Dear Readers: WATER DAMAGE to your home is just plain no fun! Plus, it can be very, very expensive! But it’s even worse to discover it after you return from a vacation. That said, here are a few hints to keep in mind before going on a trip:
* Check hoses in the house for leaks or damage, including ones attached to the washing machine and dishwasher. Most of these should be replaced every five years or so, but it might be worth the peace of mind to do so before leaving for a long vacation or other trip.
* Check faucets to be sure they are not leaking, especially in seldom-used rooms, like a guest bathroom, and outside faucets.
* Have someone check your home while you’re gone. Otherwise, consider shutting off the main water-supply line to the house, but only if you are going to be gone for a short while. You should have a professional do it if you are not the most handy person.
* A quick walk-through will reveal if there is a water leak, and it can be taken care of right then. No one wants to walk into a damp, mushy, smelly mess!
Dear Readers: Jill Bernick sent a picture of her 4-year-old golden retriever, Angel, wrapped up in a blanket thanks to her granddaughter, Sarah. Angel is a certified therapy dog who visits several hospitals and even a library to read with kids. To see Angel’s picture, go to my Web site, www.Heloise.com, and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise
TABLECLOTH PLACE MATS
Dear Heloise: I had a vinyl tablecloth that was worn in places. I cut a few squares from it and disposed of the rest. I placed one in my diaper bag. Now when we go out to a restaurant, I place it on the table for my son. He has a clean place to eat, and the table stays clean as well. When done, I just slip it back into my bag. -- Penelope, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: For years, our two dogs have been sleeping with us, and I’ve always purchased dark bedspreads because of them. Last year, for a change, I bought a light-colored one and wondered how to keep it clean. Now at night, when we all go to bed, I put an old flat sheet on top of the bedspread, and the dogs sleep on top of it. Not only does the bedspread stay clean at night, our bedroom looks bright and cheery during the day. -- Jean A., via e-mail
Dear Heloise: I use plastic lids for many things. I use the large ones under oil bottles in my cupboard so oil doesn’t get on my cupboard shelves. I use smaller lids under cooking-spray bottles. I also use them under my liquid dishwashing soap. They keep the cupboard clean, and all I have to do is wash the lid. -- Lois in Oregon
Yep! Recycle, reuse and repurpose -- three of my favorite words. -- Heloise