Life Advice



Ask Amy: A house-sitting friend turns alpaca into felt

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I wonder if you have considered the value of having someone living in your house while you were away for several weeks?

While he was occupying your house, no one broke in, the pipes didn’t freeze and burst, and none of about a dozen possible catastrophes that can happen to unoccupied houses happened to yours.

According to you, this man was your guest. If you and your husband had been home when he did this, would you still expect him to pay?

Don’t beat yourself up for owning an expensive blanket but protecting your more treasured property from others’ well-meaning mistakes is your responsibility.

I think you should accept your friend’s offer and get yourself a new blanket.

Dear Amy: My husband and I live in a side-by-side duplex.


The small backyard is divided by a low fence, and we each have our side.

New people recently bought the adjacent unit and have totally redone their side of the yard with sod, trees, firepit, hammocks, windchimes and a large trampoline, which they have located up against my side of the fence and about 15 feet from my kitchen.

They have three kids who, understandably, are crazy from being cooped up during the pandemic, but I am working at home and can't peacefully enjoy my backyard or concentrate on work when kids are bouncing and screaming 15 feet from my table.

I genuinely like these people.


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