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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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DIL a hoarder, bad housekeeper

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar

Dear Readers: Happy New Year! We hope you are recovering nicely. Here’s a little New Year’s wish from us, author unknown: “A health to you, a wealth to you, and the best that life can give to you.”

Dear Annie: Our daughter-in-law, “Mary,” takes little pride in her appearance and is a terrible housekeeper. She works part time, so she could surely take care of the household chores.

We have seen the clothes thrown everywhere, crumbs on the floor, unwashed dishes, dust and dirt. There are several cats that jump on tables and countertops, and the litter box is rarely emptied, so the place stinks. Worse, Mary is a hoarder.

Mary’s mother may not be aware of the living conditions because she stays with other relatives when she visits and never goes into Mary’s house. I think she would be appalled. Now that there is a baby, we are concerned for his well-being.

Our relationship with Mary is unfortunately strained. She would not appreciate our concern and interprets any show of support as meddling. We have talked to our son, who acknowledges Mary’s shortcomings but overlooks them. He works full time and contributes as much as time will allow to the household chores.

The last thing we want to do is cause trouble, but we are so worried about our grandson. Should we continue to keep quiet and look the other way? – Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Dear Between: Tossed clothes, unwashed dishes and stinky litter boxes are unpleasant, but are not a reason to call the Board of Health. Ask your son if he can afford to hire someone to clean the house on a regular basis. Maybe you could offer to contribute to the cost. Mary would probably appreciate having additional help, but it’s best if she believes it comes from her husband and not her mother-in-law.

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