Living Columns & Blogs

Hints From Heloise: Ever considered tracing your family tree?

DEAR READERS: Tracing your genealogy can be fun. 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. Start with what you know and work backward. These simple forms are a good starting point.

• Grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc., can be a wealth of information. 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 audio 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. It’s easier to open the caps.

– 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

DEAR BETTY: Just a touch of baking soda keeps things fresh and clean. When done cleaning, make sure your vegetable brush is labeled “for disposal cleaning only.”

DEAR HELOISE: I am an 84-year-old senior. I and several of my contemporaries have started a “Good Morning” email, which is sent each morning by the earliest riser, and the recipients each “reply to all.”

If we fail to receive a response by midmorning, we 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