Visiting granddaughters are a pain in the wallet

Dear Annie: I have twin teenage granddaughters who visit me every year for a week. They also bring along a friend (just one, thank goodness). I love having them, but I end up spending a fortune entertaining them. I pay for every meal, including restaurants, and we eat out a lot. I love to take them places, but I’m on a fixed income and would like to make it less expensive.

Dear Annie: I have twin teenage granddaughters who visit me every year for a week. They also bring along a friend (just one, thank goodness). I love having them, but I end up spending a fortune entertaining them. I pay for every meal, including restaurants, and we eat out a lot. I love to take them places, but I’m on a fixed income and would like to make it less expensive.

Do you think if I were to give each of my granddaughters a set amount of money they would be more frugal? They earn a lot of money babysitting, but I feel funny asking them to spend their own money on things when they visit me. Any suggestions? — Going Broke in Florida

Dear Going Broke: You should not have to foot the entire bill for two teenagers and their friend. You are already giving them a free place to stay and any meals eaten at home. But please don’t demand payment from the girls. Instead, ask the parents to help you with the cost of entertaining these young people for a week. They also could give the girls an allowance for personal expenses (movies with the friend, trips to a restaurant, mall purchases). The extra girl’s parents should similarly send her with personal money so she does not become a burden. Taking the girls for a week is a lovely way to bond with your granddaughters, but it is also a favor to the parents. Explain the situation and ask them to help remedy the problem.

Dear Annie: Our nephew recently announced his engagement and wedding date.

His fiancee’s older sister is getting married two weeks before. The sister’s future husband called my nephew and flat-out stated that it is inappropriate that they have chosen a date so close to theirs, as it will take away from their special day. He suggested my nephew move his wedding to December at the earliest.

However, the sister has not mentioned a word of this to my nephew’s fiancee. We can’t help but think that she, too, is upset about this and asked her fiance to handle it. We are disappointed that what could be the happiest time of our nephew’s life is filled with stress. What is the wedding protocol in this instance?— Aunt and Uncle from Wisconsin

Dear Aunt and Uncle: It was very inconsiderate of your nephew and his bride to schedule their wedding two weeks after her sister’s already-chosen date. It does indeed take away from their special day, and more importantly, it puts a terrible burden on family and friends in terms of gifts and travel expenses. It also appears to others as though your nephew’s bride resents her older sister. We hope you can convince your nephew to give his guests a few months to recover from the first wedding before attending the next.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Blue-Collar Grandparents,” whose grandchildren are pulling out their hair. I’d like to suggest that they bring up the possibility of PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with strep).

If either of these kids has had numerous strep infections, perhaps they should be tested and assessed. I realize now that my son must have had this when he was 4, but I’d never heard of it then. He had seven strep infections in a row. He began displaying OCD behavior, which included pulling out nearly half of the hair on his head. If your child has multiple strep infections, it might be worthwhile to check for PANDAS, if only to rule it out. — A Sympathetic Grandmother

Dear Sympathetic: Thank you for mentioning PANDAS. There is currently no test for PANDAS, but doctors look for a sudden onset of OCD and/or tic disorders following multiple strep infections.

Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Just Posted

Tsunami warning for B.C.’s coast is cancelled after Alaska quake

VANCOUVER — A tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia was cancelled… Continue reading

Sewage spill shuts beaches along California’s Central Coast

MONTEREY, Calif. — Nearly 5 million gallons of sewage spilled into the… Continue reading

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

TORONTO — A Toronto producer who worked on “The Shape of Water”… Continue reading

US, others launch new tool to punish chemical weapons users

PARIS — The United States and 28 other countries are launching a… Continue reading

Fewer than half of Canadians hold optimistic, open view of the world: poll

OTTAWA — Canada’s reputation as a nation with an open and optimistic… Continue reading

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

RDC chosen to host 2019 men’s volleyball national championship

Sports enthusiasts in Red Deer will have more to look forward to… Continue reading

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month