Living Columns & Blogs

Hints from Heloise: Ladder safety

DEAR HELOISE: I noticed that recently you published hints about ladder safety. They were good, but you’ve omitted one of the biggest dangers: ladder contact with overhead (or any) electric wires. A person could die in a heartbeat if contacting wires with a ladder. Most people never look at the top of their ladder while raising it. Please, everyone, check the area you are working in so you do not become a needless statistic.

– Ken (retired fire department), via email

DEAR KEN: You are absolutely correct, and thanks for the reminder to all of us! Heloise

P.S.: A big Heloise hug to all firefighters (regular and volunteer) across the country. You risk your lives daily for the rest of us.

DEAR READERS: A reader sent a picture of her Siamese cat, Maya, curled up on a red blanket. Maya was a stray. To see Maya’s photo, go to, and click on “Pets.”

DEAR HELOISE: I am a veterinarian. Regarding removing hair mats from a pet (dog or cat), use an electric hair trimmer, human or veterinary, or a beard trimmer. One laceration or injury due to the use of manual cutting instruments (like scissors) that requires a trip to your veterinarian will likely pay for at least one electric trimmer.

– Dr. Mark in Costa Mesa

DEAR HELOISE: Our family looks for ways to save a little money and cut down on waste. One thing we found was that we were spending money on paper cups to use in the bathroom. We got a mug tree, and each picked out a mug of our choice. Now everyone has a reusable mug, and they can hang it up when done. The mugs get washed in the dishwasher once a week.

– Paula in Kentucky

DEAR PAULA: Love it! I’ve used a beautiful coffee mug for years in my bathroom.

DEAR HELOISE: While I was painting the other day, I needed a damp cloth to wipe a spot off the floor. I grabbed a kitchen wipe, and it worked great! The soap in the wipe cleaned it very well. From now on, the wipes go with me whenever I paint.

– Val P., Colville, Wash.

DEAR HELOISE: I keep the shoes I don’t wear often in their boxes, stacked on a shelf in my closet. It was a pain to get the shoes down, especially when the pair I wanted was on the bottom. I cut one short side off all the boxes. Now I can see each pair and get the shoes out of the box without having to take them all down.

– A Reader, via email

DEAR HELOISE: In a recent column, a reader mentioned a closed-captioning feature, and you commented, “Some TVs do not have this feature.”

I want all of your readers to know that closed captioning is required by law on all TVs over 13 inches, and on all digital cable boxes. It may not be as easy to set up as simply pressing the mute button, but it may come in handy for some people. Refer to the instruction manuals. Also, you can leave the sound up while the captions are going.

– Karen D. in Nebraska