Your Personal Home Manual ~ Connect To Expertise And Answers To Everything Home
Your Personal Home Manual ~ Connect To Expertise And Answers To Everything Home
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Looking forward to hearing about whatever's got you thinking?

At what age is it appropriate to give your kids a cell phone?

Dear Diana,                                  9/25/19

We have two children. Our oldest is eight. Our youngest is two. Our eight-year-old already has friends whose parents have given their eight-year-old

their own cell phone. Our daughter wants one now too. My husband and I are in agreement that she is not old enough for a cell phone and have no

intention of buying her one for a while.  She has a few “play” phones, but nothing real at this point. At what age is it appropriate to give your kids a

cell phone? We feel good about our decision to wait for a while, but are curious what your thoughts are on when it would be right?


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Does anybody have faith in their auto mechanic?

Dear Diana,                                  5/22/19

I am going to imagine my concern may sound a little paranoid, so please bear with me.  I am a single woman in my 40’s and drive a 12 year old car.
Like most everyone, I’m sure, my car has its own set of noises and clunks.  Each time I hear a new one, it sends me into a panic.  I never know if I
should worry about the noises or if they are just part of an aging car.  A mechanic, I am not.  I don’t have anyone in my life who can help me out
when my car acts up. 

Ultimately, I end up taking the car in for servicing, but always fear I am being taken advantage of.  Sometimes I think I am being too hard on the
service stations, and sometimes I am just not sure.  I have no doubt that I come across as clueless as I actually am when it comes to cars.  I am
looking for your thoughts on how to reduce my stress level over all this. 

Any recommendations?


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Missing our pretty view

Dear Diana,                                4/8/19

I am wondering what your thoughts are about neighbors keeping RV’s in their driveways.  My wife and I have lived in our home for a short time and

when we purchased it, our neighbor did not have their RV.  Since we have moved in, they have purchased a decent sized one and keep it in their driveway.

We are not slighting their right to own the vehicle.  People should be able to own what they want without neighbors like us giving them trouble.  We

aren’t trying to make trouble but are troubled by the obstruction of our views out our windows.  Instead of being able to see the pretty landscaping

and fields we thought we were going to be able to see, we are staring at their camper.

We aren’t the types to talk behind people’s backs, so haven’t mentioned our feelings to any other neighbors.  We haven’t talked to the couple who

own the RV either.  We are very torn over what to do or if we should even do anything at all.

Any thoughts?

Missing our pretty view

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Puzzled by the lack of gratefulness!  Should we be mad?

Dear Diana,                                 4/1/19

Last fall we attended a wedding. The bride was the daughter of some friends of ours.  It has been five months, almost going on six since the wedding and we have yet to receive a thank you note from the couple. We were excited about the gift we gave them and had taken a decent amount of time trying to think of something, we thought, at least, that was very special. We are surprised at the lack of gratefulness. It wasn’t a very large wedding, so trying to justify for them that they may still be going through the guest list and writing notes doesn’t work.

Are we terrible for feeling put out and border line angry over this?

Thanks for your insight.

Puzzled by the lack of gratefulness

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Need some tips on tipping, please!  Trying to be fair!

Dear Diana,                                 3/11/19

I am curious what your thoughts are regarding tipping waiters and waitresses.  We go out to eat at least two to three times a month and find that too often the service or the food is disappointing.  When we go out to eat, to us, it is a treat and a break from cooking and cleaning up the kitchen.  We expect good service and good food, but seem to receive either one or the other, and in some cases, neither. When the checks come, the restaurant expects payment in full, plus some level of gratuity.  We struggle with how to handle the gratuity piece, thinking that in many cases, especially when the service isn’t very good, that the tip should reflect that.  We have left sparse tips when the service has not merited it and bigger tips when it has.  Are we right or wrong?

Thank you, in advance!

Trying to be fair!

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What should the thermostat be set at night?

Dear Diana,                                 2/27/19

We need someone to help settle a debate we are having in our household.  It is over what to set the thermostat on during the night.  I tend to turn

the heat down when everyone goes to bed.  My thinking is that we are warmer “under our covers.”  My husband thinks we should turn it up.  His

thinking is that we could catch a cold or get sick if the house is too cool.

I typically let him pass by the thermostat on the way to bed and like clockwork, he will turn the heat up.  I will usually wait a few minutes, usually enough time for him to hear the furnace kick in so he is comfortable going to sleep.  I’ll go by and turn it back down.  Nine out of ten nights, he seems to be none the wiser and sleeps like a baby.  I dare not let him in on my strategy, especially if he is happy and thinks the house is plenty warm.

What is your take on where the thermostat should be during the night?




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Far from splendor in the grass

Dear Diana,                                 2/10/19

We are having some exterior work done on our home.  Some deck repairs, a roof replacement and a new concrete walkway installed.  The company we hired is providing quality work so far.  We don’t have an issue with the way the work is being done.  Our issue is that some of the crew members are smoking on our property.  It could well be during a designated break time for them, nonetheless, we do not want anyone smoking on our property.  We have found several cigarette butts in the grass and assume they are from these guys.  Very gross!

The other challenge is that the gentleman working on our project don’t speak great English, so communicating with them is difficult.  We have tried

showing them the butts we have found in the grass and they just smile and point to others in their crew.  No specific worker is taking ownership of being the smoker or smokers.  We are not trying to be pills, just would prefer them to find a different place to smoke and to leave their cigarette butts.

Your thoughts?

Far from splendor in the grass

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