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Q. I have lived with my boyfriend for almost seven years. People have told us that if we live together for more than seven years we will have a common law marriage. We don’t want to be married. Should we just live apart for a few weeks and then move back in together? How long do we have to live apart?

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Funny, how one simple little ordinary thing can take you back in time so vividly. I had a time-travel experience today thanks to the gifts from a neighbor here on the beach.Ted came in the door last night with a second bag of homegrown tomatoes, some peppers and a beautiful onion pulled straight out of the garden of a neighbor across the street from us. This kind man had shared some of his fresh, homegrown vegetables last week and they were wonderful.

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In our society, there is a strong belief that most pretty things are good, and vice-versa. That’s portrayed in the movies, on television, and also on the fishing scene. There are exceptions, however, and one of them is the toothy gar. There are several different species of gar and all of them have survived prehistoric times. According to some of the more learned folks they have changed little from those times until now. What has changed is many people’s attitude toward their place within at least some of the fishing community.

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The good news is that the very popular red snapper recreational season in federal waters is now open. The bad news is that it’ll close on July 18.

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Lighting the torch … Anderson Ford Mercury in Cleveland and Operation Refuge Inc. of Cleveland are the winners of the 2011 Torch Awards for Marketplace Trust presented May 10 by the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas during its 14th annual awards presentation. The BBB Consumer Education Foundation Inc. made a $10,000 contribution to continue funding endowed Better Business Bureau College of Business scholarships at Lamar University, bringing total contributions for the past 14 years to $140,000.

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