A clean sweep for safety
Dear Heloise: Iíve been a CHIMNEY SWEEP for over 25 years, and if someone has a fireplace he or she likes to light in cold weather, Iíd recommend getting a chimney sweep in to make sure everything is in working order and that we can make any needed repairs in time to start using it. Creosote, the black residue of a fire, clings to the interior of a chimney, and itís combustible if allowed to build up. This, in turn, can cause cracks in ďfireproofĒ bricks and possibly a house fire.
Never hire a chimney sweep who just shows up on your doorstep. Ask neighbors for recommendations.--William S., Dorset, U.K.
SEND A GREAT HINT TO:
P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX 78279-5000
WRITE IT DOWN
Dear Heloise: As a professional financial planner, Iíve noticed so many people who are either retired or about to retire say they have a financial plan, but not in writing. When you put your financial goals, plans and budget in writing, you are more likely to accomplish those plans. Make sure you plan for emergencies, too, for those are the things that often interfere with your plans. -- Robert D., Portland, Ore.
MONEY AND GIFT CARDS, PLEASE
Dear Heloise: I would like to know your advice as to how to word a bridal shower and wedding announcement that lets people know we would prefer money or gift cards instead of gifts, such as pots and pans, etc. I donít want people to think we donít want gifts, because we do, but we want them in the form of cash and gift cards. -- Celeste J., Salt Lake City
Celeste, in many parts of the country, giving cash is the standard gift at a wedding. However, some people prefer to give something material. On your wedding website, you can state your preference, but please give guests a choice. You might also have your bridesmaids spread the word IF someone should happen to ask them what you need. As for saying something on the shower or wedding invitations, donít! It might be misconstrued. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: Many years ago, I picked up a habit from a co-worker. Weíve all washed our hands in public sinks that were not very inviting. After washing and drying your hands in a restroom where you use a paper towel, use that same towel to give the edge of the sink and counter a quick wipe to get rid of any splashes. It makes things so much nicer for the next lady. -- Mary Jane K., via email
HERE COME THE HOLIDAYS
Dear Readers: The holidays are fast approaching, and we love original ideas and interesting stories. Share with us the most unusual/ugly/wonderful or hilarious holiday gift you ever received or have given. Please let us know what your friends or family gave you. Send it to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to: Heloise(at)Heloise.com. -- Heloise
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