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Confidential Chat

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Reference books

Dear Chatters: Does anyone know if professor Wayne Dudley is still sending books to Africa? Apparently he has retired and his e-mail address is no longer valid. I am downsizing and have complete sets of Encyclopedia Britannica, both regular and Junior, Science and Future through 2000, and Medical and Health Annuals through 1983. I know most of us get our information through the Internet these days, but really wish someone could use these books, at no cost but for pickup. E-mail address is


Meeting site

Dear Chatters: Does anyone have recommendations for conference facilities for 100-175 people for low-budget groups? We are looking for locations within 60-90 minutes of Boston for our annual meetings. We need one large room plus an adjacent area which would hold about 15 large tables, plus some area to eat (either catered or on-site service).

Hotels are a bit pricey for us and schools have other drawbacks.


Christmas cape

Dear Chatters: As a December baby, I am very much into the holidays, from decorating my house to wearing Christmas clothes and jewelry. I don't have outerwear such as cloaks or capes. Last year I met a woman wearing a Christmas cape that she made from two Christmas tree skirts, burgundy with white furlike trim. She had kept one intact and cut the trim off the second one. She stitched them together, put the plain one on top and the fur-trimmed one on the bottom, and used the leftover fur around the neck area as a collar.

It seemed simple, but I have no sewing skills. Is there anyone out there who could do this for a minimal cost so I could wear them during the upcoming holiday season? I would purchase the tree skirts. Thanks.


Dating younger man

Dear Chatters: I would like to introduce a subject that I have not seen in the Chat.

I am a widow of seven years after being married for 40 years. I am now 70 years and have been having a relationship with a 40-year-old man. I am very young acting and young looking. Most people think I am in my late 50s or early 60s. It is a wonderful relationship. I am having so much fun. There is a permanent smile on my face. I have very little money so it's not that he is after any; in fact, he has much more than I do. He says he has always been attracted to older women, and I am not your typical older woman. I don't mean to brag, but I have a great figure and people say I'm pretty. Men have always liked me. I was very faithful in my marriage. Now I feel it's my time. Would love to hear from other readers who are experiencing this.


Coins and records

Dear Chatters: How does one go about finding the value of old silver coins, 78 rpm records in their original jackets, and about 100 or more new (never used) radio tubes? My dear husband was a saver. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Travels with dog

Dear Chatters: This is my first Chat note. My mom was a longtime reader and now I am. I would like to rent a condo in the Daytona, Florida, area in February, but I have a small dog (7 pounds). I am told that condos do not rent to people with pets. Anyone have any advice or info?


Fruit flies

Dear Chatters: Here's a way to round up the fruit flies in your home: Put your fruit peelings (banana peels, peach seeds, etc.) into a tall waterproof box (e.g., an empty orange-juice box), and cover the box with a clear plastic bag. Place the entire set-up near where the fruit flies tend to gather. Make sure there is some space between the bag and the ground. The fruit flies will actually enter the bag from the bottom to get at the fruit smell inside the box. Then you can crush the fruit flies as they crawl up the inside of the bag.


Confidential Chat is a forum for Globe readers to exchange ideas, advice, or helpful information on any subject. Letters should be addressed to Confidential Chat, Living/Arts, The Boston Globe, P.O. Box 55819, Boston MA 02205-5819, or via e-mail to Writers should choose a pen name but include real name and address (for our files only) in order for the letter to be printed. When a letter is addressed to a writer, it is always forwarded and may also be printed. 

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