Hints from Heloise: No more knickknacks wanted

Dear Heloise >> Is there a polite way to tell your family members that you would rather they didn’t give you knickknacks for various gift-giving occasions?

I’m 68 and don’t need, or want, another item to dust. They mean well, but while I was at Thanksgiving dinner, I said I didn’t want anyone to give me gifts, because I had everything I could possibly want. I thought I made myself clear. Then, Christmas came along, and everyone seemed to forget my request.

I used to collect a certain brand of figurines, but I put them all in garage sales this past summer. I’ve told everyone I’m downsizing and getting rid of many things that clutter the house, but no one seems to be listening.

— Betty R., Edina, Minnesota

Dear Betty >> Before your birthday arrives, send out a letter thanking the family for their years of attention, kindness and all the lovely knickknacks, but say that this year, you want nothing. In fact, you could even suggest that your children and grandchildren select one of these knickknacks as a remembrance of you on such a date. Then set out all of the knickknacks you want to get rid of on your dining table and ask each of your children and grandchildren to select one or two items to take home with them. This way, you’re giving away your dust collectors to someone else.

Dear Heloise >> Winter is the worst time of the year for my skin. It dries out no matter how much moisturizer I apply. Is there a trick to make a moisturizer continue to lubricate your skin all day? What can I do about my skin drying out in winter?

— Courtney W., Casper, Wyoming

Dear Courtney >> There are a few steps that might help your skin: First, make sure you drink plenty of water. I’m not talking about coffee or tea, but plain, clear water. Try heating your moisturizers in a microwave oven for about 5 to 8 seconds. It should be warm, but not hot. That way, it can penetrate the skin with a little more ease. This works for moisturizers anywhere on your body.

If you get a tight feeling around your eyes during the day, and your skin seems dry, use only a small amount of an oily cream on your finger pad and lightly tap your skin around the dry area. A little shine on the cheeks looks nice.

Dear Heloise >> I inherited my mother’s house, and the burners on her stove look as though they were never cleaned. They look really nasty. How can I ever get them clean?

— David L., Auburn, Maine

Dear David >> Take the burners and place them in a plastic bag. Slowly pour in about 2/3 cup of ammonia and close the bag. Make sure the bag is closed tightly and place in a ventilated area. Let in sit overnight, and the following morning, take the burners out and rinse with hot water. The grime should come off easily.

Write to Heloise

P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com


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