Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about guests complaining when staying at someone’s house:

“I don’t like it when people complain about accommodations when staying at other people’s houses. Instead of complaining about free accommodations, why don’t you do something nice for your host? You are not entitled to complain about old pillows, etc., as a guest in someone else’s home. When you go to stay in another person’s home, stop by a discount retail store and buy four new pillows as gifts. You can improve the next guest’s experience, give thanks for your host’s hospitality and have new pillows yourself. -- A Reader, via e-mail”

When you are a guest, you should NOT complain! This is not a hotel, and your “reservation” does not include the right to complain about the accommodations. Say “thank you,” and think about how you would feel if someone staying in your home complained. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Here are travel essentials to take on your next trip:

* A pillowcase.

* A first-aid kit.

* A travel alarm clock.

* A small sewing kit.

* A small flashlight and batteries.

-- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: My wife needs to remove her engagement ring from her finger after 58 years in order to have it appraised for insurance purposes. Needless to say, she’s having a difficult time getting it off. Your suggestions will be appreciated! -- Bob, via e-mail

Bob, I am happy to help you and your wife! First thing is to try some sort of lubricant to remove the ring: dish soap, vitamin E or petroleum jelly. If her finger is swollen, try to reduce the swelling by soaking her hand in cold water or using an ice pack and elevating the hand above the head.

Another trick to try is to wrap the finger with thread or dental floss. Slide one end under the ring and then wrap the finger tightly with the thread going up past the knuckle, compressing the finger slightly. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: After a snowstorm, cars will bring road dirt, snow and ice into the garage. After the snow and ice melt, it leaves a black mess. You can always use a mop and water to clean it up, but I have an easier way, using a broom, a large dustpan and snow. Get a pan full of snow and spread it on the road dirt. Swish it around. The snow easily picks up the dirt, and you can put it back into the pan and discard outside. Repeat until all the black dirt is gone. It is quicker and easier than mopping with water, because snow does not spread like water does. -- Walt B., Columbus, Ohio

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to

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