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DEAR HELOISE: My husband and I plan vacations far enough ahead so we can read up on the local customs, learn a few words in the native language and find out where things are and how to get there. By learning what is acceptable and what is not, we've saved ourselves a lot of embarrassing moments.

-- Tom and Joyce M., Tampa, Fla.

DEAR HELOISE: We recently had a fire in our kitchen. I pulled out a fire extinguisher and it didn't work. Please advise your readers to make sure they have a fire extinguisher handy and that it works properly. Here are other hints:

• Check online to see if you have a fire extinguisher model that's been recalled.

• Make sure you have the correct size and type.

• For a rechargeable extinguisher, have it serviced once a year.

• Always pull out the safety pin before operating the squeeze handle.

• Aim at the base of the fire, using a sweeping motion.

-- Fred A., Lahaina, Hawaii

DEAR HELOISE: It's not uncommon for people to regret a tattoo. They will get the best results with a laser removal, but it will take more than one session. Yes, it's painful, due to the impact energy from the laser pulse, and laser removal can be quite expensive. Think before you ink.

-- Ginger H.

in San Francisco

DEAR HELOISE: Please advise your readers to spend time decluttering their homes. My mother recently passed away, and my brother and I had to sort through stacks of papers, doll collections, six sets of china, more pots and pans than a restaurant would have and an assortment of other clutter collected over 46 years in the same house. Mom would often say, "Someday you kids may want this," but we didn't. Take a weekend to go through your home, room by room, and gather up items you don't use, need or want, and then have a sale. Donate the rest to charities.

-- Donna L., Flatwoods, Ky.

DEAR READERS: Watch out for any calls from area codes 268, 284, 876 and 809. These come from the Caribbean and are most often scammers who are trying to take advantage of you. Landline users can press 77 to block "anonymous" and "private" callers for free. Dial 87 to deactivate it at any time.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

MovieStyle on 02/08/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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