Identify unknown smell before it's too late

Dear Heloise: Just wanted to share a recent experience that might be of value. In our bedroom, occasionally we would get the distinct smell of something dead and thought it might have been an animal in the walls, such as a mouse. Then at other times, it had a smell like bad fish mixed with the dead smell.
Turned out to be a wall-plug receptacle. I felt the outlet one day on a lark, and it was very hot. Once removed, I found that it was fried to the point that the plastic back was crumbling as I removed it. After replacing it, there were no more problems with smells, and it was only luck that it did not catch fire and burn down the house! Kyle L. Freeman, San Antonio
Kyle, yikes! Glad you averted a house fire! If you have a strong smell in any room of your home, you should become the "house detective" and find the source before it is too late. Thanks for passing along your letter as a warning to other readers. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I'm a nanny, and we were out of eggs to make pancakes one morning. So, I thought that instead of running to the grocery store, I would try mayonnaise (since it's made from eggs).
The little girls and I loved the cakes! They tasted somewhat like sourdough. So, if you run out of eggs, try mayo! Sandy, Newbury Park, Calif.
It's worth a try, but be sure it's real mayo, which is made with eggs, not diet! Heloise
Dear Heloise: While vacationing recently, I spilled soda down my favorite blouse. I hadn't planned on doing laundry while away from home, but I knew the stain would need to be dealt with when I arrived home. So, as a reminder, I took a couple of brightly colored plastic clothespins and put them on the blouse as a way to remember to deal with the stain when I got home. (I keep a few clothespins in my overnight bag because they always come in handy.) Ruth Ann in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Dear Heloise: While putting away a heavy stack of special dishes after dinner, my eyes fell on a stack of special-day greeting cards that I had saved because I cannot toss them. I put a card between each plate in the stack to discourage chipping, and used smaller ones in cups and mugs when stacking them. I even put them in special bowls and serving pieces that are not often used.
I preserved the favorite dishes, and the cards are not lost. A happy day, happy hint. I read you in the Houston Chronicle. Dixie Danielson, Spring, Texas
Dixie, thanks for reading the column. Loved your hint, because when you take out a special dish and remove the card, you can read it again and be reminded of someone's care or love for you. Heloise
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to
King Features Syndicate

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