Help avail­able to pre­serve pre­cious pho­tos

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - FRONT PAGE - REENA NERBAS

QI am re­tired and plan to down­size soon. I have about 60 large and small photo al­bums. I won­dered if there are any ideas out there to con­glom­er­ate them as I will need a spe­cial room just for th­ese al­bums if I don’t. I thought maybe just hold the al­bum in front of a video cam­era and video all the pages. Maybe some­one else has a bet­ter idea. Mary, Win­nipeg AN­SWER: With the ad­vance­ment of mod­ern tech­nol­ogy, help is on the way. While sit­ting at your com­puter, take some time to scan photographs onto your com­puter. There are sev­eral won­der­ful com­pa­nies — blurb. com and shut­ter­fly.com are two ex­am­ples — who can help you cre­ate photo al­bums and will mail them to your home. On­line cour­ses are avail­able to teach you how to make the al­bums and or­ga­ni­za­tions such as Cre­ative Re­tire­ment Man­i­toba also of­fers cour­ses to show peo­ple how to make beau­ti­ful photo al­bums that will last for years and won’t take up much room. It’s eas­ier and more af­ford­able than you might ex­pect. QUES­TION: I have had a smell com­ing from the fur­nace vent in the bath­room ever since the heat came on and it smells like cat urine. Just want­ing to know if you have any sug­ges­tions be­sides get­ting the ducts cleaned; we don’t have the money right now. Thank you very much. Angie, Win­nipeg AN­SWER: Is the smell ac­tu­ally the re­sult of a cat or could it be some­thing else? Wet in­su­la­tion (caused by high hu­mid­ity) some­times smells sim­i­lar when wet. A dehumidifier might help the smell. If the smell is caused by a cat, the eas­i­est tem­po­rary so­lu­tion is to spray white vine­gar or Pet Odor Out prod­ucts around the ar­eas that smell to neu­tral­ize the odour. But chances are you won’t be happy with the re­sults of air fresh­en­ers and sur­face coverups. In­vest­ing money into hav­ing the ducts cleaned prop­erly or con­tact­ing a plumber are your best bets. Ex­tra tip: With­out spend­ing much money, it is im­por­tant to change fur­nace fil­ters on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. QUES­TION: With­out the help of a dry cleaner, can you please tell me how to clean my large area rug? It smells and needs some TLC. Thanks, Rose (Bois­se­vain, Man.) AN­SWER: If pos­si­ble, rent a steam cleaner and clean the car­pet just as you would a reg­u­lar car­pet. If the car­pet la­bel spec­i­fies dry clean only, take it to a dry cleaner. For fi­bres that spec­ify no wa­ter, you can clean the car­pet us­ing shav­ing cream. Spray onto car­pet and gen­tly scrub with a soft brush, then re­move with a soft, damp cloth un­til car­pet looks clean and smells fresh. QUES­TION: I have a tall, clear, sin­gle-stem glass vase and I have been un­able to re­move etched, cloudy wa­ter marks on the inside. I have tried ev­ery­thing from bak­ing soda, salt, vine­gar, den­ture tablets, with no suc­cess. Any ideas? Eu­nice, Win­nipeg AN­SWER: Soaking the vase with hot vine­gar and then gen­tly rub­bing the sur­face with fine 000 sand­pa­per is a good so­lu­tion for slightly etched glass. You can also soak the vase in hot wa­ter and cit­ric acid (avail­able at your lo­cal pharmacy, you may need to or­der it). If the etch­ing re­mains, the con­di­tion is per­ma­nent. If you want to ‘re­fresh’ sel­do­mused glass­ware or crys­tal that has de­vel­oped a slight film while sit­ting in the cup­board, but is not dirty, just hold the piece over the mouth of a steam­ing ket­tle and pol­ish quickly and eas­ily with a pa­per cof­fee fil­ter. Your glass­ware will sparkle again! Hol­i­day hints of the week: If you like how you dec­o­rated for Christ­mas this year, take a photo so you can recre­ate the same scene for next year. Rather than try­ing to cram your ar­ti­fi­cial Christ­mas tree back into its orig­i­nal box, con­sider pur­chas­ing a tree bag. Us­ing a bag puts less stress on you and the tree. I en­joy your ques­tions and tips, keep them com­ing. Missed a col­umn? Can’t re­mem­ber a so­lu­tion? Need a cor­po­rate pre­sen­ter on the topic: Har­ness the Power of Words? Check out my

web­site, Reena.ca.

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