Cleaning gutters

Dear readers: Cleaning leaves and debris out of the gutters of your home – that’s a fun Saturday chore, right? The purpose of a gutter is to move rainwater away from the foundation to prevent damage to the siding of your home and your flower beds, and to keep water out of the basement.

There are some instances where you may not need a gutter system on your home: little rainfall where you live, your home is surrounded by stones for drainage, or your home is on a slope.

You can either hire someone to clean your gutters, or you can carefully do it yourself.

This is an important chore to keep your home running efficiently and, of course, to save money. – Heloise

Pet pal

Dear readers: Leila sent a picture via email of her stunning gray and green-eyed cat, Stella, who is relaxing on the floor.

To see Stella and our other pet pals, visit www.Heloise.Com and click on “pet of the week.” Do you have a funny and furry friend? Please mail or email your photo (if you want the mailed photo returned, let us know). Include your pet’s name, age, breed, etc. We hope to include all pets – even exotics! Send your pet photo to heloise/pets, p.O. Box 795001, san antonio, tx 78279-5001. Or you can email it to heloise@heloise.Com. – Heloise

Itchy and chewy

Dear heloise: my dog was chewing on her skin and feet. She’s on flea and heartworm medication, so i was perplexed as to why she was so uncomfortable. We tried creams and balms; nothing worked.

Then I talked to the veterinarian. What a relief for all of us! After the doctor examined my dog and asked me some questions, she decided the right choice for us was a prescription oral medication. Immediate relief! We will do some testing for food allergies in the future, but for now, my dog is happy and comfortable. – Elizabeth Z. in San Antonio

Testing is key. Readers, make sure your doctor has the resources to test for all kinds of allergies. There are some wonderful new medications on the market that can offer relief. – Heloise

Shower safety

Dear heloise: Recently, when i was home alone and went to take a shower, I placed my phone on the bathroom floor. I figured if I slipped and fell and couldn’t get up, my phone would be easier to reach. – Sue T., via email

Vin password

Dear heloise: After struggling with remembering passwords and writing them down where anyone can find them, I came up with a solution.

I use the vehicle identification number of one of my vehicles. If I cannot remember the password, a quick look at my registration to find the vin is easy to do.

Any number of various choices exist: forward, backward, adding my initials or including make or model. The choices are what works best for you. – Indiana farmer, via email

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