Weekly home rail, with tips on how to go green, home Q&A and more. This week we begin a new standing item on pets called Creature Comfort.


  Go Green   Want to go green at home this holiday season? Here’s a tip from Doityourself.com:   Recycle wrapping paper: If every American family wrapped three holiday gifts in reused wrapping paper, the amount of paper saved would cover 45,000 football fields. If the environment is one of your concerns, you can do your part in helping it by purchasing recycled wrapping paper (many companies now make it). Newspaper is another good choice for wrapping gifts.   Creature Comfort   Most children would be delighted to find a cute puppy or bunny rabbit under the tree on Christmas morning, but before you go making any emotional purchases, make sure you’ve taken everything into consideration. Here are some tips from www.thefunplace.com:   Money: Because the actual purchase of the pet and necessary supplies can run into quite a bit of money, you must decide if you're ready financially to support a pet, making sure to take into consideration vet bills, housing, nutritional needs, grooming needs, toys. With some animals, you’ll want to figure in the price of neutering or spaying.   Time: Do you have time for a pet? This means not only do the children have time, but also do YOU have time. Once the newness of this type of gift wears off, someone is still going to have a time commitment toward it.   Space: Is there room in your household for this pet? Some animals require minimal space, while others require lots of space. In addition to housing, large animals will need a large area to run.   Legalality: If you are renting, does your landlord permit animals, and will he require an extra deposit to cover the pet? Please check this out ahead of time - sneaking the pet in is not fair to anyone and will only cause heartache in the end.   Allergies: Will this pet cause allergy reactions to anyone in the family? You can test this by visiting people with the same type of pet you are considering.   Coming Soon to Your Home?   What's the gift that keeps on giving going to be this Christmas? How about a cordless rechargeable massage seat -- a gift that turns any chair into a massage chair. This can be a nice alternative to a full-fledged massage chair or recliner, pieces of furniture that--while comfortable--don't always blend in nicely with your decor. The "Only Cordless Rechargeable Massage Seat" from Hammacher Schlemmer transforms "any chair into a gentle vibrating massage platform for your back and hamstrings." The massaging seat only weighs 3 pounds, it folds in half, and it has an integrated shoulder strap to make transport easy. The price? About $250. -- luxuryhousingtrends.com   How To: Get Your Dishes to Sparkle   For more effective dishwashing, add a few tablespoons of vinegar along with the dishwashing detergent when washing dishes. The vinegar cuts the grease and leaves dishes sparkling. -- www.thefunplace.com   Home Q&A   Q. A neighbor gave me a microwave and the bracket for installation in a rental unit I have. I see the bracket and oven, but I am not sure how it attaches. I have the cabinet hung where the microwave will go, so I am ready, but was wondering if anyone had info on how to proceed with no directions. Does anyone know of a site or an address to get the directions for installation?   A. Check the manufacturer for the model. However, if this is a ventless, the bracket attaches to the wall and the unit sets into the bracket at the bottom and folds up to its final resting place. There are two basic methods that these appliances are attached. The most common is through holes drilled in the cabinet shelf, followed by machine bolts and washers (provided) down into the appliance. The other is a two-threaded rod accessed from behind the top vent panel, which attaches to the wall bracket. -- Doityourself.com   Number to Know: 10   Number of years a German landlord illegally videotaped his tenants. The 60-year-old allegedly installed cameras and microphones in the bedrooms, bathrooms and other areas of two flats. He was arrested and charged with invasion of privacy after a tenant found a camera while cleaning. -- Source: Reuters   GateHouse News Service