless you feel that someone is in danger, then you should call the cops. Otherwise, stay out of it. It will be better for both of you.
thin walls November 07, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Crystal, I agree with Hollie, I hear my neighbors having sex through our apartment walls. i don't say anything. Who would it be more embarrassing for? me or them. Just turn your TV up!
thin walls November 07, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Hollie, any recipies for my leftover apples. I ended up with like 3 bags from apple picking. Thanks.
Karyn November 07, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Richard....This is a pet peeve of mine as well.....I consider it to be just like littering. Though I have done yard sales and posted signs, I am very diligent about promptly removing them afterward. How about putting your OWN sign up on said telephone pole requesting their removal before they post theirs? Something like "Kindly remove your yard sale signs when it's over....I live here and have to look at them! Thanks." Sometimes people are just plain oblivious but that 'might' make them at least think twice. Good luck.
Hollie Gonzalez November 08, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Apple Stuffing: 2 red apples any variety 2 granny smith apples 10 slices of white bread 1 medium size onion veg oil 1/2 tsp salt and pepper 1/4 tsp basil 1/4 cup apple juice or cider break up bread into small pieces and set aside. Dice apples and set aside. Dice onion. In large frying pan, coat bottom with oil and add onion on low heat, cook till almost brown. add apples and cook on medium heat until soft and slightly brown. Reduce heat to low. in large bowl add bread and all other ingredients except the juice. Pour in your apple mix from the frying pan, be careful not to splash as oil will be hot. Mix easily with large spoon. Once mixed add your juice or cider and turn one more time. Serve hot as a side dish, or stuff a chicken or turkey and cook it. Enjoy!
pac aggravated November 08, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Hi Hollie, I am a new transplant to this town. We moved here over the summer. I have two kids in the Tewksbury school system. I don't know what grade your kids are in, but I am so overwhelmed with the school system here. More specifically the PAC. I am starting to almost feel bullied by them. I feel like because I am new here I have to make some sort of impression or effort in order for my kids to be accepted. Every day there is something else they want. Some event I have to go to, or donation they need. When I accidentally ran into one of them this past weekend, and she mentioned a certain upcoming event, and I said I couldn't go. She practically took my head off. Saying how important parent participation is, and that it's kids like mine who will be outed because their parents never get involved! She even wanted to know my personal reason for not going! My husband hates the woman in the first place because she is so rude. He said I should have slapped her face for being such a jerk. I feel like I don't want to participate any more because of their constant nagging, letters, emails, and just plain aggravation. We volunteer and donate when we can, but frankly we are busy. We work, have a new home to care for, have sports and a family, not to mention the suprises that pop up every day. Do you feel this way with your kids school? What do I do? I really don't want to "out" my kids. Help.
Andrea November 08, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Crystal, That stinks! But I agree, I would never say something! Maybe leave them a note on their door!
Andrea November 08, 2012 at 01:37 PM
I think I am going to make this for Thanksgiving. Sounds great!
Andrea November 08, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Hi lady. I would have smacked her. There is no reason for pure ignorance. She should not have attacked you for not helping. I would call her outright next time!
Hollie Gonzalez November 08, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Hello and welcome to small town schools! I can agree with you on some things, but I truly think that the woman you are speaking of was out of line. I think that she may need a quick reality check, and if you are feeling uncomfortable with her antics, then I would go to your schools principal and let her know your feelings. The PAC is really a great thing for the schools and the children. They really do alot in reagrds to fundraising and activities for the kids. I know alot of the parents that participate in that and can't imagine any one of them (well maybe one) acting that way. If you feel like the emails are too much, then ask to be removed from the email list. You don't have to respond to everything going on, I know I don't. Just respond to the ones that you might want to participate in. All they can do is ask. It is not a lynch mob, and if you feel like that, then certainly say something. If your hesitating for your kids sake, believe me it won't phase them. I can't imagine kids picking on another kid because his family didn't volunteer for a PAC event. Not all parents commit to school things because all our lives are busy in different ways. Sit back and enjoy the ride.
Karyn November 08, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Unfortunately, speaking from experience there will always be 'cliques' in the PACS. I'm long since out of the system but can see things haven't changed. I agree with Hollie, don't 'drop out' because of a couple of bullies as the PACS do a lot of worthy things. Just volunteer or contribute when you can and let the rest go. Might help to befriend a couple of others in the group that aren't 'the elite' so you feel you have some camaraderie. Good Luck.
Comment November 08, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Your child being included and welcomed in school does not coincide in any way with what you do with the PAC. I know exactly what you are talking about and my kids were born in this town. All of the PACs are NOT all like that. You do need to be involved enough with your child's classroom experience - meet their teacher(s), attend parent/teacher nights. Also depending on their age, maybe set up some playdates if they aren't involved in things like sports/dance where they make friends with kids their age. School friends are great because, more so prior to redistricting, they made friends with kids in their neighborhood. Anyway, you can help without officially joining/attending PAC meetings. Volunteer if you are able, but do not feel you will have a scarlet letter if you can't. Eventually they learn who they can push around and guilt and has learned to say no. I hope this helps!
other mother November 08, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I agree with Hollie. Report her to the principal. And also there are other things that can involve parents that are not PAC sponsored. This town has some great sports programs, and the police sponsor some great programs too. Don't worry about your kids, they will be fine.
Justine November 09, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Hi Hollie, What would you give as a gift to someone terminally ill? She used to be a friend of my mothers, who passed some years ago. Thanks.
Hollie Gonzalez November 09, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Hi Justine, That's nice that you want to get her something. I don't know her illness, so it is hard to guess at what she might like or be needing. I always say your time is the best thing you can give to someone who is ill. Maybe there are some errands you can run for her, or cook a meal for her and her family. Even a visit with her to reminisce about her times with your mother might be nice, but call first to see if she is up for visitors.
michelle d November 09, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Hi Hollie, My daughter is 17. She has her first serious boyfriend. In serious, I mean 3 months. I went out to her car to yesterday to leave an ice scraper for her. When I opened the passenger door, an empty condom wrapper fell out! I almost died. My heart is sinking. What should I do?
Hollie Gonzalez November 09, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Hi Michelle, Oh boy.. don't tell her you went in her car. I know from experience, she will think you were snooping, even if you were just trying to do something nice. I don't know what kind of relationship you have with your daughter, but I would bring it up casually with her. I am assuming that you already had the birds and bees talk. Take her out to dinner or shopping and ask her nicely about the boyfriend. Ask her where she sees them in a year. Let her know that you were a teenager once and that you hope she is being responsible. Maybe use an example from your youth. Let me tell you, a 17 year old girl is not going to tell you about her sex life. She will however tell you about her school, job, clothes, and maybe friends. So use that to go on. Don't ask about her sex life. She will only deny it and never open up about it. All kids want to have" those parents" that they can go to about anything. They want the cool parents that other kids can go to too if needed. What they surely don't want is the parents that freak out over everything, trust me.
Sully November 09, 2012 at 09:40 PM
My mother was a snooper. It drove me nuts, and eventually us apart. So even if you were leaving a scraper or not, she will think you were snooping. Don't tell her what you found.
Sully November 09, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Tewksbury is full of cliques. Especially in the school system. The PAC is no exception. Only do what you feel you need to, not what someone forces you to. That woman that gave you the hard time obviously has no class, and no life!
C Brady November 10, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Hi Hollie, I agree with your answer to Michelle. But one thing I would like to point out to her is to not miss this opportunity. Don't just sit back and wait for it to correct itself. Obviously this is not her first time. At least she is being safe.
husbands a grinch November 11, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Hollie, Can you help settle an argument. I say having the holidays at my in laws every year is ridiculous. I want to split the holidays between our home, my parents, and the in laws. My husband says no way, it is tradition to have it at his mothers. The kids and I are up for a change. It is so repetative and boring every year there. He won't budge on this. Advice?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something