Dear Readers: Oh, the great CEILING FAN DIRECTION debate! In which direction should the ceiling fan rotate to make your room comfortable, and to lower your energy bill to save money? Here's the scoop:

In wintertime, the ceiling fan should rotate CLOCKWISE as you look up at it. This pushes down warm air that's up at the ceiling. Circulating warm air makes you feel warmer, so you can set the thermostat a bit lower.

When summer rolls around, the ceiling fan should rotate COUN- TERCLOCKWISE as you look up at it. This will create a light breeze that you should feel. This won't lower the temperature in the room, but it will feel cooler.

Look for a switch on the motor, right below the blades. This will change the direction of the ceiling fan blades.

Note: If you have a cathedral or vaulted ceiling, changing the direction of the ceiling fan does not affect the temperature of the room, but will still move warm or cold air and help some.

This topic usually generates lots of discussion! So please, before writing, check your manual or online.

— Heloise

Dear Readers: Visit my website,, and click on "Pet of the Week" to meet our furry menagerie of funny friends! We love them!

Send your pet picture, stats on your animal and an amusing anecdote to:

— Heloise

Dear Heloise: During the colder winter months, we love to go to indoor flea markets. There's so much to see, and bargains galore! Here are some hints that our family has learned over the years:

* Cash is king. Some places take checks and credit cards, but love cash.

* You can wheel and deal and negotiate, but be willing to buy. Merchants will be more likely to work with you if you're a serious shopper.

* Most items are sold "as is."

— Betty W., Fargo, N.D.

Dear Readers: Here's a fun project for the kids: Make your own snow if you live in a place where it does not snow. Kids love this do-it-yourself snow.

Take one box of baking soda and one full can of shaving cream, and, using your hands, mix together. It will feel like fresh, powdery snow, and you can add food coloring and glitter, but this is for outside only!

— Heloise

Dear Heloise: I keep some stainless-steel spoons in the freezer. When I've brewed a piping-hot cup of coffee or tea, stirring with the frozen spoon can cool the drink down quickly. — JoAnn P. in New York

Dear Heloise: The shower cap at the hotel is great for packing up things when it's time to go home: a wet toothbrush, swimsuit, small toilet items, etc. The elastic band holds things snugly!

— Becky M. in Utah

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