Dear Readers: Valentine’s Day, the traditional celebration of romantic love, is almost here. Are you planning a gift for your love? Chocolates, teddy bears and lingerie are good choices, but you can’t go wrong with roses. Do you know the meaning of the colors of roses? Here’s a primer:

• Red: romantic, devoted love and respect.

• Purple: enchantment or splendor.

• White: purity, weddings, new beginnings and sympathy.

• Pink: grace and appreciation.

• Orange: passion and enthusiasm.

• Yellow: friendship, delight and joy.

How to care for roses? Here are some hints:

• Cut away leaves at the bottom of the stems.

• Upon delivery, cut the stems diagonally, and under running water.

• Use the flower food included, or use a splash of lemon soda as nutrition, and to keep bacteria at bay.

Enjoy Valentine’s Day, and put some effort into having beautiful, meaningful and healthy flowers for the occasion!

— Heloise


Dear Heloise: Here are some unique ways I use my cellphone:

1. I take a picture of my car’s license plate. In case the car is stolen or I am asked for the license plate number, I only have to check my phone.

2. When I am visiting someone in the hospital and I will be making numerous trips, I enter the hospital name in my contacts and then, under the cellphone number, enter the room number.

— Sandie, via email

This technology has certainly made our lives easier! Readers, do you have a unique use for your cellphone or camera? Email Heloise@Heloise.com!

— Heloise

Staying ahead of the game

Dear Heloise: My HVAC service shop offers a subscription plan wherein I pay a nominal monthly fee and am entitled to free spring and fall tuneups. During these service calls, the technician inspects the whole system, tests all the components, lights the pilot (if appropriate), changes the filters and makes note of any concerns for future attention.

As a “VIP” customer, this subscription puts me at the head of the list of any emergency calls for service, entitles me to a 15 percent discount on parts and labor, and eliminates all shipping charges for parts. Your readers should inquire about a similar plan with their local vendor.

 — Bill S., via email

Bill, it’s worth looking into! Maintenance on the front end can help avoid a pain in the back end!

— Heloise

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

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