DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m a volunteer with Rebuilding Together Lewiston/Auburn and am wondering if you could help us with finding homes to renovate this year. The nonprofit organization is supported entirely by contributions of time, labor, material and money. We are dedicated to repairing homes of those who, due to financial hardship, age and/or disability, cannot do the work themselves. Skilled and unskilled volunteers alongside able-bodied members of the recipient’s family and friends complete the repairs at no cost to the homeowner.

The work is conducted on one weekend every year. This year, Rebuilding Day is Saturday, May 2.

Rebuilding Together Lewiston/Auburn will accept house applications until March 31. Applications can be found at River Cities Professional Center, 195 Center St. in Auburn. Please ask at the front desk or call 783-7300. You can also receive and submit applications through email at [email protected] or download one from our website at .

Volunteers are also needed. For more information, please contact us through the email address above, or call 344-3232.

— Russ, no town

ANSWER: What a wonderful thing to be involved with! Please look into this if you need help with home renovations and want to see if you qualify. This organization can help with everything from yardwork to installing a new roof, painting, light carpentry and everything in between. If you want to contribute to these projects, can assist with fundraising and publicity, and have the time, check this out!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Do you have, in your vast Rolodex, names of professionals who restore dusty dried flower arrangements? I enjoy reading your column every day. You provide immeasurable service to the community.

— No name, no town

ANSWER: To restore arrangements that hold sweet memories of a special event, you just need a hair dryer set on the lowest temperature and lowest air speed. Hold the dryer about 10 inches from the arrangement and work from top to bottom. It’s best to do this outdoors so the dust doesn’t land on you or anything else.

Canned air, sold to clean computer keyboards, is another option if your flowers are intricate and have a lot of little crevices.

If the dust is sticky and/or greasy, loosen it first very gently with a soft toothbrush. You can also place the flowers one at a time in a paper bag with about ½ cup table salt added. Close up the bag and gently shake it. (The salt “scrubs” the dust from the leaves.) Lastly, brush any clinging salt and dust away with a soft cloth or brush.

The most important thing is that if you’re going to embrace dried flower arrangements as part of your decor, you need to attend to them quite frequently so they will look their best and cleaning won’t become a major project.

For further advice, you could contact a local florist and see what they have to say!

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].



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