Tracing your GENEALOGY can be fun, and you are collecting some family information. Of course, it’s a source of history and family, but it also can help you learn about many medical conditions that may be passed down to the next generation. Here are some hints for getting started if you are interested in making a family tree:
* There are many free family-tree “forms” available online. Print one out, start with what you know and work backward. These simple forms are a good starting point.
* Contact as many of your relatives as you can to find out what they know. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc., can be a wealth of information. Do keep very good notes, because once they are gone, you will not be able to ask those questions!
* Don’t look just for birth and death certificates. Marriage licenses, census reports, cemetery records, etc., all can provide helpful information.
* Check the library to see if it has a genealogy section.
P.S.: Even tape or video-record a brief conversation. It will be priceless later on.
Dear Heloise: I use those wide rubber bands that are found on broccoli to slip onto the caps of our prescription bottles -- one color for mine, and a different for my husband’s. It’s easier to open the caps, and you can see at a glance which meds are for each person. -- Faye B., Evart, Mich.
Dear Heloise: To have a clean garbage disposal, this is what I do: I use a vegetable brush with the longest handle I could find. I put baking soda on the brush and scrub inside the disposal. Then I run lots of water, and it takes all the odor and scum away. -- Betty K. in Ohio
Just a touch of baking soda keeps things fresh and clean (especially in the garbage disposal). When done cleaning, make sure your vegetable brush is labeled “for disposal cleaning only.” Baking soda is one of my favorite cleaning products, and I wrote my Heloise’s Baking Soda Hints and Recipes pamphlet to share just some of its many uses. To order one, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Occasional sprinkles of baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher between uses will keep odors to a minimum. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I am an 84-year-old senior in good health who lives alone. I and several of my contemporaries have started a “Good Morning” e-mail, which is sent first thing each morning by the earliest riser, and the recipients each “reply to all.” Each of us has given an emergency contact to the others. If we fail to receive a response by midmorning, we begin to do a little checking. This assures us that the senior is OK, and that any pets are cared for in an emergency. -- A Friend in Houston