Dear Readers: Okay, guys, it’s time to get ready for No-Shave November. Likely, you’ll soon begin to see many fuzzy faces out there, and you’ll probably wonder, “What’s going on?”

During November, participants forgo shaving and take the money they would have spent on shaving and donate it for cancer research and education.

The idea is to cherish your hair, which cancer patients can sometimes lose during treatment.

Starting a conversation is a good way to grow awareness. Ask at the office if growing a beard is okay.

Check out for more information.

P.S. No-Shave November was started officially 10 years ago in Chicago by a family who’d lost their dad to colon cancer.

Dear Readers: Here are some follow-ups on the befuddlement of using “Dear” in a business letter.

"Your column is enjoyed daily via the Uniontown, Pa., Herald-Standard. Your item about the use of 'Dear' in a business letter might benefit from the explanation that the word has evolved over the centuries and has several meanings, some of which have been lost to time.

"Prior to the 20th century, one of these now-obsolete meanings of 'dear' was 'noble.' 'Dear Sir' (or 'Madam' or surname) might be said today as 'Noble Sir.' Another extrapolation might include 'Honorable Sir.'"

David K., Farmington, Pa.

"In response to the reader who asked if 'Dear' is still a good salutation for a letter, I thought I would pass on another option.

"I have started using 'Greetings' as the salutation for emails and letters. It is friendly and less 'dated' than 'Dear.' I read your column in The Columbian."

Janet S., Battle Ground, Wash.

Dear Heloise: What can you tell me about the material safety data sheet? What is it? Where can I get one?

A Reader, Toledo

Reader: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, requires the manufacturers of chemicals to provide an easy-to-read safety data sheet (SDS), formally called the material safety data sheet.

The SDS provides info about the product, its makeup, what to do if the product spills, how to store the product and its date of manufacture, among many other things.

The SDS should be available through the product’s website, or there is normally a phone number on the packaging that you can call to request the SDS.

Dear Readers: Save the items used to tackle icy sidewalks (sand, rock salt and melting agents) in gallon plastic milk jugs. Label each one. The products will remain dry, fresh and easier to dispense. Keep them handy by the door on your way out to the car.

Dear Heloise: I like to have my blankets within reach this time of year when temperatures can vary. But when the weather warms up, storing all those blankets takes up a lot of space.

I fold them flat and tuck them between my mattress and box spring.

Mandy B. in Atlanta

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to

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